Pharyngula

It’s long and fairly detailed, but this synopsis by a lawyer will give you the gist.

This lawsuit is gloriously insane. From top to bottom, this is exactly the kind of lawsuit you would expect from the kind of minds who think the world is 6,000 years old.

Comments

  1. #1 Saddlebred
    April 22, 2009

    The ICR moved from Cali to Texas? Why does that not surprise me?

  2. #2 Saddlebred
    April 22, 2009

    Move over Carl Baugh!

  3. #3 elv8rdude
    April 22, 2009

    I think it may be time for the federal government to get involved in the issue to prevent idiocracy from taking over. But then again I am biased.

  4. #4 Mark
    April 22, 2009

    Were I Supreme Chancellor of the World, I’d be extremely tempted to bomb the ICR’s facilities when they’ve all packed up and gone home for the night…at least I care about my fellow earthlings.

  5. #5 yoyo
    April 22, 2009

    do you think there’s a time late at night when they put away the crazy? Kind of a “hi mum, I’m home, rough day being a moron.”.

  6. #6 pacoyogi
    April 22, 2009

    I haven’t read a 1983 filing so insane and so badly written since Jones v. Clinton.

    The lawyer who filed this must be a Regent Law graduate, and passed no bar exam above the Mason-Dixon.

  7. #7 Greg F.
    April 22, 2009

    I especially like the part of the analysis which points out that claiming the THECB violated the ICR’s First Amendment right is nonsense. Because that’s exactly what it is. If you can complain and publish without being shut down, your First Amendment rights are still intact.

    This is creationists crying foul that someone dares to disagree with them and trying to make it sound as if they’re being persecuted, the way they always do.

    But my favorite (read: most downright idiotic) part of the complaint has to do with the idea that no one has personally seen the Big Bang, hence you can’t teach evolution in class.

    http://worldofweirdthings.com/2009/04/21/oh-wait-theyre-still-serious/

    Can you say “science fail?” For an entity that wants to issue science degrees, they know amazingly little about science… And by little, I mean nothing.

  8. #8 Eric
    April 22, 2009

    I am not a lawyer, but the argument seems easy to defeat, much like their tired dogma.

  9. #9 PontusReed
    April 22, 2009

    PZ and friend. Check this parody out-

    The Gaythering Storm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w16aTJ808I

  10. #10 wrpd
    April 22, 2009

    I would have thought that the ICR would be represented by Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.

  11. #11 James F
    April 22, 2009

    Shorter ICR: No fair! You’re not letting us redefine science!

    (aside at #9: George Takei!)

  12. #12 Facehammer
    April 22, 2009

    If law was nothing but statements like that, I’d be lawyering right now.

  13. #13 Glen Davidson
    April 22, 2009

    It’s pretty clear that their audience is not the court, but is intended to view the ICR as suffering martyrdom.

    That fact that it’s an inane lawsut will whiz over their heads, of course. Generally, they would not be creationists if they were better thinkers.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  14. #14 Newfie
    April 22, 2009

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIwiPsgRrOs
    Roy Zimmerman’s take on Creation Science, for the non regulars here who haven’t seen it.

  15. #15 thinking
    April 22, 2009

    I say we transport Austin to Cali. and let Texas secede.

    Okay, not really but the fantasy isn’t all bad.

  16. #16 seokso
    April 22, 2009

    “The ICR moved from Cali to Texas? Why does that not surprise me?”

    They’re getting ready for the coming secession.

  17. #17 NewEnglandBob
    April 22, 2009

    This is good. their law suit will be thrown out after it is laughed at by all.

  18. #18 Wes
    April 22, 2009

    With that in mind, the first thing that strikes me about the complaint is the bizarre, blog-like use of bold, italics, underline, large and small caps, different fonts and different font sizes ? all in the first two pages. No sensible litigator would file something that looks like this in federal court

    It seems lawyer-crazy looks a lot like woo-woo-crazy and fundy-crazy.

    I give it 0.2 Time Cubes.

  19. #19 Wowbagger, OM
    April 22, 2009

    Weird; I’d have thought the kind of minds that are capable of the apologetics required to rationalise the bible would be far better suited for arguing law.

