Kansas story - Calvert not really “legal counsel” for the ID Minority

| 38 Comments

I was interested in the breaking news in Kansas this Thursday (August 11, 2005) that John Calvert, purported legal counsel for the Intelligent Design Minority of the Kansas science standards writing committee, is not actually licensed to practice law in Kansas, and never has been. This was revealed Tuesday at a press conference held by my friends Pedro Irigonegaray, the lawyer (legally licensed) representing mainstream science at the science hearings, and Steve Case, chair of the writing committee. See this story in the Lawrence Journal World.

As Irigonegaray points out in the Lawrence Journal World article, “there are criminal statutes that sanction against false impersonation,” and my understanding is that these statutes apply to any occupation which require a license to practice in the Kansas. Later in the week, Case filed complaints about Calvert’s behavior with the appropriate bodies in both Kansas and Missouri (where Calvert is licensed), and these bodies will make the ultimate determination as to whether Calvert is guilty of ethical or legal misbehavior. See this story in the Lawrence Journal World.

And now this morning, Red State Rabble (Pat Hayes) reports that Calvert says he has done nothing wrong by practicing without a license. RSR writes,

Red State Rabble has obtained a transcript of the KANU segment [Thursday, August 11, the Morning Edition of NPR News on KANU Radio in Lawrence, Kansas] in which Calvert makes an astonishing assertion. Here’s the transcript:

“Pedro Irigonegaray (counsel for the mainstream science at the state science hearings): Not only is the practice of law without a license a violation of ethical guidelines, it is also a crime.

Peter Hancock, for NPR: Calvert admits he’s not licensed in Kansas but says he did nothing wrong by accepting clients in this state and acting as their attorney.

John Calvert: Just because I don’t hold a Kansas bar license does not mean that I can’t come into Kansas and practice law.”

Oh, really?

Now one’s first reaction might be, as Calvert’s was, “so what” – the science hearings weren’t a real trial. But Calvert has been passing himself off as “legal counsel” for the Minority since December, when the state Board and the writing committee were informed by email that the Minority had “appointed John Calvert, Esq. as counsel and as a spokesman for the group.” As a member of the writing committee and as Irigonegaray’s assistant during the hearings, I can certainly say that in both settings I believed that Calvert was actually legal counsel for the Minority. Given that Calvert often made remarks about Constitutional issues on behalf of the Minority, and that many of us believe this issue will ultimately wind up in court, Calvert’s purported status as legal counsel added an air of legitimacy and stature to his position that we now see that he shouldn’t have had.

Calvert has had multiple opportunities, if he had so desired, to correct the impression that he was in fact legally representing the Minority. I believe the evidence will show that he deliberately cultivated the appearance of being legal counsel for the Minority.

It seems to me this is another example of the ID movement having an excessive infatuation with credentials, believing degrees give their movement credibility that it doesn’t necessarily have based on substance. Calvert has continuously made a big deal out of the fact that 23 out of 25 witnesses at the Kansas “science hearings” had Ph.D’s, even though many of those witnesses testified on topics removed from their area of expertise. In fact, one of the objections raised by Steve Case early in the discussions about the hearings last March was that Calvert’s proposal for the format of the hearings had no provisions for assuring the credibility of either the witnesses or the claims and evidence they might bring to the stand. For Calvert (John H. Calvert, Esq.), the appearance of legitimacy and credibility is paramount, even if the substance behind it is lacking.

I realize that a lawyer licensed in one state doesn’t lose his free speech right nor his right to speak about legal issues when he crosses a state boundary. But Calvert has done more than that – it appears that he has encouraged (perhaps deliberately, perhaps through neglect) the Kansas state Board of Education (a governmental agency) and its representatives to believe that he was legal counsel for the Minority. In my opinion, such behavior has been deceptive and unethical. I leave it to others to consider all the evidence and judge whether it has been illegal.

38 Comments

John Calvert: Just because I don’t hold a Kansas bar license does not mean that I can’t come into Kansas and practice law.”

Actually that’s pretty much what the license is for.

