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  Topic: Dover Dithers Over Donations, Lenny Flank's Books & Controversy< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4470
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 20 2005,10:19   

This thread is for discussion of the Panda's Thumb post on this topic.

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

    
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 20 2005,11:16   

Just two things to mention:

(1) the book donation was done by the **entire DebunkCreation email list**, not by me.  Members from all over the US, UK, Canada, and Sweden donated books and/or money to make the donation possible.  Their collective efforts should be acknowledged.

(2) There's nothing preventing Pandas Thumb members from donating the two additional books that are suggested here (hint hint, nudge nudge).  I would VERY much like to see the Dover Board's headaches increase, exponentially.

:)

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
KelvinKean



Posts: 1
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 20 2005,11:40   

Lenny, I would be willing to donate copies of both "Why Intelligent Design Fails" and "Creationism Trojan Horse" to the Dover High School library, but being unwillling to give my own copies I'd first have to order them. I'll have them both delivered to my home, about a two-hour drive from Dover, and then repackaged for shipping to Dover, so I can track the UPS delivery like you did. Rather than my searching the Dover SD website for where and to whom to ship them, can you give me the information on this board or email it directly to me?

Kelvin Kean
Elverson PA

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 20 2005,11:55   

The address for the Dover Library is:

Dover Senior High School Library
46 West Canal St
Dover PA  17315
(717) 292-3671


If you do send anything, let the press know about it.  You can reach the York Dispatch newsroom at:

news@yorkdispatch.com

and the York Daily Record newsroom at:

news@ydr.com

The more press coverage it gets, the more pressure is brought to bear on the school board.  We also want to force the Board Prez to keep talking to the press as much as possible --- I have found that if you keep the fundies talking long enough, sooner or later they will ALWAYS metaphorically shoot themselves in the head.  They are by far their own worst enemies.

I suggest you send it with "signature required"  -- the board initially denied to the press that they had ever received any donation from us.  If you send it UPS, you can request specifically that they require a signature upon delivery -- if you don't specifically request it, it's up to the driver's discretion whether or not to have anyone sign for it.

I should also perhaps point out that I do *not* recommend such donations as a general strategy in fighting IDers.  In this particular case, however, we have a very specific aim in mind --- we quite frankly expect the board to reject all such donations, and we'd **very much** like to see them forced to explain to the judge that (1) they are concerned only with "presenting all sides of a scientific controversy"  and (2) are not trying to advance any particular viewpoint, but (3) they don't want any material in their library that is critical of ID "theory".

It's not the sort of thing *I* would like to find myself trying to argue . . . .

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 20 2005,11:58   

By the way, the decision about the donation may be made quite soon, perhaps before their April 4 board meeting.  My suggestion would be that you go ahead and send your own copies, and then order your own replacements for them.  There might not be time before the decision is made for Amazon or whoever to send them to you and then forward them to Dover.

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
tptesar



Posts: 1
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 20 2005,12:25   

Of course the library will now be flooded with contributions from creationists/IDers once word gets out. I think you should have pre-empted them by including creationist/ID books in your donation. This would demonstrate how willing you are to examine different views.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 20 2005,12:38   

Regarding more creationist donations:

Let them try.  <shrug>  It's illegal to teach creationism.  Period.


Me, I'd like to see the Raelians donate some books.  It'll show everyone just how nutty the IDers really are.

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Michael



Posts: 22
Joined: June 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 20 2005,13:30   

Quote
Of course the library will now be flooded with contributions from creationists/IDers once word gets out. I think you should have pre-empted them by including creationist/ID books in your donation. This would demonstrate how willing you are to examine different views.


Lenny's reply was:

Quote

Regarding more creationist donations:

Let them try.  <shrug>  It's illegal to teach creationism.  Period.


Me, I'd like to see the Raelians donate some books.  It'll show everyone just how nutty the IDers really are.


I don't think that this view has any legal leg to stand on.  Teaching creationism in science class is illegal.  Having books on creationism in the school library, especially one from donations is not illegal.    Indeed, it is very likely that they might already have some.  And indeed one can find creationist books in almost any public library in the country.

Indeed if they accept the donation from your list then they will almost certainly accept antievolutionary donations as well.  