    I mean, as theists they are already intimately familiar with tapdancing, question-dodging, sleight-of-hand, three-card-monte, bait-and-switch and downright intellectual dishonesty; surely that would give them the experience they need for the courtroom?

  20. #20 BCReason
    April 22, 2009

    I think the lawsuit is a poorly implemented scare tactic to get the Texas Board to change their mind in the appeal.

    It may also serve as a way to get media attention and DONATIONS! They can now beg for money in their legal fight.

    When the case gets thrown out it will be the fault of all those “liberal activist judges” not that the case was garbage. They then get to keep all the money they didn’t spend on lawyers.

    Either way it’s a win for ICR.

  21. #21 Wes
    April 22, 2009

    Posted by: Wowbagger, OM | April 22, 2009 10:06 PM

    Weird; I’d have thought the kind of minds that are capable of the apologetics required to rationalise the bible would be far better suited for arguing law.

    I mean, as theists they are already intimately familiar with tapdancing, question-dodging, sleight-of-hand, three-card-monte, bait-and-switch and downright intellectual dishonesty; surely that would give them the experience they need for the courtroom?

    I think part of the problem might be that, just as they do cargo-cult science and cargo-cult philosophy, they also do cargo-cult law. They imitate all the external trappings of litigation, thinking that’s all you need, while paying no attention at all to the inner workings of the system.

    There might be a lot of BS that goes on in a courtroom, but law has an intricate system which needs to be carefully understood and studied before one can practice law effectively. Is it any surprise that the idiots who sit around playing “scientist” without having a clue how science works would do the same thing in the courtroom?

  22. #22 Wes
    April 22, 2009

    Posted by: Mark | April 22, 2009 8:56 PM

    Were I Supreme Chancellor of the World, I’d be extremely tempted to bomb the ICR’s facilities when they’ve all packed up and gone home for the night…at least I care about my fellow earthlings.

    Dude, you’re coming dangerously close to advocating for violence in that comment. Please let me be the first to say that it is never acceptable to bomb someone merely because you disagree with them. Even if you bomb them “when they’ve all packed up and gone home”, it’s still arson, and it’s still wrong.

  23. #23 Jadehawk
    April 22, 2009

    Huh. “Cargo-cult law” seems pretty accurate. Would love to see what would happen if this actually went to court, hehe.

    Though, insanity of this particular drivel aside, I’m still not certain that accreditation in the U.S. is safe from woo :-(.

    and as an OT aside… that giant Photo Synthesis ant in the right column is giving me the willies

  24. #24 Waydude
    April 22, 2009

    Hey PZ! I’m a pilot that works out of SLC, do you need me to come take you for a Libation? We can drink even more in Utah now that they made some weird changes to our liquor laws lately…

  25. #25 PZ Myers
    April 22, 2009

    I’m good, thanks…although they did just announce that my flight to Medford is indefinitely delayed. It’s going to be a very late night, I’m afraid.

  26. #26 Waydude
    April 22, 2009

    ah, if you are going to Medford, then you are traveling on one of our fabulous and comfortable regional jets flown by yours truly, well not me tonight, but skywest airlines.

    If you get bored, I recommend Squatters brewpub down in the C concourse.

    btw, Medford is fun to fly into, we have to pass over a mountain at 9000 then get to chop and drop into the valley. Beautiful place.

    Good flight!

  27. #27 Newfie
    April 22, 2009

    It’s going to be a very late night, I’m afraid.

    some stupid to bide your time, maybe?

  28. #28 David Utidjian
    April 22, 2009

    @19
    IANAL but I have been in courtrooms a number of times for various reasons. My impression is that the people that run the courts (judges, clerks, bailiffs etc…) take their jobs pretty seriously and are quite professional. Attorneys are a mixed bag. I have several times seen a judge chide and even berate an attorney for not, for want of a more descriptive term, having-their-shit-together. It has been my observation that judges have little patience for un-professional or sloppy work by attorneys. I think the only hope for the ICR attorney is to apply a very thick layer of sunblock to the ears.

    -DU-

  29. #29 ndt
    April 23, 2009

    Posted by: Jadehawk Author Profile Page | April 22, 2009 10:46 PM

    Huh. “Cargo-cult law” seems pretty accurate. Would love to see what would happen if this actually went to court, hehe.

