Bad Times For ID Proponents

Anyone with half a brain could tell you that when ID proponents claim there is no religious element to intelligent design, they are lying through their teeth. Apparently, that is not the only lie ID proponents told in the recent Dover Case:

A federal prosecutor said testimony in the Dover Area School District’s intelligent design case is under review to determine if perjury charges should be pursued.

U.S. Middle District Attorney Thomas A. Marino said yesterday that decision will take time because there is “a lot of reading to do” to determine if the statements rise to the level of a crime.

“I want to question a couple of people who were present,” he said. They will not include Judge John E. Jones III, who presided over the case, he said.

Marino’s comments came a day after Jones struck down the school district’s policy of telling ninth-grade biology students Darwin’s theory of evolution is not fact and intelligent design is an alternative explanation of the origin of life.

In his opinion, Jones accused some of those who testified during the six-week trial in Harrisburg of lying, singling out former board members Alan Bonsell and William Buckingham, the leading proponents of the policy.

Both men testified during the trial, which ended last month, and both gave sworn statements in depositions on Jan. 3. During the trial, Jones and lawyers for parents opposed to the policy confronted the men about the discrepancies and evasiveness in their answers to questions about their motivations and efforts to raise money for a pro-intelligent design textbook, “Of Pandas and People.”

As I am petty, vindictive, and shallow, I can not tell you how much I would enjoy seeing perjury charges filed against these charlatans. Maybe if that happens, they can, without irony, get the Thomas More Law Center to come to their legal aid once again. Question is- will the Thomas More Law center want to defend someone who willfully breaks the 9th Commandment?

*** Uodate ***

LMAO. Commandment, not amendment. What a jackass I am.

61 replies
  1. 1
    capelza says:

    Why lie about it in the first place? Just askin….

    But I will allow myself on bog ole…HAHAHAHAHA. :)

  2. 2
    demimondian says:

    I would get no pleasure out of perjury charges being filed. People perjure themselves all the time, and all that going after these morons would do is make martyrs of them.

  3. 3
    capelza says:

    That should have read “one big ole”..see what happens when I let sheer glee rule me?

  4. 4
    Sojourner says:

    School board members need to be held accountable. Their irresponsibility can cost their school districts hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as screwing with the futures of the students they are supposed to support.

  5. 5
    Demdude says:

    As I am petty, vindictive, and shallow, I can not tell you how much I would enjoy seeing perjury charges filed against these charlatans. Maybe if that happens, they can, without irony, get the Thomas More Law Center to come to their legal aid once again.

    I guess if you want to go “full fricking vindictive”, I wonder if any civil suits could be filed to recoup the funds the school district spent in the legal fight?

    I believe the amount of money spent in this fight was a major factor in the school board being replaced, besides any ideological concerns.

  6. 6

    Ninth Commandment?

  7. 7
    Dave Ruddell says:

    I was wondering how the IDers violated this:

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    I think that The Commissar probably has it right.

  8. 8
    Pooh says:

    ha ha ha Hee hee hee BWAHAHAHAHA

    Sorry, that is unseemly…

    Seriously though, they are already martyrs to the ignorant, so let’s get our money’s worth.

    As to civil suits against the former board, I’m going to suggest they may have some form of limited legislative immunity. (Also, what are the damages, wasn’t the defense largely Pro Bono?)

  9. 9
    scs says:

    Okay, thanks to some info from Shygetz, I have now officially solved the problems raised by ID, and I will now tell you all about it here since you might not have read the other post.

    ID is based in part on the problems posed by the concept of what Behe calls “irreducible complexity” or IR for short. IR states that a system cannot evolve in a piecemeal way. This concept in theory sounds correct. If a new feature somehow spontaneously mutates, it would not likely be very useful to the creature, because what good is one feature without a system behind it to make use of this new feature? And if the feature doesn’t do anything, it wouldn’t provide any advantages that would allow for the creature to succeed better at the natural selection game and would not be naturally selected for. And the chance that a bunch of new features just happened to appear separatetly and then happend to grow together to form a new system together seems iffy to me. Also the chance of a bunch of features evolving together to spontaneously form a working system is practically impossible. So how did evolution work around the problems of irreducible complexity?

