I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Behe says Judge Jones plagiarized Dover plaintiffs' briefs

An article in the Reasonable Kansans blog says that Michael Behe's recent lecture at Kansas University accused Judge Jones of "cutting and pasting" or "dragging and dropping" whole sections of the Dover plaintiffs' briefs:

Behe went on to show in detail that Jones’ written 139 page decision was filled with cut and paste sections from Rothchild’s [correct spelling is Rothschild, the plaintiffs' lead attorney] documents. Whenever Jones wrote on an academic issue, he provides a lightly edited “drag and drop” from the trial lawyer’s documents. Behe said that some judges do this to a certain extent, but not on as large a scale as Jones did. This made Behe wonder if Jones even understood all of the academic issues that were being presented to him if he had to copy so much from Rothchild's documents.

In one respect at least, federal district court judge TJ "Mad" Hatter was more honest than Jones -- where Hatter did not know or understand something, he wrote no opinion at all.

There once was a jurist named Jones,
who had a head just full of bones,
The opinions he wrote,
did nothing but quote,
and therefore were just full of clones.

The Reasonable Kansans blog article continued,
Jones did state in his lecture at KU a few months ago that he was presented with a “mind numbingly technical presentation” from the witnesses. If his mind had gone “numb”, do we have reason to believe he actually absorbed all the information presented to him? When he spoke at KU he didn’t touch on any of the issues of the debate, he only spoke of how he was deemed an “activist judge”. Perhaps this is because he wouldn’t have been able to reiterate the science that was presented to him, so he took another route.

According to the Thoughts from Kansas blog, Jones agreed to speak at KU only upon condition that he would not discuss the specifics of the Kitzmiller v. Dover case -- maybe the reason why he set that condition was that he never really learned or understood those specifics in the first place. Jones' KU speech also included what he considered to be threats to "judicial independence." More details about Jones' KU speech are here. So far as I know, the only defense that Jones has made of the Dover decision in particular was some asinine commentary about the founding fathers' "true religion" -- see this and this.

BTW, the blogger on Reasonable Kansans, Forthekids, helped prove that PZ Myers deliberately quote-mined the 3rd chapter of Jonathan Wells' recent book, "A Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design."

Also, a Lawrence Journal-World article about Behe's KU speech said,

A professor of biology at Lehigh University, Behe’s main argument was that evolution has become so ingrained and accepted that it becomes difficult to raise any questions about it in the scientific community.

“When I start to point out problems, often people don’t have time to listen,” he said.

Behe has also made a written response to the Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion.

Labels:

12 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> Michael Behe's recent lecture at Kansas University accused Judge Jones of "cutting and pasting" or "dragging and dropping" whole sections of the Dover plaintiffs' briefs: <

As is common procedure.

> Behe said that some judges do this to a certain extent <

Most do. Behe shoots down his own claim.

> but not on as large a scale as Jones did. <

Why is scale an issue?

> This made Behe wonder if Jones even understood all of the academic issues that were being presented to him if he had to copy so much from Rothchild's documents. <

There is no evidence that he "had to" copy. It only shows the excellence of the plaintiff's argument.

> Hatter did not know or understand something, he wrote no opinion at all. <

Hatter knew and understood the case. The idiot who filed it still does not. If a person arrives at a hospital dead after shooting a bullet through his own ear, it is not necessary to check him for hemorrhoids.

> The Unreasonable Kansans blog article continued <

> Perhaps this is because he wouldn’t have been able to reiterate the science that was presented to him, so he took another route. <

Perhaps it is because it would have been unethical for him to discuss an ongoing case? Was the case still subject to appeal at the time? It appears that the editors of the Unreasonable Kansan didn't understand that any more than does the legal Lamebrain, Larry(?)

Sunday, December 10, 2006 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

Apparently Behe and Larry are unaware that the reason the parties' Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (and other such documents) are written in the Voice of the Court is so that the Court can adopt the language if it finds the reasoning in line with the Court's. The Court adopting large swathes of a party's brief is an indication that the party's arguments were very persuasive and on target.

>>>In one respect at least, federal district court judge TJ "Mad" Hatter was more honest than Jones -- where Hatter did not know or understand something, he wrote no opinion at all.<<<

No, Judge Hatter didn't write an opinion because the FRCP doesn't require one to be written. See FRCP Rule 52(a). Had he written one, this is what it might have looked like:

Because this case was dismissed due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction, we do not have jurisdiction to find any facts or draw any conclusions of law.

BTW, Wells did in fact quote-mine. He is deliberately equivocating on what the various authors meant in his discussion. PZ correctly identified a quote-mine.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has all been covered before. Larry is doing his neutron star act again.

