Wesley R. Elsberry posted Entry 1375 on August 20, 2005 07:02 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1372

Given the recent revelations concerning the political pressure brought to bear upon the Ohio State Board of Education to adopt faulty standards permitting non-science to be taught in science classes, it is time for everyone to take a few minutes out of their busy schedules and do something real.

Write the media in Ohio and make it clear that the next item of business on the SBOE agenda needs to be a return to the uncompromised, science-only standards produced by their standards writing committee, and remove the faulty, anti-science lesson plan adopted under the compromised standards.

Please use the media contacts page to write to the listed Ohio newspapers, and don’t overlook the national media as well.

Ohio has been the example that the Discovery Institute has used ever since late 2002 as the model of what they want in other states. Do we want gamed politics everywhere, just like we had in Ohio? If not, take the time to help take back the process from the anti-science extremists.

And be sure to visit the Ohio Citizens for Science web site for more information.

Commenters are responsible for the content of comments. The opinions expressed in articles, linked materials, and comments are not necessarily those of PandasThumb.org. See our full disclaimer.

Comment #44161

Posted by Bill Dembski on August 20, 2005 8:33 PM (e)

Desperate measures. Desperate times. I feel for you.

Comment #44163

Posted by darwinfinch on August 20, 2005 8:42 PM (e)

What IS that SMELL on this thread???? It’s like someone just let go with some huge burst of insincere mean-spiritedness; like someone with problems with their intestinal integrity had been gorging on hypocrisy and overt lies!

Oh! It’s “Bill Dembski,” or someone like him!

You’d have thought he wouldn’t chance leaving his own blaugh for worrying someone with a reasonable point or question might stun his zombie faithful.

Comment #44165

Posted by C.J.O'Brien on August 20, 2005 8:48 PM (e)

Dr. Dembski hizzownself, carping.

What an er, honor?

Curious (as if this wasn’t a hit-and-run):
What about this seems desperate?

I mean, I would think that retaining a high-priced PR firm in an ostensibly “scientific”controversy might seem “desperate” to a lot of people, whereas grass-roots rabble rousing of the sort encouraged here is about as costly or risky (surely a maneuver you identify as “desperate” has an associated cost?) as a bake sale.

Do they have those at your church, Dr. Dembski?

Comment #44167

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 20, 2005 9:05 PM (e)

Golly, I would have thought that it was a pretty desperate measure to subvert the independence of members of a state board of education in order to get one’s way. Sorry you don’t see that, Bill.

Comment #44168

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 20, 2005 9:08 PM (e)

I’m sorry, but putting Dr. in front of Dembski just seems wrong somehow. Since he’s abandonded everything that represents what that Dr. means, seems he should abandon the title as well.

as an aside, it seems that when Dembski has posted here before, he posted with a different moniker, correct?

are we sure this isn’t a sad and pathetic imitator?

Comment #44169

Posted by C.J.O'Brien on August 20, 2005 9:14 PM (e)

No, I’m not at all sure of that.

I put the “Dr.” there as a placeholder for any other epithets that might be imagined or inferred. (like “you slimy piece of…”)

No respect or admiration is to be assumed.

It seemed wrong typing it. I’m sorry too.

Comment #44171

Posted by Patricia Princehouse on August 20, 2005 9:32 PM (e)

Wow! Instant gratification is so COOL!

To have the Isaac Newton of our times respond within minutes to Wes’ post……as if……he had been…waiting…for it…

To have Dr Dembski take time out of his busy schedule & use his own name to try to intimidate Panda’s Thumb readers out of writing to a handful of Ohio newspapers…

How exceedingly sweet to know he cares!

Desperate times indeed…

Keep those cards & letters coming. :-)

Comment #44172

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 20, 2005 9:38 PM (e)

To be fair, it *was* 90-odd minutes between post time and Bill’s comment entry. RSS technology helps.

Comment #44180

Posted by steve on August 20, 2005 10:59 PM (e)

Comment #44161

Posted by Bill Dembski on August 20, 2005 08:33 PM (e) (s)

Desperate measures. Desperate times. I feel for you.

Oh, you know us, Bill. Waterloo here, Waterloo there, Waterloo all over the place. Evolutionary biologists now exist in a state of Waterloo 24/7. And it’s been that way for at least a decade, thanks to your books. You truly are the Isaac Newton of Information Theory. In fact, I might go to the 2005 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory next month in Australia just to see you give the keynote speech.

Comment #44188

Posted by steve on August 21, 2005 12:04 AM (e)

Wow, this looks like a good article. Haven’t read it yet, but the NYT is the best newspaper in the world, so I expect good things here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/21/national/21evolve.html?ei=5094&en=88f0b94e7eb26357&hp=&ex=1124596800&partner=homepage&pagewanted=all

Can’t put it on the Bathroom Wall, and there’s no place for Suggested Links, so here we are.

