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.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Weird interview in Jerusalem Post

A Jerusalem Post article by Ruthie Blum has an interview of radio talk show host Michael Medved (I don't know if she conducted the interview). Here are excerpts from the interview:

JP -- . . . . you are a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute that studies and believes in Intelligent Design. How do you, as an Orthodox Jew, reconcile with this kind of generality - with the view of their (sic) being a hierarchy with a chief "designer" - while believing in and praying to a very specific God?

Medved -- The important thing about Intelligent Design is that it is not a theory - which is something I think they need to make more clear. Nor is Intelligent Design an explanation. Intelligent Design is a challenge. It's a challenge to evolution. It does not replace evolution with something else.

What? Whoever said anything about a "hierarchy with a chief 'designer' "? ID does not say anything about the designer(s).

It gets weirder:
.
JP -- The question is not whether it replaces evolution, but whether it replaces God.

Medved -- No, you see, Intelligent Design doesn't tell you what is true; it tells you what is not true. It tells you that it cannot be that this whole process was random.

LOL -- I just love the irony of that statement -- "The question is not whether it replaces evolution, but whether it replaces God. " The Darwinists say that ID is not scientific enough but some fundies say that ID is too scientific! That statement reminds me of the following news report:

Efforts to popularize "intelligent design" in Turkey are lagging, Reuters suggests, because most Turks "see no need to avoid naming God," but Education Minister Huseyin Celik recently told CNN Turk that "intelligent design" should not be disregarded just "because it coincides with beliefs of monotheistic religions about creation."

Ironically, fundies of all religions might even regard ID as blasphemous or sacrilegious because they might see it as implying doubt of god's word by suggesting that there is a need to provide scientific evidence to support creationism. Ironically, the Turkish education minister said that ID "should not be disregarded just 'because it coincides with beliefs of monotheistic religions about creation' " whereas the Darwinists say that ID should be rejected for that reason.

BTW, I agree with Medved's answers.
.

49 Comments:

Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

It's exactly what we critics of Intelligent Design "theory" have been saying all along: ID has no model, presents no scientific claims of its own, and is not published in any relevant peer-reviewed scientific journals. It is a scientifically vacuous concept that consists of nothing more that claiming science cannot adequately explain certain features of life and then calling our (supposed) ignorance "design."

I'm glad to see someone affiliated with the Discovery Institute finally admitting that the critics are right.

Saturday, August 09, 2008 8:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

That should have read "...presents no positive scientific claims...." I must remember not to post before I've had my coffee.

Saturday, August 09, 2008 8:06:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

I begin to understand why Medved is an IDiot (based on other evidence).

Saturday, August 09, 2008 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy:
>>>>> That should have read "...presents no positive scientific claims...." <<<<<<

Are you saying, then, that ID presents negative scientific claims? For ID, that is a big improvement compared to many Darwinists' claims that ID presents no scientific claims at all.

>>>>> is not published in any relevant peer-reviewed scientific journals. <<<<<<

I already pointed out the hypocrisy of Judge Jones' (false) charge that ID has not appeared in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Physician, heal thyself -- most law journals are not peer-reviewed or even faculty-reviewed but are just student-reviewed![1] Yet the "peerless" Harvard Law Review alone has been cited 4410 times (!) in federal court opinions alone in the decade 1970-79 alone![2] Here again is my limerick that refers to the fact that the Dover case was not appealed:

Judge Jones once said that peer review
is needed to show that something's true.
But that's OK,
he didn't say
his Dover ruling was peer-reviewed too.

>>>>> It is a scientifically vacuous concept that consists of nothing more that claiming science cannot adequately explain certain features of life and then calling our (supposed) ignorance "design." <<<<<<

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

Unfortunately, it is difficult to deal quantitatively with probabilities in evolution because evolution consists of rare random events. But the concept of limits can be used in the study of probabilities even if the exact probabilities are unknown. The concept of limits is important in mathematics -- for example, even if the sum of an infinite series is unknown, that sum is known to converge if all of the terms of that series are less than the corresponding terms of a series that has a known finite sum. Some Darwinists argue that macroevolution is the sum of a lot of microevolutions but Michael Behe argues in the book "The Edge of Evolution" that microevolution is too limited to be a basis for building macroevolution.

>>>>>> I'm glad to see someone affiliated with the Discovery Institute finally admitting that the critics are right. <<<<<<

The critics are right about things that don't matter.

Saturday, August 09, 2008 1:21:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

If Medved thinks that ID is simply a negative argument against Darwinism, and that it presents no positive arguments for ID, then he's an anti-Darwinist but not a proponent of ID.

But that would hardly be unique at the Discovery Institute. Senior Fellow David Berlinski is an anti-Darwinist or a severe Darwin-skeptic, but he's also skeptical of ID, and has presented arguments against it. (I don't think that Berlinski's anti-ID arguments are valid, however.)

All ID scientists, including Behe in Darwin's Black Box, have included positive arguments for ID, as well as negative arguments against Darwinism. So I find the idea that no such arguments exist at all, to be rather puzzling.

Anyway, the Discovery Institute doesn't actually have a "party line," as some Darwin-fans seem to think: unless it's simply an anti-Darwinist line.

Saturday, August 09, 2008 1:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: Are you saying, then, that ID presents negative scientific claims?

ID certainly presents negative claims, but logical fallacies can hardly be called "scientific."

Larry wrote: I already pointed out the hypocrisy of Judge Jones' (false) charge that ID has not appeared in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

And as I've already pointed out, including in the very comment you truncated, it's not just lack of peer reviewed articles that makes ID an unscientific enterprise. There's the lack of a model, the lack of any positive evidence for design, and the reliance on purely negative arguments against evolution to make their case that something is "designed."

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

But that's what the DI originally claimed they were presenting - an alternative to evolutionary theory. Now we have Medved admitting that they don't have anything like a theory of their own, and it's all just a bunch of arguments against evolution. That's progress of a sort - although in the interest of honesty they should rename themselves "The Anti-Evolution Institute."

Saturday, August 09, 2008 2:15:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Darwinism itself is an argument from ignorance. The claim is that totally mechanistic processes might have produced all life; and we don't know that they didn't produce it; so we're asked to conclude that they did so.

The Darwinist argument from ignorance is buttressed by nothing, except the fact that that random mutations plus natural selection are known to produce minor changes in living things. But that fact was known to biologists long before Darwin; and is accepted even by creationists, today.

