|Wesley R. Elsberry
Joined: May 2002
|Quote (Dr.GH @ Mar. 17 2010,21:56)|
|Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Mar. 17 2010,17:43)|
|Anywhere Richard Thompson (head of the Thomas More Law Center) goes, weirdness seems to follow. I was reflecting on Jeff Shallit's deposition in the Kitzmiller case, which was taken by Thompson with Stephen Harvey present from Pepper Hamilton. Thompson probably spent more time in the deposition asking about my role in the production of Shallit's rebuttal report than any other single topic. Close behind that would be questions about Jeff's motivation to send email to various IDC cheerleaders. What one sees very little of in it is stuff to do with the technical side of things, such as the exact form of Jeff's critique of Dembski's "design inference".|
I was bummed out when Dembski bailed from the Dover trial. I thought he was going to get creamed, and I was looking forward to it.
I did not know that "Why Intelligent Design Fails" would be part of Behe's cross-examination. But, I was confident that Steve Fuller would make an ass of himself IF he was encouraged to talk about "science" and not be challenged about PoMo. The trial was not about Paul Gross, or his hate of anthropologists.
I was also put out a bit by the timing of Dembski's withdrawal. If they had waited a week, we'd have had his deposition done. One of the things we had asked him to bring along was his documentation of the review process for "The Design Inference" (TDI), since peer-review of that work played such a prominent role in his expert report. (Somewhere along the line, Dembski had responded to critics that if they had questions about the review process, they should contact Brian Skyrms. I did so, and found him pretty completely uncooperative not just in discussing review of TDI itself, but of answering any questions about what constituted the usual book review process for Cambridge University Press.) By bailing right then, Dembski avoided any hostile scrutiny, yet still had the consolation prize of >$20,000 in expert fees that he extracted from TMLC.
So, let's recap: by choosing William Dembski as an expert witness, TMLC got an expert report that they couldn't use without opening the door to letting the plaintiffs put rebuttal expert Jeff Shallit on the stand, one huge mess over which lawyers got to represent both Dembski and the defense (remember FTE tried to add themselves to the list of defendants in the case), a loss of one expert witness they could bring to trial (once past the date for announcing expert witnesses, dropping a witness is subtracting from that total), and a >$20,000 bill to pay for the privilege. Given all that, you could almost believe that Dembski was working for the plaintiffs. Letting us depose him would only have made that case stronger.
If I have anything to say about a future case involving a Dembski-associated book (say, "The Design of Life"), my advice is going to be to bring Dembski aboard as a hostile witness. That way, it won't be among his options to bail at his pleasure.
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker