Sunday, October 30, 2005

Judge rules on motion in Dover trial: Discovery Institute brief dismissed, etc

News items about the Dover case (Kitzmiller, et al v. Dover School District, et al), with my comments in square brackets.

Judge rules on motion in Dover trial: Discovery Institute brief dismissed, The York Dispatch, October 28, 2005 ... U.S. Middle District Judge John E. Jones III filed an order Monday to strike a brief filed on behalf of the Dover Area School District in its intelligent design trial. The Discovery Institute, the largest intelligent design research organization, filed a "friends of the court" brief Oct. 17, asking the judge to consider the organization's written arguments before making a decision in the case. Attorneys for parents who are suing the district over the mention on intelligent design filed a countermotion the next day, asking the judge to strike both that motion and another "friends of the court" brief filed by a group of scientists. The parents' attorneys argued that the briefs included portions of an expert report prepared by a school district's expert witness, William Dembski, before he decided not to testify. The parents' attorneys said the briefs were an attempt for Dembski and Discovery Center program director Stephen Meyer to serve their expert opinions "without opening themselves to the scrutiny of cross-examination." Jones ruled to dismiss the Discovery Institute's brief, but left the scientists' brief in place. [This is not as bad as the headline says. The actual order by the judge concerns two briefs filed by the Discovery Institute: 1) a brief by 85 scientists; and 2) a legal opinion by the DI. The order says "The Motion will be granted in part and denied in part". Specifically, it grants 1) and holds open that 2) can be re-filed, minus expert witness testimonies by Stephen Meyer and William Dembski, which cannot be allowed since they cannot be cross-examined in person. See below for more details of the briefs.]

85 Scientists Join Together in Urging Court to Protect Academic Freedom and Not Limit Research into Intelligent Design Theory, Discovery Institute News, October 4, 2005 ... Harrisburg, PA -Eighty-five scientists have filed an Amicus Brief in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial asking the Judge to "affirm the freedom of scientists to pursue scientific evidence wherever it may lead" and not limit research into the scientific theory of intelligent design. Not all the signers are proponents of intelligent design, but they do agree "that protecting the freedom to pursue scientific evidence for intelligent design stimulates the advance of scientific knowledge." The signers of the brief, identified as "Amici curiae" include such notable scientists as Dr. Philip Skell of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Lyle H. Jensen a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Dr. Russell W. Carlson Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Executive Technical Director, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia. "The advance of scientific knowledge depends on uninhibited, robust investigation seeking the best explanation," said Gonzaga University law professor David DeWolf, a senior fellow at Discovery Institute. "Doubts as to whether a theory adequately explains the evidence should be resolved in the laboratory not in the court room. Scientists are concerned that a Court ruling limiting the nature of science would have far-reaching detrimental effects beyond the schoolhouse doors and into the laboratories and careers of many legitimate scientists." The brief reads in part: Amici curiae are scientists who oppose any attempt to define the nature of science in a way that would limit their ability to follow the evidence wherever it may lead. Since the identification of intelligent causes is a well established scientific practice in fields such as forensic science, archaeology, and exobiology, Amici urge this Court to reject plaintiffs’ claim that the application of intelligent design to biology is unscientific. Any ruling that depends upon an outdated or inaccurate definition of science, or which attempts to define the boundaries of science, could hinder scientific progress. Amici are professional scientists who support academic freedom for scientific research into the scientific theory of intelligent design. Some Amici are scientists whose research directly addresses design in biology, physics, or astronomy. Other Amici are scientists whose research does not bear directly upon the intelligent design hypothesis, but feel it is a viable conclusion from the empirical data. Finally, some Amici are skeptics of intelligent design who believe that protecting the freedom to pursue scientific evidence for intelligent design stimulates the advance of scientific knowledge. All Amici agree that courts should decline to rule on the scientific validity of theories which are the subject of vigorous scientific debate. ... [See also The York Dispatch. It may be very significant that the judge accepted this first brief, which may head off the main danger for ID that in finding fault with the Dover board, he may rule against ID itself.]

`Design' proponents look beyond Dover: Fearing a loss by the school board could hurt their cause, the movement's key backers ask judge for a narrow ruling. Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 20, 2005, Paul Nussbaum ... Can the intelligent-design movement survive if the Dover, Pa., school board loses its court battle to offer the concept as an alternative to evolution? Fearing that the Dover board is on thin ice legally, the leading backers of intelligent design have been trying to distance themselves from the case, while maintaining that their idea is sound. And this week, the Discovery Institute, the Seattle think tank that promotes intelligent design, asked the federal judge in the case to save it even if he rules against Dover. In a friend-of-the-court brief, the Discovery Institute argued the concept could pass constitutional muster even if the school board's action doesn't. "We're afraid a judge could say, 'Well, this policy is unconstitutional,' and the conclusion people would draw is that it's unconstitutional to teach anything about intelligent design," said David DeWolf, a law professor who filed the Discovery Institute brief on Monday. Just so, said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "Discovery Institute invented this snake oil called intelligent design, and now they've found that Dover is really a bad salesman," Lynn said. He predicted that a ruling against Dover "will be viewed, when history looks back at it, as the death knell of intelligent design.".... In its court filing, the Discovery Institute said that "whatever the merits and history of [the school board] policy, [Discovery] urges the court to reject plaintiffs' claim that teaching students about the theory of intelligent design necessarily violates the Establishment Clause. "If the court strikes down [school board] policy, [Discovery] urges the court to fashion relief that does not impugn the constitutionality of teaching about intelligent design, since policies permitting such instruction might reflect valid secular purposes and could enhance religious neutrality." Lawyers for the parents asked the court Tuesday not to accept the Discovery Institute filing. It was an improper attempt to get the institute's views into the case without subjecting their officials to cross-examination, the parents' lawyers said. The Discovery Institute has been leery of the Dover policy since the beginning. It urged the Dover board not to adopt the policy, and it prompted several prominent intelligent-design advocates to withdraw as defense witnesses in the case. "We told them early on ... that there are things about this policy that are going to make you vulnerable on this," DeWolf said yesterday. The institute urged the court not to equate intelligent design with religion, but said it took no position on whether the Dover board adopted its policy for religious reasons. "We're trying to separate those two questions," DeWolf said. "We're not really privy to what happened in Dover." The case, in federal district court in Harrisburg, is in its fourth week, with the school board lawyers beginning to present their case. .. [I had mentioned this second brief before, but not this article. It is this issue of having expert witness testimonies of Meyer and Dembski in the brief "without subjecting their officials to cross-examination" that lead to this brief being "stricken in its entirety". But importantly, the judge's order leaves open that the Discovery Institute may re-file it "in accordance with the confines of this Order"! It will be very interesting if the Discovery Institute does that. BTW, Barry Lynn's hope that "a ruling against Dover "will be ... the death knell of intelligent design" shows that his real agenda is not just the "Separation of Church and State"!]

Dover lawyer, Discovery at odds: Institute `victimized' district, complains Richard Thompson, York Daily Record, Lauri Lebo, October 30, 2005 ... Dover Area school board's lead attorney in the federal court battle over intelligent design says his would-be ally, the Discovery Institute, victimized his clients. Now that a fifth expert has backed out of the Dover district's court battle, a rift is widening between defense attorneys and the primary pro-intelligent-design organization in the country. At a forum in Washington, D.C., Dover's lead attorney Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center squabbled publicly with a member of the Discovery Institute over whether the organization had endorsed the teaching of intelligent design in public school. Outside Harrisburg's federal courthouse last week, Thompson said his ability to develop a case in this First Amendment lawsuit has been damaged by the Discovery Institute's strategy of backing off in the face of public criticism. And, he said, Discovery fellows are wrong when they explain their position. The disagreement at the American Enterprise Institute occurred Oct. 21 during a panel discussion of the Dover trial when Mark Ryland, a Discovery vice president, said the organization has always opposed teaching intelligent design in the classroom. "The Discovery Institute never set out to have a school board, schools, get into this issue," Ryland said, according to transcripts of the exchange posted on the Web site for the National Center for Science Education. "We've never encouraged people to do it, we've never promoted it. We have, unfortunately, gotten sucked into it, because we have a lot of expertise in the issue, that people are interested in." Ryland said Discovery's position is against teaching intelligent design. Rather, he said, teach the evidence for and against evolutionary theory. But Thompson, at the forum, read from a copy of the Discovery Institute's "Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curriculum: A Guidebook" that states, "school boards have the authority to permit, and even encourage, teaching about design theory . . ." "Now, whether they wanted the school boards to teach intelligent design or mention it, certainly when you start putting it in writing, that writing does have consequences," Thompson said at the forum. Thompson also criticized Discovery for the fact that three of its members - William Dembski, Stephen Meyer and John Campbell - backed out of the case in June after providing expert witness reports. Because of the timing, Dover's lawyers were unable to line up other experts, Thompson said at the forum. Two other defense experts Warren Nord, a University of North Carolina professor, and Dick Carpenter of Focus on the Family, also backed out the same week the defense began presenting its case. Michael Behe, a Lehigh University professor, has already testified for the defense. Scott Minnich of the University of Idaho is scheduled to take the stand Thursday or Friday. John West, a Discovery spokesman, said last week the organization has not wavered from its policy. "DI's consistent message to the Dover board from the start was to adopt our teach the controversy approach - teach scientific criticisms of Darwin's theory, but don't mandate that students learn about design," West wrote in an e-mail. "This is the same approach we have advocated in Ohio, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Montana, and numerous other states." Thompson knew Discovery disagreed with Dover's policy, West wrote. In December, members of the Discovery Institute met with Dover officials to try to persuade them to change their decision to include intelligent design in their biology curriculum. Ryland said he and Thompson were both at the meeting. "And they didn't listen to me, that's fine, they can do what they want, I have no power and control over them," Ryland said at the forum. Thompson said during the panel that Discovery, as part of tactics used in Ohio and other states, pushed school boards to go with intelligent design, then compromised when controversy arose. "And I think what was victimized by this strategy was the Dover school board, because we could not present the expert testimony we thought we could present." Ken Miller, a Brown University professor and one of the plaintiffs' experts in the trial, also participated in the panel. When the moderator asked him to weigh in on the disagreement, Miller said, "Do we have to? I'm really enjoying this." ... [Thompson is wrong here and Ryland is right. The NCSE's transcript shows that Ryland did not get into a "tit-for-tat" with Thompson:

MARK RYLAND (DI): Sure, I'd be happy to respond. Let me back up first and say: The Discovery Institute never set out to have a school board, schools, get into this issue. We've never encouraged people to do it, we've never promoted it. We have, unfortunately, gotten sucked into it, because we have a lot of expertise in the issue, that people are interested in. When asked for our opinion, we always tell people: don't teach intelligent design. There's no curriculum developed for it, you're teachers are likely to be hostile towards it, I mean there's just all these good reasons why you should not to go down that path. If you want to do anything, you should teach the evidence for and against Darwin's theory. Teach it dialectically. And despite all the hoopla you've heard today, there is a great deal of -- many, many problems with Darwin's theory, in particular the power of NS and RV to do the astounding things that are attributed to them. The new demonology, as one philosopher calls it, the selfish gene can do anything. So that's the background. And what's happened in the foreground was, when it came to the Dover school district, we advised them not to institute the policy they advised. In fact, I personally went and met with them, and actually Richard was there the same day, and they didn't listen to me, that's fine, they can do what they want, I have no power and control over them. But from the start we just disagreed that this was a good place, a good time and place to have this battle -- which is risky, in the sense that there's a potential for rulings that this is somehow unconstitutional. That's basically from an institutional perspective what I can say and what I know. Now, individuals associated with the Discovery Institute were then, had got involved in, the possibility of becoming expert witnesses in the case. And I don't, as far as I know there was no institutional decision made one way or the other, but I think it was the case that those individuals felt they had somewhat different legal interests being -- it was often because they were both expert witnesses, but usually fact witnesses as well, about things like the history of the intelligent design movement. So they wanted to have their own lawyers involved with depositions, and I believe there was an argument, a disagreement about that. I think that was the reason why they decided not to participate.
... I wanted to say a couple of things very quickly. One is, I won't get into a tit-for-tat about whether Discovery's employees were behaving properly or not. I will say that, just to be clear, we're convinced that if the question before the court is the per se constitutionality, constitutionality of teaching design, then it's very clear, as I was arguing when using my thought experiments, that there's really only one reasonable answer. That, however, is not necessarily the court's decision that they'll face in Dover, since there's all these other complicating factors, of actual motive, purpose, and so forth and so on. And I'll leave it at that."

The fact is that the Discovery Institute has from the beginning of this issue, been critical of Dover's mandatory approach, calling it "misguided". As for the "guidebook", it is not "the Discovery Institute's" - it is not even on DI's website but on Access Research Network's and it is produced by the Foundation for Thought and Ethics. Anyway, it is just a resource for teachers who want to teach ID. As for some witnesses pulling out, according to this York Daily Record article in June, it was because Thompson would not allow Dembski to have his own legal counsel. For Thompson's Thomas More Law Center, this may just be another "Defending the Religious Freedom of Christians" case, but for the Discovery Institute (and the ID movement), the issues here are scientific and go far beyond whatever the outcome in Dover will be. However, having said all that, the Discovery Institute has been very supportive of the Dover case (what does Thompson think Discovery Institute fellow Mike Behe's 3 days of testimony was - chopped liver?). Not to mention their two "friend of the court briefs" (see above). It is Thompson's clients, the Dover board members, who have been shown to be the weak link in this case, and if it is eventually lost, it is them who will have lost it, by their confusion of Christianity and creationism (including reportedly "meetings ... complete with ... Scripture-quoting and a chorus of `amens'") with ID. Quite frankly, as a long-standing member of the ID movement, I am relieved that the Discovery Institute has shown such wisdom and far-sightedness to stick to its principles, and not be sucked into what may be a disaster by those who may be only using ID as a convenient tool for their own (however worthy) agendas.]

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"

Reporters stand by stories on biology curriculum debate, etc

Only two news items about testimony on Friday 28 October in the Dover case (Kitzmiller, et al v. Dover School District, et al), with my comments in square brackets.

Reporters stand by stories on biology curriculum debate, NEPA News/AP, Martha Raffaele, October 28, 2005 ... Two freelance newspaper reporters testified Friday that they accurately reported on school board meetings in which creationism was discussed, even though they did not directly quote any board members using the term. .... Heidi Bernhard-Bubb of The York Dispatch and Joseph Maldonado of the York Daily Record/Sunday News both testified that creationism was discussed at school board meetings they covered in June 2004. In pretrial depositions, school board members have denied or said they did not remember making statements about creationism during the meetings. The board in October 2004 approved the biology curriculum change, which requires students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade biology lessons on evolution. ... [Without the reporters having made notes of who (if anyone) on the board mentioned "creationism" and in what sense (e.g. it could have been an answer to a question with "creationism" in it) I doubt that this would carry much weight with the judge. Indeed, why would a reporter (let alone two reporters) not make notes of a Dover board member espousing "creationism"? Sounds fishy to me!]

School board member didn't investigate "intelligent design", Philadelphia Inquirer/AP, Oct. 28, 2005 Martha Raffaele ... HARRISBURG, Pa. - A school board member who voted to include "intelligent design" in a high-school biology curriculum testified Friday that she never independently researched the concept and relied on the opinions of two fellow board members to make her decision. Heather Geesey, a Dover Area School Board member, said she came to believe intelligent design was a scientific theory based on the recommendations of Alan Bonsell and William Buckingham - both members of the board's curriculum committee. "They said it was a scientific thing," said Geesey, who added that "it wasn't my job" to learn more about intelligent design because she didn't serve on the curriculum committee. .... Witold Walczak, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing the families, noted in his cross-examination of Geesey that the policy was adopted over the objections of Dover High School's science teachers. "The only people in the school district with a scientific background were opposed to intelligent design ... and you ignored them?" he asked. "Yes," Geesey said. ... [Also at MSNBC & York Daily Record. Ideally, Geesey should have herself "independently researched the concept" of ID, although just because she had not done so does not mean she knew nothing about ID and the problems of evolution. And it is possible to make the right decision for the wrong reasons. If intelligent design is true, then the "people in the school district with a scientific background [who] were opposed to intelligent design" are wrong. Board members are presumably elected to represent the public, and polls (e.g. Gallup) show that ~80% of the public reject what these "people in the school district with a scientific background" who "were opposed to intelligent design" stand for:

"... the standard scientific theory [of evolution] that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process.'" (Shermer M.B., "The Gradual Illumination of the Mind," Scientific American, February 2002. My emphasis).

But again, I cannot see how this will carry much weight with the judge, although I think the Dover Board were way over their depth and in their efforts to move from an original creationist to an ID position, do not come across as squeaky clean. It needs to be reiterated that the Discovery Institute did not agree with the Dover board's approach. The danger for ID is that the judge in finding fault with the Dover board, may rule against ID itself, although I doubt that will happen. Indeed, the Dover board's confusion between creationism and ID may be a blessing in disguise because it will enable the judge to clarify the distinction between creationism (based on the Bible = religious) and ID (based on nature = scientific).

