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Those Defensive Darwinists
The Seattle Times ^ | 11/21/05 | Jonathon Witt

Posted on 11/22/2005 12:44:07 PM PST by Michael_Michaelangelo

THE first court trial over the theory of intelligent design is now over, with a ruling expected by the end of the year. What sparked the legal controversy? Before providing two weeks of training in modern evolutionary theory, the Dover, Pa., School District briefly informed students that if they wanted to learn about an alternative theory of biological origins, intelligent design, they could read a book about it in the school library.

In short order, the School District was dragged into court by a group insisting the school policy constituted an establishment of religion, this despite the fact that the unmentionable book bases its argument on strictly scientific evidence, without appealing to religious authority or attempting to identify the source of design.

The lawsuit is only the latest in a series of attempts to silence the growing controversy over contemporary Darwinian theory.

For instance, after The New York Times ran a series on Darwinism and design recently, prominent Darwinist Web sites excoriated the newspaper for even covering intelligent design, insulting its proponents with terms like Medievalist, Flat-Earther and "American Taliban."

University of Minnesota biologist P.Z. Myers argues that Darwinists should take an even harder line against their opponents: "Our only problem is that we aren't martial enough, or vigorous enough, or loud enough, or angry enough," he wrote. "The only appropriate responses should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing and humiliation of some teachers, many school board members, and vast numbers of sleazy far-right politicians."

This month, NPR reported on behavior seemingly right out of the P.Z. Myers playbook.

The most prominent victim in the story was Richard Sternberg, a scientist with two Ph.D.s in evolutionary biology and former editor of a journal published out of the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History. He sent out for peer review, then published, a paper arguing that intelligent design was the best explanation for the geologically sudden appearance of new animal forms 530 million years ago.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel reported that Sternberg's colleagues immediately went on the attack, stripping Sternberg of his master key and access to research materials, spreading rumors that he wasn't really a scientist and, after determining that they didn't want to make a martyr out of him by firing him, deliberately creating a hostile work environment in the hope of driving him from the Smithsonian.

The NPR story appalled even die-hard skeptics of intelligent design, people like heavyweight blogger and law professor Glenn Reynolds, who referred to the Smithsonian's tactics as "scientific McCarthyism."

Also this month, the Kansas Board of Education adopted a policy to teach students the strengths and weaknesses of modern evolutionary theory. Darwinists responded by insisting that there are no weaknesses, that it's a plot to establish a national theocracy — despite the fact that the weaknesses that will be taught come right out of the peer-reviewed, mainstream scientific literature.

One cause for their insecurity may be the theory's largely metaphysical foundations. As evolutionary biologist A.S. Wilkins conceded, "Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one."

And in the September issue of The Scientist, National Academy of Sciences member Philip Skell argued that his extensive investigations into the matter corroborated Wilkins' view. Biologist Roland Hirsch, a program manager in the U.S. Office of Biological and Environmental Research, goes even further, noting that Darwinism has made a series of incorrect predictions, later refashioning the paradigm to fit the results.

How different from scientific models that lead to things like microprocessors and satellites. Modern evolutionary theory is less a cornerstone and more the busybody aunt — into everyone's business and, all the while, very much insecure about her place in the home.

Moreover, a growing list of some 450 Ph.D. scientists are openly skeptical of Darwin's theory, and a recent poll by the Louis Finkelstein Institute found that only 40 percent of medical doctors accept Darwinism's idea that humans evolved strictly through unguided, material processes.

Increasingly, the Darwinists' response is to try to shut down debate, but their attempts are as ineffectual as they are misguided. When leaders in Colonial America attempted to ban certain books, people rushed out to buy them. It's the "Banned in Boston" syndrome.

Today, suppression of dissent remains the tactic least likely to succeed in the United States. The more the Darwinists try to prohibit discussion of intelligent design, the more they pique the curiosity of students, parents and the general public.


TOPICS: Editorial; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: darwin; evolutionism; intelligentdesign
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“Modern evolutionary theory is less a cornerstone and more the busybody aunt – into everyone’s business and, all the while, very much insecure about her place in the home.”
1 posted on 11/22/2005 12:44:08 PM PST by Michael_Michaelangelo
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To: wallcrawlr; DaveLoneRanger

Ping


2 posted on 11/22/2005 12:44:57 PM PST by Michael_Michaelangelo (The best theory is not ipso facto a good theory. Lots of links on my homepage...)
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo

I prefer to call them evo-nazis for there tactics and outright hatred.


