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[link is line-wrapped]
New Telescope Opens Its Eyes
by Tracy Staedter
(Scientific American, 10/27/05)
After 20 years of planning, developing and constructing, astronomers
at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have finally released the
first image captured by the new Large Binocular Telescope, an
instrument with a light-gathering power 24 times greater than the
Hubble Space Telescope. The so-called LBT, an American-German-
Italian joint venture stationed on the 3,190-meter-high Mt. Graham
in Arizona, will be able to image planets circling distant stars and
is poised to help answer fundamental questions about the universe,
including how galaxies, stars and planets evolved from the big bang.
"The LBT will open completely new possibilities in researching
planets outside the solar system and the investigation of the
farthest--and thus youngest--galaxies," says Thomas Henning of the
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy. To date, a handful of impressive
ground-based telescopes have provided astronomers with important
insights about the universe. For example, they have learned that
stars form in dense cloudlike features within galaxies. But
observing the intricacies of star birth is difficult with these
telescopes because the radiating energy of low-mass stars and brown
dwarfs is not bright enough to be visible and interstellar dust can
obscure views. The Hubble Space Telescope has helped overcome some
of these problems, but this kind of instrument is expensive to
build, launch and maintain.
Now a combination of advanced optics, instrumentation and high-power
computers is making it possible for ground-based telescopes,
particularly those situated on high mountaintops, to see deeper into
space than ever before at a fraction of the cost. The LBT can
resolve faint objects because it has two large mirrors--each 8.4
meters in diameter--that focus like field glasses for viewing. By
combining the two views, the instrument is able to collect as much
light as a single telescope with an 11.8-meter mirror. By
comparison, the Hubble Space Telescope's mirror is 2.4 meters in
But the LBT doesn't rely only on its mirrors. It uses optics
designed to adapt to observing conditions and it works with a
combination of specialized instruments that can do such things as
gather infrared images, detect the composition of the surface of
stars, compensate for the blurring caused by turbulence in Earth's
atmosphere, and boost image sharpness to a quality far better than
that of Hubble.
For the "first light" image, astronomers used just one of LBT's
mirrors to capture a spiral galaxy in the constellation Andromeda.
In the future, they will use both mirrors to conduct a number of
studies, including observing the Jupiterlike planets known to be
revolving around our nearest neighboring stars.
[link is line-wrapped]
This is one of those examples from physics and geology that
demonstrates that young earth creationism is wrong. Unfortunately,
this article is not freely available. You can purchase it online, or
at the moment you can purchase the current issue of the hardcopy
magazine that is in the stores right now. — Todd Greene
The Workings of an Ancient Nuclear Reactor
(Scientific American, Nov. 2005 issue)
Two billion years ago parts of an African uranium deposit
spontaneously underwent nuclear fission. The details of this
remarkable phenomenon are just now becoming clear
By Alex P. Meshik
In May 1972 a worker at a nuclear fuel-processing plant in France
noticed something suspicious. He had been conducting a routine
analysis of uranium derived from a seemingly ordinary source of ore.
As is the case with all natural uranium, the material under study
contained three isotopes--that is to say, three forms with differing
atomic masses: uranium 238, the most abundant variety; uranium 234,
the rarest; and uranium 235, the isotope that is coveted because it
can sustain a nuclear chain reaction. Elsewhere in the earth's
crust, on the moon and even in meteorites, uranium 235 atoms make up
0.720 percent of the total. But in these samples, which came from
the Oklo deposit in Gabon (a former French colony in west equatorial
Africa), uranium 235 constituted just 0.717 percent. That tiny
discrepancy was enough to alert French scientists that something
strange had happened. Further analyses showed that ore from at least
one part of the mine was far short on uranium 235: some 200
kilograms appeared to be missing--enough to make half a dozen or so
For weeks, specialists at the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)
remained perplexed. The answer came only when someone recalled a
prediction published 19 years earlier. In 1953 George W. Wetherill
of the University of California at Los Angeles and Mark G. Inghram
of the University of Chicago pointed out that some uranium deposits
might have once operated as natural versions of the nuclear fission
reactors that were then becoming popular. Shortly thereafter, Paul
K. Kuroda, a chemist from the University of Arkansas, calculated
what it would take for a uranium-ore body spontaneously to undergo
self-sustained fission. In this process, a stray neutron causes a
uranium 235 nucleus to split, which gives off more neutrons, causing
others of these atoms to break apart in a nuclear chain reaction....
In Dover suit, a day to sweat
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
HARRISBURG — On the witness stand during Monday's session of the Dover
Panda Trial, Dover Area School Board member Alan Bonsell accused the
press of just making things up.
Keeping that in mind, here's a description of what happened Monday
Wearing a nice gray suit, Bonsell answered every question to the best of
his ability and was positively forthcoming and when the lawyers pointed
out certain inconsistencies in his testimony, he thanked them profusely
and offered expansive explanations for why he may have been
misunderstood and cleared up any misunderstandings that may have arisen.
OK, all of that was made up.
Except for the part about Bonsell wearing a gray suit.
Actually, at the conclusion of his testimony, he was in serious danger
of ruining that suit.
That was when the judge started asking him to try to explain — um, how
should I phrase this? — certain gaps and problems with his testimony.
It was remarkable. Judge John E. Jones III asked for a copy of Bonsell's
deposition and started asking him questions about why he felt the need
to cover up where the money came from to buy the 60 copies of "Of Pandas
and People" that wound up in the Dover high school library.
Bonsell didn't explain very well.
At one point, he replied to the judge's query with, "I misspoke."
"I misspoke" wasn't working. So he tried to layer on some verbiage —
at one point, seemingly, speaking random words that had nothing to do
with what the judge was asking — to give the impression that he was
merely trying to answer the question.
When, in fact, he was merely trying to avoid answering the question.
The more he talked, the worse it got.
By the conclusion, it was clear to everyone in the courtroom that the
judge was pointing out that Bonsell might have lied under oath.
That's a problem.
Ask Scooter Libby.
Or Bill Clinton.
Bonsell wasn't being asked about who outed a CIA agent or whether he had
had sex with that woman. He wasn't even being asked about a crime —
the judge was asking about who bought the copies of "Of Pandas and
People" that were donated to the school.
And Bonsell really didn't want to say.
In fairness, Bonsell wasn't very believable even before the judge
started laying into him. He said, "I have never brought anything forward
to put creationism in the school district in any shape or form" —
despite notes from board retreats and other testimony describing him
bringing up creationism.
I was expecting him to say, "I did not have sex with that panda."
And so the Dover Panda Trial took an interesting turn. Certainly, the
big issues — mostly notably, separation of church and state —
remain. But now, members of the Dover Area School Board may have to
worry about those aforementioned gaps and problems in their testimony.
Of course, the defendants are going to turn this around and blame those
darned liberal activist judges. It doesn't work. For one thing, Jones
was appointed to the federal bench by George W. Bush, not known for
appointing liberals. And, you know, insisting that witnesses tell the
truth in court isn't exclusively a liberal proposition.
On the one hand, school board members can use this to defend against the
charge that they were motivated by religious belief in introducing
intelligent design or creationism into the biology curriculum. If they
were motivated by religion, how come none of them ever heard of the
Ninth Commandment — you know, the one about bearing false witness?
On the other hand, it's really a sad day for America when public
officials can no longer lie convincingly enough to get it past a federal
I blame the public schools. I mean, just look at some of the bozos in
charge of them.
As previously pointed out, the Dover experience is providing a pretty
good example of why it is no "David" can be found to take up the
discussion with Todd regarding the evidence of age issue in a formal, in
writing, for the record context, with purpose and consequence.
Time will tell, but things just don't seem to be going so well for the
Dover School Board, without regard to whether or not they prevail in the
Following are excerpts from another story regarding the financial risks
to the Dover citizens and the consequences of the school board choice of
No claim is made for the accuracy of the story; I'm just reporting it as
is being reported.
IN COURT MONDAY
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
About the trial
Because the Dover Area school board chose to be represented by the
Thomas More Law Center, the school district is not covered by liability
insurance in its First Amendment court battle over intelligent design.
The district had liability coverage of up to $100,000, Supt. Richard
Nilsen said Monday.
But because school board members chose to use a law firm other than the
one required by the district's insurance carrier, they forfeited the
coverage, he said.
Still, the $100,000 might end up being just a drop in the bucket for
Should Judge John E. Jones III rule in favor of the plaintiffs, their
attorneys have said they will request the reimbursement of legal
Plaintiffs' attorney Witold Walczak said the legal bill has grown now to
more than $1 million.
Thomas More is representing the district for free.
If correct, and the school board loses, that free representation could
become very expensive.
Can't you just see another lawsuit from the Dover citizens against the
school board and the Thomas More firm in an effort to recover the real
cost of the litigation the citizens of Dover may be forced to pay?
[go to link for full article]
Two New Moons Discovered Orbiting Pluto
by Irene Mona Klotz
(Discovery News, 11/1/05)
Scientists have discovered two new moons circling Pluto, an ice-
shrouded chunk of rock that will soon lose its status as the only
unexplored planet in the solar system. A NASA spacecraft called New
Horizons is being prepared for launch to Pluto in January.
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope first detected the new
Pluto moons on May 15, then verified the findings three days later.
The objects are about 44,000 kilometers (27,000 miles) from Pluto.
That's two to three times farther away from the planet than Pluto's
prime moon Charon, which was discovered in 1978.
The new moons, which have been designated S/2005 P1 and S/2005 P2,
are somewhere between 45 and 160 kilometers (30 to 100 miles) in
diameter, but there is not enough information to determine their
exact size, according to Hal Weaver, with the Johns Hopkins
University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., a co-leader of
the discovery team.
Sender: John_Pivovarnick@... From:
Kitzmiller_Update@... Date: Wed, Nov 2, 2005
Subject: Closing Arguments
Closing Arguments will be heard Friday,
November 4, 2005. Check the web site for the latest information.
It appears that King Davis is intent on further demonstrating his error
and tendency to be dishonest with the record regarding our efforts to
get him to openly, honestly discuss his hobby and/or find some "David"
to come forward for a formal, in writing, for the record discussion of
the evidence of age issue with Todd S. Greene.
His latest post to the CFTF list is the demonstration as indicated below
> I (King Davis) agree with you
> (Jason Fox) as I have presented
> many facts to Todd and he just
> tries to discredit me and the facts
> even tho they did not come from
> me at all.
