Barbara Forrest’s role in Kitzmiller

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Many people have played important roles in exposing the scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design and its religious foundations. On Red State Rabble, Pat Hayes describes the role played by Barbara Forrest in bringing down ID. Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross are the authors of the highly insightful book Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design published in 2004 by Oxford University Press

Pat Hayes Wrote:

In the months since the Dover decision, leaders of the intelligent design movement have played and re-played the trial a thousand times. The Discovery Institute and the Thomas More Law Center have had a very public falling out. Intelligent design proponents have come to refer to Judge Jones, a lifelong Republican who was appointed by George W. Bush, as an activist judge.

What they have not done, as a movement whose leaders are nearly all men, is come to grips with the great role played in their embarrassing defeat by Barbara Forrest, a tiny but very determined woman from Louisiana, who simply took their own words and turned them against them.

What I found interesting is that Dembski was present at Forrest’s deposition and showed an interesting demeanor

In June, before the trial began, Thompson flew to New Orleans to take Forrest’s deposition. As attorneys, witness, and stenographer met in the offices of a local law firm for the deposition, Forrest was surprised to find that Thompson had intelligent design activist William Dembski in tow.

Dembski, who was himself to have been an expert witness for the defense, sat in on the early stages of her deposition. He was brooding presence, Forrest recalls, and extremely hostile.

“I just did my Southern magnolia routine on him,” says Forrest, “and made him shake my hand.”

Perhaps Dembski was still hoping that his Vise strategy would be more succesful than the Wedge Strategy or even his attempts at mathematics. Despite attempts by the ID activists to surpress Forrest’s testimony, the judge ruled in favor of her testifying as an expert witness

Understanding the Wedge was a major cause liability to Intellgent Design, Dembski started to downplay its role, quite unsuccesfully.

The wedge metaphor has outlived its usefulness. Indeed, with ID critics like Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross writing books like Evolution and the Wedge of Intelligent Design: The Trojan Horse Strategy, the wedge metaphor has even become a liability. To be sure, our critics will attempt to keep throwing the wedge metaphor (and especially the notorious wedge document) in our face. But the wedge needs to be seen as a propaedeutic – as an anticipation of and preparation for a positive, design-theoretic research program that invigorates science and renews culture. The wedge, to mix metaphors, has already swept the field, cleaned house, shone the spotlight, and exposed scientific materialism’s dirty laundry. Now that that has been accomplished, where do we go from here?

Ironically we are still waiting for a design-theoretic research program that either invigorates science (ID is scientifically vacuous) or renews culture (ID is unnecessarily divisive).

Dembski seems to have been fortunate that he did not have to testify in Dover after all. With expert witnesses like Barbara Forrest, Dembski would not have stood much of a chance. Although I am certain that the plaintiffs’ lawyers were quite happy to apply Dembski’s ‘vise strategy’, just not exactly as he may have expected.

In his ‘rebuttals’ Dembski objects to Forrest ignoring the scientific achievements (sic) of Intelligent Design but Barbara’s role as a witness was very well described by the lawyers

MR. ROTHSCHILD Wrote:

We are not suggesting that Dr. Forrest is here to address the purported scientific claims of intelligent design. We put together a very complementary expert team which includes scientists, scientist philosophers, as well as theologians and experts on teachings, and someone who has studied the intellect, the intelligent design movement. The core question here, the question of whether intelligent design is science, is a very important question in this trial, but the core question is is intelligent design a religious proposition, and it is on that sublect that Dr. Forrest is extremely qualified based on all the empirical research she has done.

And indeed in this area it was where her testimony was most damning, as Judge Jones explains in his ruling

Judge Jones Wrote:

A significant aspect of the IDM is that despite Defendants’ protestations to the contrary, it describes ID as a religious argument. In that vein, the writings of leading ID proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity. Dr. Barbara Forrest, one of Plaintiffs’ expert witnesses, is the author of the book Creationism’s Trojan Horse. She has thoroughly and exhaustively chronicled the history of ID in her book and other writings for her testimony in this case. Her testimony, and the exhibits which were admitted with it, provide a wealth of statements by ID leaders that reveal ID’s religious, philosophical, and cultural content.

