Reed A. Cartwright posted Entry 1759 on December 13, 2005 03:32 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1754

With the appeal of the Cobb County disclaimer sticker being heard on Thursday, the Discovery Institute is trying to spin the case. Their spin contains obvious lies.

“Contrary to claims from the ACLU, the district court judge actually ruled that the sticker fulfilled a legitimate secular purpose,” said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute.

I’m not going to beat around the bush. West is lying. As I documented earlier in the year, Judge Cooper in no way found that the sticker fulfilled a secular purpose. Judge Cooper ruled that the board had legitimate secular purposes, but he also ruled that the sticker did not fulfill those purposes, e.g.

the Sticker appears to have the purpose of furthering critical thinking because it tells students to approach the material on evolution with an open mind, to study it carefully, and to give it critical consideration. The other language on the Sticker, which states that evolution is a theory and not a fact, somewhat undermines the goal of critical thinking by predetermining that students should think of evolution as a theory when many in the scientific community would argue that evolution is factual in some respects.

(Selman v Cobb p24)

the Sticker also has the effect of undermining evolution education to the benefit of those Cobb County citizens who would prefer that students maintain their religious beliefs regarding the origin of life.

(Selman v Cobb p38)

See “For every setback, spin spin spin.” for more information.

Of course Casey Luskin can’t help but raise the polemics:

The decision is dangerous to democracy and has chilling implications for the free speech rights of scientists, educators, and citizens who are skeptical of Darwin’s theory. It needs to be overturned.

No one’s free speech is at stake here. The Cobb County School District and the Cobb County School Board are being sued in the case. Since both are entities of the government, neither have free speech rights. Private citizens do have free speech rights, and the only private citizens in this case are Jeff Selman and the other plaintiffs. Only in tin-foil-hat-land would the question of Selman v. CCSD affect the free speech of anti-evolutionists.

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Comment #62684

Posted by BWE on December 13, 2005 4:36 PM (e)

Y’know, not to get to political or anything, but isn’t that a tactic (originally called “the big lie” maybe) that is being used to push pretty much all of america’s national agenda?

Comment #62686

Posted by James Taylor on December 13, 2005 4:44 PM (e)

BWE wrote:

Y’know, not to get to political or anything, but isn’t that a tactic (originally called “the big lie” maybe) that is being used to push pretty much all of america’s national agenda?

Yes. It is now the central pillar of the GOP platform and the reason I recanted my party membership. Lies are now okay and no longer immoral when religion or politics are involved.

Comment #62689

Posted by Ed Darrell on December 13, 2005 5:11 PM (e)

Luskin needs a legal education. It’s intelligent design that is a danger to democracy, asking to skip all the legitimate and productive hurly-burly of research and publication, to get a free pass into legitimacy, to bump legitimate science out of the kids’ schoolbooks and heads.

Truth wins in a fair fight, Ben Franklin said. That’s why we have evidence rules in federal courts, and that is also why creationism tends to lose cases in federal courts so handily.

Judge Overton noted in 1982 that the doors to the science classroom are not barred to legitimate science. If Luskin finds the doors barred, that’s a comment on what he’s pushing, and not a knock at all on the open, free and democratic methods of science.*

* Oh, yeah, I know: To the bizarre claim from creationists that non-scientists ought to get to vote on what science is, people supporting science often say ‘science is not a democracy.’ But that’s not really fair to democracy, or to science. To the extent that any person gets a hearing in science so long as that person has real data, science is very much a democracy, as opposed to a monarchy, or a hierarchy, or an oligarchy. Just as in our constitutional system the rights of the lowest citizen are equal before the law to those of the highest citizen, so any fact in science is equal to any other fact. Again, that creationism cannot cut it in this free-market of science ideas is commentary on the lack of real ideas in creationism.

Comment #62693

Posted by Dan Hocson on December 13, 2005 5:20 PM (e)

I agree with Ed. Rather than “science is not a democracy”, I prefer “science is not a popularity contest”.

