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profile.jpg Mike Dunford was a graduate student in the Department of Zoology at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, where he studied evolution. Life as an army spouse has since moved him on to Pensacola, where he's currently trying to figure out what to do next. While he's doing that, he writes stuff here, although not usually in the third person. He's also a contributer to The Pandas Thumb. As is the case with everyone else here, his opinions are his own, and do not necessarily represent those of any organization he is affiliated with.


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« I'm late to the party here... | Main | 'Tisn't the Season »

The "banning" of Pandas - A final (I hope) update

Posted on: September 29, 2006 6:09 PM, by Mike Dunford

As most of you probably know, there's been a bit of discussion over the question of whether or not the pro-Intelligent Design textbook Of Pandas and People qualifies as a "challenged" or "banned" book as a result of the ruling in the Kitzmiller vs. Dover lawsuit. A few things have happened since my first two posts about the "banning." In this post, I'm going to summarize the recent events, and explain what I've learned about the ALA's views on this situation.

On the 26th of September, William Dembski posted a brief article on the Uncommon Descent weblog mentioning that "a colleague" had added the book to the List of Banned Books Wikipedia Article. Someone else (presumably not an ID-proponent) added an explanation to that entry. An ID proponent (and commenter on Dembski's blog) removed the explanation, and the edit war was on. Looking at the revision history for the article, it appears that the book was added to and removed from the list of banned books several times over the last couple of days. This edit war was actively encouraged both in comments at Uncommon Descent and at other pro-ID blogs. The ability to edit the page is now restricted; the book is not currently on the list.

To see whether the book should be on the list, I spoke with Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom. She was familiar with the Kitzmiller case, and graciously agreed to answer my questions about it. I asked her if she felt that the Kitzmiller ruling would qualify Of Pandas and People as a "banned" book. She told me, "we wouldn't consider it that way." The Kitzmiller case, "wasn't a challenge to the book itself," she told me, pointing out the fact that the book remains in the school library, "it was a challenge to the school board policy."

She also told me that she would object to the removal of the book from a school library, and that people do have a right to read the book for themselves. However, after checking their database, she was able to tell me that they have only one record of any challenge to the book, and that involved an incident in 1993 when someone asked that the book be removed on the grounds of "inaccuracy." The book was not removed, and the incident is classified as a "challenge," not a "banning."

It is, of course, entirly possible that things might change. Of Pandas and People might be banned someday. If that does happen, a major offense against intellectual freedom will have occurred. Right now, however, that is not the case.

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Comments

1

Personally, I have no problem with the book being on a library shelf, even a school library.

What I would object to would be either the library or a biology teacher (the two most in a position of authority in such an environment) claiming there is any truth to it or that it describes valid science.

Biology teachers and librarians should be aware of the books on the shelves and be prepared to handle student questions and concerns over it, preferably (in this case) with either direct evidential based answers or the knowledge of how to get to the talk.origins IndexCC pages.

Having a copy of the book in a shelf (as long as it's not in the biology section, but in religion/philosophy, or better still, fiction ;-) ) is in itself not a problem. Encouraging the student to read it or teaching that the book is factual or legitimate science is the real violation of the establishment clause.

Posted by: Joe Shelby | September 29, 2006 7:22 PM

2

I wonder if the distinction of "challenged" vs. "banned" can hinge on the facts? Could a Holocaust Denial book be "banned?" After all it would be merely "inaccurate." Could Jon Wells and Phil Johonson's HIV/AIDS denial be considered "banned" merely because it kills people?

Posted by: Gary Hurd | September 29, 2006 7:31 PM

3

There are very standard standards in the library world for whether or not to use limited funds to purchase a particular book. There's a classic paper (from the early 1950s, I think) making the distinction between selection and censorship.

There is also a standard, deriving from Pico v Island Trees, about how to distinguish between the appropriateness of a book for use as a textbook and how to justify its presence on a library shelf in a school library. I forget the details, but if the book has been deemed to be of significant value for that age group by those who are considered expert in the field, then the book could be appropriate for the library even if something to be challenged as a required text.

Based on the precedent and the standards (but bear in mind that I am not a librarian and thus I am relying on memory and not professional activity), one could argue that Pandas doesn't even belong in a library, since the experts in the matter all consider it to be garbage. Or perhaps it's ok on the shelf, provided it's put in the political science section and not the science section, since it's a relevant book w.r.t. issues of public policy.

Posted by: Duncan Buell | September 29, 2006 8:51 PM

4

so in the end, it depends on what's an "expert". experts in biology decide biology, but experts in religion can decide on religion and thus keep it on the shelf in the religion section though that certainly defeats their purpose of saying ID isn't religious.

Posted by: Joe Shelby | September 29, 2006 9:29 PM

5

Good job. I've emailed ALA too. I haven't heard back from them yet.

What I find interesting is that "EndScientificCensorship", for all his appeals to the ALA, never bothered to actually talk to the experts at the ALA. But I guess that is par for the course for a bunch of crackpots.

Posted by: Reed A. Cartwright | September 29, 2006 10:00 PM

6

Does the ALA say something about this at a website or so?

Anyway, if the ID'ers show a reliable non-partisan source that says that the is banned, I will add it personally to the list of banned books. What they do not get is that Wikipedia is not for their own original research, less for their political soapboxing. For the purposes of Wikipedia, we not even have to discuss whether the book is banned or not, we just need someone outside the ID-science field to confirm that it is banned. And if their rational is so sound, I am sure they will have no problem whatsoever to get an official statement from the ALA or something like that that confirms that the book is banned. Or are those also already biased and part of the large anti-ID conspiracy?

Posted by: kim | September 29, 2006 11:10 PM

7

Note: http:// prefixes have been removed from links to help prevent the comment from bombing.

Mike Dunford said in the opening post,

I asked her if she felt that the Kitzmiller ruling would qualify Of Pandas and People as a "banned" book. She told me, "we wouldn't consider it that way."

You understand, of course, that this was presumably just an off-the-cuff remark -- she presumably did not participate in or read any of the debates about whether the book should be listed as a "banned book."

The Kitzmiller case, "wasn't a challenge to the book itself," she told me, pointing out the fact that the book remains in the school library, "it was a challenge to the school board policy."


The Kitzmiller case "wasn't a challenge to the book itself"? LOL The book's name appears 75 times in the opinion, with about half the appearances concerning the book itself and about half concerning the school board's actions in choosing the book.

As for the statement that "it was a challenge to the school board policy," that is just playing word games. It was the school board policy to tell the students about the book -- the book was part of the banned ID statement that was read to the students. And the same argument can be raised in the case of a required text -- "it was a challenge to school board policy."

Here is another example: Suppose, say, a literature or history course requires students to read one or more books that the students choose from a list. Suppose a judge then comes along and orders that one of the books on the list be removed. Now, was that book "banned"? After all, the book was not required reading, hence supposedly was not really part of the curriculum.

