Dispatches from the Creation Wars

DaveScot’s Continued Absurdity

The ever intrepid DaveScot has responded yet again on this question of why the Dover school board didn’t rescind the ID policy on Dec. 5th, 2005. And while his prior messages were just based on ignorance, he’s now added lying to his bag of tricks. He writes:

Ed responded again this time his lame excuse is the board didn’t have time to discuss rescinding the ID policy at the first meeting.

Bzzzt. Thank you for playing, Dave, but this is either A) a lie or B) you’re just too stupid to understand your native language. Nowhere in my response did I say anything about the board not having time to discuss it. Of course they could have taken the time to discuss it, but you wouldn’t expect them to do so at the meeting at which they were sworn in, which had no policymaking questions on the agenda at all. The reasons should be obvious to anyone who has ever served on such a board.

I bet if you compared the minutes of that meeting with the minutes of any meeting at which a new school board is sworn in, you would find that they are very similar. The first meeting deals solely with those administrative tasks that set the groundwork for future policy decisions – swearing in everyone, electing your officers, ratifying hirings and appointments to new positions, getting reports from administrators on the state of the school system, set the meeting schedule for the next year, and so forth.

They also set a time for public comment, as would be expected for a new board, to invite their constituents to give them their perspective on what the board’s priorities should be and what they want to see done. Again, if you look at the minutes of the meeting, you’ll see that there were no policy questions considered at all, only technical votes (the kind that always go 8-0 because they’re just procedural stuff). And I bet if you looked at minutes of other such meetings, you’ll find the same thing. It would be highly unusual for the board to take up a policy or curriculum issue at their very first meeting.

Dave’s position is that the new board “campaigned on the issue of rescinding the ID policy” and therefore should have voted it out the moment they took power. But that’s false both in premise and conclusion. The new board members did not campaign on the issue of rescinding the policy, but on the issue of opposing the policy. They ran against the old board’s decision to put the policy in place because it was irresponsible to get the district into a lawsuit when their own legal counsel told them that they would get sued and that they would lose. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the moment they take power they will rescind that policy because rescinding the policy would have no effect on the lawsuit and wouldn’t actually change anything. Even the vote at the January meeting was purely symbolic, it changed absolutely nothing. Even if they had voted not to rescind the policy, it could not be enforced.

Dave and everyone else on the other side of this issue is still pretending, absolutely falsely, that a vote to rescind the policy at the Dec. 5th meeting would have actually changed the outcome of the case. That is pure nonsense and not one of them has had anything approaching a substantive response to all of the legal analysis and case law that we’ve produced to debunk that false claim. Which means their argument collapses down to the accusation that since the school board didn’t immediately take a purely symbolic vote on the issue in the first hour they were in office, something nefarious is afoot. You’d think they would be embarrassed to be defaming people on such a flimsy premise, but they seem to be impervious to such embarrassment. And you’ve gotta love Dave’s concluding sentence:

Keep trying Ed. When you get to the point where you agree with Manzari and Cooper your lameness will be cured.

For crying out loud, how many false claims have to be pointed out in their article before it’s no longer required that someone agree with them? They were wrong about practically everything in the article, but someone still has to agree with them or they’re “lame”? I’ll take rank stupidity for $1000, Alex.


  1. #1 steve s
    April 6, 2006

    I’m totally cool with Davetard being in charge of Dembski’s site. If you have to have enemies, it’s pretty sweet when they’re retarded.

  2. #2 Kipli
    April 6, 2006

    Ed, give it up. It’s clear from his responses (and many other examples) that DaveScot is not really interested in engaging in substantive discussion about this or other issues.

    At some point, one has to ask: who is crazier, the crazy person or the one who argues with him?

  3. #3 blogista
    April 6, 2006


    ID obfuscation and strawman potshots always need to be debunked. Positions of pure ignorance always need to be fisked. And hell, it’s fun.

    I have to agree with steve s:

    It’s nice of davescot, Discovery Institute, Dembski, Behe, et al, to so clearly and colorfully display their creationist wingnut positions on a daily basis. Give ’em enough rope, I always say.

