The defense has begun to present its case in the ongoing Dover, Pa. trial that will decide whether intelligent design theory can be taught as an alternative to evolution in a ninth-grade biology class. On Oct. 18 and 19, leading intelligent design proponent Michael Behe, a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, testified in great depth as to the scientific merits of intelligent design, merits that he believes should qualify the theory for inclusion in public school curricula. Although he is a practicing Roman Catholic who believes that the "designer" of life was God, Behe stressed the scientific aspect of intelligent design over the religious.

As the case progresses, Beliefnet will continue to post intriguing excerpts from testimony on both sides of the isssue. Previously, Dover parent Bryan Rhem testified as to why, as a person of faith, he objects to intelligent design being taught to his children.

Behe's Testimony:
  • Does "design" mean we can know the designer?
  • Can intelligent design be scientifically disproved?
  • What are the weaknesses of Darwinism?
  • Astrology and ID--similarly scientific?

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    ATTORNEY: Now does the conclusion that something wasdesigned, does that require knowledge of a designer?

    BEHE: No, it doesn't. And if you can advance to thenext slide. I discussed that in Darwin's Black Box inChapter 9, the chapter entitled Intelligent Design. Letme quote from it.

    Quote, The conclusion that something was designedcan be made quite independently of knowledge of thedesigner. As a matter of procedure, the design mustfirst be apprehended before there can be any furtherquestion about the designer. The inference to designcan be held with all the firmness that is possible inthis world, without knowing anything about the designer.

    Q. So is it accurate for people to claim or torepresent that intelligent design holds that thedesigner was God?

    A. No, that is completely inaccurate.

    Q. Well, people have asked you your opinion as towho you believe the designer is, is that correct?

    A. That is right.

    Q. Has science answered that question?

    A. No, science has not done so.

    Q. And I believe you have answered on occasion thatyou believe the designer is God, is that correct?

    A. Yes, that's correct.

    Q. Are you making a scientific claim with thatanswer?

    A. No, I conclude that based on theological andphilosophical and historical factors.

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    Q. Is intelligent design falsifyable?

    A. Yes, it is.

    Q. And I want to get to that in a little bit moredetail later. Now just to summarize. When you say youare relying on logical inferences, you're referring toinductive reasoning, correct?

    A. Yes, inductive reasoning.

    Q. And other than intelligent design, as youdiscussed, and you discussed a little bit aboutpaleontology, do you have an example of this sort ofreasoning, inductive reasoning that's used in sciences?A. Well, I think an excellent example of inductivereasoning is the Big Bang theory. Most people forgetthat in the early part of the 20th century thatphysicists thought the universe was timeless, eternal,and unchanging.

    Intelligent design's scientific antecedents

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