Casey and Kitzmiller — One More Time

The Discovery Institute has never recovered from the utter defeat their “theory” suffered in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. From time to time they still blog about it, with endless complaints about how Judge John E. Jones managed to get everything wrong.

Such tirades are usually written by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist. He just posted another one today, and the title alone is a howler: Does the Kitzmiller v. Dover Ruling Show that Intelligent Design is Academically Substandard? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

The other day I discussed how, in claiming that intelligent design does not deserve academic freedom, critics commonly appeal to scientific authorities who have issued politically motivated condemnations of ID. But there is another authority these folks often cite, uncritically too. They just love the Kitzmiller v. Dover ruling, presenting it as if that were the ultimate, unassailable refutation of ID. We affectionately call this the “Judge Jones Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It” approach to ID.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! This is priceless! Here’s more:

However, Judge Jones’s ruling includes numerous false claims about law and science, on top of other deficiencies, that make it a highly inaccurate and unreliable analysis of intelligent design.

Casey then gives us no less than 15 “mistakes” he claims the judge made. We won’t list them all, but here are a few:

• Employed a false definition of ID, wrongly holding that it requires “supernatural creation” — a position refuted during the trial by ID proponents who testified and in other evidence given to the judge.

• Overstepped the bounds of his role as a judge and engaged in judicial activism. Jones found that ID had been refuted when in fact he had been presented with credible scientific witnesses and publications on both sides showing evidence of a scientific debate.

• Blatantly ignored and denied the existence of pro-ID scientific research and data that was likewise the subject of testimony in his own courtroom.

Casey has done this before. He fails to grasp that there were witnesses on both sides of the 40-day trial, and the judge decided that the testimony of the creationist witnesses had all been discredited. You can read his superb decision for yourself — the full text is here.

Oh, wait — here’s one more from Casey’s list of “mistakes” that we can’t ignore:

Copied 90 percent of his celebrated section on whether ID is science either verbatim or nearly verbatim from an ACLU brief.

Casey has argued that before, and we debunked in it Casey and Kitzmiller — the Case He “Forgot”, where we said

Judges often copy large portions from the briefs of the prevailing party — not because they’re taking orders from such party, but because they find that those arguments are legally correct and should be adopted by the court. It’s a very common practice, and only Casey finds it bothersome. Indeed, like many judges, Jones required the parties to submit their versions of the “findings of fact” and “conclusions of law.” Much of the winning side’s submission will find its way into the court’s final opinion. That’s utterly routine.

Casey rants on and on. As we’ve remarked before, he’s engaged in a lonely, one man crusade to reverse the decision by blogging about it. It’s a tactic that is unlikely to produce any results. We’ll skip to near the end:

The bottom line is this: Long after the ruling was handed down, living cells will still always contain digital code and microbiological machines that provide evidence for design. This debate won’t be settled by courts, but by scientists and other scholars who give design a fair hearing.

Ooooooooooh — digital code! Machines! Why won’t scientists give the Discoveroids a fair hearing? Anyway, this is the end of it:

Judge Jones’s ruling is so full of errors of science, of law, and of philosophy that it’s a great model for why we don’t want federal judges trying to settle scientific controversies.

That’s odd. If the Discoveroids don’t want federal judges deciding these things, then why were they so active in the case? See Kitzmiller v. Dover: The Role of The Discovery Institute.

Ah well, Casey’s little essay isn’t going to persuade anyone. Whenever a school board considers teaching intelligent design (outside of Louisiana, where everyone seems to be a creationist), they are usually discouraged from doing so when their lawyers advise them about the Kitzmiller opinion. If they ignore their lawyers’ advice, they risk exposing themselves to liability, because the school board’s insurance won’t cover them if they decide to act on their own. So Kitzmiller continues to have a powerful influence — unlike Casey’s attempts to criticize it.

We’ll close with a question. Hey, Casey — if you Discoveroids are so certain that Kitzmiller was wrong, then why haven’t you encouraged another school board to try the same thing that was done in Dover? If you think the case should be a winner, why do you turn your backs and run away from what’s going on in Louisiana? Why do you claim that you don’t want public schools to teach intelligent design, just the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution? You talk big, Casey, but we’re watching how you guys run from every opportunity to have another court test.

