Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Why School Boards and Teachers Should Make Decisions Based On Edwards v. Aguillard, and Ignore Kitzmiller

For this post, I thought of using the title "How to Copy and Paste Your Way to Fame and Glory," but decided that that missed the more important point.

A delightful article is now available entitled: A Comparison of Judge Jones’ Opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover with Plaintiffs’ Proposed “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law” by John G. West and David K. DeWolf. This article notes:
90.9% (or 5,458 words) of Judge Jones’ 6,004-word section on intelligent design as science was taken verbatim or virtually verbatim from the proposed “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law” submitted to Judge Jones by ACLU attorneys nearly a month before his ruling.

The judge even incorporated clear factual errors from the plaintiffs' proposed Findings. Keep in mind that the first drafts of his opinion were almost certainly drafted by his law clerks. This and other comments Judge Jones has made since the trial indicate that he may not have really understood the issues involved at trial.

A previous post of mine discussed other things that he clearly did not understand and his use of stereotyping and misrepresentation. Without knowing about the heavy borrowing from the Plaintiffs' documents, I noted:
Jones' opinion, however, reads like a narrow-minded work of advocacy, not an expression of thoughtful judgment reflecting an understanding of all the parties. One prominent Darwin Only blogger noted that the opinion could not have been better if he had written it himself. Hmmmm.

This is just one more reason that school boards should not follow the decision of one solitary district court judge in rural Pennsylvania. The fact remains that the controlling law in the area of teaching about evolution in the public schools is the Supreme Court case Edwards v. Agulllard. The court held that teaching "creation science," as formulated in that case, is unconstitutional. However, it also noted the following:
We do not imply that a legislature could never require that scientific critiques of prevailing scientific theories be taught. . . . In a similar way, teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to schoolchildren might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction. (citations omitted)

It follows also that individual teachers can clearly teach the scientific problems with macroevolutionary theory.


37 Comments:

At December 14, 2006 2:13 AM, Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Yeah, maybe instead of the "Dover trap" we should have the "Edwards trap," which really isn't much of a trap. LOL

 
At December 14, 2006 7:53 AM, Blogger Boo said...

Wow, you mean he took the findings of fact from each side, applied his legal reasoning, found for one side, and incorporated it into his opinion? Geez, it's almost like he thought he was a judge trying a case or something.

The whole reason people submit proposed findings of fact is for the judge to use them in his ruling. It's standard procedure. Furthermore, just because there are things in the decision you disagree with doesn't make them in error.

 
At December 14, 2006 3:14 PM, Anonymous John said...

Furthermore, just because there are things in the decision you disagree with doesn't make them in error.

No, what makes them in error is that they are erroneous.

-----------------------------------
Jones claimed that biochemist Michael Behe, when asked about articles purporting to explain the evolution of the immune system, responded that the articles were "not 'good enough.'" Behe actually said the exact opposite: "it's not that they aren't good enough. It's simply that they are addressed to a different subject."
-----------------------------------


-----------------------------------
Again copying from the ACLU, Jones insisted that "ID is not supported by any peer-reviewed… publications." But, in fact, the court record contained evidence of several such publications.
-----------------------------------


In his laziness (a trait which, of course, is apparently perfectly acceptable in legal circles), he completely ignored things said and presented in his own courtroom.

It reminds me of the mindset of my oldest son's classmates when they copy stuff verbatim from Wikipedia to turn in for an assignment. Except in this case the copier affects the very fabric of society instead of just his own semester grade average.

 
At December 14, 2006 4:27 PM, Blogger Boo said...

Again copying from the ACLU, Jones insisted that "ID is not supported by any peer-reviewed… publications." But, in fact, the court record contained evidence of several such publications.

Actually, no it didn't. There are no peer reviewed papers supporting ID. None. Nada. Zip. Some people affiliated with the ID movement have managed to publish papers criticizing some aspects of evolutionary theory, but trying to find fault with evolutionary theory does not equal providing evidence of intelligent design. Behe even admitted this at the trial:

Q. And, in fact, 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, is that correct?

A. That is correct, yes.

And therein, of course, lies the real dilemma for IDists. What if they won? What if methodological naturalism was overturned? What would they actually do? They don't ever do any science.

Jones claimed that biochemist Michael Behe, when asked about articles purporting to explain the evolution of the immune system, responded that the articles were "not 'good enough.'" Behe actually said the exact opposite: "it's not that they aren't good enough. It's simply that they are addressed to a different subject."

