The DI and Short term memory

| 37 Comments

Casey Luskin, continues his “assaults” on Judge Jones’ devastating ruling for Intelligent Design while conveniently forgetting the Discovery Institute’s Amicus Curiae to the case.

Luskin argues that, based on an statements made by Judge Jones on the “Lehrer Newshour”, the ruling by Jones should be considered flawed:

Luskin Wrote:

First, Judge Jones admitted that a key question his ruling answered was whether intelligent design was “good science,” and he states that “after six weeks of largely expert testimony, I came to the conclusion that it simply was not good science” (emphasis added). This proves his judicial activism because it shows that, in his mind, a key question was not the constitutionality of Dover’s policy in particular, but rather a broad sweeping question about whether ID is “good science,” something that is totally inappropriate and unnecessary for the federal judiciary to answer in such a case over the constitutionality of a science curriculum.

Why is this claim so ironic? Well, if you read the submissions of the Discovery Institute to the judge, they argue that since ID is science, it cannot be ruled to be unconstitutional. In other words, they insist that the judge resolves the issue of ID being science. When he actually does this and he rules contrary to their expectations, the judge suddenly becomes an activist judge.

The Discovery Institute’s own website demonstrates that their amicus brief was submitted to argue “… about secular purposes for teaching about the scientific theory of intelligent design”” (October 31, 2005)

So what was the argument of the Discovery Institute which forced the judge to rule on the issue of ID being science?

The Amicus Brief argues:

The Law Does Not Require That Government Action Have No Religious Purpose, But Only That Secular Purposes Predominate

There Are Many Legitimate Secular Purposes Under Which The Theory Of Intelligent Design Could Be Taught

Curriculum Policies Sanctioning The Teaching Of Design Theory Could Be Constructed In Which Secular Purposes Predominate

And under secular purposes, the DI claims “The Theory of Intelligent Design Employs Established Scientific Methods”, “Empirical Evidence Supports the Theory of Intelligent Design”, “Peer-reviewed and Peer-edited Scientific Literature Supports the Theory of Intelligent Design” and finally ‘Attempts to Define Intelligent Design As Inherently Unscientific Depend Upon Discredited, Arbitrary, Or Contentious Definitions Of Science”

In the introduction, the DI clearly lays the foundation for the Judge’s ruling

Amicus disputes the second, more general claim, because it ignores the many secular purposes under which the theory of intelligent design could be taught, as well as the likely primary effect of teaching about intelligent design—to advance science education.

and the ask the judge

… to fashion relief that does not impugn the constitutionality of teaching about intelligent design, since policies permitting such instruction might reflect valid secular purposes and could enhance religious neutrality.

In other words, the Judge by listening to the Discovery Institute’s request has now become an activist judge.

Figures… Kitzmiller is just a gift that keeps on giving

37 Comments

The DI is not alone in holding this weird dissonance. I regularly encounter it here in Arkansas. The logic was clear from the outset – if ID is science, then it is a freedom of speech issue (to the degree that it is legally excluded from classrooms). If it is not, then it is an establishment issue. Very simple. The DI and other creationists clearly understood this before the trial, and even now continue to make the same basic argument by insisting that ID is science, and therefore is unjustly repressed (or expelled, as the case may be). So the judge does just what they ask, and all of the sudden the story changes when it blows up in their face. Most amazing to me is that the DI folks have the nerve to make these claims when we have their own writings to disprove them! I continuously struggle in deciding whether they are so disillusioned that they have lost rational ability, they are just flat liars who believe it’s OK if it’s for Jesus, or a combination of both.

mplavcan:

I continuously struggle in deciding whether they are so disillusioned that they have lost rational ability, they are just flat liars who believe it’s OK if it’s for Jesus, or a combination of both.

Reading the Bible for what it says, and then reading attempts to argue that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, has the same effect on me.

If you won’t follow logic, please remove your own brain.

If you are too chicken to tell the truth, please remove your own tongue or fingers.

Jesus taught that, sort of.

The DI is almost as good as the IRS in arguing both sides of the same point when it suits their goal. First, they argued that their amicus brief was unfairly tossed out of the case and thus not considered. Now we see that Judge Jones did in fact do what they had requested in the brief.

However, the inconsistency is wrongly characterized as a failure of the DI’s memory. Instead, the DI is counting on a lack of memory in their followers. This seems much more likely.

