PZ Myers posted Entry 2155 on March 30, 2006 04:04 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2150

Jonathan Witt of the Discovery Institute has lost it. The string of defeats for the cause of Intelligent Design creationism has had its toll, first Dover and now the Ohio ID lesson plan, and the poor man is clearly suffering from the strain, as you can tell from his latest hysterical screed.

First we get evolution compared to Castro's newspapers, with no criticism allowed; then the defense for including ID in Ohio is that there is a 3:1 margin of popular support. Two fallacies in one paragraph! Sorry, Jonathan, hyperbolic comparisons to communism and an appeal to popular opinion on matters of fact do not a defense of ID make.

Then he gets confused.

Continue reading "No more coffee for Mr Witt" (on Pharyngula)

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Comment #91290

Posted by steve s on March 30, 2006 4:41 PM (e)

Witt
Witt
Witt
Wtit
tWit
tWit

Comment #91301

Posted by Fross on March 30, 2006 4:51 PM (e)

Don’t they see how obvious it is that they’re pulling a bait and switch with the term “critically analyze”? Their form of critical analysis means to criticize something to the point of causing absolute doubt. They’re also trying to cause the doubt of an entire robust theory (without offereing a better solution). That’s very different from the true critical analysis that happens every day in science.

Another reason the Ohio lesson plan was linked to Intelligent Design was because the points being criticized were based on J. Well’s book and a list provided by D.I. Their hands were all over the Dover and Ohio cases.

If Ohio truly had nothing to do with I.D. why is Mr. Witt’s panties in such a knot?

Comment #91307

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on March 30, 2006 4:56 PM (e)

the problem of chemical evolution (a prerequisite for Darwinian evolution and already the Achilles heel of origins science)

Well, at least he acknowledges the difference between evolution and abiogenesis…

Comment #91314

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on March 30, 2006 5:00 PM (e)

Pharyngula wrote:

…Witt would have a point. Of course, he doesn’t have any such thing.

Hawkey: “You’ve got a point there, Frank.”
Trapper: “Comb your hair and no one will see it.”

Comment #91317

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on March 30, 2006 5:06 PM (e)

Because we think the unqualified lawyers, philosophers, bibliolaters, and kooks of the Discovery Institute deserve no place in the curriculum, we must also be planning to snuff out other unconventional thinkers.

“They all laughed at Albert Einstein. They all laughed at Columbus. Unfortunately, they also all laughed at Bozo the Clown.”
WILLIAM H. JEFFERYS

Comment #91330

Posted by Russell on March 30, 2006 5:17 PM (e)

In light of the logic displayed by Witt here, it’s interesting to note, from his bio, available at “IDtheFuture”:

Witt holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas. After years of studying and teaching students about logical fallacies and the structure of sound arguments, Witt began to notice just how fallacious and unsound the arguments of the leading Darwinists were.

Comment #91372

Posted by Thanos on March 30, 2006 5:58 PM (e)

Not only that, but he is a hypocrite, as he does not allow comments to be left on his blog. Who doesn’t like criticism again?

Comment #91409

Posted by Jeremy on March 30, 2006 6:51 PM (e)

Russell wrote:

In light of the logic displayed by Witt here, it’s interesting to note, from his bio, available at “IDtheFuture”:

Witt holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas. After years of studying and teaching students about logical fallacies and the structure of sound arguments, Witt began to notice just how fallacious and unsound the arguments of the leading Darwinists were.

I don’t have the source on hand, but that bio was found to be a crock when Witt said that he went to college with the intent of “destroying Darwinism.” Remember? Jonathan Witt, the Moonie?

Comment #91417

Posted by PZ Myers on March 30, 2006 6:59 PM (e)

No, you’re thinking of Wells.

Comment #91424

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on March 30, 2006 7:16 PM (e)

In his essay Jonathan Witt argues that “Sanitizing the fact pattern will demand a Herculean effort and constant vigilance.”

It would seem that this has been the whole thrust of the DI since its inception. Unfortunately the multi pronged approach of the DI has met with several set backs most notably in Dover. The DIs attempt to counter this spectacular setback with its own analysis of the Dover case is pointless, why pay for a one sided analysis when you can read the decision yourself for free and make up your own mind.

In the next sentence Witt goes on to say “Not even friends are to be trusted.” Is this a veiled reference to the future, is the DI on the verge of a purge? Is the little tent of the DI beginning to rip in private?

While some may rightly accuse me of taking Witt’s statements out of context, I believe that by carefully reading and correctly interpreting these essays the true the underlying workings of the DI may be revealed.

“After that the real work begins.” Jonathan Witt

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #91426

Posted by Jeremy on March 30, 2006 7:26 PM (e)

PZ Myers wrote:

No, you’re thinking of Wells.

… Are you sure? Damn, I always get those two mixed up. Every time. Wells. Witt. Cripes.

Comment #91458

Posted by Henry Neufeld on March 30, 2006 8:05 PM (e)

It appears that Witt’s view is that ID deserves a full review and that the right people to perform such a review are high school students. Is it possible that’s because the ID movement is afraid of review by qualified scientists?

Never mind …

Comment #91508

Posted by Henry J on March 30, 2006 10:02 PM (e)

Re “Is it possible that’s because the ID movement is afraid of review by qualified scientists?”

Well, that or they’ve already been reviewed by qualified scientists - and they flunked.

Henry

Comment #91509

Posted by PvM on March 30, 2006 10:07 PM (e)

Why is it that the ID activists have to constantly misrepresent science (such as in this case the peppered moth or the Cambrian Explosion?)
As a Christian this truly worries me

Comment #91573

Posted by Henry J on March 31, 2006 12:01 AM (e)

Re “Why is it that the ID activists have to constantly misrepresent science […]”

Maybe because representing science correctly would send their arguments down the drain?

Henry

Comment #91585

Posted by Steve Reuland on March 31, 2006 12:38 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #91586

Posted by Steve Reuland on March 31, 2006 12:42 AM (e)

Take one particularly frustrating example. Evolutionists routinely appeal to a peppered moth experiment as evidence for Darwinian evolution. But then further investigations by mainstream scientists revealed that, in all likelihood, the experimental results were propped up by fudged photographs.

Oh man is that ever bad. Witt is so clueless he can’t even get his own side’s distortions right.

Let me help you out, Mr. Witt. There were never any experiments based on photographs. Jonathan Wells’ attack on the photographs was based on the fact that ones appearing in text books were staged. That in itself is a silly and irrelevant complaint given that lots of photograhps in text books are staged, and these particular photos are only meant to show what the contrasting moths look like. The issue has nothing at all to do with whether or not the peppered moth experiments were sound, which they were.

But please, could you at least try to get your lies straight?

Comment #91592

Posted by k.e. on March 31, 2006 12:49 AM (e)

Bruce Thompson you beat me to it, rats!

Witt a Ph.D. in English? or Ingsoc or the Humbert Humbert school of fantasy and self justification?

I mean really, how Orwellian are these statements?

Ohio’s model lesson plan DI inspired lawyery double talk that encouraged students to think critically be purposefully confused by exposing them to both the scientific strengths and weaknesses ignorance based creationist disparagement of Darwinism


Thanks to the tireless enforcers of Darwinian purity necessary and time wasting efforts of actual hard working scientists responding to an unconscionable attack on honest scholarship by a sine nobilis, bibliolatrous bunch of cultural miscreants.

Then this gem

Darwinism will sound a lot like the news stories on Castro in Cuba’s state run newspapers: all positive, all the time.

hahhaha….. oh yeah those news stories where all the media is controlled by a single political faction and opposition is suppressed. Maybe Witt should move to Cuba …..at least he would be happy, he could be all positive, all the time on the government side or all negative all the time on the time on the opposition side but at least he would not have to worry about a free press.

Then to top it all off from the man who calls the faithful to “take ownership of the word” or should that be world ?(read “take ownership” as changing the core meanings of words to support his illusion) treats facts as something to be cleaned yup those pesky facts a mere linguistic impediment.

Sanitizing the fact pattern will demand a Herculean effort and constant vigilance. Not even friends are to be trusted.

Whoa there Dr. Strange love. Yup…… brain washing Stalinist style…ahhhh Witt you will need a “Ministry of Truth and Propaganda” for that ….oops already have one do you?
Then;

The facts are a danger to us all. Such stories will have to be stopped.
But take heart. The Darwinian Fundamentalists have arrived. They just want to help.

The hilarious and plainly obvious self delusion that Witt expresses could not be better exposed by anyone other than himself, his choice or words and thought patterns project his internally constucted story as plainly as a movie on a wall.

It’s almost as though he has taken the top off his skull and allowed us to look inside his brain.

As Lenny says allow them to talk for long enough and they will hang themselves.

Comment #91594

Posted by Steve Reuland on March 31, 2006 12:53 AM (e)

PZ Mayoursh wrote:

First we get evolution compared to Castro’s newspapers, with no criticism allowed; then the defense for including ID in Ohio is that there is a 3:1 margin of popular support. Two fallacies in one paragraph! Sorry, Jonathan, hyperbolic comparisons to communism and an appeal to popular opinion on matters of fact do not a defense of ID make.

About that poll he refers to, it’s much worse than simply being an appeal to popular opinion. The poll consists of a loaded question, one that is so bad it needs to be adopted as the text book example of how not to conduct a poll. The result is completely meaningless as a guide to public opinion.

Witt and company aren’t so stupid as to not know this, and even if they were, it’s been patiently explained to them a hundred times over. The fact that they keep pulling this poll out – indeed, they keep commissioning new polls with the exact same question – shows them to be base propagandists of the worst kind.

Comment #91686

Posted by Renier on March 31, 2006 4:40 AM (e)

After that the real work begins. I’m talking about all those uncooperative fossils, the great quarries in Canada and China that show how most of the major groups of animals appeared in a geologically brief period of time during the Cambrian explosion, contradicting Darwin’s gradually branching tree of life.

Pure, 100% undiluted creationism. I wish people would realise that “soft” bodied critters just don’t fossilise that well.

But the peer-reviewed literature

WOW!, They actually know about this??? I thought their idea of “peer-reviewed literature” was books published by cranks and liars. Fancy them mentioning peer-review. I thought they placed no faith in it.

Comment #91776

Posted by Russell on March 31, 2006 9:36 AM (e)

The poll consists of a loaded question, one that is so bad it needs to be adopted as the text book example of how not to conduct a poll.

Unless, of course, the whole object is spin. In which case, I suspect they knew exactly what they were doing. Incompetence would be a relatively innocent excuse.

Comment #91798

Posted by Bob O'H on March 31, 2006 10:27 AM (e)

(my apologies if this is too Anglocentric)

But the peer-reviewed literature

WOW!, They actually know about this??? I thought their idea of “peer-reviewed literature” was books published by cranks and liars. Fancy them mentioning peer-review. I thought they placed no faith in it.

No, there must be some Creationists in the House of Lords.

Bob

Comment #91819

Posted by Marine Geologist on March 31, 2006 11:23 AM (e)

After viewing the trackback at UD and the original post and comments at PZs place, I propose that there exists a phenomenon which I will call the “Bozone Layer”. This is an aura that surrounds certain bozos and prevents intelligent ideas from penetrating. Unlike the ozone layer however, there are no known methods for creating holes in the aura. Further, I believe people exhibiting a Bozone layer rely on the “Dopeler Effect”. That is, if they repeat a dopey idea long enough and rapidly enough it won’t seem quite so stupid. I believe the scientific description of persons so afflicted is “ignoranus”, what laymen generally call a “stupid a**hole”.

Comment #91820

Posted by ivy privy on March 31, 2006 11:26 AM (e)

Who’s got good material on Cornelius Hunter? He’s appearing at Cornell University on April 5, 2006.

Comment #91824

Posted by Pastor Bentonit on March 31, 2006 11:30 AM (e)

Maybe he´s talking about the beer-reviewed literature. That would make sense.

Comment #91850

Posted by Frank J on March 31, 2006 12:31 PM (e)

Fross wrote:

Don’t they see how obvious it is that they’re pulling a bait and switch with the term “critically analyze”?

If by “they” you mean DI personnel, their chief supporters, and other assorted professional and “obsessed amateur” anti-evolutionists, the answer is “of course.” It’s their target audience that rarely catches the bait and switch, so they’ll continue to pull it as long as they can. And whenever we critics dismiss them as simply ignorant, clueless or “Fundies,” instead of “scam artists” we give them that much more slack.

Fross wrote:

If Ohio truly had nothing to do with I.D. why is Mr. Witt’s panties in such a knot?

Because the designer-free phony “critical analysis” is tied to the ID scam and he knows it. In fact I’d bet that if Judge Jones didn’t address the designer-free scam, Witt et al would still be playing the victim.

Comment #91858

Posted by gj on March 31, 2006 12:39 PM (e)

Having now read both Dr. Witt’s article and Dr. Meyer’s rebuttal, it sounds to me like Dr. Witt’s article is factual and makes sense. The comparrisons he makes to Cuba newspapers seems to be appropriate in light of the supression of dissent in Ohio. But it sounds like Dr. Meyers is splitting hairs and whistling in the dark. Her primary argument is that there is something wrong with Dr. Witt himself, which there isn’t, of course. And she does no better than make unconvincing, beside-the-point comments on Dr. Witt’s assertions.

I was surprised, too, by the vitriol, the attacks on religious faith and the rather infantile word games of the majority of comments on this site. Such comments do not reflect well on the quality of the intellectual accumen here.