This in response to being presented with a stack of 58 papers and ten textbooks all addressing the evolution of the immune system, and he later acknowledged he had not read them all. (so there's no way he could have known if they were all addressed to a different subject) Despite his protestations, it is a perfectly accurate summation of his position that they weren't good enough. He made a claim, the judge didn't find it credible. If the ruling has that phrase in quotes instead of as a paraphrase, that's a mistake, but if the only mistake in a 137 page ruling concerning highly technical issues is the use of quotation marks on a paraphrase, then there's really nothing to complain about here. It doesn't change the substance of the ruling one iota. The DI sent in their best expert, he took his best shot, and he shot himself in the foot.

 
At December 14, 2006 7:02 PM, Anonymous Jim Sherwood said...

A Pennsylvania judge cried "Fate
Has made me the boss of this State!
I'll just copy the words
Of these Darwinist birds
And soon they'll be calling me great!"

 
At December 14, 2006 8:02 PM, Blogger Boo said...

Well yes, Sherwood, because you see a judge isn't allowed to introduce his own facts into the trial. That's called violating due process. See, both sides present their case, and the judge has to decide, or *judge*, between them. That's why they call him a judge. Cause he judges. He can only pick one side or the other.

 
At December 14, 2006 10:08 PM, Anonymous John said...

boo wrote:

Actually, no it didn't. There are no peer reviewed papers supporting ID. None. Nada. Zip. Some people affiliated with the ID movement have managed to publish papers criticizing some aspects of evolutionary theory, but trying to find fault with evolutionary theory does not equal providing evidence of intelligent design.

I have a sneaking suspicion that your criteria for "evidence of intelligent design" is going to be too stringent to allow anything other than a tautology.

"There is no evidence of ID. If you have empirical evidence, then it's not supernatural and therefore it's not evidence of ID. If you don't have empirical evidence, then of course there is no evidence of ID."

Tautologies are the stock and trade of fundamentalist Darwinism.


Behe even admitted this at the trial:

Q. And, in fact, 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, is that correct?

A. That is correct, yes.


That is a question with a LOT of conditions, which is in direct conflict with the ACLU's... er... I mean, Jones' conclusion:

------------------------------------
ID is not supported by any peer-reviewed research, data or publications.
------------------------------------

That's like coming to the conclusion that, for example, the defendant has never seen a car in his lifetime after he answers "No" to being asked, "Did you see a red Toyota Camry on June 23rd?"

This means Jones simply ignored Scott Minnich testifying that there had been between seven and ten peer-reviewed papers supporting ID and instead did what any "outstanding thinker" would do: cut and paste a "masterpiece of wit, scholarship, and clear thinking" from the ACLU.

Erroneous is still erroneous. Sorry.

 
At December 15, 2006 8:00 AM, Blogger Boo said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that your criteria for "evidence of intelligent design" is going to be too stringent to allow anything other than a tautology.

As a non-scientist, I'm not sure how one could go about testing for intelligent design, but since the IDists have proposed it, it's their problem, not mine. And therein lies the dilemma: instead of just talking about doing it all the time, they have to actually, you know, go out and do it. Sooner or later the DI should actually produce all this double-secret-probation "research" they keep claiming is just around the corner.

This means Jones simply ignored Scott Minnich testifying that there had been between seven and ten peer-reviewed papers supporting ID and instead did what any "outstanding thinker" would do: cut and paste a "masterpiece of wit, scholarship, and clear thinking" from the ACLU.

And if he said it, it must be true. Which is why anyone who pleads not guilty at a trial is automatically let off. Did you happen to catch the point in the trial transcript right after Minnich made that claim, where opposing counsel fired off several of those papers at him and pointed out that they don't even mention intelligent design? Again, there are papers published by people affiliated with ID which claim known evolutionary mechanisms are inadequate to explain certain biological systems. However, criticizing evolution does not equate to providing support to ID, unless you water the definition of "support" down so as to be meaningless, in the sense that criticizing Scientology would "support" Sikhism.

If you know of any peer reviewed publication that provides support for ID that does not come in the form of simply claiming that known evolutionary mechanisms are not adequate to explain some biological system or systems, please direct me to them. (and note that even the claims of inadequacy of evolutionary mechanisms have a strong history of getting shot down- e.g. there are no partially evolved eyes. Whoops, yes there are. Well, there are no Precambrian transitional forms. Whoops, yes there are. Well, irreducibly complex structures can't evolve. Whoops, one just did.)

