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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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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Washington Pest messes with biology texasbooks


Illustration by Doug Potter -- Austin Chronicle

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A Washington Post article titled "Evolving Towards a Compromise" says,

A proposal before the Texas Board of Education calls for including the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolution in the state's science curriculum. This initiative is understood by supporters and opponents to be a strategic effort to get around First Amendment restrictions on teaching religion in science class. The proposal is a new round in an old debate, and, if it fails, creationists will innovate once again, just as they have since the 1920s.

As Evolution News & Views has pointed out, the "strengths and weaknesses" idea is not new -- that language has been in the Texas state standards since the late 1980's. Ironically, though critics of Darwinism are not trying to add that language to the standards, the Darwinists are trying to remove it -- in testimony to the Texas House Public Education Committee, Texas Citizens for Science president Steven Schafersman said,
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We scientists are worried that the School Board wants to damage science standards during their upcoming revision. Several members of the SB, including Chairman McLeroy, have stated their intention to keep the unscientific language of "strengths and weaknesses" in the standards, so as to be able to force teachers and textbooks to include unscientific and bogus "weaknesses" of scientific information that the Board members consider to be "controversial," such as evolution, the origin of life, global warming, and the age of the Earth, rocks, and fossils.

The Washington Post article continues,

If they succeed, there could be national implications: Because of Texas's sizable school population, the state curriculum can influence national standards. Book publishers don't want to produce multiple versions of the same text for different states or regions, so ideas that work their way into Texas's curriculum often end up shaping content in classrooms elsewhere.

"Multiple versions"? Only two versions -- one for atheists and one for fundies -- would be required at most. And if we can have two different kinds of automobile emissions certifications -- federal and California -- we can certainly have two different kinds of textbooks. When biology textbooks discuss evolution in only one chapter, writing two different versions of the textbook is easy. Biology textbooks that are "laced" with Darwinism -- like the textbooks adopted by the Dover school board (former board member Bill Buckingham said that evolution was discussed in 12-15 places in the book) -- might require a lot of rewriting.

Steven Schafersman also said in his testimony,

Most states allow individual school districts to adopt textbooks and instructional materials. Few states--14 I believe--have a central adoption policy. Texas is by far the largest adoption state. All the other large states--California, New York, Illinois, etc.--allow school district choice of textbooks . . . . Christian fundamentalists and other zealots with a political or ideological agenda are attracted to the Texas SBOE like flies to a corpse, because the office gives them enormous power to promote their beliefs in the public school system of Texas and other states (primarily in the U.S. South) that adopt textbooks written for Texas.

There is no reason for other states to adopt the Texas textbooks if they don't like them. Even if other textbooks cost a little more, that's no problem because the cost differential would be a very small part of the cost of running public schools. I have nothing but contempt for tightwad taxpayers who would sell their souls to the devil to save a few pennies on their tax bills.

We presume that the Texas challenge will be found to violate the Constitution and that scientists will never accept the watering down of evolutionary concepts in the classroom.

It is not inevitable that teaching or mentioning scientific (or pseudoscientific to some) criticisms of evolution in public schools will always be struck down by the courts. There is no constitutional separation of bad science and state. The courts should rule that the evolution controversy is non-justiciable, just as the courts treated the global-warming controversy as non-justiciable in Massachusetts v. EPA. Questions are non-justiciable when there is “a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards,” Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267, 277-78 (2004). Court rulings on scientific issues in the evolution controversy are like court rulings on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Intelligent design and previous creationist debates appear to center on where humans came from.

Intelligent Design is not the only scientific (or pseudoscientific to some) criticism of evolution -- there are also non-ID criticisms of evolution.

A less public yet similarly powerful motive of activists is their belief that the materialist underpinnings of evolutionary theory harm children's values.

That is not a less public motive -- that is an important part of the debate. Of course, the influence of Darwinism on morality has nothing to do with the scientific merits of Darwinism and is not a good reason to not teach Darwinism.

For example, the defender of fundamentalism in the 1925 Scopes "monkey trial," Williams Jennings Bryan, was motivated by his conclusion that Darwinism taught "the law of the jungle" and had led to World War I by subverting the morality of the Germans.