Comment #91867

Posted by k.e. on March 31, 2006 12:53 PM (e)

But take heart gj (is that you Larry).

The Anti-Evolution Creation Fundamentalists have arrived. They just want to Help.

Are those the ‘facts’ you were referring to gj?

Or perhaps the ‘facts’ Witt wants to ‘sanitize’(smirk).

Comment #91873

Posted by steve s on March 31, 2006 1:06 PM (e)

GJ is RedReader, a particularly clueless commenter even by Uncommon Descent standards. Hence misspelling PZ’s name and thinking PZ’s a woman? But at least he doesn’t confuse PZ with PvM, like his friend did:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archive…

Comment #91875

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on March 31, 2006 1:10 PM (e)

From the Marine Geologist: I propose that there exists a phenomenon which I will call the “Bozone Layer”. [Which] if they repeat a dopey idea long enough and rapidly enough it won’t seem quite so stupid.

I have some questions for the marine geologist concerning his hypothesis. Does the Bozone layer have other properties similar to the ozone layer? The ozone layer reflects certain wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, does the Bozone layer similarly reflect certain thoughts? What is the resonance frequency of the reflected thoughts within the Bozone layer? As these thoughts bounce around within the Bozne layer surrounding the individual does the frequency and amplitude increase over time? If so, what is the effect on the individual? If enough individuals are concentrated are their combined individual Bozone layers purely additive or is there and exponential effect? How far does the Bozone layer extend from an individual? How close does someone have to come to another person who is exuding a Bozone layer before they are effected?

Is there a Bozone detector under development?

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #91877

Posted by k.e. on March 31, 2006 1:14 PM (e)

Steve S.

Thanks …so I can’t take

the rather infantile word games of the majority of comments on this site. Such comments do not reflect well on the quality of the intellectual accumen [sic] here.

as a compliment …dang …those UCD’ers are just sooo elitist.(coff…coff)

Comment #91878

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on March 31, 2006 1:16 PM (e)

Pastor Bentonit suggests, “Maybe he´s talking about the beer-reviewed literature. That would make sense.”

Delta Pi Gamma maintains an extensive beer-reviewed library which is open to any accredited researcher for a nominal fee.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #91881

Posted by B. Spitzer on March 31, 2006 1:20 PM (e)

ivyprivy wrote:
Who’s got good material on Cornelius Hunter? He’s appearing at Cornell University on April 5, 2006.

I was unfortunate enough to spend time reading one of his books (“Darwin’s God”, I think) a few years ago. It was a poor use of time. He spent most of the book on the following argument:

1) Darwin and Gould and a few others spend a lot of time asking “what sort of Creator would build a biological system/structure like X?”
2) But they can’t know what the Designer is like! There could be a Designer for Whom it would be perfectly reasonable to create biological systems and structures like X!
3) Therefore Darwin and Gould and everyone else are doing bad theology, not good science.

Here are a couple of points you might bring up in response to this argument:

1) The point of the statements being made about the Creator is not just that a Creator wouldn’t create X. The point of those statements is that evolution by natural selection would generate systems and structures like X.

2) So what you’re doing is supposing some Designer that just happens to design exactly those things that natural selection would have generated. Can you explain why a Designer–any Designer– would do that? No?

So, we have two hypotheses, one that is capable of predicting something about nature, and one that can’t predict a thing. Can you explain why any reasonable scientist would consider the second hypothesis to be more scientific than the first?

3) If you look at the professional literature of today, you’ll find that massive amounts of evidence have been marshalled behind evolutionary theory without any mention of the Creator at all. Evolutionary theory does not rely on bad theology, as you claim; rather, it relies on empirical evidence. (By the way, I can’t help but notice that you wrote an entire book criticizing evolutionary theory without looking at any actual scientific articles. Would it be professional for me to criticize your biophysics without cracking a biophysics journal?)

If you get the chance to ask questions, you could merrily hammer him with any of the above. I get the sense that he knows very little about actual evolutionary biology, and forcing him to stay on the topic of actual science could be very illuminating. Alternately, you could pitch a question to the pro-science panelists asking them to explain the difference between ID and real science.

I notice that this lecture and debate are advertised by a conservative faction at Cornell. It might be useful for you to point out that 1) ID has utterly failed to produce any science, 2) it was exposed as a hoax at Dover, and 3) it should be a real embarrassment to conservatives and religious people who want to be taken seriously. Make it clear that they should be ashamed to sponsor something that’s already been exposed as a sham, especially at a quality institution of learning such as Cornell.

Comment #91886

Posted by gwangung on March 31, 2006 1:30 PM (e)

Having now read both Dr. Witt’s article and Dr. Meyer’s rebuttal, it sounds to me like Dr. Witt’s article is factual and makes sense.

Given that Witt has made some howlingly bad factual errors, I’d say you need to read more carefully. In particular, reading the source material is usually more helpful than reading just an interpretation of the source material.

Comment #91889

Posted by steve s on March 31, 2006 1:41 PM (e)

I think he’s just lying about reading “Meyer’s” article. (dang. two errors in 6 letters. that’s something). I think he’s lying because PZ’s article was here, http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/03/no_mo… , and it’s quite obvious that PZ is not a woman.

Or if he is, he’s a powerful ugly one.

Comment #91892

Posted by J Simes on March 31, 2006 1:49 PM (e)

Ever since their little “victory“ against ID in Dover, Darwinists have been trying to give the false impression that all criticisms of Darwinism are ID. Nothing could be further from the truth. The main scientific concepts of ID are irreducible complexity and specified complexity (with irreducible complexity being the best known), and the Ohio evolution lesson plan had nothing to do with either of these two concepts. In the Dover case, Judge Jones did not review or rule on any scientific criticisms of Darwinism other than irreducible complexity.

I am also disturbed by the shameful cowardice of the Ohio Board of Education. Martha Wise, the board member who led the fight to censor Ohio‘s evolution lesson plan, said recently, “Our board had to decide whether to waste millions of taxpayer dollars to hear a federal judge tell them the same thing Judge Jones told the Dover, Pa., board.“ (Cincinnati Inquirer, February 22, 2006) – see http://www.crosswalk.com/news/weblogs/mCraven/?a… A million-dollar lawsuit represents just petty cash for a big state like Ohio. What is a real waste of taxpayer money is paying a government‘s staff attorneys to sit on their duffs when they could be fighting lawsuits like this. I have sued governments many times (all my lawsuits were pro se and pro bono) and never had to pay a dime in attorney fees – the government attorneys were paid by the taxpayers! Another illustration of the cowardice – as well as the dishonesty – of the Ohio Board of Education members is that both the January and February votes on the evolution lesson plan were not on the agendas but were authorized by phony “emergency“ motions in order to avoid public comments from both sides of the issue.

Darwinists shed crocodile tears about the taxpayer expense of these lawsuits while blackmailing governments with threats of these lawsuits and driving up the costs of these lawsuits by assigning an excessive number of attorneys of record – 9-10 in the Dover case and 6 in the Hurst v. Newman case (El Tejon, Calif.; this case never went to trial). Even OJ Simpson, a celebrity defendant in a double first-degree murder trial, had only 4 attorneys of record. Laugh while you can, Darwinists, because someday the wrath of the taxpayers may be directed where it belongs – against you.

Comment #91586 posted by Steve Reuland on March 31, 2006 12:42 AM

From Witt‘s article –
“Take one particularly frustrating example. Evolutionists routinely appeal to a peppered moth experiment as evidence for Darwinian evolution. But then further investigations by mainstream scientists revealed that, in all likelihood, the experimental results were propped up by fudged photographs.“

There were never any experiments based on photographs. Jonathan Wells’ [you mean Witt‘s] attack on the photographs was based on the fact that ones appearing in text books were staged. That in itself is a silly and irrelevant complaint given that lots of photograhps in text books are staged, and these particular photos are only meant to show what the contrasting moths look like.

Scientific fraud is a very ugly charge and I think that Jonathan Witt should have backed up his charge that the photographs were altered for the purpose of fraud. If the textbook photos were altered for purposes of illustration, captions on the photos should have so noted in order to prevent any misunderstanding.

Comment #91594 posted by Steve Reuland on March 31, 2006 12:53 AM

PZ Mayoursh wrote:

First we get evolution compared to Castro’s newspapers, with no criticism allowed; then the defense for including ID in Ohio is that there is a 3:1 margin of popular support.

About that poll he refers to, it’s much worse than simply being an appeal to popular opinion. The poll consists of a loaded question, one that is so bad it needs to be adopted as the text book example of how not to conduct a poll.

Here are the relevant poll results, from an Ohio public opinion poll conducted in 2002 –

Currently, the Ohio Board of Education is debating new academic standards for public school science classes, including what to teach students about the development of life on Earth. Which position do you support:

8% - Teach only evolution;

8% - Teach only intelligent design;

59% - Teach both;

15% - Teach the evidence both for and against evolution, but not necessarily intelligent design;

9% - Teach nothing about human development;

1% - Not Sure (NOT READ)

– from http://www.sciohio.org/CPDPoll.htm

Where is the loaded question?

The 3:1 figure was apparently obtained by adding the 59% and 15% figures and rounding off. Now tell me – what is misleading about that? Furthermore, the poll was not commissioned by the Discovery Institute, but was commissioned by faculty at Case Western Reserve Univ. and the Univ. of Cincinnati. And what is so bad about “an appeal to popular opinion“? If Darwinists think that scientists‘ opinions on the evolution controversy are so much more important than the public‘s, then why don‘t Darwinists commission more opinion polls of scientists on the subject?

The fact that they keep pulling this poll out — indeed, they keep commissioning new polls with the exact same question — shows them to be base propagandists of the worst kind.

What other poll has the exact same question?

Here are results from another poll (Harris poll, June 2005, nationwide) –

“Regardless of what you may personally believe, which of these do you believe should be taught in the public schools?“

Evolution only – 12%

Creationism only – 23%

Intelligent design only – 4%

All three – 55%

None of these (vol.) – 3%

Unsure – 3%

– from http://www.pollingreport.com/science.htm

Comment #91893

Posted by apollo230 on March 31, 2006 1:50 PM (e)

This is my commentary on the Dover case. I am a Christian and a keen supporter of the intelligent design hypothesis. I do feel that intelligent design’s assertions constitute a valid critique of the Darwinian notion that random variation/natural selection can (by itself) account for all diversity and sophistication in living things, and I do wish that Darwinism’s central tenet could be critically examined in the high-school biology classroom. However, I honestly fail to see how such critiques could be admitted in that particular setting without simultaneously violating church-state separation and eroding the public’s esteem for intelligent design.

Intelligent design advocates cannot count on biology instructors to make consistently neutral presentations of their idea nationwide. If intelligent design was allowed widespread dissemination in biological science lectures, some teachers would remain suitably vague regarding the designer’s identity. This would be proper because the designer’s specific characteristics are unknown. However, other teachers would inevitably hint that Jesus Christ was the designer and append pro-Christian remarks to any discussion of ID. They would make biased statements with a missionary zeal that is very characteristic of members of the Christian far-right. Such religious fervor would be delivered in many cases with an assertive demeanor that would prove offensive to both students and their parents. The negative reactions would be amplified by the often mandatory nature of high-school biology courses. Students exposed to such overtly religious content in a setting where their attendance is compulsory would justifiably regard themselves as a captive audience. The leaders of the intelligent design movement invoke academic freedom and Darwinism’s arguably questionable conclusions regarding species origins and the rise of metabolic complexity as reasons for an intelligent design counterpoint in the classroom, and insist that the result would be a balanced treatment of evolutionary theory. They fail to appreciate another consequence: that Christian missionary sound bytes would lace biology lectures nationwide and condition many students to respond to intelligent design with resentment - not appreciation.

Therefore, I propose a compromise to both sides of the Dover, Pennsylvania debate: intelligent design advocates should promote voluntary exposure to their ideas rather than mandated instruction. One ideal venue of exposure would be elective philosophy courses. Philosophy has been arguing teleology for centuries. Student organizations and clubs promoting intelligent design outside the classroom could also disseminate the idea. Voluntary public meetings and publishing would supplement their campaign. Such relative humility would maximize student (and public) receptivity to intelligent design, whereas mandated promotion of ID would precipitously erode sympathy for the concept. Science students should hear intelligent design’s critiques of Darwinism on a voluntary basis only. Best regards to all! - apollo230

Comment #91894

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 31, 2006 1:50 PM (e)

@ marine geologist (from marine biologist ;) )

After viewing the trackback at UD and the original post and comments at PZs place, I propose that there exists a phenomenon which I will call the “Bozone Layer”. This is an aura that surrounds certain bozos and prevents intelligent ideas from penetrating. Unlike the ozone layer however, there are no known methods for creating holes in the aura. Further, I believe people exhibiting a Bozone layer rely on the “Dopeler Effect”. That is, if they repeat a dopey idea long enough and rapidly enough it won’t seem quite so stupid. I believe the scientific description of persons so afflicted is “ignoranus”, what laymen generally call a “stupid a**hole”.

you don’t need to go inventing a whole new theory to explain behavior like this, when perfectly reasonable theories already exist in the field of psychology.

All these folks are simply exhibiting signs of pressure on their egos, which manifest in readily observable and common denial and projection.

all you have to do is look at their common catchphrases to see exactly the kinds of projection, and thus what their egos are threatened by.

the only way to reach folks like that is by breaking through the defenses they have built around themselves, and that’s damn near impossible for anybody that isn’t already very close to them, or at least someone they already trust.

