ID advocates set up Kangaroo Court in Kansas

| 163 Comments | 3 TrackBacks

Apparently, the regular procedures for science standards revisions in Kansas have not been going well for ID advocates. They lost on the science standards committee – the group of Kansas scientists and educators that were appointed to revise Kansas’s science standards.

And they lost in the four public hearings on the science standards that occurred in Kansas during February. At these hearings, it became clear that the only people who favored the 20+ pages of revisions promoted by the Kansas “Intelligent Design Network” were straight-up creationists who want God inserted into biology classes.

Now, at the last minute, they have hatched a plan to put evolution on trial for 10 days, with no standards of evidence, none of the rules found in a normal trial, no rules for what counts as a “scientist” or an “expert”, and no limitation that the “witnesses” be from Kansas. Undoubtedly what is planned is that the Discovery Institute circus of philosophers, lawyers, and a few scientists who’ve never managed to publish original research confirming “intelligent design” will invade Kansas and attempt to give their pseudoscience some thin illusion of respectability.

Unfortunately, I’m not making this up…Read the news story:

Evolution to go on ‘trial’ in Kansas

State plans 10-day hearing on issue

By DAVID KLEPPER

The Kansas City Star

TOPEKA – Kansas’ evolution debate will play out in a 10-day, courtroom-style hearing this spring, with experts from both sides testifying before a school board panel.

On trial is the theory of evolution, and the verdict could go a long way in determining the science curriculum taught in state schools.

Evolution critics want school curriculum to include alternatives, or at least challenges, to the theory.

Hearing dates are not yet set. The public may attend the hearings but will not be allowed to speak.

A three-member Board of Education subcommittee will hold the hearings and report its findings to the full board before members vote on the science standards.

Proponents of the idea of intelligent design say the hearing will give them an opportunity to show the evolution’s weaknesses, and why alternatives to the theory should be taught too.

Intelligent design is the idea that a higher power has directed life’s development.

The controversy over evolution is “the big dog on the porch … the 800-pound gorilla,” said board Chairman Steve Abrams, of Arkansas City, who also leads the subcommittee. Abrams said the hearings could be “useful and enlightening” to everyone in the state.

Topics will include how to teach evolution, its validity as a theory and the definition of science.

But supporters of current standards say the hearings could make Kansas the laughingstock of the nation, much as in 1999, when the board voted to de-emphasize evolution in the state’s curriculum, leaving the decision to teach evolution up to local districts. Supporters also worry that the hearings will favor rhetoric over hard science, especially before a panel that is critical of evolution.

“The perception among many of my colleagues is this is rigged,” said Steve Case, a University of Kansas research scientist who leads the state science curriculum committee. “I have a terrible fear for Kansas that this could be portrayed as a Scopes trial.”

Case was referring to the 1925 trial of Tennessee high school teacher John Scopes, who was charged with breaking the law by teaching evolution.

Case, asked by the committee to find scientists to defend evolution, said he wasn’t sure he could find people who would submit to the hearings.

David Klepper, “Evolution to go on ‘trial’ in Kansas: State plans 10-day hearing on issue.” Kansas City Star, Feb. 24, 2005.

Undoubtedly we will hear more about this in the coming days. Bloggers, keep the following questions in mind:

(1) Who hatched this idea in the first place? Who set up the “rules”? Who is really running the show?

(2) Why was this new, highly irregular procedure tacked onto the normal procedures at the last minute? Was the problem that only creationists supported the Intelligent Design Network revisions at the regular public comment sessions?

(3) Can science be redefined based on a bare majority on a state school board? (The conservatives gained a 6-4 majority in the last election, which is why this is happening now)

(4) Should the real scientific community participate in this show trial at all? Why can’t “intelligent design” follow the route taken by every other idea in the science classrooms – peer-reviewed publishing, acceptance by the scientific community, and finally incorporation into the introductory textbooks? Why is ID forced to “cut in line” via political means?

