Wesley R. Elsberry's blog
(From "The Austringer":)
In a clearly-argued decision, Judge John E. Jones III ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District case.
Back in 2004, Casey Luskin and I had lunch. One of the topics of conversation was the legal status of "intelligent design" and how a court case might turn out. Casey argued that since ID had no explicit mention of the identity of the "designer" as God and no explicit use of scripture, it would have no trouble in court. I argued that the history of commonality with creationism and the identity of the arguments between the two would be found to put ID in violation of the establishment clause. I'm happy to report that Judge Jones concurs with me and not Casey.
Ironically, J. Witt falsely accuses D. Morgan of constructing a strawman, while putting together his own strawman:
Most obvious among the errors, neither Sternberg nor the Discovery Institute claims he was fired from his editorship. To claim that we have claimed this is pure straw man.
Intrigued, I had a look at Morgan's post. I can't say that I was surprised to find that there was no claim made there about Sternberg being "fired". (The word "fired" doesn't even occur in the post or the following comments.) Nor does Morgan make any claim that Sternberg or the DI had said so.
Over on Michael Berube's weblog, Steve Fuller responded to various points being made about his advocacy of "intelligent design". One item caught my attention:
6.‘And please, to cite Dembski...the man is a dilettante who relies on speaking math to those who know a little biology and biology to those who know a little math. His ideas are useless.’ Well, his ideas may be wrong, but they are not useless. In any case, the man’s not finished yet – and (unlike Newton) he’s exposing his ideas for public inspection and critique, rather than going underground for 10-20 years to work all the bugs out. (Perhaps you’d prefer that approach.) Here you’ve got to take seriously what it means for ID to be primarily a science of ‘design’: God and humans design in exactly the same way (so says the theory), so the more we learn about detecting human-led design (e.g. Dembski has come up with scientific fraud detectors used by the NIH and NSF – I can already see students of Irony 101 raising their hands), the more we get (hopefully testable) ideas about how the universe might be designed. ID basically turns biology into divine technology. This is not a million miles from Herbert Simon in ‘Sciences of the Artificial’, in which he imagines (among other things) natural selection as a watchmaker who gets interrupted a lot and periodically needs to regroup from where he left off. [emphasis added - WRE]
William A. Dembski, mathematician, theologian, and philosopher, is also a heavyweight expert when it comes to self-promotion. So why is it, Steve, that Dembski has not himself boasted of the adoption of his particular methods by the NIH and NSF for "fraud detection"?
My basic stance on this is skepticism until such time as an independently verifiable reference is provided. One does not have to look far to find ID advocates exaggerating grandly from mundane reality, so I take the claim that someone other than Dembski has figured out how to make Dembski's methods work (when even Dembski has thus far failed at that task) with a dried-up Permian sea of salt.
I am not "Darwin-only"; I'm "Science-only" for the content of public school science classrooms.
Casey Luskin notes that we talked some at the Kitzmiller et al. v. DASD trial in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
I am grateful to have had numerous friendly conversations with individuals from the Darwin-only side over the past few days. Wesley Elsberry (NCSE staffer) and I spent some time shooting the breeze and taking-in the spectacle together while engaging in friendly conversation outside the courthouse waiting to watch the media feeding frenzy as the attorneys walked out of the courtroom.
I'm pretty sure that I've said this before, but I'll take this opportunity to let Casey know clearly that I'm not "Darwin-only". In fact, one can find my line of CafePress items that state the "I'm Not Darwin-Only, I'm Science-Only" slogan in the left sidebar here.
This etext covers Dr. Barbara Forrest's acceptance as an expert witness for the plaintiffs despite a series of objections by the defense and her direct examination by Eric Rothschild.
In a blurb for The Privileged Planet, Phillip Skell says
"In this fascinating and highly original book, Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards advance a persuasive argument, and marshal a wealth of diverse scientific evidence to justify that argument. In the process, they effectively challenge several popular assumptions, not only about the nature and history of science, but also about the nature and origin of the cosmos. The Privileged Planet will be impossible to ignore. It is likely to change the way we view both the scientific enterprise and the world around us. I recommend it highly."
- Philip Skell, Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Physics, Pennsylvania State University, Member, National Academy of Sciences.
But how original is the basic idea in Gonzalez and Richards' book, that we are especially well-situated to observe and make sense of astronomical data? It turns out that the giant whose shoulders Gonzalez and Richards stand upon is none other than the Reverend William Paley.
Here's a couple of things I've been working on rather than posting here lately:
Waterloo In Dover: The Kitzmiller v. DASD Case, on the Panda's Thumb.
I may do some podcasting as the trial gets going. We'll see.
Check out The Battle Over Evolution: How Geoscientists Can Help by Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education.
Casey Luskin writes in the Discovery Institute's Evolution News and Views blog concerning the widespread perception that "intelligent design" invokes supernatural explanation. Luskin says that critics of ID have misled the public on this issue, and that all becomes clear when one examines what ID advocates have to say on the matter. Luskin goes on at length concerning his conjectures of the structure of misinformation about ID; it's a relatively amusing read. But don't expect much in the way of empirical support for the claims.
NCSE's Anj Petto will be on "Conversations with Kathleen Dunn" on Wisconsin Public Radio on Thursday, August 25, 2005. The segment begins at 10 AM CDT. Yesterday, the Kathleen Dunn show interviewed Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Michael Behe.
To call in to the program, use 1-800-486-8655 or 227-2050 in Milwaukee.