What is needed is good evidence that purely mindless, mechanical processes have produced all of the variety in life. And no such evidence exists; in fact, there is no actual evidence that purely mecahnical processes have produced much at all, in life.

Saturday, August 09, 2008 2:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Jim Sherwood wrote:
All ID scientists, including Behe in Darwin's Black Box, have included positive arguments for ID, as well as negative arguments against Darwinism.


I have yet to see a positive scientific argument for design: Irreducible Complexity and Specified Complexity are both negative arguments that rely on the claim that something cannot evolve to establish "design."

Saturday, August 09, 2008 2:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

A simple positive argument for ID is DaveScot's "machines are the result of intelligent agency" argument. Such things as flagella are essentially machines; they consist of numerous interacting parts which work together to perform a function. Whenever we really know the history of a machine, it turns out that it was intelligently designed (in this case, by humans.) So we should assume, in the absence of good evidence to the contrary, that the flagellum was the result of intelligent agency. This positive argument, based on induction from many examples of designed machines, isn't an argument that even mentions Darwinism.

Saturday, August 09, 2008 2:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Jim Sherwood wrote: Darwinism itself is an argument from ignorance.

Tu quoque is another logical fallacy.

The argument from ignorance takes two common forms:

* Something is currently unexplained or insufficiently understood or explained, so it is not (or must not be) true.
* Because there appears to be a lack of evidence for one hypothesis, another chosen hypothesis is therefore considered proven.

ID arguments employ both variations to arrive at a "design inference."

By contrast, the theory of evolution is based on multiple converging lines of evidence including molecular sequences, the fossil record, and homologies.

Saturday, August 09, 2008 2:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Molecular sequences, the fossil record, and homologies may be proposed as evidence of descent of new species from old. They are not any form of evidence for Darwinism, which is the hypothesis that all species originated by perfectly blind, mechanical processes; and generally by random inheritable changes plus natural selection. If one holds that all species descended from older ones, some or most of the modifications involved in such descent may have been due to to intelligent causes. That is quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff's version of intelligent design, for instance. And it's Behe's and mine, also.

Saturday, August 09, 2008 3:07:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

These visitors from Mars flounder into many logical fallacies, and are ignorant of the nature of the controversy. "Multiple converging lines of evidence" is a loose and vague argument, incapable of proving anything, from a scientific point of view. It's found in the lucicrous Florida science standards, it's true; but ought not to be seized upon for that reason. It's really the "consilience of inductions" notion of philosopher William Whewell, a contemporary of Darwin's who coined the word "consilience." Essentially it's a form of loose circumstantial evidence, properly admissable in courts, but not in science. And interestingly, Whewell rejected Darwin's speculative daydream, his "theory."

Saturday, August 09, 2008 3:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Jim Sherwood wrote: A simple positive argument for ID is DaveScot's "machines are the result of intelligent agency" argument.

I asked for positive scientific evidence, not an induction built on a faulty analogy. In this case, the flaw is the assumption that because the flagellum has some machine-like aspects it must also share the property of being designed. There's no merit to this assumption; the Runamo pseudo-runes, for example, are a good counter-example of a supposed "artifact" that was in fact produced by nature.

Jim Sherwood wrote: If one holds that all species descended from older ones, some or most of the modifications involved in such descent may have been due to to intelligent causes.

Can you show any positive scientific evidence for this claim?

Jim Sherwood wrote: That is quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff's version of intelligent design, for instance.

This guy, right?

Saturday, August 09, 2008 3:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Jim Sherwood wrote: "Multiple converging lines of evidence" is a loose and vague argument, incapable of proving anything, from a scientific point of view.

And we're back to tu quoque again.

I thought you were trying to argue that there's a positive, evidence-based case for ID, Jim - try doing it without constantly sputtering "B-b-b-but Darwin!"

Saturday, August 09, 2008 5:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> If one holds that all species descended from older ones, some or most of the modifications involved in such descent may have been due to to intelligent causes. <

As usual, a statement without proof or reason.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 9:16:00 AM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "All ID scientists, including Behe in Darwin's Black Box, have included positive arguments for ID, (sic) as well as negative arguments against Darwinism."

No they haven't. What they have done is make an argument from ignorance, positing something for which they have no evidence (thus invoking the God of the Gaps).

Jim Sherwood wrote, "So I find the idea that no such arguments exist at all, (sic) to be rather puzzling."

That's because you have the argument from ignorance backwards. Keep reading.

Jim Sherwood wrote, "Darwinism itself is an argument from ignorance. The claim is that totally mechanistic processes might have produced all life; and we don't know that they didn't produce it; so we're asked to conclude that they did so."

First, wikipedia notes of the term "Darwinism" that "it is increasingly regarded as an inappropriate description of modern evolutionary theory." This is because, "For example, Darwin was unfamiliar with the work of Gregor Mendel, having as a result only a vague and inaccurate understanding of heredity (see Pangenesis), and knew nothing of genetic drift." Also, wikipedia notes, "In modern usage, particularly in the United States, Darwinism is often used by creationists as a pejorative term."

I assume your usage is of the latter, however it creates confusion since Darwin's theory of evolution (what you seem to be invoking by calling evolutionary theory "Darwinism") has been largely surpassed, augmented, and generally refined over the past 150+ years. Referring to modern evolutionary theory as "Darwinism" is simply reductionist for these reasons.

Modern evolutionary theory is far from being an "argument from ignorance." Quite the opposite: it is well supported which is why there is no controversy over evolution in scientific literature. Furthermore, modern evolutionary theory proposes a model that explains the fossil record, homologies, etc., (as mentioned by previous commenters on this thread).

Much of modern evolutionary theory may be seen as attempts to explain how this happened: genetic drift, natural selection, random mutation, etc. If the question about "how" it happened is still open, that is because it is still being studied. Scientists have no need to invoke the "argument from ignorance" and say "the intelligent designer" did it (which is what ID does).

Jim Sherwood wrote, "A simple positive argument for ID is DaveScot's "machines are the result of intelligent agency" argument"

This is an argument from ignorance and not a positive argument. Just because sentence is an active one does not make this a positive claim or argument. It says, "we have a complex organism here, like a machine, and we don't know how it came about, and it seems too complex to have come about through the evolutionary methods that we have studied to date, therefore an 'intelligent agency' did it." That is an argument from ignorance.