Stay tuned…

3 TrackBacks

The Panda's Thumb: ID advocates set up Kangaroo Court in Kansas (I may need a seperate Blog category for this sort of stuff). Apparently, the Board of Education of the State of Kansas is set to put the Theory of Evolution "on trial", basically giving p... Read More

The Panda's Thumb: ID advocates set up Kangaroo Court in Kansas (I may need a seperate Blog category for this sort of stuff). Apparently, the Board of Education of the State of Kansas is set to put the Theory of Evolution "on trial", basically giving p... Read More

The Panda's Thumb: ID advocates set up Kangaroo Court in Kansas (I may need a seperate Blog category for this sort of stuff). Apparently, the Board of Education of the State of Kansas is set to put the Theory of Evolution "on trial", basically giving p... Read More

163 Comments

I wonder what would happen if all biologists or even scientists refused to take part in a kangaroo court? Could this be the best way of beating the rigged system? If only one side came, then the school board might either ignore them or adopt a radically pro- ID stance, leading to a challenge in a real court, where backroom deals and pressures may be exposed.

From the KC Star story:

‘John Millam, a software engineer with a doctorate in physics, left work early in Kansas City to come to the hearing at a Topeka hotel. The Mission resident said he doesn’t want the panel studying science standards to veer too far in any direction.

“The scientists say, ‘We’re right.’ The creationists say, ‘We’re right,’ “ Millam said. “Science should be neutral.”’

Um, sir? Science IS neutral…it follows the evidence. And the fact that you’ve divided the “controversy” into “scientists” and “creationists” indicates what should be taught in a public school science class and what should be taught in a Sunday (or Saturday, etc.) school class.

This would be a great forum to expose the scientific vacuity of ID and the theological risks. I wonder if such arguments would be allowed to be expressed. Will the truth prevail? We shall see.

Will the 3-member BoE subcommittee be made up of IDC supporters only? I couldn’t tell from the KC Star story. But if they’re the ones controlling the “trial,” I suppose the hope is that any real scientists who participate will be blindsided by well-practiced, Gish-galloping galoots from the DI.

DI’s biggest problem is that there is essentially no debate in the scientific community as to evolution’s validity. But by bypassing the traditional channels by which academic validity is gained and going right to the public, they’re laying the groundwork to gain the ability to soon say that there IS a debate. Else why all these debates?

Notch raises a good point; the more scientists allow themselves to be engaged in these types of rigged events, the more easy it will be for the John Millams of this world to draw a ‘50/50’ dichotomy and conclude that “neutrality” is the way to go.

Of course, remaining silent has its problems too. But in an event as rigged as the one Kansas is setting up, it might be best to just sit it out. Anyone school board that thinks scientific questions can be decided by a simple majority deserve the embarrassment that will come when no one shows up for its kangaroo court.

According to an even newer story, even the Board of Education may be backing off the Kangaroo Court idea:

Board gets a lesson

Both sides of evolution debate air views

By Barbara Hollingsworth The Capital-Journal

Kansas doesn’t need a modern-day version of the Scopes Monkey Trial.

The chairman of the Kansas State Board of Education and the chairman of a committee revising the state science standards agree on that much. But in a downtown meeting late Wednesday following the last public hearing on the state’s science standards, they couldn’t agree on just what format an informed debate about evolution might take. The meeting also was attended by proponents of intelligent design.

Earlier in the evening, the teaching of evolution also received all of the focus during a public hearing about revisions to the state science standards at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. About 150 people attended the hearing, among them preachers, scientists, college teachers, parents and students speaking about the state’s science standards, which lay out what Kansas students should learn and be tested on.

On one side of Wednesday’s public hearing were those who said science as it is currently taught censors criticism of evolution. On the other side, supporters of the current teaching of evolution said critics wrongly seek to redefine science in favor of religious-based views.

The conservative-dominated state school board also hopes to gather expert differing opinions, and it created a three-member subcommittee earlier this month to hear testimony about evolution. Subcommittee members have discussed having hearings that could resemble a trial in which witnesses would be cross-examined by the opposing side.

At Wednesday’s late meeting, board chairman Steve Abrams, of Arkansas City, said the four public hearings conducted throughout the state have been valuable, but they haven’t provided a forum for experts to debate.

