Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Not with a thousand lawyers

DEFENSE TEAM SPIN: Back to the Labs!:
"A thousand opinions by a court that a particular scientific theory is invalid will not make that scientific theory invalid," said Thompson, the president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, a public interest firm in Ann Arbor, Mich., that says it promotes Christian values.
Neither will a thousand lawyers make a nonscientific idea into a scientific hypothesis. Judge Jones didn't talk about validity, he talked about whether it's science:

After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. As we will discuss in more detail below, it is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research.
By "flawed and illogical contrived dualism" he means that IDolators try to say "evolution couldn't do that, so a designer must have." While they haven't successfully done the first (shown that evolution couldn't have done X), it is in principle possible. Claiming that you've disproven X, therefore Y is bad logic. All you've shown is that not X is true, leaving an infinite range of alternatives to evaluate.

On a related note, especially to this earlier post, Bill Wagnon, who represents Lawrence and Topeka in the Board of Ed., writes that:
I think that Judge Jones was attempting to be universal, and his remarks were particularly appropriate for the Kansas Science Standards adopted by the radical majority on the board. Corrective action in Kansas will probably be found in the outcome of the election in 2006, rather than another court case.
Here's hoping.