Science Friday

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Chris Mooney will be on NPR’s Science Friday with Ira Flatow, reporting live on the Dover case. The show starts at 2 PM EST, which is less than 30 minutes. Don’t miss it.

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The audio file will be available here.

It wasn’t, in terms of information, anything new. About what you’d expect. A theologian from Georgetown testified today, I guess. Mooney thinks it’s in the bag. They talked about how DI is cutting their losses and they probably want to take a Kansas case to SC instead of this one, because Dover is too explicitly about ID. I thought they might take calls and use the whole hour, but it was only 15-20 minute interview.

From what I heard, the reason the DI doesn’t want this case is the blatantly religious comments made by the school board members. This makes the case less attractive would make an appeal much harder.

But all potential cases are involving some people who have taken a more explicitly religious view at some point, no? It will be decades before they can even hope to have some “pure” ID supporters in place to be able to sue without religious taint, if they can last that long.

a modest experiment

and they probably want to take a Kansas case to SC instead of this one, because Dover is too explicitly about ID.

Kansas Board member Kathy Martin:

“We are not going to give up until the standards say what we want them to say. Evolution has been proven false. ID is science-based and strong in facts.”

“Of course this is a Christian agenda. We are a Christian nation. Our country is made up of Christian conservatives. We don’t often speak up, but we need to stand up and let our voices be heard.” (Pitch.Com, May 5, 2005)

Nancy Bryson, testifying at the Kansas Kangaroo Kourt:

Q. What is your alternative explanation for how the human species came into being if not from a common descent from prehominids?

A. From science, I have no alternative explanation.

Q. In your personal opinion?

A. In my personal opinion, I believe there was an intelligent designer.

Q. And when did that intelligent designer create the human species?

A. I’m not sure.

Q. Now, that opinion that you have about intelligent design, that’s not based on science, correct?

A. Correct.

Q. That’s based upon your theistic views?

A. Correct. (Bryson testimony, Kansas Hearing transcript)

Warren Nord, testifying at the Kansas Kangaroo Kourt:

Simply the title of my second book, “Taking Religion Seriously Across the Curriculum,” suggests that religion should be taken seriously in most all disciplines. I used to say except mathematics and driver’s education, but the Amish let me know that driver’s education is religiously very important. And, actually, a case can be made for mathematics because the philosophy–well, I’m not going to get into that. …

Q. Is it also your opinion, sir, that it is important to have religion taught in economics?

A. Oh, for sure.

Q. Mathematics?

A. That’s a harder case, but you can actually make a case for that. I’ll be happy to do it if you like. (Nord testimony, Kansas Hearings transcript)

From Roger Dehart’s testimony at the Kansas Kangaroo Kourt:

Q. My question is is the word naturalism anywhere in the Kansas standards? Yes or no?

A. No, but it’s implicit in the way that you’ve defined science.

Q. As a search for natural answers, is that the implication you suggest?

A. Only natural answers.

Q. And you suggest that a better alternative would be to include supernatural answers?

A. Intelligent causes.

Q. Intelligent cause is a disguise for a supernatural answer. Correct?

A. Darwinism masquerades as materialist– materialism.

Q. That’s not my question. Listen carefully. I asked you whether or not the suggestion that intelligent design is a masquerade for a supernatural answer. Correct?

A. That’s a leading question.

Q. Of course it is. Is it or not?

A. I think if the evidence shows that things have intelligent causes we should be able to go there in science, if it’s about searching for truth. (DeHart testimony, Kansas Hearings transcript)

Yeah, right, a Kansas case will be *MUCH* better for the IDers than Dover.

(snicker) (giggle)

From what I heard, the reason the DI doesn’t want this case is the blatantly religious comments made by the school board members.

As opposed, I presume, to all the blatantly religious comments made by the *DIers themselves*. From my website:

