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Richardthughes



Posts: 10094
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,14:14   

His post is up:

Quote
Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Let me say that this website--which I just discovered yesterday--is both fascinating and useful. A wide variety of scientific topics are apparently discussed, ranging from science of the mind to cancer and disease research, to geology to evolution. I will most certainly revisit this site in the future, if for no other reason than the fact that it's a great way to stay informed about new scientific developments.
Second, I want to state upfront that I have no ill will towards anyone on this thread. But it saddens me that from the very first post on this thread and others, people were directing users to pages that made unjustified personal attacks against me (there are various examples on this thread, but here are two: "Casey Lying For Christ" and another user even linked a URL where people can talk about "about how terrible Luskin is"). People commonly make unjustified personal attacks against me, and my response is not to get mad or even get upset. Rather, my response is that it is to feel that this kind of behavior is saddening because it does damage to what might otherwise be a fruitful, friendly, and objective scientific debate. Regardless, I absolutely refuse to respond in kind as I do not make personal attacks against other people. That is my personal ethic, and though I am not perfect, I try to live up to it.

I am thus faced with two conflicting desires here: I have no desire to involve myself in a discussion that allows personal attacks, even allowing further personal attacks after warnings from the moderator, who is apparently permitting such personal attacks to stand. Nonetheless, I do desire to honor Mr. Munger's invitation to make a comment here and his attempt to keep the conversation focused away from personal attacks. My compromise is that I will make one, and only one comment. If people want to continue to make personal attacks, cite irrelevant issues like the Wedge Document, etc., so be it. I'm not here to engage in personal attacks.

I frequently discuss peer-reviewed research related to evolution at www.evolutionnews.org. In fact, when I posted my post at EvolutionNews, that's all I thought I was doing--I had no idea that rules, including copyright issues, existed for using the graphic nor did I have any idea that by using the graphic, I would be accused of breaking rules. Given my ignorance prior to using the graphic, I would not necessarily expect my post to conform to rules that I wasn't even aware of when I posted my post. Nonetheless, I believe that my post does not break any of the 9 rules. Here's why:

It satisfies Rules #1 and #2: Dr. Orgel’s paper was clearly a respectable "armchair theorizing" paper by an eminent chemist in a mainstream biology journal that represented his views after a lifetime of prestigiously-funded research. It was reviewed and edited by another eminent chemist from the same field, Gerald Joyce. Thus, the paper states: "This manuscript was completed by the author in September 2007. Gerald Joyce provided comments to the author on earlier versions of the manuscript and edited the final version, which was submitted posthumously. The author received longtime research support from the NASA Exobiology Program and benefited from many helpful discussions with Albert Eschenmoser."

It satisfies Rules #3, #6, and #7: My post provided the complete formal citation in my post, and I also linked back to the original source. The post also contained original material that I wrote. These are black-and-white questions. Some people concede that I satisfied these. But the fact that some people have claimed that I did not satisfy a single rule makes me wonder about the fairness of some of the analyses presented here.

It does not break Rules #8 or #9: There is also the issue of my using the ResearchBlogging.org graphic. As I mentioned earlier, not having visited ResearchBlogging.org at the time I posted my post, at that time I was unaware that there was anything wrong with my using the graphic. However, I now have learned that ResearchBlogging.org has certain rules for using the graphic. Apart from using the graphic before registering (something I did not know I was supposed to do when I posted my post, but I tried to register as soon as I learned of the rules), I do not believe I have violated any of the rules: Even though Dave Munger never asked me to do so, I've removed the graphic from my post. Moreover, rule #9 indicates that a single instance of breaking a rule (in my case, unknowingly) does not warrant expulsion from ResearchBlogging.org. (Rule #8 is simply a rule stating that users may report abuses, and is not violable.)

It satisfies Rules #4 and #5: Many people on this thread have said that these rules represent the key issues. One would expect that therefore this would be the focus of the discussion. But it wasn't. Only 3 of the 30 posts here actually quoted my article, or discussed it in any meaningful way, to allege, using direct evidence, that I made any errors or misunderstood anything. Here are those posts with my response:

Post # 9: Claims I was wrong to state, “Again, Orgel essentially assumes that cyclic metabolic pathways are irreducibly complex systems that require a large number of parts in order to function”

My response: My comment is not mistaken. For example, Orgel states, "At the very least, six different catalytic activities would have been needed to complete the reverse citric acid cycle. It could be argued, but with questionable plausibility, that different sites on the primitive Earth offered an enormous combinatorial library of mineral assemblies, and that among them a collection of the six or more required catalysts could have coexisted." That seems to meet the definition of irreducible complexity.

Post # 11: “Just like the case of the ribosome, the evidence shows that the complexity of life requires an intelligent cause.”

