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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Dover was a NAS hit job and Jones got the contract.

The ridiculous ruling we commonly know as "Dover" was the farcical combination of NAS, the ACLU and an ignorant headline-seeking judge. I am not sure what to call a "scientist" such as Eugenie Scott who makes her living trying to censor ID and creationism whereever and whenever she hears of it. Censorship is science?! Amazing...

In any event Dr. Sarfati makes mincemeat of the decision and those associated with it in this article. I have only excerpted a portion from

Science, Creation and Evolutionism


Response to the latest anticreationist agitprop from the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Science, Evolution and Creationism



From creationontheweb:

"

American legal aspects
Dover, PA and Judge Jones

Photo Wikipedia.org

Judge John Jones

Judge John E. Jones III

SEC cites the Dover ruling by Judge John E. Jones III, which many evolutionists delight in, including Richard Dawkins:

District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania,
Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 2005
‘[W]e find that ID [intelligent design] is not science and cannot be judged 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. … 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.’

Even for their own purposes, citing the Dover case is futile. Since it was not appealed to a higher court, it is not a binding legal precedent anywhere outside of the Dover school district.

It is laughable that the NAS should cite as an authority on science a judge who has no scientific or philosophical training. Even philosophers of science who were themselves strongly anticreationist have warned against using a judge as an authority on the philosophy of science.42,50 But this Jones is clearly different; after all, he boasted that he read five newspapers a day! Even the laudatory article in Time said that his:

‘previous claims to fame were a failed attempt to privatize Pennsylvania’s state liquor stores as chairman of the Liquor Control Board—and banning Bad Frog Beer on the grounds that its label was obscene.’

So not surprisingly, his ruling about ID as science was copied practically verbatim (90%) from the evolutionist ACLU brief, including its errors in fact, as the Discovery Institute summarizes:

‘In fact, 90.9% (or 5,458 words) of Judge Jones’ 6,004-word section on intelligent design as science was taken virtually verbatim from the ACLU’s proposed “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law” submitted to Judge Jones nearly a month before his ruling. Judge Jones even copied several clearly erroneous factual claims made by the ACLU. The finding that most of Judge Jones’ analysis of intelligent design was apparently not the product of his own original deliberative activity seriously undercuts the credibility of Judge Jones’ examination of the scientific validity of intelligent design.’

The Institute points out:

‘Judge Jones even copied the factual errors contained in this document, which was known as “Plaintiffs’ Proposed ‘Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.” For example:
  • Jones claimed that biochemist Michael Behe, when confronted with articles supposedly explaining the evolution of the immune system, replied that these articles were “not ‘good enough.’” In reality, Behe said the exact opposite at trial: “it’s not that they aren’t good enough. It’s simply that they are addressed to a different subject.” (emphasis added) The answer cited by Jones came not from Behe, but from the attorneys working with the ACLU, who misquoted Behe.
  • Jones claimed that “ID is not supported by any peer-reviewed research, data or publications.” (emphasis added) Again, the actual court record shows otherwise. University of Idaho microbiologist Scott Minnich testified at trial that there are between “seven and ten” peer-reviewed papers supporting ID, and he specifically discussed Stephen Meyer’s explicitly pro-intelligent design article in the peer-reviewed biology journal, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. Additional peer-reviewed publications, including William Dembski’s peer-reviewed monograph, The Design Inference (published by Cambridge University Press), were described in an annotated bibliography of peer-reviewed and peer-edited publications supporting ID submitted in an amicus brief accepted as part of the official record of the case. Jones’ false assertions about peer-review simply copied false claims made by attorneys working with the ACLU.’

Jones’ ‘reasoning’ came under fire even from some of those strongly opposed to teaching ID. E.g. Jay D. Wexler, Professor of Law, Boston University Law School, Kitzmiller and the ‘Is it Science?’ Question, 5 First Amendment Law Review 90, 93, 2006, as cited:

‘The part of Kitzmiller that finds ID not to be science is unnecessary, unconvincing, not particularly suited to the judicial role, and even perhaps dangerous both to science and to freedom of religion.’

However, Jones knew that by ruling the way the ACLU and Leftmedia desired would finally lift him from obscurity and into the pages of Time and the lecture circuit. He has subsequently stated how excited he was that he was trying such a high profile case, and even bragged to his wife about his case appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone. Contrast this with the ruling by another jurist the same year, circuit judge Richard Suhrheinrich (with fellow circuit judge Alice Batchelder concurring) in ACLU vs Mercer County (KY, 2005). In this case he ruled against the ACLU, pointing out ‘fundamental flaws’, including the ACLU’s fetish of ‘separation of church and state’, which is lacking in the US Constitution:

‘[T]he ACLU makes repeated reference to “the separation of church and state.” This extra-constitutional construct grows tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state … our Nation’s history is replete with governmental acknowledgment and in some cases, accommodation of religion. … (“There is an unbroken history of official acknowledgment by all three branches of government of the role of religion in American life from at least 1789.”) After all, “[w]e are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.” … Thus, state recognition of religion that falls short of endorsement is constitutionally permissible. [Cited court cases omitted] … ’

But Suhrheinrich and Batchelder never made the front pages of Time, or became darlings of the Leftmedia, and their case never appeared on the Rolling Stone cover or anywhere else for that matter. This is despite using their own reasoning from the actual text and context of the Constitution rather than parroting the ACLU as Jones did. Their analysis is also germane to Jones’ repeated self-serving justifications and whinging that the public dares to complain that their betters, unelected people in black robes, hand down law from the bench:

‘If you look at public polls in the United States, at any given time a significant percentage of Americans believe that it is acceptable to teach creationism in public high schools. And that gives rise to an assumption on the part of the public that judges should “get with the program” and make decisions according to the popular will.
‘There’s a problem with that … The framers of the Constitution, in their almost infinite wisdom, designed the legislative and executive branches under Articles I and II to be directly responsive to the public will. They designed the judiciary, under Article III, to be responsive not to the public will—in effect to be a bulwark against public will at any given time—but to be responsible to the Constitution and the laws of the United States.’

This is a misrepresentation of the issue. The complaint was not about the role of the US Constitution, but judges pretending that the Constitution is a ‘living, breathing document’, the meaning of which evolves to match their own policy preferences. An example is activist judges hallucinating an ‘emanation’ or ‘penumbra’ in the American Consitution to justifying the latest liberal cause, as with the notorious exercise of ‘raw judicial power’ in Roe v Wade to invent a constitutional right to abortion. Another example is a judge ordering that Terri Schiavo be dehydrated and starved to death (which Jones supported).

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is well known for advocating that the Constitution should be interpreted according to its original meaning, much as CMI advocates with the Bible. In dissenting from the majority decision in Roper v Simmons in the same year as Dover, Scalia wrote:

‘What a mockery today’s opinion makes of Hamilton’s expectation, announcing the Court’s conclusion that the meaning of our Constitution has changed over the past 15 years—not, mind you, that this Court’s decision 15 years ago was wrong, but that the Constitution has changed.’

Suhrheinrich is one of the few judges to point out that separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. Indeed, the First Amendment merely says:

‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …’ "



If you want to read all the links then go to the article and check out the references and links. ID actually does get peer-reviewed as does creation science. I do have subscriptions to a couple of peer-review publications. Darwinist peer review passed on Piltdown Man among other frauds, so for them to sneer at ID peer review in general and the Discovery Institute in particular is ignorant snobbery at best. In fact it appears to be more and more the case that Darwinism is the religion and ID is the science. In terms of actual evidence that makes more sense.

One scientist, Michael Behe, although not a creationist, has done more to tear Darwinism to shreds than probably any other by his publications and I applaud him for being brave enough to take the heat generated by going against the Darwinist paradigm.

It is notable that Richard Dawkins had not only lambasted Behe for "Darwin's Black Box" but actually pretended to pity him for writing "Edge of Evolution" and yet is afraid to debate Behe in public on either book and either topic. Dawkins is famed for having labeled the large part of DNA as junk (whereas the more we learn the more functionality we discover) and called creationism bunk but was trapped skillfully by Ben Stein in "Expelled" No Intelligence Allowed" into admitting his real position and that would be anything BUT GOD.

Dover was a stupid decision by an ignorant judge manipulated by evil organizations with the bribe of notoriety. Jones has had his fifteen minutes. His decision sticks out like a sore thumb, yet another example of illogical unreasoning Darwinism.

Darwinism is the enemy of true science, being the subject of so many studies and grants and pieces of lab equipment and radio teloscopes and valuable time and effort of so many with little or nothing to gain. The curse of the Middle/Dark Ages was the search for the Philosopher's Stone. The curse of the end of the so-called "Age of Reason" was Darwinism, which stands against all reason. How long before Darwin is cast into the wastebin with vampires and werewolves and voodoo and witchcraft and conjurer's spells?

17 comments:

Jon Woolf said...

Nice job of quote-mining, radar. Or rather, nice job of quote-mining by Sarfati, and an even better job of exposing that by you.

As usually happens, the truth is rather more complex. To take just one example, it's normal for a judge to rely extensively on briefs and documents from the attorneys in his ruling, especially when those briefs and documents do a good job of stating the issues and the evidence.

Sarfati's specific charge of "misquoting" in the "Plaintiffs Finding of Fact and Conclusions of Law" also falls flat on its face if one actually reads that document and Judge Jones's ruling, side by side with the court transcript of Behe's cross-examination. The transcript makes it clear that Behe saw the trap Rothschild had laid for him, and was trying very hard not to say what Rothschild wanted him to say. However, while he refused to say the exact words Rothschild wanted, what he actually meant behind his dissembling was clear: he doesn't believe the vertebrate immune system could evolve by variation and selection, and no amount of evidence would suffice to convince him otherwise. Not a very scientific attitude.

