Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Intelligent Design » The Dover case, a good argument against ID ?

The Dover case, a good argument against ID ?

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The Dover case, a good argument against ID ?

Ask ANY real scientist, if he thinks the best way to proceed in scientific truth, is to have courts of law decide what scientific theories should be accepted.

John E. Jones, III is one of the most incompetent judges on the bench. His decision simply parroted the ACLU argument. He had ZERO judicial experience before being appointed. He was a rich lawyer who twice lost elections for office. Oh yeah, he was appointed to head the PA Liquor Control Board prior to being appointed to the federal bench! His decision was far more about maintaining his presence at country club cocktail parties than it was about law!!

everybody who has ever had experience in a courtroom (in ANY country), knows that courtrooms are literally full of lies, nonsense, injustice, and obfuscation. Only a fool would today claim that "truth" is best resolved, or in fact resolved at all in a modern courtroom. It matters not whether the case is big or small, rich or poor, intelligent or moronic. Courtrooms are of course run by lawyers, and without prejudice, lawyers are human beings, most of whom are motivated mainly by money, secondly by political passion, and perhaps as a limping third, justice and truth. Or at least community justice, or perhaps pragmatism.

Yet when a court rules in favour of the cause of Evolution, we are suddenly treated to the most amazing fairy-story of all: Courts are now the "ultimate" arbiters of truth: Perhaps even the best discoverers and establlishers of scientific truth. Suddenly, the lawyers have become our heroes, accurately dissecting the bitter pill of Intelligent Design, to discover the horror of Creationism, masquerading as 'science' and daring to "infect our children".

Please. If a person born anytime during the post-war baby-boom knows anything, he knows this is pure horse-manure. I'm telling you what everybody already knows: After the Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations,
the Viet Nam war, and Nixon, the Bush elections and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the O.J. Simpson trials and Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Oil spills and Enron, nobody does, nor should they, trust the government, courts, politicians or lawyers. Its not about age groups, its about history. But lest there be any doubt,

Revised Report of Stephen C. Meyer, Ph.D. May 19, 2005 Case: Tammy Kitzmiller, et al v. Dover Area School District and Dover Area School District Board of Directors

Problems With the Dover Decision
 • At the very least, the Dover decision is overboard. Judge Jones found that the Dover school board acted for religious rather than secular reasons. That finding was enough under existing Supreme Court precedents to strike down the Dover policy. There was no legal reason for Judge Jones to address the broader question of what is science and whether intelligent design met his definition of science.

Judge Jones’ ruling is poorly argued and its discussion of intelligent design as science is largely inaccurate, possibly due to the fact that more than 90% of the ruling’s section analyzing intelligent design was copied virtually verbatim from a document submitted to him by attorneys working with the ACLU.1 Judge Jones even copied the factual errors contained in this document, which was known as “Plaintiffs’ Proposed ‘Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law’.”2 For example: » Judge Jones claimed that biochemist Michael Behe, when confronted with articles supposedly explaining the evolution of the immune system, replied that these articles were “not ‘good enough.’” In reality, Behe said the exact opposite at trial: “it’s not that they aren’t good enough. It’s simply that they are addressed to a different subject.” (emphasis added) The answer cited by the judge came not from Behe, but from the attorneys working with the ACLU, who misquoted Behe. » Judge Jones claimed that “ID is not supported by any peer-reviewed research, data or publications.”

 Again, the actual court record shows otherwise. University of Idaho microbiologist Scott Minnich testified at trial that there are between “seven and ten” peer-reviewed papers supporting ID, and he specifically discussed Stephen Meyer’s explicitly pro-intelligent design article in the peer-reviewed biology journal, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. Additional peer-reviewed publications, including William Dembski’s peer-reviewed monograph, The Design Inference (published by Cambridge University Press), were described in an annotated bibliography of peer-reviewed and peer-edited publications supporting ID submitted in an amicus brief accepted as part of the official record of the case. The judge’s false assertions about peer-review simply copied false claims made by attorneys working with the ACLU. » Again following the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Judge Jones insisted that ID “requires supernatural creation,” that “ID is predicated on supernatural causation,” and that “ID posits that animals... were created abruptly by a ... supernatural designer.” He further claimed that “[d]efendants’ own expert witnesses acknowledged this point.” In fact, defendants’ expert witnesses did nothing of the sort. ID proponents—including the defendants’ expert witnesses at the Kitzmiller trial—have consistently explained that ID as a scientific theory does not require a supernatural designer. For example, when asked at trial “whether intelligent design requires the action of a supernatural creator,” Scott Minnich replied, “It does not.”

