Still more on the California creationist lawsuit

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Someone named Emma kindly provided a couple of links to PDF files relevant to the California creationist lawsuit. One of the links is to a propaganda piece written by the Association of Christian Schools International, which is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. The second link is to a copy of the actual complaint that has been filed in the case.

The ACSI propaganda flyer is an interesting read, but I’m not going to take the time to criticise it at present. Instead, I’m going to begin by looking at the complaint, which should contain the real meat of the suit. The complaint is over one hundred pages in length, and I have found material that I’d like to comment on very early in the complaint. Since both my time and my tolerance for this type of thing are limited, it will probably take several posts over several days for me to wade through everything. Read More (at The Questionable Authority)

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There is quite an uproar over the Association of Christian Schools International’s complaint against the University of California. In this complaint, the ACSI claims that the UC disqualified several private school students from UC admissions el... Read More

35 Comments

Can someone help me out please? I really don’t want to go to physics grad school. It’s 5 years of hard work. Could someone hook me up with a web-based course on Flying Spaghetti Monsterism? Since Flying Spaghetti Monster is the Alpha and the Omega, the End and the Beginning, all that is and ever shall be, that pretty much covers 8 grad classes and a dissertation. Ergo, California should recognize that I’ve met the requirements, and issue me a Ph.D.

If these creationists actually win, and California can’t discriminate against courses on the basis of content, I’m pretty sure my friend Timmy’s going to get rich by founding Intelligent Design Theorist Timmy’s School For Higher Book Learnin.

A complaint that is over 100 pages in length is obviously nothing more than a propaganda piece. It makes one wonder whether the lawsuit is nothing more than advertising for the ACSI.

“Content discrimination”

That’s a slippery slope if I ever saw one.

A complaint that is over 100 pages in length is obviously nothing more than a propaganda piece. It makes one wonder whether the lawsuit is nothing more than advertising for the ACSI.

Maybe they are just in a race with the Thomas More Law Center to see who can do the most damage to ID in the shortest amount of time?

Kind of like the Dover Dolts, the Kansas Kooks, and Buttars are all racing each other to see who can kill ID in court first?

For some reason that reminds me of an old Spike Jones song which ended

And there they go… It’s toupee going on ahead, long underwear has fallen down behind, and toothpaste is being squeezed out on the rail.

I know, I know, but it’s early in the morning after a long night. :)

RBH

Maybe they are just in a race

An alternative version of the Wacky Races perhaps. I did a spoof of that 3 years ago when the BBC were running their Greatest Britons farce.

For this ID/Creationist version, Prof Pat Pending could be one of those IDists who really is going to come up with a scientific theory of ID or a paper on it any time now honest. Probably one of those with a fake, honorary or irrelevant degree already.

Peter Perfect has to be one of the vacuous ones (doesn’t narrow it down much!) with good hair (and probably no personality).

The Anthill Mob lends itself to being any of the legal groups.

Penelope Pitstop might have to be more of a multi-person entity, eg Kathy Martin and Connie Morris together (though perhaps more Thelma and Louise like - not that I’ve seen enough of the film to judge!).

The Arkansas Chugabug might have to have the president on it - as the bear?

NB Although there’s copyright on the original cartoon, presumably this would all come under “fair use” for parody situations.

PS If anyone else wants to play, here’s my quick reference guide from last time: Car #00 - The Mean Machine = Dick Dastardly and Muttley Car #01 - The Bouldermobile = The Slagg Brothers, Rock and Gravel Car #02 - The Creepy Coupe = Gruesome Twosome Car #03 - The Convert-a-car = Prof. Pat Pending Car #04 - The Crimson Haybailer = The Red Max Car #05 - The Compact Pussycat = Penelope Pitstop Car #06 - The Army Surplus Special = Private Meekley and Sergeant Blast Car #07 - The Bulletproof Bomb = The Anthill Mob (Clyde, Dum Dum, Zippy, Pockets, Snoozy, Softly, and Yak Yak) Car #08 - The Arkansas Chugabug = Luke and Blubber Bear Car #09 - The Turbo Terrific = Peter Perfect Car #10 - The Buzzwagon = Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth

No, I’ve changed my mind a bit about the Arkansas one: it could be Bush and Bludger Blair.

I don’t know which if any of the ID/Creationists would fit the army stereotype best. To hark back to an old false accusation about atheists, have any of them been in foxholes at all?