> That's the reason I stopped trying
> to answer him or Baty.
> Both twist the evidence to fit their
> needs, no logic. Yes, classical
> example of an evolutionist.
I propose that the claims by King are simply false and a "classical
example of" young-earth, creation-science promoters lack of character.
His stated reason for not answering Todd or me is not as he claims.
Further we are not twisting the evidence to fit with our needs.
As to logic, King Davis knows the logic of my "Goliath of GRAS" and
Todd's simple propositions regarding the evidence of age. All King
Davis or his "David" has to do is rebut the evidence of age and so
change the course of history.
It is King Davis who is in hiding with Dr. Fox and others in that corner
wherein they boldly claim:
> "Don't both me (King Davis) with
> the evidence!
> I've got my interpretation of the
> text about the real world and
> no amount of real world evidence
> is going to change that.
> My real world position, as far as
> I am concerned, cannot be
> falsified with reference to any
> real world evidence.
> My interpretation of the text
> regarding the real world
> 'trumps' any real world
> evidence to the contrary.
> I (King Davis) am the one that
> twists the evidence to fit my
> religious position based on the
> text, and when that doesn't
> work I simply ignore the
> evidence because the real
> world evidence really doesn't
> matter to me.
> I've got my interpretation of
> the text and nothing in the
> real world is going to change
> my interpretation.
Of course, when King Davis tries to promote some evidence which he now
claims he's not really wanting to defend or be honest and responsible
about, he does discredit himself by refusing to follow the evidence and
deal with it openly and honestly.
Now, if King Davis and his kind would just admit what is indicated above
regarding their real position:
> "I, King Davis, know that the
> young-earth, creation-science
> position cannot be sustained
> based on the real world
> I, King Davis, simply reject
> any real world evidence
> contrary to my interpretation
> of the text.
> I, King Davis, do not believe
> there is any logical, scientific
> argument that will falsify my
> interpretation of the text.
> It is I, King Davis, that
> reject the real world
> evidence contrary to my
> interpretation of the text."
If only King Davis and his kind would be so honest to admit the above
whenever they promote their hobby, they wouldn't be forced into making
false claims about their opposition (i.e., Todd and me).
Yes, King Davis does appear to demonstrate the "classic example of" what
is wrong with the promoters of his young-earth, creation-science hobby.
We are glad he's added his own chapter to the book on that, but we are
still looking for "David".
King Davis is no "David"!
King Davis can't find any "David"!
Still no "David"!
Todd's commentary on the issue:
From: (Todd S. Greene)
Date: Fri, Nov 4, 2005
[posted and emailed]
The brazen falsehoods of young earth creationists like Jason Fox and
King Davis is instructive in demonstrating an approach that is all too
common with young earth creationists.
They love to preach their phony arguments. They hate it when people
point out what is wrong with their bad arguments. When their errors are
pointed out and explained to them THEY PURPOSELY IGNORE THE ERRORS of
their arguments. Quoting from George Jackson, recall what I wrote just a
few days ago...
1. Once a person learns that an idea is false, but yet he continues to
teach it, then he is a false teacher.
2. A fool is one who denies the evidence.
By their own words they condemn themselves.
Young earth creationism is one long lesson in hypocrisy.
Let's take a look at Jason's and King's recent missives...
Re: YECs on writing
> Todd is a rather close minded individual.
So says Jason, who IGNORES THE INFORMATION THAT HAS BEEN EXPLICITLY
PRESENTED TO HIM that shows that his arguments are wrong. THE RECORD
SHOWS that Jason is the man with his head buried in the dirt. Bear in
mind that a few months ago Jason also demonstrated his closed-
minded manner, just as he is demonstrating it now. He pretended that
there was no empirical evidence for the antiquity of the world - yet
when I told him to stop stating such a blatant falsehood and presented
him with several examples of the empirical evidence that
he said did not exist, JASON PURPOSELY IGNORED THE FACTS AND RAN AWAY
FROM THE DISCUSSION. Yet now we see Jason hypocritically accusing me of
being the closed-minded one.
Sometimes I really wonder what motivates an attitude of such blatant
I also wonder why their colleagues put up with such nonsense with nary a
word of criticism. I tend to think that honesty is supposed to be an
integral part of Christian morality, but frequently I observe behavior
that indicates that I'm not right about that.
By the way, to make it clear, here is the public record of the
discussion that Jason ran away from (unlike Jason, I don't just make
In this post Jason pretends (i.e., another form of deceit) that I had
not already in previous weeks of the "coCBanned" discussion list
discussed several different examples of the empirical evidence showing
the antiquity of the Earth and the Universe:
Re: What evidence?
I immediately chastized Jason for engaging in such (deceitful)
Re: YECs dancing around this question - for Jason
(June 8, 2005)
That same day I also repeated a request of Jason to substantiate an
assertion he had made previously. I wrote:
> I'm in the middle of working on
> my post to address your concern
> over your alleged lack of evidence
> for the antiquity of the world, and
> as I'm pulling up some of the
> material and information I've
> already posted to this discussion
> group over the last several weeks,
> I noticed and was reminded that
> Rick Hartzog and I both have an
> outstanding request of you. You
> had asserted that there are all
> these young earth creationist
> scientists producing all this young
> earth creation science, and both
> Rick and I asked you to substantiate
> your assertion.
> Yet after our request you went silent
> on the matter. I don't know about
> Rick, but I want you to substantiate
> your assertion. After all, you made
> the assertion, so why did you not
> back it up?
> If and when (or maybe just if!!) you
> ever get around to doing this, bear
> in mind that we are NOT merely
> asking you to produce a list of
> scientists who *merely believe* in
> the religious doctrine of young earth
> creationism. Not, that simply will not
> do. What we're asking of you is to
> produce scientists who have conducted
> genuine scientific research that is
> relevant to supporting the YEC notion
> that the world did not exist more than
> about six to ten thousand years ago.
JASON NEVER EVEN TRIED TO BACK UP HIS ASSERTION. Again, he ran away
from the request. In other words, yet again Jason demonstrated that
he thinks its perfectly okay to just make stuff up.
Then two days later (June 10, 2005) I made two posts SPECIFICALLY
FOR JASON FOX:
Evidence of Antiquity - Introduction
Evidence of Antiquity - Grand Canyon
Three days later I followed up with this post, on the same specific
Re: Evidence of Antiquity - Grand Canyon
Jason RAN AWAY FROM THE DISCUSSION and completely ignored everything
I pointed out to him. Yet here Jason is today falsely and hypocritically
accusing me of being "a rather closed minded individual."
> He [Todd] doesn't care for
> evidence and he has no
> hesitation in changing or
> twisting what one says to
> fit his own purposes.
Jason just loves to make stuff up. What have I changed? What have I
twisted? Notice that Jason doesn't say - and note that he never will
because he knows that his accusations are false.
> As you can see,
> his logic is quite twisted
Notice again how he loves to make things up. If my logic is so twisted,
then why does Jason find it impossible to even point out
where the twisting is?
> and he doesn't mind taking
> any opportunity to discredit
> a person.
People discredit themselves when they brazenly promote falsehood and
purposely ignore the errors that are pointed out to them.
> Classic example of an evolutionist.
> I don't like removing people from a
> list if I can help it, but people like
> Todd, I have no problem with
> making them disappear.
The closed-mindedness of Jason in spades!
King, a bird of the same feather as Jason, responds...
Re: YECs on writing
> Thanks Jason
> I agree with you as I have presented
> many facts to Todd and he just tries
> to discredit me and the facts even
> tho they did not come from me at all.
I did not try to discredit the "facts" that King presented, I did show
and explain what was wrong with the arguments that King presented.
King's arguments were bogus. My discussion of the errors with the
arguments King presented is all a matter of public record.
IT WAS KING WHO RAN AWAY FROM THE DISCUSSION. IT WAS KING WHO IGNORED
THE ERRORS THAT WERE POINTED OUT TO HIM.
> That's the reason I stopped trying
> to answer him or Baty. Both twist
> the evidence to fit their needs, no
King, like Jason, just loves to make stuff up.
Note that KING WILL NEVER GET AROUND to pointing out where I have
twisted evidence nor
point out an example of me making an illogical argument, BECAUSE HE
KNOWS HE CANNOT DO IT.
> Yes, classical example
> of an evolutionist....
Perhaps I *am* a classic example of an evolutionist.
I expect care to be taken with the facts. I expect argumentation to be
I have problems with people engaging in blatant deceit and PURPOSELY
IGNORING the errors that are pointed out to them.
I have problems with people lying about me being closed-minded when it
is THEY who
are PURPOSELY IGNORING the facts that are pointed out to them, and
RUNNING AWAY from what has been specifically presented to them, then
coming back weeks and months later and PRETENDING that nothing was
ever presented to them showing them the errors with their claims.
Jason and King give us classic examples of how young earth creationists
operate, and that's exactly why I'm not a young earth
creationist, because I couldn't stand to be like that.
New photos (astronomical - supernovas) have been added to our photos
page. They are most fascinating. Please give them a look.
I hope you included a photograph of the supernova that
occurred in 1987 (designated SN1987A) which proves beyond
doubt that the beginning of time occurred at least 18 years
As the great song says:
"They tell us that we lost our tails
Evolving up from little snails
I say it's all just wind in sails."
I do like the excellent photograph of the Maury statue on
the group home page. It is one of the best two-dimensional
representations I have seen. In person, the statue is much
less dramatic than the equestrian monuments on the street.
But the details in the design and the "broodiness" shown in
Cmdr. Maury's face make a lasting impression and draw the
viewer back again to try to understand the sculptor's
intention in honoring this great man.
Well, not quite. It appears that, regardless of the judge's decision,
an appeal will be filed.
Here's one of the latest:
Science News Article | Reuters.co.uk
'Intelligent design' case draws to close
By Jon Hurdle
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - One attorney accused a witness of
lying on Friday during closing arguments in the trial over whether U.S.
public schools should teach the theory of intelligent design.
U.S. District Judge John Jones said he wants to decide by year's end the
case that addresses whether a Pennsylvania school district violated the
U.S. Constitution when it introduced intelligent design -- a theory that
competes with evolution -- into science classes.
The first legal challenge to the teaching of intelligent design is being
watched in at least 30 states where Christian conservatives are planning
Attorney Eric Rothschild, arguing for 11 parents who sued the Dover,
Pennsylvania, Area School District and oppose the theory's inclusion in
the curriculum, told the court that intelligent design was creationism
He said it was introduced by Christians on the school board whose agenda
was clearly religious.