I spent yesterday afternoon reading several hundred pages of the transcripts of Mike Behe's testimony on October 17th AM & PM; 18th AM & PM; and 19th AM & PM. I highly recommend it as the latest on Behe's thinking about ID and IC (irreducible complexity). Behe more than held his own under intense questioning by the ACLU's counsel, Eric Rothschild (who the media never seems to mention is a member of the Legal Advisory Board of the NCSE). Here are some nice quotes that Behe cited in his testimony:

"But there is a bigger problem. Most biochemists have only a meagre understanding of, or interest in, evolution. As Behe points out, for the thousandplus scholarly articles on the biochemistry of cilia, he could find only a handful that seriously addressed evolution. This indifference is universal. Pick up any biochemistry textbook, and you will find perhaps two or three references to evolution. Turn to one of these and you will be lucky to find anything better than `evolution selects the fittest molecules for their biological function.'" (Pomiankowski A., "The God of the tiny gaps. Review of "Darwin's Black Box" by Michael Behe, New Scientist, Vol 151, 14 September 1996, pp.44- 45, p.45)
"The fundamental postulate is that unduplipodia and other multimolecular mechanisms arose, like the human eye, by the progressive accretion of ancillary proteins onto some rudiment or foundation that was functionally useful but need not have been an organ of motility. This amplification took place, one gene at a time, under the guidance of natural selection: each modification conferred at least a small selective benefit. On this premise, one can construct schemes that sound plausible and account, in principle, for the origins of crawling motility, mitosis or the secretory pathway. We have no better alternative to offer the inquirer, and in the absence of time travel we may never discover what actually happened; and so a modicum of doubt necessarily persists. We should reject, as a matter of principle, the substitution of intelligent design for the dialogue of chance and necessity; but we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations." (Harold F.M., "The Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms, and the Order of Life," Oxford University Press: New York NY, 2003, pp.204-205)
"I want to continue to examine biochemical evolution because Behe's central contention is one that I enthusiastically endorse. If Darwinism cannot explain the interlocking complexity of biochemistry, then it is doomed. " (Miller K.R., "Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution," [1999], HarperCollins: New York NY, 2000, reprint, p.143)
"THE BRILLIANT theoretical physicist Richard Feynman is rumoured to have said, `If you think you understand quantum theory, you don't understand quantum theory.' I am tempted by an evolutionist's equivalent: `If you think you understand sex, you don't understand sex: The three modern Darwinians from whom I believe we have the most to learn - John Maynard Smith, W D. Hamilton and George C. Williams - all devoted substantial parts of their long careers to wrestling with sex. Williams began his 1975 book Sex and Evolution with a challenge to himself: `This book is written from a conviction that the prevalence of sexual reproduction in higher plants and animals is inconsistent with current evolutionary theory ... there is a kind of crisis at hand in evolutionary biology ..:' [Williams G.C., "Sex and Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1975, p.v] Maynard Smith and Hamilton said similar things. It is to resolve this crisis that all three Darwinian heroes, along with others of the rising generation, laboured. I shall not attempt an account of their efforts, and certainly I have no rival solution to offer myself." (Dawkins R., "The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, 2004, p.424)]

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The case of Darwin vs God vs the US Constitution, etc

Here are news items about the Dover case, Kitzmiller, et al v. Dover School District, et al, with my comments in square brackets.

The case of Darwin vs God vs the US Constitution, Daily Telegraph, 25 October 2005, Robert Matthews ... When the school board of Dover, Pennsylvania, voted last year to tweak its biology curriculum, it could not have imagined the outcome. Its members now have plenty of time to contemplate their decision, as they sit in court while experts debate bacteria, genetics and violation of the United States Constitution. The board is being sued by parents for including "intelligent design theory" (IDT) in its biology lessons. According to the parents, IDT is religious creationism dressed up as science, and thus violates the separation of state and religion required under the First Amendment. However, according to its supporters, IDT is a challenge to Darwinian evolution. IDT focuses on examples of the wonders of nature claimed to be inexplicable by anything other than the existence of a Grand Designer. In court last week, Michael Behe, a biochemistry professor and proponent of IDT, highlighted the case of the flagellum, the whip-like propulsion unit used by some bacteria. Its intricate design requires a host of separate components - and thus, according to Darwinian evolution, many different genes. The trouble is, many of those components seem useless by themselves, so it's far from clear why their genes should have survived the ruthless processes of natural selection. All of which, according to IDT advocates such as Prof Behe, leaves us with a choice. Either all these useless genes are the product of some staggeringly rare coincidence that just happened to produce the flagellum - or else they were given a helping hand by an Intelligent Designer - to wit, God. IDT thus boils down to a simple question of probabilities: which is more likely - the amazingly unlikely coincidence, or the existence of God? Hard-nosed atheists put the probability of the existence of God at precisely zero. Darwinians, meanwhile, contend that those "useless" components may once have served some crucial but as-yet undiscovered purpose. Either way, IDT forces everyone to think harder. Which is surely no bad thing, even under the US Constitution. ... [This is a good article, but spoilt by a straw man fallacy. ID does not claim the "Intelligent Designer" was "God." ID merelly claims that the bacterial flagellum is designed, i.e. the product of intelligence (as opposed to unintelligent natural processes). To be sure, IDists who are Christians like Behe (and me), assume that the designer is God, but as Behe pointed out (and Matthews must know) that conclusion is "based on theological and philosophical and historical factors":

"The intelligent design concept does not name the designer, although Behe, a Roman Catholic, testified he personally believes it to be God. `I conclude that based on theological and philosophical and historical factors,' he said." ("Professor: Evolution cannot fully explain biology," CNN, October 18, 2005).

Notice how Darwinism is unfalsifiable: "Darwinians .... contend that those `useless' components may once have served some crucial but as-yet undiscovered purpose." How can that ever be falsified? BTW, if "Hard-nosed atheists" really did "put the probability of the existence of God at precisely zero" then they would not bother wasting their time arguing against Him! ]

Former school board member denies references to `creationism', Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 27, 2005, Amy Worden ... HARRISBURG - A former Dover school board member today testified in federal court that the word "creationism" was never used by any board members before they approved a science curriculum policy change, despite witnesses' reports, board documents, and newspaper accounts stating otherwise. William Buckingham, who was called by plaintiffs' attorneys this morning as a hostile witness, said he and other board members referred only to "intelligent design" when they spoke of the need for the introduction of other scientific theories to balance evolution in high school biology classes. Buckingham, the former head of the board's curriculum committee, has been identified by witnesses and in newspaper accounts as the force behind the board's effort to introduce creationism into the classroom. At least six witnesses said they heard Buckingham make statements at school board meetings referring to Christ and creationism when discussing the proposed curriculum change. Witnesses and newspaper reports quote Buckingham as saying, "Two thousand years ago someone died on the cross, isn't someone going to stand up for him?" Under questioning by attorney Steve Harvey, Buckingham said he made that comment and others referring to the United States as a country "founded on Christianity" much earlier at a discussion of the "under God" reference in the pledge of allegiance. Harvey also pressed Buckingham on the months-long delay in ordering ninth-grade biology textbooks, leaving the science department without enough books for each student to take home. "Did you delay the approval because of the book's treatment of evolution?" Harvey asked. "That had some weight, yes," said Buckingham, who took the stand wearing a cross-shaped lapel pin with an American flag motif etched in it. ... [Unless there was a news story or some other record of this at the time, then presumably this is just inadmissible hearsay? However, see below where Buckingham was forced to admit that he did at least say in a TV interview after a meeting of "Darwin [that] ... you have to balance it with something else, such as creationism."]

Ex-School Trustee 'Misspoke' on Evolution: Former School Board Member Says He 'Misspoke' in Advocating Creationism in TV Interview, ABC News/AP, Martha Raffaele. ... HARRISBURG, Pa. Oct 27, 2005 - A former school board member who denied saying creationism should be taught alongside evolution in high school biology classes changed his story Thursday after being confronted in court with TV news footage of him making such comments. William Buckingham explained that he "misspoke" during the TV interview. .... Earlier in Thursday's court session, Buckingham claimed that he had been misquoted in stories from two newspapers that reported he advocated the teaching of creationism to counterbalance the biology textbook's material on evolution. But the plaintiffs' lawyers confronted Buckingham with a 2004 interview he gave to a news crew from WPMT-TV in York. "It's OK to teach Darwin," he said in the interview, "but you have to balance it with something else, such as creationism." Asked to explain in court, Buckingham said that he felt "ambushed" by the camera crew as he walked to his car. "I had it in my mind to make sure not to talk about creationism. I had it on my mind. I was like a deer in the headlights. I misspoke," he said. ... Creationism flip-flop comes up in trial, MSNBC, Oct. 27, 2005 ... When Stephen Harvey, the plaintiffs' lawyer, noted the similarity of the newspaper reports to what he told the TV crew, Buckingham replied, "That doesn't mean it's accurate." Buckingham moved to North Carolina in July and resigned from the board, citing health problems. ... [Also by CBS, Seattle Times & Guardian. Ex-board member Buckingham may be telling the truth that he never mentioned "Christianity" or "creationism" in the context of deliberations about the Dover board's statement, but quite frankly the previous article gives reason to doubt it. He didn't look "ambushed" to me in the interview. And if Buckingham "had it in [his]...mind to make sure not to talk about creationism" then it sounds like that was what he was really thinking of! However, just because one ex-member had difficulty in keeping separate in his mind creationism and ID, that should not cause the judge to conclude that ID is creationism. That would be to commit the genetic fallacy:

"TO argue that a claim is true or false on the basis of its origin is to commit the genetic fallacy. For example: 'Jones's idea is the result of a mystical experience, so it must be false (or true).' Or: 'Jane got that message from a Ouija board, so it must be false (or true).' These arguments are fallacious because the origin of a claim is irrelevant to its truth or falsity. Some of our greatest advances have originated in unusual ways. For example, the chemist August Kekule discovered the benzene ring while staring at a fire and seeing the image of a serpent biting its tail. The theory of evolution came to British naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace while in a delirium. Archimedes supposedly arrived at the principle of displacement while taking a bath, from which he leapt shouting, `Eureka!' The truth or falsity of an idea is determined not by where it came from, but by the evidence supporting it." (Schick T. & Vaughn L., "How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age," Mayfield: Mountain View CA, California, Second edition, 1995, p.287).
Rather, "The court, and more broadly the scientific establishment ... must evaluate the scientific claims of I.D. on their merits, not condemning them by association with their religious roots or boosters":
"As Thompson begins his cross-examination, he instinctively looks, and grins, at the jury box, where the press is sitting. `Just because you can trace an idea back to antiquity does not in and of itself make that idea invalid, does it?' Thompson asks Haught. `No,' Haught says. `Because a theory belongs to an individual of a certain faith doesn't make that theory invalid does it?' continues Thompson. No, says Haught, pointing out that many evolutionists hold various faiths or no faith at all. `It would be a fallacy to say that a scientific theory was invalid just because it comes from one particular tradition or another, wouldn't it?' `Yes.' Thompson reads from Haught's book `Deeper Than Darwin,' in which the theologian writes that proponents of I.D. are often highly trained and skilled scientists, that they are no more or less intelligent than their counterparts in evolutionary biology, and that they are neither stupid nor insane. All true, acknowledges Haught. Thompson goes to another of Haught's books and reads a section in which the theologian criticizes Robert Pennock, a Michigan State philosopher who had testified against I.D. two days earlier. In the passage, Haught takes Pennock to task for `misleading the public by conflating ID and creationism.' `And yet you have said today that they are the same. Are they the same or not?' asks Thompson. `They are not exactly the same,' says Haught, his lips trembling, clearly perturbed. Thompson reads the final sentence from an early edition of Darwin's `On the Origin of Species': `There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one ... from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.' So, Thompson asks, should Darwin's `On the Origin of Species' be kept outside the science classroom because it talks about the Creator with a capital `C' breathing life into early forms? `No,' concedes Haught. Thompson then gets Haught to agree that several luminary evolutionary biologists draw metaphysical conclusions from their studies of evolution. `Yes, [Richard] Dawkins, [Edward O.] Wilson, and [Stephen Jay] Gould carelessly conflate their science with materialist ideology,' says Haught. (Materialism is the belief that reality is composed only of matter and nothing supernatural exists, except in imaginations.) `Should their work be banned from science classrooms?' `No.' The shape of Thompson's case is beginning to emerge and Judge Jones, suddenly sitting up attentively and tipping his head toward the lawyer, seems to be taking notice. The court, and more broadly the scientific establishment, Thompson argues, must evaluate the scientific claims of I.D. on their merits, not condemning them by association with their religious roots or boosters. And those I.D. claims, he is implying, are already engaged by evolutionary scientists in debate. And that engagement itself is proof of a scientific controversy worthy of teaching in schools." (Slack G., "Intelligent designer," The Thomas More Law Center, October 20, 2005)]
If this is the best evidence that the anti-IDist side can find that ID is merely Biblical creationism, then they have failed to make their case!]

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Re: Atheism -> Christianity? Wrong direction, sir!

AN (copy, minus your personal identifying information, to my blog CED)

Further to my message yesterday, in which I stated that after more than a decade (1994-2005) of debating atheists like yourself and never having made the slightest difference to even one, I had decided in July to cease debating and terminated my list CED in favour of writing my book "Problems of Evolution" and posting to my blog CED. However, as I have done in the past, I have decided to answer your questions to my blog, after removing your personal identifying information, since that might be of interest to others. This is not a change of my mind about the futility of debating with atheists like yourself, so again please do not send me any more private messages.

----- Original Message -----
From: AN
To: Stephen E. Jones
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2005 9:05 PM
Subject: Atheism -
Christianity? Wrong direction, sir!

AN>Dear Stephen
>I came across your web site and was very interested to read how someone with a Biological sciences degree could possibly have moved from atheism to Christianity.
>You put it like this?
>`I was raised in a non-Christian home and in my early teens became an atheist. However, when I realised from reading Bertrand Russell 1 that the universe would inevitably grow too cold for life and it would one day be as though mankind had never existed, I became depressed about the meaninglessness of life and contemplated suicide. One night I looked up at the Milky Way and the feeling came over me that with all this order and beauty, there must be a God. So from that moment I was no longer an atheist, but what I now recognise is deism (God created the universe, but does not intervene in it). So I could not see how I could ever know anything more about God than that he was the Creator, so life still seemed meaningless.'
>So, after looking up at the Milky Way, a `feeling' came over you? Is that all? It strikes me as not being a very scientific response to abandon all your scientific education and just dump it all just because of a feeling. I've experienced lots of feelings and none has ever made me delude myself that some all powerful spirit is watching down on me. Is there something you're not telling us?

As I explained yesterday, it was when I was a teenager in the 1960's that I was an atheist, and then became a deist from the evidence of design in nature, eventually becoming a Christian in my early 20s. I completed my biology degree only last year at the age of 58. I have now clarified that part of my testimony.

My intuitive "feeling" in my mid-teens that the universe must be designed, and there must be a God, is no worse than you coming to believe at "the age of eight" that there was no God (see below). It is in fact similar to Darwin's "conviction" (which he even says is "connected with the reason and not with the feelings"), based on "the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe ... as the result of blind chance or necessity":

"Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far back wards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man ; and I deserve to be called a Theist." (Darwin C.R., in Barlow N., ed., "The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882: With Original Omissions Restored," [1958], W.W. Norton & Co: New York, 1969, reprint, pp.92-93)
AN>A number of questions:
>1) Exactly HOW did this `God' of yours create the universe?

The Bible says God simply commanded it to be:

Psalm 33:6,9 "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. ... For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm."

The Christian philosopher Richard Swinburne has theorised that God acts by what he calls "basic actions", i.e. an action that does not require any other actions to make it happen:

"A basic action is one which a person does intentionally just like that and not by doing any other intentional action. My going from Oxford to London is a non-basic action, because I do it by doing various other actions going to the station, getting on the train, etc. But squeezing my hand or moving my leg and even saying 'this' are basic actions. I just do them, not by doing any other intentional act. (True, certain events have to happen in my body my nerves have to transmit impulses if I am to perform the basic action. But these are not events which I bring about intentionally. They just happen I may not even know about them.) By a basic power I mean a power to perform a basic action. We humans have similar basic powers to each other. They are normally confined to powers of thought and powers over the small chunk of matter which each of us calls his or her body. I can only produce effects in the world outside my body by doing something intentional with my body. I can open a door by grasping the handle with my hand and pulling it towards me; or l can get you to know something by using my mouth to tell you something. When l produce some effect intentionally (e.g. the door being open) by doing some other action (e.g. pulling it towards me), doing the former is performing a nonbasic action. When I go to London, or write a book, or even put a screw into a wall, these are non-basic actions which I do by doing some basic actions. When I perform any intentional action, I seek thereby to achieve some purpose normally one beyond the mere performance of the action itself (I open a door in order to be able to leave the room), but sometime simply the performance of the action itself (as when I sing for its own sake). ... God's basic powers are supposed to be infinite: he can bring about as a basic action any event he chooses, and he does not need bones or muscles to operate in certain ways in order to do so. He can bring objects, including material objects, into existence and keep them in existence from moment to moment. We can imagine finding ourselves having a basic power not merely to move objects, but to create them instantaneously for example the power to make a pen or a rabbit come into existence; and to keep them in existence and then let them no longer exist. There is no contradiction in this supposition, but of course in fact no human has such a power. What the theist claims about God is that he does have a power to create, conserve, or annihilate anything, big or small. And he can also make objects move or do anything else. He can make them attract or repel each other, in the way that scientists have discovered that they do, and make them cause other objects to do or suffer various things: he can make the planets move in the way that Kepler discovered that they move, or make gunpowder explode when we set a match to it; or he can make planets move in quite different ways, and chemical substances explode or not explode under quite different conditions from those which now govern their behaviour. God is not limited by the laws of nature; he makes them and he can change or suspend them-if he chooses." (Swinburne R.G., "Is There a God?," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1996, pp.5-6)

An example of this was where Jesus commanded a storm on a lake to be still and it instantly obeyed Him:

Mark 4:35-41 "That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

AN>2) If your `God' did create it, why does it (why do you assume it is a `he', by the way? - a bit sexist, isn't it?) NOT intervene?

