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Author Topic:   Congress stepping in to stop witchunt of IDers
randman 
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Message 16 of 30 (370695)
12-18-2006 5:05 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Percy
12-18-2006 4:58 PM


NPR, Wash Post
This is not the first time this has come up. The Washington Post ran an article we discussed some time back that was very critical of the evo establishment over this, and now we see NPR reporting that there are scientists that think ID has merit but they are afraid of the witchunts of evos.

So it's not just evangelicals saying evos are using positions of power to suppress academic freedom and conduct witchunts, but it's also some very liberal media outlets.

I would think with such a disparate group crying foul, that perhaps you and some other evos would at least consider the possibility that you are wrong? But then again, maybe not.....historically it's been very difficult to get evos to admit to even easily verifiable mistakes such as the Biogenetic Law....;)


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 Message 15 by Percy, posted 12-18-2006 4:58 PM Percy has replied

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 Message 17 by Percy, posted 12-18-2006 5:31 PM randman has replied

Percy
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From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 17 of 30 (370705)
12-18-2006 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by randman
12-18-2006 5:05 PM


Re: NPR, Wash Post
randman writes:

This is not the first time this has come up. The Washington Post ran an article we discussed some time back that was very critical of the evo establishment over this, and now we see NPR reporting that there are scientists that think ID has merit but they are afraid of the witchunts of evos.

Well, the media just reports the controversy, and there's lots of reporting out there to choose from. But I agree that scientists who are reluctant to make public their support for pseudoscience are probably making a wise career decision.

So it's not just evangelicals saying evos are using positions of power to suppress academic freedom and conduct witchunts, but it's also some very liberal media outlets.

Well, why don't you dig up links to the Washington Post article and to the NPR report so we have something concrete to talk about.

--Percy


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Replies to this message:
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randman 
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Message 18 of 30 (370709)
12-18-2006 5:38 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Percy
12-18-2006 5:31 PM


Re: NPR, Wash Post
percy, we discussed the Wash Post story awhile back, and I accept the quotation from NPR from WND. This particular thread probably isn't going anywhere because I think it's clear that it doesn't matter to evos if there are scientists that are persecuted for advancing ID, and that there is a witchunt going on. Your comment below is, for me, tacit admission of that.

But I agree that scientists who are reluctant to make public their support for pseudoscience are probably making a wise career decision.

What's left to discuss? You guys think the witchunt is OK, and your critics think otherwise, but at least we can settle on the fact there is a witchunt towards anyone in academia advancing ID.


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 Message 17 by Percy, posted 12-18-2006 5:31 PM Percy has replied

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 Message 19 by Percy, posted 12-18-2006 5:43 PM randman has replied

Percy
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Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 19 of 30 (370711)
12-18-2006 5:43 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by randman
12-18-2006 5:38 PM


Re: NPR, Wash Post
What's left to discuss? Well, not much I guess. I've had my say and you've had yours.

--Percy


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 Message 18 by randman, posted 12-18-2006 5:38 PM randman has replied

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 Message 20 by randman, posted 12-18-2006 5:46 PM Percy has replied

randman 
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Message 20 of 30 (370712)
12-18-2006 5:46 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Percy
12-18-2006 5:43 PM


Re: NPR, Wash Post
You could take a stab at the retrocausality thread. One reason for posting it was so that you and others could see Cramer's comments on entanglement as indeed being "action at a distance".

It was very frustrating to see you guys deny what quantum physicists state, namely that it violates either or both local realism and forward causality, and yet despite the fact QM is probably the most successful theory in all of science, you guys just flat out stonewalled and denied what QM is, according to those working in that field.


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Percy
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Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 21 of 30 (370867)
12-19-2006 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by randman
12-18-2006 5:46 PM


The Souder Report
PaulK has posted some relevant information at The Souder Report (on ID Supporter Richard von Sternberg's claims of persecution).

--Percy


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Straggler
Member (Idle past 207 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 22 of 30 (370879)
12-19-2006 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by randman
12-16-2006 1:44 PM


It is indeed a shame that the legitimate questioning of accepted scientific principles is discouraged. This is after all historically how science has progressed.
However I would blame the creationist/IDist movement for this current climate of closed thinking and paranoia rather than liberals, atheists or advocates of evolution in general.

Most scientists are interested in the truth. That is the truth of nature as revealed by the scientific method which itself has developed as a means to nullify bias, promote objectivity and reach the most accurate conclusions possible.
With this in mind most scientists would relish a genuinely major breakthrough that caused us all to re-evaluate and enhance our current understanding. Yes there would be resistance as there always is when any established theory is challenged. However if a new theory was able to make more accurate predictions, explain currently unexaplainable phenomenon and pass all the tests of replicability and independent verification that are the hallmarks of good science it would ultimately be welcomed and those that discovered it be honoured with prizes and prestiege.

IDism is not science for various reasons but most generally because it's aims are the direct opposite of science. Where science seeks to form an objective truth through evidence based investigation, ID seeks to verify a highly subjective set of unshakable beliefs by locating evidence that can be interpreted to support it's physically unfounded claims. It does not follow the scientific method or demonstrate any of he hallmarks of good science described above.

IDists leap on any challenge to the established theories with utter glee on the (invalid) assumption that if current theories are wrong that this will result in ID theories being more widely accepted.

It is then unsuprising that scientists, who struggle already in communicating the nuances of scientific investigation to the general masses, get defensive when any alternative to current thinking is seen as somehow adding to the claims of those that they know to be doing fake and bad science. "Science" rooted in faith based methodologies that are the very antithesis of scientific in nature and whose predetermined conclusions are dressed up in scientific clothing to give them the illusion of the same authenticity that science has earned through it's results.

If it were not for the ID movement and it's unscientific dogma based hatred of current theories scientists would be in a position to more open mindedly evaluate evidence based alternatives and explore other avenues without letting the metaphorical lunatics take over the asylum.

As things stand - If there are amendments to be made as regards evolutionary, and other religiously contentious, theories they are less likely to be examined in the current climate that is the result of ID non-science and the dangers this presents.

As things stand


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 Message 1 by randman, posted 12-16-2006 1:44 PM randman has replied

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randman 
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Message 23 of 30 (370931)
12-19-2006 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Straggler
12-19-2006 12:41 PM


hmmm....
However I would blame the creationist/IDist movement for this current climate of closed thinking and paranoia rather than liberals, atheists or advocates of evolution in general.

Why?

Most scientists are interested in the truth.

Maybe. Maybe it's just a minority at the top more interested in maintaining power, and the rest would like to see things open up?

However if a new theory was able to make more accurate predictions, explain currently unexaplainable phenomenon and pass all the tests of replicability and independent verification that are the hallmarks of good science it would ultimately be welcomed and those that discovered it be honoured with prizes and prestiege.

I doubt it because frankly, current evo science does not contain "tests of replicability and independent verification" concerning the basic assumptions of evos, and yet it is asserted dogmatically. There are absolutely no examples of macro-transitions documented in the fossil record, for example, and yet alternative theories to explain the fossil record, such as ID, are dismissed out of hand.

IDism is not science for various reasons but most generally because it's aims are the direct opposite of science.

That's just bull-crap, but since evos believe what you wrote, they don't give ID a chance anyway. The deck is stacked because, by definition, in your mind, ID is anti-science, and so there is no objective basis among the evo establishment to consider it.

Where science seeks to form an objective truth through evidence based investigation, ID seeks to verify a highly subjective set of unshakable beliefs by locating evidence that can be interpreted to support it's physically unfounded claims. It does not follow the scientific method or demonstrate any of he hallmarks of good science described above.

I see it as the exact opposite. Evos have an unshakeable belief formed prior to rigorous scientific standards, namely the Darwinian myth, and actually formed as well with all sorts of fakery and political and social overtones, and now, evos just accept it blindly, and interpret all data in light of it, even though the basic assumptions of evolutionism have not been empirically verified, nor substantiated.

ID, on the other hand, seeks out an honest appraisal of the facts to see where they lead. It's the exact opposite, imo, of what you are writing.

