Backgrounder on the Significance of Judicial Copying

On December 12, 2006, Discovery Institute released a report which found that “90.9% (or 5,458 words) of Judge Jones’ 6,004-word section on intelligent design as science was taken virtually verbatim from the ACLU’s proposed ‘Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law’.” Since that time, we have received questions from various media sources and members of the public. This backgrounder on the report will help answer some common questions: Why is this report important? The section on whether ID is science is the most celebrated and expansive portion of the Kitzmiller opinion, which Judge Jones hoped would have an impact on future courts. As constitutional law scholar Stephen Gey said, “the critique of ID and science is the most important part Read More ›

Michael Behe Speaks in Kansas on Intelligent Design

Last week Michael Behe spoke at Kansas University as part of a series of “Difficult Dialogues,” with various speakers on the topic of intelligent design. There is an excellent report on Behe’s talk at Reasonable Kansans Blog which has some highlights worth noting. Behe primarily discussed and critiqued the Kitzmiller ruling. (We will have more news about this and related issues dealing with how Judge Jones wrote his ruling tomorrow, so be sure to check back here.) The Immunology Literature Dump: “As far as the ‘stack of books and articles’ presented at the trial, Behe took it as bad courtroom theatre. … Behe said that current studies do not provide evidence that the immune system has been explained by evolutionary Read More ›

Rationalization in the Debate over Evolution

Thanks to a notice by William Dembski at UncommonDescent, people are becoming aware that video footage of the “Beyond belief: Science, religion, reason and survival” conference where scientists bashed religion at the Salk Institute is now online. A panel discussion, which included Neil deGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss, and Michael Shermer, discussed why as many as 15% of National Academy of Sciences (NAS) scientists believe in God. Tyson expressed surprise that the number was as high as 15%: Tyson: I want to put on the table, not why 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject God, I want to know why 15% of the National Academy don’t. That’s really what we’ve got to address here. Otherwise the Read More ›

British Newspaper Corrects the Record on Mistake About Intelligent Design Column

Richard Buggs, a member of Truth in Science, an organization in the U.K. which supports teaching intelligent design in schools, recently published an editorial in the Liverpool Daily Post. Truth In Science reports that the headline above the original editorial originally read: “Should religion be part of science teaching? YES: Dr Richard Buggs is on the Scientific Panel of Truth in Science.” Yet Truth in Science does not advocate putting religion into science teaching, and in fact the question which Dr. Buggs was asked to answer by the newspaper was actually “Should Intelligent Design be taught in school science lessons?” It should be obvious that Buggs, a botanist with a special interest in the ecology and evolution of plants, firmly Read More ›

Darwinists Giving Different Answers When Discussing Robert Pennock’s UCSD Lecture

As I noted earlier, some Darwinists have contacted me insisting that not all freshmen were required to attend the lecture by anti-ID philosopher Robert Pennock at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) (first described here). I felt it was clear that freshmen were required to attend the lecture, given that UCSD’s main student website, Tritonlink, stated, “All first-quarter freshmen are required to attend the event.” Wanting to be diligent, I decided to contact organizers of the lecture to find out the facts. What I found was that, when Darwinists inquired, they were given different answers than I was given. Additionally, I gained fascinating insight into the mindset of Robert Pennock himself. One Answer for Darwinists, a Different Answer for Read More ›