Comment #62695

Posted by limpidense on December 13, 2005 5:36 PM (e)

Yeah, it’s the sort of bald-faced lie favored by the current fragile, hollow charicatures who regurgitate, again and again and again, the indigestible remains of what was once a vibrant and honest, if simply wrong, Creationism, but, as a philosophical question, is West (like Luskin, Dembski, etc.) a liar?
We have ample evidence on this forum, and even more in the ‘Comments’ section of talk.origins, that these people are like members of a cult and simply unable to comprehend information at odds, in the slightest way, with the fantasies sold by the masters of the cult (and their more cynical henchmen.)

If he, as are very many “creationists,” are honestly unaware of what a lie is, and why such lies are counterproductive even to themselves, I can only describe him as ill: far more than is typical (if they chose any other idiocy, they would simply be ignored as the obvious cranks they are.)
I do not wish to have them cured against what they would claim is their will, but their delusions cannot be allowed to have power over others, especially given the aims, venal and yet often nearly inhuman, of the leaders of these false cults.

Comment #62697

Posted by BWE on December 13, 2005 5:41 PM (e)

But the point that they are lying to claim victory goes beyond that. DOesn’t it demonstrate a degree of desparation? I am reminded of a brilliant young professor at MIT. The scientific community does not tolerate lying. It is the antithesis of science.

However, a little colorful speculation over some particular fundementalist’s closet gay sex with animals or history of crime isn’t without some merit.

Comment #62698

Posted by BWE on December 13, 2005 5:43 PM (e)

Dembski makes big money off this remember. I’d lie and make a fool of myself for a couple hundred bucks an hour.

Comment #62701

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 13, 2005 6:35 PM (e)

“Contrary to claims from the ACLU, the district court judge actually ruled that the sticker fulfilled a legitimate secular purpose,” said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute.

No he didn’t. What he said was that EVEN IF IT DID, it STILL wouldn’t pass constitutional muster.

In many ways, the Cobb County case is even more lethal to ID/creationism than the Dover case will be. In Cobb, the judge ruled that EVEN IF he granted a secular purpose for the law, it STILL failed Constitutional tests, was STILL religiously motivated, and STILL acted to grant government support to religion.

I.e., it doesn’t matter WHAT “secular purpose” the IDers dream up for all their anti-evolution bills ——- the net effect is STILL to advance religion, and that is unconstitutional.

I can see why DI is trying so hard to spin this decision. It is utterly lethal to them, and they know it.

Comment #62702

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 13, 2005 6:37 PM (e)

Some thoughts I had on the Cobb County case, immediately after the decision was made (I think all of them are still quite relevant to ID/creationism):

http://www.geocities.com/lflank/cobbcase.htm

Comment #62707

Posted by BWE on December 13, 2005 6:41 PM (e)

http://www.tektonics.org/af/flanksteak.html
Have you seen this?

Comment #62710

Posted by BWE on December 13, 2005 6:52 PM (e)

I think I would have gone with the simpler,

“we used to think magic made things happen but gradually we have come to understand that the universe is a closed system which obeys natural laws. Therefor all mythological propositions proposing magic or divine events, Christianity included, are relics of a different age where gods and magic created and influenced our universe in a personal way and as such are not useful as explanations for origins anymore.”

Comment #62713

Posted by CJ O'Brien on December 13, 2005 6:56 PM (e)

*YAWN* This ain’t news.
Wake me up when those fools TELL THE TRUTH.

Comment #62715

Posted by Tice with a J on December 13, 2005 7:09 PM (e)

BWE, that commentary was one of the most obnoxious things I’ve ever read. I want to grab the writer by the collar and scream “Stop trying to convince me by beating me over the head with a stick!”

The author does manage to raise a couple of good points, though: poking at the Bible is not the way to fight this fight. There are better ways to do this. See my new favorite web page:
http://koning.ecsu.ctstateu.edu/religion/scifaith.html

I believe the Bible to be divinely inspired (except for the Song of Solomon, which really has no place in there), and I believe there are better ways to undermine the legitimacy of their core document. Undermining their small-minded interpretation is the way to go.