And what do we have to be afraid of?  Well other than the kid who only bothers to read the creationist side that is? (That kid was probably not likely to join us anyways given the current education system.)  If  the kids really do use their access to real science as well as reading the creationist clamtrap then in the end we win.  Lets not forget that "teach the controversy" is nothing more than "lie to the kids by telling them there is a controversy in science over whether or not evolution is true" or worse "teach them that evolution in trouble and is almost certainly false."  Such as that can't afford for the kids to get a real presentation of evolution and the evidence for it.  Asimov once said something to the effect that creationists don't want equal time, they want all the time there is.  That is still the case a decade-in-a-half after he died due to a virus (HIV from a blood transfusion) which appeared, for the first time, relatively recently from a historic point of view.

Edited by Michael on Mar. 20 2005,13:35

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1954
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 20 2005,14:41   

Quote
Even Buell doesn’t recommend the book.

“If they would have contacted me, I would not have encouraged the people in Dover to use it because of other tools that are more up-to-date,” he said. “The idea of intelligent design and the evidence that supports it has gotten extraordinarily more strong than when it was originally printed.”

As for the criticisms that the book misrepresents the theory of evolution, Buell disagreed. He said the main point is valid — that the theory of evolution’s basic principal of life evolving through natural selection and genetic mutation isn’t possible.

“The authors and we feel those are the most powerful arguments,” he said.

John West of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, which is now at the forefront of the intelligent-design movement, said his organization didn’t have anything to do with “Pandas” and had little to say about it.from Furor breathes new life into aging ‘Pandas’



I think we can see the DI response in general here to the probable pending loss in Dover: ~~The Dover result only related to using "Of Pandas and People" and can not be generalized beyond that to the teaching of ID.  "Of Pandas and People" was a very dated book, even the publisher acknowledged is no longer representitive of the vibrant research sucksesses of Intellignent Design.~~ Or words to that effect.

Edited by Dr.GH on Mar. 20 2005,14:42

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 20 2005,14:50   

Well, hopefully the lawyers suing the school district will make a good attempt to tie up all of the antievolution espoused by the Dover School District into a package that all gets ruled against. That would cover more than just Of Pandas and People.

Any signs of when The Design of Life (aka Of Pandas and People Third Edition) might hit the presses? Dembski posted stuff from it last year; those excerpts don't look like a big advance over the original.

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

    
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 20 2005,15:18   

Wesley wrote:

Well, hopefully the lawyers suing the school district will make a good attempt to tie up all of the antievolution espoused by the Dover School District into a package that all gets ruled against. That would cover more than just Of Pandas and People.

            --------------------------------

Right.  Remember -- the suit against Dover isn't just over "Pandas" -- it's also over the statement that was read to the classrooms regarding the "alternative scientific theory of intelligent design".  So the fight in Dover is over whether or not "intelligent design theory"  *itself*  is science and belongs in a classroom, or whether ID "theory" just illegally advances religion and does NOT belong in a classroom.

Once the court rules that ID is NOT science and is nothing more than advancing religion, then it's "game over".  No matter WHAT the IDers publish, the entire "theory" itself will be illegal to teach, just like creation "science".

At that point, the IDers will no longer have any option left but to retreat solely to a "something somewhere might be wrong with evolution" argument --- and that one has already been shot down in Cobb County as being nothing more than religiously motivated doctrine.

The fundies are very rapidly running out of options.


.

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
bigdakine



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Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 20 2005,22:10   

Heck, I'm thinking of sending them some old gneisses I have. THey can use them in Earth Science class.

In addtion to books, some part of the real world might be nice too.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1954
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 21 2005,01:06   

Howdy,  That would be nice of you, but they would probably think that you had rocks in your head.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Dr. J



Posts: 1
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 21 2005,08:51   

Or had gotten schist-faced.

Thank you! I'll be here all epoch!

  
joe



Posts: 1
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 21 2005,09:28   

I live about 10 miles from Dover (in an adjacent school district). I read about the book donation in the local paper, and I reserved judgment on the comments made by the district -- usually there is something lost in the translation between someone's brain, their mouth, the reporter's ear, the reporter's pen, the editor's brain, the reader's brain, etc. It's all-too-frequently like the old schoolyard game of "Gossip." Things get lost or altered en route from one place to another in the communication process.

That being said, I was disturbed enough about what I did read to want to find out what books were actually being donated and what books had to be reviewed to make sure that they weren't from some "hate group." Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins. C'mon! These guys are regular cross-burners! Hawking, in particular, is known for his gratuitous use of the term "black" hole as opposed to the commonly-accepted "african american" hole.

The district is so obviously stuck in a corner on this ID issue that they don't know what to do. They are clearly incapable/unwilling to simply say "we are wrong, let's go home and call it a day." They are suffering the wages of the sin of pride.

