SciPolicy Journal submits Amicus Curiae in Kitzmiller

| 56 Comments | 1 TrackBack

Remember Steve Fuller who was a defense expert witness in the Kitzmiller trial? Steve Miller is also on the editorial board of the SciPolicy Journal.

His colleagues have filed an Amicus Curiae or Friends of the Courts, brief:

There is a logical fallacy in mandating the inclusion of intelligent design since it provides neither scientific explanation nor empirical evidence of the actual existence of a designer, but through fiat simply asserts that a designer must exist to explain the gap in knowledge. Stripped of its intellectual facade the announcement is nothing but a transparent effort to engraft religious dogma onto the classroom examination of scientific theory.

The Journal also published an editorial, a News Release and a Statement by Prof. Fuller

The statement reads

I wish to declare that I was not party to the amicus curiae brief or the editorial written in the name of SciPolicy. These documents represent viewpoints with which I do not wish to be associated.

The News Release reads in part

“‘Intelligent design’ has never been a body of scientific results, nor even a program for eventually obtaining such results. It’s not new science, fringe science, nor even junk science. It is merely window-dressing for a movement that is social, political, and, above all, theological down to its core, and which never had the least intention of doing disinterested science,” states Dr. Norman Levitt, Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers University, noted author, and SciPolicy Editorial Board Member.

“I’m pleased to see, finally, a responsible comment on this matter from a professional journal devoted to science studies and science policy,” states Paul R. Gross, University Professor of Life Sciences, emeritus, University of Virginia, noted author, and SciPolicy Editorial Board Member.

The good news is that more and more scientists, educators and religious people are realizing that Intelligent Design is scientifically vacuous, risky from a religious perspective. As a scientist and Christian the growing support amongst scientists, educators and religious people gives me some hope.

And to those ID proponents who disagree with the fact that ID is scientifically vacuous, I say let them show how the concept of ID has contributed in a non-trivial manner to our scientific understanding.

The following ‘claims’, or variations thereof, do not qualify

1. Intelligent Design asks questions about evolution and serves a function of keeping science ‘honest’. 2. Based on Intelligent Design one can formulate hypotheses as to that nature of biological entities. For instance the observation that the heart functioned as a pump, helped understand the nature of our circulatory system (Harvey). And although the ideas by Harvey were inspired by teleology, they do not depend on teleology unless one accepts that teleology in biology is self evident through ‘function’ (Ayala). 3. Life started abruptly during the Cambrian ergo Intelligent Design

None of these hypotheses has any relevance to the concept of Intelligent Design. The claims that ID makes positive statements or that there is an ID based research program, remain unfounded and unsupported by any non-trivial arguments. For a better understanding why these arguments are scientifically vacuous see:

R. Nichols, Scientific content, testability, and the vacuity of Intelligent Design theory The American Catholic philosophical quarterly, 2003 , vol. 77 , no 4 , pp. 591 - 611

1 TrackBack

Two more amicus briefs from Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District on December 13, 2005 7:04 PM

I have just posted amicus briefs from: JSPAN, the Jewish Social Policy Action Network (amicus (456 k PDF), announcement) SciPolicy Journal (amicus (50 k PDF), announcement) SciPolicy is a “Journal of Science and Health Policy.” Pau... Read More

56 Comments

As an aside, I heard the rumor that our old friend and pal Ed Conrad is submitting (or at least attempting to) an amicus brief to the court (which is, after all, right there in his neck of the woods) . . ?

For those out there who have not had the, uh, pleasure of making Ed’s acquaintance, he is a guy in Pennsylvania who has found a bunch of rocks in a coal field that he has decided represent such things as a “fossilized lung”, a “fossilized human skull”, and a “fossilized erect human penis” (I am totally utterly absolutely serious — I couldn’t make up stuff like this). Ed decided that this was **THE** proof against evolution — “MAN AS OLD AS COAL!!!!”, he declared.

Apparently, from what I understand, he then sent some of his rocks to the Smithsonian, which politely told him that his rocks were . . well… just rocks. Whereupon Ed has since devoted his life to telling us The Truth about the falsity of evolution and the vast scientific conspiracy to discredit him and his earth-shattering scientific findings.

