Monday, April 28, 2008

The lies that are Denyse O'Leary's life.

There's the inevitable Denyse-flavoured dishonesty:

Nancy Bryson taped a recent podcast with Discovery Institute about how she got Expelled from Mississippi Women's U because she told students evidence against Darwin's theory of evolution.

And then there's reality. Sometimes, I'm intensely jealous of PZ Myers -- his American IDiots, wingnuts and whackjobs are so much more entertaining than ours.

BONUS WINGNUTTERY: There's a delightful exchange in the cross-examination linked to in my article, in which the Discovery Institute's Stephen C. Meyer really doesn't want to answer a simple question:

MR. CALVERT: Dr. Meyer, thank you so much for your testimony. Our time is up. And so now it's the turn of Mr. Irigonegaray to ask you some questions for about twenty minutes.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: The Chair will decide that.

DR. MEYER: I met Pedro before. Pedro, you were the moderator of the debate at Washburn University in 1999 that I participated in. I don't know if you remember that.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: Oh, of course I do. I'm here in a little bit of a different role.

DR. MEYER: Well, actually it was-- you were a moderator--

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: Steve, hang on a second. Whoa, you're taking up my time. Hang on a second.

DR. MEYER: It's not that different of a role for you.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: Dr. Meyer, please proceed.

DR. MEYER: I can't hear you very well. I don't know if you--

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: Dr. Meyer, can you hear me?

DR. MEYER: I can hear you, but it's very muffled.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: Mr. Irigonegaray, would you move down to the chair, please? And you have twenty minutes. John, he can't hear us very well, so will you tell him that Mr. Irigonegaray is moving down to the chair?

MR. CALVERT: Dr. Meyer, Mr. Irigonegaray is moving down to my chair, so he'll be-- so you guys can talk a little bit better and hear each other better.


Q. Can you hear me now?

A. I can indeed.

Q. I have a few questions for you first that I want to establish for the record. In your opinion, your personal opinion, what is the age of the earth?

A. Do you want my personal-- why are you asking me about my personal--

Q. You're here to answer my questions. First of all, what is your personal opinion as to what the age of the earth is?

A. I understood I was being called as an expert witness.

Q. What is your personal opinion as to what the age of the earth is?

A. I'm unclear. I understand--

Q. The question is simple. What is, in your opinion, the age of the earth?

A. Well, I'm just wanting to clarify the ground rules here. I thought I was being called as an expert witness, so why are you asking me about my personal--

Q. That's not the issue. Now, please answer my question. What is your personal--

A. I would like to understand the ground rules first. Why am I being asked about--

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: Mr. Chairman, if he's not going to answer my questions, I'd ask that his testimony be stricken from the record.

A. I'm happy to answer your question. I'd like to know why you're asking about--

Q. (BY MR. IRIGONEGARAY) The "why" is not for you to determine.

MR. SISSON: Mr. Chairman, I understand Mr. Meyer's request to reflect some confusion about the ground rules, and it is quite appropriate for him to ask that the chair of the committee, namely yourself, speak to him concerning the appropriate ground rules. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: Dr. Meyer, can you hear me now?

A. Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: My name is Steve Abrams, chairman of the science subcommittee. And even though these hearings have been called about the Kansas science curriculum standards and particularly how they relate to the minority report and particularly to the question of the philosophical claims and the religious claims of science and how to teach science in Kansas, we are allowing the counsel for the majority and the counsel of the minority great latitude in trying to establish their case. And Mr. Irigonegaray has elected to ask virtually every question-- every witness questions about their personal opinions about certain things. And so we have granted him that latitude, and so I would say that's where we're going.

A. You would like me to cooperate with that?

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: You can either answer "yes," "no," or "I don't know," or whatever you want to do, but that-- yes, I'd like you to cooperate.

A. It's a transparently obvious strategy to impeach the credibility of your witnesses, but I will cooperate. So my answer to your question, Pedro, is that I-- my personal opinions and my professional opinions are the same. I think the earth is 4.6 billion years old. I think the universe is--

Q. (BY MR. IRIGONEGARAY) No, just the earth. I didn't ask you about the universe.

A. My opinion of--

Q. Mr. Meyer, please just answer my question. I'm not asking you other opinions.

MR. SISSON: I'd simply request to make a point here, ask the Chairman if I may make a point. Mr. Chairman, would you instruct the witness that there is no subpoena power here and that he is under no compulsion to answer and he would suffer no penalty if he chose to decline to answer.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: He can answer the questions to his extent. However, we would like you to answer them.

A. Does that mean I can say something else about the age of the earth?

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: Mr. Irigonegaray is going to ask the questions that he thinks important and he may repeat the question. And he will ask-- my guess is it will be a yes or a no answer or some side of an answer like that. If you feel comfortable answering that, say "yes," or if you don't know, say you don't know, whatever it is. I mean, be truthful and answer however you feel comfortable answering.

A. Right. But may I say anything more about the age of the earth, then?

Q. (BY MR. IRIGONEGARAY) I'm the one asking questions here, Mr. Meyer, and all you need to do is to answer my question.

A. Okay. I think the age of the earth is 4.6 billion years old. That's both my personal and my professional opinion. I speak as someone who is trained as a geophysicist--

Q. I'm not asking you about that. I just asked you for a number, and you have given it to me.

A. Okay. That's all you want is the number?

Q. My questions are pretty clear, Mr. Meyer.

Now that is some mighty fancy tap-dancing, wouldn't you say?

! Ladies and gentlemen, another "expert witness." It will forever be a loss to comedy that Denyse O'Leary wasn't called to testify.


KEvron said...

going back to the bryson case,

A: And I also spoke about an alternate theory of origin called intelligent design.

later, that same night....

Q. Now, that opinion that you have about intelligent design, that's not based on science, correct?

A. Correct.

Q. That's based upon your theistic views?

A. Correct.

Q. And you would agree with me that religion has no place in science?

A. Yes.

Q. And you would agree with me that in a science curriculum religion should not be included, correct?

A. Correct.

always cracks me up when IDiots talk about "the creationist agenda"....


KEvron said...

d'oh! "'the darwinist agenda....'"

it was late. i was tired....


E in MD said...

And then there's reality. Sometimes, I'm intensely jealous of PZ Myers -- his American IDiots, wingnuts and whackjobs are so much more entertaining than ours.

No offense CC, but they're only entertaining because they're not in your country. Down here we find them more than a little frightening because they're nuts, they're stupid and they hold a lot of political power. From the President, down through Congress and of course SCOTUS.

They haven't made much in the way of major strides in the courts. But it's like the burglar who keeps coming each night to test your lock. The one night you forget to lock it he'll come in and steal everything you own.

The sad thing is if these people do make strides it isn't because they have any real evidence to support their claims. It's because they happen to have a judge or school board or something else in their pocket or because they find one that happens to already support their ideology.

So in closing if you like we'll package up all these wackos and ship them up to you guys in Canada free of charge. =)