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This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Could Kitzmiller decision backfire on Darwinists?

I previously reported on this blog that legal scholar Jay Wexler, despite being anti-ID, held the position that Judge Jones should not have ruled on the scientific merits of ID. Casey Luskin now reports that the First Amendment Law Review published a paper by Wexler that supports that position. The paper, titled, "Kitzmiller and the 'is it science?' question," appeared in the Fall 2006 issue, which was dedicated to the subject "Religion in the Public Schools." Significantly, of the seven articles in this issue, the titles of three pertain directly to intelligent design and Kitzmiller (two of the other articles pertain to the Pledge of Allegiance, which as everyone knows contains the words "under god"). Casey also reported that another article in the same journal, written by Kitzmiller plaintiffs' attorney Richard B. Katskee and titled "Why it mattered to Dover that intelligent design isn't science," "attacked Wexler with harsh ridicule for critiquing Judge Jones." The issue is called a "symposium edition," so apparently there was some symposium on the subject. Casey's following first quote of Wexler's paper is virtually identical to an abstract for Wexler's lecture on the subject:

The opinion's main flaw lies in the conclusion with which most ID opponents were particularly pleased -- namely, the judge's finding that ID is not science. I take this position, I hasten to add, not because I necessarily think that ID is science. As someone who is neither a scientist nor a philosopher of science, I do not know if ID is science. But the important issue for evaluating the decision is not whether ID actually is science -- a question that sounds in philosophy of science -- but rather whether judges should be deciding in their written opinions that ID is or is not science as a matter of law. On this question, I think the answer is "no," particularly when the overall question posed to a court is whether teaching ID endorses religion, not whether ID is or is not science. The part of Kitzmiller that finds ID not to be science is unnecessary, unconvincing, not particularly suited to the judicial role, and even perhaps dangerous both to science and to freedom of religion.

It is odd that Wexler concedes that ID might be scientific while he holds that it is unconstitutional to require teaching or even just mentioning it in public-school science classes (that unconstitutionality was the holding of the Kitzmiller decision, which Wexler supports). If ID is or might be scientific, then teaching or mentioning it in public-school science classes would have a legitimate secular purpose, a condition for making an exception to the establishment clause.

Casey's second quote of Wexler's paper says,

. . . if one judge can practice philosophy of science, what is to stop others from doing the same? Perhaps the next judge to hear an ID case will decide that science simply means "the process of searching for the best logical explanations for observed data." In that case, schools might be allowed to teach … ID… Is this really a can of worms that ID opponents want to open?

In Wexler's above statement, he appears to be concerned only about judges hearing other ID cases. But what about judges hearing cases concerning non-ID criticisms of evolution, such as criticisms concerning co-evolution and the propagation of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction -- or even the Second Law of Thermodynamics? After all, the SLOT is not a religious concept, and it is a law, not just a theory. Also, the now-defunct Ohio critical analysis of evolution lesson plan contained some very specific non-ID criticisms of evolution. IMO it is noteworthy that the Darwinists kept threatening to sue Ohio but never did. Anyway, without design, there is no designer. No designer, no god. No god, no religion. No religion, no establishment clause violation.

Wexler's and Katskee's obsession with ID suggests that they believe in the "contrived dualism" idea that there are only two possibilities, evolution theory and ID, and that if one is wrong then the other must be right. The Darwinists hypocritically assert that this "contrived dualism" is an anti-Darwinist idea, but IMO the Darwinists harp on this idea much more than the anti-Darwinists do. After the Kitzmiller decision trashed ID, the Darwinists have been trying to put the "ID" label on all criticisms of Darwinism. In contrast, the fundies don't mind acknowledging the existence of non-ID criticisms of Darwinism because the fundies don't care why Darwinism is wrong so long as it is wrong. Apparently the Darwinists' propaganda campaign has brainwashed a lot of people into believing that such a dualism is actually true. BTW, the term "contrived dualism" was apparently coined by the McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education opinion to describe the false dichotomy between evolution theory and creationism.

Also, it is odd that Wexler suggested that ID could be one of the "best logical explanations for observed data." Darwinists in general have been arguing that ID is not logical at all.

Off-topic question: The Darwinists allege that Darwinism's advantage over ID is that Darwinism is scientific (testable, falsifiable, naturalistic, etc.) whereas ID is not. But what is the advantage of being scientific if Darwinism is wholly or partly wrong?

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