3 posted on 11/22/2005 12:50:09 PM PST by aft_lizard (What does G-d look like then if we evolved from nothing?See Genisis Ch 1:26)
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo

Evolution is just another religion, and it has adopted the inquisition as it's foundation. Questions are not allowed.


4 posted on 11/22/2005 12:52:21 PM PST by aimhigh
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo
Moreover, a growing list of some 450 Ph.D. scientists

Wow, 450 whole scientists are skeptical. Turn out the lights on the theory and go home! < /sarcasm >

I refer you to project Steve.

5 posted on 11/22/2005 12:52:58 PM PST by RogueIsland
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo
It's Scientific. When explained properly students can see for themselves, that Evolution doesn't explain everything but it does explain something. It's up to individuals to think for themselves. Tell the truth and people can decide.

Man evolved but we don't exactly know how. Did man evolve from one common ancestor, Did Neanderthal and primitive man interbreed to form man. Did man spring up separate places or in one place? Like I said, people should be informed and then they can make their own opinion.
6 posted on 11/22/2005 12:53:08 PM PST by LauraleeBraswell
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To: aft_lizard; PatrickHenry; Junior
"Nazis" by the third post ===> Placemarker <===
7 posted on 11/22/2005 12:53:24 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: aimhigh
Questions are not allowed.

Intelligent questions are allowed. When ID has a couple, let us know.

8 posted on 11/22/2005 12:53:37 PM PST by RogueIsland
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To: Coyoteman

You're darn right I used that term.The evolutionists arguments and tactics mirror that of the 3rd Reich.


9 posted on 11/22/2005 12:54:57 PM PST by aft_lizard (What does G-d look like then if we evolved from nothing?See Genisis Ch 1:26-27)
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To: Coyoteman
"Nazis" by the third post

That may be a record, although I was hoping for the hat-trick of Nazis, Marxists, and Atheists by post five.

10 posted on 11/22/2005 12:55:28 PM PST by RogueIsland
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To: aft_lizard
The evolutionists arguments and tactics mirror that of the 3rd Reich.

Oh yes, the evolutionists are getting the gas chambers ready even now. Hyperbole much?

11 posted on 11/22/2005 12:56:16 PM PST by RogueIsland
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To: RogueIsland

Well probably atheists too, seeing as you cannot believe man evolved from ape or any other and reconcile that with the bible. And thats not to say evolution does not exist.


12 posted on 11/22/2005 12:57:00 PM PST by aft_lizard (What does G-d look like then if we evolved from nothing?See Genisis Ch 1:26-27)
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To: RogueIsland

Umm no, tactics and arguments have nothing to do with gas chambers and punishment. You confuse the two.


13 posted on 11/22/2005 12:58:18 PM PST by aft_lizard (What does G-d look like then if we evolved from nothing?See Genisis Ch 1:26-27)
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo

I think Darwinism is exactly what Darwinists claim ID is, i.e., philosophy masquerading as science. Darwinism has nothing to do with advancing everyday science; it is barely a footnote in advanced biology textbooks.


14 posted on 11/22/2005 1:02:29 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: RogueIsland

I'd love to see the scientific establishment be as rigorous about teaching that homosexual activity causes AIDS and should be avoided, as they are about evolution.

The former might actually do our nation some good, the latter is arguably an irrelevant piece of trivia we forgot after college.


15 posted on 11/22/2005 1:03:10 PM PST by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
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To: aft_lizard
3rd Reich Alert

Mysterious multi-building compounds are sprouting up in the Nevada desert as we speak. Surplus school buses are being refurbished and repainted...Fedex reports large shipments of "The Origin of Species" are being shipped to these mysterious "campi".

16 posted on 11/22/2005 1:04:05 PM PST by muleskinner
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To: aft_lizard

Oh, please.....

"The Evolutionists" - Do you not realize that when you lump together everyone who happens to argue on one side of any discussion, that you have closed your mind? And your Godwin-ization of the argument doesn't win you any converts, either....


