Nick Matzke posted Entry 2134 on March 23, 2006 03:43 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2129

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to read this. It will be fun to see how many times the previous law review articles by DeWolf et al. (summary: “Intelligent design is constitutional because it is revolutionary new science, not creationism!”) are contradicted by the new DI book by DeWolf et al. (which, if it follows the website, will say, “Judge Jones was irresponsible and activist for ruling on the science question!”).

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Comment #88566

Posted by John Wilkins on March 23, 2006 4:23 AM (e)

Isn’t it fun that the publisher is DIP (DI Press)?

Comment #88567

Posted by Renier on March 23, 2006 5:44 AM (e)

The can try and rebut all they want. They lost, and they lost badly. They had a fair chance in court to state their case, and the judge thought it was pure unadulterated crap. Everyone else thinks it is crap too.

They can attack the judge too, but it still does not change the fact that they have nothing to show, except crap.

Loooosers…

Comment #88568

Posted by Frank J on March 23, 2006 6:14 AM (e)

Reiner wrote:

The can try and rebut all they want. They lost, and they lost badly.

They lost another legal battle, and they still refuse to fight the scientific battle (that classic creationists tried and lost). But they keep winning the PR war. Which is why I constantly remind my fellow “evolutionists” that, while we succeeding at reducing the “supply” (keeping anti-evolution pseudoscience out of public school) we really need to concentrate on reducing the “demand.” And that’s where complaints of “sneaking in God” are counterproductive, however correct they may be. The “secrets” that need to be exposed include:

1. How IDers think they can outsmart the hapless designer that one of them admitted under oath might no longer even exist.

2. The increasing “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach that virtually admits that the classic creationist models failed, and that there’s no promising alternative to evolution.

3. That many mainstream Christian theologians consider ID/creationism/”teach the controversy” to be bad theology as well.

Comment #88574

Posted by Noname on March 23, 2006 8:13 AM (e)

Some people on this blog claimed that Judge Jones was obligated to rule on the scientific merits of ID just because both sides asked him to. Those people are now going to have to eat a lot of crow.

In Florida, a female schoolteacher was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy. The schoolteacher, her lucky “victim,“ his mother, the defense, and the prosecutors were all opposed to having a trial. The schoolteacher was charged in two counties and a plea bargain was made in one of them. However, the judge in the other county insisted that there be a trial. The prosecutors quickly solved the problem by withdrawing the charges. See http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id…

So much for the notion that a judge is obligated to do something just because all of the participants in a case want him to do it.

Comment #88578

Posted by Renier on March 23, 2006 8:30 AM (e)

Shut up Larry…

Comment #88579

Posted by Raging Bee on March 23, 2006 8:31 AM (e)

Noname has to be Larry Farfromaman: same lame case, same use of ovbious non-sequiturs, same spiritless workmanlike presentation, same empty cockiness. Give it up, fool, you’re not fooling anyone.

Comment #88582

Posted by steve s on March 23, 2006 8:48 AM (e)

Comment #88566

Posted by John Wilkins on March 23, 2006 04:23 AM (e)

Isn’t it fun that the publisher is DIP (DI Press)?

And Dembski’s initials are WAD. So if he edits a series for them it’ll be “A DIP/WAD Book”.

Comment #88584

Posted by wamba on March 23, 2006 9:03 AM (e)

he prosecutors quickly solved the problem by withdrawing the charges.

So much for the notion that a judge is obligated to do something just because all of the participants in a case want him to do it.

You should try harder to give your specious argument even the appearance of sense.

Comment #88585

Posted by Zeno on March 23, 2006 9:03 AM (e)

What else can the poor suckers do? They can’t insist on “teaching the controversy” unless there is at least the appearance of one, so they have to try to rebut Kitzmiller. Poor suckers. (What is wrong with their brains?)

Comment #88586

Posted by Dean Morrison on March 23, 2006 9:04 AM (e)

Isn’t it a rule that posting under multiple identities may result in a ban on this board - and wasn’t Larry warned about this months ago?

I predicted we’d be playing ‘spot the Larry’ when he treatened to do just that ages ago: and that he would be simple to spot because of his trademark crackpottery.

Go talk to that nice lady at the Library Larry - ask her for a date, try to get a life. Failing that go for a ride on your bike - you are only wasting space here.

Comment #88587

Posted by wamba on March 23, 2006 9:16 AM (e)

I wonder if this book will include a contribution from eminent legal scholar Michael Francisco, a second year law student at Cornell and an ***-hat.

Comment #88588

Posted by wamba on March 23, 2006 9:20 AM (e)

The book also includes a lengthy response to the ruling from Dr. Michael Behe, entitled “Whether ID is Science: Michael Behe’s Response to Kitzmiller v. Dover.” Dr. Behe was the lead expert witness for the defense at the trial.

* snicker *

Comment #88592

Posted by Tim Makinson on March 23, 2006 9:58 AM (e)

Amusingly this book is 15 pages shorter than Judge Jones’ decision.

Comment #88594

Posted by bjm on March 23, 2006 10:06 AM (e)

You do have to admire the way they can take another total drubbing and turn it into a lucrative venture. Sadly, I have no doubt this will become a best seller in all their churches - “legalese for the masses” - so to speak?

Comment #88596

Posted by bjm on March 23, 2006 10:12 AM (e)

Maybe we should re-brand ID - “Science from the Masses”

Comment #88599

Posted by DJ on March 23, 2006 10:36 AM (e)

or a “WAD/DIP book”

WADDIP we change the name to Intelligent Design? WADDIP we call the Flagella an outboard motor? WADDIP we point to the Cambrian? WADDIP we wave our hands around?

Comment #88601

Posted by jonboy on March 23, 2006 10:45 AM (e)

Science as a way of knowing has been extremely successful, although people may not like all the changes science and its handmaiden, technology, have wrought. But people who oppose evolution, and seek to have creationism or intelligent design included in science curricula, seek to dismiss and change the most successful way of knowing ever discovered. They wish to substitute opinion and belief for evidence and testing. The proponents of creationism/intelligent design promote scientific ignorance in the guise of learning.
The big difference is that if evolution is ultimately proven wrong, we will have only lost a theory. We will move forward with a new testable hypothesis. If creationism or intelligent design are proven scientifically false, then billions of people have lost a fundamental tenant of their religious faith. They have lost everything. No wonder they are hanging on by “the skin of their teeth”

Comment #88603

Posted by Richiyaado on March 23, 2006 10:52 AM (e)

The blurb (and the book) says Judge Jones’ decision shows… “an elementary misunderstanding of intelligent design theory.” What theory? There ain’t no ID theory, ain’t never been no ID theory, probably ain’t never gonna be no ID theory, so what is there to misunderstand? Near as I can tell, ID “theory” is whatever this or that ID “theorist” says it is, so long as it suits this or that social, political or religious agenda… it is infinitely flexible and fungible, and completely science-free. Judge Jones understood that perfectly.

Comment #88604

Posted by Mr. Peabody on March 23, 2006 10:57 AM (e)

Since we are on the topic of the Dover decision and Judge John E. Jones, I just wanted to let all of you know, the local NPR radio station (WHYY) here in Philadelphia interviewed Judge Jones yesterday (3/22/06). It is a local radio show called Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane and they had him on for an hour with a few questions from callers. You can listen to this program by Real Audio as all previous shows are archived on the WHYY website. If you want to listen, just:
1. click onto: http://www.whyy.org/91FM/radiotimes.html
2. browse the archives to the date March 22 2006 and then click on the link.

I only caught bits and pieces of the interview as I was in the middle of some lab work. I’ll probably listen to it some time soon myself.

Comment #88607

Posted by JAllen on March 23, 2006 11:06 AM (e)

The DI wrote:

In this concise yet comprehensive response, Discovery Institute scholars and attorneys expose how Judge Jones’s Kitzmiller decision was based upon faulty reasoning [of IDists], non-existent evidence [for ID], and an elementary misunderstanding [by proponents] of intelligent design [as to what constitutes a] theory.

Comment #88608

Posted by Mike Z on March 23, 2006 11:10 AM (e)

jonboy–

It may be too strong to say that if ID is shown to be wrong, then “billions of people have lost a fundamental tenant of their religious faith.” Rather, it seems that only a small portion of religious believers have decided that scientific research can falsify their faith. I suspect that most do not feel so personally threatened by science.

But, even among evangelicals that do not feel *personally* threatened by science, there is a common belief that a naturalistic viewpoint is leading us all into moral decay and, hence, to an eternity of torment in hell. In general, evangelicals believe that it is their moral duty to save as many people from hell as they can, and so opposition to naturalism / materialism is seen as part of that duty. As a result, they feel there are duty-bound to oppose much of contemporary science.

Comment #88609

Posted by AR on March 23, 2006 11:20 AM (e)

Judging by the speed this drivel was put together as a book, there is little doubt it is just a bunch of posts on their websites printed now in a book form, as a desperate attempt to alleviate the impact of Dover decision and make money along the way. Luskin, Witt, West, de-Wolf - this company is well known and predictable. Add Behe - his humiliation at Dover (which he does not realize, being confident that he performed there magnificently) showed that, with all his old reasonably decent scientific publications (predating his Darwin’s Black Box) he is in fact a deeply confused, self-admiring crank. Why Nick is waiting with such an interest to see this book? Surely it will contain nothing new but a lot of nauseating piffle.

Comment #88610

Posted by justasking7 on March 23, 2006 11:21 AM (e)

As I read this blog, I see a lot of ad hominem attacks and self-congratulatory smirky insults and huzzahs. Folks here attack “Larry” – yet I haven’t seen a post from him that is as embarrassingly childish as those from the self-proclaimed scientists on this blog.

I would like to contact “Larry” privately – I think the Intelligent Design critique is worth understanding on its merits. Is there a way to send private e-mails here?

Comment #88611

Posted by BWE on March 23, 2006 11:24 AM (e)

No Name is Dave.
“Lucky” victim.

He’s easy to spot.

Comment #88612

Posted by Raging Bee on March 23, 2006 11:31 AM (e)

“justasking7” has clearly not been reading this blog very carefully, or very long. Otherwise he/she would have known that Larry’s “arguments” – under all of his many handles – have in fact been clearly and completely refuted MANY times.

Either that, or “justasking7” is yet another of Larry’s sock-puppet secret identities, now pretending to be a sort of imaginary playmate rushing to the rescue of the sad, lonely overgrown child that Larry has shown himself to be.

Comment #88613

Posted by BWE on March 23, 2006 11:33 AM (e)

Ad Hominem attacks are the result of frustration at the unbelievable stupidity of the guy they are talking about. (I should include Dave Scott too)
They are childish, ignorant, attack dogs for a discredited group trying to push worthless religion down unwilling throats.

If they could recover from the dementia they are suffering from and post something new that actually cast doubt on something, then they would have an audience. But since they are stupid, illiterate, ignorant, arrogant boogers, they have no merit.

Comment #88615

Posted by Corkscrew on March 23, 2006 11:41 AM (e)

Justasking7: Larry afaict doesn’t understand ID either, he’s just an all-purpose crank. He’s relatively polite but completely clueless on a vast range of subjects, which doesn’t stop him spouting at great length about them. If you’re interested I’ll look up the post in which he proposed a revolutionary new idea: the IP address scrambler, a remarkable tool to maintain anonymity on the web (ask your neighbourhood geek if you can’t see why this is funny). As a mathematician-in-training, I personally am more amused by his repeated claim that imaginary numbers don’t really exist, but that’s probably just me.

If you’re after info on ID, you could try Uncommon Descent, except that no-one there ever describes ID research either (almost enough to make you think that there’s none happening). Additionally, since DaveScot became an editor, a decent proportion of the ID supporters posting there have been banned for asking too many questions (among other daft reasons).

IIRC, some of those folk can now be found at the relevant thread on After the Bar Closes, a subsidiary of the Pandas Thumb fora.

Everyone else: yes, I realise I’m almost certainly feeding a troll, but I can’t remember whether justasking7 is one of Larry’s identities so I figure it’s best to be polite.

Comment #88621

Posted by gwangung on March 23, 2006 12:12 PM (e)

yet I haven’t seen a post from him that is as embarrassingly childish as those from the self-proclaimed scientists on this blog.

If this isn’t you, Larry, I would say that this poster isn’t very familiar with either Larry or the material.

Trying to claim a piece of information was privileged information (under lawyer client privilege) is mind boggingly stupid when it was mentioned by the lawyers/clients involved.

Comment #88624

Posted by normdoering on March 23, 2006 12:28 PM (e)

… In general, evangelicals believe that it is their moral duty to save as many people from hell as they can, and so opposition to naturalism / materialism is seen as part of that duty. As a result, they feel there are duty-bound to oppose much of contemporary science.

I suppose the Muslims in Afghanistan who might sentence a Christian to death are using an Islamic version of the same logic.

Comment #88625

Posted by BWE on March 23, 2006 12:29 PM (e)

Did anyone get that last joke? Ad hominem?

Comment #88626

Posted by Miguelito on March 23, 2006 12:30 PM (e)

The DI can write all the books they want that are “rebuttals” of the decision.

If any of their arguments had merit they would be using them in an appeal of that decision. No appeal = no merit.

Comment #88629

Posted by improvius on March 23, 2006 12:42 PM (e)

If any of their arguments had merit they would be using them in an appeal of that decision. No appeal = no merit.

I know this is obvious to most here, but just FYI the case in question involved a school board. No DI member was involved other than as a witness in the case.

Comment #88632

Posted by science nut on March 23, 2006 1:10 PM (e)

Discovery Institute Press publication:

I have always been told that publishing your own book is tantamount to literary masturbation.

Comment #88633

Posted by Leon on March 23, 2006 1:13 PM (e)

The DI may not have been directly involved, but it was a test case for the policy they want to advance. Unfortunately for them, it was a fair test, so they distanced themselves from it as much as possible. Can’t fault ‘em for jumping ship when there’s a hole in the bow.

Comment #88634

Posted by Glen Davidson on March 23, 2006 1:15 PM (e)

It’s just that they had to make some response. We’ve seen a number of responses already, of course, and they’re all just soundbites. More of the same in this blurb, the obligatory “activist judge”, and “sacred cow” lies.

Being that ID is a part of religion, there is no need to say anything new, or to admit their mistakes. They simply must re-affirm “the truth”, forgetting nothing, learning nothing. I doubt it’s even going to be a great money-maker, although coaxing money from the same suckers is always a plus (sad to say, a good portion of fraud victims are eager to be plucked).

The believers are told that their “truth” is still truth, and the publishers/authors try to go for some rage against the “secularists” and “activist judges”. There will be some pious anger and shaking, a few righteous accusations made against the many “censors”, a bit of predatory feeding off of the true believers, and that will be about it.

I think it’s fair to say that they’re unlikely to begin convincing anybody other than their captive ignorant theists with another tired repetition of their cant.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #88635

Posted by Raging Bee on March 23, 2006 1:15 PM (e)

Sorry for the off-topic post, but I figured you might find this amusing:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4836662…

Comment #88636

Posted by Noname on March 23, 2006 1:20 PM (e)

Comment #88567 posted by Renier on March 23, 2006 05:44 AM

They had a fair chance in court to state their case, and the judge thought it was pure unadulterated crap. Everyone else thinks it is crap too.

“Everyone“? Well, like those old Marlboro Filters cigarette ads used to say, almost everyone (everyone but the kooks, that is – notwithstanding the fact that the Marlboro Filter Man‘s long haircut would have marked him as a kook just a few years earlier).

The title of DI‘s book, “Traipsing into Evolution,“ was well chosen. Jones use of the term “traipse“ is ironic – one of the definitions in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is: “– to walk or travel about without apparent plan but with or without a purpose.“

They can attack the judge too, but it still does not change the fact that they have nothing to show, except crap.

It does not really matter whether or not DI has anything to “show“ for ID, because there are plenty of reasons to attack Judge Jones that have nothing to do with how he ruled on the scientific merits of ID (all of the documents for Kitzmiller v. Dover are available at http://www2.ncseweb.org/wp/?page_id=5)–

(1) For perhaps only the second time in American history (the Selman v. Cobb County evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker case was possibly the first), a judge ruled that something – irreducible complexity in this case – that makes no mention of anything related to religion and that contains no religious symbols constitutes a government endorsement of religion. Whether or not irreducible complexity is bogus science is irrelevant, because there is no constitutional separation of bogus science and state.

(2) It was not necessary to rule on the scientific merits of ID at all. Jones had the following other options: (i) dismissing the case as moot because almost all of the pro-ID school board members had been replaced by anti-ID members, (ii) ruling against the defendants solely on the basis of their religious motivations, or (iii) ruling that irreducible complexity is not religious because it does not mention anything related to religion.

