News Media Icon News Media

Discovery Institute Biologist To Take Stand As Expert Witness In Dover Intelligent Design Trial

Microbiologist Dr. Scott Minnich is scheduled to testify on Thursday in behalf of the Dover School Board as an expert witness in the Kitzmiller v. Dover intelligent design trial.

It is fitting that Minnich follows Michael Behe as an expert witness in the Dover trial, since much of his work over the past decade has built on Behe’s, just as his testimony is likely to do. Often, Darwinists will try to claim that Behe’s theory of irreducible complexity has been falsified because of the TTSS secretory system. Minnich’s work has shown this not to be the case. In fact, in 2004 he presented this paper rebutting many of Behe’s critics at The Second International Conference on Design & Nature sponsored by the Wessex Institute of Technology.

Just today, Dr. Chris Macosko explains in an excellent op-ed how Minnich’s lab research has directly supported Behe’s predictions, and has shown that the challenge of the TTSS has not been proven.

At the third biannual Bacterial Locomotion and Signal Transduction (BLAST) meeting in January 1995, University of Idaho microbiologist and intelligent design theorist Scott Minnich presented a radical idea. “Is the TTSS lethal injector apparatus an example of inverse evolution — the transformation of one information-rich system to another not-quite-as-information-rich system?”

Minnich’s idea was picked up by several of the conference attendees. For example, Rasika Harshey and Adam Toguchi wrote in their 1996 Trends in Microbiology review, “some nonmotile pathogens [without flagella], such as Shigella and Yersinia pestis (S. Minnich, personal communication), appear to contain flagellar genes. Could these be a vestige of formerly motile species? Is it likely that pathogens have exploited the flagellar secretory mechanism to transfer proteins directly into a target host cell?” This radical idea, fleshed out by Minnich’s publications over the past decade, has ended up being correct.

So who is Scott Minnich? While he is not yet as widely known as Michael Behe, it is certain that he will be one of the leading design scientists for years to come.

Minnich holds a Ph.D. from Iowa State University and is currently associate professor of microbiology at the University of Idaho and is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He is also a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design.

Previously, Dr. Minnich was an assistant professor at Tulane University. In addition, he did postdoctoral research with Austin Newton at Princeton University and with Arthur Aronson at Purdue University. Dr. Minnich’s research interests are temperature regulation of Y. enterocolitca gene expression and coordinate reciprocal expression of flagellar and virulence genes.

Biochemist Michael Behe used the flagella to illustrate the concept of irreducible complexity and Minnich takes the argument to the next level crediting the design paradigm to leading to new insights in his lab research at the University of Idaho.

In 2004 Minnich served as part of the United State’s Iraq Survey Group (ISG) tasked with reviewing captured mobile weapons laboratories, and determining what role if any they played in microbial weapons production.

Minnich is widely published in technical journals including Journal of Bacteriology, Molecular Microbiology, Journal of Molecular Biology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Microbiological Method, Food Technology, and the Journal of Food Protection.

Robert Crowther, II

Robert Crowther holds a BA in Journalism with an emphasis in public affairs and 20 years experience as a journalist, publisher, and brand marketing and media relations specialist. From 1994-2000 he was the Director of Public and Media Relations for Discovery Institute overseeing most aspects of communications for each of the Institute's major programs. In addition to handling public and media relations he managed the Institute's first three books to press, Justice Matters by Roberta Katz, Speaking of George Gilder edited by Frank Gregorsky, and The End of Money by Richard Rahn.