Casey Makes a Startling Admission

Last week we wrote West Virginia Evolution Litigation, about a hilariously confused and misguided lawsuit claiming that evolution is a religion, and it was unconstitutional to teach it in the public schools of West Virginia.

The thing was so bizarre that we weren’t expecting any reaction at all from the usual creationist websites. But we were wrong. Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist, has just written this for the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Yes, Despite a Lawsuit in West Virginia, It’s Constitutional for Public Schools to Teach Evolution.

Verily, that’s one of the most amazing titles we’ve ever seen. What next — will Casey acknowledge that the world isn’t flat? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

A parent in West Virginia has filed a lawsuit claiming that “evolution is a religious faith” and that the teaching of evolution in public schools amounts to “the propagation of religion.” The parent, Kenneth Smith, is apparently representing himself and demands that “an accurate genetic independent investigator” be brought in “to declare the policy of evolution, as to be violating of United States Constitutional Amendments.” The lawsuit will go nowhere, and in all likelihood will be promptly dismissed.

We are stunned to find ourselves in agreement with Casey. But wait until you see what else he says:

Nevertheless, the plaintiff raises a question worth considering. Is it constitutional to teach evolution?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What a question! The Discoveroids are often entertaining — albeit unintentionally — but we never expected to find anything that amusing at their website. Let’s read on:

The answer, as we at Discovery Institute see it, is yes. Courts agree. Simply put, Darwinian evolution is a scientific theory and there’s nothing illegal in teaching about a scientific theory (however scientifically flawed) in public schools.

That may be the only time the courts agree with the Discoveroids. Or, as we see it, the Discoveroids are reluctantly going along with something they know they can’t fight. Casey continues:

[A]rguments that teaching evolution is unconstitutional have come up in various court cases over the years. This new case in West Virginia isn’t the first, nor probably the last. In each instance, the parties complaining that teaching evolution was unconstitutional lost. What follows is a summary of these cases.

You’ll understand if we skip Casey’s recital of various judicial decisions, even though they comprise the bulk of his post. Oh wait — at one point he says:

Out of all of its analysis, however, most striking is the court’s claim that even if evolution were taught “as fact,” this would “not transgress the establishment clause”: [quote from a court opinion].

Casey finds that “striking”? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Then he tells us:

When it comes to simply teaching the scientific evidence supporting evolution (or the chemical origin of life), courts have decidedly held that this is constitutional. However, there are many ways to envision how evolution could be taught alongside atheism or materialism in a way that might violate the constitution, some of which I have detailed in this law review article.

Casey’s link is to an article he wrote for the esteemed Liberty University Law Review. We posted about it a few years ago in Casey, Corbett, Creationism, & the Constitution. Moving along:

Moreover, there are many scientific problems with neo-Darwinian evolution, and even though it’s legal to teach it in a dogmatic, pro-Darwin-only fashion, that’s not the best way to teach evolution.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The Discoveroids know the “best” way to teach evolution. And al-Qaeda knows best how to teach Western Civilization. Another excerpt:

Rather than seeking remedies in courts, citizens concerned about the dogmatic and one-sided teaching of evolution should go to local or state boards to convince them that the best way to teach evolution is to teach it objectively, discussing both the pros and the cons.

Uh huh — and of course, that’s done by getting the states to adopt a law based on the Discoveroids’ Academic Freedom bill. One last excerpt:

School boards should do this not because they are (or fear they might be) compelled by a lawsuit. Rather they should enact such policies because they themselves agree that it is sound education policy and good science.

So there you are. This is a day to remember — the Discoveroids have acknowledged that evolution isn’t a religion that competes with their cult about the intelligent designer. Is that progress? No, they’re merely yielding to the unanimous holdings of numerous courts around the country that have all rejected what they would otherwise be claiming.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

35 responses to “Casey Makes a Startling Admission

  1. I begin to see why Luskin is your favourite, SC. He’s smart in his very own dishonest way – smart enough to fool even you. What he has done is this. The sneak has implicitely equalled Evolution Theory with IDiocy. Read this:

    “the best way to teach evolution is to teach it objectively, discussing both the pros and the cons.”
    The cons of course are best addressed by IDiocy.

