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The motivation behind the Judge Jones School of Law

The other side is making much about my having attained yet another “new low” in being the creative force behind the Judge Jones School of Law (go to www.overwhelmingevidence.com). Just to be clear, my aim in this flash animation was not to shake up the convictions of convinced Darwinists. Rather, my aim was to render Judge Jones and his decision ridiculous in the eyes of many young people, who from here on will never take Darwinian evolution or him seriously. If the cost of accomplishing this is yet another lowering of my estimation in the eyes of PT or Richard Dawkins, that’s a price I’m only too glad to pay — heck, I regard that as a benefit of the deal.

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41 Responses to The motivation behind the Judge Jones School of Law

  1. Stuffed shirts with no sense of humor make the world a dull place. Your stock goes up in my book every time you take some time out for schoolboy fun. We can’t stay young in body but we can sure stay young at heart. Good for you.

  2. After the treatment Dawkins got on South Park, I am sure their side can’t consider the Judge Jones animation too bad.

  3. If someone designed an anti-ID flash animation and it had Dawkins voice on it, I’d be a little ticked off, but I’d have to give him credit if it was funny – because funny is effective. I think the real problem is that “they” know how effective (and damaging for them) good humor can be – especially when it’s on a site visited by young people. If they make a big deal out of this, it will only succeed in painting Darwinists as a bunch of curmudgeonly old men who can’t bend but break under the weight of new ideas – and evidence. The best thing to do would have been to congratulate Dr. Dembski for designing such a funny animation, and then design their own animation (or hope that one evolves over millions of years) as a response.

  4. Jehu, how did South Park treat Dawkins? I haven’t heard anything about it.

  5. The problem here is three-fold, IMHO: (1) it inculcates a disrespect for the legal system; (2) it rests on a false premise of “plagiarism”; and (3) it discredits your substantive work, particularly among those of us who really know how the legal process works.

  6. As a former Christian, I know Christian teaching and still have much sympathy for it as a moral force in the world. My confusion is not so much with content, but with manner. Is this done in a Christian manner? I thought the teachings of Christ would prohibit the manner of this presentation. Is this consistent with WWJD? As for it being directed toward adolescents, don’t they need the most superior of examples in countering our crude and vulgar culture? As I said, I’m confused.

  7. bj writes, “As for it being directed toward adolescents, don’t they need the most superior of examples in countering our crude and vulgar culture?”

    As a high school teacher, I appreciate this comment. For those of us trying to be adult role models for adolescents, behaving like the crude and vulgar characters they get on television is about the last thing we should do. Teenagers deserve to be treated with respect, and their dignity needs to be taken seriously, even if they themselves do not do that and do not understand that need.

  8. I am a Christian, an Evangelical Christian, who agrees with Dr. Dembski on most things. However, even though I found the flash animation quite funny, relevant, and revealing, overall, I have to express my complete dissatisfaction with Dr. Dembski’s choice to use farting noises in the animation. It really wasn’t necessary, not even to “reach” the youth (besides, in effect it treats the “youth” as a bit more immature and uncouth than ID as a movement would prefer to view them [that is, as capable of unemotional and intelligent responses to scientific evidence]).

    The farting noises detract from the animation.

  9. Is this consistent with WWJD?

    The Lord probably wouldn’t approve.

    But Martin Luther would likely get a kick out of it.

  10. “I resist the Devil, and often it is with a fart that I chase him away.”
    – Martin Luther

  11. Douglas,
    Thanks for your response. I have found you to be consistent, both in the content of your belief and your practice. We disagree on content, but I respect your practice. Since, I believe that ID is largely a Christian movement, I comment that it is not the substance or intellectual content of apologetic practice that will garner the most effect for good. It is the superior manner of character that is displayed in the apologetic battle. It is tempting to dumb down ethical practice, but in doing so, the Christian loses his/her greatest asset. That asset is the superior practice of life itself.

  12. dopderbeck

    1) it inculcates a disrespect for the legal system;

    When the shoe fits…

    (2) it rests on a false premise of “plagiarism”;

    That’s a matter of opinion. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s probably a duck.

