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Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4465
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2005,06:48   

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Comment #51043

Posted by Flint on October 5, 2005 10:46 AM (e) (s)

   Ken Willis wrote:

   I am asking whether a lack of consensus of scientists is relevant evidence that a new theory is good science, bad science, or science at all. It appears to me that since the consensus of scientists is often dead wrong, it just doesn’t mean anything, and therefore should not be admissible evidence in court.

The consensus of scientists, far from being “often dead wrong” is significantly wrong rarely enough to be newsworthy in and of itself. Peer review is a workable system for a reason: It eliminates a mountain of chaff for every kernel it inadvertently blocks. It’s necessary, real, effective, and important.

Lack of consensus of scientists about some aspect of reality doesn’t relate to whether something is good or bad science, but about the nature of the matter under debate. Failed hypotheses are not “bad science”, they are typically excellent science. Where consensus is not available is typically at the cutting edge of scientific research, and indicates that not enough is yet known about what’s being studied. Bad science in fact generates as solid a consensus as possible in the world of opinionated people — scientists tend to know how science works and how it does not. Bad science implies a violation of established procedures. In the case of ID, it’s an attempt to do an end-run around everything science does for a living, by simply *declaring* the untestable to be Truth. Uh, scientific Truth.

   whatever wrote:

   Since when does free inquiry rule out discussion about the origin of life

I don’t think this is being ruled out at all. Indeed, what’s being ruled out is the *exact opposite* of free inquiry, it’s the teaching (perhaps indirectly and subtly, but nonetheless) that life originated the way one particular religious doctrine teaches — and teaching that as scientific fact.

However, I should mention that 9th grade is NOT the appropriate venue for “free inquiry”, it’s the appropriate venue for teaching what is widely and commonly accepted as accurate, as part of the process of giving children an appropriate background of what has been established beyond any reasonable doubt, to be used as a foundation for (much) later investigation into what IS in doubt.

The claim that teaching religious doctrine as scientific fact is “free inquiry in education” is something Orwell must be chuckling over in his grave.


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Comment #51059

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 5, 2005 11:48 AM (e) (s)

   The claim that teaching religious doctrine as scientific fact is “free inquiry in education” is something Orwell must be chuckling over in his grave.

Should be easy enough to verify, with the proper test equipment.


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Comment #51065

Posted by Harq al-Ada on October 5, 2005 12:28 PM (e) (s)

Ken, I hope that you will forgive the people here for being reactive and sometimes immature. I’ve lurked here a lot (and occasionally wrote comments) and have quickly identified with the frustration here. You have to understand that these people have patiently dealt with the most persistent and asinine arguments (and often ad-hominem attacks) from creationists, most of whom have no intention of critical evaluation of the relevant arguments or their own beliefs. Some Thumbers have been here for a very long time and their patience has eroded. It is singularly unrewarding to patiently explain concepts to people who have no intention of critical thought, who then accuse you of having a closed mind. On the whole, the strategy of just flaming people who seem like creationists until they flee has saved time. Unfortunately, someone who may have the capacity for reasoned conversation, such as (hopefully) yourself, might become an innocent bystander.


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Comment #51071

Posted by Harq al-Ada on October 5, 2005 12:38 PM (e) (s)

You seem to have the personal attacks on hair-trigger yourself, though. Someone corrects your spelling and you call him a buffoon and an #######. Maybe you brought a lot of this on yourself.


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Comment #51072

Posted by Harq al-Ada on October 5, 2005 12:38 PM (e) (s)

You seem to have the personal attacks on hair-trigger yourself, though. Someone corrects your spelling and you call him a buffoon and an #######? Maybe you brought a lot of this on yourself.


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Comment #51074

Posted by Ken Willis on October 5, 2005 12:43 PM (e) (s)

Thanks to Edin Najetovic and flint, the adults have returned. I appreciate your comments and find them helpful.

What I think Kuhn said in his seminal book about the structure of scientific revolutions is that science is like most human endeavors in that certain ways of thinking become entrenched. When a new theory comes along that departs significantly from traditional understanding, it may be strongly resisted when first introduced. Kuhn doesn’t think there is anything wrong with that, in fact it is probably a good thing and acts as a check on quack theories. You all, meaning you adults, are no doubt better informed on this than I so I will defer to you on it if you disagree.

