Richard B. Hoppe posted Entry 2248 on April 27, 2006 10:06 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2243

For months and months, right up to February 2006, we in Ohio were told that the “critical analysis of evolution” benchmark and lesson plan wasn’t ID. ID advocates on the Ohio State Board of Education – Michael Cochran and Deborah Owens-Fink – told us that; the author of the “critical analysis” lesson plan, Bryan Leonard, told us that; the DI repeatedly trumpeted “no ID!” on its web site. No ID at all here, folks, we were assured. Perish the thought!

But in a recent Seattle Times article, Bruce Chapman, President of the Discovery Institute, was reported to have said that Ohio’s State Board of Education eliminated intelligent design when it discarded the creationist benchmark and lesson plan in February. According to the story,

Already, he [Chapman] said, an effort in Ohio to include intelligent design in school curricula failed when some state school-board members said the Dover case settled the issue. (Italics added)

“… an effort in Ohio to include intelligent design”. Well, well. Who woulda thunk it!

The DI’s Media Complaints Division took immediate umbrage. Rob Crowther complained that the reporter got it all wrong. Crowther wrote

It isn’t just the theory of intelligent design that Postman has trouble getting straight, it is the facts of what is going on in the public policy debate. He writes that:

“an effort in Ohio to include intelligent design in school curricula failed when some state school-board members said the Dover case settled the issue.”

Notice what Crowther left out in the sentence that he quoted from the story: “Already, he said,…”. The reporter didn’t say it, he reported what Chapman said – the antecedent of “he” in that sentence is Chapman.

And now, the rest of the story …

So I was curious and this morning I telephoned David Postman. chief political reporter for the Seattle Times, who wrote the story. Postman told me that he stands by the story as written, and affirmed to me that he wrote what Chapman said. Crowther is condemning Postman for what Chapman said! ‘Course, from Crowther’s post you’d never know that Postman was reporting Chapman’s remarks. Ellipses must be expensive in Seattle.

Crowther went on

No, Ohio didn’t propose intelligent design. That was NOT the issue in Ohio, as we pointed out repeatedly. The idea that Ohio (or Kansas, or anywhere other than Dover, PA) tried to insert intelligent design into the curriculum is completely false, and it stems from a clever PR scheme by Darwinists such as the NCSE. They repeatedly say that Ohio tried to put intelligent design into science classes, even when they didn’t, and they say it so often enough that it gets repeated in newspapers as if it was a fact.

Crowther apparently forgot that the original motion in the Ohio State Board of Education, made by Deborah Owens-Fink, was to teach a “two model” approach, naming evolution and intelligent design as the two models. Crowther apparently forgot that the “critical analysis of evolution” lesson plan came straight out of Wells’ Icons of Evolution and Of Pandas and People. Crowther apparently forgot that Robert Lattimer, spokesman for the Intelligent Design Network affiliate in Ohio, boasted about packing the writing committee, in the process by-passing the normal appointment procedures, and boasted about getting the phrase “intelligent design” into the benchmarks. There’s lots more that Crowther forgot, much of it covered in previous posts on PT here, here, here, and here, among other posts on PT.

And us Darwinists have “a clever PR scheme”? Sorry, Crowther. Us dogmatic Darwinists don’t have the money to hire PR firms like Creative Response Concepts. The Disco Institute does, though.

RBH

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Comment #98958

Posted by Dan Hocson on April 27, 2006 11:16 PM (e)

I am shocked that the Discovery Institute would use quotes out of context!

Okay, back to watching CSI.

Comment #98964

Posted by Timothy J Scriven on April 28, 2006 12:49 AM (e)

Hehehehe, first they didn’t want us to call ID creationism and now they don’t want us to to call critical analysis ID, is there a pattern here?

Comment #98966

Posted by KiwiInOz on April 28, 2006 1:11 AM (e)

Yes there is a pattern, but it is not very intelligently designed, unless disembling is CSI.

Comment #98995

Posted by Daniel Morgan on April 28, 2006 5:29 AM (e)

Surely ol’ Bobby Crowther wouldn’t be lying spinning a story because they can’t keep their lies facts straight?

I’m sure this is the first time. Right…?