The Bible uses the personal pronoun "He" of God. But it also says in Genesis 1:27 that man as "male and female" is "in the image of God":

Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

Therefore, I (along with evangelical theologians I have read) assume that God is both male and female, and the use of the male personal pronoun is a literary convention. Interestingly, your fellow atheist Richard Dawkins defends the literary convention of using the male personal pronoun when speaking of humans:

"I am distressed to find that some women friends (fortunately not many) treat the use of the impersonal masculine pronoun as if it showed intention to exclude them. If there were any excluding to be done (happily there isn't) I think I would sooner exclude men, but when I once tentatively tried referring to my abstract reader as 'she', a feminist denounced me for patronizing condescension: I ought to say 'he-or-she', and 'his-or-her'. That is easy to do if you don't care about language, but then if you don't care about language you don't deserve readers of either sex. Here, I have returned to the normal conventions of English pronouns. I may refer to the 'reader' as 'he', but I no more think of my readers as specifically male than a French speaker thinks of a table as female. As a matter of fact I believe I do, more often than not, think of my readers as female, but that is my personal affair and I'd hate to think that such considerations impinged on how I use my native language." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," [1986], Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, pp.xvi-xvii)

AN>3) If this `God' of yours created the universe, who or what created God?

The simple answer to this schoolboy question is, of course, that God is eternal and He created everything else. In fact the question is a category mistake:

"Some may also object that if we hold that all events need causes, then what caused God? But we can consistently hold that all events need causes and that God does not need a cause because God is not an event. Furthermore, the question `What or who made God?' is a pointless category fallacy, like the question `What color is the note C?' The question `what made X?' can only be asked of Xs that are by definition makeable. But God, if he exists at all, is a necessary being, the uncreated Creator of all else. This definition is what theists mean by `God,' even if it turns out that no God exists. Now, if that is what `God' means, that the question `What made God?' turns out to be `What made an entity, God, who is by definition unmakeable?" (Moreland J.P., ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1994, p.22)

There are in fact only three options: 1. the universe popped into existence from absolutely nothing; 2. the universe has always existed; or 3. the universe was created by something or someone who is not the universe and has always existed.

Few (if anyone) maintains 1., and in fact it is empirically indistinguishable from 3. Most (if not all) atheist (like yourself) maintain 2. Theists (like me) maintain 3. If the atheist thinks the question "who or what made God?" is a problem for theism, then if he is fair-minded (assuming that is not an oxymoron!), he should admit that the question "who or what made the universe?" is a problem for atheism. If the atheist answers, "no one - it has always existed", then he cannot object to the theist's same answer to the atheist's question "who or what made God?", "no one - He has always existed".

AN>4) As your idea of `God' is not the same as millions of other people who have all, independently, come up with their own, very different version over the millennia, doesn't it lead you to think that this phenomenon is just a function of the human mind? Isn't it rather obvious that `God' is a man made phenomenon, and not the other way round?

At this level of explanation, i.e. option 3., "my idea of `God'" is "the same as millions of other people". In fact it is the same as everyone's including atheists like yourself. As Christian theologian Clark Pinnock points out, "No-one can honestly say that he does not know what the term `God' refers to":

"Even though he is transcendent, God `has never left himself without witness' (Acts 14:17). No-one can honestly say that he does not know what the term `God' refers to. The Bible tells us that God's eternal power and deity can be clearly perceived in the things God made (Rom. 1:20)." (Pinnock C.H., "Revelation," in Ferguson S.B., Wright D.F. & Packer J.I., eds., "New Dictionary of Theology," Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, 1988, p.585. My emphasis).

Athiest since the age of eight.

Apart from the fact that a belief which one formed at "the age of eight" is no great recommendation of its validity (courts in most countries do not hold children accountable for acting on their beliefs until they are twice that age), I could suggest you learn how to spell your position, i.e. it is not "athiest" but "atheist" (Greek a = "no " + theos = "God", hence "no God"), but from your name, perhaps English is not your first language?

Finally, as for the subject line of your post: "Atheism -> Christianity? Wrong direction, sir!", I often answered atheists with my version of Pascal's Wager:

"Yes, but you must wager. There is no choice, you are already committed. Which will you choose then? Let us see: since a choice must be made, let us see which offers you the least interest. You have two things to lose: the true and the good; and two things to stake: your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to avoid: error and wretchedness. Since you must necessarily choose, your reason is no more affronted by choosing one rather than the other. That is one point cleared up. But your happiness? Let us weigh up the gain and the loss involved in calling heads that God exists. Let us assess the two cases: if you win you win everything, if you lose you lose nothing." (Pascal B., "Pensees," 418, [1670], Krailsheimer A.J., Transl., Penguin: London, Revised edition, 1966, p.123)

Which is, given that neither the atheist, nor the Christian, can absolutely prove his position is true, the consequences for the atheist and the Christian if either's position is true, can be worked out. That is, if atheism is true, then the atheist and Christian will die and neither will know that the atheist was right. On the other hand, if Christianity is true, then the atheist and Christian will die and both will know that the Christian was right. Morever, if the atheist was right, he would have gained nothing and the Christian would have lost nothing. But if the Christian was right, the atheist would have lost everythin and the Christian would have gained everything. The choice is yours.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

CBS Poll: Majority Reject Evolution, etc

Here are news items with my comments in square brackets.

CBS Poll: Majority Reject Evolution, CBS, New York, Oct. 23, 2005 ... Most Americans do not accept the theory of evolution. Instead, 51 percent of Americans say God created humans in their present form, and another three in 10 say that while humans evolved, God guided the process. Just 15 percent say humans evolved, and that God was not involved. These views are similar to what they were in November 2004 shortly after the presidential election. ... This question on the origin of human beings, asked both this month and in November 2004, offered the public three alternatives: 1. Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, and God did not directly guide this process; 2. Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, but God guided this process; or 3. God created human beings in their present form. The results were not much different between the answers to that question and those given when a specific timeline was included in the final alternative: God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years. Americans most likely to believe in only evolution are liberals (36 percent), those who rarely or never attend religious services (25 percent), and those with a college degree or higher (24 percent). White evangelicals (77 percent), weekly churchgoers (74 percent) and conservatives (64 percent), are mostly likely to say God created humans in their present form. Still, most Americans think it is possible to believe in both God and evolution. Sixty-seven percent say this is possible, while 29 percent disagree. Most demographic groups say it is possible to believe in both God and evolution, but just over half of white evangelical Christians say it is not possible. ... Opinions on this question are tied to one’s views on the origin of human beings. Those who believe in evolution, whether guided by God or not, overwhelmingly think it is possible to believe in both God and evolution - 90 percent say this. However, people who believe God created humans in their present form are more divided: 48 percent think it possible to believe in both God and evolution, but the same number disagrees. ... This poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 808 adults, interviewed by telephone October 3-5, 2005. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. ... [See also WorldNetDaily & Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. This continues the bad news for the ~15% minority adherents of "the standard scientific theory [of evolution] that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process" (my emphasis):

"In one of the most existentially penetrating statements ever made by a scientist, Richard Dawkins concluded that `the universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.' Facing such a reality, perhaps we should not be surprised at the results of a 2001 Gallup poll confirming that 45 percent of Americans believe `God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so'; 37 percent prefer a blended belief that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process'; and a paltry 12 percent accept the standard scientific theory that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process.'" (Shermer M.B., "The Gradual Illumination of the Mind," Scientific American, February 2002. My emphasis)

The majority ~81% who reject that "standard scientific theory [of evolution]" and believe that God did have a part in this process (whether by special creation or God-guided evolution) are potential supporters of ID, or at least its teach the controversy position.]

