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.

Name:
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, July 30, 2008

New Darwinist blog in Houston Chronicle

I don't think it is proper for mainstream media outlets to host one-sided blogs on controversial subjects, but the Houston Chronicle has a new Darwinist blog and another new blog on global warming, which is apparently also a one-sided blog. The website of the Texas Citizens for Science says,

NEW! 2008 July 28 - Texas Citizens for Science President Now Has a New Texas Evolution and Education Blog on the Houston Chronicle Website

Texas Citizens for Science President Dr. Steven Schafersman now has a new blog on the Houston Chronicle website named Evo.Sphere in which he will write columns about evolution and education in Texas. He shares this new blog with five University of Houston biology professors who will write about evolutionary science. The Chronicle has two other new science blogs named Atmo.Sphere that covers climate issues and Cosmo.Sphere that covers space science. These new blogs were initiated by Eric Berger, the Chronicle's science writer who has a blog named SciGuy.

The first five columns are now available.
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New Blog about Evolution and Education in Texas

Did Thomas Jefferson Believe in Intelligent Design Creationism?"

Let's Explore "Explore Evolution"

The Disjunctive Duality of Science Distinction

Evolving Toward a Compromise

Future columns will cover "strengths and weaknesses" language for science standards in TEKS Rule 3A; the false equation of "Darwinism" with eugenics, racism, Hitler, and the Holocaust; analysis of ICR's legal theory of "academic viewpoint discrimination" for their justification of an expected lawsuit against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; analysis of Chris Comer's legal theory of "illegal Texas Education Agency neutrality between evolution and Intelligent Design Creationism" as a justification for her lawsuit against the TEA; the E. coli bacteria multi-generational experiment, macromutations, historical contingency, and evolution; and the unjustifiable action of the Texas SBOE to refuse to write substantive and scholarly standards for the new Texas Bible course (which will continue to allow pseudoscience to be taught in various Bible courses).

The extreme one-sidedness of the blog is obvious from the description. I just hope that the Houston Chronicle strictly enforces a policy of no arbitrary censorship of blog visitors' comments. They are sure going to get a big piece of my mind if they do not.
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56 Comments:

Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The Houston Chronicle is a longtime purveyor of old-fashioned Darwinist doctrines, not that it differs so much from the "mainstream media" generally in that respect. It's a sort of Texas version of The New York Times, when it comes to clueless Darwin-dogma-spouting. Most journalists like to think that they are somehow more intelligent and well-educated, etc., than the public: and they've been taught to believe in Darwinism in the past, so they continue to blindly believe in it; and they are thus convinced that they have to preach aloud for Darwin in order to "educate" what they see as the "ignorant hicks" who read their newspaper. And, hey! It may be a point that anyone who's stupid enough to rely on their paper, might be called an ignorant hick?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 5:57:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

From Houston Chronicle's Terms and Conditions:

8. Right to Monitor and Editorial Control. The Chronicle reserves the right, but does not have an obligation, to monitor and/or to review all materials posted to the Web Site or through the Web Site’s services or features by users, and is not responsible for any such materials posted by users. The Chronicle is not responsible for any failure to monitor, review and/or delete any materials posted to the Web Site or through the Web Site’s services or features by users. However, The Chronicle reserves the right at all times to disclose any information as necessary or advisable to satisfy any law, regulation or government request; and to edit, to refuse to post or to remove any information or materials, in whole or in part, that, in The Chronicle’s discretion, are objectionable or in violation of these Terms and Conditions, The Chronicle’s policies or applicable law or for any reason whatsoever. We may also impose limits on certain features of the forums or restrict your access to part or all of the forums without notice or penalty if we believe you are in breach of the guidelines set forth in our Terms and Conditions or in violation of applicable law, or for any other reason without notice or liability.

Larry, you may now knot your BVDs.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 6:36:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The mainstream media in general, PBS, etc., have been actively trying to force Darwinist and materialist dogma into the schools for many decades, in defiance of the democratic rights of the people. People have a right to have their kids educated without being indoctrinated in the dogmas of the materialist faith: or in Darwinism, which is primarily a materialist doctrine. The push to dominate the schools and to indoctrinate, by such ideological outfits as NCSE, supported by the mainstream media, is the thing that started the whole controversy in the first place.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 7:29:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "People have a right to have their kids educated without being indoctrinated in the dogmas of the materialist faith: or in Darwinism, which is primarily a materialist doctrine"

You got that a bit wrong Jim -- people have a right to have their kids educated without being indoctrinated in the dogmas of any faith is the correct version.

SCOTUS didn't see contemporary evolutionary theory in 1987 as a religion. It's (just) science. Get over it. The "democratic rights of the people" having nothing to do with what is constitutional. Again, get over it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 8:43:00 PM  
Blogger William Wallace said...

Texas citizens of science....hmmn.

