Home » Intelligent Design » Answers for Judge Jones

Answers for Judge Jones

In my previous post I posed two questions for Judge Jones. The answers to the second question are A, B and C. That is, (A) Evolutionary theory incorporates religious premises, (B) Proponents of evolutionary theory are religious people and (C) Evolutionary theory mandates certain types of solutions.

Continue reading here.

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768 Responses to Answers for Judge Jones

  1. Cornelius,

    May I suggest you post your entire entry here at UD rather than just a short intro with a link to your blog? It’s a bit awkward flipping back and forth between pages, especially when the main post is relatively short. Anyway, thanks for your consideration.

  2. 2

    Most excellent. And thank-you for the link to your blog. Now I know it exists.

  3. 3

    The new school board didn’t support the contested policy, so why would they appeal?

  4. 4

    Alan Fox,

    ——”If Jones got it wrong, why not appeal rather than whine?”

    A man writes his thoughts and you call it whining? Certain things I won’t tolerate, and this is one of them.

  5. 5
    CannuckianYankee

    Mr. Hunter,

    I find your blog one of the most informative I have read. I think it has something to do with the fact that you explain things well, and for me as a non-scientist, this is very helpful.

    Thanks.

  6. You delete my comment, then quote it!

  7. Alan Fox,

    Not just anyone can step in and appeal a ruling.

  8. Ok, but if it is wrong, surely it can be challenged?

  9. 9

    Alan Fox,

    Sure, so you know which comment I was referring to.

  10. Cornelius Hunter is wrong on all counts. Those of us who think evolution occurs think so because of the evidence, which is overwhelming. But I doubt there is one of us who would rop it if convincing evidence appeared to demonstrate it wrong (Cambrian rabbits for one). That’s hardly a religious position.

    Perhaps Cornelius should take up another hobby, though not baseball: he’s batted 0 for 3 on this one.

  11. Alan Fox,

    Not just anyone can step in and challenge a ruling.

  12. 12

    Joseph is right. You have to have what legal people call “standing.” Also, Dover went and elected a sane school board that didn’t want to appeal.

  13. Fair enough, folks. So Jones’ ruling can never be challenged, then?

  14. David Kellogg,
    “Also, Dover went and elected a sane school board that didn’t want to appeal.”

    Do you think it’s dangerous to show IC structures, genetic entropy, CSI etc to kids?

  15. Do you think it’s dangerous to show IC structures, genetic entropy, CSI etc to kids?

    Not at all. It would be most interesting to see. Bring it on!

  16. Had the new Dover SB appealed they could have saved their district quite a bit of money.

    But anyway all that is needed is to have a school teacher or school board- without religious motivations- do what the old Dover SB did.

    So far no one has challenged my “ID awareness day”- and that is because I have made it clear that I don’t have any religious motivations.

  17. 17
    CannuckianYankee

    The ruling in Dover was appropriate in one sense, and inappropriate in another. It was the Judge’s overall characterization of ID in that ruling that was the problem. I don’t think it would be prudent for anyone to legally challenge that characterization, because it really has no legal binding. It is merely an opinion. The danger lies in the opinion being used as a precedent in future court cases involving ID.

    It is outside a Judge’s scope and practice to offer their opinion as a ruling in areas outside their expertise. So Jones did not get it wrong as far as the legal ruling (i.e., the Dover area schoolboard had a religious agenda, which violated the establishment clause); he got it wrong as far as the opinion. Judge’s are not scientists, and should make legal determinations only, not scientific ones.

    There are even atheists who recognized the problems with this ruling. An overly zealous religious judge could do the same thing in ruling Evolution not scientific. I’m certain too, that in such a case many Evangelical Christians and others would applaud such the, but such a judge would still be wrong.

  18. 18
    CannuckianYankee

    “would applaud such the, but such a judge would still be wrong.”

    That should read “…would applaud the ruling, but….”

  19. Hey Yankee,

    Judge’s [sic] are not scientists, and should make legal determinations only, not scientific ones.

    There are even atheists who recognized the problems with this ruling. An overly zealous religious judge could do the same thing in ruling Evolution not scientific. I’m certain too, that in such a case many Evangelical Christians and others would applaud such the, but such a judge would still be wrong.

    Jones is a Protestant Republican and, on top of that, a Bush appointee, and yet he still saw through the Intelligent Design facade.

    However, you’re correct in saying that judges aren’t scientists, but that’s why they have scientific advisers in court cases such as Dover.

  20. 20

    CannuckianYankee (#16) wrote: “The ruling in Dover was appropriate in one sense, and inappropriate in another. It was the Judge’s overall characterization of ID in that ruling that was the problem.

    Judge Jones’ ruling was based on his judgment of what was presented to him by the two sides. One side’s presentation was coherent, organized and internally consistent. The other side’s presentation was incoherent, disorganized and blatantly less than fully truthful. Included in Judge Jones’ decision was this comment: “It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

    One can hardly blame the judge for his characterization of ID, based as it was on what was presented to him. Buckingham, Bonsell, Buell and Behe are to blame for ID’s characterization – not Jones.

  21. Dr Hunter,

    What are the specific religious premises of “heritable variation and selection lead to changes in a populations allele frequencies”?

  22. Judge Jones did more for ID than anyone else. To ban a science from school is akin to banning books, it’ll only blow up in your face. It just takes time. The second biggest contributor is Eugenie Scott. Simply stating “there is no controversy” is like the newspapers in North Korea when they reported Kim Jung Ill was just out playing golf and scored 18 holes in one. Make people wonder…

    Also Judge Jones had already made up his mind. In his summary he stated not one ID paper had undergone peer review, when papers were provided to him beforehand. Some posters on this site would have us believe Jones plumbed the depths of the debate and arrived at a watershed personal epiphany from Ken Miller’s overwhelming persuasiveness, hmm

  23. RDK:

    Jones is a Protestant Republican and, on top of that, a Bush appointee, and yet he still saw through the Intelligent Design facade.

    Translation:

    Judge Jones bought the anti-ID nonsense hook, line and sinker.

    Not only that he over-stepped his authority.

  24. 24
    CannuckianYankee

    “Some posters on this site would have us believe Jones plumbed the depths of the debate and arrived at a watershed personal epiphany from Ken Miller’s overwhelming persuasiveness, hmm”

    I think he was persuaded by “Inherit The Wind.”

  25. 25
    CannuckianYankee

    RDK

    “Jones is a Protestant Republican and, on top of that, a Bush appointee, and yet he still saw through the Intelligent Design facade. However, you’re correct in saying that judges aren’t scientists, but that’s why they have scientific advisers in court cases such as Dover.”

    So which is it then? He saw through the “facade” by his own scientific expertise? Or did he require the Darwin-colored glasses of his advisers to reach that conclusion?

    Are you saying then that it was appropriate for Judge Jones to state the opinion that he did, outside his scope and practice, because his opinion happens to support your views, and because he happened to have scientific advisers who share that view?

    I think no matter how you look at it, the courtroom is not an appropriate place for scientific validity to be determined. A few scientific advisers and a Judge can’t determine the merits of ID on their own. Such a determination requires the reckoning of ID with the whole scientific community (including Biologists, but not limited to them)on both sides of the issue, and within the parameters of unbiased scientific inquiry.

  26. 26
    Cornelius Hunter

    CannuckianYankee:

    Mr. Hunter,

    I find your blog one of the most informative I have read. I think it has something to do with the fact that you explain things well, and for me as a non-scientist, this is very helpful.

    Thanks.

    Thank you so much.

    RDK:

    Jones is a Protestant Republican and, on top of that, a Bush appointee, and yet he still saw through the Intelligent Design facade.

    That’s no surprise. Evolution’s religious foundation arose mainly from Protestants.

    Nakashima:

    Dr Hunter,

    What are the specific religious premises of “heritable variation and selection lead to changes in a populations allele frequencies”?

    There are none. I’m referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. If you are an evolutionist then you are propagating religion within science — the very sin you castigate others for.

    Evolutionists who genuinely would like to learn about the religious foundation of evolution can see a brief introduction here. They can also follow my blog.

  27. Dr Hunter,

    No worries then! I’m not an evolutionist, I’m a change in allele frequentist!

  28. Dr Hunter,

    What are the specific religious premises of “heritable variation and selection lead to changes in a populations allele frequencies”?

    Yes, I’d like to know this too.

    I’d also like to know whether Dr. Hunter considers tectonic plate theory to be religious. It doesn’t include the possibility of gods pushing the plates, for example, so should this be regarded as a theological position?

    And theories about weather patterns, highly complex phenomena, seem to neglect the role of the weather controlling gods our ancestors used to make sacrifices to, so these, presumably, should be regarded as having a religious stance.

    And should the supporters of germ theory be regarded as spiritual, as they exclude the evil spirits still thought to cause disease in parts of the world from their theory?

    There are many interesting questions raised by this thread.

  29. Sorry, I was quoting Mr. Nakashima in the italicized part above, if it’s not clear.

  30. Hey Lamarck,

    Judge Jones did more for ID than anyone else. To ban a science from school is akin to banning books, it’ll only blow up in your face.

    But that’s the point; he didn’t ban a science, he banned a pseudoscience. Just like I would expect if someone tried to push astrology or tea-leaf reading into public school curriculum.

    Once you invoke a supernatural entity you break the rules of causality. Nothing makes sense in the light of science when you bring a deity such as the purported designer into the mix.

    P.S: Mr. Hunter, if you honestly believe the Theory of Evolution is fallacious because it rules out other alternatives in the process of being the best explanation to fit the data, then your knowledge of how scientific investigation works is lacking. If I’ve mischaracterized your view of the supposed religiosity of evolutionary theory in any way, shape, or form, feel free to explain further. Because I honestly can’t see a logical argument from the page you just linked.

  31. RDK,
    “But that’s the point; he didn’t ban a science, he banned a pseudoscience. Just like I would expect if someone tried to push astrology or tea-leaf reading into public school curriculum.”

    I’ll assume you’re trying to be provocative or you’re just misinformed. So I won’t go into this much if you flat out state the opposite without elaborating. Here’s some questions for you if you want:

    1. Do we observe genomes losing information holding existing phenotypes together or gaining? Does this counter Neodarwinism?

    2. For you to say ID is a pseudoscience, you of course mean ID can’t write peer reviewed papers, make testable predictions, be falsifiable etc? Or if not those then how else do you see it as non-scientific?

    3. Does ID invoke a supernatural entity as you imply?

    4. Why would “nothing makes sense in the light of science when you bring a deity such as the purported designer into the mix.”? What’s unscientific or non-sensical about that?

  32. 32
    CannuckianYankee

    RDK,

    “Once you invoke a supernatural entity you break the rules of causality. Nothing makes sense in the light of science when you bring a deity such as the purported designer into the mix.”

    Problem is I don’t see anything in the above paragraph that you could support empirically, so it is either an opinion or an assertion. How does invoking a “supernatural” entity break the rules of causality?

    “Making sense in the light of science” to me implies following rules of logic. Which rules of logic negate design in causality? Be careful, because if you say there is no design in causality, that would rule out all design, including the science of engineering.

  33. 33

    From what I can tell evolution is pure pseudo science. Evolutionists/Materialists blatantly ignore foundational principles of science (Genetic Entropy, Conservation Of Information)all the while clinging to mere suggestive similarities to try to make their case for evolution;

    For prime example of the flimsy “similarity evidence” used by materialists to try to make their case for evolution, most materialists are adamant that Darwinian evolution is proven true when we look at the supposed 98.8% genetic similarity between chimps and man. Though suggestive, the gene similarity, even if true, is not nearly good enough to be considered conclusive scientific proof. Primarily this “lack of conclusiveness” is due to concerns with the second law of thermodynamics and with the Law of Conservation of Information. But of more pressing concern, body plans are not even encoded in the DNA code in the first place. This inability of body plans to be reduced directly to the DNA code is clearly shown by Cortical Inheritance.

    Cortical Inheritance: The Crushing Critique Against Genetic Reductionism – Arthur Jones – video
    Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JzQ8ingdNY
    Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1bAX93zQ5o

    This inability for the DNA code to account for body plans is also clearly shown by extensive mutation studies to the DNA of different organisms which show “exceedingly rare” major morphological effects from mutations to the DNA.

    Hopeful monsters,’ transposons, and the Metazoan radiation:
    Excerpt: Viable mutations with major morphological or physiological effects are exceedingly rare and usually infertile; the chance of two identical rare mutant individuals arising in sufficient propinquity to produce offspring seems too small to consider as a significant evolutionary event. These problems of viable “hopeful monsters” render these explanations untenable.
    Paleobiologists Douglas Erwin and James Valentine

    This includes the highly touted four-winged fruit fly mutations.

    …Advantageous anatomical mutations are never observed. The four-winged fruit fly is a case in point: The second set of wings lacks flight muscles, so the useless appendages interfere with flying and mating, and the mutant fly cannot survive long outside the laboratory. Similar mutations in other genes also produce various anatomical deformations, but they are harmful, too. In 1963, Harvard evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr wrote that the resulting mutants “are such evident freaks that these monsters can be designated only as ‘hopeless.’ They are so utterly unbalanced that they would not have the slightest chance of escaping elimination through natural selection.” – Jonathan Wells
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....footnote19

    Darwin’s Theory – Fruit Flies and Morphology – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZJTIwRY0bs

    Thus the 98.8% similarity derived from the DNA code, to the body plans of chimps and man, is purely imaginary, since it is clearly shown that the overriding “architectural plan” of the body is not even encoded in the DNA in the first place. Of more clarity though, this “98.8% similarity evidence” is derived by materialists from a very biased methodology of presuming that the 1.5% of the genome, which directly codes for proteins, has complete precedence of consideration over the other remaining 98.5% of the genome which does not directly code for proteins. Yet even when considering just this 1.5% of the genome that codes for proteins, we find the proteins, which are directly coded by that 1.5% of the genome, are shown to differ by a huge 80% difference between chimps and man. On top of that 80% difference in proteins, the oft quoted 98.8% DNA similarity is not even true in the first place. Just considering this 1.5% of the genome, other recent comparisons of the protein coding genes, between chimps and man, have yielded a similarity of only 96%. Whereas, the December 2006 issue of PLoS ONE reported that human and chimpanzee gene copy numbers differ by 6.4%, which gives a similarity of only 93.6% (Hahn). Even more realistically, to how we actually should be looking at the genomes from a investigative starting point, Dr. Hugh Ross states the similarity is closer to 85% to 90% when taking into account the chimp genome is about 12% larger than the human genome. A recent, more accurate, human/chimp genome comparison study, by Richard Buggs in 2008, has found that when he rigorously compared the recently completed sequences in the genomes of chimpanzees to the genomes of humans side by side, the true genome similarity between chimps and man fell to slightly below 70%! Why is this study ignored since the ENCODE study has now implicated 100% high level functionality across the entire human genome? Finding compelling evidence that implicates 100% high level functionality across the entire genome clearly shows the similarity is not to be limited to the very biased “only 1.5% of the genome” studies of materialists.

    Chimpanzee?
    10-10-2008 – Dr Richard Buggs – research geneticist at the University of Florida
    …Therefore the total similarity of the genomes could be below 70%.
    http://www.refdag.nl/artikel/1.....anzee.html

    This following paper reiterates the biased methodology used by materialists:

    The Unbearable Lightness of Chimp-Human Genome Similarity
    excerpt: One can seriously call into question the statement that human and chimp genomes are 99% identical. For one thing, it has been noted in the literature that the exact degree of identity between the two genomes is as yet unknown (Cohen, J., 2007. “Relative differences: The myth of 1%,” Science 316: 1836.). Part of the reason for this is if one decides to take into account the plethora of species-specific DNA insertions and deletions (“indels”) that are present along any segment compared between chimp and human, the percentage of identity drops. Another reason is that duplications, inversions, translocations, and transpositions at all scales uniquely characterize the two genome sequences — these have to be untangled before aligning the sequences in order to measure their similarity. Also, the 99% identity figure is often derived from protein-coding regions that only comprise about 1.5% of the two genomes. Many mammalian protein-coding regions are highly conserved, however. We also have to consider that a detailed comparison of certain “heterochromatic” chromosome regions between chimps and humans has yet to be made. In short, the figure of identity that one wants to use is dependent on various methodological factors.

  34. 34

    BA77, genetic entropy and conservation of information are “foundational principles of science”?

  35. Lamarck:

    4. Why would “nothing makes sense in the light of science when you bring a deity such as the purported designer into the mix.”? What’s unscientific or non-sensical about that?

    Have you heard of the Omphalos hypothesis? It’s a nineteenth century I.D. hypothesis involving a deity, and it’s as good as any other.

    That should answer your question.

  36. Hey Lamarck,

    1. Do we observe genomes losing information holding existing phenotypes together or gaining? Does this counter Neodarwinism?

    Not quite sure what you’re asking here; would you mind re-phrasing it? Are you asking if genomes lose or gain information (information that holds existing phenotypes together)?

    2. For you to say ID is a pseudoscience, you of course mean ID can’t write peer reviewed papers, make testable predictions, be falsifiable etc? Or if not those then how else do you see it as non-scientific?

    If the designer is supernatural (a deity) then yes, ID is a pseudoscience. If it is completely natural, then you have to answer for where the designer came from.

    But that only works if you ignore the complete lack of evidence. We can reasonably assume that there was a time in the universe where there was no life (before the cooling of the first stars, for example). Life must have come from non-life. Unless you’re also going to be a YEC.

    In any case, a scientific theory cannot evade empirical evidence, and it must wield predictive power. I don’t see ID as passing either one of those criteria. Feel free to prove me wrong.

    3. Does ID invoke a supernatural entity as you imply?

    My apologies if I micharacterized your specific flavor of ID; I forgot that the designer does not necessarily have to be supernatural. Are you saying that in your case it is a natural phenomenon (I.E., creatures far advanced beyond us, but also ultimately products of evolution)?

    4. Why would “nothing makes sense in the light of science when you bring a deity such as the purported designer into the mix.”? What’s unscientific or non-sensical about that?

    This should be self-evident. If something cannot be explained by scientific investigation, then science has no use for it, and it is of no use in the scientific realm. Although I eagerly await your proposal as to how we should go about exploring the universe around us without scientific investigation.

  37. Bornagain, good points.One other separate point which I’ve recently found is many of the homologous structures found between different species or classes or whatever, spring from entirely different genes. eg the abdomen of some insects. There’s a youtube vid on this but I can’t remember it.

  38. 38

    Yes.

    In addition to the formal proof of the Law of Conservation of Information by Dembski and Marks, which falsifies the theoretical foundation of unguided evolution, “pure transcendent information” is now shown to “eternally exist” by the controlled violation of the first law of thermodynamics in quantum teleportation experiments. (i.e. it is shown that all transcendent information that can possibly exist, for all physical events, past, present, and future, already does exist.)

    Conservation Of Transcendent Information – 2007 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hm4lh81r6M

    How Teleportation Will Work -
    In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made.
    As well, the following video shows that quantum teleportation breakthroughs have shed even more light on exactly what, or more precisely on exactly Whom, has created this universe:

    Scientific Evidence For God Creating The Universe – 2008 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQhO906v0VM

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1) ——– Concept 2. is used by Bennett, et al. Recall that they infer that since an infinite amount of information is required to specify a qubit, an infinite amount of information must be transferred to teleport.

    With LCI established, The principle of Genetic Entropy lays its foundation directly on the twin pillars of the second law and LCI.
    Besides mutation studies and the interwoven complexity of the genome, the fitness test provides a benchmark for Genetic Entropy to be falsified:

    For a broad outline of the “Fitness test”, required to be passed to show a violation of the principle of Genetic Entropy, please see this following video and article:

    Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? – “The Fitness Test” – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BwWpRSYgOE

    Testing the Biological Fitness of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria – 2008
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....-drugstore

    It is also extremely interesting to note that the principle of Genetic Entropy lends itself very well to mathematical analysis by computer simulation:

    “No human investigation can be called true science without passing through mathematical tests.”
    Leonardo Da Vinci

    Using Computer Simulation to Understand Mutation Accumulation Dynamics and Genetic Load:
    excerpt: We apply a biologically realistic forward-time population genetics program to study human mutation accumulation under a wide-range of circumstances. Using realistic estimates for the relevant biological parameters, we investigate the rate of mutation accumulation, the distribution of the fitness effects of the accumulating mutations, and the overall effect on mean genotypic fitness. Our numerical simulations consistently show that deleterious mutations accumulate linearly across a large portion of the relevant parameter space.
    http://bioinformatics.cau.edu......aproof.pdf
    MENDEL’S ACCOUNTANT: J. SANFORD†, J. BAUMGARDNER‡, W. BREWER§, P. GIBSON¶, AND W. REMINE
    http://mendelsaccount.sourceforge.net
    http://www.scpe.org/vols/vol08/no2/SCPE_8_2_02.pdf

    Whereas, evolution has no rigorous mathematical foundation with which we can rigorously analyze it in any computer simulation:

    Accounting for Variations – Dr. David Berlinski: – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW2GkDkimkE

    EV Ware: Dissection of a Digital Organism
    excerpt: Ev purports to show “how life gains information.” Specifically “that biological information… can rapidly appear in genetic control systems subjected to replication, mutation and selection.” (We show that) It is the active information introduced by the computer programmer and not the evolutionary program that reduced the difficulty of the problem to a manageable level.
    http://www.evoinfo.org/Resources/EvWare/index.html

    Thus yes LCI and Genetic Entropy are principles of science, whereas I kind find no principle for evolution to base its claims on other than the wishful (religious) speculations of materialists such as yourself.

  39. 39

    Here is the homology video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMVBFJCqFXc

  40. 40

    So: two “foundational principles of science” which of which most scientists — not just evolutionists — are completely unaware. Your support for the “foundational” nature of those principles consists mainly of links to videos.

  41. RDK,
    1. Not quite sure what you’re asking here; would you mind re-phrasing it? Are you asking if genomes lose or gain information (information that holds existing phenotypes together)?

    You got it. If a baby is born with full information it’s a baby. If there’s a 90% info loss, it’s a ball of mush.

    2. “In any case, a scientific theory cannot evade empirical evidence, and it must wield predictive power.

    ID came up with genetic entropy; eminently falsifiable. (sanford), the ongoing research on the flagellum between Behe and Miller. Only one side can win in any of these IC debates. Behe is doing lots of investigation. So is a dinosaur bones researcher for the DI, he went to china and observed an ID predicted inverse tree of life. ID predicts no large limbs or other large macro ev will result in increase of genetic information. There’s a few right there.

    3. “Are you saying that in your case it is a natural phenomenon (I.E., creatures far advanced beyond us, but also ultimately products of evolution)?

    In my case it’s ultimately unknown but CSI is a worthwhile research path. I’m also interested in being proven right about alien intervention.

    4. “This should be self-evident. If something cannot be explained by scientific investigation, then science has no use for it”

    Why would god not be able to be explained by science? Science is equally unknowing of a material orgin, yet research is still allowed. Even if abiogenesis was performed in a lab, does this mean god doesn’t exist? No. But does it mean science should stop trying to find a naturalist orgin because the goal is so “far out”? No.
    In science you can have a large endgoal in mind that isn’t readily testable. You have to work up to that in smaller stages. So science can be looking or a theist or atheist start ultimately and still remain science.

    If you want to continue feel free to drop the numbers and stick to quotes it gets unwieldy.

  42. 42

    Well at least Genetic Entropy has a rigorous standard for falsification. Since I can see you will be unreasonable with anything presented, I will not waste my time.

  43. bornagain77,

    Here is the homology video

    Thanks for the link! I was looking at the site for the producer of that video, and found a great quote concerning the Darwinian Law of “survival of the fittest”:

    Besides, while survival of the fittest is observed in nature, it is not absolute. We also observe survival of the weakest and survival of the luckiest. Every infant is the weakest of a species, and yet obviously, some of them survive or there would be no species at all.

    That’s about the most elegant refutation of Darwinism that I’ve ever seen—in order for a species to persist, the weakest (i.e., least fit) must survive.

  44. 44

    herb, that’s not a refutation of Darwinian evolution at all. Gould’s Wonderful Life was all about the “survival of the luckiest.”

  45. David Kellogg,

    It’s not at all clear that Gould was a Darwinist.

  46. Oops—forgot to close a quote. The link:

    http://www.arn.org/ftissues/ft.....hnson.html

  47. Wow, Gould thinks Neodarwinism is BS too.

  48. bornagain77 @37,

    are you sure that you present the position of Dr. Dembski correctly and that he agrees with the points you’ve made?
    Wasn’t it rather Salvador Cordova who introduced the book here since 2006 and hasn’t DaveScot been the other main supporter of “genetic entropy”? When you were bringing it up during the discussion of the presentation of the EIL in 2007 Dr. Dembski answered:

    Bornagain77: Precisely what article are you referring to? I expect genetic entropy is fair game for the lab, though it’s not something I’ve discussed with Bob.

    It would be interesting to know if EIL adapted the concept of “genetic entropy” in the meantime.

  49. Sorry, but linking pages here is a pain. I was actually referring to Sal’s post on John Sanford’s book “Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome” that you will find here:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....cent-book/

  50. Genetic entropy is an observed fact there’s no controversy over it. Genomes are only losing complex information unless their single celled creatures making small changes to existing functions.

    This next part is speculation but hardly:

    Information is complexity of the genome. We see no whole new genes forming. We see mainly point neucleotide beneficial mutations. 99% of good mutations are near neutral or null as far as anything is concerned. They’re swamped by a ratio of a million to ten thousand to one bad mutations for every good one. Previously thought of neutral mutations now have a function. So they do something to the phenotype, and so last. The bad ones then stay and have their small bad effect. The bad ones also have the effect of allowing no new morphological change with multicelled organisms, too many good mutations needed to coincide to form something, and all the bad stuff getting in their way. Nylonase is a predicted exception.
    1. It’s small enough to allow for changes.
    2. Eating nylon was a small change to existing funtion.

    This is a ramshackle confused way of explaining this but I’m speed typing tonight.

    Anyways, BornAgain you could probably explain this better than I could but here it is.

    Also how did the genome with all it’s complexity get here if it’s only observed to be losing complexity? God or Aliens must be it. Genomes must be programmed to allow for evolution for something. Information isn’t insertions or deletions, but a whole new gene. You need a whole new gene to get a new beak or arm.

  51. 51
    Cornelius Hunter

    RDK:

    P.S: Mr. Hunter, if you honestly believe the Theory of Evolution is fallacious because …

    Right in the introduction of Section 7 I wrote:

    this is a perfectly valid method of reasoning

  52. RDK:

    Once you invoke a supernatural entity you break the rules of causality. Nothing makes sense in the light of science when you bring a deity such as the purported designer into the mix.

    ID does not require the supernatural.

    ID is about the DESIGN. The DESIGN exists in the physical world and as such is very open to empirical testing.

    People trying to make ID into a designer-centric venue are totally clueless and expose their ignorance of science.

  53. FYI-

    With ID it is NOT “natural vs supernatural”.

    With ID it is “natural vs artificial”.

    Not that I expect any anti-IDists to understand that because it flies in the face of their (supernatural) strawman.

  54. 54

    Ah! Exactly Joseph. Exactly.

  55. Hi, Cornelius

    Cornelius says:

    “But evolution incorporates specific religious premises, having nothing to do with uniformity and parsimony. These religious premises are uncharacteristic of science in general, and they mandate evolution. One way or another, evolution must be a fact. Every time you hear evolutionists proclaim their theory to be a fact (which is quite common), you are hearing a religious proclamation.”

    Last bit first. Cornelius, theories are explanations, not facts. Please don’t confuse “evolutionists” saying “evolution is a fact” with someone making the false claim that “the theory of evolution is a fact”.

    Now the first bit. Neither biological evolution (the fact), obviously, nor evolutionary theory “incorporate specific religious premises”. What you point to on your web page, debates between Christians with differing views (and presumably deists, as well) on whether or not their God would create evil are irrelevant to the question of whether or not evolutionary theory is a strong theory.

    They may well have been of interest to Darwin, because he was a Christian when he first started his observations of nature, and because he was from a traditionally Christian culture, but the world’s evolutionists today come from all kinds of cultural backgrounds, and all that’s of interest to most (excepting the particularly religious) is the evidence in relation to evolution.

    On your site:

    This notion of having natural laws, rather than divine action, be responsible for nature helps to absolve God from responsibility for the evil in the world. It was a popular idea, and Darwin and evolutionists to this day strenuously argue that evolution must be true since God never would have intended to create this nasty world.

    Evolution (the fact) “must be true”? Do they mean “evolutionary theory must be the best explanation for evolution?” No doubt there are some naive modern “evolutionists” who make that God argument, but they would have to be theistic believers in a benevolent God, or people arguing against a creationist who had suggested that his or her god was omnibenevolent and had created life directly!

    No-one’s opinions on any gods provide evidence for or against the validity of the Theory of Evolution. We have no need of these hypotheses!

    Outside theists having their theological disputes and “evo/creo” debates, it would not be considered, and has nothing to do with the science of biology.

    It is certainly not a “specific religious premise” of either evolution or evolutionary theory! There is nothing about any of the gods of any of the religions in either, and they’re irrelevant unless any evidence crops up for any of them existing, which I doubt will happen.

    Gods get discussed on this blog a lot because of the nature and some of the arguments of I.D.

    Biological evolution is the fact of biological change over time which can be observed both directly in real time, and indirectly relating to the past from the fossil record and the study of molecular evidence.

    It is something that many I.D. supporters agree is a fact.

    The modern theory of evolution is an explanatory theory of that fact, and the I.D. movement is about building an alternative theory to explain the same data (some I.D.ers claim there isn’t yet a theory – I’m not discussing that here). Neither theories would be facts, by definition!

    Judge Jones thought that I.D. was religious. There’s one thing about this that isn’t often commented on. I can think of no incident ever of scientists with a new hypothesis or theory trying to get it taught in schools before they have established strong support amongst the experts in the relevant field. It’s odd. Normally, they don’t care about education until the theory is well established, in which case it enters education naturally at the college level, then seeps down if it continues to be well supported by observations. Do we hear string theorists saying “heh, I want this taught in junior high!”?

    But it is true that all successful religions instinctively realise that it’s essential to indoctrinate children. If, in the Muslim world, you skipped a generation of teaching kids that the Koran is the word of a being who created the universe, few of them are going to come to such a ridiculous conclusion on their own as adults.

    So, it has to be said that I.D.ers attempting to enter into school classrooms is not typical of the behaviour of scientists throughout history, but seems to fit the pattern of a religious movement.

    Perhaps that oddity biased the judge, and it was unwise on the part of I.D. to attempt such a premature move (I know some I.D. people agree with that suggestion).

    BTW, a small technical note about your page. It seems to load slowly, and I think it’s one image making the problem.

    Check out:

    Figure 16: Illustration of the various evolutionary premises (black) and example advocates (red).

    It’s right near the end. It never seems to load for me, and the browser says “224 items remaining”.

    Not a serious problem, but I thought you might like to know!

  56. 56

    Joseph (#52) wrote: “People trying to make ID into a designer-centric venue are totally clueless and expose their ignorance of science.

    ID stands for “Intelligent Design.” If “ID” is not “designer-centric” what is it?

    The vast majority of design proponents (“cdesign proponentsists”) are quite certain they know Who the intelligent designer really is. And yes, you’re right: They are totally clueless and this does indeed expose their ignorance of science.

    Remember to whom “Expelled” was marketed – it wasn’t scientists.

  57. 57

    iconofid (#54) wrote: “Judge Jones thought that I.D. was religious.”

    Judge Jones was led to that thought by sworn testimony over several weeks from witnesses for both sides at the 2005 Dover trial. They demonstrated in their various ways that I.D. was religious.

    Judge Jonse stated in his decision: “It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.”

    This was in part what led him to state in his decision “We have concluded that intelligent design is not science, and moreover that intelligent design cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.”

    Based on the trial transcript, anybody can see why Judge Jones came to think that I.D. is religious. Judge Jones did not arrive at this thought by himself.

  58. iconofid:

    Judge Jones thought that I.D. was religious.

    Only because he didn’t listen to the ID experts and instead relied on the testimony of the anti-ID liars.

  59. Joseph:

    Only because he didn’t listen to the ID experts and instead relied on the testimony of the anti-ID liars.

    Do you think it would have helped if you had been there to tell him about your non-supernatural, artificial, pre-natural designers who do gene duplications, and construct bacterial flagella and do highly complex designs on both sides of what the “liars” call the evolutionary arms race?

    Somehow, I doubt it, but I’m sure your testimony would have been highly entertaining up to the point that you were thrown out of the court for contempt!

    “Your honor, they cannot show that nature, operating freely…….”

  60. iconofid,

    Nice meaningless rant.

    All of the ID experts who testified said that ID does not require the supernatural.

    The only people who said ID requires the supernatural are the people who did so because of their agenda.

    Judge Jones, who still doesn’t understand ID, sided with the people with an agenda.

    And yes iconofid I am looking forward to my turn in court.

  61. PaulB:

    ID stands for “Intelligent Design.” If “ID” is not “designer-centric” what is it?

    DESIGN-centric- just as I said.

    As a matter of fact in the absence of direct observation or designer input, the ONLY possible way to make ANY scientific determination about the designer(s) or the specific process(es) used, is by studying the design.

    And BTW the only people who conflate ID and Creation are the people who are ignorant of both.

    By the criteria used Darwin was a Creationist:

    There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.- Charles Darwin in “The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection” last chapter, last sentence (bold added)

  62. Judge Jonse stated in his decision: “It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.”

    To be fair: Only a minority of ID-proponents had the opportunity to escape sworn testimony in Dover despite of being paid before.

  63. 63

    PaulBurnett:

    ID stands for “Intelligent Design.” If “ID” is not “designer-centric” what is it?

    ID examines an entity for evidence of intelligent design.
    Break that sentence down. Does ID examine a designer? No, it examines the entity in question – the sentence, structure, or cell.
    The only reason to label it pseudoscience or supernatural is if someone, for reasons having nothing to do with science, just doesn’t like it. Then the scientific search for knowledge sails right out the window.
    Judge Jones demonstrated, as do many here, that if one makes up his mind in advance, seizes upon even the flimsiest of evidence that appears to agree, and pretends the rest never existed, he can believe anything that suits him and consider it well-founded.

  64. —-Paul Burnett: “Based on the trial transcript, anybody can see why Judge Jones came to think that I.D. is religious. Judge Jones did not arrive at this thought by himself.”

    That is because Judge Jones, and, apparently you, cannot distinguish between a religious presupposition and a design inference. Obviously, he knew [and knows] nothing at all about ID’s methodology. Do you, in fact, know anything about it? If so, please tell us how you extract a religious presupposition from an empirically-based methodology.

  65. 65

    herb,

    That’s about the most elegant refutation of Darwinism that I’ve ever seen—in order for a species to persist, the weakest (i.e., least fit) must survive.

    This is a misunderstanding of the term “fittest.” Survival of the fittest does not mean survival of the strongest. It means survival of those best equipped to make copies of their genes. This could included the tiny mouse who can hide from predators.

  66. 66

    Dr Hunter,

    There are none. I’m referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies.

    What?! That’s what evolution IS! The definition of evolution is: heritable variation and selection lead to changes in a populations allele frequencies.

    ???

  67. Hey Mr. Hunter,

    Right in the introduction of Section 7 I wrote:

    this is a perfectly valid method of reasoning

    My apologies for mischaracterization. But if the method of reasoning isn’t the problem, exactly what is?

    Hey Joseph,

    ID does not require the supernatural.

    ID is about the DESIGN. The DESIGN exists in the physical world and as such is very open to empirical testing.

    People trying to make ID into a designer-centric venue are totally clueless and expose their ignorance of science.

    Does ID posit a designer or does it not? The whole point of ID seems to be to show that there is design present in nature. Are you arguing that design can exist without a designer?

  68. 68

    RDK @ 66
    “Does ID posit a designer or does it not”

    It does not. It simply says something was designed rather than not designed. Who the designer is/was, is left up for theological discussions not scientific. If I’ve read things correctly.

    From the link above right. The first paragraph reads as follows: “The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.”

    You should really invest a couple of minutes and read the rest.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/id-defined/

  69. 69

    “RDK” (#66) wrote: “Are you arguing that design can exist without a designer?”

    That’s getting awfully close to Dawkins’ “blind watchmaker” or the “infinitely patient idiot tinkerer” of evolution, isn’t it?

    During the 2005 Dover trial, intelligent design proponent Michael Behe suggested that the intelligent designer might be dead. So maybe there is no longer a designer.

  70. 70
    William J. Murray

    RDK:

    We don’t know what is responsible for the design. It could be god; it could be ourselves, collapsing history via quantum observer-collapse; it could be that coherent, highly organized information is another fundamental quality of the universe. We don’t know.

    The point of ID is not to locate the designer, but rather to validate the use of a design hueristic when researching certain phenomena instead of a “chance and law” heuristic, because if something is designed, an investigatory process that admits that it is designed will likely produce better scientific results.

    Such as, in the case of DNA, instead of hypothesizing from the law and chance heuristic that most of DNA is “junk”, one would have hypothesized that most DNA is used in some way. Instead of hypothesizing vestigial organs and cutting out appendixes and tonsils, we might have hypothesized that such organs have uses we just haven’t figured out yet. Instead of sterilizing countless people in the name of Eugenics, we might have thought twice about taking it upon ourselves to destroy manifestations of the design.

  71. Hi W.J. Murray,

    Such as, in the case of DNA, instead of hypothesizing from the law and chance heuristic that most of DNA is “junk”, one would have hypothesized that most DNA is used in some way. Instead of hypothesizing vestigial organs and cutting out appendixes and tonsils, we might have hypothesized that such organs have uses we just haven’t figured out yet. Instead of sterilizing countless people in the name of Eugenics, we might have thought twice about taking it upon ourselves to destroy manifestations of the design.

    Good idea! But instead of picking and choosing what to be superstitious about, I’m going to go all the way! I’m going to refrain from squashing bugs because for all I know, there could be tiny human-esque souls inside them, and they might think and feel the same way we do! I’m also going to refrain from ever having sex, because that would mean that all the tiny people that didn’t get a chance to fertilize an egg would die! I’m also going to never scratch myself, because I would be committing an act of murder against the microscopic people that make up my skin tissue!

  72. PaulBurnett,
    “The vast majority of design proponents (”cdesign proponentsists”) are quite certain they know Who the intelligent designer really is.”

    Is the Scientific method not a suitable filter to allow for bias in a scientist?
    By survey, the majority of evo biologists are atheists. Should they be banned from science? Is science allowed to research in the direction of finding god? Didn’t you already know these answers?

    Science and religion meet at the top.

  73. 73

    I have to laugh at the hypocrisy. Whats good for the goose. No?

  74. 74
    CannuckianYankee

    Dr. Hunter, RDK, PaulBurnett, IRQ, Joseph, lamarck, WJM, SBS, spark, Herb, BA77 and others (sorry if I missed anyone)

    I was websurfing and found the following two articles by John Calvert informative to this discussion on religion vs. science and the Dover case:

    http://www.intelligentdesignne.....nciled.pdf

    http://www.intelligentdesignne.....Feb609.pdf

    Calvert posits that Judge Jones’ error was in his narrow definition of religion. He believes that if Dover had been appealed, the more inclusive definition of religion from cases past would have been used.

    While I agree with Calvert, I don’t see how this would have been helpful, since even the Discovery Institute believed that the DASB was in error in requiring a mention of ID. The DI agreed with the simple ruling of Judge Jones in Dover, that DASB had a religious agenda, which violated the establishment clause. However, the DI disagreed with Judge Jones’ opinion regarding the religious nature of ID. I think this is an important distinction.

    I find it interesting that Calvert recognizes the materialistic basis for such religions as Deism, Scientology, Transcendental Meditation and Wicca. Yet Judge Jones only saw theistic religions fitting the definition of “religious.” He did not allow that Naturalism is also religious, or that Humanism is religious, even though there were past legal precedents, which rendered Humanism as such.

    Pay particular attention to: IMPORTANT CASES RE DEFINITION OF RELIGION near the bottom of the second article.

  75. 75
    CannuckianYankee

    PaulBurnett,

    “Based on the trial transcript, anybody can see why Judge Jones came to think that I.D. is religious. Judge Jones did not arrive at this thought by himself.”

    Judge Jones ignored historical legal precedent regarding religion. Had he recognized historical precedent, he would have noticed the religious nature of Dr. Miller’s testimony, and also the religious nature of atheism.

    He discriminated agains ID because of the theistic implications of the theory. If he had presided over a case to require the Big Bang theory to be taught in science classes before the theory was accepted by the scientific establishment, he would have to have ruled the BBT as religious as well, based on its theistic implications, by the same criteria.

  76. 76
    William J. Murray

    RDK:

    In #71 your demonstrated one of the real problems with the atheistic/materialist perspective; the moral and ethical equivalency it leads to when one can consider eugenics programs and scratching oneself to be relatively equal acts, the only difference being the superstition that humans are meaningfully different than microbial life.

    The unfortunate consequence of the atheisic/materialist paradigm is that the respect, moral and ethical obligation, and sense of the divine that once infused scientific investigation is now considered to be nothing more than superstition. Unfortunately, that perspective cannot help but produce less warrant against corruption and fraud in science.

    Unfortunately, if humans are nothing more than the programmed consequence of physics, you have no means by which to argue that your materialist superstitions are more truthful than another person’s spiritual “superstitions”; your assertion that it is so, and your belief that it is so, are equal products of accumulations of physics as whatever any religious fundamentalists utters and believes. IOW, your argument, by your own basis, is ultimately no more necessarily truthful than whatever sound leaves make when the wind blows through them.

  77. 77
    CannuckianYankee

    William J Murray,

    “#71 your demonstrated one of the real problems with the atheistic/materialist perspective; the moral and ethical equivalency it leads to when one can consider eugenics programs and scratching oneself to be relatively equal acts, the only difference being the superstition that humans are meaningfully different than microbial life.”

    Excellent and insightful point. I was reading over RDK’s statement, and could not make anything of it.

    When we have another thread dedicated to the moral inadequacies of Darwinism, I hope you are there. Are you paying attention Ms. O’Leary?

  78. 78

    Judge Jones ignored historical legal precedent regarding religion. Had he recognized historical precedent, he would have noticed the religious nature of Dr. Miller’s testimony, and also the religious nature of atheism.

    Mr. Calvert’s pamphlets did not cite any binding precedent that I can see that Judge Jones ignored. The court could not have ruled that the scientists’ testimony was religious in nature even if it agreed with Mr. Calvert, as district courts are restricted to applying existing precedent when it exists, and existing precedent comes nowhere near the conclusion that Mr. Calvert wants to reach.

  79. 79
    CannuckianYankee

    Leanard Hand,

    “The court could not have ruled that the scientists’ testimony was religious in nature even if it agreed ”

    Untrue. Dr Behe is a scientist who’s views were deemed religious. Dr. Miller’s were not. Clear doulbe standard. Of course he completely ignored Behe’s testimony and his credentials as a scientist.

  80. 80

    CannuckianYankee, why do you think the court applied a double standard? Applying a single standard to the testimony of two different witnesses will often result in placing those witnesses in two different categories. The carefully explained why it found ID to be inherently religious, including what precedent was legally binding and how it was applied.

    If you disagree with the court’s conclusions, I would be interested in learning why. What you’ve provided so far is simply an assertion that the court was mistaken. I have to admit that I am a bit skeptical of your criticism, because it does not appear that you are familiar with the Kitzmiller opinion. Although you claim that the court “completely ignored Behe’s testimony,” the opinion actually quoted from that testimony throughout the opinion and discussed it at length.

  81. Gaz wrote: Cornelius Hunter is wrong on all counts. Those of us who think evolution occurs think so because of the evidence, which is overwhelming.

    There are those who believe in evolution because the scientists tell them that the evidence is overwhelming. They themselves never examine the evidence or consider alternative viewpoints.

    But I doubt there is one of us who would rop it if convincing evidence appeared to demonstrate it wrong (Cambrian rabbits for one). That’s hardly a religious position.

    You state that you doubt that anyone would drop evolutionary theory even if evidence proved it wrong? That is ideology, not science. That is blind devotion to a worldview, and there is absolutely nothing remotely scientific about that.

  82. Barb,

    You [Gaz] state that you doubt that anyone would drop evolutionary theory even if evidence proved it wrong?

    I can’t speak for Gaz of course, but that looks like a typo to me. Perhaps he forgot a “not” along with the “d” there.

  83. 83

    CannuckianYankee (#79) wrote: “Dr Behe is a scientist who’s views were deemed religious. … Of course (Judge Jones) completely ignored Behe’s testimony and his credentials as a scientist.

    As “Learned Hand” (#80) correctly pointed out, that is simply not true, as can be seen in the Dover decision ( http://www.talkorigins.org/faq.....ision.html ). Judge Jones quoted Behe extensively in the Dover decision – Behe’s name appears fourteen times in the decision.

    Possibly the most damning Behe quote in the Dover decision is “…Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God. (P-718 at 705) (emphasis added). As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition’s validity rests on belief in God, nor is the Court aware of any such scientific propositions, Professor Behe’s assertion constitutes substantial evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID is a religious and not a scientific proposition.”

    CannuckianYankee, can you understand how Judge Jones determined that “Dr Behe is a scientist who’s views were deemed religious.”?

  84. 84

    In my previous note, I mistakenly noted that Behe’s name appeared fourteen times in the Dover decision. That was in error – his name appears 88 times in the Dover decision. I was looking at a three-part copy rather than the one-part copy of the decision I have previously used – Behe’s name appears 14 times in the first, 72 times in the second part and twice in the third part hosted at TalkOrigins which I referenced in my previous message. Mea culpa.

  85. 85

    PaulBurnett:

    Possibly the most damning Behe quote in the Dover decision is “…Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.

    In order for it to be a damning Behe quote, doesn’t Behe have to say it?

  86. 86

    Drat. I must retract, as the words are attributable to Behe, although not from the trial itself.

  87. Mr ScottAndrews,

    Drat. I must retract, as the words are attributable to Behe, although not from the trial itself.

    You have a significant amount of respect from me for acknowledging your mistake. We all make them, but in so many online discussions people are loathe to admit an error, and would prefer to obfucate, change the subject, etc. Well, we are all human, ne? :)

  88. 88
    CannuckianYankee

    PaulBurnett,

    Where can that quote from Behe be found? I was looking over the court transcripts of Behe’s testimony, including cross examination, and I can’t find it. Not saying that it isn’t there.

    “CannuckianYankee, can you understand how Judge Jones determined that “Dr Behe is a scientist who’s views were deemed religious?”

    I’m not certain that I’m able to say that I can see how Judge Jones determined Dr. Behe’s religious motivations (which I doubt) until I can see the context within which he made the alleged statement.

    I’ve read over his testimony several times, and he clearly makes a convincing argument that ID is falsifiable, and that it follows the rules of the scientific method.

    This is why I would be surprised If Behe would make such a statement, unless it fits within a context that is interpretive, and the court simply left out the context. But I’d have to see the quote and where it came from in order to validly make that determination.

  89. 89
    CannuckianYankee

    ScottAndrews,

    Sorry I missed your post. Where can the quote attributable to Behe be found?

  90. 90

    Nakashima:
    Thanks!

    CannuckianYankee:
    Apparently I’m a worse train wreck then I thought. I may have been mistaken. I was under the impression that the judge was quoting what Behe had said elsewhere, but I cannot find what that quote is.
    I did observe that the decision only quotes a few words and sentence fragments from Behe’s actual testimony.
    Nonetheless, I won’t rush to retract my retraction. I’ve done enough good.

  91. 91

    Where can that quote from Behe be found? I was looking over the court transcripts of Behe’s testimony, including cross examination, and I can’t find it. Not saying that it isn’t there.

    The court’s citation is to “P-718 at 705,” or page 705 of Plaintiffs’ Exhibit 718. From other references in the opinion, Exhibit 718 appears to be a book or article by Dr. Behe called “Reply to My Critics, Biology and Philosophy.” I don’t know if the piece, or the referenced language, is available online.

  92. 92

    Learned Hand (#91) wrote: “The court’s citation is to “P-718 at 705,” or page 705 of Plaintiffs’ Exhibit 718.

    From http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/pf.html, Note 91: “…In fact, in the entire trial there was only one piece of evidence generated by defendants that addressed the strength of the intelligent-design inference: the argument is less plausible to those for whom God’s existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God’s existence. Michael J. Behe, Reply to My Critics, Biology and Philosophy 100. 16:685-709, 2001. P718, at 705.”

    (I would heartily recommend anyone still sitting on the fence about intelligent design versus evolution to read http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/pf.html – it is quite revealing.)

  93. 93
    CannuckianYankee

    Learned Hand, PaulBurnett
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day12am.html

    “Nonetheless, simply because the Big Bang is compatible with Christianity, and because it makes some theistic views seem more plausible, that does not mean that the Big Bang itself is not a scientific theory.

    And in the same sense, just because intelligent design is compatible with Christian views, or because it makes such views or other theistic views seem more plausible does not mean that intelligent design itself is not a scientific theory.” Dr. Behe

    Mr. Rothschhild of the plaintiff’s Counsel was cross examining Dr. Behe on his views of religion and sceince, citing some articles (From Christianity Today and others). Mr. Rothschild’s intent was to show that Dr. Behe had religious motivations, which were not singularly scientific.

    I found the court’s citation as exhibit P-718. It’s really irrelevant.

    Dr. Behe is entitled to engage in the religious implications of ID and still do science. Dr. Miller is entitled to do the same with the religious implications of ToE. And that is the point of my original argument of contention in this thread.

    Regardless of statements Dr. Behe may have made regarding his own personal religious views – which by the way are not Evangelical as the court attempted to portray; The methodology Dr. Behe uses for confirming ID (a perfectly legitimate scientific theory) is not religious in the least. He stated in his testimony that he used logical inferrences based on evidence to deduce that the ToE was lacking in its ability to explain the complexity found in the bacterial flagellum as well as in the blood clotting cascade. He also pointed out that Dr. Miller mischaracterized his argument for irreducible complexity, and was able to show and explain why, citing Dr. Miller and others, whom Dr. Miller cited.

    I’m quite entitled based on Dr. Behe’s testimony to point out that the court ignored his testimony in favor of the Plaintiff’s witnesses.

    The plaintiff’s witnesses, however, unfairly characterized Dr. Behe as a man with religious motivations – rendering his scientific work irrelevant.

    Furthermore, the court cited a statement by Dr. Dembski, where he referenced ID as similar to the theology of the Gospel of John as evidence that ID is religious. This completely ignores the fact that the ideas in the Gospel of John that Dembski was referring to come from Greek philosophy regarding the “Word” (Logos); a concept regarding information essentially being the fundamental beginning point of life. So Dr. Dembski was not relying on the Gospel of John to support ID. He was merely pointing out that the “Word” concept in John (which originates in Greek thought) agrees with ID.

    Here’s what Dr. Dembski said as referenced by Dr. Forrest:

    “Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.” 11:55 (Forrest); P357.

    While the gospel of John is not a scientific text, Dembski is simply pointing out that TGOJ agrees with something scientific. Is religion not allowed to agree with science? Furthermore, is theology not permitted to make reference to scientific ideas and remain theology?

    They failed to even investigate the reference. In their zeal to condemn ID as religious, they allowed mishcaracterizations to stand regarding all of the defense’s expert witnesses, and they failed to investigate the differences between their very legitimate scientific work and their religious beliefs. They did not hold the same standard to the motivations of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses, such as Drs. Miller and Forrest.

    I believe that the court made too much of the religious beliefs of the defense’s expert witnesses, equating them wtih the same kind of motivations behind the other defense witnesses – the School Board members. Compare the testimony of one of the school board members, who was on the curriculum committe (Mr. Buckingham) with Dr. Behe, for example. You will notice that Mr. Buckingham was anti-evolution not out of knowledge, but out of ignorance. Dr. Behe had problems with certain parts of evolution theory due to legitimate scientific conerns.

    Yet it appears as though the court placed Dr. Behe in the same category as Mr. Buckingham.

  94. 94

    Dr. Behe is entitled to engage in the religious implications of ID and still do science.

    Where did the court find otherwise? The court characterized Behe’s position as “that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.” In other words, the court concluded that Behe’s vision of ID was fundamentally religious not because it was compatible with his religious views, but because it depended on the strength of his religious views. At least insofar as this single comment is concerned; the opinion addresses his testimony (and those of the other witnesses) at great length. I cannot recommend strongly enough that you read the entire opinion.

    A careful review of the opinion might correct some of your misconceptions. For example, you argue that “[t]he methodology Dr. Behe uses for confirming ID (a perfectly legitimate scientific theory) is not religious in the least.” (Your parenthetical, incidentally, is assuming your conclusion.) I don’t recall that the court ever found that Behe’s methodology was “religious.” The court found, rather, that the methodology was ineffectual, having produced no objective data supporting the IDists’ premises. See, for example, pages 88 and 89 of the opinion, in which the court observed that there was no research, testing, or peer-reviewed literature supporting Behe’s conclusions. The court did not reject Behe’s conclusions because his methods were religious; it determined instead that his methods had simply failed to produce evidence supporting those conclusions.

    I’m quite entitled based on Dr. Behe’s testimony to point out that the court ignored his testimony in favor of the Plaintiff’s witnesses.

    Of course you are. But such a statement has little credibility when weighed against the court’s lengthy analysis of Behe’s testimony, including citations to the record and direct quotations from that testimony. The court did not “ignore[] his testimony in favor of the Plaintiff’s witnesses,” it analyzed that testimony in great detail and found that it was not persuasive.

    So Dr. Dembski was not relying on the Gospel of John to support ID. He was merely pointing out that the “Word” concept in John (which originates in Greek thought) agrees with ID.

    Except that the court’s reference to Dembski’s statement comes as part of a section illustrating how ID proponents characterize ID as a religious movement. Dembski’s statement that ID “is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel” certainly qualifies; that is not a statement that ID merely agrees with a religious premise, but an explicit statement that it is a religious premise. It might not mean much if that was the only such statement the court cited, but it pointed to many others. The court also observed, in the same paragraph, that Dembski has admitted that ID had religious objectives: “Dembski has written that ID is a ‘ground clearing operation’ to allow Christianity to receive serious consideration. . . .” It then went on to discuss the Wedge Document and Behe’s statement to the effect that belief in ID is correlated with belief in God. All of these elements are merely part of the court’s point, that ID has often held itself out as a religious movement.

    I believe that the court made too much of the religious beliefs of the defense’s expert witnesses

    As noted, the court did not reject Behe’s expertise because of his religious beliefs. It did so because he was simply outweighed as an expert witness. Courts are not laboratories; they do not do first-hand science. They weigh the credibility and expertise of witnesses. The plaintiffs’ experts had hundreds of books and peer-reviewed journals supporting their position; Behe had only his own testimony and writings, which have found no traction in the community of biology experts. See, for example, pages 77-79 of the opinion, where the court notes that Behe had failed to perform experiments to test his hypotheses or engage with the scientific literature refuting his arguments. Nowhere does the court say that Behe’s testimony must be rejected because he is religious. Instead, it says after a long and careful analysis, “[w]e therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large.” That is the proper test for a court of law to apply. Even it turned out tomorrow that Behe was right about everything, the court would have been right to have rejected his testimony; he simply couldn’t demonstrate the adequacy of his methods or the strength of his conclusions.

  95. —-Paul Burnett: “As “Learned Hand” (#80) correctly pointed out, that is simply not true, as can be seen in the Dover decision ( http://www.talkorigins.org/faq…..ision.html ). Judge Jones quoted Behe extensively in the Dover decision – Behe’s name appears fourteen times in the decision.”

    In one very important reference, Judge Jones put words in Behe’s mouth when writing the decision. During the Behe’s testimony, the attorney ask him if ID “would be “more plausible” for those who believe in God than those who do not. Behe gave the reasonable answer, which is yes. But when Judge Jones wrote his opinion, he claimed that Behe admitted that ID DEPENDS on religion.

    In other words, either Judge Jones is too dull of mind to know the difference between “more plausible” and “depends upon,” or else he consciously lied in order to make it appear that ID is religious. Since he explicitly changed Behe’s words, I vote for the latter.

  96. —-Learned Hand: “The court characterized Behe’s position as “that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    The court did more than that. It claimed that Behe explicitly stated that the “plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.” He, in fact, did not say that. He said that anyone who believes in God would find it “more plausible” than someone who does not.

  97. —-Scott Andrews: “Drat. I must retract, as the words are attributable to Behe, although not from the trial itself.”

    Did he, in fact, say those words somewhere else?