And for the record:
“We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.”
I thought that was a JOKE. I thought it was from The Onion. I think I shall go weep now.

Comment #62717

Posted by Moses on December 13, 2005 7:17 PM (e)

Comment #62684

Posted by BWE on December 13, 2005 04:36 PM (e) (s)

Y’know, not to get to political or anything, but isn’t that a tactic (originally called “the big lie” maybe) that is being used to push pretty much all of america’s national agenda?

Which is why many moderate, socially-progressive Republicans such as myself have left the Republican Party.

Comment #62724

Posted by A. L. R. on December 13, 2005 7:34 PM (e)

93% OT, but on a site that rightfully prides itself on being anti-quote-mining I have to wonder how many persons referencing “The Big Lie” would continue to do so if they were aware of its provenance.

Comment #62726

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 13, 2005 7:40 PM (e)

http://www.tektonics.org/af/flanksteak.html
Have you seen this?

Yep. They’re entitled to whatever religious opinions they like. (shrug)

Comment #62729

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 13, 2005 7:42 PM (e)

Which is why many moderate, socially-progressive Republicans such as myself have left the Republican Party.

Wrong move. I encourage everyone to STAY in the GOP and do whatever you need to do to take it back from the nutters. And yes, that means actively working AGAINST fundie candidates — and if that means the Republicats losing a whole bunch of elections, then so be it.

Comment #62733

Posted by Dean Morrison on December 13, 2005 7:56 PM (e)

http://www.tektonics.org/af/flanksteak.html
Have you seen this?

Yep. They’re entitled to whatever religious opinions they like. (shrug)

what was their point about the miraculous ‘talking donkey’ exactly Lenny?

Comment #62734

Posted by Dean Morrison on December 13, 2005 7:58 PM (e)

sorry .. no don’t answer - lets not derail the thread..

Comment #62739

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on December 13, 2005 8:36 PM (e)

93% OT, but on a site that rightfully prides itself on being anti-quote-mining I have to wonder how many persons referencing “The Big Lie” would continue to do so if they were aware of its provenance.

It made its debut in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, where he accused Jews influencing the press of misinforming people concerning Germany’s performance in World War I.

Comment #62740

Posted by BWE on December 13, 2005 8:42 PM (e)

The problem with staying in the republican party is that, f’rinstance, you feel like government should not spend more than it brings in, well, that’s become a plank of the democrats; or say you think that government should stay out of our homes, well, that’s become a plank of the dems; or say that you believe that business should have a level playing field to encourage better and more efficient ways of doing some things, well, you get the point. What exactly is it we think is ok about the GOP now?

I know this seems off topic but I think it isn’t. If the GOP wants to have it so that we believe without evidence and the fundies want the same thing, and they are both lying -I understand that referencing the big lie is a reference to nazi germany but the tactic seems to work for those who employ it so it has broken that particular constraint.

It’s all part and parcel. Halliburton, Discovery Institute, 10 commandments, Dover, Barrick Gold, big oil Scooter libby (what’s up with that? sheesh) Tom DeLay et al.

Comment #62741

Posted by Norman Doering on December 13, 2005 8:57 PM (e)

The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding. -Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Comment #62742

Posted by Tice with a J on December 13, 2005 8:59 PM (e)

93% OT, but on a site that rightfully prides itself on being anti-quote-mining I have to wonder how many persons referencing “The Big Lie” would continue to do so if they were aware of its provenance.

I believe the term for that is “argument ad nazium”. Besides, Hitler knew all about big lies, having told a few himself, so why shouldn’t we consult him on the subject of lies and propaganda?

Comment #62745

Posted by k.e. on December 13, 2005 9:20 PM (e)

Tice with a J said
“so why shouldn’t we consult him on the subject of lies and propaganda?”

You should at least have a good look, particularly Goebbels’ speeches, the surprising thing is that the more things change, the more things stay the same. A fatalistic tautology promoted by Religion and politicians who hate truth and use every one of Goebbels’ simple tricks for manipulation of modern society.