I have seen no evidence that Bryan blamed Germany for the start of WW I, but he did believe that Darwinism undermines morality.

More recently, "the Wedge," an infamous leaked strategy document of intelligent design proponents, suggests that advocates are not as concerned about the truth of evolution as they are about the underlying values they think it teaches.

"The Wedge" issue is just a conspiracy theory and guilt-by-association.

To assuage the type of concern articulated by William Jennings Bryan, teachers could tell students that even though evolutionary science talks about the survival of the fittest organism, it is not a model for how humans should treat each other. . . . . they could explicitly note that just because mutations in organisms are random, it does not follow that human morality is random.

But would Darwinists find such teaching in the public schools to be acceptable? The Darwinists are already in a state of denial -- despite overwhelming evidence -- of Darwinism's influence on Nazism. For example, the Anti-Defamation League denounced the Darwin-to-Hitler themes of the "Expelled" movie and Coral Ridge Ministries' "Darwin's Deadly Legacy" TV program, saying that Hitler did not "need" Darwin.

In the final analysis, this so-called "compromise" is not a compromise at all -- it does not teach or even inform students about the scientific (pseudoscientific to some) criticisms of Darwinism.
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27 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great example of why pseudoscience should not be allowed to get a toehold in science teaching. Thank you for supporting the evolutionists, Larry.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 7:56:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

How about if we require teaching of the "Strengths and Weaknesses" of Genesis in Sunday School classes?

Sunday, July 27, 2008 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous History of Religion said...

"Only two versions ..."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ... (rofl) ...

Sunday, July 27, 2008 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have nothing but contempt for tightwad taxpayers"

Big deal. You have nothing but contempt for practically everyone.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry writes (another miss, btw): "As Evolution News & Views has pointed out, the "strengths and weaknesses" idea is not new -- that language has been in the Texas state standards since the late 1980's. Ironically, though critics of Darwinism are not trying to add that language to the standards, the Darwinists are trying to remove it..."

However, the Times article notes, "The “strengths and weaknesses” language was slipped into the curriculum standards in Texas to appease creationists when the State Board of Education first mandated the teaching of evolution in the late 1980s"

In other words, the language was adopted in the standards by creationists in 1988. It is no surprise that "Darwinists" (sic) are trying to have them removed: they are only there to placate the creationists. Of course, the standards also state that scientific evidence should be used -- ruling out any sort of creationism -- including ID (shut up Jim).

Larry misses the point (you shouldn't be surprised) when he writes, "here is no reason for other states to adopt the Texas textbooks if they don't like them."

The whole point is that textbooks will be written for the Texas audience since publishers don't want more than one edition of any given book; therefore all states would be affected.

Larry writes, related to this topic, "Only two versions -- one for atheists and one for fundies -- would be required at most."

A false dichotomy. While the most ardent supporters of creationism are fundamentalists, even mainstream religious people (who probably don't go the church every Sunday) probably favor the textbook change, especially if they are uninformed about the issues or misinformed like Larry and Jim Sherwood are. On the other hand, not all supporters of contemporary evolutionary theory are atheists. Ed Brayton isn't, Ken Miller isn't. And Miller has written one of the more popular high school biology textbooks. And the Dover science teachers -- some of them teach Sunday school at their church. I guess that makes them atheists.

Larry wrote, "Biology textbooks that are "laced" with Darwinism"

This statement makes no sense. How is a biology textbook "laced" with "Darwinism" (sic)? Are you suggesting that it doesn't belong there? If that's the case -- you're wrong (of course).

Larry writes, "There is no reason for other states to adopt the Texas textbooks if they don't like them"

The point is that those states won't have a choice -- all books will be printed with Texas standards. Textbook publishers are trying to make money -- that's why they sell their books instead of giving them away free. They make more money if they print more copies of a single edition than if they sell an equal number of copies of two editions.

