I commend to our readers Casey Luskin’s excellent If Evolution Has Implications for Religion, Can We Justify Teaching It in Public Schools? Mr. Luskin answers his question as follows:
one can legally justify teaching evolution while being sensitive to the fact that it has larger implications that touch upon the religious beliefs of many Americans. This reasoning offers the best of both worlds. It allows science to be taught in the science classroom while respecting the beliefs of people who have religious objections to evolution. Many evolutionists, however, would probably dislike this way of thinking. Why? Because the very same approach would justify teaching about intelligent design in public schools.
Casey is obviously correct as a matter of simple logic and fairness. Sadly, however, simple logic and fairness are secondary considerations when it comes to the Supreme Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence. Over 25 years of practice in constitutional law has led me to the conclusion that the so-called “Lemon test” Casey discusses in his post is not “law” in the sense of a pre-established rule to guide conduct. Rather, it is a platform from which judges impose their preferred outcomes in particular cases. In almost every case a judge can reason from Lemon to diametrically opposed outcomes with equal alacrity. And because most federal judges are members of the secular chattering class, as a practical matter Lemon’s almost limitless interpretive flexibility means that cases are decided in a way consonant with secular sensibilities.
73 Replies to “Lemonade Out of Lemon? Probably Not.”
What is the situation in the States regarding Catholic schools? A friend from the Pacific North West once told me they are hugely popular and they have an ethos and academic reputation that many parents – even non-Catholics – obviously prefer to the secular system. Is this still the case? Are they free to take a more balanced approach to evolution? (and if so, do they?)
I dont have a problem with teaching about reality in the classroom, even if it contradicts ancient myths. That doesnt justify teaching about bad arguments against evolution, which is all ID is pretty much.
As secularists sound the alarm about the horrors of a “theocracy” and insist their policies are saving us from that would-be catastrophe, they impose what is much worse upon us — an “Atheocracy.”
No Christian I ever met wanted a theocracy or even came remotely close to thinking that would be a good idea. All they wanted was their constitutional rights. The phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear anywhere is the Constitution (It was a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to a pastor who feared the establishment of a state religion. Jefferson assured him there was a “wall of separation between church and state” that prevented that from happening. ) I challenge anyone and everyone to find in the writings of the Founders and present here anything that comes close to the modern, atheistic interpretation of the phrase, or a justification from those writings that the contemporary, atheistic interpretation was the intent of the Founders, or writings that make it evident that the atheistic interpretation was meant to be expressed in the Constitution the Founders agreed upon.
Atheism has become the de facto state religion (which is definitely unconstitutional) and is hostile to any other faith-based belief system. And yes, atheism is faith-based. Contemporary atheism requires a huge, irrational, blind faith in the creative power of mindless matter. The discoveries of modern science have made such a notion so absurd that it is only the atheistic ruling class leveraging its position of power and its ability to intimidate dissenters that keeps such a ridiculous notion alive.
Of course the “Atheocracy” will not allow their faith-based beliefs to be undermined in the public school system!
Regarding the Lemon Test
To borrow a line from Churchill, the Lemon Test is the worst possible rule except for all the others.
Regarding “… the very same approach would justify teaching about intelligent design in public schools.”
Nah. Evolution is science, ID is religion (as much as IDers want to deny that). If the ID ain’t a deity, then it’s an oxymoron.
And evolution is certainly not the only thing schools teach that someone thinks touches on their religion.
This is simply not true, and a caricature of ID to try and dismiss it as a whole without arguing the actual ideas.
As I just said in another thread:
Evolution is the religion of Dirt worshippers. Here is their main credo:
By law, this superstitious crap should be forbidden in our public schools.
I can think of a much better test. Any child can. The establishment clause says:
It is really very simple. If Congress attempts to enact a law respecting the establishment of a national religion, the clause is breached. If not, the clause is not breached.
The problem with Supreme Court Establishment Clause jurisprudence since 1948 (the year the court held for the first time that the clause operates against state and local actors) is that it hijacks the clause to do work it was never intended to do.
ID does more than just “attempt to explain the life we can observe”, it asserts that life as we know it is too complex to have originated naturally, so it must be designed.
If ID is OK with aliens arising from “some materialist abiogenesis” then there’s no problem with the idea that we did it too.
And there’s no reason for us to wait for aliens to show up and give us a dope-slap, telling us “YOU EVOLVED!” We can figure that out for ourselves; that’s what science is in the process of doing. Science does not include ID.
If all we want to do is “attempt to explain the life we can observe” then we use evolution. If we assume there’s a designer, then we’re doing more than merely “explaining the life we can observe”.
ID does more than just attempt to explain the life we can observe, it asserts that life as we know it is irreducibly complex and cannot have originated naturally, so it must be designed. And this assertion of irreducible complexity is not based on evidence; it’s based on an argument from ignorance.
And to return to the original point; ID is not properly taught in public schools except to be discussed as a form of religious belief. In science classes, ID is improper.
That is, according to the dirt worshippers who have hijacked science.
Barry, I respect your intention, but it’s not that simple.
First, there’s the Incorporation Doctrine which applies the First Amendment to States too (under the 14th Amendment).
Second, the First Amendment says nothing about a “national” religion; it forbids laws respecting an establishment of religion without qualification.
Third, it is well established in many areas of law that public employees, officers, agents, and institutions at the State level derive all authority and permission to act from State Legislatures. That means that State Legislatures are required to forbid those acting in its name or under its authority to violate individual rights. Likewise for Congress and federal employees.
Fourth, there’s that word most people overlook: no laws respecting an establishment of religion. That is understood to mean that States and the Congress cannot take even the first step toward established religion. The first law, the first act toward establishment violates religious freedom. SCOTUS created the Lemon Test largely to identify when a law steps over this line. There’s no need or desire to wait for States or Congress to finish the act, they break the law when they start the process illegitimately.
