Mike Dunford posted Entry 1901 on January 11, 2006 12:20 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1896

It didn’t take long for the Discovery Institute to try to call “Darwinists” intolerant for attempting to keep religious advocacy out of the schools. Casey Luskin discusses, over at the Discovery Institute’s Media Complaints Division, the lawsuit that Americans United for the Separation of Church and State just filed against a California school. (Ed Brayton discusses this suit in depth over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars.)

Read more (at The Questionable Authority):

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Comment #69968

Posted by Bruce Beckman on January 11, 2006 3:29 AM (e)

The course in question looks to me like a mismash of YEC and IDC anti-evolution arguments thrown together and packaged under the name “philosophy”.

The El Tejon Unified School District covers the towns of Frazier Park, Lebec and several other small communities. Most people would recognize the area as a gas stop along interstate 5 leading north from Los Angeles over the Tehachapi Mountains. The high school in question, Frazier Mountain High School is actually located in Los Angeles County and is nowhere near Fresno unlike the claim in the recent AP report.

The local weekly newspaper has a web page devoted to the issue. It can be found at http://www.mountainenterprise.com/IntellDesign-stories/index.html

The school district sits squarely on top of the San Andreas Fault in a section that produced the largest earthquake in California’s recorded history (the Great Fort Tejon Earthquake of 1857). With this in mind and remembering Pat Robertson’s warning to the residents of Dover, we might caution the residents of El Tejon School District against any rash actions.

Comment #69971

Posted by limpidense on January 11, 2006 3:46 AM (e)

Anywhere, or “nowhere” to anyone else, can now receive national, even international, attention by threatening to wedge “I.D.” into the curriculum.
What a weird, in the most troubling sense, country the U.S. has become!

Comment #69981

Posted by Renier on January 11, 2006 5:09 AM (e)

This whole thing just shows how determined the fundies are to spoon-feed their muck to children.

Since they feel it is unfair that they cannot force their religious views into schools, and demand equal time, I propose we let them have their way. But, to be fair, they must allow Muslims, Jews, Zen Monks, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics, Deists, Pagans, Wiccans etc equal time to have their say in their (xtian) churches, every Sunday. Funny, but I have a feeling they won’t like this idea. So much for “Do unto others…”

Comment #69983

Posted by k.e. on January 11, 2006 5:46 AM (e)

I can’t remember the source ….the evangelicals in the US have budgets measured in billions and over
just do a search on

religious obscurantism trillion

quizz —who said

‘Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feeling of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of unspiritual conditions.’

Comment #69985

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 11, 2006 6:51 AM (e)

Posted by k.e. on January 11, 2006 05:46 AM (e) (s)

quizz —-who said

‘Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feeling of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of unspiritual conditions.’

You did. Do I get a prize? ;)

Comment #69992

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on January 11, 2006 8:07 AM (e)

The fundies are back at it again!!!!! Now is “as long as the course is called philosophy” everything is nice and dandy in the world. Do these morons believe the everybody else is so gullible as they are?
Read and weep or cry as you wish, at the following link
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-design11jan11,0,7737779.story?”

Comment #70000

Posted by jim on January 11, 2006 8:34 AM (e)

This very issue was discussed on NPR this morning. Note, NPR got some of the facts wrong. A good example was the very last sentence of the report that included something along the lines of “Intelligent Design, Evolution, and ? which all conjecture about the origins on life”.

I’m going to send them a correction.

Comment #70043

Posted by Miguelito on January 11, 2006 10:30 AM (e)

I could not care less about ID being taught in a philosophy course in a school. It makes sense that it would belong there. You can teach it with all the other creation myths in the world.

However, in this instance, the initial course description in the LA times article said:

“the class will take a close look at evolution as a theory and will discuss the scientific, biological and biblical aspects that suggest why Darwin’s philosophy is not rock solid. The class will discuss intelligent design as an alternative response to evolution. Physical and chemical evidence will be presented suggesting the earth is thousands of years old, not billions.”

Apparently, the philosophy content of the course will be minimal and the “science” (and I use that term extremely loosely, if it is even applicable at all) will form the bulk of the course.

Honestly, can’t these people keep their disciplines straight? What’s next? Teaching WWII history in French class?

Comment #70046

Posted by harold on January 11, 2006 10:35 AM (e)

This is yet another, with apologies for strong language, moronic idea by creationists.

Apparently, their real goal is to draw attention to themselves, feel like “martyrs”, and spend other peoples’ money.

Sometimes, contributors to this site suggest objective discussion of “creationism” in some sort of “comparitive religion” course. This latest creationist push is nothing of the sort, obviously.

If anything, it’s even MORE blatantly and visciously a violation of Americans’ rights to force their children to take a “philosophy” course that preaches someone else’s narrow religious view, and presents lies as “proof” of it, than were the efforts in Dover.

Not only that, but this is, ipso facto, a science course, in addition to whatever else it may be. You can’t set up a course to lyingly deny scientific evidence, call it “philosophy”, and deny a connection with science. If I set up a “philosophy” course that argues against “Gallileo’s philosophy” and presents biased material promoting the idea that the sun revolves around the earth, for example, it is logically obvious that the true goal is to sabotage the science curriculum.

Court decisions that cost other people money won’t stop creationists for long (although they will get them voted off of school boards). It’s time for civil suits that go after individual creationists, for their conspiracies to violate the civil rights of Americans.

Comment #70051

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 11, 2006 10:40 AM (e)

Why did they rush to have a special meeting of the school board on New Year’s Day, which this year was a Sunday? Did they have a newly-elected majority on the board, or what?

I looked over the course syllabus approved by the school board, and I can’t find anything about discussion of the Kitzmiller v. Dover court decision. It seems like that might be a good starting point.

Equal and balanced instruction will be given on all philosophies.

Uh, but only two “philosophies” are mentioned, evolution and intelligent design creationism, and one of them is actually a science.

2. What is the Theory of Evolution/Darwinism?

What are the misconceptions?

(Snicker) I imagine the class will be filled with those misconceptions.

Note: Not all the videos will be used, but I wanted to list all possible videos. Some portions of videos may be used and other may not be used at all.

Gosh, I wonder, is it the many listed Creationist videos that might not be presented, or the few evolution videos?

Comment #70053

Posted by jim on January 11, 2006 10:44 AM (e)

Perhaps we could provide a copy of the Ken Miller video? Anyone want to make a bet as to whether the teacher would actually show it?

Comment #70055

Posted by Raging Bee on January 11, 2006 10:53 AM (e)

Maybe they’ll watch a panel discussion of creationism by the cast of “Veggie Tales.” I wonder whether Larry the Catholic Cucumber will explain Pope John Paul II’s support of evolution?

Comment #70060

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 11, 2006 11:01 AM (e)

Someone ought to teach a college level course on the Kitzmiller trial. They could include the TMLC search for a compliant school board, the DI “teach IDC/don’t teach IDC” internal debate, the falling out between the TMLC and the DI, the actual court testimony, including perjury, rampant memory failure, and unethical behaviour by president of a foundation with Ethics in its title, and, of course, Judge Jones’ decision.

Comment #70067

Posted by Flint on January 11, 2006 11:28 AM (e)

Of course, all of these tactics are the proposed answers to the same question: “How can we preach God’s Truth (our version) from the pulpit of the American Public Education system?” The number of possible answers to this question is limited only by our imagination and our industry.

Clearly, an upfront approach fails badly. So we can’t call it religion. Almost as clearly, we can’t properly represent anything about science whatsoever, since only misrepresentations serve our purposes. But since the courts are nibbling away at our misrepresentations, it’s necessary to misrepresent them! Fortunately, there’s no necessary connection between the *content* of a class, and the *description* of the class, so maybe we can get a class approved based on the description and then preach Truth. Fortunately, we have no shortage of soccer coaches/biology teachers who have Seen The Light and been reborn.

Moving right along, if we call our church services “philosophy class” maybe the courts will let us preach. Maybe if we make our church services electives, the courts will let us preach. Once we get Reborn judges in place, this will become a lot easier. Right now, God is testing our faith, so we must redouble our efforts to show Him we’re His children.

Comment #70073

Posted by Grand Moff Texan on January 11, 2006 11:43 AM (e)

First they pushed Untelligent Design as a science, even though it’s not a science and its advocates do no science.

Now, they’re pushing it as “philosophy,” even though it is anything but a philia of sophia, in fact quite the opposite. By continuing to push “questions” about “Darwinism” that were answered in some cases over a century ago, they are simply trying to infect as many children as possible with their ignorance.

Maybe they could teach this filth in sophiaphobia classes?

Will the lies of God’s people never cease?
.

Comment #70074

Posted by Keanus on January 11, 2006 11:45 AM (e)

Three things should be noted: The course is an elective. It only runs for a month. And the board okay’d it with an emergency meeting on New Year’s Day. I’m sure they chose all three steps in the hopes that they could pass under the radar. They clearly failed. Informed parents saw the ruse, contacted Americans United and the suit resulted. I suspect the course will be over before a federal court issues an injunction. How this unfolds shall be interesting. The school district is unlikely to get help from either the DI or the TMLC, so their defending counsel use novel defenses that neither the DI nor the TMLC has tried. Now all we have to do is wait for the San Adreas to slip while the suit proceeds.

Comment #70089

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 11, 2006 12:36 PM (e)

Dembski is going to speak in Kansas on intelligent design creationism. This event being sponsored by the religious cult known as Campus Crusade For Christ

Read more about this event here

Campus Crusade For Christ’s Statement of Faith:

The sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, God’s infallible written Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that it was uniquely, verbally and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit and that it was written without error (inerrant) in the original manuscripts. It is the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks.

We accept those areas of doctrinal teaching on which, historically, there has been general agreement among all true Christians. Because of the specialized calling of our movement, we desire to allow for freedom of conviction on other doctrinal matters, provided that any interpretation is based upon the Bible alone, and that no such interpretation shall become an issue which hinders the ministry to which God has called us.

There is one true God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of Deity and the characteristics of personality.

Jesus Christ is God, the living Word, who became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. Hence, He is perfect Deity and true humanity united in one person forever.

He lived a sinless life and voluntarily atoned for the sins of men by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone.

He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died.
He ascended bodily into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own.

Man was originally created in the image of God. He sinned by disobeying God; thus, he was alienated from his Creator. That historic fall brought all mankind under divine condemnation.

Man’s nature is corrupted, and he is thus totally unable to please God. Every man is in need of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
The salvation of man is wholly a work of God’s free grace and is not the work, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness or religious ceremony. God imputes His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justified them in His sight.

It is the privilege of all who are born again of the Spirit to be assured of their salvation from the very moment in which they trust Christ as their Savior. This assurance is not based upon any kind of human merit, but is produced by the witness of the Holy Spirit, who confirms in the believer the testimony of God in His written word.

The Holy Spirit has come into the world to reveal and glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to men. He convicts and draws sinners to Christ, imparts new life to them, continually indwells them from the moment of spiritual birth and seals them until the day of redemption. His fullness, power and control are appropriated in the believer’s life by faith.

Every believer is called to live so in the power of the indwelling Spirit that he will not fulfill the lust of the flesh but will bear fruit to the glory of God.

Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body, which is composed of all men, living and dead, who have been joined to Him through saving faith.