    The answer is a concept I will call “layering”. I think it should be the new buzzword. A new feature that spontaneously mutates, can take advantage of a system that already exists for a similar, but maybe slightly different purpose. As Shygetz states, this could happen when a gene gets accidentally duplicated, but then gets slightly mutated in the process. The new gene may make a new protein that can then take advantage of the existing system, say a nutrient system, to process the signals from the new protein, say light sensitivity signals. Once this new feature proves an advantage, it can be naturally selected for.

    I think this concept of ‘layering’ also explains why these crazy mutations that are supposed to take place all the time, actually end up with so LITTLE variety among the species when you come down to it. It’s not just because of natural selection or niches, in my opinion. A new mutation may spontaneously appear, but unless this new mutation can take advantage of what exists before, it probably won’t thrive. So the new mutations, while they may be wild, can only grow in a methodical and narrow way that builds on the slight quirks of compatibility with the old systems.
    I believe this also explains many features of current animals. This is why, as Shygetz explained to me, most mammals start out very similar at the beginning stages of the embryo and differentiate later. The new features of each mammal are added on top of the old so that makes sense. Also, we know that organs such as the brain are layered too. We have the primitive center part of the brain that deals with bodily functions shared by most creatures, and then literally the more sophisticated functions are layered on top of that as you go up the mammal chain.

    Okay, I have now solved evolution. I will write my book and go on tour like Behe. Relax, I’m kidding. I’m sure scientists have thought about it like that before, I just never had anyone explain to me like that before or read about it quite like before. Sorry to bore you all but just thought you’d might like to hear about it.

  10. 10
    zzyzx says:

    I was reading these comments solely to find out how someone could break the 9th myself :)

  11. 11

    Bringing perjury charges against the ID proponents would probably be a bad idea. It wouldn’t silence them, but it would generate sympathy for them if they played the persecution card.

  12. 12
    Jay C says:

    Y’know, in this case, I think it just might be a better idea to lay off pursuing the “perjury” charges against the Dover “ID” gang, and simply leave it to the court of public opinion to discredit them. As has been stated, there’s no need to make martyrs of these buffoons: the voters and the courts (in that [proper] order) have already repudiated their crankery – barring some truly egregious abuse, I think it would be best to just leave them alone to whine about their pathetic “persecution” off in the wilderness (actually, more likely on a blog somewhere) than to offer them and their fringe a free forum to claim more time and publicity.

    I can’t help but wonder, though: if the Town of Dover had been in Mississippi or Kansas, rather than in Pennsylvania would the result of the “ID” case have turned out the same?

  13. 13
    demimondian says:

    scs — In fact, what you’re describing is why the study of homeotic genes in fruit flies is so interesting.

    The homeotics are weird — a mutation in one of the can cause one portion of a fly to appear as another. Probosipedia, for instance, turns proboses into legs; Anntennapedia, antennas into legs, etc. Ed Lewis, back in the fifties, realized that such mutations might point to sites at which duplication and specialization had occurred, and started investigating them.

    His guess was right. The homeotics are closely related to one another, and they do appear to lay down the basic body plan of the animal during early parts of embryogenesis. Moreover, they are conserved across Insecta, and closely related homologues can be found in quite remote species. Most fascinating, though, there are closely related homologues in other species, as well — indicating that the duplication and specialization of more generic “body parts” has been a major force in the evolution of species over time.

    (Our next lesson will be “Up- and down-regulation, the human cortex, and the evolution of the vertabrate eye.”)

  14. 14
    Tim F. says:

    Layering is cool, but don’t discount duplication – basically, by accident entire portions of my DNA gets recorded twice. Now I have a ‘spare’ copy of one to several genes that evolution can screw around with all it wants without disturbing the original. Ev bio circles are buzzing right now about the principle of speciation by whole-genome duplication.

  15. 15
    demimondian says:

    Ev bio circles are buzzing right now about the principle of speciation by whole-genome duplication.

    I’m out of touch with evolutionary biology. Can you point me at any recent papers one whole genome duplication?

  16. 16
    Gary Farber says:

    I, also, hate people who construe to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people! Hurrah for the 9th!

    If you meant “Commandment,” which religon did you have in mind?

    Protestant
    9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

    Catholic
    9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife.

