Of Pandas and People: Creation Relabeled

One of the items available via the new NCSE resource on Kitzmiller v. DASD is the court transcript of testimony in the FTE motion to intervene. There is a telling interchange between the Foundation for Thought and Ethics President Jon A. Buell and Pepper Hamilton lawyer Eric Rothschild, showing precisely the relationship between “intelligent design” and “creation”: it’s the very same thing, defined in exactly the same way.

In the following section taken from the court transcript, “Q” indicates Eric Rothschild and “A” indicates Jon A. Buell. The book is Of Pandas and People, the supplemental textbook published by FTE.

Q Actually in this version of the book it describes who creationists are, doesn’t it, if you look at pages 22 and 23 and 24. It says there’s different types of creationist’s literature. There are older [old earth] creationists, younger [young earth] creationists, agnostic creationists, right?

A Yes. We were trying to give some articulation to the breadth of what that term means.

Q And then if you could turn back to page 22, you explain that “Creation is the theory that various forms of life began abruptly, with their distinctive features already intact: Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers and wings, mammals with fur and mammary glands.” That’s how you defined creation, correct?

A Yes.

Q All right. And I would like to take – you to take a look at an excerpt from Pandas and People. Turn to page 99 in the excerpt I gave you.

A All right.

Q Says, “Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact: Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, et cetera.”

Do you see that?

A I see it.

Q So that’s pretty much the exact same sentence substituting creation for intelligent design, isn’t that right?

A The reason that you find the similarity in the two passages is because this obviously was at a time when we were developing the manuscript. We had not chosen the term “intelligent design” at that point. We were trying to – this was just a place holder term until we came to grips with which of the plausible two or three terms that are in scientific literature we would settle on. And that was the last thing we did before the book was revise – I mean was sent to the publisher.

Q It was creation, creation, creation until the end and then it was intelligent design.

(Court transcript, pp.97-99)