Not only was the book itself banned, but official mention of the book was banned, which is a particularly severe form of censorship.

As for her statement that the book remains in the school library, the ALA website makes it quite clear that a "banned book" may be a book that is banned in either the curriculum or the school library as well as a book that is banned in both. The website states, "Seventy-one percent of the challenges [in the 1990-2000 period] were to material in schools or school libraries," and the accompanying footnote says, "Sometimes works are challenged in a school and a school library." See www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/challengedbanned/challengedbanned.htm
The website also says, "Challenges .... are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library." See www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/challengedbanned/challengedbanned.htm

What kind of credibility does this ALA Deputy Director have after she has made a statement that blatantly contradicts the ALA website?

Also, the federal courts of the 3rd circuit are more reluctant to ban books in a school library than books in a school curriculum:

".... the Third Circuit distinguishes removing books from a library and removing books from a classroom: special characteristics of the school library make that environment especially appropriate for the recognition of the First Amendment rights of students, for the library, unlike the school classroom, is a place for voluntary inquiry and study. See Kreimer v. Bureau of Police for Town of Morristown, 958 F.2d 1242, 1254 (3d Cir. 1992)" (Plaintiffs' Response to Rutherford Institute Motion to Intervene, pp. 10-11. Filed February 4, 2005.)
See www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/09/the_silliest_th.html

A rule that books banned only in curricula do not qualify as "banned books" would be arbitrary and capricious even if there were such a rule.

Even if this single ALA staffer had participated in this debate, which she did not, her opinion would not be dispositive of the issue.

As for Wikipedia's list of banned books, this list does not use the ALA criteria and does not require that a book be on the ALA list.

The final entry for the book in the Wikipedia's list just had the note, "some claim that this is not really a 'banned book' ", followed by a link to your blog's preceding post on the subject, "The 'banning' of Pandas -- an update," where the issue was debated. Those who are not satisfied with this link can add other links. That Wikipedia entry presented a "neutral point of view" (NPOV), which is an official requirement for all articles published in Wikipedia. Removal of the listing was a violation of the Wikipedia's NPOV policy, which says,

The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting views. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly. None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth, and all significant published points of view are to be presented, not just the most popular one. It should also not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions.
As the name suggests, the neutral point of view is a point of view, not the absence or elimination of viewpoints .....


There is no question that there was a big controversy over whether to list the book. This issue was debated on Panda's Thumb, Uncommon Descent, this blog, and other blogs, and the Discovery Institute posted an article supporting the listing. The Wikipedia staffer who made the final deletion of the entry admitted that there was a "blog war" -- and this staffer said that he was leaving Wikipedia anyway and I don't know what is taking him so long. Wikipedia had no business taking one side of the issue. According to the NPOV policy, those who believe that the book should be listed should be heard on Wikipedia.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | September 30, 2006 12:35 AM

8

ID advocates have been routinely abusing Wikipedia's NPOV policy. They make up their erroneous claims, and then when people (legitimately) dispute their bogus claims, then they cry "Controversy! So you have to show both sides!" Typical abusive games by creationists.

Also, in Larry Fafarman's comment above he plays semantic games with the word "challenge." Clearly the CLAIMS made in the book were challenged. That does NOT mean that the presence of the book in the library was challenged. These are NOT the same thing, and pretending they are is deceitful. If the book was specifically challenged to be removed from the library, then document that, and do not play deceitful games.

- Steve G.

Posted by: Steve G. | September 30, 2006 12:46 AM

9

In which section does the book reside in the library? If it sits in the Science section, or Political Science section, would it not deserve a disclaimer sticker?

Posted by: Gene Goldring | September 30, 2006 12:50 AM

10

A challenge is nothing special.

Name a book, and I can go down to my local library and ask for that book to be removed for any made up reasons. This then gets reported to the ALA as a challenge. There is probably a webform.

Posted by: Reed A. Cartwright | September 30, 2006 1:04 AM

11

To Larry Fafarman:

1. Wikipedia has two places for people to register their views, including the edit history page and the Wikipedia discussion lists. That does not mean their views have to go on the main entry page.

2. Here is the Wikipedia NPOV policy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view

There is no mention of dissenting views having automatic right to appear on an entry. It does say, "The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting views. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly. None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth, and all significant published points of view are to be presented, not just the most popular one. It should also not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions."

I myself would find that representing Of Pandas and People as a banned book when it has never been banned is asserting a very dubious opinion as truth, and therefore violates the NPOV policy.

Posted by: Chris Lawson | September 30, 2006 2:45 AM

12

kim said ( September 29, 2006 11:10 PM ) --

For the purposes of Wikipedia, we not even have to discuss whether the book is banned or not, we just need someone outside the ID-science field to confirm that it is banned.

Note that the very brief entry that you removed from the Wikipedia list does NOT discuss whether the book should be considered to be "banned" -- this entry only has a link to where this issue is discussed. That is what links are for. People who are not satisfied with this link or who do not think that it is enough can add other links.

And if their rational is so sound, I am sure they will have no problem whatsoever to get an official statement from the ALA or something like that that confirms that the book is banned.

There is no evidence that all of the books in the list are on other lists of banned books, and it should not matter.

You are not even supposed to be on Wikipedia anymore -- you had already said goodbye. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:KimvdLinde But before you leave, please put the Pandas entry back where it belongs.

Steve G. said ( September 30, 2006 12:46 AM ) --
ID advocates have been routinely abusing Wikipedia's NPOV policy. They make up their erroneous claims, and then when people (legitimately) dispute their bogus claims, then they cry "Controversy! So you have to show both sides!"

These are NOT "abuses" of Wikipedia's NPOV policy. Each side is always going to believe that the other side's position is erroneous or unarguable.

Clearly the CLAIMS made in the book were challenged. That does NOT mean that the presence of the book in the library was challenged.

This has nothing to do with the library. The Dover plaintiffs clearly stated that they were not seeking removal of the book from the library.

Reed A. Cartwright said ( September 30, 2006 01:04 AM ) --

A challenge is nothing special.

A challenge in the form of a lawsuit is certainly special! A successful lawsuit is even more special.

Chris Lawson said ( September 30, 2006 02:45 AM ) --
1. Wikipedia has two places for people to register their views, including the edit history page and the Wikipedia discussion lists. That does not mean their views have to go on the main entry page.

As noted above, the Pandas entry that was censored does NOT discuss the controversy -- the entry only mentions that there is a controversy and gives a link to where this controversy is debated. People who are not satisfied with this link can add other links. Without an entry on the main entry page, most people are not even going to know that there is a controversy.

I myself would find that representing Of Pandas and People as a banned book when it has never been banned is asserting a very dubious opinion as truth, and therefore violates the NPOV policy.

