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Archive for Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Federal judge in Pennsylvania rules ‘intelligent design’ can’t be taught in schools

December 20, 2005, 11:12 a.m. Updated December 20, 2005, 11:43 a.m.

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— "Intelligent design" cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said today, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.

Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum must include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said. Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs, he said.

The school board policy, adopted in October 2004, was believed to have been the first of its kind in the nation.

"The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy," Jones wrote.

The board's attorneys had said members were seeking to improve science education by exposing students to alternatives to Charles Darwin's theory that evolution develops through natural selection. Intelligent-design proponents argue that the theory cannot fully explain the existence of complex life forms.

Excerpts from 'Intelligent Design' Ruling

Excerpts from U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III's ruling that struck down a school board's decision to require biology students in Dover, Pa., to hear about the concept of "intelligent design":

"We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom, in violation of the Establishment Clause."

"Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs' scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator."

"Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board's decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has not been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources."

"The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. 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."

The plaintiffs challenging the policy argued that intelligent design amounts to a secular repackaging of creationism, which the courts have already ruled cannot be taught in public schools. The judge agreed.

"We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom," he wrote in his 139-page opinion.

The Dover policy required students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade biology lessons on evolution. The statement said Charles Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps." It refers students to an intelligent-design textbook, "Of Pandas and People," for more information.

Jones wrote that he wasn't saying the intelligent design concept shouldn't be studied and discussed, saying its advocates "have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors."

But, he wrote, "our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom."

The controversy divided the community and galvanized voters to oust eight incumbent school board members who supported the policy in the Nov. 8 school board election.

Said the judge: "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."

The board members were replaced by a slate of eight opponents who pledged to remove intelligent design from the science curriculum.

Eric Rothschild, the lead attorney for the families who challenged the policy, called the ruling "a real vindication for the parents who had the courage to stand up and say there was something wrong in their school district."

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., which represented the school board, did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

The dispute is the latest chapter in a long-running debate over the teaching of evolution dating back to the famous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, in which Tennessee biology teacher John T. Scopes was fined $100 for violating a state law that forbade teaching evolution. The Tennessee Supreme Court reversed his conviction on a technicality, and the law was repealed in 1967.

Jones heard arguments in the fall during a six-week trial in which expert witnesses for each side debated intelligent design's scientific merits. Other witnesses, including current and former school board members, disagreed over whether creationism was discussed in board meetings months before the curriculum change was adopted.

The case is among at least a handful that have focused new attention on the teaching of evolution in the nation's schools.

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court in Georgia heard arguments over whether evolution disclaimer stickers placed in a school system's biology textbooks were unconstitutional. A federal judge in January ordered Cobb County school officials to immediately remove the stickers, which called evolution a theory, not a fact.

In November, state education officials in Kansas adopted new classroom science standards that call the theory of evolution into question.

For more local reaction on this developing story, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Journal-World.

Comments

fossilhunter 9 years ago

grab the popcorn and sit back and watch. This will be fun.

Said the judge: "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."

Sound familiar?

bioteacher 9 years ago

It is a good day! Now if we could just have someone sue the Kansas school board - or better yet, claim their entire agenda unconstitutional and boot them out!

sloppyscience 9 years ago

Consider millions of big fat faces collectively slapped. That's gotta sting when it's this cold out.

devobrun 9 years ago

Said the judge: "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."

Said Devo: " It is equally ironic that several individuals, who staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover up their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the Evolution Policy"

Evolution as presented to the public is religion. It amazes me that intelligent people don't see the similarities. One example: I can reject religion and evolution today and simply go on with my life without being hypocritical. NOthing of material value changes when I reject either or both. I may "feel" differently about life by changing my philosophy, but I can always create a new reality to soothe my feelings.

The same cannot be said for the conservation energy.

fossilhunter 9 years ago

Devo - It's not what you believe, it is what is science and what is religion. Per the judge "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."

Godot 9 years ago

Now, that was the right way to go about it. Hear, hear.

Kodiac 9 years ago

Hey Devo,

You teach at a religious school. You have a hidden agenda here. Stop your lying.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years ago

Kodiac, does that really make sense? Because someone works at a religious school, they are a liar with an agenda? I work for a major corporation, so if we have a discussion about fiscal policies, am I immediately a liar? In your world, a person could only be legitimate if they renounce all religion. Come on, man.

Kodiac 9 years ago

OldEnuf,

I know who Devo is. I am just calling him on it.

Kodiac 9 years ago

Also OldEnuf,

I am pretty sure you have to pass certain religious requirements before you can teach at a religious school.

Aileen Dingus 9 years ago

Kodiac- not necessarily. Both my mother and my husband taught at Catholic schools (one in PA and one in NV) and neither were Catholic. It might be different for other schools.

leftwingfarmboy 9 years ago

Sorry Kodiac, but that argument makes no sense. By the way how much is your corporation getting in retroactive tax breaks? It's about time we cut 'Head Start' so we can go further in debt to provide corporate welfare.

Kodiac 9 years ago

Thanks Daizie for letting me know,

I wasn't sure. I have known people who had to sign certain types of belief statements and/or chastity vows before they could teach at certain religious schools.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years ago

As much as I would like for others to understand creationism in the same way I do, this ruling is no surprise at all. The truth is that the people who are the promoters of I.D. in the public forum are doing a bad job of hiding the fact that they have a religious agenda. As much as I believe that I.D. is in accordance with certain scientific 'principles', it will likely never be seen in the mainstream scientific community as legitimate curriculum. BUT, this case doesn't really address the on-going battle of whether or not evolution will maintain it's standing as an established science. I think that battle is far from over.

Aileen Dingus 9 years ago

Note to self- don't try to teach where they'd make me sign a belief statement. grin

DaREEKKU 9 years ago

Suck on that Kansas School Board!

badger 9 years ago

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand they're off!

ID will not stand in the public schools.

The thing is, if they simply wanted to challenge evolution, incorporating the definition of a 'theory' into scientific education, and requiring teachers to clarify that evolution is a only the most commonly accepted prevailing theory and that other explanations exist (without addressing those explanations specifically), that would probably stand.

But no means of repackaging Christian creationism will, and once you introduce the notion of an intelligent creator of any sort, you step into the realm of introducing theology into the classroom, because what else could possibly be an intelligent creator if not a god?

That's where I get my knickers knotted, not when they want to challenge evolution, but when they want to introduce alternate theories that will not stand without a belief in an intelligent god.

I have seen people challenge evolution without promoting ID, using science, logic, and reason. That's all well and good. I have never seen anyone put forth an explanation of ID (please note: a challenge to evolution is NOT an explanation of ID - just because evolution has a gap, that does not lend credibility to an alternate theory. Only evidence that directly supports that theory lends credibility to a theory) that did not require one to believe in a god. I have seen criticisms of evolution right and left, but there has been no support for ID that did not come back to a Bible.

And yet, when you point out to an ID supporter that he has done nothing to make his case, only attacked someone else's, all he does is attack evolution some more, instead of providing scientific backup for the actions of his intelligent creator.

Jamesaust 9 years ago

Wow. What a surprise - not! What's next? Removing astrology from the curriculum in vo-tech? Animal organ divination from the vet schools?

Kodiac 9 years ago

Hey OldEnuf,

Your statement doesn't make any sense. What part of the statement that ID is not science that you do not understand.

OldEnuf says "The truth is that the people who are the promoters of I.D. in the public forum are doing a bad job of hiding the fact that they have a religious agenda."

That pretty much sums it up for ID. Your statement proves it OldEnuf - ID is a religious agenda.

