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.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Judgment Day is coming on Nov. 13

The Darwinist websites have a lot of ballyhoo about the upcoming PBS NOVA TV special about the Kitmiller v. Dover trial, Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial. For the following and other reasons, I can't understand why the Darwinists don't want to just forget about the Dover trial:
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(1) Judge Jones copied the opinion's ID-as-science section virtually entirely from the plaintiffs' opening post-trial brief while ignoring the defendants' opening post-trial brief and the plaintiffs' and defendants' answering post-trial briefs.

(2) Regardless of whether or not intelligent design is religion, Judge Jones showed extreme prejudice against the defendants by saying in a Dickinson College commencement speech that his decision was based on his notion that the Founders believed that organized religions are not "true" religions.

(3) Jones denied the intervention motion of the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, the publisher of the book "Of Pandas and People," then thoroughly trashed the book in his written opinion. FTE was prompt in moving to intervene as soon as subpoenas that it received made it clear that the plaintiffs would seek to make the book a major issue in the case.

(4) Several articles in scholarly law journals are critical of the Dover opinion, particularly Judge Jones' decision to rule on the scientific merits of intelligent design and irreducible complexity.

(5) The opinion has little or no precedential value because it is just the unreviewed opinion of a single federal district court judge.

These and other criticisms of Judge Jones and the Dover decision are discussed in posts here under post labels titled Judge Jones, Kitzmiller v. Dover, Expert opinions about Kitzmiller, and Monkey Girl. My very first post on this blog consists of criticisms of the Dover decision.

The case has gotten far more attention than it deserves.

The show's website also has the Dover science teachers' formal statement of refusal to read the board's ID statement to their classes. By so refusing, these teachers reneged on their prior agreement to use "Of Pandas and People" as a "reference text" (not a "companion text") in exchange for the board's acceptance of a heavily pro-Darwinist biology textbook. The website fails to mention that the teachers had made such an agreement.

I previously reported that the Discovery Institute's staff "stonewalled" requests to be interviewed for the program. The program's producer Paula Apsell said in answer to a question,

Q: Of the three expert witnesses who testified on behalf of Dover—Michael Behe, Scott Minich, and Steve Fuller—only Steve Fuller appears in the program. Why did you not interview the other two, who are among the country's leading proponents of ID?

Apsell: Michael Behe and Scott Minich, as well as other proponents of ID, were invited to participate in the program. . . . However, Michael Behe, Scott Minich, and other ID proponents affiliated with the Discovery Institute declined to be interviewed under the normal journalistic conditions that NOVA uses for all programs.

However, Phillip Johnson, co-founder and program advisor of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, was interviewed for the program, and a transcript of the interview is here. The interview was fairly long, but Johnson's only statement that specifically criticized the Dover opinion is the following:

As for the judge and the opinion, the problem is that the judge didn't just decide the local case in front of him. He decided that he wanted to become a national figure by deciding the whole question of evolution and creation for the country in one opinion. So he wrote an opinion as big and broad as a starry sky, saying that the notion of intelligence, that one of these two hypotheses, was not eligible for consideration because it was religion and hence by definition not science. So any attempt in that direction was unconstitutional. He is being rewarded for that opinion with all the accolades that the mandarins of science have at their disposal.

The interview was fairly long, and so I have no idea whether the above statement is going to included in the show. The show is, after all, about the Dover trial and hence should include a lot of discussion about the legal issues in the case, but it is now evident that the show will not.

Go here to request email reminders of show times.
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9 Comments:

Anonymous Jonathan Edwards said...

< Judgment Day is coming on Nov. 13 >

You sound more and more like me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 1:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Hector said...

> I can't understand why the Darwinists don't want to just forget about the Dover trial:<

You rarely can understand anything. Look at it this way: The anti-Darwin whackos lost.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 8:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would seem that the anti-darwinists of all people would want to forget this latest account of their defeat... Not only was intelligent design barred from the school's science curriculum, all 8 pro-ID members of the Dover school board subsequently lost their jobs to opponents during the Nov. election, even before the ruling was finalized.

Oh wait, since you yourself are one of these anti-darwinists, Larry, it fits perfectly that you would want others to forget about this.

Unless of course, you are playing this from a "December 20, 2005 nevar forget!" angle, am I right?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 5:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Amnesiac said...

< December 20, 2005 never forget! >

Sorry, I forgot!

???

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 6:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Amnesiac said...

What was it we were supposed to not forget?