17 posted on 11/22/2005 1:07:07 PM PST by 2nsdammit (By definition it's hard to get suicide bombers with experience.)
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To: RogueIsland

And add "just plain mean" to the list!


18 posted on 11/22/2005 1:07:54 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: Steve_Seattle

Have you actually READ any advanced biology textbooks, let alone followed up reading the footnotes?


19 posted on 11/22/2005 1:10:49 PM PST by 2nsdammit (By definition it's hard to get suicide bombers with experience.)
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To: aft_lizard
The evolutionists arguments and tactics mirror that of the 3rd Reich.

Name one.

20 posted on 11/22/2005 1:12:03 PM PST by wyattearp (The best weapon to have in a gunfight is a shotgun - preferably from ambush.)
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To: RogueIsland

"Could it be that the 'junk DNA' found in the genome is actually meta-DNA that can 'think' and design useful, instead of random, mutations?


21 posted on 11/22/2005 1:12:51 PM PST by proxy_user
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To: Coyoteman

Godwin's Law is getting a major workout of late.


22 posted on 11/22/2005 1:14:34 PM PST by Junior (From now on, I'll stick to science, and leave the hunting alien mutants to the experts!)
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To: RogueIsland
I'll see your "nazi" and raise you a "McCarthy."

From the article... "The NPR story appalled even die-hard skeptics of intelligent design, people like heavyweight blogger and law professor Glenn Reynolds, who referred to the Smithsonian's tactics as "scientific McCarthyism." "

I have observed that despite their claim as scientists, the "Evo Only" crowd wants no other alternative to be discussed and respond to such with insults, attacks, and attempts to suppress both the speaker and the points. This thread already demonstrates that characteristic.

Much like liberals in that sense.
23 posted on 11/22/2005 1:14:49 PM PST by TN4Liberty (American... conservative... southern.... It doesn't get any better than this.)
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To: 2nsdammit

You paint a pretty good picture of a close-minded person yourself.

I think this article is onto something watching how a lot you ATTACK posters on this forum who do not cow to Evolution.

What are you so afraid of?


24 posted on 11/22/2005 1:15:01 PM PST by Madeleine Ward
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To: Jersey Republican Biker Chick

I read these ID vs. Darwin threads from top to bottom, but what I really want to know is, when do I get to have sex with an ape?

Owl_Eagle

(If what I just wrote makes you sad or angry,

 it was probably sarcasm)

25 posted on 11/22/2005 1:18:45 PM PST by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo

Ever Notice how these howling Darwinist
"defenders", are so *very* *anti*-Darwinist
is their personal and social policies?
In fact, these "Darwinists", are by
Darwinian theory...*Devolutionary*
in they things they do, and what they
praise, ans seek to foster..a culture of
decivilizing narciscism and sexual
dead enderism.


26 posted on 11/22/2005 1:19:05 PM PST by Baby Driver
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo

To put things in perspective, the argument is not whether General Evolution or Intelligent Design offers a better explanation for the way things are. The argument is whether ANY THEORY OTHER THAN DARWINISM will be permitted to make even a token appearance in our public schools.

In other words, Darwinists want a permanent monopoly, and no dissention permitted. They wouldn't even sit still for an agreement that the science teacher, almost certainly a Darwinist himself, could mention to the kids if he really felt like it that there was a stupid book in the library by some kook, if they really wanted to take the trouble to go look at it and risk getting a D in the course.

If Darwin's theory is so blindingly and permanently obvious, why not allow some discussion about it?


27 posted on 11/22/2005 1:19:05 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: TN4Liberty
the "Evo Only" crowd wants no other alternative to be discussed and respond to such with insults, attacks, and attempts to suppress both the speaker and the points.

ID is not an "alternative" theory. It isn't even a theory. It isn't even a hypothesis. "ID proponents" do not do any science. They wont read anything about science.

They just start throwing the words "nazi", "atheist", "marxist", etc around. Call somebody a nazi or a marxist on a conservative forum and you can expect insults and attacks. I don't know how you could expect otherwise.

