Cordova rewrites history (again)

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On Uncommon Descent (to which I decline to link) Sal Cordova has resurfaced, once again rewriting history. Cordova claims that

The Darwinists have framed the ID debate as being about what should and should not be taught in the public school science classroom. I speculate that the debate over the public school classroom is another example of Bulverism.

A Bulverism is

… a logical fallacy coined by C. S. Lewis where rather than proving that an argument is wrong, a person instead assumes it is wrong, and then goes on to explain why the other person held that argument. It is essentially a circumstantial ad hominem argument.

Cordova goes on

As I pointed out here, the real issue is whether life is designed. If so, most every other question pales in comparison. And also lost in the Darwinist Bulverism is whether individuals in universities will have the chance to answer the question of design for themselves, and whether these individuals will have the freedom to tell others what they discover.

Cordova claims ID’s efforts are directed at the universities, not public school science classes. Cordova apparently thinks that the assertion that ID proponents are interested in public education is a fallacy on the part of “Darwinists,” who supposedly misrepresent proponents of ID as wanting it taught in public school science classrooms.

Unfortunately (and as usual) the data contradict Cordova. Consider a few data points from Ohio.

1. In 2000 a creationist member of the Ohio State Board of Education, Deborah Owens Fink, offered a “two models” motion, with Intelligent Design as the alternative to evolution. The motion was defeated.

2. In December 2002 when the Ohio State Board of Education adopted standards that opened the door to adopting the Disco Institute’s “teach the controversy” strategy first outlined by Stephen Meyers at a panel discussion, a Disco Institute operative (along with some Ohio ID supporters) was ensconced in a computer lab upstairs from the BOE’s meeting room. Immediately following the SBOE’s vote he came down the stairs handing out copies of a previously prepared press release lauding the decision.

3. In 2004 the Ohio State BOE adopted an ID creationist lesson plan straight out of Jonathan Wells’ Icons of Evolution. See here for the original creationist lesson plan and here for Ohio Citizens for Science’s critique of it. At that time Wells’ book was featured in an advertisement on the Disco Institute’s web site over the caption “Where do you get your information about Intelligent Design?” Once again, the Disco Institute was ready with a press release lauding the adoption of the creationist model lesson plan.

4, When the Ohio State BOE abandoned the creationist lesson plan in 2006, Casey Luskin of the Disco Institute attended the meeting. (Somewhere in my archives I have a pic of Casey looking unhappy.) Disco Dancing President Bruce Chapman lamented that when Ohio abandoned the creationist lesson plan “… an effort in Ohio to include intelligent design in school curricula failed when some state school-board members said the Dover case settled the issue.” Yup. “Teach the controversy” is ID.

5. And let’s not forget that the Disco Institute’s Seth Cooper sent ID materials (an Icons of Evolution DVD and its associated ‘study guide’) to Bill Buckingham in Dover, PA, and gave Buckingham what Buckingham claimed to be legal advice about the teaching of ID in public schools. (Cooper claims that he didn’t give Buckingham legal advice.)

If the Disco Institute isn’t interested in public school science classrooms it sure has wasted of lot of time and money giving a false impression. But then, false impressions are the DI’s sole stock in trade.

RBH

211 Comments

On Uncommon Descent (to which I decline to link)…

Your choice. For any author that petty, I decline to read …

Scott Belyea:

On Uncommon Descent (to which I decline to link)…

Your choice. For any author that petty, I decline to read …

And yet, you fail to remember that the bloggers of Uncommon Descent are notorious for altering, or more often, deleting articles in order to cover their own asses when someone tries to call Uncommon Descent on its bullshit.

If Richard had indeed provided a link to Sal Cordova’s article, 9 out of 10 chances would be that Sal will have then deleted the article, and then refuse to admit to any perfidy. 1 out of 10 chances would be that Sal would go back and rewrite the article in a pathetic attempt to make his accusers and critics look like liars, themselves.

Scott Belyea:

On Uncommon Descent (to which I decline to link)…

Your choice. For any author that petty, I decline to read …

But not to write, obviously. Well, your choice I guess.

Thank you for respecting others’ right to choose in this case.

As far as public school classrooms go, there is simply no secular or apolitical reason to introduce a concept that has produced no peer-reviewed research papers as an “alternative” to any scientific finding or theory, let alone something as fundamental to biology as evolution.

As far as science goes, no body of research means ID is not science. No amount of arguing changes that fact, and since ID rests on supernatural causation, it will never produce any scientific research.

