I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Dover mystery -- why sixty library copies of same book -- solved

I always wondered why the Dover school board purchased sixty copies of the same book, "Of Pandas and People," which was not required reading, just to stick them all in the library where they would mostly all just sit there. Since the books were just being deposited in the library and were not required reading, it would have made much more sense to purchase a variety of books to present a variety of viewpoints, maybe even pro-Darwinist viewpoints. And with all sixty volumes being of the same book, the plaintiffs could focus on attacking just that one book, which was especially unfortunate because the book was very vulnerable to attack because of its creationist roots (in fact, the current edition of the book was created by replacing "creationism" and "creationist" by "intelligent design" and "intelligent design proponents," respectively, in a previous edition). And the biased, gullible judge, Judge "Jackass" Jones, went along with the plaintiffs' strategy of making Pandas a big issue in the case, despite the fact that Pandas is only one of many books about Intelligent Design. So -- why did the board purchase sixty copies of the same book?
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The answer is that the board originally wanted to use the book as a "companion text," so probably wanted each student to have a copy. The Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion says,

. . . .at the August 2, 2004 meeting, Buckingham opposed the purchase of "Biology," which was recommended by the faculty and administration, unless the Board also approved the purchase of "Pandas" as a companion text. Only eight members of the Board were present on August 2, 2004 and the initial vote to approve the purchase of "Pandas" failed on a four to four vote with Buckingham, Harkins, Geesey, and Yingling voting for it. . . . .. After Buckingham stated that he had five votes in favor of purchasing "Pandas" and if the Board approved the purchase of "Pandas," he would release his votes to also approve the purchase of "Biology," Yingling changed her vote and the motion to approve the purchase of "Biology" passed. . . . . At trial, Buckingham testified that at the meeting he specifically said "if he didn't get his book, the district would not get the biology book." (citations to testimony omitted)

Later, a compromise with the teachers changed Pandas from a "companion" text to a classroom "reference" text, and the copies of Pandas were eventually placed in the library:

Despite the fact that the teachers strongly opposed using "Pandas" as a companion text, they agreed that "Pandas" could be placed in the classroom as a reference text as a compromise with the Board.

The teachers reneged on the compromise by refusing to read the official statement announcing the presence of the Pandas books in the library. Maybe the teachers might have agreed to read the statement if the school board had accepted the teachers' recommendations for the wording of the statement -- nonetheless, to me it is pretty clear that the teachers acted in bad faith.

Later, the official statement referred to other, unnamed books about Intelligent Design:

Administrators were thus compelled to read the statement to ninth graders at Dover High School in January 2005 because of the refusal by the teachers to do so. (citation of testimony omitted) The administrators read the statement again in June 2005. By that time, Defendants had modified the statement to refer to other, unnamed books in the library that relate to ID; however "Pandas" remains the only book identified by name in the statement. Defendants offered no evidence concerning whether the other books can be found in the library, including whether they are placed near Pandas.

One of the problems was that the school board members were too clueless to know that Intelligent Design is only one of many criticisms of evolution theory.

Anyway, that is the story of why there were sixty copies of the same book in the library.

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In related news, Larry has discovered that -- at least since July 18, 1665 -- the sun has always risen in the East.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 9:34:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous, you despicable dunghill, I turned off comment moderation just a few hours ago and you have already made me sorry that I did so -- which I guess was your intention.

I am seriously considering censoring comments containing nothing but scoffing. Censoring such comments would not deny visitors the right to express their opinions on the issues. There are hundreds of such comments that just clutter up this blog with garbage.

The reasons why there are sixty library copies of the same book are by no means self-evident or obvious but require an explanation based on the facts of the case. Having sixty copies of the same book in the library seems silly and maybe if the Dover school board knew that the books would end up in the library and could do things over again, the board might have chosen different books to put in the library (indeed, the board modified the ID statement by adding to it a claim that there were other ID books in the library). If the books had been different, it would have been difficult for the plaintiffs to attack a particular book. The plaintiffs' attack on Pandas profoundly affected the case -- the book's name appears 75 times in the Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion. The opinion's ruling that Intelligent Design cannot be separated from creationism was to a great extent based on Pandas, particularly on the substitution of the words "intelligent design" and "intelligent design proponent" for "creationism" and "creationist."

Friday, January 30, 2009 3:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> I am seriously considering censoring comments containing nothing but scoffing. <

Do you plan to apply the same standard to your own posts?

As for turning off moderation, perhaps it is because you had realized how ridiculous you had shown yourself to be while complaining about alleged censorship on other people's blogs.

Friday, January 30, 2009 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> I am seriously considering censoring comments containing nothing but scoffing. <

Do you plan to apply the same standard to your own posts? <<<<<<<

Yes, for the most part, but I am not promising that there will never be an exception.

>>>>>> As for turning off moderation, perhaps it is because you had realized how ridiculous you had shown yourself to be while complaining about alleged censorship on other people's blogs. <<<<<<

Don't give me that crap, you disgusting dunghill. Fatheaded Ed Brayton kicked me off his blog permanently because he disagreed with my literal interpretation of a federal court rule. I was kicked off the Florida Citizens for Science blog because of my comments about co-evolution (I discuss co-evolution on this blog in the post-label group "Non-ID criticisms of evolution"). I was kicked off of Uncommon Descent because I complained that the posts had too much campaigning for Barack Obama (lead UD blogger William Dembski later agreed). There are other examples.

Anyway, the censorship issue has become less important as one of my reasons for maintaining this blog.

Friday, January 30, 2009 2:42:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

I don't know of any blog which has been less moderated or censored than Larry's. Not that some of the characters who rage, usually very ignorantly, against Larry's posts, have the slightest appreciation of his restraint. They want to use his blog as a dumping-ground for their merely bilious personal spouting against Larry, it seems.

I believe it was Davescot who kicked Larry off Uncommon Descent. Davescot knows a lot, but is excessively irritable, and intolerant of those who disagree with him on certain things. That's one reason why I've very rarely commented there.

Friday, January 30, 2009 4:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Gandalf said...

> I don't know of any blog which has been less moderated or censored than Larry's. <

Since Larry had total moderation for months, I wonder what color the sky is on your planet!

Friday, January 30, 2009 5:13:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said,
>>>>>> I believe it was Davescot who kicked Larry off Uncommon Descent. <<<<<<

Yes, he kicked me off because I complained that the posts had too much campaigning for Obama (BTW, lead UD blogger William Dembski later agreed with that assessment). I got so pissed off at UD that I have not asked to be unbanned there.

Gandalf said,
>>>>>> Since Larry had total moderation for months, I wonder what color the sky is on your planet! <<<<<<

My turning on of moderation was only in response to the most extreme provocation. Here is the comment that prompted me to turn on comment moderation:

> I tried to follow the instructions and they did not work. Per the instructions, I saved the comment form to my hard-drive ( I could save it only as a PDF file ), filled it in, and then tried to email the filled-in form as an attachment but could not -- I could email the comment form only as an empty form. <

The instructions work. Anyone who knows anything about computers can see what the dullard did wrong.

Thank you for helping us in two ways:

1. You gave us the address to make comments on the need to teach science, not superstition, in science classes.

2. The incoherence of your own comments will strengthen our case.

3. I found a way around your blocking of me. Even you should be able to figure out how to solve that.


As I said, there are some trolls who are determined to sabotage this blog because they see it as a big threat to their dogma.

I decided to turn on comment moderation again because the trolls are again posting garbage.

Sunday, February 01, 2009 8:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry wrote, "there are some trolls who are determined to sabotage this blog because they see it as a big threat to their dogma"

This blog is no threat to anyone's dogma except your own. How long did it take you to see what they wanted 60 copies of Pandas? I deduced it right away and I think I remember reading why. Anyway, it was fairly easy to deduce -- multiple copies, in the classroom, duh.

Larry: note that your readership has dwindled steadily since July or August (only December's slight increase over November broke the fall). I've certainly gotten bored of your nonsense -- it's not even entertaining anymore.

Sunday, February 01, 2009 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> How long did it take you to see what they wanted 60 copies of Pandas? <<<<<<<

You stupid fathead, anyone can guess that the reason for the 60 copies is that the board originally wanted each student to have personal copy. What I did here was provide a detailed history of exactly how 60 copies of the same book wound up in the library. Part of that history, for example, is that the teachers reneged on their agreement to accept the book as a reference book, but of course you don't want people to know that.

>>>>>> I deduced it right away and I think I remember reading why. <<<<<<

Why did you read why, since you don't want to know why?

>>>>>> Larry: note that your readership has dwindled steadily since July or August <<<<<<

I can turn off the Site Meter if you'd like.

>>>:>> I've certainly gotten bored of your nonsense <<<<<<

Then why do you waste time reading this blog and submitting comments, bozo?

Monday, February 02, 2009 2:43:00 PM  

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