Therefore, logical debate will of course never put a dent (and rather simply reinforce) the defensive wall these folks put up around themselves.

there are lots of others tho (most) that are simply uneducated in how evolutionary theory works, and will quickly realize it’s value once shown the evidence and predictive power of the theory. However, these folks are also secure enough in their belief structures not to need massive irrational defense mechanisms.

Comment #91902

Posted by k.e. on March 31, 2006 2:19 PM (e)

Lawrence Fafarman a Creationist supporter who is a Holocaust denier confederate flag supporter and who know what else posts under the name of J Simes as well as almost a dozen other names (which HE WILL NOT DENY)

Has the utter gall to say


Scientific fraud is a very ugly charge and I think that Jonathan Witt should have backed up his charge that the photographs were altered for the purpose of fraud.

Larry is that not the pot calling the kettle black ?

You are a fraud AND a hypocrite, still in the company you keep that MUST BE A REQUIREMENT !

Comment #91907

Posted by wamba on March 31, 2006 2:44 PM (e)

apollo230 wrote:

This is my commentary on the Dover case. I am a Christian and a keen supporter of the intelligent design hypothesis. I do feel that intelligent design’s assertions constitute a valid critique of the Darwinian notion that random variation/natural selection can (by itself) account for all diversity and sophistication in living things, and I do wish that Darwinism’s central tenet could be critically examined in the high-school biology classroom. However, I honestly fail to see how such critiques could be admitted in that particular setting without simultaneously violating church-state separation and eroding the public’s esteem for intelligent design….

Maybe you didn’t hear, the Dover case has already been decided by a federal judge. As for voluntary exposure to ID, that seems to be happening already in churches and Sunday schools across the land. Do you think there is not enough teleology being taught? It seems to me to be too much, considering how the argument fails to impress philosphers.

The only possible valid criticisms of “Darwinism” would be scientific ones, and none of the ID proponents have been able to produce any. Bummer, huh?

Comment #91909

Posted by Moses on March 31, 2006 2:47 PM (e)

Comment #91858

Posted by gj on March 31, 2006 12:39 PM (e)

Having now read both Dr. Witt’s article and Dr. Meyer’s rebuttal, it sounds to me like Dr. Witt’s article is factual and makes sense. The comparrisons he makes to Cuba newspapers seems to be appropriate in light of the supression of dissent in Ohio.

Another prize tool. Nobody is suppressing criticism of evolution from the standpoint of a valid, scientific criticism. They’re protecting the Constitution from State-sponsored rabid Christians (the kind that caused my family to come to America in the 1630’s from England) who are trying to force their particular (and not necessarily widely held) Christian beliefs down the throats of all of our children.

Simply put, many of us don’t want YOUR RELIGION in our children’s heads. Period.

Now, come up with a REAL scientific criticism of evolution and you will win your war. All you must do is provide a BETTER and MORE COMPLETE theory. After a bit of skepticism, scientists will flock to the better theory like seagulls to a free meal. But not religious apologetics disguised as crank science.

But it sounds like Dr. Meyers is splitting hairs and whistling in the dark. Her primary argument is that there is something wrong with Dr. Witt himself, which there isn’t, of course. And she does no better than make unconvincing, beside-the-point comments on Dr. Witt’s assertions.

Splitting hairs? When Witt continues with the same discredited lies that have been creationist talking points for a decade, or longer?

And, considering Dr. Myers is a man with a full beard, did you even read the article at Pharyngula or are you just mindlessly reacting or torch bearing for someone else on the Christian right without even having the slightest clue?

Or is it the more common “assume anyone who uses initials must be a woman” thing that is so common with the Christian right. A little social phenomena in certain oppressive religious sects caused by women being second class citizens. Typically found in many of the right-wing, highly patriarchal sects where women have to hide their names (or write under male names) to be taken seriously or avoid criticism seen mostly in Christian Evangelicalism, Orthodox Judaism and Conservative Islam.

I was surprised, too, by the vitriol, the attacks on religious faith and the rather infantile word games of the majority of comments on this site. Such comments do not reflect well on the quality of the intellectual accumen here.

Coming from the group of people that routinely denigrates evolutionary biologists as godless atheists, make routine disparaging comments about their sexuality (without having a clue, or the comments having any purpose but to be insulting), refuses to acquire even a tenuous grasp of the facts, mails off death threats to Federal Judges when thwarted, physically, spiritually and morally attacks people, blows up clinics and persecutes and kills people in the name of faith, you’ve got nothing to say in this area to which any decent, moral person will listen. Do you understand? The religious right is a moral sewer and has no right to lecture anyone at any time about any thing.

But more hypocritically, where are your criticisms of Witt and his bogus “communist newspapers” claim? What about the pejorative “Darwinists” which clearly runs along the lines of “science nigger.”

And, BTW, if you’re going to make light of a group of people’s intellectual abilities at least use the spell checker. It’s so frustrating to spell-check my post without accidentally correcting all of your misspellings.

Comment #91912

Posted by wamba on March 31, 2006 2:55 PM (e)

and it’s quite obvious that PZ is not a woman.

Or if he is, he’s a powerful ugly one.

I’m sure he looks good to squid.

Comment #91914

Posted by Andrew McClure on March 31, 2006 3:04 PM (e)

Seriously. What is the point of Larry using all of these different usernames when he basically just makes the *exact same post* in every single thread he posts in, regardless of the thread’s subject matter? I mean, why carry on the charade of using different usernames when your distinct and repetitive posts identify you more clearly than your name does?

Comment #91916

Posted by Steve Reuland on March 31, 2006 3:06 PM (e)

J Simes, quoting me writes:

There were never any experiments based on photographs. Jonathan Wells’ [you mean Witt‘s] attack on the photographs was based on the fact that ones appearing in text books were staged.

No, I meant Wells. Wells was the one who originally attacked the peppered moth experiments, and Witt is merely referencing Wells’ arguments. Of course he references them badly, given he can’t even get what Wells said straight, much less understand the actual research. That makes it a distortion of a distortion.

J Simes wrote:

Scientific fraud is a very ugly charge and I think that Jonathan Witt should have backed up his charge that the photographs were altered for the purpose of fraud. If the textbook photos were altered for purposes of illustration, captions on the photos should have so noted in order to prevent any misunderstanding.

I agree that Witt should have tried to back up his claim, but good luck trying to get him to do that. I don’t believe he is particularly concerned with the actual truth of the matter, only with impact that charges of fraud have on the casual reader. As for captions in textbooks making it clear that the pictures were staged, that would be fine with me, but there isn’t even much point. Most people realize that whether or not the photos were staged is irrelevant to what the photos are trying to illustrate. Wells’ arguments along this line are not sincere; he knows (or at least should know) that there is nothing misleading about using a staged photograph to demonstrate crypsis.

J Simes wrote:

Here are the relevant poll results, from an Ohio public opinion poll conducted in 2002 —

That was not the poll Witt was referring to. The poll you cite shows strong support for teaching both evolution and ID, but the Discovery Insitute says specifically they don’t want ID taught.

Here is the 2002 Ohio poll Witt is referring to:

http://www.nmidnet.org/OhioZogbyPoll.pdf

Here are the questions:

A: Biology teachers should teach only Darwin’s theory of evolution and the scientific evidence that supports it.

B: Biology teachers should teach Darwin’s theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it.

This is a loaded question because it leads the respondant to believe that there actually exists valid evidence against evolution. But that is precisely what we dispute. If there were valid evidence against evolution, I believe it should be taught. Most respondants would have a hard time saying no to a question like that. But what the DI calls evidence against evolution consists almost entirely of falsehoods and discredited arguments that have no place in science class.

Therefore, the poll says nothing about the actual level of public support that their policies might have. And moreover, it is a dishonest way to conduct a poll in the first place.

J Simes wrote:

And what is so bad about “an appeal to popular opinion“?

Um, because it has nothing to do with the actual truth. Popular opinion in a vareity of subjects (things like ghosts, UFOs, etc.) is contrary to the scientific evidence; we send people to school to disabuse them of wrong beliefs, not to reinforce whatever majority opinion happens to be.

J Simes wrote:

If Darwinists think that scientists‘ opinions on the evolution controversy are so much more important than the public‘s, then why don‘t Darwinists commission more opinion polls of scientists on the subject?

Putting aside the fact that we biologists don’t refer to ourselves as “Darwinists”, and putting aside the fact that we are not in the business of churning out propaganda like the IDists do, there was such a poll conducted of Ohio scientists in 2002 which showed overwhelming support for evolution and virtually none for ID:

The vast majority (93%) of science professors said they were not aware of “any scientifically valid evidence or an alternate scientific theory that challenges the fundamental principles of the theory of evolution.” Only a tiny percentage of them (7%) thought that “intelligent design” was either “strongly” or “partly” supported by scientific evidence. Most (90%) believed there was no scientific evidence at all for the idea of “intelligent design”. And 3% were “not sure”. Furthermore, when asked if they ever used the ID concept in their research, virtually all of them (97%) said “no.”

This is a far better guide to what proper science is than a misleading poll conducted among the public at large.

Comment #91920

Posted by Steve Reuland on March 31, 2006 3:17 PM (e)

I previously wrote:

That was not the poll Witt was referring to. The poll you cite shows strong support for teaching both evolution and ID, but the Discovery Insitute says specifically they don’t want ID taught.

Looking at Witt’s piece again, I see he referred to three polls (without bothering to cite any of them – some English PhD he turned out to be). So the one refrenced by “J Simes” may have been one of the ones Witt referred to. However, it’s clear that he was also referring to the one I cited. And the Disco Institute commissioned an identical poll in Ohio just a couple of months ago for reasons that escape me, unless they felt they really needed material for a press release. That press release, by the way, uses the “3 to 1” language specifically, so this is obviously what Witt was referring to.

I will repeat: It is a dishonest way to conduct a poll. Doing it once is bad enough, doing it twice is the mark of having no shame.

Comment #91924

Posted by Go Away Larry on March 31, 2006 3:23 PM (e)

J Larry Simes says:
If Darwinists think that scientists’ opinions on the evolution controversy are so much more important than the public’s, then why don’t Darwinists commission more opinion polls of scientists on the subject?

There’s a place where people who actually know something about biology make their ideas public. They’re called journals. You should read one sometime.

Comment #91929

Posted by Russell on March 31, 2006 3:31 PM (e)

Looking at that press release, it appears that, on top of commissioning a dishonest poll, the DI staff adds another layer of either dishonesty or (how best to put this?) mathematical carelessness in presenting the data. To wit: (or to Witt, if you will): How do they calculate their “more than a 3-to-1 margin” from

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they agreed with the following statement: Biology teachers should teach Darwin’s theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it.

Comment #91935

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on March 31, 2006 3:40 PM (e)

Modifiying DaveScots comments for my own purposes I note, “Lo and behold I find the guy’s got a the degree in theoretical astrophysics from Cornell in something else from somewhere else. Granted in 1967 another time and a lot can damage a mind in 40fewer years but even so, once upon a time Newman was an egghead’s egghead and even if he doesn’t have two brain cells left to rub together today, he can still see the failings if ID. that’s still out of Matzke’s junior-league baby-bottle ballpark so I took it back.

So with my background, all my hypotheses concerning the evolution of the Panda’s thumb qualify as bona fide and merit consideration by the scientific community. I’m glad I have the support of at least one person, I was beginning to think that my novel ideas did not impress the evolutionary biologists that participate on Panda’s Thumb.

That’s the problem with the DI’s political approach. By presenting ideas, not scientific data, it encourages articles just like Newman’s. Complaining that your ideas are misrepresented when there is no scientific data to support your position is just hand waving. Trying to popularize an idea with no scientific underpinnings invites the misrepresentations that led to Dover. This was followed by 6 weeks of testimony where ID was allowed to present it’s case which failed miserably. You’ve only the DI to blame. (rewind the taperecorder)

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #91940

Posted by Tony on March 31, 2006 3:51 PM (e)

Another prize tool. Nobody is suppressing criticism of evolution from the standpoint of a valid, scientific criticism. They’re protecting the Constitution from State-sponsored rabid Christians (the kind that caused my family to come to America in the 1630’s from England) who are trying to force their particular (and not necessarily widely held) Christian beliefs down the throats of all of our children.

Simply put, many of us don’t want YOUR RELIGION in our children’s heads. Period.

HEAR HEAR!!!

Comment #91944

Posted by Steve Reuland on March 31, 2006 4:00 PM (e)

Russell wrote:

Looking at that press release, it appears that, on top of commissioning a dishonest poll, the DI staff adds another layer of either dishonesty or (how best to put this?) mathematical carelessness in presenting the data. To wit: (or to Witt, if you will): How do they calculate their “more than a 3-to-1 margin” from

“Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they agreed with the following statement: Biology teachers should teach Darwin’s theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it.”

Because with 68% agreeing and 19% disagreeing, that makes it a more than 3 to 1 margin. There were 12% who are unsure.

Comment #91952

Posted by wamba on March 31, 2006 4:18 PM (e)

Because with 68% agreeing and 19% disagreeing, that makes it a more than 3 to 1 margin. There were 12% who are unsure.

But research shows that if you add an extra decimal place to your bogus statistics, 23.7% more people will believe you.

Comment #91953

Posted by Russell on March 31, 2006 4:19 PM (e)

Because with 68% agreeing and 19% disagreeing, that makes it a more than 3 to 1 margin. There were 12% who are unsure.

