ID would take us "backwards," MSU professor testifies

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

2 thoughts on “ID would take us "backwards," MSU professor testifies

  1. Big tent theory:

    “That this theory could be immensely appealing to many people, there can be no doubt. Which is why, given the Bush presidency, and the fact that members of the Bush team were, last spring, extensively briefed on intelligent design, the battle has been joined in the popular press. Make no mistake, despite that East coast sheep’s clothing, Bush is a big middle, red-state robust Methodist with evangelical leanings, who knows that any group with authority to tell a culture’s creation story functions as a kind of priesthood. Intelligent design, because it travels light, is a big tent theory, which has begun to collect around itself such disparate groups as young earth creationists, Hare Krishna, Muslims and Jewish intellectual editors who write for Commentary.

    Just how big tent, is not hidden by Dr. Meyer and his colleagues at the Discovery Institute. Intelligent design is nestled in that branch of the Discovery Institute called the Center for Renewal of Science and Culture, which claims that the materialism of the last 100 years has denied objective moral standards, claiming that right and wrong evolved to suit societal needs and personal preferences, that materialism undermined belief in personal responsibility, devised utopian political schemes, and advocated coercive government programs that promised heaven on earth, but produced oppression and genocide.”

  2. This does not change the fact that this is not science, and does not belong in science class.

    Science does not make you decide on whether or not there is a God, it simply makes sure that nature is explained using tested hypotheses developed into theory.

    By forcing science to admit to higher power of any kind rejects testability, end therefore ID must be completely rejected as science.

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