The Questionable Authority

I’ve been continuing to put some time into criticizing Michael Behe’s expert report on the creationist texts involved in the California Creationism Case. This is a slow process, partly because I’m also working on other projects and partly because it’s difficult to read the Bob Jones “Biology for Christian Schools” text without encountering a range of unpleasant side effects. I’ve been fighting the increased blood pressure and the nausea, and soldiering on. Along the way, I’ve encountered some real gems that I thought I’d share with you.

Today, I’m going to give you two quotes: one on Darwin, and one on sexually transmitted diseases. The two are connected only by the surreal nature of what’s being said. As you read them, please remember that this is material that’s being taught to high school students, and that the folks who are teaching this stuff are suing the University of California, because for some strange reason UC doesn’t think that people who have been taught this stuff have adequately completed an actual college preparatory class in biology. All quotes are taken from the most recent (3rd) edition of the text. I’m transcribing by hand, so unless indicated otherwise, all typos are mine.

On page 225, in the section titled, “Analysis of Darwin’s Theory,” we find this:

Today scientists know that the inheritance of acquired characteristics by pangenes is false. When introduced, however, Darwin’s pangenes sounded interesting and scientific. The abundant examples of natural selection he gave in his works were accepted as adequate proof of pangenes. Examples of natural selection, however, have little to do with proving the inheritance of acquired characteristics through pangenes.

On pages 779 and 780, we find this material in a box on “Sexually Transmitted Diseases”:

When the AIDS epidemic began, some people said that the disease was God’s judgment on the sins of homosexuals and fornicators since they were the primary ones affected by the disease. Many were offended by such an analysis, claiming that it is unreasonably cruel to tell people in pain that they have caused their own disease. Nevertheless, the Bible does teach that diseases that result from sexual impurity are part of God’s punishment of sin (Rom. 1:27). Such punishment is in fact evidence of God’s grace. It allows the sinner to experience the offensiveness of his sin and points him to the need for a Savior – “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Bob Jones University Press: spreading “God’s grace” one abstinence only class at a time.

Comments

  1. #1 dochocson
    September 16, 2007

    Wow. The scary thing is, as bizarre as the section on STDs is, there are doctors that preach that sort of garbage.

    When I was in medical school doing my OB/Gyn rotation, one of the community doctors we worked with told a patient that the reason she had herpes was that she led a sinful life. No discussion of HSV, no discussion of treatment. I made a point of calling her later to provide her with accurate information and the names of physicians that would give her accurate information.

    Enough of us noted similar behavior to warrant reporting it to the clerkship coordinator. Despite the fact that the coordinator was the author of a book called “The Scripture Prescription” and before the oral part of the final placed the Bible on his desk and asked each student “Does this book hold meaning for you?”, the offending physcian was taken off the community faculty list.

  2. #2 Ichthyic
    September 17, 2007

    the offending physcian was taken off the community faculty list.

    sounds like a scary story with a happy ending.

    what happens in the sequel?

    do local churches decide to fund the quack in order to further their “ministry through medicine”?

  3. #3 hoary puccoon
    September 17, 2007

    “Examples of natural selection, however, have little to do with proving the inheritance of acquired characteristics through pangenes,” should, of course, read, “Examples of natural selection… have NOTHING to do with proving the inheritance of acquired characteristics through pangenes.”

    The frightening thing is, whoever wrote this dreck clearly understands that Darwin nailed natural selection but had no knowledge of modern genetics. And they slide in “natural selection” as a symonym for “the inheritance of acquired characteristics!” This cannot be a dumb but innocent error. It has to be a deliberate lie.

    The moral level of the people who would foist this off on schoolchildren is about as low as one can imagine.

    The Christian churches should be howling louder than the biologists about this travesty perpetrated in the name of their religion.

  4. #4 Ex Patriot
    September 17, 2007

    Just another reason I am a athiest. I really get sick of hearing this mythological BS being pushed on young children and only hope they have parents that are smarter than this.

  5. #5 Nigel D
    September 17, 2007

    Well, I was going to ask what a pangene is; I’m about 2/3 of the way through reading The Origin of Species and have not seen the term at all. Hoary Puccoon’s comment kind of pre-empts my question (although, I’d be interested anyway if someone could enlighten me).

  6. #6 Ginger Yellow
    September 17, 2007

    “the Bible does teach that diseases that result from sexual impurity are part of God’s punishment of sin (Rom. 1:27). ”

    I see. And for what is cholera a punishment?

  7. #7 Grackle
    September 17, 2007

    So, how did you come by this fascination with abnormal psychology? Watching a psychopath at work weaving his lies gives unsettling insights into the workings of his mind. Freaky, isn’t it?

    At least he seems to be nonviolent. And not a cannibal, nor a child raper.

    Now do the Pope (aka Joey Rats).

  8. #8 Flint
    September 17, 2007

    Well, I was going to ask what a pangene is

    Darwin proposed the “pangene” as a hypothetical substance or attribute, which he speculated was the “carrier” of inherited characteristics and their variation. Not a bad guess at all, everything considered.

  9. #9 Susan T
    September 17, 2007

    Please PLEASE dont think that CHristians worldwide believe this B*ll*cks.

    In the USA it might be true, but elsewhere – Europe, elsewehere in the world, (I suspect Canada, but might be wrong) we cringe that calling ourselves Christian might lead people to think that this garbage is what we really believe!

    Its more of a political position than a theological one. Is it any coincidence that the “Expelled” movie is due out just before the new Hampshire Primary. I think not …..

  10. #10 raven
    September 17, 2007

    “the Bible does teach that diseases that result from sexual impurity are part of God’s punishment of sin (Rom. 1:27). “

    Romans 1:27 (New International Version)
    New International Version (NIV)
    Copyright ? 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

    27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    Actually the bible quote they used, doesn’t say what they said it does.

    It is about men being with men. All the STDs effect both men and women. HIV/AIDS worldwide is roughly 50:50 male:female. In the US it is trending that way, now 2:1 male:female but 97% of the cases are ex-USA.

    “received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” And what was that penalty? Pretty vague here, could be anything. Eternal damnation, more dates, listening to Jerry Falwell class bigots pontificate, watching Bob Jones quote mine the bible, getting busted in an airport bathroom in Minneapolis.

