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Kitzmiller v. Dover Board of Ed. -- aka the "Panda Trial"

post #1 of 576
Thread Starter 
I thought maybe I'd take some of the heat off BRrussel's derailed dualism thread. Maybe that thread can then get back on track.

Has anyone here been following the "Panda Trial" in Dover, PA? It's fascinating stuff. Here's a link to the PA ACLU's blog where they're following the trial:

http://aclupa.blogspot.com/

The ACLU is backing the plaintiffs in this case (the plaintiffs being parents suing the Dover school board on First Amendment grounds for trying to introduce "Intelligent Design" into a public school curriculum), so obviously the ACLU's blog isn't the most unbiased place to look at what's going on.

Nevertheless, even after doing my best to account for potential bias, and after looking at neutral documents like raw court transcripts, things look like they are going terribly for the ID defense. The Discovery Institute (essentially the main ID think tank) is now doing all they can to distance themselves from this mess -- they even pulled two witnesses for the defense which they'd originally planned to provide, including the (in)famous William Dembski.

To start with, the ID-peddling members of the Dover Board of Education are certainly doing themselves no service with their own testimony. Anyone who's ever listened to a five-year old try to squirm his way out of stealing a cookie could see through the contradictions and convenient "lapses of memory" of the various board members.

Here's just one example of that, from the very entertaining Mike Argento, in one of his stories in the local York Daily Record:

Buckingham seesaws on the stand

Here's an amusing excerpt from the above:
Quote:
So, during his testimony Thursday, Steve Harvey, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, asked Buckingham about the books ["Of Pandas and People" -- dozens (60?) of copies of which had been purchased for the school's library] and how the money was raised to buy them. He specifically asked Buckingham whether he raised the money at his church.

He said he hadn't.

Then, he said he had.

Then, he said he hadn't.

He said he stood before the congregation one Sunday morning and said "there was a need" for money to buy "Of Pandas and People" and if anyone wanted to give, they could.

"But I didn't ask anyone for money," he said.

Harvey asked him whether he took up a collection at his church, Harmony Grove Community Church.

"Not as such," Buckingham said.

So the lawyer asked him whether he got in front of the congregation and asked for donations.

"I didn't," Buckingham said.

He paused.

"I'm sorry, I did say that, but there was more to it," he said.

Anyway, he collected the money wherever it came from and then he wrote a check for $850 to Donald Bonsell, father of then-school board President Alan Bonsell.

But previously, when asked by the lawyer about who donated the books, he said he didn't know.

Question: Does this man imagine himself doing "the Lord's Work" by lying through his teeth under oath like this? These guys should re-read the part of the Bible where Peter denies Jesus three times. They're all doing a fair reenactment of that while trying to deny their well-documented Christian/creationist motivations for their ID agenda.

Even getting away from the dithering local yokels from the school board, the so-called "experts" aren't doing much better. You've got Michael Behe not only having to admit that the very definition of science would have to be changed to include ID as science, you then have him forced to admit that using the definition he proposes astrology would be science too! Mr. Behe also seems to have gotten himself caught up in one of these shall we say "memory lapses"?... regarding whether or not his book Darwin's Black Box had actually been peer reviewed or not. Odd thing to get a fuzzy memory about, wouldn't you think?

How's this for a desperate angle on the part of the defense: Intelligent design's plea for help

The gist? Poor, struggling, underappreciated Intelligent Design just can't catch a break in the mean, close-minded world of the scientific establishment. So, unlike any other theory which has had to fight its own way the hard way, working from the top down and becoming well-established before becoming the stuff of high school textbooks, poor ID just can't make it without a "from the bottom up" approach.

The solution? Our public education system is somehow obligated to inspire and recruit the ID researchers of the future -- and then, I guess, we all just wait for these brilliant young minds to do the research which usually comes up front.
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post #2 of 576
There is an obvious proof that the ID do not exist : it's human.

At the eye of any aliens, it's quite obvious that the human is a fucked design
post #3 of 576
Cool, a thread that touches the third rail of PO. I'm game and I promise not to get nasty.

Bottom line, ID is not science and should not be taught as such.