Someone suggested a possibility that is becoming more and more believable. This person claiming to be Larry Fafarman is actually a supporter of evolution who is trying to discredit the opposition by appearing to be a creationist and then making himself out to be a mindless fool.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Kevin Vicklund said (12-10-06 10:50:18 AM) --
>>>>>> Apparently Behe and Larry are unaware that the reason the parties' Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (and other such documents) are written in the Voice of the Court is so that the Court can adopt the language if it finds the reasoning in line with the Court's. <<<<<<

Wrong. The following statement from the Dover opinion is written in the voice of the court and this statement is definitely not copied from anywhere:

Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court.

I think that the main reason for using the impersonal voice of the court is to give the false impression that the judges' conclusions are completely objective and that any reasonable judge would have reached the same conclusions. I think that a less important reason is to imitate the imperial "we" and "us" of kings and queens.

>>>>>Judge Hatter didn't write an opinion because the FRCP doesn't require one to be written. See FRCP Rule 52(a). <<<<<<

We've been through this before. I have shown that FRCP Rule 52(a) is contradicted by Rule 52(c). Rule 52 )a) says,

Findings of fact and conclusions of law are unnecessary on decisions of motions under Rule 12 or 56 or any other motion except as provided in subdivision (c) of this rule.(emphasis added)

And Rule 52(c) says,

If during a trial without a jury a party has been fully heard on an issue and the court finds against the party on that issue, the court may enter judgment as a matter of law against that party with respect to a claim or defense that cannot under the controlling law be maintained or defeated without a favorable finding on that issue, or the court may decline to render any judgment until the close of all the evidence. Such a judgment shall be supported by findings of fact and conclusions of law as required by subdivision (a) of this rule.(emphasis added)

Anyway, if the judge applies this ambiguous rule of Rule 52(a), the judge should at least identify the rule being applied. This is (1) a courtesy to the reader and (2) proof that the judge is aware of Rule 52(a). You and others absurdly interpret silence from some specially privileged people as proof of their knowledge. A 9th circuit opinion once astutely (?) observed that the principle of deference to administrative agencies' decisions does not go so far as to allow the court to approve an agency's decision on the basis of a reason that the agency never gave.

For all I know, TJ "Mad" Hatter issued opinionless decisions where this Rule 52(a) exception did not apply at all. An attorney acquaintance of mine said that he had a bad reputation for issuing decisions without opinions.

Also, I appealed the decision and the appeals court did not state an opinion either. The appeals court is governed by the FRAP (Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure), not the FRCP (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure), and to my knowledge there is nothing in the FRAP that excuses the court from writing or expressing an opinion, and in my case there was no lower court opinion for the appeals court to adopt (appeals courts often just say that they find the reasoning of the lower court to be acceptable).

>>>>> Had he written one, this is what it might have looked like:

Because this case was dismissed due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction, we do not have jurisdiction to find any facts or draw any conclusions of law. <<<<<

He couldn't even write that much or dictate it to a secretary. He did not show that even read the briefs in the case, and there were no oral hearings. There was no evidence that he knew anything at all about the case.

>>>>>BTW, Wells did in fact quote-mine. He is deliberately equivocating on what the various authors meant in his discussion. PZ correctly identified a quote-mine. <<<<<

Wrong. In this thread, it is proven that Wells did not quote-mine anyone. PZ Myers was the one who quote-mined.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 2:59:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Wilderness said ( 12-10-06 @ 10:07:06 AM ) --
>>>>>> Michael Behe's recent lecture at Kansas University accused Judge Jones of "cutting and pasting" or "dragging and dropping" whole sections of the Dover plaintiffs' briefs: <

As is common procedure. <<<<<<

It might be OK to do this with legal and other non-technical subjects. However, on a technical subject, the judge should use his/her own words just to show that (s)he has some understanding of what (s)he is talking about. And if large, important parts of the Dover opinion were in fact ghostwritten, then Jones certainly does not deserve the lavish praise he has received as a result of a mistaken belief that he was the sole author (that is one of Behe's points -- Jones does not deserve full credit for the opinion). Judge Jones has even been listed on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people.

The Dover school board members were expected to show that they knew enough about intelligent design to be able to discuss it intelligently in the courtroom (they could not). They weren't allowed to read from a script -- and Jones should not have read from a script, either.

>>>>>> Hatter did not know or understand something, he wrote no opinion at all. <

Hatter knew and understood the case. <<<<<<

So silence is proof of knowledge. Ed "It's my way or the Highway" Brayton kicked me off his blog permanently just because he did not like my literal interpretation of a federal court rule. Give me one reason, VIW, why I should not kick you off this blog permanently because of your preceding asinine remark.

>>>>>> Perhaps it is because it would have been unethical for him to discuss an ongoing case? Was the case still subject to appeal at the time? <<<<<<

The answer is of course NO.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 3:25:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...

>>>>>This has all been covered before. <<<<<

Wrong -- this has not been covered before. This is the first time I have seen the charge that Jones plagiarized the plaintiffs' briefs.

