Witt-ness for the plaintiffs?

| 24 Comments

Amazingly, Witt continues his fallacious arguments and further undermines the Discovery Institute’s official position as submitted to the Court in its Amicus Brief

Witt Wrote:

The sidebar misses this point, but the Judge’s error is greater. Setting himself up as an expert on science, Jones argues that the scientific arguments of design theorists must be ruled out of the Dover classroom because these scientists are also interested in the positive cultural effects of overthrowing Darwinism.

But such fallacious reasoning also disqualifies the scientific arguments of Darwin defenders like Daniel Dennett, Steven Weinberg, and Richard Dawkins, for all are passionately interested in the metaphysical implications that Darwinism has for their anti-religious agenda.

First problem: Judge Jones did not argue that scientific arguments must be ruled out because these scientists are also interested in overthrowing Darwinism. Anyone who has read the actual decision would realize that the Judge’s ruling on Intelligent Design not being science was based on the vacuity of the ID arguments.

Thus the conclusion in the second paragraph about the consequences of Judge Jones’ ruling is based on a false premise and should be rejected.

ID has been rejected as a science not because of the religious beliefs of its proponents but because of its scientific vacuity. In its filing of the Amicus Brief, the Discovery Institute argued that the primary effect of teaching ID was not necessarily religious and that ID was in fact scientific. Since the question of ID being science was essential to the ruling, Judge Jones ruled appropriately.

I appreciate that this may be hard to accept. But why is this so hard to understand?

24 Comments

Stylistic comment: if you are trying to convey to the reader that Jonathan Witt is dishonest, you should title your post: “Jonathan Witt Lies About Judge Jones Ruling.”

That way the average reader, who doesn’t know who the “plaintiffs” are in the Dover case, will leave with an accurate impression of the substance of your editorial without having to read the content.

Just my two cents.

I don’t think that Witt is actually ‘lying’. The ruling by Judge Jones spans 139 pages and it may very well be that Witt has yet to fully read the ruling. The DI Amicus brief tried to prevent the Judge from doing what he eventually did. Namely, rule on the issue of ID being science. If I understand Witt correctly, he would applaud the ruling if the Judge had not rejected ID because its proponents hold to religious thoughts, but because of the fact that ID is scientifically vacuous. And that is what the Judge actually did. As I see it, Witt is departing from the stance the DI took in its Amicus brief. Otherwise, the ruling may very well have been “ID proponents have religious motives” thus teaching ID is in violation of the law. To avoid this, the judge considered it essential for him to rule on whether ID is science. Witt should applaud the Judge for avoiding Witt’s strawman.

I don’t think that Witt is actually ‘lying’.

Why don’t you try harder then?

Seriously.

You wrote

Anyone who has read the actual decision would realize that the Judge’s ruling on Intelligent Design not being science was based on the vacuity of the ID arguments.

Okay. Witt is “anyone” isn’t he? So according to your own logic, no reasonable person could arrive at Witt’s conclusion.

Thus the conclusion in the second paragraph about the consequences of Judge Jones’ ruling is based on a false premise

So Witt relies on a false premise and “anyone” could see that he’s full of it.

That’s called “lying”, PvM, unless you want to argue that Witt is insane.

Last time I checked this was a political battle. You have got your hand on the wheel of what appears to be fairly widely read blog on the issue. Why are you playing patty-cake?

The headline of your previous post is even worse: “Well Done Jonathan”???????

Is that a joke?

If so, it’s not funny.

The time for snarkiness is over. Judge Jones didn’t feel the need to sugarcoat his decision with sarcastic inuendo.

So why does this blog continue to do so?

Jonathan Witt and the other DI/ID-ers are desperately trying to convince their financial base that the struggle continues. Remember that some funding sources (Templeton), although sympathetic, decided some time ago that there’s nothing substantial there. If a few more people make the same decision, goodby to all the “Fellows’” sinecures, speaking invitations, position papers, interviews in the national press, etc.

They sound a lot like the head of Enron as the company collapsed, trying to persuade people that the stock was still sound. Or like the Wizard of Oz as Toto pulled back the curtain.

Anyone who has read the actual decision would realize that the Judge’s ruling on Intelligent Design not being science was based on the vacuity of the ID arguments.

Okay. Witt is “anyone” isn’t he?

I believe that PVM is putting forth the hypothesis that Witt may be a member of the set “anyone”, but he is not a member of the set “anyone who has read the actual decision”.

