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Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4491
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2005,06:41   

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Comment #50478

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on October 1, 2005 10:53 AM (e) (s)

Norman,

It must have been tough finding those resources, since you’d have had to read the “Program” sidebar to get them here. In other words, this page has linked to “the other side” all week long.


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Comment #50483

Posted by Esteban Escalera on October 1, 2005 12:25 PM (e) (s)

Link: Darwinism

   wrote:

   This article is about Darwinism as a philosophical concept; see evolution for the page on biological evolution; modern evolutionary synthesis for neo-Darwinism; and also evolution (disambiguation).

It seems that darwinism and evolution aren’t synonymous. IDs are attacking darwinism or evolution theory?


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Comment #50527

Posted by louis homer on October 1, 2005 08:10 PM (e) (s)

I seem to remember reading somewhere that the citizens of the Dover school district will be electing a new school board this November. If they elect a majority opposed to introducing ID in the schools, and that board reverses the present policy, where does that leave the court case? The plaintiffs are presumably satisfied. Does the case end there? Does the judge even have to issue a ruling? If the case is moot would higher courts even consider an appeal evem if the judge has issued a ruling?


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Comment #50545

Posted by Harry Eaton on October 1, 2005 10:34 PM (e) (s)

There’s a good column on sfgate.com worth a read.


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Comment #50558

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on October 2, 2005 12:53 AM (e) (s)

Whatever happens in the November election, the new board will not be seated until January, and if the trial ends around Nov. 1, presumably the judge will be able to write and issue his opinion in November or December.

However, I believe that as a matter of law, once a case is filed, the plaintiff is entitled to a verdict even if the defendant reverses the policy. Otherwise you could have an infinite game of catch-and-mouse, where a case is filed, the policy is rescinded, the case goes away, the policy is put back up, etc…

The exception is if the two sides reach an agreement and sign what I think is called consent decree, e.g. “We’ll drop the policy permanently, if you drop the lawsuit.” This is fairly common in civil liberties suits, but it usually happens at the beginning of a case. In the case of Dover, however, it was clear since before the policy was passed that Buckingham, the other board members, and the Thomas More Law Center wanted to take the ID issue to court.

But remember, I Am Not a Lawyer…


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Comment #50569

Posted by Norman Doering on October 2, 2005 03:43 AM (e) (s)

Wesley R. Elsberry “… you’d have had to read the “Program” sidebar to get them here. In other words, this page has linked to “the other side” all week long.”

Whoops — I tend not to read side bars. You can erase it if you want. And this.


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Comment #50599

Posted by louis homer on October 2, 2005 11:26 AM (e) (s)



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Comment #50558

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on October 2, 2005 12:53 AM (e) (s)

Whatever happens in the November election, the new board will not be seated until January, and if the trial ends around Nov. 1, presumably the judge will be able to write and issue his opinion in November or December.

However, I believe that as a matter of law, once a case is filed, the plaintiff is entitled to a verdict even if the defendant reverses the policy. Otherwise you could have an infinite game of catch-and-mouse, where a case is filed, the policy is rescinded, the case goes away, the policy is put back up, etc…

The exception is if the two sides reach an agreement and sign what I think is called consent decree, e.g. “We’ll drop the policy permanently, if you drop the lawsuit.” This is fairly common in civil liberties suits, but it usually happens at the beginning of a case. In the case of Dover, however, it was clear since before the policy was passed that Buckingham, the other board members, and the Thomas More Law Center wanted to take the ID issue to court.

But remember, I Am Not a Lawyer…

So who would get to approve a consent decree? The new board, or the members of the old board?


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Comment #50605

Posted by JS Narins on October 2, 2005 12:09 PM (e) (s)

NOTE ABOUT THE PRESS RELEASE:

Check out this witty verbiage:

“Design scientists have noted that any time we know the cause behind something full of information, intelligent design played a causal role.

“Intelligent design offers a good deal of positive evidence,” said Luskin. “Design scientists make standard experience-based arguments, appealing to what we know about information rich systems like books and software programs.” Luskin noted that every time we know the cause behind information rich systems, intelligent design played a causal role.”


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Comment #50620

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on October 2, 2005 01:32 PM (e) (s)

   “Design scientists have noted that any time we know the cause behind something full of information, intelligent design played a causal role.

