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 12, 2008

Darwinist bigotry

I found this gem of a comment on Panda's Thumb:

When one thinks about how biology could be taught, it would be possible to make evolution the central theme of such a course. It could be a very exciting and interesting course.

If the fundamentalist anti-evolutionist political activism had not kept biology courses from developing over the last century, we could have had some extremely good courses evolving from the experiences of teaching, learning and administering such courses. As it is, the first major attempt by BSCS met with political resistance and we were set back another 40 years.

I hope we learn from these experiences with ID/Creationism and stop treading lightly in the presence of fundamentalist activism. They need their toes stomped on and their asses kicked. Biology could be really fun.

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34 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

An excellent post. Thank you for calling our attention to it. You are getting wiser. In this case when you could not refute the post, you did not try.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 6:57:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

These Darwin-fanatics are true bigots, of course. The public should take action, not exactly to stomp on their toes and kick their bigoted asses, but to keep them from preaching their ludicrously speculative doctrine of the materialistic evolution of all life, in any public school.

We who are not creationists or fundamentalists, still owe the fundamentalists a great debt of gratitude: for in many places they have done a lot to keep doctrines of materialistic evolution out of the public schools.

In Europe and other places with few fundamentalists, the influence of Darwinism in many cases led to the ravages and murders perpetuated by Nazism and by Marxist Communism. Since Marxism is a materialistic doctrine, it cannot flourish without a materialistic "creation-story: which Darwinism purports to provide.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 4:04:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

And although the Darwin-fans are so ignorant as to think that their old pseudo-science is in trouble because of "fundamentalist activism," it's not that, Darwin-buffs: you're in trouble because of increasing numbers of scientists like Ulrich Mohrhoff.

Mohrhoff is a quantum physicist with an international reputation, who isn't a Christian and who doesn't subscribe to any religion. He has concluded that intelligent design is correct.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 4:37:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

< (Mohrhoff) has concluded that intelligent design is correct >

Well, that settles it, then, eh?

He's at his best when commenting outside his own field.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 5:30:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Mohrhoff analyzed Dembski's concept of "specified complexity," which Dembski formulated making use of "Planck time," which is a concept of quantum physics. Hence Mohrhoff is evidently better qualified than any biologist to assess Dembski's analysis.

Any theory of evolution has to obey the laws of physics, which are proven by repeated, precise experiments. Darwinist "theories" of evolution are basically mere speculations about the supposed causes of long-past events: those imagined causes cannot be experimentally demonstrated.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 6:42:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said...
>>>> Mohrhoff analyzed Dembski's concept of "specified complexity," which Dembski formulated making use of "Planck time," which is a concept of quantum physics. Hence Mohrhoff is evidently better qualified than any biologist to assess Dembski's analysis. <<<<<

The authors of the definitive book on the mathematical analysis of heat conduction in solids, H. S. Carslaw and J. C. Jaeger, are not engineers or scientists but are mathematicians. They did not even use the correct term for convection -- they called it "radiation," which in scientific and engineering terms is completely different (in heat conduction in solids, convection is involved as a boundary condition -- radiation is also a boundary condition but the book does not include it).

Also, mechanical engineers and physicists are generally better qualified than biologists to examine the claim that evolution violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 7:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Isaac said...

> Also, mechanical engineers and physicists are generally better qualified than biologists to examine the claim that evolution violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. <

Let's see here. Tyros with no legal experience can comment about their misunderstanding of the law, but discussion of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is limited to Mechanical Engineers, which you once were, and physicists, which you never were?

Isn't there some inconsistency here?

Friday, June 13, 2008 9:02:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Grossman said...

It looks like that comment nailed the problem pretty well. What's wrong with it?

Friday, June 13, 2008 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Dave Grossman said...

>>>>> It looks like that comment nailed the problem pretty well. What's wrong with it? <<<<<<

What comment was that?