Comment #62746

Posted by BWE on December 13, 2005 9:25 PM (e)

The thing is that when you know it is a lie it is anathema to accept it. But, the other side of the education divide thinks it’s us that’r lying.

Comment #62749

Posted by BWE on December 13, 2005 9:34 PM (e)

I feel like Zorro

Comment #62756

Posted by Arden Chatfield on December 13, 2005 11:56 PM (e)

Wrong move. I encourage everyone to STAY in the GOP and do whatever you need to do to take it back from the nutters. And yes, that means actively working AGAINST fundie candidates —- and if that means the Republicats losing a whole bunch of elections, then so be it.

I disagree. I think people who cannot morally agree with the GOP should simply leave the GOP and start voting Democrat. After 5 years of the Bush/Cheney/Rove/Rumsfeld/DeLay/Dobson cesspool, the Republican party is beyond redemption. They don’t deserve saving.

Comment #62757

Posted by kay on December 14, 2005 12:22 AM (e)

Eh, I keep telling people that I would be a Republican if there was still a Republican party… (Mostly for me it’s the ‘personal responsibility’ thing).

What can the fundies do to win right now? A thought I had was, they might relent the pressure for a while, then hit (stickers, new ‘science’ standards, whatever) simultaneously across a number of states. Then proclaim loud and clear, “see we are in the majority, this is a real issue”.

Seriously, what’s a possible plan for these people?

Comment #62759

Posted by Norman Doering on December 14, 2005 2:08 AM (e)

Arden Chatfield wrote:

I think people who cannot morally agree with the GOP should simply leave the GOP and start voting Democrat.

And if you can’t be a Democrat – consider creating a new political party or dragging the Liberterians more into the position you thought Republicans should occupy.

Comment #62760

Posted by Norman Doering on December 14, 2005 2:15 AM (e)

kay wrote:

Seriously, what’s a possible plan for these people?

Fundies could take over the military and then take over the government by military coup.

http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/InfiltratingTheUSMilitaryGenBoykinsWarriors.html

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/aug2005/mart-a09.shtml

Comment #62768

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 14, 2005 8:15 AM (e)

Fundies could take over the military and then take over the government by military coup.

Or, they could just get elected.

Comment #62773

Posted by Dean Morrison on December 14, 2005 8:50 AM (e)

BWE wrote:

The thing is that when you know it is a lie it is anathema to accept it. But, the other side of the education divide thinks it’s us that’r lying.

Evidence that Fundies think that evolution is “The Big Lie” can be found in this rather amusing Jack Chick cartoon about evolution:
“Big Daddy”
It’s at the bottom if you don’t want to plough through the drivel.

Comment #62776

Posted by A. L. R. on December 14, 2005 9:57 AM (e)

It made its debut in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, where he accused Jews influencing the press of misinforming people concerning Germany’s performance in World War I.

Indeed. Mr. Hitler then goes on to explain, immediately after using the phrase “big lie” to describe not Naziism but in fact to describe the “media-manipulating” Jews within his scurrilous antisemitic conspiracy theory, that it is no surprise that the Jews would lie on such a scale: for after all, the Real Big Lie of Judaism is the claim that it is a religion when in fact it is a race.

Ugly, ugly business. I just rarely get the sense that contemporaries using the “big lie” locution really mean to compare e.g. George Bush to “the vile, slanderous Jewish race”, nor do I think they realize which space in the two-part analogy that leaves the speaker to occupy. Such are the perils of quoting without first consulting the context.

Comment #62777

Posted by rdog29 on December 14, 2005 10:04 AM (e)

Comparing the antics of the recent Republican party leadership to Nazi Germany are not entirely inappropriate.

The political hijacking of science (Global Warming, evolution, what’s next?); “enemy combatants”; faulty or outright false information as a pretext for launching an invasion. Just for starters.

And is it just me, or is Karl Rove the most despicable political figure since Josef Goebbels?

