[Logo link]Two recent Florida Op-Eds relating to evolution have hit the newsstands.
The ridiculous first--Casey Luskin, who else? Casey attempts to come across in his public persona as reasonable. His Discovery institute attack whines are usually muted when in public.
His Op-Ed piece can accomplish only the usual "teach the controversy" whine. Unlike a fine Cabernet, this whine does not improve with age. He trots out the same hoary talking points without a shred of truth or reliable evidence to support his points. He claims to teach the controversy but never specifies what is in controversy. Not only that, those darn Darwinists are so dogmatic when they're right. It's just not fair. In short, he thinks those Florida rubes won't notice the missing facts in all his verbiage. From the comments following the Op-Ed, I'd say they noticed. Casey Luskin, unMindful Hack.
The sublime--Carl Hiaasen, no hack at all, also weighs in. Carl has two thing going for him. First, he lives in Florida and has had a stellar career as a newspaper columnist.
Unlike cdesign proponentsists, Truth means something to him. Second, he has a series of really great novels revolving around the the recurring theme that many Floridians are nuts and deserve what they get. He writes fondly of Floridian foibles so his readers can draw universal lessons. He surely does not consider Floridians a bunch of rubes. His sense of irony is obvious.
I can only hope he writes a book on intelligent design. Inhis novels, Hiaasen delights in puncturing pomposity and deflating pretend experts. The comic possibilities are endless. Hiassen's column is in this same vein. He exhibits his classic fond but bemused ridicule of Floridians by pointing out the lack of scientific opportunities that can and will occur when Casey Luskin creationists have any impact on state education choice standards. Deftly done.
Was I harsh on Casey in accusing him of thinking Floridians were simple rubes? You be the judge. Check out his reaction to the Florida State Board of Education. Tricked, they were, tricked! Those rubes!
We know ID can't hold its own against atheist liberals. We can't expect it to convince liberal atheists when it doesn't even convince conservative or Christians, either. Denyse O'Leary frantically caterwauls to the contrary:
[Logo]The research.org site has decided not to permit EN&V to use the peer review check mark. I assume this is provisional--if EN&V does for some strange reason post a few good articles on peer reviewed science, I bet Research.Org will change its mind.
The “peer reviewed” logo has been removed at the EN&V post after much criticism.Casey offers this explanation at the site:
“On Feb. 3, I posted this blog post. A co-worker had recommended that I include a graphic that said this was discussing peer-reviewed research. At the time, I had not seen ResearchBlogging.org and I was unaware of the fact that they requested registration in order to use their graphic. Important note: It should be clear that when I first posted my post, I had not yet seen ResearchBlogging.org and was unaware of how it worked.”
He has also expanded on these comments at the BPR3 blog in this thread:
I frequently discuss peer-reviewed research related to evolution at www.evolutionnews.org. In fact, when I posted my post at EvolutionNews, that’s all I thought I was doing–I had no idea that rules, including copyright issues, existed for using the graphic nor did I have any idea that by using the graphic, I would be accused of breaking rules. Given my ignorance prior to using the graphic, I would not necessarily expect my post to conform to rules that I wasn’t even aware of when I posted my post.
Here are some more comments.
1.The fact that a graphic has a website on it does not mean that it isn’t fair for the public to use it. In fact, in this instance, that is precisely what I was told was the case: I was told by my friend that the graphic was used on all kinds of blogs and websites by people who were blogging about peer-reviewed research. He told me I should use it. So I was led to believe it was like one of those “free license” graphics where no one cares if you use the graphic. After all, we all are aware that the graphic is used on blogs all over the place. So previously I thought the graphic was simply a “free license” graphic that people all over the place used, and
So, based upon what I was told, I had no reason to presume there were “rules” behind using the 117 X 87 pixel graphic that would result in the eruption of much anger when they are violated.
When various blogs erupted in a firestorm yesterday because I used the 117 X 87 pixel graphic for about 24 hours, I first learned that there were rules about using the 117 X 87 pixel graphic. It was then that I first visited ResearchBlogging.org, and it was at that time that I tried to register with ResearchBlogging.org so that I could legitimately use the 117 X 87 pixel graphic. This morning, when I learned that Mr. Munger felt I had used the 117 X 87 pixel graphic inappropriately, I immediately removed the 117 X 87 pixel graphic.
