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, November 11, 2007

Bias of PBS NOVA TV program "Judgment Day"

I can see the heavy pro-Darwinist bias of the PBS NOVA TV program "Judgment Day" even before watching the program. A section titled "Resources" (pages 19-20) in a "Briefing Packet for Educators" that was prepared to accompany the TV show lists 14 pro-Darwinist books but only one anti-Darwinist book (listed under "Intelligent Design," ignoring non-ID criticisms of Darwinism): Michael Behe's old 1996 Darwin's Black Box. Some other anti-Darwinist books that could have been listed are Icons of Evolution, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, No Free Lunch, Traipsing into Evolution, and Behe's recent The Edge of Evolution. The list of websites is also unbalanced -- there are 13 pro-Darwinist websites but only two anti-Darwinist websites. Also, it appears that none of the websites listed are blogs that accept comments from visitors -- e.g., Panda's Thumb, Uncommon Descent, and Pharyngula, which are all popular blogs. These three blogs all practice arbitrary censorship, but I would not mind seeing them listed in the briefing packet if that fact were noted (for one thing, noting that fact would put pressure on them to clean up their acts).

There are many other signs of bias in the briefing packet, but one of the most glaring signs is the one-sidedness of the list of resources.

Also, the title of the TV program and the briefing packet, "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial," reflects the "contrived dualism" notion that there are only two possibilities: Darwinism and Intelligent Design. As I have pointed out many times, there are also significant non-ID criticisms of Darwinism.

Reminder: "Judgment Day" airs on Nov. 13, only two days away. Check local listings for times.

22 Comments:

Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

>>>Also, the title of the TV program and the briefing packet, "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial," reflects the "contrived dualism" notion that there are only two possibilities: Darwinism and Intelligent Design. As I have pointed out many times, there are also significant non-ID criticisms of Darwinism.<<<

Larry's definition of contrived dualism: if it mentions ID, it must be contrived dualism, even if it also mentions creationism, teach the controversy, and alternate theories to evolution. I must therefore conclude that Larry accepts the proposition that creationism, teach the controversy, and all alternate theories are in fact ID.

What Larry is really saying: "Wah! Nobody is talking about these three criticisms that were abandoned by the biblical and/or scientific creationists 25 years ago!"

Monday, November 12, 2007 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

It is interesting to follow the workings of Larry's warped mind. He makes statements that he believes stand by themselves because they are quite obvious to the insane. Unfortunately, these connections are not visible to the sane.

He gave the story of the "best butter" from Alice in Wonderland but he failed to realize that he was acting as the March Hare.

Monday, November 12, 2007 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in Suburbanness said...

Kevin said:
"I must therefore conclude that Larry accepts the proposition that creationism, teach the controversy, and all alternate theories are in fact ID."

What they all have in common is a bald assertion that the origin of intelligence in the universe is unknowable, to be taken for granted, and not worth investigating. This is why they are claimed to be "science". ;-)

Monday, November 12, 2007 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill Carter said...

Thanks Larry for calling our attention to this excellent program.

I don't think that excluding Behe's material was that bad but how dare they not mention your website!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 7:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The program showed the actual people involved. The supporters of creationism, actual school board members, appeared to be idiots. Just like Larry.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 9:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> I don't think that excluding Behe's material was that bad <

It appears that Behe asked not to be included.

After watching the program I can easily believe that the school board members descended from apes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 9:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To avoid the most common misconceptions about evolution exhibited by the fundies, we shouldn't say that they descended directly from apes, but that they are more closely related to the ape/human common ancestor than the rest of humanity.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 9:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

The program was quite informative. Since my interest in this blog is only to study mental deterioration with Larry providing a living Guinea pig, I was unaware of some of the aspects of the Dover case.

Despite Larry's bleatings, the main reason for voting against most of the previous board members was anger over their lies.

The attorney general was quite charitable in not prosecuting the two school board members who committed perjury.

No reasonable judge could have ruled in favor of the school board. It was definitely proved that ID was creationism and that it was religion, not science.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry has gone into hiding.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

I don't post anything for just a few hours and this piece of crap says that I've "gone into hiding."

The blogger on Red State Rabble said,

After posting daily for more than two-and-a-half years, RSR will now be updated on a more periodic basis due to the press of personal and professional commitments.

He hasn't posted anything since that statement was posted on August 13.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoosh. Over Larry's head again.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Alt-Anonymous said...

< they are more closely related to the ape/human common ancestor than the rest of humanity. >

Um, this is quite ambiguous.

It could mean "than they are to the rest of humanity" or "than the rest of humanity are."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 2:47:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Oh boo hoo hoo.
The cowards Dembski had a chance to show up and state their case. Even if they had lost, they would have preserved their manhood.

As it stands, Dembski is castrated.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 3:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>>>
The attorney general was quite charitable in not prosecuting the two school board members who committed perjury.
<<<<<<

We seem to see this sort of hypocritical behavior a lot when it comes to the fundies attacking evolution. There is almost never a direct challenge to the accuracy of the data and methodology of the research that it was acquired from since applying the same challenge to biblical "evidence" brings up a whole mess of contradictions and explanations limited by the perceptions of that time. The self-proclaimed moral crusaders of today resort to lies, deception, and sometimes even violence to force their supposedly morally upstanding religious beliefs on those who may or may not want to hear it.

>>>>>
The cowards Dembski had a chance to show up and state their case. Even if they had lost, they would have preserved their manhood.
<<<<<

Like most religious fanatics, zealots like Dembksi only debate in settings where their usual strategy of deceptions and lies have a chance at working. Dembski himself has already been discredited/disgraced a number of times due to his misrepresentation of scientific facts and sources, lack of peer-reviewed ID-related papers for someone who insists that ID is a valid scientific theory, and his (repeated) fundie antics at Baylor University.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 5:54:00 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

The best science was the segment on the motorized flagellum.