Sounds....
like....
the....
spawn....
of....
Eguenie Scott at the National Center for Darwinian Education.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:35:00 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Larry,
Why do you insist upon calling people who believe in evolution "Darwinists"? The word "Darwin" shows up twice in his now five posts of a "Darwinist" blog, once in a quote about a DI book. Considering that Darwin was an important scientist/theorist in the history of the development of evolutionary theory, this does not seem excessive or to be "worship" (a word that you've used many times to describe evolutionist's relationship with Darwin) in any form.

Stop being so ridiculous. Also, learn science. (It's a method for discovering things about the world, not a religion. . .you probably use it every day, whether or not you want to)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 10:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a big piece of my mind"

You can't afford it. Not even a little piece. Remember that you only have two working neurons ...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 11:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

The mainstream media in general, PBS, etc., have been actively trying to force Darwinist and materialist dogma into the schools for many decades, in defiance of the democratic rights of the people.

Yes, neo-Darwinism is also big money for those who study in the various fields trying to prove the hypothesis.

Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology. It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned.

It's just science, did anyone hear that? It's just science, really, are you sure? It's a science that is not to be questioned, it's a science which can't be critically looked at, because "it's a science" has no alternatives. That is why people are told, "just get over it" and don't question it and of course this is not "indoctrination" they claim, as long as it's conclusions attack religion...It's just a science, yea right...lol

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

W. Kevin Vicklund said...
>>>>>>From Houston Chronicle's Terms and Conditions:

- - - - - - - - -

Larry, you may now knot your BVDs.<<<<<<

Kevin, you stupid pettifogging fathead, there is nothing there about whether or not they have a policy of not arbitrarily censoring visitors' comments.

Jim Sherwood said,

>>>>>> The push to dominate the schools and to indoctrinate, by such ideological outfits as NCSE, supported by the mainstream media, is the thing that started the whole controversy in the first place. <<<<<<

That's right. For example, the Dover school board passed the ID policy (an evolution disclaimer statement plus ID books that were optional reading) because the Dover teachers insisted on a biology text that was -- in the words of former board member Bill Buckingham -- "laced" with Darwinism, with Darwinism appearing in 12-15 places in the book instead of being confined to one chapter. That ridiculous statement in the new Florida science standards, "evolution is the fundamental principle underlying all of biology," is another source of friction. The Darwinists are just getting too pushy and they are even fighting reasonable evolution disclaimer statements.

Erin said...

>>>>>Larry,
Why do you insist upon calling people who believe in evolution "Darwinists"? <<<<<<

When Darwinists cut the Darwin worship (e.g., the "I love Darwin" stuff, the "Friend of Darwin" certificates, and the Darwin-Lincoln nonsense), then I will consider ceasing to call them "Darwinists."

Thursday, July 31, 2008 3:02:00 AM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

>>>Kevin, you stupid pettifogging fathead, there is nothing there about whether or not they have a policy of not arbitrarily censoring visitors' comments.<<<

Okay, let's take a closer look:

The Chronicle reserves the right at all times ... to edit, to refuse to post or to remove any information or materials ... for any reason whatsoever. We may also ... restrict your access to part or all of the forums without notice or penalty ... for any other reason without notice or liability.

I guess this means that Larry doesn't believe that deleting comments or blocking people from making comments for any reason whatsoever does not constitute arbitrary censorship.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 5:48:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

They say, "The Chronicle reserves the right . . ." -- that doesn't mean that the Chronicle will exercise that right or that the Chronicle will not require its bloggers to not arbitrarily censor comments.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 7:31:00 AM  
Anonymous jim said...

"because the Dover teachers insisted on a biology text that was -- in the words of former board member Bill Buckingham -- "laced" with Darwinism, with Darwinism appearing in 12-15 places in the book instead of being confined to one chapter."

Damn Larry, will you quit harping on this ridiculous quote? So what if evolution is mentioned outside of a single chapter on that actual subject. Discussions of evolutions impact within other contexts is important and most likely is important for understanding said topic. And only 12-15 places? The biology text above my desk is 1463 pages. By those numbers evolution is mentioned approximately once ever 100 pages. That's laced? Hardly. I'd say evolution's impact is probably UNDER stated at that rate.

"That ridiculous statement in the new Florida science standards, "evolution is the fundamental principle underlying all of biology," is another source of friction."

Wow us with your knowledge of biology, Larry, and explain why evolution isn't central to biology. Tell me what you think is the strongest piece of evidence against evolution and what you would want to see/observe to satisfy your doubts.

"The Darwinists are just getting too pushy and they are even fighting reasonable evolution disclaimer statements."

Give reasonable criticisms and present evolution properly and no one would object. However, you're either incredibly naive or comfortable with intellectual dishonesty if you think the only point of those disclaimers was to say only what the stickers said. It was a door for the insertion of one's BELIEFS (read ID) into a place they don't belong and the resistance to that insertion by scientists isn't them being pushy, it's them preventing future generations from becoming "educated" fools.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 8:59:00 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

"When Darwinists cut the Darwin worship (e.g., the "I love Darwin" stuff, the "Friend of Darwin" certificates, and the Darwin-Lincoln nonsense), then I will consider ceasing to call them "Darwinists.""

