In Dover Trial, ACLU’s Expert Witness Mischaracterizes Intelligent Design

Discovery Institute
September 27, 2005
Print ArticleHarrisburg, PA -- The case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District opened in federal court yesterday with the ACLU calling its first expert witness in an effort to tell the court how it should define science. The ACLU is suing the school board of Dover, Pennsylvania for adopting a policy that requires students to listen to a three-paragraph statement about the theory of intelligent design.

The ACLU’s first expert witness, Dr. Kenneth Miller, testified that the scientific theory of intelligent design is untestable and therefore unscientific. Later he contradicted himself by proceeding to discuss how he has made various arguments in scientific forums testing design theory.

“Most of Dr. Miller’s testimony today against intelligent design was simply based upon a misrepresentation of the scientific theory of intelligent design,” said scientist Casey Luskin, program officer for public policy and legal affairs with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.

“Dr. Miller’s testimony is disturbing because it demands that the Court rule on the nature of science and the validity of scientific theories—matters which should be left to scientific experts and not be decided by courts,” added Luskin.

Miller also blatantly mischaracterized intelligent design theory as an argument for a “supernatural agent.”

“The scientific method has been used in many fields to detect the action of intelligence in the natural world,” explained Luskin. “Actual statements by intelligent design proponents clearly show that the scientific theory of intelligent design does not attempt to address religious questions such as the nature and identity of the designer, and thus it avoids such untestable assertions.”

Even the textbook under debate, “Of Pandas and People” (Pandas) makes it eminently clear that a scientific theory like intelligent design cannot identify the designer, and cannot state if the designer was supernatural or natural (see pages 7, and 127-127).

Miller also claimed that “Pandas” offers no positive case for design, even though the textbook clearly states that “[i]f experience has shown that a certain class of phenomena results from intelligent causes and then we encounter something new but similar, we conclude its origin also to be from an intelligent cause” (page ix).

The trial continues and Discovery Institute Fellows will continue reporting on the trial at