God admonishes His people to assemble together regularly for worship, for participation in ordinances, for edification through the Scriptures and for mutual encouragement.

At physical death the believer enters immediately into eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his body to everlasting glory and blessing.

At physical death the unbeliever enters immediately into eternal, conscious separation from the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his body to everlasting judgment and condemnation.

Jesus Christ will come again to the earth - personally, visibly and bodily - to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ commanded all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to disciple men of every nation. The fulfillment of that Great Commission requires that all worldly and personal ambitions be subordinated to a total commitment to “Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.”

Now, if IDC is not religious someone please explain why this religious cult has such an interst in it?

We need a dedicated thread on this event me thinks….

Comment #70099

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on January 11, 2006 12:47 PM (e)

I thought that one of the tenets of Christianity involved not bearing false witness. Apparently the fundies have their own branch of Christianity in which deception, dishonesty and lying are perfectly acceptable. These people are a slap in the face to all of those Christians that spend their whole lives trying to live up to the precepts of their religion. Pathetic fundies have a well deserved place to roast in hell!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment #70100

Posted by Kevin from NYC on January 11, 2006 12:51 PM (e)

Here’s another one!

http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/12/292005b.asp

Comment #70111

Posted by Corkscrew on January 11, 2006 1:17 PM (e)

I’m not sure it’s fair to say that ID must be religious because religious groups find it appealing.

The reason it must be religious is cos there’s no good secular purpose to this pile of tripe. Big difference.

Comment #70118

Posted by Flint on January 11, 2006 1:41 PM (e)

Corkscrew:

I think Barbara Forrest pretty well dispensed with this issue. ID is straightforward creationist doctrine transparently disguised as whatever they want to claim to evade legal restrictions. It’s not that religious groups “find it appealing” but rather that the creationists dreamed it up directly for the purpose of spreading creationism.

Comment #70120

Posted by jim on January 11, 2006 1:54 PM (e)

Tyrannosaurus wrote:

Pathetic fundies have a well deserved place to roast in hell!

Mmmm, roast! Now I’m getting hungry! Should I get a beef or a pork roast?

Comment #70124

Posted by Julie on January 11, 2006 2:05 PM (e)

It didn’t take long for the Discovery Institute to try to call “Darwinists” intolerant for attempting to keep religious advocacy out of the schools.

For once I agree with ‘em. I’m totally intolerant of efforts to undermine the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and I don’t expect my position on this issue to change.

Comment #70128

Posted by Donald M on January 11, 2006 2:28 PM (e)

Flint:

I think Barbara Forrest pretty well dispensed with this issue. ID is straightforward creationist doctrine transparently disguised as whatever they want to claim to evade legal restrictions. It’s not that religious groups “find it appealing” but rather that the creationists dreamed it up directly for the purpose of spreading creationism.

This is not correct. First of all, creationism, as commonly understood, begins with a religious text and then extrapolates to observations in nature. ID begins with observations in nature and makes no extrapolation whatsoever to any religious text. ID merely proposes that intelligent cause is a live possibility based on observations in nature.

Secondly, which version of ‘creationism’ is ID supposed to be “spreading”? YEC, OEC, Hindu, Islamic, other? Which one? IDPs come from many different faith backgrounds, and some claim no religious belief at all, so which “religious view” is ID supposed to be “spreading”?

Comment #70130

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 11, 2006 2:42 PM (e)

Donald M wrote:

ID begins with observations in nature and makes no extrapolation whatsoever to any religious text.

That is demonstrably incorrect. IDC began as “Creation Science”, and after Edwards v. Aguillard, overt references to specific Christian themes were removed in an attempt to circumvent the E v. A ruling.

Only cdesign proponentsists would disagree.

Comment #70132

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 11, 2006 2:45 PM (e)

Donald said
IDPs come from many different faith backgrounds, and some claim no religious belief at all, so which “religious view” is ID supposed to be “spreading”?

Donald you might enjoy reading Judge Jones’ ruling on intelligent design. His ruling is probably the very best source for a detailed answer to your question.

Comment #70137

Posted by Keith Douglas on January 11, 2006 2:52 PM (e)

More infiltration via philosophy. I think my professional colleagues should address this issue somehow … if there are any philosophers of biology that read this blog, maybe they can tell me if this has been done?

Comment #70138

Posted by RBH on January 11, 2006 2:54 PM (e)

Donald M wrote

ID begins with observations in nature and makes no extrapolation whatsoever to any religious text. ID merely proposes that intelligent cause is a live possibility based on observations in nature.

But that is blatantly false. No IDist has ever published systematic observations of “natural” phenomena that have been shown to require the conjecture of an intelligent designer. I have read Dembski’s The Design Inference, No Free Lunch, and a slew of his essays, and I have read Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box and a slew of his defenses against criticisms of them. I have read Meyer, Johnson, Wells, and their colleagues, and not one of them has published one scrap of data that require the conjecture of an intelligent designer.

They claim to have a methodology for detecting “design” independent of knowledge of the properties, skills, and abilities of the purported designer(s), but have never published validation and reliability data that shows that the methodology works.

Hence in Ohio in 2002 they suddenly abandoned “teach intelligent design” (which was a motion made to the Ohio State Board of Education), and advocated “teach the controversy”, which only requires quotemining and distorting and misrepresenting genuine science. That’s much easier than doing actual research, of course, because a cheap lawyer like Casey Luskin can do it: you don’t need actual scientists.

All the blather about how intelligent design “theorists” have shown this or that founder on one simple fact: they provide no systematic empirical data at all.

If you doubt that, point me to any publication in the ID literature that presents systematically gethered data that address any hypothesis derived from the ID conjecture, or any systematically gathered data that address the validity and reliability of the ID “methodology”.

RBH

Comment #70139

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 11, 2006 2:54 PM (e)

ID begins with observations in nature

Donald promotes the standard misconception at the heart of all ID supporters.

ID does NOT begin with direct observations, but rather interpreted observations of nature.

IC is an interpretation of an observable phenomenon, not the phenomenon itself.

so, right from the “beginning” ID is NOT based on any direct observations.

Thanks for subconsciously pointing that out for us there, Donald.

It is because ID does NOT begin with direct observation, that one actually can’t even develop a scientific hypothesis to test it.

Comment #70141

Posted by Frank J on January 11, 2006 2:59 PM (e)

Luskin conveniently ignores that some “Darwinists” like me say, “go ahead, teach YEC in a non-science class.” From the brief description of the course, though, there seems to be no “equal time” for critical analysis of YEC. If so, why aren’t the “I’m not a creationist” IDers demanding that critical analysis?

Comment #70144

Posted by Frank J on January 11, 2006 3:07 PM (e)

Corkscrew wrote:

I’m not sure it’s fair to say that ID must be religious because religious groups find it appealing.

And in fact many religious groups find it quite unappealing. It doesn’t just promote religion, it promotes a caricature religion at the expense of mainstream ones. Probably a greater % of Raelians than Christians favor ID pseudoscience.

Comment #70145

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on January 11, 2006 3:09 PM (e)

Julie:

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
BARRY GOLDWATER (1909-1989)

Comment #70147

Posted by Donald M on January 11, 2006 3:12 PM (e)

RBH

But that is blatantly false. No IDist has ever published systematic observations of “natural” phenomena that have been shown to require the conjecture of an intelligent designer. I have read Dembski’s The Design Inference, No Free Lunch, and a slew of his essays, and I have read Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box and a slew of his defenses against criticisms of them. I have read Meyer, Johnson, Wells, and their colleagues, and not one of them has published one scrap of data that require the conjecture of an intelligent designer.

In your opinion. But none of this is even relevant to my point, which is that ID does not reference or employ any religious text. So, saying that ID is disguised religous advocacy raises the question “really, for which religion?” No one has yet to provide a straight answer to that question. Your diatribe against what ID advocates have written is not relevant to this question.

Comment #70149

Posted by Donald M on January 11, 2006 3:15 PM (e)

Sir Toejam:

Donald promotes the standard misconception at the heart of all ID supporters.

ID does NOT begin with direct observations, but rather interpreted observations of nature.

IC is an interpretation of an observable phenomenon, not the phenomenon itself.

The same is true of evolution. What’s your point?

Besides which, this isn’t relevant to the point I was making anyway. See my response to RBH.

Comment #70151

Posted by Spore on January 11, 2006 3:19 PM (e)

Indiana: Intelligent design bill fails to materialize

Last fall, state Rep. Bruce A. Borders, R-Jasonville, said he would introduce a bill this year seeking to make intelligent design a required subject in Indiana’s public schools if no other lawmaker did……Instead, he offered House Bill 1388, which mandates “accuracy in textbooks” but makes no mention of intelligent design.

His about-face, he said, was the result of a Dec. 20 ruling by a federal judge in Pennsylvania that denounced intelligent design as “relabeled creationism” and a violation of the separation of church and state.

I guess this “accuracy in textbooks” bill is to be used as the device which will allow these nuts to remove evolution from science classes.

Comment #70153

Posted by Don Baccus on January 11, 2006 3:26 PM (e)

Donald M wrote:

But none of this is even relevant to my point, which is that ID does not reference or employ any religious text.

As has been pointed out previously, read the Dover decision. The Judge does a fine job of summarizing the history of the ID movement.

Donald M wrote:

So, saying that ID is disguised religous advocacy raises the question “really, for which religion?”

Which religion? A form of Christian fundamentalism. The decision traces the history of the intelligent design movement, which is a recasting of creationism invented in reaction to court decisions which made illegal the teaching of creationism in public school.

This is HISTORY established by a comprehensive paper trail.

Comment #70154

Posted by Wislu Plethora on January 11, 2006 3:29 PM (e)

Donald M. wrote:

…so which “religious view” is ID supposed to be “spreading”?

A better question is, which religious view is ID supposed to be hiding. I think we all (especially Donald) know the answer to that one.

Comment #70155

Posted by gwangung on January 11, 2006 3:32 PM (e)

In your opinion. But none of this is even relevant to my point, which is that ID does not reference or employ any religious text.

Neither do many forms of scientific creationism. But both courts and outside observers had no problems connecting the dots and tracing its lineage to a particular brand of Christianity.

This tracing of concepts was done quite smartly in Dover, which basically negates your point.

It was a rather poor point anyway, when the publisher of the main ID textbook classifies the book as a scientific creationism book and did a global search and replace of creationism with intelligent design.

Note, sir, that these latter two points are facts, not opinions.

Comment #70156

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on January 11, 2006 3:33 PM (e)

Donald M in Comment 70147 wrote:

So, saying that ID is disguised religous advocacy raises the question “really, for which religion?”

No it doesn’t. Erroneously reaching the conclusion that life is the product of an intelligent designer (as opposed to many such) is advocacy of monotheism, a religious tenant easily found in multiple religious texts. Failure to choose one of them does not negate the religious nature of the advocacy.

Comment #70158

Posted by Raging Bee on January 11, 2006 3:43 PM (e)

No, Donald, that wasn’t just RBH’s “opinion,” that was a fact: ID (in its current mutation at least) rests primarily on Behe’s idea/doctrine/whatever of “irreducable complexity” – every cited instance of which has been refuted by further observation of natural phenomena. That leaves a grand total of ZERO observed phenomena which can be explained by ID and not by evolution.

In grade-school, when I made an assertion of fact and it was refuted or disporven, I fell back on the pouty “That’s just your opinion” dodge. But that was a LONG time ago, and we’re all grownups here…right?

