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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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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Judge Jones dodged question of whether ID fosters "critical thinking"

Judge "Jackass" Jones' infamous Kitzmiller v. Dover decision is a dubious "gift" that keeps on giving -- over 2½ years after the release of the decision, I am still finding more flaws in it.

My point in this post is that the Kitzmiller opinion never answered the question of whether or not Intelligent Design fosters "critical thinking," and the answer to that question is crucial in determining whether or not the Dover school board's ID policy passes the "purpose prong" of the Lemon test.

A paragraph in the Dover opinion says (pages 88-89),

After this searching and careful review of ID as espoused by its proponents, as elaborated upon in submissions to the Court, and as scrutinized over a six week trial, we find that ID is not science and cannot be adjudged a valid, accepted scientific theory as it has failed to publish in peer-reviewed journals, engage in research and testing, and gain acceptance in the scientific community. ID, as noted, is grounded in theology, not science. Accepting for the sake of argument its proponents', as well as Defendants' argument that to introduce ID to students will encourage critical thinking, it still has utterly no place in a science curriculum. Moreover, ID's backers have sought to a void the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID. (pages 88-89)

I quoted the entire paragraph to show the contexts of the individual statements that I am next going to analyze:

Accepting for the sake of argument its proponents', as well as Defendants' argument that to introduce ID to students will encourage critical thinking, it still has utterly no place in a science curriculum.

The expression "accepting for the sake of argument" normally means that a position about something has been stated and an exception to that position is being made "for the sake of argument" -- but Judge Jones did not previously state any position on whether ID encourages critical thinking, so his statement "for the sake of argument" makes an exception to a position that does not exist. And Judge Jones does not support his statement that ID would have utterly no place in a science curriculum even if it does encourage critical thinking. He is essentially saying that encouraging critical thinking has no place in a science curriculum. Simply put, Judge "Jackass" Jones is an anti-intellectual pseudo-intellectual who is opposed to encouraging critical thinking in our public schools.

Next:
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Moreover, ID's backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID. (emphasis added)

It is not clear whether Judge Jones is here trying to support his preceding statement that ID "has utterly no place in the science curriculum" -- the word "moreover" implies that he is starting a new topic. He still does not express any opinion here as to whether ID encourages critical thought -- he only says that encouraging critical thought is not the "goal" of the IDM (ID movement), just as Zachary Blount said that evolution of citrate-eating E. coli bacteria was "not a goal" of the long-term evolution experiment (but saying that Cit+ evolution was "not a goal" does not mean that it was not possible). BTW, if a mere one-minute evolution disclaimer statement in public-school science classes threatens to "foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID," then evolution theory must be a pretty weak theory indeed.

The Kitzmiller opinion says much later on pages 130-131,

Although as noted Defendants have consistently asserted that the ID Policy was enacted for the secular purposes of improving science education and encouraging students to exercise critical thinking skills, the Board took none of the steps that school officials would take if these stated goals had truly been their objective. The Board consulted no scientific materials. The Board contacted no scientists or scientific organizations. The Board failed to consider the views of the District's science teachers. (pages 130-131)

Jones' above statement again says nothing about whether or not ID actually encourages critical thinking skills. And if a purpose of ID is to encourage critical thinking skills, it does not matter whether ID is scientifically valid or not. Also, Jones' above statement does not support his previous statement (pages 88-89), "Accepting for the sake of argument its proponents', as well as Defendants' argument that to introduce ID to students will encourage critical thinking, it still has utterly no place in a science curriculum." Also, another decision on an evolution disclaimer, Selman v. Cobb County, said that the school board's failure to seek out expert opinion was excusable because criticism of evolution was not actually taught:

Relying heavily upon McLean v. Arkansas Bd. of Educ., 529 F.Supp. 1255 (E.D.Ark.1982), a case in which a balanced treatment statute was held unconstitutional, Plaintiffs also assert that the Court should infer a purpose to advance religion by the School Board's failure to seek out expert opinion from scientists before adopting the Sticker. McLean, however, is distinguishable from the instant case because McLean involved a statute requiring the teaching of creation science, which was a substantial change to the curriculum. In this case on the other hand, the Sticker only speaks generally about evolution and does not change the curriculum. While the School Board may have acted more prudently by consulting educators and scientists to determine whether evolution should properly be referenced as a theory, fact, or combination thereof, and to get expert opinion regarding what impact, if any, the Sticker might have on the teaching of evolution, the School Board's failure to do so does not prove that the School Board sought to advance religion. (emphasis added)

Finally, it would help if Jones' statements about the "critical thinking" issue were in one place rather than being unnecessarily separated -- one important discussion about the issue is on pages 88-89 and another is on pages 130-131.

Anyway, the fact is that Judge Jones never states any position on whether or not ID encourages "critical thinking." But it would be difficult for him to argue that ID does not encourage "critical thinking," considering that he spent several days hearing expert testimony on the question of whether ID is science.

The question of whether ID encourages critical thinking -- a question that Judge Jones weaseled out of answering -- is crucial in the "purpose prong" analysis of the Lemon test, because even something that is partly religious in nature can pass the purpose prong if there is a secular purpose that is not a sham, and encouraging critical thinking is such a purpose. Selman v. Cobb County, which was about an evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker, says (page 21),

"The purpose prong of the Lemon test asks whether government's actual purpose is to endorse or disapprove of religion." Lynch, 465 U.S. at 690 (O'Connor, J., concurring). To survive this Establishment Clause challenge, the Sticker in dispute must have a "clearly secular purpose." Wallace, 472 U.S. at 56, Bown v. Gwinnett County Sch. Dist., 112 F.3d 1464, 1469 (11th Cir.1997). However, the purpose of the Sticker "need not be exclusively secular." Bown, 112 F.3d at 1469 (citing Lynch, 465 U.S. at 681 n. 6). The Sticker runs afoul of the Establishment Clause only if it is "entirely motivated by a purpose to advance religion." Wallace, 472 U.S. at 56, King, 221 F.3d at 1278, Bown, 112 F.3d at 1469. Thus, it logically follows that a state-sponsored message may satisfy this first prong "even if it is motivated in part by a religious purpose." Adler, 206 F.3d at 1084 (quoting Wallace, 472 U.S. at 56)). However, the religious purpose must not be preeminent. Stone, 449 U.S at 41.

The court should defer to a state's articulation of a secular purpose, so long as the statement is sincere and not a sham. Edwards, 482 US. at 586-87.
(emphasis added)

As for the statement, "the religious purpose must not be preeminent," I assert that incidental religious connotations, which basically just involve a "right" to not be offended (though this "right" is implicit in the establishment clause, so I cannot say that this "right" does not exist here), should not be permitted to override the importance of encouraging critical thinking in students.

Selman v. Cobb County was settled out of court after being vacated and remanded by the appeals court and is therefore not a legal precedent, but it nonetheless contains a lot of useful information and ideas.

The judge in Selman ruled that the evolution disclaimer in question in that case fostered "critical thinking" (pages 24-25):

Fostering critical thinking is a clearly secular purpose for the Sticker, which the Court finds is not a sham. First, it is important to note that prior to the adoption of the new textbooks and Sticker and the revision of the related policy and regulation, many students in Cobb County were not being taught evolution or the origin of the human species in school. Further, the School Board was aware that a large population of Cobb County citizens maintained beliefs that would potentially conflict with the teaching of evolution. Against this backdrop, the Sticker appear to have the purpose of furthering critical thinking because it tells students to approach the material on evolution with an open mind, to study it carefully, and to give it critical consideration. The other language on the Sticker, which states that evolution is a theory and not a fact, somewhat undermines the goal of critical thinking by predetermining that students should think of evolution as a theory when many in the scientific community would argue that evolution is factual in some respects. However, the testimony of the School Board members persuades the Court that the School Board did not seek to disclaim evolution by encouraging students to consider it critically. Rather, the School Board sought to encourage students to analyze the material on evolution themselves and make their own decision regarding its merit. (pages 24-25) (emphasis added)

BTW, I disagree with the statement in bold. If only part of evolution is a theory, then evolution as a whole is a theory, and if evolution were entirely factual, telling the students that it is a theory would just be lying to them, not undermining critical thinking.