For me what makes it hard to accept the ID camp as serious scientists is their unwillingness to engage in the process. I have continually suggested they meet with their critics as all of us “raised” in the sciences have learnt to do when we were undergraduates and there seems to be no interest in doing that. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that their behaviour is based on dogma instead of data. Now this attitude seems to be extending into the legal and social aspects of their stance. How is it that Drs Behe, Dembski and Wells made it through the system without appreciating the reasoning behind the process?

One does not have to dig as far as PvM did into the DI’s amicus brief to see their request that the judge decide the question of whether ID is science or religion. The very first page of the brief, the summary of the whole argument, states:

“In this case, plaintiffs have made two main types of claims. First, they have made fact-based claims that the specific policy adopted by the Dover Area School Board (‘DASB’) violates the first and second prongs of the Lemon test. Second, they claim that the theory of intelligent design is an ‘inherently religious concept’ such that teaching students about it would necessarily violate Lemon’s first and second prongs under any circumstances. Amicus vigorously disputes this second, more general claim, but takes no position on the first.”

That is, the only point of the entire brief is that ID is science, not religion. They don’t even care whether the School Board acted badly, because they say the Board’s misconduct wouldn’t matter if ID can be shown to be valid science.

This proves his judicial activism because it shows that, in his mind, a key question was not the constitutionality of Dover’s policy in particular, but rather a broad sweeping question about whether ID is “good science”

Casey Luskin needs to figure out the difference between “a” key question and “the” key question. Also, arguing from silence is never a good idea.

Olorin Wrote:

That is, the only point of the entire brief is that ID is science, not religion. They don’t even care whether the School Board acted badly, because they say the Board’s misconduct wouldn’t matter if ID can be shown to be valid science.

Funny isn’t it? And now they suddenly seem to have forgotten their Amicus Brief contributions?

Kitzmiller continues to be a disaster for Intelligent Design, and mostly by their own ‘design’.

To become a maths graduate or a professor, unless you are very very lucky, you are not stupid. These people know what they are doing, so with the greatest of respect to the polite commenters above, they are not deluded they are just liars. Why have they have been proven to be liars? As a group, by their fallacious arguments that creationism is not ID. By their inability to accept any data that contradicts their ideals. By putting forward a proposition that creationism/ID is a scientific theory when any scientist knows that any theory must be falsifiable and their’s is not. They rely on the innate politeness of scientists who will not try to destroy another scientist because scientists consider having a wrong idea is just part of science. I am not suggesting that scientists and skeptics become as unethical as creationist/IDers but rebut them with a little more robustness. When Behe lies about irreducible complexity, or Dembski lies about the mathematics involved, try not to think of them as deluded, they have an agenda to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt. In an earlier age they would have worked for IBM ;)

Jerad Zimmermann:

For me what makes it hard to accept the ID camp as serious scientists is their unwillingness to engage in the process.

I get the picture that they are not unwilling to engage in the scientific process, they are so terrified of the scientific process that they carp their pants over the very thought of it.

We should remember that we can’t just assume we will be able to win everytime because we won at Dover. All it takes is a judge with less intellect or integrity and we will be facing the publicity barrage from ID crowd. They are determined and they don’t mind playing dirty. They are analyzing from legal and tactical point of view what went wrong in Dover for them. They will correct the stupid mistakes and come back again. Next win might not be as easy as it was in Dover nor might it be as sweeping.

So let us contain our enthusiasm and see if the Federal Court system consistently rules like it in the Dover case a few more times.

Fundamentally they don’t care whether the ToE is right or wrong. Even when there is overwhelming evidence that ToE is right and ID is wrong, they fancy themselves as some kind of Perry Mason type lawyer fighting enormous odds to free their client.

The real argument on their side, privately not heard by seculars and scientists is, “If the Theory of Evolution is true, all men will be fighting each other like selfish vicious jungle animals. Evidently they are not. So the theory of evolution is wrong.” We might argue this argument is fundamentally flawed and show them an amazing array of evidence. But they are not capable of understanding the evidence. Science is as alien to them as military aviation was to the Cargo Cults in the Pacific. We need to fight them strategically, in addition to fighting them tactically in federal courts and school board elections.