(3) Jones arrogantly assumed that his opinions are conclusive and that other judges should not bother to independently judge the same issues. The Dover opinion said, “[W]e will offer our conclusion on whether ID is science not just because it is essential to our holding that an Establishment Clause violation has occurred in this case, but also in the hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question which is before us.“(pages 63-64)

(4) Jones‘ blanket prohibition of any scientific criticism of Darwinism in Dover public-school science classes directly contradicts the Supreme Court‘s following statement in Edwards v. Aguillard: “We do not imply that a legislature could never require that scientific critiques of prevailing scientific theories be taught.“ In the conclusion section of the Dover opinion, Jones said that one of the three prohibitions that he intended to include in the official order was a prohibition against “requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the theory of evolution“ (Page 138. This specific prohibition was not actually included in the official order, but that is beside the point).

(5) Jones denied the Pandas book publisher‘s motion to enter the case as an intervenor and then he thoroughly trashed the book in his written opinion. Jones called the motion untimely, even though the motion was filed only a month after the plaintiffs subpoenaed the publisher and a whopping four months before the start of the trial. The publisher should have been admitted as an intervenor to give it the right to file an independent appeal, if for no other reason. Considering that the book was thoroughly trashed in the written opinion and that the publisher had no opportunity to file an independent appeal, the claim that the publisher‘s interests were adequately protected is especially hollow.

(6) Jones rejected an amicus brief from the Discovery Institute on the grounds that this brief was a “back door“ way of introducing the ideas of Dembski and Meyer – who had withdrawn as expert witnesses for the defense – into the case file. Amicus briefs carry far less weight than oral trial testimony (if amicus briefs carried a lot of weight, briefs replying to amicus briefs would be permitted ), so there was no advantage to using this “back door“ approach. Also, what about the deal that had already been made to allow Shallit to testify if Dembski‘s ideas were admitted to the record?

(7) The Dover opinion gauged public opinion about the school board‘s ID rule by counting editorials and letters to the editor in local newspapers (pages 58-63). A less meaningful way of gauging public opinion could scarcely be imagined. The Dover opinion presented very little precedent for this public-opinion polling method (page 62).

(8) Showing blatant prejudice, the Dover opinion said that the answer to the question of “whether ID is science … can likely be predicted“ by the opinion‘s determination that “both an objective student and an objective adult member of the Dover community would perceive Defendants‘ conduct to be a strong endorsement of religion pursuant to the endorsement test “ (page 63). Very egregious. May I point out to the great legal minds on this blog that in the terrorism trial of what‘s-his-name (Moussaoui ?), the judge barred some key witnesses from testifying because of prejudicial actions by a prosecuting attorney.

(9) The Dover opinion quoted a normally-privileged attorney-client message that was sent to the school board and used this message to bash the defendants, and gave no explanation as to how this message lost its privilege (pages 111-112).

(10) Jones created confusion by stating in the conclusion section that three specifically-worded prohibitions were going to be included in the official order and then including only one of them in the official order (pages 138-139). The two omitted prohibitions were not covered by the one prohibition that was included.

(11) Jones appeared to take unfair advantage of the fact that the ousted original school board members and their legal representatives had no chance to have the decision reviewed by a higher court. Jones might have shown more restraint in his written opinion had there been a reasonable chance of appeal.

(12) Jones apparently signed the plaintiffs‘ original calculated $2 million+ attorney fee award request, even though there was no need for him to do so because the parties had reached an out-of-court settlement of $1 million. One of the plaintiffs‘ attorneys admitted that the purpose of having the judge sign the request for the larger amount is to help blackmail other school boards.

I rest my case.

Comment #88637

Posted by wamba on March 23, 2006 1:21 PM (e)

As I read this blog, I see a lot of ad hominem attacks and self-congratulatory smirky insults and huzzahs. Folks here attack “Larry” — yet I haven’t seen a post from him that is as embarrassingly childish as those from the self-proclaimed scientists on this blog.

OK, for your benefit I will reproduce my earlier post to “Noname” and this time I’ll fill in all the blanks so you can understand it. I’ll type real slow, too.

The prosecutors quickly solved the problem by withdrawing the charges.

So much for the notion that a judge is obligated to do something just because all of the participants in a case want him to do it.

You should try harder to give your specious argument even the appearance of sense.

———

OK, so what I did there is point out that Noname’s original post did not even make sense. He is saying that the judge didn’t have to rule on something both sides requested, but for an example he is citing a case where the prosecutors ended things by withdrawing charges. The example has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the claim. Does that explain it for you? That’s about as slow as I can type.

Comment #88638

Posted by stranger on March 23, 2006 1:22 PM (e)

The Lemon test allows subjects with potential religious implications to be taught in public schools if there is a secular purpose for teaching them. If ID were a legitimate science, that would constitute a secular purpose for teaching it. So, according to the Lemon test, Judge Jones had to rule on whether ID is a legitimate science.

Comment #88639

Posted by caerbannog on March 23, 2006 1:24 PM (e)

A bit O/T, but just a bit further down on the DI’s media-complaints page (www.evolutionnews.org) is this little tidbit:

California School District Adopts Policy Allowing Scientific Criticisms of Evolution

Last night, the Board of Trustees of the Lancaster School District in southern California voted unanimously to adopt a “Science Philosophy” policy permitting teachers to present scientific criticisms of Darwinian evolution. The policy had been supported by the groups Integrity in Academics and Quality Science Education for All.

The new policy states that Darwin’s theory should not be taught as “unalterable fact” and states that “Discussions that question the theory may be appropriate as long as they do not stray from current criteria of scientific fact, hypothesis and theory.” The policy further allows the use of supplemental materials by teachers in teaching about science.

“This is an innovative effort by the Lancaster School District to propel science education out of the nineteenth century and into the twenty-first century, “ said Alex Banning, President of Integrity in Academics, which organized support for the new policy.

Attorney Larry Caldwell, President of Quality Science Education for All, also praised the policy. “It is refreshing to see school officials willing to stand up against Darwinian fundamentalists to give their students a science education rather than a science indoctrination,” he said. “After all, effective science education is all about teaching students to ask meaningful questions and follow the evidence wherever it leads.”

A press release from Integrity in Academics, which includes the full text of the policy, is available here.

It looks like another school-district is asking for a pro-science smackdown. It may be time for the UC and CSU systems to step in and remind California school districts that science classes polluted with pseudo-science will not meet university admissions requirements.

Comment #88640

Posted by wamba on March 23, 2006 1:26 PM (e)

(11) Jones appeared to take unfair advantage of the fact that the ousted original school board members and their legal representatives had no chance to have the decision reviewed by a higher court.

You mean the ousted school board members who lied to him during the trial? The ones who contradicted their own testimony, thus perjuring themselves in a federal court? You’re saying the judge took unfair advantage of them?

I’d have to agree somewhat; the treatment of Buckingham and Bonsell has not been fair, since neither one is doing time in federal prison for perjury (yet).

Comment #88641

Posted by Ed Darrell on March 23, 2006 1:26 PM (e)

Were the claims of the press release on the book accurate, Judge Jones would have been violating judicial canons to have issued the decision; the local appellate court might be irresponsible for not reviewing the decision sua sponte.

But that’s not the case. There was ample evidence for Judge Jones’ decision, and it is really quite carefully crafted.

Consequently, the claims of the press release, if carried through in the book, dances around the border of irresponsibility. Were an attorney to give such advice to a paying client, IMHO, it would be malpractice.

In ID, however, there are no professionals – there’s no such thing as intellectual malpractice, or scientific malpractice.

The amount of effort and money that will go into the production and especially the distribution of this book will be impressive. Too bad – tragic, really – that an equal amount of time and effort has never been devoted to doing research to support ID, or at least create a hypothesis for ID.

DI rails at Judge Jones, as the ancients railed at the stars of the Zodiac which, they thought, ruled their fates. The fault is not in the stars, DI. Look closer to the ground – the ground under DI’s feet, in fact.

Comment #88642

Posted by Mr Christopher on March 23, 2006 1:29 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #88644

Posted by Mr Christopher on March 23, 2006 1:31 PM (e)

try again…

The Son of Larry wrote,

yadda yadda yadda…I rest my case

Golly jeepers, you’re right. Intelligent design is science. You should mention this to others!

Comment #88645

Posted by Leon on March 23, 2006 1:35 PM (e)

justasking7, you are of course welcome to contact Larry. If I had his address I’d get it to you.

ID was tested rather fairly on its merits in the Kitzmiller case, which is why the decision came down the way it did.

But for purposes of understanding ID, I think it’s fair to summarize it this way. The basic premise of ID is that parts of biological species (the eye, for instance) are too complex to have evolved–instead, they must have been designed wholesale and implemented all at once.

One arguement, Irreducible Complexity, states that many complex systems are so interdependent that their individual parts could not have evolved independently because B depends on A and A depends on B.

Another arguement, Specified Complexity, is basically that the chance that random mutations could have produced life as we know it are so minute as to be insignificant: therefore it must be the agency of some superpowerful being.

Various individuals may take the idea further than others, but those, I understand, are the basics of ID.

There’s a very important distinction to keep in mind when discussing ID: Intelligent Design is not just the idea that there’s a supreme being (God, Allah, etc.) behind the creation of the universe etc. ID is the specific belief outlined above: that that being has stepped in and made several wholesale changes to parts of different species (giving them fully-formed eyes, for instance). As such, ID partially bypasses evolution, but depending who you talk to, some evolution still occurs.

Comment #88648

Posted by Glen Davidson on March 23, 2006 1:45 PM (e)

All creationists allow that some evolution occurs. ID tends to allow more than most, but then they make common cause with YECs as well, so clearly consistency and solid scientific conclusions are not of much concern to them. Real scientists would seek agreement with the evidence, not agreement with fellow religionists.

The fact that IDists can’t demonstrate any tangible difference between their putative “designed elements” in life, and evolved characteristics, reveals the importance of their a priori beliefs for “finding design”.

Not that I’m disagreeing with Leon, just pointing out that the overlap between “regular creationists” and IDists shows both to be substantially the same.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #88649

Posted by Mr Christopher on March 23, 2006 1:48 PM (e)

And it gets better, DeWolf is the co-author of Intelligent Design in Public School Science curricula: A Legal Guidebook

http://www.arn.org/docs/dewolf/guidebook.htm

To quote my new favorite DI Dork,

DeWolf wrote, “Moreover, as the previous discussion demonstrates, school boards have the authority to permit, and even encourage, teaching about design theory as an alternative to Darwinian evolution-and this includes the use of textbooks such as Of Pandas and People that present evidence for the theory of intelligent design.”

Contrast that with Jones’ ruling and the DI’s calling DeWolf a legal expert and you have a big heaping bowl of irony. Too, too funny. A laff riot to be sure.

DeWolf could rightfully be partially blamed for the plaintiffs fees the Dover board got stuck with. In fact his new book could be described as his attempt to avoid any personaly responsibility for the Dover fiasco. Remember Richard Thompson waving DeWolf’s legal manual at that IDC in the science classroom forum as evidence of the DI’s bad faith in abandoning Dover at the trial?

Dewolf wrote a book showing how to teach IDC in public classrooms, the Dover board considered his claims to be legally authorative and tried to wedge IDC into the public classroom. The lose big time and now DeWolf writes a new book saying the Judge is a very bad man and fails to mention his legal guide for getting IDC in the public classroom cost one school district 1 million dollars. Nice way of admitting you are/were wrong.

Those guys are too funny for words. To quote my favorite crank, I love it so…

Comment #88650

Posted by Miguelito on March 23, 2006 1:48 PM (e)

improvious wrote:

I know this is obvious to most here, but just FYI the case in question involved a school board. No DI member was involved other than as a witness in the case.

I fully realize that. But, if the DI had a leg to stand on, do you think they would hesitate in helping the Thomas Moore Legal Centre with an appeal? Again, no merit = no appeal.

Comment #88652

Posted by Mr Christopher on March 23, 2006 1:57 PM (e)

Ok, one more post and I’ll pipe down. DeWolf’s legal insight (and expertise) has caused my irony meter to start smoking. I had to rurn it off.

Check out the conclusion of Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curricula:
A Legal Guidebook
co-written by DeWolf. It’s too rich to not paste it here. This is a man the DI describes as a “legal expert”:

Local school boards and state education officials are frequently pressured to avoid teaching the controversy regarding biological origins. Indeed, many groups, such as the National Academy of Sciences, go so far as to deny the existence of any genuine scientific controversy about the issue.160 Nevertheless, teachers should be reassured that they have the right to expose their students to the problems as well as the appeal of Darwinian theory. Moreover, as the previous discussion demonstrates, school boards have the authority to permit, and even encourage, teaching about design theory as an alternative to Darwinian evolution-and this includes the use of textbooks such as Of Pandas and People that present evidence for the theory of intelligent design.

The controlling legal authority, the Supreme Court’s decision in Edwards v. Aguillard, explicitly permits the inclusion of alternatives to Darwinian evolution so long as those alternatives are based on scientific evidence and not motivated by strictly religious concerns. Since design theory is based on scientific evidence rather than religious assumptions, it clearly meets this test. Including discussions of design in the science curriculum thus serves an important goal of making education inclusive, rather than exclusionary. In addition, it provides students with an important demonstration of the best way for them as future scientists and citizens to resolve scientific controversies-by a careful and fair-minded examination of the evidence.

Yeah the old “ID is science because we say so” didn’t pan out so well for you in court, did it, Mr Legal Expert?

By the way, someone needs to do a trackback at the DI blog to this one.

Comment #88653

Posted by Mike Walker on March 23, 2006 2:00 PM (e)

California School District Adopts Policy Allowing Scientific Criticisms of Evolution

Hmm, a quick look around the web finds that the “Quality Science Education for All” organization’s one stated goal is to oppose teaching evolution, and “Integrity in Academics” isn’t even findable via Google. (nor is Alex Banning, the “President”).

Got to love these tin-pot no-name creationist organizations and their Orwellian names. Who do they think they are fooling?

The new policy states that Darwin’s theory should not be taught as “unalterable fact” and states that “Discussions that question the theory may be appropriate as long as they do not stray from current criteria of scientific fact, hypothesis and theory.

So… how does this help ID again?

Comment #88654

Posted by Leon on March 23, 2006 2:02 PM (e)

More to the point, there’s a couple concepts that seem to trip people up:

Using scientific-sounding language is not the same as being scientific.

Removing the explicit religious references doesn’t make something scientific; at best it makes it nondenominational.

Comment #88655

Posted by improvius on March 23, 2006 2:14 PM (e)

I fully realize that. But, if the DI had a leg to stand on, do you think they would hesitate in helping the Thomas Moore Legal Centre with an appeal? Again, no merit = no appeal.

Again, the TMLC are just lawyers - not defendants. Only the defendants could appeal the case. The defendants are the school board, and they don’t want to appeal. There is nothing whatsoever that the DI or TMLC could possibly do to appeal the ruling.

Comment #88657

Posted by Miguelito on March 23, 2006 2:23 PM (e)

You’re right. I’m stupid and forgot that the school-board members got booted in the last election, hence no appeal.

Comment #88658

Posted by Mr Christopher on March 23, 2006 2:24 PM (e)

Again, the TMLC are just lawyers - not defendants. Only the defendants could appeal the case. The defendants are the school board, and they don’t want to appeal. There is nothing whatsoever that the DI or TMLC could possibly do to appeal the ruling.

True but what is stopping them from doing the right thing and pitching in to help pay the legal bills they are partially responsible for causing the Dover School board?

Comment #88659

Posted by Madam Pomfrey on March 23, 2006 2:24 PM (e)

So they’ll just put their fingers in their ears and hum, write another popular book to rake in the $$, offer the same old tired assertions that have been refuted many times, playing to their religious base and hoping that those new to IDC won’t understand the difference between rhetoric and real data. Gee, big surprise there.

Comment #88660

Posted by Corkscrew on March 23, 2006 2:31 PM (e)

Guys, could someone put together a Larry FAQ of all these bizarre claims he keeps making? Then we can follow in the footsteps of the Master (Lenny) and just repost it every time he appears.

My Noname is Legion wrote:

(1) For perhaps only the second time in American history (the Selman v. Cobb County evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker case was possibly the first), a judge ruled that something — irreducible complexity in this case — that makes no mention of anything related to religion and that contains no religious symbols constitutes a government endorsement of religion. Whether or not irreducible complexity is bogus science is irrelevant, because there is no constitutional separation of bogus science and state.

