Frivolous lawsuit (hilarious!) (1 Viewer)

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rachmaninoff

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[SOLVED] frivolous lawsuit (hilarious!)

BERKELEY, Calif. - A California couple has sued the operators of a University of California-Berkeley Web site designed to help teachers teach evolution, claiming it improperly strays into religion.
Jeanne and Larry Caldwell of Granite Bay say portions of the Understanding Evolution Web site amount to a government endorsement of certain religious groups over others...
AP story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051126/ap_on_sc/evolution_lawsuit [Broken]
better:http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/living/education/13262018.htm [Broken]
(edited, added link)

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/ <-- a great website, as I just discovered

Apparently this line got them into trouble:
Misconception:
"Evolution and religion are incompatible."
Response:
Religion and science (evolution) are very different things. In science, only natural causes are used to explain natural phenomena, while religion deals with beliefs that are beyond the natural world.
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/misconceptions_faq.php#d1
 
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loseyourname

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That doesn't make any damn sense. If you're going to target a state school for straying into religion, why not a theology or philosophy department?
 

Pengwuino

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Hmm that wasn't very funny at all....

What am i missing...
 
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rachmaninoff

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loseyourname said:
That doesn't make any damn sense. If you're going to target a state school for straying into religion, why not a theology or philosophy department?
They're targeting Berkeley's NSF grant.
 
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rachmaninoff

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Pengwuino said:
Hmm that wasn't very funny at all....
What am i missing...
A sense of humor.
 

Moonbear

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loseyourname

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rachmaninoff said:
They're targeting Berkeley's NSF grant.
Does that mean state governments are allowed to endorse a specific religion? I'd never really thought about that before.

Moonbear said:
Oh, cripes! That's the site Les referred to when discussing ID. I found quite a few erroneous statements on their site.
Philip Johnson teaches law at Berkeley. I would imagine he's managed to exert some level of influence.
 
Just ditch evolution and creationism and teach FSMism.

www.venganza.org

...Seriously, that lawsuit and this website are both related: Frivolous and probably accepted by schools.
 

Evo

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The couple that started the suit are just plain stupid. "In the lawsuit filed last month, the Caldwells contend the site is an effort "to modify the beliefs of public school science students so they will be more willing to accept evolutionary theory as true." Just because they feel that teaching science goes against their personal religious beliefs doesn't make science a religion. Apparantly similar nuisance suits have been dismissed before.
 
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Art

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Evo said:
The couple that started the suit are just plain stupid. "In the lawsuit filed last month, the Caldwells contend the site is an effort "to modify the beliefs of public school science students so they will be more willing to accept evolutionary theory as true." Just because they feel that teaching science goes against their personal religious beliefs doesn't make science a religion. Apparantly similar nuisance suits have been dismissed before.
Agreed but there is method to their madness. It takes time and it costs money to defend against even frivolous lawsuits.

The people engineering these cases are it seems well funded whereas the people they attack are not. So even though the cases are eventually dismissed the prospect of legal action will scare other people from publishing material the rightwing fundamentalists disapprove of as surely as if these fundamentalists had won their case.
 

Moonbear

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Art said:
Agreed but there is method to their madness. It takes time and it costs money to defend against even frivolous lawsuits.
That's one reason I'd really like a law that if a lawsuit is thrown out as frivolous, the person filing the suit (or their lawyer who should have advised them against it) has to pay all the legal expenses incurred by the defendant. Don't stop people from suing, but they better think twice about whether their case has any merit before proceeding to use the courts to push an agenda when they have no case.
 

Evo

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Moonbear said:
That's one reason I'd really like a law that if a lawsuit is thrown out as frivolous, the person filing the suit (or their lawyer who should have advised them against it) has to pay all the legal expenses incurred by the defendant. Don't stop people from suing, but they better think twice about whether their case has any merit before proceeding to use the courts to push an agenda when they have no case.
I wholeheartedly agree, it's the only way to stop this kind of abuse of the legal system.
 
here's another hilarious frivolous law suit- My brother got sued because he broke some kid's arm in an ice hockey game from a clean hit. There wasn't even a penalty called after the hit by the ref. Hilarious. LOL.
 
