Now, That’s a Video to Look Forward To

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Kenneth Miller, professor at Brown University and expert witness for the plaintiffs in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, replied to William A. ‘Divine Wind’ Dembski this morning with some suggestions for good video. I know I’d like to see it. Fortunately, he used “reply all” in responding to Dembski, so I got it in my inbox. I thought that the PT community would like to see it, too, so I asked Prof. Miller if I could get his permission to post his email, and he kindly agreed. It is appended below the fold.

Dear Bill,

Thanks for the e-mail. It’s great to see what sort of research the Intelligent Design movement is up to these days!

I’d like to help you with the Judge’s e-mail, but since I have never had any contact with him outside the courtroom, I have no idea what his e-mail might be. I’m sure he’d be thrilled by the offer to remove “less flattering” sound effects, of course.

I do believe that I can help you with the video, though. As much as I enjoyed it, I was disappointed that it didn’t include some of the more amusing events from the trial. Since you’ve clearly got a little extra time on your hands, why not punch it up a bit with a few more highlights?

For example, how about Bill Buckingham claiming that he never mentioned the word “creationism,” and then the video clip showing him doing exactly that? (I can send you the clip if you need it). Or Mike Behe peeking out from behind a stack of 58 papers, 9 books, and a couple of textbooks saying that even this isn’t enough to convince him that the immune system evolved? Or, even better, your own DC spokesman for the Discovery Institute (Mark Ryland) claiming that the DI had “never” advocated the teaching of ID in schools, followed by Richard Thompson, in his own voice, waving a copy of Steve Meyer’s book which advocated exactly that? I’ve got that last one on a DVD if you like. You’d love it, Bill - Richard brought down the house at the American Enterprise Institute with that one.

Or, even better, how about the stuff before the trial?

Why not show the pictures of the 8 ID experts who promised the Dover Board that they would be there in court to defend them? … and then you can show 5 of the 8 running away at deposition time. I’ve even got a sound effects file I can send you of galloping horses, and maybe a scream or two in the background as the dreaded experts from the ACLU-friendly plaintiffs arrive?

Now that would be one heckuva animation!

Best Wishes for a Wonderful Christmas,

Ken

At 10:25 AM -0600 12/16/06, William A. Dembski wrote:

[Dembski’s email snipped. – WRE]

– Kenneth R. Miller Professor of Biology Box G-B5 Brown University Providence, RI 02912

http://research.brown.edu/research/[…]4768&r=1

http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/index.html

I’ll offer a trivial correction to Prof. Miller, in that while 5 ID experts dropped out before testifying, only 3 of those did so at deposition time: John Angus Campbell, William A. ‘Divine Wind’ Dembski, and Stephen C. Meyer. Bruce Chapman apparently told the Discovery Institute affiliated experts that they shouldn’t get involved in KvD, and those three appear to have complied with Chapman’s wishes. Warren Nord and Dick M. Carpenter II saved their running away for during the trial itself – we have the depositions here and here, respectively. One may speculate upon why the Thomas More Law Center decided to do without their testimony. In Nord’s case, perhaps his insistence that religion should be a part of the educational curriculum despite what the Constitution and courts have said about that was recognized by the TMLC as shooting themselves in the foot, which would have been close to a first for them. (Recognizing it ahead of time, that is.) In Carpenter’s case, apparently TMLC figured out how dispensable Carpenter’s testimony was – several months after I had surmised as much.

2 TrackBacks

There have been a couple of very interesting posts about the flap over Judge Jones’s alleged (falsely it turns out) plagiarism in the Kitzmiller decision. I pointed out previously that I saw this as essentially a broad scatter ad hominem attack ... Read More

After Dembski sent out that request for more contributions to his petty flash animation, Ken Miller offers him more than he asked for: a nice assortment of the most embarrasssing moments for the creationists at the Dover trial. No response... Read More

47 Comments

This is just why Ken Miller is so awesome!

This all sounds amazing. I didn’t realize any of this had been recorded on video. If Dembski for some reason does not take up Dr. Miller on his offer, is there some way Dr. Miller would be willing or able to post some of this stuff on Youtube or Google Video?

I think he is an extremely competent biologist and incompetent in epistemological matters.

Be warned… I won’t have this thread hijacked. I will make good use of the Bathroom Wall as needed.

HEADSHOT!

Or Mike Behe peeking out from behind a stack of 58 papers, 9 books, and a couple of textbooks saying that even this isn’t enough to convince him that the immune system evolved?

This would have to be animated, as I don’t think there were video cameras present during the trial.

Or Mike Behe peeking out from behind a stack of 58 papers, 9 books, and a couple of textbooks saying that even this isn’t enough to convince him that the immune system evolved?