The ID folks are really pushing this line of “reasoning”, as it were. They’ve never responded to my dissection of their “uniform experience” or “marker of intelligent agency” argument. And the facts go opposite their desired conclusion: whenever people have attributed some biological feature to non-natural causation in the past, and we’ve learned more about that feature, a natural cause has become the accepted explanation for that feature. In other words, our “uniform experience” is that in every case where the DI’s “logic” has been used in the way they suggest, it has been wrong. One would think that would give them pause. But apparently, like the weird kid on the playground, they are too caught up in the fantasy they’ve constructed to note any intrusion of reality into that world.


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Comment #50625

Posted by steve on October 2, 2005 03:13 PM (e) (s)

Where in those links are the uniform experience and marker of intelligent agency dissections?


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Comment #50626

Posted by steve on October 2, 2005 03:14 PM (e) (s)

Or is it in the video?


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Comment #50627

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on October 2, 2005 03:19 PM (e) (s)

I go over the reasons why the “marker of intelligent agency” argument is unsound in the video. My Powerpoint file is linked from this post.


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Comment #50630

Posted by Jim Harrison on October 2, 2005 03:31 PM (e) (s)

I don’t know why Luskin keeps pushing his line: “Design scientists have noted that any time we know the cause behind something full of information, intelligent design played a causal role.” The premise is false: living things are full of information; and we have mountains of evidence that they weren’t designed.


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Comment #50634

Posted by steve on October 2, 2005 03:46 PM (e) (s)

If Casey Ruxpin was a scientist, instead of a minister, he’d know statements like that are called “hand-waving”.


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Comment #50640

Posted by steve on October 2, 2005 04:23 PM (e) (s)

Boy, don’t you have to feel sorry for the Discovery Institute? They spend like 17 years fitting this nice Intelligent Design sheep’s clothing on their creationism wolf, only to have a guy like Bill Buckingham jump on and ride it into town.

It makes me laugh and feel pity at the same time.


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Comment #50642

Posted by bill on October 2, 2005 04:27 PM (e) (s)

Over at EvolutionNews.org, our Mr. Casey Luskin takes on the definition of Science itself. Picking at Dr. Pinnock’s testamony in Harrisburg last week, Luskin draws this conclusion.

At least, I think it’s a conclusion. Well, sort of. Maybe. I wonder if my State Farm agent qualifies?

   The main point of this section is that fundamental to ID theory is the observation that any agent with intelligence will solve problems in similar ways in all cases when designing physical objects. Be they natural or supernatural, intelligent agents are capable of thinking with the end in mind to select a complex arrangement of parts that conforms to a specific pattern to fulfill some function.

If this is the best the Discovery Institute can do, then I think we are witnessing a meltdown. They are one step short of quoting the Cowardly Lion: “I do believe in ghosts! I do, I do, I do!” Perhaps they’ll save that one for Kansas.


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Comment #50645

Posted by steve on October 2, 2005 04:47 PM (e) (s)

Casey puts his hands in the air, and waves them like he just don’t care.


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Comment #50647

Posted by steve on October 2, 2005 04:49 PM (e) (s)

Casey is at the Dover trial, you know. What I wouldn’t give to ask him, on the stand, the following three questions:

Do you run a club which promotes Intelligent Design Theory? (yes)
Can I join your club? (are you a christian?)
What’s being christian have to do with supporting Intelligent Design? (uh..well…uh…)


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Comment #50649

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on October 2, 2005 05:53 PM (e) (s)

   Can I join your club? (are you a christian?)

You can join the IDEA Club, all right. You just can’t serve as an officer without flashing the True Christian ID card and giving the secret handshake.


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Comment #50762

Posted by Jeff Durkin on October 3, 2005 11:45 AM (e) (s)

One of the amusing things about the DI “explanation” of how their “theory” works is that a) “every time we know the cause behind information rich systems, intelligent design played a causal role” and b) “Intelligent design theory does not claim that science can determine the identity of the intelligent cause.”

So, ID has a very low applicable threshold (whenever “information content” reaches some arbitrary level - i.e., apparently whatever an individual IDer thinks is appropriate) but the actual causal mechanism of the observable phenomenon can’t be explained and isn’t even part of the “theory.”