My response: This was my personal commentary on the data (which is permitted by the rules), and was not intended to represent Dr. Orgel’s viewpoint. In fact I never claimed Orgel supported ID. In fact, I explicitly stated precisely the opposite, stating that "Orgel is no proponent of intelligent design. In fact, the purpose of his paper is to offer sage advice to those seeking to explain the origin of life via evolving metabolic pathways." In his e-mail back to me, Dave Munger stated, stated: "We welcome a variety of divergent opinions at ResearchBlogging.org, as long as posts follow our guidelines, designed to encourage reasoned and thoughtful discussion of peer-reviewed research." So there is no violation here, unless the pro-ID opinion is fundamentally disbarred from participation. In fact some users may seem to desire censorship of the pro-ID viewpoint, as one person wrote, "This is blatant abuse of the program to lend an air of credibility and should be stopped." In short, they just don’t want my application approved because it might “lend an air of credibility” to my views.

Post # 12: "Again, Orgel essentially assumes that cyclic metabolic pathways are irreducibly complex systems that require a large number of parts in order to function—including many side pathways that can remove products that will disrupt the cycle. Saying that cycles need side pathways is the exact opposite of what Orgel said in the original - cycles need to avoid side pathways to maintain themselves."

My response: In fact I quoted Orgel accurately, including the portion where he explicitly said that side-pathways must be avoided or they will disrupt the cycle. My comment, "including many side pathways that can remove products that will disrupt the cycle," was intended to show that there must be other parts present to avoid allow the cycle to avoid these side-reactions. But I can see how my statement is unclear and does not communicate that very well. In his e-mail back to me, Mr. Munger stated that I may amend my post if I feel it is necessary. In this regard, I've amended my post to fix this unintended unclear statement as follows: "Again, Orgel essentially assumes that cyclic metabolic pathways are irreducibly complex systems that require a large number of parts in order to function—including parts that allow them to avoid many side pathways that will disrupt the cycle."

I read and understood the article. I studied origin of life research in both my undergraduate and graduate studies at UC San Diego studying earth sciences, and taking courses and seminars learning from people like Jeffrey Bada, Stanley Miller, and others. I also conferred with a biochemist friend about the paper.

I won't enter a philosophical discussion about how "understanding" or "accuracy" might be a function of whether people agree with my commentary, which is obviously pro-ID. I'll just say that I am not so presumptuous to assume that if someone comes to a different conclusion than I do, that they therefore do not understand the topic, or were therefore necessarily inaccurate.

Regarding rules #4 and #5, I see no evidence that I have broken rules #4 or #5 here. Given that these were the only complaints, I can only conclude that in fact my discussion was actually quite accurate.

My final conclusion:
In conclusion, these are your rules. I didn't know about them when I posted my post, but I think I nonetheless have not violated any of them. I'll respect Mr. Munger's decision, whatever it is, and whatever its stated or unstated justification is.

If you decide to allow my registration--superb! I’m not doing this to get “credibility” but because like all of you, I too love science and I’d like to think that this is a website worth contributing to. If my registration is permitted, I'll gladly contribute to what I hope this website is all about.

But if you don't want to follow your own rules, that is saddening, and it would not be the first time that a different set of rules has been applied to ID proponents vs. other scientists. Indeed, I find it most likely that one user admitted the most forceful reason why my registration would be denied: "This is blatant abuse of the program to lend an air of credibility and should be stopped."

But I’ll respect Mr. Munger’s decision, whatever it is, and the stated and unstated reasons are. I just hope that this does not become another example where, as in many corners of academia, "We welcome a variety of divergent opinions," as long as those opinions do not support intelligent design.

But I won’t presume that Mr. Munger will make such an inappropriate decision, and I’ll respect whatever he decides in the future. If anyone would like to contact me personally, please feel free to do so at [EMAIL=cluskin@discovery.org.]cluskin@discovery.org.[/EMAIL]

Sincerely in good will and friendship,

Casey Luskin



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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,14:27   

Linky?

edit, Luskin first claimed he was going to reply on the bp site, did he do that or just post it on the DI site?

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
sparc



Posts: 1691
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,14:31   

Quote
it would not be the first time that a different set of rules has been applied to ID proponents vs. other scientists.

preparing to sell himself as EXPELLED!

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"[...] the type of information we find in living systems is beyond the creative means of purely material processes [...] Who or what is such an ultimate source of information? [...] from a theistic perspective, such an information source would presumably have to be God."

- William Dembski -

   
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,14:37   

Casey:
   
Quote
Important note: It should be clear that when I first posted my post, I had not yet seen ResearchBlogging.org and was unaware of how it worked.


   
Quote
Given my ignorance prior to using the graphic, I would not necessarily expect my post to conform to rules that I wasn't even aware of when I posted my post.

   
Quote
At the time that I posted my post, I was not aware that the graphic I had used was owned by ResearchBlogging.org


 
Quote
Also on Feb 5th, I posted the following comment at ResearchBlogging.org to state my position on this matter:

   Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Let me say that this website--which I just discovered yesterday--is both fascinating and useful.

So yesterday is Feb 4th. But
 
Quote
On Feb. 3, I posted this blog post. A co-worker had recommended that I include a graphic that said this was discussing peer-reviewed research.


So, let me get this straight. Casey does not go to the website in the logo but uses the logo in his website instead?

If this is the care and attention they go to when searching for the "designer" then no wonder they've not found anything yet!
Quote
Given my ignorance prior to using the graphic, I would not necessarily expect my post to conform to rules that I wasn't even aware of when I posted my post.