You’re joking, right? ID, as stated in the Dover case, is precisely the statement “God exists” with the word “God” replaced by euphemisms (as graphically demonstrated by “cdesign proponentsists”). The mathematical arguments, to quote an expert on the subject, are merely “the logos of St. John written in the idiom of Information Theory”, and they’re no more mathematically valid than their source.

(2) It was not necessary to rule on the scientific merits of ID at all. Jones had the following other options: (i) dismissing the case as moot because almost all of the pro-ID school board members had been replaced by anti-ID members, (ii) ruling against the defendants solely on the basis of their religious motivations, or (iii) ruling that irreducible complexity is not religious because it does not mention anything related to religion.

However, having been asked by both sides to rule on the issue of whether ID was science, he chose to do so, thus saving the Pennsylvania govt large amounts of cash by avoiding pointless retrials.

Heck, he could have perfectly legitimately ruled on the issue even if both sides hadn’t asked him to. IT’S WRITTEN INTO THE DAMN LAW!

(3) Jones arrogantly assumed that his opinions are conclusive and that other judges should not bother to independently judge the same issues. The Dover opinion said, “[W]e will offer our conclusion on whether ID is science not just because it is essential to our holding that an Establishment Clause violation has occurred in this case, but also in the hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question which is before us.“(pages 63-64)

How is ruling on stuff that he is explicitly permitted to rule on arrogant behaviour for a judge? Especially when he’s spent the last month reading up on this stuff? I don’t get it.

(4) Jones‘ blanket prohibition of any scientific criticism of Darwinism in Dover public-school science classes directly contradicts the Supreme Court‘s following statement in Edwards v. Aguillard: “We do not imply that a legislature could never require that scientific critiques of prevailing scientific theories be taught.“ In the conclusion section of the Dover opinion, Jones said that one of the three prohibitions that he intended to include in the official order was a prohibition against “requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the theory of evolution“ (Page 138. This specific prohibition was not actually included in the official order, but that is beside the point).

IIRC, Judge Jones didn’t prohibit scientific criticism of evolutionary theory, he simply stated that ID did not constitute a scientific criticism.

The word “denigrate” means “to blacken the name of” (from the latin “niger”). A legitimate scientific criticism would not be a denigration as it would merely be demonstrating that evolution was indeed false rather than slandering it. Same goes for the word “disparage” which, whilst possessing slightly more complicated antecedents, broadly speaking means “to speak slightingly about”. It’s not denigration or disparagement if it’s an accurate description of the situation.

Thus, Judge Jones’ opinion perfectly delineated the behaviours that are unacceptable - i.e. rhetorical attacks and spurious, unscientific claims. Such as ID.

(5) Jones denied the Pandas book publisher‘s motion to enter the case as an intervenor and then he thoroughly trashed the book in his written opinion. Jones called the motion untimely, even though the motion was filed only a month after the plaintiffs subpoenaed the publisher and a whopping four months before the start of the trial. The publisher should have been admitted as an intervenor to give it the right to file an independent appeal, if for no other reason. Considering that the book was thoroughly trashed in the written opinion and that the publisher had no opportunity to file an independent appeal, the claim that the publisher‘s interests were adequately protected is especially hollow.

Why the heck should the publisher have been allowed to get involved? Because the suit did them some indirect damage? In that case, every stockholder in Enron, and every pundit who’d put their credibility on the line praising Enron, would have had standing to get involved in Enron’s trial.

There was already one team of lawyers working night and day to try to demonstrate that “Of Pandas And People” was good science. It wasn’t. They failed. Get over it.

(6) Jones rejected an amicus brief from the Discovery Institute on the grounds that this brief was a “back door“ way of introducing the ideas of Dembski and Meyer — who had withdrawn as expert witnesses for the defense — into the case file. Amicus briefs carry far less weight than oral trial testimony (if amicus briefs carried a lot of weight, briefs replying to amicus briefs would be permitted ), so there was no advantage to using this “back door“ approach. Also, what about the deal that had already been made to allow Shallit to testify if Dembski‘s ideas were admitted to the record?

IIRC, the brief had the entire text of Dembski’s testimony attached to it. This would have meant that Dembski’s testimony would have effectively been made part of the record without allowing him to be cross-examined. That would have been seriously inappropriate - apart from anything else, what sort of precedent would it set? “Sorry, judge, we’re not going to present our expert witnesses for cross-examination, we’re just going to attach copies of their commentary to our briefs…”

Even if Shallit had been allowed to testify as a result, this would have meant that the defendants had two opportunities to make their claim (Dembski’s deposition and Shallit’s cross-examination) whereas the prosecution would only have had one opportunity (Shallit’s deposition). This would have been genuinely unfair.

(7) The Dover opinion gauged public opinion about the school board‘s ID rule by counting editorials and letters to the editor in local newspapers (pages 58-63). A less meaningful way of gauging public opinion could scarcely be imagined. The Dover opinion presented very little precedent for this public-opinion polling method (page 62).

The intent was to show that the school board’s behaviour could be reasonably interpreted as appearing to endorse religion (the “effect” prong of the Lemon test). The editorials and letters demonstrated that this was in fact the case. Get over it.

(8) Showing blatant prejudice, the Dover opinion said that the answer to the question of “whether ID is science … can likely be predicted“ by the opinion‘s determination that “both an objective student and an objective adult member of the Dover community would perceive Defendants‘ conduct to be a strong endorsement of religion pursuant to the endorsement test “ (page 63). Very egregious. May I point out to the great legal minds on this blog that in the terrorism trial of what‘s-his-name (Moussaoui ?), the judge barred some key witnesses from testifying because of prejudicial actions by a prosecuting attorney.

The implicit assumption is that religion and good science tend to be more or less non-overlapping, especially where creationism is involved (and that’s what I’d interpret this as being a reference to). Fortunately, the Judge doesn’t rely on this assumption but instead goes through a subsequent 26 pages of discussion of this point, which you appear to have accidentally overlooked when discussing this issue.

(9) The Dover opinion quoted a normally-privileged attorney-client message that was sent to the school board and used this message to bash the defendants, and gave no explanation as to how this message lost its privilege (pages 111-112).

It lost its privilege when one half of the attorney-client relationship deliberately made it public. This is not rocket science. Attorney-client privilege is something you have to claim. If the defendants had bothered to claim privilege when the email was introduced into proceedings, I might be bothered; as they did not, there is absolutely no issue here.

(10) Jones created confusion by stating in the conclusion section that three specifically-worded prohibitions were going to be included in the official order and then including only one of them in the official order (pages 138-139). The two omitted prohibitions were not covered by the one prohibition that was included.

Fraid I have no idea about this. Still, even if Judge Jones made a typo, I find it hard to see why that would be considered a good reason to ignore this well-written and thorough judgement.

(11) Jones appeared to take unfair advantage of the fact that the ousted original school board members and their legal representatives had no chance to have the decision reviewed by a higher court. Jones might have shown more restraint in his written opinion had there been a reasonable chance of appeal.

Can you actually provide any evidence for this assertion, or is it all in your head? My understanding is that, what with the apparent perjury and all, the Judge could have written that the sky was green and the defendants would still have had no chance in an appeal even if they wanted to do so.

(12) Jones apparently signed the plaintiffs‘ original calculated $2 million+ attorney fee award request, even though there was no need for him to do so because the parties had reached an out-of-court settlement of $1 million. One of the plaintiffs‘ attorneys admitted that the purpose of having the judge sign the request for the larger amount is to help blackmail other school boards.

I don’t understand how the former can be considered a rebuttal of Judge Jones’ verdict. A clerical error maybe (if accurate), but not a rebuttal.

Sadly you didn’t actually provide the source for your second statement, but I’m guessing that this is a misquote based upon statements that hopefully the financial losses incurred will discourage other schools from pulling the same stunt. I would note that this is discouraging for other schools if and only if they try to teach ID or other religious pseudoscience in the science classroom - otherwise they’d win the case and probably have attorneys’ fees awarded to them. As such, it cannot be considered extortion.

Comment #88661

Posted by improvius on March 23, 2006 2:33 PM (e)

True but what is stopping them from doing the right thing and pitching in to help pay the legal bills they are partially responsible for causing the Dover School board?

I’m going to go with “a lack of ethics”. What do I win?

Comment #88662

Posted by Raging Bee on March 23, 2006 2:47 PM (e)

…or (iii) ruling that irreducible complexity is not religious because it does not mention anything related to religion.

Except, of course, for the “designer” who “designed” the irreducibly-complex life-mechanism, who can’t be described in any greater detail because, as everyone knew, describing the creator – oops, I mean designer – was the province of religion.

Judge Jones saw straight through that shell-game; and we see through yours. Grow up and get help, Larry.

Comment #88663

Posted by Jeremy on March 23, 2006 2:55 PM (e)

Sorry to come in completely offtopic, but After the Bar Closes is down and you guys simply must feast your eyes on the dreck that got linked on Dembski’s blog.

Comment #88664

Posted by Raging Bee on March 23, 2006 3:08 PM (e)

Jeremy: wow, this former judge is completely out of it. Darwin is the “patron saint of school violence?” And one of his footnotes references a completely unrelated fact about the Columbine shooters’ devotion to Hitler? Just wow.

Comment #88665

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on March 23, 2006 3:16 PM (e)

Just to correct a few plain factual errors from “noname”:

1. The “privileged” communication between Dover’s solicitor and the Dover School Board – Plaintiff’s Exhibit 70 I believe – was not actually privileged, because:

(a) way back in 2004 it was distributed to teachers,
(b) I think it was also given to a reporter, who reported on it in the newspapers
© In 2005, the defendants produced it to the plaintiffs in production
(d) the defendants also introduced it into evidence at trial before the plaintiffs

Any one of these actions serves to wave lawyer-client privilege.

2. The Discovery Institute’s amicus brief was not rejected – the judge rejected the first version, but accepted a revised version once Stephen Meyer’s expert report (he was originally an expert witness, who dropped out) was cut out. You can’t submit expert testimony in an amicus brief and thereby avoid cross-examination.

Nick

Comment #88667

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on March 23, 2006 3:29 PM (e)

(9) The Dover opinion quoted a normally-privileged attorney-client message that was sent to the school board and used this message to bash the defendants, and gave no explanation as to how this message lost its privilege (pages 111-112).

It might have something to do with the fact that the message was circulated in a meeting of a public body, the Dover School Board Curriculum Committee:

[834]Q. Dr. Nilsen, this is Plaintiffs’ Exhibit 70, and do you recognize this as the advice from counsel that you distributed at that late August meeting?

[835]A. Yes.

[…]

[411]BY MR. ROTHSCHILD:

[412]Q. What we’ve marked as P70, Mr. Baksa, that is an e-mail you received from the school district solicitor, Stephen Russell, or that Dr. Nilsen received?

[413]A. Right, Dr. Nilsen received it.

[414]Q. And at the curriculum committee meeting at the end of August, this document was circulated to a number of people, including teachers and curriculum committee members. Correct?

[415]A. Yes.

Public documents do not have privilege.

Comment #88668

Posted by Corkscrew on March 23, 2006 3:36 PM (e)

Jeremy: that’s just scary.

It’s especially bizarre that he keeps harping on about how the judges are unelected and the officials are elected. I thought one of the points of an unelected judiciary was that they’d be able to stand up for minorities.

Popularity =/= legality. I’d have thought a judge would understand that.

(And that’s not even discussing the fact that all the board members in question were kicked out of office once it became clear to the electorate exactly what kind of person they’d elected)

Comment #88669

Posted by Jason on March 23, 2006 3:38 PM (e)

I wanted to share this at After the Bar Closes, but I guess the Dallas Cops raided that too, the website won’t open.

Just thought this was interesting:

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fullt…

Imaging Proteins in Membranes of Living Cells by High-Resolution Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy

SICM is based on a scanned nanopipette and uses the ion current that flows between an electrode in the pipette and a bath electrode for feedback control of the pipette-sample distance. This distance is maintained at the pipette inner radius during the scan, thereby allowing noncontact imaging of the cell surface in physiological buffer with a resolution determined by the pipette inner radius.[9], [10] Essentially there is a hemisphere, with the same radius as the pipette inner radius, centered at the pipette tip that senses the surface by reduction in the flow of ion current. Unlike the situation in AFM, this means that the sensing is both vertically under the pipette and also laterally, thereby helping to prevent the pipette walls from touching the cell surface.

Herein, we describe scanning that utilizes very narrow quartz pipettes with an inner diameter of the tip of about 13 nm. The extremely small diameter of the pipettes, custom-designed software, and enhanced mechanical stability of the system have allowed us to improve the resolution of SICM[8] by an order of magnitude. We demonstrate this by imaging individual proteins crystallized on a flat surface or protruding at the external surface of the plasma membrane of a living cell (spermatozoon), whilst maintaining the noncontact advantage of SICM. These advances have made it possible to directly image protein complexes in the membrane of a living cell.

If you can get to the images, they’re pretty impressive.

Comment #88670

Posted by RBH on March 23, 2006 3:43 PM (e)

Regarding the Disco Institute’s involvement (or claimed lack thereof) in Kitzmiller, recall that Seth Cooper, then a lawyer at the Disco Institute, contacted at least one member of the Dover Board when he (Cooper) heard that Dover was considering some sort of ID policy. Cooper reportedly sent various materials to that Dover Board Member. This all apparently occurred before the Thomas More Institute got involved. So it’s fair to say that the Disco Institute helped precipitate the Dover fiasco and then ran for the hills.

Equally interesting in that respect, Bill Buckingham, one of the two main creationists on the Dover Board, claimed attorney-client privilege when asked about the contact, while in a piece on the DI Media Complaints Division’s board, Cooper denied giving legal advice. He also does not say that he sent the DeWolf legal guide. I’d be real interested in whether that happened. He says he sent the “Icons of Evolution” DVD with a study guide, but doesn’t mention anything else.

Talkorigins is down at the moment so I can’t give references for Buckingham’s claim of attorney-client privilege. What do our legal beagles say the situation is when a layman who talked with a lawyer claims attorney-client privilege for the conversation and the attorney denies that it exists?

RBH

Comment #88671

Posted by PvP on March 23, 2006 3:48 PM (e)

How come Larry repeats his rebutted ‘arguments’ as if nothing has happened.

Comment #88672

Posted by jonboy on March 23, 2006 4:03 PM (e)

Raging Bee wrote “Darwin is the “patron saint of school violence?” The CDC surveyed more than 10,000 public and private high school students nationwide and found.
Statistics indicate an overall drop in school violence since prayer was removed from public schools in 1963.
The study also found that those schools having a higher scholastic achievement record, were less inclined to violent activities.More real science=less violence

Comment #88674

Posted by Raging Bee on March 23, 2006 4:04 PM (e)

Because as soon as he stops repeating them, any appearance of a “controversy” to be “taught” will vanish.

Comment #88675

Posted by Gorbe on March 23, 2006 4:14 PM (e)

That’s some fantasy life these people have. Next thing you know, they’ll being saying “America is a Christian nation.”

Comment #88676

Posted by Gorbe on March 23, 2006 4:17 PM (e)

The sweet irony is that Ronald Reagan said something that these people are fighting against: “Facts are stubborn things.” Indeed, they are. No amount of wishing things to be other than what they are is going to change a thing.

Comment #88677

Posted by wamba on March 23, 2006 4:31 PM (e)

I ran across a new blog:
Sounding the Trumpet
“Cutting-edge conservative commentary from Cornell University”
Entry of March 22, 2006:
Imagine an intelligent design research database…

Give it a try, I don’t seem able to connect to the site anymore after making one post.

Comment #88678

Posted by david gehrig on March 23, 2006 4:33 PM (e)

You know, looking at this Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture link and seeing that their logo apparently now includes a crescent and a star, I wonder whether the post-Dover changes they’ve undergone aren’t even more fundamental (so to speak) than we previously thought…

Comment #88679

Posted by BWE on March 23, 2006 4:56 PM (e)

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to read this.

Just don’t pay for it.

Comment #88680

Posted by Gorbe on March 23, 2006 5:12 PM (e)

>>(3) Jones arrogantly assumed that his opinions are
>>conclusive and that other judges should not bother
>>to independently judge the same issues.

Or maybe Jones offered his lengthy opinion “…in the hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question which is before us.”(pages 63-64)

Comment #88685

Posted by Tony on March 23, 2006 5:58 PM (e)

(i) dismissing the case as moot because almost all of the pro-ID school board members had been replaced by anti-ID members,

Maybe this question has been answered before, or maybe I am wrong (in which case I’m sure that I’ll be corrected), but I’ll ask anyway…

I thought I read it somewhere that following the November Dover School Board election, the plaintiffs offered a settlement to the new school board to drop the case if the new school board would remove the ID policy. However, it was the new school board members who declined this offer. Instead, the newly-elected school board decided that it would be better policy to see first how Judge Jones would rule before changing the policy. Is this correct?