“Just because I don’t hold a driver’s license doesn’t mean that I can drive on the public roads.”

I have not passed the California bar. Does that mean I can practice law in California? Wow!

And I have a Ph.D. It’s in math education. That probably makes me an expert on Intelligent Design. And “Darwinism”.

Instant expertise! And no training!

Did not take long in the transcript to find the claim that Calvert is legal counsel:

Before we begin I’d like to make some introductions. Right here to my immediate right is Mr. Pedro Irigonegaray and Mr. Evan Kreider, they’re legal counsel for the mainstream viewpoint. On the other side just facing me is Mr. John Calvert, legal counsel for the members who wrote the Minority Report, and assisting him is Doctor Bill Harris, and also Mr. Edward Sisson. Additionally, a court reporter is recording all of the proceedings and a transcript will be made available to the public at a later date. Thus, to those that are speaking, speak clearly. Also if she has problems, and she’s going to notify us, we’re going to ask you to slow down or to repeat and try not to talk on top of each other. I thank you for your interest in Kansas education. Thank you. Mr. Calvert, attorney for the first witness.

There are many other examples of Calvert being called counsel in the Kansas “science” hearings. Calvert never objected. He certainly was not shy about objecting to things that Irigonegaray said and did.

Lordy. Calvert’s not really a lawyer? Next thing you’ll tell me is, Bill Dembski is not really the Isaac Newton of Information Theory.

I’m not sure this is surprising or important. We knew it was a Kangaroo Court.

kangaroo court n.

1. A mock court set up in violation of established legal procedure. 2. A court characterized by dishonesty or incompetence.

So Calvert not being properly credentialed was par for the course.

LOL. Why do IDists have such difficulties acting ethically?

This is pretty funny; but let’s keep it in perspective. The major issue here is not appropriate legal ethics. It is what happens in schools.

Therefore I suggest that the only relevance of Calvert’s status is … how is it going to play in the media?

John Calvert is not only a lawyer. He is also the founder of Intelligent Design Network, and has a long standing direct interest and involvement in this issue. Given this, and given that the hearings were informal, Calvert is the perfect choice to assist the ID side.

Should he have declared his status more precisely? I have no idea, frankly. That is up to the lawyers to decide. I don’t know the guidelines to which they work. As an amateur onlooker, and taking into account Calvert’s direct personal interest and the informal nature of the hearings, I don’t see any pragmatic problem at all.

I suspect that making too big a deal about this would backfire in the minds of the people we need to be reaching.

I don’t think his lack of local qualification mattered for the role he was playing in that particular farce. However, he still should have been honest about his position not being what was claimed. Just as he should have been honest about his witnesses not being what was claimed. So he’s pretty consistent in his dishonesty. He’s apparently not someone who takes his self-adopted religious responsibility to be dishonest lightly. ;-)

A couple of clarifications in response to the comments.

First, Calvert is a lawyer - that is not at issue. He’s just not licensed to practice in Kansas.

And second, I agree that his role in the hearings did not require a licensed lawyer - that is not the issue, either.

The issue is that the Minority officially declared to the state Board of Education, to the writing committe, and eventually to the public that Calvert had been appointed their “counsel and spokesperson” - that is the issue.

Calvert passed himself off as providing legal representation for the Minority when he was not licensed to do so, and he allowed that impression to persist instead of correcting the mistake when it was mentioned, as it was frequently in the hearings.

I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill about this, but I don’t want to make a molehill out of a mountain, either. The case has been referred to the proper legal institutions via Steve Case’s complaints, and they will decide the severity of the transgressions. if any, based both on further investigation and their understanding of the legal ethical guidelines and the law.

Part of this issue has got to be trust. Calvert is unwilling to correct numerous claims that he was legal counsel when he could have easily done so and when the standards of ethics of his profession clearly require him to do so. Given that how can we trust him?