Comment #44189

Posted by Dark Matter on August 21, 2005 12:04 AM (e)

Bill Dembski wrote:

Desperate measures. Desperate times. I feel for you.

Behold the scribble of apparatchik trash.

—————————————————–

From the Wikipedia entry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trofim_Lysenko
about the infamous Trofim Lysenko:

Lysenko’s “science” was practically nonexistent. When he had any clearly formed theories, they were generally a mismash of Lamarckism and various confused forms of Darwinism; the majority of Lysenko’s work consisted of “practical directions” for agriculture, such as cooling grain before it was planted. Lysenko’s primary procedure was a mixture of so-called “vernalization” (by which Lysenko generally meant anything he did to plant seeds and tubers) as well as hybridization. During one period, for example, he picked a spring wheat with a short “stage of vernalization” but a long “light stage,” which he crossed with another variety of wheat with a long “stage of vernalization” and a short “light stage.” He did not explain what was meant by these stages. Lysenko then concluded on the basis of his stage theory that he knew in advance that the cross would produce offspring that would ripen sooner and as such yield more than their parents and thus did not have to test many plants through their generations. Though scientifically unsound on a number of levels, Soviet journalists and agricultural officials were delighted with Lysenko’s claims, as they sped up laboratory work and cheapened it considerably. Lysenko was given his own journal, Vernalization, in 1935, with which he generally bragged about forthcoming successes.

The Soviet press reported great successes from Lysenko’s early initiatives, though in the end they would almost all result in failure. What most caught the Soviet government’s eye with Lysenko was his success at motivating peasants, however. Soviet agriculture was deeply damaged by the mandatory collectivization movement in the early 1930s, and many peasants were at best unenthusiastic and at worst prone to destroy their grain to keep it away from the Soviet government. Lysenko energized the enthusiasm of the peasants, making them feel truly in control and participants in the great Soviet revolutionary experiment. By the late 1920s, the Soviet political bosses had given their support to Lysenko. Lysenko himself spent much time decrying academic scientists and geneticists, claiming that their isolated laboratory work was not helping the Soviet people. In his personality, he was quick to anger and could tolerate no criticism. By 1929 the skeptics of Lysenko were politically censured for only being able to criticize rather than prescribe new solutions. In December 1929, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin gave a famous speech elevating “practice” above “theory”, elevating the judgment of the political bosses above that of the scientists and technical specialists. Though the Soviet government under Stalin gave much more support to genuine agricultural scientists in its early days, after 1935 the balance of power abruptly swung towards Lysenko and his followers.

Lysenko was put in charge of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences of the Soviet Union and made responsible for ending the propagation of “harmful” ideas among Soviet scientists. Lysenko served this purpose faithfully, causing the expulsion, imprisonment, and death of hundreds of scientists and the demise of genetics (a previously flourishing field) throughout the Soviet Union. This period is known as Lysenkoism. Particularly, he bears responsibility for the death of the greatest Soviet biologist, Nikolai Vavilov, at the hands of the NKVD.

Comment #44204

Posted by ts (not Tim) on August 21, 2005 3:47 AM (e)

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/21/national/21evo…

Good news article, virtually an exposé fo the Discovery Institute. This out to get a top level spot at PT.

“All ideas go through three stages - first they’re ignored, then they’re attacked, then they’re accepted,” said Jay W. Richards, a philosopher and the institute’s vice president.

The idea that Mr. Richards is a moron seems ripe for acceptance. And he seems to have left out a stage:

All ideas that achieve a sort of uniform acceptance ultimately fall apart whether it’s in the sciences or philosophy or politics after a few people keep knocking away at it,” [Chapman] said.

Damn, my keyboard is floating off my desk again. I’m starting to wonder if the sun will rise in the West again tomorrow.

Comment #44207

Posted by ts (not Tim) on August 21, 2005 4:08 AM (e)

I’m starting to wonder if the sun will rise in the West again tomorrow.

Or wherever the heck it usually rises – it’s been too long since it rose for me, and my brain has turned to mush (I hope that’s a temporary condition, and not because brains being made of neurons and such isn’t another one of those uniformly accepted ideas that is destined to fall apart).

Comment #44208

Posted by SteveF on August 21, 2005 4:56 AM (e)

Desperate times? This coming from a prominent leader of a movement that refuses to use proper scientific channels (i.e. peer review), prefering to bypass them and head straight for the classroom.

You really are a moron aren’t you ‘Bill Dembski.’