Comment #88688

Posted by IAMB, FCD on March 23, 2006 6:02 PM (e)

Hey wamba,

You gotta go check out the “law” section in that wiki you linked to, if you haven’t already.

The only entry so far is about the “Santorum Ammendment”…

Excerpt:

The Santorum amendment was passed by a vote of 91-8

No mention at all that it was stripped out of the bill before it could actually become law. Seems this ID wiki is about as credible as the rest of the ID resources. *total shock*

Comment #88689

Posted by Kevin on March 23, 2006 6:05 PM (e)

If you go to the Amazon.com page for the book, the first review listed is by Seth Cooper. Cooper praises the book to the skies while somehow never bothering to mention that he was actually employed by the publisher and advised the defendants.

Comment #88690

Posted by Moses on March 23, 2006 6:11 PM (e)

Comment #88574

Posted by Noname on March 23, 2006 08:13 AM (e)

Some people on this blog claimed that Judge Jones was obligated to rule on the scientific merits of ID just because both sides asked him to. Those people are now going to have to eat a lot of crow.

In Florida, a female schoolteacher was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy. The schoolteacher, her lucky “victim,“ his mother, the defense, and the prosecutors were all opposed to having a trial. The schoolteacher was charged in two counties and a plea bargain was made in one of them. However, the judge in the other county insisted that there be a trial. The prosecutors quickly solved the problem by withdrawing the charges. See http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id…

So much for the notion that a judge is obligated to do something just because all of the participants in a case want him to do it.

The troll provides it’s own answer.

Comment #88694

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 23, 2006 6:52 PM (e)

What seems to be the problem in coming up with a new persona, “noname” Larry FarFromHisName?

Wikipedia run out of the names of Confederate generals?

Did your card at the local library expire?

Did you finally ask the cute girl behind the counter for a date, right before she called the cops to report harassment?

Did your daddy cancel your AOL subscription?

PT CONTEST!!
Find A New Name For No-Name!
Help Larry-Far-From-A-Name Cover His Shameful Namelessness!

C’mon, Pandas, we can’t allow Larry to go Confederate general-less for much longer. That would be like allowing Dave to go Heddle-less (send us your poor, your heddled masses?), Carol to go Clouser-less, Blast to go Past-less, or Lenny to go Pizza Boy-less.

I mean, we’re rough, tough troll-stompers, but somewhere in our pitiless, black-and-white furred breasts, there must beat at least one cardiac fiber of sympathy, of empathy, of altruism.

Won’t some quasi-kindly PT’er with a copy of Lee’s Lieutenants supply poor ol’ Larry with a sample list of generals of the gray from which Larry can pick a new sobriquet?

Comment #88696

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 23, 2006 7:02 PM (e)

I think the Intelligent Design critique

I thought it was a “theory”. What, uh, happened? (snicker) (giggle)

is worth understanding on its merits

Tell it to the judge.

Oh, wait – you already did. (snicker) (giggle)

BTW, your pal Larry isn’t an IDer. He’s just a crank.

Comment #88697

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 23, 2006 7:03 PM (e)

If you go to the Amazon.com page for the book, the first review listed is by Seth Cooper. Cooper praises the book to the skies while somehow never bothering to mention that he was actually employed by the publisher and advised the defendants.

He must know Carol.

Comment #88698

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 23, 2006 7:09 PM (e)

I wonder if this book will include a contribution from eminent legal scholar Michael Francisco, a second year law student at Cornell and an ***-hat.

Does Frankie Beckwith get a chapter? (snicker) (giggle)

Comment #88699

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on March 23, 2006 7:14 PM (e)

Tony wrote:

I thought I read it somewhere that following the November Dover School Board election, the plaintiffs offered a settlement to the new school board to drop the case if the new school board would remove the ID policy. However, it was the new school board members who declined this offer. Instead, the newly-elected school board decided that it would be better policy to see first how Judge Jones would rule before changing the policy. Is this correct?

No, that settlement was offered shortly after the lawsuit was first filed. The old board members instead decided to go to trial.

BTW, I am thinking of starting a thread on After the Bar Closes that addresses the various claims put forth by Larry. Since his ban is finally being enforced here, I will not directly address the banned one on Panda’s Thumb. I doubt I’ll have time tonight, but look for the thread tomorrow or Monday night (I’m going out of the country this weekend).

Comment #88700

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 23, 2006 7:19 PM (e)

The Santorum amendment was passed by a vote of 91-8

My standard response to all the ID crap about the “Santorum Amendment”:

The “intelligent design” movement got its first legal test in June 2001, when the Senate was debating the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Authorization Bill (later renamed the “No Child Left Behind” Act). During the debate, Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum introduced an amendment that had been partially written by Discovery Institute adviser Phillip Johnson (and based on a law journal article written by Discovery Institute activist David DeWolf). The Santorum Amendment read:

“It is the sense of the Senate that (1) good science education should prepare students to distinguish the data or testable theories of science from philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science; and (2) where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why the subject generates so much continuing controversy, and should prepare the students to be informed participants in public discussions regarding the subject.”

Because the House version of the No Child Left Behind Act did not include any corresponding version of the Santorum Amendment, a House/Senate Conference Committee was required to reach agreement on a joint bill to be agreed upon by both chambers of Congress. After a flood of letters and testimony from prominent science and education groups pointed out that the Santorum amendment was nothing but a thinly veiled excuse for teaching “intelligent design theory” in classrooms, the conference committee dropped the amendment, noting, in their Conference Report, “The conferees recognize that a quality science education should prepare students to distinguish the data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science. Where topics are taught that may generate controversy (such as biological evolution), the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy, and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society.” When the final version of the No Child Left Behind bill was passed by both the House and the Senate, it did not contain any portion of the Santorum Amendment.

Creationists/IDers and their supporters have, however, attempted to claim that the No Child Left Behind bill not only permits but actually requires schools to teach “intelligent design theory”. Santorum himself, for instance, wrote in March 2002, “At the beginning of the year, President Bush signed into law the “No Child Left Behind” bill. The new law includes a science education provision where Congress states that “where topics are taught that may generate controversy (such as biological evolution), the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist. If the Education Board of Ohio does not include intelligent design in the new teaching standards, many students will be denied a first-rate science education.” (Washington Times, March 14, 2002, cited in “ID-Activists-Guide”, NCSE website). Two Ohio Congressmen also claimed, “The Santorum language is now part of the law”. (Washington Times, March 20, 2002, cited in “ID-Activists-Guide”). Neither of these claims, of course, are true — the Santorum language was dropped from the bill in committee, and the only time it is mentioned is in the accompanying Conference Report, which is not a part of the bill and has no legal force or authority.

In other words, when IDers claim that the Santorum Amendment provides legality for ID, they are flat-out lying to us. Period.

Comment #88707

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on March 23, 2006 7:38 PM (e)

Steviepinhead wrote:

C’mon, Pandas, we can’t allow Larry to go Confederate general-less for much longer. That would be like allowing Dave to go Heddle-less (send us your poor, your heddled masses?), Carol to go Clouser-less, Blast to go Past-less, or Lenny to go Pizza Boy-less.

Speaking of the old pants-loader, blastfromthepast may not be past-less, but he has decided he has no future at the PT. Driven to drooling inanity by the blazing logic, evidence, and pure reading comprehension of PvM and Anton Mates in the Mutation, selection and complexity thread (with an assist from me), blast had this to say:

blastfromthepast wrote:

I’m very disillusioned with the attitude of the people on this board—and that includes you, Pim.

Adieu.

and in his final post
Good-bye, Panda’s Thumb.

The Prince of Pants-Loading, the Invoker of Induction, has abandoned us. Say it ain’t so!

Comment #88708

Posted by KS lurker on March 23, 2006 7:44 PM (e)

“Won’t some quasi-kindly PT’er with a copy of Lee’s Lieutenants supply poor ol’ Larry with a sample list of generals of the gray from which Larry can pick a new sobriquet?”

Hooker. As in Major General “Fightin Joe.”

Yeah, he was a Union general, but his ineptitude suggests that he helped the grays more than the blues.

Comment #88709

Posted by Joe McFaul on March 23, 2006 7:44 PM (e)

“What do our legal beagles say the situation is when a layman who talked with a lawyer claims attorney-client privilege for the conversation and the attorney denies that it exists?”

Bad news for the lawyer. As a general rule, the communication is privileged if the “client” or potential client thinks it is. The privilege may exist even though an attorney client relationship has not been created. A lawyer can be disciplined for disclosing communications within the privilege. Therefore, I’d be very concerned if I had spoken to someone seeking my advice, if that person later claimed the communication was privileged.

Comment #88711

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 23, 2006 7:54 PM (e)

Yes, Kevin, you and Anton and Pim did a great job dealing with Blast’s most “technical” and sustained effort yet to critique a peer-reviewed evolutionary science paper.

Thanks for that! I learned a lot and, in fact, I’m sure Blast learned a lot too, though he’ll never admit it…

Comment #88716

Posted by Corkscrew on March 23, 2006 8:59 PM (e)

No mention at all that it was stripped out of the bill before it could actually become law. Seems this ID wiki is about as credible as the rest of the ID resources. *total shock*

Actually, from a brief overview of the wiki, it looks like they’re trying to actually do science. Their predictions are crap, their data is suspect and their motivations are dubious, but they look to be trying their hardest. They even have little “critiques” sections at the bottom of their pages.

It’s rather sweet really.

Comment #88718

Posted by normdoering on March 23, 2006 9:24 PM (e)

…but they look to be trying their hardest.

Anybody think their hardest group effort will have as much affect as Dawkins first book?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-brockman/the-…

John Brockman has a nice blog on “The Selfish Gene: Thirty Years On.”

Comment #88722

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 23, 2006 10:00 PM (e)

The Prince of Pants-Loading, the Invoker of Induction, has abandoned us. Say it ain’t so!

It ain’t so. I’ve seen this speech before. (shrug)

Comment #88736

Posted by Marine Geologist on March 24, 2006 12:42 AM (e)

Corkscrew,

They got format and boilerplate but “where’s the beef”!!!!????

Comment #88740

Posted by Louis on March 24, 2006 2:27 AM (e)

I would like to advance my claim that it was little old me who suggested that Larry should be de-named in the manner of John McCoy from Talk Origins. I have to trawl back for the citation, and errrrrr I’ll get around to it soon, honest!

I am chuffed that NoName Larry has taken my suggestion to heart and un-named himself. Since I appear to have the power of commanding Larry (am I a Larry Whisperer I ask myself) are there any questions the PTers feel I should put to Larry? After all he seems to be unable to resist my mere suggestions, who knows what a command might acheive.

I have a suggestion that Larry (NoName etc) must now comply with: Come up with some new and unrefuted arguments, until then be silent and be gone!

Let’s see if it works.

Comment #88796

Posted by Noname on March 24, 2006 4:48 AM (e)

Comment #88660 posted by Corkscrew on March 23, 2006 02:31 PM

“Whether or not irreducible complexity is bogus science is irrelevant, because there is no constitutional separation of bogus science and state.“

You’re joking, right? ID, as stated in the Dover case, is precisely the statement “God exists“ with the word “God“ replaced by euphemisms

I was talking about irreducible complexity, not ID. Judge Jones never ruled that irreducible complexity is religious – he only ruled that it is bad science (pages 72-79 of the Dover opinion, http://www2.ncseweb.org/kvd/all_legal/2005-12-20… ). There is no constitutional separation of bad science and state.

However, having been asked by both sides to rule on the issue of whether ID was science, he chose to do so, thus saving the Pennsylvania govt large amounts of cash by avoiding pointless retrials.

Tell that to the US Supreme Court, which is very good at ducking issues (e.g., the dismissed Marco DeFunis reverse-discrimination case and the “under god“ in the pledge of allegiance case, which was thrown out because the plaintiff did not have legal custody of his biological daughter, who was his “mascot“ for the suit). There was even one environmental lawsuit where the plaintiff failed to give a required 60-day notice and then corrected the error by giving the required notice, but the district court dismissed the suit because the plaintiff did not do it right the first time, and the Supreme Court incredibly upheld the dismissal!

Heck, he could have perfectly legitimately ruled on the issue even if both sides hadn’t asked him to. IT’S WRITTEN INTO THE DAMN LAW!

There was no law requiring him to rule on the scientific merits of irreducible complexity or ID.

How is ruling on stuff that he is explicitly permitted to rule on arrogant behaviour for a judge?

The “arrogant behaviour“ was recommending that other judges just trust his wisdom and not bother investigating the same issues.

Judge Jones didn’t prohibit scientific criticism of evolutionary theory, he simply stated that ID did not constitute a scientific criticism…..It’s not denigration or disparagement if it’s an accurate description of the situation.

Negative criticism of any kind may be construed as “ disparagement“ or even “denigration“ – that is not much of a stretch.

Why the heck should the publisher have been allowed to get involved? Because the suit did them some indirect damage? In that case, every stockholder in Enron, and every pundit who’d put their credibility on the line praising Enron, would have had standing to get involved in Enron’s trial.

The Pandas book was central to the Dover case and was mentioned 74 times in the 139-page Dover opinion. The publisher had a financial interest to protect. As for the stockholder, any individual stockholder could sue Enron, but usually it is best to do it as a class action suit. Your statement about a pundit is not even worthy of an answer. One of the worst injustices here is that denial of intervenor status meant that the publisher had no opportunity to file an independent appeal.

[DI’s amicus] brief had the entire text of Dembski’s testimony attached to it.

No, that was Meyer’s written testimony that was attached to the brief as an appendix. Dembski’s ideas were in the body of the brief.

If Dembski and Meyer had never signed up as expert witnesses (they subsequently withdrew), there would have been no question about accepting the DI brief (except perhaps for the fact that it probably exceeded the length limit because Meyer’s written testimony was attached). Amicus briefs are relatively unimportant, as is evidenced by the fact that briefs rebutting them are not permitted.

Even if Shallit had been allowed to testify as a result, this would have meant that the defendants had two opportunities to make their claim (Dembski’s deposition and Shallit’s cross-examination) whereas the prosecution would only have had one opportunity (Shallit’s deposition). This would have been genuinely unfair.

What are you saying ? The deal was that the plaintiffs could call Shallit to testify if the defense used Dembski’s ideas and that the defense would have the right to challenge any such use of Shallit. I don’t know of any deal about Meyer. The defense could have agreed to let Shallit testify in exchange for Jones’ acceptance of the DI amicus brief containing Dembski’s ideas (maybe with Meyer’s report removed from the brief), but I don’t know if the defense was willing to do this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover… says,

Expert Witness Pre-Trial Statements – Withdrawn from Plaintiff Jeffrey Shallit (May 16, 2005)
“Shallit was originally to be a rebuttal witness for defense witness William Dembski. After Dembski withdrew from the trial, the defense had filed a motion to exclude Shallit on grounds that it was unfair to allow Shallit to testify since Dembski would not testify and they were not allowed to introduce a replacement witness. The opposing sides came to an agreement that the plaintiffs would not call Shallit but reserved the right to call him in rebuttal if Dembski’s materials were used by the defense and the defense could make a challenge to any such use of Shallit.“

The intent was to show that the school board’s behaviour could be reasonably interpreted as appearing to endorse religion (the “effect” prong of the Lemon test). The editorials and letters demonstrated that this was in fact the case.

Jones’ counts of the editorials and letters to the editor were based only on whether or not they mentioned religion. An editorial or letter saying that ID is not an endorsement of religion counted the same as one that said that it is an endorsement of religion. There are other problems with this public-opinion polling method. As I said, the Dover opinion contained almost no evidence that this is an accepted method of gauging public opinion in court cases (page 62 of opinion). My original message here could have contained more arguments, but in the interest of brevity I left a lot of arguments out – my post was long enough as it was.

Showing blatant prejudice, the Dover opinion said that the answer to the question of “whether ID is science … can likely be predicted“ by the opinion‘s determination that “both an objective student and an objective adult member of the Dover community would perceive Defendants‘ conduct to be a strong endorsement of religion …“

The implicit assumption is that religion and good science tend to be more or less non-overlapping, especially where creationism is involved (and that’s what I’d interpret this as being a reference to). Fortunately, the Judge doesn’t rely on this assumption but instead goes through a subsequent 26 pages of discussion of this point

So you and Judge Jones apparently have the same prejudice about ID. Judge Jones should not have even suggested that his judgment on whether ID is science was influenced in any way by his judgment on whether objective observers would perceive ID as an endorsement of religion.