Comment #70159

Posted by J. G. Cox on January 11, 2006 3:47 PM (e)

@Donald M
-it is true that ID does not explicitly reference any religious text, but it still implicitly postulates the existence of a god, which is itself a religious idea. Just because an idea is not claimed by an organized religion or is shared by many does not mean the idea is not religious. For instance, claiming that there is a god, that there are many gods, or that there is no god constitutes religious advocacy, despite the lack of reference to a specific text.

@Spore
-hopefully, Borders’ language will backfire on him, since “accuracy in textbooks” would require the exclusion of (almost) all IDC criticisms of evolutionary theory. Unless, of course, “accuracy” is determined by clueless politicos instead of scientists with relevant expertise. In any case, I’m glad I joined the ICLU last year. Still, I feel sorry for the Indiana kids. I TA the introductory biology course at ISU, and I can attest to the miserable state of high school science education in this state.

Comment #70160

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 11, 2006 3:47 PM (e)

The same is true of evolution. What’s your point?

1. that’s not true. go back and read Origin and tell me that Darwin based his hypothesis on interpretations of evidence, rather than actual measurable differences. IC is entirely a post-hoc subjective interpretation. It’s been demonstrated over and over again. I’d give you references, but I doubt you would bother to even read them.

2. My point was entirely relevant. ID is clearly not science; it simply CAN’T ever BE science, as currently formulated, and not just for the very simple reason I mentioned. Ergo, why don’t you define exactly what it is for us then, DM?

here I’ll get you started, “ID is not science but it is….”

here’s your choices (most of my less bright students prefer multiple choice questions so I’ll help you there too):

A. -philosophy
B. -religion (in the form of apologetics)
C. -politics
D. -all of the above

shhh! no hints from the audience now.

Comment #70165

Posted by Lixivium on January 11, 2006 3:59 PM (e)

Donald M

As Jon Stewart said, “We’re not necessarily talking about God, just someone with the skillset to…you know, create an entire Universe.”

Comment #70169

Posted by Mike Elzinga on January 11, 2006 4:03 PM (e)

Based on my relatively rare encounters with ID/Creationist zealots, I suspect that, for me, battling with them on a regular basis would be like being trapped in an eternal, grade B horror movie (“Night of the Living Brain-Dead”). While I have managed to be polite, I at least had the option of retreating to the solace of my laboratory afterward. I have nothing but the greatest admiration for those dedicated folks who have tried to keep these zombies at bay all these years.

Given the current political climate, and with increasing numbers of political strategists in the mold of Karl Rove (who appears to have learned his trade indirectly from the fundamentalists), it seems that the struggle will continue.

If this is the cultural environment we will have to endure for the foreseeable future, improving science education may have to include detailed analyses of voodoo science and hucksterism. Since there is not enough time in present science courses to cover adequately the rich tapestry of science, it is difficult to know ahead of time if such a trade-off would help in general. On the other hand, perhaps we have taken the scientific perspective too much for granted and, as a result, have not given our students the benefit of a good education in the methods and attitudes of modern scientific investigation. A good foil might bring out the advantages that scientific thinking offers. While such an approach seems to work for very bright students, it seems to confuse the average student. What has been the experience of others with this approach? Could it work in the typical high school?

Comment #70171

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 11, 2006 4:08 PM (e)

Maybe no science should be attempted with students. At least until they can understand the “scientific method” as a first and continuing subject. Maybe then (eventually) people will stop trying to get off topic lessons into science classes.

Comment #70173

Posted by Flint on January 11, 2006 4:13 PM (e)

Chuckle. Donald M is less subtle than most of our forum creationists, but more typical of their rank and file. When facts are uncongenial, lie. When the lie is exposed, repeat it. Problem solved!

Comment #70181

Posted by Moses on January 11, 2006 4:24 PM (e)

Comment #70128

Posted by Donald M on January 11, 2006 02:28 PM (e) (s)

Flint:

I think Barbara Forrest pretty well dispensed with this issue. ID is straightforward creationist doctrine transparently disguised as whatever they want to claim to evade legal restrictions. It’s not that religious groups “find it appealing” but rather that the creationists dreamed it up directly for the purpose of spreading creationism.

This is not correct. First of all, creationism, as commonly understood, begins with a religious text and then extrapolates to observations in nature. ID begins with observations in nature and makes no extrapolation whatsoever to any religious text. ID merely proposes that intelligent cause is a live possibility based on observations in nature.

Secondly, which version of ‘creationism’ is ID supposed to be “spreading”? YEC, OEC, Hindu, Islamic, other? Which one? IDPs come from many different faith backgrounds, and some claim no religious belief at all, so which “religious view” is ID supposed to be “spreading”?

Flint is correct and you’re falling for the propaganda doesn’t make him wrong. The proponents of ID, fresh from losing a major case in teaching Creation Science, held a contest to rename Creation Science. “Intelligent Design” was the winning entry.

Having learned a little, but clearly not enough, from their failures with Creation Science, the ID crowd tried (but not very successfully) to cover their obvious motivations by pretending it wasn’t Creation Science. Fortunately for those of us in the rational world, creationists have a decided inability to keep their mouths shut and constantly brag about what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.

So, as Flint put it: ID is straightforward creationist doctrine transparently disguised as whatever they want to claim to evade legal restrictions.

Or, as I like to put it: It’s a pig in a dress.

Comment #70182

Posted by Julie on January 11, 2006 4:30 PM (e)

I wrote:

For once I agree with ‘em. I’m totally intolerant of efforts to undermine the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and I don’t expect my position on this issue to change.

To which Bill responded:

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
BARRY GOLDWATER (1909-1989)

Only on this forum would this politically liberal biologist find herself in simultaneous concurrence with ID supporters and an icon of traditional Republican conservatism. Who said we “evos” were inflexible? :-)

– Julie

Fondly remembering the legend of the fellow quizbowler who heard the match moderator read the first word of a question (“Extremism …”), and promptly buzzed in and correctly responded “Goldwater!”

Comment #70186

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on January 11, 2006 4:38 PM (e)

That’s “traditional Republican conservatism” as opposed to the currently fashionable variety. Let’s face it, given a choice between Barry Boy and Shrubby Boy, which of us would not hesitate to choose the former?

Comment #70187

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 11, 2006 4:39 PM (e)

Three things should be noted: The course is an elective. It only runs for a month…

I’m glad I’m not the one teaching biology or chemistry or physics or geology at that high school, so I won’t get stuck cleaning up the mess: “But we learned during the intersession class that the second law of thermodynamics forbids that..”

Comment #70188

Posted by shenda on January 11, 2006 4:40 PM (e)

This suit is another no-brainer for any attorney outside of the TMLC. The course is so overtly pro-creationism that the suit will probably never go to trial. If it does, it will be another fundie farce.

Comment #70189

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 11, 2006 4:45 PM (e)

Donald said:

…so which “religious view” is ID supposed to be “spreading”?

Please. You know perfectly well. The one you approve of. You know as well as I that ID is a vehicle to propagate a diluted form of creationism after the courts said that creationism couldn’t be taught in school. ID has a massive paper trail linking it to creationism. The connections continue to this day. You know this perfectly well, pretending to be a lawyer playing coy about it isn’t fooling anyone.

Comment #70198

Posted by shenda on January 11, 2006 5:01 PM (e)

Donald M.:
“…so which “religious view” is ID supposed to be “spreading”?

If this is actually a legit question, read Barbara Forrest’s testimony at the Dover Trial. This very clearly details the religious views of the ID movement.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day6am2.html#day6am539

Comment #70204

Posted by Julie on January 11, 2006 5:21 PM (e)

Bill wrote:

That’s “traditional Republican conservatism” as opposed to the currently fashionable variety. Let’s face it, given a choice between Barry Boy and Shrubby Boy, which of us would not hesitate to choose the former?

Indeed, my choice of words was a careful one. In fact, some of the angriest and most disenfranchised people I know right now are longtime Republicans, and that’s emphatically not because they wish there was more religion in public-school science classes.

Bayesian Bouffant wrote:

I’m glad I’m not the one teaching biology or chemistry or physics or geology at that high school, so I won’t get stuck cleaning up the mess: “But we learned during the intersession class that the second law of thermodynamics forbids that..”

“And my social-studies teacher told me so!” … Seriously, this kind of thing drives me nuts. I participate in some insect-enthusiast groups, and in one, I’ve made the online acquaintance of a very young, extremely talented naturalist – someone with the potential for becoming a terrific ecologist or insect systematist – who is being educated in a fundamentalist school. He once told us that he’d learned nothing at all about evolution except how to argue against it.

Wonderful. For anyone who doesn’t find the above appalling, try this analogy: “I know nothing about medicine, but I’m learning some stuff from a faith healer so that I can argue with my doctor about the use of prescription drugs to treat my kid’s asthma.”

(Oh, wait. Substitute “Tom Cruise” for “I”, “Scientologist” for “faith healer”, “a talk-show host” for “my doctor”, and “a stranger’s severe postpartum depression” instead of “my kid’s asthma”. Never mind. Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up.)

Comment #70215

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 11, 2006 5:46 PM (e)

Posted by Julie on January 11, 2006 05:21 PM (e) (s)

… In fact, some of the angriest and most disenfranchised people I know right now are longtime Republicans, and that’s emphatically not because they wish there was more religion in public-school science classes…

I imagine you are very right.
Put yourself into the position of someone rational, who traditionally supports a party and seeing it getting taken over by the lunatic fringe.

Comment #70222

Posted by Flint on January 11, 2006 6:04 PM (e)

emphatically not because they wish there was more religion in public-school science classes…

No kidding. Plenty of people vote for Republicans in the hopes that these folks will reduce the government footprint. However, as this site shows us, since 1962 the largest increase (and peak level of expenditures relative to GDP) happened during the Reagan years. The largest and most consistent decline in government footprint, conversely (and returning all the way back to 1962 levels) happened under Clinton.

Man, who can you trust anymore?

Comment #70230

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 11, 2006 6:12 PM (e)

Man, who can you trust anymore?

Suppose that you live on an island with liars and truthtellers (except for occasional lying about cheating on their spouses). The liars are very good at what they do, and manage to convince people that they will do good things for them, while actually robbing them blind. Man, who can you trust?

Comment #70245

Posted by Moses on January 11, 2006 6:39 PM (e)

Posted by Julie on January 11, 2006 05:21 PM (e) (s)

Indeed, my choice of words was a careful one. In fact, some of the angriest and most disenfranchised people I know right now are longtime Republicans, and that’s emphatically not because they wish there was more religion in public-school science classes.

I’m living proof of that point.

Comment #70274

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on January 11, 2006 7:42 PM (e)

OK, one more from the master:

Suppose that you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
MARK TWAIN (1835-1910)

Comment #70275

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 11, 2006 7:45 PM (e)

Lying again so soon, Donald?

First of all, creationism, as commonly understood, begins with a religious text

Um, that’s not what creationists testified to in Arkansas or Louisiana. They, in fact, argued that they were NOT based on any religious text or doctrine, and that it wasn’t THEIR fault that all their, uh, science just happened to coincide with their religious beliefs.

Does that argument, uh, sound familiar to you, Donald … ?

and then extrapolates to observations in nature. ID begins with observations in nature and makes no extrapolation whatsoever to any religious text.

