Dan Ely testifies in Ohio (and Kansas)

| 23 Comments

On Evolution News Casey Luskin reports on Dan Ely. Dan Ely had testified in Kansas and was objecting to the characterization of his position on the age of the earth

When advocating that the Board repeal the Critical Analysis of Evolution Lesson Plan, Board Member Martha K. Wise repeatedly emphasized the claim that authors of the Critical Analysis of Evolution Lesson Plan were creationists. Wise alleged that during the Kansas hearings, Dan Ely testified that he was “struggling with the age of the earth” and stated “He [Ely] thinks the earth is only Five-thousand years old. That’s not just ID. That’s young earth creationism.”

Ely’s testimony fully rebutted Wise’s misrepresentation of Ely’s viewpoint. Ely said that in Kansas, many of the witnesses were asked about their views on the age of the earth. “My answer was ‘We heard today anywhere from five-thousand years to five million years or five billion years,” and everybody laughed, “And most of the evidence looks like it’s very old.” Ely called Martha Wise’s alleged explanation of Ely’s views on the age of the earth “totally erroneous.”

The internet to the rescue (what a little resource can do for a story…): on Talkorigins we find the transcript of the Kansas hearings. In particular the cross examination by Mr Irigonegaray of Dr. Dan Ely. Dr. Ely is a Professor of Biology at the University of Akron, Ohio.

EXAMINATION BY MR. IRIGONEGARAY:

Q. Welcome to Kansas. I have a few questions for the record for you. First I have a group of yes or no questions that I would like for you to answer, please. What is your opinion as to the age of the earth?

A. In light of time I would say most of the evidence that I see, I read and I understand points to an old age of the earth.

Q. And how old is that age?

A. I don’t know. I just know what I read with regards to data. It looks like it’s four billion years.

Q. And is that your personal opinion?

A. No. My personal opinion is I really don’t know. I’m struggling.

Q. You’re struggling with what the age of the earth is?

A. Yeah. Yeah. I’m not sure. There’s a lot of ways to measure the age. Meteorites is one way. There’s a lot of elements used. There’s a lot of assumptions can be used and those assumptions can be challenged so I don’t really know.

Q. What is the range that you are instructing?

A. I think the range we heard today, somewhere between 5,000 and four billion.

Q. You– you– you believe the earth may be as young as 5,000 years old. Is that correct?

A. Well, we’re learning that there’s such a thing as junc –

Q. Sir, answer –

A. – really has a function.

Q. Just please answer my question, sir.

A. We’re learning a lot about micro –

Q. Sir?

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: Mr. Abrams, please instruct the witness to answer the question.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: I think –

Q. (By Mr. Irigonegaray) The question was– and winking at him is not going to do you any good. Answer my question. Do you believe the earth may be as young as 5,000 years old?

A. It could be.

Q. Do you accept the general principle of common descent, that all life is biologically related back to the beginning of life? Yes or no?

A. No.

Q. Do you accept that human beings are related by common descent to predominant ancestors? Yes or no?

A. No.

Q. What’s your alternative explanation how the human species came into existence if it is not through common descent?

A. Design.

Q. And design would imply a designer?

A. Implies a designer, but we don’t go there.

Q. Do you have any idea as to when the designer, in your opinion, created man?

A. No.

I also looked at Ely’s powerpoint presentation. Seems that he made the same mistake Denton made about Cytochrome C. Wesley Elsberry discussed this mistake as early as 1999. Despite all this, I have seen this misunderstanding continued amongst creationists.

23 Comments

Way to go! Nice fisking! Looks like once again, Not-So-Mighty Casey Has Struck Out!

Speaking of Casey Luskin, did you know his name can be rearranged to spell “Sinus Lackey”?

Well now you do.

Can you produce any evidence that Luskin actually cares about the factuality of his pronouncements?

Ironically, his name can be rearranged into the opposite of his philosophy: ANY LIES SUCK.

Or “any lie sucks”. Also “sky lunacies”, “use scaly kin”, “say kin clues”, “nails sky clue”, “slinky cause”, “uneasy slick”, “use any slick”, “inky clauses”, “easily snuck”, “yes lick anus”, …

1) I don’t see where Ely admits the earth is only 5000 years old. 2) What does the age of the Earth have to do with the Price of Tea in China? Its a non sequiter. ID’ers are happy to give Darwinists as much time as the want to spin their Just So Stories.

IDiot, He says “It could be.”

It’s relevant because the majority of your fellow IDiots are nothing more than Young Earth Creationists with a new set of talking-points.

As you may be aware, it has been illegal to teach creationism in the public schools since Edwards.

Such testimony is quite relevant.

Implies a designer, but we don’t go there.

Aren’t they even just a little bit curious about who the designer might be? I don’t see how those guys can be so (ostensibly) sure that there is no way to determine who the designer is unless they aleady know who the designer is. Maybe they just don’t care.

1) I don’t see where Ely admits the earth is only 5000 years old.