Comment #62781

Posted by Tice with a J on December 14, 2005 10:41 AM (e)

Evidence that Fundies think that evolution is “The Big Lie” can be found in “Big Daddy”

WTF? Gluons = Jesus? Say what you will about anything else in that pamphlet, I submit that line about the fundamental forces is the dumbest thing in that pamphlet, and a candidate for the dumbest thing Jack Chick has ever said. It’s got a lot of competition for the latter title, but I think Mr. Chick’s little foray into Intelligent Quantum Design is about as low as he gets.

Comment #62782

Posted by CC on December 14, 2005 10:47 AM (e)

For data on the efficacy of tin hats: MIT-Study.

Comment #62785

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

No matter the original source, the method of making a lie so big that it needs to be attacked on a point-by-point basis thus making it difficult to attack the overarching lie is a method that was in fact used by Nazi Germany and also by our current administration and also by the ID crowd. ID is wrong because it isn’t right. But we are often reduced to debating the minutia of “specified complexity” or whatever only to find that we are chasing a moving target. Whatever we say, IDers make claims that make forays into the creationist realm and when attacked for the lie, they retreat to the big bang -of which evolution makes no claims.

Comment #62786

Posted by BWE on December 14, 2005 11:32 AM (e)

CHick directs us to Dr. Dino for evidence that religion isn’t illegal in schools. :)

Comment #62787

Posted by AC on December 14, 2005 11:39 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #62788

Posted by AC on December 14, 2005 11:41 AM (e)

Tice with a J wrote:

WTF? Gluons = Jesus?

That doesn’t surprise me. Quantum theory is very popular with mystics. The irony lost on them is that there’s nothing mystical about it.

Heh. Jesons.

Comment #62789

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on December 14, 2005 11:45 AM (e)

Ooh! Ooh! Here it is! What you’ve all benn waiting for: Proof of Intelligent Design, courtesy of minister Steve McClure.
.
Try not to laugh too hard.

Comment #62792

Posted by BWE on December 14, 2005 12:02 PM (e)

Life on earth is also a complicated dance between orbiting stars and planets, all carefully choreographed by an intelligent Choreographer.
Another convincing proof is the fact that there are similarities between species, which would be expected if they were all designed by the same Designer.

My personal favorites from that article.

Comment #62794

Posted by uberhobo on December 14, 2005 12:09 PM (e)

McClure wrote:

Sixth, intelligent design is generally consistent with the greatest book ever written.

From what I understand of my literal readings of Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion, Middle-Earth was hand-crafted by a single god and many demi-gods, but I don’t really see what that has to do with the point he’s trying to make here.

Comment #62795

Posted by jim on December 14, 2005 12:11 PM (e)

In fact there is a designer.

Only it isn’t supernatural or intelligent.

It is the fact that since life has been around for so long, only those species successful at reproducing are still around for us to see.

Design, yes. They’re designed to reproduce.

Intelligence has not been observed as an agent in this process yet.

Comment #62798

Posted by argy stokes on December 14, 2005 12:27 PM (e)

AC wrote:

Heh. Jesons.

Actually, they’re Jebons:

http://johnnylogic.crumpled.com/2005/06/quantum-christodynamics.html

Comment #62801

Posted by k.e. on December 14, 2005 12:41 PM (e)

Is it just me or do the JC comics have a distinctly Semitic vs Aryan tone?

Comment #62810

Posted by steve s on December 14, 2005 1:00 PM (e)

Yeah, it’s not just you.

Comment #62819

Posted by BWE on December 14, 2005 1:11 PM (e)

In the absence of such evidence, the proof is strong…

Third, I find it more than a little convincing that nearly all scientists agree that there had to be a specific point in time when there was a beginning.

See what I mean about the big lie? You have to dissect it. I mean, duh! Yeah, I’d wonder about those who disagreed

Comment #62828

Posted by steve s on December 14, 2005 1:32 PM (e)

More awful quotes from the Discovery Institute’s John West, who apparently is in charge of the Center For Lying All The Time:

“If it’s unconstitutional to tell students to study evolution with an open mind, then what’s not unconstitutional?” said John West, a senior fellow with the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that supports intelligent design, the belief that the universe is so complex it must have been created by a higher power. “The judge is basically trying to make it unconstitutional for anyone to have a divergent view, and we think that has a chilling effect on free speech.”

from this article: http://wireservice.wired.com/wired/story.asp?section=Breaking&storyId=1130776&tw=wn_wire_story

Comment #62829

Posted by The Sanity Inspector on December 14, 2005 1:35 PM (e)

Cobb County may throw in the towel if they lose tomorrow, according to this news story.