Congress and the State legislatures and their agents (like school teachers) cannot be permitted to violate the religious rights of any students. Teaching religion is an act “respecting an establishment of religion”
I think my Con Law professor would accept my explanation as workable.
Careful there sean samis, your ignorance is showing.
Wrong. You are creating a caricature of ID. It theorizes, through inductive reasoning, that the only observable source of specified and complex information is an intelligent agent.
If this is untrue, please provide an example. It should be quite easy if ID is simply wrong.
Only if we accept the assumption that every form of life in the entire universe arose exactly as it did on Earth with exactly the same circumstances and conditions. Otherwise your objection is simply absurd.
Science doesn’t do anything. Science is a process. A type of inquiry. Not a thing.
Yeah. No. That’s not the case either. I have already answered this above.
Which is why the Dirt worshipping religion (aka Darwinian evolution and materialism) and their preachers should be thrown out of our public schools. And as unceremoniously as possible.
Darwinian evolution, contrary to what many people believe, is not based primarily on a rigid mathematical basis as other overarching theories of science are, but was originally based, and continues to be based, primarily on (bad) theological presuppositions.
In fact Charles Darwin’s degree as in theology and Darwin even said that he found mathematics ‘repugnant’
In was not until the modern synthesis of neo-Darwinism came along, around 1940, that neo-Darwinism had some semblance of rigid a mathematical basis so as to be considered a proper science instead of a pseudo-science.
Ironically, the modern synthesis itself is now, empirically, called into question
,, In the preceding video, Dr Nobel states that around 1900 there was the integration of Mendelian (discrete) inheritance with evolutionary theory, and about the same time Weismann established what was called the Weismann barrier, which is the idea that germ cells and their genetic materials are not in anyway influenced by the organism itself or by the environment. And then about 40 years later, circa 1940, a variety of people, Julian Huxley, R.A. Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane, and Sewell Wright, put things together to call it ‘The Modern Synthesis’. So what exactly is the ‘The Modern Synthesis’? It is sometimes called neo-Darwinism, and it was popularized in the book by Richard Dawkins, ‘The Selfish Gene’ in 1976. It’s main assumptions are, first of all, is that it is a gene centered view of natural selection. The process of evolution can therefore be characterized entirely by what is happening to the genome. It would be a process in which there would be accumulation of random mutations, followed by selection. (Now an important point to make here is that if that process is genuinely random, then there is nothing that physiology, or physiologists, can say about that process. That is a very important point.) The second aspect of neo-Darwinism was the impossibility of acquired characteristics (mis-called “Larmarckism”). And there is a very important distinction in Dawkins’ book ‘The Selfish Gene’ between the replicator, that is the genes, and the vehicle that carries the replicator, that is the organism or phenotype. And of course that idea was not only buttressed and supported by the Weissman barrier idea, but later on by the ‘Central Dogma’ of molecular biology. Then Dr. Nobel pauses to emphasize his point and states “All these rules have been broken!”.
of note: Professor Denis Noble is President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences.
Moreover, whenever the mathematics of the modern synthesis, i.e. population genetics, are applied in a rigorous manner to neo-Darwinian claims, ironically, the mathematics of population genetics actually falsifies neo-Darwinism as to being true instead of confirming it:
Thus, in so far as Darwinian evolution is based primarily on theological presuppositions, however faulty those presuppositions may be, and is not on any rigid mathematical basis, (in fact mathematics falsifies neo-Darwinism), then neo-Darwinian evolution is not a science in any meaningful sense of the word and fully deserves to be called a religion to the full extent of the meaning of the word religion.
Of related interest: The Supreme court has ruled that, for first amendment purposes, atheism is, in fact, a religion:
here are several examples of atheists themselves violating the establishment clause of the first amendment by openly proselytizing their own atheistic religion in the classroom:
SteveO, my kid graduated from Archbishop Mitty High School, a college prep Catholic HS in California. The Biology Textbook used is the popular Miller and Levine. The section on Evolution is the basic beaks, vestigial organs, and NS working with RM.
Catholic High Schools do not discriminate based on Religion. Although they especially do not discriminate Catholics who make up the majority of the student population. But Islam, Judaism, Atheism, Hinduism, etc are represented by students also.
The teachers are unionized, and no discrimination of Religion there either. Principal is Catholic. Theology Classes are Catholic based. IE, Theistic Evolution.
Quick quiz to see if you have any clue what you are talking about:
1. Please define the concept of intelligent design — not some lazy juvenile caricature, but the definition as used by major design proponents.
2. Please define the term “evolution.”
TSErik wrote @11 that ID “theorizes that the only observable source of specified and complex information is an intelligent agent.”
That’s an untestable theory and illogical theory; especially where it is circular. “Specified” information is necessarily designed (unless that’s a poor word choice) and there’s no evidence that our genes are “specified’.
Natural processes have been observed to produce complexity.
“Only if we accept the assumption that every form of life in the entire universe arose exactly as it did on Earth with exactly the same circumstances and conditions.”
No. If there are conditions anywhere which allow life to arise without design, then it could have done so here. Given that natural processes rarely repeat exactly everywhere, the complaint you make is false.
“Science doesn’t do anything. Science is a process. A type of inquiry. Not a thing.”
I’ll give you this one, but the scientific process does not include ID because the process requires logic and testable results. ID’s inductive logic is defective and there’s zero testable results.
“Yeah. No. That’s not the case either. I have already answered this above.”
I am sure you have, but not adequately. Unless you’ve found the alien or the deity, ID posits design for lack of a more pleasant explanation.
We have strayed far from the question of the Lemon Test.
Same questions for you as in #15.
And your argument falls to pieces right at the foundation. The Incorporation Doctrine is an arbitrarily and inconsistently applied interpretation that basically translates into “SCOTUS can force the states to follow whatever federal limitations we feel like based on how 5 of 9 people are feeling on any given case”.
Barry’s post is better, and clearly much closer to the original intent of the framers of the Constitution – the Federal government was to keep its dirty rotten mitts off the rights of the States and the rights of the people when it came to religion.