Comment #99017

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 28, 2006 7:24 AM (e)

As it has done several times previously in its history, the fundamentalist anti-evolution movement is responding to a crushing court loss by simply altering the presentation of its religious message to avoid whatever language it was that has just been struck down. When the Epperson case banned religious anti-evolution arguments in schools, creation “science” was born, which presented itself as scientific and *not* religious. When the Supreme Court killed creation “science” because of its reliance on Biblical literalist interpretations of Genesis, “intelligent design theory” was born, and presented itself as science that depended on *no* particular conception of a creator or designer. When the Dover case killed ID because its “alternative design theory” was inherently religious in nature, “teach the controversy” was born, which presented itself solely as “scientific criticism of evolution” and offered *no* “alternative theory” at all. From now on, instead of attempting to push “intelligent design theory” into schools, the Discovery Institute and its supporters are forced to retreat to the much weaker notion of teaching the alleged “scientific problems” with evolution instead. The new strategy drops any mention of “intelligent design” – which, IDers hope, would allow them to do an end run around the Dover decision, just as ID had been intended to do an end run around the Aguillard decision and creation “science” had been intended to do an end run around the Epperson decision. “Teach the controversy” is, in fact, just the latest attempt in a long string of BS and deception. It won’t do any better in court than ID did.

Comment #99027

Posted by Flint on April 28, 2006 7:48 AM (e)

It’s almost impossible NOT to be reminded of Winston Smith waking up one morning to find that the enemy has changed, and recent history must be entirely rewritten. Suddenly everything that happened never happened, everything everyone said was never said. To be a spokesman for the DI, you need to be the kind of person who can look someone straight in the eye, deny they exist, and *believe* it. If a large enough audience is out there that wants to believe it, then this approach works every time. Orwell’s work wasn’t entirely fiction.

Comment #99045

Posted by mark on April 28, 2006 9:01 AM (e)

How dare you use their own words against the poor crea–IDiots! By using their own words, they are made to sound as if they are liars, having no concern for the truth or the higher morality that being anti-evolution confers upon a person.

Comment #99051

Posted by j-Dog on April 28, 2006 9:51 AM (e)

Mr. Hoppe - Maybe you could call Mr. Postman back and explain in more detail the “mis-quotes” (lies) of the DI and ask him to do a follow-up expose, including the DI linkage to the Reconstructionists and their ilk… Might be a Pulitzer in it for the first mainstream reporter to break it nationaly, hint, hint, hint…

Comment #99060

Posted by RBH on April 28, 2006 10:38 AM (e)

J-dog suggested

Mr. Hoppe - Maybe you could call Mr. Postman back and explain in more detail the “mis-quotes” (lies) of the DI and ask him to do a follow-up expose, including the DI linkage to the Reconstructionists and their ilk… Might be a Pulitzer in it for the first mainstream reporter to break it nationaly, hint, hint, hint…

My inference from his comments and tone of voice is that Mr. Postman is quite aware of all that.

RBH

Comment #99063

Posted by Walter Brameld IV on April 28, 2006 10:51 AM (e)

It seems that the end is in sight. They keep sharpening the Wedge when they find that its edge isn’t yet narrow enough to work its way into public education. But surely the ‘just criticize natural selection’ approach is as narrow as it can get before it simply breaks. And to defeat it, all we have to do is insist that, if evolution must be criticized, then the criticisms must come from science itself. Since the creationists don’t publish in the scientific literature, there’s no contest.

Comment #99064

Posted by Just Bob on April 28, 2006 11:03 AM (e)

And every other science should be criticized as well: astronomy, physics, geology, chemistry–everything. And for every one of those, there’s a “scientific” group with “indisputable proof” (or sacred Truth) that their view of the world is correct. YECs alone are ready to take on nearly every branch of modern science, especially when mixed with some of their nuttier minions, like geocentrists, flat-Earthers, Carl Baugh, Kent Hovind, ad nauseum.

Comment #99079

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 28, 2006 12:06 PM (e)

We could not only insist that the criticisms come from science itself, but point out that this is already a part of all sciences. “Critical analysis” or “controversy” is a matter of business, done by experts, and done by _the_ experts. We could also point out that making a second and intrinsically worse arena for discussions that let pseudoscientific and nonsecular agendas in are contraproductive for real science.