That's ridiculous -- saying that the NPOV policy is violated where one side believes that the other is wrong.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | September 30, 2006 8:39 AM

13

Larry, first, start to use the correct pronouns for me. Second, whether I am allowed to be active at Wikipedia is not for you to decide. Third, you can voice your demands at Wikipedia, and provide reliable (=non-partisan) sources to back up your claim. Fourth, if there are other books at the Wikipedia list that are not banned, they should be removed as well, that is not an endorsement that other not banned books should be added. Fifth, it is irrelevant whether you want to add your original research to Wikipedia, it has to be removed. Wikipedia is NOT for that, it documents what reliable sources report. And partisan sources with an agenda are not reliable.

Posted by: Kim | September 30, 2006 9:24 AM

14

Why am I not surprised when I scroll to the end of a long rant on legal terms and find Larry's name?

Posted by: KL | September 30, 2006 10:06 AM

15

Kim said ( September 30, 2006 09:24 AM ) --

Larry, first, start to use the correct pronouns for me.

Where did I use an incorrect pronoun?

Second, whether I am allowed to be active at Wikipedia is not for you to decide..

I never said that it is. I only said that "goodbye" should mean GOODBYE. You had even removed your email address from Wikipedia and as I result I could not contact you to complain about what you did.

Third, you can voice your demands at Wikipedia, and provide reliable (=non-partisan) sources to back up your claim.

Without a Pandas entry on the list, people reading the list are not even going to know that there is a controversy. Furthermore, there is no requirement that all references be "non-partisan."

Fourth, if there are other books at the Wikipedia list that are not banned, they should be removed as well, that is not an endorsement that other not banned books should be added.

Wikipedia does not claim that all of the books on the list are from official lists of banned books.

Fifth, it is irrelevant whether you want to add your original research to Wikipedia, it has to be removed.

There is no ban against readers adding their own original research to Wikipedia, provided that they follow the NPOV (neutral point of view) rules and other Wikipedia rules. Anyway, as I have already noted several times, my latest Pandas entry did NOT add my own original research but only says that there is a controversy and gave a link to where the controversy is debated.

Wikipedia is NOT for that, it documents what reliable sources report.

There is no such requirement, provided that entries say that there is a controversy where a controversy exists.

And who are you to decide what is a "reliable" source?

And partisan sources with an agenda are not reliable.

The link accompanying the entry was to an open debate on this blog. People not satisfied with that link or who think that it is not enough are free to add other links.

I don't see how or why you were with Wikipedia so long. You have no understanding of the NPOV policy.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | September 30, 2006 10:13 AM

16

Of course Larry's perfectly correct, as always - there's no ban on original research on Wikipedia.

Posted by: msoya | September 30, 2006 10:54 AM

17

Oh, wait. Perhaps he isn't infallible.

Posted by: msoya | September 30, 2006 10:55 AM

18

Msoya said,

Of course Larry's perfectly correct, as always - there's no ban on original research on Wikipedia.

And your above statement is perfectly ridiculous because I was not informed of Wikipedia's special definition of "original research."

The Wikipedia article on "original research" says in regard to "How to determine whether a view is established": "If a viewpoint is held by a significant minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents;"

How about William Dembski and John West, the head of the Discovery Institute? "Prominent" enough for you?

Also, the issue here is strictly a matter of opinion and is not a matter of an allegation of an objective fact.

No arguments or personal views were presented in my last Pandas entry on the Wikipedia list -- there was just a link to a blog thread that is an open debate about the issue. Furthermore, the opening post of that blog thread actually opposed listing the book.

The "Of Pandas and People" page on Wikipedia has the following recent entries:

In September 2006, John West, a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute began an informal campaign to have the American Library Association declare the book the "Banned Book of the Year",[15] a move that led to considerable ridicule from mainstream science bloggers [16], while Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom does not consider the book banned.[17]


Is the phrase "considerable ridicule from mainstream science bloggers" an NPOV (neutral point of view) statement? Exactly how is the term "mainstream science blogger" defined? What about the unmentioned blogs -- particularly the big Uncommon Descent blog -- that support West's campaign? And where are the "reliable" sources in the above statements?

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | September 30, 2006 12:44 PM

19

I just address a few glaring issues, otherwise, the reply get so long:

I wrote: "Larry, first, start to use the correct pronouns for me."
Larry apparently does not know what he writes and asks: Where did I use an incorrect pronoun?
Larry had written earlier: The Wikipedia staffer who made the final deletion of the entry admitted that there was a "blog war" -- and this staffer said that he was leaving Wikipedia anyway and I don't know what is taking him so long.

He had a look at my page, so, he could have known that I was female as there is a userbox in pink making that issue clear. Besides that, Kim is in the US generally a female name...

Larry writes: You had even removed your email address from Wikipedia and as I result I could not contact you to complain about what you did.

Just a lie, you not even tried, and it is even linked from both my user page as well as my talk page and would have given you this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Emailuser/KimvdLinde and if you had tried it, I would have gotten your e-mail. Or, you could have left a message at my talk page.

Larry further thinks: There is no ban against readers adding their own original research to Wikipedia, provided that they follow the NPOV (neutral point of view) rules and other Wikipedia rules.
The No Original Research policy is one of the three key policies of wikipedia, and you claim that you are allowed to add OR is just bogus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:NOR

Posted by: Kim | September 30, 2006 1:23 PM

20

According to the NPOV policy, those who believe that the book should be listed should be heard on Wikipedia.

Shouting about a fire (or controversy) in this case doesn't mean that the controversy is real. In this matter, the experts on the matter (see the ALA representative above) have chimed in and basically sealed it shut. But I guess that's not good enough for some.

Disclaimer: The following is rather tedious but I conclude that Pandas was not banned.

I find the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) to be a reliable and comprehensive resource for the definition, etymology and history of usage for words in the English language. Here's how it defines "ban, v" (I have omitted some because they are archaic and deal with the military):

II. To curse, anathematize, interdict. [from ON., ? and med.L. bannum.]
2. a. To curse, imprecate damnation upon. arch.
b. with subord. clause. Obs.
3. intr. To curse, utter curses. arch.
4. trans. and absol. To chide, address with angry and maledictory language. dial.
5. To pronounce an ecclesiastical curse upon, to anathematize. arch.
6. To interdict, proscribe, prohibit: a. a thing.
b. a person.
7. ban the bomb: the slogan of those advocating nuclear disarmament, used (with hyphens) as attrib. phr

I think that for our purposes here, we can look at "1. to curse, anathemize, interdict," "2. to curse...," "4. to chide..." and "6. to interdict, proscribe, prohibit...a thing." Depending on what definition you look at, we all have a little weight here.

