I suppose it was inevitable that at some point the post-modernists should come to the aid of the Intelligent Design crowd. According to The Panda's Thumb, who are monitoring the Dover case, Steve Fuller, professor of sociology at Warwick University who's testifying in favour of ID as science, told the court that what science needed was “affirmative action for fringe ideas”.
Normally you'd expect anyone arguing in favour of ID to have a religious agenda: otherwise, why bother? That doesn't seem to be the case with Fuller though, as far as I can tell. He seems like your genuine cultural studies intellectual. He's written extensively in the field of "Science Studies", with a number of books to his name, including "Kuhn Vs.Popper: Prophets of the End of Science".
A telling article he wrote in defence of the cultural theorists in the notorious Sokal hoax (link via Kenan Malik's website, in the left-hand column), offers this somewhat circumscribed vision of science:
The power of science seems to rest on three pillars. One is science's distinctive social organization, which enables concentrated periods of both teamwork and criticism, nowadays done on a global scale with considerable material resources. Another is concerted political effort to apply the results of scientific research to all aspects of society. Finally is the control that scientists continue to exert over how their history is told. Past diversions and failures remain largely hidden, resulting in an airbrushed picture of 'progress' otherwise absent from human affairs.
The pursuit of knowledge? The fact that it works? Nah. Don't feature.
He then passes quickly over the actual details of the case:
an obscure American physicist, Alan Sokal, published an article designed [to] expose what he regarded as the absurdities advanced by our field...
and suggests that scientists have wilfully misunderstood what science studies is all about:
When science studies says...Science is socially constructed.
Scientists read...Science is whatever enough people think it is.
Well, certainly science is socially constructed, but that isn't all it is, for God's sake. It's hard to credit that someone who's read Popper can so completely miss the point. It's as though someone carried out a study of fishing, noting the way that different methods were adopted by different classes - coarse fishing for the proles, fly fishing for the toffs - and proposed that fishing was all about confirming social status and maintaining the power of the privileged elite, without ever having grasped that the main point of fishing is to catch fish.
Affirmative action for fringe ideas - as though it's all about power. As though the only difference between a successful experiment and a failed experiment is that the successful experimenters shout louder, or have richer backers, or have established a hegemonic discourse. Hey, whatever, let's give astrology a chance, or homeopathy, or Kirlian bioenergetics.....or Intelligent Design.
I imagine he's confusing science with cultural studies, where you can indeed get away with anything.
According to Dr. Fuller, belief in genetic mutation and natural selection has a tendency to make people just "sit around and wait to die" instead of questioning, studying and testing ideas. On the flip side, he said that cultures in which people believe they were "crafted in the image and likeness of God" have historically been more inquisitive and have developed a larger body of scientific knowledge than other cultures. He suggested that these people felt "like God" and therefore had the confidence to believe that they could figure out how life works.