Yeah, he probably could care less. Good point, dude.

Biology, Geology and Astronomy are separate fields. Can you give me any reason what a Biologist believes about Geology or Astronomy is relevant? An expert in one field is not an expert in another.

Mr. Irigonegaray is simply trying to impeach the witness. A stupid lawyer trick. Is this what the Darwinism has come to? Stupid lawyer tricks; afraid to argue from Biological facts and observations?

Lurking IDiot:

1) I don’t see where Ely admits the earth is only 5000 years old.

2) What does the age of the Earth have to do with the Price of Tea in China? Its a non sequit[u]r.

I don’t think you’ve been following the conversation. The point is that a committee of the state Board of Education, which is responsible for deciding what should be taught as science in the public schools, came up with a very strange group of “experts” to write their model lesson. If you believe there’s any scientific doubt that the earth is round, or that it revolves around the sun, you don’t belong among those experts. For exactly the same reason, if you’re “struggling” with whether the the evidence favors a 5000 year old earth over a billions of years age - you don’t belong among those experts.

What kind of process could the Board have used to select these particular experts? Do you think it was just random - that they were just as qualified as all the other candidates and the Board just didn’t think it important to wonder whether they held extremely fringy views, discredited by all literate scientists and shared only by fundamentalist christians? Or do you suspect there might have been some kind of positive selection for creationists?

I’m not sure about its implications for tea prices, but as the Board member put it: if the earth is only a few thousand years old, then obviously all this “evolution” talk is just nonsense.

ID’ers are happy to give Darwinists as much time as the want to spin their Just So Stories.

Well that’s big of you. However, most of the ID supporters who testified in Kansas, including Ely and Leonard, the two Ohio “experts” in question, are not at all sure about that.

That makes the Board’s - or at least certain key members of the Board - contentions that religion had nothing to do with the selection of these lesson writers pretty hard to believe. If, that is, like Judge Jones, you happen not to be brain-dead.

No, Irigonegaray was methodically showing the close link between ID supporters and thouroughly discredited young earth creationists.

Nobody is “afraid to argue from biological facts and observations.” That’s what the peer-reviewed literature is all about.

The lawyer “tricks” are only called for because creationists are illegally trying to get their religion into the public schools. It doesn’t have anything to do with the scientific reality, which is an overwhelming consensus in favor of evolutionary theory. Do try to catch up.

Is this what the Darwinism has come to? Stupid lawyer tricks; afraid to argue from Biological facts and observations?

You got an anti-evolution argument which hasn’t already been refuted here:

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

?

Point is, if Luskin’s account of Ely’s testimony before the Ohio Board of Education is accurate, and there is excellent reason to doubt that given Mr. Luskin’s problems with lieing, then Ely flat out lied in front of the board. The transcript clearly shows Ely agreeing that he believes that the Earth could be 5K yrs old, after trying everything he could to evade the question. This is the “intellectual honesty” that Fink was defending during the meeting.

Creationists lie. Pathologically. The end is supposed to justify the means. These are the people that we’re supposed to give control of our children’s education to?

Can you give me any reason what a Biologist believes about Geology or Astronomy is relevant? An expert in one field is not an expert in another.

You first. We’ve have yo-yos in engineering and sociology trying to say stuff about biology for decades.

A stupid lawyer trick. Is this what the Darwinism has come to?

Appropriate tactics for the appropriate field. This WAS in a political arena, right?

And besides…it’s what’s being ADDED. NeoDarwinian theory has WON in the scientific arena (and has won for the same number of decades).

Any other short sighted, inadvertantly witless comments to make?

Biology, Geology and Astronomy are separate fields. Can you give me any reason what a Biologist believes about Geology or Astronomy is relevant? An expert in one field is not an expert in another.

Because there’s a particular religious cult that’s been consistently denying established results in all three areas for no good scientific reason, and has been trying to get its denials taught to impressionable minds in schools. This effort has been ruled illegal in the United States.

This cult has a fairly explicit set of viewpoints, so adherence to them can be taken as good evidence that you’re a cultist, and hence that your views about what should be taught in schools are likely to be biased in favour of illegal alternatives. This tends to do (legitimate) damage to your credibility.

Some may have missed the purpose of me posting this. EvolutionNews complains that the media so often gets it wrong when it comes to the issue of Intelligent Design.

EvolutionNews Wrote:

The misreporting of the evolution issue is one key reason for this new site.

Given this, I find it ironic that the contributors on evolutionnews seems to fail to verify so many details of their story. I couldn’t care less in this instance whether or not Ely is or is not a young earth creationist.

Lurking IDiot:

Biology, Geology and Astronomy are separate fields. Can you give me any reason what a Biologist believes about Geology or Astronomy is relevant? An expert in one field is not an expert in another.