Jim Sherwood wrote, "So we should assume, in the absence of good evidence to the contrary, that the flagellum was the result of intelligent agency"

There has been an abundance of evidence presented that refutes this claim. Read some scientific journals -- or see what documents were admitted into evidence at the Dover trial.

Jim Sherwood wrote, "This positive argument, based on induction from many examples of designed machines, isn't an argument that even mentions Darwinism."

It is an argument that mentions "Darwinism" even if it doesn't use the word. It implies that modern evolutionary theory has no explanation for how the bacterial flagellum evolved, therefore ID.

Jim Sherwood wrote, "If one holds that all species descended from older ones, some or most of the modifications involved in such descent may have been due to to intelligent causes. That is quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff's version of intelligent design, for instance. And it's Behe's and mine, also."

But there is no evidence whatsoever for this claim. This is, again, the argument from ignorance I noted above. Mohrhoff's entire review is based on this logical fallacy (as I noted in another thread). Just because there is (allegedly) no "evidence for Darwinism, which is the hypothesis that all species originated by perfectly blind, mechanical processes; and generally by random inheritable changes plus natural selection," doesn't mean that some form of intelligence intelligence involved.

Jim Sherwood wrote, "These visitors from Mars flounder into many logical fallacies, and are ignorant of the nature of the controversy"

No, the only ones here who have invoked logical fallacies are you and Larry. If anything, you show yourself to be ignorant of the controversy by not acknowledging the nature of the controversy and by citing some very, very strange people in your defense.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"philosopher William Whewell, a contemporary of Darwin's who coined the word "consilience.""

Which immediately became a household word, perhaps owing to its subliminal evocation of "silliness".

"interestingly, Whewell rejected"

And why is this "interesting"?

Sunday, August 10, 2008 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said (Saturday, August 09, 2008 1:57:00 PM) --
>>>>>>If Medved thinks that ID is simply a negative argument against Darwinism, and that it presents no positive arguments for ID, then he's an anti-Darwinist but not a proponent of ID. <<<<<<

I agree with Medved but consider myself to be a proponent of ID. You have come up with a really arbitrary definition of "proponent of ID."

When discussing the evolution controversy, cardinal Christophe Schonborn said that he did not want to be put in boxes. I do not want to be put in boxes.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

"I do not want to be put in boxes."

Translation: I don't want to have to support my position.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy said (Saturday, August 09, 2008 2:15:00 PM) --
>>>>>>Larry wrote: Are you saying, then, that ID presents negative scientific claims?

ID certainly presents negative claims, but logical fallacies can hardly be called "scientific." <<<<<<<

You said, "That should have read '...presents no positive scientific claims....' ". You did not say that ID presents no scientific claims at all, so it was reasonable to assume that you meant that ID presents negative scientific claims.

>>>>>>Larry wrote: I already pointed out the hypocrisy of Judge Jones' (false) charge that ID has not appeared in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

And as I've already pointed out, including in the very comment you truncated, it's not just lack of peer reviewed articles that makes ID an unscientific enterprise. <<<<<<

You are changing the subject. My point is that judges are not in a good position to point fingers at scientific ideas that have not appeared in peer-reviewed scientific journals, because law journals -- which have been very frequently cited by court opinions (the Harvard Law Review alone was cited 4410 times by federal court opinions alone in the decade 1970-79 alone) -- are not peer-reviewed or even faculty-reviewed but are just student-reviewed! You know what I mean: physician, heal thyself; people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones; the pot calling the kettle black; that kind of thing.

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

But that's what the DI originally claimed they were presenting - an alternative to evolutionary theory. <<<<<<

Not necessarily. And Medved and I disagree with such a claim if such a claim was made. As I said, I am against the idea of putting people in boxes -- I don't have to agree with everything the DI says just because I agree with some things that the DI says.

>>>>> That's progress of a sort - although in the interest of honesty they should rename themselves "The Anti-Evolution Institute." <<<<<<

The DI is involved in other issues.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Urbanness driveled,

>>>>>>"I do not want to be put in boxes."

Translation: I don't want to have to support my position. <<<<<<<

You profoundly retarded beetlebrain, if anything, my statement implies the opposite. If I agree with the DI in some ways but refuse to be put in DI's box, that means that I need to support my opposition to one or more of the DI's positions. If I were a true fundy, I would automatically put myself in the DI's box, wouldn't I? You, on the other hamd, insist on being put in boxes: Panda's Thumb's box, Sleazy PZ Myers' box, Fatheaded Ed Brayton's box, the National Center for Science Education's box, etc..

Under the Social Darwinism that you love so much, you would be euthanized to protect you and others from the consequences of your stupidity.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The idea of ID, at any rate in biology, requiring a hierarchy with a chief designer is wrong. I'm not much inclined to theism, so I don't have any particular belief in such a concept; niether does DaveScot (David Springer,) a prominent ID theoretician who is an agmostic. They may be thinking of Behe, who at the end of The Edge of Evolution gets into cosmological intelligent design and theorizes about a cosmological intelligent designer, in the abstract. I think that's all just speculation, too remote from evidence. I'm not a fan of cosmological ID, and not everyone who is into ID has to agree with Behe about everything.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 1:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: You said, "That should have read '...presents no positive scientific claims....' ". You did not say that ID presents no scientific claims at all, so it was reasonable to assume that you meant that ID presents negative scientific claims.

Try reading the second sentence:

"It is a scientifically vacuous concept that consists of nothing more that claiming science cannot adequately explain certain features of life and then calling our (supposed) ignorance 'design.'"

Do you need me to link to a definition of "vacuous" to see why your reading is silly?

Larry wrote: You are changing the subject.

No, you're ignoring the rebuttal - the lack of peer-reviewed scientific articles in mainstream journals was merely one factor among many that influenced the judge's decision. Whining about the lack of peer review in law journals is a red herring.

Larry wrote: Not necessarily. And Medved and I disagree with such a claim if such a claim was made.

"If" such a claim was made? Try this, straight from the horse's ass:

"Challenges to Darwinian evolution are not the same as proposed solutions, such as the scientific theory of intelligent design.

Scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution include unresolved debates amongst scientists over issues such as the peppered moth, the myth of human gill slits, Haeackel's embryos, and the Miller-Urey experiment. Scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution address problems for which adequate solutions have not been presented.

