Sunday, January 29, 2006

Discovery Institute and the status of Intelligent Design as science

The Discovery Institute has lately taken the position (argued by law student Michael Francisco) that Judge Jones was wrong to even consider ruling on the question of whether Intelligent Design is science. This position has been refuted in detail by Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, by John Pieret at Thoughts in a Haystack, and by Mike Dunford at The Questionable Authority.

I have one critique of Dunford's argument--I believe he is conflating two positions in order to create a contradiction on the part of the Discovery Institute when he points out that they argued that he should rule on the constitutionality of Intelligent Design, but should not have ruled on whether Intelligent Design is science. These are distinguishable issues and one could hold both simultaneously without contradiction (though not necessarily without error). Where the Discovery Institute contradicted the recent argument from Michael Francisco is that its expert witnesses and its amicus brief did argue for the scientific status of ID, as Brayton and Pieret point out.

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