 
At December 15, 2006 6:59 PM, Anonymous Jim Sherwood said...

"Known evolutionary mechanisms" are not "known" to have produced the major features of any species. That is mere pseudoscientific speculation.

Apparently "natural selection" does produce minor variations in existing species: new varieties, etc.

But that view was first published in 1794 by the great scientist James Hutton: who didn't use the phrase "natural selection," but described the process.

"Huttonism," which probably accounts for minor changes in flu viruses, in finch beaks, in bacterial resistance to drugs, etc., has nothing to do with Darwinism: which is the sweeping and arbitrary dogma that all species must somehow have evolved by natural selection and other perfectly blind processes. Darwinism in inherently untestable and unprovable.

The problem for Darwinists is that pretty great scientists heve increasingly rejected their arbitrary and highly improbable fantasies.

Fred Hoyle, for instsnce, concluded that the complexity of life requires some role for an intelligence in the appearance of all species. Hoyle analyzed and attacked the Darwin-dogma for a quarter-century, beginning in the 1970's.

The increasing collapse of Darwinism as a credible system, in the minds of those who are not addicted to it, is not due to any religious plot, etc. Hoyle was always much inclined to materialism and atheism, for instance: accordingly he supposed that the intelligence involved must have appeared by physical laws.

But others might equally prefer to believe that such an intelligence is spritual, supernatural, or whatever. Hence most materialists are frightened by the evidence of intelligent design.

Let's note that evidence of intelligent involvement does not exclude descent of new species from old, or even from a common ancestor. Nor can it exclude a minor or more important role for blind processes, in any such "evolution."

But arbitrary materialistic dogmas are losing influence. That's the way it goes.

 
At December 15, 2006 7:25 PM, Anonymous Jim Sherwood said...

An old Darwinist cried "Just ignore
That guy Behe, I've told you before!
For ignorance is bliss
So the judge did dismiss
All un-Darwin views, on that score!"

 
At December 15, 2006 11:26 PM, Blogger Boo said...

Fred Hoyle, for instsnce, concluded that the complexity of life requires some role for an intelligence in the appearance of all species. Hoyle analyzed and attacked the Darwin-dogma for a quarter-century, beginning in the 1970's.

How nice for Fred Hoyle. One of my clients has concluded that her neighbors are sneaking into her apartment every night to loosen the sheets on her bed. She has attacked the mental-illness-dogma for years, beginning in the 1990s.

Cutsey poems aside, Behe claims that IC systems cannot evolve. The existence of plausible Darwinian pathways means they can, so Behe's claims are disproven. We don't even have to know with 100% certainty which path was taken to disprove Behe, all we have to know is that there are possible pathways. (And I won't even touch the irony of an ID supporter tossing around "ignorance is bliss" to defend Dr. "no, I didn't read them before rejecting them" Behe.)

Instead of just talking all the time about how there's evidence of intelligent design, how come nobody ever actually produces any? Science isn't a popularity contest and it doesn't care what your religious views are. After all this time, ID still has no theory, no testable hypotheses, no predictions, nothing. Stop just saying there's evidence and show some.

And you really need to read the trial transcript. Behe pretty much made the prosecution's case for them.

 
At December 16, 2006 7:05 PM, Anonymous Jim Sherwood said...

Darwinists said "Jones is so bright
That he knows all the science in sight!"
Now:"O.K., it's so;
He just copies, you know,
And knows nothing. But that is his right!"

 
At December 16, 2006 10:49 PM, Anonymous John said...

boo wrote:

As a non-scientist, I'm not sure how one could go about testing for intelligent design, but since the IDists have proposed it, it's their problem, not mine.

Response as predicted. I should start using the phrase "As foretold in prophecy", but I'm too modest really.

By the way, I went to your profile page. LOL! (the "aunt" line is appropriate here; for giggles check out the Pagan entry, too)

Ask me how I know. Come on, ask me.

You should expand your horizons some and click on a few of those side links. Slavishly reading one website that tells you its possible to confidently extrapolate an entire species from one or two teeth is going to ensure you remain a "non-scientist".

And Jim, those rhymes are great, keep 'em coming!

 
At December 16, 2006 10:50 PM, Anonymous John said...

Clarification:
Side links meaning links on this blog, not on the Encyclopedia Dramatica wiki site.