Ignorance which could have been cured by typing in researchblogging.org

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I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10094
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,14:49   

Casey has detailed his reply here:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008....logging

but I can't see it here:

http://bpr3.org/?p=80

Yet.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,14:51   

Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Feb. 05 2008,14:37)
Casey:

Sorry, Oldman.  Mike Dunford was 4 minutes faster on the draw.

But, isn't it interesting that Casey chose to answer on Evolution News, where no comments or discussions can take place?  For all their big talk about teaching both sides, they run like little girls from any forum where they can be openly challenged.  I guess it allows him to ignore any critical commentary by saying "Oh, I wasn't aware that they were still talking about little ole me."

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Mister DNA



Posts: 466
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,14:55   

Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Feb. 05 2008,14:37)
Ignorance which could have been cured by typing in researchblogging.org

In Casey's defense, he was too busy typing "Casey Luskin" into Google's image search engine.

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CBEB's: The Church Burnin' Ebola Blog
Thank you, Dr. Dembski. You are without peer when it comes to The Argument Regarding Design. - vesf

    
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,15:18   

Lushkin is now yapping at BPR

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Chayanov



Posts: 289
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,15:19   

Quote
Ignorance which could have been cured by typing in researchblogging.org


Luskin's reading comprehension skill is only matched by his keen legal prowess.

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Help! Marxist literary critics are following me!

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,15:20   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Feb. 05 2008,14:51)
But, isn't it interesting that Casey chose to answer on Evolution News, where no comments or discussions can take place?  For all their big talk about teaching both sides, they run like little girls from any forum where they can be openly challenged.  I guess it allows him to ignore any critical commentary by saying "Oh, I wasn't aware that they were still talking about little ole me."

Casey's response is now up at bpr3.org.  

It has a AFDave vibe about it.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5377
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,15:33   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Feb. 05 2008,16:20)
Casey's response is now up at bpr3.org.  

It has a AFDave vibe about it.

I read Luskin's three or four comments, then refreshed the page.  It's hardly loading now.

I guess their server is getting slammed about now.

I suspect Casey is, too.  Silly boy.  You'd think he'd know to stay behind the DI's skirts.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
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stevestory



Posts: 8877
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,15:33   

Quote
#40  Miles Says:
February 5th, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Casey, you’re on record for attacking plenty of people, Barbara Forrest for one. It’s not like we don’t read what you write.

Your public lies and distortions are well documented on various web sites, you lie through your teeth, sir. Please spare us the “personal ethic” lecture. History indicates your ethics are marginal at best.

And your one set of rules for ID and another for science is laughable. Do you ever put your persecution complex to bed?

Good grief.

   
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,15:35   

Lushkin is claiming he never makes personal attacks.  WTF?  For starters how many times has he personally attacked Barabare Forrest?  The DI has called her names, made fun of her, written all sorts of nasty shite about her.  I am floored by what a liar this guy is.

What a lying sack of shite.

edit = that "Miles" guy seems to be in the know. ;-)

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4470
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,15:48   

Casey Luskin at BPR:

Quote

Second, I want to state upfront that I have no ill will towards anyone on this thread. But it saddens me that from the very first post on this thread and others, people were directing users to pages that made unjustified personal attacks against me (there are various examples on this thread, but here are two: “Casey Lying For Christ” and another user even linked a URL where people can talk about “about how terrible Luskin is”). People commonly make unjustified personal attacks against me, and my response is not to get mad or even get upset. Rather, my response is that it is to feel that this kind of behavior is saddening because it does damage to what might otherwise be a fruitful, friendly, and objective scientific debate. Regardless, I absolutely refuse to respond in kind as I do not make personal attacks against other people. That is my personal ethic, and though I am not perfect, I try to live up to it.


Emphasis in original.

The following is from something Casey Luskin wrote up for consumption on the private "phylogenists" "intelligent design" creationism email list, subsequently posted by a fellow list member to a public Usenet newsgroup. It falls into that category of candid speech that belies public stances.

 
Quote

Scott definitely speaks "scientese".  She presents herself as a scientist, which she once was, who is trying to do the right thing for science.  She is very charismatic, funny, and very good at getting people behind what she's saying. It's no wonder she's the director of the NCSE.  In the past I've compared Eugenie C. Scott to Darth Vader because she is full of internal contradictions, knows in her heart she's lying, powerful, persuasive, and most importantly, she travels around representing the dominating power (the Empire) and fighting the good guys.  All in the name of ...well, I'm not exactly sure what her motivation is yet. It's certainly not truth.

(On the other hand, there is the rebellion against the Empire.  Small, understaffed, often outgunned and outmanned, but not outsmarted.  However, the rebellion has the people of the galaxy behind them, and most importantly, the Force.  Of course not all of us in the rebellion believe in the "force" (the analogy is God), but what unites the rebellion is the common belief in the problems with the current establishment, and the desire to replace it with something better.  When we introduced ourselves in the class, I should have said I was Luke Skywalker, but I suppose I was under the control of her powers at the time so I just said I was Casey, an earth sciences major.)


Source

A "personal ethic" is something that is always active, whether one is speaking publicly or privately. I'm not sure what Casey's stated stance of not making public personal attacks may be, but I doubt it qualifies as a "personal ethic".

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

    
J. O'Donnell



Posts: 98
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:00   

As I mentioned in my post at BPR, I think the simplest method of getting to the heart of the matter is to focus on rule #5. In terms of being a 'blog post', Caseys post is hardly reasonable or fair towards the original author and doesn't even bother presenting anything in it. Of the actual article, only two quotes are used and both are presented out of context devoid of discussion of the authors opinion as to why he says what he does. This alone shows that Casey didn't treat the material fairly and shouldn't be allowed to use the icon.

But that's just my impression.

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My blog: Animacules

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4238
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:04   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 05 2008,15:14)
His post is up...

It has the whiff of notpology about it, it does.  
   
Quote
In conclusion, these are your rules. I didn’t know about them when I posted my post, but I think I nonetheless have not violated any of them. I’ll respect Mr. Munger’s decision, whatever it is, and whatever its stated or unstated justification is.

If you decide to allow my registration–superb!...But if you don’t want to follow your own rules, that is saddening, and it would not be the first time that a different set of rules has been applied to ID proponents vs. other scientists...

But I’ll respect Mr. Munger’s decision, whatever it is.


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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
J. O'Donnell



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:05   

I wonder if Casey thinks that not allowing comments on his posts, while nearly everyone else allows responses to their posts is having different rules. I don't think a news site qualified as a blog myself...

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My blog: Animacules

   
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:08   

I would encourage you guys to post some of these most excellent comments where Luskin can see them.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:14   

Since this is the Casey Luskin thread, I thought copying the source Wes linked too was relevant.  it really shines some light on Mr Luskin.

Quote
x x x x clip begin x x x x
Date: 23. marraskuuta 2000 08:56

Oheiset raportit osoittavat miten evolutionistien leiri alkaa olla todella
huolissaan

x x x snip x x x

Sorry it's a bit late, but this is a report on weeks 7 and 8 of the UCSD
anti-creationism seminar,and also on the wonderful "Darwinism, Design, and
Democary" conference in Clearwater, Florida on 11/10-11/11.

On November 9th, Eugenie C. Scott, director of the National Center for
Science Education (an anti-creationist political activist group) came and
spoke at the UCSD anti-creationism seminar and then gave a public lecture
at Scripps Institution for Oceanography.  24 hours later I came up for a
breath in Florida at the "Darwinism, Design, and Democracy" conference
hosted by Tom Woodward, Trinity College of Florida, and the Foundation for
Thought and Ethics. And then the following Thursday (11/16) I had the
pleasure of discussing Dembski's book "Intelligent Design" at the
anti-creationism seminar again with special guest star Wesley Elsberry
presiding. I'd like to share some highlights of these experiences with you
all.

Eugenie C. Scott's lecture:

Scott definitely speaks "scientese".  She presents herself as a scientist,
which she once was, who is trying to do the right thing for science.  She
is very charismatic, funny, and very good at getting people behind what
she's saying. It's no wonder she's the director of the NCSE.  In the past
I've compared Eugenie C. Scott to Darth Vader because she is full of
internal contradictions, knows in her heart she's lying, powerful,
persuasive, and most importantly, she travels around representing the
dominating power (the Empire) and fighting the good guys.  All in the name
of ...well, I'm not exactly sure what her motivation is yet.  It's
certainly not truth.

(On the other hand, there is the rebellion against the Empire.  Small,
understaffed, often outgunned and outmanned, but not outsmarted.  However,
the rebellion has the people of the galaxy behind them, and most
importantly, the Force.  Of course not all of us in the rebellion believe
in the "force" (the analogy is God), but what unites the rebellion is the
common belief in the problems with the current establishment, and the
desire to replace it with something better.  When we introduced ourselves
in the class, I should have said I was Luke Skywalker, but I suppose I was
under the control of her powers at the time so I just said I was Casey, an
earth sciences major.)

You will hopefully find this encouraging:  The first thing Scott did at the
seminar was hold up a copy of "Icons of Evolution" and say (this is more or
less verbatim), "I want you all to see this book.  This book will be a
"Royal Pain in the Fanny" for those who want to be teachers of evolution
[in the schools]"  I had to take a double-take to make sure that she had
really just said that.  She then said that most high school bio teachers
don't want to be controversial, and if the book shows some things in a
textbook to be controversial, then many k-12 teachers who "don't know a lot
of science" will be "intimidated"--especially if parents use the ammo
provided by the book to check the school board--and then the teacher will
just avoid the subject altogether.  She said that many textbooks might not
publish as much on the subject of evolution if it will be controversial and
cause the textbook to not get sold to school districts (which, implicitly,
have read Icons and understand what it is saying).  She laid the blame for
this "at the foot of the university profs".  She also spoke of it at the
public seminar, saying people should watch out for it.

