This site is actually a propaganda front for the Discovery Institute, which is a think tank promoting the Intelligent Design dogmas.
For proof of this, look here: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2007/02/warren_reports_blog_judge_jone.htmlWarren Reports Blog: Judge Jones Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It (Part I)
Last year, a post from Michael Francisco presented the “Judge Jones Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It” bumper sticker. A recent blog post at Warren Reports Blog employs so much uncritical acceptance of Judge Jones' ruling (calling it a “scathing decision” and a “hard blow”), gets so many facts wrong, and is so full of contradictions that its author, Devin James Carpenter, deserves to have the bumper sticker awarded to him. This 2-part series will respond to some of Carpenter’s statements.
The "Main Issues"
Carpenter states: “The main issues in Kitzmiller v. Dover were: the soundness of evolution and ‘intelligent design’ as science, the separation of church and state, and the philosophy of science itself.”
Actually, that’s not true. The main issues in Kitzmiller v. Dover were whether Dover’s policy was (1) enacted for a secular purpose and (2) whether it had a primary effect which was secular. If the policy failed either of those tests, then it was unconstitutional. Judge Jones could have answered these questions without addressing the soundness of evolution or ID as science or defining science. Indeed, even the leading anti-ID legal scholar Jay Wexler argues, “The part of Kitzmiller that finds ID not to be science is unnecessary, unconvincing, not particularly suited to the judicial role, and even perhaps dangerous to both science and freedom of religion.” In order to resolve the Kitzmiller case, all Judge Jones had to find was whether the Dover Area School Board had a predominantly religious purpose—none of those other issues were mandatory.
Intelligent Design and the Designer
Carpenter observes that “‘intelligent design’ advocate Michael Behe ... talked at length about ‘irreducible complexity,’” and then immediately Carpenter states that “[t]he plaintiffs noted, however, that science is only concerned with things that can be falsified and tested.” But the Kitzmiller plaintiffs conceded that irreducible complexity IS testable. The plaintiffs claimed that invoking the supernatural cannot be done because science cannot appeal to the supernatural. That’s why both the Kitzmiller plaintiffs and Carpenter, who states that ID invokes a “higher power” or “an invisible, supernatural being,” are wrong. As discussed many places (like here), the theory of intelligent design does not try to identify whether the designer is natural or supernatural. As the Pandas textbook states, “All it implies is that life had an intelligent source.” Since we have much observation-based experience with the products of intelligence, we can search for specified or irreducible complexity in the natural world, thereby testing for intelligent design--not trying to idenitf supernatural design--in natural objects.
But this wasn’t the most egregious misrepresentation of Carpenter. Carpenter states “Michael Behe said in his testimony that ‘the designer is in fact God’” and claims that this is what drives Behe’s ideas. In fact, Behe actually said:
Q. So is it accurate for people to claim or to represent that intelligent design holds that the designer was God?Clearly Behe explains that science and intelligent design cannot tell you if the designer is God. Behe’s own theological view is that the designer is God, but that is not a conclusion of intelligent design. Thus, when Behe makes the statement quoted by Carpenter, this is the context of what Behe actually says: “I think I said that at the beginning of my testimony yesterday, that I think in fact from -- from other perspectives, that the designer is in fact God.” The full context makes it clear that Behe's conclusion that the designer is God does NOT come from ID but from his own personal theological views. But Carpenter does not provide this context, leaving readers thinking that ID concludes the designer is God.
A. No, that is completely inaccurate.
Q. Well, people have asked you your opinion as to who you believe the designer is, is that correct?
A. That is right.
Q. Has science answered that question?
A. No, science has not done so.
Q. And I believe you have answered on occasion that you believe the designer is God, is that correct?
A. Yes, that's correct.
Q. Are you making a scientific claim with that answer?
A. No, I conclude that based on theological and philosophical and historical factors.
(Day 10 testimony)
Misstating the “Wedge Document”
Carpenter also misquotes the “Wedge document,” claiming that one of its goals is “replacing current scientific practice with ‘theistic and Christian science.’” That is NOT what the Wedge Document says, and it does not even contain the phrase “theistic and Christian science.” Its true meaning is explained here. If motives matter so much to Carpenter, why doesn’t he scrutinize the fact that many leading Darwinists have anti-religious motives? Or is Carpenter applying a double-standard?
