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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

PBS NOVA's TV show "Judgment Day"

I have posted literally dozens of articles about the Kitzmiller case and Judge Jones (see the sidebar) and of course space does not permit me to review them all here. Nothing in the TV program affects any of my previous comments about Jones and the decision. However, I will make a few comments here about the program.

It was obvious that Darwinism was not going to be proven in a two-hour TV program. IMO the program should have concentrated on the legal issues rather than the scientific issues.

In some ways, the show was better balanced than I had hoped. I didn't see any quote mining and the program was candid in presenting the opposing views. The show of course did not go into a lot of criticisms of Judge Jones and the decision.

Actually, I think that the fundies came across quite well in the program. Here is this theory that is riddled with flaws and gaps and the judge said that the Dover teachers could not be required to criticize it at all for any reason, not even in a one-minute statement. The Kitzmiller opinion said,
.
To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID. (emphasis added)

However, the prohibition of "requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution" was not, for some unknown reason, included in the final order.

So here Judge Jones was also passing judgment on non-ID criticisms of evolution that he had not even reviewed.

Here are some specific comments about the program:

(1) My favorite part was where defendant Bill Buckingham called Judge Jones a "jackass."

(2) Of course, there was the "contrived dualism" where there is assumed to be only two possibilities, Darwinism and ID.

(3) Judge Jones broke his pledge to not publicly comment specifically about the case. I thought that his role in the program would be just to read excerpts from his written opinion.

(4) The TV show -- to its credit -- noted that the school board election was close, but did not note that the voter concern about the cost of the trial was considered to be a significant factor.

(5) It was not noted that the ruling on the scientific merits of ID was not necessary. Indeed, several articles in scholarly law journals criticized Jones for ruling on the scientific merits of ID.

(6) The show should not have criticized Michael Behe and others for declining to be interviewed. I would also criticize the movie "Expelled" for criticizing complaints from interviewees about not being informed about the purpose of the movie.

(7) The movie gave the Discovery Institute some free publicity, including publicity for the DI's book about the case, "Traipsing into Evolution"

(8) In the TV program, Judge Jones conceded that his Kitzmiller decision is not going to end the controversy. In his Kitzmiller opinion, he wrote, "Finally, we will offer our conclusion on whether ID is science not just because it is essential to our holding that an Establishment Clause violation has occurred in this case, but also in the hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question which is before us."

I originally thought that Judge Jones had no choice but to rule against the defendants but I now feel that a ruling in favor of the defendants could have been justified under the "endorsement test." Details are in this long comment on the Reasonable Kansans blog.
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Labels: ,

22 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the elephant in the corner:

Dembski didn't show up.

After all his talk, he left Behe in the lurch.

If he had shown up, at least he would have preserved his manhood even if he had lost...as it is, he is castrated.

Oh, I know he had his reasons.

A coward always has reasons.

Thursday, November 15, 2007 2:52:00 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

The religious fundamentalists didn't have a chromosome to stand on.

There are legitimate criticisms of Darwin's model, but they come from the scientific technicians, not from the religious fundamentalists.

The scientific technicians had little choice but to distance themselves from the clownish machinations of the religious fundamentalists.

Thursday, November 15, 2007 6:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> My favorite part was where defendant Bill Buckingham called Judge Jones a "jackass." <

As a jackass yourself I am not surprised.

> Of course, there was the "contrived dualism" where there is assumed to be only two possibilities, Darwinism and ID. <

As far as this case, they are all that counts.

> The TV show -- to its credit -- noted that the school board election was close, but did not note that the voter concern about the cost of the trial was considered to be a significant factor. <

Perhaps because it wasn't. The main factor seemed to be anger over the lies and hidden agenda of several of the board members.

> The show should not have criticized Michael Behe and others for declining to be interviewed. <

You take telling the truth to be criticism.

Thursday, November 15, 2007 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...
>>>>> Here's the elephant in the corner:

Dembski didn't show up. <<<<<<

Well, I wouldn't go so far as to call that an "elephant."

I don't see any faults in William Dembski except for his occasional arbitrary censorship of comments on the UncommonDescent blog (I think that many of the comments he censors are bad comments, but of course I don't think that excuses arbitrary censorship). He is a fairly prolific and popular author (e.g., No Free Lunch, The Design Inference), is credited with developing the concept of "specified complexity," and IMO writes good articles on the UncommonDescent blog.