Right, but here's the point, this guy seems to be an evolutionist, which given the state of the science that you don't understand, seems a very reasonable position to those of us who use reason in our everyday lives.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 9:05:00 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 9:05:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim said (Thursday, July 31, 2008 8:59:00 AM) --
>>>>>> So what if evolution is mentioned outside of a single chapter on that actual subject. <<<<<<

It is easy to put all of the impacts of evolution theory into a single chapter. Lots of textbooks do it.

>>>>>>That ridiculous statement in the new Florida science standards, "evolution is the fundamental principle underlying all of biology," is another source of friction.

Wow us with your knowledge of biology, Larry, and explain why evolution isn't central to biology. <<<<<<

That statement in the Florida science standards was just intended to be -- in the words of Kansas Univ. Prof. Paul Mirecki -- "a nice slap in the big fat face of the fundies" and other Darwin doubters. I don't even remember studying evolution in high school biology in the early 1960's. Now evolution is more important because it is the basis of cladistic taxonomy, which was not important when I was in high school.

>>>>>> . . . .you're either incredibly naive or comfortable with intellectual dishonesty if you think the only point of those disclaimers was to say only what the stickers said. It was a door for the insertion of one's BELIEFS (read ID) into a place they don't belong <<<<<<<

If all criticisms of evolution are religious, then the endorsement test says that the evolution disclaimers must be allowed because prohibiting them expresses government hostility towards religion and makes the fundies feel like "political outsiders." If some criticisms of evolution are non-religious, then the principle of "no constitutional separation of bad science and state" applies. Either way, you lose.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 1:31:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Larry wrote, "If some criticisms of evolution are non-religious, then the principle of "no constitutional separation of bad science and state" applies."

Then there's no need for a disclaimer because the constitution allows for science to be taught.

Larry wrote, "If all criticisms of evolution are religious, then the endorsement test says that the evolution disclaimers must be allowed because prohibiting them expresses government hostility towards religion and makes the fundies feel like 'political outsiders.'"

Larry, getting dumber by the day. What else can you say?

Thursday, July 31, 2008 3:09:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>Larry wrote, "If some criticisms of evolution are non-religious, then the principle of "no constitutional separation of bad science and state" applies."

Then there's no need for a disclaimer because the constitution allows for science to be taught. <<<<<<<

But the school boards or other authorities might not want teaching of what they consider to be bad science, so then a disclaimer is needed. Also, a disclaimer would be needed anyway in order to avoid the appearance of government hostility to religion and avoid making the fundies feel like "political outsiders."

>>>>>Larry wrote, "If all criticisms of evolution are religious, then the endorsement test says that the evolution disclaimers must be allowed because prohibiting them expresses government hostility towards religion and makes the fundies feel like 'political outsiders.'"

Larry, getting dumber by the day. What else can you say? <<<<<<<

Here is what else you can say: If I'm dumb, then so is Justice O'Connor, who created the endorsement test, and so are all the judges who use the endorsement test.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 3:57:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

These Darwin-guys are so dogmatic that they really think that they must certainly be right, and everyone else must be wrong. So they have no respect for anyone who isn't one of their fellow ideologues. And they are usually true-believers in materialism, who hope to use the schools to indoctrinate other people's kids in materialism: which is really a religion, even if a very crude and simplistic one. Teaching materialism in the schools is actually establishing a state religion. Darwinism is based primarily on faith in materialism, and is one of that creed's chief doctrinal supports. So in practice it's difficult or impossible to separate Darwinism from materialism.

These guys always imagine that they "understand science," but their so-called understanding of science generally turns out to be pretty weak and clueless. They usually think that "understanding science" consists of blindly swallowing whatever doctrine the National Academy of Sciences prefers to assert, by majority vote of its members. And unfortunately, the great majority of the guys at NAS are still dogmatic believers in materialism.

Darwin-believers end up holding that "experts" in various fields should simply rule over the schools and indoctrinate other people's kids in whatever most of the alleged experts prefer to believe. Hence they think that the people have no real right to think for themselves: an essentially arrogant, anti-democratic, authoritarian, dictatorial attitude.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 6:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Darwin B. Leaver said...

Our Darwinist dogma must be
The Indubitable One Prophecy!
So we swagger and strut,
Yet get kicked in the butt
By Behe! Whence cometh ID?!?

(Posted by Leaver's hard-working ghostwriter, Jim Sherwood.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008 7:15:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "Darwinism is based primarily on faith in materialism, and is one of that creed's chief doctrinal supports. So in practice it's difficult or impossible to separate Darwinism from materialism."

This comment is fairly incoherent and idiotic and really deserves no more than simple condemnation, yet it serves as a springboard to make a more important point.

I think Jim is trying to say that contemporary evolutionary theory is based on a philosophy of materialism, that this philosophy constitutes a religion, and that this philosophy is indistinguishable from contemporary evolutionary theory.