He accused former school board member William Buckingham of lying when
Buckingham testified he had mistakenly spoken in favor of creationism in
a television interview because he had never been interviewed before and
felt "like a deer in the headlights."
"That was no deer in the headlights," Rothschild said. "That deer was
wearing shades and was totally at ease."
Intelligent design holds that some aspects of nature are so complex they
must have been the work of an unnamed intelligent creator instead of the
result of natural selection, as argued by Charles Darwin in his 1859
theory of evolution.
Intelligent design foes say it is a thinly disguised form of creationism
-- the belief that God created the world as described in the Bible --
whose teaching in public schools has been outlawed by the U.S. Supreme
Court as a violation of the constitutional separation of church and
The nonjury courtroom drama over man's origins is reminiscent of the
famous Scopes Monkey trial, when lawyers squared off in a courthouse in
Dayton, Tennessee, in 1925.
'SCIENCE TAUGHT AS DOGMA'
Patrick Gillen, an attorney for the school district, called intelligent
design "the next great paradigm shift in science" and "a legitimate
He defended school board member Alan Bonsell, a leading advocate of the
policy, conceding Bonsell was a creationist but saying he was not trying
to impose his views on students.
The school board member's concern was to counteract "science taught as
dogma," Gillen said.
The Dover school district agreed to mention the theory in October 2004.
Under the policy, ninth-grade biology students must read a
four-paragraph statement saying there are gaps in Darwin's theory and
that there are other explanations of the origins of life including
The statement also advises them of a textbook available in the school
library that delves into intelligent design.
The debate is so much in the spotlight that U.S. President George W.
Bush has said he thinks intelligent design should be taught in schools
Opponents of intelligent design fear anti-evolution policies will be
adopted by school boards in many states if the Dover policy stands.
Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Council for Science
Education, which promotes teaching evolution, predicted outside the
court that there would be a flood of similar policies across the country
if the school district prevails.
Both sides are expected to appeal if they lose.
(edited slightly for posting to this list)
This has been a long and exhausting trial but it has been a privilege to
appear before you and your entire chambers. I agree with Mr. Thompson
that both parties have been given the opportunity to fully and fairly
present their cases.
On the plaintiffs' behalf, I want to summarize that case.
What am I supposed to tolerate? A small encroachment on my First
Amendment rights? Well, I'm not going to.
I think this is clear what these people have done. And it outrages me.
That is the statement of one citizen of Dover, Fred Callahan, standing
up to the Wedge that has been driven into his community and his
daughter's high school by the Dover School Board's anti-evolution,
pro-intelligent design policy.
The strategy that the Discovery Institute announced in its Wedge
promoting theistic and Christian science, and addressing cultural
conditions that it disagrees with is to denigrate evolution and promote
supernatural intelligent design as a competing theory.
This is the Discovery Institute that advised both William Buckingham and
Alan Bonsell before the board voted to change the biology curriculum.
This is the Discovery Institute that defendants'
experts Michael Behe and Scott Minnich proudly associate with, along
with Intelligent Design leaders William Dembski, Paul Nelson, Jonathan
Wells, Stephen Meyer, Nancy Pearcey and Phillip Johnson.
This groups' strategy of Christian apologetics and cultural renewal
integration of intelligent design into public school science curricula,
which is now on trial in this courtroom.
Dover is the thin edge of the Wedge.
Let's review how we got here.
Beginning with Alan Bonsell's election to the
Dover Area School Board at the end of 2001, the teaching of evolution in
biology class became a target of the board, and teaching creationism was
suggested as an alternative.
As Mr. Gillen told the Court in his opening statement, Mr. Bonsell "had
an interest in creationism. He wondered whether it could be discussed in
the classroom."1 He didn't just wonder to himself— he wondered out
loud about teaching creationism at two board retreats. He made his
opposition to the teaching of evolution known to Mr. Baksa and the
In 2004, Mr. Bonsell became the president of the board, and chose Bill
Buckingham to head the curriculum committee.
When the teachers and members of the community tried to get a new
approved, members of the board, including particularly Mr. Buckingham,
but also Mr. Bonsell, insisted in public board meetings that any new
biology book include creationism.
There is no evidence that any of the board members that eventually voted
to change the biology curriculum objected to this idea. Heather Geesey
emphatically endorsed it in her letter to the York Sunday News.
At the same meetings in June when he discussed creationism, Mr.
Buckingham also made the unforgettable statement that "2000 years ago a
man died on a cross, can't we take a stand for him now", and, after one
meeting, said to a reporter that "we are not a nation founded on Muslim
ideas or evolution, but on Christianity, and our children should be
taught as such."
Around the time of those June meetings, Buckingham received materials
guidance from the Discovery Institute, the sponsors of theistic,
Christian science. After that, Intelligent Design became the label for
the board's desire to teach creationism.
At this trial, plaintiffs have submitted overwhelming evidence that
Design is just a new name for creationism, discarding a few of
traditional creationism's tenets such as direct reference to God or the
Bible, and a specific commitment to a young earth, but maintaining
essential aspects, particularly the special creation of kinds by a
Make no mistake. The leading sponsors on the board for the change to the
biology curriculum, and administrators Nilsen and Baksa, knew that
Intelligent Design was a form of creationism when they added it to the
Both Casey Brown and Jennifer Miller testified that Assistant
Superintendent Baksa circulated this chart that describes Intelligent
Design as a form of progressive and old earth creationism to members of
the board curriculum committee.
Mrs. Harkins testified that she had this document as early as June of
The second column makes clear that Intelligent
Design, as espoused by Michael Behe and Phillip Johnson, is Progressive
or Old Earth
Mr. Baksa testified in response to questions from his lawyer that he
researched Intelligent Design and Pandas before the board adopted both
into the district's curriculum and that his research included this order
form from the Institute for Creation Research, which promotes Pandas,
describing it as a book that "contains interpretations of classic
evidences in harmony with the creation model."
Board president Bonsell and superintendent Nilsen testified that the
definition of Intelligent Design found on pages 99-100 of Pandas is a
tenet of creationism.
The District's Solicitor Stephen Russell sent this email to Richard
Nilsen advising that Thomas More refers to the "creationism issue as
intelligent design." This email was circulated to board members,
reinforcing the connection between Intelligent Design and creationism.
Board members Jeff and Casey Brown, and the science teachers also warned
the board that Pandas and Intelligent Design are creationism, or "too
close for comfort" and that there could be legal consequences for
This information equating Intelligent Design with creationism did not
deter the school board at all. It emboldened them. They rushed the
curriculum change to a vote, discarding all past practices on curriculum
adoption such as placing the item on a planning meeting agenda before
bringing it to a vote, involving the citizen's curriculum advisory
committee, or showing deference to the district's experts on the
curriculum item, the school science teachers.
The record is overwhelming that board members were discussing
the meetings in June 2004. Two separate newspaper reporters, Heidi
Bernhard-Bubb and Joe Maldonado, reported this in articles about the
meetings, which they confirmed in sworn
testimony in court. Former board members Casey and Jeff Brown, and
Callahan, and Christy and Bryan Rehm, all testified to these facts.
And finally, at the end of this trial, assistant superintendent Mike
Baksa, an agent of the defendant Dover Area School District
in this case, admitted that Bill Buckingham discussed creationism at the
June board meetings when discussing the biology curriculum.
After a year of denying that fact, forcing reporters to testify, the
truth was confirmed by defendants' own witness. And of course we saw Mr.
Buckingham talk about creationism on the tape of the Fox 43 interview,
using language almost identical to the words attributed to him by
newspaper reporters covering the June 2004 board meetings. His
explanation that he "misspoke" the word "creationism" because it was
being used in news articles, which he testified he had not read, was
We all watched that tape and I'm going to play it once more. [PLAY
That was no deer in the headlights.
That deer was wearing shades, and was totally at ease.
Testimony from many witnesses called by the plaintiffs, and the same
newspaper reports establish that Bill Buckingham made the statement
"2000 years ago a man died on a cross for us" when discussing the
biology textbook in June. After preparing together for their January
2004 depositions, four witnesses for the defense — Richard Nilsen,
Bill Buckingham, Alan Bonsell and Sheila Harkins - all testified that
Buckingham did not make that statement at that meeting, but rather only
at a different meeting in November when the Pledge of Allegiance was
discussed. But every plaintiff, teacher, reporter and dissenting board
member who testified at trial knows this is not true, and defendants'
witnesses Harkins and Baksa concede the statement could have been made
in June, as the contemporaneous news reports suggest.
What I am about to say is not easy to say, and there is no way to say it
Many of the witnesses for the defendants did not tell the truth.
They did not tell the truth at their depositions, and they have not told
the truth in this courtroom.
They are not telling the truth when they assert that only Intelligent
Design, and not creationism were discussed at the June 2004 board
They are not telling the truth when they place the "2000 years ago"
statement at the meeting discussing the pledge rather than the June 14,
2004 meeting discussing the biology textbook.
They did not tell the truth in their depositions, or for that matter to
the citizens of Dover, about how the donation of the Pandas books came
Truth is not the only victim here.
In misrepresenting what occurred in the runup
to the change to the biology curriculum, there were human casualties.
Two hard working
freelance reporters had their integrity impugned, and were dragged into
a legal case solely because the board members would not own up to what
they had said. They could have just asked Mike Baksa - he knew.
Trudy Peterman, the former principal, has not testified in this case,
but we know she was negatively evaluated for what she reported in her
April 1, 2003 memo about her conversation with Bertha Spahr, and
Superintendent Nilsen continued to question her truthfulness in this
But he never asked Mrs. Spahr what she told Dr. Peterman on the subject
of "creationism." Had he asked her he would have heard exactly what you
heard from Mrs. Spahr in this courtroom: Mr. Baksa did tell her that
Board Member Bonsell expressed his desire to have creationism taught
50/50 or equal time with evolution.
And of course you have heard from board members who were at that meeting
— Casey Brown, Jeff Brown, Barrie Callahan - that Mr. Bonsell did say
he wanted creationism taught 50/50 with evolution. In fact, Mrs.
Callahan took contemporaneous notes recording Mr. Bonsell saying just
And Dr. Nilsen also has contemporaneous notes showing that Mr. Bonsell
talked about creationism.