The meeting where these (and I don’t wish to be other than descriptive in saying this) swollen-egoed, smug, humorless, fanatic Xian nutjobs made the decision to actually spend (someone else’s) money on the dumbest case since “Voo-doo-doo” Dr. Hovind denied the right of the IRS to tax him must have been one for the ages. If these people videotaped the event, they could do the world of comedy a favor and offer copies to the general public. Examples like this, of exactly how dumb, and vain, human beings can be, serve all of us as a warning: there but for the grace of (your chosen deity or abstract concept of fate) go I.

steve Wrote:

Can someone help me out please? I really don’t want to go to physics grad school. It’s 5 years of hard work. Could someone hook me up with a web-based course on Flying Spaghetti Monsterism?

I’ll be Patriot University offers a degree in that. Talk to Kent Hovind about admission procedures.

Creationist complaint Wrote:

Plaintiffs state this complaint against defendants, for viewpoint discrimination and content discrimination by defendants toward Christian school instruction and texts, which violates the constitutional rights of Christian schools and students to freedom of speech, freedom from viewpoint discrimination, freedom of religion and association, freedom from arbitrary governmental discretion, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from hostility toward religion.

Freedom from viewpoint discrimination? Freedom from content discrimination? I must re-read the constitution soon, I seem to have missed these guaranteed freedoms.

Note that the California lawsuit is about full-blown Creationism, not Intelligent Design Creationism, per se. It will still be indirectly embarrassing to the IDC crowd by conflating the two in the media and public perception.

This suit should go down in flames quickly, unless California has the equivalent of a Judge Roy Moore floating about.

Is the high school accredited? Shouldn’t that be a first line of defense?

The majority of the “complaint” appears to be related to History courses not to Science courses. Why should they have the same requirements anyway?

Most of it should be thrown out immediately as irrelevant. Take the history issues to the History department.

Note that the California lawsuit is about full-blown Creationism, not Intelligent Design Creationism, per se.

However, it does deal directly with the “religious discrimination” and “bias” thingie — and a staple ID argument for the past decade has been that evolution is “biased” in favor of “naturalism/materialism”, and “discriminates unfairly” against “non-naturalist/materialist explanations”. I.e., that the big bad scientists won’t accept ID because they are all nothing but godless atheistic heathens.

Alas, the whole “science is biased against my religion” thingie has already been settled by California case law.

Over at Eugene Volokh’s Religion Law Listserv, this has been a very, very hot topic.

The magic words to invite careful court scrutiny are present in the suit. The allegations of religious bias have to be taken seriously.

It would be better for UC had several of these schools used Of Pandas and People as a text, since it is, IMHO, worse than the two cited. But the two cited are bad enough.

Still, it’s a serious suit. No, Wendell Bird and his clients don’t think this is a laughing matter. Let’s hope UC has good lawyers, and those who know how education works.

Martin Luther King said:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

These people don’t even want to be judged by the content of their character - that would be content discrimination!

It’s that conspiracy of the smart and educated again, isn’t it? I’m reminded of the (I hope) apocryphal judge who upheld an employment dispute where the plaintiff didn’t succeed at interview and claimed discrimination on the grounds that the other candidates were better qualified than they. The judge concurred, and said something to the effect that “the mediocre deserve an equal chance in the job market, and should not be unfairly held back due to their lack of skills”.

As has been noted elsewhere, the whole thing is a travesty of ‘political correctness gone mad’, which – oh blow, there goes the new dual-core rad-hardened Irony Meter – is precisely the sort of thing that the Right like to fulminate about when some minority is given a break.

R

Well, if this headline had any basis in fact, it would certainly have a bearing on the lawsuit under discussion:

Evolution is Unconstitutional

about the author of the linked article:

Rudy Takala is sixteen and was homeschooled for nine years; he currently spends his time taking college classes and writing a book about government education.

I’m glad to hear he is taking classes to remedy his obvious ignorance.

since the predominantly atheist belief in evolution has now been defined as a religious matter.

It has? Really?

Well, I guess I should ask, “Has it been defined as such by anyone who doesn’t dribble down the front of their shirt and mumble to themselves on the bus?” That sixteen year old’s article doesn’t say.

I’d like to say that that tangled mess of unsupported assertions and leaps of illogic was simply the product of a young, naive mind, did I not know what fundamentalism could do to a brain.

Nice find, Bayesian.

Since you ask,

there was a recent court decision that a prisoner who wanted to start an atheism club had the same rights as prisoners who belonged to religious clubs. This leads to the odd (and not necessarily correct) interpretation that atheism is a religion. Timmy, excuse me I meant Rudy’s confusion of atheism with evolution is his own.