Larry writes, "It is not inevitable that teaching or mentioning scientific (or pseudoscientific to some) criticisms of evolution in public schools will always be struck down by the courts"

Isn't that what Benjamin Franklin said -- only three things are inevitable in life: death, taxes, and the fact that pseudo-scientific criticisms of evolutionary theory in public schools will be struck down as unconstitutional by the federal court system of the United States? Silly me, I must have the quote wrong.

Larry wrote, "There is no constitutional separation of bad science and state"

What about the free speech rights of science teachers dedicated to teaching proper science?

Larry wrote, ""The Wedge" issue is just a conspiracy theory and guilt-by-association."

The Wedge is the real document and clearly indicates the true motives of the Discovery (sic) Institute.

Larry wrote, "The Darwinists are already in a state of denial -- despite overwhelming evidence -- of Darwinism's influence on Nazism"

And what does this have to do with issues of common descent, genetic mutation, genetic drift, the classification of species, etc., etc., etc.?

Larry wrote, "In the final analysis, this so-called "compromise" is not a compromise at all -- it does not teach or even inform students about the scientific (pseudoscientific to some) criticisms of Darwinism."

I don't now what the "compromise" refers to, but the pseudoscientific criticisms of "Darwinism" (sic) do not deserve to be mentioned in a high school classroom. Simply mentioning them is giving them more credibility than they deserve.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 2:21:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The article in "The Washington Pest" is the usual ID-is-creationism crap. ID cannot be creationism, since quite a few ID scientists believe that humans have descended from ancient ape-like ancestors; and since ID in itself can arrive at no claim about the nature of the intelligence(s) involved. Hence different ID proponents prefer many different views about the nature of the intelligence or intelligences, or simply are agnostic about it. Not every ID proponent thinks that the intelligence(s) amount to God or to something supernatural.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 4:21:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The real problem is that the Darwin-fanatics are pushing for Darwinist dogma in the schools. Their attack on the schools guarantees a controversy that will intensify for many, many years. So I guess we're all going to have "fun." These Darwin-addicts are certainly extreme and anti-democratic in their opinions and tactics.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 4:41:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Sorry to be a bit redundant here, but JS never did answer this and Larry has seen fit to have this merely 2-week-old comment scroll off to archive hell. So I'm reposting, with emphasis added. JS, address it, please.

Mohrhoff quotes a piece by philosopher Jerry Fodor titled “The big idea: can there be a science of mind?”, in which Fodor mentions three major questions to which a theory of mind is required to find answers: (i) How could anything material be conscious? (ii) How could anything material be about anything [the problem of intentionality]? (iii) How could anything material be rational?

In everyday life, we notice that -- however unlikely it might be -- some material things (humans) are conscious, do have intent, and are rational (well, at least some of us are rational). So we observe that (a) this is possible, and (b) it's connected to material life forms.

ID says that this is inexplicable. In order to explain it, ID invokes some being / force that has the attributes of consciousness, intention, and rationality, but is not material. This is supposedly a "helpful" explanation. But it begs the question, and does so by disregarding the known prerequisites for such attributes.

(BTW, I don't deny that life is a marvel and that humans are the most marvelous of all.)

Also BTW, there are some good books on how consciousness works; I suggest Marvin Minsky's The Society of Mind (even the few negative -- i.e., 4-star -- reviews are enthusiastic).

(Posted Friday, July 11, 2008)

Sunday, July 27, 2008 5:01:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

What do you mean, "scroll to archive hell"? There is no archive hell here -- all posts are instantly available.

The home page is now set to have 15 posts, which is fairly typical for blogs. I make about one or two posts per day, so the home page has about one-two weeks worth of posts.

You don't even say where the old comment thread is. Readers may want to know that so they can read the background of your comment. Also, any answers to your comment ought to be posted in the old thread to maintain continuity.

I wish I knew how to list the most recent comments posted anywhere on the blog. Maybe there is an easy way to do it in Blogger.com layout mode, but I use the template mode.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 8:58:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said...

>>>>>> The real problem is that the Darwin-fanatics are pushing for Darwinist dogma in the schools. Their attack on the schools guarantees a controversy that will intensify for many, many years. So I guess we're all going to have "fun." These Darwin-addicts are certainly extreme and anti-democratic in their opinions and tactics. <<<<<<

Exactly -- the Darwin-fanatics are very greedy. Even where only evolution is actually taught, the Darwinists are going to the courts to try to block evolution disclaimers.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 9:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Hector said...