Most certainly, according to definitions 2 and 4, the book has been banned. In the ruling by Judge Jones and through Evo proponents invective about the book (justifiable invective in every way for a book that tries to pawn itself off as science when it's shoddy and specious religious drivel) we certainly see people banning it. We are figuratively cursing it and are most certainly chiding it. But that that invective does not effect an official version of definition #6 which is an interdiction.

Has there been an interdiction in Dover? I think that this really is a semantic debate, that I'm going to try to wend my way through. The Judge's ban in this case was to prevent the improper introduction of sectarian religious views into a science class. He performed an interdiction.

interdiction, n:
1. gen. An authoritative prohibition; an act of forbidding peremptorily.
2. Law. a. Roman Law. A provisional decree of the pr�tor, in a dispute of private persons relating to possession, commanding or (more usually) forbidding something to be done.
b. Sc. Law. �An order of the Court of Session, or of an inferior court, pronounced, on cause shown, for stopping any act or proceedings complained of as illegal or wrongful� (Bell Dict. Law Scotl.); corresponding to an INJUNCTION in English Law.
3. R.C. Ch. An authoritative sentence debarring a particular place or person (esp. the former) from ecclesiastical functions and privileges.
4. attrib. and Comb.

But that interdiction's purpose and effect banned a faulty policy of reading this statement in 9th grade bio classes:

The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin�s Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.
Because Darwin�s Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no
evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.
Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin�s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students who might
be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves.
With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life to individual students and their families. As a Standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on Standards-based assessments.

The court found that "the ID Policy is unconstitutional pursuant to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Art. I, � 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution." Judge Jones did as such having "...taken under consideration the following: (1) Brief of Amici Curiae Biologists and Other Scientists in Support of Defendants (doc. 245); (2) Revised Brief of Amicus Curiae, the Discovery Institute (doc. 301); (3) Brief of Amicus Curiae the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (doc. 309); and (4) Brief for Amicus Curiae Scipolicy Journal of Science and Health Policy (doc. 312)." The ruling is not a ruling ON the book itself though much of the ruling rests on the nature of Pandas as a religous and not scientific text (see the ruling).

The book was never formally adopted as genuine instructional material which was integrated into the curriculum and so held no place within the science curriculum itself. It was a "supplementary" text never to be instructed from by the Dover science faculty.

As a "supplement" it was unintegrated and its purpose was unclear other than as a means by which the school board could weaken their own teachers' expertise. As such, its place and purpose were pedagogically unsound. The thing about that Dover statement and policy were that they put Pandas in a position on a fence, neither a textbook to be taught from but still mentioned as some kind of tome of expertise outside of standard procedure. But it is precisely because of this outsider status that we can't consider the book banned. IT WAS NEVER FORMALLY INCLUDED IN PEDAGOGY!

And additionally, not ONE student has been formally prohibited access to the book by either Judge Jones, Tammy Kitzmiller, me, you or anyone else. As far as I know, the Dover School still has 60 copies sitting on its shelves. The effect of the Jones ruling is markedly different from every banning or challenge case I've read about including The Diary of Anne Frank, Harry Potter, Catcher in the Rye and others.

Larry, if you want to be honest, the actual banning talk here should be about Bill Buckingham's and Bonsell's desire to cut Miller's and Levine's Biology textbook out of their curriculum and how they used school board procedure to delay purchasing the book while they tried to weasel some way to sneak creationism into the classroom. Trojan Horse anyone? Hmmm. Buckingham said the book "is laced with Darwinism." He lied about all of this repeatedly on the stand and in his depositions which annihilated the credibility of the defense. The real challenge here isn't to Pandas, it's to Biology. We're content to let your drivel exist and let educated people determine its worth. It's not really that threatening. But when you try to pass your unproved and unprovable (I suppose we should say unDISprovable) garbage off as science, we won't take it.

So put it in every library around the country for all of us to laugh as you pass off your deceit as truth and your ignorance as knowledge and your negligence as care.

Peter

p.s.
As Larry is so fond of saying that the book is mentioned 75 times in the ruling, I'd like to note that the word "ban" doesn't appear once in the ruling. Searching the document, we find "husBANd." More on topic, "banishment" and "banned" both occur, but they relate to the prohibitions on teaching creationism as ruled by the Supreme Court in Edwards.

Posted by: Peter | September 30, 2006 1:52 PM

21

Peter said ( September 30, 2006 01:52 PM ) --

Shouting about a fire (or controversy) in this case doesn't mean that the controversy is real. In this matter, the experts on the matter (see the ALA representative above) have chimed in and basically sealed it shut.

As I have already noted, the Wikipedia page "List of banned books" does not use the ALA criteria and does not require that the books listed be on the ALA list or any other official list.

The book was never formally adopted as genuine instructional material which was integrated into the curriculum and so held no place within the science curriculum itself.

Here is what EndScientificCensors said in a comment on Uncommon Descent --

Carl Sachs said that "[A] book that was never really incorporated as part of the curriculum in the first place, but which remains available in the library, has been removed from the list of banned books?" It's worth pointing out that Judge Jones consistently called adoption the Dover-ID oral disclaimer a "curriculum change" or called the whole ordeal the "curriculum controversy" and that the mention of the book in the disclaimer therefore constitutes inclusion of the book into the curriculum.
--from
http://www.uncommondescent.com/archives/1652#comment-65869

I went to the Dover opinion's PDF file and did a word search for "curriculum" and got 119 hits! (I got "only" 75 for Pandas). There were 48 hits for "curriculum change," 24 for "Curriculum Committee," and 9 for "curriculum controversy."

As Larry is so fond of saying that the book is mentioned 75 times in the ruling, I'd like to note that the word "ban" doesn't appear once in the ruling.

Irrelevant. There are many synonyms for "ban," and this word can be used to describe a statement that does not include the word or any of its synonyms.

Anyway, in regard to the Wikipedia listing, the issue is not who is right and who is wrong -- the issue is whether there is a significant controversy. And I say that the answer is a resounding "YES."

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | September 30, 2006 3:14 PM

22

Kim said,

He had a look at my page, so, he could have known that I was female as there is a userbox in pink making that issue clear.

How was I supposed to know about this color-coding scheme?

Anyway, it is not my fault that English does not have genderless 3rd person pronouns. You could have just politely corrected me.

....and if you had tried it, I would have gotten your e-mail.

No, when I hit that link, I get a big message saying, "No send address."

The No Original Research policy is one of the three key policies of wikipedia, and you claim that you are allowed to add OR is just bogus.

My last Pandas entry to the list contained NO original research -- there was just the statement, "some claim that this is not really a 'banned book'[link] ", where "link" was a link to a thread on this blog. My previous entry said, "Suggested reading that was banned from public-school science classrooms by a judge who ruled it to be an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. This book's status as a 'banned book' is disputed [link]", but someone complained that this statement was "factually inaccurate," so I removed the first sentence (and incidentally reworded the second sentence).