Your choice. For any author that petty, I decline to read …

Yes, it is indeed my choice. When UD modifies its comment moderation to allow reasoned dissent, and when it fixes its software to accept trackbacks from Panda’s Thumb, then I’ll consider linking to it as appropriate.

RBH

Wasn’t there, like, a court case over that a couple years or so back?

And isn’t one of the major whines of Expelled that the educational, news, and governmental establishments have all conspired to prevent the questioning of “Darwinism?”

I’d like to be able to say that it’s surprising that Cordova, long known to be intellectually dishonest, could be as brazenly dishonest as he is in that article, but I’m afraid that there are no more surprises left in ID’s bag of dishonest tricks and claims.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

As I pointed out here, the real issue is whether life is designed. If so, most every other question pales in comparison.

The same might be said about the sun going nova tomorrow.

However, there isn’t the slightest evidence that the sun is about to go nova tomorrow, so most other questions retain their interest.

And also lost in the Darwinist Bulverism

OK, you learned a new word. Get over it.

is whether individuals in universities will have the chance to answer the question of design for themselves

How do you suppose people are going to answer that question for themselves? Read the DI’s pretend-science pronouncements on it and decide they want to believe that instead of the truth?

and whether these individuals will have the freedom to tell others what they discover.

This is more ‘expelled’ persecution-propaganda. Individuals at universities have the freedom to tell others all manner of nonsense. And do so on a regular basis.

But let me guess… he’s arguing that professors should be allowed to teach dishonest pretend-science if it supports his religious beliefs.

So The argument is not about what should be taught in public-school science classrooms? Then the purpose of publishing the high-school/college textbook “Exploring Evolution” was to … ??

But then if they wanted to teach IDiocy, what would they teach? Long droning boring lectures by a narcissistic BillD, or an incoherent gaggle of twitter from David Berlinski, or a clueless (how do I write a review article) speech from Nelson and Meyer? None of htese guys know any biology. Well if all else fails, we will always have Salzo Panza for the entertainment, no preparation required on his part, he will simply lecture and we will split our sides laughing. And trhen after we are done, Larry Farfarma will drone in long distancde!

One of the articles linked in your post: “Seattle’s Discovery Institute scrambling to rebound after intelligent-design ruling” from the Seattle Times in 2006, was very interesting. It was neat because it showed some positions I don’t often see, for instance, Hugh Ross, president of Reasons to Believe, who is unhappy that the DI are being dishonest and cowards by NOT just coming out and including God as the designer in ID. Interesting that those are probably genuine honest Religious people, and they don’t quite realize the fraud DI is trying to conduct. DI *knows* straightforward, honest, God-centered creationism (whether young Earth or Behe’s ID) has no chance in court.

And as we all know, Dover made DI realize ID also has no chance in court, hence the new trojan horse “Teach the Controversy”.

I wonder if anyone explained to Hugh Ross their dishonest means to include an ends that I assume Hugh Ross would support?

Also, the quotes from Rush Limbaugh suggests he has no time for ID. But is Rush against ID because he backs out in the open creationism, or does he support evolution?

If Salvador Cordova wants to talk about ad hominem, I’ll give him ad hominem:

He’s a lying, knowingly deceitful fraud. I know it, he knows it, and he knows I know it.

Dembski’s site is a good place for him.

David Merritt:

If Salvador Cordova wants to talk about ad hominem, I’ll give him ad hominem:

He’s a lying, knowingly deceitful fraud. I know it, he knows it, and he knows I know it.

David, providing an accurate description of a person, however negative and unpleasant, is not an ad hominem.

Stanton:

David Merritt:

If Salvador Cordova wants to talk about ad hominem, I’ll give him ad hominem:

He’s a lying, knowingly deceitful fraud. I know it, he knows it, and he knows I know it.

David, providing an accurate description of a person, however negative and unpleasant, is not an ad hominem.

As I understand it, an ad hominem would be not just pointing out his negative personal qualities, but claiming he was wrong because of those qualities rather than by the nature of his arguments.

But how does that work when the negative personal qualities in question include fraud? Doesn’t being a fraud pretty much guarantee his arguments will usually consist of deliberate falsehoods?

phantomreader42:

As I understand it, an ad hominem would be not just pointing out his negative personal qualities, but claiming he was wrong because of those qualities rather than by the nature of his arguments.

But how does that work when the negative personal qualities in question include fraud? Doesn’t being a fraud pretty much guarantee his arguments will usually consist of deliberate falsehoods?