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Art

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gravenewworld said:
here's another hilarious frivolous law suit- My brother got sued because he broke some kid's arm in an ice hockey game from a clean hit. There wasn't even a penalty called after the hit by the ref. Hilarious. LOL.
Another common abuse of the legal system. Cases such as these are brought in the expectation that individuals or more commonly insurance companies will pay them to go away rather than spend time and money in court.
 

Les Sleeth

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Moonbear said:
Oh, cripes! That's the site Les referred to when discussing ID. I found quite a few erroneous statements on their site.
Yep, I wondered if you'd remember. But the Caldwell's complaint wasn't the same as mine. They object, as I understand it, to the implications that religion accepts evolution. From the Mercury Times article:

"The suit, filed last month, specifically objects to portions of the website that deal with the interplay of science and religion. For example, it challenges the site's linking to doctrinal statements from a variety of religions to demonstrate that 'most Christian and Jewish religious groups have no conflict with evolution' . . . and is an effort 'to modify the beliefs of the public school science students so they will be more willing to accept evolutionary theory as true.'"

My complaint, however, was due to statements by the site's authors who offer as fact that natural selection is what shaped a biological process:

"Even when a feature is absolutely necessary for survival it can be modified by natural selection for a different function if it is duplicated. For example, globin is a truly ancient protein. Billions of years old, it was present in the common ancestor of bacteria, plants, animals, and fungi. Globin performed an essential job: binding and carrying oxygen. You might imagine that natural selection would lock globin into that one job; however, through duplication and divergence, different copies of the globin molecule were adapted for different roles."

As I said in my original complaint, how does the author know natural selection achieved that? He wasn't there, he didn't observe it, and he can't observe such creativeness by natural selection now. He simply finds a trail and ASSUMES his a priori belief in evolution has been confirmed. And as I also said earlier, this fight is only going to escalate if evolutionists don't stop exaggerating the significance of their evidence. Yes, the evidence can be interpreted as supporting the Darwinist version of evolution, but there are other ways to interpret the evidence.

What else could have guided globin changes? It could be that some sort of universal consciousness directed the genetic changes. Consciously guided or natural selection-guided . . . the answer is still unknown. If the religious don't get to hate Darwinist evolution out of the debate, then scientists also don't get to hate God out of the discussion where no one yet has the answer.

All it would take to fix this problem is for evolution believers to stop saying natural selection/genetic variation alone has achieved all that we find present in life before they can prove it. Evolutionists have the evidence for common descent, and they have the evidence for gradual change over time. It is just the evidence that natural selection-genetic variation has created all organs/organisms which is lacking, so there objectivity demands the issue should be left open.
 

Evo

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Les Sleeth said:
Yep, I wondered if you'd remember. But the Caldwell's complaint wasn't the same as mine. They object, as I understand it, to the implications that religion accepts evolution. From the Mercury Times article:
"The suit, filed last month, specifically objects to portions of the website that deal with the interplay of science and religion. For example, it challenges the site's linking to doctrinal statements from a variety of religions to demonstrate that 'most Christian and Jewish religious groups have no conflict with evolution' . . .
And that's true, most don't have a problem, it's only the <cough> fringe that has a problem.

Les, evolution has tons of proof to back it up. People that are involved in the sciences that back evolution aren't trying to destroy or disprove religious beliefs. If a person's religious beliefs happen to contradict reality, that's not science's problem. Do you really feel that threatened?

The fact that so many people choose to believe in a supernatural creator doesn't affect my belief in the cold hard facts behind evolution. Do the facts behind evolution cause you to so seriously doubt your beliefs that you are afraid of them? I don't see any scientists asking that all churches stop preaching about God unless they have a disclaimer that "none of this has been proven, it's only the word of men, nope not a lick of proof that God is real". That's what you are asking scientists to do, except there IS proof to back up science.

