More lying to teachers

| 37 Comments

Casey Luskin, never what you might call intellectually honest, published an article recently in the Hamline Law Review purporting to assist public school teachers in knowing what they can and cannot teach about evolution in government classrooms. The article, of course, is all centered on the basic misrepresentation in all that the Discovery Institute does: namely, the lie that “intelligent design” is a “scientific” approach or constitutes a “scientific critique” of evolution.

37 Comments

Hamline Law School? As in Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota?

Current issues aren’t available online, and I wonder if there is any commentary on this tripe.

The thread below this is another in the never-ending saga of John Freshwater. So the obvious question is: Has Luskin made it clear that what Freshwater teaches (the Biblical creationism that the DI “distances itself” from) is definitely something that teachers cannot teach in public school?

So… Casey… what’re these “legitimate scientific challenges” you’re frothing about? Specified Complexity? 2LOT? c decay? Genesis? Genetic Entropy, maybe?

It is to laugh, as Bugs would say.

By now it is relatively uncontroversial that Intelligent Design, although bad science, can be considered science. After all, it is merely a way of predicting and interpreting agreed-upon scientific data. So the author cannot be considered intellectually dishonest on that account.

Cheerios, NS

By now it is absolutely uncontroversial that “intelligent design” is a religious argument as outlined in the district court ruling in Kitzmiller vs Dover.

And that’s all that counts.

Corn Flakes, Doc Bill

By now it is relatively uncontroversial that Intelligent Design, although bad science, can be considered science. After all, it is merely a way of predicting …

What prediction has ID ever made that has been tested and survived?

I would suppose Luskin and those like him regard their religious beliefs as matters of fact, descriptions of reality, as obvious and genuine as rocks and sunlight. Science, being the study of reality, MUST therefore somehow ratify this conviction - how could it possibly do otherwise? And this, in turn, makes Luskin’s beliefs scientific.

I suppose it must frustrate Luskin and those like him that science remains so willfully blind to what Luskin finds obvious, while the law remains equally willfully wrongheaded as it conspires with science in the Grand Pretense that Luskin’s Designer doesn’t exist. As though science were to pretend gravity doesn’t exist despite all the clear evidence, and the law agreeing that school teachers simply will not mention that things fall. To Luskin, the Designer is if anything even more self-evident than gravity.

Luskin, not being a scientist, doesn’t know the technical requirements for demonstrating the Truth of his convictions - that’s a job for all those scientists who are failing to do their jobs for what can only be religious reasons. But one doesn’t need to be a scientist to see the obvious, or to see that science MUST be pretending the obvious doesn’t exist. What else CAN they be doing? The obvious is obvious!

ID predicts that there will be unanswered questions about pathetic details.

There are unanswered questions.

Ergo…

unnoteworthytroll:

By now it is relatively uncontroversial that Intelligent Design, although bad science, can be considered science.

No. It is uncontroversial that ID is stealth creationism. It isn’t science. The last time they tried that in court, in Pennsylvania, they lost completely.

Threatening to kill the judge was a nice touch. He had to have federal body guards for a while. Very scientific. Scientists are always threatening to kill each other over controversies.

Unlike religions which never get violent over heresies, apostates, and sectarian differences.

Flint said: [A very good description of the world view of the creationists who are true believers in religion]

That explains the state of mind of some creationists, but not all.

It is not just science that rejects the super natural. Law does not recognize super natural explanations in law suits. “Your Honor, an invisible genie popped out, stole the gun of the defendant, shot the victim and replaced the gun,”

Most main stream journalism rejects super natural explanations. “Reuters reports that Hurricane Katrina was caused by God Varuna. According to several highly placed sources in heavens, Indra got angry about not being worshiped by the population of New Orleans, and ordered Varuna to raise a storm. Alas, there was no Lord Krishna to lift the Rocky mountains and hold it as an umbrella over Louisiana like He did last time”.

Demanding jounalists and judges to accept supernatural explanations does not involve the establishment clause and is probably protected under first amendment. Still the most active creationists are going after scientists and biologists, not judges and reporters. Heck, they are not even demanding Fox News to report on supernatural phenomena with a straight face. It is essentially the case of attacking people who are bad at public relations and counter attacking, biologists.

I have been using terms like Creationist vulgaris for people who truly believe in religion and their definition of reality is different. As long as they don’t demand tax payers to teach that view as the truth, they are well within their right to be deluded. But, the Deception Institute and ID hawkers are Creationist predatori. Their main aim is to get money and political power from the Creationist vulgaris. This is the group that is responsible for the most vicious lies.

notedscholar said:

By now it is relatively uncontroversial that Intelligent Design, although bad science, can be considered science. After all, it is merely a way of predicting and interpreting agreed-upon scientific data.

Please explain how saying that because biological phenomena are complex, they are designed by an unknowable, incomprehensible Designer, and that no further study or research is necessary is science, and please explain how one can do science with such a mindset.

So the author cannot be considered intellectually dishonest on that account.

Then how come other Discovery Institute staff, including Dembski and Johnson, have confessed that Intelligent Design was never intended to be science, or even a valid replacement for Evolutionary Biology?

Notedscholar seems to think that rationalizing about science is enough to make something science. The generally accepted criterion for valid science is that it’s incorporated into the scientific literature. Intelligent design is an abysmal failure by this criterion. Notedscholar, like Discovery Institute fellows, makes the (classic) blunder of drawing conclusions before making and testing hypotheses.

Ravilyn Sanders said:

Still the most active creationists are going after scientists and biologists, not judges and reporters. Heck, they are not even demanding Fox News to report on supernatural phenomena with a straight face. It is essentially the case of attacking people who are bad at public relations and counter attacking, biologists.

I’ve had a number of encounters with persistent pseudo-scientists over the course of my career (I think many physicists do).

The one thing that is common to all of them, including the ID/creationists, is their dogged attempts to latch onto a scientist and leverage some “respectability”. Once any scientist answers them with any hint of politeness (i.e., lack of outright rudeness), they continue to argue, stalk, send letters, and attempt to prove themselves right and science wrong.

I’ve kept a number of such letters and emails I have received and used them as demonstrations of pseudo-science tactics for my students to see.

They may get publicity from gullible reporters, but they can’t get “respect” from them. Just padding their résumés with misrepresentations of their encounters with scientists as “presenting their theories to the scientific community” gets them “respect” among the rubes they con.

They may get publicity from gullible reporters, but they can’t get “respect” from them. Just padding their résumés

Well, you need to understand their reward structure. They get no points for learning anything. They get LOTS of points for making converts.

I suspect that the attempt to piggyback onto science has two motivations. First, science has a great deal of public cachet (which is why actors wear white lab coats, with scopes and bubbling flasks in the background, while advertising used cars - they piggyback on the same thing). So if you can plausibly claim your superstitions are scientific, you gain points.

And second, there’s the belief that their superstitions are TRUE, and science is in the business of determining truth, and therefore cannot help ratifying their superstitions (unless the scientists are religiously opposed, of course).

I’m reminded of Behe on the witness stand, sputtering that Design is obvious, why, just LOOK, can’t you SEE it? How could anyone be so dense (or so dishonest) as to deny seeing the manifest, stone obvious purposeful design in biology? See this character? Can’t you SEE that it serves a purpose? Do you seriously propose that it happened by accident? Give me a break!

Hey Tex

“What prediction has ID ever made that has been tested and survived?

Fixed that for you.

Wow. 64 pages of Casey Luskin. Too much to take all at once. Time to go drink some Metamucil now.

From a quick glance, Casey obviously still has a major itch about Kitzmiller. The other cases get 2-3 page treatments, but Kitz gets 10 pages, with subheadings and everything. He wails about the drubbing, tries to limit the decision and its effect, and generally rehashes all the holdings he doesn’t like. All references are stated contentiously; for example, “The Kitzmiller Ruling Used False Evidence to Claim That ID is Not Science,” and “The Kitzmiller ruling was predicated upon a false definition of intelligent design.” There is also a thoroughgoing ploy that he hopes will be subtle, but is more like his usual clunker. From a word search, almost every time “ID” is mentioned, Casey takes extra time to distance it from “creationism” or from “other alternatives” to Darwinism.

At this remove, Casey seems to be shooting himself in the foot. He would be ahead to just bury Kitzmiller and hope that people forget about it.

Notedscholar sez…

By now it is relatively uncontroversial that Intelligent Design, although bad science, can be considered science.

Um, we should teach it because it’s bad science?