Well, that may be standard poll analysis, and the margin - whatever it is - means nothing in the absense of a meaningful question. But I still say that if 68 out of 100 people buy it, and the rest either say “no way” or “what the heck are you talking about?”, it’s an exaggeration to claim that people “strongly support” the claim by more than a 3:1 margin.

Comment #91956

Posted by Andrew McClure on March 31, 2006 4:35 PM (e)

This was followed by 6 weeks of testimony where ID was allowed to present it’s case which failed miserably.

This is what I find humorous about Uncommon Descent’s complaining about “Judicial Fiat” in their post about this very thread– Mr. William Dembski himself had the opportunity to effect the outcome of that court case, but he declined. Some “fiat”…

Comment #91957

Posted by Alann on March 31, 2006 4:38 PM (e)

If ID wishes to receive even the slightest consideration it must first separate itself from creationism.

Even if some people have a version of ID which is not creationism, most ID supporters seem to think its creationism.

First the discovery institute appears confused because they promoted “Of people and pandas” as a reference on design. It is a fact that this book is nothing more that a creationist text with “creator” replaced with “designer”.

In those case where ID has been proposed for schools it has usually included creationist sources for its material (in a California case 23 out of 24 videos planned as part of the curriculum where from Christian organizations). Perhaps there is not enough ID material for a course? I’m not saying all ID is creationist either, “Darwin’s Black Box” is an example (even if you would argue its not suitable for a course it is ID and is not creationist).

Also take the Dover case for example, even if they has somehow convinced the judge that they weren’t really creationism (Of peoples and Pandas destroyed any chance of that), then they still would have lost because the school board showed obvious signs of religious motivation.

If ID really wants people to believe it is something other than a cheap trick to sneak creationism into schools, then the people they need to convince first is not the evolutionists its their own supporters.

Comment #91961

Posted by AC on March 31, 2006 4:46 PM (e)

gj wrote:

Having now read both Dr. Witt’s article and Dr. Meyer’s rebuttal, it sounds to me like Dr. Witt’s article is factual and makes sense. The comparrisons he makes to Cuba newspapers seems to be appropriate in light of the supression of dissent in Ohio.

Please present your evidence of Ohio dissent suppression or kindly go back to UD where evidence is a 4-letter word. Thanks.

apollo230 wrote:

Therefore, I propose a compromise to both sides of the Dover, Pennsylvania debate: intelligent design advocates should promote voluntary exposure to their ideas rather than mandated instruction.

Or they could just brainwash kids at home and in church, as they have always done, since ID has nothing to do with science and everything to do with religion desiring scientific credibility to increase its social leverage.

Comment #91964

Posted by wamba on March 31, 2006 4:51 PM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

Your “God lied to Adam” argument is downright silly and you must know it. A threat removed due to mercy and forgiveness does not constitute a lie, period.

I found this in a different thread, now closed. Maybe this explains how the IDiots are not “lying”.

Comment #92002

Posted by alienward on March 31, 2006 6:41 PM (e)

apollo230 wrote:

I do feel that intelligent design’s assertions constitute a valid critique of the Darwinian notion that random variation/natural selection can (by itself) account for all diversity and sophistication in living things, and I do wish that Darwinism’s central tenet could be critically examined in the high-school biology classroom.

“But as my conclusions have lately been much misrepresented, and it has been stated that I attribute the modification of species exclusively to natural selection, I may be permitted to remark that in the first edition of this work, and subsequently, I placed in a most conspicuous position—namely, at the close of the Introduction—the following words: “I am convinced that natural selection has been the main but not the exclusive means of modification.” This has been of no avail. Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure.” (Charles Darwin)

apollo230, is your misrepresentation deliberate, or are you just repeating a deliberate misrepresentation of another dishonest ID proponent?

Comment #92007

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 31, 2006 7:09 PM (e)

the attacks on religious faith

Um, since ID is science and doesn’t have anything to do with religious faith, I am wondering why you care?

Or are IDers just luying to us when they claim ID is sciecne and doesn’t have anything to do with religious faith?

Comment #92009

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

Larry:

Sorry that you don’t like the judge’s ruling. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like the decision or not. All that matters is that you FOLLOW it. If you don’t, then we’ll sue the crap out of you. (shrug)

Comment #92011

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 31, 2006 7:14 PM (e)

Therefore, I propose a compromise to both sides of the Dover, Pennsylvania debate

Too late – your side already lost. (shrug)

intelligent design advocates should promote voluntary exposure to their ideas rather than mandated instruction.

Sorry, my friend, but it’s illegal to teach religious opinions in public school science classrooms. Voluntarily, mandated – makes no difference. Still illegal.

You, uh, *do* understand why your side lost in Dover, right …?

Comment #92014

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 31, 2006 7:21 PM (e)

some people have a version of ID which is not creationism

The Raelian flying-saucer kooks are the only ones I can think of offhand.

The DI-ites have never presented anything that I have ever seen, that wasn’t already done decades ago by the creation “scientists”. “Irreducible complexity”? The creationists were asking “what good is half a … ?” decades ago. “Dembski’s filter”? The fundies were blithering about the “odds against evolution” before Dembski got out of grade school. The “Cambrian explosion”? An ICR favorite 40 years ago.

Every argument I’ve ever seen from DI-ites has been nothing but rehashed versions of standard creation “science” boilerplate from the 1960’s and 70’s. (shrug)

Comment #92018

Posted by Morgan-LynnLamberth on March 31, 2006 7:25 PM (e)

I applaud William Provine. Richard DAWKINS and Daniel DENNETT for their implacable and indefatigable defence of naturalism against creationism in the wider sense-theism period. I contemn those like Michael Ruse who disparage them.They know that reality is causal[unplanned], not teleological[planned].It cannot be both.[See Weisz’s ‘Science of biology.”] REASON SAVES!

Comment #92022

Posted by Morgan-LynnLamberth on March 31, 2006 7:28 PM (e)

I applaud William Provine. Richard DAWKINS and Daniel DENNETT for their implacable and indefatigable defence of naturalism against creationism in the wider sense-theism period. I contemn those like Michael Ruse who disparage them.They know that reality is causal[unplanned], not teleological[planned].It cannot be both.[See Weisz’s ‘Science of biology.”] REASON SAVES![sEEE ME @SKEPTICS]

Comment #92028

Posted by steve s on March 31, 2006 7:35 PM (e)

Y&OU SUCK@!

Comment #92031

Posted by deejay on March 31, 2006 7:41 PM (e)

Red Reader-

Congratulations for having the courage to post in a forum in which you might find your assertions getting challenged. Given the nature of your assertions, however, I’m not sure courage is the right word; perhaps foolhardiness would be more appropriate. Yet again, your words reflect shoddy reading and reasoning. Myers’ comments are ‘beside the point’ and Witt’s article is ‘factual and makes sense’? You really shouldn’t be surprised that people make fun of you for saying things like that. Let me spell out one area of substantive difference between the two articles: Myers says that the peppered moths experiments are ‘sound,’ whereas Witt says that ‘in all likelihood, the experimental results were propped up by fudged photographs.’

Myers provides a link to back up the assertion; Witt hedges a baseless accusation with an ‘in all likelihood’ qualifier. How typical of the science vs. ID debate can you get? Yet Witt is factual and makes sense? Thank you for giving me an opportunity to provide a quote from one of my favorite Monty Python sketches: explain the logic underlying that conclusion. Please do explain to those of us with low intellectual ‘accumen’ how Witt got this one right. You will provide us all with a few more laughs.

However, if you’ve run away in humiliation because you couldn’t even get Myers’ name and gender correct, I’ll provide the laughs with a few more lines from the ‘Cheese Shop’ sketch. John Cleese’s quest for some cheese at the National Cheese emporium is a fine metaphor for the search for science in ID:

Customer: All right. Okay. ‘Have you got any?’ he asked, expecting the answer ‘no’.

Owner: I’ll have a look, sir….….nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno.

Customer: It’s not much of a cheese shop, is it?

Owner: Finest in the district!

Customer: (annoyed) Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, please.

Owner: Well, it’s so clean, sir!

Customer: It’s certainly uncontaminated by cheese….

Owner: (brightly) You haven’t asked me about Limburger, sir.

Customer: Would it be worth it?

Owner: Could be….

But dear Red Reader, we’ve seen it’s never worth it to ask for the science in ID. You’ll have better luck searching for angels.

Comment #92040

Posted by J Simes on March 31, 2006 8:04 PM (e)

This is a little off-topic, but I just couldn‘t help myself. This is hot off the press –

A special front-page report in today‘s Los Angeles Times is titled, “Testing Darwin‘s Teachers – Sometimes disruptive but often sophisticated questioning of evolution by students has educators increasingly on the defensive.“ This is a three-page article on the Internet, so don‘t miss pages 2-3. See http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-na-e…

Strangely, the recent lawsuits concerning evolution education – Kitzmiller v. Dover, Selman v. Cobb County (evolution-disclaimer textbook stickers), and Hurst v. Newman (El Tejon, Calif., did not go to trial) – were not mentioned in the report.

The cat is out of the bag, and the pro-Darwinism court decisions in Dover and Cobb County are virtually moot. (shrug)

Comment #92046

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 31, 2006 8:17 PM (e)

Larry:

Sorry that you don’t like the judge’s ruling. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like the decision or not. All that matters is that you FOLLOW it. If you don’t, then we’ll sue the crap out of you. (shrug)

Then you’ll see for yourself how “moot” they are.

Comment #92065

Posted by Morgan-LynnLamberth on March 31, 2006 9:08 PM (e)

Lenny Flack is right aobut the I.D.whiners! As far as judicial fiat sanctioning the teaching of evolution,that is fatuous.The judge recognize sound science rather than allowing gibberish being taught.A theory requires facts;there can be no facts for I.D.It is a desperate notion to say we don’t understand science and neither should school children. I t is a desperate notion to say we don’t under stand how someting happened ,but we demand that children learned that mind did it. It is a desperate notion that no judge can allow to pervert the science class.I,D.sucks!

Comment #92073

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 31, 2006 9:21 PM (e)

often sophisticated…

oh? as sohisticated as your arguments larry?

as laughable more like.

Comment #92297

Posted by J Simes on April 1, 2006 5:32 AM (e)

Witt wrote –

“According to the Darwinists‘ Ohio logic, scientists who merely point out weaknesses in Darwinism (Stephen Jay Gould, Franklin Harold, Stuart Kauffman, etc., etc.) are arguing for intelligent design, are card-carrying design theorists.“
– from http://www.idthefuture.com/2006/03/darwinism_fro…

The above statement is not just a wild exaggeration – it is actually happening! For example, other evolutionist scientists condemned Stephen Jay Gould‘s theory of “punctuated equilibrium“ because its great inconsistency with traditional evolution theory raised serious doubts about the credibility of evolution theories. The same sort of credibility gap arose in official holocaust history when the official figure for the number of deaths at Auschwitz, accepted as 3-4 million for decades, was revised sharply downward to the range of 1-1.5 million. Efforts to explain away these gross inconsistencies in evolutionary biology and official holocaust history are mostly futile. Suppression of ID and other scientific criticisms of basic evolution theory is likely to discourage all innovation in the field of evolutionary biology.

Comment #92327

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 1, 2006 6:23 AM (e)

Hey Larry, where do the flying saucers fit in to your conspiracy theory?

Comment #92368

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 1, 2006 7:31 AM (e)

I pontificated:

oh? as sohisticated as your arguments larry?

as laughable more like.

and larry, of course, responded to prove my point:

Comment #92297
Posted by J Simes on April 1, 2006 05:32 AM (e)

Witt wrote —

“According to the Darwinists‘ Ohio logic, scientists who merely point out weaknesses in Darwinism (Stephen Jay Gould, Franklin Harold, Stuart Kauffman, etc., etc.) are arguing for intelligent design, are card-carrying design theorists.“
— from http://www.idthefuture.com/2006/03/darwinism_fro…

The above statement is not just a wild exaggeration — it is actually happening!

no, your analogy (and your logic, as usual) is completely flawed.

there is a huge gulf between scientific debate over specific evolutionary mechanisms, with theoretical and emipirical evidence to support such arguments (e.g. Gould et. al.), vs. the baseless accusations and unsubstantiated drivel put forth by the ID camp (e.g., Behe et. al.).

Gould did a lot more than just publish popular books on paleontology and evolutionary theory, btw. He actually DID research.

big difference there, moron.

your grasping at straws, as usual - and also doing a great job, as usual, of making yourself look exceedingly stupid.

congratulations.

when do you think you will be leaving us again?

I can safely speak for everyone here (and everywhere) who have grown quite weary of your incessant bleating.

Comment #92377

Posted by Faidhon on April 1, 2006 7:44 AM (e)

deejay wrote:

Red Reader-

Congratulations for having the courage to post in a forum in which you might find your assertions getting challenged. Given the nature of your assertions, however, I’m not sure courage is the right word; perhaps foolhardiness would be more appropriate.

There’s a common pattern with UD commenters who post here, deejay.
They see their comments over at UncommonlyDense remain unaswered.
They don’t (want to) understand that their Banninator Dave has deleted our replies, and think their “arguments” have rendered us speechless.
In time, they get so overconfident with their skills and logic, they think it’s time to bring the discussion here to give us a good showing to.
They get schooled right away, of course, and after one or two posts they run back to their safe haven at Dembskiland, never to return.
It’s a pleasure to watch them do that every time.

Comment #92385

Posted by k.e. on April 1, 2006 7:59 AM (e)

Well, well, well
Lawrence Fafarman’s (posting under the FALSE name of J Simes) true paranoia is showing through now.