Comment #99094

Posted by RBH on April 28, 2006 12:57 PM (e)

Torbjorn wrote

We could not only insist that the criticisms come from science itself, but point out that this is already a part of all sciences. “Critical analysis” or “controversy” is a matter of business, done by experts, and done by _the_ experts.

We did that in Ohio. The response was effectively (though not explicitly) that they don’t want genuine scientific “critical analysis”; they want specific canards drawn from the creationist literature. On request from several Ohio Board members, we prepared a lesson plan incorporating genuine scientific questions in evolutionary biology. It fell into a black hole in the department of Education.

See here for that plan .

RBH

Comment #99146

Posted by Morgan-LynnLamberth on April 28, 2006 4:16 PM (e)

Lennie ,I am so proud o f you. To bad we disagree on theistic evolution .I think that natural selection is the designer ; no mind behind it is necessary.My teutonic verbiage got in the way.I have since been pelluccid ,rather than opaque in my comments.

Comment #99150

Posted by k.e. on April 28, 2006 4:22 PM (e)

RBH
A proposal to test the truth, sucked into a black hole?
How un-Orwellian of you.
Next you will be suggesting an honesty in public administration and other such un-Fundamentally dangerous ideas, why they may even have to make lying legal just to get around it.

Comment #99157

Posted by RBH on April 28, 2006 4:54 PM (e)

For Morgan-LynnLamberth’s info, I deleted two duplicate comments.

RBH

Comment #99162

Posted by steve s on April 28, 2006 5:22 PM (e)

Too bad you left one.

Comment #99165

Posted by steve s on April 28, 2006 5:33 PM (e)

My inference from his comments and tone of voice is that Mr. Postman is quite aware of all that.

Indeed, I thought it was an excellent article, and redundantly posted it at AtBC.

More and more I’m seeing signs that journalists are getting clued into the fact that Intelligent Design is a collection of dishonest and/or crazy creationists.

Comment #99175

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 28, 2006 6:07 PM (e)

But surely the ‘just criticize natural selection’ approach is as narrow as it can get before it simply breaks.

Indeed. As I’ve been saying for a while now, ID/creationism is rapidly running out of options. It tried to argue that creationism was science, and lost. It tried to argue that evolution was religion, and lost. It tried to argue that ID was science and wasn’t creationism, and lost. It tried to argue that “teach the controversy over evolution” was science, wasn’t creationism, and wasn’t ID either, and lost.

What the heck is left?

And to defeat it, all we have to do is insist that, if evolution must be criticized, then the criticisms must come from science itself.

Even worse for them, all of the much-vaunted “scientific criticisms of evolution” they offer, every single one of them without exception, are parroted word-for-word from the same tired old arguments that ID/creationists have been making for 40 years now, which were offered previously as “evidence for creationism” and “evidence for ID”, and which have already been repeatedly tossed out of court.

“Teach the controversy” *IS* nothing but ID/creation “science”, with a brand new name (but the same old arguments). Same arguments. And indeed, same people making them.

It’s why they lost in Ohio. And it’s why they’ll lose everywhere ELSE they try it.

Comment #99177

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 28, 2006 6:10 PM (e)

I think I have a groupie. :)

Send photo, please.

Comment #99179

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 28, 2006 6:17 PM (e)

More and more I’m seeing signs that journalists are getting clued into the fact that Intelligent Design is a collection of dishonest and/or crazy creationists.

I will point out once again that it is the Kansas folks we can thank for this. Until then, the press gave ID a free ride. But the Kansas Kangaroo Kourt, with its dog-and-pony show that presented for public spectacle a Muslim extremist kook, a couple of evasive dishonest YEC’s, an “affirmative-action-for-fundies” lunatic, and a couple of screwball board members who wanted to “pray over” the witness list, showed the press just how nutty IDers really are.

Speaking of which, when do the Kansas Kooks come up for re-election?

Comment #99183

Posted by Leigh Jackson on April 28, 2006 6:28 PM (e)

“Dover is a disaster in a sense, as a public-relations matter” said Bruce Chapman.

And since ID is only creationism in a cheap tuxedo - or just a creationist public relations exercise - then in a sense the game really is over.