>>>>> Someone suggested a possibility that is becoming more and more believable. This person claiming to be Larry Fafarman is actually a supporter of evolution who is trying to discredit the opposition by appearing to be a creationist and then making himself out to be a mindless fool. <<<<<<

If that is the case, then I am failing miserably.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 3:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> I think that the main reason for using the impersonal voice of the court <

Then you again demonstrate your ignorance. It is standard court practice. If you have a problem with it, your problem is with standard court practice (which you have shown you know nothing about), not with Judge Jones.

> We've been through this before. <

And yet you still don't understand it! You even quote the parts that you don't understand so your ignorance can be seen by all.

> Anyway, if the judge applies this ambiguous rule of Rule 52(a), the judge should at least identify the rule being applied. <

No, idiot. The reason you were laughed out of court was clear to everyone except you.

> For all I know <

That covers a very small area of knowledge, perhaps even "the empty set."

> An attorney acquaintance of mine <

Who also wanted to explain his losses.

> Also, I appealed the decision and the appeals court did not state an opinion either. <

Duh!

> and to my knowledge there is nothing in the FRAP that excuses the court from writing or expressing an opinion <

Appeals courts often do not state opinions.

> appeals courts often just say that they find the reasoning of the lower court to be acceptable. <

As they did here. Everyone but you understood the reasoning of the lower court. You, in contrast, don't understand why the Sun rises in the East.

> Wrong. In this thread, it is proven <

This seems to be your wording for stating something that you do not substantiate, having it shot to rags, and then repeating it. That is not proving.

> However, on a technical subject, the judge should use his/her own words just to show that (s)he has some understanding of what (s)he is talking about. <

That seems absurd on its face.

> And if large, important parts of the Dover opinion were in fact ghostwritten <

Look up "ghostwritten" in any dictionary. You seem to be trying to make your own non-standard definitions of words again.

> Judge Jones has even been listed on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people. <

A list that you will never be on.

> Ed "It's my way or the Highway" Brayton kicked me off his blog permanently just because he did not like my literal interpretation of a federal court rule. <

That has repeatedly been shown to be false. It isn't clear if you are deliberately lieing or whether you just don't understand the obvious. You have shown a tendency to do both.

> Give me one reason, VIW, why I should not kick you off this blog permanently because of your preceding asinine remark. <

You mean because you are unable to answer my points. You have shown that already. I would expect that you will eventually resort to even more censorship than you have already practiced. You have proven yourself to be a hypocrite. You have violated every principle that you claim to have started this blog for. Nothing would surprise me.

Of course that would be different. Ed didn't ban you because he didn't like your ideas. He probably enjoyed having such a easily defeated punching bag.

Anonymous (or someone posing as Anonymous) said...

>>>> This has all been covered before. <<<<<

> Wrong -- this has not been covered before. This is the first time I have seen the charge that Jones plagiarized the plaintiffs' briefs. <

I have to agree with Anonymous. You can't be as dumb as you appear to be. You can't believe that was the issue.

>>>>>>... by appearing to be a creationist and then making himself out to be a mindless fool. <<<<<<

> If that is the case, then I am failing miserably. <

I think that most of us would say that you are doing a great job.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 6:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>>This has all been covered before. <<<<<

> Wrong -- this has not been covered before. This is the first time I have seen the charge that Jones plagiarized the plaintiffs' briefs. <

You are proving my point. Nobody can be as dumb as you are pretending to be. The point was about Judge Hatter's flawless decision.

Come off it, Ed. We know it is you. You have overplayed your hand. This "Fafarman" character is just not believable.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 8:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>However, on a technical subject, the judge should use his/her own words just to show that (s)he has some understanding of what (s)he is talking about.

The judge isn't a student (at least not in the strict sense. Sure, he's subject to a sort of disciplinary system analyzed by Foucualt in Discipline and Punish, in that the case represents a sort of examination that could later be examined by a higher body, ie., an appelate court, besides the unofficial media scrutiny, including the IDiots like Larry (or a fake Larry trying to make fun of creationist claims such as those of the ID movement), but that does not mean that the judge had any reason to show that he understood the material. His burden in any (hypothetical) appeal would be that he decided the case according to the law).

Friedrich Wilhelm

Monday, December 11, 2006 7:56:00 AM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

Larry's trying to invade Panda's Thumb again. Sad thing is, he used a name he had already been caught using...

Monday, December 11, 2006 9:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Larry's trying to invade Panda's Thumb again. Sad thing is, he used a name he had already been caught using... <

Interesting that he is practicing what he accused Ed of doing. The difference is that Ed did not.

Monday, December 11, 2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Behe probably didn't even read Jones' decision. I mean, he could sit up on the stand and dismiss all that scientific literature without actually reading it, what makes you think he'd bother to read the decision before he started throwing scurrilous accusations around?

Behe's a con-man, same as Dembski.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 11:23:00 AM  

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