Dembski threatens to sue Dover defense

| 48 Comments

(UPDATE: Apparently the dispute has been resolved and Dembski will be paid. See updated post at Post-Darwinist. Links here updated.)

Well, we don’t say this very often on The Thumb, but a hat-tip goes to pro-ID journalist Denyse O’Leary and her Post-Darwinist blog for breaking this story:

Key ID theorist threatens to sue intelligent design supporters in Dover, Pennsylvania case

Recently, this blog learned that ID theorist Bill Dembski is threatening legal action against the Thomas More Law Center for refusing to pay him for over one hundred hours of time he clocked as an expert witness in the Dover intelligent design case. The Center recently dismissed Dembski as an expert witness, in what sounds like a falling out with the mainstream ID community.Denyse O’Leary, Post-Darwinist

O’Leary, further down, says,

I would guess that one reason FTE wanted Dembski to have a lawyer was to advise him when he did not actually have to answer a question that impinges on intellectual property rights.

Anyway, Dembski insisted on a lawyer and Thomas More dismissed him. Was that the only reason, or were there other issues, I wonder … Dembski says that Thomas More is now stalling on paying him for his time which he estimates at 115 hours. So Dembski is now hiring a lawyer to get his fee. Denyse O’Leary, Post-Darwinist

This is the first we Thumb-ites have heard of this development. The only thing I can add is that the hourly rates for each witness were included in the expert reports. All of the ID witnesses were being paid $100/hour for time spent in preparation and testimony, except Dembski, who was being paid $200/hour.

48 Comments

Well, all I can say is that TMLC, having brought Dembski into the case and having dismissed him, appears to be on the hook for the agreed-upon fees. This pro bono work for the Dover Area School District looks to be an expensive proposition.

A helpful note to the Thomas More Law Center and other groups seeking the services of “intelligent design” advocates: evaluate various computers and software packages to identify the fastest copy-and-paste functionality, and then send one to each of them. You’ll likely save yourself hours of billable time in expert fees.

Man, I am on the wrong side, it cost me over $100 to testify at the PA House Subcommittee meeting. I had to give up a days pay (well I only get about $75 for summer orientation, and Monday was a summer orientation day), Gas and parking.

The legislators got a per diem, and I paid for it. How nice.

I geuss TMLF found Dembski to be less then benificial to the survival of their case. So they “Natually Selected” another path as the case evolved! (ouch) :)

From Denyse’s blog: “Discovery Institute, of which Bill Dembski is a fellow, does not support teaching intelligent design theory at the schools level.”

Interesting then, that Bill would be the editor of the successor to “Of Pandas and People”, which Denyse described as “a textbook that introduces intelligent design theory”. That’s not a college-level text.

I enjoyed Denyse’s hyperbolic commentary that schools are being dominated by atheistic philosophies (What? Like physics, math and music?).

All of the ID witnesses were being paid $100/hour for time spent in preparation and testimony, except Dembski, who was being paid $200/hour.

And worth every dime, for our side.

I loved this one from Denyse’s Blog:

Anyone who wants to know what a closed society would feel like and does not wish to move to Iran should check out the “Panda’s Thumb blog.

This is right on par with Argumentum ad Nazium. LMAO

Yes, Poor Denyse is still hurting from her fumble in the endzone.

$200/hour … estimated 115 hours … Dembski’s expecting ~$23,000 for his expert advice?

Um … So, obviously, because of the specified complexity … and, um, irreducibility and stuff … presumption of philosophical naturalism … atheistic Darwinism in the classroom … we need to teach the controversy!

OK, that’s gotta be worth at least five grand, right? To whom should I go for my money?

I could live among these Xians and Co. peacefully, and have both patience and sympathy for their fixation IF they were so obviously dangerous to others. Given any “success” they are necessarily forced to ever wilder, and eventually oppressive (even violent), extremes. Since this nonsense is ALL inside their heads it can never be resolved by their actions upon the world outside them.

“Anyone who wants to know what a closed society would feel like and does not wish to move to Iran should check out the “Panda’s Thumb blog.”

Eh?

Isn’t Iran basically a theocracy that teaches creationism in schools? That’d be us then.…

*sigh*

Did Dembski really say that? From someone who brazenly admits to carefully censor dissenting posts on his web site, that’s quite a bold statement.