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | September 30, 2006 4:28 PM

23

Larry,
This is the last time I'll respond to you.

First, I don't care if Wikipedia uses ALA standards or not. I used the OED as the source of my definitions which you promptly ignored. Because this is entirely an argument of definition, I thought it helpful to actually use the most recognized source on English definitions instead of these ridiculous ad hoc definitions you'd been bandying about.

Read what I wrote. Don't just respond to the word curriculum.

The book was never formally adopted as genuine instructional material which was integrated into the curriculum and so held no place within the science curriculum itself.

This was unintegrated material with no explanation about its inclusion or any means by which students (or anyone else for that matter) are to understand this book. If you don't understand what integration means, look it up. There is no question in any reasonable educator's mind nor any good scientist's mind that this was shoddy teaching that passed the educational buck and tried to evade responsibility for covert religious activity.

There is no question that it was "a curriculum change." The curriculum change WAS the unconstitutional inclusion of religion in the classroom. It was perpetrated by the school board despite protests from the science teachers who should design any curriculum change.

You can defend ignorance as much as you want to and try to show that they are being repressed, but it just makes you look at least as foolish as they were. No. It's worse, because you are dressing it all up in pseudo-legalistic language and feigning oppression by saying that your pet book was banned. Get over it. ID got its proverbial teeth kicked in and now you want to continue the appeal to our American sense of fairness when your team constantly cheats by trying to slide things in through the back door. See Lawrence Krauss's statements about science and fairness. Maybe then you'll get a bit of a clue.

And don't you have anything to say about the real "challenged" book here? A book that was almost denied funding and purchase because it doesn't line up with the IDeologists' IDeology. A book more vetted and screened by peers than ANYTHING ever written by the DI and the IDiots.

For every Panda "challenge" we find, we'd probably see dozens of genuine challenges to textbooks dealing correctly with evolution.

It's a real shame that we have to spend so much of our time arguing about things that should be irrelevant.

Posted by: Peter | September 30, 2006 5:08 PM

24

Larry, you can not even read the text in the pink box: "This user is female." and the female symbol that is next to it?

As for the e-mail, it gives "No send address". Did you enter YOUR e-mail address somewhere? If not, it does not have a send address. But I make it easy: kim at kimvdlinde dot com

Well, if the entry is not original research, you will have no problem in coming up with a reliable non-partisan source that indicates that the book is indeed banned. The ALA does not work, they already indicated that they do not consider this a banned book.

Posted by: Kim | September 30, 2006 5:14 PM

25
Why am I not surprised when I scroll to the end of a long rant on legal terms and find Larry's name?
I noticed a similar phenomenon when I used to read the old The Quintessence of the Loon collection of webpages.

Posted by: mark | September 30, 2006 6:01 PM

26

Kim said,

Well, if the entry is not original research, you will have no problem in coming up with a reliable non-partisan source that indicates that the book is indeed banned.

Excuse me, but there is no statement in the Wikipedia article titled "List of banned books" that claims that all of the books in the list are recognized as banned books by "reliable non-partisan sources." And who decides what is a "reliable non-partisan source"? In any case, it is certain that some of the books that are now in the list would not qualify under your standard. So why should Pandas be singled out to be required to meet this standard? Since the article is not what you think it should be and it never will be, then IMO you should be in favor of just junking the whole darn article.

My "original research" statement, as you call it, is a statement that there is a significant controversy over whether the book should be listed as a "banned book." Are you denying that such a significant controversy exists? If so, then why are you commenting here?

Lots of Wikipedia articles have big disclaimers at the top saying that the contents of the article is disputed. You are trying to set up different rules for the "List of banned books" article.

Somebody on Wikipedia had a really great idea -- a Wikipedia article containing a list of books that are banned from the Wikipedia list of banned books!

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | September 30, 2006 6:50 PM

27

Alas, another thread hijacked by an infamous troll.

Posted by: John Marley | September 30, 2006 11:28 PM

28

Peter said ( September 30, 2006 05:08 PM ) --

I don't care if Wikipedia uses ALA standards or not. I used the OED as the source of my definitions which you promptly ignored.

Well, some people care about whether Wikipedia uses ALA standards -- some people are saying that Pandas should not be on the Wikipedia list just because an ALA staffer does not consider it to be a "banned book." This is what I mean when I say the issue is controversial -- you opponents to the listing cannot even agree among yourselves.

There is nothing wrong with special definitions used for special purposes, so long as the definitions do not deviate too far from the dictionary definitions. Laws, for example, are often accompanied by glossaries for the purpose of trying to prevent later disagreements over the meanings of words. For example, if reading books while driving is officially banned, does that mean that all books are "banned books"? Of course not. So the definition I proposed for "banned book" is: "a book that has been singled out for any kind of restriction by a governmental authority." So far no one has proposed a reasonable alternative -- some people just make up their own arbitrary ad hoc definitions as they go along. We need some simple, objective and universal definition of "banned book" to help prevent disagreements of whether or not a given book should be classified as "banned." Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, was caught flat-footed when asked about whether Pandas should be considered to be a "banned book," because she had no clearcut definition of the term. She even forgot the ALA's own policy -- stated on the ALA website -- of considering a book to be banned if it is only banned in the curriculum and not in the school libraries!

The book was never formally adopted as genuine instructional material which was integrated into the curriculum and so held no place within the science curriculum itself. (emphasis in original)

This is getting too complicated. That is about as nitpicking a statement as I have ever seen -- or should I say gnatpicking, as in "straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel."

Even if the contents of the book were not officially banned, Judge Jones did something much more severe -- he banned official mention of the name of the book.

Also, in a previous comment on this thread, I gave the following example of something that I think we might be more familiar with:

Suppose, say, a literature or history course requires students to read one or more books that the students choose from a list. Suppose a judge then comes along and orders that one of the books on the list be removed. Now, was that book "banned"? After all, the book was not required reading, hence supposedly was not really part of the curriculum.


Big question -- if the book was such an insignificant part of the curriculum, then why did the plaintiffs and the judge devote so much effort to attacking the book? You folks want to have it both ways -- saying that the book wasn't really banned because it was not a significant part of the curriculum, and also saying that the plaintiffs and the judge were justified in attacking the book because it was a very important part of the curriculum!

And don't you have anything to say about the real "challenged" book here? A book that was almost denied funding and purchase because it doesn't line up with the IDeologists' IDeology.

Non-selection of a textbook by a school board is not banning -- the school board is only exercising its discretion. By your line of reasoning, every textbook that has not been selected has been "banned."