Mike Haubrich, FCD (#1): “Hamline Law School? As in Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota?”

Uh, yeah. Unfortunately. But maybe a step up from Casey’s previous effort in the Montana Law Review. Writing for third-tier schools gets you in the door, and lets you claim peer-review credit. I know. A long time ago I was editor of a law review.

Of course I’m no scientist, like Luskin, and Phillip E. Johnson for that matter, but I have this to say; ‘fuck him, and pseudo-scientific horse he rode in on; ID.’

Having got that off my chest I would like to say thank you Mr Elzinga for the informative post. I’ve never had to face absurd reporters, but I have had to deal with witheringly stupid xians; of the lowest (Denyse O’Leary) kind. My personal strategem is to listen, with unabashed patience, I follow this up with, ‘you must be out of your fucking mind’. Not devastating argument I will agree, but it gets to the heart of the matter and employs their own tactic; stupidity, it’s never failed me.

Have fun, Rob.

Notedscholar -

Are you really a “noted scholar”?

By now it is relatively uncontroversial that Intelligent Design, although bad science, can be considered science.

This is partly contradicted by your own following statement, which I will deal with next.

However, I will note that even if this were true, it would by no means indicate that an advocate of intelligent design within public school science curricula is not intellectually dishonest.

Why should “bad science” be taught in public schools? It shouldn’t.

After all, it is merely a way of predicting and interpreting agreed-upon scientific data. So the author cannot be considered intellectually dishonest on that account.

“Predicting” scientific data? Please give a single example of intelligent design making a testable prediction about future observations. Even one that turned out to be wrong.

“Interpreting” scientific data in an illogical way is not science. Anyone can interpret scientific data any way they want. The logical, consensus interpretation is the scientific one - that’s how science works.

Intelligent Design is just a failed attempt to “court proof” creationism, in the service of a social and political agenda. In fact, its own advocates admit that from time to time.

Cheerios, NS

By now it is relatively uncontroversial that Intelligent Design, although bad science, can be considered science. After all, it is merely a way of predicting and interpreting agreed-upon scientific data. So the author cannot be considered intellectually dishonest on that account.

Cheerios, NS

Boy for something uncontroversial there sure are a few responses,no? Please post all the latest ID research that demonstrate a real hypothesis tested with reproducible methods and published in a real peer reviewed journal that stands up to scrutiny of experts in the field.

Regarding the natural chemical origin of life, the textbook stated that “scientists cannot disprove the hypothesis that life originated naturally and spontaneously.”125 Yet, the textbook still maintained that this hypothesis is within the realm of science, stating that “[h]ow life might have originated naturally and spontaneously remains a subject of intense interest, research, and discussion among scientists.”126 Thus Rebecca Moeller was told that schools can teach the “untestable hypothesis” that life originated via natural chemical reactions, but cannot teach the “untestable hypothesis” that life arose via divine creation. Courts should be careful to avoid such double standards when assessing the constitutionality of teaching different views about biological origins.

This is utterly idiotic. Of course there are two different ways of dealing with this because one is the subject of scientific hypothesis and ongoing research, which are open to scientific testing and validation, and the other is a religious belief system, a supernatural venue, that cannot be tested. How he can possibly see this as a “double standard” leaves one wondering about his basic skills, like reading comprehension…

How he can possibly see this as a “double standard” leaves one wondering about his basic skills, like reading comprehension…

You need to give him a little benefit of the doubt. Whether life originated naturally and spontaneously in fact can never be proved. The closest we can come in principle, is to demonstrate that it could have happened, maybe even eventually that it probably happened. But there’s a real difference between showing that something is possible, and showing that’s how it actually came about.

Now, for the sake of discussion, let’s assume that we remain forever unable to demonstrate any plausible path by which life could have happened naturally. Let’s assume that all our biogenesis research leads to dead ends. But from this we can’t conclude that natural biogenesis is impossible; scientifically, it only indicates that however it happened remains unknown. Conversely, let’s say a bunch of creationists gather in a lab, pray themselves hoarse, and suddenly POOF a new “kind” appears before them. Have they proved that’s how it originally happened? Or have they only shown one possibility? And if intense prayer has no better luck than intense scientific research, just exactly what is the legal distinction that allows teaching one approach but not the other?