Re “in what sounds like a falling out with the mainstream ID community.”

There’s a mainstream ID community? Wouldn’t that presuppose that at least some basic concepts were accepted by a majority of the inhabitants of the “tent”? ;)

Henry

Denyse O’Leary made the Iran statement.

$200/hour … estimated 115 hours … Dembski’s expecting ~$23,000 for his expert advice?

How much does he want for emotional pain and disappointment?

Recently, this blog learned that ID theorist Bill Dembski is threatening legal action against the Thomas More Law Center for refusing to pay him for over one hundred hours of time he clocked as an expert witness in the Dover intelligent design case.

I don’t see why Dembski is surprised. Obviously, since he fails to embrace their ideology, he most not deserve to escape the fires of hell, much less get paid any fee.

Seriously, though, who among us is surprised that a bunch of religious fanatics are too mad to keep their word when faced with someone who dares to disagree with them. I can just imagine the appeal when they loose this case: “This order to pay as we promised infringes on our free exercise of religion. We have a religious duty to keep money out of the hands of this infidel.”

Adrian

Who needs Cable TV when you can get all the “Tamasha” you want reading about these guys. Looks like Bill D was so busy plotting others’ Waterloo that he forgot inspect his fortifications. The DI must be credited with some smarts. They know very well that the moment this exercise in idiocy comes out in the open; and takes on science in a pitched battle it will be routed. But as it happens when reason and knowledge fight dishonesty and ignorance; all that the former have have to do is remain true to their line leaving the other side to make the mistake. That’s exactly what is happening with Bill D and Co. now. Now that the nutters have stepped in Bill D is going to be busy defending his claim to be a “non-materialist” “Scientist”. Why pay somebody thousands when the guy isn’t going to parrot the line you want. Of course DI is going to try hard to see that suit isn’t brought against ID as Rev.Lenny reminds us every time. If ID is declared unteachable as Creationism was the sponsors may pull the plug on this sorry enterprise.

Who owes who? Check Ed’s comment over at O’leary’s.

darwinfinch Wrote:

I could live among these Xians and Co. peacefully, and have both patience and sympathy for their fixation IF they were so obviously dangerous to others. Given any “success” they are necessarily forced to ever wilder, and eventually oppressive (even violent), extremes. Since this nonsense is ALL inside their heads it can never be resolved by their actions upon the world outside them.

I am not sure what I did to deserve this bit of rant.

I see Denyse’s book, “By Design or by Chance” that she touts on her website has won “two Canadian Christian Writing Awards”. How did it fair in scientific circles?

Christians: “yes, we’d like sceince to be like that”

Don’t the Dover Thomas More Law Center people get to use that new liability clause on expert witnesses? If Dembski was down as a scientific expert on ID or even any sort of expert witness, can’t they avoid paying him by demonstrating that he was no such expert, ie not scientific or that there’s no scientific ID theory of which to be an expert, and thus that his testimony wasn’t going to be as advertised by him?

Of course in the latter version of truthfulness they would have scuppered their own case too. :-D Even in the former they would have rent the tent of ID asunder by stating what/who was in and what/who was out. It’s a mighty big and unstable tent those little piggies have put up which only requires one gust of wind (whether from wolf or desert storm god) to blow down.

Hey, what’s with the random Christian-bashing? Don’t you realize that some of the contributors to this blog are Christians? The majority of Christians are not creationists in the sense of favoring special creation of organisms over evolution. The creationists are mostly a subset of evangelicals, which are a subset of protestants, which are a subset of Christians.

If you don’t believe me, listen to evolutionary biologist H. Allen Orr, the bolded part in particular:

In 1999, a document from the Discovery Institute was posted, anonymously, on the Internet. This Wedge Document, as it came to be called, described not only the institute’s long-term goals but its strategies for accomplishing them. The document begins by labelling the idea that human beings are created in the image of God “one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built.” It goes on to decry the catastrophic legacy of Darwin, Marx, and Freud – the alleged fathers of a “materialistic conception of reality” that eventually “infected virtually every area of our culture.” The mission of the Discovery Institute’s scientific wing is then spelled out: “nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies.” It seems fair to conclude that the Discovery Institute has set its sights a bit higher than, say, reconstructing the origins of the bacterial flagellum.