Postman’s piece does a good job in demonstrating some unpleasant fallout from Dover for the DI from the religious right. The DI is finding itself under a concerted attack for failing to state unambiguously that its “intelligent designer” is none other than God almighty.

Having led the creationist pack for some while the DI is not enjoying the experience of having their hindquarters snapped at by their fellow, but supposed inferior, running dogs.

Once again: here’s to the judge!

Comment #99187

Posted by steve s on April 28, 2006 6:39 PM (e)

I’ve wondered for a while what the creationists were going to do once ID was obliterated. I thought it wouldn’t do to change their name and try again. Too transparent, too doomed. From the looks of that Seattle Times article it looks like some creationists are recognizing that too. I guessed that they’d come up with a True Christian Science summer school program affiliated with churches and featuring the ID bullcrap, but I don’t think that’s satisfactory. Not enough people go to church. ID was supposed to be this great way to force christianity on the rest of us, not just people who are active in churches.

I think they have no choice but to aim for a constitutional amendment to tear down separation of church and state.

Comment #99188

Posted by steve s on April 28, 2006 6:41 PM (e)

Once again: here’s to the judge!

Indeed. I raise this glass of Bacardi Select to Judge Jones and The Little Creationism That Couldn’t.

*clink*

Comment #99189

Posted by Pizza Woman on April 28, 2006 6:41 PM (e)

Lenny:

I think I have a groupie. :)

Send photo, please.

Now, Lenny, sugah. Why would you want to be giving that nice MorganLynn-Lambeth any sass, when–as of tomorrow night–you’ll be gettin’ yore pizza delivered by little ol’ ME!

No photos necessary. I’ll be there in person.

And don’t forget to double-check yore supply of “Vikin’ Piss”!

Comment #99198

Posted by Leigh Jackson on April 28, 2006 7:03 PM (e)

I think they have no choice but to aim for a constitutional amendment to tear down separation of church and state.

But if they seriously believed that they had half a chance of pulling that off they wouldn’t be playing all these damned stupid games like creation “science” or intelligent design “theory”.

I don’t see a full frontal assault as at all likely. I think they will try to morph themselves again somehow - maybe we will see theistic evolution “science”. I have a hunch, however, that the high water mark of these idiotic games may have been reached with ID, and that the tide may begin a long slow ebb - hopefully into oblivion.

Comment #99199

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 28, 2006 7:08 PM (e)

I think they have no choice but to aim for a constitutional amendment to tear down separation of church and state.

For 20 years now, the fundies have been trying one Constitutional Amendment after another – everything from the “Sanctity of Human Life Amendment” to the “Protection of Marriage Amendment”.

None of them ever got anywhere.

The bottom line is quite simple —– nobody supports the fundie political agenda, except the fundies. They simply have no chance whatsoever of winning their agenda through democratic methods.

Their only hope is to use NON-democratic methods. And if they try that, I submit that we are then justified in using whatever methods become necessary to restore the rule of Constitutional law.

(Note to Bill Dembski — if you report me to the Committee for State Security, make sure to mention that I already have an FBI file. It’ll save them some paperwork.)

Comment #99202

Posted by steve s on April 28, 2006 7:13 PM (e)

To Leigh and Lenny:

Yeah, I don’t think there’s much chance of it working, but what else can they do. I even started an AtBC to brainstorm what you’d do if you were a fundy planning the next move. Nobody had any ideas really.

I do think they have one shot, though. There are now 4 conservative catholics on the supreme court. If they get one more, they can interpret separation of church and state right out of existence. John Paul Stevens is 86…

Comment #99203

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 28, 2006 7:14 PM (e)

I have a hunch, however, that the high water mark of these idiotic games may have been reached with ID

No, the high-water mark was reached with 20 years ago, with creation ‘science’. After all, the creatiokooks actually managed to pass laws (in several states, even) forcing their crap into science classrooms. The IDers were never able to manage that.

Compared to creation ‘science’, ID was an utter abject total failure.

It is not a coincidence, of course, that the creation ‘science’ period was also the high-water mark of fundie influence within state and Federal government. Today, even the Republicrats give the IDers nothing but lip service.

