PvM posted Entry 1832 on December 23, 2005 05:43 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1827

On the Discovery Institute’s blog, West revisits the statement by Judge Jones and reaches some poorly argued conclusions:

West wrote:

Take the following remarkable passage from his opinion:

the Court is confident that no other tribunal in the United States is in a better position than are we to traipse into this controversial area. Finally, we will offer our conclusion on whether ID is science not just because it is essential to our holding that an Establishment Clause violation has occurred in this case, but also in the hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question which is before us. [p. 63] (emphasis added)

West based on this ‘argues’ that

West wrote:

This passage exhibits the height of presumption, and it’s why in my initial statement after the trial I referred to Judge Jones as having “delusions of grandeur.” First, and contrary to the Judge’s claim, a determination of whether ID is science was plainly NOT essential to the disposition of the case, as pointed out above.

First error, the judge is clear that the reason for the conclusion on whether ID is science as because it is essential to our holding that an Establishment Clause violention has occurred. So why would the judge raise these issues.

Simply, he is following legal precendence

Judge Jones wrote:

Our next task is to determine how to apply both the endorsement test and the Lemon test to the ID Policy. We are in agreement with Plaintiffs that the better practice is to treat the endorsement inquiry as a distinct test to be applied separately from, and prior to, the Lemon test. In recent Third Circuit cases, specifically, Freethought Society v. Chester County, 334 F.3d 247, 261 (3d Cir. 2003), Modrovich, 385 F.3d at 401-04, 406-13, and Child Evangelism, 386 F.3d at 530-35, the court adopted the practice of applying both tests. The Third Circuit conducted the endorsement inquiry first and subsequently measured the challenged conduct against Lemon’s “purpose” and “effect” standards.4

Footnote 4 reads:

We do note that because of the evolving caselaw regarding which tests to apply, the “belt and suspenders” approach of utilizing both tests makes good sense. That said, it regrettably
tasks us to make this narrative far longer than we would have preferred.

[PvM: And as Sandefur pointed out to me, the judge is talking about being in the best place to assess the facts, not the law. Since Jones’ court has heard the evidence, he is in the best position to argue the facts]

In other words, the judge showed a thorough analysis based on the pre-existing and evolving case law. The judge is merely showing an abundance of caution:

Judge Jones wrote:

Although ID’s failure to meet the ground rules of science is sufficient for the Court to conclude that it is not science, out of an abundance of caution and in the exercise of completeness, we will analyze additional arguments advanced regarding the concepts of ID and science.

Establising that ID is not science is essential when applying the Lemon test

Judge Jones wrote:

Although we have found that Defendants’ conduct conveys a strong message of endorsement of the Board members’ particular religious view, pursuant to the endorsement test, the better practice in this Circuit is for this Court to also evaluate the challenged conduct separately under the Lemon test.18 See Child Evangelism, 386 F.3d at 530-35; Modrovich, 385 F.3d at 406; Freethought, 334 F.3d at 261.

Thus, Judge Jones, is merely applying the better practice in his Circuit to also look at the Lemon test. Given the evolving nature of case law in the area of the Establishment clause and the Lemon test, it seems rather prudent of the judge to address them both.

In addition, while the defendants may not have raised the argument that there is a secular purpose in teaching ID, the Discovery Institute’s Amicus brief argued that the primary effect of teaching ID is not necessarily religious. They argued that ID is both scientific and serves to ‘teach the controversy’.

Judge Jones, in order to rule on the Lemon test, needed to address the arguments submitted to him by the Discovery Institute and show that ID is neither science nor serves a valid role in ‘teaching the controversy’.

In other words, the Judge may very well have been forced to address these issues since they were so prominently raised in the Amicus Brief. If that is the case, then it would be particularly ironic that the filing of the Amicus brief by the Discovery Institute had the opposite effect.

West wrote:

Even more troubling, however, is the Judge’s suggestion that he wanted to determine whether ID is science so that no other judge need investigate the facts for himself. Judge Jones is a federal district court judge in one particular district court in Pennsylvania. But he’s speaking as if he is more powerful than a majority on the United States Supreme Court!

Nothing in the Judge’s ruling even suggest that this is the case. West is trying to create a strawman. Judge Jones argues that first of all he is in very good position to rule on this matter given the nature of the court case. Secondly, ruling on whether ID is science was essential to establishing a violation of the establishment clause.

Judge Jones wrote:

To briefly reiterate, we first note that since ID is not science, the conclusion is inescapable that the only real effect of the ID Policy is the advancement of religion. See McLean, 529 F. Supp. at 1272.

Judge Jones’ ruling surely brings out the best in ID proponents

West wrote:

Of course, the newsmedia are now fast spinning the tale that Judge Jones is not only a Republican, but he’s supposed to be a conservative and devoutly religious Republican. As I will blog about soon, those claims seem to be about as mythical as the view that Judge Jones isn’t an activist.

Nuf’ said.

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Comment #64536

Posted by Andrew McClure on December 23, 2005 6:43 PM (e)

On the bright side, it’s starting to look like the “Activist Judge” snarl word is beginning to become SO overused that the general public will finally realize it means truly nothing at all. If people continue to wear that term out like this, soon it will be impossible to discredit anyone but oneself by using it.

Comment #64537

Posted by Mel on December 23, 2005 7:01 PM (e)

I think there actually is some grandeur in Judge Jones’s decision. He unmasked the ID concept. He unmasked the ID movement. He unmasked the Dover school board. I read the whole decision; it’s breathtaking in its thoroughness!

Comment #64540

Posted by catcherinthewry on December 23, 2005 7:13 PM (e)

Simply put, West is a liar, though perhaps unlike WD or Behe in that he is simply incapable of distinguishing lies and truth. (The test, of course, would be to see if he would devote even a minimum of the energy he now uses if he were not being paid for it.)

Today’s Xians and “conservatives” simply aren’t much bothered by such a fact, if it looks to advance whatever their self-interest happens to be at the time. Far too many clearly enjoy it, perhaps because it wastes the time and energy of people who have the effrontery to enjoy life and the temporary possession of consciousness, which they possess but resent and/or fear, and are stupid enough to pretend to want the dystopia, likely a very horrible, violent, poverty-stricken one, that would result should they be allowed to succeed.

Judge Jones is simply an ordinary conservative, and a traditional Republican. Such a man can be worked with, however violent the disagreement, because he respects basic human values. The man who appointed him, evidently in error, is someone who respects nothing, and can be worked with only by referring to “The Prince” at every stage.
Like dealing with the Mafia, they “respect” only money and power based on violence or its threat.

These are “Man” as Brion G. defined him: “Man is a bad animal.”

Comment #64541

Posted by PvM on December 23, 2005 7:14 PM (e)

Much of the Judge’s comments are based on the findings of fact documents. Seems the Judge really liked the proposed findings of fact provided by the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

In fact the judge had invited both sides to present their findings. The ACLU lawyers did an excellent job.

Comment #64544

Posted by PvM on December 23, 2005 7:23 PM (e)

I’d not call West as much as a liar as someone who may not have read the decision beyond the offending sentence. As far as I can tell he is also not a lawyer, like me, and thus his conclusions may be biased by the lack of knowledge and understanding.

Comment #64548

Posted by Hyperion on December 23, 2005 7:31 PM (e)

Correct me if I’m wrong, but at 139 pages, it appears as if the text of this ruling in and of itself may be greater than the combined length of every published “scientific” paper on ID.

In fact, this ruling might even constitute the most thorough research into ID ever commissioned. Kinda ironic, albeit unsurprising, that this is what happens when the “controversy” is presented to an impartial judge. Poor DI, they got the “debate” that they wanted, it’s not their fault, nor TMLC’s, that federal judges frown on perjury and believe in evaluating actual evidence.

Just out of curiosity, have any of these guys written a critique of the decision on its merits, going through Lemon, Edwards, Jafree, etc and explaining why they believe that the judge was misapplying precedent or misinterpreting case law? I mean, sure, calling into question the integrity of a federal judge based purely on the fact that their side lost probably feels better, but could you imagine if Thurgood Marshall had based his entire Brown argument on “Your honor, the judges in Plessy were clearly impaired by their delusions of grandeur?” Could you imagine Clarence Darrow replacing his closing statement in the Leopold case with “this court seems to feel that it is the sole arbiter of findings of fact, rather than a lowly district courthouse?”

It’s bad enough that Ahmanson is wasting his money on third-rate “scientists,” perhaps he shouldn’t also waste it on third-rate legal “scholars”

Comment #64549

Posted by PvM on December 23, 2005 7:32 PM (e)

Note that as far as the ‘activist judge’s’ decision to apply the lemon test as well as the establishment test, Judge Jones was merely following the (I guess equally activist court’) 3rd Circuit Court

25 See, e.g., Modrovich v. Allegheny County, 385 F.3d 397, 406 (3d Cir. 2004) (“[A]lthough we find the endorsement test to be the appropriate standard by which to scrutinize the Plaque, we will apply both the endorsement test and the Lemon test, in case a higher court prefers to apply the traditional Lemon test.”).

Comment #64550

Posted by Andrew McClure on December 23, 2005 7:37 PM (e)

Hyperion, it’s probably clear at this point that the DI doesn’t understand, or care to participate in, any court except the court of public opinion. And from that perspective the DI’s blogging works just fine. Ad hominem on a Federal Judge may be terrible legal scholarship, but hey, it works just fine as PR.

Comment #64553

Posted by PvM on December 23, 2005 7:56 PM (e)

Ironically, DaveScott argued

DaveScot, an ID supporter, summed him up like this:

Judge John E. Jones on the other hand is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks. He was state attorney for D.A.R.E, an Assistant Scout Master with extensively involved with local and national Boy Scouts of America, political buddy of Governor Tom Ridge (who in turn is deep in George W. Bush’s circle of power), and finally was appointed by GW hisself. Senator Rick Santorum is a Pennsylvanian in the same circles (author of the “Santorum Language” that encourages schools to teach the controversy) and last but far from least, George W. Bush hisself drove a stake in the ground saying teach the controversy. Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies. (From Dembski’s blog, comment #4.)

Comment #64554

Posted by arden chatfield on December 23, 2005 8:00 PM (e)

Of course, the newsmedia are now fast spinning the tale that Judge Jones is not only a Republican, but he’s supposed to be a conservative and devoutly religious Republican. As I will blog about soon, those claims seem to be about as mythical as the view that Judge Jones isn’t an activist.

Uh oh, the swiftboating of Judge Jones begins! I can’t wait to hear the Discovery Institute ‘explaining’ Jones’s religious beliefs.

Classic Christianist reflex response to being backed in a corner… I assume it’ll be about as reality-based as their claims about Mirecki getting beaten up in a drug deal gone bad.

Comment #64565

Posted by Hyperion on December 23, 2005 10:09 PM (e)

You’re right, Andrew, and this legal scholarship is certainly on par with their scientific scholarship. But geez, if I’d emulated Mr. West in writing a paper or exam for a cons law class, I’d have been told that perhaps I should seek out another career.

Sometimes I wonder if the DI isn’t just a charitable organization with the aim of employing the incompetent.

On the other hand, this kind of shoddy writing does make one feel a good deal better about one’s own intelligence, even if it is a bit depressing.

Comment #64574

Posted by Steve S on December 23, 2005 10:58 PM (e)

Sometimes I wonder if the DI isn’t just a charitable organization with the aim of employing the incompetent.

I have wondered in the past if West and/or others involved with the DI are cryptoevolutionists, so horrendous have their “mistakes” been.

Comment #64576

Posted by nitpicker on December 23, 2005 11:08 PM (e)

In fact, this ruling might even constitute the most thorough research into ID ever commissioned.

And an appeal would qualify it as peer reviewed, making the judgement even more substantial than any ID publication.

Comment #64585

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 23, 2005 11:44 PM (e)

Correct me if I’m wrong, but at 139 pages, it appears as if the text of this ruling in and of itself may be greater than the combined length of every published “scientific” paper on ID.

But then, so was this sentence. (shrug)

Comment #64591

Posted by Kim on December 24, 2005 12:03 AM (e)

The comments of the ID and DI people are very clear to me: They are really hurt, and they realise that they have lost this gamble big time. And they try now to neutralize the effects of the ruling, and as they do not find clear sentences they can really say something about, they go for the ad hominems….

Comment #64593

Posted by Andrew McClure on December 24, 2005 12:47 AM (e)

hyperion wrote:

You’re right, Andrew, and this legal scholarship is certainly on par with their scientific scholarship. But geez, if I’d emulated Mr. West in writing a paper or exam for a cons law class, I’d have been told that perhaps I should seek out another career.

Oh, I’m sure.

Perhaps Mr. West was told the same thing in his law classes, and that’s why he took up a career in Christian apologetics :)

Comment #64595

Posted by Apesnake on December 24, 2005 12:54 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'url'

Comment #64597

Posted by sir_toejam on December 24, 2005 1:07 AM (e)

‘sudden emergence’ was the term used in the draft copy of the new “Pandas” book, IIRC.

Comment #64599

Posted by Registered User on December 24, 2005 1:28 AM (e)

West

but he’s supposed to be … devoutly religious

I must say watching the reaction of these losers to the Dover decision is ten times more fun than watching them make fools of themselves in court.

So now Judge Jones isn’t really “devoutly religious”?

I can’t wait to see what West’s criteria is for what makes a person “devoutly religious.”

We know it ain’t breaking the commandment about bearing false witness because West and his fellow goons chucked that one by the wayside a long time ago.

As far as I’m concerned, West’s comments cut right to the heart of the most disgusting aspect of this creationist garbage, which is the “True Christians Don’t Believe In Evolution” preaching.

That’s surely the part of Judge Jones opinion which has got their knickers must tightly knotted. In the minds of the dimwits at the Discovery Institute, when Judge Jones said (I paraphrase) “You can believe in evolution and be religious at the same time”, Judge Jones really meant “Your religion is based on a lie.”

Because make no mistake: Evolution Didn’t Happen = Christianity for the fanatic nutjobs at the Discovery Institute, just as surely as Gays Are Going To Hell = Christianity, and Abortionists Are Going to Hell = Christianity for a whole lot of “devout Christians” in our troubled country.

No doubts about this.

That’s why when you tell the typical creationist about Ken Miller and his arguments and the fact that he’s a Christian, the creationists won’t attempt to rebut Miller’s arguments. Instead, they’ll rebut Miller’s Christianity!!!!!!

The hypocricy is beyond disgusting, devastating in what it says about the DI and their asinine propaganda, and (surprise!) rarely noted.

Comment #64600

Posted by sir_toejam on December 24, 2005 1:32 AM (e)

I can’t wait to see what West’s criteria is for what makes a person “devoutly religious.”

I’m sure it includes complete agreement with every idea that comes out of his poor skull as a prerequisite.

Comment #64612

Posted by the pro from dover on December 24, 2005 6:36 AM (e)

Since I meet the definition of all three of these categories I’d like to say that there is nothing in “Christian”, or “conservative” or “republican” alone or in combination that requires support of Intelligent Design or any of it’s manifold offspring or fellow ideologic travelers. When apologists for I.D. complain about “strawman” attacks on their position it is because to them it isn’t important that I.D. lacks scientific credibility. The ultimate effect of this movement (whether or not it started this way) is to attack the scientific method. It seems that they see no difference between philosophical and methodologic materialism. Even Darwin himself realized that it was the materialism in natural selection that would garner the most antipathy. As far as emergence is concerned it starts not with biology but with physics and chemistry and pervades all science from there. For example: how do you predict the properties of water by adding the properties of hydrogen and oxygen in a 2:1 ratio?

Comment #64614

Posted by Bing on December 24, 2005 7:08 AM (e)

A reader of the York Daily Record sent in this beauty of a letter to the editor.

Left-wing court muzzles truth
Daily Record/Sunday News

Dec 22, 2005 — The liberal activist court has again taken up its weapon of choice: the muzzle, silencing the opposition rather than allowing free debate on a controversial subject in which the left stands to lose even more ground.

Contrary to what one might suppose, the testimony by Michael Behe, a brilliant proponent of intelligent design, in no way failed to convince the court that the idea of intelligent design has merit and is scientifically supportable. In fact, it clearly showed the left-wing activist court that it simply can’t afford to let this idea be discussed freely, because it is convincing and hence dangerous to the left’s atheistic ideology.

The last word has not been spoken here. Americans aren’t nearly as stupid as the left thinks.

DONALD HANK
WRIGHTSVILLE

Is he reading the same bio of Judge Jones that everyone else is? Has the disconnect from reality seeped that deeply into one segment of the American populace?

Comment #64618

Posted by KL on December 24, 2005 9:50 AM (e)

PvM wrote:

“I’d not call West as much as a liar as someone who may not have read the decision beyond the offending sentence. As far as I can tell he is also not a lawyer, like me, and thus his conclusions may be biased by the lack of knowledge and understanding.”

I’m a little late in posting this, I know, but isn’t this often a problem? It amazes me that people will submit to public forums with an air of certainty, making claims that are out of their area of expertise. Until this issue was “opined” on by national columnists, I had no idea just how ignorant they can be and how willing they were to publish nonsense. (Pat Buchanan posted a column in the Washington Times back in August that was so full of errors I was embarrassed for him.) These statements are not “musings”, “questions” or “hypotheses” like some non-lawyers make, which is perfectly okay; these guys are SURE they are right. If West is not a lawyer, he sure thinks he knows enough to render a critique of Jones’ legal work. That’s pretty arrogant.

In a way, the problem is when people “know” the absolute truth. They can never admit that maybe they don’t have all the answers and maybe they were wrong about something. I can’t speak for other professions, but if you take this approach in a classroom, you will lose credibility quickly. One of the first things we tell young teachers is that it’s okay to say “I don’t know. Can I get back to you on that? I’ve got to ask someone who knows more than I do on that topic.” This goes for certain church denominations too, who claim they have the ONLY path to salvation and the rest of the world is bound for hell.

Why do I find this surprising? Haven’t we seen a lot of non-biologists making claims about evolutionary biology? And non-educators making claims about education? Shame on anyone who has the power to reach a large audience and does not accept the responsibility to be accurate. We all must be, in the words of my particular church liturgy, “thankful of the examples we are given and aware of our visibility to others”.

Comment #64620

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 24, 2005 10:04 AM (e)

I must say watching the reaction of these losers to the Dover decision is ten times more fun than watching them make fools of themselves in court.

Some of are old enough to recall ICR giving a similar performance after they lost in Maclean and Edwards.

Like ICR, all DI can do in the wake of its loss it to simply repeat the same statements as before, only LOUDER this time. Along with some silly whining about “the whole world is out to get us !!!!!!” (shrug)

Don’t let the IDers fool you — despite all their weeping and whining, they LOVE losing like this. They ENJOY it. They WELCOME it. It gives them a chance to feed that massive martyr complex that they all have.

Comment #64629

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 24, 2005 12:25 PM (e)

I think West is right – Jones is an activist judge.

Non-activist judges first try to declare the case moot (Jones actually had an opportunity to do this when the defendants were voted off the school board). Then if they have to decide the case, they try to base the decision on the narrowest grounds possible. Jones could have decided the case solely on the basis of the religious motivations of the school board members (I am not saying that I think that this should be an issue, but that is the way these cases are decided), but instead decided to “traipse” into the much more controversial issue of the scientific merits of ID.

Chief Justice John “Ump” Roberts said that a judge is like an umpire – it is not his job to pitch or bat. Judge Jones decided to go to bat for the ID-bashers.

Jones tried to defend himself against charges of judicial activism by accusing ID proponents of activism. However, it is OK for ID proponents to be activists. It is not OK for a judge to be an activist.

Comment #64638

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 24, 2005 1:06 PM (e)

I think West is right — Jones is an activist judge.

(yawn)

And so, I suppose, were the judges in the Epperson case, the Daniels case, the Maclean case, the Segraves case, the Peloza case, the Edwards case, the Freiler case, the Selman case, and all the OTHER cases that ID/creationists lost. Indeed, since ID/creationists have lost every single Federal Court case they have ever been involved with — every single solitary one —, it would appear as if they are ALL “activist judges”.

I guess they are just part of the Anti-Christian Conspiracy,a long with the press, the liberal churches, scientists, educators, and the voters of Dover.

Right?

Do IDers actually have anything new to say now, or are they jsut going to keep repeating the same old crap, along with some weeping and whining about how everyone is out to get them?

Comment #64643

Posted by Hyperion on December 24, 2005 1:39 PM (e)

Under Mr. Fafarman’s argument, every single Supreme Court Justice since John Marshall is a judicial activist.

He appears to be confusing the issue of narrow vs. broad focus, which is what we see here, with judicial review vs. restraint. The concept of judicial review, as I mentioned above, goes back two centuries to Chief Justice Marshall. The idea of broad or narrow focus is similarly old, although this often depends on the issue and the judge’s discretion. Rhenquist’s Court was often known for keeping a fairly narrow focus, but were still quite “activist,” for instance in Lopez.

Mr. Fafarman’s issue here appears to be that he feels that Jude Jones’ ruling was overly broad. There is nothing wrong with this, especially given that he relies on multiple precedent.

If his objection is to having one federal judge make a large decision, again, tough luck. That’s what judges do, they listen to both sides and then make a decision based on law. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with a judicial ruling, or in appealing it, but when we begin to cross into a general wanton disregard for any ruling with which we disagree, we threaten the syste of laws that keep this country together. So I must ask Mr. Fafarman: Why do you hate America?

Comment #64660

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 24, 2005 3:07 PM (e)

Comment #64643
Posted by Hyperion on December 24, 2005 01:39 PM

Under Mr. Fafarman’s argument, every single Supreme Court Justice since John Marshall is a judicial activist.

At least none have – to my knowledge – ever denied in their official court opinions that they were activists. Judge Jones’ denial in his official opinion that he is an activist is tantamount to an admission that he is one.

If Kitzmiller v. Dover were appealed and made it all the way to the Supreme Court, I would not be surprised if the court threw it out on the grounds that it is moot because the defendants are no longer on the school board and the new school board reversed their decision. The courts have done this kind of thing before. For example, before there was the Alan Bakke reverse-discrimination case, there was the Mark DeFunis reverse-discrimination case, but the Supreme Court threw out the DeFunis case as moot because he had already been admitted to law school as a result of a lower court decision and was about to graduate when the case reached the Supreme Court. In the recent case of the words “under god” in the Pledge, the Supreme Court threw it out on the grounds that the plaintiff did not have standing to sue because he no longer had legal custody of his daughter on whose behalf he brought the suit. It is all very arbitrary – there is no predicting the courts.

Comment #64662

Posted by sir_toejam on December 24, 2005 3:12 PM (e)

At least none have — to my knowledge — ever denied in their official court opinions that they were activists. Judge Jones’ denial in his official opinion that he is an activist is tantamount to an admission that he is one.

LOL. right. so if you say you aren’t a complete moron, is that tantamount to saying you are?

Comment #64663

Posted by sir_toejam on December 24, 2005 3:17 PM (e)

I would not be surprised if the court threw it out on the grounds that it is moot because the defendants are no longer on the school board and the new school board reversed their decision

I sure would. The ruling in the case is based on the merits of the arguments presented, and is intended to curb future misbehavior of the Dover school board. As such, it doesn’t matter if the school board changes members.

What possible legal ground is there for an appeal? Nobody on eiher side has even suggested one.

ID lost because it is simply illogical and has no evidence, period.

get used to it.

creationism lost hundreds of years ago, give it up already.

Comment #64664

Posted by sir_toejam on December 24, 2005 3:22 PM (e)

It is all very arbitrary — there is no predicting the courts.

hardly. I see you don’t spend much time reviewing cases. You should broaden your horizons to cases outside of your narrow topic of interest. The courts are in fact, quite predictable. Our system of law actually depends on it.

I’m sure you would PREFER the courts to actually BE arbitrary, because then you could still have hope that they might someday abandon reason altogether, like you seem to have.

good luck with that.

Comment #64684

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 24, 2005 4:56 PM (e)

Hey Larry, if you’re finished whining, would you mind explaining to me why ID/creationists have lost every single Federal court case they have ever been involved with? In several different states, with over a dozen different federal judges, over a period of almost 40 years?

Or is “they’re mean to us” the best you can come up with.

By the way, Larry, did you notice how many precedent cases Judge Jones cited in his ruling?

Here, Larry – let me wring out your crying towel for you.

Don’t worry — maybe you’ll do better in Kansas. (snicker) (giggle)

Comment #64688

Posted by Don Baccus on December 24, 2005 5:28 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

I would not be surprised if the court threw it out on the grounds that it is moot because the defendants are no longer on the school board and the new school board reversed their decision

On what conceivable basis would the judge do this, denying plantiffs the possibility of winning their case and being awarded attorney’s fees and monetary damages?

Besides which, without the court ruling, nothing would stop the new board (or a future board) from affirming the ID nonsense in science class. The court can’t rule on a case on the presumption that an independent elected body’s future actions can be predicted with accuracy.

Sheesh…

Comment #64703

Posted by Moses on December 24, 2005 7:35 PM (e)

Comment #64629

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 24, 2005 12:25 PM (e) (s)

I think West is right — Jones is an activist judge.

Non-activist judges first try to declare the case moot (Jones actually had an opportunity to do this when the defendants were voted off the school board). Then if they have to decide the case, they try to base the decision on the narrowest grounds possible. Jones could have decided the case solely on the basis of the religious motivations of the school board members (I am not saying that I think that this should be an issue, but that is the way these cases are decided), but instead decided to “traipse” into the much more controversial issue of the scientific merits of ID.

Boo hoo. The board was voted off November 9th, 2005, but the policy was in effect until the new board convened and over-turned the policy. I’m not sure they engaged in that particular course of action, just as a tactical matter to seal the problem away forever.

Next, the case was narrowly decided. ID = creation science which is a necessary part of determining if this was science or religion wearing the clothes of science. If ID is science, then the judge says “No religion here. Nothing to see. Just move along folks…” If ID is religion (creation science) the judge then has to invoke the Constitution that prevents religious heads from forcing their beliefs down my throat.

Chief Justice John “Ump” Roberts said that a judge is like an umpire — it is not his job to pitch or bat. Judge Jones decided to go to bat for the ID-bashers.

Jones tried to defend himself against charges of judicial activism by accusing ID proponents of activism. However, it is OK for ID proponents to be activists. It is not OK for a judge to be an activist.

That’s what the judge did. Your whining and crying doesn’t make it anything else.

Comment #64737

Posted by Scott Simmons on December 24, 2005 9:55 PM (e)

“The board was voted off November 9th, 2005, but the policy was in effect until the new board convened and over-turned the policy.”

I’m not sure that that’s even relevant. The defendant in the case was the school board, not the individual members of the school board. The changing membership shouldn’t moot the case, any more than (say) Merck could evade the Vioxx lawsuits now ongoing by replacing their executive management and board of directors.

Comment #64739

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 24, 2005 10:48 PM (e)

I’m not sure that that’s even relevant. The defendant in the case was the school board, not the individual members of the school board. The changing membership shouldn’t moot the case

Larry is just talking out his butt again. The ACLU specifically asked for a court order PERMANENTLY BANNING the ID policy. Hence, the point was not mooted no matter WHO was or wasn’t on the Board.

That was done deliberately, for precisely that reason.

Comment #64747

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 25, 2005 2:18 AM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 24, 2005 12:25 PM (e) (s)

I think West is right — Jones is an activist judge.

Non-activist judges first try to declare the case moot (Jones actually had an opportunity to do this when the defendants were voted off the school board). Then if they have to decide the case, they try to base the decision on the narrowest grounds possible. Jones could have decided the case solely on the basis of the religious motivations of the school board members (I am not saying that I think that this should be an issue, but that is the way these cases are decided), but instead decided to “traipse” into the much more controversial issue of the scientific merits of ID.

Chief Justice John “Ump” Roberts said that a judge is like an umpire — it is not his job to pitch or bat. Judge Jones decided to go to bat for the ID-bashers.

Jones tried to defend himself against charges of judicial activism by accusing ID proponents of activism. However, it is OK for ID proponents to be activists. It is not OK for a judge to be an activist.

Good grief,
I hope I am never a defendant in a case where you are the Judge.

a. “Did you murder Mr. x?”
b. “No!”
a. “No? That is tantamount to saying yes! Guilty.”

OK. I do see what you mean. Judge Jones put his “activist” statement as a declaration rather than a reply. Where you see that as a measure of guilt, I see it as him having gotten used to ID proponents tactics so put it in as a pre-emptive measure. Do not forget that he did not just declare “not activist”, but went on to qualify it.

I am pretty sure that he did that because he believes the whole case was a waste of time and resources rather than from any guilty feelings.

As for declaring on the scientific merit of ID. What is the scientific theory of ID? What predictions does it make? How is ID falsifiable?

Can you think of ANY scientific theory EVER, that had it’s proponents hiring PR and Law firms before doing any research?

For goodness sake, ID (in it’s present form) is a sham.

BTW. What does “Activist Judge” actualy mean?
How does it apply here?

Comment #64749

Posted by Philbert on December 25, 2005 2:57 AM (e)

On December 24, 2005 12:25 PM, Larry Fafarman said, “Jones could have decided the case solely on the basis of the religious motivations of the school board members”

I don’t know the law, but if motive was the issue then if for some oddball religious reason (how about they worshipped Zeus), a school board added to it’s curriculum a secular subject (say, ancient Greek), it could be banned in that jurisdiction as unconstitutional. Furthermore, the same subject could be legally taught in a neighboring jurisdiction where the school board’s motive was secular. This make no sense to me, and to my mind, it’s got to be only the subject that’s either constitutional or not.

Somebody can correct me if I’m wrong.

Comment #64751

Posted by Matt on December 25, 2005 3:35 AM (e)

Hey, guys. I’m a cancer biologist and a firm advocate of evolution and dispelling creationist nonsense whereever I see it. I get a little uncomfortable when I see people calling Mr. Fafarman a moron and making other ad hominem attacks. That’s what THEY do–attack the person because they have no facts, no data, nothing. I’m new to the site, so maybe Mr. Fafarman has a history here, if so, and I’m am speaking out of turn, I apologize. But what I’ve learned personally as a scienctist that likes to engage the lay public is that when you meet their arguments will scorn, sarcasm and condescention the lay person effectively “shuts down” and won’t hear your arguments. I cringe when my fellow scientists at UCSF mock the fundies (as the KU prof did) and treat anyone that believes in ID as idiots. Kitzmiller was a huge win in broader war I often think we are actually losing. That war is over the sanctity of science and the struggle between facts and ideology. As difficult as it may be, and forgive me if I sound sanctimonious, we must meet their distortions with fact, their attacks with rational discourse, and their emotional, partisan appeals with calm, respectful reasoning. As the old saying goes (evolved of course), “Kill ‘em with kindness…and data.”

Matt

Comment #64754

Posted by Registerd User on December 25, 2005 5:42 AM (e)

As difficult as it may be, and forgive me if I sound sanctimonious, we must meet their distortions with fact, their attacks with rational discourse, and their emotional, partisan appeals with calm, respectful reasoning. As the old saying goes

Gosh, I’ve heard this sermon 10 million times.

I’ve learned personally as a scienctist that likes to engage the lay public is that when you meet their arguments

Where did the lay public get these “arguments”?

How come the lay public doesn’t have “arguments” about erosion? Or weather prediction?

The American “lay public” doesn’t give a rat’s behind whether someoe is “calm and respectful.”

It’s 2005. You should be aware of this fact by now.

I cringe when my fellow scientists at UCSF mock the fundies (as the KU prof did) and treat anyone that believes in ID as idiots.

I have yet to meet anyone who believed in “intelligent design” as a scientific theory that could articulate what was scientific about the theory they believed in.

If you know of someone like that, please send them here. There are a number of us who would like to hear from them.

The term “fundies” is a nice way of saying “religious fanatic” or “one whose religion prevents someone from interacting with reality in any way that is not antisocial.”

Such people really do exist. Sad, but true.

I’m not in the mood to kiss their butts after they cheerleaded this anti-science baloney into the mainstream, while simultaneously cheerleading the slaughter of innocent Iraqi women and children based on an independent set of completely fabricated data.

The people sitting on the fence in this “controversy” are more likely to flip not because they suddenly “understand” the science, but because politically and socially they come to learn that ID peddling is linked with dishonest and idiotic behavior.

Ask Senator Santorum. He’ll tell you all about it.

Comment #64757

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 25, 2005 6:37 AM (e)

From Comment #64688,
posted by Don Baccus on December 24, 2005 05:28 PM

Larry wrote:
*****I would not be surprised if the court threw it out on the grounds that it is moot because the defendants are no longer on the school board and the new school board reversed their decision******

On what conceivable basis would the judge do this, denying plantiffs the possibility of winning their case and being awarded attorney’s fees and monetary damages?

You quoted me out of context. When I said “court,” I was referring to the US Supreme Court, not the local federal district court. The Supreme Court has thrown out cases on the grounds of mootness or lack of standing to sue. I gave two examples, the DeFunis reverse-discrimination case and the “under god” Pledge of Allegiance case.

As for the district court judge in this case, I don’t know what all his options were. For example, instead of immediately throwing out the case as moot after the previous board members were voted out, maybe he could have suspended the case pending suit of the new board members if they did not rescind the ID rule. I don’t know.

The Dover plaintiffs’ legal representatives ran up an exorbitant legal bill, estimated to be over $1 million, by having 9-10 attorneys on the case – that was overkill. And I certainly feel that there is no right to monetary damages (called “nominal” in the official court opinion), because the plaintiffs were not the only alleged victims of the alleged violation of church-state separation.

To me, this is the bottom line –
Irreducible complexity, the best-known scientific concept of ID, is presented in purely scientific terms. It does not matter whether irreducible complexity has been proven to be valid or not, because many scientific concepts that are taught have not been proven to be valid. All that matters is that irreducible complexity per se is not a religious concept. There is only separation of church and state. There is no separation of scientific error and state. There is not even any separation of pseudoscience and state. The problem as I see it is with the term “intelligent design,” which implies the existence of an intelligent designer. So I think it is OK to teach irreducible complexity (or other criticisms of evolution theory that are presented in purely scientific terms) in public-school science classes so long as it is not called “intelligent design.”

Comment #64761

Posted by sir_toejam on December 25, 2005 7:34 AM (e)

after this latest post by Larry, where he completely ignores 90% of the reasoned responses to his little epithet, can Matt now wonder any more why we inferred him to be a moron?

Larry - wake up and smell the coffee, buddy.

do one thing for us, if you would:

define how the concept of irreducible complexity can be tested scientifically for us.

please state why hypotheses it would generate, and what predictions, and how we could design an experiment to attempt to falsify those predictions.

If you can do that, you would have been a better witness for the defense than Behe was.

Comment #64762

Posted by sir_toejam on December 25, 2005 7:36 AM (e)

You really should at least TRY to read the ruling itself, Larry, rather than listen to 3rd hand interpretations from your religious adviser.

Comment #64768

Posted by jeffw on December 25, 2005 8:58 AM (e)

As difficult as it may be, and forgive me if I sound sanctimonious, we must meet their distortions with fact, their attacks with rational discourse, and their emotional, partisan appeals with calm, respectful reasoning. As the old saying goes (evolved of course), “Kill ‘em with kindness…and data.”

Nah, that doesn’t work at all in my experience. It’s perceived as weakness by single-minded IDiots. Like it or not, this is a brutal war. Lenny’s right - go for the gonads.

Comment #64771

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 25, 2005 9:18 AM (e)

Comment #64761
Posted by sir_toejam on December 25, 2005 07:34 AM

after this latest post by Larry, where he completely ignores 90% of the reasoned responses to his little epithet, can Matt now wonder any more why we inferred him to be a moron?

Matt was right when he observed (Comment #64751, posted by Matt on December 25, 2005 03:35 AM ) –
“– what I’ve learned personally as a scientist that likes to engage the lay public is that when you meet their arguments will scorn, sarcasm and condescension the lay person effectively ‘shuts down’ and won’t hear your arguments.”

As a result of your insulting post, I have – in the words of Matt – “shut down.” I see no reason to answer any of your questions, because I know that your response will be to continue your ad hominem attacks. I think that you are also likely to twist my words, put words in my mouth, and ignore my statements by changing the subject. Furthermore, my refusal to answer your insulting posts does not mean that I have conceded anything.

Comment #64777

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 10:29 AM (e)

You quoted me out of context. When I said “court,” I was referring to the US Supreme Court, not the local federal district court. The Supreme Court has thrown out cases on the grounds of mootness or lack of standing to sue.

And once again, Larry is talking out his butt. As noted before, the ACLU specifically asked for an order PERMANENTLY BANNING the ID policy, no amtter WHO was on the school board or not. This was done deliberately to keep the case active even if the board was voted out.

Irreducible complexity, the best-known scientific concept of ID, is presented in purely scientific terms. It does not matter whether irreducible complexity has been proven to be valid or not, because many scientific concepts that are taught have not been proven to be valid. All that matters is that irreducible complexity per se is not a religious concept. There is only separation of church and state. There is no separation of scientific error and state. There is not even any separation of pseudoscience and state. The problem as I see it is with the term “intelligent design,” which implies the existence of an intelligent designer. So I think it is OK to teach irreducible complexity (or other criticisms of evolution theory that are presented in purely scientific terms) in public-school science classes so long as it is not called “intelligent design.”

Alas, what you think, doesn’t matter. (shrug)

Judge Jones deals with this very argument in his opinion, and shreds it.

Have you actually READ the decision yet, Larry …. ?

As a result of your insulting post, I have — in the words of Matt — “shut down.” I see no reason to answer any of your questions, because I know that your response will be to continue your ad hominem attacks.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen ID/creationisst give this “boo hoo hoo, you were mean to me so I won’t answer you any more”.

Alas for Larry, my questions to him make their point whether he answers or not. I didn’t ask for, and don’t need, his cooperation. (shrug)

Larry, why have creationist/IDers lost every single Federal court case they have ever been involved with? Is every Federal judge in the country a biased activist god-hating evolutionist?

Comment #64781

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 10:46 AM (e)

As the old saying goes (evolved of course), “Kill ‘em with kindness…and data.”

Well, you go ahead and give that a try, and see how it works out for you. Let us know how many IDers you manage to, uh, convert.

(sigh)

With all due respect, I find it *extremely* frustrating when some naive scientist-type like this thinks they can win this thing simply by educating the poor rubes and making nice-nice with them. People like this have NO idea what this fight is about. Not a clue.

This fight isn’t about science. It won’t be stopped with science.

This is a POLITICAL fight, not a scientific one. It is not an academic dispute over “data” or “evidence”; it is a political dispute over political power and who gets to weild it. The IDers aren’t interested in science and don’t give a flying fig about science education; what they want (ALL they want) is a theocratic political program to use the power of the state to push their religious opinions onto everyone else, whether everyone else likes it or not. They are Taliban-wanna-be’s. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Academic debate means nothing to them; reason is wasted on them.

Politics is a business full of knives. This is not a scientific symposium; it is not an academic debate amongst pomp and decorum. This is a bar-room braw, not a tennis match. Punches will be thrown, blood will hit the walls, and teeth will be lying on the floor. One side will walk away alive, the other side won’t.

I see no reason at all whatsoever to make nice-nice with them. My aim is simple —- I intend to crush them, utterly and completely, as an effective political organization. I intend to disrupt their funding, to shatter their internal unity by provoking as much internal dissent between them as I can, to weaken their connections to their supporters in the political realm, to counter their legal and political tactics at every turn, and to make it as horribly expensive as possible (both financially and politically) for them to continue their fight.

I am not interested in “converting” them. I am not interested in “educating” them. My sole interest is in destroying them, utterly, as an effective political movement.

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty with that sort of thing, then I suggest you go back to your ivory tower, and leave the political fighting to those of us who aren’t afraid to actually do it.