"I have nothing but contempt for tightwad taxpayers"

It's not like Larry actually was a taxpayer.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 9:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

The article in "The Washington Pest" is the usual ID-is-creationism crap. ID cannot be creationism, since quite a few ID scientists believe that humans have descended from ancient ape-like ancestors;

They use the argument quite often in order to keep it out of public schools. Liberal appointed judges lead the way in ruling in their favor.

How about if we require teaching of the "Strengths and Weaknesses" of Genesis in Sunday School classes?

Are the public schools your church, and are you funding any church through your tax money? Generally the questions about why people believe the way the do in God are discussed there. Most likely more freedom of inquiring there, than in a nonymous public school.

Monday, July 28, 2008 1:19:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Oh, so you actually like church-state separation, then? Imagine that!

Monday, July 28, 2008 7:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curiously enough, Larry continues to allege that in Mass v. EPA the court held that global warming was non-justiciable.

Of course, if you actually read the opinion, you'll find that the courts reached the merits of the case. Absolutely hilarious.

Monday, July 28, 2008 12:41:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Good grief, Larry!

Held:

1. Petitioners have standing to challenge the EPA’s denial of their rulemaking petition. Pp. 12–23.

(a) This case suffers from none of the defects that would preclude it from being a justiciable Article III “Controvers[y].”


Somehow you get from there to:

"the courts treated the global-warming controversy as non-justiciable in Massachusetts v. EPA"

Now, as it happens, I agree with the dissenting opinion here and wish that the SC had found non-justiciability. But in fact, they found the opposite. (Yet another SC travesty.)

Monday, July 28, 2008 1:46:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous driveled,
>>>>>Of course, if you actually read the opinion, you'll find that the courts reached the merits of the case. Absolutely hilarious. <<<<<<

You're absolutely hilarious -- you cite nothing to support your position.

'Nonymous said,
>>>>>> Held:

1. Petitioners have standing to challenge the EPA�s denial of their rulemaking petition. Pp. 12�23.

(a) This case suffers from none of the defects that would preclude it from being a justiciable Article III �Controvers[y].�
<<<<<<<

That doesn't prove anything -- the court could have been talking about the justiciability of something other than the scientific issues, e.g., the authority or the duty of the EPA to (1) make determinations about global warming theory and (2) regulate greenhouse gases.

>>>>>> Somehow you get from there to:

"the courts treated the global-warming controversy as non-justiciable in Massachusetts v. EPA" <<<<<<<

OK, I took a closer look at the opinion's syllabus and saw that the court was wishy-washy about the justiciability of the scientific issues. First the court applied the "general acceptance rule" (no longer a valid rule according to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, discussed below) to rule in favor of global warming theory:

(b) The harms associated with climate change are serious and well recognized. The Government's own objective assessment of the relevant science and a strong consensus among qualified experts indicate that global warming threatens, inter alia, a precipitate rise in sea levels, severe and irreversible changes to natural ecosystems, a significant reduction in winter snowpack with direct and important economic consequences, and increases in the spread of disease and the ferocity of weather events.

But later in the syllabus, the court talks about the "uncertainty" of global warming theory and assigns to the EPA the task of determining the scientific merits of the theory:

Under the Act's clear terms, EPA can avoid promulgating regulations only if it determines that greenhouse gases do not contribute to climate change or if it provides some reasonable explanation as to why it cannot or will not exercise its discretion to determine whether they do. It has refused to do so, offering instead a laundry list of reasons not to regulate, including the existence of voluntary Executive Branch programs providing a response to global warming and impairment of the President�s ability to negotiate with developing nations to reduce emissions. These policy judgments have nothing to do with whether greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change and do not amount to a reasoned justification for declining to form a scientific judgment . Nor can EPA avoid its statutory obligation by noting the uncertainty surrounding various features of climate change and concluding that it would therefore be better not to regulate at this time. If the scientific uncertainty is so profound that it precludes EPA from making a reasoned judgment, it must say so. The statutory question is whether sufficient information exists for it to make an endangerment finding. Instead, EPA rejected the rulemaking petition based on impermissible considerations.

