Re: re-whales from rodents

Arthur V. Chadwick (
Mon, 23 Aug 1999 16:38:29 -0700

At 02:29 PM 08/23/1999 -0500, Steve wrote:

I have a PhD in a biomedical science and I have done cell biology and
molecular genetics research for more than 15 yrs. I think that this
background would give me some qualification to evaluate much of the data
for and against evolution. But I assiduously avoid doing so. The field is
sufficiently complex and deep that I would be in constant fear of making
important errors of opinion. I prefer to let the experts debate the
scientific issues relevant to evolution. Given my own caution here, I feel
that it is highly appropriate for a law professor to be held to a similarly
rigorous standard when it comes to evaluating the scientific claims of

Then I guess it might depend upon whether you were evaluating evolution as
an evolutionary scientist, or as a lawyer. It seems to me a lot of the
criticism against Johnson is evaluating his judgment as a scientist rather
than as a lawyer (and perhaps as a philosopher). If he has somewhere
claimed to be speaking as a scientist, I would join you in your criticism
of him. If he is evaluating (as even the book's title claims) the claims
of evolutionary science and scientists, as a lawyer, then (probably)
neither you nor I have the formal training to judge the validity of his
legal conclusions. Personally, I have never seen him as other than a
lawyer taking a client (ID) to court and arguing (quite successfully, I
would judge) that his client deserved to have a fair hearing. If others
have used him as an authority in the arena of science, they are the ones
who deserve castigation.