56 Comments

Yeah, looking back on the DI pre-trial media manipulations, one can see that they were … about 180 degrees off. What with trying to characterize Forrest’s report as amateurish and unsubstantiated hearsay, and then posting that parody interview with “Barking Forrest”, one can see that the only damage ended up being to their own credibility.

…a tip ‘o me cap to PvM, Pat Hayes and the “Magnolia of the South”, Barbara Forrest.

A lecturer, Jim Kenny of the organization Common Ground, is to have a venue next month in Grayslake, IL on “EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN: WHITHER SCIENCE?”

http://www.cg.org/programs/LectureD[…]event_id=145

Please forgive me if this is considered a bit off topic, but has any Chicago-land PT-reader had prior experience with his lecture or his organization? I’d like to attend, but I’d also like to be prepared.

Happy Earth Day!

Here’s another perspective regarding Forrest’s “highly insightful” book, from Jonathan Witt of the University of Kansas:

http://www.epsociety.org/p%20517-519.pdf

FL

Blah blah blah. Tell it to the judge.

Oh, wait – you already DID.

(snicker) (giggle)

From the link in FL’s post:

Witt Wrote:

The book was penned by a biologist and a philosopher. One might expect from the book a trenchant critique of the science and philosophy of ID.

How could there be any critique of the science of ID when there is no science of ID? (sound of crickets chirping)

Those durned womenfolk!

Yeah sure F.L. Since Jwells does NOT think that IDCreationism is NOT science then he must believe that snakes cannot talk as in Gen.3. If that is the case, why should IDCreationists take any notice of him ? And if IDCreationism does not believe that the world is older than say 4500 years and Monkeys and man do not share a common evolutionary ancestor then why do you support jWelLs ?

Judge Jones will be speaking at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts on April 27. Come on down!

I forgot: hat tip to Pete Dunkelberg.

As to FL’s link to Jonathan Witt (Senior Fellow Jonathan Witt holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas), remember that it was the Discovery Institute which tried to trivialize (and that’s a nice term to describe what happened), Barbara Forrest. It starts off with a (feigned) surprise about the nature of the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture’s publicized roadmap to take back America, a document also known as the ‘Wedge Document’.

What Forrest and Gross have established, and what was supported by the evidence and testimony at the Dover trial, is that ID is intrinsically linked to a religious past and foundation. Moreover, the trial concluded with the ruling that ID is not science.

Forrest et al played a major role (read the ruling) in establishing the religious links and foundations.

I just did my Southern magnolia routine on him and made him shake my hand.

Is there any video of this moment out there please?

FL wrote

Here’s another perspective regarding Forrest’s “highly insightful” book, from Jonathan Witt of the University of Kansas:

Witt is not of the University of Kansas. He got his English Ph.D. there, obviously qualifiying him to speak with professional authority on scientific issues. He is of the Disco Institute, his current affiliation.

RBH

“I just did my Southern magnolia routine on him,” says Forrest, “and made him shake my hand.”

Anyone else get the image of Kyra Sedgewick and her role on THE CLOSER?

This somewhat off-topic, but I want to warn everybody not to waste any time reading “The Privileged Planet”. Perhaps the following quotation suffices for PT readers: “Philosopher and mathematician William Dembski has done seminal work in formalizing important aspects of how we detect the activity of intelligent agents.”

He got his English Ph.D. there, obviously qualifiying him to speak with professional authority on scientific issues.

Since when does a PhD in English qualify you to speak with authority on scientific issues - especially when you choose to ignore that science in deference to political pseudoscience aimed at the (literal) masses?

On the Back Page of the recent APS News (Vol. 15, No.4, April 2006), Lawrence M. Krauss discusses the ID movement, characterizing it as dishonest and unfair. It appears he has drawn on Barbara Forrest’s work. He also credits the Dover trial for convincing the Ohio State School Board to revise its ID influenced science standards.

For a while after the trial, our local papers were full of letters to the editor about the scientific basis of ID (all of the standard crap we have been hearing for years), and the “activist judge Jones”. It was the dying roar of the ID grass roots. Many of these ID proponents don’t get the scientific vacuity of ID, but they do seem to understand that the pedigree of the movement has been thoroughly exposed. The word is finally getting around.