Comment #99205

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 28, 2006 7:25 PM (e)

Yeah, I don’t think there’s much chance of it working, but what else can they do. I even started an AtBC to brainstorm what you’d do if you were a fundy planning the next move. Nobody had any ideas really.

I think they’ll attempt the “Michigian strategy”, and advocate “scientific criticism” of every damn thing they don’t like, from global warming to evolution to endangered species protection. (It helps to counter the argument, pointed out in several different court rulings, that the singling out of evolution indicates a religious motive.) Ultimately, that too will fail, and they’ll be left with nothing more than “OK, then we want you to critically examine EVERYTHING.”

I do think they have one shot, though. There are now 4 conservative catholics on the supreme court.

Catholics and fundies, of course, have never been the best of friends.

If they get one more, they can interpret separation of church and state right out of existence. John Paul Stevens is 86…

There are two problems with this strategy, though.

1. It would provoke open rebellion and utterly destroy any shred of credibility that the US government still possesses, both nationally and internationally. The world would see us as just another Taliban, and treat us accordingly. The corporados who run both the Republicrat Party and the US would not stand for it — such chaos, after all, would be very bad for business.

2. There is no indication whatsoever that anyone on the Supreme Court actually wants this to happen. They’ve had plenty of chances with plenty of other issues – they don’t need to wait for ID/creationism. Indeed, they *had* a previous chance with ID itself – and they refused to take it (they voted to refuse to hear an appeal of the Freiler v Tangapihoa “disclaimer sticker” case).

I think that if the fundies are banking on the Supreme Court, they’re in for a very rude surprise.

The fundies simply don’t have the political power that they did 20-25 years ago. The corporados run things, as they always have, and they don’t want a theocracy. It’s bad for business.

Comment #99212

Posted by RBH on April 28, 2006 8:15 PM (e)

Lenny wrote

I think they’ll attempt the “Michigian strategy”, and advocate “scientific criticism” of every damn thing they don’t like, from global warming to evolution to endangered species protection. (It helps to counter the argument, pointed out in several different court rulings, that the singling out of evolution indicates a religious motive.) Ultimately, that too will fail, and they’ll be left with nothing more than “OK, then we want you to critically examine EVERYTHING.”

That move – “critically analyze everything they don’t like” – has been foreshadowed in remarks by ID pusher Deborah Owens-Fink, who in the February Ohio Board meeting remarked sotto voce that global warming could use critical analysis, too. Unfortunately my digital recorder wasn’t sensitive enough to pick that up.

RBH

Comment #99221

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 28, 2006 9:02 PM (e)

That move — “critically analyze everything they don’t like” — has been foreshadowed in remarks by ID pusher Deborah Owens-Fink, who in the February Ohio Board meeting remarked sotto voce that global warming could use critical analysis, too.

By the way, anyone here who has not yet read Chris Mooney’s “The Republican War on Science” should RUN, not walk, to the nearest bookstore and buy a copy.

No, buy TWO copies, and donate one to your local library.

Comment #99225

Posted by Henry J on April 28, 2006 9:27 PM (e)

Re “Crowther apparently forgot […]”

Tabula Rasa… Tabula Rasa… Tabula Ras…

What was I saying?

Henry

Comment #99231

Posted by Andrew McClure on April 28, 2006 10:20 PM (e)

Why bother with a consitutional amendment when you can just gradually pack the supreme court?

Comment #99234

Posted by Andrew McClure on April 28, 2006 10:26 PM (e)

Wait a minute… it appears I failed to read the entire thread before responding. Whoops.

Comment #99238

Posted by Brian McEnnis on April 28, 2006 11:32 PM (e)

RBH wrote:

That move — “critically analyze everything they don’t like” — has been foreshadowed in remarks by ID pusher Deborah Owens-Fink, who in the February Ohio Board meeting remarked sotto voce that global warming could use critical analysis, too. Unfortunately my digital recorder wasn’t sensitive enough to pick that up.

