Wednesday, December 21, 2005

District Court Ruling on Intelligent Design

There's a lot of second hand news on the recent Intelligent Design ruling by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennylvania.

News reports and commentaries serve their purpose, but reading the actual text of the decision is a must for anyone following this case and its implications.

Update: Fellow S.O.B Alliance blogger Nixguy has a post on the decision as well.

Update 2: The very book that the Dover School Board recommended for Intelligent Design (ID) study, 'Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins', was referred to in the decision as making a religious case for ID, as opposed to scientific one. From page 24-25 of Judge Jones' ruling (emphasis added):

Although proponents of the IDM occasionally suggest that the designer could be a space alien or a time-traveling cell biologist, no serious alternative to God as the designer has been proposed by members of the IDM, including Defendants’ expert witnesses. (20:102-03 (Behe)). In fact, an explicit concession that the intelligent designer works outside the laws of nature and science and a direct reference to religion is Pandas’ rhetorical statement, “what kind of intelligent agent was it [the designer]” and answer: “On its own science cannot answer this question. It must leave it to religion and philosophy.” (P-11 at 7; 9:13-14 (Haught)).
Update 3: The following speaks for itself. From page 32 of Judge Jones' ruling (empahis added):

As Plaintiffs meticulously and effectively presented to the Court, Pandas went through many drafts, several of which were completed prior to and some after the Supreme Court’s decision in Edwards, which held that the Constitution forbids teaching creationism as science. By comparing the pre and post Edwards drafts of Pandas, three astonishing points emerge: (1) the definition for creation science in early drafts is identical to the definition of ID; (2) cognates of the word creation(creationism and creationist), which appeared approximately 150 times were deliberately and systematically replaced with the phrase ID; and (3) the changes occurred shortly after the Supreme Court held that creation science is religious and cannot be taught in public school science classes in Edwards. This word substitution is telling, significant, and reveals that a purposeful change of words was effected without any corresponding change in content, which directly refutes FTE’s [Foundation for Thought and Ethics] argument that by merely disregarding the words “creation” and “creationism,” FTE expressly rejected creationism in Pandas...

...The weight of the evidence clearly demonstrates, as noted, that the systemic change from “creation” to “intelligent design” occurred sometime in 1987, after the Supreme Court’s important Edwards decision. This compelling evidence strongly supports Plaintiffs’ assertion that ID is creationism re-labeled.
Update 4: NixGuy notes in the comments that discussions on the ruling from ID proponents can be found at 'Response to Dover Intelligent Design Opinion'.

For Porkopolis, here's the bottom line:

The 'Design' part in Intelligent Design is not at question. That point is irrefutable. The 'Intelligent' modifier is what's at issue.

ID supporters must, without compromise, be prepared to subject the 'Intelligent' hypothesis to the rigors of science; and simply stating that something looks like it has 'Intelligent' origins without subjecting that belief to being falsified circumvents the scientific process. Anything that circumvents the scientific process/method is....unscientific; and changing the definition of science is misguided at best.

Porkopolis is prepared to accept the 'Intelligent' origins argument, if and only if, it is arrived at via the scientfic process/method.

As noted in a previous post, for the vast majority of scientist, it's not about about being against Intelligent's about being pro-scientific method.

"What part of 'scientific' don't you understand?" might be an appropriate mantra for evolutionists. It uses the same reasoning found in the conservative mantra of "What part of 'illegal' don't you understand?".


Blogger NixGuy said...

Most commenters on ID discussion boards say that P&P was indeed a relabeled creationist book and not a good test case for ID.

Good intelligent discussions here:

December 22, 2005 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger Luke said...

The problem with science (and I don't abhor science, not in the least) is that it does not answer ultimate questions. Science speculates just as much as religion in the formation and creation of the universe. To dismiss ID as a religious diversion, as the judge seems to do, is to ignore that science has relied on faith just as much as the religious in its conjectures.

May 17, 2007 at 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The 'speculation' you speak of is part of the scientific process...hypothesis. But the scientific method does NOT stop there. It gives a road map to explore the hypothesis.

True science is not satisfied with just the speculation...but seeks truth through logic.

In many ways, it's the truest form of the old adage, "It's not the destination, but the journey."

May 17, 2007 at 2:27 PM  

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