Action: Push Ohio State Board of Education to Revisit Standards

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Given the recent revelations concerning the political pressure brought to bear upon the Ohio State Board of Education to adopt faulty standards permitting non-science to be taught in science classes, it is time for everyone to take a few minutes out of their busy schedules and do something real.

Write the media in Ohio and make it clear that the next item of business on the SBOE agenda needs to be a return to the uncompromised, science-only standards produced by their standards writing committee, and remove the faulty, anti-science lesson plan adopted under the compromised standards.

Please use the media contacts page to write to the listed Ohio newspapers, and don’t overlook the national media as well.

Ohio has been the example that the Discovery Institute has used ever since late 2002 as the model of what they want in other states. Do we want gamed politics everywhere, just like we had in Ohio? If not, take the time to help take back the process from the anti-science extremists.

And be sure to visit the Ohio Citizens for Science web site for more information.

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No Ball! from dorkinchief on August 21, 2005 12:38 AM

Bill takes to cricket Read More


Desperate measures. Desperate times. I feel for you.

What IS that SMELL on this thread???? It’s like someone just let go with some huge burst of insincere mean-spiritedness; like someone with problems with their intestinal integrity had been gorging on hypocrisy and overt lies!

Oh! It’s “Bill Dembski,” or someone like him!

You’d have thought he wouldn’t chance leaving his own blaugh for worrying someone with a reasonable point or question might stun his zombie faithful.

Dr. Dembski hizzownself, carping.

What an er, honor?

Curious (as if this wasn’t a hit-and-run): What about this seems desperate?

I mean, I would think that retaining a high-priced PR firm in an ostensibly “scientific”controversy might seem “desperate” to a lot of people, whereas grass-roots rabble rousing of the sort encouraged here is about as costly or risky (surely a maneuver you identify as “desperate” has an associated cost?) as a bake sale.

Do they have those at your church, Dr. Dembski?

Golly, I would have thought that it was a pretty desperate measure to subvert the independence of members of a state board of education in order to get one’s way. Sorry you don’t see that, Bill.

I’m sorry, but putting Dr. in front of Dembski just seems wrong somehow. Since he’s abandonded everything that represents what that Dr. means, seems he should abandon the title as well.

as an aside, it seems that when Dembski has posted here before, he posted with a different moniker, correct?

are we sure this isn’t a sad and pathetic imitator?

No, I’m not at all sure of that.

I put the “Dr.” there as a placeholder for any other epithets that might be imagined or inferred. (like “you slimy piece of…”)

No respect or admiration is to be assumed.

It seemed wrong typing it. I’m sorry too.

Wow! Instant gratification is so COOL!

To have the Isaac Newton of our times respond within minutes to Wes’ post.… if.…..he had been…waiting…for it…

To have Dr Dembski take time out of his busy schedule & use his own name to try to intimidate Panda’s Thumb readers out of writing to a handful of Ohio newspapers…

How exceedingly sweet to know he cares!

Desperate times indeed…

Keep those cards & letters coming. :-)

To be fair, it *was* 90-odd minutes between post time and Bill’s comment entry. RSS technology helps.

Comment #44161

Posted by Bill Dembski on August 20, 2005 08:33 PM (e) (s)

Desperate measures. Desperate times. I feel for you.

Oh, you know us, Bill. Waterloo here, Waterloo there, Waterloo all over the place. Evolutionary biologists now exist in a state of Waterloo 24/7. And it’s been that way for at least a decade, thanks to your books. You truly are the Isaac Newton of Information Theory. In fact, I might go to the 2005 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory next month in Australia just to see you give the keynote speech.

Wow, this looks like a good article. Haven’t read it yet, but the NYT is the best newspaper in the world, so I expect good things here.[…]gewanted=all

Can’t put it on the Bathroom Wall, and there’s no place for Suggested Links, so here we are.

Bill Dembski Wrote:

Desperate measures. Desperate times. I feel for you.

Behold the scribble of apparatchik trash.