My wife and I have a theory that they are simply engaging in this elaborate charade in order to discourage families with children from moving to the district. This ID bogeyman issue is being used to lower the educational costs of the district by lowering the number of school-age children in the district without actually impacting the curriculum in any significant way. The costs of the lawsuit will pale in comparison to the costs avoided by not having to educate an additional 50 to 100 children over the next 18 years.

Call me crazy, but I think Dover may be having us all on. And they'll get a world-class library out of it, to boot.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1954
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 21 2005,15:42   

Well, joe.  At least your theory makes sense.  ;)

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 21 2005,17:58   

That being said, I was disturbed enough about what I did read to want to find out what books were actually being donated and what books had to be reviewed to make sure that they weren't from some "hate group." Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins. C'mon! These guys are regular cross-burners!

                  ---------------------

Not to mention the "terrorists" and "pornography" . . .

I found it amusing that the Board declared that they needed to review books by Dawkins, Hawking, Gould, Eldredge and such for, uh, "scientific accuracy" . . .

I wonder who they plan to have review the books for "scientific accuracy"?  The Thomas More Law Center?

No WONDER everyone thinks they are idiots.  <sigh>

As I've long said, fundies are their own worst enemy.  Keep 'em talking long enough, and they will metaphorically shoot themselves in the head, every time.  <shrug>

The more often these dolts talk to the press, the better it is for us.

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Michael



Posts: 22
Joined: June 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 22 2005,18:46   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Mar. 21 2005,17:58)
I found it amusing that the Board declared that they needed to review books by Dawkins, Hawking, Gould, Eldredge and such for, uh, "scientific accuracy" . . .

I think it would be trivial to show that they don't apply such considerations outside of of the donations if one has access to school libraries of Dover.  I strongly suspect that they probably have loads of books that would not even remotely pass such a standard.  I am not saying this because I think Dover is particularly bad, but because almost all libraries do have books that would not fit that standard.  Some really easy possiblities to think of would be books about UFOs, paranormal, etc.   But I suspect that other examples could be found beyond the obvious probablity of creationist books.


Quote
I wonder who they plan to have review the books for "scientific accuracy"?  The Thomas More Law Center?


We would just love that now.  Nice way to help the case.  I suspect those lawyers would know better.  If they don't know better or if the District acts without consulting them then I am sure they will find something.  Heck, I suspect most of the pro-mainstream science people reading this could find things: statements would were correct when written which are now out-of-date, statements addressed to lay people which don't have all the caveats expected in something written for Ph.D.s by Ph.D.s, and the occassional mistake which is likely found in book.  If they pull that kind of stunt, then it would be a simple matter of showing that virtually every science book in their library has similiar flaws (and probably has them at a much higher rate).  Of course if they judge using creationist "facts" then that can be used against them too.

One thing that, in the end, one must keep in mind is that libraries generally don't require some committee to declare any book included "accurate."  And I dare say that it is a pretty good thing since such power would be abused.  And it sort of defeats the purpose of a library in the first place.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 22 2005,19:40   

I was going through the archive of York Daily Record articles today, and found something VERY interesting that relates directly to how the board is treating the DebunkCreation book donation . . .

In the Dec 26, 2004 article, I found this passage:

---------------------------------------

But a month later, 50 copies of a “supplemental” textbook on intelligent design, “Of Pandas and People,” were donated to the  school district. The district will not release the names of the donors.

Because no district funds were used, the school board did not need to vote on the books. At the time, many thought the issue was settled.
------------------------------------

Let me repeat that again: "Because no district funds were used, the school board did not need to vote on these books."

Hmmmm . . . . One wonders, then, why the board did NOT feel the need to vote on "Pandas" because it used no district funds, but DOES feel the need to vote on OUR books, which ALSO used no district funds . . . . .

I smell a rat. A very large one.

Methinks the board is ignoring its own rules, and making up
alternative rules as it goes along. That suspicion is reinforced by the fact that (1) the board has STILL not told anyone (not us, not the press, not former board members and board candidates) what written policies or procedures they are following in referring our books to the curriculum committee, and (2) current board candidates have confirmed to me that they are not aware of, and cannot find, any such written policy or procedure requiring a board vote on donated library books.

I think there is very likely something illegal about that. Perhaps enough to have board members removed from office. And THAT, my friends, is a scenario that I think is VERY much worth some investigating. I would VERY VERY much like to see these nutballs kicked out on their ass for violating their own rules and policies. . . .

