Barbara Forrest

Barbara Forrest

Barbara Carroll Forrest, PhD. is a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. She has been a critic of intelligent design and the Discovery Institute.


Forrest was awarded a Ph.D. in philosophy at Tulane University in 1988. She has taught philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University since 1981 and presently is a professor in philosophy in the Department of History and Political Science.

With biologist Paul R. Gross she co-authored "" (Oxford University Press 2004), which examines the goals and strategies of the intelligent design movement and its attempts to undermine the teaching of evolutionary biology. They analyze the absence of a scientific intelligent design hypothesis, ID's religious foundations, and the political ambitions of intelligent design proponents. They examine the movement's Wedge strategy which has advanced and is succeeding through public relations rather than through scientific research. They also highlight intelligent design creationism's relationship to public education and to the separation of church and state.

Forrest serves on the board of directors of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), the Board of Trustees of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association (NOSHA). [ [ Supporters of NCSE] , National Center for Science Education] [ [ Americans United Board of Trustees] , Americans United for Separation of Church and State] [ [ Who's who] , New Orleans Secular Humanist Association]

Kitzmiller vs Dover Area School District

Forrest was a key expert witness for the plaintiffs in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial. The defendants were represented by the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a conservative Christian, not-for-profit law center whose motto is "The Sword and the Shield for People of Faith". After Forrest had been deposed, the TMLC tried but failed to have her stopped from testifying. In a motion to have her removed as a witness, they described her as "little more than a conspiracy theorist and a web-surfing, ‘cyber-stalker’ of the Discovery Institute..." [ [ Brief supporting defendants' motion in limine] , Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District] [ [ Defendants' motion in limine] , Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District] Judge Jones denied the motion and Forrest's testimony began October 5th.

According to Forrest, after the TMLC's attempt to exclude her as a witness had failed, and only a few days before she would be testifying, the Discovery Institute attempted to publicly ridicule her on their website. She wrote, "On September 29, I noticed that DI had posted a transcript of an interview I had done— except that I hadn’t done it. The transcript was fake. Apparently meant (though not marked) as a parody, the organization whose self-described goal is 'to support high quality scholarship . . . relevant to the question of evidence for intelligent design in nature' ridiculed me by, among other things, having fictitious radio host 'Marvin Waldburger' refer to me as 'Dr. Barking Forrest Ph.D.' If DI thought this would unsettle me, they were ignoring the fact that I had just been through two killer hurricanes. I could only shake my head at their doing something so jaw-droppingly stupid. If they were hoping Judge Jones would see and be influenced by this silliness, it was just another sign of the disrespect for his intelligence and integrity that began before the trial and continues today." [ [ The “Vise Strategy” Undone] , Barbara Forrest]

During her testimony the defense would again ask the court to exclude Forrest from testifying as expert witness. Judge Jones allowed them to present their case for dismissing her and then denied their request. Forrest would go on to testify on the religious origins and nature of the intelligent design movement, the wedge document, and also demonstrated that the drafts of the textbook at the center of the court case "Of Pandas and People", substituted terms such as "intelligent design" and "intelligent designer" in place of "creationism" and "creator" in an attempt to circumvent the ruling in the Edwards v. Aguillard which determined that teaching creationism in public schools violated the Establishment Clause of the United States constitution. Her testimony had a significant impact on Judge Jones's decision. [ [ Decision] , Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District]

A year after the ruling Forrest commented in a telephone interview, "It was very clear to everyone who followed the case that intelligent design is not science. The Discovery Institute has been trying for years to foment a court case. And they finally got one dropped in their laps and what was ironic is they didn't want it. They knew what this case would do to them." [ [ Behind the bench with the intelligent design judge, one year later] , Christina Kauffman, The York Dispatch]


*"Creationism's Trojan Horse". Oxford University Press, (January 8, 2004) ISBN 0195157427 and ISBN 978-0195157420


External links

* [ Barbara Forrest's academic homepage]
* [ Official site of "Creationism's Trojan Horse"]
* [ The Newest Evolution of Creationism Intelligent design is about politics and religion, not science.] by Barbara Forrest. From Natural History magazine, April, 2002, page 80.
* [ Collected works] at Internet Infidels
* [ "The “Vise Strategy” Undone:Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District"] by Barbara Forrest
* [ Trial transcript of Barbara Forrest's Kitzmiller vs Dover testimony]
* [ Forrest's expert report Kitzmiller v Dover]
* [ Forrest's supplemental report Kitzmiller v Dover]

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