Also, according to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, the old "general acceptance standard" is no longer valid:

The Court of Appeals agreed and affirmed, citing Frye v. United States, 54 App. D. C. 46, 47, 293 F. 1013, 1014, for the rule that expert opinion based on a scientific technique is inadmissible unless the technique is "generally accepted" as reliable in the relevant scientific community.

Held: The Federal Rules of Evidence, not Frye, provide the standard for admitting expert scientific testimony in a federal trial. Pp. 4-17.

(a) Frye's "general acceptance" test was superseded by the Rules' adoption. The Rules occupy the field, United States v. Abel, 469 U.S. 45, 49, and, although the common law of evidence may serve as an aid to their application, id., at 51-52, respondent's assertion that they somehow assimilated Frye is unconvincing. Nothing in theRules as a whole or in the text and drafting history of Rule 702, which specifically governs expert testimony, gives any indication that "general acceptance" is a necessary precondition to the admissibility of scientific evidence.


However, Daubert ruled that the courts may consider "general acceptance" to be one of several factors:

Faced with a proffer of expert scientific testimony under Rule 702, the trial judge, pursuant to Rule 104(a), must make a preliminary assessment of whether the testimony's underlying reasoning or methodology is scientifically valid and properly can be applied to the facts at issue. Many considerations will bear on the inquiry, including whether the theory or technique in question can be (and has been) tested, whether it has been subjected to peer review and publication, its known or potential error rate, and the existence and maintenance of standards controlling its operation, and whether it has attracted widespread acceptance within a relevant scientific community.

There were several days of expert scientific testimony in Kitzmiller v. Dover. In contrast, there was apparently no expert scientific testimony in Mass. v EPA. Mass. v. EPA was filed in the DC Circuit federal court of appeals as an original action.

Also, Mass v. EPA involved the possibility of real damage from global warming, whereas establishment-clause monkey trials (e.g., Kitzmiller v. Dover) just involve a "right to not be offended." That is a particularly good reason for the courts to declare that the scientific issues in the evolution controversy are non-justiciable.

As for global warming theory, my general feeling is, "better safe than sorry." Reducing carbon emissions also has the benefit of conserving fossil fuel resources.

Monday, July 28, 2008 4:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a few places in the opinion where Stevens DOES evaluate the scientific merits of global warming. I harp on this subject only to show (1) how horrendously wrong Larry is on legal issues and (2) to prove that he doesn't read or understand the legal opinions he opines on.

From Page 22

"Because of the enormity of the potential consequences associated with man-made climate change, the fact that the effectivenessof a remedy might be delayed during the (relatively short) time it takes for a new motor-vehicle fleet to replace anolder one is essentially irrelevant."

From Page 23

"The risk of catastrophic harm, though remote, is nevertheless real. That risk would be reduced to some extent if petitioners received the relief they seek.We therefore hold that petitioners have standing to challenge the EPA’s denial of their rulemaking petition."

From Page 18

"The harms associated with climate change are seriousand well recognized. Indeed, the NRC Report itself—which EPA regards as an “objective and independentassessment of the relevant science,” 68 Fed. Reg. 52930—identifies a number of environmental changes that havealready inflicted significant harms, including “the globalretreat of mountain glaciers, reduction in snow-coverextent, the earlier spring melting of rivers and lakes, [and]the accelerated rate of rise of sea levels during the 20th century relative to the past few thousand years . . . ."

The Court, contrary to Larry's tortured reasoning, did not declare the scientific evidence of global warming non-justiciable. In fact, in engaged (in several prominent locations of the opinions) in an INDEPENDENT analysis of the merits of scientific claims.