(Barbara Hollingsworth, “Board gets a lessonTopeka Capital-Journal, February 24, 2005.)

That last bit is indicative of how the public hearings went – the IDists didn’t get the support they were looking for.

“I think this goes to the heart of the controversy that I am unaware of any other forum where the public can hear both sides of a discussion and have questions asked that would be relevant to their greater understanding,” he said. “I believe it is important we have greater understanding of this by the public.”

But Steve Case, chairman of the committee revising the standards, questioned how the witnesses would be selected and if they would have expertise in the area they covered. He also said many scientists would feel uncomfortable speaking in a trial format.

Plus, Case said many of his colleagues see the outcome as a forgone conclusion. It is widely expected that the state board will deviate from the science standards written by Case’s committee as board members did in 1999. That year, the board removed references to the age of the Earth and macroevolution, or changes from one species to another.

“That is the perception in the science community: because of the politics, because of the controversy, it is a rigged hearing,” Case said.

Case did agree to help develop a list of topics that could be debated, but he didn’t agree on the format those debates should take and said he doesn’t want to be involved in that process. He suggested the debate be done in written statements. After the meeting, Abrams said he still believes the hearings need to include a spoken, public debate.

Speaking at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, Doug Phenix likened the debate to a tennis coach accusing a baseball coach of not playing baseball by the rules of tennis and teaching about the controversy.

“You can see how absurd this situation is,” said Phenix, a Topeka pastor who has a degree in chemistry. “We have a group of people wanting us to play baseball by the rules of tennis.”

Evolution – the theory that says species change over time responding to environmental and genetic factors – is under attack by intelligent design proponents. Intelligent design is the idea that life is too complicated to have been created by chance happenings and was more likely guided by an intelligent being.

Intelligent design proponents say science is too limited in viewing the world only by natural observations and ruling out the possibility of an intelligent being. But supporters of evolution say that the intelligent design proponents would wrongly redefine science.

While more speakers at the Capitol Plaza spoke in favor of the current standards, many were critical of how evolution is currently taught. Joy Bourdess, of Overland Park, said a controversy clearly exists, and children must be taught about that debate.

“I believe that anything else dumbs down the education process,” she said. “I believe quality education teaches critical thinking skills.”

The science committee revising the state standards has rejected changes that would open evolution to criticism, but at least one speaker recognized that state board members may make a different choice.

“If your good work does not prevail this year, I am certain it will after the 2006 elections,” Lawrence resident Phil Baringer told members of the science committee.

Barbara Hollingsworth can be reached at (785) 295-1285 or [Enable javascript to see this email address.].

(Barbara Hollingsworth, “Board gets a lessonTopeka Capital-Journal, February 24, 2005.)

Is anyone else old enough to remember the 1972 Munich Olympic basketball gold medal game, where the officials re-played the last several seconds over and over again until the Russians could win?

Will the 3-member BoE subcommittee be made up of IDC supporters only?

Yes. The 6-member majority voted on the subcommittee and then voted on whom to place on the committee.

Personally, I think this is a great idea for Kansas. It is going to be so embarrassing that it will backfire on the majority of the board. That is what happened in Georgia, when Kathy Cox stood up and called evolution “a negative buzzword.”

Is it too far out to believe that John H. Marburger III will storm this “trial” à la Al Sharpton on Boston Legal? Cause that would be so cool.

Anyway, I remain optimistic about the kangaroo kourt situation (if it even happens).

Is anyone else old enough to remember the 1972 Munich Olympic basketball gold medal game, where the officials re-played the last several seconds over and over again until the Russians could win?

Good analogy. We should use it more often.