I’m not sure exactly what the wording was in the trial. (I suppose I could look it up, but it’s not that important.) I believe that the claim in “Darwin’s Black Box”, though, was not just that there was scant evidence that the immune system evolved, but that there wasn’t even any research published on immune system evolution!

I suppose Behe, like all creationists, will always say, no matter how much evidence is produced, that they’re still not convinced that the immune system evolved. But the claim that that evidence doesn’t exist… that’s what makes the image of Behe, dwarfed by the stack of publications, so side-splittingly hilarious.

I don’t care what anybody says, I always have found clowns to be funny.

You go Bill! You’re entrance into your new career is spot on.

You just need the costume to go with it.

It’s also obviously why we rarely attempt to parody these dolts.

The IDists can’t answer Jones, so they try a ham-fisted “parody” complete with farting sounds and changing pitch to “sound funny”. I mean, it’s barely worse than Behe’s “response” to the ruling.

But how do you parody Behe’s sneer at the stacks of research, or his virtual inclusion of astrology into the “definition of science” he insists must supplant working science? These are what would be the parodies of something more substantial, were it to exist.

It’s why I don’t think anybody’s attempts at a counter-parody will work.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Video of the American Enterprise Institute stuff is here. The Thompson/Ryland exchange is in the transcript:

MR. RYLAND: Sure. I’d be happy to respond. Let me back up first and say that the Discovery Institute never set out to have schools get into this issue. We’ve never encouraged people to do it, we’ve never promoted it. We have unfortunately gotten sucked into it because we have a lot of expertise in the issue that people are interested in.

MR. THOMPSON: I think I want to respond to that.

MR. ENTINE: You can respond.

MR. THOMPSON: First of all, Stephen Meyer, who is he? Is he the president?

MR. RYLAND: He’s the Director of the Center for Science and Culture.

MR. THOMPSON: And David DeWolf is a Fellow of the Discovery Institute?

MR. RYLAND: Right.

MR. THOMPSON: They wrote a book entitled Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curriculum. The conclusion of that book was that, Moreover, as previous discussion demonstrates, school boards have the authority to permit and even encourage teaching about design theory as an alternative to Darwinian evolution, and this includes the use of textbooks such as Pandas and People that present evidence for the theory of intelligent design, and I could go further.

But you had Discovery Institute people actually encouraging the teaching of intelligent design in public school systems. Whether they wanted the school boards to teach intelligent design or to mention it, certainly when you start putting it in writing that writing does have consequences. In fact, several of the members including Steve Meyer agreed to be expert witnesses, also prepared expert witness reports. Then all at once decided that they weren’t going to become expert witnesses at a time after the closure of the time we could add new expert witnesses. So it did have a strategic impact on the way we could present the cases because they backed out when the court no longer allowed us to add new expert witnesses which we could have done.

It’s toward the end of the video.

RBH

Actually, the Thompson/Ryland stuff is more than 6 hours into the video at about 6:07 ff.

Glen D Wrote:

It’s why I don’t think anybody’s attempts at a counter-parody will work.

Gee, thanks Glen. I’m glad I spent all that time drawing Dumbski’s face and -especially- forehead. C’mon, I did my part. I hope not everyone agrees with you and helps think of something clever to do with it.

Remember how William A. ‘Divine Wind’ Dembski claimed credit for Ann Coulter’s discussion of evolution and “intelligent design”? Perhaps Dembski’s obsession with the nether end of the alimentary tract can be seen there as well:

Ann Coulter Wrote:

Throw in enough words like imagine, perhaps, and might have – and you’ve got yourself a scientific theory! How about this: Imagine a giant raccoon passed gas and perhaps the resulting gas might have created the vast variety of life we see on Earth. And if you don’t accept the giant raccoon flatulence theory for the origin of life, you must be a fundamentalist Christian nut who believes the Earth is flat. That’s basically how the argument for evolution goes.

Katarina Wrote:

Dumbski’s face and -especially- forehead.

Ah, you are referring to the explanatory filter and the wedge.

William A. ‘Divine Wind’ Dembski

I think this is by far my favorite moniker for Dembski.

Gee, thanks Glen. I’m glad I spent all that time drawing Dumbski’s face and -especially- forehead. C’mon, I did my part. I hope not everyone agrees with you and helps think of something clever to do with it.

Umm, I haven’t seen it, but it sounds like a caricature rather than what we’d normally call a “parody” (could you link? I’m sure you did somewhere, but I can’t read all the threads or even scan them all that well). So you might believe me when I say that I wasn’t gunning at your drawing specifically (probably not even in general), although I did want to suggest that a full-blown parody of Behe at Dover or some such thing would likely work rather more poorly than showing him straight.