We need to calm down the religious minded folk who send cash and donations to ID and who get energized as a reliable vote bank by politicians. That science or evolution is not a threat to their church, their religion, their religious leaders’ grip on their congregation. If the funding drops and the vote gathering politicians go away, Discoverup Institute and Creationism Version 1, 2, and now 3 will wither away.

We need to talk past these creationists and to the other religious people these creationists claim to represent.

Sorry to be the one who is raining on the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

It doesn’t require a federal judge to figure out if ID/Creationism is a science or not.

Anyone can go through the list of activities of the ID/Creationists and pseudo-scientists and compare them to the activities of working scientists.

Do typical working scientists engage in the following activities when advancing new ideas?

Do they pitch them to naive audiences while complaining they can’t get a fair hearing in the science community? Do they form institutes that spend millions of dollars to crank out propaganda pushing their idea and criticizing the scientific community? Do they issue talking points to grass-roots organizations and political groups to be argued in churches and local newspapers around the country? Do they publish books on their ideas in the popular press and claim they are peer-reviewed?

Do they encourage grass-roots organizations to elect sympathetic politicians to state and federal legislative bodies? Do they have these politicians slipping stealth riders into bills requiring the advancement of their ideas to children in public schools? Do they have teams of lawyers figuring ways to advance the idea without breaking the law?

Do they elect members to local school boards and state boards of education to press the idea into specific classes in public schools? Do these board members provoke law suits in order to get a court declaration on the constitutionality of the idea and whether or not it is a science?

Do they challenge members of the scientific community to debates and bus in hecklers from surrounding churches to help support the new idea while making it difficult for the member of the science community to get his or her points across? Do they connect their ideas to human immorality claiming that these ideas must be advanced to return mankind to the “right path”?

Do they quote-mine members of the scientific community in order to make it appear that these new ideas are actually supported while the rest of science is falling apart? Do they misrepresent scientific ideas and attribute these misrepresentations to the rest of the scientific community? Do they invent new words with unconventional meanings and then “clarify” them with more fuzzy words?

Do they leave experimentation and verification to others while claiming they themselves aren’t responsible for such activity? Do they make allusions suggesting that they are in a league with history’s greatest scientists? Do they go to unusual lengths to have their name widely recognized? Do they engage in word games that attempt to change the definitions of science in order to include the supernatural?

Do they claim to do experiments that demonstrate their ideas but constantly find reasons to withhold the techniques and data from the wider scientific community?

Do typical ID/Creationists engage in the following activities when advancing their ideas?

Do they submit their theories for peer-review to get clarification and criticism from experts? Do they propose experiments, collect data and do the difficult work needed to support their theory? Do they acknowledge data that do not support their theory? Do they acknowledge data that contradict their theory? Do they clarify their ideas when members of the scientific community point out misconceptions and inconsistencies with well supported theories and data?

Do they interact routinely with members of the scientific community in order to keep their ideas subjected to scrutiny and criticism? Do they demonstrate deep knowledge of the relevant issues to the members of the scientific community? Do they command any respect from the scientific community for their over all understanding of the issues?

When we compare the above lists of activities, where do we typically find the pseudo-scientist?

If you compare what the pseudo-scientist does with what a typical scientist does, the typical scientist has fewer things he or she must do in order to convince the scientific community. Scientific activity is much simpler and more transparent. All the political and grass-roots agitation among naive audiences is not even necessary. When you compare the activities of pseudo-scientists with those of the ID/Creationists, there are striking similarities.

Why are the activities of the typical ID/Creationist and pseudo-scientist so much more involved and so different from the activities of the typical scientist?

You don’t need a federal judge to tell you.

Casey Luskin has written a piece in mensnewsdaily, answering some criticisms from the right wingers Charles Krauthammer and George Will. The criticisms are two year old columns in Washington Post. http://mensnewsdaily.com/2007/11/22[…]n-or-design/

May be it is not the first time he has written such pieces defending ID from right wing critics, and old timers here might know all about it. Me being a newbie, I was stuck by the punch line of Luskin’s piece: “At the end of the day, the earth still turns, and the living cell shows evidence of design.”.

Earth Turns? I thought God once commanded the Sun to stand still, not the earth! Even pretend-scientists are debunking Bible.

Luskin’s comments also ignores the TMLC’s own opening for the defence - one example is:

“Now, it’s true at the end of the day the board didn’t agree with everything the teachers said. The board believed that intelligent design was not creationism. They knew what that was, the Book of Genesis. They concluded that intelligent design was science. They looked at the text of Pandas and People. That’s not the Book of Genesis.

