The Questionable Authority

Denyse O’Leary notes some of the differences between creationists and Intelligent Design proponents:

Then the creationists in turn help the ID theorists by making clear what creationism is and what it is not. Creationism is about the BIBLE, see? It’s not about intelligent design theories like Behe’s* Edge of Evolution or Dembski’s design inference.

It’s extremely uncommon for me to find myself in agreement with Denyse on anything (and it’s not a comfortable feeling), but in this case I do think she’s got a good point. Creationism is certainly explicitly based on the Bible, and Intelligent Design certainly is not. In fact, that’s probably the Achilles’ Heel of the entire Intelligent Design movement.

Say what you will about the Young-Earth creationists, about Ken Ham and Kent “Prisoner #06452-017” Hovind, they are steadfast in their belief in the literal truth of the Bible, and steadfast in their refusal to lie about that belief. They believe that they are right, and they are not willing to publicly deny their faith. In that, they stand in stark contrast to Intelligent Design.

The Intelligent Design folks, on the other hand, loudly declare that they are indifferent to religion every chance that they get. They have no choice. Their mission is to destroy good science education for every child in the public schools of America, and they can’t do that if they are obviously driven by religious motives. That’s why you see them conceal the theological basis for their beliefs when they are talking to a governmental group – as Jonathan Wells did when he testified in Kansas a few years back:

Q. Is it true that as early as the 1970s you were a member of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church?

A. Yes.

Q. And is it a fact that while involved with that church you became convinced that evolution was false because it reflected– it conflicted with your church belief that humankind was specifically designed by God?

A. I became convinced that the Darwinian theory is false because it conflicts with the evidence.

The problem with that approach is that most of the people who want to see the Intelligent Design folks succeed could care less about the science. They really are motivated by religion. They really do believe strongly that their religious views are absolutely right, and that they should make sure that their religious views are taught in public. They don’t want to hear that Intelligent Design – or the “weaknesses” in evolution – are good science. They want to hear that their religious views are right. They’re also the strongest base of support for the Intelligent Design proponents. That’s why you find the very same folks – like Wells – who deny faith in front of government professing faith in front of religious audiences:

He also spoke out against the evils in the world; among them, he frequently criticized Darwin’s theory that living things originated without God’s purposeful, creative activity. My studies included modern theologians who took Darwinism for granted and thus saw no room for God’s involvement in nature or history; in the process, they re- interpreted the fall, the incarnation, and even God as products of human imagination.

Father’s words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.

The two-faced nature of the Intelligent Design movement has not gone unnoticed – and it’s not just the scientific community that’s turned off by the “plausible denial” tactics. Some of the leaders of the Young-Earth creationists have issues with it, too:

As indicated earlier, we also don’t believe that one can, or should attempt to, artificially separate ‘Biblical’ from ‘scientific’ creation in order to gain a hearing in the public arena. This has been attempted by Biblical creationists, again for tactical reasons, with good motives. But, like the IDM’s broader but ultimately similar stratagem, it appears to us to be philosophically flawed.

Personally, I’d suggest that watering down your beliefs in public for “tactical reasons” is more of a moral flaw than a philosophical one. In any case, though, it’s an ironic truth that the greatest barrier faced by the Intelligent Design movement is the honesty of those who would otherwise be their greatest supporters.

[Minor edit: fixed formatting on Wells quote. Thanks for pointing it out. -MD]

Comments

  1. #1 waldteufel
    August 4, 2007

    Ken Ham and Kent Hovind certainly don’t lie about their literal interpretation of the bible, but they lie thru their teeth all the time about science and the findings of science.

    They lie to children, and they lie to the credulous adults who raise those children in their world of ignorance and superstition.

  2. #2 Paul Burnett
    August 4, 2007

    As Judge Jones noted in his 2005 Dover decision, “We have concluded that (intelligent design) is not [science], and moreover that (intelligent design) cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.”

    Philip Johnson, one of the originators of the intelligent-design movement, said on a Christian radio talk show in 2003: “Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit, so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.” And here’s a 1996 quote from Philip Johnson: “This isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science. It’s about religion.” This is as good as it gets, straight from their prophet’s mouth.

    William Dembski, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, wrote: “Christ is never an addendum to a scientific theory but always a completion.” – from his book, Intelligent Design, page 207.) More quotes from Dembski’s book: “[A]ny view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient.” and “[T]he conceptual soundness of a scientific theory cannot be maintained apart from Christ.”

    Judge Jones also noted in his 2005 Dover decision: “It is ironic that several of these individuals (sworn witnesses), who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the (Intelligent Design) Policy.” These religious fanatics have lied to us before, and they will continue to lie to us. Remember that.

  3. #3 Patrick C
    August 4, 2007

    In any case, though, it’s an ironic truth that the greatest barrier faced by the Intelligent Design movement is the honesty of those who would otherwise be their greatest supporters.

    I suspect the greatest barrier is that it’s both mathematically and biologically a load of nonsense.

    Still, the dishonesty probably runs a close second.

  4. #4 Torbj�rn Larsson, OM
    August 4, 2007

    It is true that their actions are the best confirmation of the movements religious motivation, but it is also a problem for them that it started out as an identifiable immediate successor to “creation science”, and that it veers more and more towards confessional apologetics. (Behe, Dembski, Dover.)

    I suspect the greatest barrier is that it’s both mathematically and biologically a load of nonsense.

    And pseudoscience bollocks in a larger sense – no predictivity without a mechanistic (and so natural) designer, so no science but an empty post-description (restatement) of data at best.

    While forensic science shows how easy it is done by describing designer agents (of crimes) in order to understand, identify and even anticipate them.

  5. #5 TomS
    August 4, 2007

    I disagree that creationism is restricted to Bible-based beliefs.

    Such early creationists as Agassiz were not conventional Bible-believing Christians.

    Young Earth Creationism was originally more or less confined to Seventh Day Adventists, who, I believe, relied on the revelations of Ellen G. White in addition to the Bible. YEC did not become popular among Fundamentalists until the 1950s or ’60s.

  6. #6 Jason F.
    August 4, 2007

    Mike, you stated,

    “They don’t want to hear that Intelligent Design – or the “weaknesses” in evolution – are good science.”

    I have to disagree. In talking with a lot of creationists over the years, one thing I’ve learned is that it isn’t so much that the Bible isn’t taught that bothers them, it’s that evolution is taught with such certainty.

    I think many creationists would be just fine with biology classes that don’t mention the Bible or creationism, as long as they also don’t teach evolution, or at the very least teach evolution in a negative way.

    If they can get their kids to come out of biology class thinking evolution is wrong, that’s good enough. All they then have to do is fill in the gap with the Bible.

  7. #7 tacitus
    August 4, 2007

    O’Leary seems to have virtually taken over most of the postings at Uncommon Descent, and the tone of the board has become much more overtly anti-materialist than it even was before she turned up. She seems to spend most of her time attacking atheism, declaring it to be on its last legs (despite all the evidence to the contrary), and promoting her weird dualist ideas about the mind and brain.

    I’ve noticed that the old UD curmudgeon, Dave Scott Springer, seems to have slunk away from the board. He’s an agnostic, and no fan of O’Leary, and I think he must have gone off to sulk in a quiet corner somewhere.

    But at least O’Leary serves one purpose. Since she started posting at UD, it’s impossible to miss the religious underpinnings of Intelligent Design any more.

  8. #8 Crikey
    August 4, 2007

    We are already hearing from the islamic creationists, which should make for a very interesting fight when the inroads made by creationists will have to be shared, by court decisions, between christian and islamic creationists.

    The christians have themselves to blame for pushing their own camel’s nose into the tent, confident the rest of their camel will follow, but they will find the islamic camel in there with them, getting equal billing.

    And both are unwittingly opening themselves to a ferocious legal assault from scientology to make themselves first among equals in the creationism business.

  9. #9 Crandaddy
    August 4, 2007

    Mike,

    The number one problem with your side is that you conflate the motives and purposes of a movement with the rational force of propositions. This style of argumentation is known as red herring logical fallacy. The bare bones fact of the matter is this: The explanatory power of materialistic evolutionary propositions and the epistemological justification of design in observable nature are not at all “religious” or metaphysical. Propositions under these categories stand or fall on their own without any recourse to religious motives or purposes. This should be very obvious.

    It’s sloppy (dare I say deceitful?) thinking like this which actually compels me to think very hard about the truth of YEC, geocentrism, and even flat-earthism much more than anything the actual proponents of these views have to say.

  10. #10 guthrie
    August 4, 2007

    Hmmm, that’s interesting. Denyse says that:

    ——–
    Creationism is about the BIBLE, see? It’s not about intelligent design theories like Behe’s* Edge of Evolution or Dembski’s design inference.
    ———-

    I then turn to Truth in Science,
    http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/
    a UK lobbying organisation set up to push Creationism in schools, and find that they push all the old Creationist lies, from the evolution of horses not showing that speciation can take place, to peppered moths etc.

    Oddly enough however, their information pack, as two of the outcomes, has:

    “Know that Dr Michael Behe is an example of a
    scientist who questions whether Darwin�s theory can
    account for the complexity of the cell
    � Understand the process which Behe went through
    as a scientist in changing his ideas”

    http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/site/custom/TiS_Pack_Teachers_Manual.pdf

    When I see things like that, added to blog entries where they explicitly tie themselves into ID:
    http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/site/content/view/203/63/

    I wonder who is trying to fool whom.

    Finally, TiS link to ID websites, yet never once mention that they are a Creationist organisation.
    Maybe Denyse didn’t get the memo.

    Oh, and Crandaddy, there is little difference between ID’ers and Creatonists, due to their propensity to lie.

  11. #11 Paul Flocken
    August 4, 2007

    Mr Dunford, your quote of Wells starting with ‘Father’s words,’ did not process correctly.
    Sincerely,

  12. #12 harold
    August 4, 2007

    Crandaddy –

    The number one problem with your side is that you conflate the motives and purposes of a movement with the rational force of propositions. This style of argumentation is known as red herring logical fallacy.

    This is factually incorrect. The vast majority of arguments against creationist/ID address their gross factual and logical errors.

    It is also illogical. When an obviously false argument is put forth by someone who should know better, a hidden motivation or agenda should be considered. In my opinion, the motivation of ID types has been examined somewhat less than it should be.

    (I would add that their religious motivation cannot be cleanly seperated from their social and political agenda. It is the political and social agenda which creates the problem; if they were merely going off to monasteries or otherwise expressing themselves in ways that respect the rights of others, rather than attempting to manipulate taxpayer funded public schools and other aspects of public policy, there would be no problem.)

    It’s sloppy (dare I say deceitful?) thinking like this which actually compels me to think very hard about the truth of YEC, geocentrism, and even flat-earthism much more than anything the actual proponents of these views have to say.

    Really? That certainly makes no sense at all. Even if your charge were true, a bad idea doesn’t get any better if somebody makes a bad argument against it.

    I suspect it is you who are being deceptive here. I’m willing to guess that you feel political kinship with creationism/ID proponents. So at one level, you know they’re wrong, perhaps, but at another level, you want to defend them.

    As I said, “When an obviously false argument is put forth by someone who should know better, a hidden motivation or agenda should be considered”. What’s your hidden motivation for posting something that anyone can see is untrue, and a couple of patently illogical arguments, all dressed up in phoney outrage?

  13. #13 G Felis
    August 4, 2007

    Crandaddy said:

    The explanatory power of materialistic evolutionary propositions and the epistemological justification of design in observable nature are not at all “religious” or metaphysical. Propositions under these categories stand or fall on their own without any recourse to religious motives or purposes. This should be very obvious.

    It is obvious. The propositions of creationists fall, and they fall hard. There is no epistemological justification for design in nature, except for the sense in which the unintelligent, unguided process of natural selection operating on variation is in fact a very effective path to “well-designed” (i.e. functionally adequate) organisms and parts of organisms.

    But let me be even clearer: There can be no “rational force of propositions” when those propositions entirely consist in logical fallacies, distortions or outright lies, and sometimes even total nonsense. There is no “rational force” conveyed by arguments which cherry-pick, distort, and often even manufacture empirical evidence. There is no “rational force” behind criticisms made of real science by quote-mining ignoramuses who willfully misunderstand or willingly lie about the overwhelming and unified scientific evidence for evolution by natural selection. Since these tactics are used by all creationists – including the poorly-disguised creationists who call themselves Intelligent Design Theorists (even though they have no actual scientific theory, nor even a single legitimate hypothesis) – their arguments utterly lack any rational force.

    Nor is there any conflation of motives and arguments among critics of creationism. Genuinely rational people – people who think critically rather than engage in rationalizations to support whatever propositions they prefer to believe – are forced to examine the motives and aims of creationists precisely because the arguments offered by creationists are so very, very bad. No one could possibly be convinced on the basis of reason by the pseudo-evidence and outrageously bad logic of creationist arguments, so it is necessary to look for other, non-rational bases for creationist beliefs.

    Not that we have to look very hard. Both those who propose creationist arguments and those who find them persuasive in spite of their (usually quite transparent) evidentiary and logical flaws never hide their religious motivations very well – as Mike’s quotation from Jonathan Wells illustrates.

    Mike, apologies for feeding the troll. I cite boredom and irritation.

  14. #14 steve s
    August 4, 2007

    Go easy on Crandaddy. Anybody who can’t tell that in 20 years ID has produced no actual science, is a little slow on the uptake.

  15. #15 Science Avenger
    August 4, 2007

    Crandaddy revealed: It’s sloppy (dare I say deceitful?) thinking like this which actually compels me to think very hard about the truth of YEC, geocentrism, and even flat-earthism much more than anything the actual proponents of these views have to say.

    OK, so your personal epistemology is so flawed that you’ll consider demonstrably absurd positions. And this adds credibility to your support of ID, um, how again?

    Your argument is akin to a defender of the supply-side Laffer-curve tax cuts claiming that he considered the criticisms of it sufficiently sloppy that he is now reconsidering the labor theory of value.

    Really, you gotta love it when all it takes to win a debate is to let your opponent talk. Just ask Colbert…

  16. #16 Crandaddy
    August 4, 2007

    There’s very little commentary my remarks have generated worth addressing, but since I’m also bored–and irritated–I’ll touch on a few points:

    Guthrie,

    “Oh, and Crandaddy, there is little difference between ID’ers and Creatonists, due to their propensity to lie.

    Where have I lied?

    Harold,

    “When an obviously false argument is put forth by someone who should know better, a hidden motivation or agenda should be considered.”

    I agree with this completely.

    “In my opinion, the motivation of ID types has been examined somewhat less than it should be.”

    Replace “ID” with “materialist” there, and I agree with this as well.

    “That certainly makes no sense at all. Even if your charge were true, a bad idea doesn’t get any better if somebody makes a bad argument against it.”

    By what standard am I to judge a bad argument either for or against a position?

    G Felis is the most absurd of all.

    “There is no epistemological justification for design in nature, except for the sense in which the unintelligent, unguided process of natural selection operating on variation is in fact a very effective path to “well-designed” (i.e. functionally adequate) organisms and parts of organisms.”

    If there is no epistemological design, then there are no epistemological functions. There are no epistemological reasons. There are no epistemological actions, words, or meanings either. You have effectively undermined the entire semantic content of your comment. Congratulations.

  17. #17 Larry Fafarman
    August 4, 2007

    Paul Burnett said ( August 4, 2007 12:44 PM ) —

    Judge Jones also noted in his 2005 Dover decision: “It is ironic that several of these individuals (sworn witnesses), who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the (Intelligent Design) Policy.” These religious fanatics have lied to us before, and they will continue to lie to us.

    Judge Jones was talking through his hat. How could the Dover school board members both “staunchly and proudly [tout] their religious convictions in public” in promoting the ID policy and at the same time “cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the (Intelligent Design) Policy”?

    The school board members didn’t lie. Some of them would have preferred to have biblical creationism taught in the science classes and merely saw the ID policy — putting the ID books in the library and mentioning them in a one-minute statement — as being as much as they could hope to get.

    Albert Alschuler, a law professor emeritus at Northwestern University Law School, wrote of the Kitzmiller v. Dover case,

    The court offers convincing evidence that some members the Dover school board would have been delighted to promote their old time religion in the classroom. These board members apparently accepted intelligent design as a compromise, the nearest they could come to their objective within the law. Does that make any mention of intelligent design unconstitutional? It seems odd to characterize the desire to go far as the law allows as an unlawful motive. People who try to stay within the law although they would prefer something else are good citizens. The Dover opinion appears to say that the forbidden preference taints whatever the board may do, and if the public can discern the board’s improper desire, any action it takes also has an unconstitutional effect. If board members would like to teach Genesis as the literal truth, the board may not direct teachers even to mention the anamolies in the theory of natural selection that the court itself recognizes. The court seems to declare, “Because we find that you would like something you can’t have, we hold that you can’t have anything.”

    — from
    http://uchicagolaw.typepad.com/faculty/2005/12/the_dover_intel.html

    Also, contrary to popular belief, the Dover decision was not an inevitable slam-dunk shoo-in. Another decision against an evolution disclaimer, Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish, came within one vote of being granted an en banc (full court) rehearing in the appeals court and within one vote of being accepted for review by the Supreme Court. In another decision against an evolution disclaimer, Selman v. Cobb County, the appeals court judges strongly indicated that they were leaning towards reversal but then vacated and remanded the decision because of missing evidence (the school board then took a dive by settling out of court).

    There is no constitutional separation of bad science and state.

  18. #18 Mike Dunford
    August 4, 2007

    Judge Jones was talking through his hat. How could the Dover school board members both “staunchly and proudly [tout] their religious convictions in public” in promoting the ID policy and at the same time “cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the (Intelligent Design) Policy”?

    The school board members didn’t lie. Some of them would have preferred to have biblical creationism taught in the science classes and merely saw the ID policy — putting the ID books in the library and mentioning them in a one-minute statement — as being as much as they could hope to get.

    Larry, if you think the dover school board members didn’t lie, you clearly weren’t paying attention. They were so blatant in some of their lies – including while under oath – that it lead Judge Jones to actually personally question some of them on some of their more outrageous comments.

  19. #19 waldteufel
    August 4, 2007

    Larry, read the transcript.
    Idiot.

  20. #20 Thought Provoker (aka Quantum Quack)
    August 5, 2007

    Here is a Dembski quote that I feel illuminates his feelings and motivations concerning ID…

    The problem is not that evolution implies God does’t exist. The problem is that if God does not exist, then evolution is the only possibility

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/ids-cultured-theological-despisers-3/

    This post appeared in Uncommon Descent over a year ago while I was still forming my opinion of Dr. Dembski. I posted a reaction on the TalkOrigins newsgroup pointing out how this pretty much showed Dembski’s ID was all about God. The next day, the post was modified to add a parenthetical.

    (well, actually, space aliens who seed the Earth, time travelers, and telic organizing principles in nature are ID alternatives that don’t require God; but these are way down the totem pole for most people)

    In a way, that made it worse. Dembski’s defenders were trying to suggest that I was misinterpreting the quote. The parenthetical showed I was not. You can almost feel the distain Dembski must have for the ID-is-not-religious alternative he needs to keep around for legal reasons.

    Yea, I know, this is old news. But I thought you might like to see it.

  21. #21 Larry Fafarman
    August 5, 2007

    Mike Dunford said,

    Larry, if you think the dover school board members didn’t lie, you clearly weren’t paying attention.

    No one has paid more attention to Judge Jones and the Dover decision than I have. My blog has dozens of articles bashing Jones and the Dover decision. Bashing them is sort of a hobby with me.

    Larry, if you think the dover school board members didn’t lie, you clearly weren’t paying attention. They were so blatant in some of their lies — including while under oath — that it lead Judge Jones to actually personally question some of them on some of their more outrageous comments.

    When I said they didn’t lie, I meant that they didn’t lie about their religious motivations. That is what we were discussing — their religious motivations. In the quotation from the Dover opinion, Jones wrongly claimed that they lied about their religious motivations. They were quite open about their religious motivations in the Dover school board’s public meetings and private communications. One or two of them did lie about where they got the money for the purchase of the ID books for the library, and that is what Jones personally questioned them about.

    Here is an excerpt from the book Monkey Girl:

    . . . .in January 2002, when a new board member Alan Bonsell, an auto and radiator repair shop owner with whom Casey had campaigned, announced that he was very concerned with issues of morality. He wanted to bring prayer and faith back into the public schools. We need the Bible in the classroom again, he argued strenuously, and we need to teach creationism to achieve a “fair and balanced curriculum.” More than budget cuts, more than textbooks, more than school construction or any of the other mundane but critical issues facing the district that they had all campaigned on, Bonsell seemed to care about creationism. That, he said, was his number one issue. School prayer was second on his list. . . . .

    . . .. .And then there were the official discussions leading up to the new policy that seemed to belie the board’s bland insistence that it had no religious agenda — discussion and debate that featured extensive references to God, creationism, the “myth” of church-state separation, and board member Buckingham’s outraged attempt to shout down critics by saying, “Two thousand years ago, someone died on a cross. Can we have the courage to stand up for him?”

    — from http://www.edwardhumes.com/books/monkey-girl/#excerpt

    So with a record like that, how could the board make a credible “insistence that it had no religious agenda”? And how could the board “time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the (Intelligent Design) Policy,” as Judge Jones put it? The board members’ religious motivations were so blatant that there was no way that they could have covered them up. Judge Jones was full of crap.

    waldteufel said (August 4, 2007 11:40 PM) —

    Larry, read the transcript. Idiot.

    You’re the idiot — for jumping on me before I had a chance to respond.

  22. #22 waldteufel
    August 5, 2007

    Larry, go to a quiet corner where you can read your wholly babble and move your lips without bothering anyone.
    Read the transcript. At least two of the Dover board members were bald faced liars. Follow the money.
    Idiot.

  23. #23 Thought Provoker (aka Quantum Quack)
    August 5, 2007

    Hi Larry,

    While I don’t have a web site dedicated to it, I might give you are run for your money in knowing the Dover case. I have read the transcripts multiple times during the trial. They are easily accessible on the web.

    Why didn’t you quote Bonsell’s testimony about when he said “Two thousand years ago, someone died on a cross. Can we have the courage to stand up for him?” He lied on the stand about that.

    There is also the part about where Bonsell claimed he never said “creationism” and it was something the newspapers just made up. Of course when the TV news video was played on cross examination, it was rather effectively discredited Bonsell’s testimony.

    Judge Jones ruled based on the evidence and testimony presented in the trial. If you want to make a convincing case, use THAT testimony. Your use of a book written after the trial was over doesn’t make sense unless, of course, your didn’t use the trial transcripts are because you know how devastating they are.

    Please excuse the rough tone, but frankly, this is a put up or shut up moment. If you present trial transcripts making your case, I will gladly present trial transcripts making mine. I suggest you will lose that debate…

    again.

  24. #24 Larry Fafarman
    August 5, 2007

    Thought Provoker said,

    While I don’t have a web site dedicated to it, I might give you are run for your money in knowing the Dover case. I have read the transcripts multiple times during the trial.

    Before you make such a bold statement, why don’t you visit my blog and see my articles about Jones and the Dover decision? The post labels are in the sidebar. A link to my blog is embedded in my name below.

    Why didn’t you quote Bonsell’s testimony about when he said “Two thousand years ago, someone died on a cross. Can we have the courage to stand up for him?” He lied on the stand about that.

    It was Buckingham — not Bonsell — who said that. You don’t know as much about the case as you pretend to know.

    There is also the part about where Bonsell claimed he never said “creationism” and it was something the newspapers just made up. Of course when the TV news video was played on cross examination, it was rather effectively discredited Bonsell’s testimony.

    So if they caught him on a TV news video, then how in the hell could he “conceal [his] tracks” and “disguise the real purpose behind the (Intelligent Design) Policy,” as Judge Jones falsely claimed?