Comment #44209

Posted by Stuart Weinstein on August 21, 2005 7:56 AM (e)

Yet another fine rebuttal by Waldo.

Comment #44210

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 21, 2005 7:56 AM (e)

“All ideas that achieve a sort of uniform acceptance ultimately fall apart whether it’s in the sciences or philosophy or politics after a few people keep knocking away at it,” [Chapman] said.

Really? Hey, Bruce, does that apply to the idea of Christ’s resurrection, too? Somehow, I don’t expect Bruce to put every idea on the line, just the ones he doesn’t like for personal reasons. It’s disingenuous for people who have a bunch of dogmas that they would be unwilling to revisit to make this argument.

Plus, evolutionary biology is doing just fine at changing to fit the research findings. There are a bunch of proposed theories that have been tossed (bathmism, orthogenesis, aristogenesis, neo-Lamarckism, etc.). The prevalence of natural selection as a process is a perennial favorite topic. (When I asked Richard Dawkins a question about this, he had an interesting response. He said that when one looks at the level of molecular and genomic evolution, almost all evolutionary change looks like genetic drift, but when you look at distinct morphological traits of organisms, almost all of them have some contribution due to natural selection. Modulo my recall from the radio show last fall…) Since the 1960s, endosymbiosis, transposons, and punctuated equilibria have proposed, argued over, and eventually generally accepted. There’s evo devo currently being hashed out. Evolutionary biology is by no means standing still, as the “scientific fundamentalist” canard would assert. That’s a huge case of mass projection that Chapman and comrades have going there.

Comment #44212

Posted by Russell on August 21, 2005 8:20 AM (e)

I hope all those commenters who wasted precious seconds of their lives reacting to the cameo appearance of Rev. Dembski spent at least as much time attending to the business that WAS the focus of this post: contacting the media.

Comment #44213

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 21, 2005 8:33 AM (e)

To the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Governor Taft’s office leaned on State Board of Education members in
2002 to accept a political “compromise” in science
standards. Political pressure plus the compromised standards brought
the SBOE to adopt an antievolution lesson plan in 2004. Now that it is
clear that the system was gamed, it is time to revisit the science
standards. The SBOE should put adoption of the original,
uncompromised, set of science standards on the agenda of its next
meeting.

Comment #44220

Posted by RBH on August 21, 2005 10:47 AM (e)

Add the Canton Repository to the list of newspapers:

http://www.cantonrep.com/index.php?external=forms/letter_editor.php

I also urge primary emphasis on replacing the “Critical Analysis of Evolution” lesson plan that incorporates Wells’s trash science, with a lesson plan that genuinely reflects how scientists actually critically analyze theories and hypotheses. An excellent example was provided to the Board by Ohio Citizens for Science.

RBH

Comment #44222

Posted by Frank J on August 21, 2005 10:59 AM (e)

steve wrote:

Oh, you know us, Bill. Waterloo here, Waterloo there, Waterloo all over the place. Evolutionary biologists now exist in a state of Waterloo 24/7. And it’s been that way for at least a decade, thanks to your books.

I thought it was Mike’s book that was evolution’s Waterloo? Or was it Phil’s books, Or Jon’s? Or Steve’s “peer reviewed” paper, the one that the journal apologized for publishing? To paraphrase H. Allen Orr, if the first one didn’t topple evolution, why did we need the rest?

Are all these books and papers classic creationism’s Waterloo too? They sure sound like an admission that all of the mutually contradictory classic creationisms are scientific failures, and that a new “don’t ask, don’t tell” strategy was needed to misrepresent evolution.

Either way, the IDers are winning the sound bite game. And unless we want to help them, which we do with “sneaking in God” complaints, the point that must be driven home is that we advocate a true critical analysis of evolution and they don’t.

Comment #44224

Posted by Frank J on August 21, 2005 11:20 AM (e)

Ask, and ye shall receieve. Thanks, RBH for the link.

As for what’s wrong with the “trash science” masquerading as a “critical analysis,” go here.

Comment #44226

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on August 21, 2005 12:15 PM (e)

Submitted the following the the Cincinnati Enquirer:

On behalf of my two nephews and niece in Cincinnati who will be affected by the misguided policies of the Ohio State Board of Education, I am writing to urge a return to the science-only standards produced by their standards writing committee, as opposed to the politically-motivated anti-evolution standards which have been proposed as a poor substitute. Real science comes from scientists and, after years or decades of debate within the scientific community, is taught to school children. The proposed science substitute was created around 1990 as a means of inserting a religiously-motivated agenda into the public schools in circumvention of a supreme court decision, and has been soundly rejected by the scientific community. It does not belong in any science curriculum.