Kodiac 9 years ago

OldEnuf says "This case doesn't really address the on-going battle of whether or not evolution will maintain it's standing as an established science. I think that battle is far from over."

Who is battling over this OldEnuf. The scientific community certainly isn't. This is a battle being fought by politicians and religious leaders. Notice how the ID crowd is trying to force their theory through non-scientific channels. As badger has said, ID has not presented any scientific evidence for the actions of an intelligent creator. Attacks on evolution does not prove ID.

MoreThanUltimate 9 years ago

Hmmmm, isn't strange that we are not hearing from all the ID defenders today?

Even stranger will be the comments made by defenders of ID. I can't wait to hear the excuses that will be presented such as one made by devo... Sorry devo, again you take the "I know you are but what am I?" attitude. Your statement substituting evolution for ID is not an arguement. It merely shows ignorance and contempt for any view that does not support your incorrect assumptions and convictions as to the validity of ID.

Finally, we hear a voice of sanity and reason as to the real agenda behind ID. Prediction: This will be the beginning of the end of the ID movement.

badger 9 years ago

Prediction:

There's another one right behind it, waiting for its chance.

admills 9 years ago

Whomever said, "but I can always create a new reality to soothe my feelings," should be carefull. Most of the substances best suited for this task are restricted or illegal. Not so good in the eyes of Him.

classclown 9 years ago

Devobrun said: Evolution as presented to the public is religion. It amazes me that intelligent people don't see the similarities. ===================================

One big difference is that people that believe in evolution do not pray to their science.

badger 9 years ago

Dazie said:

"Note to self- don't try to teach where they'd make me sign a belief statement. grin"

Watch out for morals clauses in contracts, too. They can be a mite tricksy.

Ginger 9 years ago

I think this "Judge" ought to look around him and see That "ID" Is in fact was created By God Himself.

Why is there so many different types of insects?.Animals , did you know the Lepoard spots is a different pattern on each of them and same goes with the Cheetah?.

and the Butterfly has a symetrical design on it's wings.

I do not know how he can do this or say that with a clear conscience.

When someone gets sick or dies what do we do, We pray for them to get better or for them to live forever in Heaven.

I hope the Judge reads and comes across some comments made by People.

I hope he comes to his senses and he revokes His ruling and goes ahead with the teaching for our younger generation that there is a reason for all of this wonder and beauty (His Name is "GOD") and says Go ahead and teach "ID" in our classrooms.

MoreThanUltimate 9 years ago

Ginger:

G-d spoke with me today, He said Ginger needs to lay off the caffeine and stop taking those happy pills...

grimpeur 9 years ago

The Flying Spaghetti Monster recognizes the weaknesses in human faith and the frailty of spirit in those who would deny his saucy meatballs. Yet he loves and protects each of us; we sprang from his noodly appendages. For even though we may forsake him, he shall not forsake us.

Now, let the smiting begin!!!

Kodiac 9 years ago

Ginger,

Maybe God will smite the Judge.

bioteacher 9 years ago

Ginger, the judge ruled ID unconstitutional because there is a little thing called separation of church and state. the ruling was not an attack on God or any religious belief of creation - ID just has no place in a biology class - it is not biology.
Oh, and the reasons for all of the amazing ADAPTATIONS (yes you mentioned evolved adaptations) that organisms have can usually be traced to an evolutionary reason.

bioteacher 9 years ago

I would like to know how many supporters of ID have taken a college level biology, evolution, molecular biology or genetics course. Better yet, how many have any college education?

bioteacher 9 years ago

no, and doesn't the wide variety of insects that Ginger cited provide evidence for evolution?

StirrrThePot 9 years ago

"I would like to know how many supporters of ID have taken a college level biology, evolution, molecular biology or genetics course. Better yet, how many have any college education?"

If any of them are like my best friend, who "opted out" and completed an alternative assignment in Biology class (an option offered by the teacher at the time), my guess is zero. They don't want to hear it. It is obvious they don't understand the theory, or paid attention in school, otherwise they wouldn't be screaming about how they didn't come from monkeys.

StirrrThePot 9 years ago

But, he wrote, "our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom."

Kansas--as unconstitutional as you think.

bioteacher 9 years ago

I really do think there is something unconstitutional about our school board - how can a handful of people that dumb be in charge of decisions that affect the entire public school system in Kansas. It is extremely upsetting and hopefully someone or group of people will take legal action as they did in Pennsylvania. As I tell my students, there is no debate about evolution. It is a pseudo debate - scientists fully agree on evolution as fact, however the mechanism for evolution (i.e. natural selection) is what is discussed but nowhere in a truly academic setting is ID appropriate.

laughingatallofu 9 years ago

<<< Posted by Ginger (anonymous) on December 20, 2005 at 12:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think this "Judge" ought to look around him and see That "ID" Is in fact was created By God Himself.

Maybe Ginger ought to look around and see that "evolution" was (your words, not mine) was ("possibly"---for the atheists/agnostics out there) created by God Himself.

Just because you can't give the Creator ("God"?) enough credit that He is far (and I mean far, far) wiser than you (and the other ID/creationist-apologists out there) that you can't accept that He could have "possibly created evolution" is just, just, well---very sad. You really ought to re-examine your relationship with your Intelligent Designer.

Only my opinion.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

Ginger:

You wrote:

"Why is there so many different types of insects?.Animals , did you know the Lepoard spots is a different pattern on each of them and same goes with the Cheetah?.and the Butterfly has a symetrical design on it's wings."

Maybe you should take a class on animal developmental biology to answer your questions. These things are not mysteries but are in fact very well understood.

Alternatively, you can continue to remain ignorant and see god in everything you don't understand.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

This ruling wil have a large impact as precedent for cases such as this in the future.

This ruling basically completes the precedent link that ID = creationism = religion, which means that teaching ID violates the establishment clause and is therefore unconstitutional.

My guess is that the intemperate religious right will now start clamoring for a constitutional amendment to allow religious public education along with their amendments to ban flag burning, to criminalize gay marriage, and to ban abortion.

Some conservatives, huh? More like right wing activist liberals.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years ago

Kodiak, either my writing needs work, your you are not reading at your grade level.

I was pointing out that those WHO ARE PROMOTING ID have demonstrated that there is an agenda. I'm not saying that I.D. as an idea HAS to have a religious agenda behind it to survive. I think that the idea "design suggests a designer" is logical, regardless of agendas. When I read some of these posts... it reminds me of war propaganda. I'm just waiting for one of you to write "The religious right wants to rape your women!!"

Your statement about attacks on evolution not proving ID is wasted on me. I've never liked evolution, even prior to becoming a Christian. I've known many scientists who take the same position. I'm not a fan of evolution because OF evolution, not as a way to prove to anyone that I.D. is fact. As far as I'm concerned, I.D. is a fact in that it is an idea that is consistent with my views on scripture and my views on evolution. I'm OK with the idea that you and many others do not and will not reach the conclusions that I've reached mostly because you may never meet the God that I know.

Aaaaaaand, please refrain from calling me names like self-righteous, etc. That name calling is not fair. The fact is, no one is allowed to express faith on this forum without being labeled "religious nut" or "self-righteous". It is so OFFENSIVE to read such bigoted intolerance. Please don't do it. Just because I'm not liberal and because John1945 has written some inflamatory crap doesn't mean I deserve abuse. I'm not directing this at Kodiak, but to everyone.

Thanks.

bioteacher 9 years ago

I agree with yourworstnightmare Ginger - take a class. Learn something. Open your mind and broaden your horizon. It may make your Designer happy that you would use the full capacity of your brain instead of only that narrow little section. OK - that's enough. I have spent way too much time on this already. But I am happy at least that the majority of the Lawrence community (or at least the ones that read the paper and write in) are all on a similar page. It gives me hope that Kansas isn't full of ignorant people - they are just usually the ones in charge.

devobrun 9 years ago

Fossilhunter, "It's not what you believe, it is what is science and what is religion. Per the judge "In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science.'"