    I’ve seen this before many times. A lot of the cultists haven’t really read the bible. A lot of them just quote mine it for vague passages and fill in the blanks with whatever they want. Or just take passages out of context and totally change the meaning to whatever they want. They call it the inerrant word of god and then fold, bend, stretch and mutilate it to mean anything. So much for Xian cultist morality.

  11. #11 raven
    September 17, 2007

    Please PLEASE dont think that CHristians worldwide believe this B*ll*cks.

    You have a point. In some intellectual circles, thanks to the US fundies, “Christian” is becoming synonymous with “Ignorant”, “Liar” “Bigot”, and sometimes “Killer”.

    1. I’ve said for a long time that ultimately they will do some damage to the religion.

    2. There is a backlash against these guys right now. Some recent polls show that 49% of the US population are getting fed up with theocrats trying to impose their views on the general population.

  12. #12 Les Lane
    September 17, 2007

    Using this textbook is God’s punishment for failing to exercise critical thinking.

  13. #13 raven
    September 17, 2007

    Romans 1:27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

    29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,
    30slanderers,
    God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
    31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
    32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    Hmmm, the Bob Jones biology authors seem to be the pot calling the kettle black. Reading the context of Romans further, they are guilty of a few things themselves. Strife, Deceit (for sure), Malice, Gossips, Slanders, Inventing ways of doing evil (like writing bogus textbooks full of lies), Senseless, Heartless, and Ruthless. They also “approve of those who practice them.”

    Perhaps these guys should spend more time actually reading their Book and less time trying to fool high school students with false and misleading theology mixed with a small amount of false and misleading science.

  14. #14 Flint
    September 17, 2007

    In some intellectual circles, thanks to the US fundies, “Christian” is becoming synonymous with “Ignorant”, “Liar” “Bigot”, and sometimes “Killer”.

    The essence of being a Christian is itself bizarre. So some immaterial god screwed a mortal virgin, who remained a virgin even after this entertainment. She gave birth to a demigod who did nothing for 30 years, then started performing miracles unattested by any contemporaries, entirely according to a couple of folks writing in a different language a thousand miles away several generations later. AND this demigod just happened to have no original characteristics at all, merely copying what mythological figures of the time were commonly understood to be like. AND those telling these stories had a very clear vested interest in fabulating them for political purposes.

    And finally, Christians are said to *believe* all these tales. Uh huh. Let’s add “addled” to the list of Christian attributes.

  15. #15 rossum
    September 17, 2007

    Ginger Yellow:
    I see. And for what is cholera a punishment?

    Going to the toilet – and enjoying it. :)

    rossum

  16. #16 Tim Fuller
    September 17, 2007

    Christians who take offense to being lumped in with the five percent of their ilk who proffer this nonsense shouldn’t feel bad if they get caught up in the backlash of these ID lunatics.

    The 95% who are allowing this nonsense to propagate are just as responsible IMHO.

    We expect the ‘sane’ Muslims to hold their nutjobs in check, so we ought to have the same standard when it pertains to our own.

    Enjoy.

  17. #17 Dave S.
    September 17, 2007

    Nigel D writes -

    Well, I was going to ask what a pangene is; I’m about 2/3 of the way through reading The Origin of Species and have not seen the term at all. Hoary Puccoon’s comment kind of pre-empts my question (although, I’d be interested anyway if someone could enlighten me).

    The reason you haven’t found it there is because Darwin intoduced this theory in another of his works, ANIMALS AND PLANTS UNDER DOMESTICATION (VOL. II). See Chapter XXVII.

    Darwin himself certainly understood the tentative and speculative nature of this hypothesis –

    IN the previous chapters large classes of facts, such as those bearing on bud-variation, the various forms of inheritance, the causes and laws of variation, have been discussed; and it is obvious that these subjects, as well as the several modes of reproduction, stand in some sort of relation to one another. I have been led, or rather forced, to form a view which to a certain extent connects these facts by a tangible method. Every one would wish to explain to himself, even in an imperfect manner, how it is possible for a character possessed by some remote ancestor suddenly to reappear in the offspring; how the effects of increased or decreased use of a limb can be transmitted to the child; how the male sexual element can act not solely on the ovules, but occasionally on the mother-form; how a hybrid can be produced by the union of the cellular tissue of two plants independently of the organs of generation; how a limb can be reproduced on the exact line of amputation, with neither too much nor too little added; how the same organism may be produced by such widely different processes, as budding and true seminal generation; and, lastly, how of two allied forms, one passes in the course of its development through the most complex metamorphoses, and the other does not do so, though when mature both are alike in every detail of structure. I am aware that my view is merely a provisional hypothesis or speculation; but until a better one be advanced, it will serve to bring together a multitude of facts which are at present left disconnected by any efficient cause. As Whewell, the historian of the inductive sciences, remarks:–”Hypotheses may often be of service to science, when they involve a certain portion of incompleteness, and even of error.” Under this point of view I venture to advance the hypothesis of Pangenesis, which implies that every separate part of the whole organisation reproduces itself. So that ovules, spermatozoa, and pollen-grains,–the fertilised egg or seed, as well as buds,–include and consist of a multitude of germs thrown off from each separate part or unit.

    Darwin in characteristic fashion then goes on to list several harsh critiques of this proposed theory.

  18. #18 Rob Hinkley
    September 17, 2007

    I’d not heard of pangenes before, so find this interesting: “Darwin proposed the “pangene” as a hypothetical substance or attribute, which he speculated was the “carrier” of inherited characteristics and their variation.” (said Flint, above).

    Of course, later work showed that Darwin was utterly wrong about that and established what the mechanism of inheritance really is. But one of creationists’ standard lines is their assertion that “daring to question Darwin” is some kind of ultimate crime in the scientific community which gets you ridiculed/expelled/etc. Yet pangenes provide a clear counterexample; Darwin’s hypothesis being subjected to critical examination, experiment, and – when found lacking – being consigned to the Ideas Dustbin. Just like anyone else’s work.

  19. #19 Flint
    September 17, 2007

    But one of creationists’ standard lines is their assertion that “daring to question Darwin” is some kind of ultimate crime in the scientific community which gets you ridiculed/expelled/etc.

    This is completely to be expected. The creationist’s doctrine rests entirely on the unquestionable authority of accepted interpretations of sacred texts. The creationists I’m familiar with give no indication of being able to conceive of any other possible source of knowledge. They simply assume that heretics in the Church of Darwin are treated as they treat heretics in their own church. It’s all they know.