The intelligent-design community is usually far more circumspect in its pronouncements. This is not to say that it eschews discussion of religion; indeed, the intelligent-design literature regularly insists that Darwinism represents a thinly veiled attempt to foist a secular religion – godless materialism – on Western culture. As it happens, the idea that Darwinism is yoked to atheism, though popular, is also wrong. Of the five founding fathers of twentieth-century evolutionary biology – Ronald Fisher, Sewall Wright, J. B. S. Haldane, Ernst Mayr, and Theodosius Dobzhansky – one was a devout Anglican who preached sermons and published articles in church magazines, one a practicing Unitarian, one a dabbler in Eastern mysticism, one an apparent atheist, and one a member of the Russian Orthodox Church and the author of a book on religion and science. Pope John Paul II himself acknowledged, in a 1996 address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, that new research “leads to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis.” Whatever larger conclusions one thinks should follow from Darwinism, the historical fact is that evolution and religion have often coexisted. As the philosopher Michael Ruse observes, “It is simply not the case that people take up evolution in the morning, and become atheists as an encore in the afternoon.”

Biologists aren’t alarmed by intelligent design’s arrival in Dover and elsewhere because they have all sworn allegiance to atheistic materialism; they’re alarmed because intelligent design is junk science.

(H. Allen Orr (2005). “Why intelligent design isn’t.” New Yorker. May 23, 2005. Bold added.)

WRE: “I am not sure what I did to deserve this bit of rant.”

Give a guy a break amd let me rant a bit (it WAS short, after all!)when I feel like it! Like you never ranted? At much greater length?

I shouldn’t giggle, but this reminds me of my days playing SimLife, where I would make wonderful predators that would eventually turn on one another.

Can we hope cannibalism comes next? We know there’s a tendency for IDers to cannibalise for the quotes they like - perhaps their own tasty brains are next?

Why is it that Ken Miller can get along with Richard Dawkins but Bill D can’t get along with the TMLC folks or the CRS/AiG/ICR crowd? Wonder which way ‘experts’like Denyse O’Leary will go - the hard pseudoscience of TMLC or the soft quackery of ID; when the facade crumbles. The Bill Dembski factotums who are monitoring this site need not worry. They are always welcome to return to the scientific fold. A few months of honest to goodness science will do wonders for years of crackpottery. Where else but in science can you find such a big tent? Atheist free market types; religious leftists; evangelicals; mystics; and all the debate there ever can be. Who knows Bill Dembski may even write that book; “Overcoming ID - The Superego Brings Me Back to Science”

Denyse O’Leary made the Iran statement.

I assume she was not being iranic.

People here occasionally wonder how Dembski could be party to terrible arguments like the space aliens one.

$200/hr.

$200 dollars an hour to make up fancy mathematics and posit that God- I mean aliens who were created by God- uhh I mean OTHER aliens that were created by God- whoops I mean OTHER aliens that were created by God- damn I mean…

To state the obvious -

Denyse O’Leary can freely express her opinions at any time on PT, with no fear of negative consequences other than someone disagreeing with her.

The heavily censored sites of Dembski and probably O’Leary herself resemble a “closed society”. The state-mandated religion of Iran resembles what they seek to achieve in the US (and presumably, in Canada, in the case of O’Leary).

But this is common among these people. They recognize (consciously or unconsciously) that they resemble something negative. So they “strike first” by accusing their “opponents” of having some trait which clearly applies to them, and not the “opponents” at all.

Actually Harold, O’Leary is a pretty good sport and I’ve not seen her edit or delete comments that disagree with her on her blog. About the only thing she doesn’t tolerate is naughty words, which is fair enough but you certainly can’t accuse her of stifling negative opinions like Dembski et al do.

Why is it that Ken Miller can get along with Richard Dawkins but Bill D can’t get along with the TMLC folks or the CRS/AiG/ICR crowd?

Because of the way conflict is resolved. In science, conflict is resolved using evidence, investigation, testing. Disagreements suggest experiments focused on the substance of the conflict, which tend to resolve disputes.