    My point is that the defendants were candid about their religious motivations when discussing ID at the public board meetings and other occasions, even if they later lied about their motivations when testifying on the witness stand, which I don’t care about because the evidence of their religious motivations was overwhelming.

    Please excuse the rough tone, but frankly, this is a put up or shut up moment. If you present trial transcripts making your case, I will gladly present trial transcripts making mine. I suggest you will lose that debate…

    There is a hell of a lot more to the case than what is in the transcripts. You people are making a big deal over the defendants’ lies on the witness stand in order to obscure my quotation of Prof. Alschuler’s scathing condemnation of the Dover decision. Again, here is the link to Prof. Alschuler’s article —

    http://uchicagolaw.typepad.com/faculty/2005/12/the_dover_intel.html

  25. #25 hoary puccoon
    August 5, 2007

    Crandaddy,
    Read some history of science before you jump to YEC because of what somebody said yesterday on a blog. Sincere scientists (who were, by and large, also sincere Christians) had given up on a 6000 year old earth by the end of the 18th century, at least a decade before Charles Darwin was born.

  26. #26 guthrie
    August 5, 2007

    It’s OK, Crandaddy, I didn’t accuse you personally of lying. Maybe you have done, I’ll have to go and read uncommondescent to find out.
    I did also say “propensity”, which is defined as:
    “an inclination to do something”

  27. #27 snaxalotl
    August 5, 2007

    I’m sorry, but I think people make too much of the gap between creationism and ID. Sure the hard core creationists disapprove of the ID supporters who deny the bible three times before the cock crows, but they seem to be glad that somebody has “proved” evolution collapses within its own scientific framework. They don’t accept as much of that scientific framework as some IDists, but this doesn’t affect the mightily relieving fact that evolution cannot be right either way

  28. #28 Jim Ramsey
    August 5, 2007

    Say what you will about the Young-Earth creationists, about Ken Ham and Kent “Prisoner #06452-017″ Hovind, they are steadfast in their belief in the literal truth of the Bible,

    Any bets that Hovind can read Hebrew or Aramaic or Greek?

    Isnt’ it ironic that people who believe in the the literial truth of the Bible so rarely have actually it. Typically, they base their positions on a translation authorized by a 17th centure English king.

  29. #29 guthrie
    August 5, 2007

    British King, Jim. James the 6th and First was reared as a Protestant, although precisely what affect the Scottish Calvinist variety had on his authorised translation, I do not know.

  30. #30 Mike Dunford
    August 5, 2007

    My point is that the defendants were candid about their religious motivations when discussing ID at the public board meetings and other occasions, even if they later lied about their motivations when testifying on the witness stand, which I don’t care about because the evidence of their religious motivations was overwhelming.

    I see. Judge Jones was “full of crap” for saying that they lied about their religious motivations because he was talking about what they did on the witness stand while under oath when he clearly should have just ignored what they said and focused on what they said before the trial. Because lies under oath are, we all know, not worth caring about when anyone outside the beltway does it.

  31. #31 Larry Fafarman
    August 5, 2007

    Mike Dunford said,

    Judge Jones was “full of crap” for saying that they lied about their religious motivations because he was talking about what they did on the witness stand while under oath when he clearly should have just ignored what they said and focused on what they said before the trial.

    The problem was that Jones exaggerated. He didn’t just say that they lied under oath — he said that they “would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy,” which they obviously couldn’t do because as Jones himself indicated, “they . . . staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public” in promoting the ID policy. Also, the main issue about their lies under oath was their lies about the source of the money to buy the ID books — that is what Jones questioned Buckingham about. I didn’t even know that they lied about their religious motivations when testifying under oath — that was really stupid because there were many witnesses and it was all in the public record. Anyway, I clarified my statement that the defendants didn’t lie — I meant that they didn’t lie about their religious motivations when speaking at public board meetings and on other occasions. My main focus regarding the defendants’ religious motivations was Prof. Anschuler’s excellent article, which I quoted in my comment of August 4 @ 08:56 PM.

  32. #32 Science Avenger
    August 5, 2007

    Crandaddy dissembled thusly: Replace “ID” with “materialist” there, and I agree with this as well.

    It is worth noting for the uninitiated that “materialist” is just a creationist straw man.

    By what standard am I to judge a bad argument either for or against a position?

    By the evidence of course. Given your pompous pontifications, it’s a little late in the game to be asking such an inane question.

    If there is no epistemological design, then there are no epistemological functions. There are no epistemological reasons. There are no epistemological actions, words, or meanings either.

    Do you always write entire paragraphs full of words whose meaning escapes you?

    You have effectively undermined the entire semantic content of your comment.

    And we all know how much IDer/creationists love to play semantic games. Doing science is just too damned much trouble.

  33. #33 harold
    August 5, 2007

    Crandaddy –

    “In my opinion, the motivation of ID types has been examined somewhat less than it should be.”

    Replace “ID” with “materialist” there, and I agree with this as well.

    “I know you are, but what am I?” argumentation.

    However, I do appreciate that you concede that your original post was entirely wrong. Originally you said “The number one problem with your side is that you conflate the motives and purposes of a movement with the rational force of propositions. This style of argumentation is known as red herring logical fallacy”. Now you concede that examination of motive is often reasonable.

    I don’t know what a “materialist” is; it’s certainly not a term I use to describe myself. At any rate, we’re talking about the theory of evolution and creationism/ID here. Creationism/ID is independently at odds with the evidence, and logically false. This would be true even if we didn’t have a theory of evolution.

    Since the theory of evolution is strongly supported by objective evidence, no special motivation need be attributed to those who accept it.

    “That certainly makes no sense at all. Even if your charge were true, a bad idea doesn’t get any better if somebody makes a bad argument against it.”

    By what standard am I to judge a bad argument either for or against a position?

    The obvious answer is that scientific positions should be judged by the available evidence, as well as by their logical coherence of lack thereof if necessary, as in the case of ID.

  34. #34 Uri
    August 5, 2007

    Larry,
    Judge Jones didn’t exaggerate at all. You seem to be misreading the text. If Judge Jones says they “lied to cover their tracks”, this does not mean: they lied and managed to cover their tracks. It means (of course, of course) that they intended to cover their tracks. And that they lied. Both of which are pretty obvious from the transcripts.
    Uri

  35. #35 Unsympathetic reader
    August 5, 2007

    Larry Faraman: “Judge Jones was talking through his hat. How could the Dover school board members both “staunchly and proudly [tout] their religious convictions in public” in promoting the ID policy and at the same time “cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the (Intelligent Design) Policy”?

    I disagree. First, some board members tried to cover up what they said in public in order to mitigate the damage done by their original statements *in the courtroom*. Secondly, Jones’ did not say these happened “at the same time”, he said they happened “time and again”.

    In a later post Larry writes:
    My point is that the defendants were candid about their religious motivations when discussing ID at the public board meetings and other occasions, even if they later lied about their motivations when testifying on the witness stand, which I don’t care about because the evidence of their religious motivations was overwhelming.

    So, Jones wasn’t talking through his hat and some of the board members and defendants did lie. Thanks for the clarification, Larry. I understand now that we should ignore your original statements. Are there any others that we should likewise ignore or would it be safer to read most with some skepticism?

  36. #36 Unsympathetic reader
    August 5, 2007

    Larry now writes: “The problem was that Jones exaggerated.

    Sometimes people find that in trying to dig themselves out of a hole they actually dig themselves in deeper. Often, it’s better to just stop.

  37. Hi Larry,
    I knew I was running a risk in responded to you at 1am in the morning after having a long day (I was tired). Hopefully, this comment will be more thoughtful.

    I took a look at your web site. I found it better than I had expected. There are a few things I even agree with (e.g. the confusion of “liberal” amd “conservative” political labels).

    Of course it was Buckingham not Bonsell was who got caught on tape saying the words “creationism”. Bonsell was the one who lied in his January deposition that he had never suggested creationism should be taught when it is clear that he specifically proposed that creationism should be taught “50/50″ along with evolution during the first board member retreat he organised.

    Here is some if his testomony from the Dover trial…
    Q. And when you were deposed, you denied that creationism had been discussed at the June board meetings, right? Do you remember that?

    A. Can you show me that?

    Q. Sure. Please go to your January 3rd deposition, page 45, line 22. You were shown an article, and then Mr. Rothschild asked you the following question, and you gave the following answers: Quote, Does this article accurately report that creationism was being debated at school board meetings? Answer, Absolutely not.

    Question, There was no discussion about creationism? Answer, No. Question, So as we look through these articles, this uninterrupted series of articles about June meetings that talk about creationism being debated at the school board meetings and statements made by school board members, including yourself, about creationism, all of those are just fabricated? Answer, Fabricated?

    Question, Yes, fabricated. Answer, Fabricated? You mean, she just made them up — all up, is that what you mean? Question, There are a lot of statements in here about people talking about creationism. I think you are suggesting to me it never happened. Answer, All this debate about creationism, yes, that never did happen. It was not a debate about creationism.

    A. Okay.

    Bonsell lied, under oath.

    It is interesting that you seem to be condemning Judge Jones for suggesting the Dover school tried to hide their desire to have creationism taught in school because they got catch lying. It is kind of like arguing in inept bank robber is innocent because there was no way he could ever successfully rob a bank.

    With Mike Dunford’s indulgence there is just a couple more points to summarize why I think Judge Jones had no choice but to rule the way he did.

    The obvious question behind all of this “Is Intelligent Design creationism?” (the thread topic). What does the term “Intelligent Design” mean? In the Dover case, the book Of Pandas and People was the main authority in answering that question. The overwhelming focus of the board’s actions was to get that book into student’s hands.

    From page 92 of this book…

    While design proponents are in agreement on the significant observations about the fossil record, they are divided on the issue of the Earth’s age. Some take the view that the Earth’s history can be compressed into a framework of thousands of years, while others adhere to the standard old-earth chronology.

    and then there is the infamous page 99…

    “Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact – fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc. Some scientists have arrived at this view since fossil forms first appear in the rock record with their distinctive features intact, rather than gradually developing.”

    It was clear that the Dover school board intended to include creationism in a public school curriculum and they lied to the court about it. They were caught and found guilty. Ineptness is not a very convincing argument for the defense.

  38. #38 Pete Dunkelberg
    August 5, 2007

    SciCre (scientific creationism, recently dubbed ID) is creationism’s bread and butter. A big part of SciCre is arguing that evolutionary intermediates are in many cases impossible, or prohibitively improbable, and therefore the Designer, formerly known as God, did it. Behe’s and Dembski’s arguments are slight variations on this standard theme, with clever names to sound different and impressive.

    Old and young earth creationists disagree about the age of the earth. The Disco Fellows, bringers of the Gospel of Intelligent Design Creationism, eschew that argument in favor of their big tent strategy. Instead they say that their claims of evolution not working are disclosures of the Designer’s creative speaking, or Logos of John:

    Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.

    – Senior Disco Fellow and IDC-ist W A Dembski

    I’m afraid you’re helping Ms O’Leary get away with murder.

  39. #39 Larry Fafarman
    August 5, 2007

    You people just don’t know when to lay off. I said that I didn’t know that the Dover defendants lied under oath about their religious motivations and that I don’t care. You are trying to distract attention from my original comment’s main focus, which was a blog article by Prof. Alschuler.

    Also, Judge Jones himself was not upfront about his own motivations. After the decision, he said in a Dickinson College commencement speech that organized religions are not “true” religions. He should have recused himself.

  40. #40 Larry Fafarman
    August 5, 2007

    (the links here must be copied and pasted — I removed http:// prefixes because of limit of one link per comment)

    You people just don’t know when to lay off. I said that I didn’t know that the Dover defendants lied under oath about their religious motivations and that I don’t care. You are trying to distract attention from my original comment’s main focus, which was a blog article by Prof. Alschuler — see
    uchicagolaw.typepad.com/faculty/2005/12/the_dover_intel.html

    Also, Judge Jones himself was not upfront about his own motivations. After the decision, he said in a Dickinson College commencement speech that organized religions are not “true” religions. He should have recused himself. See —
    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/07/judge-jones-wrong-about-founding.html

  41. Hi Larry,

    After admitting your lack of knowledge and your apathy about the amount of lying that occured in the Dover case, you wrote…

    You are trying to distract attention from my original comment’s main focus, which was a blog article by Prof. Alschuler.

    Your fallback position comes close to sounding like an appeal to authority.

    Here is what Prof. Alshuler wrote…
    “These board members apparently accepted intelligent design as a compromise, the nearest they could come to their objective within the law. Does that make any mention of intelligent design unconstitutional?”

    This is why I included the quotes from the Of Pandas and People book. It is clear that in the Dover case Intelligent Design WAS a form or creationism and it is equally clear it WAS unconstitutional as presented.

    Of course there has been an immediate scramble to change definitions. This scramble started as soon as it was obvious the Dover case was going to go badly for ID.

    In 2007, we are now discussing the nuanced tailoring to ID’s cheap tuxedo. Have they changed it enough to pass inspection. it is clear that in 2005 it did not.

    Your next attempt to change the subject is almost comical. Do you really want the Court of Appeals to force a new trial under a new Judge using the SAME EVIDENCE? I think very few ID proponents would like to see that happen.

    While it may be important to you to rationalise, by any means possible, that Judge Jones somehow made a bad decision, this latest attempt is off the topic of whether or not ID is creationism.

  42. To Mike,

    Thank you for your indulgence of my verbose comment on the Dover case. I trust you didn’t mind.

    Believe me, it could have been longer. I look forward to opportunities to put to use the hours I spent studying the case as it happened. I found it extremely fascinating. I still do. I started writing another long thesis on it but you will be happy to know I deleted the multiple paragraphs and will just point out that…

    BOTH sides asked Judge Jones to rule on whether or not ID was science!

    Judge Jones would have had to be an activitist judge to forgo making the decision both sides of the litigation asked for.

    Thanks again for the opportunity. That was fun. ;)

    For the record, I like what I read in your blog but I wish you would every once in a while write something I could disagree with. I like to argue.

  43. #43 MPW
    August 5, 2007

    Larry Fafarman: “Judge Jones himself was not upfront about his own motivations. After the decision, he said in a Dickinson College commencement speech that organized religions are not “true” religions. He should have recused himself.”

    Why? Because anyone who has opinions about religion can’t be trusted to rule fairly in an ID-related case? If that’s the case, they’re gonna be looking for a new judge for the retrial for a loooong time.

    Besides, I thought ID was about the science and not religion. It’s so confusing trying to keep track of these things. Or is it about both? Does that mean also that any judge who has opinions about science should recuse himself?

  44. #44 Crandaddy
    August 5, 2007

    Science Avenger,

    It is worth noting for the uninitiated that “materialist” is just a creationist straw man.

    No it’s not. Anti-IDists are materialistic eliminative reductionists about design in certain parts of nature. They believe design is to be explained away by material processes.

    Do you always write entire paragraphs full of words whose meaning escapes you?

    I know exactly what I’m saying. The meaning escapes you. If you don’t understand a word I use, look it up; that’s what I do. Nobody has ever spoon-fed me this shit, and there’s no way I’ll do that for a know-it-all mocker like you. If you want to play hardball with me, you better put up or shut up.

    Harold,

    However, I do appreciate that you concede that your original post was entirely wrong. Originally you said “The number one problem with your side is that you conflate the motives and purposes of a movement with the rational force of propositions. This style of argumentation is known as red herring logical fallacy”. Now you concede that examination of motive is often reasonable.

    I concede nothing. I stand by both of my statements. That it can be enlightening to understand the motives and purposes of the proponents of a certain view does not preclude the fact that the rational force of their arguments stands or falls independently of those motives and purposes.

    The obvious answer is that scientific positions should be judged by the available evidence, as well as by their logical coherence of lack thereof if necessary, as in the case of ID.

    The epistemic warrant of scientific arguments and propositions is grounded in observation of nature. Their ultimate truth is not. Nor is it clear why one should not believe in the metaphysical actuality of a logically possible state of affairs which lacks epistemic warrant.

  45. Hi Crandaddy,

    I happen to be a strong critic of the ID Movement. It is obvious that the likes of Dembski and Wells will do and say just about anything to promote their religious agenda.

    I also happen to spend a lot of time at Telic Thoughts where the likes of MikeGene are promoting ID Science. MikeGene and I disagree strongly on politics but we are cooperating on the science. I have even outlined a scientific hypothesis that I consider to be consistent with Mike’s front-loading hypothesis.

    You are probably just another troll, but in case you aren’t, check out my web site or, better yet, go to Telic Thoughts and learn something.

    You wrote…

    Anti-IDists are materialistic eliminative reductionists about design in certain parts of nature. They believe design is to be explained away by material processes.

    With all that we have learned in quantum mechanics it is almost laughable to call oneself a “materialist”. There isn’t any such thing as atomic matter. It is all one big wavefunction. The only argument left is whether or not there is only one wavefunction of multiple wavefunctions existing in multiple worlds (I personally think there is only one wavefunction).

    I know exactly what I’m saying. The meaning escapes you. If you don’t understand a word I use, look it up; that’s what I do. Nobody has ever spoon-fed me this shit, and there’s no way I’ll do that for a know-it-all mocker like you. If you want to play hardball with me, you better put up or shut up.

    What have you “put up”? What are you proposing?

    I have presented a scientific, mechanistic model. It still has a long way to go to challenge the existing evolutionary model. But, there are several peer reviewed papers in support of it (Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR). All I generally hear from ID Movement leaders is a lot of hot air and mathematical equations that measure random hypotheses against each other in a bombastic fashion. Where is the SCIENCE? Once again, MikeGene and Telic Thoughts is an outstanding exception.

    I concede nothing.

    Of course you concede nothing since you haven’t said anything of substance. You have nothing to concede.

    The epistemic warrant of scientific arguments and propositions is grounded in observation of nature.

    What are your “propositions”? Anyone can ask questions or make fuzzy unsubstantial musings. Where is the mechanistic model that can be tested against scientific observations?

    Their ultimate truth is not. Nor is it clear why one should not believe in the metaphysical actuality of a logically possible state of affairs which lacks epistemic warrant.

    There goes your science credentials. Science has never been about the “ultimate truth”. It has been about gaining knowledge, useful knowledge. A belief in something that happens to be true isn’t knowledge. It isn’t that useful either. The ultimate truth is the business of philosophers and religions. Both have their uses. For example, the first western philosopher, Socrates, taught us that no one knows the Truth. It’s a good lesson to learn.

    P.S. Mike Dunford accept my apologies (again) for having too much fun on your blog by feeding the probable troll.

  46. #46 Larry Fafarman
    August 5, 2007

    Thought Provoker (aka Quantum Quack) said (August 5, 2007 02:38 PM) —

    After admitting your lack of knowledge and your apathy about the amount of lying that occured in the Dover case

    No, I did not admit to lack of knowledge, and I don’t care about the amount of lying under oath because it is not relevant to the points I am trying to make.

    Your fallback position comes close to sounding like an appeal to authority.

    No, it is an appeal to what I think is a very good opinion.

    This is why I included the quotes from the Of Pandas and People book. It is clear that in the Dover case Intelligent Design WAS a form or creationism and it is equally clear it WAS unconstitutional as presented.

    If Judge Jones did not like Of Pandas and People, he could have asked the Dover school board to use some other anti-evolution book(s).

    In 2007, we are now discussing the nuanced tailoring to ID’s cheap tuxedo. Have they changed it enough to pass inspection. it is clear that in 2005 it did not.

    So you agree that ID now passes “inspection”? Also, there are several non-ID criticisms of evolution — e.g., scientific (or pseudoscientific, to some) criticisms concerning co-evolution, the propagation of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction, and chromosome counts. I discuss these criticisms on my blog.

    Your next attempt to change the subject is almost comical. Do you really want the Court of Appeals to force a new trial under a new Judge using the SAME EVIDENCE?

    That would not be possible — the decision is now unappealable.

    I think very few ID proponents would like to see that happen.

    IMO a lot of ID proponents would like to see that happen but they know that it is impossible.

    While it may be important to you to rationalise, by any means possible, that Judge Jones somehow made a bad decision, this latest attempt is off the topic of whether or not ID is creationism.

    He made a very bad decision — for example, he virtually copied the opinion’s entire ID-as-science section from the plaintiffs’ opening post-trial brief while ignoring the defendants’ opening post-trial brief and the plaintiffs’ and defendants’ answering post-trial briefs. Also, my comment was not off-topic; if ID is not creationism, then — as Prof. Alschuler argues — Judge Jones should not have ruled against the Dover defendants.

    Thought Provoker (aka Quantum Quack) said (August 5, 2007 03:38 PM) —

    To Mike,
    Thank you for your indulgence of my verbose comment on the Dover case. I trust you didn’t mind.

    Of course he shouldn’t mind — that’s what comment sections are for.

    BOTH sides asked Judge Jones to rule on whether or not ID was science!

    Judge Jones would have had to be an activitist judge to forgo making the decision both sides of the litigation asked for.

    I don’t know where Judge Jones and others got this cockamamie idea that a judge has to rule on a question just because both sides ask him to do it.

    For the record, I like what I read in your blog but I wish you would every once in a while write something I could disagree with. I like to argue.

    You can argue with me. Also, it is not necessary to disagree with the blogger in order to post comments, even when there is no one to argue with.

    MPW said (August 5, 2007 07:18 PM) —

    Larry Fafarman: “Judge Jones himself was not upfront about his own motivations. After the decision, he said in a Dickinson College commencement speech that organized religions are not “true” religions. He should have recused himself.”
    Why? Because anyone who has opinions about religion can’t be trusted to rule fairly in an ID-related case?

    Judge Jones’ opinions about religion were particularly bad — he said that organized religions are not “true” religions.

    Besides, I thought ID was about the science and not religion.

    If Judge Jones thinks ID is just about religion, then it doesn’t matter whether ID is about science or religion or both.

    Does that mean also that any judge who has opinions about science should recuse himself?

    If his opinions are sufficiently prejudicial and he feels that he cannot repress them when making a decision, then I would say yes.

  47. #47 Larry Fafarman
    August 5, 2007

    Thought Provoker (aka Quantum Quack) said (August 5, 2007 09:59 PM) —

    P.S. Mike Dunford accept my apologies (again) for having too much fun on your blog by feeding the probable troll.

    Please stop apologizing so much — you’re going to make me sick. Mike should be grateful to you for posting comments here that are on-topic, serious, and reasonably polite.

    The worst case of groveling by a commenter that I ever saw on the Internet was on Ed Brayton’s Dispatches from the Culture Wars blog. Ed’s pal “Dan” posted a good on-topic comment but invited Ed to delete it if it was not moving the thread in the direction that Ed wanted it to go.

    Fatheaded Ed kicked me off his blog permanently because he disagreed with my literal interpretation of a federal court rule. I don’t see why arbitrarily censoring bloggers are considered to have any credibility at all.

  48. Hi Larry,

    You would have been better off not responding. As it is now, you have clearly demonstrated you don’t know the first thing about jurisprudence. Judges are restricted to ruling on what they are asked to rule on. They are ethically prohibited from ordering a remedy that wasn’t requested by one of the litigants. It takes a very activist Judge indeed to violate these rules. When the rare Judge does so, the Court of Appeals summarily, in the strongest possible language, vacates the ruling/order.

  49. #49 max_torq
    August 6, 2007

    The methods and language of ID seemed to based in Fred Hoyles Cosmic Ancestry, Hoyle was an self-declared atheist however ID proponents are religous. This appropriation does seem to have been voluntary; eg, Wickramasinghe appearing in the Dover trial IIRC.

    http://telicthoughts.com/sir-fred-hoyle-and-the-origins-of-id/

  50. #50 Larry Fafarman
    August 6, 2007

    Thought Provoker driveled,

    you have clearly demonstrated you don’t know the first thing about jurisprudence.

    On the contrary, I know more about the law than most laypeople. I even filed two appeals in the US Supreme Court.