 
At December 17, 2006 11:17 AM, Blogger Boo said...

As a non-scientist, I'm not sure how one could go about testing for intelligent design, but since the IDists have proposed it, it's their problem, not mine.

Response as predicted. I should start using the phrase "As foretold in prophecy", but I'm too modest really.

If IDers are the ones making the claim that they can test for ID, then they're the ones who need to do so. I didn't say I think it's impossible, I have no idea, but they've never done anything to prove it is. Their claim, their responsibility. Of course, testing for "something somehow did something to something at some point somewhere" can't be easy to test, but that's kind of what you're stuck with.

By the way, I went to your profile page. LOL! (the "aunt" line is appropriate here; for giggles check out the Pagan entry, too)

Wouldn't know about that, being a Christian and all.

You should expand your horizons some and click on a few of those side links. Slavishly reading one website that tells you its possible to confidently extrapolate an entire species from one or two teeth is going to ensure you remain a "non-scientist".

Actually, I already have read most of them, and I checked the rest. No theory, no testable hypotheses, no predictions. Lots of criticizing "Darwinism," lots of claims of evidence for ID, but somehow, yet again, this "evidence" never seems to see the light of day. As the Scriptures say, if you've got a light, don't hide it under a bushel, shine it out. Show me the evidence. Any evidence. Provide one link showing scientific evidence for ID that does not consist of criticizing evolution and then assuming ID by default. I value truth much more than being on any "side."

 
At December 17, 2006 5:14 PM, Anonymous John said...

Not believing a word, babe, sorry.

Wrong is still wrong. Jones still cut and pasted. Darwinism is still insufficient, even the neo-evo-devo-modern-retro-synthetic-syncretic-analgesic-johnny-come-lately versions. It's so weak that it needs the ACLU pulling Jones' strings to keep the competition from harming it, no matter how wrong or unscientific the supposed competition is.

Talk to me sweetcheeks. Whisper more lies into my ear. Make me like it.

 
At December 17, 2006 5:52 PM, Blogger Boo said...

Not believing a word, babe, sorry.

You don't believe that IDers claim ID is a testable science? Um... ok.

Wrong is still wrong. Jones still cut and pasted. Darwinism is still insufficient, even the neo-evo-devo-modern-retro-synthetic-syncretic-analgesic-johnny-come-lately versions. It's so weak that it needs the ACLU pulling Jones' strings to keep the competition from harming it, no matter how wrong or unscientific the supposed competition is.

So... ya got nothing, huh? Like I said, specious criticisms of one theory do nothing to establish another. Here's another question for you to run away from, if you're going to keep on the "cut-and-paste" farce: what exactly do you think proposed findings of fact are for? Please, tell me in your own words, or cut and paste from somewhere.

Talk to me sweetcheeks. Whisper more lies into my ear. Make me like it.

Gross, but admittedly marginally less juvenile than Dembski's fart jokes. It's just shocking the scientific establishment doesn't take you guys seriously. I suggest you try crank calls next, I think that's what Einstein did.

 
At December 17, 2006 7:17 PM, Anonymous John said...

I think you have the hots for me.

Why should I spend time cutting and pasting stuff from this blog, Dembski's blog, the Telic Thoughts blog, Berlinski's wonderful essays, ARN, et cetera, ad infinitum? If you can't be convinced by thinking and observing for yourself, then nothing I post will help convince you. That being the case, I'd rather amuse myself by seeing how many times I can get you to reply, preferably in a snit.

So, what's your bra size?

 
At December 17, 2006 7:24 PM, Anonymous John said...

Oh, and I'm not "you guys". It's funny how you spout off on this whole "taking sides" thing and then do it yourself.

You've got no kids but you're free on the weekend. That's not a good sign for your hotness level.

 
At December 17, 2006 8:22 PM, Blogger Boo said...

I think you've finally stumbled onto the winning strategy to gain ID its long-sought scientific respectability. You, Sherwood, and Dembski march into the NAS offices. You talk dirty, while Sherwood makes up limericks and Dembski makes farting noises. Methodological naturalism will never recover from such an onslaught. Seriously, do y'all have like a recent bet going on as to who can act the most like an 11 year old?

 
At December 17, 2006 8:44 PM, Anonymous John said...

Seriously, do y'all have like a recent bet going on as to who can act the most like an 11 year old?

