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Scientists Ask Court to Respect Academic Freedom and Not Restrict Scientific Research and Inquiry

85 Scientists Join Together in Urging Court to Protect Academic Freedom and Not Limit Research into Intelligent Design Theory

Harrisburg, PA – Eighty-five scientists have filed an Amicus Brief in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial asking the Judge to “affirm the freedom of scientists to pursue scientific evidence wherever it may lead” and not limit research into the scientific theory of intelligent design. Not all the signers are proponents of intelligent design, but they do agree “that protecting the freedom to pursue scientific evidence for intelligent design stimulates the advance of scientific knowledge.”

The signers of the brief, identified as “Amici curiae” include such notable scientists as Dr. Philip Skell of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Lyle H. Jensen a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Dr. Russell W. Carlson Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Executive Technical Director, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia.

“The advance of scientific knowledge depends on uninhibited, robust investigation seeking the best explanation,” said Gonzaga University law professor David DeWolf, a senior fellow at Discovery Institute. “Doubts as to whether a theory adequately explains the evidence should be resolved in the laboratory not in the court room. Scientists are concerned that a Court ruling limiting the nature of science would have far-reaching detrimental effects beyond the schoolhouse doors and into the laboratories and careers of many legitimate scientists.”

The brief reads in part:

Amici curiae are scientists who oppose any attempt to define the nature of science in a way that would limit their ability to follow the evidence wherever it may lead. Since the identification of intelligent causes is a well established scientific practice in fields such as forensic science, archaeology, and exobiology, Amici urge this Court to reject plaintiffs’ claim that the application of intelligent design to biology is unscientific. Any ruling that depends upon an outdated or inaccurate definition of science, or which attempts to define the boundaries of science, could hinder scientific progress.

Amici are professional scientists who support academic freedom for scientific research into the scientific theory of intelligent design. Some Amici are scientists whose research directly addresses design in biology, physics, or astronomy. Other Amici are scientists whose research does not bear directly upon the intelligent design hypothesis, but feel it is a viable conclusion from the empirical data. Finally, some Amici are skeptics of intelligent design who believe that protecting the freedom to pursue scientific evidence for intelligent design stimulates the advance of scientific knowledge. All Amici agree that courts should decline to rule on the scientific validity of theories which are the subject of vigorous scientific debate.