Comment #44227

Posted by Gerard Harbison on August 21, 2005 12:19 PM (e)

Cut Dembski a break. Long term unemployment can be very depressing.

Comment #44228

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 21, 2005 12:42 PM (e)

Gerard Harbison wrote:

Cut Dembski a break. Long term unemployment can be very depressing.

Er, when exactly are you suggesting that Dembski has experienced long-term unemployment? Through 1996, he was a student, sometimes at two institutions concurrently. From 1996 to 1999, he had a $40K/year fellowship from the DI (Thanks, NYT, for that info!). Then he had the stint at Baylor. Now he’s affiliated with a Baptist seminary in Kentucky. Somewhere in there he got a pot of money from the Templeton Foundation, for which they only got the writing of No Free Lunch and, I think, The Design Revolution. This year, he sent a bill for over $20K to the Thomas More Law Center for the time he spent preparing stuff as an expert witness in the Dover case, although he has been withdrawn.

I doubt that the employment situation has proved depressing. Now, thinking about the probable outcome of the Dover case, that may be getting him down some.

Comment #44229

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 21, 2005 12:52 PM (e)

Thanks to Bill Gascoyne for that letter. It’s good for the out-of-state people to mention ties to Ohio, if possible, as Bill has done.

Comment #44230

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on August 21, 2005 1:31 PM (e)

A question for Bill Dembski since he is monitoring this thread.

I was reading the Abstract of Principles and Baptist Faith & Message of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, your new employer. I was wondering in light of the statement under Religious liberty (see below), how you now reconcile your association with the DI and it’s assistance with secular governmental bodies in legislating ID/criticisms of evolution in local school districts?

BAPTIST FAITH & MESSAGE 2000
Religious Liberty
“The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends.”

In fact, the whole idea of a Center for Theology and Science also seems contradictory in light of the second statement.

Comment #44231

Posted by Lurker on August 21, 2005 1:39 PM (e)

Didn’t Napoleon suffer from depression, too?

Comment #44238

Posted by Red Mann on August 21, 2005 3:58 PM (e)

Here’s my contribution to all of the Ohio paper’s

I have followed with dismayed interest the state of education in Ohio with reference to the attempts by the “Intelligent Design” (ID) movement to insinuate itself into Ohio’s school curriculum. Even though I live in Virginia, my three grandchildren will be attending school in Ohio in the coming school year. The revelation of Gov Taft’s somewhat heavy-handed influence of the state school board to include such a non-scientific concept of ID in a science class is very upsetting. Children must be taught actual science in a science class. ID has no scientific content, it’s only claim is that some things in nature are too complex to have occurred without the action of some unidentified designer. It points to the alleged “gaps” in the theory of evolution as proof that some “intelligent” agency is responsible. This is commonly known as the “god-in-the-gaps” argument. Neither of these notions have any scientific validity. ID has no testable hypothesis, ID can make no predictions and ID explains nothing. The notion of some supernatural power being involved in the development of life properly belongs in philosophy class or some class dealing with comparative religion, not in a science class. There is precious little time available in schools to teach worthwhile subjects, there is no time to waste on such non-issues such as ID.

Comment #44241

Posted by steve on August 21, 2005 4:32 PM (e)

My letter to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Please remove evolution from Ohio schools and replace it with Intelligent Design Theory. But don’t stop there. Get rid of physics too. The big bang and the old age of the Earth offends the same people as evolution. Throw out those anatomy textbooks, which are trying to corrupt your children with strange tales of men having the same number of ribs as women. Let residents of other states get solid scientific and technical educations. Your kids don’t need that.

Write to them at http://www.cleveland.com/plaindealer/

Comment #44254

Posted by T. Russ on August 21, 2005 6:51 PM (e)

A comment for Dr. Dembski since he is monitoring this thread:

I really enjoyed your contribution to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science, edited by Philip Clayton. Keep up the good work. Continue writing and publishing material out there in the world of print and paper. It’s okay if you don’t commit hours and hours out of evevery day to fight with the kiddies here at PT.

Sorry PT Fellows if that didn’t sound very nice. I don’t mean to say that these guys are actually children or Always act like children, but man do you ever act childish when Dembski shows up to place a comment.

Roll with the punches Bill, and know that many of us know that most everything written about you on PT is over exaggerated hogwash designed to downplay or sidestep your ideas.

Cheers

Comment #44258

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 21, 2005 7:23 PM (e)

T. Russ wrote:

[…] sidestep your ideas

Oh, on about that again? I’ve started a thread for “T. Russ” to make good on his claim from last year. See it at this page.

Prediction: The crickets will chirp happily as “T. Russ”’s abandoned claim sits neglected and utterly unsubstantiated.

