More evidence that the Kansas Kangaroo Court didn’t go well for ID

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If anyone needed any more evidence that the scientists’ boycott of the Kansas Kangaroo Court was an excellent idea, and that the Kangaroo Court didn’t go at all well for Intelligent Design Creationists (most of the ID proponents were proved to be straight-up creationists at the hearings) – well, here it is.

William Dembski, in a post entitled “The Vise Strategy: Squeezing the Truth out of Darwinists,” is now fantasizing about “the day when the hearings are not voluntary but involve subpoenas that compel evolutionists to be deposed and interrogated at length on their views.”

As a bonus feature, the post features photos of a stuffed Darwin toy with his head being squished in a vise (see photo, above left). (Let me be the first to pass on the indignant cry of Professor Steve Steve and condemn this flagrant abuse of plush toy rights.)

On the last PT thread where Dembski’s show-trial fantasies were being explored (see “‘Waterloo’ delayed? Again?”), a commenter made a particularly perceptive point which I should pass on: Rule #34 of the Baez Crackpot Index states:

34. 40 points for claiming that when your theory is finally appreciated, present-day science will be seen for the sham it truly is. (30 more points for fantasizing about show trials in which scientists who mocked your theories will be forced to recant.).Baez Crackpot Index, #34

One last thought. Dembski concludes his call for compulsory inquisitions of scientists by writing,

“There are ways for this to happen, and the wheels are in motion (e.g., Congressional hearings over the teaching of biology in federally funded high schools for military kids).”William Dembski, “The Vise Strategy: Squeezing the Truth out of Darwinists

Does anyone else find it ironic that Dembski complains about the Inherit the Wind stereotype of the Scopes Trial, in a post that calls for evolutionists to be dragged before McCarthyist Congressional hearings?

[That loud whoomp sound you just heard was the sudden collapse of the irony meter grid for North America. The self-referential nature of the preceding irony created a positive feedback loop that swept across the grid at the speed of light, knocking out every irony meter in its path in a geometrically-growing catastrophic irony cascade. The denizens of The Panda’s Thumb would like to apologize in advance for any damage caused as a result of this accidental interaction between ID and reality.]

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Four days ago, I posted about Intelligent Design theorist William Dembski's blog post calling for bringing evolutionists before a government panel so the truth could be squeezed out of them (Borrowing a Page From Lysenko, Intelligent Design Theorist De... Read More

Four days ago, I posted about Intelligent Design theorist William Dembski's blog post calling for bringing evolutionists before a government panel so the truth could be squeezed out of them (Borrowing a Page From Lysenko, Intelligent Design Theorist De... Read More

289 Comments

Wedges, Vices, what’s next? Screwdrivers? Or maybe some medieval torture devices and Inquisition fantasies.

Indeed we should subpoenae the evolutionists too! We could have a show trial and require everyone to testify. We could call it something flashy like “Epperson vs. Arkansas”.

-Evil™ Evolutionist

Darwin is cross eyed. This proves his theory is just a theory. Also, crossed eyes are irreducibley complex.

M Behe

I used to think the only people making money off of this were the lawyers. Now apparently it includes the Mattel Toy Company.

I’m sorry, but that’s just far too silly to be taken seriously. I have to assume that he’s just joking. There’s no way he can mean the things he’s saying. He’s second only to Ann Coulter, the greatest living comedian.

Actually the vise is irreducibly complex. But if you remove just one part it can’t catch mice.

Dembski:

“What I propose, then, is a strategy for interrogating the Darwinists to, as it were, squeeze the truth out of them. For a glimpse of what I have in mind, see the examination of Eugenie Scott by Robert George before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.”

Well, I followed his subsequent link to Eugenie Scott’s testimony, and frankly, I don’t know what the heck Dembski’s proposing. Ms. Scott in every way made it clear that ID isn’t real science and shouldn’t be in a science classroom. When pressed on the Metaphysical Philosophies of various individuals she held firm that her opinion on curricula was the same, regardless of those individuals’ religious or non-religious leanings.

What “truth” did Dembski hallucinate was squeezed out of her?

Dembski thinks that his picture of a Darwin doll with its head in a vise was funny enough to print twice in the same entry.