Though Selman is mentioned 15 times in Kitzmiller, Judge Jones did not explain why Kitzmiller differed markedly from Selman on some important issues.

Html versions of Kitzmiller and Selman are here and here, respectively. The html versions are more readable -- less scrolling is required -- but don't have page numbers like the pdf versions do (some html opinions have page numbers, but these do not).

Fostering critical thinking in school is not just a matter of developing critical thinking skills -- opportunities for critical thinking stimulate student interest and help students learn and retain the material by using what they have learned.
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22 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now i'm stupid, i really am i believe all teh stupid shit in the world like 7 day creation, waffles turning into body etc. however i'm not stupid enough to misunderstand the judges comments. I think even if i was soo stupid as to accidently stab myself in the eye with a fork whenever i tried to eat, i still would not be that retarded. You are. Twat.

Thursday, August 28, 2008 8:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous.

Your stupid and you smell

Thursday, August 28, 2008 8:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the other two, can you kill yourself? It would be funny to watch and would not affect theworld one jot

Thursday, August 28, 2008 8:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah!! I've a PHd and even i think you should so that's that then. Do it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008 8:55:00 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

"The expression 'accepting for the sake of argument' normally means that a position about something has been stated and an exception to that position is being made 'for the sake of argument'"

This is just not true. "Accepting for the sake of argument" means that we are accepting, without proving or disproving, for the sake of the argument that some evidence is true. This is in order to conduct the argument in light of evidence that might make it true, whether or not it has been shown. It generally is used when there is some controversy, for example:
"Accepting, for the sake of argument, that Larry does, in fact, understand biology, he still appears not to be capable of critical thinking. . .or thinking at all"

Maybe you don't understand the difference between accepting and excepting?

Thursday, August 28, 2008 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Erin said...
>>>>>> "The expression 'accepting for the sake of argument' normally means that a position about something has been stated and an exception to that position is being made 'for the sake of argument'"

This is just not true. "Accepting for the sake of argument" means that we are accepting, without proving or disproving, for the sake of the argument that some evidence is true <<<<<<<

I disagree. If one has no opinion about whether something is true or not, then it is proper to say "assuming that," not "accepting for the sake of argument." "For the sake of" means "for the purpose of" or "for the benefit of." So if one believes that something is untrue, then one would suppose it to be true "for the sake of" -- i.e., for the purpose of -- argument. The phrase "accepting for the sake of argument" implies that an exception to the truth is being made for the purpose of argument. Or if one has no opinion about whether something is true or not, one should at least say "assuming for the sake of argument" instead of "accepting for the sake of argument" because the word "accepting" here implies that one does not normally accept something as true and that it is being accepted as true only for the sake of argument (some finaglers might interpret "assuming that" without "for the sake of argument" as implying that one believes that something is true). So Judge Jones' statement, "Accepting for the sake of argument its proponents', as well as Defendants' argument that to introduce ID to students will encourage critical thinking," implies that he believes that it is untrue that ID encourages critical thinking. But he nowhere expressly states that he believes that ID does not encourage critical thinking, and of course he nowhere presents arguments in support of such a belief. Of course, rather than depend on hints, Jones should expressly state what he believes. Judge Jones is very good at dropping hints -- for example, his statement to a newspaper that the school board election results would not affect his decision was of course a hint that repeal of the ID policy would not affect his decision.

>>>>>>>It generally is used when there is some controversy, for example:
"Accepting, for the sake of argument, that Larry does, in fact, understand biology . . . " <<<<<<

As explained above, that statement implies that you believe that I do not understand biology. If you have no opinion about whether or not I understand biology, then it would be proper to say "assuming that Larry understands biology. . . . " or "assuming for the sake of argument that Larry understands biology . . . ." I would also cut out the "does, in fact" part as prejudicial because it implies disbelief.