Also she said that the author (whom we all know very well) "works hard to
hide the religious underpinnings" and like many other ID people had done
his homework well.  Was that a compliment to you Dr. Wells?  I'm not so
sure.  According to Scott ID is still "a religious movement" whose "goal is
to replace scientifric materialism with theism".  Apparently ID people are
"using evolution as a talking horse" to achieve that goal.  The false
notion that ID is religion, and the claim that "methodological naturalism
and theism aren't mutually exclusive" form the basis of her attacks upon
the arguments made by the pro-ID.

At the public lecture she went through the differences between YEC, OEC,
and ID.  She showed a quote from Henry Morris saying that all science must
be based upon Scriptures, and a quote an address by someone who used to be
the director of the discovery institute (I missed the name) discussing the
importance of bringing theism back into the intellectual life.  This was
part of her usual attempt to show that ID is purely religiously based, and
nothing more.

Scott criticized ID because it doen't say what happened.  Well, Dr. Scott,
ID says that an object was intelligently designed.  "Yeah," she replies,
"but what happened?." "Like I said, It was intelligently designed". "But
what happened?"  Scott doesn't get it--Intelligent Design theory is a real
theory that doesn't overstretch itself--it doen't say exactly how the
design was inserted into the real world because at this point it
can't!  But IT CAN say that it was designed, period.  Of course that isn't
enough for Scott, but she just proved another point of pro-IDers that the
design inference can stem questions which could lead to fruitful research
(i.e. how was the design accomplished).

Scott also claimed that the famous Colin Patterson quote is grossly out of
context.  Not sure how she knew that, but I'm serious about this--someone
at ARN should send her a free copy of the transcript of his talk.

The worst point she made, repeatedly was saying that the ID people say,
"It's just an Intelligence" "wink wink nudge nudge".  She's trying to
convince people that ID is nothing but religion.  She said ID says
evolution is a bad idea.  Not true.  She said ID doesn't make any
practically helpful statements.  Not true--especially if you're not
interested in truth.  I think we need to do all day workshops at many
universities around the country to show people what ID really is, to stop
the lies of Scott, if ID is going to work.  Otherwise she's going to go
around the country spreading this garbage, and scientists who don't know
better will undoubtedly buy it.  She used a lot of standard criticisms of
ID, irred comp, and other things I won't go into.  But if anybody wants
more details, please e-mail me and I'd be happy to provide them.

She concluded by asking everyone present to help out by joining the NCSE
(similar to what seemed to happen in Marcus Ross's experience with the NCSE
at GSA), to write letters to the editor fighting creationists whenever
possible, and encouraged all scientists to go back to their churches,
synagogues, temples, etc., to make sure they all get the right perspective
on evolution.  She later said that profesors need to leave philosophical
materialism out of the discussion as much as possible.  Statements like,
"Life is here by chance without a plan or purpose" (as I've had one upper
division evolution prof, who attended her lecture, say) are now off
limits.  She made that very clear that scientists need to check philosophy
out at the door.  I think that's good, but she never addressed the question
of whether some of the science itself is based upon philosophy.  So that is
where Scott is coming from: don't tell your students they can't believe in
religion, but do tell your fellow church members they can't believe in
creationism.  What's wrong here?

I was able to talk with Scott one on one for about 3 minutes while she
walked from our class seminar to her public lecture.  I asked her why she
thinks ID isn't science.  She said it isn't science because it does not
refer to natural law (a reference to Ruse's testimony which he later
recanted).  She also said that it isn't testable and she doubts that
Dembski will be able to really formulate "detectable design' (even though I
think both evolution and Design are inferences, epistimologically
equal).  Scott also opposes the teaching of ID because it would cause
"chaos" in the classroom curriculum.  In my opinion, that is a copout
answer, for a well-organized presenter could present all the material in
Icons and allow for a good discussion of the issue in at most two class
periods.

Here is something very interesting that I found out about the NCSE:  From
what I understand, the NCSE tries to coordinate the effort to fight people
who effectively challenge the one-sided teaching of evolution (OSToE) in
the schools.  When the NCSE finds out that somebody is attacking the
one-sidedness of a curriculum in an area, they apparently then contact
local university professors and local CLERGY (who, from what it seems, tend
to be catholics, lutherans, or episcopalians who tend to see evolution as
religiously neutral with regards to origins, and also see
creationist/ID/anti-evolution ideas necessarily as religious doctrine
rather than empirical science).  The NCSE then gets these local clergy and
university profs to go before the school boards to effectively testify that
any anti-OSToE ideas are purely religiously based and/or not science.

She specifically mentioned bringing in clergy, because it seems to be an
effective way of convincing school boards.  That makes sense to me, because
if I was on an innocent school board member trying to do the best thing for
the community, and saw that the religious people are OK with evolution,
then I wouldn't have trouble thinking that there must be no scientific
problem with evolution.

I think that by looking at what Scott's group does, a good strategy can be
developed which might be very successful for pro-ID people, creationists,
and any others who want to end the OSToE but don't necessarily know where
to begin.

I think that the place to start is where they start--with the local
university scientists and clergy.  Go to the local university scientists
and host a half-day workshop for the local biology profs / other professors
with the sole intention of educating them about Intelligent Design,
problems with evolutionary theory, answering any questions or reservations
they might about ID with the intention of helping them and befriending
them, not winning an argument or making them out to be the enemy.