Comment #62838

Posted by shenda on December 14, 2005 2:14 PM (e)

Reed A. Cartwright wrote:

“I’m not going to beat around the bush. West is lying. As I documented earlier in the year, Judge Cooper in no way found that the sticker fulfilled a secular purpose. Judge Cooper ruled that the board had legitimate secular purposes, but he also ruled that the sticker did not fulfill those purposes,”

I do believe you are wrong here. While the ruling covers a lot of ground, the final paragraph that contains the ruling on the first prong of the Lemon Test states:

“Therefore, after considering the additional arguments and evidence presented by the parties and evaluating the evidence in light of the applicable law, the Court remains convinced that the Sticker at issue serves at last two secular purposes. First, the Sticker fosters critical thinking by encouraging students to learn about evolution and to make their own assessment regarding its merit. Second, by presenting evolution in a manner that is not unnecessarily hostile, the sticker reduces offense to students and parents whose beliefs may conflict with the teaching of evolution. For the foregoing reasons, the Court concludes that the Sticker satisfies the first prong of the Lemon analysis.”

From http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/cobb/selman-v-cobb.html

Reed,this is a very clear ruling the sticker does pass the secular purpose prong. Unless I am mistaken here, you should retract your statement that Mr. West is lying on *this particular issue*.

Please let me know if I misread the ruling.

Sincerely,

Shenda

Comment #62839

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on December 14, 2005 2:22 PM (e)

Shenda,

Yes, the actions of the board passed the purpose prong. However, Judge Cooper’s opinion makes it very clear that although the board had secular reasons for improving education, the sticker doesn’t actually improve education. It doesn’t fulfill their purpose. This is why it failed on the effect prong.

There is more discussion on this in the January post that I linked to.

–Reed

Comment #62846

Posted by Chris Booth on December 14, 2005 2:49 PM (e)

Note [k.e. and steve s] that the “good guy”, the creationist in the “JC comic”, is the only blond character in the cartoon sequence.

BTW, I volunteered teaching an ESL class for 19 years. I used literature as the text, and the last ten years that I taught I used James Joyce’s Ulysses. The class was pretty free-form with many side discussions on many side topics. I remember once a Moslem student telling me/the class that the Koran was the only consistent and unchanging source of knowlege; that science was always changing and so not truth, but the Koran and its interpretations were unchanging; and as he got worked up along these lines and got carried away, he blurted out the ultimate authorisation of the Koran’s prescience and truth: that quantum mechanics is described in the Koran. I exchanged looks with another student, a retired Soviet physicist, and changed the subject back to Ulysses and English. On another ocassion the same guy had asked me why “intellectuals” in the U.S. don’t like to discuss religion or to engage in dialogues with those whose position was religious (he felt that this had been his experience); well, because of nonsense like that. [Ahem. Science is science, and the same science, whatever religion–or lack thereof–that one might be. One’s airplane flies or electric appliance works regardless of one’s religion, nationality, color, native language, economic status, political empowerment, etc. A handheld GPS unit could guide one on a Hadj, a pilgrimage to the Vatican, a tour of the Long March route, a trip to a colorful district of Amsterdam, or back to a fossil bed noted but not examined in last year’s expedition; but that GPS unit would not work if Einstein was a fraud or Relativity errant or astronomers/astrophysicists/cosmologists/physicists incorrect along the way, or the engineering based on their science incorrect along the way. Whereas, each of the religions’ absolutes are null and void for each other religion. I doubt that very many Christian fundamentalists would have much sympathy with the idea that the Koran is the greatest book ever written and has exclusive and absolute divine insight into questions of current cutting-edge science; nor do I think that many fundamentalist Muslims would find JC comics or Steve McClure’s essay quite acceptable, either. Etc. Non-fundamentalists in the respective religions might have sympathy or pity for the errors of the others’ Ways, but would see themselves as righter anyway.]

