SciPolicy Journal submits Amicus Curiae in Kitzmiller

Remember Steve Fuller who was a defense expert witness in the Kitzmiller trial? Steve Miller is also on the editorial board of the SciPolicy Journal.

His colleagues have filed an Amicus Curiae or Friends of the Courts, brief:

There is a logical fallacy in mandating the inclusion of intelligent design since it provides neither scientific explanation nor empirical evidence of the actual existence of a designer, but through fiat simply asserts that a designer must exist to explain the gap in knowledge. Stripped of its intellectual facade the announcement is nothing but a transparent effort to engraft religious dogma onto the classroom examination of scientific theory.

The Journal also published an editorial, a News Release and a Statement by Prof. Fuller

The statement reads

I wish to declare that I was not party to the amicus curiae brief or the editorial written in the name of SciPolicy. These documents represent viewpoints with which I do not wish to be associated.

The News Release reads in part

“‘Intelligent design’ has never been a body of scientific results, nor even a program for eventually obtaining such results. It’s not new science, fringe science, nor even junk science. It is merely window-dressing for a movement that is social, political, and, above all, theological down to its core, and which never had the least intention of doing disinterested science,” states Dr. Norman Levitt, Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers University, noted author, and SciPolicy Editorial Board Member.

“I’m pleased to see, finally, a responsible comment on this matter from a professional journal devoted to science studies and science policy,” states Paul R. Gross, University Professor of Life Sciences, emeritus, University of Virginia, noted author, and SciPolicy Editorial Board Member.

The good news is that more and more scientists, educators and religious people are realizing that Intelligent Design is scientifically vacuous, risky from a religious perspective. As a scientist and Christian the growing support amongst scientists, educators and religious people gives me some hope.

And to those ID proponents who disagree with the fact that ID is scientifically vacuous, I say let them show how the concept of ID has contributed in a non-trivial manner to our scientific understanding.

The following ‘claims’, or variations thereof, do not qualify

  1. Intelligent Design asks questions about evolution and serves a function of keeping science ‘honest’.
  2. Based on Intelligent Design one can formulate hypotheses as to that nature of biological entities. For instance the observation that the heart functioned as a pump, helped understand the nature of our circulatory system (Harvey). And although the ideas by Harvey were inspired by teleology, they do not depend on teleology unless one accepts that teleology in biology is self evident through ‘function’ (Ayala).
  3. Life started abruptly during the Cambrian ergo Intelligent Design

None of these hypotheses has any relevance to the concept of Intelligent Design. The claims that ID makes positive statements or that there is an ID based research program, remain unfounded and unsupported by any non-trivial arguments. For a better understanding why these arguments are scientifically vacuous see:

R. Nichols, Scientific content, testability, and the vacuity of Intelligent Design theory The American Catholic philosophical quarterly, 2003 , vol. 77 , no 4 , pp. 591 - 611