IDists leap on any challenge to the established theories with utter glee on the (invalid) assumption that if current theories are wrong that this will result in ID theories being more widely accepted.

Or maybe they are just happy that truth is being made known, and false concepts perpetuated by evos are being exposed. You assume evos have noble motives, but IDers don't.

"Science" rooted in faith based methodologies that are the very antithesis of scientific in nature and whose predetermined conclusions are dressed up in scientific clothing to give them the illusion of the same authenticity that science has earned through it's results.

Faith-based? You mean like faith in evolution and Darwin? The simple fact is evos are not going where the evidence leads, but smearing everyone else as faith-based when in reality, evos are as faith-based a group as they come. They just have their own "faith."

I harp on this as an example, but be honest here. Why did it take over 100 years of sustained criticisms from the suppossed faith-based wackos for evos to finally admit Haeckel's stuff was fraudulent? The fact of the matter is if you just look at the history of how evos have supported their theory, it is absolutely laughable to pretend they have followed a scientific process, scientific standards, not even remotely, and their critics which you claim want to destroy science are to be credited for exposing frauds such as the Biogenetic Law.

It's time for evos to come to grips that a lot of what evo scientists have advanced as true in the past 130 years is a load of cow-dung, and that contrary to their claims, they really haven't ever properly substantiated their major claims. They haven't substantiated, for example, that observed variation or subspeciation of even speciation processes create the genetic material to add up to macroevolution. They haven't shown that mutational rates are greater than the rate of genetic loss via isolation. They haven't ever really explained, quantified and defined the concept of fossil rarity as an excuse for why we see absolutely no macro-transitions in the fossil record. They haven't any evidence to really counter the obvious flaws in their story such as how half-formed wings are an advantageous trait. They have no duplicatable, testable claims whatsoever to verify ToE. They haven't come up with a valid means of determining when similarities are the result of convergent evolution or common ancestry. They haven't explained adequately how a random process would create 2 imperfect designs independently. Their explanation of natural selection just doesn'y explain the mammalian ear. They have varying and different definitions of the very term "evolution" and other terms, and insist that defining one definition of the term makes a different definition true as well. They haven't defined "random" or substantiated what "random" means despite using the term. They base their view of science on classical definitions of reality which are wrong, as demonstrated via quantum mechanics.....etc, etc,.....


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 Message 22 by Straggler, posted 12-19-2006 12:41 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Percy, posted 12-19-2006 4:20 PM randman has replied
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Percy
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Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 24 of 30 (370957)
12-19-2006 4:20 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by randman
12-19-2006 3:23 PM


A now, a word from our topic...
If you examine the information that PaulK posted links to at The Souder Report (on ID Supporter Richard von Sternberg's claims of persecution) you'll see that Sternberg apparently did not suffer any discrimination at the Smithsonian as a result of his editorial misconduct with the BSOW proceedings. His complaints about keys and offices were all unwarranted, and he remains at the Smithsonian. His only complaint that appears to have any basis in fact is that he is experiencing the disapproval of colleagues.

That disapproval is apparently well deserved. He developed a history of mishandling specimens, not returning museum library books, and he apparently committed unauthorized removal of library books from the premises, since these books were never found on Smithsonian property. Regarding the BSOW proceedings, his publishing of the Meyer paper was apparently not the first time he'd published questionable material and either manipulated or bypassed peer-review, and his mishandling of submissions resulted in a large number of complaints.

Sternberg's situation was discussed via internal Smithsonian email with the final decision apparently being that his standing at the Smithsonian should be solely dependent upon the quality of his scientific work at that institution. He remains at the Smithsonian. It's hard to find any evidence of a witch hunt.

--Percy


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 Message 23 by randman, posted 12-19-2006 3:23 PM randman has replied

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 Message 25 by randman, posted 12-19-2006 5:12 PM Percy has replied
 Message 26 by randman, posted 12-19-2006 5:19 PM Percy has replied

randman 
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Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 25 of 30 (370967)
12-19-2006 5:12 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Percy
12-19-2006 4:20 PM


Re: A now, a word from our topic...
So that explains the NPR report on other scientists that are saying the same thing about a climate of fear and hostility towards anyone willing to advance ID?