    “Rather they should enact such policies because they themselves agree that it is sound education policy and good science.”
    Yup – using IDiocy to show the cons of Evolution Theory is “sound education policy and good science” according to CL.

  2. Why do they never, ever propose what the actual cons of evolution are?

  3. So long as medicine & biology are taught properly using OBSERVED facts I don’t really care about ID or what IDiots say. As a human I will never ‘SEE’ a bear thing turn into a whale thing. BUT…
    I hate dishonesty!!! And ID is dishonest at it’s core. evilution has NOTHING to do with ‘he wiggled his nose and POOOF the world is’. And after that point the IDer is irrelevant! As a half-baked engineer I can design stuff better than your ID dude did, and what is seen in the world fits easily into evilution. So if you want ID dude in schools no problem as I would use the dude as a perfect example of how to do stuff WRONG!!

  4. What are the cons of evolution?

  5. michaelfugate

    I would be hard-pressed to determine which Casey and the DI know the least about education or science – then again neither amount may be significantly different than zero.

  6. The only con of creationism I can think of is Kent Hovind.

    As for Casey Luskin, he’s not my favorite creationist. I get the feeling he is only there because he is paid to show up. He has a weasely look about him, perfect for a lawyer. Suffice to say he’s the kind of legal counsel that puts juries to sleep.

  7. Our Curmudgeon declares

    We are stunned to find ourselves in agreement with Casey.

    Have you checked carefully that this isn’t a Casey who crept in through a broken transporter and sports a goatee?

  8. Yes, he states he “wants” evolution to be taught, but only by creationists who will trash it every time they teach it, in line with his “academic freedom” nonsense. However, no such negative talk dare ever accompany ID/creationism as it is the only valid alternative per Casey.

  9. Charles Deetz ;)

    I’m still stumped by when all this CSI is created and/or added. Was it in the Cambrian Explosion … or is it every time a living thing is conceived? Maybe it was added bit-by-bit, nudging evolution along. Obviously the DI doesn’t believe that the designer just created DNA and a one-cell organism and let everything take its course after that.

    How the [redacted] can you prove it was in one of those cases and not the other? Weaknesses Casey, sorry if I can’t see the weaknesses in evolution, but your theory (if it even is one) has some glaring glaring problems.

  10. Diogenes' Lamp

    For a minute I was enjoying reading Casey Luskin, for the first time ever. But then…

    1. Note that Casey lists many court cases in which the claim that “evolution is a religion” is shot down. BUT there’s a big fat omission: he leaves out the recent lawsuit by COPE– presumably because COPE is led by lawyer John Calvert of IDnet, based I believe in Illinois, but closely affiliated with the Discovery Institute. In his lawsuit, crazy Calvert spends dozens of pages tediously “proving” that evolution is a religion. It’s so obviously relevant and recent that there’s only one possible reason for Luskin to omit the COPE suit: they’re affiliated with and allies of the Decepticons. Bad Casey, sneaky Casey.

  11. Something tells me the Discoveroids know that they don’t want to risk giving their hypothesis any more critical exposure than it got in Dover.

  12. Diogenes' Lamp

    2. There are NO examples of any teacher ever teaching the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution in any public school or public community college in the USA. In every case that we know of, the creationist teacher taught ONLY alleged “weaknesses” of evolution and never presented any evidence for it. E.g. Caroline Crocker, martyred in the movie “Expelled”, told her community college students that she would present the evidence FOR and against evolution, then in fact presented NO evidence for evolution, and asserted that there IS no evidence for it, contradicting her earlier statement. (The alleged “weaknesses” themselves are always based on factual falsehoods or redefinitions of the scientific method, e.g. God of the Gaps, but that’s another story.)

    When creationists claim to give the evidence for evolution, it is always some BS ad hominem attack on scientists, for example, “One argument for evolution is that it allows atheists to escape moral accountability for living their sinful lives of sensual pleasure and sexual promiscuity.”