Friday, June 13, 2008 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Isaac driveled,

>>>>>> Let's see here. Tyros with no legal experience can comment about their misunderstanding of the law, but discussion of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is limited to Mechanical Engineers, which you once were, and physicists, which you never were? <<<<<<

Once a mechanical engineer, always a mechanical engineer, dunghill. And engineering is just a practical form of physics and chemistry (chemical engineering). Engineers -- particularly mechanical engineers -- study many of the same subjects as physicists, usually from a more practical standpoint. And engineers who get AE (aerospace or aeronautical engineering) degrees study much the same stuff as ME's, then have difficulty when applying for ME jobs. The AE label should be abolished. As Juliet said, a rose by any other name smells (or should smell) as sweet.

One thing that really pissed me off was that a lot of the mathematics I learned in college was not taught in a course labeled "mathematics" but was taught in a course in the electrical engineering department (I forget the title of the course). If the course had been properly labeled "mathematics," I would have qualified for a math minor, which would come in very handy if, say, I wanted to apply for a math teaching job in the K-12 schools.

I have had a little legal experience -- far more than most people. I even wrote two appeals to the US Supreme Court. How many laypeople -- or attorneys, for that matter -- do you know who have written appeals to the US Supreme Court? You can't just write an informal letter to the Supreme Court -- it has to be in the right format with proper citations, etc.. Anyway, if you find anything wrong with my legal analyses here, you are free to criticize them here, whereas I have no such freedom on Wickedpedia and the blogs of arbitrarily censoring bloggers Fatheaded Ed Brayton, Ding Elsberry, etc.. And insinuating that my legal analyses are wrong without finding specific faults with them just makes you a big bag of hot air.

It is generally easier for a layperson to become an expert in a narrow area of law than in a narrow area in a technical field because the law is mostly verbal. Knowledge in technical fields often involves years of practice in problem solving and often involves specialized knowledge of advanced mathematics. However, I concede that a layperson can become an expert in the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics because the statements of this law are often verbal.

And you are putting words in my mouth -- I never said that discussion of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is "limited" to mechanical engineers and physicists. I only said that they are "generally" better qualified to discuss it (particularly when speaking off-the-cuff).

Anyway, this whole stupid debate was started by the stupid sarcastic remark that Mohrhoff, a physicist, is "at his best when commenting outside his own field." I countered with the example of the two mathematicians who wrote the definitive book about the mathematical analysis of heat conduction and who were so ignorant of the science that they did not even know the correct term for convection, calling it radiation instead.

>>>>>Isn't there some inconsistency here? <<<<<

The only inconsistency is yours.

Friday, June 13, 2008 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

< this whole stupid debate was started by the stupid sarcastic remark that Mohrhoff, a physicist, is "at his best when commenting outside his own field." >

It was an appropriately snide rejoinder to serial Dumb Arguments From Authority (DAFTs). I.e.:

"Mohrhoff is a quantum physicist" DAFT "with an international reputation" DAFT ", who isn't a Christian " is that supposed to be a DAFT endorsement as well? " and who doesn't subscribe to any religion. " Ditto. And then comes the QED: "He has concluded that intelligent design is correct."

Good grief.

Friday, June 13, 2008 1:50:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

I didn't cite Mohrhoff as an "authority," oh anonymous Darwin-buff, but as a counterexample to the claim by a Darwin-fan that "fundmentalist activism" is behind the problems that they face. Put on your reading glasses and read what I wrote.

From Hoyle to Behe to Mohrhoff, increasing numbers of reputable scientists have been disowning the so-called "science" of the conventional evolutionary biologists, and even citing evidence of intelligent involvement in the origin of species. That is your problem, if you are so enamored of the old dogmas of Darwinism.

Friday, June 13, 2008 3:37:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

These Darwin-buffs are becoming more irritable all the time, it seems. I don't blame them: even the True Believers in Materialism, such as Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, now admit that, although they have got the faith that species emerged by perfectly materialistic laws, they don't know what those mysterious laws are.

By the way, Massimo would doubtless say that I am one of those "tenants of intelligent design" that he professes to "hate."