But if I am even half right about what I think I read in Kuhn’s book, it means that we should not be too quick to condemn a new theory, or a novel scientific approach, solely because the current consensus is against it. In the case of ID you have given other good reasons to condemn it, and I agree completely.

I want to make a comparison to what I think Kuhn said to the adoption of the Daubert standard and the abolition of the Fyre test for the admission of scientific opinions in a court proceeding. The Frye test relied on the “general acceptance” of scientific opinions in the scientific community. Kuhn says, if I am correct, that new theories don’t start out with very much general acceptance. Scientists are skeptical of new theories, and rightly so.

In its own way, the law seems to have caught up with Kuhn by adopting the Daubert rule because it rejects the “general acceptance” standard and will allow scientific opinions to be expressed in court that Frye might have excluded.

But this comes with a catch 22. If scientific opinions are now deemed relevant even though they lack general acceptance, it will no longer be possible to discredit a new theory or novel scientific approach simply by showing that it lacks general acceptance. Because both Kuhn and the Supreme Court in Daubert recognize that if general acceptance, i.e., consensus, is a pre-requiste for a scientific opinion, no new opinions will likely make the cut.

This revelation weakens court testimony that ID cannot be science because there is a consensus in the scientific community against it. There has to be more than a lack of consensus. You adults have shown that there is more, and I believe you. But many have assumed, in my view, that a lack of consensus was a death knell for ID. I doubt it.


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Comment #51080

Posted by Flint on October 5, 2005 12:59 PM (e) (s)

Ken Willis:

   This revelation weakens court testimony that ID cannot be science because there is a consensus in the scientific community against it. There has to be more than a lack of consensus. You adults have shown that there is more, and I believe you.

So long as it’s clear that you understand what we’re trying to say, then there’s no problem. I think we agree that scientific consensus is intended to mean “consensus as to how the data are to be interpreted”, and that there can legitimately be differences of opinion in this regard. But there is a qualitative difference between a consensus about scientific evidence, and consensus that where there is no evidence, there is no science. No Kuhnian revolution in science will result in a “new scientific paradigm” that religious doctrine trumps evidence or renders it irrelevant. If that should happen, there’s no more science going on.

And once again, there is no “lack of consensus” about ID. Instead, there is an overwhelming consensus that ID is not science at all. ID isn’t in any way “disqualified as science” because of a consensus against it. It is disqualified for being (a) untestable and unfalsifiable; and (b) straight creationist religious doctrine set forth in unusually misleading terminology. The scientific community has been fairly unanimous in their willingness to accord ID genuine merit, if only it should ever propose a testable hypothesis and thus enter the domain that is science.


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Comment #51081

Posted by Ken Willis on October 5, 2005 01:00 PM (e) (s)

Harq al-Ada, thanks. You are thoughtful and I will take your comments to heart.

You may be right about my hair trigger, but this isn’t the first time Bayesian Bouffant has got up my nose. Trying to appease someone who jumps at the chance to break your balls over a misspelled word is a fools errand, in my view. I’ll make the first overture by stopping calling him a “buffoon,” but I’ll bet you a dollar to a donut hole it won’t work.

I’m very much aware of how nauseating it is to try to reason with creationists or ID advocates, which I think are the same but they deny vehemently.

BTW, the testimony of John Haught on Friday to the effect that ID is theological idolatry because it reduces the divine to the profane, or something like that, is one of the most interesting ideas I have heard.

God, I hope I haven’t misspelled anything.


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Comment #51085

Posted by Ken Willis on October 5, 2005 01:11 PM (e) (s)

Flint, you’re right there is a consensus on ID and the consensus is against it. I should have said there was a lack of consensus in favor of it. There are scientists who are in favor of it, but not a consensus and nothing near general acceptance. I still am skeptical of whether that is powerful evidence in a courtroom, especially to a judge sitting without a jury. We might find out because this judge will no doubt issue a detailed ruling which may address this point.

He could say, “I don’t find the testimony that there exists a consensus of scientists against ID to be the determining factor……” and then go on to find some other determining factor that makes it religion and not science. Or he may say the opposite, or me may say nothing at all about this.