    Judges are restricted to ruling on what they are asked to rule on. They are ethically prohibited from ordering a remedy that wasn’t requested by one of the litigants.

    Sheeeesh — we were talking about judges ruling on things that both sides asked them to rule on, not about judges ruling on things that neither side asked them to rule on. And judges can do the latter — such rulings are called sua sponte rulings, from Latin roots meaning “self” and “spontaneous.”

  51. Hi Larry,

    LOL

    Saying it in Latin changes nothing. Appeal Courts aren’t supposed to retry cases “De Novo” either. Nice try though.

  52. #52 Unsympathetic reader
    August 6, 2007

    Previously, Larry wrote (August 5, 2007 12:36 AM): “No one has paid more attention to Judge Jones and the Dover decision than I have.

    We thought Larry was a big “Dover trail” buff, but…

    A little later Larry writes (August 5, 2007 01:49 PM): “I said that I didn’t know that the Dover defendants lied under oath about their religious motivations and that I don’t care.

    It was a pretty big thing and it was highly relevant to the case when it was determined that some of the key Dover board members (and associates) lied under oath and that they really wanted to push creationism/ID. But if you say didn’t know that some board members and others lied (despite that evidence being included in the trial and spread across the blogosphere), well OK, I guess Larry lacked knowledge about that.

    More recently:
    Larry – August 5, 2007 10:42 PM: “No, I did not admit to lack of knowledge, and I don’t care about the amount of lying under oath because it is not relevant to the points I am trying to make.

    Hmm… OK, is this another case where we should ignore Larry’s earlier statements? Or should be ignore his latest statement?

    Along the same lines, Thought Provoker writes to Larry: “You would have been better off not responding.

    Yep.

  53. #53 CJColucci
    August 6, 2007

    At the risk of troll-feeding, I went back to the Altschuler “articles” that, apparently, were the basis of whatever “point” the Rev. Dr. Larry is trying to make. The one true thing the Rev. Dr. Larry says is: “There is no constitutional separation of bad science and state.”
    Indeed, there is none. If the Dover school board wanted to mandate the teaching of phlogiston theory in chemistry classes, because they are ignorant, there would be no constitutional issue. If they wanted to mandate teaching a certain view of global warming because they were paid off by the carbon-fuel industry, there would be no constitutional issue.
    Only when “bad science” gets taught specifically for religious reasons is there a constitutional issue. How do we determine that? Two ways, both amply demonstrated in Judge Jones’s courtroom: examining the evidence concerning the motives of the Board and examining the scientific content — or lack thereof — of the “bad science” at issue. There was abundant evidence on motive, and neither the Rev. Dr. Larry or Prof. Altschuler (whose “article” was two short and superficial blog posts) suggests otherwise. There was also abundant evidence, which both the Rev. Dr. Larry and Prof. Altschuler ignore, that there is no actual, working “science” of intelligent design. There is no observable research program. There are no results. There aren’t going to be, because it is obvious to any candid observer that ID is a philosophical or religious idea that, whatever its philosophical or religious validity, can fit nearly any imaginable state of affairs and is not subject to experiment, testing, or empirical research of any kind.
    Anyone who has been around the block a time or two knows that “bad science” is almost always pushed for religious reasons. (Unlike, for example, bad history or bad social studies, often pushed for political or economic reasons and, as such, largely immune to constitutional challenge.) School boards are rarely paid off by special interests to slant science a particular way. When not concerned with real or imagined conflicts with their religious beliefs, most school board members know what they don’t know and don’t mandate bad science out of sincere ignorance. (Think of all the physics and chemistry that they never touch because nobody has told them about the inconsistencies between certain facts of physics and chemistry and their religious beliefs.) What we know as sentient adults was amply proved in Judge Jones’s courtroom. Prof. Altschuler is off his game. The Rev. Dr. Larry was never on.

  54. #54 Larry Fafarman
    August 6, 2007

    “Unsympathetic reader” drivels,

    But if you say didn’t know that some board members and others lied (despite that evidence being included in the trial and spread across the blogosphere), well OK, I guess Larry lacked knowledge about that.

    You are still kicking this dead horse. I was aware that they lied under oath about where they got the money for the books because a big deal was made about that because Judge Jones himself questioned Buckingham about that. As for their lies under oath about their religious motivations, I said that I don’t care about that because it is not relevant to the points I am trying to make.

    One can be an expert about the case without knowing all the details. My blog has dozens of articles containing little-known facts about the case, Judge Jones, and related items. Just go to the sidebar on my blog for a list of topics. My name below has an embedded link to my blog.

    Hmm… OK, is this another case where we should ignore Larry’s earlier statements? Or should be ignore his latest statement?

    Hmm . . . OK, we should just ignore all of your crap because you ignore my clarifications of my statements.

  55. #55 Larry Fafarman
    August 6, 2007

    Thought Provoker (aka Quantum Quack) said,
    Saying it in Latin changes nothing.

    That’s right. My statement is correct whether I say it in Latin or not.

    Appeal Courts aren’t supposed to retry cases “De Novo” either.

    But they do it. I know that the 9th Circuit federal court of appeals retries dismissals de novo because that is what they said in one of their so-called “opinions,” which said nothing else.

    You are not doing very well at provoking thoughts, Thought Provoker. Maybe you should use only your alternate handle — Quantum Quack.

  56. #56 Michael Buratovich
    August 6, 2007

    Dear all,

    I attended the Mega-Conference on Creationism in Lynchburg, Virginia two years ago. They had all the ID books for sale on their book tables, from Jonathan Wells’ “Icons of Evolution” to Behe’s “Darwin’s Black Box.” I also saw the “Unlocking the Mystery of Life” DVD.

    While it is true that speaker Georgia Purdom did present a critique of ID, there were plenty of people and comments that showed that they were more than disposed to having it in taught in schools.

    Thus despite the differences, there are plenty of similarities. Furthermore there is plenty of mutual back-scratching going on between the two as well.

    MB

  57. #57 Shawn Wilkinson
    August 6, 2007

    There is a significant difference between ID and creationism? From a scientific perspective, there is none. Both are dodgy attempts of data mining. Culturally, I see no significant difference either. Whether you perscribe to an uncaring designer or the pro-active Providence, the religious sympathies still reign clear in both approaches.

  58. #58 Shawn Wilkinson
    August 6, 2007

    Larry, my contention with Alschuler stems from court precident. There are several cases from the U.S.C. that were passed not only on implications of a legislative or executive action but also from the motivation. Epperson v. Arkansas gave way that a nonreligious motivation cannot be a scapegoat for a government action unless a purely secular reason is the foundation of the action. The infamous Lemon test from Lemon v. Kurtzman requires the government action to possess a secular purpose and there be no entanglement between sectarian (ie religious) beliefs and secular reasons. Wallace v Jaffre found a mandated moment of silence at public school to be unconstitutional solely because the legislative record showed that the motivation behind the legislation was to encourage and coerce prayer.

    In other words, there is precedent in analyzing not only the implications of an action but its motivation. In an ideal world all actions would be a projection of secular reasoning and not a manifestation of sectarian desires. But this isn’t an ideal world, and the U.S.C. recognizes this.

  59. #59 trrll
    August 6, 2007

    With all that we have learned in quantum mechanics it is almost laughable to call oneself a “materialist”. There isn’t any such thing as atomic matter. It is all one big wavefunction.

    And so far as I can tell, pretty much nobody does. People who call themselves materialists seem to be even rarer than people who call themselves “secular humanists” (and they are pretty rare). I’ve been a scientist most of my life, and I’ve never heard a scientist use that word. Scientists just call themselves “scientists,” which means they don’t have to bother with stupid angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin semantic debates as to a wave function can be “material.”

  60. #60 trrll
    August 6, 2007

    Judge Jones’ opinions about religion were particularly bad — he said that organized religions are not “true” religions.

    Please show me where Judge Jones expressed this as his own opinion. I’m aware that you quoted him as saying

    The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry

    But that is not at all the same thing. For example, if I said “Osama bin Laden believes that the USA should be destroyed,” it would be dishonest for you to claim, “trrll said that the USA should be destroyed.”

  61. #61 Crandaddy
    August 6, 2007

    Thought Provoker,

    You are probably just another troll, but in case you aren’t, check out my web site or, better yet, go to Telic Thoughts and learn something.

    I should think that even trolls have their dens wherein they keep the company of their own, believing themselves to be beautiful and to dwell in the midst of splendor, and look with scorn and disdain upon the wayward outsider who would bear light to reveal to them the squalor of their dank, dark abode and the ugliness it has wrought them, whereupon seeing these things cry out, “Troll! Troll! He brings ruin to our glorious cities and corruption to our fairness!”.

    Okay, enough of that. I actually visit Telic Thoughts quite often but comment there very seldomly. I enjoy what they have to say.

    With all that we have learned in quantum mechanics it is almost laughable to call oneself a “materialist”. There isn’t any such thing as atomic matter. It is all one big wavefunction. The only argument left is whether or not there is only one wavefunction of multiple wavefunctions existing in multiple worlds (I personally think there is only one wavefunction).

    All that is necessary for one to believe that the “matter” of “materialism” exists is the belief that there is inert, senseless, extensive stuff which occupies a position in space so that a distinction can be made between presence and absence of this stuff.

    I wrote,

    I concede nothing.

    Thought Provoker writes in response,

    Of course you concede nothing since you haven’t said anything of substance. You have nothing to concede.

    That sentence has a context, you know. You would do well to read what came before it.

    Where is the mechanistic model that can be tested against scientific observations?

    There is not now nor will there ever be a mechanistic model of design. That is one proposition I believe to be true. Furthermore, I’ve distanced myself from the intellectually and imaginatively impoverishing tunnel vision of mechanistic material science and cherish the freedom of thought my philosophy has given me.

    There goes your science credentials.

    I’ve never claimed to hold any scientific credentials.

    A belief in something that happens to be true isn’t knowledge.

    Yes, it is.

    The ultimate truth is the business of philosophers and religions.

    I’m a philosopher. If you ever visited my blog, you would know that.

  62. #62 Shawn Wilkinson
    August 6, 2007

    trrl, I noticed that as well concerning Larry’s claim about Judge Jone’s opinion of religion. It seems to me that the Dickinson commencement speech was addressing the usefulness of a liberal arts education and how he applies it to his work. Talk about spin! Larry should seek a career at Faux News or some other spin-tastic media outlet.

  63. Hi Shawn,

    You correctly point out the major focus of the legal arguments in the Dover trial. This was obviously the strategic intent behind the case. Superficially, the case would rise or fall on motivations. If Judge Jones turned out to be an activist Judge he might rule for the Dover school board, whereby the ACLU would appeal (and win) thus setting things up for a Supreme Court challenge. Even if Judge Jones wasn’t an activist judge and he followed obvious precedent (as turned out to be the case) the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) would appeal (and lose) thus setting up for a Supreme Court challenge. The ultimate goal of the TMLC was obviously to create a tailored court record they could use to present an argument to the Supreme Court similar to Alschuler’s.

    The Dover case was to be the “ridiculous” situation of where a few books placed in a public school library was an unconstitutional act solely based of the intent of some members of the school board. It might be “ridiculous” enough for a religion-friendly Supreme Court to change precedent.

    A few things went wrong with this grand plan.

    1. The science teachers refused to cooperate even when threatened.

    Just putting some donated books in the library wasn’t controversial enough. The ACLU wasn’t going to let itself appear to be censoring books. People don’t tend to think of teachers as government officials, but the ACLU does. When the school administrators, themselves, had to make the short statement there was no doubt government officials were delivering the message.

    2. Judge Jones was in a circuit that called for applying the ENDORSEMENT Test before the Lemon Test.

    When the plaintiff’s lawyers brought this up, the panic coming from the defense side was almost palatable. When considering endorsement, actual intent doesn’t matter. What matters is whether or not the average citizen would consider the specific government act an endorsement of religion. Every man woman and child in Dover Pa, in most of the English-speaking world and, possibly, parts of the world where English is a second language knew this was about religion. Legal precedent made it worse when the target audience was young students. What Dover student wasn’t going to consider a specifically prepared speech delivered by a school administrator an official government statement, an endorsement. The defense lawyers were reduced to practically begging the Judge to ignore the clear circuit court directive.

    3. People like Nick Matzke were concerned enough to turn over every stone.

    What was found is the before 1987 a key passage in the book Of Pandas and People read…
    “Creation means that various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent creator, with their distinctive features already intact – fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc.”

    After the Supreme Court ruled against creationism, the passage was changed to…
    “Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact – fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc.”

    All pretense was gone. If the case got to the Supreme Court the justices would be seen as clearly and completely reversing a previous decision of the Supreme Court. Chances are the justices wouldn’t have even taken this case and waited for a better one that didn’t make them look as bad. The fact that the Dover citizens voted the old board out of office was an act of mercy for the TMLC. The TMLC could at least pretend they might have won on appeal.

    P.S. If I am boring you people, let me know by loudly snoring. Thanks

  64. #64 Shawn Wilkinson
    August 6, 2007

    TP/QQ

    *snore* (jk!)

    I like your views. I wasn’t aware of the Endoresment Test. I’ll look into it sometime. Thanks for all the input.

  65. #65 Larry Fafarman
    August 6, 2007

    CJColucci drivels (August 6, 2007 10:59 AM) —

    At the risk of troll-feeding, I went back to the Altschuler “articles” that, apparently, were the basis of whatever “point” the Rev. Dr. Larry is trying to make.

    Who is being a troll? Is quoting a law professor’s blog being trollish?

    Anyway, I shouldn’t complain — at last someone is addressing the real issues.

    there is no actual, working “science” of intelligent design. There is no observable research program. There are no results.

    That is not actually true. But even if intelligent design is just bad science, that does not necessarily mean that it is religious. There is nothing in the bible about irreducible complexity, bacterial flagella, blood-clotting cascades, etc.. And something can be scientific even if it has no research program but just points out flaws in an existing theory. So if ID is just bad science and not necessarily religious, then Prof. Alschuler’s reasoning applies:

    The court offers convincing evidence that some members the Dover school board would have been delighted to promote their old time religion in the classroom. . . . . . . The Dover opinion appears to say that the forbidden preference taints whatever the board may do, and if the public can discern the board’s improper desire, any action it takes also has an unconstitutional effect. If board members would like to teach Genesis as the literal truth, the board may not direct teachers even to mention the anamolies in the theory of natural selection that the court itself recognizes. The court seems to declare, “Because we find that you would like something you can’t have, we hold that you can’t have anything.”

    — from
    http://uchicagolaw.typepad.com/faculty/2005/12/the_dover_intel.html

  66. #66 mark
    August 6, 2007

    My dial-up connection is too slow to load and read OLeery’s exposition of just what Intelligent Design Theory is. Could you please, in just 3 or 4 pages, explain the theory of Intelligent Design, and how it has been tested?

  67. Hi Crandaddy,

    You wrote…

    “Troll! Troll! He brings ruin to our glorious cities and corruption to our fairness!”.

    “Okay, enough of that. I actually visit Telic Thoughts quite often but comment there very seldomly. I enjoy what they have to say.

    I have been labeled a troll myself. It didn’t take long for me to be booted from Uncommon Descent. I have also been booted from a pro-science/anti-ID blog. I don’t say this proudly; it is just fallout of independent thinking and trying to provoke independent thinking in others.

    If you visit Telic Thoughts “quite often” then you should know who I am.

    All that is necessary for one to believe that the “matter” of “materialism” exists is the belief that there is inert, senseless, extensive stuff…

    Like I said, with what we have learned in Quantum Mechanics a belief in materialism is senseless. Nothing is “inert” including the nothingness of empty space.

    That sentence has a context, you know. You would do well to read what came before it.

    I did read it. I read it again. You used a lot of words to say nothing of substance. I agree that you conceded nothing. There was nothing to concede.

    There is not now nor will there ever be a mechanistic model of design.

    If you read Telic Thought “quite often” you would know I have presented a front-loaded ID hypothesis. It is a mechanistic model.

    That is one proposition I believe to be true. Furthermore, I’ve distanced myself from the intellectually and imaginatively impoverishing tunnel vision of mechanistic material science and cherish the freedom of thought my philosophy has given me.

    I hope you are enjoying your wanderings in a world of your own making.

    In this world, philosophers, like Socrates, know wisdom comes from realizing no one knows the Truth.

    In this world, science is the pursuit of knowledge through the continual comparison of mechanistic hypotheses with scientific observations.

    I’m a philosopher. If you ever visited my blog, you would know that.

    So you are a philosopher in your world. How nice.

    I clicked on your name to check out your blog. I was taken to Uncommon Descent.

    That was appropriate since it’s hard to tell whether they are philosophers or scientists too. They are also in a world of their own making. They protect their peaceful world by quickly silencing independent thinking.

    Please note. that since I don’t enjoy engaging banter of a lot of words with no substance, I doubt I will be responding to any follow-up you may offer.

  68. #68 Science Avenger
    August 6, 2007

    Crandaddy dissembled thusly: Anti-IDists are materialistic eliminative reductionists about design in certain parts of nature. They believe design is to be explained away by material processes.

    Ken Miller and all the other Christians who support evolution, as well as the mystics who do, the jews, and all the other viewpoints who expicitly believe in nonmaterial creators and forces, would disagree with you most strenuously concerning your summation of their views. That is because, of course, you made it up, like you intellectually dishonest trolls always do.

    Nobody has ever spoon-fed me this shit, and there’s no way I’ll do that for a know-it-all mocker like you.

    Riiiiight, that’s why you parrot all the same refuted BS the creationists have been saying for decades. Just a big coincidence right? [snort] You beg to mocked. Refusing to do so would be rude.

    If you want to play hardball with me, you better put up or shut up.

    Sez the snot-nosed kid menacingly waving a wiffle bat… Come back when you have a real theory to talk about, instead of a bunch of vacuous handwaving nonsense.

    I’m a philosopher

    Gee, another ID proponent that is not a scientist. Knock me over with a feather. It figures actually. Second-rate philosophers spend a lot of time claiming things are impossible (speciation, unintelligent processes creating intelligence and solving complicated problems) that have actually been demonstrated.

  69. #69 Shawn Wilkinson
    August 6, 2007

    Thought Provoker, Crandaddy is a contributor to UD. Click on the “About” page of the blog and you’ll see his user name in the list of contributors. His posts are entertaining musings, but nothing spectacularly warranting of extra mentioning.

  70. Hi Shawn,

    Thank You for the heads up. I thought I recognised his name. When it linked to Uncommon Descent I wasn’t overly surprised.

  71. #72 G Felis
    August 6, 2007

    *ahem* Oh, Science Avenger?

    I’m a philosopher

    Gee, another ID proponent that is not a scientist. Knock me over with a feather. It figures actually. Second-rate philosophers spend a lot of time claiming things are impossible (speciation, unintelligent processes creating intelligence and solving complicated problems) that have actually been demonstrated.

    Please, go easy on my profession. Second-rate philosophers are still way better than IDiots. It takes a fourth-rate, maybe fifth-rate philosopher to ignore that many logical fallacies.

  72. #73 Crandaddy
    August 7, 2007

    Thought Provoker,

    Like I said, with what we have learned in Quantum Mechanics a belief in materialism is senseless. Nothing is “inert” including the nothingness of empty space.

    Is there not space and time? Does it not have distinguishable properties–even seperate property instantiations which are logically exclusive? (e.g. There can be an entirely red balloon at point A and an entirely blue balloon at point B, but there cannot be a single balloon at point A which is both entirely red and entirely blue. This is called a narrow logical impossibility.) Do you say that these perceived property instantiations do not have (or supervene upon) one or more fundamental objects (e.g. the spacetime system) which have existential independence of a conscious perceiver?

    I did read it. I read it again. You used a lot of words to say nothing of substance. I agree that you conceded nothing. There was nothing to concede.

    There’s “substance” to everything I say. Don’t bitch at me if you aren’t smart enough to understand it.

    If you read Telic Thought “quite often” you would know I have presented a front-loaded ID hypothesis. It is a mechanistic model.

    I’ll say it again and this time in bold: There is not now nor will there ever be a mechanistic theory of design. Not at the cosmological level. Not at the biological level. Not at the human level. Not at any level. I would explain to you why, but you would probably just dismiss it as being “words with no substance” as a cover for your lack of intelligence.

    In this world, philosophers, like Socrates, know wisdom comes from realizing no one knows the Truth.

    I never claimed to know truth, nor will I ever. I believe a lot of stuff. If any of my beliefs happen to be true, then they count as knowledge, but I would never claim any of my beliefs as knowledge.

    In this world, science is the pursuit of knowledge through the continual comparison of mechanistic hypotheses with scientific observations.

    ???

    Am I supposed to disagree with this? My only quibble is that scientific hypotheses need not necessarily be mechanistic.

    So you are a philosopher in your world. How nice.

    Yes, and it is nice. I see you are an idiot in yours, however. I’m so sorry.

  73. #74 trrll
    August 7, 2007

    Like I said, with what we have learned in Quantum Mechanics a belief in materialism is senseless. Nothing is “inert” including the nothingness of empty space.

    And where do you find these so called “materialists” whose belief requires something to be “inert?” I’ve never met a scientist who believed anything of the sort.

  74. #75 Shawn Wilkinson
    August 7, 2007

    Crandaddy wrote:

    My only quibble is that scientific hypotheses need not necessarily be mechanistic.

    I don’t think many modern theories or hypotheses do reflect on the level of determinism mechanism required (eg the modern Copenhagen school of interpretting quantum mechanics). You are using an incorrect word here, whether intentionally or unintentionally is up to the jury. I think you mean naturalistic, which is the often choice word for people with your position.

  75. #76 Shawn Wilkinson
    August 7, 2007

    Thought Provoker, and to think that it is none other than Egnor! How rich and entertaining :-)

  76. #77 Larry Fafarman
    August 7, 2007

    (http:// prefixes removed to prevent comment from hanging up as a result of limit of one link per comment)

    trrll said (August 6, 2007 04:47 PM) —

    Judge Jones’ opinions about religion were particularly bad — he said that organized religions are not “true” religions.

    Please show me where Judge Jones expressed this as his own opinion. I’m aware that you quoted him as saying

    The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry

    He implied that it was his own opinion. And even if it was not his own opinion, he indicated that he felt bound by it because he believed it to be the opinion of the Founders. Because of the great sensitivity of his position as a judge, he should not have given even the slightest hint of anti-religious bias.

    Shawn Wilkinson driveled (August 6, 2007 05:08 PM) —

    It seems to me that the Dickinson commencement speech was addressing the usefulness of a liberal arts education and how he applies it to his work. Talk about spin! Larry should seek a career at Faux News or some other spin-tastic media outlet.

    Jones remarks about “true religion” were plagiarized from a book written long after he graduated: “Quotations from The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America by Frank Lambert (Princeton University Press, 2003).”
    — see
    http://www.dickinson.edu/commencement/2006/address.html

    Shawn Wilkinson said (August 6, 2007 04:07 PM) —

    The infamous Lemon test from Lemon v. Kurtzman requires the government action to possess a secular purpose and there be no entanglement between sectarian (ie religious) beliefs and secular reasons.

    “Infamous Lemon test” is right — how can the Supreme Court expect the lower courts to always use this test when the SC itself often does not use it? See —
    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/aptly-named-lemon-test-sucks.html

    Thought Provoker said (August 6, 2007 05:56 PM) —

    If Judge Jones turned out to be an activist Judge he might rule for the Dover school board, whereby the ACLU would appeal (and win) thus setting things up for a Supreme Court challenge. Even if Judge Jones wasn’t an activist judge and he followed obvious precedent (as turned out to be the case) the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) would appeal (and lose) thus setting up for a Supreme Court challenge.

    The Supreme Court accepts for review maybe less than one percent of appeals and generally cannot be counted upon to accept any particular case for review.

    The science teachers refused to cooperate even when threatened.