It is possible for a known fraud to be correct in spite of himself. IIUC, “ad hominem” would be “He’s a known fraud, therefore his argument is false.” OTOH, “The fact that he’s a known fraud motivated me to inspect his argument more closely, and these are the falsehoods I found…” is not “ad hominem.” Also, simple insult (whether true or false) is not “ad hominem” because there’s no misdirection involved. Remember, it’s short for “argumentum ad hominem” so there has to be an argument or debate involved, in which one seeks to misdirect by arguing against the person instead of the logical points or facts presented.

Stanton:

David Merritt:

If Salvador Cordova wants to talk about ad hominem, I’ll give him ad hominem:

He’s a lying, knowingly deceitful fraud. I know it, he knows it, and he knows I know it.

David, providing an accurate description of a person, however negative and unpleasant, is not an ad hominem.

Well, I think it is still an ad hominem argument, but when someone poses as some sort of authority, as Sally C does, then ad hominem is an appropriate response.

Was Panda’s and People meant for a university or something? Some university that must be!

Sal doesn’t think the goal is to insert ID into public schools?

If he had an ounce of integrity he’d admit that the DI’s disclaimers should read thusly:

For the record, we do not propose that intelligent design should be mandated in public schools, which is why we strongly opposed the school district policy at issue in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case once we realized those rubes aren’t as smart as we are. However, if you voluntarily choose to raise the issue of intelligent design in your classroom, it is vitally important that you read Darwinism, Design and Public Education where two of our top dogs argue for the constitutionally of teaching ID in public schools. And remember, when you school boards add language in your science standards, be sure and add “teach alternative theories”. We’ll pretend you’re talking about space aliens or time travelers, maybe even Lamarckian Inheritance. We can make ourselves believe seven impossible things before breakfast.

But then I did say IF Sal had any integrity.

silverspoon:

Sal doesn’t think the goal is to insert ID into public schools?

If he had an ounce of integrity he’d admit that the DI’s disclaimers should read thusly:

For the record, we do not propose that intelligent design should be mandated in public schools, which is why we strongly opposed the school district policy at issue in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case once we realized those rubes aren’t as smart as we are. However, if you voluntarily choose to raise the issue of intelligent design in your classroom, it is vitally important that you read Darwinism, Design and Public Education where two of our top dogs argue for the constitutionally of teaching ID in public schools. And remember, when you school boards add language in your science standards, be sure and add “teach alternative theories”. We’ll pretend you’re talking about space aliens or time travelers, maybe even Lamarckian Inheritance. We can make ourselves believe seven impossible things before breakfast.

But then I did say IF Sal had any integrity.

Don’t forget “Academic Freedom” too!

It is possible for a known fraud to be correct in spite of himself.

Unwittingly, even!

Sal sez:

“As I pointed out here, the real issue is whether life is designed.”

See, right there I’m confused. It implies a question, an hypothesis if you will, that needs answering: “Is life designed?”. But, at the same time, it seems to be your (and others) starting assumption, “Life is designed…therefore..etc.”. So which is it Sal? The former implies that you are open to it being wrong, the latter implies, well you know what it implies: it’s the very epitome of unscientific.

It’s been said a million times before, but creationists really do specialize in projection. “Why are you trying to make this about public school classrooms?” they whine after years of trying to get their ideas into public school classrooms. This is really just a variation on one of their standard whines: “Why are Darwinists fighting this in the courts instead of letting the science speak for itself?”, after they spend years refusing to do any science and always taking their fight straight to the political and legal arenas instead. Just when I think they can’t make me smack my forehead anymore with their blatant, out-in-the-open hypocrisy and dishonesty, along comes someone like Sal to prove me wrong.

Not to mention Scott Belyea, doing his own bit of projection in the first comment above.

And as far as ad hominem arguments go, I don’t think anyone above got it quite right. An ad hominem fallacy is raising a completely irrelevant quality or attribute of a person to try to get people not to listen to their argument. “Don’t listen to Sal, he’s a Christian” or “Don’t listen to Sal, his last name sounds Hispanic” would be an ad hominem (this fallacy often goes hand in hand with bigotry). Saying mean things about someone is not an ad hominem, although it might be rude or factually wrong, depending on the circumstances. And I don’t think “He’s a known fraud, therefore his argument is false” qualifies as an ad hominem either - there’s a logical connection between the two halves of the claim, although, again, either part could be true or false depending on the circumstances.

Salvador Cordova Wrote:

As I pointed out here, the real issue is whether life is designed. If so, most every other question pales in comparison.

