MW (Applause) Thank you, thank you. Our guest today is Barbara Forrest of the department of philosophy at Louisiana State University and co-author with Paul Gross of Creationism’s Trojan Horse. Professor Forrest is a prominent critic of creationism and intelligent design. (Applause). Barbara, let me begin –
BF It’s Dr. Forrest, Marv.
MW Oh, I do apologize, can I call you Dr. Barb or do you prefer Dr. Forrest?
BF Well, Marv, actually, I prefer Dr. Barbara Forrest, Ph.D. but Dr. Barb is fine.
MW Terrific Barb – I mean Dr. Barb – let me ask you, what’s the problem with intelligent design?
BF Well, Marv, the people advocating intelligent design think of intelligent design as a wedge. Nobody really minds a wedge, but Intelligent Design is just the tip of the iceberg. The wedge is really a stake about to be plunged into the heart of the scientific process.
MW Wow, that’s heavy. It’s a wedge and a tip and a stake. I mean, which is it?
BF Well, Marv, it’s all three really. The wedge is the tip of a stake, if you see what I mean.
MW Actually, I don’t, but we’ll get back to that right after the break.
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MW Where talking with Dr. Bark Forrest about intelligent design …
BF That’s Dr. BARBARA Forrest, Marv …
MW Oh, I do apologize. In our studios today is Dr. Barb Forrest –
MW Right, Dr. Barking Forrest Ph.D, and we’re talking about intelligent design. Now let me ask you, Doc, just what’s wrong with intelligent design?
BF It’s simple Marv. The people claiming that intelligent design is science aren’t real scientists.
MW I see, that’s heavy. But look, some of these people have real degrees. I mean Mike Behe has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, right? And William Dembski has two degrees, one in mathematics and the other in philosophy. And also there is Jonathan Wells. I mean he has a degree in biology, too. What do you say to that?
BF Those aren’t real Ph.D.s Marv. They only look like real Ph.D’s. One of the things we’ve learned from Darwin is that a lot of Ph.D’s look real that aren’t real at all.
MW Amazing. Isn’t that sort of like things in biology that look like they were designed but really aren’t?
MW Wow. But let me ask you this. Suppose you look at Mt. Rushmore. A lot of people are going to say that it looks designed because it was designed.
BF People on the Christian right will say anything at all.
MW You don’t think Mt. Rushmore looks designed?
BF Not at all. It only looks as if looks designed. And if did look designed, that would only be because it was designed to look that way by the Christian right. That’s the first thing I teach in my introduction to philosophy.
MW Fascinating. But let me ask you this. You’re a philosopher, then? I mean your degree is in philosophy?
BF My Ph.D. Yes, that’s right.
MW But in your book Creationism’s Trojan Elephant …
BF That’s horse, Marv …
MW Sorry. But that reminds me, just what is a Trojan horse?
BF It’s a horse from Troy.
MW Right. Something I should have known. But my point is, in your book The Trojan Horse, you say that a lot of these people arguing intelligent design – actually you call then snake peddlers –
BF That’s snake-oil peddlers …
MW Peddlers, salesmen, whatever, you say that these people really don’t have any credentials, and yet your own degree …
WM Right, your own degree is in philosophy. I mean, isn’t that the case of the pot calling the kettle black.
BF Actually, it’s not.
MW Interesting, interesting. We’ll be right back with Dr. Forrest Barb, right after the break.
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MW Welcome back. Our guest today is Dr. Barbara Forrest, Ph.D. and we’re talking about intelligent design. Barb –
BF That’s Dr. Barb
MW Right. Bark –
MW My fault, I do apologize. But in any case, one of the things we hear about from the Intelligent Design movement –
BF That’s snake-oil peddlers, Marv –
MW Well, whatever, but in any case, one of the things we hear from the snake side is that there is a controversy about Darwin’s theory of evolution. What about that, Barb?
BF There’s no controversy, and it’s Dr. Forrest.
MW Right, right. But how do you know there’s no controversy? I mean why are we here then?
BF It’s a controversy that only looks like a controversy, Marv. One of the things we’ve learned from Darwin is that a lot of controversies look like controversies but really aren’t.
MW I see. Fascinating, just fascinating. We’ll be right back after this break.
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MW Welcome back. My guest today is Dr. Barbara Forrest Ph.D. and we’re talking about snake oil. So let me ask you this, Barb.
BF Dr. Barb.
MW … So you’re saying is that when the Discovery Institute publishes a list of four hundred prominent scientists claiming that Darwin’s theory of evolution is seriously defective, it only looks like they’re saying that Darwin’s theory of evolution is seriously defective?
BF That’s exactly right.
MW But let me ask you this, Barb. Why does it look that way?
BF That’s Dr. Barb, Marv. And it looks that way because it’s designed to look that way by the Christian right.
MW Just incredible. We’ll be right back with your calls right after the break.
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MW Welcome back, welcome back, my guest today is Dr. Forrest Barker and you are on the air:
Caller Thanks Marv, long time listener, first time caller. I’d like to ask your guest how come if Darwin’s theory gets so many things wrong, I mean like the fossil record and stuff, it’s really right?
MW Good question, caller, Bark?
BF Barb. One thing we’ve learned from Darwin is that when scientific theories seem wrong, they’re really right.
MW Wow, that is incredible. So you’re saying that the worse a theory is, the better?
BF I’m not just saying it. It’s the consensus of the scientific community.
MW Incredible. Let’s go to our lines for another caller. You’re on the air, caller …
Caller Marv, I’ve got to tell you that that is the most incredible line of horse --- (line goes dead)
MW Caller? Caller? We seem to have lost our caller. Let’s go to another line.
Caller Hi, my name is Carol and I’m calling from Berkeley, California, and I’d just like to ask your guest which she thinks is worse, the Christian part of the Right, or the Right part of the Christians? I need to know because there’s this like protest we’re having about free speech and we need to know what to suppress?
MW Tough question, Barb. Your response?
BF Well, I’d have to say that you can take the right out of the Christian but you can’t take the Christian out of the right.
MW Amazing, just amazing. We have time for one last caller. You’re on the air.
Caller Is this Marv?
MW Yes, it is. You’re on the air? Your question, please.
Caller I’m on the air?
MW Yes you are.
Caller With the doctor?
MW That’s right. Your speaking with Dr. Barbara Forrest, Ph.D.
Caller I’m on the air, right? Well here’s my question. I’ve got these bunions that are just acting up fearfully, and I was wondering ….