I don't know who "y'all" is since I'm not a scientist, but I'm winning, 'cuz chicks like you just can't resist my charms, they gotsta keep talkin' me up don'tcha know.

I hear chunky girls can be freaks, is that true?

 
At December 17, 2006 10:14 PM, Anonymous John said...

Oh, that was cool, I just verified everything I thought about you when I read your comments in "Puddins". I had deduced you were a lesbian earlier simply from your overly generous affection for nieces, your distant yet palpable desire for children without mentioning any males in your life, the importance of feminism to you, and finally your favorite C.S. Lewis work being a retelling of a relatively obscure Greek story (with dominant female characters, no less) as opposed to his prodigious Christian apologetics.

Throw on the pile a fervent, nay, fanatical devotion to Darwinian evolution, and voila, we have a future pentacle-necklace-and-black-mumu-wearing Dan-Brown-loving Goddess-worshipping placenta-pate'-eating cliche.

 
At December 17, 2006 11:29 PM, Anonymous Lawrence said...

Boo,

I noticed your complaint about how this "debate" went. Do you really think your comments were good civil discourse? Your initial comment was simply sarcasm, and you missed the main point of my post and my previous post to which I linked. I would be delighted to have a good faith debate, but wise cracks is not the way to start them.

As I said earlier, my criticism with Jones' ruling is with his substance and his ignorance. But he is one judge, and he has a right to his opinion. I just do not think it should be treated with much respect by those outside his district.

Lawrence

 
At December 18, 2006 5:07 AM, Blogger Boo said...

I noticed your complaint about how this "debate" went. Do you really think your comments were good civil discourse?

Well, let's see. I criticized the lack of understanding of the legal system, inability to produce evidence, and immature ad hominim debate tactics of many ID supporters. In return I got called fat and ugly. (And yet one more time- judges *have* to use the arguments presented to them. They *cannot* import new evidence into a trial.) As to the "main point" of both posts, I got it fine. It would be perfectly permissible to introduce scientific evidence for ID into a classroom, if there was any. But if ID advocates have any scientific evidence, they've never shown it. One link or example of evidence for ID that does not consist of criticizing evolution and assuming ID by default. That's what I keep asking for, that's what I never get. The way the process normally works is, you make the scientific case for a theory, establish it, THEN bring it into school curricula. For some reason, IDers seem to want to do it backwards.

This does all present a good case study of how to defeat IDers tho. Just keep asking for evidence and eventually one sees a melt down.

 
At December 18, 2006 6:51 AM, Anonymous Lawrence said...

Boo-

For evidence, you should read Behe's book or listen to this debate:

http://darwinianfundamentalism.blogspot.com/2006/05/ward-meyer-debate-on-mp3.html

I think there is lots of evidence there. Your position that there is none tells me that your worldview probably prevents you from acknowledging it. I am not sure what else can be said to convince you that there is evidence.

It comes down to looking at the evidence, and then making a judgment of what is the more plausible explanation. Different people are going to come to different conclusions as to plausibility, which is why scientists disagree on this.

I am not pushing for ID in schools, but I think kids should hear about the problems with macroevolutionary theory and decide for themselves. People like Judge Jones want to ban this kind of information (like the Cambrian fossils) from schools, and I think that is wrong.

Lawrence

 
At December 18, 2006 7:07 AM, Anonymous Lawrence said...

Boo-

One more thing: for a debate with a different tone, take a look here:

http://darwinianfundamentalism.blogspot.com/2006/05/simon-conway-morris-agrees-with-me.html

Perhaps you want to answer my question, which Sean struggled to answer clearly- Is the Cambrian Explosion what macroevolutionary theory would predict?

By the way, when it comes to the Cambrian fossils, Judge Jones is disagreeing with Simon Conway Morris. Contrary to Jones, you do not have to be a Creationist to see the "magnitude of the problem." It is simply bad pedagogy to keep this science a secret from high school students.

 
At December 18, 2006 10:56 AM, Anonymous John said...

Lawrence wrote:
I noticed your [Boo's] complaint about how this "debate" went. Do you really think your comments were good civil discourse? Your initial comment was simply sarcasm, and you missed the main point of my post and my previous post to which I linked. I would be delighted to have a good faith debate, but wise cracks is not the way to start them.

Exactly, Lawrence. She didn't come in here looking for a civil debate, she came here looking to crush mean old patriarchical Christerainianists for blasphemy and heresy against her true religion (not her nominal one).


