Recommended Reading

We’re happy to bring you the transcript of Day 6, PM session. (Also known as the afternoon of October 5, for those not on intelligent design trial time.)

This contains the continuation of Dr. Barbara Forrest’s testimony, in addition to the first half of her cross-examination. (Dr. Forrest is an expert on the nature and strategy of the intelligent design creationist movement. )

Cross begins on page 56 of the transcript. Page 58 includes opposing counsel’s questions about Dr. Forrest’s ACLU membership. Other highlights include p.64, lines 14-17; p. 94, lines 13-16; p. 108, lines 5-18; p. 111, lines 23-25 and p. 112, lines 1-4; and, oh, we could go on, but really, the whole thing is well worth a read.

All available transcripts

7 thoughts on “Recommended Reading

  1. Well I have to agree with the post — the transcripts make fascinating reading. Dr. Forrest (and indeed all of the witnesses so far) are to be commended for their work — obviously extremely tiring.

    BTW don’t ever let me get in an argument with a philosopher — she’ll eat my lunch!

  2. Thanks so much for providing the transcripts and trial updates – they are wonderful!

  3. The transcripts are invaluable! Please keep them coming. I use them for my discussions with some of my creationist coworkers.


  4. Learned a lot from the Forrest testimony, interesting insights.

    Perhaps the most pragmatic lesson being to get the best lawyer I can should I ever need one.

    The defense lawyers strike me as being out of their league.

  5. Perhaps I missed where this occurred in the
    transcripts (Day 6), but it appeared the strategy of
    the ID team was to argue that evolution was
    “just” a belief like ID so that the exclusion of
    ID was an instance of irrational partisan discrimination.

    When the evolution team was asked how they
    could identity a “scientific” theory I was expecting
    them to introduce the ideas of Bacon, Kuhn and

    1) emphasis on objectively measurable evidence
    2) relative predictive ability of a theory and
    its generalizability
    3) falsifiability

    ID *is* a theory like E=MC^2. I don’t know whether
    a theory in and of itself can “scientific”, but you
    can use the methods of science to *evaluate* a theory.

    The relevant questions would seem to be:

    1) can the theory *predict* specific measurable
    outcomes in the world not contained in
    its own statement?

    Consider the following problem:

    – Some regions and times show
    high diversity of species and other regions
    and times show low diversity

    ID might claim God determines these

    Given a description of some environment,
    ID would predict that God determines
    diversity but not be able to say anything
    about what diversity to expect.

    In contrast Evolutionary principles could be
    used to predict diversity based purely on
    descriptions of the environment.

    2) Is there a way to falsify the theory – does
    the theory make predictions of objectively
    measurable phenomena that could potentially
    be different from those actually measured?

  6. No, ID is not a theory equivalent to E=mc^2.
    Here’s why. Impbedded within this simple equation is a very simple prediction. If you take some atoms and split them apart (or fuse them together) then the difference in mass between what is input and what is output can be accounted for as a net energy released, if the output mass is larger than the input mass, or a net energy stored if the mass of the output is greater than than the input.

    This experiment has been repeated thousands of times and the energies have been painstakingly measured to make sure that this in fact does happen. It has been confirmed to the accuracy of our measurement capability.

    Where is ID’s equation that predicts what is irreducibly complex and what is not?

    ID might claim God determines these

    The probem with this statement is that no one can predict what god will do under any given circumstances. ID can make all the claims it wants about determining some phenomena, but that is irrelevant because god can do whatever he wants. God is inherently unpredictable by his very nature. As such, we can not predict what god will do in any circumstance, and that places god (and ID) firmly outside the realm of science.

    Notions of irreducible complexity are potentially useful if they can be formally developed, but myself and most scientists don’t think this is possible, and there are already several proofs that indicate that it may not be possible to develop a formal definition of this notion.

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