Reeeeaaaallllyyyyyyyyyy.

Let’s take a look, shall we …. ?

The very first sentence of the Wedge Document makes plain the underlying religious aim of the Discovery Institute and its anti-evolution campaign: “The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western Civilization was built.” (Wedge Document) The Discovery Institute, like other fundamentalist Christians, refers to the rejection of this religious idea as “the philosophy of materialism” or “naturalism” or sometimes “darwinism” (all are phrases which have long been the fundie code words for “atheism”), and explicitly states that this materialistic atheism is the direct result of science: “This cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and art.” (Wedge Document) Thus, as the Discovery Institute’s basic complaint can be summed up as “science is atheistic”. Under the heading “Governing Goals”, the Discovery Institute lists, “To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” (Wedge Document, 1999) “Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.” (Wedge Document, 1999)

More recent published statements by DI associates confirm that replacing “scientific materialism” with “God” or a “theistic understanding of nature” is indeed the only aim and purpose of “intelligent design theory”. DI associate George Gilder wrote an entire piece entitled “The Materialist Superstition” which decries “the Darwinian materialist paradigm”, and advocates replacing it with “intelligent design”, which, Gilder implies (but is very careful NOT to explicitly state), is NON-materialistic. (“The Materialistic Superstition”, Discovery Institute Website, 2005). Other ID advocates, however, have at times been less circumspect. DI guru Phillip Johnson, who talks much more openly than the others about the explicit anti-atheistic goals of “intelligent design theory”, specifically contrasts “scientific materialism” with “divine intervention”; “It is the alleged absence of divine intervention throughout the history of life – the strict materialism of the orthodox theory – that explains why a great many people, only some of whom are biblical fundamentalists, think that Darwinian evolution (beyond the micro level) is basically materialistic philosophy disguised as scientific fact.” (Johnson, “The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism”, First Things, November 1997, PP 22-25) “Science also has become identified with a philosophy known as materialism or scientific naturalism. This philosophy insists that nature is all there is, or at least the only thing about which we can have any knowledge. It follows that nature had to do its own creating, and that the means of creation must not have included any role for God…. The reason the theory of evolution is so controversial is that it is the main scientific prop for scientific naturalism. Students first learn that “evolution is a fact,” and then they gradually learn more and more about what that “fact” means. It means that all living things are the product of mindless material forces such as chemical laws, natural selection, and random variation. So God is totally out of the picture, and humans (like everything else) are the accidental product of a purposeless universe.” (Johnson, “The Church of Darwin”, Wall Street Journal, August 16, 1999). “For now we need to stick to the main point: In the beginning was the Word, and the ‘fear of God’- recognition of our dependence upon God-is still the beginning of wisdom. If materialist science can prove otherwise then so be it, but everything we are learning about the evidence suggests that we don’t need to worry. (Johnson, “How to Sink a Battleship; A Call to Separate Materialist Philosophy from Empriical Science”, address to the 1996 “Mere Creation Conference”) Johnson explicitly calls for “a better scientific theory, one genuinely based on unbiased empirical evidence and not on materialist philosophy” (Johnson, “How to Sink a Battleship). Johnson doesn’t tell us what this NON-materialistic philosophy might be that he wants to base science on, but it is crushingly clear from the rest of his statements that he, like every other IDer, wants to base science on his religious beliefs.

DI associate Michael Behe also makes the connection between fighting “scientific materialism” and “theistic understanding of nature” explicitly clear. “Darwinism is the most plausible unintelligent mechanism, yet it has tremendous difficulties and the evidence garnered so far points to its inability to do what its advocates claim for it. If unintelligent mechanisms can’t do the job, then that shifts the focus to intelligent agency. That’s as far as the argument against Darwinism takes us, but most people already have other reasons for believing in a personal God who just might act in history, and they will find the argument for intelligent design fits with what they already hold. With the argument arranged this way, evidence against Darwinism does count as evidence for an active God, just as valid negative advertising against the Democratic candidate will help the Republican, even though Vegetarian and One-World candidates are on the ballot, too. Life is either the result of exclusively unintelligent causes or it is not, and the evidence against the unintelligent production of life is clearly evidence for intelligent design.” (Behe, “The God of Science”, Weekly Standard, June 7, 1999, p. 35) “Naturalism is a philosophy which says that material things are all that there is. But philosophy is not science, and therefore excluding ideas which point to a creator, which point to God, is not allowed simply because in public schools in the United States one is not allowed to discriminate either for or against ideas which have religious implications.” (Behe, Speech at Calvary Chapel, March 6, 2002)

Another DI associate, William Dembski, makes the connection between ID and Christian apologetics even more explicit: “Not only does intelligent design rid us of this ideology, which suffocates the human spirit, but, in my personal experience, I’ve found that it opens the path for people to come to Christ. Indeed, once materialism is no longer an option, Christianity again becomes an option. True, there are then also other options. But Christianity is more than able to hold its own once it is seen as a live option. The problem with materialism is that it rules out Christianity so completely that it is not even a live option. Thus, in its relation to Christianity, intelligent design should be viewed as a ground-clearing operation that gets rid of the intellectual rubbish that for generations has kept Christianity from receiving serious consideration.” (Dembski, “Intelligent Design’s Contribution to the Debate Over Evolution”, Designinference.com website, February 2005). Indeed, Dembski titled one of his books “Intelligent Design; the Bridge Between Science and Theology” (Dembski, 1999). In that book, Dembski makes the religious basis of ID “theory” explicit: “The conceptual soundings of the theory can in the end only be located in Christ.” (Dembski, 1999, p. 210). Other statements by Dembski make it clear that his designer cannot be anything other than God: “The fine-tuning of the universe, about which cosmologists make such a to-do, is both complex and specified and readily yields design. So too, Michael Behe’s irreducibly complex biochemical systems readily yield design. The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life.” (Dembski, “The Act of Creation”, ARN website, Aug 1998) “From our vantage, materialism is not a neutral, value-free, minimalist position from which to pursue inquiry. Rather, it is itself an ideology with an agenda. What’s more, it requires an evolutionary creation story to keep it afloat. On scientific grounds, we regard that creation story to be false. What’s more, we regard the ideological agenda that has flowed from it to be destructive to rational discourse. Our concerns are therefore entirely parallel to the evolutionists’. Indeed, all the evolutionists’ worst fears about what the world would be like if we succeed have, in our view, already been realized through the success of materialism and evolution. Hence, as a strategy for unseating materialism and evolution, the term “Wedge” has come to denote an intellectual and cultural movement that many find congenial.” (Dembski, “Dealing with the backlash against intelligent design”, 2004) “ “But there are deeper motivations. I think at a fundamental level, in terms of what drives me in this is that I think God’s glory is being robbed by these naturalistic approaches to biological evolution, creation, the origin of the world, the origin of biological complexity and diversity. When you are attributing the wonders of nature to these mindless material mechanisms, God’s glory is getting robbed…And so there is a cultural war here. Ultimately I want to see God get the credit for what he’s done - and he’s not getting it.” (Dembski, address given at Fellowship Baptist Church, Waco, Texas, March 7, 2004) “Even so, there is an immediate payoff to intelligent design: it destroys the atheistic legacy of Darwinian evolution. Intelligent design makes it impossible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” (Dembski, Why President Bush Got It Right about Intelligent Design, 2005)

Explain please, Donald …. .

Comment #70276

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 11, 2006 7:48 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #70284

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 11, 2006 7:54 PM (e)

While I have managed to be polite

As someone who has spent almost 25 years fighting creationists/IDers, I can say in all sincerity that this was your biggest mistake.

ID/creationists are dishonest, evasive, deceptive, deceitful deliberate liars, with malice aforethought. Every one of them.

I treat them as such. I see no reason whatseover to make nice-nice with them. You can be very sure that if they ever managed to gain real political power, they would NOT make nice-nice with YOU.

My attitude towards fighting them is simple —– I want to kick them in the crotch, kick them till they’re down, kick them in the head as they lie there — and then run them over with a truck just to make sure.

My aim is to destroy them, as completely and thoroughly as I am able to – as an effective political movement.

And I make no effort whatsover to be “polite” with them. This is a boxing bout, not a tennis match. Punches will be thrown, teeth will be knocked out, and blood will hit the walls.

Comment #70285

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 11, 2006 7:56 PM (e)

Plenty of people vote for Republicans in the hopes that these folks will reduce the government footprint.

Alas, the fundies don’t want to get government off our backs. They want to get government into our bedrooms.

Comment #70287

Posted by Jason on January 11, 2006 8:00 PM (e)

Luskin balks at “philosophy” course too.

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/01/intelligent_design_group_urges.html

Maybe I missed it, but I’m surprised no one linked to this.

Comment #70288

Posted by caerbannog on January 11, 2006 8:00 PM (e)


OK, one more from the master:

Suppose that you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
MARK TWAIN (1835-1910)

And here’s an even better one from the master:

In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards.
- Following the Equator; Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar

Comment #70291

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 11, 2006 8:04 PM (e)

Alas, the fundies don’t want to get government off our backs. They want to get government into our bedrooms.

no… the fundies want to BE the government. no more, no less.

Comment #70292

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 11, 2006 8:06 PM (e)

that’s a great link Jason. I too wonder why this hasn’t been caught by a contributer yet.

Comment #70354

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 11, 2006 10:22 PM (e)

no… the fundies want to BE the government. no more, no less.

Well, a police state is great — if you get to be the police.

Comment #70417

Posted by Mike Elzinga on January 12, 2006 12:40 AM (e)

Lenny, I am actually in sympathy with your wanting to run over these zombies with a truck. But they usually don’t know when they’ve been run over. I think Harold (#70046) has it right that they capitalize on martyrdom. I probably didn’t err in being polite because I prefer an approach analogous to poisoning. I would prefer the paralysis to set in before they know what has happened and everyone is now viewing them as pathetic dying rats. I think Harold is also right in noting that they often manage to exploit taxpayer money. They need to feel the financial pain for the damage they do. For example, the Dover citizens might have a good case for recovering their tax money by going after Bonsell and Buckingham.

Comment #70429

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 12, 2006 1:08 AM (e)

Well, a police state is great —- if you get to be the police.

hard to say it any clearer than that.

Comment #70613

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 12, 2006 12:56 PM (e)

“If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier – just so long I’m the dictator.” – George W. Bush, December 18, 2000

“A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there’s no question about it.” – George W. Bush, July 30, 2001

Comment #70614

Posted by AC on January 12, 2006 12:57 PM (e)

Keanus wrote:

Informed parents saw the ruse, contacted Americans United and the suit resulted.

This aspect of the whole mess really troubles me. As long as they have money and martyrs, it seems creationists will never stop. They have no sense of civics. They have no respect for America or its laws. They do not value freedom, equality, or even honesty. And the only thing good citizens can do is keep their eyes open and try to sue them. It’s like repeatedly cutting the heads off a hydra.

In the short term, they always hang themselves if given enough rope. But even if the hydra hangs itself, you still have to lasso the head and hold the rope slack, doing so indefinitely as more heads pop up. This clearly can’t go on forever, and I can only hope the terminus involves them running out of steam. The other possibilities are dreadful.

Donald M wrote:

…which “religious view” is ID supposed to be “spreading”?