As I have said repeatedly around here, science is all about the test. Period. Logic, mathematics, reason, deduction, induction, and evidence are all part of the human experience and quite valid. All put together or in any combination they do not represent science.

Statements are made regarding evolution that cannot be tested, thus, they are not scientific.

One can believe creation, or one can believe in evolution, or one can believe in some combination of the two. However, from a spiritual point of view, one cannot believe in neither. This is my approach, but it violates the principle that we must know, we must have an answer, we must have a reason to believe.

The forceful telling of a story to describe something that really isn't known is mythology. The imperative that we must know from where we come is what has all of you (evos and creas) confused about what is science and what is not.

The trouble that christians have is that evo causes literal interpretation of the bible to be seriously questioned.
However, if I question evo, I cause biologists to question their very existence as a science. Best I can tell, biology without Darwin is biochemistry, physics, and stamp collecting.

BOE 9 years ago

Ginger:

"I think this "Judge" ought to look around him and see That "ID" Is in fact was created By God Himself."

-

The ID political movement is in fact a human creation.

===

"I do not know how he can do this or say that with a clear conscience."


You have ignored completely, the points in the Judge's ruling, but as to his conscience, it probably fares better those of the ID-as-science proponents in Dover who repeatedly lied on the on the stand after swearing to the tell the truth, "So help me, God".

It appears that "conscience" is probably a misnomer for the ID politicos.

Con-science would probably be more apt.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

MartyrEnuf,

Your testimonials of faith hold no water. You think we should all drop to our knees and recognize your faith and not argue with you because you are testifyin'?

Bullocks!

If you use your faith in your argument, expect to get it thrown back in your face in argument.

BunE 9 years ago

Butterflies have what looks to be an eye on them. Only the lord god would have painted that eye on the butterfly's wings. They are soooo sinewy and lovely only the lord god could create something that beautiful. The duckbilled platypus is some sort of devil and the lord god blessed us on a few pockets of devil-land where the prince of darkness runs things. I think that catholics live there to. The lord god is mighty and will kill you if you don't kiss his er, worship his greatness.

Terrorists as you know are ugly and full of the devil. that is why they live in the desert. Thank the lord god for those who would see the beauty below the surface in the heavenly nector known as oil. THe lord god has called the beautiful to take that oil to its righteous place.

Bad americans are not for the great lord god and should be spied upon without warrants from rubber stamp secret courts created in 1978. THose who would spy without warrant are doing the lord god a favor despite the ability to get a retroactive warrant within 2 weeks of the spying. We gotta move fast. The lord god approves.

What have we learned? The lord god wants you to ignore the laws of science, the world and america and to do just what you think the lord god would do. I love the lord god and kiss his er, praise his name.

amen.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

devo,

I have long suspected that your attacks on evolution had a religious basis. Now we know.

bioteacher 9 years ago

devobuun - what in the world does that mean?
Evolution is one of the most researched and tested scientific theories. You can even watch it happen - why have bacteria EVOLVED resistance to antibiotics? Take a close look and you can see how small, advantagous genetic changes can lead to an evolved form. Why is that hard to understand?

fossilhunter 9 years ago

Devo - Ummmm, I think you have created your own little definition of science that you and you alone subscribe to... "Logic, mathematics, reason, deduction, induction, and evidence are all part of the human experience and quite valid. All put together or in any combination they do not represent science." Actually, yes they do.

devobrun 9 years ago

Kodiac, Hidden agenda? Know who I am? I thought that I was pretty clear that I find crea/Id to be just as false as evo.

While I teach at a school that has a religious affiliation, I am pretty much outta the loop as far as any religious stuff that goes on at the school. Furthermore, the general attitude at the school is liberal, evolutionist teaching, and non-fundamentalist.

Paranoid, Kodiac?

bioteacher 9 years ago

You don't teach science do you devo? Hope not. Oh, and evolution is not liberal or conservative. It is science.

MoreThanUltimate 9 years ago

Once again we hear the illogical conclusions by those who are ignorant of science or simply wish to say anything to prove the unprovable to further a lost cause and make fools of themselves in the process. ID DOES promote religion and was conceived purely for that purpose. It was conceived to make it difficult to be dissproven scientifically so that it could be called scientific. It was designed so that it could not be unconstitutional until tested in court. Now it has been tested and we see ID for what ID really is... a blatent attempt at injecting a religeous point of view where it will never belong by using the term science to make it seem scientific to those who follow anything that is presented as the will, word or proof of G-d.

staff04 9 years ago

Well, I have chimed in too many times with my views on this stuff. All I have to say today is that I hope they haven't already started printing the bogus science textbooks. Gawd knows the school board and the state legislature don't want that expense hanging over their heads...

LarryFarma 9 years ago

The school board members really blew it by revealing their religious motivations for introducing ID in the classroom.

      And what did the defendants expect when one of their star witnesses,  Michael Behe,  said that ID is on the same level as astrology?   Even if he thought so,  he should have kept it to himself.

         I think that the big cause of the problem was the name "intelligent design,"  which implies the existence of an "intelligent designer."     ID proponents should have stuck with innocuous-sounding names like "irreducible complexity,"  a leading ID concept.

I think that the losers should not appeal. Actually, the whole idea of an appeal raises issues of mootness --

(1) The defendants are no longer on the school board

(2) The new school board is likely to rescind the rule requiring mention of ID in the classroom.

         Courts generally try to avoid making decisions where there are issues of mootness.      For example,   before the famous Allan Bakke reverse-discrimination case,   there was the Mark DeFunis reverse-discrimination case,   but the Supreme Court threw out the DeFunis case as moot because he had already been admitted to law school by a ruling of a lower court and was close to graduation.

          Hopefully,  the judge's opinion in this case will not be officially published (i.e.,  in official citable court-reporter books such as the Federal Reporter).        Federal district-court opinions are rarely officially published,  and as of 4-15-04,  the Federal, 2nd,  7th,  and 9th federal court of appeals circuits still prohibited citation of opinions that have not been officially published.  See --

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1081792928522 An officially published federal district-court decision, Mclean v. Arkansas Board of Education, 529 F.Supp. 1255, was used in support of the Edwards v. Aguillard Supreme Court decision which outlawed the teaching of creationism in the public schools. I think that official publication of federal district-court decisions should be outlawed.

          The conclusion of the opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover is on --

http://www2.ncseweb.org/wp/?p=98

The judge should not have held the defendants liable for the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees, because the plaintiffs were represented for free.

Meanwhile, state and local school boards around the country will be free to introduce intelligent design into public school science classrooms, and it will be years if ever before any ID case is decided by the US Supreme Court. Right now the most hopeful case for ID proponents is the Cobb County, Georgia evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker case, because the appeals court has indicated that it is leaning in favor of the stickers.

Bradley Kemp 9 years ago

Ginger asked..

"Why is there so many different types of insects?"

Evolution. (Do you think an intelligent designer would really conclude that we need 10 million species of insects?)

'[D]id you know the Lepoard spots is a different pattern on each of them and same goes with the Cheetah?"

So the intelligent designer is designing each INDIVIDUAL organism? If he's going to do that, why bother designing species at all?

"...and the Butterfly has a symetrical design on it's wings."

So you take symmetry to be a sign of design? If something is asymmetrical -- like my left shoe -- do you assume it wasn't designed?

Ginger, you're an idiot. There's no more delicate way of putting it.