    The Dover science teachers initially agreed to accept Of Pandas and People as a supplemental (not companion) text in exchange for the school board’s acceptance of a strongly Darwinist main text. The Dover science teachers then reneged on that agreement by refusing to read the ID statement to the classes — see
    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2007/03/hypocritical-double-standard-for.html

    Just putting some donated books in the library wasn’t controversial enough. The ACLU wasn’t going to let itself appear to be censoring books.

    Putting the books in the library was plenty controversial, but because of 3rd circuit precedent, removing the books from the library was not a practical goal — see
    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/09/the_silliest_th.html#more

    When the school administrators, themselves, had to make the short statement there was no doubt government officials were delivering the message.

    Even if the teachers had read the message, there would have been no doubt that the message came from the administration, because the teachers would have been reading a prepared statement.

    Judge Jones was in a circuit that called for applying the ENDORSEMENT Test before the Lemon Test.

    No — Judge Jones only cited two 3rd circuit precedents where the endorsement test happened to be applied before the Lemon test — he cited no requirement that the endorsement test be applied before the Lemon test. This is just another example of Jones’ jumping to conclusions. See page 14 of the opinion at
    http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf

    When considering endorsement, actual intent doesn’t matter. What matters is whether or not the average citizen would consider the specific government act an endorsement of religion.

    To me, the important parts of the endorsement test are the idea of political “insiders” and “outsiders” and the idea that disapproval of religion as well as endorsement of religion can violate the establishment clause. Here is how Justice O’Connor described the endorsement test which she was creating:

    The Establishment Clause prohibits government from making adherence to a religion relevant in any way to a person’s standing in the political community. Government can run afoul of that prohibition in two principal ways. One is excessive entanglement with religious institutions . . . . . . . The second and more direct infringement is government endorsement or disapproval of religion. Endorsement sends a message to nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community. Disapproval sends the opposite message.

    — from
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0465_0668_ZC.html

    3. People like Nick Matzke were concerned enough to turn over every stone.
    What was found is the before 1987 a key passage in the book Of Pandas and People read…

    If Judge Jones did not like Of Pandas and People, he should have asked the Dover school board to find some other book(s).

    The fact that the Dover citizens voted the old board out of office was an act of mercy for the TMLC. The TMLC could at least pretend they might have won on appeal.

    If Jones hadn’t figured that the new board wasn’t going to appeal, he probably would have written the opinion much differently. He would probably have shown more restraint and probably would not have copied the ID-as-science section directly from the ACLU. I am not against the copying per se but against the extreme one-sidedness of the copying. Such wholesale one-sided copying is greatly frowned upon in the courts and would have been an invitation to reversal or remand. BTW, the TMLC lawyers, because of their intimate familiarity with the case, must have known immediately that the ID-as-science section was ghostwritten by the ACLU, yet they said nothing. It took almost a year for the Discovery Institute to discover and reveal that the ID-as-science section was ghostwritten by the ACLU. The TMLC website has said nothing about the case since the day after the decision was released.

    And to think that people say that I am not an expert on the case! Tell me, how in the hell could someone other than an expert have written this comment? How in the hell could someone other than an expert have written my blog’s dozens and dozens of articles about the case?

  77. #78 trrll
    August 7, 2007

    He implied that it was his own opinion. And even if it was not his own opinion, he indicated that he felt bound by it because he believed it to be the opinion of the Founders. Because of the great sensitivity of his position as a judge, he should not have given even the slightest hint of anti-religious bias.

    I see no such implication. And a conservative legal scholar such as this judge is entitled (indeed, obliged) to have an opinion regarding the original intent of the framers of our Constitution, particularly when it comes to matters such as the separation of church and state.

    Moreover, he never expressed, or even attributed to the founders, the view that “that organized religions are not ‘true’ religions.” He was talking about their view of religion [no 's'] in the abstract. Interpreting this as an attack on particular religions is entirely your invention. There is no reason, for example, that an organized religion could not share the perspective on religion which Judge Jones attributed to the founders.

    Jones remarks about “true religion” were plagiarized from a book written long after he graduated: “Quotations from The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America by Frank Lambert (Princeton University Press, 2003).”

    I’ve seen similar opinions as to the views of the founders expressed in multiple historical sources over the years, so one can hardly attribute it to one specific source. To suggest that it is ‘plagiarism’ to agree with a widely held historical opinion is nonsensical. It sounds like you are truly desperate to find some sort of pretext, no matter how foolish, to attack Judge Jones.

    I am not against the copying per se but against the extreme one-sidedness of the copying. Such wholesale one-sided copying is greatly frowned upon in the courts and would have been an invitation to reversal or remand.

    This is false. There is absolutely nothing improper in a judge incorporating verbatim into a decision those aspects of a plaintiff’s complaint that he judges to have been proved. The “one-sidedness” that you are complaining about is the judge’s job–to render a decision.

  78. #79 Science avenger
    August 7, 2007

    I am not against the copying per se but against the extreme one-sidedness of the copying. Such wholesale one-sided copying is greatly frowned upon in the courts and would have been an invitation to reversal or remand.

    So basically there had to be something wrong with the decision because they lost it so badly. [rolls eyes]

    And to echo others here, if ID is all about science, then why would the judge’s opinion about religion be relevant? It seems ID is all about the science when its supporters see that as advantageous, and all about religion when it fails with a scientific audience.

  79. Hi Larry,

    You wrote…

    The Supreme Court accepts for review maybe less than one percent of appeals and generally cannot be counted upon to accept any particular case for review.

    That’s nice but the Supreme Court still needs cases brought to them. Not even the Supreme Court can act “sua sponte” without violating fundamental jurisprudence.

    Are you trying to suggest the TMLC Lawyers had no interest in reversing Lemon v. Kurtzman?

    The Dover science teachers initially agreed to accept Of Pandas and People as a supplemental (not companion) text in exchange for the school board’s acceptance of a strongly Darwinist main text. The Dover science teachers then reneged on that agreement by refusing to read the ID statement to the classes…

    Some of us think the Dover science teachers were courageous in the face of enormous pressure. I am not surprised you don’t.

    No — Judge Jones only cited two 3rd circuit precedents where the endorsement test happened to be applied before the Lemon test — he cited no requirement that the endorsement test be applied before the Lemon test. This is just another example of Jones’ jumping to conclusions.

    A judge “jumping to conclusions” that he is supposed to follow legal precedent. Imagine that.

    If Judge Jones did not like Of Pandas and People, he should have asked the Dover school board to find some other book(s). … And to think that people say that I am not an expert on the case! Tell me, how in the hell could someone other than an expert have written this comment?

    I didn’t challenge your expertise on the Dover case, I said you don’t know the first thing about jurisprudence if you think Judge Jones “should have asked the Dover school board” to do anything. Ethical Judges don’t make requests, they make rulings, they issue court orders. At best, Judge Jones could have ordered the parties back to the negotiating table. It is just jaw-dropping that you think it is alright for a judge to make suggestions to a defendant so that he could make a favorable ruling or, worse, order a sua sponte remedy that no one asked for.

    Earlier you indicated you filed two appeals in the US Supreme Court. Was one of them to ask them to, pretty please, reverse Lemon v. Kurtzman? Maybe the other was a suggestion that while they were at it, they should reverse Roe v. Wade sua sponte.

    If I had taken the effort to put together two Supreme Court appeals I would have them on my blog and provide a link to them at every opportunity, even if they were summarily dismissed as nuisance filings.

    I would consider this situation a nearly perfect opportunaty to show off my legal reasoning with a link but I haven’t claimed to have filed Supreme Court appeals, you have.

  80. #81 secondclass
    August 7, 2007

    Crandaddy:

    I’ll say it again and this time in bold: There is not now nor will there ever be a mechanistic theory of design. Not at the cosmological level. Not at the biological level. Not at the human level. Not at any level. I would explain to you why, but you would probably just dismiss it as being “words with no substance” as a cover for your lack of intelligence.

    Translation: “I have a fuzzy claim that I can’t possibly defend, so I’ll just shout it and follow it up with insults.”

    You’re a transparent phony, Crandaddy.

  81. Hi Shawn and others,

    I didn’t want to just give attention to those that disagree with me, but I find it easier to write provocative comments as oppose to supportive comments. Therefore, I will try a “play nice with others” submission, but please excuse me if it sounds too patronizing.

    I am pleased that it looks like many people quickly picked up on the inappropriateness of the term “materialism”.

    As Shawn noted the “modern Copenhagen school of interpreting quantum mechanics” isn’t materialistic and, arguably, might not be a mechanistic model.

    Sir Rodger Penrose (models Black Holes along with Stephen Hawking) has a variant of the Copenhagen Interpretation (Orch OR) I would argue is mechanistic but still isn’t materialistic.

    Shawn’s use of the term “naturalistic” is probably a more appropriate label.

    In the opposite direction, the Many World quantum interpretation is clearly not mechanistic to the point I feel it is just as metaphysical as “God did it”. Dogmatically believing in something in order to avoid uncomfortable realities isn’t limited to religious fundamentalists.

    In a way, Young Earth Creationists propose a mechanistic model. Mike Dunford touched on this in the opening post though he used different terminology.

    I suggest quantum mechanics provide an interesting perspective to the ID/Darwin debate. So much so that this “Quantum Quack” sometimes sounds like an IDer. But don’t worry, I am mostly harmless. Besides Crandaddy, with his obvious skills in psychology and philosophy, has assured everyone I am an “idiot”.

    Hmmm, maybe that wasn’t exactly playing nice. I will have to try harder next time. ;)

  82. #83 Shawn Wilkinson
    August 7, 2007

    It seems Larry has a history with another PT poster, Ed Brayton (scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/05/good_ol_larry_fafarman_part_2.php). , as well as a history with PT itself (he’s on the ban list, it seems). But as far as attempting to find his Supreme Court appeals online, no go. However, I am certain if one cares enough they could go to D.C. and look through the public records. Some how, I doubt Larry is that important for anyone here.

    Thought Provoker, my understanding of mechanism (the philosophical school) is a very strict sense of determinism. That is, by knowing all of the laws of the universe we could project the entire trajectory of a particle from the very past to the very future. If I recall correctly, it was the historical intellectual battle between mechanism and vitalism circa the Enlightenment era (I may be wrong…history is not my forte). But both of those schools of thought have been abandoned amongst modern intellectuals with a few indiviauls who only pull specific elements from those schools.

    QM provides an interesting perspective perhaps on the cosmological side of the ID/evolution conflict, but I don’t think it contributes very well to the biological component of the ID/evolution conflict and absolutely none to the socio-political aspect of the conflict. I’ll bring this conversation to your blog, though, once I get off work. I invite you to mine, but it’s a bit of a mess.

    (And note, I’m a chemical physics undergraduate who only gets erotic fixings from biological discussions. My heart and soul rests in the thermodynamics of chemical systems and the quantum effects in molecules…especially those with heavy ions.)

  83. #84 Larry Fafarman
    August 7, 2007

    trrll | August 7, 2007 11:42 AM said,

    I see no such implication.

    I think it would help to put Jones’ remark in the proper perspective if I reworded it a little —

    “The Founders believed that ‘true religion’ was not something handed down by a mosque or contained in a Koran, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry.”

    To suggest that it is ‘plagiarism’ to agree with a widely held historical opinion is nonsensical.

    It was plagiarism because he quoted the source virtually verbatim. And it is not a widely held historical opinion — even Fatheaded Ed Brayton conceded that Jones’ statement was too broad — see
    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2007/01/even-ed-brayton-finds-fault-with-judge.html

    And Jones was not obligated to follow the thinking of the Founders, anyway.

    It sounds like you are truly desperate to find some sort of pretext, no matter how foolish, to attack Judge Jones.

    It sounds like you are truly desperate to find some sort of pretext, no matter how foolish, to defend Judge Jones. Jones is jerk from the word go.

    Such wholesale one-sided copying is greatly frowned upon in the courts and would have been an invitation to reversal or remand.
    This is false. There is absolutely nothing improper in a judge incorporating verbatim into a decision those aspects of a plaintiff’s complaint that he judges to have been proved.

    So long as he does it in a balanced manner — but Jones did not do it in a balanced manner. There is not a shred of evidence that Jones read any of the post-trial briefs other than the one that he copied from. I am actually much more generous towards Judge Jones than are many of his other critics, who think that the opinion should have been in Jones’ own words. I am saying that copying is OK if done in a balanced manner. And one-sided copying is frowned upon in the courts. See
    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2007/02/fisking-another-lame-defense-of-jones.html

  84. #85 CJColucci
    August 7, 2007

    “if ID is just bad science and not necessarily religious, then Prof. Alschuler’s reasoning applies”
    And if it isn’t, it doesn’t. Of course the “necessarily” is a weasel word. No empirical fact is “necessarily” so. Whether ID is merely bad science or religion is a question of fact to be decided like any other question of fact. It was decided in Judge Jones’s courtroom on the basis of the only two types of evidence that could possibly shed light on the question, the motives of the Board members and ID’s laughably thin claims to scientific respectability. Those two facts, in combination, and consistent with everything we know about why school authorities have pushed “bad science” in the past (Has any school board ever pushed “bad science” that did NOT have religious implications, like phlogiston chemistry? I’ve never seen it, Judge Jones has never seen it, Professor Altschuler has never seen it, and neither has the Rev. Dr. Larry.), are ample support for the result.

  85. #86 Larry Fafarman
    August 7, 2007

    Thought Provoker said (August 7, 2007 01:26 PM) —

    Some of us think the Dover science teachers were courageous in the face of enormous pressure. I am not surprised you don’t.

    There is nothing “courageous” about reneging on an agreement that the other party made in good faith. The teachers agreed to use Of Pandas and People as a supplemental (not companion) textbook in exchange for the school board’s agreement to purchase a strongly pro-Darwinist main textbook and the teachers then reneged on that agreement.

    A judge “jumping to conclusions” that he is supposed to follow legal precedent. Imagine that.

    He was not following legal precedent — he did not cite any requirement that the endorsement test be applied before the Lemon test.

    I didn’t challenge your expertise on the Dover case, I said you don’t know the first thing about jurisprudence if you think Judge Jones “should have asked the Dover school board” to do anything. Ethical Judges don’t make requests, they make rulings, they issue court orders.

    It never hurts to ask. :-)

    Judges are always setting conditions that defendants must satisfy in order to avoid penalties. There is no reason why Judge Jones could not have required that the ID statement be reworded (e.g., eliminating the term “intelligent design,” which implies the existence of an intelligent designer) or that a different book be used.

    If I had taken the effort to put together two Supreme Court appeals I would have them on my blog and provide a link to them at every opportunity, even if they were summarily dismissed as nuisance filings.

    I mention those lawsuits every so often, but they are not relevant to most of my discussions. As for being “nuisance filings,” if you knew anything about the law, you would know that the Supreme Court usually does not give a reason for rejecting an appeal. Anyway, I don’t have copies of my briefs online.

    Shawn Wilkinson driveled (August 7, 2007 04:56 PM) —

    It seems Larry has a history with another PT poster, Ed Brayton scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/05/good_ol_larry_fafarman_part_2.php). , as well as a history with PT itself (he’s on the ban list, it seems).

    I don’t see how blogs that arbitrarily censor visitors’ comments have any credibility at all. Shameless arbitrarily censoring BVD-clad bloggers include Fatheaded Ed Brayton, Sleazy PZ Myers, and Wesley “Ding” Elsberry.

    But as far as attempting to find his Supreme Court appeals online, no go.

    What? All cases submitted to the Supreme Court are listed in the US Reports — one of my cases is in volume 522 —
    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/boundvolumes/522bv.pdf

    Some how, I doubt Larry is that important for anyone here.

    LOL. If I am so unimportant, then why did you jerks spend so much time responding to my comments?

  86. #87 Crandaddy
    August 7, 2007

    trrll,

    And where do you find these so called “materialists” whose belief requires something to be “inert?” I’ve never met a scientist who believed anything of the sort.

    A good objection–very much a rarity in this intellectual pigsty. Physicalism would have been a better term to use from the start. I think it resolves some of the objections Thought Provoker raised. Like materialism, physicalism holds that the spacetime system is fundamental.

    Shawn,

    I think you mean naturalistic, which is the often choice word for people with your position.

    Another good and sensible objection. I should not be impressed, but I am. As I define the two terms, they may be used interchangeably at least in this context. “Mechanistic” and “naturalistic” both invoke an absence of mind or intentionality which is key.

    Secondclass,

    Translation: “I have a fuzzy claim that I can’t possibly defend, so I’ll just shout it and follow it up with insults.”

    No, I’m sure that’s not it. I simply don’t see the point in putting forth the effort to engage in reasonable discorse with those who lack the capacity to do so such as yourself.

  87. #88 Shawn Wilkinson
    August 7, 2007

    Ah, I see you’ve developed pet names for your sick and perverted attraction to those bloggers you listed, Larry. Imagining them in different styles of underwear (BVD’s) doesn’t bode very well for your own sanity. And from what I gather, they didn’t ‘arbitrarily censor’ you. They let dissenters in all the time. You abused their services and hosptiality. Just watch your step here ;-)

    What? All cases submitted to the Supreme Court are listed in the US Reports — one of my cases is in volume 522

    Yes, I am very well aware of the US Reports. I see I mispelled your name in the search. I thought it was “farfarman”, an irony to your psyche for sure! I see your cases. You really didn’t like the Vehicle Smog Impact Fee of California? It seems to have been repelled in 2000, so I guess that’s water under the bridge? But your record doesn’t look good based on what I see. On a side tangent, your residence in LA makes the random news-channel chatroom transcript I found with your name on it a bit more funny than I suppose it really should be.

    If I am so unimportant, then why did you jerks spend so much time responding to my comments?

    I meant you’re not more important than a Google search or a search at the USSC website. And it only took 5 minutes to respond, just enough for my cup of coffee to finisih brewing.

  88. Hi Shawn,

    You wrote…

    my understanding of mechanism (the philosophical school) is a very strict sense of determinism. That is, by knowing all of the laws of the universe we could project the entire trajectory of a particle from the very past to the very future. If I recall correctly, it was the historical intellectual battle between mechanism and vitalism circa the Enlightenment era (I may be wrong…history is not my forte). But both of those schools of thought have been abandoned amongst modern intellectuals with a few indiviauls who only pull specific elements from those schools.

    I don’t get too hung up on which terms are used, it is the ideas that counts. However, it gets interesting to watch the attempts of the ID Movement to use words to form ideas in the faithful. “Materialism” is just one. I pick on “mechanistic” because it usually forces the issue. To me, quantum mechanics is mechanistic but not deterministic.

    Here is the fun part… Penrose hypothesizes that quantum “Objective Reduction” (his name for wave function collapse) is non-deterministic AND non-random. Penrose appeals to the Kurt Godel’s incompleteness theorems as an explanation of why such a situation is possible.

    The simplified version is that all quantum effects are completely interconnected in the spacetime universe (connected both in space and time) as one huge wavefunction (think Mandelbrot Set). Complicated effects appear to be random. The universal wavefunction is the ultimate in complexity; it only appears to be random. Think about it. Pseudo random number generators aren’t really random. The only natural random sources we know of are directly tied to quantum mechanics. What if quantum effects aren’t random?

    It is a mechanistic model that approaches the metaphysical without crossing the line. Who or what set up the universal wavefunction remains a mystery. It could be God, it could be turtles all the way down. That is up to the philosophers to argue and decide. Meanwhile, scientists have a mechanistic model. Everyone could be happy as long as the fanatical among us don’t insist on trying to use science to force their Ultimate Truth on us all.

    QM provides an interesting perspective perhaps on the cosmological side of the ID/evolution conflict, but I don’t think it contributes very well to the biological component of the ID/evolution conflict and absolutely none to the socio-political aspect of the conflict. I’ll bring this conversation to your blog, though, once I get off work. I invite you to mine, but it’s a bit of a mess.

    You are welcome to comment on my blog. I will check out yours. I little tease for the lurkers…

    Did you know scientists/inventors are using DNA strands to build quantum computers? It seems that DNA is pretty good at using quantum effects. Recently, they found out that photosynthesis is directly tied to quantum effects.

    There is also a Professor Emeritus of Anesthesiology, Dr. Hameroff, that has teamed up with Penrose to further develop the Orch OR model of consciousness. They have put together a pretty convincing explanation of how consciousness is directly tied to quantum mechanics through microtubules. This would explain how single celled organisms appear to be aware of their surroundings.

    The amount of scientific evidence supporting this is growing in the form of peer-reviewed studies, experiments and papers. The ID Movement can only wish they were as far along as this concept is.

    However, I think there are more than a few scientists who would rather embrace ID than the Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR model. The implications of all of this is… shall we say… a radical departure from traditional assumptions.

    Now you know how I earned my “Quantum Quack” label.

    See http://www.hameroff.com for details on Orch OR.

    P.S. to Mike Dunford thank you for being tolerant of these off topic comments. I hope you found them entertaining.

  89. #90 Larry Fafarman
    August 7, 2007

    And from what I gather, they didn’t ‘arbitrarily censor’ you. They let dissenters in all the time. You abused their services and hosptiality.

    Bullshit, dunghill. What do you know? Fatheaded Ed Brayton kicked me off his blog permanently because he disagreed with my literal interpretation of a federal court rule. As for Ding Elsberry, my comments on Panda’s Thumb and Austringer were always on-topic, serious, and polite.

    Just watch your step here ;-)

    And you know you can get away with murder here because Dunford is on your side. ;-)

    But your record doesn’t look good based on what I see.

    And if you knew anything about the law, you would know that sleazeball judges routinely dismlss small cases to make more time for big cases. I argued that despite general rules against state tax suits in federal courts, my suit against the smog impact fee belonged in federal court. I was vindicated when a former top California auto emissions control official testified in state court that the fee required the approval of the US EPA.

    I meant you’re not more important than a Google search or a search at the USSC website

    Then why did you spend the time to write all of your responses to me here, including your last one?

  90. #91 Larry Fafarman
    August 7, 2007

    CJColucci | August 7, 2007 07:03 PM said,

    “if ID is just bad science and not necessarily religious, then Prof. Alschuler’s reasoning applies”
    And if it isn’t, it doesn’t. Of course the “necessarily” is a weasel word.

    A “weasel word”? OK, I will just flatly say that ID is not religion. There is nothing in the bible about irreducible complexity, bacterial flagella, blood-clotting cascades, etc..

    Has any school board ever pushed “bad science” that did NOT have religious implications, like phlogiston chemistry?

    That is as dumb an argument as I have ever heard — because they have not done it before, it is impossible for them to do it now. And evolution theory also has religious implications — just ask Ken Miller, Michael Collins, etc.. They are called “theistic evolutionists.”

  91. #92 secondclass
    August 8, 2007

    Crandaddy:

    No, I’m sure that’s not it. I simply don’t see the point in putting forth the effort to engage in reasonable discorse with those who lack the capacity to do so such as yourself.

    Well, in that case, we’ll take your word for it. I have no doubt that your argument is airtight, and that your failure to outline or cite it is solely due to our stupidity.

    BTW, I have an solid refutation of M-theory, but I’m sure it’s over your head.

  92. #93 Mike Dunford
    August 8, 2007

    Bullshit, dunghill. What do you know? Fatheaded Ed Brayton kicked me off his blog permanently because he disagreed with my literal interpretation of a federal court rule. As for Ding Elsberry, my comments on Panda’s Thumb and Austringer were always on-topic, serious, and polite.

    Watch the language, please.

  93. #94 divalent
    August 8, 2007

    Fafarman: “LOL. If I am so unimportant, then why did you jerks spend so much time responding to my comments?”

    It’s a very good question. (IMO, the answer is that some people just don’t have enough experience dealing with trolls to grasp the concept of “futility”. Other people are just become arrogantly stupid in their presence.)

  94. #95 uriel
    August 8, 2007

    Weell, just to get back to the origional claim made:

    If there is no epistemological design, then there are no epistemological functions. There are no epistemological reasons. There are no epistemological actions, words, or meanings either.