Whichever one the particular IDer is spreading. Christian IDers spread Christianity. Muslim IDers spread Islam. In practice, there is no non-religious* ID. You can sit around philosophizing all day, but the actual people in the schools, without exception, are motivated by a religious agenda (which is overwhelmingly Christian in America).

* Religious in the sense of adhering to or following from an existing organized religion. ID as a concept is inherently religious (or at least mystical; either way, unscientific) in the sense that it invokes the supernatural to explain natural phenomena.

Comment #70644

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 12, 2006 2:30 PM (e)

In practice, there is no non-religious ID.

Even the most far-out backers of IDC, the Raelians, who are atheistic, can be considered a religion.

Comment #70661

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 12, 2006 3:02 PM (e)

Speaking of our friends the Raelians….

Raelian intelligent design is different from discovery institute intelligent design. Raelian’s call it “atheist intelligent design” and they claim they are in contact with the intelligent designers.

And since the Raelians have as many peer reveiwed articles on intelligent design published in legitimate scientific journals as the DI, by DI standards Raelian intelligent design claims are as scientific and credible as the DIs.

Funny that both Dembski and Behe (and other DI automatons) claim the intelligent designer is not neccesarily God and could be a space alien or time traveler yet I have never read where the Dembski, Behe or the DI have consulted the Raelians or investigated their claims.

On one hand the DI says the intelligent designer could be a space man, on the other hand the Raelians say the intelligent designer is in fact a space man (race of space men) and that they are in contact with those space men yet the DI ignores the Raelian claim.

Logic suggests if the DI is telling the truth about the possibility of the intelligent designer being a space alien they would have at least consulted the Raelians or investigated their claims. Yet by all accounts they have ignored the Raelians.

What gives?

Comment #70680

Posted by Donald M on January 12, 2006 4:03 PM (e)

raging Bee

No, Donald, that wasn’t just RBH’s “opinion,” that was a fact: ID (in its current mutation at least) rests primarily on Behe’s idea/doctrine/whatever of “irreducable complexity” — every cited instance of which has been refuted by further observation of natural phenomena. That leaves a grand total of ZERO observed phenomena which can be explained by ID and not by evolution.

In grade-school, when I made an assertion of fact and it was refuted or disporven, I fell back on the pouty “That’s just your opinion” dodge. But that was a LONG time ago, and we’re all grownups here…right?

Well, I have to disagree. There’s not one peer reviewed research study that supplies a Darwinian explanation for any of the IC systems that Behe wrote about in his book nearly 10 years ago now. In other words, all this supposed “refutation” is bluff and bluster. Thus, RBH can only render his opinion as there are no studies to support him.

But, again, all this is beside the point. No can tell me which religion ID is supposed to be based on. It is incorrect to say Christian Fundamentalism because folks like David Berlinksi or Jon Wells (just to name two), are not Christian Fundamentalists (for that matter, neither am I). There are others, like Micah Sporacio who make no claim to any particular religion. Examples such as this abound.

Judge Jones’ ruling did NOT make any of this “clear” as has been said.
He very narrowly focused on the use made of ID by one particular group of people and then extrapolated that to all of ID. A first year logic student knows that is fallacious. (Its the same fallacy committed by Forrest.)

The bottom line is real simple: the mere fact that some religious people cite ID as supportive or in concert with their religious belief does not in any way mean that ID is “nothing more” than a religious apologetic. By that logic, we could argue that evolution is “nothing more” than apologetic for atheism, since the likes of Dawkins (and others) claim it compatible with their atheistic belief. So what?
But wait, there’s Ken Miller, who find evolution compatible with his catholic faith…so I guess that makes evolution an apologetic for catholicism, right?

Comment #70702

Posted by ben on January 12, 2006 4:53 PM (e)

the mere fact that some religious people cite ID as supportive or in concert with their religious belief does not in any way mean that ID is “nothing more” than a religious apologetic

No, that “mere fact” doesn’t mean by itself that ID is nothing more than religious apologetics. But it IS nothing more than religious apologetics nevertheless.

The fact is that ID: 1) consists of no real scientific research or potential therefor, 2) is just an assumed hypothesis, and 3) would not exist in any sociopolitically detectable form if it weren’t for the collective need of literalist theists of different stripes to force science to support their superstitions. Of course there is no one religious alignment behind the IDiocy, but without militant religionists as a whole, there would be no ID.

Judge Jones…very narrowly focused on the use made of ID by one particular group of people and then extrapolated that to all of ID. A first year logic student knows that is fallacious. (Its the same fallacy committed by Forrest.)

If one excluded all the organizations and individuals who weighed in at KvD (or had the chance to and declined) from the social, political, and scientific struggle over ID, there would be no ID except in the places where it has always existed–the minds of deeply religious people who will always choose to believe certain irrational crap regardless of the evidence and arguments. ID wouldn’t exist as a cynical political movement dedicated to imposing pseudoscientific claptrap on public schools (its only area of actual effort that I can see), it would simply be what it has always been–creationism.

There’s not one peer reviewed research study that supplies a Darwinian explanation for any of the IC systems that Behe wrote about in his book nearly 10 years ago now

Whether or not evolutionary theory explains Behe’s examples says absolutely nothing about whether ID does. It doesn’t, except as a hypothesis believed almost exclusively by people who want to believe.

Comment #70704

Posted by Donald M on January 12, 2006 4:54 PM (e)

AC:

ID as a concept is inherently religious (or at least mystical; either way, unscientific) in the sense that it invokes the supernatural to explain natural phenomena.

There’s nothing inherently unscientific about questioning the ability of chance and necessity (or thier combination) as an adequate explanatory resource to account for certain observations in natural systems or invoking intelligent cause for those same systems. That doesn’t make ID “mystical” or “religious”.

Comment #70714

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 12, 2006 5:08 PM (e)

Well, I have to disagree.

of course you do. otherwise you wouldn’t even bother, right?

There’s not one peer reviewed research study that supplies a Darwinian explanation for any of the IC systems that Behe wrote about in his book nearly 10 years ago now

you are technically correct, DM, there’s not ONE, there’s dozens. 58 by last count, IIRC the trial evidence record in Kitzmiller correctly.

would you care to address the “flaws” in each one of those 58 peer reviewed studies that demonstrate the evolutionary pathways of behe’s flagellum and blood clotting factors for us?

I’m sure that would be quite entertaining. Hell, you might even learn something, who knows?

Comment #70729

Posted by shenda on January 12, 2006 5:37 PM (e)

Donald M:

“Well, I have to disagree. There’s not one peer reviewed research study that supplies a Darwinian explanation for any of the IC systems that Behe wrote about in his book nearly 10 years ago now.”

Have you done *any* research about this? Or are you just enjoying showing off your abysmal and arrogant ignorance?

See http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe/publish.html for a partial list of the publications you are saying do not exist.

BTW, what is the colour of the sky in your world?

Comment #70785

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 12, 2006 7:31 PM (e)

Tell it to the judge, Donald.

Oh wait, you already DID, huh.

How’d that go for you …. . ?

Comment #70787

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 12, 2006 7:33 PM (e)

Come on Donald, say it. I just KNOW that you can ‘t go five posts without dragging atheism – uh, I mean, “philosophical materialism” – into it.

But ID doesn’t have anything to do with religion. No sirree Bob.

You are a liar, Donald. A bare, bald-faced, deliberate, calculating liar. With malice aforethought.

Comment #70788

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 12, 2006 7:34 PM (e)

This seems as good a thread to post this in as any —-

I’m kicking around the idea of organizing another science-book donation to the El Tejon, California, school district, like the one the DebunkCreation email list did for Dover. Ohio and Kansas don’t offer any specific district to target with such a thing. California, however, does.

For those who don’t know what I’m referring to, go to:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/000888.html

Anyone interested?

Comment #70789

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 12, 2006 7:37 PM (e)

the ability of chance and necessity

what the flying f’ does this mean?

did it just sound good to you in a phrase, Donald?

Comment #70791

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 12, 2006 7:43 PM (e)

Anyone interested?

hmm. best to find out how much the local school board is involved first. could be a “rogue” missionary effort on the part of that one “teacher”.

I’ve been through that gas-stop of a town, tho, and it’s geographical position and history would suggest an interview with the local school board to be in order.

If i had a better car at the moment, I’d take a run over there and see for myself.

I’d be happy to hitch a ride with someone if they happen to live anywhere near the coachella valley (which, btw, is where Palm Springs is located, and also has had creationists attempt to -unsuccessfully- invade the schoolboard).

Comment #70803

Posted by Moses on January 12, 2006 7:58 PM (e)

Comment #70680

Posted by Donald M on January 12, 2006 04:03 PM (e) (s)

Well, I have to disagree. There’s not one peer reviewed research study that supplies a Darwinian explanation for any of the IC systems that Behe wrote about in his book nearly 10 years ago now. In other words, all this supposed “refutation” is bluff and bluster. Thus, RBH can only render his opinion as there are no studies to support him.

Donald, you’re either a liar or ignorant. I would ask “which is it?” But I find myself disinterested in any possible rebuttle you could have. Your mind is a closed book.

But no matter how much you whine, Behe knows. Behe was there. Behe was destroyed.

As irreducible complexity is only a negative argument against evolution, it is refutable and accordingly testable, unlike ID, by showing that there are intermediate structures with selectable functions that could have evolved into the allegedly irreducibly complex systems. (2:15-16 (Miller)). Importantly, however, the fact that the negative argument of irreducible complexity is testable does not make testable the argument for ID. (2:15 (Miller); 5:39 (Pennock)). Professor Behe has applied the concept of irreducible complexity to only a few select systems: (1) the bacterial flagellum; (2) the blood-clotting cascade; and (3) the immune system. Contrary to Professor Behe’ s assertions with respect to these few biochemical systems among the myriad existing in nature, however, Dr. Miller presented evidence, based upon peer-reviewed studies, that they are not in fact irreducibly complex.

First, with regard to the bacterial flagellum, Dr. Miller pointed to peer-reviewed studies that identified a possible precursor to the bacterial flagellum, a subsystem that was fully functional, namely the Type-III Secretory System. (2:8-20 (Miller); P-854.23-854.32). Moreover, defense expert Professor Minnich admited that there is serious scientific research on the question of whether the bacterial flagellum evolved into the Type-III Secretary System, the Type-III Secretory System into the bacterial flagellum, or whether they both evolved from a common ancestor. (38:12-16 (Minnich)). None of this research or thinking involves ID. (38:12-16 (Minnich)). In fact, Professor Minnich testified about his research as follows: “we’re looking at the function of these systems and how they could have been derived one from the other. And it’s a legitimate scientific inquiry.” (38:16 (Minnich)).

Second, with regard to the blood-clotting cascade, Dr. Miller demonstrated that the alleged irreducible complexity of the blood-clotting cascade has been disproven by peer-reviewed studies dating back to 1969, which show that dolphins’ and whales’ blood clots despite missing a part of the cascade, a study that was confirmed by molecular testing in 1998. (1:122-29 (Miller); P-854.17-854.22). Additionally and more recently, scientists published studies showing that in puffer fish, blood clots despite the cascade missing not only one, but three parts. (1:128-29 (Miller)). Accordingly, scientists in peer-reviewed publications have refuted Professor Behe’s predication about the alleged irreducible complexity of the blood-clotting cascade. Moreover, cross-examination revealed that Professor Behe’s redefinition of the blood-clotting system was likely designed to avoid peer-reviewed scientific evidence that falsifies his argument, as it was not a scientifically warranted redefinition. (20:26-28, 22:112-25 (Behe)).