If you dislike Judge Jones's ruling, then perhaps you should direct your ire at the pro-ID witnesses who failed to convince him, and at the Disco Institute expert witnesses who entirely refused to testify because they knew the case was a loser for their side and didn't want to be associated with it.

One scientist, Michael Behe, although not a creationist, has done more to tear Darwinism to shreds than probably any other by his publications

[snicker.wav] I don't think so...

Jorgon Gorgon said...

LOL! Thanks for exposing this pile of strawmen, nonsequiturs and quote-mining to us. I have read Sarfati before, and he never fails to make me laugh.

Hawkeye® said...

People don't like "change"... plain and simple. People get comfortable in their beliefs and world view. Once a set of beliefs gains wide acceptance then it's really difficult to change them.

The same thing happened hundreds of years ago, but in the opposite direction. The church didn't like Galileo and his ilk, because he represented change. The beliefs of the church were forced to change because "truth" eventually wins.

The same will happen with evolution. If it is not the truth, and it is proven to be false, it will be replaced by something else... but very slowly. I don't know if that something else will be Intelligent Design, but I doubt it. Belief in a Creator requires faith, and selling faith to secular organizations seems like a tough row to hoe.

Mazement said...

Another example is a judge ordering that Terri Schiavo be dehydrated and starved to death

That's a pretty wild distortion!

Terri Schiavo had told her husband that she wanted to be allowed to die if she were in the kind of irreversible state that she found herself in. (I feel the same way and I've communicated that to my loved ones.)

Her parents were in denial about the extent of her illness, and wanted to prevent her wishes from being carried out, and started a big public fight over it. Unfortunately, a bunch of grandstanding politicians decided this was the perfect time to stick their filthy noses into what should have been a private family matter. The courts quite rightly slapped them down.

I find it kind of sad that people can support that kind of tyrannical government meddling, and then turn around and whine about "socialism" when the government tries to make it easier for people to get health insurance.

Anyway, the moral of the story is this: Think about what kind of treatment you want if you find yourself in a persistent vegetative state. Do you want to be allowed to die peacefully, or do you want the doctors to do everything in their power to keep your heart beating for as long as possible? It doesn't matter what your answer is. What matters is that you get a lawyer to help you write it down in the form of a "living will" and make sure that all of your loved ones know about it.

(The only problem is that you'll have to pay for the lawyer yourself, and that's expensive if you're young and just starting out. Earlier this year, Congress was talking about getting the insurance companies to treat this service as part of routine health coverage. But the usual gang of idiots started screeching about "Death Panels!" and the plan got dropped. Grrr!)

creeper said...

"Dover was a NAS hit job and Jones got the contract."

I googled this and it seems that this statement originates with you. Are you seriously alleging that Jones was corrupt and that he received any favors or benefits from NAS to provide a particular judgement in this case?

Seems like slander to me, but please clarify if that is indeed what you're alleging and, if so, on what basis.

-- creeper

creeper said...

"Darwinist peer review passed on Piltdown Man among other frauds"

For starters, that should read "scientific peer review", but I can't find any evidence that Piltdown Man passed peer review. Could you provide a link?

There is even some controversy as to who perpetrated the fraud (if it was intentional fraud, that is), and that would hardly be the case if there was a peer-reviewed paper that somebody had signed their name to.

-- creeper

radar said...

My comments about Jones are not libelous because:

1) They are factually correct according to court records. Jones did copy much of his verdict from papers given him by the ACLU that included false information.
2) He is a public figure and therefore subject to more general comment and criticism.

As to peer review, who discovered the human genome was 46 and not 48 in number? A pair of researchers published in 1955 or 1956 a paper showing the genome of humans numbered 46 rather than 48. Since early peer reviewed findings had listed it at 48 and Dr. Watson had himself listed it at 48 three years earlier then everyone in the scientific community just ignored their own findings and agreed with 48.

From Peter Harper's abstract "Abstract The correct determination of the human diploid chromosome number as 46, by J-H Tjio and A Levan, at the University of Lund, Sweden, occurred 50 years ago, in December 1955; the finding was published in April 1956, ending a period of more than 30 years when the number had been thought to be 48. The background to the discovery and the surrounding factors are reassessed, as are the reasons why previous investigators persistently misidentified the precise number. The necessity for multiple technological advances, the power of previously accepted conclusions in influencing the interpretation of later results, and the importance of other work already undertaken in Lund, are all relevant factors for the occurrence of this discovery, the foundation for modern human cytogenetics, at this particular time and place."

radar said...

