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    California Science Center Has To Pay Fee To Not Show Intelligent Design Film
    By Hank Campbell | August 30th 2011 11:58 AM | 33 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

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    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

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    A documentary on Intelligent Design, a flavor of Creationism, can be shown at the California Science Center under terms of a settlement announced yesterday.

    But the group that sued the center after they scheduled a screening of "Darwin's Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record" and the center canceled it in 2009 now says it won't bother to show the film at the center's IMAX theater.   The American Freedom Alliance will just take its $110,000 settlement and move on.

    There are two issues. One is legal; if anything named the California Science Center knows so little about actual science it took money to show the film and host a fundraiser without bothering to check on what it was about, either they are pretty darn culturally moderate and allow a lot of things and assume the public is smart enough to sort wheat from chaff, or they are stupid - but what they can't do is be discriminatory.  These American Freedom Alliance people were not pretending to be something else and engaging in fraud about what they intended to do with the venue, which would be just cause and breach of contract.  The science center settled the lawsuit because what they did was likely to be illegal and the law needs to also protect people we happen not to like.


    Here's the trailer for the movie, because people are less stupid than a science center believes (and than militant atheists believe too), plus it's a terrible bit of fiction that hacks up science to fit a cultural agenda in a way worthy of Al Gore, so since we just helped 'promote' it, we can now make fun of it.

    The other issue, of course, is promoting non-science as science.  Anything called a 'Science Center' is a private company, non-profit or not, so they can do what they want but there should be some expectation that if 'science' is in the name, there will be science, just like if I got to a restaurant with 'burger' in the name there will be a cheeseburger.   If their employees are so dumb they sign the contract and then, when they are criticized, have to invent some reasoning that they canceled it because too many groups were promoting the center and the event, it doesn't make a lot of sense to scientists or judges.   Basically, they caved, but they wouldn't have had to cave if they knew what science was in the first place.

    Attorney William J. Becker Jr., the attorney for the plaintiff, is not a scientist but disagrees with the assertion that Intelligent Design is just Creationism.

    "Intelligent design theory is based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence," Becker told the Associated Press. "It is based on research that does not discuss who the intelligent designer is, whereas creationism is based solely on the belief that the Bible's Book of Genesis is accurate."

    Call for reviewers: I am starting a peer-reviewed journal on Theoretical Phys. Ed., so if you like to sit on the couch and eat Doritos, you are the perfect peer to review my work.  Apparently that is all peer review means to some people.

    Anyway, the attorney's claim would be great, if the evidence had not shown that the first ID books were just Creationism ones with references to Creationism replaced - and they missed a few spots.

    Comments

    I don't think you have done any work on this story.

    For one tip, I suggest you read the press releases from the California Science Center Foundation "California Science Center Foundation's Statement Regarding Resolution of Legal Dispute with AFA." Catchy title, isn't it?

    When you wrote, "either they are pretty darn culturally moderate and allow a lot of things and assume the public is smart enough to sort wheat from chaff, or they are stupid" I was surprised that you had taken the Discovery Institute's version of events as if it were true. I have learned over many years that nothing should ever be believed on trust if it has come from the Discovery Institute. But, you have helped them spread their version and I'll bet they didn't even pay you for it. At least Casey Luskin is paid to write his BS.

    Hank
    I don't know who that is and I have never read the Discovery Institute so you can stop with the raging paranoia that the world's largest independent science site is shilling for creationism and address the real issue.   They were dumb enough to let those people rent the space and then they were dumb enough to let it cost them a hundred grand.
    Hank, if you trust people to be "less stupid than a science center believes," then why not point us to the video's website: http://www.darwinsdilemma.org/
    and let us judge "Darwin's Dilemma" ourselves?

    "Vorthosforum," to which you've directed us, looks like a creepy place put up by the KKK.

    How did you manage to track that one down, anyway? Must've had to look under a lot of dead tree trunks...

    Hank
    I did a search for the video trailer and they were first on YouTube.  You guys need better SEO if you never heard of them but they are first with your movie.
    "You guys need better SEO if you never heard of them but they are first with your movie."

    Oh, stop with the raging paranoia. I'm not affiliated in any way with the Disco Institute or the movie.

    Hank

    What paranoia?  You wrote
     why not point us to the video's website: http://www.darwinsdilemma.org/ and let us judge "Darwin's Dilemma" ourselves?
    so you knew a URL for the place and pull out the old 'let us judge for ourselves' standby.  it's perfectly reasonable to believe you were affiliated, otherwise you wouldn't much care who was selling their DVD.
    As Hank righty points out, unlawful viewpoint discrimination was the main issue in this case. In 2009, the state-run California Science Center cancelled a contract with the American Freedom Alliance to screen a pro-ID documentary, Darwin’s Dilemma. A lawsuit was filed for unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. That lawsuit was recently settled. By the terms of the settlement agreement, the Science Center paid $110,000 and again opened its doors to the film, an invitation that was acknowledged as an apology, thanked, and then respectfully declined by the American Freedom Alliance for reasons known best to them. True, the Science Center did not explicitly admit in the settlement agreement that it engaged in viewpoint discrimination, and has issued a press release on this point, but the large payout and invitation may be taken as an implicit admission that its defense to the viewpoint discrimination claim was weak, and that public trial should therefore be avoided. Indeed, it was wise for the Science Center to settle, because the world and a jury would have seen emails that pointed plainly to viewpoint as the basis for cancellation. On that, as one Science Center VP aptly summarized, “[AFA’s] topic of Darwinism and the nature of their controversial approach is likely not a good fit with a science center,” for “the main problem is that [AFA] is an anti-Darwin/Creationist group.” These emails and other evidence form part of a growing public record that demonstrates unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination at work against intelligent design in the taxpayer-funded academy. No matter your position on the origin and development of life, if you cherish your American right to dissent from orthodoxy, you are right to feel outrage. If interested, search Evolution News and Views for more on the legal issue and on whether ID is science, among other topics.