Confronted with Dr. Nilsen's notes, Mr. Bonsell finally admitted he
talked about creationism.
Defendants' smear of Dr, Peterman is unpersuasive and inexcusable.
There are consequences for not telling the truth.
The board members and administrators who testified untruthfully for the
defendants are entitled to no credibility - none.
In every instance where this Court is confronted with a disputed set of
facts as between the
plaintiffs' witnesses and defendants' witnesses that the Court deems to
have been untruthful, the plaintiffs' witnesses' account should be
Furthermore, this Court should infer from their false statements that
defendants are trying to conceal an improper purpose for the policy they
approved and implemented, namely
an explicitly religious purpose.
The board's behavior mimics the Intelligent Design Movement at large.
The Dover board discussed teaching "creationism," switched to the term
"intelligent design" to carry out the same objective and then pretended
they had never talked about creationism.
As we learned from Dr. Forrest's testimony, the Intelligent Design
movement used the same sleight of hand in creating the Pandas textbook.
They wrote it as a "creationist" book, and then, after the Edwards
decision outlawed teaching creationism, simply inserted the term
"intelligent design" where "creationism" had been before.
Dean Kenyon wrote the book at the same time he was advocating "creation
science" as the sole scientific alternative to the theory of evolution.
But now, like the Dover Board, the Intelligent Design movement now
pretends that it was never talking about creationism.
I want to make a very important point here. In this case, we have
abundant evidence of the religious purpose of the Dover School Board
that supports a finding that the board's policy is unconstitutional.
However, if the board had been more circumspect about its objectives, or
better at covering its tracks, it would not make the policy it passed
any less unconstitutional.
Your Honor, you have presided over a six week trial. Both parties have
had a fair opportunity to present their cases about what happened in the
Dover community and about the nature of Intelligent Design. Leading
experts from both sides of the issue have given extensive
testimony on the subject.
This trial has established that Intelligent Design is unconstitutional
because it is an inherently religious proposition, a modern form of
creationism. It is not just the product of
religious people, it does not just have religious implications, it is in
its essence religious. Its
essential religious nature does not change whether it is called
"Creation Science" or "Intelligent Design" or "Sudden Emergence Theory."
The shell game has to stop.
If there is any doubt about the religious nature of Intelligent Design,
listen to these exemplary descriptions of Intelligent Design by its
leading proponents, which are in evidence in this case:
> [Intelligent Design] means that
> we affirm that God is objectively
> real as creator, and that the
> reality of God is tangibly recorded
> in evidence accessible to science,
> particularly in biology.
> Phillip Johnson,
> "The Battle of Beginnings: Why
> Neither Side is Winning the
> Creation Evolution Debate."
> .. .in its relation to Christianity,
> intelligent design should be viewed
> as a ground clearing operation that
> gets rid of the intellectual rubbish
> that for generations has kept
> Christianity from receiving
> serious consideration.
> William Dembski, "Intelligent
> Design's Contribution to the Debate
> Over Evolution, A Reply to
> Henry Morris." P-386.
> [Intelligent design] is just the
> Logos theology of John's Gospel
> restated in the idiom of information
> William Dembski, "Signs of
> Intelligence, A Primer on the
> Discernment of Intelligent Design."
Michael Behe told this Court that Intelligent Design is not a religious
proposition but he told readers of the New York Times that the question
Intelligent Design poses is whether
"science can make room for religion."
He acknowledges that the more one believes in God, the more persuasive
Intelligent Design is.
The religious nature of Intelligent Design is also
proclaimed loudly and repeatedly in the Wedge document.
The other indisputable fact that marks Intelligent Design as a religious
that can not be taught in public schools is that it argues that a
supernatural actor designed and
created biological life.
"Supernatural creation" is the religious proposition that the Supreme
Court said in Edwards can not be taught in public schools.
And it's obvious why this has to be the case - when we talk about an
actor outside nature with the skill set to design and create biological
life we are talking about God. The experts that testified at this trial
admit that in their view, the Intelligent Designer is God.
The Discovery Institute's Wedge Document's first paragraph bemoans the
fact that the proposition that "human beings are created in the image of
God" has been undermined by the theory of evolution. Professor Behe
admitted that his argument for Intelligent Design was the same as
William Paley's, which is a classic argument for the existence of God.
Who else could it be?
Michael Behe suggests candidates like aliens, or time travelers with a
wink and nod, not seriously.
Intelligent Design hides behind an official positionthat it does not
name the designer, but as Dr. Minnich acknowledged this morning all of
its advocates believe that the Designer is God.
Intelligent Design could not come closer to naming the designer if it
was spotted the letters "G" and "O".
The case for Intelligent Design as a religious proposition is
overwhelming; the case for it as a scientific proposition, by contrast,
It has been unanimously rejected by the National Academy of Science, the
American Association for Advancement of Science, and every other major
scientific and science education organization that has considered
the issue, including, we learned this morning, the American Society of
The fact that it invokes the supernatural is, by itself, disqualifying.
As William Dembski stated in "What Every Theologian Should Know About
Creationism, Evolution and Design," unless the ground rules of science
are changed to allow the supernatural, Intelligent Design has "no chance
In this courtroom, Steve Fuller confirmed that changing the ground rules
of science is
Intelligent Design's fundamental project.
And if defendants get their way, those ground rules get changed first in
Dover High School.
There is a reason that science does not consider the supernatural — it
has no way
of measuring or testing supernatural activity. As Professor Behe
testified, you can never rule out
Intelligent Design. Defendants' comparisons to the Big Bang or Newton's
work makes no sense.
For those, as with many scientific propositions, we may have, at one
time, attributed natural
phenomena to supernatural or divine action before working out the
natural explanations that fall under the heading science.
Intelligent Design is moving in the opposite direction - replacing a
well developed natural explanation for the development of biological
life with a supernatural one, which it has no evidence to support.
The positive case for Intelligent Design described by plaintiffs' expert
Michael Behe, the leading light of the Intelligent Design movement, is a
meager little analogy that
collapses immediately upon inspection.
Behe's argument, summed up by the amorphous phrase "purposeful
arrangement of parts," is that if we can tell that a watch, or keys, or
a mousetrap was designed, we can make the same inference about the
design of a biological system by an intelligent designer.
This is, as Professor Behe acknowledged, the same argument that Paley
made, the argument that Paley made for the existence of God.
Plaintiffs' witnesses Robert Pennock and Kenneth Miller explained, and
under cross examination, defendants' expert Behe admitted, that the
differences between inferences to
design of artifacts and objects and to design of biological systems
overwhelm any purported
Biological systems can replicate and reproduce, and have had millions or
billions of years to develop in that fashion, providing opportunities
for change that the keys, watches, stone
tools, and statues designed by humans do not have. And, of course, the
objects and artifacts we recognize as designed in our day to day life
are all the product of human design - we know the designer.
In the case of intelligent design of biological life, however, that
crucial information is, to use Professor Behe's own phrase, a "black
Because we know that humans are the
designers of the various inanimate objects and artifacts discussed by
Professor Behe, we also
know many other useful pieces of information - what the designer's
needs, motives, abilities,
and limitations are. Because we are that designer, we can actually
recreate the designer's act of creation.
Professor Behe admitted that none of this information is available for
the inference to
intelligent design of biological systems.
In fact, the only piece of information that is available to carry out
that inference is appearance - "if it looks designed, it must be
But if that explanation makes sense, then the natural sciences must be
retired. Almost everything we see in our marvelous universe -
biological, chemical, physical — could be subsumed in this
Other than this meager analogy, Intelligent Design is nothing but a
negative argument against evolution, and a poor one at that. This was
made strikingly clear when Professor Behe was asked about his statement
that "Intelligent Design's only claim is about the proposed mechanism
for complex biological systems", and he admitted that Intelligent Design
proposed no mechanism for the development of biological systems, only a
against one of the mechanisms proposed by the theory of evolution.
And of course, Professor Behe also had to admit, reluctantly, that
Intelligent Design, as explained in Pandas, goes far beyond the argument
about mechanism to attack another
core proposition of the theory of evolution:
In page after page of Pandas, the authors argue against common descent
in favor of the creationist, biblical argument for the abrupt appearance
of created kinds: birds with beaks, fish with fins, etc.
The arguments in Pandas are based on wholesale misrepresentations of
knowledge, much of which has been known for years, or even decades
before Pandas was
published, and some of which has been developed after its last
publication, demonstrating that science marches on while Intelligent
Design stands still.
Kevin Padian was the only evolutionary
biologist who testified in this trial. He described pervasive
misrepresentations of the fossil
record, and other facts in Pandas. This testimony went completely
The board members cannot claim ignorance about the flaws in Pandas. Dr.
Nilsen and Mr. Baksa testified that the science teachers warned them
that Pandas had faulty science,
was outdated, and beyond the reading level of ninth graders.
The board members had no contrary information — they have no
meaningful scientific expertise or background, and did not even read
Their only outside input in favor of Pandas was a recommendation from
Dick Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center, a law firm with no known
What these board members are doing then, knowingly, is requiring
administrators and teachers to tell the students - "go read the book
with faulty science."
It is not just Pandas that is faulty. It is the entire Intelligent
They call it a scientific theory.
But they have done nothing.
They have produced nothing. Professor
Behe wrote in Darwin's Black Box that if a scientific theory does not
publish, it must perish.
That is the history of Intelligent Design.
As Professor Behe testified, there are no peer reviewed articles in
science journals reporting original research or data that argue for
By contrast, Kevin Padian, by himself, has written more than 100 peer
Professor Behe's only response to the Intelligent Design movement's lack
production was repeated references to his own book, Darwin's Black Box.
He was surprised to find out that one of his purported peer reviewers
wrote an article that revealed he had not even read the book.
But putting that embarrassing episode aside, consider the following
Behe has admitted in his article Reply to My Critics that his central
challenge to natural selection, irreducible complexity, is flawed
because it does not really match up with the claim made for evolution.
But he has not bothered to correct that flaw. He also admits that there
is no original research reported in Darwin's Black Box, and in the
almost ten years since its publication it has not inspired research by
Professor Behe's testimony and his book Darwin's Black Box is really one
extended insult to hard working scientists, and the scientific
For example, Professor Behe asserts in Darwin's Black Box that "the
scientific literature has no answers to the question of the origin of
the immune system" and "the complexity of the system dooms all Darwinian
explanations to frustration." I showed Professor Behe more than 50
articles, as well as books on the evolution of the immune system. He had
not read most of them, but he confidently,
contemptuously dismissed them as inadequate.