From the Wikipedia entry about the infamous Trofim Lysenko:

Lysenko’s “science” was practically nonexistent. When he had any clearly formed theories, they were generally a mismash of Lamarckism and various confused forms of Darwinism; the majority of Lysenko’s work consisted of “practical directions” for agriculture, such as cooling grain before it was planted. Lysenko’s primary procedure was a mixture of so-called “vernalization” (by which Lysenko generally meant anything he did to plant seeds and tubers) as well as hybridization. During one period, for example, he picked a spring wheat with a short “stage of vernalization” but a long “light stage,” which he crossed with another variety of wheat with a long “stage of vernalization” and a short “light stage.” He did not explain what was meant by these stages. Lysenko then concluded on the basis of his stage theory that he knew in advance that the cross would produce offspring that would ripen sooner and as such yield more than their parents and thus did not have to test many plants through their generations. Though scientifically unsound on a number of levels, Soviet journalists and agricultural officials were delighted with Lysenko’s claims, as they sped up laboratory work and cheapened it considerably. Lysenko was given his own journal, Vernalization, in 1935, with which he generally bragged about forthcoming successes.

The Soviet press reported great successes from Lysenko’s early initiatives, though in the end they would almost all result in failure. What most caught the Soviet government’s eye with Lysenko was his success at motivating peasants, however. Soviet agriculture was deeply damaged by the mandatory collectivization movement in the early 1930s, and many peasants were at best unenthusiastic and at worst prone to destroy their grain to keep it away from the Soviet government. Lysenko energized the enthusiasm of the peasants, making them feel truly in control and participants in the great Soviet revolutionary experiment. By the late 1920s, the Soviet political bosses had given their support to Lysenko. Lysenko himself spent much time decrying academic scientists and geneticists, claiming that their isolated laboratory work was not helping the Soviet people. In his personality, he was quick to anger and could tolerate no criticism. By 1929 the skeptics of Lysenko were politically censured for only being able to criticize rather than prescribe new solutions. In December 1929, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin gave a famous speech elevating “practice” above “theory”, elevating the judgment of the political bosses above that of the scientists and technical specialists. Though the Soviet government under Stalin gave much more support to genuine agricultural scientists in its early days, after 1935 the balance of power abruptly swung towards Lysenko and his followers.

Lysenko was put in charge of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences of the Soviet Union and made responsible for ending the propagation of “harmful” ideas among Soviet scientists. Lysenko served this purpose faithfully, causing the expulsion, imprisonment, and death of hundreds of scientists and the demise of genetics (a previously flourishing field) throughout the Soviet Union. This period is known as Lysenkoism. Particularly, he bears responsibility for the death of the greatest Soviet biologist, Nikolai Vavilov, at the hands of the NKVD.

Good news article, virtually an exposé fo the Discovery Institute. This out to get a top level spot at PT.

“All ideas go through three stages - first they’re ignored, then they’re attacked, then they’re accepted,” said Jay W. Richards, a philosopher and the institute’s vice president.

The idea that Mr. Richards is a moron seems ripe for acceptance. And he seems to have left out a stage:

All ideas that achieve a sort of uniform acceptance ultimately fall apart whether it’s in the sciences or philosophy or politics after a few people keep knocking away at it,” [Chapman] said.

Damn, my keyboard is floating off my desk again. I’m starting to wonder if the sun will rise in the West again tomorrow.

I’m starting to wonder if the sun will rise in the West again tomorrow.

Or wherever the heck it usually rises – it’s been too long since it rose for me, and my brain has turned to mush (I hope that’s a temporary condition, and not because brains being made of neurons and such isn’t another one of those uniformly accepted ideas that is destined to fall apart).

Desperate times? This coming from a prominent leader of a movement that refuses to use proper scientific channels (i.e. peer review), prefering to bypass them and head straight for the classroom.

You really are a moron aren’t you ‘Bill Dembski.’

Yet another fine rebuttal by Waldo.

“All ideas that achieve a sort of uniform acceptance ultimately fall apart whether it’s in the sciences or philosophy or politics after a few people keep knocking away at it,” [Chapman] said.

Really? Hey, Bruce, does that apply to the idea of Christ’s resurrection, too? Somehow, I don’t expect Bruce to put every idea on the line, just the ones he doesn’t like for personal reasons. It’s disingenuous for people who have a bunch of dogmas that they would be unwilling to revisit to make this argument.

