As a federal judge tries to determine whether a tiny Pennsylvania school district has the legal right to teach intelligent design alongside evolution theories, one scientific expert in the field is arguing that the role of a creator creates a real, viable alternative to some evolution theories which exclude the possibility.
Michael Behe, a biochemistry professor at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh University is one of the leading minds in the field of Intelligent Design--which states that the active hand of a creator was present in and throughout the process of the creation of the universe.
11 parents in Dover, PA are suing the tiny local school district citing that intelligent design is merely thinly veiled religion which has no place in public school biology courses.
As the trial hits its forth week, the defense called Mr. Behe, author of the popular Darwin’s Black Box (1996), as their first expert witness.
According to a report in the New York Times, when asked whether intelligent design is religion, or "based on any religious beliefs," Mr. Behe replied, "No, it isn't…It is based entirely on observable, physical evidence from nature."
He used the example of bacterial flagellum, or what he called "the outboard motor bacteria use to swim" to illustrate his point.
He showed that what appears to be like a "rotary motor" attached to a "drive shaft", which pushes a tiny propeller, leads to the inevitable conclusion that the design suggests "a purposeful arrangement of parts."
Behe said that Intelligent Design constituted science because it makes testable claims.
He clarified however, that the theory says nothing, and requires no knowledge of the nature or identity of the designer.
He testified that while he, himself a Catholic, understands that designer to be God, he reached that conclusion based on "theological, philosophical and historical facts", not on science.
He also pointed out that while evolution should be continue to be taught in schools because it is "widely used in science" and "many aspects are well substantiated," Intelligent Design challenges only part of the theory, namely that of natural selection.
The Catholic Church teaches that while many aspects of evolution are fine, those branches which suggest an unguided, unplanned, process conflict with the Church’s trust of the active hand in the world.