Comment #44260

Posted by ts (not Tim) on August 21, 2005 7:35 PM (e)

T. Russ wrote:

[something not addressing Wesley Elsberry’s essays]

T. Russ wrote:

Allright Wes, after tonight I won’t come back to pandasthumb until i’m ready to get down and dirty with your essays.

Liar.

Comment #44265

Posted by Russell on August 21, 2005 8:36 PM (e)

but man do you ever act childish when Dembski shows up to place a comment.

You know, T. Russ, your tendency to generalize is really annoying.

Comment #44267

Posted by Moses on August 21, 2005 8:46 PM (e)

Well, Mr. Isaac Newton, could you please explain to me why you, and your groupies, are pawning off an inferior brand of creationism? And I mean inferior to the older, less evolved forms of YEC and Flat-Earth.

Has the seed of the creationist movement failed? Because it seems you are like one of those scions of nobility. Regressing to the mean and all that. Because, despite your alleged vast intellect, you seem to be absolutely incapable of formulating even one hypothesis to test. Can you not?

Something that I, as an accounting student, taking rudimentary survey-type science courses in college was capable of doing. Therefore, you, the Sir Isaac Newton of Information Theory should be capabale of this act.

So please, sir, can you not, form just one testable hypothesis? CAn you grace we material hedonisists with a sample of your great thoughts and form a testable hypothesis? A task that the least of the drunken fraternity boys, scraping by at the basest and most worthless of a diploma mill colleges, can perform?

Never mind my daughter when she was in first grade…. :) Of course, she is a precocious lass, and will, no doubt, be known as the Madam Curie of Information Theory as she has an interesting variation of ID, which she calls the “Magical Flying Unicorn Pony.”

You’ll have to forgive the title. Despite being in Encore and getting straight A’s and speaking 3 languages, she still likes Magical Flying Unicorn Ponies. What can you do?

Comment #44268

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 21, 2005 9:00 PM (e)

“T. Russ” has entered a post on the AE thread saying that he will take things up… later.

I’ve entered a response clarifying exactly what was at issue.

We’ll see how this goes.

Comment #44271

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 21, 2005 9:13 PM (e)

judging by the quality of his previous postings, I can’t see many here really caring what he will take up or not.

otoh, if you plan on tearing him a well deserved new a-hole, that might be amusing…

Comment #44274

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 21, 2005 9:28 PM (e)

The New York Times Sunday edition (Aug. 21) features a major profile of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (CSC) that credits the Institute with transforming the public debate over evolution in America. By advocating “a ‘teach-the-controversy’ approach to evolution,” reports the Times, “the institute has… transformed the debate into an issue of academic freedom rather than a confrontation between biology and religion.”

well, i have to admit; the DI certainly earns it’s money if it can convince the press that it has substantially changed the discussion, when it in fact hasn’t.

man, the press is so pathetic.

Comment #44283

Posted by ts (not Tim) on August 21, 2005 10:17 PM (e)

T.Russ wrote:

1.) I found it hard to really discuss anything with the anti-ID folks due to their very brash and sometimes abusive toungues. It wasn’t that my feelings were hurt or anything like that, I only felt that “discussion” at PT was virtually impossible due to the many childish skirmishes which outbreak and end up only fit for the “bathroom wall.”

2.) I had not yet read enough about ID theory or read enough criticisms of it.

So Mr. T.’s position is apparently that ID represents a paradigm shift because of brash postings at PT, and not because of the content of ID or the criticisms of it.

I suggest that the perceived brashness is a natural human reaction to such low quality, shallow ad hominem drivel. It seems that what he has extracted from his education in philosophy of science is an extremely constricted view of Kuhn – whom he seems to take as a source of revealed wisdom – that science consists of no more than the social behavior of scientists. According to T., there is no such thing as the scientific method, and a scientific theory can be expressed as a “notion” that certain natural phenomena are not only beyond natural explanation but that any explanation must incorporate a supernatural entity with a specific trait – “intelligence” – which, when defined at all, does not at all resemble the term as normally used, does not have any evident supernatural character, and which is self-contradictory – a chance-free causal mechanism about which we have zero information. This “theory” seems to reduce to “We don’t know how this happens (because we’ve ignored all the evidence and literature), but we’ve proved (by ignoring all the refutations) that your explanation is wrong, so we’re just going to label it ‘intelligent design’ – we think labeling is all that science is about – and announce the failure of secularism and materialism and, well, that’s our theory and we’re going to stick to it”.

Perhaps we should be paying more attention to what is being taught in philosophy of science classes these days, and what it takes to get a passing grade.