Everyone who is interested in the evolution/creation debate should engage Ed in at least one conversation. It’s a surreal experience. Without a doubt, of all the Net Kooks I have ever run into, Ed is by far the Kookiest.

If Ed is so crazy, how did he manage to do…THIS!

A rock with a hat is all the proof I need.

If Ed is so crazy, how did he manage to do…THIS!

A rock with a hat is all the proof I need.

Well, certainly SOMEONE has rocks in his head. ;>

WOW.…that is all that i can say.…WOW

Ed is by far the Kookiest

Daaaaammmmnn! coming from Lenny, and including just all the kooks i have seen come and go on PT, that is quite a statement.

For those that recall, JAD still rules as the crankiest, tho (there is proof of that, just check cranks.net under the evolution category):

http://www.crank.net/evolution.html

the question is, has Ed managed to be used as “evidence” in any of the debates?

heyyyy! once i dug up a potato that was a dead ringer for an (enormous) erect human penis. therefore humans evolved from potatoes. QED.

sad thing is, someone will actually take this seriously!

therefore humans evolved from potatoes. QED.

sad thing is, someone will actually take this seriously!

so that’s where Mr. Potato head came from!

PvM, the second sentence of the post refers to a Steve Miller. I presume you meant Steve Fuller, but you might want to correct the post.

“once i dug up a potato that was a dead ringer for an (enormous) erect human penis. therefore humans evolved from potatoes. QED.”

This is obviously untrue. If humans evolved from potatoes, HOW COME THERE ARE STILL POTATOES?

IANAL, so I ask any who may be participating, is it fair game to submit an Amicus brief at this time? The public portion of the trial is over already, so doesn’t it limit the ability of counsel for either side to respond?

Could I submit my own Amicus brief tomorrow? (this question is purely hypothetical)

How does one get allowed to submit an amicus brief? Can any citizen do it? If not, why is Ed Conrad involved?

Fuller’s colleagues at SciPolicy Journal submit an Amicus. Behe’s colleagues at Lehigh U. post a disclaimer.

I’m thinking I shouldn’t hold my breath for Dembski’s colleagues at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to disown him.

Check out Wikipedia

The court in general has very broad discretions. See also Rule 29

“An amicus curiae brief that brings to the attention of the Court relevant matter not already brought to its attention by the parties may be of considerable help to the Court. An amicus curiae brief that does not serve this purpose burdens the Court, and its filing is not favored.” Rule 37(1), Rules of the Supreme Court of the U.S

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank Wrote:

Ed is by far the Kookiest.

And he is still doing more science than the ID crowd. Remember, ID can accommodate all the results of “Conradism” (280 million year old modern H. sapiens).

This is obviously untrue. If humans evolved from potatoes, HOW COME THERE ARE STILL POTATOES?

DAMN! I was all set to ask that!

Here is the link to the disclaimer from Lehigh U regarding Behe…http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/news/evolution.htm

Ooops…pressed post too fast…here is Behe’s own disclaimer on this page: http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/faculty/behe.html

(original article) Wrote:

“I’m pleased to see, finally, a responsible comment on this matter from a professional journal devoted to science studies and science policy,” states Paul R. Gross, University Professor of Life Sciences, emeritus, University of Virginia, noted author, and SciPolicy Editorial Board Member.

Finally? The AAAS did this 3 years ago: http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2[…]106id2.shtml

I think I might submit a Fruit of the Loom brief on Ed Conrad… His website made my day!

Does anyone know if Judge Jones actually accepted this amicus submission? I’m too lazy to go through the various document sources to find out. Recall that he rejected an amicus brief submitted by the Discovery Institute.

RBH

RBH Wrote:

Recall that he rejected an amicus brief submitted by the Discovery Institute.

That brief was rejected on procedural grounds. Dembski was supposed to testify as an expert witness, then was pulled by DI. Then DI filed their brief which included Dembski’s expert testimony. The plaintiffs objected that this was an attempt to get Dembski’s testimony in without his being cross-examined. The judge agreed and tossed the brief.