Comment #64782

Posted by drakvl on December 25, 2005 10:47 AM (e)

Hey, I never insulted you, Larry!

How about this: That ID is unscientific can be demonstrated by the fact that it fails to meet the criteria of science. For one, it is untestable.

That ID’s being taught in Dover was religiously motivated is supported by various bits of evidence. For one, there was the church fundraising to buy _Of Pandas and People_.

A bit off-topic: personally, I feel Judge Jones was biased. What biased him was all those people on the ID side lying. From what I’ve seen (admittedly, mostly from Law & Order), judges have a habit of becoming angry when people have such disrespect for their courts as to lie under oath.

And to Matt: I still have hope that I may educate some of the psycho-Christians who come here to LSU, to preach. However, these people reject a textbook on *logic* as being a book of “worldly knowledge,” or some such crap.

Comment #64790

Posted by k.e. on December 25, 2005 11:29 AM (e)

arrrrgghhhh
Lenny do you have the recipe for that viking piss?
If it is front loaded it just might be the thing to send to the ID camp for them to do the job on each other. hehehehe

Comment #64792

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 12:03 PM (e)

Hey, I never insulted you, Larry!

Fundies are infallible and speak on behalf of God. Therefore, ANYTHING that ANYONE says that disagrees with them in ANY way is, by definition, an insult.

Comment #64793

Posted by k.e. on December 25, 2005 12:19 PM (e)

Hence the Monty Python tune “Never be rude to an Arab”

Comment #64795

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 25, 2005 12:19 PM (e)

Comment #64777
Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 10:29 AM

Larry wrote –
****You quoted me out of context. When I said “court,” I was referring to the US Supreme Court, not the local federal district court. The Supreme Court has thrown out cases on the grounds of mootness or lack of standing to sue.****

And once again, Larry is talking out his butt. As noted before, the ACLU specifically asked for an order PERMANENTLY BANNING the ID policy, no matter WHO was on the school board or not. This was done deliberately to keep the case active even if the board was voted out.

Why should the judge give the ACLU anything it wants? In the Marco DeFunis reverse-discrimination case, maybe DeFunis and his supporters realized that a Supreme Court decision would not affect him personally because he was going to graduate soon from law school anyway, but nonetheless decided to appeal to the SC because they wanted an SC ruling against reverse discrimination in university admissions. But the Supreme Court threw out the case as moot because DeFunis was about to graduate.

In the Dover case, the ouster of the pro-ID school board members raised some serious issues in regard to appeals. How can the defendants appeal, now that they are no longer on the school board? And what if the plaintiffs had lost – how could they appeal, now that the current school board is ready to rescind the ID rule?

Alas, what you think, doesn’t matter. (shrug)

Judge Jones deals with this very argument in his opinion, and shreds it.)

What is all this “(shrug)” crap, anyway?

You just stuck your foot in your mouth, again. You said that what I think doesn’t matter, then you say that my thoughts were sufficiently important that the judge addressed them or similar thoughts in his opinion.

And instead of just mouthing off about the judge “shredding” my argument in his opinion, why don’t you either quote the appropriate part of the opinion or refer to the appropriate page(s) of the opinion ? Otherwise, you are nothing but a big bag of hot air.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen ID/creationist give this “boo hoo hoo, you were mean to me so I won’t answer you any more”.

And I wish I had a penny for every time I’ve seen an ID-basher make a scurrilous, uncalled-for ad hominem attack on an ID proponent.

Alas for Larry, my questions to him make their point whether he answers or not. I didn’t ask for, and don’t need, his cooperation. (shrug)

Well, I just punched some big holes in the points you think you made.

Larry, why have creationist/IDers lost every single Federal court case they have ever been involved with? Is every Federal judge in the country a biased activist god-hating evolutionist?

In the Cobb County, Georgia evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker case, one of the appeals court judges indicated that he is leaning in favor of approving the stickers. I think that the reason for that is that the stickers do not mention intelligent design or anything else that might be interpreted as being religious.

Comment #64797

Posted by k.e. on December 25, 2005 12:28 PM (e)

Change hands Larry

Comment #64798

Posted by Matt on December 25, 2005 12:31 PM (e)

I’ve actually had some success engaging your average Joe regarding evolution, ID and the political controversy. How many have a turned from hardcore creatism to full-on evolutionists? Not many, but I’ve had some shift towards evolution most definitely. What I’ve found that there’s these extremes fighting the political battles, meanwhile your average american has no clue what evolution is really about or what ID is saying. I recently had a colleague tell me that he believed in ID because he, “Believed that evolution was set in motion by God.” I was dumbfounded. Here was a cell biologist with a PhD at a prestigious university that had no clue what ID was and what their movement was all about. So my strategy-call it kissing butt if you want–is to first ask them what they know about evolution, ID and the political maelstrom. Then I educate them–often correcting erroneous assumptions about evolution. Then I explain to them what science is all about, the lack of support regarding ID and their political manipulations. More often than not, the look I’ve gotten is one of surprise (that they’ve been misled) and then comfort that accepting evolution doesn’t require them to be an aetheist or a liberal. I belong to a conservative forum where I’m one of only a few progressive-minded, scientific educated folks that try to take on these issues at a grass roots level. I read here on this blog time to time, but I like to go “behind enemy lines” so-to-speak because I would just be preaching to the choir here. Likewise, I never miss an opportunity to talk about the issue to family, friends, collegues, and even strangers when the opportunity presents itself. So, no, I’m not hiding in an ivory tower hoping the issue just goes away.

You are absolutely right when you say this is a war. Unfortunately too many of my collegues don’t take the threat of fundamentalism seriously, and even if they do, they do nothing about it. My weapon of choice is education. I simply think that most Americans as I said above, don’t even understand the issue, and at most see it as “God” vs “No God”. Something like 80% of Americans are Christians. I am an agnostic/aetheist myself, but if you don’t respect that you’re swimming upstream. Its like the war or terror. You can kill all the terrorists you want, but unless you address the root problem, you’ll never win the war. So what is the root problem in this country? Scientific ignorance is probably number 1 for me, with religious fundamentalism a close second. Unlike scientific ingorance, battling religious fundamentalism is beyond my expertise and is an issue that spans much wider than evolution. But many Christians are NOT fundamentalists (Catholics for instance) and there is ZERO reason for them to be hostile to evolution.

Honestly, I applaud your efforts, particulary those that maintain sites like this. We are on the same side and I understand the political battle aspect. For me though, I think educating the american public is the best way to end the political battle. Court decisions, public policy issues, media battles, this is all important, but much of it will be rendered moot if I/we can educate. The IDM has a considerable headstart in terms of framing the debate. We need to not only combat this distortion (most often metted out via the mainstream media) but now begin to preemptively framing the debate on OUR terms. The actual scientists have been sitting on the sidelines way too long. Look at the polls! In 2005 more and more people reject evolution. I believe the situation is actually worse than it was compared to polls in the 70’s and 80’s IIRC. Dover was a big win, but this fight is far from over and I’m not sure, even with that decision that we are winning this war.

Lastly, as for the kindness stuff. I don’t believe making a forceful, coherant, covincing argument and respect are mutually exclusive. To draw analogy with the war on terror–I don’t think we beat the terrorists by resorting to their tactics. I not only think we can, but we must be BETTER than the liars at the DI and others of their ilk. Stunts like the issue at KU only help fuel their movement. So yes, I believe I can be kind, respectful and nail their asses to the wall all at the same time. Finally, I don’t know if any of you guys or gals so this, but there was a study mentioned in Science about a University where they taught an into Bio course both as evo only or evo + some ID. The study was small and published in Biosciences, which I never heard of so I can’t speak to the scientific merit of the journal overal. They taught 4 sections of classes, 2 with typical evo education, then 2 with evolution combined with this ID book/video called “Icons of ….” something or other. Afterwards they conducted a survey regarding evolution attitudes from the beginning of the course compared to the end. Long story short, NONE of the creationist-leaning students that entered the class changed their mind after the Evo only lectures. In contrast, in the sections that taught evo accompanied by some ID information, a statitically signific percentage of creationists shifted towards an acceptance of evolution. I thought this was fairly provacative. What is our goal if it is not, in part, to get the next generation of Americans understanding the nature of science, critical thinking, and undoing the creationist/dogmatic ideology? Now I am NOT….NOT advocating teaching ID in such a way that makes it seem as if it merits some real scientific status; however, the conclusions of the paper were interesting. I’ll dig up the link to the pdf if anyone’s interested.

In any event, sorry for being so long winded. We are on the same side and I appreciate your efforts. I’m simply trying to figure out the best strategy for actually winning this war in the long term and I think that’s something those of us on this side of the fence can reasonably debate….

Matt

Comment #64807

Posted by Don Baccus on December 25, 2005 1:06 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

The Dover plaintiffs’ legal representatives ran up an exorbitant legal bill, estimated to be over $1 million, by having 9-10 attorneys on the case — that was overkill.

Again displaying your lack fof knowledge of our legal system. As a party to a legal case, I am entitled to hire as much legal firepower as my purse (or pro bono help by friendly attorneys) will allow.

Folks who bitch that the ACLU or other organizations that take full advantage of our legal system “don’t play fair” get little respect from me. This is no different than my work on conservation issues like the preservation of old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. The timber industry and the politicians in their pocket whine and whine about conservation organizations filing suits. Why do we file suit? Because the law’s on our side and we win most of our cases.

If you don’t like lawsuits, don’t break the friggin’ law. Don’t complain that the party with the law on their side hired too many lawyers. Complain that the party that broke the law … broke the law.

In the Dover case, the problem isn’t that the ACLU had too many lawyers. The problem was that the school board tried to shove religion into the science classroom. Their own friggin’ lawyer told them “you’re going to get in deep doo-doo if you do this”. They chose to listen to the TMLC, instead.

They deserve exactly what they got.

Oh, for the record, I don’t think you’re a moron. I think you’re just a typical fundie who can’t accept the fact that our Constitution carries more weight in court than your Bible.

Comment #64809

Posted by Steve S on December 25, 2005 1:21 PM (e)

Larry Falafalman said:

And I wish I had a penny for every time I’ve seen an ID-basher make a scurrilous, uncalled-for ad hominem attack on an ID proponent.

I wish I had some money for every time a creationist called an insult an ad hominem argument.

Comment #64811

Posted by Arden Chatfield on December 25, 2005 1:36 PM (e)

Yeah, I’ve noticed that ‘ad hominem argument’ seems to be a new fad catch phrase that Fundies now use every time someone disputes anything they say. If you forcefully tell someone their argument is false, then you’re guilty of using an ‘ad hominem argument’. I don’t think they know that’s not what it means.

Comment #64813

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 25, 2005 1:49 PM (e)

Comment #64782
Posted by drakvl on December 25, 2005 10:47 AM

How about this: That ID is unscientific can be demonstrated by the fact that it fails to meet the criteria of science. For one, it is untestable.

Well, ID is testable, in a way – just take a multi-part system that appears to be irreducibly complex and remove one of its parts and see if it still functions !! LOL The argument against that is that the parts or similar parts may have had some functions as separate, independent parts and that all these parts miraculously came together at the same time in their final forms to create the complete system.

Actually, macro-evolution (as opposed to micro-evolution) theory is not testable, either. It is not possible to set up an experiment for observing macro-evolution in progress. Macro-evolution theory is based just on a reasoning analysis of circumstantial evidence in the fossil record, comparative anatomy, genetics, etc..

Also, some people say that ID is not scientific because it is not a “scientific theory” or a “scientific hypothesis.” If “scientific theory” is defined as a complete scientific explanation for some observed phenomena and “scientific hypothesis” is defined as a proposed scientific theory, then it is true that ID is neither. But the scientific parts of ID – such as irreducible complexity – can be regarded as just scientific criticisms of evolution theory.

That ID’s being taught in Dover was religiously motivated is supported by various bits of evidence. For one, there was the church fundraising to buy _Of Pandas and People_.

I agree.

A bit off-topic: personally, I feel Judge Jones was biased. What biased him was all those people on the ID side lying. From what I’ve seen (admittedly, mostly from Law & Order), judges have a habit of becoming angry when people have such disrespect for their courts as to lie under oath.

I think that the judge got annoyed at just one or two of the defendants because they apparently did not mention at a Jan. 2005 deposition that the money to buy the Panda books was collected at a church. I doubt that such alleged dishonesty biased him.

Comment #64816

Posted by Bob O'H on December 25, 2005 2:29 PM (e)

Larry Fafarman wrote:

Well, ID is testable, in a way — just take a multi-part system that appears to be irreducibly complex and remove one of its parts and see if it still functions !!

Of coursde, this doesn’t test ID - strictly, it only tests IC, and isn’t even a test of the falsity of evolution. If you read the judge’s opinion, you’ll see that he lays out very clearly Behe’s reasons why this doesn’t work (on p73).

Larry Fafarman wrote:

Actually, macro-evolution (as opposed to micro-evolution) theory is not testable, either. It is not possible to set up an experiment for observing macro-evolution in progress.

The former does not follow from the latter. It is possible, using macro-evolutionary theory, to make predictions that can be tested by obersvation of the real world (e.g. of the fossil record, or of molecular evolution). If you read some of the scientific posts here, you’ll see the sorts of things that are being discovered.

Bob

Comment #64817

Posted by Steve S on December 25, 2005 2:32 PM (e)

Well, ID is testable, in a way — just take a multi-part system that appears to be irreducibly complex and remove one of its parts and see if it still functions !! LOL

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CI/CI102.html…

Actually, macro-evolution (as opposed to micro-evolution) theory is not testable, either.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB901.html…

But the scientific parts of ID — such as irreducible complexity — can be regarded as just scientific criticisms of evolution theory.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CI/CI001.html…

Comment #64819

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 3:06 PM (e)

****You quoted me out of context. When I said “court,” I was referring to the US Supreme Court, not the local federal district court. The Supreme Court has thrown out cases on the grounds of mootness or lack of standing to sue.****

And once again, Larry is talking out his butt. As noted before, the ACLU specifically asked for an order PERMANENTLY BANNING the ID policy, no matter WHO was on the school board or not. This was done deliberately to keep the case active even if the board was voted out.

Why should the judge give the ACLU anything it wants?

and yet MORE butt-talking from Larry.

Larry, it appears as if you’re not terribly bright, so I’ll say this again verrrryyy ssslllooowwwwlllyyyyyy:

YOU claimed that the case should have been thrown out as moot when the Dover Board was bounced out on its holy little butt.

I pointed out that the ACLU had specifically asked for a PERMANENT order, thus keeping the case in play no matter WHO was or wasn’t on the board.

YOU, rather than acknowledging that you were wrong (IDers do seem to have quite a problemw ith that), now have changed the subject, asking why the judge should give ACLU what it wants.

And the answer is simple —— the judge agve the ACLU what it wanted because the ACLU presented a mass of evidence and testimony in support of its position, and the IDers presented none.

(shrug)

In the Cobb County, Georgia evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker case, one of the appeals court judges indicated that he is leaning in favor of approving the stickers. I think that the reason for that is that the stickers do not mention intelligent design or anything else that might be interpreted as being religious.

That, of course, is precisely the same argument made in the original case. They lost.

It is also the precise argument made in the Freiler case. They lost there, too.

And the Jones decision lists with carefully footnoted clarity the simple fact that “teach the controversy” is just the latest step in a long history of religious opposition to evolution. And the Kansas Kooks (whose policy also doesn’t mention ID or anything else that might be interpreted as being religious) were nice enough to inform the press for us that they were flat-out lying in their stated policy, that their motives are indeed religious, and laid out those religious arguments for all the world to see and remember.

This is, of course, reinforced by the simple inescapable fact that ALL of the putative “scientific arguments against evolution”, every single one of them from “irredicible complexity” to “the pre-Cambrain explosion” are lifted, intact and word-for-word, from creation “science” and ID religious tracts — all of which have already been ruled illegal for being based on religious motives.

Actually, macro-evolution (as opposed to micro-evolution) theory is not testable, either.

(yawn) Tell it to the judge, Larry. Oh wait, you DID. And he thought it was full of crap, just like all the rest of ID’s, uh, “scientific arguments”.

(shrug)

Game over, Larry.

Get used to it.

(shrug)

What is all this “(shrug)” crap, anyway?

Annoys you, does it? Good.

Main Entry: 1shrug
Pronunciation: ‘shr&g, esp Southern ‘sr&g
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): shrugged; shrug·ging
Etymology: Middle English schruggen
intransitive senses : to raise or draw in the shoulders especially to express aloofness, indifference, or uncertainty
transitive senses : to lift or contract (the shoulders) especially to express aloofness, indifference, or uncertainty

Comment #64821

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 25, 2005 3:23 PM (e)

Comment #64807 Posted by Don Baccus on December 25, 2005 01:06 PM

Larry wrote:
****The Dover plaintiffs’ legal representatives ran up an exorbitant legal bill, estimated to be over $1 million, by having 9-10 attorneys on the case — that was overkill.*****

Again displaying your lack of knowledge of our legal system. As a party to a legal case, I am entitled to hire as much legal firepower as my purse (or pro bono help by friendly attorneys) will allow.

Of course you are entitled to hire as much “legal firepower” as you and your pro bono help can afford or are willing to pay for. The question is, how much of this “legal firepower” should your adversaries in court be expected to pay for if they lose? The law officially allows an award of only “reasonable” attorney fees. The Civil Rights Attorney’s Fees Awards Act of 1976 provides that in federal civil rights actions “the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs.” (emphasis added) Judge Jones also used the word “reasonable” in his opinion. The US Supreme Court, in Blum v. Stenson, 465 U.S. 886 (1984), ruled that non-profit organizations which originally agreed to provide pro bono representation are eligible for an award of these fees under this act.

9-10 plaintiffs’ attorneys on this case was an excessive number by any standard – and it was more than twice what the defendants had, four.

The threat of virtually unlimited awards of attorney fees enables the ACLU (and similar organizations) to blackmail local communities into doing the ACLU’s bidding, even when the local community has a good chance of winning in court.

They deserve exactly what they got.

So the taxpayers of the Dover Area School District who will be paying the legal bill deserve exactly what they got. Yeah, right.

Oh, for the record, I don’t think you’re a moron. I think you’re just a typical fundie who can’t accept the fact that our Constitution carries more weight in court than your Bible.

I have been posting on this ID issue on the America Online message boards for a long time, and I have almost never been called a “fundy.” Here I was called a “fundy” several times in just one day. I was never called a moron with such frequency, either. Just goes to show where you people are coming from.

Comment #64822

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 3:28 PM (e)

But the scientific parts of ID — such as irreducible complexity — can be regarded as just scientific criticisms of evolution theory.

As an aside here, notice once again the fundie fascination with the power of words. Apparently, fundies like Larry think that, by changing the words one uses to describe something, that it actually changes the thing being described.

A few months ago, Larry’s ID pals presented “irreducible complexity” as a “scientific theory of ID”. That argument fell flat on its holy little face. NOW, however, Larry’s ID pals want to change the description — NOW, instead of being a “scientific theory of ID”, “irreducible complexity” is described as “a scientific criticism of evolution”.

Take note that “irreducible complexity” hasn’t changed at all. All that’s changed is the words the fundies want to use to DESCRIBE it.

Larry, when your ID pals testified in court that “irreducible complexity IS a scientific theory of ID”, were they lying to us?

When they tell us now that “irreducible complexity is NOT a scientific theory of ID”, are they lying to us?

Or does this change from moment to moment according to what is most convenient at the time?

In essence, Larry and his ID pals don’t want to change any of their arguments — they simply want to rename them as something else, and then try them again and again and again. (Indeed, every argument made by Larry and his ID pals — everything from “irreducible complexity” to “macroevolution isn’t testible” have ALL been lifted, unchanged and intact, from standard creation “science” boilerplate from 40 years ago.)

Oddly enough, when they keep repeating the very same (renamed) arguments over and over and over again, they keep losing over and over and over again. Perhaps that is why ID/creationists have lost every single Federal court case they have ever been involved with (I notice that Larry doesn’t seem to want to talk about that).

Sooner or later, I suppose, Larry and his pals will figure out that changing the name of something, doesn’t change that something. Calling a skunk a petunia, doesn’t make it stink any less. But then, when a skunk is all you HAVE, I guess you do what you gotta do. (shrug)

Comment #64823

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 3:31 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #64824

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 3:36 PM (e)

The threat of virtually unlimited awards of attorney fees enables the ACLU (and similar organizations) to blackmail local communities into doing the ACLU’s bidding, even when the local community has a good chance of winning in court.

(sigh) And yet AGAIN, we see Larry (the lawyer-wanna-be) talking out his butt.

Larry, when you learn enough about the case to know what you are talking about, you will learn that the ACLU is not seeking ANY attorney fees for the case. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. What they want is reimbursement for their legal expenses (witness fees, deposition costs, etc).

The law officially allows an award of only “reasonable” attorney fees. The Civil Rights Attorney’s Fees Awards Act of 1976 provides that in federal civil rights actions “the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs.” (emphasis added) Judge Jones also used the word “reasonable” in his opinion. The US Supreme Court, in Blum v. Stenson, 465 U.S. 886 (1984), ruled that non-profit organizations which originally agreed to provide pro bono representation are eligible for an award of these fees under this act.

As noted above, the attorney fees that are being requested in this case are ZERO. That strikes me as being pretty damn “reasonable”, by any measure. (shrug)

The expenses are what they are. And yes, the loser should expect to pay all of them.

Apparently your opinion is that, well, your opinion should count more than the judge’s.

As I noted before, your opinion doesn’t mean diddley doo. (shrug)

Comment #64827

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 3:40 PM (e)

I have been posting on this ID issue on the America Online message boards for a long time

Then go back to the minor leagues, junior. People here have been fighting ID/creationists for a very long time (almost 25 years, in my case). Most of the people here are professionals who work in the very fields under discussion. Some of the people here are the veryn ones who worked with the Dover team in court, and who helped oppose the IDers in Ohio and Kansas. And THAT goes to show “where we people here are coming from”.

You are not arguing here with AOL dolts.

(We, of course, *are*.)

Comment #64828

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 3:49 PM (e)

Larry, do you think we should also teach scientific evidence against heliocentrism?

How about scientific evidence against the germ theory of disease?

Scientific evidence against relativity? Against quantum mechanics? Against plate tectonics?

Why is it just evolution that gets your undies all bunched up? Is there a particular reason for that?

A religious reason, perhaps … ?

Comment #64829

Posted by PvM on December 25, 2005 3:51 PM (e)

9-10 plaintiffs’ attorneys on this case was an excessive number by any standard — and it was more than twice what the defendants had, four.

The threat of virtually unlimited awards of attorney fees enables the ACLU (and similar organizations) to blackmail local communities into doing the ACLU’s bidding, even when the local community has a good chance of winning in court.

The Legal Team in Dover consisted according to the ACLU website of

The Legal Team

Pepper Hamilton LLP (Pro Bono)

Eric J. Rothschild
Stephen G. Harvey

ACLU of Pennsylvania
Witold “Vic” Walczak

Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Richard B. Katskee

This Skeptic website mentions

Eric Rothschild, one of the partners of the Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton LLP and a member of the NCSE legal advisory council, enthusiastically offered to take the case, telling Scott, “I’ve been waiting for this for 15 years.” Most major firms do pro bono work, but that work is typically reserved for younger associates without a large and established client list as a good way to get them experience, boost the image of the firm for the charity work, and provide a healthy tax write-off. But Pepper Hamilton would assign five attorneys to Kitzmiller, three of them partners. Rothschild himself took on the role of chief counsel. Add in Witold Walczak and Pamela Knudsen of the Pennsylvania ACLU, and Richard Katskee and Alex Luchenitser from AU, and there is no doubt the plaintiffs had established a formidable legal team.

Btw I understand that Dembski threatened to sue for over 100 hours of work, at $200/hr.

So far, the plaintiffs’ legal fees exceed $1 million, said Witold Walczak, a lawyer for the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is helping to present the case against the district.

Source

The term ‘reasonable fees’ is commonly used in law.

9-10 plaintiffs’ attorneys on this case was an excessive number by any standard — and it was more than twice what the defendants had, four.

That again is up to the judge to determine if the lawyers can’t agree on the terms. Given the excellent and in depth work performed by the plaintiffs’ lawyers, the number of lawyers involved may very well be considered reasonable. The amount of hours charged is however what matters and the judge will have to determine given the nature of the amount of work involved how much the plaintiffs may be awarded. Since the judge used much of the plaintiffs findings of fact, this may affect the determination significantly.

he prevailing party in whose favor final judgment is entered shall be entitled to have and r ecover of and from the losing party, all costs and expenses incurred or sustained by such prevailing party in connection with such suit or action, including without limitation, reasonable legal fees and court costs

Comment #64839

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 25, 2005 4:47 PM (e)

Comment #64819 posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 03:06 PM

Larry, it appears as if you’re not terribly bright, so I’ll say this again verrrryyy ssslllooowwwwlllyyyyyy:

YOU claimed that the case should have been thrown out as moot when the Dover Board was bounced out on its holy little butt.

I pointed out that the ACLU had specifically asked for a PERMANENT order, thus keeping the case in play no matter WHO was or wasn’t on the board.

By your line of reasoning, the US Supreme Court was obligated to rule on the merits of the DeFunis reverse-discrimination case just because of all the time and money that DeFunis and his supporters spent on the appeal. Actually, the Supreme Court was not obligated to accept the case at all, but the SC accepted it and then ruled it to be moot.

And as I said before, the ouster of the school board members created severe problems in regard to appeals. It now looks like the defendants and the defense cannot appeal even if they wanted to, because (1) the defendants are no longer on the board and (2) the current board is virtually certain to repeal the ID rule ( I don’t think an appeal would be a good idea anyway because of all the big mistakes that the defendants and the defense made, but that’s beside the point ). And if the plaintiffs had lost, they probably could not appeal either because the current board probably would have repealed the ID rule even if the plaintiffs had lost.

As for the Cobb County evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker case, have you been following it? One appeals court judge has already indicated that he considers the stickers to be factually correct and he also criticized errors in the ACLU’s brief. See –

http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com/2005/12/cobb-…

As for the “(shrug)” crap, it doesn’t annoy me – I just think it’s stupid.

Comment #64845

Posted by Don Baccus on December 25, 2005 5:34 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Of course you are entitled to hire as much “legal firepower” as you and your pro bono help can afford or are willing to pay for. The question is, how much of this “legal firepower” should your adversaries in court be expected to pay for if they lose?

All of it if it can be shown that they worked on the case. Law firms keep meticulous records.

Larry wrote:

The law officially allows an award of only “reasonable” attorney fees. The Civil Rights Attorney’s Fees Awards Act of 1976 provides that in federal civil rights actions “the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs.” (emphasis added) Judge Jones also used the word “reasonable” in his opinion.

Yes, that’s the law, congratulations! Too bad you don’t understand it. “reasonable” means, in this case, that if you normally charge a client $250/hour, you can’t try to screw the losing party for $500/hour when recovering legal fees. It means you can’t pad your hours, you must document the hours spent and the task you spend them on. It doesn’t mean “you can only have two lawyers on this case”. The ACLU had many lawyers because it was a complex case. You can be assured that the judge will award them their law firm’s reasonable fee for every hour put in on the case.

Larry wrote:

9-10 plaintiffs’ attorneys on this case was an excessive number by any standard

Really? Please refer us to any written standard that would support your claim that it was an excessive number. Actually, since you said “any” standard, please reference all relevant standards and tell us where those standards state that 9-10 plaintiffs’ attorneys are an excessive number.

Larry wrote:

and it was more than twice what the defendants had, four.

So? They were also of much lower caliber than the ACLU’s team. I suppose you also think that “reasonable” means that the winner’s not allowed to employ lawyers who are smarter than those hired by the losers…

Comment #64848

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 5:41 PM (e)

Larry, it appears as if you’re not terribly bright, so I’ll say this again verrrryyy ssslllooowwwwlllyyyyyy:

YOU claimed that the case should have been thrown out as moot when the Dover Board was bounced out on its holy little butt.

I pointed out that the ACLU had specifically asked for a PERMANENT order, thus keeping the case in play no matter WHO was or wasn’t on the board.

By your line of reasoning, the US Supreme Court was obligated to rule on the merits of the DeFunis reverse-discrimination case just because of all the time and money that DeFunis and his supporters spent on the appeal. Actually, the Supreme Court was not obligated to accept the case at all, but the SC accepted it and then ruled it to be moot.

One has nothing to do with the other, Larry.

The Dover case was not moot after the Board was kicked out on its tookus, because the ACLU wanted a PERMANENT COURT ORDER that would affect EVERY SCHOOL BOARD THAT EVER SAT IN DOVER.

Sorry if you don’t like that. (shrug)

And as I said before, the ouster of the school board members created severe problems in regard to appeals.

Dude, the defendant was the School Bard itself, not the individual members.

Do you actually, uh, understand any of the stuff that you blither about?

As for the Cobb County evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker case, have you been following it?

Yep. Have you? If you had, you would know that (1) youre argument already lost in the trial, and (2) your argument also lost in the Freiler trial.

One appeals court judge has already indicated that he considers the stickers to be factually correct

Bully for him. Alas, the trial judge has already ruled on that. Appellate judges don’t get to re-try cases; they only get to decide if the law was properly applied. It was.

and he also criticized errors in the ACLU’s brief.

And his criticism turned out to be BS.

Comment #64849

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 5:43 PM (e)

Larry, I notice that you didn’t answer my question. So I’ll ask again. And again and again and again and again, as many times as I need to, until you either answer or run away.

*ahem*

Larry, do you think we should also teach scientific evidence against heliocentrism?

How about scientific evidence against the germ theory of disease?

Scientific evidence against relativity? Against quantum mechanics? Against plate tectonics?

Why is it just evolution that gets your undies all bunched up? Is there a particular reason for that?

A religious reason, perhaps … ?

Comment #64852

Posted by Andrew McClure on December 25, 2005 6:00 PM (e)

The Dover case was not moot after the Board was kicked out on its tookus, because the ACLU wanted a PERMANENT COURT ORDER that would affect EVERY SCHOOL BOARD THAT EVER SAT IN DOVER.

Another thing worth noting for the record: The pro-creationism school board was kicked out in favor of one that *campaigned on the basis of* undoing the “Intelligent Design” policy the case was about– but this is not the same as the “Intelligent Design” policy actually being undone. The new school board did not take power instantly after the election, and a policy decision such as undoing the “Intelligent Design” statement would take a certain amount of time to enact (I think one news source said that, under the procedural rules of that school board, policy changes require a one month waiting period).

The court decision was issued last week. As far as I am aware, the newly elected school board has not yet convened. They have not yet had the opportunity to do anything mooting the KvD court case. In fact, if I am mistaken the new school board recently told the press they were not planning on formally reversing the previous school board’s Intelligent Design policy *at all*– because they consider the court order to have closed the matter all by itself.

In other words, the dover elections did not moot the court case even in the *short* term. If anything, from the perspective of the Intelligent Design policy, the court case mooted the dover elections!

Comment #64853

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 25, 2005 6:06 PM (e)

Comment #64824
Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 03:36 PM

Larry wrote –
****The threat of virtually unlimited awards of attorney fees enables the ACLU (and similar organizations) to blackmail local communities into doing the ACLU’s bidding, even when the local community has a good chance of winning in court.*****

(sigh) And yet AGAIN, we see Larry (the lawyer-wanna-be) talking out his butt.

Larry, when you learn enough about the case to know what you are talking about, you will learn that the ACLU is not seeking ANY attorney fees for the case. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. What they want is reimbursement for their legal expenses (witness fees, deposition costs, etc).

Before we had the shrugs, and now we are getting sighs to go along with the insults.

The Dover opinion expressly awarded the “reasonable value of plaintiffs’ attorneys’ services” (page 138). Do you think that the ACLU or any of the other plaintiffs’ legal representatives are going to pass it up ? And how do you think they can arrive at a total legal bill of over $1 million without including attorney fees? As for claims for witness fees, witnesses are entitled to little more than the costs of travel, lodging and meals (for witnesses from out of town).

The fact that some of the attorneys from Pepper Hamilton LLP were partners (this law firm has 400 attorneys in 10 offices) is likely to drive up the costs, because these partners are likely to expect premium pay beyond the typical rate of maybe around $300/hr. (I don’t know the typical rates for attorneys now).

Also, I have seen many understatements of the number of plaintiffs’ attorneys. The plaintiffs’ briefs list 9-10 attorneys, and I presume that they were all attorneys of record. The defendants apparently had 4 attorneys.

As for your negative comments elsewhere about the commenters on the AOL message boards on this subject (what you call “the minor leagues” ) – many of them are very knowledgeable, and at least most of them are polite.

Comment #64854

Posted by Andrew McClure on December 25, 2005 6:14 PM (e)

Mr. Fafarman, you yourself only entered this thread to bash and insult a United States judge. What’s up with this moral high ground act?

Comment #64856

Posted by Steve S on December 25, 2005 6:31 PM (e)

Larry Faroffman said:

The Dover plaintiffs’ legal representatives ran up an exorbitant legal bill, estimated to be over $1 million, by having 9-10 attorneys on the case — that was overkill. And I certainly feel that there is no right to monetary damages (called “nominal” in the official court opinion), because the plaintiffs were not the only alleged victims of the alleged violation of church-state separation.

I haven’t read all the posts on this thread, but has anyone educated Larry about the fact that the school board had liability insurance for just this sort of thing, which policy was invalidated when they agreed to be represented by the TMLC?

Comment #64857

Posted by PvM on December 25, 2005 7:06 PM (e)

The Dover opinion expressly awarded the “reasonable value of plaintiffs’ attorneys’ services” (page 138). Do you think that the ACLU or any of the other plaintiffs’ legal representatives are going to pass it up ? And how do you think they can arrive at a total legal bill of over $1 million without including attorney fees? As for claims for witness fees, witnesses are entitled to little more than the costs of travel, lodging and meals (for witnesses from out of town).

Most witnesses (for the plaintiffs) worked pro bono, at most they may have received some reimbursement for travel. Dembski got a rumored $200/hr

The fact that some of the attorneys from Pepper Hamilton LLP were partners (this law firm has 400 attorneys in 10 offices) is likely to drive up the costs, because these partners are likely to expect premium pay beyond the typical rate of maybe around $300/hr. (I don’t know the typical rates for attorneys now).

Also, I have seen many understatements of the number of plaintiffs’ attorneys. The plaintiffs’ briefs list 9-10 attorneys, and I presume that they were all attorneys of record. The defendants apparently had 4 attorneys.

It was an important case which required the best lawyers. The resulting ruling shows how the judge listened carefully to the findings of fact presented by these top lawyers. Reasonable costs include looking at the issue at hand, the novelty involved etc. In this case, the novelty was obvious. That the judge used a significant portion of the findings of fact further shows how relevant the work was.

Comment #64858

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 25, 2005 7:07 PM (e)

Comment #64852 Posted by Andrew McClure on December 25, 2005 06:00 PM

‘Rev. Dr.’ Lenny Flank said -
****The Dover case was not moot after the Board was kicked out on its tookus, because the ACLU wanted a PERMANENT COURT ORDER that would affect EVERY SCHOOL BOARD THAT EVER SAT IN DOVER.****

Another thing worth noting for the record: The pro-creationism school board was kicked out in favor of one that *campaigned on the basis of* undoing the “Intelligent Design” policy the case was about— but this is not the same as the “Intelligent Design” policy actually being undone. The new school board did not take power instantly after the election, and a policy decision such as undoing the “Intelligent Design” statement would take a certain amount of time to enact (I think one news source said that, under the procedural rules of that school board, policy changes require a one month waiting period).

(sigh) How many times must I point out that what the ACLU wants and what the ACLU gets can be two entirely different things ?

The next meeting of the Dover Area school board is on January 3. This means that the judge would have had to delay releasing his decision for just two weeks in order to first see what the new school board was going to do. The one month waiting period for policy changes is trivial – what would have counted was what the board would have decided on January 3 if the court decision had not been released by that time.

Suppose that the judge had delayed release of his decision until after the new board’s first meeting of January 3. If the board members had then decided not to repeal the ID rule and just wait for the court to decide, they would have shown themselves to be a bunch of hypocrites, because they had campaigned on a promise to repeal the rule and not on a promise to defer to the judgment of the court. If the board members decided on Jan. 3 not to repeal the rule, then what would have happened if the judge had subsequently ruled in favor of the defendants (this would have been a great opportunity for the judge to shaft the school board just for fun) ? The board members would then have had the choice of either keeping the rule in order to stick to their Jan. 3 decision to defer to the court’s judgment, or showed themselves to be even bigger hypocrites by repealing the rule and thus reversing their Jan. 3 decision to defer to the court’s judgment. Either way they would have looked very foolish.

Also, I pointed out that the ouster of the pro-ID school board members also created great dilemmas in regard to appeals – there is more than just an issue of mootness here.

Comment #64859

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 7:08 PM (e)

Before we had the shrugs, and now we are getting sighs to go along with the insults.

(sniffle) (sob) Boo hoo hoo.

Now answer my question.

I’ll ask again:

*ahem*

Larry, do you think we should also teach scientific evidence against heliocentrism?

How about scientific evidence against the germ theory of disease?

Scientific evidence against relativity? Against quantum mechanics? Against plate tectonics?

Why is it just evolution that gets your undies all bunched up? Is there a particular reason for that?

A religious reason, perhaps … ?

Comment #64860

Posted by PvM on December 25, 2005 7:09 PM (e)

Steve S wrote:

I haven’t read all the posts on this thread, but has anyone educated Larry about the fact that the school board had liability insurance for just this sort of thing, which policy was invalidated when they agreed to be represented by the TMLC?

Wow, now that would be news…

Comment #64861

Posted by Steve S on December 25, 2005 7:12 PM (e)

The school board for the Dover Area School District was already facing what in budget documents was called “The Perfect Storm” of financial problems when it used explicit christianity-based peer pressure to force through a policy that they were certainly told by their lawyer was unconstitutional. The district was already cutting spending on libraries, art, scientific instruments, and other programs. There was no budget for field trips. Not a small budget, a nonexistent budget. After they were warned not to pass this policy, they decided to forgo their liability insurance in order to accept representation from an explicitly christian activist law firm. Then they went to court and, among other things, lied to the judge. As a consequence of this Perfect Storm of Stupidity, they might have to pay $1 million in legal fees, from an annual budget of about $34 million.

Boo hoo hoo, they’re so oppressed.

But maybe we can come to a deal. Say, we’ll forgive $100,000 for every former school board member we get to kick in the nuts.

Comment #64862

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 7:12 PM (e)

Also, I pointed out that the ouster of the pro-ID school board members also created great dilemmas in regard to appeals — there is more than just an issue of mootness here.

And as I pointed out, it is the school board itself, not its individual members, who were the defendants. So your “point” is pointless.

The judge himself pointed out that the election results simply were not relevant to the case.

If the IDers want to weep and whine because they can’t appeal, the only people they can blame for that are the voters of Dover who kicked their holy little school board out on its tookus.

Maybe the IDers can invoke Pat Robertson’s curse upon them. (shrug)

BTW, Larry, you’re not a lawyer, are you. So why do you play one on the Internet?

Comment #64863

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 7:15 PM (e)

(sigh) How many times must I point out that what the ACLU wants and what the ACLU gets can be two entirely different things ?

Alas for you, the ACLU *did* get what it wanted. All of it.

They won.

You lost.

And all your weeping and whining won’t change that.

Here, let me wring out your crying towel for you. You’ll need it again once the IDers lose in Kansas.