The case looks weak for ID anyway, given all the evidence for affinity of the school board with creationism. I'll be very surprised if ID can win this case.
post #4 of 576
Thanks Shetline. This is interesting stuff, and a better thread for the politics of ID then the the "dualism" thread (in which I recently did my bit to derail).

I think the equivocation on the stand that you've cited does highlight a difficult to navigate point of conflict for ID enthusiasts:

"ID" was specifically designed to take some Christian ideas about the nature of the universe and trick them out in "science" drag.

But while you may try to hide the "Christian" in ID, it's a lot harder, or perhaps just unpalatable, for ID adherents to conceal their faith.

So no matter how many books, institutes, web sites, and funding entities you might set up to give ID the aura of a stand-alone "scientific theory", you're still going to have all of it permanently linked to Christianity, and it's books, institutes, web sites, and funding entities. That's ID's constituency, and that will remain ID's constituency. There isn't any other reason for the it to even exist.

So whenever you get past the facile rhetoric, and take a real look and who and why (as in the case you've linked to), you're immediately going to run into a bunch of Christians doing God's work.

Which is a real problem for the entire point of ID, which is to pretend that it isn't about that.
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post #5 of 576
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
I'll be very surprised if ID can win this case.

I don't think they can win either, but here's one angle I think the defense might be trying for:

There may be a constitutional prohibition against promoting a religious agenda in public schools, but there is no prohibition, per se, against teaching bad science. If some school board members somewhere got it into their heads to teach E=mc³ instead of E=mc², there's not really anything you can do about that except try to convince the voters that the school board has gone mad, and fix the problem if you can vote them out.

So, in and of itself, getting mad and stomping your feet that ID is bad science doesn't get you anywhere.

Exposing ID as bad science, which has little to offer in its present (and probable future) form, merely lays bare whether what's left is religious in nature, and whether the motivation to push such a "science", with so little credence in the scientific establishment, is religiously motivated.

Having the case hinge on the motivation of those pushing the ID agenda can be a tricky thing. After all, many people were motivated by their religious beliefs to fight for civil rights -- their religious motivation in no way invalidates civil rights laws.
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post #6 of 576
You know, the fact that they admit they're redefining science actually gives me some hope that there is some honesty in these people. I tend to think of these movements as just single-mindedly pursuing their agenda, devoid of any concern for facts. If they are willing to honestly follow their agenda, I'd say that's a good thing.

Or perhaps they were just cornered into some of these statements by clever lawyerin'. I'd be interested in seeing some of the transcripts from the key moments.
post #7 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
If some school board members somewhere got it into their heads to teach E=mc³ instead of E=mc², there's not really anything you can do about that except try to convince the voters that the school board has gone mad, and fix the problem if you can vote them out.

How much power do school boards have over what gets taught? I honestly don't know. I'm a university professor, and as far as I know, there is absolutely no outside political interference in what I teach in my classes. Do school boards determine the entire curriculum? Are school teachers required to teach whatever the school board tells them to teach?
post #8 of 576
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
How much power do school boards have over what gets taught?

I imagine the degree of power school boards have varies from state to state and from town to town. My main point is that I don't believe it's possible to make a federal constitutional case against ID purely on the basis of whether or not ID is good science, or even science at all.
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post #9 of 576
Doesn't "No Child Left Behind" throw in some federal standards? Or is that just making numbers on some standardized tests?
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post #10 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
Doesn't "No Child Left Behind" throw in some federal standards? Or is that just making numbers on some standardized tests?

Yes, and if anything, it encourages teaching both sides of the evolution debate. See The Santorum Amendment to NCLB.
post #11 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
So, in and of itself, getting mad and stomping your feet that ID is bad science doesn't get you anywhere.

Your correct. This case is not about bad science per se, it is about the prohibition of religious teachings in public school.
post #12 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
Your correct. This case is not about bad science per se, it is about the prohibition of religious teachings in public school.

Hmmmm.......

So if ID is just "bad science", what's to keep Christian dominated school boards from introducing into the curriculum "bad history", where, say, the genocide of native peoples is understood to be God's will and punishment for failing to accept Christ, or "bad psychology", where mental illness is understood to be the product of failing to let Jesus into your heart, etc.?
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post #13 of 576
I would alos like to know the answer to BRussel's question.