I assure him I'm no tenant, I have no lease: I'm open to all demonstrable truths; but not to merely speculative and unverifiable daydreams, such as those of our present "evolutionary biologists."

And is Massimo a "tenant of materialism?" I think not, for I should say that on the contrary he is a landlord of it: the guy is that attached to materialist dogmatics.

Friday, June 13, 2008 4:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> I would have qualified for a math minor, which would come in very handy if, say, I wanted to apply for a math teaching job in the K-12 schools. <

Close only counts in horseshoes. In addition to a math degree you would have to have a large number of (admittedly useless) education courses.

> I even wrote two appeals to the US Supreme Court. How many laypeople -- or attorneys, for that matter -- do you know who have written appeals to the US Supreme Court? <

I don't know any laypeople, other than yourself, who have lost appeals to the US Supreme Court.

> Anyway, if you find anything wrong with my legal analyses here, you are free to criticize them here <

But they may be arbitrarily censored.

Friday, June 13, 2008 6:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Once a mechanical engineer, always a mechanical engineer, <

Nonsense. It is necessary to keep up with your profession.

> dunghill <

The continual use of this word probably does more to keep your blog in the marginal category than anything else. Grow up!

> And engineering is just a practical form of physics and chemistry <

You could equally well say that auto mechanics is a form of physics. You would be equally wrong.

> particularly mechanical engineers -- study many of the same subjects as physicists <

Yes. Both are required to study English and world history.

> And engineers who get AE (aerospace or aeronautical engineering) degrees study much the same stuff as ME's <

Much the same is not the same.

> then have difficulty when applying for ME jobs. <

If someone wants to get a job as a ME, they should seek a degree as a ME. You seem to be complaining that you can't get jobs that you didn't prepare for. Can you get a ME job? I believe that is what you claim to have studied, or was it AE?

Saturday, June 14, 2008 1:44:00 AM  
Blogger Peter White said...

I would like to know where Jim Sherwood gets the idea that Mohrhoff thinks ID is correct. Here is a quote from Larry Mohrhoff about evolution.

That evolution happens is obvious. Once “the facts supporting it are marshalled, this aspect of the terrestrial existence becomes so striking as to appear indisputable”; “we can no longer suppose that God or some Demiurge has manufactured each genus and species ready-made in body and in consciousness and left the matter there, having looked upon his work and seen that it was good”.

Saturday, June 14, 2008 4:23:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Ulrich Mohrhoff, reviewing the intelligent design book The Design of Life, by Dembski and Wells:

"There's no doubt in my mind that specified complexity is the 'smoking gun' of some other-than-human intelligence at work, as the authors maintain...[The intelligence] however, could be very different from how it is conceived by theists."

Google "Mohrhoff" and "Dembski" for the review. Mohrhoff has also favorably reviewed the movie EXPELLED.

ID is fully compatible with descent of new species from old. Mohrhoff and Behe believe in that; so do I. Behe in fact believes that all life descended from a remote, single-celled common ancestor.

Saturday, June 14, 2008 5:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, when Of Pandas and Peoples writes something along the lines of "intelligent design is the sudden appearance of species completely developed, like fish with scales" (after the comma is pretty much a direct quote I believe, as are the first 5 words I believe), ...?

That's not common descent. The book says so quite clearly.

Saturday, June 14, 2008 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Urbanness driveled,
>>>>>> Once a mechanical engineer, always a mechanical engineer, <

Nonsense. It is necessary to keep up with your profession. <<<<<<

That depends on the engineering branch and specialty. As a heat transfer specialist in mechanical engineering, I never felt the need for retraining. I probably would have required a fair amount of retraining as an electrical engineer, but even there the amount of retraining required is often exaggerated, because a lot of the basics doesn't change.

>>>>> And engineering is just a practical form of physics and chemistry <

You could equally well say that auto mechanics is a form of physics. You would be equally wrong. <<<<<<

That shows that you know nothing about engineering and the physical sciences -- there is a lot of overlap.