  98. 98
    CannuckianYankee

    Learned Hand:

    “Instead, it says after a long and careful analysis, “[w]e therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large.” That is the proper test for a court of law to apply. Even it turned out tomorrow that Behe was right about everything, the court would have been right to have rejected his testimony; he simply couldn’t demonstrate the adequacy of his methods or the strength of his conclusions.”

    The problem with this is that you have a court of law trying to do science – just as I earlier pointed out. The fact is that Dr. Behe’s idea of irreducible complexity was not refuted, it was disagreed upon in a peer reviewed scientific publication, and that one paper, which Dr. Behe testified to, mischaracterized what he meant by irreducible complexity. The court’s determination of the refutation of IC is a matter of opinion. But that’s beside the point. The point being that the court overstepped it’s very limited authority in determining what is legitimate science and what is not. The plaintiffs were not complaining about Dr. Behe’s views, they were complaining about the Dover School District, and more precisely, it’s board’s religious motivations, in requiring that ID be mentioned in science classes.

    Can’t you see the difference between the original complaint and the overreaching opinion of the court? The court used historical precedent and arguments from authority as a measure of what is scientific. While that may be how law is done, it is not how science is done. Notice that the court’s conclusion was: “[w]e therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large.” That is an argument from authority and majority. It is not scientific, but legal.

    Dr. Behe pointed out that the Big Bang theory suffered the same kind of scientific opposition that ID currently faces. Yet the Big Bang theory turned out to be the best explanation for what scientists had intuitively determined (based on evidence) was more correct than a steady state cosmology. Then it was tested, and proven to be so. Because the Big Bang theory when it started out did not have all the testing necessary for its conslusions, did not render it unsceintific. Quite often the verdict is still out on scientific theories. Take a look at ToE. Do you think that Darwin’s theory was not scientific, even though when he first wrote his thesis the fossil record, which many evolutionists rely on to support it was not as fully available as it is now?

    Furthermore, Behe also pointed out that Heliocentrism was a perfectly valid scientific theory in its day because it was based on the best available information. Yet Heliocentrism turned out to be completely false once new information was available.

    I think that Behe made an excellent case that ID is legitimately scientific based on new information that was not available in Darwin’s time; namely, the existence of highly complex molecular machines. Given that, it is perfectly legitimate science to question the old scientific paradigms, and to offer up new theories that explain the new data.

    ID is currently where ToE was at shortly after Darwin – a perfectly legitimate theory based on the evidence, with the details still needing to be ironed out. One can still make logical inferrences based on the data, which support the ID hypothesis. Some of it may prove to be wrong, but that in effect does not make it unscientific.

    One thing you stated that I will agree with:

    “Even (if) it turned out tomorrow that Behe was right about everything, the court would have been right to have rejected his testimony; he simply couldn’t demonstrate the adequacy of his methods or the strength of his conclusions.”

    The part I agree with is that Behe could not fully demonstrate scientific support for his ideas. He found support from certain aspects of his disagreement with Natural Selection – that is true, but he didn’t find scientific literature of other scientists actually agreeing with his idea of irreducible complexity – outside of the ID movement. In fact, he pointed out in his testimony that most disagreed with him.

    However, all that is beside the real issue: just because a new idea (irreducible complexity) does not currently have support among a majority, does not render it false or unscientific. Behe demonstrated quite well that many in the scientific community who criticized it, were mischaracterizing what he himslef meant by IC. So he legitimately showed that their mischaracterization was a strawman.

    I don’t think that you could legitimately make the case that courts of law – by their own methodology, can determine what is and isn’t scientific.

    I think the court should have simply stated that the Dover Area School Distric and Board were out of line, and in violation of the establishment clause, and left the scientific questions regarding ID to be argued out in the scientific community. Let the law determine the verdict on legal issues, and let the scientific community determine the verdict on scientific issues.

    The fact that we are here discussing ID in this forum with many scientists and experts involved, shows that the verdict is still out on ID. It didn’t end in Dover.

  99. 99
    CannuckianYankee

    StephenB,

    “The court did more than that. It claimed that Behe explicitly stated that the “plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.” He, in fact, did not say that. He said that anyone who believes in God would find it ‘more plausible’ than someone who does not.”

    Good point. Just as Darwinism is more plausible for the atheist than for the theist. This is the first time in this forum I learned something new regarding Dover, so thanks.

  100. 100

    Did he, in fact, say those words somewhere else?

    It appears that you have not bothered to read the opinion, or the portions cited in this thread. If you aren’t inclined to read the whole thing, posts #91 and #92 above give exact citations.

    In one very important reference, Judge Jones put words in Behe’s mouth when writing the decision. . . . In other words, either Judge Jones is too dull of mind to know the difference between “more plausible” and “depends upon,” or else he consciously lied in order to make it appear that ID is religious. Since he explicitly changed Behe’s words, I vote for the latter.

    Perhaps you should read the opinion before calling calling the author stupid or mendacious. As noted, you’re assuming that the excerpt was sourced to Behe’s trial testimony, while the opinion explicitly cites his prior writing.

    Of course, Behe’s article could say exactly the same thing as his testimony. Even in that instance, it would be difficult to support your claim that the court “lied in order to make it appear that ID is religious.” As discussed above, the reference to Behe’s article comes in the middle of a section full of examples of ID figures describing the field as essentially religious, from Dembski’s reference to ID as a “ground clearing” operation for Christianity to the Wedge Document.

  101. 101

    Good point. Just as Darwinism is more plausible for the atheist than for the theist. This is the first time in this forum I learned something new regarding Dover, so thanks.

    The first time you learned something about Dover is when you read StephenB blatantly mischaracterizing the opinion? We just had a discussion in which I and another commenter gave you exact references to the article the court cited for Behe’s comments; StephenB, who like yourself appears to be more comfortable denouncing the opinion than reading it, is mistaken when he claims the court was citing Behe’s trial testimony.

    You would learn a great deal more about Dover from reading the court’s opinion, cover to cover, than from listening to ill-informed complaints about it.

  102. 102

    The problem with this is that you have a court of law trying to do science – just as I earlier pointed out. The fact is that Dr. Behe’s idea of irreducible complexity was not refuted, it was disagreed upon in a peer reviewed scientific publication, and that one paper…

    No. Please see page seventy-eight of the opinion, which I believe I referred to before. The court specifically refers to multiple peer-reviewed articles refuting Behe’s claims, as well as “fifty-eight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system.” The court found that Behe’s rhetoric, unsupported by that kind of publication record or any actual experimentation, was outweighed by the scientific consensus reflected in the scientific literature. Again, that’s not a court doing science – that’s a court weighing the testimony of two different experts, and rejecting the expert who is currently, rightly or wrongly, a voice in the wilderness. That is how courts should and must operate. They can only make credibility determinations, and do not lead the way in overturning scientific paradigms.

    The plaintiffs were not complaining about Dr. Behe’s views, they were complaining about the Dover School District, and more precisely, it’s board’s religious motivations, in requiring that ID be mentioned in science classes.

    The opinion explains why its assessment of ID was necessary; once again, I recommend that you read it in order to understand it better. The short version is that the parties asked the court to make that determination; the slightly longer version is that the court had to, in order to determine whether there was a valid secular purpose to promoting ID, one of the tests the court was obligated by binding legal precedent to apply in order to resolve the claims before it.

    The court used historical precedent and arguments from authority as a measure of what is scientific. While that may be how law is done, it is not how science is done.

    Yes, it is how law is done. This is the opinion of a court of law. Judge Jones is a lawyer. Etcetera.

    Notice that the court’s conclusion was: “[w]e therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large.” That is an argument from authority and majority. It is not scientific, but legal.

    That is the determination that courts of law are called upon to make. If you’d like to learn more about why that is so, the opinion (again) discusses it. You might search for the keyword “Lemon.”

    I think that Behe made an excellent case that ID is legitimately scientific based on new information that was not available in Darwin’s time…

    But other than Behe himself, almost no scientific authorities believe that ID is legitimately scientific. Authors here often point to comuter scientists, engineers, and philosophers, but a court asked to determine whether ID is a valid, secular science will look to experts in the field in question, which is biology. And the overwhelming consensus in biology (and, to my knowledge, in math, computer science, etc.) is that ID as practiced by Behe is not a valid or secular science. You obviously disagree, and you may even be correct to do so, but a court of law cannot look to a voice in the wilderness, to have overturned hundreds of years of biology, and conclude that his radical ideas, which have persuaded no scientific authorities, outweigh “fifty-eight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system.” It’s how courts work – they must select the most credible and reliable expert, not the most radical.

    The fact that we are here discussing ID in this forum with many scientists and experts involved, shows that the verdict is still out on ID. It didn’t end in Dover.

    No, of course it did not. You might bear in mind, however, that ID has not made much progress that would change the outcome of another Dover-style case. This forum is not the place for ID to gain the sort of credibility that would make a difference to a court; one could find, for example, plenty of forums “with many scientists and experts involved” that are devoted to Scientology or the healing power of prayer. Those forums aren’t relevant to a court called upon to determine whether those fields are secular.

  103. RDK:

    Does ID posit a designer or does it not?

    ID is NOT about the designer.

    The best ID can say is that a designer once existed as evidenced by the design.

    That is how it works- the design is evidence for a designer (or designers).

    Stonehenge- an artifact- tells us that at one time designers were present at that location.

  104. Learned Hand,

    Those immune system evolution documents to not even address Dr Behe’s argument.

    The argument is NOT about evolution.

    The argument is about the mechanisms of evolution.

    And there isn’t any peer-reviewed papers to support the anti-ID position.

    Not one paper that demonstrates an accumulation of genetic accidents can give rise to an immune system.

    That said ID is based on observation and experience.

    ID can be tested.

    What else does it require before it is considered scientific?

  105. IOW Learned Hand, to this day neither Judge Jones, the plaintiffs nor the ACLU and NCSE even understands ID.

  106. 106

    StephenB @97:
    See my post at 90. After having inserted some confusion, I’ll avoid adding to it by speculating on exactly what he did or didn’t say.

  107. 107

    Learned Hand (quoting the decision)

    [w]e therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large.

    This is a scientific judgment, not a legal one. It’s obvious that these papers disagreed with Behe’s claim. But to refute those claims means to prove them wrong. In making that statement, the court compares conflicting research papers and judges which ones drew the right conclusions.
    Apparently some people are comfortable with a judge rendering decisions on questions entirely within the realm of science, as long as they agree with them.
    And that’s not even the ugly part. Here’s a quote from the Proposed “Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law,” provided by the plaintiff:

    In summary, Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community.

    You can tell how much thought and judicial wisdom went into this invalid proclamation of scientific truth. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t hurry to distance themselves from this.

  108. —-Learned Hand: “Perhaps you should read the opinion before calling calling the author stupid or mendacious. As noted, you’re assuming that the excerpt was sourced to Behe’s trial testimony, while the opinion explicitly cites his prior writing.”

    I did read the opinion and I did read the transcript and I notice that they didn’t match with regard TO THAT PORTION OF THE TESTIMONY that I allude to. I provided both quotes and explained the discrepancy. If you have more information that has Michale Behe saying that ID DEPENDS ON belief in God, then please provide it.

    As it is, here is what I have. At the critical point, Michael Behe was asked if he belived that ID would be “more plausible for those who believe in God than those who do not. He answered, “Yes.”

    When Judge Jones recalled that testimony [not a citation from somewhere else] he indicated that Behe said that ID explicitly stated that the “plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    That is a lie. Further, I don’t believe that Behe would be stupid enough to say that in court or out of court. If you have any information to the contrary [not a reference to a number of some kind or a rumor of some kind] in the form of an exact quote, please provide it for me and indicate its source. Otherwise, I have no reason to believe you. Do you have the goods or don’t you?

  109. 109

    Joseph,

    What else does it require before it is considered scientific?

    I am not a scientist, and will restrict my comments to the field of law. In general, and oversimplifying quite a bit, a court will not perform a de novo analysis of what is “scientific.” It will hear expert testimony and rely heavily upon those experts. ID’s problem is that its experts are not credible when they argue that their work is scientific, partly because they are overwhelmingly rejected by the scientific community. If ID wants to succeed in court, the most effective step would be to start behaving like science. Participating in the scientific literature, making discoveries that are used by nonbelievers (not merely pointing to other peoples’ discoveries and claiming them for ID), and becoming a field of study at major universities would be important milestones.

    While ID is composed of outsiders who refuse or are unable to participate in mainstream science, it will have difficulty convincing a court that it is actually scientific. I realize that ID argues that its outsider status is the result of prejudice and/or conspiracies among the scientific community, but I doubt (and this is speculation) that a court would be persuaded of that. If ID wants courts to treat it like science, it has to succeed as a science and become more mainstream. Courts won’t, and shouldn’t, promote it from the minors because they think it should be treated like a science. If a court did that, it would be doing exactly what you oppose: adjudicating science. In effect, what they do instead is determine what is and isn’t in the mainstream, and let professional scientists do the science.

    IOW Learned Hand, to this day neither Judge Jones, the plaintiffs nor the ACLU and NCSE even understands ID.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of law. Judges never, ever make the right decision. Every ruling leaves at least one party bitterly complaining that the court just didn’t understand the issues.

    ScottAndrews,

    This is a scientific judgment, not a legal one. It’s obvious that these papers disagreed with Behe’s claim. But to refute those claims means to prove them wrong. In making that statement, the court compares conflicting research papers and judges which ones drew the right conclusions.

    That is an interesting point. In context, I do not believe that the court was actually claiming that the peer-reviewed literature was actually correct, based on its own reading of the articles. I think it was saying that it credited Plaintiffs’ experts, who testified that the literature refuted Behe’s claims. If the court read the articles and reached that conclusion on its own understanding of the scientific issues, I might agree with you, but I don’t see any support for that interpretation; the court reached its conclusion after a discussion of the expert testimony, not a discussion of the technical merits of the articles.

    Apparently some people are comfortable with a judge rendering decisions on questions entirely within the realm of science, as long as they agree with them.

    I would be quite uncomfortable with that result; I don’t know anyone who would disagree that judges should not attempt to do science. The question is whether Jones did that, not whether it would have been right to do so.

    I think the last part of your comment is a complaint that the court adopted the Plaintiff’s proposed findings of fact. I know that the ID community finds that baffling, and I can understand why, but it’s just one of those legal practices that surprises laypeople. I promise you, it’s not unusual for judges to do this. Both parties submit proposed findings, and in the interest of efficiency and speed, the court may excerpt as much or as little as it finds appropriate from either document. The parties want the court to do this, in general; it leads to faster, more focused opinions. It doesn’t mean the court is being led by the nose, even when it uses most or all of one party’s proposed findings; every sentence, especially in a high-profile case, is scrutinized before being adopted.

  110. —Scott Andrews: “See my post at 90. After having inserted some confusion, I’ll avoid adding to it by speculating on exactly what he did or didn’t say.”

    Scott, I appreciate it, but I still need the infromation that you and others say I don’t have. Judge Jones indicated that he was surprised by Behe’s testimony and made a big deal out of the supposed admission that ID “depends on belief in God.” Behe clearly did not say that at the critical time. I don’t believe he ever said it. If someone can show me otherwise, I will, of course, acknowledge my error. Indeed, as far as I can tell, I am the first one who has discovered the discrepancy between the testimony and Judge Jones’ account of it. So, until someone provides this mysterious quote from another time and another place, I will have to assume that my information is more reliable, inasmuch as it is a fact and I have provided the relavant contrasts. I need counter evidence from Learned Hand and Paul Burnett, not invitations to reread what I have already read.

  111. 111

    Michael Behe was asked if he belived that ID would be “more plausible for those who believe in God than those who do not. He answered, “Yes.”

    It’s a clever choice if words, exactly what lawyers are paid for. One could just as easily ask if ID is less plausible for atheists, and then point out that their critique of ID is motivated by dogma.
    It’s reassuring to know that I ever commit a crime, I can hire a person to defend me who is skilled at creating confusion and doubt and prefers spin over truth.

  112. 112

    I did read the opinion and I did read the transcript and I notice that they didn’t match with regard TO THAT PORTION OF THE TESTIMONY that I allude to. I provided both quotes and explained the discrepancy. If you have more information that has Michale Behe saying that ID DEPENDS ON belief in God, then please provide it.

    The opinion cites explicitly to an article Behe wrote, not to his testimony. That article was in evidence; the court is entitled (and required) to consider it in addition to Behe’s testimony. Apparently the court found Behe’s written statement more significant than his testimony on that point. I have not read the article, though. Have you?

    When Judge Jones recalled that testimony [not a citation from somewhere else] he indicated that Behe said that ID explicitly stated that the “plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    I don’t understand why you keep saying this; it’s obviously not true. The language you quote is immediately followed by a citation, which you curiously omit: “(P-718 at 705).” P-718 is Behe’s 2001 article “Reply to My Critics.” (See, for example, page 73 of the opinion.) Why on earth do you keep telling readers here that the court was referring to the trial testimony? Did you think that no one would bother looking at the opinion, to see what the citation was?

    That is a lie. Further, I don’t believe that Behe would be stupid enough to say that in court or out of court. If you have any information to the contrary [not a reference to a number of some kind or a rumor of some kind] in the form of an exact quote, please provide it for me and indicate its source. Otherwise, I have no reason to believe you. Do you have the goods or don’t you?

    My “information to the contrary” is the court’s helpful reference to the source, down to the exact page. That’s the “number of some kind” that you don’t want to hear about. (Not to aggravate you, but I’ll repeat it: page 705.) Google informs me that the article is available for about forty dollars. You’re welcome to buy it and tell us what it says.

  113. 113

    The relevant part of the opinion is this:

    Moreover, in turning to Defendants’ lead expert, Professor Behe, his testimony at trial indicated that ID is only a scientific, as opposed to a religious, project for him; however, considerable evidence was introduced to refute this claim. Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God. (P-718 at 705) (emphasis added). As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition’s validity rests on belief in God, nor is the Court aware of any such scientific propositions, Professor Behe’s assertion constitutes substantial evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID is a religious and not a scientific proposition.

    The opinion explicitly states that Behe’s trial testimony said ID was scientific and not religious but other evidence refuted this claim (of the trial testimony). The claim about plausibility and God is linked to the other evidence and not to Behe’s testimony. In fact, that evidence is said to refute Behe’s testimony, so it obviously doesn’t come from that testimony!

  114. —-Learned Hand: “We just had a discussion in which I and another commenter gave you exact references to the article the court cited for Behe’s comments; StephenB, who like yourself appears to be more comfortable denouncing the opinion than reading it, is mistaken when he claims the court was citing Behe’s trial testimony.”

    So, you keep saying. But Judge Jones expressed surprise that Behe would admit such a thing during his actual testimony and it is to that section that the Judge writes. As I have said, I simply don’t believe that Michael Behe ever said or wrote those words. If you can provide me with evidence to the contrary, then I will express effusive gratitude for that information. However, sending me back to Judge Jones’ written decision, which already contains the contradictions that I allude to, doesn’t help.

    I am, in fact, questioning Judge Jones’ account of what Behe said, and excuse me, your account of what Behe said. I do need evidence, so I can put this behind me. I have provided my evidence: [In summary form] Behe used the words “more plausible.” Judge Jones, seriously misrepresenting what was said, rewrote that as “depends upon.” [Take note of the full sentences I provided elsewhere if the summary is confusing.] I have provided my evidence for Judicial misconduct. Please provide your evidence that it was not judicial misconduct and that Behe really said those words, either elsewhere or during the trial. Again, please don’t send me somewhere, bring the evidence to me, since I brought my evidence to you.

  115. 115

    Please provide your evidence that it was not judicial misconduct and that Behe really said those words, either elsewhere or during the trial.

    He did not say those words during the trial. The reference is to other evidence introduced (apparently Behe’s 2001 article “Reply to my Critics” from Biology and Philosophy. I’ve ordered a copy from interlibrary loan.) It’s clear from the paragraph I cited above that Jones doesn’t claim Behe made that claim during the trial.

  116. 116

    Your summary isn’t just confusing, StephenB, it’s baffling and utterly wrong. Please review David Kellog’s comment immediately preceding your own (which I realize you may not have seen before posting your latest comment). The court did not say that Behe made that comment during his trial testimony; it said his testimony was contradicted by that statement, and then cited precisely the source of that statement. I honestly don’t understand why you keep misrepresenting the ruling.

    I’m not going to buy the article for you; if you aren’t willing to read one paragraph of the opinion, why would I spend good money giving you additional reading material? If you’re so curious, purchase the article, or write to Behe and ask for a copy.

  117. 117

    Learned Hand, I should get a PDF of the article in a few days, so I’ll be able to cite it then.

  118. 118

    Learned Hand, quick question: how do legal citations like that work? How is “P-718 at 705″ a reference to that article? Thanks.

  119. 119

    It’s shorthand; “P-718″ is a reference (I think) to Plaintiff’s Exhibit 718, and “at 705″ is a standard way of saying “at page 705.” (“Page” is usually omitted. If it was “section 705″ or “paragraph 705,” it would say so.) Courts do it that way to keep the record straight for the reviewing court, if any.

    (I prefer when courts annotate their citations by citing it in full the first time, with a note that future citations will be abbreviated. I don’t think that this opinion does that, unfortunately.)

    I confirmed that P-718 is the article by searching “P-718″ in the opinion; the court cites it in a few other places, identifying it as the article. I wish StephenB had done the same, instead of misleading readers here.

  120. 120

    Learned Hand,

    Thanks!

  121. —David Kellogg: “He did not say those words during the trial. The reference is to other evidence introduced (apparently Behe’s 2001 article “Reply to my Critics” from Biology and Philosophy. I’ve ordered a copy from interlibrary loan.) It’s clear from the paragraph I cited above that Jones doesn’t claim Behe made that claim during the trial.”

    I understand, and I acknowledge that I don’t have all the information. However, I find it difficult to believe that Michael Behe would say that ID “depends on a belief in God” anytime, or anyplace, since it obviously doesn’t. The methodology is empirically based, as I am sure you know. You don’t get divinity from “irredicible complexity. So, it sounds like someone is doing some motive mongering. Something tells me that the context of whatever he might have said at another time and another place is being distorted. I only read the transcript one time, and I only read the Judge’s decision once. So, I may have missed something. One the other hand, I remember how everyone supposedly gasped during this section of Behe’s testimony and characterized it as an on-the-spot confession about ID being religion dependent. Something is not making sense here. Any further information will be appreciated and I will not resist it if it sounds reasonable. So far, it doesnt’

  122. 122

    For clarification, from the trial transcript:

    THE COURT: On cross, I have P140, which is The Wedge Strategy; P256, the Zhou article. P279 is the van Gent article. P280 is the Clatworthy article. P281 is the Messier article. P283 is the Kapitonov article. P602 is the Behe report. P621 is the Dembski report or a portion thereof. P718 is the Reply to My Critics article. P721 is the Behe-Snoke article. P722 is the Young/Edis book, Chapter 8. P723 is a Behe article. P724 is the Minnesota Daily article. P726 is the Tulips and Dandelions article. P742 is the Lehigh University statement. P743 is the Behe immune system articles. P747 is the Agrawal article. P748 is the Bartl article. P751 is the Paley book. P754 is the Muster Seeds article. P755 is the Vaandrager article. P756 is the Curtis/Sloan article. And P775 is the excerpt from the draft of the Design of Life. Any others, Mr. Rothschild?

    Link

  123. 123

    One the other hand, I remember how everyone supposedly gasped during this section of Behe’s testimony and characterized it as an on-the-spot confession about ID being religion dependent.

    What section was that?

  124. —Learned Hand: “Your summary isn’t just confusing, StephenB, it’s baffling and utterly wrong. Please review David Kellog’s comment immediately preceding your own (which I realize you may not have seen before posting your latest comment). The court did not say that Behe made that comment during his trial testimony; it said his testimony was contradicted by that statement, and then cited precisely the source of that statement. I honestly don’t understand why you keep misrepresenting the ruling.”

    I am simply trying to get more information. I remember how everyone supposedly gasped during this section of Behe’s testimony and characterized it as an on-the-spot confession about ID being religion dependent. Something is not making sense here.

    —-”I’m not going to buy the article for you; if you aren’t willing to read one paragraph of the opinion, why would I spend good money giving you additional reading material?”

    I am willing. I am willing. Surely, someone has read it, and surely someone can provide me with the quote AND THE CONTEXT, which can easily be distorted. Why should I spend money to verify your assertions?

    —-”If you’re so curious, purchase the article, or write to Behe and ask for a copy.”

    I asked you to provide evidence for what you say, and then you ask me to go find it for myself. I don’t understand that. Did you read the article? If not, then how do you know what it says? If so, why not just tell me? I am not getting this. All I have is Behe’s testimony and Judge John Jones decision. They don’t match as I have made clear. I think that my questions are valid and I am receiving no answers.

  125. 125

    I received a copy quickly! Here is the first paragraph of page 705:

    What if the existence of God is in dispute or is denied? So far I have assumed the existence of God. But what if the existence of God is denied at the outset, or is in dispute? Is the plausibility of the argument to design affected? As a matter of my own experience the answer is clearly yes, the argument is less plausible to those for whom God’s existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God’s existence. People I speak with who already believe in God generally agree with the idea of design in biology (although there are certainly exceptions), those who are in doubt are interested in the argument but often are skeptical, and as a rule those who actively deny God’s existence are either very skeptical or wholly disbelieving (Apparently, the idea of a natural intelligent designer of terrestrial life is not entertained by a large percentage of people).

    And the last paragraph on the same page:

    To many theists such as myself, the state of the biological evidence is such that the hypothesis of design is more compelling than that unintelligentprocesses produced the irreducibly complex systems seen in the cell, like the shipwreck survivor who thought someone else might be on the island. However, like the survivor of the shipwreck who thinks no one else is on the island, many (although not all) agnostics and nontheists draw the line differently, and reach the opposite conclusion. This is unsurprising; it is frequently the case in science that when new theories are proposed people judge the evidence differently. The only unusual (but not unprecedented) feature here is that a person’s judgment on the existence of God enters into the balance.

  126. 126

    “Surely, someone has read it, and surely someone can provide me with the quote AND THE CONTEXT, which can easily be distorted.”
    You’ve already distorted the context of Judge Jones’s passage, which doesn’t make the claim you said it made. You’ve done this on a single reading of the testimony and decision, which caused you to make very strong claims including that Judge Jones is lying.

  127. —David: “What section was that?”

    It was reported to be right near the end, as if to say, “Aha, we finally have the smoking gun.” I have no sources, I am just going from memory. Ostensbly, everyone was shocked that Behe would unload such a bomb and incriminate himself. Then, when I checked, Behe’s comment was not at all of that texture, but Judge Jones’ characterization of it was. That’s all I have.

  128. —David: “You’ve already distorted the context of Judge Jones’s passage, which doesn’t make the claim you said it made. You’ve done this on a single reading of the testimony and decision, which caused you to make very strong claims including that Judge Jones is lying.”

    I provided both quotes and they don’t match. That is evidence. So, as far as I can tell Judge Jones put words in Michael Behe’s mouth. I call that lying. If someone can show me that this is not the case, I will humbly retract. I don’t want to get into a flame war over this. I just want to know where Judge Jones got a quote that did not appear in the testimony. I am asking for evidence to the contrary, and so far, no one has stepped up to the plate.

  129. 129

    It was reported to be right near the end, as if to say, “Aha, we finally have the smoking gun.” I have no sources, I am just going from memory.

    Your memory is faulty, and the transript is freely available online. The only thing that remotely resembles it is on the morning of October 19, when discussing the Big Bang and the compatibility of ID with Christianity. But, coupled with the passages I cited above, this merely confirms that Judge Jones is right:

    his testimony at trial indicated that ID is only a scientific, as opposed to a religious, project for him,

    but other evidence (the “Reply to my Critics” article, which is cited) shows that

    Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.

  130. 130

    He didn’t get a quote, he got a claim. A claim that Judge Jones cited, and that Behe demonstrably made.

  131. 131

    I provided both quotes and they don’t match.

    What quotes did you provide? You said

    In one very important reference, Judge Jones put words in Behe’s mouth when writing the decision. During the Behe’s testimony, the attorney ask him if ID “would be “more plausible” for those who believe in God than those who do not. Behe gave the reasonable answer, which is yes.

    You don’t even get that right. In the transcript, the question is whether ID makes Christianity more pleasible, not the other way round (read the October 19 transcript above). You’re citing a question and answer that never happened.

  132. David Kellogg: Thanks for the quotes. That is exactly what Behe said at the trial. I now feel no hesitancy. Judge John Jones clearly put words in Micheal Behe’s mouth. grossly misrepresnting what was said and rewriting it to fit his own agenda. In no way did Behe ever say that ID or “irrreducible complexity” DEPENDS on belief in God. He simply said that people who already believe in God will find it more compelling, and that a person’s judgment will color their interpretation.

    On the other hand, Jones said, “Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    That is a lie.

  133. 133

    Wow. That response, StephenB, is so screwed up I don’t even know where to start.

    I have, however, eliminated “law professor” from your possible academic fields.

  134. 134

    Again, Behe:

    But what if the existence of God is denied at the outset, or is in dispute? Is the plausibility of the argument to design affected? As a matter of my own experience the answer is clearly yes, the argument is less plausible to those for whom God’s existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God’s existence.

    There is, in Behe’s view, a proportional relation between a person’s belief in God and the plausibility of ID. The plausibility of ID, in Behe’s view, “depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

  135. 135

    You have, by your own admission, read both the decision and the transcript only once. You misread the decision by thinking Jones was referring to the transcript when he was referring to an article. Not one of your citations of Behe’s testimony was accurate. You’ve been corrected on every specific yet cling to your conclusion.

  136. —”David Kellogg: “You have, by your own admission, read both the decision and the transcript only once. You misread the decision by thinking Jones was referring to the transcript when he was referring to an article. Not one of your citations of Behe’s testimony was accurate. You’ve been corrected on every specific yet cling to your conclusion.”

    Nice try, but you and your Darwinist friends, Learned Hand, and Paul Burnett are busted again.
    To be “influenced by” is not the same as to “depend on.” ID’s plausibility is “influenced by” the extent to which one believes in God. Darwinism’s plausibility is “influenced by” the extent to which one is an atheist. On the other hand, ID’s plausibility does not DEPEND ON the extent to which one believes in God, and Darwinism does not DEPEND ON the extent to which one believes in God. Some ID advocates do not believe in God, and some Darwinists do. Behe made the proper distinction; Judge Jones made it a point not to. He lied by attributing to Michael Behe something Michael Behe didn’t say. Further, he subjected Behe to public humiliation by allowing others to think that he was stupid enough to say something that he clearly didn’t say. Jones dishonored his role as a judge. He is a disgrace.

  137. 137

    Where are you getting “influenced by”? Is that another made-up quote?

  138. 138

    David Kellogg:

    There is, in Behe’s view, a proportional relation between a person’s belief in God and the plausibility of ID. The plausibility of ID, in Behe’s view, “depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    You’re missing the point entirely. Plausibility is subjective. Otherwise the theory could not be both plausible and implausible, more plausible or less plausible.
    Are you disputing that people who believe in God are more likely to find ID reasonable than atheists? Behe is not describing the nature of ID or its evidence. He explains that individuals accept or reject theories for various personal reasons, and in this case religious beliefs are a factor:

    This is unsurprising; it is frequently the case in science that when new theories are proposed people judge the evidence differently. The only unusual (but not unprecedented) feature here is that a person’s judgment on the existence of God enters into the balance.

    Nowhere in this text does Behe contradict himself by claiming that belief in God is required to accept ID. Ironically, he is describing the prejudicial effect of one’s religion or atheism.

    So why did Judge Jones parrot the plaintiff’s distortion in “his” decision?

  139. —David Kellogg: “There is, in Behe’s view, a proportional relation between a person’s belief in God and the plausibility of ID. The plausibility of ID, in Behe’s view, “depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    Nope. Proportional relation, whatever that means, doesn’t get it. It does not translate into “depend on.” Read @136.

  140. 140

    “Nowhere in this text does Behe contradict himself by claiming that belief in God is required to accept ID.”

    That’s not what Judge Jones claims. He claims that the plausibility depends on the extent of your belief in God. The less you believe in God, the less plausible ID is, and vice versa. That’s what Behe wrote, and Jones’s summary of that view is quite reasonable.

  141. 141

    Correction: “He says that Behe claims that plausibility of ID depends on the extent of your belief in God.”

    And indeed, that’s what Behe claims.

  142. Scott Andrews: “Nowhere in this text does Behe contradict himself by claiming that belief in God is required to accept ID. Ironically, he is describing the prejudicial effect of one’s religion or atheism.”

    Right you are.

    —”So why did Judge Jones parrot the plaintiff’s distortion in “his” decision?”

    Yes, I have been asking that same question.

  143. 143

    Nowhere in this ruling does Jones claim that belief in God is required to accept ID.

    Fixed that for you.

  144. —David Kellogg: Correction: “He says that Behe claims that plausibility of ID depends on the extent of your belief in God.”

    Yes, indeed he does. That is a lie. Behe did not say that—–EVER—in or out of court.

  145. 145

    David Kellog:

    That’s not what Judge Jones claims. He claims that the plausibility depends on the extent of your belief in God.

    That plausibility is not a property of ID. It describes you, me, and whoever else considers it. If I find it implausible because I’m an atheist, that says nothing about the evidence for or against ID. It simply means that from my viewpoint, the theory is less believable. As I pointed out in the context, that is exactly what Behe is saying.
    The wording cleverly uses the words “plausible” and “depends” to make it seem that they describe ID itself. Good thing we’re all at a higher reading level and aren’t fooled so easily.

  146. —David Kelllogg: “The less you believe in God, the less plausible ID is, and vice versa. That’s what Behe wrote, and Jones’s summary of that view is quite reasonable.”

    I think you had better stay with the “more plausible” paradigm and avoid the “less plausible” paradigm. Again, the point should be obvious. To say that believing in God makes ID “more plausible” is not even close to saying that the plausibility of ID DEPENDS on a belief in God. Not even close. To say that atheism makes Darwinism more plausible does not at all mean that the plausibility of Darwinism DEPENDS on atheism.

  147. 147

    An easier example (in case it hasn’t been beat on enough):
    The plausibility of a man walking on the moon depends entirely upon one’s knowledge of science and history.

    Analyze that sentence. It’s accurate, but have I actually said anything about whether it’s possible to walk on the moon?

  148. —Scott: “The wording cleverly uses the words “plausible” and “depends” to make it seem that they describe ID itself.”

    Also, as you seem to have picked up on, to depend on, as Judge Jones characterized it, is a much stronger claim than to simply made more plausible by, which is all that Behe said.

  149. To “depend on,” as Judge Jones characterized Michael Behe’s statement, is a much stronger claim that to be made made more plausible by, which is what Behe really said.

  150. 150

    Man this is idiotic. He didn’t say the plausibiliy depends only on the existence of God. Consider this:

    The likelihood of your voting for Obama depends on whether you are a Democrat.

    Does it? Yes it does. Does it mean that’s the only factor? No it doesn’t.

    For example, I believe in God yet find ID utterly implausible. Yet does the plausbility of ID depend on the extent of one’s belief in God. You betcha. It’s not a rule, it’s a tendency.

    Remember, this charge was made by StephenB, who mistakenly thought Jones was referring to the transcript, who hadn’t even seen the article to which Jones referred when he made that charge, and who didn’t make a single correct reference to the transcript. He proved himself incapble of reading the plain meaning of Jones’s decision yet now insists that his reading is the only reasonable one.

  151. 151

    Judge John Jones clearly put words in Micheal Behe’s mouth. grossly misrepresnting what was said and rewriting it to fit his own agenda.

    I am astonished that you would say this about another person after repeatedly and shamelessly misrepresenting the opinion to fit your own agenda. How many times did you insist that the court was citing to the testimony, despite having the opinion and its citation quoted to you? It is hardly any surprise that the article’s text hasn’t changed your tune; your mind was made up long before you read the opinion.

    Thank you, David Kellog, for providing the source material. Perhaps StephenB might learn from the example, and go to the source next time, instead of making it up as he goes along.

    Analyze that sentence. It’s accurate, but have I actually said anything about whether it’s possible to walk on the moon?

    But you have illustrated that you believe that the plausibilty of moonwalking is entangled with scientific knowledge, as Behe admitted that the plausibility of ID is entangled with religious faith.

  152. 152

    StephenB, keep working on that Nathan Thurm imitation.

  153. —-David Kellogg: “Remember, this charge was made by StephenB, who mistakenly thought Jones was referring to the transcript, who hadn’t even seen the article to which Jones referred when he made that charge, and who didn’t make a single correct reference to the transcript. He proved himself incapble of reading the plain meaning of Jones’s decision yet now insists that his reading is the only reasonable one.”

    I proved that Judge Jones lied, and it also appears that you cannot reason in the abstract. It is very clear that “to depend on” is a much stronger statement that to be made more plausible by. That is clear to all rational people. Perhaps it is your ability to cross the threshold that is the problem.

  154. —-David: “StephenB, keep working on that Nathan Thurm imitation.”

    When you get busted, you tend to get hysterical.

  155. 155

    It is very clear that “to depend on” is a much stronger statement that to be made more plausible by.

    You act as though plausibility disappears. It doesn’t. The plausibility depends upon.

    Again, your charges were made in ignorance of the facts (which you have not acknowledged). Folks who actually knew the facts (Learned Hand and I) corrected you, to no avail.

    I love it when you said you “provided the quotes” but didn’t provide any correct quotes. That was great.

  156. 156

    StephenB:

    I proved that Judge Jones lied in my mind.

    Corrected that.

  157. —Learned Hand: “I am astonished that you would say this about another person after repeatedly and shamelessly misrepresenting the opinion to fit your own agenda.”

    I made it clear that Judge Jones characterization of Behe’s words, “to depend on,” is a shameful rewriting of Behe’s words which were to be made more plausible by.

    —”How many times did you insist that the court was citing to the testimony, despite having the opinion and its citation quoted to you?”

    The court’s testimony was dishonest. Don’t you get it. That is the whole point of my comments, the substance of which you have studiously avoided.

    —-”It is hardly any surprise that the article’s text hasn’t changed your tune; your mind was made up long before you read the opinion.”

    It surprises me that you have not yet addressed the inconsistency that I have made abundantly clear.

    —”Thank you, David Kellog, for providing the source material. Perhaps StephenB might learn from the example, and go to the source next time, instead of making it up as he goes along.”

    Yes, I used that source material to prove that Michael Behe said nothing different out of court than in court, refuting your notion that he had.

    —”Analyze that sentence. It’s accurate, but have I actually said anything about whether it’s possible to walk on the moon?”

    I didn’t write that sentence. What are you talking about?

    —-”But you have illustrated that you believe that the plausibilty of moonwalking is entangled with scientific knowledge, as Behe admitted that the plausibility of ID is entangled with religious faith.”

    Are you cuckoo! I didn’t say anything about moonwalking. I simply proved that Judge Jones lied. You need to get a grip.

  158. 158

    David Kellogg:

    Man this is idiotic. He didn’t say the plausibiliy depends only on the existence of God.

    You are completely missing the point. A careless reader reads the sentence and sees the words “plausible” and “depends” and concludes that the theory somehow incorporates God, and therefore makes no sense unless one believes in God. It even tricked everyone on both sides of this discussion until we looked more carefully at it. It was quoted, and we scrambled to see if he really said it.
    In reality, the sentence only says that acceptance is often prejudiced by religious viewpoints.
    If the intent was not the deliberate deception of less careful readers, then why was the sentence even in the decision when it doesn’t say anything relevant? In its given context, the sentence doesn’t make any sense at all unless it’s read as meaning that accepting ID requires belief in God.
    It’s a cheap, dirty trick, and the judge lifted it straight from the plaintiffs’ proposal.

  159. 159

    ps – I’ll join in thanking David Kellogg for getting that material. That’s where it got really interesting instead of dead-ending.

  160. 160

    A careless reader reads the sentence and sees the words “plausible” and “depends” and concludes that the theory somehow incorporates God, and therefore makes no sense unless one believes in God.

    Actually, a careless reader says Jones is referring to the transcript when he is obviously referring to something else, then dissembles when called on it.
    A careless reader charges someone with lying while never making a single correct quotation.

    That’s where it got really interesting instead of dead-ending.

    That’s where you had to start spinning instead of making stuff up.

    This from someone who has claimed “I back up everything I say.”

  161. —-”Again, your charges were made in ignorance of the facts (which you have not acknowledged). Folks who actually knew the facts (Learned Hand and I) corrected you, to no avail.”

    I had all the facts I needed. I spent a month reading both the transcript and the decision. You misinterpreted my statement that I had read it “only once.” Nice try, though. When you attack someone’s competency, though, as you do when you have no argument, you must supplement that attack with something resembling a rational argument. That is where you get in trouble.

    You did not correct me, since you obviously are not capable of interpreting the facts. I corrected you by showing you that to depend on is a much stronger claim than to be made more plausible by. If you can’t grasp that, it isn’t my fault. Ask another reasonable person if you don’t believe me.

    —”I love it when you said you “provided the quotes” but didn’t provide any correct quotes. That was great.”

    It was I who called attention to the discrepancy. It was you who was blissfully unaware of it and are now trying to rationalize it after having been educated on the matter by me. Nice try, again, but you have been busted. You need to move on.

  162. 162

    The example about the plausibility of walking on the moon was mine. I didn’t expect to spell it out, but
    A) To a person who’s never heard of a rocket, the idea of a man walking on the moon might be implausible.
    B) To you and me it’s entirely plausible. We even know it’s already happened.
    Whether you’re A or B, walking on the moon is still a reality. Whether it is or isn’t plausible or why means nothing. It does not describe walking on the moon. It describes what you, me, or the guy in the rain forest think of it for whatever reasons we have.
    Likewise, the plausibility of ID is in the eye of the beholder. It does not describe ID itself.

  163. “It was you who were blissfully aware of the discrepancy.”

  164. 164

    David Kellog @160:
    You’re confusing people. (With other people.) I initially claimed that the quote wasn’t a quote. I retracted and kept my mouth shut about it. And the quote “I back up everything I say,” although a great principle, isn’t from me. And I don’t know why you’d take part of a post where I thank you for getting information and then argue with it.

  165. —David: “This from someone who has claimed “I back up everything I say.”

    I always do. I said that Judge Jones misrepresented Michael Behe and he clearly did. You and Learned Hand said there was new information. It wasn’t true. It was simply a repeat of what Michael Behe said at the trial. So, I waited around long enough to find out if you and learned hand were bluffing. When I found out that you were, I closed the loop. Judge Jones is a liar. Granted, you do not grasp the difference between “depends on” and is made more plausible by, but, as I say, if you consult with someone with sound judgment, you will find that I am right.

  166. StephenB:

    To “depend on,” as Judge Jones characterized Michael Behe’s statement, is a much stronger claim that to be made made more plausible by, which is what Behe really said.

    The technical usage is dichotomous — variables are either independent or dependent, with no third option. The probability of finding ID plausible is clearly not independent of one’s religious beliefs, so it is dependent on it to some degree.

    Of course, some people may interpret “depends on” to mean “depends exclusively and deterministically on”, but I don’t think that this is the only interpretation. What do you think, StephenB?

  167. —Scott Andrews, to David Kellogg: “You’re confusing people. (With other people.) I initially claimed that the quote wasn’t a quote. I retracted and kept my mouth shut about it. And the quote “I back up everything I say,” although a great principle, isn’t from me. And I don’t know why you’d take part of a post where I thank you for getting information and then argue with it.”

    You will find that when David Kellogg is getting killed in an argument, which is every day on this site, he resorts to trickery of every means and manner.

  168. 168

    Let’s go back to the record. StephenB [95]:

    In one very important reference, Judge Jones put words in Behe’s mouth when writing the decision. During the Behe’s testimony, the attorney ask him if ID “would be “more plausible” for those who believe in God than those who do not. Behe gave the reasonable answer, which is yes.

    This NEVER HAPPENED. You’re making it up.

    But when Judge Jones wrote his opinion, he claimed that Behe admitted that ID DEPENDS on religion.

    No. His reference was to something else (as is obvious) and does not claim what you say it does.
    After being corrected by Learned Hand, StephenB writes [108]:

    As it is, here is what I have. At the critical point, Michael Behe was asked if he belived that ID would be “more plausible for those who believe in God than those who do not. He answered, “Yes.”

    Never happened. You’re making it up.

    When Judge Jones recalled that testimony [not a citation from somewhere else] he indicated that Behe said that ID explicitly stated that the “plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    No, Judge Jones was citing something else, as we explained.
    Now in [110]

    Judge Jones indicated that he was surprised by Behe’s testimony and made a big deal out of the supposed admission that ID “depends on belief in God.”

    Never happened. You’re citing a transcript that doesn’t exist. Now for a bit of self-praise in the same comment:

    If someone can show me otherwise, I will, of course, acknowledge my error. Indeed, as far as I can tell, I am the first one who has discovered the discrepancy between the testimony and Judge Jones’ account of it. So, until someone provides this mysterious quote from another time and another place, I will have to assume that my information is more reliable, inasmuch as it is a fact and I have provided the relavant contrasts.

    You discovered nothing, because there was no discrepency. Moreover, you did not provide “the relevant contrasts” and your information was not “more reliable.” It was, I’ll say again, made up.

    After another correction, StephenB writes [114]:

    Judge Jones expressed surprise that Behe would admit such a thing during his actual testimony and it is to that section that the Judge writes.

    Oh my goodness. You’re wrong again. Also in that comment:

    Please provide your evidence that it was not judicial misconduct and that Behe really said those words, either elsewhere or during the trial. Again, please don’t send me somewhere, bring the evidence to me, since I brought my evidence to you.

    Your “evidence” consisted of incorrect quotes from the trial transcript and an incorrect reading of the decision as referring to the transcript.
    StephenB [121] begins to walk back:

    I only read the transcript one time, and I only read the Judge’s decision once. So, I may have missed something.

    I’ll say!

    One the other hand, I remember how everyone supposedly gasped during this section of Behe’s testimony and characterized it as an on-the-spot confession about ID being religion dependent.

    Really? You remember that? How? No gasps are in the transcript, and the section you allude to never happened as you said. So your memory is faulty.
    Repeated at 124

    I am simply trying to get more information. I remember how everyone supposedly gasped during this section of Behe’s testimony and characterized it as an on-the-spot confession about ID being religion dependent. Something is not making sense here.

    Since everything else is wrong about your memory, I don’t suppose it would help if I asked you to support this “gasp”?

    All I have is Behe’s testimony and Judge John Jones decision. They don’t match as I have made clear.

    Since you never once quoted the testimony correctly, it’s hardly clear at all.

  169. 169

    Scott Andrews, my apologies. Very careless of me. I screwed up.

  170. 170

    R0b, you are correct.

    StephenB, when I make a mistake, I correct myself (as in 169). So far you have made numerous mistakes here and have said that, though wrong about every specific, you are right about your central charge. You knew Jones was lying when you didn’t even know what he was referring to!

  171. 171

    David Kellogg:
    No worries. Tomorrow it’s me. Or maybe later today.

  172. —-Rob: “Of course, some people may interpret “depends on” to mean “depends exclusively and deterministically on”, but I don’t think that this is the only interpretation. What do you think, StephenB?”

    First, note that “depends” on is clearly a stronger claim than “is made plausible by.” In other words, any way you slice it, “depends” connotes a requirement for that which is being referred to. Also, remember the context of the dispute. According to Judge Jones, and all of ID’s enemies, ID is “religious,” and therefore not-scientific. In other words, it “depends” on religion in order to operate or function, that is, it cannot function without it. According to that way of thinking, the design inference does not depend on evidence it depends on a religious presupposition.

    Quite the contrary, ID depends on evidence and has no need for religious belief at all. The concept of “irreducible complexity,” for example, has no religious element in it at all. It doesn’t depend on religion in any way. An atheist could accept the concept, and some do. On the other hand, religious belief makes it more plausible because, for most believers, a design inference is consistent with that which they already believe, so that belief does make the ID inference more plausible. That is what Michael Behe was referring to. When Judge Jones twisted that meaning into something else by injecting the words, “depend on,” he was, in essence, claiming that Behe believes that ID requires religion to function. Jones knew what he was doing and he knew he was twisting Behe’s words.. It could not have been ignorance, because he has had four years to think about it.

  173. —-David Kellogg: z”StephenB, when I make a mistake, I correct myself (as in 169). So far you have made numerous mistakes here and have said that, though wrong about every specific, you are right about your central charge. You knew Jones was lying when you didn’t even know what he was referring to!”

    Yes, I did know what he was referring to and there is only one specific to be discussed—the discrepancy between what Michael Behe said and what Judge Jones attributed to him. I pointed to the very same discrepency which you and Learned Hand were blissfullly unaware of. Both of you thought that “outside” quotes would help your case. I knew they wouldn’t but I had to wait for someone to submit them [thank you] so I could show that they change nothing, and clearly they don’t. Behe’s tesimony at the trial was consistent with his long standing views—period. Why not get back to the substance of the difference between “depends on” and is made plausible by.

  174. 174

    Yes, I did know what he was referring to and there is only one specific to be discussed—the discrepancy between what Michael Behe said and what Judge Jones attributed to him.

    Wow, I’m stunned. Jones was referring to the article, but you insisted (against the clear meaning of text, and in the face of correction) that he was referring to the testimony. And yet you’re the close reader.

  175. —David Kellogg: “You discovered nothing, because there was no discrepency. Moreover, you did not provide “the relevant contrasts” and your information was not “more reliable.” It was, I’ll say again, made up.”

    The words are there for anyone who cares to analyze the contrast. Indeed, you were trying to rationalize the difference earlier and now you say that I made them up. The issue is clear: Michael Behe used the words “more plausible” [an abbreviation (I know how you like to reframe time-saving abbreviations as errors so I label them to take that area of sophistry away from you)] and Judge Jones disgracefully rewrote them as [abbreviation] “depends on.” Judge Jones lied.

  176. 176

    Stephen, do you disagree with any of these statements?

    1. You didn’t even know what Judge Jones was referring to until you were told by Learned Hand and by me.

    2. Even then you insisted (as I showed above) that Judge Jones was referring to the testimony.

    3. Not a single reference you provided to the testimony was correct.

    If 3 is wrong, show me where you provided a correct quote.

  177. —David Kellogg; “Wow, I’m stunned. Jones was referring to the article, but you insisted (against the clear meaning of text, and in the face of correction) that he was referring to the testimony. And yet you’re the close reader.”

    You are mistaken, since the Judge refers both to Behe’s testimony and other evidence. In any case, you are dodging the issue again. Its time to address the discrepancy. Behe’s writings are completely consistent with his testimony, and Judge John Jones rewrote twisted those words into something else. You must recognize that by now, or you wouldn’t be lookind for ways to avoid the issu.

  178. 178

    You are mistaken, since the Judge refers both to Behe’s testimony and other evidence.

    You didn’t know this until I pointed it out in 113 above. Until that very moment you insisted that he was referring only to the testimony.

  179. 179

    When I write “Jones was referring to the article,” I mean of course in that part of the decision where StephenB insisted repeatedly that Jones was referring to the testimony (although he had been corrected by Learned Hand and by me).

    StephenB never read the article to which Jones referred — he didn’t even know that Jones was referring to an article — yet he insisted that he’d “discovered” some lie.

  180. —David: “Stephen, do you disagree with any of these statements?”

    Yes, I disagree with them all. You are stalling. Now will you address the issue.

    To say that believing in God makes ID “more plausible” is not even close to saying that the plausibility of ID DEPENDS on a belief in God. The first statement is that of Michael Behe, and the second statement is that of Judge John Jones. That is the disgraceful rewrite that you and Learned Hand continue to avoid, but there it is. Why not just admit the truth?

  181. 181

    First, all three statements I made in [176] are correct. I have to say you are either avoiding admitting error, in denial, or flat-out lying about that. I’m sorry to say that, but the evidence is clear. You really did think Jones was referring to testimony when he wasn’t. You really did insist on that even in the face of correction. Finally, you really provided incorrect quotes from the testimony.

    Second, you write that “the plausibility of ID DEPENDS on a belief in God” is Jones’s “disgraceful rewrite” of Behe. Actually, it’s your disgraceful rewrite of Judge Jones. What he wrote was this:

    Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.

    Key differences here include “extent” and “the argument for,” which make this a much less black-and-white sentence than you insist. I know you’re a big fan of black-and-white thinking (except, apparently, when it comes to admitting error), but that doens’t make this rewrite less disgraceful.

    A point of order: Before Clive or whoever bans me for saying StephenB lied, please review the record and see if my statements are in fact correct.

  182. —David: “StephenB never read the article to which Jones referred — he didn’t even know that Jones was referring to an article — yet he insisted that he’d “discovered” some lie.”

    I discoverd a lie at the trial, and that lie still stands. I have read David’s so-called outside-the-trial evidence and it confirms the reality of the lie. David knows it, which is why he continues now, for the fourth time, to run and hide from the issue.

    To say that believing in God makes ID “more plausible” is not even close to saying that the plausibility of ID DEPENDS on a belief in God. The first statement is that of Michael Behe, and the second statement is that of Judge John Jones. The second is a disgraceful rewrite that you and Learned Hand continue to avoid, but there it is. Why not just admit the truth?

  183. 183

    “and the second statement is that of Judge John Jones.”

    You don’t really get what it means to quote, do you?

  184. 184

    I was completely confused about what Behe did or didn’t say and where it came from. I didn’t know what he actually said and where until David Kellogg post it. If I was wrong about anything else related to the source of any quotations I concede that too.
    That being said, what Jones did was pretty ugly. He could have tried a little harder to maintain an appearance of impartiality. If he was going to copy huge chunks of the plaintiffs’ proposal, he could have left out the parts that bordered on sarcasm, and especially the sentences which deliberately obsfucated the meaning of statements entered into evidence. He could have avoided lumping the science of ID with the intentions of the school board, which was unnecessary but heaped praise upon him. And he could have declined the “Humanist Freedom of Religion” award he was later given.
    Having done all that, his impartiality is now open to question. I can think of nothing worse to say about a judge.

  185. 185

    Interestingly, Behe has written a response to the Kitzmiller decision. He’s unhappy with it, of course, but in the part of the decision StephenB complains about, he doesn’t take issue with the judge’s wording. Apparently what StephenB finds a distortion isn’t one to Behe himself.

  186. 186

    Credit for finding Behe’s response goes to olegt at antievo.org.

  187. —-David: “A point of order: Before Clive or whoever bans me for saying StephenB lied, please review the record and see if my statements are in fact correct.”

    I have provided these statements in full, but I must sometimes abbreviate them and reduce them to their simplest essence because David keeps avoiding the substance of the matter. I abbreviate to refer to them and get him back on track and away from distractions, not because the abbreviations themselves are supposed to stand alone. So, naturally, as a means of avoiding debate, he characterizes those abbreivations as lies. Unbelievable!

    Michael Behe (Courtesy of David Kellogg:)

    “To many theists such as myself, the state of the biological evidence is such that the hypothesis of design is more compelling than that unintelligentprocesses produced the irreducibly complex systems seen in the cell, like the shipwreck survivor who thought someone else might be on the island. However, like the survivor of the shipwreck who thinks no one else is on the island, many (although not all) agnostics and nontheists draw the line differently, and reach the opposite conclusion. This is unsurprising; it is frequently the case in science that when new theories are proposed people judge the evidence differently. The only unusual (but not unprecedented) feature here is that a person’s judgment on the existence of God enters into the balance.”

    “What if the existence of God is in dispute or is denied? So far I have assumed the existence of God. But what if the existence of God is denied at the outset, or is in dispute? Is the plausibility of the argument to design affected? As a matter of my own experience the answer is clearly yes, the argument is less plausible to those for whom God’s existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God’s existence. People I speak with who already believe in God generally agree with the idea of design in biology (although there are certainly exceptions), those who are in doubt are interested in the argument but often are skeptical, and as a rule those who actively deny God’s existence are either very skeptical or wholly disbelieving (Apparently, the idea of a natural intelligent designer of terrestrial life is not entertained by a large percentage of people).”

    Also, Michael Behe stated basically the same thing by answering a question in far fewer words.

    In summary, Michael Behe stated that believing in God makes ID “more plausible.”

    Judge Jones rewrote Michael Behe’s position exactly as this:

    —-”Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    That rewrite is disgraceful misrepresentation of what Behe said.

    I hope everyone can understand why I CANNOT REPEAT EVERY WORD BOTH MEN said everytime. I must sometimes abbreviate what I am talking about until David and Learned hand will stop stalling and deal with it. Now that he is focused and ready to deal with substance, I will quote Judge Jones word for word every time.

    So, if Clive would like to address David’s point of order, I ask only that he consider my record of straightforward communication without guile and David’s disconcerting policy of fact-dodging, context twisting, false framing sophistry.