I run into this at work (in a PA public school) all the time. Especially from social studies teachers who teach “BOTH communism and democracy” Can’t you just teach both “theories”??? Sure, I’ll teach the Muslim kids, the Shinto kids, the Buddist kids, Jews, Born Agains, Jehovah’s Witnesses.…. THE VERSION OF CREATION THAT I AM FAMILIAR WITH (I am Catholic). Is that acceptable??? If you want a religious version of the story, buck up and send your kid to a religious school. Every one of the religions above would have a rightful lawsuit against me for indoctrinating their kids wth “my religion”. I have three degrees, two in Biology and one in Education. NONE in theology. i am not qualified to lecture on creationism. A second point, if you do not think evolution is a fact, I do not have the time or patience to deal with you. What you BELIEVE is seperate from what you can PROVE. Also, remember there is a huge difference between kneeling down and bending over.

If the 3-member BoE subcommittee are all creationists, and they get to be the “judges,” how could this “court” be anything other than the marsupial variety? What a farce… what IS the matter with Kansas? (Somebody oughtta write a book!)

What you BELIEVE is seperate from what you can PROVE.

Now ~that’s~ some thin ice for an evolutionist to be skating on, dude.

Applied consistently, that principle would effectively mean having to “teach the controversy” to the science students, no?

FL

See, this is why science needs a field program. Too many people seem to think that the correctness of their ideas will carry them on through: that, as happens in science, truth will out, evidence will convince, and all will be well.

Well, it won’t. For all the glib chuckling at ID, we’re losing ground to them, not gaining it. They (both the ID movement in particular and the anti-SoCaS movement in general) are playing this smart, as if it were a long-term chess game where they are racking up the pieces they need, framing the discussions the ay they want. They are playing politics. They have lawyers on our side. We need lawyers and field advocates for our side. What we are doing isn’t working. People don’t trust us. We are turning people off, in part because the creationists have better “frames” than we do (we have complicated points about scientific philosophy. They have “equal time” “teach to the debate” “liberty” “your faith and dogma” and so forth) The hostility to science is incredible in this modern day, and it’s getting entrenched while we sit on our hands and laugh at the latest goofiness. But while we think it’s goofy, people in these states are seeing it as deadly serious. And even though ID people usually lose these things, they build a massive resivoir of resentment and revolution among ordinary people.

From what I see, too many of us seem to think that just because we can refute their arguments, all is well and good. But we win those battles almost always at the expense of losing the war.

We need more political wings to go right out into these communities and push clear, powerful messages about the importance of clearly delineated science and the values of religious tolerance.

The Hollingsworth article mentions that experts will be cross examined “by the opposing side”. Does anyone have any information about how that will be conducted? Will the panel conduct the cross examinations, any scientist giving testimony for that side, or designated attorneys?

Also, instead of boycotting, what would the effect be of all biologists in the US applying to give evidence. The ID side is going to get evidence from all the scientists who accept ID; why not make it obvious (and on the record) what a small minority of scientists that represents; and how the “fair” format is designed to actively exclude available evidence supporting evolution?

Boiling science down to slogans in the hopes they will be catchier than the ID slogans is a blueprint for failure. Science doesn’t lend itself to catchy slogans.

Even though I am sympathetic with ID, I have little interest in these kinds of proceedings. These disputes are better kept in academia, and to the victor go the graduate students.

What does interest me is the following sentence from Nick Matzke’s initial post:

Undoubtedly what is planned is that the Discovery Institute circus of philosophers, lawyers, and a few scientists who’ve never managed to publish original research confirming “intelligent design”.…

I get the impression that Mr. Matzke believes “circus of medicine-men, ambulance chasers and alchemists” would be equally suitable. I can understand the inclusion of lawyers; no one cares for lawyers? I also understand (but disagree) with your characterization of ID scientists. What puzzles me is that philosophers are heading up the parade.

The charge of “philosophy” (usually meant pejoratively in the sense of “metaphysics) is commonplace on this board. The implication seems to be that philosophical positions are invalid for some reason, or that they don’t measure up to “scientific” ones, perhaps because they cannot be verified or falsified, etc. I would be interested to learn the opinions of the PT community on this score.

My own opinion is that scientists, excepting the exceptional such as Newton, Darwin and Einstein, are little more than data collectors, accountants of natural phenomena. They are, as a rule, ill-equipped to examine their own disciplines critically, or to venture into the more theoretical areas of their fields. They are in need (often desperate need) of philosphers to clean up the mangled mass of concepts they employ.