The immune system is the third system to which Professor Behe has applied the definition of irreducible complexity. Although in Darwin’s Black Box, Professor Behe wrote that not only were there no natural explanations for the immune system at the time, but that natural explanations were impossible regarding its origin. (P-647 at 139; 2:26-27 (Miller)). However, Dr. Miller presented peer-reviewed studies refuting Professor Behe’s claim that the immune system was irreducibly complex. Between 1996 and 2002, various studies confirmed each element of the evolutionary hypothesis explaining the origin of the immune system. (2:31 (Miller)). In fact, on cross-examination, Professor Behe was questioned concerning his 1996 claim that science would never find an evolutionary explanation for the immune system. He was presented with fifty- eight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system; however, he simply insisted that this was still not sufficient evidence of evolution, and that it was not “good enough.” (23:19 (Behe)).

We find that such evidence demonstrates that the ID argument is dependent upon setting a scientifically unreasonable burden of proof for the theory of evolution. As a further example, the test for ID proposed by both Professors Behe and Minnich is to grow the bacterial flagellum in the laboratory; however, no-one inside or outside of the IDM, including those who propose the test, has conducted it. (P-718; 18:125-27 (Behe); 22:102-06 (Behe)). Professor Behe conceded that the proposed test could not approximate real world conditions and even if it could, Professor Minnich admitted that it would merely be a test of evolution, not design. (22:107-10 (Behe); 2:15 (Miller); 38:82 (Minnich)).

We therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large. (17:45-46 (Padian); 3:99 (Miller)). Additionally, even if irreducible complexity had not been rejected, it still does not support ID as it is merely a test for evolution, not design. (2:15, 2:35-40 (Miller); 28:63-66 (Fuller)).

And, with that, you’ve been demolished. Just like Behe. Just like your stupid religous appologetics have been, time-and-time again. And you’ve shown yourself to be another lying, disingenuous ID priest-troll with nothing to say but old, tired, pointless, cliche’ clap-trap.

Comment #70809

Posted by Moses on January 12, 2006 8:03 PM (e)

Comment #70714

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 12, 2006 05:08 PM (e) (s)

you are technically correct, DM, there’s not ONE, there’s dozens. 58 by last count, IIRC the trial evidence record in Kitzmiller correctly.

Point of correction, but there are more than 58 peer-reviewed papers. The 58 peer-reviewed papers were on the evolution of the immune system and didn’t take into account blood clotting or the flagellum.

Comment #70872

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 12, 2006 9:46 PM (e)

thanks for the correction.

so taking those into account then, we’re into hundreds.

Hell, I wish i still had my university library account.

I fall farther and farther behind every year.

*sigh*

Comment #71045

Posted by AC on January 13, 2006 10:47 AM (e)

Donald M wrote:

No can tell me which religion ID is supposed to be based on.

You are making the same mistake as someone I saw recently (I forget who; it all runs together after this long) who didn’t understand the distinction between “an establishment of religion” and “establishment of a religion”. ID is not based on a religion. ID has its basis in religion. This is why religious people support it. It is not religious because religious people support it.

There’s nothing inherently unscientific about questioning the ability of chance and necessity (or thier combination) as an adequate explanatory resource to account for certain observations in natural systems or invoking intelligent cause for those same systems. That doesn’t make ID “mystical” or “religious”.

To invoke intelligent causes scientifically, one must do more than just “question”. One must propose testable alternate mechanisms, describe the intelligent cause’s properties and what evidence exists for them, etc. ID does not do this. Furthermore, ID haughtily refuses to do this:

William Dembski wrote:

ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories.

Questioning an established scientific theory can often lead to an expanded, more accurate theory. But it has to lead somewhere scientific. Otherwise, it is so much armchair philosophy. Not that philosophy is “beneath” science; it just isn’t science.

Comment #71063

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 13, 2006 11:34 AM (e)

Donald M in comment 70680 wrote:

But, again, all this is beside the point. No can tell me which religion ID is supposed to be based on. It is incorrect to say Christian Fundamentalism because folks like David Berlinksi or Jon Wells (just to name two), are not Christian Fundamentalists (for that matter, neither am I). There are others, like Micah Sporacio who make no claim to any particular religion. Examples such as this abound.

I’m not sure what your point is in including Berlinski in this list of names. According to published reports:

David Berlinski, a mathematician and senior fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture and a sharp critic of neo-Darwinism, also signed the statement of dissent. But in an e-mail message, Berlinski declared, “I have never endorsed intelligent design.

It seems irrelevant to mention that Berlinski is not a Christian Fundamentalist, since he is not an endorser of ID either.

Comment #71326

Posted by Donald M on January 13, 2006 4:29 PM (e)

Moses:

Donald, you’re either a liar or ignorant. I would ask “which is it?” But I find myself disinterested in any possible rebuttle you could have. Your mind is a closed book.

But no matter how much you whine, Behe knows. Behe was there. Behe was destroyed.

–snipped worn out examples of supposed “demolishment” of Behe –

And, with that, you’ve been demolished. Just like Behe. Just like your stupid religous appologetics have been, time-and-time again. And you’ve shown yourself to be another lying, disingenuous ID priest-troll with nothing to say but old, tired, pointless, cliche’ clap-trap.

As I said, there is not one single peer reviewed research study that describes a testable model of how evolution produced any of the IC systems Behe described in his book nearly 10 years ago now. Any claims to the contrary are bluff and bluster. Evolutionary biologists have not a clue how evolution produced these systems. If they did, research studies explaining them in evolutionary terms would abound. They are non-existent. The closest anyone came was the infamous AVIDA computer model study by Lenski et.al. which has been discussed ad nauseum here, at ARN and everywhere else.

Comment #71508

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 13, 2006 9:05 PM (e)

Donald, you guys had your chance in court.

You shot your load.

You lost.

Get used to it, and quit your damn whining.

Geez.

Comment #71846

Posted by Donald M on January 14, 2006 4:15 PM (e)

Point of correction, but there are more than 58 peer-reviewed papers. The 58 peer-reviewed papers were on the evolution of the immune system and didn’t take into account blood clotting or the flagellum.

Really? Cite one…just one.

Comment #71849

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on January 14, 2006 4:27 PM (e)

Donald, why should we do your research for you? Anyone with access to a computer (such as yourself) can look up such articles with ease. Consider:

Insect Mol Biol. 2005 Dec;14(6):599-605. Related Articles, Links

The evolution of immune-related genes from disease carrying mosquitoes: diversity in a peptidoglycan- and a thioester-recognizing protein.

Little TJ, Cobbe N.

Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. Tom.Little@ed.ac.uk

Adaptive polymorphism may be common in immune system genes as co-evolutionary interactions foster diversity; either through ongoing positive selection (arms races), or balancing selection. DNA sequence diversity in two putative immune system genes was examined in species of the genus Anopheles and from Aedes aegypti. For one gene, encoding the peptidoglycan recognizing protein PGRPLB, there was evidence of purifying selection, suggesting that selection acts to eliminate sequence variation. For another gene, encoding the thioester-containing protein TEP3, higher levels of amino acid replacement were found than would be expected under neutral models of evolution - an indication that this gene has been subject to repeated bouts of positive selection.

Now go do some research before you make more of a fool of yourself, please.

Comment #71855

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 14, 2006 4:42 PM (e)

hey, I have no problem with DM making a fool of himself over and over and over again.

He makes a great poster boy for ID.

Who painted that famous work of the blind leading the blind?

I think pretty much all the known causes of blindness were exemplified in detail in that painting, but does anybody recall if “willfull blindness”, that Don readily exhibits, was in there as well?

Comment #71857

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 14, 2006 4:45 PM (e)

ahh, i remember now. It was Bruegel.

and no, i don’t think one of the blind had his hands over his eyes.

perhaps we should consider hiring an artist to re-paint it to include the most common form of blindness?

Comment #72421

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 16, 2006 10:10 AM (e)

The social studies intelligent design creationism teacher was quoted today saying

I believe this is the class that the Lord wanted me to teach

Clearly she was compelled by the Lord to teach this intelligent design creationism class. But keep in mind intelligent design is NOT religious. When was the last time the Lord compelled anyone to teach a science class?

Obviously this sort of honest portrayal of intelligent design creationism and the clear motives of the IDC true believers must be driving the Disco crazy.

Comment #72457

Posted by gwangung on January 16, 2006 2:09 PM (e)

Really? Cite one…just one.

THis would require paying attention to the responses you’ve been given, a trait that has not seemed to be present up till now.

Comment #72493

Posted by Donald M on January 16, 2006 4:48 PM (e)

Rilke’s Granddaughter cites:

Insect Mol Biol. 2005 Dec;14(6):599-605. Related Articles, Links

The evolution of immune-related genes from disease carrying mosquitoes: diversity in a peptidoglycan- and a thioester-recognizing protein.

Little TJ, Cobbe N.

Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. Tom.Little@ed.ac.uk
(See abstract above)

This is a study that focuses on amino acid variation in pre-existing protein. It does nothing to provide a testable model in evolutionary terms of how the immune system evolved in the first place, which is, of course, the issue.

Like I said, it has been nearly 10 years since Behe published his book and there isn’t a singe research study providng a detailed, testable model of how any of the IC systems he described in his book evolved. Not one. Studies such as this one are certainly useful in understanding how these systems work, but offer nothing to help us understand how they came to be in the first place.

More bluff and bluster. Better luck next time.

toejam:

hey, I have no problem with DM making a fool of himself over and over and over again.

He makes a great poster boy for ID.

Who painted that famous work of the blind leading the blind?

I think pretty much all the known causes of blindness were exemplified in detail in that painting, but does anybody recall if “willfull blindness”, that Don readily exhibits, was in there as well?

The one’s making fools of themselves are you guys who think you can pull the wool over peoples eyes by citing studies like this one as examples of “explanation” of how this or that IC system evolved. You’re not kidding anyone with these bluffs.

If there is any “willfull” blindness here, its on the part of Darwinists who think hand-waving just-so stories amount to actual explanation. They don’t.

gwangung

This would require paying attention to the responses you’ve been given, a trait that has not seemed to be present up till now.

Apparently I’m paying closer attention than you are.

Comment #72495

Posted by Flint on January 16, 2006 4:58 PM (e)

Like I said, it has been nearly 10 years since Behe published his book and there isn’t a singe research study providng…

the slightest evidence that the IC claims are in fact accurate, much less any detailed, testable model of IC. Behe himself admitted that he hasn’t done one iota of research to back his claims, he has simply ASSERTED that they are correct, and presumed that unless anyone can prove him false *to his satisfaction*, he wins by default.

But unfortunately, it’s not anyone else’s job to provide positive evidence that Behe is wrong, it’s Behe’s job to do the research to show that he’s right. And since no such research can be done even in principle, Behe has done nothing. Nor has anyone else.

And as Judge Jones pointed out repeatedly, and Donald M ignores, even if Behe DID the research (gasp), and published his findings (double gasp), and the community of genuine scientists accepted his results (triple gasp), this STILL would do nothing to support ID. All it could accomplish would be to show that the current ToE has an identified problem, NOT that any UNinvestigated alternative explanation had any merit whatsoever.