I don't know the details of the negotiations in the Dover school board, but I strongly suspect that there was basically a compromise deal between the Darwinists and the anti-Darwinists on the board. The Darwinists and the anti-Darwinists could have compromised by choosing a Darwinism-lite text, but maybe instead chose to compromise by having the ID statement in exchange for selection of the heavily Darwinist Miller-Levine biology text. Then Judge Jones pulled the rug out from under the anti-Darwinists by banning the ID statement. I think that maybe the same sort of thing happened in Cobb County -- the evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker was possibly at least partly a tradeoff for the selection of the heavily Darwinist Miller textbooks. If the goal is to teach the kids a lot about evolution, doesn't it make sense to have these evolution disclaimers in exchange for the selection of texts that are heavy on evolution? The students are likely to hear negative statements about evolution anyway.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | September 30, 2006 11:57 PM

29
Even if the contents of the book were not officially banned, Judge Jones did something much more severe -- he banned official mention of the name of the book.

Larry, that has to be - by far - the most absolutely inane thing I've ever seen you say, and that's saying something. In what world - in what universe do you live where keeping the book in the library while telling school administrators that they can't refer students to that religious text for extra reading is worse than removing the book from the library?

Posted by: Mike Dunford | October 1, 2006 12:37 AM

30

Mike Dunford said --

in what universe do you live where keeping the book in the library while telling school administrators that they can't refer students to that religious text for extra reading is worse than removing the book from the library?


I wasn't talking at all about the library. I was only talking about the classrooms -- i.e., banning both the book's name and the book itself from the classrooms was more severe than banning just the book itself from the classrooms -- obviously. The plaintiffs and Judge Jones knew that because of 3rd circuit precedent the book would be harder to kick out of the library than out of the classrooms, so the presence of the book in the library was not challenged:

......the Third Circuit distinguishes removing books from a library and removing books from a classroom: "special characteristics of the school library make that environment especially appropriate for the recognition of the First Amendment rights of students, for the library, unlike the school classroom, is a place for voluntary inquiry and study." See Kreimer v. Bureau of Police for Town of Morristown, 958 F.2d 1242, 1254 (3d Cir. 1992). Therefore, under Third Circuit law Applicants would have a colorable claim only if plaintiffs sought to remove books from the library. (Plaintiffs' Response to Rutherford Institute Motion to Intervene, pp. 10-11. Filed February 4, 2005)
-- from http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/09/the_silliest_th.html#more

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 1, 2006 2:44 AM

31

This whole business is a tempest in a teapot, IMHO. Who cares if the ID crowd want to add a martyr complex to their list of achievements? Let 'em!

Moreover, why should evolutionists be ashamed of banning a book that is inaccurate with respect to science from a science curriculum? Surely the courts should be allowed, as well, to ban books from curricula that violate the law (church-state separation in this case). This is not a case of banning a book (like Cather in the Rye, for instance), in clear violation of the first amendment, simply becuase someone doesn't like its morality.

To use a well-worn analogy: just as the first amendment does not permit someone from yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater, nor should it allow schools to disseminate untruth to students or to violate other parts of the law.

Posted by: Joe Canner | October 1, 2006 7:44 AM

32

English does have genderless third-person pronouns: they, them, their, &c.; I personally think that an error in number is less serious than an error in gender -- but that's because, in this highly sexist world, I am less concerned about unauthorised people knowing how amny of me there are, than I am about unauthorised people knowing what is between my legs.

Just my two ha'pence worth .....

Posted by: AJS | October 1, 2006 7:55 AM

33

KIM --

Mike Dunford, reporting his conversation with Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director of the ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom, said,

. . . . .after checking their database, she was able to tell me that they have only one record of any challenge to the book, and that involved an incident in 1993 when someone asked that the book be removed on the grounds of "inaccuracy." The book was not removed, and the incident is classified as a "challenge," not a "banning."

So she admitted that the book has been challenged, and the ALA lists and ranks books according to the number of times they have been challenged, not the number of times they have been banned. The ALA's list of 100 books is called the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books, not the 100 most frequently "banned" books.

Furthermore, the ALA website says --
Each year, the American Library Association (ALA) is asked why the week is called "Banned Books Week" instead of "Challenged Books Week," since the majority of the books featured during the week are not banned, but "merely" challenged. There are two reasons. One, ALA does not "own" the name Banned Books Week, but is just one of several cosponsors of BBW; therefore, ALA cannot change the name without all the cosponsors agreeing to a change. Two, none want to do so, primarily because a challenge is an attempt to ban or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A successful challenge would result in materials being banned or restricted.
Although they were the targets of attempted bannings, most of the books featured during BBW were not banned, thanks to the efforts of librarians to maintain them in their collections.

-- see http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/backgroundb/background.htm#wbbw

Any book on the ALA list is eligible to be listed in the Wikipedia list, which says:

ALA_2000 is used to denote books that appear on the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990/2000 list of the American Library Association[1] in order to save effort in documenting the bannings.

So Kim, the Pandas book has satisfied even your ridiculous criteria, so put it back in the Wikipedia list where it belongs. Or are you going to move the goalposts to the moon this time?

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 1, 2006 10:24 AM

34

AJS said --

English does have genderless third-person pronouns: they, them, their, &c.;

I should have said "third-person singular pronouns." Sorry about that.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 1, 2006 10:29 AM

35

Guys, it is very simple for wikipedia, No Original Research, and Larry is incapable to provide a reliable non-partisan source for the banning, the story is over. Just kove on, nothing more to see.

Posted by: Kim | October 1, 2006 1:53 PM

36

Kim wrote --

Guys, it is very simple for wikipedia, No Original Research, and Larry is incapable to provide a reliable non-partisan source for the banning, the story is over. Just kove (sic) on, nothing more to see.

May I point out that according to my preceding post, presumably many of the ALA-listed books on the Wikipedia list were never even banned but were merely challenged. In contrast, a judge banned the mere mention of Pandas as part of the science curriculum in Dover.

Now I am asking you again in a polite way -- put the Pandas book back in the Wikipedia list of banned books where it belongs.

BTW, it is extremely impolite to ask other readers to stop reading a thread. You are just a visitor here.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 1, 2006 2:29 PM

37

As far as I can tell, the first comment that Larry left on this blog was about six days ago, in a thread related to this issue. The first comment that Kim left was about four days ago, again in a thread related to this issue. Based on this massive difference in experience, Larry writes:

BTW, it is extremely impolite to ask other readers to stop reading a thread. You are just a visitor here.

Larry:
I do thank you for (unintentionally, I'm sure) giving me my first laugh of the day. However, I'd greatly appreciate it if you try to remember that this is my blog, and that you are just a visitor here.

Posted by: Mike Dunford | October 1, 2006 2:50 PM

38

Mike Dunford said,

BTW, it is extremely impolite to ask other readers to stop reading a thread. You are just a visitor here.
Larry:
I do thank you for (unintentionally, I'm sure) giving me my first laugh of the day. However, I'd greatly appreciate it if you try to remember that this is my blog, and that you are just a visitor here.