Oh? And this is a known, and not an assumption? Fantastic.
Would you mind linking information on exactly how life began on Earth? You use the word could.
Your argument is nonsensical here. It operates under the genetic fallacy. If we assume that life can arise via materialist abiogenesis somewhere in the universe it does not follow that it must be the case for Earth. What is true for the part doesn’t necessarily make it true for the whole. Unless you have some data to prove your claim?
How? This statement simply doesn’t follow. It is more nonsense. You agree that alien life could arise in a different way than here on Earth, and then conclude my complaint is false. How so?
Other than your genetic logical fallacy and then agreeing with me, you’ve not provided anything to your case.
Regarding “The Incorporation Doctrine is … blah blah blah.”
Chuckle. Well, you need to take that up with SCOTUS. I’m just the messenger.
Regarding “Barry’s post is better, and clearly much closer to the original intent of the framers of the Constitution”
The problem is that the Framers gave their descendants the power to Amend the Constitution, which is the power to alter it from their “original intent” so your comment may be correct, but it has been overtaken by events.
And it was the original intent of the framers to have the Judiciary (in the persons of SCOTUS) have the power to “say what the law is.”
The Fourteenth Amendment was properly added and is proper to enforce. SCOTUS has said what that law means, as is their job. You disagree with them. Welcome to the club. I agree with incorporation doctrine, but there’s plenty other stuff to dislike.
Regarding “Your argument is nonsensical here. It operates under the genetic fallacy [that if] we assume that life can arise via materialist abiogenesis somewhere in the universe it does not follow that it must be the case for Earth.”
It is correct that life arising somewhere in the universe by abiogenesis does not mean it must have done the same here. BUT IT DOES MEAN IT COULD HAVE.
Which is why I never made the “must have” claim, only the “could have” claim. Your sloppy reading is showing.
Regarding “You agree that alien life could arise in a different way than here on Earth, and then conclude my complaint is false. How so?”
Ahh, because you said (@11) that if abiogenesis happened on Earth it could only be “if we accept the assumption that every form of life in the entire universe arose exactly as it did on Earth with exactly the same circumstances and conditions.” And you embolded those two “exactly”s yourself.
So, in fact, we don’t agree that “that alien life could arise in a different way than here on Earth”. YOUR WORDS. You said quite clearly that if abiogenesis happens in many places, the process, circumstances, and conditions must be the same. In fact, Not just the same: EXACTLY the same.
If we DO agree that alien life could arise differently than life on Earth, that does not preclude both arising from abiogenesis; it only precludes the expectation that conditions, process, or results were exactly the same.
If your position is that abiogenesis is possible, but not on Earth, then that is a factual claim crying out for evidence.
My position is that abiogenesis is possible, and that the Earth is not special, so it is possible that it happened here. That is a factual claim crying out for evidence.
So now it’s a race to the finish. You can place your bet; I’ve placed mine.
Actually, it really is that simple. The incorporation doctrine has no support in the text, history or structure of the constitution. It is a raw judicial power grab. That you are OK with that power grab says more about your politics that it does about the meaning of the constitution.
So dirt not only made itself it also magically became alive?
You of much faith, you say you’ve placed your bet then?
>> TSErik wrote @11 that ID “theorizes that the only observable source of specified and complex information is an intelligent agent.”
That’s an untestable theory and illogical theory; especially where it is circular. “Specified” information is necessarily designed (unless that’s a poor word choice) and there’s no evidence that our genes are “specified’. >>
Random document generation exercises are a highly relevant ongoing testing programme.
So far, 20+ ascii character length strings, only a factor of 10^100 worth of search space scope to go.
as to genetic specificity, the prevalent fear of radioactive materials belies the gambit of pretending that dna code for proteins and regulation is not pretty specific.
More generally you need to acquaint yourself with how scarce functional protein domains are in AA sequence space.
And much more.
Functional specificity based on particular correct and correctly aligned parts in organised networks — wiring diagram patterns — is readily observable.
Such even include textual string data structures used for comments in this thread.
Uhm. What? I’m afraid I don’t quite understand your point.
My reply you quoted above was in response to your remark of:
How does this follow? Let’s try again.
We are only aware of our own experience with life on Earth. Therefore it is absurd to assume that life on Earth is analogous to all possible life in the universe. This is a particular point where we seem to agree.
Now, ID analyzes life on Earth and concludes there must be an intelligent agent behind it.
ID also acknowledges we cannot know everything in the universe. My argument acknowledges that somewhere in the universe there may be wildly different conditions to that of what is observed on Earth. These hypothetical different conditions may be the key to abiogenesis.
However, ID can only speak to the life observable, which is life on Earth. ID isn’t a theory for all life in the universe.
You are putting a strange dichotomy out there saying all life is the result of materialist processes, or none is. What evidence is there to support this? Can a materialist somehow examine beyond the scope of local terrestrial life and definitively state this? Does the dichotomy change if humans in the future ever seed specially engineered life onto a planet?
It is a false dichotomy.
So, your critique that in ID the designer MUST be God, is simply false.
Barry Arrington: The incorporation doctrine has no support in the text, history or structure of the constitution.
Lack of incorporation led to the perversity of United States v. Cruikshank.
Before the 14th Amendment, states could have official religions, even collect mandatory tithes. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment ended that by extending the Bill of Rights to the states, though it took some time before the courts applied it effectively. See Gitlow v. New York.
This is a excellent thread and subject for more threads.
this canadian insists the good guys can win this.
Luskin is right, right, right,.
Yet its more.
If teaching evolution or not teaching design is enforced because they touch on religion then the very ban is touching on religion too BECAUSE the class/subject is about a truth in these subjects.
In other words the censorship is saying its a false conclusion to say creationism is right or a designer is apparent and so the state has made a opibnion on the subject.
breaking the very law it invokes for the ban.
hows my law reasoning.
In other words its impossible to find in the constitution, made by very protestant people, any banning/censorship of what is true about origins.
If there is a banning then its a opinion the banned is not true. its not neutral in subjects dealing wioth accuracy.
Take them to public opinion first and then to court.
The present top court is not selected for ability or neutrality but for identity and promised votes.
lots of problems just like in canada.
A factual claim crying out for evidence, eh? Love playing with oxymorons much? This is pure pseudoscientific hogwash.
What is Evolution?
Some basic questions that need to be asked.
Ppolish, thanks for the information. I hope your kid did well there. Some of the other details you provided re:”teaching the controversy” are a bit disappointing.
My kid told me that in their evolution class (1st year undergrad – about 8 years ago) the in-joke was for a student to cough and say “lies” at the same time. Everyone got the joke except, apparently, the Prof.
InVivoVeritas: Is evolution a law of nature?
Biological evolution is a fact and a theory.
“Is evolution a law of nature?”
Regarding your comments @22, Zachriel’s response @26 is helpful. However I suspect you are taking an originalist hyper-narrow position. To that one can only respond that the Constitution gave the Judiciary the power to say what the law is, the Courts heard the cases and came to the rulings they came to. Your complaint is not new, but the law is what it is.
I’ve never met anyone who actually agreed with every decision.
ps: Barry, the irony is not lost on me: you argue against liberty (including against religious liberty) at the State level and for State power over individual choices and lives. If protecting individuals from abusive State power is a “power grab” then I think it’s an excellent one!
KF @24, the problem with your suggestion is that it assumes that atoms and molecules combine with the same randomness of letters of the alphabet. This is not even close.
If I have a true random letter list, I can never predict which letter will come next because there’s no effect one letter has on the next.
With atoms and molecules, that is not the case, not even close.
The question here is not random processes creating some modern, known creature, but random processes creating anything living, even if totally different from current life. That has not been demonstrated – YET. But the converse—that abiogenisis is impossible—has not been demonstrated yet either.
The race is on.
ps. I read your “FYI-FTR: Part 5, on evolutionary materialism, can a designer even exist?”
What a smoking pile of nonsense. Thank you for not allowing comments, you kept me from saying some very harsh things to you.
Regarding “ID also acknowledges we cannot know everything in the universe. ” etc.
ID needs also recognize that current conditions on Earth are different from past conditions. We know this because of the chemistry needed to explain observed mineral deposits on Earth, and the fact that our current atmosphere is chemically unstable; our atmosphere could not have been as it is forever, and will not remain so forever.
“ID can only speak to the life observable, which is life on Earth. ID isn’t a theory for all life in the universe.”
If ID simply ignores the larger context, then—as I wrote—ID is built on an argument from ignorance.
“ You are putting a strange dichotomy out there saying all life is the result of materialist processes, or none is. … It is a false dichotomy.”
It’s not my dichotomy; it’s your straw man.
This is my point: If some life can be the result of materialist processes (which you agreed to) then likewise, any can be; barring evidence of special considerations. There are no special considerations shown regarding life on Earth, so terrestrial abiogenesis is at least possible.
“So, your critique that in ID the designer MUST be God, is simply false.”
In ID, the designer must be a deity unless a “smoking gun” from a designer is found. So far: no smoking gun, not even a sign of one.
And given the manifest correlation between religious belief and support of the ID idea, I believe most IDers think the ID is not only a god, but it is THEIR God. But either way, ID is not science until it posits a logical, testable idea.
SS: First, the string sequence in D/RNA and in proteins is not chemically determined, i.e. any one of the bases or AAs can follow any other. It so happens that for D/RNA the utterly vast majority of possible chains of significant length are non-functional, but that kust points to the needle in haystack search challenge just given. Likewise, protein fold domains are deeply isolated in AA sequence space. Running a test for the feasibility of blind chance and/or random walks to hit on functionally specific sequences by random doc generation tests does in fact give a reasonable test of the challenge. Next to that did you notice how you ran off into unobserved speculations and lab coat clad promissory notes on what Science will do in future? Let’s just say it was not for nothing that Newton insisted that to address remote things not directly accessible, on their traces, we should only entertain demonstrated adequate causes. The causes you suggest are promissory notes, and lack adequate cause in the teeth of what is shown adequate to create FSCO/I on trillions of cases. KF
No, Zachriel’s response is not helpful to those who believe the text of the Constitution actually has meaning.
If by “originalist hyper-narrow position” you mean a position that holds that the Constitution is a text and that that text has meaning and that the meaning of the text binds those who interpret the text, then yes, that is my position.
Are you saying the text of the Constitution does thus and so? But just now you said the text of the Constitution is irrelevant. Please make up your mind.
I did not argue against religious liberty at the state level. Where in the world did you come up with that? I argued against illegitimate judicial power grabs. That you are in favor of illegitimate federal power grabs means that you are OK with illegitimate authoritarianism, just so long as the “right” (by your lights) people are making the illegitimate authoritarian decisions. Myself, I prefer the republican (small “r”) institutions to authoritarian rule by so-called elites who have arrogated unto themselves power reserved to the people in the Constitution.
That depends upon what you mean by “law” of course. If you mean that the current power structure is arranged such that those who act contrary to the illegitimate power grab will be coerced by the government into compliance, then of course you are correct. If by “law” you mean the “Constitution” then you are wrong.
Barry Arrington: If by “originalist hyper-narrow position” you mean a position that holds that the Constitution is a text and that that text has meaning and that the meaning of the text binds those who interpret the text, then yes, that is my position.
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Equal protection means not indoctrinating children with religion during compulsory state education, which would reasonably be considered an act “respecting an establishment of religion”.
Lack of incorporation led to the perversity of United States v. Cruikshank.
I believe the basis of Incorporation is the Due Process clause, though Hugo Black argued that the Privileges and Immunities Clause was a better basis.
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
Regarding “Running a test for the feasibility of blind chance and/or random walks to hit on functionally specific sequences by random doc generation tests does in fact give a reasonable test of the challenge.”