It’s hard to tell what’s more disturbing: the casual sadism itself or the fact that a leader in the ID movement reacts to setbacks by torturing voodoo doll representations of his opponents (might this behavior be rightly called “petulant”, Bill?).

I think this entry might reveal more about Dembski’s character than he realizes.

Big Bill Dembski

There are ways for this to happen, and the wheels are in motion

Oh, Bill, we’re shaking in our boots here.

When will you stop behaving like a hypocritical idiot?

When are going to strip down and stand naked in the street and pray to your deity for edible objects and fresh water to fall into your mouth?

Isn’t that the “logically consistent” way for you to behave, Bill?

Can you tell us, Bill, whether you or your hero Phil Johnson are taking any medication? Was the medicine synthesized and tested by scientists using the scientific method? Or did you simply pray for the knowledge of that medicine to magically appear in your brains?

Can you answer honestly, Bill? Do you really want to throw the scientific method out the window? Have humans outgrown the utility of science, in your opinion?

On a weekly basis you smear science and you smear scientists. You mock the livelihood of your fellow human beings on this planet who work hard to improve the lives of men, women, children and unborn children by contributing to our knowledge of the natural world.

And meanwhile what do you do, Bill? What new facts do you have to share? What have you contributed to our understanding of the planet we inhabit?

Nothing. Put it all together and there’s only conclusion for reasonably people to draw: you;re a sleazy charlatan.

slight technical point:

It might be an idea to host that picture somewhere else. By hotlinking it from uncommondescent.org, you’re leaving yourself wide open for someone to play a dirty trick and switch the image.

Yeah, Genie Scott’s 1998 testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights was superb, and far better than I can imagine almost anyone else doing with the range of complex scientific/religious/legal/political issues involved. Stephen Meyer, who was there, appeared to be flailing just to get a word in edgewise.

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The recent writings of Bill Dembski strongly suggest the following question. Are they handing out PhDs to anyone these days in the US?

PS, for those of you who are slightly worried by what Dembski wants (did I hear someone mention theocracy?), then you are more than welcome to cross the pond and live in the UK. We don’t suffer fools quite as gladly.

lol. *wipes a tear away* thanks for the python reference, bill. couldn’t have said it better myself.

I find python’s brand of intelligent sarcasm never seems to be out of place when talking about IDiots.

cheers

Dembski’s post is not just fantasy, it is factually incorrect in its recounting of the Scopes trial. Dembski says that immediately after Clarence Darrow’s examination of WJ Bryan, Darrow asked the judge to declare Scopes guilty, thereby avoiding examination by Darrow on his own beliefs. Wrong. The trial was adjourned until the next day immediately after Darrow’s examination of Bryan. Darrow never asked the judge to declare his client guilty. He did, in his summary, tell the jury that they must find his client guilty because the court would not allow him to present all of the evidence he wanted to, and because the issue would have to be settled by an appeal to a higher court. This is a substantive difference. Dembski’s use of this incorrect statement must stem either from ignorance or from an intentional misrepresentation of the facts to suit a point.

Serves us scientists right for thinking that “Dumbski” was the height of subtle wit! But I wonder, will the Grand Inquisitor have read the charges?

But seriously, doesn’t Dembski realize that scientific theory is already constantly on trial–in the court of scientific review and discourse? Would he convene a special court of intellectually-challenged ID choirboys to judge science from a theological basis?

I find it entertaining that the first poster on Demsbkis article seems to be SCordova who says:

“They know their theory will not be seen favorably once it is examined by the standards of real science. Phil Johnson was right, we need “Darwin on Trial”. He foreswaw what must be done.”

So, does that mean that courts are actually scientific laboratories? I guess so. That explains where the ID research budget is going.

As an aside, is Dembski substantially correct in his telling of what happened at the Scopes trial?

Honest question from someone with absolutely no axe to grind on any of these issues: I’ve noticed that virtually everything that guys like Dembski say, no matter how apparently trivial (e.g., a silly humor graphic on a blog post) are unanimously hailed as yet further evidence of their idiocy, malice,etc. I’m fully willing to stipulate for purposes of this discussion that there is absolutely zero merit to any of Dembski’s scientific or mathematical claims. But is there any slight possibility, no matter how remote, that everything the man says is not further proof of his stupidity and evil character, but rather that some PTers just sieze on anything he says and spin it in a reflexively negative way? Just asking. The asides about the innocuous little picture on his blog seem a particularly stark example. I know they are tangential to the main point, but that just makes it all the more clearer a case of what I’m asking about.