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Comment #51088

Posted by caerbannog on October 5, 2005 01:14 PM (e) (s)

   Ken Willis wrote:

   But this comes with a catch 22. If scientific opinions are now deemed relevant even though they lack general acceptance, it will no longer be possible to discredit a new theory or novel scientific approach simply by showing that it lacks general acceptance. Because both Kuhn and the Supreme Court in Daubert recognize that if general acceptance, i.e., consensus, is a pre-requiste for a scientific opinion, no new opinions will likely make the cut.

What you must not ignore is the conduct of the proponents of said “new theory”. Are the proponents seriously attempting to engage the skeptical scientific community, or are they instead seeking audiences not professionally qualified to scrutinize their claims?

Marshall and Warren eventually prevailed because they *engaged the scientific community*. IOW, they conducted themselves in a professional manner, making their case to other *professionals*. They invested the time and effort to marshal the necessary evidence to win over their skeptical colleagues. That’s the way to get the scientific community to acdept a new theory. (It’s also the best way to win a Nobel prize).

What Marshall and Warren did *not* do is go around to fundamentalist churches and small-town school-boards pitching their ideas to folks who wouldn’t know the difference between a Helicobacter and a helicopter.

And remember, for every valid “new theory” that is at first dismissed by the scientific community, hundreds of invalid theories/hypotheses are also rejected.

Now with all that said, Mr. Willis, how do you see the proponents of ID “theory” conducting themselves? Do you see them acting in a professional manner, attempting to engage those who are professionally qualified to scrutinize their claims (like Marshall and Warren did)? Or do you see ID proponents acting more like those smooth-talking late-night infomercial pitchmen, deliberately seeking out audiences who are ill-equipped to scrutinize their claims?


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Comment #51093

Posted by Flint on October 5, 2005 01:31 PM (e) (s)

Ken Willis:

   Flint, you’re right there is a consensus on ID and the consensus is against it. I should have said there was a lack of consensus in favor of it.

Maybe it’s my wrong inference, but this doesn’t make it clear to me that we’re communicating. There isn’t a scientific consensus that ID is wrong. One of the witnesses in this trial came out and said that for all we can tell, we were created 10 minutes ago complete with memory chips. Instead, there is a consensus that ID is not science. Even some of the most prominent scientists who support ID (who just happen to be devout fundamentalists) admit that ID is not science. The consensus, to the contrary, is that ID might very well be true, but we have no way to determine this, even in principle, and therefor it is not science.

Hopefully, the judge will realize that this isn’t a battle between groups of scientists debating the scientific merit of some claim. ID has no scientific merit. It’s not a competing theory (though it is commonly mislabeled this way in an attempt to fool the uneducated). It is a religious attempt to counter what religious people see as the false religious doctrine of evolution, which MUST be a religious doctrine because their religion says so!

The key is the attitude toward evidence. To science, evidence is essential; to ID proponents, it’s optional (and they don’t have any yet, but so what?) So this is NOT a scientific debate in any sense. It’s a territorial dispute, with the ID people trying to claim a territory forbidden to them by the US Constitution, and trying to do so by means of deceit.


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Comment #51128

Posted by Ken Willis on October 5, 2005 03:23 PM (e) (s)

   caerbannog wrote:

   Now with all that said, Mr. Willis, how do you see the proponents of ID “theory” conducting themselves? Do you see them acting in a professional manner, attempting to engage those who are professionally qualified to scrutinize their claims (like Marshall and Warren did)? Or do you see ID proponents acting more like those smooth-talking late-night infomercial pitchmen, deliberately seeking out audiences who are ill-equipped to scrutinize their claims?

The latter.

The ultimate issue before the court is whether (1) ID has a secular legislative purpose; (2) whether its principal or primary effect is one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; and (3) whether it fosters an excessive government entanglement with religion.

It’s necessary but not sufficient for the plaintiffs to make the case that ID is not science. Even if it’s not science it might pass the above test. Teaching something that is not science in a science class may be a stupid but won’t be unconstitutional for that reason alone. Judge Overton in McClean v. Arkansas held that creation science was not science but didn’t base his decision on that fact alone. He went to great lengths to show that under the evidence presented it also had no secular purpose, that its primary purpose was the advancement of religion, and therefore it clearly fostered an excessive government entanglement with religion.