Your recorder may not have picked up Owens-Fink talking about global warming, but it caught fellow thought-leader Michael Cochran’s pontifications:

I think it’s important to understand that those of us who support critical analysis, and I appreciate the words of Dr Millett, would agree, and if it comes to that, we would either do a benchmark or do something and do it all through the science curriculum. It was never intended as a device to single out evolution and it’s something that we overlooked. And so, I don’t care, I mean if we want to add it , I think Dr Owens Fink has mentioned in the past, add it to global warming, add it to any numbers of things. That would be fine. [Emphasis added]

A transcript of the Ohio Board of Education’s February debate & vote is available here

(Actually, I think that Owens-Fink’s remarks on global warming were at the January meeting.)

Comment #99245

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 29, 2006 1:25 AM (e)

“We did that in Ohio.”

I see. But I was thinking nationally - perhaps there will be a difference when not adressing a group with a preset agenda.

As RBH hints, “critical analysis” may still be pushed. (Though for example Behe now seems to openly state that christian views should take precedence over scientific facts.) It would be nice to prevent that by revealing their pretense of no internal scientific criticism.

Comment #99288

Posted by Leigh Jackson on April 29, 2006 6:07 AM (e)

Thinking aloud about where creationists go now. Could they really try to go down the theistic evolution route? TE is where they filched their ID clothes (cheap tuxedo) from in the first place. The Roman Catholic Church has been claiming the transparent design evident in nature for a long time; Behe pushed the boat out from the shores of RC theology in the direction of “scientific” creationism.

The RCC claims that TE is compatible with ToE. They also claim that God created the human soul in a zappy kind of way once the human body had evolved. Two different orders of miracle, one instantaneous and the other more zzz than zap. Anyway, this is all supposed to be compatible with science.

So is there any scientist anywhere who says that the human soul (the human mind) has not evolved along with the brain? Is there a neuroscientific Behe out there, prepared to go public and say that there are scientific grounds for claiming that the mind, which is clearly an evolved function of an evolved brain, is not the soul?

If so the RCC would be as interested as the American creationist camp. Pure speculation but there would appear to be a natural alliance between the two camps in such a scenario.

Comment #99314

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 29, 2006 10:01 AM (e)

Thinking aloud about where creationists go now. Could they really try to go down the theistic evolution route?

As far as their rhetotic and propaganda, sure they could.

As far as legally pushing that view into classrooms, though, not a chance. It’s flat-out illegal. God is God is God is God, no matter HOW one argues for it.

Of course, the IDers consider the TEers their deadliest enemies, and with good reason.

Comment #99316

Posted by Ron Okimoto on April 29, 2006 10:27 AM (e)

What happened to Leonard?

Did he ever form a legitimate committee?

Did he get his degree?

Did he have University OK to subject his students to what can be construed as mind control false propaganda for his thesis research? Did he fill out the human subject research forms to get permission to use his students as test subjects? What did he put in the applications and forms? Did he require parent permission to experiment on their children? Did he have his lesson plan OK’d? What guidelines did his department have, and what were the limits for what he could subject his students to in the name of educational experimentation?

What is happening to Leonard?

Comment #99335

Posted by Brian McEnnis on April 29, 2006 11:54 AM (e)

Ron Okimoto wrote:

What happened to Leonard?

This much is public knowledge:

Bryan Leonard does not have a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. A “people” search of the OSU website shows no student named Bryan Leonard.

OSU was asked to look into the IRB approval for Leonard’s research. There have been no public statements from Ohio State since then.

That’s all I can say.

Comment #99381

Posted by Ron Okimoto on April 29, 2006 5:44 PM (e)

Even though it may be embarassing to a major University, it has been long enough for some type of resolution in this case.

Comment #99391

Posted by Brian McEnnis on April 29, 2006 8:15 PM (e)

Ron Okimoto wrote:

Even though it may be embarassing to a major University, it has been long enough for some type of resolution in this case.

It is my understanding that OSU considers the case resolved.

Comment #99478

Posted by steve s on April 30, 2006 9:28 AM (e)

An amusing comment on Uncommon Descent re Bryan Leonard:

#3

The church of Darwin will certainly suffer a blow on this one!

Comment by Benjii — July 12, 2005 @ 9:49 am

Ah, those ID predictions.

Comment #99484

Posted by Ron Okimoto on April 30, 2006 10:36 AM (e)

If this is resolution, it sounds like a case for the Thomas More center. It sounds like they made Leonard walk away from his degree if he isn’t listed as a student any longer. I wonder if they offered him the chance to start over and get all his ducks in a row.

