Re: [asa] Brownback on evolution

From: David Clounch <>
Date: Mon Jun 11 2007 - 23:04:27 EDT

I mistakenly sent this in a reply instead of to the list. It apparently did
not show up on teh list. Its perhaps a bit difficult to follow. But I
thought it important to answer the questions.

On 6/8/07, David Clounch <> wrote:
> On 6/6/07, PvM <> wrote:
> >
> > On 6/6/07, David Clounch <> wrote:
> >
> > > Since I am not a creationist I don't really know what to say to a
> > > creationist who morphs all their material into the form of ID. I have
> >
> > > publicly argued they are stealing the idea and ruining it.
> > > Sure doesn't make them happy to hear that! ;) But, if they start
> > using
> > > calculus does that make a calc book into a creationist
> > book? Maybe..and it
> > > might depend on what they do to the book. But would that make
> > calculus
> > > into religion? I don't think so. You might disagree.
> >
> > The religious foundations of ID are incredibly important in reaching
> > the conclusion of the Dover Court.
> I am afraid I have to agree.
> Combined with the lack of a scientific foundation for ID, this makes
> > the outcome almost inevitable.
> Again, I probably would agree with this assessment. My position the
> last couple of years has been that ID is designism. Based on the same
> philosophical mistake that ...well, I had called it scientism, but perhaps
> it is reallly something else, perhaps pre-scientism?
> I think the world needs to move past design-ism, and these philosophical
> mistakes.
> [an aside]But, let me reserve the right to quote Paul Davies later on, if
> I may, about the mathematical foundations of chance as it relates to
> design. I am almost done with his book, and I can see where he pretty
> much agrees with Dawkins on the subject of chance.
> I am trying to understand whether Davies puts himself into the category of
> being an atheist.
> [end aside]
> IDists can deny that ID is all about
> > religion and claim that forensic sciences etc all show how ID is being
> > applied by science but as I have discussed elsewhere, such arguments
> > do not logically follow. ID's argument is a very narrow argument that
> > claims that "what remains after regularity and chance have been
> > removed as explanations" should be called 'design'. First of all this
> > means that ID cannot even compete with the null hypothesis because it
> > cannot even present an explanation as of the observed data, it merely
> > calls it 'designed'. Furthermore the step from design to designer
> There is no such step in my view. It is a philosophical mistake to make
> any such step.
> Of course people do try to make that leap. But people do all sorts of
> things. The question is whether or what (if anything) design tells us
> about the designer. I'd say "not very much". Not enough to warrant all the
> hoopla.
> The hoopla is about something else.
> cannot even eliminate natural selection as its designer. In other
> > words, there is so much wrong with ID that I do not know where to
> > start.
> >
> >
> > > I have not read the case from Dover, btw. I did read Edwards top to
> > bottom.
> > > Holding, plus all opinions. May I ask, have you? Not that it matters
> > if
> > > you haven't. But would it make you disingenuous if you had not? I
> > dont
> > > think so. Why would it? Please tell me the circumstances where it
> > would
> > > make you disingenuous if you had not read Edwards, but some reporter
> > chatted
> > > with you on the phone and then wrote something?
> >
> > Siemens corrected a major misunderstanding about the origins of Pandas
> > and People.
> >
> > I have a question for you though, elsewhere you stated that "I just
> > wonder, if the religious people in Dover had asked for E=MC2 to be
> > taught, if the Dover court would have banned physics, and thus
> > narrowed the curriculum to just one world view just because it wanted
> > to exclude their religion. Edwards mistake was in narrowing for
> > religion. The Dover court's mistake is in narrowing against religion
> > without an overriding state interest to do so."
> Did you reach this conclusion without having read the case?
> Yes, and it was based solely on reading press coverage, not the case. I
> was trying to get at the prejudice against a group of people simply because
> they are religious. Religious people believe in E=MC2.
> I wasn't saying the court was being unfair, I was saying that people
> around the country are being unfair to religious people.
> If you had
> > read the court case, you would have realized that it was the
> > combination of lack of secular purpose
> I can accept that because of the nature of the defendant board (and their
