Friday, October 12, 2007

Intelligent Design and peer review

I'm putting this here to keep just in case I ever get into an argument with a proponent of Intelligent Design. It may also be useful to you. From John Derbyshire.

This is an exchange from the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case in 2005. It is between Eric Rothschild, who was the lawyer for the plaintiffs, and Michael J. Behe, an American biochemist and one of the leading advocates of intelligent design.

Rothschild. Now you have never argued for intelligent design in a peer reviewed scientific journal, correct?

[Repetitive exchange omitted.]

Behe. That's correct.

R. And, in fact, there are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred, is that correct?

B. That is correct, yes.

Intro to the case (from Wikipedia)

Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al., Case No. 04cv2688, was the first direct challenge brought in the United States federal courts against a public school district that required the presentation of "Intelligent Design" as an alternative to evolution as an "explanation of the origin of life." The plaintiffs successfully argued that intelligent design is a form of creationism, and that the school board policy thus violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The exchange above was dug out by one of John Derbyshire's readers (unnamed). The reader adds:

All along the Discovery Institute has claimed (which claims continue to this day despite Prof. Behe's unequivocal admission) that there are a plentitude of such articles. (In this regard, I am unaware of any serious academic articles that have appeared since the fall of 2005, when the testimony quoted above was given.) Apparently the Discovery Institute, and people like Mr. Bethell, don't believe even the sworn testimony of the DI's own star fellow. Except for the outcome itself, this was, I thought, the biggest news in the whole trial.

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