Comment #99497

Posted by Anton Mates on April 30, 2006 12:59 PM (e)

It sounds like they made Leonard walk away from his degree if he isn’t listed as a student any longer.

I know nothing about the experimental conduct issue, but the Dean of the Bioscience college told me that he was quite welcome to reschedule his doctoral defense, with a more appropriate committee membership this time. (Which, as I recall, would have included the Dean.) Apparently he passed on that offer.

I understand that for a while Leonard was threatening a lawsuit–you may recall that it was his lawyer that obtained private emails of OSU professors and passed them on to the Creationist contingent of the Ohio School Board–and that’s probably the main reason OSU faculty and administration have been quiet about this. Any that were named in the lawsuit can’t publicly discuss matters pertaining to it. It’s pretty unlikely that Leonard would actually go forward with it–he’d lose horribly–but I have no idea how long that gag order will be in effect.

Comment #99498

Posted by Anton Mates on April 30, 2006 1:01 PM (e)

I would love to see this case actually go to court, though. Maybe the DI can encourage Leonard? They were so indignant concerning this egregious violation of his academic freedom, after all.

Comment #99513

Posted by Ron Okimoto on April 30, 2006 3:52 PM (e)

I don’t know if he would lose horribly. He could sue his thesis advisor and his committee members for leading him or allowing him to run down the garden path to bogousity. Someone could have said stop, someone could have looked at what he was trying to teach and asked some simple questions and tried to verify the material. Leonard was supposed to be a student. He was supposed to have advisors and mentors. Ohio State can’t shirk that responsibility.

Comment #99526

Posted by Anton Mates on April 30, 2006 8:48 PM (e)

Yeah, but as I understand it, he was going to sue the professors who blew the whistle on him, and possibly the university for making him change his committee. AFAIK he had no plans to admit that his “study” was a bad idea in the first place.

Remember, this is the guy who co-wrote the Creationist lesson plan for the Board, and he was teaching ID at the high school level independently of anything to do with OSU. He’s far too intimately involved with the ID agenda to turn on it at this point and pretend to be a naive student even if he wanted to.

Comment #99904

Posted by Shalini on May 4, 2006 8:34 AM (e)

“I am shocked that the Discovery Institute would use quotes out of context!”

They’re just lying for God (er…I meant the Intelligent Designer).

Comment #99938

Posted by RBH on May 4, 2006 4:16 PM (e)

Ron wrote

I don’t know if he would lose horribly. He could sue his thesis advisor and his committee members for leading him or allowing him to run down the garden path to bogousity.

That would entail suing at least two and probably three creationists, since his committee was composed of Needham and DiSilvestro, both publicly self-identified with ID creationism, and his advisor who hastily removed several creationist links from his faculty web site when the Leonard affair blew up.

RBH

Comment #100071

Posted by Ron Okimoto on May 6, 2006 9:05 AM (e)

My assertion that Leonard might have a case would be predicated on the assumption that he was an innocent dupe. It has been established that ID the way that the ID scam artists were pushing it was just a dishonest political ploy, but that doesn’t mean that some people were not fooled by the scam. If Leonard was an unwitting participant and really believed the junk in the ID/creationist scam material, and wasn’t part of the scam group that was using ID as the Wedge, he could have recourse against his committee that should have known better.

If his committee claims that they were also scammed by the ID/creationist propaganda the University would still lose. Incompetence would play into Leonard’s favor. If some or all of the committee members were demonstrated to be part of the ID Wedge creationist scam the University would certainly lose as long as Leonard was an innocent dupe. Not only that, but Leonard was allowed to assemble an improperly organized committee (or worse the committe was chosen for him by his thesis advisor or some other University person). So if his committee pleads incompetence or ignorance he wins even if he can’t prove that they were in on some type of ID scam.

Just because Leonard believed the ID junk doesn’t mean that he wasn’t an innocent dupe. He may really have been ignorant or incompetent enough to not know any better. The University would have to prove that Leonard knew that what he was doing was bogus in order to have a good chance of winning such a suit. Students come to the University to learn, not to be manipulated into doing stupid things.