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.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Supreme Court won't review ACSI v. Stearns (fundy schools v. UC)

Anticlimactically, the Supreme Court denied certiorari for Association of Christian Schools International v. Stearns. [1] [2] [3] In that case, the lower courts rejected a lawsuit charging that the University of California's refusal to accept particular Christian-oriented high-school courses as counting towards admission requirements is a violation of the religion clauses of the First Amendment. This blog has a post label group of articles about the case. Some documents of the case are here. The denial of certiorari was really no surprise -- getting review by the Supreme Court is a longshot (only a tiny fraction of submitted cases are accepted for review) and ACSI v. Stearns was not even a published opinion, greatly hurting the chances of getting Supreme Court review. I myself opposed the lawsuit, at least in regard to the biology texts; I previously wrote [4] ,
.

IMO the Bob Jones University biology text (a 2-volume set) went too far when it said in the introduction, "If the conclusions contradict the Word of God, the conclusions are wrong, no matter how many scientific facts may appear to back them." IMO that statement discourages critical thinking and smacks of brainwashing, and I cannot condone that statement when one of my main reasons for supporting the teaching of scientific and pseudoscientific criticisms of evolution is to encourage critical thinking. IMO the statement is just as bad as the new Florida science standards' statement that "evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology."

Unlike many Darwinists, I try to be consistent in my thinking and avoid knee-jerk opinions. For example, many Darwinists blindly supported Chris Comer without considering the details of her case. She apparently lost a lot of support as more and more people understood the details of her case, but diehards like the National Center for Science Education continued to support her.

The Supreme Court's official announcement of denial of certiorari said,

09-1461 ASSN. CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS, ET AL. V. STEARNS, ROMAN, ET AL.
The motion of Catholic League, et al. for leave to file a brief as amici curiae is granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

The Catholic League's filing of a motion for leave to file an amicus brief implies that at least one of the parties to the case withheld consent for the brief, and I wonder why. Supreme Court Rule 37 says that amicus briefs are automatically accepted if all parties give written consent --

2. (a) An amicus curiae brief submitted before the Court's consideration of a petition for a writ of certiorari, motion for leave to file a bill of complaint, jurisdictional statement, or petition for an extraordinary writ, may be filed if accompanied by the written consent of all parties, or if the Court grants leave to file under subparagraph 2(b) of this Rule . . . . . .

(b) When a party to the case has withheld consent, a motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief before the Court's consideration of a petition for a writ of certiorari, motion for leave to file a bill of complaint, jurisdictional statement, or petition for an extraordinary writ may be presented to the Court . . . . . . . Such a motion is not favored.

IMO this blog has the Internet's best coverages of some prominent lawsuits -- ACSI v Stearns, Caldwell v. Caldwell, and Comer v. Scott (see sidebar for post-label groups for these cases). I am very disappointed that this blog does not get more traffic.

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