>>>>> Maybe you don't understand the difference between accepting and excepting? <<<<<

No, you don't understand the difference between accepting and assuming.

Anyway, the fact remains that Judge Jones nowhere expressly states an opinion on whether or not ID encourages critical thinking.

Friday, August 29, 2008 12:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Anyway, the fact remains that Judge Jones nowhere expressly states an opinion on whether or not ID encourages critical thinking. <

Perhaps he is concerned that some idiot might take that to be giving legal advice.

Friday, August 29, 2008 9:04:00 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Oh, geez, here we go again with Larry making up new English.

You have fun with that.
Know that I don't have any delusions that I will "win" this argument (as if that was my point) because I think you will change your definition to be something other than whatever I think it is. I'm not too worried about that. (I do this for entertainment, it's a new game called "spot the fallacy" as previously outlined.)

"If one has no opinion about whether something is true or not,"

I think it is apparent that judge Jones does, in fact, have an opinion about this, and I think that it doesn't matter (based on his argument "accepting" that it might have some value for developing critical thinking). On a side note, there are many things that have value for developing critical thinking that have no place in the classroom.

"'For the sake of' means 'for the purpose of' or 'for the benefit of.' So if one believes that something is untrue, then one would suppose it to be true 'for the sake of' -- i.e., for the purpose of -- argument."

Exactly. So, judge Jones thinks that this argument is, in fact, not true. But even accepting it, he concludes that the defendants have no case. Therefore, he doesn't need to prove the point that ID doesn't foster critical thinking because it's irrelevant

"Or if one has no opinion about whether something is true or not, one should at least say 'assuming for the sake of argument' instead of 'accepting for the sake of argument' because the word 'accepting' here implies that one does not normally accept something as true and that it is being accepted as true only for the sake of argument"

It is lucky that Larry is above playing such word games. Isn't it?

"As explained above, that statement implies that you believe that I do not understand biology. If you have no opinion about whether or not I understand biology, then it would be proper to say "assuming that Larry understands biology. . . . " or 'assuming for the sake of argument that Larry understands biology . . . .' I would also cut out the 'does, in fact' part as prejudicial because it implies disbelief."

It's lucky you're not me then, I suppose. Obviously I do have an opinion about you and your understanding of biology. (You, by the way, have not disproved, or even attempted to disprove this belief.) But it's not relevant to my argument that you lack critical thinking skills.

"No, you don't understand the difference between accepting and assuming.

Anyway, the fact remains that Judge Jones nowhere expressly states an opinion on whether or not ID encourages critical thinking."

Well, considering that you only just now brought up the "accepting" and "assuming" "controversy," (You made no mention of it in your post.) as it were, I haven't had the time to form an opinion on that. I don't think it particularly matters which word he uses, although I do think you're nitpicking about definitions and connotations that you've made up, again.

The fact remains that Judge Jones has made his decision without addressing the issue of whether or not ID encourages critical thinking (I think he has rightly concluded that it does not.) because that particular issue turned out to be irrelevant.

Friday, August 29, 2008 9:10:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Friday, August 29, 2008 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> Oh, geez, here we go again with Larry making up new English. <<<<<<

No, I am just literally interpreting ye olde English.

>>>>>> I think it is apparent that judge Jones does, in fact, have an opinion about this <<<<<<

He only implies that he thinks that ID does not encourage critical thinking -- he doesn't actually say it. If he actually said that he thinks that ID does not encourage critical thinking, he might be expected to support that opinion, and he did not want to be put in that position. And he also wanted to avoid possibly being put in the position of being expected to answer the question of whether such encouragement of critical thinking is a "secular purpose that is not a sham" and hence a reason why the ID statement should pass the purpose prong of the Lemon test -- see next discussion.

