Dispatches from the Creation Wars

I had totally missed this in my first quick read-through of the ruling in the ACSI lawsuit against the UC. As in Dover, Michael Behe was brought in as an expert on one side. And as in Dover, he managed to score points for the other side instead. John Pieret caught it, though, and has the details. It seems that Behe was trying to argue that it was pedagogically bad for a school to tell kids that they must believe in any particular idea. From the judge’s ruling:

Plaintiffs’ evidence also supports Defendants’ conclusion that these biology texts are inappropriate for use as the primary or sole text. Plaintiffs’ own biology expert, Professor Michael Behe testified that “it is personally abusive and pedagogically damaging to de facto require students to subscribe to an idea . . . . Requiring a student to, effectively, consent to an idea violates [her] personal integrity. Such a wrenching violation [may cause] a terrible educational outcome.”


So why did this help the defense in this case rather than the plaintiffs who hired him? Because the very textbook he was defending did precisely what Behe is criticizing and that fact did not escape the judge:

Yet, the two Christian biology texts at issue commit this “wrenching violation.” For example, Biology for Christian Schools declares on the very first page that:

(1) “‘Whatever the Bible says is so; whatever man says may or may not be so,’ is the only [position] a Christian can take . . . .”

(2) “If [scientific] conclusions contradict the Word of God, the conclusions are wrong, no matter how many scientific facts may appear to back them.”

(3) “Christians must disregard [scientific hypotheses or theories] that contradict the Bible.”

Beautiful. Almost as beautiful as watching him be forced to admit that his big pro-ID paper was actually an anti-ID paper during the Dover trial.