Which is exactly what has been done in the ID cases. Game. Set. Match.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:58:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>> I harp on this subject only to show (1) how horrendously wrong Larry is on legal issues and (2) to prove that he doesn't read or understand the legal opinions he opines on. <<<<<<

You stupid fathead -- what about the place I cited in the syllabus where the court talks about the "uncertainty" of global warming theory and says that the EPA could decide that "the uncertainty is so profound that it precludes EPA from making a reasoned judgment":

"If the scientific uncertainty is so profound that it precludes EPA from making a reasoned judgment, it must say so."

>>>>>>From Page 22
"Because of the enormity of the potential consequences. . . "

From Page 23
"The risk of catastrophic harm, though remote . . ." <<<<<<<

The opinion only spoke of "potential" consequences and even said that the risk of catastrophic harm is "remote." The court never ruled that global warming theory is wholly or even partly true and did not rule that criticisms of the theory are false.

>>>>>>"The harms associated with climate change are seriousand well recognized. Indeed, the NRC Report itself—which EPA regards as an “objective and independentassessment of the relevant science,” . . . . . . .<<<<<<

That is just a rehash of my first quote from the syllabus.

>>>>>>> The Court, contrary to Larry's tortured reasoning, did not declare the scientific evidence of global warming non-justiciable <<<<<<

I did not say that the court explicitly declared that the global warming controversy is non-justiciable -- I only said that the court "treated" the global warming controversy as non-justiciable. I retreated a little from that position when I said that the court was wishy-washy about whether the global warming theory is non-justiciable. But the court called the theory "uncertain" and said that the EPA could rule that there was insufficient evidence to support the theory.

>>>>>> In fact, in engaged (in several prominent locations of the opinions) in an INDEPENDENT analysis of the merits of scientific claims. <<<<<<<

How could the courts do an "INDEPENDENT" analysis when there was no expert testimony to review? Also, as I said, the Supreme Court applied the "general acceptance" standard, which the court ruled in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals was no longer acceptable as a sole basis for ruling on scientific questions.

Don't you read anything I post?

>>>>> Game. Set. Match. <<<<<<<

Only in your dreams, dunghill.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

BTW, another point I will concede -- the Supreme Court never said that the courts could not review the EPA's determinations of the scientific merits of global warming theory. But there is no reason why the courts cannot declare that the evolution controversy is non-justiciable.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Larry wrote, "But there is no reason why the courts cannot declare that the evolution controversy is non-justiciable."

It is completely relevant to the courts, especially SCOTUS, when people want to teach some form of religious doctrine or religious-inspired pseudo-science in a public school classroom. Too bad about the Wedge Document, now isn't it?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ll try and cut down the debate.

Larry is somewhat correct in pointing out the two paragraphs mention the “possibility” of the risk of global warming.

What he fails to acknowledge is that the court said that the plaintiff’s testimony went uncontradicted that global warming causes harm. Oops, one point against Larry.

>>>>>>"The harms associated with climate change are seriousand well recognized. Indeed, the NRC Report itself—which EPA regards as an “objective and independentassessment of the relevant science,” . . . . . . .<<<<<<

That is just a rehash of my first quote from the syllabus.”

Let’s go over your first paragraph then to point out your errors.

You first admitted that you hadn’t read the opinion closely (go figure), then claimed that

“But later in the syllabus, the court talks about the "uncertainty" of global warming theory and assigns to the EPA the task of determining the scientific merits of the theory:”

Unfortunately, that paragraph doesn’t say what you think it says. Block quoting doesn’t help you Larry.

The paragraph states that there are two ways that the EPA can avoid promulgating a rule that Congress mandates: If it determines that greenhouse gasses do not contribute to climate change, or if it provides some reasonable explanation for why it cannot.

There is nothing in the paragraph to state that there is uncertainty in the current global warming crisis. In fact, the court AVOIDS making that determination, saying instead

“IF THE SCIENTIFIC UNCERTAINTY IS SO PROFOUND that it precludes EPA from making a reasoned judgment, it must say so.” (emphasis added for Larry’s stupidity)

Larry then drivels on some nonsense about the court not hearing any testimony on the scientific evidence, claiming that because it was an appellate trial That’s why the opinion was remanded to the appellate court for further proceedings.

On remand, the EPA would be forced to make a reasoned judgment as to whether the gases contribute to global warming (see page 31 of the opinion). And who would judge the reasonableness of that judgment?