The best comedy was the bit at the end when Buckingham projected his own clownhood onto Judge Jones.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 6:07:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

ViU driveled,
>>>>>> Despite Larry's bleatings, the main reason for voting against most of the previous board members was anger over their lies. <<<<<<

Despite your bleatings, a lot of voters were not angry over the board members' lies -- the election was quite close.

>>>>>> No reasonable judge could have ruled in favor of the school board. <<<<<<

I once thought that too, but I have since reconsidered.

Judge Jones was not required to use the "Lemon test" (even the Supreme Court has on occasion not used this test) and hence did not need to consider the religious motivations of the school board members to be a deciding factor. He could have used the "endorsement test," which prohibits both government endorsement and disapproval of religion (I am not conceding that ID is strictly a religious concept). Only Darwinism was actually being taught. The endorsement test also has the concept of "political insiders" and "political outsiders." I go into a longer explanation in this long comment on the Reasonable Kansans blog.

Also, another decision against an evolution disclaimer, Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish, came close to being overturned. Were the judges and justices who objected to that decision not reasonable?

There was yet another possibility -- Judge Jones could have asked the Dover school board to modify the ID statement, e.g., by removing the term "intelligent design," which implies the existence of an intelligent designer.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 6:22:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Andrew said...
>>>>> The cowards Dembski had a chance to show up and state their case. <<<<<

The story I heard was that Dembski quit because the TMLC lawyers refused to let his own attorney be present at depositions.

Moulton said...

>>>>> The best science was the segment on the motorized flagellum. <<<<<<

You can't show that a system is not irreducibly complex just by showing a similar irreducibly complex system.

Darwinism is obviously not going to be proven in a two-hour TV program. The time would have been better spent concentrating on the legal issues.

>>>>> The best comedy was the bit at the end when Buckingham projected his own clownhood onto Judge Jones. <<<<<

I have called Judge Jones a "jackass" myself.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 6:39:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

>>>Judge Jones was not required to use the "Lemon test" (even the Supreme Court has on occasion not used this test) and hence did not need to consider the religious motivations of the school board members to be a deciding factor. He could have used the "endorsement test," which prohibits both government endorsement and disapproval of religion (I am not conceding that ID is strictly a religious concept).<<<

Unfortunately for Larry's argument, 3rd Circuit Court precedent requires the Lemon test to be used. Fortunately for Larry's argument, the same precedent requires that the endorsement test be evaluated first. Specifically, the endorsement test is favored in the 3rd Circuit, while the Lemon test is disfavored but to be used in case a higher court of appeal decides it is the proper test. As noted, the endorsement test does not consider the motivations of the board members. In fact, I pointed all of this out to Larry over a year ago - Larry vehemently denied it at the time, particularly the point about motivation.

But the real problem Larry faces is that the centerpiece of the decision, the section on whether ID is science, was part of the endorsement test.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Kevin Vicklund said,
>>>>>> Unfortunately for Larry's argument, 3rd Circuit Court precedent requires the Lemon test to be used. <<<<<

Wrong. Supreme Court precedent has priority over circuit appeals court precedent. If the Supreme Court says or shows that the Lemon test is not absolutely required, then the Lemon test is not absolutely required. An appeals court cannot automatically reject a district court decision solely on the basis that the Lemon test was not used, because rejection on such a basis would be contrary to the Supreme Court's principle that the Lemon test is not an absolute requirement.

>>>>>> Specifically, the endorsement test is favored in the 3rd Circuit, while the Lemon test is disfavored but to be used in case a higher court of appeal decides it is the proper test. <<<<<<

You just told me that the Lemon test is required in the 3rd circuit and now you are telling me it is disfavored there. And it would not be reasonable to allow a appeals court to decide it is the proper test if a district court cannot make that decision -- that would mean that all cases in which it is the proper test would be reversed or remanded on appeal.

>>>> As noted, the endorsement test does not consider the motivations of the board members. <<<<<

In the endorsement test, the motivations of public officials can be considered in helping determine whether there is a government endorsement or disapproval of religion and in deciding the question of political "insiders" and "outsiders," but those motivations are not the deciding factor as in the purpose prong of the Lemon test. For example, because of the obvious religious motivations of some Dover school board members, the ID policy did appear to be an endorsement of religion, but I assert that since only Darwinism was actually being taught, this endorsement was not so great as to make atheists political outsiders and fundies political insiders.

>>>>> But the real problem Larry faces is that the centerpiece of the decision, the section on whether ID is science, was part of the endorsement test. <<<<<<

It doesn't matter whether or not the ID-as-science section was part of the endorsement test -- the ID-as-science section was not necessary because Judge Jones had already ruled against the defendants on the basis of the purpose prong of the Lemon test. Writing the ID-as-science section was an act of judicial activism.

I discuss the endorsement test in this long comment on the Reasonable Kansans blog, as I previously pointed out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007 2:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As it stands, Dembski is castrated.

Exactly what one would expect from Dembski, the Max Bialystock of pseudoscience.

Thursday, November 15, 2007 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like most religious fanatics, zealots like Dembksi only debate in settings where their usual strategy of deceptions and lies have a chance at working.

Exactly why Dembski recently was handed his ass by a bunch of undergradates in Oklahoma.

Thursday, November 15, 2007 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Despite your bleatings, a lot of voters were not angry over the board members' lies -- the election was quite close. <

Irrelevant. I was talking about those who voted on the winning side.

> I once thought that too, but I have since reconsidered. <

About a decade ago you bordered on sanity. That is no longer the case.

Thursday, November 15, 2007 11:51:00 AM  

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