Plus, evolutionary biology is doing just fine at changing to fit the research findings. There are a bunch of proposed theories that have been tossed (bathmism, orthogenesis, aristogenesis, neo-Lamarckism, etc.). The prevalence of natural selection as a process is a perennial favorite topic. (When I asked Richard Dawkins a question about this, he had an interesting response. He said that when one looks at the level of molecular and genomic evolution, almost all evolutionary change looks like genetic drift, but when you look at distinct morphological traits of organisms, almost all of them have some contribution due to natural selection. Modulo my recall from the radio show last fall…) Since the 1960s, endosymbiosis, transposons, and punctuated equilibria have proposed, argued over, and eventually generally accepted. There’s evo devo currently being hashed out. Evolutionary biology is by no means standing still, as the “scientific fundamentalist” canard would assert. That’s a huge case of mass projection that Chapman and comrades have going there.

I hope all those commenters who wasted precious seconds of their lives reacting to the cameo appearance of Rev. Dembski spent at least as much time attending to the business that WAS the focus of this post: contacting the media.

To the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Governor Taft’s office leaned on State Board of Education members in 2002 to accept a political “compromise” in science standards. Political pressure plus the compromised standards brought the SBOE to adopt an antievolution lesson plan in 2004. Now that it is clear that the system was gamed, it is time to revisit the science standards. The SBOE should put adoption of the original, uncompromised, set of science standards on the agenda of its next meeting.

Add the Canton Repository to the list of newspapers:[…]r_editor.php

I also urge primary emphasis on replacing the “Critical Analysis of Evolution” lesson plan that incorporates Wells’s trash science, with a lesson plan that genuinely reflects how scientists actually critically analyze theories and hypotheses. An excellent example was provided to the Board by Ohio Citizens for Science.


steve Wrote:

Oh, you know us, Bill. Waterloo here, Waterloo there, Waterloo all over the place. Evolutionary biologists now exist in a state of Waterloo 24/7. And it’s been that way for at least a decade, thanks to your books.

I thought it was Mike’s book that was evolution’s Waterloo? Or was it Phil’s books, Or Jon’s? Or Steve’s “peer reviewed” paper, the one that the journal apologized for publishing? To paraphrase H. Allen Orr, if the first one didn’t topple evolution, why did we need the rest?

Are all these books and papers classic creationism’s Waterloo too? They sure sound like an admission that all of the mutually contradictory classic creationisms are scientific failures, and that a new “don’t ask, don’t tell” strategy was needed to misrepresent evolution.

Either way, the IDers are winning the sound bite game. And unless we want to help them, which we do with “sneaking in God” complaints, the point that must be driven home is that we advocate a true critical analysis of evolution and they don’t.

Ask, and ye shall receieve. Thanks, RBH for the link.

As for what’s wrong with the “trash science” masquerading as a “critical analysis,” go here.

Submitted the following the the Cincinnati Enquirer:

On behalf of my two nephews and niece in Cincinnati who will be affected by the misguided policies of the Ohio State Board of Education, I am writing to urge a return to the science-only standards produced by their standards writing committee, as opposed to the politically-motivated anti-evolution standards which have been proposed as a poor substitute. Real science comes from scientists and, after years or decades of debate within the scientific community, is taught to school children. The proposed science substitute was created around 1990 as a means of inserting a religiously-motivated agenda into the public schools in circumvention of a supreme court decision, and has been soundly rejected by the scientific community. It does not belong in any science curriculum.

Cut Dembski a break. Long term unemployment can be very depressing.

Gerard Harbison Wrote:

Cut Dembski a break. Long term unemployment can be very depressing.

Er, when exactly are you suggesting that Dembski has experienced long-term unemployment? Through 1996, he was a student, sometimes at two institutions concurrently. From 1996 to 1999, he had a $40K/year fellowship from the DI (Thanks, NYT, for that info!). Then he had the stint at Baylor. Now he’s affiliated with a Baptist seminary in Kentucky. Somewhere in there he got a pot of money from the Templeton Foundation, for which they only got the writing of No Free Lunch and, I think, The Design Revolution. This year, he sent a bill for over $20K to the Thomas More Law Center for the time he spent preparing stuff as an expert witness in the Dover case, although he has been withdrawn.

I doubt that the employment situation has proved depressing. Now, thinking about the probable outcome of the Dover case, that may be getting him down some.