    Always, they see false faith defeated by the One True Faith (theirs). In a very real sense, evidence is incomprehensble to them. Since their convictions cannot be questioned, reality either ratifies them, or reality is necessarily being misinterpreted or distorted.

    Creationists don’t DO science for similar reasons: the answer is already known. Why bother with the experiment?

  20. #20 Jared Asay
    September 17, 2007

    How’s this for a howler?
    10^262 is an unwritable number

  21. #21 Jared Asay
    September 17, 2007

    Dangit, didn’t close the tag
    Here it is again:
    http://tinyfrog.wordpress.com/2007/09/16/10262-is-an-unwritable-number/

  22. #22 Gerard Harbison
    September 17, 2007

    Well, it’s useful in one respect. I looked up pangenesis. Now I, like the poor children of creations, know far more than I needed about another obsolete biological theory.

  23. #23 Gerard Harbison
    September 17, 2007

    And for what is cholera a punishment?

    Ingesting bacteria of the species Vibrio cholerae, silly.

  24. #24 Michael Suttkus, II
    September 17, 2007

    Diseases that result from immoral behavior are punishments for immoral behavior. Diseases that do not result from immoral behavior are punishments for original sin.

    When Katrina smashes New Orleans, it’s because it’s a sinful city. When a torando smashes a fundamentalist church while leaving the brothel next door, it’s punishment for them not having protested the brothel enough!

    Ariel Sharon has a stroke in punishment for his sins. Jerry Falwell has a heart attack because it was time for him to receive his reward.

    Now, I hope you understand the system!

  25. #25 Erp
    September 17, 2007

    Well some Christians are fighting back. Do a google search on Evolution Sunday. Note from the viewpoint of Bob Jones University and their ilk, no moderate or liberal Christian is a real Christian and not even all conservative Christians are real Christians. I note that various creationists renamed it as “Darwin Sunday” as though the proponents of Evolution Sunday were raising Darwin to sainthood or even deifying him.

    Imagine what Bob Jones U did with the History text.

  26. #26 raven
    September 17, 2007

    When Katrina smashes New Orleans, it’s because it’s a sinful city.

    Oddly enough, Katrina missed the French Quarter of New Orleans and hit Southern Mississippi bullseye on. My interpretation of that is, god likes Cajun cooking, Jazz, and parties. He doesn’t like fundamentalist xians.

    The main pathways for both tornados and hurricanes corresponds almost precisely with the Bible Belt. This couldn’t possibly be a coincidence. God really doesn’t like fundamentalist xians!!!

    Next time you are in New Orleans, look around for god. He might also be in Las Vegas. Do you realize Las Vegas never gets hit with hurricanes or tornados either?

  27. #27 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    September 17, 2007

    Jared,

    The mathematical howler comes from Dordt College in Sioux Center IA. That’s about 180 miles due south of the University of Minnesota, Morris.

    Lets just wait and see what kind of energy is released when the forces of Science and Anti-Science meet.

  28. #28 Larry Fafarman
    September 17, 2007

    One thing to remember is that what counts in this lawsuit are the criticisms that UC made of the textbooks — and apparently UC did not even criticize specific items in the textbooks until well after the lawsuit was filed. I doubt that the court will take into account such late criticisms of the textbooks.

    The statement about disease being a punishment for sin is just a religious viewpoint. As for the statement “[t]he abundant examples of natural selection he gave in his works were accepted as adequate proof of pangenes,” I have no idea where the book’s authors got that idea.

  29. #29 bacopa
    September 17, 2007

    yall are ragging on the fundies as if they are some abberant form of Christianity. They are not. They are the real Christians. They take their texts seriously even if it leads them to the absurd conclusion that the entire cosmos is less than ten thousand years old. I respect the fundies, but it is the kind of respect a warrior has for the enemy he is sworn to destroy. Liberal Christians are just a bunch of folks either just going through the motions because they feel compelled they ought to, or are mindless ones; Those who lack what I call an “epistemic interior”, a sense of who they are and what they believe.

  30. #30 APbio
    September 18, 2007

    Mike Dunford:

    …please remember that this is material that’s being taught to high school students, and that the folks who are teaching this stuff are suing the University of California, because for some strange reason UC doesn’t think that people who have been taught this stuff have adequately completed an actual college preparatory class in biology.

    Bob Jones U’s practices are not unique. What is unique about this situation is that one university has recognized that this is an important principle that they must expend resources defending. More often universities and academics conclude that the fight isn’t worth their time. Major example: AP Biology administered by The College Board. AP Biology courses are now audited and certified. You want howlers? Take a look at what is being certified: http://www.soulcare.org/Creation/creationapbiology_07_08.htm
    He’s not lying. Galloway’s course has been passed and recommended by The College Board for university transfer credit for freshman biology. The AP Biology advisory committee, made up of educators and college faculty, are aware of Soulcare, and it is not an isolated case. Spend a little quality time with Google and you will find other AP Bio courses with Behe’s books as recommended reading, teach the controversy exercises, and links to creation science web pages, and that’s only the dumb teachers that advertise it on their web pages. “AP Biology” is a trademark of The College Board, but the name is used with home schooling courses that teach only human physiology and anatomy with a text writen by creation scientists. The College Board has been aware of all this for years and refuse to take any action beyond repeating their expectations for course requirements. So long as the school states that they’re teaching the principles of evolution the advisory committee has no problem with “alternatives”. Fundamentalist educators appropriating their trademark isn’t something they’re going to expend time and resources on. Here you can see the true typical attitude of educators and academics to “teach the controversy”. They can’t see it as anything other than harmless.

    BJU isn’t the primary problem. The real problem is the majority who will not admit that teaching students that they have a vote in what’s accepted science, and that the scientific community is a bunch of conspiratorial atheists, makes conveying an understanding of science to the general public impossible. These are the folks that have given BJU the hope that they have a reasonable chance of winning their suit.

  31. #31 Metro
    September 18, 2007

    @Larry:

    UC did not even criticize specific items in the textbooks until well after the lawsuit was filed

    When I see a cowpat, I don’t waste time teasing out individual straws.

    It may be possible to reconcile science with scripture or vice versa, but so far as I’m any judge this is not what is being attempted in these texts.

  32. #32 Who Cares
    September 18, 2007

    Susan T wrote:

    Please PLEASE dont think that CHristians worldwide believe this B*ll*cks.

