Final Word on Shallit’s Testimony

| 22 Comments

A couple days ago, you may recall, William Dembski made the ridiculous claim that the reason Jeff Shallit had not been called to testify at the Dover trial was because “his obsessiveness against me and ID made him a liability to the ACLU” and because “his deposition was an embarrassment to him and the ACLU and that this was the actual reason for him being withdrawn as a witness at the trial.” I pointed out at the time that Dembski was flat wrong, that in fact it was the defense that tried to keep Shallit off the witness stand, not our side. Today I have posted what should be the final nail in the coffin of Dembski’s silly charge - the motion from the TMLC seeking to exclude Shallit’s testimony and keep him off the witness stand, and the judge’s ruling on that issue noting that the two sides had come to an agreement that Shallit would testify only as a rebuttal witness if necessary but would not be a part of the plaintiff’s primary case. The only question that remains, now that Dembski’s charge has been conclusively disproven, is whether the odds of him admitting that he was wrong are above or below his “universal probability boundary” of 1 in 10^150.

22 Comments

Speaking of talking with both sides of one’s mouth.…President Bush’s flu announcement yesterday shocked me.

I figured that he would have divided the requested monies for vaccine between scientists using evolution-based knowledge, and, in the name of fairness and religious freedom, to scientists using ID-based methods of vaccine generation.

It’s a shame the media didn’t pick up on this either - didn’t Fox have any time reserved for anti-religious outrage?

Seriously, at what point will the utter uselessness of ID break the back of their ‘movement’? Obviously, being caught in a web of lies does not work.

Speaking of talking with both sides of one’s mouth.…President Bush’s flu announcement yesterday shocked me.

I figured that he would have divided the requested monies for vaccine between scientists using evolution-based knowledge, and, in the name of fairness and religious freedom, to scientists using ID-based methods of vaccine generation.

It’s a shame the media didn’t pick up on this either - didn’t Fox have any time reserved for anti-religious outrage?

Seriously, at what point will the utter uselessness of ID break the back of their ‘movement’? Obviously, being caught in a web of lies does not work.

Perhaps the Bushites had to pull back on plans to give money to ID-based flu researchers when no such researchers asked for funds. No ID flu researchers could be reached for comment, the news wires could say.

Maybe they will create, errr, intelligently design prayer banks. This will stretch vacine supplies by eliminating the need for religious fanatics to recieve medical care, and provide a stunning emperical test for the power of prayer, errr, Designer intervention theory.

Oh, of course Dembski will be a good truthful Christian and admit he was wrong if that’s what the facts show. I mean, that’s why he’s so keen to have all sides of an argument presented on his website, isn’t it? Follow the facts wherever they lead and all that good ID stuff? *sigh*

More to the point, I read Shallit’s deposition last night. The Thomas More Center attorney, Mr. Richard Thompson, seemed to be trying very hard to make a case that Shallit was only critical of Dembski because of some personal vendetta (oh, and hateing God). This is familiarly known as “Dembski’s Whine and Wheese.” Shallit easily deflected Thompson’s attacks, and I wonder when (or if) Thompson realized that he had be misled by Dembski.

Shallit easily deflected Thompson’s attacks, and I wonder when (or if) Thompson realized that he had be misled by Dembski.

I wonder whether Thompson realised that Shallit deflected his attacks…

I wonder…if the probability of a correction appearing on Dembski’s blog is less than his “universal probability boundary,” does this mean that his weblog is not “intelligently designed,” but rather the result of random brain farts with no purpose?

Bush is living proof that there’s no such thing as Intelligent design.

I wonder whether Thompson realised that Shallit deflected his attacks…

not likely. Thompson is recorded by one interviewer as saying “Did you see me show that there’s no scientific evidence for man coming from an ape?”. Amazingly they posted this embarrassment on the Thomas More site.

Damn! I’m in Math at the University of Waterloo, where Shallit teaches as a Math/CS prof. I’ve been wanting to hear his testimony I’m dissapointed he’s not going to be taking the witness stand - no doubt he would have ripped Dembski apart if he had the opportunity.