I beleive school boards generally put forth guidlines and minimum requirements within which there is a fair degree of wiggle room. However, I think if they want to get specific and inforce some particular point or lesson, then they can do that as well. I'm guessing here mostly.

Also, in terms of testing (no child left behind). This really affects what is taught because a large chunk of time is dedicated to teaching for the standardized tests. Whether this is good or bad is debatable.
post #14 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
Hmmmm.......

So if ID is just "bad science", what's to keep Christian dominated school boards from introducing into the curriculum "bad history", where, say, the genocide of native peoples is understood to be God's will and punishment for failing to accept Christ, or "bad psychology", where mental illness is understood to be the product of failing to let Jesus into your heart, etc.?

I basing my statement from what I understand is the main legal challange and precedence relaveant to the case.
post #15 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
I basing my statement from what I understand is the main legal challange and precedence relaveant to the case.

Sorry, I was actually responding more to Shetline's original point that there isn't any prohibition against having a lousy curriculum.
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post #16 of 576
School boards tend to have little overall impact simply because when you look at the breadth of teachers and of subjects and time spent teaching in total it is just too much for a school board to micromanage. No one has any interest in interfering in algebra anyway. But what they can do is have pet projects like evolution or drug testing or sex ed or no weapons in school and such that they get involved in as Activist Judg...er...Activist School Board Members and then they really can control things in some cases. A lot of school board members even get elected on such platforms. Alternatively it may be something more mundane to the general public but which really gets the ire of parents like redistricting or some such issue. Many of them are well meaning but often even those with good intentions can be busy bodies with nothing else to do any so they become completely immersed in the politics of schooling. Unfortunately nothing makes people more irrational and completely resolute in their stances than anything relating to their kids. School politics tend to fly below the radar but it is really a fascinating little culture.
post #17 of 576
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
So if ID is just "bad science", what's to keep Christian dominated school boards from introducing into the curriculum "bad history", where, say, the genocide of native peoples is understood to be God's will and punishment for failing to accept Christ, or "bad psychology", where mental illness is understood to be the product of failing to let Jesus into your heart, etc.?

The examples you gave, however, aren't "just bad" -- they're bad with a religious twist that would likely cause a run-in with the Establishment Clause.

"Just bad" would be teaching that Kermit the Frog was the first president of the United States, or that mental illness is caused by thinking about pizza.

The ID gambit is to pretend that ID is religiously neutral about who or what did the supposed intelligent designing -- to leave it supposedly open to interpretation such that it could mean an advanced alien race, or time-travelling hyperintelligent vending machines, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or... ssshhhh... maybe even the Christian God. If you buy the argument that the clearly Christian motivations of the vast majority of those who promote ID must be ignored, so as long as the teaching materials for ID have all been properly de-Christianized and de-Godified before presentation, then ID is "merely" bad science.

One of the plaintiff's exhibits, for instance, shows how the current edition of Of Pandas and People reads almost exactly like an older pre-ID edition of Of Pandas and People, except that words like "creationism" have been replaced with the text "intelligent design". Not only is the ID "update" ludicrously shallow about hiding its creationist origins, the publishers make it clear where students can order supplemental materials to the book which currently still make no effort to hide the Christian creationist agenda.

Of course, the less ID says about the alleged designer, the less it says, period. There's less to claim, less to look for, less to prove, less to possibly ever subject to evidence or testing. And there's little reason left for anyone to fiercely advocate ID... unless, of course, they're trying to use it as, hmmm... a "wedge strategy", perhaps?
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post #18 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
I imagine the degree of power school boards have varies from state to state and from town to town. My main point is that I don't believe it's possible to make a federal constitutional case against ID purely on the basis of whether or not ID is good science, or even science at all.

Oh sure, I understood your point, and think it's a good one. The case, as I understand it, is a church-state separation case, not a "bad science" case. The only way for the IDers to win is for them to prove that ID is bad science.

I also wanted to point out dmz's statement in the other thread about how most ID proponents are not Christians. He gave two examples, both of whom turned out to be devout Christians after about 6.2 sec. of googling. That (false) contention is critical to the success of the ID agenda.

