Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tidbits From the Decision, Part One

I'm working my way through the 139 page opinion in the Dover case. It's too wonderful to take in fully in one sitting. There's just no substitute for reading the whole thing. Nonetheless, over the next few posts I will highlight certain portions of the opinion I found expecially cool.

Like this, from page 82:


This inference to design based upon the appearance of a “purposeful arrangement of parts” is a completely subjective proposition, determined in the eye of each beholder and his/her viewpoint concerning the complexity of a system. Although both Professors Behe and Minnich assert there is a quantitative aspect to the inference, on cross-examination they admitted that there is no quantitative criteria for determining the degree of complexity or number of parts that bespeak design, rather than a natural process.


Of course, such a quantitative criterion for detecting design is precisely what William Dembski claims to have produced. You might recall that at one time Dembski was slated to appear as an expert witness for the forces of darkness in this trial. I wonder if he's regretting that decision now.

3 Comments:

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

Jason wrote:
...at one time Dembski was slated to appear as an expert witness for the forces of darkness in this trial. I wonder if he's regretting that decision now.

I don't think he's regretting it at all. To the contrary; I think he's thrilled. You see, now he can say "well, if they'd have heard MY testimony things would be different."

In addition, having not testified means that he was not personally discredited. Trust me, if you think you've seen spin so far from the ID folks about the results of the suit, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Fred

 
At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Jon said...

Jason - you're so right about reading the whole thing. It's both lucid and compelling. Every statement is backed up with the evidence and thought that went behind it.

If anyone is passing up on reading the PDF because of the page count, don't let that deter you - there aren't that many words per page, it's well paced, and it has a great ending...

...Unless you're pro-ID; then you REALLY have to read it. If ID is to be a science that allows the religious intellectual to find evidence of God's influence, then you must read and react to criticism.

That process is called science.

 
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