Many thanks to Barbara Forrest for her diligent tracking of the ID scam. She drove the stake into the heart of the beast, and it was clear from the transcripts of the trial that the ID monster was terrified of her.

Forrest’s testimony was clearly feared by the defense lawyers far more than anyother witness. As events unfolded, they were correct for nearly the only time. Nick’s preparation of exhibits related to the early drafts of “Pandas”(IIRC) were like a +3 battle axe in the hands of Forrest.

According to Samuel Chen*, director of the Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center, we cannot trust what Barbara Forrest says about the intelligent design movement because she’s a member of the ACLU and a leader in the evolutionist movement. Here’s his full quote, now since deleted:

Samuel Chen Wrote:

Dr. Barbara Forest [sic] is the former president of the Louisiana ACLU and a leader in the evolution movement. “Plunge” hinted in another post that we shouldn’t accept what Dr. Forrest Mims says because he is a proponent of intelligent design and his view are [sic] tainted. However, it appears that evolutionists are quick to accept what Dr. Barbara Forest [sic] says, because it’s somehow untainted. Bascially [sic], evolutionists have this policy: if it’s from an intelligent design proponent, it must be wrong. If it’s from an evolutionist: it must be 100% correct. To say what Barbara Forest [sic] says about intelligent design is 100% correct without further observation is to say that everything the Republicans say about the Democrats is 100% correct, or vice versa. Think people or haven’t your brains evolved that much yet?

Remember, these are the words of the director of the Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center.

*Samuel Chen is a Baylor freshman who’s double majoring in philosophy and political science. Heh.

Comment #97943

Posted by FL on April 22, 2006 09:58 AM (e)

Here’s another perspective regarding Forrest’s “highly insightful” book, from Jonathan Witt of the University of Kansas:

http://www.epsociety.org/p%20517-519.pdf

FL

I enjoyed Witt’s little argument in PHILOSOPHIA CHRISTI pp 517-519. It was masterful in not addressing the issues or rebutting her arguments directly, but rather a of straw-man mixed with character assassination and out-right lying.

if it’s from an intelligent design proponent, it must be wrong

Well, it’s not that it must be wrong, just that it usually is.

Posted by Gary Hurd on April 22, 2006 01:49 PM (e)

Forrest’s testimony was clearly feared by the defense lawyers far more than anyother witness. As events unfolded, they were correct for nearly the only time. Nick’s preparation of exhibits related to the early drafts of “Pandas”(IIRC) were like a +3 battle axe in the hands of Forrest.

LOL! Your article was at least a +2 Arrow of Actual Archeaology.

What I find fascinating is the arguments of the DI ID’ers that Forrest is a leader in the evolution movement. They still can’t get their fact straight that science does not engage in movements or beliefs. And Forrest would be the first to tell you that she’s no leader in the study and development of evolution, there being several tens of thousands of biologists and paleontologists (to name just two fields) ahead of her. What she has done is compile and analyze a exhaustive scholarly history of the evolution of creationism into ID. Anyone who has read “Creationism’s Trojan Horse” knows she simply presented the facts, which alone are damning evidence of a dishonest, non-scientific, religiously driven conspiracy to subvert biology and other science instruction in the K-12 public schools. (And unlike the ID’ers she’s footnoted—over 60 pages of worth—every claim or statement of fact as to its origin.) She’s been the messenger for some very bad news and the DI hates her for that. But the facts are what the ID promoters created. Forrest “just” recorded and presented them. That’s what very, very good historians do. And for that reason we owe immense gratitude for her work. Without it, the Dover trial would have been much more difficult.

From the ‘review’ of Forrest and Gross by Witt referred by FL

How did the pair arrive at the conclusion that ID is part of a fundamentalist cabal to establish a global theocracy? Their inferential chain is difficult to reconstruct.

That’s what the DI folks still seem to be asking. Can’t understand how no one fell for their feint. DI & Co doesn’trealise they have lefta trail a mile wide and several leagues long. Does FL also find it hard to spot the DI trail?

“I just did my Southern magnolia routine on him,” says Forrest, “and made him shake my hand.”

