Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I can’t understand it, so it must be science

The York Daily Record is my first stop each day for breaking news and commentary about the Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District trial. This week the defense began calling witnesses. First up, Lehigh University professor Michael J. Behe, who contends that Intelligent Design really, really “is a scientific theory because it relies on empirical, observable facts and logical inferences.”

“’We infer design when we see parts that appear to be arranged for a purpose,’ he said.” (Dover defense presents case)

The “theory” of intelligent design essentially says: “If science can’t figure something out (yet), then it must be intelligent design.” End of story. Let’s not look any further.

Today when I read this story about Monday’s session -- Court fills for defense's case -- I had an ah-ha moment. Reporter Michelle Starr interviewed some of the many trial spectators. One Jack Schultz, a retired engineer, said he had come believing “intelligent design was not a science and that it belonged in philosophy or religion classes.” But after hearing part of Behe’s testimony, Schultz was reconsidering.

"He seems to be making a strong case," Jack Schultz said. "Maybe it seems more scientific than I thought. I can't put it all together yet. I still have trouble with the science aspect of it."

In other words, he doesn’t really understand what Behe is talking about, but it sure sounds scientific. That seems to be what the IDers want us all to do. I can’t figure it out, so let’s not look any deeper. Call it science. Call it intelligent design. Call it quits.


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