I think there is lots of evidence there. Your position that there is none tells me that your worldview probably prevents you from acknowledging it. I am not sure what else can be said to convince you that there is evidence.

Bingo, Lawrence, this is the exact sentiment I expressed in my second reply to her. After that, I realized it was going to be an exercise in futility, at which point I took a page out of the Darwinian fundamentalist playbook and ridiculed her religion (the actual one).

Darwinism is a central tenet in her true religion, so there is no amount of evidence that will sway her from it. She's been told by the High Priests of Science (not ordinary scientists studying little "s" science, mind you, but sociopolitical ideologues in lab coats) that she's stupid, ignorant, or insane (or possibly wicked) if she questions any of their dogma. The conditioning here is practically Pavlovian.


Boo wrote:

It would be perfectly permissible to introduce scientific evidence for ID into a classroom, if there was any.

Not according to Jones' decision:

----------------------------------
To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID.
----------------------------------

Evolution, thanks to this sloppy legal wording on Jones' (or the ACLU's, or whomever's) part, is now enshrined and protected much more so than any other scientific theory. Even if an alternate theory that even you considered scientific came along, thanks to Jones, it can't be taught if it "denigrates or disparage(s)" evolution.

 
At December 18, 2006 11:43 AM, Anonymous John said...

Oh, and let me predict the next tautology, Boo:

"If you present an alternate theory that denigrates or disparages Darwinian evolution, then it is unscientific, because Darwinian evolution is the only scientific theory on biological diversity and/or origins.

If you present an alternate theory that does not disparage or denigrate Darwinian evolution, then it is not an alternate theory, because it agrees with and thus is essentially the same as Darwinian evolution.

Therefore, there is no alternate to Darwinian evolution that is scientific."

 
At December 18, 2006 8:52 PM, Blogger Boo said...

AA tells their clients the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. That may or may not adapt to people who keep making the same refuted argument over and over and over.

One more time, since this just doesn't seem to want to get through: the present sum-total of "evidence" for ID consists of claiming currently understood evolutionary mechanisms are inadequate to explain whatever, then simply assuming ID by default. There was nothing in the written link you provided beyond that (the mp3 one I pasted in and it said there was no such page). The Cambrian Explosion is an interesting problem to resolve (although not as much of one as you probably think, check Panda's Thumb for "Meyer's Hopeless Monster" on the side links), and science is working on it. If not enough is known, they look and test for more to be known. Simply assuming intelligent activity must be the answer is a: an argument from incredulity, and b: pointless because there's no known way to test for this claim. I keep pointing out that there is no positive evidence for ID and you keep claiming there is and sending me to read criticisms of evolution. Those are simply not the same thing, no matter how much you and the Discovery Institute might wish they are.

Exactly, Lawrence. She didn't come in here looking for a civil debate, she came here looking to crush mean old patriarchical Christerainianists for blasphemy and heresy against her true religion (not her nominal one).

I have no problem ridiculing silly arguments, or having my arguments ridiculed. I just generally don't think it adds anything to the debate to call someone fat and ugly, or make fart jokes, or recite silly limericks, or trumpet one's complete ignorance of the legal system. Slot the ad hominem fallacy right up there next to the argument from incredulity fallacy. Whether you two look like Comic Book Guy or David Boreanaz, either way it adds or subtracts nothing to your arguments. I just thought it was interesting that so many ID supporters were resorting to childish, ad hominem attacks all of a sudden.

To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID.

This does not prevent science teachers from introducing scientific evidence for ID, should some ever be found. It simply says the school board cannot require teachers to denigrate or disparage evolution.

If you present an alternate theory that denigrates or disparages Darwinian evolution, then it is unscientific, because Darwinian evolution is the only scientific theory on biological diversity and/or origins.

If the "alternate theory" is an assertion based entirely on arguing from incredulity, then it is not scientific. No scientific evidence or even any way to test for evidence=not science. The scientific status of ID has nothing to do with the strength or weakness of evolution. It rests entirely on ID's ability to produce testable claims, or complete and utter lack thereof, as is currently the case.

The problem is you're both stuck in casting this conceptually as a matter of competing worldviews. I see no point in wondering whether it is theoretically possible for ID to ever establish itself as a scientific theory. Until ID can actually make a testable claim, the question is moot. If ID ever does make a testable claim, the question will then be obsolete (assuming of course the test pans out).