Thanks to Bill Gascoyne for that letter. It’s good for the out-of-state people to mention ties to Ohio, if possible, as Bill has done.

A question for Bill Dembski since he is monitoring this thread.

I was reading the Abstract of Principles and Baptist Faith & Message of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, your new employer. I was wondering in light of the statement under Religious liberty (see below), how you now reconcile your association with the DI and it’s assistance with secular governmental bodies in legislating ID/criticisms of evolution in local school districts?

BAPTIST FAITH & MESSAGE 2000 Religious Liberty “The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends.”

In fact, the whole idea of a Center for Theology and Science also seems contradictory in light of the second statement.

Didn’t Napoleon suffer from depression, too?

Here’s my contribution to all of the Ohio paper’s

I have followed with dismayed interest the state of education in Ohio with reference to the attempts by the “Intelligent Design” (ID) movement to insinuate itself into Ohio’s school curriculum. Even though I live in Virginia, my three grandchildren will be attending school in Ohio in the coming school year. The revelation of Gov Taft’s somewhat heavy-handed influence of the state school board to include such a non-scientific concept of ID in a science class is very upsetting. Children must be taught actual science in a science class. ID has no scientific content, it’s only claim is that some things in nature are too complex to have occurred without the action of some unidentified designer. It points to the alleged “gaps” in the theory of evolution as proof that some “intelligent” agency is responsible. This is commonly known as the “god-in-the-gaps” argument. Neither of these notions have any scientific validity. ID has no testable hypothesis, ID can make no predictions and ID explains nothing. The notion of some supernatural power being involved in the development of life properly belongs in philosophy class or some class dealing with comparative religion, not in a science class. There is precious little time available in schools to teach worthwhile subjects, there is no time to waste on such non-issues such as ID.

My letter to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Please remove evolution from Ohio schools and replace it with Intelligent Design Theory. But don’t stop there. Get rid of physics too. The big bang and the old age of the Earth offends the same people as evolution. Throw out those anatomy textbooks, which are trying to corrupt your children with strange tales of men having the same number of ribs as women. Let residents of other states get solid scientific and technical educations. Your kids don’t need that.

Write to them at

A comment for Dr. Dembski since he is monitoring this thread:

I really enjoyed your contribution to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science, edited by Philip Clayton. Keep up the good work. Continue writing and publishing material out there in the world of print and paper. It’s okay if you don’t commit hours and hours out of evevery day to fight with the kiddies here at PT.

Sorry PT Fellows if that didn’t sound very nice. I don’t mean to say that these guys are actually children or Always act like children, but man do you ever act childish when Dembski shows up to place a comment.

Roll with the punches Bill, and know that many of us know that most everything written about you on PT is over exaggerated hogwash designed to downplay or sidestep your ideas.


Your little quote then “liar” statement have an answer elsewhere on the web go look it up. I believe it is at and I would bet you a hundred dollars that you already read it.

“It” in the above statement refers to my explanation as to why I was back “trolling” at PT. “It” is a perfectly reasonable explanation for my absence and return. The hundred dollar bet (which I guess is a sort of figure of speech, or colloquial phrase,) was that you had already read “it” over on, and were just writing here as if you hadn’t.

How dreadful.

I’ll ask again: are you going to tell us what testible statements and predictions your, uh, “scientific theory of ID” makes, or aren’t you.

Are you going to explain to us how to test them using the scientific method, or aren’t you.

Or are IDers (like you) just lying to us when you claim to have a testible scientific theory of ID?

“It” in the above statement refers to my explanation as to why I was back “trolling” at PT. “It” is a perfectly reasonable explanation for my absence and return.

No, it’s another lie – you still can’t address Elsberry’s essays. Once again, you’re a pathetic troll with nothing of value to say. Unless you can tell me something that ID predicts that I don’t already know, a prediction which, if tested, would yield new knowledge. The theory of evolution, and every other scientific theory, yields numerous predictions of that sort, numerous new items of knowledge, every day. It’s good for something. What is ID good for, and what are you good for?

The hundred dollar bet (which I guess is a sort of figure of speech, or colloquial phrase,)

Yeah, the way “ID is the theory …” is a figure of speech or colloquial phrase. In other words, it’s a lie.

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This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on August 20, 2005 7:02 PM.

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