I remain skeptical of these explanations for a number of reasons.Luskin’s excuse was accurately characterized as the
“I’m too stupid to know better”defense and the "197 pixel defense"(apparently borrowing 197 is OK, go above 200 pixels and you’ re in deep trouble—got it!) He also asserts the SODDI defense, often heard in criminal court, “Some Other Dude Did It.”He didn’t copy the image, an unidentified colleague did.OK, then that makes it all right.
Lawyers can’t use these excuses.First, ignorance of the law is no excuse--especially for lawyers.We have fewer excuses than the general public for plausibly claiming legal ignorance.We have the tools to find out what the law is.
Second, Luskin just recently invoked intellectual property law objecting to his own image being used without permission.That also received some pointed criticism, which I am sure he reviewed.He now tells us a week later that it didn’t cross his mind that a professionally drafted logo just might be similarly protected?I reject his explanation. He's demonstrated very recently he knows what the law is. Reciving and using copyrighted matereial from the "other dude that did it" still doens't cut it for alawyer.
Third, look at my own response below.I don’t specialize in copyright law either.I was shocked on February 3 when I saw the EN&V blog displaying the peer reviewed logo.My initial reaction was, “If they can do—so can I.”I went to the research.org website on February 3, as I stated, and I took the time to look up the requirements for use of the logo.I decided that this blog technically could qualify for use of the peer review checkmark logo, but I personally would have little or nothing to add about peer reviewed research.I leave that in the capable hands of experts, a group far beyond Ph.D’s, I must add (for example graduate students performing real research!).
Luskin reached a different conclusion regarding his own qualifications for authorized use of the logo, but that’s not my point.My point is that any reasonable attorney with a smattering of copyright law should have recognized the intellectual property issue and verified the status of the logo for himself.I can demonstrate at least one attorney did go through the time and effort.
Yet, Luskin apparently didn’t.
He now predictably whines that withholding the use of the peer-reviewed logo is somehow silencing intelligent design.What nonsense.The internet is a big place—you can post whatever you want.And, if you want—you can create your own damn logo!
Congratulations to Casey Luskin for finally fumbling an attempt to actually discuss something approaching the outer reaches of science at Evolution News and Views. Even a facsimile of a scientific article makes the false advertising of Evolution News and Views appear slightly less obviously false. It seems like it's been years since any post at EN&V even attempted to resemble an actual scientific discussion. I can't think of a single recent article discussing any peer reviewed intelligent design research recently. In fact, I can't think of one, ever. Still secret, I guess.
So, that's news by itself. What's not news is Casey's misunderstanding of intellectual property law.
Notice that "Peer reviewed" checkmark at this article? I did and was stunned. I went to the website and found out that any blog can submit an application to display that blog reviewed check mark when blogging on peer-reviewed research. Even this blog might qualify. I won't do it because, frankly, peer-reviewed scientific articles are well outside my expertise. I have nothing intelligent to say that wasn't said in the article itself. I leave that for qualified scientists to digest and explain.
(There are several blogs that do a great job of explaining very technical stuff from parasites to penises. This stuff is for experts. Don't try this at home!)
Still, I was impressed the Casey had taken the initiative to join the scientific community. It would be a good thing and perhaps a learning experience. Alas, like almost all else about Intelligent Design Creationism, it was a fake.
Potential infringers sometimes claim their work is a parody, a recognized fair use. That doesn't apply here. You see, the parody has to be "intentional"--not accidental.
The biggest objection is that the peer-reviewed checkmark represents a screening process that Casey has apparently subverted, affecting the market for the work. Why go through the screening process when you can just shortcut it and hold yourself out as a "peer review" blogger, as Casey has demonstrated? The organizers of researchblogging.org invested a lot of time and effort in their screening guidelines to represent real science research to the general public. Luskin has compromised their hard work and efforts. Now, we have no idea if the displayed checkmark means anything at all.