As far as Steinberg, I tend to be suspicious of the perception and judgement of evos since most of the time they have prejudged the situation already and suspect the report slamming Steinberg could well be just another hatchet job.


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randman 
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Message 26 of 30 (370970)
12-19-2006 5:19 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Percy
12-19-2006 4:20 PM


this is from the appendix...
Almost irmnediately afier the August, 2004, issue of the Pr*oceedings was published, there is email traffic between Museum staff indicating they are consideriitg ways to penalize Dr. Sternberg or dismiss him altogether for his involvement in the publication of the Meyer article. These considerations were being discussed without any hard evidence of unethical behavior oil tlze part of Dr. Stemberg.

At one point, on October 5, 2004, Dr. Coddington (in his capacity as Dr. Sternberg's "s~~pervisor"t)e lls Dr. Sues via email that he is planning to meet with Dr. Steinberg to discuss he cotiditions of his ongoing research associate position and to "lzint that if he lzad any class he would either entirely desist or resign his appointment." If this statement isn't an example of a hostile work envirom~zent and discrimination, what is? Clearly, the NMNH management was trying to make Dr. Stemberg's life at the Museum as difficult as possible and encourage him to leave on his own, since they hew they had no legal grounds to dismiss him. Additionally, it appears that the government relations omce of the Smithsonia~kl new that the National Museum of Natural History was wrong in its claim that no discrimination had occurred. One of your own employees acknowledged as much in an enlail. Email correspondence dated 10/5/04 froin Nell Payne to Evelyn Lieberman at the Office of Personnel Management states: "This is tricky. This looks to me precisely the sort of management pressure Stemberg is complaining about.. .Sounds to me like the response is that Stemberg is a research associate(need more clarity on what that actually means) and not an employee. What Ize does on his owl1 time with his own resources is his own business, and if management indicated otherwise it was misinfom~ed." Since we know from other emails that the Museum inanagement did "indicate othenvise," your office should ensure that there are appropriate consequences for those NMNH

Sounds like they were creating a hostile work environment and slandering the guy to me.......more....

For instance, Dr. Lemaitre apparently conducted his own background research on Dr. Sternberg's outside activities and affiliations, including his supposed involvement with religious-based organizations, in an attempt to damage his reputation as a scientist. Dr. Lemaitre forwarded his background research on Dr. Sternberg to scientists outside of the Srnithsonian, cliciting the following response fiom a University of Virginia scientist:

"This is truly frightening! I cannot believe it has come down to this. Scientists have been perfectly willing to let these people alone in their churches. But now it looks like these people are coming out and invading our schools, biology classes, museums, and now our professional journals. These people to my mind are only a scale up on the fundies of a more destructive kind in other parts of the world."

It's hard to see how considering the actions and emails of the Smithsonian ptbs, that they are not guilty of bias and slander.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.

Edited by randman, : Fix formatting.


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Straggler
Member (Idle past 207 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 27 of 30 (370998)
12-19-2006 7:48 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by randman
12-19-2006 3:23 PM


Facts
Creationism would not and could not exist without unquestioning faith in the accuracy of the unfounded and unconfirmable stories of the bible.
Evolutionary theory originated from well documented evidence that is available for all to analyse.

Q: Which of these origins has a basis in science and which does not?

Creationism has never predicted a single thing regarding as yet undoscovered evidence it would expect to find as a logical consequence of it's theories. All it can ever do is provide implausible alternatives for evidence once located by proper scientists.

Hundreds of fossil finds have been consistent with predictions by the theory of evolution as proposed by Darwin. The mechanism for inheritance (genetics) has also been found to be completely in accordance with evolution by natural selection as proposed by Darwin who knew nothing of genetics. The genetic tree of life is absolutely in accordance with that predicted by evolution by means of natural selection and genetic mutation.

Q: Which theory provides random, dispirate and disjointed explanations for physical phenomenon once they are found and which theory has passed various potential refutations to produce an elegent all encompassing theory of the origins of species little changed from it's original?

Creationist conclusions are based on unfounded and uncorroborated biblical accounts of creation which their "scientists" then seek out evidence for.