And so in principle we have two “origin claims” - by natural means and by magical means - neither of which can ever be either proved or disproved. But ONE of these claims is “science” and the other is not. I can easily see how this might seem to be a double standard, to a True Believer.

Casey’s defense is predicated on the oft-exposed lie that ID is not creationism, hence not supernatural, therefore science.

You’re not fooling anyone, Casey.

Not even Finnegan.

Give it a rest.

Luskin’s article seems to rest on at least two wrong premises.

The main wrong premise is that the kinds of criticisms he wants to introduce into scientific education is a whole series of inaccurate and misleading criticisms of modern evolutionary theory. Some of the criticisms one reasonably would think he wants to introduce are not, in and of themselves “religious” per se. They are just either patently wrong, widely discredited, or both. Granted, introducing inaccurate criticism into science education in and of itself may not be unconstitutional, but given all the givens, it would seem clear that these criticisms are being introduced to farther a religious agenda. So it really doesn’t serve any secular purpose to miseducate students on the basis of religious motives.

The second wrong premise is his definition of supernatural. Suppose someone believes that the alien committee from planet Xanadu genetically engineered all life at the beginning, and then periodically intervened to tinker around and produce evolutionary leaps. Perhaps this committee of space aliens (or their descendants) are waiting for us to discover the “truth” and at that moment, will reveal themselves to us. So all the religions of the world are just myths designed to point us to the space aliens. Why is this belief not religious? Why does supernatural have to mean “outside” the Universe? And suppose these space aliens have the secret of time travel or of parallel universe travel. Are they not then, in essence, “supernatural”?

Olorin said: (Casey Luskin wrote) “The Kitzmiller ruling was predicated upon a false definition of intelligent design.”

Well, if Casey’s hero Billy Dembski hadn’t run away from the Dover trial, maybe he could have provided Judge Jones with a better definition of what intelligent design creationism really is. But he didn’t - Billy and a few other minions and dupes of the Dishonesty Institute fled the field of battle like the craven cowards they are. And guess who made that decision to leave? Casey’s bosses.

Olorin continued: “…almost every time “ID” is mentioned, Casey takes extra time to distance it from “creationism” or from “other alternatives” to Darwinism. At this remove, Casey seems to be shooting himself in the foot. He would be ahead to just bury Kitzmiller and hope that people forget about it.

Here’s an assignment for everybody: Don’t ever let the people forget the Kitzmiller ruling ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmi[…]ool_District ).

Refer to “cdesign proponentsists” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cdesig[…]s#Pandas_and_.22cdesign_proponentsists.22 ) at every opportunity.

Use the following quotes from Judge Jone’s decision at every opportunity:

We have concluded that intelligent design is not science, and moreover that intelligent design cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.

It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

The religious fanatics who support intelligent design creationism - Casey and his ilk - have lied to us before, and they will continue to lie to us. Remember that.

Olorin said: (Casey Luskin wrote) “The Kitzmiller ruling was predicated upon a false definition of intelligent design.”

Well, if Casey’s hero Billy Dembski hadn’t run away from the Dover trial, maybe he could have provided Judge Jones with a better definition of what intelligent design creationism really is. But he didn’t - Billy and a few other minions and dupes of the Dishonesty Institute fled the field of battle like the craven cowards they are. And guess who made that decision to leave? Casey’s bosses.

Olorin continued: “…almost every time “ID” is mentioned, Casey takes extra time to distance it from “creationism” or from “other alternatives” to Darwinism. At this remove, Casey seems to be shooting himself in the foot. He would be ahead to just bury Kitzmiller and hope that people forget about it.

Here’s an assignment for everybody: Don’t ever let the people forget the Kitzmiller ruling ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmi[…]ool_District ).

Refer to “cdesign proponentsists” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cdesig[…]s#Pandas_and_.22cdesign_proponentsists.22 ) at every opportunity.

Use the following quotes from Judge Jone’s decision at every opportunity:

We have concluded that intelligent design is not science, and moreover that intelligent design cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.

It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

The religious fanatics who support intelligent design creationism - Casey and his ilk - have lied to us before, and they will continue to lie to us. Remember that.

Please forgive the double posting. I’m quite certain I didn’t mean to do that.

Paul Burnett said:

Please forgive the double posting. I’m quite certain I didn’t mean to do that.

I have to imagine that if God exists, that would be exactly how he feels about Casey Luskin.

