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, March 27, 2008

The Devil in Darwinists



Another book about the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, titled "The Devil in Dover: An Insider's Story of Dogma v. Darwin in Small-town America," written by a reporter who worked for the York Daily Record, is scheduled for release on May 13. The book's description on Amazon.com says,

"What happened in Dover is a tiny sliver, a broken shard of glass mirroring what plays out across the country. A war of fundamentalist Christian values versus secularism. A battle between evangelical fanaticism and tolerance."—from The Devil in Dover

In December 2004, following the Dover area school board's decision to teach intelligent design in ninth-grade biology classrooms, eleven parents sued, sparking a federal constitutional challenge. Lauri Lebo, a small-town reporter who covered the trial, knows not just the legal case and science, but the people on all sides of the divisive battle.

In The Devil in Dover, Lebo traces the compelling backstory of this pivotal case described by some as a perfect storm of religious intolerance, First Amendment violations, and an assault on American science education. In a community divided across unexpected lines, the so-called activist judge, a George Bush-appointed Republican, eventually condemned the school board's decision as one of "breathtaking inanity."

WOW! "Evangelical fanaticism"! "Religious intolerance"! "First Amendment violations"! "An assault on American science education"! "Devil in Dover"! "Dogma v. Darwin"! Them's fighting words! Maybe a better title for the book would be "The Great Satan in Dover."

The words "this pivotal case described by some as a perfect storm of religious intolerance, First Amendment violations, and an assault on American science education" were obviously borrowed from a Nature magazine book review by Kevin Padian. The NCSE website says of the book review,

. . . he also mentions a fourth book, by local reporter Laurie Lebo, to appear on the trial, which, he says, "promises even more lively details of this perfect storm of religious intolerance, First Amendment violation and the never-ending assault on American science education.'"

It is obvious that "Devil in Dover" is a sensationalistic book that tries to demonize the Dover school board. Prof. Albert Alschuler said in what I consider to be the best summary of the Kitzmiller case,

The court offers convincing evidence that some members the Dover school board would have been delighted to promote their old time religion in the classroom. These board members apparently accepted intelligent design as a compromise, the nearest they could come to their objective within the law. Does that make any mention of intelligent design unconstitutional? It seems odd to characterize the desire to go far as the law allows as an unlawful motive. People who try to stay within the law although they would prefer something else are good citizens. The Dover opinion appears to say that the forbidden preference taints whatever the board may do, and if the public can discern the board’s improper desire, any action it takes also has an unconstitutional effect. If board members would like to teach Genesis as the literal truth, the board may not direct teachers even to mention the anamolies (sic) in the theory of natural selection that the court itself recognizes. The court seems to declare, "Because we find that you would like something you can't have, we hold that you can't have anything."

The book "Monkey Girl," which was touted as the definitive book about the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, has not done well -- the book's Amazon.com website has received relatively few customer reviews and relatively few answers to the question, "was this (customer) review helpful to you?" Other books about the case, Forty Days and Forty Nights and Traipsing into Evolution, attracted even less attention on Amazon.com. Michael Behe's The Edge of Evolution, for example, has attracted much more attention on Amazon.com. IMO the reason why the books about the case have not none well are (1) the decision has almost no precedential value because it is just a decision of a single judge and (2) the decision has been badly discredited -- even pro-Darwinist and neutral legal scholars have condemned it.
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24 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> (1) the decision has almost no precedential value because it is just a decision of a single judge <

As are most court decisions.

> (2) the decision has been badly discredited <

By those who don't matter. It has not been overturned. (And don't give us that crap again about the school board being cowardly. They wisely did not waste the taxpayers' money.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008 7:41:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>> (1) the decision has almost no precedential value because it is just a decision of a single judge <

As are most court decisions. <<<<<<

And your point is --?

Anyway, if decisions in small claims courts, traffic & parking violations courts, etc. are included, it can be fairly said that most court decisions are not appealed. However, I have not seen any statistics about what fraction of federal district court opinions are appealed. Unless a case is hopeless, it usually makes good sense to appeal. An appeal is often much cheaper than the original trial.