Which, leads one to ask, what is the point of the “theory” even if we were to accept its premise? Admittedly, this would require sucking our brains out through our ears, but, once the slurping noises have stopped, we are left with a “theory” that, by the admission of its proponents, explains nothing.

What exactly is the purpose of saying “yep, that was designed by an intelligent entity” and following this by “but we can’t demonstrate how, we can’t devise experiments to prove or disprove any related hypothesis on the creative mechanism (because, there are no hypothesis to test) and the ultimate causal mechanism, the Creator/Creators/the FSM, isn’t even part of the “theory.” How can proponents of this “theory” find it satisfying without a religious/belief component?

Even on its own terms, ID is less satisfying than traditional Creationism. At least Creationists say that a God with specific characteristics created the universe for certain purposes (my favorite: God made man to give him “Glory”, making God out to be afflicted by a serious self-esteem issue). If the IDers are being honest (which I doubt), then they have essentially taken the attitude “s**t happens” as the basis for their view of the universe.

Seems pretty hollow, doesn’t it?


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Comment #50826

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 3, 2005 07:02 PM (e) (s)

   Which, leads one to ask, what is the point of the “theory” even if we were to accept its premise?

“God exists”.

That is the only point that ID even ATTEMPTS to establish.


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Comment #50836

Posted by Bob Maurus on October 3, 2005 07:24 PM (e) (s)

So, Casey “noted that every time we know the cause behind information rich systems, intelligent design played a causal role.”

That’s true, as far as he went. The precise and therefore more accurate observation is that every time we know the cause behind information rich systems human design played a causal role. Consequently, as Horatio’s Hypothesis proposes, the universe and all biological organisms are the result of human design.
Enough said?


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Comment #50838

Posted by steve on October 3, 2005 07:43 PM (e) (s)

Yeah, i made a mistake of detail. Corrected version:

Casey is at the Dover trial, you know. What I wouldn’t give to ask him, on the stand, the following four questions:

Do you run a club which promotes Intelligent Design Theory? (yes)
Can I join your club? (sure)
Can I be an officer in your club? (are you a christian?)
What’s being christian have to do with leading the Intelligent Design movement? (uh..well…uh…)


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Comment #50909

Posted by Gerard Harbison on October 4, 2005 10:38 AM (e) (s)

The Discovery Institute claims today that 85 ‘scientists’ have signed an amicus brief in the Dover trial in support of the contention “that protecting the freedom to pursue scientific evidence for intelligent design stimulates the advance of scientific knowledge.” Looks like the usual suspects (Skell, Carlson).

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.ph…

Maybe time to get an amicus brief from 500 scientists called Steve?


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Comment #50915

Posted by Ken Willis on October 4, 2005 12:19 PM (e) (s)

Ed Brayton favorably quotes Bruce Gordon on when a new scientific theory is entitled to respectful debate:

   “….the theory has been prematurely drawn into discussions of public science education where it has no business making an appearance without broad recognition from the scientific community that it is making a worthwhile contribution to our understanding of the natural world.”

I’m having trouble reconciling this and similar statements with what I think Kuhn said about the structure of scientific revolutions, and also knowing that the hypothesis that peptic ulcers could be treated with antibiotics was initially rejected out of hand by a broad consensus of scientists.

Maybe someone can help, I’m probably missing a qualitative distinction. If I were the judge in Kittsmiller I would want to understand this better.


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

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4491
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2005,06:43   

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Comment #50920

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on October 4, 2005 01:03 PM (e) (s)

Edward J. Larson, author of several books on the history of evolution and creationism, will be on NPR’s Fresh Air program today. He will probably discuss the trial in a historical context.


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Comment #50921

Posted by caerbannog on October 4, 2005 01:38 PM (e) (s)


I’m having trouble reconciling this and similar statements with what I think Kuhn said about the structure of scientific revolutions, and also knowing that the hypothesis that peptic ulcers could be treated with antibiotics was initially rejected out of hand by a broad consensus of scientists.

Maybe someone can help, I’m probably missing a qualitative distinction….