As this IS the 20th anniversary of the BEST FOOTBALL TEAM EVER, I am talking about the 1985 Bears, my friend, I just had a crazy thought I would like to share with the class…

Could this be the same Steve Fuller that was the backup quaterback with the Bears? The one that couldn’t dance on the best video ever made, The Superbowl Shuffle?

NAH! BUT I picture THIS Steve Fuller, as an ID expert, still dancing around and dodging questions… and he STILL can’t dance.

It’s a miracle!

Not only did man evolve from potatoes, but we have seen the first steps in the devolution back to potatoes. Haven’t we become couch potatoes?

Don Baccus Wrote:

Dembski was supposed to testify as an expert witness, then was pulled by DI. Then DI filed their brief which included Dembski’s expert testimony.

Almost. Stephen Meyer was supposed to testify as an expert witness, and he was withdrawn by the Thomas More Legal Center. It was Meyer’s testimony that was contained in the brief from the DI; not Dembski’s.

Dembski and Carpenter were also withdrawn at the same time; but it was not Dembski’s testimony in the amicus brief.

Meyer and Dembski were both originally scheduled to be witnesses for the defense. The amicus in question included testimony from both Meyer and Dembski. I’m not sure about Carpenter, though he was probably in there, too, as were many of the DI clan.

Also, according to Richard Thompson, it was the DI that bailed out on the TMLC.

Apparently, the Dover school board is only now realizing how expensive their ride with the TMLC is going to be.

I think (Thompson’s) agenda is a little different from the way I’m looking at it myself,” [outgoing school board member] Napierskie said.

Um… duh? Too bad you didn’t realize that earlier, BEFORE you took their horrible legal advice.

It sounds like Richard Thompson is still trying to push this debacle off on the DI. I’m not saying they don’t deserve some portion of the blame for Dover’s financial predicament here, but the majority of it lies squarely on Thompson. He was clearly not acting in the best interests of his clients. He allowed his own agenda to interfere with his ability to give sound legal advice.

Richard Thompson Wrote:

“The case was tried with the assumption that regardless of who won or lost an appellate court and maybe ultimately the (U.S.) Supreme Court would take a look at it and change the law,” Thompson said. “If they don’t appeal, what they’ve done is short-circuit the entire legal strategy that was put in place by the Thomas More Law Center.”

Boo-freakin-hoo. Sorry the party didn’t turn out the way you planned it, Dick.

If Thompson has even a shred of integrity, he’ll man up and cover whatever fees the school board is charged.

Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology Wrote:

I do not wish to be associated with truth and logic.

Well, not an exact quote, but a paraphrase.

As this IS the 20th anniversary of the BEST FOOTBALL TEAM EVER

Dude, without a doubt, the best football team ever was the Miami Dolphins in 1972, the year they went undefeated. ;>

If Thompson has even a shred of integrity …

… he wouldn’t be an IDer.

It sounds like Richard Thompson is still trying to push this debacle off on the DI. I’m not saying they don’t deserve some portion of the blame for Dover’s financial predicament here, but the majority of it lies squarely on Thompson.

There’s plenty of blame to go around. The DI lied to everyone when it declared its crap to be ‘science’, only to abruptly change its mind in mid-stream. The DI then, when the case hit the newspapers, saw the opportunity for oodles of publicity and fundraising, and jumped aboard enthusiastically, only to jump off again when things didn’t, uh, turn out quite the way they had planned. And I think this also had a lot do with the respective collossal egos at TMLC and DI, all of whom wanted to be “The Big Cheese Who Would Finally Destroy Evolution” and all of whom were entirely willing to slit each other’s throats for the honor – pride, as they say, goeth before a fall, and a more arrogantly prideful lot, I have never seen. It seems it will be, uh, quite a fall.

The Dover Board, meanwhile, was a willing chump throughout the whole process, followed who they wanted to follow, heard what they wanted to hear, believed what they wanted to believe, and then happily shot themselves in the head for the chance to preach for Jay-sus – compounding that by then lying on the stand, deliberately and knowingly, to advance their own agenda.

They ALL deserve whatever they get. My sympathy level for ALL of them is pretty close to zero.