    Hebrew

    9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

    Why do you hate Catholics, John? Kidding! Utterly kidding! But people who refer to single Commandments as if there were one set of the ten that everyone agrees with is a Pet Peeve. For that matter, Jews (some; don’t expect Jews to agree, after all) don’t, in fact, refer to the “Ten Commandments.” Not that you’re a Jew or should use Jewish terminology and call them the “Ten Statements,” or care that Jews are stuck with 613 (damn bureaucracy!); I’m just saying. (Don’t get me started on “Judeo-Christian.”)

    Oh, and Merry Christmas.

  17. 17
    Lines says:

    Gene’s are duplicated all the time. There is no accident to duplication. The only accident is mutation. scs makes the point that the system must already be in place the accept and use the mutation to the natural benefit of the organism, which gets more complicated when you take a non-forming mutation in one organism and merge it with another non-forming mutation from another organism. I believe thats where many of the leaps and bounds within evolution occured. Its not the single organism that creates those jumps, but the sexual reproduction phase.

    My area of study is in control systems, one subset of which is called Genetic Algorithms. Essentially a very long set of binarys that simulates a possible “solution” is then tested, mutated, reproduction’ed and retested for fitness. Supposedly this will result in a solution over time, but the mathmatics so far have not proven that its a finite process.

    Since it doesn’t have the same features as other finite processes, it starts to more accurately model life, I believe. One issue with ID’ers is that they believe current humans are the supreme human, a finished product, or at least very very very close. Many evolutionists say thats not so, that we’re but a step down a long path. Who knows what mutations might happen, but I’m trying to force my cells to give me laser vision.

  18. 18
    jcricket says:

    scs – You might want to read this post about Michael Behe and how his credibility has now been publicly, thoroughly destroyed.

    I especially like parts like this, as they get to the heart of Behe’s mis-use of science (despite claiming to be a scientists):

    Moreover, cross-examination revealed that Professor Behe’s redefinition of the blood-clotting system was likely designed to avoid peer- reviewed scientific evidence that falsifies his argument, as it was not a scientifically warranted redefinition.

    and this one

    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.”

    We find that such evidence demonstrates that the ID argument is dependent upon setting a scientifically unreasonable burden of proof for the theory of evolution.

    (emphasis mine)

    Basically, everyone should stop taking anything that Behe says seriously from a scientific perspective. He’s not a scientist anymore, despite his credentials.

  19. 19
    jcricket says:

    BTW scs – I’m remembering a post of yours where you said it didn’t matter if all ID proponents motives were religious. What are your thoughts about the portions of the judge’s rulings where he explicitly mentioned that does matter when it comes to discussing ID in a science classroom?

  20. 20
    pharniel says:

    jay c said
    I can’t help but wonder, though: if the Town of Dover had been in Mississippi or Kansas, rather than in Pennsylvania would the result of the “ID” case have turned out the same?

    ————————————-

    actually i think it would really have been a serious problem. the essence of ID (and creationism) is “I’m not smart enough to figure out how this incrimental system would have generated these results, thus no one could have, especially not god” in a pretty grandiose EGO trip. My last rant against creationism and ID was basically about people short changing god.
    Unfortunatly I get the feeling that all over the world there are alot of people who don’t WANT anyone to be smart enough to figure it out. ‘Cause they feel victimized by the world for being smarter than they are all the time.

    You can’t tell I work tech support for cranky individuals can you?

    In short, and back on topic, I think the school would have lost the case (as it appears now that the individuals pushing for ID were doing it purely to arrange profiteering from sales of the book) but that the school board would not have been replaced, unless the fight was seriously crippling the school’s funding.

    i mean. PA is the (adopted) home of Ben Franklin and tolerates alot of differnt views of life (Amish, Quakers, etc.)

  21. 21
    demimondian says:

    Lines — Holland’s work, while interesting, is of restricted value when looking beyond expert systems. He (consciously and deliberately) chose to ignore the interaction between genome and organism when he designed the first genetic algorithms, largely because he wanted to show the probablistic significance of duplication in a search system. (It greatly strengthens your search algorithm.)

    On the one hand, then, it’s fascinating and provocative that duplication and communication can greatly strengthen a search algorithm, particularly in a noisy environment. On the other hand, though, the lack of a phenotypic level makes the direct applicabilty of the two-armed bandit theorem less clear outside of its original domain.

  22. 22
    Bill Arnett says:

    I don’t want to be hypercritical or anything, but shouldn’t that be, “What a jackass am I?”

