History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Legalities, and ID versus Darwinism…the Dover trial issues all over again

June 10th, 2013 · No Comments

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/legal-scholar-teaching-intelligent-design-in-public-universities-is-both-a-scientific-and-first-amendment-no-no/: Legal scholar: teaching intelligent design in public universities is both a scientific and First Amendment no-no
This elicits a similar response here to what happened with the Dover trial: ID was pronounced ‘unscientific’, in a decree from a judge based on rigged evidence from selected expert sets of testimony.
The charge that ID is not science is a strong one, depending on how you define it, but not strong enough to escape the charge of bias, and ideological sleight-of-hand.
If the issue is entangled with the promotion of Christianity, then it is an issue of the legal and constitutional questions of church and state. That’s decisive. Personally, I think that is nonetheless unfair in the sense that times have changed: now the ‘religion’ of the non-religion of, say, atheism, is granted an access to the schools, despite its controversial crypto-religious character. Still, it is a matter of historical precedent, and the clear stealth tactics of certain religionists on evolution.
The problem here, as with the Dover trial, is that Darwinism is also not science. It is probable bias and ideological promotion for a judge to make the judgment that a probable pseudo-science like Darwinism (not the same as ‘evolution’ in general) is science. The evidence here is not for a judge to decide. But if it happens that way then a clear presentation of multiple sides of the expert testimony must be given. The Dover trial was a fraud and a rigged game because the evidence against Darwinism was never presented, the court given over to shark lawyers (as with the Scopes trial) who were easily able to stage the expose of ID as bad science.
The facts are that neither ID nor Darwinism can resolve the issue of the mechanism of evolution. For a judge to decide on the science, then, is a misfire of judicial procedure.

And none of this can answer the question of non-theistic design theories. WHEE, for example, provides clear evidence of a teleological process in nature that makes Darwinism look very dubious. The issue of theology never arises.
And now there are post-Darwinian theorists, such as Nagel, who reconsider design issues (without endorsing creationist ID), and who explicitly call themselves atheists. The legal judgments therefore are clearly violations of correct legal thinking.

The situation is, and always has been contradictory. Consider a figure such as Schopenhauer. His theme of the ‘Will’ in Nature, correctly understood, is a truly elegant, if tricky, and highly debatable no doubt, from an atheist that could inform a correct reevaluation of evolution. This is a design argument, by definitions, since it speaks to a (highly leveraged and abstract) idea of the ‘will’ operating in nature. By definition this is design argument, from an avowed atheist.

In general the attempts to forbid the discussion of design in education and to promote Darwinism as science by judicial judgment is on VERY thin ice indeed.

I think that if the issue of design is separated from theological issues forbidding its discussion in university level courses is almost beyond belief as a form of judiical misfire.
The Dover trial peddled an illusion: the reality is that the shark lawyers of that trial could, given a suitable fee, make mincemeat of the ‘science’ of Darwinism. So why not a fair trial? The science estab is afraid of a fair trial because they know that scientific critiques of Darwinism would leave the theory exposed, and this could easily be pointed to in a fair trial.

The issue is vexed because it could well be that there are ‘designers’ in nature who influence evolution. To evidence that, if it were possible, would demand that it be taken as science. We can evidence that as yet, but we can’t evidence Darwinian natural selection either.

The sorry state of the law on evolution, therefore….

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