> poor judgement?). What I've read in the press about them anyway. And I'd
> believe it because the case was dealing with instruction time.
> But putting those specific folks aside (can I do that for a moment? We can
> go back to them later if you like), I'd have to start asking questions about
> demarcation criteria for what is secular purpose. For example, in my
> school district "methodological naturalism", in whatever way Bruce Endler
> wanted to define it (which may or may not hold true to the real definition)
> was deemed as sufficient reason for the board to ban Darwin's Black Box and
> Darwin on Trial from the school premises. And the media specialists
> approved Darwin's Black Box (they must have thought it had secular purpose).
> But they (the media specialists) banned Darwin on Trial because it contains
> a sentence near the beginning where Johnson says (and I paraphrase) he is
> arguing for the rationality of a Christian world view. That is not
> allowable according to media specialist Connie O'Sullivan. A violation of
> the First Amendment according to her. But banning a book "just because of
> it's content" has often been seen by courts as beyond the power of a school
> board. Even if the book has religious content. For example, the ACLJ has
> successfully pursued many cases where the Bible has been banned in various
> circumstances. This school board, if it were to treat all books on world
> view equally, would have to ban books arguing for an islamic world view, a
> hindu world view, a humanist world view, and even an atheist world view now
> that a federal court has ruled atheism as a religion. They singled out
> this one book based on their perception that it is in favor of a Christian
> world view. Is there a secular purpose in banning any of these? One
> schoolboard member said "lets just put them in the philosophy section". The
> other members insisted on banning the books.
> Is there a secular purpose in allowing a discussion of Davies multiverse
> theory (a theory which is not scientific). Or in disallowing such a thing?
> Regardless of that, I'd argue in my school district that students need to
> understand what Behe is trying to say so they can understand what is wrong
> with it (and what is right with it). Banning it destroys the possibility
> of that critique. Thus I'd argue my board acted against a valid secular
> purpose, not in favor of one.
> I usually try to come down on the side of disclosure.
> My concern is that schools should not exhibit "preferences" in these
> matters. But should accommodate various worldviews. It seems to me it is a
> valid secular purpose to allow such accommodation. If that was what the
> Dover board was trying to do then maybe they did a terrible job of it. Has
> the new board done any better? Or do they have a de facto (actually, a de
> jure) singular world view now? (I honestly don't know. Does anybody know?)
> (since ID fails to be
> > scientific) complicated by religious motivations to teach ID which
> > caused the court to reject the policy.
> > Seems to me that the state had an incredibly strong interest in
> > narrowing against religion (ID), it's called the Constitution.
> >
> > >But I think I saw the book once in the 80's. Haven't read it. What I
> > did read somewhere was the
> > > book was proffered by the board as an ID book but was really a
> > creationist book, and the court
> > > did not take kindly to that deception.
> > > But I have not researched any of that to find out if the claim of
> > deception was accurate.
> >
> > The book was indeed offered as an Intelligent Design book, in fact
> > deWolf (Discovery Institute Fellow) argued
> >
> > <quote>
> > Since the 1980s, a growing number of scientists have argued that
> > precisely such evidences have come to light in the origins
> > controversy. They argue that, contrary to neo-Darwinian orthodoxy,
> > nature displays abundant evidence of design by an intelligent agent.
> > These scientists, known as design theorists, advocate an alternative
> > theory of biological origins known as design theory or the theory of
> > intelligent design (sometimes abbreviated simply design or intelligent
> > design). They have developed design theory in scientific and scholarly
> > journals as well as in such books as Darwin's Black Box, The Mystery
> > of Life's Origin, Mere Creation, The Design Inference, and the
> > supplemental high school textbook Of Pandas and People.6 Design theory
> > holds that intelligent causes rather than undirected natural causes
> > best explain many features of living systems. During recent years