So, Flint, I agree with everything you say. It ain’t science, there is a consensus of scientific opinion to that effect. But that is not enough for the plaintiffs to win this case, I don’t think. And the consensus of scientists that ID is not science is not even sufficient to prove it isn’t science. The judge may not agree and may prove me wrong. If so, I’ll eat some crow.


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Comment #51130

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 5, 2005 03:24 PM (e) (s)

YDR reports on Dan Snook, substitute teacher

   Tuesday, October 4, 2005
   Dan Snook said he has taught as a substitute in several York County school districts during the past 20 to 25 years, and he doesn’t believe reading a statement about intelligent design in biology class is a big deal….
   “Evolution is also a religion, with its own set of assumptions and world views,” he wrote in June 2004 in the York Daily Record/Sunday News. “Didn’t Hitler, Mussolini, Chairman Mao and others use Darwin’s ideas and his ‘survival of the fittest’ to conquer, enslave those peoples who they deemed ‘inferior’? Evolution was their religion….
   His specialty is biology, Snook said, though he will teach other courses. He said he received a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Master of Education, both from Shippensburg University….
   He’s been substitute teaching in Dover for about 15 years, and exclusively for that district for about two years….



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Comment #51134

Posted by Flint on October 5, 2005 03:41 PM (e) (s)

Ken Willis:

   It ain’t science, there is a consensus of scientific opinion to that effect. But that is not enough for the plaintiffs to win this case, I don’t think.

Yes, this is true. I think we are kind of taking for granted that establishing the religious motives of all of the ID proponents is so self-evident that it merits no further discussion. There is no debate I’m aware of that the ID proponents are attempting to get their religious doctrine presented as valid science for religious reasons. But nonetheless (as I think you are saying), it’s entirely possible for a religious doctrine to have genuine secular merit. There’s nothing to prevent religions from making perfectly testable claims. So the plaintiffs need to establish both — that it’s motivated by religion (i.e. its INTENT is to introduce a religious doctrine into the public schools), and that it ALSO lacks any secular merit. That second part is the harder part, because it requires that the judge be intimate enough with the scientific method to recognize that the claims that ID is scientific are dishonest both in detail and in underlying assumption. He must recognize that ID not only DOES not have any secular merit, but that it CAN not have such merit in principle.


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Comment #51139

Posted by RBH on October 5, 2005 04:20 PM (e) (s)

From today’s York Daily Record:

   Over the objections of the Dover Area School District’s attorney, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III allowed Barbara Forrest, a Southeastern Louisiana University philosophy professor, to testify in court this morning in Harrisburg.

   Much of her testimony focused on early drafts of the pro-intelligent design textbook “Of Pandas and People.”

   Using exhibits plaintiffs’ attorneys had subpoenaed from Panda’s publisher Foundation for Thought and Ethics, Forrest showed how references to “creation science” in earlier drafts were changed to “intelligent design” after the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down the teachings of creation science in 1987.

That was exceedingly important to get into the trial record, and why the DI and More Law Center tried so hard to discredit her. Way to go, Barbara!

RBH


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Comment #51142

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 5, 2005 04:38 PM (e) (s)

Ken Willis has suggested that Daubert‘s displacement of Frye means that “general acceptance” is no longer an important factor in determining the admissibility of scientific expertise. With all due respect to Mr. Willis, this is a bit of an oversimplification. I quote from Daubert (I will occasionally omit the court’s citations to authority, which I will signal with ellipses; I have added the bolding of the discussion of “general acceptance”):

   Ordinarily, a key question to be answered in determining whether a theory or technique is scientific knowledge that will assist the trier of fact will be whether it can be (and has been) tested. “Scientific methodology today is based on generating hypotheses and testing them to see if they can be falsified; indeed, this methodology is what distinguishes science from other fields of human inquiry.” … See also C. Hempel, Philosophy of Natural Science 49 (1966) (”[T]he statements constituting a scientific explanation must be capable of empirical test”); K. Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge 37 (5th ed.) … (”[T]he criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability”).

