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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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.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Another anti-ID scholar condemns Dover decision

Many people believe that the only people who disagree with the anti-intellectual, unscholarly, and totalitarian Kitzmiller v. Dover decision are bible pounding, holy rolling fundy-type creationist crackpots. Judge Jones certainly believes that. He has accused the decision's critics of being opposed to judicial independence and "the rule of law" and said that they call him an "activist judge" only because they are unhappy with the result of the decision and for no other reason. However, I have pointed out that there is an anti-ID scholar -- Jay Wexler -- who has publicly condemned the decision, and now I have found another. In addition to these two, there are several apparently neutral scholars who have also publicly condemned the decision.

On Evolution News & Views, Casey Luskin discusses a recent Christian Century magazine article written by Darwinist J. Scott Turner, a biology professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. Casey says,
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Turner sees the Kitzmiller v. Dover case as the dangerous real-world expression of the intolerance common in the academy: "My blood chills ... when these essentially harmless hypocrisies are joined with the all-American tradition of litigiousness, for it is in the hand of courts and lawyers that real damage to cherished academic ideas is likely to be done." He laments the fact that "courts are where many of my colleagues seem determined to go with the ID issue” and predicts, “I believe we will ultimately come to regret this."

Turner justifies his reasonable foresight by explaining that Kitzmiller only provided a pyrrhic victory for the pro-Darwin lobby:
Although there was general jubilation at the ruling, I think the joy will be short-lived, for we have affirmed the principle that a federal judge, not scientists or teachers, can dictate what is and what is not science, and what may or may not be taught in the classroom. Forgive me if I do not feel more free.

(J. Scott Turner, Signs of Design, The Christian Century, June 12, 2007.)

By way of review, here is what Jay Wexler said about Kitzmiller v. Dover. His announcement of a lecture said,

The opinion's main problem lies in the conclusion that most evolution supporters were particularly pleased with -- namely, the judge's finding that ID is not science. The problem is not that ID is science. Maybe it is science, and maybe it isn't. The question is whether judges should be deciding in their written opinions that ID is or is not science -- a question that sounds in philosophy of science -- as a matter of law. On this question, the answer is "no," particularly when the overall question posed to the Court is whether teaching ID endorses religion, not whether it is or is not science. The part of Kitzmiller that finds ID not to be science is unnecessary, unconvincing, not particularly suited to the judicial role, and even perhaps dangerous to both science and freedom of religion. The judge's determination that ID endorses religion should have been sufficient to rule the policy unconstitutional.

In a law journal article, Wexler added,

. . . if one judge can practice philosophy of science, what is to stop others from doing the same? Perhaps the next judge to hear an ID case will decide that science simply means "the process of searching for the best logical explanations for observed data." In that case, schools might be allowed to teach … ID… Is this really a can of worms that ID opponents want to open?

Actually, the science-as-ID section of the Dover opinion was not even written by the judge -- it was written by the ACLU.

My response to Wexler's above statement was,

In Wexler's above statement, he appears to be concerned only about judges hearing other ID cases. But what about judges hearing cases concerning non-ID criticisms of evolution, such as criticisms concerning co-evolution and the propagation of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction -- or even the Second Law of Thermodynamics? After all, the SLOT is not a religious concept, and it is a law, not just a theory. Also, the now-defunct Ohio critical analysis of evolution lesson plan contained some very specific non-ID criticisms of evolution. IMO it is noteworthy that the Darwinists kept threatening to sue Ohio but never did. Anyway, without design, there is no designer. No designer, no god. No god, no religion. No religion, no establishment clause violation.

Many Darwinists have the mistaken belief that the ID-as-science ruling of the Dover decision was an inevitable "slam dunk" shoo-in. The Darwinists just got lucky this time. Judge Jones is a churchgoing Bush-appointed Republican conservative and maybe he was just bending over backwards to try to show that he was "impartial." He bent over so far backwards in an attempt to show his impartiality that he said in a Dickinson College commencement speech that organized religions are not "true" religions. Maybe next time the judge will be a godless blasphemous fundy-hating Clinton-appointed Democratic liberal atheist who will also bend over backwards to try to prove his impartiality.

Luskin pointed out that Turner "laments the fact that 'courts are where many of my colleagues seem determined to go with the ID issue.'" There is no constitutional separation of pseudoscience (or bad science) and state, so some people are misusing the so-called "separation of church and state" for the purpose of trying to suppress scientific ideas that they disagree with. One of the worst offenders in this regard is the hypocritical theistic evolutionist Ken Miller. He says that his own belief in evolution is supported by his religion, yet he urges the courts to use the so-called "separation of church and state" principle to suppress the views of ID proponents whose belief in ID is not supported by religion. Ken Miller was the lead expert witness for the Dover plaintiffs and also was an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the Selman v. Cobb County evolution disclaimer textbook sticker case. IMO the plaintiffs in those cases showed real chutzpah by choosing a theistic evolutionist as an expert witness in lawsuits charging that including criticism of evolution in public-school science courses violates the separation of church and state.
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3 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> Many people believe that the only people who disagree with the anti-intellectual, unscholarly, and totalitarian Kitzmiller v. Dover <

There is no such decision, only the quite proper and reasonable Kitsmiller v. Dover decision.


> He bent over so far backwards in an attempt to show his impartiality that he said in a Dickinson College commencement speech that organized religions are not "true" religions. <

Again the Larry Fafarman repeat a lie technique. He did not say that. It is just another of your mindless interpretations.

Saturday, June 23, 2007 5:10:00 PM  
Blogger Lee Bowman said...

Larry Faraman wrote …

“Many people believe that the only people who disagree with the … Kitzmiller v. Dover decision are bible pounding, holy rolling fundy-type creationist crackpots … However, I have pointed out that there is an anti-ID scholar -- Jay Wexler -- who has publicly condemned the decision, and now I have found another."

"In addition to these two, there are several apparently neutral scholars who have also publicly condemned the decision …”


The wild acclaim Judge Jones has received are from the very ones who would have attacked his credentials and his conjectural conservative leanings had he ruled the other way. Instead, they have gloated over the decision, gilded it, framed it, published it everywhere, and in effect, canonized it.

As Larry correctly stated in his 9/17/06 post regarding the then upcoming Difficult Dialogues talk at the Commons at KU, he would (and did) defend his judicial actions as merely exercising “judicial independence, and accountability, and the ancillary but no less important topic of the need for us to elevate the debate, as it relates to how courts perform their duties.”

“… no other tribunal in the United States is in a better position than are we to traipse into this controversial area … we will offer our conclusion on whether ID is science.” By so stating and acting, he clearly goes beyond the pale.

I feel, and most others agree, that that kind of untoward pronouncement, broadly taken, could set a precedent for allowing any federal judge the liberty of invoking ancillary pronouncements that traipse beyond his or her authority to adjudicate.

Whether or not one agrees with ID as science, a dangerous precedent has been set, and needs to be addressed by any and all means possible. ‘Signing Statements’ added to a decision have no place in the legal system, the non sequitur, "judicial independence" notwithstanding.

Sunday, June 24, 2007 1:10:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Thanks, Lee, I especially appreciate your excellent comment because I don't get a lot of supporting comments on this blog.

Sunday, June 24, 2007 4:58:00 AM  

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