ID and Conservatives
Carpenter asserts that “[m]ost conservative intellectuals seem embarrassed by intelligent design.” He quotes Charles Krauthammer, who badly misunderstands ID and whose misunderstandings of ID we’ve responded to at length (for example, see here or here). Indeed, John West recently authored Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest, where he rebuts many arguments from the leading conservatives who do oppose ID.
Who is “Steve Chapman”?
Carpenter quotes someone named “Steve Chapman, the founder of the Discovery Institute” who he claims called the Dover ruling a “disaster…as a public relations matter.” Carpenter can be forgiven, as he probably meant “Bruce Chapman,” but this make me wonder, how familiar is Carpenter with the subject of his critique? With so many people (like Carpenter) using the Dover decision to misrepresent ID and confuse the basic facts (e.g. "Steve Chapman"), perhaps Bruce Chapman was correct. But readers are invited to read the full article quoting Bruce Chapman to see the context of Chapman’s views.
Part II of this response will discuss Mr. Carpenter's philosophical and other arguments against ID.
In Part I of this series, I discussed how Michael Francisco's post last year had a bumper sticker for people who take the “Judge Jones Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It” approach to intelligent design. Devin James Carpenter, over at Warren Reports blog deserves the bumper sticker due to his many inaccurate statements about intelligent design and his thoroughgoing acceptance of Judge Jones' Kitzmiller ruling. In this second installment, I will discuss problems with some of Carpenter's arguments against intelligent design (ID).
Misrepresentations of ID
Carpenter states that ID “calls into question (on a theological basis) the ability of nature to transform simple biological beings into complex ones.” To claim that ID challenges neo-Darwinism "on a theological basis" is a flat-out misrepresentation of ID. Michael Behe provides clear empirical reasons, based upon challenges which go back to Darwin himself, as to why the mutation-selection mechanism cannot produce irreducible complexity. But to summarize some Behe's of empirical and non-theological challenges:
In The Origin of Species, Darwin stated:To dismiss Behe’s arguments by asserting they merely have “a theological basis” completely misrepresents them and dismisses them in a fashion which will leave any informed person—whether a critic or supporter of ID—fully cognizant that Carpenter has neither appreciated nor engaged the real issues.If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.A system which meets Darwin's criterion is one which exhibits irreducible complexity. By irreducible complexity I mean a single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced gradually by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, since any precursor to an irreducibly complex system is by definition nonfunctional.
Intelligent Design and Negative Arguments
Carpenter states: “‘intelligent design’ seems to be merely a negative theory, meaning it only criticizes evolution and doesn’t propose anything scientific of its own” and he quotes a critic saying that because ID does not explain some things, therefore it explains no things. Again, this is a blatant misrepresentation of ID. ID proposes to positively explain (among other things) that high levels of specified complexity, such as irreducible complexity, come from intelligence. This is a positive and predictive argument for intelligent design (that is further outlined here). This positive case was made explicit by Scott Minnich during the Dover trial, where he eloquently stated:
In other words, you're saying, it's an argument out of ignorance. And I don't think it is. Again, it's an argument out of our common cause and effect experience where we find these machines or information storage systems. From our experience, we know there's an intelligence behind it. (Day 21, pg. 86)Clearly there is a positive argument for design, which Carpenter completely ignores.
Who is Promoting “Bad Philosophy”?