I don’t want to sidetrack the current discussion; if you’re interested in this sort of issue there are other places to discuss it: Court Says Atheism is a Religion

I’m glad to hear [Takala] is taking classes to remedy his obvious ignorance.

The process clearly hasn’t gotten very far. Though this is a terrifying example of what a 16-YO who’s been homeschooled can turn out like.

At least he spells well. More than I can say for most homeschooled people I’ve known.

since the predominantly atheist belief in evolution has now been defined as a religious matter.

It has? Really?

Well, I guess I should ask, “Has it been defined as such by anyone who doesn’t dribble down the front of their shirt and mumble to themselves on the bus?” That sixteen year old’s article doesn’t say.

I’d like to say that that tangled mess of unsupported assertions and leaps of illogic was simply the product of a young, naive mind, did I not know what fundamentalism could do to a brain.

I’d say its a classic example of a large vocabulary and a sophisticated syntax unleavened by any common sense.

Bayesian Bouffant:  That’s the second story I’ve seen to that decision (the other was WND).  Neither one of them mentions the name of the plaintiff, or any other specifics!  Because of this, I haven’t been able to look up anything on the decision.

I’m sure this is just honest journalistic sloppiness, rather than some attempt to hide any inconvenient facts about the case from people who they’d rather remained “true believers”, hmmm?

Thanks, but that won’t fix the lousy excuses for journalism which are WND and family.org. ;-)

I notice the link keeps moving around. The case number is 04-1914 and it is given as James J. Kaufman v. Gary R. McCaughtry, under opinions, 7th Circuit.

Two quotes from the creationist textbook (quotes from Ed Brayton’s site):

p172 Explaining the earth’s origin and development by looking at the earth is scientifically impossible. Recall that science is the observation of the physical universe. The origin of the physical universe was not observed by human eyes, nor can men go into a laboratory and create a universe to see how our universe might have originated. The beginning of the world and of life and the past changes in them are actually beyond the scope of science. p. 191 A creationist, however, should not feel that science contradicts his faith in God’s Word. Rather than being disproved by science, the Scriptural concept of a young earth is actually verified by science. And to think that the UC system has no respect for this book. Must be liberals or something.

From the Advanced Light Source (ALS) newsletter:

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made his first official visit to Berkeley Lab on August 19, taking a brief tour of the ALS before holding a press conference outdoors with the ALS dome as a backdrop. The Governor was accompanied by Lab Director Steve Chu, UC President Robert Dynes, and UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, all of whom also gave brief remarks at the press conference, which emphasized the importance of scientific research to the California economy

This is just one reason why Arnie has been targeted by the loonie right for defeat in the next election (they refer to him, among others, as a “RINO” – “Republican In Name Only”).

Apparently, Arnie didn’t quite turn out like Ayatollah Ahmanson (who funded most of the recall effort for Arnie) wanted.

Why is the student shooting the messenger? This seems like a case of negligence on the part of the high school. Shouldn’t they have checked to see that their students were meeting the requirements? Why would it be up to the student to take the classes and find out that they were substandard and didn’t meet UC requirements? Is it buyer beware in HS education?

Shouldn’t the parents that put out all the money for the HS education think about fraud charges?

This leads to the odd (and not necessarily correct) interpretation that atheism is a religion

Only for the purpose of application of the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment; the SCOTUS did not make a ruling on metaphysics.

P.S. Here’s a better article on the decision (by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, based on SCOTUS decisions), that “atheism is a ‘religion’ for First Amendment purposes”: http://www.atheist-community.org/li[…]d.php?id=742

Was anyone else amused to note that the newsletter’s “Contributor” was a fellow named John Holmes? Or am I the only one here who’s ever seen 70s-era porn?

Or Val Kilmer in Wonderland.

I don’t get it. On one hand, they want creationism to be considered a science and treated as such, but if their brand of pseudo-science is not taken seriously, they start to complain about religious discrimination. This is what scares me most about people wanting a religious belief taught as an alternative to a scientific theory. You can question and test a scientific theory without fear of offending someone’s religion, but if you start testing and questioning a viewpoint based on a religious belief (I.D.), people will get angry that their religious beliefs are being questioned.

Frankly, this whole issue sux for science and religion. I’m surprised more religious leaders aren’t flaming mad that a group of guys are trying to force this hybrid mutant of science and religion into the mainstream.

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This page contains a single entry by Mike Dunford published on August 30, 2005 12:11 AM.

The Faith That Dare Not Speak Its Name was the previous entry in this blog.

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