Did Marshall and Warren react to initial scientific skepticism by avoiding further interactions with the scientific community in favor of pitching their ideas to local churches and school-boards?

Once you’ve answered that question, the qualitative distinction you are looking for will jump right out at you.


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Comment #50926

Posted by ben on October 4, 2005 02:34 PM (e) (s)

New hypotheses should initially be looked at somewhat dismissively. Anyone can formulate a hypothesis (for instance, that the diversity of life could only have been created by intelligent means), and plenty of people do. But scientific revolutions aren’t about hypotheses, they’re about theories. You only have a theory when you have not just hypothesizing that something might be true, but have also demonstrated that your idea explains the vast majority of the available evidence and suggests further research programs which hold the potential to extend or falsify the theory.

To your example, when it was suggested that antibiotics would cure ulcers, the constructive response from scientists wasn’t, “great, thanks for solving that problem”; it was “prove it.”


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Comment #50927

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 4, 2005 02:41 PM (e) (s)

   Gerard Harbison wrote:

   The Discovery Institute claims today that 85 ‘scientists’ have signed an amicus brief in the Dover trial in support of the contention “that protecting the freedom to pursue scientific evidence for intelligent design stimulates the advance of scientific knowledge.” Looks like the usual suspects (Skell, Carlson).

   http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.ph……

   Maybe time to get an amicus brief from 500 scientists called Steve?

Huh? That is pretty odd in several ways.

No one is challenging the freedom to pursue scientific evidence, just pointing out that ID creationists have failed to pursue, or failed to catch such evidence. The current debate is over science education in the public high schools.

Finding evidence to support an argument from ignorance is difficult indeed.

Any scientist who wishes to pursue such evidence can undoubtedly find adequate funding from the Discovery Institute and other such apologetics foundations.

The link you provided lists only two paragraphs of the brief, not the whole thing. There is no link to the entire text.

The link you provided does not list all 85 names nor provide a link to a list. The claim is made that signees are “professional scientists”, although this cannot be independently verified without the list. The only 3 names of scientists listed are Phil Skell, Lyle H. Jensen and Dr. Russell W. Carlson.

“All Amici agree that courts should decline to rule on the scientific validity of theories which are the subject of vigorous scientific debate.” - Irrelevant to the current situation.


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Comment #50929

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 4, 2005 02:51 PM (e) (s)

   Ken Willis wrote:

   Ed Brayton favorably quotes Bruce Gordon on when a new scientific theory is entitled to respectful debate:

   “….the theory has been prematurely drawn into discussions of public science education where it has no business making an appearance without broad recognition from the scientific community that it is making a worthwhile contribution to our understanding of the natural world.”

   I’m having trouble reconciling this and similar statements with what I think Kuhn said about the structure of scientific revolutions, and also knowing that the hypothesis that peptic ulcers could be treated with antibiotics was initially rejected out of hand by a broad consensus of scientists.

   Maybe someone can help, I’m probably missing a qualitative distinction. If I were the judge in Kittsmiller I would want to understand this better.

If you were the judge in the case, you would probably do a better job spelling Kitzmiller.

To help clear up your other trouble I have highlighted a phrase for you. Of course I don’t know “what you think Kuhn said”. Maybe you think he said that scientific revolutions happen in the science classes of public schools.


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Comment #50932

Posted by Mike on October 4, 2005 03:16 PM (e) (s)

“A group of scientists has filed a brief asking the court not to rule on the question of what is and is not legitimate science because they fear it will violate academic freedom and inhibit future research. This is the standard line coming from the Discovery Institute and Ed Brayton debunks it here.”

In the discussion at the Ed Brayton link they mention this was filed amicus. Has this been, in any way, challenged yet? And do the plaintiffs intend to challenge it? It’s fine for Brayton to give an argument debunking this idea on his blog, but it may be seen as credible with the court if it is not explicitly challenged in that venue. And that could be very bad because, due to the nature of the IDers wedge strategy, ID’s scientific status (op lack thereof) is very much the matter at issue here, both philosophically and legally. Would we really want them to prevail because the court believes it cannot rule on the scientific status of ID? Imagine what could happen on a huge array of issues (from *any* theory taught in science classes to public safety, consumer fraud, etc) if they succeed in establishing a precedent that a court is never allowed to rule based on what is legitimate or is not considered legitimate science. Science and scientific expertise, of any and every stripe, would be rendered totally useless legally as a means of judging the truth or probability of factual claims relevant to any issue. This brief is simply a silly argument.