  13. I said: 1) it inculcates a disrespect for the legal system;

    DaveScot said: When the shoe fits…

    My problem with this is that, as a Christian, I’m bound by Romans 13, which says: Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. … Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

    There’s simply no way I can reconcile this with false allegations and farting noises. (Civil disobedience is a different matter; even when appropriate, it must be done respectfully. Compare Rosa Parks’ dignified place on the segregated bus, or MLK Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, with farting noises).

    That’s a matter of opinion. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s probably a duck.

    That horse is dead. It neither walks or quacks like a duck. It’s a different animal altogether because of the context.

  14. Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities,
    Exactly Dop. The governing authority — “We the People. . .

  15. Let me suggest you all read your Old Testament — Elijah taunting the prophets of Baal (and then, oh my, killling them); Micaiah the prophet telling Ahab the king to look forward to his coming death; and Jehu’s respectful treatment of Queen Jezebel (throwing her out a window and letting the dogs lap up her blood). And then in the New Testament we find Paul wishing that certain Judaizers didn’t just circumcise themselves but would go the whole way and castrate themselves. I see the JJSchLaw as an instrument of grace to bring Dawkins and others to their senses (if such a thing were possible). What have you done lately, dopderbeck, to jar Dawkins out of his dogmatic rampage?

  16. The hypocrisy which is being bloviated outwards by the fetid minions of materialism carries with it a far worse stench then the fart noises made in jest on the flash animation. If one cares to take a real dip into the sewage of foul mouthed gaseous juvenilia one need only to traipse on over to one of the many ID bashing sites and one will find not only a strong odor (from the copious amount of BS permeating the environs) but also a vicious knashing out like that of a restrained pitbull trying to get to the sly cat wandering by in order to shred it to pieces. The sheer grossness and hateful disturbed juvenile blabbering by supposed professional adults on a day to day basis would be a shocking sight to most ordinary people if they happened to come across it. If they knew that their stalwart defenders of science and civilization, their school teachers and white coated pocket protected mandarins of the laboratory, act like little more then inmates of a looney bin who spend considerable amounts of their free time howling obscenities and knashing their fangs at passers by; how would this blog and the flash animation from Bill and friends be judged in comparision? I think we all know the answer to that. The darwinoids of the collective know no shame in their ceaseless displays of hypocrisy and grotesque venality. The dogs may bark but the caravan moves on.

    For those of you who complain that there is a display of some kind of un-christian like display which in some way hurts Bill or ID; hey folks, this isn’t church, this isn’t the preachers corner. The ID movement isn’t the standard bearer for christianity.

  17. Mentok, you wrote:

    “For those of you who complain that there is a display of some kind of un-christian like display which in some way hurts Bill or ID; hey folks, this isn’t church, this isn’t the preachers corner. The ID movement isn’t the standard bearer for christianity.”

    Note that all of Prof. Dembski’s comments in his recent post note Old and New Testament examples, when you state that ID isn’t the standard bearer for Christianity. ID is largely a conservative Christian movement onto which some of us, with other motivations and ethical concerns, have attached.

  18. bj that is a misrepresentation. ID is a scientific movement supported by large numbers of people from all faiths and from no religious denomination. It hurts ID to try to paint it as a christian conservative movement. ID is very popular amongst many jews, muslims and hindus and christians who would not be considered conservative. Bill may use biblical examples to counter those with religious fault finding, but he certainly doesn’t use religious language for anything else when discussing ID.

  19. dopderbeck

    My problem with this is that, as a Christian, I’m bound by Romans 13, which says: Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities

    My problem is that as an American citizen I have a sacrosanct right to voice my disagreement with and even hold in contempt the governing authorities.