I stand by my statement. I would not go to another blog and ask other readers to stop reading a thread. I don't even tell people that on my own blog. I have a policy of no deletions and no closing of threads.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 1, 2006 3:14 PM

39

I have already pointed out that many of the ALA-listed books in the Wikipedia "List of banned books" presumably have never been banned but were only challenged. I pointed out that the ALA also has a record of Pandas being challenged, so Pandas belongs on the ALA list, though not in the Top 100, of course.

I just found the following book in the Wikipedia list:

"Rage" from The Bachman Books by Richard Bachman, pseudonym for Stephen King self-imposed ban after the Columbine Shooting.

That is not a "ban" for purposes of this list -- it is not even a "challenge."

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 1, 2006 4:01 PM

40

Kim said ( October 1, 2006 01:53 PM ) --

Guys, it is very simple for wikipedia, No Original Research, and Larry is incapable to provide a reliable non-partisan source for the banning, the story is over.

I just want to add another comment here, this time regarding your statement about "Original Research."

My last Pandas entry (which was censored) to the Wikipedia list contained the disclaimer "some claim that this is not really a "'banned book,'" followed by a link to a debate on the issue. That is an NPOV (neutral point of view) statement. It is not -- as you falsely claimed -- an OR (original research) statement because it does not contain my personal views or a link to my personal views, except for my personal view that a significant controversy exists. Even you have acknowledged that there is a significant controversy, just by your commenting here and your statement that there is a "blog war" on the issue. Those who are not satisfied with the link I gave are free to add other links, including links to their own personal views (since I gave only one link, I felt obligated to give a link to an open debate on the issue).

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 1, 2006 11:04 PM

41

Even you have acknowledged that there is a significant controversy, just by your commenting here and your statement that there is a "blog war" on the issue.

The standard for qualifying as a "significant controversy" just reached an all-time low.

Posted by: Mysterious Alien Being | October 2, 2006 1:25 AM

42

Mysterious Alien Being said --

Even you have acknowledged that there is a significant controversy, just by your commenting here and your statement that there is a "blog war" on the issue.

The standard for qualifying as a "significant controversy" just reached an all-time low.

If a "blog war" does not meet your standard of a "significant controversy," then what does? The Civil War?

I see why you call yourself "mysterious alien being."

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 2, 2006 5:44 AM

43

There is a controversy only in the sense that a number of ideologically-driven, disingenuous people see intelligent design creationism as a wedge, something to help them further their warped, political interests.

If the Dover school library did not place all 63 (or so) copies of OPAP on the shelf, is that a reason for the creationists to charge book banning?

Posted by: mark | October 2, 2006 8:18 AM

44

Mark said --
There is a controversy only in the sense that a number of ideologically-driven, disingenuous people see intelligent design creationism as a wedge, something to help them further their warped, political interests.

If a school or school board is dumb enough to use a bible as a science text and the bible is banned as a result, then the bible should be listed as a "banned book." Those are the rules. The American Library Association's rules for listing banned and challenged books make no exceptions for curricular books that some people think do not belong in science classrooms or other classrooms. Indeed, the curricular books are challenged and/or banned precisely because some people think that they do not belong in classrooms.

If the Dover school library did not place all 63 (or so) copies of OPAP on the shelf, is that a reason for the creationists to charge book banning?

I don't understand your point. The books in the library had no effect, because the plaintiffs did not challenge the presence of the books in the library and because the ALA website says that the ALA definitions of banned or challenged books include books that have been banned or challenged only in a curriculum and not in a library.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 2, 2006 10:11 AM

45

I was really starting to wonder what the heck a "Darwinist" is. So I looked it up in my old Britannica:

"DARWINISM. The word Darwinism was originally coined to denote that type of evolutionary mechanism propounded by Charles Robert Darwin as an explanation of organic change. Darwinism must not be taken as synonymous with the word evolution itself. Rather, it denotes Darwin's specific view of how the process comes about. Even here the word is open to a certain ambiguity because Darwin actually introduced more than one partial explanation of evolution into his great book, The Origin of Species. As the years passed, however, the natural selection hypothesis took on favour with biologists and Darwinism, by degrees, shed some of the minor supporting hypotheses which Darwin orinially brought forward to sustain his thesis of natural selection. Modern Neo-Darwinism for this reason must not be taken as precisely similar to Darwinism.On the basis of newer knowledge, some ideas shave been dropped and new views subsituted. If Darwin were living today he would recognize his theory but would be unfamiliar with much that has been incorporated within it."

That was in 1963, v.7, pp84-85. I think there's been some work done on evolution since then. As has been pointed out before, calling people who understand modern evolutionary theory (in the sense of the best-supported explanation of the observations) "Darwinists" is like labelling modern physicists as "Newtonists". It's dated and meaningless garbage.

But obfuscation and outright lies are what anti-science types do best.

Posted by: fnxtr | October 2, 2006 4:41 PM

46

From what I've read (and I freely admit that that's mostly info from blogs, not the original sources), wasn't it the "required statement" that was banned, not any-and-all mention of Pandas? It appears to me that the ruling would not apply to a teacher who addressed his (or her) class by bringing up the subject of the lawsuit (perhaps in answer to a student's question), and explained that the former School Board was trying to undermine established science with thinly-disguised religious dogma. Mentioning the book in that context could be extremely relevant to a science course, esp. if followed by a discussion of the scientific method and where Pandas fails.....

Posted by: woodsong | October 2, 2006 5:09 PM

47

woodsong said --

From what I've read (and I freely admit that that's mostly info from blogs, not the original sources), wasn't it the "required statement" that was banned, not any-and-all mention of Pandas? It appears to me that the ruling would not apply to a teacher who addressed his (or her) class by bringing up the subject of the lawsuit (perhaps in answer to a student's question), and explained that the former School Board was trying to undermine established science with thinly-disguised religious dogma.

The issue here is not whether any-and-all mention of the book was banned, but whether mention of the book was banned from being an official part of the curriculum. The ID statement was an official part of the curriculum and one of the main purposes of the statement was to suggest to the students that they read Pandas. The judge's written opinion referred to this oral statement as a "curriculum change" 48 times. Also, "Curriculum Committee" appears 24 times in the opinion and "curriculum controversy" appears 9 times.

The book was obviously central to the Kitzmiller lawsuit -- the book's name appears 75 times in the Kitzmiller opinion, about half the appearances concerning the book itself and about half concerning the school board's actions in choosing the book.