'Intelligent design' supporters gather, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 24, 2005, Ondrej Hejma ... Prague, Czech Republic -- Hundreds of supporters of "intelligent design" theory gathered in Prague in the first such conference in eastern Europe, but Czech scholars boycotted the event insisting it had no scientific credence. About 700 scientists from Africa, Europe and the United States attended Saturday's "Darwin and Design" conference to press their contention that evolution cannot fully explain the origins of life or the emergence of highly complex species. "It is a step beyond Darwin," said Carole Thaxton of Atlanta, a biologist who lived with her husband, Charles, in Prague in the 1990s and was one of the organizers of the event. "The point is to show that there in fact is intelligence in the universe," she said. The participants, who included experts in mathematics, molecular biology and biochemistry, "are all people who independently came to the same conclusion," she said. Among the panelists was Stephen C. Meyer, a fellow at the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that represents many scholars who support intelligent design. He said intelligent design was "based upon scientific evidence and discoveries in fields such as biochemistry, molecular biology, paleontology and astrophysics." Many leading Czech thinkers, however, boycotted the conference, insisting the theory - which is being debated in the United States - is scientifically groundless. Intelligent design holds that life is too complex to have developed through evolution, implying a higher power must have had a hand. Critics contend it is repackaged creationism and improper to include in modern scientific education. Vaclav Paces, chairman of the Czech Academy of Sciences, called the conference "useless." "The fact that we cannot yet explain the origin of life on Earth does not mean that there is (a) God who created it," Paces was quoted ... [See also "Daring to challenge Darwin" in The Prague Post. This is an important step in the internationalisation of ID. Check (no pun intended!) out the Unlocking the Mysteries of Life promotional video. It is significant how the anti-IDists like this Vaclav Paces assume that the designer is "God" when ID itself makes no such claim, but merely that there is evidence of design in nature. This shows that the opposition to ID is not based on science but the individual scientist's own personal anti-religious philosophy. Note Paces' unfalsifiable "promissory materialism" in his "The fact that we cannot yet explain the origin of life on Earth" (my emphasis):

"As we have seen, many of the most important assumptions underlying the idea that life originated by nonintelligent processes do not correspond to the facts of science, and are not supported by sound reasoning from those facts. Some scientists protest such statements, maintaining that in the future discoveries will be made that will essentially circumvent present findings. This idea has been called `promissory materialism' And while no one can say for sure that this won't happen, science cannot confidently proceed by discounting what is known in favor of hoped-for future discoveries. On the other hand, the experimental work on the origin of life and the molecular biology of living cells is consistent with the hypothesis of intelligent design. What makes this interpretation so compelling is the amazing correlation between the structure of informational molecules (DNA, protein) and our universal experience that such sequences are the result of intelligent causes. This parallel strongly suggests that life itself owes its origin to a master intellect." (Davis P. & Kenyon D.H., "Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins," Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, Second edition, 1993, p.58).
Such "promissory materialism" is actually a form of the argument from ignorance, "that a proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proved false":
"Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (argument from ignorance) The fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam ... is committed whenever it is argued that a proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proved false, or that it is false because it has not been proved true. But our ignorance of how to prove or disprove a proposition clearly does not establish either the truth or the falsehood of that proposition. ... A qualification should be made at this point. In some circumstances it can safely be assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence for it would have been discovered by qualified investigators. In such a case it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its nonoccurrence. Of course, the proof here is not based on ignorance but on our knowledge that if it had occurred it would be known. For example, if a serious security investigation fails to unearth any evidence that Mr. X is a foreign agent, it would be wrong to conclude that their research has left us ignorant. It has rather established that Mr. X is not one. Failure to draw such conclusions is the other side of the bad coin of innuendo, as when one says of a man that there is `no proof' that he is a scoundrel. In some cases not to draw a conclusion is as much a breach of correct reasoning as it would be to draw a mistaken conclusion." (Copi I.M., Introduction to Logic," [1953], Macmillan: New York NY, Seventh edition, 1986, pp.94-95).
Paces' admission that (after more than a half-century of origins of life research, a science based on the paradigm of materialism-naturalism still) "cannot ... explain the origin of life on Earth" is evidence that the materialist-naturalist paradigm is wrong! As Copi pointed out above, "if a certain event [a materialistic-naturalistic origin of life] had occurred, evidence for it would have been discovered by qualified investigators" as they confidently predicted over 40 years ago:
"Until comparatively recently, botany and probably most biologists agreed with Darwin that the problem of the origin of life was not yet amenable to scientific study. Now, however, almost all biologists agree that the problem can be attacked scientifically. The consensus is that life did arise naturally from the nonliving and that even the first living things were not specially created. The conclusion has, indeed, really become inescapable, for the first steps in that process have already been repeated in several laboratories. There is concerted study from geochemical, biochemical, and microbiological approaches. At a recent meeting in Chicago, a highly distinguished international panel of experts was polled. All considered the experimental production of life in the laboratory imminent, and one maintained that this has already been done-his opinion was not based on a disagreement about the facts but on a definition as to just where, in a continuous sequence, life can be said to begin." (Simpson G.G., "The World into Which Darwin Led Us," Science, Vol. 131, No. 3405, 1 April 1960, pp.966-974, p.969)
then "In such a case it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its nonoccurrence" since "the proof here is not based on ignorance but on our knowledge that if it had occurred it would be known."]

Seeing Creation and Evolution in Grand Canyon, The New York Times, Jodi Wilgoren, October 6, 2005 Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. - Tom Vail, who has been leading rafting trips down the Colorado River here for 23 years, corralled his charges under a rocky outcrop at Carbon Creek and pointed out the remarkable 90-degree folds in the cliff overhead. Geologists date this sandstone to 550 million years ago and explain the folding as a result of pressure from shifting faults underneath. But to Mr. Vail, the folds suggest the Grand Canyon was carved 4,500 years ago by the great global flood described in Genesis as God's punishment for humanity's sin. "You see any cracks in that?" he asked. "Instead of bending like that, it should have cracked." The material "had to be soft" to bend, Mr. Vail said, imagining its formation in the flood. When somebody suggested that pressure over time could create plasticity in the rocks, Mr. Vail said, "That's just a theory." "It's all theory, right?" asked Jack Aiken, 63, an Assemblies of God minister in Alaska who has a master's degree in geology. "Except what's in the Good Book." For Mr. Vail and 29 guests on his Canyon Ministries trip, this was vacation as religious pilgrimage, an expedition in search of evidence that God created the earth in six days 6,000 years ago, just as Scripture says. That same week, a few miles upriver, a decidedly different group of 24 rafters surveyed the same rock formations - but through the lens of science rather than what Mr. Vail calls "biblical glasses." Sponsored by the National Center for Science Education, the chief challenger to creationists' influence in public schools, this trip was a floating geology seminar, charting the canyon's evolution through eons of erosion. "Look at the weathering, look at the size of the pieces," Eugenie C. Scott, the center director, said of markings in Black Tail Canyon. "To a standard geologist, to somebody who actually studies geology, this just shouts out at you: This is really old; this is really gradual." Two groups examining the same evidence. Traveling nearly identical itineraries, snoozing under the same stars and bathing in the same chocolate-colored river. Yet, standing at opposite ends of the growing creation-evolution debate, they seemed to speak in different tongues. Science unequivocally dates the earth's age at 4.5 billion years, and the canyon's layers at some two billion years. Even the intelligent design movement, which argues that evolution alone cannot explain life's complexity, does not challenge the long history of the earth. But a core of creationists like Mr. Vail continue to champion a Bible-based theory of the canyon's carving. And polls show many Americans are unconvinced by scientific knowledge. Though it did not ask specifically about the global flood or six-day creation, a November 2004 Gallup survey found that a third of the public believes the Bible is the actual word of God that should be taken literally and that 45 percent think God created human beings "pretty much in their present form" within the last 10,000 years. Gallup found in another poll that 5 percent of scientists, and fewer than 1 percent of earth and life scientists, adopted the "Young Earth" view. The twin rafting trips epitomize the parallel universes often inhabited by Americans with polarized positions. .... After each "geology moment," Dr. Scott play-acted the creationists, saying sarcastically of their evidence, "My part of the lesson is always a lot shorter and less detailed." .... Dr. Scott, 59, first chartered a canyon expedition in 1999. A former professor of physical anthropology, she has run the National Center for Science Education, a 3,800-member advocacy group based in Oakland, Calif., for 17 years. .... "I won't defend evolution," Dr. Scott said in exasperation one evening. "We don't defend the spherical Earth. We need to stop defending, as they put it, Darwinism, and just make them show they have a scientific view." ... Dr. Scott and others cringe at creationists' charge that Darwin's theories have become dogmatic faith, that creationism and evolution are just two parallel belief systems, equally plausible and unprovable. "We have faith in science, but it's not a religion," said Herb Masters ... Alan Gishlick, with silver-painted toenails sticking out of his Tevas and a shoulder tattoo of a Buddhist word puzzle meaning "Knowledge makes me content," said he was a "devout Christian." "Ultimately, creationism is not just bad science to me, it's bad Christianity, it's Bible worship," said Mr. Gishlick, 32, a paleontology Ph.D. "There's just no reason to look at these patterns of layered sediment, or in the fossil record, or at the stars, and think that what you're seeing isn't what you're seeing. God doesn't require you to be stupid, to deny what you see, to deny what you know." ... Some around the circle complained about the credence being given to the creationist argument in order to answer it. "I don't really care how they reconcile Noah's flood with scientific things - it's about religion," protested Mary Murray .... "We shouldn't be talking about religion at all in the public schools." Through four days, Mr. Vail mentioned public schools only once, saying that 80 percent of Christians walked away from their faith when studying science that confounded the creation story. "It's foundational to our faith," he said ... "We're raising a generation of confused children, and it's the public schools that are doing it!" ... [This is an example of what Phil Johnson called, " the `official caricature' of the creation-evolution debate ... Everyone accepts the truth of evolution except ... biblical fundamentalists, who insist that the earth is no more than ten thousand years old and the fossil beds were laid down in Noah's flood":

"A laudatory review of Weiner's book (The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time) appeared in the [New York] Times book review section a week later. Like Weiner's essay, it began by commenting on the astonishing persistence of biblical creationism among persons who appear to be otherwise perfectly reasonable. The reviewer attributed this to a lack of knowledge of the overwhelming proof of evolution which scientists have discovered. ... The Weiner article and book review illustrate what I would call the `official caricature' of the creation-evolution debate, a distortion that is either explicit or implicit in nearly all media and textbook treatments of the subject. According to the caricature, `evolution' is a simple, unitary process that one can see in operation today and that is also supported unequivocally by all the fossil evidence. Everyone accepts the truth of evolution except a disturbingly large group of biblical fundamentalists, who insist that the earth is no more than ten thousand years old and the fossil beds were laid down in Noah's flood. These baffling persons either are uninformed about the evidence or perhaps choose to disregard it as a temptation placed before us by God to test our faith in Genesis. There is no conceivable intellectual basis for their dissent, because the evidence for evolution is absolutely conclusive." (Johnson P.E., "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1995, pp.72-73).
Note also Scott's use of the fallacy of false analogy in,"I won't defend evolution ... We don't defend the spherical Earth" (and her insincerity in adding "We need to ...make them show they have a scientific view" when she rules that out a priori even of Intelligent Design, which does not even depend on the Bible but only on the evidence of nature!). But what Scott would need to show is that "evolution" and "the spherical earth" "resemble each other in important respects and differ only in trifling ways":
"The Fallacy of False Analogy. Few techniques of reasoning are so potentially useful-or so potentially dangerous-as analogy. When we reason by analogy we attempt to advance our position by likening an obscure or difficult set of facts to one that is already known and understood and to which it bears a significant resemblance. The fallacy of false analogy arises when the comparison is an erroneous one that distorts the facts in the case being argued. Drawing attention to likenesses can be extremely useful so long as the two things being compared resemble each other in important respects and differ only in trifling ways. If, on the contrary, they are alike in unimportant ways and different in important ways, then there is no valid analogy between them and a fallacy of false analogy results. Merely to seize upon some slight similarity as a basis for concluding that what is true of one is also true of the other will usually lead one astray. ... To expose a false analogy-or an imperfect analogy, as it is sometimes called-it is necessary to establish that the two things being compared resemble each other in insignificant ways, while they differ in significant ways." (Engel S.M., "With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, Fourth Edition, 1990, pp.150-151).
If Gishlick really was a "devout Christian" (in my 38 years a Christian I have never yet met a Christian who calls him/herself "devout") who believed in "God" then he would believe that the twin philosophical assumptions underpinning evolution, materialism (matter is all there is = there is no God) and naturalism (nature is all there is = there is no supernatural = there is no God) are false! I have added this quote of Scott's:
"`I won't defend evolution,' Dr. Scott said in exasperation one evening. `We don't defend the spherical Earth.'" (Wilgoren J., "Seeing Creation and Evolution in Grand Canyon," The New York Times, October 6, 2005)
and Dembski's, "how many physicists, while arguing for the truth of Einsteinian physics, will claim that general relativity is as well established as Darwin's theory? Zero" :
"Regardless of one's point of view, it's actually quite easy to see that Darwinism is not in the same league as the hard sciences. For instance, Darwinists will often compare their theory favorably to Einsteinian physics, claiming that Darwinism is just as well established as general relativity. Yet how many physicists, while arguing for the truth of Einsteinian physics, will claim that general relativity is as well established as Darwin's theory? Zero." (Dembski W.A., "Introduction: The Myths of Darwinism," in Dembski W.A., ed., "Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing," ISI Books: Wilmington DE, 2004, p.xxi)
to my "Problems of Evolution" book outline, PE 2.4.8. "Fallacies used to support evolution ... False analogy"]

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"

UK academic gives evidence in intelligent design case, etc

Here are news items about the sixth day (Monday 24 October) of the pro-ID defence's putting its case in the Dover (Kitzmiller, et al v. Dover School District, et al) trial, with my comments in square brackets.

UK academic gives evidence in intelligent design case, The Guardian, Sam Jones, October 25, 2005 ... A British academic told a US federal court yesterday that the theory of intelligent design is a scientific rather than a religious concept that should be taught to children in American schools. Steve Fuller, a professor of sociology at the University of Warwick, said that the theory - which maintains that life on Earth was designed by an unidentified intelligent force - is a valid scientific one because it has been used to describe biological phenomena. The landmark case arose after eight families took legal action to have the theory removed from the curriculum because they feel it promotes the Bible's view of creation and so violates the constitutional separation of church and state. A year ago, the Dover Area School Board in Pennsylvania decided that students should be told about intelligent design as part of their lessons on evolution. The statement that they voted to include in lessons said that Charles Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps". Intelligent design supporters argue that natural selection cannot fully explain the origin of life nor the emergence of highly complex life forms. Prof Fuller, the author of An Intelligent Person's Guide to Intelligent Design Theory, was called by lawyers for the school board. He said the scientific community was slow to accept minority views, but argued that introducing intelligent design might inspire students to help develop the theory. "It seems to me in many respects the cards are stacked against radical, innovative views getting a fair hearing in science these days," he said. Citing the work of Michael Behe, a leading advocate of intelligent design and a previous witness at the trial, Prof Fuller said scientists have observed biological systems and inferred that a "designer" must exist. The plaintiffs are represented by a team put together by the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The school district is being represented by the Thomas More Law Centre, a law firm which says its mission is to defend the religious freedom of Christians. ... [Also in The Melbourne Age under the headline, "'Design' theory gets backing as science" which will be very important for ID's progress in Australia (as the Guardian's version of it will be to the UK). This testimony by an eminent philosopher of science (which Fuller is) that ID "is a scientific rather than a religious concept that should be taught to children in American schools" will be very hard (if not impossible) for the Darwinists to counter. On what objective basis could the judge accept the anti-ID side's expert witness testimony that ID is religion not science over again the pro-ID side's expert testimony here that ID is science not religion?

Fuller is mentioned in Tom Woodward's "Doubts about Darwin" (2003). Fuller has written a book on Thomas Kuhn (the author of "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions") and so is an expert on paradigm shifts in science. According to Woodward, Fuller regards "today's `big science' as a self-perpetuating, politically insulated monster that has grown arrogant and unaccountable to the public" and needs to be made accountable to the "currently disenfranchised electorate of intelligent, well-informed citizens" and so he "has publicly declared his support for the work of Intelligent Design theorists":

"Fuller's position on Kuhn is complex, with layers of analysis and a dense matrix of historical subtleties that need not be explicated here. Amazingly, Fuller holds that Kuhn presents too comforting and conservative a picture of the history of science, one that implies modern science is inherently self-correcting by means of the periodic cycles of paradigms and revolutions. Dissenting vigorously, Fuller views today's "big science" as a self-perpetuating, politically insulated monster that has grown arrogant and unaccountable to the public. He foresees a new role of scientific rhetoric after a hoped-for revolution that will shatter the power of this monster: Scientists will have to justify their work in the context of a highly democratic assessment by the currently disenfranchised electorate of intelligent, well-informed citizens. The notion of "accountability to the public" is the obvious link here between Fuller's vision and the criticism of Darwinism by the well-informed "citizen-skeptic-in-chief," Phillip Johnson. That shared sensibility is undoubtedly one reason Fuller has publicly declared his support for the work of Intelligent Design theorists." (Woodward T.E., "Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.228. Emphasis original).

Fuller's point that "the scientific community was slow to accept minority views" and therefore "the cards are stacked against radical, innovative views getting a fair hearing in science these days" is also very important, in helping to explain the science establishment's resistance to ID.]