    So, now that David seems FINALLY ready to address the discrepancy and stop stalling by hearkening back to old business, we can conclude this mess.

    The discrepency is beween Michael Behes statement, namely that belief in God makes ID more plausible

    and Judge Jones shameful rewrite which reads,

    —-”Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    So, let’s deal with it in substance and stop dancing.

  188. StephenB:

    In other words, any way you slice it, “depends” connotes a requirement for that which is being referred to.

    I have no problem slicing it such that “depends on” is not synonymous with “requires”. It may be that everyone but me interprets it your way, but I doubt it. It probably depends on one’s prior leanings.

    I don’t think that Jones was saying that it’s impossible for a non-religious person to find ID plausible, any more than it’s rational to posit the impossibility of a non-theist believing in the efficacy of prayer. Such a position isn’t necessary in order to deem ID and prayer non-scientific.

    I don’t agree with everything in Jones’s decision. Given its length, it would be surprising if I did. But I disagree with your accusation of dishonesty in Jones’s use of the phrase “depends upon”. He obviously sees belief in ID as heavily dependent on religious belief, which I think accords with statistics and with Behe’s experience.

  189. —Rob: “He obviously sees belief in ID as heavily dependent on religious belief, which I think accords with statistics and with Behe’s experience.”

    The whole point is to undermine the significance of the design inference and to reduce it to a religious presupposition. Indeed, Judge Jones claimed that ID is not science precisely on the grounds that the “plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    Again, that is clearly not true. Atheists have no belief yet some of them find ID plausible. Judge Jones statement is unfair and dishonest. The plausibility of ID DEPENDS on empirical evidence as is made MORE PLAUSIBLE by belief.

    But I do thank you for addressing the issue head on, an attribute that is in short supply around here.

  190. 190

    David Kellogg, StephenB,

    I think the argument is fine as long as you keep the motive mongering out of it, and just stick to the merits of both sides.

  191. 191

    David Kellogg is arguing at the edges of nothing again. Very, very important stuff to be sure.

    The simple fact that DK personally knows that the evidence for ID does not emanate from religious doctrine doesn’t even matter. Neither does it matter that he knows that persons (including Judges) who suggests ID otherwise are either intentionally or ignorantly twisting the issue….just as long as there is an argument against ID, David is game for it).
    (DK, please take this comment as an opportunity to rehash some more, Andrew Dickson White would be proud).

  192. Rob,
    “But I disagree with your accusation of dishonesty in Jones’s use of the phrase “depends upon”. He obviously sees belief in ID as heavily dependent on religious belief, which I think accords with statistics and with Behe’s experience.”

    Judge Jones doesn’t have the option of “seeing” this point a certain way. ID patently has nothing to do with Behe’s religion or testimony or statistics on opinions, anymore than evolution hinges on Dawkins and polls about atheists.

    Jones could only weigh in on the AMOUNT of empirical data, predictions, peer reviews etc. done by ID, but he couldn’t make a decision based on that regarding schools.

    He could never state that the AMOUNT of data makes this an insufficient science, even if there’s only one observed empirical fact, so his only option was to ignore that peer reviewed papers had been submitted, and to pretend like the science of ID hinges on opinions. Logic held no room for Jones, he had to pretend that one plus one equals three.

    All Jones would have to do is know clearly what defines a science. If he then found that ID was funded by the pope, if he found transcripts of lectures going over ID’s evil intentions towards science, it wouldn’t matter because they’d all be irrelevent. The court can’t make a ruling “ID is science yet it’s catholics like it, so….”.

    This is an argument from “science can’t help make the case for athiests or theists.”

    Jones only had two options regarding ID being science, and his ruling hinges on this point. This conundrum put him in a tight spot. It’s laid bare by the stark lies in Jones’ summary, necessitated by his leanings. If Behe was a horrible witness, it wouldn’t matter. No questioning is needed by anyone, it’s on the level of defining terms.

  193. 193

    Lamark,

    cha-ching

  194. 194
    CannuckianYankee

    ScottAndrews,

    “A careless reader reads the sentence and sees the words “plausible” and “depends” and concludes that the theory somehow incorporates God, and therefore makes no sense unless one believes in God.”

    Exactly – like the law clerk who did the quote mining to find any possible evidence that might show Dr. Behe’s “real” motivations. It is despicable, but I’m not surprised.

    All the court really had to do if they were sincere is to look into Dr. Behe’s own testimony to conclude that he does not believe that the plausibility of ID depends on belief in God. He does not believe that because he is aware of atheists who also accept the plausibility of ID. This is why I was surprised and in doubt about whether he said this when this issue first came up. I knew that it couldn’t be true based on all that I have read from Behe and about Behe. Those who still insist on claiming that he said what the court claims he said, simply do not know Dr. Behe.

    It therefore stands that the court completely ignored Behe’s testimony, relied on the opinions of the plaintiffs’ counsel and witnesses, and quote mined to find evidence to back it up, and indeed, put words in Dr. Behe’s mouth that he never said, and never would have said. Verdict reached, case closed.

  195. 195
    CannuckianYankee

    I would add: it’s quite interesting that the court had to rely on a quote from Behe’s writing. They couldn’t doctor up court testimony like they could a quote from a book.

  196. Thanks Upright

  197. 197

    StephenB, you made the following comments today:

    During the Behe’s testimony, the attorney ask him if ID “would be “more plausible” for those who believe in God than those who do not. Behe gave the reasonable answer, which is yes.

    I did read the opinion and I did read the transcript and I notice that they didn’t match with regard TO THAT PORTION OF THE TESTIMONY that I allude to. I provided both quotes and explained the discrepancy.

    At the critical point, Michael Behe was asked if he belived that ID would be “more plausible for those who believe in God than those who do not. He answered, “Yes.”

    When Judge Jones recalled that testimony [not a citation from somewhere else] he indicated that Behe said that ID explicitly stated that the “plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    Judge Jones indicated that he was surprised by Behe’s testimony ….

    But Judge Jones expressed surprise that Behe would admit such a thing during his actual testimony. . . .

    One the other hand, I remember how everyone supposedly gasped during this section of Behe’s testimony and characterized it as an on-the-spot confession about ID being religion dependent

    I remember how everyone supposedly gasped during this section of Behe’s testimony and characterized it as an on-the-spot confession about ID being religion dependent.

    None of those statements are true. You also said,

    I have provided these statements in full, but I must sometimes abbreviate them and reduce them to their simplest essence because David keeps avoiding the substance of the matter. I abbreviate to refer to them and get him back on track and away from distractions, not because the abbreviations themselves are supposed to stand alone. So, naturally, as a means of avoiding debate, he characterizes those abbreivations as lies. Unbelievable!

    None of the above statements are true, and none of them are “abbreviations.” You just made things up. I assume you did so innocently, out of faulty memory. That doesn’t change the fact that you began this discussion by assuming, wrongly, that the court was referring to nonexistent testimony. It was not. It was referring to an article that you had not read, although that did not stop you from lecturing us about it. You were corrected many times, including with direct quotations from the opinion, but refused to admit your error. Once David Kellog found the article, you insulted him and announced that it said exactly what you had been claiming all along, even though you hadn’t seen it before and had been telling us all day long that Behe’s comment was from his testimony. The mistake matters, because it demonstrates that your mind was made up before you saw the evidence.

    I cannot take you seriously when you invent facts and then act as if refusing to acknowledge the fabrication will make it go away. You were wrong about what the testimony said, you were wrong about what the court said, and I think you’re wrong about the proper characterization of Behe’s comments in the article. I think that a person approaching those comments from an open, unbiased perspective would conclude that the court’s description of those remarks was fair, if not the only possible characterization. Your comments here, however, show that you had your mind made up before you ever saw the evidence. You reached your conclusions based on your faulty memory and your erroneous conclusions as to what the testimony and the opinion said. You have also characterized the errors and inventions as “abbreviations,” which is bizarre and hardly credible. Why should I, or any reader, take your opinions seriously, when they are based on your fancies rather than the documents?

    lamark,

    He could never state that the AMOUNT of data makes this an insufficient science, even if there’s only one observed empirical fact, so his only option was to ignore that peer reviewed papers had been submitted, and to pretend like the science of ID hinges on opinions. Logic held no room for Jones, he had to pretend that one plus one equals three.

    I don’t think that argument would hold water in a court of law; are you basing this off of any legal standard, or is this just the way you think things should work? In any event, is there “one observed empirical fact” that you can find in the transcripts that wasn’t addressed in the opinion? Please bear in mind that the court is entitled to believe one expert witness over another when their testimony conflicts.

    CannuckianYankee,

    All the court really had to do if they were sincere is to look into Dr. Behe’s own testimony to conclude that he does not believe that the plausibility of ID depends on belief in God.

    When a witness’s testimony conflicts with his prior writing, that witness is toast. Courts will often credit what a witness says before litigation above what they say on the stand, when the two differ.

    Those who still insist on claiming that he said what the court claims he said, simply do not know Dr. Behe.

    Dr. Behe knows Dr. Behe. Why has this supposed mischaracterization not come up in his response to Dover?

    They couldn’t doctor up court testimony like they could a quote from a book.

    You’re quick with the nasty accusations, but maybe you haven’t thought that one all the way through. How would a book be easier to “doctor up” than testimony? Do you have anything to support your allegation?

    For what it’s worth, although I doubt this will sway anyone’s opinions, the court’s characterization of Behe’s comments seems unobjectionable to me. Behe writes that, all else being equal, the plausibility of the argument for ID is correlated with belief in God. Characterizing the logical relationship as a “dependency” is debatable, but in context, I think fair. Similarly, if I said that fancy-watch ownership is correlated with wealth, it would be fair to characterize that as a statement that owning a fancy watch depends on one’s wealth.

    Of course, the regulars will disagree. Vehemently and, from what I’ve seen here, bitterly. Once again, welcome to the wonderful world of law. Every convict is innocent, and no one ever justly loses a case. It’s always because the court was stupid, or venal, or petty, or crooked, or lazy, or whatever.

  198. 198
    CannuckianYankee

    Learned Hand,

    I’ll have to let you have the last word here, not because I agree with you, or don’t feel I can rebut what you have stated, but because it seems that we are beating a dead horse of disagreement. Let’s leave it at that, shall we? :)

  199. Learned Hand:

    Your strategy to go after my credibility rather than address the issues on the table is part and parcel of the perennial anti-ID strategy and there really isn’t very much new about it. You have been avoiding the substance of the argument all along and obviously that is because you have no answer for it. Your characterizations of my comments and charges of error with regard to the facts of the case are all false and your attempts to challenge my truthfulness reveal the emptiness of your arguments. Also, your attempt to characterize my memory as a source of relevant facts is equally misguided. Indeed, my recollection of the events was neither faulty nor did it constitute an important source of my analysis. That fact is, you have no arguments. Indeed, it is obvious that until I brought the conflict between Behe’s testimony and Judge Jones twisted account of it, no one, certainly not you were even aware of it.

    I know Michael Behe’s philosophy very well and I know for a fact that he would never say such a thing in court or out. Earlier, when I brought your attention to the oral testimony, you tried to shrug it off as incomplete, implying that the written testimony would provide something different. In other words, you insisted that I was being premature in my analysis. Clearly you were wrong. How is it that I knew that? Because I know Michael Behe would never say what Judge Jones accused him off. Also, you stated that the decision was restricted to written documents. That too, is false. In fact, Judge Jones’ decision was based both on Behe’s written and oral testimony. One reason I demanded the written version was to remove all your excuses. When I received it, it confirmed what I knew all along. There was no difference at all except for the fact that the written version was longer. That attorney was able to sum it up in one sentence, he asked Michael Behe the question, and Michael Behe said, “yes.”

    —-In summary, Michael Behe stated that believing in God makes ID “more plausible.”

    On the other hand, Judge Jones twisted Behe’s words and rewrote them this way:

    —-”Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    That rewrite is disgraceful misrepresentation of what Behe said. Clearly, it is not true. Atheists have no belief yet some of them find ID plausible. If Judge Jones’ statement had been true, then neither atheists nor agnostics could embrace ID because the “extent to which they believe in the existence of God” is zero. In fact, what Michael Behe said is precisely the case: The plausibility of ID DEPENDS on empirical evidence, but it is made MORE PLAUSIBLE by belief. That is the fact of the matter, and that is why you have no case.

    Judge Jones’ whole point was to undermine the significance of the design inference and to reduce it to a religious presupposition. Indeed, Judge Jones claimed that ID is not science precisely on the grounds that the “plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    Indeed, one of the reasons that he twisted Behe’s testimony is that the ACLU had already done the twisting. Over 90.9% percent—5,458 words of his 6004-word section on intelligent design as science—was taken from the ACLU’s proposed “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law submitted to Jones a month before his ruling. It was nothing less than a cut and paste, error-filled piece of judicial activism. Most of his “analysis” had been done for him. Judge “copycat” Jones is a disgrace to the bench—not solely because he copied but because what he copied was untruthful.

  200. 200

    Learned Hand,

    ——”You reached your conclusions based on your faulty memory and your erroneous conclusions as to what the testimony and the opinion said.”

    You don’t have the faintest idea of what sort of memory StephenB has or does not have, nor that he reached his conclusion as a result of it. I could just as easily say that you reached your conclusion above as a result of your self-deceiving belief in your own omniscience about other people’s memory abilities. Let’s keep the discussion off of anything like this, which really gets awfully close to the line of insult.

  201. 201

    “You don’t have the faintest idea of what sort of memory StephenB has or does not have.”

    Clive, this is true. Perhaps it is not StephenB’s memory that is faulty but every transcript of the trial.

    “nor that he reached his conclusion as a result of it.”

    This is also true. Earlier, Learned Hand and I thought that StephenB was basing his case on what Michael Behe said. Now it seems that StephenB was really basing his case on what Micheel Behe would say.

    Come on Clive. That StephenB was woefully factually wrong on what he remembered yet insisted that he’d provided quotes is part of the merits. Now he’s saying that he was correct because of a lucky guess.

  202. 202

    In any event, StephenB claims Judge Jones’s summary is a lie. Actually it is a reasonable summary. Here’s a parallel statement:

    the plausibility of the argument for public health care depends upon the extent to which one supports President Obama.

    Does this mean that a supporter of McCain cannot find arguments for public health care plausible? No. Does it mean that an Obama supporter must find them plausible? No.

    StephenB’s interpretation uses the narrowest possible interpretation of “depends upon,” one in which no other factors play a role. His interpretation also elides the role of “extent” in the sentence, as his repeated versions without that word make clear. His interpretation is also apparently not shared by Michael Behe, who objected to many things but not to that. Indeed, in section 20 of his response to Kitzmiller, Behe objected to the conclusion of the passage but not to the assumptions of the summary.

    The claim, therefore, that StephenB “proved” a “lie” is quite wrong.

  203. 203

    “Your strategy to go after my credibility rather than address the issues on the table [StephenB wrote, avoiding the issues Learned Hand raised] is part and parcel of the perennial anti-ID strategy and there really isn’t very much new about it [StephenB wrote, going after Learned Hand's credibility].”

  204. StephenB (199),

    “The plausibility of ID DEPENDS on empirical evidence, but it is made MORE PLAUSIBLE by belief.”

    What exactly does this statement mean?

  205. 205

    UprightBiPed:

    David Kellogg is arguing at the edges of nothing again.

    I think you mean “David Kellogg is doing StephenB’s homework again.”
    I heart you too UB.

  206. 206

    The hair-splitting over the use of the word “depends” is not very relevant. It’s not entirely inaccurate, just misleading.
    The ruling is disingenuous by describing the plausibility of ID as if it were a characteristic of ID, when the meaning of the word and the context of the quotes indicate that it describes individual prejudices.
    Then, the cleverly worded sentence is used in a context which further suggests it describes the nature of ID itself.
    If the sentence is understood correctly, it makes no sense in the context where it’s placed. That and the careful wording indicate it was meant to be misunderstood.
    If one person twisted another person’s words like that in this forum, he’d get called on it. This was a judge. He puts on a robe and everyone stands up and he gets the last word. To use that authority to rubber-stamp the plaintiff’s snide misstatements was disgraceful.

  207. 207

    ScottAndrews, you have a point. Even if you hold, as I do, that Judge Jones’s summary of Behe in that sentence is accurate, it does not follow from that that ID is a religious theory. (Of course, Judge Jones may not think so either, given his allusion to that conclusion being “consonant” with other evidence. The argument is parallel rather than serial.)

  208. 208

    Clive,

    Very well. I assumed that Stephen’s memory was faulty because I thought it was the most generous interpretation; I will refrain from making any assumptions regarding his motives.

    Stephen,

    Your last comment makes it clear that one problem with this discussion is that you don’t understand how the word “testimony” is used in this context. The article is not “written testimony.” Behe’s “written testimony” would be any affidavits he signed or his anwers in depositions upon written questions. The article was evidence, not “testimony.”

    That doesn’t change the fact that you reached your conclusion about what the evidence was before you saw it. In fact, you reached your conclusion while bitterly complaining about how we were just reciting numbers to you, and refusing to consider the court’s citation at all. Why, then, should I take your analysis seriously? Your conclusions were formed well before you saw the article, or Behe’s words. You started from the assumption that the court was in error, and are locked into it; you are steadfastly refusing to even consider the possibilty that you were, at any point, in error, despite the long list of flatly wrong statements I quoted above. I can appreciate your position; as I said, no one is ever happy to lose in court, and it’s always because the court was stupid or corrupt or politically motivated or “doctored” evidence or something like that. But I also can’t conclude that you’ve put any serious effort into understanding the decision; David Kellog had to force-feed the original article to you, because you assumed that Behe’s language came from his oral testimony even after we showed you, multiple times, that you were in error.

    Atheists have no belief yet some of them find ID plausible.

    If you say so. But this is only relelvant if you assume the strictest possible interpretation of the court’s language, which is necessary to support your preconclusions. I told my friend I was late because I was stuck in traffic; the plausibility of that excuse depends on his knowledge of the local traffic. If he had perfect knowledge or no knowledge, he could still find hte excuse plausible or implausible; people just don’t use the word “depends” solely or exclusively in the sense you are.

    The plausibility of ID DEPENDS on empirical evidence, but it is made MORE PLAUSIBLE by belief.

    And if there were no empirical evidence, some people would still find it plausible. Your use of the word “depends” is still reasonable. In any event, either clause supports the court’s conclusion.

    It was nothing less than a cut and paste, error-filled piece of judicial activism.

    This is like complaining that a surgeon must be terrible at his job because someone else administered the anesthesia. I know you won’t believe this, but courts do this all the time. Not only do parties not mind, they want courts to do this. The defendants also submitted proposed findings, you know.

    David Kellog,

    Earlier, Learned Hand and I thought that StephenB was basing his case on what Michael Behe said. Now it seems that StephenB was really basing his case on what Micheel Behe would say.

    I think our mistake was reasonable. Stephen was, after all, using quotation marks, which generally indicate that the author is quoting something.

    Scott Andrews,

    If the sentence is understood correctly, it makes no sense in the context where it’s placed.

    What do you mean? How would you describe that context?

    David,

    Even if you hold, as I do, that Judge Jones’s summary of Behe in that sentence is accurate, it does not follow from that that ID is a religious theory.

    Not from that one statement, at least. I don’t have the opinion in front of me at the moment, but I believe that the quoted language comes from a section explaining that a reasonable student would perceive teaching ID as government endorsement of religious, because ID is a religious theory. He cites Behe as one element of a few paragraphs showing that ID’s biggest champions see it as a religious theory. See, i.e., Dembski’s comment about ID being a “ground clearing” operation for Christianity, Phillip Johnson’s open admission that it was all about getting people to the Bible, and the wedge document, all of which I believe the court also cites.

  209. 209

    David Kellogg:
    Isn’t it ironic that despite over 200 posts, there probably isn’t a person among us who actually cares what Judge Jones thinks? It’s like making a mountain out of a molehill, finding another molehill on it, and repeating. (I point that finger at myself.)

  210. Folks:

    Pardon an intervention, on what looks a lot like a proverbial wedgie, a loaded question that will naturally be viewed differently by people of different views, and which it does seem (cf below) was used to make a case that is misleading to the point of being false by Jones (or is that the ACLU . . . 90+% and all that).

    For, FYI, there is many a scientific claim, the personal or group plausibioity of which is deeply shaped by one’s existing outlook.

    That’s why Kuhn et al talked about how a new paradigm often triumphs, not because it converts the old guard, but because a new generation replaces it.

    So, let’s bring back some post-avalanche buried facts on the table:

    ____________________

    PB, 83, cites Judge Jones on Behe:

    “…Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God. (P-718 at 705) (emphasis added). As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition’s validity rests on belief in God, nor is the Court aware of any such scientific propositions, Professor Behe’s assertion constitutes substantial evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID is a religious and not a scientific proposition.”
    ___________________________

    SB, 187 gives Behe’s context, in light of DK’s report on same:

    Michael Behe (Courtesy of David Kellogg:)

    “To many theists such as myself [NB: one who was formerly comfortable theologically and scientificallly with the neo-Darwinian school of thought; but changed his mind on the weight of the evidence as he saw it], the state of the biological evidence is such that the hypothesis of design is more compelling than that unintelligent processes produced the irreducibly complex systems seen in the cell, like the shipwreck survivor who thought someone else might be on the island. However, like the survivor of the shipwreck who thinks no one else is on the island, many (although not all) agnostics and nontheists draw the line differently, and reach the opposite conclusion. This is unsurprising; it is frequently the case in science that when new theories are proposed people judge the evidence differently. The only unusual (but not unprecedented) feature here is that a person’s judgment on the existence of God enters into the balance.” [NB: Apparently, per the terms of the question asked in court]

    “What if the existence of God is in dispute or is denied? So far I have assumed the existence of God. But what if the existence of God is denied at the outset, or is in dispute? Is the plausibility of the argument to design affected? As a matter of my own experience the answer is clearly yes, the argument is less plausible to those for whom God’s existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God’s existence. [NB the significance here of Lewontinian a priori materialism imposed on science through methodological naturalism] People I speak with who already believe in God generally agree with the idea of design in biology (although there are certainly exceptions), those who are in doubt are interested in the argument but often are skeptical, and as a rule those who actively deny God’s existence are either very skeptical or wholly disbelieving (Apparently, the idea of a natural intelligent designer of terrestrial life is not entertained by a large percentage of people).”

    __________________

    It seems pretty clear that Behe made a carefully balanced response to a loaded question; only to be — predictably — sniped out and twisted out of its plain enough meaning in the context of battling school of thought and how views affect evaluation of arguments, by Judge Jones and/or the ACLU. (Dare we we call that “quote mining”?)

    As a practitioner of a discipline that has undergone two of the three major scientific revolutions int he past 350 years (as well as dozens of relatively minor paradigm shifts), I can testify that Behe’s observation on how scientific propositions are perceived by various individuals and schools of thought is undeniably true, on pain of massive empirical refutation.

    And, as one who in his youth attended a university where Marxism was a major school of thought (even as it was just beginning to collapse globally after a post-Vietnam surge . . . ), it is plain that views on the reality or otherwise of God do affect one’s perception of the truth or falsity of more or less scientific propositions in a context where one’s theism/atheism is a relevant factor.

    It is also axiomatic in the field of organisation behaviour and in management of change that clever persons are almost infinitely capable of rationalisation of their opinions and views. That is why empirical data and a commitment to the accountability before such data become vital. (This is also the reason why opposed Godfathers and their idea hitmen work very hard to block a promising new idea from getting an incubator or time to prove itself though practical results. they also tend to try to undermine the credibility of the persons involved in such novelties. Then, if an when despite their best efforts, there is some success, they are very dismissive. this is a big part of why major changes are generational changes: an old guard dies with its boots on, or dies out in irrelevance, and a new guard emerges to take over. And yes, that sounds rather marxian of me: thesis- antihesis- conflict, revolutionary synthesis is a fairly often seen pattern of history. [Or, what do you think the Dutch revolution the Glorious revolution and the US Revolution represent?]

    My conclusion on the design issue is that the hinge of the matter is the value one puts on science as pursuit of the truth about our world based on evidence.

    If one puts a high value on truth as a defining goal of science (even in the face of our propensity to err), then one will be open to the fairly obvious point that intelligence is an empirical reality and it often leaves reliable traces behind it.

    Once one does that, the credibility of the inference to design as a scientific conclusion on say the discovery of the coded information in DNA, becomes obvious (and that is independent of one’s worldview, other than a commitment to seeking the truth as a goal of science); to the point that the price of its denial is adherence to an unobserved quasi-infinite array of sub-cosmi, and/or a censoring rule of methodological naturalism that forbids inferences to design if the inference would cut across the Lewontinian commitment to a priori materialism.

    So, a revolution is in the air, folks . . .

    GEM of TKI

  211. PS: the TalkOrigins “defn” on quote mining: “the use of a (usually short) passage, taken from the work of an authority in some field, ‘which superficially appears to support one’s position, but [from which] significant context is omitted and contrary evidence is conveniently ignored.’”

  212. 212

    kairosfocus, Lewtontin-alluding, red-baiting, and other asides aside, why did you quote the paragraphs from Behe in reverse order?

  213. 213

    “It seems pretty clear that Behe made a carefully balanced response to a loaded question.” Loaded? The question was one Behe posed, since it was entirely his essay.

  214. DK:

    In the context of the trial (AND of the wider debate on design in the cultural – institutional- political- policy- media context), the issue is plainly a loaded one.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: I cited in the order that the remarks are made in the thread, and unless my reading of PB is very wrong, the cite in 83 is from judge Jones’ decision.

  215. PS: Wiki’s article on Behe agrees with me in that regard:

    ____________________

    John E. Jones III, the judge of the case, in his final ruling relied heavily upon Behe’s testimony [here plainly wrenched out of context . . . ] for the defense in his judgment for the plaintiffs, citing:

    * “Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”[5 {a b c s:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District/2:Context#Page 28 of 139}]

    * “As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition’s validity rests on belief in God, nor is the Court aware of any such scientific propositions, Professor Behe’s assertion constitutes substantial evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID is a religious and not a scientific proposition.”[5]
    _______________________

    A comparison with Behe’s context as further cited strongly indicates that Judge Jones [and/or the ACLU] wrenched Behe’s nuanced and balanced — and honest — remarks along the exact sort of lines that TO describes as Quote Mining, which is what I showed above.

  216. PPS: Wikisource Link (hot fr note 5 as just put up):

    _________________

    Page 28 of 139 [From ruling]

    (11:50-53 (Forrest); P-386; P-390). Moreover, in turning to Defendants’ lead expert, Professor Behe, his testimony at trial indicated that ID is only a scientific, as opposed to a religious, project for him; however, considerable evidence was introduced to refute this claim. Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God. (P-718 at 705) (emphasis added). As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition’s validity rests on belief in God, nor is the Court aware of any such scientific propositions, Professor Behe’s assertion constitutes substantial evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID is a religious and not a scientific proposition.

    Dramatic evidence of ID’s religious nature and aspirations is found in what is referred to as the “Wedge Document.” The Wedge Document, developed by the Discovery Institute’s Center for Renewal of Science and Culture (hereinafter “CRSC”), represents from an institutional standpoint, the IDM’s goals and objectives, much as writings from the Institute for Creation Research did for the earlier creation-science movement, as discussed in McLean. (11:26-28 (Forrest)); McLean, 529 F. Supp. at 1255. The Wedge Document states in its “Five Year Strategic Plan Summary” that the IDM’s goal is to replace science as currently
    ___________________

  217. PPPS: Kitzmiller Ruling, HTML format from PDF in Firefox, p 28:

    ________________________

    (11:50-53 (Forrest); P-386; P-390). Moreover, in turning to Defendants’ lead
    expert, Professor Behe, his testimony at trial indicated that ID is only a scientific,
    as opposed to a religious, project for him; however, considerable evidence was
    introduced to refute this claim. Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe
    remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID
    depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.
    (P-718 at
    705) (emphasis added). As no evidence in the record indicates that any other
    scientific proposition’s validity rests on belief in God, nor is the Court aware of
    any such scientific propositions, Professor Behe’s assertion constitutes substantial
    evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID
    is a religious and not a scientific proposition.
    Dramatic evidence of ID’s religious nature and aspirations is found in what
    is referred to as the “Wedge Document.” The Wedge Document, developed by the
    Discovery Institute’s Center for Renewal of Science and Culture (hereinafter
    “CRSC”), represents from an institutional standpoint, the IDM’s goals and
    objectives, much as writings from the Institute for Creation Research did for the
    earlier creation-science movement, as discussed in McLean. (11:26-28 (Forrest));
    McLean, 529 F. Supp. at 1255. The Wedge Document states in its “Five Year
    Strategic Plan Summary” that the IDM’s goal is to replace science as currently

    ___________________________

  218. —David Kellogg: Loaded? The question was one Behe posed, since it was entirely his essay.

    It’s a loaded question whether asked by a critic in an earlier writing or at a trial by a hostile attorney.

    It was designed by the ACLU to set up the “depend on” phrase, which is nothing more than a further misrepresentation of an easily exploitable answer to a loaded question. Judge Jones needed the answer to a loaded question, provided by the ACLU, to provide a perversion of the answer to it, also provided by the ACLU. The ACLU provided both portions. Indeed, they wrote more than 90% of the decision on the section related to ID as science. It was a unified act of dishonesty, conceived by the ACLU and carried out by Judge Jones.

  219. 219

    It seems pretty clear that Behe made a carefully balanced response to a loaded question…

    I don’t understand, especially in the context of your next comment. Were you confused about the source, and thought that the excerpt was from Behe’s testimony, or were you just characterizing his entire essay as a response to some sort of loaded question gestalt?

    Wiki’s article on Behe agrees with me in that regard: “John E. Jones III, the judge of the case, in his final ruling relied heavily upon Behe’s testimony…”

    How does that excerpt agree with you? It doesn’t characterize the opinion; it only quotes it. The only part that’s relevant to your comment is the bolded language. Are you saying that the court took the excerpt from the testimony, and that Wiki agrees with you? But that’s obviously wrong; the court provides an exact citation to the source in question, which is the article.

  220. 220

    kairosfocus, in my comment I provided the first and third paragraphs in order, and identified them as such. You quoted them in reverse order for no reason that I can tell.

    As for Wiki, if it implies that this passage

    however, considerable evidence was introduced to refute this claim. Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God. (P-718 at 705)

    refers to the testimony, then Wiki is wrong. As I explained in detail above, that passage refers plainly to Behe’s “Reply to My Critics” article and not to the testimony.

  221. 221

    StephenB,

    It’s a loaded question whether asked by a critic in an earlier writing or at a trial by a hostile attorney.

    It was designed by the ACLU to set up the “depend on” phrase, which is nothing more than a further misrepresentation of an easily exploitable answer to a loaded question.

    What are you talking about? Behe posed the question himself in an essay years before the trial. The ACLU had nothing to do with the question. The context of that essay was not the trial but the scholarly response to Darwin’s Black Box.

  222. 222

    As to StephenB’s complaint that Judge Jones adopted the language of the ACLU, I refer to Learned Hand at 109:

    Both parties submit proposed findings, and in the interest of efficiency and speed, the court may excerpt as much or as little as it finds appropriate from either document. The parties want the court to do this, in general; it leads to faster, more focused opinions. It doesn’t mean the court is being led by the nose, even when it uses most or all of one party’s proposed findings; every sentence, especially in a high-profile case, is scrutinized before being adopted.

  223. Further note:

    Trial transcript exchange, Tue Oct 28 05, afternoon, pp 19 – 20:

    __________________

    Q And one more, Dr. Behe. Quote, Are there religious
    18
    implications to the theory of ID? And here s the answer.
    19
    Quote, Not any more so than the religious implications of
    20
    Darwinism. Some have said that before Darwin, quote, we
    21
    thought the benevolent God had created us. Biology took
    22
    away our status as made in the image of God, end quote, or,
    23
    quote, Man is the result of a purposeless process that did
    24
    not have him in mind, he was not planned, end quote, or,
    25
    Darwinism made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist end quote.
    2
    Is that question and answer accurate?
    3
    A
    Yeah, I probably would rewrite that one too. But
    4
    it certainly is true that scientific theories oftentimes
    5
    have what people think of as philosophical and theological
    6
    implications.
    Philosophers, theologians all the time draw
    7
    on scientific theories. ,b>I think that a number of the
    8
    experts in this case have written books that impinge on the
    9
    philosophical and theological aspects of Darwinism. So
    10
    that s a perfectly — perfectly correct statement.

    _____________________

    So, there should have been something before the court that should have served to show that the reading of the cite used on p 28 of the decision was very far out of its proper context.

    It is very clear that Judge Jones failed to execute duties of care, and issued a very misleading and abusive verdict in large part authored by agenda-driven parties; one that used plain quote mining that — had he simply paid attention to the balance of evidence in open court much less written submittals — he should have spotted and this instance of wrenching alone should have given him warning not to use the ACLU submission to base his rulings upon.

    GEM of TKI

  224. DK:

    I missed your reply to the critics article reference, but I think the issue is a known one in the general context of this debate: the reason why Behe was addressing this question (and trying so very hard to be painfully correct, nuanced and balanced . . . ), is that it is a common wedgie put by critics of ID to serve their agenda. (And, you know I almost never use the word “debate” word in a positive sense.)

    So far as Wki’s bullet points are concerned, I have now supplied the Wikisource and the trial ruling sections.

    I have also provided transcript of an exchange that is highly relevant to the issue.

    It is plain that this case is nort a good base for any serious conclsuons on ID, regardless of how much it is used by those who love its outcome. (Beware being the beneficiaries — especially the gleeful beneficiaries — of injustice today, as on the morrow, the shoe might be on the other foot.)

    For, something was plainly very rotten in the state of Pennsylvania in October to December 2005.

    GEM of TKI

  225. StephenB:

    Jones knew what he was doing and he knew he was twisting Behe’s words.. It could not have been ignorance, because he has had four years to think about it.

    StephenB:

    It’s a loaded question whether asked by a critic in an earlier writing or at a trial by a hostile attorney.

    It was designed by the ACLU to set up the “depend on” phrase, which is nothing more than a further misrepresentation of an easily exploitable answer to a loaded question.

    So let me get this straight. The ACLU somehow duped Behe into including the following loaded question in his 2001 article: “But what if the existence of God is denied at the outset, or is in dispute? Is the plausibility of the argument to design affected?” They did this in anticipation of setting up a “depend on” phrase in a future trial decision. Judge Jones read the article in 2001 and had four years to think about it before his 2005 decision, at which point he knowingly twisted Behe’s words to say “depend on”, just as the ACLU had planned four years earlier. But since the ACLU was the principal author of the decision, why didn’t they just twist Behe’s words themselves?

  226. One last point:

    DK, I actually acknowledge a point where I think the Marxists have a point, on the thesis-antithesis, conflict synthesis dialectic; citing three major revolutions in point.

    And, where I point to how theistic/atheistic views play a major role in influencing the perceived plausibility of more or less scientific claims, I am reporting a fact that I can give copious examples of.

    Your remark on “red baiting” is therefore completely out of order, an ad hominem abusive, and should be withdrawn.

    GEM of TKI

  227. —-Rob: “So let me get this straight. The ACLU somehow duped Behe into including the following loaded question in his 2001 article: “But what if the existence of God is denied at the outset, or is in dispute? Is the plausibility of the argument to design affected?”

    I didn’t say that. They took words he already used and devised a strategy to turn them into something else. It’s as simple as that.

    You are continuing to conflate the words “plausibility” with the words “depend on.” The difference is decisive. Once you introduce the words “depend on” you provide the rational justification for saying that ID is faith based AND implying that Michael Behe himself admitted it. Micahel Behe would never have allowed the words “depend on” to be a part of his answer. It is a shameful and it was planned.

  228. 228

    kairosfocus, you’re right: withdrawn. That was careless of me.

  229. Rob:

    From the beginning the “ID is religion” smear and associated loaded questions have been a tactic used by ID opponents. (Ms Forrest being a capital example — complete with a distortion on the birth of ID timeline. FYI the first technical level ID book is Thaxton et al’s TMLO, from 1984; which predate3s teh Edwards ruling that she makes so much of by several years.)

    This is therefore a case where Behe’s carefully worded response has been taken out of context (along with remarks he made in trial testimony) and twisted into what he precisely did not say or mean; and what is more, what he had said is abundantly correct: worldviews and more specifically schools of thought (including opinions about God) do influence how we perceive the plausibility of scientific arguments.

    But they do not CONTROL such — or Mr Antony Flew would never have changed form Atheist to Deist largely on design evidence. (And, DEPENDS is reflective of control not merely influence.)

    Judge Jones, and the ACLU behind him, are wrong, and slanderously so.

    GEM of TKI

  230. It is a shameful [misrepresentation] and it was planned.

  231. DK:

    Appreciated.

    GEM of TKI

  232. —David: “Both parties submit proposed findings, and in the interest of efficiency and speed, the court may excerpt as much or as little as it finds appropriate from either document. The parties want the court to do this, in general; it leads to faster, more focused opinions. It doesn’t mean the court is being led by the nose, even when it uses most or all of one party’s proposed findings; every sentence, especially in a high-profile case, is scrutinized before being adopted.”

    By anyone’s standards, taking 90.9% of the ACLU’s preparatory thoughts constitutes an excessive dependence on someone else’s interpretation, especially when the case is controversial and in need of original thinking, and especially when the information imparted is manifestly dishonest—not just partisan—dishonest.

  233. 233

    StephenB, so you say. But your own complaints about the decision here have been (1) wrong, (2) based on a reference to a text you had not read and denied was referenced, (3) based on erroneous citations to testimony that never occurred. So I think I’ll take your expertise on this case with a grain of salt.

    I’ve explained several times (for example, in 202) why your claim that Jones lied is fallacious. You have not dealt with this, just as you have not acknowledged the many other errors I have pointed out.

  234. StephenB:

    I didn’t say that.

    I must have misunderstood you. The “it” in “It was designed by the ACLU” seemed to refer to the loaded question.

    StephenB:

    You are continuing to conflate the words “plausibility” with the words “depend on.” The difference is decisive.

    kairosfocus:

    But they do not CONTROL such — or Mr Antony Flew would never have changed form Atheist to Deist largely on design evidence. (And, DEPENDS is reflective of control not merely influence.)

    Judge Jones, and the ACLU behind him, are wrong, and slanderously so.

    StephenB and kairosfocus, you make much of the characterization of this statement:

    But what if the existence of God is denied at the outset, or is in dispute? Is the plausibility of the argument to design affected? As a matter of my own experience the answer is clearly yes, the argument is less plausible to those for whom God’s existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God’s existence.

    as follows:

    Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.

    I can honestly say that it would never occur to me to find fault with this characterization. I wouldn’t think to interpret Behe’s or the ACLU’s words as anything other than generalizations. That there are exceptions like Antony Flew doesn’t invalidate the general pattern that Behe described.

    Perhaps the latter statement should say, “in general, the degree of plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.” Would you find this congruent with Behe’s statement, even with the offending “depends on” still included?

  235. 235

    Another mystery stems from the first part of the closely examined quote:

    In fact, in the entire trial there was only one piece of evidence generated by defendants that addressed the strength of the intelligent-design inference: the argument is less plausible to those for whom God’s existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God’s existence.

    Surely Jones (ACLU) wasn’t saying that in the entire trial, no evidence was offered on behalf of ID besides the single quote they distorted. One could read this sentence and conclude that not a single statement explaining ID was made.
    How was Jones persuaded to deny the existence of evidence presented at trial? If no such evidence was generated, how was it refuted?

  236. 236

    The last time I attempted to correct Stephen, I was placed on moderation. Hopefully this won’t get me banned, but what’s the point in commenting if I’m forced to watch bad information and baseless libel pass unchallenged?

    By anyone’s standards, taking 90.9% of the ACLU’s preparatory thoughts constitutes an excessive dependence on someone else’s interpretation, especially when the case is controversial and in need of original thinking, and especially when the information imparted is manifestly dishonest—not just partisan—dishonest.

    Not by the standards of anyone familiar with the relevant law and practice. Once again, this is not an unusual thing for a court to do. Higher courts don’t like it, because it can make appellate review more difficult, but it happens on a regular basis all around the country. In fact, the appellate court sitting over Judge Jones has explicitly said that adopting proposed findings of fact is acceptable.

  237. StephenB:

    The plausibility of ID DEPENDS on empirical evidence as is made MORE PLAUSIBLE by belief.

    That ID claims to be supported empirically is not disputed, but it’s also not very impressive. Any number of pseudosciences make the same claim. Whether a design inference legitimately follows from the empirical evidence is a matter of opinion. The consensus of experts is against you on this one, and Judge Jones sided with the experts.

    Of course, you believe that these experts are swayed by their ideology. They, in turn, probably believe that your ideology, along with your lack of expertise in the pertinent fields, account for your belief in ID. That’s to be expected in a dispute like this. But without the scientific consensus on your side, you’ll have a hard time convincing the judge that your opponents are wrong.

    That’s why the ID movement might want to invest more in convincing the scientific community. I see a handful of ID proponents who appear to be working on that, and my hat is off to them. (The quality of their efforts is a separate question.)

  238. 238

    ScottAndrews,

    Surely Jones (ACLU) wasn’t saying that in the entire trial, no evidence was offered on behalf of ID besides the single quote they distorted. One could read this sentence and conclude that not a single statement explaining ID was made.

    The piece you excerpt is not in the Dover opinion. It is part of the Plaintiffs’ proposed findings that was not adopted by the court, presumably because it thought the statement was inaccurate.

    Once again, please read the opinion itself. You cannot accurately analyze it based on snippets of comments here.

  239. —David: “I’ve explained several times (for example, in 202) why your claim that Jones lied is fallacious. You have not dealt with this, just as you have not acknowledged the many other errors I have pointed out.”

    Your argument at 202 is based on the notion that I have unnessecarily narrowed the meaning of the words “depend on.” Yet, it is precisicely in using that narrow version that Judge Jones declared ID to be faith based. He didn’t say ID is part empirically anchored, or part faith based, he said it was faith based— period —and he alluded to Michael Behe’s testimony, oral and written, to argue that Behe himself admitted it. Only by injecting the words, “depend on” into Michal Behe’s testimony, and only by assuming that ID depends on relgion to such an extent that all its claims about emprical science are bogus, could Judge Jones justify his final ruling.

    —”Indeed, in section 20 of his response to Kitzmiller, Behe objected to the conclusion of the passage but not to the assumptions of the summary.”

    Perhaps he felt that using the argument that he is in good company with other sciences is less risky and less open to Darwinst slander and retaliation than to make point that I am making. In any case, the fact the he didn’t make it does not in any way invalidate my point. It just means that he chose to go another way. Whether he figured it out or not is something I can’t comment on.

  240. 240

    Yet, it is precisicely in using that narrow version that Judge Jones declared ID to be faith based.

    Really? A broad reading would cause the whole decision to collapse? I don’t think so. As I pointed out above, the reasoning is parallel, not serial: there are a number of lines of evidence pointing in the same direction. A typical (not narrow) reading of “depends upon” supports the conclusions by reinforcing the other lines.

  241. —-Rob: “That ID claims to be supported empirically is not disputed, but it’s also not very impressive. Any number of pseudosciences make the same claim. Whether a design inference legitimately follows from the empirical evidence is a matter of opinion. The consensus of experts is against you on this one, and Judge Jones sided with the experts.”

    Most “experts” are not familiar with ID’s methodology and are not, therefore, qualified to pass judgment on the matter. In fact, the fact about whether ID is or is not empirically based should be decided solely on its methodology, not on the basis of someone’s perceptions of the scientists motives. ID is clearly empirically based, because its methdology begins with an observation of empirical date. It doesn’t matter one whit whether critics are persuaded that a design inference follows from that methodology. All that matters is the process and the steps involved. One can’t extract religion from “irreducible complexity,” because it just isn’t there. In order to pervert the debate and turn ID into religion, the critic must resort to motive mongering.

  242. —”Really? A broad reading would cause the whole decision to collapse? I don’t think so. As I pointed out above, the reasoning is parallel, not serial: there are a number of lines of evidence pointing in the same direction. A typical (not narrow) reading of “depends upon” supports the conclusions by reinforcing the other lines.”

    The court’s reasoning is largely justified by the claim that Behe himself admitted that ID is faith based. Since Behe admitted no such thing, the court, with the help of ACLU reasoning, had to make him say that. The strategy is to reduce ID’s empirically-anchored methodology to a faith based ideology. There is no way to extract that from Behe’s well-nuanced statement. It has to be added. Hence, the injection of the words, “depend on.”

  243. 243

    The court’s reasoning is largely justified by the claim that Behe himself admitted that ID is faith based.

    Untrue. Once again, please read the opinion carefully. The Behe language was one in a string of what the court called “a representative grouping of . . . statements made by prominent ID proponents.” There are at least three or four such statements in that section alone, and that section is just one sub-component of the court’s findings. The Behe language could have been entirely omitted without changing the logic or structure of the opinion; it is merely one example in a series.

    Incidentally, I’ll repeat a comment I made above. You said,

    The plausibility of ID DEPENDS on empirical evidence, but it is made MORE PLAUSIBLE by belief.

    This illustrates the validity of the court’s paraphrasing. Taking your statement as true, it is obvious that if there was no empirical evidence for ID, some people would still find it plausible. Your use of the word “depends” is, nevertheless, appropriate and logical in this context.

    The complaints over this quote are baseless, but also mere nitpicking. This was not the keystone of the opinion. It was just one example in a series of such examples that supported another expert witness’s testimony, as the opinion makes clear.

  244. 244

    Learned Hand,

    ——”Once again, please read the opinion itself. You cannot accurately analyze it based on snippets of comments here.”

    The opinion itself is not the end all. If the opinion excludes anything, it is worth mentioning, especially if it excluded anything of note, such as ScottAndrews’ quote. Why concentrate solely on the opinion? In an appellate court the judge is not only looking at the opinion, they’re looking at the whole procedure, to see if the whole procedure was done correctly and whether both sides were represented fairly. The opinion plays a part of that determination, but not the whole.

  245. —David: A typical (not narrow) reading of “depends upon” supports the conclusions by reinforcing the other lines.”

    It is clear that Judge Jones used the term “depend up” in a narrow sense in order to make the claim that ID is not science. If it had been used in a broader sense, it would have reflected that fact that atheists and agnostics can and do embrace intelligent design, which means that it cannot be faith based. Judge Jones, with his narrow use of the word “depends on” closed even that door. He wanted ID to not be science regardless of the facts, so he made it happen, partly by putting words in Michael Behe’s mouth.

    So, we analyze Judge Jones’ statement.

    “Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”[5 {a b c s:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District/2:Context#Page 28 of 139}]”

    If ID “depend[ed] upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God,” as Judge Jones accuses Michael Behe of saying, atheists and agnostics would clearly be ruled out. Clearly, Michael Behe doesn’t believe that nor did he ever say that. So, Judge Jones was obviouisly wrong about ID, and he was obviously using “depends on” in a narrow sense in order to close off any possibility that ID could be science in any way. That is as narrow as it gets.

  246. 246

    Learned Hand,

    ——”The last time I attempted to correct Stephen, I was placed on moderation.”

    Absolutely false. Again, you cannot, and therefore should not, presume that you know other people’s minds. You were put in moderation for your presumption about the lack of cogency pertaining to StephenB’s memory, which is out of hand.

  247. 247

    Clive,

    The opinion itself is not the end all. If the opinion excludes anything, it is worth mentioning, especially if it excluded anything of note, such as ScottAndrews’ quote.

    As I read ScottAndrews’ comment, he thought that the cited language was from Jones’s opinion. It isn’t, and the error is significant, especially because it’s one of the statements the court rejected from the plaintiffs’ proposed findings, showing (as required by the legal standard) that the court was independently analyzing each statement and finding. The confusion shows, once again, the importance of reading the original document, and doing so carefully.

    You were put in moderation for your presumption about the lack of cogency pertaining to StephenB’s memory, which is out of hand.

    A very strict policy! I wish it applied as well to accusations that a sitting judge lied and “doctored” evidence. In any event, I intended my characterization to be polite; I honestly could not imagine a more benign cause for StephenB’s repeated citations to nonexistent testimony. But nevertheless I apologize, and will abide by your policies.

  248. 248

    Learned Hand @238:
    You’re right, I got the proposal and the decision mixed up. I did read it.
    I don’t know how I keep getting the ACLU’s rant confused with Jones’ decision.
    Reviewing it led me to the very next sentence folllowing the belabored “plausibility” sentence. What that first hints at, the second says plainly:

    As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition’s validity rests on belief in God…

    The judge plainly states that ID’s validity rests on belief in God, and uses Behe’s quote as the basis.
    The plaintiff asked Jones to ascribe something to Behe he never said, and
    The first part was low, but now I’m floored. That’s either heavily biased or crooked.

  249. Oops: “Depends [up]” should be “depends on.”

  250. 250

    StephenB:

    It is clear that Judge Jones used the term “depend up[on]” in a narrow sense in order to make the claim that ID is not science.

    No. That he used the term in a narrow sense is your rather fanciful interpretation.

    If ID “depend[ed] upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God,” as Judge Jones accuses Michael Behe of saying

    Another misreading! That’s not what is claimed. Rather, what is claimed is that Behe says that whether ID is plausible — that is, whether is appears reasonable — depends on the extent to which the people to whom the case is made believe in God. And that is quite reasonable.

  251. 251

    Learned Hand to Clive:

    In any event, I intended my characterization to be polite; I honestly could not imagine a more benign cause for StephenB’s repeated citations to nonexistent testimony. But nevertheless I apologize, and will abide by your policies.

    Me too. The testimony StephenB cited does not exist! Could Clive come up with another interpretation?

    Perhaps it can be explained with a quote from Lewis or Chesterton. :-)

  252. —-Learned Hand: “A very strict policy! I wish it applied as well to accusations that a sitting judge lied and “doctored” evidence.”

    Perhaps this would be a good time to deemphasize your perception of my character and refocus on my theme and provide your own arguments against it, if you have any.

    —”In any event, I intended my characterization to be polite; I honestly could not imagine a more benign cause for StephenB’s repeated citations to nonexistent testimony.”

    I have emphasized only the words coming out of the mouths of two men, and their words were clearly not “non-existent.” Please refrain from commenting on my character and honesty and address my theme. Or, if you like, you can zero in on Scott Andrews points since he is going another way. If someone starts a post entitled “Questions for StephenB” in lieu of “Questions for Judge Jones,” then you can have your day in court and discuss my character. Right now, Judge Jones’ character is under scrutiny and it isn’t looking good.

  253. 253

    “I have emphasized only the words coming out of the mouths of two men.”

    Really? You wrote:

    At the critical point, Michael Behe was asked if he belived that ID would be “more plausible for those who believe in God than those who do not. He answered, “Yes.”

    This never happened, yet you cited it more than once. What’s your explanation?

  254. 254

    ScottAndrews. Here’s a fixed version (additions in brackets):

    The judge plainly states that [Behe claims that] ID’s validity rests [plausibility depends] on [the extent of one's] belief in God, and uses Behe’s quote [writing] as the basis [for that minor part of the case].

  255. 255

    Formatting error (it worked in preview). Is this better?

    The judge plainly states that [Behe claims that] ID’s validity rests [plausibility depends] on [the extent of one's] belief in God, and uses Behe’s quote [writing] as the basis [for that minor part of the case].

  256. —David Kellogg: “Me too. The testimony StephenB cited does not exist! Could Clive come up with another interpretation?”

    This is getting very old. On the one hand, you are trying to refute the testimony that I cite, albeit without effect, and on the other hand you are saying that I am making it up. I am not going to put up much longer with your personal attacks absent any reasoned arguments.

  257. 257

    David Kellogg,

    ——”Perhaps it can be explained with a quote from Lewis or Chesterton.”

    It probably can, they were, after all, all purpose thinkers. :)

  258. —David: “This never happened, yet you cited it more than once. What’s your explanation?”

    The event clearly happened. Maybe I put a quotation mark in the wrong place or something. I’ll look it up tonight when I get back. Duty calls. Whatever it is, I am sure that it will be something non-substantive, petty and distracting.

    Meanwhile, the issue on the table is clear enough. Since atheists and agnostics can believe in ID, how can its plausibility be dependent on the extent to which one believes in God.

  259. —David: “Another misreading! That’s not what is claimed. Rather, what is claimed is that Behe says that whether ID is plausible — that is, whether is appears reasonable — depends on the extent to which the people to whom the case is made believe in God. And that is quite reasonable.”

    Sorry, you don’t get to use synonymns. Your side doesn’t allow it so I don’t allow it. If ID’s plausibility “depends on the extent to which one believes in God,” how is it that some athesits and agnostics accept it?

  260. 260

    David Kellogg:

    The judge plainly states that [Behe claims that] ID’s validity rests [plausibility depends] on [the extent of one's] belief in God, and uses Behe’s quote [writing] as the basis [for that minor part of the case].

    I don’t understand the modifications. Here’s the quote, from Jones, again:

    As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition’s validity rests on belief in God…

    Those are his words. It contrasts ID with other scientific propositions by stating that it’s “validity rests on belief in God.” Validity and plausibility are not even related concepts.
    From what statement in Behe’s writing does Jones conclude that the validity of ID rests on belief in God? The answer is none. The plaintiff wrote it, and Jones rubber-stamped it without even considering the evidence. That is a bad, bad judge.

  261. StephenB:

    Most “experts” are not familiar with ID’s methodology and are not, therefore, qualified to pass judgment on the matter.

    ID methods are familiar to experts to the extent that ID research is published in the technical literature. If ID research is consistently rejected in peer-review, that’s an indication that experts who familiarize themselves with ID tend to reject it.

    In fact, the fact about whether ID is or is not empirically based should be decided solely on its methodology, not on the basis of someone’s perceptions of the scientists motives.

    To resurrect my prayer analogy, there are some who study the efficacy of prayer using strictly empirical methods. If the efficacy of prayer is ever legitimately established, I will actively promote it being taught in science classes. Until then, I think it should be regarded as a religious belief, regardless of the methods of those who study it.

  262. 262

    If ID’s plausibility “depends on the extent to which one believes in God,” how is it that some athesits and agnostics accept it?

    Because the dependency of the plausibility on faith neither implies nor requires a rigid one-to-one correlation. The level of the creek depends on recent rainfall, but even in a drought, the creek ain’t dry. See also my comments of 8:38 am and 2:30 pm.

  263. 263

    ScottAndrews [260], my apologies: I misread which sentence you were referring to. Given the context, though, I don’t have any problem with the sentence as written. No reasonable reader would take it as a strict logical proposition about ID.

  264. —-Rob: “ID methods are familiar to experts to the extent that ID research is published in the technical literature.”

    That’s hardly the issue. If they are not familiar with ID methods for whatever reason, their opinion on the matter is uninformed and not worth considering.

  265. —Learned Hand: “Because the dependency of the plausibility on faith neither implies nor requires a rigid one-to-one correlation. The level of the creek depends on recent rainfall, but even in a drought, the creek ain’t dry. See also my comments of 8:38 am and 2:30 pm.”

    You are cheating with the word recent. Judge Jones did not qualify his dependence in that way. The creek depends on rainful, and if it doesn’t get it, it will dry up. Jones is using the word “depends on” to exclude ID from the scientific community. If he was using it in a a broad sense, ID would not have been excluded. It would have been dubbed part empirical, part faith. Jones ruled out the middle ground, so he was using the term in a narrow way.

  266. 266

    David Kellogg:

    No reasonable reader would take it as a strict logical proposition about ID.

    There’s no other way to take it, because that’s what it says.
    First he cites Behe as saying that the plausibility of ID depends upon one’s belief in God. (I’m not beating that horse, just providing context.) Next sentence, italics mine:

    As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition’s validity rests on belief in God…

    He’s contrasting ID with the rest of science. Only this proposition’s validity rests on belief in God, and no other’s.
    Admit it, that’s precisely what he’s saying. It won’t make you an IDist. :)

  267. 267

    Your characterization of the court’s analysis assumes too much and takes no account of the context of the language. You say, for example, that “he was using it in a a broad sense, ID would not have been excluded. It would have been dubbed part empirical, part faith.” Continue reading the court’s analysis; it did not accept that any other, valid science is “part empirical, part faith.”

    More importantly, “part empirical, part faith” is not good enough for Constitutional purposes anyway. A “science” that was “part faith” would, if taught using government resources, violate at least two prongs of the Lemon test. (At least, that’s my first reaction. I’ll have to consider the question.)

  268. StephenB:

    That’s hardly the issue.