Meanwhile, Donald M follows the practice Jones noticed that Behe followed: He admitted he hadn’t read the evidence presented, but he didn’t need to, since he knew it wasn’t good enough to satisfy him.

Comment #72499

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 16, 2006 5:08 PM (e)

This is a study that focuses on amino acid variation in pre-existing protein. It does nothing to provide a testable model in evolutionary terms of how the immune system evolved in the first place, which is, of course, the issue.

let me parse this…

You’re saying that something that shows protein variation evolving in immune systems has nothing to do with the evolution of immune systems?

hmmm.

talk about using “explanatory filters”

*snicker*

Comment #72507

Posted by steve s on January 16, 2006 5:50 PM (e)

Uncommon Pissant is so ridiculous and moronic that conversations about it break out on Panda’s Thumb all the time. The PTers aren’t providing a dedicated thread to discuss the Everlasting Trainwreck which is that blog, so this thread’s for that.

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST&f=14&t=151

Comment #72508

Posted by gwangung on January 16, 2006 5:57 PM (e)

Apparently I’m paying closer attention than you are.

Empirically, you’re showing the opposite.

Comment #72509

Posted by Russell on January 16, 2006 6:17 PM (e)

…there are more than 58 peer-reviewed papers.

Really? Cite one…just one.

In the immunologists’ “Bible” (Fundamental Immunology, edited by William E. Paul, Lippincott, 2003) Chapter 18 (pp 519-570) is “Evolution of the Immune System”. It’s slightly dated now, as that field is particularly fertile these days (despite Behe’s ignorance of it). It has 213 references.

Hope that helps.

Comment #72511

Posted by steve s on January 16, 2006 6:28 PM (e)

Google Scholar:

Results 1 - 10 of about 120,000 for evolution immune system. (0.09 seconds)

item 1:

Nature 394, 744 - 751 (20 August 1998); doi:10.1038/29457

Transposition mediated by RAG1 and RAG2 and its implications for the evolution of the immune system

ALKA AGRAWAL*, QUINN M. EASTMAN† & DAVID G. SCHATZ‡

* Department of Pharmacology, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA
† Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, New Haven, Connecticut 06510 , USA
‡ Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Section of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA

Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to D.G.S. (e-mail: david.schatz@yale.edu).

Immunoglobulin and T-cell-receptor genes are assembled from component gene segments in developing lymphocytes by a site-specific recombination reaction, V (D)J recombination. The proteins encoded by the recombination-activating genes, RAG1 and RAG2, are essential in this reaction, mediating sequence-specific DNA recognition of well-defined recombination signals and DNA cleavage next to these signals. Here we show that RAG1 and RAG2 together form a transposase capable of excising a piece of DNA containing recombination signals from a donor site and inserting it into a target DNA molecule. The products formed contain a short duplication of target DNA immediately flanking the transposed fragment, a structure like that created by retroviral integration and all known transposition reactions. The results support the theory that RAG1 and RAG2 were once components of a transposable element, and that the split nature of immunoglobulin and T-cell-receptor genes derives from germline insertion of this element into an ancestral receptor gene soon after the evolutionary divergence of jawed and jawless vertebrates.

© 1998 Nature Publishing Group
Privacy Policy

You really should have been able to find that yourself Donald, but in any case, now you know how to find them.

Comment #72512

Posted by Russell on January 16, 2006 6:30 PM (e)

Oh, and if you don’t have ready access to Fundamental Immunology, you might want to start with Matt Inlay’s review of chapter 6 of “Darwin’s Black Box”. (It has lots of good references too.)

Comment #72528

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 16, 2006 7:02 PM (e)

Like I said, it has been nearly 10 years since Behe published his book and there isn’t a singe research study providng a detailed, testable model of how any of the IC systems he described in his book evolved. Not one.

How dreadful.

What, again, did you say the scientific theory of ID is? How, again, did you say this scientific theory of ID explains these problems? What, again, did you say the designer did? What mechanisms, again, did you say it used to do whatever the heck you think it did? Where, again, did you say we can see the designer using these mechanisms to do … well . . anything?

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

You are a liar, Donald. A bare, bald-faced, deceptive, deceitful, deliberate liar, with malice aforethought.

Comment #72541

Posted by Donald M on January 16, 2006 7:34 PM (e)

You are a liar, Donald. A bare, bald-faced, deceptive, deceitful, deliberate liar, with malice aforethought.

Such dazzling logic. Such brilliant reasoning. Wow, I’m simply overwhelmed by the power of your arguments, Lenny. (and shaking and trembling with fear, too!)

You’re a joke, Lenny, and no one, not one person, should ever take you seriously about anything. You simply have nothing to say.

Comment #72543

Posted by ben on January 16, 2006 7:43 PM (e)

You could just answer his questions, however annoying you might find them/him. However, we all know you can’t.

Comment #72548

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 16, 2006 7:50 PM (e)

And, whoops, Donald M was so overcome with his joy at seeing Lenny come in that, it seems, he entirely overlooked the several posts above Lenny’s.

The ones substantively refuting Donald’s claims. Now, why would Donald have overlooked those posts in order to go on a substanceless rant against our inoffensive Lenny, all while failing to take his own advice that no one should take Lenny seriously…?

Hmmm. I think an answer is coming to me.

Comment #72552

Posted by gwangung on January 16, 2006 8:00 PM (e)

Now, why would Donald have overlooked those posts in order to go on a substanceless rant against our inoffensive Lenny, all while failing to take his own advice that no one should take Lenny seriously…?

Because Donald is a liar. He doesn’t pay attention to ANYTHING that’s posted. He just spews his talking points despite whatever evidence. And he shouldn’t be taken seriously in what he posts.

But we all knew that. We just wanted some holiday target practice.

Comment #72555

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 16, 2006 8:19 PM (e)

Well, heck then, let’s invite him over to the Dembski thread and let him, Carol, and LaLa yammer away at each other until we clock up our 999 comments…!

Be useful for once in your trollish little lives, and help us reach our record.

You can spell D-e-m-b-s-k-i, can’t you, Donald?

Comment #72572

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 16, 2006 9:56 PM (e)

Such dazzling logic. Such brilliant reasoning. Wow, I’m simply overwhelmed by the power of your arguments, Lenny. (and shaking and trembling with fear, too!)

You’re a joke, Lenny, and no one, not one person, should ever take you seriously about anything. You simply have nothing to say.

How dreadful.

I noticed, though, that you didn’t answer any of my questions, Donald. Again.

So I’ll ask, again.

What, again, did you say the scientific theory of ID is? How, again, did you say this scientific theory of ID explains these problems? What, again, did you say the designer did? What mechanisms, again, did you say it used to do whatever the heck you think it did? Where, again, did you say we can see the designer using these mechanisms to do … well . . anything?

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

You are a liar, Donald. A bare, bald-faced, deceptive, deceitful, deliberate liar, with malice aforethought. Still.

Comment #72858

Posted by Donald M on January 17, 2006 1:27 PM (e)

Steviepinhead writes:

And, whoops, Donald M was so overcome with his joy at seeing Lenny come in that, it seems, he entirely overlooked the several posts above Lenny’s.

The ones substantively refuting Donald’s claims.

Because none of them “substantively” refute anything, nor do they explain what needs to be explained: how did the immune system evolve. To understand why studies like the ones cited here don’t cut the mustard on this question, I’ll defer to Behe himself in this post at ID The Future…a web-site that I know you all know and love. Behe explains very well what the problems are with studies like the ones cited here.

Perhaps you expect that rattling off a list of such studies settles the issue, but it doesn’t. The IC systems Behe described in his book nearly ten years ago remain unexplained with respect to any actual research studies in peer reviewed journals that provide the step-by-darwinian step detailed testable (and thus potentially falsifiable) model of how evolution built these systems. Grand evolutionary extrapolations (the great GEE of evolution as in “golly GEE whiz, look at the wonders evolution has wrought”), are little more than vigorous hand waving and eloborate excersizes in begging the question. You’ll have to do better than that because I’m not just taking your word for it that these questions are settled or “explained”.

Of course, its far easier to resort to low-level ad hominems or obvious attempts to change the subject (i.e. red herrings), than to provide the necessary details. No one is being fooled by these rhetorical gimmicks.

Comment #72863

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 17, 2006 1:38 PM (e)

OK Donald,
What is the ID explanation for the imune system?

Comment #72877

Posted by AC on January 17, 2006 2:06 PM (e)

Donald M wrote:

…I’m not just taking your word for it that these questions are settled or “explained”.

But you are taking the word of Dembski, Behe, et al. that the questions are problems simply because there is not a “step-by-darwinian step” explanation.

Right?

Comment #72878

Posted by Russell on January 17, 2006 2:06 PM (e)

Donald M asked for “just one” paper on the evolution of the immune system. We’ve provided hundreds. That should be the end of the story.

Rather than deal with the fact that he’s just simply WRONG, he “defers” to Behe’s famous “jumping the shark” piece where Behe admits that he’s not going to be satisfied with anything less than a mutation-by-mutation account of the history of the the vertebrate immune system (which, of course, includes a mutation-by-mutation account of the precursors to the vertebrate immune system, the precursors to that, etc. etc. back to the First Replicator).

You see, Mr. M, the absurdity of this position (and the utter inconsistency with the claims made in DBB) are what enables someone like Judge Jones, with no training in science at all, to conclude that ID is nonsense (to put it rather too politely).

Comment #72881

Posted by Russell on January 17, 2006 2:10 PM (e)

I do have to envy Mr. M’s reading speed, though. Studying those hundreds of papers in enough detail to know whether they deal with any of the issues Behe refers to in less than 24 hours is truly impressive.

Comment #72891

Posted by Flint on January 17, 2006 2:31 PM (e)

I do have to envy Mr. M’s reading speed, though. Studying those hundreds of papers in enough detail to know whether they deal with any of the issues Behe refers to in less than 24 hours is truly impressive.

But Donald didn’t read them, he deferred to Behe. Behe admits he didn’t read them either, because he knows that his demands can never be met. So all we get is another mendacious illustration that doctrine trumps evidence without even breathing hard.

Here’s a mental exercise. Suppose, by some miracle, Behe’s demand for infinite evidence were actually met. Does anyone seriously believe this would cause him to change his faith?

Comment #72894

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 17, 2006 2:34 PM (e)

Posted by Russell on January 17, 2006 02:10 PM (e) (s)

I do have to envy Mr. M’s reading speed, though. Studying those hundreds of papers in enough detail to know whether they deal with any of the issues Behe refers to in less than 24 hours is truly impressive.

LOL.

Donald,
I ask again. What is the ID reasoning of the imune system?

Come on Donald, explain how ID says the imune system developed.

Comment #72900

Posted by gwangung on January 17, 2006 2:47 PM (e)

Because none of them “substantively” refute anything, nor do they explain what needs to be explained: how did the immune system evolve.

This is incorrect, of course. You cannot dismiss the explanations offered by assertion—ANYBODY can do that, even idiots.

You need to explain…IN DETAIL…where these papers fall short. After all, you could just be lying your head off about this…how would we know if you don’t SHOW us where these papers go wrong. TELLING us is not enough.