Anyone else get the image of Kyra Sedgewick and her role on THE CLOSER?

ROFL

Henry

How did the pair arrive at the conclusion that ID is part of a fundamentalist cabal to establish a global theocracy? Their inferential chain is difficult to reconstruct.

Here, I’ll reconstruct a minimal version of it for Witt’s benefit (and FL’s, perhaps). Watch carefully:

1) Read the DI’s Wedge Document

Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.

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.

2) Slap forehead, say “Oh, of course!”

3) Fin.

1) Read the DI’s Wedge Document

2) Slap forehead, say “Oh, of course!”

3) Fin.

You skipped a step:

3) Follow the money:

Some idea of the Discovery Institute’s real aims, however, can be revealed by looking at its funding sources. Nearly all of the Discovery Institute’s money comes in the form of grants from wealthy “conservative” fundamentalist Christians. In 2003, the Discovery Institute received some $4.1 million in donations and grants. At least twenty-two different foundations give money to the DI; two-thirds of these are religious institutions with explicitly Christian aims and goals. In its first year of operations, DI got around $450,000 from the Maclellan Foundation, a fundamentalist lobbying group in Tennessee. The executive director of the Maclellan Foundation was explicit about the purpose of its donation; “We give for religious purposes. This is not about science, and Darwin wasn’t about science. Darwin was about a metaphysical view of the world.” (NY Times, Aug 21, 2005) DI has also received donations from the Henry P. and Susan C. Crowell Trust of Colorado Springs. The trust’s website states, “Our Mission: The teaching and active extension of the doctrines of Evangelical Christianity through approved grants to qualified organizations.” Another DI donor is the AMDG Foundation in Virginia, run by Mark Ryland, a former Microsoft exec and Discovery vice president. According to the New York Times, “the initials stand for Ad Majorem Dei Glorium, Latin for ‘To the greater glory of God,’ which Pope John Paul II etched in the corner of all his papers.” (NY Times, Aug 21, 2005) The Stewardship Foundation gave the group more than $1 million between 1999 and 2003. According to their website, “The Stewardship Foundation provides resources to Christ-centered organizations whose mission is to share their faith in Jesus Christ with people throughout the world.”

The single biggest source of money for the Discovery Institute’s anti-evolution fight, though, is Howard Ahmanson, a California savings-and-loan bigwig. Ahmanson’s gift of $1.5 million was the original seed money to organize the Center for Science and Culture, the arm of the Discovery Institute which focuses on promoting “intelligent design theory”. By his own reckoning, Ahmanson gives more of his money to the DI than to any other politically active group – only a museum trust in his wife’s hometown in Iowa and a Bible college in New Jersey get more. In 2004, he reportedly gave the Center another $2.8 million. Ahmanson has, by himself, provided about one-third of the total donations to the Discovery Institute during its existence, and funds about one-fourth of the Institute’s annual operating expenses. He sits on the Board Directors of Discovery Institute.

Ahmanson was for 20 years a member of the board of directors of the Chalcedon Foundation, a think tank belonging to the Christian Reconstructionist movement – a fringe group of fundamentalists who argue that the US Constitution should be abandoned and the US should be “reconstructed” under “Biblical law”. They are the Christian equivalent of the Muslim fundamentalists who want to form “Islamic states” under “Islamic law”. Ahmanson was long associated with JR Rushdooney – one of the original founders of the Reconstructionist movement and one of the original financial backers of Henry Morris and the ICR (Rushdooney paid most of the publishing costs for Morris’s first book, The Genesis Flood. Similarly, Phillip Johnson dedicated his book Defeating Darwinism to “Howard and Roberta” – Ahmanson and his wife.)

I appreciate your reconstruction attempt there, Anton, but perhaps you could show me where you were able to locate the terms “fundamentalist cabal” and “global theocracy” within the DI paragraphs you quoted. (Or even anything reasonably close, eh?)

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.

Now, I would expect you to say that they’ve not succeeded on this promise yet. But please notice: they are at least specifically talking about replacing a non-scientific philosophy (materialism) with science–one that’s “consonant with Christian and theistic convictions”, but still science all the same. They are simply not talking about creating cabals or theocracies here.