Of course, if PVM is correct above, then that would mean that at some point in the future (once he has read the actual decision) Witt will do an about face and say “oh, now that I have read the decision, I see my previous blog posts were incorrect”. Since this would represent a creationist admitting fault, this seems to me to be an exceedingly unlikely event.

A third possibility, of course, is that Witt not only has not read the decision but intends to never read it; but if this is the case then this makes Witt’s continuing commentary on a decision he will never read its own special form of dishonesty.

Witt-ness for the plaintiffs?

hah! more like Witt-less.

OK, for the sake of argument, let’s throw out Daniel Dennett, Steven Weinberg, and Richard Dawkins as experts. That still leaves all theistic scientists to make the same arguments. Or does Witt propose throwing out any and all arguments if they are presented by any atheist? In that case, ID arguments must be perfectly safe, since there just happen to be no atheists at all presenting them.…

Witt-less in Seattle :-)

Trust me I have been tempted…

yeah, it is a pretty obvious pun. certainly not “humorous beyond measure” like “Dumbski”…

sorry, just had to get that in there :)

Keep in mind that it’s called “Message to Rush Limbaugh.”

Rush doesn’t understand the pretension or delusion the “sophisticated” ID promoters are trying to pull off here: “The intelligence isn’t necessarily God – we can detect intelligence without having a clue to what intelligence is.”

Rush would be easier to lie to than the Judge.

Yeah, it’s all that oxycontin. completely smashes your ability to differentiate between truth and fiction.

Witt is well aware, as some people here don’t seem to be, that (1) Very few of his target audience will ever wade through a 139-page legal decision their side lost anyway; and (2) If any do, their ONLY purpose for doing so is to try to understand exactly where Jones could have gone wrong. The fact that Jones DID go wrong is obvious from the decision itself.

And so, for probably millions of people, Witt’s assessment of the verdict is all they’ll ever know about the substance of that verdict. If he’s lucky and his PR machine works properly, his version of the decision will get presented as “the other side of the story” in hundreds of editorials in newspapers and on small-town TV news shows, and be quoted in at least thousands of creationist websites all linked together and to nothing else.

Remember, credibility is mostly a function of what the audience wishes to hear. I have no doubt Witt has carefully read and studied the entire decision. But properly representing ANY of it is poisonous to his cause. What did anyone really expect by now?

Flint Wrote:

Remember, credibility is mostly a function of what the audience wishes to hear. I have no doubt Witt has carefully read and studied the entire decision. But properly representing ANY of it is poisonous to his cause. What did anyone really expect by now?

But Flint, the EvolutionNews blog prides itself on correcting errors: “Unfortunately, much of the news coverage has been sloppy, inaccurate, and in some cases, overtly biased.” So I would hope that the site lives up to its promises.

Need a thesistic point of vie endorsing evo the check out what pope Ratzo wrote when he was head of the inquisition:

‘63. According to the widely accepted scientific account, the universe erupted 15 billion years ago in an explosion called the “Big Bang” and has been expanding and cooling ever since. Later there gradually emerged the conditions necessary for the formation of atoms, still later the condensation of galaxies and stars, and about 10 billion years later the formation of planets. In our own solar system and on earth (formed about 4.5 billion years ago), the conditions have been favorable to the emergence of life. While there is little consensus among scientists about how the origin of this first microscopic life is to be explained, there is general agreement among them that the first organism dwelt on this planet about 3.5-4 billion years ago. Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on earth are genetically related, it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism.’ from “INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION COMMUNION AND STEWARDSHIP:Human Persons Created in the Image of God” which I copied from the Vatican web site.

“Witt-less” This could be more true than “dishonest.” Does anyone have any evidence that Witt, is competent enough to know how dishonest the junk that he writes is? Is there some evidence that anyone can point to that Witt understands this topic? He seems to just regurgitate the Discovery Institute’s party line and propaganda. Do you think that he understands how his junk is inconsistent with the amicus brief, or is he just restating what he heard around the office and it is the jerks that wrote the amicus that were dishonest in their representation of what they have been claiming within the DI?