Godot 9 years ago

Does this set precedence that Courts can determine what information can and cannot be taught in public schools, or has it happened before?

Kodiac 9 years ago

Devo

Oh no what am I going to do. The world is falling apart. Paramoria sets in....

I know you have an agenda here Devo and you are not being completely honest about it. If you don't want to admit to it that is fine. Just because you have attacked ID or said you don't agree with it doesn't mean anything.

Devo says "Statements are made regarding evolution that cannot be tested, thus, they are not scientific"

Nothing in the real world has ever been rigorously proved, or ever will be. Proof, in the mathematical sense, is possible only if you have the luxury of defining the universe you're operating in. In the real world, we must deal with levels of certainty based on observed evidence. The more and better evidence we have for something, the more certainty we assign to it; when there is enough evidence, we label the something a fact, even though it still isn't 100% certain.

What evolution has is what any good scientific claim has--evidence, and lots of it. Evolution is supported by a wide range of observations throughout the fields of genetics, anatomy, ecology, animal behavior, paleontology, and others. Devo, if you wish to challenge the theory of evolution, you must address that evidence. You must show that the evidence is either wrong or irrelevant or that it fits another theory better.

Devo by sitting there saying "oh we can't see it happening so you can't prove it" is a bogus argument Devo. Stick to engineering buddy and lets keep the hidden agenda out of it too.

Mr_Christopher 9 years ago

Hey guys have you read the entire verdict? It's online and well worth reading. Behe gets raked over the coals for the nonsense he was promoting at the trial.

Intelligent Design Creationism as a scientific theory get a severe spanking as well. The concept of re-defining what constitutes science to interject intelligent design or other forms of creationism/supernaturalism gets a well desvered judo punch to the noggin from Judge Jones too!

Hey LJWorld how about a quote from Steve Abrams and Connie whatshername? Let's hear what they have to say?

For in-depth commentary go to www.pandasthumb.org

Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years ago

Hey, I know! Why don't you all argue over the same topic for about the fifth time this month! That would be interesting...

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years ago

Worstnightmare:

If I didn't WANT someone to challenge my way of thinking, I wouldn't come here. I am trying to enjoy the exchange of ideas that takes place here, but so many here (and, you are one of the worst offenders) think that arguing a point means insults and name calling.

Why do you call me MartyrEnough2BMyMom? Is that your way of saying you hate me, or that you hate your mother? Why, in your mind, is that OK? Why can't I exchange ideas with you in a respectful manner? I think I ONCE called someone an idiot on this forum. I shouldn't have done that. But it seems, as I've stated before more than once, that there is an intolerance against me only because I worship God.

Why is that OK? And NO, calling me a self-appointed martyr doesn't make your angry taunts more legitimate, so please don't use that old excuse again in your response.

Godot 9 years ago

What is Judge Jones' scientific background? If he had ruled in favor of ID, that would have been one of the first questions asked.

Bob Forer 9 years ago

Now, this is the real "slap in their fat faces" that we've be waiting for. Take that, you backward fundie ignorant wingnuts. Welcome to the 21st century.

devobrun 9 years ago

Ah yes, the testing of living organisms over a period of years or decades represents science. But that isn't what the argument is about here is it?

When I read a statement that claims that a common ape-like creature is the ancestor of all present ape-like creatures, including man, I think that maybe bio has overstepped its ability to test. 10 million years ago. Uh oh, Houston we have a problem. Can't go back 10 million years, can't go forward 10 million years. Can't reproduce the above results of our inductive reasoning. Can't test. Can gather more evidence, more evidence, more evidence. We aren't talking about a trial by a jury of our peers. We are talking about science....the test

Ok, there is DNA evidence that we share with the apes. Evidence is fine, inductive reasoning is fine. It doesn't become science until it can be reproduced. Evo will remain conjecture until and to the extent that it is tested. Has it been tested at a level of years or decades, yes. That part is science. Have grand descriptions of the origin of life been tested, no.

So until testing has caught up with the conjecture, don't teach it in high school. I don't teach the big bang to my H.S. physics students, don't you go telling them that evolution is the one and only reason that we are here, as if it's fact.

I've read Karl Popper, and a bunch of others too. Want a really good set of books regarding epistemology? Read the works of Philip J. Davis and Reuben Hersh. Science has a rich history of success, but the errors are not taught to kids and swept under the rug by adults. The ether is a great example of a theory that simply went away. This may be the fate of evo as well.

But I really don't know do I. At least I haven't swigged the purple Kool-aid of evolution.

bioteacher 9 years ago

I think you must have swigged something devo.

Kodiac 9 years ago

Devo,

What the heck is" the purple Kool-aid of evolution".

I think I would like to have some of that stuff.

Bob Forer 9 years ago

Ding dong, the witch is dead. The wicked witch is dead. Hey John Altevogt, you fat intolerant wingnut. How do you say, "I'm mee.......lting." Hah.

Bob Forer 9 years ago

Hey devo, might I suggest you devolve into an ape. A body more suiting to your backward and primitive intelligence.

BunE 9 years ago

Devo is making a reference to Jim Jones. They loved jesus so much that Jim Jones killed them with kool-aid.

BOE 9 years ago

LarryFarma:

"The school board members really blew it by revealing their religious motivations for introducing ID in the classroom."

--

So the next time, the serpent-clever among the ID politicos should adhere to the "Intelligent Design sans Designer" strategy?


"At a conference called "When Christians and Cultures Clash," held Oct. 19 at the Pennsylvania Evangelical School of Theology, Randy Wenger, an attorney and representative of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, warned participants that Dover school board members should not have brought up religious motivations at their meetings.

"Give us a call before you do something controversial like that," Wenger said."I think we need to do a better job at being clever as serpents."


The fact of the matter is that somebody is always going to "blow it", just as six members of the KSBOE have.

gordo08 9 years ago

As a life long Kansas Resident, I really hope that this makes our School Board see how silly it is to teach intelligent design in any science class. Not saying that there isn't a forum where this may be discussed this, but a science class is not the place.

badger 9 years ago

Kodiac said:

"Devo,

What the heck is" the purple Kool-aid of evolution".

I think I would like to have some of that stuff."

No, no you wouldn't.

It's teratogenic.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

Devo,

"It doesn't become science until it can be reproduced."

This is just wrong. What you say might be true about engineering, but engineering is distinct from science. Engineering is about optimizing and tweaking reproducible phenomena to achieve a desired result. Science is about using data and observation to derive models of the natural world for further testing. And yes, evolution is being tested all of the time.

Your definition of science excludes all of the historical sciences including history, archeaology, paleontology, and astrophysics as well as biology.

I ask you again, Devo: Are we to ignore fossils and the fossil record? Are we to ignore black holes and galaxies and nebulae? Sweep them under the rug? Pretend they don't exist?

Devo, in the future, please do not conflate engineering and science. They are not the same thing.

Kodiac 9 years ago

Note to Devo To sum:

Stick to engineering. Stay off the purple stuff.