  20. Hey mentok,
    We are on the same side, but I stand by my former post. ID is largely an Christian movement. That others are associated with it is a good thing, but I don’t see the need to deny reality. In fact, I think that reality is a great strength. When you say that others, jews, muslims, hindus, and telic agnostics like myself are associated with the movement, I would ask just what kind of power and depth all these beliefs have had historically in American society. I am not denigrating anyone, including myself. But, just how much influence can telic agnostics like myself really have. That is why I get concerned when I believe that behavior which is inconsistent with the power of the Christian religion is demonstrated. Others many disagree. Dr. Dembski may disagree. But remember, we are on the same side here, and if all the parties don’t get on the same page, then the kind of folks you mentioned in your previous post are going to win the day.

  21. dopderbeck // Dec 17th 2006 at 11:50 am

    “The problem here is three-fold, IMHO: (1) it inculcates a disrespect for the legal system;”

    I think most laypersons are able to discriminate between “the legal system” and the various scoundrels and incompetents pulling the legal levers at any given moment. I deplore Judge Jones’ ruling not because I disrespect the legal system, but because the judge has (IMHO) brought shame on the legal system.

  22. The Darweenie reactions were entirely predictable and, according to their own sophisms, entirely determined by memes and selfish genes rather than free will or intelligence.

    I for one find this kind of thing very humorous. (Jones deserves it!)

    I seem to remember a place – long ago in a galaxy far far way where this “Jedi” named Elijah mocked the “dark side” with toilette jokes and such.

    So we have a true Xian example in that story.

    Way to go Dr D.!
    ;-)

  23. Jack Krebs

    As a high school teacher, I appreciate this comment. For those of us trying to be adult role models for adolescents, behaving like the crude and vulgar characters they get on television is about the last thing we should do.

    As a parent, when I want a high school teacher to be their role model, I’ll write it into the teacher’s job description. Until then stick to teaching the subject that’s assigned to you and leave the role modeling to us. Thanks in advance.

  24. Mockery (ala Elijah in dealing with the prophets of Baal), Micah the prophet using a bit of sarcasm (?) in telling an exceedingly wicked king about his coming death, Jehu having an exceedingly wicked woman to her death and trampled (in ultimate accordance with a prophecy God Himself had given concerning the woman, at least in regard to her eventual physical state), and Paul rhetorically wishing that Judaizers not only circumcised themselves but would go even further and castrate themselves, are all a different level of dealing with sin. In many of those instances, they are righteous judgments upon the wicked. In some, they are pointed jabs at the rebellious. But NONE of them stoop to adolescent, juvenile, demeaning methods to communicate their “message”.

    I can see Jesus mocking the hypocrisy and blindness of, say, the scribes and Pharisees of His day, but I cannot see Him doing so by using farting noises. I think Ephesians 5:3-4 is relevant here:

    “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you; NEITHER FILTHINESS NOR FOOLISH TALKING, NOR COARSE JESTING, WHICH ARE NOT FITTING, but rather giving of thanks.”

    I submit that using farting noises to mock the justifiably mocked actions of others is “not fitting” of Christians. Go ahead and mock them, when they deserve it (and in the case of Judge Jones, they most definitely deserved it), but do so without “stooping” to an “unfit” level.

  25. As a high school teacher, I appreciate this comment. For those of us trying to be adult role models for adolescents, behaving like the crude and vulgar characters they get on television is about the last thing we should do.

    As a parent, when I want a high school teacher to be their role model, I’ll write it into the teacher’s job description. Until then stick to teaching the subject that’s assigned to you and leave the role modeling to us. Thanks in advance.

    When I wrote, “As a high school teacher, I appreciate this comment. For those of us trying to be adult role models for adolescents, behaving like the crude and vulgar characters they get on television is about the last thing we should do,”

    DaveScot wrote,

    “As a parent, when I want a high school teacher to be their role model, I’ll write it into the teacher’s job description. Until then stick to teaching the subject that’s assigned to you and leave the role modeling to us. Thanks in advance.”

    I find this response incredible: I know for a fact that parents do expect us to be good role modes *** and *** teach our subjects well. I teach character everyday, and part of the way I do that is by exhibiting the characteristics that I expect students to have: politeness, respect, honesty, responsibility, and and so. I’m sure that if I explained calculus well but exhibited poor character choices, I would hear about it quickly from parents and the administration.

