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.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Summary of my views on Kitzmiller v. Dover

Originally this post was part of the preceding post on the Montana Law Review articles but I then decided that the contents of this post should be in a separate post.
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(1) IMO all of these debates over the Kitzmiller decision are a tempest in a teapot because (1) the decision is not binding precedent outside of the Dover Area school district and (2) it is such a lousy decision that it is not likely to be taken seriously even as nonbinding precedent. Actually, sometimes this kind of precedent is not even called "precedent," but is just called res judicata and collateral estoppel instead. Public interest in the case has waned -- the touted book "Monkey Girl," which is mainly about the case, has drawn only 29 Amazon.com customer reviews in over four months (Richard Dawkins' "God Delusion" has around 800 Amazon.com customer reviews). Discussing or debating this decision makes me feel like I am kicking a dead horse.

(2) Judge Jones did not have to rule on the scientific merits of intelligent design and irreducible complexity, and judges should try to avoid ruling on scientific questions where possible. When Darwinist Jay Wexler says that Jones should not have ruled on the ID-as-science question, Fatheaded Ed Brayton calls it "reasonable criticism"; when critics of Darwinism say the same thing, Ed calls it "batshit wingnuttery."

(3) In contradiction of Edwards v. Aguillard, Jones held a "Monday morning" battle of expert witnesses who did not participate in the enactment of the ID policy and whose testimony therefore could not illuminate the motives of the school board members.

(4) What is often regarded as the centerpiece of the Kitzmiller opinion, the touted ID-as-science section, was virtually entirely ghostwritten by the ACLU. Jones virtually copied this entire section from the plaintiffs' opening post-trial brief while ignoring the defendants' opening post-trial brief and the plaintiffs' and defendants' answering post-trial briefs. There is no evidence that Jones did any independent thinking here. There is no evidence that he even read any post-trial brief other than the one he copied from.

(5) The Kitzmiller opinion thoroughly trashed the book "Of Pandas and People" after Jones denied the book's publisher, the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, an opportunity to defend the book as an intervenor in the case (Jones only permitted FTE to file an amicus brief). Allowing FTE to intervene would not have significantly lengthened the trial because (1) the book had already become central to the case and (2) FTE apparently did not want to bring in new expert witnesses.

(6) Presumptuously telling people what their religious beliefs are supposed to be, Judge Jones said in the Kitzmiller opinion,

Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs' scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.

(7) Abusing his position as a judge, Jones defamed the defendants by accusing them of "breathtaking inanity" and saying, "The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources."

(8) Protesting too much, he asserted in the opinion that he is not an "activist judge."

(9) In a commencement speech at Dickinson College, Jones said that organized religions are not "true" religions.

(10) Jones has tried to discredit legitimate criticism of the decision by accusing the critics of being opposed to judicial independence and "the rule of law."

These are just the worst things that Jones has done -- there are also a lot of smaller misdeeds that he has committed. Judge Jones has his own post labels listed in the sidebar of this blog.

The three big recent court cases concerning evolution education in the public schools -- Kitzmiller v. Dover, Selman v. Cobb County, and Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish -- all concerned evolution disclaimers, which are oral or written statements saying that Darwinism is questionable. 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).
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3 Comments:

Anonymous peter irons said...

Laryy, the reason you have zero comments on this and your latest Kitzmiller post is that you have zero readers who give a rat's ass what you say.

Thursday, June 07, 2007 1:20:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Ironic Peter Irons driveled,

>>>>> Laryy, the reason you have zero comments on this and your latest Kitzmiller post is that you have zero readers who give a rat's ass what you say. <<<<<<

You lousy dunghill, then why did you ask me to write a review of that Newman article from the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion? And I even had the courtesy to invite you to write a guest article about the Newman article.

If that is what you think of this blog, then why do you bother to read it and post comments on it?

And why am I banned on Panda's Thumb and the personal blogs of Fatheaded Ed Brayton, Sleazy PZ Myers, and Wesley "Ding" Elsberry? Why is it that the Law Blog Metrics bloggers announced a law blog that virtually entirely consists of nothing but copies of news articles about cruise ship law but refused to announce this blog as a source concerning evolution education law, even though I have about 150 articles -- many of them well researched -- on the subject? They are all afraid of me, that's why!

And are people also not interested in the numerous legal authorities that I cite?

And why do you think people are interested in what you have to say? And if you think my arguments are so bad, then why can't you rebut them?

Anyway, has it ever occurred to you, dunghill, that many readers might not comment because they agree with me? Or that considering the low traffic level I get on this blog and the fact that I posted these articles just a few hours ago, it might be a little too early to expect to see any comments?

Thursday, June 07, 2007 3:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> And why am I banned on Panda's Thumb and the personal blogs of Fatheaded Ed Brayton, Sleazy PZ Myers, and Wesley "Ding" Elsberry?<

We have tried to explain but you are too thick to understand.

> Why ... but refused to announce this blog as a source concerning evolution education law <

You can hardly expect to be cited if your vocabulary consists mostly of "You lousy " dunghill", "Fatheaded", "Sleazy", etc., you pathetic moonbat.

> And are people also not interested in the numerous legal authorities that I cite? <

No. Because the authorities are often cited inappropriately and your interpretations of what they say are nutty at best.

> And if you think my arguments are so bad, then why can't you rebut them? <

Your arguments are constantly rebutted but due to perceptual problems on your part, you can't read them.

> Anyway, has it ever occurred to you, dunghill, that many readers might not comment because they agree with me? <

That can hardly be the case.

> 150 articles -- many of them well researched <

Your research is useless. You have shown that you have no understanding of what you read.

> They are all afraid of me, that's why! <

I don't think you can find a single person on this planet who is afraid of you. Nobody takes you seriously. You are a good joke however.

> low level of traffic <

What do you mean? I check in many times a day.

Thursday, June 07, 2007 6:23:00 PM  

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