The judge ignored the positive case for design and falsely claimed that ID proponents make their case solely by arguing against evolution. • Judge Jones adopted an unfair double-standard of legal analysis where religious implications, beliefs, and motives count against ID but never against Darwinism. • The judge overstepped the bounds of the judiciary and engaged in judicial activism by declaring that ID had been refuted when the judge was presented with credible scientific witnesses and publications on both sides showing evidence of a scientific debate. In fact, Judge Jones engaged in textbook judicial activism by presuming that it is permissible for a federal judge to define science, settle controversial social questions, settle controversial scientific questions, and settle issues for parties outside of the case at hand so that his ruling would be “a primer” for people “someplace else.”

 • Finally, Judge Jones used poor philosophy of science by dangerously trying to turn science into a voting contest by ruling that popularity is required for an idea to be scientific. Stephen Jay Gould, writing with other scientists, eloquently explained why science should never be a popularity contest: “Judgments based on scientific evidence, whether made in a laboratory or a courtroom, are undermined by a categorical refusal even to consider research or views that contradict someone’s notion of the prevailing ‘consensus’ of scientific opinion... Automatically rejecting dissenting views that challenge the conventional wisdom is a dangerous fallacy, for almost every generally accepted view was once deemed eccentric or heretical. Perpetuating the reign of a supposed scientific orthodoxy in this way, whether in a research laboratory or in a courtroom, is profoundly inimical to the search for truth. … The quality of a scientific approach or opinion depends on the strength of its factual premises and on the depth and consistency of its reasoning, not on its appearance in a particular journal or on its popularity among other scientists.”3

What Legal Scholars Are Saying
 “The part of Kitzmiller that finds ID not to be science is unnecessary, unconvincing, not particularly suited to the judicial role, and even perhaps dangerous both to science and to freedom of religion.” —Jay D. Wexler, Professor of Law, Boston University Law School; “Kitzmiller and the ‘Is it Science?’ Question,” 5 First Amendment Law Review 90, 93 (2006), Emphasis added. Note: Prof. Wexler is a strong critic of teaching ID. 

“[I]nvalidating the teaching of intelligent design in public schools is flatly inconsistent with free speech principles... If the Supreme Court ever gets a case, unlike Kitzmiller, where the School Board of Legislature’s apparent motive for integrating intelligent design into the curriculum is to maximize student exposure to different ideas about the origin of the species, and not to indoctrinate religion, the Court should uphold the provision.” —Arnold Loewy, Self-described First Amendment “liberal,” George R. Killam Jr. Chair of Criminal Law, Texas Tech Law School; “The Wisdom and Constitutionality of Teaching Intelligent Design in Public Schools,” 5 First Amend. Law Review 82, 89 (2006), Emphasis added. 

“Despite Judge Jones’ apparent desire to have the final word on ID for the judiciary, future jurists encountering efforts to address the topic of ID will have not only the right, but the obligation to think for themselves and determine whether the reasoning used by Judge Jones is accurate, necessary, or even relevant. ...ID will survive Kitzmiller not only because the ruling itself is unpersuasive and is owed no deference, but because the scientific evidence pointing to design in nature is just as powerful today as it was before Judge Jones ruled.” —David K. DeWolf, John West, Casey Luskin, “Intelligent Design will Survive Kitzmiller v. Dover,” 68 Montana Law Review 7, 17, 57 (Winter, 2007).

Michael Behe :

In the context of my book it is easy to realize that I meant there has been little work on the details of the evolution of irreducibly complex biochemical systems by Darwinian means. I had clearly noted that of course a large amount of work in many books and journals was done under the general topic of "molecular evolution," but that, overwhelmingly, it was either limited to comparing sequences (which, again, does not concern the mechanism of evolution) or did not propose sufficiently detailed routes to justify a Darwinian conclusion. Comparing sequences is interesting but cannot explain how molecular machines arose. Mechanisms (such as gene duplication, domain shuffling, and concerted evolution of multigene families)  are thought to be involved in evolution at the molecular level,  are however not justified in Darwinian terms.  The processes like gene duplication, etc., although very significant, are not by themselves sufficient to understand how any complex biochemical system, may have arisen by Darwinian means.

Behes claim is confirmed through this peer reviewed paper :

although the process of gene duplication and subsequent random mutation has certainly contributed to the size and diversity of the genome, it is alone insufficient in explaining the origination of the highly complex information pertinent to the essential functioning of living organisms.

Evolvability. Evolutionary biology’s preferred research strategy consists in taking distinct biological systems and finding similarities that might be the result of a common evolutionary ancestor. Intelligent design, by contrast, focuses on a different strategy, namely, taking individual biological systems and perturbing them (both intelligently and randomly) to see how much the systems can evolve. Within this latter research strategy, limitations on evolvability by material mechanisms constitute indirect confirmation of design.