BigelowBanana 9 years ago

In the words of Bishop John Shelby spong: "On one level it really doesn't matter what the Kansas Board of Education thinks, evolution is real and is not subject to majority vote any more than whether epilepsy is caused by demon possession. Yet it is embarrassing to live in a state where public ignorance can force people to deny reality. It will also ill-equip the children of Kansas to live in the modern world. Already American school children are far behind Asians in the field of science. The pursuit of knowledge should never be compromised to protect religious sensitivities. That is where religious tyranny begins. Intelligent Design is just one more smoke screen. The task of geologists and anthropologists is to study the sources of the life of this world. They should be free to follow wherever their scientific research carries them. If Christianity is threatened by truth, it is already too late to save it. Imagine worshiping a God so weak and incompetent that the Kansas School Board must defend this God from science and new learning. It is pitiful. The challenge of Darwinian thinking to traditional Christianity is deep and profound. That means that Christianity's survival depends on its being big enough to embrace a post-Darwinian world. If we cannot then Christianity will surely die. I do not believe that is the fate toward which Christianity is headed unless it becomes that petty, small-minded enterprise that must hide in ignorance and fear lest it be destroyed. I hope you and others will resist these tactics at the ballot box. If that fails then you have to assess whether or not you want your children to grow up in the environment that Kansas is creating. If not, you might consider moving. I for one hope you will stay and fight for ignorance will not prevail forever, even in Kansas. "

BOE 9 years ago

by Dazie:

Psst- it was Flavor-aid...

;)

==

Correct. Cherry too, I think.

Trivial Pursuit, anyone? :)

===

Kodiac 9 years ago

Forgive me Devo,

Perhaps I am wrong about your hidden agenda. I would suggest that you change your ID though. Posting on a public forum is always a risk both professionally and personally. Maybe you don't care which means you can essentially ignore this message. Now time to get the purple stuff out and start recreating my own reality....

classclown 9 years ago

Science is proof without certainty. Religion is certainty without proof.

dex 9 years ago

it's such a shame that same people who likely celebrate galileo's contributions while snubbing the church that persecuted him don't understand galileo's contribution to humanity: science, and by science i mean an iterative process of forming hypotheses and testing those hypotheses against observations. the hypotheses that contradict the observations are thrown out, those that don't we keep around. the problem with evolution is that we can never roll back the clock and actually test whether we as humans have evolved from simple self-replicating amino acids. there's all sorts of evidence that organisms evolve over many generations in response to environmental changes, but that falls short of a test that humans evolved from stand-alone amino acids. there is not shortage of seemingly reasonable theories that have been abandonded due to surprising observations during tests aka experiments. devo mentioned the ether, the substance that light waves propogate through (waves must propogate through something, right? seems reasonable) and that's a great example. i'm amazed that the people who are supposedly championing science over creationism display an incredible lack of appreciaion of how surprising nature can be, human intuition and reason are fallible, hence the need for tests.

devo has it right, and i'm glad he's probably teaching his students what science is all about. the forums in the ljworld provide ample evidence (but not a test) that more people like him are needed in the schools.

devobrun 9 years ago

"You don't teach science do you devo? Hope not. Oh, and evolution is not liberal or conservative. It is science." Yes, I do.

Liberal, for those who care means people who look for alternative ways of the world. Behavior, philosophy, art, thought, etc. I consider biology and especially evo to be a liberal science. That is, if it doesn't fit Descarte or Popper, no problem, redefine science.

The law, literature, history are not science. They use "Logic, mathematics, reason, deduction, induction, and evidence" to ply their craft. Science is different from these on the basis of testing. Without testing the statement, the statement might be any of the above, but not science.

Everything you teach that is not demonstrated is an abstraction. Never forget, as a scientist, the model is not the reality. Thus, math proves nothing except within math. The insistence that evo is science because it has so much evidence is not a scientific statement. It works great in a court of law and therefore judges rule in evos favor. It works fine for newspaper reporters as well. Politicians, easy. But for those that have done science, evidence is a great start. Brilliant induction makes you a star, but until the test comes along, you just haven't quite made it to science.

This is the way of physics.

Nightmare, "Science is about using data and observation to derive models of the natural world for further testing. And yes, evolution is being tested all of the time." Further testing? As if observation and modeling is testing? You lost me.

But the statements that really matter in these arguments,the big answers, are not tested. Don't hide behind DNA evidence. It isn't a test of the evo model. Don't extrapolate from that which happens over a few years to billions. This is wild speculation, supported by evidence, but without the chance of testing. Is evo true? Maybe, but I can damnsure tell you it isn't science.

Calliope877 9 years ago

Devo said :"Evolution as presented to the public is religion. It amazes me that intelligent people don't see the similarities. One example: I can reject religion and evolution today and simply go on with my life without being hypocritical. NOthing of material value changes when I reject either or both. I may "feel" differently about life by changing my philosophy, but I can always create a new reality to soothe my feelings.

The same cannot be said for the conservation energy."

Sorry, but I have to disagree. Evolution being taught in public schools is not equivalent to teaching a religion. As I said in a post I made a very long time ago: Evolutionists do not pray to the Big Bang or give communion for Darwin. The only similarities between Evolution and Creationism is that they both attempt to explain the origins of our and the Earth's existance, but the similarities stop there.

Evolutionists do not have a history of slaughtering countless people for not believing in evolution. Evolutionists do not walk door to door with little pamphlets asking "Do you believe Darwin is your Savior?" There are no churches around that are named "Church of Darwin" or "Apostles of Evolutionary Enlightenment".

I think Badger said it best: "I have seen people challenge evolution without promoting ID, using science, logic, and reason. That's all well and good. I have never seen anyone put forth an explanation of ID (please note: a challenge to evolution is NOT an explanation of ID - just because evolution has a gap, that does not lend credibility to an alternate theory. Only evidence that directly supports that theory lends credibility to a theory) that did not require one to believe in a god. I have seen criticisms of evolution right and left, but there has been no support for ID that did not come back to a Bible.

And yet, when you point out to an ID supporter that he has done nothing to make his case, only attacked someone else's, all he does is attack evolution some more, instead of providing scientific backup for the actions of his intelligent creator."

Calliope877 9 years ago

Ginger said:

"I hope the Judge reads and comes across some comments made by People.

I hope he comes to his senses and he revokes His ruling and goes ahead with the teaching for our younger generation that there is a reason for all of this wonder and beauty (His Name is "GOD") and says Go ahead and teach "ID" in our classrooms."

Here's an idea: TAKE YOUR KIDS TO CHURCH!!!! Why depend on the state to teach your kids the "wonder and beauty" of GOD, when it's solely YOUR responsibilty to give spiritual guidance to your children?

MyName 9 years ago

The insistence that evo is science because it has so much evidence is not a scientific statement.

Yes, it is a scientific statement. You are right when you say that, in chemistry and physics, lab reproducibility is the way theories are tested, but this doesn't apply to biology. At least, to the biology of anything that doesn't fit inside a petri dish.

In biology, the field work is your laboratory. If you have a theory about a species, you collect samples of the species, you perform measurements on the samples, and then you do statistics on the measurements to see whether they fit the theory or not.

So when a biologist says that evolution is science because it has evidence behind it, they are telling the truth.

Chemists and Physicists use the same exact statistical methods to test their theories, the only difference is that they can usually fit a statistically meaningful sample inside the laboratory under controlled conditions. Biologists, Paleontologists, etc., usually can not.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years ago

Well, I guess this is as good a thread as any other, so I'll do it here.

This is my last post. For the few of you who have engaged in fair and respectful exchanges with me over the months, I thank you and will miss the enlightenment. But, for the rest of you, I find that most of what is posted here is very non-productive. Non-productive in that I see a lot of people who are not seeking a better understanding of other viewpoints, but simply looking for a fight. Would you enjoy watching pit bulls fight in a pen? The answer is yes, because that's what most of you are here for. When people don't like the views of another, they attack their character and verbally abuse them. I think most who come here day after day are seeking a victim, because by being a victimizer they can medicate their fear of being victimized. Now I know what happened to that playground bully. It gets under my skin too much for me to expose myself to it any longer. Too often, this is a very ugly place.

If any of you "respond" to this post, you'll not be responding to me. So go ahead and call me "MartyrEnuf2BMyMom" and whatever else, but you'll be posting that only for your own enjoyment because I won't be here to receive it. But, since so many of you do post your abusive words only for your own selfish enjoyment... rip away!