Comment #64865

Posted by PvM on December 25, 2005 7:23 PM (e)

Voluntary cessation

Where a defendant is acting in a wrongful manner, but ceases to engage in such conduct once litigation has been threatened or commenced, the court will still not deem this correction to moot the case. Obviously, a party could stop acting improperly just long enough for the case to be dismissed, and then return to their previous ways. This exception has sometimes been stretched to an extreme - in Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc., 528 U.S. 167 (2000), the Supreme Court held that an industrial polluter against whom various deterrant civil penalties were being pursued could not claim that the case was moot, even though the polluter had ceased polluting, and had closed the factory responsible for the pollution complained of. The Court noted that the polluter still retained its license to operate such a factory, and could reopen similar operations elsewhere if not deterred by the fine sought.

Link

While the argument may very well have died for the duration of the new school board’s term, there is no guarantee that a future school board would not revisit these issues.

Comment #64872

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 25, 2005 8:31 PM (e)

Comment #64816
Posted by Bob O’H on December 25, 2005 02:29 PM

Larry Fafarman wrote:
*****Well, ID is testable, in a way — just take a multi-part system that appears to be irreducibly complex and remove one of its parts and see if it still functions !!****

Of coursde, this doesn’t test ID - strictly, it only tests IC, and isn’t even a test of the falsity of evolution. If you read the judge’s opinion, you’ll see that he lays out very clearly Behe’s reasons why this doesn’t work (on p73).

On the contrary, any test that supports IC (irreducible complexity)contradicts evolution theory, because IC contradicts evolution theory. And I disagree with the discussion starting on page 73 of the opinion. For example, this discussion contains the far-fetched notion that mammalian middle ear bones evolved from jawbones (page 75). Also, this discussion does not solve the basic problem, i.e., that all the parts of an irreducibly complex system must come together simultaneously in something very close to their final forms to create the complete system – an unlikely event.

As for the term “ID,” I have never liked it, because it raises the question of an “intelligent designer,” a question which I choose to avoid. I use the term only because I have to, because otherwise a lot of people would have no idea what I am talking about ( I think that there are still a lot of people who have not heard of “irreducible complexity” or other concepts that criticize evolution ). I think that a large part of ID’s problems have been caused by the name itself.

Larry Fafarman wrote:
****Actually, macro-evolution (as opposed to micro-evolution) theory is not testable, either. It is not possible to set up an experiment for observing macro-evolution in progress.****

The former does not follow from the latter. It is possible, using macro-evolutionary theory, to make predictions that can be tested by observation of the real world (e.g. of the fossil record, or of molecular evolution). If you read some of the scientific posts here, you’ll see the sorts of things that are being discovered.

Those predictions that you speak of are not predictions of macro-evolution, because macro-evolution cannot be observed. They are only predictions of likely future finds of more circumstantial evidence of macro-evolution. Macro-evolution itself is not testable – only the circumstantial evidence of macro-evolution is testable ( e.g., fossil finds can lead to the prediction of the existence of particular “missing link” fossils ).

Comment #64873

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 25, 2005 8:45 PM (e)

Larry, you haven’t answered my questions. Were your ID pals lying BEFORE when they told the court that “irreducible complexity” is a scientific theory of ID, or are they lying NOW when they say “irreducible complexity” is NOT a scientific theory of ID, but is just a “scientific criticism of evolution”.

Larry, do you think we should also teach scientific evidence against heliocentrism?

How about scientific evidence against the germ theory of disease?

Scientific evidence against relativity? Against quantum mechanics? Against plate tectonics?

Why is it just evolution that gets your undies all bunched up? Is there a particular reason for that?

A religious reason, perhaps … ?

Why are you so reluctant to answer my simple questions, Larry? Got something you (and your ID pals) need to hide, do you?

Comment #64877

Posted by Andrew McClure on December 25, 2005 9:40 PM (e)

Larry Fafarman wrote:

Andrew McClure wrote:

Another thing worth noting for the record: The pro-creationism school board was kicked out in favor of one that *campaigned on the basis of* undoing the “Intelligent Design” policy the case was about— but this is not the same as the “Intelligent Design” policy actually being undone. The new school board did not take power instantly after the election, and a policy decision such as undoing the “Intelligent Design” statement would take a certain amount of time to enact (I think one news source said that, under the procedural rules of that school board, policy changes require a one month waiting period).

(sigh) How many times must I point out that what the ACLU wants and what the ACLU gets can be two entirely different things ?

I am confused. Are you responding to my post here, or to some other? And weren’t you complaining about people sighing in the very post before that one?

At any rate, if the ACLU wants it, then the judge is in fact obligated to rule on it in some way. The court exists to serve plaintiffs just as much as the school board; the rights and needs of the ACLU are equal to those of the school board from the perspective of a court. The judge can’t just say “no answer” without providing a reason why no answer was given.

The reason why he would have declined to rule on the ACLU’s request for a permanent ruling binding on future school boards as well as the current school board… would… be… what?

Larry Fafarman wrote:

Suppose that the judge had delayed release of his decision until after the new board’s first meeting of January 3.

Why on earth would he have done this? Not only is this not the way courts normally behave, not only does the judge have other cases to address, this was not the requested will of either the plaintiffs (the ACLU) or the defense (the school board). For someone who claims to be complaining about “judicial activism”, you certainly are expecting the judge to take on a great many actions as if he were an independent actor.

Larry Fafarman wrote:

On the contrary, any test that supports IC (irreducible complexity)contradicts evolution theory, because IC contradicts evolution theory.

If “IC” can be tested by your extremely simple proposed test– “just take a multi-part system that appears to be irreducibly complex and remove one of its parts and see if it still functions !!”– then no, IC does not contradict evolutionary theory. If IC inherently includes the concept that irreducibly complex systems cannot evolve, then your proposal test does not even begin to test IC. Pick one or the other.

Larry Fafarman wrote:

all the parts of an irreducibly complex system must come together simultaneously in something very close to their final forms to create the complete system

Why?

Comment #64884

Posted by PvM on December 25, 2005 11:20 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

On the contrary, any test that supports IC (irreducible complexity)contradicts evolution theory, because IC contradicts evolution theory.

Not really, it contradicts natural selection which is part of evolutionary theory. But even then, it does not contradict if natural selection can actually result in IC systems. In short, it contradicts with a limited subset of natural selection.

Larry wrote:

For example, this discussion contains the far-fetched notion that mammalian middle ear bones evolved from jawbones (page 75). Also, this discussion does not solve the basic problem, i.e., that all the parts of an irreducibly complex system must come together simultaneously in something very close to their final forms to create the complete system – an unlikely event.

Far fetched notion? There are exquisite transitionals showing this to be the case. As far as your last comment, you are now holding to a very specific and almost irrelevant subset of evolutionary theory. IC is such a strawman…

Larry wrote:

Those predictions that you speak of are not predictions of macro-evolution, because macro-evolution cannot be observed.

More ignorance. Atoms cannot be observed and yet…

Seems you have bought most of the arguments by ID, which mostly are scientifically vacuous, misleading or plain wrong.
Other than that…
How does it feel to be so misled about science?

Comment #64885

Posted by Don Baccus on December 25, 2005 11:29 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

The next meeting of the Dover Area school board is on January 3. This means that the judge would have had to delay releasing his decision for just two weeks in order to first see what the new school board was going to do.

The lawsuit was based on what they had done, not what they might do.

QED.

Murder trials … they’re based on murder … the horror!

On and on … at the widest scope, you might have wrong-doing proved on RICO or similar umbrella legislation.

But … you’ll NEVER get acquital based on “what I might do two weeks from now, after I broke the law in the past”.

NEVER, NEVER.

Larry simply doesn’t understand the rule of law …

Comment #64886

Posted by The Sanity Inspector on December 25, 2005 11:34 PM (e)

Seems like its been a pretty raucous Christmas hereabouts, today!

Merry last twenty minutes of it, anyway; and Happy New Year!

Comment #64889

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 12:27 AM (e)

Comment #64877
Posted by Andrew McClure on December 25, 2005 09:40 PM

*****Larry Fafarman wrote:

(sigh) How many times must I point out that what the ACLU wants and what the ACLU gets can be two entirely different things ?****

I am confused. Are you responding to my post here, or to some other? And weren’t you complaining about people sighing in the very post before that one?

I was responding to another post that you quoted in your post. That was the first time I have ever used (sigh), because I was really getting exasperated at having to repeat the same message over and over again. Some people use (sigh) so frequently that it has lost all meaning. The same with (shrug).

From here on, to save space and time, I will stop using blockquotes.

Andrew wrote –
*****At any rate, if the ACLU wants it, then the judge is in fact obligated to rule on it in some way.*****

Not at all. The courts throw out cases all the time, often without good reason. I remember an environmental lawsuit where the attorney made the mistake of not giving the government a required sixty days advance notice before filing suit. The attorney then corrected this seemingly harmless error by giving the 60 days notice and refiling the suit, but the court would not accept it because it was not done right the first time !! The case went all the way to the US Supreme Court, which granted review and upheld the decision to throw out the suit !!! And this was after the plaintiffs had spent several years and untold thousands of dollars on the lawsuit. I swear that this is a true story. One of the SC justices in that case wrote a very scathing dissenting opinion.

Andrew writes –
****The judge can’t just say “no answer” without providing a reason why no answer was given.****

And I gave some good reasons in my earlier posts! If the judge had waited until after the Jan. 3 board meeting to issue a decision and the new board had voted to repeal the ID rule, then the plaintiffs would no longer have had a cause of action against the board, and so the judge could have declared the case to be moot. Note that this was an all new board —all of the original board members who were defendants in the suit had been voted off the board. Also, the ouster of the previous board members created some severe problems in regard to the appealability of the decision. The defendants and the defenders probably cannot appeal the case now even if they wanted to, because (1) the defendants are no longer on the board and (2) the new board would probably vote to repeal the ID rule if an appeal is attempted (right now the board apparently intends to just hide behind the judge’s decision). There would also be problems if the defendants had won, as I pointed out. Do you read any of my posts before asking these questions? Also, there is another issue – the judge can rule for or against the board’s decisions, but the judge has no authority to speak for the board. The board is obviously trying to duck the ID issue by hiding behind the judge’s decision. The new board members should be honest – either vote on Jan. 3 to repeal the ID rule as they promised to do, or vote to keep the rule and appeal the court decision.

Andrew writes –
****The reason why he would have declined to rule on the ACLU’s request for a permanent ruling binding on future school boards as well as the current school board… would… be… what?*****

Please see my preceding discussion.

Larry Fafarman wrote:
—-Suppose that the judge had delayed release of his decision until after the new board’s first meeting of January 3.—-
Andrew writes –
****Why on earth would he have done this? Not only is this not the way courts normally behave, not only does the judge have other cases to address, this was not the requested will of either the plaintiffs (the ACLU) or the defense (the school board).****

Delaying release of a decision would not have prevented the judge from going on to other business. A judge can often do what he wants and does not always have to wait for a request from the litigants. Waiting would have had the advantages I described above.

Larry wrote:
—- On the contrary, any test that supports IC (irreducible complexity)contradicts evolution theory, because IC contradicts evolution theory.—-
Andrew wrote –
*****If “IC” can be tested by your extremely simple proposed test— “just take a multi-part system that appears to be irreducibly complex and remove one of its parts and see if it still functions !!”— then no, IC does not contradict evolutionary theory. If IC inherently includes the concept that irreducibly complex systems cannot evolve, then your proposal test does not even begin to test IC.*****

OK, it’s too simple a test — but it’s a start. It is certainly a way of quickly determining what is not irreducibly complex.

Larry wrote:
—-all the parts of an irreducibly complex system must come together simultaneously in something very close to their final forms to create the complete system—-
****Andrew wrote –
Why?*****

Because by definition an irreducibly complex system is not functional if it is not complete. A non-functional incomplete system would provide no evolutionary advantage in natural selection, and might actually be detrimental to the organism. Evolution is supposed to progress by adding small changes to organisms that have already been selected by natural selection, but organisms with non-functional incomplete systems will not be selected by natural selection and so would not be part of the evolutionary progression. Thus, an irreducibly complex system consisting of many parts cannot evolve by just adding one part at a time.

Comment #64890

Posted by jim on December 26, 2005 12:41 AM (e)

Larry,

Your assertions about the science of ID have already been shown to be wrong in comment 64817 of this thread.

Namely that not only *can* “macro” evolution be observed. It *has* been observed many, many times. Whoever told you it hadn’t been observed *lied* to you.

Also, research into the “examples” of ID proposed by Behe, has shown that this “irreducible” systems really aren’t irreducible. Meaning that the pieces do have function in the cell. That Behe still spouts off about these “examples” being “problems” for evolution are twofold: he refuses to read the relevant literature and he’s lying to you.

Have you noticed a theme here? Your allies lie. They lie a lot. They lie to people who don’t know better. They lie to people that *do* know better. They lie in court. They lie to the press. They lie to each other. They really have a lot of problems telling the truth about anything. How this is supposed to lead people to their God, I personally do not understand. They must not feel very secure about the validity of their religion if they’re forced to lie about it all of the time.

I’d like to further point out that even if you and your friends manage to disprove evolution, ID/creationism/sudden emergence still won’t take it’s place. You see, any scientific model seeking to replace the currently accepted model has to explain ALL of the evidence better than the current model does. So even if discredited, evolution would still be used until a model that better describes observations can be found (e.g. Newton’s law of gravity was still used even though it failed to correctly predict Mercury’s orbit). Since ID/creationism/sudden emergence makes *no* useful predictions, it’ll never be used by scientists, period.

Comment #64897

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 1:42 AM (e)

Comment #64865
Posted by PvM on December 25, 2005 07:23 PM

Voluntary cessation

Where a defendant is acting in a wrongful manner, but ceases to engage in such conduct once litigation has been threatened or commenced, the court will still not deem this correction to moot the case. Obviously, a party could stop acting improperly just long enough for the case to be dismissed, and then return to their previous ways. This exception has sometimes been stretched to an extreme - in Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc., 528 U.S. 167 (2000), the Supreme Court held that an industrial polluter against whom various deterrent civil penalties were being pursued could not claim that the case was moot, even though the polluter had ceased polluting, and had closed the factory responsible for the pollution complained of. The Court noted that the polluter still retained its license to operate such a factory, and could reopen similar operations elsewhere if not deterred by the fine sought.

– from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moot

Please note the following special circumstances in the Dover case –

(1) Every last one of the school board members who voted for the ID rule has been voted off the board.

(2) The new members campaigned on a promise to repeal the rule.

There is not the slightest suggestion that the board would have continued or restored the ID rule if the case had been declared moot. If the new board members had done that, they would have acted in extremely bad faith.

While the argument may very well have died for the duration of the new school board’s term, there is no guarantee that a future school board would not revisit these issues.

That line of reasoning would justify an anti-ID lawsuit against every school board in America. The court cannot speculate about what future Dover school boards might do.

It seems everyone else here is concerned only about justice for the plaintiffs and not about justice for the defendants. It is apparent that the defendants in this case could not appeal even if they wanted to (because of big blunders by the defendants and the defense, I think that an appeal would not be a good idea anyway, but that is beside the point).

Comment #64900

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 2:39 AM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman ….……

Larry,
Are you somebody who is genuinely curious or just a troll?

What points are you trying to make?
The Dover trial was unfair excessive use of lawyers etc? Would it not have been far simpler for the Dover school board to just obey the law?

Do you really consider ID to be science? Are you aware of the way that an idea becomes science?

1.Observe something (IC Cells?)
2.Think of an explanation (Hypothesis).
3.Make some predictions that would confirm or invalidate your idea.
4.Carry out the experiment.
5.If prediction is positive return to 3, if negative return to 2.
6.After several positive results, publish your idea.
7.Other people carry out repeatable experiments to either confirm or refute your idea.
8.When an awfull lot of confirming results have been carried out your hypothesis may become a scientific theory.

This is how theories such as evolution, relativity, plate tectonics and the big bang became accepted. ID on the other hand has thought of an hypothesis, then hired a PR firm, lawyers etc to get it taught as an alternative theory. Does that not strike you as odd?

Are you aware of the wedge document? Does it sound scientific or religious?

It would appear to me that the vast majority of ID’s main proponents are dishonest religiously motivated people who want Government in the USA to be theistic.

Would you really wish to live in a country where to disagree with a government policy was considered to heresy and anti-God?

Comment #64901

Posted by Andrew McClure on December 26, 2005 3:01 AM (e)

I was really getting exasperated at having to repeat the same message over and over again.

I don’t see why. Everyone heard you the first time.

There is not the slightest suggestion that the board would have continued or restored the ID rule if the case had been declared moot. If the new board members had done that, they would have acted in extremely bad faith.

The new board members could be voted out. That happens, you know. In a democracy. Elections.

Over and over people are telling you that the judge was asked to issue a ruling that would apply to *all* dover school boards as opposed to just the current just-elected one, and over and over you are simply pretending this has not been said. There are other things you said there that I could respond to (for example, I find it highly unlikely the judge could declare a case moot without *any* involved party, plaintiff or defense, requesting him to do so), but it seems to be an awful waste of typing to respond point-by-point to someone who is doggedly ignoring responses, ignoring questions, and simply typing the same incorrect thing over and over in every post.

From here on, to save space and time, I will stop using blockquotes.

So to save on your space and time, you make the page unreadable for the rest of us. Lovely.

Please note the following special circumstances in the Dover case —

Everyone is fully aware of these circumstances, and they are neither special, nor relevant.

The very thing you are responding to there discusses the fact that courts are not obligated to trust the good will of a defendant in a case of voluntary cessation. The perpetrator saying “we won’t do it again, honest” is not enough, even if they honestly mean it.

The court cannot speculate about what future Dover school boards might do.

So you are telling us the court can speculate about things the current school board will do in a couple months once they take power, and in fact should entirely rearrange its schedule and action around this speculation– but it cannot speculate about things the next school board will do in four years? I am most glad that you are not the one who designed our court systems, as this sounds like a bureaucratic nightmare.

Either way, the court does not need to speculate. It can simply tell the school boards what to do. In fact, this is exactly what the court did.

You still haven’t explained to us for what reason a permanent ruling against the teaching of ID in the Dover school boards should not have been issued. The fact that the judge “cannot speculate about what future Dover school boards might do” is the exact reason why the recent school board elections are insufficient to render the issue moot.

It seems everyone else here is concerned only about justice for the plaintiffs and not about justice for the defendants.

The defendants have received their justice. They were given the opportunity to defend themselves, given the opportunity to present their side, given the opportunity even to make requests and arguments as to the scope of the judge’s final decision. They lost.

A non-functional incomplete system would provide no evolutionary advantage in natural selection

Why not? What if the incomplete system does not serve the function of the complete system, but serves some different function, or serves the complete system’s function in an incomplete fashion?

Comment #64912

Posted by sir_toejam on December 26, 2005 4:28 AM (e)

If Larry mentions pant-loading, I’m going to start thinking he’s really Blast in disguise.

Just like every other incoherent fundie that comes through here, Larry isn’t interested in how science works, what it does, the results that come out of it, or anything other than his own agenda.

It was obvious by the way he couched his very first post. Those of us who have spent any time here on PT at all know an intractable fundie when we see one.

larry, since you are mentally incapable of listening to reason, and shut your eyes when we try to show you a factual view of events, why do you persist?

there aren’t any lurkers here listening to your ridiculous arguments, and you certainly aren’t making any headway with those of us who bothered to respond to you, so why are you still here?

Is there actually something we can educate you on? or did you just come here to preach your nonsense?

If the latter, since you haven’t said anything original or thoughtful since you arrived, can we assume you are done now?

Comment #64918

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 5:32 AM (e)

Seems you have bought most of the arguments by ID, which mostly are scientifically vacuous, misleading or plain wrong.

And, just like ID, are lifted intact word-for-word from 40-year old creation “science”.

Hey Larry, you still have not answered my simple questions. So I’ll ask again.

*ahem*

Were your ID pals lying BEFORE when they told the court that “irreducible complexity” is a scientific theory of ID, or are they lying NOW when they say “irreducible complexity” is NOT a scientific theory of ID, but is just a “scientific criticism of evolution”.

Larry, do you think we should also teach scientific evidence against heliocentrism?

How about scientific evidence against the germ theory of disease?

Scientific evidence against relativity? Against quantum mechanics? Against plate tectonics?

Why is it just evolution that gets your undies all bunched up? Is there a particular reason for that?

A religious reason, perhaps … ?

Why are you so reluctant to answer my simple questions, Larry? Got something you (and your ID pals) need to hide, do you?

Comment #64923

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 7:05 AM (e)

Here are my responses to various posts –

*****The lawsuit was based on what they had done, not what they might do.****

The lawsuit was based on what the OLD school board did – not on what the NEW school board did. All of the members who voted for the ID rule were replaced. The new members pledged to repeal the rule.

******What point are you trying to make? The Dover trial was unfair, excessive use of lawyers, etc..?*****

The plaintiffs and their legal representatives were entitled to use as many lawyers as they wanted – the more the merrier. They are just not entitled to expect the losing side to pay for them all – nine or ten.

*****Everyone is fully aware of these circumstances, and they are neither special, nor relevant.*****

So it is not relevant that the defendants cannot appeal because they are no longer on the board ? It is not relevant that the new board members pledged to give the plaintiffs what they wanted without court action ?

*****The very thing you are responding to there discusses the fact that courts are not obligated to trust the good will of a defendant in a case of voluntary cessation.*****

Obviously, what you say would be true if the old members were still on the board and they voted to repeal the ID rule in an attempt to end the lawsuit. But they have all been replaced by new members who said they are against the ID rule. Now if the new members cannot be trusted, then nobody can be trusted.

*****So you are telling us the court can speculate about things the current school board will do in a couple months once they take power, and in fact should entirely rearrange its schedule and action around this speculation— but it cannot speculate about things the next school board will do in four years?*****

I am not talking about something that the current school board could do in a couple of months – I am talking about something they could do – and in fact something they promised to do, repeal the ID rule – at their first meeting on Jan. 3, 2006, only two weeks after the Dover decision was issued.

If courts could speculate that a new school board in the future might pass a pro-ID rule, then as I said, there would be grounds for suing every school board in America.

I read the complaint brief of the lawsuit, and nowhere does this brief say, “we request that the case not be declared moot if, during the course of this trial, all the board members are replaced and the new board members vote to repeal the ID rule.” I guess the plaintiffs’ attorneys were not that smart.

****The defendants have received their justice.*****

They cannot appeal, and you say that they have received their justice ? Some jerk here is now going to say, “they bungled everything anyway, so it doesn’t matter that they can’t appeal.” I can just see it coming.
I read that one of the defendants actually wanted to appeal, despite all the blunders made by the defendants and the defense.

Comment #64925

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 7:35 AM (e)

Comment #64901 posted by Andrew McClure on December 26, 2005 03:01 AM

Larry wrote –
****A non-functional incomplete system would provide no evolutionary advantage in natural selection****

Why not? What if the incomplete system does not serve the function of the complete system, but serves some different function, or serves the complete system’s function in an incomplete fashion?

The human eye, for example, is supposed to consist of about 40 parts. Is it conceivable that the human eye could have evolved by adding one part at a time, with each and every incomplete eye –with anywhere between one and forty parts – having some function which gave our ancestors an evolutionary advantage in natural selection ?

The human eye is a little reducible, but not much. For example, the ability to focus is not essential, and since our primitive ancestors probably did not have to do a lot of close-up work like reading, a fixed-focus eye might have been adequate (of course, we don’t have that problem because we can just use corrective lenses). But most parts of the eye are necessary for the eye to function at all.

Comment #64926

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 8:50 AM (e)

Larry,
When you try to argue the scientific merits of ID you sound a lot like I did when I first found PT, about 12-18 months ago.

Since then I have had my eyes opened far wider.

IF I may give a little advice:

Try to answer some of the more difficult questions people have been asking you. Attempt to do that honestly. Look up the links and references, posters are pointing out to you. Google up information on the scientific method and the rules and ways ideas become scientifically accepted.

Before you post any more arguments from the ID movement and Disco Institute, check up on them on the talk origins site.

If you actually make the effort to find out what is going on, you are in for a big shock. The people on whose masts you are nailing your colours, are almost entirely dishonest.

If you do not do this you will (probably)continue to be a pawn of a dishonest religious/political movement.

If you are a tad surprised at the angry responses you are getting it is because all the “scientific objections to evolution” you are posting have already been made (repetitively) for many years.

Comment #64929

Posted by Steve S on December 26, 2005 9:32 AM (e)

Larry Faroffman said:

The human eye, for example, is supposed to consist of about 40 parts. Is it conceivable that the human eye could have evolved by adding one part at a time, with each and every incomplete eye —with anywhere between one and forty parts — having some function which gave our ancestors an evolutionary advantage in natural selection ?

The human eye is a little reducible, but not much. For example, the ability to focus is not essential, and since our primitive ancestors probably did not have to do a lot of close-up work like reading, a fixed-focus eye might have been adequate (of course, we don’t have that problem because we can just use corrective lenses). But most parts of the eye are necessary for the eye to function at all.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB301.html…
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB921_1.ht…

Comment #64930

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 9:40 AM (e)

Hey Larry, you still have not answered my simple questions. So I’ll ask again.

*ahem*

Were your ID pals lying BEFORE when they told the court that “irreducible complexity” is a scientific theory of ID, or are they lying NOW when they say “irreducible complexity” is NOT a scientific theory of ID, but is just a “scientific criticism of evolution”.

Larry, do you think we should also teach scientific evidence against heliocentrism?

How about scientific evidence against the germ theory of disease?

Scientific evidence against relativity? Against quantum mechanics? Against plate tectonics?

Why is it just evolution that gets your undies all bunched up? Is there a particular reason for that?

A religious reason, perhaps … ?

Why are you so reluctant to answer my simple questions, Larry? Got something you (and your ID pals) need to hide, do you?

Comment #64931

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 9:42 AM (e)

The human eye, for example, is supposed to consist of about 40 parts. Is it conceivable that the human eye could have evolved by adding one part at a time, with each and every incomplete eye —with anywhere between one and forty parts — having some function which gave our ancestors an evolutionary advantage in natural selection ?

Yep.

So, how can an eye evolve step by step? Well, we start
with an eyespot, a small spot on the skin of a small
invertebrate that contians pigments (and nearly ALL
organisms have pigments in their skin). Some pigments
(such as rhodopsin) are light-sensitive and produce
chemical changes in the presence of light. Hence, an
organism with a crude “eyespot” like this would have the
selective advantage of telling light from dark – all with
nothing but a patch of pigmented skin. This is the sort of
eye that many unicellular organisms and some very simple
multicellular organisms like worms have. It does not need
to be connected to any “brain” — most of these organisms
do not even HAVE a brain.

Let’s make a small improvement, and add a mutation which
allows a layer of transparent skin to cover the eyespot (two
or three genes at most – largely a change in the growth
pattern of the skin). This will protect it from damage and
give a selective advantage to the worms that have it. Still
no brain needed.

Now let’s make a minor change in how the pigmented spot
grows, and change one regulatory gene to make the central
portion of the spot grow faster than the outer portions. This
has the effect of pulling the center of the spot in to make a
shallow dish or bowl shaped area, lined with light-sensitive
pigment. A simple change, but a very large advantage — it
allows differing areas of pigment to react according to the
way in which light is falling on it — allowing the organism to
detect the DIRECTION of the light. While this eye works
fine without a brain, it can be further improved by allowing
the very center of the layer of pigmented cells to extend
outside of the cup, where it connects to the nervous system
(a nervous system that may or may not have a brain in it).
This makes the direction-detection more efficient. It is the
type of eye found in some worms and in some mollusks
(clams and scallops).

Another small change in regulatory genes deepens the cup,
making it more and more direction-sensitive (and thus gives
more and more selective advantage). The result is a hollow
ball, lined with light-sensitive cells, with a small pinhole in
front, and a fiber at the back that is connected to the
nervous system. This is nothing but a pinhole camera. It
gives maximum direction sensitivity, and also allows a crude
image to be focused on the back of the eyeball, where each
individual light-sensitive cell is impinged upon by differing
intensities of light, thus providing the nervous system with
the information necessary to form an image. This is the
type of eyeball found in the nautilus.

Next, another minor change in regulatory genes causes the
transparent skin covering the front of the eye to thicken.
This changes the refraction of the light entering the eyeball.
Mutations which allow the center of this transparent layer to
grow more quickly than the edges, form a semi-spherical
transparent layer in the front of the eyeball. A lens. This is
the type of eye that many fish have.

Now, a mutation which doubles the transparent layer,
allowing the inner one to grow and form the spherical lens,
while the outer layer remains thin. Now we have a cornea.
Just as in many fish today.

Now, we add a change in regulatory genes which alters the
growth pattern of some of the muslces and connective
tissue just inside the cornea, one which allows them to form
a flat circular sheet in front of the lens, which can be pulled
in or out against the sides of the eyeball. Now we have an
iris. The same sort of eye found in many fish today.

Now, mutations which change the rate at which different
portions of the lends grow will change its focusing length
and thus the sharpness of the image it is able to form.
Since sharper images will be selected for, these will tend to
transform the spherical lens into a lenticular one, fastened
to the side of the eyeball by the same connective tissue and
muscles which held the original transparent layer in place
(and from which the iris developed). As yet, these muslces
are incapable of changing the focal length of the eye by
pulling the lens into different shapes. At best, they can pull
the lens a short distance to and fro to change the focal
length. This is the same sort of eye that modern snakes and
frogs have.

Mutations which produce stronger and more controlled
muscles will allow the eye to be focused by pulling on the
lens to alter its shape, rather than by moving the whole lens
back and forth. And this is the type of eye found in birds
and mammals.

And there we have an eye, produced step by step, each
with just small changes, each change being fully functional
and a selective advantage for the organism that has it.

And how do we know that each of these steps is not only
possible, but actually works? Because ALL of them still
exist today in various organisms.

Stop yammering stupidly about things you don’t know anything about, Larry.

Comment #64935

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 9:56 AM (e)

Comment #64900 posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 02:39 AM
Larry,
Do you really consider ID to be science? Are you aware of the way that an idea becomes science?

1.Observe something (IC Cells?)
2.Think of an explanation (Hypothesis).
3.Make some predictions that would confirm or invalidate your idea.
4.Carry out the experiment.
5.If prediction is positive return to 3, if negative return to 2.
6.After several positive results, publish your idea.
7.Other people carry out repeatable experiments to either confirm or refute your idea.
8.When an awfull lot of confirming results have been carried out your hypothesis may become a scientific theory.

The scientific parts of ID – such as irreducible complexity – are not scientific theories or hypotheses, because they do not attempt to provide a complete scientific explanation for observed phenomena. These scientific parts of ID are just scientific criticisms of evolution theory, and scientific criticisms of a scientific theory do not have to jump through the hoops that you enumerate above.

Also, a lot of people have the mistaken idea that macro-evolution theory has gone through the above tests. Predictions cannot be made of macro-evolution per se, because macro-evolution cannot be directly observed. The only predictions that can be made concerning macro-evolution are predictions of likely future discoveries of more circumstantial evidence of macro-evolution. For example, the fossil record can be used to predict likely future discoveries of “missing links.” And comparative anatomy might be used to make predictions of genetic similarities. And so forth.

The name “ID,” which is often used as just a catch-all term covering several different criticisms of evolution theory, is unfortunate, because this name implies the existence of an intelligent designer, so some people insist that it is just a religious concept. But ID has parts that are completely scientific. Whether or not these scientific parts are valid is beside the point, because there are many scientific concepts that are not valid. The reason why some people insist that ID is just a religious concept is so they can use the constitutional church-state separation principle to try to suppress it. I think that a large part of ID’s problems have been caused by the name itself.

Also, there are scientific criticisms of evolution that have little or nothing to do with “design,” intelligent or otherwise. Some of these other scientific criticisms concern the following – (1) the propagation of favorable mutations, (2) the mathematical probability of evolution, and (3) the co-evolution of two co-dependent organisms (this could sometimes be considered to be a sort of “irreducible complexity” consisting of two organisms ).

Are you aware of the wedge document? Does it sound scientific or religious?

It would appear to me that the vast majority of ID’s main proponents are dishonest religiously motivated people who want Government in the USA to be theistic.

To me, the “wedge document” is mostly just the name of a conspiracy theory. Your arguments are just “guilt-by-association.”

Comment #64936

Posted by KL on December 26, 2005 10:35 AM (e)

To me, the “wedge document” is mostly just the name of a conspiracy theory. Your arguments are just “guilt-by-association.”

Have you read it? The actual document?

Comment #64937

Posted by Andrew McClure on December 26, 2005 10:39 AM (e)

The scientific parts of ID — such as irreducible complexity — are not scientific theories or hypotheses

What an interesting statement.

To me, the “wedge document” is mostly just the name of a conspiracy theory.

To the United States courts, it is much more than that. You should really go and read the Dover decision. I don’t just mean skim it meaning searching for flimsy excuses to blast the judge. I mean, actually read the references. The judge gives specific, in-court reasons why he makes the conclusions he does in his ruling.

Because an appeal is unlikely, the judge’s findings of law are relatively easy to brush aside. However, as a trial judge, he is uniquely and excellently positioned to find on matters of fact; appeals courts very rarely overrule trial judges on matters of fact even were an appeal to happen, and courts in other jurisdictions are highly unlikely to re-try matters of fact settled in Dover since the witnesses are likely to be the same and the conclusions cannot help but go the same way. Your whining that it’s just plain not fair that the judge actually did his job and ruled on the matters tried before his court (instead of the judge just wishing the case away entirely unresolved at the last minute after expensive litigation by both sides) are not going to sway courts, especially not on simple rulings of fact.

What this means is that you can, of course, continue to pretend that the facts decided in the Dover case are false (“The Wedge Document, developed by the Discovery Institute’s Center for Renewal of Science and Culture… represents from an institutional standpoint, the IDM’s [the intelligent design movement’s] goals and objectives, much as writings from the Institute for Creation Research did for the earlier creation-science movement”; “irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980’s”)– but the facts are not going away. Creationism, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity*, whichever name you wish to give that set of arguments, you are going to have to deal with those facts forever, anytime this comes up in court. Pretending the facts away just means that you have doomed yourself to only make arguments which hold no bearing on the reality where court cases are tried.

It might benefit you to go see what it was that the judge found so convincing.

* IC did, incidentally, get an extremely good airing in court. Many days of testimony were spent on it.

Your arguments are just “guilt-by-association.”

It goes beyond association. Their arguments are your arguments. All your attempts to cloak yourself in science so far in this thread stem directly from rather old works of Michael Behe and William Dembski, fellows at the institute which authored the “wedge document”. You have added nothing, and your arguments are so similar to theirs even in the way things are phrased that I find it safe to conclude that you are either getting this stuff from reading Behe, Dembski et al, or you listened a lot to someone who did. The motivations of these people thus become directly relevant, because they are speaking through you. You are not even associated with these persons. You are one of the pawns in their plans.

Comment #64939

Posted by gregonomic on December 26, 2005 11:00 AM (e)

I still think it’s a whole lot easier to deal with people like Larry by saying “Kitzmiller v Dover, dude”.

Don’t agree with Judge Jones’ decision? You’re probably a fundie.

Think Judge Jones is an activist judge who ruled more broadly than was necessary? Probably a fundie.

Too lazy or disinclined to learn enough basic biology to make an informed decision about the validity (or otherwise) of the ID/DI claims, but still think your completely ignorant and uninformed decision is as legitimate as those of people who have studied biology their entire lives? Definitely a fundie.

Larry Fafarman? Fundie, fundie, fundie.

As much fun as it is watching these guys fall into Lenny’s Fundie Trap (keep ‘em talking, and eventually they’ll shoot themselves in the foot), we all know they’re too thick-headed to actually learn anything.

The only conceivable benefit of continuing discussions with them is that undecided lurkers might learn something. But are there really any undecided lurkers here?

Comment #64940

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 11:14 AM (e)

Comment #64931 posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 09:42 AM

And there we have an eye, produced step by step, each
with just small changes, each change being fully functional
and a selective advantage for the organism that has it.

And how do we know that each of these steps is not only
possible, but actually works? Because ALL of them still
exist today in various organisms.

Stop yammering stupidly about things you don’t know anything about, Larry.

Please note that unlike so many of the commenters on this forum, I have not generally been using a smug, supercilious tone here in my responses. Matt was right – this kind of tone turns people off.

In answer to your message –

What you call “small changes” are not small at all from the standpoint of mutation. The great majority of mutations are destructive or deleterious. Many of the changes that you describe would be nearly miraculous mutations.

If at any step in this evolutionary development of the human eye, there is some required change that cannot be bridged by small incremental steps, then the whole idea of evolution by gradual incremental change breaks down. And if this does not happen in the case of the eye, then it is likely to happen in the case of some other complex system in the vast kingdom of living things.

Also, there is the matter of “convergent evolution,” where similar structures, such as wings and eyes, have appeared in different creatures that are apparently not in the same line of evolutionary descent. Thus, the same or a similar series of evolutionary changes would have to be repeated many times in many different lines of evolutionary descent. This does not seem to be very likely.

OK, here we have been carrying on a strictly scientific discussion of the concept of irreducible complexity – no mention of god, an intelligent designer, the supernatural, religion, etc.. Irreducible complexity is considered to be part of ID, and the judge in the Dover case ruled that discussing ID in a public-school science class is unconstitutional. So according to his ruling, it would be unconstitutional to have this conversation in a public-school science class. Does that seem reasonable to you ?

Comment #64944

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 11:55 AM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 11:14 AM (e) (s)..

Please note that unlike so many of the commenters on this forum, I have not generally been using a smug, supercilious tone here in my responses. Matt was right — this kind of tone turns people off.

In answer to your message —

What you call “small changes” are not small at all from the standpoint of mutation. The great majority of mutations are destructive or deleterious. Many of the changes that you describe would be nearly miraculous mutations…

What do you think happens to an organism which gets a disastrous mutation? It is certainly unlikely to reach maturity and reproduce right?

Just for a moment imagine a population of 100 Million, where each reproduction cycle produces 1 mutation per thousand “offspring”. That would give us at least 50,000 mutations per reproduction. Supposing only 1 in 10,000 mutations are beneficial, then we now have 5 new organisms per cycle with a survival/reproductive advantage. Then imagine this occurring over 500 Million years. What might the results be then? very simplistic indeed, but I think it makes a point

Evolution is more than just random mutation. There will be a majority of harmfull mutations. But then, natural selection will weed those out and keep only beneficial ones.

I see you are still just repeating the arguments against evolution that have been made over and over again by the ID movement.
Why don’t you check these arguments in the T.O. site before repeating them here?

I was saying the exact same things just over a year ago. Do you think I changed my mind through brainwashing or actually following the links some of the more patient people here gave me, then thinking for myself?

You have been had in the same way I was, by the same people. Are you now going to actually try and learn or just keep repeating the arguments you have been given by the ID crowd?

Comment #64945

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 11:58 AM (e)

Comment #64936
Posted by KL on December 26, 2005 10:35 AM

Larry wrote–
****To me, the “wedge document” is mostly just the name of a conspiracy theory. Your arguments are just “guilt-by-association.”****

Have you read it? The actual document?

Yes, I have read summaries of the wedge document, and I couldn’t care less about it. If I find the arguments for the scientific concepts of ID (e.g., irreducible complexity) to be persuasive, I will accept those arguments, otherwise I will not. It is that simple.

As for the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision – this was just the opinion of one person, Judge Jones, and furthermore, his knowledge of ID was presumably based entirely or almost entirely on the limited testimony and documentation that he reviewed during the trial. I hope that other judges will have the sense to take those limitations into account. Judges overturn other judges’ decisions all the time. For example, in the Cobb County evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker case, an appeals court judge indicated that he was leaning very strongly towards overturning a lower court ruling banning the stickers –

“I don’t think you all can contest any of the sentences” on the disclaimer sticker, Judge Ed Carnes of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals told an attorney arguing for parents who sued. “It is a theory, not a fact; the book supports that,” Carnes said.
– from http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/12/16/evolutio…

Comment #64946

Posted by KL on December 26, 2005 11:58 AM (e)

“OK, here we have been carrying on a strictly scientific discussion of the concept of irreducible complexity — no mention of god, an intelligent designer, the supernatural, religion, etc.. Irreducible complexity is considered to be part of ID, and the judge in the Dover case ruled that discussing ID in a public-school science class is unconstitutional. So according to his ruling, it would be unconstitutional to have this conversation in a public-school science class. Does that seem reasonable to you ?”

I can’t comment on how “unconstitutional” that would be, given that I am not trained to understand the constitutional ramifications of the Dover decision. I can say that this would be a poor conversation to have in a 9th or 10th grade biology class. First, only biologists with plenty of reading/studying/research under their belts can really understand it, and second, there is no research being published to support any explanation for this phenomenon other than the explanation arising out of the evolution paradigm. You don’t challenge scientific paradigms in front of an untrained and uneducated audience (ie 14-15 year olds)You teach them the basics, which are agreed upon within the scientific community. As it was stated in a previous post, IC does not automatically assume that evolution cannot have occured.

“Thus, the same or a similar series of evolutionary changes would have to be repeated many times in many different lines of evolutionary descent. This does not seem to be very likely.”

Yet evolutionary biologists don’t seem to have a problem with features arising by several different means, especially when they involve survival mechanisms such as locomotion, reproduction, finding food, avoiding predators. Could it be possible that the collective (and transparent) work of thousands of scientists carries no weight?

Comment #64948

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 12:04 PM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 09:56 AM (e) (s)


Also, there are scientific criticisms of evolution that have little or nothing to do with “design,” intelligent or otherwise. Some of these other scientific criticisms concern the following — (1) the propagation of favorable mutations, (2) the mathematical probability of evolution, and (3) the co-evolution of two co-dependent organisms (this could sometimes be considered to be a sort of “irreducible complexity” consisting of two organisms ).

That one bothered me for a while as well.

Then I started to think supposing you was an alien observing Earth.
What would you think of man kinds relationship with dogs, horses, cows, or oxen? It would certainly look as if we were co-dependent on some level (or maybe about to be).

Comment #64949

Posted by KL on December 26, 2005 12:08 PM (e)

“Yes, I have read summaries of the wedge document, and I couldn’t care less about it. If I find the arguments for the scientific concepts of ID (e.g., irreducible complexity) to be persuasive, I will accept those arguments, otherwise I will not. It is that simple.”

I think you missed some important parts. The only thing more disturbing than the premise of that document is that the proponents decided to ignore their own plan, skipping the first step (to DO the science and publish it) and going right ahead with the rest of the plan.

Comment #64950

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 12:12 PM (e)

Posted by KL on December 26, 2005 11:58 AM (e) (s)

Yet evolutionary biologists don’t seem to have a problem with features arising by several different means, especially when they involve survival mechanisms such as locomotion, reproduction, finding food, avoiding predators. Could it be possible that the collective (and transparent) work of thousands of scientists carries no weight?

I will pre-empt a creationist response here.

Actually yes!

Look at plate tectonics, evolution, the big bang and relativity.
All of them theories that overturned the work of thousands of scientists.

However they did actually do it by using science. Not PR, lawyers or politics.

Comment #64951

Posted by bill on December 26, 2005 12:18 PM (e)

Larry,

“irreducible complexity” is not scientific. It only sounds scientific. Like transpartitional cycloprotogenesis.

There is no measure of irreducible; it can’t even be defined. Same for complexity. That’s where Behe gets into trouble when confronted with real scientists. He can’t explain it. “I know it when I see it,” is the best explanation he’s ever given. (And, please don’t quibble that Behe’s a scientist because he has a degree in biochemistry. When he’s wearing his ID hat, he’s no scientist.”

And, yes, discussing “irreducible complexity” in a public school science class would be unconstitutional (from the Jones ruling) in that IC is a religious notion: IC doesn’t happen by itself, it requires a god, or demon or fairy or alien or a designer to make it happen. Ergo, it’s not science.

In public schools, and this is where we are focused from a constitutional point of view, you cannot require students to be subjected to religious propositions. Thus, the following supernatural subjects would be taboo in science class: voodoo, astrology, creationism, intelligent design, irreducible complexity, noachian flood geology, alchemy and the list goes on.

Outside of public school I say knock yourself out! What surprises me to no end is that the Discovery Institute in the last decade hasn’t funded a lab of it’s own. They have money, they have location, they have a list of 400-ish scientists who support their view, so why not fund a lab? A DI lab would be under no restrictions whatsoever to do whatever research they wanted. So, what’s the problem, DI? Get on it!

Could it be because “intelligent design” is not scientific and, therefore, there’s no point?

Comment #64955

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 12:29 PM (e)

Posted by bill on December 26, 2005 12:18 PM (e) (s)

Outside of public school I say knock yourself out! What surprises me to no end is that the Discovery Institute in the last decade hasn’t funded a lab of it’s own. They have money, they have location, they have a list of 400-ish scientists who support their view, so why not fund a lab? A DI lab would be under no restrictions whatsoever to do whatever research they wanted. So, what’s the problem, DI? Get on it!

Could it be because “intelligent design” is not scientific and, therefore, there’s no point?

That 1 is not really accurate.

They have a list of scientists that signed a reasonable statement saying “Evolution does not explain everything”.

They then distorted that list.

They made certain that nearly all the biologists appeared early on that list. Then claimed all the signers supported ID. It was just more PR.
Still, what else can you expect?

Comment #64958

Posted by KL on December 26, 2005 12:37 PM (e)

I will pre-empt a creationist response here.

Actually yes!

Look at plate tectonics, evolution, the big bang and relativity.
All of them theories that overturned the work of thousands of scientists.

However they did actually do it by using science. Not PR, lawyers or politics.

You’re absolutely right! I stand corrected.

Comment #64959

Posted by bill on December 26, 2005 12:43 PM (e)

Yeah, Steve, I know about the list but in the spirit of the season I was tossing them a bone. The number of scientists actually working on ID is Zero. It should also be pointed out that some of the scientists on the infamous list of 400 are dead.

Behe recently described cells as having little trucks: There are little molecular trucks that carry supplies from one side of the cell to the others. There are little molecular sign posts that tell it to turn left or to turn right.

I have several questions. Do my trucks drive on the right, and Tony Blair’s trucks drive on the left? Does all the stuff in my trucks fall out if I hang upside down?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Comment #64960

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 12:49 PM (e)

Comment #64948 Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 12:04 PM

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 09:56 AM
*****Also, there are scientific criticisms of evolution that have little or nothing to do with “design,” intelligent or otherwise. Some of these other scientific criticisms concern the following — (1) the propagation of favorable mutations, (2) the mathematical probability of evolution, and (3) the co-evolution of two co-dependent organisms (this could sometimes be considered to be a sort of “irreducible complexity” consisting of two organisms ).******

That one bothered me for a while as well.

Then I started to think supposing you was an alien observing Earth.
What would you think of man kinds relationship with dogs, horses, cows, or oxen? It would certainly look as if we were co-dependent on some level (or maybe about to be).

By “co-dependence,” I did not mean the man-dog, man-horse sort of thing. I meant two organisms that are inherently and entirely dependent on each other for survival, e.g., bees and insect-dependent flowering plants. The scientific name for this co-dependence is “mutualism.”

Comment #64961

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on December 26, 2005 12:57 PM (e)

The great majority of mutations are destructive or deleterious. Many of the changes that you describe [evidently with reference to eyes - pd] would be nearly miraculous mutations.

What is your source for this information? How do you square it with the fact that the majority of mutations are in the nearly neutral zone? How do you square the old ‘mutations are bad’ claim with all the evidence of selection in our own species?

Creationists have often claimed that intermediates are unworkable and/or never existed. Such claims are not correct. I’m not sure what changes were mentioned in regard to eyes, but it sounds like intermediates, not mutations, were mentioned. At least two things are needed to start with: light sensitive proteins (not too unusual) and a dark spot at one side of these proteins so that directional information is obtained and the organism can can move toward or away from light. Some large single celled organisms have both in one cell. Metazoans have specialized cells. There is a shrimp with a two-cell eye; a light sensitive cell and a dark cell behind it. Clearly, I don’t mean to suggest that a single mutation produced a shrimp from a microbe, so it makes no difference that this change would be “nearly miraculous” as a single mutation.

OK, here we have been carrying on a strictly scientific discussion of the concept of irreducible complexity — no mention of god, an intelligent designer, the supernatural, religion, etc.. Irreducible complexity is considered to be part of ID, and the judge in the Dover case ruled that discussing ID in a public-school science class is unconstitutional. So according to his ruling, it would be unconstitutional to have this conversation in a public-school science class. Does that seem reasonable to you ?

There are no correct statements about the Judge’s ruling in the above quote. You can discuss anything you want to discuss. What is ruled out is to ‘teach’ certain things as if they were correct science when it is known that these things are not correct science, and when the motive is clearly to lie to students by stating or implying that these things are scientifically correct in order to promote a certain religious view by this charade.

Note that the claim that IC is not a natural result of evolution is as bogus as the claim that the earth is only a few thousand years old.

Please note that unlike so many of the commenters on this forum, I have not generally been using a smug, supercilious tone here in my responses. Matt was right — this kind of tone turns people off.

You have a good point here. However, some commenters here are not beginners, and over the years have lost patience with the daily drumbeat of antiscience propaganda from creationists, especially discovery Inst. creationists. I agree that we should be sensitive to the fact that many people have not dealt with these same questions day after day for years on end. I hope you will also take into account that biology is a very large, complex branch of science and can’t be entirely explained in a single internet post.

Comment #64962

Posted by k.e. on December 26, 2005 12:58 PM (e)

Bill
While we are at it, are those trucks Fords ?
And do you have to believe in Ford even if you prefer GM ?
…..oh I get it …….materialism is not consumerism according to the DI.
But if it is and that would tarnish their Christianity Consumerism.

Comment #64963

Posted by PvM on December 26, 2005 1:01 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

f I find the arguments for the scientific concepts of ID (e.g., irreducible complexity) to be persuasive, I will accept those arguments, otherwise I will not. It is that simple.

You find arguments from ignorance persuasive? You find arguments which have nothing to do with Intelligent Design to be ‘persuasive’? Why?

Larry wrote:

As for the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision – this was just the opinion of one person, Judge Jones, and furthermore, his knowledge of ID was presumably based entirely or almost entirely on the limited testimony and documentation that he reviewed during the trial. I hope that other judges will have the sense to take those limitations into account. Judges overturn other judges’ decisions all the time. For example, in the Cobb County evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker case, an appeals court judge indicated that he was leaning very strongly towards overturning a lower court ruling banning the stickers –

Apples and oranges. The Cobb County sticker is not about Intelligent Design per se. In Dover, the Judge relied on the testimony of some of the foremost proponents of Intelligent Design. For instance Behe and Minnich argued Irreducible Complexity and the Judge was not convinced. Of course it is the opinion of just one person based on the testimony of quite a few witnesses.

What kind of testimony do you believe did the Judge not hear and would have been essential for a ruling?

The reason why the DI is so worried about Judge Jones’ ruling is exactly because it is so well argued and in depth.

Comment #64964

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 1:06 PM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 12:49 PM (e) (s)

….

By “co-dependence,” I did not mean the man-dog, man-horse sort of thing. I meant two organisms that are inherently and entirely dependent on each other for survival, e.g., bees and insect-dependent flowering plants. The scientific name for this co-dependence is “mutualism.”

Yes, OK.

Now how many biological organisms do not depend on other biological organisms to survive?

Do you not believe that organisms could start millions of years ago and slowly develop co-dependence? Maybe through specialisation or mutual isolation.

A few very simple questions:
How old do you believe the universe to be?
How long ago do you think that the Earth/solar system developed?
Where do complex molecules come from?
How long has life existed on Earth?

Exact answers are not needed, just a rough approximation would do.

Now back to man-dog relationships:
If you were to observe native Inuits before the development of the internal combustion engine.
Would they not appear co-dependant?
The Inuit relying on his dogs for transportation, and the dogs relying on the man for food? Supposing we were unable to advance technology from that period. What would be their relationship in 20 Million years time?

Comment #64965

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on December 26, 2005 1:17 PM (e)

It’s just too hard to keep up with the comments. While I was writing one,

bill wrote:

There is no measure of irreducible; it can’t even be defined. Same for complexity. That’s where Behe gets into trouble when confronted with real scientists. He can’t explain it. “I know it when I see it,” is the best explanation he’s ever given. (And, please don’t quibble that Behe’s a scientist because he has a degree in biochemistry. When he’s wearing his ID hat, he’s no scientist.”

The last part is right, but IC is a specific defined thing:

Behe, _Darwin's Black Box_ p 39 wrote:

“By [i]irreducibly complex[/i] I mean a single system
composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that
contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one
of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.”
[emphasis in original]

or, without the fancy new term,

Morris, _Scientific Creationism_ 2nd edition p 59 wrote:

This issue can actually be attacked quantitatively, using
simple principles of mathematical probability. The problem
is simply whether a complex system, in which many com-
ponents function unitedly together, and in which each com-
ponent is uniquely necessary to the efficient functioning of
the whole, could ever arise by random processes.

IC is a normal result of evolution. See here and here. And note, for the thousandth time, that evolution is not a random process. It’s incredible how many people have never heard of selection.

Comment #64974

Posted by bill Farrell on December 26, 2005 1:57 PM (e)

Regarding Behe’s “definition” if IC:

What is “several?” Two, three, more than three? Several is a subjective term.

What is “well-matched?” Closer than an angstrom? Smaller than a barn?

What is a “basic function?” How would it differ from a “complex function?”

What does “effectively cease functioning” mean? Stop altogether, run slower, run less efficient (but compared to what? What measure of efficiency is being used? What would be the theoretical maximum “efficiency” of a flagellum (say) and what does that even mean?)

The problem with IC is that it’s totally subjective. There is no rigor. Behe is right (ouch, it hurts to even type that!) when he says “he knows it when he sees it” because IC is like art. Every person who views it views it differently. Just like the concept of beauty, the concept of “irreducible complexity” can’t be measured, can’t be quantified and can’t be described objectively.

Is a water molecule irreducibly complex? If you remove an atom of hydrogen or oxygen it ceases to perform its basic function of being water.

What we have here with “irreducibly complex” is a liberal arts statement, not a scientific propositon. My cat could measure the boiling and freezing points of water (if he could read a thermometer) and we would agree on the results of the measurements of those physical properties. But my cat and I would have very different opinions on what is beauty, or what is “acceptable” behaviour, for that matter.

Comment #64977

Posted by PvM on December 26, 2005 2:19 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

The human eye, for example, is supposed to consist of about 40 parts. Is it conceivable that the human eye could have evolved by adding one part at a time, with each and every incomplete eye —with anywhere between one and forty parts — having some function which gave our ancestors an evolutionary advantage in natural selection ?

The answer is unsurprising: Yes

Comment #64983

Posted by sir_toejam on December 26, 2005 2:46 PM (e)

These scientific parts of ID are just scientific criticisms of evolution theory, and scientific criticisms of a scientific theory do not have to jump through the hoops that you enumerate above.

Bravo Larry! You are the perfect creationist! Just like all other creationists, they would prefer their views NOT be forced to jump through the same “hoops” (actual evidence, testable predictions) that ALL real science actually does.

you make a great poster boy for the creationist movement. You should write to Dembski and find out where you can pick up a check from the DI, or hell, write straight to Howie and maybe he will cut you a check direct.

We’re laughing at you. get it?

Comment #64984

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on December 26, 2005 2:47 PM (e)

The alleged ‘incomplete’ eyes were quite complete functioning organs at the time, and are yet in many organisms. Calling other eyes ‘incomplete’ because they are not just like ours is biologically incorrect and smacks of finalism.

Comment #64987

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on December 26, 2005 2:57 PM (e)

Bill, it is quite easy to recognize that some things are IC, and evolved. It is easy to see that IC is a normal result of evolution. Rather than quibbling over terms, one can recognize that evolution leads to co-adapted parts, and with these it is possible to designate ‘systems’, ‘parts’, and ‘functions’ satisfying the definition by any reasonable interpretation of the words. I recommend understanding the biological processes over debating terms.

Comment #64988

Posted by bill Farrell on December 26, 2005 3:10 PM (e)

Hi, Pete,

I disagree with your comment in that it’s quite easy to recognize that some things are IC. It’s precisely the lack of definition that puts ID in such a bind.

I’m not quibbling over terms when I ask for an unambiguous definition and some measurable parameters.

I submit that IC is a subjective proposition; it is a figment of imagination and nothing more. It may be fascinating to discuss in a liberal arts context, but it has no place in science.

Therefore, Behe’s entire thesis is invalid. It’s time to put IC and ID into the dustbin of History, close the lid and move on to more interesting topics.

(my personal opinion, of course)

Comment #64999

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 4:19 PM (e)

Comment #64951

Posted by bill on December 26, 2005 12:18 PM

Larry,

“irreducible complexity” is not scientific. It only sounds scientific. Like transpartitional cycloprotogenesis.

There is no measure of irreducible; it can’t even be defined. Same for complexity. That’s where Behe gets into trouble when confronted with real scientists. He can’t explain it. “I know it when I see it,” is the best explanation he’s ever given.

And, yes, discussing “irreducible complexity” in a public school science class would be unconstitutional (from the Jones ruling) in that IC is a religious notion: IC doesn’t happen by itself, it requires a god, or demon or fairy or alien or a designer to make it happen.

I would not say that irreducible complexity cannot be defined – I would just say that it is subjective and hard-to-quantify. But that is also true of a lot of other stuff in biology, including a lot of evolution theory. A lot of it is just philosophizing.

A DNA lab, for example, will say that there is maybe one chance in so many billion that two DNA samples that appear to be from one person actually came from two different people. In irreducible complexity, it would be nice to say that there is one chance in so many billion that a system that appears to be irreducibly complex actually evolved gradually, but it is not possible to come up with such a probability. We can only use subjective feelings of extremely unlikely, very unlikely, etc..

Evolutionists are kidding themselves when they say that evolution theory has any special claims to being scientific. For example, they say that evolution is “testable.” But macro-evolution per se cannot be tested because it cannot be directly observed. The only predictions that can be made in macro-evolution theory are predictions of likely discoveries of more circumstantial evidence of macro-evolution. For example, the fossil record can be used to predict likely “missing link” fossils.

Irreducible complexity can be discussed in strictly scientific terms, without any direct reference to religion or the supernatural. I feel that the judge had no right to censor scientific criticism of evolution theory in public-school science classes.

Comment #65003

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 4:28 PM (e)

Once again, Larry doesn’t answer my questions. Once again, I’ll ask them again.

*ahem*

Were your ID pals lying BEFORE when they told the court that “irreducible complexity” is a scientific theory of ID, or are they lying NOW when they say “irreducible complexity” is NOT a scientific theory of ID, but is just a “scientific criticism of evolution”.

Larry, do you think we should also teach scientific evidence against heliocentrism?

How about scientific evidence against the germ theory of disease?

Scientific evidence against relativity? Against quantum mechanics? Against plate tectonics?

Why is it just evolution that gets your undies all bunched up? Is there a particular reason for that?

A religious reason, perhaps … ?

Why are you so reluctant to answer my simple questions, Larry? Got something you (and your ID pals) need to hide, do you?

Comment #65007

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 4:39 PM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 04:19 PM (e) (s)

Comment #64951

Posted by bill on December 26, 2005 12:18 PM

Larry,

“irreducible complexity” is not scientific. It only sounds scientific. Like transpartitional cycloprotogenesis.

There is no measure of irreducible; it can’t even be defined. Same for complexity. That’s where Behe gets into trouble when confronted with real scientists. He can’t explain it. “I know it when I see it,” is the best explanation he’s ever given.

And, yes, discussing “irreducible complexity” in a public school science class would be unconstitutional (from the Jones ruling) in that IC is a religious notion: IC doesn’t happen by itself, it requires a god, or demon or fairy or alien or a designer to make it happen.

I would not say that irreducible complexity cannot be defined — I would just say that it is subjective and hard-to-quantify. But that is also true of a lot of other stuff in biology, including a lot of evolution theory. A lot of it is just philosophizing.

A DNA lab, for example, will say that there is maybe one chance in so many billion that two DNA samples that appear to be from one person actually came from two different people. In irreducible complexity, it would be nice to say that there is one chance in so many billion that a system that appears to be irreducibly complex actually evolved gradually, but it is not possible to come up with such a probability. We can only use subjective feelings of extremely unlikely, very unlikely, etc..

Evolutionists are kidding themselves when they say that evolution theory has any special claims to being scientific. For example, they say that evolution is “testable.” But macro-evolution per se cannot be tested because it cannot be directly observed. The only predictions that can be made in macro-evolution theory are predictions of likely discoveries of more circumstantial evidence of macro-evolution. For example, the fossil record can be used to predict likely “missing link” fossils.

Irreducible complexity can be discussed in strictly scientific terms, without any direct reference to religion or the supernatural. I feel that the judge had no right to censor scientific criticism of evolution theory in public-school science classes.

I now believe you to be nothing but a Troll.

You have failed to listen to and research a single response to your posts.

Constantly repeating arguments already scientificaly discredited does not put you in a good light.

Why are you unable to answer simple questions? Why do dodge the harder ones as well?

Cut and pasting ID arguments already seen here countless times is not a scientific discussion; It is just rhetoric.

Do you seriously believe the majority of biologists trying to carry out research are all just a bunch of vacuous people lying to the world?

What would be the point of medical trials on animals if we where not genetically similar?

You are beginning to annoy me now, and I am new to this discussion. God knows what veterans must feel like. Why do you refuse to check out your (given to you) arguments before posting them? People here recognise every single objection to evolution you have presented as a re-hashed argument from creation science.

Comment #65011

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 4:58 PM (e)

Comment #64964 posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 01:06 PM

Now how many biological organisms do not depend on other biological organisms to survive?

Do you not believe that organisms could start millions of years ago and slowly develop co-dependence? Maybe through specialisation or mutual isolation.

Here are some thoughts about co-evolution –

Often a co-dependent organism has several features that are closely coordinated with features of the other organism – this is the case with bees and insect-dependent flowering plants. Co-evolution is often much more of a problem than the kind of evolution which is mere adaptation to the fixed physical features of the environment (e.g., water, land, air, and climate), because sometimes neither of the two co-dependent organisms would initially possess the feature that the other organism must adapt to. Thus, co-evolution, even where possible, could be much slower than evolutionary adaptation to fixed physical features of the environment.

Regarding your question, “how many biological organisms do not depend on other biological organisms to survive ?”, the article on “co-evolution” in the Wikipedia online Internet encyclopedia says, “few perfectly isolated examples of evolution can be identified: essentially all evolution is co-evolution.”

Comment #65012

Posted by bill Farrell on December 26, 2005 5:08 PM (e)

Larry,

You appear to be in free-fall. First you say that IC is subjective, then hard to quantify then not possible to come up with a probability.

I think you’re almost there.

The probability that ID is not science is 1.
The probability that IC is a subjective figment of the imagination is 1.

The remainder of your “reply”, consisting of unrelated tidbits of well-worn creationist dogma are very tiring, indeed, but I give you high marks for including “evolution not science”, “macroevolution”, “microevolution” and “missing link” in a single paragraph. That alone should be worthy of some kind of a Darwin Award.

Comment #65013

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on December 26, 2005 5:10 PM (e)

Irreducible complexity can be discussed in strictly scientific terms, without any direct reference to religion or the supernatural.

I’ve done it, as have many others. Evidently it must be possible despite Bill’s reservations.

I feel that the judge had no right to censor scientific criticism of evolution theory in public-school science classes.

Aren’t you glad the judge did no such thing. Your mistake is in thinking that IC is a scientific criticism of biology. IC is a natural result of evolution. The clever term ‘irreducible complexity’ makes you think it is unevolvable, but this is just a rhetorical device. That the opposite is the case is old news.

Surely you don’t want teachers to lie to kids, even by implication, by snowing them with misleading jargon. If there were time, say a second year biology course targeted at dumb creationist claims, it would be easy enough to explain IC and much more.

Comment #65014

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 5:16 PM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 04:58 PM (e) (s)


Here are some thoughts about co-evolution —

Often a co-dependent organism has several features that are closely coordinated with features of the other organism — this is the case with bees and insect-dependent flowering plants. Co-evolution is often much more of a problem than the kind of evolution which is mere adaptation to the fixed physical features of the environment (e.g., water, land, air, and climate), because sometimes neither of the two co-dependent organisms would initially possess the feature that the other organism must adapt to. Thus, co-evolution, even where possible, could be much slower than evolutionary adaptation to fixed physical features of the environment.

Regarding your question, “how many biological organisms do not depend on other biological organisms to survive ?”, the article on “co-evolution” in the Wikipedia online Internet encyclopedia says, “few perfectly isolated examples of evolution can be identified: essentially all evolution is co-evolution.”

You are missing every point addressing your arguments.

Lets talk religion as that is becoming the most likely motivation for your posts.

I also believe in God. But I do recognise that as a personal religious opinion (in no way threatened by accepting evolution).

You can’t really make religion=science. Science demands repeatable experiments. To try and make religion scientific you would ultimately have to deny God of free will. Now that is so outrageous as to be despicable.

Unless you believe in a lesser and confined God.

I am sure this post will annoy a lot of regular PT posters. Sorry in advance.

Comment #65015

Posted by jeffw on December 26, 2005 5:16 PM (e)

Thus, co-evolution, even where possible, could be much slower than evolutionary adaptation to fixed physical features of the environment.

I think that’s dead wrong. It provides a feedback mechanism which actually accelerates evolution. Predator/Prey arms races are simple example.

Comment #65017

Posted by the pro from dover on December 26, 2005 5:23 PM (e)

Sir toejam certainly picked up on the key remark by Larry in comment 64983. ID has no “scientific parts” by any accepted definition of science since ID denies the scientific method (methodologic Materialism) and is nothing more than the default position from ignorance. the correct statement should be “ID is criticism of evolution theory.” No hoop jumping required or desired. “The scientific parts of ID are not scientific theories or hypotheses” is more priceless than any mastercard commercial.

Comment #65023

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 7:01 PM (e)

Larry, are you going to answer my simple questions, or aren’t you.

Comment #65025

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 7:05 PM (e)

I give you high marks for including “evolution not science”, “macroevolution”, “microevolution” and “missing link” in a single paragraph. That alone should be worthy of some kind of a Darwin Award.

He left out “Archaeopteryx is a fake”, “the moon dust is too shallow” and “the second law of thermodynamics”, though.

(snicker) (giggle)

I am seriously wondering if Larry thinks that any of his crap is actually “new”, and is just too dumb to know that it’s been repeated ad nauseum (and, coincidentally, losing in court) for decades now.

Comment #65026

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 7:09 PM (e)

Do you seriously believe the majority of biologists trying to carry out research are all just a bunch of vacuous people lying to the world?

That’s a very good question. Larry, why *do* you think biologists all over the world think all of your anti-evolution arguments are a big stinking steaming pile of cow cakes?

Is it all just a plot?

Are they all just not as smart as you are?

Or what?

Do tell, Larry.

Alas, it seems as though Larry doesn’t answer questions. Mostly, I suspect, because he CAN’T. (shrug)

Comment #65027

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 7:41 PM (e)

Comment #65026
Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 07:09 PM

*****Do you seriously believe the majority of biologists trying to carry out research are all just a bunch of vacuous people lying to the world?*****

That’s a very good question. Larry, why *do* you think biologists all over the world think all of your anti-evolution arguments are a big stinking steaming pile of cow cakes?

Is it all just a plot?

Are they all just not as smart as you are?

They have their opinions and I have mine.

One advantage I have over them is that I am not under any pressure to conform. I can say whatever I want.

Comment #65003
Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 04:28 PM

Larry, do you think we should also teach scientific evidence against heliocentrism?

How about scientific evidence against the germ theory of disease?

Scientific evidence against relativity? Against quantum mechanics? Against plate tectonics?

Why is it just evolution that gets your undies all bunched up? Is there a particular reason for that?

A religious reason, perhaps … ?

Where is it written that I may not criticize evolution theory unless I criticize other scientific theories as well ?

And no, my motives are not religious.

Comment #65028

Posted by Registered User on December 26, 2005 7:43 PM (e)

“the moon dust is too shallow”

I hadn’t heard that one in a while. LOL!!!!

It’s striking, however, that the dust is just right for human astronauts to step on. One might argue that the moon is “finely tuned” for human exploration (if one was a creationist apologist idiot).

Comment #65029

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 26, 2005 8:04 PM (e)

Larry typed:

Of course you are entitled to hire as much “legal firepower” as you and your pro bono help can afford or are willing to pay for. The question is, how much of this “legal firepower” should your adversaries in court be expected to pay for if they lose? The law officially allows an award of only “reasonable” attorney fees. The Civil Rights Attorney’s Fees Awards Act of 1976 provides that in federal civil rights actions “the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs.” (emphasis added) Judge Jones also used the word “reasonable” in his opinion. The US Supreme Court, in Blum v. Stenson, 465 U.S. 886 (1984), ruled that non-profit organizations which originally agreed to provide pro bono representation are eligible for an award of these fees under this act.

9-10 plaintiffs’ attorneys on this case was an excessive number by any standard — and it was more than twice what the defendants had, four.

The threat of virtually unlimited awards of attorney fees enables the ACLU (and similar organizations) to blackmail local communities into doing the ACLU’s bidding, even when the local community has a good chance of winning in court.

Judge Jones thinks that yours is the opinion of a pathetic crybaby:

The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.

Comment #65030

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 8:14 PM (e)

Comment #65007Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 04:39 PM

Cut and pasting ID arguments already seen here countless times is not a scientific discussion; It is just rhetoric.

You are beginning to annoy me now, and I am new to this discussion.

How do you know that my ID arguments have been seen here countless times if you are new to this discussion ?

Comment #65031

Posted by the pro from dover on December 26, 2005 8:20 PM (e)

Larry can critcize evolution until the cows come home or the rapture or whatever. The point is why is it that only evolution is being criticized for its insistance on non-metaphysical explanations (translate-materialism); Where all other significant scientific theories are equally based in it. Has anyone ever seen an atom? Much less a quark or lepton? Science isn’t about explaining everything away. It is about predicting the results of experiments/observations not yet made. I think we’d all be intersted in any prospective testable collectable data predicted by ID. Criticizing evolution when not criticizing other theories in taxpayer funded public schools is deliberately misleading. Larry-homeschool your kids and send them to bible college.

Comment #65032

Posted by Registered User on December 26, 2005 8:36 PM (e)

the pro from dover writes

I think we’d all be intersted in any prospective testable collectable data predicted by ID.

You want testable collectable data?

I got your data right here.

ID predicts that a deity-like being exists who created the universe and every living thing in it.

And voila! that prediction is satisfied when you pick up your Bible and believe what is written there.

A circular argument?

No more circular than the fact that if you don’t believe me you are going to endure unbearable pain until the end of time after you die.

And this is better than science because you don’t need to ask any more questions. Questioning the theory above amounts to little more than knocking on Satan’s door and asking the Horned One to join you for breakfast on Rapture Day.

It boils down to this: you like science? You like pretending that you can explain the origin of all of life’s diversity without invoking the Master Creator? Well, that’s nice. Some people like to shoot heroin or smoke crack or have anal sex 24 hours a day or do all three at the same time.

But when He returns, it’ll be too late to wish you had spent less time worshipping science and more time worshipping He Who Created Science.

It’s a simple calculation.

Comment #65033

Posted by jim on December 26, 2005 8:36 PM (e)

Larry,

Fundamentally you have to choose one of these approaches to this debate:

1) Believe the ID proponents
2) Believe the scientists
3) Research these topics for yourself

#3 requires the most work. With science you can trace the statements made by scientists (e.g. at TalkOrigins back to the original research. From that research you can actually reproduce the experiment and make the observations yourself. We’ve given you numerous references and additional reading on the subjects that seem the most interesting to you. You’ve apparently failed to do any of it, because with just a little reading/research you’d find how much the ID groups have lied to you.

If you plan to use either choice 1 or 2, you really should try to determine what their underlying motivations are and whether these motivations would encourage or discourage lying.

Towards this goal, you ought to know that all of the plaintiff’s science experts provided their services for free. You also ought to know that the defendant’s science experts charged at least $100/hour and W. Dembski charged $200/hour (for 100 hours of work) and none of his testimony was ever used in the trial.

This small example is indicative in every way of how the two sides are motivated.

So far you’ve waveringly followed choice #1. I’d say that nearly every person that reads and posts to this blog would by far prefer you followed choice #3. You see, science is all about questioning/challenging authority/the status quo. However, the best way to this is to know what the current status quo is and the only way to do that is to read.

So please go and read some of the references pointed out to you. If you wish to discuss these or have points not covered, please bring them up. However, you have about 0 credibility until you actually go out and do some work.

I strongly suggest that you start with the Kitzmiller trial ruling summary.
Next if you need more information, try reading the whole ruling.
Finally, I’d suggest reading the TalkOrigins FAQ. Nearly every one of your points is addressed at length there.

Comment #65034

Posted by sir_toejam on December 26, 2005 8:37 PM (e)

How do you know that my ID arguments have been seen here countless times if you are new to this discussion ?

uh, because they HAVE been seen here before, countless times, it’s you who don’t seem to be able to recognize that.

like I said, you bring nothing fresh, nothing new, just warmed over creationist rhetoric anybody who has spent more than a week on PT has seen dozens of times over.

don’t you wonder why your “thinking” isn’t original at all larry?

no, i suppose you don’t.

Comment #65035

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 8:42 PM (e)

They have their opinions and I have mine.

And we should care about your opinion because ….?

One advantage I have over them is that I am not under any pressure to conform. I can say whatever I want.

One advantage they have over you is that they know what they’re talking about since they study the topic at hand.

You don’t.

(shrug)

Where is it written that I may not criticize evolution theory unless I criticize other scientific theories as well ?

And no, my motives are not religious.

Just answer the questions, Larry.

Here, I’ll ask again:

Were your ID pals lying BEFORE when they told the court that “irreducible complexity” is a scientific theory of ID, or are they lying NOW when they say “irreducible complexity” is NOT a scientific theory of ID, but is just a “scientific criticism of evolution”.

Well?

Why is it just evolution that gets your undies all bunched up? Is there a particular reason for that?

Well?

A religious reason, perhaps … ?

Well?

You are a liar, Larry. A dishonest, deceptive, evasive liar.

Just like Judge Jones concluded.

(shrug)

Comment #65036

Posted by jeffw on December 26, 2005 8:43 PM (e)

It boils down to this: you like science? You like pretending that you can explain the origin of all of life’s diversity without invoking the Master Creator? Well, that’s nice. Some people like to shoot heroin or smoke crack or have anal sex 24 hours a day or do all three at the same time.

But when He returns, it’ll be too late to wish you had spent less time worshipping science and more time worshipping He Who Created Science.

This is how religion manipulates people. It’s all about power and mind control. Always has been.

Comment #65040

Posted by jim on December 26, 2005 9:20 PM (e)

Larry,

I’ve only been at PT since September. The only “new” take that you have is whining about the Kitzmiller decision. Since you and I are not lawyers, I’ve found it very humorous that you “object” to the decisions made by someone who’s career is law.

It’s like a stranger coming in off the street and throwing a hissy fit when the neuro-surgeon doesn’t follow his advice.

In essence your position is “The world should quit listening to people that have studied biology for 8 or more years and practiced it for decades and should follow my uneducated and inexperienced opinion.”

And don’t forget “The world should quit listening to people that have studied law for 7 or more years and practiced it for decades and should follow my uneducated and inexperienced opinion.”

Do you see how ridiculous your position is? You are ignorant of these topics and yet you shout out that everyone should value your opinion over those that do this for a living.

So Larry, are there any other professions that should abandon their collective wisdom and follow your advice instead (Aeronautical Engineering, Neuro-surgery, Micro-circuitry design, or medical device designer)?

You believe ID because it’s philosophy is compatible with some of your deep, core beliefs. You’ve never actually questioned these beliefs or tried to learn the basis of those beliefs. You are projecting this onto others and assuming that they must hold their “beliefs” for similar reasons.

You are wrong. Although I agree that every person holds core beliefs that they don’t subject to rigorous testing, science tries very hard to question all assumptions and investigate their validity. You are arguing with people that have studied these subjects for *decades*. You have ranted multiple times that your “opinion” should be held with *at least* as regard as others. Yet this position is totally ridiculous.

I maintain that unless you go and do some basic research yourself, we shouldn’t waste our time with your musings.

Comment #65041

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 9:36 PM (e)

I’ve found it very humorous that you “object” to the decisions made by someone who’s career is law.

He also apparently thinks he knows more about biology than people who have studied it for their entire adult lives —- and that Larry’s uninformed opinion is just as good as theirs.

When Larry finally gets around to actually reading the Dover decision, he will see that all of his “arguments” have been made decades ago —- and scientists (and judges) have consistently rejected them all as nonsensical and dishonest.

So Larry’s opinion, quite literally, doesn’t mean diddley doo. (shrug)

Comment #65044

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 9:45 PM (e)

Where are Sal and Nelson and Beckwith? I weary of these pig-ignorant third-rate ID amateurs like Larry. I want ID’s, uh, “best and brightest” again. I’m not finished ripping them a new one.

Or are they now too ashamed and embarrassed to show their faces in public any more?

Comment #65045

Posted by sir_toejam on December 26, 2005 10:14 PM (e)

They’re laying low ’till the heat’s off.

Comment #65046

Posted by Tice with a J on December 26, 2005 10:17 PM (e)

Larry Fafarman wrote:

They have their opinions and I have mine.

One advantage I have over them is that I am not under any pressure to conform. I can say whatever I want.

That’s a rather cold thing to say. I think you will find that a study of the history of science, as well as a study of the sort of people in the sciences nowadays, will prove that the little world of organized science is much more user-friendly than you think it is.

Stephen Elliott wrote:

You are beginning to annoy me now, and I am new to this discussion.

Larry Fafarman wrote:

How do you know that my ID arguments have been seen here countless times if you are new to this discussion?

Because they’re that common. You can find them on many other discussion boards. Now, it would be fair to present them again if they had never received a fair objection, but I think you will find that the good folks at Talk.Origins archive have taken the time to address all of your questions.

By the way, apropos of nothing, you have a very cool last name, Mr. Fafarman.

One last comment: that (shrug) business is beginning to annoy me now. Please, use it with discretion.

Comment #65055

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 11:24 PM (e)

Comment #65029 Posted by Alexey Merz on December 26, 2005 08:04 PM

Judge Jones thinks that yours is the opinion of a pathetic crybaby –

(from Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion)
The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.

So the judge is next going to drag the Dover Area taxpayers “into this legal maelstrom” by awarding exorbitant attorney fees to the plaintiffs’ legal representatives. LOL

By the way, I have seen no verification of the assertion that the Dover school board forfeited its lawsuit insurance by switching from their regular retained attorneys to the Thomas More Law Center’s attorneys. Had this actually happened, I am sure that it would have been all over the news.

Comment #65056

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 11:41 PM (e)

Comment #65035 posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on December 26, 2005 08:42 PM

And we should care about your opinion because … .?

You stupid, feeble-minded ignoramus, you expressly asked for my opinion several times. If you don’t care about it, then don’t ask for it. OK?

Comment #65057

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 11:58 PM (e)

Comment #65040 posted by jim on December 26, 2005 09:20 PM

Larry,

I’ve only been at PT since September. The only “new” take that you have is whining about the Kitzmiller decision. Since you and I are not lawyers, I’ve found it very humorous that you “object” to the decisions made by someone who’s career is law.

What???? I should not object to a judge’s decision just because I am not a lawyer? I can’t believe that you said that. I don’t believe this.

Comment #65059

Posted by jim on December 27, 2005 12:05 AM (e)

Larry,

I recall seeing many questions asked of you. However, telling people that your opinion should carry more weight is different than answering questions.

I think the essence of the questions expressed here is have you investigate your opinion to see whether others have already considered your line of thinking and also discover what they found.

I think in nearly case, you’ll find that the ideas behind your opinion have already well considered by many others in some cases over a century ago. I’ll leave it to you to go out and discover what they found. The TalkOrigins archive is an excellent place to begin.

Comment #65060

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 27, 2005 12:08 AM (e)

It’s a simple calculation.

Surely you meant to type: “simpleton’s.”

Comment #65062

Posted by jim on December 27, 2005 12:11 AM (e)

Larry,

You’re entitled to object all you want. That you expect everyone else to think your “opinion” should carry more weight than Judge Jones (a Federal Judge, appointed by GW Bush), that’s funny.

So, go read up at TalkOrigins, and get back to us with any questions.

Comment #65063

Posted by argy stokes on December 27, 2005 12:16 AM (e)

Uncommon Descent is done… go check it out.

Comment #65064

Posted by gregonomic on December 27, 2005 12:29 AM (e)

Larry Afarensis wrote:

So the judge is next going to drag the Dover Area taxpayers “into this legal maelstrom” by awarding exorbitant attorney fees to the plaintiffs’ legal representatives. LOL

As previously pointed out by others, and apparently completely ignored by you (along with every other point of fact raised here), the fees being claimed by the plaintiff’s are entirely reasonable - many of the attorney’s worked for free on this case.

It’s unfortunate that it’s the Dover taxpayers who have to foot the bill, but rather than whining to us, or blaming it on the judge, why not put the blame where it most clearly lies: with the members of the school board who broke the law and introduced the policy; and with the TMLC, who worked so hard to get this to trial in the first place, but then completely dropped the ball when it came to representing their clients?

Oh wait, the TMLC are “Christians”, so they’re automatically the good guys in your mind, right?

The good thing to come out of this: I suspect Dover citizens won’t be electing fundie kooks to their school-board any time soon. A few other American citizens might think twice about it too, if they know it’s going to come back and bite them real hard in the ass (and wallet).

Comment #65066

Posted by RBH on December 27, 2005 12:42 AM (e)

Larry wrote

By the way, I have seen no verification of the assertion that the Dover school board forfeited its lawsuit insurance by switching from their regular retained attorneys to the Thomas More Law Center’s attorneys. Had this actually happened, I am sure that it would have been all over the news.

The Dover Area Board President said in one of the pre-trial interrogatories (I forget which one: I think they’re archived here; if not, do some independent research!) that their insurance company had informed them that their liability insurance would not cover costs of defending the complaint. (They knew that before the actual trial.) That’s doubtless because the Board ignored the advice of its own counsel and believed the DI’s “legal” advice (thank you, Seth Cooper) and the Thomas More Center’s advice.

RBH

Comment #65073

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 27, 2005 1:40 AM (e)

IIRC that’s correct, RBH. In any case it’s Larry’s assertion and up to him to provide evidence for it. Which, given his typically creationist posting pattern (I base this on >10 years of reading creationist “arguments” on the web and before that on usenet), he will fail to do. After all, it appears that he can’t even be troubled to read the 139 pages of large type in the Court’s decision, despite his many posts on the subject.

Comment #65076

Posted by limpidense on December 27, 2005 2:02 AM (e)

Larry F.

You seem a bit confused about the actual meaning of “stupid, feeble-minded ignoramus.” If you add, “nasty-tempered” you need not check the dictionary to find the definition, just peep into a mirror.

Comment #65080

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 3:21 AM (e)

Comment #65066
Posted by RBH on December 27, 2005 12:42 AM

The Dover Area Board President said in one of the pre-trial interrogatories (I forget which one: I think they’re archived here; if not, do some independent research!) that their insurance company had informed them that their liability insurance would not cover costs of defending the complaint.

Now that is one helluva lot different from saying that the insurance company did not cover the defense costs because the board was represented by the Thomas More Law Center’s attorneys rather than the board’s regular retained attorneys !! The TMLC’s attorneys were presumably among the best to be had in this area of the law – this is their area of specialization. Maybe the board’s lawsuit insurance policy did not cover this type of lawsuit, but just covered stuff like personal injury lawsuits.

Why should I investigate the incredible story that the board’s choice of attorneys was the reason for denying insurance coverage? I think that those who presented this story are the ones who should verify it. I think that the only way for me to get an answer myself would be to directly ask the Dover board, but I would be embarrassed to ask them what I think is a silly question.

Another urban legend bites the dust.

Comment #65082

Posted by sir_toejam on December 27, 2005 3:44 AM (e)

Uncommon Descent is done… go check it out.

you are correct. seems billy boy has decided it’s a waste of his time.

go figure, a blog where he deleted every single substantive comment himself is a waste of his time…

Comment #65083

Posted by sir_toejam on December 27, 2005 3:48 AM (e)

larry:

look at the thread’s title again:

Activist Judge or just poor reading skills?

now given that not just a few, but MANY folks here have asked you to actually go read the trial transcript yourself, and go to talk origins to read the answers to much of the drivel you posted, and given that you apparently refuse to do either (showing us your opinions are based on your own personal worldview, rather than any evidence in fact)…

Which way do you think you come down on the question posed by the thread title?

seems pretty obvious to everyone here.

Is it obvious to you too?

Comment #65087

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 4:23 AM (e)

Comment #65064
Posted by gregonomic on December 27, 2005 12:29 AM

Larry Afarensis wrote:
****So the judge is next going to drag the Dover Area taxpayers “into this legal maelstrom” by awarding exorbitant attorney fees to the plaintiffs’ legal representatives. LOL****

As previously pointed out by others, and apparently completely ignored by you (along with every other point of fact raised here), the fees being claimed by the plaintiff’s are entirely reasonable - many of the attorney’s worked for free on this case.

And I am entitled to ignore what I disagree with. I said that having 9-10 attorneys of record representing the plaintiffs was excessive, and I stand by that.

I presume that all of the plaintiffs’ legal representatives originally agreed to work for free, but the law and a Supreme Court decision (Blum v. Stenson, 465 U.S. 886) say that they are now eligible for an award of attorney fees, which the judge awarded them. Do you think that they are now going to pass up part of these fees?

Comment #65088

Posted by sir_toejam on December 27, 2005 4:29 AM (e)

And I am entitled to ignore what I disagree with. I said that having 9-10 attorneys of record representing the plaintiffs was excessive, and I stand by that.

yeah, didn’t OJ have only 4 on his dream team?

what makes you think that’s excessive, larry? Can you pull up some trial numbers for us and support your claim?

no?

this is why we think you’re a moron, larry. not because you have opinions, but because you won’t do ANY work to try and find support for your opinions.

you prefer to PRESUME rather than research and find out.

that makes you an opinionated moron, and is the reason Lenny asked you why we should care what your opinions are. NOTE he didn’t say you shouldn’t have opinions, he merely asked you what supports them.

you have given us nothing, larry, to support any of your rambling presumptions or erroneous conclusions.

why do you persist?

Comment #65089

Posted by Registered User on December 27, 2005 4:33 AM (e)

Larry

“The TMLC’s attorneys were presumably among the best to be had in this area of the law — this is their area of specialization.”

That’s funny.

News flash: religious fanatics make crappy lawyers because they have trouble remembering that their beliefs are, um, religious beliefs and not “facts” in the way that courtrooms typically treat “facts.”

And before anyone jumps in to cite Jay Sekulow: he appears to be one of those Christian on the outside / money-grubbing hypocrite on the inside. He knows a good gig when he sees it from his private jet.

As for Casey Luskin, time will tell. I’m guessing he’s one o’ dem true-believin’ religious fanatics who won’t amount to a pile of creation science textbooks.

Comment #65092

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 27, 2005 5:54 AM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 04:23 AM (e) (s)

Comment #65064
Posted by gregonomic on December 27, 2005 12:29 AM

Larry Afarensis wrote:
****So the judge is next going to drag the Dover Area taxpayers “into this legal maelstrom” by awarding exorbitant attorney fees to the plaintiffs’ legal representatives. LOL****

As previously pointed out by others, and apparently completely ignored by you (along with every other point of fact raised here), the fees being claimed by the plaintiff’s are entirely reasonable - many of the attorney’s worked for free on this case.

And I am entitled to ignore what I disagree with. I said that having 9-10 attorneys of record representing the plaintiffs was excessive, and I stand by that.

Yes you can ignore what you disagree with. If you do not address what you disagree with though, you are just blowing hot air rather than arguing effectively.

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 09:56 AM (e) (s)

Comment #64900 posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 02:39 AM
Larry,
Do you really consider ID to be science? Are you aware of the way that an idea becomes science?

1.Observe something (IC Cells?)
2.Think of an explanation (Hypothesis).
3.Make some predictions that would confirm or invalidate your idea.
4.Carry out the experiment.
5.If prediction is positive return to 3, if negative return to 2.
6.After several positive results, publish your idea.
7.Other people carry out repeatable experiments to either confirm or refute your idea.
8.When an awfull lot of confirming results have been carried out your hypothesis may become a scientific theory.

The scientific parts of ID — such as irreducible complexity — are not scientific theories or hypotheses, because they do not attempt to provide a complete scientific explanation for observed phenomena. These scientific parts of ID are just scientific criticisms of evolution theory, and scientific criticisms of a scientific theory do not have to jump through the hoops that you enumerate above.

So are you saying that ID needs to do no science to be taught as science at the taxpayers expense?

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 11:58 PM (e) (s)

Comment #65040 posted by jim on December 26, 2005 09:20 PM

Larry,

I’ve only been at PT since September. The only “new” take that you have is whining about the Kitzmiller decision. Since you and I are not lawyers, I’ve found it very humorous that you “object” to the decisions made by someone who’s career is law.

What???? I should not object to a judge’s decision just because I am not a lawyer? I can’t believe that you said that. I don’t believe this.

Of course you can object to the judge’s decision. But you would be wrong to demand to that your opinion be given the same weight as an experts without backing it up with evidence and research.

Anyone at all can make a legal or scientific claim. Even you. To be taken seriously though some evidence is required to back up your claims.

As for this.

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 26, 2005 08:14 PM (e) (s)

Comment #65007Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 26, 2005 04:39 PM

Cut and pasting ID arguments already seen here countless times is not a scientific discussion; It is just rhetoric.

You are beginning to annoy me now, and I am new to this discussion.

How do you know that my ID arguments have been seen here countless times if you are new to this discussion ?

By “new” I mean less than 2 years.
That is new to people who have been dealing with ID/Creationism for over 20 years.

Larry, in my 12-18 months here I have seen every (scientific)objection to Darwinism you have posted. I posted most of them myself when I first arrived here. We were both duped. I actually listened to people here and followed their links. It is amazing what you end up learning.

PT is a very good site Larry. It has threads from scientists actually doing groundbreaking research (and then taking the time to answer lay-peoples questions). It has news threads with top quality links. There are a lot of well educated posters here, the vast majority of which do not object to having their mistakes pointed out (rather they find out more) but will then either back up their assertion with evidence or politely acknowledge an error and be pleased to have learned something new.

This is not a site where people will let you get away with making controversial statements without evidence. Provide the evidence however and people will listen. They might counter-argue, but it is unlikely to be from a position of ignorance, where they expect you to listen and conform on just their say-so.

Comment #65096

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 7:02 AM (e)

Comment #65088
Posted by sir_toejam on December 27, 2005 04:29 AM

Larry said –
****And I am entitled to ignore what I disagree with. I said that having 9-10 attorneys of record representing the plaintiffs was excessive, and I stand by that.****

yeah, didn’t OJ have only 4 on his dream team?

what makes you think that’s excessive, larry? Can you pull up some trial numbers for us and support your claim?

You just answered your own question. If 4 was enough for OJ, a celebrity defendant on trial for 1st degree murder, then why did the Dover plaintiffs need 9-10 ?

It would be different if some of those 9-10 waived their claim to a full award of attorney fees – but I doubt that any will.

this is why we think you’re a moron, larry. not because you have opinions, but because you won’t do ANY work to try and find support for your opinions.

I do a lot of work to find support for my opinions. And often I support my opinions with my own ideas – there is nothing wrong with that.

you have given us nothing, larry, to support any of your rambling presumptions or erroneous conclusions.

Not true, as is evident from the following excerpt from Comment #64777 —

Larry said –
*****Irreducible complexity, the best-known scientific concept of ID, is presented in purely scientific terms. It does not matter whether irreducible complexity has been proven to be valid or not, because many scientific concepts that are taught have not been proven to be valid. All that matters is that irreducible complexity per se is not a religious concept. There is only separation of church and state. There is no separation of scientific error and state. There is not even any separation of pseudoscience and state. The problem as I see it is with the term “intelligent design,” which implies the existence of an intelligent designer. So I think it is OK to teach irreducible complexity (or other criticisms of evolution theory that are presented in purely scientific terms) in public-school science classes so long as it is not called “intelligent design.”*****

Lenny said –

Alas, what you think, doesn’t matter. (shrug) (emphasis added)

Judge Jones deals with this very argument in his opinion, and shreds it.

Note that I gave reasons for my opinion. Lenny obviously did not like my reasons, but I did give reasons. Not only did Lenny insultingly say, “what you think, doesn’t matter,” he did not even cite the passage of the judge’s opinion that supposedly “shredded” my argument. So what was I supposed to do, wade through a lengthy 139-page opinion to try to find the passage that Lenny was supposedly referring to ? It was Lenny who gave nothing in support of his statement. And according to Lenny, the judge thought that my argument was worth addressing in his opinion.

So tell me, who is (are) the moron(s) here ?

I finally told Lenny to stop asking for my opinions if he doesn’t care about them. That shut him up for good, finally.

Comment #65098

Posted by limpidense on December 27, 2005 7:40 AM (e)

Larry,

I mean, I WAS just curious enough to see your reaction to the wholesale and completely comprehensible trashing of your silly, dishonestly ignorant blow-hardings that I thought I’d check in for the sake of seeing how funny someone with nothing, not even a sense of humor, can be before I take a vow to simply scroll past whatever further tiresome nonsense (and I’m sure it will be a “till death you do part” period) you inflict upon those who are willing to waste time playing with silly wabbits like yourself, and I am glad to say you haven’t disappointed me.

Oh, and I can easily answer your question!

Larry F. said:

“So tell me, who is (are) [I really DUG the parenthetical remarks!] the moron(s) here”

Why, YOU are, Larry! And it is a real pleasure to be the one to confirm it but, c’mon! You must have had a sneaking suspicion of the fact, eh?

P.S. I believe in your case it is properly spelled: m-o-r-A-n.

Comment #65100

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 27, 2005 8:00 AM (e)

You stupid, feeble-minded ignoramus

How Christian of you.

Now answer my questions.

Were your ID pals lying BEFORE when they told the court that “irreducible complexity” is a scientific theory of ID, or are they lying NOW when they say “irreducible complexity” is NOT a scientific theory of ID, but is just a “scientific criticism of evolution”.

Well?

Why is it just evolution that gets your undies all bunched up? Is there a particular reason for that?

Well?

A religious reason, perhaps … ?

Well?

You are a liar, Larry. A dishonest, deceptive, evasive liar.

Comment #65101

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 27, 2005 8:03 AM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 07:02 AM (e) (s)

Note that I gave reasons for my opinion. Lenny obviously did not like my reasons, but I did give reasons. Not only did Lenny insultingly say, “what you think, doesn’t matter,” he did not even cite the passage of the judge’s opinion that supposedly “shredded” my argument. (1)So what was I supposed to do, wade through a lengthy 139-page opinion to try to find the passage that Lenny was supposedly referring to ? It was Lenny who gave nothing in support of his statement. And according to Lenny, 3.the judge thought that my argument was worth addressing in his opinion.

So tell me, who is (are) the moron(s) here ?

I finally told Lenny to stop asking for my opinions if he doesn’t care about them. (2)That shut him up for good, finally.

1. Yes you are! If you want to post your lay-persons critique of a judge on legal matter, you should read the whole thing and only criticise his opinion when you can provide evidence.

2. If you believe that, i think you will be in for a shock.

3. Do you believe the judge has pre-escience and argued against YOUR opinion, or maybe your opinion has been argued repetitively by other creationists?

Comment #65110

Posted by jim on December 27, 2005 10:26 AM (e)

Larry,

The Dover School Board purchased legal liability insurance. The company from which they purchased the insurance appointed a lawyer to represent the school board. When the school board rejected that lawyers legal advice and replaced him with attorneys that gave the opposite advice (the TMLC). So they lost their liability coverage.

That you think the insurance company should still pay out the liability insurance after rejecting its attorney’s legal advice is kind of silly.

Larry Fafarman wrote:

And I am entitled to ignore what I disagree with.

Thank you for your honest admission. It explains your and other creationist position precisely.

You spout your opinion. When others point out that your opinion is factually incorrect (and provide references for you to confirm that your opinion is incorrect), you ignore both the statement and the references.

How very mentally lazy of you.

I can tell you that sooner or later the fact that your world view doesn’t conform to reality will bite you in the butt. That we tried to show you what reality really says and you refuse to even check any of it, means that I won’t feel sorry for you in the least when it happens.

So keep your world view/opinion. Just realize it’s intellectually lazy and not based in reality. Also don’t be surprised when others don’t agree with you, since they have done enough reading to know what happens in the real world.

Comment #65120

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 11:05 AM (e)

Comment #65101 Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 27, 2005 08:03 AM

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 07:02 AM

Note that I gave reasons for my opinion. Lenny obviously did not like my reasons, but I did give reasons. Not only did Lenny insultingly say, “what you think, doesn’t matter,” he did not even cite the passage of the judge’s opinion that supposedly “shredded” my argument. (1)So what was I supposed to do, wade through a lengthy 139-page opinion to try to find the passage that Lenny was supposedly referring to ? It was Lenny who gave nothing in support of his statement. And according to Lenny, 3.the judge thought that my argument was worth addressing in his opinion.

So tell me, who is (are) the moron(s) here ?

I finally told Lenny to stop asking for my opinions if he doesn’t care about them. (2)That shut him up for good, finally.

1. Yes you are! If you want to post your lay-persons critique of a judge on legal matter, you should read the whole thing and only criticise his opinion when you can provide evidence.

2. If you believe that, i think you will be in for a shock.

3. Do you believe the judge has pre-escience and argued against YOUR opinion, or maybe your opinion has been argued repetitively by other creationists?

Item #1 –

I read the whole thing, but that does not mean that I remember the whole thing. I would have to re-read a large part of it word-for-word – and I still might not find the passage that Lenny was referring to, because his idea and my idea of what addresses my argument might be two different things. Are you telling me that the judge’s opinion never needs to be quoted in the Panda’s Thumb website because everyone here remembers – or is supposed to remember – every word that the opinion says ? Furthermore, my statement was not a criticism of anything specific in the opinion (obviously) – I was just making a general statement.

OK, smart-aleck, can you tell me, without re-reading the opinion, what statement in the opinion addresses my argument? Just paraphrase what the opinion said. If you can do it, then bully for you ! But that does not mean that everyone should be expected to be able to do it.

Item #2

No, I never believed that I shut him up — I was just being sarcastic. Obviously, he is at it again – see Message #65100.

Item #3

Obviously the judge was not addressing my personal statement, because I never testified at the trial nor was I the author of any of the written materials presented at the trial. But the judge thought that the argument was sufficiently persuasive that it should be addressed in the opinion. That was my point.

Comment #65129

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 27, 2005 11:45 AM (e)

Larry,
Since you have arrived here we have been subjected to your opinions. When people have answered you with counter-arguments and given you links to further information you ignored them.

After this post, until you can be bothered to do a small amount of research I am done with you.

Every single scientific sounding argument you have made against evolution has been made before, answered and you were given information as to where to find these answers. You have never bothered to inform yourself.

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 11:05 AM (e) (s)

Item #3

Obviously the judge was not addressing my personal statement, because I never testified at the trial nor was I the author of any of the written materials presented at the trial. But the judge thought that the argument was sufficiently persuasive that it should be addressed in the opinion. That was my point.

No no no. The judge thought that argument was sufficiently expected not persuasive. The judge had been shown just how the ID movement worked and anticipated the response. The fact that the judge had rebutted the opinion you gave before you made it does not give your opinion weight. Rather the opposite really.

Comment #65132

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 12:00 PM (e)

Comment #65110
Posted by jim on December 27, 2005 10:26 AM

Larry,

The Dover School Board purchased legal liability insurance. The company from which they purchased the insurance appointed a lawyer to represent the school board. When the school board rejected that lawyers legal advice and replaced him with attorneys that gave the opposite advice (the TMLC). So they lost their liability coverage.

That you think the insurance company should still pay out the liability insurance after rejecting its attorney’s legal advice is kind of silly.

Your above statements simply do not provide enough information to enable me to form any kind of opinion about what happened. Here are some questions in my mind —

Was this kind of lawsuit covered by the insurance? Who was this lawyer appointed by the insurance company? It seems strange that an insurance company would select an attorney to represent a customer – particularly when several attorneys (from the TMLC) were offering free representation. What did this attorney advise the board to do? What about any attorneys that the board already had under retainer? I have been following this Dover case quite closely, even reading local news articles about it, and nowhere have I seen any charge that the board took some irresponsible action that caused a loss of lawsuit insurance coverage. The potential cost of the lawsuit was a big issue in Dover – the relatively narrow loss of the board incumbents was partly attributed to this issue.

You spout your opinion. When others point out that your opinion is factually incorrect (and provide references for you to confirm that your opinion is incorrect), you ignore both the statement and the references.

I am not obligated to accept the statement or the references if I find them unpersuasive.

=============================
“ I’m from Missouri. You’ll have to show me. “
— Willard Duncan Vandiver, US Congressman from Missouri

Comment #65133

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 12:23 PM (e)

Comment #65129 Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 27, 2005 11:45 AM
No no no. The judge thought that argument was sufficiently expected not persuasive. The judge had been shown just how the ID movement worked and anticipated the response. The fact that the judge had rebutted the opinion you gave before you made it does not give your opinion weight. Rather the opposite really.

How do you know whether the judge thought that the argument was expected, persuasive, both, or neither? Do you think that the judge thought that every opposing argument that he addressed in his opinion was just expected and not persuasive?

Anyway, I am still waiting for a citation of the opinion’s rebuttal of my argument.

Comment #65138

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 27, 2005 1:18 PM (e)

Stephen Elliott wrote:

Larry,
Do you really consider ID to be science? Are you aware of the way that an idea becomes science?

1.Observe something (IC Cells?)
2.Think of an explanation (Hypothesis).
3.Make some predictions that would confirm or invalidate your idea.
4.Carry out the experiment.
5.If prediction is positive return to 3, if negative return to 2.
6.After several positive results, publish your idea.
7.Other people carry out repeatable experiments to either confirm or refute your idea.
8.When an awfull lot of confirming results have been carried out your hypothesis may become a scientific theory.

Well, yet another iteration of steps 1-5:

(1) I OBSERVED many creationists making unsupported assertions, and (like many others) I noticed that they generally were not interested in supporting their assertions with evidence.

(2) Based on this, I HYPOTHESIZED that the defining characteristic of creationists is that they do not care about facts or evidence.

(3) I read posts on this thread by Larry, saw that he has many characteristics of a creationist, and PREDICTED that he would fail to support his claims with evidence:

I wrote:

IIRC that’s correct, RBH. In any case it’s Larry’s assertion and up to him to provide evidence for it. Which, given his typically creationist posting pattern (I base this on >10 years of reading creationist “arguments” on the web and before that on usenet), he will fail to do.

(4) I waited to see what Larry would do. In fact, I OBSERVED that through several subsequent posts he continued to refuse to provide evidence for his claims, refused even to read the short (139 pages of L-A-R-G-E type) document under discussion, and wrote, “And I am entitled to ignore what I disagree with.”

(5) Return to step 3. Yet another OBSERVATION CONSISTENT with the HYPOTHESIS that creationists do not care about facts or evidence.

See? Science is easy, if sometimes depressing.

Comment #65139

Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 1:52 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Irreducible complexity, the best-known scientific concept of ID, is presented in purely scientific terms.

And it is NOT a concept of ID, in fact the judge quotes ID proponents who agree with this position

Jduge Jones wrote:

As referenced, the concept of irreducible complexity is ID’s alleged scientific centerpiece. Irreducible complexity is a negative argument against evolution, not proof of design, a point conceded by defense expert Professor Minnich. (2:15 (Miller); 38:82 (Minnich) (irreducible complexity “is not a test of
intelligent design; it’s a test of evolution”). Irreducible complexity additionally fails to make a positive scientific case for ID, as will be elaborated upon below.

Larry wrote:

It does not matter whether irreducible complexity has been proven to be valid or not, because many scientific concepts that are taught have not been proven to be valid. All that matters is that irreducible
complexity per se is not a religious concept.

Again the Judge disagrees

We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting
supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980’s; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community.

There is only separation of church and state. There is no separation of scientific error and state. There is not even any separation of pseudoscience and state. The problem as I see it is with the term “intelligent design,” which implies the existence of an intelligent designer. So I think it is OK to teach irreducible complexity (or other criticisms of evolution theory that are presented in purely scientific terms) in public-school science classes so long as it is not called “intelligent design.”

As Judge Jones showed, IC does NOT implies the existence of an intelligent designer. It merely is an argument against a very limited example of evolution. It’s not just that IC is unscientific, it is also abused to further a religious purpose. Even Larry argues inappropriately that IC implies the existence of an intelligent designer.

If Larry were only to familiarize himself with the ‘scientific’ claims of ID and the legal ruling by Judge Jones…
Lacking such, I am more than happy to accomodate for this oversight.

Comment #65142

Posted by jim on December 27, 2005 2:20 PM (e)

Larry,

Check this: Waterloo in Dover: Comment 54595.

Note it contains a link to the primary resource at the York Daily Reporter archives and that is fee based. I think searching for “No Dover liability insurance” should get you the information you want.

Comment #65143

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 27, 2005 2:24 PM (e)

Jim, there’s really no reason to do Larry’s Google searches for him. He’s stated that he is impervious to evidence, anyway.

Comment #65144

Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 2:26 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Irreducible complexity, the best-known scientific concept of ID, is presented in purely scientific terms.

Misconception No. 1: IC is scientific
Misconception No. 2: IC is a concept of ID

Judge Jones wrote:

As referenced, the concept of irreducible complexity is ID’s alleged scientific centerpiece. Irreducible complexity is a negative argument against evolution, not proof of design, a point conceded by defense expert Professor Minnich. (2:15 (Miller); 38:82 (Minnich) (irreducible complexity “is not a test of
intelligent design; it’s a test of evolution”). Irreducible complexity additionally fails to make a positive scientific case for ID, as will be elaborated upon below.

larry wrote:

It does not matter whether irreducible complexity has been proven to be valid or not, because many scientific concepts that are taught have not been proven to be valid. All that matters is that irreducible complexity per se is not a religious concept.

Judge Jones wrote:

We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980’s; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community.

Larry wrote:

There is only separation of church and state. There is no separation of scientific error and state. There is not even any separation of pseudoscience and state. The problem as I see it is with the term “intelligent design,” which implies the existence of an intelligent designer. So I think it is OK to teach irreducible complexity (or other criticisms of evolution theory that are presented in purely scientific terms) in public-school science classes so long as it is not called “intelligent design.”

Misconception No. 3: “intelligent design” implies the existence of an intelligent designer
Misconception No. 4: IC is a criticism of evolutionary theory presented in purely scientific terms

Judge Jones wrote:

As expert testimony revealed, the qualification on what is meant by “irreducible complexity” renders it meaningless as a criticism of evolution.

Larry, by proposing this fallacious argument makes IC a religious concept, not a scientific one.

While Larry’s unfamiliarity with both the legal opinion as well as the ‘scientific vacuity’ of ID means that I have to spend some time refuting his ill-informed claims, I have no problem in reaching out to Larry and help him understand the mistakes in his claims

Comment #65146

Posted by jim on December 27, 2005 2:30 PM (e)

Alexey,

I know. I just realized that this was one piece of evidence that had been oft quoted but not been referenced in this thread yet. Now he just has another piece of evidence he’ll have to ignore.

Comment #65150

Posted by k.e. on December 27, 2005 3:09 PM (e)

The neat feature of Creationist’s world view is they get permission to completely disregard:-
authority of other religions,
authority of government,
authority of law,
authority of reality as revealed by science.
Their enemies are all of the above
Their hero’s are liars
They have no problem justifying all of the above
They behave exactly the same as soldiers taking orders no questions asked
They use “God told me to do it” to justisfy all of the above-
The Neuremburg defense.
That makes them outlaws of the worst kind

Larry —Think for Yourself
Google it you will get a surprise

Over to you Larry.

Comment #65152

Posted by Tice with a J on December 27, 2005 3:16 PM (e)

The dung flew and the flames rose, and amidst the foul smell and scorching heat, all hope for reasonable discussion faded away, and the point of the original post was lost forever.

This discussion has not been a total loss (special thanks to PvM, and a few others whom I am too lazy to name here), but overall, it has degenerated into flames, name-calling, and empty threats. We can do better than this, my fellow pandas and people.

And Larry Fafarman? You may not have started this, but when someone trolls at you, the worst thing you can do is troll in response, and your actions stand as shining examples of what not to do in a discussion. I hope that in the future, you will do the research necessary to support your claims and show the level of civility you asked of the other posters.

Comment #65156

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 3:28 PM (e)

Comment #65144
Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 02:26 PM

Misconception No. 3: “intelligent design” implies the existence of an intelligent designer
Misconception No. 4: IC is a criticism of evolutionary theory presented in purely scientific terms

Judge Jones wrote:

*****As expert testimony revealed, the qualification on what is meant by “irreducible complexity” renders it meaningless as a criticism of evolution.*****

Larry, by proposing this fallacious argument makes IC a religious concept, not a scientific one.

What you call “Misconception #3” is the core argument of the opponents of intelligent design.

Judge Jones’ opinion that irreducible complexity is not a valid concept is just the opinion of one person, and not an expert person at that. And as I pointed out, the question of the validity of irreducible complexity is irrelevant.

And since when does disproof of a scientific concept automatically make that concept a religious one?

Comment #65157

Posted by k.e. on December 27, 2005 3:30 PM (e)

Au Contraire Tice the ‘discussion’ has not been a total loss at all.

A revealing demonstration of the mindset by the typical creationist is always useful and undeniable.

Comment #65164

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 27, 2005 4:26 PM (e)

Larry FarFarOutThere:

I disagree with the discussion starting on page 73 of the opinion. For example, this discussion contains the far-fetched notion that mammalian middle ear bones evolved from jawbones (page 75). [Emphasis added.]

This particularly moronic troll lost me right here.

Even after he was informed of the “exquisite” series of fossils that document this set of transitions in detail, he ignored the evidence and just motored on.

Any real person, who actually possessed one scintilla of genuine scientific curiousity–strike the scientific, any person who possessed even the feeblest quantum of curiosity about the amazing world that we find ourselves in, would have run not walked to look at those fossils.

Even a person utterly lacking in curisoity, but who found themselves in an argument in which evidence of this potency had been cited, would have immediately checked out the fossils just to try to fashion some kind of counter-argument.

Larry, of course, utterly ignores the existence of this line of evidence. He lives in that fantasy world where unsupported opinions count as evidence and where fervency of belief backed up with any handy misrepresentation ought to carry the day in a court of law.

He wonders why we think he’s a moron and why we’re oh-so-mean to him.

He can wonder about those things till the end of time. Anyone else who’s been reading along will have had plenty of evidence with which to reach the inescapable conclusions long ago.

Larry, I would hope that you had a Merry Christmas, but since you spent the holidays here–leaking brain cells you can’t afford to lose all over the screen–it is too late for me to help you with that.

But please do have a Happy New Year–because, as jim pointed out above, if 2006 confronts you with any real situations of the squeaky variety, your opinions aren’t going to be worth diddly-squat.

Comment #65168

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 27, 2005 4:42 PM (e)

What are you on about, Tice? When a crazy person accosts me, I tell him he’s crazy and to stop talking nonsense. When someone lies transparently I call him on it. When someone makes ungrounded assertions that are demonstrably incorrect and obviously uninformed, and then claims that it’s up to me to provide evidence to the contrary, I will give him the benefit of the doubt once or twice, but if he presses on in the same vein, I will point out as publicly as possible that he is not arguing in good faith. This is what I and others on this thread have done.

It’s simple: someone who lurches onto a public forum and spouts half-informed (and even that is overly generous) nonsense over a long series of posts while refusing to acknowledge numerous corrections by others does not deserve to have his feelings spared.

Comment #65170

Posted by AC on December 27, 2005 4:43 PM (e)

What a delightful thread I missed while on vacation!

Larry wrote:

…all the parts of an irreducibly complex system must come together simultaneously in something very close to their final forms to create the complete system

You clearly don’t understand evolution or systems design.

If I find the arguments for the scientific concepts of ID (e.g., irreducible complexity) to be persuasive, I will accept those arguments, otherwise I will not. It is that simple.

I suggest raising your persuasion bar through learning.

They have their opinions and I have mine.

No, they have their research and you have your opinion of their research. The world doesn’t care about either one.

One advantage I have over them is that I am not under any pressure to conform. I can say whatever I want.

The world also doesn’t care about your misguided egalitarianism. And since when did comformity to a proven method become a bad thing? Should I brush my teeth with a screwdriver just to be different?

By the way, soap is molecular Velcro. Bathe in the controversy!

Comment #65172

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 27, 2005 4:48 PM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 03:28 PM (e) (s)

Comment #65144
Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 02:26 PM

Misconception No. 3: “intelligent design” implies the existence of an intelligent designer
Misconception No. 4: IC is a criticism of evolutionary theory presented in purely scientific terms

Judge Jones wrote:

*****As expert testimony revealed, the qualification on what is meant by “irreducible complexity” renders it meaningless as a criticism of evolution.*****

Larry, by proposing this fallacious argument makes IC a religious concept, not a scientific one.

What you call “Misconception #3” is the core argument of the opponents of intelligent design.

Nay, nay and thrice nay,

Larry the main objections to ID are:

It claims to be scientific which it isn’t.
It claims to be non-religious which it isn’t.

I was never going to reply to you again. I still can’t understand why I am willing to waste time on you. Maybe it is to point out your failings to any lurkers? Damned if I really know.

It would appear that you just CBA to follow any links and find out facts. Yet expect people to just accept what you have to say.

You seem to want your opinions on biology to be taken as seriously as a specialist that has spent their entire working life in that field.

Your opinions on legal matters to also be as weighty as a Judge.

The thing is;
In either of those two fields, your opinions would be treated seriously if you provided evidence. Otherwise as a lay-man you will be ignored from serious consideration.

BTW. What is an evolutionist? Is it similar to a gravitationalist or atomist?

Comment #65180

Posted by John Hinkle on December 27, 2005 5:22 PM (e)

Larry Fafarman wrote:

Judge Jones’ denial in his official opinion that he is an activist is tantamount to an admission that he is one.

Judge: I am not an activist judge.

Mob: Only a true activist judge will deny he’s an activist judge!

Judge: Ok (*pause*), I am an activitist judge.

Mob: He’s an activist judge!!!

Wasn’t there a similar exchange between Brian and the mob in The life of Brian?

Comment #65181

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 27, 2005 5:30 PM (e)

Oh, and Larry, an insurance policy is a contract. You pay the premiums, regularly and on time, and they agree to pay you back if you incur certain specified kinds of losses.

Most policies don’t end there. Hint: that’s why they are multiple-page forms. By now, of course, we know you have difficulty reading multiple-page documents (like, oh, judicial decisions, biology textbooks, the Wedge document–oh, wait, that one really wasn’t very long, but you still admit that you only read the summary).

Most liability policies not only agree to indemnify you–up to the limits of the policy and for the specific kinds of losses that are covered–but they also provide you with a lawyer to defend the claim against you. Given what it would cost you to pay for your own attorney, this feature is often even more valuable than the agreement to pay.

Except this free-defense feature doesn’t come free either. The insurance company will defend you, and lay its money on the line, only if it gets to choose the lawyer and control the defense (again, within various legal limits, including the insurer’s duties of good faith to its insured and to avoid taking positions that conflict with those of its insured).

Of course, if you’re made of money–like the school board apparently was not–then you can also go out and hire your own personal lawyer to serve alongside the insurance defense lawyer as co-counsel, to watchdog the insurance lawyer, or even to take on the insurance company in the event that the insurer does something improper or incompetent.

What an intelligent insured–particulary an insured like the school board, which owes to its constituents the duty to properly manage the public funds entrusted to its care–does not do without a helluva good reason, is to simply refuse the insurer’s attorney and to reject the insurer’s right to direct the defense.

When a poorly-advised bunch of morons–excuse me, I meant the former school board–nonetheless proceeds to so reject and refuse, then–guess what?–the insurance company turns right around and says, “Oops, no company-appointed lawyer, no company-guided defense, no company-paid judgment.”

Put in terms that even Larry ought to be able to understand: “Hey, if you bozos want to breach the contract of insurance, by all means, be our guests, but don’t plan on looking to us when it all turns out less glowingly than the TMLC predicts.”

Got that now, Larry? If so, good, ‘cause it would be the first new item of information you’ve actually integrated since you arrived.

Or simply google: breach cooperation clause insurance.

Comment #65183

Posted by Tice with a J on December 27, 2005 5:39 PM (e)

Larry Fafarman (cool surname) wrote:

Judge Jones’ opinion that irreducible complexity is not a valid concept is just the opinion of one person, and not an expert person at that. And as I pointed out, the question of the validity of irreducible complexity is irrelevant.

And since when does disproof of a scientific concept automatically make that concept a religious one?

I think Judge Jones’s opinion might as well be counted as expert. He not only heard from experts from both sides of the issue, but he saw them present their arguments in a calm setting, he observed the discussions that went on between the opposing sides, and he had the chance to ask questions of his own. And this went on for weeks. A judge is no stranger to arguments, and the fact that he’s a judge in a a federal court has to count for something. I think that right now, Judge Jones is one of the most well-informed people in the country on the subject of evolution vs. ID.

Also, you are confusing the issue. There were multiple statements presented about ID:
1. It is not religious
2. It is a valid scientific position
Judge Jones answered each of these separately, and declared each one a false statement.

And furthermore, the validity of irreducible complexity is not irrelevant. It is the core of the scientific issue. If there is no irreducible complexity, then ID is no more than a philosophical position, hardly an alternative to evolution. ID proponents argue that irreducible complexity is a reality that can only be predicted by intelligent design theory. If irreducible complexity is invalid, ID makes no predictions, so it is not a scientific theory, and evolution remains as the best theory currently available for explaining the known facts.

Larry Fafarman wrote:

It does not matter whether irreducible complexity has been proven to be valid or not, because many scientific concepts that are taught have not been proven to be valid.

What’s this? Are they teaching string theory in high school physics now?
You are quite wrong here. I am happy so say that the majority of theories being taught to our children have been tested quite strenuously and refined quite frequently. Name any theory being taught to high-schoolers today, and if you don’t think it’s been proved to be valid, I will happily endeavor to show that it is.
Also, stop saying that the validity of irreducible complexity is irrelevant.

Comment #65188

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 27, 2005 5:48 PM (e)

Put in terms that even Larry ought to be able to understand: “Hey, if you bozos want to breach the contract of insurance, by all means, be our guests, but don’t plan on looking to us when it all turns out less glowingly than the TMLC predicts.”

Particularly when the board’s existing counsel has already sent them a memorandum warning that they’re probably gonna lose. The memo in question is quoted by Judge Jones in the Decision that’s Too Long for Larry to Read:

They [TMLC] have background knowledge and have talked to school boards in West Virginia and Michigan about possible litigation. However, nothing has come about in either state. This suggests to me that no one is adopting the textbook because, if they were, one can safely assume there would have been a legal challenge by someone somewhere … I guess my main concern at the moment, is that even if use of the text is purely voluntary, this may still make it very difficult to win a case. I say this because one of the common themes in some of the US Supreme Court decisions, especially dealing with silent meditation, is that even though something is voluntary, it still causes a problem because the practice, whatever it may be, was initiated for religious reasons. One of the best examples comes out of the silent meditation cases in Alabama which the court struck down because the record showed that the statute in question was enacted for religious reasons. My concern for Dover is that in the last several years there has been a lot of discussion, news print, etc. for putting religion back in the schools. In my mind this would add weight to a lawsuit seeking to enjoin whatever the practice might be.

Judge Jones notes:

There is no evidence that the Board heeded even one iota of the Solicitor’s detailed and prudent warning.

Comment #65200

Posted by Tice with a J on December 27, 2005 6:20 PM (e)

AC wrote:

The world also doesn’t care about your misguided egalitarianism. And since when did conformity to a proven method become a bad thing? Should I brush my teeth with a screwdriver just to be different?

By the way, soap is molecular Velcro. Bathe in the controversy!

That was the funniest thing I’ve ever read on PT. Bravo!

Stephen Elliott wrote:

BTW. What is an evolutionist? Is it similar to a gravitationalist or atomist?

Actually, no. Gravity and atoms are theories of how things are, and they are easily observable at a moment’s notice. Well, general relativity isn’t easy to observe, but you can run tests on it, you don’t have to dig through fossils.
Evolution is more like cosmology or stellar evolution. It’s a theory of how things were and how things change. These theories unite multiple theories of how things are (cosmology, for instance, unites gravitational and atomic theory), and they take predictions of how things can be and produce predictions of how things actually are. In cosmology, for example, the universe might collapse in a Big Crunch or spread out and fizzle in a slow Heat Death. Both of these are plausible under the theories of gravity and thermodynamics, but they are mutually exclusive, and cosmology works to determine which one will happen. We’ll never directly observe many of the predictions of theories like cosmology and evolution, but we can indirectly observe what will happen, or what has happened, through the right kind of evidence (bet on the Heat Death). Sorry for this little detour, but evolutionary theory is a little different from gravity and atomic theory.
However, evolution is a pretty sound theory, and it enjoys support from a wide variety of sciences, so in that way it is like gravity and atomic theory.

Comment #65218

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 27, 2005 7:01 PM (e)

I think we should all thank Larry. He demonstrated to the lurkers, clearly and without question, exactly why the IDers lost in Dover, and why they will also lose in Kansas.

Larry is flat-out lying to us when he claims his “scientific arguments against evolution” aren’t religiously motivated. IDers lied to Judge Jones when they told him the same thing. The Kansas Kooks also lied to us by saying the same thing about their, uh, “scientific evidence against evolution” — and then went on to tell the newspapers all about the religious motivation for their “scientific arguments”.

Larry, despite repeated questions, refuses to tell us what his motivation is, if it ain’t religious, and why it’s only evolution that gets his panties all atwitter (and concidentally, it’s only evolution that the fundie whackos have been ranting against for 150-plus years now). Alas, in court, they will NOT be able to avoid answering these questions. Also, they will have to tell the judge just exactly what these “scientific arguments against evolution” are, and then explain why they are absolutely identical in every way, word for word, with both ID and creation ‘science’ — both of which have already been ruled illegal.

Larry, like his ID pals in Dover, is a deceptive evasive dishonest liar.

And judges, for some odd reason, don’t like liars very much.

Perhaps that is why creationists/IDers have lost every single Federal court case they have ever been involved with. Every single solitary one. Without exception.

Comment #65222

Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 7:13 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Misconception No. 3: “intelligent design” implies the existence of an intelligent designer

What you call “Misconception #3” is the core argument of the opponents of intelligent design.

SO are you arguing that intelligent design has nothing to say about a designer? While you are correct in principle, you also seem to confuse that ID proponents tend to gloss over this and see ID as a relevant scientific claim supporting their belief in God.

The core argument of opponents of Intelligent Design is that it is scientifically vacuous.

Comment #65223

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 7:15 PM (e)

Comment #65142
Posted by jim on December 27, 2005 02:20 PM

Larry,

Check this: Waterloo in Dover: Comment 54595.

Note it contains a link to the primary resource at the York Daily Reporter archives and that is fee based. I think searching for “No Dover liability insurance” should get you the information you want.

Thanks – that helped a lot.

The above Panda’s Thumb comment said that the maximum lawsuit coverage was only $100,000, and verified that this coverage was forfeited because the board chose the Thomas More Law Center instead of the law firm required by the insurance carrier. But the $100,000 coverage would not have lasted long in this kind of lawsuit, and the TMLC offered to provide legal representation for free. There were apparently 3 defense attorneys of record from TMLC and one from a local private office (presumably also pro bono). I have seen no indication that the Dover school board rejected advice from a law firm that was appointed by the insurance company. There was no indication that the board acted irresponsibly in regard to the insurance coverage — the evidence shows the opposite.

Comment #65188
Posted by Alexey Merz on December 27, 2005 05:48 PM

Particularly when the board’s existing counsel has already sent them a memorandum warning that they’re probably gonna lose. The memo in question is quoted by Judge Jones in the Decision that’s Too Long for Larry to Read:

Judge Jones notes:

There is no evidence that the Board heeded even one iota of the Solicitor’s detailed and prudent warning.

Instead of just giving me the quote, why don’t you also cite the page so I can see the quote in context? That is what a courteous person would do.

Now tell me – how did the judge intercept what was supposed to be a private communication between the Solicitor and the board? And why would the judge admit it in his opinion?
The following article says that the Solicitor could not remember what advice he gave the board (typical “I think I don’t remember” response) and that the advice was confidential anyway –

“[Solicitor Steve Russell] said he was involved in discussions with the district about the [ID] statement. He doesn’t remember the advice he gave and said even if he did, the information would be confidential.” – from
http://www.ydr.com/search/ci_3219293

Comment #65225

Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 7:24 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Judge Jones’ opinion that irreducible complexity is not a valid concept is just the opinion of one person, and not an expert person at that. And as I pointed out, the question of the validity of irreducible complexity is irrelevant.

And since when does disproof of a scientific concept automatically make that concept a religious one?

So many misconceptions

Misconception No. 5: Judge Jones’ opinion is not an expert one nor and is the opinion of one person

In fact Judge Jones’ opinion is a legal one, and based on the testimony presented.

Furthermore the disproof of a scientific concept does not automaticlaly make the concept a religious one, that seems to be another strawman created by Larry. However, in order to show that a concept is primarily a religious one, showing that the concept is not scientific is an essential step. You argued that it was ok to to teach IC or other scientific concepts. But IC is not a scientific concept and thus what remains is the fallacious argument that IC somehow supports ID. Not mentioning the term intelligent or designer hardly saves Larry here since the historical ties of creationism and ID/IC has been quite well established.

Comment #65226

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 27, 2005 7:24 PM (e)

Is it possible that you really are that lazy, Larry? Search the PDF yourself. I’d guess that the word “iota” is not used more than 2 or three times in the whole document. As for the rest I accuse you of being deliberately obtuse.

Comment #65227

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 27, 2005 7:25 PM (e)

There was no indication that the board acted irresponsibly in regard to the insurance coverage —- the evidence shows the opposite.

Um, then what are you bitching about? The board made what you think was a responsible decision, even after their own lawyer told them they’d probably lose, and the insurance company already told them they wouldn’t cover any other lawyers. They went with another lawyer and did indeed lose, and now they owe a million-plus, that insurance won’t cover because of the Board’s, uh, responsible decision of not listening to their own lawyer, who told them they’d probably lose, and going with TMLC, who their insurance won’t cover.

They gambled, they lost, and now they have to ante up. (shrug)

Comment #65230

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 27, 2005 7:28 PM (e)

Judge Jones’ opinion that irreducible complexity is not a valid concept is just the opinion of one person

Alas for you, his opinion counts. Yours doesn’t. (shrug)

Comment #65231

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 27, 2005 7:34 PM (e)

But the judge thought that the argument was sufficiently persuasive that it should be addressed in the opinion. That was my point.

Um, Larry, in case you missed it, the Judge ruled AGAINST your side. Your side LOST, Larry. As in “did not win”. Lost. L-O-S-T. Lost.

The judge ruled against ID on EVERY SINGLE POINT. Every one. All of them. The judge did not give ID a win on ANY POINT AT ALL.

The judge only mentions your silly “arguments” in the opinion to point out that THEY ARE FULL OF CRAP. ALL OF THEM. He did not find a single one of them “persuasive”. He ruled against EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. He thought they were ALL dishonest evasive deceptions.

If you think the judge found any merit whatsoever in any of your arguments, then you are either deluded or dumber than I thought.

And I already thought you were pretty dumb.

Or maybe you’re just a liar.

Comment #65233

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 27, 2005 7:40 PM (e)

Misconception No. 3: “intelligent design” implies the existence of an intelligent designer

What you call “Misconception #3” is the core argument of the opponents of intelligent design.

I thought you said you didn’t have religious motives, Larry. If so, then what do you care whether a designer exists or not, or whether people accept the existence of a designer or not? After all, you’re NOT presenting a scientific theory of ID in classrooms – you’re just “presenting the scientific evidence against evolution”, right?

Or are you just lying to us. Again.

Don’t you know, Larry — whenever you tell a lie for Jesus, an angel dies somewhere.

Stop killing angels.

Comment #65234

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 7:42 PM (e)

I originally thought that the Panda’s Thumb website was an open forum where people came to discuss the controversies concerning the origin of species. However, so far I have found no other ID or creationism proponents here, no neutral people, and a lot of supercilous evolutionists who rely mostly on ad hominem attacks, guilt-by-association, rudeness, lies, dogma, evasion, sarcasm, and nitpicking arguments. The other people left because they just got turned off by this bullshit. I have now concluded that the Panda’s Thumb website is now mainly just a place where evolutionists come for mutual backscratching. I feel that Panda’s Thumb is undeserving of the 2005 award it got from Scientific American magazine. I have concluded that the America Online message boards give a much better overview of the subject. The problem with the AOL message boards on the subject is that they have no or little activity for much of the time.

If I were really the bible-thumping lunatic-fringe fundy crackpot that you folks imply, I think that you folks would have stopped responding to my posts a long time ago.

I think that Judge Jones’ statement “I am not an activist judge” will go down in history alongside Pres. Nixon’s “I am not a crook” and Pres. Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman.”

Comment #65239

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 27, 2005 7:53 PM (e)

I have found no other ID or creationism proponents here

The professional IDers don’t dare show their face in public after Dover.

And the morons like you all left as soon as their silly arguments got shredded to bits.

If I were really the bible-thumping lunatic-fringe fundy crackpot that you folks imply, I think that you folks would have stopped responding to my posts a long time ago.

Don’t flatter yourself, junior. No one here gives a flying fig about YOU. What we do care about is demonstrating to all the lurkers, who don’t know much about ID and come in here to “see what all the fuss is about”, that IDers are,without exception, evasive dishonest deceptive liars who have nothing scientific to say.

You are just the latest in a long string of IDers who were kind enough to give us the chance to demonstrate that. Yet again.

Your arguments lost in Kitzmiller. They lost in Aguillard. They lost in Daniels. They lost in New Lennox. They lost in Segraves. They lost in Selman. They lost in Freiler. They lost in Maclean. They lost in Epperson. Indeed, they have lost in every single Federal court case they have ever been presented in.

Your side lost. Get used to it.

Now take your crying towel and go home. (shrug)

Comment #65240

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 27, 2005 7:55 PM (e)

Hey Larry, before you ride off into the sunset on your snow-white horse, how about answering my last question to you:

I thought you said you didn’t have religious motives, Larry. If so, then what do you care whether a designer exists or not, or whether people accept the existence of a designer or not? After all, you’re NOT presenting a scientific theory of ID in classrooms — you’re just “presenting the scientific evidence against evolution”, right?

Or are you just lying to us. Again.

Comment #65241

Posted by jim on December 27, 2005 7:57 PM (e)

Lenny,

Hahahahahaha. I had a real good laugh and told that one to my wife with tears in my eyes :)

Larry,

Hahahahahaha. You troll.

Re: Scientific American award.
Once again your opinion doesn’t count. I for one am not surprised.

Just out of curiousity, does your opinion count in *any* field? How about the people at work? Do they think your opinion counts?

I’m not aware of any lies told to you. Do you have any evidence or is this another unfounded assertion?

As to the others, well you see you started espousing a bunch of just plain untrue stuff. We corrected you and provided references so you could check for yourself. So now you’re down to you thumping your bible and yelling that we’re bullies. And those of us still reading this thread are down to the less polite stuff. If you’d go out and read the stuff we’ve provided and formulate some intelligent responses (for or against) based on that stuff, we’d all be a lot more polite. Until then, you’re being treated as a troll.

Comment #65243

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 8:02 PM (e)

Comment #65233
Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on December 27, 2005 07:40 PM

After all, you’re NOT presenting a scientific theory of ID in classrooms — you’re just “presenting the scientific evidence against evolution”, right?

Right ! Why did it take you so long to figure that out ( please excuse my sarcasm – I use it sparingly ) ? And what is wrong with that? Where is it written than an existing scientific theory may not be criticized unless a plausible alternative scientific theory or hypothesis is presented at the same time ?

Comment #65246

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 27, 2005 8:04 PM (e)

La La La La Larry.

Or was that, Ta Ta Larry.

I’d hope so, but that would just bring you back again, since you apparently subscribe to the belief that what people state most articulately is the opposite of what they believe. Oh, Larry, no, please don’t leave on such a sour note! Pretty please, stick around and sermoROnize us some more!

(Which I guess would make you an evilutionist…)

Larry, the insurance coverage (limit on the amount the insurance company would pay in the event of a loss) was only $100,000, but that does not limit the company’s duty to provide a defense. Companies frequently pay out far more to defend spurious claims than they would if they simply settled them within the limits of the policy.

So your fellow morons not only gave away $100,000 in potential coverage–not nearly enough to cover all that they will owe toward the plaintiffs’ fees and costs, but $100,000 more than they now have available to them–but they also gave up a no-limit right to a defense by competent insurance defense counsel.

You, moron that you are, will now be thinking something along the lines of: “But one ‘free’ defense is as good as another.”

Yeah, and one religion-blinded lawyer is just as good as one who is able to view the predicament the board was walking into more-or-less objectively.

And one thing that a bunch of creos *tell* you is a theory is just as good as one with 150 years of evidence behind it.

Comment #65249

Posted by Lurkers for Larry on December 27, 2005 8:13 PM (e)

Larry, don’t give up now. I know AOL is safer, and you can win more tokens, but please don’t let the seeds you’ve planted here today whither and die. You put that crazy reverend guy in his place and now it time to go in for the kill.

Please Larry, don’t let us down.

Comment #65253

Posted by Don Baccus on December 27, 2005 8:24 PM (e)

Laughable Larry wrote:

Now tell me — how did the judge intercept what was supposed to be a private communication between the Solicitor and the board? And why would the judge admit it in his opinion?

At least one witness for the defense testified about the legal advice they got. The judge didn’t “intercept” a “private communication”. If I go to a lawyer for advice, I can tell anyone I want the advice I’m given. It’s the lawyer who is bound to respect confidentiality, not the lawyer’s client.

Why would the judge admit it in his opinion? Admit what? To have listened to a defense witness testify? That’s a crime in your eyes?

Comment #65255

Posted by Steviepinheads for Larry on December 27, 2005 8:27 PM (e)

Larry, look carefully in the mirror. See those letters across your forehead that say N-O-R-O-M? Now think about how the letters on the front of the E-C-N-A-L-U-B-M-A look when you see it from some perspective other than a mirror.

Then think really hard about what you’re doing to yourself here.

Latest example:

Where is it written than an existing scientific theory may not be criticized unless a plausible alternative scientific theory or hypothesis is presented at the same time ?

Is that truly what you thought Dover was all about? If so, you need to go back to square one and start over…

Is that what you thought Judge Jones ruled? If so, as many people here have told you, you need to take your mental blinders off and actually read the opinion with a little more care.

As Lenny might say, let’s take this one VVERRYY VERRYY SLLOWWLLYY:
There is nothing illegal about discussing the actual evidence, pro and con, regarding a scientific theory in a science class.

But that was never what Dover was about. And that’s got nothing to do with what the judge ruled. If that’s all you were worried about, you could have just stayed home with your family and friends, or gone to church, and actually enjoyed your Christmas, instead of coming here to show a global audience what a t*tal m*r*n you are.

But, no, because you have apparently never internalized even once in your whole life just what the word evidence means, you instead have come here and been less than kindly treated.

If you wish to be treated with a little more respect, kindly go away, read, study, and don’t come back until you have some evidence. As has been suggested to you about 45 times now…!

Some evidnce about something. Heck, at this point we’d be please to see just about any evidence about almost anything! It doesn’t even have to be about evolutionary biology: just something fact-based about, oh, science classes, the American judicial system, how liability insurance works–anything at all!

Then maybe you’ll also be able to look in the mirror and see fewer of those funny-looking backwards letters.

Comment #65258

Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 8:32 PM (e)

Sorry to hear that Larry has decided that the criticism of his positions have become unbearable (and perhaps unanswerable).
His confusions about ID and scientific relevance or his unfamiliarity with ID claims as well as the Judge’s ruling might have frustrated his efforts to communicate to us that all he was really arguing was:

It’s legal to teach the controversy.

Of course IC is neither a ‘controversy’ scientifically speaking and ID’s motivation to switch to ‘teach the controversy’ was disingeneous at best.
If larry is interested in teaching the controversy, then he should rely less on creationist arguments and try to present some scientifically relevant concepts.

Of course there is no rule against teaching nonsense or pseudo-science but that undermines Larry’s stated purpose of ‘teaching the controversy’.

ID is scientifically vacuous.
And yes, there are many controversies within evolution. Of course, many of them are to new and unresolved to be discussed in high-schools but some controversies which have been resolved can and have been presented such as the role of neutral mutations or the endosymbosis hypothesis.
Irreducible complexity has been shown to be inappropriately used to argue in favor for ID and has been shown to be scientifically severely flawed.
Why should we teach a flawed idea? Or is Larry in favor of teaching any and all flawed idea?

I doubt it.

Comment #65260

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 27, 2005 8:33 PM (e)

However, so far I have found no other ID or creationism proponents here, no neutral people

You won’t find many neutral people on any science forum frequented by people who are serious about the subject. That’s because serious people tend to form scientific opinions on the basis of decades of intellectual work and mountains of evidence, rather than minutes of thought and little-to-zero evidence. The only way to stay neutral is to stay ignorant.

…, and a lot of supercilous evolutionists who rely mostly on ad hominem attacks,

“Supercilious evolutionists” is not ad hominem?

guilt-by-association, rudeness, lies,

Provide one clear example of a lie told by someone other than you in this thread. Just one.

dogma, evasion, sarcasm, and nitpicking arguments.

I’ll let the interested lurker decide who is evasive and dogmatic. Sarcasm is something that I think you’ve done a great deal to earn in your time here, and if you can’t handle it that’s really too bad. “Nitpicking” is in the eye of the beholder; some of us believe that God dwells in details, and that even minor truths matter. You are free to disagree; that does not mean that you are correct to do so.

Comment #65270

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 27, 2005 9:09 PM (e)

After all, you’re NOT presenting a scientific theory of ID in classrooms — you’re just “presenting the scientific evidence against evolution”, right?

Right !

Notice how Larry lies through evasion, once again.

The part of my question that you snipped out, Larry —— if you are just “presenting scientific evdience against evolution”, then what do you care whether there is a designer or not, and what do you care if other people accept the existence of a designer or not.

Oh, and if you are so fastidious about “science”, why aren’t you out there ranting and raving about the scientific controversies concerning geology or astronomy or chemistry? Why is it just “evolution” that gets your underwear all disarranged?

Wait, let me guess ——- it’s just MERE COINCIDENCE that (1) your target is exactly the same target as all those fundamentalist nutballs who have been attacking evolution for 150 years, (2) your arguments are precisely word for word the very same as theirs, and (3) when your ID pals tried to argue that they/your arguments were an “alternative scientific theory of ID” in court and lost, they suddenly changed their mind, decided that their/your arguments were NOT really an “alternative scientific theory of ID” after all, and are REALLY just “scientific arguments against evolution” that have nothing at all whatsoever to do with ID – and you instantly began parroting their new argument.

All just mere coincidence, right? No connection at all, right?

You are a liar, Larry. A deceptive, evasive, liar.

God doesn’t like liars very much, Larry. And you just killed another bunch of angels.

Larry, were IDers lying when they said their arguments WERE a scientific theory of ID, or are they lying now that they say they’re NOT a scientific theory of ID?

Anyway, I thought you were taking your marbles and going home. Or were you just lying about THAT, too?

Comment #65271

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 27, 2005 9:11 PM (e)

So the taxpayers of the Dover Area School District who will be paying the legal bill deserve exactly what they got. Yeah, right.

In a democracy, voters generally get the leaders they deserve (and of course substantial overlap between “voter” and “taxpayer” was a founding principle of this nation). The voters in Dover chose a slate of mendacious fools. So yes, by definition the voters in Dover deserved exactly what they got. Unfortunately, the kids in the Dover district were poorly served by their school board and by the adults who voted for them. Who said democracy was a perfect system? (Hence, “We the People, in order to form a more perfect Union….”)

Comment #65277

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 9:29 PM (e)

Comment #65253
Posted by Don Baccus on December 27, 2005 08:24 PM

At least one witness for the defense testified about the legal advice they got. The judge didn’t “intercept” a “private communication.”

The advice was confidential information. If it is not against court rules to ask a witness about confidential information, then it sure as hell should be. If the confidential information had been entered into the court record because of error, then the judge should have ignored it, but instead he wrote it up in his opinion. What a jackass.

A fairly recent news article on the subject says nothing about the board’s regular legal advisor warning that the board was likely to lose the lawsuit – see

http://www.ydr.com/search/ci_3219293

I am getting a lot of contradictory information here.

==================================
“I’m from Missouri – you’ll have to show me”
— Willard Duncan Vandiver, US Congressman from Missouri

Comment #65280

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 27, 2005 9:40 PM (e)

Larry, JUST READ THE GODDAMN RULING.

Jeeez.

Comment #65281

Posted by k.e. on December 27, 2005 9:41 PM (e)

Gee Larry ……
Yeah its a bit hard to take…
All this stuff about the Fundamentalist project being sunk and all
Wow you were on a winner there for a while…..eh?
Pity about the LAST HONORABLE MAN IN THE GOP
Yeah…. he is a dirty rotten…scoundrel isn’t he ?

Rotten to the core ….just when you had it all wrapped up.
Fired a shot across the bow of those pirates trying to take off with the truth and who at the same time were leaving a stinking pile of elephant droppings that they swore on a stack of bibles was the truth.

You were going to fix those dirty liberals once and for all.

Just like every other despot in history when they got their hands on the sepulcher of power and removed everyones liberties and had their highest courts change evidence to valueless nonsense and their “One True Word Of GODTM” as interpreted by Fundamentalists because it would destroy a belief in the creator but even worse (really) make people question their right to lie
Who was it that said

…”You can’t fool all of the people all of the time”

Comment #65282

Posted by JY on December 27, 2005 9:43 PM (e)

Larry Fafarman wrote:

Don Baccus wrote:

At least one witness for the defense testified about the legal advice they got. The judge didn’t “intercept” a “private communication.”

The advice was confidential information. If it is not against court rules to ask a witness about confidential information, then it sure as hell should be. If the confidential information had been entered into the court record because of error, then the judge should have ignored it, but instead he wrote it up in his opinion. What a jackass.

I can’t believe this is not a joke.

Comment #65283

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 27, 2005 9:47 PM (e)

Larry, you wouldn’t be passively “getting” a lot of contradictory information here if you’d ever learned to actively collect evidence and weigh it for yourself.

Just because you tell your lawyer in private that you murdered someone–which does make it “confidential” information that the lawyer can’t reveal–doesn’t mean that the cops, the prosecutor, or the judge can’t ask you what you were doing on the night of the 14th between the hours of two and three in the morning… Or prevent them from asking you how the victim’s blood got all over your clothes.

Or, just for you, let’s use a simpler example. You tell your doctor “in confidence” that you need the doctor’s help because you were injured when you ran a red light. The doctor enters this information in your “private” medical records. Then you go out and sue the other driver, dishonestly claiming that it was she who ran the red light.

Because you are suing to recover for the injuries treated by the doctor, the doctor’s records and testimony have now become relevant evidence in a court proceeding that you brought on yourself. You now learn that, in so doing, you are considered to have “waived” the patient-physician privilege and that the otherwise-private admission you made to your doctor is now open evidence in your case. Oops!

In all seriousness, son, you need to go back up to the start of this thread. First re-read the second part of the title, the part about “poor reading skills.”

And then re-read all the links you have been provided with (and ignored) and all the perfectly-fair questions you have been asked (but have failed to answer). And then, like Mary, you need to do some pondering…

Please, for your own good, do this now, before you post yet another of your increasingly uninformed comments.

Comment #65284

Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 9:50 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

The advice was confidential information. If it is not against court rules to ask a witness about confidential information, then it sure as hell should be. If the confidential information had been entered into the court record because of error, then the judge should have ignored it, but instead he wrote it up in his opinion. What a jackass.

For goodness sakes Larry. You are now calling the judge a jackass for failing to follow your strawman? Have you no shame?
And no asking about confidential information is in general NOT against the court rules. Client attorney privilege is one of the few exceptions. The defense could have objected.

Under what legal rule do you claim ‘privileged information’?

Comment #65285

Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 9:52 PM (e)

In fact it seems that the email was shared by Nilsen with everyone present at the Board Curriculum Committee meeting.

Comment #65287

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 27, 2005 10:00 PM (e)

In fact it seems that the email was shared by Nilsen with everyone present at the Board Curriculum Committee meeting.

…which Larry would have known, if only he had heeded the advice of nearly everyone else on this thread, and taken the time to read the Decision that he has so many opinions about.

Comment #65295

Posted by Steve S on December 27, 2005 10:33 PM (e)

Anyway, IANAL, but IIRC, federal law generally doesn’t protect attorney information, just client information. And only if the client asserts the priveledge.

In other words, Larry’s grasp of the law is like his grasp of biology.

Comment #65306

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 11:20 PM (e)

Comment #65284
Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 09:50 PM

And no asking about confidential information is in general NOT against the court rules. Client attorney privilege is one of the few exceptions. The defense could have objected.

Then why in hell didn’t the defense object ? Didn’t the defense know that this kind of information could be damaging to the defendants?

Comment #65285
Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 09:52 PM

In fact it seems that the email was shared by Nilsen with everyone present at the Board Curriculum Committee meeting.

The following article indicates that the email was still confidential at the time of the trial –
http://www.ydr.com/search/ci_3219293
“The district didn’t ask the lawyer [Solicitor] to be at every meeting. Instead of attending the meetings in question, the solicitor sent opinions via e-mail before at least some of the meetings in question, Dover Supt. Richard Nilsen said outside court.”

“Asst. Supt. Michael Baksa was in charge of those communications and would know the details of what topics were discussed and when, Nilsen said. On Thursday, Baksa declined to comment on anything about the case.”

The above news article makes no suggestion that the Solicitor warned that the board was likely to lose the case.

Comment #65282
Posted by JY on December 27, 2005 09:43 PM

I can’t believe this is not a joke.

I can’t believe it either. This whole stupid lawsuit was a joke.

It is not for nothing that one of the most famous statements of all time was, “I’m from Missouri. You’ll have to show me.”

Comment #65308

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 27, 2005 11:30 PM (e)

I give up.

I think someone’s been running one of those AI Turing tests on us.

It puts sentences together, but it can’t be real. No real person could be this oblivious to tone.

Comment #65311

Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 11:33 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Then why in hell didn’t the defense object ? Didn’t the defense know that this kind of information could be damaging to the defendants?

Perhaps because the ‘genie was out of the bottle’ since the information had been shared

Larry wrote:

The following article indicates that the email was still confidential at the time of the trial —

Nope it shows a lawyer refusing to comment since as far as he is concerned the information is still covered by confidentiality.

While the privilege belongs only to the client, the attorney is professionally obligated to claim it on his client’s behalf whenever the opportunity arises unless he has been instructed otherwise by the client.

However the defendents are free to share such confidential information. They did so during the deposition as well as in court and I believe they also shared the email with others (including teachers I believe).

“We got advice from our attorney - this will be coming out in the court case - that they saw no problem with our statement,” Bonsell said.

So Bonsell seemed quite happy to share the advice in court, perhaps thinking that the advice supported the statement.

Comment #65312

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 11:54 PM (e)

‘Rev. Dr.’ Lenny, I have answered some of your questions – now maybe you could return the favor by answering a big one of mine –

Where is it written that the alleged validity of an existing scientific theory may not be scientifically challenged unless a plausible alternative scientific theory or hypothesis is presented at the same time?

Comment #65319

Posted by Tice with a J on December 28, 2005 12:51 AM (e)

Larry Fafarman wrote:

Where is it written that the alleged validity of an existing scientific theory may not be scientifically challenged unless a plausible alternative scientific theory or hypothesis is presented at the same time?

Where did that come from?
That’s not written anywhere, nor is it being said, indeed it would appear that the only place where that idea existed before you posted it was in your head, and you clearly don’t like it. It helps to have an alternative, but it is not necessary to have an alternative to object to a theory.
However, in the context of this discussion, that is not relevant, because the objections to evolution are not serious enough to warrant discarding the theory. Most objections to evolution are either scientifically incorrect which can be ignored, or small objections which do not truly affect the theory on the whole.
As for alternatives, we don’t really have any alternatives to evolution. The only one known, intelligent design, lacks a sound scientific basis.

By the way, Reverend Doctor Flank? Have you heard of the Tychonian Society? Look them up, and you’ll see how stupid people can be in the effort to prove the existence of God. It goes far beyond mere creationism.

Comment #65320

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 12:58 AM (e)

Comment #65283
Posted by Steviepinhead on December 27, 2005 09:47 PM

Or, just for you, let’s use a simpler example. You tell your doctor “in confidence” that you need the doctor’s help because you were injured when you ran a red light. The doctor enters this information in your “private” medical records. Then you go out and sue the other driver, dishonestly claiming that it was she who ran the red light.

That is a straw-man argument. You are not likely to tell the doctor that you ran a red light, because you know that the doctor could testify in court against you. You might just tell the doctor that you were injured in a traffic accident. And private medical records are not traffic-accident reports – the doctor would have no reason to note that you ran a red light. Come up with a more realistic example, sonny boy. (if you call me “son” again, I might call you something even worse than “sonny boy”)

Comment #65331

Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 2:09 AM (e)

Sigh. Time to let Larry vent his frustration. Must be hard to be on the wrong side :-)

Comment #65341

Posted by Carol Clouser on December 28, 2005 4:37 AM (e)

PvM,

“Irreducible complexity has been shown to be inappropriately used to argue in favor for ID and has been shown to be scientifically severely flawed.
Why should we teach a flawed idea? Or is Larry in favor of teaching any and all flawed idea?”

I find these words of yours to be very revealing. You may not have explicitly intended it as such, but you have subconsciously exposed the unwarranted hubris I have seen in many of my colleagues in the scientific community. First you declare some idea “scientifically flawed”, then you go from there, without even pausing to catch your breath, to the conclusion that it is “flawed” period. Do you not realize that an idea might not be scientific, yet have much merit?

Well, I have news for you. Here is a confession of a scientist. SCIENCE IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO THE TRUTH. Despite its very many accomplishments, science remains a method limited by constraints. These are justifiably self-imposed constraints, but they are constraints nonetheless. And a solid argument can be made that certain other approaches to the truth are in some important ways perhaps superior to and more powerful than the scientific one. Mathematics comes to mind. Philosophy in some ways too. And any scientist with some sophistication should agree that this is so.

This is NOT to say that IC is not flawed on all counts. If something is truly “irreducibly complex”, and that’s a big “if”, as defined by the ID folks, than that needs to be dealt with, honestly and forthrightly. I am not sure 14 years olds is the appropriate age group to do so, but it does belong in Biology class, where the issue comes up.

Comment #65342

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 28, 2005 4:47 AM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 27, 2005 11:54 PM (e) (s)

‘Rev. Dr.’ Lenny, I have answered some of your questions — now maybe you could return the favor by answering a big one of mine —

Where is it written that the alleged validity of an existing scientific theory may not be scientifically challenged unless a plausible alternative scientific theory or hypothesis is presented at the same time?

I doubt that it is written anywhere. Is their a point to that question?

Do seriously believe evolution has been scientifically challenged?

Now supposing you actualy had some evidence that seriously challenged completely dissproved evolution. What would you do with it? You could:-

a) Write a valuable scientific paper showing your evidence to the scientific community. Answer any challengers and show evidence and experiments that confirm your challenge. Go on to win a Nobel prize and world renown.

or would you.

b) Not bother getting published in respected journals. Hire a PR firm to present your findings to the uneducated (in this area) general public. Demand that your challenge be taught to teenagers in high school.

or maybe

c) Do something completely different.

Comment #65344

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 28, 2005 5:07 AM (e)

Posted by Carol Clouser on December 28, 2005 04:37 AM (e) (s)

PvM,

“Irreducible complexity has been shown to be inappropriately used to argue in favor for ID and has been shown to be scientifically severely flawed.
Why should we teach a flawed idea? Or is Larry in favor of teaching any and all flawed idea?”

I find these words of yours to be very revealing. You may not have explicitly intended it as such, but you have subconsciously exposed the unwarranted hubris I have seen in many of my colleagues in the scientific community. First you declare some idea “scientifically flawed”, then you go from there, without even pausing to catch your breath, to the conclusion that it is “flawed” period. Do you not realize that an idea might not be scientific, yet have much merit?

Well, I have news for you. Here is a confession of a scientist. SCIENCE IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO THE TRUTH. Despite its very many accomplishments, science remains a method limited by constraints. These are justifiably self-imposed constraints, but they are constraints nonetheless. And a solid argument can be made that certain other approaches to the truth are in some important ways perhaps superior to and more powerful than the scientific one. Mathematics comes to mind. Philosophy in some ways too. And any scientist with some sophistication should agree that this is so.

This is NOT to say that IC is not flawed on all counts. If something is truly “irreducibly complex”, and that’s a big “if”, as defined by the ID folks, than that needs to be dealt with, honestly and forthrightly. I am not sure 14 years olds is the appropriate age group to do so, but it does belong in Biology class, where the issue comes up.

Oh come on Carol, surely you are not serious.

I doubt anyone here believes science is the only worthwhile subject and can dictate everything.

As for new scientific ideas surely the only place they should be dealt with is on the cutting edge of research.

The school board wanted to direct children to a creationist textbook from a biology class. The intention was to sit kids down in their first lesson on evolution and say “what you are about to learn is flawed, their is an alternative science to evolution and you can read about it in of Pandas and people, the school library has copies”.

Would you defend the school boards right to do that?

Comment #65345

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 5:32 AM (e)

Comment #65311
Posted by PvM on December 27, 2005 11:33 PM

Larry wrote:

*****Then why in hell didn’t the defense object [to the questioning of witnesses about attorney-client communications] ? Didn’t the defense know that this kind of information could be damaging to the defendants?*****

Perhaps because the ‘genie was out of the bottle’ since the information had been shared

Sometimes a fact might be known to the entire world and it would still be improper for a court to consider that fact in reaching a decision. Judges often ask that a particular fact be stricken from the record. Either attorney-client communications are privileged or they are not. The judge in this case should not have allowed information about those communications to enter or remain in the record. Instead, the judge’s opinion included quotes of the Solicitor’s Aug. 26, 2004 email to the school district and used this email against the defendants, saying, “There is no evidence that the Board heeded one iota of the Solicitor’s detailed and prudent warning. We also find the email to be persuasive, additional evidence that the board knew that ID is considered a form of creationism.” See pages 111-112 of the opinion at
http://www.aclu.org/images/asset_upload_file577_…

The judge also set himself up as the sole ultimate scientific “peer reviewer” of the scientific merits of irreducible complexity. And he says that he is not an “activist.”

Comment #65351

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 8:14 AM (e)

‘Rev. Dr.’ Lenny, I have answered some of your questions

No you didn’t. So I’ll ask again:

The part of my question that you snipped out, Larry ——— if you are just “presenting scientific evdience against evolution”, then what do you care whether there is a designer or not, and what do you care if other people accept the existence of a designer or not.

Oh, and if you are so fastidious about “science”, why aren’t you out there ranting and raving about the scientific controversies concerning geology or astronomy or chemistry? Why is it just “evolution” that gets your underwear all disarranged?

Wait, let me guess ———- it’s just MERE COINCIDENCE that (1) your target is exactly the same target as all those fundamentalist nutballs who have been attacking evolution for 150 years, (2) your arguments are precisely word for word the very same as theirs, and (3) when your ID pals tried to argue that they/your arguments were an “alternative scientific theory of ID” in court and lost, they suddenly changed their mind, decided that their/your arguments were NOT really an “alternative scientific theory of ID” after all, and are REALLY just “scientific arguments against evolution” that have nothing at all whatsoever to do with ID — and you instantly began parroting their new argument.

All just mere coincidence, right? No connection at all, right?

You are a liar, Larry. A deceptive, evasive, dishonest liar.

Where is it written that the alleged validity of an existing scientific theory may not be scientifically challenged unless a plausible alternative scientific theory or hypothesis is presented at the same time?

Let me burn your strawman for you: It’s not. First of all, it was the IDers themselves who were claiming to have an alternative scientific theory — and they lied about that. As for your “scientific criticisms of evolution”, they are all based solely and only on creation ‘science’, and all those arguments were rejected 20 years ago by several different courts as being nothing but religiously motivated. There are NO “scientific challenges” to evolution. There is NO “scientific controversy” over evolution. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. ID/creationists have no valid criticisms of evolution to offer, and no scientific challenge to evolution to make. What they have is a series of half-baked assertions, rejected by every biologist who’s ever heard them, based on ID/creationist’s RELIGIOUS objections to evolution. Which is why both creation ‘science’ and ID have been ruled illegal to teach in US public schools (and all of your “scientific arguments against evolution” are lifted, word for word, from creation ‘science’ and ID). And ID/creationist are flat-out, bare-faced lying to us when they claim their “scientific criticisms of evolution” are not just ID/creationism under a different name, and are not motivated solely by their religious objections to evolution.

Just like you.

You are a deceptive, evasive, dishonest liar, Larry.

The judge also set himself up as the sole ultimate scientific “peer reviewer” of the scientific merits of irreducible complexity.

Read the goddamn ruling, Larry. The judge concluded that IC is not science because both Behe and Minnic TOLD HIM IT WASN’T.

Read their testimony, Larry. Read it twice. Have an educated person explain all the big words to you.

You are a deceptive, evasive, dishonest liar, Larry.

And I thought you were leaving? Or were you just lying about that too.

Comment #65352

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 8:16 AM (e)

Carol, do you, or do you not, think that your religious opinions should be accepted as scientific evidence?

Larry, if ID/creationism/”arguments against evolution” are not religious or based on religion, then why is Carol preaching her religious opinions here?

By the way, Larry, Carol’s religious opinion is that the New Testament is full of crap. Do you agree with her opinion on that?

Comment #65353

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 8:19 AM (e)

Sometimes a fact might be known to the entire world and it would still be improper for a court to consider that fact in reaching a decision.

Why does your opinion on the question matter diddley doo to anyone?