He testified that it is a waste of time to look for
answers about how the immune system developed.
Thankfully, there are scientists who do search for answers to the
question of the origin of the immune system.
For Pete's sake, this is the immune system ~ our defense against
debilitating and fatal diseases.
The scientists who wrote those books and articles toil in obscurity,
without book royalties or speaking engagements. Their efforts help us
combat and cure serious medical conditions.
By contrast, Professor Behe and the entire Intelligent Design Movement
are doing nothing to advance scientific or medical knowledge, and are
telling future generations of scientists, don't bother.
Not only does Intelligent Design not present its argument in the peer
reviewed journals, it does not test its claims.
You heard plaintiffs' experts Pennock, Padian, and Miller testify that
that scientific propositions have to be testable. Defendants' expert
Steven Fuller agreed that for Intelligent Design to be science it must
be tested, but he admitted that Intelligent Design had not done so.
Of course, there is an obvious reason that Intelligent Design hasn't
been tested — it
can't be. The proposition that a supernatural intelligent designer
created a biological system is not testable, and can never be ruled out.
Intelligent Design does not even test its narrower claims. As
explained, and again Dr. Fuller agreed, arguments like irreducible
complexity, even if correct, only negate aspects of the theory of
evolution, they do not demonstrate Intelligent Design. It doesn't
But Intelligent Design does not even test its negative arguments.
Professor Behe and Professor Minnich articulated a test of irreducible
complexity — grow a bacterial flagellum in the laboratory. The test is
of course ridiculous - evolution that doesn't occur over two or five or
ten years in a laboratory population doesn't rule out that evolution
over billions of years.
But if Professor Behe and Professor Minnich thinks this is a valid test
of their design hypothesis, they or their fellow Intelligent Design
adherents should be running it.
But they haven't.
Their model of science is - we throw out an idea, sit back, do no
research, and challenge evolutionists to shoot it down.
That's not how science works. Sponsors of a scientific proposition offer
hypotheses and then they test it.
Consider the example that Ken Miller gave.
Evolutionary biologists were confronted with the fact that we have two
fewer chromosomes than chimpanzees, the creatures hypothesized to be our
closest living ancestors based on molecular evidence and homologies.
Evolutionary biologists didn't sit back and tell creationists to figure
out this problem. They
rolled up their sleeves and tackled it themselves, and figured it out.
That's real science.
And, in fact, the common ancestry of chimpanzees and humans is real
It's the real science that William Buckingham and Alan Bonsell made sure
that students of
Dover would never hear. Make no mistake about it - William Buckingham
was determined that Dover students would not be taught anything that
conflicts with the special creation of humans.
No mural, no monkeys to man, no Darwin's Descent of Man, his wife's
sermon from Genesis — this was all focused on protecting the biblical
proposition that man was specially created by God.
Similarly, Alan Bonsell ensured that the entire biology curriculum was
molded around his religious beliefs. He testified in this courtroom that
it is his personal religious belief that the individual kinds of animals
- birds, fish, humans were formed as they currently exist, and do not
share common ancestors with each other.
Macroevolution is inconsistent with his
religious beliefs. The only aspect of the theory of evolution that
conforms to his religious
beliefs, is microevolution - change within a species.
He also believes in a young earth, thousands, not billions of years old.
Sure enough, in the fall of 2003, as the older of his two children
prepared to take biology, Mr. Bonsell sought assurances that the
teachers only taught microevolution, and not what the board members call
"origins of life" — macroevolution, speciation, common ancestry -
all the things that contradict his personal religious beliefs. He
received the assurances he was looking for, that most of evolution
wasn't being taught.
On October 18, this practice of depriving students of the thorough
teaching of the theory of evolution became board policy.
In fairness to the teachers, they weren't really shortchanging the
students to the extent Mr. Bonsell hoped. Mrs. Miller testified that she
does teach speciation - with Darwin's
finches - her attempt to teach evolutionary theory as
non-confrontationally as possible.
Mr. Buckingham and Mr. Bonsell also wanted to make sure that the
teachers pointed out gaps and problems with the parts of the theory of
evolution they did teach.
None of the board members cared whether students knew about gaps and
problems in the theory of plate tectonics, or germ theory, or atomic
But for evolution, it was essential that the students see all the
The resource the Board relied upon for information about problems with
evolution was not any of the mainstream scientific organizations, but
rather the Discovery
Institute, the think tank pursuing theistic science.
For Mr. Bonsell, however, making sure that the teaching of evolution
didn't contradict his religious beliefs wasn't enough.
He then joined Mr. Buckingham in promoting an
idea that affirmatively supported his religious beliefs.
Intelligent design asserts that birds are
formed with beaks, feathers, and wings, and fish with fins and scales -
created kinds, just like Mr. Bonsell believes in.
And Intelligent Design accommodates Mr. BonselPs belief in Young Earth
Creationism - he is welcome in Intelligent Design's Big Tent.
And if there was any doubt that the board wanted to trash evolution not
teach it, it was confirmed by the development of the statement read to
While there was nothing administration or faculty could do about
Intelligent Design, the language they developed about evolution was
actually quite honest and reasonable:
> "Darwin's Theory of Evolution
> continues to be the dominant scientific
> explanation of the origin of species."
> "Because Darwin's theory is a theory,
> there is a significant amount of evidence
> that supports the theory, although it is
> still being tested as new evidence is
> "Gaps in the theory exist for which there
> is yet no evidence."
If this language had been included in the statement read to students it
would not have cured the harm caused by promoting the religious argument
for Intelligent Design, and directing students to the deeply flawed
Pandas book. But at least it would have conveyed to students that the
theory of evolution is well accepted, and supported by substantial
This board would have none of it. The only things that the board wanted
the students to hear about evolution were negative things - there are
gaps, it is a theory not a fact -
language that defendants' own expert Steve Fuller admitted is
misleading, and denigrates the theory of evolution.
As Dr. Fuller and plaintiffs' expert Brian Alters agreed, the board's
message was: we're teaching evolution because we have to.
As if their views weren't clear enough, the board issued a newsletter
which accused the scientific community of using different meanings of
the word "evolution" to their advantage, as if scientists were trying to
trick people into believing something that there isn't evidence to
Your Honor, you may remember Cyndi Sneath's testimony about her seven
old son Griffin, who is fascinated by science.
This board is telling Griffin that scientists are just tricking you.
It's telling students like Griffin the same thing Mr. Buckingham told
Don't go off to college where you will be " brainwashed."
Don't research the theory of evolution.
The board is delivering Michael Behe's message.
Don't bother studying the development of the immune system - you're just
doomed to failure, hi science class, they are promoting the unchanging
certainty of religion in place of the adventure of open ended scientific
discovery that Jack Haught described.
How dare they?
How dare they stifle these children's education?
How dare they restrict their opportunities?
How dare they place a ceiling on their aspirations, on their dreams?
Griffin Sneath can become anything. He could become a science teacher
like Bert Spahr or Jen Miller or Bryan Rehm or Steven Stough, turning
students on to the wonders of the natural world and the satisfaction of
scientific discovery, perhaps in Dover or perhaps another lucky
community. He could become a college professor and renowned scientist
like Ken Miller or Kevin Padian. He might solve mysteries about the
immune system because he refused to quit.
He might even figure out something that changes the whole world. Like
This board did not act to improve science education. It took one area of
the science curriculum that has historically been the object of
religiously motivated opposition, and
they molded it to their particular religious viewpoint.
You heard five board members testify in
this court. I have focused today on Mr. Buckingham and Mr. Bonsell, who
were the most explicit about their creationist objectives, and who
worked hardest to browbeat administrators and teachers to their will.
But Mrs. Geesey's letter to the editor establishes her creationist
position. Her testimony, and Mrs. Cleaver's also demonstrates that they
abdicated their decision
making responsibility to Mr. Bonsell and Mr. Buckingham.
In Mrs. Harkins' case, it is hard to discern what her motives were,
beyond depriving students of the book their teachers said they needed,
while supplying them with books describing a concept, intelligent
design, that, to this
day, she does not understand.
The board never discussed what Intelligent Design is, or how it could
improve science education.
Clearly no valid secular purpose can be derived from those facts. All
that remains is the religious objectives represented in Bonsell and
Buckingham's statements about teaching creationism and Christian values,
the same values that animate the entire Wedge Strategy.
Mr. Buckingham said that separation of church and state is a myth —
and then he acted that way.
Mr. Buckingham and his fellow board members wanted religion in the
public schools as an assertion of their rights as Christians.
But Christianity and all religious exercise
have thrived in this country precisely because of the ingenious system
erected by our founders - which protects religious belief from
intervention by government.
The law requires that government not impose its religious beliefs on
citizens not because religious is disfavored or unimportant; but because
it is so important to so many of us,
and because we hold a wide variety of religious beliefs, not just one.
The Supreme Court explained in McCreary that
> [O]ne of the major concerns that
> prompted adoption of the Religion
> Clauses was that [t]he Framers
> and the citizens of their time intended
> ... to guard against the civil
> divisiveness that follows when the
> Government weighs in on one side of
> a religious debate.
We have seen that divisiveness in Dover.
School Board member pitted against
School Board member. Administrators and board members no longer on
common ground with the school teachers. Julie Smith's daughter asking
"What kind of Christian are you?" Casey
Brown and Bryan Rehm being called atheists.
It even spilled over into this courtroom, where
Jack Haught, prominent theologian and practicing Catholic, had his
religious beliefs questioned, not as they relate to the subject of
evolution, but on basic Christian tenets like the virgin birth of
That was impeachment by the government's lawyers in this case.
It is ironic that this case is being decided in Pennsylvania, in a case
brought by a plaintiff named Kitzmiller, a good Pennsylvania Dutch name.
This colony was founded on religious liberty. For much of the 18th
century, Pennsylvania was the only place under British rule where
Catholics could legally worship in public.
In his Declaration of Rights, William Perm stated:
> All men have a natural and
> indefeasible right to worship
> Almighty God according to the
> dictates of their own consciences;
> no man can of right be compelled
> to attend, erect, or support any
> place of worship, or to maintain
> any ministry against his consent;
> no human authority can, in any
> case whatever, control or interfere
> with the rights of conscience, and
> no preference shall ever be given
> by law to any religious establishment
> or modes of worship.