It isn’t a question of selling the technical science itself: of course that can’t be boiled down into a message. It’s a question of selling values that respect science, and that can be comfortable with what science is all about. That’s the battle we are losing.

If you want to go on pretending that all will be well, that we can get by purely by dint of our righteousness, then you are in for the same surprise that liberals had when they realized in 2004 that there were more conservatives out there than them, and they were way more pissed than liberals had imagined. The SC that will ultimately hear challenges to teaching ID will be one radically changed from the one that last heard such a case, and the ID movement has a far mroe insidious set of legal arguments. You can’t pretend that the SC will protect you forever. At some point, we maybe might want to see if we can maybe appeal to the regular people who are ultimately going to decide what can and cannot be taught in school.

‘John Millam, a software engineer with a doctorate in physics, left work early in Kansas City to come to the hearing at a Topeka hotel. The Mission resident said he doesn’t want the panel studying science standards to veer too far in any direction. “The scientists say, ‘We’re right.’ The creationists say, ‘We’re right,’” Millam said. “Science should be neutral.”’

Well, he would know about that, I’m sure, having written http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanave[…]64/ufos.html (“A Christian and Scientific Perspective on UFOs”), http://www.charismacomputers.com.au[…]ealogies.doc (“The Genesis Genealogies”), and http://www.swordandspirit.com/LIBRA[…]nscience.php (“Christianity and the Origin of Modern Science”). As his brother’s website (http://coe.west.asu.edu/students/sm[…]otosCHP.html) says, “John is active in church activities and enjoys studying how science supports the Bible”.

It might have been nice if the Kansas City Star had pointed out that Mr. Millam isn’t exactly “neutral”.

FL Wrote:

What you BELIEVE is seperate from what you can PROVE.

Now ~that’s~ some thin ice for an evolutionist to be skating on, dude.

Applied consistently, that principle would effectively mean having to “teach the controversy” to the science students, no?

No. Consistent application of this principle would mean not pressuring my Primatology professor to spend a couple of weeks talking about Bigfoot. There’s no scientifically legitimate evidence for Bigfoot’s existence. There’s a reasonable theory to explain Bigfoot sightings (relict Gigantopithecus populations), but no evidence. What Grover Krantz believed was very different than what Grover Krantz could prove. The same, only more so, goes for IDC.

You can’t teach the controversy when there’s no real controversy to teach.

I think the proposed “trial” may be more akin to the Inquisition’s trial of Galileo. There the church fathers “knew” that Galileo was guilty of heresy but for appearances they held a “hearing.” What the ID majority of the Kansas BofE has proposed is juridically no different. The outcome—that is the decision by the board’s majority—is predetermined, and the “trial” is for the sake of appearance only. I think the best course to follow would be to decline to participate on the basis that the entire venture is a farce, but build a case for a suit once the decision is handed down from on high.

On the other hand, if Steve Case and crowd knew the ground rules in advance they might be able to marshal a group of witnesses and counsel that could demolish any ID promoters. But that would depend greatly on the ground rules (which the board majority seems to be making up as it goes along) and who the participants were. In the end, though the entire venture sounds like a serious attempt to cook the books so to speak.

“They are in need (often desperate need) of philosphers to clean up the mangled mass of concepts they employ.”

To some extent, I agree. Philosophers like Daniel Dennet and Peter Singer certainly have taken science and run with it to what I think is some positive end for philosophy. And philosophers of science have indeed contributed some keen insights to the process of science that have hopefully made it more robust and self-skeptical.

But the sort of philosophers I suspect Nick is thinking of are neither of these. Instead, they tend to be in the mold of Tipler: out there people who want to ead all sorts of technical ideas into science without having much of a grasp of the evidence, or even how science works. And I suspect they are going to be much more akin to Phillip Johnson’s lawyerly brand of philosophy than Decarte’s.

I get the impression that Mr. Matzke believes “circus of medicine-men, ambulance chasers and alchemists” would be equally suitable.

They would, since they too have no relevant expertise.