Goodbye.

Calliope877 9 years ago

Devo:

Liberalism is an ideology, or current of political thought, which strives to maximize liberty. Liberalism seeks a society characterized by freedom of thought for individuals, limitations on the power of government and religion, the rule of law, the free exchange of ideas, a free market economy that supports private enterprise, and a system of government that is transparent, a liberal democracy with open and fair elections, where all citizens have by law equal rights and an equal opportunity. Liberalism rejected many foundational assumptions which dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the divine right of kings, hereditary status, and established religion. Fundamental human rights that all liberals support include the right to life, liberty, and property.

Calliope877 9 years ago

OldEnuf2BYurDad - You really shouldn't let what people post on this board get to you. It's not like they really KNOW you. You should take comfort in that. I've been verbally assaulted on this forum before and I just laugh at it because I know that what they're assuming isn't true, and since they will probably never be a part of my life and are not important to me I really don't care what they think of me.

You shouldn't either. But if you feel you must go, then goodbye, God bless, and good luck with future endeavors.:)

Calliope877 9 years ago

For those of you who care to know:

Conservatives: All conservatives value tradition. Tradition does not mean simply custom, habit or nostalgia for the past, though custom does inform tradition and sustain it. For a conservative, tradition is composed of standards and institutions that have been shown to promote the good, and therefore they find authority in tradition and apply it in politics. This authority, be it a person, a literature or a way of life, is rooted in the past, and thus cannot easily change. Conservatives accept traditional values as authoritative, and judge the world around them by the standards they have come to trust. Many conservatives believe in God, and believe that He is not only the creator of the universe, but also the Author of those conservative values they espouse. Since conservatives believe tradition supercedes the political process, the laws and constitutions of liberal democracies that permit behavior that conflict with traditional values cause friction in their eyes.

Godot 9 years ago

Callipe877, as a recovering liberal, I know that you are either joking, or delusional. I hope it is the former.

dex 9 years ago

MyName said: You are right when you say that, in chemistry and physics, lab reproducibility is the way theories are tested, but this doesn't apply to biology. At least, to the biology of anything that doesn't fit inside a petri dish.

(emphasis mine)

lab reproducability does apply to biology! the fact that biologists make claims that can't be tested with reproducable experiments doesn't mean that those claims are "scientific," it means that those claims are much weaker than claims that have been tested time and time again.

i (and presumably many of you) put your faith in the form of your life in the claim "energy is conserved in a closed system" when you, say, set foot on an airplane. would any of you be willing to bet your life that the claim "humans evolved from simple self-replicating amino acids over billions of years" is true? fortunately we don't have to bet our lives on that claim and instead only argue about it on these silly forums. that is essentially what i mean when i say that (humans evolved through) evolution is not a scientific statement, it's a much weaker claim in that i'm willing to bet my life that conservation of energy holds but probably not that humans evolved from simple amino acids -- it's a reasonable claim that isn't contradicted by evidence we've collected here and there, but not one that i'm willing to bet on. part of the problem is that i haven't seen a clearly defined claim that the evodevo people say we should teach in schools.

if we want to redefine and weaken the meaning of the word "science" to include a decision process that's more or less equivalent to the legal definition of guilty (beyond a reasonable doubt) then that's fine, we'll call the true "science" something else, but we should do so openly and honestly without mixing the weak claims (macroevolution) with the strong claims (conservation of energy) and calling them the same (science) when they're not.

Godot 9 years ago

Why is it that liberals, who are so married to evoloution as the sole reason for our existence, resist change? Why is it the liberals who want to close our borders thereby resisting the natural movement of humans from a place that does not meet their needs to a place that does, and who cling to "historical districts" while denying the acceptance of new human uses of property? Why are "liberals" the ones who resist change?

dex 9 years ago

because they got here first.

classclown 9 years ago

I don't see myself as being some sort of uberliberal, but I don't think they're against change per se. Just that if there is to be change, then we must move foreward not backward. Although that isn't always a good thing. That's how I see it anyway.

As far as evolution is concerned, I think they would welcome any "challenge" to evolution that can demonstrate an actual scientific approach. ID clearly does not do this. It has shown itself to be nothing more than a shoddy approach to put god in the classroom.

dex 9 years ago

classclown said: I think they would welcome any "challenge" to evolution that can demonstrate an actual scientific approach. ID clearly does not do this. It has shown itself to be nothing more than a shoddy approach to put god in the classroom.

but does this mean we should call "evolution" a scientific claim and teach it as science just as we teach conservation of energy as science? in short, let's not teach (macro) evolution at all, except in mythology class of course.

Godot 9 years ago

"We must move forward, not backward."

Rather, "We must move toward what we have determined is right because eveyone who does not agree with us is clearly ignorant, and because those who would dare to cross us are so stupid, we must censor their speech."

Calliope877 9 years ago

Posted by Godot (anonymous) on December 20, 2005 at 6:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Why is it that liberals, who are so married to evoloution as the sole reason for our existence, resist change? Why is it the liberals who want to close our borders thereby resisting the natural movement of humans from a place that does not meet their needs to a place that does, and who cling to "historical districts" while denying the acceptance of new human uses of property? Why are "liberals" the ones who resist change?"

I thought it was the "Conservatives" that wanted to close our borders because of the threat of terrorists coming in from Mexico? And please site an article that states "Liberals" are behind defending "historical districts". And how do Liberals resist change? If you're referring to the objection of ID in the classroom, perhaps you should read the "Liberalism seeks a society characterized by freedom of thought for individuals, limitations on the power of GOVERNMENT and RELIGION" part more closely and really think about it.

Calliope877 9 years ago

Posted by Godot (anonymous) on December 20, 2005 at 7:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"We must move forward, not backward."

Rather, "We must move toward what we have determined is right because eveyone who does not agree with us is clearly ignorant, and because those who would dare to cross us are so stupid, we must censor their speech."

Religious fundamentalists are pretty good at that, aren't they? Of course they would replace the "eveyone who does not agree with us is clearly ignorant" part with EVERYONE WHO DOESN'T AGREE WITH US IS GOING TO HELL!!!"

Calliope877 9 years ago

Posted by Godot (anonymous) on December 20, 2005 at 6:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Callipe877, as a recovering liberal, I know that you are either joking, or delusional. I hope it is the former."

I think the same could be said vice versa. It's sad that you can't accept other people's viewpoints for what they are without being judgemental. Very, very sad indeed.:( I accept your viewpoint, but I don't agree with it. How does my objection to your viewpoint make it a joke? How does my definition of liberalism vs conservatism make me delusional? Do you not have any disagreement with the conservative definition I offered?

MyName 9 years ago

lab reproducability does apply to biology! the fact that biologists make claims that can't be tested with reproducable experiments doesn't mean that those claims are "scientific," it means that those claims are much weaker than claims that have been tested time and time again.

As soon as you explain to me how you can accurately study wildlife in a laboratory environment (e.g. a zoo) and obtain meaningful results, than I will grant your claim that lab reproducability applies to Biology.

Moreover, I don't see how you can claim that field study is "weaker" than a lab. They both use the same tool to verify the data: statistical analysis of a meaningful sample. In chemistry or physics, the sample comes from an instrument in a lab, while in biology, the sample comes from measurements in the field. But the both go through the same process to verify and analyze the data.

Calliope877 9 years ago

Posted by observer (anonymous) on December 20, 2005 at 7:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Religous fundamentalist of any faith scare the hell out of me. The fundamental christians scare me more than the muslim fundies. Why? Because the home grown nutcases apparently own the republican party."