You get to teach ID as science in public schools when there is ID science to teach, not before. Criticizing A does not provide evidence for B. The reason methodological naturalism rules the day in science is because no one has ever managed to come up with any other method. If they ever do, great. Till then, we just need to stick with what can actually work. Parse down irreducible complexity, and it's the argument from incredulity. Parse down specified complexity, same thing. Nothing to test means no theory. It really is that simple.

 
At December 18, 2006 11:29 PM, Anonymous John said...

AA tells their clients the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. That may or may not adapt to people who keep making the same refuted argument over and over and over.

Exactly. You keep coming back to post lengthy irrelevant arguments and make insatiable demands. When did you finally realize you were insane for doing so?

I've responded to you, Lawrence has responded to you, and either of us would be insane to try to reason with you any further, because you're not reasonable.


The problem is you're both stuck in casting this conceptually as a matter of competing worldviews.

I can't speak for Lawrence, since he and I don't know anything about each other, but this is not my problem, this is your problem. You don't see your own worldview as a worldview, you see it as The Truth and all others are Lies.

You are a zealot. You are not reasonable. You are, by your own criterium, insane. You've demonstrated it by repeatedly commenting here, and I am exploiting your psychoses for my admittedly sick amusement.


I see no point in wondering whether it is theoretically possible for ID to ever establish itself as a scientific theory. Until ID can actually make a testable claim, the question is moot. If ID ever does make a testable claim, the question will then be obsolete (assuming of course the test pans out).

I don't even care about ID. I only defend it most of the time to make robotic Darwinist zealots foam at the mouth and type long screeds demanding links at which they'll wave their hands.

They could use their stubby little fingers to type "intelligent design testable" into Google, but you see, they're not reasonable.


I just generally don't think it adds anything to the debate to call someone fat and ugly, or make fart jokes, or recite silly limericks, or trumpet one's complete ignorance of the legal system.

On "fat and ugly": Of course it doesn't add anything to the debate. I wasn't debating you; by your definition that would be insane. Instead, I was ridiculing you and your worldview, because you are not reasonable.

And if the mumu fits...

On the legal ignorance: Lawyers have weighed in on this and many of their opinions differ from yours. I am not a lawyer (my wife is, but I wouldn't bother her with this rubbish), so my opinion doesn't count. Even if you are a lawyer, you are not reasonable, so I am inclined not to give your opinion the same weight as your opponents'.


Really, you're making me start to see Darwin's point about women being intellectually inferior to men.

 
At December 19, 2006 10:32 PM, Anonymous Jim Sherwood said...

"I'm Judge Jones, His Ruling Grace,
Who keeps all the 'low' in their place:
If they don't buy each word
From the Darwinist herd
My riding-crop snaps in their face."

 
At December 20, 2006 1:57 PM, Anonymous John said...

In the Descent of Man Darwin said,
That all brown people will soon be dead,
The white man will evolve,
Many problems this will solve,

But a woman has no good brain in her head.

Dang it, Jim, you're too good at this.

 
At December 20, 2006 6:57 PM, Blogger Boo said...

Exactly. You keep coming back to post lengthy irrelevant arguments and make insatiable demands. When did you finally realize you were insane for doing so?

So let's see where we are now. According to you, evidence is irrelevant, and it is unreasonable to demand it.

I can't speak for Lawrence, since he and I don't know anything about each other, but this is not my problem, this is your problem. You don't see your own worldview as a worldview, you see it as The Truth and all others are Lies.

Geez, project much? You may notice that you're the ones who keep bringing worldviews into this. Your argument has essentially been "well, even if we had evidence you wouldn't believe it because of your worldview." (which worldview you have conveniently decided for me) It's pointless to argue over who would or would not accept evidence until there is evidence to accept. I've never said evolution is The Truth or that all others are Lies. That's just something y'all keep coming back to in order to deflect my requests for testable claims.

They could use their stubby little fingers to type "intelligent design testable" into Google, but you see, they're not reasonable.

Googling that phrase produces many essays arguing over whether ID can or cannot make testable claims, but no actual testable claims. Dembski comes close at one point in the twelveth result, but all of his "predictions" are also predictions of evolutionary theory.

On "fat and ugly": Of course it doesn't add anything to the debate. I wasn't debating you; by your definition that would be insane. Instead, I was ridiculing you and your worldview, because you are not reasonable.

