Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thank you Professor Campbell!

Little casey luskin is at it again, turning and twisting facts until they no longer resemble reality. in "Want a Good Grade in Allison Campbell's College Biology Course? Don't Endorse Intelligent Design" is whining against a Biology Professor who doesn't teach Intelligent Design. Luskin is claiming that she is:

" . . . boasting that if a student were to use standard ID arguments such as the irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum, that student would be "marked down".
Let's look at her actual comment (about 1/3 of the way down in the comments from the original article):
"And on how my students are marked - I expect them to understand how science works. If they can't demonstrate that then of course they are likely to do less well. If, for example, a student were to use examples such as the bacterial flagellum to advance an ID view then they should expect to be marked down; that particular creationist trophe has been well & truly discredited. ID is not science (no matter its protestations to the contrary) & I don't expect to see explanations from that quarter in science class - unless we're discussing the nature & philosophy of science. Whiich is something that happens in a class on evolutionary biology - students look at different models that attempt to explain life's diversity & are asked to consider the explanatory & predictive power of those models. Because at heart the 'explanations' offered by ID come down to 'goddidit' then in intellectual terms they're fairly bankrupt - they offer no intellectually satisfying explanations, nor do they open up new avenues for further explanation."
Gee, a professor who expects her students to understand the subject being taught in class. What a novel concept. Little casey also says that
"Campbell of course doesn't give any hint as to why this supposed "creationist trophe has been well & truly discredited"
and yet he ignores the next line in her comment:
"ID is not science (no matter its protestations to the contrary) & I don't expect to see explanations from that quarter in science class - unless we're discussing the nature & philosophy of science."
I think this makes it pretty solid hint (of the 2 x 4 variety) as to why "creationist trophe has been well & truly discredited", it's not science. That's pretty discredited to me. Oh I know little casey would love for Professor Campbell to start listing all the specific issues with bacterial flagellum, the current poster child for Irreducible Complexity and Intelligent Design, but all of that is immaterial. It's not science! No one has presented evidence supporting bacterial flagellum as being an example of Interlligent Design. Behe's conjecture doesn't count as evidence.

So let's break this down a little bit. Casey objects to a teacher from grading a question down if answered using information that is not applicable to the subject matter. What's the problem? If you answered


I am sure you won't be very surprised to get marked down. Why would casey be surprised, and more importantly, why would casey object? Didn't little casey earn a biology degree before he went to law school? I wonder how many times he answered a question with Creationism, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity, or Specified Complexity.

However, here is the fun part.

Little casey said that one of the lies being told about the 'Academic Freedom laws (Are Academic Freedom Laws Anti-Science?) was:

"Lie #4: These Laws Bring Intelligent Design Into the Classroom. As claimed by a Santa Fe New Mexican article, the teaching of Intelligent Design — which opponents continue to insist is “creationism in a cheap tuxedo” — will be sneaked in under these “freedom” bills.
Response: Nuh-uh. Re-read that quote from the Louisiana act in my response to Lie #1. Then consider this: “The department, school district governing authorities and school administrators shall not prohibit any teacher, when a controversial scientific topic is being taught in accordance with adopted standards and curricula, from forming students about relevant scientific information regarding either the scientific strengths or scientific weaknesses pertaining to that topic. A teacher who chooses to provide such information shall be protected from reassignment, termination, discipline or other discrimination for doing so.”

No I.D. in the curriculum = No sneaky I.D. indoctrination. But, if pro-I.D./anti-Darwin evidence comes up in class, teachers are allowed to facilitate discussion without fear of professional retaliation."

Yet in this post he says:

"Why do we need academic freedom legislation like Tennessee's HB 368? In case biology lecturer Allison Campbell decides to relocate to the United States. "

So, according to casey, the reason we need these 'academic freedom laws' is so teachers like Professor Campbell cannot grade down a student who answers a biology question with an Intelligent Design answer. Yet the laws do not bring Intelligent Design into the classroom? Huh?

Now briefly lets address "But, if pro-I.D./anti-Darwin evidence comes up in class, teachers are allowed to facilitate discussion" that little casey mentioned as part of his "Nuh Uh" response to supposed Lie #4. (By the way, casey the lawyer said 'Nuh Uh", anyone else find that funny?) OK, but back to his response. Under current academic freedom laws, wouldn't actual pro-ID or anti-evolution evidence be perfectly admissible in class? Yes, it certainly does. However, since no one at the Discovery Institute, or any of the other Creationist 'think tanks', seems willing or able to present any pro-ID or anti-evolution evidence, why do we need new laws to protect them? Just a thought.

I think casey is smoking something. In one post he claims one thing and then in a later post he make an argument that disagrees with his other post. Is there such a disease as 'Poster Alzheimer's'?

He also forgets another part of Professor Campbell actual post:
"unless we're discussing the nature & philosophy of science"
So in perfect accordance with the real academic freedom laws currently on the books, if the test was asking questions about the nature and philosophy of science, the inclusion of Intelligent Design might be a perfectly acceptable answer.

Let's always remember that if these pseudo-academic freedom laws being pushed by casey and his buddies at the Discovery Institute are enacted, Intelligent Design becomes acceptable as science -- at least in the legal sense. And teachers who present it as such are immune from being held accountable for their actions. There's an interesting lesson for our students! So all casey's whining to the contrary, he reveals himself quite clearly -- at least I think his final comment really opened the kimono:
"So if you're a student at the University of Waikato taking biology from Allison Campbell, beware: don't talk about intelligent design, and you probably also shouldn't admit if you believe in God. Unless, of course, you don't mind being "marked down." "(italics added)
Where did Professor Campbell say anything about belief in God? She didn't! But here is casey equating Intelligent Design with Belief in God. But . . .but . . .but hasn't casey frequently stated that Intelligent Design has nothing to do with God . . . it's science . . . isn't it? Apparently not according to casey luskin.


  1. Thank you so much, Ted - loved your deconstruction of the DI post & very much appreciate your supportive comments.
    Very best wishes, Alison

  2. One of your other commenters made a great point, and worded it so much better than I could have: " . . . Mr Luskin has also used his advanced powers of clairvoyance to diagnose you as an atheist who will actively persecute anyone foolish enough to admit in class to believing in a god." ( I wish I had thought of the Atheist line, it's perfect!

  3. Ah yes, Herr doctor bimler does have a nice turn of phrase :-)

  4. Luskin's difficulties with reading comprehension become evident in the sixth word of the title of his post, where he manages to misspell Alison's first name.

  5. Which is one of the many reasons I usually refer to him as 'little casey luskin'. If you want a good read, try Lauri lebo's book "The Devil In Dover" for an interesting perspective on the Dover Trial. Little casey is mentioned briefly on pages 120-121 (of the hard cover release). Oh he wasn't actually part of the legal defense team, he was outside handing out press releases.

    Ever play softball or baseball in gym class? What player always tended to get exiled to right field? I think casey's job during the trial was something like that.