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.

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.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Montana Law Review on Kitzmiller v. Dover

The Montana Law Review has three new articles on the Kitzmiller v. Dover case:

Intelligent Design will survive Kitzmiller v. Dover, by Discovery Institute fellows and staffers David K. DeWolf, John G. West, and Casey Luskin

Disaster in Dover: The trials (and tribulations) of Intelligent Design, by Peter Irons

Rebuttal to Irons, by the above Discovery Institute fellows and staffers

(I am also expecting a rebuttal from Irons to be posted on Ed Brayton's blog. I will later add to this post a link to that rebuttal)

Here it is:

Irons responds to West, Luskin, and DeWolf

Ed Brayton's blog has an article about these law review articles. Ed's article mainly concerns Peter Irons' charge that the Discovery Institute made ad hominem attacks against Judge Jones. However, some of these "ad hominem attacks" were just responses to issues and claims that were raised by Jones' supporters, e.g., the claim that Jones is not an "activist judge" (a claim that Jones himself made in his written opinion) and the fact that Jones is a Bush-appointed churchgoing Republican conservative. And some of these attacks -- e.g., that Jones had "delusions of grandeur" and was trying to secure "his place in judicial history" -- were not really ad hominem attacks at all because they did not attack Jones for anything that he said or did outside of the Kitzmiller case. Peter Irons' law review article said (as quoted by Ed):
Judge Jones issued his Kitzmiller opinion on December 20, 2005. The ink was hardly dry before one of the DI authors, John West, responded on the Institute's Web site under the heading "Dover in Review." West fired a barrage of ad hominem volleys at Judge Jones, accusing him of having "delusions of grandeur" and of being "an incredibly sloppy judge who selects the facts to fit the result he wants." Judge Jones viewed the Kitzmiller case, West alleged, as "his chance to play philosopher king" and to secure "his place in judicial history." West disputed the media's portrayal of the judge, who was named to the federal bench in 2002 by President George W. Bush, and who attended Lutheran services, "as a conservative Republican who is devoutly religious."

It is true that the Discovery Institute did make some genuine ad hominem attacks against Jones, but those attacks don't invalidate the DI's legitimate criticisms of Jones.

Of course, I cannot post these comments on Fatheaded Ed's blog because I am banned there. I cannot even use a false name because Ed will censor the comments if they look like they came from me.



Anonymous peter irons said...


If you want to actually read my article (which you obviously haven't), it's easily available at the Montana Law Review web site; click under "current issue." Then maybe you'd have something relevant to say, or maybe not.

Friday, June 08, 2007 2:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

You are asking too much. Larry rarely actually reads the articles on which he comments.

Friday, June 08, 2007 6:20:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Peter Irons said,
>>>>> Larry,

If you want to actually read my article (which you obviously haven't), it's easily available at the Montana Law Review web site; click under "current issue." Then maybe you'd have something relevant to say, or maybe not. <<<<<<<

I hope that the nasty comment that was posted under your name under my "Summary of my views on Kitzmiller v. Dover" article was posted by an impersonator -- I can't believe that you would post a comment like that here.

There is no way to tell from my article here whether or not I read your article. By coincidence, you are right: I did not read your whole article -- I only skimmed most of it. The reason for that is that it was a fairly long article and a lot of it discussed a subject that is not of primary importance to me: the questions of whether ID is scientific and whether ID is religious. I feel that evolution disclaimers pass the endorsement test regardless of the answer to those questions. Here is what I said in my "Summary of my views on Kitzmiller v. Dover" article:

After reading an untold number of opinions about evolution disclaimers, I have concluded that evolution disclaimers are constitutional unless they are extreme in attacking Darwinism. For one thing, evolution disclaimers don't actually teach criticisms of evolution. Also, evolution disclaimers reduce offense to those who for various reasons -- both religious and non-religious -- are opposed to the one-sided teaching of Darwinism. In the words of the "endorsement test," these evolution disclaimers help make these people feel less like "political outsiders." The endorsement test and its application to evolution disclaimers are discussed in this article in this blog. IMO the "Lemon test" should be ignored here (this test is often ignored).

IMO the level of establishment-clause scrutiny for evolution disclaimers should be quite low because they do not actually teach evolution. Two decisions against evolution disclaimers, Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish and Selman v. Cobb County, actually came close to being reversed. Freiler came within single votes of being granted an en banc appeals court rehearing and certiorari by the Supreme Court, and the appeals court judges in Selman indicated in an oral hearing that they were leaning towards reversal but they then vacated and remanded the decision and the case was finally settled out of court.

Also, I was disturbed by the following statement in your article --

First, the DI authors complain that Judge Jones ignored the arguments presented to him in the amicus curiae briefs submitted by the DI and the Foundation for Thought and Ethics. "There is no evidence from the text of Judge Jones's opinion," they assert, "that he ever considered the arguments made in either brief." Not true. Judge Jones wrote that he had "taken under consideration" these briefs. That he did not quote from them in his opinion does not mean that he had not "considered" them, but rather suggests that he found their arguments unpersuasive or duplicative of trial testimony and exhibits.(page 81 of Montana Law Review, page 23 of pdf file).

Not only did Jones ignore the amicus briefs, but the ID-as-science section of the Dover opinion ignored three of the four principal post-trial briefs -- this section was virtually entirely copied from the plaintiffs' opening post-trial brief. The only way that a judge can show that he actually read something is by quoting or citing it. This is a particularly sensitive issue with me because a federal judge dismissed my smog impact fee case without an opinion or an oral hearing, even though I raised some strong arguments (one of my arguments was confirmed by an expert witness who testified in state court).

Voice in the Wilderness said...
>>>>>>You are asking too much. Larry rarely actually reads the articles on which he comments. <<<<<

As usual, ViW has to throw in his worthless 2 cents before I have a chance to respond. We all know what you think, ViW, but asking you to stop cluttering up this blog with your drivel is of course "asking too much."

Friday, June 08, 2007 8:02:00 PM  

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