    It’s exactly the issue. I said that the consensus of experts was against you. You said that most experts are not familiar with ID methodology and are therefore unqualified to pass judgment. My response is that if ID methods aren’t known to experts in the relevant fields, it’s because they’re not getting published, which implies that they’re being rejected in peer review. If ID is being consistently rejected by experts who are familiar with it, namely its reviewers, then that constitutes a consensus opinion against it.

  269. 269

    But I do want to kick that horse one more time. When Jones said

    Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.

    If he didn’t intend to twist the meaning of Behe’s words, then why emphasize that Behe “unmistakably” said it? More significantly, what was ‘remarkable’ about it? Why follow with the implication that, based on Behe’s words, the validity of ID rests on belief in God?
    That’s a bad, bad, judge.

  270. 270

    Sorry, my 6:08 comment was directed to StephenB.

    ScottAndrews, if it is of any interest to you, I read that passage differently than you did. I saw the court’s reference to “validity” as being part and parcel of its reference to “plausibility.” Can ID supporters’ belief in the validity of ID be separated from their opinion of the plausibility of the arguments for it?

  271. 271

    If he didn’t intend to twist the meaning of Behe’s words, then why emphasize that Behe “unmistakably” said it?

    Because he thought it was unmistakable. Frankly, I concur; I think the arguments here are based on some very tortured, out-of-context readings.

    More significantly, what was ‘remarkable’ about it?

    That Behe would admit that the plausibility of ID is entwined with faith, while arguing that it is an empirical science.

    Why follow with the implication that, based on Behe’s words, the validity of ID rests on belief in God?

    Because he’s not opining on the objective validity of ID, but the subjective validity to those who find the argument plausible. Plausibility and validity are logically connected in these two sentences, especially in the context of the section and paragraph.

  272. 272

    Behe did unmistakably say that. And yes, I agree with Learned Hand, that “validity” is used in the context of the argumentative plausibility mentioned in the previous sentence.

    Again, Behe responds to a bunch of things in the decision and even refers to this passage, but he never says anything like “I never said plausibility depends on faith in God.” He said, rather, “so does the Big Bang.”

  273. 273

    Learned Hand:

    I saw the court’s reference to “validity” as being part and parcel of its reference to “plausibility.”

    Your interpretation is not valid.

  274. I’m less comfortable with the sentence that ScottAndrews points out than I am with the previous one — the term “validity” could certainly be misleading. Like all lawyer speak (sorry Learned Hand), the decision is phrased with the intent to bias the reader to one side. Whether it crossed the line into flat-out inaccuracy is a matter of opinion, and our opinions depend on our preconceived notions of the case.

  275. 275

    ScottAndrews, R0b, I think this conversation has proceeded without enough reference to the context of the passage. The entire opinion, all 100+ pages of it, covers a wide range of topics. This passage is not about whether ID is an actual, valid science. It is about whether an objective observer would perceive ID as a religious thing. (Please see the section heading, on page 18.)

    I apologize for what will be a very long comment, but I think it’s important to quote the entire paragraph, since I think that almost no one who is criticizing the court’s meaning is taking it into account:

    Phillip Johnson, considered to be the father of the IDM, developer of ID’s “Wedge Strategy,” which will be discussed below, and author of the 1991 book entitled Darwin on Trial, has written that “theistic realism” or “mere creation” are defining concepts of the IDM. This means “that God is objectively real as Creator and recorded in the biological evidence . . .” (Trial Tr. vol. 10, Forrest Test., 80- 81, Oct. 5, 2005; P-328). In addition, Phillip Johnson states that the “Darwinian theory of evolution contradicts not just the Book of Genesis, but every word in the Bible from beginning to end. It contradicts the idea that we are here because a creator brought about our existence for a purpose.” (11:16-17 (Forrest); P-524 at 1). ID proponents Johnson, William Dembski, and Charles Thaxton, one of the editors of Pandas, situate ID in the Book of John in the New Testament of the Bible, which begins, “In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was God.” (11:18-20, 54-55 (Forrest); P-524; P-355; P-357). Dembski has written that ID is a “ground clearing operation” to allow Christianity to receive serious consideration, and “Christ is never an addendum to a scientific theory but always a completion.” (11:50-53 (Forrest); P-386; P-390). Moreover, in turning to Defendants’ lead expert, Professor Behe, his testimony at trial indicated that ID is only a scientific, as opposed to a religious, project for him; however, considerable evidence was introduced to refute this claim. Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God. (P-718 at 705) (emphasis added). As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition’s validity rests on belief in God, nor is the Court aware of any such scientific propositions, Professor Behe’s assertion constitutes substantial
    evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID is a religious and not a scientific proposition.

    That is not a paragraph about whether ID is a valid science. It is a paragraph about whether its proponents see it as a religious thing.

  276. 276

    Thank you Learned Hand. This also points to what I called its parallel rather than serial reasoning. The points mount up in parallel rather than being connected like beads on a string. It’s not as though the argument breaks down if we take issue with one thing. Even if StephenB were correct with his dubious interpretation, that would not affect the conclusion because the conclusion is not based on Behe alone but on a set of parallel points put forward by Behe and many others.

    StephenB,

    Maybe I put a quotation mark in the wrong place or something. I’ll look it up tonight when I get back.

    Good luck with that. It’s not a matter of quotation marks. The testimony you discuss never happened.

  277. Thanks, Learned Hand.

  278. 278

    Learned Hand @275:
    The last sentence says that in Behe’s view, and in that of other ‘prominent ID leaders’ (worded to sound like a church) ID “is not a scientific proposition.”
    In other words, not even Behe believes it’s science. How does one take that seriously?
    After writing that ID is creationism relabeled (I grow weary of checking to see which parts were original thought) he said in a 2008 interview of the Dover school board witnesses,

    They really didn’t even know what intelligent design was. It was quite clear to me that they viewed intelligent design as a method to get creationism into the public school classroom.

    That’s the trouble with a cut-and-paste decision. You risk issuing a federal court decision you don’t even agree with.

  279. —David Kellogg: “Good luck with that. It’s not a matter of quotation marks. The testimony you discuss never happened.”

    It did happen and I did take note of it. I will find it when I can.

  280. 280

    ScottAndrews, can you explain what you’re trying to say in 278? I don’t really get it.

  281. 281

    David Kellogg:

    I agree with Learned Hand, that “validity” is used in the context of the argumentative plausibility mentioned in the previous sentence.

    Validity in the context of plausibility is still validity, not plausibility. A hamburger in the context of hot dogs is a hamburger.
    If a person is late for work, does his boss want a valid reason or a plausible one?
    If the judge did not mean “validity,” surely he had the opportunity to select a word that conveyed what he meant. (Not accusing him of actually “meaning” any of it.)

    For what it’s worth, if the defendants really were trying to introduce creationism into classrooms using ID, then I can’t disagree with the outcome. But that was no reason for a judge to become the ACLU’s sock puppet against ID.

  282. 282

    StephenB, it takes about five minutes to search the web transcripts for “plaus” (which will cover “plausible” and “plausibility”). It’s clear that the conversation never happened. You may be misremembering a conversation in which precisely the opposite question was raised: not whether belief in God made ID more plausible, but whether ID made Christianity more plausible. Quotation marks have nothing to do with it.

    I’d also love to know how you remember a “gasp” (since those are nowhere in any court transcripts).

  283. 283

    If a person is late for work, does his boss want a valid reason or a plausible one?

    A plausible reason is one that seems valid. That’s the context. It’s really normal usage.

  284. 284

    David Kellogg @280 (about @278)
    Two points:
    First, the judge was declaring ID non-scientific by claiming that even Behe didn’t think it was scientific.
    Second, in the decision Jones wrote:

    The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.

    Then, in an interview, he said

    They really didn’t even know what intelligent design was. It was quite clear to me that they viewed intelligent design as a method to get creationism into the public school classroom.

    First Jones says ID is creationism. Then he says the school board didn’t know what ID was – they thought it was creationism. Is it or isn’t it?

  285. 285

    David Kellogg:
    A plausible reason is one that seems valid. That’s the context. It’s really normal usage.
    Not even close. Plausible means that something appears to be true or valid. It’s subjective. Valid is an objective judgment. It takes the first statement, which slants the source quote, and then turns it up a notch.
    Or, perhaps the ACLU was careless – they actually meant to say something that sounded more in harmony with what Behe meant and oops! it just came out all twisted and misleading.

  286. 286

    You’re grasping at straws ScottAndrews. Here are some passages from the cross-examination of former Dover board member Jane Cleaver:

    Q. You never did any research to see whether it was current science, did you?

    A. No, sir.

    Q. I think you said that you came back on October 2nd and your sister told you there was a controversy, or did I get that wrong?

    A. I came back October the 2nd, and it was a day after whenever I called my sister-in-law to say hello and tell her I was home, and in the course of our conversation she said there’s quite a big controversy in Dover about the book called Pandas and People, whatever that’s about, and that Dover is going to be teaching creationism.

    Later:

    Q. You said you didn’t read all of [Of Pandas and People], but I gather you kind of paged through it, is that a fair description?

    A. Yes.

    Q. And when you paged through it, were you looking at anything in particular? For instance were you looking for a use of the term God or creationism?

    A. Yes, I did look for that.

    Q. How did you do that, with the index?

    A. I went through page per page.

    Q. But skimmed it, right?

    A. But skipped some of it, but there was no mention of God or the Bible in the book Of Pandas and People.

    And later:

    Q. Just two more quick questions. When you voted for the curriculum on October the 18th –

    A. Yes, sir.

    Q. — you yourself didn’t really understand intelligent design. You just knew that it was as you put it another theory, is that right?

    A. Correct.

    MR. SCHMIDT: That was my only question. Thanks very much.

    Stuff like this is all over the lay witness defendant testimony, which is what Judge Jones was discussing at that point (not the expert testimony).

  287. ScottAndrews:

    Then, in an interview, he said

    They really didn’t even know what intelligent design was. It was quite clear to me that they viewed intelligent design as a method to get creationism into the public school classroom.

    First Jones says ID is creationism. Then he says the school board didn’t know what ID was – they thought it was creationism. Is it or isn’t it?

    Again, it would never occur to me to see this as a contradiction. I interpreted as I would interpret the following:

    He joined the Peace Corps, without even knowing what the Peace Corps was. He viewed it as a way to travel abroad.

  288. 288

    I’m picking up on a big Judge Jones lovefest here. I’m sorry, but I find it less than coincidental that he said exactly what the plaintiffs put in his mouth regarding ID, and now every ID critic hangs a halo over his head and he can speak no wrong, even if it requires the most nonsensical stretches of grammar and logic to reinterpret the pandering, obedient decision he put the finishing touches on.
    Some people might find such a coincidence valid, but I don’t. (By “valid” I mean “plausible,” obviously.)

  289. 289

    I’m picking up on a big Judge Jones lovefest here.

    Not true. We only went hiking the Appalachian Trail on a trip to Argentina.

  290. 290

    Well…there have been almost 31,000 words posted on this thread SINCE the word “transcript” first appeared with the word “said” in the same sentence with the words “Judge Jones” (and that was way way deep into the thread).
    At this point virtually everyone from all sides have made at least one comment about Judge Jones getting a little squirrelly on his choice of words (and where he got them).

    That’s a great judge, eh? Good for us!

  291. I recommend Judge Jones’s upcoming book, The Jones Revolution, which will answer many of your concerns.

    - A reader from Harrisburg

  292. 292

    ScottAndrews,

    Validity in the context of plausibility is still validity, not plausibility. A hamburger in the context of hot dogs is a hamburger.

    But your criticisms are based on the premise that Jones is saying, in that paragraph, that ID is objectively invalid. It clearly is not; look to the topic and conclusion sentences of the paragraph. The court is looking to what an ID proponent would see as valid, and why. This paragraph it is not about whether ID is valid science. The section overall is about whether an objective observer would perceive ID as religious; the paragraph is about the various evidence the court has that ID’s leading figures see it in that light. The court isn’t talking about its opinion of ID’s validity, but about the opinions of Behe, Dembski, Johnson, and others who see it as plausible. It’s a single paragraph, with a single topic. Pulling one clause out of one sentence out of one paragraph out of one section is fun, but it’s no foundation for a rigorous discussion of the court’s reasoning. You can’t extract an accurate picture of that reasoning from one out of context clause.

    You also complain that:

    First Jones says ID is creationism. Then he says the school board didn’t know what ID was – they thought it was creationism. Is it or isn’t it?

    This complaint is sympomatic of the way you’re pulling little bits and pieces from the opinion to criticize, without addressing the entire document. The court explains why it is necessary to explore the nature of ID, even assuming that the board was ignorant of that nature. The court analogizes the case to McLean in that respect.

    In any event, even if the court hadn’t done so, the reason would be obvious to an attorney: the school board’s understanding of ID is relevant to some of the Lemon test, but not all of it. Part of the test has to do with the objective effects of the board’s actions, which are independent of the board’s knowledge of those effects. It seems that you’re not a lawyer, so I wouldn’t expect you to know that–but you might do the judge the decency of stopping to consider, when you think you’ve found a critical error, “Is there something I’m missing? Do I know enough about this to reasonably assume that the court is stupid or dishonest?” In this case, the court was neither – it followed the law and the guiding precedent in analyzing ID independent of the board’s comprehension of the movement. It also explained all of this in the opinion.

    Upright BiPed,

    At this point virtually everyone from all sides have made at least one comment about Judge Jones getting a little squirrelly on his choice of words (and where he got them)

    I know a large number of brilliant legal writers, from grizzled courtroom vets to spitshined Ivy League wunderkinder. I don’t know anyone who can put together over dozens of pages of dense legal reasoning, on a deadline, without writing a few paragraphs that the opposing party can point to as proof that the author was wrong (or lazy or dishonest or stupid).

  293. A further footnote:

    Above, It seems DK wishes to challenge me as well as SB on the issue that to those more or less commitetd to an evolutionary materialistic view, evidence for design will look implausible BECAUSE of their a priori commitments, not he actual strength of the case for design on the merits.

    On points:

    1 –> My analysis (following good old Prof Neiderriter back in M 100 and “Ex falso quiodlibet”) has to do with the logic of the implication argument P => Q.

    2 –> If one initially accepts P, and then sees that it leads to Q, then realises that s/he is more opposed to Q than inclined to accept P, one may then decide to deny Q and thereby reject P.

    3 –> The logic in this — is it the Moore shift in phil circles? (I forget for the moment) — is that denial of the consequent is a valid logic form: P => Q, Not-Q, so Not-P.

    4 –> Here is where the trick comes in: what happens if one has accepted a false idea (say F) and uses it to reject the truth that cuts across it and/or its implications? That is, P => Q, but F => Not-Q, so not-P. If one is committed to falsehood [adn evolutionary materialism is necessarily false as it ends in inescapable self-referential absurdity], truth can look wrong or even absurd. And, we know from Lewontin’s moment of candour in his 1997 NYRB article, the degree of commitment to that necessarily false proposition among evolutionary materialists:

    Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . .

    5 –> In short I am raising an issue that Jesus warned about in Jn 8: 45 . . . because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

    6 –> This brings in the crucial role of self-evident truth (which of course the Anti-Evo advocates here at UD have been hot to reject in recent discussions). For, when the denial of P on accepting F leads one into absurdities, then that should serve as a wake-up call.

    [ . . . ]

  294. 7 –> For relevant instance, we have excellent reason to see that codes and languages and algorithms do not plausibly arise out of lucky noise, so that algorithmically functional (thus extremely specific) complex information is — not only on direct observation but also on utter implausibility of rival explanations [cf the recent Meyer video lecture linked in another recent UD thread . . . ] — a strong sign of intelligent cause.

    9 –> But, if one is committed to a view that such intelligent cause cannot be permitted — cf US NAS member in good standing Lewontin’s “a priori” materialism and associated methodological naturalism — then one will insist all day on the most utterly unlikely, having eliminated from one’s consideration the obvious best explanation.

    10 –> And, one will go further, to reject the actual valid chain of evidence — from observed intelligence and its artifacts and their tested, reliable signs to the inference to intelligent action in cases that one has not directly observed — in favour of the bald assertion that one who remains open to such a chain is doing that because of a priori commitments to “the supernatural.”

    11 –> In short, we end up with the absurdity of patently closed-minded a priori materialists persuading themselves that the open-minded are the “real” closed minded. (But, in fact for instance Behe was previously comfortable with Darwinism as his commitments to his Christian worldview hinged on events in and around the life death and resurrection of Jesus; it is on evidence of design that he has changed his stance. That is — contrary tot he agitprop — his stance was taken for SCIENTIFIC, not theological reasons. [For me, I could live with a Darwinist world (after all as Ac 17 makes plain the core warranting argument for the Christian worldview is the resurrection of Jesus, not debates on methods God may or may not have used in creation), but find the evolutionary materialist account of the origin of information in both first life and novel body plans utterly implausible on INFORMATION THEORY AND THERMODYNAMICS GROUNDS. As I have laid out in reasonable details in the always linked, just one click away through my handle in the LH column. Grounds that have often been dismissed or strawmanned, but which in aggregate are plainly decisive. Noise simply does not on teh gamut of our cosmos invent codes/languages, algorithms, programs and the organised mutually adapted complex machinery to store and to act on it in step by step algorithms. We have stumbled across, not Paley’s watch in afield but a computer in the cell. And, we know where computers credibly come from.)

    12 –> In short, we now see the classic turnabout accusation in action, a manifestation of selective hyperskepticism.

    _____________

    A sad pass indeed.

    GEM of TKI

  295. 295
    CannuckianYankee

    Learned Hand,

    I appreciate your knowledge of legal issues. However, justice is supposed to be blind. If Behe’s views were not in fact driven by his religious convictions – and regardless if they were, he did demonstrate that he was doing science by showing and demonstrating how he came to support ID in the first place – out of problems with the explanatory power of evolution in an area of science where he has expertise.

    Then he demonstrated how preliminarily, ID has a better explanation for complexity in molecular machines. There’s nothing in that analysis, which precludes a religious commitment.

    That is the issue. Can the law make errors? Absolutely, because essentially the law is determined by human beings who are cabable of errors.

    I read an interview with Judge Jones from 2008 – I think it was cited on this blog elsewhere in the last few days. In that interview (and I’m paraphrasing from memory here to save time) he stated that prior to the case he did not really know anything about ID. He stated that he had found no reasons to doubt Darwinism.

    Fair enough. Now Judge Jones is not a scientist, so I would expect that he would not know certain things about science. However, in that interview his honor stated that once he knew he was going to be presiding over the case, he made no effort to educate himself on ID nor on evolution. His reason for this was that – I guess based on traditional practice, and in order to be impartial – he preferred to allow whatever evidence was presented in the court to inform him of these issues.

    Also, Judge Jones aknowledged the enormity of this case, and what his ruling would mean for future cases involving this issue.

    Now, here’s where I have a problem. Clearly Judge Jones admitted that he had a prior bias in favor of evolution, and understandably so. I wouldn’t expect otherwise. But don’t you think it would have been prudent, since “justice is blind,” to have really educated himself on both sides of the issues prior to hearing the testimony in court? And I also understand that he stated he had viewed the film “Inherit The Wind” in order to prepare him for this case – so if true, he did SOME preparation by further confirming his bias.

    If he had done an educational preparation, then perhaps he could have avoided creating a contention between Darwinists and IDists, by fairly balancing his prior-commitments to Darwin with the literature that was available at the time regarding ID? And I ask this because this was no ordinary case, and the rendering of ID as not science has enormous implications for science – not just for Darwinian science and ID alone, but for all of science.

    If Judges out of their ignorance and bias can determine the validity of a scientific hypothesis or theory – and I grand you that he did have expert witnesses on both sides – don’t you think it would have been reasonable for him to take himself outside of his pre-commitments and weighed this issue a little better?

    As I stated before, the verdict on ID did not end in Dover, and I think you agreed with me; but Dover swayed some opinion regarding ID that has a huge impact on science. There are people who disagree with ID who have made this same observation.

    I don’t believe justice acted blindly in Dover. It was tainted a prior commitment to the status quo.

    And lastly – If Judge Jones had left ID alone, he still could have come to a verdict regarding the Dover School District, showing that they violated the 1st amendment. Such a verdict and opinion would not in the least have weakened evolution, and would have demonstrated judicial restraint, rather than activism. I think he would also have been seen as heroic on both the ID side and on the Darwin side.

    So despite your knowledge of law and all of the intricacies of how it is practiced, surely you can see why those on the ID side see this ruling as a biased opinion, and not a reasoned judgment based on all that can be known about these issues. And surely you can see why IDists, who really do believe they have a better explanation for the complexities of life – based on their doing science, and who are a minority among academia; feel that they have been cheated out of an opportunity to legitimately communicate the merits of ID in the larger scientific community based on the ill-infomred and intellectually vacuous opinion that it is simply religion or “creationism in a cheap tuxedo.”

  296. PS: Re SB, 242:

    The court’s reasoning is largely justified by the claim that Behe himself admitted that ID is faith based. Since Behe admitted no such thing, the court, with the help of ACLU reasoning, had to make him say that. The strategy is to reduce ID’s empirically-anchored methodology to a faith based ideology. There is no way to extract that from Behe’s well-nuanced statement. It has to be added. Hence, the injection of the words, “depend on.”

    Correct. Plainly correct.

    There is no just basis for that insertion of “depend[s] on.” And, that meaning-twisting false assertion is based on a longstanding insistent and agenda-serving strawman mischaracterisation that is so patently based on distortion of history [down to omitting the actual origins of ID as a modern scientific movement in Thaxton et al's TMLO in 1984 -- not post 1987 . . . "effects cannot precede their causes"] that at least one advocate in the court, Ms Forrest, has made much of a career over.

    LH’s attempted excuses for such just now, simply do not pass the smell test.

    LH, when a keystone plank of a Judge’s decision rests on the use of a frankly dishonest mischaracterisation that depends on not doing basic homework, we have a case of injustice.

    Plain and simple.

    And, utterly indefensible and inexcusable.

    The real issue is to acknowledge and correct this blatant injustice, not to find rhetorically clever excuses for it.

    GEM of TKI

  297. —-David Kellogg: “You may be misremembering a conversation in which precisely the opposite question was raised: not whether belief in God made ID more plausible, but whether ID made Christianity more plausible.

    On looking back, it was not a perfect parallel to the words Judge Jones used in rendering his decision. Behe did not use the word, “yes,” nor did he speak of plausibility with respect to “God,” nor was there any language concerning “extent to which.” So, your specific objection [and Learned Hand's specfic objection] about the exact formulation of the words] is duly noted. It doesn’t matter one whit, however, because the idea is exactly the same, and the testimony shows Judge Jones to be misrepresenting Behe in exactly the way I said.

    From section 1:

    “And in the same sense, just because intelligent design is compatible with Christian views, or because it makes such views or other theistic views seem more plausible does not mean that intelligent design itself is not a scientific theory.

    At another time, on page 87 he writes, “Do you have an opinion as to whether Intelligent design is a religious belief?
    Answer, No.

    And on page 89 Behe writes; “Creationism is a religious idea…..ID relies rather on physical and observable evidence plus logical inference for the logical argument.

    In that same general area, he goes into great detail explaining “irreducible complexity” and makes it clear that he draws his inferences from the patterns. He makes it doubly clear that it has nothing to do with religion or faith.

    Judge Jones is without excuse.

  298. Correction @297:

    —-At another time, on page 87 the attorney [asks,] Behe, “Do you have an opinion as to whether Intelligent design is a religious belief?”

    [He does have an opinion]

    The answer is, “no.” (It is not a religious belief.)

    And on page 89 Behe [SAYS], “Creationism is a religious idea…..ID relies rather on physical and observable evidence plus logical inference for the logical argument.”

  299. 299

    So, to sum up: StephenB now agrees that (1) He referred to a conversation that didn’t happen. (2) He repeatedly insisted that Judge Jones was referring to testimony rather than Behe’s article, and his entire charge was based on “remembering” a conversation that didn’t happen as compared to an article that he hadn’t read.
    Nevertheless,

    It doesn’t matter one whit, however, because the idea is exactly the same, and the testimony shows Judge Jones to be misrepresenting Behe in exactly the way I said.

    Huh.

    Facts? We don’t need no stinking facts!

    (By the way, throughout this conversation, StephenB has said that I am losing the argument, desperate, without evidence, etc. Now he admits that I was right all along on the specifics but none of this matters.)

    kairosfocus,

    Above, It seems DK wishes to challenge me as well as SB on the issue that to those more or less commitetd [sic] to an evolutionary materialistic view, evidence for design will look implausible BECAUSE of their a priori commitments, not he actual strength of the case for design on the merit

    What? “Seems” maybe to you, but not in reality. I’m talking about the case, not about your beliefs, about which I give two figs. I have no interest in giving you yet another excuse to quote Lewontin in a multi-part off-topic discourse.

  300. 300

    Learned Hand:
    I could go so far as to allow just for the sake of discussion that perhaps Jones wasn’t specifically addressing the objective validity of ID. (Not that I believe it.)
    But the sentences were plainly written to be understood that way. If you can’t admit to that, then you’re just siding with him because he’s your guy and he can do no wrong.
    As has been mentioned, it’s permissible for a judge to copy from a proposed finding of fact. But the extent to which he did calls into question whether he understood any of the testimony or evidence offered in the trial over which he presided. If the ACLU says Miller refuted Behe, so be it. It goes in the decision. I don’t think the judge could even tell the difference.

  301. 301

    —-At another time, on page 87 the attorney [asks,] Behe, “Do you have an opinion as to whether Intelligent design is a religious belief?”

    [He does have an opinion]

    The answer is, “no.” (It is not a religious belief.)

    This is probably where the audience “gasped.”

    No, StephenB, it’s not the same. It’s completely different. Your entire charge was based on ignorance of the testimony and a poor reading of the decision.

    Like kairosfocus, I too have a favorite quotation. It’s from Barbara Herrnstein Smith, one of my favorite intellectuals and a mentor, from Belief and Resistance: Dynamics of Contemporary Intellectual Controversy (Harvard University Press, 1997, page 38):

    In the confrontation between belief and evidenced, belief is no pushover.

    Your belief that Judge Jones is lying will not be moved by knowing that you couldn’t say what he was even referring to!

  302. 302

    Typo in the BHS quote. Corrected:

    In the confrontation between belief and evidence, belief is no pushover.

  303. Onlookers:

    We plainly have a “truth hurts” moment with Mr Kellogg, rather like when a boil is lanced. (Sorry for the pain, but the failure to deal with the problem will hurt even more long-term.)

    So, let us remind ourselves, through Mr Lewontin (remember, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences), of just how a priori commitment to materialism may hamper our ability to perceive the truth on matters related to the design inference:

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [Lewontin, NYRB, 1997]

    This does not sound particularly open-minded to me and can easily account for Mr Behe’s observations above (e.g. as cited by SB at 187 [from Mr Kellogg]):

    As a matter of my own experience the answer is clearly yes, the argument is less plausible to those for whom God’s existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God’s existence. People I speak with who already believe in God generally agree with the idea of design in biology (although there are certainly exceptions), those who are in doubt are interested in the argument but often are skeptical, and as a rule those who actively deny God’s existence are either very skeptical or wholly disbelieving (Apparently, the idea of a natural intelligent designer of terrestrial life is not entertained by a large percentage of people).”

    That should show, rather directly, just how relevant my citing of Mr Lewontin is.

    However, as I summarised in 293 – 4, there is a logical dynamic at stake:

    1 –> In implications we reason IF P THEN Q, P => Q.

    2 –> So, if one is initially inclined to accept P, we would expect him to go on to accept Q.

    3 –> But such is not always so, for if such a person ALSO is strongly committed to F, and on F Q is impossible, then there is a different path that may obtain.

    4 –> Namely, on observing F => NOT-Q, then such a person may infer F, so NOT-Q. NOT-Q so NOT-P.

    5 –> In itself, this is logically valid, but there comes a sting in the tail: When P rejecting P lands one in absurdities, then one has a serious decision to make about F.

    6 –> And, in the case of Lewontinian a priori materialism, that worthy already hints of such absurdities:

    We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

    7 –> In particular, we know the only observed cause of coded (thus, linguistic), functionally specific, complex algorithmic, step by step executed information that works on a matrix of co-adapted parts, the loss of one or more of which makes the process grind to a halt. Namely, intelligence.

    8 –> Moreover, we also know on search space exhaustion of probabilistic resources, that to get to islands of function on undirected chance is maximally improbable; and in the case of cell based life as observed, we are well into that range. (Nor is there good reason to accept that the laws of physics and chemistry have “life” written into them.)

    9 –> But, if one has an a priori commitment to materialism, one will find some other way . . . “in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs . . .”

    10 –> So, on the rejection side we not only see that it is a matter of observation that hose strongly committed to materialistic views often find arguments that point to design implausible, but we see a logical reason why; a reason that has nothing in particular to do with the fact that those who happen to be theists tend — but not universally — to be more open to design arguments.

    11 –> And, with this we see that Judge Jones and the ACLU are even more plainly unjustified in their assertions (and quote mining to support it) that design theory is a religious not a scientific endeavour.

    _______________

    In short, my remarks at 293 – 4 above — Mr Kellog’s rhetorical dismissals notwithstanding — were very much relevant to the focus of the thread, and to the secondary issue over the twisting of Mr Behe’s words.

    GEM of TKI

  304. —David Kellogg: “So, to sum up: StephenB now agrees that (1) He referred to a conversation that didn’t happen.”

    Not true at all. The conversation did happen, but I got some of the words wrong. I acknowledged that point.

    —- He repeatedly insisted that Judge Jones was referring to testimony rather than Behe’s article, and his entire charge was based on “remembering” a conversation that didn’t happen as compared to an article that he hadn’t read.”

    That is a lie. My charge is based on the fact that Judge Jones showed complete disregard for Micahel Behe’s explicit expressions of what he believed and didn’t believe.

    The facts are that Judge Jones misrepresented Miohael Behe and the facts are that you sign on to that outrage.

    Here are the facts that David Kellogg chooses to ignore:

    From section 1:

    “And in the same sense, just because intelligent design is compatible with Christian views, or because it makes such views or other theistic views seem more plausible does not mean that intelligent design itself is not a scientific theory.”

    It is this conversation that I have been referring to, and its point is clear enough.

    At another time, on page 87, the attorney asks Behe, “Do you have an opinion as to whether Intelligent design is a religious belief?”

    He does have an opinion.

    The answer is, “No.”

    And on page 89 Behe states, “Creationism is a religious idea…..ID relies rather on physical and observable evidence plus logical inference for the logical argument.”

    That’s clear enough.

    In that same general area, he goes into great detail explaining “irreducible complexity” and makes it clear that he draws his inferences from the patterns. He makes it doubly clear that it has nothing to do with religion or faith.

    Judge Jones is without excuse. David Kellogg is without excuse.

    (

  305. —David Kellogg: “No, StephenB, it’s not the same. It’s completely different. Your entire charge was based on ignorance of the testimony and a poor reading of the decision.”

    I know that this is a stretch for you, but try real hard, now. The point at issue is whether Judge Jones misrepresented Michael Behe’s words.

    —-In the confrontation between belief and evidenced, belief is no pushover.”

    Good quote. Why not learn from its message and acknowledge the truth. Michael Behe clearly does not believe that ID is religion and Judge Jones clearly did him an injustice.

    I

    —-”Your belief that Judge Jones is lying will not be moved by knowing that you couldn’t say what he was even referring to!”

    I think you had better reread @304. You seem to be having a little problem with the facts as presented.

  306. “But the extent to which he did calls into question whether he understood any of the testimony or evidence offered in the trial over which he presided.”

    No. You only say that because – to put your own words back at you – he’s not your guy and he can do no right.

    The extent to which he did so does nothing other than reflect on the fact that the school board lost their case so badly. That wasn’t helped by desperately poor case preparation and dubious court performance by the Thomas More Law Centre, for the board, and excellent lawyering by the plaintiffs led by Rothschild. The extent to which Jones took from the plaintiffs is not at all surprising. Let’s face it, even Discovery Institute knew that Dover was a losing case – they ran a mile from it.

  307. 307

    StephenB writes:

    —- He repeatedly insisted that Judge Jones was referring to testimony rather than Behe’s article, and his entire charge was based on “remembering” a conversation that didn’t happen as compared to an article that he hadn’t read.”

    That is a lie. My charge is based on the fact that Judge Jones showed complete disregard for Micahel Behe’s explicit expressions of what he believed and didn’t believe.

    No I’m not. It’s in the record, in this very thread. In 108, after you had been corrected that Judge Jones was referring not to the testimony, you write:

    When Judge Jones recalled that testimony [not a citation from somewhere else] he indicated that Behe said that ID explicitly stated that the “plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    “not a citation from somewhere else” are your words. You had already been told it was not to the testimony that Judge Jones was referring (as is clear in the decision itself) yet insisted it was not a citation from somewhere else (even though it was).

  308. 308

    —-”Your belief that Judge Jones is lying will not be moved by knowing that you couldn’t say what he was even referring to!”

    I think you had better reread @304. You seem to be having a little problem with the facts as presented.

    You insisted it was to the testimony when told it wasn’t. The only reason you know it was to an article was because I told you, though you still denied it until I provided the text from the article, which you had not read and, as far as I know, have still not. I told you it was to an article, and you did not believe me. I told you the testimony quotes were wrong, and you insisted they were. I provided the quotes from the article, which you had not even read before making the charge.

  309. —David Kellogg: “No I’m not. It’s in the record, in this very thread. In 108, after you had been corrected that Judge Jones was referring not to the testimony.

    I acknowledged that error already. On the other hand, you are lying when you say that I base my entire case on that one event or a poor reading of the decision. If I had not read the decision with care, I would not have discovered the conflict between Behe’s use of the word, “plausible,” and Judge Jones’ unjustified addition of “depends upon.” You certainly didn’t catch it. More to the point, you are now running away from it.

    I base my case on the totatlity of the written record and on Michael Behe’s comprehensive testimony, of which I have alluded to and which you studiously avoid.

  310. —-David: “You insisted it was to the testimony when told it wasn’t. The only reason you know it was to an article was because I told you, though you still denied it until I provided the text from the article, which you had not read and, as far as I know, have still not. I told you it was to an article, and you did not believe me. I told you the testimony quotes were wrong, and you insisted they were. I provided the quotes from the article, which you had not even read before making the charge.”

    You are lying again. I have read all that in the past, I just didn’t have access to it. You have no way of knowing what I have or have not read. How do you think that I knew the words “depend on” had been added in by Judge Jones.

  311. 311

    Hey StephenB, where did the audience “gasp” again? And how did you remember that?

    kairosfocus, I’m sorry, I fell asleep while reading your comment. I recall something about a “truth hurts” moment. On the contrary, I’m enjoying this! Your writing, not so much.

  312. —-”Hey StephenB, where did the audience “gasp” again? And how did you remember that?”

    It was an informal metaphor provided by a pundit passed along by me at a time when the conversation was a bit [how should it say this] less formal and less petty.

  313. 313

    “You are lying again. I have read all that in the past, I just didn’t have access to it.”

    That would be why not a single quote you provided from the transcript until recently was correct. That would be why you remembered conversations that didn’t happen or happened in the opposite way. (Did you also read the “gasps”?) You read the Biology and Philosophy article in the past but could not get it even when told where it was and refused to believe Jones was referring to anything but the testimony?

  314. StephenB,

    How about telling me the answer to the “rock on Mars” question you posed us and then didn’t answer?

  315. 315

    If I had not read the decision with care, I would not have discovered the conflict between Behe’s use of the word, “plausible,” and Judge Jones’ unjustified addition of “depends upon.”

    If you had read the decision with care, you would have noted immediately that Judge Jones was not referring to the testimony at that point, because it’s obvious. Your reading of “depends upon,” however, is a fantasy of your own making.

    Here’s what I think happened. You read the testimony quickly. You read the decision quickly. The word “plausible” occurs in both (though never in the testimony as you remember it). You somehow latched onto that as important, even though “plausible” in the decision does not refer to “plausible” in the testimony.

  316. 316

    StephenB, how did you get the “Reply to My Critics” article, and why don’t you have it now? Did you pay for it? Did you get it through interlibrary loan?

    an informal metaphor provided by a pundit passed along by me at a time

    Ah, “memory” “passed along” by a “pundit.” What moment was the pundit referring to? What was the pundit “remembering”? Second-hand hearsay memories are the best.

  317. —David: “That would be why not a single quote you provided from the transcript until recently was correct. That would be why you remembered conversations that didn’t happen or happened in the opposite way. (Did you also read the “gasps”?) You read the Biology and Philosophy article in the past but could not get it even when told where it was and refused to believe Jones was referring to anything but the testimony?”

    That is not true at all. As I pointed out several times, I did, in many cases, abbreviate to save time. So, rather than provided extended phrases, I alluded to “depend on” and “more plausible.” It was only when I discovered that petty critics were going to attack that exercise in brevity as an example of my so-called dishonesty that I began to use up more space. Another good example of dishonesty, for example, is the way that you continue to labor over those past objections, while ignoring the evidence I provided at 304, which completely closes that case on this whole matter. That is why you are laboring over past issues. You are running away from the evidence.

    Here it is again:

    From section 1:

    “And in the same sense, just because intelligent design is compatible with Christian views, or because it makes such views or other theistic views seem more plausible does not mean that intelligent design itself is not a scientific theory.”

    It is this conversation that I have been referring to, and its point is clear enough.

    At another time, on page 87, the attorney asks Behe, “Do you have an opinion as to whether Intelligent design is a religious belief?”

    He does have an opinion.

    The answer is, “No.”

    And on page 89 Behe states, “Creationism is a religious idea…..ID relies rather on physical and observable evidence plus logical inference for the logical argument.”

    That’s clear enough.

    In that same general area, he goes into great detail explaining “irreducible complexity” and makes it clear that he draws his inferences from the patterns. He makes it doubly clear that it has nothing to religion.

    Do you have an answer for this? Of course you don’t. That is why you are tying to make it all about me.

  318. 318

    StephenB, “plausible” in the decision does not refer to “plausible” in the testimony but to the article. That’s why your fulminations about “plausible” in the testimony are pointless.

  319. 319

    CannuckianYankee,

    I appreciate your knowledge of legal issues.

    Thank you. This bears on the rest of your comment. You are correct when you say Judge Jones let himself be educated by the experts – that is exactly how it is supposed to work. He is not allowed to do his own, independent research in factual matters. The court was confronted with conflicting experts. One set that was backed by the full weight of the scientific community, and the other was made up of outsiders with essentially no record of publication or experimentation. As the court explained in its opinion, it simply couldn’t go with Behe’s testimony over the consensus of the entire scientific community when Behe had failed to engage with the professional literature or test his own ideas. The court’s conclusions would have been correct even if it had turned out the next day that Behe’s theories were provably correct. The court just can’t pick up a tiny fringe viewpoint and say, “I believe you’re science, based on the two days of testimony you’ve given.” It has to go with the experts, and frankly, one or two scientists up against every major university in the world is no contest, credibility-wise. Once again, it’s not a question of what’s true as much as it is what’s credible. If it were otherwise, we’d have courts doing our science for us, and we all agree that would be bad.

    As I stated before, the verdict on ID did not end in Dover, and I think you agreed with me; but Dover swayed some opinion regarding ID that has a huge impact on science.

    I agree with both points.

    I don’t believe justice acted blindly in Dover. It was tainted a prior commitment to the status quo.

    Here we disagree. Again, the court was comparing Behe’s testimony that he’d overturned hundreds of years of scientific endeavor with that of witnesses who were representative of the entire scientific community. It would have been incredibly inappropriate for the court to lead the way in calling ID “science.” ID needs to convince scientists first (and not just a few computer scientists or engineers – biologists, who are experts on the evidence at hand). If it does that, courts will follow, which is how the system should work.

    And lastly – If Judge Jones had left ID alone, he still could have come to a verdict regarding the Dover School District, showing that they violated the 1st amendment.

    There is an argument to be made for this point, although I disagree. For legal reasons, the nature of ID is an important point in the Lemon test. The argument would be that the board’s conduct was so egregious that the test didn’t need to be fully analyzed. It’s not a bad argument, but it’s not persuasive to me. “Judicial restraint” doesn’t mean answering half a question and then giving up, even if the answer seems very easy. It’s appropriate for courts to fully analyze the issues presented, especially when both parties ask it to, which was the case in Dover.

    So despite your knowledge of law and all of the intricacies of how it is practiced, surely you can see why those on the ID side see this ruling as a biased opinion, and not a reasoned judgment based on all that can be known about these issues.

    Absolutely. But I also see that their arguments are not based in knowledge of the law, or a careful reading of the opinion. So when I read arguments that rely on taking clauses out of context, or ignoring the structure of the opinion, I see justification rather than analysis. It’s very familiar, because we all do the same thing when we lose a case. It’s fun. But it’s not persuasive, without a careful analysis, which isn’t being done here.

    KF,

    LH, when a keystone plank of a Judge’s decision rests on the use of a frankly dishonest mischaracterisation that depends on not doing basic homework, we have a case of injustice.

    Obviously I disagree that there was any mischaracterization, much less a dishonest one. But leaving that intractable point aside, you are objectively incorrect when you call the remark “a keystone plank” of the decision. Please read the opinion in its entirety. The court’s comment about Behe’s article comes in a section about objective observers’ perception of ID, in a paragraph about the opinions of ID supporters. Because the ID supporters are not objective, the nature of their opinions can only be a buttress to the section’s conclusions, not a “keystone plank.” And, of course, the remark about Behe is just one of three or four examples of ID supporters’ opinions given to buttress the section’s conclusions. If the paragraph were omitted entirely, it would make no difference whatsoever to the logical flow of the court’s argument. There is no basis for calling it a “keystone plank.”

  320. 320

    That’s clear enough.

    Yes. That’s why Behe’s testimony is contradicted by his other writings and by the writings of many other ID supporters suggesting that ID is religious. Jones’s point is not that Behe testified that ID is religious. His point is that Behe’s testimony that it’s not religious is belied by many other (pro-ID) sources, including Behe. That Behe answers “no” in the testimony agrees with Jones’s decision. The paragraph illustrates the contradictions between the testimony and other materials.

  321. —-David Kellogg: “That’s why Behe’s testimony is contradicted by his other writings and by the writings of many other ID supporters suggesting that ID is religious.”

    Oh, so now the truth comes out. You agree with Judge Jones that Micheal Behe’s conception of intelligent design is religious in spite of his own testimony. I will ask you the same question that I asked Rob: How do you get religion from “irreducible complexity?”

    —-”Jones’s point is not that Behe testified that ID is religious. His point is that Behe’s testimony that it’s not religious is belied by many other (pro-ID) sources, including Behe. That Behe answers “no” in the testimony agrees with Jones’s decision.”

    No, that was not Judge Jones’s point. His point was that Michael Behe had incriminated himself with his own words and unwittingly admitted that his methodology is faith based, which it clearly is not.

    —”The paragraph illustrates the contradictions between the testimony and other materials.”

    What are you talking about?

  322. 322

    StephenB, I don’t think the question of whether ID is really religious is answerable (this has to do with my views of definition itself). It’s clear, though, that ID proponents have described it in religious or in scientific terms depending on their audience.

    —”The paragraph illustrates the contradictions between the testimony and other materials.”

    What are you talking about?

    See my explanation of the Jones passage above.

  323. 323

    Lost though I am in who did or did not say what when, Jones did include in the decision that

    Professor Behe’s assertion constitutes substantial evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID is a religious and not a scientific proposition.

    Did Jones need expert testimony to conclude that Behe doesn’t think ID is science?
    These words depict him as incompetent. Did he not understand what Behe said, or did he not understand the words given him to enter into the decision?

  324. —-David Kellogg: “StephenB, I don’t think the question of whether ID is really religious is answerable (this has to do with my views of definition itself).”

    I didn’t ask you about ID in genral. I asked you specifically about “irreducible complexity,” which is Michael Behe’s formulation. Just Jones ruled that it is religious. You said you agree with Judge Jones. So, tell me how you get from “irreducible complexity” to religion.”

    —-”It’s clear, though, that ID proponents have described it in religious or in scientific terms depending on their audience.”

    It isn’t clear me. Tell me how Michael Behe can describe “irreducible complexity” in religious terms.

  325. It isn’t clear [to] me.

  326. 326

    Just Jones ruled that [irreducible complexity] is religious.

    No he didn’t. I just searched the decision for “irreducible” and found critiques of its logic and power but no assertion that it is religious.

  327. 327

    ScottAndrews,

    I could go so far as to allow just for the sake of discussion that perhaps Jones wasn’t specifically addressing the objective validity of ID. (Not that I believe it.)
    But the sentences were plainly written to be understood that way. If you can’t admit to that, then you’re just siding with him because he’s your guy and he can do no wrong.

    In legal jargon, you’d say, “Assuming arguendo that Jones wasn’t ….” I mention that only because “arguendo” is one of my favorite words ever, and I think more people should use it more often.

    Anyway, I disagree completely. The sentences were not written to be understood that way. They were written to be read in context, and in logical connection with the preceding sentence, the surrounding paragraph, and the overall section. Your reading is nonsensical in that context, while mine preserves the flow and reason of the contextual material. And if you can’t admit to that, then you’re just siding with him because he ruled against ID and he must be shown to be wrong. Etcetera.

    Obviously we both have our preexisting conclusions, and we can both go around in circles accusing each other of defending them. That’s not as fun, informative, or dignified as sticking with actual arguments. So let’s try this: how does the logic of the paragraph work, using your reading? Can you rephrase it, from the first sentence to the last, using your interpretation of the comment? I’m curious to see how that paragraph would preserve the flow of the section.

    StephenB,

    I won’t address your points in detail; I have little to say that would be productive at this point. I will add only one thing to add to David Kellog’s comments on your quotations of nonexistent testimony:

    The quote you now say was the testimony you meant to cite is totally different from the Response to My Critics article. The article says that faith makes ID more plausible; the testimony says that ID makes faith more plausible. Those are not equivalent statements. They only sound alike. They are so logically distinct that an analysis of one could proceed entirely without reference to the other.

  328. =–David Kellogg: “No he didn’t. I just searched the decision for “irreducible” and found critiques of its logic and power but no assertion that it is religious.”

    —-Here is the Judge’s decision: “In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious,antecedents.”

    Tell me how the methodology of “irreducible complexity” is coupled with “creationism and religious antecedents”

  329. 329

    StephenB, remember this?

    I didn’t ask you about ID in genral. I asked you specifically about “irreducible complexity,” which is Michael Behe’s formulation.

    How quickly we forget. I responded about irreducible complexity, not ID in general. You can’t conflate something now that you asked me to distinguish ten minutes ago.

  330. —-Learned Hand: “I won’t address your points in detail; I have little to say that would be productive at this point. I will add only one thing to add to David Kellog’s comments on your quotations of nonexistent testimony:

    Why not? If you think that Judge Jones was fair with Michael Behe, you should be able to address these points. Here they are again:

    From section 1:

    “And in the same sense, just because intelligent design is compatible with Christian views, or because it makes such views or other theistic views seem more plausible does not mean that intelligent design itself is not a scientific theory.”

    It is this conversation that I have been referring to, and its point is clear enough.

    At another time, on page 87, the attorney asks Behe, “Do you have an opinion as to whether Intelligent design is a religious belief?”

    He does have an opinion.

    The answer is, “No.”

    And on page 89 Behe states, “Creationism is a religious idea…..ID relies rather on physical and observable evidence plus logical inference for the logical argument.”

    That’s clear enough.

    In that same general area, he goes into great detail explaining “irreducible complexity” and makes it clear that he draws his inferences from the patterns. He makes it doubly clear that it has nothing to religion.

    Do you have an answer for this? Clearly, Michael Behe does not think ID is religion and clearly Judge Jones claimed otherwise. I don’t think that there is any way around this. If there were, I am sure you would find it.

  331. —David: “How quickly we forget. I responded about irreducible complexity, not ID in general. You can’t conflate something now that you asked me to distinguish ten minutes ago.”

    It appears that your memory is failing you.

    I wrote:

    “I will ask you the same question that I asked Rob: How do you get religion from “irreducible complexity?”

    —–”You responded, I don’t think the question of whether ID is really religious is answerable (this has to do with my views of definition itself).”

    It was you who shifted from the specific to the general. I thought you were a big fan of “specifics.”

    You think Judge Jones decision was rational, so so me some rationality.

    Tell me how the methodology of “irreducible complexity” is, as Judge Jones put it, coupled with “creationism and religious antecedents”

  332. 332

    Stephen,

    You omitted the portion of my comment in which I responded to your argument. The “conversation that [you] have been referring to” is not the same as the comment in the article; (A makes B more plausible) is distinct from (B makes A more plausible). The court was talking about the statement in the article, and had no reason to contrast it to a totally different statement from the testimony.

    Clearly, Michael Behe does not think ID is religion and clearly Judge Jones claimed otherwise.

    It’s not at all clear to me that Michael Behe thinks that ID is not religion. He clearly does think that it’s intertwined with religious belief, as is evidenced by the article and the first excerpt in your comment. Although they are logically distinct comments, they both rely on the assumption that there is a strong connection between ID and faith. That intertwining is the relevant Lemon element, and sufficient for the legal analysis.

    Even if your reading were correct, the court is not required to believe an expert’s testimony. Especially not when that testimony is contradicted by a prior writing.

  333. 333

    Learned Hand:

    Can you rephrase it, from the first sentence to the last, using your interpretation of the comment? I’m curious to see how that paragraph would preserve the flow of the section.

    Yes, I can. And it won’t make any sense. (I must look up arguendo.)

    Here’s my version. The first sentence is untouched.

    “Moreover, in turning to Defendants’ lead expert, Professor Behe, his testimony at trial indicated that ID is only a scientific, as opposed to a religious, project for him; however, considerable evidence was introduced to refute this claim.
    Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that people who believe in God are more likely to find ID believable. (P-718 at 705) (emphasis added). As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition is more believable to those who believe in God, nor is the Court aware of any such scientific propositions, Professor Behe’s assertion constitutes substantial evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID is a religious and not a scientific proposition.”

    The first statement says that Behe believes ID is science.Then, remarkably, Behe says that people who believe in God are more likely to accept ID. In the context of what he actuall said, why is that remarkable?Based on that statement, Behe is wrong – he thinks he believes ID is science, but that’s not really his view. The court hasn’t found that Behe is wrong, it has found that Behe doesn’t really think what he thinks he does!
    Why use “remarkably” and “unmistakably” to draw attention to the sentence if only states the obvious, unless the reader is meant to read more into it?
    And how twisted is it to claim that Behe doesn’t even believe ID is scientific, even if he thinks he thinks so?
    Imagine if I said that you’re not wrong about evolution – you don’t even believe it, even if you think you do. Someone got a good laugh out of that.
    And you cannot ignore that these words were not written by a neutral party.
    Like I said to DK, admit it. It doesn’t make you an IDist.

  334. 334

    Tell me how the methodology of “irreducible complexity” is, as Judge Jones put it, coupled with “creationism and religious antecedents”

    Another made-up quote. He doesn’t say that. The “antecedents” paragraph is this:

    The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents

    His conclusions about irreducible complexity are different and about thirty pages earlier:

    We therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large. (17:45-46 (Padian); 3:99 (Miller)). Additionally, even if irreducible complexity had not been rejected, it still does not support ID as it is merely a test for evolution, not design. (2:15, 2:35-40 (Miller); 28:63-66 (Fuller)).

  335. —-David Kellogg: “Another made-up quote. He doesn’t say that. The “antecedents” paragraph is this:”

    This isn’t complicated, David. Judge Jones declared that ID “cannot uncouple itself with creationism and its religious antecedents.” He is talking about all ID. Irreducible complexity is a subset of ID so it too is implicated. So, tell me how irreducible complexity is coupled with creationism and religious antecedents.

    —”The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.”

    That’s right. ID includes irreducible complexity. So, please answer the question.

    —”We therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large. (17:45-46 (Padian); 3:99 (Miller)). Additionally, even if irreducible complexity had not been rejected, it still does not support ID as it is merely a test for evolution, not design. (2:15, 2:35-40 (Miller); 28:63-66 (Fuller)).”

    I didn’t ask you if other scientists tried to refute irreducible complexity, I asked you about Judge Jones decision, which associated ID, which includes irreducible complexity, with creationism and religious antecedents. Please stop stalling.

  336. —-Learned Hand: “It’s not at all clear to me that Michael Behe thinks that ID is not religion. He clearly does think that it’s intertwined with religious belief, as is evidenced by the article and the first excerpt in your comment. Although they are logically distinct comments, they both rely on the assumption that there is a strong connection between ID and faith.”

    Well, then, please explain these statements that, so far, you have not been willing to touch with a ten foot pole. Here they are again.

    From section 1:

    —-“And in the same sense, just because intelligent design is compatible with Christian views, or because it makes such views or other theistic views seem more plausible does not mean that intelligent design itself is not a scientific theory.”

    What is it about this distinction that you are having problems with. Perhaps I can help.
    At another time, on page 87, the

    —-attorney asks Behe, “Do you have an opinion as to whether Intelligent design is a religious belief?”

    —-He does have an opinion.

    —-The answer is, “No.”

    Are you saying that Michael Behe is lying, confused, or otherwise insufficiently in tune with his own feelings to vebalize his position.

    —-And on page 89 Behe states, “Creationism is a religious idea…..ID relies rather on physical and observable evidence plus logical inference for the logical argument.”

    What is it about this distinction that you are having problems with. Do you not understand the difference between a religious presupposition and a design inference. I know that Judge Jones does not understand the diffference. My question is, do you understand the difference.? If not, I can explain it very easily.

    In that same general area, he goes into great detail explaining “irreducible complexity” and makes it clear that he draws his inferences from the patterns. He makes it doubly clear that it has nothing to religion.

    What is “religious” about drawing inferences about patterns in nature?

    Can you provide me with any semblance of a rational answer to any of these questions?

  337. 337

    By “sentences” I mean, of course, “quotes” (or rather “”quotes””, since they’re rarely actual quotes).

    If you insist on a religious antecedent, a one word answer is: Paley (who Natural Theology is an acknowledged precedent for both Behe and Dembski.)

  338. 338

    ScottAndrews,

    Thank you! This is a much more interesting discussion than sniping at each others’ motives. I don’t see that your rewriting addresses the objective validity of ID; isn’t that what you think the court was trying to say? I was curious to see how you could rephrase the paragraph to clarify what you think the court’s point was, without losing the flow of the segment. My contention is that you can’t, which is strong evidence for my claim that the court was not addressing (in this paragraph) the objective validity of ID.

    The court hasn’t found that Behe is wrong, it has found that Behe doesn’t really think what he thinks he does!

    I think the court understands that Behe would say, if asked, “ID is not religion.” But Behe did say that ID and religion are intertwined, and the controlling legal test asks, inter alia, whether the challenged policy entangles the state with religion. The court is saying, in essence, that Behe gave away the game in his article.

    Why use “remarkably” and “unmistakably” to draw attention to the sentence if only states the obvious, unless the reader is meant to read more into it?

    Because it’s written English? “Remarkably” appears a few times in the opinion. It’s just standard phrasing. I use those words all the time, without meaning the reader to “read more into” my phrasing. If there’s any additional meaning to these words, it’s consistent with my comments above; the court understands that Behe would disagree that ID is inherently religious, but is pointing out that he has already given away the game by admitting that ID is intertwined with religion. That makes the admission “remarkable,” and it’s worth pointing out that the admission is “unmistakable” in order to clarify that this is a clear and careful statement on Behe’s part, rather than a slip of the tongue. But in the end, I think those words are filler. If you cut them, it wouldn’t change the thrust or accuracy of the court’s writing.

    And how twisted is it to claim that Behe doesn’t even believe ID is scientific, even if he thinks he thinks so?

    This is the problem with taking two sentences out of an ancillary paragraph and acting as if the entire opinion hangs from them. It’s a tangential remark. It could be better written (and probably would be, if it was crucial to the result), but I read it as using the court’s definition of “science,” not Behe’s. I think it’s the only logical reading, but I don’t see consensus in our future.

    One confusing sentence in over a hundred pages would be inhumanly good writing. There must be other passages you find objectionable. Would you like to move on to a different segment? Fresh material would be more invigorating.

  339. —–David: “If you insist on a religious antecedent, a one word answer is: Paley (who Natural Theology is an acknowledged precedent for both Behe and Dembski.)”

    You seem to have difficulty following the analysis of the decision. Judge Jones’ argument is not that ID HAS a religious antecedents, the argument is that ID [including "irreducible complexity"] CANNOT UNCOUPLE itself from its relious antecedents, even if Paley qualfies as a religious antecedent.

  340. —Learned Hand to Scott Andrews: “Thank you! This is a much more interesting discussion than sniping at each others’ motives.”

    Does that refer to me? I didn’t snipe at your motives. I asked you to answer some very simple questions @334. So, far, you have not stepped up to the plate.

