Sunday, November 06, 2005

Science is as science does – and ID doesn’t

The Dover trial is over, at least for the viewing public. Still lots of behind-the-scenes activity, apparently, before the judge delivers his verdict, maybe by the end of the year. I downloaded and read the closing statement by plaintiffs’ counsel, Eric Rothschild (pdf). Very impressive.

The beginning and end of the closing argument focuses on the evidence that was presented to prove the religious intent behind the Dover Area School Board’s action. That is the fundamental issue the judge must decide. The judge may also choose to make a far-reaching decision about whether ID can be considered science or is a remake of “creation science.” Rothschild uses the middle of his closing argument to make the case that ID does not belong in the same room with science. The following two paragraphs stood out for me:

Professor Behe’s testimony and his book Darwin’s Black Box is really one extended insult to hard working scientists, and the scientific enterprise. For example, Professor Behe asserts in Darwin’s Black Box that “the scientific literature has no answers to the question of the origin of the immune system” and “the complexity of the system dooms all Darwinian explanations to frustration.” I showed Professor Behe more than 50 articles, as well as books on the evolution of the immune system. He had not read most of them, but he confidently, contemptuously dismissed them as inadequate. He testified that it is a waste of time to look for answers about how the immune system developed.

Thankfully, there are scientists who do search for answers to the question of the origin of the immune system. For Pete’s sake, this is the immune system – our defense against debilitating and fatal diseases. The scientists who wrote those books and articles toil in obscurity, without book royalties or speaking engagements. Their efforts help us combat and cure serious medical conditions. By contrast, Professor Behe and the entire Intelligent Design Movement are doing nothing to advance scientific or medical knowledge, and are telling future generations of scientists, don’t bother.

BTW, Behe is going to be speaking at University of Portland next Sunday at 2PM.


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