>>>>>> particularly mechanical engineers -- study many of the same subjects as physicists <

Yes. Both are required to study English and world history.<<<<<<<

Bullshit. At my undergrad school, engineering students were required to take a year each of the same physics and chemistry courses as taken by the physics and chemistry majors.

>>>>>> And engineers who get AE (aerospace or aeronautical engineering) degrees study much the same stuff as ME's <

Much the same is not the same. <<<<<<

There is a slight difference in emphasis -- for example, AE's would study more aerodynamics, particularly supersonic aerodynamics. But ME's can often study the same specialized stuff as AE's by taking elective courses. Also, I have seen AE courses that are just renamed ME courses, like "Strength of Materials for AE's." Most engineering schools do not even have AE departments and many of those that do have combined ME-AE departments.

>>>>>>If someone wants to get a job as a ME, they should seek a degree as a ME. You seem to be complaining that you can't get jobs that you didn't prepare for. <<<<<<<

The best definition of "aerospace engineer" that I ever heard is "any engineer who works for an aerospace company." This can include EE's and even CE's -- I have heard that civil engineers are sought after in the aerospace industry because of their strong backgrounds in structural analysis! On the other hand, an AE-degree holder told me that the AE label made it hard for him to get ME jobs he was qualified for. Most of my engineering work was in aerospace companies -- Pratt & Whitney and Rockwell Int'l Space Transportation Systems Division.

You are just mouthing off about things that you know nothing about.

Saturday, June 14, 2008 10:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill Carter said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, June 15, 2008 8:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Hector said...

Come on Carter, Larry assures us you don't exist. You will be censored.

Sunday, June 15, 2008 8:28:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Bill C,

Your comment was deleted because it contained unacceptable gossip about my employment status. You are free to re-post the comment after correcting it. If you don't have a copy of the original, I will re-post the comment for you.

Sunday, June 15, 2008 1:04:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

An Anonymous one mentions a sentence in an old and outdated ID text, "Of Pandas and People," which properly reads: "Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact, fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, etc."

The statement is rather clearly wrong, as I understand ID: ID doesn't require the abrupt, rather than gradual, appearance of any such features or species. It only requires the assembly of some, but not all, features of life by a process involving purposeful intelligence. For instance, a battleship is intelligently designed (by humans,) and is assembled gradually and purposefully, over time. Similarly some features of birds might have been assembled gradually and purposefully, over time.

And even as it stands, the incorrect statement in "Pandas" would not contradict descent of new species from old ones: an intelligence might have caused a new species to descend abruptly from an older species, by bringing about large changes in its DNA. That would be quite analagous to the "hopeful monster" theory of Richard Goldschmidt, who proposed that new species emerge by random "macromutations:" so that he famously put it that the first bird hatched from a reptile's egg. Goldschmidt was certainly not a creationist.

The first intelligent design theorist was actually Alfred Russel Wallace: scientific considerations let him to eventually conclude that random genetic variations and natural selection were inadequate to explain some features of life. In his book The World of Life, first published in 1911, Wallace proposed that "myriads" of intelligences has played a designing role in his version of "evolution," along with genetic variations and natural selection. Wallace held that new species descend from older ones, and was never a creationist of any sort.

Sunday, June 15, 2008 4:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "The statement [quote from Of Pandas and Peoples in earlier comment] is rather clearly wrong, as I understand ID"

The problem is that Jim doesn't understand ID. Jim wants to see ID as scientific, but it isn't. Why would the primary ID textbook, including authors such as Dumbski and Behe, include said statement if they had something better to offer. The problem is they don't. That's why ID is not science and never has been (though could be, if the rules of science were changed, as Behe admits, to those of a few centuries ago when astrology could be considered a science), and won't be (at least under the current rules of what constitutes a science). The fact that the statement is in the book shows above all where the IDists are looking for support: from creationists, and thus revealing to be creationists themselves, as Barbara Forrest brilliantly demonstrated in the Dover trial (and where Behe equally brilliantly failed).

