Padian’s Takedown of “Of Pandas and People.”

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Commenting on the testimony of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses in the Kitzmiller trial, someone said (paraphrased) “It was the biology course you never took but wish you had.” Reading the raw transcripts of the testimony one can easily believe that.

But it gets better. I just discovered that Nick Matzke took Kevin Padian’s testimony and integrated Padian’s slides, so one can see what Padian was talking about as he described the paleontological evidence for evolution and the misrepresentations in Of Pandas and People. I don’t recall it having been flagged here before.

That had to have been a heckuva job for Nick, but it was sure worth it. Reading it with the slides right there, the flow of the testimony is beautiful. The integrated presentation is a significant resource for teachers and others in this arena. I commend it to folks’ attention.

59 Comments

I am just about to return to high school science classroom teaching after a couple of decades away and, the way I see it, the textbook I would like to teach from will be “EVOLUTION: The Science of Biology”.

Let this blog-post on the internet be a milestone or a marker, for this is where I have declared I will teach science from such a basis. Perhaps in re-writing the textbook on this, some of my future students can join in the process of publication. (For extra credit, of course.)

I thought the section on marsupial versus placental mammal characters was especially devastating. It drove a forty-ton truck through the lie that the thylacine and the wolf were morphologically similar, and showed why - besides possessing a marsupium - the thylacine is more closely related to kangaroos and possums than it is to wolves. This demonstrated perfect nesting even in convergent forms, one of the strongest arguments for common descent. More, it showed in exquisite relief how shoddy, how shallow, and how foolish are the arguments of the IDiots, and how real scholarship blows them away every time.

But that, of course, is the rub. It takes patient, detailed work with the actual evidence to refute such lies. To communicate that work requires an audience prepared to put the mental effort into following it, and to understand its implications. That’s the secret advantage the IDiots have. Their partisans won’t do the first and can’t do the second. But they’re everywhere, and they vote.

It’s a problem. I confess, I don’t know what the answer is.

Reading it with the slides right there, the flow of the testimony is beautiful.

Indeed. A wonderful link; thanks much for posting it.

A great job of describing the nested hierarchy of the tree of life and how the same hierarchy is demonstrated in both morphological and genetic data. I especially liked the section on whale evolution. No transitional forms indeed, what a farce the creationists make of scholarship.

Fortunately the troll of many names is now permanently banned. so he won’t be disrupting this thread with his nonsense. As far as I can tell though, nothing is preventing him from looking at this presentation and learning something useful, just like he had the chance to read all the other papers presented to him.

Dave Luckett Wrote:

But that, of course, is the rub. It takes patient, detailed work with the actual evidence to refute such lies.

If that weren’t the case, I doubt that any of the activists would risk the “teach the strengths and weaknesses” approach, which conveniently insulates any explicit or implied alternatives from critical analysis.

The strategy is almost perfect: fool the nonscientist majority into thinking that you’re not teaching creationism or ID, but promoting “fairness,” and “open-mindedness.” All the while deliberately promoting unreasonable doubt by emphasizing the “weaknesses” and effectively censoring the refutations of them.

Interestingly, anti-evolution activists don’t seem to mind that other subjects in science are introduced with an abridged version that emphasizes the strengths, and leaves the in-context discussion of weaknesses for more advanced study.

I don’t understand what the Discovery Institute tried to accomplish with “Of Pandas and People”. It’s obvious that even they knew that that textbook was unadulterated garbage so devoid of any practical application that one can not even call it “crap.” (“Crap” being animal waste products commercially used as a soil amendment).

I mean, what do they hope to accomplish by creating a generation of arrogant, anti-intellectual morons who snub science and scientists, and yet, also take the products of science and agriculture for granted? I would ask if the Discovery Institute is aware of the grave consequences that await those who institutionalize stupidity and pseudoscience, like what happened in the agricultural systems of the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China when they adopted Trofim Lysenko’s policies, but, the Discovery Institute has demonstrated that they don’t like reading history books, as well as science books.

Thanks for the FlashBack, it was an enjoyable read!

Richard B. Hoppe said: I just discovered that Nick Matzke took Kevin Padian’s testimony and integrated Padian’s slides, so one can see what Padian was talking about as he described the paleontological evidence for evolution and the misrepresentations in Of Pandas and People. I don’t recall it having been flagged here before.