Last edited by Admin on Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:31 pm; edited 6 times in total

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Response to Barbara Forrest's Kitzmiller Account Part VIII: Important Facts Left Out About ID Research

In her Kitzmiller account, Barbara Forrest leaves out information about the scientific research supporting ID, claiming "creationists are executing every phase except producing scientific data to support ID." Ignoring her usage of the "creationist" label, Dr. Forrest's argument mimics that of Judge Jones. Both Dr. Forrest and Judge Jones ignored the testimony provided in the courtroom during the Kitzmiller trial by Scott Minnich about his own experiments which demonstrate the irreducible complexity of the flagellum. Amazingly, Judge Jones then wrote that "ID has not been the subject of testing or research"

The best way to refute Judge Jones / Barbara Forrest's claim is to let the reader see the testimony of Scott Minnich. Minnich is a pro-ID microbiologist who testified as follows on the next-to-last-day of the trial about his own research and experimentation into the irreducibly complex nature of the bacterial flagellum:

Q. Do you know employ principles and concepts from intelligent design in your work?
A. I do.
Q. And I'd like for you to explain that further. I know you're prepared several slides to do that.
A. Sure. All right. I work on the bacterial flagellum, understanding the function of the bacterial flagellum for example by exposing cells to mutagenic compounds or agents, and then scoring for cells that have attenuated or lost motility. This is our phenotype. The cells can swim or they can't. We mutagenize the cells, if we hit a gene that's involved in function of the flagellum, they can't swim, which is a scorable phenotype that we use. Reverse engineering is then employed to identify all these genes. We couple this with biochemistry to essentially rebuild the structure and understand what the function of each individual part is. Summary, it is the process more akin to design that propelled biology from a mere descriptive science to an experimental science in terms of employing these techniques.
So it was inoculated right here, and over about twelve hours it's radiated out from that point of inoculant. Here is this same derived from that same parental clone, but we have a transposon, a jumping gene inserted into a rod protein, part of the drive shaft for the flagellum. It can't swim. It's stuck, all right? This one is a mutation in the U joint. Same phenotype. So we collect cells that have been mutagenized, we stick them in soft auger, we can screen a couple of thousand very easily with a few undergraduates, you know, in a day and look for whether or not they can swim.
We have a mutation in a drive shaft protein or the U joint, and they can't swim. Now, to confirm that that's the only part that we've affected, you know, is that we can identify this mutation, clone the gene from the wild type and reintroduce it by mechanism of genetic complementation. So this is, these cells up here are derived from this mutant where we have complemented with a good copy of the gene. One mutation, one part knock out, it can't swim. Put that single gene back in we restore motility. Same thing over here. We put, knock out one part, put a good copy of the gene back in, and they can swim. By definition the system is irreducibly complex. We've done that with all 35 components of the flagellum, and we get the same effect.
(Kitzmiller Transcript of Testimony of Scott Minnich pgs. 99-108, Nov. 3, 2005, emphasis added)

During this testimony, Scott Minnich showed slides in the courtroom documenting his own research experiments, which performed knockout experiments upon the flagellum, and found that the flagellum is irreducibly complex. Minnich produced relevant experimental data which confirmed a prediction made by intelligent design, and he used this research to support intelligent design in the courtroom. Yet Dr. Forrest completely ignored this testimony, as did Judge Jones, who did not even mention it in the Kitzmiller ruling. Given the testimony of an expert witnesses's own personal experiments which was directly presented before him, it is incredible that Judge Jones could write "ID has not been the subject of testing or research."

Knock out experiments and tests provide empirical evidence that the flagellum is irreducibly complex, as 
Scott Minnich  testified at the Dover process: 

Kitzmiller Transcript of Testimony of Scott Minnich pgs. 99-108, Nov. 3, 2005, emphasis added

We have a mutation in a drive shaft protein or the U joint, and they can't swim. Now, to confirm that that's the only part that we've affected, you know, is that we can identify this mutation, clone the gene from the wild type and reintroduce it by mechanism of genetic complementation. So this is, these cells up here are derived from this mutant where we have complemented with a good copy of the gene. One mutation, one part knock out, it can't swim. Put that single gene back in we restore motility. Same thing over here. We put, knock out one part, put a good copy of the gene back in, and they can swim. By definition the system is irreducibly complex. We've done that with all 35 components of the flagellum, and we get the same effect.
(Kitzmiller Transcript of Testimony of Scott Minnich pgs. 99-108, Nov. 3, 2005, emphasis added)

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