Thanks for your consideration.

Rudolf Carnap

Does anyone else find it vaguely surreal that someone who is supposedly posting a serious blog and who wishes to be taken seriously from an intellectual point of view would include these odd pictures? I’m seriously starting to wonder about Dembski’s sanity.

mark

Would he convene a special court of intellectually-challenged ID choirboys to judge science from a theological basis?

I think that sort of judging is the job of the “high priests.”

Does anyone else find it vaguely surreal that someone who is supposedly posting a serious blog and who wishes to be taken seriously from an intellectual point of view would include these odd pictures? I’m seriously starting to wonder about Dembski’s sanity.

Perhaps it’s a response to our cute little panda bear, Professor Steve Steve.

The question is: where is the plush Bill Dembksi doll? Young religious extremists everywhere are begging to sleep with one.

I’m glad you folks explained that this was a Darwin Doll, because this lovely plush doll looked like he must be an obscure South Park character, and I could not for the life of me figure why Dembski was trying to drag South Park into this.

Honest question from someone with absolutely no axe to grind on any of these issues: I’ve noticed that virtually everything that guys like Dembski say, no matter how apparently trivial (e.g., a silly humor graphic on a blog post) are unanimously hailed as yet further evidence of their idiocy, malice,etc. I’m fully willing to stipulate for purposes of this discussion that there is absolutely zero merit to any of Dembski’s scientific or mathematical claims. But is there any slight possibility, no matter how remote, that everything the man says is not further proof of his stupidity and evil character, but rather that some PTers just sieze on anything he says and spin it in a reflexively negative way? Just asking.

You know, Mr. Carnap, I have no definite ideas or proof as to what your beliefs are, so if you find this insulting, my apologies–are you planning on following that whopper of a question with asking us if we’ve stopped beating our spouses? Just asking.

Does anyone else find it annoying that crypto-creationists still post to this blog claiming to be completely neutral with regard to ID vs evolution?

Mr. Carnap. Unfortunately, Dr. Dembski has forfeited whatever amount of credibility he originally possessed - a brief review of the incident of the quote from Ward should be sufficient to establish that it is not unreasonable to react the way most posters here react.

When I first read this thread, my initial reaction was that Dembski must be engaging in satire, and that some folks were missing what surely must have been some sort of attempt at humor.

But when I read Dembski’s original post, I had the distinct impression that he was indeed serious – at least at the time when it was written. The recent hearings in Kansas must have really stung him.

It’s kind of sad, in an odd sort of way.

I think that the “Prof. Steve Steve” suggestion could be correct. Dembski wants a hand puppet.

It’s hard to tell what’s more disturbing: the casual sadism itself or the fact that a leader in the ID movement reacts to setbacks by torturing voodoo doll representations of his opponents (might this behavior be rightly called “petulant”, Bill?).

I’d be petulant too, if I’d been embarrassed on a national stage, while my less-sophisticated peers ensured our legal failure.

Mark Paris tells us that Dembski: “… is factually incorrect in its recounting of the Scopes trial… “

Dembski says: “… a little known fact that … “

No wonder it’s so ‘little known’, it was wrong.

I think Carnap asks a pretty good question. Look, ID folks like Dembski are wrong, and theocracy is toxic. We must do everything in our power to resist the cloud of unknowing that threatens our land. Except stoop to their level. If we do a really good job of pointing out how factually wrong ID is, I don’t think we’ll ever have to resort to ridicule the way some of them seem willing to. It’s a luxury of being right that one does not have to act childish.

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that’s the sad thing, it’s only 20% sarcasm, 80% wishful thinking.

Hey, Steve U, the U doesn’t stand for Urquhart, does it?