I agree. I think constituting a theocracy in this nation starts with the education of our children. This is a dangerous thing because it goes against what the Founding Fathers of this country visualised. Evolution in public schools doesn't build the foundation of a theocracy, but teaching creationism disguised as science does. And the reason for that is parents have the freedom to teach their children an alternative viewpoint as to how life was created on earth by taking them to church. Evolution is not a religion. It does not give its believers an ultimatum of "believe this or suffer eternal damnation".

MyName 9 years ago

Also dex, I don't see how your allusions to the laws of themodynamics have anything to do with jet planes, molecular biology, or evolution.

Jet planes operate on the prinicple of lift and thrust. They are not dependent on Thermodynamics. I suppose, it's mildly entertaining to realize that spent jet fuel has less potential energy than unused jet fuel, but it's not what's keeping the jet up in the sky.

I also don't see how conservation of energy applies to biological problems. Thermodynamics says that room temperature water will not turn into boiling water without applying an external energy source. It doesn't make any claims about how a chain of molecules may decide to arrange itself under a given set of conditions.

BunE 9 years ago

"We must move forward not backward, upward not downward, and twirling, always twirling"

"Abortions for some! Tiny American Flags for others!"

For ever and ever AMEN

bigcat 9 years ago

Intelligent design is a religion. It is unfair to bring religion into the classroom. Even though around this area we do believe the stories of Genesis in other parts of the country many other religions are prevalent. Who are we as people, teachers, Congressman and women, and BOE members to force our religion to all children. These are science classrooms that teach science. Theory that is backed by continuous testing and facts not a belief that we are told to believe by our parents and grandparents at a young age with no great factual background, but a faith. Don't get me wrong on this post, faith is great and a a big part of your persoal life, but that is what it is, a personal belief, not a factually backed accepted theory that to this point is the best line of reasoning and fact finding we have. So bash me, but please allow science to teach science and leave religion to be taught by parents and areas of worship. Instead of blaming schools for today's problems blame parents for not wanting to take any blame. I feel in so many cases we are brought down to our juvenile years and trying to blame everyone else for our mistakes like when we broke a window as a child and we find a way to blame our brother or sister. There are thousands of genesis stories and think how you would feel if we gave such stories as the Egyptian beleif of genesis (A little hint, it deals with a god masturbating in his mouth) to our children, think before we act and know that Christianity is not the only religion my little bible belt friends and if you want to open up pandora's box, it has already begun. Maybe more people in Kansas should have paid closer attention in science class or have had better science teachers that weren't afraid to teach science. Bravo Federal Judge for finding the first inkling of sanity.

Biodude 9 years ago

However, if I question evo, I cause biologists to question their very existence as a science. Best I can tell, biology without Darwin is biochemistry, physics, and stamp collecting.

Hey Devo, if you think this is an insult to infer that Darwin was some kind of "stamp collector" and those that have followed in his footsteps are not scientists, let me ask you five questions.

(1) Have you read Origin of Species? (2) Have you ever read a Biochemistry text book? (3) Do you know what a transcription factor is/does? (4) Do you take any prescription drugs or have you ever been to a physician for any kind of medical problem? (5) Do you really think that physics is not the most extrapolation-based science you named? Take me back to the first milliseconds, man...show me those quarks and neutrinos....dude, here comes a glueon! Please!

Devo you are one intellectually challenged Ayehole and buddy, I hope you enjoy the Dover ruling, oh you can read that too, but you won't...not your style to actually learn anything about the subjects you want to trash.

Evolutionary biology is a science, you idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every bit as much a science as quantum mechanics or physical chemistry, indeed, it is very much based on the same. I certainly hope that those that do employ you to teach their kids reads this stream and cans your...devo... ASAP!

Biodude 9 years ago

Oh...and MadAnthony, and themthar Biggen Jim and er ole County Jim and ole Billyse and Godot and all the other wackos...HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

You are toast, man....frikin burnt toast...HAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

You guys better send your pipe crews to Pennsylvania fast, man, cuzz'in the ID train is er runnin out of steam...HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That their creat'n creator of MadMan bit the proverbial dust today...HHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

dex 9 years ago

myname: momentum is essentially directed energy flux. momentum is also the time rate of change of force, closely related to thrust. besides, momentum and energy are both conserved quantities. i don't think i would be willing to claim that a jet planes could fly with the "laws of physics", being what they are, minus an energy conservation law. the jet plane might very well not be able to exist at all without energy conservation, neither would the beings that built the jet. but this is speculation, as i have no test.

conservation of energy has much to say about biological problems. long chains of amino acids, proteins lets say, have a function that depends critically on the shape of the protein. each possible shape has an energy associated with it, some call it potential energy and through countless experiments we've found that any system where it makes sense to define a "potential energy" is usually found in a local minimum of potential energy or if it isn't, it will be eventually (sooner rather than later).

regardless, the point is that biological "laws" such as the princple of evolution (humans evolving from single molecules) has not and never will be tested anywhere near to the extent that conservation of energy has been tested. one claim is scientific, the other is not or if you want a sliding scale, one is and the other almost certainly isn't.

Biodude 9 years ago

Evolution does not circumvent the second law...yawhn...read the bloody ruling...move on...be free...to be you...and me...and devo

Biodude 9 years ago

Oh...and Oldnuff...you were old enough, but not smart enough...alas...we blogged your a-- off..SEEYA!

lucid_vein 9 years ago

Devobrun wrote: "I may "feel" differently about life by changing my philosophy, but I can always create a new reality to soothe my feelings."

Mister, you've made it abundantly clear time and again that you've created your own reality in which to soothe your feelings.

MyName 9 years ago

dex:

glad to see you've given up on trying to show how field science is inherently "weaker" than lab science.

I think we can both agree that it's really kind of pointless to figure out whether the movement of a jet could be explained w/out using energy-type equations, at least on a message board.

MyName 9 years ago

I do have several problems with your attempt to use conservation of energy as an example of a "proven" law, in contrast to the "unproven" laws of evolution.

First, Physics is still a work in progress. People thought we had gravity all figured out until Einstein showed a better way of looking at it. There are special cases where quantum mechanics explains things better than the energy conservation laws you claim are fully tested.

To put it simply, Newton's physics has been proven to be outdated, yet we still teach it in classrooms. In contrast, evolution has not been disproven, and you claim it's not good enough to be taught in schools. That sounds silly to me.

Also, even if I were convinced that physics was more fully proven that evolution, that still doesn't invalidate evolution. Moreover, one would naturally expect physics to be more proven than evolution, since it deals with much simpler things. Explaining why mass goes from point A to point B, is alot easier than trying to find an explanation for life, the universe and everything. Evolution is still a work in progress as well.

LarryFarma 9 years ago

Posted by Solomon, on December 20, 2005 at 9:49 p.m.

Unconstitutional? "CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Has congress made a law requiring the teaching of ID, or forbidding it? A federal judge should have no say in what a school board does. Let the local voters oust them if they don't like what it's doing. Let Kansas voters oust our BOE if they don't like what it's doing. If congress hasn't acted in regards to religious practices, then the constitution hasn't been violated.

The 1st Amendment also states that Congress may not abridge freedom of speech, freedom of the press, etc.. So the only reasonable interpretation is that the 1st Amendment was really meant to apply to all government entities, not just Congress. Sometimes the only way to correctly interpret the Constitution is by a process of reductio ad absurdum.

By the way, the local voters did oust the pro-ID Dover school board members, something that the ID-bashers have really been crowing about. But the margins of defeat for those members was relatively small, and their defeat was partly attributed to voter concern that they were running up big legal bills in defending themselves against the lawsuit. However, I presume that the Thomas More Law Center and maybe also the Discovery Institute have been picking up the tab.

