Casey Luskin Abuses What Little Credibility He Has

| 36 Comments

One thing that really pisses me off is when lawyers abuse their status as lawyers to frighten people without justification. Casey Luskin, whose ignorance and intellectual dishonesty have been repeatedly documented on Panda’s Thumb and elsewhere, did this in a particularly amusing way, as S.A. Smith of the ERV blog points out: suddenly, it appears, an ID spokesman is worried about copyright infringement.

Read the rest at Freespace…

36 Comments

So Luskin has a MS in Earth Science. Interesting. A commenter on ERV’s blog asked if the obvious question - whether Luskin was a YEC or OEC. I see no answer yet, but would appreciate any information that anyone may have. I know that Behe and Dembski are strictly “progressive OECs,” Paul Nelson is supposedly YEC, and yet other DI sympathizers are “old earth, young biosphere” types. Since they can’t all be right maybe Luskin can enlighten us as to which are.

Ordinarily I’d look for this info myself, but with the DI’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy I doubt that I’d find anything easily.

I’d like to ask Luskin why he joined up with the scam outfit that ran the bait and switch on him. Luskin participated in the Colloquy discussion on teaching ID just before Meyer ran the bait and switch scam on the Ohio State board. He didn’t let on that the switch was in, so did he know (and so accepted the scam)? If he didn’t know why would he join the dishonest organization that scammed him?

http://chronicle.com/colloquy/2001/[…]n/design.htm

Luskin participates early in the discussion. It should be noted that not a single ID supporter seemed to know that the switch was in and that the ID perps had decided to go with the teach the controversy scam.

You have to wonder what kind of people still support the ID perps.

Frank J,

Has Dembski actually come out and stated that the earth is billions of years old? That would surpise me, because last I heard he was teaching at a Southern Baptist Seminary, and an old earth is heresy.

An additional word about Luskin’s qualifications. I attended Scripps Institution of Oceanography (part of UCSD, and the only way that you can earn an Earth Science MS there, AFAIK) in the mid-1980s. At the time, and AFAIK, traditionally for them, SIO only offers MS degrees to those students who do not successfully finish their PhD degrees. They do not admit students to a Master’s program, or at least did not at the time I was there; it is generally a consolation prize for those who leave.

I say this with first-hand knowledge: I did not complete my degree there, came to the Univ. of Florida, and finished my PhD here. When I left the program at SIO, I was offered a MS by my advisors, but refused it on the grounds that I had earned a MS degree from another oceanographic program, and felt it would dishonor that degree.

I am not saying that this proves Luskin is incompetent. The program at SIO is very highly competetive, and half of the entering students typically do not finish. (This of course demonstrates that I, too, am brilliant, even though I didn’t get my PhD there. :^). However, based on what I know about the program, I think that his having a MS from there should not be thought of as having the same weight as having a thesis- and research-based MS from other institutions.

If I am wrong, I will of course apologise. However, (1) according to the IDEAcenter website, he received his MS after only 1 year, unusual in a research-based institution, (2) the IDEAcenter website calls him a “student-researcher”, not a graduate student, (3) Luskin’s own website does not provide a thesis title, and (4) his only publication from the lab there lists him as a second author behind his advisor, with three others behind. I know his advisor, and I consider it preposterous to suggest that if Luskin did the majority of the research that he would not be f

This suggests strongly to me that his touting of his Scripps degree is at best overblown.

Ron Okimoto:

You have to wonder what kind of people still support the ID perps.

Nope, I don’t wonder at all. They themselves make it entirely clear what kind of people they are at every available opportunity.

Somehow part of my posting disappeared. The last sentence of the second-to-last paragraph should read:

“I know his advisor, and I consider it preposterous to suggest that if Luskin did the majority of the research that he would not be first author.”

KyCobb Wrote:

Has Dembski actually come out and stated that the earth is billions of years old?

Yes, several times. Including in a ~2005 article in which he clearly states his greater political sympathy to YECs than to “classic” OECs who dare to refure YECs. Keep in mind that DI fellows are more inclined to spin it as “I have no reason to doubt that the earth is billions of years old” rather than “there is overwhelming evidence of it.” The big tent always comes first.

It’s not much to go on, but I suspect Luskin isn’t YEC. In the outdoors bit of his homepage, he talks about the proto-Gulf of California, which doesn’t sound like a very YEC thing to say. He also claims it’s almost impossibly to take a bad photo of the Grand Canyon and proceeds to take a bad photo of the Grand Canyon.

http://www.caseyluskin.com/outdoors.htm

BTW, this is his geology publication:

Tauxe, L. et al. (2004) Paleomagnetic results from the Snake River Plain: Contribution to the time-averaged field global database. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 5, Art. No. Q08H13.

This study presents paleomagnetic results from the Snake River Plain (SRP) in southern Idaho as a contribution to the time-averaged field global database. Paleomagnetic samples were measured from 26 sites, 23 of which ( 13 normal, 10 reverse) yielded site mean directions meeting our criteria for acceptable paleomagnetic data. Flow ages (on 21 sites) range from 5 ka to 5.6 Ma on the basis of Ar-40/Ar-39 dating methods. The age and polarity for the 21 dated sites are consistent with the Geomagnetic Reversal Time Scale except for a single reversely magnetized site dated at 0.39 Ma. This is apparently the first documented excursion associated with a period of low paleointensity detected in both sedimentary and igneous records. Combining the new data from the SRP with data published from the northwest United States between the latitudes of 40degrees and 50degreesN, there are 183 sites in all that meet minimum acceptability criteria for legacy and new data. The overall mean direction of 173 normally magnetized sites has a declination of 2.3degrees, inclination of 61.4degrees, a Fisher concentration parameter (kappa) of 58, and a radius of 95% confidence (alpha(95)) of 1.4degrees. Reverse sites have a mean direction of 182.4degrees declination, -58.6degrees inclination, kappa of 50, and alpha(95) of 6.9degrees. Normal and reversed mean directions are antipodal and indistinguishable from a geocentric axial dipole field at the 95% confidence level. Virtual geomagnetic pole dispersion was found to be circularly symmetric, while the directional data were elongate north-south. An updated and corrected database for the northwestern U. S. region has been contributed to the Magnetics Information Consortium (MagIC) database at http://earthref.org.

SteveF: I’d have to agree with you. The closest Luskin comes to talking about time in the website you referenced is to use the term Precambrian when talking about stromatolites. He also mentions the collision between the African and Eurasian plates as being responsible for the Alps.

Lisa Tauxe would have handed him his head if he had ever suggested that their data did not indicate an old earth, too.

GvlGeologist, FCD:

An additional word about Luskin’s qualifications. I attended Scripps Institution of Oceanography (part of UCSD, and the only way that you can earn an Earth Science MS there, AFAIK) in the mid-1980s. At the time, and AFAIK, traditionally for them, SIO only offers MS degrees to those students who do not successfully finish their PhD degrees. They do not admit students to a Master’s program, or at least did not at the time I was there; it is generally a consolation prize for those who leave.

I say this with first-hand knowledge: I did not complete my degree there, came to the Univ. of Florida, and finished my PhD here. When I left the program at SIO, I was offered a MS by my advisors, but refused it on the grounds that I had earned a MS degree from another oceanographic program, and felt it would dishonor that degree.

I am not saying that this proves Luskin is incompetent. The program at SIO is very highly competetive, and half of the entering students typically do not finish. (This of course demonstrates that I, too, am brilliant, even though I didn’t get my PhD there. :^). However, based on what I know about the program, I think that his having a MS from there should not be thought of as having the same weight as having a thesis- and research-based MS from other institutions.

—snip—

This suggests strongly to me that his touting of his Scripps degree is at best overblown.

That system is similar to the system used by the Dept. of Biology at Stanford University (at least when I was a student there 30 years ago); if you failed your prelim exams, you were awarded a consolation-prize MS and dismissed from the program.