Comment #65355

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 8:21 AM (e)

By the way, Reverend Doctor Flank? Have you heard of the Tychonian Society? Look them up, and you’ll see how stupid people can be in the effort to prove the existence of God. It goes far beyond mere creationism.

Check out the Biblical Astronomer too.

I find it incredibly amusing, the way they attack creationists for not taking the Bible literally enough.

:)

Comment #65377

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 10:58 AM (e)

Comment #65319
Posted by Tice with a J on December 28, 2005 12:51 AM

Larry Fafarman wrote:
*****Where is it written that the alleged validity of an existing scientific theory may not be scientifically challenged unless a plausible alternative scientific theory or hypothesis is presented at the same time?******

It helps to have an alternative, but it is not necessary to have an alternative to object to a theory.

One of the biggest objections to irreducible complexity is that it is just a criticism of evolution theory and does not offer an alternative scientific explanation for the origin of species.

However, in the context of this discussion, that is not relevant, because the objections to evolution are not serious enough to warrant discarding the theory. Most objections to evolution are either scientifically incorrect which can be ignored, or small objections which do not truly affect the theory on the whole.

Whether or not they are scientifically incorrect is often just a matter of opinion. Also, all the hoopla about irreducible complexity may be giving some people the false impression that it is the only scientific criticism of evolution theory.

Comment #65341
Posted by Carol Clouser on December 28, 2005 04:37 AM

This is NOT to say that IC is not flawed on all counts. If something is truly “irreducibly complex”, and that’s a big “if”, as defined by the ID folks, than that needs to be dealt with, honestly and forthrightly. I am not sure 14 years olds is the appropriate age group to do so, but it does belong in Biology class, where the issue comes up.

At last – someone else on this message board who thinks that it is OK to discuss irreducible complexity in a public-school biology class. Thank you.

I think that if 14-year olds can understand evolution theory, then they can understand IC. IC is not rocket science.

Comment #65344
Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 28, 2005 05:07 AM
The school board wanted to direct children to a creationist textbook from a biology class. The intention was to sit kids down in their first lesson on evolution and say “what you are about to learn is flawed, their is an alternative science to evolution and you can read about it in of Pandas and people, the school library has copies”..

I agree that the Dover school board handled this the wrong way – but that is not a reason for not teaching or discussing irreducible complexity (or other scientific criticisms of evolution theory) in public-school science classes.

Comment #65381

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 28, 2005 11:17 AM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 10:58 AM (e) (s)

I agree that the Dover school board handled this the wrong way — but that is not a reason for not teaching or discussing irreducible complexity (or other scientific criticisms of evolution theory) in public-school science classes.

This where we disagree.
No scientific hypothesis should be taught in high school. It is not the correct venue. There is just not enough time.

For something to be considered scientific the first people to convince are scientists. Nobody else, not law firms, PR organisations or school boards.

Why is it the proponents of theories such as relativity, quantum mechanics, plate tectonics etc had to “prove” their hypothesis, get them accepted as theories by the scientific community all before any where taught?

Why should IC or anything else get special treatment?

If you can’t see a problem with the way ID has gone about it’s business so far, either you are ignorant on this matter or dishonest.
(and that needn’t be an exclusive or function)

Comment #65382

Posted by bill on December 28, 2005 11:26 AM (e)

Larry and Carol sitting in a tree
D.I.S.S.I.N.G.

Larry’s right that IC isn’t rocket science, but why stop there.

IC isn’t science, it’s an opinion.

Too bad Sal’s not here. You guys could have a threesome.

Comment #65383

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 11:37 AM (e)

Comment #65351 posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 08:14 AM

The part of my question that you snipped out, Larry ——— if you are just “presenting scientific evidence against evolution”, then what do you care whether there is a designer or not, and what do you care if other people accept the existence of a designer or not.

I never said that I cared.

Oh, and if you are so fastidious about “science”, why aren’t you out there ranting and raving about the scientific controversies concerning geology or astronomy or chemistry? Why is it just “evolution” that gets your underwear all disarranged?

Where is it written that I may not criticize evolution theory unless I criticize other scientific theories at the same time? Your arguments are very strange.

your arguments are precisely word for word the very same as theirs,

So it is wrong to have the same opinion as some other people?

when your ID pals tried to argue that they/your arguments were an “alternative scientific theory of ID” in court and lost, they suddenly changed their mind, decided that their/your arguments were NOT really an “alternative scientific theory of ID” after all, and are REALLY just “scientific arguments against evolution” that have nothing at all whatsoever to do with ID — and you instantly began parroting their new argument.

They are not my “pals.” And I have never argued that ID is an alternative scientific theory. You are always putting words in my mouth. Also, I am not responsible for what others say – I am only responsible for what I say.

And there is nothing wrong with people changing their minds or their approach. For example, phyletic gradualism was once the accepted model for evolution, but now a lot of evolutionists believe in punctuated equilibrium.

There are NO “scientific challenges” to evolution. There is NO “scientific controversy” over evolution.

There are several scientific challenges to evolution. Irreducible complexity is only one of them.

Comment #65387

Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 12:03 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

There are several scientific challenges to evolution. Irreducible complexity is only one of them.

Hardly. IC is an argument that some systems could not have ‘evolved’ via a very particular pathway. Judge Jones has, based on the evidence presented, shown what is wrong with this argument.

Larry wrote:

For example, phyletic gradualism was once the accepted model for evolution, but now a lot of evolutionists believe in punctuated equilibrium.

Please familiarize yourself with the facts before making such statements.

Punctuated Equilibria

Comment #65388

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 12:04 PM (e)

Comment #65381 posted by Stephen Elliott on December 28, 2005 11:17 AM

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 10:58 AM

I agree that the Dover school board handled this the wrong way — but that is not a reason for not teaching or discussing irreducible complexity (or other scientific criticisms of evolution theory) in public-school science classes.

This where we disagree.

No scientific hypothesis should be taught in high school. It is not the correct venue. There is just not enough time.

For something to be considered scientific the first people to convince are scientists. Nobody else, not law firms, PR organisations or school boards.

Why is it the proponents of theories such as relativity, quantum mechanics, plate tectonics etc had to “prove” their hypothesis, get them accepted as theories by the scientific community all before any where taught?

Why should IC or anything else get special treatment?

IC should get special treatment because a large part of the public wants it to get special treatment. And there is no valid constitutional reason for keeping IC out of public-school science classes. There is only constitutional separation of church and state. There is no constitutional separation between the state and scientific hypotheses that have not been widely accepted by the scientific community. By the way, I don’t consider IC to be a scientific hypothesis, because it is not a scientific explanation for the origin of species – IC is just a scientific criticism of evolution theory.

Comment #65389

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 12:05 PM (e)

Comment #65381 posted by Stephen Elliott on December 28, 2005 11:17 AM

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 10:58 AM

I agree that the Dover school board handled this the wrong way — but that is not a reason for not teaching or discussing irreducible complexity (or other scientific criticisms of evolution theory) in public-school science classes.

This where we disagree.

No scientific hypothesis should be taught in high school. It is not the correct venue. There is just not enough time.

For something to be considered scientific the first people to convince are scientists. Nobody else, not law firms, PR organisations or school boards.

Why is it the proponents of theories such as relativity, quantum mechanics, plate tectonics etc had to “prove” their hypothesis, get them accepted as theories by the scientific community all before any where taught?

Why should IC or anything else get special treatment?

IC should get special treatment because a large part of the public wants it to get special treatment. And there is no valid constitutional reason for keeping IC out of public-school science classes. There is only constitutional separation of church and state. There is no constitutional separation between the state and scientific hypotheses that have not been widely accepted by the scientific community. By the way, I don’t consider IC to be a scientific hypothesis, because it is not a scientific explanation for the origin of species – IC is just a scientific criticism of evolution theory.

Comment #65390

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 28, 2005 12:15 PM (e)

Carol typed:

And a solid argument can be made that certain other approaches to the truth are in some important ways perhaps superior to and more powerful than the scientific one.

Really? Please do tell what “approach to the truth” is a better way to understand, say, biochemistry. Please tell us all what significant results have been obtained in biochemistry using nonscientific approaches, and why these results are superior to results obtained using scientific approaches. (I think you won’t have a response because I think you’re spewing abject nonsense and there aren’t any such results.)

If something is truly “irreducibly complex”, and that’s a big “if”, as defined by the ID folks, than that needs to be dealt with, honestly and forthrightly. I am not sure 14 years olds is the appropriate age group to do so, but it does belong in Biology class, where the issue comes up.

Not in my biology class, it doesn’t. I teach Biochemistry 406, not philosophy or theology, Carol; I’m in a School of Medicine, not a School of Bible Studies. And I don’t take kindly to uninformed fools (which you have shown yourself to be over the course of many posts to this board) telling me how the life sciences (note the word “sciences” there) ought to be taught.

Comment #65392

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 28, 2005 12:25 PM (e)

IC should get special treatment because a large part of the public wants it to get special treatment.

I am willing to bet that not more than 10% of the American public could accurately tell you even in outline what IC is. And I have yet to see anyone who could convincingly argue that any biological system is IC.

You’re full of it, Larry.

Comment #65393

Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 12:33 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

I agree that the Dover school board handled this the wrong way — but that is not a reason for not teaching or discussing irreducible complexity (or other scientific criticisms of evolution theory) in public-school science classes.

and

There are several scientific challenges to evolution. Irreducible complexity is only one of them.

So much wrong here

Misconception 1: IC is a scientific challenge to evolution
IC is the argument that some systems are unlikely to have evolved via a very limited pathway of evolution. It hardly challenges evolution perse and not even Darwinian evolution or selection. By defining IC as ID proponents have done, they have rendered ID fully scientifically vacuous.

Misconception 2; Other scientific challenges to evolution
At most these ‘challenges’ are disputes over mechanisms of evolution, not evolution itself.

And then

Larry wrote:

And there is nothing wrong with people changing their minds or their approach. For example, phyletic gradualism was once the accepted model for evolution, but now a lot of evolutionists believe in punctuated equilibrium.

Please familiarize yourself with the scientific facts before making such statements. See punctuated equilibria.

Yes, its most commonly referred to in plural…

Comment #65395

Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 12:38 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

IC should get special treatment because a large part of the public wants it to get special treatment. And there is no valid constitutional reason for keeping IC out of public-school science classes. There is only constitutional separation of church and state. There is no constitutional separation between the state and scientific hypotheses that have not been widely accepted by the scientific community.

Yes, lets teach young earth (which challenges old earth theory) and the geo-centric theory of astronomy and what else could we teach ‘because the public wants it to get special treatment’.

IC has already gotten enough special treatment showing it scientifically vacuous. Of course there is nothing unconstitutional perse about teaching poor science but is that what the public really wants? I doubt it… IC is at most a flawed criticism of minor part of evolutionary theory. That it has wrapped itself in a lot of unnecessary confusion further makes teaching of IC a tough issue since it lacks as a science, teaching IC may very well be construed as having a primary religious effect.

Comment #65396

Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 12:47 PM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

“Irreducible complexity has been shown to be inappropriately used to argue in favor for ID and has been shown to be scientifically severely flawed.
Why should we teach a flawed idea? Or is Larry in favor of teaching any and all flawed idea?”

I find these words of yours to be very revealing. You may not have explicitly intended it as such, but you have subconsciously exposed the unwarranted hubris I have seen in many of my colleagues in the scientific community. First you declare some idea “scientifically flawed”, then you go from there, without even pausing to catch your breath, to the conclusion that it is “flawed” period. Do you not realize that an idea might not be scientific, yet have much merit?

Sure, it can serve as a great tool outside science but why would people want to base their faith on a flawed scientific concept? Since I was talking about ID/IC as a science it is quite obvious that it has not withstood the scientific scrutiny of its claims. IC is not declared to be flawed lightly but based upon the prevailing evidence.

Carol wrote:

Well, I have news for you. Here is a confession of a scientist. SCIENCE IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO THE TRUTH. Despite its very many accomplishments, science remains a method limited by constraints. These are justifiably self-imposed constraints, but they are constraints nonetheless. And a solid argument can be made that certain other approaches to the truth are in some important ways perhaps superior to and more powerful than the scientific one. Mathematics comes to mind. Philosophy in some ways too. And any scientist with some sophistication should agree that this is so.

So how does IC contribute in this area? In fact science is NOT A WAY TO THE TRUTH at all. So what other approaches are superior to scientific approaches I wonder? You mentioned a solid argument but calling it such hardly is a compelling argument.

Carol wrote:

This is NOT to say that IC is not flawed on all counts. If something is truly “irreducibly complex”, and that’s a big “if”, as defined by the ID folks, than that needs to be dealt with, honestly and forthrightly. I am not sure 14 years olds is the appropriate age group to do so, but it does belong in Biology class, where the issue comes up.

It has been dealt with truly honestly and forthrightly.
Could Carol explain to us how we determine if something is truly “irreducibly complex”?

Comment #65397

Posted by KL on December 28, 2005 12:47 PM (e)

How many things in this operate on “public opinion”? Science doesn’t give a hoot what the public thinks. Science education is not governed by public opinion. Medical schools don’t teach what the “public” decides is important. Perhaps we as a society have gotten too pumped up on media generated opinion polls. Does it really matter if 60% of the public believes in ghosts? Does that mean that study of the paranormal belongs in high school physics class? That “haunting” becomes a standard diagnosis in medicine? That a defense attorney can offer a alternative explanation (a ghost did it) when defending his client against criminal charges?

A thinking person would easily agree that one values expertise: I get my legal advice from a lawyer, not a teacher. I get advice on what and how to teach in sciences from organizations like NSTA and experienced colleagues, not from my priest. I get health advice from my physician, not my younger brother (who is a ship pilot). And, if I have a question regarding an area that I know little about, I am not going to accept unsupported opinions from anyone, nor form my own opinions without educating myself as much as I can.

What is taught in secondary school science and college science is determined by scientists and science educators. Period. If someone has a problem with that they are free to learn something else, or teach their children something else. However, no complaining is allowed when they find that they are unqualified to join the scientific community as a researcher, can’t get into a grad program, get turned down at med school, can’t pass the AP exam in biology. You can come to my home and I’ll teach you my opinions on the law, but I bet you’ll fail the bar in every state.

Comment #65399

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 12:51 PM (e)

Comment #65387

Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 12:03 PM

Larry wrote:

*****There are several scientific challenges to evolution. Irreducible complexity is only one of them.*****

Hardly. IC is an argument that some systems could not have ‘evolved’ via a very particular pathway. Judge Jones has, based on the evidence presented, shown what is wrong with this argument.

What gives Judge Jones the right to be the sole judge of the merits of a scientific concept? And why did IC automatically become a religious concept when Judge Jones decided that it is scientifically erroneous? Judge Jones is definitely an “activist” judge.

Larry wrote:

*****For example, phyletic gradualism was once the accepted model for evolution, but now a lot of evolutionists believe in punctuated equilibrium.****

Please familiarize yourself with the facts before making such statements.

Whatever – I was just trying to give an example of people changing their minds. If you don’t like this example, there are other examples.

(Sorry folks – my last message was repeated. I don’t know how that happened)

Comment #65400

Posted by k.e. on December 28, 2005 12:56 PM (e)

Larry
Would you mind just explaining WHAT EXACTLY Irreducible complexity IS
You may be seduced by nonsense words but from where I sit they have absolutely no meaning whatsoever. Pure drivel.

Try writing a very short sentence that explains what those 2 words used together mean. No longer that 10 words.

The reason why the Judge arrived at his decision is that the scientist who coined the phrase Irreducible complexity revealed that it was a meaningless statement, he simply told the truth on the witness stand ,the Judge duly told the world.

Now here is a hint why you are
incapable of deducing nonsense from common sense, untruth from truth.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A640207
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obscurantism

Now since you are unable to EXPLAIN what Irreducible complexity IS (appart from nonsense)and thus proven your
Argumentum ad nauseam

Perhaps in your ‘expert opinion’ WHAT are several scientific testable evidential challenges to evolution your descent from apes and why Adam and Eve have Navels.

Before you reply take a look at these arguments and choose something different

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

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

Comment #65401

Posted by k.e. on December 28, 2005 1:04 PM (e)

And why did IC automatically become a religious concept when Judge Jones decided Behe told him that it is scientifically erroneous and a religious concept

Judge Jones is definitely an “activist” judge.
Ignoratio elenchi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignoratio_elenchi

Comment #65402

Posted by Registered User on December 28, 2005 1:06 PM (e)

Carol and Larry, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g,
First comes love, then comes marriage,
Then comes little creationist book-peddling idiots in a baby carriage.

Comment #65403

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 28, 2005 1:07 PM (e)

To Behe’s credit, his testimony under oath was honest. This was, of course, devastating to the case for ID-as-science.

Comment #65406

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 1:28 PM (e)

We can argue from now until doomsday about the scientific merits of irreducible complexity, or about whether or not it is OK to teach or discuss unaccepted science, erroneous science, or pseudoscience in public-school science classes. But to me, the basic question here is this – does teaching or discussing IC in public-school science classes violate the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state ? My answer is “no.” Judge Jones’ answer is “yes.”

Comment #65407

Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 1:32 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

What gives Judge Jones the right to be the sole judge of the merits of a scientific concept? And why did IC automatically become a religious concept when Judge Jones decided that it is scientifically erroneous? Judge Jones is definitely an “activist” judge.

Larry seems to be somewhat desperate and ill-informed in his outburst here. What gives Judge Jones the right to be the sole judge? The answer is simple: the law. Judge Jones precides over the Kitzmiller case in which ruling on the scientific status of ID is essential to the establishment clause ruling. If Larry had familiarized himself with the actual ruling he would know and perhaps understand Jones’ reasons.
The judge bases his ruling on the presented evidence and testimony.

Larry wrote:

*****For example, phyletic gradualism was once the accepted model for evolution, but now a lot of evolutionists believe in punctuated equilibrium.****

Please familiarize yourself with the facts before making such statements.

Whatever — I was just trying to give an example of people changing their minds. If you don’t like this example, there are other examples.

And the goal posts start moving again. Come on Larry, present a more coherent argument. Sure people change their minds. But your portrayal of PE v Phyletic Gradualism shows a common (creationist) flawed argument. I am not arguing that you are necessarily a creationist, just that your ‘argument’ mirrors (once again) common creationist flaws.

Comment #65408

Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 1:44 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

We can argue from now until doomsday about the scientific merits of irreducible complexity, or about whether or not it is OK to teach or discuss unaccepted science, erroneous science, or pseudoscience in public-school science classes. But to me, the basic question here is this — does teaching or discussing IC in public-school science classes violate the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state ? My answer is “no.” Judge Jones’ answer is “yes.”

Read the decision. If you have any reasons to object to the Judge’s reasonings, please present them otherwise we need not discuss your objections any further.

Comment #65410

Posted by k.e. on December 28, 2005 1:47 PM (e)

Larry Said

“We can argue from now until doomsday”
Argumentum ad nauseam
utterly pointless

you old dispensationalist
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick”
(Proverbs 13:12)

dispensationalist dementia

http://www.preteristarchive.com/dEmEnTiA/

Larry Said
“does teaching or discussing IC in public-school science classes violate the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state ? My answer is “no.” Judge Jones’ answer is “yes.”

WRONG AGAIN
another False Statement
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_statement
READ THE JUDGMENT

Judge Jones suggested “social studies”

Alexey Merz said
To Behe’s credit, his testimony under oath was honest. This was, of course, devastating to the case for ID-as-science

Yes Alex his conscience is clear on that count.
If I was to be cynical however ….he may have had the smug knowledge in the back of his mind that the check was in the bank for his book

Comment #65412

Posted by KL on December 28, 2005 1:49 PM (e)

“But to me, the basic question here is this — does teaching or discussing IC in public-school science classes violate the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state ?”

Why else would anyone teach bad science, pseudoscience, creation science in science class? Because they have a goal to dumb down public education? Because some corporation stands to profit? Because some foreign country is trying to break down American society from within so they can take over? The plaintiffs in the Dover case suspected that the goal was religious, and after hearing all the evidence, Jones agreed. That violates the constitution. Jones could have discovered another goal instead of a religious goal, (though to be honest, I can’t imagine what it would be) and then he may have had a different response, at least on the constitutional question (I am guessing, but I know little about constitutional law).

On the other hand, imagine this scenario: If there had been scientific merit in ID’s claims, eventually we’d be adding it to curriculums nationwide as more research and publication strengthened and defined the theory. At the most, Jones might chide the school for being too hasty and urge them to wait until adequate curriculum materials were published.

Ooops, time to wake up from your dream and smell the expresso. That didn’t happen.

Comment #65414

Posted by jim on December 28, 2005 1:52 PM (e)

Since Judge Jones:
1) saw the IDM evidence and heard the IDM testimony in the trial
2) saw the plaintiff’s evidence and heard the plaintiff’s testimony in the trial
3) is knowledgeable in US Federal Law
4) cited case law to support his decision
5) cited the evidence presented to support his decision
6) and obviously you have NOT bothered to read his ruling let alone read through the trial transcripts

I think it would be the height of stupidity for anyone to care what you think.

Now if you want to get ID taught in philosophy, theology, or even political science; by all means, knock yourself out.

If you want to get ID taught as science, then tell the bozos behind the movement to *DO* the science, get their evidence submitted to the relevant journals, and get it accepted by the scientific community.

Otherwise any crackpot that wants their pet idea taught has an equally valid case to get their ideas taught. “I want science students taught that the sun is a giant ball of margarine!”

Comment #65416

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 28, 2005 2:02 PM (e)

jlm, are you saying that the sun is not a giant ball of margarine? I had no idea….

Comment #65417

Posted by KL on December 28, 2005 2:06 PM (e)

You silly thing. Everyone knows that it is a giant pepperoncini.

RAmen

Comment #65418

Posted by k.e. on December 28, 2005 2:19 PM (e)

Don’t forget Osiris and Isis

Comment #65423

Posted by gregonomic on December 28, 2005 2:43 PM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 24, 2005 12:25 PM (e) (s)

I think West is right — Jones is an activist judge.

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 12:51 PM (e) (s)

Judge Jones is definitely an “activist” judge.

Does anyone know how many times Bill Murray’s character re-lived “Groundhog Day”?

Comment #65436

Posted by Paul Flocken on December 28, 2005 3:43 PM (e)

Carol wrote in Comment #65341

a quote from PvM,

“Irreducible complexity has been shown to be inappropriately used to argue in favor for ID and has been shown to be scientifically severely flawed.
Why should we teach a flawed idea? Or is Larry in favor of teaching any and all flawed idea?”

I find these words of yours to be very revealing. You may not have explicitly intended it as such, but you have subconsciously exposed the unwarranted hubris I have seen in many of my colleagues in the scientific community. First you declare some idea “scientifically flawed”, then you go from there, without even pausing to catch your breath, to the conclusion that it is “flawed” period. Do you not realize that an idea might not be scientific, yet have much merit?

This is a science site Carol. That is understood by all. PvM probably just didn’t want to type the word scientifically over again twice. I know I’m lazy enough about typing. But everyone here with half a scruple had no problem reading the context. It is uncharitable of you to nitpick the lack of a word.

Well, I have news for you. Here is a confession of a scientist. SCIENCE IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO THE TRUTH.

Science is not in the business of finding ‘TRUTH’. It is in the business of discovering the real world and explaining how it works. The fact that science addresses some of the questions that long ago were the domain of religion and philosophy just shows that mankind has figured out that science is the most powerful tool for answering those questions and that religion and philo were impotent to answer them.

Despite its very many accomplishments, science remains a method limited by constraints. These are justifiably self-imposed constraints, but they are constraints nonetheless. And a solid argument can be made that certain other approaches to the truth are in some important ways perhaps superior to and more powerful than the scientific one. Mathematics comes to mind. Philosophy in some ways too. And any scientist with some sophistication should agree that this is so.
This is NOT to say that IC is not flawed on all counts. If something is truly “irreducibly complex”, and that’s a big “if”, as defined by the ID folks, than that needs to be dealt with, honestly and forthrightly. I am not sure 14 years olds is the appropriate age group to do so, but it does belong in Biology class, where the issue comes up.

Nobody is pushing invalid math or philosophy into the science class in order to comfort their religious insecurities. Only christian fundie nutjobs are doing that. (Well, now apparently a jewish fundie nutjob is too.) ID is demonstrably invalid. Since ID is demonstrably invalid, why teach it? We are entitled to look for motivations among the people who are pushing it. The common thread among all of them for the last 150 years is their religious objection to evolution. These two together clearly cause ID to fail the first prong of the Lemon test, which makes it unconstitutional. The issue only comes up in biology class because christian fundie nutjobs are pushing it to come up.

However, you are not only referring to math and philo. I would give my right arm if you would only say what you mean. The elephant in the room that you refuse to mention (because it would shatter the last little bit of credibility you have) is Revelation. You regard revelation as a legitimate means of finding ‘TRUTH’. Fine. Please, oh please, Carol, revelate me some truth. Since your arguing in a science forum about alternative means of finding ‘TRUTH’ you must mean to say that those other means can find scientific ‘truths’ (notice the lowercase t). Well, revelate me some biochemistry as Alex asked. Revelate me some physics. Revelate me some geology, astronomy, and meteorology. How about some oceanography. No. Can’t do it? I wonder why not.

Comment #65440

Posted by Tice with a J on December 28, 2005 4:32 PM (e)

Indiana Jones wrote:

Archaeology is the search for fact… not truth. If it’s truth you’re looking for, Dr. Tyree’s philosophy class is right down the hall.

Words of wisdom for us all. I regard Revelation as an important source of truth, but I won’t ask anyone to accept it in a science class.

Comment #65442

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 28, 2005 4:34 PM (e)

gregonomic wrote:

Does anyone know how many times Bill Murray’s character re-lived “Groundhog Day”?

As I suggested somewhere up above, “Larry” is nothing but a clever computer program.

Which adequately explains:
a. “His” utter inability to supply evidence in an effort to answer questions;
b. “His” utter inability to perform any actual research for “him”self;
c. “His” utter inability to come up with any argument not already in the Creo-IDiot databank supplied to “him” during programming;
d. “His” abominable reading comprehension;
e. “His” cluelessness about any aspect of the law, religion, science, or any other topic so far touched upon in “his” random walk through “his” impoverished fund of stock sayings; and
f. “His” flat-out refusal to actually read the judge’s opinion, much less any of its factual or legal-precedential underpinnings.

“Larry” is just a snarl of poorly-compiled code. That Carol Clouser would feel motivated to leap to “his” defense represents the only fresh amusement left in this thread…

And, just for “Larry”: Son, see me (shrug).

Comment #65445

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 28, 2005 4:41 PM (e)

Oops: make that “semi-clever computer program.”

Comment #65449

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 4:56 PM (e)

Comment #65408
Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 01:44 PM

Larry wrote:

*******We can argue from now until doomsday about the scientific merits of irreducible complexity, or about whether or not it is OK to teach or discuss unaccepted science, erroneous science, or pseudoscience in public-school science classes. But to me, the basic question here is this — does teaching or discussing IC in public-school science classes violate the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state ? My answer is “no.” Judge Jones’ answer is “yes.”******

Read the decision. If you have any reasons to object to the Judge’s reasonings, please present them otherwise we need not discuss your objections any further.

I have already given my reasons for objecting to the judge’s reasonings. Here they are again, from Comment #64757 that I posted on December 25, 2005 06:37 AM –

“Irreducible complexity, the best-known scientific concept of ID, is presented in purely scientific terms. It does not matter whether irreducible complexity has been proven to be valid or not, because many scientific concepts that are taught have not been proven to be valid. All that matters is that irreducible complexity per se is not a religious concept. There is only separation of church and state. There is no separation of scientific error and state. There is not even any separation of pseudoscience and state. The problem as I see it is with the term “intelligent design,” which implies the existence of an intelligent designer. So I think it is OK to teach irreducible complexity (or other criticisms of evolution theory that are presented in purely scientific terms) in public-school science classes so long as it is not called “intelligent design.”

Comment #65451

Posted by sir_toejam on December 28, 2005 5:01 PM (e)

Larry, you’re still here?

get me a soda would ya?

that’s a good lad.

Comment #65452

Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 5:03 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

I have already given my reasons for objecting to the judge’s reasonings.

And as I have shown they ignore the Judge’s reasoning which in fact does look scientific validity and religious entanglements.

And you are still making the fallacious claim that IC is a scientific criticism of evolution theory (in purely scientific terms) or that there are unnamed ‘other criticisms’ of evolution theory.

Read before you repost your previous errors.

Comment #65453

Posted by KL on December 28, 2005 5:05 PM (e)

So, you are saying you want pseudoscience and scientific error taught? You want IC, even though it is not a valid scientific criticism for evolution, taught to kids? Whatever for??? What would this accomplish? If you want to teach the “unknowns” or the “yet unsolved” parts of a scientific theory, why plug the gap with BS? or philosophy? or mysticism? What on earth does that accomplish? How does that strengthen science education? What you’re saying makes absolutely no sense. Unless, of course, evolutionary theory specifically gets your panties in a wad, and therefore ANYTHING, no matter what, even crap, is better than teaching just evolution. Then, of course, your motive becomes the question.

Comment #65455

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 28, 2005 5:10 PM (e)

Ahem.

As I think I just explained, and as gregonomic and others have pointed out as well, Larry’s program doesn’t really know how to read.

Having run out of its originally-programmed fund of stock sayings, Larry’s program is now reduced to recycling things it’s already “said.”

Let’s not push it too hard–our screens might start smoking as it expires. And at least here in Seattle, it’s illegal to smoke inside.

Comment #65459

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 5:30 PM (e)

Comment #65400
Posted by k.e. on December 28, 2005 12:56 PM

Larry
Would you mind just explaining WHAT EXACTLY Irreducible complexity IS
You may be seduced by nonsense words but from where I sit they have absolutely no meaning whatsoever. Pure drivel.

Try writing a very short sentence that explains what those 2 words used together mean. No longer that 10 words.

You know that is impossible – you are just asking a stupid question.

The reason why the Judge arrived at his decision is that the scientist who coined the phrase Irreducible complexity revealed that it was a meaningless statement, he simply told the truth on the witness stand ,the Judge duly told the world.

So does Behe have the right to be the sole judge of the scientific merits of IC? He may have coined the phrase, but he has no copyright on the phrase or the concept. And did Behe also tell the judge that IC is a religious concept? The judge could not ban IC from public-school science classrooms just on the grounds that IC is meaningless. Anyway, if IC is meaningless, then it would have no religious meaning as well as having no scientific meaning.

Anyway, the judge’s decision was not based solely on Behe’s testimony — far from it.

Furthermore, Behe’s testimony did tremendous damage to other scientific criticisms of evolution theory, some of them having nothing to do with design, intelligent or otherwise.

Comment #65463

Posted by KL on December 28, 2005 5:38 PM (e)

Furthermore, Behe’s testimony did tremendous damage to other scientific criticisms of evolution theory, some of them having nothing to do with design, intelligent or otherwise.

Which ones? What damage was done?

Comment #65466

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 28, 2005 5:50 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Anyway, the judge’s decision was not based solely on Behe’s testimony —- far from it.
Furthermore, Behe’s testimony did tremendous damage to other scientific criticisms of evolution theory, some of them having nothing to do with design, intelligent or otherwise.

How would you know what the Decision was based on, or what the effects of Behe’s testimony were? You show no sign of familiarity with either the Decision or Behe’s testimont, so why should anyone take anything you say on these matters seriously, particularly when many on this comment thread (me included) have read both documents carefully and in their entirety?

Comment #65467

Posted by jim on December 28, 2005 5:50 PM (e)

Larry,

You should know that Behe *also* that stated that belief in God was necessary to believe in ID/IC.

Did you know that Behe’s testimony agreed with Minnich, Dembski, Johnson, Wells, and many of the DI’s published materials that ID/IC is not scientific and is religiously motivated.

You should know that Judge Jones saw this information in *BOTH* the plaintiff’s and the defense’s evidence and testimony.

Larry let me repeat that, the DEFENSE admitted that ID/IC was NOT science and WAS religiously motivated. Now why do you think you know better than the “experts” on it?

Comment #65469

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 28, 2005 5:57 PM (e)

Activist Judge or just poor reading skills

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read. I’m talking to you, Larry.

Comment #65470

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 6:03 PM (e)

Comment #65412
Posted by KL on December 28, 2005 01:49 PM

Jones could have discovered another goal instead of a religious goal, (though to be honest, I can’t imagine what it would be) and then he may have had a different response, at least on the constitutional question (I am guessing, but I know little about constitutional law).

Constitutional law does not provide for separation of unaccepted science and state, separation of erroneous science and state, or separation of pseudoscience and state.

Can’t imagine another goal ? Maybe a lot of people want irreducible complexity to be taught because it makes scientific sense to them.

Comment #65472

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 28, 2005 6:09 PM (e)

Aarrggh!

I know it sounds odd to divide trolls into “real” “human” trolls and troll-bots, but it’s important for the sanity of the rest of us to make this distinction.

That’s why, when Alexey wonders why “Larry” still hasn’t read the opinion or Jim asks:

Now why do you think you know better than the “experts” on it?

–it’s critical to remember that “Larry” is but a ‘bot*, and apparently an increasingly-disfunctional ‘bot at that.

It can’t read. It can’t answer questions. It can only spew out whatever inanities were fed into it in the first place, presumably by some disgruntled IDiot who wanted to jerk our collective chain, but who didn’t want to actually have to keep coming back here to type (too intellectually challenging) or to monitor and respond to the inevitable challenges (too psychologically disturbing).

It’s now repeating itself, in its own inimitable mindless and m*r*nic fashion. It wasn’t, after all, designed by an intelligence. Like ID, in fact, it was just assembled, from off-the-shelf obsolete parts.

*(Note, for thread-moderators everywhere, I did not say that “Larry” was ‘bot a butt.)

Comment #65473

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 28, 2005 6:13 PM (e)

Maybe a lot of people want irreducible complexity to be taught because it makes scientific sense to them.

Maybe a lot of people want Flying Spaghetti Monsterism taught because it makes scientific sense to them. Too bad you can’t always get what you want, Larry.

Comment #65475

Posted by jim on December 28, 2005 6:13 PM (e)

Larry,

But as you know Judge Jones, Behe, Dembski, Johnson, Wells, etc. all agree that ID *IS* religion and there IS Constitutional Law providing for the separation of church and state.

I think you’d have to admit that the people that do think IC makes sense are NOT scientists. If you won’t admit this, then please provide us with one scientist’s name that agrees that IC makes scientific sense.

Comment #65477

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 6:38 PM (e)

Comment #65463
Posted by KL on December 28, 2005 05:38 PM

Larry wrote –
****Furthermore, Behe’s testimony did tremendous damage to other scientific criticisms of evolution theory, some of them having nothing to do with design, intelligent or otherwise.****

Which ones? What damage was done?

The Dover opinion says (page 138), “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.” (emphasis added) - from http://www.aclu.org/images/asset_upload_file577_…

The concept known as “specified complexity” will also be directly affected because it is also considered to be part of ID.

All non-ID scientific criticisms of evolution theory can be interpreted as “denigrating” or “disparaging” that theory and are therefore also banned by the judge’s decision. Some non-ID criticisms of evolution concern the following – (1) propagation of favorable mutations, (2) the mathematical probability of evolution, and (3) the co-evolution of two co-dependent organisms (this co-dependence is called “mutualism” )

Comment #65479

Posted by bill on December 28, 2005 6:45 PM (e)

Yikes, I’m beginning to miss Jon Davison!

How do you like them Larry-berries?

Comment #65483

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 6:50 PM (e)

Comment #65467
Posted by jim on December 28, 2005 05:50 PM

Larry,

You should know that Behe *also* that stated that belief in God was necessary to believe in ID/IC.

Did you know that Behe’s testimony agreed with Minnich, Dembski, Johnson, Wells, and many of the DI’s published materials that ID/IC is not scientific and is religiously motivated.

You should know that Judge Jones saw this information in *BOTH* the plaintiff’s and the defense’s evidence and testimony.

Larry let me repeat that, the DEFENSE admitted that ID/IC was NOT science and WAS religiously motivated. Now why do you think you know better than the “experts” on it?

The “experts” have their opinions and I have mine.

I am not responsible for what other people say. I am only responsible for what I say.

========================

“I’m from Missouri. You’ll have to show me.”
—- Willard Duncan Vandiver, US Congressman from Missouri

Comment #65485

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 6:55 PM (e)

Whether or not they are scientifically incorrect is often just a matter of opinion.

Reeeaaallllyyyyy. So scientific accuracy is just a matter of opinion? I’m willing to test that, are you?

Let’s have you declare your opinion that gravity is scietnifically inaccurate, then step off a bridge.

That’ll test your, uh, opinion pretty quickly, won’t it.

You are a liar, Larry. A dishonest, evasive, deceptive liar.

Comment #65486

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 6:59 PM (e)

or other scientific criticisms of evolution theory

There are no scientific criticisms of evolution. None. Not a one. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

There are a bunch of silly arguemnts amde by fundamentalists with religious objections to evolution.

None of them are accepted as valid by any biologist who works in the field.

None of them have ever been presented in any scientific journal, with any supporting experimental data.

None of them have changed one jot or tittle from the days when those same fundamentalists were trying to pass laws granting THE BIBLICAL GENESIS STORY “equal time” with evolution.

And Larry is flat-out lying to us when he says otherwise.

Comment #65487

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 7:01 PM (e)

Larry, are you gonna answer my goddamn questions, or aren’t you.

If you are just “presenting scientific evdience against evolution”, then what do you care whether there is a designer or not, and what do you care if other people accept the existence of a designer or not.

Oh, and if you are so fastidious about “science”, why aren’t you out there ranting and raving about the scientific controversies concerning geology or astronomy or chemistry? Why is it just “evolution” that gets your underwear all disarranged?

Wait, let me guess ———- it’s just MERE COINCIDENCE that (1) your target is exactly the same target as all those fundamentalist nutballs who have been attacking evolution for 150 years, (2) your arguments are precisely word for word the very same as theirs, and (3) when your ID pals tried to argue that they/your arguments were an “alternative scientific theory of ID” in court and lost, they suddenly changed their mind, decided that their/your arguments were NOT really an “alternative scientific theory of ID” after all, and are REALLY just “scientific arguments against evolution” that have nothing at all whatsoever to do with ID — and you instantly began parroting their new argument.

All just mere coincidence, right? No connection at all, right?

You are a liar, Larry. A deceptive, evasive, dishonest liar.

Comment #65488

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 28, 2005 7:02 PM (e)

At some point, it’s going to get around to being that time.

(That kindly stop re-booting the ‘bot time, I mean.)

In the meantime, though:
Son! (shrug) Son! (shrug) Son! (shrug) Son! (shrug)

Comment #65491

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 7:05 PM (e)

IC should get special treatment because a large part of the public wants it to get special treatment.

I see. So if a large part of the public want Holocaust denial or flat-earthism or even satanism to get special treatment, you’d have no problem with that … ?

Science isn’t decided by popular vote, Larry. (shrug)

Comment #65492

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 7:08 PM (e)

The “experts” have their opinions and I have mine.

And we should care about yours because …. . ?

Larry, when you get sick, do you recommend treatments to the doctor?

When your toilet breaks, do you recommend repair actions to your plumber?

Is there NO topic on which your, uh, highly educated and well-trained opinion isn’t better than everyone else’s?

(sigh)

In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon”.

Comment #65493

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 7:11 PM (e)

At some point, it’s going to get around to being that time.

(That kindly stop re-booting the ‘bot time, I mean.)

Ordinarily, I would agree. But Larry is a PERFECT example for all the lurkers of how IDers, uh, “think”. Larry is much more stupid about it than most, but he uses all the very same tried-and-true tactics that every IDer from Behe to Dembski does. He selectively ignores questions he doesn’t like, gives evasive nonresponsive answers, refuses to accept anything from any source that disagrees with him but accepte anything from any source that agrees with him, and lies, pervasively, repeatedly and deliberately.

