Timothy Sandefur calls Casey Luskin out on copyright law at the Panda's Thumb. Casey Luskin is initially (and superficially) right: His photograph is copyrighted. Even his cease and desist letter is copyrighted!
The real question is whether its use here constitutes "fair use."
Here is a good short description of the fair use doctrine. Although the fair use doctrine isn't susceptible to a bright line test, and there can be close cases, this isn't one of them. Timothy Sandefur's Panda's Thumb/Freespace post explains why.
The comments, though, at Panda's Thumb drift into an effort to divine of the flavor of Casey Luskin's creationism.
I think this is easy. Casey Luskin, who is quick to protect his visual image can also act to protect his ID credentials if he so desires. He can simply explain why he rejects young earth creationism. He has not taken the opportunity to do so. On the contrary he has embraced young earth creationists. For all practical purposes, he is one.
Let's look at facts. He works for the Discovery Institute, an organization dedicated to the overthrow of good science. Compatible with Young Earth Creationism? Yes.
Are there any prominent DI Fellows that are YEC? Yes again, Paul Nelson and Nancey Pearcey to name at least two.
Has the Discovery Institute itself taken a position regarding YEC? Nope, it explicitly dodges the question.
Does Casey Luskin rely on the support of young earth creationists for his position? Repeatedly.
Casey Luskin repeatedly includes young earth creationist in his calculations of the number of people who reject evolution and explicitly argues that such doubts are reasonable. When you repeatedly include the YEC creationists as evidence of reasonable doubts about evolution, you are, for all practical purposes, a Young Earth Creationist. Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.
He calls Young earth creationism merely "controversial," not "wrong" or scientifically incorrect. In particular, he criticizes Swiss authorities for not taking a "middle ground." What is the middle ground between a falshehood (YEC) and science? OK, should YEC be any part at all of the "teach the controversy" scheme advocated by the DI. Or can we once and for all declare YEC to be "off the table?" If the Discovery Institute did that, its credibility would increase and it would fare a lot better in the legal system. But I predict neither Casey nor the DI will categorically reject YEC as an alternative to evolution.
To recap, Casey Luskin is the public relations director for an organization with several Young Earth creationist supporters and which refuses to distance itself from those supporters. When given the opportunity in his own writings he fails to address the scientific error of young earth creationism. The evidence supports an inference that Casey Luskinis a young earth creationist.
But he can always clarify matters for us by answering a few questions:
Give or take 1 billion years, Casey, how old is the earth?
How do you interpret Genesis, Casey? Inerrant and scientifically accurate, or mostly allegorical and not intended as a scientific discourse on biology?
Lawyers say "When the facts are in your favor, pound the facts. When the law is in your favor, pound the law. When neither the facts nor the law is in your favor, pound the table.
Rob Crowther and Casey Luskin are frantically pounding the table over at the Discovery Institute.
Here's a nice letter to the editor of a Florida newspaper pointing out why Intelligent Design is not science. The letter writer accurately observes that ID is disguised creationism lacking factual support.
Not surprisingly, the Discovery Institute's Rob Crowther objects to the letter. Why? Was the letter writer mistaken? No. It seems the letter exceeded the newspaper's maximum word count by 153 words! That's right. Rob himself can't succinctly demonstrate the letterwriter is wrong. Instead, Rob pounds the table mightily, convicting the letter writer of verbosity, not inaccuracy. Well struck, Rob.
He shouldn't. Tiktaalik is a creationist's nightmare. Tiktaalik is indeed an important transitional fossil. But all fossils are transitional. Tiktaalik is important because was a predicted transitional fossil. Evolution predicted both the fossil's existence and its current location. Not bad for a theory in crisis since 1986.
Casey's creationism flatly predicts that Tiktaalik cannot exist. Yet, there it is in all its undeniable splendor.
How does Casey handle this unfortunate fact? Does he claim the fossil was faked? Nope. It seems Tiktaalik was discovered by the dreaded elite scientists! Not your ordinary run of the mill scientists and not some schmuck scientists from Bible college either. Certainly not any of the hardworking Discovery Institute hacks feverishly working on, uh, Intelligent Design science. No, elite scientists.