I hope the judge blasts them with all the artillery available to him.

He was clearly not acting in the best interests of his clients. He allowed his own agenda to interfere with his ability to give sound legal advice.

Sounds like grounds for a lawsuit to me . … .

I *love* the smell of IDers self-immolating in the morning. :>

Rev Doctor Lenny - We will have to agree to disagree on Bears v Dolphins, because IMO the 85 Bears would have killed the 72 Dolphins. Different eras, diffrent teams, but the Bears defense was awesome. Griese and Czonka would have looked as bad as Tony Eason and Craig James, again, in my opinion.

However, I think we DO have 100% agreement on Thompson, TMLC, and the DI. Ditka would have taken them ALL on, by himself and turned them into paste. Even the REAL Steve Fuller, not the weasel in the other thread, would issue a beat-down to the DI and TMLC.

Can we get a Pay-Per-View going on this? I would pay Big MOney to see Richard Dent and the Fridge pancake Dembski!

They ALL deserve whatever they get. My sympathy level for ALL of them is pretty close to zero.

Fair point. But the biggest losers are likely to be the schoolkids. It isn’t even the same board now. As for the board members responsible; well I doubt they care very much.

This

Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on November 15, 2005 09:56 PM (e) (s)

If Ed is so crazy, how did he manage to do…THIS!

A rock with a hat is all the proof I need.

Well, certainly SOMEONE has rocks in his head. ;>

Actually did make me lol.

Rev Doctor Lenny - We will have to agree to disagree on Bears v Dolphins, because IMO the 85 Bears would have killed the 72 Dolphins.

But, obviously, not the 85 Dolphins. :)

They ALL deserve whatever they get. My sympathy level for ALL of them is pretty close to zero.

Well, the obvious problem is that the Dover schools are getting totally screwed over. The offending board members only lose a part-time job.

Fair point. But the biggest losers are likely to be the schoolkids.

They were already losing. Anything that happens after this, would be an improvement.

These “Thomas More Legal Center” jerks will clearly do nothing to help their hapless “clients” in Dover. It’s a grotesque example of unethical behavior by attorneys. Clients were clearly sacrificed to a political and ego agenda. I’m not an attorney, but I would assume that disbarment and substantial civil penalties would be the appropriate answer for this sort of travesty.

It’s also quite grotesque that TMLC is named after Thomas More. I’m not Catholic, personally. However, if I were, I would be feeling quite offended and litiginous about now. The real Thomas More died for his fealty to the Catholic faith. The Vatican has made it crystal clear that Catholicism does not embrace ID. There are almost certainly Catholic families with children in the Dover school system. What TMLC has done has been to promote the idea that children from Catholic families should be forced to learn a minority Protestant dogma as “science” in public schools.

As for the school district, it’s unlikely that either the ultimate plaintiffs (Dover residents themselves) or the ACLU will be merciless toward them.

In comment 58173, improvius says

improvius Wrote:

Meyer and Dembski were both originally scheduled to be witnesses for the defense. The amicus in question included testimony from both Meyer and Dembski. I’m not sure about Carpenter, though he was probably in there, too, as were many of the DI clan.

Also, according to Richard Thompson, it was the DI that bailed out on the TMLC.

The amicus included the expert witness report of Meyer (appendix A), and did not include the expert witness report of Dembski. No doubt Dembski had contributed to the brief; but the major problem that cheesed of the judge was inclusion of the expert testimony prepared by Meyer before he was withdrawn.

On the withdrawal of the three DI expert witnesses, its possible that the DI provoked the matter deliberately; but it in the first instance it was the TMLC that dismissed them after they wanted independent counsel to appear at their depositions. The TMLC later tried to get Meyer in particular back in by allowing him the additional counsel, and at this point Meyer declined to be involved. The full details of what occurred are bound to be a matter of speculation, but given DI spin, and newspaper reports at the time, I’m pretty sure that in the first instance it the TMLC that dismissed the DI witnesses when they insisted on extra representation.

The Vatican has made it crystal clear that Catholicism does not embrace ID.

I wouldn’t be too sure about that.