Evolutionary conclusions are based on physical evidence and the details of the theory (the mechanism by which inherited change takes place) have changed as new physical evidence and scientific understanding has been gained.

Q: Is there a single creationist conclusion that is based solely on physical evidence with no initial reference to biblical creation? If it has no scientific conclusions how can it be considered science in any way shape or form?

It is worth noting that all creationists are Christian fundamentalists but not all atheists are scientists (in fact very very few). Frankly most scientists are happily going about their business relatively unaware that "nutjobs" like you and me take this whole thing seriously enough to spend our time debating it. THERE IS NO CONSPIRACY.

You live in a fantasy land where you are the persucuted minority with some sort of secret truth that the rest of the world, and scientists in particular, are conspiring to withold.

It is, indirectly, for sharing this paranoid view that the good professor has been ridiculed and rejected by his peers (along with his other various indiscretions that have already been pointed out)


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 28 of 30 (371012)
12-19-2006 8:49 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by randman
12-19-2006 5:12 PM


Re: A now, a word from our topic...
randman writes:

So that explains the NPR report on other scientists that are saying the same thing about a climate of fear and hostility towards anyone willing to advance ID?

As I already said about the NPR report, I don't really see how we could discuss something that neither of us have heard.

As far as Steinberg, I tend to be suspicious of the perception and judgement of evos since most of the time they have prejudged the situation already and suspect the report slamming Steinberg could well be just another hatchet job.

Well, you're more than welcome to make your case, but the evidence comes from the appendix to the Souder staff report. For example, on just page 16 alone we see that the appendix is the source of the information about the specimens and library books. And apparently no one knows when he works or who he reports to or what his project is.

The fact remains that Sternberg has not suffered any consequences at the Smithsonian as a result of his misconduct as editor of the BSOW proceedings, other than causing his colleagues to think poorly of him.

--Percy


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 29 of 30 (371015)
12-19-2006 9:12 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by randman
12-19-2006 5:19 PM


Re: this is from the appendix...
Hi Randman,

Yes, your excerpts are from the Souder staff report appendix. They're from the first item in the appendix, a letter from Senator Rick Santorum and Representative Mark Souder, both active in promoting issues dear to Christian evangelicals, written to the Smithsonian containing their concerns and allegations. If Sternberg wishes to dissociate himself from concerns that the central issue is really religion, then he would do well to find himself other allies.

Sternberg appears to be a sloppy researcher who isn't careful with specimens, library books or museum procedures. He engaged in misconduct as editor of the BSOW proceedings on at least two occasions, and was a sloppy enough editor to have drawn a raft of complaints during his tenure. His penalty: nothing. He's still at the Smithsonian.

I do agree that the Smithsonian is probably not a pleasant environment for him right now, but he's done more than enough to earn the reprobation of his colleagues. That's what happens when you screw up royally and become an embarrassment.

--Percy


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randman 
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Message 30 of 30 (385314)
02-15-2007 1:38 AM


the article was properly peer-reviewed
Shortly before receiving Meyer's paper, Sternberg had attended an in-service training module on the ethics of peer review. What Sternberg took away from the training is that the "peers" selected to review a given paper be neither prejudiced against the topic or partial to it for reasons of self-interest.

Although not himself an intelligent design (ID) theorist or an advocate of the same, Sternberg thought the subject worthy of discussion. He identified three fellow scientists who shared his open-mindedness, though none of them was an ID advocate, either. These scientists offered some useful revisions. Meyer incorporated them, and the paper was published in August 2004.

Given what has happened since, these scientists have chosen to remain anonymous to preserve their careers. After considerable review of the files, however, no one questions the legitimacy of the process.


http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54257

Looks like the article was properly peer-reviewed after all, and the claims no other scientists reviewed the article was false all along.

As far as stuff criticizing the scientist, anyone that thinks all this trumped up stuff has merit considering that they were fine with him for 5 years, and then went ballistic over the article, well, all I can say is reasonably objective people can see this is a witchunt.

The truth is this was payback time for breaking ranks. Message: you dare publish ID papers, and we will try to ruin your career.


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