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DaveScot Has Resigned

DaveScot has resigned his position as UD’s primary moderator. We wish him well in his endeavors.

Update: The previous title to this post raised questions about whether I booted DaveScot. That is not the case. DaveScot resigned as moderator, but he remains a friend to the site.

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29 Responses to DaveScot Has Resigned

  1. Is he going to post anything on the blog, or in the responses? DaveScot is really cool and I’d like him to stick around at least to respond to posts!

    Either way though, I also wish him the best!

  2. Best Regards, Dave Scot.

  3. I don’t always agree with DaveScot but he has done a ton of work here and will be missed.
    Farewell.

  4. Dear Dave,

    In my opinion, you are an extremely intelligent human being. Unfortunately, you suffer from some sort of psychosis. I had a close encounter with your strange psyche sometime last year. It had something to do with PETA and the evils of my being a carnivore. Although I was not banned (I came close to it), I decided to stop commenting because I no longer felt welcome. Ok, it was not the only reason but it was a big part of it.

    I think that UD will not be the same without your witty contributions. I hope you continue to post here. Anyway, this is just my opinion. Nothing personal. Heck, people tell me that I’m some kind of kook or worse.

    All the best

  5. I’ll always offer Dave a free lunch if he needs it.

  6. Bye DaveScot. I was fun having you around. It is a pitty that you always blocked my comments whenever they got a wee bit critical. I wish we could have had more interesting discussion. I hope you will be able to face challenges better in your “new life”.

  7. Peace out Dave, I hope you continue to post and comment here. If not, you’ll be missed.

  8. Dave is one of the few people here who is able to synthesize what is relevant and what is not. I always learn from his summations and mostly agree with what he says. His understanding of a lot of the technical things is a real forte. He does not get bogged down in irrelevancies.

    Such input should continue. All my verbs are in present tense. So Dave, post frequently in the future.

  9. We want students everywhere to speak out against censorship and stand up for free speech by defending the right to debate the evidence for and against evolution and turn November 17th into Academic Freedom Day.

  10. I perfectly agree with the others. One may not always agree with Dave, but he is a very intelligent, pertinent, provocative and passionate supporter of ID. Dave, I do hope you go on posting here as always.

  11. DS:

    It was brought to my attention by observers of UD, that you have stepped down as moderator in chief here at UD.

    I will break my silence (I have no other means of effective contact) to wish you well in your onward endeavours; and, to endorse the view that you have much positive to contribute here at UD and elsewhere.

    In any case, fare thee well.

    Shalom

    _________

    BarryA:

    I wish you well in your endeavours as lead moderator and CEO of UD.

    __________

    Dr WmAD:

    Congratulations on success at the Informatics lab. I wish you every good success in your onward efforts.

    Appreciation is hereby expressed for your taking time to create and sustain a key popular level but serious forum in which significant discussion of scientific and related issues concerning design can be discussed.

    _____________

    All:

    I observe Jerry’s concern:

    Dave is one of the few people here who is able to synthesize what is relevant and what is not . . . He does not get bogged down in irrelevancies.

    This is a significant concern, and I will pause to comment on it, making a suggestion or two that I hope will prove helpful for the blog and the wider public and technical level discussions.

    1 –> Marking the key distinction: operations vs origins science. When we study the currently experienced/observed operating course of nature, we can isolate patterns through replicating or observing similar enough situations, so that we can do pretty direct empirical tests of scientific explanations (hypotheses, models and theories). But as we study origins of the world around us, we are projecting from observations in the present to reconstruct plausible models of the remote, beyond- observation- and- record, past. This is a project in significantly imaginative historical reconstruction, and it simply is not as open to empirical testing as is operations science. We would do well to humbly recognise that.

    2 –> Worldview roots: At the same time, origins science is a study of the roots of our existence [HT, SB]; so, it is deeply connected to our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Thus,related philosophical and worldview issues and associated agendas are inescapably a part of the challenge such a scientific endeavour faces. And, a priori commitment to evolutionary materialism is every inch as biasing as any commitment to much despised “creationism.”

    3 –> This, geneticist Richard Lewontin underscored in his 1997 review of Sagan’s the Demon Haunted World:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads we must first get an incorrect view out . . . the problem is to get them to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.

    4 –> Unfortunately, this commitment is now more or less official as can be seen from the US National Academy of Science’s definition of and apparatus for interpreting “science”:

    In science, explanations must be based on naturally occurring phenomena. Natural causes are, in principle, reproducible and therefore can be checked independently by others. If explanations are based on purported forces that are outside of nature, scientists have no way of either confirming or disproving those explanations . . . .

    Definition of Science

    The use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process. [US NAS, 2008]

    5 –> Now, plainly, what Lewontin publicly confessed, eleven years later has become the functional, de facto equivalent of religious dogma enforced by a Magisterium of anointed high priests. And, announced in an official booklet issued in the name of science for guiding teachers, Boards of Education, the media and the interested public on how science of origins should be taught. Surely, this is not good enough, and indeed reveals that we are looking at de facto quasi-religious establishment.

    6 –> Worse, the underlying premise is — on the charitable interpretation — a confusion about possibilities for empirical testing. For, surely, while we make the contrast natural/ supernatural, we may also just as legitimately make the contrast natural/ ARTificial (i.e. intelligent).

    7 –> And, in daily life, in courtrooms, in management, in statistics and yea even routinely in science, we do routinely identify reliable empirical signs of intelligent action. Among which are functionally specific, complex information, active information, irreducibly complex structures, fine-tuned functional complexity and the like.