Casey uses elite as an epitaph. Now, personally, I think "elite" is a good thing. I suspect Casey would prefer an elite cardiologist should he ever require open heart surgery. Maybe he'll really will try to get by with any name from the yellow pages, but I doubt it. When the chips are down, Casey will go for an elite professional every time--except, that is, when he needs to "pound the table."
In case you miss the point, Casey blames the "scientific elite" three times for the discovery of Tiktaalik. Casey doesn't even pound the table creatively. Can't he come up with a different term of derision? Somebody get Casey a thesaurus.
cdesign proponetists are loathe to identify the designer.
Casey Luskin, Young Earth Creationist: "ID-proponents have consistently given the principled explanation that ID's inability to specify the nature or identity of the designer stems from a desire to respect the limits of scientific inquiry."
Idea Center: "The mere presence of CSI does not tell us anything about the identity of the designer. The fact that ID does not identify the designer is only because of epistemological limitations of the scope of this scientific theory."
If they did identify the designer, then ID would be indistiguishable from creationism.
Fortunately, The Intelligent Design, LLC., has a clothing line that pretty muchs outs the designer. The designer's a fish with sunglasses, as it turns out.
I predict Pharyngula fans will show little interest in this clothing line unless the fish is replaced by an octopus. Perhaps like this one:
Seriously, here's Behe invoking the Bill Dembski of physics:
"Nonetheless, as regards the identity of the designer, modern ID theory happily echoes Isaac Newton's phrase, 'hypothesis non fingo.'"
She maintains or acts as moderator on about a half dozen sites including but not limited to Post-Darwinist, Mindful Hack, Uncommon Descent, Overwhelming Evidence, and the ID Report. All sites flog her books mercilessly. You might assume a person maintaining multiple sites has a lot to say. Not true. She mostly posts what she calls “Service Notes" to ensure her blogs update on automated feeds. She also cross-posts to non-content at her other blogs, ensuring the same result.
The only thing she promotes more than ID is her self. When she does get around to promoting ID, she is often intentionally hilariously and unintentionally accurate
At Evolution News and Views, Casey Luskin confirms yet again that "The misreporting of the evolution issue is one key reason for this site."
It certainly is.
Diploid cells carry two copies of every gene compared to the single copy in cells produced assexually.If there is an error in the transmission of genetic information, the descendant's diploid cells have two chances to get it right instead of the assexual cell's single chance.That confers an evolutionary advantage to sexaully reproduced diploid cells.
Of course he is correct that assexual reproduction takes less energy and is also advantageous under certain circumstances.Living organisms often pursue different strategies for evolutionary success. It does not disprove evolution and Luskin does not explain what Intelligent Design theory has to offer to the discussion.You have to wonder if Casey has ever heard of annual and perrenial plants and their different strategies for evolutionary success.
"The Intelligent Design movement holds that living organisms are too complex to have arisen through random mutation and natural selection, and therefore must have been designed by some outside entity."
Question: Where do ID-proponents define ID like that? Answer: Nowhere.
Where would Dr. Kampis get such an outlandish idea?
Godspy Magazine: But isn't your main scientific argument, in fact, falsifiable? You claim that random mutation and natural selection—the Neo-Darwinist mechanisms of evolution—could not have produced certain structures in the human cell, such as the flagellum, because these structures are "irreducibly complex"—in other words, if you remove one part the whole system doesn't work. You claim such a system could not have evolved incrementally, and would need to have been designed somehow. Isn't this falsifiable? If Neo-Darwinists can show how these structures could have evolved, then it would prove your point false, right?
Dr. Behe: That's correct.
Godspy: Would it be compatible with ID to say that the design in the universe, or in human life, is, in some way, a reflection of the Logos?
Dr. Behe: Yes, that's perfectly compatible with ID.
As any unbiased onserver can see, Kampis has fairly summarized Behe's position. Maybe Casey Luskin can try again and offer his own definition of ID. I'm pretty sure that any definition he might offer has already been contradicted by Discovery Institute Fellows. It is a simple fact that DI/ID proponents will say anything to the general public to avoid ID's creationism, yet are quite candid about the creationist foundation of ID when speaking to a religious audience.
No. It mocks creationists who palm their creationism off as scientific. Big difference.
