10/29/2005: More Un-Intelligent Design...
The Brontosaurus: Monty Python's flying creationism by William Saletan is one of several Funnies about the Michael Behe "revelations" coming forth during the ID Trial in PA:
"...its resemblance to a famous Monty Python sketch in which a television newsman interviews a theorist.
Q: You say you have a new theory about the brontosaurus.
A: Can I just say here, Chris, for one moment, that I have a new theory about the brontosaurus.
Q: Exactly. Well, what is it? …
A: Oh, what is my theory?
A: Oh, what is my theory, that it is. Well, Chris, you may well ask me what is my theory.
Q: I am asking.
A: Good for you. My word, yes. Well, Chris, what is it that it is—this theory of mine. Well, this is what it is—my theory that I have, that is to say, which is mine, is mine.
Q: Yes, I know it's yours. What is it?
A: Where? Oh, what is my theory? This is it. My theory that belongs to me is as follows. This is how it goes. The next thing I'm going to say is my theory. Ready?
A: … This theory goes as follows and begins now. All brontosauruses are thin at one end; much, much thicker in the middle; and then thin again at the far end.
...Like the theorist in the Monty Python sketch, Behe throws up a blizzard of babble: process, intelligent activity, important facts. What process? What activity? What facts? He never explains. He says the designer "took steps" to create complex biological systems, but ID can't specify the steps. Does ID tell us who designed life? No, he answers. Does it tell us how? No. Does it tell us when? No. How would the designer create a bacterial flagellum? It would "somehow cause the plan to, you know, go into effect," he proposes..."
And there is this one about Steve Fuller, another ID defender, written about in a column by Mike Argento (York Daily Record): Intelligent design's plea for help:
“….On the positive side, [Fuller] seemed very energetic about whatever it is. He was more animated than the Cartoon Network and talked really fast. As he announced the first break of the court session, federal Judge John E. Jones III pointed to Fuller and suggested to the school board attorney, Pat Gillen, "Water or decaf."
I would have made a different suggestion.
A whole bottle.
The bottom line of Fuller's testimony is that intelligent design as a science is not accepted because the rest of the scientists won't let it in their little club. It's as if the real scientists are the cool kids, smoking out behind the administration building at recess, and intelligent design is the geeky kid who isn't allowed to join them because he just isn't cool enough.
What Fuller was suggesting, I think, is that science won't let intelligent design in merely because it doesn't meet the requirements of a scientific theory, as far as science is concerned.
In fact, he said to call intelligent design a scientific theory, you had to change the definition of a scientific theory. The last defense witness who did that said his definition of a scientific theory included astrology. (I don't mean to disparage astrology, which has proven to be scarily accurate since that witness uttered those words.)
Fuller said intelligent design is, essentially, a half-baked idea, pretty much something the intelligent design guys have whipped up without doing much in the way of producing evidence.
And that's why it should be taught to ninth-graders in Dover.
And in another bit of testimony, he said intelligent design needed "affirmative action."
Which raises the question: Why drag the brothers into it?
Or you can also read these accounts of other information surfacing during the trial: Behe's claim of 'peer' review' for his book or Curriculum 'designer' Buckingham lies under oath for a few more laughs.
Now Funnie as this all IS - and it is a HOWL - There is much less funnie motivation for these folks to want to rewrite the definition of science and get some sort of accreditation for these biblically laced notions.
There is a bit from the Washington Un. Law Review article that explains their motivations, and since it's overly long, I'll put it in a separate post for review.
Karen on 10.29.05 @ 09:54 AM CST