Skip to comments.Witness: 'Intelligent Design' doesn't qualify as science [Day 4 of trial in Dover, PA]
Posted on 09/29/2005 3:36:00 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- The concept of "intelligent design" is a form of creationism and is not based on scientific method, a professor testified Wednesday in a trial over whether the idea should be taught in public schools.
Robert T. Pennock, a professor of science and philosophy at Michigan State University, testified on behalf of families who sued the Dover Area School District. He said supporters of intelligent design don't offer evidence to support their idea.
"As scientists go about their business, they follow a method," Pennock said. "Intelligent design wants to reject that and so it doesn't really fall within the purview of science."
Pennock said intelligent design does not belong in a science class, but added that it could possibly be addressed in other types of courses.
In October 2004, the Dover school board voted 6-3 to require teachers to read a brief statement about intelligent design to students before classes on evolution. The statement says Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps," and refers students to an intelligent-design textbook for more information.
Proponents of intelligent design argue that life on Earth was the product of an unidentified intelligent force, and that natural selection cannot fully explain the origin of life or the emergence of highly complex life forms.
Eight families are trying to have intelligent design removed from the curriculum, arguing that it violates the constitutional separation of church and state. They say it promotes the Bible's view of creation.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for two newspaper reporters said Wednesday the presiding judge has agreed to limit questioning of the reporters, averting a legal showdown over having them testify in the case.
Both reporters wrote stories that said board members mentioned creationism as they discussed the intelligent design issue. Board members have denied that.
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III agreed that the reporters would only have to verify the content of their stories -- and not answer questions about unpublished material, possible bias or the use of any confidential sources.
"They're testifying only as to what they wrote," said Niles Benn, attorney for The York Dispatch and the York Daily Record/Sunday News, the papers that employed the two freelancers.
The reporters were subpoenaed but declined to give depositions Tuesday, citing their First Amendment rights. A lawyer for the school board had said he planned to seek contempt citations against the two.
The judge's order clears the way for the reporters to provide depositions and testify Oct. 6.
Actually, it is the opposite. Scientists that reject the possibility of a higher intelligence as the designer of the Universe, do not follow the scientific method. If one removes a possibility from the probability of out comes, they create holes in their conclusion.
"...Whenever all other possibilities have been ruled out, the improbable, however unlikely, must be the truth "
Well, they have been wrong before. Many times, in fact!
That the complex web of life is too improbable otherwise. That camel's already in your tent, btw. See Roger Penrose's books. He has done the calculations.
Perhaps someone should spend more time looking at the quotes from many of teh best scientists in the world - including Albert:
"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."
"I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice."
"God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically."
"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." (Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton)
Enoough said. There are many. many more great minds who at LEAST believe in intelligent design, if not the God of Christian understanding.
"Witness: 'Intelligent Design' doesn't qualify as science [Day 4 of trial in Dover, PA]"
Like the THEORY of evolution DOES?
As I wrote on another thread, Americans need several hundred lawsuits filed in strategically-located school districts for teaching a theory as scientific fact. Talk about defrauding the taxpayers and the students.
"That the complex web of life is too improbable otherwise. That camel's already in your tent, btw. See Roger Penrose's books. He has done the calculations."
Math is not science.
Try again: what falsifiable statement does ID make?
"Well, they have been wrong before. Many times, in fact!"
Unlike the church, which of course has never been wrong...ummm.
The fact that all have been wrong is why we have a scientific method - if youre going to make a claim, offer some evidence and offer a hypothesis that can be tested.
The question of origins is largely a matter of historynot the domain of applied science. Contrary to the unilateral denials of many evolutionists, ones worldview does indeed play heavily on ones interpretation of scientific data, a phenomenon that is magnified in matters concerning origins, where neither repeatability, nor observation, nor measurementthe three immutable elements of the scientific methodmay be employed. Many proponents of evolutionism nevertheless persist in claiming exclusive scientific status for their popularized beliefs, while curtly dismissing (if not angrily deriding) all doubters, and spurning Darwins advice. http://www.trueorigins.org/
I never said that. Nor would I. ...ummm.
There are also hundreds of Scientist who believe in creationism.
