Intelligent Reasoning

Promoting, advancing and defending Intelligent Design via data, logic and Intelligent Reasoning and exposing the alleged theory of evolution as the nonsense it is. I also educate evotards about ID and the alleged theory of evolution one tard at a time and sometimes in groups

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What I think about the "Kitzmiller vs. Dover" decision

After reading the transcripts of the trial and the judge's decision it is obvious to me that the decision would have been very different if:

A) The Dover school board had not been religiously motivated

and

B) They actually understood Intelligent Design (it was pretty obvious they knew very little about ID)


It's time I start looking into what it takes to get on a local school board...

16 Comments:

  • At 2:28 PM, Blogger Dr. Spinoza said…

    Counterfactual speculation and $1.50 will buy you a cup of coffee. What I'd be interested in hearing is whether, given the facts of the matter:

    (a) some members of the board were religiously motivated, and

    (b) most members of the board did not understand the work of intelligent design theorists,

    in your view, was the outcome of Kitzmiller fair and just?

     
  • At 2:49 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Dr Spinoza:
    Counterfactual speculation and $1.50 will buy you a cup of coffee.

    I don't drink coffee.

    Dr Spinoza:
    What I'd be interested in hearing is whether, given the facts of the matter:

    (a) some members of the board were religiously motivated, and


    The main guy pushing the agenda said that someone died on the cross 2,000 years ago. The donations for the books (Of Pandas...) came through his church.

    (b) most members of the board did not understand the work of intelligent design theorists,

    Give me some time and I will provide it. Or you can pick up a copy of "Traipsing Into Evolution", it's all there too.


    Dr Spinoza:
    in your view, was the outcome of Kitzmiller fair and just?

    No. The judge's decision went beyond what was in front of him.

     
  • At 2:55 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    I will say this real quick- if the people on that school board understood ID they would NOT have used the book "Of Pandas and People"- that book is outdated and not indicative of where ID is today.

     
  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    William Buckingham-Dover School board member

    Q-And were you aware that the school district put out this information here under this question about the religious implications to the theory of ID? Were you aware of that?

    A. As I stated, I didn't read this. I was aware that it existed, but I hadn't read it.

    Q. Fair enough. Now, Mr. Buckingham, when we use, I'd like to just make sure that we're talking about, we'll be talking about some terms today and I want to make sure we're on the same page. The word creationism, you understand that to mean essentially the Book of Genesis?

    A. Pretty much, yes.

    Q. And you personally believe in a literal reading of the Book of Genesis, isn't that right?

    A. Yes, I do.

    Q. That's one of the foundations of your faith?

    A. Yes, it is.

    Q. And in contrast to evolution you believe that the theory of intelligent design is not inconsistent with your personal religious beliefs, isn't that true?

    A. I'm not an expert on intelligent design. I don't know everything about intelligent design. I just know that it's another scientific theory that we thought would be good to have presented to the students.

    Q. My question is a little different, Mr. Buckingham. I'm asking you it's your understanding that intelligent design is consistent with your personal beliefs, isn't that right?

    You can read everything here:

    Trial documanets

     
  • At 4:26 PM, Blogger Dr. Spinoza said…

    Now I'm confused. It seems to me that you agree with me that

    (a) some members of the board were religiously motivated and

    (b) the proponents of the policy did not have an adequate grasp of ID theory.

    If you dispute (a) or (b), let me know. Otherwise, I'm puzzled as to why you think that the decision was unjust.

    Let's be careful here.

    If the school board had demonstrated a sound understanding of ID theory, and if they had been motivated by scientific rather than by religious concerns, then sure, under those conditions I can see how one might dispute the judge's conclusion.

    But those are not the conditions that obtained, and we agree on that much.

    So again, given the conditions that actually obtained, why do you consider the judge's decision to have been unjust, and what you consider a just decision to have been?

     
  • At 6:49 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    My position is, and always has been, that the Dover school board was religiously motivated and they did not comprehend ID. And I don't think that either is relevant to whether or not ID is scientific nor whether or not ID violates the Est. Clause.

    Justice Lewis Powell wrote in his concurrence to Edwards v. Aguillard, “(A) decision respecting the subject matter to be taught in public schools does not violate the Establishment Clause simply because the material to be taught ‘happens to coincide or harmonize with the tenets of some or all religions’.”