Here you demand random production of a specified outcome. Problem is that we already know that the first life form is unlikely to be around still so it cannot be specified beyond the requirement to be alive.
So your test gives a reasonable test of an irrelevant challenge. The challenge is to produce something alive, not something already on the books.
“The causes you suggest are promissory notes, …”
Of course they are! Science is a process for learning new things. Science has been paying off these “promissory notes” all along. That’s what science does; that’s what science is for. Objection to that is objection to science itself.
Barry @ 37;
“Zachriel’s response [@26] is not helpful to those who believe the text of the Constitution actually has meaning.”
A reasonable person would find it helpful, but as the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but …
Neither Zachriel nor I are trying to strip the text of meaning, we just want it to mean what it says.
“If by “originalist hyper-narrow position” you mean a position that holds that the Constitution is a text and that that text has meaning and that the meaning of the text binds those who interpret the text, then yes, that is my position.”
Ah, no. That’s a textualist position. If you are a textualist, then the Incorporation Doctrine should not trouble you too much.
“But just now you said the text of the Constitution is irrelevant. Please make up your mind.”
Straw man, and a lame one to boot.
“I did not argue against religious liberty at the state level. ”
Um, you do realize don’t you that religious liberty at the State Level is guaranteed by the Incorporation Doctrine? Which you said lacks “support in the text, history or structure of the constitution [and] is a raw judicial power grab.” Before the Incorporation Doctrine, religious liberty at the State level was not a right but merely a privilege States could grant or revoke as they wanted.
I don’t think lawfully protecting individual rights fits the category of “illegitimate authoritarianism”.
You “prefer the republican (small “r”) institutions”
SCOTUS is a republican institution created by the Constitution; its authority comes from that same Constitution (Article Three). So apparently you only prefer them if they obey you. Tsk.
I wrote that “but the law is what it is.”
You replied in part “If by ‘law’ you mean the ‘Constitution’ then you are wrong.”
… so the Constitution is not what it is?
No. No. Honestly it seems like you are just engaging in a rampant Chewbacca defense. Your posts make less and less sense.
I’m not agreeing AT ALL that abiogenesis is possible. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m saying that we don’t know, but through analysis of life on Earth it is impossible for Earthly life to arise from abiogenesis.
I cannot speak to alien life as I cannot yet analyze it. You seem to be able to, otherwise your assertions are nonsense. Please provide the data.
How is my argument a strawman? I am arguing against your claim that in ID the designer is God. That’s the argument. It seems like you are just trying to throw out a logical fallacy hoping it will distract from your own garbled mess.
Which would be a philosophical conclusion that is separate from ID theory. By this case you must also link neo-Darwinian theory to atheism, which means it is then a religious ideology as well, correct? Because of the correlation between the support of NDE and atheism?
If not, then it’s clear you are miles away from knowing what you are talking about.
Let me ask this, because you dodged the question above:
Let’s accept the premise that humans are the result of materialist abiogenesis. If in the future humans specially engineered unique life to be seeded on a barren planet, how is that life categorized?
Looking at this map, I guessing the kids in the States of AZ, FL, IN, LA, OH, TN, and TX have the most well rounded Science Education. Good on those States:)
That is absurd. As you observed, the court used the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment to do its dirty work regarding the incorporation doctrine. The text of that clause is:
With the incorporation doctrine the court says the text of that clause means: “Notwithstanding the fact that on its face this clause is merely a guaranty of procedural fairness, the substantive provisions of the first eight amendments to this Constitution are hereby made applicable to the states, except the provisions thereof that we don’t want to make applicable to the states, like that pesky right to jury trials in civil cases and that bothersome grand jury provision.”
You don’t seriously expect anyone to believe that the text of the Due Process Clause supports the interpretation hung on it by the incorporation doctrine. No one does, as evidenced by the fact that during the 57 years between 1868 (when the 14th Amendment was adopted) and 1925 (when the 1st Amendment was first applied to the states), no one dreamed that the text meant what the Supreme Court says it means.
Unless one believes the Constitution is a text and that that text has meaning and that the meaning of the text binds those who interpret the text. In that case the incorporation doctrine is a perverse monstrosity that does great violence to the text, as it is not supported by the text, structure or history of the document.
That you should say that a textualist would be satisfied with the incorporation doctrine means you don’t understand what a textualist is or you don’t understand the incorporation doctrine (or both).
Let’s examine that. You support the incorporation doctrine, which does not have the slightest support in the text of the Constitution. You are saying, essentially, “it does not matter what the text of the Due Process Clause actually says; if we can get away with saying it means something it clearly does not mean, let’s do it.” And the essence of that position is that the text of the document is irrelevant. So the first part of my statement stands. Then you turn right around and say the Constitution says thus and so about the judiciary and we ought to respect that text. So, yep, you are talking out of both sides of your mouth.
This statement betrays a woeful lack of understanding of the nation’s history. Yes, at one time there were official state religions. But by 1925 every single state constitution guaranteed freedom of religion. The issue is not whether there was religious liberty. There was; every state constitution guaranteed it. The issue is at what level those liberties are protected. The grasping nine on the Supreme Court decided they could not a better job and arrogated the power to themselves. And we have the mess that is Lemon to show for it.
Nonsense. SCOTUS is the single non-republican institution created by the Constititon. Perhaps you don’t understand what “republican” means. Hint: It is not “rule by a committee of nine unelected, life-tenured, unaccountable lawyers.”
No, the Constitution is what it is. It is not what the Supreme Court says it is when it acts illegitimately, as even the Supreme Court itself acknowledges from time to time when it overrules prior constitutional cases.
TSErik said D
through analysis of life on Earth it is impossible for Earthly life to arise from abiogenesis.
Care to quote some references to the resarch having determined that? With evidence of the nature that you conclusively may write off natural causes for the appearance of the first life on Earth, I presume you can point to the relevant research?