Piltdown man: "The Piltdown Man was one of many frauds perpetrated by promoters of the theory of evolution. This particular fraud was taught to an entire generation of students worldwide from 1912 to 1953, when it was conclusively proven to the public to be a hoax. The Piltdown Man was featured in A Civic Biology, the textbook at issue in the Scopes trial in Tennessee. Darwinists officially announced the Piltdown Man to be authentic and gave it a formal name: Eoanthropus dawsoni. This name honored the person who claimed to have found it, Charles Dawson. The British scientific establishment largely supported the validity of Piltdown Man."

They gave a cute name to Nebraska Man, too. And that Lemur that Gingrich dragged out of a basement somewhere. Scientists use peer-review but it doesn't often amount to much.

Jorgon Gorgon said...

No, your comments are not libelous, simply idiotic. Jon Woolf already noted how, so I do not have to get into that. And I do not see what the number of chromosomes has to do with anything but another red herring on your part.

Meanwhile, you say: "Scientists use peer-review but it doesn't often amount to much."

In whose universe and by what definition of "much"? There are frauds and scientific misconduct, but the peer review setup and the scientific method in general guarantees maximum transparency. Frauds constitute a very small percentage of all papers. funnily enough, all of the frauds I am aware of have been caught and exposed by scientists themselves. Again, you do not have a point.

Jon Woolf said...

A pair of researchers published in 1955 or 1956 a paper showing the genome of humans numbered 46 rather than 48. Since early peer reviewed findings had listed it at 48 and Dr. Watson had himself listed it at 48 three years earlier then everyone in the scientific community just ignored their own findings and agreed with 48.

Congratulations, radar, you've made the awesome, earth-shaking discovery that scientists are human too.

Now, as for Piltdown Man: it always makes me grin to see creationists try to use him as a club against 'evolutionists.' If they knew what they were talking about they'd be arguing the other way, that Piltdown was genuine and the claim of "fraud" was a cover-up. See, when viewed in its entirety, the Piltdown case represents a major victory for evolution. You see, if modern evolutionary theory is correct then Piltdown must be fake, while if Piltdown was genuine then there's something seriously wrong with evolutionary theory.

creeper said...

"Piltdown man: "The Piltdown Man was one of many frauds perpetrated by promoters of the theory of evolution. This particular fraud was taught to an entire generation of students worldwide from 1912 to 1953, when it was conclusively proven to the public to be a hoax. The Piltdown Man was featured in A Civic Biology, the textbook at issue in the Scopes trial in Tennessee. Darwinists officially announced the Piltdown Man to be authentic and gave it a formal name: Eoanthropus dawsoni. This name honored the person who claimed to have found it, Charles Dawson. The British scientific establishment largely supported the validity of Piltdown Man.""

I don't see how that little song and dance backs up your claim that Piltdown Man passed peer review. I guess you couldn't find any evidence of it either then? In that case, a simple retraction and correction would have been more appropriate, don't you think?

-- creeper

creeper said...

"They are factually correct according to court records. Jones did copy much of his verdict from papers given him by the ACLU that included false information."

"got the contract" implies rather more than a judge gleaning information from papers provided to him (which is their purpose, after all).

What exactly was the false information that you refer to?

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

creeper, as near as I can tell, the "false information" consists of a single minor misquote of a witness (Behe) and a flat statement that ID has no "peer-reviewed publications" when in fact a handful of such publications do exist.

This puts the IDers in roughly the same position in re 'peer review' as Woodmorappe is when he lists a couple of hundred discordant radiometric dates gleaned from throughout the scientific literature, and then claims that radiometric dating is thereby completely disproved. I've seen single papers that contained more radiometric dates from one study of one rock formation than are in Woodmorappe's entire list, yet he still thinks his list is significant. By the same token, Scott Minnich produced a double handful of 'peer-reviewed' ID papers, all either published in creationist journals or snuck into mainstream journals by subterfuge, and thinks that's supposed to bear some weight against the vast mountain of evidence that demonstrated ID is warmed-over religion, created by cdesign proponentsists in a desperate attempt to circumvent Edwards v. Aguillard.

Jon Woolf said...

Oops, it seems after further checking that I need to edit the comment just above. Apparently the question of "peer reviewed pro-ID publications" is slightly more complicated than I thought.

But it amounts to the same thing. Judge Jones's statements in his opinion are substantively accurate, and the attacks on him over this are ill-founded.

Greg said...

What horrendous nonsense.
Can an Evangelical Christian Accept Evolution?

creeper said...

Radar,

since you haven't come up with any evidence to back up your claim that Piltdown Man passed peer review, can we take it that that statement is no longer operative?

-- creeper

Jorgon Gorgon said...

...or whether, in true creationist style, he will pretend that no rebuttal of his position has been made and use the same argument again when he thinks no-one is listening?