But the point of my post was just to ask, more generally, about the power of school boards, because that question is central to these creationism-in-the-schools issues. Are there really no checks and balances on these folks? Can they really do whatever they want?
post #19 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
The examples you gave, however, aren't "just bad" -- they're bad with a religious twist that would likely cause a run-in with the Establishment Clause.

"Just bad" would be teaching that Kermit the Frog was the first president of the United States, or that mental illness is caused by thinking about pizza.

The ID gambit is to pretend that ID is religiously neutral about who or what did the supposed intelligent designing -- to leave it supposedly open to interpretation such that it could mean an advanced alien race, or time-travelling hyperintelligent vending machines, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or... ssshhhh... maybe even the Christian God. If you buy the argument that the clearly Christian motivations of the vast majority of those who promote ID must be ignored, so as long as the teaching materials for ID have all been properly de-Christianized and de-Godified before presentation, then ID is "merely" bad science.

One of the plaintiff's exhibits, for instance, shows how the current edition of Of Pandas and People reads almost exactly like an older pre-ID edition of Of Pandas and People, except that words like "creationism" have been replaced with the text "intelligent design". Not only is the ID "update" ludicrously shallow about hiding its creationist origins, the publishers make it clear where students can order supplemental materials to the book which currently still make no effort to hide the Christian creationist agenda.

Of course, the less ID says about the alleged designer, the less it says, period. There's less to claim, less to look for, less to prove, less to possibly ever subject to evidence or testing. And there's little reason left for anyone to fiercely advocate ID... unless, of course, they're trying to use it as, hmmm... a "wedge strategy", perhaps?

Right, which is what I was thinking about in my earlier post-- that given that the whole of ID is a Christian trojan horse, how far can its backers go in "de-Christianizing" it before it becomes sort of pointless?

And in trials like this it appears they have to go pretty far, so it's possible that, as more and more case law accumulates around what, exactly, can be taught, the opening will prove to be so narrow that ID backers will lose interest in what can fit through.

Like, stickers on science text books that say, "As far as to what got the ball rolling, we don't know, but it might have been magic".

As far as my examples of other "bad" topics goes, you're right, I didn't try hard enough to conceal the message.

The better example would be "bad" history that never lets the student forget that while some historians think the movements of history are cause by human beings, we mustn't discount other historians who see the grand unfolding of "a plan" of some sort.
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post #20 of 576
Hehe. Behe's testimony:

"Q. ... I want to confirm some other aspects of how you understand intelligent design. It does not identify who the designer is, correct?
A That's correct. Let me just clarify that. I'm talking about the scientific argument for intelligent design based on physical data and logic, yes.
Q You believe it's God, but it's not part of your scientific argument?
A That s correct.
Q It does not describe how the design occurred.
A I'm sorry?
Q Intelligent design does not describe how the design occurred.
A That's correct, just like the Big Bang theory does not describe what caused the Big Bang.
Q Does not identify when the design occurred.
A That is correct.
Q In fact, intelligent design takes no position on the age of the earth or when biological life began.
A That's correct.
Q But think it was -- the earth as billions of years old or 10,000 years old.
A That's correct.
Q It says nothing about what the designer's abilities are.
A Other than saying that the designer had the ability to make the design that is under consideration, that's correct.
Q It sounds pretty tautological, Professor Behe.
A No, I don't think so at all. When you see a structure, even in our everyday world, just think about archaeological structures such as a Sphinx or Easter Island or some such thing, one thing you can say is that these -- two things you can say, is that these things were designed, and that the intelligent agent or intelligent agents who designed them had the ability to design them. So I don't think that's tautological at all.
"

What's even cooler is how Behe convinced himself that the designer couldn't be natural alien dude, but a supernatural one. That was a bit of constipation...
post #21 of 576
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
Are there really no checks and balances on these folks? Can they really do whatever they want?

Whether or not people re-elect their school board members is one check on them, but not a very good check when it comes to the Constitutionality of what school boards do.

Beyond that? Hopefully someone else here who's more familiar with these issues can answer better. All I'm aware of is the general concept of there being laws passed which create various state and federal guidelines.