    In the USA it might be true, but elsewhere – Europe, elsewehere in the world, (I suspect Canada, but might be wrong) we cringe that calling ourselves Christian might lead people to think that this garbage is what we really believe!

    Unfortunately there are creationists in Europe as well. They have had their own conferences. And where I live the minister of education in the last government suggest that maybe we should teach ID besides evolution (should have seen how fast just about every one else in the government scurried for cover when they saw the incoming flak on that suggestion).

  33. #33 hoary puccoon
    September 18, 2007

    Dave S.–
    Thanks for the source of the pangene hypothesis. I reread Origin of Species recently and couldn’t remember anything about pangenes. So I kind of finessed it by pointing out what I knew for a fact– that Darwin had no knowledge of modern genetics.

    Actually, teaching Darwin’s theory of pangenes and showing how it was supplanted and forgotten while natural selection was confirmed might be an interesting way to show kids how science really works.

  34. #34 Dave S.
    September 18, 2007

    hoary puccoon –

    No problem. It’s well to keep in mind that although Origin was Darwin’s master work, he was quite prolific and spread his ideas throughout many works. I believe he also expounded more upon pangenesis in his Descent of Man. You can access his complete works online as a very useful tool.

  35. #35 Vicuras
    September 18, 2007

    In reply to bacopa, who said:
    “Y’all are ragging on the fundies as if they are some abberant form of Christianity. They are not. They are the real Christians. They take their texts seriously even if it leads them to the absurd conclusion that the entire cosmos is less than ten thousand years old.”

    From the Catholic viewpoint, it is in part because of their dependence on a strict, literal interpretation of the Bible that protestants are not “complete Christians.” As the Pope asserted recently, Catholics are the “true” Christians (he said it more diplomatically than that, but that’s what he meant!)

    Catholics and Eastern Orthodox churches do not depend on scripture alone.
    From Wikipedia (because it’s handy):
    Sola scriptura (Latin ablative, “by scripture alone”) is the assertion that the Bible as God’s written word is self-authenticating, clear (perspicuous) to the rational reader, its own interpreter (“Scripture interprets Scripture”), and sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christian doctrine.

    Sola scriptura was a foundational doctrinal principle of the Protestant Reformation held by the reformer Martin Luther and is a definitive principle of Protestants today

    … Sola scriptura may be contrasted with Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox teaching, in which doctrine is authentically taught by the legitimate teaching authority of the Church which draws on the Deposit of Faith which consists of Sacred Tradition, of which Sacred Scripture is a subset.

  36. #36 Becca
    September 18, 2007

    The main pathways for both tornados and hurricanes corresponds almost precisely with the Bible Belt. This couldn’t possibly be a coincidence. God really doesn’t like fundamentalist xians!!!

    Now now, don’t be silly. It is a remarkable coincidence, but there is another possibility than the one you suggest. Tempting though it may be to turn an imaginary being against it’s creators, I think it is much more in keeping with Occum’s razor to postulate that there is a mutual risk factor between being a fundamentalist xian and choosing to settle in the path of tornados and hurricanes- such as pure stupidity.

  37. #37 Larry Fafarman
    September 18, 2007

    Metro said (September 18, 2007 3:34 AM) —

    UC did not even criticize specific items in the textbooks until well after the lawsuit was filed
    When I see a cowpat, I don’t waste time teasing out individual straws.

    A central issue in the case is whether the fundy biology textbooks present the core material correctly and merely add a religious viewpoint.

    In biology the main — maybe even the sole — area of conflict between UC and the fundies is evolution theory. But evolution theory is at most a relatively small part of high school biology courses and biologists can use the tools of evolution theory even if they don’t believe in it.

    IMO two central issues in the case are: (1) whether the fundy students should be required to get a satsifactory score on the SAT II AP Biology test (or other standardized test) in order to get credit for the biology course, and (2) if they fail the test, whether they should be allowed to enroll on condition that they take an introductory course in biology at UC (UC already allows students to correct deficiencies in English).

    Biologists have an inferiority complex as a result of the attitude expressed by Lord Rutherford’s statement, “all science is either physics or stamp collecting.” As a result of this inferiority complex, biologists have been waging a prestige war against other branches of science by boasting that biology has something that the other branches don’t have, a grand central overarching unifying “theory of everything,” Darwinism.

    APbio said (September 18, 2007 12:00 AM) —

    “AP Biology” is a trademark of The College Board, but the name is used with home schooling courses that teach only human physiology and anatomy with a text writen by creation scientists. The College Board has been aware of all this for years and refuse to take any action beyond repeating their expectations for course requirements.

    I went to the College Board website and was surprised to see that the term “Advanced Placement” is indeed trademarked. However, I presume that the trademark would not apply to a course or textbook advertised as preparation for an AP test, unless the name of the course or the book were itself trademarked. Anyway, what “action” could the College Board take? I have seen no evidence that the College Board certifies, accredits, or endorses any courses or textbooks.

  38. #38 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 18, 2007

    I went to the College Board website and was surprised to see that the term “Advanced Placement” is indeed trademarked. However, I presume that the trademark would not apply to a course or textbook advertised as preparation for an AP test, unless the name of the course or the book were itself trademarked. Anyway, what “action” could the College Board take? I have seen no evidence that the College Board certifies, accredits, or endorses any courses or textbooks.

    Actually, use of “AP” for a non-authorized college-level course or text aimed at college-level courses would constitute trademark infringement, regardless of whether the infringer was attempting to trademark it himself. However, the College Board has a different way of dealing with rogue schools: they blackball them with the colleges. Had Larry been a bit more diligent in his search, he might have discovered the following information from the educators AP Course Audit FAQ on the College Board’s AP Central site:

    Can schools order and administer AP Exams without completing the AP Course Audit?
    Yes, the AP Course Audit is only required for schools desiring to:

    * use the “AP” designation on students’ transcripts
    * be listed in the ledger of authorized AP courses provided each fall to college and university admissions offices and the public.

    Schools that simply offer the AP Exam as an opportunity for their students to earn college credit, without actually labeling the school’s courses “AP” on students’ transcripts do not need to participate in the AP Course Audit, and can continue offering AP Exams to their students.

    Does the fact that the AP Course Audit is being conducted for courses offered in the 2007-08 academic year mean we can’t use the “AP” designation on courses we offer during 2006-07?
    The AP Program expects schools using the “AP” designation now to follow the guidelines in each subject’s official AP Course Description, and then to participate in the AP Course Audit and receive authorization before continuing to apply the “AP” designation to courses offered in the 2007-08 academic year.

