After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. As we will discuss in more detail below, it is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research. (64)
Plaintiffs’ science experts, Drs. Miller and Padian, clearly explained how ID proponents generally and Pandas specifically, distort and misrepresent scientific knowledge in making their anti-evolution argument. In analyzing such distortion, we turn again to Pandas, the book to which students are expressly referred in the disclaimer. Defendants hold out Pandas as representative of ID and Plaintiffs’ experts agree in that regard. (16:83 (Padian); 1:107-08 (Miller)). A series of arguments against evolutionary theory found in Pandas involve paleontology, which studies the life of the past and the fossil record. Plaintiffs’ expert Professor Padian was the only testifying expert witness with any expertise in paleontology.15 His testimony therefore remains unrebutted. Dr. Padian’s demonstrative slides, prepared on the basis of peer-reviewing scientific literature, illustrate how Pandas systematically distorts and misrepresents established, important evolutionary principles.
We will provide several representative examples of this distortion. First, Pandas misrepresents the “dominant form of understanding relationships” between organisms, namely, the tree of life, represented by classification determined via the method of cladistics. (16:87-97 (Padian); P-855.6-855.19). Second, Pandas misrepresents “homology,” the “central concept of comparative biology,” that allowed scientists to evaluate comparable parts among organisms for classification purposes for hundreds of years. (17:27-40 (Padian); P-855.83-855.102). Third, Pandas fails to address the well-established biological concept of exaptation, which involves a structure changing function, such as fish fins evolving fingers and bones to become legs for weight-bearing land animals. (16:146-48 (Padian)). Dr. Padian testified that ID proponents fail to address exaptation because they deny that organisms change function, which is a view necessary to support abruptappearance. Id. Finally, Dr. Padian’s unrebutted testimony demonstrates that Pandas distorts and misrepresents evidence in the fossil record about pre- Cambrian-era fossils, the evolution of fish to amphibians, the evolution of small carnivorous dinosaurs into birds, the evolution of the mammalian middle ear, and the evolution of whales from land animals. (16:107-17, 16:117-31, 16:131-45, 17:6-9, 17:17-27 (Padian); P-855.25-855.33, P-855.34-855.45, P-855.46-855.55, P-855.56-866.63, P-855.64-855.82).
In addition to Dr. Padian, Dr. Miller also testified that Pandas presents discredited science. Dr. Miller testified that Pandas’ treatment of biochemical similarities between organisms is “inaccurate and downright false” and explained how Pandas misrepresents basic molecular biology concepts to advance design theory through a series of demonstrative slides. (1:112 (Miller)). Consider, for example, that he testified as to how Pandas misinforms readers on the standard evolutionary relationships between different types of animals, a distortion which Professor Behe, a “critical reviewer” of Pandas who wrote a section within the book, affirmed. (1:113-17 (Miller); P-854.9-854.16; 23:35-36 (Behe)).16 In addition, Dr. Miller refuted Pandas’ claim that evolution cannot account for new genetic information and pointed to more than three dozen peer-reviewed scientific publications showing the origin of new genetic information by evolutionary processes. (1:133-36 (Miller); P-245). In summary, Dr. Miller testified that Pandas misrepresents molecular biology and genetic principles, as well as the current state of scientific knowledge in those areas in order to teach readers that common descent and natural selection are not scientifically sound. (1:139-42 (Miller)).
Accordingly, the one textbook to which the Dover ID Policy directs students contains outdated concepts and badly flawed science, as recognized by even the defense experts in this case.
A final indicator of how ID has failed to demonstrate scientific warrant is the complete absence of peer-reviewed publications supporting the theory...
On cross-examination, Professor Behe admitted that: “There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred.” (22:22-23 (Behe)). Additionally, Professor Behe conceded that there are no peer-reviewed papers supporting his claims that complex molecular systems, like the bacterial flagellum, the blood-clotting cascade, and the immune system, were intelligently designed. (21:61-62 (complex molecular systems), 23:4-5 (immune system), and 22:124-25 (blood-clotting cascade) (Behe)). In that regard, there are no peer-reviewed articles supporting Professor Behe’s argument that certain complex molecular structures are “irreducibly complex.”17 (21:62, 22:124-25 (Behe)). In addition to failing to produce papers in peer-reviewed journals, ID also features no scientific research or testing. (28:114-15 (Fuller); 18:22-23, 105-06 (Behe)). After this searching and careful review of ID as espoused by its proponents, as elaborated upon in submissions to the Court, and as scrutinized over a six week trial, we find that ID is not science and cannot be adjudged a valid, accepted scientific theory as it has failed to publish in peer-reviewed journals, engage in research and testing, and gain acceptance in the scientific community. ID, as noted, is grounded in theology, not science.
(Pages 85-89. Emphasis added.)
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Dover Decision II - ID Proponents "Distort and Misrepresent Scientific Knowledge"
For those readers who don't want to read the entire decision, and were not convinced by the conclusion, I beg you to read this excerpt, which addresses clearly the issue of whether "Intelligent Design" is science:
Posted by Jewish Atheist at 8:38 PM