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Dover, PA Evolution Trial [daily thread for 07 Oct]
York Daily Record ^ | 07 October 2005 | Staff

Posted on 10/07/2005 7:23:15 AM PDT by PatrickHenry

To keep this all in one daily thread, here are links to two articles in the York Daily Record (with excerpts from each), which has been doing a great job of reporting on the trial:

Forrest cross-examination a rambling wonder.

About the time that Richard Thompson, head law guy at the Thomas More center and chief defender of the Dover Area School Board, started his third year of cross-examination of philosopher Barbara Forrest, it was easy to imagine that at that moment, everyone in the courtroom, including Forrest, who doesn’t believe in God, was violating the separation of church and court by appealing to God for it to please, Lord, just stop.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if there was a point to the ceaseless stream of questions from Thompson designed to elicit Lord knows what. He’d ask her the same question 18 different times, expecting, I guess, a different answer at some point. And he never got it.

Thompson, who said he’s a former prosecutor, should have known better. Forrest, a professor at Southeastern Louisiana University and expert on the history of the intelligent design creationist movement, was a lot smarter than, say, some poor, dumb criminal defendant.

Here is a summation of Forrest’s testimony: She examined the history of the intelligent design movement and concluded that it’s simply another name for creationism. And what led her to that conclusion? The movement leader’s own words. They started out with a religious proposition and sought to clothe it in science. The result was similar to putting a suit on your dog.

[anip]

Thompson was in the midst of asking Forrest whether she had heard a bunch of things that some people had said to indicate, well, to indicate whether she’d heard a bunch of things that some people had said, I guess, when the topic came up.

Thompson asked whether she had ever heard a statement by some guy — frankly, this one caught me off-guard and I didn’t catch the guy’s name — who said that belief in evolution can be used to justify “cross-species sex.”

This came on the same day that Thompson grilled Forrest about her opposition to the so-called Santorum amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act that seemed to encourage, sort of, the teaching of intelligent design. Our U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum is a friend of the intelligent design people.

He also has a strange obsession with bestiality, commenting that court decisions that uphold the right to privacy would lead to — naturally, and you know you were thinking it — man-on-dog sex.

Dover science teachers testified that they fought references to intelligent design.

Defense attorney Richard Thompson [he represents the school board] said differing opinions on whether teachers and administration worked in cooperation to create the Dover Area School District’s statement on intelligent design comes down to perspective.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; Philosophy; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: crevolist; dinosaur; dinosaurs; dover; evolution; godsgravesglyphs; paleontology; scienceeducation
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To: mlc9852

There is no serious debate in the scientific community. The fact that a fraction of one percent of all scientists put their religious beliefs before their job doesn't change the fact that the debate has been settled in any meaningful sense of the word.

Students should only hear the sides for which there is evidence. This is a science class, after all. Science requires evidence.

Once ID has some actual hard evidence to back it up, then we can talk. But I won't hold my breath. It's been a couple thousand years, and still nobody's been able to find any.


141 posted on 10/07/2005 3:17:48 PM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: connectthedots
"The lack of evidence is actual evidence. In the case of evolution, the lack of a fossil record of transitional forms is actual evidence that transitional forms did not and do not exist."

I thought you were big on logic? What's with the logical fallacy?

"Which life-forms, that exist today, do you think are transitional?

All.

"Why is a transitional form, simply not a life-form?

Transitionals are organisms. I don't quit get the question.

"Why do evolutionists even have to bother creating the fiction of transitional forms?

Evos didn't, creationists did. Evolutionary scientists simply observed the fossils, noted their relative place in time and came to the conclusion that one fossil leads to another.

142 posted on 10/07/2005 3:18:29 PM PDT by b_sharp (Free Modernman and SeaLion from purgatory)
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To: longshadow

Dembski isn't all of intellegent design, perhaps about 25% though.


143 posted on 10/07/2005 3:24:36 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Quark2005; metmom
Why? I don't think you seem to understand - the affront of ID is not that it acknowledges God, but that it tries to place God under the dominion of science.

You've got it exactly backwards. What Evolutionists have tried to do within our Education Establishment is scientifically explain away the supernatural. In so doing they have made science the laughing stock of intellectual endeavors.

We were created as creative beings by a Creator who produced all of the matter in our universe. He also established reasonable laws to regulate the matter making it a predictable environment for His creative beings.

The originators of modern science understood these critical concepts.

144 posted on 10/07/2005 3:33:36 PM PDT by bondserv (God governs our universe and has seen fit to offer us a pardon. )
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To: highball

You refuse to see the evidence in any other light except that which would bolster your theory. Hardly a scientific approach.