Until recently, four of the thirteen federal appeals court circuits prohibited citations of unpublished opinions (BTW, Kitzmiller v. Dover is -- unfortunately -- a published opinion). A new national federal court rule requires all federal courts to allow citations of unpublished opinions, but the federal courts are still not required to treat unpublished opinions as precedents. And as I remember, the 9th circuit court of appeals had a rule against citation of any district court opinion, whether published or not. And my memory about that is not vague.

>>>>>> (2) the decision has been badly discredited <

By those who don't matter. <<<<<<<

You and your ilk are the ones who don't matter, dunghill.

>>>>> It has not been overturned. <<<<<

Of course it hasn't been overturned -- it wasn't even appealed.

>>>>> And don't give us that crap again about the school board being cowardly <<<<<<

I never said that their failure to appeal was cowardly -- they pledged to repeal the ID policy anyway. What was cowardly was their failure to attempt to save the taxpayers money by repealing the ID policy before release of the decision.

>>>>They wisely did not waste the taxpayers' money <<<<<<

See the above.

An appeal would have at most cost the school district just a little more money (the cost of an appeal would likely have been included in the $1 million deal that the Dover school board negotiated with the plaintiffs), and the school district could have saved the whole kaboodle by winning the appeal.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Forthekids said...

Here I thought "Monkey Girl" was bad...this one is sure to make the Darwinists shout with glee.

I'm not sure I can stomach reading another one of these propaganda rags without puking.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Forthekids said...

Larry, are you moderating??!! On my last post, I received a message that said "your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval".

Thursday, March 27, 2008 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Forthekids said...

>>>>> Larry, are you moderating??!! On my last post, I received a message that said "your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval". <<<<<<

Unfortunately, yes. Some trolls here refused to respect my desire for privacy. I said that I wanted no comments from people who claim to know me personally, comments about where I live, how I live, etc., but these trolls refused to listen. Most of these hypocritical trolls want privacy just for themselves -- they don't even give their real names.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

It's really a case of "dogma in support of Darwin," not "dogma v. Darwin."

Thursday, March 27, 2008 3:20:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The real "battle" seems to be between the fanatical believers in Darwinism, and the rest of us. "The fundies" actually come off looking tolerant and open-minded, at least in comparison to the fanaticism of many Darwinists.

Evidently Fred Hoyle was right: the true-believers in Darwinism may actually be "in a sense mentally ill."

Thursday, March 27, 2008 5:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill Carter said...

> Most of these hypocritical trolls want privacy just for themselves -- they don't even give their real names. <

The pathetic hypocrite censors people who use their real names.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 7:16:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> The pathetic hypocrite censors people who use their real names. <<<<<<

Wrong -- I only censor commenters who claim to know me personally, claim that other commenters know me personally, or gossip about my private affairs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 8:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

What is your hang up about "private affairs"? Very little of what I have seen here that has been later censored is really private information. Your address, for example, is public information, yet you were concerned about which way a person would look from your front door to see Baldwin Hills. I think that you were the first one to mention Baldwin Hills but I don't remember the context. Is Baldwin Hills where the little green men hang out? I must be missing something.

Of course now with comment moderation, which I believe would require you to resign from the Association of Censoring Blockheads, you can easily drop out comments from ViW but I am curious. How did you block him before?

Friday, March 28, 2008 7:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the top of page of Larry's blog:

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.

Pathetic hypocrite indeed.

As far as The Devil in Dover, face it guys, you lost in Dover. Big time. Game over. The least you could after all the dishonesty on display (noted in Judge Jones ruling) from the ID pushers there is to gracious losers. In other words, cease the dishonest spinning of the event and facts surrounding it.

Friday, March 28, 2008 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

ViU moans,
>>>>>Very little of what I have seen here that has been later censored is really private information. <<<<<<

Wrong. There has been a lot.

If I allow "just a little" gossip, then I am going to get a flood. The simplest rule is "no gossip about my private affairs." When are you trolls going to get that through your thick skulls?

Anonymous barfs,
>>>>> Pathetic hypocrite indeed. <<<<<

You jerks are the hypocrites. You won't even give your real names, yet you demand that this blog be an open forum for gossip about my private affairs.

>>>>> As far as The Devil in Dover, face it guys, you lost in Dover. <<<<<

You Darwinist devils forget that you lost a big one: the Dover plaintiffs failed to get "Of Pandas and People" banned, despite the fact that the book was mentioned 75 times in the Dover opinion.