I think most federal guidelines are "optional" in the sense that it's not a matter of breaking the law not to follow them, but merely a matter of whether or not a school continues to receive federal funding or not. If a school district were wealthy enough, and/or their school board headstrong enough, I imagine a bit more latitude in curriculum planning would exist. Most schools need money so badly, however, that by tying money to federal guidelines those guidelines essentially become mandatory.
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post #22 of 576
In related news, the creationists are definitely winning the PR campaign:
Quote:
Most Americans do not accept the theory of evolution. Instead, 51 percent of Americans say God created humans in their present form, and another three in 10 say that while humans evolved, God guided the process. Just 15 percent say humans evolved, and that God was not involved.

The majority of Americans are creationists.
post #23 of 576
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
The majority of Americans are creationists.

While it's still disappointing enough, don't blow these poll results out of proportion.

The poll asks nothing about Creationism with a capital C. Just any sort of involvement of God, and only as it relates to humans -- a lot of people have a weak spot for treating humans as a special case. There's a lot of wiggle room in here for variations on a theistic evolution theme.

If the question is about diehard Biblically-literal creationism, "only" (yes, it's still depressingly high) about 1/3 go for that in other surveys I've seen. At least that leaves 2/3 who aren't making themselves live in complete denial of the broad geological and paleontological realities of our planet.
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post #24 of 576
deleted on account of incoherent rant
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post #25 of 576
Still, the idea that 51% of us think that God created man "in his current form" is...... disappointing.
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post #26 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
In related news, the creationists are definitely winning the PR campaign:

The majority of Americans are creationists.

The majority of americans are fscking stupid too.

Anyway, there's a great NPR Science Friday Podcast on this case, actually a couple. Basically this case is a slam dunk for the ACLU. That's why the The Discovery Institute pulled out. They didn't want to be on the losing end. Let's hope the good work of the ACLU can keep these religious bigots on the run.
post #27 of 576
More comedy gold. Either that or tragedy:

"Q Thank you. Now, can we go back to page 11 of the reportand highlight again the underscored text. So this is back to the claim that you say intelligent design makes, "Intelligent design theory focuses exclusively on the proposed mechanism of how complex biological structures arose." Please describe the mechanism that intelligent design proposes for how complex biological structures arose.
A Well, the word "mechanism" can be used in many ways. In this I was-- and when I was referring to intelligent design, I meant that we can perceive that in the process by which a complex biological structure arose, we can infer that intelligence was involved in its origin. Much like if I might refer back to the Big Bang theory, the Big Bang theory proposes no mechanism for how the universe arose, but nonetheless it infers that, whatever the mechanism, it came by some sort of explosive process. So there are many other questions that these theories leave unaddressed, but they do posit some aspect of the cause which is very useful to have and which is supported by the data.

Q So intelligent design is about cause?
A I m sorry, could you say that again?

Q I just want to get it clear here, intelligent design is about cause?
A Well, cause is a broad word, and when you re trying to explain how something came about, you can say it came about for a variety of reasons. But intelligent design is one reason or one aspect or one cause to explain how the purposeful arrangementof parts that we see did come about.

Q Back to my original question. What is the mechanism that intelligent design proposes?
A And I wonder, could -- am I permitted to know what I replied to your question the first time?

Q I don t think I got a reply, so I m asking you, you ve made this claim here, "Intelligent design theory focuses exclusively on the proposed mechanism of how complex biological structures arose." And I want to know what is the mechanism that intelligent design proposes for how complex biological structures arose?
A Again, it does not propose a mechanism in the sense of a step-by-step description of how those structures arose. But it can infer that in the mechanism, in the process by which these structures arose, an intelligent cause was involved.

Q But it does not propose an actual mechanism?
A Again, the word "mechanism" -- the word "mechanism" can be used broadly, but no, I would not say that there was a mechanism. I would say we have an aspect of the history of the structure.

Q So when you wrote in your reportthat "Intelligent design theory focuses exclusively on the proposed mechanism," you actually meant to say intelligent design says nothing about the mechanism of how complex biological structures arose.
A No, I certainly didn t mean to say that. I meant to say what I said in response to that last question, that while we don t know a step-by-step description of how something arose, nonetheless we can infer some very important facts about what was involved in the process, namely, that intelligence was involved in the process. And let me go back one more time to the Big Bang theory. Again, we don t have a mechanism for the Big Bang, but we can infer some important events about what happened, and that was that it happened in some explosive manner, it happened a distinct time ago and so on. So additionally, I might say, that it also focuses on other proposed mechanisms that purport to explain the purposeful arrangementof parts. And so I think it is quite accurate to say that that s exactly where intelligent design focuses.
"
post #28 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
While it's still disappointing enough, don't blow these poll results out of proportion.