Carpenter accuses ID-proponents of employing “bad philosophy,” but I will let you, the reader, judge Carpenter’s philosophy for yourself. Carpenter states:
[T]here are many other examples that would lead the viewer to believe that humans and animals are not designed by a sentient being but by nature. For example, “some cave animals, descended from sighted ancestors that invaded caves, have rudimentary eyes that cannot see; the eyes degenerated after they were no longer needed.”Since Carpenter concedes that the “cave animals” are descended from organisms with functional eyes, the obvious answer from ID-perspective would be that the eyes were designed, and subsequently lost function through precisely the same explanation he gives ("degeneration"). In our experienced, designed structures often undergo degeneration after they were initially designed. For example, if you take a functional television and put it on top of a mountain and then return after 30 years, my guess is that it will no longer function. Since natural processes destroyed its function, does that mean that it was not originally designed? Of course not.
ID does not deny that natural selection is a real force at work in nature, even acting upon organisms which were designed. In fact, ID-proponents are often amused that the best examples Darwinists give of natural selection typically entail loss of function, not the generation of a novel feature. ID is concerned with how new biological functions originate, not with how they can be lost due to misuse.
Carpenter also asks, “what about the human appendix? An appendix is ‘certainly not the product of intelligent design,’” and then he quotes Jerry Coyne, who assumes that the appendix is functionless and simply causes disease. Carpenter is promoting a Darwinist urban legend. As a physiology professor Scientific American states at Scientific American: “For years, the appendix was credited with very little physiological function. We now know, however, that the appendix serves an important role in the fetus and in young adults. … Among adult humans, the appendix is now thought to be involved primarily in immune functions.” So Carpenter is wrong to imply that the appendix is a useless organ that only causes pain and suffering.
But what about pain and suffering? Is design refuted if the structure can sometimes cause pain? Carpenter then quotes Neil deGrasse Tyson discussing diseases and natural events which kill organisms and species, claiming this is “counterintuitive to a design theory.” But ID does not try to analyze the moral purposes of the designer. Indeed, whether we like it or not, guns and atomic bombs are all designed—designed to kill. On what basis does Carpenter claim that something which causes pain or death cannot be designed?
In fact, most of Carpenter's arguments here are simply theological objections to design, based upon the “problem of evil.” Since he raises theological objections it should be noted that many religions have had theological answers to the “problem of evil” for millennia. But ID does not concern itself with such theological questions, and thus Carpenter’s objections are moot.
This whole discussion from Carpenter is intriguing, because he previously attacked ID as something that cannot be "falsified and tested" (see part I). Yet now he claims that the presence of disease and death is “counterintuitive to a design theory.” If Carpenter wants to claim that ID is both unfalsifiable and false, and cite the fact that “cave animals” can lose their sight or that organisms get sick and die as evidence that ID wrong, then I will let readers judge for themselves who is promoting “bad philosophy.”
When A Court Hands you Lemons...
Carpenter’s makes one final blunder I’ll discuss, regarding Judge Jones application of the Lemon test. The Lemon test is a three-part legal test used to determine if a law violates the First Amendment's prohibition on establishing religion. Carpenter writes: “Judge Jones made the right decision, concluding that ‘intelligent design’ is based on religion rather than science, and…that intelligent design is an updated version of ‘creation science’ which is unconstitutional given that it violates all three facets of the ‘Lemon’ test.”
There are at least 2 major problems with this statement: First, Carpenter claims that the law violated "all three facets" of the Lemon test. The third "facet" of the Lemon test prohibits "excessive entanglement" between government and religion. But as Judge Jones said in a footnote: “Plaintiffs are not claiming excessive entanglement. Accordingly, Plaintiffs argue that the ID Policy is violative of the first two prongs of the Lemon test, the purpose and effect prongs.” Thus Judge Jones did not even assess the third prong of the Lemon test.
Second, ID is not based upon religion, but upon an empirical argument which looks at the types of information produced by intelligent agents and then seeks to test for that information in natural objects. When tests reveal such information is detected, design is inferred. It’s a simple empirically based argument with no theological basis whatsoever.