    Though, insanity of this particular drivel aside, I’m still not certain that accreditation in the U.S. is safe from woo :-(.

    For example, Liberty University is accredited.

    #20 had it right. This is about publicity and fund-raising.

  30. #30 MadScientist
    April 23, 2009

    I suffer from hyperacidity trying to read through the ICR’s blatant crap, but the short story is:

    “We want the courts to compel a state regulatory agency to grant us an unearned priviledge because we believe, without substance, that the regulatory agency violated our first amendment rights.”

    It’s a bit like telling a judge: that medical school across the road told me I was a moron, which violated my basic human rights, so I want you to tell them to make me the chief of surgery.

    I will be extremely disappointed if the petition is not rejected outright and if taxpayers’ money is actually wasted in court on this.

  31. #31 Leigh Williams
    April 23, 2009

    New term I learned today: cargo-cult science (law, medicine, etc). That is such an elegantly succinct way of describing the whole bundle of crazy shit we face from these people — the magical thinking, the way they use “sciency” terminology, their muddled thought processes, their paranoia — well, we could go on and on. “Cargo cult” sums it all up in just two words.

    The only problem with it is that, due to their overwhelming and determined ignorance, our opponents can’t themselves appreciate how comprehensively they’ve been dissed. Alas, they haven’t studied anthropology, so they don’t know what a cargo cult is.

  32. #32 SEF
    April 23, 2009

    This is about publicity and fund-raising.

    So they’re relying on their sheeple not to be able to comprehend that they’re presenting a rubbish case (a safe bet!) and to send them lots of money to (pretend to) fight it. Thus netting the organisers additional funds for themselves because they’re not really going to the trouble of hiring anyone competent.

  33. #33 Ranson
    April 23, 2009

    Is it wrong of me to hope for another Billy Madison ruling?

  34. #34 zer0
    April 23, 2009

    I especially loved the final bit when he compares the actions of these creationist lawyers to that of all YECs that seem to have no problem purporting themselves experts in other fields.

  35. #35 Wes
    April 23, 2009

    Leigh,
    If I remember correctly, the term “cargo-cult science” was originally coined by Richard Feynman. And, yeah, it’s a perfect description of what creationists do. They imitate all the superficial appearance of science, but are completely ignorant of the inner workings.

  36. #36 Mu
    April 23, 2009

    This lawsuit doesn’t need a motion to dismiss, it needs a red pen, and a big circled “F – see me after class”.

  37. #37 BABH
    April 23, 2009

    @20, @29, @32. Absolutely.

    The analysis makes a basic assumption that this brief was written in order to actually win its case. In fact, it was more likely written to be included with fundraising letters. This is why it reads like a direct mailer (including weird attention-grabbing fonts, caps, italics, etc.) and why it has legal arguments on the first page (which is as far as most donors will read – they need to be reassured that there?s a real case here, relying on real law).

    They know they can?t possibly win. The brief is a snow job to con supporters out of cash.

  38. #38 Andrew @ EC
    April 23, 2009

    I wrote the initial post to which PZ graciously linked. In terms of speculation as to the ICR’s motives — just today, the ICR has a new blog post up that sheds some light on the subject. I’ve analyzed that press release in a follow-up post. The madness continues!

  39. #39 'Tis Himself
    April 23, 2009

    Thank you, Andrew, for your analysis of the ICR’s legal complaint.

    I’m reminded of the famous quote from Mr. Bugs Bunny: “What a maroon!”

  40. #40 Petzl
    April 23, 2009

    This is a fantastic summary. I wanted to wade through
    the lawsuit but the level of crazy was giving me a head
    ache. By the way, what is it with the people who use
    italics, underline, and capitals ALL AT ONCE ?!

  41. #41 Shubee
    May 10, 2009

    I live in the Dallas area and would like to see the ICR demonstrate their inability to distinguish between faith and science in court. How do I find out when and where this trial will be? I?d also like to find out if a blogger can bring a video camera into the courtroom. I assume that I have to petition the court for that. What?s the procedure for making such a request?