    To crandaddy’s credit- something which I hesitate to give- it’s clear that this is, not in fact nonsense, nor is it necessarily the overly wordy word salad it appears to be. In fact, it ties in rather nicely with claims hes made on UD in the past.

    It is, however, unsupportable and demonstrably wrong, in a fairly trivial sense.

    Ultimately, his repeated and superfluous repetition of the word “epistemological” provides no more meaning or context to his statement than does the “2” in the statement 2x+2y=2Z.

    Now, let’s strip it away, in the same trivial manner we would normally factor out that 2.

    “If there is no design, then there are no functions. There are no reasons. There are no actions, words, or meanings either.”

    Now, admittedly, this squares rather closely with such drivel as this:

    “So in order for the materialist to claim that truth exists, she must claim that propositional content which can have the property of being true is material, but how in the world can there be a material state be intrinsically about an object, and how can a material state possibly have the property of being true?”

    And this:

    “But the moral sense itself is not, and cannot be, a result of matter + energy. Morals, like Truth, are metaphysical.”

    Which, admittedly , in the echo chamber crandaddy is used to, passes as well reasoned argument.

    It’s nothing more that the age old argument that, in the absence of some grand design, the most abject form of nihilism must reign over all- Nothing can have any meaning, unless, of course, “god-did-it.”

    Sure, its fun to say- but that’s not the same as proving it, by any means.

    Further, it’s important to note that, on “his” blog, cran does not claim to be a philosopher, but rather “philosopher-in-training.”

    It appears that the training regimen is long and hard, and cran has a while to go before he gets out of the “because I say it, it must be true” phase.

  95. #96 uriel
    August 8, 2007

    And, for the record, let’s revisit Mr. Fafarman’s first calm here, absent his rather convoluted waffling:

    Judge Jones was talking through his hat. How could the Dover school board members both “staunchly and proudly [tout] their religious convictions in public” in promoting the ID policy and at the same time “cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the (Intelligent Design) Policy”?

    And this:

    The school board members didn’t lie.

    Does any one, including Messer. Larry, not see the obvious contradiction between that, his _original_ comments_ and this:

    You people just don’t know when to lay off. I said that I didn’t know that the Dover defendants lied under oath about their religious motivations and that I don’t care. You are trying to distract attention from my original comment’s main focus, which was a blog article by Prof. Alschuler

    Really, Larry, you can’t even be fooling yourself. Are you even trying?

  96. #97 Science Avenger
    August 8, 2007

    A “weasel word”? OK, I will just flatly say that ID is not religion. There is nothing in the bible about irreducible complexity, bacterial flagella, blood-clotting cascades, etc..

    So? I can flatly say I’ll flap my arms and fly to the moon. Didn’t happen.

    ID is religion because the only reason any of you is talking about irreducible complexity, flagella, and blood clotting is because of your beliefs in the god of the Bible. Likewise, there is nothing in the Bible about life beginning at conception, but that doesn’t stop the Pompous Pious from insisting that it is so, based on their religion.

    Really, it is astonishing you people still try to peddle this “It’s not religion, really, wink, wink, nudge, nudge” malarkey after the Wedge Document became public. Did you really think we were just going to forget?

  97. #98 Larry Fafarman
    August 8, 2007

    uriel wheezes,

    And, for the record, let’s revisit Mr. Fafarman’s first calm here, absent his rather convoluted waffling . . . .
    Does any one, including Messer. Larry, not see the obvious contradiction between that, his _original_ comments_ and this:

    There was no waffling and no contradiction. From beginning to end, I held that the Dover school board members were honest about their religious motivations when speaking at public board meetings and other occasions.

  98. #99 Unsympathetic reader
    August 8, 2007

    From beginning to end, I held that the Dover school board members were honest about their religious motivations when speaking at public board meetings and other occasions.

    Textbook example of a “half-truth”.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-truth
    en.wiktionary.org/wiki/half-truth

  99. Hi Larry,

    You wrote…

    I held that the Dover school board members were honest about their religious motivations when speaking at public board meetings and other occasions.

    By “other occasions” do you mean like whenever they were specifically asked?

    How about when they were asked in a public courtroom after having sworn an oath to God to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

    It may be a poor reflection on my character that I am beginning to find this thread entertaining.

  100. #101 trrll
    August 8, 2007

    You obviously don’t understand Larry’s point which was that the school board members were telling the truth when they were not lying:

    My point is that the defendants were candid about their religious motivations when discussing ID at the public board meetings and other occasions, even if they later lied about their motivations when testifying on the witness stand, which I don’t care about because the evidence of their religious motivations was overwhelming.

    This allows Larry to claim that “Jones wrongly claimed that they lied about their religious motivations,” because Jones, quite unfairly, chose to focus on the fact that they lied to him when they were under oath, in his courtroom, and gave them no credit at all for telling the truth when (they were stupid enough to think) it wouldn’t hurt their legal case.

    It may be a poor reflection on my character that I am beginning to find this thread entertaining

    How could anybody not be entertained?

  101. #102 Larry Fafaman
    August 8, 2007

    You people(?) still don’t get it. I said that I didn’t know that they lied under oath about their religious motivations and that I don’t care because it has no bearing on the points I am trying to make.

  102. #103 Unsympathetic reader
    August 8, 2007

    That, and a URL to a post from a law professor who doesn’t quite understand evolutionary biology, particularly peacock tails or the practice of science in general. Do a quick search on the replies and see if you find anyone familiar…

    The problem with ID in Dover was that it was intractably and *intentionally* entwined with a particular, religious goal. Periannan Senapathy’s notion about the independent origin of species and Christian Schwabe’s “Genomic Potential Hypothesis” is bad science (e.g. http://home.planet.nl/~gkorthof/korthof58.htm). As it stands now, ID is non-science *and* religion.

  103. Hi Larry,

    I understand you don’t really care about the details of the Dover case (other than to say Judge Jones got them wrong) and when you said “The school board members didn’t lie” you actually meant they were so inept with their multiple lies under oath in repeated depositions and in their trial testimony that it was obvious they were telling the truth when they said their interest in the book Of Pandas and People (which turned out to be a creationism text book that had undergone some quick cut-and-paste editing) had nothing to do with their interest in having creationism taught in school because their fanatical desire to do so was obvious and widely reported thus clearly showing their true objective was a strict adherence to the rule of law (which includes a prohibition against perjury) as argued by Professor Alshuler therefore undeniably demonstrating the absurdity of Judge Jones’ claim of not being an activist judge since he could have acted sua sponte to change the wording of the statement read to the Dover students and suggest the use of a different Intelligent Design textbook (there were no others) so that he could avoid ruling on a legal issue that both litigants asked him to rule on,…

    …but isn’t it possible you might be mistaken?

    Next time, instead of a single run-on sentence, I might try doing it backwards. ;)

    I am having way too much fun.

  104. #105 Crandaddy
    August 8, 2007

    Secondclass,

    Well, in that case, we’ll take your word for it. I have no doubt that your argument is airtight, and that your failure to outline or cite it is solely due to our stupidity.

    I think it’s airtight. The argument isn’t difficult to understand; at least it doesn’t seem that way to me. Here it is briefly:

    My concept of a mechanistic theory or model of design is one which completely captures in mechanistic, physicalistic terms the concept of design. The concept of design itself, however, is essentially and necessarily teleological, so the ingredient of mind is required. But how are mental phenomena to be directly observed in any way except by the private, essentially subjective experiences of a conscious being? I humbly venture to say that they simply can’t. To say that a phenomenological experience is itself one’s own phenomenological experience is incoherent. Experiences can only be perceived subjectively; they cannot be the subject of observation from an external perspective.

    Thought Provoker says he proposes a mechanistic model of design. The best he or anyone else will ever be able to do is propose a mechanism whereby a designer might implement his design. That any observed physical state of affairs is the handiwork of a designer can never be epistemically justified by appeal to mechanistic cause and effect; it must be justified another way or smuggled in. The essentially subjective mental phenomenon of intentionality which is a necessariy ingredient of any design is nonidentifiable with any observable physical object or event.

    Howzat?

    BTW, I have an solid refutation of M-theory, but I’m sure it’s over your head.

    It probably is. It also seems off-topic for this thread.

    Uriel,

    Let’s see if I can summarize you knock-down refutation…

    You make some strange math analogy.

    You call what I write “drivel” and refer to UD as an “echo chamber”.

    You impugn my motives.

    Excuse me, but I fail to see how any of this effectively refutes anything I have written.

    Further, it’s important to note that, on “his” blog, cran does not claim to be a philosopher, but rather “philosopher-in-training.”

    A true lover of wisdom is always in training.

  105. Hi Crandaddy,

    The model isn’t “mine” per se it is an extension of the Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR model of consciousness.

    It explains a possible mechanism for the consciousness of all living things (i.e. “mind”).

    You said…
    “The best [Thought Provoker] or anyone else will ever be able to do is propose a mechanism whereby a designer might implement his design.”

    That is all science can do. Beyond that is metaphysics (i.e. religion).

    To that point…

    There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Science

    Click on my name to see my blog. Feel free to leave comments.

  106. #107 trrll
    August 9, 2007

    You people(?) still don’t get it. I said that I didn’t know that they lied under oath about their religious motivations and that I don’t care because it has no bearing on the points I am trying to make.

    The “point” you made was as follows:

    Jones wrongly claimed that they lied about their religious motivations

    However, in his statement Judge Jones was specifically referring to their lying under oath in his court, so it is pretty ridiculous to insist that their lying under oath “has no bearing” to your criticism of him.

  107. #108 Crandaddy
    August 9, 2007

    Thought Provoker,

    That is all science can do. Beyond that is metaphysics (i.e. religion).

    But surely we must have a means of assigning rational warrant to the status of design itself. To describe mechanistic implementation of design without justifying the presence of purpose as some sort of causal force somewhere therein is to effectively strip it of teleology altogether. You have mechanism, but the “design” is effectively ad hoc and impotent. I believe to be purposive the antics of the street performer who juggles balls and balances spinning plates on his chin and nonpurposive the grand mal convulsions and thrashings of the epileptic. Surely an empirical distinction can be made between the two.

  108. #109 Larry Fafarman
    August 9, 2007

    Thought Provoker driveled,

    I am having way too much fun.

    Having fun by making a fool of yourself by putting words in other people’s mouths is not a good way to have fun. I have said repeatedly that I don’t care whether or not the Dover defendants lied under oath about their religious convictions. That has nothing to do with the points I was trying to make and some of my biggest points were in the article in Alschuler’s blog.

  109. #110 uriel
    August 9, 2007

    Let’s see if I can summarize you knock-down refutation…

    You make some strange math analogy.
    You call what I write “drivel” and refer to UD as an “echo chamber”.
    You impugn my motives.

    No, there’s other things in there. For instance, pointing out that your claim,

    “So in order for the materialist to claim that truth exists, she must claim that propositional content which can have the property of being true is material, but how in the world can there be a material state be intrinsically about an object, and how can a material state possibly have the property of being true?”

    is transparently absurd, intentionally (or possibly unintentionally) convoluted garbage.

    Cutting out the nonsense, all you are saying is “If a ‘materialist’ makes a preposition, than they must be claiming that prepositions are material. And that’s clearly impossible! Because truth is super special!” Now, that has meaning, but its still abject navel gazing. Prepositions are nothing more than speculative descriptions regarding the material state of a thing. “Truth” is nothing more than an adjective describing the veracity of those descriptions- not some pie in the sky platonic ideal. It means nothing more than “yes.” Both of these exist materially- one in the physical mind of the observer, and the other in the thing being observed.

    All you have to do is look at the computer you are typing this speculative dreaminess on to see a fine example of thousands upon thousands of prepositions being rapidly and trivially assessed, all of which have a material existence on your hard drive. And all based on the fact that “a material state (can) possibly have the property of being true.” Or are you going to claim that the Pentium chip has some sort of transcendental property that allows it to access the divine?

    And the math analogy, for however much you might want to dismiss it, does in fact apply to your original statement, with its unnecessary and pretentious overuse of the word “epistemological,” which, once removed, ties it nicely rather nicely with the quote above.

  110. #111 Unsympathetic reader
    August 9, 2007

    Larry, on August 9, 2007 04:26 AM:
    I have said repeatedly that I don’t care whether or not the Dover defendants lied under oath about their religious convictions. That has nothing to do with the points I was trying to make and some of my biggest points were in the article in Alschuler’s blog.

    In his first post on August 4, 2007 08:56 PM
    Judge Jones was talking through his hat. How could the Dover school board members both “staunchly and proudly [tout] their religious convictions in public” in promoting the ID policy and at the same time “cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the (Intelligent Design) Policy”?

    Who’s *really* talking through their hat?

  111. #112 trrll
    August 9, 2007

    Having fun by making a fool of yourself by putting words in other people’s mouths is not a good way to have fun. I have said repeatedly that I don’t care whether or not the Dover defendants lied under oath about their religious convictions. That has nothing to do with the points I was trying to make and some of my biggest points were in the article in Alschuler’s blog.

    Yes, it is very convenient, isn’t it, to be able to ignore facts that don’t agree with the conclusion that you would like to reach? — in this case that “Jones wrongly claimed that they lied about their religious motivations.” To “not care” about obviously relevant facts is the sine qua non of crackpot thinking.

  112. Hi Larry,

    Stubborn, you are.

    Read your words, we can.

    Incorrectness of my words you explain not.

    Ideas change not by who say them or how.

    Alschuler, you or me, difference makes not.

    Self delusional appear you do.

    Possible, lying for cause you may be.

    Which truth is, know not I.

    Entertaining, this is.

    (Maybe saying it in Latin next time might provide add the much-needed challenge. Possibly Pig Latin.)

  113. #114 Crandaddy
    August 9, 2007

    Uriel,

    Note I speak of propositions not prepositions. That is not a typo.

    I found nothing else in your comment worthy of a response.

  114. #115 Larry Fafarman
    August 9, 2007

    It is impossible to carry on an intelligent conversation with you people when you won’t let me clarify my previous statements. I said that I am not interested in discussing whether or not Judge Jones went too far in his criticisms of the defendants. I think that he went too far, but that is just my opinion and it has no bearing on the points I was making here.

  115. #116 trrll
    August 10, 2007

    t is impossible to carry on an intelligent conversation with you people when you won’t let me clarify my previous statements.

    Who’s stopping you? But rather than clarifying your previous statements regarding Judge Jones, you seem to be trying very hard to obfuscate them.

    I said that I am not interested in discussing whether or not Judge Jones went too far in his criticisms of the defendants.

    You were the one who brought it up, so presumably you were interested in it at the time. But now that you seem to be getting the worst of the discussion, you profess to lose interest. I guess that things are only “interesting” when they conform to your prejudices.

  116. #117 Larry Fafarman
    August 10, 2007

    trrll | August 10, 2007 01:22 AM —

    it is impossible to carry on an intelligent conversation with you people when you won’t let me clarify my previous statements.
    Who’s stopping you?

    You’re stopping me. It is obvious that you are trying to dodge the issues raised by Prof. Alschuler by harping endlessly about my unrelated statements.

    You were the one who brought it up, so presumably you were interested in it at the time.

    I was interested in it at the time, and I am still interested in it. I already explained my position about it. I said that Jones went too far in criticizing the defendants for lying under oath about their religious motivations. He was talking about their “covering up” and “disguising” their religious motivations when it was obvious that they couldn’t do that because their out-of-court statements were in the public record and there were a lot of witnesses. He generally abused his position as a judge by smearing the defendants, e.g., he also said that the ID policy was “breathtaking inanity” and that the defendants had dragged the school district through some kind of maelstrom or something like that. He could just as easily have dumped on the teachers for being insubordinate in refusing to read the ID statement and for reneging on their deal to accept the ID book in exchange for the board’s acceptance of a strongly pro-Darwinist main textbook. Smearing the defendants was not part of his job — his only job was to rule on the constitutionality of the ID policy. Judge Jones himself is certainly not above criticism here — for example, the ID-as-science section of the Dover opinion was ghostwritten by the ACLU. In the ID-as-science section, Jones gave no evidence that he even read any post-trial brief other than the one that he copied from.

    But now that you seem to be getting the worst of the discussion, you profess to lose interest.

    You are the one who is getting the worst of the discussion because you are ducking my main points.

    Thank goodness that the Dover decision is well on its way to becoming a footnote in history.

  117. #118 uriel
    August 10, 2007

    Note I speak of propositions not prepositions. That is not a typo.

    I found nothing else in your comment worthy of a response.

    No, actually it was a typo, but on my part, which I unfortunately repeated. Sorry about that. You’re right and I’m wrong. Mea Culpa, and all.

    The point, however, still stands, regardless of my syntactic errors.

    As for the “worthy”-ness of responding- whatever.

    I’m afraid you’ve dipped into the well of not responding to objections, or even questions, to your metaphysically indefensible gobbledey gook by adopting this “you’re too unaware to understand the rarefied subtleties of what I’m saying” posture once too often for that particular defense to have any meaning. But kudos on your ability to adopt the _epistemologically_ vacant tactics of your hero, Dr.^nth Dembski.

    Despite the various appeals to a self-imagined, oh-so-weary superiority- if, in fact, your arguments even held one tenth of the sophistication and obvious validity you claim, it should be trivially easy to argue your case against the supposedly oh-so-very-petty objections raised here, by both me and others. If, that is, you could. All you’re doing by refusing to address them is making it obvious you can’t, outside of your preferred environ of the self selected echo chamber.

    Or do you, the philosopher in training, imagine Plato falling back on such a simplistic response as “you’re not smart enough to be gettin’ the kinda’ truth I be laying down, suckas.”

    By presenting no better argument than “well, its beneath me, and you wouldn’t understand” you are not only falling to an appeal to authority- you are, in essence, making an appeal to _yourself_ as that authority. Bad form, chap. And then some.

    The fact that you’ve refused to support your position, in any way shape or form, again and again,- apart from unsupported hand waving- indicates nothing more than a tacit admission that you are fundamentally unable to do so. Any illusion otherwise exists only and entirely on your part.

    Or, to put it in the colloquial- put up or shut up. Anything else is self-serving drivel.

  118. #119 uriel
    August 10, 2007

    And just to be clear about the argument, let’s present an equally vacuous but equivalent rephrasing of your UD argument:

    “So in order for the materialist to claim that red exists, she must claim that propositional content which can have the property of being red is material, but how in the world can there be a material state be intrinsically about an object, and how can a material state possibly have the property of being red?”

    Yeah, that’s a rock solid argument for an ultimate designer. Not a single flaw in that.

    Phhhhth.

    Keep training.

  119. #120 trrll
    August 10, 2007

    I said that Jones went too far in criticizing the defendants for lying under oath about their religious motivations.

    How odd and unfair that a judge should object strongly to a crime–lying under oath. The defendants should feel fortunate not to have been jailed for perjury.

    He was talking about their “covering up” and “disguising” their religious motivations when it was obvious that they couldn’t do that because their out-of-court statements were in the public record and there were a lot of witnesses. generally abused his position as a judge by smearing the defendants, e.g., he also said that the ID policy was “breathtaking inanity”

    He was talking about their failed attempt to cover up and disguise their religious motivations when testifying under oath–failed because “their out-of-court statements were in the public record and there were a lot of witnesses.” Truly, such a blatant and transparent act of perjury could be referred to as being breathtakingly inane, but the judge did not actually use those words to characterize the defendants as individuals (much though they deserved it), but rather to characterize the foolish and blatantly unconstitutional policy of the school board, which ended up costing the district a great deal of money and exposing it to much-deserved national ridicule.

    He could just as easily have dumped on the teachers for being insubordinate in refusing to read the ID statement

    This is known as “academic freedom.” I cannot imagine any ethical science teacher agreeing to read such a blatantly misleading statement under any circumstances. As the judge correctly ruled, the statement was highly illegal, and the teachers were thus protecting their students against the illegal actions of the school board, a heroic act demonstrating great integrity and courage.

    Judge Jones himself is certainly not above criticism here — for example, the ID-as-science section of the Dover opinion was ghostwritten by the ACLU. In the ID-as-science section, Jones gave no evidence that he even read any post-trial brief other than the one that he copied from.

    Again, this is foolish. Incorporating verbatim into a decision those sections of a plaintiff’s complaint that a judge rules to have been proven is a standard legal practice. The ACLU’s complaint was a matter of public record, so the “ghostwritten” characterization (which implies deception), is a pure slander. Needless to say, briefs that a judge rules to be invalid do not get incorporated into a decision. However, his decision includes extensive refutations of the arguments made in the other briefs.

  120. #121 CJColucci
    August 10, 2007

    “You are the one who is getting the worst of the discussion because you are ducking my main points.”

    Which are……?

  121. #122 Larry Fafarman
    August 10, 2007

    How odd and unfair that a judge should object strongly to a crime — lying under oath.

    As I said, it was not his job to express his negative opinions about the defendants. His job was to rule on the constitutionality of the ID policy.

    the judge did not actually use those words to characterize the defendants as individuals (much though they deserved it), but rather to characterize the foolish and blatantly unconstitutional policy of the school board

    It was not “foolish and blatantly unconstitutional.” Two other decisions against evolution disclaimers, Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish and Selman v. Cobb County, came close to being reversed.

    which ended up costing the district a great deal of money and exposing it to much-deserved national ridicule.

    You are blaming the victim. It was Jones’ stupid rulings which cost the district a great deal of money and exposed it to ridicule — Jones should never have heard expert testimony or ruled on the question of ID as science.

    This is known as “academic freedom.” I cannot imagine any ethical science teacher agreeing to read such a blatantly misleading statement under any circumstances.

    This is not academic freedom. Requiring the teachers to read the ID statement to the classes was a valid requirement when it was made. In Peloza v. Capistrano School District, the 9th Circuit ruled that a teacher could be required to teach Darwinism even if it was against his religious beliefs.

    Incorporating verbatim into a decision those sections of a plaintiff’s complaint that a judge rules to have been proven is a standard legal practice.

    The kind of one-sided copying that Jones did is not standard practice — it is severely frowned upon by the courts. There were opening and answering post-trial briefs from the plaintiffs and defendants but the ID-as-science section came virtually entirely from just the plaintiffs’ opening post-trial brief. I was very generous towards Judge Jones on this issue — a lot of his critics thought that the opinion should have been in his own words. I objected only to the extreme one-sidedness of his copying.

  122. #123 Crandaddy
    August 10, 2007

    Uriel,

    The idea, simply, is this: Physical states can have many kinds of properties (size, form, distance from other physical states, etc.). Perceptions of physical states can have qualiatative properties (red or blue, hot or cold, etc.). Intentional contents such as propositional contents have an intrinsically, essentially semantic ontology–they bear the very substance of meaning so that a proposition can be said to be identical to a meaning which is true or false. Therefore, for a proposition to be identical to a physical state, a physical state must be a semantic content with the property of either being true or false. But this is incoherent. Physical states may be derivatively semantic (e.g. the words you read on the screen right now are not themselves meaningful, but rather have meaning only in your conscious mind), but they cannot be intrinsically semantic in any intelligible way.

    This idea is by no means original to me. Arguments along this line have been put forth by such prominent dualists as David Chalmers and Richard Swinburne, and even prominent naturalistic philosophers such as John Searle and Thomas Nagel have acknowledged such difficulties in their work.

  123. #124 trrll
    August 10, 2007

    As I said, it was not his job to express his negative opinions about the defendants.

    Are you serious? Since when is it not the job of a judge to object to a crime that is committed in his own courtroom?

    It was not “foolish and blatantly unconstitutional.” Two other decisions against evolution disclaimers, Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish and Selman v. Cobb County, came close to being reversed.

    Close to being reversed?” So which is our legal system, horseshoes, or hand grenades? Who gives out the legal awards for being “close” to not losing?