    What does authorization actually entail?
    Authorization to use the “AP” designation for your course indicates College Board permission to use the designation on students’ transcripts. The course will be listed as an authorized AP course in a ledger provided to colleges and universities each fall and made available to the public via the Web.

    What if my AP teacher leaves the school after the AP Course Audit has been completed?
    The replacement teacher must submit the AP Course Audit form and syllabus for review. If a previously approved syllabus will be used in the course, the teacher will need to submit that syllabus for verification purposes. If the teacher is replaced after June 1, 2007, it is incumbent upon the replacement teacher to submit materials for review in order for your school’s entry in the 2007-08 ledger to accurately represent the AP program at your school.

    If the College Board determines that your school is applying the “AP” designation to any courses or sections of courses taught at your school, which were not authorized for the appropriate academic year through the AP Course Audit process, your school’s name may not be included in future versions of the ledger, regardless of whether other courses at your school have been authorized.

    You get caught trying to pass off your unapproved course as AP, none of your courses are going to be counted as AP by any US college for a long time.

  39. #39 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 18, 2007

    One thing to remember is that what counts in this lawsuit are the criticisms that UC made of the textbooks — and apparently UC did not even criticize specific items in the textbooks until well after the lawsuit was filed. I doubt that the court will take into account such late criticisms of the textbooks.

    Considering that UC included its criticism of the textbooks in its Answer to the Complaint and accompanying materials (unfortunately not available online, to my knowledge), I think it quite likely that the Court will take into account UC’s criticisms. The reason the criticism was filed so “late” is because it took almost a year to adjudicate the Motion to Dismiss. The rest of the case was necessarily put on hold during that interlude – it’s as if the Complaint was filed in August 2006 instead of August 2005. That ACSI is attempting to gloss over this crucial fact is further impeachment on their credibility, which already took a hit when they deliberately misled people like Larry into thinking there weren’t any other alternatives available.

  40. #40 Jud
    September 19, 2007

    Larry Fafarman wrote: “I doubt that the court will take into account such late criticisms of the textbooks.”

    You may want to read and understand the applicable rules of evidence (I’m assuming California rather than federal) before opining on what the court may take into account.

  41. #41 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 19, 2007

    No, Jud, it’s a federal case. Larry’s unsupported claim is, of course, bogus under either set of rules.

  42. #42 APbio
    September 19, 2007

    You get caught trying to pass off your unapproved course as AP, none of your courses are going to be counted as AP by any US college for a long time.

    Sorry, I don’t want to be harsh, but this is an example of the kind of complacency that is allowing creation science promoters to use AP Biology. The College Board is belatedly getting more organized with ensuring the quality of the brand, but there isn’t anywhere near the oversight and organization that seems to be assumed. Three problems with the above statement:
    1. Though The College Board is promising to issue a list of approved schools starting this year, there is no requirement that this list be consulted, and no reason to believe that all college admissions clerks know any more about the audit than anyone reading this blog.
    2. The listing of “AP Biology”, and a good grade, on a transcript, even without the official College Board AP Biology exam score, can be useful for admission screening, and course prerequisite confirmation. Unless the approved list, which isn’t yet available, was consulted there’d would be no way of distinguishing real AP Biology from any creation science substitute.
    3. The audit has been introduced precisely because many universities are no longer accepting AP courses for anything. Over the course of years, the vital reputation of AP courses has been lost. The College Board claims that the audit ensures the quality of AP courses, but this is clearly not the case for AP Biology. A student could get the highest score on the official exam, and yet have been conditioned in their “AP Biology” course that evolution is an evil conspiracy, and coached to give the answers expected on the exam. I’ve corresponded with several APbio teachers who freely admit that this is how they prepare all their students.

    I would like to see AP Biology restored to the useful college credit course it should be, but this complancency about creation science and “teach the controversy” instruction is making that impossible. I’m hoping that a strong protest from people who are aware of the problem will get The College Board off their collective ass.

  43. #43 APbio
    September 19, 2007

    Sorry. Backquote didn’t take on that first paragraph.

  44. #44 Larry Fafarman
    September 19, 2007

    Kevin Vicklund ( September 18, 2007 10:29 PM ) –

    Had Larry been a bit more diligent in his search, he might have discovered the following information from the educators AP Course Audit FAQ on the College Board’s AP Central site:

    And if Kevin were a bit less of a jerk, he wouldn’t condemn others for not finding things that he found.

    The College Board’s review of courses submitted for AP designation appears to be quite cursory — you just need to submit a course syllabus and an AP audit form. Also, the College Board says,

    Reviewers are charged with finding evidence in your syllabus of the curricular requirements. No individual biases or preferences for additional course components are allowed to be part of the authorization decision; the reviewer is simply verifying that the curricular requirements for your course appear in your syllabus. (emphasis added)

    – from http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/51268.html#nameProcess

    For example, if a syllabus for an AP biology course includes biblical creationism, a reviewer’s bias against biblical creationism is not allowed to be part of the authorization decision.

    Kevin Vicklund said ( September 18, 2007 11:36 PM ) –

    The reason the criticism was filed so “late” is because it took almost a year to adjudicate the Motion to Dismiss.

    Criticisms of individual items in the textbooks should have been submitted immediately — or shortly after — UC announced rejection of the courses.

    Jud said ( September 19, 2007 8:27 AM ) –

    Larry Fafarman wrote: “I doubt that the court will take into account such late criticisms of the textbooks.”
    You may want to read and understand the applicable rules of evidence (I’m assuming California rather than federal) before opining on what the court may take into account.

    This is a federal court rather than a California court, so the federal rules would apply.

    In Edwards v. Aguillard, the courts excluded expert witness testimony on the grounds that it would be too late because none of the expert witnesses had participated in the enactment of the new law.

    APbio said ( September 19, 2007 12:27 PM ) –

    A student could get the highest score on the official exam, and yet have been conditioned in their “AP Biology” course that evolution is an evil conspiracy, and coached to give the answers expected on the exam.

    So what?

  45. #45 APbio
    September 19, 2007

    if a syllabus for an AP biology course includes biblical creationism, a reviewer’s bias against biblical creationism is not allowed to be part of the authorization decision.