In defiance of these principles, which have served this state and this
country so well, this board imposed their religious views on the
students in Dover High School.
You have met the parents who have brought this lawsuit - the love and
respect they have for their children spilled out of that witness stand
and filled this courtroom.
They do not need Alan Bonsell, William Buckingham, Heather Geesey, Jane
Cleaver and Sheila Harkins to teach their children
right from wrong.
They did not agree that this board could commandeer the religious
education of their children, and the constitutions of this country and
this Commonwealth, do not permit it.
There is a lot of interesting stuff in the text of the plaintiffs'
closing argument. Of course, it might have been somewhat different when
actually presented to the Court. The text is only that, not a
transcript of what was actually presented to the Court.
One commentator has suggested, consistent with the text of the closing
argument, that it may be difficult for the judge to rule for the
defendants where there was apparently a number of falsehoods that were
clearly identified in the testimony.
Similarly, if the defendants lose, they could have a real problem with
mounting a successful appeal where the testimony of various witnesses
for the defense may be judged to have been false.
We will see.
If ID promoters think they can make the case for teaching something
about it in science classes, they may have to wait for another case
(maybe not wait long). It looks like the Dover case was a loser from
the beginning because of the course the Dover folks took in trying to
change the course of science classes in Dover.
I was also glad to see the discussion in the closing argument about
Behe's book and related issues, and the "watchmaker" argument regarding
the difference between finding a tree in the woods and finding a watch
in the woods.
I think the closing argument on the watch issue is quite consistent with
what Campbell argued for in his debate with Owen regarding the same
matter. The Campbell-Owen debate is on-line for those that may want to
look it up.
Posted November 4, 2005
Not to be outdone by a Senate colleague who tried to limit reproductive
rights to happily married couples, Indiana House Republicans are
pursuing their own legislative initiative destined to divide Hoosiers,
tarnish the state's reputation and draw attention away from important
matters such as property tax relief.
Rep. Bruce Borders, R-Jasonville, told the Indianapolis Star that he
would file a bill mandating the teaching of intelligent design in
Indiana schools if no other legislator did.
Intelligent design – the idea that living organisms are so complex
that they must have been created by a higher being – is the Trojan
horse that critics of evolution push to avoid the clearly
unconstitutional practice of teaching creationism in science class.
House Speaker Brian Bosma apparently is on board with Border's plan,
having met last month with Carl Baugh, host of Trinity Broadcasting
Network's "Creationism in the 21st Century."
The Rev. Frederick Boyd, whose Indianapolis church hosted Baugh's visit,
told the Star that Bosma was already pursuing intelligent design
legislation, but wanted Baugh's ideas on how to create it.
An example of those ideas are found at the Web site for the Creation
Evidence Museum, which Baugh founded in Glen Rose, Texas.
"Among museums, this entity makes a unique contribution, demonstrating
that man and dinosaur lived contemporaneously," the Web site boasts.
Unique, indeed. Sixty-three million years elapsed between the time
dinosaurs walked the Earth and man appeared, in spite of what Baugh and
Flintstones fans might suggest.
It's troubling to learn the speaker is leaning on such a source for
advice on Indiana's academic standards, or that he is meddling in the
state's academic standards in any fashion. That's best left to the State
Board of Education, which has wisely approved standards based on
Indiana can't afford to have its academic standards compromised by
A profile released this week at the Indiana Technology Summit shows the
state fell behind or was stagnant on 14 of 23 measures of progress in
creating a technology-based economy. Adopting science standards that
include instruction in intelligent design – ideas rejected by
mainstream scientists – would seal the state's backwater reputation.
Rep. Jeff Espich, R-Uniondale, is usually a voice of reason. But the
House Ways and Means chairman hints at the real motivation behind the
proposed legislation when he says that he supports the teaching of
creationism in Indiana schools along with evolution because more than
half the population believes both views should be presented.
Rep. Matt Bell, who succeeds Rep. Bob Alderman in the District 83 seat,
asked his constituents' views on intelligent design in his first
legislative survey, but he admitted that he still has questions about
its scientific basis and said he wouldn't vote to mandate its
instruction until he is comfortable with the science. "I need to
understand it better in terms of teaching it," he said. "It becomes an
issue of faith, and while it certainly is a belief I hold, it is a
Bell's position is the right one, and his House colleagues would be wise
to look beyond the easy political pay-off.
Overburdened schools don't need another mandate, particularly one that
will compromise successful efforts to raise the state's educational
attainment level and its economic overhaul.
I laughed, I cried; it was better than "Cats"
by Sara Mullen, Associate Directory, ACLU of Pennsylvania
(Nov. 5, 2005)
| After closing arguments, Judge Jones gave some very moving
| remarks that had at least one of our clients close to tears. He
| saluted the "solemnity, dignity, and respect" shown by the
| spectators throughout the six weeks, befitting a trial of such
| importance. He acknowledged the press and the fact that it was
| "not easy to do what you do."
| He saved his highest praise, appropriately, for the lawyers and
| their staff. "Watching you...made me aware of why I became a
| lawyer and why I became a judge," said Judge Jones. He
| repeatedly stressed how the two sides had treated each other
| with collegiality and professionalism throughout the trial. He
| told the spectators that they had witnesses some of the "best
| presentations and finest lawyers I have ever had the privilege
| to see."
| "It was a privilege to have each and every one of you before
| me," he concluded.
| He asked if either side had any thing else to say. The
| defendants' attorney Patrick Gillen noted that the day was the
| fortieth day of the trial, and that night was the fortieth
| night. He asked if the judge had done that on purpose.
| The judge said with a smile that it was "not by design." The
| entire courtroom broke out in laughter and then applause.
| And with that, the biggest trial on evolution in two decades
| came to a close.
Recent news articles on the close of the Intelligent Design trial in
Closing Arguments Made in Trial on Intelligent Design
(New York Times, 11/5/05)
Final legal jabs thrown in intelligent design fight
(Houston Chronicle, 11/5/05)
Court battle over teaching of evolution Intelligent design theory at
center of Pennsylvania trial
(San Francisco Chronicle, 11/6/05)
Dover C.A.R.E.S. -- obviously
(The York Dispatch, 11/3/05)
Did we mention that Dover's clueless?
(York Daily Record, 11/3/05)
by Mike Argento
[This one is just hilarious. I hope Argento is involved in writing
the script for the movie!]
[Note: The York Dispatch and the York Daily Record are papers in
ACLU attorney Eric Rothschild's closing argument:
Kitzmiller, et al v. Dover School District, et al
United States District Court
Middle District of Pennsylvania
Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District
Legal documents, trial materials, updates
Waterloo In Dover: The Kitzmiller v. DASD Case
Meyer's Hopeless Monster: Review of Stephen Meyer's "The origin of
biological information and the higher taxonomic categories"
by Alan Gishlick, Nick Matzke, and Wesley R. Elsberry
[link may be line-wrapped]
Note: The University of Idaho is where Scott Minnich teaches.
Letter to the University of Idaho Faculty, Staff and Students
Because of recent national media attention to the issue, I write to
articulate the University of Idaho's position with respect to
evolution: This is the only curriculum that is appropriate to be
taught in our bio-physical sciences. As an academic scientific
community and a research extensive land-grant institution, we affirm
scientific principles that are testable and anchored in evidence.
At the University of Idaho, teaching of views that differ from
evolution may occur in faculty-approved curricula in religion,
sociology, philosophy, political science or similar courses.
However, teaching of such views is inappropriate in our life, earth,
and physical science courses or curricula.
The University respects the rights of individuals to their personal
religious and philosophical beliefs, including those persons who may
hold and advocate a faith-based view that differs from evolution.
The University of Idaho's position is consistent with views
articulated by the National Academy of Sciences, the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, and more than 60 other
scientific and educational societies.
Timothy P. White, Ph.D.
President, University of Idaho
George, you wrote to the coCBanned list regarding the dating of things
archeological as reflected in the article you posted, in part:
> I (Geroge) believe they can pin
> point the date from the evidence,
> since it is not over 6000 years old.
Well, let's see if we can flesh out your position a little bit and see
if you aren't, indeed, a good candidate (or from a group that should put
up one) for taking up a formal, in writing, for the record discussion
with Todd regarding the evidence of age.
George, you seem to be proposing that:
> "true science" cannot date
> anything more than a few
> thousand years (i.e., 6,000)
That position is certainly relevant to the popular discussion, and we
are still looking for a representative of that position to take up the
formal, in writing, for the record discussion with Todd (or some of
representative of the opposition).
Here are the propositions (not exhaustive, others may be developed as
deemed necessary and appropriate, but these may be considered ideal for
getting to the substance of the fundamental issue):
Todd's specific propositions:
> Proposition #1:
> The (true scientific) evidence
> shows that the Earth has been
> in existence substantially longer
> than one hundred thousand
> (100,000) years.
> Proposition #2:
> The (true scientific) evidence
> shows that the Universe has
> been in existence substantially
> longer than one hundred thousand
> (100,000) years.
> Affirm: Todd Greene
> Deny: _______________
> Proposition #3:
> The (true scientific) evidence
> shows that the Earth is less
> than one hundred thousand
> (100,000) years old.
> Proposition #4:
> The (true scientific) evidence
> shows that the Universe is less
> than one hundred thousand
> (100,000) years old.
> Affirm: _______________
> Deny: Todd Greene
Of course, Todd has also indicated a willingness to discuss the evidence
of age issue in the context of my own "Goliath of GRAS" which is the
> Major premise:
> If God's word (the text) says
> everything began over a period
> of six days, is interpreted by some
> to mean it was six 24-hour days
> occurring a few thousand years ago,
> and there is (true scientific)
> evidence that things are actually
> much older than a few thousand
> years, then then interpretation of
> the text by some is wrong.
> Minor premise:
> God's word (the text) says everything
> began over a period of six days, is
> interpreted by some to mean it was
> six 24-hour days occurring a few
> thousand years ago, and there is
> (true scientific) evidence that things
> are actually much older than a few
> thousand years.
> The interpretation of the text by
> some is wrong.
George, as you know, your indicated position is quite popular. As long
as that is the case, there will be reason and purpose in challenging it
and testing it in the public square.
Here's your opportunity to again take up the position of "David" for
find someone who can take up that role in a formal, in writing, for the
record discussion in order to test your position and the position held
by so many in our popular culture.