When he said above:
The same sort of credibility gap arose in official holocaust history when the official figure for the number of deaths at Auschwitz,….. DENY DENY DENY.

Conveniently DISPARAGING all the other deaths elsewhere.
Mr. Fafarman is not alone…
Evolution Deniers and Holocaust Deniers in a locked step.

What do you call your theory of Creationism/ID Larry ?

The David Irving version of evolution ?

Lawrence Fafarman you are SCUM!

Comment #92465

Posted by Ron Okimoto on April 1, 2006 10:02 AM (e)

I used to think that Witt was just an English major rube that was given the mushroom treatment at the Discovery Insitute, and only regurgitated the bull pucky they fed him, but it looks like Jonathan Witt is just another creationist misnomer because he has none. Creation science, Discovery Institute, IDEA, SEAO….

Comment #92571

Posted by J Simes on April 1, 2006 12:37 PM (e)

Comment #91916 posted by Steve Reuland on March 31, 2006 03:06 PM

J Simes wrote:

Here are the relevant poll results, from an Ohio public opinion poll conducted in 2002 —

The poll you cite shows strong support for teaching both evolution and ID, but the Discovery Insitute says specifically they don’t want ID taught.

DI has not said that they don‘t want ID to be taught – DI has only said that they do not want the teaching of ID to be required.

The 2002 Ohio poll that I cited above was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research – see http://www.sciohio.org/CPDPoll.htm As you noted, Zogby also conducted a 2002 Ohio public opinion poll, cited below.

– from http://www.nmidnet.org/OhioZogbyPoll.pdf

Here are the questions [from a 2002 Zogby poll]

A: Biology teachers should teach only Darwin’s theory of evolution and the scientific evidence that supports it.

B: Biology teachers should teach Darwin’s theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it.

This is a loaded question because it leads the respondant to believe that there actually exists valid evidence against evolution.

Do you really believe that people‘s beliefs are actually going to be altered by such a subtle hint? If a person already believes that valid evidence against evolution cannot possibly exist, then that belief will be reflected in how the person responds to the questions. OK, to make you happy, maybe Question B above could be prefaced with – “Assuming that valid evidence against evolution theory exists, then – “

putting aside the fact that we are not in the business of churning out propaganda like the IDists do, there was such a poll conducted of Ohio scientists in 2002 which showed overwhelming support for evolution and virtually none for ID

Yes, I am aware of that poll, but it is pretty old, from 2002, and I know of no other reliable poll of scientists that is more recent. In contrast, the general public has been polled on this subject several times a year.

Comment #91920 posted by Steve Reuland on March 31, 2006 03:17 PM

I previously wrote:
“That was not the poll Witt was referring to. The poll you cite shows strong support for teaching both evolution and ID, but the Discovery Insitute says specifically they don’t want ID taught.“

Looking at Witt’s piece again, I see he referred to three polls (without bothering to cite any of them — some English PhD he turned out to be). So the one refrenced by “J Simes” may have been one of the ones Witt referred to. However, it‘s clear that he was also referring to the one I cited. And the Disco Institute commissioned an identical poll in Ohio just a couple of months ago for reasons that escape me, unless they felt they really needed material for a press release. That press release, by the way, uses the “3 to 1” language specifically, so this is obviously what Witt was referring to.

The DI‘s previous Ohio poll was conducted in 2002, so I don‘t think that 2006 is too soon for another one, especially considering how much the evolution controversy has been in the news lately. I myself did not hear about ID until just several months ago.

Witt‘s use of the “3 to 1“ language is not proof that he was referring to the above press release ( http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.ph… ), since all the polls roughly had 3:1 ratios of one sort or another.

Though the 2006 poll‘s results were released after the Ohio Board of Education deleted the Ohio evolution lesson plan, the 2006 poll‘s results do serve to confirm and update the results of the two 2002 polls.

Comment #92589

Posted by J. Biggs on April 1, 2006 1:19 PM (e)

Lawrence Fafarman you are SCUM!

I second that.

Comment #92590

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 1, 2006 1:19 PM (e)

DI has not said that they don‘t want ID to be taught — DI has only said that they do not want the teaching of ID to be required.

So what. Required, mandated, voluntary, whatever. Doesn’t matter. It’s all unconstituional and illegal. (shrug)

Sorry if you don’t like that, Larry. Maybe whining about it for the next ten years will help.

Comment #92598

Posted by J. Biggs on April 1, 2006 1:36 PM (e)

It’s sad to think we all have ancestors in common with Larry.

Comment #92602

Posted by Stephen Elliott on April 1, 2006 1:42 PM (e)

Posted by J. Biggs on April 1, 2006 01:36 PM (e)

It’s sad to think we all have ancestors in common with Larry.

LOL. Larry might dissagree though.

Comment #92612

Posted by PZ Myers on April 1, 2006 1:58 PM (e)

We also have ancestors in common with cockroaches. Don’t belittle the processes that have led to the wonderful diversity of life on Earth!

Comment #92629

Posted by Arden Chatfield on April 1, 2006 2:34 PM (e)

We also have ancestors in common with cockroaches. Don’t belittle the processes that have led to the wonderful diversity of life on Earth!

Nonsense! How come we still have cockroaches?

Comment #92641

Posted by J. Biggs on April 1, 2006 2:51 PM (e)

We also have ancestors in common with cockroaches. Don’t belittle the processes that have led to the wonderful diversity of life on Earth!

And like cockroaches, we can’t get rid of Larry either.

Comment #92644

Posted by J. Biggs on April 1, 2006 2:55 PM (e)

Nonsense! How come we still have cockroaches?

An even better question is “How come we still have Larry?”.

Comment #92648

Posted by Arden Chatfield on April 1, 2006 2:59 PM (e)

An even better question is “How come we still have Larry?”.

That’s one of those theological dilemmas that science isn’t qualified to answer.

Comment #92654

Posted by J. Biggs on April 1, 2006 3:09 PM (e)

That’s one of those theological dilemmas that science isn’t qualified to answer.

Theological dilemmas don’t stop people like Witt and the DI stinktank, but then again what they do really isn’t the least bit scientific.

Comment #92667

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 1, 2006 3:47 PM (e)

How come we still have cockroaches?

‘cause we never wash the dishes.

Me, I use paper plates. :)

Comment #92678

Posted by J. Biggs on April 1, 2006 4:22 PM (e)

Witt Blathers:

In Dover, they insisted that physical evidence presented against their theory wasn’t an argument for intelligent design. Darwinist Kenneth Miller made this argument on the stand and the judge concurred. But in Ohio they wanted to scare people into thinking that simply teaching students the scientific evidence for and against Darwinism was somehow legally dangerous. Since it isn’t, the Darwinists had to get creative, had to change their story. So now they asserted that simply exposing students to the evidence against Darwinism constitutes the teaching of intelligent design. Thus, their Ohio position flatly contradicts their Dover position.

Disproving one theory does not at all prove some alternative true. All explanations rise an fall based on their own merits in science. Judge Jones also recognized the arguments used against evolution were unscientific long refuted creationist assertions. So when the same negative assertions were made in Ohio’s science educations standards, it stank of ID. And if the crap that was inserted in Ohio’s education standards was not their work, why is Witt so angry that it was later removed? Obviously no contradiction here. Witt and his cronies really are their own worst enemy.

Comment #92692

Posted by J. Biggs on April 1, 2006 4:45 PM (e)

‘cause we never wash the dishes.

Me, I use paper plates. :)

So if we wash the dishes or use paper plates, will that also get rid of Larry?

Comment #92764

Posted by Henry J on April 1, 2006 6:56 PM (e)

Re “‘cause we never wash the dishes.

Me, I use paper plates. :)”

Why not just eat the pizza right out of the box it came in? ;)

Henry

Comment #92802

Posted by Lee's Lieutenant on April 1, 2006 8:10 PM (e)

Larry FarFromBrains

I myself did not hear about ID until just several months ago.

You yourself didn’t begin to learn how to read until just several months ago.

Maybe now it’s time to start working on the comprehension part of the mail-order course…

Comment #92834

Posted by Morgan-LynnLamberth on April 1, 2006 9:17 PM (e)

Why do we still have cockroaches is to ask if Iam her ,why is my mother also here? A great-grand mother can outlive grand children.Why do not monkeys still evolve into persons is gibberish.We and the monkeys stem from common ancestors.Different enviornments operate ,causing differernt outcomes on populations.Some of a population change little ; others change more appreciably. Look at the finches:they differ from island to island. After millions of years enough mutations cause a new species,then a new genus ,the changes happen gradually or faster.Puntuated equilibrium is a further extension of the synthetic theory of evolution, not a contradiction.Gould implied that. He stated creationists had misunderstood him. Macroevolution is nothihng but microevolution across time.Larry,do not let your faith-based reasoning lead you astray[self-delusion, refusal to accept facts will make one believe gibberish. Flank has tried to educate you creationists ,but you revere in your non-comprehension of evolutionary theory.Larry ,you and FRANCISCO AYALA are wont to believ ,because you have dread of death and a need of meaning;y’all need to kearn that we all can over come that dread and find our own meanings in life without the need for a god.Read Albert Ellis to learn to stand on your own self.Reason saves, not a quack!

Comment #92842

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 1, 2006 9:24 PM (e)

Huh?

Sorry, I don’t speak Gibberish very well.

Comment #92855

Posted by J Simes on April 1, 2006 9:50 PM (e)

Comment #92678 posted by J. Biggs on April 1, 2006 04:22 PM

Disproving one theory does not at all prove some alternative true.

Irreducible complexity is not an alternative scientific explanation for the origin of species – it is just a scientific criticism of evolution theory. Finding out what does work is of course the most important thing, but finding out what does not work is also important. When Edison was accused of not making any progress in his efforts to develop a practical electric light bulb, he answered, “I‘ve made lots of progress – I know lots of things that won‘t work.“ Criticisms of evolution theory at least serve the useful purpose of forcing scientists to confront weaknesses in the theory.

Judge Jones also recognized the arguments used against evolution were unscientific long refuted creationist assertions. So when the same negative assertions were made in Ohio’s science educations standards, it stank of ID.

Judge Jones never judged the scientific merits of the “negative assertions“ in the Ohio evolution lesson plan (and I am not conceding that he or any other court judge has the authority to do so). Darwinists are trying to give the false impression that all criticism of evolution theory is “ID.“

And if the crap that was inserted in Ohio’s education standards was not their work, why is Witt so angry that it was later removed?

Oh boy. So they have no right to protest the removal of the lesson plan just because the plan was not their work?

Comment #92860

Posted by Morgan-LynnLamberth on April 1, 2006 9:55 PM (e)

Iexpect creationists tomisunderstand me:faith keeps them in bondage. I try to be peluccid.I like elaborate sentences,but I can do simple ones.Science requires honesty and competence,something creationist “researchers” do not display.They misquote even to make a real scientist state the opposite of what she stated.They flaunt Nebraska MAN and Piltdown Man as scientific nonsense when real scientists showed the men wer e phony.Creationists cannot fathom evolution because of their faith.They cling to fables that speak of a talking donkey and a talking serpent,yet cannot undrstand change across time .They deride life coming from non-life but believe a god breathe life into dust.They speak of probabilities without understanding that probabilities arise across time.One event causes others,prohibiting others .There is no probalbility all at once to cause all the changes as their probability argument requires.I’ll ask Flank to expatiate on this point. But I can state that their billion and billion to one argument is specious.Read “Sense and Goodness without God” for a full exposition of naturalsim-how the cosmos is.Reason saves1

Comment #92862

Posted by Morgan-LynnLamberth on April 1, 2006 10:01 PM (e)

Iexpect creationists tomisunderstand me:faith keeps them in bondage. I try to be peluccid.I like elaborate sentences,but I can do simple ones.Science requires honesty and competence,something creationist “researchers” do not display.They misquote even to make a real scientist state the opposite of what she stated.They flaunt Nebraska MAN and Piltdown Man as scientific nonsense when real scientists showed the men wer e phony.Creationists cannot fathom evolution because of their faith.They cling to fables that speak of a talking donkey and a talking serpent,yet cannot undrstand change across time .They deride life coming from non-life but believe a god breathe life into dust.They speak of probabilities without understanding that probabilities arise across time.One event causes others,prohibiting others .There is no probalbility all at once to cause all the changes as their probability argument requires.I’ll ask Flank to expatiate on this point. But I can state that their billion and billion to one argument is specious.Read “Sense and Goodness without God” for a full exposition of naturalsim-how the cosmos is.Reason saves!

Comment #92891

Posted by Steve Reuland on April 1, 2006 11:17 PM (e)

J Simes wrote:

Do you really believe that people‘s beliefs are actually going to be altered by such a subtle hint? If a person already believes that valid evidence against evolution cannot possibly exist, then that belief will be reflected in how the person responds to the questions.

I don’t think anyone believes that evidence against evolution cannot possibly exist, but most biologists such as myself do not consider the DI’s “evidence” to be the least bit valid. The poll question automatically assumes that evidence against evolution exists, and then asks the respondants to answer based on that assumption. It leads the respondants to a particular answer, which is precisely what polling methodology should avoid.

OK, to make you happy, maybe Question B above could be prefaced with — “Assuming that valid evidence against evolution theory exists, then — “

That would be an improvement, but again, my answer to that question would be “yes” in spite of the fact that I think the DI has no business trying to dictate science curricula. Therefore it is not a useful guide to how much support their policies have.

Yes, I am aware of that poll, but it is pretty old, from 2002, and I know of no other reliable poll of scientists that is more recent.