    No. That would not be bias. That would be having an unbiased expertise in the field. There are virtually no reviewers with any sympathy at all for creation science, which is, BTW, not the same as biblical creationism.

    So what?

    So we have another generation that can regurgitate a few facts, but can not evaluate the science reported in the news because they do not understand the process of science. Worse yet, this batch of Luddites believes that everyone, even high school students, somehow get to decide for themselves what “true” science is, and if you don’t like some particular fact all you need to do is change your worldview, like tuning a radio, until everything looks the way you want it.

  46. #46 John Pieret
    September 19, 2007

    I’m sure the thousands of hemophiliacs who contracted HIV will be glad to know it was because of God’s grace.

  47. #47 Larry Fafarman
    September 20, 2007

    APbio said ( September 19, 2007 8:49 PM ) –

    if a syllabus for an AP biology course includes biblical creationism, a reviewer’s bias against biblical creationism is not allowed to be part of the authorization decision.
    No. That would not be bias. That would be having an unbiased expertise in the field.

    The College Board clearly indicates that nothing outside the stated curricular requirements may be considered in the authorization decision:

    Reviewers are charged with finding evidence in your syllabus of the curricular requirements. No individual biases or preferences for additional course components are allowed to be part of the authorization decision; the reviewer is simply verifying that the curricular requirements for your course appear in your syllabus. (emphasis added)

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

    So we have another generation that can regurgitate a few facts, but can not evaluate the science reported in the news because they do not understand the process of science. Worse yet, this batch of Luddites believes that everyone, even high school students, somehow get to decide for themselves what “true” science is

    School is supposed to teach people how to think for themselves.

    John Pieret said,

    I’m sure the thousands of hemophiliacs who contracted HIV will be glad to know it was because of God’s grace.

    No, that is god’s disgrace.

  48. #48 John Pieret
    September 20, 2007

    No, that is god’s disgrace.

    You can’t blame god(s) for people as ignorant as the authors of that book. They got there all on their own.

  49. #49 Raging Bee
    September 20, 2007

    Still flogging the same old long-discredited talking-points, eh, Larry? In regard to this tired old howler…

    …biologists can use the tools of evolution theory even if they don’t believe in it.

    Excuse me for belaboring the obvious: if a biologist uses the tools of evolution theory, with the expectation of substantive results, and gets the results he expects, and keeps on using those tools for that very reason, then, for all practical purposes, he “believes in it,” regardless of what he may say.

  50. #50 Jud
    September 21, 2007

    Larry Fafarman wrote: “In Edwards v. Aguillard, the courts excluded expert witness testimony….”

    Yes, on the ground that evidence from people who weren’t present when the legislature considered a law couldn’t create a genuine issue of material fact regarding the legislature’s intent in enacting the law, particularly where the documentary evidence of legislative intent was already in the record.

    How that would relate to the UC alleging inadequacies in these texts when they were sued and legally required to respond (in their Answer to the Complaint as I understand it, which is the normal time to do such things), I’m not sure.

  51. #51 Rob
    September 21, 2007

    For “moderate” Christians to say that these crazy fundies don’t represent their view of Christianity is for a German in 1940 to say that these crazy extremist Nazis don’t represent their view of German society. Being a Christian involves swallowing a ridiculous myth with no historical basis, it doesn’t matter how you choose to act after swallowing, either fundy or moderate. You have still swallowed the same nonsense, and thus it is justifiable to place all Christians in the same league.

    Religious moderation is the problem we face. It is not extremism like Bob Jones or Pat Robertson, it is the moderates who allow Jones or Robertson to speak out without chastisement from the moderates. YOU MODERATE CHRISTIANS are responsible for the ills placed on society by the fundamentalists by meekly going along with their teachings, all the while saying “we’re not all like that.”

  52. #52 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 21, 2007

    Well, Jud, Larry doesn’t seem to understand that there’s a difference between the purpose prong of the Lemon test and the various other prongs and tests. He seems to think that since a judge ruled that an uninvolved expert witness can’t shed any light on the actual purpose of the legislators (purpose prong), expert witnesses also are unable to explain the effect a piece of legislation will have (effect prong), or the perception people will have of said legislation (endorsement test), or whether the actions of officials enforcing said legislation are justified (as-applied test). It’s obvious to us that an expert witness would have quite a bit of valuable information to impart in all of the prongs and tests I mentioned – not to mention the fact that the Edwards decision only applies to the purpose prong – but Larry is not concerned with real law or logic, just in pretending to understand them in order to justify his preconceived notions of why UC should lose the case (or why Dover was allegedly wrongly decided).

  53. #53 APbio
    September 21, 2007

    Good news! Sid Galloway’s Soulcare APbio page has just been changed to announce that he will no longer be providing AP Biology. Don’t know what to make of his explanation that the AP curricullum is too strenuous. I’d like to think that this is the first sign that The College Board is actually doing something to discourage creation science in AP Biology.

  54. #54 Larry Fafarman
    September 21, 2007

    Raging Bee said ( September 20, 2007 7:08 PM ) –

    Excuse me for belaboring the obvious: if a biologist uses the tools of evolution theory, with the expectation of substantive results, and gets the results he expects, and keeps on using those tools for that very reason, then, for all practical purposes, he “believes in it,” regardless of what he may say.

    Cladistic taxonomy, for example, is based on evolution theory. Biologists can use cladistic taxonomy even if they do not believe in evolution theory.

    Jud said ( September 21, 2007 1:49 PM ) –

    How that would relate to the UC alleging inadequacies in these texts when they were sued and legally required to respond (in their Answer to the Complaint as I understand it, which is the normal time to do such things), I’m not sure.

    The issue is “timeliness.” Timeliness is a very important issue in the courts.

    Kevin Vicklund said ( September 21, 2007 4:18 PM ) –

    Well, Jud, Larry doesn’t seem to understand that there’s a difference between the purpose prong of the Lemon test and the various other prongs and tests

    And you don’t seem to understand that I am only discussing the issue of timeliness. The Lemon test, Kitzmiller v. Dover, etc. are whole other issues.

    APbio said ( September 21, 2007 4:32 PM ) –

    I’d like to think that this is the first sign that The College Board is actually doing something to discourage creation science in AP Biology.