I think that the judge erred in holding the defendants liable for "nominal damages" and the "reasonable" value of the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and other costs. As for the attorneys' fees, the plaintiffs were represented for free, and the plaintiffs probably would have been more prudent about running up big legal bills had they been faced with the prospect of paying those bills -- both their own bills and maybe the defendants' bills as well -- out of their own pockets.

LarryFarma 9 years ago

Posted by LarryFarma, on December 20, 2005 at 2:08 p.m.

Hopefully, the judge's opinion in this case will not be officially published (i.e., in official citable court-reporter books such as the Federal Reporter). Federal district-court opinions are rarely officially published

CORRECTION -- This is LarryFarma, correcting one of my own posts. I incorrectly stated that federal district-court opinions are rarely officially published. I have learned that there is a whole series of law books, called the Federal Supplement, which is dedicated to officially publishing federal district-court opinions. However, the federal district-court opinions are cited much less frequently than federal appeals court opinions.

Anyway, some people seem to think that all they need to do to win a lawsuit against ID in any court in the USA is just to wave a copy of this Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion under the judges' noses, but those people are sadly mistaken.

LarryFarma 9 years ago

I read or skimmed all of Judge John "Activist" Jones III's 139-page opinion in the case, on -- http://www2.ncseweb.org/kvd/main_docs/kitzmiller_342.pdf and found a lot of flaws ---

(1) The opinion said that ID is necessarily a religious concept. Wrong. ID need not speculate about an intelligent designer. ID can be just a scientific (or pseudoscientific to some, but there is no separation of pseudoscience and state) criticism of evolution theory.

(2) The opinion said that ID is a theory or a hypothesis. Wrong. If "theory" is defined as a complete scientific explanation for something and "hypothesis" is defined as a proposed theory, then ID is neither a theory nor a hypothesis. ID is just a scientific (or pseudoscientific) criticism of evolution theory.

(3) The opinion said that evolution theory is singled out for criticism. OK, so people have no right to criticize evolution theory unless they also criticize other scientific theories.

(4) The opinion said that a large percentage of letters and editorials connected with the case discussed religion in connection with ID, and therefore concluded that ID is perceived as being religious by the public in general. That is ridiculous -- the authors of those letters and editorials are only a tiny fraction of the public, and just because they discussed ID and religion together does not necessarily mean that they consider ID to be wholly or partly religious.

(5) the opinion said that ID is not a testable hypothesis. Evolution theory is not testable, either.

(6) The opinion said that irreducible complexity does not support ID but is only a criticism of evolution theory. Irreducible complexity does not support ID because it is part of ID. And something can be scientific even if it is only a criticism of a scientific theory.

(7) The opinion said that school board members who were not familiar with ID did not try to learn more about ID by reading websites which condemn ID -- i.e., websites of particular mainstream scientific and science-education organizations. What about also reading websites that support ID? The opinion noted that the members had access to the book "Of Pandas and People," but they should have gotten a broader view of the pro-ID side. The judge was correct in criticizing board members for not trying to learn more about ID. See pages 122-123 of the opinion for details.

             A large part of the opinion was just a rehash of the dogmatic falsehoods about ID that have been appearing on Internet forums and message boards.     After several days of testimony from experts,   the judge still does not understand what ID is supposed to be.

devobrun 9 years ago

Biodude, I have read Origin of the species. My oldest son (presently in med school) majored in biochemistry and I have had many discussions with him. I fail to see the link between macro-evolution and transcription factors, or prescription drugs. Speculative physics is not taught in H.S. or undergraduate classes. It is not yet science.

Newtonian mechanics is the way to enter the field. It is perfectly testable and demonstrable. It provides the basis of physics. Does this mean that we stop there? No, but we also do not abandon the requirement of testing to proceed with the science. Biology went another way. Biology leaped at the chance to apply Darwin to its field and to define it. You built your house on sand.

"Evolution is a science, you idiot" is a most thoughtful and convincing statement. Gosh, why didn't I think of it?

I find the emotion in your statements to be the reaction of a person that has had his faith questioned. I stated a long time ago that I don't question a person's faith. If I have questioned your faith, I apologize.........but I win because then you are engaged in faith, not science.

fossilhunter 9 years ago

Larry - I read a lot of the transcript of the trial (not all of it) and I can see where the judge's opinions came from. The supporters of ID did a really, really terrible job defending the concept of ID and the Dover board members did an even worse job defending their actions. He really had no choice but to rule the way he did based on the evidence presented before him. Behe came off as a complete idiot on the stand and really shot down ID.

LarryFarma 9 years ago

Posted by fossilhunter, on December 21, 2005 at 8:54 a.m.

Larry - I read a lot of the transcript of the trial (not all of it) and I can see where the judge's opinions came from. The supporters of ID did a really, really terrible job defending the concept of ID and the Dover board members did an even worse job defending their actions. He really had no choice but to rule the way he did based on the evidence presented before him. Behe came off as a complete idiot on the stand and really shot down ID.

So -- maybe part of the problem was with the board members and the defense -- and not ID itself ? I agree with that.

The board members did some very foolish things. For example, one board member collected $850 from his church to buy the ID books, then lied about it in court.

And Behe could have given a definition of ID that would not have made it necessary for him to say that ID is at the same level of astrology.

But all of this does not excuse my criticisms of the judge's written opinion.

The gross errors of the defendants and the defense greatly weaken whatever value this case may have as a precedent.

Kodiac 9 years ago

Devo:

You dissappoint me. Here I was ready to dismiss the hidden agenda with you and all of the sudden you come back with "Liberal, for those who care means people who look for alternative ways of the world. Behavior, philosophy, art, thought, etc. I consider biology and especially evo to be a liberal science"

Devo that is a very curious statement from you. That statement alone is screaming of a hidden agenda. You should have stuck with your narrow definition of science because at least there you aren't trying to dismiss viewpoints through religion or politics. It really surprises me that you even wrote that because that demonstrates a clear political agenda on your part.

On another subject, I saw that your school was out today. You guys get out pretty early for the christmas break don't you. Lucky dogs.

Your Buddy Kodiac

fossilhunter 9 years ago

Larry - "So -- maybe part of the problem was with the board members and the defense -- and not ID itself ?" The problem was that no one was able to defend ID. When it was placed head to head with the scientific rigor that evolution is subjected to, ID wilted. The only way that it could be classified as science was to change the definition of science itself, and that's the moment the case was decided.

Biodude 9 years ago

Devo:

So particle physics is not science. Now we are getting somewhere!

You think I have faith because I can see that trascription factors have everything to do with the mechansim of natural selection? That doesn't require faith, just intelligence. But, I think I see where you are coming from...anyone that doesn't think that particle physics is a science or evolutionary biology for that matter must have a difficult time adapting to the 20th century.

Dude, Newton's apple wasn't meant to knock you silly! Seriously, man...you have gone off a deep end! Just don't start reading about bombs or anything, dude...peace-out! (BTW: psychoactive drugs are evolving all the time and are based on pharmacology...that is based on biology...that is based on Darwin's little theory.)

SO if you take some and the conformation of your serotonin receptors change because certain amino acids have been placed in the active site of the receptor by millions of years of programmed diversity and natural selection against wackos like you...then, you'll realize what a beautiful NonNewtonian world we live in). In other words take the next vector directly to your psychiatrist and don't pass go!

Oh and if you don't want people to be passionate or whatever whimp word you used, you might try not to insult other peoples' disciplines and argue against them when you clearly have no idea what the HELL you are talking about!...what a loser! Seriously...some peoples' kids!

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