    (Apologies if unathorized frivolity is iot permitted here.)

  23. 23
    Shygetz says:

    I hope no one minds if I get back on topic, but I think it would be wonderful to see these guys prosecuted for perjury. Lying for the Lord may be acceptable to these peoples’ religion, but it is unacceptable in a court of law, and that point apparently needs to be reinforced. And since most people who would think these guys are martyrs already think Christians are being persecuted here, what do we (we as in rational folk) have to lose?

  24. 24
    Bill Arnett says:

    (Or if failure to utilize my spelling checker is mandated by Bushco and I have unwittingly, or wittingly, violated that mandate.)

  25. 25
    SeesThroughIt says:

    As I am petty, vindictive, and shallow, I can not tell you how much I would enjoy seeing perjury charges filed against these charlatans. Maybe if that happens, they can, without irony, get the Thomas More Law Center to come to their legal aid once again. Question is- will the Thomas More Law center want to defend someone who willfully breaks the 9th Commandment?

    I fully agree–I’d love to see ’em bludgeoned for their bullshit in a court of law. I do sort of worry about the martyr aspect (“They tried to stand up for the li’l baby Jebus, and look what happened to ’em! War on Christmas! Christian persecution!”), but I think Shygetz makes a good point that those who would be inclined to think of them as martyrs probably already do (“They lost their positions because of their faith!”).

  26. 26
    demimondian says:

    What good would prosecuting them do? Seriously? Showing them that lying under oath is Not A Good Thing? If Martha can go the the Stay Here Inn with Bars over it, I kind of think the message has already gotten out. If Clinton can be impeached for it, I’m da?n near sure that the message has already gotten out. Who will be deterred by prosecuting them?

    Randall Terry and Chuck Colson show what happens when you jail a religious leader — they come back out “reformed and penitent”. Sometimes, as in Colson’s case, they are even telling the truth at that point.

  27. 27
    dave s says:

    I posted the below refutations of ID at another site this morning and since I have them handy, will post them here as well:

    1. There’s a great old joke slamming civil engineers, how can you tell from the way women are built that God is a civil engineer? Answer – who else would put a waste disposal site next to a recreation area!

    2. And a rather more tasteful riff on the same theme: “incompetent design” http://www.seedmagazine.com/ne.....php?page=1 which talks about how we are built with too many teeth and built-in back problems for our design to be considered ‘intelligent’, etc.

  28. 28
    Lines says:

    demi:
    I havn’t read much of Holland’s work, other than that which was paraphrased during my mathmatical research studies into GA. Most of my experiments with GA have been dramatic failures, where the complexity of a system had to be slowly dumbed down until the GA didn’t totally overwhelm all resources in trying to come to a finite solution.

    In fact, many times GA solutions are NOT the best solution for a system, they are only a single solution. In the case of GA’s representing actual life, I’m not sure human’s have the capacity to understand the diversity required to do such a thing.

    What I found interesting is that the starting solution set for any given problem didn’t always dictate where the final solution would end up.

    Its definately a fun area of study, though, and its complexities can go far above anything I’ve attempted so far. Back in the 90’s most of my GA attempts would kill a typical CPU, so I had to write a lot of limitations.

    Its an area I would like to get back into, even if just for the fun of it. Of course, finding any sort of work where it can be used practically is limited to almost nothing, but that shouldn’t stop research.

  29. 29
    Jay C says:

    pharniel:

    Gee, another good reason to spend too much time reading blogs all day: you never know what you’ll learn – the “book profiteering” facet of the Dover ID case was news to me….

    However, I still think that the Dover decision isn’t (by a long shot) going to end the “debate” over including creationism in school curricula. I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to imagine a local judge somewhere out in, say, Kansas, being down with the idea that it’s OK to push “ID”, or any other sort of religious folderol in the science classroom (whether out of ingrained belief, or just for fear of being booted at the next election), and thus sending the whole matter back into the system for further agitation. It would be nice to think so, but secularism (in the sense of official non-involvement in religious issues) isn’t, sad to say, all that secure a concept in our political/judicial system – that a determining case might be “forum-shopped” somewhere for a favorable decision isn’t so far-fetched a scenario.

  30. 30
    Tim F. says:

    demimondian,

    Google scholar is effing awesome. Here’s a nice roundup of papers covering the last year.