  341. —-Learned Hand: “I think the court understands that Behe would say, if asked, “ID is not religion.”

    Thank you.

    —-”But Behe did say that ID and religion are intertwined, and the controlling legal test asks, inter alia, whether the challenged policy entangles the state with religion.”

    Did he, in fact, use the word, “intertwined,” or did you, like Judge Jones, put a new word in his mouth calculated to make a stronger claim than he really made.

    —”The court is saying, in essence, that Behe gave away the game in his article.”

    The court is saying that Behe’s words can be trusted if they can be perverted in such a way as to indict him, but they cannot be trusted if they would exonerate him. You too, are saying that. Absolutely incredible!

  342. 342

    StephenB,

    Does that refer to me?

    No. The comment was directed at ScottAndrews, and referred to our mutual suspicion of each others’ motives. Fortunately, we also seem to share a mutual sense that further discussion on that point is futile.

    As for your comments, you will need to moderate your tone if you want to engage me in a detailed conversation. Your conduct on this thread has not impressed me, and I am not inclined to keep discussing the matter with you. Your comments are becoming increasingly bitter and strident, with no more content to show for it.

    I will make a few broad responses:

    The article and the testimony make distinct points. They are different. They are alike only in that they show that Behe admits that religion and ID are entangled. Such entanglement is a part of the Lemon test, and thus, the court’s analysis.

    The court obviously did not believe that “irreducible complexity” was a valid scientific argument. In reaching that conclusion, it sided with the experts who were backed up by an enormous weight of published authority. That’s how the system works. It’s not intended to give radical minorities equal footing with established science. ID has to persuade the scientific community before it will gain traction in such proceedings.

    Even if “irreducible complexity” were, in the court’s eyes, a valid scientific argument, it would not be very relevant to the Lemon analysis. A philosophy that (as its proponents admit) is muddled together with religion may use one or two scientific arguments without extricating itself from that entanglement. Scientology, for example, may use scientific methods in some of its processes; that doesn’t make it science. The court considered ID as a movement, which is much more than just a vehicle for “irreducible complexity.”

    Whether IC in and of itself would pass constitutional muster isn’t the focus of the opinion, although it would almost certainly fail every prong of the Lemon test, for the reasons the court gave.

    Finally, even if Behe had said simply, “I do not believe that ID is in any way religious,” the court’s opinion would still be valid and correct. The court observed that Behe believes that ID and religion are entangled. According to you, Behe thinks that ID is, nevertheless, not religious. The court disagreed with Behe’s conclusions, but not his premise. It agreed that ID and religion are entangled, but under the controlling legal standard–which the court was required to apply–such entanglement is enough to make ID “religious.”

    If you disagree, you’ll need to start discussing the legal standards applicable here, which are part and parcel of the court’s analysis. Start by reading Lemon. After your repeated citations to nonexistent testimony, you will need to demonstrate that you truly understand the opinion and its analysis if you want to continue this discussion.

  343. 343

    Learned Hand:
    Permit me to add a few more shoe prints to the deceased horse.

    But Behe did say that ID and religion are intertwined

    Never, ever. He said that people who believe in God find it more plausible, and atheists find it less plausible. The inverse is true of [loosely termed] evolution – atheists find it more plausible. If ID is entwined with belief in God, then evolution is equally entwined with atheism, for the very same reason. Is that not correct?
    With that error the entire line of reasoning fails and the judge’s understanding of the matter is called into question.
    And to emphasize, the plaintiff wrote it. We can’t tell if Jones really didn’t understand what Behe said, or if he just didn’t read everything that went into his own ruling.
    As I said before, I don’t necessarily disagree with the outcome. But the judge needs to understand that his decision is not like a forum post where he can accidentally quote something incorrect and retract it later. People read it and they think it means something.

  344. LH:

    Pace your remarks in 317 above, it is quite evident that there was a gross and evidently calculated misrepresentation of what Mr Behe had to say (and a lot of associated or easily accessible evidence that substantiates Behe’s remarks as fundamentally correct), in a wider context of a long term — frankly, utterly and cynicaly dishonest — agitprop agenda to mischaracterise the nature of Intelligent Design, and even of what science is itself per its history and philosophical investigations thereupon (this last under the label methodological naturalism).

    Now, too, most of those who come here and propagate the talking points of that agenda do so sincerely, having been misled. But, once one rises to a certain level, s/he has a duty of care to the truth and to due diligence before speaking in public on a matter.

    And, on a lot of evidence, the willful (including willfully negligent) mischaracterisation of ID as a politicised, potentially tyrannical religious agenda rather than a legitimate scientific perspective is a keystone plank — not only of this particular case and its decision, but of the whole ACLU-NCSE-NAS-NSTA etc etc agenda to subvert science in service to materialism and its fellow travellers.

    On this I must also note to you, the ACLU wrote 90+% of this aspect of the decision as made.

    (Cf discussion of the strategy of misrepresentation, distortion and demonisation in Section E my always linked, and in the weak argument correctives for this blog, above right.)

    Try to understand what is going to happen when people as a whole wake up one morning and realise that they can no longer trust courts, august institutions of science, professors from major universities etc to present a basic true and fair, balanced view of important matters, or of people connected to such matters. Indeed, that for many such individuals and the institutions they dominate, there is no more to truth or fairness or morality than subjective opinion and balances of power.

    And, when the ordinary Joe Smith in the street understands that significant injustice is now being institutionalised though such distortions.

    Then, reads the history of such days, and tremble.

    Please, please PLEASE try to correct the mess before it is too late; forever — and most likely horrendously bloodily — too late.

    GEM of TKI

  345. 345

    I really am going to stop. But to provide an example:
    My co-worker denied stealing candy from my desk.
    Remarkably and unmistakably she later said that she was eating a piece of candy.
    Notice how I never actually said she stole it, but the use of those words gives that meaning. If didn’t mean to give the wrong impression, why use them?

  346. PS: LH, I ask you to look at the logical chain I have laid out at 303 above, on why a priori worldview and methodological commitments such as Mr Lewontin [A NAS member] confessed to in January 1997 in NYRB, can so bias persons — and the schools of thought and institutions they dominate — that they are unable to hear the force of a legitimate case. And, without reference to “dependence” on being an atheist or a theist. Then compare what Mr Behe actually said with how Judge Jones/the ACLU reports him. I believe you will find abundant reason to see that the “reading” presented in the decision in the name of the court is distorted to the point of being a strawman laced with ad hominem oil and ignited, clouding, confusing and choking the air with hostility.

  347. PPS: LH, as SA just pointed out, YOU are now distorting the issue as well in how you are phrasing it. Please, stop, take a breath, look again at the gap between what Mr Behe said and how you are representing him. (And in that light, you will need to ask whether — by the same standard you just tried to force on SB, you are to be regarded as lacking in basic credibility. Instead, let us acknowledge that we all err,and can correct such errors.)

  348. 348

    ScottAndrews,

    He said that people who believe in God find it more plausible, and atheists find it less plausible. The inverse is true of [loosely termed] evolution – atheists find it more plausible. If ID is entwined with belief in God, then evolution is equally entwined with atheism, for the very same reason. Is that not correct?

    Another interesting point! If one of plaintiff’s witnesses had made Behe’s point in the converse, as you do here, the court might have agreed. But (a) they did not, and (b) it would have been irrelevant. The entanglement would be with (at most) secularism, rather than atheism. (Because there is no direct connection between standard biology and a belief as to the reality of god, as the court found there was (and Johnson, Dembski, Behe, etc. agreed there was) between ID and faith.) There is a long line of cases establishing that schools may teach secular material, even if it conflicts with students’ religious beliefs, so long as it does not directly suppress those beliefs. A very good argument, though. In fact, one that my constitutional law professor once posed to me in class, as part of the Socratic method.

    With that error the entire line of reasoning fails and the judge’s understanding of the matter is called into question.

    Not at all. Partly because there was no error, as discussed above, and partly because the constitutionality of teaching evolution was not at issue. The court was called upon to resolve the issues framed by the parties, and nothing more.

    And to emphasize, the plaintiff wrote it. We can’t tell if Jones really didn’t understand what Behe said, or if he just didn’t read everything that went into his own ruling.

    We know it’s the judge’s opinion. That is, in fact, the legal effect of the adoption, as the Third Circuit makes clear in its opinion permitting such cribbing: the adopted materials become the court’s opinion in every respect. He is responsible for every part of what he puts in his opinion, whoever wrote the words originally – by adopting it, he takes responsibility for any mistake, whether legal, factual, or grammatical. For what it’s worth, the court’s careful consideration and exclusion of parts of the proposed findings is exactly what appellate courts look for in determining whether such copying is reasonable.

    As for your 12:32 comment, I think that’s very inapposite. You’re assuming that the court wants people to read something it didn’t explicitly write – something sneaky and underhanded. I don’t see any support for that at all. It doesn’t fit the context of the paragraph or the section, and isn’t necessary to reach the court’s eventual conclusion. I just don’t see any reason to take the strained, unnecessary reading you’re adopting, especially because “remarkably” and “unmistakably” make perfect sense in the plain, ordinary reading that does fit the context of the statement.

    GEM,

    If you’d like to address the points I provided in demonstrating why it’s ludicrous to call the court’s comment “a keystone plank” of anything, feel free. I will reiterate:

    1. The comment is one observation among several in a single paragraph. The comment is therefore not a “keystone plank” of the paragraph. It is merely one observation among several.

    2. Even if it were, the section is about how an objective observers would perceive ID. 3. The paragraph is an aside about how ID’s advocates, who are not objective observers, see it. The paragraph is therefore not a “keystone plank” of the section. It is merely ancillary support for one part of the section’s analysis.

    3. The section itself is only one part of a sophisticated multipart analysis, which proceeds under between two and four prongs of the Lemon test (and its progeny). The section is significant, but is not a “keystone plank” of that analysis. At most, it is one part of one prong of the test.

    You may address those points if you wish. The closest thing to an argument in your latest comment, however, is that you bolded the words “a keystone plank.” The rest is filler, invective, and adjectives.*

    * To be fair, the “horrendously” in “horrendously bloodily” is technically an adverb. Mea culpa.

  349. Footnote:

    LH and DK, as one who has worked with technological applications of science, I am very familiar with entities for which loss of function (or even going off operating point) for one component will derange the system block and the system as a whole. (Sometimes in maddeningly subtle ways . . . )

    In short, it is a common fact of life for engineered systems to see that they have irreducibly complex cores in which all parts must work and must work together to get basic function. (Peripheral components and redundancy reduce the impact of loss of function for non-core elements.)

    I also note that trial and error is not a good design strategy for such systems, as to get all elements to a mutual operating point is very hard to do. Nor is the idea that sub-systems are functional in themselves a good answer, as the components must be so organised together and so mutually adjusted that they will work together. [Ever had to try to find the RIGHT car part?]

    When therefore I see Mr Behe applying from the insight that many systems in biology are also like that, starting with the flagellum, I see his point that these are going to be poor targets for chance variation plus natural selection; esp as until the system is together in a properly balanced way, it will not work: i.e. until you get to more or less deeply isolated islands of function.

    So, since trial and erro is dependent on being close enough to frull funciton to see how to make the next try, the proposed mechanism will not be very successful.

    Q: Now, kindly explain to me wherein this chain of reasoning I have adverted to theistic metaphysics and institutions or commitments thereto?

    A: Nowhere.

    Sorry, your objection above to Irreducible complexity begs the question and projects the demonising and distorting agitprop; it does not address the issue cogently on its merits.

    GEM of TKI

  350. PS: And, Above LH, I pointed out exactly how this point on distorting Behe is part of the keystone plank of the ideological agenda to distort and demonise design theory. That it happens to be here listed as one point among several does not change that basic and unfortunate fact of life. As for the beginnings of a dangerous breakdown of public trust, simply cf how a lot of people are now very dubious on climate change pronouncements,and on economic policy declarations. Ask yourself why — and it is not because hoi polloi are “ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.” [Do you remember the lady who (apocryphally, I acknowledge) famously said "let them eat cake" and her sad fate? What about the marshal who said of the Ardennes, that it was impassable to tanks (never mind his proviso). Or, the generals who shunted Lenin and co across Germany into russia? Or, the power brokers who thought that a jumped up lance corporal would be manageable in the government. THAT is the kind of history I dread to see us refusing to learn from and so repeating.]

  351. PPS: LH, If you think Judge Jones’ copycat reading on Behe (from ACLU) is an “objective” or fair reading, then that tells us all we need to know. And none of it good.

  352. 352

    LH:

    If one of plaintiff’s witnesses had made Behe’s point in the converse, as you do here, the court might have agreed.

    I searched the transcript and didn’t see where this quote was discussed. Why would the defense preemptively argue against a quote that wasn’t damaging to their position? They wouldn’t know how it had been twisted until they read it in the decision. And it was twisted.
    Behe did say this at trial on day 12:

    And in the same sense, just because intelligent design is compatible with Christian views, or because it makes such views or other theistic views seem more plausible does not mean that intelligent design itself is not a scientific theory.

    Somehow that didn’t make it to the decision.

    there was no error

    He said that Behe doesn’t think what he thinks he thinks. That is an error. Unless he is insane, Behe is the indisputable authority on what he thinks.

    We know it’s the judge’s opinion. That is, in fact, the legal effect of the adoption, as the Third Circuit makes clear in its opinion permitting such cribbing: the adopted materials become the court’s opinion in every respect.

    I’m not disputing whether it’s the court’s opinion or the legality of such copying. I’m saying it’s open to question whether the judge understood the opinion. Yes, I understand what I’m implying. But he’s responsible regardless.

    You’re assuming that the court wants people to read something it didn’t explicitly write – something sneaky and underhanded.

    How suspicious of me to think that ACLU lawyers writing a publicized opinion on a politicized subject would take the opportunity to score some blows. Who has ever heard of such a thing?
    The opinion takes certain statements and first distorts them, and then builds upon that distortion to reach a conclusion not warranted by any evidence and contradicted by testimony. Underhanded is as underhanded does.

  353. 353

    LearnedHand,

    By your continued parsing of this case, you have provided what may be the most compelling exposé to date that Judge Jones was technically over his head and needlessly biased – as you are.

  354. 354

    GEM,

    Your 1:16 comment contained actual content. I hope that, by responding to it, you will slowly become less inclined to take up space with meaningless fluff like “distorted to the point of being a strawman laced with ad hominem oil and ignited, clouding, confusing and choking the air with hostility.”

    The court had this to say about IC:

    We therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large. (17:45-46 (Padian); 3:99 (Miller)). Additionally, even if irreducible complexity had not been rejected, it still does not support ID as it is merely a test for evolution, not design. (2:15, 2:35-40 (Miller); 28:63-66 (Fuller)).

    How is your assertion that IC is nonreligious relevant to that analysis?

    I don’t think that you’re considering the court’s role. Can you explain, in your own words (and please in a paragraph or less – verbosity will not improve communication here) what steps went into the court’s analysis? In other words, can you tell us in your own words what questions the court had to answer, what test it used to answer those questions, and what the elements of that test are?

  355. —-Learned Hand: “As for your comments, you will need to moderate your tone if you want to engage me in a detailed conversation. Your conduct on this thread has not impressed me, and I am not inclined to keep discussing the matter with you. Your comments are becoming increasingly bitter and strident, with no more content to show for it.”

    You will find that the texture of my tone almost always reflects the relevance of the answers to my questions. Thus, when honest questions are followed by honest answers, my tone is remarkably congenial. On the other hand, when questions are avoided or reframed, my tone does tend to reflect that strategy.

    In fact, the court’s opinion about creationism and intelligent design reflected an incredible ignorance of history. It was Judge Jones moral obligation to learn about that history and he simply didn’t bother to do it.

    In fact, creationism or creation science is not at all like intelligent design nor has it ever been. The two theories are radically different.

    Creationism moves forward: that is, it assumes, asserts or accepts something about God and what he has to say about origins; then interprets nature in that context. Intelligent design moves backward: that is, it observes something interesting in nature (complex, specified information) and then theorises and tests possible ways how that might have come to be. Creationism is faith-based; Intelligent Design is empirically-based.

    Each approach has a pedigree that goes back over two thousand years. We notice the “forward” approach in Tertullian, Anselm, and Kierkegaard has been described as “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?” With these thinkers, the investigation was faith-based. By contrast, we discover the “backward” orientation in Aristotle, Aquinas, and Paley. Aristotle’s argument, which begins with “motion in nature” and reasons BACK to a “prime mover” — i.e. from effect to its “best” causal explanation — is obviously empirically based.

    To say then, that Tertullian, Anselm, and Kierrgegard (Creationism) is similar to Aristotle, Aquinas, and Paley (ID) is equivalent to saying forward equals backward. What could be more illogical? Yet, that is your position and it is Judge Jones’ position.

    I am not speculating about these formulations. So, it should be evident to all rational people that those who try to tie the one tradition to the other is either ignorant of history or malicious in their intent.

    It should be equally evident that ID methodology is exactly what Michael Behe says it is. The scientist studies patterns in nature and draws an inference to design. It is, as I say, the “backward approach.” By conflating the two, Judge Jones has done a terrible injustice to all scientists everywhere, and I will not let it pass without comment.

    On the matter of old business, I have already explained, more than once, that, with respect to the problem of “plausibility,” I got the words wrong, but I was referring to a definite exchange that did occur. I expect you to acknowledge that point and move on rather than to declare it as “non-existent,” especially since I followed up with three more examples which show that Michael Behe clearly does not think that ID is religion. If you call those responses “non-existent” again, then you will find that my tone will, once again, become a bit more “strident,” as you say. On thing sure, I feel no need to study the Lemon decision, because it is irrelevant to all of my arguments. That you think otherwise causes me to suspect that you do not appreciate the concept of justice in the abstract.

  356. 356

    Learned Hand:

    Can you explain, in your own words (and please in a paragraph or less – verbosity will not improve communication here) what steps went into the court’s analysis?

    I’d be even more curious to know what analysis the court could perform that results in the same conclusion as the plaintiff’s, word for word. What do we call that, “convergent analysis?” Validity aside, did he not have thoughts of his own?
    And how does rendering judgment on whether ID is religious involve comparing testimony from expert witnesses on disputed scientific questions and declaring a winner?

  357. 357

    SA,

    I searched the transcript and didn’t see where this quote was discussed. Why would the defense preemptively argue against a quote that wasn’t damaging to their position?

    I said that the defense didn’t raise the issue, not that they should have. They shouldn’t have; it was irrelevant. As to whether the quote was discussed, the defense certainly knew it was on the table; it was part of the plaintiffs’ proposed findings of fact. Plaintiffs usually file theirs first, and defendants may rebut.

    He said that Behe doesn’t think what he thinks he thinks. That is an error. Unless he is insane, Behe is the indisputable authority on what he thinks.

    Insanity is hardly the only option. Even reading the phrase as you do, which again I feel is strained and unjustified, the court would more reasonably have simply made a credibility determination. When a witness’s prior writings conflict with his testimony, the court is required to decide which is more likely true. As I said, though, the more natural and fair reading is simply that the court is using “science” in that sentence in the sense that it defines science, not in the sense that Behe defines it (which, famously, would include astrology).

    I’m saying it’s open to question whether the judge understood the opinion. Yes, I understand what I’m implying. But he’s responsible regardless.

    Everything’s open to question. And I appreciate the fact that you are questioning, and thinking, rather than making veiled threats of bloody revolution, as KF has, or empty assertions that this so obviously proves that everyone who disagrees with ID is either stupid or dishonest, as UB has.

    The opinion takes certain statements and first distorts them, and then builds upon that distortion to reach a conclusion not warranted by any evidence and contradicted by testimony.

    And now we’re sliding back into arguing by fiat. We haven’t even begun to discuss the evidence; we’re still quibbling over two sentences in an opinion over one hundred pages long. As for distortions, I note that Behe doesn’t seem to think there was one, going by his response to the opinion. As for the opinion being “contradicted by testimony,” I’d remind you that every trial verdict is “contradicted by testimony.” If there wasn’t testimony on both sides, there wouldn’t be a trial.

    Behe’s testimony just wasn’t persuasive – and why should it have been? He was refuted by experts who brought a mountain of supporting literature to the table, that Behe couldn’t match. He had to admit that he doesn’t engage in the scientific literature, doesn’t have his work peer-reviewed, and doesn’t bother to conduct the experiments that he testified could validate his work. That’s exactly the sort of thing courts look to in resolving conflicts among experts, because they aren’t qualified to dig into the underlying merits of technical matters. It’s more a credibility determination than anything else. Courts aren’t there to promote radical outsiders into the inner circle of the scientific community. It needs to work the other way around – convince scientists first, and the civic machinery will follow.

  358. 358

    StephenB,

    On thing sure, I feel no need to study the Lemon decision, because it is irrelevant to all of my arguments.

    Then we’re done. If the facts of the matter are not relevant to your arguments, then your arguments are not relevant to me. You cannot understand the opinion, or even whether the court did its job properly, without understanding the binding precedent that dictated the elements of its analysis. You’ve drawn a line around the things you’re willing to learn about, which is honest of you, but it excludes you from an educated conversation about the Dover case.

    SA,

    You keep complaining about the court’s use of the proposed findings of fact, but I don’t have any new answers. It happens all the time. Higher courts don’t like it, because it can make appellate review a pain in the ass, but the appellate court that sits atop Dover explicitly permits the practice. Heck, even the parts that are written by the court are often actually drafted by the clerks and/or cribbed from earlier opinions. Trial dockets are just too full to ask the court to write every opinion from scratch. If judges had to write every page of every opinion themselves, we’d still be waiting for Scopes to get published.

    And how does rendering judgment on whether ID is religious involve comparing testimony from expert witnesses on disputed scientific questions and declaring a winner?

    You’ve asked some very good questions in this thread. This is not one of them. The court explains this in detail. I commend the opinion to you as a very clear and cogent explanation of why this analysis was necessary. It’s one thing to disagree with that analysis, but you should at least be familiar with it before asking such a basic question.

  359. 359

    Learned Hand:
    Now I’m resorting to bold. Read this sentence:
    Professor Behe’s assertion constitutes substantial evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID is a religious and not a scientific proposition.
    This is not a strained reading. The court states that in Behe’s view, ID is religious and not scientific. One must strain only to read it any other way.
    Behe testified that ID was scientific, and the court said, A) you’re wrong, and B) that isn’t even your view.

  360. 360

    Learned Hand:

    The court explains this in detail. I commend the opinion to you as a very clear and cogent explanation of why this analysis was necessary.

    I disagree. If this were a religious issue, would the court collect testimony and then issue a ruling on the correct interpretation of scripture?
    The court is not qualified to examine two detailed hypotheses and determine which is correct. Neither is anyone else. If expert witnesses testify that one is correct, the court can assess which view is held by the majority, but not the validity of either. Regardless of need or reason, the court may not proclaim that ID is not science.
    In doing so the court denied the existence of peer-reviewed research papers, while later citing the existence of research papers claiming to refute them.
    I refer again and again to the use of the plaintiff’s proposal not only because it was so slanted, but also because quoting it in such detail suggests that the judge adopted every facet of the plaintiff’s complex position wholesale with no thought of his own. Such thinking, or even the appearance of it, is a poison that taints the entire proceeding, and, in my opinion, disgraces the judge.

  361. 361

    Kariosfocus

    Try to understand what is going to happen when people as a whole wake up one morning and realise that they can no longer trust courts, august institutions of science, professors from major universities etc to present a basic true and fair, balanced view of important matters, or of people connected to such matters.

    Um, have you ever considered the idea that you simply might be wrong?

    I mean, if the courts are against you, the professors from major and minor universities are against you, the vast majority of scientists are against you then perhaps you might simply be wrong? That would appear to be the parsimonious answer that occams razor would suggest is right.

    A vast global conspiracy? Or a simple misunderstanding of probability relating to biology?

    I mean, if you are right then one would expect that, as in every other single case since time began, you would be proven right eventually.

    How long will you give it without being proven right before you consider changing your mind?

    10 years?

    20 years?

    50 years?

  362. 362

    StephenB

    In fact, creationism or creation science is not at all like intelligent design nor has it ever been. The two theories are radically different.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Of_Pandas_and_People

    In a new draft of Pandas, approximately 150 uses of the root word “creation”, such as “creationism” and “creationist”, were systematically changed to refer to intelligent design,[23] The definition remained essentially the same, with “intelligent design” substituted for “creation”, and “intelligent creator” changed to “intelligent agency”:

    The term “creationists” was changed to “design proponents”, but in one case the beginning and end of the original word “creationists” were accidentally retained, so that “creationists” became “cdesign proponentsists”.
    The basic metabolic pathways (reaction chains) of nearly all organisms are the same. Is this because of descent from a common ancestor, or because only these pathways (and their variations) can sustain life? Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view

    If these two theories are “radically different” then why can a search and replace turn a creationist book into an intelligent design book?

  363. —Learned Hand: “Then we’re done.

    In other words, you aren’t open to the truth. Well, that’a fine, because I don’t need you to participate in order refute your errors.

    —-”If the facts of the matter are not relevant to your arguments, then your arguments are not relevant to me.”

    It is you that are running away from the facts, and it you who are ignorant of history.

    ___”You cannot understand the opinion, or even whether the court did its job properly, without understanding the binding precedent that dictated the elements of its analysis.”

    I understand the opinion all too well, but you are incapable of looking at it through any other than your postmodernist lens. I know a great deal about the law, and, contrary to your misguided opinion, I know a great deal about the law, it is the process that is supposed to serve justice and not the other way around. You have yet to learn that.

    ]\—-”You’ve drawn a line around the things you’re willing to learn about, which is honest of you, but it excludes you from an educated conversation about the Dover case.”

    It is not I that needs educating, as I made clear in my last post. You don’t answer objections or confront the intellectual points of interest. You simply pour forth from you myoopic jurisprudential paradigm, which, as it turns out, has no familiarity with justice at all. “If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” You have but one tool.

  364. Echidna Levy:

    —-”The term “creationists” was changed to “design proponents”, but in one case the beginning and end of the original word “creationists” were accidentally retained, so that “creationists” became “cdesign proponentsists”

    What is it about these Darwinists that render them impervious to reason. The scenario you have copied from Barbara Forrest didn’t happen. It is so funny when folks like you try to send someone like my to an intellectually banrupt site like Pandas Thumb to “learn something.” I have a bit of homework for you.

    —-In a new draft of Pandas, approximately 150 uses of the root word “creation”, such as “creationism” and “creationist”, were systematically changed to refer to intelligent design,[23] The definition remained essentially the same, with “intelligent design” substituted for “creation”, and “intelligent creator” changed to “intelligent agency”:”

    Will someone please educate this man about the Pandas and People time line and explain to him that the editing process had nothing whatsoever to do with any attempt to change the substance of the book.

    —”The term “creationists” was changed to “design proponents”, but in one case the beginning and end of the original word “creationists” were accidentally retained, so that “creationists” became “cdesign proponentsists”.

    Have you ever read a book from cover to cover. Do you have any idea how hard it would be to change a creationist book into a ID book by just changinsg 150 words when the book itself contains probably between 50,000 and 100,000 words? Doesn’t anybody ever think any more?

    —-”If these two theories are “radically different” then why can a search and replace turn a creationist book into an intelligent design book?”

    Because a creationist book was not turned into an intelligent design textbook.

  365. @363: “I know a great deal about the law, and, contrary to your misguided opinion, it is the process that is supposed to serve justice and not the other way around.”

  366. 366

    StephenB

    The scenario you have copied from Barbara Forrest didn’t happen.

    Yes, it did. What’s your thoughts for the origin of the term?

    It is so funny when folks like you try to send someone like my to an intellectually banrupt site like Pandas Thumb to “learn something.” I have a bit of homework for you.

    What’s funnier is that I gave no link to Pandas Thumb. I guess you never even clicked on the link.

    Will someone please educate this man about the Pandas and People time line and explain to him that the editing process had nothing whatsoever to do with any attempt to change the substance of the book.

    You have that exactly right. The “editing” process did not change the substance of the book at all.

    Have you ever read a book from cover to cover. Do you have any idea how hard it would be to change a creationist book into a ID book by just changinsg 150 words when the book itself contains probably between 50,000 and 100,000 words? Doesn’t anybody ever think any more?

    Yet it happened! And it’s a matter of public record.

    Because a creationist book was not turned into an intelligent design textbook.

    Yet that’s the way it happened.

    As you seem to be a fan of Barbara Forrest here is the relevant quote

    In the first 1987 draft, which is the pre-Edwards draft, the definition of creation reads this way “Creation means that various forms of life began abruptly, through the agency of an intelligent creator, with their distinctive features already intact: fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, et cetera.” The same definition in this draft, after the Edwards decision, reads this way: “Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact: fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, et cetera.” Same definition, just one is worded in terms of creationism, the other one worded in terms of intelligent design.

    All you have to do is prove that the 1987 draft did not have the word “creation” and the later draft did not have the words “intelligent design” instead of “creation”.

    If it “did not happen” that will be a simple task, no? It’s a plain simple matter of fact. Two drafts, slightly different words. How can you even begin to disupte that?

  367. 367

    SA,

    Yes, I understand how you’re reading the sentence. I don’t agree. The court is saying that Behe believes X, which makes ID religious and not science under the court’s use of those terms. I know you don’t see it that way. I don’t know how much more meat there is to that argument.

    I disagree. If this were a religious issue, would the court collect testimony and then issue a ruling on the correct interpretation of scripture?

    If the correct reading of scripture was at issue (it can almost never be, given certain 1st Amendment rules, but there are exceptions), it would be handled the same way Dover was: call experts, listen to their testimony, do a credibility determination, and go with the more credible expert. Same as if the correct reading of a technical diagram was at issue. It’s the only way courts can make rulings that hinge on technical, academic, or abstruse matters on which experts must opine.

    The court is not qualified to examine two detailed hypotheses and determine which is correct.

    No, but the experts are – or at least as close as any decisionmaking body can ever get. The court chooses between the experts. That’s why Behe’s cross examination was such a disaster for the defense – it eviscerated their arguments on ID by destroying his credibility.

    If expert witnesses testify that one is correct, the court can assess which view is held by the majority, but not the validity of either.

    Yes, that’s pretty much correct. And when the court must choose between one or the other, that’s generally how the decision is made. That’s more or less what happened at Dover, and why ID cannot succeed in court without getting their arguments out of self-referential religious presses and into scientific literature.

    In doing so the court denied the existence of peer-reviewed research papers, while later citing the existence of research papers claiming to refute them.

    Citation, please?

    quoting it in such detail suggests that the judge adopted every facet of the plaintiff’s complex position wholesale with no thought of his own.

    OK. But if you read the rules on the subject, appellate courts actually have to make determinations about exactly this point. And the standard they apply is, did the court show independent reasoning? The usual test is whether the court adopted the proposal wholesale, or combed through it and cut individual proposed findings–that demonstrates independent assessment of each one. And that’s exactly what the court did here. It didn’t just lift the plaintiffs’ proposal wholesale – it cut it apart and pulled out the findings it wanted to adopt. If it hadn’t done so, we’d have the exact same results in the case, just with an opinion that was worded slightly differently and took two or three weeks longer to write.

    Such thinking, or even the appearance of it, is a poison that taints the entire proceeding, and, in my opinion, disgraces the judge.

    Again, OK. I’m not trying to minimize your outrage–I’m of the school of thought that it’s wonderful for the public to engage with the courts, even if I don’t like their opinions. If it’s of any interest to you, that outrage is basically limited to people who are frustrated that ID lost. I’ve discussed the case with several attorneys (including a judge on Jones’s level) who don’t give a damn about ID one way or the other, and heard just two comments: the defendants never had a chance, given their sleazy clients, and Pepper Hamilton did a great job. (The cross examination of Behe has been used as an example of really excellent trial advocacy, and is the most common reason people who don’t care about ID know about the case.) I’ve never heard anyone other than an ID supporter criticize the court for its opinion. I’m not saying that you’re wrong to be outraged, or that there’s nothing to criticize, but all the things that have you so worked up – especially the adoption of the findings of fact – are fairly trivial nonissues to people used to reading opinions and going to court.

    If you really want to dig into the case, you’re going to need to move into the deeper analyses. Tearing apart one or two sentences is easy, but it’s never going amount to a substantive critique. If you want to move into that heavier analysis, the Thomas Moore briefs would be a good place to start. That will give you some idea of what legal arguments were being made, and what issues the court was really tackling. You might contrast their post-trial memos (if there were any, I’m not sure how the D. Pa. does things) with Pepper Hamilton’s to see what the court was looking at when it wrote the opinion.

  368. Echidna Levy:

    —-”If it “did not happen” that will be a simple task, no? It’s a plain simple matter of fact. Two drafts, slightly different words. How can you even begin to disupte that?”

    The Barbara Forrest fantasy has been roundly refuted. If you have an interest in the facts, check out,

    “Response to Barbara Forrest’s Kitzmiller account in eight parts.”

    On the other hand, if you prefer to indulge in Barbara’s bedtime story, who am I to discourage you.

  369. 369

    Response to Barbara Forrest’s Kitzmiller account in eight parts.

    Actually it’s more than eight parts, and only one part deals with Of Pandas and People: Part V. But why start expecting correctness now?

    Anyway, Part V shows how a couple of parts of early drafts of OPAP tries to get around creationism in a creationist text through a few weak maneuvers, but does not deal at all with Forrest’s account of the cut-and-paste substitution after 1987.
    The only thing certain after reading Luskin’s “refutation” is that the authors of OPAP (both of whom are young-earth creationists) worried that the text would not pass legal muster even before Edwards and were seeking ways to keep it out of trouble.

  370. Learned Hand,

    Me: “He could never state that the AMOUNT of data makes this an insufficient science”

    You: “I don’t think that argument would hold water in a court of law; are you basing this off of any legal standard, or is this just the way you think things should work?

    Let me tell you how law works. If you don’t have the law, you argue facts, if you don’t have the facts, you argue law. OF COURSE what I say could hold water. Law isn’t so cut and dry. Your opinion that a lower circuit judge doesn’t have the authority to rule on such a precedent could be argued that it’s not a significant precedent, or not a precedent at all. Come on you know this, the law is not a science. If the judge ruled in favor of ID it could be appealed to a higher court where they would give THEIR opinion. You have no recourse to absolutes here.

  371. 371

    lamarck to Learned Hand: “Let me tell you how law works.”
    I believe Mr. Hand is a lawyer.

  372. David, I’d like something I can bite into. For example. “Lamarck you’re wrong because of the following”.

  373. 373

    lamarck, I don’t really have a stake in your argument with LH. I just thought your tone was off, given his incredible patience and obvious expertise.

    I’m not an attorney (I am married to one). My lay view on precedent is this: I do think lower courts are bound by precedent. Sure they can just rule against precedent and get humiliated by the appeals court again and again, but there’s more satisfaction in taking the law as it stands seriously.

  374. —David: “Another favorite moment of self-praise from StephenB! Thanks: you are a source of endless amusement.”

    I love to get a rise out of postmodernists with a little bravado. Hyperskeptics go wacko when someone presumes to know something. I knew you would bite.

  375. 375

    StephenB, thanks for quoting that too. Someone thought it should be deleted.

  376. —David Kellogg: “Actually it’s more than eight parts, and only one part deals with Of Pandas and People: Part V. But why start expecting correctness now?”

    Speaking of correctness, you were going to tell me how irreducible complexity is inextricably tied to creationism. Are you ready to take that up now?

  377. —-David: “StephenB, thanks for quoting that too. Someone thought it should be deleted.

    Oh, you mean your latest unprovoked attack? Whoever deleted it probably realizes that you are trying to start another flame war. That is why I have recommended several times that we simply stop speaking to each other and about each other.

  378. 378

    Learned Hand:
    Despite the debate, which I do for my own personal enjoyment, I don’t have a very great interest in the decision, as I’ve said. (I have no interest in seeing creationism taught in schools.) That’s why I dispense with detailed analysis and limit myself to picking at a very small part of the text in which the judge borrowed language carefully crafted by biased individuals to mislead and deceive. I believe it could only be missed by one’s determination not to see it.
    As for ID’s entanglement with religion, I’m perplexed that Behe and others don’t attempt to keep it at arm’s length. Half the challenge facing ID is to convince the opposition that it’s not religious. While it’s Behe’s and everyone else’s right to express their religious beliefs, it reinforces the inaccurate perception that ID is inherently religious.

  379. ScottAndrews I think Behe was wise to keep religion close as possible to ID so he can bring front burner a back burner argument; that motives matter.

  380. —David: “Anyway, Part V shows how a couple of parts of early drafts of OPAP tries to get around creationism in a creationist text through a few weak maneuvers, but does not deal at all with Forrest’s account of the cut-and-paste substitution after 1987.”

    Nope, that is a manifestly untruthful statement. All the early drafts rejected creationism as defined by the courts. Creationism once had an all inclusive meaning, but when the Edwards decision came out, it came to mean something similar to creation science. So, the draft had to be changed since the new legal definition of creationism excluded intelligent design, which was, and always had been, the theme of the book. Anyone who reads the defining opening paragraph of the book would know that. It’s ID through and through.

  381. 381

    Lamarck, I’d love to argue with you, but I really and truly don’t have any idea what this means:

    Your opinion that a lower circuit judge doesn’t have the authority to rule on such a precedent could be argued that it’s not a significant precedent, or not a precedent at all.

    My opinion could be argued? Huh? If you’ll restate your premise, we can get down to brass tacks.

  382. 382
    CannuckianYankee

    E Levy,

    “If the courts are against you, the professors from major and minor universities are against you, the vast majority of scientists are against you then perhaps you might simply be wrong? That would appear to be the parsimonious answer that occams razor would suggest is right.”

    I wonder how many times something similar to the above was stated to a Jew in Nazi Germany.

    Societies as a whole can be worng. If the world were perfect and society could do no wrong, then to stand up to the courts, the professors, the experts, etc, would seem illogical and in fact wrong, but such is not the case.

    So based on history, and parsimony I might add, you are utterly wrong about this.

  383. —–Learned Hand to kairosfocus: “We therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large. (17:45-46 (Padian); 3:99 (Miller)). Additionally, even if irreducible complexity had not been rejected, it still does not support ID as it is merely a test for evolution, not design. (2:15, 2:35-40 (Miller); 28:63-66 (Fuller))”.

    —–“How is your assertion that IC is nonreligious relevant to that analysis?”

    What kind of a nonsensical response is that? His assertion is relevant insofar as he is declaring that the so-called experts don’t know what they are talking about. I provided you with a brief history of creation science and ID several posts ago and you ignored it. How is it that you elevate expertise over reason even when experts abandon reason? Why do you elevate the process through which justice is to be administered over justice itself? Where did you get the idea that consensus opinion matters more than truth. Truly, you have a very strange way of looking at the world.

    —-][to kairosfocus]: “I don’t think that you’re considering the court’s role. Can you explain, in your own words (and please in a paragraph or less – verbosity will not improve communication here) what steps went into the court’s analysis? In other words, can you tell us in your own words what questions the court had to answer, what test it used to answer those questions, and what the elements of that test are?”

    There you go again—elevating the process of justice over justice itself. What is your standard for justice? Indeed, do you even know what I am talking about? Is it your contention that everything is right if the process goes like clockwork? Does truth matter to you at all? In your own words, can you tell us how you get from “irreducible complexity” to religion? Do you even know what irreducible complexity is? Clearly, Judge Jones did not know what it was even after the man who conceived it tried to explain it to him. What kind of a mental mediocrity like Judge Jones characterizes “irreducible complexity” as religious without even knowing what it is?

  384. StephenB (376),

    “Speaking of correctness, you were going to tell me how irreducible complexity is inextricably tied to creationism. Are you ready to take that up now?”

    And are you ready to give us the answer to the “rocks on Mars” question you posed?

  385. Learned Hand, it’s
    “Your opinion that a lower circuit judge doesn’t have the authority to rule on such a precedent could be argued AGAINST, BY SAYING that it’s not a significant precedent, or not a precedent at all.” if that clarifies.

    This is part of my point that the law is elastic to a degree. But don’t take my bringing this up to mean I think ID could have squirmed it’s way into schools despite the laws. ID has the only case to be made, in fact and in law, the other side only has distortions.

    This court DID give a unique precedent setting interpretation of the church and state seperation. This ruling in effect states that in the future were ID to have an even better case for a designer, it still wouldn’t be allowed in schools, because science class cannot infer a designer even if it becomes apparent through science that there is one.

    As I went over in the original post, the judge’s ruling wasn’t about the quality or quantity of evidence indeed making this a science or not; but that science itself (when teaching in school) cannot infer non-material causation despite even overwhelming evidence. It could be a total “god or aliens lock” universally accepted by scientists. Every person on earth at once could proclaim that with certainty it’s god or aliens. But if intelligence is inferred, it isn’t allowed in schools.

    THIS is the judges decision. This IS NOT Jefferson’s intention regarding church and state separation.

    This is because he doesn’t understand why the separation was placed in the constitution in the first place. The state with all it’s brute force has traditionally used the church, or the other way around, to abuse people. It was an important bulwark against ignorance. This is a whole separate subject than ID in schools.

    Upon close inspection ID science has zero to do with religion. In fact ID SCIENCE would have to stop at the point of “meeting god” and RELIGION would have to take over. Because ID is only a process for how to get there, to track god’s or aliens handiwork, or technically to track intelligence itself. An Indian uses tracking to track an animal. Upon finding an animal, he uses a different skill with a bow and arrow.

    So this is an example of how ID isn’t combining church and state.

    Another example is: Would Jefferson, upon learning about CSI and genetic entropy, deem this unworthy of a science money grant from the state, which happens all the time, on the grounds of church and state separation? Or is the intent of church and state separation being perverted to some quasi-religious end instead, through the neodarwinists?

  386. 386

    This IS NOT Jefferson’s intention regarding church and state separation.

    This IS NOT Jefferson’s intention regarding church and state separation.

    This IS NOT Jefferson’s intention regarding church and state separation.

  387. StephenB (308),

    “Nope, that is a manifestly untruthful statement. All the early drafts rejected creationism as defined by the courts. Creationism once had an all inclusive meaning, but when the Edwards decision came out, it came to mean something similar to creation science. So, the draft had to be changed since the new legal definition of creationism excluded intelligent design, which was, and always had been, the theme of the book. Anyone who reads the defining opening paragraph of the book would know that. It’s ID through and through.”

    Nope, totally wrong. The early drafts given by the publishers under subpoena had this defintion of “creation”:

    “Creation means that the various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent creator with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc.”

    and the 1987 published edition of “Pandas” had this defintion of “intelligent design”:

    “Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, wings, etc.”

    Note that the only differences between the definitions are that “creation” has been replaced by “intellgent design” and “creator” by “agency”. Therefore, the “Pandas” author showed that “creation” and “intelligent design” are synonymous because HE USED THE TWO TERMS TO MEAN EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

    The one thing I would agree with you on is that “Pandas” is ID through and through. It is; but that is because ID is creation, as the “Pandas” drafts themselves show.

  388. LH:

    Please mark the distinction between appeal to “modesty” in the face of alleged authority — complete with the disgraceful courtroom stunt of a stack of documents not examined on the merits but presented as if a mere stack of paper constitutes a refutation — and addressing a case on the merits. (Mr Behe very properly and correctly insisted in the court — in the teeth of attempts to lock him down to a rhetorically twist-able yes/no — on specifying on Oct 19, that: “I mean detailed rigorous accounts for complex molecular machines, not just either hypothetical accounts or sequence comparisons or such things.” That is, there is NO case in the peer review literature circa either 1996 or today [2009], in which an evidently IC system in the biological world has been shown to have been arrived at by Darwinian mechanisms, in due technical details as opposed to mere speculations and Lewontinian just-so stories. And picking he part of the blood clotting cascade that Behe did not have in mind does not count, nor does Miller’s attempt to suggest that the TTSS is somehow ancestral to the flagellum (of which it is more credibly derivative).)

    Now, in 354 [and reference to comment number is more useful than to time] — ignoring irrelevant red herrings led out to strawmen soaked in ad hominems and ignited to cloud and confuse issues and polarise the atmosphere — you say:

    The court had this to say about IC:

    We therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large. (17:45-46 (Padian); 3:99 (Miller)). Additionally, even if irreducible complexity had not been rejected, it still does not support ID as it is merely a test for evolution, not design. (2:15, 2:35-40 (Miller); 28:63-66 (Fuller)).

    I respond:

    1 –> At 303 (and previous posts and in my always linked) I have presented the substance of what I have to say, including the logic of how today’s guardians of the institutions can misperceive the actual strength on the merits of a case as they are committed — which has been abundantly documented — to methodological and/or metaphysical naturalism.

    2 –> This, you have failed to address as requested, even after i specifically askesd you to address it. It answers to the point raised by Behe and shows why he is right. So, as at now, the point I made in 303 stands uncontested; namely that by a priori commitment to methodological and/or metaphysical materialism, the guardians of the old order are so biased that they dismiss the design inference in the teeth of its substance on the merits. And, they find themselves swallowing many an absurdity whole as a direct result (as Lewontin confesses to).

    3 –> Now, too, the citation is not an analysis. As my highlights show, it is an improper appeal to the authority and power of those who happen to dominate scientific institutions just now.

    4 –> The appeal rests on the ACLU/NCSE mischaracterisation of the nature of the inference from Irreducible Complexity to design. This strawman distortion fails to address the facts that (i) IC is a KNOWN product of design (as I showed in 349). It is also shown there (ii) that IC is not a reasonable expected result of chance variation + natural selection, on search resource exhaustion. So, (iii) on INFERENCE TO BEST EXPLANATION, IC is a good positive sign of design.

    5 –> That you evidently failed to recognise and address an inference to best explanation [the root of epistemological warrant in science, esp. origins science] but cited a dismissive appeal to authority strongly suggests that you do not really understand the isseus at stake on design theory.

    6 –> On the authorities cited, Mr Padian is a leader of the NCSE, and Mr Miller a well known design theory opponent. (I am not sure on Fuller’s identity.) These are not going to be sources of balanced objective opinion.

    7 –> Mr Miller’s “classic” argument is that in effect because a subset of the gene set for the flagellum can be used to build a toxin injector [TTSS], then the flagellum is not irreducibly complex as parts can be co-opted to form it. this fails to understand that generic parts have to be mutually adjusted to work together, and fails to appreciate that to have one sub-assembly does not a case make. Worse, the TTSS is evidently derivative of the flagellum (on its context of allowing one class of bacteria to prey on eukaryote cells). And, when a complex program contains a working sub program, for a significantly diverse task, that makes it MORE, not less complex and constrained.

    8 –> Mr Padian, sadly, specialises in misrepresenting design theory, e.g. in his Nature article on Dover related matters, he mischaracterised the design inference as an inference to the supernatural (as opposed to an inference to best explanation from reliable signs of intelligent action to the presence of such design; having first shown why law and chance are not credible explanations), and lied — since a list of just such papers and books was presented at the trial that is what his false declaration has to be — that ID research has not passed peer review [a lie that is embedded in the Dover decision]. He also cites dubious rebuttals as though they were refutations.

    [ . . . ]

  389. 9 –> The [Steve] Fuller I can find relevant to the case is a sociology prof from U of Warwickshire who spoke for the defense. He holds a PhD in history and phil of science [so has some claim to expertise on what science is or is not . . . ], and some key remarks from him on the matter — per transcript, Dover — are:

    The one chapter of my Ph.D. that I ever published is, in fact, a chapter of this book. And it’s on consensus formation in science. And one of the things that I address there, which I do think is relevant to the case [i.e. Dover], is how exactly does consensus form in the scientific community.

    Given that there are many scientists working in many different locations, how does one get a sense that there is a dominant theory or paradigm operating at any given point. And my view on this, which I developed, is, in fact, there is never — it’s very rare to actually find a decision point where you say, well, some crucial test has been done, and this theory has been shown to be true, and this one has been shown to be false.

    But rather, what you have is kind of a statistical drift in allegiances among people working in the scientific community over time, and especially if you add to it generational change. What you end up getting is kind of a, what Thomas Kuhn would call, a paradigm shift; that is to say that, where over a relatively short period of time, simply by virtue of the fact that the new people come in with new assumptions and new ideas, that you actually do get a massive shift, but not necessarily because there’s ever been any decisive moment where someone has proven one theory to be true and another theory to be false . . . .

    one of the points that I make very much up front is that, if you want to identify something as a science, it’s going to be very difficult to identify it purely in terms of what the practitioners do, okay, because, in fact, if you look at the various fields that we normally call science, ranging from physics to chemistry to biology and including many of the social sciences and so forth, people are doing vastly different things even within the disciplines themselves.

    So there’s a sense in which one can grant that there’s a lot of technical expertise required of people who do science and get trained in science, but that in itself does not explain the thing being science. There’s something in addition. Okay. And that has to do with the way in which this body of knowledge called science relates to the larger society.

    And in a sense, the question then becomes, how does science establish this kind of authority? And it’s in this context that issues like testability, some of the issues that have been arising in this trial, are, in fact, quite important and, in fact, then serve as a kind of umbrella notion for understanding the way in which vastly different practices are relating to the larger society . . . .

    Q. Does the text Governance of Science speak to the role of peer review in science?

    A. Well, yes. And one of the things that it says is that, while the scientific community is nominally governed by a peer review process, as a matter of fact, relatively few scientists ever participate in it.

    So if one were to look at the structure of science from a sort of, you might say, political science standpoint, and ask, well, what kind of regime governs science, it wouldn’t be a democracy in the sense that everyone has an equal say, or even that there are clear representative bodies in terms of which the bulk of the scientific community, as it were, could turn to and who would then, in turn, be held accountable.

    There is a tendency, in fact, for science to be governed by a kind of, to put it bluntly, self-perpetuating elite.

    10 –> In short, he gives precisely the picture of science that we need to address and provide correction on. A self-perpetuating elite is another name for a nobility, LH; and such are notoriously prone to the domination of narrow interests, who may well be riding on agendas that are antithetical to the truth much less the interests of the community as a whole. So, citing fuller as if he supports the agenda of Padian and Miller is HIGHLY misleading on the part of ACLU/Judge Jones.

    11 –> On the other major design inference sign of intelligence, I note that functionally specific, complex information is a known artifact and reliable sign of design on cases of direct observation (without exception) AND that again on search resource exhaustion grounds, it is maximally improbable for chance + necessity to access islands of function once we cross the threshold of some 1,000 bits of storage [~ 500 DNA base pairs]. So, on inference to best explanation, design is the well warranted inference on seeing FSCI.

    12 –> Taking up the flagellum, it has about 30 – 40 or so proteins, forming a self-assembling outboard motor (and using some associated enzymes etc). Proteins average out at 300 aa residues. Using just 150, and multiplying, we see 30 * 150 = 4,500 aa’s, requiring 135,000 co-ordinated DNA bases. this information is far beyond the threshold of complexity where the search resources of our observed cosmos across its lifespan will not credibly be able to sample enough of the configuration space to make it even remotely plausible that chance + necessity can get TO the shores of an island of function, from which evolutionary mechanisms could in principle trigger hill climbing through differential reproductive success.

    13 –> Observe, again, this is not a theological argument — a God of the gaps appeal or anything like that. it is an empirically anchored inference to best explanation. Design is the ONLY observed source of FSCI and IC, AND chance (the other source of high contingency outcomes) and/or lawlike regularities of nature tracing to mechanical necessity (which gives rise to low contingency outcomes relative to specified starting conditions) are not credible candidates to explain such.

    _______________

    In short, the dismissal attempt by appeal to institutional authority fails.

    GEM of TKI

  390. EL, re 361:

    I mean, if the courts are against you, the professors from major and minor universities are against you, the vast majority of scientists are against you then perhaps you might simply be wrong? That would appear to be the parsimonious answer that occams razor would suggest is right.

    A vast global conspiracy? Or a simple misunderstanding of probability relating to biology?

    Please, first read what Mr Fuller had to say, as I have just now excerpted, on how science works, acquires credibility and power, and how it perpetuates it. Science works by an elite gaining and holding power; which can work AGAINST the truth and the right, especially when the truth and the right are in the hands of the relatively weak. (NB: Darwin was a Toff, a member of the elites of his day.)

    Second, by the very nature of the case, there is no need for a CONSPIRACY, just a tyranny of elite dominated pseudo-consensus [the classic "thesis"]. then, as enough weight of anomalies arises, minor paradigms come up [Antitheses], leading to conflict and possibly revolutionary transformation [novel synthesis].

    That oft repeated pattern — in major institutions and in society as a whole, BTW — is why there have been some pretty contentious scientific revolutions across time, including the one that set up modern science.

    But, more to the point, the issue is to be settled on the merits; not by appeal to elite authorities and the partyline. [And, yes, I take a "marxian" view of what happened to Communism in E Europe at the turn of the 1990's . . . And, I am very familiar from my own uni days, with how adherents of a dying ideology operate. I see some very, very familiar signs . . . ]

    So, why not take up that case,and provide a good summary on the facts and logic that shows why there are no empirically reliable signs of intelligence and/or why FSCI and/or IC etc are not such credible signs of intelligence, thee observation of which grounds a well warranted inference to design?

    Similarly, why not take apart my logical analysis at 303 above, on why commitment to an ideology can warp ability to evaluate the objective warrant for an opposed case?

    In sum, if one at first accepts P and sees that P => Q, but is committed to F where F => NOT-Q, then one will be inclined to reject P by inferring F => NOT-Q, NOT-Q so NOT-P. But if NOT-P then implies absurdities, F is in deep trouble.

    I hold — and I believe I can justify — that Evolutionary Materialism and the imposition of its handmaiden, methodological naturalism, on science, censors science from being an unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) search for the truth about our world based on empirical evidence and reasoned discussion among the informed. [Note, I do not say "the certificated" and/or "the credentialled."]

    Let us remember Mr Lewontin’s remarks in NYRB, 1997 — by a duly card-carrying member of the NAS, the elite of the elites in science:

    Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    EL, what does this tell you about what some of the elites of science may be thinking and doing in our time?

    Do you see why I fear that a breakdown of respect for authorities and the governing structures that they inhabit may ensue across our science dominated civilisation; with unpredictable — but, historically, usually bloodily horrendous — consequences?

    GEM of TKI

  391. PS: EL, re Pandas:

    1 –> Pandas was not the foundational ID book — Thaxton et al’s TMLO, 1984 was (and — surprise, this did not appear in the [show?] trial, guess why . . . )

    2 –> In TMLO, it was made plain in the epilogue that the design inference on OOL [the subject of the book] could not infer to the locus of the creator of observed life being within or beyond the cosmos.

    3 –> Thaxton [and kenyon] worked on the second book, a popular level supplementary textbook, Pandas, later on. In that book as published — and as was submitted to the Dover court but ignored in the rush to unjust judgement — they went on record as follows:

    This book has a single goal: to present data from six areas of science that bear on the central question of biological origins. We don’t propose to give final answers, nor to unveil The Truth. Our purpose, rather, is to help readers understand origins better, and to see why the data may be viewed in more than one way. (Of Pandas and People, 2nd ed. 1993, pg. viii) . . . .

    Today we recognize that appeals to intelligent design may be considered in science, as illustrated by current NASA search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Archaeology has pioneered the development of methods for distinguishing the effects of natural and intelligent causes. We should recognize, however, that if we go further, and conclude that the intelligence responsible for biological origins is outside the universe (supernatural) or within it, we do so without the help of science. (pg. 126-127, emphasis added)

    4 –> Furthermore, it should be obvious that when one edits a work, the resulting reading is the preferred one. Thaxton et al — and FTE was not permitted to defend itself at Dover [ = silenced, caricatured and condemned in absentia] — make it plain that hey were UNHAPPY with the term Creation or creationism, and sought a different term to represent their own views.

    5 –> On hearing I think it was a NASA scientist use the term in a workshop, Thaxton et al then found that the term Intelligent Design better expressed their view than precious ones. Thus, the replacement of an unacceptable term by a better one.

    6 –> The specific locus of concern was that they were primarily interested in directly observable empirical evidence on origins of life and biodiversity, and where it pointed; not in duelling interpretations of Genesis etc [whatever one may consider if one accepts that ancient book as a record of Creation].

    7 –> in that context of diverse foci, SB is correct to point out that mere shft in tems will not change a Creationist book into a Design theory book; far more substantial changes would have to be made. And, in making such changes, the nature of the book would be transformed.

    8 –> That is why of the two main Young Earth Creationist organisations, ICR is critical of ID, and AiG is cooly and pointedly neutral. Ross’s Old Earth Creationist movement [which roughly speaking is a broadly theistic evolutionist school, with an emphasis on astronomy and on a particular reading of Genesis] more or less makes common cause with theistic evolutionists, who are often found among the ranks of the harshest critics of ID.

