Sunday, July 18, 2004

Daubert and Copernicus

Today's New York Times excerpts the first chapter of The Book Nobody Read, in which Owen Gingerich recounts his adventures as an expert witness for the prosecution in a case involving the theft of a second-edition copy of Copernicus' De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium. 

Among other claims to fame, Professor Gingerich attempted to teach us astronomy in college.  He is not to be confused with Newt Gingrich, who presumably still contests the heliocentric hypothesis.


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Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.