I specifically referred the troll “Bobby” (in his previous incarnation as “goff”) to this resource (“Padian’s Critters”) on “The evolution of Jeffrey P Schloss” thread, on August 15, 2008 at 2:13 PM. I used its original location at http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/ne[…]5_3_2007.asp where it’s been around since May 3, 2007.

I believe I may have used it here before on PT, but I often use this resource (along with Dr. Neil Shubin’s recent book, Your Inner Fish - http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/book.html ) when I am being a pro-science troll on creationist / right-wing blogs.

Richard B. Hoppe said:

Commenting on the testimony of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses in the Kitzmiller trial, someone said (paraphrased) “It was the biology course you never took but wish you had.”

It was Margaret Talbot (“Darwin In the Dock,” The New Yorker, December 5, 2005, p. 66) who said “the trial that [Judge Jones] oversaw turned out to be rather like the biology class you wish you could have taken.”

Stanton wrote:

I don’t understand what the Discovery Institute tried to accomplish with “Of Pandas and People”.”

Well, after Dover, they sure won’t be able to use it as a high school textbook. If a university rejected it as a prerequisite for college entrance requirements and it were challenged in court, obviously it would lose big time. The precedent has already been established. Now I guess they will just have to peddle it to the choir of unsuspecting rubes.

It would be pretty hard to use it as a college tesxbook either, at least if the other courses gave students the background they needed in order to critically analyze the crap in it.

I guess they could still use it as a textbook for a private college where they controlled the curriculum. Of course then it could still be rejected by perspective employers and graduate schools. Everyone has right to ignorance, but they can’t expect everyone else to go along with it.

Stanton said: I don’t understand what the Discovery Institute tried to accomplish with “Of Pandas and People”.

While they haven’t completely given up on “Pandas,” they have come out with a sequel of sorts: Dishonesty Institute Senior Fellow Michael Behe’s The Edge of Evolution, which we should all refer to as “Pandas II”. There’s a good review article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ed[…]of_Evolution.

Congratulations (again) to Kevin Padian, and thanks to Nick. That was a great way to spend a couple of hours.

The DiscoTutes (Steve Meyer, Scott Minnich, Jonathan Moneymaker, Paul Nelson and Ralph Seelke) have published “Pandas II” titled “Explore Evolution” (2007). Targeted at the same high school student population as Pandas, EE is familiar to anyone that has followed the antiscience bullshit since “scientific creationsm.”

Paul Burnett:

IIRC it’s “Explore Evolution,” not Behe’s “Edge” that’s supposed to be the replacement scam - I mean text.

…as Gary Hurd’s comment right above mine said.

On September 1, NCSE will have a newly designed web page posted. It will include the work that refutes the “explore evolution” garbage heap. Straightening out the false claims, mis-representations, and false statements required a book about twice as thick as the explore evolution book. So in about a week, look for some great new info.

I think it’ll be very interesting to see what they do in the next edition, considering that after Dover they (i) also have to avoid the term ‘intelligent design’ and (ii) can no longer expect to get away with the find-and-replace strategy they used to try and push special creationism in the last edition.

I’d also be surprised if Behe was as willing to contribute to the next edition as he was before Dover.

It seems to me like any smart publisher, if they want to get this thing in public schools, would see the need for a total rewrite. Having said that, who knows what FTE will do, however…

Frank J said:

Paul Burnett:

IIRC it’s “Explore Evolution,” not Behe’s “Edge” that’s supposed to be the replacement scam - I mean text.

Frank J said: IIRC it’s “Explore Evolution,” not Behe’s “Edge” that’s supposed to be the replacement scam - I mean text.

Oops - I knew that…wrong EE. Apologies all around.

Idiacrin - would it be inappropriate for Nick to make spelling corrections to the trial transcript?