Indeed, there is no record of a thesis submitted by Casey Luskin in Dissertation Abstracts, which is the U of Michigan clearinghouse for all dissertations and theses published in the US.

That’s pretty hilarious!

KyCobb,

Before I get pelted by the one who thinks that my memory is playing tricks on me, I have been looking for the reference. I haven’t found the one I had in mind, but this summarizes Dembski’s sentiments:

“Despite my disagreements with Morris and young earth creationism, I regard those disagreements as far less serious than my disagreements with the Darwinian materialists. If you will, young earth creationism is at worst off by a few orders of magnitude in misestimating the age of the earth. On the other hand, Darwinism, in ascribing powers of intelligence to blind material forces, is off by infinite orders of magnitude.”

BTW, in my googling I see references to him being unconvinced by universal common descent (so is Carl Woese, according to Dembski), and doubts that humans and apes evolved from common ancestors, not necessarily that they didn’t descend from them.

Bottom line: read every Dembski word carefully, or you’ll miss how it’s all “written in Jello.”

SteveF: BTW, this is (Casey Luskin’s) geology publication:

Tauxe, L. et al. (Casey is one of the “et alia”) … “Flow ages (on 21 sites) range from 5 ka to 5.6 Ma on the basis of Ar-40/Ar-39 dating methods.” …

Casey is on record, in an actual scientific publication (his only actual scientific publication), as stating something took place “5.6 Ma” - that “Ma” stands for “million years ago,” doesn’t it? (Or does it?)

That means he’s not a Young Earth Creationist. Unless he lied in his only scientific publication. Which is possible, given his track record with the Dishonesty Institute.

Paul Burnett:

SteveF: BTW, this is (Casey Luskin’s) geology publication:

Tauxe, L. et al. (Casey is one of the “et alia”) … “Flow ages (on 21 sites) range from 5 ka to 5.6 Ma on the basis of Ar-40/Ar-39 dating methods.” …

Casey is on record, in an actual scientific publication (his only actual scientific publication), as stating something took place “5.6 Ma” - that “Ma” stands for “million years ago,” doesn’t it? (Or does it?)

That means he’s not a Young Earth Creationist. Unless he lied in his only scientific publication. Which is possible, given his track record with the Dishonesty Institute.

Or he has simply “seen the light” and changed his mind about the subject since that paper was published.

(Not to be an apologist, but folk can change their opinions on various subjects over time.)

- Kurt

Frank J quotes Dembski as saying: “If you will, young earth creationism is at worst off by a few orders of magnitude in misestimating the age of the earth.

Young Earth Creationism claims creation in 4004 BC, roughly 6,000 years ago.

6,000

60,000 - 1 order of magnitude

600,000 - 2 orders of magnitude

6,000,000 - 3 orders of magnitude

60,000,000 - 4 orders of magnitude

600,000,000 - 5 orders of magnitude

6,000,000,000 - 6 orders of magnitude

Is 6 orders of magnitude a “few orders of magnitude”? Does 6 = few?

GvlGeologist, FCD:

SteveF: I’d have to agree with you. The closest Luskin comes to talking about time in the website you referenced is to use the term Precambrian when talking about stromatolites. He also mentions the collision between the African and Eurasian plates as being responsible for the Alps.

Lisa Tauxe would have handed him his head if he had ever suggested that their data did not indicate an old earth, too.

The precambrian stuff isn’t particularly indicative since a fair few YECs talk about it. However, the Alp formation stuff is suggestive of at least some rationality in the bloke.

Having said that, there are quite a few YECs who often write things that are rather un YEC-like. Particularly the GRISDA group, who actually do bother to publish. Here are some of their papers:

Esperante, R. et al. (2004) Fossil whale preservation implies high diatom accumulation rate in the Miocene-Pliocene Pisco Formation of Peru. Geology, 32, 165-168.

Diatomaceous deposits in the Miocene-Pliocene Pisco Formation contain abundant whales preserved in pristine condition (bones articulated or at least closely associated), in some cases including preserved baleen. The well-preserved whales indicate rapid burial. The 346 whales within similar to1.5 km(2) of surveyed surface were not buried as an event, but were distributed uninterrupted through an 80-m-thick sedimentary section. The diatomaceous sediment lacks repeating primary laminations, but instead is mostly massive, with irregular laminations and speckles. There is no evidence for bioturbation by invertebrates in the whale-bearing sediment. Current depositional models do not account for the volume of diatomaceous sediments or the taphonomic features of the whales. These taphonomic and sedimentary features suggest that rapid burial due to high diatom accumulation, in part by lateral advection into protected, shallow embayments, is responsible for the superb preservation of these whales, leading to a higher upper limit on phyto-plankton accumulation rates than previously documented.

This has vaguely catastrophic hints but nothing mainstream geology can’t cope with. Also:

Brand, L.R. et al. (2000) Taphonomy of turtles in the Middle Eocene Bridger formation, SW Wyoming. PPP, 162, 171-189.

This study seeks to document and account for the distribution, abundance, and taphonomic condition of fossil turtles in a fossiliferous section of the Bridger Formation, Unit B (Early Middle Eocene of Wyoming). The following patterns were documented: (1) Fossils were non-randomly distributed stratigraphically and sedimentologically with most specimens concentrated in mudstones within a few meters above two of three widespread limestone beds. These concentrations were not artifacts of accumulations of eroded fossils on low angle slopes. (2) Fossil concentrations above limestones were widespread in the study area-tens of kilometers in at least one case. The well-exposed Black Mountain turtle layer shows a gradient in fossil density, highest to the south and lowest to the north. (3) Most specimens from fossil accumulations exhibited a similar taphonomic condition, with many shells mostly intact and unweathered, and with no skulls and few limb elements. Few elements bore predator tooth marks. Some bones in channel deposits were abraded, but most bones in fine-grained sediment were not. The largest concentrations of turtles were associated with specific layers of fine-grained sediment. These features suggest mass mortalities of turtles, and burial before many shells disarticulated. A model is presented to account for these data. In this model, a limestone forms in a shallow, basin-wide lacustrine environment. Then, a series of fluvial/lacustrine sedimentary units resulting from a large-scale episode of volcanism accumulated in the lake and buried the turtles. The volcanic event may have been the cause of death, from breathing ash-choked air, for large turtle populations in the lake/marsh environment, which were then buried early in the volcanic episode. Turtle populations evidently did not recover significantly until another shallow lake filled the basin.

This talks about fluvial activity, flatly contradicting a global flood. I suppose it could be post-flood? Strangest of all is:

Nalin, R. et al. (2007) Superimposed cycles of composite marine terraces: The example of Cutro terrace (Calabria, Southern Italy). Journal of Sedimentary Research, 77, 340-354.

Marine terraces are a valuable archive of information in the reconstruction of uplift and sea-level history of coastal areas, especially when they can be correlated with specific highstands of the eustatic curve. Usually, the correlation is based on the assumption that any morphological terrace is the result of a single sea-level fluctuation. However, if the surface of a terrace is reoccupied during successive transgressions, the result may be a single morphological terrace which has in fact been generated by several superimposed sea-level fluctuations. This study illustrates what type of stratigraphic architecture may be recorded in the deposits of such composite marine terraces, focusing on identification and interpretation of discontinuity surfaces and facies analysis.

The examined example is the marine terrace of Cutro, the highest and most extensive of five terraces preserved in a step-like sequence along the coast of the Crotone Peninsula (Calabria, Southern Italy). The sedimentary cover of the Cutro marine terrace had generally been regarded as the result of a single sea-level oscillation, but stratigraphic analysis and correlation of several sections has enabled the recognition of three distinct transgressive-regressive sequences. These cycles display an overall shallowing trend from shelf deposits, represented in the first cycle by algal carbonate buildups, to shoreface and alluvial deposits in the younger cycles. The succession is now interpreted as a response to high-frequency sea-level fluctuations occurring during a long-term interglacial, such as those documented during marine isotope stage (MIS) 7.