> > design theorists have developed both a general theory for detecting
> > design and many specific empirical arguments to support their views.
> > </quote>
> >
> > David K. DeWolf, Stephen C. Meyer, Mark E. DeForrest, Intelligent
> > Design in Public School Science Curricula: A Legal Guidebook
> Really? How interesting. I think I'm still confused. Why would these
> folks take a creationist book that had morphed into an ID book and present
> it as an ID book?
> Was this above quote entered into evidence in the case?
> Ignore for the moment the unsupported claims about ID, it seems clear
> > that the book was presented as an Intelligent Design book. When the
> > court was shown how Intelligent Design had become just a placeholder
> > for 'creation(ism)' , the court was not too impressed.
> I bet.
> Peter Irons in the Montana Law review provides us with some
> > interesting insight into the Kitzmiller controversy as well as the
> > claims by DeWolf, West and Luskin (see
> > for an excellent read)
> >
> > I'd be interested how you perceive ID ? Is it scientific? Should it be
> > taught in schools? How does ID relate to 'teach the controversy' ?
> wow...getting too asked....
> 1) Actually, its complicated.
> Scientific? Depends. I think some parts are. Demarcation criteria are
> needed here. Which means we have got to stop arguing about who the designer
> is and whether she is a republican or democrat and whether she beats her
> kids and cheats on her taxes. And is onmiscient (as all women purportedly
> are) and, well, you get the idea. My observation is the minute you take
> the Intelligence (with a capital "I") out of it all the creationists lose
> interest. In other words, they never were interested in design. Its just a
> way to shore up their world view. (OK, thats going to make some folks mad
> because its kind of mean. But it is what I've observed. Its a poor
> generalization. I'd say "Prove me wrong ye ol' creationists. Take out the
> intelligence and all the implications then study design using plain old
> math."
> I am not going to hold my breath.
> 2) Taught in schools? No. I'd say yes, taught about, except I wouldn't
> trust my school system to be accurate about it. You will learn why over
> time. I don't want them teaching the Bible either...same problem. But
> banning the Bible? nope. wrong approach.
> religious accommodation, the real view of the Court, cannot be
> accomplished by banning one idea in favor of another idea. I'd like to
> demonstrate this later by quoting a case if I may.
> 3) Does ID relate to teach the controversy? I personally would say no.
> To me it (ID) relates to math. But the philosophical part of, having been
> blown out of proportion, relates to the cultural controversy. Try hiding
> that! Schools teach all about all sorts of controversy. Even
> controversies within science. But Discovery Institute (and I may be the
> only one on earth who says this) got this from the Edwards case. Its what
> the courts want. So DI got in line behind it. THE PROBLEM: It requires
> demarcation criteria.
> Thank you,
> David Clounch
> OK, Blame me for something. Being stupid maybe. ;)
> > On 6/4/07, D. F. Siemens, Jr. <> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > If you check the trial transcript, I believe you will find that P&P
> > began
> > > as a Creationist book, but every reference to creation topics in the
> > > original draft were, over time, replaced with ID terminology. Your
> > claim of
> > > ignorance seems to me disingenuous when the evidence is readily
> > available.
> > > > Dave
> > > >
> > > > On Mon, 4 Jun 2007 07:11:19 -0500 "David Clounch"
> > > <> writes:
> > > >
> > > > <snip>
> > > > "The Dover policy required students to hear a statement about ID
> > before
> > > ninth-grade biology lessons on evolution. The statement said Charles
> > > Darwin's theory was "not a fact" and had inexplicable "gaps", and
> > referred
> > > students to an ID textbook, Of Pandas and People, for more
> > information."
> > > >
> > > > But Pandas and People is a creationist book, not an ID book. Which
> > is
> > > part of why the judge went the way he did...the sneaking in of a
> > creationist
> > > book was deceptive. My point here is the Scottsman reporter
> > completely
> > > missed that fact and reported the book as an ID book. (Actually I
> > don't
> > > really know if the book is ID related or pure creationist, I've just
> > read in
> > > the press elsewhere it was a creationist book).
> > > >
> > > > <snip>
> > >
> > >
> >

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Received on Mon Jun 11 23:04:53 2007

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