145 posted on 10/07/2005 3:35:13 PM PDT by mlc9852
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To: ronnieb
You seem to be fairly knowledgeable about ID. Could you give me a short rundown of what ID will use to identify design? I usually get a number of different stories when I ask this.
146 posted on 10/07/2005 3:36:46 PM PDT by b_sharp (Free Modernman and SeaLion from purgatory)
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To: mlc9852

While documentation of a public relations strategy may dispose the jury to doom Dover's attempt to dispense with dogmatic Darwinism, the direction of evolutionary theory is downward due to deficient data. Duh!


147 posted on 10/07/2005 3:39:59 PM PDT by qwertyz
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To: mlc9852
You refuse to see the evidence in any other light except that which would bolster your theory. Hardly a scientific approach.

That's just backwards.

All new evidence is examined critically, even if it seems to reaffirm previous discoveries. That's what publishing is all about. That's what peer review is all about. That's the scientific method. That's also why, whenever somebody tries to sneak falsified evidence through, it gets caught and exposed. By scientists.

You'll need some evidence for this bizarre conspiracy theory. I don't think that you'll have any more luck with that than finding evidence for an intelligent designer.

ID by its very nature requires that we reject all the evidence we find. ID requires that we deny the vast evidence of the natural world in favor of supernatural explanations. That's why it's profoundly unscientific.

148 posted on 10/07/2005 3:41:15 PM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: CarolinaGuitarman
"Above the species level NO evolutionist has denied the abundant evidence of transitionals. I know that Punk-eeks like Gould are constantly misquoted as to what types of transitionals they find scarce and which they find abundant."

He's been told this before. He's been shown the evidence for higher-taxa transitionals a number of times.

149 posted on 10/07/2005 3:42:02 PM PDT by b_sharp (Free Modernman and SeaLion from purgatory)
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To: qwertyz

Um, that's not "downward." You're reading that chart upside-down. ;-)

The more we learn about the natural world, the more evidence we have supporting the TOE, the stronger it is.


150 posted on 10/07/2005 3:42:59 PM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: highball

"ID by its very nature requires that we reject all the evidence we find."

If that's your belief, you probably don't know much about what they are even arguing about in Dover. Some might say the theory of evolution makes the evidence fit the theory.


151 posted on 10/07/2005 3:45:59 PM PDT by mlc9852
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To: mlc9852
Some people don't think whales evolved from land animals.

No surprise. Almost 50% of people have an IQ measured in two digits.

152 posted on 10/07/2005 3:48:52 PM PDT by balrog666 (A myth by any other name is still inane.)
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To: balrog666

30% believe in astrology


153 posted on 10/07/2005 3:49:59 PM PDT by bobdsmith
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To: mlc9852
"Some people don't think whales evolved from land animals."

Only those that haven't closely examined the evidence.

154 posted on 10/07/2005 3:51:30 PM PDT by b_sharp (Free Modernman and SeaLion from purgatory)
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To: bobdsmith
30% believe in astrology

Okay, make that below 80.

155 posted on 10/07/2005 3:54:09 PM PDT by balrog666 (A myth by any other name is still inane.)
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To: mlc9852

Evidence is evidence is evidence.

Unless you are the OJ jury. Which is exactly what creationists are. Ignoring obvious evidence (say, the fact that whales walked on land) because it conflicts with your agenda.

Is that how you wish to be characterized?!


156 posted on 10/07/2005 3:59:06 PM PDT by whattajoke (I'm back... kinda.)
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To: ronnieb
Powerful keen observation. You have guts for speaking it. I applaud your guts.

Wolf
157 posted on 10/07/2005 4:04:10 PM PDT by RunningWolf (tag line limbo)
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To: mlc9852
"You refuse to see the evidence in any other light except that which would bolster your theory. Hardly a scientific approach.

I have a challenge for you.

I challenge you to investigate the evidence for the arteriodactyl to cetacean sequence. After you've done so, post a logical alternative to them being transitional. Don't forget to explain the shared diagnostic features, the movement and size change of features, the order of the strata in which the fossils were found, the change in environment that was evidenced in those same strata, the ability to utilize salt water as evidenced in their teeth, and the vestigial pelvis and legs in extant cetaceans.

This is a big challenge. Are you up to addressing it?

158 posted on 10/07/2005 4:12:21 PM PDT by b_sharp (Free Modernman and SeaLion from purgatory)
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To: balrog666

And they believe in evolution.


159 posted on 10/07/2005 4:12:21 PM PDT by mlc9852
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To: whattajoke
I don't mind how I'm characterized. I just want to pursue the truth and I think that truth leads away from the theory of evolution. I'm not a scientist by any stretch, but I have read enough to know there are differences of opinion and I'm interested to hear both sides. It's an ongoing debate.
160 posted on 10/07/2005 4:14:12 PM PDT by mlc9852
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