But Biever did not stop there. She then added some propaganda of her own as she recounted what has become yet another evolution propaganda instrument: the 2005 Dover trial on the teaching of intelligent design.
In that trial lawyer Eric Rothschild asked Michael Behe about the definition of science. Wasn't Behe's definition of science too broad? Biever erronously recounted that Behe had to agree that astrology would come under his definition of science, and the court erupted in laughter. That is as false and misleading as is her interpretation of Inherit the Wind.
When I pointed this out evolutionists came rushing to her defense. One evolutionist in the know, who was at the trial, asked about my source. He writes:
There were no recordings allowed of the trial, but I know for sure that I and several others laughed, or at least giggled, when the astrology thing from Behe's deposition (where Behe had said, flat out, that astrology qualified as a scientific theory under his definition of theory) came up. If I recall correctly the astrology thing was included in the newspaper stories the reporters wrote that night for the next morning. It definitely made an impression on the audience, and the reporters sitting over in the jury box.
PS: The right answer answer to the astrology question was "no, it's not science."
My source was at the trial and tells me that Biever is engaging in Whig history. My source did not tell me there was dead silence. Were there a few people in the back row giggling? That certainly is possible, but the courtroom did not erupt in laughter. That simply is a false, self-serving misrepresentation.
But this giggling evolutionist does not stop there. He says that the reason for the eruption of laughter (which didn't happen) is that Behe "said, flat out, that astrology qualified as a scientific theory" (which didn't happen).
In this case the evolutionary lie cannot hide behind hearsay. Fortunately we have the transcipts of precisely what was said. Rothschild was pursuing another one of his absurd line of questionings and Behe was trying to set him straight.
Rothschild asked if astrology qualifies as science according to Behe. Rothschild, who probably never heard of the Chaldeans, was entering foreign territory. He may have thought he had cleverly made his case, but in fact he was revealing how sophmoric is evolutionary thought. This is not about angry fundamentalist mobs with pitchforks and torches.
Behe made it clear that tarot cards and mind readers don't cut it. But he also explained what historians and philosophers already know: whether astrology qualifies as science is a question that is more subtle than simply rejecting this morning's horoscope. Behe did not "flat out" say anything--he gave extended responses which were appropriate given the questions posed to him.
For instance, what if (as some claim) there are significant statistical correlations between the celestial objects and earthly events? Should we disallow, a priori, any such empirically-based conclusion? Should we smear any such investigation as non scientific? Behe makes it clear that his definition of science allows for such empirically-based approaches.
I have difficulty believing that such correlations exist (though I have never looked at the data) but, with Behe, it is also not clear to me that such an investigation must be considered as non scientific simply because we do not have a causal mechanism. If that were the case then Darwin and Wallace were not doing science either.
Of course there are examples of astrology that do make religious assumptions up front (such as with the Chaldeans). In these cases the astrology is no different than evolution, and the evolutionist's rebuke to astrology becomes hypocritical.
The bottom line is that questions of astrology immediately raise more questions. It is not particularly amenable to black/white answers as evolutionists would have it. For instance, how much up front restriction should we place on the answer? Should empirical investigation be allowed even if a causal mechanism is not known? Should we allow ourselves to ask dangerous questions? Here is the part of questioning where Behe reiterates his empiricism:
Q And using your definition, intelligent design is a scientific theory, correct?
Q Under that same definition astrology is a scientific theory under your definition, correct?
A Under my definition, a scientific theory is a proposed explanation which focuses or points to physical, observable data and logical inferences. There are many things throughout the history of science which we now think to be incorrect which nonetheless would fit that -- which would fit that definition. Yes, astrology is in fact one, and so is the ether theory of the propagation of light, and many other -- many other theories as well.
Q The ether theory of light has been discarded, correct?
A That is correct.
Q But you are clear, under your definition, the definition that sweeps in intelligent design, astrology is also a scientific theory, correct?
A Yes, that's correct. And let me explain under my definition of the word "theory," it is -- a sense of the word "theory" does not include the theory being true, it means a proposition based on physical evidence to explain some facts by logical inferences. There have been many theories throughout the history of science which looked good at the time which further progress has shown to be incorrect. Nonetheless, we can t go back and say that because they were incorrect they were not theories. So many many things that we now realized to be incorrect, incorrect theories, are nonetheless theories.
Rothschild next undercuts his line of inquiry when he asked Behe "Has there ever been a time when astrology has been accepted as a correct or valid scientific theory," apparently oblivious to the actual history of astrology.
Do lawyers know about Kepler? Apparently not. Rothschild later pursued the ridiculous line of reasoning that design, like geocentrism, it is based merely on appearances:
Q Now, you gave examples of some theories that were discarded?
Q One was the ether theory?
Q And the other was the theory of geocentrism, right?
A That's correct.
Q And what you said yesterday was that there was some pretty compelling evidence for observers of that time that that was good theory, right?
A Yes, sure.
Q Look up in the sky, and it looked like the sun was going around us, correct?
A That's right.
Q And we know now that those appearances were deceiving, right?
A That's correct.
Q So what we thought we knew from just looking at the sky, that's not in fact what was happening, right?
A That's right.
Q So the theory was discarded?
A That's correct.
Q And intelligent design, also based on appearance, isn t it, Professor Behe?
The notion that we should exclude from science theories that are based on appearances is silly. If, on the other hand, Rothschild's point was merely that ID might be false, then so what? No one has claimed otherwise. It is naturalistic evolution, not ID, that is not falsifiable.
I once asked Rothschild about the problem that evolution entails religious premises. Does that make the teaching of evolution unconstitutional? Would he like to learn more? Not a chance.