Thursday, November 08, 2007 4:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, thinking back to it, the anti-darwinists would do well to remember this ruling as a lesson against allowing their own religious fanaticism to go out of control. When you start stepping on other peoples' constitutional rights due to the arrogance of your own religious convictions, a legal smackdown is warranted.

School districts should realize that they can get sued for millions and have key members removed from power if they ever try to re-introduce that creationism and ID nonsense into the biological sciences. Keep the religion in the churches and out of state funded schools. What part of separation of church and state is so hard to understand?

Friday, November 09, 2007 9:38:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Not only was intelligent design barred from the school's science curriculum, all 8 pro-ID members of the Dover school board subsequently lost their jobs to opponents during the Nov. election, even before the ruling was finalized. <<<<<<

The elections were close and voter concern about the cost of the lawsuit was considered to be a major factor.

>>>>>> Actually, thinking back to it, the anti-darwinists would do well to remember this ruling as a lesson against allowing their own religious fanaticism to go out of control. <<<<<<<

The "fundies" have learned how to lawsuit-proof policies of criticizing Darwinism in the public schools. The term is now "teach the controversy" instead of "creation science" and "intelligent design." Teaching criticism of Darwinism is now done in the name of teaching more about Darwinism.

The Dover trial was a Pyrrhic victory for the Darwinists. They got $1 million in attorney fees and a decision that is not worth the paper that it is printed on. The Darwinists know that more of these "victories" would increase public support for the bills that would bar attorney fee awards to plaintiffs in establishment clause cases.

Why would I want to forget the Kitzmiller case? Bashing Judge Jones has become my favorite hobby.

Friday, November 09, 2007 1:23:00 PM  
Anonymous n. b. forrest said...

> The elections were close and voter concern about the cost of the lawsuit was considered to be a major factor. <

Good.

> Teaching criticism of Darwinism is now done in the name of teaching more about Darwinism. <

It should be included in history classes along with the Salem witch trials as an example of how stupid some of the public can be.

> The Dover trial was a Pyrrhic victory for the Darwinists. They got $1 million in attorney fees and a decision that is not worth the paper that it is printed on. <

It seems like the decision is quite effective.

> The Darwinists know that more of these "victories" would increase public support for the bills that would bar attorney fee awards to plaintiffs in establishment clause cases. <

I doubt it. It is more likely to open the eyes of the public to the waste of taxpayers money by fundie school boards.

> Bashing Judge Jones has become my favorite hobby. <

But it only serves to discredit you and make your blog more crappy.

Friday, November 09, 2007 3:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

<<<<
The Dover trial was a Pyrrhic victory for the Darwinists. They got $1 million in attorney fees and a decision that is not worth the paper that it is printed on.
>>>>

And just how was this victory a costly one for the Darwinists? The precedent for multi-million dollar settlements in the event that fundies try to sneak their religious nonsense into science courses is also a very effective deterrent to most of our already underfunded school districts.

>>>>
The "fundies" have learned how to lawsuit-proof policies of criticizing Darwinism in the public schools. The term is now "teach the controversy" instead of "creation science" and "intelligent design."
<<<<

The deceptive "Teaching the controversy" strategy that the fundies have now resorted to also does not offer any legal protection. On page 89 and 132 of Jone's ruling in the Dover case, it was established that the motives for teaching the controversy still amounted to a veiled attempt at promoting religion in public classrooms and thus violated the establishment clause. In this case, the motives behind this purportedly secular theory also causes it to be subjected to legal actions.

Tying with this, the one thing the fundies can't hide are their motives, due to their overpowering selfishness, arrogance, and self-righteousness from thinking that their own beliefs and agendas are more important than others. Given just how much background info one can dig up on people these days, buzzwords such as creationism, intelligent design, and controversy are poison to anyone with a career in education.

The last part with the controversy does have some detrimental effects to evolution theory. As so lovingly harped by fundies everywhere, evolution is still a theory, and as such, research continues to this very day. New data obtained through scientific research that radically challenge certain aspects of contemporary evolution theory may have greater difficulty being accepted due to it perceived as being an attack by the religious right. This paranoia may lead to a stagnation of sorts in evolutionary sciences as a whole as some scientists become afraid of certain implications that their research might lead to. A small victory for the fundies bent on destroying evolution, I may say, before the world comes to the conclusion that religion is a major source of violence and unrest and decides to eliminate it altogether. It would be both a beautiful and terrifying sight if and when this happens hehehehe....

Friday, November 09, 2007 4:52:00 PM  

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