Of course, because of the continuing nature of the issue, it is going to
be equally important to have the record show that, while continuing to
propose your position, no one can be found to formally, in writing, for
the record engage in a serious discussion of the claim that:
> nothing can be determined
> from "true science" to be
> more than a few thousand
> years old.
> George is no "David"!
> George cannot find any "David"!
> Still no "David"!
I wonder if anybody might be able to get Kyle Butt to formally, in
writing, for the record make his affirmation against someone who may
wish to take up the negative position?
Todd, you have often claimed there is no evidence of such a flood; have
Would you consider a discussion with Kyle about that and his latest
Here's the link and excerpts from his article in today's edition of the
Apologetics Press website:
Apologetics Press - What a Catastrophe
What a Catastrophe
by Kyle Butt, M.A.
On September 20, 2005, PBS stations around the country aired a program
titled "Mystery of the Megaflood," in which they explored plausible
causes for the geological features found in the region 200 miles east of
Seattle known as the scablands.
In the 1920s, a geologist named J. Harlan Bretz suggested that neither a
slow-eroding river nor glacial activity caused the massive geological
> "His fieldwork convinced him that
> the Scablands were not the result
> of slow geological weathering but
> of an enormous catastrophe that
> had taken place almost overnight
> when a titanic flood engulfed the
> region" ("NOVA: Mystery...").
His ideas were largely rejected, because they did not jive with the
then-prevailing notion known as uniformitarianism—that the present is
the key to the past and geologic features are the result of long periods
of uniform transformation.
Yet, recent research suggests that Bretz' catastrophic conclusion fits
the facts much more sufficiently.
(W)e have evidence that the scablands were formed by massive flooding,
not by slow-working uniformitarian processes.
We also have evidence that other areas around the world, from the Rocky
Mountains to Russia and China, were similarly affected by megaflooding
that was "comparable in magnitude."
Of course, anyone familiar with the biblical account of Noah's Flood
would certainly be led to wonder about the possibility that all these
various "floods" might not have been localized, but were due to one
worldwide, massive inundation.
When statements like Baker's. . .are coupled with the fact that. . .the
plausibility of a world-wide flood comes sharply into focus.
(O)ne of the most important questions that the geological sciences
should raise often is ignored because of its religious implications.
Is there geologic evidence of a global flood?
In truth, the answer to this question is a resounding "Yes!"
With more and more geological evidences piling up pointing to a global
flood, it is becoming increasingly obvious that those who refuse to
recognize it as a fact are
> WILLFULLY IGNORING
> THAT EVIDENCE!
My further comments:
I figured that, in respect of the current discussions with George, et
al, the emphasis be added regarding the charge of "ignoring the
If we can find an appropriate opponent (i.e., Todd S. Greene), I wonder
if Kyle is going to show up for the discussion or
> "ignore the evidence"!
Just as we could change the course of world history by getting George to
defeat Todd's affirmative regarding the evidence of age, we could change
the course of world history by getting Kyle to sustain his affirmative
regarding the evidence of a recent world-wide flood.
So, what is keeping George and Kyle from taking up the history changing
--- In Maury_and_Baty, Robert Baty posts the following discussion by
> Apologetics Press - What a Catastrophe
> What a Catastrophe
> by Kyle Butt, M.A.
> On September 20, 2005, PBS stations around the country aired a
> program titled "Mystery of the Megaflood," in which they
> explored plausible causes for the geological features found in
> the region 200 miles east of Seattle known as the scablands.
> In the 1920s, a geologist named J. Harlan Bretz suggested that
> neither a slow-eroding river nor glacial activity caused the
> massive geological features.
>> "His fieldwork convinced him that
>> the Scablands were not the result
>> of slow geological weathering but
>> of an enormous catastrophe that
>> had taken place almost overnight
>> when a titanic flood engulfed the
>> region" ("NOVA: Mystery...").
> His ideas were largely rejected, because they did not jive with
> the then-prevailing notion known as uniformitarianism—that the
> present is the key to the past and geologic features are the
> result of long periods of uniform transformation.
Here is Kyle's first major error. This particular error is based
both on ignorance of geology and on the several decades long
confusion that young earth creationists have created for themselves
with their own insular rhetoric about "uniformitarianism." Young
earth creationists often pretend (due to ignorance of geology) that
geologists ignore catastropic events. It's actually a very stupid
argument, since geologists have recognized catastropic events, such
as floods and volcanic eruptions, as part of geology for over 200
> Yet, recent research suggests that Bretz' catastrophic conclusion
> fits the facts much more sufficiently.
"Recent research"??? As usual, Kyle is either decades behind the
times on the science, or he's misrepresenting the matter to make his
point - which means his point is based either on ignorance or
misrepresentation. Geologists have known about the Lake Missoula
floods (more than one) for decades. This is not just recent. Bretz'
conclusions were initially met with skepticism, but due to
continuing SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH in the geology of the area geologists
learned that there was not only one catastrophic flood, but a series
of them toward the end of the last Ice Age.
> (W)e have evidence that the scablands were formed by massive
> flooding, not by slow-working uniformitarian processes.
Here's Kyle's confusion about geology again. The scablands were
formed by massive flooding which was the result of uniformitarian
processes. Frankly, with the words he uses in this sentence Kyle
shows that he just doesn't know what he's talking about.
> We also have evidence that other areas around the world, from
> the Rocky Mountains to Russia and China, were similarly affected
> by megaflooding that was "comparable in magnitude."
Here's another example of massive flooding on the scale of the Lake
The Altai Flood
> Of course, anyone familiar with the biblical account of Noah's
> Flood would certainly be led to wonder about the possibility
> that all these various "floods" might not have been localized,
> but were due to one worldwide, massive inundation.
> When statements like Baker's...are coupled with the fact
> that...the plausibility of a world-wide flood comes sharply
> into focus.
This is nonsense. Look up "Lake Missoula" floods (and you can see
the same kind of thing in the article about the Altai Flood) and the
geologic features of these areas and these floods show clearly and
obviously that they are not *worldwide* floods, but are floods
produced by lakes that were in mountainous areas where the mountains
form the walls, and glaciers formed the dams, and when toward the
end of the ice age as the glaciers were melting back, there were
times when the accumulated meltwater that had been trapped (forming
the lakes) broke through the weakening ice dam and flooded through.
In other words, Kyle totally ignores what is actually observed.
> (O)ne of the most important questions that the geological
> sciences should raise often is ignored because of its religious
> Is there geologic evidence of a global flood?
> In truth, the answer to this question is a resounding "Yes!"
No, this is Kyle's Big Lie - a Big Lie that is repeated often in
young earth creationist rhetoric. The idea of a worldwide flood is
ignored in geology because there isn't any geological evidence of a
> With more and more geological evidences piling up pointing to a
> global flood, it is becoming increasingly obvious that those who
> refuse to recognize it as a fact are
>> WILLFULLY IGNORING
>> THAT EVIDENCE!
Which is an ironically humorous statement coming from young earth
creationist Kyle who WILLFULLY IGNORES what the geology of the Lake
Missoula floods and other similar kinds of floods actually look like.
To Kyle, any evidence of a *flood* is exactly the same thing as
evidence of a *worldwide* flood, which demonstrates the illogical
nature of his argument. Kyle's argument boils down to something like
this: New Orleans experienced a massive flood. This is evidence that
there was a worldwide flood on August 29, 2005.
Oh, you didn't notice it either?!?
Previously in the "coCBanned" discussion group, I have commented on
the Lake Missoula floods as follows (and I provide some online
references for you below, to investigate further information about
the Lake Missoula floods):
| ...floods jumble things
| and mix them up. But this is NOT what we observe about the
| geological and fossil record. Don't get me wrong - *within*
| certain spots in the geological record we see where floods
| have produced what has then remained and become part of the
| record. There's a very recent example of this (but it's
| sediment that has not lithified into geological strata because
| it's too recent to have turned to rock), and that is the Lake
| Missoula flood in the northwest U.S. and southwest Canada
| area, massive floods that took place between 10,000 and 15,000
| years ago as the result of melting and then breaking of ice
| dams as average temperatures were becoming warmer at the end
| of the last ice age. Floods leave specific kinds of sediment
| and land forms, and the Lake Missoula floods area terrain
| shows a beautiful example of massive, catastrophic flooding.
| But that's NOT what we observe about the geological record as
| a whole. The strata that we observe were formed in particular
| kinds of environments, and are NOT just a bunch of stuff
| jumbled up and mixed together by flooding.
| The point to keep in mind in the context of our current
| discussion is that floods produce *sediment* (and it's
| particular kinds of sediment), not rock. It takes a great deal
| of time for sediment layers to lithify. And with the geologic
| column as it exists in various manifestations across the
| planet we observe tens of thousands of feet of sedimentary
| layers that were deposited (which takes a great deal of time,
| far longer than just 6,000 years), then lithified (turned to
| rock; and this takes a great deal of additional time, far
| longer than just 6,000 years), then eroded (because we observe
| with many or perhaps most of these layers that they lithified
| and then this lithified layer was eroded; and the erosion of
| significant portions of rock takes a great deal of time, far
| longer than just 6,000 years).
| Geology is based on a lot of things. Where there are
| "cataclysmic" events it recognizes them. Golly, geological
| science recognizes everything from huge volcanic explosions
| and massive outflows of magma, to massive flooding (such as
| the Lake Missoula floods), to terrestrial impacts by comets or
| asteroids that wipe out whole ecosystems and substantial
| numbers of biological species. It's ludicrous for Keith to
| pretend that geology doesn't recognize cataclysms.
| What irritates Keith [Sisman], and the other young earth
| creationists, so much is that geological science does not
| observe anything in regard to one particular mythical
| cataclysm, namely the worldwide flood myth in Genesis that
| according to the Genesis timeframe allegedly took place a few
| thousand years ago. What irritates them as well is that
| geology also falsifies the claims that young earth
| creationists make all the time about effects that this
| alleged worldwide flood is supposed to have had.
We know what massive catastrophic flood effects look like - and we
don't see anything from any alleged worldwide flood:
Glacial Lake Missoula and the Missoula Floods
(U.S. Geological Survey, Cascades Volcano Observatory, Vancouver, WA)
[link is line-wrapped]
This one has a good discussion of the giant floods and then shows a
number of pictures in the "Virtual Tour" - again, we know what
massive catastrophic flood effects look like, and we don't see
anything from any alleged worldwide flood:
Glacial Lake Missoula
(Montana Natural History Center)
The Great Floods of Glacial Lake Missoula
(Evergreen State College)
[link may be line-wrapped]
(Shows maps and pictures.)