Comment #72913

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 17, 2006 3:16 PM (e)

Perhaps you expect that rattling off a list of such studies settles the issue, but it doesn’t. The IC systems Behe described in his book nearly ten years ago remain unexplained with respect to any actual research studies in peer reviewed journals that provide the step-by-darwinian step detailed testable (and thus potentially falsifiable) model of how evolution built these systems. Grand evolutionary extrapolations (the great GEE of evolution as in “golly GEE whiz, look at the wonders evolution has wrought”), are little more than vigorous hand waving and eloborate excersizes in begging the question. You’ll have to do better than that because I’m not just taking your word for it that these questions are settled or “explained”.

Of course, its far easier to resort to low-level ad hominems or obvious attempts to change the subject (i.e. red herrings), than to provide the necessary details. No one is being fooled by these rhetorical gimmicks.

You could not ask for better evidence that creationists are fundamentally unteachable. He makes a pseudo-scientific claim. We point out that the claim is bogus, with references to several works scientifically refuting the claim. He ignores the references, refuses to read them, claims the argument is unchanged, admits that no matter what we do he won’t ‘take our word for it’, and in fact, calls the whole process of scientific refutation ‘rhetorical gimmicks’. He’s essentially arranged a wall of nonsense around himself that guarantees that nothing that he considers counterevidence will ever enter his brain. The way he’s arranged reality, no counterevidence ever could exist.

And last but not least, when we point out that he has no idea what he’s talking about, he calls this an ‘ad hominem’, quite a fashionable rhetorical gimmick among creationists these days.

Donald, your complaints are imbecilic. Read the articles and explain why they don’t ‘settle the issue’. Your simply saying they don’t impresses no one. If you won’t read the articles (most likely), just shut the hell up and go away.

Comment #72996

Posted by AC on January 17, 2006 5:52 PM (e)

Flint wrote:

Here’s a mental exercise. Suppose, by some miracle, Behe’s demand for infinite evidence were actually met. Does anyone seriously believe this would cause him to change his faith?

Nope. That’s why it’s faith. Not coincidentally, that’s why it’s useless.

Except for stroking one’s ego and fleecing the credulous, of course.

Comment #73047

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 17, 2006 7:54 PM (e)

Rather than deal with the fact that he’s just simply WRONG, he “defers” to Behe’s famous “jumping the shark” piece where Behe admits that he’s not going to be satisfied with anything less than a mutation-by-mutation account of the history of the the vertebrate immune system (which, of course, includes a mutation-by-mutation account of the precursors to the vertebrate immune system, the precursors to that, etc. etc. back to the First Replicator).

On the other hand, Donald doesn’t think ID has to explain … well . . ANYTHING. Anything at all whatsoever. It doesn’t have to tell us what the designer does. It doesn’t have to tell us how it does whatever it does. It doesn’t have to tell us where we can see it doing anythign today.

Odd, isn’t it.

Like I said, Donald is a liar. A deceitful, deliberate, calculating liar.

Comment #73049

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 17, 2006 7:59 PM (e)

The IC systems Behe described in his book nearly ten years ago remain unexplained with respect to any actual research studies in peer reviewed journals

Well, Donald, since you’re not answering questions and all, here’s a few more (that I have asked you before) that you can go ahead and not answer. Again.

*ahem*

How does “evolution can’t explain X Y or Z, therefore goddidit” differ from plain old ordinary run-of-the-mill “god of the gaps?

Here’s *another* question for you to not answer, Donald: Suppose in ten years, we DO come up with a specific mutation by mutation explanation for how X Y or Z appeared. What then? Does that mean (1) the designer USED to produce those things, but stopped all of a sudden when we came up with another mechanisms? or (2) the designer was using that mechanism the entire time, or (3) there never was any designer there to begin with.

Which is it, Donald? 1, 2 or 3?

(sound of crickets chirping)

Yeah, Donald, I can understand why you don’t want to answer that simple question.

You are a liar, Donald. A dishonest, evasive, deceitful, deceptive liar.

Comment #73168

Posted by Russell on January 18, 2006 10:09 AM (e)

Stephen Elliott asked Donald M: “What is the ID reasoning of the i[m]mune system?”

Mr. M seems to have left the building. (Probably he’s reading all those references, so he can speak more knowledgeably on the subject. Or not.)

But since, when the going gets tough, Mr. M. “defers” (read, “ducks behind”) DI luminary Michael Behe, perhaps I can answer for him: the Intelligent Designer “poofed” it into existence in a puff of smoke.

Comment #73196

Posted by Henry J on January 18, 2006 11:34 AM (e)

But doesn’t he know that smoking is hazardous to his health?

Comment #73243

Posted by Donald M on January 18, 2006 2:21 PM (e)

You need to explain…IN DETAIL…where these papers fall short. After all, you could just be lying your head off about this…how would we know if you don’t SHOW us where these papers go wrong. TELLING us is not enough.

The burden of proof lies with those making the claim. You and your chorts are the ones claiming that all these studies explain in detail how the immune system arose and that they provide a detailed, testable model in step-by-Darwinian step fashion. It is up to you to show how they do that. Studies showing similarities in structures and functions might be useful as evidence of common decent but do not tell us how RM/NS built those structures or functions in the first place, which is what we want to know. Saying that because they’re similar, evolution must have built them without providing the details of how is of no use.

We know from these studies that functions and structures are similar between organisms. Great. How, again, did RM/NS, the mechanisms of evolution build these structures and functions, step-by-step in the first place, or did they just somehow “arise” or “spring forth”? Where’s the detailed testable model for that? Answer: there isn’t one. Not for the immune system nor for any of the other IC systems Behe described in his book.

But instead of explaining how these studies provide that information, we get attempts to change the subject, attempts to shift the burden of proof, ad hominems (and not very clever ones at that, and the like.

This is science? Right!

Better luck next time.

Comment #73244

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 18, 2006 2:32 PM (e)

The burden of proof lies with those making the claim

In yet another case of classic projection, DM forgets that HE was the one who made the claim that:

The IC systems Behe described in his book nearly ten years ago remain unexplained with respect to any actual research studies in peer reviewed journals

so, no DM, it’s up to YOU to explain how these dozens of studies don’t qualify as actual research studies addressing the issue of the evolution of immune systems.

I really think you need a shrink, there, old boy.

Comment #73246

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 18, 2006 2:38 PM (e)

…but hey, if you are to ingorant to parse the words in those papers, or simply too lazy to even try, feel free to admit that.

starting from that position, you might begin by asking some actual QUESTIONS about how we have ascertained the evolution of the immune system through actual things we like to call “experiments”.

However, you have to actually express a genuine interest in knowing the answers, rather than expecting you preaching nonsense is gonna encourage anybody to translate these articles into sub-layman for you.

Comment #73248

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 18, 2006 2:47 PM (e)

The latest silliness from the mouth of Donald M:

You and your chorts

Yep, Donald, we’re chortling all right.

But not with you, if’n you know what I mean.

Comment #73280

Posted by gwangung on January 18, 2006 4:44 PM (e)

The burden of proof lies with those making the claim.

And we did.

Now it’s YOUR job to show where it falls down, if it does.

That means READING the papers. And THINKING about it.

That does NOT meaning running away.

Folks keep putting the answer in front of you…and you keep rejecting it WITHOUT EVER LOOKING AT IT.

Idiot.

And I call you a liar, because I truly doubt that you ever read any of the papers or understood any of the concepts presented. Only a liar would reject evidence, no matter the quality, without ever analyzing it and keep saying no evidence has ever been presented.

Comment #73285

Posted by Russell on January 18, 2006 4:51 PM (e)

The burden of proof lies with those making the claim.

Right. Behe (and you) claimed that no work is being done on the evolution of this system. In light of all the references you’re intent on ignoring, I’d say that claim doesn’t hold up too well.

You and your chorts are the ones claiming that all these studies explain in detail how the immune system arose and that they provide a detailed, testable model in step-by-Darwinian step fashion.

Who, exactly is making that claim? The references provide a substantial framework for the key steps in the evolution of adaptive immunity. I expect there will be decades of research fleshing it out. But even after decades, centuries, millenia of research, you can always ask for “more detail”. So, how much detail are you demanding? Let’s get quantitative here.

Before we waste our time any further on this, which papers did you read, Mr. M?

Better luck next time.

Next Dover, you mean? That had very little to do with luck, my friend.

Comment #73350

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 18, 2006 8:17 PM (e)

The burden of proof lies with those making the claim.

Agreed.

Show me the designer.

Show me what it does.

Show me how it does it.

(sound of crickets chirping)

Yep, that’s what I thought.

Are you gonna answer my questions this time, Donald? Or are you just going to run away. Again.

Comment #73351

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 18, 2006 8:21 PM (e)

But instead of explaining how these studies provide that information, we get attempts to change the subject, attempts to shift the burden of proof, ad hominems (and not very clever ones at that, and the like.

How dreadful.

Here, Donald, let me repeat my questions for you once more, just in case you missed them the first dozen times:

What, again, did you say the scientific theory of ID is? How, again, did you say this scientific theory of ID explains these problems? What, again, did you say the designer did? What mechanisms, again, did you say it used to do whatever the heck you think it did? Where, again, did you say we can see the designer using these mechanisms to do … well . . anything?

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

How does “evolution can’t explain X Y or Z, therefore goddidit” differ from plain old ordinary run-of-the-mill “god of the gaps?

Here’s *another* question for you to not answer, Donald: Suppose in ten years, we DO come up with a specific mutation by mutation explanation for how X Y or Z appeared. What then? Does that mean (1) the designer USED to produce those things, but stopped all of a sudden when we came up with another mechanisms? or (2) the designer was using that mechanism the entire time, or (3) there never was any designer there to begin with.

Which is it, Donald? 1, 2 or 3?

Oh, and if ID isn’t about religion, Donald, then why do you spend so much time bitching and moaning about “philosophical materialism”?

(sound of crickets chirping)

You are a liar, Donald. A bare, bald-faced, deceptive, deceitful, deliberate liar, with malice aforethought. Still.

Comment #73352

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 18, 2006 8:25 PM (e)

We know from these studies that functions and structures are similar between organisms. Great. How, again, did RM/NS, the mechanisms of evolution build these structures and functions, step-by-step in the first place, or did they just somehow “arise” or “spring forth”? Where’s the detailed testable model for that? Answer: there isn’t one. Not for the immune system nor for any of the other IC systems Behe described in his book.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that this is all absolutely true.

So what?

We don’t know where Jimmy Hoffa or Amelia Earhardt are, either. Does that mean, in your view, that God kidnapped them?

“We don’t know” means “we don’t know”, Donald. It doesn’t mean “we don’t know, therefore your unsupported assertion must be true”.

But then, ID is indeed nothing more than God of the Gaps, isn’t that right?

Comment #73452

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 19, 2006 5:02 AM (e)

Donald,

I have asked you what the ID explanation for the immune system is. You have failed to answer. So I will lay out my chain of questions.

1 What is the ID position on the human immune system?
2 Why do we need it?
3 Would it not have been simpler (and more rational), for the designer to design in a way so that an immune system was not needed?

Maybe you will address this on your next drive-by.
I wont hold my breath waiting though.

Comment #105402

Posted by Mike Flacklestein on June 13, 2006 1:09 PM (e)

I live at 34033 Commonwealth in Seattle. Been up here before?