Dear Paul and Gary,

The “official” Disco Tute sequel to “Of Pandas and People” is the latest joint example of mendacious intellectual pornography from my “buddy” Bill Dembski and Jon “I Love Reverend Moon” Wells, “The Design of Life” (You may recall that my dear “pal” Bill tried to have Amazon.com exercise censorship by deleting my harsh, but accurate, review of it last December. I missed out on most of the online “fun” here and at Pharyngula because I was in the hospital suffering from cardiac arrhythmia; a condition which I think was spurred on by Bill Dembski’s online smear campaign against me at Amazon. com. Ideally I would like to see Bill “reimburse” me by buying me some expensive brand new Leica rangefinder equipment, including a Leica M7 and several Leica M-mount Zeiss lenses. He has yet to respond meaningfully.).

Regards,

John

Dear Eric,

Thanks for mentioning the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE) in your latest post, since this is the very foundation that is publishing Dembski and Wells’ “The Design of Life”.

Appreciatively yours,

John

JJ said:

On September 1, NCSE will have a newly designed web page posted. It will include the work that refutes the “explore evolution” garbage heap.

I was a bit disappointed that UNCOMMON DESCENT and EVOLUTION NEWS & VIEWS didn’t take on the EVOLVE teevee series. I am sure they will pick up the gauntlet when it’s been thrown down by the NCSE, and in fact I suspect they will be quick to respond.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

Dear GG,

Thanks for this observation, but it’s not quite true:

iml8 said:

JJ said:

On September 1, NCSE will have a newly designed web page posted. It will include the work that refutes the “explore evolution” garbage heap.

I was a bit disappointed that UNCOMMON DESCENT and EVOLUTION NEWS & VIEWS didn’t take on the EVOLVE teevee series. I am sure they will pick up the gauntlet when it’s been thrown down by the NCSE, and in fact I suspect they will be quick to respond.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

The Disco Tute published a “rebuttal” entitled “Traipsing through Evolution”. It’s risible of course.

Regards,

John

Hi all,

I hope no one forgets how important Nick’s “research” into the literary “history” of “Of Pandas and People” was, since it made possible Barbara Forrest’s especially damning testimony that should how this book had “evolved” from a “Creation Science” textbook into an “Intelligent Design” textbook. That discovery clearly sealed Intelligent Design creationism’s fate in the eyes of Judge John E. Jones, when he ruled against the Dover Area School District at the conclusion of the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District trial.

Regards,

John

Paul Burnett said:

Richard B. Hoppe said: I just discovered that Nick Matzke took Kevin Padian’s testimony and integrated Padian’s slides, so one can see what Padian was talking about as he described the paleontological evidence for evolution and the misrepresentations in Of Pandas and People. I don’t recall it having been flagged here before.

I specifically referred the troll “Bobby” (in his previous incarnation as “goff”) to this resource (“Padian’s Critters”) on “The evolution of Jeffrey P Schloss” thread, on August 15, 2008 at 2:13 PM. I used its original location at http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/ne[…]5_3_2007.asp where it’s been around since May 3, 2007.

I believe I may have used it here before on PT, but I often use this resource (along with Dr. Neil Shubin’s recent book, Your Inner Fish - http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/book.html ) when I am being a pro-science troll on creationist / right-wing blogs.

I apologize – as I said, I didn’t recall it, and I didn’t. :)

John Kwok said:

The Disco Tute published a “rebuttal” entitled “Traipsing through Evolution”.

Hmm? I wouldn’t be surprised that I missed it, my attention span for reading DI and UD articles is brief, and sometimes when I do pay attention I end up realizing that it wasn’t a good use of time.

But I cannot find a reference to such a critique in EVOLUTION NEWS & VIEWS or the DI main page. This does not mean I am unhappy about the matter, however.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

Eric Wrote:

I think it’ll be very interesting to see what they do in the next edition, considering that after Dover they (i) also have to avoid the term ‘intelligent design’ and (ii) can no longer expect to get away with the find-and-replace strategy they used to try and push special creationism in the last edition.

They’re already full force on “academic freedom” (aka academic anarchy). The buzz is that they will once again let the rubes take the fall. Unless the rubes got the memo by now they will try to teach Biblical creationism (notice how IDers never complain when the rubes equate ID with Biblical creationism?) and the DI will again disappear just when they’re needed most.

I’m told that Kitzmiller v. Dover will make it harder for them to win future trials, though. Although DASB wanted to teach ID itself, the trial did link the designer-free phony “critical analysis” to the ID/creationism movement.