Can “we don’t need to connect no stinkin’ dots” be far behind?

The DI clowns want it both ways. They claimed to have answered the important question long ago, yet they still want to advertise it instead of moving on. Any scientist will tell you that you don’t keep publishing the same paper 100 times then pretend that you have 100 publications, no matter how earth shattering that first paper’s discovery was. The DI clowns know that, but they count on their audience to either not know that, or to be in on the scam.

Theistic critics of ID actually agree that the issue of whether life is designed makes other questions “pale in comparison.” But the other questions – what the designer did, when, and how – are the questions that need to be answered, and are the only questions that could actually give ID some semblance of science. Yet the IDers are even retreating from stating what those questions are, let alone testing them.

Read between the lines people. To their target audience they are saying “ID is not creationism, but thanks to ID you can believe whatever creationist position that you want, mutual contradictions be damned.” But to those who know evolution and ID beyond the media caricature, they are saying “Sure it’s still evolution, and sure there’s no evidence to support YEC or OEC on their own merits, but we can’t admit that or the ‘masses’ will act as if all is permitted.

Mike From Ottawa -

Well, I think it is still an ad hominem argument, but when someone poses as some sort of authority, as Sally C does, then ad hominem is an appropriate response.

I don’t want to be unpleasant, but this is wrong, in a way that is important enough to justify a comment.

These Latin terms for logical fallacies are greatly overused, but they are also valuable as a guide to critical thinking.

An insult, whether accurate or inaccurate, NOT and “ad hominem”.

Furthermore, an ad hominem need not be an insult. “Lance Armstrong made a comment about gaining large amounts of muscle mass through weight training, but I disregard it because Lance Armstrong is a slender endurance athlete” is an ad hominem.

An ad hominem is basically a false heuristic. It claims that an argument is wrong by making reference to a seemingly related, but technically irrelevant, trait of the person who advanced the argument, rather than dealing with the argument itself. There is an implied logic that the personal trait justifies the short cut of ignoring the original argument. Above, the implication is that Lance Armstrong would not have knowledge of gaining muscle mass because it isn’t very important, beyond a certain level, for his particular sport. However, Lance Armstrong might know something about training for other things, of he might have said something that was true even from a state of relative ignorance. Therefore the comment is an ad hominem.

When someone’s response to an argument includes an insult, rather than an ad hominem, it means nothing. They could be hurling insults out of defensiveness and inability to formulate a logical reply, but they could also be filled with contempt or rage toward the illogical argument.

Also, it is highly reasonable to take factors like ignorance, past history of fraud, and the like, into account. Such factors may urge than an argument be evaluated with greater than routine skepticism and caution.

In the case of someone like Cordova, it is actually safe to say that such factors make it reasonable to conclude that anything he says on the subject of evolution is untrue. Thus, there may be some overlap between ad hominem and a justified heuristic in rare cases. Saying that “Sal Cordova should be ignored because all his past output is delusional or deceptive” is not quite logically true - he could be right for the first time some day, so technically, this statement is a mild ad hominem - but the heuristic that “if it came from Sal Cordova, the probability that it is crap is very high” is valid, based on the data we currently have access to.

Likewise, “Bulverism” notwithstanding, it is quite logical, once a falsehood has been detected, to question why someone is peddling that particular falsehood. It is natural that the likes of Stein, Cordova, and so on, would be defensive about this.

I never said there weren’t efforts aimed at the public schools. That’s re-writing what I said, Richard. You’re welcome to do so, but just give yourself proper attribution the next time you do so. I want you to get full credit for how you revise what I say.

In any case:

ID literature is more sophisticated than creation science literature, perhaps because it is (except for Of Pandas and People) usually directed more toward a university audience…

Eugenie Scott

ID literature is USUALLY directed toward a university audience!

Also:

the Wedge’s workers have been carving out a habitable and expanding niche within higher education, cultivating cells of followers—students as well as (primarily nonbiology) faculty—on campus after campus. This is the first real success of creationism in the formerly hostile grove of academe.

Barbara Forrest Creationism’s Trojan Horse

That doesn’t sound like an exclusively public high school focus to me does it?

Poor Sal…

That doesn’t sound like an exclusively public high school focus to me does it?

Who is now making strawmen arguments

Cordova claims ID’s efforts are directed at the universities, not public school science classes. Cordova apparently thinks that the assertion that ID proponents are interested in public education is a fallacy on the part of “Darwinists,” who supposedly misrepresent proponents of ID as wanting it taught in public school science classrooms.