The third point is utter bullshit. Materialism, in whatever sense one uses the term, embraces much more than contemporary evolutionary theory. Jim is more or less correct on the first point, though his point lacks the precision that has led to his unfounded conclusion. The modern scientific method, as brought forth in the Dover trial, is based on methodological or scientific naturalism (Barbara Forrest made this point especially, I believe). The assumption that this method follows is that "observable effects in nature are best explainable only by natural causes. In other words, methodological naturalism is the view that the scientific method (hypothesize, predict, test, and repeat) is the only effective way to investigate reality" (see wikipedia on naturalism (redirected from methodological naturalism)).

What Jim and other IDiots overlook is that this method is different than (and contrasted with) ontological or metaphysical naturalism. This naturalism "refers to the metaphysical belief that the natural world (i.e. the universe) is all that exists and, therefore, nothing supernatural exists." Atheists make the conclusion that this is the case -- PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, while theist biologist like Ken Miller refer only to the former.

Note that methodological naturalism is merely a methodology and not a claim about the limitations of reality. It merely states that we can only study what is natural and seek natural causes.

Note that Judge Jones wrote along the lines in his Dover decision that the truth value of Intelligent Design is outside the scope of the court. In saying this, he is acknowledging (whether he supports it or not, given his church on Sunday habit, I would think that he does) the limitations of methodological naturalism.

Jim, don't you have unanswered challenges in another post? Why don't you try answering those before spouting off more nonsense that you can't support. You've already ignored the challenge a few weeks ago.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 7:51:00 PM  
Anonymous jim said...

"These Darwin-guys are so dogmatic that they really think that they must certainly be right, and everyone else must be wrong. So they have no respect for anyone who isn't one of their fellow ideologues."

Pot, meet kettle.

The rest of your paragraph can be reworded without losing meaning (in fact is closer to the truth):

"And they are usually true-believers in Christianity, who hope to use the schools to indoctrinate other people's kids in intelligent design: which is really a religion, even if a very crude and simplistic one. Teaching intelligent design in the schools is actually establishing a state religion. Intelligent design is based primarily on faith in the Christian God, and is one of that creed's chief doctrinal supports. So in practice it's difficult or impossible to separate intelligent design from Christianity."

"These guys always imagine that they "understand science," but their so-called understanding of science generally turns out to be pretty weak and clueless."

Considering your posts primarily consist of "Darwinism is religion, Darwinists are unthinking morons blah blah blah" and NEVER address the actual science of evolution, I don't think you're in a position to judge other's understanding of science.

"They usually think that "understanding science" consists of blindly swallowing whatever doctrine the National Academy of Sciences prefers to assert, by majority vote of its members."

No, this is what YOU think because for some reason you can't fathom people accepting evolution based on study of biology and the evidence. YOU don't get it so therefore no one else possibly could and, therefore, they must be unthinking, brain dead fools. Again, considering your contributions are broad philosophical statements (often parroting the shit I read at uncommonly dense) and long winded posts on how Darwin wasn't the first to describe natural selection, you're clearly not in a position to judge understanding of science.

"And unfortunately, the great majority of the guys at NAS are still dogmatic believers in materialism."

I don't even have a rebuttal for this statement as it is one of the most asinine statements I've seen on this blog to date.

Friday, August 01, 2008 9:30:00 AM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Jim quoted Jim Sherwood and wrote: ""And unfortunately, the great majority of the guys at NAS are still dogmatic believers in materialism."

"I don't even have a rebuttal for this statement as it is one of the most asinine statements I've seen on this blog to date."

I'm sure Jim agrees with me that there have been a large number of very asinine statements on this blog. But I agree, that statement of Jim Sherwood's may well be the winner.

Friday, August 01, 2008 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

JS is such a strong unbeliever in materialism, it is really tough to get him to eat or to come in out of the rain.

Friday, August 01, 2008 3:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

They above anonymouse is such a strong unbeliever in intelligence, that he appears to many to have avoided developing much of it.

Friday, August 01, 2008 4:55:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Nada Platonico said (Thursday, July 31, 2008 7:51:00 PM) --
>>>>>>Note that Judge Jones wrote along the lines in his Dover decision that the truth value of Intelligent Design is outside the scope of the court. In saying this, he is acknowledging (whether he supports it or not, given his church on Sunday habit, I would think that he does) the limitations of methodological naturalism. <<<<<<<

Wrong -- Judge Jones concluded that ID is not science -- the Dover opinion said,

It is our view that a reasonable, objective observer would, after reviewing both the voluminous record in this case, and our narrative, reach the inescapable conclusion that ID is an interesting theological argument, but that it is not science.

The Dover opinion is grossly overrated. It is just an unreviewed opinion of a single judge. Judge Jones probably showed a lack of restraint because he knew that the case was not likely to be appealed because of the changeover in the school board. He showed extreme prejudice against ID and the Dover defendants -- regardless of whether ID is a religious concept -- by saying in a Dickinson College commencement speech that his decision was based on his notion that the Founders based the establishment clause upon a belief that organized religions are not "true" religions -- he said,

. . . this much is very clear. The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry. At bottom then, this core set of beliefs led the Founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state.