Maybe not, but certain sections of the church use past mistakes by scientists as a stick to beat science with (as you are doing), but then choose not to follow the rules that scientists do use now in order to minimise mistakes.
Show one hypothesis of evolution that can be tested.
"There are also hundreds of Scientist who believe in creationism. "
Name them. Then compare that to the 99% who are evolutionists.
For instance? And you can also tell me what science has proven regarding evolution? NOTHING!! So what did the church beat up a scientist with a stick over?
Which Penrose book are you referring to? Penrose is not a biologist, he's a physics professor.
Name your 300. Prove 99% are evolutionists. You're the one making all these claims. I WILL locate a list shortly backing mine.
That's how you see it, but I made a statement of fact. To me that's not 'beating science with a stick'. I am not a "certain section of 'the church'".
Perhaps you are overly sensitive with this subject and have misinterpreted my comment.
Pove 99% of scientists are evolutionists I meant.
Newton, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo..... A bunch of nobodies, huh?
Bravo, pick out the ones that were around before Darwin. [applauds sarcastically]
What rules are these? They can't be very robust as we have scientists constantly saying that evolution is not a theory but a proven fact.
If anything is obvious in this debate it is that the science can be highly subjective and the scientific method in practice does not stop wishful thinking, herd mentality and desire for personal fame from masquerading as science.
Ah the reporters right to lie and publish them.
Pick out the ones that were responsible for most of what we know as science. You're presuming to know that if the ToE was in existence at that time that these men would have undoubtably believed in it. How arrogant to assume that you know what's in someone else's minds and speak for them.
The inverted commas meant you werent meant to take the church bit too literally. You are repeating arguments made by certain sections of the church, hence the connection.
I can also infer from your statement of fact that you agree with their line of reasoning. And that is why I am arguing against it to you. Capiche?
Francis Bacon (15611626) * Johann Kepler (15711630) (WOH) Scientific astronomy * Athanasius Kircher (16011680) Inventor * John Wilkins (16141672) * Walter Charleton (16191707) President of the Royal College of Physicians * Blaise Pascal (biography page) and article from Creation magazine (16231662) Hydrostatics; Barometer * Sir William Petty (1623 1687) Statistics; Scientific economics * Robert Boyle (16271691) (WOH) Chemistry; Gas dynamics * John Ray (16271705) Natural history * Isaac Barrow (16301677) Professor of Mathematics * Nicolas Steno (16311686) Stratigraphy * Thomas Burnet (16351715) Geology * Increase Mather (16391723) Astronomy * Nehemiah Grew (16411712) Medical Doctor, Botany
The Age of Newton
* Isaac Newton (16421727) (WOH) Dynamics; Calculus; Gravitation law; Reflecting telescope; Spectrum of light (wrote more about the Bible than science, and emphatically affirmed a Creator. Some have accused him of Arianism, but its likely he held to a heterodox form of the TrinitySee Pfizenmaier, T.C., Was Isaac Newton an Arian? Journal of the History of Ideas 68(1):5780, 1997)
* Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (16461716) Mathematician * John Flamsteed (16461719) Greenwich Observatory Founder; Astronomy * William Derham (16571735) Ecology * Cotton Mather (16621727) Physician * John Harris (16661719) Mathematician * John Woodward (16651728) Paleontology * William Whiston (16671752) Physics, Geology * John Hutchinson (16741737) Paleontology * Johathan Edwards (17031758) Physics, Meteorology * Carolus Linneaus (17071778) Taxonomy; Biological classification system * Jean Deluc (17271817) Geology * Richard Kirwan (17331812) Mineralogy * William Herschel (17381822) Galactic astronomy; Uranus (probably believed in an old-earth) * James Parkinson (17551824) Physician (old-earth compromiser*) * John Dalton (17661844) Atomic theory; Gas law * John Kidd, M.D. (17751851) Chemical synthetics (old-earth compromiser*)