28 posted on 11/22/2005 1:19:18 PM PST by wyattearp (The best weapon to have in a gunfight is a shotgun - preferably from ambush.)
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To: Owl_Eagle
You mean you haven't already?
29 posted on 11/22/2005 1:20:18 PM PST by Jersey Republican Biker Chick (People too weak to follow their own dreams, will always find a way to discourage yours.)
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To: Owl_Eagle
when do I get to have sex with an ape?

Did you try flowers and candy?

30 posted on 11/22/2005 1:20:42 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: aft_lizard
I prefer to call them evo-nazis for there tactics and outright hatred.

Awwww, wah-wah. Are they stating those awful facts at you again, little boy?

31 posted on 11/22/2005 1:21:37 PM PST by balrog666 (A myth by any other name is still inane.)
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To: LauraleeBraswell

Look LauraLee...you're wrong. Darwinism has long ago been shown to be pure mythology. It's only supporters are the phoney profs that use it as a vehicle for dumbing down the naive student population and applying for federal grants, AND gullible followers. Tell me, when's the last time you saw a half man-half ape OR a half man-half fish? You suggest: Tell the truth and people can decide. It seems to me people are deciding and the darwinist "groupies" view this independent thought as encroachment on their turf. Since they cannot bear detailed scrutiny, they make haste to silence the opposition.


32 posted on 11/22/2005 1:21:49 PM PST by kimosabe31
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo

Isn't the law suit really an attempt at censorship?


33 posted on 11/22/2005 1:22:31 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America)
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To: wyattearp

Did you read the article? It is about shouting down other points of view. That is NOT science.

I don't care what people believe about evolution. But it is clear that the group who claims to have science on its side does not understand what science means any more that those who disagree with them.


34 posted on 11/22/2005 1:23:07 PM PST by TN4Liberty (American... conservative... southern.... It doesn't get any better than this.)
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To: Madeleine Ward
I think this article is onto something watching how a lot you ATTACK posters on this forum who do not cow to Evolution.


35 posted on 11/22/2005 1:24:01 PM PST by balrog666 (A myth by any other name is still inane.)
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To: kimosabe31
It seems to me people are deciding and the darwinist "groupies" view this independent thought as encroachment on their turf.

I don't know what a "darwinist groupie" is, but your suggestion that we should find a half-man/half-ape, or a half-man/half-fish isn't "independent thought". It is asinine, and laughable.

And when, exactly, was "darwinism" shown to be "pure mythology"? I must have missed that one.

36 posted on 11/22/2005 1:25:35 PM PST by wyattearp (The best weapon to have in a gunfight is a shotgun - preferably from ambush.)
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To: kimosabe31
Tell me, when's the last time you saw a half man-half ape

There are several in here. Can you spot them?


Figure 1.4.4. Fossil hominid skulls. Some of the figures have been modified for ease of comparison (only left-right mirroring or removal of a jawbone). (Images © 2000 Smithsonian Institution.)


37 posted on 11/22/2005 1:25:45 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: Madeleine Ward

"What are you so afraid of?"

Rampant, willful ignorance, masquerading as "faith". Isn't that what we are fighting against in the GWOT?

If you want to have a reasoned, intelligent debate, great! I'm all for it! If you start calling the other side "Nazis" or other hyperbolic names, you have removed yourself from said reasoned debate, IMO....


38 posted on 11/22/2005 1:25:54 PM PST by 2nsdammit (By definition it's hard to get suicide bombers with experience.)
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To: The Old Hoosier

HIV usually causes AIDS. Or did you miss the memo?


39 posted on 11/22/2005 1:26:03 PM PST by Boxen (You're thinking in Japanese. If you must think, do it in German!)
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To: TN4Liberty
Yes, I read the article. It is a gross exaggeration. Proponents of ID aren't proposing ID as "another point of view". They are proposing it as a competing theory. It isn't.
40 posted on 11/22/2005 1:28:17 PM PST by wyattearp (The best weapon to have in a gunfight is a shotgun - preferably from ambush.)
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To: Cicero

'Sience...is but a candle in a cavernous
foyer of a castle with infinite rooms.

The sum total of all that mans
science "understands" is but a
thimblefull of that which even
man can comprehend that we do
not know about the world around us.

These "scientists are as arrogant and
ignorant as the priests and Dojes
who mocked and pesecuted Copernicus.