>>>>> and I think that it doesn't matter <<<<<<

It matters quite a bit. If ID -- or actually just the ID statement (ID was not actually taught) -- encourages "critical thinking," that could be considered to be a "secular purpose that is not a sham." In Selman v. Cobb County, the holdings that the evolution disclaimer sticker encouraged critical thinking and that this was a "secular purpose that was not a sham" was one of the reasons for the holding that the stickers passed the purpose prong of the Lemon test. If an appeals court rejected Jones' claim that ID would still "have utterly no place in a science curriculum" even if ID encourages critical thought (this claim is also unsupported except perhaps by a farfetched conspiracy theory), then -- so far as the purpose prong is concerned -- it would all boil down to whether the ID statement encourages critical thinking and whether this is a "secular purpose that is not a sham."

IMO Jones wrote the opinion in a particularly biased way because he expected -- because of the changeover in the school board -- that there would be no appeal.

>>>>>> On a side note, there are many things that have value for developing critical thinking that have no place in the classroom. <<<<<

Name one such thing. And Judge Jones does not explain -- except perhaps by a ridiculous conspiracy theory -- why ID would have no place in science classrooms even if it encourages critical thought.

>>>>>> Exactly. So, judge Jones thinks that this argument is, in fact, not true. <<<<<<

So you are now agreeing with my argument that the phrase "accepting for the sake of argument" implies believing that what is being accepted for the sake of argument is not true.

>>>>>> But even accepting it, he concludes that the defendants have no case. Therefore, he doesn't need to prove the point that ID doesn't foster critical thinking because it's irrelevant <<<<<<

Wrong -- see my argument above.

>>>>>> You, by the way, have not disproved, or even attempted to disprove this belief. <<<<<<

I don't need to disprove something that has never been proved -- and that is off-topic here, anyway. You are dodging the issues here by making off-topic ad hominem attacks.

>>>>>>"No, you don't understand the difference between accepting and assuming.

Well, considering that you only just now brought up the "accepting" and "assuming" "controversy," (You made no mention of it in your post.) <<<<<<<

I made no mention of it in my original post because I did not expect anyone to challenge my interpretation of the phrase "accepting for the sake of argument" -- an interpretation that you now agree with.

>>>>>> I don't think it particularly matters which word he uses, although I do think you're nitpicking about definitions and connotations that you've made up, again. <<<<<<

I am being nitpicking because Judge Jones did not expressly say what he thinks about the "critical thinking" issue -- he only implied what he thinks about it.

>>>>>> The fact remains that Judge Jones has made his decision without addressing the issue of whether or not ID encourages critical thinking (I think he has rightly concluded that it does not.) because that particular issue turned out to be irrelevant. <<<<<<

Again, it is not irrelevant -- see my argument above.

And saying that he made a conclusion about something that he did not address is something of a non-sequitur -- it would be more correct to say that he did not directly address it. And it was not a "conclusion" because "conclusion" implies that there was some reasoning involved -- it was just an arbitrary, unreasoned decision. You are the one who is making up new English. And as I said, how could he claim that ID does not encourage critical thought, considering that he heard several days of expert testimony concerning the question of whether ID is science?

IMO the Dover ID statement should have been worded differently, but that is another matter.

Friday, August 29, 2008 12:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Larry, you really are a complete retard, aren't you? The reason that Judge Jones didn't expressly answer the question of whether or not ID 'fosters critical thinking' is because he could decide the case WITHOUT answering that question. This is precisely what he meant when he said, "Accepting for the sake of argument its proponents', as well as Defendants' argument that to introduce ID to students will encourage critical thinking, it still has utterly no place in a science curriculum." In other words, even if he accepted that part of what the Defendants claimed, purely on the basis that they claimed it, and failed to actually even consider the possibility that this might not be entirely accurate, he still comes to the conclusion that ID has no place in science classes.

I believe a line from Pulp Fiction is appropriate here - English, motherfucker, do you speak it?

As for your claim that he is saying that critical thinking has no place in science classes, the definition of science isn't completely, totally and utterly 'something that fosters critical thinking', you dumb fuck. Something can foster critical thinking AND STILL NOT BE SCIENCE!!!