The scientific theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. Intelligent design theory then is an alternative solution to answer problems with Darwinian evolution."

Gee, the Discovery Institute sure seems to think they were offering an "alternative." I can dig up similar statements from Dembski, Behe, Minnich, etc. with no problem at all.

Larry wrote: The DI is involved in other issues.

Like helping Medved find bigfoot?

Sunday, August 10, 2008 1:21:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

It's too bad Behe gets into speculations about cosmological ID at the end of The Edge of Evolution, based on the theories of astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez. I'm only interested in ID in biology, and the cosmological stuff strikes me as far too speculative; as well as very reminiscent, at least, of theism. Behe's views on cosmological ID are bound to cause confusion, and he'd have done better not to get into it.

The good part of The Edge of Evolution is the first part,in which Behe presents a strong numerical, biochemical argument against Darwinism, based of research published by other biologists.

But his positive arguments for ID in that book are too abstract. And I don't agree with the cosmological stuff at all.

Darwin-fans seem to think ID is a conspiracy with a Party Line, etc. But actually there are just a lot of people who are interested in it, and who disagree with each other on many things. (But there may be a Darwinist Party Line laid down by Eugenie Scott, who will have all scientists who deviate from it EXPELLED.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008 1:51:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said,
>>>>>>Darwin-fans seem to think ID is a conspiracy with a Party Line, etc. But actually there are just a lot of people who are interested in it, and who disagree with each other on many things. <<<<<<

Yes, that stupid crackpot Judge John E. "Jackass" Jones III swallowed that conspiracy theory hook, line, and sinker.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 2:11:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Panda's Thumb has now started a discussion of the interview. Ed Brayton's blog has had a discussion about it for some time now. The posts and discussions on PT and EB's blog focus on Medved's replies but I found the interviewer's statements to be much more interesting and significant -- in fact, my original post said nothing about Medved's replies except to say that I agree with them.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 2:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

David Berlinski's criticisms of ID were published in his article "Has Darwin Met His Match?" in the conservative Jewish opinion magazine Commentary, Dec.2002. There were letters in response and replies by Berlinski under the heading "Darwinism Versus Intelligent Design" in Commentary in March 2003.

Since Berlinski is a longtime Senior Fellow of The Center for Science and Culture at Discovery, Darwin-fanatics may wonder what plot he was hatching by criticizing ID?

I'm not sure what conspiracy I'm supposed to be involved in, either, and if there is one, Discovery has somehow neglected to send me my secret instructions...

Sunday, August 10, 2008 4:30:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said,
>>>>>David Berlinski's criticisms of ID were published in his article "Has Darwin Met His Match?" in the conservative Jewish opinion magazine Commentary, Dec.2002. <<<<<<

You know, I wasn't even aware that there was this big evolution controversy going on for years and even decades before the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. Yet now I think I am probably the biggest Judge Jones basher in the world (if someone knows of a bigger one, please tell me). The Kitzmiller v. Dover decision was a pyrrhic victory for the Darwinists -- the decision has practically no precedential value but has aroused a tremendous amount of opposition to the censorship that has been going on in the evolution controversy. No new public-school "monkey trial" lawsuits have been filed in the USA since the Kitzmiller case was filed over 3-1/2 years ago, and I think the reason for that is that school boards and legislatures have learned how to "lawsuit-proof" criticisms of evolution in the public schools.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 5:18:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Jim Sherwood wrote: "I'm not sure what conspiracy I'm supposed to be involved in, either, and if there is one, Discovery has somehow neglected to send me my secret instructions..."

Actually you're following the instructions just fine. They are: deny any religious connection, except when talking to religious groups. Oops. Sometimes people go into the meetings of religious groups and record what gets said. Wasn't there an embarrassing incident with Dumski a little while back (sometime in the past year, I believe, in Oklahoma?).

I'm not saying you're a religious fundamentalist -- I have no reason to doubt your mostly non-religious worldview (if that's even correct). That doesn't mean that ID isn't religious -- it just means that you were too dumb to see past it.

Just because DaveScot is an agnostic and supports ID doesn't mean it's non-religious either. It just means that he's an idiot (even with a self-claimed IQ of 150ish). If the designer(s) of life on earth is/are extraterrestrials, then they needed to have been designed. Hence the hierarchy to which the interview alluded (this is referenced by Dawkins in Expelled) -- with designers being designed by other designers. Of course, one needs a First Designer (replacing the First Cause), who has to be some sort of god.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy (Sunday, August 10, 2008 1:21:00 PM) --
>>>>> Try reading the second sentence: <<<<<<<

I did read the second sentence -- it said, "I must remember not to post before I've had my coffee."

>>>>>> No, you're ignoring the rebuttal - the lack of peer-reviewed scientific articles in mainstream journals was merely one factor among many that influenced the judge's decision. Whining about the lack of peer review in law journals is a red herring. <<<<<<<

Sheeesh -- so what if it was one of many factors? It is still a factor, and it was a very important factor in Kitzmiller v. Dover -- the terms "peer review," "peer-reviewed," and "peer-reviewing" all together appear 23 times in the opinion! As I said, considering that most law journals are not peer-reviewed, it is very hypocritical of judges to point fingers at scientific ideas that are not in peer-reviewed journals. The fact that you are too dense to see this hypocrisy does not mean that the hypocrisy does not exist. You think that I am going to let a lousy judge like John E. "Jackass" Jones III off the hook when I have caught him so red-handed in practicing hypocrisy? All of the following criticisms apply to this hypocrisy: double standard; pot calling the kettle black; physician, heal thyself; and people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Also, in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, the Supreme Court said that the "general acceptance" standard of Frye v. United States was superseded by the Federal Rules of Evidence, and there is nothing in the FRE about peer-reviewed journals.


>>>>>>> Larry wrote: Not necessarily. And Medved and I disagree with such a claim if such a claim was made.

"If" such a claim was made? Try this, straight from the horse's ass:

"Challenges to Darwinian evolution are not the same as proposed solutions, such as the scientific theory of intelligent design." <<<<<<<

As I said, if such a claim was made, Medved and I disagree with it. We are not responsible for what DI says, just as DI is not responsible for what we say.

>>>>>>Larry wrote: The DI is involved in other issues.

Like helping Medved find bigfoot? <<<<<<<<

No, idiot -- just go to the Discovery Institute website -- the link is in the sidebar -- and you will see that DI is involved in a lot of issues besides the evolution controversy.

Monday, August 11, 2008 12:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> that means that I need to support my opposition to one or more of the DI's positions. <

That means that you have to support your agreement with some of the DI's positions.

> You, on the other hamd, insist on being put in boxes: Panda's Thumb's box, Sleazy PZ Myers' box, Fatheaded Ed Brayton's box, the National Center for Science Education's box, etc.. <

Who are "you"? I don't and if you see me doing that it is yet another of your perceptual problems.

> Yes, that stupid crackpot Judge John E. "Jackass" Jones III swallowed that conspiracy theory hook, line, and sinker. <

Perhaps because the conspiracy attempted by the creationist jackasses was proven without a doubt?

Monday, August 11, 2008 7:18:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Urbanness said...

>>>>>> that means that I need to support my opposition to one or more of the DI's positions. <

That means that you have to support your agreement with some of the DI's positions. <<<<<<

Wrong -- if I agree with the DI's position, then I can just let the DI support that position for me. If I disagree with the DI's position, then I need to either support that disagreement myself or find someone else's support for that disagreement.

Contrary to what the Darwinists claim, many of us Darwin doubters have minds of our own -- we don't automatically agree with everything that the DI says.

Monday, August 11, 2008 2:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: I did read the second sentence -- it said, "I must remember not to post before I've had my coffee."

That's a pathetic dodge, considering that I quoted the sentence that I meant.

Larry wrote: As I said, considering that most law journals are not peer-reviewed, it is very hypocritical of judges to point fingers at scientific ideas that are not in peer-reviewed journals.

Repeating this ludicrious claim will not make it any more true. Here are the factors that Judge Jones listed as important in his ruling:

"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. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's; and (3) ID's negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. As we will discuss in more detail below, it is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research."

Peer review is not cited as one of the three major failings of ID; it is listed only as "additionally important" and shares that status with two other criticisms. You cite 23 appearances of various forms of the term "peer-reviewed" - so what? The term "irreducible complexity" appears 22 times, "supernatural" appears 25 times, "intelligent design" appears 35 times, "creationism" appears 81 times, forms of "design" appear 100 times, and "science" appears 179 times. Applying your "argument from word count," we can thus conclude that peer-review is of secondary importance at best compared to the other terms that are mentioned more frequently.

The only place this "hypocrisy" exists is in your mind. The scientific failure of ID is what doomed it.

Larry wrote: Also, in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, the Supreme Court said that the "general acceptance" standard of Frye v. United States was superseded by the Federal Rules of Evidence, and there is nothing in the FRE about peer-reviewed journals.

What rot. From Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals:

"(c) 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. The inquiry is a flexible one, and its focus must be solely on principles and methodology, not on the conclusions that they generate. Throughout, the judge should also be mindful of other applicable Rules. Pp. 12-15."

(bolded emphasis added)

Here we see that "widespread acceptance" is still a factor and that peer review and publication are also factors to be considered.

As for the ridiculous argument that there's "nothing in the FRE about peer-reviewed journals," I think you missed this:

Rule 401. Definition of "Relevant Evidence"

"Relevant evidence" means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.

Notes

Rule 402. Relevant Evidence Generally Admissible; Irrelevant Evidence Inadmissible

All relevant evidence is admissible, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of the United States, by Act of Congress, by these rules, or by other rules prescribed by the Supreme Court pursuant to statutory authority. Evidence which is not relevant is not admissible.

Monday, August 11, 2008 3:11:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

In spite of what some seem to think, ID in biology doesn't actually require any "designer" of a non-physical nature. It's conceivable that somewhere else in the universe space aliens or some other physical intelligence arose by Darwinist causes or by other perfectly mechanical causes, and that this intelligence then designed some features of terrestial life. Even Behe said the same in Darwin's Black Box, 1996 Touchstone paper, p.248-9.

So I've never thought that ID in biology can precisely disprove materialism. But if ID shows that it's even improbable that perfectly mechanistic or Darwinist causes produced earthly life, then that will do a great deal of damage to faith in materialism. And that's probably what the apostles of the materialist faith are worried about.

Monday, August 11, 2008 5:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Jim Sherwood wrote: It's conceivable that somewhere else in the universe space aliens or some other physical intelligence arose by Darwinist causes or by other perfectly mechanical causes, and that this intelligence then designed some features of terrestial life.

Two questions:

1) Why is it possible for alien life to evolve, but not earth life?

2) What is your evidence that this alien life exists?

Monday, August 11, 2008 5:54:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy:
>>>>>>Larry wrote: I did read the second sentence -- it said, "I must remember not to post before I've had my coffee."

That's a pathetic dodge, considering that I quoted the sentence that I meant. <<<<<<

I was only trying to defend my original interpretation of a comment you made -- that interpretation was made before your original posting of that sentence which said what you meant.

>>>>>>Larry wrote: As I said, considering that most law journals are not peer-reviewed, it is very hypocritical of judges to point fingers at scientific ideas that are not in peer-reviewed journals.

Repeating this ludicrious claim will not make it any more true. Here are the factors that Judge Jones listed as important in his ruling: <<<<<<<

And repeated posting won't make it false, either.

You are the only one who is claiming that peer review was not an important issue in the decision. So you think that it doesn't matter that ID has rarely appeared in peer-reviewed scientific journals? Good -- I agree.

I said that I am not going to let Judge Jones off the hook on this one, and that's final -- and you are wasting your time trying to get him off the hook. You are just upset that I stumbled upon something else to nail him with. The lack of peer review in law journals makes me pissed off at the entire legal profession, not just Judge Jones. Lack of peer review is far more harmful in law journals than in scientific journals, because corrections of bad science can easily be made but bad law can become entrenched because of the principle of stare decisis.

>>>>> Larry wrote: Also, in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, the Supreme Court said that the "general acceptance" standard of Frye v. United States was superseded by the Federal Rules of Evidence, and there is nothing in the FRE about peer-reviewed journals.

What rot. <<<<<<

Well, FRE does not have anything specific about peer-reviewed journals.

>>>>>>Rule 401. Definition of "Relevant Evidence"

"Relevant evidence" means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.
<<<<<<

OK, that rule might be applied to peer-reviewed journals. So if peer review makes the truth of an idea "more probable," then why aren't law journals peer-reviewed?