Frank J said:

Although DASB wanted to teach ID itself, the trial did link the designer-free phony “critical analysis” to the ID/creationism movement.

It did? Not doubting it, just after details. “Critical analysis of evolution” comes across as a particularly sneaky approach and it would nice to know there’s a precedent against it.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

John Kwok said:

… the latest joint example of mendacious intellectual pornography…

No offense intended, John, but, I’ve always taken offense over your inference that Intelligent Design is the intellectual equivalent of pornography. Saying that it’s (a form of) pornography suggests that it’s somehow extremely naughty, yet, simultaneously, aesthetically pleasing. I’ve read Intelligent Design literature, and I’ve found them to be as aesthetically pleasing as having to decapitate a cornered garden gopher. In my opinion, “intellectual pornography” is just that, intellectually stimulating pornography, like, the study of various ancient sex cults, like erotic Taoism, or the worship of Aphrodite and Siva, or the study of how organisms have and equip themselves for sex throughout the taxa. Intelligent Design, on the other hand, is the intellectual version of a very crude snuff film (i.e., live rats dropped into a garbage disposal crude) with heaping doses of totalitarian dictatorship-grade propaganda.

RBH said: I apologize – as I said, I didn’t recall it, and I didn’t. :)

Apology of course accepted - I wasn’t accusing you of anything. :)

It is good that we flog these resources back and forth at each other, not only for each other, but to the benefit of the quiet lurkers who may learn something.

And speaking of takedowns, I enjoy referring folks to Dr. Francisco Ayala’s splendid takedown of Bob Jones bogus “University’s” bogus “textbook” Biology for Christian Schools at http://www.universityofcalifornia.e[…]ts/ayala.pdf

Now to find the link to the lying Dover pre-trial testimony of the CEO of the bogus Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE), about how FTE is not a religious publisher…

iml8 said:

John Kwok said:

The Disco Tute published a “rebuttal” entitled “Traipsing through Evolution”.

But I cannot find a reference to such a critique in EVOLUTION NEWS & VIEWS or the DI main page.

Try http://www.amazon.com/review/produc[…]=addFiveStar

I was after commentary on the HISTORY CHANNEL EVOLVE teevee series discussed a few blog postings back. They seem to have ignored it.

The DI’s comments about the “activist” Judge Jones and so on would be difficult to miss, with the proper comment in response being: “Well, we really didn’t think you were going to be happy about it.”

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

I teach high school biology and I will be using some of these slides this fall. A huge “thank you” to Kevin Padian and Nick Matzke for sharing such tremendously useful diagrams for teachers like me to use in the continuing struggle to get students to realize that transitional fossils really do exist! The more these kinds of tools are put into high school teachers’ hands, the better.

Calyptephile said: I teach high school biology and I will be using some of these slides this fall.

Don’t forget to make Dr. Neil Shubin’s recent book, Your Inner Fish ( http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/book.html ), required reading for your students. It will help make your point about transitional fossils.

JJ said:

On September 1, NCSE will have a newly designed web page posted. It will include the work that refutes the “explore evolution” garbage heap. Straightening out the false claims, mis-representations, and false statements required a book about twice as thick as the explore evolution book. So in about a week, look for some great new info.

JJ - Thanks for this. Will you be reminding us again? Please? Stacy

Stacy S. said:

JJ said:

On September 1, NCSE will have a newly designed web page posted. It will include the work that refutes the “explore evolution” garbage heap. Straightening out the false claims, mis-representations, and false statements required a book about twice as thick as the explore evolution book. So in about a week, look for some great new info.

JJ - Thanks for this. Will you be reminding us again? Please? Stacy

Especially with URLs?

Here is the link to the pre-Dover testimony of Jon A. Buell, president of the “Foundation for Thought and Ethics” (FTE), perjuring himself about how FTE is not a religious organization, about 50% down the page at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/buell2.html

This is a fascinating demonstration of Lying For Jesus™.