    Regardless of that the judge overreached. It is obvious he just took the word of the plaintiffs and ignored everything that the ID experts said.

    The point of the OP was what would have changed the decision. And if that alone could change the decision the decision was grounded in something other than logic and reasoning. It was founded to spite the school board- period.

    A "just" decision would have let the policy stand with a change of books. We exist and a Court ruling cannot change the fact that there are only a few? options to the reality of that existence.

    A "just" decision would have said the policy should be extended to other sciences also because, as "The Privileged Planet" demonstrates ID extends beyond biology and is evidenced in other scientific disciplines.

    Vote for Joe- local school board!

     
  • At 8:36 AM, Blogger scripto said…

    The actions or the Discovery Institute speak for themselves. They are underhanded and dishonest. Every other novel scientific idea from relativity to plate techtonics to punctuated equilibrium has been vetted through the scientists involved in the affected disciplines. ID is a political and PR campaign. Dembski can't even define his terms rigorously enough to begin to convince his fellow mathematicians and Behe refuses to entertain plausible evolutionary scenarios under any circumstances. Until a design event is identified or a mechanism proposed, ID remains an empty and unsupported hypothesis.
    Judge Jones' decision was correct but he didn't go far enough. The school board should have been indicted for perjury and the Discovery Institute should be indicted for fraud.

     
  • At 9:40 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    scripto:
    The actions or the Discovery Institute speak for themselves.

    They should. The DI did tell the Dover school board to abandon their policy.

    scripto:
    They are underhanded and dishonest.

    If they are they are less so than the ACLU and every anti-IDist I have ever come across.

    scripto:
    Every other novel scientific idea from relativity to plate techtonics to punctuated equilibrium has been vetted through the scientists involved in the affected disciplines.

    And so has ID.

    scripto:
    Dembski can't even define his terms rigorously enough to begin to convince his fellow mathematicians and Behe refuses to entertain plausible evolutionary scenarios under any circumstances.

    Dembski's definitions are more rigorous than anything the anti-ID side can muster.

    And evolutionary scenarios is nonsense. Behe accepts evolution. It is the mechanism that he disputes. Also one's imagination should never be considered as scientific evidence. And imagination is all anti-IDists have when it comes to explaining the diversity of life.

    scripto:
    Until a design event is identified or a mechanism proposed, ID remains an empty and unsupported hypothesis.

    Design is a mechanism. Buy a dictionary and look up both words. And it is as valid of a mechanism as random mutation culled by natural selection.

    scripto:
    Judge Jones' decision was correct but he didn't go far enough.

    Reality demonstrates otherwise. And I will stay with reality.

    scripto:
    The school board should have been indicted for perjury and the Discovery Institute should be indicted for fraud.

    The DI had nothing to do with it and if anyone should be indicted for perjury it would have to be the plaintiffs' expert witnesses.

     
  • At 10:15 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    The following is relevant:

    Whether Intelligent Design is Science
    A Response to the Opinion of the Court in Kitzmiller vs Dover Area School District

    Dr. Behe writes:
    The Court’s reasoning in section E-4 is premised on: a cramped view of science; the conflation of intelligent design with creationism; the incapacity to distinguish the implications of a theory from the theory itself; a failure to differentiate evolution from Darwinism; and strawman arguments against ID. The Court has accepted the most tendentious and shopworn excuses for Darwinism with great charity and impatiently dismissed arguments for design.

    All of that is regrettable, but in the end does not impact the realities of biology, which are not amenable to adjudication. On December 21, 2005, as before, the cell is run by amazingly complex, functional machinery that in any other context would immediately be recognized as designed. On December 21, 2005, as before, there are no non-design explanations for the molecular machinery of life, only wishful speculations and Just-So stories."

     
  • At 10:45 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Dr Spinoza, My apologies for misunderstanding your first post. I don't know why I inferred that you wanted evidence for A & B.

    Also seeing that "Of Pandas and People" was key to the plaintiffs' case, the publisher and/ or the authors should have been allowed to testify.

    And that part of the plaintiff's case rested on a bluff (the immunology nonsense*)- says quite a bit about the judge.