    You are blaming the victim. It was Jones’ stupid rulings which cost the district a great deal of money and exposed it to ridicule — Jones should never have heard expert testimony or ruled on the question of ID as science.

    People were laughing at Dover even before Judge Jones ruled. If Judge Jones’s rulings were so clearly bad, then there would surely have been an appeal, if only to recoup the financial losses. What ID advocates really object to is that Jones’s ruling is so solid and clearly reasoned that it was obvious that any appeal was hopeless. Even worse, from the point of view of ID is that Jones’s ruling provides an exemplar for cases in other courts, even those for which Jones’s ruling is not a precedent.

    This is not academic freedom. Requiring the teachers to read the ID statement to the classes was a valid requirement when it was made.

    It is never valid to require teachers to read a statement that is unconstitutional and misleading. It did not suddenly become invalid when Judge Jones ruled–Jones ruled that it had always been invalid.

    In Peloza v. Capistrano School District, the 9th Circuit ruled that a teacher could be required to teach Darwinism even if it was against his religious beliefs.

    Obviously, a science teacher must be willing to teach the subject matter in order to be qualified to teach. If their religious beliefs make them unable to properly teach the science, then they can hardly teach biology. But this was not a case of science teachers trying to claim a religious exemption as an excuse for refusing to teach science, it was a case of science teachers refusing to read a scientifically misleading statement to their students.

    Jones should never have heard expert testimony or ruled on the question of ID as science

    Again, this is foolish. Both sides asked him to rule on that question and presented testimony directed toward that issue. Moreover, as Judge Jones clearly laid out in his decision, the question of whether ID is science is clearly crucial to the Lemon test, which requires that “[an official act's] principal or primary effect . . . be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion.” Obviously, if ID is science, then improvement of science education could reasonably be pointed to as the primary effect of the Board’s policy. Indeed, if Judge Jones had failed to rule on this question, it would have provided an avenue for a appeal (and I suspect that his failure to fall into this trap is your real reasoning for being unhappy about this part of the judgement). Here is the relevant part of the decision: “we first note that since ID is not science, the conclusion is inescapable that the only real effect of the ID Policy is the advancement of religion.”

    The kind of one-sided copying that Jones did is not standard practice — it is severely frowned upon by the courts.

    The notion that this is “frowned upon” by the courts seems to be entirely a fantasy of ID apologists. Show me any example of a decision that was reversed specifically because a judge incorporated verbatim those elements of the plaintiff’s brief that he ruled to be proved. The idea that a judge’s decision can be “plagiarized” or “ghostwritten” is fundamentally nonsensical. A judicial opinion is not supposed to be original in language or concept; it is supposed to be well reasoned and based upon solid precedent and testimony. The words “plagiarism” and “ghostwritten,” so freely thrown around by ID advocates dishonestly imply an element of deception, of misrepresenting somebody else’s ideas or words as one’s own. But there is no misrepresentation as to the sources of the arguments that Judge Jones cited in his decision–indeed, they are part of the public record of the trial.

  124. #125 Larry Fafarman
    August 10, 2007
    As I said, it was not his job to express his negative opinions about the defendants.

    Are you serious? Since when is it not the job of a judge to object to a crime that is committed in his own courtroom?

    I am dead serious. His personal attacks on the defendants contributed nothing to the decision.

    “Close to being reversed?” . . .Who gives out the legal awards for being “close” to not losing?

    Tell that to the folks who fight tooth and nail over every judicial nomination, particularly nominations to the Supreme Court.

    If Judge Jones’s rulings were so clearly bad, then there would surely have been an appeal, if only to recoup the financial losses.

    The new members of the school board did not repeal the ID policy immediately because they wanted to hear what Judge Jones had to say, so they said. Jones’ worthless opinion cost the district $1 million. For only a few thousand more, they could have heard what an appeals court and maybe even the Supreme Court had to say.

    What ID advocates really object to is that Jones’s ruling is so solid and clearly reasoned that it was obvious that any appeal was hopeless.

    An appeal was considered hopeless because of the religious motivations of the school board.

    It is never valid to require teachers to read a statement that is unconstitutional and misleading.

    Teachers don’t have the authority to decide what is unconstitutional or misleading.

    Both sides asked him to rule on that question and presented testimony directed toward that issue.

    A judge is not required to rule on an issue just because both sides asked him to.

    Moreover, as Judge Jones clearly laid out in his decision, the question of whether ID is science is clearly crucial to the Lemon test, which requires that “[an official act's] principal or primary effect . . . be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion.”

    No, he did not have to rule on the question of ID as science — he had several other options. In fact, according to the precedent of Edwards v. Aguillard, he should not have heard expert witness testimony at all because none of the expert witnesses had participated in the enactment of the ID policy.

    Indeed, if Judge Jones had failed to rule on this question, it would have provided an avenue for a appeal

    Wrong. If he ruled in favor of the plaintiffs for any reason, they could not appeal.

    Here is the relevant part of the decision: “we first note that since ID is not science, the conclusion is inescapable that the only real effect of the ID Policy is the advancement of religion.”

    He is guilty here of the same “contrived dualism” which he condemned — he said that if ID is not science, then it must be religious.

    Even worse, from the point of view of ID is that Jones’s ruling provides an exemplar for cases in other courts, even those for which Jones’s ruling is not a precedent.

    Wrong. It is just a decision of a single federal district court judge and is also a bad decision.

    Show me any example of a decision that was reversed specifically because a judge incorporated verbatim those elements of the plaintiff’s brief that he ruled to be proved.

    It can be frowned upon without being a sole basis for reversal.

    A judicial opinion is not supposed to be original in language or concept; it is supposed to be well reasoned and based upon solid precedent and testimony.

    I said that I did not object to the copying per se — just the extreme one-sidedness of the copying. There was no evidence that Jones even read any post-trial brief other than the one that he copied from.

    But there is no misrepresentation as to the sources of the arguments that Judge Jones cited in his decision–indeed, they are part of the public record of the trial.

    Because Jones made no attributions for what he copied in the ID-as-science section, many people were deceived into thinking that this section was in written in Jones’ own words.

  125. #126 trrll
    August 10, 2007

    I am dead serious. His personal attacks on the defendants contributed nothing to the decision.

    No, his decision was not based upon the obvious dishonesty of the defendants, but that doesn’t mean that a judge is obliged to ignore a crime that is committed in his own courtroom before his very eyes.

    An appeal was considered hopeless because of the religious motivations of the school board.

    Which was, of course, a point made in Judge Jones’s decision. So what you are saying here is that the judge was right. And since the constituency for teaching ID (or inserting stupid “evolution is only a theory” disclaimers) is nearly entirely religiously motivated, that means that ID has no chance anywhere, unless the ID advocates are a lot more successful in concealing their true motivations than those in Dover. The new head of the Texas Board of Education has already blown it by announcing his religious motivation.

    Teachers don’t have the authority to decide what is unconstitutional or misleading

    In a school, the authorities on science are the science teachers. Their authority may of course be challenged in court, as it was in Dover. The judge ruled that the teachers were correct.

    judge is not required to rule on an issue just because both sides asked him to.

    However, as we saw, it was also critical to deciding the issue of the Lemon test, so there were other reasons to confront the issue in addition to satisfying the wishes of both parties to the suit.

    Wrong. If he ruled in favor of the plaintiffs for any reason, they could not appeal.

    Why would the plaintiffs want to appeal a victory? I was talking about an appeal by the defendants. If he had failed to rule on whether ID was science, the defendants could have appealed on the grounds that teaching ID served a legitimate purpose of improving science teaching.

    He is guilty here of the same “contrived dualism” which he condemned — he said that if ID is not science, then it must be religious.

    Not exactly. He said that because it was not science, its incorporation into the science curriculum served no purpose other than the advancement of religion. Note that this does not depend upon whether ID itself is religious per se. A strong case can certainly be made that ID is neither science nor religion, but simply nonsense, but that would not affect the logic of Judge Jones’s decision.

    It can be frowned upon without being a sole basis for reversal.

    I take this as an admission that there are no examples of decisions being overturned because the judge incorporated verbatim sections of the successful party’s brief into the decision. So this supposed “frowning upon” clearly has no legal significance. So far as I can tell, the only people who actually “frown upon” Judge Jones’s decisions are the losers.

    I said that I did not object to the copying per se — just the extreme one-sidedness of the copying.

    That is ever more ridiculous. A judicial decision is not a news program–a judge is not obliged to give lip service to both sides in a court case, especially when one side is so definitively wrong. A clear judicial decision in which one side wins and the other side loses is by definition one-sided.

    Because Jones made no attributions for what he copied in the ID-as-science section, many people were deceived into thinking that this section was in written in Jones’ own words.

    So your point is what? That ignorant people who don’t bother to read the entire proceedings might get the wrong idea? Isn’t that a bit like accusing the author of a book of plagiarism because people who don’t bother to read the footnotes or bibliography might be deceived into thinking that it was all the author’s own words?

    In any case, a judicial decision is not a literary competition or a term paper. It doesn’t matter where the words came from–what matters is whether the legal reasoning is correct.

  126. #127 Unsympathetic reader
    August 10, 2007

    Larry writes: “Jones should never have heard expert testimony or ruled on the question of ID as science.

    That’s an odd position to take. If ID was a viable scientific pursuit, it could probably have made it into classes about science irregardless of religious implications. Exactly *what* do you think was the defense’s strategy?

    *******************************

    In a later post, he writes:
    Teachers don’t have the authority to decide what is unconstitutional or misleading.

    So it’s OK for people to perform unconstitutional or unethical acts if ordered to do so, that in fact, they’re *obligated* to do as directed by senior management?

    I think not. We are *not* obliged to perform illegal acts. Now, whether any particular acts are illegal may be up for a court to subsequently decide, but that doesn’t mean you are obliged to wait for that decision, only that you may be on uncertain ground until then. But given the facts that many of the teachers knew prior to the trial, it was a pretty safe bet to object. And, as it turned out, the dissenting teachers’ refusals were vindicated. They *were* right to refuse.

  127. #128 Unsympathetic reader
    August 10, 2007

    To add: It’s a darn good thing that the dissenting teachers weren’t disciplined or fired. If that had happened, the town would’ve been in the hole for a lot more money.

  128. #129 Larry Fafarman
    August 10, 2007

    No, his decision was not based upon the obvious dishonesty of the defendants, but that doesn’t mean that a judge is obliged to ignore a crime that is committed in his own courtroom before his very eyes.

    I’ll make this as simple for you as I can: Judge Jones is a lousy sleazebag who misused the opinion as a vehicle for making personal attacks on the defendants. There are a lot of people — including myself — who would just love to write a judicial opinion that personally attacks Judge Jones, but we can’t do it because we are not judges. As reported on page 336 of the book “Monkey Girl,” defendant Bill Buckingham said, “if the judge called me a liar, then he’s a liar . . . . I’m still waiting for a judge or anyone to show me anywhere in the Constitution where there’s separation of church and state. We didn’t lose; we were robbed.” There should be a rule that if a judicial opinion personally attacks a litigant, then the litigant gets equal space to respond in the opinion.

    So what you are saying here is that the judge was right.

    I didn’t say that Jones was wrong about everything, did I?

    The new head of the Texas Board of Education has already blown it by announcing his religious motivation.

    The problem here is that Darwinists can openly proclaim with impunity that they are motivated by atheism but anti-Darwinists cannot openly proclaim that they are motivated by theism.

    In a school, the authorities on science are the science teachers.

    Wrong — the authorities are the administrators. Would you support a teacher who refused to teach Darwinism because of scientific reasons?

    However, as we saw, it was also critical to deciding the issue of the Lemon test

    As Tonto told the Lone Ranger when they were surrounded by hostile Indians and the Lone Ranger said, “it looks like we’re surrounded” : “What do you mean, ‘we,’ paleface?”

    Why would the plaintiffs want to appeal a victory?

    You’ve already answered that question by saying that both sides asked Jones to rule on the question of ID as science. If he ruled in favor of the plaintiffs but did not rule on that question, they would of course want to appeal but could not.

    He said that because it was not science, its incorporation into the science curriculum served no purpose other than the advancement of religion.

    Exactly. That’s contrived dualism.

    I take this as an admission that there are no examples of decisions being overturned because the judge incorporated verbatim sections of the successful party’s brief into the decision. So this supposed “frowning upon” clearly has no legal significance.

    Its legal significance is that the credibility of the decision is severely impaired, making it much less likely that other judges will rely on the decision.

    A judicial decision is not a news program — a judge is not obliged to give lip service to both sides in a court case, especially when one side is so definitively wrong.

    A judge is at least supposed to give evidence that he read the briefs of both sides — Judge Jones gave no evidence of that. And considering that his post-trial statement that organized religions are not “true” religions showed extreme bias against the defendants, it is doubtful that he read the post-trial briefs that presented the defendants’ arguments.

    So your point is what? That ignorant people who don’t bother to read the entire proceedings might get the wrong idea?

    That is about as stupid a comment as I have ever heard. Jones does not get any credit for things that are not in the opinion.

  129. #130 George Cauldron
    August 11, 2007

    I’ll make this as simple for you as I can: Judge Jones is a lousy sleazebag who misused the opinion as a vehicle for making personal attacks on the defendants. There are a lot of people — including myself — who would just love to write a judicial opinion that personally attacks Judge Jones, but we can’t do it because we are not judges.

    Larry, guess what! You’re not a lawyer, either. Your little masturbatory fantasies are legally irrelavant.

    Get back on your meds, you’re embarrassing your brother and your mom.

  130. #131 Science Avenger
    August 11, 2007

    The problem here is that Darwinists can openly proclaim with impunity that they are motivated by atheism but anti-Darwinists cannot openly proclaim that they are motivated by theism.

    Scentists aren’t motivated by atheism you lying demented sack, they are motivated by a desire for knowledge, the weird kind backed by evidence. Many, if not most,of the people fighting creationist nonsense are themselves believers.

    Would you support a teacher who refused to teach Darwinism because of scientific reasons?

    I would not support a teacher who refused to teach modern evolutionary theory due to scientific concerns, because that would suggest a gross lack of understanding of the subject. There are no scientific reasons to oppose MET, which is why it has near universal support from scientists, and why the opposition is made up mostly of lawyers (who are trained to win their case, whatever it may be), engineers, flunkie mathematicians and second-rate philosophers weaving ever-more complex and totaly useless tapestries of pseudo-intellectual gibberish.

    You guys really don’t understand how badly Dover (and the Gonzales flap) buried and marginalized you. You’re going to learn over the next few years, because any school district is going to think twice before traveling that same road, to near certain similarity of result, and no amount of semi-coherent babble about the ontology of derivatively semantic physical states is going to change that. If anything, that sort of mental masterbation only hastens your demise.

  131. #132 trrll
    August 11, 2007

    I’ll make this as simple for you as I can: Judge Jones is a lousy sleazebag who misused the opinion as a vehicle for making personal attacks on the defendants.

    In actuality, there was only one “personal attack” on the defendants–he criticized them for being dishonest and lying under oath–something that was demonstrably true, supported by evidence, and reprehensible by any legal or moral standard. All the other criticisms leveled by the judge were not “personal attacks” at all; they were criticisms of the arguments and behavior of the defendants.

    The problem here is that Darwinists can openly proclaim with impunity that they are motivated by atheism but anti-Darwinists cannot openly proclaim that they are motivated by theism.

    However, the reality is that, by and large, “Darwinists” are not motivated by atheism. As a biologist, everybody I’ve ever met in my professional career accepts the fundamentals of evolutionary theory, yet the great majority of them are not atheists. The biologists I know are remarkably diverse religiously–virtually every major Christian sect, judaism, islam, wiccans, hindus, and a fair number of agnostics. Atheists seem to be rather uncommon, certainly no more so than among any other group of highly educated people. By comparison, ID people seem to be remarkably homogeneous. Almost all are Christians, usually fundamentalists

    Wrong — the authorities are the administrators.

    The administrators are not authorities on biology.

    Would you support a teacher who refused to teach Darwinism because of scientific reasons?

    That is a nonsensical question. There are no scientific reasons not to teach evolutionary theory. No scientist would refuse to teach a theory that is widely accepted in his field.

    Exactly. That’s contrived dualism.

    No, because factual evidence was presented in court that that was how it had been presented to the public and how it would be perceived by the public and students.

    Its legal significance is that the credibility of the decision is severely impaired, making it much less likely that other judges will rely on the decision.

    This is purely ID wishful thinking, much as ID advocates such as davescott were crowing before the trial that the judge, as a conservative jurist appointed by Bush, would surely be biased to rule in their favor. Legal credibility derives for the logic of the decision and its citation of precedent, not from how the judge composes his decision.

    A judge is at least supposed to give evidence that he read the briefs of both sides

    Evidence is given by witnesses, not judges. However, Judge Scott included in his decision clear refutations of the arguments of the defendants, so there is no doubt that he knew what they were.

    And considering that his post-trial statement that organized religions are not “true” religions showed extreme bias against the defendants,

    Are you losing track? Remember, we discussed this previously. You were forced to acknowledge that he never said this, and fell back on “he implied it” (an implication that is evident only to those who are desperate for a pretext to attack him). Why do you feel compelled to change his words? It comes across as dishonest.

    Jones does not get any credit for things that are not in the opinion.

    Credit? You apparently do think that it is like a high school essay. The decision is just one part of the public record of the trial. ID wishful thinking aside, the influence of a judicial decision derives solely from the logic of the argument and its basis in precedent.

  132. #133 uriel
    August 11, 2007

    Crandaddy-

    Unfortunately, I spent _way_ to much time being contrary on Myers’ blog to be able to address your response here. I admit, bad form on my part.

    Just wanted you to know, that I read it, and I’m considering it. For what that’s worth.

  133. #134 hoary puccoon
    August 11, 2007

    Uriel–
    I don’t know where Crandaddy is going with his stuff, although I read it, too. But I’m not sure what relevance ‘semantics’ has, anyway. At base, the only true language of science is numbers, and the only real scientific statements are, “I replicate” (my X minus your X equals zero) and “I fail to replicate.” (my X minus your X doesn’t equal zero.) Anything said in words is basically shorthand.
    I ran into this business of philosophers arguing “semantics” right after a trip to the Norwegian Arctic. When I said I’d been to the Arctic– meaning I’d been north of the Arctic Circle at 66 degrees, 33 min N. latitude– a philosopher jumped in with “No you haven’t, because I’ve seen Northern Sweden and it’s not what people really MEAN when they say Arctic, and blah, blah, blah….”
    A scientist, on the other hand, says, “N. Lat>= 66,33,00=Arctic. North lat< 66,33,00 not=Arctic.” No semantics, just the facts.
    So you can ‘prove’ anything with semantics. But you can’t call it science.

  134. #135 Larry Fafarman
    August 11, 2007

    Unsympathetic reader said,

    Larry writes: “Jones should never have heard expert testimony or ruled on the question of ID as science.”

    That’s an odd position to take.

    It may seem odd, but it is the same position that the Supreme Court took in Edwards v. Aguillard.

    a later post, he writes:
    “Teachers don’t have the authority to decide what is unconstitutional or misleading.”

    So it’s OK for people to perform unconstitutional or unethical acts if ordered to do so, that in fact, they’re *obligated* to do as directed by senior management?

    You make it sound like the teachers were asked to commit some kind of atrocity or crime against humanity. They were only asked to read a one-minute statement about ID.

    George Cauldron drivels,

    Larry, guess what! You’re not a lawyer, either.

    Guess what — you don’t need to be a lawyer or a judge to condemn Judge Jones — you just need common sense.

    Science Avenger wheezes,

    Scentists aren’t motivated by atheism you lying demented sack, they are motivated by a desire for knowledge, the weird kind backed by evidence. Many, if not most,of the people fighting creationist nonsense are themselves believers.

    That’s got nothing to do with it, jerko. The fact is that Darwinists can be candid about their religious beliefs whereas anti-Darwinists cannot.

    I would not support a teacher who refused to teach modern evolutionary theory due to scientific concerns, because that would suggest a gross lack of understanding of the subject.

    A lot of modern evolutionary theory is scientifically questionable.

    You guys really don’t understand how badly Dover (and the Gonzales flap) buried and marginalized you. You’re going to learn over the next few years, because any school district is going to think twice before traveling that same road

    How could a lousy ghostwritten opinion from a single federal district court judge “marginalize” anyone? As for the so-called “Dover trap,” that will end if the bill to bar attorney fee awards in establishment clause cases is enacted into law.

    trrll said,

    In actuality, there was only one “personal attack” on the defendants–he criticized them for being dishonest and lying under oath —

    No, he also attacked them by talking about “breathtaking inanity” and about dragging the school district through some kind of maelstrom.

    the reality is that, by and large, “Darwinists” are not motivated by atheism.

    See my above response to Science Avenger.

    By comparison, ID people seem to be remarkably homogeneous. Almost all are Christians, usually fundamentalists

    Not true.

    The administrators are not authorities on biology.

    They don’t need to be.

    Exactly. That’s contrived dualism.

    No . . . .

    The way you put it was contrived dualism.

    Its legal significance is that the credibility of the decision is severely impaired, making it much less likely that other judges will rely on the decision.
    This is purely ID wishful thinking, much as ID advocates such as davescott were crowing before the trial that the judge, as a conservative jurist appointed by Bush, would surely be biased to rule in their favor.

    It has nothing to do with davescot or with Jones’ conservative background.

    However, Judge Scott (?) included in his decision clear refutations of the arguments of the defendants, so there is no doubt that he knew what they were.

    Wrong. The plaintiffs’ rebuttals (“refutations”) of the defendants’ opening post-trial brief were in the plaintiffs’ answering post-trial brief, which was not copied in the opinion’s ID-as-science section.

    And considering that his post-trial statement that organized religions are not “true” religions showed extreme bias against the defendants,
    Are you losing track? Remember, we discussed this previously.

    No, I am not losing track. I said that it didn’t matter whether or not Jones believed this himself, because he thought that the Founders believed it and that he was therefore bound by it.

    Jones does not get any credit for things that are not in the opinion.

    Credit? You apparently do think that it is like a high school essay. The decision is just one part of the public record of the trial.

    Only opinions are cited in citations of precedents. The remainder of the records — trial transcripts, briefs, and other records — are not officially published and are generally too hard to access. Under a new federal court rule, unpublished opinions may be cited in all federal circuits.

  135. #136 George Cauldron
    August 11, 2007

    Guess what — you don’t need to be a lawyer or a judge to condemn Judge Jones — you just need common sense.

    So lacking both, your qualifications are what, exactly?

  136. #137 George Cauldron
    August 11, 2007

    Jones is jerk from the word go.

    Keep at it, Larry. I see you in the Harvard Law Review any day now.

  137. #138 Unsympathetic reader
    August 11, 2007

    Larry writes: “You make it sound like the teachers were asked to commit some kind of atrocity or crime against humanity. They were only asked to read a one-minute statement about ID.

    Which the teachers knew (on very good grounds) was a certainly unprofessional and possibly illegal demand. And they were correct: The school board recklessly intruded in ways it should not have gone. It doesn’t matter whether Larry thinks the act was minor or insignificant; it was taken seriously by the legal system and quite a few others. It was used to establish a line between what is and isn’t acceptable school policy. Isn’t it amazing how crucial legal decisions can revolve around seemingly “minor” acts? Maybe that’s because actions in one place often have repercussions elsewhere.

  138. #139 trrll
    August 11, 2007

    It may seem odd, but it is the same position that the Supreme Court took in Edwards v. Aguillard.

    Please cite the section of the Edwards v. Agullard opinion in which the Supreme Court ruled that it would be improper for a court to consider whether material mandated for inclusion in the science curriculum is valid science.

    You make it sound like the teachers were asked to commit some kind of atrocity or crime against humanity. They were only asked to read a one-minute statement about ID.