And also fair is fair: If Irigonegaray was the person who had done this and not Calvert, there would be NO doubt that the incident would become a major line of attack for the ID advocates. Making even minor mistakes into a vast conspiracy against them is their speciality. I don’t think we should go anywhere near the extent to publicizing this as they would if the situation was reversed – after all we, unlike them, have the facts and the Constitution on our side. That is what we need to argue most of all. But our side does need to point this incident out and certainly add it to the large pool of evidence that the hearings were both improper and improperly conducted. And that our opponents have little respect for ethics and for obeying the rules when it does not suit them.

What effect does this have?

Well, it is one more nail in the coffin of the idea that the hearings are a legitimate base of information for any government body to use to make a decision.

Remember, all governmental bodies must have rational bases upon which to make a decision. If there are hearings, those hearings must not be a kangaroo court, but must instead offer opportunities for the decision-makers to get the information they need to form the rational bases to make the decision.

ID advocates have argued that the hearings were solid, fair, etc., etc. We knew the witnesses were unqualified, we knew that the thing was stacked from the first against science. Now we know that all semblances of legality were tossed out the window.

You know, had they noted in the record that Calvert is a Missouri lawyer not licensed to practice in Kansas, it probably would have been acceptable. The issue here is the credibility of the claims of the board – they claim things to be contrary to the way they are. They make that claim now on the simple and easy-to-get-correct issue of Calvert’s license. Can they be trusted on anything else?

It’s the sort of malfeasance that people cluck their tongues over. It might be argued as simple misfeasance, or nonfeasance. It’s not high class felony that deserves long jail time (IMHO). It’s garden-variety larceny from the children and future of Kansas.

And it’s perfectly representative of the entire process. The Kansas board sought high and low to find unqualified witnesses to make a pretense of rebutting the legally-appointed board of scientists and science educators. They set up a faux courtroom loaded with eye-rolling performances of prevarication. They painted it as a “trial,” with evolution to be convicted in absentia.

Now it appears that it was the mind and ethics of the board itself that were absent.

There is no ground left to defend the hearings as a basis to cut evolution out.

Plus, it demonstrates one more time the depths to which ID advocates must stoop in their stealth campaign against America’s children.

Oh, and of course there is this statement from Calvert as reported by the Lawrence newspaper:

But Calvert says he did nothing wrong. Calvert said the four days of hearings, in which anti-evolutionists testified to a three-member committee of the Kansas State Board of Education, was not a court proceeding.

[emphasis mine]

From such confessions do major enterprises in deception start to crumble and tumble down.

Calvert, to cover his tail, confesses it wasn’t a legal process. I’ll wager that, if it is found that a Kansas statute requires a Kansas lawyer to advise Kansas administrative and regulatory agencies, Calvert will argue that the hearings were not even hearings – but more in the nature of a long letter from an out-of-state interested party, with 3-D visual aids.

Fudging credentials is par for the course for the creation/ID community. As news goes, this is a case of ‘dog bites man’.

I find it very sad that people who are associated with the Christian faith, as creationists and ID advocates are, despite claims to the contrary, show so little regard for the truth. In church, I hear the value of personal integrity preached, and committed Christians around me struggle and sacrifice to maintain this integrity.

More than evidence of the objective truth in the Bible, the struggles and actions of Christian friends in college drew me to Christ. Their fearless self-assessment, honest repentance and costly acts to make amends for their failures impressed me. It contrasted sharply with the slippery ethics of non-Christian students I knew. In many respects, it was a level of integrity that I had only seen in the practice of science, but on a painful, personal aspect instead of a detached, professional one.

By exercising flexible ethics, creation/ID supporters do more harm than good to their cause. The transforming power of Christ, the guidance of the indwelling Spirit, the redemptive sacrifice of the crucifixion are all diminished when Christians repeatedly lie in public and do not turn back to the truth in an equally public way.

The deck was stacked by the voters, in electing the KBOE members in the first place. My understanding from previous discussions here is that this “hearing” wasn’t even required, it was simply staged as a PR event (with a predetermined conclusion like any PR event) partly to gin up “evidence” of a genuine scientific controversy, and partly as a CYA exercise when the Board adopted an anti-evolution curriculum. Calvert could have claimed he was from Mars, or from the future, or any other “credentials” the DI felt would best serve PR purposes. So what? Ed Darrell has this one right: it was pure performance art. The participants were actors. “Truth” was determined in straightforward religious fashion - by those who control the forum blessing it as such. Whether it was a good idea will be determined by the next election.