Salvador,

Thanks for stopping by.

While you’re here, please tell us, including the lurkers, whether you agree with Michael Behe that life on Earth is 3-4 billion years old, and that humans are related to dogs and dogwoods. If you disagree, a best guess will suffice as to the age of life on Earth, and to which species humans are biologically related, if any. Recall that “related” only means “biological continuity” (Behe’s own phrase) and not necessarily that your concept of “RM + NS” drove species change.

If you have clarified that elsewhere, a link will suffice.

[First of all, I express my thanks to Dr. Hoppe for allowing me the chance to participate here at PT. Even though I disagree with him, I uphold him as one of the most honorable people here at PT and I thank him for his service to our country as a veteran and firefighter and engineer who helped send two creationists (Charles Duke and Jim Irwin) to the moon and back safely.]

Frank J said:

Thanks for stopping by.

While you’re here, please tell us, including the lurkers, whether you agree with Michael Behe that life on Earth is 3-4 billion years old, and that humans are related to dogs and dogwoods.

I think there is an 85% chance he is wrong on the age of the Earth an 100% wrong on common descent. I was also seen on C-SPAN gently criticizing Mike for giving too much credit to Darwin instead of the creationist E. Blyth for the theory of natural selection.

I’m researching the questions for my personal enlightenment. I think the Earth could be 10,000 years old, but for that to be true, there would have to be terporal-spatial variation to the creationist Maxwell’s celebrated equations of electrodynamics. The overturning of the equations of the creationist Maxwell will not happen anytime soon, but perhaps in the future if the appropriate theoretical and empirical considerations come forward.

Until something like that happens, I view the Young Earth hypothesis as “fringe”, but I maintain it is still worth investigating. Visit the YoungCosmos website to learn more about developments involving the reformulation of the creationist Maxwell’s equations of electrodynamics and related theories of relativity.….

I’m not convinced the Earth is young, I’d be comfortable saying there is a 50/50 chance, even though personally I think it’s closer to 85/15 in favor of a young Earth. There are still major theoretical hurdles in physics to overcome, and I can’t say these hurdles can be overcome. We have to wait for more data.…

If you have clarified that elsewhere, a link will suffice.

PT’s spam guard may block weblinks. The name of my website is YoungCosmos. I think you can google and find it.

I review the physical evidence suggesing mainstream cosmology is wrong at that website.

I do not think gravitational accretion works in the formation of stars. I think God created the stars and galaxies using Birkeland currents flowing through a plasma.

Furthermore I think recent astrophysical data suggests the universe does not have the proper characteristics (I believe in terms of the appropriate form of the Riemann curvature tensor) to support the big bang. I think the big bang has collapsed as a theoretical model.…

I outline what I believe the formation mechanism is for the stars and galaxies and evidence for a VSL (variable speed of light) cosmology there. I also provide links to well-reasoned critiques of my work by Dr. GP Jellison and Dr. Stephen Cheesman. Dr. Jellison is a Plasma Physcist and Dr. Cheesman is a geophyscist with specialty in electromagnetics.

The website goes into ID and also into creation science.

SunSpiker wrote:

See, right there I’m confused.

I agree. You’re confused.

It implies a question, an hypothesis if you will, that needs answering: “Is life designed?”. But, at the same time, it seems to be your (and others) starting assumption, “Life is designed…therefore..etc.”. So which is it Sal? The former implies that you are open to it being wrong, the latter implies, well you know what it implies: it’s the very epitome of unscientific.

I assume principally that the question of ID is worth asking and that it has not been settled decisively in favor of the Darwinists.…

An investigation can accept a working hypothesis as true until falsified. It doesn’t mean it is true (but for the record I think ID is true), but we can carry out the investigation using that as a working hypothesis.

I’m open to being wrong, and I’m even more open to the possibility Darwinists are even wronger than me.…

See I think that’s what a lot of us, Christian and not, have a problem with, Sal. It looks to a lot of us that the prevailing theories are either largely satisfactory or increasingly so, on the basis of observation and testing. It looks to a lot of us like you disagree not because of observation and testing but because your particular interpretation of the Bible tells you that you must, and now you’re cherry picking evidence to support a pre-conceived notion, which we think gives the lie to the creationist – sorry, ID-ist – claim to ‘follow the evidence where ever it leads’. It looks to a lot of us like you’re not following the evidence, Sal, you’re selecting it, and sometimes just plain inventing it. Now why would anyone do that?

Give it a rest Sal…

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on March 5, 2008 11:30 AM.

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