    In addition to crimes against humanity, there are quite a few things that I regard as so unethical that I would refuse to do them under any circumstances. As a scientist, I would regard misleading children about science as a betrayal of my responsibilities as a teacher and as a scientist, which are things that I take very seriously. Indeed,

    Guess what — you don’t need to be a lawyer or a judge to condemn Judge Jones — you just need common sense.

    One of the great ironies of life is that people who appeal to “common sense” are almost invariably completely devoid of it.

    A lot of modern evolutionary theory is scientifically questionable.

    Scientists question everything, even gravity. But the scientific status of evolution is roughly comparable to that of gravity.

    How could a lousy ghostwritten opinion from a single federal district court judge “marginalize” anyone?

    Use of dishonest and pejorative terms such as “ghostwritten” betrays a sense of desperation. The plaintiff’s brief was part of the public record, and it was clear to everybody that the judge relied upon it in formulating his decision. So the implication of deception conveyed by the term “ghostwritten” is dishonest.

    The fact is that Darwinists can be candid about their religious beliefs whereas anti-Darwinists cannot.

    Biologists can be candid about their religious beliefs because their religious beliefs are highly diverse, so that no reasonable person could imagine that the virtually universal acceptance of Darwinian theory among biologists has anything to do with their religious beliefs. In contrast, ID/Creationists all seem to have very similar religious beliefs, and thus feel compelled to be dishonest about their beliefs for fear that the court will correctly conclude that their opposition to evolutionary theory is religiously rather than scientifically motivated.

    No, he also attacked them by talking about “breathtaking inanity” and about dragging the school district through some kind of maelstrom.

    A criticism of somebody’s actions or views does not constitute a personal attack. And their were many actions of the defendants that could hardly be characterized in any other way. For example, they made public statements that effectively insured that the statement that the school administrators read would be publicly perceived as favoring a particular religious perspective, thereby insuring that it would be found unconstitutional in a court challenge. That’s pretty inane.

    The way you put it was contrived dualism

    Any “dualism” was created by the defendants who chose to frame the issue in public as a religious one.

    The plaintiffs’ rebuttals (“refutations”) of the defendants’ opening post-trial brief were in the plaintiffs’ answering post-trial brief, which was not copied in the opinion’s ID-as-science section.

    However, the decision nonetheless includes rebuttals of the arguments advanced by the defense.

    No, I am not losing track. I said that it didn’t matter whether or not Jones believed this himself, because he thought that the Founders believed it and that he was therefore bound by it.

    Judge Jones never said that any modern religious sects are not true religions. Do you agree or not? If not, please cite the exact quote in which he stated this as his own opinion.

    Moreover, even if the founders believed that true religion comes from rational inquiry rather than being handed down by authority, that does not even mean that they thought that any particular religious sects were not true religions. So your interpretation of Judge Jones’s historical remarks is doubly false. It is clear that you realize this at some level, since you always feel obliged to distort what he said, changing “religion” to “religions” and omitting the historical context.

    Only opinions are cited in citations of precedents. The remainder of the records — trial transcripts, briefs, and other records — are not officially published and are generally too hard to access. Under a new federal court rule, unpublished opinions may be cited in all federal circuits.

    In this particular case, all of that is publicly available on the web. But the reasoning and the precedents are contained in the opinion, and these are all that other courts are interested in. A judicial decision is not a high school term paper in which the wording is expected to be original–it is a summary of arguments presented in briefs and in testimony together with the judge’s conclusions.

  139. #140 Unsympathetic reader
    August 11, 2007

    Larry wrote: Jones should never have heard expert testimony or ruled on the question of ID as science.

    Me: That’s an odd position to take.

    Larry replies: It may seem odd, but it is the same position that the Supreme Court took in Edwards v. Aguillard.

    It was called “Creation Science” in that case. And the court did reference testimony of creation “scientists” and other, mainstream scientists about the status of Creation Theory. They also referenced testimony and conclusions from McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education. By concluding in Edwards v. Aguillard that the problematic law served no secular purpose and was primarily religious in intent, the Supreme Court confirmed that Creation Science was not a viable scientific alternative. If Creation Science were scientific and viable then the case could have been made that the law served a secular purpose that did not unduly favor religion. For example, the “Big Bang” is both a viable scientific theory and a possible historical event that fits with Creationism. However, this was not the case for biological creationism.

  140. #141 Science Avenger
    August 12, 2007

    Larry dissembled thusly: That’s got nothing to do with it, jerko. The fact is that Darwinists can be candid about their religious beliefs whereas anti-Darwinists cannot.

    Yes, because scientists’ religious beliefs have nothing to do with their scientific opinions (as evidenced by the wide variety of religious views among scientists), whereas the anti-evolution crowds views are very often driven by their religion (again, evidenced by the near uniformity of religous views among evolution critics). So yes, it has everything to do with it.

    A lot of modern evolutionary theory is scientifically questionable.

    Funny that practically none of the scientists agree with you nonscientists on that.

    How could a lousy ghostwritten opinion from a single federal district court judge “marginalize” anyone?

    Because everyone outside your little sore-losers’ cabel saw it as a sound decision consistent with good legal practice and totally revealing how unscientific, dishonest, and costly, the IDers are. Now few whose heads are not firmly lodged up their posterior want anything to do with you.

  141. #142 Larry Fafarman
    August 12, 2007

    Unsympathetic reader said,

    Larry writes: “You make it sound like the teachers were asked to commit some kind of atrocity or crime against humanity. They were only asked to read a one-minute statement about ID.”

    Which the teachers knew (on very good grounds) was a certainly unprofessional and possibly illegal demand.

    It was certainly not an illegal demand at the time it was made. Also, the teachers reneged on their agreement to accept Of Pandas and People as a supplemental (not companion) textbook in exchange for the school board’s acceptance of a strongly pro-Darwinist textbook.

    Also, why should the Dover teachers get a free pass just for doing what they thought was right? The teacher in Peloza v. Capistrano School District who sued because teaching Darwinism was against his religious beliefs also thought he was right and he also had more constitutional protection because there is separation of church and state but no separation of bad science and state.

    And they were correct: The school board recklessly intruded in ways it should not have gone.

    Wrong. As I pointed out, two other decisions against evolution disclaimers came close to being reversed. Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish came within one vote of getting an en banc (full court) appeals court rehearing and within one vote of getting review by the Supreme Court. The appeals court judges in Selman v. Cobb County indicated in an oral hearing that they were leaning towards reversal but then vacated and remanded the decision because of missing evidence (the school board then took a dive by settling out of court).

    trrll said,

    Please cite the section of the Edwards v. Agullard opinion in which the Supreme Court ruled that it would be improper for a court to consider whether material mandated for inclusion in the science curriculum is valid science.

    Right here —

    Appellants contend that affidavits made by two scientists, two theologians, and an education administrator raise a genuine issue of material fact, and that summary judgment was therefore barred. The affidavits define creation science as “origin through abrupt appearance in complex form,” and allege that such a viewpoint constitutes a true scientific theory. . . .

    We agree with the lower courts that these affidavits do not raise a genuine issue of material fact. The existence of “uncontroverted affidavits” does not bar summary judgment. Moreover, the postenactment testimony of outside experts is of little use in determining the Louisiana Legislature’s purpose in enacting this statute. The Louisiana Legislature did hear and rely on scientific experts in passing the bill, but none of the persons making the affidavits produced by the appellants [p596] participated in or contributed to the enactment of the law or its implementation. The District Court, in its discretion, properly concluded that a Monday morning “battle of the experts” over possible technical meanings of terms in the statute would not illuminate the contemporaneous purpose of the Louisiana Legislature when it made the law.

    — from http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0482_0578_ZO.html

    In addition to crimes against humanity, there are quite a few things that I regard as so unethical that I would refuse to do them under any circumstances.

    Peloza felt the same way about teaching Darwinism. He felt so strongly about it that he sued the school district. Does that mean he should get a free pass?

    Scientists question everything, even gravity. But the scientific status of evolution is roughly comparable to that of gravity.

    There is a law of gravity but no law of evolution.

    Use of dishonest and pejorative terms such as “ghostwritten” betrays a sense of desperation. The plaintiff’s brief was part of the public record, and it was clear to everybody that the judge relied upon it in formulating his decision.

    No, it was not clear to everybody that the judge relied exclusively on the plaintiffs’ opening post-trial brief in writing the ID-as-science section of the opinion — it took the Discovery Institute nearly a year to discover this.

    ID/Creationists all seem to have very similar religious beliefs

    That is just your own stereotype of people who question Darwinism.

    A criticism of somebody’s actions or views does not constitute a personal attack.

    His criticism of the defendants was particularly abusive and uncalled for.

    For example, they made public statements that effectively insured that the statement that the school administrators read would be publicly perceived as favoring a particular religious perspective, thereby insuring that it would be found unconstitutional in a court challenge.

    Wrong. As I said, other court decisions against evolution disclaimers in the public schools came close to being reversed.

    Any “dualism” was created by the defendants who chose to frame the issue in public as a religious one.

    Judge Jones’ own “contrived dualism” cannot be excused by attacking the defendants.

    However, the decision nonetheless includes rebuttals of the arguments advanced by the defense.

    There were no rebuttals of the defendants’ post-trial briefs.

    Judge Jones never said that any modern religious sects are not true religions. Do you agree or not?

    No.

    If not, please cite the exact quote in which he stated this as his own opinion.

    I already said that it does not matter whether or not it was his own opinion because he believed that it was the opinion of the Founders and that he was therefore bound by it. You force me to keep repeating myself. Here is the exact quote from his Dickinson College commencement speech:

    …..we see the Founders’ ideals quite clearly, among many places, in the Establishment Clause within the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This of course was the clause that I determined the school board had violated in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. While legal scholars will continue to debate the appropriate application of that clause to particular facts in individual cases, this much is very clear. The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry. At bottom then, this core set of beliefs led the Founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state.

    Nothing could be clearer.

    Moreover, even if the founders believed that true religion comes from rational inquiry rather than being handed down by authority, that does not even mean that they thought that any particular religious sects were not true religions.

    Sheeesh — he said that the “Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible.” I think that he must have known that his statements here went over like a lead balloon because AFAIK he never repeated them.

    In this particular case, all of that is publicly available on the web.

    There was a huge dispute over whether citations of unpublished opinions should always be allowed in the federal courts, and you think that citations of court records not in an opinion are going to be allowed?

    A judicial decision is not a high school term paper in which the wording is expected to be original–it is a summary of arguments presented in briefs and in testimony together with the judge’s conclusions.

    As I said umpteen times already, unlike some other of Jones’ critics, my problem is not with the lack of originality but is with the extreme one-sidedness of the copying. The opinion’s ID-as-science section never addresses any of the arguments raised in the defendants’ post-trial briefs. And this section had no conclusions from Jones himself.

    Unsympathetic reader said,

    Larry wrote: Jones should never have heard expert testimony or ruled on the question of ID as science.

    Me: That’s an odd position to take.

    Larry replies: It may seem odd, but it is the same position that the Supreme Court took in Edwards v. Aguillard.

    It was called “Creation Science” in that case. . . . .By concluding in Edwards v. Aguillard that the problematic law served no secular purpose and was primarily religious in intent, the Supreme Court confirmed that Creation Science was not a viable scientific alternative. If Creation Science were scientific and viable then the case could have been made that the law served a secular purpose that did not unduly favor religion.

    Wrong. In Edwards v. Aguillard, the courts did not care whether creation science had any scientific merit or not — the Supreme Court said, as I quoted above,

    . . .none of the persons making the affidavits produced by the appellants participated in or contributed to the enactment of the law or its implementation. The District Court, in its discretion, properly concluded that a Monday morning “battle of the experts” over possible technical meanings of terms in the statute would not illuminate the contemporaneous purpose of the Louisiana Legislature when it made the law.

    Science Avenger said,

    Yes, because scientists’ religious beliefs have nothing to do with their scientific opinions (as evidenced by the wide variety of religious views among scientists), whereas the anti-evolution crowds views are very often driven by their religion (again, evidenced by the near uniformity of religous views among evolution critics).

    Those are just your own stereotypes. For example, the religious views of atheistic evolutionists PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins and theistic evolutionists Ken Miller and Michael Collins have a lot to do with their scientific opinions.

    A lot of modern evolutionary theory is scientifically questionable.

    Funny that practically none of the scientists agree with you nonscientists on that.

    They are a minority but are a lot more than “none.”

    Because everyone outside your little sore-losers’ cabel saw it as a sound decision consistent with good legal practice and totally revealing how unscientific, dishonest, and costly, the IDers are.

    So any loser of a court decision who doesn’t roll over and play dead is a sore loser? LOL. You Darwinists are sore losers because of all the dents that critics have put in the Dover decision.

    Also, if that bill to bar attorney fee awards in establishment clause cases passes, then losing establishment clause cases will cease to be “costly.” This bill passed the House by a large margin last year but wasn’t voted on by the Senate judiciary committee. The Senate version of the bill now has 19 co-sponsors in addition to the sponsor. I myself think that a bill capping awards in both establishment clause and free exercise clause cases would be much better, but I think that the current bill is better than nothing.

  142. #143 George Cauldron
    August 12, 2007

    So any loser of a court decision who doesn’t roll over and play dead is a sore loser? LOL. You Darwinists are sore losers because of all the dents that critics have put in the Dover decision.

    Yeah, the internet bloviations of retired computer engineers like Dave Springer and unemployed loons on SSI with no legal training like Larry Fafarman have put Judge Jones’ ruling in EXTREME peril. Believe me, if they let Larry take the stand next time, with his credentials, we Darwinists are all screwed.

  143. #144 Larry Fafarman
    August 12, 2007

    George Cauldron driveled,

    Yeah, the internet bloviations of retired computer engineers like Dave Springer and unemployed loons on SSI with no legal training like Larry Fafarman have put Judge Jones’ ruling in EXTREME peril.

    And you know that you can get away with personal attacks, dunghill, because the blogger is on your side.

    So far as I am concerned, formal legal training is not worth a hill of beans.

    My blog has several reviews of law journal articles that are critical of the Dover decision, including an article by anti-ID Jay Wexler. These articles are particularly critical of Jones’ decision to rule on the scientific merits of ID. Just go to my blog and select the post label “Expert opinions about Kitzmiller.”

  144. #145 Science Avenger
    August 12, 2007

    Poor Larry prattles on: Those [the fact that the scientific side of the debate is religously heterogeneous and the ID side is religiously homgeneousare] are just your own stereotypes. For example, the religious views of atheistic evolutionists PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins and theistic evolutionists Ken Miller and Michael Collins have a lot to do with their scientific opinions.

    Uh, no, they don’t, plain and simple. My statement fits every survey ever taken on the subject, as well as simple observation of the participants in the high profile conflicts.

    But tell you what Larry. Since you guys on the ID side are so diverse and all, at the next big conflict on this issue, let’s restrict participation on the ID side to those who are willing to sign a statement that proclaims “There is no god”, and we’ll restrict participation on the science side to those willing to sign a statement that proclaims “There is a god”. Deal?

    They [scientists who dispute evolution] are a minority but are a lot more than “none.”

    Uh, as viewed as a percentage, in the relevant fields, and rounded to the nearest integer, it does approach zero. IOW, having 1,000 dissenters out of a population of 10,000,000 IS, in every way that matters, zero.

    So any loser of a court decision who doesn’t roll over and play dead is a sore loser? LOL. You Darwinists are sore losers because of all the dents that critics have put in the Dover decision.

    So, a sore loser is a boxer who got knocked out in the 12th round, was behind on all the judges cards 11-0, claims he really would have won except the judges and referee are all biased, refuses a rematch, and cannot find any support for any of his arguments outside his family, friends, and training staff.

    In other words, the IDers in Dover.

  145. #146 George Cauldron
    August 12, 2007

    So far as I am concerned, formal legal training is not worth a hill of beans.

    Um, Larry?

    We can tell.

  146. #147 trrll
    August 12, 2007

    It was certainly not an illegal demand at the time it was made.

    Wrong. That’s not how Constitutional law works. A judge does not have the power to change the legality of an act ex post facto rulings. It did not suddenly become unconstitutional after Judge Jones’s ruling. Rather, Jones ruled that it was an unconstitutional demand at the time it was made, and the teachers therefore were acting properly by refusing to obey it.

    Also, why should the Dover teachers get a free pass just for doing what they thought was right?

    Because, according to Judge Jones’s ruling, they were right.

    As I pointed out, two other decisions against evolution disclaimers came close to being reversed.

    Which is just a mealy-mouthed way of admitting that every court challenge to such disclaimers has come out against them. “Almosties” don’t count when it comes to the law.

    No, it was not clear to everybody that the judge relied exclusively on the plaintiffs’ opening post-trial brief in writing the ID-as-science section of the opinion — it took the Discovery Institute nearly a year to discover this.

    No, everybody else knew it immediately. The DI is just a bit slow–which is hardly news to anybody who has actually listened to their arguments. Nevertheless, the “Judge Jones plagiarized his ruling” argument attains new heights of idiocy, even for DI, by managing to be simultaneously both untrue and legally irrelevant.

    The Louisiana Legislature did hear and rely on scientific experts in passing the bill, but none of the persons making the affidavits produced by the appellants [p596] participated in or contributed to the enactment of the law or its implementation. The District Court, in its discretion, properly concluded that a Monday morning “battle of the experts” over possible technical meanings of terms in the statute would not illuminate the contemporaneous purpose of the Louisiana Legislature when it made the law.

    This is not a ruling that it is improper to consider the question of whether ID is science. The court concluded that it did not need to consider the question in that particular case because “none of the persons making the affidavits produced by the appellants participated in or contributed to the enactment of the law or its implementation. ” But in the Dover case, the defendants did participate in the enactment of the rule in question, and the specifically cited the scientific nature of ID as a justification for doing so, making it impossible for Judge Jones to avoid the question . It is a good thing for all concerned that they provided a reason for Judge Jones to consider the science, as his definitive ruling will likely dissuade other districts from making the same error.

    Peloza felt the same way about teaching Darwinism. He felt so strongly about it that he sued the school district. Does that mean he should get a free pass?

    No, he should be permitted to teach anything that he is qualified to teach. But since evolution is a fundamental part of biology, anybody who is unable to teach evolution is not qualified to teach that subject. If you are unable to do a job, you do not get a free pass by claiming that your inability is is a consequence of your religion. However, that was not the case in Dover–the teachers were fully competent and willing and able to teach the subject of biology. Since the judge ruled that ID is not science, their unwillingness to teach ID does not render them unqualified to teach science (which was another reason the judge found it necessary to rule on the question of whether ID is science.

    I already said that it does not matter whether or not it was his own opinion because he believed that it was the opinion of the Founders and that he was therefore bound by it.

    That’s pretty ridiculous. Can you quote any statement in which Judge Jones said that “he believed that it was the opinion of the Founders and that he was therefore bound by it.”

    And even in the unlikely even that for some insane reason he actually did believe that he was somehow obliged to share the religious beliefs of the founders, how does that constitute prejudice with respect to any modern religious sect? The DI didn’t even exist in the founders’ time.

    Bersides, all he concludes based on his understanding of the founders views is “this core set of beliefs led the Founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state.” Are you seriously trying to argue that a belief on the part of a judge that the founders thought that there should be separation between church and state constitutes religious prejudice?

    There was a huge dispute over whether citations of unpublished opinions should always be allowed in the federal courts, and you think that citations of court records not in an opinion are going to be allowed?

    Why would anybody want to cite them? I don’t know how basic I can make this. No court will ever care whether Judge Jones personally wrote the words of the opinion. As you have already acknowledged, this issue has never been cited as a reason for reversal of any ruling. The force of an opinion does not depend upon who came up with the wording–it depends on the validity of the legal reasoning. But if anybody does care–for historical reasons, perhaps–the information is readily available.

    As I said umpteen times already, unlike some other of Jones’ critics, my problem is not with the lack of originality but is with the extreme one-sidedness of the copying. The opinion’s ID-as-science section never addresses any of the arguments raised in the defendants’ post-trial briefs. And this section had no conclusions from Jones himself.

    Yes, I understand that you say that your problem is not with the supposed “lack of originality” (even though you keep harping on it) but with the fact that the defendants lost so overwhelmingly and definitively. However, you have not cited any argument by the defendants that was not addressed in the decision.

    Those are just your own stereotypes. For example, the religious views of atheistic evolutionists PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins and theistic evolutionists Ken Miller and Michael Collins have a lot to do with their scientific opinions.

    I cannot judge to what extent the religious views of these particular individuals derive from their scientific opinions or vice versa, as I do not know them. But as a biologist, I have met hundreds of other biologists in my career, and I can tell you that biologists are of all sorts of different religions–and every one that I have ever met supports evolutionary theory. There are certainly atheists in science, but their are also agnostics, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, etc., etc.

  147. #148 Larry Fafarman
    August 12, 2007

    trrll said,

    Jones ruled that it was an unconstitutional demand at the time it was made, and the teachers therefore were acting properly by refusing to obey it.

    The general rule is that if you think that something that you are required to do is wrong, you don’t just break the law and hope that a court will vindicate you later. For example, if you think that a tax that you are required to pay is wrong, then you are supposed to just pay the tax and then challenge it in court.

    Because, according to Judge Jones’s ruling, they were right.

    What I meant was, why should they get a free pass for doing what they did before Judge Jones ruled that they were right?

    “Almosties” don’t count when it comes to the law.

    As I said, tell that to those who are fighting tooth and nail over every judicial nomination, particularly nominations for the Supreme Court.

    “Almosties” are particularly important because with enough tries there will eventually be a winner.

    You Darwinists just got lucky in the Selman v. Cobb County case. You were saved by missing evidence because the appeals court judges strongly indicated that they were leaning towards reversal.

    No, it was not clear to everybody that the judge relied exclusively on the plaintiffs’ opening post-trial brief in writing the ID-as-science section of the opinion — it took the Discovery Institute nearly a year to discover this.
    No, everybody else knew it immediately.

    You are just talking through your hat — you’ll say anything in your desperate and futile efforts to try to refute me. Probably only the attorneys knew it immediately — you would have to be intimately familiar with the post-trial briefs to notice it. The plaintiffs’ attorneys were certainly not going to say anything and the defendants’ attorneys never said anything.

    But in the Dover case, the defendants did participate in the enactment of the rule in question,

    I was talking about the participation of the expert witnesses, not the defendants — obviously.

    No, he should be permitted to teach anything that he is qualified to teach. But since evolution is a fundamental part of biology, anybody who is unable to teach evolution is not qualified to teach that subject.

    There was never any question of Peloza’s ability to teach Darwinism. You just keep raising all of these irrelevant and straw man arguments.

    Can you quote any statement in which Judge Jones said that “he believed that it was the opinion of the Founders and that he was therefore bound by it.”

    It is obvious what Judge Jones meant.

    And even in the unlikely even that for some insane reason he actually did believe that he was somehow obliged to share the religious beliefs of the founders, how does that constitute prejudice with respect to any modern religious sect?

    The meaning of his statement is clearer if I reword it in the following way:

    The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a mosque or contained in a koran, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry.

    As you have already acknowledged, this issue has never been cited as a reason for reversal of any ruling.

    I said that so far as I know, one-sided copying has never been a sole reason for a reversal — but it could be a contributing reason. And it is frowned upon. Also, the Dover decision is not binding in any court — not even Judge Jones’ own Middle District of Pennsylvania court — and the one-sidedness of the opinion is a good reason for other judges to not rely on it.

    Are you seriously trying to argue that a belief on the part of a judge that the founders thought that there should be separation between church and state constitutes religious prejudice?

    No — I am seriously trying to argue that a belief on the part of a judge that organized religions are not true religions constitutes religious prejudice.

    Why would anybody want to cite them?

    A lot of people want to cite unpublished opinions — that is why there is a new federal court rule requiring that all federal courts allow the citation of unpublished opinions. Before the new rule, four of the thirteen federal circuits did not allow citations of unpublished opinions.