You can read more about FTE at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founda[…]t_%26_Ethics

Why the idea of evolution/common descent is easy to explain, perhaps more important for students is how biologists have reached these conclusions. That requires a more in depth discussion of classification/cladistics. I think the best line of evidence for common descent is clearly DNA similarities, and that can be understood by most students. The fossil record of the fish-amphibian transition can be used to show how body plans are able to change quite significantly over time. I think that answers the two basic questions: 1) what is the evidence for common descent? and 2) can animal body plans really change through time?

Stacy

I will remind everyone, although I imagine that NCSE will have some announcements on many of the blogs, PT and Phryngula, etc.

Stay dry in Florida !!!!

WallyK Wrote:

Why the idea of evolution/common descent is easy to explain, perhaps more important for students is how biologists have reached these conclusions.

Sure, but what I almost never hear about (caveat: I haven’t been in a high school biology class lately) is what the potential alternate explanation be? IOW, which species arose directly from nonliving matter, and which evolved from other species? When? Similar questions for the possibility of common descent by “saltational” processes. Did I say “When?”?

I realize that such a discussion can easily be distracted into subjects inappropriate for science class, but somewhere students need to learn that the evidence is so hopeless for any potential alternate scientific explanation that almost no one is even trying anymore. Goldschmidt is long gone, and I don’t think Schwabe or Senapathy have done much in the last decade.

Note that I’m not counting those who misrepresent evolution to promote “cultural renewal,” validate their childhood myths, or both. For whatever reason, they increasingly refuse to state any potential alternate explanations, let alone critically analyze them.

Greg,

Judge Jones’ Dover ruling took a vague sideswipe at the critical analysis approach while talking about creationists’ beloved false dichotomy. It isn’t explicit rejection by any means, but the ruling does reject criticisms of TOE when such criticisms are used to set up the standard creo either/or argument. I’ve quoted the Dover ruling below your quote for reference; there may be more relevant passages, I just did a quick word search.

Eric

iml8 said:

Frank J said:

Although DASB wanted to teach ID itself, the trial did link the designer-free phony “critical analysis” to the ID/creationism movement.

It did? Not doubting it, just after details. “Critical analysis of evolution” comes across as a particularly sneaky approach and it would nice to know there’s a precedent against it.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

Quote from Dover ruling:

ID is at bottom premised upon a false dichotomy, namely, that to the extent evolutionary theory is discredited, ID is confirmed. (5:41 (Pennock)). This argument is not brought to this Court anew, and in fact, the same argument, termed “contrived dualism” in McLean, was employed by creationists in the 1980’s to support “creation science.” The court in McLean noted the “fallacious pedagogy of the two model approach” and that “[i]n efforts to establish ‘evidence’ in support of creation science, the defendants relied upon the same false premise as the two model approach … all evidence which criticized evolutionary theory was proof in support of creation science.” McLean, 529 F. Supp. at 1267, 1269. We do not find this false dichotomy any more availing to justify ID today than it was to justify creation science two decades ago.

[Dover ruling, p71 of 139 in my unofficial pdf file]

I have been learning (and taking some verbal beatings for inferring otherwise) that the “two model” approach began the “don’t ask, don’t tell what the other model is” strategy at very early in the misnamed “creation science” scam. With the designer-free “teach the controversy” the strategy is perfected. If you assume what their model is and try to critically analyze it, they retort with “our ‘theory’ doesn’t necessarily claim that.” But if you don’t assume what their model is and just roll out the evidence for evolution, it gives them lots of juicy fact to cherry pick, terms redefine, and quotes to mine.

Eric said:

Quote from Dover ruling …

Ah, yeah, I saw that quote before, didn’t link it to “critical analysis of evolution”. Now that I have it pointed out, “critical analysis” is the “false dichotomy” just with the “alternative” left unspoken – as a dangling implication about as invisible as the approach of an unfinished bridge. Reassuring to see it referenced back to McLean V Arkansas.

Having been referred above to the Amazon entry on the DI read on the Dover trial, TRAIPSING THROUGH EVOLUTION, I must admit that though it wasn’t what I was thinking about, it was somewhat amusing: “All these glowing 5-star reviews! Why, they couldn’t have got more positive feedback if … THEY’D WRITTEN IT ALL THEMSELVES!”