Thompson is recorded by one interviewer as saying “Did you see me show that there’s no scientific evidence for man coming from an ape?”

no doubt he would have ripped Dembski apart if he had the opportunity

Somebody is vastly underestimating our ability to deceive ourselves. On creationist sites, people have been cheering the near-contemptuous ease with which Behe made fools of the atheists in his testimony. They read the same words as the PT crowd, but extract distinctly different meaning. They say “Look. Behe told that stupid attorney *repeatedly* that intelligence was involved, that this was a no-doubt-about-it scientific observation, made by a scientist!. Told him over and over and over. And the dumbass attorney STILL didn’t get it. Behe sure made him look like an idiot!”

On creationist sites, people have been cheering the near-contemptuous ease with which Behe made fools of the atheists in his testimony.

But ID isn’t about religion. No sirree, Bob.

(snicker) (giggle)

IMHO Its “soft” wired into the nerons by 7 years old and by 20 “hard” wired by skilled manipulators.

Just out of curiosity, which creationist sites are these and where can I go to amuse myself with such ridiculous threads?

Jeremy, www.uncommondescent.com Prepare to be WOWed.

Aw man! I’ve been reading that all along! I was hoping it was some new place I haven’t been yet. I already know all about DaveScot, Josh Bozeman, and Dembski’s ego.

jeremy:

You might also try the ARN board. There are also creationist sites that permit comments; I find them through google, searching for Dover and Behe.

Jeremy, I know the pain, especially about jboze. The guy just can’t back down, even when you point out how little he does know on a subject.

Hey Sal -

If you’re out there: Now that Prince William has been caught in an outright lie (or maybe just gross incompetence), what twisted er, um, “logic” will you use to defend him this time?

Or don’t you and Dembski bother with such “pathetic” details? You know, little things like “the truth”.

Flint:

“ Somebody is vastly underestimating our ability to deceive ourselves. On creationist sites, people have been cheering the near-contemptuous ease with which Behe made fools of the atheists in his testimony. They read the same words as the PT crowd, but extract distinctly different meaning.”

Well, they *know* they are winning. After all, God and the Truth are on their side. Any other possible interpretation of the evidence is wrong, and probably atheistic.

From the article by Gordy Slack referenced above (http://www.thomasmore.org/news.html?NewsID=374), it also looks like Richard Thompson thinks he is winning and will successfully change the definition of science. The self deception and ignorance of science shown in that article is staggering, especially when TMLC has posted it on their own site as supporting their position!

These people well and truly live in a different reality.

On the other hand, I have noticed a tendency by our side to make the testimony of the defense witness’s sound worse than it actually is. This is most often done by paraphrasing the testimony to include insinuations and statements that were not clearly made by the witness. We are not immune to self deception either. However, unlike the fundies, we will listen to criticism and make changes if appropriate.

Shenda

For what it is worth, Dembski has allowed three comments of mine to appear on his blog, in the entry Shallit Yet Again – P.S., including:

In a comment at Dembski's Blog, Sylas Wrote:

As for the reasons that Shallit did not speak at trial… the defense team filed a motion on June 9 (document 155) requesting that Shallit’s testimony be excluded from trial. Their reason is that Shallit was not in the initial list of witnesses, but only on the list of rebuttal witnesses; and that since Dembski was withdrawn, having Shallit testify would be an unfair advantange to the plaintiffs.

This means that it was the defense, not the plaintiffs, that wanted to avoid having Shallit testify.

I screwed up a bit there; the motion was on September 6; I misread a weird American date format using month/day/year. However, the later date just makes it more clear that it was the defendants who were trying to exclude Shallit. Comments of mine in Dembski’s previous blog entry on the same topic were deleted, however. I have said that I will no longer post comments at Dembski’s blog; and I think I’ll stick with that, for the time being at least.

Cheers – Sylas

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This page contains a single entry by Ed Brayton published on November 2, 2005 1:59 PM.

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