As long as ID advocates insist on claiming that demands for evidence are unreasonable, ID will never make any scientific inroads. Hence ID advocates are reduced to whining about worldviews and making personal attacks. Talking about science and doing science are not the same thing. Suppose every "Darwinist" on earth dissappeared overnight. With no one to criticize, what would ID actually do?

On the legal ignorance: Lawyers have weighed in on this and many of their opinions differ from yours. I am not a lawyer (my wife is, but I wouldn't bother her with this rubbish), so my opinion doesn't count. Even if you are a lawyer, you are not reasonable, so I am inclined not to give your opinion the same weight as your opponents'.

Yes, but you see the legal system agrees with me, so your inclinations are not relevant. You may notice that no one has tried to insert ID into the curriculum since Dover. If the opinion was so poor, why not create another test case somewhere else? Why did the DI shift to "Critical Analysis of Evolution" after Dover? If they're so sure they were right why are they acting like they were wrong?

But don't worry, I'm sure your mighty limericks will win the day sooner or later. Anyway, I'm sure we're both agreed that this has become pointless.

 
At December 20, 2006 9:23 PM, Anonymous John said...

boo wrote:

[paragraphs of the same old thing]

AA tells their clients the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. That may or may not adapt to people who keep making the same refuted argument over and over and over.

The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is
shewn by man's attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman - whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands. If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music (inclusive both of composition and performance),
history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison. We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by
Mr. Galton, in his work on Hereditary Genius, that if men are capable of a decided pre-eminence over women in many subjects, the average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.

 
At December 20, 2006 9:42 PM, Anonymous Jim Sherwood said...

Thanks for making those points, John. Darwinism is a so-called science which basically holds that species evolve through "war:" through a "war of nature" which pits individuals against individuals, and "races" against "races." So it's no suprise that Darwin thought that race-war and genocide foster evolutionary progress, as supposedly "higher" human races "exterminate and replace" those that he thought were "lower."
I imagine that his notion that women are intellectually inferior to men also arose from his overall theory, in one way or another.

 
At December 20, 2006 10:15 PM, Anonymous John said...

Jim wrote:

I imagine that his notion that women are intellectually inferior to men also arose from his overall theory, in one way or another.

It sure did. He goes into excruciating detail about it in two chapters of his "Descent of Man" after tracing it through animals in many, many more preceding chapters. Accompanied by copious and meticulous footnotes, I might add, so it's not just his conjecture, it's Science.

For a good laugh, here's Pimp Daddy Darwin imitating Sir Mix-A-Lot (I could never had made this stuff up):

--------------------------------------
It is well known that with many Hottentot women the posterior part of the body projects in a wonderful manner; they are steatopygous; and Sir Andrew Smith is certain that this peculiarity is greatly admired by the men.

He once saw a woman who was considered a beauty, and she was so immensely developed behind, that when seated on level ground she could not rise, and had to push herself along until she came to a slope.

Some of the women in various negro tribes have the same peculiarity; and, according to Burton, the Somal men are said to choose their wives by ranging them in a line, and by picking her out who projects farthest a tergo. Nothing can be more hateful to a negro than the opposite form.
--------------------------------------
SCIENCE!

Oh, by the way, I am now qualified to be a judge because of my finding of fact (a.k.a. crtl-c + ctrl-v to the proles).

I hereby order all IDeristerainian(ismist)s to take Darwinism SERIOUSLY, because it is SERIOUS BUSINESS. They are heretofore forbidden to deride, denigrate, denude, defoliate, desensitize, decollate, or deleteriously definistrate Darwinist(icalism) Evolution and all of its derivative subSciences (that being all Science especially gravity and earth curvature studies).

So it is written so shall it be done on this day in the year of our Lard Two Thousand and Six amen hallelujah achoo gesundheit.

 
At December 20, 2006 10:24 PM, Anonymous Jim Sherwood said...

Darwin's so-called "science" of evolution by "war" and by race-war
would be expected to have vicious consequences in history.

And it certainly did, as Darwinist biologist Michael R. Rose was honest enought to face and admit, in his book Darwin's Spectre: Evolutionary Biology in the Modern World (1998):

"The 1937 edition of the Hitler Youth handbook was full of Darwinian theory and genetics, and such science was taken as warrant for the extermination of Jews. This is not to deny the long-standing racist elements in German culture. Darwinism did not bring them into being. But it was fuel for that particular demonic fire. Nor would it be true to say that all Nazis were reflective evolutionary biologists. Some of them were just thugs." (p. 143)

 

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