    9 –> in short, the ID = Creationism rhetorical stratagem is a canard; one that Ms Forrest long since should have corrected if she were interested in presenting a true and fair vew of the course of events.

    GEM of TKI

  392. LH:

    I add this link on inference to best explanation aka abduction.

    In this discussion you may read:

    The philosopher [and scientist!] Charles Peirce introduced abduction into modern logic. In his works before 1900, he mostly uses the term to mean the use of a known rule to explain an observation; for example, “if it rains the grass is wet,” is a known rule used to explain that the grass is wet. In other words, it would be more technically correct to say, “If the grass is wet, the most probable explanation is that it recently rained.”

    He later used the term to mean creating new rules to explain new observations, emphasizing that abduction is the only logical process that actually creates anything new. Namely, he described the process of science as a combination of abduction, deduction, and induction, stressing that new knowledge is only created by abduction.

    If you want to see my own discussion, cf here, which follows Peirce.

    GEM of TKI

  393. Pardon: 13,500.

  394. 394

    Speaking of correctness, you were going to tell me how irreducible complexity is inextricably tied to creationism. Are you ready to take that up now?

    I have said repeatedly that Judge Jones does not tie IC to creationism. He ties ID to creationism, and rightly so, but IC does not equal ID. I have quoted the relevant portions of the decision to show that Judge Jones does not mention creationism with regard to IC. The idea that Judge Jones said IC was linked to creationism is your fantasy. Note: (1) You made up a sentence in which IC was the referent (in fact it was ID). (2) You scolded me for answering a question about ID in general, not IC. (3) I pointed out that Judge Jones did not tie IC to creaitonism. (4) You conflated IC and ID, though ten minutes earlier you stressed that they were different.

    We’re talking about the case, not what I think. And in the case, Judge Jones does not connect IC to creationism.

  395. 395

    Pandas was not the foundational ID book — Thaxton et al’s TMLO, 1984 was (and — surprise, this did not appear in the [show?] trial, guess why . . . )

    Because it wasn’t the book at issue? Rather, OPAP was.

    In fact, however, you’re wrong. It may not have appeared in testimony but TMLO was discussed in Forrest’s expert report.

    2 –> In TMLO, it was made plain in the epilogue that the design inference on OOL [the subject of the book] could not infer to the locus of the creator of observed life being within or beyond the cosmos.

    Actually they’re very critical of special creation within the cosmos, for example: “We suspect that few will find Hoyle and Wickramasinghe’s hypothesis of falling genes acceptable as a genuine contribution of science.”
    They are critical of every view except special creation beyond the cosmos, and distinguish between “operation science” and “origin science” specifically to allow for miracles. Special creation from an intelligence beyond the cosmos is clearly the position they are defending.

  396. Mr Kellogg:

    You have drawn a distinction that makes no difference:

    1 –> Design theory is “the theory or view which holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process driven by chance and/or blind mechanical necessity” and more particularly: “the science that studies signs of intelligence”; this being premised on the postulate that “certain objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause,” signs that may then be studied “formally, rigorously, and scientifically.”

    2 –> The two most commonly discussed such signs are: [1] [functionally] specified complexity [of information], and [2] irreducible complexity of mechanisms or processes, which is in turn an information-rich characteristic.

    3 –> In both cases, it is a generally known, empirically grounded fact that FSCI and IC can be produced by intelligent agents.

    4 –> Moreover, on grounds of deep isolation of islands of function in very large configuration spaces, neither can credibly be produced by chance + necessity on the gamut of the search resources of our observed cosmos. (500 – 1,000 bits of info storage capacity serve as a useful rule of thumb threshold: at the upper limit the 10^150 quantum states of the atoms of the observed cosmos across a “reasonable” lifetime would sample less than 1 in 10^150 of possible configs, making undirected searches overwhelmingly likely to fail.)

    5 –> Thus, we have identified the basic nature of design theory, and its two main signs of intelligence. (other signs such as algorithmic information hinge upon these.)

    6 –> Now, as has been discussed above, design theory is an inference on best explanation from empirical data to a reasonable conclusion warranted by that data.

    7 –> Thus, it is not properly to be equated to claims that scientific discoveries and evidence provide specific confirmation of the accounts in genesis or other holy books; a characteristic feature of Biblical Creationism. The onward intent of this smearing with the tag of reviled “creationism” is to insinuate that ID is a manifestation of an attempt to inject “religion” into science and science education; even while in fact Lewontin shows how at the highest levels of Science institutions, ATHEISM, MATERIALISM and SECULAR HUMANISM have been injected into science and science education by dominant elites in Western Culture. So, let us remind ourselves again, by citing his NYRB remarks of 1997:

    Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. [methodological naturalism] Moreover, that materialism is absolute, [philosophical, metaphysical materialism] for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    8 –> Need I remind that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander too? or, that this above censors science from being an unfettered search for the truth about or world based on evidence and reasoned discussion?

    9 –> But, that implicit quasi-establishment of Secular Humanism and its cognate imposition of materialist censorship is just what the ACLU/Judge Jones did in the Dover decision as published.

    10 –> And, which is more, to support that unwarranted conclusion, we have in this thread seen how they have utterly wrenched and distorted statements by Mr Behe and others. Similarly, they have distorted the nature and purpose of the well known supplemental textbook, Pandas; while ignoring the direct statements in the epilogue of the pre-Edwards 1984 work, TMLO, which is the actual first major technical work of design theory. they have also provably been deceitful in falsely claiming in the teeth of easily accessible evidence — some of which was submitted to the trial– that ID has not had as at 2004 – 5 any peer reviewed publications. (And in the case of Ms Forrest, she has distorted the basic timeline and sources of design theory in that cause.)

    11 –> In particular, I have earlier this morning showed in compressed summary (from 303 and previous comments) how that which is in fact well supporrted as an inductive inference on best explanation may easily be distorted by the elites of isntitutional science and allied institutions, through bias:

    if one at first accepts P and sees that P => Q, but is committed to F where F => NOT-Q, then one will be inclined to reject P by inferring F => NOT-Q, NOT-Q so NOT-P. But if NOT-P then implies absurdities, F is in deep trouble.

    I hold — and I believe I can justify — that Evolutionary Materialism and the imposition of its handmaiden, methodological naturalism, on science, censors science from being ,i>an unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) search for the truth about our world based on empirical evidence and reasoned discussion among the informed. [Note, I do not say "the certificated" and/or "the credentialled."]

    12 –> Therefore the verdict as handed down was patently unjust and is a capital example of improper activist judgement that sets up exactly the sort of massive social conflict the US Constitution’s framers sought to avoid when they (i) forbade the Federal authorities from touching religious establishment [which strictly meant that Judge Jones did not even have proper jurisdiction . . . but such has long since been run over and left by the wayside as roadkill ] while (ii) protecting freedom of religion and associated expression, and (iii) leaving the matter of establishment to the decision of the local states. (In short, the framers extended the reformation compromise to republican circumstances.)

    ___________________

    For shame!

    GEM of TKI

  397. PS: Mr Kellogg, well do you know that the publication date of TMLO — 1984 — sets up the relevant timeline [together with of course Denton's 1985 Theory in Crisis], a fact that would at once decisively undercut the myth of “creationism in a cheap tuxedo.”

  398. 398

    kairosfocus,
    What? I corrected you on two issues: that TMLO was not mentioned in the Dover trial, and that TMLO was somehow neutral with respect to whether the creator was outside the cosmos. Both of these are incorrect. Your response is alternatively irrelevant and incomprehensible, though it does give another opportunity for you to quote Lewontin. (How many times have you reproduced that quote in this one thread?)

    The date of TMLO’s publication is irrelevant, given that it is clearly a creationist text.

  399. PPS: Having a PDF scan of TMLO in hand (along with my paper copy), I excerpt from the Epilogue:

    __________________

    p, 196: Hoyle and Wickramasinghe28 have developed a novel and creative argument . . . As will be seen, the view of intelligence creating biological specificity comes in not one, but two types: (1) a creating intelligence within the cosmos, and (2) a creating intelligence beyond the cosmos. In arguing for the former, Hoyle and Wickramasinghe contend that Darwinism has failed to account for the origin of life and the development of terrestrial biology . . . .

    p. 197: Hoyle and Wickramasinghe deny the creator is the traditional supernatural God. They envision a creator within the total cosmos. They contend that a flaw in logic kept generations of scientists from seeing the truth that intelligence is the authentic source of the information in the biological world [they go on to argue for the insects . . . ] . . . .

    p. 204: On the other hand an understanding of the universe includes some singular events, such as origins. Unlike the recurrent operation of the universe, origins cannot be repeated for experimental test. The beginning of life, for example, just won’t repeat itself so we can test our theories. In the customary language of science, theories of ori-gins (origin science) cannot be falsified by empirical test if they are false, as can theories of operation science.

    How then are origins investigated? The method of approach is appropriately modified to deal with unrepeatable singular events. The investigation of origins may be compared to sleuthing an unwitnessed murder, as discussed in Chapter 11. Such scenarios of reconstruction may be deemed plausible or implausible. Hypotheses
    of origin science, however, are not empirically testable or falsifiable
    since the datum needed for experimental test (namely, the origin) is unavailable. In contrast to operation science where the focus is on a class of many events, origin science is concerned with a particular event, i.e., a class of one.

    p. 205: There are significant and far-ranging consequences in the failure to perceive the legitimate distinction between origin science and operation science. Without the distinction we inevitably lump origin and operation questions together as if answers to both are sought in the same manner and can be equally known. Then, following the accepted practice of omitting appeals to divine action in recurrent
    nature, we extend it to origin questions too. The blurring of these two categories partially explains the widely held view that a divine origin of life must not be admitted into the scientific discussion, lest it undermine the motive to inquire and thus imperil the scientific enterprise . . . .
    ________________________

    In short, we must recognise the limitations of the evidence and circumstances on origins, and we must be willing to accept that a scientifically informed but fundamentally historical reconstruction is not the same thing as something we can set up and observe in a lab in the here and now.

    And, in that context, we see that on looking at OOL on earth, two classes of intelligent common-c creators are logically possible: those within and those beyond the cosmos. The former raises certain difficulties, and the latter should not be eliminated a priori.

    GEM of TKI

  400. 400

    Yes, kairosfocus, as I pointed out, they discuss Hoyle and Wickramasinghe (as well as other ideas), but they do not consider anything other than Special Creation (their capitalization) from an intelligence beyond the cosmos to be credible. (I have a pdf of the book too.)

  401. Mr Kellogg:

    TMLO is precisely not a “creationist text” — whatever dismissals may be being put up at Anti Evo as they track discussion here and feed you with talking points — but a serious technical investigation of the origin of life in the context of thermodynamics and geological issues and alternative hypotheses proffered. One carried out by a chemist, a geologist and a polymer scientist. Why not review for us the argument in chs 7 – 9, and tell us how these arguments are intended to show how particular interpretations of Genesis are substantiated by scientific investigations?

    [Show us the verses where Genesis discusses Gibbs free Energy, the TdS equation, Boltzmannian Entropy and Brillouin information. Similarly, show us how Genesis discussed configuration work and equilibrium concentrations of proteins and DNA molcules in prebiotic soups on chemical equilibrium considerations. Similarly, how Genesis gets into the likely early earth atmosphere, teh likely constituents and concentrations of prebiotic soups, or for that matter Fox's proteinoids, micelles, clay bed templates and the like. While you are at it, why not discuss by Jamed Jekel of Yale here.]

    Your ill-founded — and in this context slanderous — dismissals of TMLO and its significance; and refusal to engage the serious questions on the merits that have been put clearly show you as indulging in closed minded objectionism in a context of lacking the substantial case on the merits to address the issues on facts and logic.

    Sad, but not unexpected on track record.

    GEM of TKI

  402. 402

    Sure it’s a creationist text. Of course, the body of it is a critique of origin of life chemistry as understood circa 1981. The forward is by a young earth creationist. The epilogue clearly marks their position as creationist. But that’s also the only place where design is discussed. So if it’s not a creationist text, it’s not a design text either.

  403. 403

    “feed you with talking points.”

    Nice, as you would say, oil-soaked ad hominem. Et tu, kairosfocus?

  404. “that it is clearly a creationist text”

    What is a creationist text? Those of us who support intelligent design, assume there was some intelligence who caused one or more events in life and in addition to that the universe. Now those who argue that the universe was intelligently designed would I seem postulate some intelligence beyond our current universe. Does that make us creationists? Is the universe a special creation?

    As ID relates to life and evolution, there is no need to say absolutely that the intelligence that guided this was beyond this universe because it may not have been the case.

    So when one throws the term creationist around is one using it to mean anyone who believes in God.

  405. 405

    Stephen Meyer:

    Scientists Thaxton, Bradley, and Olsen raised several compelling objections to chemical evolution in a provocative book entitled The Mystery of Life’s Origin (Philosophical Library, 1984). After 30 years of experimental cul-de-sacs, many origin-of-life researchers, indeed, seem ready to give the new critique a hearing.

    Given the authors’ academic credentials, one would ordinarily expect such a hearing. Bradley, a materials engineer, and Olsen, a geochemist, hold professorships at prestigious technical universities. Chemist Thaxton has completed post-doctoral work at Harvard University in the history of science and at Brandeis in molecular biology. What makes the attention The Mystery of Life’s Origin has received so unusual is that its authors believe evidence now points to a supernatural origin for life. The authors are creationists.

  406. Mr Kellogg:

    As I have just excerpted, the 1984 book discusses the alternatives. Its authors explicitly point out the cosntraints on origins science and the three credible possibilities:

    [1] chance plus necessity — not credible on geology, atmospheric and thermodynamics grounds as well as the chemistry and other factors involved in major schools of thought.

    [2] through H & W, they bring forth the two alternative intelligent alternatives, and discuss the H-W creator in the cosmos possibilities.

    [3] they then lay out the creator beyond the cosmos possibility. they do lean to this alternative, but have all along given a fair review of the others.

    That is their right, but in the process of a full bore critical technical review on OOL science, they have given birth to a third way approach, what we now know as design theory.

    Your rhetoric cannot successfully rewrite those facts, though of course you may seek to persuade otherwise.

    G’day sir.

    GEM of TKI

  407. 407

    jerry, take it up with Stephen Meyer.

  408. “jerry, take it up with Stephen Meyer.”

    You do not have an opinion or a point of view.

  409. —-David Kellogg: “I have said repeatedly that Judge Jones does not tie IC to creationism. He ties ID to creationism, and rightly so, but IC does not equal ID.”

    Wbat kind of madness is this? IC is a subset of ID. So, if all ID is tied to creationism, then IC is tied to creationism. If all ID is not tied to creationism, then Judge Jones decision is meaningless.

    Are you capable of even basic logic?

  410. StephenB @368

    Echidna Levy:

    —-”If it “did not happen” that will be a simple task, no? It’s a plain simple matter of fact. Two drafts, slightly different words. How can you even begin to disupte that?”

    The Barbara Forrest fantasy has been roundly refuted. If you have an interest in the facts, check out,

    “Response to Barbara Forrest’s Kitzmiller account in eight parts.”

    That doesn’t refute the proven fact that OPAP was modified immediately after a Supreme Court decision disallowing the teaching of creationism in public schools, nor does it refute the proven fact that the change was a cut-and-paste that left the term “cdesign proponentists” a evidence. There is a video available on YouTube showing the actual text and references are available in the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision.

    We’re supposed to have the moral high ground. It doesn’t help the ID movement to have ID proponents making claims that are so easily demonstrated to be false.

    JJ

  411. 411

    IC is an argument used by ID. It is not the only argument or even a necessary one. IC fails as an argument for other reasons.

    A house is a shelter. A floor is part of a house. A floor is not a shelter. See how that works?

  412. —-Jerry to David Kellogg: “You do not have an opinion or a point of view?”

    No, I don’t think he does. He only criticizes and lampoons other points of view. In all the time he has been here, I don’t recall that he has ever presented a reasoned argument for anything.

  413. 413

    StephenB, Judge Jones did not claim that IC was tied to religion. Nowhere. Didn’t happen. Please stick to the arguments that he made. Thanks.

  414. 414

    I think Meyers provides a good working definition: a creationist, at minimum, is someone who thinks that science “points to a supernatural origin for life.”

  415. —David Kellogg: “IC is an argument used by ID. It is not the only argument or even a necessary one. IC fails as an argument for other reasons.”

    What is is about a reasoned argument that you have such difficulty following. Here it is again: If all ID is tied to creationism, If IC is a subset of ID, then IC is tied to creationism.

  416. David Kellogg,

    Am I a creationists? I believe that some intelligence outside our universe created the universe. I believe there is no evidence from science that this is the Judeo Christian God but that science and logic indicate a God like intelligence exists and does not contradict the Judeo Christian God.

    I believe that an intelligence created life and probably guided the evolution of it in some places. This intelligence could be outside our universe or in it and if outside it could be the Judeo Christian God but there is no proof of this.

    Am I a creationist? And if so of what use is the term other than to pigeon hole people and their beliefs and create an a priori discrimination against them.

  417. —David: “StephenB, Judge Jones did not claim that IC was tied to religion. Nowhere. Didn’t happen. Please stick to the arguments that he made. Thanks.”

    David, I am not talking about Judge Jones’ lack of reasoning ability which is legendary. I am talking about your lack of reasoning ability.

    —You write: “A house is a shelter. A floor is part of a house. A floor is not a shelter. See how that works?”

    I see how you think it works, but it doesn’t apply. A shelter is not a subset of a house. IC is a subset of ID. IC is, in fact, an ID paradigm.

    Now, lets take it again from the top. Here it is again: If all ID is tied to creationism, If IC is a subset of ID, then IC is tied to creationism. So, if Judge Jones says that all ID is tied to creationism, then IC is tied to creationism.

  418. 418

    StephenB, your failure of logic is in the phrase “If all ID is tied to creationism.” ID is inextricably tied to creationism, but that does not mean that every part of ID and every argument used by ID is tied to creationism.

    Does Judge Jones ever say “All ID is teid to creationism”? Does he ever speak of all its constituent parts in the way you describe, or is that (again) just something you’re making up?

  419. 419

    StephenB, you need to keep repeating your own words to me:

    I didn’t ask you about ID in gen[e]ral. I asked you specifically about “irreducible complexity.”

    As you once recognized, what applies to “ID in general” does not necessarily apply to irreducible complexity. You are now saying the opposite.

  420. Mr Kellogg:

    I was about to shut down when this page fully loaded, and so I noticed your latest.

    Will your distortions never end?

    Dean Kenyon was a key author of the major 1969 work, biochemical predestination, which argued the case that the chemistry of proteins was determinative of the formation of proteins and thus of life. In part on the evidence in the book, he concluded that he was wrong. [BTW, the book published some early protein sequencing studies partly carried out by one of the authors of TMLO with his collaborators].

    If Mr Kenyon is a “creationist” today, that is not what he was in any materially relevant sense when he wrote Biochemical Predestination, and his material change in scientific views has to do with not Genesis interpretations but statistical studies on amino acid sequences in proteins, which were too close to random — they are not quite flat random — to fit his original thesis.

    Similarly, your post on what appears to be a cite from Meyer leaves the false impression in the closing bold that Meyer states that TBO are creationists. This is YOUR assertion, not Meyer’s.

    Thast TBO do lean to the creator beyond the cosmos alternative is their worldview right [as it was Newton's in his general Scholium to Principia]. It does not precvgvent TMLO frpm being a work of scientific review, and it does not rpevent TMLO from founding a third way to evolutionary materilism-driven imposiion of methodological naturalism as censorship on otehrwise credible possibilities and trying to read form findings of science to statemets in genesis.

    in short, your assertions distort the truth, and boil down to saying just what Lewontin asserts: only materialism counts as “science.”

    In that case, sir, science would have utterly lost its validity as an objective search for the truth about our world and becomes only an apologetics weapon for atheism.

    But, we are not at all shut up to that, and the authors of TMLO are a big part of why we know that and practice such through design theory.

    But, too, you have inadvertently exposed a lot of the agenda you represent. Which should serve to warn onlookers on what is really at stake here.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Onlookers, I highly recommend a reading of Dan Peterson’s remarks here to further help set the record straight on what is going on behind the scenes at Dover and in the debate in this thread.

  421. 421

    jerry, I would probably say you are a creationist (as would Stephen Meyer). What distinguishes a creationist is not his/her views on God but his/her views on science. Meyers seems to agree, and he certainly isn’t looking to pigeonhole them or discriminate against them!

  422. Just before closing, what Meyer actually said in 1986:

    ____________________

    . . . Thaxton attributes the popularity of the book’s critique, in part, to “its interdisciplinary approach.” Origin-of-life researchers have typically been chemists who, like the famous Stanley Miller, have attempted to synthesize life’s chemical precursors in rarified (and somewhat contrived) experimental environments. Miller’s “simulation” experiment in 1953 produced laboratory amino acids from simple molecules and electricity.

    By coordinating the insights of each scholar’s specialty, the authors checked the assumptions of the laboratory chemist against present knowledge from other relevant sciences. They found, for instance, that “successful” simulation experiments like Miller’s presumed a pre-life earth void of oxygen despite the geochemical evidence, suggesting an oxygen-rich early atmosphere. The authors, however, do not believe current theories of biochemical origins are simply flawed. Instead, they believe developments in a science called information theory demonstrate that natural chemical processes alone will never explain the origin of the first living cells.

    Information theory developed mathematical techniques in the 1970s to distinguish radio signals generated by random or repetitive natural phenomena from those that transmitted information in the form a code. Carl Sagan, for instance, has used information theory in his search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Sagan hoped to confirm the existence of intelligent life in space by collecting signals that displayed the mathematical characteristics of intelligent code or language.

    While Sagan is still looking, cell biologists are not. DNA researchers have found that the twisted helix of the DNA molecule exhibits the mathematical structure and complexity of written code or language. Like Sagan’s imagined signals from space, DNA contains a message.

    Information theorists describe such coded messages, whether carried by radio signals or the sequences of chemicals in DNA, as a “specified complexity” because their meaning must be specified by intelligence. Thaxton and company use information theory to suggest that the messages transmitted by DNA in the cell must also have originated with an intelligent agent.

    Perhaps surprisingly, many other scientists agree. A prominent M.I.T.-trained information theorist who now edits a technical journal on the subject recently wrote Thaxton to confirm that the authors had properly applied information theory to their analysis of genetic code.

    Other top researchers, while not creationists, have recognized the connection between specified genetic complexity and intelligence. Fred Hoyle and Nobel laureate Francis Crick, who first discovered DNA, have opted for the so-called panspermia view of origins to explain the intelligent arrangements they see in the cell. Panspermia maintains that life was transported to earth by intelligent beings from space.

    Yet, as the Mystery of Life’s Origin recognizes, such scenarios only transfer the question of life’s ultimate origin to the cosmos. The book does not attempt to answer such questions, readily admitting that identifying the intelligence responsible for life’s biochemical messages exceeds the purview of science.

    The Mystery of Life’s Origin has done well to intimate that “we are not alone.” Only revelation can now identify the Who that is with us. [And this last is plainly Meyer's conclusion]
    ___________________

  423. 423

    kairosfocus, Dean Kenyon was manifestly a creationist by the time he wrote the preface to TMLO. As he said (via wikipedia):

    Then in 1976, a student gave me a book by A.E. Wilder-Smith, The Creation of Life: A Cybernetic Approach to Evolution. Many pages of that book deal with arguments against Biochemical Predestination, and I found myself hard-pressed to come up with a counter-rebuttal. Eventually, several other books and articles by neo-creationists came to my attention. I read some of Henry Morris’ books, in particular, The Genesis Flood. I’m not a geologist, and I don’t agree with everything in that book, but what stood out was that here was a scientific statement giving a very different view of earth history. Though the book doesn’t deal with the subject of the origin of life per se, it had the effect of suggesting that it is possible to have a rational alternative explanation of the past.

  424. 424

    One correction:

    Similarly, your post on what appears to be a cite from Meyer leaves the false impression in the closing bold that Meyer states that TBO are creationists. This is YOUR assertion, not Meyer’s.

    No, that is Meyer’s. Check the link. It’s what Meyers says.

  425. —-David: “StephenB, you need to keep repeating your own words to me:

    I have to repeat them until you demonstrate to me that you are capable of rational thought.

    Quoting me: “I didn’t ask you about ID in gen[e]ral. I asked you specifically about “irreducible complexity.”

    Your interpretation of my question:

    “As you once recognized, what applies to “ID in general” does not necessarily apply to irreducible complexity. You are now saying the opposite.”

    Are you cuckoo! That question did not imply that IC is not a subset of ID. It was a means of getting you to get specific and stop generalizing.

    Now, let’s take if from the top: If all ID is tied to creationism, and if IC is a subset of ID, then IC is tied to creationism.

  426. “I would probably say you are a creationist (as would Stephen Meyer). What distinguishes a creationist is not his/her views on God but his/her views on science. Meyers seems to agree, and he certainly isn’t looking to pigeonhole them or discriminate against them!”

    Whoa, there is a lot to parse here.

    First, if someone believes in God and believes that God has done something to this universe, at a minimal creating it, is then by your assessment this person is a creationist. So most of the world are creationists.

    If the same person believes in God but believes this God never did anything that affected this world, then while believing in God this person is not a creationist. Otherwise there would be a physical effect without a naturalistic cause. God, what a mishmash!

    And what if this God lived in another of the infinite number of universes hypothesized by some and affected something in this universe. Is that in the province of science? I realize this is a digression but I wonder where this God is and why He cannot affect anything in this universe. Such a God is definitely not the Judeo Christian God.

    So maybe we should stop right here because we are touching on the nature of God and methodological naturalism and they are both worth a 1000 repeats of previous posts.

    Second, I do not think that Meyer was trying to pigeon hole them or discriminate against them but that others were. An interesting side step but it was very obvious so I am not sure what you accomplished with your choice of words to say Meyer was not discriminating.

  427. 427

    “If IC is a subset of ID.”
    IC is not a “subset” of ID. It’s an argument used by ID people.

  428. Jerry, you have been holding out on us. David Kellogg says that you are a creationist. Have you been hanging out with Ken Ham again.

    —–DK: “jerry, I would probably say you are a creationist (as would Stephen Meyer). What distinguishes a creationist is not his/her views on God but his/her views on science. Meyers seems to agree, and he certainly isn’t looking to pigeonhole them or discriminate against them!”

  429. 429

    jerry,

    First, if someone believes in God and believes that God has done something to this universe, at a minimal creating it, is then by your assessment this person is a creationist. So most of the world are creationists.

    No, that’s not what I said. I would not define a creationist as someone who believes in God. I would say a creationist is someone who thinks the science points to God.

  430. —-David Kellogg: “IC is not a “subset” of ID. It’s an argument used by ID people.”

    —–IC is not a “subset” of ID. It’s an argument used by ID people.

    ID is the general argument and IC is a specific argument supporting the general argument. If the general argument is tied to creationism, then the specific argument that supports and confirms the general argument is tied to creationism.

  431. —-”No, that’s not what I said. I would not define a creationist as someone who believes in God. I would say a creationist is someone who thinks the science points to God.”

    So, if someone believes that science points to God, and also believes in macro evolution, is that person a creationist?

  432. On question 428, assume common descent.

  433. 433

    JayM,

    ——”We’re supposed to have the moral high ground. It doesn’t help the ID movement to have ID proponents making claims that are so easily demonstrated to be false.”

    Everytime JayM, every single time you post, you argue against ID, and at the end of your post you claim to be a supporter of ID. I have never, not once, seen you agree with an ID supporter. You’re credibility of being ID has worn very, very, thin. I do get a chuckle out of the pretense though, as if you think you’re fooling anyone.

  434. 434

    Clive, what about JayM’s actual point?

  435. 435

    StephenB,

    ID is the general argument and IC is a specific argument supporting the general argument.If the general argument is tied to creationism, then the specific argument that supports and confirms the general argument is tied to creationism.

    Nope. Dr. Dembski claims that statistics supports ID, but that doens’t make statistics tied to creationism.

    So, if someone believes that science points to God, and also believes in macro evolution, is that person a creationist?

    Don’t know. Don’t care.

  436. For JayM:

    —A defining paragraph from the opening of On Pandas and People:

    “If science is based upon experience, then science tells us the message encoded in DNA must have originated from an intelligent cause. But what kind of intelligent agent was it? On its own, science cannot answer this question; it must leave it to religion and philosophy. But that should not prevent science from acknowledging evidences for an intelligent cause origin wherever they may exist. This is no different, really, than if we discovered life did result from natural causes. We still would not know, from science, if the natural cause was all that was involved, or if the ultimate explanation was beyond nature, and using the natural cause.”

    If the book begins by denouncing creationism and affirming ID, how can it be converted from creationism to ID.

    If a book, which probably contains 60,000 words, undergoes editing to the tune of a mere 150 words, can the books main argument be changed by altering .0025 of its content.

    Must our adversaries always follow the irrational leadership of Barbara Forrest and Judge Jones. Why don’t they come up with something original?

  437. 437

    Must our adversaries always follow the irrational leadership of Barbara Forrest and Judge Jones. Why don’t they come up with something original?

    Because we took a blood oath to Barbara Forrest in a hexagram at midnight.
    If by “original” you mean “made up quotes,” you’ve got me beat.

  438. —David Kellogg: “Nope. Dr. Dembski claims that statistics supports ID, but that doens’t make statistics tied to creationism.”

    You are monumentally confused. The bottom line is that when Judge Jones declared that ID was tied to creationism, he implicated all expressions of ID right along with it, including “irreducible complexity.”

    You disagree.

    First, after I explained that IC is a subset of ID, you stated, “IC is not a “subset” of ID. It’s an argument used by ID people.”

    That misses the point, of course, but I can argue that way as well.
    So, I explained further:

    ID is the general argument and IC is a specific argument supporting the general argument. If the general argument is tied to creationism, then the specific argument that supports and confirms the general argument is tied to creationism.

    Now, you start talking about statistics, which is something that supports the specific argument which supports the general argument.

    Sorry, David, but you have not yet demonstrated that you are capable of rational thought.

    Again, you write, “I would say a creationist is someone who thinks the science points to God.”

    So, using YOUR definition, I asked you this: If someone believes that science points to God, and also believes in macro evolution, is that person a creationist?

    Now you say, “Don’t know. Don’t care.”

    It was YOUR defintion, and it is your argument.

    Clearly, you have a big problem with logic. It is very serious.

  439. —Davidd Kellogg: “Because we took a blood oath to Barbara Forrest in a hexagram at midnight.”

    OK, if you say so, but I would still like you to address the points
    @438.

  440. “a creationist is someone who thinks the science points to God.”

    What if the person thinks that science makes it likely that the universe was created by a powerful intelligence? Is that person a creationist?

    Is a person who uses the fine tuning argument to say that the universe was probably created by a powerful intelligence a creationists? Note I say probably not absolutely.

    Maybe we can get a consistent understanding of what is a creationist and then we can agree to use that here.

  441. 441

    StephenB, please produce a quote in which Judge Jones says IC is linked to creationism. BS about subsets is beside the point. I will not respond to made up quotes.

    As to who is and is not a creationist, I took Stephen Meyer’s definition as pretty good. I still think it’s pretty good, but as I have said before, I don’t think questions of definition are answerable in absolute terms: I think they are best framed in pragmatic terms.

  442. 442

    jerry and StephenB, you’re very interested in my definition of a creationist. But you haven’t provided one yourselves. Do you disagree with Stephen Meyer that the authors of TMLO are creationists?

  443. 443

    Clarification: “I will not respond to made up quotes” doesn’t mean that I won’t point out, as I have before, that they’re made up.

  444. 444

    StephenB:

    ID is the general argument and IC is a specific argument supporting the general argument. If the general argument is tied to creationism, then the specific argument that supports and confirms the general argument is tied to creationism.

    I’m observing this back-and-forth on whether it can be inferred that the judge thought IC was creationism.
    I don’t agree with the general-to-specific argument (statistics are also a component of ID – are statistics creationism?) but it’s not relevant.
    While not using the term “irreducible complexity,” the judge refers to Behe and Minnich’s explanation of the complexity of the flagellum and compares it to creationism. (Search “flagellum” – it appears once.) The reasoning the judge referred to was IC. Hence, the judge says that IC = creationism.
    (I’ve lost track of what bearing that information has on anything.)

  445. 445

    ScottAndrews: Well, the argument for the complexity iof the flagellum was originally a creationist idea, as Dr. Dembski acknowledges in a turf war with Henry Morris (who Dr. Dembski calls a “great man”):

    I’ve focused here on my own contributions to ID. But the work of my ID colleagues falls in this same pattern of, on the one hand, refurbishing old ideas and, on the other, charting new research paths. Morris aptly notes that Dick Bliss used the bacterial flagellum “in his talks on creation a generation ago.” Yet, for an analysis of the probabilistic hurdles involved in trying to evolve the protein parts of a flagellum by purely materialistic means so that the parts properly mesh (i.e., so that their interfaces are compatible, which is a necessary condition for the parts to work together to form a functioning protein machine), you will need to look to the ID literature and, specifically, to a 2004 article in Protein Science by Michael Behe and David Snoke.

    Interesting that Dr. Dembski doesn’t mention the much earlier Darwin’s Black Box — perhaps because so many of its examples came (the flagellum, the bombardier beetle) came from creationism.

  446. —Scott Andrews: “I’m observing this back-and-forth on whether it can be inferred that the judge thought IC was creationism.

    You seem to understand that Judge Jones thought that ID was creationism.

    —-”I don’t agree with the general-to-specific argument (statistics are also a component of ID – are statistics creationism?) but it’s not relevant.”

    Of course statistics are not creationism any more than is specific argument which they support, any more than is the general argument that they both support. None of it is creationism.

    However the general to specific argument is quite valid. What is ID, after all, except the argument 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.”

    If that is tied to creationism, then all specific arguments that support and confirm it are also tied to creationism. Statistics have nothing to do with it. Statistics is not an argument. To say statistics is an argument is like saying that words are arguments. They are used to make arguments, but they are not arguments. If all of ID is tied to creationism, then obviously no part can not be tied to creationism. Again, this is basic logic.

  447. —David Kellogg: “As to who is and is not a creationist, I took Stephen Meyer’s definition as pretty good. I still think it’s pretty good, but as I have said before, I don’t think questions of definition are answerable in absolute terms: I think they are best framed in pragmatic terms.”

    If questions about definition are not answerable in absolute terms, and if the definition of science is not answerable in absolute terms, then how is it that Judge Jones and yourself can declare that ID is not science?

  448. “Do you disagree with Stephen Meyer that the authors of TMLO are creationists?”

    A couple things:

    First, I am willing to define creationist. I am sure it will have problems for all the reasons I have been bringing up. Here goes:

    A creationist is one who believes that all species were created by God within the last several thousand years (pick a number between 6,000 and 100,000.) Some believe natural laws led to modifications of these species over time that causes variants of the original species to exist. But some believe that all the species are essentially in tack. A non creationist would not hold that position while still holding that one or more gene pools might have been directly created.

    So there is sort of a working definition of a creationist that we can use to start with. Notice I exclude those who believe that God created species maybe millions of years ago and let things run their course till now. I also avoid the origin of human beings because that is a different issue involving mostly theology. There are those who believe that life, the suite of life’s varieties and then humans arose from natural means and that God then infused a soul into humans at some point in the relatively recent past. That I believe is a separate issue and if one insists that no such thing happened and that all those who believe it are creationists then that term would then include all the TE’s who accept Darwin and a natural origin of life.

    Second,

    I have no ideas what the religous beliefs of the TMLO authors are. If one of them or all of them believe that the Judeo Christian God created life then they are like a lot of others in history and not that much different. To refer to them as creationists to me distorts the idea of what that term has come to mean. Meyer was using the term in 1986 and a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then and he may want to refine his classification. Or maybe he knows each author more personally than any of us do and still feels the term applies. Either way it does not have zippo to do with their arguments in their book.

  449. 449

    David Kellogg @445
    I’m not familiar with it. I just saw a massive number of posts on whether or not the judge said it and I thought the info might help.
    It makes me wonder why Behe didn’t choose a different example, but I’m sure there were reasons.
    I read some of your citation, including the relevant section. It’s what I suspected – creationism said ‘the flagellum is organized and complex, God must have made it.’ Reasonable, but not scientific. ID, on the other hand, proposed scientifically why design was the best explanation and did not attempt to infer the biblical God from that evidence.
    (It’s easy to see how the ACLU and the judge both overlooked those details.)

  450. Clive Hayden @433

    We’re supposed to have the moral high ground. It doesn’t help the ID movement to have ID proponents making claims that are so easily demonstrated to be false.

    Everytime JayM, every single time you post, you argue against ID, and at the end of your post you claim to be a supporter of ID. I have never, not once, seen you agree with an ID supporter. You’re credibility of being ID has worn very, very, thin. I do get a chuckle out of the pretense though, as if you think you’re fooling anyone.

    I don’t argue against ID, Clive, I argue against poor arguments from ID supporters. That’s far more supportive of the eventual goal of making ID credible than is participating in an echo chamber where criticism of people on “our side” is strongly discouraged.

    StephenB’s claims are manifestly false. Of Pandas and People _was_ modified in response to a Supreme Court ruling regarding the constitutionality of teaching creationism. The evidence of the change, “cdesign proponentists”, exists. Barbara Forrest didn’t make it up.

    How about calling some of the regulars here, like StephenB, on their behavior that clearly undermines the ID movement rather than attempting to quash valid criticism?

    JJ

  451. StephenB @436

    A defining paragraph from the opening of On Pandas and People:

    . . .

    If the book begins by denouncing creationism and affirming ID, how can it be converted from creationism to ID.

    See the two references I provided above. “cdesign proponentists” is the smoking gun. How do you propose to refute it?

    If a book, which probably contains 60,000 words, undergoes editing to the tune of a mere 150 words, can the books main argument be changed by altering .0025 of its content.

    No, it cannot. That is Forrest’s point. The authors of Of Pandas and People clearly consider “intelligent design” to be a synonym for “creationism.”

    That is certainly not the position of all ID proponents, but it was enough to lose in Dover and it can’t be swept under the rug as you attempt to do.

    However much distaste you have for Barbara Forrest, claiming that “cdesign proponentists” never existed does nothing for your credibility and provides more ammunition for ID opponents.

    JJ

  452. 452

    If questions about definition are not answerable in absolute terms, and if the definition of science is not answerable in absolute terms, then how is it that Judge Jones and yourself can declare that ID is not science?

    A good question! I can’t speak for Judge Jones’s view of definition, but a pragmatic account of definition does not seek to answer the question “What is X?” for all time. Debates about “what is X?” are better if we acknowledge that we are really asking “What is the most useful way of thinking about X?” rather than “What is X really?” (See Edward Schiappa, Defining Reality: Definition and the Politics of Meaning). Definitions of science change; there’s no getting arounnd that. So do definitions of life, death, wetlands, climate, etc. Even if it were not true of “facts” (though I think it is), it’s certainly true of obviously social practices such as science.
    A definition is a collective decision about what counts as X at a particular time and place. As Schiappa notes, “When we define a situation, that definition becomes a form of social influence by implying what are or are not appropriate responses to it.” In a sense, that would acknowledges that Jones’s decision was social, but so are all decisions and all definitions.

  453. —-David Kellogg: “StephenB, please produce a quote in which Judge Jones says IC is linked to creationism. BS about subsets is beside the point. I will not respond to made up quotes.”

    I did not say that he said that. You need to respond to what is written and not what you hope was written. If said that if ID is tied to creationism, as Judge Jones said, the IC is also implicated since it is subset of ID. That is a logical fact. You shouldn’t make things like that up.

    —-”As to who is and is not a creationist, I took Stephen Meyer’s definition as pretty good. I still think it’s pretty good, but as I have said before, I don’t think questions of definition are answerable in absolute terms: I think they are best framed in pragmatic terms.”

    So, are you saying that Steven Myers definition of creationism [where did you get that by the way] is the same as the one Judge Jones used, or are you saying that Judge Jones used the wrong definition and therefore decided badly, or are you saying that you like both Judge Jones definition, when it persecutes ID, but you also like Steven Myers definition if it allows you wiggle room in another context. Or, are saying that you don’t know Judge Jones’ definition of creationism, but whatever it is, it must have been good if it helped him rule against ID? Do you, in fact, know what you are saying?

  454. 454

    jerry, thanks for your response. One of the interesting things about “creationism” is that many in the young-earth creationist community have tried to exclude others (including the venerable old-earth creationists) from creationism. See Chris Toumey, God’s Own Scientists: Creationists in a Secular World for a sociological exploration of that phenomenon. Your view works for you, but it’s worth noting that it diverges from many others including some who would define themselves as creationists.

    Meyer was using the term in 1986 and a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then and he may want to refine his classification.

    Agreed! For example, he might be much less likely to define them as creationists after a certain Supreme Court decision in 1987. :-)

  455. 455

    StephenB, I wrote this:

    StephenB, please produce a quote in which Judge Jones says IC is linked to creationism. BS about subsets is beside the point. I will not respond to made up quotes.

    StephenB responded:

    I did not say that he said that. You need to respond to what is written and not what you hope was written.

    I was referring to what was written. I was referring to this [from 331]:

    Tell me how the methodology of “irreducible complexity” is, as Judge Jones put it, coupled with “creationism and religious antecedents”

    Any reader who did not have access to the decision would think that was a quote: that the referent was to IC. But in fact that’s not true. It is, in short, a made-up quote.

    Who is responding to the text? Me. Who is responding to what he wishes Jones had written. You.

  456. —-David Kellogg: “Sure it’s a creationist text [Of Pandas and People]. Of course, the body of it is a critique of origin of life chemistry as understood circa 1981. The forward is by a young earth creationist.

    —”The epilogue clearly marks their position as creationist.”

    What is it that was said in the epilogue that warrants that opinion? Which definition of creationism are you using?

  457. 457

    Here is the quote in which Jones calls IC creationism. I don’t have a horse in this. Call it a public service.

    Further evidence in support of the conclusion that a reasonable observer, adult or child, who is “aware of the history and context of the community and forum” is presumed to know that ID is a form of creationism concerns the fact that ID uses the same, or exceedingly similar arguments as were posited in support of creationism…
    In addition, creationists made the same argument that the complexity of the bacterial flagellum supported creationism as Professors Behe and Minnich now make for ID.

    He does not use the term IC, but refers to the argument regarding the complexity of the bacterial flagellum, which is unmistakably IC. He thereby singles out IC as a reason for confusing ID and creationism. He does not connect IC to creationism only through IC’s role in ID.

  458. 458

    In addition, creationists made the same argument that the complexity of the bacterial flagellum supported creationism as Professors Behe and Minnich now make for ID.

    That is true.

  459. —-Earlier I wrote, “Tell me how the methodology of “irreducible complexity” is, as Judge Jones put it, coupled with “creationism and religious antecedents”

    —David: “Any reader who did not have access to the decision would think that was a quote: that the referent was to IC. But in fact that’s not true. It is, in short, a made-up quote.

    You are taking that statement out of context. Earlier I wrote, “I will ask you the same question that I asked Rob: How do you get religion from “irreducible complexity?”

    I was clearly referring to Judge Jones’ decision that all ID is linked to creationism and I was asking how irreducible complexity can fit into that scheme. It was a question, not a statment of Jones direct quote. It was a reflection of the logical extention of Jones’ decision that ALL ID is linked to creationism. By the way, that problem persists. If all of ID is linked to creationism, then IC is linked to creationism.

  460. Onlookers:

    Let us observe a common pattern of Darwinists: distractions, distortion, demonisation. or, more colourfully: dragging a red herring to pull us away formt eh track of truth, leadingt out to a strawman soaked in oil of ad hominem, then igniting it to cloud, confuse, poison and choke the atmosphere with polarisation.

    So, let us get back to basics:

    1 –> ACLU/Judge Jones — tendentiously — rule that ID is “religion” not “science”: and to do so one step in their case was to twist the writings and testimony of Mr Behe, a leading ID researcher. We see also that these worthies have labelled irreducible complexity (a key sign of intelligence) by direct implication “creationism.”

    2 –> When we took time to point out — at last count in 396 following up from 303 and even earlier — how (in terms of the logic involved) a priori Lewontin-style materialism can so bias leaders of science and other institutions that hey are unable to take an objective or fair view of the degree of warrant for the inference to design, THERE WAS NO RESPONSE ON THE LOGIC. So, the point below stands uncontested (but with many an attempt to distract our attention):

    if one at first accepts P and sees that P => Q, but is committed to F where F => NOT-Q, then one will be inclined to reject P by inferring F => NOT-Q, NOT-Q so NOT-P. But if NOT-P then implies absurdities, F is in deep trouble.

    I hold — and I believe I can justify: — that Evolutionary Materialism and the imposition of its handmaiden, methodological naturalism, on science, censors science from being an unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) search for the truth about our world based on empirical evidence and reasoned discussion among the informed. [Note, I do not say "the certificated" and/or "the credentialled."]

    3 –> Similarly, as 388 – 89 documents, when an appeal to authority was made, per Padian, Miller and Fuller, it turned out that the first two were hardly credible as objective sources nor did they make sound arguments. AND, Fuller was somehow transmuted from the one side of the ledger to the other. For, what he did was to show that science is an institution with a self-perpetuating elite, which makes it very vulnerable to all the defects of an entrenched nobility. THIS IS EXACTLY THE SORT OF CONTEXT IN WHICH DOMINANCE BY CLOSED MINDED AND ABUSIVE ELITES MAY MAKE “CONSENSUS” WORTHLESS.

    4 –> Along he way, Pandas came up for mention, and so soon as the fact that Pandas was not in fact the defining work on design theory came up, but the 1984 TMLO, suddenly this work was transmuted into a tissue of “creationist” propaganda. (And, while we are at it, “creationist” suddenly means anyone who has a theistic view on ultimate origins, not those who specifically wish to hold that science provides support for a particular interpretation of the Bible and usually challenge the geodating schemes on those grounds, as well as the idea of macroevolution on those grounds. In short, “science” has now become a synonym for “materialism” — just as Mr Lewontin and Mr Sagan said in 1997.)

    5 –> To sustain this, Mr Meyer’s 1986 Eternity article was twisted to make it out that Meyer labelled Thaxton et al creationists. This is of courser not true, as I showed, but more to the point: IT IS CLEAR FROM HOW THE BOOK WAS DISMISSED THAT PRESUMED BY DK ET AL THAT IF ONE HOLDS “CREATIONIST” [= THEISTIC] VIEWS, ONE CANNOT DO “SCIENCE” AND SCIENTIFIC WORK BY SUCH A ONE IS INVALID AND CAN BE DISMISSED WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OF THE MERITS, SO SOON AS THE LABEL IS APPLIED.

    6 –> Note, TMLO begins by addressing Miller-Urey type experiments and their findings, explores the likely geoconditions in the projected remote past of our planet on conventional dating principles, and addresses the thermodynamics and related information theory issues on the proposed spontaneous formation of life, then addresses the proposals that various forces and factors catalysed life on non-chance constraints (including Dean Kenyon’s famous Biochemical Predestination thesis of 1969). WITHOUT A SINGLE ANALYTICAL STEP ALL OF THIS IS DISMISSED BECAUSE THESE MEN CAN BE LABELLED “CREATIONISTS.” (And that, by men who are as a rule committed to a prior materialism, i.e. atheism. “Sauce for the goose . . . “)

    [ ... ]

  461. 7 –> In particular, Mr Kenyon, a then leading OOL researcher, was dismissed because he is a “Creationist.” Well, this is what he has to say for himself on how he came to abandon his biochemical predestination thesis:

    The experimental results to date have apparently convinced many scientists that a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life will be found, but there are significant reasons for doubt. In the yeara since the publication of Biochemical Predestination I have been increas-
    ingly atruck by a peculiar feature of many of the published experi-
    ments in the field . . . .

    In most cases the experimental conditions in such studies have
    been so artificially simplified as to have virtually no bearing on any actual processes that might have taken place on the primitive earth . . . .

    Other aspects of origin-of-life research have contributed to my
    growing uneasinees about the theory of chemical evolution. One of
    these is the enormous gap between the most complex “prohcell” model systems produced in the laboratory and the simpleat living cells. Anyone familiar with the ultrastructural and biochemical complexity of the genus Mycoplasma, for example, should have eerious doubts about the relevance of any of the various laboratory “protoceHs” to the actual historical origin of cells. In my view, the possibility of closing this gap by laboratory simulation of chemical events likely to have occurred on the primitive earth is extremely remote . . . .

    Finally, in this brief summary of the reasons for my growing doubts that life on earth could have begun spontaneously by purely chemical and physical rneana, there is the problem of the origin of genetic, i-e,, biologically relevant, information in biopolymers. No
    experimental system yet devised has provided the slightest clue as to how biologically meaningful sequences of subunits might have ori- ginated in prebiotic polynucleotides or polypeptides.
    Evidence for some degree of spontaneous sequence ordering has been published, but there is no indication whatsoever that the non-randomness is biologically significant. Until such evidence is forthcoming one cer-tainly cannot claim that the possibility of a naturalistic origin of life
    has been demonstrated.

    In view of these and other vexing problems in origin-of-life
    research, there has been a need for some years now for a detailed,
    systematic analysis of all major aspects of the field. It is time to
    re-examine the foundations of this research in such a way that all
    the salient lines of criticism are sirnultaneousIy kept in view. The
    Mystery of Life’s Origin admirably fills this need. The authors have
    addressed nearly all the problems enumerated above and several
    other important ones as well. They believe, and I now concur, that
    there is a fundamental flaw in all current theories of the chemical
    origins of life . . .
    [pp. vi, vii]

    8 –> All of this careful technical work and soul-searching have been swept away with a shout “creationist” and a wave of the hand. All, in the absence of any of the characteristic creationist themes.

    9 –> You will understand why I find that sort of distraction, distortion and closed mindedly arrogant dismissal grossly disrespectful and revealing of precisely the sort of contumely that is the typical fate of elites given over to hubris. If DK has any decency he will apologise, and will at length get around to actually dealing wiht issues on teh merits. On track record, sadly, i have but littel expectation that hat will happen.

    10 –> But, maybe, possibly, for once, DK will pleasantly surpise me.

    _______________

    In the meanwhile, we have a clearly laid out live example of the kind of attitude and failure of reason that went into Judge Junes’ unjust judgement.

    GEM of TKI

  462. 462

    I was clearly referring to Judge Jones’ decision that all ID is linked to creationism and I was asking how irreducible complexity can fit into that scheme.

    A student in my writing class who treated sources as carelessly would likely fail.

    But silly me: I think quotation marks along with “as Judge Jones put it” creates the expectation of a quote. Apparently you don’t share that view.

  463. —-From Scott Andrews: “Here is the quote in which Jones calls IC creationism. I don’t have a horse in this. Call it a public service.”

    —-”Further evidence in support of the conclusion that a reasonable observer, adult or child, who is “aware of the history and context of the community and forum” is presumed to know that ID is a form of creationism concerns the fact that ID uses the same, or exceedingly similar arguments as were posited in support of creationism…

    —-In addition, creationists made the same argument that the complexity of the bacterial flagellum supported creationism as Professors Behe and Minnich now make for ID.”

    —”He does not use the term IC, but refers to the argument regarding the complexity of the bacterial flagellum, which is unmistakably IC. He thereby singles out IC as a reason for confusing ID and creationism. He does not connect IC to creationism only through IC’s role in ID.”

    Yes, of course. Judge Jones made it clear at every turn that ALL ID is linked to creationism.

    Scott, you are probably the only non-partisan person that has ever appeared on this site. Please stay around for a while.

  464. 464

    kairosfocus, as usual, most of your stuff is not worth responding to, but this is:

    To sustain this, Mr Meyer’s 1986 Eternity article was twisted to make it out that Meyer labelled Thaxton et al creationists. This is of courser not true,

    Yes it is. Here’s the quote again:

    Given the authors’ academic credentials, one would ordinarily expect such a hearing. Bradley, a materials engineer, and Olsen, a geochemist, hold professorships at prestigious technical universities. Chemist Thaxton has completed post-doctoral work at Harvard University in the history of science and at Brandeis in molecular biology. What makes the attention The Mystery of Life’s Origin has received so unusual is that its authors believe evidence now points to a supernatural origin for life. The authors are creationists.

    Every word in that quote is Meyer’s.

  465. 465

    JayM,

    ——”I don’t argue against ID, Clive, I argue against poor arguments from ID supporters. That’s far more supportive of the eventual goal of making ID credible than is participating in an echo chamber where criticism of people on “our side” is strongly discouraged.”

    You never have any arguments in favor of ID. Never. All I ever see from you are arguments against ID. It doesn’t matter that you posit them in terms of “constructive criticism” and “just wanting to help”. If you really want to help, then make some of your own arguments in favor of ID, instead of always criticizing others who make actual ID arguments. Otherwise, your pretense is exposed.

  466. 466

    JayM,

    ——”However much distaste you have for Barbara Forrest, claiming that “cdesign proponentists” never existed does nothing for your credibility and provides more ammunition for ID opponents.”

    ID opponents such as yourself.

  467. 467

    David Kellogg,

    ——”Interesting that Dr. Dembski doesn’t mention the much earlier Darwin’s Black Box — perhaps because so many of its examples came (the flagellum, the bombardier beetle) came from creationism.”

    Why is that interesting?

  468. —-David: “But silly me: I think quotation marks along with “as Judge Jones put it” creates the expectation of a quote. Apparently you don’t share that view.”

    My view is that individuals should read for context and try to understand what the author is saying. It will happily go on the record saying that Judge Jones singled out ID in general, AND IC in particular, as linked to creationism. When I read transcripts or decisions, I try to understand the argument that is being made. That way, if I get a detail wrong, and we all do, I won’t be very far off track. On the other hand, you look for details but you miss the argument. So, you don’t make small errors, you make big errors.

    Your view is that if an author’s words can be twisted and taken out of context to fit your agenda, then they should be twisted and taken out of context. Under the circumstances, you miss what is actually being said.

    Notice, for example, that when I cited Scott’s quote, I presented the whole thing. When you referred to it, you took out a chunk that you liked and left out the rest. That is the kind of thing that I am talking about.

    —-”A student in my writing class who treated sources as carelessly would likely fail.”

    A student in my class who makes irrational arguments would be sent back to logic 101.

  469. 469

    Clive, it’s interesting because it suggests that Dr. Dembski agrees with Morris that many of Dr. Behe’s arguments originate in creationism.

    StephenB, have I ever strung two bits from 30 pages apart and strung them together as though they were quotes from a single sentence? That’s what you did. Fail.

    A student in my class who makes irrational arguments would be sent back to logic 101.

    I seriously doubt you have that authority.

  470. 470

    The question of whether ID is creationism was not brought up because of some evil intent on my part (or the part of Judge Jones) but because that was among the principal issues on the table in Dover (important legally since Edwards v. Aguillard 1987).

  471. 471

    StephenB:

    Scott, you are probably the only non-partisan person that has ever appeared on this site. Please stay around for a while.

    Thank you. But I may have misrepresented myself. I’m foremost a religious person, but I like what I’ve read about ID, and I see materialist Darwinism as a load of nonsense. That makes me as biased as the next person.
    I meant that the Dover decision doesn’t matter very much to me. Lots of people say nonsensical things about ID – this one just stings more because it’s a federal decision. I’m all but certain that Jones didn’t understand the evidence, the decision, or the reasons behind it.

  472. “originate in creationism.”

    Two comments

    “originate with creationism” might be better. Just as history originated with the Greeks. But history is not an essential part of being Greek nor is it precluded from use by anyone else.

    My guess is that some of the arguments espoused by creationists (which definition of creation you choose) originated some place else.

    Why this tiresome constant attempts to link anything a creationist espoused as suspect? We all know the answer but it does not make it any less tiresome.

  473. —David Kellogg: “StephenB, have I ever strung two bits from 30 pages apart and strung them together as though they were”

    You have one quote taken out of context for the expressed purpose of avoiding argument. When you cannot argue that you start looking for distractions.

    You said that Myers definition of creationism was a good one. So, are you saying that his definition of creationism is the same as the one Judge Jones used, or are you saying that Judge Jones used the wrong definition and therefore decided badly, or are you saying that you like Judge Jones definition, insofar as it persecutes ID, but you also like Steven Myers definition if it allows you wiggle room in another context. Or, are saying that you don’t know Judge Jones’ definition of creationism, but whatever it is, it must have been good if it helped him rule against ID? Do you, in fact, know what you are saying?

  474. 474

    David Kellogg,

    ——”Clive, it’s interesting because it suggests that Dr. Dembski agrees with Morris that many of Dr. Behe’s arguments originate in creationism.”