So, honestly, it’s going to be more than a little tough to rationally derive and support the accusations of “fundamentalist cabal” and a “global theocracy” from these DI statements. (But, you’re welcome to do so, since Forrest didn’t.)

Thus, having read both Forrest’s book and Witt’s review, I think the review fits the book rather snugly, including the valid point Witt raises about the difficulty of reconstructing their inferential chain leading to those accusations.

Since when does a PhD in English qualify you to speak with authority on scientific issues…

Oh, I don’t know, bjm. Since when does a PhD in philosophy qualify Forrest to “speak with authority on scientific issues”? Should you not criticize her likewise?

This somewhat off-topic, but I want to warn everybody not to waste any time reading “The Privileged Planet”.

Too late. I read it already. Mondo kewl.

FL

Since when does a PhD in philosophy qualify Forrest to “speak with authority on scientific issues”? Should you not criticize her likewise?

It may have slipped your attention but being aware of her limitations in science (something she freely admitted at trial) she actually co-authored ‘Creationisms Trojan Horse’ with a scientist who was qualified to write with authority on such issues. Now there’s a novel idea.

Talking sssssnakes (F.L.)

Tell us all about non-scientific philosophy of Talking sssssnakes (F.L.)

FL Wrote:

they are at least specifically talking about replacing a non-scientific philosophy (materialism) with science—one that’s “consonant with Christian and theistic convictions”, but still science all the same.

Well, that’s what they’re writing but it’s obvious that’s not what they’re talking about; calling a religion a science doesn’t make it one.

They are simply not talking about creating cabals or theocracies here.

Right, not here. It’s in their other writings, e.g. the Wedge document and some of Johnson’s stuff, that they talk of creating cabals and theocracies.

But please notice: they are at least specifically talking about replacing a non-scientific philosophy (materialism) with science—one that’s “consonant with Christian and theistic convictions”, but still science all the same. They are simply not talking about creating cabals or theocracies here.

FL has apparently never actually READ the Wedge Document.

Or maybe he has, and he’s just a dishonest liar.

Throughout the Wedge Document, there are constant references to remaking ALL OF SOCIETY in accordance with their religious goals, not just “science”. All of these are based on Reconstructionist ideologies; Howie Ahmanson is both the primary funder for DI and sits on its board of directors — do a Google for “Howard Ahmanson Reconstructionist”, and you’ll see for yourself precisely why the Wedge Document says:

This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and art.

The cultural consequences of this triumph of materialism were devastating. Materialists denied the existence of objective moral standards, claiming that environment dictates our behavior and beliefs. Such moral relativism was uncritically adopted by much of the social sciences, and it still undergirds much of modern economics, political science, psychology and sociology.

Materialists also undermined personal responsibility by asserting that human thoughts and behaviors are dictated by our biology and environment. The results can be seen in modern approaches to criminal justice, product liability, and welfare. In the materialist scheme of things, everyone is a victim and no one can be held accountable for his or her actions.

Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies.

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.

Five Year Goals

* To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory.

* To see the beginning of the influence of design theory in spheres other than natural science.

* To see major new debates in education, life issues, legal and personal responsibility pushed to the front of the national agenda.

Twenty Year Goals

* To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.

* To see design theory application in specific fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics and cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities; to see its influence in the fine arts.

* To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.

Oh, and by the way, FL, since you earlier tried to BS us with your “ID isn’t creationism” schtick, perhaps you’d be interested in this tidbit from the Wedge Document:

FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES

* Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation

Would you mind explaining to us all what this, uh, “traditional doctrine of creation” is, and why DI would consider it an “objective” to have “major Christian demoninations” “defend” it .… ?

Time to run away again, FL.

LOL! Your article was at least a +2 Arrow of Actual Archeaology.

Heh heh, thanks. Eric was using a Bow of Scientific Accuracy and rolled a natural 20.

FL Wrote:

But please notice: they are at least specifically talking about replacing a non-scientific philosophy (materialism) with science—one that’s “consonant with Christian and theistic convictions”, but still science all the same.

It’s not even necessary to look at other parts of the Wedge Document than the ones I quoted to disprove this.

“Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies.

They’re not just talking about science. They’re talking about all of society.

They are simply not talking about creating cabals or theocracies here.

Do you know the definition of “cabal,” FL? Swiped from dictionary.com:

“A secret, conspiratorial association of plotters or intriguers whose purpose is usually to bring about an overturn especially in public affairs.”

Look at the above quote for the “overturn in public affairs” part. For the “secret, conspiratorial” part, recall how the public gained access to the Wedge Document in the first place. Hint: it’s not because the DI wanted them to.

… show me where you were able to locate the terms “fundamentalist cabal” and “global theocracy” within the DI paragraphs you quoted.

Likewise, it seems Nixon was given a bad rap, too, because if you examine the infamous White House tapes, he and his henchmen never explicitly say anything about subverting the U.S. constitution.

…having read both Forrest’s book and Witt’s review, I think the review fits the book rather snugly…

Yes. Well, coming from the guy who thinks that Genesis fits the geological and paleontological record rather snugly, you’ll understand why I might take that with a 10-kg crystal of NaCl.

Lamenting the failure of the Wedge (to unite theists, as opposed to uniting pseudoscientists and those addicted to their snake oil), and the stillbirth of the Vise, Dembski says “…where do we go from here?”

Time to take the bait, Bill. You know, that “pathetic level of detail” thing. Start with Eugenie Scott’s question: “what happened and when.” I have all the confidence that you won’t squirm nearly as much as your buddies did when cross examined at the Kansas Kangaroo Court.

Comment #98056

Posted by k.e. on April 23, 2006 10:14 AM (e)

Talking sssssnakes (F.L.)

Tell us all about non-scientific philosophy of Talking sssssnakes (F.L.)

Harry Potter?

PS: Behe failed his save roll.

So, realistically, people who were screwed were the defense witlessnesses, and as a side blow, the textbook “Of Pandas and People.” The latter is burnt toast.

I don’t recall that the ACLU objected to the addition of FTE to the case, other than the fact that their addition would merely unnecessarily clutter the proceedings with extra lawyers. (Avoiding lawyers is always to the furtherance of the law). Sadly, this gave IDC winnies a chance to bail out of a sinking ship.

I wonder about the timing of Dr. Forrest’s deposition. Did Dembski bail out *after* attending the deposition, or before? Is there some possible cause and effect here, or merely correlation?

Science nut,

As a Chicago-area PT reader, your link has piqued my curiosity. I don’t have any information for you, though; have you found anything out about the presentation? It claims to be biased towards a “science-as-science” perspective, but that could mean anything.

Would you mind explaining to us all what this, uh, “traditional doctrine of creation” is, and why DI would consider it an “objective” to have “major Christian demoninations” “defend” it .… ?

Well, FL?

(sound of crickets chirping)

Yep, that’s what I thought . …

Some ID activists still seem to fail to understand the extremely important role Forrest played in the Kitzmiller trial

On Uncommon Descent we here the following ‘objection’

Now, here’s what I don’t understand. Forrest has a PhD in philosophy from Tulane, yet the best ID=Creationism arguments she seems to be able to put forth are either red herrings (The designer has to be supernatural.) or ad hominems (The IDists are big, bad Creationists trying to sneak religion into science classrooms.) Why can’t ID opponents focus on the arguments, themselves, and show how they are equivalent to Creationism? If ID really is just repackaged Creationism, why not just expose the arguments for what they are and be done with it?

Barbara’s role was not to expose the major flaws in the scientific claims, those roles were set aside for the plaintifs’ expert witnesses such as Ken Miller and ironically enough defense witnesses Behe and Minnich, who seemed to have no choice to testify under oath to the true nature of ID. Barbara’s role was to show how history shows that ID has a strong and inseparable link to Christianity, that ID’s designer has to be supernatural and that the history of the Wedge shows how ID activists are trying to sneak religion into the science classrooms. These were very relevant facts and the judge wisely used them.