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21 responses to “Casey and Kitzmiller — One More Time

  1. Meanwhile, the world moves on without Casey’s transcendent Designer who fine-tuned the universe just so that an infinitesimal fraction of it could be inhabited by lucky us.

  2. “Does the Kitzmiller v. Dover Ruling Show that Intelligent Design is Academically Substandard?”

    For all of Casey’s irrelevant and pompous verbosity, all he had to say was one word to answer his own initial question: YES

  3. And why didn’t the Discovery Institute witnesses stay and testify at the Dover Trial? Instead, when they saw how Michael Behe was getting shredded in cross-ex, they ran for the airport like the cowards they are known to be.

    So if the ID side was inadequately represented in the trial, aren’t the Discovery Institute staffers to blame?

  4. michaelfugate

    One thing about creationists is they are unimaginative – hence the copying of “x said it, I believe it, that settles it” and another is if they think they didn’t get a fair trial – challenge the ruling – teach ID and defend it in court. Nobody stopping you, Casey.

  5. Although Wolfgang Pauli wasn’t referring to statements from the Discovery Institute’s minion Casey, this phrase is appropriate: “Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!” Oh, and where is this famous data that “pro-ID” research has churned out and the judge “blatantly ignored”?

  6. Casey Luskin:
    “The other day I discussed how, in claiming that intelligent design does not deserve academic freedom, critics commonly appeal to scientific authorities who have issued politically motivated condemnations of ID.”

    Casey, you know darnned well Dover was not about “academic freedom”. It was about the attempt of the Dover school board to promote religion in the public school science class. Judge Jones agreed that “Intelligent Design” was nothing more than “Creation Science” wearing a new shade of lipstick.
    And the U.S. Supreme Court had already determined that “Creation Science” in a public school violated the U.S. Constitution.

  7. Doctor Stochastic

    “Does the Kitzmiller v. Dover Ruling Show that Intelligent Design is Academically Substandard?”

    Not really, it does take judicial note of that fact though.

  8. “The bottom line is this: Long after the ruling was handed down, living cells will still always contain digital code…”

    Erm, not mature human red blood cells. Surely Casey, you know they don’t have DNA. Please tell me you know that. Please!

  9. Diogenes' Lamp

    No DNA contains “digital code” or digital anything. When we write DNA as a string of letters, e.g. CTTGAC, we invented the code of writing chemicals as letters. Triplets of nucleotides determine, in the resulting protein, the identity of a molecule within a class of chemicals, the amino acids. That is analogous to a “code”, but there are no digits. What digits correspond to CTTGAC? None.

    You’re making it up again Casey.

  10. Dear, dear Casey! How he puts me in mind of my great-uncle (now long-ago deceased), a true great-grandson of a Confederate veteran, whose utter preoccupation in his dotage was enmity to Maj. Gen. George Pickett, C.S.A., for failing to carry the day at Gettysburg.

    Yes, Casey: never mind The Trial that Drove Old Disco’Tute Down, for The Intelligent Designer will rise again!

  11. The bottom line is this: Long after the [ruling] was handed down, living cells will still always contain digital code and microbiological machines that provide evidence for design. This debate won’t be settled by courts, but by scientists and other scholars who give design a fair hearing.

    No, the bottom line is this: Casey is misreading the evidence in order to create an appearance of “design.”

    AS for “academic freedom” requiring the teaching of ID alongside evolution, this is purest horse manure. Creationists have made it clear that they consider “Darwinism” not merely wrong but evil, a corruptor of decency responsible for Hitler, Stalin, etc., etc. If they really believe that, why would they want evolution taught at all? The answer is that they don’t, but don’t want to admit it until they can get Epperson v. Arkansas overturned.

  12. Our Curmudgeon has been insanely optimistic in giving the title here of Casey and Kitzmiller — One More Time.

    Casey is bound to return many more times–like a dog to its own vomit–to his gloopy screed on Dover…

  13. Casey is right in that a judgement isn’t the be all end all in dismissing “I.D.”, in fact the case is just to the preponderance of the evidence-more likely than not. The real smoking gun in the case is how the creationist textbook underwent editorial revision to change from religious creationism to intelligent design. Cases like this are decided on evidence, evidence in a lot of cases is a paper trail, and editing a religious book to try to fly under the radar of the law means you lose the case.
    The case only determines that I.D. is religion and has no business being taught in a public school.
    Casey you’re a failure at both being a lawyer and a scientist. I think you endure because you have to pay the mortgage and put food on the table for the gerbilettes.

