Saturday, June 11, 2005


Transcript Follies: Where the Gaps Are

The excerpt below, is from official transcript of the May 7 cross-examination of Angus Menuge, by Pedro Irigonegaray at the Kansas Science Hearings. Menuge was called as an "expert witness" by John Calvert, the attorney representing the intelligent design minority draft of the science standards curriculum.

Irigonegary represents the majority draft of the standards which is supported by The Kansas Academy of Science, Kansas Citizens For Science, Kansas Families United for Public Education, and The Mainstream Coalition. A boycott of the hearings was supported by the National Academy of Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. No mainstream scientists participated in the hearings.

Angus Menuge is a professor of philosophy and computer science at Concordia University in Wisconsin. The biographical note on his website states in part: "... I became an adult confirmand of the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod. This helped to heal the wounds of my heart... My interests now are in promoting Christian teaching and scholarship... "

PEDRO IRIGONEGARY: Sir, I have a few questions that I'd like to ask you for the record, please. What is your personal opinion as to what the age of the earth is?
ANGUS MENUGE: I don't know. And that's my final answer.
PEDRO IRIGONEGARY: Do you have an opinion as to what the age of the earth is?
ANGUS MENUGE: I'm not giving an opinion.
PEDRO IRIGONEGARY: I didn't hear you.
ANGUS MENUGE: I am not giving an opinion.
PEDRO IRIGONEGARY: You don't have any personal opinion as to what the age of the earth is?
ANGUS MENUGE: I have no opinion.
PEDRO IRIGONEGARY: Do you find that to be rather an oddity since you consider yourself an expert on all of these areas?
ANGUS MENUGE: Absolutely not, because my understanding of historical sciences has led me to -- studying them from the perspective of philosophy of science has led me to believe that inference to the best explanation is much less certain than other areas of science. And so the conclusions are much more tentative and there are other competing explanations that can be provided.
PEDRO IRIGONEGARY: Do you accept the general principle of common descent that all life is biologically related back to the beginning of life?
ANGUS MENUGE: Not as defined by neo-Darwinism, no.
PEDRO IRIGONEGARY: Do you accept that human beings are related by common descent to pre-hominid ancestors?
ANGUS MENUGE: I doubt it.
PEDRO IRIGONEGARY: What is the alternative explanation?
ANGUS MENUGE: Well, there are a number of alternative explanations. Right now, as this book shows, there are views looking at self-organization, which don't necessarily agree with that viewpoint. They may or they may not. But there is also the idea of design.
PEDRO IRIGONEGARY: And your opinion as to when that design occurred?
ANGUS MENUGE: I don't know.

And they want to bring this half-baked non-hypothesisis into the schools and teach it to our kids. The taxpayers of Kansas actually paid money to bring this man to our state to testify.


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