So why is it that ID activists are consistently ignoring scientific rebuttals of their claims? Why oh why is ignorance so prevalent a defense amongst so many ID activists? ID is clearly about the supernatural although some ID activists are now trying to redefine the supernatural by including SETI or other non-human intelligence. ID requires the supernatural, as Sober for instance has shown, ID is scientifically vacuous, all that remains is the ever present links between ID and Christianity. Barbara’s contributions showed how hollow the objections of ID activists really are when studying ID’s history.

I wonder about the timing of Dr. Forrest’s deposition. Did Dembski bail out *after* attending the deposition, or before? Is there some possible cause and effect here, or merely correlation?

Remember Dembski had just outlined how to use the court system to get evolutionists to testify under oath. Seeing how well the evolutionists were doing certainly must have caused some major concern to Dembski. Whether he himself retreated or whether the lawyers removed him from the list of witnesses is far less interesting as the fact that Dembski had just handed the plaintiffs’ lawyers with an excellent strategy. Dembski deserve an honorary friend of Darwin award…

On Uncommon Descent a person named Salvador has written a comment which in part reads

Not that I agree with Barbara Forrests slanderous labels, but it was just too funny to see the events unfold.

Does Sal even understand the meaning of the word slanderous? Sigh…

Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross were merely reporting the facts on Intelligent Design, including the Wedge document. Reading the document, the term Trojan Horse seems quite appropriate.

Kids, be warned this may be your brain on ID :-)

Why oh why is ignorance so prevalent a defense amongst so many ID activists?

I think this is an example of Irreducible Stupidity. It seems that no matter how much you break down an explanation or try to make it easily understandable, they will never get it!

Judge Jones’ opinion is laughable, to say the least. He says: “the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity”

Really? Does this include agnostic JEW Dr David Berlinski? Design theorists haven’t been “hiding” their religious beliefs, unlike the atheistic Darwinists. Behe, Meyer, Dembski and other scientists have said in more than in one occasion that they believe that the Designer is the God of the Bible, *BUT* they don’t get that knowlegde from scientific evidence. All that science says, so they say, is that organism X or Y, based on evidence, reason, experience and logic, is best explained as the result of intelligence, as opposed to random unguided, unplanned events. Even I can understand this, couldn’t Judge Jones understand it? Goodness!

I am sure that it must come as a great shock to all those non-Christian scientists who advocate ID to know that they are supporting the God of the Bible. (You hear that, Dave?!! You better leave Dawkins alone, and move away from Paris!)

If Judge Jones thinks that Dr Barbara Forrest’s book reveal ID’s religious content, then no wonder that Judge Jones decided as he did. Thankfully, science won’t stop due to Judge Jones’ mistake.

Instead of wasting hours and hours writing such a book, Dr Barbara would do science a favor by gathering the evidence that (once and for all) confirm the (dying) theory of evolution. Alas, I won’t hold my breath..

+Mats+

You mean the same Dr. David Berlinski that was here just a couple weeks ago and denied being an ID supporter?

Thankfully, science won’t stop due to Judge Jones’ mistake.

Of course not, and perhaps ID activists will be motivated to start doing some science?

Design theorists haven’t been “hiding” their religious beliefs,…

You’re right, everyone knows about their religious beliefs and that isn’t reallly an issue but it does go down well with the IDiot crowd to deflect attention from the real issues. What they have been hiding is all the ‘science’ they claim to have done. Where is it?

BTW, ‘Design theorist’ is an oxymoron and the Judge got it right. You just don’t like it.

On Uncommon Descent a person named Salvador has written a comment which in part reads

Not that I agree with Barbara Forrests slanderous labels, but it was just too funny to see the events unfold.

Does Sal even understand the meaning of the word slanderous? Sigh…

Perhaps she was dictating her comments. In public. :-)

Bob

piltdown man Wrote:

Instead of wasting hours and hours writing such a book, Dr Barbara would do science a favor by gathering the evidence that (once and for all) confirm the (dying) theory of evolution. Alas, I won’t hold my breath..

Perhaps you would like to gather the evidence that confirms that the theory of evolution is dying. Alas, I won’t hold my breath..

Does this include agnostic JEW Dr David Berlinski?

That would be the same David Berlinski who thinks ID is full of crap, right?