His above statement is a plagiarized quote mine from a book. By omitting the book's statement about the influence of radical Whig ideology, he gave even more credit to this "true religion" idea than the book gave. And while he hypocritically claims to be a stickler for judicial precedent, his above statement is contrary to establishment clause precedent.

Also, the Discovery Institute showed that he copied the opinion's ID-as-science section nearly verbatim from the plaintiffs' opening post-trial brief while ignoring the defendants' opening post-trial brief and the plaintiffs' and defendants' answering post-trial briefs. There are a lot of other things he did wrong. The guy's a jerk.

You Dawinists are in a state of denial of reality. You ignore tons of inconvenient facts that are thrown at you. You lie and lie and lie and then you lie some more. That lousy troll Voice in the Urbanness has stopped commenting here because I won't tolerate his lies anymore -- for example, he kept saying over and over that Judge Jones told a newspaper that he was going to follow the law in making his decision whereas he actually told the newspaper that the school board election results would not affect his decision (I think that the election results did in fact affect his decision -- IMO his decision was less restrained as a result of the election results).

Friday, August 01, 2008 8:57:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Larry wrote, "Wrong -- Judge Jones concluded that ID is not science"

I never suggested that the judge stated otherwise. I'm not sure what you think I am mistaken about. There is a difference between the "truth" and the way that truth is produced (this latter we might call, following Foucault, the notion of "being in the true").

What I am saying is that Jones said (early in the decision I believe; if you post a link to the decision I'll take a few minutes to look for the exact quote) is that ID may make a claim to the truth ... but the only decision before the court was whether it was in the true and, if not, then does it constitute religious belief. On these issues, Jones correctly ruled no and yes -- no, it is not in the true (because it does not follow the rules of methodological naturalism) and yes because "a reasonable, objective observer would, after reviewing both the voluminous record in this case, and our narrative, reach the inescapable conclusion that ID is an interesting theological argument."

I am just guessing at what you misunderstood in my statement. Please clarify so that I may enlighten.

Friday, August 01, 2008 9:21:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Where did you get this "in the true" crap, dunghill? To most people, Jones' statement that ID is not science means that ID is not true, or at least not true in a scientific sense.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 4:53:00 AM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Larry wrote, "Where did you get this "in the true" crap, dunghill? To most people, Jones' statement that ID is not science means that ID is not true, or at least not true in a scientific sense."

He did mean that it was no provable in the scientific sense, that was my point.

In the decision he wrote (page 64 of the pdf file, near the beginning of the "Whether ID is science" (sub-)section:

"After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science."

Later, in the conclusion, he states (page 137 of pdf file):

"With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed" (137).

The notion of "in the true" comes from Foucault's formulation of the topic in his essay (actually a lecture), included in the translation of The Archaeology of Knowledge, "The Discourse on Language."

I've explained it before but it went over your head (no surprise). In this case, it means that "what is in the true" is what is truly scientific. Since ID does not follow scientific rules, it is not "in the true." This doesn't mean that its arguments are false per se, but since they don't follow the rigors of scientific methodology, their statements are excluded from what we understand science to be.

Another example: about 20 years ago there were reports of someone achieving cold fusion. I don't remember all the details, but basically the claim is not scientific since (if it was achieved initially, according to the proponent) the results of the experiment were not able to be duplicated. This doesn't mean that cold fusion is impossible. It means that it is not (yet) provable.

Hope this helps.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 8:12:00 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Larry do you read the comments?

"Where did you get this "in the true" crap, dunghill? To most people, Jones' statement that ID is not science means that ID is not true, or at least not true in a scientific sense."

He defined that phrase for your reading pleasure earlier in that very same comment.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 8:15:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Regarding:

"After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science."

That is exactly right. I see no grounds on which that can be quibbled.

I must admit that I'm a little ambivalent about whether I personally "take no position". I believe that evolution is quite adequate to describe how we got here. But that's inconsistent with what look to me like historical incidents of "divine providence" (of course, that's not science either). I can more readily accept the possibility when the will of conscious beings is crucial to the fulfillment. (Perhaps we tune into something ineffable -- I'm agnostic about that.)

G_d helps those who help themselves.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Nada Platonico said (Saturday, August 02, 2008 8:12:00 AM) --
>>>>>> "After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science." <<<<<<

Judge Jones contradicts himself here by saying that "ID is not science" but that he takes no position on whether ID arguments may be true. Science is a search for truth, so If ID is not science, then ID is not true -- at least it is not true in a scientific sense.

>>>>>>In this case, it means that "what is in the true" is what is truly scientific. Since ID does not follow scientific rules, it is not "in the true." This doesn't mean that its arguments are false per se, but since they don't follow the rigors of scientific methodology, their statements are excluded from what we understand science to be. <<<<<<<

You appear to claim that ID might be true in an unscientific sense while not being true in a scientific sense (I disagree with such a claim), but Judge Jones did not say that.

