Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Luskin Goes Conspiratorial?

Casey Luskin has posted a “dream interview” with Judge Jones, all the questions he’d like to ask him. Included in that list is this one:

When will you be releasing pre-publication, unpublished drafts of your decision so we can decide who really wrote your published decision?

Wow. I didn’t know there was any mystery about who “really wrote” his decision. One would assume it was written by Judge Jones and his clerk(s) in some configuration, the way every other court ruling is written. If Luskin is implying, as he clearly is, that Jones let someone else write the ruling (like me, perhaps, or someone on our side of the case?), that’s one hell of an accusation to make. Of course, he doesn’t actually make such an accusation, he merely implies it. He seems to have mastered the art of smearing someone while maintaining plausible deniability.

The other possibility is that he’s making an analogy to the plaintiffs using the unpublished drafts of Pandas during the trial, but if so that would be a horrible analogy. The use of those drafts had nothing to do with who “really wrote” the book; everyone knew who had written the book already. The use of those drafts was to show how “creation science” was replaced by “intelligent design” in the book without any change in definition. I’m giving Casey the benefit of the doubt that he’s bright enough not to make such a ridiculous analogy. But that leaves that nasty little implied smear above.

Young Luskin is learning the smear game very quickly. Clearly, the force is strong with him.


  1. #1 sdanielmorgan
    May 4, 2006

    I love the display of complete idiocy in question 6:
    “Given all of the explicitly religious motives among supporters of civil rights in this country, are modern civil rights laws therefore unconstitutional?”

    Well, let’s see, Luskin, doesn’t the Constitution weigh in on civil rights in the 13th and 14th Amendments [and elsewhere]? Can we say non sequitur in this comparison, using Lemon?

    Compare applying the 1st Amendment in the Dover case, with respect to “legitimate secular purpose”, “primary effect”, and “entanglement”, versus inferring irrelevant motives on the parts of those people advancing clearly secular purposes [civil rights] outlined in the Constitution itself, effects which are completely secular in establishing equality, and which do not entangle religion and government in any way?

    Isn’t Luskin supposed to be some kind of a lawyer? I guess this tells us why he didn’t go into practice.

  2. #2 Chance
    May 4, 2006

    Also did not anthony Flew recant his pro-ID stance. I have read the interview that said he did as he felt he was not up to date with new advances in science.

    But yet I see this now and again in posts like this one.

  3. #3 skipevans
    May 4, 2006

    Here some of the questions I would ask Luskin in my “dream interview.”

    1. Casey, when do you anticipate being fully potty trained?

    2. Do you think some day you will have your own bedroom, or are you happy to continue sleeping in Stephen Meyer’s sock drawer?

    3. If Jesus came back today, do you think even being the son of God would give him the strength to prevent him referring to you as “the DI’s sniveling little weasel turd?”

    4. Have you ever dressed in spandex and leather and been spanked by Bruce Chapman?

    I think Casey’s honest answers to those and other questions would be most revealing.

  4. #4 Tim Makinson
    May 4, 2006

    Further questions for Casey:

    1) Do you know the difference between a cartridge and a magazine? Further, do you think it’s a good idea to try and use analogies from an area where you can’t even get the terminology straight?

    2) How many peer-reviewed papers were there prior to 1869 on any topic whatsoever?

  5. #5 Ed Darrell
    May 4, 2006

    Peer review prior to 1869? Well, there was a crude peer review process. Darwin and Wallace, for example, presented their paper to a scientific society in July 1858, seeking comments and corrections.

    In short, there were more peer-reviewed papers supporting evolution prior to 1869 (in about a decade) than there are peer-reviewed papers supporting ID since 1869. How can Luskin explain that Darwin and Wallace were more productive in the decade prior to 1869 than all of ID-dom has been in the 137 years since?

  6. #6 Michael Hopkins
    May 4, 2006

    10) How many peer-reviewed papers were there prior to 1869 supporting evolution by natural selection?