As for the rest of your comments, they only serve to underline the depths of your ignorance, especially the idea that 'if part of evolution is a theory, then evolution as a whole is a theory'. Part of evolution is a 'theory' because no-one was around to personally witness the past 4 billion years of evolution. This theory is arrived at by taking the parts of evolution that are FACT and extrapolating backwards, shithead. So this is not 'lying to the students', it's telling them, quite accurately, the scientific state of evolutionary biology - some of it is FACT and these facts have allowed us to arrive at other parts that are theory because no scientist was around to directly observe the facts and take notes.

Friday, August 29, 2008 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Wow, Larry, you really are a complete retard, aren't you? <<<<<<

Your abusive language reflects your desperation.

>>>>> The reason that Judge Jones didn't expressly answer the question of whether or not ID 'fosters critical thinking' is because he could decide the case WITHOUT answering that question. <<<<<<

HE could decide the case without answering that question, but what if an appeals court rejected his ruling that ID would have utterly no place in the science classroom even if ID encouraged critical thinking (a ruling, BTW, that appeared to be arbitrary and unreasoned)? That would have left the unanswered questions of (1) whether ID encourages critical thinking and (2) whether this encouragement of critical thinking is a secular purpose and not a sham and hence a reason why the Dover ID policy should pass the purpose prong of the Lemon test.

Yes, I know -- Judge Jones knew that his decision was not likely to be appealed. But should that affect how he wrote the opinion? He himself said that the school board election results would not affect his decision.

I know that judges don't always rule on all the issues, but the issues of (1) whether ID encourages critical thinking, and (2) whether such encouragement is a secular purpose that is not a sham, are essential to the purpose prong analysis. Affirmative rulings on both these issues were part of the basis for Selman v. Cobb County's ruling that the evolution disclaimer sticker passed the purpose prong. And remember that ID was not actually taught in the Dover schools -- there was just an evolution disclaimer statement that mentioned ID.

If there was one thing that Judge Jones did not need to rule on, it was the question of whether ID is science.

>>>>>>> Something can foster critical thinking AND STILL NOT BE SCIENCE!!! <<<<<<<

As I have said many times, there is no constitutional principle of separation of bad science -- or non-science -- and state. And even a government action that is partly religious in nature is excusable under the establishment clause if it has a secular purpose that is not a sham.

>>>>So this is not 'lying to the students <<<<<<

I never said that the Cobb County textbook stickers lied to the students -- you are putting words in my mouth.

Friday, August 29, 2008 3:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>I never said that the Cobb County textbook stickers lied to the students -- you are putting words in my mouth.<<<<

Pot.
Kettle.
Black.

This is what I was referring to:

'BTW, I disagree with the statement in bold. If only part of evolution is a theory, then evolution as a whole is a theory, and if evolution were entirely factual, telling the students that it is a theory would just be lying to them, not undermining critical thinking.'

It is YOU putting words in MY mouth, dunghill. How you got the idea that I was referring to the stickers is an utter mystery when I explicitly referred to your statement that 'if part of evolution is theory, then evolution as a whole is a theory.'

Yet more evidence you have trouble understanding plain English.

As for my 'language', quite frankly, it is only slightly stronger than the language you use yourself, you tit.

Oh, and, as for the rest of your windbagging reply, you still simply miss that Judge Jones simply regarded the whole question as utterly irrelevant, as he found, thanks to the abundant evidence of this presented in the case, that ID was creationism in disguise, and thus religiously motivated, and thus does not belong in a science class, shit-for-brains.

Friday, August 29, 2008 5:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Hector said...

> Your abusive language reflects your desperation. <

Larry the dunghill must always be desperate.

Friday, August 29, 2008 9:35:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>It is YOU putting words in MY mouth, dunghill. How you got the idea that I was referring to the stickers is an utter mystery<<<<<<

I said,
, , ,if evolution were entirely factual, telling the students that it is a theory would just be lying to them, not undermining critical thinking.