Anyway, if the courts declare the evolution controversy to be nonjusticiable, as I think they should, then issues of "more probable" and "less probable" won't matter.

>>>>> Rule 402. Relevant Evidence Generally Admissible; Irrelevant Evidence Inadmissible

All relevant evidence is admissible, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of the United States, by Act of Congress, by these rules, or by other rules prescribed by the Supreme Court pursuant to statutory authority. Evidence which is not relevant is not admissible.
<<<<<<<

Not relevant to peer review.

Monday, August 11, 2008 6:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: I was only trying to defend my original interpretation of a comment you made -- that interpretation was made before your original posting of that sentence which said what you meant.

Odd, considering that the first two comments in this thread are both from me, with no intervening comment from you.

Larry wrote: You are the only one who is claiming that peer review was not an important issue in the decision. So you think that it doesn't matter that ID has rarely appeared in peer-reviewed scientific journals? Good -- I agree.

I'm beginning to understand why ID has so much appeal for you; you have a serious problem with binary thinking. You've latched onto this peer review thing, and when I try to point out that the question of "ID-as-science" was decided on more than just peer review, you turn around and claim that I'm saying "it doesn't matter." That's not what I'm saying, though; I'm saying that something can be wrong for more than one reason. In the quote from the ruling, Judge Jones cites three factors, "any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science." He also cites three "additionally important" factors, of which lack of publication in peer-reviewed journals is one. That's six different reasons why ID is not science.

Larry wrote: Well, FRE does not have anything specific about peer-reviewed journals.

It doesn't have anything specific about the admissibility of a .41 caliber bullet recovered from a crime scene, either - are you going to argue that those are also inadmissible?

Larry wrote: OK, that rule might be applied to peer-reviewed journals. So if peer review makes the truth of an idea "more probable," then why aren't law journals peer-reviewed?

We were talking about the admissibility of evidence - what does the state of peer review in law journals have to do with that?

Larry wrote: Anyway, if the courts declare the evolution controversy to be nonjusticiable, as I think they should, then issues of "more probable" and "less probable" won't matter.

Pardon me if I don't hold my breath waiting for this to happen.

Monday, August 11, 2008 6:38:00 PM  
Blogger nada platonic said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "In spite of what some seem to think, ID in biology doesn't actually require any "designer" of a non-physical nature. It's conceivable that somewhere else in the universe space aliens or some other physical intelligence arose by Darwinist causes or by other perfectly mechanical causes, and that this intelligence then designed some features of terrestial life. Even Behe said the same in Darwin's Black Box, 1996 Touchstone paper, p.248-9"

To Martian Buddy's questions: "1) Why is it possible for alien life to evolve, but not earth life?

"2) What is your evidence that this alien life exists?"

it should also be noted that modern evolutionary theory makes no claims about the origins of life per se. Evolution, most strictly speaking, addresses what happens to life once there is some form of life form, presumably first as a single-cell organism. PZ Myers says this view is something of a copout regarding the origins question, but my understanding is that as far as biology is concerned, he is mistaken.

Jim wrote, "But if ID shows that it's even improbable that perfectly mechanistic or Darwinist causes produced earthly life, then that will do a great deal of damage to faith in materialism"

Jim is mistaken about a couple things here -- one, materialism is part of a methodology for the sciences -- and is not necessarily a worldview (though some, if not many, biologists and other scientists have indeed adopted it). Also, the question of how life arose is an open one as far as science is concerned. Panspermia is one option and an unguided panspermia certainly fits the natural materialist of the scientific method. Of course, so does the Miller-Urey experiment which, if nothing else, showed that life may be generated through purely chemical reactions.

Monday, August 11, 2008 8:00:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy:
>>>>>> Odd, considering that the first two comments in this thread are both from me, with no intervening comment from you. <<<<<<

Your second comment was just a correction of your first comment. I was responding to the correction, so I was really responding to your first comment as corrected. Here is what your second comment said:

That should have read "...presents no positive scientific claims...."

So I reasonably interpreted that statement as saying that ID makes negative scientific claims, since you didn't say that ID makes no scientific claims at all.

>>>>>> I'm saying that something can be wrong for more than one reason. <<<<<<

That needs saying?

>>>>>> He also cites three "additionally important" factors, of which lack of publication in peer-reviewed journals is one. That's six different reasons why ID is not science. <<<<<<

Judge Jones did much more than just mention "peer review" in passing -- as I said, "peer review," "peer-reviewed," and "peer-reviewing" all together appear 23 times in the opinion!

Darwinists have made a very big deal about the "peer review" factor and you are trying here to belittle this factor! But the only reason why you are belittling this peer review factor is that I am using it here to attack Judge Jones -- I am sure that you think that peer review is a very big factor when used to attack ID.

>>>>>>Larry wrote: Well, FRE does not have anything specific about peer-reviewed journals.

It doesn't have anything specific about the admissibility of a .41 caliber bullet recovered from a crime scene, either - are you going to argue that those are also inadmissible? <<<<<<

I agreed that Rule 401 applies to the issue of whether ID literature is peer-reviewed -- but Rule 401 also applies to the issue of whether law journals are peer-reviewed, and most law journals are not.

>>>>>> We were talking about the admissibility of evidence - what does the state of peer review in law journals have to do with that? <<<<<<

ROFLMAO! The Harvard Law Review -- which like most law journals is not peer-reviewed or even faculty-reviewed but is just student-reviewed -- alone has been cited 4410 times (!) in federal court opinions alone in the decade 1970-79 alone. Citations of law journals are comparable to evidence -- the citations, like pieces of evidence, are factors that influence court decisions.

>>>>>>Larry wrote: Anyway, if the courts declare the evolution controversy to be nonjusticiable, as I think they should, then issues of "more probable" and "less probable" won't matter.

Pardon me if I don't hold my breath waiting for this to happen. <<<<<<

It sort of happened in the case of the global-warming controversy in Massachusetts v. EPA. The Supreme Court first spoke of global-warming theory as being well-supported, then spoke of the uncertainty of the theory and said that the EPA could decide that there is insufficient evidence to make a decision on whether the theory is right or wrong.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 2:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Wrong -- if I agree with the DI's position, then I can just let the DI support that position for me. <

But you often do. How about supporting your positions rather than just stating them?

> many of us Darwin doubters have minds of our own <

You have yet to show that you have a mind.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 8:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: Your second comment was just a correction of your first comment.