>>>>>> "Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed" <<<<<<

His ruling that ID is not science has severely impaired the study, debate, and discussion of ID and other scientific and pseudoscientific criticisms of evolution. His ruling that ID is not science is often dogmatically invoked in debates about evolution, and just because he is a judge this ruling is given excessive weight for what is just the opinion of a single person. The amicus brief of 85 scientists warned him to not stigmatize ID by ruling that it is less scientific than competing ideas.

I apologize for calling you "dunghill," but I just got irritated by your use of this term "in the true" that is not in common usage and IMO is a rather silly term (at least "truthiness" has some pizzazz).

Saturday, August 02, 2008 1:13:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Larry writes, "udge Jones contradicts himself here by saying that "ID is not science" but that he takes no position on whether ID arguments may be true. Science is a search for truth, so If ID is not science, then ID is not true -- at least it is not true in a scientific sense."

No he doesn't. Science is a search for truth -- but one that follows a specific rule. You acknowledge this when you say, "then ID is not true -- at least it is not true in a scientific sense."

And you're exactly right -- ID is not true in a scientific sense.

But outside that scientific sense, Jones allows for the possibility that ID may be true in a non-scientific sense.

Larry wrote, "You appear to claim that ID might be true in an unscientific sense while not being true in a scientific sense (I disagree with such a claim), but Judge Jones did not say that."

Exactly. Though I would like to note that I do not believe that ID is true in an unscientific sense -- and you are correct, Judge Jones does not say if he supports that opinion or not.

Larry wrote, "His ruling that ID is not science has severely impaired the study, debate, and discussion of ID and other scientific and pseudoscientific criticisms of evolution"

All his ruling did was make sure that ID would not be invoked in public high school classrooms. Dembski, Behe, Gonzalez, et al, are free to pursue their studies of ID. Universities had already decided on the scientific merits (or, more accurately, the lack thereof) of ID; the court case had no bearing on them.

That's also the price of promoting ID as a public relations campaign instead of trying to publish research. I believe it was the Templeton Foundation that offered money for research on ID -- money that went unclaimed (I believe they finally withdrew their offer after no one accepted the money).

In recent years, two different theories that are now commonly accepted faced severed rebuke if not derision from their scientific colleagues -- the Big Bang theory and that of continental drift. Rather than launch a PR campaign to support their views, the scientists behind these theories developed and "proved" (as much as anything is proved in science) that their theories were correct. As you are aware, those theories are commonly accepted today.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 1:58:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"those theories are commonly accepted today"

Well, I guess one out of two ain't bad.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 2:37:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

'nonymous wrote, "Well, I guess one out of two ain't bad"

Should I have said plate tectonics? If so, my bad.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 2:49:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Nada Platonico driveled (Saturday, August 02, 2008 1:58:00 PM) --
>>>>>>And you're exactly right -- ID is not true in a scientific sense. <<<<<<

I never said that, dunghill -- you are putting words in my mouth. And this time I am not going to apologize for calling you "dunghill."

>>>>> But outside that scientific sense, Jones allows for the possibility that ID may be true in a non-scientific sense. <<<<<<

Judge Jones never distinguished between "scientific sense" and "non-scientific sense," so his statement appears to be ambiguous.

>>>>> All his ruling did was make sure that ID would not be invoked in public high school classrooms. <<<<<<

Wrong -- the amicus brief of 85 scientists warned that a ruling that ID is unscientific would have a negative impact on ID outside public school classrooms, and the ruling has had such a negative impact. The courts should rule the controversy to be as non-justiciable as the question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

>>>>>> Universities had already decided on the scientific merits (or, more accurately, the lack thereof) of ID; the court case had no bearing on them. <<<<<<

What do you mean, "already decided"? There is also an impact on future decisions. Duh.

>>>>>> I believe it was the Templeton Foundation that offered money for research on ID -- money that went unclaimed <<<<<<

IMO the Templeton Foundation's offer of grant money was just a charade -- they had no intention of ever granting it.

>>>>> Rather than launch a PR campaign to support their views, the scientists behind these theories developed and "proved" <<<<<<

Criticisms of Darwinism are not just "PR" -- supporting scientific arguments have been presented in several books, e.g., The Edge of Evolution, No Free Lunch, and Icons of Evolution, as well as in numerous discussions and debates on the Internet and elsewhere.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 3:18:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

My comments have been posted on the Houston Chronicle evolution blog:

The 3rd comment on New Blog about Evolution and Education in Texas

The 5th comment -- and another comment has been submitted -- on Did Thomas Jefferson Believe in Intelligent Design Creationism?

If a policy of no arbitrary censorship of comments is strictly enforced on this newspaper blog, this newspaper blog may turn out to be one of the best places on the Internet to discuss the evolution controversy. Arbitrary censorship of comments is practiced on too many of the independent blogs where the controversy is discussed.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 3:24:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"Should I have said plate tectonics?"