I believe that the reason for his withdrawal from the Dover case was that the defense counsel, the Thomas More Law Center, would not let him have his own attorney present during depositions. For the following reasons, I just don't trust the TMLC :

(1) The TMLC inexplicably opposed the intervention motion of the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, the publisher of "Of Pandas and People." For the following reasons, intervention by FTE would not have significantly delayed the trial:

-- The book had already become central to the case.

-- The start of the trial was about three months away.

-- Apparently FTE did not want to bring in new expert witnesses but just wanted to bring Dembski back.

Also, FTE was prompt in moving for intervention after receiving subpoenas which made it clear that the plaintiffs would try to make the book a central issue in the case.

(2) Though the TMLC's lead attorney in the case, Richard Thompson, appeared in the PBS NOVA show, the TMLC website has posted nothing about the Kitzmiller case since the day after the decision was released.

(3) At the last meeting of the old lame duck school board, Thompson opposed the idea of attempting to avoid the attorney fees by repealing the ID policy immediately. He wanted to appeal the case if the board lost, but he knew it was unlikely that the anti-ID new board members would vote to appeal.

Thursday, November 15, 2007 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> I don't see any faults in William Dembski except for his occasional arbitrary censorship of comments on the UncommonDescent blog <

How can you consider that a fault if you practice it yourself?

> the TMLC website has posted nothing about the Kitzmiller case since the day after the decision was released. <

Few lawyers advertize their losses.

Thursday, November 15, 2007 1:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Joe Blow said...

ViU driveled,
>>>>>> the TMLC website has posted nothing about the Kitzmiller case since the day after the decision was released. <

Few lawyers advertize their losses. <<<<<<

You stupid ninny, do you think that the Dover case needed advertising?

Friday, November 16, 2007 8:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> You stupid ninny, do you think that the Dover case needed advertising? <

You pathetic asshole. The point was whether the TMLC website posted anything. You in your Larry version of sockpuppet had brought up the issue. Now you are saying it was unimportant.

Friday, November 16, 2007 10:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buckingham came off as a real thug for basically shoving the ID material into the curriculum despite the first board ruling denying his request.

People like him burned heretics and enslaved natives during the dark ages...

Saturday, November 17, 2007 1:39:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> Buckingham came off as a real thug for basically shoving the ID material into the curriculum despite the first board ruling denying his request. <<<<<<

You are really sick, Anonymous -- calling Buckingham a "thug" merely for being persistent.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 3:35:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Urbanness driveled,

>>>>> You stupid ninny, do you think that the Dover case needed advertising? <

Now you are saying it was unimportant. <<<<<<

You stupid fathead, what I obviously meant was that the Dover case is so well known that it did not need advertising.

What the TMLC needed to advertise was that the decision is wrong.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 3:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> You are really sick, Anonymous -- calling Buckingham a "thug" merely for being persistent. <

He was calling Buckingham a "thug" for acting like one. Besides, you are the one who always resorts to insults you pathetic cretin.

>>>>> You stupid ninny, do you think that the Dover case needed advertising? <

Now you are saying it was unimportant. <<<<<<

> what I obviously meant <

So you admit to sockpuppetry?
You have been caught.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 6:52:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> So you admit to sockpuppetry? <<<<<

The right term is "Charlie McCarthyism."

OK, dunghill, I slipped up. I admit I am Joe Blow. The only reason I started posting under that name was that I didn't want to be accused of breaking my pledge to not answer or read any more of your crap. Now maybe you could tell us who you really are.

Your claim that I lose by default whenever I don't answer your incredibly stupid arguments -- like your last one -- is a load of crap. Your statement that the reason why the TMLC website has been silent about the Kitzmiller case is that "few lawyers advertize their losses" is as dumb a statement as I have ever heard. Was it supposed to be funny? If so, I missed the point.

A reminder of what I said in the heading of this blog:
My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> The right term is "Charlie McCarthyism." <

Another term for the same thing. Something that you are known for and one of the main reasons that you were banned for cause from a great number of blogs.

> I admit I am Joe Blow. <

It was obvious.

> The only reason I started posting under that name was that I didn't want to be accused of breaking my pledge to not answer or read any more of your crap. <

So you also admit to hypocrisy!