On the withdrawal of the three DI expert witnesses, its possible that the DI provoked the matter deliberately; but it in the first instance it was the TMLC that dismissed them after they wanted independent counsel to appear at their depositions. The TMLC later tried to get Meyer in particular back in by allowing him the additional counsel, and at this point Meyer declined to be involved. The full details of what occurred are bound to be a matter of speculation, but given DI spin, and newspaper reports at the time, I’m pretty sure that in the first instance it the TMLC that dismissed the DI witnesses when they insisted on extra representation.

The TMLC is clear that the witnesses withdrew themselves which places the whole thing in a new light. So who is right? The TMLC also stated that Meyer would be allowed external representation as he was an officer of the DI. Your ‘spin’ puts the DI in its best light but how can we be sure?

I am wondering, if the Kansas thingie ends up in court, whether DI will back them up, or leave them twisting in the wind too when it becomes apparent that they will lose, like they did with the Dover Dolts.

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 11, column 6, byte 936 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

The case was tried with the assumption that regardless of who won or lost an appellate court and maybe ultimately the (U.S.) Supreme Court would take a look at it and change the law,” Thompson said. “If they don’t appeal, what they’ve done is short-circuit the entire legal strategy that was put in place by the Thomas More Law Center.”

Christ on a bike. What sort of legal strategy requires a change in the law to be successful? I’d say the school board had a cast iron case against the TMLC but the old board probably agreed to this strategy.

“But the biggest losers are likely to be the schoolkids.”

No, in a broad sense the kids are the winners. School boards all across the country are rethinking their strategy in regard to ID/Creationism.

Posted by Jacob Stockton on November 16, 2005 11:10 PM (e) (s)

The Vatican has made it crystal clear that Catholicism does not embrace ID.

I wouldn’t be too sure about that. http://www.livescience.com/othernew[…]olution.html

Not to be too picky about the Vatican position, seriously what would you expect a Pope to say.

Cardinal Paul Poupard, who heads the Pontifical Council for Culture

http://www.livescience.com/othernew[…]vatican.html

. . “But we also know the dangers of a religion that severs its links with reason and becomes prey to fundamentalism,” he said.

“The faithful have the obligation to listen to that which secular modern science has to offer, just as we ask that knowledge of the faith be taken in consideration as an expert voice in humanity,” he said.

Even tho’ I’m not a Catholic I couldn’t agree more.

Ginger Yellow Wrote:

What sort of legal strategy requires a change in the law to be successful?

This is fairly common, if one believes that a law is unconstitutional. Scopes comes to mind.

Thompson is wildly off-base about the odds of that happening in the Kitzmiller case though.

Advice to other school boards: Free legal advice is worth every penny you pay.

If TMLC offers to defend your board for free, make sure you get an agreement that says they will also indemnify you againste all fines, opponents’ legal costs, and other poetential costs of the litigation. The de-elected Dover board jumped at the free legal defense, apparently not pausing long enough to wonder about whether that would be the only expense.

Perhaps the ACLU and plaintiffs will agree to eat their own costs, in order to encourage appeal. Creationist tactics between 1925 and 1987 explicitly included refusing appeals in order to avoid the decisions that they ultimately got in 1968, 1982 and 1987. Let’s hope some way can be found for this case to proceed.

I predict a short stay at the circuit court, and rejection of cert at the Supreme Court, since it will have been decided on existing law that is still good.

Thompson and the TMLC want to take this all the way to the Supreme Court. That was their intent even before they went shopping and met up with the Dover folks. A possible deal is obvious: the new school board agrees to submit all the necessary appeals, and the TMLC agrees to pay all costs resulting from the losses.

Everybody wins! Thompson gets his day at the Supreme Court. The Dover board can stop worrying about the costs, and the rest of us get a nation-wide legal precedent establishing that ID is Creationism and violates the Establishment Clause.

It’s also quite grotesque that TMLC is named after Thomas More.

If I were the Pope, I’d sue for copyright infringement :-)

And speaking about suing, it seems a mite suspect to me that the cretinists in the former DASD can just shake the dust off their sandals and walk away. Surely even in America there must be a limit on how blatantly and knowingly (or stupidly) elected officials can violate the law without being held personally responsible?