The same should be done for the clergy, and emphasize to them the
scientific problems with evolutionary theory, and show them that this stuff
has nothing to do with religion or causing unnecessary conflict, but with
real scientific truth and fairness and truth in science
education.  Hopefully they would be behind that.  This could diffuse any
future potential objections these people might have to ID.

After talking to the local clergy and university scientists, give each
member of the local school board a free copy of Icons.  Let them read it
and say, "We'll be back in about 2 weeks to present all of this stuff all
over again and make our case, but we just wanted to give you a chance to
read up on this before we come."  In 2 weeks, come back, make the case, and
get the OSToE out of the curriculum and perhaps even get some ID ideas into
it!  These are just some thoughts I had.  What do you all think is the best
strategy?

One last thing--someday on some website there may appear a picture of Scott
with some students, and one student in the back smiling to himself, "My
gosh what am I doing in this picture".  If you ever see it, it was taken at
the seminar by Wesley Elsberry.  (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Wesley
Ellsberry, devoted critic of William Dembski and others, came.  He was her
ride from the airport.  He videotaped and photographed her 2
performances.  I did get a chance to meet him (he had e-mailed the IDEA
Club a few weeks earlier) and he did seem like a nice enough guy in
person.  We had a long talk after his revisit to the seminar during week 8,
which I'll go into in a bit.

Florida Design Conference:

In the words of Eugenie C. Scott, I attended this pro-Intelligent Design
Conference because, "it's a dirty job but somebody has to do it".  That's
what she said during the public lecture about a design conference she had
once attended.  Well, attending this conference near the beach in
Clearwater, Florida wasn't a dirty job, and I was happy to do it!

The conference was organized by Tom Woodward of Trinity College in Floriday
(see his website at "www.apologetics.org") and by the Foundation for
Thought and Ethics.  The keynote speakers were Tom Woodward, George Lebo,
and phylo Scott Minnich and Paul Chien.  The theme for the conference
seemed to be the quote, "In China we can criticize Darwin, but not the
government, in America you an criticize the government but not
Darwin"  Apparently this infamous quote was said by Chinese paleontologist
Dr. Jun-Yuan Chen.  I didn't get the exact location or circumstances of the
reference, but if anyone has it that would be great!

George Lebo spoke on Friday night about evidences for design in the
universe.  He made some interesting points--that the universe must be
sparsely populated because life couldn't exist in most parts of the
universe.  Apparently our solar system and galaxy are special, because the
solar system exists away from the center of the galaxy, where high levels
of radiation would prevent life, and also because the solar system is in a
somewhat synchronous rotational orbit with the rest of the galaxy, such
that the gravitational forces on the sun and planets are constant, allowing
for the earth to have a stable orbit.  Otherwise, we'd be in big
trouble.  Apparently this situation is very unique among stars, and that it
is unlikely that it would commonly be found in the universe.

On Saturday Paul Chien gave a great lecture on the Chenjiang Cambrian
fossils.  The undisrupted yellow mudstone these fossils are found in has
allowed for much better preservation than their counterparts in Canada,
which are found in metamorphosed shale.  Paul Chien estimates that the
entire layer, which is less than 4 feet in height, was deposted in less
than 2 million years.  On an evolutionary timescale, that's an
instant.  Chien noted that Chinese scientists have doubted evolutionary
explanations for the Cambrian explosion, but said that American scientists
are "in denial" saying "maybe we'll find more fossils".  One interesting
point made, which many of you might know (but I didn't so I'll say it
anyways) is that Simon Conway Morris has become a Christian.  That doesn't
necessarily mean he's pro-ID or anything even close to that, I just found
it interesting--and encouraging--that a foremost researcher into the
Cambrian life has become a Christian.  Chen said, "[Chinese scientists] go
where the evidence leads because they cannot deny [the scientific
evidence]".  It's a blessing to have Paul Chien on the side of ID on the
Cambrian explosion.

Scott Minnich also spoke on Saturday on the bacterial flagellum.  This talk
was fascinating, as I'm not a biologist, and was amazed as he told us some
statistics on the flagellum.  The flagellum is a self-assembled and repair,
water-cooled rotary engine consisting of 30 structural parts and driven by
a proton motor force.  In some cases it has 2 gears--forward and reverse,
and operates at speeds usually around 17,000 but has been seen as high as
100,000 rpm.  Wow--Ford motorcompany should take notes!  There are
apparently no papers discussing the origin and evolution of the
flagellum.  The Designer is apparently a lot better than we are!  Scott
noted that the base of the flagellum is used in the mechanisms that some
viruses use.  Thus, it is designed, but also designed to kill.  No one said
we lived in a pretty world.  Scott also made a great point that many people
often complain that design theory is just old arguments being
re-used.  Yes, Scott said!  And now those formerly dismissed arguments are
being revitalized by new data!