The lawsuit cost the school district $1 million in fees paid to the plaintiffs. I presume that the teachers are in no mood to discuss Pandas and in any case probably do not want to risk getting in trouble by discussing the book. Mentioning the book is probably taboo in Dover classrooms.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 2, 2006 7:33 PM

48

Larry sez:

"The issue here is not whether any-and-all mention of the book was banned, but whether mention of the book was banned from being an official part of the curriculum."

While the wikipedia article of banned books that you have been trying to change makes no mention of books only to be allowed on the list if they were banned from any particular school curriculum. The curriculum in Dover, as you know, only had the creationist language in it for a relatively short time and was found to be unconstitutional. The book in question was found to have creationist origins and therefore, as a school textbook deemed inappropriate. Banning it from a school classroom only is not the same as banning a book in general. You're idea of a 'controversy' is the same as the creationists idea of a controversy in evolution. Remember there is no scientific controversy just because a few creationists say there is. There is no 'controversy' about Pandas just because you say it is. You can still buy the book or get it from the library. It ain't banned.

He then sed:

"The lawsuit cost the school district $1 million in fees paid to the plaintiffs. I PRESUME that the teachers are in no mood to discuss Pandas and in any case PROBABLY do not want to risk getting in trouble by discussing the book. Mentioning the book is PROBABLY taboo in Dover classrooms."

(Emphasis mine)

Presume. Probably. Probably. Take Larry's word for it.

The creationist curriculum was unconstitutional. The book was not banned, simply deemed inappropriate for the classroom. The creationists lost Dover. There's no scientific controversy over evolution because a few dimwits don't like it. These facts won't change just because Larry says otherwise.

Get over it.

Have a nice day. :)

Posted by: Darth Robo | October 3, 2006 11:31 AM

49

Darth Robo said --

While the wikipedia article of banned books that you have been trying to change makes no mention of books only to be allowed on the list if they were banned from any particular school curriculum.

Presumably many of the ALA-listed books on the Wikipedia list are books that were banned only in school curricula. In fact, the ALA-list is allowed to include books that were only challenged in school curricula and were never actually banned.

I PRESUME that the teachers are in no mood to discuss Pandas and in any case PROBABLY do not want to risk getting in trouble by discussing the book. Mentioning the book is PROBABLY taboo in Dover classrooms."Presume. Probably. Probably. Take Larry's word for it.

If you were a Dover science teacher, would YOU want to discuss the book as a regular part of your lectures, as woodsong proposed?

Since the book was ruled to be a religious book with no legitimate secular purpose, teachers are not allowed to discuss it at all in science class.

The book was not banned, simply deemed inappropriate for the classroom.

ALL books that are banned from school curricula are deemed inappropriate for the classroom. The book was BANNED. Get over it.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 3, 2006 3:26 PM

50

The Wikipedia article titled "List of banned books" now sez,

The truthfulness of this article has been questioned. It is believed that some or all of its content might constitute a hoax. To discuss this, use this article's talk page.

Some people will stop at nothing to prevent Pandas from being listed as a "banned book."

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 3, 2006 6:15 PM

51

Larry sez:

"Get over it."

Oh, I am. I'm not the one upset that the creo's got slaughtered at Dover. And deservedly so. :)

Posted by: Darth Robo | October 4, 2006 7:05 AM

52

Darth sez --

Larry sez:

"Get over it."

Oh, I am. I'm not the one upset that the creo's got slaughtered at Dover.

That is another quote mine by a Darwinist. You Darwinists hypocritically complain about anti-Darwinists mining quotes.

My complete statement was, " The book was BANNED. Get over it." So my statement meant that what you have not gotten over is the fact that your opinion that the book was not banned is WRONG. Yes, I know -- your mind is made up and you don't want to be confused by the facts.

If I were a Darwinist, I would not be so cheerful. You Darwinists are not doing all that well.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 4, 2006 7:36 AM

53

Yup. Terrible quotemine. I'm a bad, bad man. And 'Darwinists' doing terrible. They won Dover, ID is dead and...

Anyway, here in work the computer guys have been messing with various things and blocking certain websites (they even blocked IMDB! Huh?!?). But I digress, someone on scienceblogs pointed to your website the other day but when I clicked the link, your site was um, banned - under the banner of 'porn'. What have you been doing over there? :-/

Posted by: Darth Robo | October 4, 2006 9:16 AM

54

BTW, you Darwinists' hero Judge Jones is entirely to blame for any misunderstanding as to whether Pandas was actually banned.

The plaintiffs' official complaint in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case expressly demanded removal of Pandas from science classrooms:

b. an injunction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65 prohibiting the defendants from implementing their intelligent design policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, and requiring the removal of Of Pandas and People from the School District's science classrooms; (bold added) page 23
-- from http://www2.ncseweb.org/kvd/all_legal/2004-12-14_Kitzmiller_v_DASD_Complaint_readable.pdf

The published final opinion fails to specifically address the above demand that the book be removed from science classrooms. Hence, Judge Jones is entirely to blame for any misunderstanding as to whether the book was actually banned. Furthermore, his failure to address this demand does not mean that there is not a de facto ban on the book in Dover science classrooms. And according to any reasonable interpretation of the Dover opinion, the book is banned.

Judge Jones should be impeached for incompetence and general stupidity.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 4, 2006 3:50 PM

55

What should he be impeached for exactly? For stopping Pandas from being used as a science book? After we have already confirmed it's creationist roots and that it is also full of sh*te? The same as ID?

At the risk of quotemining and incuring the wrath of the Reverend, I offer this statement which makes things pretty clear. My apologies to Mr Flank for any upset that may be caused. *

"Well, the bottom line, of course, is that it simply does not matter what any IDer, thinks. They had their day in court. They got to present all the evidence they wanted. They got to cross-examine all the evilutionists to their holy little heart�s content. They shot their entire load �- and they lost.

Game over.

They can weep and whine all they want. Makes no difference �t�all. ID is illegal to teach, and all their bitching and moaning won�t change that. Period. Full stop. End of discussion. (shrug)"

*Next pizza and beer delivery on me. :-)

Posted by: Darth Robo | October 4, 2006 8:19 PM

56

Darth Robo said --

What should he be impeached for exactly? For stopping Pandas from being used as a science book?

What I said just went completely over your head. My point was that he did not make it clear whether or not he was stopping Pandas from being used as a science book. There are a lot of people -- including the blogger here and the deputy director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom -- who believe that he only stopped Pandas from being used or mentioned in the official Dover science curriculum and that he did not stop individual Dover teachers from using Pandas as a science text on their own. Sheeesh.

Posted by: Larry Fafarman | October 4, 2006 11:22 PM

57

Hmmm. So everyone is confused. Except Larry.

Posted by: Darth Robo | October 5, 2006 3:38 AM

58

As long as people answer Larry, he will dominate this blog. And for what? Entertainment, I guess. I find this a fascinating phenomenon.

Posted by: zaslav | October 12, 2007 10:43 PM

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