2002 is old? I’d say it’s quite recent.

The DI‘s previous Ohio poll was conducted in 2002, so I don‘t think that 2006 is too soon for another one, especially considering how much the evolution controversy has been in the news lately.

And yet the results were exactly the same in 2006 as they were in 2002. I could have told them that for free. Given that the public’s opinion on evolution vs. creationism has remained virtually unchanged since the topic was first polled, there is no need to conduct the same poll in the same state using the same loaded questions twice in a 4 year period. Either the DI has more money than it knows what to do with, or they were hard up for material for a press release.

Witt‘s use of the “3 to 1“ language is not proof that he was referring to the above press release ( http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.ph…… ), since all the polls roughly had 3:1 ratios of one sort or another.

Given that what Witt said is basically a cut ‘n paste from the press release for that poll, I’d say that’s proof that he was referring to that poll.

Of course he referred to three polls and didn’t bother citing any of them, so we’ll never know for sure just what he was referring to.

Comment #93110

Posted by Morgan-LynnLamberth on April 2, 2006 9:22 AM (e)

Lennie,you understand their gibberish quote well,pal.You understand what Iwas getting at.I make amends.I laud you for trying to enlighten the creationists.Keep up the good work.SEE ME AND ARTICULETT AT SKEPTICS BLOG.We skewer creationists there .

Comment #93204

Posted by GT(N)T on April 2, 2006 1:16 PM (e)

Larry writes:

“Darwinists are trying to give the false impression that all criticism of evolution theory is “ID.““

Larry, you really need to take a decent course in evolutionary biology. There are lots and lots of criticisms of evolutionary theory, nearly all coming from evolutionary biologists (your evil ‘Darwinists’). Look in the journal Evolution or in Molecular Biology & Evolution or in hundreds of other peer-reviewed publications. They are chock-full of criticisms of evolutionary theory. Those criticisms are evaluated by other evolutionary biologists; and, if they pass muster (i.e., they’re supported by data), they are then incorporated into evolutionary theory. From this process emerges a stronger, more complete explanation for life.

Contrast this with intelligent design/creationism, where we are asked to supplant science with superstition and nonsense. ID/C criticisms can be safely ignored. Those criticisms aren’t based on data, only conjecture.

Comment #93208

Posted by J. Biggs on April 2, 2006 1:42 PM (e)

Larry the spinmeister said:

Criticisms of evolution theory at least serve the useful purpose of forcing scientists to confront weaknesses in the theory.

The weaknesses pointed out by the ID camp basically consist of harping on the things that evolution has yet to explain. Scientists confront these weaknesses by doing reasearch that expands our knowledge of the subject. Highschool students on the other hand are just trying to grasp the basics and are ill equipped to understand such an esoteric debate. Why not let them learn what biologists think is important about the biological sciences and then if they want to confront the “weaknesses” of evolution they can do it well armed with scientific methodology instead of using political action to no avail.

Judge Jones never judged the scientific merits of the “negative assertions“ in the Ohio evolution lesson plan (and I am not conceding that he or any other court judge has the authority to do so). Darwinists are trying to give the false impression that all criticism of evolution theory is “ID.“

I know what case Judge Jones presided over. What I said was clear. The critisisms presented in Kitzmiller v.s. Dover were very similar to the ones presented in the Ohio science education standards. Since, they were so simiilar it is logical to think that they were coming from the same place. And the fact that the ID camp objects so loudly in both cases verifies that it came from the same place. Not every criticism to evolution is ID, just the objections in these two cases.

And if the crap that was inserted in Ohio’s education standards was not their work, why is Witt so angry that it was later removed?

Oh boy. So they have no right to protest the removal of the lesson plan just because the plan was not their work?

Actually I am a firm believer in freedom of speech. DI can object to it all they want. I just pointed out that it links them to the proposed standards. They can lie and say they had nothing to do with it, but it is an obvious lie. And by the way if you didn’t read Lenny’s previous post here it is incase you forgot.

Larry:

Sorry that you don’t like the judge’s ruling. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like the decision or not. All that matters is that you FOLLOW it. If you don’t, then we’ll sue the crap out of you. (shrug)

Then you’ll see for yourself how “moot” they are.

Comment #93217

Posted by J Simes on April 2, 2006 2:17 PM (e)

Comment #92891 posted by Steve Reuland on April 1, 2006 11:17 PM

I don’t think anyone believes that evidence against evolution cannot possibly exist

You‘d be surprised. I think that Judge Jones falls into this category. He not only banned ID permanently but banned all scientific criticism of evolution permanently.

OK, to make you happy, maybe Question B above could be prefaced with — “Assuming that valid evidence against evolution theory exists, then — “

That would be an improvement, but again, my answer to that question would be “yes” in spite of the fact that I think the DI has no business trying to dictate science curricula. Therefore it is not a useful guide to how much support their policies have.

Do you think that the National Center for Science Education is not trying to “dictate“ science curricula?

I think that it is very undemocratic to tell the general public that their opinions should not be considered. It is not uncommon to poll the general public about controversial technical subjects. Polls generally have a “don‘t know“ or “no opinion“ option that can be used by respondents who honestly believe that they do not know enough about a subject to give an informed response.

I agree that poll questions are often oversimplified and ambiguous. The solutions to this problem are to put more detail in the questions and break broad questions up into two or more questions that are more specific.

Yes, I am aware of that poll, but it is pretty old, from 2002, and I know of no other reliable poll of scientists that is more recent.

2002 is old? I’d say it’s quite recent.

OK, it really depends on the subject of the poll. The great publicity lately about the evolution controversy (particularly regarding the Dover and Cobb County lawsuits and the new Kansas evolution education standards) increased the chances of a significant recent shift in the views of both the public and scientists.

Comment #93235

Posted by J Simes on April 2, 2006 3:03 PM (e)

Comment #92046 posted by ‘Rev Dr‘ Lenny Flank on March 31, 2006 08:17 PM

Sorry that you don’t like the judge’s ruling. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like the decision or not. All that matters is that you FOLLOW it. If you don’t, then we’ll sue the crap out of you. (shrug)

Politicians, school boards, schools, teachers, and students are going to cheat to get around the judge‘s ruling. In some cases, this cheating will consist of not teaching evolution theory at all. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like this cheating or not. All that matters is that neither you nor anyone else can do a darned thing about it. (shrug)

Comment #93241

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 2, 2006 3:14 PM (e)

. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like this cheating or not. All that matters is that neither you nor anyone else can do a darned thing about it. (shrug)

wrong again, super larry.

in cases where state standards mandate the teaching of evolutionary theory (almost ALL do), teachers who refuse to teach it on grounds of religion can be legally fired. Individual school districts that refuse to teach it can be legally sued.

you can shake your fist as hard as you want, but the only place your drivel can ever be taught is private school and church.

your choice.

when was it you were planning NOT to make yourself look stupid again?

you’ve already shown us your expertise in the making-yourself-look-stupid field; over and over again.

ready to try something else yet?

Comment #93294

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 2, 2006 5:52 PM (e)

Politicians, school boards, schools, teachers, and students are going to cheat to get around the judge‘s ruling. In some cases, this cheating will consist of not teaching evolution theory at all. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like this cheating or not. All that matters is that neither you nor anyone else can do a darned thing about it. (shrug)

But we can, Larry. We can sue the crap out of them.

Comment #93297

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 2, 2006 5:56 PM (e)

He not only banned ID permanently but banned all scientific criticism of evolution permanently.

Bullshit, Larry. Can you support this statement with a quote from the decison?

Oh, that’s right — you haven’t READ the decision, have you.

Liar.

Comment #93315

Posted by J. Biggs on April 2, 2006 6:44 PM (e)

Larry/J. Slimes writes:

I think that it is very undemocratic to tell the general public that their opinions should not be considered. It is not uncommon to poll the general public about controversial technical subjects. Polls generally have a “don‘t know“ or “no opinion“ option that can be used by respondents who honestly believe that they do not know enough about a subject to give an informed response.

Since when is science about democracy. Scientists don’t sit around and vote on what constitutes science. They conduct research and peer review, no voting involved. The problem with allowing the general to dictate what constitutes science is that a large majority of people don’t know what they don’t know, (and you are a prime example of that). I bet you have never checked the “no opinion” box in any poll you have been a part of. Peoples opinions are just that, opinions. They have no bearing on science or reality. You are the only one here that advocates Social Constructivism.

Politicians, school boards, schools, teachers, and students are going to cheat to get around the judge‘s ruling. In some cases, this cheating will consist of not teaching evolution theory at all. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like this cheating or not. All that matters is that neither you nor anyone else can do a darned thing about it. (shrug)

So if you can’t accomplish your goals by legal means you’ll resort to ones that are illegal. At least you admit your side consists of dishonest cheats. And rather than whining, weeping, moaning, groaning, jumping up and down, and throwing hissy fits(all of which the ID camp does so well) I think we will just stick to legal action when your side’s cheating is exposed.

By the way Larry, you can ape Lenny all day long, and you still will never be as clever as he is.(shrug)

Comment #93382

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 2, 2006 8:56 PM (e)

By the way Larry, you can ape Lenny all day long, and you still will never be as clever as he is.(shrug)

I can always tell when a tactic is getting under a nutjob’s skin, because invariably they always try to use it themselves.

And never do a very good job of it.

Comment #93416

Posted by Red Mann on April 2, 2006 11:26 PM (e)

Larry; RE Comment #92040. Somehow I get the impression that you think having kids disrupt their high school biology class with the blatant lies they have been told by misguide parents and misguiding preachers is a good thing. Taking up the valuable time of the both the teacher and the students who actually want to learn something is inexcusable. All over the country this crap is happening day in and day out. Teachers too scared to teach real science because of the local fundiloons, teachers who can’t handle the frustration of trying to teach children that are wallowing in the self-assured ignorance that passes for religious teaching in way too many parts of this country. What’s so pathetic that there are so many people like you who support and encourage this foolish behavior. Why don’t you take everyone’s advice and shut up long enough to actually think about the constant stream of nonsense you produce and try to come up with something that is actually useful.

Comment #93426

Posted by J Simes on April 2, 2006 11:45 PM (e)

Comment #93241 Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 2, 2006 03:14 PM

in cases where state standards mandate the teaching of evolutionary theory (almost ALL do), teachers who refuse to teach it on grounds of religion can be legally fired. Individual school districts that refuse to teach it can be legally sued.

There are lots of ways to cheat on evolution education.

The Fordham Institute‘s report on state science education standards gave the evolution education standards of several states “failing“ grades, zero points out of a maximum three, or both – so there is a good possibility that those states do not even require that evolution be taught. And even if evolution education is required, teachers can sabotage it in various subtle ways, e.g., by teaching it as though it is not true. I have heard that some public-school science teachers are even sneaking creationism into their teaching. And increasingly, the students themselves are asking questions about evolution that the teachers can‘t answer – see ‘Testing Darwin‘s Teachers – Sometimes disruptive but often sophisticated questioning of evolution by students has educators increasingly on the defensive“ ( http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-na-e… ) , a Los Angeles Times front-page article. This is a three-page article on the Internet, so don‘t miss pages 2-3.

Comment #93297 posted by ‘Rev Dr‘ Loony Flake on April 2, 2006 05:56 PM

He not only banned ID permanently but banned all scientific criticism of evolution permanently.

Bullshit, Larry. Can you support this statement with a quote from the decison?

Oh, that’s right —- you haven’t READ the decision, have you.

Liar.

There you go – calling me a “liar“ before I even get a chance to answer.

Here is the quote, from page 138 in the “Conclusion“ section of the Dover opinion – “To preserve the separation of church and state……, we will enter an order permanently enjoining defendants….…..from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution…….“ ( http://www2.ncseweb.org/kvd/all_legal/2005-12-20… ). This prohibition is presumably enforceable even though it was not actually included in the official order on page 139. Anything that challenges the foundations of evolution theory could be interpreted as being a disparagement or denigration of that theory.

Comment #93204 posted by GT(N)T on April 2, 2006 01:16 PM

Darwinists are trying to give the false impression that all criticism of evolution theory is “ID.“

…you really need to take a decent course in evolutionary biology. There are lots and lots of criticisms of evolutionary theory, nearly all coming from evolutionary biologists (your evil ‘Darwinists’).

By “criticism,“ I was obviously not referring to disagreements over minor details of evolution theory – I meant challenges to the very foundations of evolution theory, particularly the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection. To make myself clear in the future, I will not use the term “criticize“ but will use more forceful terms like “challenge,“ “attack,“ and “assault“ when referring to ID and other challenges to evolution theory.

Comment #93514

Posted by Andrew McClure on April 3, 2006 3:58 AM (e)

Good god, how many times is he going to spam that one link?

Do you suppose he thinks that if he takes one link about high school students objecting to evolution, and posts it three times, that will mean three times as many high school students are objecting to evolution?

Comment #93594

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 3, 2006 7:10 AM (e)

“To preserve the separation of church and state……, we will enter an order permanently enjoining defendants….…..from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution……

Quote mining at its finest. Gee, Larry, what’s hidden by all those ellipses that you don’t want anyone to see?

“To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we will enter an order
permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or
disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID.”

Note that it is the RELIGIOUS ALTERNATIVE THEORY KNOWN AS ID that is being banned, not “scientific criticism of evolution”.

After all, ID is just religious apologetics — it is not “scientific criticism of evolution”.

Sorry if you don’t like that, Larry.

Now maybe you should read the REST of the decision, Larry. You might learn something.