My own opinion is that scientists, excepting the exceptional such as Newton, Darwin and Einstein, are little more than data collectors, accountants of natural phenomena.

Yeah, I guess that explains why the IQ of those with PhD’s in physics clusters somewhere around 170.

They are in need (often desperate need) of philosphers to clean up the mangled mass of concepts they employ.

Yes, you’ve cleaned up the mangled mass of concepts in evolutionary biology with the marvelously simple “goddidit”. What a genius.

But the sort of philosophers I suspect Nick is thinking of are neither of these. Instead, they tend to be in the mold of Tipler: out there people who want to ead all sorts of technical ideas into science without having much of a grasp of the evidence, or even how science works.

Like Mr. Finley, who is “sympathic with ID” and thinks that scientists should consider “supernatural explanations” when natural explanations aren’t “forthcoming”.

Tom Curtis Wrote:

Also, instead of boycotting, what would the effect be of all biologists in the US applying to give evidence. The ID side is going to get evidence from all the scientists who accept ID; why not make it obvious (and on the record) what a small minority of scientists that represents; and how the “fair” format is designed to actively exclude available evidence supporting evolution?

Though it would be an immense undertaking, this may be a more successful strategy because it would prevent the ID folks from falsely exploiting the absence of willing “witnesses for evolution” as a sign of evolution’s lack of scientific support. Perhaps it could be limited to professional scientists from Kansas or scientists with degrees from Kansas colleges and universities. Those that sign on would not necessarily be obligated to testify, since the number of signees would (hopefully) be larger than ten. I see this becoming something like “Project Steve” from the NCSE. “Project Kansas” sounds nice to me. Any other ideas?

Someone should issue a public challenge: Anyone who testifies as an expert must show the laboratory in which she or he does the work that makes him or her an expert. To qualify, they have to demonstrate their work and tell what their hypothesis is, and how they are testing it.

Bring on those ID experts!

Is anyone else old enough to remember the 1972 Munich Olympic basketball gold medal game, where the officials re-played the last several seconds over and over again until the Russians could win?

Well enough to know that’s not what happened. The buzzer sounded just as the Russians in-bounded the ball, but the Russians complained that they had called for a timeout earlier. The officials decided to reset the clock to three seconds. The Russians in-bounded the ball again, and the buzzer immediately sounded – because the clock hadn’t actually been reset. The clock was reset, the Russians in-bounded the ball for the third time, made a spectacular full-court pass and sunk the ball, winning 51-50. As Randy Harvey of the L.A. Times wrote, “They had to reset the clock, so they (the Soviets) got a third chance. The Americans thought that at every turn they had been cheated when, in fact, they probably hadn’t been. But they’ll never acknowledge that.”

The notion of a “Project Kansas” akin to NCSE’s Project Steve offers some potential. I can imagine Steve Case offering a list of biologists, all tenured faculty at Kansas Colleges, including some evangelical institutions, wanting to testity. Like Project Steve, limiting the proposed “witnesses” to tenured biologists from Kansas colleges and universities, but marshalling as many as possible, should bring the numbers into the low 100’s. It would take some effort but, if successful, if offers the potential of putting to rest the false notion that there is a controversy. Such an effort would be particularly effective, if the volunteer witnesses included a number f aculty from evangelical schools. To that end, someone might contact Richard Colling, an evangelical Christian with a PhD in microbiology and chair of the biology department at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois, who has written a book Random Designer arguing for the validity of evolution. Dr. Colling might well know several biology faculty at Kansas evangelical universities who could be contacted.

Jim McCusker Wrote:

If you want a religious version of the story, buck up and send your kid to a religious school.

I just posted on Talk Origins about how such comments bother me. Creationism and ID, without thorough mainstream science rebuttal, don’t belong in religious schools, churches or Sunday schools any more than they do in public schools, because that is tantamount to bearing false witness.

You don’t need a theology degree to lecture on Creationism, just enough knowledge of evolution to effectively misrepresent it. It also helps to have “Gish gallop” debating skills, a Dembskiesque way with baiting and switching definitions, a willingness to cherry pick evidence, pitch a dichotomy that you know is false, and of course, quote mine like the best of them. Oh yeah, and use “Darwinism” whenever possible.

