Re: [asa] New AAAS Statement Decries "Profound Dishonesty" of Intelligent Design Movie

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Mon Apr 28 2008 - 22:52:08 EDT

No, I do not believe that an intelligent designer is responsible for key
developments. I believe that the Creator is also Providence and
responsible for all order and continuity in both living phenomena and
inorganic existence. But God is not observed, acting as /Deus
absconditus/. There is a radical difference between a proper theism and
the ID notion of occasional intervention in a deistic universe. However,
there is much more in a Christian theism than in a philosophical theism.

It looks to me as though AAAS is simply repeating ID language and
rejecting it. How else can anyone take note of a position in order to
reject it? If I reject dark energy for an alternate explanation, the
language is scientific. If I reject divine persuasion of the matter he
(it?) encompasses, the language cannot be purely scientific, for
panentheism is not a scientific construct.

I understand that Jones did not rule as you would like, but it seems to
me that he nailed the difference between science and the now occult/now
proclaimed religious view of ID.
Dave (ASA)

On Mon, 28 Apr 2008 21:30:47 -0400 "David Opderbeck"
<> writes:
Judge Jones may have been right that ID is not science, but I think
anyone with a passing knowledge of HOS/POS would have to admit that his
analysis on this was embarrassingly shallow. It's not something that can
be properly decided by one judge with no particular expertise in the
field hearing only a handful of witnesses.

Since you're a theist, I'm guessing you believe that an "intelligent
designer" is indeed "responsible for key developments in the emergence of
life," and that you reject the either-or dichotomy this statement appears
to promote. Perhaps it's just sloppy use of language by the AAAS, but
their statement here sounds much more like theology than science.

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 7:50 PM, D. F. Siemens, Jr.
<> wrote:

I read the transcript of the trial and Judge Jones' opinion. He was right
in his judgment that ID is not science. Then AAAS is talking about
science, not theology, so the miraculous intervention by an outside
designer is not part of science. As a theist, I hold that God ordained
the development of the inorganic and organic universe, but this faith is
outside of anything that anyone can do as a scientist. I wish the
confusion of science and ID would cease.
Dave (ASA)

On Mon, 28 Apr 2008 18:42:49 -0400 "David Opderbeck"
<> writes:
And I'd also note this from the AAAS statement: "Proponents of the
intelligent design
movement believe that an intelligent designer, rather than evolution, is
responsible for key developments in the emergence of life."

So an "intelligent designer" can't have used "evolution" to accomplish
his/her/its design? Isn't this "evolution or God" at the end of the day?

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 6:40 PM, David Opderbeck <>

Ok, but the AAAS Statement also includes this:

"We hope lawmakers will follow the course of Judge John Jones III, who
ruled in the Dover, Pa. case that intelligent
design meets none of the tests of a scientific theory and is simply an
updated version of century-old creationist arguments."

Does the AAAS really want Judge Jones' constipated demarcation of
"science" to govern all future discussion of such questions? Is the AAAS
even qualified to opine about this?

And this:

"At a time when the United States faces serious economic challenges, we
cannot risk derailing efforts to provide the best possible science
education for the next generation of problem solvers."

Which is not quite as silly and offensive as equating everyone who
accepts evolution with Nazi stormtroopers, but is definitely a response
in kind. I.e.: anyone who takes any design idea seriously is a
backwards fundie hick.

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 6:23 PM, Rich Blinne <>

Go to the link to also see an embedded video with Francis Collins which
as they say in the Visa commercials, priceless. The video itself predates
Expelled but still is nevertheless on topic.
A new movie released in support of the intelligent design campaign
needlessly drives a wedge between science and religion and insults the
life-affirming work of millions of scientists worldwide, AAAS said in a
statement issued today.
The film, "Expelled," posits that science is unable to explain crucial
gaps in evolution on Earth, and that the intervention of an intelligent
designer was necessary to advance the development of life. The film
claims that scientists ruthlessly suppress such challenges.
The AAAS statement responds that evolution is supported by extensive
evidence, and rejects the movie as a divisive effort to inject
controversial religious ideas into public school science classrooms.

"We were... especially disappointed to learn that the producers of an
intelligent design propaganda movie called 'Expelled' are inappropriately
pitting science against religion," said the statement. "This production
badly misrepresents the scientific community as intolerant of dissent,
when, in fact, respectful disagreement and questioning based on physical
evidence represent the core of the scientific process.
"AAAS further decries the profound dishonesty and lack of civility
demonstrated by this effort. The movie includes interviews with
scientists who report that they were deceived into appearing as part of
such a production, and advance segments [of the film] broadly depict
those who accept evolution as racist and sympathetic to Nazis. Such
generalized insults are untrue and grossly unfair to millions of
scientists in the United States and worldwide who are working to cure
disease, solve hunger, improve national security, and otherwise advance
science to improve the quality of human life."
For more than a decade, AAAS has worked to build a constructive
engagement between science and religion, through its Dialogue on Science,
Ethics, and Religion and other programs. Further, the statement noted,
more than 11,000 Christian leaders in the United States have signed a
letter affirming that evolution does not conflict with religious faith.
The United Church of Christ recently sent out a pastoral letter
expressing a similar position.
Evolution "is based on a diverse and robust body of physical evidence,
from fossilized bones to radiometric measurements of the ages of the
Earth's rocks," the statement says. But the movie, by conveying
misinformation about science and researchers, seeks to force religious
viewpoints into science class--despite court decisions that have struck
down efforts to bring creationism and intelligent design into schools.
"At a time when the United States faces serious economic challenges, we
cannot risk derailing efforts to provide the best possible science
education for the next generation of problem-solvers," the statement
concludes. "Our children deserve no less."
Read the full AAAS statement on the movie "Expelled."

David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology 
David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology 
David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology 
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Received on Mon Apr 28 22:56:06 2008

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