Undeterrred, the Discovery Institute "quotes" Glenn Branch of the Nation Center for Science and Education, thusly:
Now in an interview with the Toronto Star, Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has defended such mocking of traditional religion by Darwinists as "light hearted fun" that is "probably healthy.
You know why I put quote marks around the word "quotes." The DI is pathologically incapable of quoting accurately or in context.
Keeping track of creationist activity and combating it is a tiring and often thankless chore and enjoying light hearted fun at the opposition's expense is probably healthy.
As is plain, The FSM does not mock religion- and Glenn Branch is not approving of religious mockery. The FSM effectviely mocks creationists who misrepresent both religion and science--people well worth mocking.
Of course the best way to defeat mockery is to actually address the point of the pundit. So, John West, please tell us how Intelligent Design distinguishes between the Flying Spagetti Monster and the Deity of your choice. Oh, and keep in mind Job 13:7-11.
The Discovery Institute claimed that the judge essentially plagiarized the winning side’s Proposed Findings of Fact. As I previously pointed out, a trial judge’s acceptance of the winning side’s proposed findings is so common as to be unremarkable. There is a reason why the winning side “won” after all. No need to re-invent wheels. After the DI realized what they said, they have backpedaled from the plagiarism claim as even lawyers sympathetic to their cause are telling them they will lose credibility. As I noted, the losing side’s lawyers haven’t commented on this at all. As practicing attorneys, they recognize the power of the court’s ruling.
The DI now claims that the judge adopted the winning side’s proposed findings to such an extent that he also included their mistakes.
By now, we know there’s a catch. It’s in the DI’s misrepresentation of “mistake.” To discuss this I need to explain some civics. I’ll do that by offering an example. At a non-jury trial, the judge acts as the fact finder. He hears conflicting evidence, such as “the light was red” and “no it wasn’t, it was green.” The judge then decides whether the light was “red” or “green.” Each side proposed findings of fact. One side proposes: “The light was red.” The other proposes “the light was green.” The judge makes a decision. There is a winner and a loser. If the judge adopts the proposed finding that the “light was red” there will be a winner and loser. The loser may disagree with teh judge, but that’s our legal system. The loser can choose to appeal or move on with his life.
What the loser cannot say is that the judge made a mistake in accepting that the light was red. In fact, the judge’s decision is not a “mistake” he is specifically choosing one side’s version of facts over the other side’s version. That’s not a mistake, it’s exactly what we pay judges to do.
The Discovery Institute’s list of “mistakes” is merely a list of instances where the judge rejected the defendant’s position and accepted the plaintiff’s position. That’s not a mistake.
The DI further compounds its error by demonstrating the “mistake” based on testimony of its own witnesses. This is a ludicrous proposition.
Let’s examine how that works in a hypothetical bank robbery trial.
The evidence consists of (1) videotape showing the defendant in the bank, (2) the defendant’s fingerprints lifted from the bank teller’s countertop, (3) bank money found in the defendant’s possession, and (4) the defendant’s testimony that he did not rob the bank. The court, on this evidence convicts the defendant. Can we reasonably say that the court made a mistake because its finding contradicts the direct testimony of a witness? Of course not—the court simply didn’t believe the defendant.
That is the weakness in the Discovery Institute’s claim that the judge made such mistakes as finding that there was no peer reviewed literature or that Intelligent Design is based on the requirement for a supernatural intervention in the course of natural events. Did the ID witnesses claim there was peer reviewed literature? Yes. Did they also admit there was none? Yes, they did. Did they deny the need for a supernatural interference? Yes. Did they concede that Pandas called for supernatural interferences? Yes they did.
Based on their inconsistent testimony the judge did not believe the testimony of the ID proponents. A judge’s determination that a witness is not believable is not a “mistake.” It’s what all judges do.
Now, it’s possible that the DI wouldn’t know this. I doubt that because the DI has far more lawyers on its staff than biologists. That fact alone says volumes. The spin continues.
Talk Origins has a detailed discussion regarding the so-called “mistakes” here.
What the Discovery Institute fails to understand is that in every case there is a winner and a loser. The Discovery Institute was the loser at Dover. The judge did his job. Move on to the next case.