Comment #44296

Posted by steve on August 22, 2005 1:18 AM (e)

The T.Russ Incident reminds me of another creationist, one Pasquale Vuoso. He claimed he would soon have a mathematical disproof of evolution. After about a week of harrassment about this, he disappeared, and has not been seen since.

Comment #44297

Posted by Intelligent Design Theorist Timmy on August 22, 2005 1:22 AM (e)

Posted by T. Russ on August 21, 2005 06:51 PM (e) (s)

Roll with the punches Bill, and know that many of us know that most everything written about you on PT is over exaggerated hogwash designed to downplay or sidestep your ideas.

Cheers

Yeah, absolutely T. Russ. The meanies here act like Dembski represents himself as the “Isaac Newton of Information Theory” or something. They love to exaggerate things.

Comment #44298

Posted by Intelligent Design Theorist Timmy on August 22, 2005 1:30 AM (e)

T.Russ wrote:

2.) I had not yet read enough about ID theory or read enough criticisms of it.

Well what the hell does that have to do with anything? Virtually none of the ID proponents are biologists, so what? That doesn’t stop them from formulating simple thought experiments which obliterate evolution. Look, it’s just science. It’s not like you need a Ph.D or something. You can just read some websites, and boom, you’re an expert whose idle notions are revolutionary overthrows of entrenched paradimes. Anyone can join an IDEA club and transform biology. As long as you’re a pure christian. (Only christians can do real science)

Comment #44303

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 22, 2005 3:43 AM (e)

Letter to the Columbus Dispatch:

The news that the Ohio State Board of Education was pressured to adopt
compromised science standards and an antievolution lesson plan should
be followed by action. The SBOE should put the science standards on
its agenda, taking up the question again. They can adopt now the
uncompromised standards drafted by the science writing committee,
making their considerations on the needs of Ohio’s children for
science-only science classes, and not based on how much pressure the
governor’s office can bring to bear. The so-called “critical analysis”
lesson plan from Bryan Leonard can be replaced by the “critical
analysis” lesson plan provided to the SBOE by the Ohio Citizens for
Science. Politically determined teleological biology was tried by the
Soviets, and they got decades of crop failures and food shortages out
of that. Ohio should not be following their lead.

Comment #44306

Posted by Keith Douglas on August 22, 2005 7:14 AM (e)

ts: As a philosopher of science and technology myself I find it terminally embarassing that so many of my colleagues have been caught up in this nonsense. You’re right: we should be looking there too; one of my teachers once said that philosophy of science classes taught to students with no scientific background could be useless at best or something like that. On the other hand, what a lot of practicing scientists have written about the philosophy of science has been pretty out there too.

Comment #44318

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 22, 2005 11:40 AM (e)

Letter to the Columbus Daily Reporter:

In fairy-tale endings, after the villain dies, their evil magic
reverses and things are restored to their proper state. But that
doesn’t obtain in the real world. Here, if Ohio wishes to restore
proper science standards after the news that the “compromise” was a
politically rigged outcome, Ohio’s citizens have got to call on the
State Board of Education to put the original, uncompromised science
standards produced by the writing committee to an unrigged,
unpressured vote. And the same thing should happen for the choice
between the flawed “critical analysis’ lesson plan currently adopted
and the “critical analysis” plan offered by scientists to the SBOE.
While it wouldn’t be a fairy-tale ending, restoring science-only
instruction to Ohio’s science classrooms would be a happy beginning.

Comment #44322

Posted by Moses on August 22, 2005 1:43 PM (e)

TS, I really admire this well written rebuttle:

I suggest that the perceived brashness is a natural human reaction to such low quality, shallow ad hominem drivel. It seems that what he has extracted from his education in philosophy of science is an extremely constricted view of Kuhn — whom he seems to take as a source of revealed wisdom — that science consists of no more than the social behavior of scientists. According to T., there is no such thing as the scientific method, and a scientific theory can be expressed as a “notion” that certain natural phenomena are not only beyond natural explanation but that any explanation must incorporate a supernatural entity with a specific trait — “intelligence” — which, when defined at all, does not at all resemble the term as normally used, does not have any evident supernatural character, and which is self-contradictory — a chance-free causal mechanism about which we have zero information. This “theory” seems to reduce to “We don’t know how this happens (because we’ve ignored all the evidence and literature), but we’ve proved (by ignoring all the refutations) that your explanation is wrong, so we’re just going to label it ‘intelligent design’ — we think labeling is all that science is about — and announce the failure of secularism and materialism and, well, that’s our theory and we’re going to stick to it”.

Comment #44362

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 22, 2005 6:19 PM (e)

A comment for Dr. Dembski since he is monitoring this thread

Another one for Isaac, since he’s monitoring this thread:

Russ here seems quite unable to tell us what the scientific theory of ID is.

Cordova falls flat on his face about it, too.

How about you?

I can onyl think of three possible explanations for the utter inability of any IDer to simply tell us what the heck their “theory” IS. Either:

(1) there isn’t any, and IDers like you are jsut lying to us when you claim there is,

or

(2) there is a scientific theory of ID, but you and your syncophants are too uninformed to know what it is,

or

(3) there is a scientific theory of ID and one of you does know what it is, but for some unfathomable reason, you don’t want anyone else to know.

Which is it, Isaac?

Comment #44491

Posted by T. Russ on August 23, 2005 6:07 PM (e)

We’re going to have to take this up on another post Rev.

I’m working out what I hope to be an answer to your question which will be better than just…Intelligent Design is the theory that the directed organization of living things cannot be accounted for by purely blind natural forces but also requires intelligent agency for its proper explanation.

The above definition may contai a theory but reads a bit more like the statement of a hypothesis. I’m thinking about this question too.

You can help me out however.

When someone asks you what the theory of evolution is, what is your answer. This will help me to formulate a better answer to your question.

Comment #44496

Posted by Steviepinhead on August 23, 2005 6:31 PM (e)

T. Russ:

If your knowledge of this subject was anything more than rudimentary, you would certainly be capable locating an authoritative statement of the theory of evolution. We’re not hiding it under a bushel! You might start with any number of recent elementary biology tectbooks or even popular treatments of the topic: TOE isn’t hard to find; heck, you can hardly turn around without stubbing your, ahem, toe on the blamed thing…!

Which is in rather dramatic contrast with the “theory” of ID, which we don’t seem to be able to find anywhere, despite patient and repeated asking in all the “right” places.

That you would need to ask a stranger on a blog–even, with all due respect, as eminent an authority as the Reverend!–to supply you with a definitive statement of such a well-established theory (one that you “hope” you can state a counter-theory to!) suggests that you are hopelessly far from understanding the TOE well enough to furnish a plausible critique of it. And that you are light years from being capable of mounting any sort of “theoretical” challenge to it.

You guys slay me!

Comment #44513

Posted by ts (not Tim) on August 23, 2005 7:43 PM (e)

It might help to understand what a scientific theory is (perhaps T. slept through that class). Here’s a decent web-accessible discussion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory

Notably, while a scientific theory might be described in a sentence or two, it cannot be stated in a sentence or two. The scientific theory of evolution is a predictive model and an explanatory framework; the framework includes all of its supporting evidence, of which there are mountains. OTOH, “intelligent design” lacks a predictive model for there even to be supporting evidence of. If one really pushes the notion, one might argue that intelligent design is a theory about human behavior – it predicts that humans will fail to explain certain things. Unfortunately for IDists, this is not a theory of biodiversity, and it is a failing program since humans keep managing to explain things that the theory claims they can’t, and the underlying theoretical supports for the model (e.g., irreducible complexity, evolution is a free lunch) have been refuted, and the refutations have even been accepted by its leading (only, actually), theorist.

P.S.

T. Russ wrote:

Allright Wes, after tonight I won’t come back to pandasthumb until i’m ready to get down and dirty with your essays.

Liar.

Comment #44557

Posted by T. Russ on August 23, 2005 11:47 PM (e)

Pinhead:

I asked if I could get the theory of evolution from someone here who wants me to give them the theory of ID. You replied, “your so stupid…go look it up somewhere…blah blah”

Then you suggested that I use the theories description from an elemnary science textbook?

Right. Good post!

ts:

Yeah, I checked out wikepedia’s entry on theory. I agree it is pretty good. Thanks.

and

Your little quote then “liar” statement have an answer elsewhere on the web go look it up. I believe it is at antievolution.org and I would bet you a hundred dollars that you already read it.

Comment #44563

Posted by steve on August 24, 2005 12:25 AM (e)

T. Russ: after you give us the Theory of ID, please explain why Paul Nelson said the following:

Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’-but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.

Comment #44569

Posted by ts (not Tim) on August 24, 2005 1:09 AM (e)

Your little quote then “liar” statement have an answer elsewhere on the web go look it up. I believe it is at antievolution.org and I would bet you a hundred dollars that you already read it.

Your posting here after saying that you wouldn’t until ready to address Elsberry’s essays makes you a liar, because you are still quite evidently not ready. As for antievolution.org, I looked at it when Wes first posted the link but not since – at that time there was nothing that resembled such an answer, so you owe me $100. Not that you’re prepared to follow through on that, either.

Comment #44570

Posted by ts (not Tim) on August 24, 2005 1:14 AM (e)

Ok, I’ve looked at the the thread at antievolution.org and you’ve still said nothing that addresses Elsberry’s essays. $100 and a liar.