My own opinion is that scientists, excepting the exceptional such as Newton, Darwin and Einstein, are little more than data collectors, accountants of natural phenomena. They are, as a rule, ill-equipped to examine their own disciplines critically, or to venture into the more theoretical areas of their fields.

I suppose if most scientists disagreed with MY religion, I would also hold the opinion that they are (except for the rare newsworthy genius) all bottle washers, floor sweepers, and otherwise uninformed and thoughtless automatons. I wouldn’t even need to know anything at all about science, or be personally acquainted with a single one, to be convinced of this opinion. I would carefully avoid noticing the requirements all of them had to meet, including philosophical matters, to receive their degrees. I would conveniently ignore what a very large number have written of a philosophical nature, since it disagrees with my religion and is therefore not worth noticing. I would assume that without the philosophical background I assume they lack, they are universally unaware of the scientific foundations of the very work they do for a living. And finally, I could address a blog full of scientists and, confident in my boundless ignorance, tell them all that THEY don’t understand science, while (of course) I do.

So statistically speaking, here we have one of the most poorly educated slices of American society opining about the ignorance of one of the best educated. Is it any wonder that the creationist battle centers around education?

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 105, column 2, byte 3298 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 23, column 2, byte 584 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Inspired by Sal, here’s my proposal for an ID anthem:

To the tune of Do You Believe in Magic? (Loving Spoonful, mid-60’s)

Do you believe in magic - in a science class? How the Bible describes how it all came to pass It was magic; natural laws we’re suspending But still this is science, or so we’re pretending I’ll tell you ‘bout the magic and it’ll cloud your minds But you can’t think too hard or the story unwinds

If you believe in magic, don’t bother to choose ‘tween old earth and young earth; we aim to confuse Just go and witness. It may seem like fraud But lying’s a virtue if you’re lying for God Your tongue starts tripping and you can’t seem to find the source or the context of the quotes that you’ve mined

If you believe in magic, come along with me We’ll trash math and science, and do it with glee And maybe, if the rhet’ric is right They’ll jettison Darwin for Genesis Lite And we’ll go preaching, brother, then you’ll find How the Lord breaks the rules of the world He designed

Yeah, do you believe in magic Yeah, believe it’s a battle for the young kids’ souls Believe in the magic of the creo-troll Believe in the magic that can set you free Ohh, talking ‘bout magic

Do you believe like I believe Do you believe in magic Do you believe like I believe Do you believe, believer Do you believe like I believe Do you believe in magic

I’m just a lurker but I just had to say: Russell, That was bee-YOOO-tiful! It took three paper towels to wipe the coffee off of my computer. The best I can do is “Fart in z’eir zhenerahl direction!” Thanks, Gary

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 24, column 63, byte 2960 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Spin it however you like, Sal. There’s a huge difference between “Evolution: a theory in crisis” and “Nature’s Destiny”. The former takes issue with common descent, the latter accepts it. This is not a trivial, moot point with ID’s footsoldiers: the fundamentalists who are agitating the schoolboards.

This face-saving measure:

I still believe it represents one of the most convincing critiques of the assumption that the organic world is continuum that classical Darwinism demands.

rings hollow, because (a) I see no “demands”, even in Origin of Species for the continuum he mentions. A guess, an assumption, perhaps, made in the absence of any specific knowledge of the mechanics of genetics; but there’s nothing fundamental to Darwin’s theory rules out a Gouldian account of discontinuities. And (b) who cares what “classical Darwinism” demands, anyway? We’re arguing about modern biology here.

Salvador T. Cordova Wrote:

Again your questions are misplaced. There is already enough data to destroy Darwinian evolution as a scientific theory. An ID research program could entail finding more evidence against the inadequacy of abiogenesis plus Darwinian evolution as the cause of the main features of life.