Just Before Darwin
* The 19th Century Scriptural Geologists, by Dr Terry Mortenson * Timothy Dwight (17521817) Educator * William Kirby (17591850) Entomologist * Jedidiah Morse (17611826) Geographer * Benjamin Barton (17661815) Botanist; Zoologist * John Dalton (17661844) Father of the Modern Atomic Theory; Chemistry * Georges Cuvier (17691832) Comparative anatomy, paleontology (old-earth compromiser*) * Samuel Miller (17701840) Clergy * Charles Bell (17741842) Anatomist * John Kidd (17751851) Chemistry * Humphrey Davy (17781829) Thermokinetics; Safety lamp * Benjamin Silliman (17791864) Mineralogist (old-earth compromiser*) * Peter Mark Roget (17791869) Physician; Physiologist * Thomas Chalmers (17801847) Professor (old-earth compromiser*) * David Brewster (17811868) Optical mineralogy, Kaleidoscope (probably believed in an old-earth) * William Buckland (17841856) Geologist (old-earth compromiser*) * William Prout (17851850) Food chemistry (probably believed in an old-earth) * Adam Sedgwick (17851873) Geology (old-earth compromiser*) * Michael Faraday (17911867) (WOH) Electro magnetics; Field theory, Generator * Samuel F.B. Morse (17911872) Telegraph * John Herschel (17921871) Astronomy (old-earth compromiser*) * Edward Hitchcock (17931864) Geology (old-earth compromiser*) * William Whewell (17941866) Anemometer (old-earth compromiser*) * Joseph Henry (17971878) Electric motor; Galvanometer
Just After Darwin
* Richard Owen (18041892) Zoology; Paleontology (old-earth compromiser*) * Matthew Maury (18061873) Oceanography, Hydrography (probably believed in an old-earth*) * Louis Agassiz (18071873) Glaciology, Ichthyology (old-earth compromiser, polygenist*) * Henry Rogers (18081866) Geology * James Glaisher (18091903) Meteorology * Philip H. Gosse (18101888) Ornithologist; Zoology * Sir Henry Rawlinson (18101895) Archeologist * James Simpson (18111870) Gynecology, Anesthesiology * James Dana (18131895) Geology (old-earth compromiser*) * Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert (18171901) Agricultural Chemist * James Joule (18181889) Thermodynamics * Thomas Anderson (18191874) Chemist * Charles Piazzi Smyth (18191900) Astronomy * George Stokes (18191903) Fluid Mechanics * John William Dawson (18201899) Geology (probably believed in an old-earth*) * Rudolph Virchow (18211902) Pathology * Gregor Mendel (18221884) (WOH) Genetics * Louis Pasteur (18221895) (WOH) Bacteriology, Biochemistry; Sterilization; Immunization * Henri Fabre (18231915) Entomology of living insects * William Thompson, Lord Kelvin (18241907) Energetics; Absolute temperatures; Atlantic cable (believed in an older earth than the Bible indicates, but far younger than the evolutionists wanted*) * William Huggins (18241910) Astral spectrometry * Bernhard Riemann (18261866) Non-Euclidean geometries * Joseph Lister (18271912) Antiseptic surgery * Balfour Stewart (18281887) Ionospheric electricity * James Clerk Maxwell (18311879) (WOH) Electrodynamics; Statistical thermodynamics * P.G. Tait (18311901) Vector analysis * John Bell Pettigrew (18341908) Anatomist; Physiologist * John Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (18421919) Similitude; Model Analysis; Inert Gases * Sir William Abney (18431920) Astronomy * Alexander MacAlister (18441919) Anatomy * A.H. Sayce (18451933) Archeologist * John Ambrose Fleming (18491945) Electronics; Electron tube; Thermionic valve
* Dr Clifford Burdick, Geologist * George Washington Carver (18641943) Inventor * L. Merson Davies (18901960) Geology; Paleontology * Douglas Dewar (18751957) Ornithologist * Howard A. Kelly (18581943) Gynecology * Paul Lemoine (18781940) Geology * Dr Frank Marsh, Biology * Dr John Mann, Agriculturist, biological control pioneer * Edward H. Maunder (18511928) Astronomy * William Mitchell Ramsay (18511939) Archeologist * William Ramsay (18521916) Isotopic chemistry, Element transmutation * Charles Stine (18821954) Organic Chemist * Dr Arthur Rendle-Short (18851955) Surgeon * Sir Cecil P. G. Wakeley (18921979) Surgeon * Dr Larry Butler, Biochemist * Prof. Verna Wright, Rheumatologist (deceased 1997) * Arthur E. Wilder-Smith (19151995) Three science doctorates; a creation science pioneer
Just to name a few.