   Another pertinent consideration is whether the theory or technique has been subjected to peer review and publication. Publication (which is but one element of peer review) is not a sine qua non of admissibility; it does not necessarily correlate with reliability, … and, in some instances, well-grounded but innovative theories will not have been published … Some propositions, moreover, are too particular, too new, or of too limited interest to be published. But submission to the scrutiny of the scientific community is a component of “good science,” in part because it increases the likelihood that substantive flaws in methodology will be detected…. The fact of publication (or lack thereof) in a peer reviewed journal thus will be a relevant, though not dispositive, consideration in assessing the scientific validity of a particular technique or methodology on which an opinion is premised.

   Additionally, in the case of a particular scientific technique, the court ordinarily should consider the known or potential rate of error, … and the existence and maintenance of standards controlling the technique’s operation… .

   Finally, “general acceptance” can yet have a bearing on the inquiry. A “reliability assessment does not require, although it does permit, explicit identification of a relevant scientific community and an express determination of a particular degree of acceptance within that community.” … Widespread acceptance can be an important factor in ruling particular evidence admissible, and “a known technique which has been able to attract only minimal support within the community,” … may properly be viewed with skepticism.

   The inquiry envisioned by Rule 702 is, we emphasize, a flexible one…. Its overarching subject is the scientific validity - and thus the evidentiary relevance and reliability - of the principles that underlie a proposed submission. The focus, of course, must be solely on principles and methodology, not on the conclusions that they generate.

Let me add re criticisms of spelling: we could certainly let all typos and misspellings pass—we’ve certainly all made them, and then flinched two seconds after hitting “Post”!—and take the position that any reference to them is sheer nit-pickery. Or purely malicious…

On the other hand, we’ve all seen too many ID/creatoid rants, where the misspellings signalled not just lack of care, but went hand-in-hand with lack of education, lack of logic, and lack of intellectual rigor and integrity in general. Mr. Willis’s original comment, in my view, certainly did not contain any of those other signals of lack of care.

But when we “put ourselves out” in a public forum devoted to a highly-contentious debate, I think we are impliedly agreeing that our comments may be tested for “rigor” on every level. Indeed, that someone has read our submissions with enough care to note—and direct our attention to—even minor and unintended errors, can be read as a form of compliment (if at times a back-handed one).

Mr. Willis may have had reason to doubt that a compliment was BB‘s intent here—but (with considerable trepidation, and hoping I haven’t committed too many egregious blunders of my own) I would suggest that, in general, we should be thankful rather than dismissive for the editorial comments of careful “proofreaders.”


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Comment #51162

Posted by tytlal on October 5, 2005 05:43 PM (e) (s)

Oops!
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9601689/

Now stay out of science class!


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Comment #51163

Posted by tytlal on October 5, 2005 05:43 PM (e) (s)

Oops!
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9601689/

Now stay out of science class!


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Comment #51176

Posted by steve on October 5, 2005 06:22 PM (e) (s)

That textbook thing is the hotness. I can’t imagine a clearer demonstration that intelligent design is relabeled creationism.


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Comment #51179

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 5, 2005 06:41 PM (e) (s)

Like I’ve always said, if you just let creationist/IDers talk long enough, they shoot themselves in the head, every single time.

They are by far their own worst enemies.


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Comment #51183

Posted by bill on October 5, 2005 07:17 PM (e) (s)

What? You mean “intelligent design” and creation science are the same thing?

I am shocked.


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Comment #51239

Posted by Norman Doering on October 6, 2005 05:46 AM (e) (s)

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank “… if you just let creationist/IDers talk long enough, they shoot themselves in the head, every single time…. They are by far their own worst enemies.”

In our eyes, yes, but what about the eyes of the rest of this uneducated country?

Remember when we talked about what might happen if this went to the Supreme Court? (not necessarily this case, but the next)

In reading up on the editorials I’m learning Harriet Miers, Bush’s nomination for the Supreme Court is a fundamentalist. Do you think any of our elected officials will have the balls to ask this question:

Ms. Miers, I believe a rudimentary knowledge of science is necessary for being a Justice of the Supreme Court. Would you tell us, to the best of your knowledge, when was the earth formed and how did homo sapiens come to be the species that it is today?

If they haven’t got the balls to ask her, we are in deep shiite.