I do not draw a distinction between "plate tectonics" and "continental drift" -- although perhaps I should.

It is the Big Bang theory that is on the ropes. IMO is is not likely to survive.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 3:51:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Larry wrote, "I never said that, dunghill -- you are putting words in my mouth"

Previously he wrote, "o If ID is not science, then ID is not true -- at least it is not true in a scientific sense."

I did not mean to imply that you agreed with that statement -- I thought you did, actually, since you say you don't support ID, but your blog suggests the opposite of that statement. Either way, I don't care.

Larry wrote, "Wrong -- the amicus brief of 85 scientists warned that a ruling that ID is unscientific would have a negative impact on ID outside public school classrooms, and the ruling has had such a negative impact"

1) Judge Jones was in no position to determine the policy at universities. Universities have much more leeway to support ID or religion than public (high) schools do -- sectarian prayer is allowed at graduation ceremonies of universities, while they are not allowed at high schools. 2) I am not sure that anything has changed. Gonzalez would have been denied tenure regardless of the decisions. Behe's colleagues would not have changed their stance on him (both the department and Behe's own websites have disclaimers about ID). What has changed? I don't think anything has. There still has not been any research supporting ID published.

Larry wrote, "IMO the Templeton Foundation's offer of grant money was just a charade -- they had no intention of ever granting it"

The public offer was made. It seems like a group that would support something like ID. I have no way of evaluating their real purpose. In any case, with or without their support, there has been no research supporting ID published.

Larry wrote, "Criticisms of Darwinism are not just "PR" -- supporting scientific arguments have been presented in several books, e.g., The Edge of Evolution, No Free Lunch, and Icons of Evolution, as well as in numerous discussions and debates on the Internet and elsewhere."

No there hasn't. There is nothing scientific about any of those books or discussions other than they are generally about science. In order to be a scientific theory, one has to propose something. ID is merely a collection of criticisms of evolution that do no more than expand on the "God of the gaps" argument.

What predictions can ID make? So far, you have ignored the challenge in another thread.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 4:05:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

'nonymous wrote, "It is the Big Bang theory that is on the ropes. IMO is is not likely to survive."

Really? Any place where this is being discussed?

Saturday, August 02, 2008 4:07:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"IMO (the Big Bang theory) is not likely to survive."

While it has some plausibility and some predictive successes, there are also severe doubts.

For instance, there's the Horizon Problem. The bizarre inflationary theory kludge was cooked up to "explain" this.

Then there are the "Great Walls" of galaxies, the largest over a billion light years long. There is no way a structure of that size could have formed in the supposed age of the universe.

Finally, the most indigestible nugget of all: the expansion of the universe appears to be accelerating.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 5:04:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

P.S. Only a partial list.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 5:06:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Here's another one for you, NP.

I especially get a kick out of the editor's comment:

"This article or section appears to contradict itself. Please help fix this problem."

He's right, of course -- good luck!

P.S. 300 million light years is also much too large.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 5:26:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

'nonymous -- none of the links seriously doubt the Big Bang theory. Only one even mentioned that it contradicted the Big Bang, also noted the the Theory of Inflation may solve the unexpected result.

As far as acceleration: that was always one possibility (one that we didn't expect). From what I gather, it doesn't challenge the theory itself -- it's what led us to the recognition of a lot of missing mass and energy, what we've come to know as dark matter and dark energy.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 6:06:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Nada Platonico said (Saturday, August 02, 2008 4:05:00 PM) --
>>>>>>I did not mean to imply that you agreed with that statement <<<<<<

What? You did not merely imply that I agree with that statement -- you said that I agree with that statement. You said, "And you're exactly right -- ID is not true in a scientific sense."

>>>>> I thought you did, actually <<<<<<

Well, please make up your mind.

>>>>> since you say you don't support ID <<<<<<

No, I didn't say that I don't support ID, I only said that I am not a big fan of ID. I prefer non-ID criticisms of evolution.

>>>>> 1) Judge Jones was in no position to determine the policy at universities. <<<<<<

But he was in a position to influence the policy at universities. Darwinists are always citing his Dover opinion to support their positions.

>>>>> 2) I am not sure that anything has changed. <<<<<<

A helluva lot has changed.

>>>>> ID is merely a collection of criticisms of evolution <<<<<<

There is no rule that says that a scientific theory may not be criticized without presenting a plausible alternative theory at the same time.

>>>>>> What predictions can ID make? So far, you have ignored the challenge in another thread. <<<<<<

Unlike you, I have a lot of things to do on the Internet -- write new posts for this blog, answer others' comments on this blog, and comment on other websites -- and I don't have the time to get into a big debate with you. You won't accept my simple answers to your questions but insist on having a big debate.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 11:37:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"none of the links seriously doubt the Big Bang theory"

NP, for an anarchist, you are remarkably conformist and credulous.

(BTW, why does anarchy "sound good to you"?)