Sorry if I seemed to be targeting your caricature (right?), especially since I wasn’t. A caricature and a caption would be right in line with the seriousness of the ID attempts at science. A true (or anyway, full-blown) parody would imply that ID rises above the level of parody.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 10, column 6, byte 270 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

Ha ha u guys r dum!

I have watched that AEI cast a couple of times and that scene with Richard Thompson was so embarassing. Ryland plays the stalwart defender…i.e. s***-eating politician…of the DI but it must have been humiliating. Well…to anyone with a conscience. ;-/ I’m so glad Miller did that. He’s one of the good ones. Behe needs to be wearing a Carnac headpiece though and be holding a deck of Tarot Cards as he casts his astrological chart.

If you guys are making a video, I have a nice .wav file of crickets chirping.

You could use that for the part where the DI details their “theory”.

Shouldn’t we have Bill Buckingham’s nose grow a little longer each time he lies?

It’s a start, but I’m not an artist. What to do with the See n Say ?

http://www.bringyou.to/BILLY.htm

Phil P

Here’s the drawing.

In the course of bashing Judge Jones for plagiarizing the statement of facts in Kitzmiller, the Discovery Institute accused him of copying several factual mistakes. One of these is that Prof. Behe contended that the 58 references on evolution of the immune system were “not good enough,” when it was the ACLU attorney who said that; what Behe said was that the references”don’t address the question I pose.”

However, the trial transcript (http://www.aclu.org/downloads/Day12PM.pdf, around page 16) shows that Behe’s “different question” in fact was that the references showed only broad stages in the evolution of the immune system, and did not show enough “rigorous detailed explanations” for each step in the process.

To my mind, Behe’s “different question” sounds almost exactly like “they’re not good enough.” So this particular “factual mistake” is not a mistake at all.

We law students used to recount a half-humorous maxim. When trying a case, if you have the facts on your side, you pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither facts nor law, pound the table. The Discovery Institute is now reduced to pounding the table. Oh yeah—why did it take them a year to discover this similarity in the findings of fact? The second thing you do after a getting hold of the court’s decision (reading who won is first) is to see how many of each side’s proposed findings made it into the decision.

TL, re the shape of Dembski’s head: priceless.

Surely there will have to be a reference to Bill’s wager of a bottle of scotch on the outcome of any court battle over ID!

Don’t forget Behe’s clueless and unforgettable remark as he was being buried in evidence for the evolution of the immune system at the trial:

[Paraphrase:] “May we set all this evidence aside, please?”

Nice job depicting how he tries to cover up his balding spots. Wear your scalp with pride!

3. William Dembski // Dec 18th 2006 at 6:21 pm

Calm yourselves everybody. An enhanced flatulent version is being worked on at this very moment. I will make it available. I do want to say this for the record, however. Many people regard the flatulent version as unsophisticated and even infantile. I want to suggest that in this postmodern age the flatulence in this animation actually serves as a sophisticated rhetorical device that mirrors the subtext of flatulence that runs throughout Judge Jones’s decision.

Comment by William Dembski — December 18, 2006 @ 6:21 pm

Consider it now on the record.

Has talkorigins been hacked into again? I’m being routed to www.lunarpages.com instead.

Slightly OT, but I have a question. How did Dembski get the appellation “Divine Wind”? Did he bestow it upon himself, or did someone at PT (or another blog) decide it fit him to a ‘T’? The reason I ask is that kamikaze is Japanese for “Divine Wind”, and it would just be too funny if he chose to call himself William “kamikaze” Dembski.

Wow! Ken really zinged him. It just goes to show that they have no material on their side to make the plaintiffs look bad, but the wealth of material against them is staggering.

BTW, the drawing of Dembski is great, but I vote no on any “counter” flash animations. No need to stoop to their level.

Someone less lazy seriously needs to write up this latest flash animation incident in Dembski’s wikipedia entry.

I vote no on any “counter” flash animations. No need to stoop to their level.

Aww.. I was kinda picturing the head throbbing just slightly. The guy is revolutionizing information theory! He’s been compared to some of the greatest minds. It’s only fair to grant that his brain is weightier than average.

People who have the urge to make their own Flash animations in reply could spend their time better by making animations which explain basic principles of evolution. Try your hand at redoing that scene from Cosmos where Carl Sagan shows us “what molecules can do, given four billion years.”

I mean, snarky replies are funny, but spreading knowledge is enlightening.

Why not show the pictures of the 8 ID experts who promised the Dover Board that they would be there in court to defend them?