You said,
this is not 'lying to the students',

Saying that it would not be lying to tell students that evolution is a theory if evolution were entirely factual is so absurd that I thought you were talking about something else, the textbook stickers. My mistake was honest -- your mistakes are not.

>>>>>> As for my 'language', quite frankly, it is only slightly stronger than the language you use yourself, you tit. <<<<<<

I have not called anyone any names in this thread.

>>>>>> you still simply miss that Judge Jones simply regarded the whole question as utterly irrelevant, as he found, thanks to the abundant evidence of this presented in the case, that ID was creationism in disguise, and thus religiously motivated, and thus does not belong in a science class, shit-for-brains. <<<<<<

Even if all that were true, that's not enough -- other factors need to be considered.

Selman v. Cobb County is no longer valid precedent because it was settled out of court after being vacated and remanded because of missing evidence, and it is a bad decision for other reasons. But Judge Jones mentioned Selman a lot -- 15 times -- in Kitzmiller while completely ignoring -- without explanation -- some of Selman's most important findings. Kitzmiller was not that much different from Selman -- both were evolution disclaimer cases and the plaintiffs in both cases complained that the school boards were trying to sneak religion into the public schools. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two decisions is that the Selman disclaimer passed the Lemon test's purpose prong whereas the Kitzmiller disclaimer did not, and that alone needs some explanation. Selman says,

Therefore, after considering the additional arguments and evidence presented by the parties and evaluating the evidence in light of the applicable law, the Court remains convinced that the Sticker at issue serves at least two secular purposes. First, the Sticker fosters critical thinking by encouraging students to learn about evolution and to make their own assessment regarding its merit. Second, by presenting evolution in a manner that is not unnecessarily hostile, the sticker reduces offense to students and parents whose beliefs may conflict with the teaching of evolution. For the foregoing reasons, the Court concludes that the Sticker satisfies the first prong of the Lemon analysis.

Judge Jones did not even try to explain why the above reasoning should not apply to Kitzmiller. Selman also held, unlike Kitzmiller, that it was OK of the school board to not consult scientists and scientific organizations because the curriculum change was only an evolution disclaimer instead of the actual teaching of criticisms or weaknesses of evolution. Also, it can be argued that because Kitzmiller only involved an evolution disclaimer rather than the actual teaching of ID, the two secular purposes cited in Selman above are more important than the scientific merits of ID.

Judge Jones has called the work of judges "workmanlike," giving the false impression that the work of a judge is like following procedures in a handbook. The fact is that two different judges, given the same set of facts, may reach completely different decisions. Jones' statement that the work of judges is "workmanlike" is just an attempt to avoid criticism of his Kitzmiller decision.

The reason why you got so abusive is that you Darwinists can't stand the thought that the Kitzmiller decision is not a flawless masterpiece that is above criticism.

"I'm always kicking their butts -- that's why they don't like me."
-- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Friday, August 29, 2008 10:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> I have not called anyone any names in this thread. <

That is an exception, dunghill.

Sunday, August 31, 2008 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>I thought you were talking about something else, the textbook stickers.<<<

Seeing as we have already established you have severe problems understanding plain English, that comes as absolutely no surprise, asswipe.

>>>My mistake was honest -- your mistakes are not.<<<

No, my mistake was quite honest - I thought that even you would not be so daft as to try to attack people teaching the truth about evolution (that evolution is partly fact and partly theory) by using a hypothetical situation (that evolution was entirely factual). However, to use a Bushism, I misunderestimated you - the quality of your arguments went even lower than I thought they would, and that is no small feat.

>>>Even if all that were true, that's not enough -- other factors need to be considered.<<<

No, Larry, you see, it's quite simple, but you really do have shit for brains, so you still can't grasp it. If it's an idea rooted in religion, being promoted due to religion, and promotes religion, it does not belong in a classroom. Period. Creationism fits this, and the evidence in the case showed that ID=creationism. Judge Jones then ruled accordingly, you stupid fuck.