  13. Diogenes' Lamp

    3. As has been pointed out by others above, Casey demands teaching the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution but dares not say what the weaknesses are. Thus, the alleged weaknesses must be insulated from critical analysis… because they’re BS, and the DI knows that real scientists would expose the factual falsehoods underlying their alleged “weaknesses of evolution.”

    This is a political strategy: whenever politicians introduce bills mandating the teaching of the “weaknesses” of evolution, they never put in writing in the bill just what the weaknesses ARE. That’s because they know that if they put this $π!+ in WRITING, the bill would have $π!+ in it like “there are no transitional fossils” and “natural processes can’t create information” and scientists would then tear that $π!+ APART, and the politicians who wrote it would be subject to ridicule and opprobrium from those who know something about those subjects. They’d be ridiculed forever, just like when the Indiana legislature considered a bill declaring that π = 3.000.

    That’s why, whenever anyone asks me, “Why are you against laws requiring the teaching of weaknesses of evolution? What are you afraid of?” I reply, “No, I’m not against teaching real weaknesses of evolutionary theory, I’m against teaching fake weaknesses like ‘no transitional fossils’, and what I demand is, if you want to pass a law requiring that ‘weaknesses’ be taught, then I *demand* that you WRITE IN THE LAW explicitly what those weaknesses are, WRITE THEM IN THE LAW, so that scientists everywhere, in all countries, will realize exactly what you’re up to, and will raise the alarm; and so that the politicians who wrote that law can be subjected to the same mockery and ridicule as that directed at the Indiana legislature that declared that π = 3.00. That is all I demand; write it in the law; why are you creationists afraid to do that?”

  14. michaelfugate

    I had forgotten about the COPE lawsuit (“[NGSS] will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview … in violation of the Establishment, Free Exercise, and Speech Clauses of the First Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment”).

    The Pacific Justice Institute is part of that lawsuit and they are also involved with the CSUN/Armitage case. Any one know how much contact between them and DI?

  15. We have a good idea what he thinks are its weaknesses, so I’m more interested in what Casey thinks are the strengths of evolution.

  16. michaelfugate

    Has the DI ever produce a model curriculum for their “strengths and weaknesses” approach. It would be interesting to see what it would include.

  17. Sadly Michael, they continue to pump out publications that they try to ‘wedge’ in to the curriculum. For example, Icons of Evolution is recommended to be used along side a regular text to show how wrong all of the icons are. All of their books including Icons can be found here:

    http://www.discovery.org/id/books/

  18. michaelfugate

    I read that book when it came out. If that is the state of the art of ID pedagogy – lord have mercy.

  19. So often Young Earth Creationists have told me “We are merely asking that students be taught critical thinking skills by letting them grapple with the pros and cons of The Theory of Evolution and decide for themselves whether it is valid. Is that too much to ask?” Sometimes they even add, “Otherwise, it’s not teaching. It’s just indoctrination and brainwashing.”

    I respond by saying, “What exactly do you mean by the word ‘merely’? Tell me which concepts in science class or any other part of the curriculum are taught in that way? Name some of the topics which children in our public schools are taught in that manner? How often are we presently allowing students to reach their own conclusions about anything in the textbooks anywhere in the curricula?” Not once have they identified a concept which is presently taught in that manner.

    If their children are home-schooled or attend a Christian private school, I ask them how many topics/concepts are taught to their children in that pro vs. con, make-up-their-own-minds manner. I then ask them if that is how their own children have been taught about The Theory of Evolution. A very few will try to hold their ground (as they get nervous over the looming hypocrisy charge against their position) and say, “Yes! When I home-school my older children in evolutionary biology, they definitely learn about the pros and cons behind evolution theory.” My reply: “That’s great. If I were to ask your oldest children right now to join us for a quick quiz, how would he/she answer these exam questions?”

    (1) “What are the three strongest arguments/evidences supporting The Theory of Evolution?

    (2) “What are the three strongest arguments/evidences which undermine The Theory of Evolution?”

    I once published the above along with the analogous two questions for “The Scientific Theory of Special Creation” as part of a challenge for an online forum where the Young Earth Creationists were posting “All we are requesting is that public school students in biology classes also learn about the “Creation Theory” when they learn about The Theory of Evolution.”. So I posted the four questions as part of my request for a sample excerpt from their proposed syllabus course outline for a typical high school sophomore’s biology class.