Didn’t some ID pusher (Behe?) make some comment about how good it would be to get an “evolutionist” in a courtroom where they would be forced to answer questions?

Peez

Didn’t some ID pusher (Behe?) make some comment about how good it would be to get an “evolutionist” in a courtroom where they would be forced to answer questions?

That was Dr^2 Dembski himself. Recall the vise…

And that’s a crackin’ caricature, Katarina. I’m sure your efforts have not gone in vain, even though I don’t think a fart-off is appropriate here.

Perhaps an educational video narrated by Dembski’s caricature is time better spent, where Dembski explains some interesting evolutionary factoids. Then we’re benefiting humanity and making fun of Dembski at the same time.

I know it’s childish.…but, I didn’t create it…

http://video.google.com/videoplay?d[…]654049302774

Russell Wrote:

I believe that the claim in “Darwin’s Black Box”, though, was not just that there was scant evidence that the immune system evolved, but that there wasn’t even any research published on immune system evolution!

Behe made this claim about biochemistry in general, and was refuted regarding his broad ignorance of the literature as soon as he showed up on talk.origins shortly after his book came out. Behe’s response was to simply go away.

In the special case of the immune system, mention should be made of William Paul Fundamental Immunology, the standard multiauthor medical textbook on the subject. My 2nd edition is dated 1986, and has a chapter on the evolution of the immune system. By today’s standards, the knowledge then was rather primitive, but that’s the nature of research. Something Behe obviously has difficulty coping with.

Steverino,

THANK YOU!!! I was laughing so hard I couldn’t see the whole thing! Oh, that was goooood.

Another farting preacher. Dembski should have seen this coming. [Warning: low-brow humor]

Cheered me right up.

Mike Anglin Wrote:

To my mind, Behe’s “different question” sounds almost exactly like “they’re not good enough.” So this particular “factual mistake” is not a mistake at all.

No, it’s a mistake. Because even if the quoted material is a reasonable paraphrase of something Behe really said, it’s just not OK to put quote marks around something that he didn’t say and say that he said it:

Jones Wrote:

He was presented with fifty-eight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system; however, he simply insisted that this was still not sufficient evidence of evolution, and that it was not “good enough.” (23:19 (Behe)).

Page 78. To say that Behe “insisted” a phrase given in quotes is, to a commonsense reader—or any plausibly imaginable reader, in my opinion—is to say that he opened his mouth and the quoted words came out, which they didn’t.

It’s not a telling, damning, case-breaking mistake that makes Jones, Darwin, and all the rest of us wrong about evolution—it’s trivial, in fact—but it’s still a mistake and should stand confessed as such.

Larry

Ribozyme says:

“I think he is an extremely competent biologist and incompetent in epistemological matters.”

You know what, there are very few scientists (philosophers even) who are competent at epistomology, though many are quite cocky that they are so.

Page 78. To say that Behe “insisted” a phrase given in quotes is, to a commonsense reader—or any plausibly imaginable reader, in my opinion—is to say that he opened his mouth and the quoted words came out, which they didn’t.

So you’re disagreeing about the use of quotation marks in English, correct?

In which case, you’re wrong. It’s clear from context that the judge is not making a direct quotation. These don’t have much value when everyone has access to the trial transcripts (which are referenced right after the phrase). He used quotes to indicate that the words he wrote would not have been his first choice to express himself.

Consider this dialogue: P1: Are you a rabid gun-enthusiast? P2: Yes.

It’s perfectly reasonable to say: P2, having admitted to being a “rabid gun enthusiast”, had access to guns and a predisposition to use them.

This is a pretty close analogy, being an indirect quote.

BTW, in journalism direct quotes are never 100% precise. Mostly because real speech contains a lot of “Uhhh…”s, “…,like,…”, &c., as well as many repetitions of the first part of the sentence. You can look at the transcript to find a myriad examples. Journalists trim out the excess, and make small corrections to make the sentences sounds grammatical. It’s considered good journalism if the quote closely resembles what the person meant to say when they spoke.

every time i see the Disco Institute try something new ,the chorus of an old 60s Delfonics song called “Trying to Make a Fool of Me” runs through my head

And you keep trying to make a fool of me trying to make a fool of me trying to make a fool of me and you keep TRYING (trying) trying TRYING (trying) trying Ohhhhhhh yeahhhhh (yeahhhh)

sorry bill we werent really fooled

the other old delfonics song that runs through my head is “Over and Over”

I try over and over again I try over and over again I try over and over and over again

the songs much sound better than their silly lyrics would signify …can’t say that about ID though

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This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on December 18, 2006 1:23 PM.

DI Plagiarizes Law Review Article? was the previous entry in this blog.

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