Sunday, August 03, 2008 12:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> there is nothing there about whether or not they have a policy of not arbitrarily censoring visitors' comments. <

Perhaps they considered the comments to be "personal gossip"?

Sunday, August 03, 2008 8:04:00 AM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

'nonymous wrote, "NP, for an anarchist, you are remarkably conformist and credulous.

"(BTW, why does anarchy "sound good to you"?)"

I am credulous for not accepting your view that the Big Bang Theory is seriously questioned by the links you provided -- links that mention so such thing? That's an odd view of credulous.

Sorry I don't fit your perception of what an anarchist should be like. Anarchists are not all the same either. I'm not sure that I am one -- the line "anarchy sounds good to me" is from a DK song, "Where do ya draw the line?" and continues -- "then someone asks 'who'd fix the sewers' / 'would the rednecks just play king of the neighborhood?'"

As for why anarchy does sound good: politicians are mostly useless pools of puss on society (it's a metaphor Larry). Some people do need government though. Read Ibsen's An Enemy of the People (also translated as A Public Enemy) for a take on that. For a view of people not needing government (and government being very, very bad for people), read B. Traven's Government.

Way OT: my favorite DK songs are "Holiday in Cambodia," "Moon over Marin," and "Pull My Strings" (only available on Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death, performed only once in concert (at an awards ceremony, they weren't invited back).

Sunday, August 03, 2008 7:59:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Larry wrote, "There is no rule that says that a scientific theory may not be criticized without presenting a plausible alternative theory at the same time."

If they want to be an alternative theory, then yes they do. That's why ID isn't even a theory.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 8:31:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

But it is a scientific criticism of evolution theory.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 8:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: But it is a scientific criticism of evolution theory.

Merely using sciency-sounding terminology does not make something a scientific criticism. See: crappy creationist arguments about the second law of thermodynamics.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 9:29:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"it's what led us to the recognition of a lot of missing mass and energy, what we've come to know as dark matter and dark energy."

Who is "we", Kemo Sabe, and what is it that "we" "know"?

Sunday, August 03, 2008 10:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Zmidponk said...

>>>Here's another one for you, NP.

I especially get a kick out of the editor's comment:

"This article or section appears to contradict itself. Please help fix this problem."

He's right, of course -- good luck!<<<

Erm, check the talk page. The 'contradiction' is about whether the Sloan Great Wall is or is not a proper astronomical structure, as that section refers to it as a structure, but then says, "technically it is not a 'structure', since the objects in it are not gravitationally related with each other but only appear this way", not about whether or not the Big Bang actually happened, or anything even related to that.

Monday, August 04, 2008 7:31:00 AM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

'nonymous wrote, "Who is "we", Kemo Sabe, and what is it that "we" "know"?"

I used we to refer to knowledge already attained and well circulated -- what's commonly called "common knowledge," information that doesn't require a source. For example, saying that people knew the world was round before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, would be common knowledge -- no need to cite Aristotle (even if his world was a bit too small).

Monday, August 04, 2008 8:09:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

what's commonly called "common knowledge"

Also known as "conventional wisdom" (sometimes correct, or partly so).

Columbus is a good example, actually. He knew that the Earth is round. He also thought he was in Asia. Our current "conventional wisdom" cosmological theories are likely similar -- a grain of truth, along with nonsense.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 1:19:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"Erm, check the talk page."

Good idea. I did think the 'contradiction' referred to something else.

"The 'contradiction' is about whether the Sloan Great Wall is or is not a proper astronomical structure"

If you would read what I said more carefully, you would see that my remarks referred equally to the original "Great Wall" which is also much, much too large to have had time to form. Its minimum age was estimated, IIRC, at 50 to 100 billion years. The same remarks apply to the Capricornus Void as well.

The "conventional wisdom" perceives more settled science in this area than really exists. The following is from the prospectus for the Emilio Segrè Distinguished Lecture at UC Berkeley last December (emphasis added):

Burt Richter
Nobel Laureate
Former Director of SLAC
Paul Pigott Professor in the Physical Sciences, Emeritus
Stanford University

Elementary Particle Physics: A Personal Look Ahead

"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times" is the way Dickens
begins the Tale of Two Cities. The line is appropriate to this time in
particle physics. It is the best of times because we are in the midst of
a revolution in understanding. It is the worst of times because
accelerator facilities are shutting down before new ones are opening, restricting the opportunities for experiments, and because of great uncertainty about future funding. Over the last 15 years we found that
we knew much less than we thought we did. Neutrinos can change from one type to another. Visible matter only makes up 5% of the energy density of our universe; dark matter makes up 20%; and something called dark energy makes up the rest. ...


According to NP: "what we've come to know as dark matter and dark energy"

Yeah, right. ("Something called" sounds like a good scientific term, yes?) LOL!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 1:45:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

P.S. May I remind you, that part of the justification for the Big Bang model was the uniformity of the cosmic microwave background? How do you square that with these huge irregularities (such as the walls and voids)? Any solution to that is likely to be hoist on the petard of the Horizon Problem.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 1:57:00 AM  

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