The moral of this story is: Just because a judge and a bunch of his internet supporters say something, doesn't mean it is true.
Well, if you have to mistitle your website to get curious people to notice your propaganda, how honest are YOU being, ID promoters?!
Let's get one thing straight about the human appendix: It DOES contain a lot of lymphatic tissue that has an immune function. BUT SO DOES EVERY ABDOMINAL ORGAN! Since the appendix is many times larger (relative to body size) in many herbivorious mammals than in humans and other higher primates, and it clearly has a digestive function in the herbivores which it does not have in the primates, it is indeed a vestigial organ for us. The lymphatic tissue associated with the appendix is exactly what you'd expect to develop via natural selection in an otherwise useless organ that is prone to infection. To claim, as Creationists do, that "the human appendix is now known to have an immune function", is a gross distortion of the truth.
Instead, the DI immediately tried to “swift-boat” the judge.
Before the electrons on the pdf of the judge’s decision were even cool, the DI released the following salvo:
The Dover decision is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to prevent criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate, and it won't work," said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, the nation's leading think tank researching the scientific theory known as intelligent design.In the DI’s lexicon, “activist” means someone who says or does things you don’t like: the ACLU, the NCSE, Americans United, and … oh. A Republican judge from central Pennsylvania.
Of course, the DI folks aren’t activists. They just sit in their think-tank, performing first-class research for the best scientific journals, waiting for the awards and accolades from the scientific and educational communities to come in. (So far, they’re still waiting for the awards, and we’re still waiting for the research.) Apparently it’s not “activist” for the Discovery Institute to send their own “Icons of Evolution” video to the Dover Area School Board (a video that DASB member William Buckingham apparently bullied teachers to watch – twice – and was clearly an inspiration to Buckingham in his various efforts to squelch the teaching of evolution in Dover. Apparently it’s not “activist” to send DI staff to Dover to counsel the school board on how to promote ID in science classes.
Now, wait. The DI staunchly maintains that it never said that ID should be taught as science. But it should be mentioned in science classrooms, apparently, as a stealth “alternative” to evolution. This is the sneaky approach. Don’t bother to establish ID as science in the scientific community; don’t bother to tell anyone you’re teaching a sectarian religious view; just slide it in on the QT. ID really is, as one observer noted, “the faith that dare not speak its name.” That’s now a finding of fact in Federal Court.
To Teach ID, or Not to Teach ID?
On the other hand, there is often a difference between what the DI does and what it says it does. Take, for instance, this passage from Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curricula: A Legal Guidebook, by DI associates David K. DeWolf and Mark E. DeForrest, and the Director of the DI’s Center for Science and Culture, Stephen C. Meyer: “school boards have the authority to permit, and even encourage, teaching about design theory as an alternative to Darwinian evolution -- and this includes the use of textbooks such as Of Pandas and People that present evidence for the theory of intelligent design.”
Hard to see where you’d fit that in, except in a science class.
It is also worth looking at what the Discovery Institute was telling its donors in 1999, based on the now-infamous “Wedge Strategy” document.
Once our research and writing have had time to mature, and the public prepared for the reception of design theory, we will move toward direct confrontation with the advocates of materialist science through challenge conferences in significant academic settings. We will also pursue possible legal assistance in response to resistance to the integration of design theory into public school science curricula.
And yet, when this event finally occurred -– in Dover, Pennsylvania, in 2004, exactly five years after the 1999 Wedge Strategy –- the Discovery Institute claimed that they did not support putting ID into science curricula, and furthermore they had never suggested such a thing.