I could say a lot more on the conference, but as far as the talks go these
were definitely the highlights!  I missed the talk on ID in Public
Education and law, given by Tom Woodward, so sorry that I can't report on
it to you all.  Why did you go all the way from California to Florida for a
weekend conference on ID you ask?  Well, AS of UCSD helped to cover a good
portion of our trip costs, as we went as representatives of the IDEA Club,
a student organization which can receive AS funding for that stuff.  So, it
wasn't a free trip, but it was free enough so I'd go!  My friend Nate and I
had a great time, and really enjoyed meeting Scott Minnich and Paul Chien
in person!  The trip was an amazing blessing for me, and if you ever go to
Clearwater, go to Frenchy's on the Beach and try the grouper sandwich!

UCSD (anti)Creationism seminar Week 8:

Wesley Elsberry (San Diego chauffeur for Eugenie C. Scott), a graduate
student and marine biologist who works for the Navy came and sat in as the
resident expert on Intelligent Design.  This meeting started off VERY
INTERESTING. I walked in a bit late as I have a class beforehand that ran
overtime.  I sat down and what to my surprise did my little eyes see, but a
copy of the IDEA Club website being printed around!  It got passed to me,
and I passed it along.  I now am fairly sure I know what happened.

About 3 weeks ago Wesley Elsberry e-mailed the IDEA Club to suggest a link
for our links page.  It was a brief, but friendly e-mail correspondence. At
Scott's talk I introduced myself and said that I was the one he had just
been e-mailing with.  So now that Elsberry knew that I was in the class and
also the IDEA Club guy, he told the professor, who then printed out the
club website and brought it to the class the following week. The
intellectual doubters of evolution page had also been printed out, so
thanks to all of you who have helped me get it up to an impressive 125
people in just a few hours of work over the past few weeks!  Hopefully that
number can be tripled that before its completed.

Anyway, the discussion topic for last week was the Ch. 4 "Naturalism and
it's cure" from Dembski's book "Intelligent Design".  It's probably a good
thing I didn't know about the reading assignment, because if I had read it,
I would have probably been a little too zealous for the class.  Dembski's
chapter 4 is very Christian, and makes some very challenging points --both
on a personal level and on a philosophical level, to the naturalist.  These
points need to be made, but they are more of a Christian philosophical
discussion of Intelligent Design rather than a scientific one of what
Intelligent Design theory really is.  So needless to say a lot of the
people in the class probably didn't like reading about our sinful nature.

Dembski does make the point, that "neither theology nor philosophy can
answer the evidential question whether God's interaction with the world is
empirically detectable. ... To answer this question we must look to
science" (Pg. 104-105)

Wesley Elsberry is convinced that God's interaction with the world, if it
ever happened, isn't detectable.  He apparently plans on submitting, or
already is submitting a pre-emptive paper to some journal somewhere in
which he distingiushes between what he calls "ordinary design" and
"rarified design".  Ordinary design is the design of things we
understand--sculpture, buildings, language signals, etc." while rarified
design would be design in the realm of biology, which he would probably say
we don't understand.  Elsberry says that "rarified design /= ordinary
design".  He calls equating the two an inductive leap.  As far as inferring
a simple intelligent cause, I don't think it's a leap at all, and I don't
think that Elsberry can rigorously distinguish between the two types of
design without assuming that biological design can't exist.

One girl said still didn't understand how the ID people didn't mean God
when they talked about the Intelligent Designer and she cited the fact that
Dembski constantly refers to God in "Intelligent Design".  I said that's a
valid point, but I said that while this may not be too constructive or
consistent as far as rigorously promoting ID theory goes, it is perfectly
legitimate in a popularized version of "The Design Inference", which is
basically pure math and doesn't even mention God.  Apparently no one in the
class had yet even heard of "The Design Inference."   Fortunately Wesley
Elsberry had brought a copy along, so he actually came to Dembski's defense
for mentioning God saying that Dembski did write another technical book
which is more rigorous and doesn't mention God, and that the "Intelligent
Design" book is meant to be a "bridge between science and theology" so it's
probably OK for him to mention God.

The anti-creationist professor said to the class that an evolutionary
worldview doesn't imply a personal God.  Oh no.  I'm confused!  Eugenie C.
Scott says it's OK to believe in evolution and God, but you, Dr. professor,
say I cannot!  Actually the AC-prof committed the very blunder that Scott
told him not to.  Enter William Dembski, with the bridge between science
and theology.

We talked about the explanatory filter ideas, and how Dembski is arguing
that certain things are too improbable to have happened due to pure
chance.  I love how Dembski basically wrote a very long technical
mathematical book to take the excuse away from atheists that "It was just a
coincidence".   We didn't get too far into debating the technical aspects
of it, although I did bring up Specified Complexity at one point (not sure
if it would have come up otherwise).  Elsberry claimed that these ideas are
not good science because they haven't spawned any further papers or
research.  But aren't you responding to them in print Wesley?  If they're
so useless or bad science, why the needed refutations?  I didn't realize
this until after, but apparently nobody ever mentioned that "The Design
Inference" was printed by Cambridge University press.  I found that out
after the class, as a classmate was very surprised to find out who the
publisher was!

