Oct 032005

Excerpts from the excellent article “Live from Pennsylvania: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District“, by Joe Manzari, research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute.


“In his opening statement, Eric Rothschild, the attorney for Kitzmiller, argued against the legitimacy of intelligent design (ID). Unfortunately for Rothschild, the testimony of Kenneth Miller –Å“ a Roman Catholic biology professor from Brown University who staunchly defends evolution –Å“ has already refuted his argument. And even more unfortunately, Miller was his expert witness.”

“Rothschild claimed that “intelligent design is not science in its infancy, it’s not science at all.” Yet Miller’s own testimony contradicts this… “you [Miller] were presenting your scientific argument against intelligent design, and Dr. Behe was presenting his scientific argument in support of intelligent design?” Miller responded: “Absolutely.” ”

“Rothschild then asserted that “”there is no controversy in the scientific community about the soundness of evolution” …Yet only moments later, Miller pointed to “enormous controversy within evolutionary theory on the relative values and weights to give to forces such as natural selection“” ”

“Rothschild went on to claim that “Intelligent design has arguments ” but these arguments are not a positive case for intelligent design, just negative attacks on evolution” ….” However, when asked about an article he authored, Miller admitted that Dr. Behe [proposed the] “biochemical argument from design…” ”

“Rothschild claimed that arguments made by ID rely on “an act of supernatural creation.” Miller admits, however, that ID proponents like Michael Behe accept natural causes all the time — their doubt concerns whether natural causes exhaust all causes. ID proponents admit the limits of science, in that science can only infer design and not the nature of the designer…”

“Later in his testimony, Rothschild stated that ID proponents have not “publish[ed] original data in peer-reviewed scientific journals” … Miller responded “Well, the answer to that is, there’s more than one. And the one that comes to my mind right away is an issue earlier this month of the scientific journal Nature”” Despite Rothschild’s claim, an article from that group defends ID. An article which Miller alluded to but failed to mention is written by the ID proponent, Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, published in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, called “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories” *

[* Note: I have opened a blog to present evidence of Research on Intelligent Design]

“It’s hard to tell whether Miller’s testimony did his cause more damage than good.”

Appendix: Barbara Forrest’s Failure:
At a hearing on September 9th, Judge John Jones addressed Barbara Forrest, another expert witness in the case for the plaintiff. Based on his comments, it’s hard to say whether Forrest will do much better than Miller:

“”. Within Ms. Forrest’s testimony, I see repeated references to quotes that were apparently derived from magazine articles and third persons that look to me to be inadmissible hearsay… I might find it interesting and others might find it even entertaining, but for the purpose of an expert report, I’ll bet she hasn’t probably testified many times, if at all, as an expert witness.”

Additional evidence that you may present is very welcomed!


Krauze wrote

“On Right Reason, Francis Beckwith responds to a part of Pennock’s testimony for why ID = creationism. Turns out Pennock was quote-mining one of his sources.”

 Posted by at 8:05 am
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16 years ago

That is a great blog fdocc! Added to TeleoLinks.

16 years ago

Love the examples of quote mining! It’s great to see AEI has raised quote mining to such a level. See your #2, for example — it doesn’t take a genius to see that the controversy Miller refers to is not controversy “about the soundness of evolution.”

But then, if cogent argument could persuade the creationist to a correct course of action, this trial wouldn’t be necessary.

Do you really fail to see the difference? Were you snookered by Manzari’s mantle from AEI? Or are you intending to snooker others?

16 years ago

> Rothschild then asserted that “”there is no controversy in the scientific community about the soundness of evolution.” But once again, he contradicted his own testimony. In another round of Muise’s cross-examination, Miller explained that one of the three “core propositions” of evolution is “united under the term of ‘natural selection.'” Yet only moments later, Miller pointed to “enormous controversy within evolutionary theory on the relative values and weights to give to forces such as natural selection””

16 years ago

Exactly. Scientist A says evolution is sound. Scientist B says evolution is sound. No controversy.

Meanwhile, at Evolution 2005 in Alaska, the 15th consecutive meeting of the three biology organizations snubbed by all intelligent design advocates, Scientist B presents a paper that says genetic drift is a larger factor in creating the variation from which natural selection works than is usually credited. Scientist A presents a paper that says genetic drift is a smaller factor than is usually credited. Since they work with the same research animals, they are put on a panel to go head-to-head on the issue and hundreds show up for the fireworks.

Were we to poll the attendees at that panel, almost all of them research biologists, about whether Darwin was right or wrong, 99.9% would answer without hesitating, “yes.” The other guy would be convinced the pollster was Allen Funt reincarnated, and that the poll was a joke. Were we to ask them about intelligent design, 33% would say it’s an interesting hypothesis without any evidence, and needs a lot of work to be revived as science; 66.9% would say Paley’s hypothesis has been dead since 1835, ‘why do you ask?’

No controversy about the fact that evolution occurs, about the soundness of evolution. Delightful and informative controversy about just exactly how much weight should be given to genetic drift as a source of the variation that helps drive evolution.

You picked exactly the right paragraph, fdocc, to indicate that AEI is quote mining and does not understand at all the science, or is doing its best to prevent others from understanding it.

Do we really need to ponder whether AEI is evil, as opposed to just being woefully ill-informed? Of course not. It’s clear they need a little remedial work in evolution . . . except Manzari claims he’s presenting controversy, and that he’s qualified to make these judgments.

The judge in Dover, most likely, is more familiar with evolution. In any case, he doesn’t need to rely on Manzari — he’s got real, live, meet-the-Federal-Rules-of-Evidence experts to testify. So, on the basis of better information, the decision from the court is likely to differ from what Mr. Manzari would urge, don’t you think?

16 years ago

Dear Teleologist,

Thank you for adding my Blog of Research on “Intelligent Design” to the “TeleoLinks”. As you have seen, we are for the freedom and progress of science! We are trying to contribute with the best of our abilities with useful and novel ways to look at reality!

For example, with The Gull Variation

So, many thanks to our dear readers!


To all the readers,

This thread is related to ID Dover, PA (not to
edarrell’s ‘methinks’ in Alaska!
), so feel free to post related links.

Related links:

Science Needs to Evolve, Dr. William Dembski, Oct. 5, 2005.

The Quiet Revolution, by Steve Petermann, Oct. 5, 2005.

The significance of being Brief, by Krauze, Oct. 5, 2005.

Of Pandas and Creationists, by Krauze, Oct. 1st, 2005

Life After Dover, Dr. William Dembski, Sept. 30, 2005

Dover Expert Witness Reports Available Online, Dr. Dembski, Sept. 30, 2005.

So who does set the ground rules for science?, Dr. Dembski, Sept. 29, 2005.