    I thought this was 2006. The content of science courses should be determined by the status of the field now and not 137 years ago. Of course how many does design have? Given that design is far older idea than natural selection it should have had a nice head start…

    9) Some people say evolution is in conflict with belief in a “supreme being.” Do you think they are wrong?

    That is their opinion. And it is not for a judge to state one way or another whether or not one should believe in God. A judge can however note the reality that the claim that one must deny God to accept evolution does not agree with the reality of million who believe in both including many theologians, clergy, and scientists. Indeed any proposed conflicts between God and evolution must propose characterisics of God to justify the conflict. Belief in any proposed characteristics of God is a religious belief. Indeed the correctness of the Judge Jones’ decision does not depend on whether or not one believes God or not or whether any particular view of God really is compatable with evolution or not.

    7) Given all of the statements made by leading proponents of evolution saying that evolution conflicts with Christianity and / or implies atheism, does your ruling threaten the teaching of evolution?

    The religious and philosophic conclusions that some people choose to derive from scientific conclusions does not make the scientific conclusions any less scientific or make scientific conclusions religious. Dawkins took science and made an unscientific conclusion (which may or may not be true) from it. ID is nothing more than taking a religous conclusion and trying to twist the evidence to support it as an attempt to put a religious conclusion into the science class rooms. That being said, one can be certain that if schools wanted to teach that evolution disproves God that Judge Jones would rule against that as well.

    6) Given all of the explicitly religious motives among supporters of civil rights in this country, are modern civil rights laws therefore unconstitutional?

    Has Luskin actually read what Jones wrote? Jones did not rule that merely having religious motivations is enough to rule against ID. Neither the “Lemon” or “Endorsement” tests do either. Teaching evolutionary biology has a secular purpose that is not a sham. ID can’t say the same.

    Option A: An old Ford Pinto that still runs reliably but only has a top speed of 50 mph and takes 3 minutes to warm up before it can be put in drive.
    Option B:: A brand new Mazda RX-8 with a rotary engine, a top speed of 150 mph, 0 to 60 in less than 6 seconds, and zero warm-up time. Unfortunately its rotary engine is missing its fan belt so it won’t run right now–but that’s OK because since the fan belt on the RX-8 can also be used as a steering-wheel grip, this means that under your definition, its engine would not be irreducibly complex.

    Assuming the Pinto is not considered a classic, I will take B and buy a new belt. Besides this example shows that Luskin does not understand what was said about IC during the trial or that he is intentionally trying to deceive. His next gun example makes me think that deception is the more likely possibility.

    1) If you had not ruled that ID is unconstitutional, do you think your picture would be on the cover of Time Magazine this week?

    Who cares? And besides, judges do not rule on the basis of trying to get on magazine covers.

  7. #7 steve s
    May 4, 2006

    Their butts are getting kicked over and over while they imagine scenarios in which they win, the Vise strategy, Darwin on Trial, this Luskin thing. It’s really pathetic and sad.

  8. #8 tacitus
    May 4, 2006

    Does anyone have a problem with Luskin implying that the current state of Intelligent Design research is 137 years behind that of evolution’s?

    I didn’t think so…


  9. #9 myheadexploded
    May 4, 2006

    137 years, and the clock hasn’t been started, yet, on ID research.

  10. #10 KeithB
    May 4, 2006

    “Peer review prior to 1869? Well, there was a crude peer review process. Darwin and Wallace, for example, presented their paper to a scientific society in July 1858, seeking comments and corrections.”

    This raises an interesting article. “Submit” Darwin and Wallace’s original paper for peer review and see how it fares. Given Darwin’s almost anal attention to detail and evidence, I imagine it would sail through.

    As an interesting counter point, subject Meyer’s review paper to a *real* peer review and see how it fares.

  11. #11 J O'Donnell
    May 4, 2006

    Luskin is an idiot and I think he’s going out of his way to prove that is the case. I’m not even sure these questions, some of which demonstrate the man is deeply ignorant deserve either answers or attention.

  12. #12 dogmeatIB
    May 4, 2006

    Well it’s “obvious” that Judge Jones didn’t write the opinion. He couldn’t have, he’s a Bush appointee, one of the “good guys.” Perhaps Luskin is hoping that the judge will answer…

    “Well those evil Darwinists kidnapped my wife and kids… THEY MADE ME DO THIS!!!”