The poll asks nothing about Creationism with a capital C. Just any sort of involvement of God, and only as it relates to humans -- a lot of people have a weak spot for treating humans as a special case. There's a lot of wiggle room in here for variations on a theistic evolution theme.

If the question is about diehard Biblically-literal creationism, "only" (yes, it's still depressingly high) about 1/3 go for that in other surveys I've seen. At least that leaves 2/3 who aren't making themselves live in complete denial of the broad geological and paleontological realities of our planet.

I don't know, I think it's pretty clear. The poll did ask only about humans, but it specifically had another question for theistic evolution, and there was still a majority who rejected even that and went with pure creationism.

Every poll here says the same thing. Look at the Gallup poll from a month ago - it asked whether the Bible has it right or evolution has it right, or is theistic evolution right, and you get the exact same results. Other questions put the 10,000 year time frame into the creationism question, and you still get the same result. The majority of Americans are pure young-earth Biblical creationists.
post #29 of 576
This is quite troubling. Half the population believes in an unscientific, faith-based acount of the origin of life, species and mankind.

What are we to do about it?

What can be done about it?
post #30 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
This is quite troubling. Half the population believes in an unscientific, faith-based acount of the origin of life, species and mankind.

What are we to do about it?

What can be done about it?

Well, let's see here:

1) We could make sure that we teach science in our schools and guard against the incursions of religious thought masquerading as science.

2) We could enhance the curriculum of our public schools with classes on the basics of reasoning, logic, and rhetoric, starting in early childhood.

3) We could demand that our national media stop pretending that "balance" is achieved exclusively by the "he said/she said" format and start making distinctions between political announcements that are verifiable and have some evidence to back them up and those that are simply lies. It might be nice to acknowledge that there actually is still such a thing a verifiable truth, and that the entire world is, in fact, not simply made up of equal and opposite "spin".

4) In the next election we could diminish the fortunes of a political party that has made it its business to blur the distinction between reality and the photo-op, in effect punishing them for lowering the collective IQ of our country by using the power of office to absolutely insist that the evidence of our senses, immediate history, the overtly obvious and well documented evidentiary phenomena cannot be believed and are instead the harbingers of disloyalty and hatred of freedom and "American values".

For starters.
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post #31 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
Well, let's see here:

1) We could make sure that we teach science in our schools and guard against the incursions of religious thought masquerading as science.

I wholeheartedly agreed!

Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
2) We could enhance the curriculum of our public schools with classes on the basics of reasoning, logic, and rhetoric, starting in early childhood.

This would be helpful too. Some folks at AO would need remedial classes though I suspect.

Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
3) We could demand that our national media stop pretending that "balance" is achieved exclusively by the "he said/she said" format and start making distinctions between political announcements that are verifiable and have some evidence to back them up and those that are simply lies.

I wholeheartedly agreed!

Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
It might be nice to acknowledge that there actually is still such a thing a verifiable truth

I wholeheartedly agreed!

Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
4) In the next election we could diminish the fortunes of a political party that has made it its business to blur the distinction between reality and the photo-op, in effect punishing them for lowering the collective IQ of our country by using the power of office to absolutely insist that the evidence of our senses cannot be trusted and is instead is evidence of disloyalty and hatred of freedom.

And which party was that again?
post #32 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
.....And which party was that again? [/B]

In other words, there is no such thing as recent history, documentary evidence, an ability to reason past propaganda, logic, or truth.

There are only assertions. There is only "I know you are, but what am I".

John McCain has an illegitimate black baby. Max Cleland is a traitorous coward. John Kerry is a traitorous coward. Iraq can menace us with its nuclear capability. There is no such thing as global warming. Intelligent Design is a legitimate scientific theory. Freedom is on the march. Mission accomplished. Valerie Plame isn't really a covert agent. Saddam Hussein had a hand in 9/11. Wilson claims Cheney sent him to Niger. Stem cell research murders babies. Nobody told FEMA that New Orleans was underwater. It's not our fault. Terror alert. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11.