    That is not the conclusion I would draw, nor suggest. And secondly, insinuations like this don’t really help the discussion much, they border on calling one’s intellectual honesty into question.

  475. 475

    “You have one quote taken out of context for the expressed purpose of avoiding argument.”

    It should be “express,” but regardless — what quote are you talking about?

    As to your strange paragraph about Jones, Meyers, and me:

    I think the decision was good because the Dover school board’s action was unconstitutionial. Jones seems to have used creationism as defined in legal decisions from Epperson to Edwards. If you, StephenB, look back to my citation of Meyer, you’ll see that it was made in response to kairosfocus, who (wrongly) said that TMLO as not mentioned in the trial and that those authors were not creationists. I pointed out that it was part of the trial record and that a prominent person in ID identified them as creationists. (To date, kairosfocus has not acknowledged these corrections). That is all. I’m claiming no affinity between Judge Jones’s view of creationism, which is guided by legal precedent and discussed in the ruling, and Meyer’s.

  476. 476

    That is not the conclusion I would draw, nor suggest. And secondly, insinuations like this don’t really help the discussion much, they border on calling one’s intellectual honesty into question.

    Well, you and I read things differently. :-) Actually I am praising Dr. Demsbki’s honesty: throughout the document Dr. Dembski is open and honest about the deep creationist roots of ID and the debt that ID owes to creationism.

  477. —-David Kellogg: “I think the decision was good because the Dover school board’s action was unconstitutionial. Jones seems to have used creationism as defined in legal decisions from Epperson to Edwards.”

    Seems to be? From Epperson to Edwards? You mean you don’t know? If you don’t know which standard for creationism that Judge Jones was using, how is it rational for you to say that ID should be tied to that standard or that Judge Jones was right in ruling accordingly?

  478. A brief moment of access to the internet gives me, an onlooker, the opportunity to congratulate StephenB on his contribution to truth, logic and honesty. Stephen, you have surpassed Mr M., and now rival Joseph for my favorite UD poster. Long may you continue!

  479. 479

    David Kellogg,

    ——”Clive, it’s interesting because it suggests that Dr. Dembski agrees with Morris that many of Dr. Behe’s arguments originate in creationism.”

    Did you notice this line?

    “To be sure, I am not a young earth creationist nor do I support their efforts to harmonize science with a particular interpretation of Genesis. Nonetheless, it was their literature that first got me thinking about how improbable it is to generate biological complexity and how this problem might be approached scientifically. A. E. Wilder-Smith was particularly important to me in this regard. Making rigorous his intuitive ideas about information has been the impetus for much of my research.”

    By your chain of reasoning, his English teacher should also be credited with his ideas arising as a result of learning English and reading about the debate as a whole. It doesn’t much matter where you get the idea, it doesn’t link you to the person, nor the ideology, who first espoused it and where you first encountered it. You, being a Darwin proponent, by your reasoning, could be called sympathetic with the weird reasoning of Epicurus and his brand of materialism, for that was the precursor to evolution.

  480. Thank you, Alan. A sentimental tear trickles down my face as I accept this presigious award. I don’t deserve it, though, because I didn’t really write those posts. They emerged through a random process.

  481. Alan, @478, A sentimental tear trickles down my face as I accept this prestigious award. I don’t deserve it, though, because I didn’t really write those posts. They emerged through a random process. If I am to give an acceptance speech, I must spell prestigious correctly.

  482. Clive Hayden @466

    I don’t argue against ID, Clive, I argue against poor arguments from ID supporters. That’s far more supportive of the eventual goal of making ID credible than is participating in an echo chamber where criticism of people on “our side” is strongly discouraged.

    You never have any arguments in favor of ID. Never. All I ever see from you are arguments against ID. It doesn’t matter that you posit them in terms of “constructive criticism” and “just wanting to help”. If you really want to help, then make some of your own arguments in favor of ID, instead of always criticizing others who make actual ID arguments. Otherwise, your pretense is exposed.

    You’re assuming too much, Clive. I started posting here because I got tired of hearing the old “ID says nothing about the nature of the designer” dodge. That and similar arguments from ID supporters who significantly overstate the case for ID, as it stands now, pose a major problem for those of us who want to treat ID as science.

    There is currently no scientific theory of ID. By that I mean there is no explanation for a body of observations that explains the empirical evidence and makes testable, falsifiable predictions. There are, however, some promising lines of research, particularly Dr. Behe’s “edge of evolution.” ID is a research concept at this point, and that’s fine. All new hypotheses have to mature.

    The chances of ID being allowed to mature, of researchers taking some of the ideas seriously and really investigating the limitations of known evolutionary mechanisms, are greatly reduced by claims such as those made by many ID proponents here. When ID proponents can be so easily dismissed as uneducated and dissembling, when they show so little respect for and understanding of how science is really practiced, when it is so easy to tar us with the creationist brush, no progress can be made.

    You, too, are part of the problem. Real scientists debate the issues with each other. Here at UD, you show more concern over loyalty to the cause than to the content of the discussions.

    If you spent more time policing the quality and accuracy of the posts by some of the regulars here, rather than in questioning the motives of those who are actually interested in making real progress, UD might fulfill its potential as a forum for serious discussion of intelligent design.

    JJ

  483. 483

    StephenB, there seems to be a slight mutation from 480 to 481.

    You asked me where I got the Meyer quote. There’s this thing on the interwebs that the kids call a “hyperlink.” It’s provided in the comment where I quote Meyer. I try to provide such newfangled “hyperlinks” if I’m the first person to reference a document in a thread.

  484. 484

    Clive, I only point out that Dr. Dembski acknowledges his debt to creationism. This “credit cycle” has been acknowledged by many from Robert Merton to Bruno Latour. He doesn’t acknowledge his English teacher for giving any insight into his ID ideas.

  485. 485

    “If you don’t know which standard for creationism that Judge Jones was using”

    As a judge, he’s pretty much obligated to use the standard as defined in prior higher court decisions. He never lays out a definition as such the decision but references many components of earlier court decisions about creationism.

    He’s obligated to do that, because that’s the legal issue. I think this is why Learned Hand was so surprised that you didn’t care about Lemon. The Lemon test is what a judge is obliged to apply on church-state issues (the grounds of the suit).

  486. —David Kellogg: “StephenB, there seems to be a slight mutation from 480 to 481.”

    Yes, indeed. Stochastic processes seem to be associated with such events.

    — “You asked me where I got the Meyer quote. There’s this thing on the interwebs that the kids call a “hyperlink.” It’s provided in the comment where I quote Meyer. I try to provide such newfangled “hyperlinks” if I’m the first person to reference a document in a thread.”

    Thanks, I love all that high tech stuff, but I must de-emphasize it the moment. Otherwise, you may lose focus. So, I will shorten my question:

    If you don’t know which standard for creationism that Judge Jones was using, how is it rational for you to say that ID should be tied to that standard or that Judge Jones was right in ruling accordingly?

  487. I must de-emphasize it [for] the moment—-

  488. 488

    JayM,

    ——”You’re assuming too much, Clive. I started posting here because I got tired of hearing the old “ID says nothing about the nature of the designer” dodge. That and similar arguments from ID supporters who significantly overstate the case for ID, as it stands now, pose a major problem for those of us who want to treat ID as science.”

    I’m not assuming too much. You’re not fooling anyone.

  489. 489

    StephenB

    So, cdesign proponentists?

    You appear to have missed Gaz’s comment so I reproduce it below

    StephenB (308),

    “Nope, that is a manifestly untruthful statement. All the early drafts rejected creationism as defined by the courts. Creationism once had an all inclusive meaning, but when the Edwards decision came out, it came to mean something similar to creation science. So, the draft had to be changed since the new legal definition of creationism excluded intelligent design, which was, and always had been, the theme of the book. Anyone who reads the defining opening paragraph of the book would know that. It’s ID through and through.”

    Nope, totally wrong. The early drafts given by the publishers under subpoena had this defintion of “creation”:

    “Creation means that the various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent creator with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc.”

    and the 1987 published edition of “Pandas” had this defintion of “intelligent design”:

    “Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, wings, etc.”

    Note that the only differences between the definitions are that “creation” has been replaced by “intellgent design” and “creator” by “agency”. Therefore, the “Pandas” author showed that “creation” and “intelligent design” are synonymous because HE USED THE TWO TERMS TO MEAN EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

    The one thing I would agree with you on is that “Pandas” is ID through and through. It is; but that is because ID is creation, as the “Pandas” drafts themselves show.

    There is no shame in being wrong on occasion. The facts in the origin of cdesign proponentists are a matter of public record. The drafts containing the smoking gun were put into the record from the publisher themselves. There is no doubt. Creation became intelligent design in Pandas.

  490. 490

    StephenB

    Thanks, I love all that high tech stuff, but I must de-emphasize it the moment.

    Earlier you accused me of linking to the Pandas Thumb when the link was in fact to Wikipedia. I’m starting to think you don’t really care about finding the truth in these matters, rather you seem to me to be concerned with having the apperance of being right rather then the actuality of being right.

    Do you believe in ghosts?

  491. 491

    David Kellogg,

    ——”Clive, I only point out that Dr. Dembski acknowledges his debt to creationism. This “credit cycle” has been acknowledged by many from Robert Merton to Bruno Latour. He doesn’t acknowledge his English teacher for giving any insight into his ID ideas.”

    But you do, implicitly, as an extension of your argument. The conditions that peaked Dr. Dembski’s interest are more varying and just as irrelevant as your singular insinuation. Seeing a Model T Ford and being interested in making advances in cars does not link you to Ford’s beliefs in antisemitism.

  492. —David: “As a judge, he’s pretty much obligated to use the standard as defined in prior higher court decisions. He never lays out a definition as such the decision but references many components of earlier court decisions about creationism.”

    Yes, that is correct, as LH hastens to tell us. But what is that definition and how does it differ from Steven Myer’s definition, which is the one you used for dialogue? You didn’t defend Judge Jones definition on the grounds that he honored precedence, [also doubtful] you defended it on the grounds that it was reasonable. Under the circumstances, I would think you would know what that standard is.

    —-”He’s obligated to do that, because that’s the legal issue. I think this is why Learned Hand was so surprised that you didn’t care about Lemon. The Lemon test is what a judge is obliged to apply on church-state issues (the grounds of the suit).”

    Yes, I know, but I was challenging LH’s ideal of elevating the process of justice over justice itself. I wanted to know his standard for justice and why he values the process more than that which it is supposed to produce. He appears to think that justice is supposed to serve the process rather than the other way around.

  493. Clive Hayden @488

    You’re assuming too much, Clive. I started posting here because I got tired of hearing the old “ID says nothing about the nature of the designer” dodge. That and similar arguments from ID supporters who significantly overstate the case for ID, as it stands now, pose a major problem for those of us who want to treat ID as science.

    I’m not assuming too much. You’re not fooling anyone.

    Clive, baby, if I wanted to fool someone I’d go to a venue where that poses an actual challenge.

    Now how about addressing the substance of my posts above?

    JJ

  494. 494

    JayM,

    I won’t tolerate baby talk. You’re presence here has been one of deceit the entire time, and I’m done with letting you have the opportunity to continue.

  495. Sorry, that should read “you didn’t defend Judge Jones’ [decision] on the grounds that it honored precedence, you defended it on the grounds that it was reasonable.”

  496. 496

    StephenB,

    If you don’t know which standard for creationism that Judge Jones was using, how is it rational for you to say that ID should be tied to that standard or that Judge Jones was right in ruling accordingly?

    Don’t patronize. Definitional elements are throughout the ruling, as on page 29:

    In addition to the IDM itself describing ID as a religious argument, ID’s religious nature is evident because it involves a supernatural designer. The courts in Edwards and McLean expressly found that this characteristic removed creationism from the realm of science and made it a religious proposition. Edwards, 482 U.S. at 591-92; McLean, 529 F. Supp. at 1265-66. Prominent ID proponents have made abundantly clear that the designer is supernatural.

  497. 497

    Yes, I know, but I was challenging LH’s ideal of elevating the process of justice over justice itself.

    In rhetorical terms, you’re arguing about the stasis of procedure, but the stasis of Dover is not up to you. Feel free to piss and moan about the injustice of the decision all you want; the legal arena is where it gets decided.

  498. —-David Kellogg:

    “In addition to the IDM itself describing ID as a religious argument, ID’s religious nature is evident because it involves a supernatural designer. The courts in Edwards and McLean expressly found that this characteristic removed creationism from the realm of science and made it a religious proposition. Edwards, 482 U.S. at 591-92; McLean, 529 F. Supp. at 1265-66. Prominent ID proponents have made abundantly clear that the designer is supernatural.”

    The original problem persists. How can ID involve a supernatural designer if agnostics and atheists accept it?

    —-”In rhetorical terms, you’re arguing about the stasis of procedure, but the stasis of Dover is not up to you. Feel free to piss and moan about the injustice of the decision all you want; the legal arena is where it gets decided.”

    Court decisions are made in court. Yes, that would seem to be a difficult proposition to resist. However, what I want to know is about your standard of justice. Does it, like LH/s standard, begin and end with the system—supported by dutiful little worker bees who say “Amen” to anything any court says because they can’t conceive of any standard of justice that transcends the courts values. Would you have answered that way in another era when the court decided that a black man was three/fifths of a person?

    That is why I did not get into a discussion with LH about the Lemon test about religion, because it is a totally arbitrary standard. What is an “excessive” entanglement with religion? Was Thomas Jefferson’s congress excessively entangled with religion when they offered prayer services right inside the government building? Was government excessively entangled with religion when it established Christmas as a holiday? Whoever gets to define the word, “excessive” get’s to decide everything. It is no standard at all.

    So, what is your standard for justice? All you seem to be able to say is that Jones’ decision was fair because it happened in a court of law and Jones turned out to be your guy. What about the fact that a judge should not be making decisions about the line of demarcation between science and science in the first place? Do you judge that to be reasonable solely on the grounds that it serves your ends? Is that your standard of justice? If it goes my way, it is fair. Do you base your reasoning process on that same standard. If the facts go your way, you will acknowledge them; if not, you will dispute them. Is that your reasoning process?

  499. DK, Re 464:

    I will say this much, you have a technically correct cite [one that is from a different part of the article and again your previous is incorrectly cited], but one that is highly misleading (as circa 1986, there was no terminology for a design thinker i.e. you have committed a fallacy of equivocation. [And note, at that time, Meyer was not a PhD philosopher and historian of science specialising in OOL and related issues, i.e you cannot simply cite his words as reasonably definitive.] To the merits, to the merits, to the merits, we must go.)

    So soon as we turn to those merits, we easily see that your dismissal by labelling attempt also reflects the same pattern of distraction, distortion and demonisation, then dismissal we have noted above on Behe: THE ARGUMENT TBO MAKE IN TMLO IS NOT ABOUT GENESIS OR WHETHER DATA CAN BE FOUND TO SUPPORT IT, BUT IS A TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE STATE OF OOL RESEARCH CIRCA 1984: MILLER-UREY TYPE EXPERIMENTS (AND THE ISSUE OF INVESTIGATOR INTERFERENCE), CONVENTIONAL GEO-TIMELINE — NOT YEC! — EARLY EARTH ATMOSPHERIC CIRCUMSTANCES, IMPLICATIONS FOR PRE-BIOTIC SOUP FORMATION AND BREAKDOWN, DETAILED CLASSICAL AND STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS OF MOLECULE FORMATION IN (GENEROUS) PRE-BIOTIC SOUP CIRCUMSTANCES, RELATED INFORMATION THEORY PER BRILLOUIN, PROPOSED MECHANISMS FOR FORMATION OF EARLY LIFE, PROTOCELLS, etc. (Remember, TMLO is the book that marks a new departure. I happen to have in hand a copy of Morris’ Scientific Creationism, of that general era, and I assure you it speaks to nothing like that.)

    So, once we see that not once do you pause to address the technical merits of the discussion, but jump to labelling and dismissing, we may properly draw a conclusion on prudence in face of evident threat: what your remarks boil down to is agenda-linked prejudice: so soon as you can ind a way to attach the label “Creationist” you dismiss without actual consideration on the merits.

    For shame!

    Worse, your remarks also reflect a clear agenda — and here, I must read from you to the Anti Evo group you represent, and beyond to the Lewontinian a priori materialists and their public policy allies in NCSE, NAS, NSTA, ACLU etc, and now in courtrooms and even halls of government otherwise — that is utterly destructive: to redefine science (cutting clean across its history and related philosophy) as applied materialism/atheism, and to exclude — that is: EXPEL — anyone who has theistic leanings.

    Sorry, DK, you just declared culture war. And we will not simply surrender to you and your ilk.

    ________________

    Onlookers, let us note carefully, for now we must be VERY clear in the face of mortal danger:

    1 –> The Lewontinian materialists typified by Anti -Evo and DK et al as their representatives here at UD, have now tipped their hand: they intend to subvert science into applied evolutionary materialist atheism, and to establish it as the de facto quasi-religion of science education, the courts, law and public policy.

    2 –> They do not intend to actually address scientific issues on the technical or general merits, but to distract from facts and logic, self-servingly distort whatever those who object to their claims have to say, demonise and expel qualified scientists who will not toe the matertilist party line [Exhibit A: Gonzalez, and going back earlier, exhibit 0 is Kenyon himself], then to dismiss any objections to their agenda.

    3 –> In this pursuit, when such say “science” we must nor confuse ourselves: they do NOT mean “an unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) pursuit of the truth in light of empirical evidence and reasoned discussion among the informed.” [Notice, how they cannot gainsay this historically and philosophically well-warranted summary of what science at its best should be, they just ignore it.]

    4 –> Instead, let us attend to US NAS member Lewontin’s words in that infamous 1997 NYRB article — which reveals that this is a longstanding agenda — i.e.:

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . .

    [ . . . ]

  500. 5 –> That means that a leading OOL researcher like Kenyon who changed his mind on specific technical evidence, and chemists like Thaxton, polymer experts like Bradley, and geologists like Olsen who make detailed, technically correct practical and theoretical investigations are to be tagged, demonised and dismissed because there is the possibility of “a Divine Foot in the door.”

    6 –> Worse, Lewontin’s “justification” is sophomoric nonsense: To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.

    7 –> For, first, (and as Dan Peterson ably summarised) the POINT of theism as it impinges on science is not that God is a chaotic intrusion on an orderly cosmos, but that he is the foundation of an intelligible natural order. Indeed, “natural LAW” is a term in science because it was introduced by men who saw themselves as discovering God’s ordering principles by which he created and sustains the world in a manner that is provident for our good.

    8 –> And, the theologians inform us that miracles are necessarily rare relative tot he stream of general events in a theistic world: for a miracle to stand out as a sign that points to God and evokes wonder, it has to stand out as different from the general order of things; most classically the resurrection of Christ as attested by 500+ eyewitnesses. (Similarly, we cannot be morally responsible before God and/or one another — including in the court room — unless actions have generally predictable consequences.)

    9 –> So the proffered justification for imposing Lewontininan methodological and/or metaphysical materialism on science rests on a strawmanish self-serving, irresponsible caricature of theism as it speaks to science.

    10 –> And, this pattern of red herring distractions, led out to strawman distortions soaked in ad hominems and ignited to cloud, confuse, choke and polarise the atmosphere are nakedly revealed as a general, deep rooted rhetorical strategy. We must no longer allow such materialists to get away with it.

    11 –> Instead, we must insist on recovering science from such untrustworthy and destrucive hands, and insist that science be as it should be: “an unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) pursuit of the truth in light of empirical evidence and reasoned discussion among the informed.”

    12 –> On the particular matters at stake in this thread, we note that it is clear that ACLU/Jones distorted Behe and others, to make up an unjust and false judgement against ID that is is “religion” not “science.” But on the Lewoninian redefinition, all that boils down to is that Behe et al refuse to turn science into the handmaiden of atheism, and have raised the glorified common sense point that irreducibly complex systems are best explained as being due to their ONLY known source, even if they appear in a biological context: intelligence.

    13 –> Similarly, TBO’s analysis is not a mere creationist tract but instead a sober and clearly scientific assessment of the evidence and alternative views, which became the point of departure for a modern science of design detection.

    14 –> And, in turn, as this dates to 1984, the Forrest et al purported timeline and narrative on the origins of ID and its motivations is fundamentally misleading, strawmannish and slanderous: design theory’s roots predate the Edwards decision, and are unrelated to repackaging creationism to smuggle “religion” into “science” — at least, if we retain a historically and philosophically well-warranted understanding of what science is.

    _____________

    So, onlookers, we now know what is afoot at the hands of the evolutionary materialists. And, given how central science is to our civilisation, we have no choice but to stoutly resist them, exposing their agenda and its consequences: corruption of science in service to atheistic evolutionary materialism, enforced by slander and injustice — including in the courtroom. And,t hat is the key lesson of Judge Jones’ unjust decision: justice itself is now in the balance.

    So, it is time for us to stand, on pain of consequences that are intolerable, at least for free men.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: FYI, DK, Meyer’s Cambridge PhD in History and Phil of Sci (focus on issues tied to OOL etc) dates to 1991. The dissertation topic was: “Of clues and causes: A methodological interpretation of origin of life studies” and was plainly inspired by the themes and issues raised in TMLO. Precisely the sort of impact that we would expect of a new departure, which raises issues on the philosophically tinged core of the predominant research programme on OOL studies. (And the allusion to Lakatos is deliberate.)

  501. Okay, TMLO (1984) Step 1:

    To the merits, to the merits, to the merits we must go . . .

    _____________

    PREFACE (excerpt, p. ix):

    The Mystery ofLife’s Origin is a book that had to be written. There is a critical necessity in any developing scientific discipline to subject its ideas to test and to rigorously analyze its experimental proce-dures. It is an ill-fated science that doesn’t do so. Yet, surprisingly,prebiotic or chemical evolution has never before been thoroughly evaluated. This book not only provides a comprehensive critique using established principles of physics and chemistry, it introduces some new analytical tooIs, particularly in chapters six and eight.

    We do not want to suggest that scholars have offered no criticisms helpful to other workers in the field of origin-of-life studies. They have, of course, and scattered here and there in the chemical, evolu- tion literature these criticisms can be found. There is no comprehen-sive marshalling of these, however, no carefully ordered statement that brings them together in one volume to assess their combined import. That is a need that has existed now for several yeara, a need which, hopefully, this book helps remedy. It should not be thought that the authors cited as sources of specific criticisme would be in agreement with the overall reassessment presented here. In most cases they would not.

    The fact that chemical evolution has not received thorough evalua- tion to date does not mean it is false, only that it is unwise to build on it or extend it until we are satisfied it is sound. It is crucial to have a thorough critique of chemical evolution, expecially since much of the optimism about finding life in space and the search for extratems- tria1 intelligence (SETI) is based on it . . . .

    The following chapters were produced by a chemist (CT), a materials scientist (WE), and a geochemist (RO). If there is validity to our reassessment it will mean that sizable re- adjustments in origin-of-life studies are in order. Even if our critique is ~hown to be deficient and the chemical evolution scenario is vindicated, perhaps the present work will have played a role in
    goading scientific workers into presenting a dearer and stronger defense in its behalf . . . .

    ___________________

    Onlookers, ask yourself; is this the preface to a “creationist tract,” or a serious critical monograph of a field that needs to reassess its intellectual foundations, if it is to be a good example of science as “an unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) pursuit of the truth in light of empirical evidence and reasoned discussion among the informed.”

    One that BTW, WAS taken seriously.

    GEM of TKI

  502. TMLO, step 2:

    Here, we excerpt briefly from ch 1:

    _____________________

    [pp 2 - 4] In 1953, few if any were troubled by the tension between the new insights of Crick and Watson on the one hand and Miller’s results on the other. Crick and Watson were concerned with life’s structure and Miller was concerned with life’s origin. Most observers had an unshakable confidence that these two investigative approaches would eventually converge. After all, young Miller’s announcement of experimental success was just what was anticipated according to the general theory of evolution. Regardless of whether the particular theory of evolution is Darwinian, neo-Darwinian, or something else, an evolutionary preamble to the biological phase of evolution is clearly required. Chemical evolution, then, is the pre-biological phase of evolution in which the very earliest living things came into being. This monumental dawning sf life occurred through the varia- tion of natural forces acting on matter over long time spans, perhaps
    up to a thousand million years, or maybe longer.

    In the decades since Miller’s and Crick and Watson’s reports, however, there have been indications that all is not well in the halls of biology. We have gained a far deeper appreciation of the extremely complex macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. The enlarged understanding of these complexities has precipitated new suggestions that the DNA mechanism may be more complex and the molecular organization more intricate and information-filled than was previously thought.3

    The impressive complexities of proteins, nucleic acids, and other biological molecules are presently developed in nature only in living things. Unless it is assumed such complexity has always been pres- ent in an infinitely old universe, there must have been a time in the past when life appeared de novo out of lifeless, inert matter. How can the mere interaction of simple chemicals in the primordial ocean have produced life as it is presently understood? That is the question. The signs do not bode well for the standard answers given, and some investigators are suggesting that our two approaches will not converge . . . .

    By 1966 a major change in scientific thought was underway. In Philadelphia a symposium was held to highlight these changes.4 [Westar, I believe] It was there that signs of an impending crisis first emerged. Sympo-sium participants came together to discuss the neo-Darwinian the- ory of evolution. One conclusion, expressed in the words of Murray By 1966 a major change in scientific thought was underway. In
    Philadelphia a symposium was held to highlight these changes.4 It was there that signs of an impending crisis first emerged. Sympo- sium participants came together to discuss the neo-Darwinian the-
    ory of evolution. One conclusion, expressed in the words of Murray Eden of MIT, was the need “to relegate the notion of randomness to a minor and non-crucial role”5 in our theories of origins. This conclu- sion was based on probability theory, which shows mathematically the odds against the chance formation of the highly complex mole- cular structure required for life. With the help of high-speed compu- ters, programs could be run which simulated the billions-of-years’ process based on the neo-Darwinian model of evolution. The results showed that the complexity of the biochemical world could not have originated by chance even within a time span of ten billion years.Eden’s conclusion was a reasonable if unsettling one.

    Other symposium participants voiced similar views about chance or randomness. V.F. Weiskopf noted, “There is some suspicion that an essential point [about our theories of origins] is still missing.”6 Eden suggested “new laws” as the missing piece in the puzzle of life’s origiin. In his opening remarks as chairman, Nobel Prize- winning biologist Sir Peter Medawar said, “There is a pretty wide-
    spread sense of dissatisfaction about what has come to be thought of as the accepted evolutionary theory in the English-speaking world, the so-called neo-Darwinian theory.”8
    It was Marcel Schutzenberger of the University of Paris, however, who intimated the true extent of the developing crisis when he expressed his belief that the problem of origins “cannot be bridged within the current conception of biol-ogy’.9 (Emphasis added).

    These comments reflect the impotence of chance or randomness as a creative mechanism for life’s origin. But there was dissent, too. Some symposium participants, C.H. Waddington for example, balked at this conclusion, saying that faulty programming was the prob-lem, not chance.10 Waddington’s objection illustrates a basic dilemma that has always plagued probability calculations. Such calculations must first assume a plausible chemical pathway, or course of events, and then calculate the probability of this series of events, in the hopes that the answer will at least approximate the probability of the actual course of events. Nevertheless, there is great uncertainty about the actual chemical pathway. As a consequence, calculations showing the extreme improbability that life began by chance usu- ally have carried little weight with scientists. Such probability calculations, however, have now been supple- mented by a more definitive type of calculation which does not require a knowledge of the detailed process or exact path of events that led to life. Recent advances in the application of the first and second laws of thermodynamics to living systems provide the basis for these calculations. Through them, accurate probabilities for the spontaneous synthesis of complex chemicals can be calculated without regard to the path that led to their development. All that is needed is information about the initial chemical arrangement and the complex arrangement these chemicals are found to have in living things. These thermodynamic calculations have agreed in order of magnitude with earlier path-dependent probability calcula- tions. For example, some investigators, including Ilya Prigogine, the Nobel Prize-winning thermodynamicist, have relied upon calcu-lations based on equilibrium thermodynamics to show the probabil- ity that life occurred spontaneously. Prigogine et al., put it this way:

    The probability that at ordinary temperatures in macroscopic number of mole-cules asscmbled to give rise to the highly ordered structures and to the coordinated functions characterising living organisms is vanishingly small. Thc idea of spontaneous genesis of life in its present form is therefore highly improbable even on the scale of the billions of years during which prebiotic evolution occurred.” . . .

    [NB: the only OBSERVED real life -- games on Fox's microspheres adn "definitions" of life are just strawman rhetoric -- depends on complex metabolic pathways and the DNA-RNA-Ribosome-Enzyme protein manufacturing mechanism. So, this is not just about the spontaneous synthesis of E coli or the like, but about the origin of OBSERVED life systems. And, TBO go on to simply analyse the odds of getting to a protein molecule by chance, or to a DNA molecule by chance, so addressing the metabolism and genes first schools of thought that still remain central to OOL down to today.]

    TBO go on to cite a key point from Polanyi, relating to biochemical predestination:

    [p.4:] M. Polanyi . . . suggested that if atomic bonding properties accounted for the actual structure of DNA, including the distribution of bases, ‘then such a DNA molecule would have no information content. Its codelike character would be effaced by an overwhelming redundancy.”I2 So the mystery behind life’s origin continues in spite of the undaunted confidence of some that a solu- tion is near. . . .
    ________________________

    Plainly, the focus here is on OOL chamistry and related thermodynamics and inrformation theory, leading to a sustaining of the conclusion that Prigogine — usually rpesented as showing how OOL can plausibly occur in “open” systems — has baldly stated. [And if you want to look at the online presentation of that thermodyanamics and information theory, cf here, and my own related discussion here in App 1, my always linked. If you are going to address the merits critically, that -- inter alia -- is what you will have to address. Labelling qualified people undertaking a serious technical analysis "creationists" and dismissing them without consideration is propaganda and injustice. Not science. It must stop now.]

    +++++++

    Let us now pause and see if DK et al are willing to step up to the plate, or will again simply resort to dismissive rhetoric.

    GEM of TKI

  503. 503

    kairosfocus,

    Let us now pause and see if DK et al are willing to step up to the plate, or will again simply resort to dismissive rhetoric.

    Um, what? All I did was cite (correctly) a publication from Stephen Meyer that called the authors of TMLO “creationists.” This corresponds with the evidence of the very long Epilogue to the book, which clearly identifies the authors as advocates of Special Creation.

    After finally, grudgingly accepting the Meyer quote as correct (though wrongly saying the citation was incorrect), you have gone apoplectic in response, with multiple fulminations, passages in all caps, declarations of culture war (not by me! really!), etc.

    I don’t get it. The only person who cares about the Lewontin passage is you. (You care about it a lot, obviously, since you keep citing it.) I’ve only met Lewontin once after hearing him give a lecture (on genetics and ideology, not on creationism). He seemed like a nice guy, and we talked a bit, but the “divine foot” passage didn’t come up once.

    Why is the date of Stephen Meyer’s Ph.D. at issue? Did he not know enough in 1986 not to call them creationists?

  504. I have a question and I admit I have read little of the debate on this thread. What relevance does the fact that in 1986, Miller identified the authors of TMLO as creationists. Under some definitions of creationist, about 5/6 of the human population or more can be characterized as creationists.

    Does the term have any meaning in any debate? If it does then one has an obligation to define the meaning of the term and then show how this identification has relevance.

    As far as I can see the term is meaningless in terms of science unless it can be shown to be relevant in some way. Also the term special creation is a meaningless term unless a definition is put on it.

  505. “After finally, grudgingly accepting the Meyer quote as correct”

    By the way has David Kellogg or others admitted to kairosfocus that it was shown that Dawkins used a latching mechanism in the book, the Blind Watchmaker, for the Weasel program. If one is going to complain about grudgingly admitting something then maybe people should apologize for that episode. Another occasion of several hundred comments over meaningless dribble brought on by our anti ID friends here.

  506. 506

    Hi jerry. Why did I bring up Meyer? Because somebody (I think KF) brought up TMLO as a counter-example to Pandas. Of course, TMLO wasn’t the book at issue in Dover, so it’s not surprising that it wasn’t a major factor in the trial.

    Like Pandas, creationism was a central issue in the trial. It’s not something that I brought up.

    As for Weasel and kairosfocus, I have lost the ability to tell what KF means by “quasi-latching” and “pseudo-latching.” It’s clear, though, that anybody who said the correct letters were fixed and unable to mutate further (as Dr. Dembski, KF, Joseph, and many others did) was misunderstanding Weasel. The letters mutated freely; the closest phrase among the progeny was chosen. The analogy is this: Letter mutation = mutation at the level of the gene (random); Phrase preservation = selection at the level of the organism (nonrandom). KF and others combined an obsession with Weasel with a prolonged failure to understand it.

  507. “The letters mutated freely; the closest phrase among the progeny was chosen.”

    Not in the book, The Blind Watchmaker. Once the letter was correct it did not change.

    I believe the obsession was with those trying to disprove the obvious. Namely, that in the book, the letters became fixed and then denying this. When anyone can show that any of the letters in the book changed, and there were a couple hundred opportunities, then they can make that claim. Otherwise Dawkins changed the algorithm from the book for reasons you should ask him about.

    “KF and others combined an obsession with Weasel with a prolonged failure to understand it.”

    Obviously, you and many others failed to understand it so I would not be so readily to cast aspersions.

    But again this is trivial like nearly everything the anti ID people generate here. Doesn’t it embarrass you to spend so much time over nonsense or irrelevancies.

  508. jerry:

    Another occasion of several hundred comments over meaningless dribble brought on by our anti ID friends here.

    Yeah, I wish the anti-IDers would stop bringing up weasel. It’s always weasel this, weasel that, weasel weasel weasel.

  509. Onlookers:

    Note how Mr Kellogg again ducks the material issues on the merits as presented, while pretending that he can hide behind a word, used as an improperly loaded label to dismiss a substantial case.

    He is also eager to get us away from the implications of the admission by NAS member Mr Lewontin, as that citation all too tellingly exposes precisely the cultural war agenda that the evolutionary materialist atheists have for science and our civilisation.

    (And, as he knows or should know, in 1986, there was no name to identify what Thaxton et al were doing, which was as shown above, substantially different from anything that may be objectionably sectarian in creationism. Similarly, at that time, Mr Meyer was just finding out about the then just emerging school of scientific thought now known as design theory; which is reflected in the difference between the date and that of his PhD, 1991. This, Mr Kellogg fails to address, pretending that he does not know the implications of the timeline. No prizes for guessing why.)

    In short, we see here the cultural war rhetoric and agenda continuing: distract, distort, demonise, tag and dismiss. but, we know what game is afoot now.

    Mr Kellogg: no use pretending further. Your disrespect, distortion, abuse and name-calling dismissal of Messrs Kenyon, Thaxton, Bradley and Olsen have exposed your agenda for us all to see. If you hope to redeem yourself either SHOW on the meritsd how the case laid out in TMLO constitutes a “creationist” tract rather than a serious, path opening scientific monograph of review and outline of future path on OOL studies, including raising in an EPILOGUE, related philosophical issues. (Which, as Lakatos reminds us, are invariably embedded in the core of research programmes. [And, we have reason to reject the lewontinian a priori materialism-inspired imposition of censorship on origins science through so called methodological naturalism.])

    Otherwise, you owe some pretty big apologies — including an overdue one to Mr Philip Johnson, whose slippers you are plainly not worthy to carry.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Onlookers, on Weasel and the like, I simply invite you to look here in the always linked, to see exactly what is going on, as this is yet another instance of the rhetorical game that is afoot. Notice how Mr Kellogg is attempting yet further distractions, strawman distortions and ad hominems. It is not only a habit, it is a strategy. We must not fall for it.

  510. jerry:

    But again this is trivial like nearly everything the anti ID people generate here. Doesn’t it embarrass you to spend so much time over nonsense or irrelevancies.

    I agree. Whoever brought up weasel in this thread should be deeply embarrassed.

  511. 511

    I love how this:

    Notice how Mr Kellogg is attempting yet further distractions, strawman distortions and ad hominems.

    Was preceded by this:

    Mr Philip Johnson, whose slippers you are plainly not worthy to carry

    Lewontin has nothing to do with Dover. You can keep repeating that quote and it won’t make it relevant.
    jerry, I don’t really care about Weasel. It’s a simple teaching example. The selected samples in the book don’t change back, but that’s because they’re trying to make a point. Dawkins always said the letters mutate randomly and that the phrase was chosen.

    I kind of wish he had included an example of reversion in 1986, pointed to it, and said “See? A letter can even revert if the phrase is better!” But he’s unable to predict the sorry misreadings of the anti-evolution crowd. And as R0b correctly notes, it’s that crowd which has spent two decades weasel-hunting.

  512. 512

    This is the last I’ll say on weasel (which jerry brought up). From the book:

    It now ‘breeds from’ this random phrase. It duplicates it repeatedly, but with a certain chance of random error – ‘mutation’ – in the copying. The computer examines the mutant nonsense phrases, the ‘progeny’ of the original phrase, and chooses the one which, however slightly, most resembles the target phrase, METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL

    Emphases added. Letters mutate randomly: a phrase is chosen.

  513. R0b,

    In case you missed it, the reference to Weasel was in reference to David Kellogg’s comment:

    “After finally, grudgingly accepting the Meyer quote as correct”

    And I pointed out the irony of this comment given the Weasel debate. David Kellogg then said:

    “KF and others combined an obsession with Weasel with a prolonged failure to understand it.”

    Well, it turns out that kairosfocus was correct and David Kellogg was wrong so I was just pointing out the absurdity of David Kellogg’s comments and the use of “grudgingly” and “obsession.”

    And then there is David Kellogg’s lack of discussion about just what the term creationist means. No I am not embarrassed. Why should I when I am trying to get at the truth or accurate portrayals or relevance.

    Anyway there will be no more from me today as I have guests coming. Everybody have the last word. Maybe you all can get to 700 by day’s end.

  514. “Letters mutate randomly: a phrase is chosen.”

    But none of the correct letters ever changed. Funny, given that there were a couple hundred opportunities to do so. A fact so conveniently lost on so many.

    Now I am gone for the day.

  515. jerry,

    Well, it turns out that kairosfocus was correct and David Kellogg was wrong so I was just pointing out the absurdity of David Kellogg’s comments and the use of “grudgingly” and “obsession.”

    Wasn’t KF’s position that there was no explicit latching, but rather that the parameters in the program were tuned so that the mutant phrases converged rapidly toward the target? If I understand correctly, whether a letter is correct or not has no affect on its likelihood of mutation (according to KF).

  516. 516

    jerry,

    ——”Another occasion of several hundred comments over meaningless dribble brought on by our anti ID friends here.”

    That’s a fact.

  517. 517

    jerry,

    ——”Another occasion of several hundred comments over meaningless dribble brought on by our anti ID friends here.”

    That’s a fact.

    It should be “drivel.”

    In my view, a great deal of time could have been saved if StephenB had not (about 400 comments ago) referred to conversations in the trial that never happened. When people bloviate without support they’re likely to get corrected.

  518. —-David Kellogg: “In my view, a great deal of time could have been saved if StephenB had not (about 400 comments ago) referred to conversations in the trial that never happened. When people bloviate without support they’re likely to get corrected.

    I was getting ready to go on vacation, hoping to get away from your childish antics, but you don’t get to end a thread with a slimy lie. I made nothing up. I referred to a real event that really happened, and I acknowledged a factual error in that context. At the same time, you have sought every opportunity to distract from my the subject under discussion, which I developed and supported. That same theme that you never refuted and didn’t even approach, was the obvious fact that Judge Jones put words in Michael Behe’s mouth.

    When I say something that others challenge, I continue the correspondence until the matter is settled one way or the other. You, the other hand, lied about Philip Johnson, and when I demanded that you provide the necessary documentation, you slinked away, refusing to support defamatory claims which cannaot be supported. Even after I repeatedly asked you to justify your claims, you merely sent me to other websites promoting similar lies. None of those websites provided quotes, only lying interpretations of quotes. In fact, when your personal integrity was on the line, you didn’t deliver. You didn’t continue to dialogue until the matter was settled. That is the difference between us. So, don’t talk to me about making things up.

  519. 519

    StephenB, I don’t mean to postpone your vacation. I was referring to this [108]:

    As it is, here is what I have. At the critical point, Michael Behe was asked if he belived that ID would be “more plausible for those who believe in God than those who do not. He answered, “Yes.”

    Never. Happened.

    When Judge Jones recalled that testimony [not a citation from somewhere else] he indicated that Behe said that ID explicitly stated that the “plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”

    That is a lie. Further, I don’t believe that Behe would be stupid enough to say that in court or out of court. If you have any information to the contrary [not a reference to a number of some kind or a rumor of some kind] in the form of an exact quote, please provide it for me and indicate its source. Otherwise, I have no reason to believe you. Do you have the goods or don’t you?

    This was, of course, after you had been told that the opinion did not refer to Judge Jones’s testimony. And again, the incident you report never happened.

    That was where I started intervening, first [113] reproducing the appropriate part of the decision and pointing out that Jones unambiguously was referring to a text outside of testimony.

    You repeated your claim in 114. By this point it should have been been clear from the deicision alone that “plausibility” did not refer to testimony.
    Again,

    At the critical point, Michael Behe was asked if he belived that ID would be “more plausible for those who believe in God than those who do not. He answered, “Yes.”

    This never happened.
    Learned Hand wrote [116]:

    Your summary isn’t just confusing, StephenB, it’s baffling and utterly wrong. Please review David Kellog[g]’s comment immediately preceding your own (which I realize you may not have seen before posting your latest comment). The court did not say that Behe made that comment during his trial testimony; it said his testimony was contradicted by that statement, and then cited precisely the source of that statement. I honestly don’t understand why you keep misrepresenting the ruling.

    Aside from misspelling my name, Learned Hand has been exemplary throughout. Anyway, in 121 you walk back a bit:

    I only read the transcript one time, and I only read the Judge’s decision once. So, I may have missed something. One the other hand, I remember how everyone supposedly gasped during this section of Behe’s testimony and characterized it as an on-the-spot confession about ID being religion dependent.

    You “may have missed something.” I’ll say! Even after that admission you “remember” something that never happened. He made no such confession.

    If there was a moment when people gasped during Behe’s testimony, it was probably when he admitted that astrology would be a science by his definition.
    In 124 you get more civil:

    I am simply trying to get more information. I remember how everyone supposedly gasped during this section of Behe’s testimony and characterized it as an on-the-spot confession about ID being religion dependent. Something is not making sense here.

    What’s not making sense is your memory, since that moment never happened. In the same comment you write:

    All I have is Behe’s testimony and Judge John Jones decision. They don’t match as I have made clear.

    But they aren’t supposed to match, as I pointed out, because Judge Jones wasn’t referring to the testimony at that point. Why did you keep insisting that he was?
    Then in 127:

    I have no sources, I am just going from memory. Ostensbly, everyone was shocked that Behe would unload such a bomb and incriminate himself. Then, when I checked, Behe’s comment was not at all of that texture, but Judge Jones’ characterization of it was. That’s all I have.

    What you have and don’t have is very unclear by this point. But earlier in the thread I made clear that “Judge Jones’ characterization of it” is wrong because he wasn’t talking about the testimony.
    In 128 you wrote:

    I provided both quotes and they don’t match.

    Actually, I provided the quote from the decision and explained that it wasn’t referring to the testimony at that point. You provided an incorrect summary of the testimony, not a quote, but it doesn’t matter because Judge Jones wasn’t referring to the testimony. In 129 I pointed out that you could access both the testimony and decision freely, since you have access to a computer. In about five minutes you could have figured out how wrong you were.

    In 132, after I provided the quotes (again doing your homework), you wrote:

    Thanks for the quotes. That is exactly what Behe said at the trial. I now feel no hesitancy. Judge John Jones clearly put words in Micheal [sic] Behe’s mouth. grossly misrepresnting what was said and rewriting it to fit his own agenda. In no way did Behe ever say that ID or “irrreducible complexity” DEPENDS on belief in God. He simply said that people who already believe in God will find it more compelling, and that a person’s judgment will color their interpretation.

    I don’t think he put words in Behe’s mouth at all: I’d say Judge Jones summarized him fairly. But let’s leave that aside. In fact, that is not what Behe said at trial, as Learned Hand and I pointed out. He said ID makes faith more plausible, not that faith makes ID more plausible. These are not the same thing. Besides — and I apologize to alert readers for repeating this point, but it seems not to have gotten through to Stephen B– plausibility in the decision referred to the article, not the trial, as is obvious to anyone who has read the decision.

    As to Phillip Johnson, I provided a link to an article by Johnson and summarized how he equivocated on his use of “naturalism.” You accused me of linking to an anti-ID site, which was flat-out wrong: ARN is a pro-ID site. You haven’t even acknowledged that rather simple error.

    Since my explanations of what Judge Jones was referring to seem to be beyond you, I don’t think I’ll waste my time parsing Johnson. You can read the article for yourself and see how it slips quickly among various forms of naturalism.

    I have no need to apologize to him.

    I do apologize to to anybody whose time may have been wasted by my repeated yet apparently futile corrections of StephenB’s errors.

  520. StephenB:

    When I say something that others challenge, I continue the correspondence until the matter is settled one way or the other.

    It’s interesting that you see yourself that way, but let’s not kid ourselves. How much are you willing to pay me for every challenge I can find that you didn’t respond to? And what percentage of your disputes end with the matter being settled? Maybe you think that declaring one’s position to be self-evident to all rational people settles matters.

  521. 521

    Sorry to have let so many comments slide past without a response; I have less time than I’d like for these conversations.

    StephenB,

    I was getting ready to go on vacation, hoping to get away from your childish antics, but you don’t get to end a thread with a slimy lie. I made nothing up.

    It’s inappropriate for you to accuse someone of a “slimy lie.” Looking back, it appears that the quotations in your comments presently numbered 95, 108, 136, 328, 331, and 335 are “made up.” You said, for example, Judge Jones declared that ID “cannot uncouple itself with creationism and its religious antecedents.” The court didn’t say that. You might think that your words are functionally identical the court’s, which was your explanation when your earlier quotations turned out to be inaccurate, but the two statements are logically distinct. The words in your quotation marks aren’t quotes. You’re subtly rephrasing the court’s actual comment in a way that bolsters your point, but is not accurate. It’s fine to paraphrase, but when you use quotation marks, you’re telling the reader that you’re not paraphrasing. It’s extremely confusing and inappropriate, especially in a conversation that has turned so often on parsing the court’s phrasing.

    Quotation marks mean that you’re quoting the source, not that you’re paraphrasing. There’s an exception, of course, when it’s clear from the context that you’re proposing a hypothetical, facetious, or paraphrased comment. But not when you say Judge Jones declared that ID “cannot uncouple itself with creationism and its religious antecedents,” when the court actually said (to paraphrase), “ID cannot uncouple itself from its roots in creationism….” You might think that the two comments are equivalent, but the reader might disagree, and he should be able to tell from your comment whether he’s getting the words from the horse’s mouth or from yours. See, for example, the court’s paraphrase of Behe’s comments. It didn’t use quotation marks, because it wasn’t quoting, which is a signal to the reader that the original words are different, even if the court thinks they’re functionally identical. When you put your words in quotation marks, the reader thinks you’re supporting your argument using the original words, so you avoid having to defend your paraphrase by deceiving the reader. I don’t mean to accuse you of intentionally deceiving anyone, as it appears you think your rephrasing is fair. But the effect is that an uncareful reader will be deceived.
    In addition to DK’s writing class, I guarantee you’d fail a law school exam if you tried that. If you tried it in court, you’d get sanctioned. Blogs are more forgiving, of course, so nothing happens. (Although I suspect that if you were an ID critic, Clive would have deleted your comments and/or banned you, as he appears to have done with JayM.) The only consequence is that your credibility is diminished; if a reader thinks you’re quoting a source, but discovers that you were rephrasing it in a way that suited your arguments, it makes those arguments look much weaker. Please take more care in the future.

    KF,

    You say that the guardians of the old order are so biased that they dismiss the design inference in the teeth of its substance on the merits. The court cannot determine the merits of a complex scientific question on its own; it can only choose between experts. One expert told it that IC was a valid hypothesis, but admitted that he had not engaged the scientific literature on the subject or attempted to validate his theory experimentally. Another expert told the court that IC is universally rejected by the empirically-based scientific community, and that a mountain of scientific literature had refuted its core premises. The court decided the second expert was more credible, which is all it can really do. It also observed that, in any event, IC is not evidence for ID. This tied into some of the prior creationism cases, as discussed in the opinion.

    On the authorities cited, Mr Padian is a leader of the NCSE, and Mr Miller a well known design theory opponent. (I am not sure on Fuller’s identity.) These are not going to be sources of balanced objective opinion.

    Their biases were known to the court. So were the biases of defendants’ experts. Behe is, after all, “a well known design theory” proponent.

    one step in their case was to twist the writings and testimony of Mr Behe, a leading ID researcher.

    Good heavens – is this a retraction of your claim that the court’s remark was a “keystone plank” of the opinion?

    As for your later comments, in the day I was gone you produced so much material that I simply don’t know where to begin. So I won’t; Mr. Kellog appears to have responded to all your salient points. In the future, please consider writing shorter, more focused comments.

    Lamarck,

    This IS NOT Jefferson’s intention regarding church and state separation.

    I disagree with you, which doesn’t matter. So does the Supreme Court, which does matter. It has set the precedent, which Jones, sitting two levels down, is bound by law and oath to administer. He cannot ignore it. Failing to apply the binding precedent correctly is reversible error, and he would be overturned on appeal like that. (I just snapped my fingers.) Ironically, as a conservative Republican, Jones probably does agree with you on this point. But our system does not allow lower federal courts to break from the Supreme Court.

    This ruling in effect states that in the future were ID to have an even better case for a designer, it still wouldn’t be allowed in schools, because science class cannot infer a designer even if it becomes apparent through science that there is one.

    No, it states that you can only make the case for a designer with scientific arguments, and only if the purpose and effect of the lesson plan doesn’t violate the Lemon test. You could, in fact, teach ID so long as it didn’t violate the Lemon test. (Or tests; it’s complicated.) Even if Kitzmiller held otherwise, which it doesn’t, it wouldn’t matter, because Kitzmiller isn’t binding anywhere. If this issue is important to you, you should read up on Lemon for two reasons. First, it’s at the core of the Dover case, and I think you can’t really understand what the court was doing there without knowing what the test is and where it comes from. Second, and more importantly, the next ID case will be decided by Lemon (or whatever Supreme Court case replaces it), not by Kitzmiller.

    Wikipedia probably has a good enough summary of Lemon, and a link to the opinion. I don’t know if it’s worth reading the original opinion, as the test has been modified by other decisions since then. As for current developments in the law, I highly recommend http://www.volokh.com. It’s a blog run by conservative/libertarian law professors. Eugene Volokh, the professor who runs the site, is a 1st Amendment specialist, and often highlights and comments on new cases and controversies. The commentary can be interesting as well, although it varies.

  522. —–David Kelloggg: StephenB, I don’t mean to postpone your vacation. I was referring to this [108]:

    “As it is, here is what I have. At the critical point, Michael Behe was asked if he belived that ID would be “more plausible for those who believe in God than those who do not. He answered, “Yes.”
    Never. Happened.

    The words were not the same, but the event definitely happened: I have already explained the event I was talking about.

    “Nonetheless, simply because the Big Bang is compatible with Christianity, and because it makes some theistic views seem more plausible, that does not mean that the Big Bang itself is not a scientific theory.

    And in the same sense, just because intelligent design is compatible with Christian views, or because it makes such views or other theistic views seem more plausible does not mean that intelligent design itself is not a scientific theory.” Dr. Behe

    Mr. Rothschhild of the plaintiff’s Counsel was cross examining Dr. Behe on his views of religion and sceince, citing some articles (From Christianity Today and others). Mr. Rothschild’s intent was to show that Dr. Behe had religious motivations, which were not singularly scientific.

    —-”You repeated your claim in 114. By this point it should have been been clear from the deicision alone that “plausibility” did not refer to testimony.”

    I have just made it clear that the word “plausibility” was, indeed in the testimony. Judge Jones was referring both to the written and oral testimony, as I have made clear.

    —-But they aren’t supposed to match, as I pointed out, because Judge Jones wasn’t referring to the testimony at that point. Why did you keep insisting that he was?

    He was referring to both testimony and the written record, and he clearly put words in Michael Behe’s mouth. He was referring to both the written article and testimony such as the aforementioned.

    Judge Jones referred to Behe’s testimony both directly and indirectly. He clearly misrepresented Behe’s views in his final decision. He used the words, “depend on.” You tried to cover that up.

    As I have said repeatedly, Judge Jones was referring to both written and oral testimony, and it was on that basis the had made his decision. He used two critical words to change the substance of Behe’s comments in his article, and those two words, were “depends upon.”

    —-I don’t think he put words in Behe’s mouth at all: I’d say Judge Jones summarized him fairly. But let’s leave that aside.”

    Why would I want to leave it aside since it was my main point and the one that you continued to avoid by hearkening back to other matters? Michael Behe never used the words, “depend on.”

    —-“In fact, that is not what Behe said at trial, as Learned Hand and I pointed out. He said ID makes faith more plausible, not that faith makes ID more plausible. These are not the same thing. Besides — and I apologize to alert readers for repeating this point, but it seems not to have gotten through to Stephen B– plausibility in the decision referred to the article, not the trial, as is obvious to anyone who has read the decision.”

    It did not get past me. In fact, Judge Jones used all the information available from either perspective to tied ID to creationism. He found ALL quotes useful that would serve that end. That is why the ACLU wrote more than 90% of his final decision on the subject matter under discussion. The article was used to form the strategy, and the decision had already been made.

    —-As to Phillip Johnson, I provided a link to an article by Johnson and summarized how he equivocated on his use of “naturalism.”

    You provided nothing. That link was an INTERPRETATION of the quotes, not the quotes themselves.

    —-“Since my explanations of what Judge Jones was referring to seem to be beyond you, I don’t think I’ll waste my time parsing Johnson.”

    Oh, go ahead, humor me. Don’t slink away for the sixth time. If I can take the heat for everything I write, surely you can take the heat for just one thing that you wrote, which in this case, is in urgent need of being defended.

    If you have days and days to scrutinize what I write in order to cause distractions and avoid my arguments, you can surely find time to justify your slanderous remarks of Philip Johnson with a couple of examples of his presumably deceitful approach to the ID/evolution debate. If you have time to e-mail you Darwinist friends in your futile attempts to answer my arguments, and if you have access to all their references, you can surely provide the deceptive quotes, because I can’t find them. As you would say, why should I do your homework for you? Why should I read the article and search out deceitful passages that are not there? It is your accusation and your responsibility.

    In fact, Philip Johnson is one of the most honest men around. It is ironic that so many of slanderers couldn’t get over his honesty when he proposed the “Wedge strategy,” but when he started tugging away at their materialist fantasies, suddenly they found dishonesty everywhere. As it is with you, though, they don’t back up what they say. On the other hand, few of them are imprudent enough to come on to a UD website with those lies and expect to get away with it. Well, you are not getting away with it. Don’t tell me to read the article. You read the article, and tell me where any deception exists. Provide the quote and explain in your own words why this honorable man is a deceiver.

    On the one hand, you question, lampoon, and ridicule everyone else’s arguments, but you have never presented one of your own. Indeed, the only argument I ever remember you making was the one I am now asking you to defend. You who accuse me of “making things up” really did make something up, but you don’t seem to have the courage of your convictions when you are called on it. Well, you are being called.

  523. 523

    Apologies both for omitting some paragraph breaks and misspelling (again) Mr. Kellogg’s name.

    Also, I neglected to look at the WP article on the Lemon test before I recommended it. It’s fairly crappy. It looks accurate, but it’s surprisingly short. A good summary should discuss the subsequent cases, such as Lynch, that modified Lemon. (That’s party because it’s been modified by its progeny, and the circuit courts apply the later cases instead of Lemon, even though Lemon has never technically been overruled. The WP summary accurately points out that the result is that Lemon is sometimes unevenly applied.) Google might lead you to some better, more involved summaries.

    The Dover opinion has a good summary of the applicable law and precedent starting around page ten or eleven, and gets into Third Circuit precedent on pages thirteen and fourteen. Both Supreme Court and circuit precedent were binding on Jones as a district judge; he was obligated to apply those cases.

  524. —-Learned Hand: “You said, for example, Judge Jones declared that ID “cannot uncouple itself with creationism and its religious antecedents.” The court didn’t say that. You might think that your words are functionally identical the court’s, which was your explanation when your earlier quotations turned out to be inaccurate, but the two statements are logically distinct. The words in your quotation marks aren’t quotes. You’re subtly rephrasing the court’s actual comment in a way that bolsters your point, but is not accurate. It’s fine to paraphrase, but when you use quotation marks, you’re telling the reader that you’re not paraphrasing. It’s extremely confusing and inappropriate, especially in a conversation that has turned so often on parsing the court’s phrasing.”