Flint said:

How he can possibly see this as a “double standard” leaves one wondering about his basic skills, like reading comprehension…

You need to give him a little benefit of the doubt. Whether life originated naturally and spontaneously in fact can never be proved. The closest we can come in principle, is to demonstrate that it could have happened, maybe even eventually that it probably happened. But there’s a real difference between showing that something is possible, and showing that’s how it actually came about.

I’m sorry Flint, but this is a bogus “God of the gaps” argument. It also doesn’t touch upon the foundational problem with what Casey argued in his coverage of the case. There is a huge difference between “we cannot know” or “Only God knows” and “we presently don’t know but have a number of hypothesis and experiments that may give us a better insight.”

The former is religious woo, the latter is foundational science. If we used your argument for giving Casey a “little benefit of the doubt” as our foundation 150 years ago, we wouldn’t have most of our understanding of science today.

I also dispute the idea that we will never know the origins of life. Again, this is an argument from religion, “Only God knows,” and quite frankly it’s 100% BS. As we acquire a better understanding of the composition of the early atmosphere, more information regarding the building blocks of life itself, and a more complete understanding of what limitations there are on life itself, we can put together a far better theory for abiogenesis.

“We can never know” is the one of same bogus arguments creationists make against evolution and the fossil record.

Now, for the sake of discussion, let’s assume that we remain forever unable to demonstrate any plausible path by which life could have happened naturally. Let’s assume that all our biogenesis research leads to dead ends. But from this we can’t conclude that natural biogenesis is impossible; scientifically, it only indicates that however it happened remains unknown. Conversely, let’s say a bunch of creationists gather in a lab, pray themselves hoarse, and suddenly POOF a new “kind” appears before them. Have they proved that’s how it originally happened? Or have they only shown one possibility? And if intense prayer has no better luck than intense scientific research, just exactly what is the legal distinction that allows teaching one approach but not the other?

And so in principle we have two “origin claims” - by natural means and by magical means - neither of which can ever be either proved or disproved. But ONE of these claims is “science” and the other is not. I can easily see how this might seem to be a double standard, to a True Believer.

This doesn’t work because, again, if you accept this position then you can try to make the same case for accepting Intelligent Design as a viable alternative explanation for evolution. Your position could be that Casey is attempting to make this argument for precisely this reason, but that doesn’t excuse the bogus claim of a double standard, it simply explains it. As I pointed out earlier, experiments founded upon working hypothesis are totally different than “Only God knows.” The fact that these hypothesis are supported by the numerous cases where building blocks of life have been created in laboratories suggests quite strongly that it is quite possible that we not only can discover the process, but are rather close to doing so.

Casey is basically arguing that:

“Only God knows” or *POOF* = Hypothesis & Experimentation

They aren’t the same. I’m willing to accept that Casey is lying if you want to argue that rather than reading comprehension issues.

Some of the PT threads could do with a little less “joy” (not to mention his/her/its shoes)…

Henry J

stevaroni said:

Notedscholar sez…

By now it is relatively uncontroversial that Intelligent Design, although bad science, can be considered science.

Um, we should teach it because it’s bad science?

Yep. That’s why I don’t rely on the public school system to teach me anything. I follow my intuition, that which my body tells me is appropriate for me, and I seek knowledge at the library or the book store. I hear they are doing similar things in Europe as far as education goes that they are doing here in the U.S. and it’s quite a shame. I find Winston Churchill’s books interesting for instance and they aren’t exactly keen on teaching his roles in English history of importance. I think we have a lot of work to do with our education system, but I still believe that people are too busy to take time to help their children with their homework, so they would prefer to just teach “bad science” to make it easier to get scores required for federal funding. JMO.

The only problem is that Intelligent Design is not even “bad” science. It is a religiously motivated pseudoscience that does not belong in any educational curriculum in the exact same reason rat poison should never be mentioned in any cooking recipe.

…for the exact same reason rat poison should never be mentioned in any cooking recipe.

Unless, of course, you’re cooking rat poison.

What the hell happened in here? The comments are all jumbled up and email addresses are shown.

phantomreader42 said:

What the hell happened in here? The comments are all jumbled up and email addresses are shown.

Apparently it’s back to normal now, or else it only happens in IE.

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This page contains a single entry by Timothy Sandefur published on July 10, 2009 1:26 AM.

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