I understand that this will be completely self-evident, so I understand how you might have over-looked it, but.…

If you believe the above (and I tend to disagree a bit), please answer the following questions:

1. How is Dembski (mathematician–I apologize to the mathematicians) an expert on evolution?

2. How is Luskin (lawyer) an expert on evolution?

3. How is Johnson (uh…professional apologetic?) an expert on evolution?

4. How is DaveScot (loony-bin escapee) an expert on evolution?

It is this warped logic and thought pattern that frustrates me more than anything else about the ID movement. For God’s sake, use your brains!

And, before you jump on me for countering my own argument, I offer the following.

I think people involved in related fields can (and do) know a whole bunch about related disciplines. For example, I’m an actor, but I could whip up a lighting or sound design if I needed to. It might not be as good as one that a professional designer created, but it would certainly be workable. Also, I have tested these related skills in the real world…got paid, got response, got hired on at other jobs.

Let’s take this example and apply it to the IDiots. I guess the closest thing they have to a truly related field scientist is Behe. He could know what he’s taking about. Even if we expand their universe to include Dembski and some others as closely related fields (which I’m certainly willing to do), where is their work? I have displayed my work in public multiple times (the equivalent of publishing in scientific journals), and left it open to criticism and been rewarded by both the public and those in the theatre world…where is the IDiot’s work on ID? What have they displayed?

That should have read:

He [Behe] could *wink* know what he’s talking about.

Damn the details and become an IDiot…the typing’s easier.

Biology, Geology and Astronomy are separate fields. Can you give me any reason what a Biologist believes about Geology or Astronomy is relevant?

This has already been well answered. I would like to answer it from a different perspective.

It is relevant because there is really only one science. The different fields of science aren’t like different religions or even different denominations of the same religion, where people can agree to disagree (or, as if often the case, slaughter each other until there is no one to disagree). If anything in one field of science conflicts with anything in any other the conflict must be resolved. And it must be resolved with facts, revisiting the known facts and observing new ones. Scientists are always on the look-out for such conflicts, because those who can resolve them achieve fame among their peers and honours to their employer. This has happened many times in the last couple of hundred years.

And it’s not a matter of what biologists believe about geology and astronomy, it’s a matter of what they know about them.

YEC, OEC, ID…

People who now call themsleves ID Proponents are usually closet YEC. Some are OEC, and ID really is a form of OEC. Now the ID people would try to say that no, no, creationism means a strict interpretation of the Bible, but that is a very narrow definition. ID is certainly creationism if creationism means that a creator created life a certain way and evolution by mutation and natural selection are false. But the ID creationists want a narrower definition of creationism. They also want a broader definition of science to be accepted. In other words, ID is science only under a very broad definition of science (that also includes astrology) and it’s not creationism under a very narrow definition of creationism that would limit creationism to meaning nothing but YEC.

I think I’m going to broaden my definition of idiot to mean anyone without an IQ of 160 or higher. Man, most of those ID people are idiots!

Now the ID people would try to say that no, no, creationism means a strict interpretation of the Bible, but that is a very narrow definition.

It’s also a WRONG definition; the creationists themselves were very specifically clear that their, uh, “science” was NOT based on the Bible or any other religious doctrine:

” ‘Scientific creationism’ (no reliance on Biblical revelation, utilizing only scientific data to support and expound the creation model). “ (ICR Impact No, 85, “The Tenets of Creationism”, Henry Morris, July 1980)

Henry Morris, Scientific Creationism:

“It is possible to discuss the evidences relating to evolution versus creation in a scientific context exclusively, without reference to religious literature or doctrine.” (p. 3)

“The purpose of Scientific Creationism (Public School edition) is to treat all of the more pertinent aspects of the subject of origins and to do this on a scientific basis, with no references to the Bible or to religious doctrine.” (p. iv)

“Scientifically sound alternative to evolution” (p. iii).

“There is nothing inherently religious about the terms ‘creator’ or ‘creation’, as used in the context of Act 590. Act 590 is concerned with a non-religious conception of ‘creation’ and ‘creator’, not the religious concepts dealt with in the Bible or religious writings… All that creation- science requires is that the entity which caused creation have power, intelligence and a sense of design.” (Defendant’s Trial Brief, McLean v Arkansas, 1981)

Sound at all familiar to anyone . … ?

Remember the game Whack-a-Mole? You know, the one where you have smack down a bunch of identical critters as fast as possible? Well, let’s start a new game.

Everytime Larry posts under a new name, quote the portion of the post that reveals the true identity and declare “Whacko-Troll!” Here’s an example of what I’m thinking:

Larry, posing as Roger Hall, Wrote:

They should just stick to the name “irreducible complexity” and forget about “design” and “designers.” The name “ID” is unfortunate.

Whacko-Troll!

Every Monday, I’ll tally up all of the entries from the previous week and post them in an appropriate thread over on AtBC. The first person to note a new Larry pseudonom gets a point, and the one who gets the most points each week wins. I’ll also keep a running tally. So, Larry, ready to make me a winner?

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on February 15, 2006 12:49 PM.

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