–Steve Story

Frank Schmidt: I really want to see what Sal has to say. Don’t give him any help. My guess is that he has no f#%&ing idea what it means - just that in his “binary” world, anything that reduces the frequency of any evolution-promoting event is proof that “Darwinism” is completely false.

steve

The U stands for something vaguely German but not Urquhart. But why does Steve Urquhart sound familiar?

Salvador T. Cordova Wrote:

The vise line of questioning will make it evident that what is being promoted is materialist religion, not science, and therefore outside the intended use of precious taxpayer money. And even if the $15,000,000 funds are not cut, the hearings will accomplish the goal of getting the scientist cross examined in a trial setting. If their funding is cut, all the better. It will serve the scientific community well to have that amount of money devoted to real science, like say, steganography research

I’m genuinely confused as to why Sal’s using a pro-evolution blog to pontificate on anti-evolution strategy. Perhaps the reason he’s never answered Lenny’s questions is that he’s too busy posting his Veal Piccata recipe to the PETA discussion board?

Also, I realize I’m probably not the first person to bring this up, but: what is it with the IDists and the simple machines? First they had the “wedge” strategy, now it’s the “vise” strategy. Can the “screw” strategy be far behind?

Dembski hasn’t given Sal permission to answer your questions, Lenny, simple as that..

;)

Well, perhaps the Isaac Newton of Information Theory would care to sdrop by and take a crack at it himself, instead of sending his brainless minions to do his work for him.

But then, I suspect that Dembski doesn’t have the Ping-Pongs for it.

The vise line of questioning will make it evident that what is being promoted is materialist religion, not science, and therefore outside the intended use of precious taxpayer money.

Bring it on, Sal. I enjoy seeign creationist IDers lose yet again, jsut as they have in every Federal court case they haveever been invovled with. (shrug)

Now then, Sal, if you are finished bragging yet again about how you IDers are, uh, going to kick our Darwinist asses (like in Kansas), would you mind answering the simple questions I’ve asked of you? Forget them already? No problem – I am happy to remind you of them again. And again and again and again. Every time you post anything here.

*ahem*

1. What is the scientific theory of intelligent design, and how do we test it using the scientific method?

2. According to this scientific theory of intelligent design, how old is the earth, and did humans descend from apelike primates or did they not?

3. what, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than weather forecasting, accident investigation, or medicine?

4. do you repudiate the extremist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson, and if so, why do you keep taking his money anyway?

steve Wrote:

Hey, Steve U, the U doesn’t stand for Urquhart, does it?

—Steve Story

The “U” stands for “Urkel”

”…Can the “screw” strategy be far behind?”

lol. i think you hit on their “secret” world domination strategy.

Re “Can the “screw” strategy be far behind?”

Depends on whether they think it would give them “lever”age.

Henry

I recall the Proxmire ‘Golden Fleece’ publicity stunts. I don’t think Congress is in any hurry to revisit that era.

Comment #30704

Posted by Steve U. on May 17, 2005 03:35 PM (e) (s)

steve

The U stands for something vaguely German but not Urquhart. But why does Steve Urquhart sound familiar?

I have no idea. He’s not famous. He’s just a Project Steve Steve who used to work for the same research group in polymer physics I used to work for.

STC in 30513 fails to elaborate:

While expression of duplicated genes is minimised, it is not eliminated. Transcription and translation is non-zero and positive for all nucleotide sequences, including random inserts. 10E-5 is also approximately the irreducible minimum relative expression of even actively suppressed (but unmethylated) toxic peptides. Bluntly, non-toxic duplicated genes often get expressed a lot more than that, and total expression is often reduced by reducing expression of the fully functional locus, which would reasonably have more intact promoter sequences. Expression at 10E-5 is a basis for selection of many genes, especially in recombinant work.

Hope this helps

Rustopher.

But does the effigy share DNA with the person it’s supposed to resemble?

I find it interesting that research scientist debunk all things not in their scope of understanding and expertise. I find mostly closed minds and irrate responses to all who questions and inquiries about other avenues and approches to scientific therory. I thought science was the open debate and questioning of what has always been thought of as “THE NORM” I am not surprised to find closed minds after they “THINK” they have solved a scientific theory.

Just out of curiosity Clarence, what is your native language?

A month later, it comes to me:

NOW we see the violence inherent in the system!

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on May 12, 2005 2:32 PM.

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