Another anti-ID scholar condemns Dover decision
On Evolution News & Views, Casey Luskin discusses a recent Christian Century magazine article written by Darwinist J. Scott Turner, a biology professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. Casey says,
Turner sees the Kitzmiller v. Dover case as the dangerous real-world expression of the intolerance common in the academy: "My blood chills ... when these essentially harmless hypocrisies are joined with the all-American tradition of litigiousness, for it is in the hand of courts and lawyers that real damage to cherished academic ideas is likely to be done." He laments the fact that "courts are where many of my colleagues seem determined to go with the ID issue” and predicts, “I believe we will ultimately come to regret this."
Turner justifies his reasonable foresight by explaining that Kitzmiller only provided a pyrrhic victory for the pro-Darwin lobby:Although there was general jubilation at the ruling, I think the joy will be short-lived, for we have affirmed the principle that a federal judge, not scientists or teachers, can dictate what is and what is not science, and what may or may not be taught in the classroom. Forgive me if I do not feel more free.
(J. Scott Turner, Signs of Design, The Christian Century, June 12, 2007.)
By way of review, here is what Jay Wexler said about Kitzmiller v. Dover. His announcement of a lecture said,
The opinion's main problem lies in the conclusion that most evolution supporters were particularly pleased with -- namely, the judge's finding that ID is not science. The problem is not that ID is science. Maybe it is science, and maybe it isn't. The question is whether judges should be deciding in their written opinions that ID is or is not science -- a question that sounds in philosophy of science -- as a matter of law. On this question, the answer is "no," particularly when the overall question posed to the Court is whether teaching ID endorses religion, not whether it 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 to both science and freedom of religion. The judge's determination that ID endorses religion should have been sufficient to rule the policy unconstitutional.
In a law journal article, Wexler added,
. . . 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?
Actually, the science-as-ID section of the Dover opinion was not even written by the judge -- it was written by the ACLU.
My response to Wexler's above statement was,
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.
Many Darwinists have the mistaken belief that the ID-as-science ruling of the Dover decision was an inevitable "slam dunk" shoo-in. The Darwinists just got lucky this time. Judge Jones is a churchgoing Bush-appointed Republican conservative and maybe he was just bending over backwards to try to show that he was "impartial." He bent over so far backwards in an attempt to show his impartiality that he said in a Dickinson College commencement speech that organized religions are not "true" religions. Maybe next time the judge will be a godless blasphemous fundy-hating Clinton-appointed Democratic liberal atheist who will also bend over backwards to try to prove his impartiality.
Luskin pointed out that Turner "laments the fact that 'courts are where many of my colleagues seem determined to go with the ID issue.'" There is no constitutional separation of pseudoscience (or bad science) and state, so some people are misusing the so-called "separation of church and state" for the purpose of trying to suppress scientific ideas that they disagree with. One of the worst offenders in this regard is the hypocritical theistic evolutionist Ken Miller. He says that his own belief in evolution is supported by his religion, yet he urges the courts to use the so-called "separation of church and state" principle to suppress the views of ID proponents whose belief in ID is not supported by religion. Ken Miller was the lead expert witness for the Dover plaintiffs and also was an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the Selman v. Cobb County evolution disclaimer textbook sticker case. IMO the plaintiffs in those cases showed real chutzpah by choosing a theistic evolutionist as an expert witness in lawsuits charging that including criticism of evolution in public-school science courses violates the separation of church and state.
Labels: Expert opinions about Kitzmiller