    There is no indication that the College Board is trying to discourage creation science in AP Biology. The Soulcare website said,

    As I anticipated during the summer, our new NCS rotating schedule and the extreme intensity of the AP Biology curriculum (with its 55 chapters and 12 extensive Labs) are not a complementary match. The quantity required by the College Board for AP Bio leaves insufficient time for conceptual, critical understanding. Also, no time is available for the crucial integration of biblical principles on the many topics that involve bioethical issues. Therefore, I requested a meeting with the administrative staff and we decided to change the course from AP into a less intensive Biology II for the rest of the year.

    – from http://www.soulcare.org/Creation/creationbioII_07_08.htm

  55. #55 APbio
    September 23, 2007

    There is no indication that the College Board is trying to discourage creation science in AP Biology. The Soulcare website said,

    I stated that I don’t know what to make of his statement because Sid Galloway is a liar. The syllabus he submitted for approval for the audit was designed to deceive the reviewers about what he was going to present for evolution. He had posted on his web site both the syllabus he submitted, and the real syllabus he was giving everyone else. The submitted syllabus had nothing about “evidence against evolution” or creation science. The real syllabus on his web site showed that he intended to contrast everything that Campbell “Biology” had to say about evolution with the distortions of the creation science campaign. Perhaps it was this perceived necessity to deceive that eventually led him to drop it. We’ll never know.

  56. #56 kc
    September 23, 2007

    “Cladistic taxonomy, for example, is based on evolution theory. Biologists can use cladistic taxonomy even if they do not believe in evolution theory.”

    Larry, if you’re going to persist in this weird assertion that a professional (in any field) does not need to understand her tools, or what their use implies and means, you should at least find a different example (one that doesn’t demonstrate your failure to grasp what you’re talking about). No biologist can use cladistics in a taxonomic context without “believing in” evolution. The fact of evolution is the premise that underlies cladistics. You could indeed blindly apply the same analytical tools to characters of organisms without an evolutionary context, but the whole enterprise would be meaningless (and you would not be a biologist). If you think this is not the case, please suggest a (biological) hypothesis to which cladistic analysis could be applied which does not presuppose the fact of evolution.

  57. #57 JuliaL
    September 23, 2007

    kc,

    No biologist can use cladistics in a taxonomic context without “believing in” evolution.

    You are quite right that one must understand the tools of one’s trade. But I do think that Larry has a point here somewhere. “Believing in” something is different from doing something, as the word “belief” refers to a private opinion/evaluation that may be quite different from one’s behavior.

    A number of years ago I amused myself by studying astrology. I assure you that one can set up an astrology chart without believing in the power of the stars to control human destiny.

    It used to be, and perhaps still is, in this Southern coastal city routine to train each new hospital resident to use voodoo-based techniques as placebos for people who came in depressed, not eating, or panicky because they had thought they had been cursed. It wasn’t necessary to believe in voodoo to practice some of its techniques.

    One may draw a map of Middle Earth without believing that it ever existed.

    Jonathan Wells apparently did all the work necessary to get a biology degree while actively fighting to discredit evolution and replace it with narrow religious beliefs. And so I suppose that one might actually work as a biologist while not believing that evolution is a valid theory.

  58. #58 kc
    September 25, 2007

    “One may draw a map of Middle Earth without believing that it ever existed.”
    “…one can set up an astrology chart without believing in the power of the stars to control human destiny.”
    “It wasn’t necessary to believe in voodoo to practice some of its techniques.”

    There is a real and significant difference between various (casual vs professional?) applications of techniques. Drawing a map of an imaginary world does not make one a cartographer (though it may help to be a professional cartographer/artist, and I love Tolkien’s maps). In the same vein, it would be difficult to find a (“professional”) astrology column with a disclaimer about the “power of the stars”. Placebos (voodoo) are placebos, powerful and interesting but irrelevant to the case because of the inherent confounding of belief (on the part of the patient – NOT on the part of the doctor) with effect.

    None of these compare to application of the scientific method (in this case cladistic analysis) in the absence of belief – which I will agree can be done. If Jonathon Wells did all the work necessary to get a biology degree without believing in what he was doing, I would argue that he did not earn his degree. He might be able to “work” as a biologist, but he would not “be” a biologist. In may not be possible in the abstract to separate a biologist who believes what she is doing from one who is “living a lie”, but in the long run the truth will out.

  59. #59 Jud
    September 26, 2007

    Larry Fafarman wrote:

    “Jud said ( September 21, 2007 1:49 PM ) –
    ‘How that [Larry's citation to the exclusion of expert testimony in Edwards v. Aguillard] would relate to the UC alleging inadequacies in these texts when they were sued and legally required to respond (in their Answer to the Complaint as I understand it, which is the normal time to do such things), I’m not sure.’

    “The issue is ‘timeliness.’ Timeliness is a very important issue in the courts.”

    The exclusion of expert testimony in Edwards v. Aguillard had something to do with timing (not really timeliness), but the reasons for its exclusion are not relevant in any way whatsoever to the UC’s court filings in the current California case.

    People who had no special knowledge of the legislative procedings and debates leading up to the passage of the Louisiana law at issue in Edwards were offered as experts on what the legislature intended the law to mean. But what makes someone an expert *is* special knowledge and/or training. So the court in Edwards found there was no reason to consider these people experts. The only “timing” issue was that the proffered experts weren’t attending legislative proceedings at the time this law was being debated.

    The issue regarding expert testimony in Edwards has **nothing whatever** to do with whether responses raised in the UC’s Answer in the California case (note that the UC is a party, not an expert, and the Answer is a required court filing, not proferred testimony) are timely. Since the Answer is the very first substantive response a defendant can file, and thus it was impossible for the UC to raise substantive criticism of these textbooks in any earlier court filing, to say the court may throw them out as untimely shows a complete misunderstanding of court procedure.

  60. #60 Larry Fafarman
    September 26, 2007

    Jud said,

    People who had no special knowledge of the legislative procedings and debates leading up to the passage of the Louisiana law at issue in Edwards were offered as experts on what the legislature intended the law to mean. But what makes someone an expert *is* special knowledge and/or training. So the court in Edwards found there was no reason to consider these people experts.

    Wrong. The courts in Edwards never claimed that these people were not experts — the courts only claimed that expert testimony would only be a “Monday morning ‘battle of the experts.’” Here is what the Supreme Court said:

    . . . 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. (pages 595-596)

    – from http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0482_0578_ZO.html

    The issue regarding expert testimony in Edwards has **nothing whatever** to do with whether responses raised in the UC’s Answer in the California case (note that the UC is a party, not an expert, and the Answer is a required court filing, not proferred testimony) are timely.