Comment #93604

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 3, 2006 7:15 AM (e)

Some more quotes from the Judge’s decision that Larry didn’t read:

With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor
do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.

To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not
be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific
propositions.

Comment #93663

Posted by J. Biggs on April 3, 2006 10:02 AM (e)

There are lots of ways to cheat on evolution education.

The Fordham Institute‘s report on state science education standards gave the evolution education standards of several states “failing“ grades, zero points out of a maximum three, or both — so there is a good possibility that those states do not even require that evolution be taught. And even if evolution education is required, teachers can sabotage it in various subtle ways, e.g., by teaching it as though it is not true. I have heard that some public-school science teachers are even sneaking creationism into their teaching. And increasingly, the students themselves are asking questions about evolution that the teachers can‘t answer — see ‘Testing Darwin‘s Teachers — Sometimes disruptive but often sophisticated questioning of evolution by students has educators increasingly on the defensive“ ( http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-na-e…… ) , a Los Angeles Times front-page article. This is a three-page article on the Internet, so don‘t miss pages 2-3.

What you are saying about the happenings in Biology classes are probably accurate. As you yourself say, it is cheating, and therefore it is illegal. ID creationism does not offer real scientific critisism. And as far as questioning teachers, (with “sophisticated” questions that the students themselves often don’t understand), who choose to follow the law and be true to science education, I think this quote from Frisby in your article sums it up best.

“We’re in science class now, so we’re going to use our science tools,” he told them. “I don’t want to be in a debate about religion or literature or art. My job is to explain evolution so you can understand it. Whether you accept it or not, that’s your business.”

He is not obligated to debate his students. Educating and not debating is his job. They have to pass tests on the material he is presenting. If they choose to ignore that material then they will fail plain and simple. He is not requiring that they believe it, but perhaps they will learn about what it is they are arguing against.

By “criticism,“ I was obviously not referring to disagreements over minor details of evolution theory — I meant challenges to the very foundations of evolution theory, particularly the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection. To make myself clear in the future, I will not use the term “criticize“ but will use more forceful terms like “challenge,“ “attack,“ and “assault“ when referring to ID and other challenges to evolution theory.

I’m glad you make this distinction. You are not referring to disagreements among biologists over the minor details of ToE, you are referring to the unscientific, long refuted, creationist arguments levied by ID that supposedly challenge the very foundations of ToE. BTW, most biologists disagree that evolution is defined as a process “soley” driven by natural genetic variation and natural selection. There are many other factors, many that we have discovered and many more left to be discovered. You misrepresent ToE by defining it like that, even though genetic variation and natural selection play a large role.

Earlier you stated, “Oh boy. So they have no right to protest the removal of the lesson plan just because the plan was not their work?”. And by this I was under the illusion that you did not believe the proposed Ohio science education standard to be the work of DI and thier cronies. Now I see that you agree that only ID, YEC’s and other religiously motivated groups are attacking evolution. So, since DI is the most outspoken group currently assaulting evolution, they probably had a hand in influencing said standards. Thanks for clearing that up.

Comment #93687

Posted by J Simes on April 3, 2006 11:31 AM (e)

Comment #93315 posted by J. Biggs the bigot on April 2, 2006 06:44 PM

Larry/J. Slimes writes:

“I think that it is very undemocratic to tell the general public that their opinions should not be considered.“

Since when is science about democracy.

Whether you like it or not, the general public‘s opinions on scientific issues are often important because many scientific issues are also very important political issues. And the political responses to some crucial scientific issues – e.g., global warming and nuclear-power safety – may have far greater consequences than the political responses to the evolution controversy.

Politicians, school boards, schools, teachers, and students are going to cheat to get around the judge‘s ruling.

So if you can’t accomplish your goals by legal means you’ll resort to ones that are illegal…….And rather than whining, weeping, moaning, groaning, jumping up and down, and throwing hissy fits(all of which the ID camp does so well) I think we will just stick to legal action when your side’s cheating is exposed.

Most of the “cheating“ methods that I mentioned are not illegal. And I suppose that the tactic of ripping off and intimidating government entities by driving up potential attorney fee awards by assigning excessive numbers of attorneys to these lawsuits – 9-10 at Dover and 6 at El Tejon – is completely ethical.

Comment #93416 posted by Red Mann on April 2, 2006 11:26 PM

RE Comment #92040. Somehow I get the impression that you think having kids disrupt their high school biology class with the blatant lies they have been told by misguide parents and misguiding preachers is a good thing.

Why did you blame me ? I was just the messenger – mostly all I did was just bring attention to a special news report. And the news report said that though the students sometimes make “snide comments“ about evolution, they also sometimes ask “sophisticated questions“ – “Loyal to the accounts they‘ve learned in church, students are taking it upon themselves to wedge creationism into the classroom, sometimes with snide comments but also with sophisticated questions — and a fervent faith.“ If students have legitimate scientific questions about evolution theory, then why shouldn‘t the students ask those questions in class?

Comment #93382 posted by ‘Rev Dr‘ Loony Flake on April 2, 2006 08:56 PM

By the way Larry, you can ape Lenny all day long, and you still will never be as clever as he is.(shrug)

I can always tell when a tactic is getting under a nutjob’s skin, because invariably they always try to use it themselves.

And never do a very good job of it.

And those who have borrowed your messages of “shut up“ and “no one cares what you think (shrug)“ have done a much better job of aping you. Monkey see, monkey do – no originality at all. Perfect aping.

Comment #93514 posted by Andrew McClueless on April 3, 2006 03:58 AM

Good god, how many times is he going to spam that one link?

Good god, I “spammed“ that link only twice in this thread.

Comment #93691

Posted by GT(N)T on April 3, 2006 11:52 AM (e)

“I meant challenges to the very foundations of evolution theory, particularly the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.”

Larry, where in the world have you ever found an evolutionary biologist who believes evolution is solely driven by natural genetic variation and natural selection? Remember that course in evolutionary biology I urged you to take? Pay special attention to the terms genetic drift, founder effect, and stochastic processes.

Why do I find you, Larry, more irritating than the typical creationist/ID proponent?

Comment #93729

Posted by KL on April 3, 2006 1:19 PM (e)

Why is it that the world’s scientists can agree on the principles and practices of science (although they might disagree about the explanations/theories/etc) yet the people of the world cannot agree on any one religion? Makes you wonder…(or it should make anyone who pushes religiously motivated pseudoscience wonder)

Comment #93732

Posted by J. Biggs on April 3, 2006 1:26 PM (e)

GT(N)T says:

Why do I find you, Larry, more irritating than the typical creationist/ID proponent?

Probably because most creationist/ID proponents leave once they are refuted, while Larry continues to spew his unadulterated anti-logic and aversion to reasoning in every single post.

And those who have borrowed your messages of “shut up“ and “no one cares what you think (shrug)“ have done a much better job of aping you. Monkey see, monkey do — no originality at all. Perfect aping.

Probably because you repeat the same arguments over and over as if they will become true if repeated enough. Every one already knows how you feel and the vast majority of posts addressing your arguments point out why you are wrong. It is obvious you have no respect for us and our general or individual points of view, so why should we listen to you or care what you think. You come back as multiple persona’s with the same agenda as if we won’t recognize the same tired old arguments you presented in your very first posts. Lenny just said what the rest of us were thinking all along but we were just to polite to say it. Being polite to you really isn’t an issue anymore considering how inconsiderate you are. You are really just an unoriginal know-it (nothing at) all, hack who has nothing better to do than irritate the rest of us. We all know your views and nobody is impressed; go away to uncommonly dense where they care what you have to say.

Comment #93733

Posted by J. Biggs on April 3, 2006 1:28 PM (e)

Sorry, the second quote in comment 93732 should be attributed to Larry and not G T(N)T.

Comment #93743

Posted by J. Biggs on April 3, 2006 1:57 PM (e)

Whether you like it or not, the general public‘s opinions on scientific issues are often important because many scientific issues are also very important political issues. And the political responses to some crucial scientific issues — e.g., global warming and nuclear-power safety — may have far greater consequences than the political responses to the evolution controversy.

How does this refute what I said earlier? Give me an example of a scientific theory or law that was implemented into a branch of science using political means. Feel free to not respond to this if you can’t find an example.

Why did you blame me ? I was just the messenger — mostly all I did was just bring attention to a special news report. And the news report said that though the students sometimes make “snide comments“ about evolution, they also sometimes ask “sophisticated questions“ — “Loyal to the accounts they‘ve learned in church, students are taking it upon themselves to wedge creationism into the classroom, sometimes with snide comments but also with sophisticated questions — and a fervent faith.“ If students have legitimate scientific questions about evolution theory, then why shouldn‘t the students ask those questions in class?

I can’t speak for Red Mann, but you seem to be happy about this sort of thing happening. We don’t care if you are the messenger, but the applauding bad behavior shows your character. It shows considerable disrespect to education in general to encourage kids to interrupt their teachers with specious arguments in order to deprive other kids from learning a relevant scientific concept. The problem with your “legitimate scientific questions” is that they are not accepted as such by the majority of the scientific community and therefore irrelevant when teaching the basics. Even in that quote you mined it says the questions are based on “religious” concerns. These arguments would be better addressed in a college level philosophy of science class. It is hard enough to teach the basics without this kind of distraction.

Comment #93744

Posted by Andrew McClure on April 3, 2006 2:02 PM (e)

Larry F wrote:

Good god, I “spammed“ that link only twice in this thread.

Which, after the two posts in the other thread, brings us to four times in two days, only one of which was actually relevant to the conversation in some way I can discern…

Comment #93751

Posted by J. Biggs on April 3, 2006 2:12 PM (e)

Larry,

Most of the “cheating“ methods that I mentioned are not illegal. And I suppose that the tactic of ripping off and intimidating government entities by driving up potential attorney fee awards by assigning excessive numbers of attorneys to these lawsuits — 9-10 at Dover and 6 at El Tejon — is completely ethical.

There could be a legal case made for every one of your methods of cheating. Your other claim about the number of lawyers has been refuted at least one time (not by me) that I can remember, so I won’t go into it. We are not the ones breaking the law. We are not the ones forcing these issues into the courts. In light of these facts, yes it is completely ethical to make ID advocates (and school-boards that play along) pay for force feeding their religious views into high school biology class.

Comment #93819

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 3, 2006 6:14 PM (e)

ID creationism does not offer real scientific critisism.

Note that neither does Larry. He doesn’t even offer BS scientific riticism. His entire “argument” consists of various pseuo-legal-sounding criticisms of the judge and his ruling.

Yet another reason why I don’t think Larry is really an IDer – he’s just a crank with delusions of lawyerhood. (shrug)

Comment #93822

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 3, 2006 6:16 PM (e)

driving up potential attorney fee awards

Let’s just remind everyone in the audience, one more time, that the sum total legal fees sought by all of the lawyers in the Kitzmiller case was … zero. They all worked for free.

Comment #93877

Posted by J Simes on April 3, 2006 8:49 PM (e)

Comment #93594 posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on April 3, 2006 07:10 AM

“To preserve the separation of church and state……, we will enter an order permanently enjoining defendants….…..from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution……“

Quote mining at its finest. Gee, Larry, what’s hidden by all those ellipses that you don’t want anyone to see?

Nothing is “hidden“ – I gave a link and a page number for those who want to see the original text. I only deleted extraneous material. You asked me for a quote that supported my assertion that Jones banned all scientific challenges of evolution theory, and I gave you exactly what you asked for – neither more no less.

Lenny Flank continues –

Note that it is the RELIGIOUS ALTERNATIVE THEORY KNOWN AS ID that is being banned, not “scientific criticism of evolution”.

The cunning Judge Jones gave the false impression of sticking to the subject of the lawsuit by mentioning only ID in the official “Order“ on page 139 of the Dover opinion while he sneaked a much broader ruling – prohibiting all “disparagement“ and “denigration“ of evolution theory – into the “Conclusion“ section of the opinion. This broader ruling sure comes in handy when attacking such things as the Kansas and Ohio evolution education standards.

Comment #93691 posted by GT(N)T on April 3, 2006 11:52 AM

Larry, where in the world have you ever found an evolutionary biologist who believes evolution is solely driven by natural genetic variation and natural selection? Remember that course in evolutionary biology I urged you to take? Pay special attention to the terms genetic drift, founder effect, and stochastic processes.

Genetic drift is just a slow random mutation. The founder effect and stochastic processes also concern natural genetic variation. I started using the term “natural genetic variation“ because a lot of people complained that the term “random mutation“ is not inclusive enough.

Comment #93743 posted by J. Biggs on April 3, 2006 01:57 PM

Whether you like it or not, the general public‘s opinions on scientific issues are often important because many scientific issues are also very important political issues.

Give me an example of a scientific theory or law that was implemented into a branch of science using political means.

Merely allowing or requiring the teaching of challenges to evolution is not the same as “implementing“ a scientific theory or law by political means.

The opinions of non-experts is often very important in deciding political responses to crucial scientific issues, e.g., global warming, environmental protection, conservation of natural resources, and nuclear-power safety. The political responses to any of these issues may have consequences that are far more serious than any potential consequence of teaching scientific challenges to evolution theory. Teaching challenges to evolution theory might not have any negative consequences at all, because scientists can continue using evolution theory or its concepts even while believing that all or part of it is untrue. And I think that scientific challenges to evolution theory have the beneficial effects of suggesting topics for research and forcing scientists to confront weaknesses in the theory.