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

Dear Stanton,

I admit you’ve raised a few good points here:

Stanton said:

John Kwok said:

… the latest joint example of mendacious intellectual pornography…

No offense intended, John, but, I’ve always taken offense over your inference that Intelligent Design is the intellectual equivalent of pornography. Saying that it’s (a form of) pornography suggests that it’s somehow extremely naughty, yet, simultaneously, aesthetically pleasing. I’ve read Intelligent Design literature, and I’ve found them to be as aesthetically pleasing as having to decapitate a cornered garden gopher. In my opinion, “intellectual pornography” is just that, intellectually stimulating pornography, like, the study of various ancient sex cults, like erotic Taoism, or the worship of Aphrodite and Siva, or the study of how organisms have and equip themselves for sex throughout the taxa. Intelligent Design, on the other hand, is the intellectual version of a very crude snuff film (i.e., live rats dropped into a garbage disposal crude) with heaping doses of totalitarian dictatorship-grade propaganda.

However, I think I am correct in referring to ID as mendacious intellectual pornography (This has driven the creos to the verge of insanity that Amazon has restricted my usage of this phrase as a “tag” for a product.). Why? I am referring to pornography under a more general definition of it as garbage, without referring to its more recent sexual connotations. ID is replete with lies, hence it is also correct to referring to it as mendacious. As for intellectual, well it is a set of ideas promoted by “intellectuals” such as Dembski.…

Cheers,

John

iml8 said:

…”critical analysis” is the “false dichotomy” just with the “alternative” left unspoken”

Yep. Which is why presentations like Padian’s are so useful. Real analysis (with pictures no less!) takes the wind out of the sails of so-called critical analysis.

Reminds me of the old saw: majors with “science” in the title aren’t, countries with “democratic” in the title aren’t, and now we have critical analysis that’s anything but.

I asked a creationist I debated with how creationists could have let this evidence just slide. I mean the line is “there are no transitional fossils”. If only creationists could get a fair hearing we’d see that to be true. The ID/creationists had to know what Padian was going to present, wouldn’t this be outlined in discovery? Wouldn’t they then bring their big guns and evidence to destroy, just destroy, this fossil evidence? I mean Hovind claimed time and time again this stuff would never get past a first year university student. So I asked my creationist sparring partner why they didn’t destroy this evidence given the chance.

His waffling ranged between “we don’t view court cases as having anything to do with science” to “we were poorly served by legal council”.

An examination of the Thomas Moore law center that defended this case makes them appear like they have very, very capable lawyers. Can’t see how the creationist side was poorly represented.

Well, I have no objections concerning your use of “mendacious,” save to suggest that you should also use “pernicious.”

This goes to show you that in an objective, unbiased comparison between creationism and science, it is plain to see that creationism is not a science, never was a science, and never will be a science. And trying to use the courts to gain scientific legitimacy for a pseudoscience is tantamount to starting a campaign to legalize motor oil for use as a condiment to replace ketchup.

karl said:

I asked a creationist I debated with how creationists could have let this evidence just slide. I mean the line is “there are no transitional fossils”. If only creationists could get a fair hearing we’d see that to be true. The ID/creationists had to know what Padian was going to present, wouldn’t this be outlined in discovery? Wouldn’t they then bring their big guns and evidence to destroy, just destroy, this fossil evidence? I mean Hovind claimed time and time again this stuff would never get past a first year university student. So I asked my creationist sparring partner why they didn’t destroy this evidence given the chance.

His waffling ranged between “we don’t view court cases as having anything to do with science” to “we were poorly served by legal council”.

An examination of the Thomas Moore law center that defended this case makes them appear like they have very, very capable lawyers. Can’t see how the creationist side was poorly represented.

I asked … how creationists could have let this evidence just slide … Wouldn’t they then bring their big guns and evidence to destroy, just destroy, this fossil evidence?

Cross was pretty feeble. I wonder where the defense was going with Haeckel’s embryo’s? At some point they just kinda dropped it.

The best part was when the defense was trying to equate being published in popular books with being published in a peer-reviewed journal because both came from the same publishing house.

Padian pointed out that the University of California Press publishes piles of very serious scholarly journals every year - but, then again, they also publish cookbooks.

Dear Stanton,

An interesting thought:

Stanton said:

Well, I have no objections concerning your use of “mendacious,” save to suggest that you should also use “pernicious.”