DI guru Phillip Johnson, who talks much more openly than the others about the explicit anti-atheistic goals of “intelligent design theory”, specifically contrasts “scientific materialism” with “divine intervention”; “It is the alleged absence of divine intervention throughout the history of life – the strict materialism of the orthodox theory – that explains why a great many people, only some of whom are biblical fundamentalists, think that Darwinian evolution (beyond the micro level) is basically materialistic philosophy disguised as scientific fact.” (Johnson, “The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism”, First Things, November 1997, PP 22-25) “Science also has become identified with a philosophy known as materialism or scientific naturalism. This philosophy insists that nature is all there is, or at least the only thing about which we can have any knowledge. It follows that nature had to do its own creating, and that the means of creation must not have included any role for God. … The reason the theory of evolution is so controversial is that it is the main scientific prop for scientific naturalism. Students first learn that “evolution is a fact,” and then they gradually learn more and more about what that “fact” means. It means that all living things are the product of mindless material forces such as chemical laws, natural selection, and random variation. So God is totally out of the picture, and humans (like everything else) are the accidental product of a purposeless universe.” (Johnson, “The Church of Darwin”, Wall Street Journal, August 16, 1999). “For now we need to stick to the main point: In the beginning was the Word, and the ‘fear of God’- recognition of our dependence upon God-is still the beginning of wisdom. If materialist science can prove otherwise then so be it, but everything we are learning about the evidence suggests that we don’t need to worry. (Johnson, “How to Sink a Battleship; A Call to Separate Materialist Philosophy from Empriical Science”, address to the 1996 “Mere Creation Conference”) Johnson explicitly calls for “a better scientific theory, one genuinely based on unbiased empirical evidence and not on materialist philosophy” (Johnson, “How to Sink a Battleship). Johnson doesn’t tell us what this NON-materialistic philosophy might be that he wants to base science on, but it is crushingly clear from the rest of his statements that he, like every other IDer, wants to base science on his religious beliefs.

DI associate Michael Behe also makes the connection between fighting “scientific materialism” and “theistic understanding of nature” explicitly clear. “Darwinism is the most plausible unintelligent mechanism, yet it has tremendous difficulties and the evidence garnered so far points to its inability to do what its advocates claim for it. If unintelligent mechanisms can’t do the job, then that shifts the focus to intelligent agency. That’s as far as the argument against Darwinism takes us, but most people already have other reasons for believing in a personal God who just might act in history, and they will find the argument for intelligent design fits with what they already hold. With the argument arranged this way, evidence against Darwinism does count as evidence for an active God, just as valid negative advertising against the Democratic candidate will help the Republican, even though Vegetarian and One-World candidates are on the ballot, too. Life is either the result of exclusively unintelligent causes or it is not, and the evidence against the unintelligent production of life is clearly evidence for intelligent design.” (Behe, “The God of Science”, Weekly Standard, June 7, 1999, p. 35) “Naturalism is a philosophy which says that material things are all that there is. But philosophy is not science, and therefore excluding ideas which point to a creator, which point to God, is not allowed simply because in public schools in the United States one is not allowed to discriminate either for or against ideas which have religious implications.” (Behe, Speech at Calvary Chapel, March 6, 2002)

Another DI associate, William Dembski, makes the connection between ID and Christian apologetics even more explicit: “Not only does intelligent design rid us of this ideology, which suffocates the human spirit, but, in my personal experience, I’ve found that it opens the path for people to come to Christ. Indeed, once materialism is no longer an option, Christianity again becomes an option. True, there are then also other options. But Christianity is more than able to hold its own once it is seen as a live option. The problem with materialism is that it rules out Christianity so completely that it is not even a live option. Thus, in its relation to Christianity, intelligent design should be viewed as a ground-clearing operation that gets rid of the intellectual rubbish that for generations has kept Christianity from receiving serious consideration.” (Dembski, “Intelligent Design’s Contribution to the Debate Over Evolution”, Designinference.com website, February 2005). Indeed, Dembski titled one of his books “Intelligent Design; the Bridge Between Science and Theology” (Dembski, 1999). In that book, Dembski makes the religious basis of ID “theory” explicit: “The conceptual soundings of the theory can in the end only be located in Christ.” (Dembski, 1999, p. 210). Other statements by Dembski make it clear that his designer cannot be anything other than God: “The fine-tuning of the universe, about which cosmologists make such a to-do, is both complex and specified and readily yields design. So too, Michael Behe’s irreducibly complex biochemical systems readily yield design. The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life.” (Dembski, “The Act of Creation”, ARN website, Aug 1998)

Then there is the Wedge Document, written by the DI itself, which declares, “Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.”

GOALS

Governing Goals

* To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.

* To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.

I would very much enjoy seeing the DIers, in any courtroom anywhere in the United States of America, attempt to argue with a straight face that ID isn’t about advancing a religious agenda.

They are liars. Flat out, deliberate, calculating, liars. With malice aforethought.

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This page contains a single entry by Steve Reuland published on September 30, 2005 1:37 PM.

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