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Comment #51261

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 6, 2005 08:13 AM (e) (s)

   Steviepinhead wrote:

   Let me add re criticisms of spelling: we could certainly let all typos and misspellings pass—we’ve certainly all made them, and then flinched two seconds after hitting “Post”!—and take the position that any reference to them is sheer nit-pickery. Or purely malicious…

   On the other hand, we’ve all seen too many ID/creatoid rants, where the misspellings signalled not just lack of care, but went hand-in-hand with lack of education, lack of logic, and lack of intellectual rigor and integrity in general. Mr. Willis’s original comment, in my view, certainly did not contain any of those other signals of lack of care.

   But when we “put ourselves out” in a public forum devoted to a highly-contentious debate, I think we are impliedly agreeing that our comments may be tested for “rigor” on every level. Indeed, that someone has read our submissions with enough care to note—and direct our attention to—even minor and unintended errors, can be read as a form of compliment (if at times a back-handed one).

   Mr. Willis may have had reason to doubt that a compliment was BB‘s intent here—but (with considerable trepidation, and hoping I haven’t committed too many egregious blunders of my own) I would suggest that, in general, we should be thankful rather than dismissive for the editorial comments of careful “proofreaders.”

I did not think my correction of a mis-spelled word that is central to the current discussion and which could have been copy-and-pasted from at least 10 different places in this thread, including the title, was done in a malicious way. Certainly Mr. Willis chose to interpret it in the worst way possible. He also chose to ignore the substantive part of my post.


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Comment #51269

Posted by Ed Darrell on October 6, 2005 09:27 AM (e) (s)

Judge Roberts was asked his views on science in the courtroom. I don’t see why Miers won’t be asked that, too.

I’m not sure that’s the question to ask, though, about her views on geology and human evolution. It’s quite conceivable that a rational creationist could hold creationist views and still defer to the law, which says such religious views cannot be taught by the state. The serious question is whether she will defer to experts in science on the questions of what science is.

And, incidentally, for most of the people concerned about science views, it’s big money items like pharmaceutical and computer chip patents that they worry about. It would be possible to ask questions about science on those issues and scuttle the nomination if she’s way out of line. Check out the blogs of patent lawyers, see what they say.


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Comment #51271

Posted by Norman Doering on October 6, 2005 09:42 AM (e) (s)

Ed Darrell wrote: “Judge Roberts was asked his views on science in the courtroom.”

He was? I only remember Joe Biden trying to ask about science and technological possibilities and then getting lost in his own futuristic sci-fi speculations before he could ask a solid question. Roberts didn’t offer any solid answers either.


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Comment #51319

Posted by Evopeach on October 6, 2005 04:38 PM (e) (s)

The definitive work on the ID movement was chronicled years ago and unmistakingly identified Michael Denton’s book Evolution, a Theory in Crises as the beginning of ID. The former book was peer reviewed and resulted from the successful defense of a MS Thesis the committee including evolutionary biologists. I am aware that like so many otheres Denton was flailed and punished by the evos into denying his ID ties but we’ve seen your one-trick pony used on many scientists who dare to challenge your God.

The kook Barbara is a cult nut case whose writing resembles the x-files scripts.

Her Doctorate is in Animal Husbandry or some such and hardly makes her an expert witness.

The way to tell how a trial goes is at the conclusion moron not while one side has presented their so called best shot. I believe this is a jury trial by the way.

If the jury reflects the American people, the most recent survey showing most people want to have both ideas presented in the schools etc., that does not bode well for the evo wireheads.


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Comment #51321

Posted by CJ O'Brien on October 6, 2005 04:44 PM (e) (s)

What’s that smell?
Oh, it must be pig-ignorance.

The way to figure out it’s not a jury trial moron is read something about it.


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Comment #51323

Posted by James Taylor on October 6, 2005 04:52 PM (e) (s)

   CJ O'Brien wrote:

   What’s that smell?
   Oh, it must be pig-ignorance.

   The way to figure out it’s not a jury trial moron is read something about it.

Sort of like studying evidence. In class it is usually more beneficial for the student to do the homework so as to come prepared to discuss today’s topic. Those that don’t do homework are usually asked to put their head down and go back to sleep.


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Comment #51327

Posted by ben on October 6, 2005 05:19 PM (e) (s)

How hard is it to do a Google search and find out that her doctorate is in Philosophy?

How hard is it to understand that someone might become expert in a field other than that in which one is most highly educated? Or that it’s up to the judge to ascertain the witness’ qualifications and, since she’s testifying, apparently the judge thinks she’s an expert? The defense objected repeatedly to her being allowed to testify as a witness and was overruled.