    The people who reviewed the fundy textbooks for UC were — or should have been — experts in the subjects of the textbooks that they reviewed.

    Since the Answer is the very first substantive response a defendant can file, and thus it was impossible for the UC to raise substantive criticism of these textbooks in any earlier court filing, to say the court may throw them out as untimely shows a complete misunderstanding of court procedure.

    It was not “impossible for the UC to raise substantive criticism of these textbooks in any earlier court filing.” It was certainly possible for UC to get expert review of the textbooks even before the filing of the lawsuit.

  61. #61 hoary puccoon
    September 27, 2007

    Larry Fafarman said,
    “It was certainly possible for UC to get expert review of the textbooks even before the filing of the lawsuit.”

    Do we have any reason to believe they didn’t do so? SOMEBODY decided those texts were inadequate. And it’s not like Ph.D.s in biology are a rare commodity on college campuses. So unless UC turned the whole issue over to a file clerk in admissions– which seems massively unlikely– whoever rejected those books was undoubtedly an expert in the field.

    So what are you arguing, Larry– that UC should have gotten its faculty legally declared experts by a judge BEFORE it filed the claim? Now, that’s just too silly!

  62. #62 Jud
    September 27, 2007

    Larry Fafarman wrote:

    “It was not ‘impossible for the UC to raise substantive criticism of these textbooks in any earlier court filing.’ It was certainly possible for UC to get expert review of the textbooks even before the filing of the lawsuit.”

    Getting expert review of the textbooks before a lawsuit was filed (and as hoary pointed out, we don’t know whether that was done; like him, I consider it quite likely) would not have enabled UC to raise its substantive criticisms in an earlier ***court filing*** than its very first substantive filing in this lawsuit, now would it? Read what you quoted, Larry – “earlier ***court filing***.”

    Now, regarding the Edwards ruling, here is the full quote of the paragraph that you quoted in part:

    “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 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. We therefore conclude that the District Court did not err in finding that appellants failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact, and in granting summary judgment.”

    So what’s the issue the court is looking at here? Is it timeliness, some failure to meet a filing deadline for these affidavits? No, it is because the affidavits could not help the court in resolving the issue of what the Louisiana law meant. This is the role of the expert in court proceedings: to illuminate some factual issue before the court. If you cannot do that, you are not serving the function of an expert. See Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 702, “Testimony by Experts:” “If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto….” So the Supreme Court ruling that it was proper for the trial court to grant summary judgment in spite of the affidavits was equivalent to saying that in this instance, the people who prepared the affidavits could not fulfill the role of experts in assisting the court to resolve the factual issues.

  63. #63 damnitall
    September 27, 2007

    As my pop used to say to the proselytizers , ‘Do not burden me with your myth structure and I’ll not burden you with mine.’

    He found it appalling that I would meet them with a doberman.

    Nonsense is nonsense.

  64. #64 brightmoon
    September 27, 2007

    QUOTE Biologists have an inferiority complex[...]

    OMG bwhaahahahahahahahahahaaa heee hee hee hoo …phew
    (wipes tears out of eyes)

    uh larry farfarman ..evolution, very specifically common descent, is the basis of most of modern medicine starting with the cowpox vaccination for smallpox in the 1700s

    um, what inferiority complex are you talking about ?

  65. #65 Larry Fafarman
    September 28, 2007

    hoary puccoon said ( September 27, 2007 3:05 AM ) –

    So what are you arguing, Larry– that UC should have gotten its faculty legally declared experts by a judge BEFORE it filed the claim?

    No, that is not what I am arguing — what I am arguing is that UC had plenty of time to present criticisms of specific items in the textbooks BEFORE the lawsuit was filed. Sheeeesh.

    Jud said ( September 27, 2007 7:51 AM ) –

    Getting expert review of the textbooks before a lawsuit was filed (and as hoary pointed out, we don’t know whether that was done; like him, I consider it quite likely) would not have enabled UC to raise its substantive criticisms in an earlier ***court filing*** than its very first substantive filing in this lawsuit, now would it?

    WHAT? Of course you can’t have a substantive court filing that is earlier than your first substantive court filing!

    So what’s the issue the court is looking at here? Is it timeliness, some failure to meet a filing deadline for these affidavits? No, it is because the affidavits could not help the court in resolving the issue of what the Louisiana law meant.

    No, the court did not say that the issue was what the Louisiana law meant — the court said that the issue was that the expert testimony “would not illuminate the contemporaneous purpose of the Louisiana Legislature when it made the law.”

    brightmoon said ( September 27, 2007 7:46 PM ) –

    um, what inferiority complex are you talking about ?

    – the inferiority complex resulting from the attitude expressed by Lord Rutherford: “All science is either physics or stamp collecting.” As a result of this inferiority complex, biologists have been waging a prestige war against other branches of science by boasting that biology has something that the other branches don’t have, a grand central overarching unifying “theory of everything,” Darwinism.

  66. #66 Jud
    September 28, 2007

    Larry Fafarman wrote: “No, the court did not say that the issue was what the Louisiana law meant — the court said that the issue was that the expert testimony ‘would not illuminate the contemporaneous purpose of the Louisiana Legislature when it made the law.’”

    Errm, Larry: The legislature’s “contemporaneous purpose” in enacting a law, a/k/a “legislative intent,” is used by courts to determine – wait for it – what a law means!

    I think at this point, rather than commenting further, I will just wait for the court to surprise you by actually considering the UC’s evidence with regard to these texts.

  67. #67 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 29, 2007

    It should be noted that UC did, in fact use faculty to review the texts in question. In fact, this review of textbooks features prominently in the ACSI’s motion for summary judgment, as they claim that this was an unusual step of heightened scrutiny (sorry I can’t provide a more detailed reference, as ACSI has removed the documents from the server for unknown reasons). And IIRC, ACSI even deposed the faculty reviewers, which means that the reviewers are being used by UC as fact witnesses.

    Let me emphasize that. Fact witnesses. Although they are certainly experts, since they were involved in the decision making process, they are not considered expert witnesses, but rather fact witnesses. They will testify as to what they based their decisions on. The expert witnesses, on the other hand, are there to provide testimony as to whether they were justified in making those decisions. If we were to accept Larry’s interpretation of Edwards, it would mean that expert witnesses could never be used, as any “experts” would by necessity be classified as fact winesses!

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