  4. #4 Ed Brayton
    April 6, 2006

    Kipli wrote:

    Ed, give it up. It’s clear from his responses (and many other examples) that DaveScot is not really interested in engaging in substantive discussion about this or other issues.

    I agree with that, but I don’t do it to change his mind. I do it only to debunk claims for the benefit of others who may read them and give them credence without seeing why they’re false.

  5. #5 Frito
    April 6, 2006

    You should send DS a book on parlimentary procedure…

  6. #6 BigDumbChimp
    April 6, 2006

    I love how the ID’ers have taken their trouncing in Dover and have completely turned the subject away from the fact that they got their asses handed to them and instead and trying to make this into some non-issue about some perceived (yet false)idea that the school board was in cahoots with the aclu to get fees.

    Lets get back to the fact that their underlying base of promoting ID was crushed and they just can’t handle the fact that they were shown to be the dishonest group that they are. This trumped up charge is purely some sophmoric rouse to save face.

  7. #7 plunge
    April 6, 2006

    Dave Scot really is an embarrasment for Dembski. Can you imagine if some major blogger took a leave of abscence and promoted someone whose major qualification was being a troll on OTHER people’s blogs?

  8. #8 Wesley R. Elsberry
    April 6, 2006

    One of the elements of the Kitzmiller case developed in testimony during the trial was that the Dover school board had violated their own procedural rules in revising, considering, and adopting the “intelligent design” policy on a schedule that did not permit the usual periods of public comment.

    From Bill Buckingham’s cross-examination:

    [451]Q. Now, the biology curriculum change was voted on at the board meeting on October the 18th. That’s true, isn’t it?

    [452]A. I’m not sure about the date again.

    [453]Q. Well, Matt, could you pull up what’s been marked as P-88? Mr. Buckingham, if you’d look at what’s been marked in your book as P-88, that’s the minutes of the October 18th board meeting?

    [454]A. I’m there.

    [455]Q. And if you go to what has the Bates numbers and 158, 159, and 160, you’ll see there’s all the voting — I’m sorry, it begins on page 158, the voting on the curriculum change.

    [456]A. Yes.

    [457]Q. Does that help to refresh your recollection?

    [458]A. Yes, it does.

    [459]Q. It was in fact October 18th that you voted on that?

    [460]A. Yes.

    [461]Q. Now, the standard practice for the Dover area school district board of directors was to have two meetings a month, isn’t that true?

    [462]A. That’s true.

    [463]Q. Would you agree with me that it was the standard practice that the first meeting be a planning meeting and the second meeting to be an action meeting?

    [464]A. That usually was what took place, yes.

    [465]Q. Now, but the proposed change to the curriculum was not on the planning meeting agenda for the October 4th meeting that preceded this October 18th meeting, was it?

    [466]A. No, it was not.

    [467]Q. So you deviated from the standard practice in the manner in which the curriculum change came up for approval or consideration at the October 18th board meeting, true?

    [468]A. Yes, we did.

    So, the David Springer version of reality insists that the new school board act with the same reckless disregard for procedure as the old school board did. I think that we have, at long last, found a point on which ID advocates are consistent: all school boards must act improperly at all times.

  9. #9 Wesley R. Elsberry
    April 6, 2006

    Springer is probably jealous of Francisco and figures he has almost a whole month to try to convince you that the April Robert O’Brien Award should be given to him instead.

  10. #10 Rich
    April 6, 2006

    Hi, Pop-Pickers!! Let’s see what’s hot and what’s not in the hip and happenin’ world of ID:


    Eric Pianka—————————–Dover
    Puff of Smoke————————-Methodological Naturalism
    Public Opinion————————Scientific Fact
    Quote Mining————————–Fact Finding

    And our conundrum of the day is:

    “If the ‘designer’ is both irreducibly complex and exhibits specified complexity, what does that tell us about the nature of the designer?”

    And now a word from our sponsor:

    “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth….”

  11. #11 dheadley
    April 6, 2006

    “Ask yourself what the plaintiffs wanted – voluntary quashing of ID or a precedent setting court order. -ds ”

    So wait, I thought we already established (and Davescot agreed, reluctantly) that no matter what the board did the judge would still rule on the matter. Is this a bait and switch?

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