This paper isn’t simply referring to MIS in an offhand, get it past the reviewer kind of way. It’s explicity using this framework (as part of efforts to improve understand sea level curve construction). Odd.

Thanks to all who provided references to Luskin and the age of Earth.

Kurt Wrote:

Or he has simply “seen the light” and changed his mind about the subject since that paper was published.

Changed his mind to what? The only changes in opinion I have seen from the usual ID suspects are in the direction of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” These people know that they have no evidence to support YEC or even a “progressive OEC” with multiple abiogenesis events in lieu of speciation. That’s why they play so many word games.

BTW, even classic YECs (AIG, etc.) seem to know that they can’t support a YE without eventually relying on the Bible as “evidence.” Which you might know that the DI specifically avoids, and Behe even calls “silly.”

Casey is on record, in an actual scientific publication (his only actual scientific publication), as stating something took place “5.6 Ma” - that “Ma” stands for “million years ago,” doesn’t it? (Or does it?)

Not really, it is the Precambrian “record” and dates “on the basis of Ar-40/Ar-39 dating methods”. Complete deniability. (‘Dating methods have a measure of uncertainty’, or something similar jello-ish in Dembski-talk.)

Let me hasten to add that Luskin’s deniability of course doesn’t go in the direction of research by way of his references. Just to his YE creationist peers.

If I were Les Lane, I’d take down the photo of Casey and replace it with a Simpsonized one.

http://simpsonizeme.com/

How great would that be: a picture of a yellow-skinned Simpson character captioned “Casey Luskin” (without explanation, of course)?

Well and anyone who has a blog should post Luskin’s mug all over it.

Torbjörn Larsson, OM Wrote:

Let me hasten to add that Luskin’s deniability of course doesn’t go in the direction of research by way of his references. Just to his YE creationist peers.

With them it’s all about inducing denial in others. And since YEC is the biggest market among their rank-and-file fans, they bend over backwards to placate them. Because YECs are so compartmentalized, however, IDers can afford to be a little careless.

Timothy Sandefur said,

Luskin wrote to defend himself against Les Lane, a retired virology professor who accurately noted that Luskin has dubious credentials—pointing out that he is “an attorney in good standing in the State of California” (oh, how impressive) and sending along a link to his state bar registration. – from http://sandefur.typepad.com/freespa[…]skin-ab.html

What is “dubious” about Casey Luskin’s credentials? He is a registered attorney in California, isn’t he? And if he passed the California bar exam, all the more credit to him – it is considered to be one of the most difficult bar exams in the USA. And even if he did spend only a year studying science at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, that’s significant, and just qualifying for admission to that institute is significant. Also, credentials mean nothing to me when I am reading someone’s writings about the law – all I care about is the persuasiveness of the writings.

If you are going to talk about credentials, then let’s talk about Ed Brayton. He is a ScienceBlogs blogger and a Panda’s Thumb co-blogger even though he has admitted to not being a college graduate. He frequently blogs about the law and science.

I am not defending Casey Luskin’s alleged demand for removal of his picture from a website, but to attack his credentials is ridiculous. He actually deserves extra credit for having credentials in both law and science.

“What is “dubious” about Casey Luskin’s credentials?”

His credentials have nothing to do with evolution and he has no demonstrated expertise on the subject.

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ABC/Larry: What is “dubious” about Casey Luskin’s credentials? He is a registered attorney in California, isn’t he? And if he passed the California bar exam, all the more credit to him – it is considered to be one of the most difficult bar exams in the USA. And even if he did spend only a year studying science at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, that’s significant, and just qualifying for admission to that institute is significant. Also, credentials mean nothing to me when I am reading someone’s writings about the law – all I care about is the persuasiveness of the writings.

Amazingly, Larry misses the point and mentions it at the same time.

Luskin has no credentials in science. Credentials come from peer-reviewed publications; Luskin is a co-author on one. Getting admitted to a program and then failing to pass the standards set by that program is not a credential. Those “credentials” are not so much dubious as they are pathetic.