    Despite everyone claiming “It wouldn’t be that hard to create a helpful directive from a state commission which would tell teachers how to add such a Competing Theories of Origins segment to existing curricula.”, never did anyone answer my challenge in any meaningful way. (Of course, whenever I posted my four questions challenge to a Young Earth Creationist discussion forum or Facebook page, it was usually deleted within minutes–if allowed to appear at all. Despite their talk about “students should learn about both sides of an important public issue”, that’s not the policy of their own websites or classrooms.)

    I don’t see the “Let’s teach both sides” talk as much as I did in past decades. I think there is now a general awareness that “creation science” would not come out well in any sort of direct comparison of “theories”.

  20. Professor Tertius says: “Tell me which concepts in science class or any other part of the curriculum are taught in that way? … How often are we presently allowing students to reach their own conclusions about anything in the textbooks anywhere in the curricula?”

    That’s good!

  21. Diogenes’ Lamp quotes a Creationist argument:

    “One argument for evolution is that it allows atheists to escape moral accountability for living their sinful lives of sensual pleasure and sexual promiscuity.”

    Works for me.

  22. Gee, I wish I could live such a life, at least some of the time.

  23. docbill1351

    That Luskin is a liar and a hypocrite is well-documented, however it’s nothing personal. He’s paid to be a liar and a hypocrite. It’s his job. Good grief, folks, let the boy do his job! Leave Brittany ALONE! Er, I mean Luskin.

    From Luskin’s great book on How to Teach Children to Be IDiots, aka Discovering Intelligent Design, is this:

    While classified as a textbook, DID reads like a book and is intended for a wide range of ages – from teen to adult – in settings such as:

    Private schools
    General family and home setting
    Homeschools
    Church environments
    Community groups
    Extracurricular school organizations (such as IDEA Clubs)
    Personal use

    When used as a textbook, DID is not intended to replace standard subject science texts, but instead can supplement them by presenting information not available in many standard textbooks. Readers are encouraged not to just take our word for this material, but to use it as a starting point for further research.

    This supplemental textbook is not intended for use in public schools. ID is a scientific theory and is not religiously based, but we live in a highly-charged political climate that is often hostile to ID. While ID should be perfectly legal to discuss in public schools, there are strong reasons not to push ID into the public school curriculum.

    Yep, it’s pure science but, golly gee, don’t try this NOT at home!

    BTW, the first line totally cracked me up: classified as a textbook, but reads like a book.

    WTF does that even mean???

    “It’s classified as a textbook but squeals like a pig!”

  24. Diogenes’ Lamp; the “pi = 3″ legislation was an April Fool joke by my good friend Mark Boslough.

    ” there are many scientific problems with neo-Darwinian evolution”; true. that is why evolution now is post-neo-Darwinian, or perhaps post-post-neo-Darwinian, depending on whom you believe. And how come (we need to keep asking this) no one ever talks about neo-Daltonian chemistry?

    That bear-whale thing; suggested IIRC by Darwin in the first edition of On the Origin of Species, then dropped, except for sneering mentions by creationists. Of course, It’s a lot more like a pig-whale thing. Let me shamelessly mention this: https://paulbraterman.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/bears-whales-god-darwin-and-peter-hitchens-part-i/

    And Icons of Evolution is not only still promoted by DI; it even has its own study guide.

  25. Paul Braterman says, of “neo-Darwinism”:

    how come (we need to keep asking this) no one ever talks about neo-Daltonian chemistry?

    I used to refer to the Discoveroids as neo-Luddites and neo-theocrats, but maybe I should start calling them neo-creationists.

  26. I dunno.

    I still like the euphony of Neo-Knuckle-draggers

  27. Diogenes' Lamp

    Diogenes’ Lamp; the “pi = 3″ legislation was an April Fool joke by my good friend Mark Boslough.

    Huh wha? I was referring to the Indiana pi bill of 1897.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_pi_bill

    Actually the bill implied π = 3.2, not 3.0 as I stated.

