For anyone who ever napped through a college philosophy class (like this writer, for example), the morning session might not seem particularly attractive as it featured Dr. Robert Pennock, a professor of philosophy of science at Michigan State University. However, Dr. Pennock offered insightful testimony to further bolster our case. He even managed to bring some levity to the situation.
Dr. Pennock and Eric Rothschild, who handled direct questioning, analyzed statements by Dr. William Dembski, a key proponent of ID. The testimony included quotations from several of Dembski’s writings.
“They want to revolutionize science” Dr. Pennock stated. “They want a theistic science.”
“They would turn us back to an earlier era,” he noted, causing “the scientific community to “take a number of steps backwards.”
The various factions of creationists were also discussed, including Young Earth Creationists, Old Earth Creationists, and Special Creation. Dr. Pennock stated that intelligent design is an attempt to unite the factions.
“It is a strategy to unite against a common enemy,” he said.
The morning session included several light moments. Dr. Pennock testified that referring to a “designer” rather than “God” is like referring to “Ambassador Wilson’s wife” rather than “Valerie Plame Wilson.” As the gallery laughed, Judge Jones chuckled and said, “As an example.”
Also, when opposing counsel Patrick Gillen asked if he had ever heard evolution referred to as a “big tent theory,” Dr. Pennock said curiously, “I can’t say that I’ve ever heard it referred to as a ‘Big Ten theory.'” When he realized his mistake, Dr. Pennock noted his position at Michigan State, and Gillen referred to his own degree from the University of Michigan.
This afternoon the court will deal with the issue of two York newspaper reporters who have been subpoenaed for testimony.
Submitted by Andy Hoover, community education organizer, ACLU of PA