UPDATED 9.29.05/5:38pm (by Rob Crowther): Interestingly, we recently stumbled across this surprisingly prescient interview with Dr. Forrest, and in light of her recent notoriety due to her “expert” testimony for the Dover trial we thought that readers would like to read the transcript. Two weeks before the Dover trial began, the Judge in the case skewered the “expert” witness report submitted to the Court by Louisiana professor Barbara Forrest, a long-time board member of the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association. Forrest’s report is mostly a rehash of the innuendos and conspiracy-mongering found in her book with Paul Gross, “Creationism’s Trojan Horse.” While Forrest’s potpourri of smears and overheated rhetoric is typically accepted uncritically by reporters, Judge John Jones has put Read More ›
Methodological Materialism and What If The third morning of Kitzmiller vs. Dover found philosopher of science Robert Pennock testifying for the plaintiffs that science is a search for natural explanations of natural phenomena — a limitation known as methodological naturalism (or methodological materialism). Pennock presented this as the definition of science, and said proponents of intelligent design are “trying to overturn” it, but later he conceded that there was a controversy among philosophers of science concerning whether methodological naturalism was essential to the definition of science. Earlier in the trial, the ACLU led its first expert witness, biologist Kenneth Miller, through some counterfactual (or “what-if”) reasoning, an investigative tool often used by philosophers. I wish one of the attorneys had Read More ›
You can now read the transcript of the opening arguments in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case on Discovery Institute’s website here (the transcript is posted as an Adobe pdf document). The opening statements provide a good snapshot as to what each side is intending to show in the case. In its opening statement, the ACLU makes clear that it is essentially trying to prove two things:
The major media coverage of the lawsuit against the Dover School District is predictably thin on content. So as a public service, Evolution News and Views is going to try to post selected transcripts from the trial so that you can read for yourself what’s going on at the trial, unfiltered by the reporters and pundits. (Of course, we’re going to continue to offer our own analysis of what’s happening at the trial!) Because of the prohibitive expense in purchasing transcripts, we unfortunately won’t be able to provide a complete daily transcript of the trial. But we are going to try to post transcripts for some of the highlights.
Today at the Dover Trial, plaintiffs’ expert witness, philosopher of science Dr. Robert Pennock, focused on 4 topics: (1) methodological naturalism, (2) methodological naturalism, (3) his Avida paper, and (4) methodological naturalism. Additionally, he also talked about methodological naturalism and his Avida paper. Today I will address only two of these many topics: Dr. Pennock’s Avida paper and in another post, methodological naturalism (MN). First I will address the Avida Paper The “Avida paper” was published as “The Evolution of Biological Complexity,” in Nature, 423:139-144, by E. Lenski, Charles Ofria, Robert T. Pennock, and Christoph Adami (May 8, 2003). Pennock and his other co-authors claim the paper “demonstrate[s] the validity of the hypothesis, first articulated by Darwin and supported today Read More ›