    Gerhard Adam
    When will people like you wake up and recognize that science is NOT a democracy.  Of course, you don't want things to be different, because you would rather use the lever of the law and government regulation to advance your position since you have no scientific one.

    Yours is particularly vile, because you hide behind legitimate rights and protections so that you can advance your own profit motive at the expense of others.  You aren't interested in science.  You're simply another greedy bastard that thinks they can profit on the backs of other's gullibility. 

    At least you might choose to demonstrate that you have a tinge of honesty by not posting anonymously and admitting to your affiliation with the Discovery Institute. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hi Gerhard Adam (or Adam Gerhard?).

    Thanks for commenting.

    Yes, I understand that as an internal matter the scientific disciplines operate differently than governmental agencies, largely because the work of each is governed by different sorts of rules. But if science takes government money (provided such amounts to the formation of a public-private-partnership, mind you), as in the case here, then science must operate within the constitutional rules that constrain governmental conduct, like the law on viewpoint discrimination. Truly private operations are no as limited, of course, so there's a trade off to consider.

    Anyway, I'd be happy to see the ID case made in just the scientific community, but, as mentioned, there is a great deal of overlap between what counts as the scientific sphere and what counts as the public or government sphere, so it seems the ID movement must play by the rules in which it finds itself, as must other folks. As to your other point, I don't believe there is any meaningful pecuniary gain to the ID endeavor, however, and so we must content ourselves with the search for truth.

    Hope this helps explain a bit.

    Best,

    Josh

    Gerhard Adam
    ...here is a great deal of overlap between what counts as the scientific sphere and what counts as the public or government sphere, so it seems the ID movement must play by the rules in which it finds itself, as must other folks.
    Your answer is a marketing pitch?  Intelligent Design proponents can publish hypothesis and perform experiments just like any other scientist.  Michael Behe doesn't mind capitalizing on his biochemistry degree, but he's a bit shy about actual research.

    Sorry, but your pitch doesn't wash.  There is no public versus scientific sphere unless you're artificially constructing one.  If ID cannot abide by the standards of evidence and the scientific method, then it shouldn't lay claim to be a science.

    You're presenting this as if ID were the first ever dissenting view in science.  This is disingenuous, since that's precisely the basis by which science progresses.  Therefore, I can only conclude that if ID doesn't care to participate in the normal scientific channels (including peer-review), then perhaps it's politics and economics is more important than its scientific integrity.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard:

    I am happy to discuss the legal matter of viewpoint discrimination with you, or perhaps the legal discipline itself to the extent that such context is required, but I must table all topics outside these areas for another time and place, lest we end up speaking on everything and thus nothing in particular.

    That said, yes, I agree with you that the line between the public and scientific spheres is a construct, as are most if not all distinctions in the law. Are you saying that science is devoid of constructs?

    Best,

    Josh

    Gerhard Adam
    Ahh .. you must be a politician.  You've managed to evade and change the subject (to the legalities) and say nothing specific regarding the ID position.

    My point remains.  If ID purports to be science, then it must provide evidence and results in a peer-reviewed fashion.  The mere notion that it requires "legal" support from an organization to get its views expressed indicates what a scientific sham it is.

    To invoke "viewpoint discrimination" within a scientific context indicates that it was never about the science.  Since when do scientists invoke the courts and law to advance their ideas?

    Call it what you like, and you have your legal victory, and while it may represent a legal victory, it is a scientific travesty.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard:

    I see you want to talk about what counts as science, or perhaps about what should count as science. I can oblige on either subject for a bit. But it'll help to know where you're coming from, and to of course move slowly to better ensure clarity. Do you suppose there is some fact of the matter as to either question? Is there in your view a "right" answer as to what counts as science?

    Best,

    Josh

    Gerhard Adam
    Obviously, science operates on the premise that the world is understandable and through observation and experiment, we may eventually discover it's workings.  The key point is that information cannot simply be speculated about, and that every explanation must ultimately be verifiable.

    Admittedly there are some theories where a complete replay can't occur (i.e. origin of the universe), so in those cases, we operate on whether current theories offer predictions that are consistent with such theories.  In those cases, we may simply have a plausible explanation, or we may simply have a theory that offers the best explanation possible.

    If we have to invent new laws, or axioms, then they must be justified before inclusion.  Similarly if we postulate extra mechanisms, then they similarly must be justified and explained before we can argue for their existence. 

