Thursday, April 3, 2008

Michael Behe scores yet another own goal in California!

The IDiots can't stop providing us with more funny moments it seems! The latest blooper involves their sole respectable academic biologist notable cDesign Proponentsist Michael Behe, who, you may recall, had played such a stellar role as the star witness in the Dover trial several years ago. This time he was called upon, once again (I guess they don't really have too many options when it comes to finding "expert" witnesses on their side), to testify on behalf of several christian school groups who had sued the University of California for refusing to accept some "biology" courses taught at various christian schools as meeting UC admissions criteria. The UC refused to buckle down to pressure and fought it out in court, and a partial summary judgment came down last friday - you guessed it - in favor of the UC! A key argument that really convinced the judge was made by none other than Behe - but boy was he pissing into the wind with this one:

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."

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."

Talk about building up a record of own goals! Who needs any other so-called "reality tv" when these guys keep providing us with such nonstop entertainment! And we can just sit back and enjoy the game as long as the likes of Behe (and Ben Stein et al) are on the creationist team, eh?

So the judge summarily ruled that the UC has every right to reject inadequate courses from religious schools to ensure that only properly qualified students are admitted. Invoking a religious education indoctrination does not give you an exemption from having to meet the requirements of a proper university education in the sciences. And I'm proud to see my alma mater holding the line on proper science education for the reality-based community. There may be another chapter to this suit, however, because the christian plaintiffs want the court to rule on the acceptability of the textbooks in question as well - and I have to wonder how that will go in light of the above judgment which is based on some content from the book.

Go read the whole story as told in much greater detail, who has been covering the story since the lawsuit started in 2005 over at the Questionable Authority.



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