At one point the AC-prof said that the human backache affliction is
evidence of a history of natural selection (I happen to have one as I write
this as I've been sitting at the computer for 2 hours).  I noted that these
are theological claims, not scientific, and that there are many theological
answers for why we have backaches.  But the AC-prof mainained it is science
and evidence of natural selection because we have backaches because our
back uses parts that look like other parts in the body, and natural
selection can only build with things that are already there.  Is this
true?  Why do we have backaches (in a physiological sense?).  I'd really
like to know, and can somebody get me a tylenol right now while you're up?

Sersiouly, the AC-prof merely exchanged one theological answer for another,
as if to imply that the Designer can't re-use parts!  Perhaps there's been
some devolution over time--what do you all think of that?

Two last interesting points were that Elsberry said that the ACLU believes
that one day there will be a court case that they just won't win, because
these slippery creationists will be able to come up with something
legitimate.  That was interesting to hear--I wonder who is sources are!

Also, Elsberry said that we shouldn't teach ID because as Scott said, we
should "teach the best science that is avaialble."  This "best science" is
apparently determined by a "consensus" of scientists.  So now we decide
what is true and what isn't true by committee?  I know that's sort of how
science works, but who will be on the committee?  This sounds like the NAS
committee who wrote the book I'll be reporting on for the class next week
"Science and Creationism a vew from the National Academy of sciences".

According to an article in the Sept 99 issue of Scientific American, only
5% of NAS members believe in a personal God.  That says something when you
compare it to polls saying that 40% of practicing scientists at large
believe in God.  Plus, I think that Zero of that 5% were on the committee
that wrote, "Science and Creationism a vew from the National Academy of
sciences".  Regardless, next week it's my turn.  I get to present on the
booklet, so if any of you have any comments, or helpful suggestions for
strategy, it would be very much appreciated.  Does anybody know anything
about Rodhocetus, an alleged land-mammal-->whale transition?  That would be
very helpful.  In any case, I've got some good materials already, but I
might ask for some more help in a few days.  Take care all and be thankful
to the Designer for all you have this Thanksgiving--even the backaches!

Sincerely,

Casey

x x x x clip end x x x x

--TJT--




--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
J. O'Donnell



Posts: 98
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:14   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Feb. 05 2008,16:08)
I would encourage you guys to post some of these most excellent comments where Luskin can see them.

Someone already posted the darth vader attack. That's going to be fun.

Edit: Casey made a response, my resolve broke and I made a snarky comment. I couldn't help it.oops

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My blog: Animacules

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10094
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:19   

Strange he doesn't directly link to the discussion board from his blog press release.

???

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
J. O'Donnell



Posts: 98
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:22   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 05 2008,16:19)
Strange he doesn't directly link to the discussion board from his blog press release.

???

He does. It's just buried in the reply somewhere.

--------------
My blog: Animacules

   
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:25   

Based on his comments in that thread it's pretty easy to conclude Case Luskin is a pussy.  Seriously.  Being the chief of propaganda for the DI is probably the most meaningful thing he's ever done in life.

And if there is any question, yeah that's a personal "attack".

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10094
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:26   

Quote (J. O'Donnell @ Feb. 05 2008,16:22)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 05 2008,16:19)
Strange he doesn't directly link to the discussion board from his blog press release.

???

He does. It's just buried in the reply somewhere.

I'm sorry Casey. Please don't send your attack flagella after me.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Nerull



Posts: 317
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:37   

Isn't he supposed to be a lawyer? He should know better than to use a graphic if he doesn't know where it comes from and that he has permission to use it.

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To rebut creationism you pretty much have to be a biologist, chemist, geologist, philosopher, lawyer and historian all rolled into one. While to advocate creationism, you just have to be an idiot. -- tommorris

   
Lou FCD



Posts: 5377
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:43   

Quote (Nerull @ Feb. 05 2008,17:37)
Isn't he supposed to be a lawyer? He should know better than to use a graphic if he doesn't know where it comes from and that he has permission to use it.

Given his recent foray into copyright infringement regarding other people's images of him...

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
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Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:43   

Quote (Nerull @ Feb. 05 2008,16:37)
Isn't he supposed to be a lawyer? He should know better than to use a graphic if he doesn't know where it comes from and that he has permission to use it.

Casey Lushkin = the Joseph Goebbels of design Theory.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Occam's Toothbrush



Posts: 554
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:48   

Quote
I am willing to consider further participation in this thread, if Mr. Munger is willing to start enforcing a moderating principle that removes any personal attacks from both past and future posts on this thread.

Don't do us any favors, Caseykins.

What are you willing to consider doing if we give you a pony?

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"Molecular stuff seems to me not to be biology as much as it is a more atomic element of life" --Creo nut Robert Byers
------
"You need your arrogant ass kicked, and I would LOVE to be the guy who does it. Where do you live?" --Anger Management Problem Concern Troll "Kris"

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:53   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 05 2008,16:26)
I'm sorry Casey. Please don't send your attack flagella after me.

Dey comin' fer ya!



H/T: Albatrossity

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10094
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2008,16:53   

Casey is polishing his crown of thorns, and I'm sure he'll claim he was banned or somesuch.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
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