    [rolls eyes]

  13. #13 Jim Anderson
    May 4, 2006

    “Also did not Antony Flew recant his pro-ID stance?”

    Actually, he followed the evidence where it led.

  14. #14 Dave M.
    May 5, 2006

    skipevans, I double dare you to send Luskin those questions. Speaking of potty training, I just about pissed myself laughing at #3. (I’d have to say yes, though; I mean he’s the Son of God.)

  15. #15 Goethechosemercy
    May 5, 2006

    I’ve got to ask– is this the same Luskin as the one representing Karl Rove? He certainly is using rovian tactics.

  16. #16 Ed Brayton
    May 5, 2006

    No, not the same Luskin.

  17. #17 windy
    May 5, 2006

    Casey’s gun example:

    Option A: An authentic American Revolution musket built in 1776 that actually still works fine but can only be fired once every minute. This simple gun is already loaded with one round, but it has no site for aiming nor does it have a cartridge to hold extra musket-balls for rapid-fire. Keep in mind there are two burglars, each with a loaded gun.
    Option B: A brand new top-of-the-line new Glock with a laser site and a cartridge that can hold up to 17 rounds for semi-automatic fire. Unfortunately you lost the clip and there are no bullets around for the gun–but that shouldn’t matter because under your ruling, if a different system can still function though it lacks 2 parts normally found in the more complicated system, then the more complicated system is not irreducibly complex.

    The bulletless Glock can’t “still function”, you moron!

  18. #18 Cody Cobb
    May 6, 2006

    The benefit of the doubt seems misplaced:

    **[Note added 5/5/06: Apparently this question has caused some controversy so I want to clarify: This post was a parody. My intent is not to imply that Judge Jones plagiarized, nor do I think he did. The point was that the arguments in his decision so-closely resembled those of the plaintiffs so much that it seems like he uncritically accepted anything they said-even patently, demonstrably false statements akin to “ID has published no peer-reviewed literature”-a claim which he made over 5 times in the decision, and is easily refuted by the existence of various papers. If the plaintiffs said it, then it went uncritically into the decision. The “pre-publication” drafts part was simply a take off of all the big deal made about pre-publication drafts of Pandas during the trial. Of course I do not think Judge Jones plagiarized. I’m sure he wrote his own decision. But it’s clear where he took his arguments from.]

    No comment.

  19. #19 Dave S.
    May 6, 2006


    Maybe Casey should have a word with Behe then since Behe must have forgotten to mention all that great research. Perhaps they could have a ‘dream direct examination’ and a ‘dream cross-examination’ wherein the attorney at cross is flummuxed by their rock-solid logic and facts; and then Casey could have a ‘dream judge’ making his ‘dream decision’. I’ll bet ID comes off pretty good then!

    In his dreams.

    From the Kitzmiller decision:

    A final indicator of how ID has failed to demonstrate scientific warrant is the complete absence of peer-reviewed publications supporting the theory.

    On cross-examination, Professor Behe admitted that: “There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred.” (22:22-23 (Behe)). Additionally, Professor Behe conceded that there are no peer-reviewed papers supporting his claims that complex molecular systems, like the bacterial flagellum, the blood-clotting cascade, and the immune system, were intelligently designed. (21:61-62 (complex molecular systems), 23:4-5 (immune system), and 22:124-25 (blood-clotting cascade) (Behe)). In that regard, there are no peer-reviewed articles supporting Professor Behe’s argument that certain complex molecular structures are “irreducibly complex.”17 (21:62, 22:124-25 (Behe)). In addition to failing to produce papers in peer-reviewed journals, ID also features no scientific research or testing.

    Taking poorly aimed pot-shots at one theory is not supporting yours.

    Reminds me of how chess players after they get destroyed go over the game afterwards and confidently assert how they would have won – if only they’d done this move or that instead, or if only they hadn’t been sick the day before or the light wasn’t so bright or the playing hall so chilly.

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