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Comment #50933

Posted by Mike on October 4, 2005 03:16 PM (e) (s)

“A group of scientists has filed a brief asking the court not to rule on the question of what is and is not legitimate science because they fear it will violate academic freedom and inhibit future research. This is the standard line coming from the Discovery Institute and Ed Brayton debunks it here.”

In the discussion at the Ed Brayton link they mention this was filed amicus. Has this been, in any way, challenged yet? And do the plaintiffs intend to challenge it? It’s fine for Brayton to give an argument debunking this idea on his blog, but it may be seen as credible with the court if it is not explicitly challenged in that venue. And that could be very bad because, due to the nature of the IDers wedge strategy, ID’s scientific status (op lack thereof) is very much the matter at issue here, both philosophically and legally. Would we really want them to prevail because the court believes it cannot rule on the scientific status of ID? Imagine what could happen on a huge array of issues (from *any* theory taught in science classes to public safety, consumer fraud, etc) if they succeed in establishing a precedent that a court is never allowed to rule based on what is legitimate or is not considered legitimate science. Science and scientific expertise, of any and every stripe, would be rendered totally useless legally as a means of judging the truth or probability of factual claims relevant to any issue. This brief is simply a silly argument.


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Comment #50936

Posted by Mike on October 4, 2005 03:22 PM (e) (s)

Sorry about the double post above. I’m not used to posting here and I hit “Post” twice because it seemed to be taking too long.


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Comment #50946

Posted by Ken Willis on October 4, 2005 05:15 PM (e) (s)

   Bayesian Buffoon wrote:

   If you were the judge in the case, you would probably do a better job spelling Kitzmiller.

You should be grateful. I gave you a chance to show what an ####### you are.

   caerbannog wrote:

   Did Marshall and Warren react to initial scientific skepticism by avoiding further interactions with the scientific community in favor of pitching their ideas to local churches and school-boards?

   Once you’ve answered that question, the qualitative distinction you are looking for will jump right out at you.

The question goes to the lack of consensus among scientists and what evidentiary value that has, not whether the proponent of a new theory should keep trying to make his case.

   ban wrote:

   To your example, when it was suggested that antibiotics would cure ulcers, the constructive response from scientists wasn’t, “great, thanks for solving that problem”; it was “prove it.”

The response was more like “you’re nuts.”

Well, thanks but my question is still not answered.


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Comment #50950

Posted by darwinfinch on October 4, 2005 05:48 PM (e) (s)

I’m not even a scientist, Ken, but I’ll answer your question right after you answer a few of mine. You clearly know everything about everything, or at least have an opinion (which undoubtedly as the same low value of that which such pedestrian opinions as yours are scatologically, but in your case quite literally, compared.) Ahem…

— If God exists, and is male, how big and of what substance is his “willy” and what does he do with it?

— If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?

and, of course,

— When did you stop beating your wife?

I offer these challenges in the same spirit (being willfully uninterested in any answers you can make) which you have offered yours, although with considerably more forthrightness and intelligence snort!> than a mean little idiot puffed-up poseur like yourself could ever manifest.
I thank you.


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Comment #50956

Posted by ben on October 4, 2005 06:46 PM (e) (s)

A consensus of scientists responded to the hypothesis “ulcers are caused by bacteria” by saying “that’s nuts,” and were proven wrong.

Therefore, we should teach, as science, in science class, anything scientists think is nuts? Or—let me guess—we should teach just the one pet idea (ID, which doesn’t come close to being a theory) that you would like to see taught as science?

Let’s open the door to more scientific revolutions by screwing around with the definition of science until it doesn’t work anymore.


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Comment #50957

Posted by ben on October 4, 2005 06:50 PM (e) (s)

Also, you didn’t ask a question.


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Comment #50964

Posted by Logicman on October 4, 2005 09:19 PM (e) (s)

This is a very funny article concerning the Dover trial:

http://ydr.com/story/doverbiology/87427/


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Comment #50965

Posted by vhutchison on October 4, 2005 09:50 PM (e) (s)

Isn’t it very unlikely that the judge would at this time entertain an amicus brief?