    *(11) In fact, on cross-examination, Professor Behe was questioned concerning his 1996 claim that science would never find an evolutionary explanation for the immune system. He was presented with fifty eight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system; however, he simply insisted that this was still not sufficient evidence of evolution, and that it was not “good enough.” (23:19 (Behe)).


    Several points (Dr Behe):

    1) Although the opinion’s phrasing makes it seem to come from my mouth, the remark about the studies being “not good enough” was the cross-examining attorney’s, not mine.

    2) I was given no chance to read them, and at the time considered the dumping of a stack of papers and books on the witness stand to be just a stunt, simply bad courtroom theater. Yet the Court treats it seriously.

    3) The Court here speaks of “evidence for evolution”. Throughout the trial I carefully distinguished between the various meanings of the word “evolution”, and I made it abundantly clear that I was challenging Darwin’s proposed mechanism of random mutation coupled to natural selection. Unfortunately, the Court here, as in many other places in its opinion, ignores the distinction between evolution and Darwinism.
    I said in my testimony that the studies may have been fine as far as they went, but that they certainly did not present detailed, rigorous explanations for the evolution of the immune system by random mutation and natural selection — if they had, that knowledge would be reflected in more recent studies that I had had a chance to read (see below).

    4) This is the most blatant example of the Court’s simply accepting the Plaintiffs’ say-so on the state of the science and disregarding the opinions of the defendants’ experts. I strongly suspect the Court did not itself read the “fifty eight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system” and determine from its own expertise that they demonstrated Darwinian claims. How can the Court declare that a stack of publications shows anything at all if the defense expert disputes it and the Court has not itself read and understood them?
    In my own direct testimony I went through the papers referenced by Professor Miller in his testimony and showed they didn’t even contain the phrase “random mutation”; that is, they assumed Darwinian evolution by random mutation and natural selection was true — they did not even try to demonstrate it. I further showed in particular that several very recent immunology papers cited by Miller were highly speculative, in other words, that there is no current rigorous Darwinian explanation for the immune system. The Court does not mention this testimony.

     
  • At 9:17 AM, Blogger scripto said…


    scripto:
    Every other novel scientific idea from relativity to plate techtonics to punctuated equilibrium has been vetted through the scientists involved in the affected disciplines.

    And so has ID.


    That is correct and it has been found wanting, not able to convince even a significant minority of the scientific community. Peer review anyone?


    Dembski's definitions are more rigorous than anything the anti-ID side can muster.

    And evolutionary scenarios is nonsense. Behe accepts evolution. It is the mechanism that he disputes. Also one's imagination should never be considered as scientific evidence. And imagination is all anti-IDists have when it comes to explaining the diversity of life.

    Check reviews by mathematicians of Dembski's algorithm of specified complexity. Personally, I have no idea what he is getting at but he certainly is unable to convince his peers. Again, peer review, anyone?

    Design is a mechanism. Buy a dictionary and look up both words. And it is as valid of a mechanism as random mutation culled by natural selection.

    Don't be coy, you know what I mean. How about process? ID is unable to posit any kind of process, let alone a testable one. Where is there any kind of empirical evidence for any kind of "design event" or are we working ass backwards and trying to fit the evidence to our theory? I don't see a theory of ID at all. All I see are potential tests of evolutionary theory. How do they default to design? C'mon, admit it, you got nothing. Shut down the blog and review movies or something.

    The DI had nothing to do with it and if anyone should be indicted for perjury it would have to be the plaintiffs' expert witnesses.

    I'm not a lawyer but I'm not sure you can be indicted for telling the truth. Despite Dembski's bluster the DI knew they'd get shredded in court, hence the timely strategic (and cowardly) withdrawal to Seattle. I'm perfectly happy to let Ahmanson continue to pour his money down that rathole. Kind of like piling up all his cash and making a burnt offering to the Designer.

     
  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    scripto:
    That is correct and it has been found wanting, not able to convince even a significant minority of the scientific community. Peer review anyone?

    There are peer-reviewed pro-ID papers. Ther aren't any peer-reviewed papers that demonstrate:

    1) that a population or populations of bacteria can "evolve" into something other than bacteria
    2) that a population or populations of single-celled organisms can "evolve" into something other than single-celled organisms
    3) that any mutation/ selection process can account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans.