Although the DI uses the same public relations firm as the “Swift Boat Veterans” did, they picked the wrong guy to keelhaul. Judge John E. Jones III is a churchgoer, a lifelong Republican, appointed to his Federal position by President George W. Bush. As a New York Times piece recently noted:
His supporters include Senators Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and his mentor is Tom Ridge, the former governor of Pennsylvania and homeland security secretary.Arlen Specter, Tom Ridge, and Rick Santorum. Not exactly your typical liberal coalition. Wait a minute! Isn’t Santorum the one who tried to introduce Intelligent Design into the “No Child Left Behind” Act? Doesn’t the DI pull his strings when it comes to pronouncements on science and education? These are heavy hitters, well connected to the current Administration. From the outset, an impartial observer might have expected that Judge Jones would be predisposed toward the Bush-endorsed concept if ID. Let’s see what else the Times found out.
But Judge Jones is praised by people on both sides of the aisle as a man of integrity and intellect who takes seriously his charge to be above partisanship. He appears to define himself less by his party affiliation than by his connection to the Pennsylvania coal town where he still lives, and to a family that grabbed education as a rope to climb out of the anthracite mines, and never let go. Clifford A. Rieders, a lawyer in Williamsport who is past president of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, said he had found Judge Jones to be "moderate, thoughtful" and "universally well regarded."
"I think that his connections are not so politicized, nor is he so ambitious that he would be influenced in any way by those kinds of considerations," said Mr. Rieders, a Democrat.
Mr. Ridge called him a "renaissance man" and "the right kind of person to be presiding over a trial of such emotional and historic importance." He added, "I don't think he goes in with a point of view based on anything prior. I really don't. I think he loves the challenge."
And all this testimony came in before the decision was rendered.
The DI’s Dr. West went on to say of the Judge, “He has conflated Discovery Institute’s position with that of the Dover school board, and he totally misrepresents intelligent design and the motivations of the scientists who research it.” Not so. The DI was not on trial here; the Judge was merely repeating statements of the defense’s own witnesses, including Drs. Behe and Minnich, who are fellows of the DI. They acknowledged under oath that ID cannot qualify as science unless the definition of science is completely changed to admit the supernatural. Behe acknowledged that under his definition, astrology would equally qualify as science. They admitted that ID is more plausible to those that believe in God – a rather peculiar feature of an allegedly scientific theory. They insisted that the “Designer” does not have to be supernatural, but were unable to come up with any credible account or hypothesis of what such a “natural Designer” would be, or how to test for its existence.
And this is after over a decade of research by the self-described “nation's leading think tank researching the scientific theory known as intelligent design.”
Not a single peer reviewed paper proposes any concrete test or advances any solid testable evidence regarding a Designer. Every major scientific organization in the nation has come out against ID, saying that it has no business masquerading as science. This week, Science magazine, the premier journal of American science, named Evolution as the Scientific Breakthrough of 2005, and specifically lambasted ID as non-scientific. Dr. Donald Kennedy, editor of Science, said in an interview with Reuters,
I think what arouses the ire of scientists (about intelligent design) is ... the notion that it belongs in the same universe as scientific analysis. -- It's a hypothesis that's not testable, and one of the important recognition factors for science and scientific ideas is the notion of testability, that you can go out and do an experiment and learn from it and change your idea. That's just not possible with a notion that's as much a belief in spirituality as intelligent design is.For over a decade, the DI has claimed that their notion of ID deserves pride of place alongside conventional evolutionary theory. But they have refused to publish the peer-reviewed papers, to present their “research” at scientific conferences, to be held accountable in the scientific community on any terms whatsoever. This week they were held accountable in federal court. The results weren’t pretty for ID supporters. It’s hard to find a single sentence in the Judge’s 139-page decision that offers succor to the DI crowd. It’s even harder to find a place where his judgment erred with respect to the facts. Unless, of course, the defense’s scientific experts were not representing ID accurately.
Throughout the trial, Judge Jones let the attorneys on both sides draw out the testimony they wanted from their witnesses. He seldom intervened in the questioning, and did not sustain objections from either side unless they were rooted in correct procedural law. He frequently said, “well, this is a bench trial, so I’ll allow it” to let both sides present the fullest possible explication of their views. Both sides had the chance to put everything on the table. They chose their own witnesses; none were peremptorily excluded (though the defense fought ferociously to keep Barbara Forrest off the witness stand, knowing the damage she would do by revealing the religious origins of ID).