Rumor has it that we have access to some lawyers here.
Can we get some unofficial legal clarification from someone
concerning this?   You could not *possibly* imagine how very very good it would make me feel to be able to sue the bastards over this if they reject any of our books . . .

Furthermore, I think the argument could be made that the board's motive in (illegally, I suspect) treating our books differently from the "Panda" books, was to (illegally, I suspect) advance religion at their school, by attempting to shield their religious ID "theory" from works that criticize it.

Gee, do ya think that might be enough of an argument to get the DebunkCreation group added as a plaintiff in the Dover lawsuit . . . . ?   Heck, at the very least, I think we should get to submit an amicus brief.   <big fat evil grin>

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1954
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2005,11:06   

BTW, I have been meaning to congratulate Lenny, nad his group for a great idea.

Oh, I just did.

Anyway, congratulations again.

Gary

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2005,17:43   

Well, we are HAPPY to make the Dover IDiots suffer.   :>

In the near future, we may be calling upon everyone to help us make them suffer some more. . . . . .

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2005,09:46   

Apparently the Dover curriculum committee last night approved all 23 of the donated books for stocking in the library.

It's the only sensible thing they could have done.

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

    
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2005,18:50   

For those who wanted to donate additional books, here's your chance. . . .  

The address is:

Dover Senior High School Library
46 West Canal St
Dover PA  17315
(717) 292-3671

If you do send anything, let the press know about it.  You can reach the York Dispatch newsroom at:

news@yorkdispatch.com

and the York Daily Record newsroom at:

news@ydr.com

And, of course, let me know, at  lflank@ij.net

I'll be setting up a web page at:

http://www.geocities.com/lflank/books.html

listing all the books that are already donated, as well as all the ones that anyone else will be donating, so we don't get any duplicates.

There are two goals behind this:   (1) first, and most
importantly in my view, it will put an end to the whole "give our books to the library" tactic followed by the IDers. If, every time they give books to someone, that is followed by a flood of anti-ID stuff and becomes a huge headache for the school board, it will GREATLY reduce the likelihood that the IDers will try it again, or that any other school board will accept such donations. I think it's worth it to try to defang this ID tactic. (2) in the case of Dover, while the book list that we donated was indeed very good, it is still
incomplete, and there are still lots of very good anti-ID books which students should have access to.

We are also thinking about duplicating the "Pandas" tactic, by offering to donate 20 copies or whatever of a good ID book as a "supplemental classroom text", **if**  "Pandas" is placed in the classroom.  This, in effect, will start the whole process all over again for the school board --- they will once again have to choose whether to give the students access to anti-ID info or not.  If they reject the offer, the judge might find it interesting.  If they accept it, well, then we get good info in the classroom.  In either case, it increases the board's headaches, which make it that much less likely that any future school boards will be willing to self-inflict by accepting ID donations.

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1954
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2005,19:02   

I have copies of;

"Why Intelligent Design Fails;  A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism "


"Creationism's Trojan Horse "

that I am happy to part with.

Should I send them directly to Dover, or to you?

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2005,20:54   

Straight to the Library.  Address is:

Dover Senior High School Library
46 West Canal St
Dover PA  17315
(717) 292-3671

My suggestion would be that you require them to sign for it on arrival, so it doesn't get "lost" anywhere.  Mention explicitly that it is a donation to the LIBRARY and is NOT meant as any sort of "supplemental classroom text".  Theoretically, that should mean that the school board has no reason to get involved with it.  In reality, they will almost certainly butt in and "review" your donation. If they refuse to accept it, let me know ASAP.  I very much doubt that they would be that stupid, but then, one never knows . . . .

And let me know when it's sent and on the way, so I can take it off the "adopt me" list.  ;>

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1954
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 17 2005,13:27   

I sent the following to the newspaper "letters to the editor" and to the reporters Lenny suggested:


To the Editors:


I donated two books, "Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism," and "Creationism's Trojan Horse" to the Dover High School Library, clearly labeled on the envelope as "Library Book Donations."


The package was delivered at 9:39 am on April 14, 2005 in DOVER, PA 17315.

The package was signed for by G. Brower.


I am particularly happy to have donated these books directly to the Dover High School library as I am one of the contributing authors of the first, an admirer of the second, and have closely followed the creationist threat to science education in Dover schools.


Dr. Gary S. Hurd
Dana Point, CA

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
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