  31. 31
    searp says:

    I think the flying spaghetti monster created the whole universe, and I am a trained scientist. I am currently trying to figure out why the spaghetti monster created roaches. There must be a plan.

  32. 32
    chefrad says:

    These ID people are too stupid to allow me to take pleasure in their humiliation and undoing.

    I thought “Inherit the Wind” settled the matter.

  33. 33
    demimondian says:

    Google scholar is effing awesome. Here’s a nice roundup of papers covering the last year

    Ah, yes. For obvious technical reasons, I don’t use Google’s search products very often.

    Yes, that’s a nice roundup. Thanks.

  34. 34
    demimondian says:

    am currently trying to figure out why the spaghetti monster created roaches.

    Is it not obvious? The roaches are the best way for him to have his noodly appendages carried beneath the counter in your kitchen, so that he can touch Those Who Dwell Below.

  35. 35
    kim says:

    Wow, Darrell, you just don’t get it, do you? I think you just come here to bait, not debate.

  36. 36
    The Other Steve says:

    What good would prosecuting them do? Seriously? Showing them that lying under oath is Not A Good Thing? If Martha can go the the Stay Here Inn with Bars over it, I kind of think the message has already gotten out. If Clinton can be impeached for it, I’m da?n near sure that the message has already gotten out. Who will be deterred by prosecuting them?

    I would think with such upstanding Moral Christians, the fact that they are going to spend their afterlife in Eternal Hell would have been a deterrant.

    Honestly I think *not* prosecuting people for perjury probably has a greater impact of encouraging people to lie than prosecuting acts as a deterrant. Does that make sense?

    Oh, and remember the Republican motto… “It’s not a lie if you really really believe it.”

  37. 37
    jcricket says:

    Oh, and remember the Republican motto… “It’s not a lie if you really really believe it.”

    I thought it was “IOKIYAR”?

    Seriously, I started reading the USENET group talk.origins 15 years ago and the creationist/scientific creationist/ID proponents haven’t changed their tactics one bit. You two can be a creationist, just follow these steps:

    1) Make up a creationist argument that “sounds” scientific (don’t worry if you have no data to back it up or there’s research that shows its false)

    2) Lie about your own motives (“I just want to talk about the controversy”)

    3) Misrepresent your opponents arguments (or pretend they don’t exist)

    4) When shot down, claim censorship and blame the secular-liberal-communist-athiests/ACLU (new: blame activist judges)

    5) Use “find and replace” or a thesaurus to quickly alter your original documents (hope no one notices, might want to turn off “track changes”).

    6) Repeat…

  38. 38
    Douglas says:

    I don’t know why ID is taken seriously. As a science, explaining the generation and progression of life on the planet ID is MORE religious in it’s context than “Creation” ID requires a God myth in creation, whereas, Big Bang, Panspermia and other sorts of thought excercises, and explanations can all fall under the broad Idea of “Creation.”

    ID is more insidious than outright saying god made the universe.

  39. 39
    demimondian says:

    hope no one notices, might want to turn off “track changes”).

    Actually, if you really want to get rid of the inner markings, you should change your file, and then open it in Word Mobile on a Windows Monile 5.0 device. Insert and then delete a space at the start of the document, and resave. Hey, presto — all sorts of internal markings for revisions are radically gone.

  40. 40
    CaseyL says:

    I don’t see why there’s even a question as to whether perjury charges ought to be filed. The witnesses lied, repeatedly and knowingly, in testimony directly pertinent to the subject matter of the case. They lied about their intent, their statements, and even their previous testimony.

    IDers aren’t pitiful lambs in the woods who let their sincerity run away with them: they’re profoundly dishonest people, pursuing a profoundly dishonest and destructive agenda.

    For those who haven’t read Judge Jones’ decision, he references documents from the Discovey Institute that blatantly lay out a concerted plan to undermine science itself. He also references previous drafts of the ID manifesto that literally – literally – simply replaced “Creationism” with “Intelligent Design” and “God” with “Intelligent Designer.”

    It is rather comical. It’s also infuriating. So is the way ID apologists keep wilfully misquoting and misreading what the judge said.

  41. 41

    Professor Keith Burgess-Jackson suggests that the ID proponents try to have ID taught as part of a course he calls “Thinking About Science” which would basically be a philosophy class. Does anyone think that would be an acceptable course of action?

  42. 42
    demimondian says:

    I don’t see why there’s even a question as to whether perjury charges ought to be filed.

    Because a jury won’t convict? In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecutor would need to be able to prove a venal motive; juries are very unwilling to convict someone of perjury unless the evidence is that it was done for a reason they don’t approve of. But, then, if the prosecutor could prove a venal motive, there’d be no reason to convict for perjury, as he could bring charges of official misconduct, which sting a lot worse.

  43. 43
    demimondian says:

    kim remarks:

    Wow, Darrell, you just don’t get it, do you? I think you just come here to bait, not debate.

    I haven’t seen Darrell anywhere in this thread. Perhaps you mistook someone else for him?

  44. 44
    scs says:

    Thinking About Science”

    Sounds okay to me. Also, so many good science posts on this thread. Who knew we had so many experts here? I will have to really study them later to learn from them.

    By the way, as an fyi, I grew up the next town over from Dover, PA, and I used to know many people (kids) from there. I don’t anymore though. I didn’t say that before because I didn’t want you all to say I was biased towards Dover. I suppose though the fact that it was near my hometown peaked my interest in the whole issue.

  45. 45
    AlanDownunder says:

    There will be a costs order against the unsuccessful defendants in the Dover ID case. The defendants were the Dover Area School District and its Board of Directors. But before the judgment was given, the whole Board had been voted out and replaced by Directors who agreed with the Plaintiff. So in effect the costs order will be against the successful plaintiff – the people of the school district of Dover.

    On page 122 of the judgment it is noted that The only outside organizations which the Board consulted prior to the vote were the Discovery Institute and TMLC (Thomas More Law Center). Surely these two organisations should be paying Dover’s costs. They are nothing more than ID proponents looking for susceptible Christian school boards to play for chumps. It is their activism that wasted all of Dover School District’s time, money and resources.

  46. 46
    CaseyL says:

    demimondian: unless you’re referring to a term-of-art definition for venality, I don’t think a prosecutor would have much trouble proving the perjury was venal. The IDers didn’t want their religious agenda to be known; therefore, they lied about statements which revealed said religious agenda.

    Also, why would official misconduct charges sting more? Are the penalties stiffer? SFAIK, none of the defendants are still on the school board, so it’s not like they could be kicked off it.

  47. 47
    demimondian says:

    unless you’re referring to a term-of-art definition for venality, I don’t think a prosecutor would have much trouble proving the perjury was venal.

    Hmm. I was using what I take to be the primary meaning of the term: for purposes of illicit profit.

    I don’t know the statutes in Pennsylvania, but official misconduct usually allows the judge to bar the criminal from future service in similar positions of trust. The Dover eight wouldn’t ever be able to do the same thing again — which is what I want to see.

  48. 48
    Baron Elmo says:

    “Professor Keith Burgess-Jackson suggests that the ID proponents try to have ID taught as part of a course he calls “Thinking About Science” which would basically be a philosophy class. Does anyone think that would be an acceptable course of action?”

    Problem is, ID is not only “not science,” it’s not even “thinking about science.” Because there’s nothing scientific about it. ID is completely faith based — it cannot be tested, weighed, or subjected to any kind of true scientific analysis. Whereas, an antiquated belief like that quaint old notion of the the sun orbiting around the earth DOES fall within the rubric of science… bad science, but still. One can actually sit down with pencil and paper and prove that the sun does not behave in such a fashion, and feel pleased with him/herself upon completion.

    But if you claim that Jupiter rotates because it’s being spun by pixies… well, it makes no sense, but it’s less easy to disprove. A question of faith in the powers of pixiedom, perhaps. And that’s where ID deserves to be filed.

    Although I have to admit that the pixie hypothesis does have a certain allure…

  49. 49
    CaseyL says:

    I was using what I take to be the primary meaning of the term: for purposes of illicit profit.

    That’s what I meant about term-of-art: whether there’s some legal definition of venality that applies specifically to perjury. You seemed to be be saying that, without a venal motive, a jury won’t convict for perjury. That mystified me, since I thought perjury was about lying under oath, and why wouldn’t a jury convict if the charge can be proven? What’s illicit profit got to do with it?

    The Dover eight wouldn’t ever be able to do the same thing again—which is what I want to see.