The Dover opinion quoted a normally-privileged attorney-client message that was sent to the school board and used this message to bash the defendants, and gave no explanation as to how this message lost its privilege (pages 111-112).

It lost its privilege when one half of the attorney-client relationship deliberately made it public.

The client “half” is the only half allowed to voluntarily disclose an attorney-client message.

As I said, no explanation is given in the Dover opinion, and your statement is mere conjecture. The attorney-client privilege may sometimes be recovered if it is inadvertently lost. Also, an attorney-client message could have immunity from usage in legal proceedings even if the message is publicly known. The message was very damaging to the defendants and I presume that they did not want it to be included in the written opinion. All I wanted was some explanation and there was none in the Dover opinion.

Jones created confusion by stating in the conclusion section that three specifically-worded prohibitions were going to be included in the official order and then including only one of them in the official order (pages 138-139).

Fraid I have no idea about this. Still, even if Judge Jones made a typo, I find it hard to see why that would be considered a good reason to ignore this well-written and thorough judgement.

It was not just a “typo“ – it was a serious omission. And I never said that it is a good reason to ignore the entire judgment – you are putting words in my mouth. It is just another flaw in the opinion.

Suppose another school district only looks at the official order and sees that it mentions only ID, and then says something like, “we‘re OK – our criticism of evolution is based on co-evolution, not ID.“ Then someone sues them on the basis of a prohibition that Jones put in the opinion’s conclusion section.

Jones appeared to take unfair advantage of the fact that the ousted original school board members and their legal representatives had no chance to have the decision reviewed by a higher court. Jones might have shown more restraint in his written opinion had there been a reasonable chance of appeal.

Can you actually provide any evidence for this assertion, or is it all in your head? My understanding is that, what with the apparent perjury and all, the Judge could have written that the sky was green and the defendants would still have had no chance in an appeal even if they wanted to do so.

My evidence is that Judge Jones could have ruled on much narrower grounds, and in my opinion he should have shown some restraint because he knew that the original defendants would have no opportunity to appeal the decision. No one can say how Jones might have ruled had the pro-ID board members not been replaced by anti-ID board members.

The perjury had no effect on the right of appeal.

Jones apparently signed the plaintiffs‘ original calculated $2 million+ attorney fee award request, even though there was no need for him to do so because the parties had reached an out-of-court settlement of $1 million. One of the plaintiffs‘ attorneys admitted that the purpose of having the judge sign the request for the larger amount is to help blackmail other school boards..

I don’t understand how the former can be considered a rebuttal of Judge Jones’ verdict. A clerical error maybe (if accurate), but not a rebuttal.

Sadly you didn’t actually provide the source for your second statement, but I’m guessing that this is a misquote based upon statements that hopefully the financial losses incurred will discourage other schools from pulling the same stunt.

I don’t understand what you are driving at in your comment about the former of my above statements.

As for my second statement above, of course it was a “misquote“ – the word “blackmail“ was not in the attorney‘s original statement but the idea of blackmail was.

Comment #88824

Posted by ts on March 24, 2006 5:51 AM (e)

And you only have to pay $14.95 to learn the truth.

Comment #88834

Posted by Raging Bee on March 24, 2006 6:33 AM (e)

Yeah, sure, Larry, you’ve knowingly and explicitly praised the blatantly dishonest tactics of the “cdesign proponentsists,” but now you expect us to believe you’re both honest and competent to speak on ANY topic? Having flatly (and repeatedly) admitted that ID and IC are indeed phony science, there’s really nothing else to argue about, and your incessant axe-grinding over procedural minutae in the Dover case is really a waste of time. The defendants – the creationist faction – made their best case, and it was full of lies. Grow up and get over it.

Your refusal to pick a handle and stick to it only reinforces my impression that you are hiding from your real-world self and problems. Get help.

Comment #88858

Posted by Corkscrew on March 24, 2006 7:24 AM (e)

They got format and boilerplate but “where’s the beef”!!!!????

So far, nowhere to be seen. And I seriously doubt that this’ll ever actually go anywhere. Still, I can’t help feeling that anything approaching actual intellectual honesty is worth cultivating - maybe it’ll have a subliminal impact.

Comment #88881

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on March 24, 2006 8:03 AM (e)

Larry, aka noname: you are an ignorant, dishonest, immoral moron. No one cares what you think.

Comment #88888

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 24, 2006 8:17 AM (e)

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

In the days after U.S. Judge John E. Jones III issued his decision in Dover’s intelligent design case, outraged people sent threatening e-mails to his office. Jones won’t discuss details of the e-mails, or where they might have come from, but he said they concerned the U.S. Marshals Service.

So, in the week before Christmas, marshals kept watch over Jones and his family.

While no single e-mail may have reached the level of a direct threat, Jones said, the overall tone was so strident, marshals “simply determined the tenor was of sufficient concern that I ought to have protection.”

http://www.ydr.com/doverbiology/ci_3634734

Did you or any of your Holocaust-denier Confederate-loving friends have anything to do with this, Larry?

Perhaps someone should forward some of Larry’s, uh, messages to the federales? They sure sound “strident” to me.

Comment #88890

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 24, 2006 8:23 AM (e)

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to read this. It will be fun to see how many times the previous law review articles by DeWolf et al. (summary: “Intelligent design is constitutional because it is revolutionary new science, not creationism!”) are contradicted by the new DI book by DeWolf et al. (which, if it follows the website, will say, “Judge Jones was irresponsible and activist for ruling on the science question!”).

If the DI were at all honest, they’d donate the proceeds from this book towards paying the legal expenses that the people in Dover are now saddled with after the ID-ers skipped town and left them holding the bag.

Comment #88905

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on March 24, 2006 8:48 AM (e)

Lenny wrote:

If the DI were at all honest, they’d donate the proceeds from this book towards paying the legal expenses that the people in Dover are now saddled with after the ID-ers skipped town and left them holding the bag.

If the DI were honest, they wouldn’t be the DI. ‘tis that simple.

Comment #88909

Posted by hehe on March 24, 2006 8:58 AM (e)

> So much for the notion that a judge is obligated to do something just because all of the participants in a case want him to do it.

Nobody ever said here that a judge is obligated to do this. You’re an obvious idiot.

Comment #88923

Posted by wamba on March 24, 2006 9:22 AM (e)

Noname wrote:

I was talking about irreducible complexity, not ID. Judge Jones never ruled that irreducible complexity is religious — he only ruled that it is bad science (pages 72-79 of the Dover opinion, http://www2.ncseweb.org/kvd/all_legal/2005-12-20…… ). There is no constitutional separation of bad science and state.

Look a little harder:

Dr. Haught testified that this argument for the existence of God was advanced early in the 19th century by Reverend Paley and defense expert witnesses Behe and Minnich admitted that their argument for ID based on the “purposeful arrangement of parts” is the same one that Paley made for design. (9:7-8 (Haught); Trial Tr. vol. 23, Behe Test., 55-57, Oct. 19, 2005; Trial Tr. vol. 38, Minnich Test., 44, Nov. 4, 2005). The only apparent difference between the argument made by Paley and the argument for ID, as expressed by defense expert witnesses Behe and Minnich, is that ID’s “official position” does not acknowledge that the designer is God. However, as Dr. Haught testified, anyone familiar with Western religious thought would immediately make the association that the tactically unnamed designer is God, as the description of the designer in Of Pandas and People (hereinafter “Pandas”) is a “master intellect,” strongly suggesting a supernatural deity as opposed to any intelligent actor known to exist in the natural world. (P-11 at 85). Moreover, it is notable that both Professors Behe and Minnich admitted their personal view is that the designer is God and Professor Minnich testified that he understands many leading advocates of ID to believe the designer to be God. (21:90 (Behe); 38:36-38 (Minnich)).

Maroon.

Comment #88926

Posted by wamba on March 24, 2006 9:29 AM (e)

You gotta go check out the “law” section in that wiki you linked to, if you haven’t already.

The only entry so far is about the “Santorum Ammendment”…

Interesting. Maybe someone should join their wiki and do up a nice page on the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial.

Comment #88964

Posted by Andrew McClure on March 24, 2006 12:59 PM (e)

I was talking about irreducible complexity, not ID. Judge Jones never ruled that irreducible complexity is religious — he only ruled that it is bad science (pages 72-79 of the Dover opinion, http://www2.ncseweb.org/kvd/all_legal/2005-12-20…… ). There is no constitutional separation of bad science and state.

This is a misunderstanding of the situation. Something which is important to realize is that the separation of church and state demands that bad science promoted for a religious purpose is, itself, viewed as an unconstitutionally religious act.

There is no problem with the state doing something which has religious purposes so long as they also have a secular purpose for undertaking the same act. For example, a religious purpose is served by illegalizing murder, since many religions prohibit murder. But this does not mean that illegalizing murder is a violation of separation of church and state, because there is also abundant secular justification for preventing murder.

However, in the case of IC, no such protection exists– because it is bad science. In the case of irreducible complexity, though there is a known religious purpose served by promoting the theory (i.e., it weakens the hated theory of evolution), the claimed secular purpose fails to materialize. Promoters can claim that irreducible complexity serves a secular purpose because it is a scientific theory, and there is a clear secular purpose in teaching science in schools; but this does not hold up in court– because the irreducible complexity of which you speak is neither valid, accepted, nor useful, as a scientific theory. This leaves only the religious purpose. So ID advocates can continue to claim they have no religious motivations until they are blue in the face, but since (since they are bad science) they simply cannot demonstrate a secular purpose in court, the courts (as Judge Jones did) will always continue to see through this and realize that is a flimsy lamb’s cloak around the fundamentally creationist religious purpose that underlies promotion of the ideas of intelligent design and irreducible complexity. Anyone who attempts to use bad science for religiously-inspired reasons will meet with the same problem.

Comment #88965

Posted by IAMB, FCD on March 24, 2006 1:01 PM (e)

Maybe someone should join their wiki and do up a nice page on the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial.

Yeah… and I’m betting it would get flagged as “biased” almost immediately… unless of course Bill has something to do with the wiki in which case it’d probably just disappear.

Comment #88983

Posted by GFletcher on March 24, 2006 2:25 PM (e)

Note the ratings of the reviews on the Amazon.com page are skewed towards the creationist side. The positive reviews have a large majority ratings as helpful, negative reviews have large majority ratings as unhelpful. Looks like somebody is paying close attention…

Comment #89016

Posted by PvM on March 24, 2006 5:35 PM (e)

Larry, oblivious to judicial rules, quotes under yet another pseudonym

Noname/Larry wrote:

Some people on this blog claimed that Judge Jones was obligated to rule on the scientific merits of ID just because both sides asked him to. Those people are now going to have to eat a lot of crow.

In Florida, a female schoolteacher was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy. The schoolteacher, her lucky “victim,“ his mother, the defense, and the prosecutors were all opposed to having a trial. The schoolteacher was charged in two counties and a plea bargain was made in one of them. However, the judge in the other county insisted that there be a trial. The prosecutors quickly solved the problem by withdrawing the charges. See http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id…

So much for the notion that a judge is obligated to do something just because all of the participants in a case want him to do it.

This is a judge ruling on a plea bargain, which is ALWAYS under judicial review. The judge does not have to accept a plea bargain and similarly does not have to accept the claim that ID is scientific, especially when both sides make an issue of this central argument.

In fact, it was argued that the violation of the establishment law should be rejected since there was a valid secular purpose to teaching ID. In other words, the scientific status of ID was essential in determining a violation of the establishment clause.

Neither Larry nor I are lawyers and in fact Larry’s position is very similar to the DI’s position that “the nature of science” is not an issue to be decided by the courts.

DI amicus wrote:

In this case, plaintiffs have made two main types of claims. First, they have made fact-based claims that the specific policy adopted by the Dover Area School Board (“DASB”) violates the first and second prongs of the Lemon test. Second, they claim that the theory of intelligent design is an “inherently religious concept” such that teaching students about it would necessarily violate Lemon’s first and second prongs under any circumstances. Amicus vigorously disputes this second, more general claim, but takes no position on the first.

Amicus takes no position on the first set of claims because Amicus lacks access to the factual record regarding the motives and actions of the DASB. Amicus disputes the second, more general claim, because it ignores the many secular purposes under which the theory of intelligent design could be taught, as well as the likely primary effect of teaching about intelligent design—to advance science education.

Secular purposes for teaching about the theory of intelligent design include informing students about competing scientific theories of biological origins, helping students to better understand the contrasting theory of neo-Darwinism (the standard textbook theory of evolution), and enhancing critical thinking skills.

The argument was clearly rejected by the court.

Why should the court ignore the main argument raised by both sides?
One agreed, one disagreed… In other words, very different from the plea bargain agreement… It was actually an issue of law.

Encyclopedia of everyday law wrote:

“[t]he process whereby the ACCUSED and the PROSECUTOR in a criminal case work out a mutually satisfactory DISPOSITION of the case subject to court approval. It usually involves the defendant’s pleading guilty to a lesser offense or to only one or some of the counts of a multi-count INDICTMENT in return for a lighter sentence than that possible for the graver charge.”

One important point is a prosecuting attorney has no authority to force a court to accept a plea agreement entered into by the parties. Prosecutors may only “recommend” to the court the acceptance of a plea arrangement. The court will usually take proofs to ensure that the above three components are satisfied and will then generally accept the recommendation of the prosecution.

Law 101 for Larry…

In the Summary Judgement request, the defendants argued “that there is a valid secular purpose” and that this is why the establishment clause cannot have been violated.

Read why the judge rejected the motion

After a careful review of the record and viewing the facts and all inferences to be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, as we must at this juncture, we hold that genuine issues of material fact exist regarding whether the challenged Policy has a secular purpose and whether the Policy’s principal or primary effect advances or inhibits religion, despite Defendants’ arguments to the contrary. Accordingly, summary judgment is not warranted and
Defendants’ Motion shall be denied.

Comment #89024

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 24, 2006 6:06 PM (e)

The latest “reviewer” of this tripe on amazon.com is one Randall L. Wenger, who gives it five stars and calls it “Important, accurate, and timely.” I quote his entire “review”:

Traipsing Into Evolution is a timely criticism of judicial overreaching arising out of the Kitzmiller v. Dover intelligent design trial. It gives a thoughtful, yet succinct, analysis of the errors of the Kitzmiller court. This book is a must read for both proponents and critics of intelligent design. Unless critics of intelligent design grapple with the arguments in this book, their criticisms will be as intellectually anemic as that of the court.

The authors of Traipsing Into Evolution present an insightful view of both the history and merits of intelligent design as well as the profound shortcomings of the Kitzmiller court. As an attorney that has worked extensively on this issue, the book has the ring of accuracy.

Of course, Mr. Wenger fails to tell us, and his amazon.com readership, that he was the co-author, along with DeWolf, of the Discovery Institure’s request to file an amicus brief in the Kitzmiller suit.

Would any of these whinging losers understand the concepts of ethics, transparency, conflict of interest, or full disclosure if they tripped over them?

Oh Carol, anyone?

Comment #89026

Posted by Faidhon on March 24, 2006 6:19 PM (e)

Blast wrote:

Good-bye, Panda’s Thumb.

Kevin wrote:

The Prince of Pants-Loading, the Invoker of Induction, has abandoned us. Say it ain’t so!

Don’t worry. Not only will Blast return, but I bet money that, in one of his many future attempts to discredit evolution, he’ll at some point say something like

[…]and lets not forget Boraas and their pathetic attempt to pass an obvious case of chemical induction as evolution

…or something like that.

Comment #89033

Posted by J. Biggs on March 24, 2006 6:51 PM (e)

Larry Farflungdung wrote:

In Florida, a female schoolteacher was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy. The schoolteacher, her lucky “victim,“ his mother, the defense, and the prosecutors were all opposed to having a trial. The schoolteacher was charged in two counties and a plea bargain was made in one of them. However, the judge in the other county insisted that there be a trial. The prosecutors quickly solved the problem by withdrawing the charges. See http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id…

So much for the notion that a judge is obligated to do something just because all of the participants in a case want him to do it.

This is an ridiculous statement as pointed out by many other posters. Let us look at the part where Larry says, her lucky “victim,”. By implying that this “victim” is lucky is ridiculous Larry. By saying this you either believe that, 1.) it is alright for 30+ year olds to seduce 14 year-olds, or 2.) you support a double standard in which only 30+ year-old women can have sex with underage boys (because the boys want to have sex) but 30+ year-old men should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for having sex with underage girls (even if those girls think they want the sex).