I’ll give you a hint – it’s not the Cookie Monster.

Now on to the most blatant piece of backtracking I’ve ever seen.

Larry claims

“I did not say that the court explicitly declared that the global warming controversy is
non-justiciable -- I only said that the court "treated" the global warming controversy as non-justiciable. I retreated a little from that position when I said that the court was wishy-washy about whether the global warming theory is non-justiciable. But the court called the theory "uncertain" and said that the EPA could rule that there was insufficient evidence to support the theory.”

Remember Larry’s actual quote:

“The courts should rule that the evolution controversy is non-justiciable, just as the courts
treated the global-warming controversy as non-justiciable in Massachusetts v. EPA.”

I’m at a loss as to how Larry thinks he can weasel out of this odd construction. Since when is there a difference between “treating the controversy as non-justiciable” and “holding that the controversy is non-justiciable”?

In addition to his insane ramblings, if the Court treated global warming as justiciable, why even bring that up in relation to whether ID is justiciable? Just because one category of cases might be justiciable, that has no bearing on whether a completely different category of cases is. And since Larry refuses to distinguish between what MAKES a category justiciable, his statement had no merit.

(Somewhat ironically, Larry answers his own point when he says: “But there is no reason why the courts cannot declare that the evolution controversy is non-justiciable.” He recognized very quickly that there is no relation between the two cases, and so he hastily backed away from his proposition when he realized how horribly, incredibly, and stupidly wrong he was)

One more time: Keep in mind that even if the EPA could rule that there was insufficient
evidence to support global warming, the court will still engage in an analysis of whether that action is reasonable. That means weighing the evidence.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 8:11:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> I’ll try and cut down the debate. <<<<<<

No, you're not cutting down the debate -- you're expanding it.

>>>>> What he fails to acknowledge is that the court said that the plaintiff’s testimony went uncontradicted that global warming causes harm. <<<<<<

What do you mean, I failed to acknowledge that. Of course I acknowledge that -- the EPA refused to make a determination of the scientific merits of global warming theory.

>>>>>> You first admitted that you hadn’t read the opinion closely <<<<<

OK -- I shouldn't have said that -- I should have said that I went back and re-read it. Sheeeesh -- you make big issues out of trivia.

>>>>>>“But later in the syllabus, the court talks about the "uncertainty" of global warming theory and assigns to the EPA the task of determining the scientific merits of the theory:”

Unfortunately, that paragraph doesn’t say what you think it says. <<<<<<<

That paragraph says exactly what I know it says.

>>>>>>There is nothing in the paragraph to state that there is uncertainty in the current global warming crisis. In fact, the court AVOIDS making that determination, saying instead

“IF THE SCIENTIFIC UNCERTAINTY IS SO PROFOUND that it precludes EPA from making a reasoned judgment, it must say so.” (emphasis added for Larry’s stupidity) <<<<<<<

You disgusting, despicable troll -- first you say that the paragraph says nothing about uncertainty, then you quote a sentence where the paragraph does say something about uncertainty.

>>>>>> Larry then drivels on some nonsense about the court not hearing any testimony on the scientific evidence, claiming that because it was an appellate trial That’s why the opinion was remanded to the appellate court for further proceedings. <<<<<<<

You profoundly retarded beetlebrain, the case was remanded so that the EPA would make a determination about global warming. The appellate court cannot do anything more until after the EPA makes that determination.

>>>>>> Since when is there a difference between “treating the controversy as non-justiciable” and “holding that the controversy is non-justiciable”? <<<<<<

There is a hell of a difference -- one is explicit, the other is implicit. Duh.

>>>>>> He recognized very quickly that there is no relation between the two cases, and so he hastily backed away from his proposition when he realized how horribly, incredibly, and stupidly wrong he was) <<<<<<

I never said that there is no relation between the two cases, dunghill. Stop putting words in my mouth.