    It should also be clearly understood that science offers us the best explanation for how things work, but nature is not obligated to obey our theories or "laws".  If a new discovery changes things, then we have to adjust our thinking accordingly.  Once again, the primary point is that such ideas and theories are developed slowly and survive based on their predictive and explanatory powers.  Some areas may be subject to controversy until more evidence accrues.  Some areas may simply be too complex to have a singular simple explanation.

    Creationism (specifically young-earth) is a non-starter, since it simply denies all science.  However, intelligent design does little better because it postulates a process for which there isn't even a reasonable definition, while requiring something more complex to exist than that which is created.  So, to simply proclaim it true, is patently unscientific. 

    Let me also be clear that, one cannot propose a theory simply by complaining about another theory.  A theory must stand on its own as an explanation of events, it must have predictive power, and it must ultimately be verifiable within the realm in which it offers explanations.  Outside that domain we are in the area of philosophy and not science.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Can someone who understands legal nuance better than me explain how they are claiming they won $110,000 when the release from the science center Gerhard sent me says no money was exchanged?
    Hank
    I think either the Ca. Science Center is being clever, or the Associated Press and me and the world got this wrong (98,000 articles on Google using that same settlement amount) - they may be saying because their insurance is paying that they are not giving over any money, which would be awfully petty in its distinction but probably technically correct.

    I'm curious to see what that means but Ca Sci Center has not written me back yet.
    Hank:

    The Center and the Center's Foundation appear to be one in all but name (the law is filled with useful fictions). The same group of people use one name or the other for strategic reasons. To wit, this press release. The Foundation "tendered payment" of $110,000 to AFA. The Center didn't pay only to the extent that the Center and the Foundation are different, if there is any difference beyond name. This is nominalism at work in the media.

    The settlement agreement did not direct attorney's fees and costs from one party to any other. This is much less exciting than it sounds. In America, each party bears their own fees and costs by default, which was particularly high for the defense who employed eight attorneys plus staff for nearly two years. Five of those attorneys were from a prestigious firm. You can imagine the costs the defense had to eat. The plaintiff operated on a much, much smaller litigation budget. On top of that disparity the defendants paid the plaintiff a healthy sum for its claim (110K), yet the plaintiff paid nothing to the defendant on the defendant's cross claims since they were without merit.

    David slew Goliath here.

    Best,

    Josh

    Hank
    I don't know, if the defendants council was costing that much it was cheaper to just settle and send out a press release saying no money was cost.  Nuisance lawsuits happen all of the time and get settled for just that reason.
    Litigation budget, insurance coverage and strength-of-case are common factors in the decision to settle or go to trial. The facts were very much on plaintiff's side here, although even an iron-clad case pitched to 12 jurors is always an 80% proposition at best.

    Gerhard:

    Pardon the delay. Busy.

    So you've got some rules in mind to separate science from non-science, theory from non-theory, explanation from non-explanation, etc. Others have their own rules, of course, on these and on the countless other matters you raise by implication. That's to be expected, for rules (and all other expressions) do not self-execute, but rather require interpretation and application on a case-by-case basis, the means and ends of which are always constestable. So, for example, there is no right answer as to whether science is or should be set off from non-science by way of certain social notions of falsifiability, parsimony, elegance, symmetry, fruitfulness, and such, or instead by the use of some other set of constructs, which is to suggest, again, that there is no ineliminable essence or hard outer edge to any of these ideas, squishy and variable as they are.

    But, yes, there is some regularly observable actions that Jim the Biologist will likely perform every day while at the lab, though one is hard pressed to build an endurable systematics off of Jim's behavior, or off of the aggregate behavior of those who wear white coats in Jim's lab, or by way of some even more ambitious attempt at aggregation (this is where verbal squishiness begins to ruin things). Still, I appreciate the desire for some way to exclude some folks from the practice of the scientific disciplines and sub-disciplines. Unlike medicine and law, there is no state licensing board to govern the practice of evolutionary biology, or ethnology, or particle physics, etc. Probably because science as the grand search for truth must be unregulated in order to produce insight, which is a particularly amorphous, boundless public good. At least in law there comes an end to the Q&A: a verdict is read, a majority opinion written, money changes hands, etc. Not so with science whose pronouncements remain tentative.

    Anyway, I could go on forever, but I think you get where I'm coming from.

    Best,

    Josh

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but you're trying to make science appear as if it's some vague, personally interpretative event for which anyone can offer an opinion or speculation.  That isn't how it works.  It doesn't matter whether a lab is good or bad (per se).  What matter is that if they publish results, then others can review them and attempt to replicate them.  If no replication is possible, then the original results are suspect and will typically result in rather negative feedback.

    Why you should bring up a licensing board is irrelevant.  The issue here isn't about practicing a particular discipline, and it isn't even about credentials.  If an individual (any individual) has a theory or idea, they are certainly free to introduce it to anyone willing to publish it.  Admittedly without credentials, it may be nearly impossible to find a receptive audience, but in principle it is a possibility.  Once again, if evidence is provided and is capable of being replicated, then an idea may gain traction and begin progressing towards scientific acceptance.

