Sunday, October 23, 2005

What's Your Sign, Girl? 

Creationist Michael Behe of Lehigh University, who inspires awe and reverence among his fellow ID zealots because he has an actual degree in biochemistry and knows a nine-syllable synonym for "horseshit" (ir-re-du-ci-ble com-plex-i-ty), took the stand in the Dover school board suit last week. You can imagine how deeply it distresses us to report that the good doctor did not acquit himself at all well:
Behe was called to the stand on Monday by the defence, and testified that ID was a scientific theory, and was not “committed” to religion. His cross examination by the plaintiffs’ attorney, Eric Rothschild of the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, began on Tuesday afternoon.

Rothschild told the court that the US National Academy of Sciences supplies a definition for what constitutes a scientific theory: “Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.”

Because ID has been rejected by virtually every scientist and science organisation, and has never once passed the muster of a peer-reviewed journal paper, Behe admitted that the controversial theory would not be included in the NAS definition. “I can’t point to an external community that would agree that this was well substantiated,” he said.

Behe said he had come up with his own “broader” definition of a theory, claiming that this more accurately describes the way theories are actually used by scientists. “The word is used a lot more loosely than the NAS defined it,” he says.

Rothschild suggested that Behe’s definition was so loose that astrology would come under this definition as well. He also pointed out that Behe’s definition of theory was almost identical to the NAS’s definition of a hypothesis. Behe agreed with both assertions.

The exchange prompted laughter from the court, which was packed with local members of the public and the school board . . . .

“You've got to admire the guy. It’s Daniel in the lion’s den,” says Robert Slade, a local retiree who has been attending the trial because he is interested in science. "But I can’t believe he teaches a college biology class."
And my name is Mike
And I like a woman who understands
That there's a divinity that shaped her end
Not to mention her enzymatic chains
And ladies? If you feel that this is you

Then this is what I want you to do:

Take my hand
Come with me, baby, to Love Land
Let me show you how sweet it could be
Sharin' love with Be-hee

I want you to: Float! Float on . . . .

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