He seems to just regurgitate the Discovery Institute’s party line and propaganda

not exactly; he’s even dumber than that - please re-read the original post:

Amazingly, Witt continues his fallacious arguments and further undermines the Discovery Institute’s official position as submitted to the Court in its Amicus Brief

PvM This is what RU is on about. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufa[…]ring_Consent and more here http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/H[…]Consent.html

This is not meant as a critisism just a (I hope)helpful tip on paring back the rhetoric and not calling a spade a manuo-pedal excavationary implement

RU’s appeal on this and another thread is I’m sure is not a radical polemic, but more an appeal for disseminating unadulterated unmasking of obscurationists and being careful not to fall into the same trap of obscuring yourself. Just the facts and reason. There are enough voices of enlightenment coming from all points of the compass to preserve a nonpartisan but lively debate right here.

Thankyou Bill G for the appeal for theological reason. The CC while not wanting to let go totally, know Fundamentalism when they see it. And so do many reasonable church leaders of all faiths everywhere. I recall JP2 somewhere saying “heaven and hell are states for mind in the here and now” And that may explain partly why there seems to be a dream run for the Witt propaganda machine and wittless folowers. Their Elysian Fields are under threat and any establishment that sees its version of heaven …its version of dominion at odds with a self limiting environment must manufacture consent. Global warming and a cheap energy bust come to mind in this case. So how are they able to get around it?

The old mainstays of Elite power “The one true word of their God(s) and all elite’s going back to the time before history was written down” and their self-interest.…their survival …are at the very root.

To understand how religion (consensual worldview)plays such a huge role in the rise and fall of civilizations treat yourself to the Massey lectures “A Short History of Progress: Ronald Wright” A short summary is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progress_trap a free first lecture is here. http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/massey/massey2004.html

Flint wrote:

Remember, credibility is mostly a function of what the audience wishes to hear. I have no doubt Witt has carefully read and studied the entire decision. But properly representing ANY of it is poisonous to his cause. What did anyone really expect by now?

Remember, incredulity of the polis, is mostly a function of what the oligopoly fear and therefore must obscure; THE TRUTH.

A well-informed democracy is the best answer we have to this

On a lighter note a couple of days ago I asked my 17 yr. old daughter what she would like from Santa. I naively suggested an ipod gift card she reminded me “it’s called the internet stupid” to my unexpected delight she suggested “get me 1984 by Orwell or Island by Huxley” I suggested Siddhartha by Hermann Hess and she said any of those is OK. She will get all of them. She gave me “Introducing Evolutionary Psychology” www.iconbooks.co.uk

Walter Cronkite, in his Preface to the paperback edition of 1984 published by The New American Library, said Orwell wrote his novel as an essay on “power, how it is acquired and maintained, how those who seek it or seek to keep it tend to sacrifice anything and everything in its name.”

I was discussing “1984” with my wife and she immediately said the saddest thing about that story is at the end when the “hero” remembers his childhood and the nursery rhyme. Oranges and lemons http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A696125

Scroll down for the Orwell link

In that case, ID arguments must be perfectly safe, since there just happen to be no atheists at all presenting them.…

Please don’t forget about the Raelians.

Witt-less

Just for the record, I don’t consider that to be ‘clever beyond measure’.

I keep getting John Witt and John Wells confused. Wells is the moonie, right? What’s the deal with Witt? Who is he?

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 1, column 60, byte 60 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Wow. If he has spent years doing that then he will have no problem whatsoever convincing all of us. I gleefully await.

Witt’s page says he taught at Lubbock Christian University. Dembski teaches at Kentucky College of Bible-Readin. One of them taught at Biola.

Kind of helps explain why the religious schools are the bottom of the barrel in scientific output.

He seems to just regurgitate the Discovery Institute’s party line and propaganda

not exactly; he’s even dumber than that - please re-read the original post:

Amazingly, Witt continues his fallacious arguments and further undermines the Discovery Institute’s official position as submitted to the Court in its Amicus Br

You have to read my statement in context. I noted that he was straying from what the Discovery Institute’s official position is in their brief, but I put forward the notion that Witt, might just be a dupe that is too incompetent to bother to read what the DI wrote and just regurgitated other bogus arguments that he heard around the offices at the DI. We know that the DI’s amicus is bogus because the DI obviously doesn’t believe it themselves. Witt, might be revealing other arguments that are being kicked around at the DI. From what he has written before, he can’t think his way out of a paper bag, so he can only write about what they feed him. My position is that they give Witt the mushroom treatment at the DI, just feed him shit and keep him in the dark. How else would he be able to write the junk he writes?

How can people be so stupid?! Anyone who has read the decision of Judge Jones would note that it is “only an opinion, not a law”. The judge says so, right on page 1!

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on December 24, 2005 5:16 PM.

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