    This isn't nearly as clear-cut as it may sound, since many ideas may be subject to interpretation, so there could be a considerable amount of squabbling and controversy.  In some cases, perhaps the issue can't be realistically settled (i.e. no ability to replicate, or the technology doesn't currently exist).  In the latter cases, then regardless of how good or bad an idea is, it can't be considered scientific.
    So, for example, there is no right answer as to whether science is or should be set off from non-science by way of certain social notions of falsifiability, parsimony, elegance, symmetry, fruitfulness, and such, or instead by the use of some other set of constructs, which is to suggest, again, that there is no ineliminable essence or hard outer edge to any of these ideas, squishy and variable as they are.
    Of course, there is.  That's what differentiates science from all other social interactions in which opinion and belief are entertained.  This isn't arbitrary.  Unfortunately, many people believe that science is some sort of democracy, where a sufficient number of beliefs or opinions are enough to change the "facts". 

    The general public is certainly free to accept or reject scientific evidence, but that doesn't put their position on par with science.  An understanding of the data is a requirement, and if someone doesn't, then they may have an opinion, but it certainly isn't scientific.

    In the same way, I'm sure you've encountered people that have all manner of interpretations regarding the law, but in the end, unless you actually know the law, opinions count for little.
    Others have their own rules, of course...
    They most certainly do not.  Once again, there may be differences of opinion regarding particular topics, but everyone will agree that evidence must exist, and it must be convincing.  This is precisely what distinguishes scientific progress from simple speculation.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard:

    As compared to the writing from other disciplines, I agree that science writing is relatively tight, particularly those tech papers from the harder fields like organic chemistry, no doubt because experimental repeatability and other goals of peer review require as much. But no matter what the sentence, from whatever disciplinary trade language, there is always room for interpretation. I'll leave it at that for now in order to focus on your conception of science, which is what I think you want to talk about most anyway.

    On that subject, it seems you identify peer review as the core attribute of science. But I would say that that is just a current feature of scientific practice as popularly understood at present. That is to say that peer review is a contingent, revisable, and even dispensable feature of scientific practice. If, for example, a global catastrophe were to knock out all mass communication and publication along with the peer review process as presently practiced, humans would still engage in behavior fairly described as science, if only in the hope of returning to the former state. To the objection that this would only shrink the scope of peer review down to the level of the local community, to that I'd say that even if there were no community at all, no peers at all, a man could engage in scientific behavior on his own, like Tom Hanks on a deserted island trying to figure out how his environment worked in order to survive. This goes to my earlier point about how I don't think there some inviolable Platonic essence to science.

    Best,

    Josh

    Gerhard Adam
    You're conflating concepts here.  Science requires acceptance and repeatability by others, precisely so that it can avoid personal bias.  Without repeatability, one does not have science.

    The peer-review process may or may not be fraught with difficulties, but it is the requirement that results be shared, repeated, and ultimately accepted results that make science.
    ...even if there were no community at all, no peers at all, a man could engage in scientific behavior on his own, like Tom Hanks on a deserted island trying to figure out how his environment worked in order to survive. This goes to my earlier point about how I don't think there some inviolable Platonic essence to science.
    You've just stated that there is an essence to science, unless you're deliberately ignoring the purpose of "peer-review".  The entire effort is intended to mitigate against personal bias and local effects.  However, in the absence of a community, then presumably the lone individual would be attempting the same process.  If not, then they would not be behaving scientifically.

    However, if this individual were suddenly reintroduced into civilization, then whatever "discoveries" he made would be subject to verification based on the experiences of others, in which case he could learn whether his findings were scientifically accurate, or merely coincidence reinforced by bias.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard:

    I'm not sure there is REALLY such a thing as THE purpose(s) of peer review, as you say, so much as why this or that person chose to participate in it on this or that occasion. Motives vary wildly across time, person, place, and circumstance. I've been talking about peer review as though it were a thing, an it, but it isn't a thing, it is not an it. All that talk is just talk, a manner of speaking and not an ontological commitment, at least not on my part. Contrary to my view, I take it you think there is an objectively/absolutely correct answer as to what counts as THE purpose(s) of peer review and that you've got a pretty good idea of what that is or they are. Fair to say?

    For what it is worth, this talk of scientific Platonism/realism goes to the heart of the science demarcation debate which in turn has some legal significance.

    Best,

    Josh

    Gerhard Adam
    Motives have nothing to do with it.  It doesn't even have to be implemented very well.  The fact remains, that science depends on separate and independent verification.  How well the system works is an entirely different topic and will certainly vary in time as well as place.

    You seem to be imagining peer-review as an absolute process.  I mean it literally, in the sense that others (i.e. peers) review your conclusions and your work.  It doesn't require a modern academic setting.  It doesn't require a formal publication.  It is a process, not a thing.
    ...this talk of scientific Platonism/realism goes to the heart of the science demarcation debate which in turn has some legal significance.
    I'm always concerned when I hear talk of "demarcation", because there is none specifically in science.  There can certainly be such demarcations regarding political motives, agenda, etc. as practiced by individuals.   Scientists are just as subject to those issues as anyone else is.  However, the underlying objective of doing "science" is not in that category.  Therefore, when you say that there are legal ramifications, I suspect you're not talking about science, but about individual(s) behavior.