    Surely DaveScot doesn’t really mean that the character of the teacher is of no importance, and that he wouldn’t care if a teacher were rude, crude and disrespectful to students as long as the teacher taught the subject assigned to him.

  26. Oops. the previous comment was just supposed to say this:

    When I wrote, “As a high school teacher, I appreciate this comment. For those of us trying to be adult role models for adolescents, behaving like the crude and vulgar characters they get on television is about the last thing we should do,”

    DaveScot wrote,

    “As a parent, when I want a high school teacher to be their role model, I’ll write it into the teacher’s job description. Until then stick to teaching the subject that’s assigned to you and leave the role modeling to us. Thanks in advance.”

    I find this response incredible: I know for a fact that parents do expect us to be good role modes *** and *** teach our subjects well. I teach character everyday, and part of the way I do that is by exhibiting the characteristics that I expect students to have: politeness, respect, honesty, responsibility, and and so. I’m sure that if I explained calculus well but exhibited poor character choices, I would hear about it quickly from parents and the administration.

    Surely DaveScot doesn’t really mean that the character of the teacher is of no importance, and that he wouldn’t care if a teacher were rude, crude and disrespectful to students as long as the teacher taught the subject assigned to him.

    Comment by Jack Krebs — December 17, 2006 @ 7:40 pm

  27. Didn’t mean to double – post; didn’t realize I’m being moderated again, for whatever reason. I’d appreciate if you could post that last one as it responds to a comment made directly to me.

  28. Sorry — I’m thinking your software flagged me because there was a link in the post. Let me try again.

    Bill Dembski asked: What have you done lately, dopderbeck, to jar Dawkins out of his dogmatic rampage?

    I’m not sure I understand what Richard Dawkins has to do with showing respect to judges as required by Romans 13. In any event, search my blog, Through a Glass Darkly and you will see that I’ve written many times in criticism of Dawkins and his brand of materialism. You can also find similar writing from me in the ASA email list archives and in other places. I don’t claim to be any great voice in this regard, but I’ve unashamedly and publicly explained my Christian faith many times.

    Your references to OT prophets are misplaced because they specifically were appointed by God as prophets within the context of the theocratic state of Israel and its role among surrounding nations. For us in the Church today, Romans 13 is normative, as I’m sure you’ll agree.

    The reference to Paul and the Judaizers is even further misplaced, as Paul was speaking there as an Apostle in the context of snuffing out a heresy within the Church. Again, Paul’s instruction to us with respect to secular governmental authorities is clear in Romans 13.

    I’m a bit disheartened that you think this video could serve as a “means of grace” to Richard Dawkins. Do you really believe that? Is this really “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15)? Does it satisfy the standards of Col. 4:6: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone”? How about Romans 12:14: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Or the entire teaching of Matthew 5?

    I hope you take this rebuke in the spirit in which it’s offered, and not as a personal attack. Heaven knows, I have often failed to live up to the standards of Romans 12 and 13, Ephesians 4, Colossians 4, etc. As a brother in Christ, and a fellow academic who takes seriously the cultural mandate, I beseech you to think again about this method of discourse, and about the strategy of making personal attacks on a judge who wrote an opinion contrary to your views. I think you will agree with me that there is much, much more at stake here than one judge’s opinion in one case concerning one version of how to integrate science and faith.

    Take the long view, the Kingdom perspective; play the part God gave you with humility and grace and let Him handle the ultimate results, for He secured the victory long ago on the cross. I can say at least that this is the ideal towards which I strive, though I often fail. But imagine what could happen if all us Christians who are concered about the culture humbled ourselves and began to pray for and love our enemies, to tell the truth truly in love, to live the Sermon on the Mount ethic taught by Jesus in Matthew 5 and echoed throughout the New Testament. Imagine if all the anger and ink and pixels we spill in culture “wars” were instead spent in sacrificial love and in patient, humble, careful and thorough explanation of the truth. Imagine if the Church were to be truly the Church. That’s the passionate cry of my heart.