In religion, disputes are a matter of doctrine. You are *defined* as wrong if you disagree. There is no evidence or testing involved or even possible; ‘getting along’ depends on balancing how sure you are of your story, with how much you wish to make nice with those who insist on error. Dembski may feel he holds the upperhand, PR-wise, over the TMLC right now.

Nick Matzke Wrote:

Hey, what’s with the random Christian-bashing?

As someone who has not only studied probability, but believes in it, I am deeply offended by your misuse of the word “random”. :p

Disagreement amongst the Intelligent Design Creationists - Teach the Controversy!

Next, Dembski will use the probability of receiving payment as an argument for the veracity of ID.

shiva Wrote:

Why is it that Ken Miller can get along with Richard Dawkins but Bill D can’t get along with the TMLC folks or the CRS/AiG/ICR crowd?

Actually Miller was rather critical of Dawkins in “Finding Darwin’s God.” They would probably love to disagree on even more topics, but the evidence prevents them. “Evolutionists” have no problem advertising their differences, even at the risk of being quoted out of context.

Anti-evolutionists would disagree more too, but they refrain for the opposite reason - to preserve the big tent. Nevertheless, they, particularly the YEC groups, have been objecting to other strategies because they think that their approach is a better way to mislead the public about evolution. And many YECs might even believe what they preach. Unfortunately for all of them, the mutually contradictory creationist accounts are unsupportable, and the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ID approach can only fool the public for so long. The strain of holding up the tent seems to be getting to them.

Hi. I’ve asked this before, but I since lost the address. Could someone tell me the site administrators’ e-mail? Clicking on the Site Admin link doesn’t work with my on-computer mail software. Thanks.

darwinfinch Wrote:

Give a guy a break amd let me rant a bit (it WAS short, after all!)when I feel like it! Like you never ranted? At much greater length?

Sure, I’ve ranted, even at much greater length. But hopefully I’ve mostly been more precise in targetting those rants.

Harq al-Ada Wrote:

Hi. I’ve asked this before, but I since lost the address. Could someone tell me the site administrators’ e-mail? Clicking on the Site Admin link doesn’t work with my on-computer mail software.

Place your mouse cursor over the “Site Admin” link and look at the status bar of your browser. Or view the “Page source” and examine the link directly.

Thanks, Wesley!

Dawkins is rather complimentary regarding Miller in The Ancestors Tale.

There’s a mainstream ID community? Wouldn’t that presuppose that at least some basic concepts were accepted by a majority of the inhabitants of the “tent”? ;)

May God forbid!

What would the backwaters of ID be? What would be the proper term for a crackpot or “dissenting” ID advocate?

Re mainstream ID:

The ones who bypass the scientific process and go straight to book publication and promotional tours because that’s where the money and prestige is would be the slipstream. Though the high flyers blown onto completely the wrong track by their religion might be the jetstream. The ones who are just noise and froth with no genuine ingredients would be the sodastream.

May God forbid!

What would the backwaters of ID be? What would be the proper term for a crackpot or “dissenting” ID advocate?

a “Dumbski”? Just a suggestion.

Gerhard Wrote:

a “Dumbski”? Just a suggestion.

Just for the record, that is not clever beyond measure.

Are people really keeping records of such things? ;)

Henry J Wrote:

Are people really keeping records of such things? ;)

You betcha they are–have a look at the first paragraph in the earlier link.

Jim Wyne Wrote:

Just for the record, that is not clever beyond measure.

Darn, there goes my claim to fame and originality.

And for the record, you are absolutely right.

Well, I for one am glad that Dembski is getting paid. The Smithsonian may have lost a chance to take 16 grands from the DI, but at least Dembski is making sure that the TMLC will have $23,000 less to spend on its right-wing Christian agenda, money that will instead be used on some other quixotic dembskian enterprise, or to upgrade the smokers at his BBQ joint (not to mention a nice chunk going to fill up the Bush budget sinkhole). That’s good news, as far as I am concerned.

Andrea Bottaro Wrote:

not to mention a nice chunk going to fill up the Bush budget sinkhole

Surely that depends on whether Dembski is claiming it as religious activities … ;-)

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on June 25, 2005 1:21 PM.

If You Litigate, They Will Come. was the previous entry in this blog.

Denyse O’Leary and the Revolution 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