I want every lurker out there to see Larry ina ction for as long as possible.

As I’ve always said, all you gotta do is let IDers talk long enough, and they shoot themselves in the head every single time.

Comment #65497

Posted by KL on December 28, 2005 7:31 PM (e)

Signing off here-I have had more rational arguments with a 13 year old.

One last question for Larry: Where were you “educated”? (i.e. where did you get your bachelors, masters, etc?) I want my students to avoid applying to any of your alma maters until I thoroughly check them out.

Comment #65499

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 7:44 PM (e)

One last question for Larry: Where were you “educated”? (i.e. where did you get your bachelors, masters, etc?) I want my students to avoid applying to any of your alma maters until I thoroughly check them out.

Larry is on AOL.

That tells you all you need to know. (shrug)

Comment #65501

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 28, 2005 7:48 PM (e)

I’ve always loved that “maroon” line, Lenny, and I have to agree that “Larry” is a particularly-deserving representative of the species: I’ve called him a “m*r*n” quite a few times myself, and he’s certainly been flaunting a “Kick My Stupid Heinie” sign ever since he got here.

But we’ve done the whole dance with him now at least three times over. Even the occasional lurkers have to be getting bored with this maroon by now.

I’m utterly anti-ban, but maybe we should have a limit of, oh, 150 comments per thread per troll, with appropriate exemptions for the truly entertaining ones, of course.

Which, sorry “Larry,” you’re not one of.

Comment #65502

Posted by jim on December 28, 2005 7:52 PM (e)

KL,

I’ve had more rational discussions with my 7-year old…

Comment #65503

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 28, 2005 7:53 PM (e)

I agree that this thread has jumped its shark, survived its porpoise. I’m done.

Comment #65504

Posted by KL on December 28, 2005 7:58 PM (e)

Yeah, I tried googling you Larry. What do you do for a living other than writing newspaper editors about confederate memorials?

http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2005/102005/1…

http://www.annistonstar.com/opinion/2005/as-lett…

http://www.alligator.org/pt2/051129letter2.php

And meteor showers?

http://lists.meteorobs.org/pipermail/meteorobs/2…

Is this all from you? What is your profession? I couldn’t find any professional sites for you.

Comment #65505

Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 7:58 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

All non-ID scientific criticisms of evolution theory can be interpreted as “denigrating” or “disparaging” that theory and are therefore also banned by the judge’s decision. Some non-ID criticisms of evolution concern the following — (1) propagation of favorable mutations, (2) the mathematical probability of evolution, and (3) the co-evolution of two co-dependent organisms (this co-dependence is called “mutualism” )

Nice strawman. But that is not what the Judge really said. When are you going to read the ruling?

Larry wrote:

I am not responsible for what other people say. I am only responsible for what I say.

I would not advertize this too widely…

Larry wrote:

The concept known as “specified complexity” will also be directly affected because it is also considered to be part of ID.

As with ID Specified Complexity is scientifically vacuous and religiously motivate. I thought we were going to discuss science… How familiar are you with ID’s arguments anyway? Could you explain the concept of specified complexity and how to apply it to a (non-trivial) biological example?

Thought so.

Comment #65506

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 28, 2005 8:00 PM (e)

Oh. Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what’s coming to you. I’ll bite your legs off! (*)

(*) Quoted with all due deference to T.O.’s legendary P.N.

Comment #65507

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 8:04 PM (e)

The part of my question that you snipped out, Larry ——— if you are just “presenting scientific evidence against evolution”, then what do you care whether there is a designer or not, and what do you care if other people accept the existence of a designer or not.

I never said that I cared.

Don’t bullshit us, Larry. God doesn’t like liars very much.

Oh, and if you are so fastidious about “science”, why aren’t you out there ranting and raving about the scientific controversies concerning geology or astronomy or chemistry? Why is it just “evolution” that gets your underwear all disarranged?

Where is it written that I may not criticize evolution theory unless I criticize other scientific theories at the same time? Your arguments are very strange.

Nice evasion. Now answer the goddamn question.

your arguments are precisely word for word the very same as theirs,

So it is wrong to have the same opinion as some other people?

Yes, Larry, it is — when you are trying desperately to argue that you are DIFFERENT from those other people.

You’re a duck, Larry. You quack the same quack that they do. Word for word.

when your ID pals tried to argue that they/your arguments were an “alternative scientific theory of ID” in court and lost, they suddenly changed their mind, decided that their/your arguments were NOT really an “alternative scientific theory of ID” after all, and are REALLY just “scientific arguments against evolution” that have nothing at all whatsoever to do with ID — and you instantly began parroting their new argument.

They are not my “pals.”

Then why do you shameless and brainlessly parrot everything they say, Larry. Too stupid to have an original thought of your own, are you?

And I have never argued that ID is an alternative scientific theory.

And the judge agreed, and banned ID. So what the heck is it you are bitching about? The judge agrees with you —- ID is not an alternative science and doesn’t belong in a science classroom. So what’s your complaint?

You are always putting words in my mouth.

Heck no. I leave it to Discovery Institute to do that.

Also, I am not responsible for what others say — I am only responsible for what I say.

Larry, you are an insignificant uneducated little nobody. No one *cares* what you say. Particularly when EVERYTHING you say is just brainlessly parroted from someone else. (shrug)

And there is nothing wrong with people changing their minds or their approach.

Um, Larry, changing your mind usually involves saying something that is, ya know, DIFFERENT than what you were saying before.

What, in your “scientific criticisms of evolution” is different in any way, shape or form from either ID or creation “science”.

There are NO “scientific challenges” to evolution. There is NO “scientific controversy” over evolution.

There are several scientific challenges to evolution. Irreducible complexity is only one of them.

The person who formulated and described IC, Behe, said it was a scientific theory of ID.

Was he lying when he said that? Or are you lying when you say, all of a sudden, that now IC is NOT a scientific theory of ID, but is just a scientific criticism of evolution?

Oh wait, let me guess ——— YOU know more about it than HE does, right?

You are a liar, Larry. An evasive deceptive dishonest liar.

It’s just coincidence, I suppose, that this switch comes right after the judge ruled that the “scientific theory of ID” cannot be taught. Just like it’s just coincidence that all of your arguments are word-for-word lifted straight from ID/creationist religious tracts.

Comment #65508

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 8:08 PM (e)

Yeah, I tried googling you Larry. What do you do for a living other than writing newspaper editors about confederate memorials?

http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2005/102005/1…

http://www.annistonstar.com/opinion/2005/as-lett…

http://www.alligator.org/pt2/051129letter2.php

And meteor showers?

http://lists.meteorobs.org/pipermail/meteorobs/2…

Ahhhh, so Larry is an uneducated redneck who thinks the wrong side won the Civil War.

Gee, what a surprise ….

Comment #65509

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 8:10 PM (e)

And Larry is too stupid to understand meteor showers ….

What REALLY causes them, Larry? The flying saucers, you silly.

Hey Larry, do you also think that flouridated water is a commie plot?

Comment #65510

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 8:13 PM (e)

But we’ve done the whole dance with him now at least three times over. Even the occasional lurkers have to be getting bored with this maroon by now.

I suppose. But it’s still fun from time to time to poke the monkey so we can watch it fling its poo wildly.

But I think Larry should go to a library (the big building with all the books in it) and read some fourth grade astronomy books until he understands “meteor showers”. (snicker) (giggle) BWA HA HA HA HA !!!

PLEASE, Larry PLEASE write as many letters as you can to every newspaper in Kansas and Ohio. PLEASE.

Comment #65512

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 28, 2005 8:33 PM (e)

One last point for any newbie lurkers who might stumble upon this thread: Larry’s arguments are not markedly worse than those of John West, Bill Dembski, Michael Behe, Salvador Cordova, or anyone else affiliated with the DI or TMLC.

Comment #65514

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 8:47 PM (e)

Comment #65491
Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 07:05 PM

Larry said –
****IC should get special treatment because a large part of the public wants it to get special treatment.****

I see. So if a large part of the public want Holocaust denial or flat-earthism or even satanism to get special treatment, you’d have no problem with that … ?

Well, if advocates of those ideas can persuade a school board to include the stuff in the curriculum, I say the more power to them.

As for me, I am not a Holocaust denier, but I am a Holocaust revisionist. I believe that the Jewish holocaust was exaggerated. A “systematic” Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no reliable way of identifying Jews and non-Jews. A fairly recent book titled “IBM and the Holocaust” by Edwin Black claimed that the Nazis identified all the Jews of Europe by using IBM Hollerith card-reading and card-sorting machines to cross-link data stored on billions of IBM Hollerith cards, but those primitive machines obviously had no such data-processing capability.

There is certainly a parallel between persecution of Holocaust deniers and persecution of evolution deniers. In Austria, you can be jailed for up to 20 years for denying the Holocaust.

Comment #65515

Posted by sir_toejam on December 28, 2005 8:53 PM (e)

man, haven’t you changed your batteries yet?

that’s right, larry, you’re a pink plush toy, beating on the same tin drum endlessly.

why do you persist?

the credits have rolled, man, go home already.

Comment #65516

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 28, 2005 8:54 PM (e)

I guess I spoke too soon. Yipes.

Comment #65522

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 28, 2005 9:25 PM (e)

Comment #65505 posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 07:58 PM

Larry wrote:

****All non-ID scientific criticisms of evolution theory can be interpreted as “denigrating” or “disparaging” that theory and are therefore also banned by the judge’s decision. Some non-ID criticisms of evolution concern the following — (1) propagation of favorable mutations, (2) the mathematical probability of evolution, and (3) the co-evolution of two co-dependent organisms (this co-dependence is called “mutualism” )*****

Nice strawman. But that is not what the Judge really said. When are you going to read the ruling?

I quoted the opinion’s conclusion word for word. If you have a different interpretation of the quote or if you feel I improperly took the quote out of context, please explain.

Larry wrote:

****I am not responsible for what other people say. I am only responsible for what I say.****

I would not advertize this too widely…

People are going to hold me responsible for what I say anyway. I just don’t want them to hold me responsible for what others say.

Larry wrote:

****The concept known as “specified complexity” will also be directly affected because it is also considered to be part of ID.****

As with ID Specified Complexity is scientifically vacuous and religiously motivate. I thought we were going to discuss science… How familiar are you with ID’s arguments anyway? Could you explain the concept of specified complexity and how to apply it to a (non-trivial) biological example?

I just happened to mention Specified Complexity because I saw it discussed in an article on intelligent design in the Wikipedia Online encyclopedia, which gives a non-biological example. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design I am not familiar with the arguments of SC. I don’t even know if it is scientific. Based on what I read about SC in Wikipedia, I think that there are much better criticisms of evolution theory.

Comment #65524

Posted by Tice with a J on December 28, 2005 9:35 PM (e)

Someone in this thread asked for a brief definition of irreducible complexity. I believe I can give a short definition of irreducibly complex structures in life forms: self-propagating structures that could not have arisen from simpler structures. It’s longer than 10 words, but I think it’s how IDers would describe examples of IC. The trouble is, there are no definite examples of such structures in real life. We can find explanations for every structure we find, and we can usually find examples of simpler structures building up to the present model in the fossil record. ID can be described scientifically, but the evidence necessary to validate it just doesn’t exist. Now, back to the banter:

Larry Fafarman wrote:

As for me, I am not a Holocaust denier, but I am a Holocaust revisionist. I believe that the Jewish holocaust was exaggerated. A “systematic” Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no reliable way of identifying Jews and non-Jews. A fairly recent book titled “IBM and the Holocaust” by Edwin Black claimed that the Nazis identified all the Jews of Europe by using IBM Hollerith card-reading and card-sorting machines to cross-link data stored on billions of IBM Hollerith cards, but those primitive machines obviously had no such data-processing capability.

Wrong, Larry. Some of the numbers may be exaggerated (I have heard that 4 million dead is a better estimate than 6 million), but there’s plenty of evidence for slaughter. Photos of captured camps, personal accounts, mass graves, confirm that there was slaughter. Also, the Nazis had very reliable ways of distinguishing Jews from non-Jews. They churned out anti-Semitic propaganda, restricted the freedom of Jews, and rewarded people who persecuted Jews, and soon no one wanted to be mistaken for a Jew and Jews in hiding were ratted out. Also, the computers back then were better than you think. They weren’t small or user-friendly, but they were plenty good at churning through punch cards.

Larry Fafarman wrote:

There is certainly a parallel between persecution of Holocaust deniers and persecution of evolution deniers. In Austria, you can be jailed for up to 20 years for denying the Holocaust.

Har har. In America, you can deny evolution and not only avoid jail time but still bring in several million dollars a year. Pat Robertson has claimed that God will not hear the prayers of those who do not reject evolution, and he enjoys great political influence. Of course, there is an interesting parallel between holocaust deniers and some evolution deniers: they tend to be violent racists. I wouldn’t want to be associated with such people. Why do you?

Comment #65525

Posted by jim on December 28, 2005 9:39 PM (e)

Larry, nope ID only has IC and SC.

Comment #65526

Posted by carol clouser on December 28, 2005 9:39 PM (e)

Paul Flocken,

(1) I don’t agree that PvM intended to type the word “scientifically (flawed)” again but was lazy enough not to do so. He can speak for himself and he chose not make that claim in his response. So who are you to read his mind better than himself?

(2) You state that “science is not in the business of finding ‘truth’, it is in the business of discovering the real world”. What kind of nonsense is this? Do you know what you yourself are saying? Sounds to me like you are saying that science is in the business of finding the truth about the real world. Which is just about what I was saying.

(3) You can throw your silly insults about “nutjobs” and the like, and spend your life analyzing the motivations of him, her, them and they, and it changes the bottom line not a tad. Study after study shows that more than half of americans think that life in all its diversity appeared suddenly a few thousand years ago. This is the result of the status quo in education, whose victory in Dover is being celebrating here. The elephant in the room of the High School Biology class is ID/creationism. Ignoring it has produced the result cited above. It needs to be discussed, confronted, evaluated and analyzed. Let science teacher do their job. ID is an idea. Ideas are not killed by courts, attacking its proponents, force, laws, governments, ridicule or ignoring them. Ideas can only be killed by better ideas.

(4) You don’t need to hypothesize about what I meant by “truth”, my meaning was clear and straightforward. You are now descending into the sewer with Lenny by adopting his tactics.

(5) Your question about methods other than science contributing to physics, for example, is ridiculous. Physics by definition is a branch of science. Why don’t you ask instead about the contribution of other methods to our knowledge of, for example, shapes and figures vs. the contribution of the scientific method. I would much rather see a convincing abstract mathematical proof than discover truths about shapes and figures via the scientific method. I think I can cite many more such examples.

Comment #65527

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 9:51 PM (e)

I am a Holocaust revisionist. I believe that the Jewish holocaust was exaggerated.

And you believe the wrong side won the Civil War.

No need to waste any more time with you, then, is there.

Go back to your fellow mouth-breathers in AOL.

Comment #65528

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 28, 2005 9:52 PM (e)

Carol typed:

Your question about methods other than science contributing to physics, for example, is ridiculous. Physics by definition is a branch of science.

So is biology. Deal with it.

Comment #65529

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 28, 2005 9:53 PM (e)

Carol, do you, or do you not, think that science should accept your religious opinions as “evidence”?

And, since both you and Heddle claim to be speaking on behalf og God, why is it you don’t say the same things? One of you says the New Testament is the word of God, one fo you says it ain’t.

How can we tell which of you is right?

And why should science give a flying fig about your religious opinions anyway?

Comment #65536

Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 11:40 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Larry wrote:

****All non-ID scientific criticisms of evolution theory can be interpreted as “denigrating” or “disparaging” that theory and are therefore also banned by the judge’s decision. Some non-ID criticisms of evolution concern the following — (1) propagation of favorable mutations, (2) the mathematical probability of evolution, and (3) the co-evolution of two co-dependent organisms (this co-dependence is called “mutualism” )*****

Nice strawman. But that is not what the Judge really said. When are you going to read the ruling?

I quoted the opinion’s conclusion word for word. If you have a different interpretation of the quote or if you feel I improperly took the quote out of context, please explain.

Nope, you ‘interpreted’ his statement and formulated a strawman. Read what the Judge actually said, rather than putting words in his mouth

Based on what I read about SC in Wikipedia, I think that there are much better criticisms of evolution theory.

Such as? Or is that another opinion lacking much supporting evidence let alone an argument?
Guess that you mention a lot of things which you quickly end up rejecting as bad examples, isn’t that the case Larry?

Comment #65538

Posted by N. Nerode on December 28, 2005 11:45 PM (e)

“It does not matter whether irreducible complexity has been proven to be valid or not, because many scientific concepts that are taught have not been proven to be valid.”

Read the finding of fact. The IC argument is falsifiable, yes – and it has been very thoroughly falsified. In addition, it’s never made a correct prediction.

I challenge you to name a “scientific concept that is taught” which has (a) been thoroughly falsified, and (b) has never made a correct prediction.

In fact there are very few falsified scientific concepts which are still taught at all. The only one I can think of is Newtonian mechanics, which is still taught because its predictions are *really close* to the current best theories, good enough for most situations – and because the current theories (Einstein’s relativity theory and quantum mechanics) are a lot more complicated and hard to use. And we admit all this to the students up front.

Comment #65540

Posted by sir_toejam on December 29, 2005 12:47 AM (e)

Physics by definition is a branch of science. Why don’t you ask instead about the contribution of other methods to our knowledge of, for example, shapes and figures vs. the contribution of the scientific method. I would much rather see a convincing abstract mathematical proof than discover truths about shapes and figures via the scientific method. I think I can cite many more such examples.

like, uh, your triangle example??

(I’m getting dusty rolling on the floor laughing from that one still)

Comment #65557

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 29, 2005 2:18 AM (e)

You know, I slap this idjit “Larry” goodbye, I hang up the computer, I go home, I cook dinner for and kick college life around with my son who’s home for the holidays, I go out for my own dinner with some friends and then, on my way back home, I drop by the office to pick up a file so I can be prepared for an appointment tomorrow, and I make the mistake of turning the computer back on to check my email.

And, Lo (that’s short for “Lord have mercy”!”), what do I find, but “Larry” still spewing away:

As for me, I am not a Holocaust denier, but I am a Holocaust revisionist. I believe that the Jewish holocaust was exaggerated.

(And, in the midst of all this, there’s Carol. Are you enjoying your ID-penpal “Larry” even more now, Carol?)

As I’ve stated here multiple times before, I’m utterly against banning anybody who has even one neuron to rub against itself, however misbegotten, deluded, or ignorant that neuron may be.

But do we really have to entertain “Holocaust revisionists” on a science blog?

If we have monkeys, how can there still be “Larry”s in the world?

Comment #65558

Posted by sir_toejam on December 29, 2005 2:25 AM (e)

that almost sounded like an insult to monkeys, not what you intended, I’m sure?

Comment #65561

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 29, 2005 2:37 AM (e)

No, absolutely no insult to the many intelligent monkeys I have personally known and had dinner with–or to any of their conspecifics, one and all–was implied.

What I meant was, if evolution is true, and monkeys and “Larry”s are somehow related by common descent, and there are plenty of intelligent and well-adapted and -evolved monkeys in the world, how could even one “Larry” have survived, survival-of-the-fittest wise? Shouldn’t evolution have left “him” fafar behind, man?

Of could “Larry” not be a ‘bot at all, but instead be the randomly-generated “product” of all those intelligent monkeys, trapped in medical testing facilities, bored out of their skulls, tippy-typing away while the lab assistants are dreaming their under-compensated lives away?

Comment #65562

Posted by sir_toejam on December 29, 2005 2:41 AM (e)

haven’t you ever hear the expression:

the exception proves the Larry, er rule?

Comment #65567

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 29, 2005 3:05 AM (e)

Comment #65475

Posted by jim on December 28, 2005 06:13 PM

Larry,

But as you know Judge Jones, Behe, Dembski, Johnson, Wells, etc. all agree that ID *IS* religion and there IS Constitutional Law providing for the separation of church and state.

I think you’d have to admit that the people that do think IC makes sense are NOT scientists. If you won’t admit this, then please provide us with one scientist’s name that agrees that IC makes scientific sense.

No, I don’t have to admit that. The Discovery Institute has a list of about 400 scientists and technologists who signed a letter expressing skepticism of evolution theory. I presume that at least some of those 400 think that IC makes scientific sense. See –
http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.ph…

ID’s much higher support from the general public than from scientists is often attributed to the general public’s alleged ignorance, but I think that a more important reason is that scientists are under great pressure to conform.

Comment #65568

Posted by Registered User on December 29, 2005 3:05 AM (e)

One last point for any newbie lurkers who might stumble upon this thread: Larry’s arguments are not markedly worse than those of John West, Bill Dembski, Michael Behe, Salvador Cordova, or anyone else affiliated with the DI or TMLC.

And Larry might actually be more honest than those stinkers because he at least admits that he’s sympathetic to the arguments of Holocaust deniers.

You ain’t lived until you spent the night drinking with West and Cordova, coming up with new terms for creationism, laughing about AIDS, and debunking the History Channel.

Good times.

Comment #65569

Posted by sir_toejam on December 29, 2005 3:08 AM (e)

Was that one of those mixers where you partied with Carol, RU?

Comment #65571

Posted by sir_toejam on December 29, 2005 3:12 AM (e)

The Discovery Institute has a list of about 400 scientists and technologists who signed a letter expressing skepticism of evolution theory

uh, Larry, did you know that AAAS has over 10000 members and they all signed a letter in support of evolutionary theory?

really, take a look at crank.net and look under the evolution category. You’ll find folks spouting ID there left and right.

you won’t find it on any science website.

because there is no science to it.

god your dense.

do you think you’re as dense as other creationists, or is your density unique?

Comment #65572

Posted by sir_toejam on December 29, 2005 3:15 AM (e)

btw, larry, scientology has far more followers than ID.

does that make it science?

your logic is so bad, it’s funny.

we’re all laughing AT you larry.

enjoying it?

if so, perhaps you should consider become a professional clown? I hear there is always a need for rodeo clowns.

Comment #65573

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 29, 2005 3:15 AM (e)

Urrghh.

The poor twit can’t even parse the DI’s frickin’ statement. That’s beyond m*r*nic.

Comment #65574

Posted by Registered User on December 29, 2005 3:16 AM (e)

Larry F.

I think that a more important reason is that scientists are under great pressure to conform.

Sure, unlike really devoted religious people who never worry about whether anyone is watching or listening to them.

Comment #65575

Posted by Registered User on December 29, 2005 3:18 AM (e)

Was that one of those mixers where you partied with Carol, RU?

The DI dudes don’t like to party with the ladies around.

Go figure.

Comment #65576

Posted by sir_toejam on December 29, 2005 3:19 AM (e)

lol

Comment #65577

Posted by sir_toejam on December 29, 2005 3:26 AM (e)

I have a new Larry theory:

I think he’s just a wanker who enjoys pulling our respective chains for the laughs.

nobody could be as dense as he is making himself out to be.

Comment #65578

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 29, 2005 3:38 AM (e)

Larry typed:

The Discovery Institute has a list of about 400 scientists and technologists who signed a letter expressing skepticism of evolution theory

I’m sure that the DI folks, and the 400 people on their list, will be very relieved to hear that they have a bona fide Holocaust denier stepping up to defend them. Almost as glad as they were when the Domino’s Pizza Legal Foundation went to court to defend ID in Dover.

Comment #65579

Posted by Lenny's Pizza Guy on December 29, 2005 3:47 AM (e)

Alexey, no! You know very well that no pizza foundation did any such thing!

I swan! Sometimes you PTers seem to forget which side of your pizza’s got the sauce on it!

Comment #65580

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 29, 2005 3:52 AM (e)

Comment #65536
Posted by PvM on December 28, 2005 11:40 PM

Larry said –

****I quoted the opinion’s conclusion word for word. If you have a different interpretation of the quote or if you feel I improperly took the quote out of context, please explain.****

Nope, you ‘interpreted’ his statement and formulated a strawman. Read what the Judge actually said, rather than putting words in his mouth.

I read what the judge actually said. He enjoined the school board from “requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution.” Teaching, discussing, or maybe even just mentioning any criticism of evolution theory could be interpreted as denigrating or disparaging that theory. I think that that is a reasonable interpretation of what the judge said.

Larry said –

****Based on what I read about SC in Wikipedia, I think that there are much better criticisms of evolution theory.****

Such as? Or is that another opinion lacking much supporting evidence let alone an argument?
Guess that you mention a lot of things which you quickly end up rejecting as bad examples, isn’t that the case Larry?

Sheeesh – give me a break. I only mentioned SC for the sake of completeness — I never indicated that I thought it was a good example. In fact, I implied the opposite – I said that I thought that there were much better examples.

I think that irreducible complexity is a better example. So far as I know, the other better examples I could think of do not have names. These other examples concern the following — (1) the propagation of favorable mutations, (2) the mathematical probability of evolution, and (3) co-evolution of two kinds of co-dependent organisms – e.g., bees and insect-dependent flowering plants.

Comment #65582

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 29, 2005 4:20 AM (e)

Comment #65568
Posted by Registered User on December 29, 2005 03:05 AM

One last point for any newbie lurkers who might stumble upon this thread: Larry’s arguments are not markedly worse than those of John West, Bill Dembski, Michael Behe, Salvador Cordova, or anyone else affiliated with the DI or TMLC.

And Larry might actually be more honest than those stinkers because he at least admits that he’s sympathetic to the arguments of Holocaust deniers.

I said I was a Holocaust revisionist, not a Holocaust denier. And my Holocaust-revisionist argument is completely different from anything I have seen on holocaust denial/revisionist websites. My argument is that a “systematic” Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no reliable ways to identify Jews and non-Jews. Maybe the Nazis did kill a lot of people, but maybe the number of Jews killed was exaggerated because the Nazis did not always have a good way to identify them. The point I am trying to make here is that a new way of looking at something can cast a whole different light on a subject. The alleged refutation of other Holocaust denial/revisionist theories/hypotheses does not necessarily mean that my new theory/hypothesis is not valid. I don’t want to get into a big argument here over the Holocaust – or a big argument with the ‘Rev. Dr.’ Lenny over whether the Confederacy was the Great Satan – because those subjects are not germane.

Comment #65583

Posted by Registered User on December 29, 2005 4:26 AM (e)

And my Holocaust-revisionist argument is completely different from anything I have seen on holocaust denial/revisionist websites.

Too fxckin funny.

Comment #65584

Posted by Registered User on December 29, 2005 4:29 AM (e)

Larry, could you do me a favor and finish one of your comments with a snappy tagline like “How do you like those brussel sprouts?”

That would make me feel really warm and fuzzy inside.

Comment #65585

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 29, 2005 4:42 AM (e)

Comment #65583
Posted by Registered User on December 29, 2005 04:26 AM

Larry said —

****And my Holocaust-revisionist argument is completely different from anything I have seen on holocaust denial/revisionist websites.*****

Too fxckin funny.

OK, smart-aleck, if you think it is so funny, why don’t you find a holocaust denial/revisionist website that addresses the issue of Jew identification.

A big fairly recent book that does address this issue is “IBM and the Holocaust” by Edwin Black. This book claims to have solved the mystery of how the Nazis identified all the Jews of Europe. I of course disagree with the book, but this forum is not an appropriate place to discuss the issue.

I am so busy answering ad hominem attacks that I hardly have time to address the real issues here. I guess that is part of the idea behind these ad hominem attacks.

Comment #65586

Posted by Alan Fox on December 29, 2005 4:43 AM (e)

Larry

This site has had an air of anti-climax lately, with the Dover case over. Thanks for injecting a new fun topic.

Comment #65587

Posted by PvM on December 29, 2005 4:56 AM (e)

Carol wrote:

1) I don’t agree that PvM intended to type the word “scientifically (flawed)” again but was lazy enough not to do so. He can speak for himself and he chose not make that claim in his response. So who are you to read his mind better than himself?

The context speaks for itself but yes, it is self evident that I meant scientifically flawed

Irreducible complexity has been shown to be inappropriately used to argue in favor for ID and has been shown to be scientifically severely flawed. Why should we teach a flawed idea? Or is Larry in favor of teaching any and all flawed idea?”

I also noticed Carol avoided my questions. Should I read something in her omission :-)

Comment #65602

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 29, 2005 7:48 AM (e)

I don’t want to get into a big argument here over the Holocaust — or a big argument with the ‘Rev. Dr.’ Lenny over whether the Confederacy was the Great Satan

I don’t blame you, Larry. After all, everyone ALREADY thinks you’re an uneducated nutter. No need to reinforce that, huh.

Some of your ID pals thinks that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, Larry. Do you agree with them? Some of your ID pals think Einstein was wrong about relativity — do you agree with them? Do you think the “scientific evdiecne against the Holocaust” should be taught? How about the “scientific evidence against viruses causing AIDS”? Do you think that history classrooms should teach your “alternative view” that the South was right in the Civil War? How about the “scientific evidence that slavery really wasn’t so bad after all”, do you think we should teach that?

Thanks for demonstrating so clearly to all the lurkers how utterly nutty you really are, Larry. I think they can safely ignore you from now on.

Comment #65604

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 29, 2005 7:50 AM (e)

My argument is that a “systematic” Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no reliable ways to identify Jews and non-Jews. Maybe the Nazis did kill a lot of people, but maybe the number of Jews killed was exaggerated because the Nazis did not always have a good way to identify them.

Carol, do you want to pipe in here?

I want to see just how big this “Big Tent” really is ……

Comment #65605

Posted by Stephen Elliott on December 29, 2005 7:52 AM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on December 29, 2005 04:42 AM (e) (s)

Comment #65583
Posted by Registered User on December 29, 2005 04:26 AM

Larry said —-

****And my Holocaust-revisionist argument is completely different from anything I have seen on holocaust denial/revisionist websites.*****

Too fxckin funny.

OK, smart-aleck, if you think it is so funny, why don’t you find a holocaust denial/revisionist website that addresses the issue of Jew identification.

A big fairly recent book that does address this issue is “IBM and the Holocaust” by Edwin Black. This book claims to have solved the mystery of how the Nazis identified all the Jews of Europe. I of course disagree with the book, but this forum is not an appropriate place to discuss the issue.

I am so busy answering ad hominem attacks that I hardly have time to address the real issues here. I guess that is part of the idea behind these ad hominem attacks.

Lets look at his part.

I am so busy answering ad hominem attacks that I hardly have time to address the real issues here. I guess that is part of the idea behind these ad hominem attacks.

Ad-hominem attacks?
Not had time to address the real issues?

Maybe you are under attack because you have been evasive dishonest and made no effort whatsoever to follow a link, learn something or present any real evidence for your opinions under attack.

And as for the list of 400. Have you read the statement they signed? It says nothing really controversial (or of much substance).

Have you read the statement signed by over 600 scientists called Steve, or the one signed by 10000 clergy? Those statements are far more rigidly presented.

I doubt you will read them. Or if you do I expect you to make another silly statement. Let me pre-empt you. “lists mean nothing” or maybe “They have their opinion and mine is better”

Comment #65639

Posted by AC on December 29, 2005 12:03 PM (e)

For the record, here is the statement that DI boasts 400 scientists signed off on:

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

Furthermore, several of those who signed off on the statement later regretted doing so, because they did not intend it to be a declaration of association with ID, the DI, etc. This is how the DI used the statement - not as a mere note of scientific dissent, but as a propoganda tool in a political struggle between a certain kind of religious belief and the contradictory findings of science.

Larry, this propoganda was intelligently designed to fool you. It worked because the DI knows its audience all too well. I reiterate my previous suggestion: raise your persuasion bar through learning.

And now for some miscellany:

Larry wrote:

…the Nazis had no reliable way of identifying Jews and non-Jews.

Do you really think something on the level of modern genetic screening would be necessary?

IC should get special treatment because a large part of the public wants it to get special treatment.
Maybe a lot of people want irreducible complexity to be taught because it makes scientific sense to them.
The “experts” have their opinions and I have mine.
Well, if advocates of those ideas can persuade a school board to include the stuff in the curriculum, I say the more power to them.

These are statements of misguided populism, and they are disturbingly tenacious in America. You may think you’re being a rebel, but you are merely one of countless people in American history who do not understand “all men are created equal”, “democracy”, etc. As a result, you become a slave to your ego and the dupe of postmodern scoundrels - to the point of becoming one yourself.

Carol wrote:

…a solid argument can be made that certain other approaches to the truth are in some important ways perhaps superior to and more powerful than the scientific one. Mathematics comes to mind. Philosophy in some ways too.

(emphasis mine)

Ah, that pesky final sentence: the last gap of God, eternal refuge of religion. I remind you that merely because the scientific method cannot be applied to a thing, one is rationally justified in pulling descriptions, explanations, etc. of that thing out of one’s ass.

Ideas can only be killed by better ideas.

And sometimes quite a lot of time is also needed. Remember, it’s soon to be 2006. God has been dead for centuries. But like light from a distant supernova, news of this event takes longer to reach some eyes than others.

Comment #65640

Posted by AC on December 29, 2005 12:07 PM (e)

Curses. That should read “one is not rationally justified”, of course.

Comment #65642

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 29, 2005 12:10 PM (e)

Larry typed:

The Discovery Institute has a list of about 400 scientists and technologists who signed a letter expressing skepticism of evolution theory

I replied:
I’m sure that the DI folks, and the 400 people on their list, will be very relieved to hear that they have a bona fide Holocaust denier stepping up to defend them. Almost as glad as they were when the Domino’s Pizza Legal Foundation went to court to defend ID in Dover.

Posted by “Lenny’s Pizza Guy” wrote:

Alexey, no! You know very well that no pizza foundation did any such thing!

I swan! Sometimes you PTers seem to forget which side of your pizza’s got the sauce on it!

Most of TMLC’s funding comes from Domino’s, and like Domino’s, the TMLC doesn’t sell anything that tastes like pizza. Unlike Domino’s, TMLC doesn’t deliver.

Comment #65651

Posted by Lenny's Pizza Guy on December 29, 2005 1:53 PM (e)

You’re right, I’m wrong. As most of us here know, I’m not really a corporate pizza kind of pizza guy, and I should have taken that into account, not to mention read more carefully.

Also, it was late, and you were being fairly consistently funny, as you often are. I skimmed the remark, assumed (ugh!) you were being funny again at the expense of pizza which, in my role of occasional pizza funny guy, I felt required an attempted-humorous rebuttal.

I wasn’t funny. You were, but of the kind where the truth cuts closest to the (funny) bone. Thanks for the riposte.

Comment #65655

Posted by carol clouser on December 29, 2005 2:11 PM (e)

Lenny,

I am reminded of the Talmudic dictum, “He who wrestles with a filthy one, becomes as filthy as him” (not a precise translation). So I will stay away from this thread. But something tells me you are thoroughly enjoying yourself here.

Comment #65663

Posted by gregonomic on December 29, 2005 2:53 PM (e)

carol clouser wrote:

I am reminded of the Talmudic dictum, “He who wrestles with a filthy one, becomes as filthy as him” (not a precise translation). So I will stay away from this thread.

Aw, give us a break carol. You’re not running away because you don’t want to get filthy, it’s because you’re a gutless wonder, who is afraid that, if she answers any of Lenny’s questions, she will end up looking as pig-ignorant as Larry.

Although, considering that all you’ve contributed to this discussion are a few passive-aggressive and sanctimonious insults, and some complaints about “foul language” and “ad hominem attacks”, you won’t really be missed.

Comment #65674

Posted by sir_toejam on December 29, 2005 3:17 PM (e)

larry spouts his “evidence” against evolutionary theory…

(1) the propagation of favorable mutations, (2) the mathematical probability of evolution, and (3) co-evolution of two kinds of co-dependent organisms — e.g., bees and insect-dependent flowering plants.

lol. Larry, spend less time on the internet and more time in school, eh?

all the things you just mentioned are things not only addressed by evolutionary theory, they are part and parcel of it.

but, since you seem slaved to your keyboard, why don’t you go here:

http://www.talkorigins.org/

or here:

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

and actually LEARN something about the theory you purport has so many crticisms??

Note that i really post these links for all the lurkers curious about your intractable behavior, as i don’t expect you ever will try to learn anything.

You’re one of those folks who think knowledge is a dangerous thing, better to stay ignorant.

oh, and get me that soda, would ya?

Comment #65676

Posted by sir_toejam on December 29, 2005 3:24 PM (e)

And my Holocaust-revisionist argument is completely different from anything I have seen on holocaust denial/revisionist websites

uh oh, isn’t thinking you have a unique and special theory one of the signs of a true crank?

can someone do a quick calculation to see how well Larry places on the crank list please?

Comment #65725

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 29, 2005 6:39 PM (e)

My argument is that a “systematic” Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no reliable ways to identify Jews and non-Jews. Maybe the Nazis did kill a lot of people, but maybe the number of Jews killed was exaggerated because the Nazis did not always have a good way to identify them.

Carol, do you want to pipe in here?

I want to see just how big this “Big Tent” really is …

I am reminded of the Talmudic dictum, “He who wrestles with a filthy one, becomes as filthy as him” (not a precise translation). So I will stay away from this thread.

Wow, Carol, that certainly is one HELL of a Big Tent, if both Jews and Nazi apologists can comfortably stand next to each other inside it ….

Is ID really **THAT** important to you, Carol? Really?

How sad.

I think you need to choose better friends, Carol.

Comment #65775

Posted by Tice with a J on December 29, 2005 10:27 PM (e)

Larry Fafarman wrote:

I said I was a Holocaust revisionist, not a Holocaust denier. And my Holocaust-revisionist argument is completely different from anything I have seen on holocaust denial/revisionist websites. My argument is that a “systematic” Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no reliable ways to identify Jews and non-Jews. Maybe the Nazis did kill a lot of people, but maybe the number of Jews killed was exaggerated because the Nazis did not always have a good way to identify them. The point I am trying to make here is that a new way of looking at something can cast a whole different light on a subject. The alleged refutation of other Holocaust denial/revisionist theories/hypotheses does not necessarily mean that my new theory/hypothesis is not valid.

No reliable way? Hardly. Racism is a powerful force. Such racism had been prevalent in Europe for hundreds of years. The Jews were strongly resented by a few, and as a result they were marked as different. By the time the Nazis came along, antisemitism was an established tradition. Furthermore, the Nazis did not just start slaughtering Jews one day. They introduced institutional racism gradually, singling out Germans as best and Jews as worst. Enough people were receptive to the idea of racial segregation for it to take hold. Some Jews could have passed as non-Jewish, but the thing is, people knew they were Jewish. Word got out. Those that survived were the ones that hid completely, and it’s hard to do that for long.
Those of us who haven’t lived in ultra-racist environments don’t know how lucky we are.

Comment #71883

Posted by Ed Darrell on January 14, 2006 6:00 PM (e)

Holocaust “revisionist?”

Any time one runs into people who refuse to acknowledge the world as it is, or other forms of reality, one needs to be prepared.

For holocaust revisionists, one needs to remember the case of Mermelstein vs. the Institute for Historical Review. In that case the courts of California took judicial note of the fact of the holocaust. In other words, the court ruled that the evidence is so thick, heavy and convincing, that anyone contesting it is wasting the court’s time. The holocaust is a judicially recognized fact.

Beware those who deny it.

Comment #71896

Posted by steve s on January 14, 2006 7:16 PM (e)

I’ve mentioned before that creationists often have a Second Denial. Phil johnson believes in evolution denial and HIV denial. Marshall Hall doesn’t believe in Darwinism or Copernicanism. Charlie Wagner denies evolution and modern cardiology.

So Larry, believing in ID and holocaust denial, fits right in.

Comment #82628

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