    Design is a mechanism. That is a fcat. Now it is also a fact that in the absence of direct observation or designer input the ONLY possible way to make any determination about the designer(s) or the specific design processes involved, is by studying the design in question.

    Stonehenge-> design detected and determined- further reasearch to try to determine the how, who and why.

    "Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as the result of intelligence." -- William A. Dembski

    As for testing and potential falsification, I have blogged on that several times. Here is the latest:

    In the DVD Case For A Creator, in the Q&A section, Michael Behe was asked, How would you respond to the claim that intelligent design theory is not falsifiable?

    Behe responded:

    "The National Academy of Sciences has objected that intelligent design is not falsifiable, and I think that’s just the opposite of the truth. Intelligent design is very open to falsification. I claim, for example, that the bacterial flagellum could not be produced by natural selection; it needed to be deliberately intelligently designed. Well, all a scientist has to do to prove me wrong is to take a bacterium without a flagellum, or knock out the genes for the flagellum in a bacterium, go into his lab and grow that bug for a long time and see if it produces anything resembling a flagellum. If that happened, intelligent design, as I understand it, would be knocked out of the water. I certainly don’t expect it to happen, but it’s easily falsified by a series of such experiments.

    Now let’s turn that around and ask, How do we falsify the contention that natural selection produced the bacterial flagellum? If that same scientist went into the lab and knocked out the bacterial flagellum genes, grew the bacterium for a long time, and nothing much happened, well, he’d say maybe we didn’t start with the right bacterium, maybe we didn’t wait long enough, maybe we need a bigger population, and it would be very much more difficult to falsify the Darwinian hypothesis.

    I think the very opposite is true. I think intelligent design is easily testable, easily falsifiable, although it has not been falsified, and Darwinism is very resistant to being falsified. They can always claim something was not right."



    Scripto, if I was on the Dover school board the decision would have been very different. I am so confident in that I am going to make sure I get elected to a school board and make it a reality- that is a pro-ID Court decision. That is if it even goes to Court.


    We exist Scripto. And the anti-ID materialistic version is sheer-dumb-luck, from the laws that govern nature to matter and energy to the big bang and to life. Nothing bu sheer-dumb-luck to explain our existence. And that is about as unscientific as one can get.

     
  • At 5:05 PM, Blogger scripto said…

    Joe G.
    First off - thanks for posting my comments as I have written them. I find some pro-id sites a little too, shall we say, selective.

    But to overthrow Evolutionary Theory you need to put forth a viable alternative. I ask the question again - where is (are) these supposed "design event(s)"?

     
  • At 7:39 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Scripto:
    But to overthrow Evolutionary Theory you need to put forth a viable alternative.

    Negative. A theory is/ can be falsified whether or not an alternative exists. And once it is falsified it should either be discarded or modified.

    What happens if a theory is thoroughly falsified at a time when no one is considering an alternative? And it was that falsification event which was the impetus to find an alternative.

    Scripto:
    I ask the question again - where is (are) these supposed "design event(s)"?

    Max Planck said the following during his Nobel Prize acceptance speech:

    "All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this minute solar system of the atom together . . . . We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind."

    Living organisms; the fine-tuning of the universe to allow for living organisms; the many factors required to be in one place at the same time just to sustain complex living organisms; the fact that the only place in our solar system that has total solar eclipses is also the only place that has observers who can not only appreciate them but use them as natural scientific experiments to amass a mountain of data to help us figure out the universe and it just so happens that without a large moon to stabilize the Earth's axis of rotation the wobble would be such that the climate would not allow for complex living organisms to persevere. But without the alleged giant impact that formed the Earth/ Moon system the Earth may not be rotating at all, or very, very slowly. Again only extremophiles(sp?), if anything.

    “The same narrow circumstances that allow for our existence also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.” The Privileged Planet

    “There is a final, even more bizarre twist. Because of Moon-induced tides, the Moon is gradually receding from Earth at 3.82 centimeters per year. In ten million years will seem noticeably smaller. At the same time, the Sun’s apparent girth has been swelling by six centimeters per year for ages, as is normal in stellar evolution. These two processes, working together, should end total solar eclipses in about 250 million years, a mere 5 percent of the age of the Earth. This relatively small window of opportunity also happens to coincide with the existence of intelligent life. Put another way, the most habitable place in the Solar System yields the best view of solar eclipses just when observers can best appreciate them.” Ibid

    Do wah diddy...