Comment #62851

Posted by Corkscrew on December 14, 2005 3:04 PM (e)

My favourite bit from that “proof” of intelligent design:

McClure wrote:

mammals to whales

Do you think someone should point out that whales are mammals?

Comment #62854

Posted by shenda on December 14, 2005 3:07 PM (e)

Hello Reed,

Thank you for your response.

However, I still assert that you are wrong in calling Mr. West a liar *on this particular issue*.

You quote Mr. West as stating:

““Contrary to claims from the ACLU, the district court judge actually ruled that the sticker fulfilled a legitimate secular purpose,” said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute.”

Unless he is misrepresenting the ACLU’s claims, this is a factual statement.

“….the Court remains convinced that the Sticker at issue serves at last two secular purposes” and “For the foregoing reasons, the Court concludes that the Sticker satisfies the first prong of the Lemon analysis.” http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/cobb/selman-v-cobb.html

You also stated:

“I’m not going to beat around the bush. West is lying. As I documented earlier in the year, Judge Cooper in no way found that the sticker fulfilled a secular purpose. Judge Cooper ruled that the board had legitimate secular purposes, but he also ruled that the sticker did not fulfill those purposes, e.g.”

Unfortunately, you are incorrect here. Your emphasis on the word “fulfilled” is, IMO, disingenuous and misrepresents the ruling. The ruling clearly states that the sticker “serves” a secular purpose, and “satisfies” this prong. “Fulfill” is not used in the paragraph ruling on the first prong. Nor is it used in the ruling paragraph on the effect and entanglement prongs:

“In sum, the Sticker in dispute violates the effects prong of the Lemon test and justice O’Connor’s endorsement test, which the Court has incorporated into it Lemon analysis. Adopted by the school board, funded by the money of taxpayers, and inserted by school personnel, the Sticker conveys an impermissible message of endorsement and tells some citizens that they are political outsiders while telling others that they are political insiders. Regardless of whether teachers comply with the Cobb County School District’s regulation on theories of origin and regardless of the discussions that actually take place in the Cobb County science classrooms, the Sticker has already sent a message that the School Board agrees with the beliefs of Christian fundamentalists and creationists. The School Board has effectively improperly entangled itself with religion by appearing to take a position. Therefore, the Sticker must be removed from all of the textbooks into which it has been placed.” http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/cobb/selman-v-cobb.html

Just because the sticker failed the entanglement prong does not negate that it passed the secular purpose prong in this ruling.

I do not feel that you are justified in using it to call Mr. West a liar *on this particular issue*.

Please note that I am in no way supporting Mr. West, whom I consider to be a less than admirable person.

Sincerely,

Shenda

Comment #62860

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on December 14, 2005 3:19 PM (e)

Shenda,

I clearly said in the post above and in the post from January that the sticker passed the purpose prong. However, just because the board had some secular reasons along with the religious ones to place a sticker on textbooks, that does not mean that the language of the sticker, as given to them by their lawyers, fulfilled their purpose.

Take for instance the section of the opinion that I quoted above. In it, Judge Cooper says that although the board wanted to foster critical thinking, the sticker as written actually undermines their goal.

Comment #62868

Posted by shenda on December 14, 2005 3:46 PM (e)

Hello Reed,

I am not disagreeing with what you have said; except for your statement that Mr. West was lying.

Are you still taking the position that “Contrary to claims from the ACLU, the district court judge actually ruled that the sticker fulfilled a legitimate secular purpose,” is a factually incorrect statement? Yes or No?

If Yes, then I strongly disagree.

Sincerely,

Shenda

Comment #62870

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on December 14, 2005 3:51 PM (e)

Yes, Shenda, that is a factually incorrect statement. You may criticize me for taking a harsh tone with the DI, but I am getting tired of using kid gloves on spin doctors.

Comment #62873

Posted by shenda on December 14, 2005 4:07 PM (e)

Hello Reed,

I retract my previous question.

