Tuesday, December 20, 2005

At last, the story can be told

Forrest Chart2
Burt Humburg and Ed Brayton describe the evolution of intelligent design. After subpoenaing the early drafts of the textbook at issue in Dover, the science side discovered that in an early draft:
Biology and Creation (1986), the definition for the term “creation” was:

“Creation means that the various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent creator with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc.”

The same definition appears in Biology and Origins (1987). In the first draft from 1987, the one using the final title Of Pandas and People, this definition is repeated verbatim. But in the later draft with this title from 1987, written after the Supreme Court’s Edwards decision had ruled creation science out of public school science classrooms, suddenly there was a change in terminology. Now it read:

“Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, wings, etc.”

This was truly a “Eureka!” moment for the plaintiff’s team. Here was undeniable proof that Pandas had begun as a creationist textbook and, after the Edwards ruling ruled creationism out of schools, the creationists simply changed their terminology, replacing “creation” with “intelligent design” and giving both terms an identical definition. This provided substantial evidence that intelligent design was simply creationism retrofitted to adapt to modern court rulings and would bode well for the plaintiffs’ case.
This research lead to the fabulous graph at right, and the discovery of a rare creationist transitional form.

In the second 1987 draft, Panda's changed the phrase "Evolutionists think the former is correct, creationists accept the latter view" into "Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view." My emphasis.

It was evidence like this that made the victory in Dover so absolute. Congrats to the team who did the hard work out there. The science side's expert witnesses didn't take any fees, the attorney's worked pro bono (though their legal expenses will now be covered by the Dover school board), and they all did stellar work.