And the so-called 'Discovery Institute' refuses to accept what was a landmark court decision. Rather, they continue to try to spin things. The latest? A press release (which seems to be the only evidence that intelligent design publishes anything...) complaining that "Judge John Jones copied verbatim or virtually verbatim 90.9% of his 6,004-word section on whether intelligent design is science from the ACLU's proposed 'Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law' submitted to him nearly a month before his ruling..." As the people at The Panda's Thumb have already pointed out, just what does 90.9% verbatim mean? It either is or is not.
Let's step back for a moment and recap what happened in Dover, PA last year. Members of the local school board attempted to sneak intelligent design (ID) into a grade school science class (literally by blackmailing the teachers). The teachers and some of the parents filed a lawsuit claiming that this was unconstitutional. Not only did the judge agree with the plaintiffs, but he made a much more profound finding: ID is not science. There were a variety of reasons for this (and the judge's decision makes for VERY interesting reading, at one point noting that the good church-going members of the school board 'repeatedly lied' under oath...), mainly because the designer is pretty well understood to be god and that ID simply produces no Science.
Even the Discovery Institute points out that this copying is actually standard legal procedure anyway, not plagerism. Is it because Judge Jones was lazy or incompetent? Hardly. Was he a mouthpiece for the ACLU, an organization which is dedicated to the preservation of freedoms enjoyed by even those that would seek to trample on them? (Yeah, I'm talking about you Ann Coulter.) As if. This was a conservative judge appointed by George Bush Jr himself. Not a likely candidate for the ACLU's poster child. "But Jones' analysis of the scientific status of intelligent design contains virtually nothing written by Jones himself. This finding seriously undercuts the credibility of a central part of the ruling." That's one possibility, but I'll give you a more likely one: the plaintiffs kicked ass. In fact, they kicked ass so bad that Judge Jones had no reason not to accept the facts of the case as presented by the plaintiffs in its entirety.
If you read Dr. Michael Behe's testimony you can see how much the ID proponents (and the Discovery Institute) embarrassed themselves. Not hard to do, I suppose, when the concept of ID is utterly empty and without any evidentiary support, let alone ridiculous.
Behe's testimony was ridiculous. He has this concept called 'irreducible complexity' that he keeps espousing. It states that if the removal of one part of a system causes that system to cease to function as it does in an organism then the system is said to be irreducible. Sounds good, doesn't it? But Behe limits the scope of functionality to its current function only, ignoring that its constituents may have had other functions in its evolutionary history. The supposed irreducibly complex systems Behe uses as examples, such as the bacterium flagellum, could not have just come together. However, he ignores the possibility that these systems, having other functionality, came together to produce a new function. In essence, Behe makes the usual (irrelevant and invalid) random chance argument, saying that these systems could not be produced in such a way that evolution says cannot have happened anyway! It's just a reformulation of Paley's old and discredited watchmaker argument. For Behe, the final objective (e.g. the bacterium flagellum) must be formed as a whole or not at all. If the removal of one part causes that system to fail, it must have been designed.
Ridiculous. This ignores the fact that apparently complex systems can be created from simpler ones through small steps following a set of rules. It is not all or nothing. It is clear that the bacterium flagellum was formed through small evolutionary changes, co-opting pieces which had other uses, in this case he Type III secretory system.
Anyway, Behe embarrassed himself by admitting on the stand that he had not read any of the Science behind the evolution of these systems. Not much of a scientist is Behe, I'm afraid. Even though his hypotheses have been completely discredited (and I mean shredded, over and over again), he continues to spout this crap.
I saw a book this summer (the title escapes me) and on the jacket it said that there is a quiet controversy in Science over evolution (it was a book on ID, of course). Well, I can tell you for a fact that it is so quiet that it does not exist. Period. ID has published no findings in any credible journal and the best they can do is sway public opinion through un-peer reviewed books and press releases that are pretty much (and correctly) ignored.
Dr. John West, Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, states that "those who thought the Dover decision would end the debate over Darwinian evolution were obviously wrong. That debate is just as vibrant and vigorous as it ever was, and Darwinists know it." Really? I hadn't noticed. This sounds like those War on Drugs pep talks, with politicians trying to convince themselves of what they're saying in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
It's been a year since Kitzmiller. ID is not Science. Get over it.