After reviewing your posts, the quotation and the ruling, I see your point. I felt you were stating the lie too strongly, but then again, given the DI’s history, probably not.

Thank you for your replies.

Sincerely,

Shenda

Comment #62875

Posted by AC on December 14, 2005 4:11 PM (e)

The mystics and Platonists and other assorted ne’erdowells are right when they say that science is always changing, and that truth does not change. The trick is that science attempts to be an asymptote of the truth, while religion is content to be a tangent at best. The reason is simple: science seeks to act in the world outside the mind, whereas religion seeks to act wholly within minds.

Atomism was around in ancient Greece, and conceptually, it really wasn’t far off the mark. Matter is quantized, and the “shape” of an atom does determine its chemical properties - just not in the coarse way imagined by the ancients. If Democritus were introduced to modern atomic theory, he would probably be too busy recovering from awe to chant “I told you so!” like a modern-day mystic.

Comment #62877

Posted by Ed Darrell on December 14, 2005 4:11 PM (e)

On the day that the judge in the Kitzmiller case announces the decision, the Discovery Institute will announce they have been gifted a pony – or, at least, that’s what the evidence indicates to them.

Comment #62894

Posted by BWE on December 14, 2005 5:42 PM (e)

Ooh Ooh, I want a pony. Bwaaahaaahaaaa

Comment #62897

Posted by BWE on December 14, 2005 5:49 PM (e)

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1211&dept_id=169695&newsid=15724716&PAG=461&rfi=9

The comment by bob rivers is exactly what i’ve been saying all along

Comment #62903

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 14, 2005 6:42 PM (e)

2005 — DI passes around “400 Scientists Who Reject Darwin”

1931 – German Nazi Party passes around “100 Scientists Who Reject Einstein”.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

Einstein’s reply is just as valid today: “They wouldn’t need 100 scientists if they had just one simple fact”.

Comment #62912

Posted by BWE on December 14, 2005 7:27 PM (e)

Einstein was attacked by some with anti-Jewish leanings. When a pamphlet was published entitled 100 Authors Against Einstein, Einstein retorted “If I were wrong, one would be enough.”

http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/Einstein.html

Comment #62933

Posted by James on December 14, 2005 10:23 PM (e)

Law.com article on the Cobb County case: http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1134554710835

Best quote: “‘From my perspective as a conservative, I think science education is important,” he added. “And I’m not religiously sympathetic to anti-evolutionists, who I think are lunatics.’”

Comment #62944

Posted by Arden Chatfield on December 15, 2005 12:38 AM (e)

Einstein’s reply is just as valid today: “They wouldn’t need 100 scientists if they had just one simple fact”.

I thought Einstein’s response was something like “Why do they have a hundred? If they’re right, they should only need one.”

Still, a splendid parallel.

Comment #62994

Posted by Spore on December 15, 2005 1:44 PM (e)

Cobb county going to the dark side?

Appeals judges see errors in evolution sticker ruling

Three federal appeals court judges today indicated a lower court judge got key facts wrong in declaring unconstitutional an evolution disclaimer sticker put in Cobb County science books.

During oral arguments, all members of the federal appeals court panel noted that U.S. District Court Judge Clarence Cooper made incorrect findings as the basis for his decision that the stickers violated the First Amendment by endorsing a religious viewpoint.

Judge Ed Carnes dominated much of the 40-minute arguments by tearing apart sections of Cooper’s January ruling that ordered the stickers, which declared evolution “a theory, not a fact,” removed from almost 35,000 middle- and high-school science textbooks.

“The court gives two bases for its findings and they’re absolutely wrong,” Carnes told Atlanta lawyer Jeffrey Bramlett, who argued on behalf of five parents who sued the school board to get the stickers removed.

Link

Comment #71143

Posted by BWE on January 13, 2006 12:50 PM (e)

http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/658

Here is the link to that entry on uncommonly indecent.

Ha Ha! It’s kind of a circle jerk here too. It’s just that PT lets strangers in. Very un-christian.