Either position is untenable. Anyway, isn’t sex before marriage a sin. I wonder if you want your 14 year old daughter dating this boy. I’m sure he’ll only expect a kiss on the first date. Or, hey, maybe this kid could have gotten really lucky and had kids with this pedophile. I’m sure a 14 year old boy is mature enough to handle that responsibility. You should really rephrase your entire argument to be less offensive to those of us who disagree with child molestation.

Jones denied the Pandas book publisher‘s motion to enter the case as an intervenor and then he thoroughly trashed the book in his written opinion. Jones called the motion untimely, even though the motion was filed only a month after the plaintiffs subpoenaed the publisher and a whopping four months before the start of the trial. The publisher should have been admitted as an intervenor to give it the right to file an independent appeal, if for no other reason. Considering that the book was thoroughly trashed in the written opinion and that the publisher had no opportunity to file an independent appeal, the claim that the publisher‘s interests were adequately protected is especially hollow.

I agree with your Larry. I wish that Judge Jones had let the publisher in as an intervenor. Then Judge Jones could point out that the revised version is essentially the same as the previous versions except the words creationism/creation science in the old versions is replaced with intelligent design in the new version. If the publisher of Panda’s thinks ID and Creationism are interchangeable, who are you, I or Judge Jones to disagree.

Comment #89035

Posted by J. Biggs on March 24, 2006 7:05 PM (e)

Would any of these whinging losers understand the concepts of ethics, transparency, conflict of interest, or full disclosure if they tripped over them?

Never. They show as much an aversion towards those concepts as they show towards science.

Comment #89058

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 24, 2006 9:21 PM (e)

Then Judge Jones could point out that the revised version is essentially the same as the previous versions except the words creationism/creation science in the old versions is replaced with intelligent design in the new version.

Indeed. One wonders just what FTE could have offered at the trial that would have helped the IDers in any way shape or form, rather than just giving the plaintiffs even more ammo than they already did during their REQUEST to join the suit.

It was, after all, FTE’s own drafts of the Pandas manuscript that sounded the death knell for ID. And I don’t think Buell’s dishonest BS denying the religious aims of FTE helped very much, either.

I, for one, would have very much enjoyed seeing FTE get grilled further, under oath. One thing that would interest me very much is how much, if any, support FTE gets from Howie Ahmanson.

Comment #89073

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 24, 2006 10:58 PM (e)

Blast wrote:

Good-bye, Panda’s Thumb.

now if only leisure suit larry would follow suit.

Comment #89078

Posted by Stevaroni on March 25, 2006 1:06 AM (e)

I was talking about irreducible complexity, not ID. Judge Jones never ruled that irreducible complexity is religious — he only ruled that it is bad science … There is no constitutional separation of bad science and state.

OK, I think I understand.. It’s not that ID is religious, it’s just that it’s bad science. So, um, we should teach it in a science class. Now I’m confused.

Comment #89083

Posted by ts on March 25, 2006 2:01 AM (e)

Noname should become Pickett as in Pickett’s charge, one of the most spectular defeats of the Civil War.

Of Course the ID crowd insist on doing it again and again and claiming victory in spite of all the bodies on the ground

Comment #89091

Posted by ts on March 25, 2006 4:07 AM (e)

And you don’t count the dead when god’s on your side

Comment #89175

Posted by Renier on March 25, 2006 10:05 AM (e)

Would any of these whinging losers understand the concepts of ethics, transparency, conflict of interest, or full disclosure if they tripped over them?

Just like Demski wrote reviews on Amazon for his own book.

Comment #89276

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 4:19 PM (e)

I only said that he did not have to rule on the question of whether ID and/or irreducible complexity are scientific.

But he did.

Sorry if you don’t like that. (shrug)

Comment #89285

Posted by J. Biggs on March 25, 2006 5:24 PM (e)

What I am disputing is the claim that Jones was obligated to rule on the scientific merits of ID just because both sides asked him to do so, and no one has presented any evidence in support of this claim

I am really curious Larry; If both sides asked Judge Jones to rule on the scientific merits of ID, would it really be reasonable for him to refuse to rule on it? Would you like it if you took a case to court, asked for a judgement one way or the other and the Judge said, “Gosh, It’s not really my place to say. Why don’t you take your case to someone who wants to decide on this.”? I don’t know about you, but that would really upset me. Is it not the Judges obligation to rule on cases that are brought before him or her? You can dispute how Judge Jones ruled all you want, but I think it’s silly to say he shouldn’t have ruled on something when both sides asked for said ruling. I mean really, what is the point of the judicial system if you don’t obligate judges to rule in cases brought before them?

(BTW, I wonder if that Florida pedophile got off scot-free — i.e., if the charges were dropped in the other county as well. The prosecutors would have looked foolish sustaining charges in one county while dropping similar charges in the other.).

Debra La Fave worked out a plea deal in Hillsborough and you can find out about it here. BTW, Why would the prosecutors in one county look silly for prosecuting a pedophile even if the prosecutors in the other decided not to? I think it would be a travesty if this predator got away scot-free. I think she deserved a lot more than the slap on the wrist that she got but there is no point in wasting tax payer dollars to slap her on the wrist twice for the same crime. (which is probably what she would have gotten since the double standard you apparently believe in is alive and well.) The saddest thing is that this whole thing will probably make Debra a celebrity millionaire sex offender instead of a jailbird.

Comment #89289

Posted by J. Biggs on March 25, 2006 5:32 PM (e)

Sorry the La Fave link was supposed to go here. http://gcruse.typepad.com/the_owners_manual/2005…

Comment #89292

Posted by Joe McFaul on March 25, 2006 5:44 PM (e)

“He had three opportunities to duck this issue: he could have (1) ruled that the case was moot because of the changeover in the school board, (2) ruled solely on the basis of the religious motivations of the board members, or (3) ruled that irreducible complexity is non-religious because it makes no mention of anything related to religion. IMO the courts have no business judging the scientific merits of ideas when doing so is not essential for deciding a case — there is no constitutional or legal provision giving the courts the authority to do this.”

Sure the Judge could have made some ruling that didn’t give the plaintiffs the requested relief, such as #1 and #3 above. But he didn’t. He ruled in favor of the plaintffs. Now…can you find an alternate analysis that supports a judicial ruling in favor of the plaintiffs? You can’t make an argument that the judge decided issues not before him if he needed to decide those issues to rule in favor of one of the parties. Judge Jones needed to do that here.

Also the commentor confuses the judicial attitudes of trial courts with apellate courts. Apellate courts do often rely on the narrowest ground to sustain a trial court’s ruling (the bolded words are the key). Trial courts, on the other hand, knowing that appeals will often be taken, will rule in favor of one party on multiple grounds. It is not true that trial courts are required to choose the narrowest posisble basis for ruling in a party’s favor. As a matter of fact, they usually don’t.

The test is simply whether the parties fairly litigated the matter. There is no question that the defense called Michael Behe as a scientific expert to testify that ID is science. He actually did so testify, relying on irreducible complexity. The judge could not avoid addressing this argument and Behe’s evidence without risking an appellate court’s reversal.

Deciding on broader than necessary grounds happens all the time in court. A plaintiff might sue for breach of contract and fraud. The court will often rule in plaintiff’s favor on both grounds when the evidence supports such a ruling, even though plaintiff is not permitted a double judgment. The court of appeals can sustain the judgment on either ground.

Comment #89294

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 5:56 PM (e)

Dude, you’re arguing with a crank.

Don’t waste your time.

Comment #89368

Posted by Renier on March 26, 2006 2:41 PM (e)

Jesus Larry. Quite whining about Dover. You guys lost. Get over it already. Fsakes man, everybody here knows you are heartbroken because ID lost in Dover. Stop being such a damn bad looser. ID had a FAIR chance to give it all they got. They did give it all they had in Dover, but the Judge decided they are farting at the wind. You wanna help ID? Start doing experiments or something, but quite moaning about Dover. Dying people complain less than you.

Comment #89370

Posted by k.e. on March 26, 2006 2:49 PM (e)

Hey Larry
Have the guys at the DI given you a call yet?
You keep reminding them they are ******* losers.
And to prove the point you’re repeating the same points over and over they must be getting sick of being reminded don’t you think?.

How about the “Theory of ID”…oh that’s right YOU don’t have one.
How about the sheer brilliance of the TMLC defense….the one Santorum is running a mile from.(snigger)
How about the stunning support the DI gave the TMLC.(hahahahahaha)

Hey what about teaching the controversy ? You know the one…. no one can agree on and everyones fighting over…jeez Larry by the time that’s over..they will be a second coming …or two.(smirk)

Oh yeah Ikruducile Composity or Pomosity …whatever…. how does that go again?(double smirk)

Whatever happened to the idea that you just get it over with and prove the existence of your designer, should be no trouble at all, millions of people agree with you so it MUST be REAL?

Over to you Larry ?

Comment #89371

Posted by PvM on March 26, 2006 2:49 PM (e)

Larry still tries to argue why the Judge did not have to rule on the question of law, even though it was one of the central issues of dispute. Larry earlier had suggested that the Judge did not have to rule because of judges having the final say on plea-bargaining. As I have pointed out logically and legally these are not comparable examples.

Larry wrote:

I did not say that Judge Jones had to “accept the claim that ID is scientific“ — I only said that he did not have to rule on the question of whether ID and/or irreducible complexity are scientific. He had three opportunities to duck this issue: he could have (1) ruled that the case was moot because of the changeover in the school board, (2) ruled solely on the basis of the religious motivations of the board members, or (3) ruled that irreducible complexity is non-religious because it makes no mention of anything related to religion.

(1) Is irrelevant, the issue was not moot just because a new school board had been elected. The issue is one new schoolboard away and even a new school board was not guaranteed to reject the policy. Larry may need to do some homework on the mootness issue.

(2)Since it was argued that despite the motivations the policy did not violate the establishment clause because ID was science and thus had a valid secular purpose, the judge had to resolve this issue of contention.

(3) If Larry were familiar with the case law and precendents in this area then he would know that this is irrelevant. It’s the lack of a valid secular purpose.

IMO the courts have no business judging the scientific merits of ideas when doing so is not essential for deciding a case — there is no constitutional or legal provision giving the courts the authority to do this.

You are wrong again as case law shows. You opinion does matter little in light of judicial reality.

Also, an amicus brief that the Discovery Institute submitted on behalf of 85 scientists urged Jones to refrain from ruling on the scientific merits of ID — see http://www2.ncseweb.org/kvd/all_legal/amicus/200…

Making the issue one of contention. In other words, the DI may have been instrumental in triggering the Judge to rule on this issue of law.

Law 101 Larry

Heck it’s common sense 101 too

Comment #89373

Posted by PvM on March 26, 2006 3:01 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

This is called a “lack of jurisdiction“ ruling. Judges also give other reasons — e.g., mootness and lack of standing — for not ruling on an issue. Judges do this kind of stuff all the time. For example, the Supreme Court threw out the “under god” (pledge of allegiance) case on the nitpicking basis that the plaintiff did not have legal custody of his biological daughter, his mascot in the case.

Yes, legal standing had been decided in a earlier ruling. This is quite common in legal proceedings, as Larry should know?

The judge does not have to rule in favor of either party, nor does the judge have to rule on all the issues raised by one or both parties. For example, a judge might dismiss a case as moot because a judgment on the merits would have no practical effect on the parties involved. The Dover case could have been dismissed as moot because the pro-ID school board members had been replaced by anti-ID board members, with the result that the plaintiffs would have gotten the basic relief they wanted —cancellation of the ID policy — in any event. The plaintiffs wanted a broader decision — i.e., they wanted rulings that ID is not science and that teaching it in public schools violates the establishment clause — but Jones was not obligated to give the plaintiffs everything they wanted. Also, another consideration is that a broad ruling was unfair because the original defendants had no chance to appeal (because they were voted off the school board).

The judge has to rule on issues of law especially when two opposing parties request him to rule on this because there is a disagreement on the issue. Both sides submit their reasonings and the judge will resolve them to the best of his abilities. Since the question of valid secular purpose was essential to the ruling and raised by both sides, the judge did his work. Both the plaintiffs and defendants argued that ID failed/passed because it wasn’t/was science. Seems like an issue which the judge could not avoid.

I never said that trial courts are required to rule on narrow grounds — but as I said above, I think that ruling on narrow grounds would have been especially appropriate here because the original defendants had no chance to appeal.

any case law precendents for this position? For any of your positions?

Sigh

Comment #89374

Posted by k.e. on March 26, 2006 3:04 PM (e)

Larry

It’s clear you (and the DI …. why else would they not want the Judge to NOT rule) agree with the Judge that ID is not science and that it is just a particular religious sects apologetics(creationism)
….so just explain why again he did not have to rule on that.
and again.
and again.
and again.
Just so the DI and all the other creationists REALLY get the message.
Your doing a better job than Judge Jones at getting the message out there sunshine.

Comment #89375

Posted by PvM on March 26, 2006 3:14 PM (e)

Nobody wrote:

I disagree. Jones could have ruled that irreducible complexity is non-religious (for the reason above) and that therefore it was not necessary for him to decide whether he thinks that teaching it has a valid secular purpose.

No, no, no. Lacking a valid secular purpose is an essential part of the Lemon prongs. Do you homework Larry

What “DI amicus“ is this ? There were two DI amicus briefs — (1) DI‘s own brief, which Judge Jones excluded from the record, and (2) a brief that DI submitted on behalf of 85 scientists.

There was only one amicus brief accepted by the court, the earlier one tried to enter into testimony the statements by the DI people who had withdrawn and the judge did not accept this for obvious reasons.
The 85 scientists amiucs brief was NOT filed by the DI, although some overlap cannot be denied.

Jones wrote:

The Court has received numerous letters, amicus briefs, and other forms of correspondence pertaining to this case. The only documents submitted by third parties the Court has considered, however, are those that have become an official part of the record. Consistent with the foregoing, the Court has taken under consideration the following: (1) Brief of Amici Curiae Biologists and Other Scientists in Support of Defendants (doc. 245); (2) Revised Brief of Amicus Curiae, the Discovery Institute (doc. 301); (3) Brief of Amicus Curiae the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (doc. 309); and (4) Brief for Amicus Curiae Scipolicy Journal of Science and Health Policy (doc. 312).

The 85 scientists argued, typically conflating ID and id, by arguing that id is used scientifically in forensic sciences etc. and that the definition of science is ‘outdated’ which could hinder the scientific process. Of course, no mention of ‘hindering the legal process’ :-0

The argument by the 85 is poorly done and ignores case law. For instance it argues that the court is ill suited to rule on issue of science, yet it ignores the case law that shows the opposite.
It would be fun to take apart the amicus by these 85 ‘scientists’.

Needless to say it seems that plaintiffs and defendants as well as the various amicus briefs made the issue of ID being science a central issue of contention and relevant to the ruling.

Anyway, I do not see two types of claims above — the alleged “second“ claim just gives a reason or explanation for the first.

Take that up with the DI… They wrote it

Encyclopedia of everyday law wrote:
One important point is a prosecuting attorney has no authority to force a court to accept a plea agreement entered into by the parties.

I never disputed this. What I am disputing is the claim that Jones was obligated to rule on the scientific merits of ID just because both sides asked him to do so, and no one has presented any evidence in support of this claim (BTW, I wonder if that Florida pedophile got off scot-free — i.e., if the charges were dropped in the other county as well. The prosecutors would have looked foolish sustaining charges in one county while dropping similar charges in the other.).

Sigh, despite being totally wrong Larry still confuses the court ruling on a plea bargain where both sides agree and an instance where both side disagree on the same issue, making it thus an issue of law.

That’s why the judge rejected summary judgement… as to prosecutors looking foolish, well…

Comment #89376

Posted by PvM on March 26, 2006 3:21 PM (e)

From the Brief for Amicus Curiae Scipolicy Journal of Science and Health Policy a good overview of the issues surrounding ID can be gathered

Intelligent Design is a philosophical view predicated on the belief that what the natural sciences have not yet been able to explain materially, must exist because it was the product of a superior being. In contrast to the natural sciences, the notion of Intelligent Design demonstrates neither procedure, measurement technique, nor testable hypotheses. The notion is, it seems, that everything must have an explanation and, therefore, where none is apparent, the creation must be the will of a non-material or superhuman force. Some scholars would maintain that this view simply endorses the supernatural and whether that supernatural is good or evil is simply an exercise in faith.

and

Irrefutably, the concept of Intelligent Design embraces the notion of the supernatural; it gives no other possible explanation and reposes on the individual’s intellectual and psychological needs and
the depth of his faith.