There are IDists before the one he mentions. I forget the name, but Paley comes to mind. I doubt it's right, but it could be close enough to trigger the memory of one of the few readers of this blog.

Sunday, June 15, 2008 9:15:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...
>>>>>>Jim Sherwood wrote, "The statement [quote from Of Pandas and Peoples in earlier comment] is rather clearly wrong, as I understand ID"

The problem is that Jim doesn't understand ID. Jim wants to see ID as scientific, but it isn't. Why would the primary ID textbook, including authors such as Dumbski and Behe, include said statement if they had something better to offer. <<<<<<

"Of Pandas and People" preceded Behe's and Dembski's works. Pandas began as a creationist book -- as the Dover plaintiffs showed, it was made into an ID book just by making a few word substitutions like replacing "creationist" with "design proponent," resulting in the famous "cdesign proponentists" in one case. It is just one of many ID books. The Dover plaintiffs made the book central to their arguments in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case and gullible Judge John E. "Jackass" Jones III fell for it hook, line, and sinker. It was all just conspiracy theory and guilt-by-association. Judge Jones should never have judged ID on the basis of a single ID book -- in fact, he should never have judged ID at all. Under the Lemon test, he could have ruled against the defendants just on the basis of their religious motivations, but IMO the courts should finish the job of dumping the infamous Lemon test and decisively replace it with the endorsement test, which holds that a person's religious beliefs should have no effect on his/her standing in the community. The courts should just declare the evolution controversy to be non-justiciable. A court ruling on the evolution controversy is like a court ruling on the proverbial question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Judicial non-justiciability is discussed here , here, and here on this blog.

Monday, June 16, 2008 1:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Hector said...

Bill C. What is it that Larry is afraid of? It probably has something to do with his delusion of being an engineer.

Monday, June 16, 2008 6:55:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

As Larry points out, "Pandas" is just one of many ID books, and was not the first such book. I first read "Pandas" after the Kitzmiller decision. There are some errors in it, such as the false assertion that ID requires abrupt appearance of birds, etc. But even that doesn't imply creationism: in fact there is nothing in the book that denies that new species have descended from older ones.

Monday, June 16, 2008 3:22:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff, who lives in India, didn't exactly favorably review the movie EXPELLED, as I said: since he lives in India. Instead, he posted a heading on his blog, Koantum Matters, which read:

eXpelled!!!7 minutes preview--a Must See

and followed that with a video of the movie's trailer.

Apparently he hasn't yet heard that intelligent design supposedly isn't scientific. Instead, he goes ahead and reads ID books such as The Design of Life, and evaluates the scientific evidence that they present.

If he lived in the US, he wouldn't get away with it. Eugenie Scott's Thought Police at the NCSE (Naturalism's Cops Suppressing Enquiry,) would probably have him EXPELLED.

Monday, June 16, 2008 4:34:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said (Monday, June 16, 2008 3:22:00 PM) --
>>>>> As Larry points out, "Pandas" is just one of many ID books, and was not the first such book. <<<<<

But it was one of the first ID books and so far as I know it is still the only ID book that was intended to be used as a textbook in K-12 schools -- that's probably why it was chosen by the Dover school board. It turned out to be an unfortunate choice.

>>>>> I first read "Pandas" after the Kitzmiller decision. There are some errors in it, such as the false assertion that ID requires abrupt appearance of birds, etc. But even that doesn't imply creationism: in fact there is nothing in the book that denies that new species have descended from older ones. <<<<<<

I have not read or browsed the book and so I am not qualified to comment about the extent to which it is an ID book instead of a creationist book, but as I said, the book was revised just by substituting ID terms for creationist terms. The Dover opinion (page 32) says of the book, "cognates of the word creation (creationism and creationist), which appeared approximately 150 times were deliberately and systematically replaced with the phrase ID."