It was a correction aimed at making my criticisms more specific, and it left the second sentence which I quoted (the one containing the word "vacuous") unchanged. From Princeton Wordnet:

Vacuous: empty: devoid of significance or point; "empty promises"; "a hollow victory"; "vacuous comments"

This is your biggest problem with debate - you glom onto one sentence that you think supports some point you're trying to make, while ignoring context that refutes your interpretation.

Larry wrote: That needs saying?

Evidently, since you're claiming that peer review was the issue in Kitzmiller v. Dover, and then saying I've claimed "it wasn't important" when I try to point out that it was one factor among many that influenced the decision.

Larry wrote:
Judge Jones did much more than just mention "peer review" in passing -- as I said, "peer review," "peer-reviewed," and "peer-reviewing" all together appear 23 times in the opinion!


And as I mentioned, "irreducible complexity" appears 22 times, "supernatural" appears 25 times, "intelligent design" appears 35 times, "creationism" appears 81 times, forms of "design" appear 100 times, and "science" appears 179 times. This "argument from word count" you're trying to employ is positively asinine.

Larry wrote: Darwinists have made a very big deal about the "peer review" factor and you are trying here to belittle this factor!

There you go again. What I keep trying to point out is that it was one factor among many in the decision.

Larry wrote: But the only reason why you are belittling this peer review factor is that I am using it here to attack Judge Jones -- I am sure that you think that peer review is a very big factor when used to attack ID.

As I keep saying, I think it's one of many factors that reveal ID's non-scientific nature. There's also the lack of a scientific model, the lack of testability, the lack of positive scientific evidence to support their claims, the attempts to redefine "science" to include the supernatural, the reliance on fallacious negative arguments against evolution to make their case, the fact that all of those arguments can be traced back to creationist literature, and the fact that a number of prominent cdesign proponentsists are quite willing to say that the designer is God when they're in front of a religious audience.

Larry wrote: I agreed that Rule 401 applies to the issue of whether ID literature is peer-reviewed -- but Rule 401 also applies to the issue of whether law journals are peer-reviewed, and most law journals are not.

Oh for crying out loud, your original claim was that peer-reviewed journals were inadmissible because the Federal Rules of Evidence don't mention them by name anywhere. Whether or not the journals are peer-reviewed is irrelevant to the point that I'm making - that something doesn't have to be specifically named in the rules to be admissible.

Larry wrote: Citations of law journals are comparable to evidence -- the citations, like pieces of evidence, are factors that influence court decisions.

And?

Larry wrote: It sort of happened in the case of the global-warming controversy in Massachusetts v. EPA.

"Article III of the Constitution limits federal-court jurisdiction to “Cases” and “Controversies.” Those two words confine “the business of federal courts to questions presented in an adversary context and in a form historically viewed as capable of resolution through the judicial process.” Flast v. Cohen, 392 U. S. 83, 95 (1968). It is therefore familiar learning that no justiciable “controversy” exists when parties seek adjudication of a political question, Luther v. Borden, 7 How. 1 (1849), when they ask for an advisory opinion, Hayburn’s Case, 2 Dall. 409 (1792), see also Clinton v. Jones, 520 U. S. 681, 700, n. 33 (1997), or when the question sought to be adjudicated has been mooted by subsequent developments, California v. San Pablo & Tulare R. Co., 149 U. S. 308 (1893). This case suffers from none of these defects.

(bolded emphasis added)

Translation: it didn't happen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Urbanness barfed,

>>>>>>> Wrong -- if I agree with the DI's position, then I can just let the DI support that position for me. <

But you often do. <<<<<<<

What is wrong with just agreeing with the DI's support for a position without adding support?

>>>>>> How about supporting your positions rather than just stating them? <<<<<<<

Dunghill, no one on this blog has given less support for stated positions than you have (you have often given zero support and it is hard to give less support than that).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy:
>>>>> It was a correction aimed at making my criticisms more specific, and it left the second sentence which I quoted (the one containing the word "vacuous") unchanged. <<<<<<

You still don't get it. That second sentence that you quoted was not in your first two comments. My first comment about your first two comments -- the comment that you criticized -- was posted before you originally posted that second sentence.

>>>>>Larry wrote: That needs saying?

Evidently, since you're claiming that peer review was the issue in Kitzmiller v. Dover . . . <<<<<<

No, I never said that peer review was the issue in Kitzmiller v. Dover -- you are putting words in my mouth.

>>>>>> Larry wrote: "peer review," "peer-reviewed," and "peer-reviewing" all together appear 23 times in the opinion!

And as I mentioned, "irreducible complexity" appears 22 times, "supernatural" appears 25 times, "intelligent design" appears 35 times, "creationism" appears 81 times, forms of "design" appear 100 times, and "science" appears 179 times. <<<<<<

Only two of those terms, "supernatural" and "creationism," mainly concern criticisms of intelligent design.

I am not saying that a term's importance in the opinion is directly proportional to the number of times that the term appears in the opinion, nor am I saying that a term must appear a large number of times in the opinion in order to be considered important (for example, "breathtaking inanity" appears only once in the opinion). What I am saying is that when a term appears a large number of times ("peer review" and its derivatives appear 23 times), then it may safely be assumed that the term is not an unimportant part of the opinion.

>>>>> Oh for crying out loud, your original claim was that peer-reviewed journals were inadmissible because the Federal Rules of Evidence don't mention them by name anywhere. <<<<<<

Sheeesh -- here you are jumping on me when I agreed with your claim that FRE Rule 401 could apply to the issue of peer review! That reminds me of the time on Panda's Thumb that I posted a comment supporting Lenny Flank's position and he responded by sneering, "when did you become a lawyer, Larry?" You Darwinists just take the cake.

>>>>>>Larry wrote: Citations of law journals are comparable to evidence -- the citations, like pieces of evidence, are factors that influence court decisions.

And? <<<<<<<

What do you mean, "and." The statement doesn't need an "and."

>>>>>Larry wrote: It sort of happened in the case of the global-warming controversy in Massachusetts v. EPA.

- - -- - -- - - -

>>>>>> Translation: it didn't happen. <<<<<<

It did happen, idiot -- go read the Massachusetts v. EPA opinion.

It is just about time to stop feeding this troll.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: You still don't get it. That second sentence that you quoted was not in your first two comments.

I cannot believe the impossible lameness of this argument. The sentence I quoted was from my very first comment in this thread, dated Saturday, August 09, 2008 8:05:00 AM.

