Monday, June 20, 2005

Menuge responds to Lippard

All of it false:1) Sternberg has 2 Ph.D's in evolutionary biology and is not even a proponent ofID, far less a creationist: he is simply a structuralist. Too many Darwinistsmake the mistake of labeling all their critics "creationist." This means thatStuart Kauffman, who believes in naturalistic self-organization, is a creationist. Absurd? I think so.2) Leonard's critics admit they only objected after his testimony at Kansas andnot on the basis of *any* knowledge of his dissertation or research. Their keycomplaint is that it is unethical to have taught students about the controversyabout Darwinism, because there isn't one. But there is, even among entirelynaturalistic cicles. See for example, eds. Gerd B. Muller and Stuart Newman,The Origination of Organismal Form, MIT Press. P.7: "neo-Darwinism has no theoryof the generative."On the back cover, the last blurb confirms: "This volume challenges the primacyof both neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory and developmental genetics as completeexplanations for the phenomena of evolutionary developmental biology." The bookargues that neo-Darwinism fails to explain new body plans and the devlopment ofindividual orgaisms, because both depend on more than the gene. I'll leave others to decide if unfounded accusations, blatant misrepresentationof people's positions, childish ad hominems and attempts to ruin people'scareers amount to persecution. Here's another recent example from Evolution News:News Release                   For Immediate ReleaseCALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES SETTLES LIBEL CLAIMOVER EVOLUTION ARTICLEParent's Claim Sparked by False Article by Leading Darwin Advocate                  ROSEVILLE, CA -- The California Academy of Sciences has settled with a California parent, Larry Caldwell, who raised a potential libel claim against the organization over its publication of a false and defamatory article authoredby Eugenie C. Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for ScienceEducation, Inc. (NCSE) Scott's article, entitled "In My Backyard: Creationists in California," appeared in the Spring print and online editions of theAcademy's California Wild magazine. The article had also been accessible througha link on the NCSE's website.In a lawsuit filed against Scott and the NCSE in April, Caldwell claimed thatthe Scott article contained numerous factual misstatements and libeled him in an effort by Scott and the NCSE to discredit his efforts to promote his "QualityScience Education" policy, which is designed to include some of the scientific weaknesses of the Darwin's theory of evolution in biology classes. Caldwell'slawsuit did not formally name the California Academy of Sciences as a defendant,although, as the publisher of the Scott article, it was a potential defendant inthe suit.In a settlement agreement finalized recently, the California Academy of Scienceshas agreed to permanently remove all on-line access to the Scott article. TheAcademy has also agreed to publish a lengthy letter by Caldwell and a retractionletter by Scott in the upcoming Summer 2005 Edition of Calfornia Wild, whichwill be available in print and on the internet in early July. Caldwell's letter will correct a number of factual misstatements in the Scottarticle. Scott's letter will retract several false allegations about Caldwell andhis-year long effort to improve science education in the Roseville high schooldistrict. For example, Scott had falsely accused Caldwell of purportedlyproposing two young earth creation science books to the Roseville Joint UnionHigh School District for potential adoption and use in biology classes--one of which is authored and published by the Jehovah's Witnesses. In her letter to be published in California Wild, Scott now concedes that Caldwell did not submit these books to the school district. Contrary to her article, Scott also now admits that school officials in the Roseville high school district never actually considered those books foradoption anyway. Scott also concedes that her allegation that a science expert had purportedlyexpressed his opinion that Caldwell had a "gross misunderstanding of science"was false; and Scott will also retract her claim that the Roseville high schoolboard had purportedly passed a resolution "recommending" that "creationist"materials be used in science classes.Said Caldwell, "I am pleased that the California Academy of Sciences andCalifornia Wild have shown the professional integrity to remove this libelous article from internet access, and to give me an opportunity to set the record straight on my Quality Science Education Policy"Caldwell added, "It's a shame it took a lawsuit to get Scott, the author of the article, to retract some of the more outrageous factual misstatements in her article."Unfortunately, Scott and the NCSE have a long history of libeling people in the debate over how evolution should be taught in our public schools; my case isonly the most recent example. Hopefully, it won't take any more libel lawsuitsto teach them how to stick to the truth.""Other critics of Darwin's theory have been personally attacked on the basis of misrepresentations in similar cases where the Darwinists claim that the critics' professional statements or qualifications are false," said Caldwell. "The difference between them and me is that I decided to take legal action.Darwinists need to get the message: engage in civil discourse without defamationor prepare to answer in court."According to Caldwell, there's also an important lesson for journalistsand publishers: Claims by Darwinists should by carefully investigated before being reported as facts. Meanwhile, Caldwell's libel lawsuit against Scott and the National Centerfor Science Education, Inc. continues.Caldwell is the founder of Quality Science Education for All, a non-profitorganization dedicated to securing and defending the right of all students to receive a quality science education that exposes them to the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolution. Quality Science Education for All is onthe web here
VR: The chances for civilized discussion of the merits of ID are not looking good to me, and that is too bad.