But Larry seems to understand that the quality of the ideas is also a credential. In that arena Luskin fails even more miserably. If you ever watched the C-SPAN program where he and West flog their pathetic book about Dover, you should have figured out why Casey got dismissed from a science department. He doesn’t understand science. He does the classic ID jig around experimentation (observation - DNA looks designed; hypothesis - DNA is designed by an unknown entity acting at an unknown time using unknown methods; experiment - wow, look, DNA looks like it is designed; and conclusion - DNA is designed!)

Luskin is a joke scientifically, just like Larry is a joke legally.

Is 6 orders of magnitude a “few orders of magnitude”? Does 6 = few?

This is within an order of magnitude of orders of magnitude.

Tyler DiPietro said,

“What is “dubious” about Casey Luskin’s credentials?”

His credentials have nothing to do with evolution and he has no demonstrated expertise on the subject.

A lot of discussions about evolution do not require any specialized knowledge in order to participate in them. And one can be self-taught on a lot about evolution and related subjects.

Also, you Darwinists won’t even accept Luskin’s law credentials – a discussion about him on Wickedpedia is a good example.

Also, did Timothy Sandefur know that Wickedpedia’s article on the Discovery Institute presents Ed Brayton’s, Wesley Elsberry’s and his own criticisms of a DI study of the Kitzmiller decision but that the Wickedpedians censored a link to Casey’s rebuttal of those criticisms? Sandefur knows now. Yet Wickedpedia has the gall to call itself “the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit.” Anyone with a shred of decency would ask to be removed from such a travesty. Anyway, as I said, credentials mean nothing to me when I am following a debate about the law.

And what about Ed Brayton, a Panda’s Thumb co-blogger and ScienceBlogs blogger who is not a college graduate? Isn’t there a double standard there?

Alb-atrocity driveled,

But Larry seems to understand that the quality of the ideas is also a credential. In that arena Luskin fails even more miserably.

No, the “quality of the ideas” is not a credential, idiot, because judging the quality of ideas is highly subjective.

Luskin is a joke scientifically, just like Larry is a joke legally.

You are a joke mentally.

Re ABC Larry, aka Larry Fafarman, aka XYZ

The resident troll, Larry the schmuck Fafarman, once again pontificates about Mr. Ed Braytons’ alleged lack of qualifications. OK, fair enough. How about Mr. Fafarman informing us about his qualifications. What degrees does he have and at what universities? From all appearances, Mr. Fafarman appears to have obtained his degrees at his local home for the insane.

Legitimate scientific credentials imply the ability and knowledge to dialogue intelligently with scientists. This includes being aware of what you know as well as where your expertise ends. I’ve met people w/o college degrees who do this effectively and I’ve met science PhDs who don’t. Monologuing about science w/o science education is the sign of a crank. Monologuing about science while holding a science degree is a sign of pretention. A group which dialogues among themselves, but monologues with the science community is certain to be a cult.

Casey’s publications don’t matter, his degrees don’t matter and that’s not really the point of the post. Wasn’t it his “saber rattling” at people. I’m a big-bad lawyer, don’t mess with me.

Casey’s scientific credibility is lacking not because of his lack or presence of degrees but because he’s consistently shown that his ideology is more important than observations and theory that explains those observations.

An argument from authority is still a logical fallacy last time I looked.

I have not questioned Luskin’s legal credentials at all–he has indeed managed to pass the California bar exam (not an indication of great genius, let me tell you), and he has a law degree from USD, one of the better law schools in the state. That doesn’t change the fact that he lacks the most important credential as a scientist or as an attorney, which is the following: knowing what the hell you’re talking about. Luskin’s ignorance of science has been thoroughly documented by others. His boneheadedness on legal matters is equally notable.