Although I am more concerned with the fact that the cause or source of the first life is irrevlevant for the hypothesis put forth by Darwin & Wallace – that Natural Selection is the machanism responsible for the origins of the species, after the first primitive species arrived on the planet regardless of where they cam from, who or what brought them here and so on.
A hypothesis that to this day has remained at the core of evolutionary theory, although the theory has evolved to levels making them rotate in their graves by now.
BTW, AFAIK even Behe thinks Natural Selection is a fact, he just don’t think NS alone can account for all evolution: sometimes intervention by a “designer” is required to move evolution forward, as in the case of bacterial flagella.
Althoug ID suffers from lack of facts regarding the existence and work of a designer, his R&D facilities and so on.
TSErik @42 wrote;
“I’m not agreeing AT ALL that abiogenesis is possible. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m saying that we don’t know, …”
That seems contradictory. It would be fair to say that no one knows HOW abiogenesis could happen, but unless you affirmatively know something is impossible, you know it’s possible. “Possible” does not mean “it happens” but “we don’t know why it cannot happen.” That’s what ‘possibility’ means.
So regarding abiogenesis, you don’t know if it’s possible; ID doesn’t know if it’s possible. Neither do you know if it’s impossible. Odd, but OK.
“but through analysis of life on Earth it is impossible for Earthly life to arise from abiogenesis.”
This appears to be a claim to know something: you claim that we know that terrestrial abiogenesis is certainly impossible.
You say that you know terrestrial abiogenesis is impossible because of our “analysis of life on Earth”. This is not true because the life we observe today is not the original life on the planet; we know of many species going extinct before man existed, and that there are many species that we don’t know about that probably went extinct. And we know the environment has changed radically since the Earth formed.
We know that we can’t count on finding the original terrestrial life still with us. We know nothing about whatever was the first living thing on Earth, much less do we know that it could not have been abiogenic. We have never observed the earliest life form on Earth, we have never sequenced its genome. Of it we know Nothing. And without that knowledge, we cannot exclude terrestrial abiogenesis.
So we know that we can’t know whether terrestrial abiogenesis happened or not.
So my claim that ID is based on an argument from ignorance is validated. You deny any knowledge of whether abiogenesis could ever happen, you deny even knowing whether it is remotely possible. You don’t know what the earliest life form on earth was.
What do you know? Please provide the data.
I wrote that “In ID, the designer must be a deity unless a “smoking gun” from a designer is found.”
You asked why.
Because without a “smoking gun” the whole ID effort is a fail. Remember that a “smoking gun” is any evidence that we must have an ID.
If no “smoking gun” is ever found, then ID will be left with only deistic explanations.
In summary, as an IDer you say you know nothing except for something you cannot possibly know. You deny that the ID must be a deity but you don’t know how it could be anything else. Your whole “theory” is built on a plea of ignorance for things you need to know and a claim to know things you can’t demonstrate you know.
@43 you posed a hypothetical.
Given the hypo, this life is designed.
If it evolves to the point of asking itself if it’s abiogenic or designed, which should it assume?
Ockham’s Rule applies. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, any rational being should assume they are abiogenic. It’s the simplest, and the fastest path to discovering the truth.
If they look for abiogenesis, they will learn much about the development of life, and they may even conclude they cannot be abiogenic.
If they assume they are designed, they will not have as strong a reason to look for abiogenesis (which the hypo stipulates occurs). Their learning will be hampered. And if they actually were abiogenic, assuming design would delay their discovery of the truth.
Either way, assuming they are abiogenic is the fastest path to the truth.
Stepping out of the hypo, since there is no evidence of our design, we rationally must assume we are abiogenic. This is already driving our studies of life’s development, we are learning much.
We may eventually discover we are designed, but only after learning much about biology. And of course, we might be able to prove we are abiogenic. After all, there’s no evidence that we are designed.
And assuming we are abiogenic is the fastest path to the truth even if we are designed.
And given that lack of evidence, any designer of ours clearly did not care if we knew we were designed; it’s not important to them that we think we’re designed.
This is pointless.
We will never agree because we are talking past each other.
I’m just saying how it is.
You are lecturing about how you want it to be.
You think the Courts are doing it wrongly.
You say Incorporation doctrine has no support in the text.
The Court and a host of scholars say it does.
Their numbers don’t make them right.
Your passion doesn’t make you right.
So complain away. Outrage seems your preferred emotion.
Otherwise, I don’t see the point.
sean samis @21:
That is my favorite quote from the whole thread.
(1) a complete lack of understanding of what is required for abiogensis, coupled with
(2) an assertion that the Earth is not special, in spite of evidence to the contrary,* all wrapped up with
(3) an assertion that it is a fact; now we just need some evidence for the fact.
* Whether Earth is “special” or not is much less critical than the question of abiogenesis generally. But it is still relevant, given the incredibly strict requirements for something like abiogenesis.
Regarding “a complete lack of understanding of what is required for abiogensis,” and “given the incredibly strict requirements for something like abiogenesis.”
So you claim to know the requirements for a process you probably claim has never even been observed? How remarkable.
Please tell us what these “incredibly strict requirements” are and how anyone knows them given that no one’s ever actually observed the process.
Of course it is not pointless. You say the incorporation doctrine is supported by the text of the due process clause. Here is your opportunity to demonstrate that. That is, after all, the point of our discussion. That you don’t even attempt to do so is quite telling. I will accept that as a tacit concession that it is impossible to do so.
Yes, those who grab power illegitimately and those who support them (such as yourself) almost always say the are acting legitimately. After all, the court is never going to release an opinion saying “we know the text of the constitution does not support our decision but we are going to do it anyway.” Though I have to admit that Douglas’ emanations from the penumbra came very close.
Attack me instead of my argument. OK. I will accept that as a second concession that you’ve got nothing.
Are you being facetious? Or are you seriously unaware of the literature in which OOL researchers have laid out the probable requirements of a first self-replicator? If the latter, please confirm and we will instruct you.
Barry Arrington: That is absurd.