Witnesses for both sides had to speak under oath about their side of the case. The judge did not impugn the testimony of any expert witness, although he did have some choice words for the prevarications of some former members of the Dover School Board.
The DI cannot claim that ID didn’t have a fair opportunity to be represented on an equal footing with science in a public arena. It had its fair chance, but for mysterious reasons, most of the DI’s “expert witnesses” were withdrawn. Apparently there are too few ID supporters with expertise in the appropriate areas, because no one was offered by the defense to replace the no-shows.
Judge Jones was clearly as unimpressed as the scientific community is by the representations of the Discovery Institute’s witnesses for the defense. Michael Behe’s remonstrations about the scientific validity of ID were characterized as “mere assertions,” with no empirical evidence. The plaintiffs showed that Behe, who was on the stand for three days, was unaware of published, peer-reviewed evidence that demolished his favorite “irreducibly complex” notions such as the bacterial flagellum and the blood clotting proteins. In fact, presented with a mountain of published work to the contrary, he merely sniffed that it was inadequate, though there was no evidence that he had even read it. The plaintiffs’ testimony about macroevolution, exaptation, natural selection, the fossil record, classification, and homology went completely unrebutted. Moreover, the Judge added (opinion, page 84), “the Court has been presented with no evidence” that either Defendants’ testifying experts or any other ID proponents have any expertise in these areas. Which we knew all along.
Based on all of this, Judge Jones ruled bluntly and clearly that ID is not science. ID proponents’ most common complaint is that Jones dared to rule on this larger scientific issue, rather than restricting himself to the religious purposes of the school board. They claim that it is not a judge’s role to interpret science. But judges make these kinds of decisions every day, when presented with expert testimony to work from. They do it every time they have to decide a case involving criminal forensics, medical malpractice, DNA fingerprinting or paternity tests, product liability, environmental issues, or a host of other issues that arise in a modern technological society. When the scientific evidence and the consensus of the scientific community are as clear as they were in this case, why should the judge refrain from ruling on the scientific status of ID?
In fact, Judge Jones really had no choice but to rule on whether or not ID was science. The plaintiffs asked him to rule on exactly this, and so did the defense. The Thomas More Legal Center’s chief counsel for the defense, Richard Thompson, acknowledged that like the attorneys for the plaintiffs, the defense had asked the judge to rule on the question of whether ID was science. They staked their whole case on the notion that ID was legitimate science, and that therefore teaching it had a legitimate secular purpose and secular effect, and this outweighed any religious goals that individual board members might have had. ID advocates can’t complain now, after the fact, that the judge exceeded his charge. He did exactly what both sides asked him to do. If the ID supporters didn’t take that brief more seriously, they should have.
The Party’s Over for the Discovery Institute
So where does Judge Jones’s decision leave ID? Rejected by the scientific community, rejected by organizations of science educators, and now rejected in Federal Court. What does the DI’s William Dembski say about that?
"I think the big lesson is, let's go to work and really develop this theory and not try to win this in the court of public opinion," Dembski said in a New York Times interview. "The burden is on us to produce."
Indeed. That’s what the scientists have been saying all along. And in the same Times article, Richard Thompson appeared to agree. "A thousand opinions by a court that a particular scientific theory is invalid will not make that scientific theory invalid. -- It is going to be up to the scientists who are going to continue to do research in their labs that will ultimately determine that."
He’s right. And one of these days, there may even be some research that convinces the scientific community that ID is testable and not purely religious. Until then, it cannot claim status as a scientific theory, and it does not belong in the science classroom – as Judge Jones and the scientific community both recognized.