Pernicious mendacious intellectual pornography is quite a mouthful though. How about insatiable (or insistent) mendacious intellectual pornography (At least that, I think, describes accurately the minds of Di mendacious intellectual pornographers and their most virulent acolytes, whom I have referred to sarcastically as loyal members of the DI IDiot Borg Collective.).

Regards,

John

Pernicious mendacious intellectual pornography is quite a mouthful though.

Yeah, I wouldn’t want all those words in my mouth at the same time. :p

“pornography” = “pictures of prostitutes” so,

1. it’s always been sexual and

2. maybe it’s fairly accurate after all.

John Kwok said:

I am referring to pornography under a more general definition of it as garbage, without referring to its more recent sexual connotations.

Ehm, “recent sexual connotations”? Isn’t it the other way around?

The Online etymology dictionary has it down as an originally classical art form:

pornography
1857, “description of prostitutes,” from Fr. pornographie, from Gk. pornographos “(one) writing of prostitutes,” from porne “prostitute,” originally “bought, purchased” (with an original notion, probably of “female slave sold for prostitution;” related to pernanai “to sell,” from PIE root per- “to traffic in, to sell,” cf. L. pretium “price”) + graphein “to write.” Originally used of classical art and writing; application to modern examples began 1880s. Main modern meaning “salacious writing or pictures” represents a slight shift from the etymology, though classical depictions of prostitution usually had this quality.

“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.” [U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, concurring opinion, “Jacobellis v. Ohio,” 1964]

Pornographer is earliest form of the word, attested from 1850. Pornocracy (1860) is “the dominating influence of harlots,” used specifically of the government of Rome during the first half of the 10th century by Theodora and her daughters. [Italics removed.]

But I can agree that DI wants to constitute a [pernicious] pornocracy.

Dear Torbjörn,

Thanks for the correction. While I enjoy etymology, I am no expert:

Torbjörn Larsson, OM said:

John Kwok said:

I am referring to pornography under a more general definition of it as garbage, without referring to its more recent sexual connotations.

Ehm, “recent sexual connotations”? Isn’t it the other way around?

The Online etymology dictionary has it down as an originally classical art form:

pornography
1857, “description of prostitutes,” from Fr. pornographie, from Gk. pornographos “(one) writing of prostitutes,” from porne “prostitute,” originally “bought, purchased” (with an original notion, probably of “female slave sold for prostitution;” related to pernanai “to sell,” from PIE root per- “to traffic in, to sell,” cf. L. pretium “price”) + graphein “to write.” Originally used of classical art and writing; application to modern examples began 1880s. Main modern meaning “salacious writing or pictures” represents a slight shift from the etymology, though classical depictions of prostitution usually had this quality.

“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.” [U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, concurring opinion, “Jacobellis v. Ohio,” 1964]

Pornographer is earliest form of the word, attested from 1850. Pornocracy (1860) is “the dominating influence of harlots,” used specifically of the government of Rome during the first half of the 10th century by Theodora and her daughters. [Italics removed.]

But I can agree that DI wants to constitute a [pernicious] pornocracy.

Given the fact that most of the DI IDiots (and other creos) have an extreme fascination with pornography, then it’s definitely appropriate to refer to their ideas - especially ID creationism - as pernicious mendacious intellectual pornography.

Appreciatively yours,

John

This is absolutely great, but a few typos remain. I saw “ear” for “ear” (funny), the spelling of “Ediacaran” varies, stuff like that. I can help with this if needed.

Those, I suspect, were in the original trial transcript. Nick was fairly circumspect about the degree of editing, and I don’t have a problem with that.

sciohost.org brings up an unused domain now; the transcript is still available cached on Google, but the slides aren’t. What happened?

I dunno. The link from NCSE’s site is bad, too. I’ll rattle Nick’s cage.

OK, the site is up again. Thanks for the heads-up.

Christophe Thill said:

This is absolutely great, but a few typos remain. I saw “ear” for “ear” (funny), the spelling of “Ediacaran” varies, stuff like that. I can help with this if needed.

What, you mean it should be an “eye” for an “eye”? :-) I know, pointing out others’ typos is always a challenge to teh gods.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on August 24, 2008 12:23 AM.

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