There may seem to be no connection between the creationist movement and the tax protester movement, but your Curmudgeon’s opinion is that the two phenomena are manifestations of the same psychological impulses.
In the US, the tax protest movement has a long and inglorious history. Interestingly, it has leaders who promote various legal theories as to why taxes should not be paid, and they have customers who buy their books, pay for their advice, and who then almost inevitably lose in court.
The US Department of Justice has a huge Criminal Tax Manual for their prosecutors. Most of it is about people who just don’t pay, or who try to fake deductions or conceal some of their income. But Section 40, consisting of 56 pages, is devoted to the topic of Tax Protestors and all their failed arguments: e.g., wages aren’t income, federal reserve notes aren’t money, various religious arguments, etc. The list is long.
And for each argument, the memo cites court cases holding that defense to be worthless. Yet the gurus keep peddling their magic tax evasion schemes, the gullible followers of the movement keep believing, and the court cases keep coming — with predictable results.
Does this behavior pattern seem familiar? Yes, dear reader, it does. Instead of the government’s manual for dealing with endlessly debunked legal arguments, just substitute the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims and you can’t miss seeing the similarity. And every now and then the same two patterns of reality denial manifest themselves in the same person — for example, see Kent Hovind Is Still Fighting.
And that brings us to the blog of the Discoveroids. A couple of days ago they posted this by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist: What Law Students Are Learning About Intelligent Design. Both he and the Discoveroids are described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. Casey says, with bold font added by us:
A law student at the University of Washington recently let us know what the textbook in his education law class, American Public School Law by Kern Alexander and M. David Alexander, has to say about intelligent design. I was disappointed, but hardly shocked, to learn that the textbook adopts a grossly unbalanced approach to the issue, promotes incredible misinformation and is riddled with misstatements.
We’ve seen several times before how Casey and the Discoveroids think about various creationist court cases — they invariably describe only the arguments presented by the creationist side, and then criticize the court’s decision for ruling against creationism. For example, see Discoveroids Develop Their Coppedge Narrative, and also Coppedge Trial & Klinghoffer’s Alternate Reality, and also Casey and Kitzmiller — the Case He “Forgot”, and also John West: More Scopes Trial Revisionism, and also Casey, Corbett, & the Constitution, Part II, and also Discovery Institute: Dover Derangement Syndrome.
That’s enough examples. You get the picture. It’s always the same old song: “Our arguments are wonderful, and when the courts don’t agree it’s either because they’re stupid or they’re part of a vast conspiracy.” Let’s get back to Casey’s latest post about what they’re teaching in law school. He complains that the legal textbook equates intelligent design and creationism. Then he says:
American Public School Law goes on to cite the Kitzmiller v. Dover ruling as having demonstrated that intelligent design is creationism. Does the evidence from that case in fact show that intelligent design fits the U.S. Supreme Court’s definition of creationism?
Casey’s argument is based on Michael Behe’s testimony in Kitzmiller. He thinks that that’s all there is to it, despite the fact that there were arguments to the contrary and the court didn’t go along with Behe. See Kitzmiller v. Dover: Michael Behe’s Testimony. Let’s read on:
The judge in the case, John E. Jones, refused to allow ID proponents to define their own theory and ignored this testimony in his ruling. But far from being a mere exercise in rhetoric, Behe’s argument is principled, based on a commitment to respect the limits of science. His belief in God is not a hard-and fast conclusion of intelligent design, but something he concludes for different reasons, “based on theological and philosophical and historical factors.” He makes clear that ID doesn’t identify the designer.
Too bad for Casey that Behe wasn’t the only witness in the trial. But Casey is as much a true believer in the magic of his arguments as are the tax protestors. He continues:
The textbook goes on to promote the Darwin Lobby’s account of how intelligent design came to be:
[Casey quotes from the textbook:] The federal court in Pennsylvania said that: “The weight of the evidence clearly demonstrates . . . that the systemic change from ‘creation’ to ‘intelligent design’ occurred sometime in 1987, after the Supreme Court’s important Edwards decision. This compelling evidence strongly supports plaintiff’s assertion that ID is creationism relabeled.”
Yes, that’s what the court concluded. But Casey insists that’s not correct, and the law school textbook has it all wrong. He even tries to dismiss the devastating evidence of Pandas and “cdesign proponentsists”. The article is quite long, and it’s instructive to read if you care to see how the Discoveroid (i.e., creationist) mind reacts to reality. Anyway, Casey concludes with this:
Sadly, this is the level of discourse from high-profile ID-critics in the legal community. In other words, this is what some law students are learning about intelligent design.
So there you are. Law schools are teaching the law based on court decisions, not based on the preaching of the Discoveroids’ blog. Perhaps Casey will thrill us all by writing his own legal textbook about the law of creationism. It’s sure to be as useful as all the tax protester books that are out there.
See also: Creationists and Tax Protesters, Part 2.
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