The fact is, the Discovery Institute took a terrible beating in this trial. “Intelligent Design,” their main industry, which they have peddled relentlessly for over a decade as the Next Great Idea in science, was revealed as religion, not science at all. The DI’s “wedge strategy” was exposed and established as a crypto-fundamentalist Christian ideology of politics and social change. Their alleged “experts” withdrew, leaving the defense in confusion. Their amicus briefs were ignored by the Judge, and their attempt to append the “expert witness report” of Stephen Meyer, who had canceled his testimony, was angrily rebuffed. And after the trial, the DI’s Washington office head, Mark Ryland, publicly squabbled with the TMLC’s Richard Thompson, who claimed that the DI had promised support and then cut and run.
It’s over for the Discovery Institute. Turn out the lights. The fat lady has sung. The emperor of ID has no clothes. The bluff is over. Oh sure, they’ll continue to pump out the blather. They’ll find more funding, at least for a while, from some committed ideologue or another. But no one with any objectivity will take them seriously any longer as scientists. They had their fair chance, and they blew it.
And in the end, they couldn’t have done anything else. Because there is no science to ID; it’s just polemics. And now that’s been settled in Federal Court.
And, of course, one may see the results of such dishonesty about Intelligent Design (ID) at the beginning of this thread. The writing is on the wall:ID is a pack of lies and it must be discredited, period!
I made a blog off Care2 to spread the word about the fake evolution site:
Another blogger has already noticed it and posted his own comments about the matter:
For a long time, it has been regarded by many that proponents of Intelligent Design are at best ignorant and at worst actively seeking to deceive the general public. The inability of such folk to understand the requirements for something to be a recognised scientific theory, the reliance on arguments that have been critically demolished and even massive defeats in courts of law. One of the main websites seeking to promote Intelligent Design seems to have been caught out performing an act of dishonesty by another blogger; one ‘Dale Husband’ in his post ‘A fake evolution site’.
At a casual glance, ‘Evolution News and Views‘ is set up in an attempt to be an unbiased site reporting on events regarding the Scientific Field of Evolution Study. However, it the charade soon becomes undone to anyone who takes a decent look at it.
For starters, the Discovery Institute is well known for gross misrepresentation of data and facts for some time now and therefore the inclusion of their name in the header images does nothing to encourage feelings of credibility. The site also boasts an advertisement for a book by Michael Behe - a proponent of Intelligent Design whose own credibility is shockingly low, stemming from the his own statements where he claimed knowledge but had not actually read much material, his holding on to claims of ‘irreducable complexity’ when not one example has yet to be found and so on. In short, the Dover trial at which his arguments and theories were more or less obliterated also did the same to any credibility he may have previously had.
But the real killer is when you look at the type of articles being produced at the Evolution News and Views website itself. All such stories clearly possess varying degrees of bias, to the point of the rediculous. Dale Husband covers this area quite nicely in his blog already, no point repeating the same points here.
In short; the site, Discovery Institute and whoever made that laughably biased website are either ignorant, liars or deceivers depending solely on your perspective.
Have I opened up a hornets' nest, or what?!
I sent a message to the National Center for Science Education about this matter. This was their reply:
Dear Mr. Husband,
Thanks for your e-mail. It hadn't escaped our attention that "Evolution News and Views" is run by the Discovery Institute, but I'm glad to see that you're spreading the word. You might like to drop by The Panda's Thumb and ScienceBlogs, both of which sporadically have posts debunking various EN&V claims:
At 05:07 PM 8/7/2007, you wrote:
Here is a discovery I made (pun intended) that may be of great interest to you.
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools
Eugenie C. Scott's Evolution vs. Creationism
NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today!
While I am not too knowledgeable about Evolution, at least I should be able to give an alternative view that shows how it's quite mental to use Jewish theological ideas to debunk Evolution.
I meet so many people in the same faiths but on so many differnet paths. I quess some view Bibles and Sacred Texts as Art. 1000 people can view the same piece but all see and feel something different.
Love & Light
Their tactics indicate that they have nothing left but desperation, deception, and name-calling. It's a good thing.
Here's another stupid example of that!