As we already pointed out, your interpretation of the Constitution led to the absurd and pernicious result in United States v. Cruikshank, which signaled the re-oppression of blacks, which didn’t end until the federal government intervened generations later.
Z @ 53.
False. The 14th Amendment on its face provides for federal power to remedy the wrongs that were perpetrated in that case. See section 5. There was not and is not any need to subvert the constitution to reach a just result.
Barry Arrington: The 14th Amendment on its face provides for federal power to remedy the wrongs that were perpetrated in that case. See section 5.
The Supreme Court in that case ruled otherwise, that the federal government couldn’t enforce the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble, among other rights. They stated, the First Amendment “was not intended to limit the powers of the State governments in respect to their own citizens, but to operate upon the National Government alone,” thus “for their protection in its enjoyment … the people must look to the States.”
There is no doubt that this is not a result that was intended by the Radical Republicans who crafted the Fourteenth Amendment. They clearly intended to protect the rights of blacks in the South, and that the oppressed shouldn’t have to look to their oppressors for their protection. By ignoring the plain intent of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court allowed generations of blacks to suffer under a punishing racist regime.
By your logic then, since you don’t affirmatively know that design is impossible, it IS possible, right? It is also possible that life on Earth is designed without the requisite of the designer being a god, right?
Remember, this was the original argument where I began my objection:
But again you say:
So, then it is possible to have designed life from un-designed life. This was my point that disassociates ID from religion.
You agree and prove my original point(!!!)again by saying:
You then begin to equivocate by saying:
Remember we weren’t philosophically arguing what was better for a society to believe. You stated that the designer in ID must be a god, which you then admitted isn’t true and started arguing against various other things. You’ve shown that your devotion to materialism is dogmatic in nature.
Given current data and observations, it is so improbable that it is reasonable to assume life on Earth is not the the result of abiogenesis. This infinitesimal probability is why the vacuous materialists made up their multiverse sci-fi. There may be some grand discovery in the future this may change. But every day we can observe life come from life. Are there published works I’m unaware of that have observed inorganic material spring to life and begin self-replication?
Two issues here. You are making a straw man. When did we shift to the merits of ID as a whole? We were debating a very specific idea, remember?
Further, an argument from ignorance is defined as, “I don’t know why X, therefore Y.” It is a specific fallacy. ID doesn’t proclaim that.
ID states that life expresses traits that cannot be explained by natural processes. It then states the only other observation of these traits is in artifacts from intelligent agents.
That is NOT an argument from ignorance. Even if it is proven wrong, it is not an argument from ignorance. It is just wrong.
If an archaeologist comes across a unique clay pot with symbols painted on it in a section of desert that is never known to house any civilizations, is it an argument from ignorance to assume it is a created work?
If the archaeologist reasons that because a clay pot has never been observed to form from wind, rain, and other natural processes, and then have paint applied on it in a specific way, and that this clay pot is a created work, is that an argument from ignorance? Why/why not?
The last bit equates to, “even if life is designed it is better to assume it isn’t. So you could be right, but I don’t wanna accept it.”
I’ve only seen life come from life. Have you ever seen inorganic material come to life? If not, why should one assume it does? The evidence you ask for happens every day. Life comes from life.
I do not know that X is impossible, therefore X is possible.
So it’s our own ignorance that makes things possible.
Who write or rather gave the constitution its authority? The people by their delegates!
What was it they agreed to in the constitution regarding what is taught in schools? Nothing! It never was on their mind!
Its just a stretch since WW11 to say the schools are the government because of the gov paying for the,.
In reality schools are unrelated to the state. The schools can be ruled by the people . The people are free to determine the courses in schools.
Even if the the people did want to prohibit certain subjects in schools its impossible that such a protestant people would censor god and genesis.
Therefore its not in the constitution but another myth.
Therefore its impossible to read such a ban in it.
Therefore any state ban on creationism/design etc based on state/church separation concept means , as Luskin said in effect, that any teaching against creationisn/design is also state interference with religion. iN fact the ban itself is BECAUSE the subjects are about the truth in origins.
Banning a option for truth is a state opinion its not true.
You got’im. Take them to court.
Mung: I do not know that X is impossible, therefore X is possible. Really? So it’s our own ignorance that makes things possible.
Excellent point. The correct construction is “If we don’t know that X is impossible, X may be possible.”
Robert Byers: Take them to court.
It’s already been to court. The “Lemon test” is a judicial rule.
If any of these three prongs are violated, the government’s action is deemed unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Your logic is, as my Russian friends would say, “spot on but completely backwards.” You are the one claiming that a process that has never been observed is likely to have happened. You have the burden of supplying some reasonable evidence for this claim.
We have a pretty good sense as to what would be, at a minimum, required for abiogenesis. It has been discussed in detail in numerous papers, books, here on this blog and elsewhere. Yes, there may be (I would say there certainly are) additional requirements beyond those that abiogenesis researchers have outlined, but that only makes your story less likely, not mine. And that is the trajectory the evidence has taken ever since Watson and Crick — new understanding has only made the abiogenesis story less likely at every turn. The evidence is clearly not on the side of naturalistic abiogenesis. It is for this reason that many researchers, people who actually work in the area and recognize the issues, have posited various things to try to get around the problems with abiogenesis — panspermia and the multiverse being the most common ideas (neither of which helps, however).
More fundamentally, your logic is flawed. You cannot put forth some wild idea like abiogenesis and then claim that (a) because no-one knows how your wild idea could have happened (you of course having not offered any details), that (b) no-one can refute your wild idea because they don’t know the details of your wild idea (again, remember, because you haven’t offered any details). Then you follow it up with a demand that anyone who want to refute your wild idea has to themselves provide the details of your idea (you, again, having not offered any). This is not a good faith effort to follow the evidence; it is not logical; it is nothing more than rhetorical gamesmanship.