J. Biggs continues –

the news report said that though the students sometimes make “snide comments“ about evolution, they also sometimes ask “sophisticated questions“

I can’t speak for Red Mann, but you seem to be happy about this sort of thing happening….….It shows considerable disrespect to education in general to encourage kids to interrupt their teachers with specious arguments in order to deprive other kids from learning a relevant scientific concept.

I thought that Darwinists wanted students to learn about alleged flaws in scientific challenges to evolution theory.

J. Biggs continues –

Even in that quote you mined it says the questions are based on “religious” concerns.

It was not my idea to imply that students‘ questions about evolution theory are motivated only by religion. And I never heard this expression “quote mining“ before I started reading Panda‘s Thumb. If it means quoting out of context, then I think that it should be called quoting out of context. I try not to quote out of context (though other commenters on PT often obviously quote me out of context).

Comment #93751 posted by J. Biggs on April 3, 2006 02:12 PM

Most of the “cheating“ methods that I mentioned are not illegal.

There could be a legal case made for every one of your methods of cheating.

Like what? Suing politicians or school board members for not requiring that evolution be taught? Suing teachers for teaching evolution as though it is not true? Suing students for asking questions that challenge evolution?

J. Biggs continues –

Your other claim about the number of lawyers has been refuted at least one time (not by me) that I can remember, so I won’t go into it.

Baloney – 9-10 plaintiffs‘ attorneys of record in the Dover case was overkill by any reasonable standard.

Comment #93663 posted by J. Biggs on April 3, 2006 10:02 AM

as far as questioning teachers, (with “sophisticated” questions that the students themselves often don’t understand), who choose to follow the law and be true to science education, I think this quote from Frisby in your article sums it up best.

“We’re in science class now, so we’re going to use our science tools,” he told them. “I don’t want to be in a debate about religion or literature or art. My job is to explain evolution so you can understand it. Whether you accept it or not, that’s your business.”

He is not obligated to debate his students.

Aha! His statement suggested that evolution might not be true. That is supposed to be a no-no.

Comment #93744 posted by Andrew McClure on April 3, 2006 02:02 PM

Good god, I “spammed“ that link only twice in this thread.

Which, after the two posts in the other thread, brings us to four times in two days, only one of which was actually relevant to the conversation in some way I can discern…

So this is something that PT readers should not be aware of ?

Comment #93881

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on April 3, 2006 8:58 PM (e)

Our definition of legal fees must be different, Lenny, since the ACLU and AU split about $750,000 in attorney fees. Pepper Hamilton did work for free, however, and that is where the lion’s share of the attorneys fees would have gone.

It is still quite amusing that Larry continues to use this particular argument after he so publicly embarrassed himself by invoking Blum v. Stenson, which completely contradicts all of his arguments regarding attorney fees. Those interested in the exchange should do a search on “Larry bullet lodged groin” and scroll up a few posts (it’s in the Dover Trap thread)

By the way, when are you going to remove Larry’s posts, PZ? He is banned, after all.

Comment #93883

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 3, 2006 9:03 PM (e)

larry, attempting to address you makes me feel like Two-Face in that Batman/Robin movie, after he blowtorches batman, who then walks out unscathed and Two-face says:

“Why won’t you just die??!!”

Comment #94087

Posted by J Simes on April 4, 2006 6:15 AM (e)

Comment #93881 Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on April 3, 2006 08:58 PM

Our definition of legal fees must be different, Lenny, since the ACLU and AU split about $750,000 in attorney fees. Pepper Hamilton did work for free, however, and that is where the lion’s share of the attorneys fees would have gone.

Lnny Flnk ws jst bng dsngns whn h mpld (Cmmnt #93822) tht n ttrny fs wr sght by r wrdd t th plntffs – h knw bttr.

Th plntffs‘ lgl rprsnttvs ntlly skd fr ttl wrd f vr $2 mlln bt sttld wth th schl dstrct fr $1 mlln – s http://www.phlly.cm/mld/nqrr/13928874.htm I rd tht th rmndr f th wrd mny – bt $250,000 – ws sd t py crt fs nd thr gnrl xpnss.

Th 4-5 ttrnys wh rprsntd th ACLU nd Amrcns Untd fr Sprtn f Chrch nd Stt mght hv rcvd sm drct cmpnstn frm ths rgnztns – I dn‘t knw.

It is still quite amusing that Larry continues to use this particular argument after he so publicly embarrassed himself by invoking Blum v. Stenson, which completely contradicts all of his arguments regarding attorney fees.

Nthng n >Blm v. Stnsn> thrzs bsng ttrny f wrds n th ssgnmnt f n xcssv nmbr f ttrnys t cs. Als, I shwd tht th Snt rprt ctd by th Sprm Crt n >Blm v. Stnsn> ds nt spprt th crt‘s dcsn – I sd, “Th bv qt f th Snt rprt nly sd tht t ws ntndd tht th fs ‘nt b rdcd bcs th rghts nvlvd my b nnpcnry n ntr‘ — ths qt ds nt sy tht th fs shld nt b rdcd whn th plntffs’ lgl rprsnttn s nn-prft nd/r pr bn.“ – s http://www.pndsthmb.rg/rchvs/2006/02/th_dvr_trp.… I ls dsgr wth th crt‘s rlng tht th hrly rts sd n clcltng th ttrny f wrds shld b bsd nt jst n th bjctv fctr f lngth f xprnc bt shld ls b bsd n th hghly sbjctv fctrs f “skll“ nd “rpttn.“

By the way, when are you going to remove Larry’s posts, PZ? He is banned, after all.

Cmmntrs hr wh cntn t sk tht I b bnnd r dltd wll rn th rsk tht I wll crry t my thrt t strt pstng ndr thr nms. Tht wy sm f thr psts my b ccdntlly dltd lng wth mn.

Clls fr bns nd dltns n PT shw th sm pr-cnsrshp mntlty s th clls fr bns n scntfc chllngs t vltn thry.

As fr th PT stff, I sy gn – th PT stff shld thr stp prsctng nt-Drwnst cmmntrs r trn n PT‘s Scntfc Amrcn mgzn wb wrd.

Comment #94099

Posted by GT(N)T on April 4, 2006 7:11 AM (e)

Larry writes:

“Genetic drift is just a slow random mutation. The founder effect and stochastic processes also concern natural genetic variation. I started using the term “natural genetic variation“ because a lot of people complained that the term “random mutation“ is not inclusive enough.”

No, Larry, genetic drift isn’t ‘just slow random mutation’. Genetic drift is change in gene frequency across generations due to chance factors. Genetic drift is a mechanism of evolution that does not require natural selection.

Random mutation and natural genetic variation are not synonyms. Natural genetic variation is the result of mutation.

Mutation is not truly random. In the simplest form, point mutation, some changes (transitions) are more likely than others (transversions) so substitution is not random. More complex changes, e.g., additions and delitions, can be contrained by the chromosomal environment, thus again being non-random.

Take that course,Larry. Though I pity the poor instructor that has to put up with you.

Comment #94100

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 4, 2006 7:11 AM (e)

I will carry out my threat to start posting under their names.

You may expect a lawsuit to follow.

That will give you a chance to demonstrate your, uh, legal skills in court.

Dickhead.

Comment #94111

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 4, 2006 7:27 AM (e)

Nothing is “hidden“ — I gave a link and a page number for those who want to see the original text. I only deleted extraneous material. You asked me for a quote that supported my assertion that Jones banned all scientific challenges of evolution theory, and I gave you exactly what you asked for — neither more no less.

Bullshit, Larry. Judge Jones specifically and clearly stated:

With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor
do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.

To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not
be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific
propositions.

It is RELIGIOUS criticism of ID that is being banned. Rightfully so. It’s illegal to teach religion in public school science classrooms.

The cunning Judge Jones gave the false impression of sticking to the subject of the lawsuit by mentioning only ID in the official “Order“ on page 139 of the Dover opinion while he sneaked a much broader ruling — prohibiting all “disparagement“ and “denigration“ of evolution theory — into the “Conclusion“ section of the opinion.

Bullshit again, Larry. Judge Jones cites the Selman ruling on this matter, whcih specifically states:

The Sticker also has the effect of implicitly bolstering alternative religious theories of origin by suggesting that evolution is a problematic theory even in the field of science. In this regard, the Sticker states, in part, that “evolution is a theory, not a fact, concerning the origin of living things” that should be “approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.” This characterization of evolution might be appropriate in other contexts, such as in an elective course on theories of origin or a religious text. However, the evidence in the record and the testimony from witnesses with science backgrounds, including the co- author of one of the textbooks into which the Sticker was placed and Defendants’ own witness, Dr Stickel, reflect that evolution is more than a theory of origin in the context of science. To the contrary, evolution is the dominant scientific theory of origin accepted by the majority of scientists. While evolution is subject to criticism, particularly with respect to the mechanism by which it occurred, this Sticker misleads students regarding the significance and value of evolution in the scientific community for the benefit of the religious alternatives. By denigrating evolution, the School Board appears to be endorsing the well-known prevailing alternative theory, creationism or variations thereof, even though the Sticker does not specifically reference any alternative theories.

the message communicated to the informed, reasonable observer is that the School Board believes there is some problem peculiar to evolution. In light of the historical opposition to evolution by Christian fundamentalists and creationists in Cobb County and throughout the Nation, the informed, reasonable observer would infer the School Board’s problem with evolution to be that evolution does not acknowledge a creator.

Due to the manner in which the Sticker refers to evolution as a theory, the Sticker also has the effect of undermining evolution education to the benefit of those Cobb County citizens who would prefer that students maintain their religious beliefs regarding the origin of life. As Plaintiffs argue and Dr Miller, the co-author of the science textbook, testified, the use of “theory” in the Sticker plays on the colloquial or popular understanding of the term and suggests to the informed, reasonable observer that evolution is only a highly questionable “opinion” or a “hunch “. The Sticker thus has a great potential to prompt confusion among the students. While there may be an educational benefit to students spending time learning the general difference between a theory and a fact as a scientific matter, teachers have less time to teach the substance of evolution. Thus, although evolution is required to be taught in Cobb County classrooms as a technical matter, distracting tangential issues effectively dilute evolution instruction to the benefit of the anti- evolutionists who are motivated to advance their religious beliefs.

Defendants persuasively argue that the Sticker in this case does not explicitly reference any alternative theory of origin, religious or otherwise. Nor does the Sticker explicitly urge students to consider alternative theories of origin or remind them that they have the right to maintain their home teachings regarding the origin of fife. Nevertheless, the Sticker here disavows the endorsement of evolution, a scientific theory, and contains an implicit religious message advanced by Christian fundamentalists and creationists, which is discernible after one considers the historical context of the statement that evolution is a theory and not a fact. The informed, reasonable observer is deemed aware of this historical context.

So despite Larry’s yammering (let me guess, Larry – you never read the Selman decision either, right?), NO scientific criticism of evolution are banned. What is banned, rightly, are religiously motivated attacks on evolution for the purpose of propping uyp a religious belief in a creator (or designer, or whatever else they want to call it).

Comment #94117

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on April 4, 2006 7:39 AM (e)

Larry le pissoir wrote:

Commenters here who continue to ask that I be banned or deleted will run the risk that I will carry out my threat to start posting under their names. That way some of their posts may be accidentally deleted along with mine.

Calls for bans and deletions on PT show the same pro-censorship mentality as the calls for bans on scientific challenges to evolution theory.

As for the PT staff, I say again — the PT staff should either stop persecuting anti-Darwinist commenters or turn in PT‘s Scientific American magazine web award.

Larry, you are posting in violation of the forum rules That makes what you’re doing at minimal unethical, rude, and stupid; and at maximum malicious and inane.

You post in violation of the rules, you threaten more violations of both the rules and of intelligent behavior.

Why shouldn’t people threaten to remove you? If you were performing these childish antics in an actual court room, they’d hold you in contempt.

You’d know that if you actually knew anything about law, science, or morality.

But apparently you don’t.

Comment #94122

Posted by PZ Myers on April 4, 2006 7:49 AM (e)

Goodbye, Larry. Further posts by you on this thread will be disemvoweled.

Comment #94238

Posted by on April 4, 2006 12:45 PM (e)

Comment #94100 posted by ‘Rev Dr‘ Lenny Flank on April 4, 2006 07:11 AM

“I will carry out my threat to start posting under their names.“

You may expect a lawsuit to follow.

Sht p, Lnny.

[Go away, Larry. PZ.]

Comment #94897

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on April 5, 2006 11:59 AM (e)

Lenny,

Here’s a page describing the result of Larry demonstrating his legal skills in court. Look for “Fafarman” in this.

Comment #95016

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 5, 2006 6:15 PM (e)

Here’s a page describing the result of Larry demonstrating his legal skills in court. Look for “Fafarman” in this.

Yeah, I’ve heard before about his, uh, court filings. And his letters to the editor about Holocaust denial, Confederate apologists, and his “theory of meteors”, whatever THAT might be.

He’s just a crank with delusions of lawyerhood. (shrug) But thankfully, he is now gone. Perhaps offering his, uh, legal expertise to the Discovery Institute.

And if he carries out his threat and posts anything under anyone else’s name, I think the lawyers here should pow-wow and determine what can be done.

(I am of course assuming that any ten year old would instantly be able to tell the difference between a post actually written by me and one written by the many-named one under my name.)

Comment #95019

Posted by Lenny's Pizza Guy on April 5, 2006 6:28 PM (e)

Yours would be the one with the greasy pizza pawprints all over it, naturally.

Whereas Larry’s emails only come with drool.