Larry wrote: What I am saying is that when a term appears a large number of times ("peer review" and its derivatives appear 23 times), then it may safely be assumed that the term is not an unimportant part of the opinion.

Nobody said it was unimportant, but you're elevating it to a level of overriding importance that it does not actually hold in the ruling. The clear text of the ruling that I posted makes that much clear.

Larry wrote: Sheeesh -- here you are jumping on me when I agreed with your claim that FRE Rule 401 could apply to the issue of peer review!

No, I'm jumping on you because you've taken my point - that the rules don't have to specifically mention peer-reviewed scientific journals to make them admissible - and gone off on some very weird tangent about Rule 401 and whether or not law journals are peer reviewed.

Larry wrote: It did happen, idiot -- go read the Massachusetts v. EPA opinion.

That's where my citation came from.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 5:12:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy said...

>>>>>Larry wrote: That second sentence that you quoted was not in your first two comments.

The sentence I quoted was from my very first comment in this thread, dated Saturday, August 09, 2008 8:05:00 AM. <<<<<<

OK, there was a misunderstanding. I thought that you were talking about a second sentence in a later comment.

Anyway, I don't see what you have against negative scientific claims -- they are often good, though positive scientific claims are of course often preferable to negative scientific claims.

>>>>> Nobody said it was unimportant, but you're elevating it to a level of overriding importance that it does not actually hold in the ruling. <<<<<<

As I indicated, the only reason why you are belittling the issue of peer review is that I am using it to attack Judge Jones, law journals, and the law profession in general. If the issue of peer review were being used to attack ID, you would consider the issue to be of overriding importance.

>>>>>> No, I'm jumping on you because you've taken my point - that the rules don't have to specifically mention peer-reviewed scientific journals to make them admissible - and gone off on some very weird tangent about Rule 401 and whether or not law journals are peer reviewed. <<<<<<

This is not a weird tangent. If the courts expect scientific literature to be peer-reviewed, then they should also expect law literature to be peer-reviewed, but most law journals are not peer-reviewed. What you are doing is advocating a double standard. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

>>>>>>Larry wrote: It did happen, idiot -- go read the Massachusetts v. EPA opinion.

That's where my citation came from. <<<<<<

That's where your quote mine came from.

Here Mass. v. EPA says that global warming theory is well-supported:

(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.

And here Mass. v. EPA talks about uncertainties about 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. Its action was therefore “arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with law,” §7607(d)(9). On remand, EPA must ground its reasons for action or inaction in the statute.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 2:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: Anyway, I don't see what you have against negative scientific claims....

There's nothing "scientific" about using logical fallacies to argue against evolution. ID arguments consist of either claiming "[fill in the blank] cannot evolve, therefore it must be designed" or "the evolution of [fill in the blank] is too improbable, therefore it must be designed."

Larry wrote: If the issue of peer review were being used to attack ID, you would consider the issue to be of overriding importance.

Stop projecting your intellectual failings onto me, please. I gave you a list of what I perceive to be the failings of ID and peer review is only one among many.

Larry wrote: This is not a weird tangent. If the courts expect scientific literature to be peer-reviewed, then they should also expect law literature to be peer-reviewed, but most law journals are not peer-reviewed.

Since you're the one that brought up Daubert in the first place, you should already be aware that peer review is only one of the factors governing whether scientific evidence is admissible, and that lack of peer review does not necessarily exclude scientific evidence from admission.

Larry wrote:
That's where your quote mine came from.


Okay, we can add "quote mining" to the list of things that you obviously don't understand. Quote mining is the practice of taking quotes out of context to make it seem like they support something that they actually do not. When the ruling says flat-out that the case is justiciable, citing that text is not a quote mine.

As for the part you cite, it interests me that you snipped off the first sentence:

" 4. EPA’s alternative basis for its decision—that even if it has statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gases, it would be unwise to do so at this time—rests on reasoning divorced from the statutory text."

Put into the proper context, it is abundantly clear that the text you cite as "talk[ing] about uncertainties about the theory" is in fact critiquing the EPA's compliance with the statute. The part you cited says as much:

"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. Its action was therefore “arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with law,” §7607(d)(9)."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8:31:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy driveled,

>>>>>Larry wrote:Anyway, I don't see what you have against negative scientific claims....

There's nothing "scientific" about using logical fallacies to argue against evolution. <<<<<<<

Sheeeesh -- who said anything about logical fallacies? I was talking about negative scientific claims.

>>>>> I gave you a list of what I perceive to be the failings of ID and peer review is only one among many. <<<<<<<

That's no excuse for the lack of peer review in law journals, and it doesn't get Judge Jackass Jones off the hook for hypocritically pointing a finger at ID over the peer review issue.

>>>>> Since you're the one that brought up Daubert in the first place, you should already be aware that peer review is only one of the factors governing whether scientific evidence is admissible, and that lack of peer review does not necessarily exclude scientific evidence from admission. <<<<<<

But Judge Jackass Jones used it as a reason to exclude ID.

>>>>>> When the ruling says flat-out that the case is justiciable, citing that text is not a quote mine. <<<<<<

But as I showed, other parts of the ruling indicate that global-warming is non-justiciable.

As I said, it is just about time to stop feeding this troll (maybe past time).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 2:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: Sheeeesh -- who said anything about logical fallacies?

The two major ID arguments (Irreducible Complexity and Specified Complexity) are both built on logical fallacies.

Larry wrote: That's no excuse for the lack of peer review in law journals, and it doesn't get Judge Jackass Jones off the hook for hypocritically pointing a finger at ID over the peer review issue.

If ID fails to do any science, then it doesn't belong in science class. Whining about whether or not law journals are peer-reviewed won't change that.

Larry wrote: But Judge Jackass Jones used it as a reason to exclude ID.

ID excluded itself by failing to produce any actual science.

Larry wrote: But as I showed, other parts of the ruling indicate that global-warming is non-justiciable.

Which parts? The only thing you've got are two sentences that say "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." Even in those two sentences, it's painfully obvious that the court is criticizing the EPA's adherence to the statute rather than the science involved. Note specifically that the second sentence there starts with the conditional "IF the scientific uncertainty...."

Thursday, August 14, 2008 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

I should have stopped feeding this lousy troll a long time ago.

Thursday, August 14, 2008 11:33:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home