Christianity is a religion of peace and love.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #33 of 576
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
In other words, there is no such thing as recent history, documentary evidence, an ability to reason past propaganda, logic, or truth.

I'd suggest we ignore sophmoric "No, you are!"-style rhetoric and blunt unsubstantiated assertions coming from some people, and only address those who actually seem to be digging into the details of the court case and have something substantial to contribute to the discussion.
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #34 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
In other words, there is no such thing as recent history, documentary evidence, an ability to reason past propaganda, logic, or truth.

For you?

Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
Christianity is a religion of peace and love.

You have a real problem with Christianity don't you?
post #35 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
blunt unsubstantiated assertions coming from some people

And that would be?
post #36 of 576
Right you are.

Thinking more about your previous observation that ID really serves more as a "wedge issue" than any kind of actual forwarding of a religious agenda (owing to the near tautological lengths its adherents have to go to to get it to pass muster under scrutiny), I wonder too if there isn't some idea that getting even the barest sliver of "design" into the mainstream serves as a beach-head which can be fanned out from at a later date.

After all, once you've got people accepting any part of "design" it becomes much easier to start speculating about "what the evidence suggests" in regards to what the designer intended, which for my money is where it all gets really bad really fast.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #37 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
Right you are.

Thinking more about your previous observation that ID really serves more as a "wedge issue" than any kind of actual forwarding of a religious agenda (owing to the near tautological lengths its adherents have to go to to get it to pass muster under scrutiny), I wonder too if there isn't some idea that getting even the barest sliver of "design" into the mainstream serves as a beach-head which can be fanned out from at a later date.

After all, once you've got people accepting any part of "design" it becomes much easier to start speculating about "what the evidence suggests" in regards to what the designer intended, which for my money is where it all gets really bad really fast.

So is this the real, over-arching concern...that people might begin thinking about "design" as a possibility?
post #38 of 576
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
I wonder too if there isn't some idea that getting even the barest sliver of "design" into the mainstream serves as a beach-head which can be fanned out from at a later date.

What's fascinating is just how slender a sliver these guys seem willing to settle for.

From the ACLU blog:
Quote:
The Wedge Strategy: The Next Generation

According to a deposition by Foundation for Thought and Ethics founder Jon A. Buell, Dr. Michael Behe is listed as a co-author of the 2005 edition of Pandas, entitled Design of Life. Behe, of course, denied this on Tuesday, but said he "might be in the future." The FTE publicity materials should probably be corrected, then.

Unlike the defense counsel, Judge Jones thought the text of the new edition to be "highly relevant" to the case.

Like a moving target, the language in Design of Life will 'evolve' from the 1993 and 1987 Pandas incarnations, which dropped the term creationism in favor of ID. Both books explore the gaps in the fossil record, which the theory claims are not just gaps in the record, but actual gaps or "transitional links."

The new edition omits the terms intelligent design and intelligent agency and replaces them both with "sudden emergence," meaning that "various forms of life began abruptly [with] features already intact: fish [suddenly emerging with] fins and scales, birds with feathers" and, as the new edition adds, "mammals with fur and mammary glands."

So, Rothschild inquired, will we "be back in a few years for the sudden emergence trial?"

Judge Jones responded: "Not on my docket."

So, when the Panda Trial goes down in flames, it looks like we might have to look forward to the "Sudden Emergence" movement.

First, they try to peddle Biblical Creationism. That doesn't work.

Next... toss out their own particular God and the Bible and try to get Intelligent Design in the door. At least the little kiddies will get the God hint, right?

That's not working? Okay, 86 the Designer. Let's settle for getting the children wondering, "Hmmm. What makes things suddenly "poof!" into existence?"
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #39 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
So is this the real, over-arching concern...that people might begin thinking about "design" as a possibility?

No. "People" are free to think whatever they like.

This thread is about what gets taught in public schools.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #40 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
No. "People" are free to think whatever they like.

This thread is about what gets taught in public schools.

So...the real, over-arching concern is that the public school might teach people to think about design as a possibility. Got it.
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