There is an online petition at

http://shovelbums.org

that has 10,765 signatures of scientists against ID with a description of how the list will be checked and used - mainly for media purposes.


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Comment #50968

Posted by Ken Willis on October 4, 2005 10:12 PM (e) (s)

Hmmmm…….Guess there are no adults here at the moment. But Ben, I did ask a question. I was sincere about it at the time, but that was because I thought there were actually some here who could answer it.

It seems to me that a consensus or a lack of consensus may not be relevant evidence of anything. To be relevant a fact must make another fact more likely. 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.

But Ben, I am not asking you or the bayesian buffoon or any of the other nimrods that seem to lurking here at the moment. I pose the question only in the slight chance that a real scientist with a somewhat social personality happens to drop in and feel like giving an honest answer.

I have no idea what the judge in Kitzmiller [buffoon, please check my spelling] will do but won’t you all feel foolish if there is a ruling to that effect in this case? Actually, I guess that time has already passed since there has already been testimony that IDC is not generally accepted in the scientific community. But, pardon me I know this is over your heads, but Daubert replaced the former Frye test under which expert testimony had to first be shown to be based upon theories that were “generally accepted” in the scientific community.

The “general acceptance” standard of Frye was viewed by many as unduly restrictive, because it sometimes operated to bar testimony based on intellectually credible but somewhat novel scientific approaches. In Daubert, the Supreme Court held that the Frye test had been superseded by the adoption, in 1973, of Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. That rule does not even mention “general acceptance,” but simply provides: “If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise.”

So courts now recognize that general acceptance is not required to admit expert testimony. Daubert will let in testimony that might have been excluded under Frye. So isn’t that saying that general acceptance, i.e., the consensus of scientists is not relevant to the qualification of an expert or to whether his opinion is admissible? Yes, and by the same logic, a lack of consensus of scientists should not be relevant to prove that a new theory or a novel scientific approach is or is not science.

I don’t think ID is science and I don’t want it taught in schools, but so what? I ask a serious question; I welcome correction if I am wrong; I know that I may be. But all I found here was a bunch of snot-nosed jerks with a computer.

What does Scientific American think this is such a great website? Have they ever been here?


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Comment #50970

Posted by roger Tang on October 4, 2005 10:37 PM (e) (s)

Guess there are no adults here at the moment.

That applies to yourself even more so.

By the way, your converse does not necessarily hold true; saying that general acceptance is not necessary does not mean that it is not relevant.


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Comment #50972

Posted by roger Tang on October 4, 2005 10:40 PM (e) (s)

Also, the statement “a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise” certainly would have to refer to some sort of acceptance of expertise, which does, in fact, refer an accumulated body of knowledge in order to determine that is IS expert…which leads back to some sort of general acceptance of expertise.


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Comment #50991

Posted by Edin Najetovic on October 5, 2005 05:34 AM (e) (s)

To Ken Willis: You waved off the answer of one of the earliest replies to your question as if that was totally irrelevant. In fact, it is not and I do not see what you achieve in just dismissing it as you did.

The big difference between ID and the discovery of the bacteria that cause ulcers really boils down to this: ID is not attempting to make an empirically founded basis to their theories instead choosing to try to get their ideas taught in science class. This would be skipping a few steps and trying to get recognition for something as ‘science’ that has not yet showed itself to be scientifically testable, a most deplorable state of affairs for a supposedly scientific theory.

On the other hand, the researchers who recently had their breakthrough did actual research and not rhetorics. They got their ideas into testable theories and when they weres still laughed off they tested them (on) themselves. They persevered in the face of great opposition and succeeded in the end by the virtue of only their research. None of their actions involved first trying to get their untested ideas into science books or the like.

Of course, this only shows what the difference in aims of the two parties are: Marshall and Warren were trying to come up with explanations for a phenomenon they thought was not explained satisfactorily for no other purpose than the knowledge itself. On the other hand, the ID theorists are working for no other purpose than getting their territories into the classroom (the exact motive I leave unadressed but should be pretty obvious), the method is not deemed relevant as should be self-evident by the nature of the ‘theory’ of ID as it is today.