    Well, this is worth discussing. So, let’s put it to the test. Provide me with your version of exactly what he said. Let’s see if your denial or my affirmation makes sense? Fair enougn?

  525. —Rob: “How much are you willing to pay me for every challenge I can find that you didn’t respond to? And what percentage of your disputes end with the matter being settled?:

    I can’t catch them all, because so many keep me busy with distractions in order to avoid my arguments.

  526. 526

    Well, this is worth discussing. So, let’s put it to the test. Provide me with your version of exactly what he said. Let’s see if your denial or my affirmation makes sense? Fair enougn?

    It does not matter if you think your version of its words was similar or substantively identical to the original, because your readers have the right to decide that for themselves. They cannot do that if they don’t know that your quotation is actually your own original phrasing. If you want to quote the court, use its exact words. If you want to paraphrase the court, don’t use quotation marks.

  527. —Learned Hand: OK, sorry, I see that you provided the disctintion“

    You say, Judge Jones wrote,

    “ID cannot uncouple itself from its roots in creationism and its religious antecedetns,”

    while I wrote the same thing except that I left out the word “roots.”

    OK, duly noted.

  528. Learned Hand, I do have to ask you one thing. How is it that you are scandalized that I left out the word “root,” in recalling Judge Jones’ decision, which made no substance difference in the meaning, yet you are perfectly at peace when Judge Jones added the words, “depend upon,” to Michael Behe’s words changing his life and the life of many others for the worse.

  529. 529

    StephenB, re: Johnson, you wrote:

    That link was an INTERPRETATION of the quotes, not the quotes themselves.

    No. The link to Johnson I provided in 519 is the same as the one I provided earlier. It goes directly to Johnson’s article at an ID site. Keep saying otherwise when the facts are so easily checked and someone might think you were lying.

  530. 530

    SB”Oh, go ahead, humor me. Don’t slink away for the sixth time. If I can take the heat for everything I write, surely you can take the heat for just one thing that you wrote, which in this case, is in urgent need of being defended.”

    David I have been folllowing this thread for days and I have been waiting for you to respond to Stephens request to back up your slander regarding Phillip Johnson. As Stephen states he has asked you to do so by his count 6 times yet you have yet to respond.Please do so as I am also interested in you backing up your accusations.

    Vivid

  531. 531

    Vivid, I’ve been waiting just as long for StephenB to provide evidence that he can read a legal decision. I suppose I’ll have to go to the Johnson article to which I repeatedly linked and parse out my claim, which is that he equivocates on the meaning of “naturalism.”

    On a point of order, it’s not a slander to say that: even if I’m wrong, it’s not a slander.

  532. 532

    David “On a point of order, it’s not a slander to say that: even if I’m wrong, it’s not a slander.

    You make a good point and I retract my use of the term “slander”

    Vivid

  533. 533

    Learned Hand, I do have to ask you one thing. How is it that you are scandalized that I left out the word “root,” in recalling Judge Jones’ decision, which made no substance difference in the meaning, yet you are perfectly at peace when Judge Jones added the words, “depend upon,” to Michael Behe’s words changing his life and the life of many others for the worse.

    The court did not set its interpretation of Behe’s words in quotation marks. Consequently, the reader knows that the excerpt is not a direct quotation, and that he’ll need to read the original text to decide whether that paraphrasing is accurate and fair.

    Do you really not see why it’s misleading to put quotation marks around your interpretation of someone else’s words? It’s one thing if the reader can tell from the context that you’re not really quoting. But that doesn’t describe your comments, in which you give every appearance of literally quoting the opinion, when in fact you’re only giving your interpretation the opinion. It cuts out a stage of the argument in which you’d otherwise have to defend your interpretation against those who might otherwise think that you’re misreading the document, because it leads them to believe that you’re merely quoting from it.

  534. —-Learned Hand: “Do you really not see why it’s misleading to put quotation marks around your interpretation of someone else’s words?”

    Yes, I do. And the offense is in direct proportion to the extent to which the meaning is distorted.

    —-”It’s one thing if the reader can tell from the context that you’re not really quoting. But that doesn’t describe your comments, in which you give every appearance of literally quoting the opinion, when in fact you’re only giving your interpretation the opinion.”

    In this case, I agree that leaving out the word “root” was a small error that should be corrected.

    —-”It cuts out a stage of the argument in which you’d otherwise have to defend your interpretation against those who might otherwise think that you’re misreading the document, because it leads them to believe that you’re merely quoting from>”

    If only you could come to understand that a sitting judge should be held to a standard much higher than that. Also, the overall desire to know the truth surpasses everything else. Do you, in fact, desire to acknowledge the truth.

    It is not our side who has misread this case. We have not even begun to list the number of ways that Michael Behe explained the difference between creationism and intelligent design. Scott Andrews listed several, but there are many more. In fact, they are all over the place. Just because we haven’t talked about them doesn’t mean they are not there. It is much easier to make me the issue.

    On Oct 18, 2005 at the 9:00 a.m. session, Michael Behe was asked a number of questions on the difference between creationism [understood as creation science] and ID. Already, we can tell that Judge Jones and everyone else knows that a creationist is someone who begins with Biblical belief and reasons forward from faith as opposed to ID which begins with observation and reasons backwards to design. Among other things, Behe was asked,

    “Is it [creationism] different from intelligent design?”

    Behe: “Yes, [creationism] is vastly 180 degrees different from intelligent design. Intelligent design focuses exclusively on the physical evidence. It relies totally on empirical observations about nature. It does not rely on any religious text. It does not rely on any such religious information.”

    He goes on to say that ID involves no religious commitment and that it does not associate itself with the book of Genesis. I could go on an on, but you get the drift. Yet, Judge Jones ruled that Michael Behe, and the rest of the ID community, cannot uncouple themselves from the roots [thank you] of creationism or religious antecedents? It’s ridiculous. It’s scandalous. It’s a travesty of justice.

    Yet, you seem not to care about that truth, which could not be more evident.

    You seem to care only about a rewritten version of one answer in Michael Behe’s article, in which the ACLU adds the words “depend on” in order to change the entire meaning of the text. You seem pleased with an activist judge who can’t wait to use that rewrite to put words in Behe’s mouth so that they can pretend that his entire testimony, all of which is confirmed by the statement above, was some kind of a misrepresentation of his own views—as if the man had not been crystal clear all along about exactly what he believes—as if he doesn’t even know his own thoughts.

    Yes, Judge Jones’ refused to believe the words that came out of Michael Behe’s own mouth, as if he had some secret agenda that he wanted to hide from the world—as of he was so stupid that he would confess that agenda part of the time and hide it part of the time. This is pure insanity. I have asked you several times how to get religion out of “irreducible complexity” or “specified complexity.” If ID is tied to creationist roots, someone should be able to answer that question. You have no answer because there is not answer. I have also asked you how ID can be faith based if atheists and agnostics can accept it. You have no answer for that one either. In the final analysis, your only reasoning consists in the statement that Judge Jones says so. That is not a rational answer.

    Also, I would ask out of courtesy to me, whether you think I deserve it or not, to please not speak to me about the so-called “expert” witnesses. If what they had to say about intelligent design made any sense, you would be able to summarize it in some kind of argument. I have asked many on that side of the aisle to answer the two questions that I asked of you. They could not answer them either. If your side has no rational answers, then maybe it doesn’t have a rational position.

    You have alluded to the “Lemon test” several times, but I consider that standard unhelpful. Whoevever defines the word “excessive entanglement” decides everything. It is a totally arbitrary standard. The fact is that the state has no business intruding itself in religious matters at all. Yet, as I have pointed out several times, you seem to think that the process by which justice is served is more important that justice itself, as if a court automatically dispenses justice by going through that process. I can’t identify with that kind of thinking. If you have no standard of justice from which to reason, it seems to me all you have left is to say “Amen” when any court decides on any issue.

  535. 535

    I wonder if StephenB might be thinking of this. This is the closest to his scenario he offers. There was a time (October 18, PM) when the plaintiff’s attorney quoted Dr. Behe’s article “Reply to my Critics” — the very sentence StephenB says Judge Jones distorted. The attorney asks: “It’s a God friendly theory, isn’t it, Professor Behe?” Dr. Behe responds:

    A Let me respond in a couple of ways to that. First, let me clarify for context that this is a journal called Biology and Philosophy. So not only am I speaking about scientific matters here, but I’m also talking about nonscientific matters here in an academic forum. Academics embraces more than just science. This is an academic forum which also embraces philosophy, and so I addressed philosophical issues as well.

    And again, my statement as written is certainly correct. And it’s happened time — many times in science, and, again, I’ll just refer back to John Maddox’s article Down With the Big Bang. He didn’t like the Big Bang theory. And it wasn t because the data were inconsistent with it, it’s because it was philosophically unacceptable. Walter Nernst hated the idea of a beginning to the universe. It was unscientific. So — and other people have said similar things.

    So it’s clearly true that people make decisions even about a scientific theory, based not only on the science itself, but what they perceive as other ramifications of the theory.

    But I argue, I’ve argued a number of places, that it’s the proper role of a scientist to leave aside those other considerations as much as possible and focus simply on the scientific data.

    So. First he tries to disavow the importance of having written that — it’s not science, he says. But then he says it is science, just like the Big Bang. People take these things into account all the time. And then he says scientists shouldn’t do that.

    It’s hard to fathom why Judge Jones didn’t find him credible.

  536. 536

    StephenB, if that’s the moment you’re referring to (it’s hard to know, because they have only a vague family resemblance) I’ll happily stipulate that that happened. It’s quite fascinating to read Behe’s discomfort with his own words.

  537. 537

    Questions: Vivid, in what thread did the Johnson issue originally arise? I think there is more context there for my response, but I forget where it happened.

    StephenB, could you acknowledge (in response to 529) that I linked directly to Johnson and not to an anti-ID interpretation of Johnson, as you have repeatedly charged?

  538. 538

    “it’s not science, he says”

    What does he say is not science?

    “But then he says it IS science, just like the Big Bang.”

    What is the “IS” that you are referring to?

    “Questions: Vivid, in what thread did the Johnson issue originally arise? I think there is more context there for my response, but I forget where it happened.”

    Maybe Stephen would know. For my purposes you can start by showing “that he equivocates on the meaning of “naturalism.”

    Vivid

    Vivid

  539. 539

    R0b (#188) wrote: “He (Judge Jones) obviously sees belief in ID as heavily dependent on religious belief, which I think accords with statistics…”

    The backers of the movie “Expelled” obviously understood this well. That’s why they showed “Expelled” in lots of religious venues – no actual science venues – before its official release.

  540. —-David Kellogg: “wonder if StephenB might be thinking of this. This is the closest to his scenario he offers. There was a time (October 18, PM) when the plaintiff’s attorney quoted Dr. Behe’s article “Reply to my Critics” — the very sentence StephenB says Judge Jones distorted. The attorney asks: “It’s a God friendly theory, isn’t it, Professor Behe?”

    As a public service, I will sort this out for our readers.

    Behe responds:

    —–“A Let me respond in a couple of ways to that. First, let me clarify for context that this is a journal called Biology and Philosophy. So not only am I speaking about scientific matters here, but I’m also talking about nonscientific matters here in an academic forum. Academics embraces more than just science. This is an academic forum which also embraces philosophy, and so I addressed philosophical issues as well.”

    The Journal is about biology AND philosophy, which means that the discussion will transcend science.

    —–“And again, my statement as written is certainly correct. And it’s happened time — many times in science, and, again, I’ll just refer back to John Maddox’s article Down With the Big Bang. He didn’t like the Big Bang theory. And it wasn t because the data were inconsistent with it, it’s because it was philosophically unacceptable. Walter Nernst hated the idea of a beginning to the universe. It was unscientific. So — and other people have said similar things.”

    Scientific theories often have religious implications. The big bang is a good example. When atheists first discovered that the universe began in time, they became mad as hell because is suggested a first cause. That is what it means for a scientific theory to have philosophical and theological implications. Some people were even imprudent enough to think that the cause might have been a personal creator. Hide the kids. Nevertheless, it was solely a scientific theory because it did nothing more than analyze the patterns in nature.

    —-“So it’s clearly true that people make decisions even about a scientific theory, based not only on the science itself, but what they perceive as other ramifications of the theory.”

    Even though cosmology is solely scientific and has nothing to do with religion, when people hear that the universe measures about 13.7 Billion light years and contains hundreds of billions of galaxies, each of which contain hundreds of billions of stars, they tend to suspect that some super intelligence just may have been responsible. That doesn’t mean that cosmology is religious; it means that it can have religious implications.

    —-But I argue, I’ve argued a number of places, that it’s the proper role of a scientist to leave aside those other considerations as much as possible and focus simply on the scientific data.

    When you are doing science, you should keep your personal religious views out of it.

    ——David: “So. First he tries to disavow the importance of having written that — it’s not science, he says. But then he says it is science, just like the Big Bang. People take these things into account all the time. And then he says scientists shouldn’t do that.”

    He explained that he was writing in a journal that deals with subjects which transcend science. Then, he very patiently and cogently explains the difference between a scientific theory and its philosophical implications.

    —–It’s hard to fathom why Judge Jones didn’t find him credible.

    First, the question about ID being God friendly is a loaded question. Every scientific theory in the history of mankind has been God friendly. The theory of relativity is God friendly, the second law of thermodynamics is God friendly, even Quantum Mechanics is God friendly. How could a scientific theory be God –unfriendly? It is a monumentally stupid question.

    Second, Behe made the obvious point. Science is science and philosophy is philosophy. In a journal that deals with both science and philosophy, the subject matter will transcend science.
    .
    Clearly, somebody was not listening—and clearly, somebody is not thinking now.

    Also, as I showed earlier, Behe explained other places that creationism has nothing to do with intelligent design. Indeed, I posted a quick history on this site the other day, showing how each has a pedigree that goes back two-thousand years. Naturally, Judge Jones was clueless on the matter. The issue is just as Behe framed it. A scientific theory is not the same as its philosophical implications. It really isn’t very hard.

  541. 541

    I keep doing StephenB’s homework for him, but what thanks do I get? :-) Behe squirming on the stand is tranformed into an exemplary performance.

    As for loaded questions: It’s called a cross-examination. I would have thought with all you know about the law (cough cough) you would understand when such things are acceptable.

    In related news, I guess an admission of error on the Johnson link would be too much to ask.

    (Vividblue, I will explain Johnson’s equivocation when I get the time. I have a life though.)

  542. “Vividblue, I will explain Johnson’s equivocation when I get the time. I have a life though.)”

    No problem. However I am interested in hearing your response to my other questions in 538.

    Vivid

  543. It should be “drivel.”

    Thank you for the correction.

  544. Learned Hand, Before I answer you, do you have a link to the section of Jones’ decision going over the lemon test? I’d like to see the context. It’s confusing the issue for me. It seems the lemon test doesn’t add or take away from my stated understanding of church and state separation, and how it relates to the dover case.

    When we argue the lemon test, it seems we’re arguing exactly what we’ve been arguing in this thread. Maybe the three point clarification was necessary for a special aspect of a different case but unnecessary for Dover, I just have to see the reasoning.

  545. —-David: “I keep doing StephenB’s homework for him, but what thanks do I get? Behe squirming on the stand is tranformed into an exemplary performance.”

    I did all the analysis for you. What else do you want. The man gave a straight answer to a straight question. Sadly, you just can’t handle the truth.

  546. —-David: “StephenB, could you acknowledge (in response to 529) that I linked directly to Johnson and not to an anti-ID interpretation of Johnson, as you have repeatedly charged?”

    I don’t remember. However, I will acknowedge that it is possible. It seems that you linked to several, and it may well be that one of them was not anti-ID. All I remember is that I continued to ask for your analysis and you kept referring me to someone else’s.

  547. 539
    StephenB
    06/27/2009
    9:09 pm

    “First, the question about ID being God friendly is a loaded question. Every scientific theory in the history of mankind has been God friendly. The theory of relativity is God friendly, the second law of thermodynamics is God friendly, even Quantum Mechanics is God friendly. How could a scientific theory be God –unfriendly? It is a monumentally stupid question.”

    Leave it to Stephen B to conclusively prove that Darwinism is God friendly. I’m not sure under which God this is the case, but that just shows the limitations of my own quaint beliefs. Perhaps what he says is true under a new-agey type of God which can act however it wants, and hasn’t written a book detailing precisely how He acted and how long it took.

  548. 548

    It seems that you linked to several, and it may well be that one of them was not anti-ID. All I remember is that I continued to ask for your analysis and you kept referring me to someone else’s.

    False. I always and only linked to Johnson’s essay directly. I did point out that others responded to this essay, but those were links you could get to from Johnson’s essay. This essay was at ARN, a pro-ID site. You repeatedly and falsely said I linked to an anti-ID site even after correction.

  549. —-David: “As for loaded questions: It’s called a cross-examination. I would have thought with all you know about the law (cough cough) you would understand when such things are acceptable.”

    I have broken his answer down and explained exactly what Behe was saying and why. Everything about his answer is in order, and it makes perfect sense. Behe said nothing incriminating at the trial and he wrote nothing incriminating outside the trial. Everything about his words were twisted by the ACLU and Judge Jones. But they can’t twist those words in front of me and neither can you.

  550. —feebish: “Leave it to Stephen B to conclusively prove that Darwinism is God friendly. I’m not sure under which God this is the case, but that just shows the limitations of my own quaint beliefs.”

    I was talking about science, not science fiction.

  551. Learned Hand,
    I see on skepticwiki that Jones found points one and two of the lemon test go against ID in schools. I hope you can get back to me with the judges reasoning, if you think it’s necessary for me to make my case. In the meantime, here’s this to chew on from the skepticwiki:

    “He further found that teaching ID has no secular purpose, in part becase “ID is [not] Science,” because “ID and Teaching about ‘Gaps’ and ‘Problems’ in Evolutionary Theory are Creationist, Religious Strategies that Evolved from Earlier Forms of Creationism,” and that as a result, both an objective Dover student and an objective Dover citizen “would percieve Defendants’ Conduct to be an Endorsement of Religion.”

    So here we see the two parts which we’re addressing. I’m not counting the Jefferson question, I’ll tackle that separately:

    1. ID is not science.
    2. Religion is needed to believe ID.

    Point 2 is at stake. According to this, ID isn’t allowed in schools because of IT’S HISTORY AND IT’S ADHERENTS INTENT. Not because you need religion to believe in ID. If the judge expands on his opinion into this territory, then refute me, if not cede the point. So if this is the sole reasoning, then my point still stands:

    “This ruling in effect states that in the future were ID to have an even better case for a designer, it still wouldn’t be allowed in schools, because science class cannot infer a designer even if it becomes apparent through science that there is one.”

    You: “No, it states that you can only make the case for a designer with scientific arguments, and only if the purpose and effect of the lesson plan doesn’t violate the Lemon test. You could, in fact, teach ID so long as it didn’t violate the Lemon test.”

    It looks like you are incorrect. You can’t make a case for design in schools ever, even if all scientists stand shoulder to shoulder in agreement. Because the unique and significant precedent which this judge created, was that it matters that ID has a religious strategy in mind, and ID derives from earlier creationist arguments.

    See the difference. ID isn’t science and can never get a schools beachhead, BECAUSE of the intentions of IDer’s and HISTORY of creationism, and nothing else. This could ALWAYS be used as the reasoning. And Jones’ precedents WERE used in another case in California.

    I realize I’m sticking my neck out, not having access to the his full decision, but I’ll provide a different argument if necessary.

  552. Learned Hand,
    Re: Jefferson

    I’m surprised you took this strong stance here. You argue that the supreme court and Jefferson bans science pointing towards intelligent causation? Please elaborate, you didn’t.

    You instead went on to tell me about how lower circuits are bound by the lemon law, a non-related issue. The lemon law is too amorphous, open to either side’s viewpoint. It’s unnecessary from what I see. It doesn’t tackle Jefferson head on as we’re trying to do.

    You led me to believe it’s a “snap” decision, and later corrected yourself on it, because it’s not at all a snap decision for lower courts according to wiki’s stuff on Lemon. Unless you had some other Supreme court ruling in mind?

  553. 553

    StephenB,

    ——”Everything about his words were twisted by the ACLU and Judge Jones. But they can’t twist those words in front of me and neither can you.”

    That’s right, and no amount of (cough cough) will suffice from David to that end.

  554. 554

    David Kellogg,

    ——”As for loaded questions: It’s called a cross-examination. I would have thought with all you know about the law (cough cough) you would understand when such things are acceptable.”

    You’re joking right? “Leading the witness” is never acceptable.

  555. 555

    Learned Hand,

    ——”Although I suspect that if you were an ID critic, Clive would have deleted your comments and/or banned you, as he appears to have done with JayM.”

    Your suspicion is wrong.

  556. 556

    Lamarck, I’m not really sure why you’re going to another web site to tell you what the opinion says, or why you’re asking me to point out where it talks about Lemon. You really should just read it, start to finish; it’s not something you’ll really comprehend if you try to tackle it just by reading little bits from third parties. The discussion you describe on skeptiwiki sounds more or less accurate, but it’s not quite right. While the court did find that the policy violated the effect prong, it did so in one little paragraph at the very end of the opinion. The vast bulk of the piece is devoted to the endorsement and purpose tests. The court discusses what precedent applies from about page 10 to about page 15, and the rest of the opinion (after the fact section) is an analysis.

    The problem with not reading the opinion is that you get into errors like this:

    Religion is needed to believe ID.

    Where does that come from? I don’t remember anything like that from the opinion, nor do I see how it can be backed out of the court’s reasoning. If that were the court’s rationale, the defendants could have won just by putting an atheist ID believer on the stand. (I concede, arguendo, that such exists.) I don’t know to “refute” you on this point. You’re going to have to point me to some part of the opinion that supports your characterization of the court’s reasoning.

    Your two points are off target. It’s more accurate to say that:

    1. The court found that an objective observer would find that ID was religious. This is the endorsement test. An objective observer would, inter alia, see that ID came from creationism, is promoted almost exclusively by religious people with religious motives, and is promoted by people who admit that it is a religious theory. Accordingly, under Lynch, using government money to teach ID would be a government endorsement of religion. The court actually finds that the defendants failed this test without getting into whether ID is science. It addresses that question (a) because the parties asked it to, and (b) because it’s a possible escape for the defendants. If ID was science, then the above analysis would get turned on its head. The court concludes that ID is not science, then moves on to the first prong of the Lemon test.

    2. The court found that teaching ID has no secular purpose. This is the first Lemon test. (The other two get short shrift in the analysis, because once the defendants lost under endorsement and purpose, they lose the case. This, again, is mandated by binding precedent.) This actually turned more on what the school board did than ID itself. The board said it had a secular purpose, in that ID is good science, but:

    the Board took none of the steps that school officials would take if these stated goals had truly been their objective. The Board consulted no scientific materials. The Board contacted no scientists or scientific organizations. The Board failed to consider the views of the District’s science teachers. The Board relied solely on legal advice from two organizations with demonstrably religious, cultural, and legal missions, the Discovery Institute and the TMLC. Moreover, Defendants’ asserted secular purpose of improving science education is belied by the fact that most if not all of the Board members who voted in favor of the biology curriculum change conceded that they still do not know, nor have they ever known, precisely what ID is. To assert a secular purpose against this backdrop is ludicrous.

    Page 131. So because ID in inextricably tied to religion, it fails the endorsement test. (It would pass if it were science, probably. There’s some doubt, but the court didn’t need to go there, because it found ID isn’t science.) And because the school board didn’t have a secular purpose, it failed the purpose test. (And the implication is that, because ID isn’t science, the board couldn’t have had a secular purpose; that, too, would have changed if ID was science.)

    You go on to say, See the difference. ID isn’t science and can never get a schools beachhead, BECAUSE of the intentions of IDer’s and HISTORY of creationism, and nothing else. This could ALWAYS be used as the reasoning.

    No, this is wrong. It’s connected to whether ID is science. ID could extract itself from its roots in creationism if its advocates treated it like a real science – publishing in journals, conducting experiments, etc. Compare ID to chemistry; both have roots in supernaturalism, but chemistry went on to behave like a science, and cut those roots. ID hasn’t. It may or may not, but the courts will (probably) not find that it has until it really acts like a secular science.

    And Jones’ precedents WERE used in another case in California.

    Really? What case? I hadn’t heard. I’d like to see it. Kitzmiller wasn’t binding there. It can’t be. District court cases are only binding (to a certain extent) in the district where they’re decided. Even then, district judges can evade each others’ precedent. A judge in California could never be bound by Kitzmiller. He could be persuaded by its reasoning, but he’s free to disregard it if he wants.

    I realize I’m sticking my neck out, not having access to the his full decision, but I’ll provide a different argument if necessary.

    Huh? How could you not have access to the decision? It’s all over the internet. Just google “Kitzmiller.” It’s linked from Wikipedia, too.

    You argue that the supreme court and Jefferson bans science pointing towards intelligent causation? Please elaborate, you didn’t.

    The supreme court bans government endorsement of religion, and government actions that fail the lemon tests. “Science” that points towards religious intelligent causation fails those tests, and ID, as it exists today, is inextricably bound up in its religious nature. If ID grew into a secular science, it would not fail the first amendment tests.

    You led me to believe it’s a “snap” decision, and later corrected yourself on it, because it’s not at all a snap decision for lower courts according to wiki’s stuff on Lemon.

    Sorry if I was unclear. The proper application of a case as complicated as Lemon can, indeed, be difficult. What Jones couldn’t have done, and what would have been an easy reversal, is to just ignore Lemon because it relies on a vision of the separation of church and state that he finds inappropriate. I thought that’s what you were saying he should have done; apologies if I misunderstood.

  557. 557

    Clive (quoting David Kellogg):

    ”As for loaded questions: It’s called a cross-examination. I would have thought with all you know about the law (cough cough) you would understand when such things are acceptable.”

    You’re joking right? “Leading the witness” is never acceptable.

    You’re joking, right? Leading questions are explicitly permissible on cross examination. Also when the witness is hostile. Behe was a hostile witness being cross examined. See Federal Rule of Evidence 611.

  558. 558

    Learned Hand,

    ——”Leading questions are explicitly permissible on cross examination. Also when the witness is hostile. Behe was a hostile witness being cross examined. See Federal Rule of Evidence 611.”

    Hostile how?

    See Federal Rule of Evidence 610

    “Evidence of the beliefs or opinions of a witness on matters of religion is not admissible for the purpose of showing that by reason of their nature the witness’ credibility is impaired or enhanced.”

    610 is the crux of the matter, and Behe’s religious beliefs or opinions, or lack thereof, were not admissible, though admitted.

  559. Onlookers:

    It is plain that the best way to get away from the clouds of obfuscation and polarisation caused by red herrings led away from the track of the truth to burning ad hominem laced strawmen above and in the tainted ACLU/Joned Dover decision is to actually address the substance of TMLO, the 1984 technical monograph that underlies the birth of modern design theory on the merits.

    This, DK, LH et al have prov ed they are unable to do, and instead they have focussed much verbiage on the tainted ACLU/Jones decision of 2005. During which they have proved unable to address the twisting of words and works by Mr Behe, and the twisting of relevant facts of history and even editing of the text they focussed on.

    Moreover, in the process, Mr Kellogg has managed to try to tag the words and works of Messrs Kenyon, Thaxton, Bradley and Olsen with the dismissive smear that they are “creationists” so can apparently be dismissed without serious examination.

    In so acting, we see precisely the sort of bias and oppressive conduct that — on many historical exemplars — blinds arrogant, agenda-driven elites to the implications of their conduct and leads them, lemming like, towards and over cliffs of hubris, thence ultimate collapse.

    We should draw some pretty strong conclusions from that.

    And, let us also sum up the achievement of TBO in TMLO against the backdrop of the hubris at work, which will give us a definitive answer to allegations about inextricable entanglement of ID with alleged creationist “roots” and the like:

    1 –> “Creationist” — as Mr Lewontin’s notorious “divine foot in the Door” remark shows — has now morphed into anything that hints of believing in the POSSIBILITY of God as an agent in our world. (And of course, “creationists” cannot practice “science” not even when they write serious technical monographs that cogently address the evidence and draw up significant contributions to onward work in the field. For, according to these hubris-driven elitists, de facto atheism is now to be regarded as a defining criterion of science.)

    2 –> Thus, in Mr Lewontin’s world — evidently that of the majority of the elites who are involved with the US NAS:

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    3 –> But in the real world, science should strive — even through its inevitable imperfections — to be an unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) progressive pursuit of the truth about our world, based on empirical evidence and reasoned analysis and discussion among the informed.

    4 –> When we accept such objective goals and values for science, we will immediately see that issues of motives and real or imagined roots fall away as largely irelevant. And, by that criterion, design theory, right from its outset in TMLO is plainly a legitimately scientific endeavour.

    5 –> What is more, it is clear on abundant evidence from known cases and from the sort of analysis of the impotence of blind natural forces of chance circumstances and mechanical necessity, that the two main signs of intelligence discussed by design theorists are valid per inference to best explanation on empirical evidence and related analysis.

    6 –> That is, we know from direct observation and analysis of the impotence of C + N, that he best explanation for observed cases of specified complexity and irreducibly complex entities is intelligent action. THIS IS ONLY CONTROVERSIAL ON MATTERS OF ORIGINS BECAUSE IT THERE CUTS ACROSS THE ONGOING ATTEMPT TO INJECT MATERIALISM INTO SCIENCE AS A DEFINING CONSTRAINT. (For Lewontin et asl would — presuming that materialism = THE truth about our world — impose that presumption upon our work in science, thus utterly biasing their thinking and closing their minds to the possibility of being corrected in fundamental worldview level error. THIS IS PRECISELY THE PATTERN BEHE PICKED UP IN OBSERVING THAT THOSE COMMITTED TO MATERIALISM FIND EVIDENCE THAT CUTS ACROSS IT UNPERSUASIVE.)

    7 –> So, all we need to do is to break the imposed, enslaving materialist fetter and insist on intellectually and ethically responsible conduct in empirical and analytical investigations and discussion. [For, if imposed religious constraints are unacceptable, so must be imposed philosophical constraints; and materialism is a worldview assumption not a proven fact; indeed, it is a most controversial and seriously arguably a self referentially incoherent worldview postulate.]

    8 –> Once that is done, the Lewontinian agenda collapses.

    9 –> Turning to the work of TBO in TMLO, we can “easily” see by reading the work [providing we are willing to do a bit of work on the underlying thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and information theory concepts and related mathematics -- cf here; it is after all a technical monograph], that they do make their case:

    [ . . . ]

  560. PREFACE [to TMLO] (excerpt, p. ix):

    The Mystery ofLife’s Origin is a book that had to be written. There is a critical necessity in any developing scientific discipline to subject its ideas to test and to rigorously analyze its experimental proce-dures. It is an ill-fated science that doesn’t do so. Yet, surprisingly, prebiotic or chemical evolution has never before been thoroughly evaluated. This book not only provides a comprehensive critique using established principles of physics and chemistry, it introduces some new analytical tools, particularly in chapters six and eight.

    We do not want to suggest that scholars have offered no criticisms helpful to other workers in the field of origin-of-life studies. They have, of course, and scattered here and there in the chemical, evolu- tion literature these criticisms can be found. There is no comprehen-sive marshalling of these, however, no carefully ordered statement that brings them together in one volume to assess their combined import. That is a need that has existed now for several yeara, a need which, hopefully, this book helps remedy. It should not be thought that the authors cited as sources of specific criticisme would be in agreement with the overall reassessment presented here. In most cases they would not.

    The fact that chemical evolution has not received thorough evalua- tion to date does not mean it is false, only that it is unwise to build on it or extend it until we are satisfied it is sound. It is crucial to have a thorough critique of chemical evolution, expecially since much of the optimism about finding life in space and the search for extratems- tria1 intelligence (SETI) is based on it . . . .

    10 –> And, having made the basic case on thermodynamics grounds, and on having also shown that the prebiotic environment on multiple grounds [chemical equilibrium balances, oxygen poisoning/disruption vs UV disruption on absence of enough oxygen, interfering cross-reactions etc] they then discussed proto-life models, also exposing that such models are more of hopeful speculation than empirically credible hypothesis. having done the technical work, they then in an epilogue raise the alternatives of intelligent designers, discussing Hoyle-Wickramasinghe’s suggestions on designers within the cosmos, and also raising the possibility of designers beyond the cosmos; which they lean towards. As is their hard-earned right.

    11 –> In this context,the key scientific contribution of Dembski was to identify a quantitative metric for specified complexity (which has now been extended by Abel, Trevors, Chiu, Durston et al), building on the conception that was first raised by noted OOL investigator Orgel in 1973:

    12 –> And, Behe has raised the very relevant consideration that once systems have an irreducible core of components contributing necessary factors to performance, then the core cannot arrive incrementally; it has to come together all at once or there will be no function for natural selection to select. So, even in teh face of co-optation, we must have mutual adjustments of parts to a common operating point, and in a case where required multiple mutations are cvery hard to justify empirically. tha tis, irreducible complexity makes direct evolution of such entities highly improbable, and the requirement for co-matching of parts [= fine-tuning] makes INDIRECT paths most implausible. So, since 1996,he has called for moving beyond just-so stories to proper technical discussions with empirical evidence.

    13 –> But, as the above discussion of the sadly tainted ACLU/Jones decision shows, he has been kangaroo-courted, dismissed by tendentious redefinitions of science, and strawmannised through twisting his remarks [and even by putting words in his mouth that do not belong there], instead of meeting with a sound response.

    14 –> And, when it comes to the issue of wheter bias can distort ability to recognise the force of a case on the merits, LH needs to attend to my several times repeated remarks [from 293 on] on the logic involved:

    if one at first accepts P and sees that P => Q, but is committed to F where F => NOT-Q, then one will be inclined to reject P by inferring F => NOT-Q, NOT-Q so NOT-P. But if NOT-P then implies absurdities, F is in deep trouble.

    I hold — and I believe I can justify — that Evolutionary Materialism and the imposition of its handmaiden, methodological naturalism, on science, censors science from being an unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) search for the truth about our world based on empirical evidence and reasoned discussion among the informed. [Note, I do not say "the certificated" and/or "the credentialled."]

    ___________________

    So, onlookers, we can now see why Mr Kellogg stepped over the limits of basic common courtesy in his insistent intemperate personal attacks on not just mere blog commenters, but now also Mr Johnson, and his mischaracterisation of the words and works of Messrs Kenyon, Thaxton, Bradley and Olsen; for these men have given the lie to the Lewontinian attempt to kidnap science and impose materialistic fetters on it.

    In so doing, he has exposed the fact that he and his ilk have launched a war on our civilisation, through trying to kidnap a key institution — science — to serve their destructive evolutionary materialist atheistical agenda.

    So, it is time for us to rise up, recognise that “the Philistines are upon us” and defend ourselves with manful vigour, as in olden time.

    GEM of TKI

  561. Clive @ 558:

    See Federal Rule of Evidence 610

    “Evidence of the beliefs or opinions of a witness on matters of religion is not admissible for the purpose of showing that by reason of their nature the witness’ credibility is impaired or enhanced.”

    610 is the crux of the matter, and Behe’s religious belief, or lack thereof, was not admissible, though it was admitted.

    More evidence on the sad kangaroo court games that were going on in Dover in 2005.

    GEM of TKI

  562. PS: Oops, I forgot to give Orgel’s epochal 1973 remarks:

    “[L]iving organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple, well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures which are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; the mixtures of polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity.” [[Leslie E. Orgel, The Origins of Life: Molecules and Natural Selection, pg. 189 (Chapman & Hall, 1973). (Emphases added.)]

  563. Re DK, 541:

    On : “Johnson’s equivocation.”

    This is of course yet another turnabout accusation reflecting closed minded objectionist selective hyperskepticism.

    1 –> In Darwin on Trial and elsewhere, Mr Johnson has shown that in fact it is terms like “evolution” and “natural selection” that are replete with multiple meanings that are too often used by shading off from what has empirical merit [minor population variations] to what has not: the grand, metaphysically tinged claimed “scientific” account of the origin and macro-level diversification of life from pond slime to us.

    2 –> In particular, he has ably shown that “natural selection” is often turned into an empty tautology that begs the key questions at stake.

    3 –> A typical turnabout rhetorical attempt is this one, from Hofmann:

    On page 5 of Icons of Evolution, Wells writes as follows:

    “Like change over time, descent with modification within a species is
    utterly uncontroversial. But Darwinian evolution claims much more. In particular, it claims that descent with modification explains the origin and diversification of all living things.

    The only way anyone can determine whether this claim is true is by
    comparing it with observations or experiments. Like all other scientific
    theories, Darwinian evolution must be continually compared with the
    evidence. If it does not fit the evidence, it must be reevaluated or
    abandoned – otherwise it is not science, but myth.”

    The equivocations on the term “darwinian” in this passage are similar to those of Phillip Johnson. Both Johnson and Wells try to turn objections to extreme reliance upon natural selection as a mechanism for common descent into a refutation of common descent.

    4 –> Similarly, PvM, a leading participant at the notorious Panda’s Thumb speaks, ex cathedra as follows:

    . . . Too bad that ID is still using equivocation of naturalism and methodological naturalism, which started with Philip Johnson, to confuse and mislead their followers. ID is scientifically vacuous, theologically risky and philosophically misleading.

    5 –> But in fact, first, as TMLO shows, design theory is not about common descent as such [it is for instance compatible with front loading and use of CV + NS as a mechanism of design, etc]; bu tis a theory on the quesiton of the fundamental sourceof bio-informaiton, insofar as it impinges on biology. It shows on inferene to best explanation, that certain sgins of intelligence are reliable, and that such signs are embeddedin teh coreof the cella nd are associated with body plan level biodiversity. So, on the known source of such functionally specific complex information and structures exhibiting irreducibly complex dependence on a cluster of finely co-adapted core parts, the best current, empirically anchored explanation for these features of the biological world is intelligence, not chance and mechanical necessity.

    6 –> Moreover, there IS an equivocation in modern Darwinian evolutionary thought, the one that gallops from observed modest and minor population variations in beak sizes of finches in the Galapagos to the grand story of origins and diversification along the claimed tree of life [note how postulated common ancestral forms are persistently missing in the teeth of the "almost unmanageably rich" fossil record in excess of 1/4 million species and a sample size of many millions across the geological eras] by Darwinian mechanisms of chance variation and natural selection.

    7 –> And, contrary to what Mr Hofmann et al may imagine, common descent is an inherently provisional explanatory hypothesis requiring positive evidence to support and sustain it, not an established fact on the level of the observed facts of planetary orbits around the sun. (A common claimed comparison.)

    8 –> For, operations science observations are in a very different epistemological category from inferred explanatory constructs on the remote past, which is not directly observable. And, the ONLY direct evidence on that remote past, the fossil record, is notoriously dominated by sudden appearances, stasis and disappearance and/or continuation into the current world, especially once we look at major-level life forms. So much so that in recent memory, punctuated equilibria was proposed as yet another epicycle on the darwinian construct to “explain” the absence of hitherto expected evidence.

    9 –> When we turn to Mr van Meirs of PT {sp?], we can easily point to the rather explicit statements of Mr Lewontin of the US NAS, in that notroious NYRB 1997 article that is so important to understanding what is really going on:

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    10 –> In fact, here we see that first Mr Lewontin sees “science” as he defines it as “the only begetter of truth,” then proceeds to define that science in terms of first methodological naturalism: “we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations . . .”

    11 –> Lewontin then immediately connects that to METAPHYSICAL materialism and more broadly metaphysical naturalism: “that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.” (Of course he here reveals his sophomoric ignorance of the founding vision of modern science, that God is the foundation of the order of the universe through his natural LAW that he uses to govern it; and that miracles on a theistic view must be rare if they are to stand out against the backdrop of the normal order of the world. [This was discussed above already, and is easily accessible for those interested in a true and fair view.])

    12 –> And, as we can for instance see from the Kansas education board case, this is not just personal opinion but is being enforced on science by both the NAS and the national science teacher’s association of the US. indeed, in that case, the students of the state were held hostage under threat of being deemed uneducated to go to college or find good jobs, if they were not to accept the materialism loaded tendentious re-definition by this de facto Magisterium that “Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations [NB, = Lewontin's "material explanations"] of the world around us.”

    ______________

    So, yet again, it is plain that Mr Kellogg and his evolutionary materialist ilk have indulged in the rhetoric of distraction, distortion and — frankly — defamation, then dismissal. (All of this all too plainly echoes the notorious evolutionary materialist attitude and dictum that those who reject that worldview are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.)

    Mr Kellogg owes an apology to Mr Johnson, for falsely accusing him of abusing his knowledge base as a professor of law, to mislead others on the issues of evolutionary materialism and the credibility of design theory.

    GEM of TKI

  564. 564

    KariosFocus

    common descent is an inherently provisional explanatory hypothesis requiring positive evidence to support and sustain it,

    Given that Behe has said

    “I believe the evidence strongly supports common descent.”

    And Dembski has said

    Intelligent design therefore throws common descent into question but at the same time leaves open as a very live possibility that common descent is the case, albeit for reasons other than the Darwinian mechanism

    Do you have a better explanatory hypothesis? Do you have any counter evidence aginst common descent?

    Yes, it’s “provisional” insofar as everything in science is “provisional”. Yet it will reman the de facto explaination until you provide a better explanatory hypothesis and provide positive evidence to support it.

    So why not just work on the assumption that it’s true for now and if you come up with some counter evidence or a explanatory hypothesis that better explains the observed data then you can write your paper and win a Nobel!

    miracles on a theistic view must be rare if they are to stand out against the backdrop of the normal order of the world.

    Yet you have previosly said that miracle cures happen all the time, cancer, brain tumors etc. Are these miracle cures somehow “rare” and “common” at the same time? And when asked why limbs never seem to regrow you had no answer except to point to a single example provided to you that happened hundreds of years ago as “evidence” that in fact limb regrowth does occour as a miracle cure.

    I wonder what you would tell amputees when telling a group of people miracle cures happen? “No, not you, the miracle box is empty for you, you should have been born 500 years ago when it happened all the time”.

    Do miracle cures happen Kariosfocus, and if so are they “rare” or “common”?

  565. 565

    KariosFocus,
    On a different thread Clive said

    Nor do you understand the distinction between natural and supernatural, for no one really does.

    Above you say

    ATTEMPT TO INJECT MATERIALISM INTO SCIENCE AS A DEFINING CONSTRAINT.

    If we take “natural” = MATERIALISM then could you perhaps tell me, and Clive, how you differentiate between MATERIALISM and NON-MATERIALISM?

  566. 566

    I believe kairosfocus has quoted Lewontin’s “Divine foot” paragraph (which KF inexplicably calls “notorious” — in your mind, KF) seven times so far in this thread alone.

    On leading questions: Rule 611c:

    Leading questions should not be used on the direct examination of a witness except as may be necessary to develop the witness’ testimony. Ordinarily leading questions should be permitted on cross-examination. When a party calls a hostile witness, an adverse party, or a witness identified with an adverse party, interrogation may be by leading questions.

    Learned Hand can better explain your misunderstanding of Rule 610. If you’re right, the Dover team must have had pretty crappy lawyers not to object on those grounds.

  567. 567

    Clive, did you happen to read the advisory note on Rule 610:

    While the rule forecloses inquiry into the religious beliefs or opinions of a witness for the purpose of showing that his character for truthfulness is affected by their nature, an inquiry for the purpose of showing interest or bias because of them is not within the prohibition. Thus disclosure of affiliation with a church which is a party to the litigation would be allowable under the rule. Cf. Tucker v. Reil, 51 Ariz. 357, 77 P.2d 203 (1938). To the same effect, though less specifically worded, is California Evidence Code § 789. See 3 Wigmore § 936.

    Emphasis added.

  568. “I believe kairosfocus has quoted Lewontin’s “Divine foot” paragraph (which KF inexplicably calls “notorious” — in your mind, KF) seven times so far in this thread alone.”

    If kairosfocus repeats it a hundred times, does it make it any less relevant. It seems a tactic is when something is embarrassing, to say “Oh, you brought that up again. You must be obsessive.”

  569. It should be repeated for the 100th time, common descent is not the same as common ancestry. Nearly all the evidence I have seen is for common ancestry. The only evidence I know of for common descent is the use of DNA in all life forms. If sometime in future on another thread someone has a different point of view, maybe it could be debated there where it doesn’t take 600 comments or more to refresh.

  570. 570

    “If kairosfocus repeats it a hundred times, does it make it any less relevant.”

    Perhaps you, jerry, could explain its relevance to the Dover decision. I find KF’s recourse to such tried and tr– well, tried — tactics hard to follow.

  571. 571

    “It should be repeated for the 100th time, common descent is not the same as common ancestry.”

    True. Just because my grandparents are my ancestors doesn’t mean I descended from them.

  572. 572

    Jerry,
    There is plenty of evidence for common descent, much of it accessable to the lay person.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....on_descent

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LI.....escent.htm

    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/suppl.1/8567.full

    When you’ve had time to digest all that perhaps we could discuss?

  573. 573

    KariosFocus

    and geologists like Olsen who make detailed, technically correct practical and theoretical investigations are to be tagged, demonised and dismissed because there is the possibility of “a Divine Foot in the door.”

    Do you mean Roger L. Olsen?

    I found this

    Roger L. Olsen received his Bachelor in Science degree in Chemistry in 1972 and his Ph.D. degree in Geochemistry in 1979. Both degrees were from the Colorado School of Mines. Dr. Olsen has worked at the Colorado School of Mines as an Instructor in Chemistry/Geochemistry, at Rockwell International as a Research Chemist, and at D’Appolonia Consulting Engineers/International Technology Corporation as a Project Geochemist. Dr. Olsen has made over 40 presentations at conferences and seminars and has published over 30 papers. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi and the Hazardous Materials Research Institute. Dr. Olsen is a recognized expert in the fields of geochemistry and environmental chemistry and has been an expert witness in 12 cases. He is currently a vice president in the Denver, Colorado office of Camp Dresser McKee, Inc., Consulting Engineers.

    He’s achieved all that despite the darwinists. They must like him! I thought the darwinists (a la Steinberg) went out of their way to destroy the careers of those who disagree? Why not in this case?

    Hardly tagged, demonised and dismissed is it, given the bio above?

    Can you tell me, specifically, who has demonised him? Who has dismissed his work simply because of the views he holds and not because of the work itself?

    Given that The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories was written over 20 years ago do you think it’s worth referencing as “Current” anymore? Things have moved on since 1984! And yet this book seems to be your sole reference point! I suppose a reference this decade would be too much to ask for?

  574. 574

    And given that The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories has been cited 90 times according to google scholar

    http://scholar.google.com/scho.....8073733391

    How is that an example of darwinst supression? Somebody better tell google they forgot to “supress the evidence”!

    Tagged, demonised and dismissed? More like ignored, given that the majority of citations are by the usual suspects, J Sarfati and Meyer and so on. And other citations are hardly supportive, e.g.

    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/conten.....ppl_1/8669

    So, it seems that ID supportes can, if they want to, have access to the “normal” scientific procedures of peer review, citations etc, but their work is just not generating much interest or just outright hostility. Whose fault is that exactly?

  575. Onlookers,
    the longer I follow this thread the more I get the impression that we have lost Cornelius Hunter long before the 100th comment.

  576. “There is plenty of evidence for common descent”

    What I read in the links provided was evidence for common ancestry not common descent. There is a hard break at the Cambrian Explosion and while there is much speculation, there is nothing to suggest single celled organisms led to the phyla seen in the Cambrian. I will say nothing more here as this thread is already too long and this topic is peripheral.

    There also may have been some other hard breaks. The future will decide just how hard any of these breaks were and how the transitions could have taken place. So far I see mostly speculation.

  577. 577

    jerry, I know you’re taking a break from this topic, but you’re the first to raise it. I find the distinction nonsensical. Can you give an example of how common ancestry does not imply common descent? I mean, aside from I’m My Own Grandpaw?

  578. “Perhaps you, jerry, could explain its relevance to the Dover decision. ”

    Perhaps you could say, “While I agree that the Lewontin quote is evidence of anti religious worry by atheists and represents their readiness to take action against religious activity, I do not think it has relevance to the Dover decision.”

    Or wait a minute, should anti religious activity be just as much of an issue when pro religious behavior tries to counter act anti religious activity. Maybe we should think about that. Maybe the judge should have thought about it. I know it was only science he was interested in.

  579. 579

    Clive,

    A “hostile witness” is either your opponent’s witness, or a witness you call who gives testimony hostile to your case. Behe was the former. The rules are slightly different for hostile witnesses. For example, you can lead them on direct examination.

    David Kellogg made a good catch in correcting you on Rule 610. I’ll add only that the comment he cites, although written by the Advisory Committee, has a more than merely advisory effect. The commentary exists to tell practitioners what the rule was intended to do, and how it should be applied, without complicating the text of the rule itself. It’s written by the same people who write the rules. I have never known a court to disregard the commentary to the rules of procedure or evidence.

    Also, in the portions of the trial discussed above, Behe was asked about whether ID was religious, not about whether he was. I don’t recall whether that question was ever posed to him, but it would have been kosher under 610.

    Please be careful about telling people how the law works. It’s a highly technical field in many ways, especially once you get into the procedural rules. There’s no reason you should have known to read the commentary on Rule 610, but by not doing so, you misled at least KF and probably others.

  580. 580

    jerry, have you read the whole essay that kairosfocus cites? It’s a critical review of his friend Carl Sagan’s book The Demon-Haunted World, devoted mainly to illustrating Sagan’s rather naive (in Lewontin’s view) position on science and rationality. It’s certainly not about science education at the secondary school level, the focus of the Dover decision. It has zero relevance to the topic at hand.

  581. 581

    jerry, here’s a post from an American Scientific Affiliation discussion board on this quote. It explains why people like KF who use this quote as a chestnut are quotemining:

    I think the ID people got a lot of mileage on a statement that was easy to misinterpret if you don’t read a lot of L[ewtontin]‘s work. There are a lot of ways to interpret what he meant. First recognize that this in a certain sense a highly negative review. He is not saying don’t read the book but he is saying that he thinks Carl Sagan is wrong to popularize science using the angle he does. In that sense what you have here is a somewhat sarcastic articulation of Sagan’s view. If you read the preface to _It Ain’t Necessarily So_ you will see L does this very same thing over I can’t remember the subject, maybe genomania. So I think he’s making fun of materialists a little bit here. I don’t think he’s setting out a research methodology, as has been portrayed by the ID’rs.

    Here is another clue: look at the paragraph immediately following, the divine foot paragraph, where he notes “The mutual exclusion of the material and the demonic has not been true of all cultures and all times.” Remember, he is a Marxist. He here and in other writings has noted that the rules of science are situated in a social context, and he’s describing here the way it’s played these days. I don’t think he’s passing a normative judgement here, in the sense that I think he would say ALL science is socially situated, in fact I am pretty sure he has stated (the comment, racists do racist science in the review of Mismeasure of Man comes to mind).

    And the juxtaposition of Newton and LaPlace is interesting, not least because Newton was highly religious albeit Arian and LaPlace also a devout Catholic. Whether intentional or not, he shows here Newton put God in the Gap and LaPlace took Him out. Then back to the class thing.

    And that is what I think this essay is really about. He is saying it is wrong to take superstition – the “demon-haunted world” or maybe Dr Nelson would say folk religion – and replace it with a superstitious trust in science. It’s wrong because it doesn’t change the situation for those who are not in the elite, it just changes the master. The final paragraph articulates that, how do we teach lay people how to evaluate claims? And that is really quite an important question that got lost in the hype over this quote.

  582. Learned Hand, I don’t like cornering someone beyond proving my point. Unless you bring up something new, I’ll let you have the last word. Every quote is a paraphrase here because there’s many parts to our debate, but only a few key parts and this is easier to make the ideas concise.

    First the smaller points:

    That you need religion to believe in ID is me referencing the earlier debates which I wasn’t a part of. I assumed this was in the judge’s ruling because it was talked about so much. Luckily for me it’s not, that would make my case much harder.
    And this falls in line with part of my thesis that the judge couldn’t rule on such matters and whether that pertains to the science itself.

    I understand your point on Jones’ precedent not binding in California, I argue though that it lends weight to California, otherwise it wouldn’t be cited.

    California case is on skepticwiki I think, but they also mention “Jones has been used in several cases”

    You and I don’t disagree on Jefferson per what you wrote. We disagree on the nature of ID.

    I was looking for a text file of the case, can’t use adobe or whatever I see there on wiki. Also I don’t need to refer to it. Somehow I correctly surmised what the judge’s opinion was and what it entailed, and what he could not have stated in his summary “he couldn’t rule on the quality or quantity of science itself, it’s too easily overruled on appeal”

    Lemon isn’t necessarily binding in lower courts nowadays according to wiki, they could rule on the first amendment alone.

    And now the main points:

    You state the judge ruled on ID being religion as regards IDer’s intent and history and connection to creationism.
    I cited these exact points as to the judge’s ruling on ID not being science. I think what you meant to say was the judge thinks ID isn’t SCIENCE because of connections to creationism, intent of IDers, and it’s history with creationism.

    What the judge has to say about religion is irrelevant, because it would only bolster my case that ID could NEVER be taught in schools no matter it’s scientific quantity or quality, because it infers a designer.

    So it narrows to this.

    “ID is not science because of it’s connection to creationism in history, and the present day, and th intent of IDers.”

    This is the centerpiece of the Judge’s conclusions and it isn’t a significant precedent.

    You argue that ID could one day be taught in schools because they could extricate themselves from these points with sound science. You also argue, unstated but by default, that the intent of IDers could be separated, and so be allowed in schools

    I argue that you are wrong. ID could never extricate itself from it’s historical ties to creationism FROM A LAW PERSPECTIVE – HOW CAN IT BE PROVEN OR DISPROVEN? (obviously, unless we have a time machine), and That it can never separate from creationism in the present day, FROM A LAW PERSPECTIVE – HOW CAN IT BE PROVEN OR DISPROVEN? Keep in mind the science quality itself wasn’t at stake per me and this judge’s decision.

    ID could never extricate itself most of all from IDers INTENTIONS. Again, from a law perspective – and this one most of all – HOW CAN IT BE PROVEN OR DISPROVEN?

    So my point stands. The Judge made a sweeping new precedent, which violated Jefferson’s intentions:

    No matter the quality of the science of ID, even if every scientist in the world is in agreement that ID is sound, it cannot be taught in schools because of it’s inextricable ties to INTENT, HISTORY and present day CREATIONISM. Hence, religion no matter how soundly grounded in science, even if it was to the point where it’s the only viable theory, cannot be taught to kids.

    This was not Jefferson’s intention towards the Church and State separation. It was an important bulwark against IGNORANCE and excessive GOVERNMENT and religious- not SCIENTIFIC – intrusion.

  583. 583

    Lamarck,

    I don’t think I have anything to say. Your opinions are all rooted in what you think the court said, but you haven’t read the opinion. You should do that first, and then decide what it means. You can get a non-PDF by googling “Dover opinion” and clicking on the “View as HTML’ link on the first result.

    To relieve your concerns, Kitzmiller is not binding precedent. Other courts may, apparently have, and probably will in the future cite it as persuasive on the applicable fact questions, such as whether ID is religious. But those other courts will follow their own circuit courts of appeal and the supreme court on the question of what the law is. No court outside the Middle District of Pennsylvania will ever be forced to follow Kitzmiller if it doesn’t want to.

  584. —-Learned Hand to Clive: “Please be careful about telling people how the law works. It’s a highly technical field in many ways, especially once you get into the procedural rules.”

    I think that you should excercise caution. You have yet to demonstrate that you understand the difference between [A] the letter of the law and the spirit of the law, [B] what the law does and what it is supposed to do, [C] the standard for a just law or an unjust law. To do proper legal analysis, it is importnat to understand the nature of these distinctions and the reasons why they are important.

    Further, you seen to elevate symbolism over substance. Nothing Michael Behe said, inside or outside court, incrimininated him. You cannot present to me a quote of his in its original form [untwisted by Barbara Forrest, the ACLU, or Judge Jones] that suggests that ID is “intertwined” (your word) with religion. That fact alone destroys your entire argument.

  585. 585

    Learned Hand, to engage in dialogue with StephenB, you must do two things:

    1) treat passages StephenB puts in quotation marks as paraphrases or summaries;

    2) treat passages where Judge Jones summarizes or paraphrases Behe as quotations.

    This minor adjustment will help.

    Also, don’t provide links because he will just say they are to anti-ID sites without clicking.