It is undeniable that ID is scientifically vacuous, that it is based on a negative argument and that it is based on the supernatural, despite its attempts to include forensics etc as valid examples of id.

Stripped of its intellectual facade the announcement is nothing but a transparent effort to engraft religious dogma onto the classroom examination of scientific theory.

Yes, one cannot hide behind conflation and ‘85 scientists’…

Comment #89379

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 26, 2006 4:55 PM (e)

Once again, I must point out that Larry is not an IDer. Larry is just a crank, who has delusions of lawyerhood.

Comment #89432

Posted by k.e. on March 27, 2006 7:28 AM (e)

Well Larry (I see you don’t deny you are nobody)
You’re living proof after all.
The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.

careful Larry you’re loosing the plot.

“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”
— Beyond Good and Evil

Denial and projection

To whit.
You Larry can keep saying I am he is totally wrong until you are he is blue in the face, but it won’t do you do him any good.

You can jump up and down for as long as you like but guess what? Your an evolved animal. And so was your mother, was it her that told you that fairy stories are ‘real’?

Basic Psychological Mechanisms: Neurosis and Projection.

So Larry when are you coming out?

Comment #89436

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 27, 2006 8:23 AM (e)

Larry, why don’t you write a bunch of crank letters to Judge Jones, the Supreme Court, the New York Times, anyone else you can think of, explaining all of your, uh, legal insights.

Let us know how it goes.

Comment #89497

Posted by J. Biggs on March 27, 2006 11:39 AM (e)

Hey Larry, I hear they have an opening in the Catholic Church for the Patron Saint of Circular Reasoning.

Comment #98182

Posted by Justasking7 on April 24, 2006 1:59 PM (e)

To Leon re(Posted by Leon on March 23, 2006 01:35 PM):

You wrote (in part):

“justasking7, you are of course welcome to contact Larry. If I had his address I’d get it to you.

“ID was tested rather fairly on its merits in the Kitzmiller case, which is why the decision came down the way it did.

“But for purposes of understanding ID, I think it’s fair to summarize it this way. The basic premise of ID is that parts of biological species (the eye, for instance) are too complex to have evolved—instead, they must have been designed wholesale and implemented all at once.”
[end excerpt]

=======

Thank you for explaining the rudiments of ID. You were polite and to the point.

From your description, ID sounds like it presents a challenge on the merits to the theory that all biological entities came about by pure random chance combined with the incidence of death or sterility of entities with mutational failures.

All the best.

Comment #98190

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on April 24, 2006 2:33 PM (e)

Mind you, justasking7, the biological theory you described is a strawman version of modern evolutionary theory. That said, you are correct. ID in reality addresses only a strawman version of the real evolutionary theory.

BTW, Larry started his own blog a week ago, if you are still interested in him. He’s not all that knowledgeable about ID, though - there are others who would be a better source of information.

As Larry is no longer welcome to post here, I will not engage in further discussion regarding him, as it would be unfair to him to not be able to respond to any of my statements.

Comment #98234

Posted by Justasking7 on April 24, 2006 8:07 PM (e)

I described evolutionary theory as:

“the theory that all biological entities came about by pure random chance combined with the incidence of death or sterility of entities with mutational failures.”

Mr. Vicklund responded kindly:

“Mind you, the biological theory you described is a strawman version of modern evolutionary theory.”

I confess to having described the theory in coarse terms. I am intrigued by your response, however.

(1) Does modern evolutionary theory reject the notion that random mutation is the physical change agent that changes the characteristics of species or leads to new species?

(2) Does modern evolutionary theory reject the notion of natural selection, which in operation means that less favorably adapted members of a species will either die or fail to reproduce in as many numbers as will the more favorably adpated members?

This is a serious question. I am holding a book entitled “Evolution,” written by Professor Frank H.T. Rhodes (Univ of Mich.),published by Golden Press in 1974, which describes random mutation and natural selection in essentially these terms. Is this book incorrect? What is the current view of the causes leading to changes in species?

I look forward to reading your post.

Comment #98239

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 24, 2006 8:31 PM (e)

published by Golden Press in 1974

So you’re quoting from a children’s encyclopedia from 32 years ago …. ?

(sigh) No WONDER nobody takes creationuts seriously.

Comment #98250

Posted by Anton Mates on April 24, 2006 9:46 PM (e)

The book in question:

Comment #98260

Posted by Anton Mates on April 24, 2006 11:01 PM (e)

Justasking7 wrote:

I described evolutionary theory as:

“the theory that all biological entities came about by pure random chance combined with the incidence of death or sterility of entities with mutational failures.”

[snipped]

This is a serious question. I am holding a book entitled “Evolution,” written by Professor Frank H.T. Rhodes (Univ of Mich.),published by Golden Press in 1974, which describes random mutation and natural selection in essentially these terms. Is this book incorrect? What is the current view of the causes leading to changes in species?

It’s not that random mutation and natural selection aren’t major factors in evolution; it’s just that there’s a bunch of other factors too. There’s genetic drift (changes in allele frequency in a population due to random events), sexual selection (if you don’t count that as natural selection), and so forth. Some speciation instances may even be culture-driven; transient vs. resident orca populations may be an instance of this.) Genetic drift is random by definition, but sexual selection certainly isn’t.

Moreover, selection doesn’t really equate to “the incidence of death or sterility of entities with mutational failures.” First, mutations may be beneficial rather than “failures.” Second, whether a given mutation is beneficial or harmful depends on the current environment, so you can’t just point to it and say “That one’s a failure.” (Sickle-cell’s a good example of this.) Third, a trait doesn’t have to render its bearer dead or sterile to be wiped out by selection forces–it just has to make them slightly less proficient at producing viable offspring than the other guys.

I’ve never read the book you reference, so I have no idea if it says some of the above; but as Lenny says, it’s probably a good idea to read something more detailed and more recent. If you read down this earlier PT thread, you’ll find some nice book recommendations.

Comment #98336

Posted by justasking7 on April 25, 2006 9:28 AM (e)

Lenny Flank wrote:

“So you’re quoting from a children’s encyclopedia from 32 years ago …. ?”

“(sigh) No WONDER nobody takes creationuts seriously.”

===

Let’s consider this post, Mr. Flank.

(1) I cited a book by a professor at UM, who was an expert in evolution. You apparently don’t like what he wrote, so you criticize me as a “nut” for citing the words of the expert in evolution.

(2) I cited a book that was designed to teach students in schools about evolution. Now, if you don’t like that book or its message, then you are impliedly conceding that students who read that book were being misinformed by a leading proponent of evolutionary theory.

(Whether the misinformation was intentional or not would be an interesting question for you to think about.)

(3) That you invested your time to post your reply suggests that this was your best argument – to attack me for citing the publication of a proponent of evolution. Regrettably your post contained not a microgram of substantive merit.

Comment #98359

Posted by justasking7 on April 25, 2006 9:49 AM (e)

Anton Mates replied to my post; thank you kindly, Mr. Mates.

Mr. Mates, you addressed my coarse rendition of evolutionary theory, but I had already tightened up my questions in the subsequent post. You omitted those questions in your response post.

You indicate that random mutation and natural selection are major factors in evolution.

You also reference “genetic drift” – but then you note that such drift occurs by random events. These would be external events in the environment acting upon the species’ members (as opposed to internal changes in DNA), so such drift would be part of the natural selection process.

You reference sexual selection – but then you note that is also an external factor, so it is part of the natural selection process.

You note that speciation instances may be culture-driven. As “culture” must be a function of DNA programming, then any given “culture” is the result of mutation to DNA and natural selection events of the past.

Your discussion of my use of the term “mutational failures” goes to my coarse restatement of the theory. In my subsequent tightened restatements in the form of two questions, I adopted the more accurate phrasing of the theory as Professor Rhodes had written it, and which your comments also include.

As you say, natural selection is the operation of the environment upon the members of the species, such that the better adapted members survive and reproduce more successfully than the less well adapted members. The environment includes physical forces, the changes in physical features of the external world, and the “culture” elements to which you referred.

Thus, at the end of the day, evolution theory remains grounded upon random mutation (for changes to DNA) and natural selection (that favors or disfavors members of the species that exhibit variations in features and traits traceable to variations in DNA).

(I use the term DNA broadly here to include the DNA driven structures e.g. chromosomes and genetic elements, etc.)

Have I missed an element of evolutionary theory here?

Comment #98637

Posted by Anton Mates on April 25, 2006 7:46 PM (e)

justasking7 wrote:

Mr. Mates, you addressed my coarse rendition of evolutionary theory, but I had already tightened up my questions in the subsequent post. You omitted those questions in your response post.

Sorry, I assumed the answers to those questions would be evident from my response. In brief—no, modern evolutionary theory denies neither random mutation nor natural selection. But other mechanisms are also involved, and the effect of random mutation is not as you described it previously—that’s why Kevin said your description was a strawman.

You indicate that random mutation and natural selection are major factors in evolution.

You also reference “genetic drift” — but then you note that such drift occurs by random events. These would be external events in the environment acting upon the species’ members (as opposed to internal changes in DNA), so such drift would be part of the natural selection process.

No, it would not. For one thing, genetic drift is partly due to genetic, non-environmental mechanisms. For instance, you’ve got two alleles for each gene, and roughly half of your gametes have a given allele. If you have several kids, it’s possible (though statistically unlikely) that instead of passing on each allele to about half of them, you happen to pass on one in particular to almost all of them. Thus the frequency of that allele will increase within the population. Wouldn’t have anything to do with environment–just part of the genetic lottery in terms of which of your gametes happened to contribute to their genome.

Also, environmental factors don’t fall under “natural selection” unless they affect reproductive success in a way which depends on heritable traits. For instance, if an asteroid hit Sub-Saharan Africa, the frequency of sickle-cell in the human population would decrease. But that’s not natural selection, because the sickle-cell trait doesn’t make its bearers more likely to get hit by an asteroid—they were just unlucky. We don’t expect to see sickle-cell bearers consistently doing worse than everyone else because of repeated asteroid strikes.

Of course such random events will usually average out in terms of their impact on a large population, but they can occasionally have severe effects, especiallyif the population is small. For instance, many of the canaries on Midway Atoll are green, unlike wild populations elsewhere. Doesn’t mean it’s particularly beneficial to be green on Midway, though; it’s just that they’re descended from six or seven tame canaries brought to the island about a century ago, of whom a few happened to be green. That’s genetic drift—specifically, the founder effect.

You reference sexual selection — but then you note that is also an external factor, so it is part of the natural selection process.

As I said, it’s possible to view it that way, but it’s often useful to view it separately because the pressures it induces can be exceptionally complex, counterintuitive, and rapidly varying over time and space. In modern terminology (and for that matter in Darwin’s terminology), “natural selection” usually isn’t defined as including sexual selection. But they certainly do both fall broadly into “nonrandom environmental effects on fitness of heritable traits,” or something like that.

You note that speciation instances may be culture-driven. As “culture” must be a function of DNA programming, then any given “culture” is the result of mutation to DNA and natural selection events of the past.

This is almost precisely backwards—“culture” refers to those behaviors which are not genetically programmed, but which are developed by individuals and then passed on to other members of the population through learning! I have five fingers on each hand for genetic reasons, but I don’t speak English because of my DNA—that’s cultural.

Many human populations are highly reproductively isolated, not because they genetically can’t interbreed with the rest of us, but simply because they usually don’t, for cultural reasons. (Think of the Amish.) Likewise, resident and transient killer whales aren’t physically or genetically very different, but they’ve developed different traditions in terms of foraging patterns, diets, calls, and so forth. Therefore an orca raised in one population almost never joins a pod of the other, and interbreeding is virtually nonexistent.

Again, this kind of effect could be broadly classed under “nonrandom environmental effects on fitness of heritable traits,” but it’s not usually counted under “natural selection” per se.

Your discussion of my use of the term “mutational failures” goes to my coarse restatement of the theory. In my subsequent tightened restatements in the form of two questions, I adopted the more accurate phrasing of the theory as Professor Rhodes had written it, and which your comments also include.

Your restatements are definitely more accurate; however, they are also incomplete as shown above.

Oh, one more correction. When you say,

Thus, at the end of the day, evolution theory remains grounded upon random mutation (for changes to DNA)

it should be noted that another engine of genetic change (for many species, anyway) is sexual reproduction. That doesn’t (usually) produce new alleles, but it does produce new genomes via independent assortment, and that’s just as important for producing genetic variation. Thanks to that, it’s not necessary for all the alleles which add up to one trait to have appeared in a single ancestor, or in a single ancestral lineage.

If you wanted to capture this all in one sentence, you could say something like, “Evolution consists of random production of new genomes that are variations on the old, and the favoring by the environment of some individuals over others, partially due to heritable traits.” I’m sure several people here could now pop up to point out how that’s insufficient somehow. :) But offhand, I don’t recall any nice quotes from evolutionary biologists trying to sum up evolutionary theory precisely in one sentence.

Comment #98643

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 25, 2006 8:33 PM (e)

Like I said, no WONDER nobody takes creationuts seriously.

(shrug)

Comment #98645

Posted by justasking7 on April 25, 2006 8:53 PM (e)

Thank you, Mr. Mates. Your post is quite helpful, and clarifies some terminology for me. I do appreciate your time and effort.

I see your point about “cultural” behaviors not being genetically driven. I think your point is strong for mammals and perhaps some of the other higher intelligence animals.

The behaviors of fireflies, however, could be considered “cultural”, am I right, because various species of fireflies employ and distinguish between different signaling mechanisms. Some fireflies even mimic the signals of other fireflies to entice the other species in … to become a meal.

I am unaware of any researcher who says that fireflies teach these behaviors to their young. Such instruction would be nearly impossible, as the parents of the fireflies have no interaction with their larvae nor with their post-metamorphosis offspring. As the adult fireflies are not exposed to the previous generation of fireflies, they have no opportunity even to imitate the behaviors of older fireflies.

When you used the general term “cultural” I was envisioning a larger set of animals than just mammals and perhaps some other species. That is one reason why I suggested that the “cultural” behaviors are products of DNA programming.

You suggested that the groups of orcas had developed different “traditions” of diet, foraging and signals, and for those reasons they selected mates from their own group and not from other groups. Quite fascinating stuff!

I would imagine, however, that some common ancestor orcas would have not been differentiated by “traditions,” and that those orcas’ behaviors would have been DNA determined. The potential to change “traditions” would also be a function of DNA, given that not all animals have the evident power to construct and modify “traditions.” For that reason, I would think that both the “traditions” and the potential to change “traditions” are products of DNA programming in the first instance. The evolution of a species lacking “traditions” to a species having (and being able to change) “traditions” would have required mutation (or other random shuffling of genetic materials). That’s the other reason why I suggested that “cultural” behaviors are the product of DNA programming, and that such programming was the result of prior mutation and natural selection events of the past.

Thank you again for your kindness in fielding my queries.

Comment #98654

Posted by Anton Mates on April 25, 2006 10:59 PM (e)

justasking7 wrote:

Thank you, Mr. Mates. Your post is quite helpful, and clarifies some terminology for me. I do appreciate your time and effort.

No problem. I have no degrees in biology myself, however, so please take nothing I say as gospel. I suggest reading some of the TalkOrigins FAQs and a modern college-level bio textbook (such as Campbell’s “Biology”.) Or checking out that reading list I mentioned.

I see your point about “cultural” behaviors not being genetically driven. I think your point is strong for mammals and perhaps some of the other higher intelligence animals.

Actually, the rudiments of culture may even be found in comparatively moronic animals. Wasps and bees, I believe (who are very good learners as insects go), will acquire dietary preferences based on what their elders have fed them–though I guess it’s up in the air as to whether you want to call that learning a behavior. I think it’d qualify.

Birdsong’s another great example. My wife’s advisor, Doug Nelson, pioneered work in regional dialects of white-crowned sparrows. Though not exactly geniuses of the bird world, they still learn their territorial songs from their neighbors, and that’s resulted in a mosaic pattern of regional dialects, each gradually shifting its geographic range and its song pattern over time. This has a big impact on interbreeding, actually; it turns out female sparrows are attracted to males who sound “foreign”, but other males are hostile and try to drive them away. (So there would be an example of a trait which probably isn’t cultural, but developed in response to culture.)

The behaviors of fireflies, however, could be considered “cultural”, am I right, because various species of fireflies employ and distinguish between different signaling mechanisms. Some fireflies even mimic the signals of other fireflies to entice the other species in … to become a meal.

I am unaware of any researcher who says that fireflies teach these behaviors to their young. Such instruction would be nearly impossible, as the parents of the fireflies have no interaction with their larvae nor with their post-metamorphosis offspring. As the adult fireflies are not exposed to the previous generation of fireflies, they have no opportunity even to imitate the behaviors of older fireflies.