    BTW ... that's another reason for peer-review, so that when a scientist gets side-tracked pushing their personal views or beliefs, there are others that can question the data/conclusions and keep things "on track".  It is not something that is without its controversies.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard:

    Thanks for your patience.

    On my view, the peer review process involves people, their conduct in particular, motivations for which will vary. In fact, it seems to me that "peer review process" is just a label for what certain people do and why. So I'm puzzled that you think motives have nothing to do with peer review. Maybe you're talking about peer review as a concept whereas I am talking of peer review in practice.

    Regarding demarcation, an interdisciplinary scholar or a philosopher of science or of language will be more aware of the battle over the "line" that supposedly separates science from non-science than will, say, a worker in the thick of it all, like a lab tech at Scripps. Not sure I'd say the difference between the inside and outside view is a matter of politics, as you seem to suggest.

    It seems your conception of science is quite detachable from the practitioners of science and what they do by habit whereas I would draw no serious distinction between the two. That to say, yes, when I talk of science I am talking about actual human behavior and not just an idea, theory, ideal, or such. These latter "things" exist only in one's mind and vary from one thinker to the next. Thus, I prefer to refrain from talking seriously about "the underlying objective of doing 'science'" because, surprise, I don't think there is any such thing. Rather, I expect that the objective of one worker won't necessarily be that of another, or even remain stable in the mind of the first worker from one day to the next.

    Back to the original question of whether ID is science, the one I think you most wanted to discuss, I'd say it is hard to say whether ID as practiced will satisfy any particular person's notion of what counts as peer review. I mean, I could give examples of ID lit that's been peer reviewed, but I also imagine how such could be made to fall inside or outside the lines of "proper" review as one likes. Such is the nature of language and human decision making.

    Best,

    Josh

    Gerhard Adam
    ...I'd say it is hard to say whether ID as practiced will satisfy any particular person's notion of what counts as peer review.
    I think you're playing "fast and loose" with the terminology.  This isn't about consensus or popularity.  It's about repeatability, and whether the results being proposed would be capable of being replicated by someone outside the "community".

    You keep wanting to shift the focus to people's behaviors, instead of the issue of what represents science.  This is why motives can be ignored, because the scientific method isn't based on motives.  As I've stated previously, individuals may nor may not practice the scientific method.  They may or may not be motivated by personal agendas or politics.  However, their behavior is not the basis for determining what constitutes science.  Science, unequivocally, demands repeatability and verification by others.

    Your comment regarding how peer-review is "practiced" evades the issue, because it suggests that there is some floating standard by which science can exist.  This simply isn't true.  Individuals may be motivated to make money, or to advance agendas, or to further their careers, or a myriad number of reasons that may result in "bad science" being practiced.  However, it doesn't change the underlying process of science itself, since there are others that will still attempt to verify any findings, and based on that determination, new data will enter the scientific domain or be rejected.

    The simplest argument about why "Intelligent Design" is not science, is the continued failure of this view to even articulate what is meant by the term "intelligent".   It's a straightforward enough question, and yet there is a worldview that hasn't acceptably defined its own terms.  Once this is done, then it becomes another straightforward argument to see what it actually claims.  In other words, what is the basis for claiming that a particular organism was "designed"?  We already know it is complex, so what represents the criteria for having been designed? 

    You also seem to conclude that merely being "peer-reviewed" constitutes acceptance into the scientific community.  Peer review doesn't stop with an article.  It is a continuous process within science.  Every idea, "theory", and "law" is continuously being "peer-reviewed" so that if it fails at some point, it can be evaluated to determine whether it is wrong, or whether it needs to be adjusted. 

    So, in this case (regarding ID as science).  I'm the "peer" that wants to review the data.  As a result, I have the ability to ask questions and examine claims to which satisfactory answers would need to be provided to gain my personal acceptance.  This is a process that follows for every individual that would choose to examine the evidence (pro or con).  Unless an idea is prepared to undergo such a process, it simply isn't science.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard:

    Yes. I do focus on behavior, particularly that of the individual (most jurists do likewise), the level at which phenomena seems most real. To go much higher up the abstraction ladder than this (to, e.g., "the" scientific method Itself) tends to make folks talk past one another, in my experience. As it with all other individuals, I am incorrigibly, directly and thus most aware of my own thoughts, impressions, experiences, sensations etc. (No one knows better what you are thinking than you.) So, for example, while I know what I mean when I say "science" or "peer review" or "repeatability" or "scientific method," doubt creeps in when I ponder what you might mean by such words (your later "definitions" just give me more to ponder and interpret, not less). All the worse when wondering what a group of complete strangers (e.g., all biochemists) might mean by the these words, which is not to say any group might jointly mean anything.

    Quite the contrary, since only individuals perform the mental act of meaning an idea to another by way of words; groups don't think or really do anything as though one. Speaking as though they do is a matter of convenience; that's all. Even if a group uses many of the same words in describing, say, the scientific method (dubious but assumable arguendo), that doesn't mean they all agree on the subject, or that they are even all talking about the same subject. You can try to convey any idea you want by writing "scientific method." The kicker is in trying to sync your idea and mine together. That's surprisingly hard to do. We may not agree that, e.g., a certain football play constitutes a touchdown, but we're likely to agree that there was a man who held a ball while running until stopped by others. That's behavior. That's action. That's the stuff of statement of fact, of simple (pre-linguistic) observation, rather than statements about idiosyncratic ideas of others, institutional constructs, and such other strictly mental items.