Expert Testifies on 'Intelligent Design': Sociologist Says Introducing 'Intelligent Design' to Students Could Help Idea Gain Acceptance, ABC News/AP, Martha Raffaele ... HARRISBURG, Pa. Oct 24, 2005 - Introducing "intelligent design" to high school students could help the idea gain wider acceptance among mainstream scientists, a sociology professor testified Monday in a landmark federal trial over whether the concept can be mentioned in public school biology classes. Lawyers for the Dover Area School Board called Steve Fuller, a sociology professor at the University of Warwick, England, as an expert witness Monday morning. He tried to bolster the school board's contention that intelligent design, which holds that life on Earth was the product of an unidentified intelligent force, is a scientific concept. Fuller said minority views can sometimes have a difficult time getting a toehold in the scientific community, but students might be inspired to develop intelligent design as future scientists if they hear about the concept in school. "You have to provide openings where you have new recruits to the theory," Fuller said. "Unless you put it into the school system, it's not going to happen spontaneously." The school board voted a year ago to require students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade biology lessons on evolution. ... The policy also prohibits students and teachers from discussing intelligent design in class after the statement is read. Witold Walczak, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing the parents, asked Fuller whether that defeated the purpose of promoting an open discussion of scientific theories. "It certainly undercuts the impact it can have, but it's better than nothing," Fuller said. Fuller said intelligent design hasn't been extensively promoted in the scientific community because the process by which articles are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals tends to favor established, mainstream approaches. ... Fuller testified earlier that intelligent design is a scientific, not religious, concept because its proponents have used observation to describe biological phenomena. .... "Design isn't just the name of a particular phenomenon that other theories can't explain," he said. ... [Same article also at MSNBC & Washington Post. This further point by Fuller, that "You have to provide openings where you have new recruits to the theory" which means introducing it "into the school system" is another part of Fuller's thinking on scientific paradigm change, that it occurs in "the next generation that is rising, not the senior scientists who are fighting" by a process "imperceptible softening, or quiet erosion, by rhetorical engagement":

"One of Fuller's most interesting points is made as he summarizes Kuhn's key claim within the Kuhnian "invisibility thesis." This thesis says that "the outcome of a revolution is determined not by clashing parties coming to agreement, but by the research choices subsequently made by their students." In other words, it is the next generation that is rising, not the senior scientists who are fighting, who will quietly choose the new paradigm for practical research purposes, thus rendering the revolution practically invisible. Here Fuller describes-in a novel and transformative way-this critical historical period of a paradigm clash. In my view, his description serves as a brilliant "type," a heuristic generalization that is acutely applicable to Design's rhetoric. .... The process of change Fuller describes is complex and subtle, yet ultimately effectual; it typically precedes, and prepares for, a scientific revolution. To paraphrase it, one might describe it as an imperceptible softening, or quiet erosion, by rhetorical engagement. By prolonged exposure to the challengers and the resultant dialectics, positions begin to shift, and partisans become accustomed to radical criticisms. Eventually, an intolerable point of view looms on the horizon of possible acceptance. One does not have to strain to see that this descriptive frame relates compellingly to Intelligent Design's battles of persuasion, regardless of whether the result is a scientific revolution." (Woodward, 2003, p.237. Emphasis original)

That is, "the very practice of arguing will have made one accustomed to the other's position":

"This process can be described as `imperceptible softening, inevitable tactical repositioning, and quiet erosion by rhetorical engagement.' These phrases spring from the images and ideas emanating from Steve Fuller's own words in Thomas Kuhn. There, Fuller pointed out:
the ways in which partisan positions shift, often unintentionally and imperceptibly, in the course of debate, as the stakes and implications of acceding to one argument over another appear in different contexts. A position that one would never have adopted at the start of a dispute may become easier to accept later, in large part because the very practice of arguing will have made one accustomed to the other's position. Moreover, the person may not believe that she has conceded anything "essential" to her position along the way. Only in retrospect can a historian detect that a subtle shift in the burden of proof took place that enabled the acceptance of a previously intolerable point of view."
(Woodward , 2003, p.149. Emphasis original).

If Fuller is right the Darwinists cannot win. The next generation of scientists is already being exposed to the arguments for and against ID and some of them "will quietly choose the new paradigm." Especially if they see Unlocking the Mystery of Life!]

Dover defense says evolution excludes other concepts, York Daily Record, October 24, 2005 ... Evolutionary theory is a monolith of ideas that excludes other concepts from competing on a level playing field, Steve Fuller testified this morning in U.S. Middle District Court in Harrisburg. Fuller is a sociology professor from the University of Warwick in England. And because the scientific community shuts the door on radical views, intelligent design needs to cultivate a new generation of recruits, said Fuller, an expert in the philosophy of science. Testifying on behalf of the Dover Area School District’s decision to make students aware of intelligent design, Fuller said the concept’s chief supporters "can’t spontaneously generate a following" unless they get it in the schools first. Fuller will be cross-examined this afternoon. ... [To those of us who have been in the ID debate for a long time, one of the best evidence of Fuller's thesis is the vast improvement in journalists' understanding of ID. It used to be that journalists and their editors just could not seem to understand that ID was not YEC. But having to write about ID has gradually improved most journalists' and their editors' understanding of ID. The same process of improving understanding of ID presumably is also going on among the public, including students and scientists. The witness testimonies of his trial both for and against ID will help enormously the public's understanding of ID, and not just in the USA.]

Witness: intelligent design needs boost: He said the science community is closed to the idea, so it needs to be in schools, York Daily Record, Lauri Lebo and Michelle Starr, October 25, 2005 HARRISBURG - Because the scientific community is a monolith, impenetrable and often hostile to new theories, intelligent design proponents have to turn to the public schools to recruit support, a witness said Monday. Testifying on behalf of the Dover Area School District in U.S. Middle District Court, philosophy of science expert Steve Fuller said intelligent design "can't spontaneously generate a following" because the scientific community shuts the door on radical views. ... Fuller said, "How do you expect any minority view to get a toe hold in science? You basically get new recruits." As Dover's attorney Patrick Gillen questioned him, Fuller talked of intelligent design as being a possible scientific-revolution in waiting in which it challenges the "dominant paradigm" of evolutionary theory. While he stopped short of calling for such a revolution, Fuller spoke of science's broad acceptance of "neo-Darwinian synthesis" - the unifying concepts of Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection and Gregor Mendel's theory of genetics - being a problem for competing ideas. ... Fuller said intelligent design is a scientific theory that should be taught in school. But during cross-examination, he said intelligent design - the idea that the complexity of life requires a designer - is "too young" to have developed rigorous testable formulas and sits on the fringe of science. He suggested that perhaps scientists should have an "affirmative action" plan to help emerging ideas compete against the "dominant paradigms" of mainstream science. The pool of peer reviewers is smaller than it has been because, as scientific research gets more and more specialized, there are fewer people in that specialty and even fewer of them are willing to peer review pieces, Fuller said. Consequently, grant money also goes to fewer researchers, he said. ... Later, outside the courthouse, Fuller said that public school science class is an appropriate setting for intelligent design in order to keep it from being "marginalized in cult status." "I don't know where you think future scientists come from," he said. But Eugenie Scott ... disagreed, saying the purpose of public school education is to educate students, "not feed some theoretical pipeline." And Nick Matzke ... said students need to learn established theories first before they can begin to question them. "If a scientist was to overturn evolution they would first have to learn about it," he said. "It would have to be a revolution from within." As a philosopher, Fuller testified he remains open to all new views, even though he maintains that at the moment, evolutionary theory is a better explanation of the biological world. "I want to see where intelligent design is going to go," Fuller said. Fuller also said that while intelligent design's roots are religious, so are the roots of most scientific ideas, pointing to Isaac Newton's desire to understand the natural world through God's eyes. But there remains prejudice against intelligent design, he said. Fuller told the court that one of the problems of science is with the very definition of "scientific theory," which is the idea of well substantiated explanations that unify a broad range of observations. He said by requiring a theory to be "well substantiated," it makes it almost impossible for an idea to be accepted scientifically. But Fuller was actually proposing the definition for hypothesis - an untested idea that is the first step toward a theory. "Does a theory have to be well established to be scientific?" he said. "That means the dominant theory would always be." ... [I (and the ID movement) agree with Fuller that ID is still "young" as a science and needs time to mature. Scott's begs the question that learning the problems of evolution and its main alternatives (including ID) is not "to educate students." Matzke's point is a red-herring because no one is saying that "students" should not "learn established theories" i.e. the theory of evolution "first before they can begin to question them." In fact the ID movement wants students to learn more about evolution, including its philosophical assumptions, its major problems, and its main alternatives. Fuller makes a good point that "there remains prejudice against intelligent design" that "makes it almost impossible for [it] to be accepted scientifically". But, as Behe said in his testimony, ID is making progress against all the odds. Fuller's pointing out that "while intelligent design's roots are religious, so are the roots of most scientific ideas", is part of the strategy of Richard Thompson, The Thomas More Law Center's chief defence counsel, to argue that even if ID does have Christian creationist roots, that does not mean it is Christian creationism:

"Thompson is holding forth on his defense strategy. He says his scientific experts will show that I.D. is a valid scientific theory based on empirical observation by credentialed and respected scientists. He is arguing that no theory should be judged by its historical roots, even if they are religious, or even if they are creationist. Modern chemistry emerged from alchemy, after all, and that doesn't make it bogus. Astronomy emerged from astrology, and we don't hold that against it. Nor should a theory be judged by the personal ideologies of those who hold it; plenty of Darwinists are atheists, but that doesn't disqualify evolutionary biology as an ideology, he says. Schools that want to include the I.D. debate in their curriculum deserve the right to do so, Thompson says. Denying them that right is a form of both scientific and religious discrimination. `I.D. is seeking a place in the classroom because of its merits,' he says. `But it's being kept out because it is harmonious with the Christian faith.' ... `All scientific theories, including Darwinism, have religious implications,' Thompson says. And the religious implication of Darwinism is atheism." (Slack G., "Intelligent designer," The Thomas More Law Center, October 20, 2005)]

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"