I agree with Flint, but I’ll also point out that Ed Darrell has raised an issue that may become important - even though the hearings were not a legal procedure, they were set up to advise an adminstrative body (in Kansas, in fact, the BOE has self-executing powers and stands apart from the legislature.) It may be that Calvert’s deception will be legally significant because of that.

Daniel Kim Wrote:

More than evidence of the objective truth in the Bible, the struggles and actions of Christian friends in college drew me to Christ. Their fearless self-assessment, honest repentance and costly acts to make amends for their failures impressed me. It contrasted sharply with the slippery ethics of non-Christian students I knew.

I cry foul.

In another recent thread, atheists are being called on to soft-peddle their lack of religion for the good of the evolution-creation debate. This sort of offensive statement is going to encourage defense and counter-offense. Goose, gander.

Fake scientists and fake lawyers. Kanses BOE is having problems with authenticity.

Their fearless self-assessment, honest repentance and costly acts to make amends for their failures impressed me. It contrasted sharply with the slippery ethics of non-Christian students I knew.

Which must be why born-again Christians are way OVER represented, and atheists way UNDER represented, in the prison population.

Aach! I am very sorry for my statement in which I maligned non-Christian acquaintances. That’s not the way I actually meant it to come out.

Thanks, Daniel Kim.

And now I hope the thread can stay on topic - although I think there is a place, even here at PT, for some discussion about these religious issues, this thread isn’t one of them.

Thanks.

Daniel Kim Wrote:

Aach! I am very sorry for my statement in which I maligned non-Christian acquaintances. That’s not the way I actually meant it to come out.

Thank you for that.

Aach! I am very sorry for my statement in which I maligned non-Christian acquaintances. That’s not the way I actually meant it to come out.

It would be better to abandon the thought rather than hide it.

When good ol’ boy lawyers from someplace like Kansas start whining about how only they are entitled to collect fees in their particular neck of the woods, even the stalwart feel their stomachs turn. This is especially true when the whiners have conspicuous streams of sour grape juice running down their chins.

The principles of US Constitutional law are identical from state to state. Hence, when it comes to serving as a legal consultant in matters Constitutional, it should make no difference where in the United States one is licensed to practice law.

If state-of-licensure makes such a difference in Kansas (or anywhere else), then what we obviously have is a case of homeboy attorneys guarding their turf, and their bank balances, with total disregard for professional competence. This holds true even where the homeboys in question have managed to transform their professional self-interest into state law, a transparent kind of self-dealing which lawyers find both easy and irresistable given their rampant infestation of the political process.

Since states have different laws, lawyers in one state can’t automatically practice effectively in another state. In some states, a lawyer who is licensed in another state can be admitted to practice there if they meet the ethical qualifications and have sufficient experience. Additionally, federal courts have other requirements lawyers must meet. Lawyers with a degree who have passed a state bar are not automatically qualified in the “US Constitution” as Neurode apparently thinks.

neurode Wrote:

The principles of US Constitutional law are identical from state to state. Hence, when it comes to serving as a legal consultant in matters Constitutional, it should make no difference where in the United States one is licensed to practice law.

What a sharp legal mind to forget matters of state constitutionality! PT regulars will recall such matters came up in the recent Georgia sticker case, for example.

“What a sharp legal mind to forget matters of state constitutionality! PT regulars will recall such matters came up in the recent Georgia sticker case, for example.”

How very true! But surely, in all his legal acumen, Bayesian Bouffant understands that his trademark sort of crystal clear thinking could lead to dire legal consequences.

For example - and this defies belief! - lawyers practicing in Prarieville, KS are currently permitted to practice in Coyote City, KS. Given the many crucial differences between the charters and town ordinances of these thriving metropolises, this is no doubt causing huge problems. Why, even a high-powered Kansas attorney could find himself staring down the wide double barrels of conflicting legal technicalities in such a dire situation!