The most obvious example is his repeated aspersions against Judge Jones’ decision in Kitzmiller to the effect that Jones ‘copied’ his decision from the proposed findings of the plaintiffs, when any competent attorney knows that this is exactly what courts do, and exactly the way the system is supposed to work. Luskin has repeatedly tried to spin this as proof that Jones was some sort of ACLU stormtrooper mindlessly obeying orders or ignorantly copying the work of others, when in fact Jones was doing nothing more shocking than following basic civil procedure. Elsewhere we have noticed his related misinterpretation of the Third Circuit’s decision in Bright as well as his blatant misrepresentation of the holding in the Pico case. (I linked to these examples in my post.) There are many other instances.

Credentials are meaningless if held by someone who does not understand, or who purposely evades the facts of that about which he is supposed to know. Ed Brayton is vastly more competent on scientific matters and legal matters than Mr. Luskin, because if you were to ask Mr. Brayton a legal or scientific question the answer you would get would be true, while the answer you would get from Mr. Luskin would very likely be false. As they say, nullius in verba.

That doesn’t change the fact that he lacks the most important credential as a scientist or as an attorney, which is the following: knowing what the hell you’re talking about. Luskin’s ignorance of science has been thoroughly documented by others. His boneheadedness on legal matters is equally notable.

The fact that some people disagree with Luskin was no excuse for censoring the Wikipedia link to his rebuttal of the criticisms of the Discovery Institute’s study of the Dover opinion’s ID-as-science section, especially considering that Wikipedia styles itself as an online encyclopedia that “anyone can edit.” And if you disagreed with his rebuttal, you could have added a link to your own rebuttal of his rebuttal. That is what links are for – you can use links in order to avoid cluttering up text with long discussions or debates.

Luskin has repeatedly tried to spin this as proof that Jones was some sort of ACLU stormtrooper mindlessly obeying orders or ignorantly copying the work of others

Well, that’s true about Jones. He showed extreme prejudice against the Dover defendants by saying in a commencement speech that his Dover decision was based on his notion that the Founders based the establishment clause upon a belief that organized religions are not “true” religions.

ABC/Larry:

Well, that’s true about Jones. He showed extreme prejudice against the Dover defendants by saying in a commencement speech that his Dover decision was based on his notion that the Founders based the establishment clause upon a belief that organized religions are not “true” religions.

How many times do you want to have this argument, ABC/Larry?

I’ve only been accessing this site for a couple of months and I’ve already seen you “Quote mine” Jones’ commencement address.

Give it up already.

“And what about Ed Brayton, a Panda’s Thumb co-blogger and ScienceBlogs blogger who is not a college graduate? Isn’t there a double standard there?”

The difference is that Ed doesn’t claim to be anything but a well educated layman, from what I’ve seen of his writing. He’s aware of where his expertise ends, and furthermore isn’t claiming to be able to overturn the work of actual scientists published in actual scientific literature. There is no comparison.

Larry’s comments about Judge Jones are typical of the outlandish charges that Luskin and his friends have brought against the judge. People can read the speech here: http://www.dickinson.edu/commenceme[…]address.html and see for themselves that what he was saying is that the Establishment Clause (which, like it or not, Larry, is the law of the land) shares with the liberal arts a dedication to discovery rather than dogma. If Larry doesn’t share that dedication, that’s his free choice to make, and he can therefore hold the Establishment Clause in contempt and seek to have it repealed. He can also try to show how the Clause somehow is not rooted in the Enlightenment values of discovery and hands-off toleration that Judge Jones was talking about (and that Kitzmiller faithfully enforced). But he cannot show that Judge Jones’s comments somehow indicate a “prejudice” against the defendants in the case. There is simply no evidence of prejudice.

And I have no idea what he’s talking about about Wikipedia. I’ve never written for Wikipedia, let alone “censored” anything on it, and never until today looked up its entry on the Kitzmiller case. To quote the great John Cleese, I think I detect the scent of burning martyr.

That’s it folks, closing up the comments shop. No doubt Larry will accuse me of censorship.

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This page contains a single entry by Timothy Sandefur published on January 27, 2008 10:31 PM.

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