Monday, September 01, 2008 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> I thought that even you would not be so daft as to try to attack people teaching the truth about evolution (that evolution is partly fact and partly theory) by using a hypothetical situation (that evolution was entirely factual). <<<<<<

I was not "attacking" people who hold that evolution is part fact and part theory, bozo -- I was just assuming for the sake of argument that evolution was all fact. If Judge Jones can make assumptions for the sake of argument, then so can I.

>>>>>> If it's an idea rooted in religion, being promoted due to religion, and promotes religion, it does not belong in a classroom. Period. <<<<<<

There is no "period" there, bozo -- the purpose prong of the Lemon test has a loophole called "a secular purpose that is not a sham." Encouraging critical thinking is arguably such a secular purpose. Jones stated no position on whether or not ID encourages critical thinking. Because ID was not actually taught in the Dover schools, this purpose of encouraging critical thinking should carry much more weight in comparison to other issues e.g.: the scientific merits of ID and whether the general public perceives ID as being purely religious. Selman v. Cobb County held that the fact that the school board did not seek the advice of scientists and scientific organizations was excusable because criticisms of evolution were not actually being taught.

Many years ago, I quit a job when the employer moved the job to a place several hundred miles away. The employer disputed my unemployment benefits claim on the grounds that I really wanted to quit the job anyway and I was just using the job move as a pretext for quitting. The unemployment office ruled in my favor, and the standard of review was whether a person quits a job in circumstances under which a person who is truly desirous of keeping the job might quit. The standard of review under the Lemon test's purpose prong should be similar: a government official's action should pass the purpose prong if there is a valid secular purpose and a person with no religious motivation might take the same action under the same circumstances. Denying a religiously-motivated government official the right to do something that a non-religious government official would be allowed to do would violate the endorsement test, which says, "The Establishment Clause prohibits government from making adherence to a religion relevant in any way to a person's standing in the political community" (Justice O'Connor in concurring opinion in Lynch v. Donnelly).

Your abusiveness is proportional to your desperation.

Monday, September 01, 2008 3:35:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous driveled,

>>>>> I have not called anyone any names in this thread. <

That is an exception, dunghill. <<<<<<

And you lousy trolls won't honor that exception.

Monday, September 01, 2008 3:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>I was not "attacking" people who hold that evolution is part fact and part theory, bozo -- I was just assuming for the sake of argument that evolution was all fact.<<<

...and then saying that people teaching that it was part fact and part theory were therefore lying to students. What you seem to miss is that they are teaching that because it's the truth, and your hypothetical situation is just that - a HYPOTHETICAL situation, numbnuts.

>>>There is no "period" there, bozo -- the purpose prong of the Lemon test has a loophole called "a secular purpose that is not a sham."<<<

'...that is not a sham'. Bingo. You have just neatly defeated your own argument. Nicely done.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> ...and then saying that people teaching that it was part fact and part theory were therefore lying to students. <<<<<<

I never said that, bozo. You are putting words in my mouth.

>>>>>> '...that is not a sham'. Bingo. You have just neatly defeated your own argument. <<<<<<

How is that defeating my own argument? I was just quoting a court opinion.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>I never said that, bozo. You are putting words in my mouth.<<<

Actually, I went back and re-read it, and, yes, you're correct. Unfortunately for you, this is because your comments are of even less quality than I thought again - what you said was that, in a hypothetical situation where evolution was entirely factual, hypothetically, if people taught that evolution was partly fact and partly theory (or entirely theory), they'd be lying to students. What this actually means is that this particular comment has absolutely zero basis or relevance to reality whatsoever, dingo-breath.

>>>How is that defeating my own argument? I was just quoting a court opinion.<<<

Wow. I thought it would be perfectly clear, especially, as I've already stated, the abundant evidence that ID=creationism presented in the case. Maybe it's your seemingly abysmal grasp of English cropping up again. I'll see if I can help - try looking up the meaning of the word 'sham', bozo.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008 8:00:00 PM  

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