Friday, March 28, 2008 1:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>>>>You Darwinist devils forget that you lost a big one: the Dover plaintiffs failed to get "Of Pandas and People" banned, despite the fact that the book was mentioned 75 times in the Dover opinion.

But you say in other posts and tried to list the book (according to your own claims) as a banned book. Which is it? Is it banned or not? Make up your fucking mind!

Friday, March 28, 2008 3:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Darwinist devils forget that you lost a big one: the Dover plaintiffs failed to get "Of Pandas and People" banned, despite the fact that the book was mentioned 75 times in the Dover opinion.

Amazing. Here, here, here,here and half a dozen other place Larry argues that Of Pandas and People was indeed banned. Which is it, Larry, were you lying then, or are you lying now?

Friday, March 28, 2008 4:49:00 PM  
Blogger Forthekids said...

Well, good for you Larry. No one should put up with the crap some of these people say.

Now, if it were me, I'd never let "voice in the urbanness" get past moderation. He adds nothing to the dialogue whatsoever. He's just here to give you shit. Why put up with that?

Friday, March 28, 2008 5:24:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Forthekids said...
>>>>>> Now, if it were me, I'd never let "voice in the urbanness" get past moderation. He adds nothing to the dialogue whatsoever. He's just here to give you shit. <<<<<<<

Yes, I know. But I have to stick to my general no-censorship policy.

Friday, March 28, 2008 6:39:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous moaned,
>>>>>> Amazing. Here, here, here,here and half a dozen other place Larry argues that Of Pandas and People was indeed banned. Which is it, Larry, were you lying then, or are you lying now? <<<<<<

You Darwinists have claimed that the Kitzmiller decision was a total victory for the plaintiffs and you have also claimed that the plaintiffs did not succeed in getting the book banned. How consistent is that?

Friday, March 28, 2008 6:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>>>>>>>You Darwinists have claimed that the Kitzmiller decision was a total victory for the plaintiffs and you have also claimed that the plaintiffs did not succeed in getting the book banned. How consistent is that?

That doesn't answer the question that I and another Anonymous posted:

Which is it? Is it banned or not? (my post?)

Which is it, Larry, were you lying then, or are you lying now? (other post)

Can you answer the question Larry?

Friday, March 28, 2008 7:23:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> That doesn't answer the question that I and another Anonymous posted:

Which is it? Is it banned or not? <<<<<

Sheeesh -- there is more than one "Anonymous" here? One is too many.

When I said it wasn't banned, I was obviously being sarcastic. Duh.

Friday, March 28, 2008 8:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are at least three anonymice here. Probably more.

Friday, March 28, 2008 8:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> If I allow "just a little" gossip, then I am going to get a flood. The simplest rule is "no gossip about my private affairs." When are you trolls going to get that through your thick skulls? <

You hypocritical liar. Many of the posts that you have censored had NO information about anything that could be considered your "private affairs" by the wildest stretch of the imagination.

After censoring them, you then lied about what they contained.

Where did you dig up "Forthekids"? She seems to be a member of the Unreasonable Kansans group. Her idea of being for the kids is to insist that mythology and science be mixed.

Anonymous barfs,
>>>>> Pathetic hypocrite indeed. <<<<<

You jerks are the hypocrites. You won't even give your real names, yet you demand that this blog be an open forum for gossip about my private affairs.

>>>>> As far as The Devil in Dover, face it guys, you lost in Dover. <<<<<

You Darwinist devils forget that you lost a big one: the Dover plaintiffs failed to get "Of Pandas and People" banned, despite the fact that the book was mentioned 75 times in the Dover opinion.

Saturday, March 29, 2008 9:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

P.S.

You have never explained why you banned ViW. No doubt you are using one of the blocking methods that you claim to abhor.

ViW didn't do anything that the others here haven't done; shown you to be a liar, a hypocrite, and a fool.

Saturday, March 29, 2008 9:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ViU,

I think the end of one penultimate comment was cut off or censored -- it ends with your quote of Larry's moanings without comment from you.

Saturday, March 29, 2008 7:42:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>ViU,

I think the end of one penultimate comment was cut off or censored -- it ends with your quote of Larry's moanings without comment from you. <<<<<

I don't edit comments -- I either publish them or cenosr them in their entirety.

Saturday, March 29, 2008 8:45:00 PM  

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