Comment #44687

Posted by T. Russ on August 24, 2005 5:42 PM (e)

I was refering to my answer qualifying why I left PT for a while and why I returned.

Comment #44697

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 24, 2005 6:13 PM (e)

I was refering to my answer qualifying why I left PT for a while and why I returned.

That’s nice.

I believe you were about to tell us all how to use the scientific method to test any predictions made by your, uh, “scientific theory of ID” … Right?

Right after you explain to us (1) what the designer did, specifically, (2) what mechanisms it used to do whatever the heck it is you think it did, and (3) where we can see any such mechanisms operating today.

Or is “POOF!!! God — er, I mean The Unknown Intelligent Designer – dunnit!!!!” the extent of your, uh, “scientific theory of ID” … ?

Comment #44711

Posted by T. Russ on August 24, 2005 8:33 PM (e)

Never heard that before Rev.

Comment #44716

Posted by steve on August 24, 2005 8:59 PM (e)

There’s a way to verify Paul Nelson’s statement that there is no Theory of ID. Theories necessarily imply experimental results. In 20 years, have the IDers done a single experiment?

No.

Comment #44718

Posted by ts (not Tim) on August 24, 2005 9:21 PM (e)

I was refering to my answer qualifying why I left PT for a while and why I returned.

You said you wouldn’t return until ready to address Wes’s essays. You aren’t, and yet you’ve returned, so you’re a liar. You offered to bet me $100 that I had read your answer to the charge that you’re a liar. I’ve read no such thing, so you owe me $100. And why would you offer to bet someone $100 when they could simply refuse it if there were a risk of losing? Because you’re a fool? Or a liar about that as well? It really doesn’t matter – you’re a pathetic troll with nothing of value to say. Unless you can tell me something that ID predicts that I don’t already know, a prediction which, if tested, would yield new knowledge. The theory of evolution, and every other scientific theory, yields numerous predictions of that sort, numerous new items of knowledge, every day. It’s good for something. What is ID good for, and what are you good for?

Comment #44721

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 24, 2005 9:47 PM (e)

Never heard that before Rev.

That’s nice.

Are you going to answer my questions, or aren’t you.

Does your, uh, “scientific theory of ID” make any statements that can be tested using the scientific method, or doesn’t it.

Are you going to describe how we can tets it using the scientific method, or aren’t you.

Or are IDers like you simply lying to us when you claim to have a testible scientific theory of ID …. .

Comment #44777

Posted by T. Russ on August 25, 2005 10:01 AM (e)

Your little quote then “liar” statement have an answer elsewhere on the web go look it up. I believe it is at antievolution.org and I would bet you a hundred dollars that you already read it.

“It” in the above statement refers to my explanation as to why I was back “trolling” at PT. “It” is a perfectly reasonable explanation for my absence and return. The hundred dollar bet (which I guess is a sort of figure of speech, or colloquial phrase,) was that you had already read “it” over on anti-evolution.org, and were just writing here as if you hadn’t.

Comment #44857

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 25, 2005 6:21 PM (e)

Your little quote then “liar” statement have an answer elsewhere on the web go look it up. I believe it is at antievolution.org and I would bet you a hundred dollars that you already read it.

“It” in the above statement refers to my explanation as to why I was back “trolling” at PT. “It” is a perfectly reasonable explanation for my absence and return. The hundred dollar bet (which I guess is a sort of figure of speech, or colloquial phrase,) was that you had already read “it” over on anti-evolution.org, and were just writing here as if you hadn’t.

How dreadful.

I’ll ask again: are you going to tell us what testible statements and predictions your, uh, “scientific theory of ID” makes, or aren’t you.

Are you going to explain to us how to test them using the scientific method, or aren’t you.

Or are IDers (like you) just lying to us when you claim to have a testible scientific theory of ID?

Comment #44920

Posted by ts (not Tim) on August 26, 2005 3:50 AM (e)

“It” in the above statement refers to my explanation as to why I was back “trolling” at PT. “It” is a perfectly reasonable explanation for my absence and return.

No, it’s another lie – you still can’t address Elsberry’s essays. Once again, you’re a pathetic troll with nothing of value to say. Unless you can tell me something that ID predicts that I don’t already know, a prediction which, if tested, would yield new knowledge. The theory of evolution, and every other scientific theory, yields numerous predictions of that sort, numerous new items of knowledge, every day. It’s good for something. What is ID good for, and what are you good for?

The hundred dollar bet (which I guess is a sort of figure of speech, or colloquial phrase,)

Yeah, the way “ID is the theory …” is a figure of speech or colloquial phrase. In other words, it’s a lie.