Feel free, though, to propose with some detail a process of abiogenesis that has any reasonable chance to work in the real world, and then we can critique your idea. Until then, your assertion that abiogenesis is likely is nothing more than a bald assertion — an assertion that flies in the face of decades of intense research and concerted effort and an assertion that has the added weakness that (a) such a thing as abiogenesis has never been known to happen naturally in the real world, and (b) no-one, ever, at any time has been able to demonstrate anything that even comes close to abiogenesis, nor to even propose a rational hypothesis that passes the laugh test.
If you want to look into the issues with abiogenesis I would encourage it. It is an incredibly fascinating and sobering topic. Start by looking at some of the posts over the last year or so on this website (search for abiogenesis). Meyer’s Signature in the Cell is a good book; others are legion. BA77 can provide a whole host of additional books, papers, articles documenting the insurmountable hurdles in the materialistic abiogenesis paradigm.
All of this verbiage is proving that taxpayer-funded education is incompatible with the principles that underlie a free society.
If we teach in the public schools that God did it, we are forcing those who do not believe this to subsidize (via their tax dollars) the spread of an idea they oppose. Likewise, if we teach “God didn’t do it,” then we commit the same wrong against a separate group of people.
“But my side is right!” some will plead. To which I say, “If you’re so right, why do you need the government to push your viewpoint? Have you no confidence that simply being right gives you all of the advantage you require?”
Then to court should the good guys go. As i said.
any court decision os wrong that enforces state interference with religious belief.
your list fits fine. there is no problem here with overthrowing the censorship of creationism.
Imposing a state opinion that God/Genesis is not a option for origins in subjects dealing with accuracy in origins MEANS the state has declared certain doctrines in religion as wrong. SO breaking the separation concept.
the very concept used to ban creationism.
where is my logic wrong?
the courts have been demib/bad wrong on this matter in the few times it came up since ww11.
Suspicious that censorspip is only used against God/genesis.
its impossible to tweek out of the constitution any censorship of Christian etc beliefs in subjects dealing with those beliefs.
its just a cheap trick.
anyways the state is not everything the state pays for.
a aggressive campaign should be made by iD/YEC on this matter for a demand that the law be obeyed.
Robert Byers: Then to court should the good guys go.
In common law systems, courts generally won’t hear already litigated issues. You have to show either the situation is different somehow or that you have a novel argument; otherwise there’d never be any finality. If someone sued you and lost, they’d just sue you again and again.
Its special in this matter. Anyways novel arguements are easily to be made on this matter.
Remember the court is taking away the peoples right to decide. Its saying NO DEMOCRACY in this matter. So it has a greater moral and intellectual position to defend against sustained public outcry.
There is no finality on this at all. Nothing is settled.
its poor judging and beyond the pale of normal error.
its a attempt to attacj the truth, Christianity, and the constitution as written/consented by the American people and that held for centuries.
This is a case to be done again.
Its even obvious the censorship is illegal.
First a campaign to the public and then to the courts.
The present court is bad but the public outcry can sway things until better judges are got.
Robert Byer: Remember the court is taking away the peoples right to decide.
“We the people” adopted a constitution, which constitutes the preeminent law. The Courts have to duty to uphold the constitution. You just disagree with their interpretation.
Under common law systems, such as the U.S., issues are only litigated once. However, it is possible for a court to reverse itself. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, they state four factors beyond simple disagreement with the previous ruling; unworkability of the rule, how reliant the public is on the rule, a change in legal doctrine, and changes in facts.
Its still taking the peoples right to decide. The right to decide is the essence and great consent of the people. YES they also consented to fixed laws called the constitution. YET they can insist they didn’t consent to this or that loss of democracy on some matter.
Its not just wrong interpretation. The court is denying the essence of a free people. The court is going a extra step in denying the people right to rule themselves.
The court is to uphold the consents. They are not doing so if they use the constitution for democracy denial.
I have been reading Locke lately.
The jusges must be fired and not merely disagreed with. They are very much denying the people the freedom to govern themselves.
Robert Byers: Its still taking the peoples right to decide.
Surely you’re not advocating an ochlocracy, which inevitably degenerates into oligarchy or monarchy.
Robert Byers: YES they also consented to fixed laws called the constitution. YET they can insist they didn’t consent to this or that loss of democracy on some matter.
As the U.S. Constitution doesn’t allow religion indoctrination in compulsory public education, the most direct course would be to amend the constitution.
Thats my point. Its indoctrination against certain religious doctrines, if they are saying those are religious doctrines, by banning them as options in subjects dealing with truth.
Also I say the constitution neverr had anything to do with education. its a stretch made to say the state is everything the state pays for.
The schools are free to teach the truth or to let the people decide what they teach.
there is no constitutional law , in anyway, against creationism.
Its an error and the good guys should take them all to court and public opinion.
Robert Byers: Its indoctrination against certain religious doctrines, if they are saying those are religious doctrines, by banning them as options in subjects dealing with truth.
Science class is for science.
Robert Byers: Also I say the constitution neverr had anything to do with education. its a stretch made to say the state is everything the state pays for.
Many state constitutions have education written right into them.
Robert Byers: there is no constitutional law , in anyway, against creationism.
Zachriel: Science class is for science.
Science class is for whatever the ruling elite say it’s for.
That’s more true than it might seem …
– Zachriel has no authority to speak for ‘the science community’. Does anyone? Who owns the term ‘science’?
– ID is science – it’s the best science. That cannot be proven wrong without an appeal to the ruling elite, and even there it’s merely an opinion.
The prohibition of creationism in science class is not about science. Its about banning it based on a claim its religious.
In fact its illegal to ban creationism in subjects dealing with truth for it means the state is saying ITS NOT TRUE what is banned.
Thus breaking the very law it invokes for the censorship.
Take them court folks and public opinion court because the present court is bad.
Robert Byers: In fact its illegal to ban creationism in subjects dealing with truth for it means the state is saying ITS NOT TRUE what is banned.
Creationism is not banned in history, philosophy or theology. However, it is not appropriate for a science class.