Scott Minnich

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Scott A. Minnich is an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Idaho, and a fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. Minnich's research interests are temperature regulation of Yersinia enterocolitica gene expression and coordinate reciprocal expression of flagellar and virulence genes.[1]


Minnich is a proponent of intelligent design, and supports Michael Behe's thesis of "irreducible complexity" in bacterial flagella as evidence of intelligent design.[2][3] Minnich testified in favor of the defendants in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, a 2005 federal court case regarding the teaching of intelligent design at the high school level.[4] At the trial, Minnich testified that he tested whether the bacterial flagella was irreducibly complex by mutating the genes that built the 35 required components of the structure. He testified that whenever the gene(s) for each of the 35 components were mutated, the bacterium lacked motility.[5] Based on this scientific research, Minnich reasoned that bacterial flagellum was irreducibly complex beyond the 35 essential components.

In 2004 Minnich and Stephen C. Meyer presented a paper to an engineering conference, the Second International Conference on Design & Nature, entitled "Genetic Analysis of Coordinate Flagellar and Type III Regulatory Circuits".[6] The Discovery Institute lists this as one of its "Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design".[7] However, in his testimony for Kitzmiller v. Dover, Minnich admitted that the paper was minimally peer reviewed :[8]

Q: And the paper that you published was only minimally peer reviewed, isn't that true?
A. For any conference proceeding, yeah. You don't go through the same rigor. I mentioned that yesterday. But it was reviewed by people in the Wessex Institute, and I don't know who they were.

Minnich is widely published in technical journals including Journal of Bacteriology, Molecular Microbiology, Journal of Molecular Biology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Microbiological Method, Food Technology, and the Journal of Food Protection.[9] In 2004 he served as a member of the Iraq Survey Group, which looked for evidence of biological warfare preparations by Saddam Hussein's regime.[10]


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