Eight families are trying to have intelligent design removed from the curriculum, arguing that it violates the constitutional separation of church and state.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
It's only Congress and the thing they cannot do is pass any law. It does not "guarantee" the seperation of church and state; it prohibits Congress from meddling with churches and establishing as state church as existed in England.
My list has those
I dont assume they would be evolutionists, but I think its laughable to offer them up as doubters when the theory you are contesting didnt really exist at the time (and incidently is outside their notable fields).
Presumably you would offer Hippocrates beliefs as evidence that the elements are earth, air, fire and water.
To an extent. That's why I'm still bothering to respond.
Show one hypothesis of evolution that can be tested.
Every time a new fossil is found, the TOE is tested.
I guess you thought wrong. Those on my list all thought of creationism.
A fossel has never been found which proves anything evolutionist claim.
Further, carbon dating is seriously flawed. A "guess" based on a flawed formula.
Why does that mean Ive thought wrong? It just means the same comments apply to bits of your list.
All it proves every time a fossil is found is that something was alive at one point and now is dead. That doesn't "prove" it evolved.
A fossel has never been found which proves anything evolutionist claim. Further, carbon dating is seriously flawed. A "guess" based on a flawed formula.
I can tell from this response we have no basis for further discussion.
Once again, we have a shining example of the misuse of the word "theory" to mean "supposition put forth in the lack of supporting evidence." Of course, that is NOT the scientific meaning of theory. For a scientific idea to reach theoryhood, it has to have a pretty solid body of evidence (i.e. facts) to back it up.
Furthermore, if it weren't for those gaps in scientific knowledge, there'd be no reason to keep paying us the big bucks to keep researching. What we do is identify gaps in current knowledge, propose a hypothesis, and test it. If we're successful, we make the gap a little smaller.
I guess not.
It doesn't change the FACT that NO fossel record exists that even remotely suggests evolution.
You're confusing the issue. Many scientists are religious--Christian, Moslim, Buddhist, Jewish--but do not believe in a literal creation as presented in the Bible. The evidence is for evolution, while there is none supporting a literal creation.
All it proves every time a fossil is found is that something was alive at one point and now is dead. That doesn't "prove" it evolved.
If a fossil is found that shows a modern rabbit existed 500 million years ago, the TOE would have a major problem. Every fossil found must fit into the evolutionary schema posited by the TOE. That's how every new fossil found tests evolution.
But from you're response, I'm guessing you've heard this before and choose to ignore it. Apparently you think the fossil record is evidence of nothing more than 'that something was alive at one point and now is dead'. Now how do you know a fossil is evidence of even that?
No, it means you thought wrong period. Bit's of my list? No, because they wouldn't be on it if they weren't creationists.
Have you always been anti-science and anti-education? The scientists are following the scientific method. It is you that doesn't even know what the scientific method involves. Otherwise, you would not be making statements that are completely backwards. Postulating the concept of a 'designer' is one thing, but it has no testable premises. Science will have to be warped beyond recognition in order for ID to be taught as science. ID is capitualtion on learning about our universe. It basically says it's too complicated to understand. My head hurts from thinking about it so someone smarter must have done it all. If that is the case, scientists can hang up their lab coats. The explanation "God did it" will be the final answer. No need for research anymore. Trying to get ID into a classroom is nothing more than intellectual affermative action.
"It doesn't change the FACT that NO fossel record exists that even remotely suggests evolution."
Right, keep telling yourself that.
On the other hand, we could recall Piltdown man. Although creationists love to somehow offer this fraud as evidence against evolution, the truth is that real scientists realised that something was amiss when they tried to reconcile it with later fossils. And what do you know? It turned out to be a fraud.
Theres a test of evolution for you right there, and it would have been pretty difficult to carry out if it was a FACT that NO fossel record exists that even remotely suggests evolution.
List this evidence.
Your statement is backwards. The evidence supports ID
Who also happens to be in the business of making his living attacking I.D. folks and evangelizing secular humanism under the radar:
Now if he's making good money at it ... well. He can't be all bad, right?
Btw, here are some revealing comments about his book, including some of his own remarks:
Evolution as a Worldview:
Pennocks arguments for naturalistic evolution reveal its metaphysical nature. When a theory becomes paradigmatic, it explains everything but looses its tentativeness. This, even according to Pennock, is ground for dismissal as a scientific theory:
"Of course Popper was correct that science should rule out all-purpose "explanations" (this is just one of the reasons, as we shall see in chapter 6, that science does not consider the Creation hypothesis), but he was wrong to have thought that Darwinism fell prey to this problem" (100). Yet, previously Pennock was praising evolutions ubiquitous explanatory power:
We should thus think of scientists not as simply using a collection bucket, but as using a flashlight. One tests a hypothesis as one tests a flashlight - by turning it on and seeing whether and how well it can illuminate ones surroundings . Particularly powerful theories are like searchlights that shed a broad, bright, and sharply focused beam upon the world, allowing us to clearly see and distinguish its features. Evolutionary theory is such a searchlight . It is the great explanatory power of evolutionary theory - that it accounts for so much data so well - that testifies to its truth (54).
But notice that a truly scientific theory, such as say, the law of gravity, does not have universal applicability to virtually every subject one can talk about. We do not explain macroeconomics with Einsteins theory of relativity. Yet throughout The Tower of Babel, Pennock illuminates everything from cosmology, to biology, law, language and even creationism with the search-beam of evolutionary theory. This reveals its Weltanschauung rather than scientific nature.
and this, very interestingly, about morality:
Pennock insists that morality has a positive basis whether or not God exists. His explanation of why this is true, however, falls between two stools. First, he tells us that people do find meaning in their lives, apart from whether or not they believe in God. For instance they might find worth and meaning in their children, or in their work, or in building a new home.
Then he simply acknowledges that this is not a solid basis for morality and worth, for we might "expect more." Beyond mere "feeling of value," we may want "values that are justified"(329). One wonders just what point the example was making.
He states, "On this point the philosopher and the creationist can agree - by itself the simple identification of individual psychological value does nothing to justify those values. We would not want to fall into a form of subjective relativism, which is antithetical to the most basic meaning of morality" (329).
In what seems like an attempt to mask the desperation of his case, he tells us that there is a vast history of ethical theory justifying morality and values apart from Gods existence (what that body of thought actually says on the subject he leaves out). The issue is so simple though that he sees the need to only "briefly note one solution to the (creationists) existential crisis." The solution? Existentialism itself. Pennock elaborates:
According to the existentialist, we are right to feel worried about meaninglessness because the world really is meaningless. We are moral beings in an amoral world, so it is quite understandable that, thrown into such an absurd situation, we might wonder whether life is worth living. Nevertheless, let us not give in to despair
for as moral beings we have the freedom to interpret the world as we will, and thereby to impart meaning to life.
If we are not given a purpose, we can generate our own purposes.
We can thumb our noses at meaningless and rise above the amoral contingencies of the world, creating value as we go, by the choices we make and the actions we take. This is a philosophy that challenges us to be masters of our own fate and to carry on in the face of hopelessness" (330).
To summarize: The angst that creationists feel results from their perceived need to ground their existence in Gods existence. But this is really unnecessary. There is abundant meaning in a universe without God. On the one hand, we can ground our significance in the baseless feelings of purpose we have in our relationships, our material things, and our occupations. Or, we can just set our jaw, accept the real meaninglessness of our existence, and then conjure up our own meaning. Well, perhaps some of us may be forgiven if we still "expect more."
from http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1128 "Conjure up our own meaning" - indeed.
That is really what Pennock is up to, a secular humanist evangleist posing as an 'unbaised' "scientist" in a Pennsylvannia courtroom.
Someone needs to call the lawyers for the school board, have them read this post, then cross examine the thoughtful, fair, unbaised, non-leftist Dr. Robert - and ask him why he makes his living denying God.
I bet his Dad badly mistreated him when he was a vulnerable kid.