How hard is it to learn enough about a trial you presume to comment on to know what kind of trial it is (again, try Google)?

Evopeach is probably right now thinking that if the trial goes as hoped, evolution will be sent to jail for a long stretch.


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Comment #51328

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on October 6, 2005 05:27 PM (e) (s)

   The definitive work on the ID movement was chronicled years ago and unmistakingly identified Michael Denton’s book Evolution, a Theory in Crises as the beginning of ID. The former book was peer reviewed and resulted from the successful defense of a MS Thesis the committee including evolutionary biologists. I am aware that like so many otheres Denton was flailed and punished by the evos into denying his ID ties but we’ve seen your one-trick pony used on many scientists who dare to challenge your God.

Michael Denton got his PhD in 1974, 10 years before E:ATIC. I did not get a MSc after that, and if he did use a student’s thesis for his book without granting co-authorship, he’d probably would have been in big trouble.

The publisher of E:ATIC, Burnett Books, is not an academic publisher, so I doubt his book went through any kind of scientific review, let alone standard peer review.

As for Denton being “punished and flailed”, he actually seems to have continued his real work and career pretty much unperturbed, got several promotions and appointments, and published many peer-reviewed papers after 1985. His CV is here (MS Word file).

Just for the record.


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Comment #51331

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 6, 2005 05:48 PM (e) (s)

   Michael Denton’s book Evolution, a Theory in Crises as the beginning of ID.

Denton later wrote another book which declared that his previous book was full of crap, asked that DI no longer reference him as an IDer, and that he be removed as a DI “Fellow”.

But, since Evopeach has already demonstrated that he doesn’t know shit from shinola, I’m not surprised that he doesn’t know that. (shrug)


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Comment #51333

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 6, 2005 06:01 PM (e) (s)

Discovery Institute’s whining about Dr Barbara:

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACC…

SEATTLE, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Southeastern Louisiana University philosophy professor Barbara Forrest testified in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial that it is her opinion that intelligent design and creationism are essentially one in the same.
“I hope that the media will critically analyze Forrest’s testimony and get our response to her allegations,” said John West. “I would warn them to take what she says not with just a grain of salt, but with a shaker-full.”
“The ACLU’s entire case is built on misrepresenting what intelligent design is, and mischaracterizing it as creationism so we’re not surprised they called Forrest as a witness,” West added.
According to West, creationism is focused on defending a literal reading of the Genesis account, usually including the creation of the earth by the Biblical God a few thousand years ago. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design is agnostic regarding the source of design and has no commitment to defending Genesis, the Bible or any other sacred text.
Instead, intelligent design theory attempts to empirically detect whether the apparent design in nature observed by biologists is genuine design (the product of an organizing intelligence) or is simply the product of chance and mechanical natural laws.
“The effort to detect design in nature is being adopted by a growing number of biologists, biochemists, physicists, mathematicians, and philosophers of science at colleges and universities around the world,” said West. “Scientists engaged in design research include biochemist Michael Behe of Lehigh University and microbiologist Scott Minnich at the University of Idaho, both of whom will testify for the defense, and astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez at Iowa State University.”


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Comment #51336

Posted by Flint on October 6, 2005 06:10 PM (e) (s)

Evopeach seems to be a beginner in the world of creationism; she hasn’t yet been advised that making easily corrected errors of fact is discouraged. Errors of fact should require long and detailed (and boring and incomprehensible) explanations to correct, if used at all. The preferred technique is to use distortion and misrepresentation, quotation out of context, statements following logically from assumptions nearly impossible to correct to a layman’s satisfaction, claims without attribution, innuendo and other more subtle means.


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Comment #51344

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 6, 2005 06:44 PM (e) (s)

   Evopeach seems to be a beginner in the world of creationism; she

If “she” is really a “she”, that would be very unusual. Other than the wives of various fundies, there are no women prominent in either the creationist or the ID movement. Oddly, there are no prominent non-whites, either.

In my 20-odd years of “debating” creationists, I’ve only run into a handful of female creationists. Oddly enough, nearly all of them were using their HUSBAND’S email address.

Gee, I wonder why that would be … … .


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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
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