Monday, June 16, 2008 6:50:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

I've long believed that Kenyon and Davis,when they wrote "Pandas," were probably creationists as well as IDists. If they improperly inserted creationist ideas into a text which was supposed to be purely about ID, that would account for their incorrect claim that ID requires abrupt appearance of birds, etc. While ID doesn't require that, creationism does require it. Anyway, it is in some ways a poor book, since it has caused a lot of understandable confusion about ID.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 2:14:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

As for the change in terminology, one of Fred Hoyle's books was entitled Evolution From Space: a Theory of Cosmic Creationism. I believe he wrote that with Wickramasinghe. The two men wrote Cosmic Life-Force in 1990, in which one chapter is entitled The Concept of a Creator. They also spoke of "creation" in the book. Niether man was a true creationist: they held that all species descended from others, right back to unicellular life. They wre speaking of what we now call intelligent design of the first life forms, which they proposed as a hypothesis, not dogmatically. And they stipulated that the "cosmic intelligence" involved, must have arisen by natural laws.

So terminology doesn't prove that a book is "creationist," as we usually understand creationism. If a book denies that all present-day species descended from older ones, or holds that something supernatural created some species separately from others, I'd call that true creationism.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 2:39:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

You know a lot more about the history of "Pandas" than I do, Larry. But I know something about the history of Prefessor Dean Kenyon, the San Francisco State University biologist who wrote "Pandas," with Percival Davis.

Kenyon wasn't a "fundie" or, I believe, a religious fanatic. He was a Roman Catholic who, in the 1960's, firmly believed ain Darwinism, as did most Catholic scientists. So in 1969 he co-authored the book Biochemical Predestination, which held that the first life originated by perfectly mindless, mechanical processes. That's actually compatible with Catholic theology.

But by 1984 Kenyon had changed his views: in that year he wrote a preface to The Mystery of Life's Origins, a book which argues on purely scientific grounds that intelligence must have played a role in life's origins. I believe it argues that the intelligence must have been God, or at least something supernatural. It's usually seen as an ID book.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 3:25:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

I've read that Kenyon changed his views sometime in the late 1970's, when he discovered what he took to be good scientific evidence that he had been wrong, and terrestial life didn't arise by purely mechanical processes. I don't have a reference at hand, but it wouldn't suprise me if it were so, because Fred Hoyle reached the same conclusion at about the same time. And Hoyle was a materialist and an atheist at that time.

I'm not sure whether Kenyon merely turned to ID, or went on to creationism. But it does appear to me that ID arose in the late 1970's when some scientists turned to ID views for scientific, not religious, reasons. As a Catholic, Kenyon had no religious reason to reject Darwinism. And niether did Behe, another Catholic, who turned to ID in 1985, I believe.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 4:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "I'm not sure whether Kenyon merely turned to ID, or went on to creationism."

According to wikipedia, Kenyon went straight to creationism as a result of not having a response for some creationist books that someone gave him or recommended him to read.

He was set to testify in Little Rock in the case against creationism there, but fled the night before he was to testify, apparently frightened off by the sight of other "expert witnesses" for the creationist side being eaten alive by the other side's attorneys.

After the 1987 court case, he became interested in ID. Of course, no one among the higher ups in the ID movement really doubts the importance of religion. They try to keep it out of their writings (maybe Behe is the most successful at doing so), but all (with the possible exception of Behe and some minor figures, and people like "Jim Sherwood") acknowledge in public venues the importance of religion, not to mention the famous Wedge Document.

And, of course, the basic premise of ID has been around for over 100 years (if not over 2000!), in modern times stated by Paley during the 19th century. Its modern form came after the 1987 Supreme Court case that made creationism unconstitutional. The same court case, of course, made anything scientifically valid constitutional. Were ID scientifically valid, it would be constitutional. Since it's not, it isn't (see Wedge Document, Of Pandas and Peoples, etc., not to mention the religious motivations of any individual or group trying to get ID into the classroom).

Monday, June 23, 2008 3:24:00 PM  

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