Yes, no doubt about it - we’d all better run, not walk, over to the phone and let our district, municipal, township, county, state and federal representatives know that we’re tired of being ripped off by carpetbagging shysters who collect our money - and boy, how they collect our money! - while being guilty of unfamiliarity with the impenetrable technicalities of the diverse statutes in force at our various locations.

By the way, I think we all owe Bayesian a big round of applause for pointing out this fatal defect in our entire legal system, thus possibly saving Truth, Justice and the American Way from a fate worse than (gasp!) “ID Creationism”!

Great work, Bayesian.

I see Neurode has crawled back out from under his rock from the last time he tried to argue law here. What you also fail to note Neurode is that there’s the problem of Calvert misrepresenting himself, which is unethical for anyone in a profession, and his apparent lack of concern for it as well. It should have come up from the start as a matter of full disclosure.

Actually, GCT, I’ve argued here since then (attracting even fewer rational responses than I did the time before).

But moving on to the issue at hand, many people would find your use of the term “unethical” with regard to the behavior of lawyers touchingly idealistic, but ultimately oxymoronic. I was merely trying to make the point that the ethical status of any accusation to the effect that someone has “unethically” violated a statute which lacks an ethical justification of its own is itself questionable.

I know, I know - “This guy took an oath to abide by the rules of his profession”, and so on and so forth. But when it comes right down to it, the accusation which forms the topic of this thread is merely a diversion. What really counts is the content of the case, and this is quite independent of anybody’s legal credentials.

Credentials might make one feel good about himself, and occasionally let others leap to (possibly unjustified) conclusions about his true level of expertise in a given field, but they have nothing to do with content. And in most cases, it pays to keep one’s eye on the meat of the issue rather than the cooks’ clothing.

neurode Wrote:

I know, I know - “This guy took an oath to abide by the rules of his profession”, and so on and so forth. But when it comes right down to it, the accusation which forms the topic of this thread is merely a diversion. What really counts is the content of the case, and this is quite independent of anybody’s legal credentials.

Hmmm, where have I seen this justification before? Oh yeah, it was Paul Nelson standing up for Wm. Dembski after he was caught red-handed in a quote mine. Paul, instead of addressing whether it was right to knowingly quote someone out of context, tried to turn the issue into whether the ID argument was correct or not. You are doing the same thing here. It wasn’t right when Nelson did it, and it aint right for you either.

Besides, the issue is the kangaroo court that was set up by the ID-pushing members of the Kansas BOE. That another deception has occurred in the ranks of those supporting ID is quite relevant.

Whether the rule is unethical or not, Calvert should have known the statutes and should have disclosed the fact that he did not meet the qualifications. That is what was unethical. He could have petitioned to have the rule changed to allow him to participate without violating any ethics, but he chose not to. And, when he is confronted with it, he chose not to face up to it, but to dismiss it as nothing more than triviality. If he represents the ID camp, then that is a sad, sorry representation. Of course, coming from a camp that is known to quote mine and do other unsavory things, it’s not surprising.

Well, I’m not one to favor ID people. Quite the contrary. However, absent something in Kansas law that says you must be a member of the bar of that state to represent a party before hearings of this nature, there is nothing here. (Obviously, if there is such a statute, then all bets are off.)

Calvert can be “legal counsel” to the group, even without a Kansas ticket. The law license is a license to practice before the bar of that state. (As well as other, related business, such as setting up offices, advertising, etc.) It has to do with the relationship between the attorney and the court, not the attorney and the client. That is why he was correct in pointing out that it wasn’t a court proceeding. He couldn’t represent them in a court proceeding, absent being admitted pro hac vice.

Assuming that the ID group solicited Calvert in Missouri, there is nothing ethically or legally improper with his actions. (Here I’m assuming that he made no representation that he was licensed in Kansas, of course.)

I can’t speak for the law in Kansas, not being licensed there myself, but I know that in Texas, administrative hearings are treated like court proceedings for the purpose of licensure. That is, you’d better be a licensed Texas attorney if you want to appear on someone’s behalf before an administrative body, and if you aren’t you’re engaging in the unauthorized practice of law (UPL). And you’d also better be licensed here if you’re giving opinions and advice about Texas law. UPL complaints are generally taken seriously.

