September 12, 2000
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you today about an extremely important subject - the issue of whether the Kansas State Board will take steps to censor the explanations that can be given to our school children about the cause of life and its diversity. In particular, whether the Board will bow to the pressure of the science community and agree to hide the evidence of design that appears abundantly in nature.
After my talk, Adrian Melott used his time to attempt to rebut my remarks. This letter is intended to address his points since I believe they represent the standard anti design argument.
The most significant part of Adrianís remarks is what he did not say. Most importantly, he does not contest my primary point that science does censor the evidence of design. In fact, the entire point of his remarks was to explain why science does impose this censorship - why he believes the censorship should be permitted. Note also, that he did not contest the assertion made that schools must be neutral when approaching a religious issue nor did he argue that science is being neutral. Hence, he appears to agree that science is not being neutral on this issue.
Adrianís first justification for the censorship is that it is necessary to be consistent with the methodological naturalism that drives science. The short answer to this claim is that the constitutional mandate for neutrality towards religion makes no exception for methodological naturalism. In fact, it is the censorship of design by naturalism that is making Darwinism a major religion in our country (See the remarks of Michael Ruse in the IDnet letter at page 8-9 and Ernst Mayrís contention in the July 2000 issue of Scientific American that Darwinism provides a proper foundation for our ethical and moral value system). There is no legal justification for the Stateís use of methodological naturalism to censor scientific evidence which supports theistic beliefs simply to promote evidence that denigrates those beliefs.
Although the legal argument should be sufficient, there is also no logical or scientific rational for using methodological naturalism to suppress and censor the evidence. Although naturalism may work in some areas of science, it certainly makes no sense when you are investigating an issue such as the origin of life and its diversity. This is an area of inquiry where there are essentially only two hypotheses. Life either is designed or it results only from chance and necessity. If design is ruled out, not for evidentiary reasons but for philosophical ones, then you prejudge the question and the investigation. Can you imagine applying methodological naturalism to an arson investigation where the issue is whether the fire was designed or accidental? If we tell the arson investigator to ignore the empty gas can and trail of accelerant leading to the center of the house where the fire started as well as all other evidence of design, can we ever believe the findings of the investigator? The same problem arises when you ask what causes life and its diversity. If only one of two possible answers is allowed, then the one allowed can never be logically or scientifically credible.
Applying methodological naturalism to censor the evidence of design is also a perversion of the scientific method. The hallmark of the scientific method is the testing of the evidence for one hypothesis against the evidence that supports the competing hypothesis. Exempting Darwinism from testing by the evidence for the competing theory (design) is wholly inconsistent with the scientific method. Therefore the application of MN to exempt Darwinism from testing makes absolutely no sense, either scientifically or logically.
Adrianís next argument is disingenuous on its face. Recognizing that design has been ruled out of the realm of science by use of methodological naturalism, he argues that we canít consider design because it is not recognized by science. The reason the argument is disingenuous is that it suggests that design is not considered because after being given due objective consideration by science it has been rejected on the merits. However, as we all know this has not happened - the adequacy of the evidence has been given no consideration - it has been intentionally ignored due to MN. Modern science has not given design objective consideration on the merits because their members are not permitted to do so. To claim that the evidence of design is inadequate is disingenuous when the claimants know that the evidence has not been given and is not allowed to be given objective consideration. Then you might ask, why not give the evidence of design objective consideration? Why not just settle the argument on that basis? The reason, I submit, is that many in science fear the answer.
Finally, Adrian makes the claim that design theory is bankrupt. My dictionary defines "bankrupt" as:
Note that Adrian did not do anything other than to use the slur. He conveniently omitted to show how the evidence of design is "lacking." Where in his argument did he deny that design is apparent in all of nature. If anything is bankrupt it is Darwinism. It fails to explain the existence of biological information, the origin of the genetic code or the irreducible complexity that is exhibited by the simplest of cells. It fails to show how a mechanism powered only by random mutation and environmental pressure has even the capacity to design and assemble the awesome machines we see in each of our cells. It takes a mind to create and process information. A Darwinian mechanism lacks the ability to process, store and act upon information to achieve the function and structure we see in living systems. By definition it is purposeless and unguided. Design is bankrupt? Give me a break!
Thanks for considering these supplemental remarks. Again, please read our letter to the Kansas School Boards and carefully consider what we should be telling our children about the cause of life and its diversity. Censoring the evidence makes no logical, scientific, cultural or legal sense. Furthermore, it just wonít work. You just canít hide the truth. Accordingly, the wise and prudent thing for you to do is to allow all the relevant scientific evidence to be heard.
Very truly yours
s/John H. Calvert
John H. Calvert
cc: Adrian Melott