  29. dopderbeck: “…it inculcates a disrespect for the legal system…”

    This disrespect is well deserved in many instances. Judge Jones has contributed mightily to well-deserved disrespect, through his “borrowed” decision, which he tacitly claimed as his own, thus making himself a hypocrite, worthy of disdain.

  30. dopderbeck I think you have a mistaken view of what Romans 13 actually means. We find this in the old testament where God says in Hosea 8:4, “They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not.” What Paul was doing was speaking metaphorically. How could anybody claim it is the law of God to willingly submit to any power which controls a country or city or village or whatever? Would you willingly follow the laws of a tyrant? What Paul was talking about the ideal human society where the government is acting properly, following righteous morals and ethics. But if the government has turned it’s back on what is righteous and acts out in immoral ways out of greed, hubris, envy, etc, then that government has not gained the imprimatur of God and in fact it is the duty of righteous people to opppse those laws which are immoral. Look at the old testament where God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah, if the rulers of those lands were doing God’s bidding then why God want to destroy them?God telling the Jews to fight against non jewish rulers is there in the old testament as well. Judaism has as it’s central tenet the concept of the mosiach who will actively revolt against the rulers of Israel and take the position of King in order to bring in a righteous government. Muslims also believe that God has ordained the faithful to replace and resist unrighteous government. For Hindus the Bhagavad Gita is the most revered scripture and it takes place on a battlefield right before a battle to decide who will rule. There we find the lead warrior Arjuna feeling lost and planning to leave the battle for the mountains because he is supposed to fight against many of his relatives. Many of his kin were fighting for the other side whom were unrighteous and whom illegally usurped the kingdom from the rightful righteous rulers. The entire Bhagavd Gita is then spoken where God explains a spiritual truth to Arjuna in order to get him to fight the righteous (dharma) fight and not to shrink from his responsibility.

    If you lived in a country with unrighteous laws would you follow them in the name of Romans 13? We see throughout history where unrighteous laws are enforced and many people and society suffers because of it. Were communist leaders like Stalin or Mao fit to be seen as God’s representatives? How about Hitler or Mussolini? Or maybe Pol Pot or the Taliban?

    God may allow what occurs in our world to occur, but that doesn’t mean that we are to accept unrighteousness as acceptable to God. God wants people to do that which is righteous. To allow unrighteousness to stand unopposed in the name of the will of God being carried out is due to a lack of understanding and perspective on what God teaches us through scriptures and saints and prophets.

  31. 31

    If we lived in a dictatorship, then I would agree that we owe it to Judge Jones to avoid disrespecting him with farts. However, we do not live in a dictatorship, and this kind of political humor is part of how we, the people, govern, going all the way back to the birth of the republic. You have to get popular support to change things and rule in a democracy – it’s your duty.

    We’re calling a judge out on error, and I think that making that call funny is smart work. As long as we aren’t lying or being vicious, I say it’s fair.

  32. jacob

    You bet this kind of thing goes back to the birth of the republic. I searched in vain for about 15 minutes looking for scans of 18th century American political satire cartoons but didn’t find any. One in particular I know of depicts George Washington riding on a donkey being led by another man. The caption “A man leading an ass.”

  33. Re: Rom 13

    Government is God given and is to be repected and obeyed … when they are being a terror to evil! Once a government abandons this foundation, then it also abandons its God given right to at least garnish my respect.

    Re: respect

    I don’t respect willlful ignorance. Mainstream ID opponents have had enough time now to genuinely study and understand ID. Every single one of the quotes used in the animation promalgated an ignorance that truly makes the whole case a satire of the politics of science and religion without Dembski having to help it along. The satire was already created, Dembski just had do document it. BTW: I thought it was rather well done … good job Dr. Dembski!!!!!!
    This shows that scientists can still possess and appreciate humor.

    Come on, take a joke. Every Prime Minister and President has to learn to do so.

    Neither the quotes used nor the flash animation itself undercuts the scientific validity of ID. So, what’s the point in attacking the animation? The animation is not nice? Well, then stop being so ignorant and giving such easy satirical targets.