    8 –> Further to this, once we recognise that fact of reliability, we have every epistemic right to trust such signs to continue to be reliable, pending clear empirical demonstration that such no longer obtains. Indeed, classically, this is what scientific laws, theories and their powerful and productive applications are about: making unfettered, tested, reliable empirical generalisations and associated explanations, in pursuit of learning the truth about the world.

    9 –> Once we see that,design theory is plainly a legitimate scientific endeavour: that science which studies signs of intelligence. So, if we recognise signs of intelligence in the FSCI and irreducible complexity of cell based life, or in the fine-tuned physics of the cosmos, that is a legitimate origins science inferencer; at least tot he level of open discussion of its strengths and weaknesses.

    10 –> En passant, TX educators and public, studying the strengths and limitations of current theories is the foundation of opening up avenues for future research, and for mobilising sustainable public and political support for funding such. We should not let dogmatists rook us into failing to teach students who are future scientists, citizens and politicians the basis for that necessity!

    11 –> Finally, Lewontin reveals his failure to know and/or understand the history of modern science. For, it was precisely men who sought to think God’s thoughts after him, and who understood that the world was made and sustained by a God of order who is Reason Himself [LOGOS] who led the scientific revolution, most notably Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton. [Cf Newton's General Scholium to his Principia, the greatest of all sicentific publications.] In short, it is only question-begging, ill-informed prejudice that assumes or arrogantly asserts that “we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

    +++++++++++

    I trust that I have been helpful.

    Peace to all

    GEM of TKI

  12. PS: GP could you kindly contact me through my email which is accessible through my always linked page? Thanks — I have a possible collaborative project in mind. GEM of TKI

  13. Good luck, Dave.

    God bless.

  14. Dave Scot is one of the most scientifically literate commentators on the internet—period.

  15. “Semper Fi” Dave

  16. [sobs uncontrollably]

    Noooooooooo! Not Dave….

    I always rather enjoyed his global warming and political posts. I also got a kick out of his dissent from Descent so to speak…made for interesting dialogue.

    Maybe he’ll start his own blog?

    Hopefully??

  17. That’s a sad news that Dave isn’t at UD anymore. Best wishes to him and to Barry.
    Anyway, Barry please excuse me but I’m a bit confused, only three days ago you assured usa with these words: “I am very happy to report that DaveScot will be staying on as our primary moderator.” and now we receive this bad news. Is it possble to know the reason for this situation. I mean, in almost all the cases, the reality is better than what can be guessed (biy malevolent people) about the reason. Thanks

  18. I appreciated Dave linking my global warming video and giving me some good exposure there. I enjoyed both opposing and agreeing with him.

    Somebody who gives the Panda Thumbers fits can’t be all bad. ;)

  19. Goodbye Dave.
    So long.
    Adios.

  20. This was essentially a decision on my part that it would take up too much of my time to continue effective moderation of the site under relaxed rules.

    The “crisis” I warned about by mimicing Joe Biden’s infamous “test the mettle of the new guy” gaffe was anticipation of a rush by gratuitous religion bashers and design deniers to see what disruption and inflammatory comments they could get away with. Keeping the current polite dialog going in such an environment is more work than I’m prepared to take on. Under the previous rules it was only taking a few minutes of targeted intervention each day. That’s solely, IMO, a result of the ruthless moderation policy established by Bill Dembski in the first months of UD and carried on by me in the subsequent few years with his almost constant approval, support, and trust in my judgement.

    Bill is an extraordinary person who has earned my utmost respect and loyalty over the years and with me respect and loyalty like that isn’t given easily. I wish him and everyone else here success and fulfillment in everything they choose to pursue.

    I’ll be restricting my outward participation here to an occasional science blog and will continue behind the scenes in an advisory capacity as time permits.

  21. Thanks Dave for you explanation. I did guess that the basic reason was due to the new relaxed moderation rules and the more and more time needed.
    Best wishes for the future and please don’t forget to come back here as often as possible

  22. Dave Scot,

    Again, thanks for all you’ve done.

    If you will, can you please make contact with me through email. It shouldn’t be too hard for you to obtain my email address. Much appreciated.

  23. DaveScot is the best blogger on the internet in regards to the Darwinism/Design issue and one of the best on other topics.

    I backed off of debating the Darwinist/ID issue for the very fact that these Darwinists seem to have no life other than to raise stupid arguments against ID. Ever since Nick Matzke told me that the malaria plasmodium has not evolved the ability to reproduce below 68º F because all the mosquitoes freeze at that temperature – I lost my enthusiasm to waste time with those morons.

    Anyway, I agree with DaveScot that the site is likely to be overrun with Darwin trolls who have no life but to spend hour after hour blogging against ID by raising straw man arguments, and who here will have the time to deal with those guys?

    But good luck, I hope it works out because UD is providing a much need forum for ID.

  24. 24

    Thank you Dave; you did a great job as moderator at UD and we all wish you the best.

  25. Good luck and best wishes, Dave.

  26. Good luck to Dave! Sorry to see you go. Sadly, I do think a more open moderation policy will bring the NCSE/Pandas Thumb/Dawkins swarm in for no good reason.

  27. Thanks 4 all the good work Dave. I have enjoyed most of your posts for a long time.

  28. Sad day!

  29. Ever since Nick Matzke told me that the malaria plasmodium has not evolved the ability to reproduce below 68º F because all the mosquitoes freeze at that temperature

    Did he really say that?

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