- JS

Surely even in America there must be a limit on how blatantly and knowingly (or stupidly) elected officials can violate the law without being held personally responsible?

Uh, have you ever heard of Judge Roy Moore, elected to be Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court? After repeatedly defying both the law and superior court decisions, he was removed from the court but suffered no criminal penalty. He also became a hero here in Alabama, and is now running for Governor. His prospects are regarded as pretty good.

There is some legitimate debate as to whether Roy Moore actually understood the law he was violating. After all, the only qualification required to become Chief Justice is to have the most votes. Become famous as “Mr. Ten Commandments” and in Alabama, you got votes.

Reading between the lines, Moore’s platform extends beyond posting the Ten Commandments in every government office. He’d also like to eliminate all public school taxes. His kind can and does send their kids to private school anyway, so why pay double? Those who can’t afford private (read: fundamentalist) schools are probably the wrong color to worry about anyway.

Sorry to interject an international aspect to the conversataion here guys (and this stuff should really go to after the bar closes).

re:

As this IS the 20th anniversary of the BEST FOOTBALL TEAM EVER!

Dude, without a doubt, the best football team ever was the Miami Dolphins in 1972, the year they went undefeated. ;>

.. although it pains me to say it as an Englishman.… BRAZIL ..is the best football team ever, (you know football - the game where you don’t use your hands - only your feet?).

The USA using their hands again but still calling it football is a rare example of evolution rolling backwards?

hey perhaps I’m onto something here?, haven’t Kansas just rolled back the rules 500 years???

Bah sport You can learn everything and nothing from sport a bit like philosophy and religion :>

Those funsters in Monty Pythons Fling Circus knew this only too well and illustrated that by combining them you could learn even more .…or not

. . FOOTBALL COMMENTATOR Archimedes out to Socrates, Socrates back to Archimedes, Archimedes out to Heraclitus, he beats Hegel .

(who, like all the Germans, is still thinking) . .

http://modrzew.stopklatka.pl/intermecz1.html http://orangecow.org/pythonet/sketc[…]commquiz.htm

I can’t resist more…

Heraclitus a little flick, here he comes on the far post, Socrates is there, Socrates heads it in! Socrates has scored! The Greeks are going mad, the Greeks are going mad. Socrates scores, got a beautiful cross from Archimedes. The Germans are disputing it. Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside. But Confucius has answered them with the final whistle! It’s all over! Germany, having trounced England’s famous midfield trio of Bentham, Locke and Hobbes in the semi-final, have been beaten by the odd goal, and let’s see it again.

you know football - the game where you don’t use your hands - only your feet?

Oh yeah? Well what about them “goldie” guys, huh?

;>

Reading between the lines, Moore’s platform extends beyond posting the Ten Commandments in every government office. He’d also like to eliminate all public school taxes.

Actually they are pretty open about wanting to eliminate public schools, period.

Bah sport You can learn everything and nothing from sport a bit like philosophy and religion :>

Those funsters in Monty Pythons Fling Circus knew this only too well and illustrated that by combining them you could learn even more .…or no

.. this sketch was based on the fact that Brazil had a real-life player called ‘Socrates’ - a fact universally known outside North America. That everyone else in the world gets this joke underlines my point that real football is played with the feet (with the exception of the ‘goalie’ Lenny) and that Brazil are the best team ever. The whole ID mess makes America look parochial enough - you need to get out a bit more guys! come and jump in the ‘meme pool’ - your geographic isolation is throwing up some bizarre forms over there!

Speaking of Fuller.…

Here is a Podcast of Fuller debating ID with biologist Jack Cohen. Fuller tries to explain and justify his role as a defense witness in the Kitzmiller trial. He is supremely confident, but speaks complete and utter rubbish from start to finish. Cohen struggles gamely to keep the discussion tethered to reality, but waffles.

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/audio/

(scroll down to 9th November).

Be depressed, be very depressed.…..

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on November 15, 2005 7:53 PM.

Steve Abrams in the Hot Zone was the previous entry in this blog.

Evolution of the cichlid mandible 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