    Agreed! But IDers could probably scare up some new crop of idiots. I’m thinking of the school board in Kansas, where voters pitched out one group of IDers only to have another set get in on the next election.

    Either one, perjury or official misconduct, would make me happy. Let other jurisdictions and school districts know the same thing could happen to them. (I saw a news report that other school districts are taking note of the decision, and bracing for possible lawsuits.)

  50. 50
    demimondian says:

    You seemed to be be saying that, without a venal motive, a jury won’t convict for perjury. That mystified me, since I thought perjury was about lying under oath, and why wouldn’t a jury convict if the charge can be proven? What’s illicit profit got to do with it?

    No, I’m just talking about how juries behave. Jurors tend to take a very lenient view of people lying under oath, particularly if it involves a matter of principle. If the Dover eight did it for money, though…juries pound that kind of defendant into the ground.

  51. 51
    nyrev says:

    The “Thinking About Science” class would be perfectly acceptable under the following conditions.

    I.The name is changed to something less deceptive. I suggest “Thinking About the Origins of Life” or something similar.
    II. It definitely gets filed under “Philosophy.”
    III. ID is not the only alternate theory presented.
    IV. The class is elective.

    Sure, a lot of people will argue that introducing high school students to ID is a waste of class time, but a lot of things you learn in high school are a waste of time. Does anyone really get anything out of pretending that an egg is a baby or from reading Gilgamesh? (Hint: actual babies are noisier and more demanding than eggs, but far less likely to roll off a table. Also, it’s illegal to stick a baby in the refrigerator over the weekend.)

  52. 52
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Does anyone really get anything out of pretending that an egg is a baby or from reading Gilgamesh?

    I really like the Epic of Gilgamesh, so I guess I got something out of it.

  53. 53

    nyrev,
    There is no reason to limit such a course to discussion of the origin of life. There are lots of other topics one could cover such as the ethics of cloning or philosophical interpretations of modern physics.

    Baron Elmo,
    I agree that ID is not science. It is “thinking about science” though since they are basically attempting to formulate a metaphysics to counter the metaphysical naturalism pushed by some supporters of current evolutionary theory. That is why the debate belongs in a philosophy class. It is a fight over metaphysics, not science.

  54. 54
    BlogReeder says:

    My area of study is in control systems, one subset of which is called Genetic Algorithms

    Lines, I thought your area of study was hating Bush. :)

  55. 55
    BlogReeder says:

    Since it doesn’t have the same features as other finite processes, it starts to more accurately model life, I believe.

    One of the problems I think in simulating evolution on a computer is that it requires the simulation to be teleological, or having a prescribed goal. From what I’ve read, Evolution doesn’t have a goal like that (except to survive). For example, birds didn’t evolve wings to fly, the ones with wings that could fly survived (or something like that). I’m interested in what you mean by more accurately? It’s not classified is it?

  56. 56
    Douglas says:

    Well, not a specifics, but filing suite against the education board for financial damages, would in affect be punishing the complaintant for a successful court action. If there are financial damages, all you end up doing is damaging dover, since dover democraticaly overroded the edicts of the school board. So what will happen is you will impoverish a rational school board, now that the irrational one has already been replaced?

    This is why lawyers are evil.

  57. 57
    DougJ says:

    Well, not a specifics, but filing suite against the education board for financial damages,

    Liberal trial lawyers file suite over nothing. Those anti-Christmas ACLU suites are particularly galling, but there have been so many frivolous left-wing suites over the years. Thanks heavens for tort reform — we need more of it.

  58. 58
    demimondian says:

    Thanks heavens for tort reform—we need more of it.

    I think you mean torte reform. I like Sachertorte with my Office suites, for instance, but it’s really too much, so we need to reduce the extra burden it puts on us.

  59. 59
    Larry says:

    Anyone else wondering why we aren’t hearing the usual braying about Activist Judges?

    Might it be because this decision was handed down by a W appointee?

  60. 60
    BIRDZILLA says:

    Need anymore reasons for home schooling and getter the kids away from this dawinism crap?

  61. 61
    VocalMinority says:

    Our constitution was put in place to protect the minority. Just like what happened with the Dover opinion. The judge got it right. I hope they do go after the lying Bast*#(s for whatever the attorney fees turn out to be. It should be a deterrant from making stupid, uninformed and costly decisions.

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