     
  • At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Negative. A theory is/ can be falsified whether or not an alternative exists. And once it is falsified it should either be discarded or modified.

    So I am correct in assuming that there is no Theory of Intelligent Design?

    “The same narrow circumstances that allow for our existence also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.”

    OK, so if we are basing our statistical calculations concerning specified complexity and irreducible complexity on observations of the natural world as Dembski and Behe claim we have no reason to believe that the universe is or can be anything else than what it is. At any rate, science is playing the cards it was dealt. Keep pushing your scenarios back to "before" time when the nature of the singularity may be unknowable. Common ancestry and descent with modification remain unchallenged. Again, where is any evidence of a design event?

    I am so confident in that I am going to make sure I get elected to a school board and make it a reality- that is a pro-ID Court decision.

    Good luck convincing your fellow board members. And good luck getting reelected after you squander millions in legal fees trying to add a "theory" that doesn't exist to the science curriculum

     
  • At 11:54 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Scripto:
    Good luck convincing your fellow board members.

    Luck will have nothing to do with it. All I have to do is to demonstrate that the materialistic alternative to ID is sheer dumb luck.

    Scripto:
    And good luck getting reelected after you squander millions in legal fees trying to add a "theory" that doesn't exist to the science curriculum.

    When my side wins any Court case the money will be coming to us. Also all I would be looking to do is to provide PROPER exposure to ID.

    Scripto:
    So I am correct in assuming that there is no Theory of Intelligent Design?

    No more than there is a theory of archeaology.

    Scripto:
    Common ancestry and descent with modification remain unchallenged.

    They remain untestable too.

    As I said no one even knows whether the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans can be accounted for by any mutation/ selection process.

    I posted the following on Oct 19, 2006:

    Chapter IV of prominent geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti's book Why is a Fly Not a Horse? is titled "Wobbling Stability". In that chapter he discusses what I have been talking about in other threads- that populations oscillate. The following is what he has to say which is based on thorough scientific investigation:

    "Sexuality has brought joy to the world, to the world of the wild beasts, and to the world of flowers, but it has brought an end to evolution. In the lineages of living beings, whenever absent-minded Venus has taken the upper hand, forms have forgotten to make progress. It is only the husbandman that has improved strains, and he has done so by bullying, enslaving, and segregating. All these methods, of course, have made for sad, alienated animals, but they have not resulted in new species. Left to themselves, domesticated breeds would either die out or revert to the wild state—scarcely a commendable model for nature’s progress."

    (snip a few paragraphs on peppered moths)

    "Natural Selection, which indeed occurs in nature (as Bishop Wilberforce, too, was perfectly aware), mainly has the effect of maintaining equilibrium and stability. It eliminates all those that dare depart from the type—the eccentrics and the adventurers and the marginal sort. It is ever adjusting populations, but it does so in each case by bringing them back to the norm. We read in the textbooks that, when environmental conditions change, the selection process may produce a shift in a population’s mean values, by a process known as adaptation. If the climate turns very cold, the cold-adapted beings are favored relative to others.; if it becomes windy, the wind blows away those that are most exposed; if an illness breaks out, those in questionable health will be lost. But all these artful guiles serve their purpose only until the clouds blow away. The species, in fact, is an organic entity, a typical form, which may deviate only to return to the furrow of its destiny; it may wander from the band only to find its proper place by returning to the gang.

    Everything that disassembles, upsets proportions or becomes distorted in any way is sooner or later brought back to the type. There has been a tendency to confuse fleeting adjustments with grand destinies, minor shrewdness with signs of the times.

    It is true that species may lose something on the way—the mole its eyes, say, and the succulent plant its leaves, never to recover them again. But here we are dealing with unhappy, mutilated species, at the margins of their area of distribution—the extreme and the specialized. These are species with no future; they are not pioneers, but prisoners in nature’s penitentiary."



    The point being, that IF it were left to direct scientific observations, evolutionism fails miserably and all that is left is wishful thinking supported by speculation.

     

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