41 posted on 11/22/2005 1:29:22 PM PST by Baby Driver
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To: 2nsdammit
"Have you actually READ any advanced biology textbooks, let alone followed up reading the footnotes?"

No. I am not a biologist. My information comes from a survey of college biology textbooks that appeared in one of the ID books. I could look it up. The survey found that the theory of evolution received only passing mention in the textbooks.
42 posted on 11/22/2005 1:33:13 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: The Old Hoosier

"I'd love to see the scientific establishment be as rigorous about teaching that homosexual activity causes AIDS and should be avoided, as they are about evolution. "

So you are in favor of Sex Education in our schools, then?


43 posted on 11/22/2005 1:33:15 PM PST by 2nsdammit (By definition it's hard to get suicide bombers with experience.)
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To: Steve_Seattle
I could look it up. By all means, do so. And post it here, so we could read it. Then we could debate the specific claim, rather than the paraphrased interpretation of it. That's all I ask for....
44 posted on 11/22/2005 1:36:02 PM PST by 2nsdammit (By definition it's hard to get suicide bombers with experience.)
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo

Ah Darwinists, just another group of lefty wanna-be control freaks.


45 posted on 11/22/2005 1:41:22 PM PST by vpintheak (Liberal = The antithesis of Freedom and Patriotism)
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To: balrog666; PatrickHenry
Yet another example of anti-Evo dishonesty, this time by omission. The posted article would appear to be a news article published by the Seattle Times.

It isn't.

It's a guest editorial written by, you guessed it, a functionary from the anti-Evo and misnamed "Discovery Institute" :

"Jonathan Witt is a senior fellow with Discovery Institute and co-author of "A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Science Reveal the Genius of Nature" (IVP 2006)."

But in as much as the anti-Evos were caught lying through their teeth under oath in the Dover Trial, it would be of little surprise that their apologists here on FR would resort to milder forms of deception, such as camouflaging the TRUE source of the posted article, by way of omission.

46 posted on 11/22/2005 1:42:33 PM PST by longshadow
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To: kimosabe31
This statement was in response to me saying that people should be taught what we know thus far and then be able to decide for themselves. Evolution is a Generalization, we do not yet know all the specifics of it and probably never will.

""Look LauraLee...you're wrong. Darwinism has long ago been shown to be pure mythology. It's only supporters are the phoney profs that use it as a vehicle for dumbing down the naive student population and applying for federal grants, AND gullible followers. Tell me, when's the last time you saw a half man-half ape OR a half man-half fish? You suggest: Tell the truth and people can decide. It seems to me people are deciding and the darwinist "groupies" view this independent thought as encroachment on their turf. Since they cannot bear detailed scrutiny, they make haste to silence the opposition.""



You have got to be kidding me. No really, are you serious? Because I hate to tell you but that whole story about Adam and Eve- that's mythology. You are basically taking the position that the whole field of Anthropology is mythology. Do you not believe in Dinosaurs either?

47 posted on 11/22/2005 1:42:57 PM PST by LauraleeBraswell
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To: 2nsdammit

Read his self-identifying statement. He's some kind'a squish.


48 posted on 11/22/2005 1:43:02 PM PST by dhuffman@awod.com (The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.)
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To: RogueIsland
Intelligent questions are allowed. When ID has a couple, let us know.

You are quiote right. The only use ID has ever developed is to spur more research into what they call 'holes' in evolution. The flagellum is a great example. After the issue was raised by the IDer's, in particular Behe, biologists did their homework and learned a lot. And the information still supported evolution adn gained us more insight right down to the genetic level. The IDer's think they find 'holes' in evolution, but they are really promoting research opportunities that favor evolution.

THe only problem is that planning research like this is like playing a never ending whack-a-mole game.

49 posted on 11/22/2005 1:44:39 PM PST by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: The Old Hoosier; 2nsdammit
The problem with sex education is that many schools don't teach the truth. There is nothing to fear in the truth. Truth educates. Now, we would have less of a public health problem if it was taught that anal penetration, a frequent practice of homosexual men, is the primary way AIDs is transmitted. That condoms were not made for anal sex, that condoms are 70% effective, and if young school age adults were shown the horrible effects of STDs.
50 posted on 11/22/2005 1:47:06 PM PST by LauraleeBraswell
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