  34. It’s truly a horrible day for Lord Charlie when his followers can’t attack opponents’ arguments and are thus reduced to attacking farts and jokes.

  35. Mentok — we’ll have to disagree on the meaning of Romans 13. It is not idealistic or metaphorical, it’s immediate and practical. This is apparent from the immediate context, and it is how the Church has read and applied it from the beginning. There are some poignant discussions of this in some writings from the early Church, where Christian faith sometimes meant torture and martyrdom.

    The questions you raise have to do with civil disobedience. Acts 4:18 is one passage that establishes a principle of civil disobedience. It is true that we are compelled to disobey civil authorities when the civil law conflicts with God’s law. Read MLK, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” for an eloquent discussion of civil disobedience.

    Civil disobedience has nothing to do with the Kitzmiller case, however, or with false allegations or crude humor. Nothing in Kitzmiller compels Christians to disobey God’s moral law. And nothing could be further from the early Christians bravely singing hymns in the teeth of the lions, or of MLK Jr. being jailed for nonviolent protest of racism, than a video of a farting judge.

    I had written a long post about how the Bible instructs Christians to guard their speech, but it seems to have gotten lost in the moderator’s queue. Here is one sample that I think sums it up well: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. “ Col. 4:6.

    Our norm for governmental authorities is respect; our norm for everyday conversation is seasoned grace. There is no room for disrespectful crudeness.

  36. Mentok, I just noticed this line in your comment and wanted to respond. You said: Judaism has as it’s central tenet the concept of the mosiach who will actively revolt against the rulers of Israel and take the position of King in order to bring in a righteous government.

    Perhaps this is also a place where we’ll have to agree to disagree, but the Christian view of this is that the messiah is Jesus. In the Christian view, you are right that messiah will utlimately will judge evil and rule as a King over a righteous government. However, in the Christian view, the Messiah first came as the suffering servant, who humbled himself to die on a cross for our sins. The radical nature of Jesus’ teaching is that, for now, we follow his example in waiting, suffering, and serving — that his kingdom is advanced by sacrifice and peace rather than by violence. This is one reason why I think a culture “war” is a bad metaphor. One day Christ will return and judge evil directly, but that part of the Kingdom is “not yet.”

  37. I believe that the most important thing about being a Christian is to show others how to love one another. “for he who loves another has fulfilled the Law.” – Romans 13:8 Also see 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. I haven’t seen the video, but from what the other side has to say about it I think we should show them more love and respect in future. Regardless of how they like to call us fundies and IDiots, if we only love those who love us, we are no better than pagans.

    “In fighting the dragon, take care not to become the dragon.” – (a quote I got from the book “What’s so amazing about grace” by Philip Yancey. I can’t remember the exact words, but I trust that you can see what I mean.)

  38. come on guys.

    Wince if you must, but correct a brother in private and keep your condemning sermons to yourself.

    This perpetuates the image of Christians:

    1. Can’t take a joke.

    2. circle the wagons, then shoot at each other.

    Sorry if that’s offensive, but i got it out of my system.

  39. dopderbeck (13): “My problem with this is that, as a Christian, I’m bound by Romans 13, which says: Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities…”

    The ultimate temporal governing authority in the US is the Constitution. And it says:

    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Sometimes governing authorities are wrong, and when they are, it is our right (and obligation as good citizens) to speak up and tell them. You will have no country worth living in if you don’t.

  40. “This perpetuates the image of Christians:

    1. Can’t take a joke.”

    Hey, I can take a joke. I actually thought the animation was brilliant, quite funny, and quite revealing and relevant. I just felt that the farting noises detracted from the “message”, and were more than unnecessary.

  41. 40. Douglas

    Noted. Sorry about the rant.

    I taught some church school classes for adolescent boys. One of the boys asked me “Did Jesus fart?” This is one of the most profound questions I was called upon to answer in those classes. Not because the answer isn’t obvious, but because of the “rubber meets the road” interest it engendered in the discussion.

    Hey, maybe I have a soft spot for the use of simulated flatulence in educational materials because of this, who knows.

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