    Anyway, I'm happy to shift focus from your notion of peer review to your notion of repeatability. On that you ask for ID-related lit to review. I'm a law guy, not a science guy, so I asked a scientist for help there. She supplied the following:

    Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness http://www.bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/viewArticle/BIO...
    [PDF] from bio-complexity.org http://www.bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/download/BIO-C.... AK Gauger, S Ebnet, PF Fahey… - BIO-Complexity, 2010 - bio-complexity.org
    Abstract New functions requiring multiple mutations are thought to be evolutionarily feasible
    if they can be achieved by means of adaptive paths—successions of simple adaptations each
    involving a single mutation. The presence or absence of these adaptive paths to new ...
    Cited by 2 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=13089844202157261937&as_sdt=5,48... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:cUTK6vJ3qLUJ:scholar.google.... - All 4 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=13089844202157261937&hl=en&as_...

    The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzymes Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/viewArticle/41
    [PDF] from bio-complexity.org http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/viewPDFInterstitial... AK Gauger… - BIO-Complexity, 2011 - bio-complexity.org
    Enzymes group naturally into families according to similarity of sequence, structure, and underlying mechanism. Enzymes belonging to the same family are considered to be homologs—the products of evolutionary divergence, whereby the first family member provided a starting point for ...
    All 2 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=5267991756228691690&hl=en&as_s...
    Also Doug Axe's paper on his program Stylus, meant to be a counter to Avida and other evolutionary computing algorithms that are claimed to demonstrate the power of evolution to generate new information. This was published in PLoSOne. Peer reviewed new computer model

    [HTML] Stylus: A system for evolutionary experimentation based on a protein/proteome model with non-arbitrary functional constraints http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0002246
    [HTML] from plos.org http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0002246 DD Axe, BW Dixon… - PloS one, 2008 - dx.plos.org
    The study of protein evolution is complicated by the vast size of protein sequence space, the huge number of possible protein folds, and the extraordinary complexity of the causal relationships between protein sequence, structure, and function. Much simpler model constructs may ...
    Cited by 4 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=13954975611731269123&as_sdt=5,48... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:A1Z72mEIqsEJ:scholar.google.... - Cached http://scholar.googleusercontent.com/scholar?q=cache:A1Z72mEIqsEJ:schola... - All 8 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=13954975611731269123&hl=en&as_...

    The case against a Darwinian origin of protein folds http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/viewArticle/25
    [PDF] from bio-complexity.org http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/viewPDFInterstitial... D Axe - Bio-Complexity, 2010 - bio-complexity.org
    Abstract Four decades ago, several scientists suggested that the impossibility of any evolutionary process sampling anything but a miniscule fraction of the possible protein sequences posed a problem for the evolution of new proteins. This potential problem—the sampling ...
    Cited by 1 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=10789810554153682214&as_sdt=5,48... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:JkUXOogbvZUJ:scholar.google.... - All 2 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=10789810554153682214&hl=en&as_...

    The limits of complex adaptation: an analysis based on a simple model of structured bacterial populations http://www.bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/viewArticle/BIO...
    [PDF] from bio-complexity.org http://www.bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/viewPDFIntersti... D Axe - Bio-Complexity, 2010 - bio-complexity.org
    Abstract To explain life's current level of complexity, we must first explain genetic innovation.
    Recognition of this fact has gen- erated interest in the evolutionary feasibility of complex
    adaptations—adaptations requiring multiple mutations, with all intermediates being non- ...
    Cited by 1 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=341784075745650379&as_sdt=5,48&s... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:y2a0WM5CvgQJ:scholar.google.... - All 2 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=341784075745650379&hl=en&as_sd...

    And Mike Behe's review in Quarterly Review of Biology. Peer reviewed summary of results from experimental evolution studies. Plus Bob Marks and Bill Dembski's work published in IEEE journals. Type any of these names into Google Scholar and see what comes up. Note: papers explicitly using the term intelligent design, they won't be there. Peer-reviewed work can't yet touch that third rail. The implications are there in many cases, however.

    E.g., google scholar search RE: Scott Minnich 2007-2011, first page
    Phenotypic characterization of OmpX, an Ail homologue of Yersinia pestis KIM http://mic.sgmjournals.org/content/153/9/2941.short
    [HTML] from sgmjournals.org http://mic.sgmjournals.org/content/153/9/2941.full …, SS Minnich, CJ Hovde, SA Minnich… - …, 2007 - Soc General Microbiol
    The goal of this study was to characterize the Yersinia pestis KIM OmpX protein. Yersinia
    spp. provide a model for studying several virulence processes including attachment to, and internalization by, host cells. For Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Ail, YadA and ...
    Cited by 33 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=5689464246971303398&as_sdt=5,48&... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:5oUCq5YJ9U4J:scholar.google.... - BL Direct http://direct.bl.uk/research/1C/5A/RN215706060.html?source=googlescholar - All 5 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=5689464246971303398&hl=en&as_s...