They believed it was a legitimate educational goal to make students aware of the existence of another scientific theory, but they agreed with the teachers’ objections that for practical reasons, students shouldn’t be taught intelligent design theory.”

Oh and this:

“Defendants’ expert will show this Court that intelligent design theory, IDT, is science, a theory that’s advanced in terms of empirical evidence and technical knowledge proper to scientific and academic specialties. It is not religion. This expert testimony will also demonstrate that making students aware of gaps and problems in evolutionary theory is good science education. It’s good liberal education.”

OK … how could Jones not rule on whether ID was science when the defence insisted on building their entire case on this assumption?

ravilyn sanders:

We should remember that we can’t just assume we will be able to win everytime because we won at Dover. All it takes is a judge with less intellect or integrity and we will be facing the publicity barrage from ID crowd.

Right now the worst thing that could happen to the ID scam artists is for them to win a case due to the creationist bias of a judge in the lower courts. It would subject them to scrutiny of the higher courts. I do not think that the Supreme court is so far over the edge that they can look the other way on this one. It would subject them to a decision with broader precedent. Right now they are making hay out of the fact that Judge Jones’ decision is local. If the the IDiots are unlucky enough to get someone like 10 Commandment Judge Hand they will be crapping their pants and crying foul before it even goes to court.

It is true that there were some clueless incompetents over at Dembski’s blog that were claiming that they were going to win because Jones was a good ole boy, but they know better today.

This Florida thing could be shaping up into just the fiasco that the Discovery Institute doesn’t want. These guys talk like YEC IDiots. They will be the most difficult to persuade to go with the replacement scam. What would be worse is if the take the replacement scam after proclaiming to want to teach ID and then blow the replacement scam due to their ingnorance and incompetence. If such a fiasco goes to court it is the absolute last thing that the scam artists at the Discovery Institute want.

Ron Okimoto Wrote:

It is true that there were some clueless incompetents over at Dembski’s blog …

What do you mean “some”? Everyone else who posts to UD gets banned. :-)

Mike Elzinga said:

It doesn’t require a federal judge to figure out if ID/Creationism is a science or not.

Anyone can go through the list of activities of the ID/Creationists and pseudo-scientists and compare them to the activities of working scientists.

Do typical working scientists engage in the following activities when advancing new ideas?

Do typical ID/Creationists engage in the following activities when advancing their ideas?

When we compare the above lists of activities, where do we typically find the pseudo-scientist?

Mike, I’m going to print this out and show it to my students whenever I get a creationist complaint. Brilliant!

Ron Okimoto writes…

This Florida thing could be shaping up into just the fiasco that the Discovery Institute doesn’t want.

Florida thing?

Is there a new kerfluffle on the horizon?

I’ve been face down in assembly language for he last two months, so I haven’t been paying much attention (I know, I know, but even people named Steve have to work once in a while).

GvlGeologist Wrote:

Mike, I’m going to print this out and show it to my students whenever I get a creationist complaint. Brilliant!

Thanks for the complement; however I can’t take credit for all of it. Martin Gardner, Robert Park, Skeptical Inquirer, and other sources have mentioned similar things from time to time. I figured it would be a good idea to summarize them in one place.

Since pseudo-scientists and ID/Creationists have an instinctive terror of scientists and the scientific process, it is inevitable that they will conduct their activities in other venues and with other survival tactics. They can’t survive in the environment of science, so it is reasonable to look for them in environments where they can survive. Those environments have distinct differences from the environment in which one finds working scientists. A little applied biology from a working physicist. :-)

Observation from above:

I get the picture that they are not unwilling to engage in the scientific process, they are so terrified of the scientific process that they carp their pants over the very thought of it.

I always thought there was soemthing “fishy” about those guys.

Speaking of liars, where is that “rising star” of the ID Movement named Hannah Maxson these days? I keep waiting for her to turn up in a likely place.

Did she perhaps come to her senses?

Just kidding. It’s mostly permanent brain damage with these fundy types.

stevaroni:

Ron Okimoto writes…

This Florida thing could be shaping up into just the fiasco that the Discovery Institute doesn’t want.

Florida thing?

Is there a new kerfluffle on the horizon?