This is still not a refutation of ‘what Kuhn said’ (you were vague on this as someone else pointed out, what specifically did you mean?) that both are paradigm shifts. Still, despite all this ID is not an attack on the scientific paradigm. ID would be a paradigm shift in that it is not science and a very different approach to explaining the world by other means than science. The problem is, it tries very hard to be science for strategic purposes (which I just established are more important to them than knowledge driven ones). In that, it loses all its value. It tries to be something it can never be by the inherent nature of its theory. If it abandons the label ‘science’ and then tries to be taught in school (not as science but something vague and meaningless like “explanations of the world”) it could be an attack on the paradigm of science as a whole. How valuable ID would then be as opposed to similar school subjects like religion or philosophy is debatable but not relevant to this particular point.

ID does not try to do this however and falls short internally and can therefore not be seen as a valid attack on anything, let alone evolution. This is not to say that it did not make interesting points in the beginning -IC was an interesting concept for the 3 seconds that it lasted- but it is totally irrelevant as a theory as has been showed many times.

I feel also that I must apologise for the rather juvenile attacks on you by some other members of this discussion. They easily see red nowadays because they are simply tired, I assume, due to incessant claims of ID people. They easily see red these days ;)


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Comment #50995

Posted by Edin Najetovic on October 5, 2005 05:48 AM (e) (s)

Also, legal courts are irrelevant to science. They are very relevant where educational policy is concerned but science should not be concerned with the going ons in court.

In fact, the reason why science is empirically based is that a consensus based on the senses can be adhered by all because everyone can see hear or otherwise detect the evidence as opposed to making bold claims that you have no other way to test than to believe, no valid consensus could ever arise from such claims (examples: ID, Religion etc.). So in essence, science is a way of building a consensus over the workings of the world. That this consensus has applications is something scientists usually don’t really care too much about, but have to research anyway to get their commissions ;) Never forget that ‘knowledge’ that science hopes to build up is based on general agreement on a framework of theories. It is true that this agreement is founded on natural arguments which are the same to every one, but it is still agreement.


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Comment #51021

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 5, 2005 09:08 AM (e) (s)

   Ken Willis wrote:

   You should be grateful. I gave you a chance to show what an ####### you are.

I bow to your superiority in this regard.

   Hmmmm…….Guess there are no adults here at the moment….
   What does Scientific American think this is such a great website? Have they ever been here?

Apparently they checked it out before you put in an appearance.


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Comment #51029

Posted by whatever on October 5, 2005 09:52 AM (e) (s)

From the MSNBC article
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9492208/

“‘This case is about free inquiry in education, not about a religious agenda,’ said Patrick Gillen of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., in his opening statement. The center, which lobbies for what it sees as the religious freedom of Christians, is defending the school district.”

Since when does free inquiry rule out discussion about the origin of life, which the Dover statement explicitly rules out? Why is discussion about the origin of life blocked in Dover schools, if not for religious sensitivity?


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

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4491
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

    
evopeach



Posts: 248
Joined: July 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2005,11:44   

I take it that all the evos have great confidence that Barbara Kook is a superior expert witness than Mike Behe.  


Following Plato's teaching that philosophers should be full participants in civic life, Dr. Forrest actively participates in efforts to promote church-state separation, the integrity of public science education, and civil liberties.  She serves on the National Advisory Council of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. She is also a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, having served on the board of directors of the Louisiana affiliate.  Her other supporting memberships include People for the American Way, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the National Center for Science Education

How did she miss the CPUSA and Red Diaper Babies of America Assn.?

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4491
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2005,17:38   

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Comment #51737

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on October 10, 2005 12:46 PM (e) (s)

Via the Red State Rabble
Professor Steve Steve is misidentified in an Associated Press report photograph
in USA TODAY, by Martha Raffaele. He is identified only as a panda puppet, possibly in reference to the book Of Pandas and People.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)


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Comment #51792

Posted by shenda on October 10, 2005 06:51 PM (e) (s)

On Panda’s and ID at Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicholas-von-hoffm…


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Comment #51901

Posted by WJC on October 11, 2005 11:21 AM (e) (s)

Why was Dembski withdrawn as an expert for the defense?