    However, you have not cited any argument by the defendants that was not addressed in the decision.

    There were opening and answering post-trial briefs from the plaintiffs and the defendants. Jones copied only from the plaintiffs’ opening post-trial brief and ignored the post-trial briefs that contained the defendants’ arguments. Do we need to get into arguments over the arguments that the defendants made in the post-trial briefs?

    Science Avenger said,

    They [scientists who dispute evolution] are a minority but are a lot more than “none.”

    Uh, as viewed as a percentage, in the relevant fields, and rounded to the nearest integer, it does approach zero. IOW, having 1,000 dissenters out of a population of 10,000,000 IS, in every way that matters, zero.

    Here are the results of a 2002 poll of Ohio scientists on whether ID is supported by scientific evidence —

    1. It is strongly supported by scientific evidence — 2%
    2. It is partly supported by scientific evidence — 5
    3. It is not supported at all by scientific evidence — 90
    4. Not Sure — 3

    — from http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/733_ohio_scientists39_intellige_10_15_2002.asp

  148. #149 George Cauldron
    August 12, 2007

    You know, Larry, the traditional format for the kind of stuff you write is to scribble it on an 8/12 x 11 sheet of paper with no margins, make a hundred copies on colored paper, and to staple it to telephone poles and tape it to bus shelters…

  149. #150 trrll
    August 12, 2007

    The general rule is that if you think that something that you are required to do is wrong, you don’t just break the law and hope that a court will vindicate you later.

    If the court vindicates you later, then you never broke the law. The teachers acted within the law according to their understanding of it, and the court ruled that they were right.

    For example, if you think that a tax that you are required to pay is wrong, then you are supposed to just pay the tax and then challenge it in court.

    Wrong. Under the law, you can do it either way you choose. Of course, if you choose not to pay the tax, you run the risk of incurring additional penalties and charges if the courts do not agree with your interpretation of tax law. But if the courts rule that you were right, you are subject to no penalty.

    What I meant was, why should they get a free pass for doing what they did before Judge Jones ruled that they were right?

    Because that is the way our legal system always works. You can only be penalized for being in violation of a valid law.

    As I said, tell that to those who are fighting tooth and nail over every judicial nomination, particularly nominations for the Supreme Court.

    The fact that some judicial appointments are controversial does not mean that “almost not losing” has any legal significance. And in this particular case, it is worth noting that the judge was a jurist with a history of conservative rulings, appointed by President Bush, who has made public statements sympathetic to ID. It is hard to imagine any judge who would be more sympathetic to an ID case.

    I was talking about the participation of the expert witnesses, not the defendants — obviously

    However, in the Dover case, the defendants specifically based their policy on a book by Behe, one of the expert witnesses, and the statement read to the students actually recommended Behe’s book. And once again, this decision by the Supreme Court did not rule that it would be improper to consider the scientific question, merely that it was unnecessary in that particular case. The specifics were quite different in Dover, and it is hard to see how the judge could have failed to address the issue. Moreover, it is worth noting that in Edwards v. Aguillard, the failure of the lower court to address the scientific issue was used as a basis for appeal to the Supreme Court. Even though the Court ultimately ruled that that was not a valid basis for appeal in that particular case,every case is different, it is hardly surprising that Judge Jones did not want to risk the possibility that his ruling would be found faulty as a result of not addressing this issue.

    There was never any question of Peloza’s ability to teach Darwinism.

    If his religion rendered him either unable or unwilling to teach the fundamental principles of biology, then it rendered him unqualified to teach the course. There is no parallel in this case, since as Judge Jones ruled, the material that the teachers declined to present was not science, and therefore was not properly part of the curriculum.

    It is obvious what Judge Jones meant.

    Perhaps to somebody who is desperate for a pretext to attack him. I am more inclined to think that what he meant was what he said–a summary of what is widely understood as the historical basis for the separation of church and state.

    The meaning of his statement is clearer if I reword it in the following way….

    Your desperate and repeated efforts to “reword” Judge Jones’s comments belie your insistence that the meaning is “obvious.”

    I said that so far as I know, one-sided copying has never been a sole reason for a reversal — but it could be a contributing reason.

    Who said anything about it being the sole reason? You say with great certainty that it is “frowned” upon, implying that have researched the issue–so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding an example of a case in which it was cited as a contributing reason. So how about it? Do you have even one example?

    I am seriously trying to argue that a belief on the part of a judge that organized religions are not true religions constitutes religious prejudice.

    Except that he never said that, so the only evidence for this supposed “belief” is in your imagination.

    A lot of people want to cite unpublished opinions — that is why there is a new federal court rule requiring that all federal courts allow the citation of unpublished opinions. Before the new rule, four of the thirteen federal circuits did not allow citations of unpublished opinions.

    And what unpublished opinion in this particular case do you imagine that to be relevant to? So far as I know, there is only one, published opinion–Judge Jones’s–which everybody is free to cite.

    There were opening and answering post-trial briefs from the plaintiffs and the defendants. Jones copied only from the plaintiffs’ opening post-trial brief and ignored the post-trial briefs that contained the defendants’ arguments.

    Repeating an assertion does not constitute evidence. The challenge to you was to cite a specific argument that Judge Jones failed to address in his decision.

    Here are the results of a 2002 poll of Ohio scientists on whether ID is supported by scientific evidence
    Here are the results of a 2002 poll of Ohio scientists on whether ID is supported by scientific evidence —

    1. It is strongly supported by scientific evidence — 2%
    2. It is partly supported by scientific evidence — 5
    3. It is not supported at all by scientific evidence — 90
    4. Not Sure — 3

    I’m amazed that you would cite this in support of your position. And note that this was not even a poll of biologists, but a poll of “scientists,” many of whom doubtless have never even studied the subject.

  150. #151 Science Avenger
    August 12, 2007

    Larry reached thusly: Here are the results of a 2002 poll of Ohio scientists on whether ID is supported by scientific evidence:
    1. It is strongly supported by scientific evidence — 2%
    2. It is partly supported by scientific evidence — 5
    3. It is not supported at all by scientific evidence — 90
    4. Not Sure — 3

    What have I told you about leading with your chin Larry? This is your great evidence of a scientific rift between evolution and ID? A 90-7 drubbing? LMFAO.

    I know, I know, I did say “zero”. But I also said “in the relevant fields”. It doesn’t mean very much if the scientists you’ve got doubting evolution are a surgeon, an astronomer, and a particle physisist. They don’t know much more biology on average than the rest of us. Find me a survey of the proportion of biologists, paleontologists, and geologists that doubt evolution. Your survey above only strenthened my confidence in my position.

    And while you are at it, what do you suppose the track record is for idea that have been around for over a century that are dissed in the scientific community 90-7, and then eventually came to get the evidenciary backing necessary to rise to acceptance? I can only think of one that comes close: plate techtonics. But creationism/ID/evolution denial has been around far longer, while even wackier ideas like relativity and quantum physics just zoomed past it, and in mere decades.

    So sure, we can never be totally sure ID is mistaken. But the historical record is weighed heavily against it any way you slice it.

  151. #152 Larry Fafarman
    August 13, 2007

    trrll driveled,

    Wrong. Under the law, you can do it either way you choose. Of course, if you choose not to pay the tax, you run the risk of incurring additional penalties and charges if the courts do not agree with your interpretation of tax law.

    Wrong. I heard of a case where a taxpayer couldn’t afford to pay a tax and a court ruled that the taxpayer lacked standing to challenge the tax in court because he had not paid the tax.

    The fact that some judicial appointments are controversial does not mean that “almost not losing” has any legal significance.

    WHAT? Some judicial appointments are controversial precisely because “almost not losing” has a hell of a lot of legal significance.

    And in this particular case, it is worth noting that the judge was a jurist with a history of conservative rulings, appointed by President Bush, who has made public statements sympathetic to ID.

    So what if Pres. Bush made public statements sympathetic to ID? What does that have to do with anything?

    However, in the Dover case, the defendants specifically based their policy on a book by Behe, one of the expert witnesses, and the statement read to the students actually recommended Behe’s book.

    Holy crap, Behe was not an author of the book Of Pandas and People. You don’t know what in the hell you are talking about.

    If his religion rendered him either unable or unwilling to teach the fundamental principles of biology, then it rendered him unqualified to teach the course.

    Darwinism is not a “fundamental principle” of biology, and there is a difference between being qualified to do something and being willing to do it.

    It is obvious what Judge Jones meant.
    Perhaps to somebody who is desperate for a pretext to attack him. I am more inclined to think that what he meant was what he said–a summary of what is widely understood as the historical basis for the separation of church and state.

    I am not “desperate” for a “pretext” to attack him — I have plenty of other reasons to attack him and would not use this reason if I did not think it was a good one. As for what he said being a “widely understood historical basis for the separation of church and state,” even Fatheaded Ed Brayton conceded that Judge Jones’ statement was too broad — see

    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2007/01/even-ed-brayton-finds-fault-with-judge.html

    I am really fed up with hearing about the opinions of the founding fathers. There is no consensus about what the founding fathers believed and there is no reason why we should feel bound by what they believed. The founding fathers have been called everything from a bunch of bible-pounding holy rolling fundies to a bunch of godless blasphemous atheists. To hell with the founding fathers already.

    Your desperate and repeated efforts to “reword” Judge Jones’s comments belie your insistence that the meaning is “obvious.”

    The meaning is obvious to everyone but nitwits like you.

    I said that so far as I know, one-sided copying has never been a sole reason for a reversal — but it could be a contributing reason.
    Who said anything about it being the sole reason?

    I did — I said, “I said that so far as I know, one-sided copying has never been a sole reason for a reversal — but it could be a contributing reason.” I think that if there are other reasons for reversal, an appeals court would be more inclined to reverse a decision if there is also one-sided copying.

    You say with great certainty that it is “frowned” upon, implying that have researched the issue–so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding an example of a case in which it was cited as a contributing reason.

    I am not going to waste my time doing any more research or retrievals because you don’t accept my examples, anyway.

    And what unpublished opinion in this particular case do you imagine that to be relevant to?

    You really are dense. What I said was that courts are not likely to allow citations of court records other than opinions, considering that the courts are reluctant to even allow citations of unpublished opinions.

    The challenge to you was to cite a specific argument that Judge Jones failed to address in his decision.

    And the challenge to you is to cite a specific argument in the opinions’ ID as science section that was not copied from the plaintiffs’ opening post-trial brief.

    I’m amazed that you would cite this in support of your position. And note that this was not even a poll of biologists, but a poll of “scientists,” many of whom doubtless have never even studied the subject.

    How many of the “Steves” cited in the NCSE’s “Steve Project” have ever studied the subject?

    This is the end. I am obviously wasting my time here — you can’t even get the facts straight.

  152. #153 Larry Fafarman
    August 13, 2007

    Science Avenger driveled,

    I know, I know, I did say “zero”. But I also said “in the relevant fields”.

    At least I have some numbers — you have nothing.

  153. #154 Fragallrocks
    August 13, 2007

    Just a quick one on gravity and evolutionary theory.

    It is not proper to compare gravity with evolutionary theory mostly because we know that are current theories of gravity have to be wrong. We are currently unable to combine quantum physics and classical physics. Somewhere along the line (despite the extraordinary accuracy of relativity theory) we know it is wrong as it is currently unable to deal with black holes and very small (sub-atomic) scales.

    ToE suffers from no such problem. It maybe that it is wrong. But we currently have no reason to believe that it is.

  154. #155 trrll
    August 13, 2007

    It is not proper to compare gravity with evolutionary theory mostly because we know that are current theories of gravity have to be wrong. We are currently unable to combine quantum physics and classical physics. Somewhere along the line (despite the extraordinary accuracy of relativity theory) we know it is wrong as it is currently unable to deal with black holes and very small (sub-atomic) scales.

    ToE suffers from no such problem. It maybe that it is wrong. But we currently have no reason to believe that it is.

    We have a theory of gravitation that accounts with great precision for phenomena above the quantum scale, but there is room for refinements of the theory, since it cannot be used to predict quantum-level interactions. Similarly, we have a theory of evolution that provides a good overall explanation of evolution, but there are still unanswered questions–the precise quantitative role of gene transfer, for example, or the relative frequency with which such events as gene duplication and repurposing of “junk” DNA contribute to evolutionary changes, the importance of environmental disruptions to speciation, etc., etc. And just as gravitational theory does not allow predictions on a very small scale, it is still not possible to carry out detailed simulations of evolutionary processes on the molecular level or predict the effect on fitness of individual mutations, due to (among other things) the inability to reliably predict protein function from sequence, as well as the lack of a comprehensive model of all protein interactions within a cell.

  155. #156 Unsympathetic reader
    August 13, 2007

    Larry writes: The general rule is that if you think that something that you are required to do is wrong, you don’t just break the law and hope that a court will vindicate you later.

    Apples and oranges..
    The teachers broke no laws by refusing to comply with the Dover board’s demands. They risked suspension and firing for insubordination, which is not a legal offense in this case. On the other hand, the teachers felt they would have broken laws by carrying out the boards plan. And they were right, they did the right thing despite risk to their jobs.

    If the board asked the teachers to completely disrobe before their students, does Larry really think the teachers would have to comply? If the board asked teachers to copy and distribute election flyers for the mayor, do one really think they’d have to go along?

  156. #157 secondclass
    August 13, 2007

    Howzat?

    I don’t know why you’re asking me, given that I lack the capacity to engage in reasonable discourse. But since you asked, I’ll tell you: It’s nothing but weasel wording, bald assertions, illogic, and a tired old qualia-based argument for dualism.

    But how are mental phenomena to be directly observed in any way except by the private, essentially subjective experiences of a conscious being? I humbly venture to say that they simply can’t.

    I humbly venture to say that your phrase “directly observed” is a cop-out. It’s one of the many ill-defined terms in your argument that leave you room for you to defend yourself with ad hoc definitions. What, pray tell, demarcates the boundary between direct and indirect observations? We can observe mental phenomena to some extent; the direct/indirect distinction is both undefined and irrelevant.

    That any observed physical state of affairs is the handiwork of a designer can never be epistemically justified by appeal to mechanistic cause and effect; it must be justified another way or smuggled in.

    We appeal to cause-and-effect all the time to infer intentionality. When we find an arrowhead, we surmise that it was made by someone motivated by the need for food or fur, thus inferring intention. To say that the causal chain is isn’t entirely “mechanistic” is to beg the question.

    The essentially subjective mental phenomenon of intentionality which is a necessariy ingredient of any design is nonidentifiable with any observable physical object or event.

    Non sequitur. Even if experiences, such as having certain intentions, are subjective in the sense that they can’t be shared perfectly among humans, that does not mean that they aren’t reducible to physical phenomena.

    Your overall argument is easily debunked by noting that computers are capable of designing things, and that they do so using strictly mechanistic processes.

    A true lover of wisdom is always in training.

    You can have your wisdom. Lovers of factual truth, recognizing that reality doesn’t bow to philosophical musings, seek empirical evidence.

  157. #158 Larry Fafarman
    August 13, 2007

    Larry writes: The general rule is that if you think that something that you are required to do is wrong, you don’t just break the law and hope that a court will vindicate you later.”

    The teachers broke no laws by refusing to comply with the Dover board’s demands.

    Sigh. As I said, the teachers were not asked to commit some crime against humanity — they were only asked to read a 1-minute ID statement. Furthermore, they reneged on their agreement to accept Of Pandas and People as a supplemental (not companion) textbook in exchange for the board’s adoption of a strongly pro-Darwinist main textbook.

  158. #159 trrll
    August 13, 2007

    Wrong. I heard of a case where a taxpayer couldn’t afford to pay a tax and a court ruled that the taxpayer lacked standing to challenge the tax in court because he had not paid the tax.

    Yes, there are certainly situations where it is legally or politically advantageous to do so–you don’t have standing to challenge a law that has not yet affected you. However, if you are prosecuted for not paying the tax, you would then have standing to challenge the law, and if the court agreed with your view of the law, you would be subject to no penalty.

    And the challenge to you is to cite a specific argument in the opinions’ ID as science section that was not copied from the plaintiffs’ opening post-trial brief.

    WHAT? Some judicial appointments are controversial precisely because “almost not losing” has a hell of a lot of legal significance.

    Who will win the World Series is controversial. That doesn’t give it legal significance. Near misses don’t count under our legal system.

    So what if Pres. Bush made public statements sympathetic to ID? What does that have to do with anything?

    Is it really so hard to follow? Bush has made it a priority to appoint conservative, non-activist judges who sympathetic to his political views. Judge Jones is one of these, and is probably as favorably disposed toward ID as ID advocates can ever pray for. Indeed, when Jones was selected, they thought their prayers had been answered; here is Uncommon Descent’s davescott on Judge Jones:

    Judge John E. Jones on the other hand is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks. He was state attorney for D.A.R.E, an Assistant Scout Master with extensively involved with local and national Boy Scouts of America, political buddy of Governor Tom Ridge (who in turn is deep in George W. Bush’s circle of power), and finally was appointed by GW hisself. Senator Rick Santorum is a Pennsylvanian in the same circles (author of the ‘Santorum Language’ that encourages schools to teach the controversy) and last but far from least, George W. Bush hisself drove a stake in the ground saying teach the controversy. Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies.

    (typically, ID supporters weren’t much concerned about bias when they thought it would be in their favor). Clearly, if they couldn’t convince him/i>, the chance that they will ever find a judge more favorably disposed is close to nil.

    Holy crap, Behe was not an author of the book Of Pandas and People. You don’t know what in the hell you are talking about.

    In the Dover trial, he acknowledged writing the section on blood clotting in Of Pandas and People. Here is Behe under cross-examination:

    Q. Were you asked to review the entire book?

    A. No. Just the section that I wrote.

    Q. And that was the section on blood clotting?

    A. Yes, that’s right.

    Darwinism is not a “fundamental principle” of biology, and there is a difference between being qualified to do something and being willing to do it.

    I don’t see a difference. It doesn’t matter why somebody is unable to teach the subject–the point is that they cannot teach it.

    And yes, darwinian evolution is indeed considered to be the fundamental principle of biology. A biology teacher insisting that his religion prevents him from teaching evolution is like a physics teacher insisting that his religion prevents him from teaching gravity.

    As for what he said being a “widely understood historical basis for the separation of church and state,” even [gratuitous insult deleted] Ed Brayton conceded that Judge Jones’ statement was too broad

    I’m not sure why you regard Brayton as the ultimate authority on this topic. But since Judge Jones was speaking in an historical context regarding the development of the concept of separation of church and state, I’m not sure why it matters whether or not he phrased it over-broadly in his speech. In the actual decision, it is clear that Judge Jones based his decision on well established Supreme Court precedents regarding the separation of church and state, not upon his understanding of the Founder’s motivation.

    I did — I said, “I said that so far as I know, one-sided copying has never been a sole reason for a reversal — but it could be a contributing reason.” I think that if there are other reasons for reversal, an appeals court would be more inclined to reverse a decision if there is also one-sided copying.

    You have insisted that it is “frowned upon” by the legal profession. I’m just asking you to support that claim with just one small bit of evidence–an example of just one case in which the judge’s use of phrasing from a brief was cited as a contributing reason for reversal. Just one. Can you do that?

    I am not going to waste my time doing any more research or retrievals because you don’t accept my examples, anyway.

    That has got to be the lamest dodge that I have ever heard.

    You really are dense. What I said was that courts are not likely to allow citations of court records other than opinions, considering that the courts are reluctant to even allow citations of unpublished opinions.

    And I said, why would any court want to cite them? All of the legal reasoning is contained in the decision. Nobody cares where the words came from, only whether they are correct. If you disagree, find me just one example in which a judge’s use of language from a brief, as opposed to the legal reasoning, was cited as a contributing factor in reversal of a decision.

    And the challenge to you is to cite a specific argument in the opinions’ ID as science section that was not copied from the plaintiffs’ opening post-trial brief.

    You don’t seem to understand how this works. You can challenge me to support my arguments, but you don’t get to challenge me to disprove something that I haven’t bothered to deny. I have no idea how much of the language is from the briefs, and I don’t care. Nobody does. And if you disagree, you know what to do [just one example...]

    How many of the “Steves” cited in the NCSE’s “Steve Project” have ever studied the subject?

    And this is relevant how? I hate to break it to you, but Project Steve is a parody, not a scientific sampling. All it does is illustrate how stupid it is to point at a list of few hundred signatures and insist that it proves something, when there are thousands upon thousands of biologists (in my own subfield of biology meeting attendance is sometimes in excess of 25,000).

  159. #160 trrll
    August 13, 2007

    Sigh. As I said, the teachers were not asked to commit some crime against humanity — they were only asked to read a 1-minute ID statement.

    Amazing though it may seem to you, some people’s ethical standards actually do go a bit beyond “Don’t commit crimes against humanity.”

  160. #161 Larry Fafarman
    August 13, 2007

    In the actual decision, it is clear that Judge Jones based his decision on well established Supreme Court precedents regarding the separation of church and state, not upon his understanding of the Founder’s motivation.

    I am fed up wasting my time arguing with you, because you are just plain stupid. Considering the sensitivity of his position, Jones should not have even given the appearance that he might have been influenced by his notion that the Founders believed that organized religions are not “true” religions. This is just one example of your many stupidities.

  161. #162 Larry Fafarman
    August 13, 2007

    BTW, here again is what Jones said in his Dickinson College commencement speech —

    …..we see the Founders’ ideals quite clearly, among many places, in the Establishment Clause within the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This of course was the clause that I determined the school board had violated in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. While legal scholars will continue to debate the appropriate application of that clause to particular facts in individual cases, this much is very clear. The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry. At bottom then, this core set of beliefs led the Founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state.

    Only a complete idiot would not understand what Jones is saying here.

  162. #163 Mike Dunford
    August 13, 2007

    Only a complete idiot would not understand what Jones is saying here.

    A fact which you have amply demonstrated throughout this thread.

  163. #164 Larry Fafarman
    August 13, 2007

    Only a complete idiot would not understand what Jones is saying here.
    A fact which you have amply demonstrated throughout this thread.

    Yes — I have amply demonstrated that a lot of idiots here don’t understand what Jones was saying. It is obvious that his statement would have been pointless if he was not trying to say that his Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion was influenced by his notion that the Founders believed that organized religions are not “true” religions. What other reason could he have possibly had for making such a statement? What other interpretation of his statement is possible?

  164. #165 trrll
    August 14, 2007

    I am fed up wasting my time arguing with you, because you are just plain stupid. Considering the sensitivity of his position, Jones should not have even given the appearance that he might have been influenced by his notion that the Founders believed that organized religions are not “true” religions. This is just one example of your many stupidities.

    And indeed, he never even said that the founders believed that “organized religions are not true religions.” In fact, he never so much as used the word “organized.” This is just one example of your “creative” rewordings.

    What other reason could he have possibly had for making such a statement? What other interpretation of his statement is possible?

    I think that if Judge wanted to say that the founders believed that organized religions are not true religions, he is literate enough to actually say it without the need for you to explain what he “really” meant. My reading is that he was making a purely historical statement regarding the motivations of the founders for omitting religion from the Constitution and for creating a separation of church and state. And the views that he is talking about refer to religion in the abstract, and are not at all a criticism of “organized religions.”

    I don’t know where you get the notion that an an organized religion must necessarily reject the value of personal religious experience and free inquiry, but I think that it reflects your own prejudices far more than those of Judge Jones. There is no reason why an organized religion cannot subscribe to the doctrine that “true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry” (and indeed, some have done so).

  165. #166 Larry Fafarman
    August 14, 2007

    As the saying goes, don’t feed the trolls.

  166. #167 Jemmy Button
    August 31, 2007

    I have just posted a blog piece which recounts my adventures e-mailing Dr. Egnor of the DI concerning his over-blown piece about this present blog:

    http://www.darwincentral.org/blog/

    Another service of Darwin Central, the Conspiracy that Cares.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.