>>>>>> Keep in mind that even if the EPA could rule that there was insufficient evidence to support global warming, the court will still engage in an analysis of whether that action is reasonable. That means weighing the evidence. <<<<<<<

If the court rules that there is insufficient evidence to rule on the scientific merits of global warming theory, that would be a ruling that global warming theory is non-justiciable.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My final post on this thread, since Larry ducks 50% of each of my posts and attempts to reply to the rest with incoherent nonsense. I'll take issue with two statements (the rest of his post is without merit, and doesn't respond to my substantive points)

"You disgusting, despicable troll -- first you say that the paragraph says nothing about uncertainty, then you quote a sentence where the paragraph does say something about uncertainty."

You sure have a habit of nasty ad-hominem attacks. I wonder if it's because you realize how incredibly dimwitted you are? Read very carefully my response here. I made it extremely clear why I'm right and Larry is, once again, wrong. The fact that he is incapable of understanding English isn't my problem.

"If the court rules that there is insufficient evidence to rule on the scientific merits of global warming theory, that would be a ruling that global warming theory is non-justiciable."

Completely, absolutely, 100% false. A case is "non-justiciable" if the court dismisses the case before even looking at the evidence, or making a determination that the evidence is just not there.

If there is inconclusive evidence to support a proposition, and the court dismisses the case, the court dismisses it for inconclusive evidence, not non-justiciability.

The fact is that you don't even know what it means for a case (or a type of case) to be non-justiciable. You can post as many quote mines from half-read judicial opinions (without legal analysis) as you want, but it doesn't change the fact that you are absolutely clueless.

I repeat, one final time: Keep in mind that even if the EPA could rule that there was insufficient evidence to support global warming, the court will still engage in an analysis of whether that action is reasonable. That means weighing the evidence.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> You sure have a habit of nasty ad-hominem attacks. <<<<<

You are often the one who starts it, and you have made no attempt to avoid provoking me.

>>>>>> I wonder if it's because you realize how incredibly dimwitted you are? <<<<<<

See what I mean, dunghill?

>>>>>> A case is "non-justiciable" if the court dismisses the case before even looking at the evidence, or making a determination that the evidence is just not there. <<<<<<

Wrong -- the court may need to look at the evidence before deciding that a controversy is non-justiciable.

>>>>>> If there is inconclusive evidence to support a proposition, and the court dismisses the case, the court dismisses it for inconclusive evidence, not non-justiciability. <<<<<<<

Wrong -- the court can rule that the inconclusiveness of the evidence is the reason or one of the reasons for a finding of non-justiciability. As usual, you are just playing word games.

>>>>>> You can post as many quote mines from half-read judicial opinions (without legal analysis) as you want, but it doesn't change the fact that you are absolutely clueless. <<<<<<

I didn't quote mine anything, idiot. I did not misrepresent what the court said.

>>>>>>I repeat, one final time: Keep in mind that even if the EPA could rule that there was insufficient evidence to support global warming, the court will still engage in an analysis of whether that action is reasonable. That means weighing the evidence. <<<<<<<

And I repeat one (hopefully) final time: If the court rules that there is insufficient evidence to rule on the scientific merits of global warming theory, that would be a ruling that global warming theory is non-justiciable.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: And I repeat one (hopefully) final time: If the court rules that there is insufficient evidence to rule on the scientific merits of global warming theory, that would be a ruling that global warming theory is non-justiciable.

No, it wouldn't be. Even granting you the questionable assertion that the current evidence is insufficient, that doesn't preclude the possibility of new evidence arising that would make the case for anthropogenic global warming stronger.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 4:39:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> No, it wouldn't be. Even granting you the questionable assertion that the current evidence is insufficient, that doesn't preclude the possibility of new evidence arising that would make the case for anthropogenic global warming stronger. <<<<<<

The insufficiency of the evidence would mean that the question is non-justiciable at the time of the ruling. Duh.

Monday, August 04, 2008 7:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: The insufficiency of the evidence would mean that the question is non-justiciable at the time of the ruling. Duh.

The key phrase there being "at the time of the ruling." Even in your idiosyncratic version of non-justiciability, new evidence would allow the courts to revisit the issue. It's not the silver bullet against litigation that you want it to be.

Monday, August 04, 2008 1:40:00 PM  

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