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Comment #51909

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 11, 2005 12:38 PM (e) (s)

There are some earlier threads here which go into considerable detail. This is just my overall impressionistic response:

Originally, Dembski’s withdrawal was excused on the basis that the Thomas More Law Center folks running the defense would not allow Dembski to have separate counsel (from the overall defense counsel) for his deposition.

It now looks like none of the originally-listed DI defense “experts” will be testifying. The DI spin on this is that they agree that ID is not yet sufficiently “ripe” for presentation at the (pre-college) class level, and that the Dover case was, um, evolving in a direction that threatened to inject a, ahem, particular designer into the mix…

My take: the DI sensed that this case was heading to the dumpster, and they made a strategic decision to bail. Since then, they have been working as hard as they can to distance themselves and their, um, “theory” from the looming disaster, while still perching on the sidelines and trying their darndest to diss any of the testimony currently running in plaintiffs’ favor.


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Comment #51914

Posted by kay on October 11, 2005 01:16 PM (e) (s)

problem is that as business, the DI and all the other more or less creationist outfits can make a good living just preaching (and selling stuff) to the choir.

Therefore, I propose a change of tactic — SEND THE FAST FOOD NINJAS!


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Comment #51921

Posted by Henry J on October 11, 2005 01:49 PM (e) (s)

What’s a fast food Ninja? Is it teenaged? Turtle shaped? What?


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Comment #51923

Posted by RBH on October 11, 2005 02:04 PM (e) (s)

Steviepinhead wrote

   It now looks like none of the originally-listed DI defense “experts” will be testifying. The DI spin on this is that they agree that ID is not yet sufficiently “ripe” for presentation at the (pre-college) class level, and that the Dover case was, um, evolving in a direction that threatened to inject a, ahem, particular designer into the mix…

AFAIK, Behe and Minnich are still scheduled to testify for the defense. Campbell, Dembski and Meyer are out, though.

RBH


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Comment #51927

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 11, 2005 02:18 PM (e) (s)

[boinking sound of Steviepinhead banging his pointy little head against the nearest wall]:

RBH is, of course, correct. Not all of the DI-affiliated experts listed by the defense have been withdrawn.



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So much for impressionism! And I posted that little quickie after I had reviewed the witness list that bill helpfully linked us to in comment #51673 above. Sigh.


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Comment #51944

Posted by Shawn on October 11, 2005 03:31 PM (e) (s)

Check This Out!

Seminar at Lehigh Univ.

Prof. Miller is giving a talk at Prof. Behe’s department, and it’s tomorrow. They say its open to the public, so please, spread the word. I’m in CO, but I would love for someone to give me a heads-up on what happens at the talk. So if you are local and care; go! Then tell me what happened. Like does Prof. Behe show up? What questions are asked? Etc. Thanks!


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Comment #51962

Posted by improvius on October 11, 2005 05:30 PM (e) (s)

   kay wrote:

   problem is that as business, the DI and all the other more or less creationist outfits can make a good living just preaching (and selling stuff) to the choir.

No doubt. If I were a less scrupulous person, I’d throw some junk together and follow in Dr. Hovind’s footsteps:

http://www.drdino.com/

You’ll never go poor telling people what they want to hear.


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Comment #52038

Posted by Tailspin on October 12, 2005 09:04 AM (e) (s)

The London Times on 10/05 published an article entitled Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible.

   The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible.

   “We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture.

   The document is timely, coming as it does amid the rise of the religious Right, in particular in the US.

   Some Christians want a literal interpretation of the story of creation, as told in Genesis, taught alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution in schools, believing “intelligent design” to be an equally plausible theory of how the world began.

   But the first 11 chapters of Genesis, in which two different and at times conflicting stories of creation are told, are among those that this country’s Catholic bishops insist cannot be “historical”. At most, they say, they may contain “historical traces”.

   The document shows how far the Catholic Church has come since the 17th century, when Galileo was condemned as a heretic for flouting a near-universal belief in the divine inspiration of the Bible by advocating the Copernican view of the solar system. Only a century ago, Pope Pius X condemned Modernist Catholic scholars who adapted historical-critical methods of analysing ancient literature to the Bible.”



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

    
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