  28. The departure of Physics from the world of real particles and wave motion in a medium to that of the of the Copenhagen Interpretation back in the 1920’s started the process of making physical science look like mambo-jumbo to most layman. Belief in a universe full of virtual particles, vacuum energy, god particles, dark matter e.t.c, has made the physical world look like magic.

    I think it is this neo-physics that has opened the door for the ID brigade, who now try to market their religious dogma as some sort of pseudo-science, to an audience used to listening to deluges of scientific twaddle.

    Here’s hoping the do not succeed.

  29. @Diogenes’ Lamp: Boslough perpetrated a widely circulated pi = 3 hoax in 1998. Details here: http://www.nmsr.org/alabama.htm

  30. Diogenes Lamp

    Tenuc appears to be a crackpot: I think it is this neo-physics that has opened the door for the ID brigade, who now try to market their religious dogma as some sort of pseudo-science, to an audience used to listening to deluges of scientific twaddle.

    Uh huh. So a universe full of virtual particles, vacuum energy, god particles, dark matter e.t.c, are just “scientific twaddle” that has made the physical world look like magic.

    Another hater of diffficult math. Everything Tenuc just listed has been observed at least indirectly, via its consequences. Virtual particles and vacuum energy can be detected by the Casimir effect, “God particles” is a journalist’s name for the Higgs boson which was predicted and observed as a major triumph of particles physics. Dark matter can be observed and mapped indirectly from its gravitational pull.

    I understand some people can’t do difficult math (the math for the Higgs is not terribly difficult) and why other *hate* math, but I don’t understand why crackpots go so far as to say, “I suck at math, and I hate math, therefore the mathematically modelled entities don’t exist whenever the math is beyond my limited education or offensive to my ego.”

    I guess it’s just envy and laziness.

    Modern particle physics is the single greatest achievement in the history of mankind, and successful by every known or conceivable standard of success.

  31. Diogenes Lamp

    Glenn Branch: @Diogenes’ Lamp: Boslough perpetrated a widely circulated pi = 3 hoax in 1998. Details here: http://www.nmsr.org/alabama.htm

    I said Indiana, not Alabama. The Indiana bill was real.

  32. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Pi_Bill The Indiana bill, proposed but rejected in 1897, did not in fact say that pi = 3, although it did say that it could be determined by ruler and compass methods, the geometric equivalent of solving a quadratic equation.

  33. michaelfugate

    I should start calling them neo-creationists.

    I like that. We could start a new meme that the new creationists are not like the old pre-evolution creationists. The neos or NCs are militant and strident. They ignore history and philosophy. They lack nuance. What else am I missing?

  34. <Charles Deetz: "I’m still stumped by when all this CSI is created and/or added. Was it in the Cambrian Explosion … or is it every time a living thing is conceived?"

    You’re only stumped because, for some crazy reason, those crucial questions are almost never asked. Fortunately I ask them often and pay close attention when they are answered and (much more commonly) evaded. Here’s what I found over the years:

    Dembski has speculated that it could have been all front-loaded at the Big Bang, which he admits was ~14 BY ago, and ~10BY before life. Behe has speculated (in the only ~0.5% of “Darwin’s Black Box” that isn’t about misrepresenting evolution) that it could have been all front-loaded into the first replicating cell. Meyer is more vague, but his obsession with the Cambrian, which like Behe and Dembski he freely admits was ~500 MY ago, suggests that that’s where and when he thinks it happened, presumably inserting fossilizable parts in pre-existing lineages. I once asked a self-described YEC, albeit one who’s OK with the DI’s “big tent” strategy, if he thought that the designer intervenes in human reproduction. Without hesitation he said yes, not realizing how that undermined the DI’s strategy to imply that it only happened “somewhere, long ago” where we were not there to observe it. IOW we only observe “information” decrease, or at most “insignificant” increase.

    They’re all playing word games of course. It would be nice if criticism of these clowns dealt more with how they can’t even get their word games straight, much less agree on a testable alternate “what happened when.” And less about what they supposedly believe and/or misunderstand.