Correct, and precisely because of these facts, firefly signals are not cultural traits. It’s not whether or not they signal differently that makes it culture, it’s whether or not individuals learn the signals from others. (The layman’s usage of the word “culture” may differ from this, of course; I’m just talking about how biologists use the term.)

In the case of humans, we scream in fear, cry when we’re unhappy, gesture toward things we’re interested in, and so forth…these are apparently innate, non-cultural signals (although they can be extensively modified.) As opposed to sentences from a particular language, or a hand signal like a thumbs up, which are culturally transmitted.

You suggested that the groups of orcas had developed different “traditions” of diet, foraging and signals, and for those reasons they selected mates from their own group and not from other groups. Quite fascinating stuff!

I would imagine, however, that some common ancestor orcas would have not been differentiated by “traditions,” and that those orcas’ behaviors would have been DNA determined.

Eh…not really. Even before differentiating, when (say) the whole population had a single contact whistle, the exact “tune” of that whistle would still be cultural. We know that, for instance, young orcas learn to match the whistle of their pod. It’s just an accident of history that that whistle turned out exactly the way it is.

Really, to think about just how much behavior is cultural, imagine raising a young animal without any elders around, then turning it out into the wild when it reaches adulthood. Many mammals and most birds would be hosed. They wouldn’t know how to forage, how to attract the opposite sex, what creatures are dangerous, etc. To get to a completely a-cultural ancestor of the orca, you’d probably have to go back to our not-quite-reptilian ancestors.

The potential to change “traditions” would also be a function of DNA, given that not all animals have the evident power to construct and modify “traditions.”

That is certainly true, and is true for more than culture–genes can not only determine our form and behavior, but also how plastic they are. Pharyngula had a great example of this with butterflies that were bred to be more changeable in terms of their larval colour.

For that reason, I would think that both the “traditions” and the potential to change “traditions” are products of DNA programming in the first instance. The evolution of a species lacking “traditions” to a species having (and being able to change) “traditions” would have required mutation (or other random shuffling of genetic materials).

That last is very true, but it’s likely to be a very slow and continuous process. Think about the wide range of innovativeness, speed of learning, creativity, memory talent etc. you see in various humans, or in various dogs, or in various parrots. Rather than a new single animal being born who, unlike all its ancestors, has The Ability To Learn Behaviors From Its Fellows, you’d see a lineage gradually develop better memories and more interest in imitating their elders, so that more and more complicated behaviors become feasible to pass down, until they finally amount to something we bother calling a “culture” or “tradition”. Each tiny step being provided, as you say, by mutation or genetic recombination. Or maybe that genetic capacity happened to develop earlier, as a side effect of some other advantageous trait, and finally some animal happens to come up with a behavior that can be learned and passed down.

Also, it doesn’t follow that the specific traditions developed, or their impact on future selection or speciation, were genetically determined. You might look at the orca genome and (with incredible futuristic knowledge of genetics and developmental biology) say, “Wow, they’re probably going to be able to innovate and pass on complex behaviors.” But you couldn’t say, “OK, these guys are going to have a few members who happen to get really good at hunting marine mammals and end up passing that on to their pods, and so they’re going to isolate themselves from these guys who’ll stick to the coastline and feed mostly on fish and pass that behavior on.” For that reason it’s not really accurate to say that cultural behaviors are genetically programmed.

Comment #98656

Posted by Anton Mates on April 25, 2006 11:01 PM (e)

Sorry, the TalkOrigins link above is busted. Try this.

Comment #98657

Posted by justasking7 on April 25, 2006 11:27 PM (e)

Mr. Mates, I thank you again for your careful explanation and clarification.

One thing you said particularly intrigued me:

“Rather than a new single animal being born who, unlike all its ancestors, has The Ability To Learn Behaviors From Its Fellows, you’d see a lineage gradually develop better memories and more interest in imitating their elders, so that more and more complicated behaviors become feasible to pass down, until they finally amount to something we bother calling a “culture” or “tradition”. Each tiny step being provided, as you say, by mutation or genetic recombination.”

For the animal lineage in question, how many generations of the animal would be needed to achieve the evolutionary transformation, in small steps as you say, from the short-memory, no-imitation, no interest in imitation version to the fully operational long memory and exact imitation version of orca that we have today?

Comment #98679

Posted by Faidhon on April 26, 2006 4:54 AM (e)

Justasking, I think Anton covered that already:

Anton Mates wrote:

To get to a completely a-cultural ancestor of the orca, you’d probably have to go back to our not-quite-reptilian ancestors.

…You’d have to look back way before the speciation of the orca.

Comment #98753

Posted by Anton Mates on April 26, 2006 12:47 PM (e)

Being an expert in neither neurology nor developmental biology nor genetics, I’m probably not the person to ask! That said, I would suspect that we cannot, and never will, be able to somehow calculate how long it would take to go from virtually no capacity for social learning of behavior to, say, Orca-level. You’d have to have near-divine understanding of all the above disciplines just to write down all the possible sequences of mutations and recombinations that any given lineage might have experienced along the way, and then add to that the intricate knowledge of ancient ecologies and population sizes you’d need to know to establish the likelihood of each sequence…just isn’t feasible without a planet-sized computer and a time machine.

Just as a very simple example of one difficulty here…the probability of a mutation appearing in a population in a given time is roughly proportional to the population size. So if we take a guess at the population size of, say, the species ancestral to Orcas 60 million years ago, and get it wrong by a factor of 10 (which we probably would since we don’t even know which species that is), our likelihood and average-time estimates would be wildly off.

We’re probably better off using cladistic and paleontological data, but here we’re hampered by the fact that most behavior doesn’t fossilize–there’s not much we can say about the learning capacities of critters dead for millions of years.

So all that’s the disclaimer. What can we say for sure? Well, some birds (such as corvids) are very proficient social learners, if probably not orca-class. Ratites and tinamous, on the other hand, are (AFAIK) not known to imitate one another or learn behaviors (although some Galliformes apparently do, and they’re apparently closely-related). So the total time needed for a shift from non-social-learner to crow-class social learner is probably less than twice the time of divergence between ratites and crows, say. A quick and very lazy literature search suggests that that divergence occurred more than 90 mya, so…*drumroll* corvids and their ancestors probably developed proficiency in social learning within 200 million years!

Which is not exactly earth-shattering news. :) But as for how fast a lineage could develop that proficiency…I guess we’ll never know until we run a multi-million-year-long program where we try to breed super-brilliant, socially adept ostriches or something.

Comment #99539

Posted by justasking7 on April 30, 2006 11:46 PM (e)

Mr. Mates, thank you again. You are kind to share your thoughts in such a clear and helpful manner. You wrote:

“I would suspect that we cannot, and never will, be able to somehow calculate how long it would take to go from virtually no capacity for social learning of behavior to, say, Orca-level. You’d have to have near-divine understanding of all the above disciplines just to write down all the possible sequences of mutations and recombinations that any given lineage might have experienced along the way, and then add to that the intricate knowledge of ancient ecologies and population sizes you’d need to know to establish the likelihood of each sequence…just isn’t feasible without a planet-sized computer and a time machine.

“Just as a very simple example of one difficulty here…the probability of a mutation appearing in a population in a given time is roughly proportional to the population size. So if we take a guess at the population size of, say, the species ancestral to Orcas 60 million years ago, and get it wrong by a factor of 10 (which we probably would since we don’t even know which species that is), our likelihood and average-time estimates would be wildly off.”

===

I find this disappointing. I would have thought that accurate scientifically verifiable estimates of the time required for evolutionary development would be a problem that evolutionary biologists would have long ago solved. It would seem rather important to establish that the evolutionary changes could actually have occurred in the time frames given, and to bolster that with a mathematically plausible model.

Inasmuch as neo-Darwinian evolution is stated to be a proved fact of science, it would be unsettling if modern biology were not be able to supply such time estimates.

But I understand and grant you intellectual immunity under your disclaimer :-)

Thank you again.

Comment #99540

Posted by Registered User on May 1, 2006 12:18 AM (e)

juststupid asks

I would have thought that accurate scientifically verifiable estimates of the time required for evolutionary development would be a problem that evolutionary biologists would have long ago solved. It would seem rather important to establish that the evolutionary changes could actually have occurred in the time frames given

Geebus, the inanity is breathtaking.

Is this what passes for “civil discourse” amongst the creationati?

What is the minimum time to make a canyon like the Grand Canyon on a planet like earth?

Answer: it depends on a whole frigging lot of variables and it’s extremely difficult to provide an “accurate” answer to such a question.

Does that mean that the Grand Canyon wasn’t formed by erosion and other natural processes?

Of course not.

You have been given a clue. I hope you “get it.” Try really hard.

Comment #99541

Posted by Registered User on May 1, 2006 12:21 AM (e)

Mr. Mates, I thank you again for your careful explanation and clarification.

What civility!

Can we all give justasking a great big hand? Let’s give it up for “civility.”

C’mon folks: I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!

Comment #99543

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 1, 2006 12:25 AM (e)

let’s hear it for civility…

:p

Comment #99546

Posted by ben on May 1, 2006 4:30 AM (e)

For the animal lineage in question, how many generations of the animal would be needed to achieve the evolutionary transformation, in small steps as you say, from the short-memory, no-imitation, no interest in imitation version to the fully operational long memory and exact imitation version of orca that we have today?

…..

Inasmuch as neo-Darwinian evolution is stated to be a proved fact of science, it would be unsettling if modern biology were not be able to supply such time estimates.

Hurricanes are a verifiable fact of meteorology, and there are extensive and well-supported theories on how, where, and when they develop–and there are also a huge number of variables that govern their formation, to the point that precise prediction of their activity more than a few hours into the future is impossible at this time. Would you (rhetorically and dishonestly) challenge a meteorologist to tell you exactly “how long” it would take for the planet’s weather systems to spawn a hurricane that will make landfall at Morehead City NC, traveling NNW at 24 MPH, with maximum sustained winds of 121 MPH and an atmospheric pressure of 1001 millibars? Of course you wouldn’t; it’s a transparently stupid and irrelevant question. If you demand the same kind of deterministic detail out of meteorologists that you are asking of biologists, and disregard the validity of their theories if they are unable to provide it, I trust you will never watch a weather forecast again. I’m sure the bible could provide you more useful “goddidit” explanations of how to best anticipate weather patterns, and I’m sure you’d advise meteorologists to give up trying to understand them in their current atheistic and “materialist” ways.

Comment #99605

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on May 1, 2006 6:24 PM (e)

So guys, how does it feel to argue with a sock puppet?

Comment #99607

Posted by ben on May 1, 2006 6:44 PM (e)

Whose?

Comment #99617

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on May 1, 2006 8:29 PM (e)

Isn’t it obvious? The nameful one.

Comment #99620

Posted by Anton Mates on May 1, 2006 9:02 PM (e)

justasking7 wrote:

I find this disappointing. I would have thought that accurate scientifically verifiable estimates of the time required for evolutionary development would be a problem that evolutionary biologists would have long ago solved.

This assumes that evolutionary biologists are superhuman geniuses, which I’m sure they find flattering, but why? No other science has been able to accurately model the long-term behavior of systems remotely as complex as what we’re talking about here–an entire population of organisms, plus their interactions with the rest of the planet, over the course of millions of years. Why expect evolutionary theory to pull it off?

Moreover, no historical hypothesis is tested in this manner. Suppose you wished to test the hypothesis that the Pacific islands were first colonized via boat, by a population originating in Southeast Asia. Would you spend much effort estimating the time required for such a migration? Of course not–it wouldn’t be very informative. The colonization could occur in a few years, if a massive fleet set out to start with, continually searched for new islands, and weather and ocean currents were remarkably favorable. Or it could take a hundred thousand years, or neveroccur, if the explorers were very few, and all happened to perish from disease or storms at sea. This simply isn’t a very productive avenue by which to test your hypothesis. Rather, you’ll want to look for genetic or cultural commonalities with living or ancient Southeast Asian populations, archaeological evidence of seaworthy boats and a human population gradually spreading westwards, and so forth. You might also perform recreations of small elements in the migration–in other words, see if Pacific Islanders using traditional boats can reliably navigate to nearby islands. Or, more flashily (and to support a rival hypothesis), sail the Kon-Tiki.

Evolutionary theory is supported by analogous evidence–transitional fossils, the great age of the earth, a nested pattern of similarities between modern and fossil taxa, experiments in population genetics and so forth. It does not claim, and does not need to claim, that it can recreate creatures millions-of-years dead down to the nucleotide.

W. Kevin Vicklund wrote:

So guys, how does it feel to argue with a sock puppet?

I don’t think he’s another of Larry’s many personalities. Larry has a very distinctive writing style and a set of delusions all his own. Besides, justasking7’s apparently popped up on “Stranger Fruit” as well.

Comment #99622

Posted by Flint on May 1, 2006 9:17 PM (e)

It would seem rather important to establish that the evolutionary changes could actually have occurred in the time frames given, and to bolster that with a mathematically plausible model.

This is a curious position to take, leading one to speculate that a good deal of searching was performed to find something the theory of evolution has NOT pinned down, even if it’s not particularly important or relevant.

Observation of historical evidence of various sorts shows that evolution happens at a great variety of different rates, depending on the lineage, the availability of environmental niches, and other contingent factors. The conclusion, by my reading, is that evolution has filled these niches at a relatively breakneck pace when opportunity knocks. Why do we need to “establish that evolutionary changes *could have* occurred” in the time available when observation shows they DID occur easily fast enough.

This reminds me of recent studies into the question of exactly how insects manage to fly. Just exactly how important was it to establish according to some mathematical model that insects “could actually fly” before accepting that they do so? How unsettling is it to entomologists that models of insect flight are imperfect?

Comment #99627

Posted by Anton Mates on May 1, 2006 9:52 PM (e)

Your analogy may backfire, Flint; after all, a reasonable fraction of humanity seems to believe that “scientists” somehow showed the bumblebee’s flight is physically impossible, thus proving that it’s propelled by angels or energy fields or friendly thoughts or something.

Comment #99630

Posted by Gary Hurd on May 2, 2006 1:16 AM (e)

Gee Whiz. I first waited to comment until I had read the dumb book-pamphlet, and now I should read this whole thread?

There must be an easier way. How about we skip every one who has not read both the Dover Transcripts and “traipsing into dogshit” err “scraping off dog shit” or maybe it was “rolling in dog shit” or what ever that stupid DI wank fest was called.

Show of hands here- who has any basis for an informed opinion?

Comment #101315

Posted by Courtney Gidts on May 18, 2006 9:23 PM (e)

I’ve managed to save up roughly $21088 in my bank account, but I’m not sure if I should buy a house or not. Do you think the market is stable or do you think that home prices will decrease by a lot?

Comment #104791

Posted by justasking7 on June 9, 2006 8:12 PM (e)

I was out of town for a good while and missed the opportunity to respond to all of the comments (above).

One fellow called me “juststupid.” A clever rejoinder. The same fellow, and others, thought it somehow worth their time to criticize my posts for being civil. I can see, by the several caustic posts, that civility is not a virtue treasured here. Okay.

Somebody injected a religious criticism, when religion and the Bible were no part of what I wrote or asked about. I guess relevance is not a treasured virtue either. Okay.

Other posts ridiculed my disappointment that:

evolutionary theory cannot estimate, for “the animal lineage in question, the number of generations of the animal that would be needed to achieve the evolutionary transformation, in small steps as you say, from the short-memory, no-imitation, no interest in imitation version to the fully operational long memory and exact imitation version of orca that we have today.”

Some posts said my question presented such a complicated multivariate problem that it is impossible to solve. Others offered objections to my even asking the question, saying in effect that nobody in their right mind would think it was answerable.

Problem is: people say evolution is a proved fact, so much so that even questioning it should be banned from schools and public discourse. Evolution theorists also state as “fact” that the Earth is about 3 billion years old, and that evolution proceeds by small increments without direction.

It is therefore entirely relevant to inquire whether there is sufficient *time* for the given evolutionary event to take place in a species or series of species. If using evolutionary models it would take more than three billion years to accomplish the evolutionary event, then the event likely didn’t happen by known evolutionary processes.

If you cannot answer the challenge, then just say you can’t answer it. That’s fair. Mr. Mates was intellectually honest enough to do that.

To flame me for daring to ask the question and for being unsatisfied with the given answers, however, just doesn’t sound like the scientific approach that welcomes inquiry, challenges accepted orthodoxy, and works to find truth.

Thank you all for your feedback.