    Characterization of an Escherichia coli O157: H7 O-antigen deletion mutant and effect of the deletion on bacterial persistence in the mouse intestine and colonization … http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/74/16/5015
    [HTML] from nih.gov https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2519267/ …, JY Lim, MK Watkins, SA Minnich… - Applied and …, 2008 - Am Soc Microbiol
    Abstract Escherichia coli O157:H7 causes hemorrhagic colitis and the life-threatening hemolytic-uremic syndrome in humans and transiently colonizes healthy cattle at the terminal rectal mucosa. To investigate the role of the O antigen in persistence and colonization in the animal host, we ...
    Cited by 9 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=9112181615372992259&as_sdt=5,48&... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:A_8mmeb4dH4J:scholar.google.... - All 6 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=9112181615372992259&hl=en&as_s...

    [BOOK] Campylobacter jejuni secretes proteins via the flagellar type III secretion system that contribute to host cell invasion and gastroenteritis http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=No0IaqKKkYEC&oi=fnd&pg=PA315&...
    …, JE Christensen, SA Pacheco, SA Minnich… - 2008 - books.google.com
    Campylobacter, 3rd ed. Edited by I. Nachamkin, CM Szymanski, and MJ Blaser 2008 ASM
    Press, Washington, DC Chapter 18 Campylobacter jejuni Secretes Proteins via the Flagellar
    Type III Secretion System That Contribute to Host Cell Invasion and Gastroenteritis ...
    Cited by 8 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=13749070012729612096&as_sdt=5,48... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:QFe5tFSCzr4J:scholar.google.... - All 2 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=13749070012729612096&hl=en&as_...

    Lipid A mimetics are potent adjuvants for an intranasal pneumonic plague vaccine http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X0801075X
    [HTML] from nih.gov http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2577737/ …, GA Bohach, CF Deobald, SS Lee, SA Minnich - Vaccine, 2008 - Elsevier
    An effective intranasal (in) vaccine against pneumonic plague was developed. The formulation
    employed two synthetic lipid A mimetics as adjuvant combined with Yersinia pestis-derived
    V- and F1-protective antigens. The two nontoxic lipid A mimetics, classed as amino-alkyl ...
    Cited by 7 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=3596567465105689251&as_sdt=5,48&... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:owpa2A2T6TEJ:scholar.google.... - All 7 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=3596567465105689251&hl=en&as_s...

    A rationale for repression and/or loss of motility by pathogenic Yersinia in the mammalian host http://www.springerlink.com/index/T017141041QT2160.pdf
    S Minnich… - The Genus Yersinia, 2007 - Springer
    Abstract. Pathogenic yersiniae either repress flagella expression under host conditions (Yersinia
    enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis) or have permanently lost this capability by
    mutation (Yersinia pestis). The block in flagella synthesis for the enteropathogenic ...
    Cited by 7 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=10018262181538308716&as_sdt=5,48... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:bCJSBWAECIsJ:scholar.google.... - BL Direct http://direct.bl.uk/research/29/57/RN219020488.html?source=googlescholar - All 4 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=10018262181538308716&hl=en&as_...

    [CITATION] Explore evolution: the arguments for and against neo-Darwinism
    SC Heyer, S Minnich, J Moneymaker, PA Nelson… - 2007 - Hill House Publishers
    Cited by 7 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=10603116766570132212&as_sdt=5,48... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:9LJmf4XWJZMJ:scholar.google.... - Library Search http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/170885225

    Induction of innate immunity by lipid A mimetics increases survival from pneumonic plague http://mic.sgmjournals.org/content/154/7/2131.short
    [HTML] from sgmjournals.org http://mic.sgmjournals.org/content/154/7/2131.full …, CF Deobald, SS Lee, SA Minnich - …, 2008 - Soc General Microbiol
    This study analysed the effect of priming the innate immune system using synthetic lipid A mimetics in a Yersinia pestis murine pulmonary infection model. Two aminoalkyl glucosaminide 4-phosphate
    (AGP) Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) ligands, delivered intranasally, extended time to death ...
    Cited by 5 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=4656939134961638311&as_sdt=5,48&... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:p9sAQHjFoEAJ:scholar.google.... - BL Direct http://direct.bl.uk/research/46/3D/RN232150334.html?source=googlescholar - All 5 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=4656939134961638311&hl=en&as_s...

    [HTML] Neutrophils are resistant to Yersinia YopJ/P-induced apoptosis and are protected from ROS-mediated cell death by the type III secretion system http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009279
    [HTML] from plos.org http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009279 …, KS Seo, JL O'Loughlin, JA Cundiff, SA Minnich… - PloS one, 2010 - dx.plos.org
    In this study, we utilized wild-type and mutant strains of Yersinia to test the contribution of YopJ
    and YopP on induction of apoptosis in human monocyte-derived macrophages (HMDM) and
    neutrophils. Whereas YopJ and YopP similarly induced apoptosis in HMDMs, interaction ...
    Cited by 4 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=7783295934951310047&as_sdt=5,48&... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:38KDSGrSA2wJ:scholar.google.... - Cached http://scholar.googleusercontent.com/scholar?q=cache:38KDSGrSA2wJ:schola... - All 5 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=7783295934951310047&hl=en&as_s...

    Yersinia pestis two-component gene regulatory systems promote survival in human neutrophils http://iai.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/78/2/773
    [HTML] from nih.gov http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812203/ JL O'Loughlin, JL Spinner, SA Minnich… - Infection and …, 2010 - Am Soc Microbiol
    Human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs, or neutrophils) are the most abundant innate
    immune cell and kill most invading bacteria through combined activities of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antimicrobial granule constituents. Pathogens such as Yersinia pestis resist ...
    Cited by 3 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=8508750741054688194&as_sdt=5,48&... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:wgvourcnFXYJ:scholar.google.... - All 7 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=8508750741054688194&hl=en&as_s...

    Outer Membrane Protein X (Ail) Contributes to Yersinia pestis Virulence in Pneumonic Plague and Its Activity Is Dependent on the Lipopolysaccharide Core Length http://iai.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/78/12/5233
    …, AJ Wojtowicz, GA Bohach, SA Minnich… - Infection and …, 2010 - Am Soc Microbiol
    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is one of the most virulent microorganisms
    known. The outer membrane protein X (OmpX) in Y. pestis KIM is required for efficient bacterial
    adherence to and internalization by cultured HEp-2 cells and confers resistance to human ...
    Cited by 3 http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=1303441476947663843&as_sdt=5,48&... - Related articles http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:49v5Ch7BFhIJ:scholar.google.... - All 5 versions http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=1303441476947663843&hl=en&as_s...

    I want to thank you again for your patience. It is hard to come to a meeting of minds on touchy subjects but you've been gracious in your effort to do just that.

    Best,

    Josh

    Gerhard Adam
    I find your links fascinating.  I have obviously not reviewed them all, but I'm not sure you're aware of their content.
    That Intelligent Design Creationism rejects the methodological naturalism of modern science in favor of a premodern supernaturalist worldview is well documented and by now well known. An irony that has not been sufficiently appreciated, however, is the way that ID Creationists try to advance their premodern view by adopting (if only tactically) a radical postmodern perspective.
    https://www.msu.edu/~pennock5/research/papers/Pennock_PostmodernSinID.pdf

    In contrast to the claims of antievolutionists, what we know today about the phylogeny, comparative anatomy, development, genetics, and function of vertebrate (and other) eyes is a triumph, not a failure, of evolutionary science and of Darwin’s original vision of descent with modification.
    http://www.ntskeptics.org/creationism/evolution/MisconceptionsAboutTheEvolutionOfComplexity.pdf
    In addition, it seemed unusual that some of the citations were actually to refute the article (i.e. to serve as a "bad example") rather than to use it to support further arguments.

    Many others seem to question specific processes, which are certainly part of the scientific method if evidence supports some of the claims (as I indicated, I haven't reviewed all the papers).

    All in all, it appears that the scientific process of "peer-review" is working exactly as it's intended to do.
    Mundus vult decipi
    The Stand-Up Physicist
    Wow, that was an impressive video in terms of its visuals and sound track. It was more than I could do in my basement. They had that authoritative male voice announcer down pat. I don't even know the name of that odd swimming creature.

    Here is my legal question. They start with a quote by Stephen Jay Gould, Mr. Punctuated Evolution. I bet if he watched the film, he disagree with the thesis presented. Too bad he has passed away. Can his heirs do anything about a quote like that being placed in a film? I know if you film someone, you need a signed statement saying it is OK to use their image and words in a film. Perhaps the quote was from a book, and the book was copyrighted. Still, it is a short quote, so could be considered "fair use". I wonder if fair use takes into account the context something is use, in this case Gould's words sound like they fit well into this big mystery. The quote is quite prominent.  I think I recall reading an article by Gould were he explained this so-called mystery, but it might have been another author.
    Hank
    I bet if he watched the film, he disagree with the thesis presented. Too bad he has passed away. Can his heirs do anything about a quote like that being placed in a film?
    Yeah, that seemed to be the motif - quote mine someone real and then intersperse people who know nothing about biology and claim Big Science is in cahoots suppressing creationism.

    Gould was, of course, a paleontologist, and was soundly criticized by biologists but, like Richard Dawkins, he was a product of his day and took his shot at answering big questions.  Like Sagan, Gould also seems to have been more disliked because he was popular.  I can't imagine anyone in science is not defending how he gets portrayed in that film, though.
    This is typically Scientology methods, just watch any of their anti-psychiatry film on you-tube.

    Haven't you heard of Scientology tactics?

    "Church" of Scientology rented private space in Navy memorial to honor their founder L Ron. Hubbard, in a private event. But in the promotion, they say as if the Navy is supporting it. Critics went crazy because Hubbard is proven to fake his medals (eg search New Yorkers article). The Navy memorial at first says it's a private function and can't do anything about it, but the event was eventually cancelled.

    This is deliberate hostile act on AFA's part to promote their Creationist agenda. Delibrately trying to use the CSC as though it's supporting it's film. You should be glad that CSC is standing up to AFA, rather than let they use the center, and say they can't do anything about it.

    AFA, if you come near to my hood, I will certainly bring my mask to stand before you. Compare to Scientology, it's a stroke in the toddler's playground. I respect other religion. I demand expect you to respect science too. This is an act of war. Expect me, just me.