Yes, but in a good way. Florida is redefining the science standards and it is leaning towards evolution. Compared to the old one, the proposed one explicitly mentions evolution and mandates knowledge about it as part of science curriculum. The public comment period drew more than 70% pro-evolution comments. Except of one small minor flare at Polk county over all the news from Florida is good.

http://www.theledger.com/article/20[…]1200414/1004

http://blogs.theledger.com/default.[…]?item=702344

The posts from Ron Okimoto and Mike Elzinga, calms me down a little and gives me some confidence that ID/DI scam artists’ games really up and it will slowly die away.

Speaking of redefining science, Wednesday I had another student in my office, failing Introduction to Physical Anthropology for a second time. The student isn’t dumb. But she went into detail about how she was taught creation science in high school. I especially enjoyed her description of how she was taught that evolution isn’t science, and that “some people” think it may be true, but a lot of real scientists disagree.

Thank you to all of our good friends at the Discovery Institute, Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research, and all of their colleagues. Even this student, struggling to graduate by passing her science core classes, was acutely aware of how her science education was ruined by these clowns redefining science. Thank you again. I wish you could enjoy the same pleasure I get when seeing the academic and intellectual wreckage of yet another student who was fed the putrescent bile and garbage that you pass off as science. Maybe our resident trolls should come by my office one morning when I have to deal with one of your “success stories”, and explain to them why it is for their own good. You know, sacrificing their grades to save their souls and all that. Thank you, from the trenches.

While it is true that Intelligent Design Ph.Ds are not participating in it, there is right now a worldwide research program, staffed by a vast army of empirical researchers, working on the only kind of investigations which have any chance of ultimately detecting prescience in the construction of nature. This research program is called modern science. So far, null result.

Re “The DI and Short term memory”

Well, they say memory is the second thing to go.

Henry

WRT mplavcan‘s failing student:

I am sure that there are tens, nay hundreds, of readers of this blog who would tutor mplavcan’s student, online, for free, providing that she is sincerely interested in learning Physical Anthropology as it is understood in the real world.

If no one else will do it, I will, although I am not the best tutor in the world, and although I would be relearning PA one lesson at a time before helping the student with it. (IOW, we might both fail!)

I, for one, would *not* ask the student to abandon any of her sincerely held beliefs carried over from high school. My only requirement would be that she be sincerely interested in learning *conventional* PA, if only, at a later stage of her career to (try to) overcome it with creationist arguments.

…they are so terrified of the scientific process that they carp their pants over the very thought of it.

You’ve discovered the design mechanism!

I always thought there was soemthing “fishy” about those guys.

Just cause they carp about science, and their arguments tend to flounder?

Henry

They perch on a high wall, eyes to the heavens, coddling their preconceived notions, and getting everything bass ackwards.

Just cause they carp about science, and their arguments tend to flounder?

That, and they’re my bichirs and the wrasses is history. Thanks mom!

According to the Dover board’s attorney on the purpose of the case, BOYLE: “I think the other subject is whether or not intelligent design is creation science.” (July 14)

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/buell2.html

Re “They perch on a high wall, eyes to the heavens, coddling their preconceived notions, and getting everything bass ackwards.”

Is that your sole answer?

Henry

Henry J:

Is that your sole answer?

Henry

Well, for trash fish that are exotic imports that don’t belong in the ecosystem the conservation guys tell you not to practice catch and release. Even if you can’t stomach the vermin they make good fertilizer. That is what we were told to do with certain species of suckers that we were catching along the Snake. The Discovery Institute must follow the same procedure. Once a sucker is caught they keep them. Very few suckers seem to escape the Discovery Institute’s net. Just look at UD or the guys that are still trying to keep ARN and ISCID going.

I’m brimming with pleasure at the pikes being dartered into the corpse of ID. True some have jumped the shark, but the buffalo has a small mouth and the truth is perched. some of these chubs are just piling gravel, but it’s a cutthroat industry out there. They keep drumming but the croaker has sounded. They are skating over a whale of an untruth, and we will soon have the cat channeled and their side will be crappie.

I always did say the best way to catch a creationist was with a flat earth worm.

I bow to the master, but a whale isn’t a fish.

Didn’t one of their teachers tell them that he had come to make them fishers of men (not fishy men)?

But but..

Luskin wants to argue whether ID is good science and in so doing engages in another lawyeristic act of deception by avoiding the problem of whether ID is science in the first place.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on November 22, 2007 12:38 PM.

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