You raised a question on the Panda’s Thumb and since it was specifically addressed to me, I’ll take a moment to answer it specifically. I have NO religious interests or beliefs beyond a curiosity about pre-Humean arguments in 11th century Arabic theology. I have never endorsed intelligent design in any way, and I have written a long essay in Commentary (‘Has Darwin Met his Match’) taking issue with all of the intelligent design arguments — those of Johnson, Behe, Dembski, and anyone else I could think of. I have been since the publication of ‘The Deniable Darwin’ on record as a critic of intelligent design. Every time I publish a serious piece, I go out of my way to affirm my skepticism.

By the way, it is not necessary for the desigenr ot be the CHRISTIAN god for ID to be illegal to teach. All it requires is ANY god. Any at all whatsoever. Any.

all those non-Christian scientists who advocate ID

Name five.

If Judge Jones thinks that Dr Barbara Forrest’s book reveal ID’s religious content

No, no , no. Dr Forrest’s book doesn’t have to reveal ID’s religious content — the IDers themselves do a perfect job of it:

“We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). 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.” – Discovery Institute’s “Wedge Document”

“1. To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies. 2. To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” – Discovery Institute’s “Wedge Document”

“What I always say is that it’s not just scientific theory. The question is best understood as: Is God real or imaginary?” Phillip Johnson quoted, The Search for Intelligent Design in the Universe, Silicon Valley Magazine, January 9, 2000.

“Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.” (Phillip Johnson, American Family Radio, Jan 10, 2003 broadcast)

“Intelligent design is the Logos of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.” (William Dembski, Jul/Aug 1999, Touchstone, p. 84)

If you disagree, please by all means go ahead and tell us what the designer might be. Space aliens? Time-travelling human biochemists?

Do tell.

the (dying) theory of evolution

Waterloo !!!!! Waterloo !!! Wasterloo !!!!!

(snicker) (giggle)

unlike the atheistic Darwinists

This, from the guy who just finished telling us that ID isn’t about religion . …

(sigh)

Not terribly bright, are they.

Piltdown, Re “All that science says, so they say, is that organism X or Y, based on evidence, reason, experience and logic, is best explained as the result of intelligence, “

I’m wondering when somebody is going to get around to telling us what that best explanation IS rather that merely claiming to have one?

—————–

Lenny, Re “Waterloo…”

Ya know, Waterloo had both a winner and a loser - so, which side is analogous to evo, and which to ID? ;)

Henry

FL Wrote:

But please notice: they are at least specifically talking about replacing a non-scientific philosophy (materialism) with science—one that’s “consonant with Christian and theistic convictions”, but still science all the same.

Man, you’re swimming in the Kool-Aid. What do you propose to do with those areas of science that cannot be consonant with certain Christian and theistic convictions without omitting or lying about them?

To continue the RPG theme, Barbara Forrest is vorpal. Jesus saves, but ID took full damage. One head down, countless more to go.

Russell Wrote:

Yes. Well, coming from the guy who thinks that Genesis fits the geological and paleontological record rather snugly, you’ll understand why I might take that with a 10-kg crystal of NaCl.

Take it one lick at a time, and drink plenty of fluids - but not FL’s Kool-Aid.

piltdown wrote:

Really? Does this include agnostic JEW Dr David Berlinski?

Berlinski came out and claimed that he had never bought into the ID junk. He seems to have just taken the stipend money and spouted old creationist arguments for the heck of it. It doesn’t look like you can claim Berlinski as an ID supporter.

I also found FL’s link to Witt’s article interesting in this respect. How many Jews are fellows at the Discovery Institute and how many are Jewish by descent, but born again Christians, and how many agnostics are there? Witt writes and if there are Jews and agnostics at the Discovery Institute, but the only agnostic seems to be Berlinski and he is the only one claiming to be Jewish that I know of. What does that say about Witt’s claims in light of Berlinski’s admission that he never bought into ID?

PvM Wrote:
Salvador Wrote:

Not that I agree with Barbara Forrests slanderous labels, but it was just too funny to see the events unfold.

Does Sal even understand the meaning of the word slanderous?

I don’t think Sal even understands the meaning of “funny”. I conceive of him as some sort of giggling hebephrenic, drooling endless gobs of slobber.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on April 21, 2006 11:21 PM.

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