Saturday, May 21, 2005


Intelligent Design: Can it Pass the Daubert (No, Not Dilbert) Test?

An editorial in the Columbus Dispatch (registration required) from yesterday makes a common sense proposal for testing whether intelligent design is science or not. They propose to use the guidelines adopted 1993 by the U.S. Supreme Court to measure the reliability of expert scientific testimony -- the Daubert Test of Reliability.

Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence states, in part:

A. Witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if:
1. the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data,
2. the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and
3.the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.

The factors the court considers when applying this test are whether the theory or technique has been tested or can be tested; whether the theory or technique has been subjected to peer review and publication; whether there is a known or potential rate of error, and; whether the theory or methodology has been generally accepted within the scientific community.

Clearly, intelligent design can't meet any part of this test, and so can't be considered science.


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