Matt Brauer posted Entry 1793 on December 20, 2005 02:22 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1788
Professor of Sociology Steven Fuller may not know much about the history or content of science (see his recent confusion – just like Linus Pauling’s! – about the difference between protein and DNA at Micheal Berube’s blog) but he is good at the kind of jargoneering that the Discovery Institute and its allies use to confuse the public about science. He is also not, as far as I know, aligned religiously or politically with the DI. This must have made him seem to the Thomas More Law Center as an excellent witness for the defense in the Kitzmiller trial. “See,” you can imagine the argument going, “even lefty post-modern professors think ID ought to be taught. This proves that the motive is not religious!”
Professor of Sociology Steven Fuller may not know much about the history or content of science (see his recent confusion – just like Linus Pauling’s! – between protein and DNA at Micheal Berube’s blog) but he is good the kind of jargoneering that the Discovery Institute and its allies use to confuse the public about science. He is also not, as far as I know, aligned religiously or politically with the DI, which must have made him seem an excellent choice as a witness for the defense in the Kitzmiller trial. “See,” you can imagine the argument going, “even lefty post-modern professors think ID ought to be taught. This proves that the motive is not religious!”
Fuller proved to be quite compliant generally, but Judge Jones seems not to to have heard his pleas to institute in Dover a kind of affirmative action program for ID. Instead, it was the repeated acknowledgement that Intelligent Design is, in fact, creationism, that Judge Jones took away as the salient point of Fuller’s testimony.
In the decision, Fuller is cited 11 times:
- Professor Steven William Fuller testified that it is ID’s project to change the ground rules of science to include the supernatural. 
- This definition was described by many witnesses for both parties, notably including defense experts Minnich and Fuller, as “special creation” of kinds of animals, an inherently religious and creationist concept. 
- Moreover and as previously stated, there is hardly better evidence of ID’s relationship with creationism than an explicit statement by defense expert Fuller that ID is a form of creationism. 
- Although contrary to Fuller, defense experts Professors Behe and Minnich testified that ID is not creationism, their testimony was primarily by way of bare assertion and it failed to directly rebut the creationist history of Pandas or other evidence presented by Plaintiffs showing the commonality between creationism and ID. 
- Additionally and as pointed out by Plaintiffs, it is indeed telling that even defense expert Professor Fuller agreed with this conclusion by stating that in his own expert opinion the disclaimer is misleading.
- Stated another way, ID posits that animals did not evolve naturally through evolutionary means but were created abruptly by a non-natural, or supernatural, designer. Defendants’ own expert witnesses acknowledged this point. (21:96-100 (Behe); P-718 at 696, 700 (“implausible that the designer is a natural entity”); 28:21-22 (Fuller) (“… ID’s rejection of naturalism and commitment to supernaturalism …”); 
- First, defense expert Professor Fuller agreed that ID aspires to “change the ground rules” of science and lead defense expert Professor Behe admitted that his broadened definition of science, which encompasses ID, would also embrace astrology. 
- What is more, defense experts concede that ID is not a theory as that term is defined by the NAS and admit that ID is at best “fringe science” which has achieved no acceptance in the scientific community. 
- Science cannot be defined differently for Dover students than it is defined in the scientific community as an affirmative action program, as advocated by Professor Fuller, for a view that has been unable to gain a foothold within the scientific establishment. 
- Additionally, even if irreducible complexity had not been rejected, it still does not support ID as it is merely a test for evolution, not design. 
- In addition to failing to produce papers in peer-reviewed journals, ID also features no scientific research or testing. 
See the trend?
What the TMLC failed to appreciate when they booked Fuller as a witness was that he doesn’t believe in any kind of science. In the pomo view, science is all about social relationships and power dynamics. Whatever privileged role science has in society is fraudulantly obtained. Scientific authority is a sham.
(The TMLC and DI think the same thing, of course, but they contrast the relative truth derived from empirical observation of the natural world with the absolute truth of their deity’s words.)
Calling an expert witness who doesn’t believe in science to a trial about an idea’s scientific status was probably a mistake. Certainly, Steven Fuller wins second place (behind Michael Behe) in the race for the title of “Best Defense Witness for the Prosecution.”
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