A very cursory search turns up several items that may (or may not) be relevant to a hearing or disciplinary action in Kansas.

State ex rel. Stovall v. Martinez, No. 81,119 (Kan. Ct. App. 2000):

Our Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the actions of counseling and advising clients on their legal rights and rendering services requiring knowledge of legal principles to be included within the definition of practicing law.

Kansas Statutes Annotated §77-515:

77-515. Participation and representation.

(a) Any party may participate in the hearing in person or, if the party is a corporation or other artificial person, by a duly authorized representative.

(b) Whether or not participating in person, any party may be represented at the party’s own expense by counsel or, if permitted by law, other representative.

(c) A state agency may require a corporation or other artificial person to participate by counsel.

Kansas Attorney General Opinion 93-100:

You request our opinion regarding who may appear at a hearing before the board of tax appeals. Specifically you inquire whether a county which is a party in a proceeding before the board may authorize the county appraiser or other employee in the appraiser’s office to represent the county or whether the county must be represented by an attorney authorized to practice in this state. Additionally you question whether a non-attorney may represent an individual taxpayer before the board or whether that would constitute the unauthorized practice of law. … [T]he county may participate by a duly authorized representative unless the board requires participation by counsel. … This does not, however, mean that a non-attorney representative, such as an unlicensed county appraiser, may engage in the unauthorized practice of law.

I make no assertion about whether Calvert’s actions were proper or improper. I just think it’s probably dubious to assert that representing parties as an attorney in an administrative hearing does not require admission to the Kansas Bar.

Following on my earlier post, I should point out there are two separate issues here that might subject Calvert to some form of sanction:

1. Is it a violation of Kansas law to represent others in a KSBOE hearing without being licensed as an attorney in Kansas?

2. Is it a violation of Kansas law to hold yourself out as an attorney in a KSBOE hearing when you are not licensed as an attorney in Kansas?

My first post dealt with the first question. With regard to the second question, the following disciplinary rule may (or may not) apply:

RULE 3.9 Advocate in Nonadjudicative Proceedings:

A lawyer representing a client before a legislative or administrative tribunal in a nonadjudicative proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity and shall conform to the provisions of Rules 3.3(a) through (c), 3.4(a) through (c), and 3.5.

The official comment to this rule is instructive:

In representation before bodies such as legislatures, municipal councils, and executive and administrative agencies acting in a rule-making or policy- making capacity, lawyers present facts, formulate issues and advance argument in the matters under consideration. The decision-making body, like a court, should be able to rely on the integrity of the submissions made to it. A lawyer appearing before such a body should deal with the tribunal honestly and in conformity with applicable rules of procedure.

Lawyers have no exclusive right to appear before nonadjudicative bodies, as they do before a court. The requirements of this Rule therefore may subject lawyers to regulations inapplicable to advocates who are not lawyers. However, legislatures and administrative agencies have a right to expect lawyers to deal with them as they deal with courts.

Again, I make no assertion about the propriety of Calvert’s actions, nor should anyone rely on this as an accurate statement of Kansas law.

There is a little twist to this. Calvert was also one of the witnesses in the group representing the minority report. I believe it is a constitutional right to represent oneself or a cause you are a party of.

Sure. Calvert clearly presented himself as a witness, and as such in a different capacity as the role he played with other witnesses.

Also, Morris above writes,

Well, I’m not one to favor ID people. Quite the contrary. However, absent something in Kansas law that says you must be a member of the bar of that state to represent a party before hearings of this nature, there is nothing here. (Obviously, if there is such a statute, then all bets are off.)

Calvert can be “legal counsel” to the group, even without a Kansas ticket. The law license is a license to practice before the bar of that state. (As well as other, related business, such as setting up offices, advertising, etc.) That is why he was correct in pointing out that it wasn’t a court proceeding. He couldn’t represent them in a court proceeding, absent being admitted pro hac vice.