> Now maybe you could tell us who you really are. <

I am Shemp Fafarman.

> Your claim that I lose by default whenever I don't answer your incredibly stupid arguments -- like your last one -- is a load of crap. <

You never answer anyones questions other than to repeat your original unfounded assertions.

> Your statement that the reason why the TMLC website has been silent about the Kitzmiller case is that "few lawyers advertize their losses" is as dumb a statement as I have ever heard. <

No. That statement that you just made is the dumbest.

> If so, I missed the point. <

Whoosh! There goes another one flying over Larry's head.

> My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer. <

But it is an inability to answer. Why should it be taken to be anything else?

Saturday, November 17, 2007 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> I admit I am Joe Blow. <

It was obvious. <<<<<<

Wrong, dunghill. I have often been accused of being Jim Sherwood, but I am not Jim Sherwood. I have been falsely accused of being a lot of other intelligent commenters.

>>>>>> The only reason I started posting under that name was that I didn't want to be accused of breaking my pledge to not answer or read any more of your crap. <

So you also admit to hypocrisy! <<<<<

And you admit that your big hero Judge Jones is a hypocrite -- several times he has violated his stated policy of not commenting publicly about the Dover case.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Dave Fafarman said...

< Your statement that the reason why the TMLC website has been silent about the Kitzmiller case is that "few lawyers advertize (sic) their losses" is as dumb a statement as I have ever heard. >

I thought it was accurate, insightful, and not obvious -- hence a contribution to the discussion.

< I am Shemp Fafarman. >

LOL. :-)

Shall we adopt him?

Saturday, November 17, 2007 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave driveled,
>>>>> I thought it was accurate, insightful, and not obvious -- hence a contribution to the discussion. <<<<<

It may be true in general, but it was grossly inappropriate here.

BTW, the TMLC did condemn the decision in an article posted the day after the decision was released but has been silent since.

"advertize" -- the British spelling -- was ViU's -- not mine.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 1:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the author. <

Arbitrary Censorship!

I know Larry. It was gossip. Sure it was.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 1:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Hector said...

>>>>>> It was obvious. <<<<<<

> Wrong <

Right. Was there anyone here (besides Larry's sock puppets) who didn't see through it?

> I have been falsely accused of being a lot of other intelligent commenters. <

I have never seen you accused of being an intelligent commenter. You are usually accused of being some other ranting idiot.

>>>>> So you also admit to hypocrisy! <<<<<

> And you admit... <

No, he doesn't. You have no place to hide here. Your hypocrisy is unrelated to anything anyone else has done. It is yours alone.

> "advertize" -- the British spelling -- was ViU's -- not mine. <

ViU, the missing post says "removed by author". I suspect that Larry censored himself, or perhaps one of his sock puppets did?

ViU often uses British spelling. Perhaps he is a Brit? Larry hasn't a clue.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 1:28:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> Was there anyone here who didn't see through it? <<<<<<

Is there anyone here who does not see through the fact that you jerks can't even begin to counter my arguments? And often you don't even try.

Imagine, saying that the TMLC has been silent about the Dover case because few lawyers advertise their losses -- how dumb can anyone get? That really takes the cake.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 2:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Pedant said...

Please note the difference re m-w.com's handling of British spellings:

The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above.

Suggestions for advertize:

1. advertise 2. adverts
3. advertised 4. adverted
5. adverbial 6. adverbials
7. Adventist 8. advertiser
9. Adventism 10. advertises
11. advert 12. Advents
13. ad patres 14. adventurous
15. adventitias 16. advancer
17. adventitious 18. Adventisms
19. advocacy 20. Adventists


honour
2 entries found.

Main Entry:
hon·our, hon·our·able

chiefly British variant of honor, honorable

Saturday, November 17, 2007 2:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Is there anyone here who does not see through the fact that you jerks can't even begin to counter my arguments? <

Most can see that you can't answer our arguments and often you don't even try.

> Imagine, saying that the TMLC has been silent about the Dover case because few lawyers advertise their losses <

How dumb can anyone be to not understand that?

P.S. I am not a Brit but I have spent a lot of time in Britain. Many of the references that have been used here are quite archaic and do not correspond to current usage.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 11:22:00 PM  

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