  14. Troy says:

    Casey is right in that a judgement isn’t the be all end all in dismissing “I.D.”, in fact the case is just to the preponderance of the evidence-more likely than not.

    The case wasn’t appealed because the school board was swept out in an election, and the new board decided to let the case go. The decision of one trial court isn’t even binding on other trial judges in that district. However, the facts that came out in the trial are there for all to see, and that’s what’s killing the Discoveroids.

  15. michaelfugate

    Certainly the DI’s version of ID has a supernatural creator – otherwise they wouldn’t care.

  16. I cannot help wondering what our dear IDiots would have to say about this.

    http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-modern-human-neanderthal-romania-20150622-story.html

    Of course we all have a good idea how Ol’ Hambo is going to react:

  17. Diogenes' Lamp

    Hambo won’t care about humans and Neanderthals mating, because YECs generally say that Neanderthals are fully human, or degenerate humans, of superior humans from whom we degenerated.

    But it’s bad for Old Earth creationist Hugh Ross. Ross maintained for years that Neanderthals were just dumb apes without souls, and any tools found with Neanderthals were the result of humans using the tools to kill and eat the dumb apes.

    The recent DNA evidence that European humans are partially descended from Neanderthals forced Ross to concede that humans mated with dumb apes to produce modern white people. He seriously says that our ancestors mated with and had viable children with dumb apes that we otherwise hunted, killed and ate when we weren’t coiting and impregnating them.

  18. docbill1351

    The headline should read, “Ineffectual Attack Gerbil Lies One More Time.”

    That’s more accurate. The Gerb has been “corrected” on these points more than once, but we all know the Gerb’s job: to lie like a dog, er, rodent.

    I find it highly amusing that creationists have all “refuted” points made by real scientists. No, Gerbie, that’s not true. Behe hasn’t refuted scientists who point out that “irreducible complexity” is mumbo-jumbo. No, Meyer hasn’t refuted scientists who observe that his grasp of biology, biochemistry and paleontology is not only negligible but not even wrong.

    It’s amazing that a decade after the Kitzmiller ruling the Tooters still pepper their docudramas with whiny apologetics about why ID is vewy good and Kitzmiller is vewy bad. Vewy, vewy bad!

    And, no, the Tooters have absolutely nothing to squawk about regarding Kitzmiller because they cut an ran, chickened out, packed it in, took a powder, went AWOL, skipped town, deserted and threw the Dover Area School District’s counsel under the (clown) bus.

    Yep, they skipped out the back, Jack, made a new plan, Stan, got all coy, Roy, to get themselves free. They hopped on the bus, Gus, didn’t need to discuss much, dropped off the key, Lee, and got themselves free.

    (From Fifty Ways to Whine About Kitzmiller)

  19. Derek Freyberg

    Casey does get one thing right, though, if you edit a little:
    Judge Jones’s ruling is so full of errors of science, of law, and of philosophy that it’s a great model for why we don’t want federal judges trying to settle scientific controversies.”
    Federal courts are ill-equipped to settle scientific controversies – those are generally better fought out among the scientists in the field; but they are well-equipped to settle attempts to stuff religion down the throats of teachers and students under the guise of science.

  20. @docbill1351: Ha, one of my favorite Paul Simon songs, and so appropriate for the IDers — the problem is all inside their heads!

  21. Luskin: [Judge Jones e]mployed a false definition of ID.

    As wrong as he is on everything else, Luskin is 100% correct about that. Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one who got the joke that has been running for 28 years. Most of you know it too, but maybe it’s just too obvious. So try this thought experiment: A Biblical literalist and a “Darwinist” give the exact same definition of ID. How does a Discoveroid react? Toward the literalist there will be usually silence, or at most a polite correction. Toward the “Darwinist” there will be the same old tantrum.

    The “correct” definition of ID must include a comment of approval.