One of the issue involves the status of the state Board and of the hearings - these were official meetings of a subcommittee of the state BOE, which is one of three major governmental bosies in Kansas (the other two being the Legislature and the Courts.) It may be that holding oneself out to be a licensed lawyer in front of a body of this sort is covered by some statute.

Also, I wonder about Morris statement that a license “has to do with the relationship between the attorney and the court, not the attorney and the client.”

In this case, Calvert seems to have told the Minority that he would represent them as legal counsel, and they made that know to the state BOE. Is Morris saying that one can legally misrepresent oneself to others, making those others think they have legal counsel when they do not, and yet not have done anything illegal until they actually come before a court? That doesn’t seem right.

Morris also says that perhaps Calvert made this agreement in Missouri, where he is licensed. Can he do this? - represent a group of Kansans about an issue in Kansas in front of the Kansas state Board, and justify this legally by taking them on as his clients in Missouri?

Sal, maybe you can explain something else. I’m looking at the website for the 2005 IEEE International Symposium for Information Theory. It will be held in Adelaide, Australia. This is The upcoming conference for IT scientists. Now, I was confused when I saw the list of plenary speakers:

* Richard Blahut (Shannon Lecturer) * P. R. Kumar * David MacKay * Benjamin Schumacher * Terry Speed

Isn’t that weird? No William Dembski. The Isaac Newton of Information Theory, not speaking at the big IT conference? That’s strange. Maybe he’s presenting a paper, though. Is Dembski presenting a paper at the conference? Like you say, Darwin should have known Information Theory to study evolution. Dembski is your big supposed Information Theory guru about evolution. So he should be there, right?

I know. He might have a scheduling conflict. You see, the other big thing going on in September for IT scientists is the workshop in New Zealand. Specifically, the IEEE ITSOC Information Theory Workshop 2005 on Coding and Complexity. Coding and complexity, that’s right up Dembski’s alley, if he’s such an expert at this stuff, isn’t that true? Take a look at the topics covered at the workshop:

Algorithmic information theory; channel coding; coded modulation; complexity, information and entropy; complexity measures; convolutional coding; error-correcting codes; information theory and statistics; iterative decoding; LDPC codes; quantum information theory; quantum-theoretical aspects of coding; randomness and pseudo-randomness; relationships between codes and complexity; rate distortion theory; soft-decision decoding; source coding; source-channel coding; spreading sequences and CDMA; turbo codes.

See that? “Algorithmic information Theory”—“information theory and statistics”—“relationships between codes and complexity”—that’s exactly what you think Dembski is such an expert at. So is he going to be teaching those sections of the workshop? Or will they be discussing any of Dembski’s results there? I mean, it can’t be true that international conferences on Information Theory would fail to discuss revolutionary new results in IT. So if they’re not talking about Dembski, why not?

Flint, you have any stats on “born-again Christians” being “way OVER represented” in prisons?

I, for one, am tired of Jews and atheists hammering Christians, conservative or otherwise. We aren’t your cultural punching bags.

And I fail to see what over- or under-representation have to do with anything regarding DI or Darwinism. All it does is betray a fundamental resentment on your part.

Kim apologized, can you? Or is making peace with your brothers not a part of your atheist creed?

Big Bill:

I don’t have stats on the born-again Christians, only a general impression from a variety of reading such as this site and a whole bunch of others like it. Prison seems like a common place to BE “born again”, but I don’t see this psychological event having any measurable influence on recidivism.

However, if you check the post you are responding to, you will (hopefully) notice that this was a reaction to the statement referring to “the slippery ethics of non-Christian students”. And along those lines, here are some statistics specifically calling out atheists. This shows real statistical significance.

As for resentment, yes indeed, I resent know-nothing anti-science forces attempting to pervert the educational process for sectarian purposes. I’m willing to apologize to those Christians (probably the majority) who share my disgust with the extremists; I didn’t mean to hammer them. Creationists, now, deserve all the hammering they can get. And more.

He also said he was a geologist. I’d like to see those credentials!

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This page contains a single entry by Jack Krebs published on August 13, 2005 9:44 PM.

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