Les Sleeth said:
All it would take to fix this problem is for evolution believers to stop saying natural selection/genetic variation alone has achieved all that we find present in life before they can prove it. Evolutionists have the evidence for common descent, and they have the evidence for gradual change over time. It is just the evidence that natural selection-genetic variation has created all organs/organisms which is lacking, so there objectivity demands the issue should be left open.
I will agree with what you want as soon as you agree that all religions need to stop stating that God (or some supernatural being) is the creator, because there is no evidence and the issue should be left open. Fair is fair, right? :biggrin:
 
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Les Sleeth said:
It is just the evidence that natural selection-genetic variation has created all organs/organisms which is lacking, so there objectivity demands the issue should be left open.
Well, it is left open. However, it does have tons of evidence and is the leading theory. If people said things should be kept open about every theory which has so "little" things backing up a part of it as evolution, nothing would get taught!

It should just be mentioned that some kinks should be worked out. Which is how it is taught, or has been taught to me in the past, that evolution is almost fully proved except for times long ago, and that only certain parts need to be worked out.
 

Moonbear

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Les Sleeth said:
Yep, I wondered if you'd remember. But the Caldwell's complaint wasn't the same as mine. They object, as I understand it, to the implications that religion accepts evolution. From the Mercury Times article:
"The suit, filed last month, specifically objects to portions of the website that deal with the interplay of science and religion. For example, it challenges the site's linking to doctrinal statements from a variety of religions to demonstrate that 'most Christian and Jewish religious groups have no conflict with evolution' . . . and is an effort 'to modify the beliefs of the public school science students so they will be more willing to accept evolutionary theory as true.'"
I don't see how it's "modifying the beliefs" of students to show that there isn't a conflict between their beliefs and the learning of evolution when there isn't.

My complaint, however, was due to statements by the site's authors who offer as fact that natural selection is what shaped a biological process:
"Even when a feature is absolutely necessary for survival it can be modified by natural selection for a different function if it is duplicated. For example, globin is a truly ancient protein. Billions of years old, it was present in the common ancestor of bacteria, plants, animals, and fungi. Globin performed an essential job: binding and carrying oxygen. You might imagine that natural selection would lock globin into that one job; however, through duplication and divergence, different copies of the globin molecule were adapted for different roles."
As I said in my original complaint, how does the author know natural selection achieved that?
As you may recall, I agreed with you that they were misusing the concept of natural selection. Natural selection can't cause duplication of a gene or give it a new function, what natural selection means is that theduplicated gene and the new function will be retained if it confers a survival advantage to the organism. Natural selection is not a "force" or "entity" or "causational influence," it's a term that describes the process of environmental influences affecting the population distribution of traits over many generations. It is very often taught incorrectly in high schools. That's why that site stuck in my mind, because there are problems with the information they present, and they are supposed to be a resource for high school teachers. If you read the publications of evolutionary biologists, they are more interested in where those variations come from, not how populations are shaped once those variations arise. Again, natural selection, per se, can't cause variation, it is only a way selection of traits from existing variation occurs.
 
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How does natural selection account for me?
 

russ_watters

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tribdog said:
How does natural selection account for me?
We'll have to wait a few generations to see if your particular mutation gets picked up....
Evo said:
I will agree with what you want as soon as you agree that all religions need to stop stating that God (or some supernatural being) is the creator, because there is no evidence and the issue should be left open.
I have a better idea: since the site does not, as Les claims, present theory as fact (it does call it a theory, after all), Les's request is unreasonable. But I would be ok with bringing religion up to science's level by prefacing every religious belief as "the hypothesis of..." (no religious belief qualifies as a theory, but it's not too much of a stretch to call them hypotheses). I suspect, though, that a hyperreligious person would not be comfortable with calling "the miracle of the resurrection" "the hypothesis of the resurrection".
 

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