Joseph Thomas Pardee and the Spokane Flood Controversy
(Geological Society of America, GSA Today, Sep. 1995)
[warning: 1.9 MB PDF file]
Columbia Plateau - Channeled Scablands, Internet Resources
(North Dakota State University)
[link is line-wrapped]
Marion Fox's list, OneHeartinChrist, appears to have gone underground.
Its archives used to be publicly available, but in checking recently I
was unable to access the archives. I tried to join three or four times,
but my applications never were approved.
The address for the home page is:
Todd, after giving an analysis of the situation under another thread,
you wrote to the coCBanned list, in relevant part:
> I challenge King and Jason
> to honestly acknowledge the
> fact that I have NOT ignored
> their arguments.
> I challenge King and Jason
> to honestly acknowledge that
> I have explicitly addressed
> their arguments.
> I challenge King and Jason
> to honestly acknowledge at
> least that I have pointed out
> potential problems with the
> arguments they presented.
> I challenge King and Jason
> to honestly acknowledge that
> they then IGNORED the
> criticisms I presented and
> that they have NOT addressed
> these criticisms.
> Will we see such honesty from
> either of these two young earth
Even though you, Todd, give them the option of doing the "least" as
indicated under #3 above. I wonder if they can even do the least; or,
it would be interesting, deny that you have even pointed out any
problems with their arguments.
Of course, the substantive and fundamental problem appears to be that
they are stuck in that corner with Dr. Fox, and we are on to them and
their position which is briefly summarized as shown below:
> Don't bother me with the
> real world evidence.
> My position regarding the
> real world is based on my
> interpretation of the text
> (which cannot be wrong no
> matter what you present to
> No real world evidence can
> falsify my real world position
> based on my interpretation
> of the text; any such potential
> evidence is rejected "out of
> hand" because my interpretation
> based on the text trumps any
> real world evidence to the
> Affirmed: King Davis
> Affirmed: Jason Fox
While I think we've got their real world position down pretty well and
that they are the ones who reject (ignore) the real world evidence that
just might falsify their real world claim, it seems to me most important
to keep giving them the opportunity to actually, formally, in writing,
for the record test their theories with a discussion of their
fundamental position as reflected in the following propositions:
> The empirical evidence shows
> that the Earth has been in
> existence substantially longer
> than one hundred thousand
> (100,000) years.
> The empirical evidence shows
> that the Universe has been in
> existence substantially longer
> than one hundred thousand
> (100,000) years.
Affirm: Todd Greene
> The empirical evidence shows
> that the Earth is less than one
> hundred thousand (100,000)
> years old.
> The empirical evidence shows that
> the Universe is less than one hundred
> thousand (100,000) years old.
Deny: Todd Greene
Todd, while you have diplomaticaly given King and Jason an option of
doing the "least", their responsibilities in such matters requires they
do much more.
My guess is they won't be meeting their obligations in these matters.
King is no "David"!
Jason is no "David"!
King and Jason can't find a "David"!
Still no "David"!
George wrote, in part, to the coCBanned list:
> (W)hat one sees with his eyes
> is what is happening at the time
> one sees it.
> Something may have happened
> in the past ... but what he is seeing
> now is happening now.
> (T)he light that one sees is what is
> happening now to his eyes.
I think Todd has sometimes asked the question:
> If a tree falls in the woods,
> does it make a sound if
> no one is there to hear it?
George's effort to deny the proposition that past events may be
experienced (i.e., seen or heard) in present time reminds me of that.
I think there may be a valuable analogy to be made between sound and
light, and one that may make it easier to see the folly of George's
claim (Alas, if only he would formally accept the outstanding offer to
test his hobby in a formal, in writing, for the record discussion).
We would probably all agree that what we see and hear we see and hear in
However, that does not mean that what we see and hear result from events
that don't happen until we see or hear the results (i.e., remember the
tree in the woods example).
It is hard to believe that George actually believes what he is trying to
claim; maybe we should suggest he is simply misguided and not
deliberately trying to misguide us or "ignore the evidence".
Surely, George is not ignorant of the undisputed fact that light and
sound may, and do, result from events occurring before picked up by our
George, want to try again to make a case for whatever position you want
Of course, I would prefer you first formally accept the outstanding
invitation to engage the discussion formally, in writing, and for the
record based on the proposed propositions.
It would be "a good thing"!
Hey, we could set it up kinda like that Dale and Hilbert thing on the
CFTF. That is, if someone, anyone, would show up for a serious formal
discussion, they could square off with Todd on the propositions
suggested (or some other mutually acceptable propositions) and the rest
of us could simply follow the discussion and not comment until the
formal discussion were declared ended.
"David", are you out there?
Still no "David"!
All eight members up for re-election to the Pennsylvania school board
that had been sued for introducing the teaching of intelligent design
as an alternative to evolution in biology class were swept out of office
yesterday by a slate of challengers who campaigned against the
intelligent design policy.
Among the losing incumbents on the Dover, Pa., board were two members
who testified in favor of the intelligent design policy at a recently
concluded federal trial on the Dover policy: the chairwoman, Sheila
Harkins, and Alan Bonsell.
The election results were a repudiation of the first school district in
the nation to order the introduction of intelligent design in a science
class curriculum. The policy was the subject of a trial in Federal
District Court that ended last Friday.
A verdict by Judge John E. Jones III is expected by early January.
> "I think voters were tired of the
> trial, they were tired of intelligent
> design, they were tired of everything
> that this school board brought about,"
said Bernadette Reinking, who was among the
This may provide further interesting perspectives on why my "Goliath of
GRAS" has sent all potential "David" candidates to flight, refusing to
show up for a formal, in writing, for the record discussion regarding
the fundamental issue facing the "young-earth, creation-science" hobby
which is the evidence of age.
It appears that there as been some sort of split between the Thomas More
law firm, which defended in the Dover school board lawsuit involving
"intelligent design", and the Discovery Institute (DI), the leading
organization known for promoting whatever it is that "intelligent
design" is supposed to be.
The story I read indicated the split was because Thomas More wanted DI
to provide a "David" (maybe 2 or 3 or 4) for testimony at the trial and
DI refused to do so.
While Thomas More did manage to get some to testify (i.e., Michael
Behe), it was clear that he was not going to qualify as any "David".
So, we observe, no "David" showed up to help Thomas More defend in the
Such being the case, I guess it is not unexpected that my own "Goliath
of GRAS" was unable to motivate any wannabe "David" to show up for a
serious discussion of the evidence of age issue.
Pat Robertson promotes the popular creationist Big Lie that if you
don't agree with their particular religious doctrine then you aren't
really a Christian. In other words, Robertson pretends to be God,
since according to Pat if you reject Pat's particular idea about how
God had to do things this is the same as rejecting God. By the way,
this is another example of the fact that intelligent design is a
RELIGIOUS doctrine (as we knew all along). The whole point about
this case is that we had creationists pushing their sectarian
religious notions on kids in public school science classes, contrary
to the First Amendment. These kinds of comments by Pat Robertson and
others in the conservative Christian community are exactly what we
expect, since we know ID is not science but is a religious concept
pushed by some religious people. Thank you, Pat!
— Todd Greene
Pat Robertson: Pennsylvania Voters Rejected God
(CBS News, 11/9/05)
The Reverend Pat Robertson says Pennsylvanians who voted members of
the Dover Area school board out of office for
supporting "intelligent design" rejected God as well.
Eight school board members who wanted high school biology students
to be told that intelligent design is an alternative to evolution
lost their re-election bids Tuesday.
On Thursday's broadcast of "The 700 Club," Robertson told Dover
residents, "If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God."
The founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network explained, "You
just voted God out of your city."
The article Todd submitted at:
quoted Pat Robertson as saying to the Dover residents:
> "If there is a disaster in your
> area, don't turn to God.
> You just voted God out of
> your city.
It seems Pat Robertson is quite like Gabor of Todd's "Creationism" list;
always indicating that God is "going to get you" if you don't agree with
them (i.e. Pat & Gabor).
I'm just wondering if Pat Robertson knows what he is talking about when
he pretends to address the popular "intelligent design" (ID) debate!
Is Pat, like ID, an "old earth, evolutionary" kind of preacher?
Does Pat publicly acknowledge that "young-earth, creation-science" is
--- In Maury_and_Baty, Robert Baty wrote (post #7207):
> The article Todd submitted at:
> quoted Pat Robertson as saying to the Dover residents:
>> "If there is a disaster in your
>> area, don't turn to God.
>> You just voted God out of
>> your city.
> It seems Pat Robertson is quite like Gabor of Todd's
> "Creationism" list; always indicating that God is "going to get
> you" if you don't agree with them (i.e. Pat & Gabor).
> I'm just wondering if Pat Robertson knows what he is talking
> about when he pretends to address the popular "intelligent
> design" (ID) debate!
> Is Pat, like ID, an "old earth, evolutionary" kind of preacher?
> Does Pat publicly acknowledge that "young-earth,
> creation-science" is fundamentally false?
Pat Robertson is an old earth creationist!
"Is There Dissension in 'Paradise'?"
Whoops, I guess that means that Pat is a God-hater and a Christ-
hater - just like the voters in Dover, Pennsylvania - according to
the rhetoric of a lot of young earth creationists that is the
equivalent of Pat's own rhetoric!
Todd, you wrote, in part:
> Pat Robertson is an
> old earth creationist!
> "Is There Dissension
> in 'Paradise'?"
You gave the following link to the article:
Thanks for that reference regarding Robertson's differences with the
"young-earth, creation-science" hobby.
I'll try to remember it. I don't recall hearing him address the issue
specifically in the past.
McLean v. Arkansas Documentation Project
| In 1981, a remarkable court case in Arkansas pitted creationists
| against pastors, priests, teachers, and scientists. "McLean et
| al. vs. Arkansas" sought relief from Arkansas' Act 590, which
| mandated that evolutionary biology instruction be balanced
| with "creation science". Unlike the 1925 Scopes trial in
| Tennessee, the Arkansas court heard testimony from a large
| number of witnesses on both sides of the case. Judge Overton
| ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and Act 590 was deemed
McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education
Decision by U.S. District Court Judge William R. Overton
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