Salvador, it sounds like you are trying to prove ID by destroying “Darwinism.” What you fail to take into account is that it’s not either ID or evolution. You’ve set up a false dichotomy. If evolution is not correct, there might be other mechanisms that we don’t know about yet that are correct. It is not enough of a proof for ID to just assert or even to prove that evolution could not have happened.

So, please enlighten us, as the Rev. Dr. has been asking, on what ID theory actually says and what science it is doing. I’d also like to know what predictive powers ID has in your opinion. What does ID predict?

GCT Wrote:

What you fail to take into account is that it’s not either ID or evolution. You’ve set up a false dichotomy

In theory, this is true. In practice, however, what does ID amount to except arguments about the “probability” of evolution? Case in point: probably the most widely read and quoted “ID advocate” is Jonathan Wells. What positive case does he put forward?

For what it is worth, Michael Denton, in an email to me recently, said he really liked my Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis paper which I had sent to him as an attachment even before it was accepted for publication. I differ from Denton in the sense that I do not see evolution as emerging entirely from the nature of life. I believe the pump was thoroughly primed and front-loaded in what were, in all probability, several independent beginnings. Denton has undergone quite a transformation since his first book and I suspect he is not through maturing yet. On one point we are in complete agreement. Darwinism is a monumental failure and will never be patched up.

John A. Davison

…because when you wish for something hard enough, it becomes true. Wish and pray are interchangeable.

Evolution, a phenomenon of the past, is undeniable. Chance never had anything to do with it. Once again, aware of the fact that I command no respect here as on every other forum where I have participated, I do something that is really anathema to the Darwinian mystics. I appeal to authority, in this case the greatest French zoologist of his day and a man of encyclopedic knowledge. In this excerpt he put his finger on the real issues with which we still are confronted:

“Directed by all-powerful selectiom, chance becomes a sort of providence, which, under the cover of atheism, is not named but which is secretly worshipped. We believe that there is no reason for being forced to choose between ‘either randomness or the supernatural,’ a choice into which the advocates of randomness in biology strive vainly to back their opponents. It is neither randomness nor supernatural power, but laws which govern living beings; to determine these laws is the aim and goal of science which should here have the final say.”

“To insist, even with Olympian assurance, that life appeared quite by chance and evolved in this fashion, is an unfounded assumption which I believe to be wrong and not in accordance with the facts.” Pierre Grasse, page 107

With these words Grasse ended Chapter IV, entitled EVOLUTION AND CHANCE.

Now just watch for the knee-jerk responses from the worshippers of the Great God Chance.

John A. Davison

John,

Evolution, a phenomenon of the past, is undeniable.

On what do you base your evidence for this statement? Can you at least give us some examples of what you consider to be evidence.

Then you stated

I command no respect here as on every other forum where I have participated

However, you are now using a circular argument even in regard to yourself. You go on to say, as a way of explaining how you respond to such manifestations of disrespect;

I do something that is really anathema to the Darwinian mystics. I appeal to authority,

So, you quote authority to annoy since we have no respect for you. This is pure self-delusion and I can prove it. Your PEH is nothing but a giant appeal to authority - it is a gargantuan souffle of airy nothingness. So is your PEH simply an attempt to annoy? Apparently not because you point people to it as a for them to understand your arguments. You invariably refuse to explain them here. So, this is what it boils down to; you are quoting yourself as an authority because you aren’t up to defending even your own ideas interactively on this or any other forum. I am sure that any psychologist could have a field day with this pathology. I wonder if it has a name; detached ego syndrome?

This is the ultimate circular argument; people have no respect for your ideas because they are nothing but a resort to authority. They have no respect for you because you behave like an idiot. It seems clear that your real reasons for being here have nothing to do with evolution; this forum is merely a mechanism for you to feed your own perverted ego by succeding at the one thing you seem able to do; annoy people.

Face it John, you are no good either as a scientist or a clear thinker.

You have all the charcteristics of the crank. Have a look here:

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html

Re “or saying that I misspelled “Einstein” in item 8.”

But you did. ;)

Henry

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on February 24, 2005 10:29 AM.

Tangled Bank #22 was the previous entry in this blog.

Answering Diepenbrock’s Challenge is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter