Home » Intelligent Design » Uncommon Descent: Contest Question 7: Foul anonymous Darwinist blogger exposed. Why so foul?

Uncommon Descent: Contest Question 7: Foul anonymous Darwinist blogger exposed. Why so foul?

The guy had successfully hidden his identity for about five years, while posting all kinds of sexually charged abuse to the Internet about many people, including me. But now we know.

But Wendy Sullivan, the Girl on the Right, has officially found out who the mysterious Canadian Cynic is. Here is stuff he has said about me. He is Robert PJ Day. Small business owner. Computer genius. Well-read book nerd. Anti-creationist debater

A Linux genius, apparently. [Foul language warning re his posts and any reports on them. ]

Here is part of what Sullivan said, once she traced him:

Outing bloggers isn’t usually my thing. I don’t see a point to it. But when you repeatedly abuse and demean people because they do not march in lockstep with you, I’m sorry but you deserve it. I am not a cunt, Robert. Nor a douchebag. Neither is Kathy Shaidle, Kate, Connie Fournier, Sandy Crux, Suzanne Fortin or anyone else on the web you don’t like.

I am not above strong language and hyperbole, Robert, but I am not beneath you. You are not special. I do not dispute that you are extremely smart and well-versed in your subjects of choice. But referring to to those you feel superior to as “cunts”, “wankers”, “douchebags”, “assholes” and more doesn’t make you sound brilliant at all. It makes you sound sad and lonely. It also makes you seem very cowardly, because I know you would never call me a cunt to my face. You would never wander into downtown Toronto and meet with half the people you have insulted – on a one-to-one or at a party – and insult them the way you do behind your chosen alias.

Perhaps not. The thing I know from covering the intelligent design controversy is that a number of people like Cynic give themselves the right to pour obscene contempt and abuse at the public. Obviously, those people are frightened of something.

What would your mother say, Robert, if she knew that you referred to a woman older than she probably is as a douchebag? ( I assume that your mother is still with us. If not, I apologize, one orphan to the next. ) Is that how she raised you?

He had decided to raise the abuse level last night for me, presumably in response to being outed. The Centre for Inquiry is sponsoring it. Did those people really sit there and listen?

Can you be good without God? I’d never necessarily maintained that, but now I am beginning to wonder.

Apparently, Day proclaimed himself to be “coming out in public” at that venue. But only because bloggers outed him first.

Sullivan tells me his recent posts have featured greatly toned down language. It figures.

Some people have morality. Others rely on avoiding exposure.

Okay, now the Contest Question: Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?

The winner will receive a free copy of Expelled Here are the contest rules.

Note: Entries that merely claim it isn’t happening will not be judged. Too many people here know otherwise.

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198 Responses to Uncommon Descent: Contest Question 7: Foul anonymous Darwinist blogger exposed. Why so foul?

  1. 1
    William J. Murray

    A sense of spiritual futility, betrayal and isolation, coupled with a thick sense of intellectual superiority, can make even basically good people act out in inappropriate ways.

  2. Denyse O’Leary asks:

    Can you be good without God?

    Denyse,

    I think a better question is “Can you be good without believing in God?” After all, God either exists or he doesn’t. It’s a fixed truth for all of us, and not something we have any prospect of changing.

    So, can we be good without believing in God? The answer is obviously yes. To answer “no” would be to claim that every atheist is evil, with no exceptions, which is clearly false.

    As for whether faith improves morality in general, consider the following passage from William Lobdell’s book Losing My Religion:

    It was discouragingly easy — though incredibly surprising — to find out that Christians, as a group, acted no differently than anyone else, including atheists. Sometimes they performed a little better; other times a little worse. But the Body of Christ didn’t stand out as morally superior. Some of my data came from secular institutions such as the Pew Research Center and the Gallup Poll, but the most devastating information was collected by the Barna Group, a respected research company run by an evangelical Christian worried about the health of Christianity in America. For years, George Barna has studied more than 70 moral behaviors of believers and unbelievers. His conclusion: the faith of Christians has grown fat and flabby. He contends that statistically, the difference between behaviors of Christians and others has been erased. According to his data and other studies, Christians divorce at about the same rate or even at a slightly higher rate than atheists. White evangelical Christians are more racist than others. Evangelicals take antidepressants at about the same rate (7 percent) as others. Non-Christians are more likely to give money to a homeless or poor person in any given year (34 percent) than are born-again Christians (24 percent). Born-again Christians are taught to give 10 percent of their money to the church or charity, but 95 percent of them decline to do so. The percentage of Christian youth infected with sexually transmitted diseases is virtually the same as the rate among their non-Christian counterparts. Ronald J. Sider, a professor at Palmer Theological Seminary and an evangelical, covers a lot of these statistics and more in his 2007 book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience.

    “Whether the issue is divorce, materialism, sexual promiscuity, racism, physical abuse in marriage, or neglect of a biblical worldview, the polling data point to widespread, blatant disobedience of clear biblical moral demands on the part of people who are allegedly are evangelical, born-again Christians,” Sider writes. “The statistics are devastating.”

    …And I already knew that the majority of Catholics ignored some of the church’s basic teachings. A recent poll co-sponsored by the National Catholic Reporter found that the majority of America Catholics believed they did not have to obey church doctrine on abortion, birth control, divorce, remarriage or weekly attendance at Mass to be “good Catholics”. Catholic women have about the same rate of abortion as the rest of society, according to a 2002 study by Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. And 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used a modern method of contraception, according to a 2002 national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    I just couldn’t find any evidence within Protestantism or Catholicism that the actions of Christians, in general, showed that they took their faith seriously or that their religion made them morally or ethically better than even atheists.

    Losing My Religion, pp. 204-207

  3. That people will write and say things that others find offensive is part of the price we pay for free speech in a free society. It is the same freedom that allows us to express our condemnation of what we find offensive in equally forceful terms.

  4. 4
    EndoplasmicMessenger

    Seversky,

    The question is not about the lack of freedom. It is about the lack of civility.

  5. Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?

    Because that is all they have.

    It goes something like this:

    1- If you have the facts on your side pound the facts.

    2- If you have the law on your side pound the law.

    3- If you have neither then pound the table.

    Evolutionists are cry-baby table-pounders-

    1- The facts do not help them

    2- Laws, natural or otherwise, don’t help them

    3- Red herrings, strawman arguments and personal attacks appear to work so they go with what they think works.

    It’s trial and error- whatever keeps their faith as the paradigm they stay with it.

    Evos are bullies and there is still only one way to deal with bullies- punch them squarely in the nose.

  6. “Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?”

    Either they are not aware of the rules of formal debate, which prohibit baseless, illogical statements such as ad hominems or they simply don’t have anything intelligent to say.

    If the evidence for evolution were truly irrefutable, there would not be an Intelligent Design movement. “Irrefutable” means “impossible to refute or disprove”. However, this is not the case.

    The Japanese emperor Hirohito was revered as a god in his homeland. The defeat of the Japanese after World War II caused many to question their devotion to a god who was proven to be only a man. It is no different with those who actively (and, occasionlly, rudely) promote Darwinian evolution.

  7. (Note:) Wendy Sullivan and I are free speech bloggers. We have never maintained that he did not have the right to say those things. But he was an avatar for five years, so no one even knew where it was coming from. That is a different issue, because it conveniently spared him the resulting embarrassment. No longer.

  8. Well, I’d never heard of this “Canadian Cynic” guy. I guess we know who the real “douchebag” is now! In this particular case, I suppose anonymity had something to do with the vile tone of his blog, in view of the fact that he’s toned things down a bit. What I don’t get is, we see the exact same thing at pretty much every scienceblog, even though many of those people are professional scientists operating under their own names! WTF?!? And don’t even get me started on Christopher Hitchens!! LOL Those Darwinists sure know how to pick ‘em!

  9. Darwinists, like Paleyists, are just human beings with all the faults and weakness of our species including, unfortunately, incivility. Personally, I would not use such language unless I were extremely angry but for others it is more routine. Perhaps Canadian Cynic was so angered by something the targets of his ire had done or said that he felt such language was an appropriate expression of the strength of his feelings. We are not told.

    As for bullying,it is not evolution which threatens non-believers with hell-fire and eternal damnation for not toeing the line.

  10. Seversky, what would anger you enough that you would call another woman a “cunt”?

    And, for the record, not all Christians or religions teach the doctrine of hellfire. Falling back on this tired excuse is getting ridiculous.

  11. As an aside if you know the guy’s small business location just get a bunch of people over there picketing, thereby letting people know exactly what type of person runs the place.

  12. mereologist–So, can we be good without believing in God?

    What do you mean by “good?”

  13. 13
    HouseStreetRoom

    mereologist,

    Seconded. Please define “good” or what you perceive as goodness.

  14. Comment #4, “EndoplasmicMessenger,” is absolutely right. This is not a question of freedom of speech but of civility and decorum. It seems ironic to me that for all of those who would tout the wisdom of Darwin most loudly, an unfortunate few decide to comport themselves in ways Darwin himself would have found utterly repugnant. While Darwin had many faults and problems (not the least of which was his theory), he was an eminently civil man.

  15. 15

    My Mommy taught me the difference between the appropriateness of healthy debate and the stench of personal attacks.

    I remain surprised at the bitterness of the opposition – but suppose I should wise up.

    Anonymous blogging breeds vileness because their is no accountability. It is indisputable evidence of man’s fallen nature.

  16. 16

    My Mommy taught me the difference between the appropriateness of healthy debate and the stench of personal attacks.

    I remain surprised at the bitterness of the opposition – but suppose I should wise up.

    Anonymous blogging breeds vileness because there is no accountability. It is indisputable evidence of man’s fallen nature.

  17. 17

    Sounds like Canadian Cynic just needs someone to love, or to love him, probably both.

  18. [psychoanalytic soapbox ON]

    Speaking as a software engineer (he he), my first impression is that Mr. Day is probably autistic, with all the complex psychological baggage that it entails. Secondly, as with many vocal militant atheists (PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, etc.), he probably suffered some type of parental abuse as a child (poor baby). His antics are just his way of retaliating against those who subconsciously remind him of either his father or mother or both (poor baby).

    [psychoanalytic soapbox OFF]

    At least PZ Myers is not afraid to use his own name. One has to give him credit for that. It does not bother me that much when people use foul language, as long as they got enough cojones to face the music when their time comes.

  19. 19

    tribune7 and HouseStreetRoom,

    By “being good” I mean behaving in ways that our society generally considers morally appropriate, such as not killing each other, not cheating or stealing, helping others in need, being honest, paying our taxes, etc.

    Belief in God is clearly not necessary for “being good”, since atheists can and do engage in these “good” behaviors. Not only is belief in God unnecessary, but it does not even serve to increase these “good” behaviors, as the quote from William Lobdell illustrates.

  20. mereologist:

    By “being good” I mean behaving in ways that our society generally considers morally appropriate,

    And yet what is “good” in one society isn’t “good” in another.

    such as not killing each other, not cheating or stealing, helping others in need, being honest, paying our taxes, etc.

    And what society is this?

  21. Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?

    Why do blacks steal so much?

    How come so many muslims are terrorists?

    Why do christians endorse genocide?

    In case it’s not obvious, I’m making a point here. Is it lost on anyone?

  22. Hoki:

    Why do blacks steal so much?

    So much what?

    What blacks?

    How come so many muslims are terrorists?

    How many? What is the percentage of non terrorist muslims to terrorist?

    What was obviously lost on Hoki was the first Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction? was not an absolute and is easily defended.

  23. Q. Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?

    It is certainly common. Heard some of it a couple days ago on the Michael Medved show. And I have experienced it myself (debating skill and grace not withstanding).

    I thought I would respond by putting a few passages together in answer to the mystery of the hostile babbling soul.

    Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. James 3:5

    13 Who can strip off his outer coat? Who would approach him with a bridle? 14 Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth? 15 His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together; 16 each is so close to the next that no air can pass between. 17 They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted. 18 His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn. 19 Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out. 20 Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds. 21 His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth. Job 41

    29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1

    Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short. Revelation 12:12

    Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 1John 2:18

    My question is… who will convert (or convince) them otherwise?

    18 His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. 19 He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword. Job 40

    We are dealing with the fiercest of beast; mankind in rebellion against God.

    In my opinion (which is obviously not original) That is why so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction.

  24. Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?

    Here’s my take. I’ve been on both sides of the divide.

    1) Darwinism is nihilism: We are the unplanned products of a mindless, purposeless, undirected natural process that did not have us in mind. The consequences of this assumption are obvious, inescapable, and soul-destroying.

    2) Misery loves company.

    3) When one’s worldview, in which one has invested his entire philosophical life, comes under attack, he becomes hostile, especially if that worldview exonerates him from moral accountability.

    I can attest in particular to point number 3. As a devout, militant atheist, I not only thought that belief in God, and especially Christianity, was stupid, I thought it was bad, and had a visceral desire to defeat it, because it meant that everything I believed about everything that mattered was not only wrong, but destructive.

    I shared this story with a member of our worship team at church and he commented: “You didn’t just hate Christianity, you wanted to chase it down and kill it.” Indeed I did, just as Saul of Tarsus did.

    Fortunately, I discovered that the Darwinian myth was a Himalayan pile of nonsense, when considered in the light of modern biological science, computational theory, mathematics, and information-based systems integration.

    So, here’s my bottom-line hypothesis concerning the vitriol, filth, and tormented-soul diatribes from so many Darwinists:

    We really are made in the image of God, but in a fallen state from which we have no power to rescue ourselves in our own strength. Every human heart contains a God-shaped vacuum. We were designed that way.

    Rather than engaging in personal, brutally honest soul-searching, the Darwinian religious fanatic — in his suffering, angst, and misery — lashes out in desperation against what he presumes to be his enemy, but which in fact is his friend.

  25. Gil writes: 3) When one’s worldview, in which one has invested his entire philosophical life, comes under attack, he becomes hostile, especially if that worldview exonerates him from moral accountability.

    I can also relate. Was full of hate to one level or another myself once. I was rich with knowledge (or so I thought). It was my greatest treasure, and I defended it ruthlessly.

    It’s a long story, but when I finally got around to reading the gospel accounts I was stunned at one particular passage (among many others)…

    Matthew 19:23-30
    23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    I always thought it was about the rich (materially), but obviously those hearing Him understood it to condemn everyone. That is is clue to the whole context.

    I was far from rich materially then and still. But I was rich in spirit. And those who are so abusive, as I once was, have tremendous wealth in the form of imagined autonomy, wisdom, and moral uprightness to protect.

    It’s a long road to humilty from there. I can’t even say I have reached it myself. But I am on ‘the way’ thanks to God providing it. I could never have taken the path, untill I gave up blazing my own trail for my own glory.

  26. @mereologist

    I think a better question is “Can you be good without believing in God?”

    Actually, I think the better question is the original one.

  27. @Lock

    Nice insight. I’d never looked at that passage from this perspective.

    Parapharasing Jesus’ words elsewhere, happy are those who realize that they are spiritually poor, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

  28. 28
    HouseStreetRoom

    mereologist @19,

    If “good” is defined by what societies dictate, then it is arbitrary, as are the meanings of descriptors such as “better” and “best.” If morality is derived from ideology, any group or society may freely ground “goodness” and “rightness” in what they deem acceptable. We therefore have no way to say which is better or worse (except from the perspective of utility, which is a road we should be more than weary of going down). Meaningful judgement are no longer possible. Through what mechanism does society (which after all is only the aggregate of many individuals behaving via their own volition) go about deciding what is and isnt good? If there is no set, unchanging standard, how does one go about gauging progress (in the moral sense).

    Consider this bit of wisdom from Lewis concerning God’s goodness:

    “To say that the moral law is God’s law is no final solution. Are these things right because God commands them or does God command them because they are right? If the first, if good is to be defined as what God commands, then the goodness of God Himself is emptied of meaning and the commands of an omnipotent fiend would have the same claim on us as those of the “righteous Lord.” If the second, then we seem to be admitting a cosmic dyarchy, or even making God Himself the mere executor of a law somehow external and antecendent to His own being. Both views are intolerable.

    At this point we must remind ourselves that Christian theology does not believe God to be a person. It believes Him to be such that in Him a trinity of persons is consistent with a unity of Deity. In that sense it believes Him to be something very different from a person, just as a cube, in which six squares are consistent with unity of the body, is different from a square. (Flatlanders, attempting to imagine a cube, would either imagine the six squares coinciding, and thus destroy their distinctness, or else imagine them set out side by side and thus destroy the unity. Our difficulties about the Trinity are much of the same kind.)…But it might be permissible to lay down two negations: that God neither obeys nor creates the moral law. The good is uncreated; it could never have been otherwise; it has in it no shadow of contingency; it lies, as Plato said, on the other side of existence…God is not merely good, but goodness; goodness is not merely divine, but God.”

    Excerpts from “The Poison of Subjectivism” by C.S. Lewis.

    I realize we’ve gone off on a tangent here, so for that I apologize. It’s the 4th, so what am I doing on the internet? Happy 4th of July, all.

  29. 29

    Gil:

    Rather than engaging in personal, brutally honest soul-searching, the Darwinian religious fanatic — in his suffering, angst, and misery — lashes out in desperation against what he presumes to be his enemy, but which in fact is his friend.

    That whole comment was filled to overflowing with friendliness. I feel loved.

  30. Flannery 14, you make an important point here.

    Darwin and his circle would have been banished from polite society if they talked that way, or worse.

    Even in the 1950s, very few – if any – convinced Darwinists would behave this way.

    Granted there has been a widespread collapse of civility, not everyone has participated with equal eagerness.

    Lots goes on at Panda’s Thumb that we wouldn’t allow here. I am not saying that makes us more righteous, just less likely to participate in the collapse of civility.

    So I would like to know why a number of widely known Darwin defenders don’t seem anxious at all to follow the civility standards of Darwin’s circle or of, say Ernst Mayr’s.

  31. David, stop baiting Gil. Just because he is not up to your intellectual level is no reason to take pot-shots. We don’t want him to flounce out again, do we?

  32. Denyse O’Leary:

    “Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?”

    Well, reading down the thread, many Darwinists are, apparently:

    … cry-baby table-pounders-; bullies who deserve to be punched squarely on the nose; uncivil; vile, and illustrative of man’s fallen nature; have probably suffered child abuse and are subconsciously reacting; …”have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity…. are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice…. are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”; the fiercest of beasts; nihilists; hostile and immoral; vitriolic and filthy.

    Wow! Right up to deserving death! Just call me a douchebag anytime!

    Perhaps we should ask:

    Why do so many anti-Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction, and do so with such blatant hypocrisy? :)

  33. Hoki 21, you write,

    “Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?”

    Why do blacks steal so much?

    [DO they? Most of the world's blacks live in places where punishment for theft is far more severe than in North America. You don't see that much of it there. If African Americans have a high rate of convictions for theft, there are a number of reasons: Chump change jobs servicing the rich; a culture of victimhood, often promoted by people with political ambitions; the tendency of the underclass and the working poor to go to jail far more often than the wealthy, who can hire better lawyers to defend them, are simply a few. O.J. Simpson did not go to jail, but Charlie Jefferson who stole a carton of cigs from the corner gas probably will.]

    How come so many muslims are terrorists?

    [Very few Muslims are terrorists. But terrorists kill more Muslims than anyone else, as far as I can see, because they are easier to find in Muslim countries where most terrorists hang out. And speaking out may bring reprisals.]

    Why do christians endorse genocide?

    [I haven't found that in the Catechism or anywhere else.]

    In case it’s not obvious, I’m making a point here. Is it lost on anyone?

    [No, but I must say it is not a very good point. Few African Americans not into gansta rap, or Muslims, or Christians would feel comfortable with what many Darwinists - who are in academic life or professional communities - feel comfortable saying, or even hearing. There must be some reason, and I am interested in hearing suggestions.]

  34. That whole comment was filled to overflowing with friendliness.

    It wasn’t meant to be filled with friendliness; it was meant to be convicting. It is only through a sense of conviction that restoration can begin, and this is an ongoing process.

    Contrary to popular contemporary secular belief, self-esteem (e.g., “I’m OK, You’re OK”) is destructive, especially when one is not worthy of esteem.

    That includes you, me, and every human who has ever lived. I’m not OK, you’re not OK, and not one of us is OK. If you think you’re OK, you’re in a bigger state of not-OK than people who admit they’re not OK.

    OK?

  35. Iconofid writes: Why do so many anti-Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction, and do so with such blatant hypocrisy?

    Speaking for what I presumptuously consider the majority of Christian thinkers, it isn’t Darwinists per se that the charges of Romans 1 are leveled against. It is mankind.

    One need not point fingers at his neighbor to find such sin. I just look in the mirror. That is one of the reasons I know Romans 1 is true.

    Someone once said that ‘the charge of hypocrisy is vice paying a compliment to virtue’. If hypocrisy is going to be the standard then I am afraid everyone here is disqualified out of hand; yourself included Iconofid.

    There is only one man, who is even argued to have never been one. Take your charges against Him.

    Even as a Christian my nasty temper and deneanor has followed me further than I have often cared to see. But the more I see it in myself, face it, and confess it, the more I keep my right mind.

    Calling a prostitute a prostitue is not viscious. Calling her ‘a cunt’ is.

  36. Why do people ask: “Are you OK?” rather than “Are you hurt,” or “How can I help?”

  37. Alan Fox: David, stop baiting Gil. Just because he is not up to your intellectual level is no reason to take pot-shots. We don’t want him to flounce out again, do we?

    Dear Alan,

    Thank you for this profound and insightful contribution to the discussion.

    I presume that I am not up to your intellectual level either.

    If that is the case, please post comments with substance, or please do us the favor of getting perpetually lost in irrelevancy elsewhere.

    Thanks in advance for your consideration of this request.

  38. I’d like to request that the obvious troll Alan Fox be I.P. banned if possible.

    Thank you.

  39. Dear Alan,

    Thank you for this profound and insightful contribution to the discussion.

    You’re wecome, Gil.

    I presume that I am not up to your intellectual level either.

    We all have vaying abilities in different activties. I respect your accomplishments in music and hang-gliding.

    If that is the case, please post comments with substance, or please do us the favor of getting perpetually lost in irrelevancy elsewhere.

    It’s a dilemma. Discuss or close down the discussion. Your call.

    Thanks in advance for your consideration of this request.As I said, your call.

  40. Lock says:

    “One need not point fingers at his neighbor to find such sin. I just look in the mirror.”

    Exactly. That was my point. The thread starts with a story of someone who calls others names, then a number of contributors proceed to censure that individual while doing the same thing.

    “If hypocrisy is going to be the standard then I am afraid everyone here is disqualified out of hand; yourself included Iconofid.”

    Why are we singling out one name caller, then? I doubt whether the blogger who inspired this thread has suggested that anyone deserves death, but your verses do. And if those verses apply to everyone, why quote them in answer to Ms. O’Leary’s question about “Darwinists”?

    “Calling a prostitute a prostitute is not viscious. Calling her ‘a cunt’ is.”

    I thought Ms. O’Leary made her living as a journalist. :) Whatever, calling anyone a “cunt” is certainly rude.

    It’s not as low as implying that someone deserves death, though, don’t you agree?

  41. mereologist -By “being good” I mean behaving in ways that our society generally considers morally appropriate, such as not killing each other, not cheating or stealing, helping others in need, being honest, paying our taxes, etc.

    I agree that you don’t need to believe in God to submit to societal pressure.

    Actually, I would claim that the test for goodness is acting against the mores of society.

  42. As I said, your call.

    It’s not my call. I’m not a moderator. I just take abuse from people like you and try to deal with it as best I can.

    Such abuse comes with the territory. He warned us that this would be the case.

    I’ll let you figure out who He was, since you have such a superb and insightful intellect.

  43. 43

    Hi Gil,
    I don’t know if you have since this interesting tidbit before, but in case you haven’t here it is:

    Laminin Protein Molecule – Louie Giglio – a very cool video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0-NPPIeeRk

    Laminin Protein Molecule – diagram
    http://www.soulharvest.net/res.....nner+2.png

    The Laminins – authors Peter Elkblom and Rupert Timpl:
    “laminins hold cells and tissues together.” “Electron microscopy reveals a cross-like shape for all laminins investigated so far.”
    http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/l/laminin.htm

    Laminin is made up of 3712 amino acids,,, 20^3712 = 10^26822 ,,,To put this in terms similar to what William Dembski would use, this protein molecule complex of 3712 amino acids is well beyond the reach of the 10^150 probabilistic resource available to the universe.

  44. 44

    Gil, it’s hard to feel convinced either when you’re busy putting your opponents into boxes [24]. Your own account has you going from one kind of zealotry to another. I’m glad you’ve found meaning and satisfaction in your life, but not everybody who disagrees with is like the jerk you apparently used to be.

  45. Mr Bear,

    Anonymous blogging breeds vileness because their is no accountability. It is indisputable evidence of man’s fallen nature.

    Are you practicing what you are preaching? Is your name really Baylor Bear? Or should I assume you are fallen?

  46. 46
    William J. Murray

    Bornagain:

    Nothing is beyond the reach of the darwinian flying spaghetti monster, a.k.a. chance.

  47. 47

    Gil,

    Such abuse comes with the territory. He warned us that this would be the case.

    I’ll let you figure out who He was, since you have such a superb and insightful intellect.

    Dr. Dembski?

    I kid: I know you’re speaking of Jesus. But I don’t really think of Uncommon Descent as Jesus’s “territory.” And in other threads we (that is, we silly evolutionists) keep being told we don’t understand ID because it has “nothing to do with religion.”

  48. 48
    HouseStreetRoom

    David Kellogg @47,

    Surely we can discuss all manner of topics (philosophy, theology etc.) without having to worry about the unwarranted, faulty connection of religion to ID. It should be no surprise that ID advocates are interested in other topics besides purely scientific endeavors. I hardly see how such discussions should be precluded.

  49. Bornagain77

    The Laminins – authors Peter Elkblom and Rupert Timpl:
    “laminins hold cells and tissues together.” “Electron microscopy reveals a cross-like shape for all laminins investigated so far.”
    http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/l/laminin.htm

    Laminin is made up of 3712 amino acids,,, 20^3712 = 10^26822 ,,,To put this in terms similar to what William Dembski would use, this protein molecule complex of 3712 amino acids is well beyond the reach of the 10^150 probabilistic resource available to the universe.

    Would any reasonable designer build a cross out of three planks? In addition, even overall cross-shaped Laminins rather look like a caduceus which would relate Laminins to another God that’s out of fashion for about 2000 years.
    In addition, if Laminin 332 had been discovered first laminins would have been described as T-shaped.
    And what about porins? Their triquetta like structure would point to Celtic paganism than the Chrisitian God.
    BTW, I’ve been in Rupert Timpl’s lab for 1.5 years and can assure you that he would have been shocked seeing his work being abused in such a stupid way.

  50. Me:Why do blacks steal so much?
    [DO they?...

    Me:How come so many muslims are terrorists?
    [Very few Muslims are terrorists.

    Me:Why do christians endorse genocide?
    [I haven't found that in the Catechism or anywhere else.]

    Many people know it to be true. Mere claims that it isn’t so are not accepted.

    Me:In case it’s not obvious, I’m making a point here. Is it lost on anyone?
    [No, but I must say it is not a very good point.

    I think you missed my point.

    I think you also missed my point that you are making prejudiced remarks against a group of people. Perhaps you think it is OK bemoan the bad behaviour of blacks, muslims and christians as well?

  51. 51

    Nakashima,

    ——”Are you practicing what you are preaching? Is your name really Baylor Bear? Or should I assume you are fallen?”

    You should assume that he is fallen, just like you are.

  52. 52

    iconofid,

    ——”“Calling a prostitute a prostitute is not viscious. Calling her ‘a cunt’ is.
    Your Response: I thought Ms. O’Leary made her living as a journalist. :)”

    You think that’s funny?

  53. iconofid writes: “Why are we singling out one name caller, then?”

    A distinction was made beween legitimate charges and mere mindless attacks and insults. I do not believe, nor will I, that you cannot perceive the difference.

    “I doubt whether the blogger who inspired this thread has suggested that anyone deserves death, but your verses do. And if those verses apply to everyone, why quote them in answer to Ms. O’Leary’s question about “Darwinists”?

    Because it applies to Darwinists as much as anyone else who acts in such a manner as the blogger in question.

    If we are going to engage on this matter, lets do so with total sincerety. The issue is one of condemnation.

    I maintain that there is a way to condemn and judge a man (or man) rightly, even to death, and do so in manner that is totally right, true, and just.

    Juxtaposed with that is another form of judgement. It can be as supposedly innocent as what we moderns might call a snide or even comical remark (far from an explicit death sentance) yet it is the very spirit of death, persecution, and bigotry.

    It takes little perception to grasp this, and little effort to sustain it as history provides plentiful support for the evolution from propaganda to action. It is words that bring death, and words that bring life. The material or physical manifestations follow naturally and logically from our worldviews.

    You understandably dissagree that naturalists fall into the catagories that I present here. You do not at all intend harm, nor do you believe that other naturalists do. I have no problem with that. Most of the harm I have done in my own life was the result of ignorance not intention. but for too long I was unable to admit my own ignorance.

    Jesus spoke about this very clearly. I will gladly provide the verses if you desire.

    But to use my own words, to make the case He did in word (and more importanlty in deed) let me address this issue of condeming language from another angle. The very fact you disagree implies a kind of condemnation though I do not think you fully appriciate those implications.

    Someone has to be right. Maybe its you, maybe its me, and maybe its God. The point is that ultimately, someone’s judgement must reflect reality.

    So here is a dramatic illustration from my own personal life experience:

    A very interesting and strong man once said to me in response to my evanglelism, “I have a real problem with any God who would condemn me for the way He made me.”

    I could have asked him, “so are you condemning God?” Obviously that wouldn’t do…

    Some other things crossed my mind as well. But I was drawing a blank. His was hitting the real nerve. His was too honest a rebuttal to disrespect with metyphisical gibberish. I honestly had no reply.

    A minute or more passed, I prayed for an answer…

    Then I asked him, “So, are you saying that a real God would take responsibility for the way He made you?”

  54. 54

    iconofid,

    ——”Why do so many anti-Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction, and do so with such blatant hypocrisy?”

    They’re not spouting filth, nor being hypocritical. There is such a thing as righteous anger.

  55. 55

    Alan Fox,

    ——”David, stop baiting Gil. Just because he is not up to your intellectual level is no reason to take pot-shots. We don’t want him to flounce out again, do we?”

    I’m debating whether to just moderate you or ban you. As it stands right now, you’re only moderated. I’ll check your upcoming comments, and may decide to ban you outright, but at the very least, I doubt you’ll get out of moderation anytime soon. If you apologize to Gil, I may consider taking you out of moderation, but it better sound sincere.

  56. 56

    HouseStreetRoom,

    Nice quote from Lewis. The Poison of Subjectivism is a golden essay. ::SIGH:: if only David Kellogg would read it.

  57. Clive Hayden: “They’re not spouting filth, nor being hypocritical. There is such a thing as righteous anger.”

    I could not have said it better myself (in 400 words or less).

  58. I respect your accomplishments in music and hang-gliding.

    plus accomplishments in

    AI
    missile guidance
    checkers
    aerospace research and development
    GN&C software development
    precision-guided airdrop systems

  59. Re:sparc 49

    “I’ve been in Rupert Timpl’s lab for 1.5 years and can assure you that he would have been shocked seeing his work being abused in such a stupid way”

    I think he has a point. You people, stop abusing Rupert Timpl’s work this instant!

  60. Lock:

    A distinction was made beween legitimate charges and mere mindless attacks and insults. I do not believe, nor will I, that you cannot perceive the difference.

    Why doesn’t your implied death sentence for those who call people names qualify as mindless? Can you not perceive that all sane people in this world would see it as being so?

    I maintain that there is a way to condemn and judge a man (or man) rightly, even to death, and do so in manner that is totally right, true, and just.

    Tell me, do you think someone can be condemned to death for saying something, however rude or unjustified it may be?

    Yes or no?

  61. 61

    Sparc, it seems funny that evolutionists use similarity of all sorts to establish all sorts of unfounded conjectures for evolution and claim them as absolute proof for evolution, all the while ignoring and obfuscating foundational principles of science that render evolution impossible, yet when this similarity of laminin to the cross is found, which is by far the most prevalent type of laminin found in life, though you reference the t shape laminin 322 subset of laminin, you would say this similarity is rendered moot because of porin? Yet porin doesn’t truly look anything like a pagan symbol that you said it did when rendered to its molecular level, therefore it was quite a stretch for you, even as an evolutionist, to infer that it did.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....n_1a0s.png

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....n_1A0S.png

    In fact the vast majority of other proteins look very “weird” when rendered to their molecular level. This following image is rather typical to what we find for proteins:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi.....globin.png

    That the laminin complex would render such a “clean” example of structure to the cross when rendered to its molecular level, and that laminin has such a foundational role in life in “holding us together” is stunning in its suggestiveness, (John 1:1-3) and though it leaves the foundation of empirical science to use pure similarity as absolute proof, I can say in all my dealings with the psuedo science of evolutionists, I feel rather comfortable making this connection since it is no stretch at all compared to the stretches of imagination that evolutions continually make in spite of crushing evidences to the contrary!

    “Electron microscopy reveals a cross-like shape for all laminins investigated so far.”

    http://www-vis.lbl.gov/Vignett.....d.huge.jpg

  62. 62
  63. Barb @ 10

    Seversky, what would anger you enough that you would call another woman a “cunt”?

    Offhand I cannot think of anything that would drive me to use that word but that probably only reflects my limited imagination. Usually, I swear to myself when I feel I have done something remarkably stupid like accidentally hit my thumb with a hammer.

    And, for the record, not all Christians or religions teach the doctrine of hellfire. Falling back on this tired excuse is getting ridiculous.

    Just as ridiculous as the idea that atheists and agnostics, who according to the opinion polls are a tiny minority in the US, could “bully” members of one of the world’s major faiths.

  64. HouseStreetRoom @ 28

    Consider this bit of wisdom from Lewis concerning God’s goodness:

    “To say that the moral law is God’s law is no final solution. Are these things right because God commands them or does God command them because they are right? If the first, if good is to be defined as what God commands, then the goodness of God Himself is emptied of meaning and the commands of an omnipotent fiend would have the same claim on us as those of the “righteous Lord.” If the second, then we seem to be admitting a cosmic dyarchy, or even making God Himself the mere executor of a law somehow external and antecendent to His own being. Both views are intolerable.

    So Lewis recognizes the Euthyphro Dilemma, without naming it, and concedes that both horns, from his perspective, are “intolerable”. The question is, how does his proposed alternative help?

    …God is not merely good, but goodness; goodness is not merely divine, but God.”

    Excerpts from “The Poison of Subjectivism” by C.S. Lewis.

    All he offers here is an attempt to explain one ill-defined or undefined term by equating it to another equally ill-defined term. I know we all have some vague notion in our heads of what we mean by “God” and “goodness” but it is far from clear that we all share the same notion so asserting that a being called “God” is the same as a property or attribute called “goodness” really tells us very little.

  65. 65

    Bornagain77

    Laminin is made up of 3712 amino acids,,, 20^3712 = 10^26822 ,,,To put this in terms similar to what William Dembski would use, this protein molecule complex of 3712 amino acids is well beyond the reach of the 10^150 probabilistic resource available to the universe.

    Once again I feel compelled to point out you distortion of the facts.

    No actual biologist measures these things “in terms Similar to what William Dembski would use”.

    No actual biologist thinks these structures came about in one fell swoop.

    No actual biologist looks at a cell and thinks “The probability of this complex cell arising in one go is outside the resources of the universe, therefore design!”

    Yes, you can create these laughable statistics all day long, it won’t change anything in real life biology. It has not in the last several years has it? Why is it going to happen now?

    Yes, the probabilty of a cell arising in one go is on the order of a 747 coming together in a junkyard tornado.

    Yet nobody who knows anything about evolution thinks that way except you.

    Nobody worries about this “problem” except the people bent on providing whatever evidence they can for their case.

    If that means pretending to the lay person that cells had to be designed because they are so complex and could not have come about randomly, then that’s what you’ll do it seems.

    Yet when asked to consider incremental progress towards a cell, or laminin or whatever you revert back to your massive probability calculations that in your mind “prove” design.

    It’s laughable.

    Once more

    According to Ian Musgrave in Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations:

    These people, including Fred Hoyle, have committed one or more of the following errors.

    1. They calculate the probability of the formation of a “modern” protein, or even a complete bacterium with all “modern” proteins, by random events. This is not the abiogenesis theory at all.
    2. They assume that there is a fixed number of proteins, with fixed sequences for each protein, that are required for life.
    3. They calculate the probability of sequential trials, rather than simultaneous trials.
    4. They misunderstand what is meant by a probability calculation.
    5. They seriously underestimate the number of functional enzymes/ribozymes present in a group of random sequences

    If you and Kariosfocus and all the other people who abuse this strawman as the main plank of your argument spent just 10 minutes looking into it’s refutation I think there would be some egg on faces.

    You might have to admit you made an error.

    Again, this is why you are all so afraid of poor trival Weasel. Anthing that shows complex results can be obtained via culmalative selection scares you.

    Blah blah, target, blah blah shores of function, blah blah strawman. You all know what Weasel was intended to be. The whole issue of latching was simply face-saving. Anything you could do to “prove” culmative selection did not act as noted by Dawkins would do – latching, targets, Kariosfocus and his “well, it does not solve the origin of life question” objections. All distractions.

  66. Mr Hayden,

    Thank you, I’ll wait for Mr Bear to respond directly. Unless you are Mr Bear?

    To Mr Bear’s point, however, we see that publishing your thoughts under a pseudonym has a long and proud history. I would honor Publius, and the erotica writer Solomon.

    Mr Bear, I recommend to you Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon in the hope that your next take on anonymity will be more nuanced.

  67. Mr Seversky,

    Since Abraham can take God to task with “Shall not the God of Justice act justly?” it would seem that writer of Genesis is coming down on the side of law. If not law as the ultimate power, at least law as a constraint on how God interacts with the world. He can pick wings off of virtual flies in some other universe, but not here.

  68. 68

    They’re not spouting filth, nor being hypocritical. There is such a thing as righteous anger.

    So when one side does it, it’s filth. When the other does it, it’s righteous. Thanks for letting me know.

    A couple follow up questions. How am I to tell the difference between the two? Is the righteous one whichever side your on Mr. Hayden?

  69. Nakashima-san, publishing ideas anonymously has a very noble pedigree, but Robert Peter John Day use of anonymity to attack mothers who lost their sons makes him even more despicable than Al Gore-delegate Fred Phelps.

  70. The problem is the anti-ID mob jhave the power to refute ID just by substantiating the claims of their position.

    They cannot so they use the only methodology they have- personal attacks, strawman arguments and red herrings.

  71. trib7,

    Al Gore-delegate Fred Phelps

    Eh? I know who Al Gore and Fred Phelps are, but I’m not sure what this means.

  72. Winston Macchi on righteous indignation: “So when one side does it, it’s filth. When the other does it, it’s righteous. Thanks for letting me know…

    …A couple follow up questions. How am I to tell the difference between the two? Is the righteous one whichever side your on Mr. Hayden?”

    The main thing is that you acknowledge a distinction between two kinds of judgement.

    Let’s look at what Jesus said about this.

    John 8:15 “You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are right…”

    Luke 12:54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?57 Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?

    So let me ask you Winston… How do you tell the difference? Do you give us your partisan opinion, or do you give us objective truth?

    Let me help you…

    Is your’s the right judgement or not? If you say that your judgement is mere opinion or personal preference, then you say by implication that it may not be objective.

    If you say yours is a right judgement (objectively true) then you would do better to speak with the clarity and conviction that Jesus brought to the table and not ask questions that cloud the real point of contention.

    The way you phrased your question, it is clear that you are not sure yourself. At the very least, you’ve smuggle in a postmodern belief that all of our beliefs are mere opinion. But what you’ve smuggled in is itself subject to the same critique.

    Perhaps a lot of the antagonism represented by the blogger in question, is stirred by a visceral annoyance of people who actually believe what they say with conviction. Hmm…

    I think it is there that you will find the distinction Winston; predominantly emotional and impatient reaction clouded by partisanship vs. level headed disemination of the issues in a compassionate yet convicted attempt to reach accros the isle and reason with the opposition.

    I am a layman. A truck driver and father. I have watched these debates for years now. And have participated much in some locals as well. I am continually shocked at the rebellious and infantile response of humanity to the hand of God no matter how he attempts to approach them be it with love or direct exhortation.

    Matthew 11:16-24
    16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: 17 “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.’” But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”

    When you decide which way you want it Winston, feel free to ask a legitimate question. I can relate philosophically with your ‘sort-of agnostic skepticism’, just watch out when you are so sure of it. You may find that this Kantian philosophy of yours is just another new cultural lemming leader.

    And I beg you to be careful not to take legitimate issues and parse them into political sound bites. Please don’t ask trick questions like some cheap lawyer trapping his victim. Some of the pot-shots so often thrown, are almost whole issues in need of serious and objective analysis. Not enough time in a witness stand culture to really get to the bottom of it, and the jury is terribly uninformed themselves. So much of this is mere political posturing to a crowd swayed by the wind of peer pressure (PC).

    If you want a cheap and momentary political victory amongst cynics then you are one of the masters of the hew order (which is very old btw). But, if you want to talk seriously then let’s talk. Otherwise you make a mockery of reason and cheapen the power of the spoken word to change the world.

    Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

  73. Why do so many Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?

    The root cause of these individuals’ behavior is not their views on biology; rather, it is their denial of the existence of a spiritual soul.

    If I believe that a person whose views I profoundly disagree with has a spiritual soul, like mine, made in the image and likeness of God, then four things follow at once, which impact upon the way I relate to that person, if I keep them in mind (which I don’t always do).

    First, that person possesses a value which cannot be adequately expressed in purely material (let alone monetary) terms. Nothing on Earth can be compared to the value of one human life.

    Second, that person is just as important as I am: we both have human souls, and spiritual attributes are not quantitative, so no person’s soul can be greater than another person’s.

    Third, that person exists for the same reason as I do: to know, love and serve God. He/She is a child of God.

    Fourth, that person has an eternal destiny. He/She was made to be happy with God forever in Heaven.

    If I were disagreeing with the views of the son or daughter of a king, I would of course maintain a certain level of respect and decorum at all times. How much more, then, should I do so when arguing with a fellow human being, who is the son or daughter of the King of Kings?

    Finally, insulting others places my own eternal destiny in jeopardy (Matthew 5:22).

  74. 74

    Sparc:
    I’ve been trying to see if you had anything in your criticism that the Caduceus could easily be the same representation for laminin, Yet the original symbol for Caduceus is nothing like a cross:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....ymbol.jpeg

    Yet in as pure a rendering as possible, from electron microscopy, for the laminin:

    http://www.survivorbiblestudy......0slide.jpg

    we have a image that matches the earliest symbols for the cross that have a stable continuation of basic structure throughout their entire history in the church:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross

    Thus once again, as always happens for you, your criticism to the inference of design in this instance, is found to be without true foundational merit.

  75. Eh? I know who Al Gore and Fred Phelps are, but I’m not sure what this means.

    Herb, Phelps was a big Gore supporter for president, although in truth it appears it was Fred Jr. who was the Gore delegate at the 1988 Democrat National Convention.

  76. Mr Tribune7,

    The point is that anonymity itself is not the tool of only one type of person, or only one side of a debate. Baylor Bear was attempting to smear all uses of anonymity, including apparently his own.

  77. Seversky, you are aware that cyberbullying does exist?

    Seriously, is that all that they have on their side to prove their point: foul language and innuendo? If so, that is really, really sad.

  78. Denyse, let me give you an example.

    We have two blacks. Let’s call them Kunta and Benson.

    Scenario 1:
    Kunta calls you the “c” word. You reply that he is nasty.

    Scenario 2:
    Kunta calls you the “c” word. A bit later you run into Benson. You ask him why so many blacks are nasty.

    Scenario 3: You run into Kunta. You ask him why so many blacks are nasty.

    Which of the above behaviours do you think is acceptable? Do you think the question in your post belongs in any of the above scenarios?

  79. 79

    Echidna,

    ——-”Again, this is why you are all so afraid of poor trival Weasel. Anthing that shows complex results can be obtained via culmalative selection scares you. Anything you could do to “prove” culmative selection…”

    What scares me is that people like you honestly think that you’re smarter than others.

  80. 80

    Nakashima,

    ——”The point is that anonymity itself is not the tool of only one type of person, or only one side of a debate. Baylor Bear was attempting to smear all uses of anonymity, including apparently his own.”

    He did no such thing. He pointed out that anonymity provides the grounds for bullying with immunity for those so inclined, and that the inclination for bullying is indicative of man’s fallen state, not that the anonymity is indicative of man’s fallen state.

  81. BA77

    Sparc, it seems funny that evolutionists use similarity of all sorts to establish all sorts of unfounded conjectures for evolution and claim them as absolute proof for evolution, all the while ignoring and obfuscating foundational principles of science that render evolution impossible

    Unfortunately, I was involved in the analyses of the genomic structure of Laminin’s binding partner nidogen (btw, what will it tell us that nidogen forms nest like structures). Otherwise I would have suggested to describe laminin as strawman shaped.

  82. 82

    Winston Macchi,

    You’ll just have to use a sense of discernment to tell the difference, if you don’t have an innate moral compass, argument won’t bring you to see it.

  83. 83

    Seversky,

    ——”Just as ridiculous as the idea that atheists and agnostics, who according to the opinion polls are a tiny minority in the US, could “bully” members of one of the world’s major faiths.”

    Of course one person can bully another. Majority and minority members doesn’t even factor in to the ability to bully.

  84. 84

    You know Sparc:
    The whole laminin thing brings up an interesting point. Number one is the the vacuous nature to which evolutionists seek to establish integrity for evolution. As well it brings up a side subject as to how humans establish relative importance to symbols in their primary step of acquiring knowledge, But of more importance to me in this instance, I know for a fact, from foundational principles of science, that the protein is indeed designed. I also can fairly well ascertain from first principles of science that the designer of the universe, and of all the life in it, is the Logos of John 1:1. The only question for me when it comes to a molecule like laminin, which has such a uncanny resemblance to such a powerful symbol of God’s connection to earth, is is their some deeper connection to the universe through it. Though God could surely “sign His name as such” with the laminin molecule, I would find that a bit trivial and unsatisfying as to a unifying principle that could be tied to the physics of the universe. But as to the fact it is designed in the first place there is no question!

  85. Hey clive, I think Winston does have a moral compass. If he didn’t have at least some, he would not try to persuade others that they are in the wrong.

    That being said, like all of us at times,he is looking only on the surface of things here. He is not really engaing the issue fully, but pandering with simplistic argumentaion.

    But who knows, there are some that do so intentionally. That is a mystery to me. I prefer to give others the benefit of the doubt. I do not have a history with Winston to go by.

    If he is of the type I have met elsewhere (and have seen in myself), then no argument, kindness, or gesture will tame the beast when in that defensive frame of mind. In that case, a man is the Leviathan of Job, the beasts of Daniel / Revelation, and the mystery of lawlessness found in the worldly kingdom of Babylon. He will submit to no one.

    Very few are absolutely locked into such a mindset. I know because I can be that way too; even still. It is a human problem, our fallen nature, not a neo-darwinist, Muslim, Communist, pantheist, or Christian problem (etc). So like those rescuing Caspian from the Green Witch, we must reason with each other where and when we can.

  86. Nakashim-san The point is that anonymity itself is not the tool of only one type of person, or only one side of a debate.

    That is true. It is important to honor the ability to post anonymously.

    Baylor Bear was attempting to smear all uses of anonymity, including apparently his own.

    It seems more so that he articulated his thoughts rather poorly, but you were right in calling him on it.

  87. Uncommon Descent: Contest Question 7: Foul anonymous Darwinist blogger exposed. Why so foul?
    the answer I have is that have emotional attachment and have a lot pride. They can stand not to be wrong. For atheist evolution is the foundation of there reglion. They also want ever one to think there way.
    The Darwinist Don exodus feel it right to insult people after he gives his reason and evidences for evolution. When does this appealing to there emotions not there logic. I do not see how he can be christian and hurt botheren but we are all flawed .
    Other insult because they to not have logical explanation why the other side is wrong. If they’re an atheist being wrong means that there is a God.
    I have gotten to point where I think I take been wrong but I still can take Ad Hominem attacks. I hate Ad Hominem attacks. It is the biggest thing I am afraid of if I debate an Darwinist.
    also the better that evidences against evolution the angrier the Darwinist will get.

  88. sparc,

    Thanks for fleshing out my résumé.

    I have an interesting story. During the Genesis spacecraft recovery mission at UTTR (the Utah Test and Training Range), in which I was involved in 2004, I had time to chat at length with a JPL scientist.

    (Our team was in charge of performing the MAR [Mid-Air Retrieval] of the space capsule, which we rehearsed with the helicopter pilots to the point of perfection. The spacecraft came down precisely as predicted, was on radar track, and all was well. Unfortunately, human error caused a semi-catastrophe. A G-force detector in the space capsule was mounted upside down, and its signal to deploy the square parachute did not initiate. As a result, the space capsule smoked into the Utah desert, although fortunately into relatively soft, wet ground. Eventually, about 90% of the science was recovered, although tediously.)

    I watched the entire thing from the control room and you can see it here:
    http://www.worldchampionshipch.....enesis.mov

    But I digress. The JPL scientist I mentioned is a specialist in solid- and liquid-fuel rocket propulsion. We had many interesting discussions. When people ask him what he does for a living, he says, “I’m a rocket scientist.”

    Although my specialty is guidance, navigation, and control in aerospace R&D, I guess rocket science is my specialty as well.

    I apologize for not having risen to the intellectual level of Alan Fox and David Kellogg. I’ll have to work on that obvious deficiency.

  89. 89

    Gil,

    I have great respect for your contributions here at UD. I also find DK et al rather annoying and patronizing.

    In regards to your friend that was part of the team at JPL. I can sympathize with him. I too have worked on projects wherein we simulated physical phenomena and then ended up not capturing the true complexity of the event with our simulation. I assume you suggested to your friend that they should have turned the computer they ran the simulations on upside down. This would have fixed the problem.

  90. Mr Angel,

    You don’t need a checkers set to simulate checkers. What you are saying makes no sense.

  91. 91

    Sorry my good friend from the far east. If you are familiar with Gil’s theories about simulations you will understand that to simulate playing checkers you must take into account all of the phenomena that might impact the game in an actual gang. For example, I play checkers in the park. It’s a tough neighborhood. Therefore if the simulated opponent is playing well, I might want to throw my computer to the ground in frustration. These actions have a real effect on the computer and therefore the simulation. This better simulates the reality of playing checkers.

    So I am sorry Nagasaki, You are wrong.

  92. @Seversky:

    I know we all have some vague notion in our heads of what we mean by “God” and “goodness” but it is far from clear that we all share the same notion so asserting that a being called “God” is the same as a property or attribute called “goodness” really tells us very little.

    “God” and “goodness” are the terms used by the Euthyphro Dilemma (or at least its common monotheistic form), so you can hardly blame Lewis for using them. Lewis’ responses addresses the Euthyphro Dilemma by exposing a false dichotomy. God defines goodness not by commanding good, but by being good in essence. This response isn’t really intended to be particularly explanatory. What it “tells us” is that there is a flaw in the the dilemma.

  93. Mr Angel,

    Look, here is another example. Weather and climate simulations are large systems of partial diffrential equations. There is someone on UD, Dr Sewell, who wrote a PDE solver. Are you going to tell him that for his program to be used to simulate the weather, the machine itself has to be exposed to rain, lightning or cosmic rays? How do you think people simulate the Big Bang?

  94. 94

    Although we are now far off topic from the original thread, I don’t mind supporting the work of Mr. Dodgen.
    No simulation can take into account the true workings of the natural world. Therefore the natural world must become part of the actual act of running a simulation. I would imagine that when Mr. Dodgen works on simulating missle guidance systems he at least makes an effort to do this work while flying in a plane anything less would be unprofessional. I’m sure his colleagues would run him out if he didn’t such efforts.
    So yes. These computers running these simulations, should, at the least be exposed to rain and perhaps power surges.

  95. O’Leary, what’s your explanation for this?

    http://www.girlontheright.com/.....-days.html

  96. Mrs O’Leary:

    First and foremost, on seeing the behaviour you and other ladies have been subjected to, I am ashamed for my sex; that some of us refuse to learn basic gentleman-ship and good broughtupcy. (Mr Day: were you under my household, you would now have an appointment to publicly wash out your mouth with soap, followed by a face to face apology. FOR SHAME!)

    Madam, I feel a duty to you to apologise on behalf of my sex, that you as a Woman, a Lady and a Grandmother, should be subjected to such verbal filth, whatever the “justification” proffered. NOTHING can justify contempt, derogation, habitual distortion and misrepresentation, denigration, disrespect and demonisation.

    ESPECIALLY when it is offered in the persistent absence of being able to understand and cogently address a vital issue for our civlisation issue on its merits.

    And, that is redoubled when such abuse and resort to vulgarity and slander is a part of what is now a routine rhetorical resort and pattern used by Darwinists (and a great many others supporting various politically correct secular humanist- statist- globalist agendas . . . [if you doubt me, just Google Bjorn Lomberg]):

    [1] distraction [i.e red herrings, dragged across the track of truth to pull us away, and led out to . . . ]

    [2] distortion [i.e strawman caricatures of real arguments (hint to EL at 65: address the real issue on its merits, not a handy strawman distortion), soaked in ad hominems based on . . . ]

    [3] demonisation and derogation [i.e. igniting the ad hominem-soaked strawman, clouding, confusing, poisoning, and choking the now highly polarised atmosphere, so that ability to hear and correctly/fairly judge on the merits towards the truth is diminished, leading to . . . . ]

    [4] unjust dismissal and incivility [down which road lies a great danger to our whole civilisation].

    ___________

    In short, Mrs O’Leary, by their habitual abusive and unjust conduct, the Darwinists are telling anyone who will but listen carefully and read between the lines, that they have no real case on the merits, but are so committed to a destructive agenda that they would disrespect and denigrate any who challenge them; recklessly putting our civlisation at risk — democratic self-government by free people depends for its sustainability on mutual respect, civility and a determination to pursue “liberty and justice for all” — to sustain an agenda that cannot stand on its merits in power.

    And that its truly shameful misbehaviour.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Back to my vacation, after one more short break to answer EL’s off- topic attempt to caricature and dismiss someone not present to defend himself through a turnabout false accusation, at 65.

    [ . . . ]

  97. Mr Levy:

    I respond on select points. Your example at 65 is a rich case study on precisely the Darwinist rhetorical pattern of distraction, distortion, demonisation, derogation (or even defamation) and dismissal I and others have had to point out.

    Onlookers, kindly bear with comments on points:

    _______________

    No actual biologist measures these things “in terms Similar to what William Dembski would use”.

    [--> the information capacity space specified by a 20-state data string is real, whatever "no actual biologist"
    [--> = "no true Scotsman"]

    may have to say.

    –> Further to this, proteins must fold, fit into a finely tuned, key-lock fitting co-adapted structure to function]

    No actual biologist thinks these structures came about in one fell swoop.

    [--> Strawman: COMPLEX, CO-ADAPTED, CODE-BASED AND ALGORITHMIC FUNCTION STARTING WITH FIRST LIFE, THEN WITH NOVEL BODY PLANS, MUST EXIST BEFORE WE CAN TALK ABOUT HILL-CLIMBING IMPROVEMENTS THROUGH CUMULATIVE SELECTION ON DIFFERENTIAL PERFORMANCE

    --> That is why Weasel's targetted search selecting "nonsense phrases" off mere proximity has massively begged the question at stake.

    --> And, as I have cited him, Mr Dawkins actually admits the point: "nonsense phrases" = non-functional phrases, EL.]

    No actual biologist looks at a cell and thinks “The probability of this complex cell arising in one go is outside the resources of the universe, therefore design!”

    [ --> You have to answer, rather tot he thermodynamics of plausible pre-biotic environments, to get to components and to organised complexity for first life.

    --> this includes the implied claim that DNA's CODE and associated cellular algorithms and their implementing nanomachines spontaneously formed and organised themselves; or else that there are chance of the gaps-leaping laws that write "life" into the basic structure of the cosmos]

    [ . . . . ]

    Yes, the probabilty of a cell arising in one go is on the order of a 747 coming together in a junkyard tornado.

    [ --> That is, YOU ADMIT THAT spontaneous, chance + necessity only, formation of first life (and, to suggest that it is something on the order of E coli is a strawman: ANY SYSTEM THAT STORES MORE THAN ABOUT 1,000 BITS OF INFO IS IN VIEW . . . that is the threshold of complexity that the probabilistic resources of our entire observed cosmos can access] is maximally improbable on the gamut of our cosmos]

    Yet nobody who knows anything about evolution thinks that way except you.

    [ --> No true scotsman, again]

    Nobody worries about this “problem” except the people bent on providing whatever evidence they can for their case.

    [--> Excusing massive question begging, and in fact there is a whole field in crisis because of this: Origin of Life studies . . . . ]

    If that means pretending to the lay person that cells had to be designed because they are so complex and could not have come about randomly, then that’s what you’ll do it seems.

    [ --> Ad hominem soaked strawman, now ignited.

    --> EL, you have accused me of calculated deceit. That is SLANDEROUS FALSE ACCUSATION, BASED ON A STRAWMAN DISTORTION OF WHAT I HAVE ARGUED, AND IN THE CONTEXT WHERE YOU EVIDENTLY THOUGHT I WOULD NOT BE AROUND TO REBUT YOUR POINTS. (Onlookers, when I and others have been present, EL et al have been most reticent to make such claims explicitly. No prizes for guessing why: they are refuting a strawman, not the real case.)

    --> EL, kindly read the weak argument correctives, and consult this on the explanatory filter, before you comment on this matter again:

    (i) causal factors are routinely observed to stem from law and/or chance and/or design.

    (ii) Lawlike mechanical necessity gives rise to natural regularities i.e cannot explain high contingency.

    (iii) the crux of the issue is that ANY SYSTEM THAT IS BASED ON COMPLEX FUNCTIONAL INFORMATION, WITH 1,000 BITS AS A USEFUL THRESHOLD, IS BEYOND THE PROBABILISTIC RESOURCES OF OUR COSMOS FUNCTIONING AS A SEARCH ENGINE

    (iv) But, the other source of high contingency, is routinely known to produce complex functional entities based on 1,000+ bits of information storage capacity

    (v) so, the inference from FSCI to design is AN INFERENCE TO BEST CURRENT EXPLANATION BASED ON EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE]

    Yet when asked to consider incremental progress towards a cell, or laminin or whatever you revert back to your massive probability calculations that in your mind “prove” design.

    [ --> Ducks the question of needing to find isles of function in the sea of non-functional configs, BEFORE one may seek to climb to the peaks of Mt Improbable by cumulative selection on differential function . . . . ]

    [ . . . ]

  98. It’s laughable.

    [--> resort to derogation by ridicule]

    Once more

    According to Ian Musgrave in Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations:

    [--> Notice the ad homnimem: we are "liars" . . . . ]

    These people, including Fred Hoyle, have committed one or more of the following errors.

    1. They calculate the probability of the formation of a “modern” protein, or even a complete bacterium with all “modern” proteins, by random events. This is not the abiogenesis theory at all.

    [--> BZZT: ANY FUNCTIONAL ENTITY BASED ON 1,000 + BITS OF INFORMATION STORAGE IS CREDIBLY BEYOND THE SEARCH CAPACITY OF THE COSMOS, AND THIS WILL TAKE IN TEH MOST PRIMITIVE CREDIBLE CELL, AS INDEPENDENT LIFE FORMS ON KNOCKOUT STUDIES AUTODISINTEGRATE AT 600 K BITS OR SO.]

    2. They assume that there is a fixed number of proteins, with fixed sequences for each protein, that are required for life.

    [--> 1,000 bits as a threshold is based on squaring the number of q-states of our observed cosmos across its lifetime: the whole cosmos cannot search as much as 1 in 10^150 of the configs of such a space, so no reasonable number of fucntional configs will be accessible startign from an arbitrary initial condition in any reasonable pre-biotic soup]

    3. They calculate the probability of sequential trials, rather than simultaneous trials.

    [--> Strawman to the point of slander: 10^150 is the number of states for 10^80 atoms, changing state every 10^-43 seconds, for 10^25 seconds, which is as massively parallel a search as the cosmos we observe is capable of, indeed, it does not reckon with the fact that 3/4 of the atoms are H and most of the remainder He, with C a much smaller fraction. Similarly WD's recent 10^120 search cycle system is base don 10^90 bit black hole physics machines

    --> And, this calculation is there int eh lit from WD since the late 1990's, i.e Mr Musgrave has gravely misrepresented the easily accessible truth.]

    4. They misunderstand what is meant by a probability calculation.

    [--> Your'e too dumb to get it right. Sorry, the sort of calculation we are looking at and Sir Fred Hoyle made is tioed to the foundation stone of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, statistical form.

    --> Junkyard parts are no more likely to form a jumbo in a tornado than the O2 molecules int eh room you sit in to spontaneously rush to and fill box at one end, leaving you gasping for air.

    --> Likewise, that statistical behaviour of molecules etc is why the diffusion that underlies respiration and kidney filtration, osmosis etc work]

    5. They seriously underestimate the number of functional enzymes/ribozymes present in a group of random sequences

    [--> kindly show empirical evidence of a first life dforming from such easilly accessed functionality, and reproducign itself, starting from a reasonable prebiotic soup, with realistic concentrations.]

    If you and Kariosfocus and all the other people who abuse this strawman as the main plank of your argument spent just 10 minutes looking into it’s refutation I think there would be some egg on faces.

    [--> Mr Levy, if you were to spend 30 minutes actually examining the real issue ont eh merits instead of strawman caricatures, there would be egg on YOUR face, as I have just shown.

    --> I know you are unlikely to acknowledge duty of civility but you owe some pretty big apologies, starting with Sir Fred Hoyle.]

    You might have to admit you made an error.

    [--> "error" is not the main issue you have raised above. You have falsely accused us of deceit.

    --> Think about what that says about you and those who made the ad hominem-soaked strawman case you have swallowed.]

    Again, this is why you are all so afraid of poor trival Weasel.
    Anthing that shows complex results can be obtained via culmalative selection scares you.

    [ --> You clearly have not read what I HAVE said about Weasel -- and indeed, what he remarks by Mr Dawkins imply on closer inspection -- before you accused me in effect of deception.

    Blah blah, target, blah blah shores of function, blah blah strawman. You all know what Weasel was intended to be. The whole issue of latching was simply face-saving.

    [ --> Onlookers: having burned his ad hominem soaked strawman and charged the atmosphere with false accusations of deceit, EL now resorts to dismissal; confident that his wedge rhetoric has divided the audience and poisoned minds]

    Anything you could do to “prove” culmative selection did not act as noted by Dawkins would do – latching, targets, Kariosfocus and his “well, it does not solve the origin of life question” objections. All distractions.

    [--> Turnabout false accusation [having used precisely the agenda of distraction, distortion, demonisation ans dismissal], just as is sadly habitually predictable.]

    ______________

    EL, think about what you have done, and about how you have been misled to propagate a slander by the arguments of Mr Musgrave et al.

    GEM of TKI

  99. Mr Angel,

    As long as this discussion is allowed to continue, let me bring one further example. Simulation work such as Dr Dembski’s MESA or Dr Sanford et al.’s Mendel’s Accountant frequently uses calls to a random number generator. The instructions for using these programs do not say you need to take radiation from radon in your basement or cosmic rays into account, or that the program relies on an adequate source of external radioactivity to seed the RNG.

    Every experiment needs to account for sources of error and models, especially, have to consider what they have chosen not to model. And there is such a thing as analog modeling – for example, using a soap film to “calculate” a minimum energy surface. But that is different than assuming some other process is going to overwrite your allocated memory as part of your simulation.

  100. PS: Nakashima et al:

    Models — and a theory is little more than a grand explanatory model — are not reality, and have to be validated against reality before they can be trusted. [Trusted as EMPIRICALLY RELIABLE in the tested range, not as TRUE.]

    In the case of complex dynamics [such as Gil's steerable parachutes], the rule of thumb is that any structure or system will fail by its weakest mechanism and/or most probable remaining bug (really complex systems are such that taking out one bug often puts in another . . . ) — generally the one no-one thought of before. (And we hope we don’t have to have a funeral to find out . . . )

    That is why rocket science is notoriously hard (start with the problem of balancing a broomstick on the tip of your finger, then multiply by the need for a strong yet light structure to carry the payload . . . . ), and there is a long string of similar fields of praxis.

    That is why when we humble mere engineers and applied scientists — as well as at least one Nobel Prize equivalent holder — look at the notion that functionally specific complex information in finely-tuned highly integrated systems originated by chance and blind mechanical forces, we know right away that someone has not done the serious homework required.

    Starting with the thermodynamics sums.

    Back to vacation . . .

    GEM of TKI

  101. 102

    bornagain77:

    The whole laminin thing brings up an interesting point. Number one is the the vacuous nature to which evolutionists seek to establish integrity for evolution.

    Weren’t you the one arguing that laminin was a sign from God because it looks a like a cross? Isn’t that argument a little, well, vacuous?

  102. 103

    Nakashima,

    You are mistaken in how one develops such programs. Based on what I have read from Gil, one only needs to simulate natural phenomena related to the simulation when writing the code. Once the code is written anyone can use the program safely without being exposed to such dangerous environments as you describe. I think I may have made that point unclear and apologize for any misunderstanding.

    This gets back to Evolutionary Algoriths. To truly simulate the random mutation involved in reproduction, one should introduce random scripts into the actual simulation. This would model the way real life works.

  103. 104

    DK:
    The point is that evolution would be a science stopper in this case. Do you have complete knowledge of exactly how the universe is constructed? I would hope you would be humble enough to say you don’t. But in this case, as with the universe and all proteins of sufficient length, there is no doubt the protein is designed, at least in my mind from what I can rigorously establish scientifically. Thus the question becomes for me, “Who is the Designer?”. To which I believe a more than sufficient case can be made for the Logos of John 1:1:

    Scientific Evidence For God Creating The Universe – 2008 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQhO906v0VM

    How Teleportation Will Work -
    In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made.
    http://in.geocities.com/info_aruni/tele.htm

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1) — Concept 2. is used by Bennett, et al. Recall that they infer that since an infinite amount of information is required to specify a qubit, an infinite amount of information must be transferred to teleport.
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    This following experiment clearly shows information is not a “emergent property” of any solid material basis as is dogmatically asserted by some materialists:

    Converting Quantum Bits: Physicists Transfer Information Between Matter and Light
    excerpt: A team of physicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology has taken a significant step toward the development of quantum communications systems by successfully transferring quantum information from two different groups of atoms onto a single photon.
    http://gtresearchnews.gatech.e.....mtrans.htm

    etc..etc.. The evidence is consistent and overwhelming for Logos DK.

    It is also interesting to note that we can only “destroy” a photon in these experiments, but no one has “created” a photon as of yet. I firmly believe man shall never do as such, since I hold only God has access to complete infinite, and perfect, information/knowledge.

    As well this following may help you understand where a bit better where I’m coming from:

    Proverbs 8:27
    “When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep”,

    Euler’s Number – God Created Mathematics – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IEb1gTRo74

    This related website has the complete working out of the math of Pi and e in the Bible, in the Hebrew and Greek languages:
    http://www.biblemaths.com/pag03_pie/

    Michael Denton – Mathematical Truths Are Transcendent And Beautiful – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3zcJfcdAyE

    Thus since a strong case can be made that the Creator of the universe and all life in is in fact the Logos of John 1:1, And mathematical truths, and universal constants, are shown to be transcendent, The question for me becomes, in the case for Laminin, does the cross have some deeper mathematical truth to it that ties it to an overarching “control” of the universe?
    You see, In my fundamental beliefs we are created in the image of God and as such we should have far more, how should I say, “mental control” of the universe. But alas we took a very wrong turn in the Garden of Eden (At least in my primary belief system), thus we have some latent abilities that have failed to be fully utilized. Thus since the cross is such a powerful symbol of Almighty God’s connection to this world, it is at least a small possibility this could be part of that latent ability.

    Whereas, in evolutionary thought the laminin is shrugged off as mere coincidence with no further thought. In fact I believe sparc called it “stupid”. But alas:

    “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
    William Shakespeare – Hamlet

  104. 105
    EndoplasmicMessenger

    Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?

    1. It’s not just the Darwinists. Both sides are capable of displaying less that complete civility. No one is immune.

    2. This incivility is not present just in debates about Evolution. It is so common, it has been given a name: “ad hominem”, which is Latin for a response directed “at the man” instead of at his argument.

    3. Certainly some lost souls may do this purely for their own entertainment or amusement. They somehow get kicks from insulting others. Not sure what can be done about these poor souls.

    4. But emotional responses rule the day when emotionally-dear positions are challenged. Knee-jerk reactions are a deep part of human nature when a cherished world view is challenged.

    5. Rare, indeed, is the individual who can examine challenges to his world view in an objective, disinterested way.

    6. Emotional responses are easier than rational responses. An animal can respond emotionally, with hostility and viciousness. Engaging the mind takes self-control. Pausing and rationally examining and understanding an opposing argument takes effort. Formulating a rational and civil response takes additional discipline and thoughtfulness.

    7. Thomas Kuhn says that individuals holding incompatible world views will “talk past each other”, being unable to understand each other’s words. This makes world-view criticisms harder to respond to by orders of magnitude.

    8. If you believe you were created by “mindless and unguided processes”, you might not even believe that there is such a thing as a rational mind, let alone that there is any value in civility. If your world view is defined by “survival of the fittest”, you might only be concerned with defeating your opponent, following any rules, or no rules.

    Consequently, it seems clear why so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction: Being rational is hard. Being civil is harder. Doing this in the face of an incompatible world view is nearly inconceivable. Doing this from an authentically Darwinist world-view: impossible!

    I do not find it surprising that many Darwinists exhibit filth, hostility, and aimless detraction. What I find amazing is that any exhibit civil rationality at all.

    Moral: Do not respond to them directly. But do respond for the sake of the “lurkers” who are watching these conversations and would be edified to know what the ID responses are to anti-ID accusations.

  105. djmullen,

    O’Leary, what’s your explanation for this?

    http://www.girlontheright.com/.....-days.html

    That is pretty disturbing:

    As opposed to the other 364 days

    When the Natives do absolutely nothing except smoke, drink and **** their daughters. This Friday will mark the Native Day of Action(tm) here in Canada. It’s their chance to whine and complain that us white guys who pay 45% in income tax to support their smoking, drinking and daughter-****ing are ripping them off.

    and later:

    I have no sympathy for the plight of the Natives, any more than I do for the Palestinians. In both cases they have the choice to get the hell off the rez, become fully-functioning, voting members of democratic society, but instead they choose to live in concentration camps, hands out to the government, ever ready with a complaint on their lips for the shoddy treatment they chose for themselves. Shut up and get to work, losers.

    OTOH, I’m starting to wonder if Girlontheright isn’t a cryptoDarwinist herself:

    On one point we certainly agree. Day wants the religion books in schools to be kept in the religion section, and the science books in the science section. Science can be taught in science class, and religion can be taught in religion class. I know some of my readers disagree, but too bad.

    which would explain the racism in that post…

  106. Gil, BA77 thanks for replying. Unfortunately, I had problems posting a question if Sullivan were an atheist Darwinist racist. I would have been interested in your and especially KF’s opinion.

  107. O’Leary: “Okay, now the Contest Question: Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?”

    Before we can answer this, don’t we first have to obtain an accurate measurement of what exactly is “So many of Darwinists”?

    I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but without any real data here, it’s hard to say if this problem is truly endemic to the “Darwinist” community. If we restrict ourselves to counting only bona fide scientists, then possibly the number becomes quite small. Yes, we know about PZ Meyers, perhaps at a stretch Dawkins and Larry Moran too. But even these usually do not resort to foul or four-lettered language, although perhaps they do engage in ad hominem from time to time.

    Perhaps then if we were to measure the level of foulness between the lay community and the professional community we might find a rather different story. I don’t know for sure, but at least on the pro-evolution side here, there seems to be very few professional biologists indeed that comment on UD and te that do (e.g., Alan McNeil) seem on the whole very courteous and polite.

    Not that I condone Robert Day’s language, but on the other hand the Internet is full of such stuff. I usually ignore that which I don’t care for. But without any real data to determine if there’s a real issue, it seems premature to tar everybody with the same brush.

  108. Have you ever happened upon a birds nest with eggs inside? You will soon see mother bird faking a broken wing to lead you away from her treasure. When atheists see their worldview assaulted, they will do whatever they can to distract attention away from their treasure.

  109. 110

    “An ad hominem is…a response that is directed at a person in order to undermine that person’s argument.”

    “I hope kairosfocus sees this, as he misuses the term “ad hominem” on almost a daily basis.”

  110. 111

    Upright Biped,

    ——”“An ad hominem is…a response that is directed at a person in order to undermine that person’s argument.”

    “I hope kairosfocus sees this, as he misuses the term “ad hominem” on almost a daily basis.”

    Haha, I laughed for a good minute on this one. Well done.

  111. 112

    iconofid,

    I asked you a question. “You think that’s funny?” Either you answer me, and apologize to O’Leary if you do think it’s funny and retract it, or you retract it and apologize to O’Leary if you don’t.

  112. And then maybe O’Leary can apologize to us and retract her linking to a racist website. You’d think a group endorsing the Haeckel to Hitler argument would be a safe place.

  113. 114

    blurt,

    Who would “us” be?

  114. Clive: “Who would “us” be?”

    That’s a good question. While we are answering that we might wish to ask who “most of the Darwinists” are that are apparently using such foul language.

    Ms O’Leary only provides one example; and that example appears to be a lay person, not a professional scientist. I don’t think a data set of one constitutes much of a case.

    From a critical thinking perspective this is inadequate. Although this is an interesting thread, I do hope everybody recognizes that all Ms O’Leary has provided is an assertion which so far she has failed to back-up with any actual data. Her piece, despite its popular appeal, completely lacks any basis in critical thinking. It is still possible her assertion may be correct, but needs to be substantiated before it can be taken seriously.

  115. Nakashima @ 67

    Mr Seversky,

    Since Abraham can take God to task with “Shall not the God of Justice act justly?” it would seem that writer of Genesis is coming down on the side of law. If not law as the ultimate power, at least law as a constraint on how God interacts with the world. He can pick wings off of virtual flies in some other universe, but not here.

    Can a just God act unjustly? Can a compassionate God act callously? Most importantly, can a necessary being like the Christian God is believed to be create a contingent Universe such as we find ourselves within?

  116. Mr Seversky,

    Not being a Christian, I can’t even begin to answer your last question. But it seems to me that much of the Hebrew Bible does not conceive of God as constrained by human categories.

  117. JTaylor

    You wrote:

    Although this is an interesting thread, I do hope everybody recognizes that all Ms O’Leary has provided is an assertion which so far she has failed to back-up with any actual data… It is still possible her assertion may be correct, but needs to be substantiated before it can be taken seriously.

    Here’s my proposal for anyone who wants to test the assertion. (I haven’t the inclination to do so, but if anyone wishes to, this would be one way to do it.)

    1. Construct a scale of personal insults, ranking them numerically from 1 to 10, by averaging the ratings given to them by a randomly selected group of 100 people. (For anyone who may be wondering why I didn’t write 0 to 10 instead of 1 to 10: if the ranking for a phrase were 0, obviously it wouldn’t be an insult!) To keep the survey more focused, I think it would be wise to initially limit its scope to insults directed at particular individuals, rather than generic insults that are intended to offend groups of people. (Other surveys could explore more general categories of insults later on.)

    2. Identify the top 10 ID Web sites, the top 10 Creationist Web sites and the top 10 pro-evolution Web sites. (A Google search might help here.)

    3. Copy all the archive material from these Web sites for a given time interval (e.g. May 2008, just off the top of my head) into a large file, and run a computer program to count the number of insults at each level in the scale. Divide that by the total number of words, to get the relative frequency of personal insults at each level.

    4. Give each personal insult level a numeric weighting. This is the hard part.

    By default, this could be simply the ranking (e.g. level 6 insults would have a weighting of 6). However, I would suspect that most people would regard the most venomous personal insults (level 10) as many more than 10 times worse than the mildest (level 1).

    Alternatively, the weighting could be defined as: the monetary value of the gift that an offending party would have to buy you, to make you forget the insult. But that might be difficult for a mortal insult, which one may not wish to forgive. And for many people, the monetary value of the gift would not matter much anyway – the way in which it was given would count for much more.

    Probably the best way of calculating the severity of a level-N insult, relative to the level immediately below it (N – 1), would be to ask people how many level (N – 1) insults they think would inflict an equal level of pain on a person receiving them, as one level-N insult. If people still found this hard to quantify, one could then ask them to imagine a personal feud between two individuals, and then ask how many retaliatory level (N – 1) insults by A would suffice to make the score “even” with B, who has hurled a level-N insult at A.

    I should stress that while the above methods of calculating the severity of an insult appeal to ways of thinking which are thoroughly un-Christian -Christians are supposed to turn the other cheek and forgive and forget, even if wronged 77 times – most of us (myself included) have enough residual selfishness within them to imagine how they’d feel and what kind of compensation or retaliation they’d want to exact, in the hypothetical situations described above.

    Having assigned a numeric index, one could calculate an overall “poison pen” personal insult index for each set of Web sites.

    That should settle the matter, I think, for anyone who wants to settle it.

  118. 119

    iconofid,

    There is no bartering to be done here from your end, I’ll keep you in moderation until you apologize. And if you don’t apologize, well, it’s likely your following comments won’t see the light of day.

  119. djmullen, herb:

    I find it very sad that the person who outed the foul-mouthed individual that had been hurling abuse at Denyse O’Leary and other individuals for several years, was herself guilty of targeting a whole group of people (Native Americans) with vitriolic bile.

    But I would ask you to consider this: if you were trying to inculcate an unshakeable belief in racial equality (and human equality in general) into a group of children in your care, could you think of a better way to do it than by telling them that everyone is equal because everyone has a soul, made in the image and likeness of God?

    You could then tell these children that accidental differences in people’s IQ, EQ, wealth, health, physical fitness and so on, have no bearing on how important they are, because they do not pertain to who they are. On the contrary, each of us would remain the same person and continue to possess the same intrinsic value if any of these attributes were altered. It wouldn’t matter how great the alteration of any of these attributes was for any given person, so long as that person was still alive. Because the question of who we are is defined in immaterial terms for religious believers, it is possible to instil a belief in human equality in societies with strong religious beliefs.

    History is littered with the corpses of hypocrites. We are all familiar with the atrocities committed by the conquistadors and the slave-traders. Nevertheless, if one asks the historical question, “At that time, which individuals were trying to put a stop to the wickedness of these cruel oppressors?”, the answer that leaps out is: people motivated by a strong religious belief that members of oppressed races have human souls, made in God’s image and likeness, and are therefore our brothers and sisters. These were the people who campaigned to make slavery illegal. As long as people like that were around in large numbers, I’d be reasonably sure that racism would not make a comeback in our society.

    I’d be far less sure about a society where everyone believed in unguided evolution. To illustrate my point, I’d like to cite an excerpt from an essay by the late, great Stephen Jay Gould:

    This essay can be summarized in a single phrase, a motto if you will: Human equality is a contingent fact of history. Equality is not true by definition; it is neither an ethical principle (though equal treatment may be) nor a statement about norms of social action. It just worked out that way. A hundred different and plausible scenarios for human history would have yielded other results (and moral dilemmas of enormous magnitude). They didn’t happen. (“Human Equality Is a Contingent Fact of History”, in The Flamingo’s Smile, Harmony Books hardcover edition, 1985, p. 186.)

    Gould was about as egalitarian as they get, in terms of his personal values. But there was an underlying tension in his thought: he could imagine scenarios where groups of people would not be equal, by his lights.

    In an age where genetic engineering is just around the corner, Aldous Huxley’s society of alphas, beta, gammas, deltas and epsilons is not difficult to envisage. Parents-to-be who can pay more will obviously be able to order “smarter, healthier” embryos. And what will happen to our belief in human equality, if belief in an immaterial soul is allowed to wither? It will seem quaint, just as it did in the society depicted in Brave New World.

    Contrast this with the traditional religious approach used by missionaries for the past 2,000 years: any group of individuals who are capable of hearing and accepting the Good News are our brothers and sisters. There’s no need for an IQ test here. Instead, the vital question is simply: can they turn to God?

    I leave it to you to decide which approach is fairer.

  120. vjtorley: “That should settle the matter, I think, for anyone who wants to settle it.”

    As vjtorley has shown, it is not easily settled. The point still remains that Ms O’Leary has made an assertion, and based on essentially one person’s bad behavior has extrapolated that to many or most Darwinists.

    This would be the equivalent of me saying that all Christians are utterly intolerant homophobic bigots based on the writings and sermons of Rev. Fred Phelps. Clearly that would an incorrect statement, as I know that many Christians are as appalled at the hatred and venom spewed by Phelps as are non-Christians. I know too that there are many gradations of belief and tolerance within the Christian community.

    Besides, how do you even go about deciding who’s in the group “Darwinists”? I certainly don’t classify my self as such (in the same way I don’t call myself a “Newtonian”) – and I suspect a lot of others are the same. And of those professional scientists who may classify themselves as “Darwinists”, how many even bother blogging or writing comments on blogs? I know of at least a few who are too busy with their own work to follow sites like this (and if they did come here, they’d certainly want to see more science rather than the prevalent philosophical-type discussions that now characterize UD).

    Ms O’Leary is welcome to make as many assertions as she likes -it is after all her stomping ground, but I encourage both sides to look at these assertions with a more critical eye and not just take her word for it, as many seem apt to do here.

  121. vjtorley,

    Contrast this with the traditional religious approach used by missionaries for the past 2,000 years: any group of individuals who are capable of hearing and accepting the Good News are our brothers and sisters. There’s no need for an IQ test here. Instead, the vital question is simply: can they turn to God?

    I leave it to you to decide which approach is fairer.

    Agreed, of course. I did a little more checking on the Girl on the Right blog, and I am relieved to find that she is indeed a Christian.

  122. Sorry Iconofid, I missed your response until now. I would be most honored and happy to respond…

    Iconnofid writes: “Why doesn’t your implied death sentence for those who call people names qualify as mindless? Can you not perceive that all sane people in this world would see it as being so?”

    How do you define sane? Are you eluding to some ad populum coneventional wisdom? Just because you were raised in a certain culture and ethos, you think that those standards and morals are objectively true?

    Obviously, those above are rehtorical questions not necessarily meant to impune you but remind you of your own skepticism applied to your own worldview. My real point lies below…

    Is a murderer more worthy of condemnation?

    I would like to show what Jesus had to say on this issue of name calling. We (in the current culture and ethos) temd to think them harmless and forget where they lead. That is unless someone engages in ‘gay bashing’ or some other equally hateful speech and thought. Then suddenly, speech is equal to hate. The fat is… speech is equal to hate and murder. The act simply comes after the emotion. This is not only logical, but proven by your experience and mine.

    It is strange to me that you are so willing to whitewash speech that is made against a particular group of people, when you would never do so consistently for all groups. And that is because you know that the kind of pressure it brings to the market, and the power it has to influence a culture will lead to further erosion of acceptability down the line. If allowed to fester, it regularly leads to violence. And if that is not bad enough, it regularly (throughout history and over long periods) leads to justifications for ethnic cleansing.

    Let’s apply these truths consistently.

    Matthew 5:21-26
    21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

    Fascinating how Jesus cut right to the heart of the issue, and tells us that the real issue is not the physical manifestation (violence) but the real core of anger, hatred, and violence; the heart. He reminds us that man is not a sinner because he sins, but sins because he is first a sinner on the inside.

    His ‘in our face’ diagnosis is an immediate offense to the self righteous.

    Iconofid writes:“Tell me, do you think someone can be condemned to death for saying something, however rude or unjustified it may be?”

    Not only do I think they can, they have and will be.

    Are you not aware that your own intense disagreement with the condemnation revealed in scripture contains at its core, a violent and repulsive condemnation of it’s own?

    I confess that it is implicit and not explicit, But you had better fully appriciate what your own judgements actually mean. If the words of Christ are incorrect then they are not just ‘a problem’, they are evil and in need of extermination. This extension of logic, I have no doubt you, are utterly at a loss to understand even though you would use the reasoning yourself when it serves your purposes.

    Do you not understand how desperately wicked your heart and mine are? Do you not see how insidious and deep your own self-interest goes? Do you think God was kidding about that part?

    Without God to guide us through the murkey waters of our own souls (whatever a soul is), there is no hope for you and I. Perhaps you are under the impression (cultural programming) that acknowledging ones own depravity is some kind of sick self mutilation in a rituallistic show of piety.

    If so, that is gravely incorrect. If not, then feel free and obligated to share with your brother the truth regarding the reality of all this.

  123. herb (#122)

    Thank you for being fair-minded enough to cite the last sentence of my previous post (#120):

    I leave it to you to decide which approach is fairer.

    As you can see, I was contrasting approaches, not people. The fact that a professed Christian, who calls herself “Girl on the Right,” displays behavior at odds with her faith, in no way lessens the value of her faith. It simply means that this individual should conform her life to her faith.

    JTaylor (#121)

    You wrote:

    Besides, how do you even go about deciding who’s in the group “Darwinists”? I certainly don’t classify my self as such…

    In my proposal (#118) above, I didn’t use the term “Darwinists,” precisely because I know that most evolutionists don’t care much for it. I used the term “pro-evolution,” in the interests of fairness. Also, I would think most people who visit this site would know what the top Web sites are, on all sides of the “origins” issue.

    It is perfectly true, as you wrote, that most scientists don’t have time to visit such sites, let alone contribute to them. However, I am not interested in surveying the bahvior of scientists as such, but rather that of people who subscribe to three different “schools of thought” (Biblical creationism, ID and unguided evolution) regarding the issue of origins. Why? Because I am curious about how beliefs concerning life’s “Big Questions” impact upon ordinary people’s behavior.

    However, if we merely look at individuals, we always can find some in each camp who are highly courteous, as well as others who are extremely discourteous. That’s why it’s better to look at aggregate behavior. Hence my proposal for examining the archives from the leading “origins-related” Web sites for a randomly selected month. That’s about as fair a procedure as I can imagine.

    But if anyone has a better one, then I am all ears.

  124. 125

    JTaylor,

    ——”The point still remains that Ms O’Leary has made an assertion, and based on essentially one person’s bad behavior has extrapolated that to many or most Darwinists.”

    Take a look at AtBC and I think you’ll have your answer. When there’s no oversight, civil discourse will be gone from Darwinists, at least, from those folks, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. The only reason they begrudgingly maintain any modicum of civility here (in various ridiculous sock puppetry masks) is because they want to posit their Darwinism, and they know they must if they want to stay around. But just take a look when the mask comes off at how they really act and what they really think on their own site; it’s vile, it’s not even argument, it’s mockery, and there is no comparison to be made with the civility of this site to the absurdity of that site. I’ll leave you to speculate why this is the case. And secondly, at AtBC, I do find it odd that there is a discussion board dedicated to discussing another discussion board. We discuss ideas and science here, they discuss us there.

  125. do you think someone can be condemned to death for saying something?
    Look at Salman Rushdie.

  126. I also can fairly well ascertain from first principles of science that the designer of the universe, and of all the life in it, is the Logos of John 1:1. The only question for me when it comes to a molecule like laminin, which has such a uncanny resemblance to such a powerful symbol of God’s connection to earth, is is their some deeper connection to the universe through it.

    If laminin had been described as strawman shaped would you then argue that He created a strawman? It must have been Him because by your definition evolution theory is unable to produce strawmen.

  127. vjtorley,

    Thank you for being fair-minded enough to cite the last sentence of my previous post (#120):

    I leave it to you to decide which approach is fairer.

    As you can see, I was contrasting approaches, not people. The fact that a professed Christian, who calls herself “Girl on the Right,” displays behavior at odds with her faith, in no way lessens the value of her faith. It simply means that this individual should conform her life to her faith.

    Let me emphasize that I do agree with everything you have said, if there is some doubt in your mind.

  128. Why are so many white, middle class kids getting addicted to heroin?

  129. Can someone tell me what AtBC is?
    Thanks.

  130. 131

    Davem,

    It stands for After The Bar Closes, which is part of Panda’s Thumb, which is part of ridiculous and absurdity.

  131. Upright (et al):

    I thought it wise overnight to revisit this thread, mostly to see what answer if any EL ha shad for without warrant accusing me and others of willfully misleading others on the technically-based side of ID.

    (It seems that EL does not have any arguments that he can present here where he would have to answer on the merits. That is consistent with the rhetoric of distraction, distortion, demonisation and dismissal that is so routinely resorted to by Darwinists; and indeed with the context of 65 above, where he evidently thought I would not learn of what he had done, and would leave his rhetoric unchallenged.)

    While I see no remarks from him, I did see a quote — I assume from PT or somewhere like that — on the ad hominem.

    I therefore think that it would be useful to use good old materialism-leaning “prof wiki” to correct the further ad hominem of trying to create the impression that I do not know what I am talking about:

    _______________

    >> An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: “argument to the man”, “argument against the man”) consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.

    The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject.

    . . . .

    Ad hominem argument is most commonly used to refer specifically to the ad hominem abusive, or argumentum ad personam, which consists of criticizing or attacking the person who proposed the argument (personal attack) in an attempt to discredit the argument. It is also used when an opponent is unable to find fault with an argument, yet for various reasons, the opponent disagrees with it.

    Other common subtypes of the ad hominem include the ad hominem circumstantial, or ad hominem circumstantiae, an attack which is directed at the circumstances or situation of the arguer [NB: cf here: you say that because you are religious . . . but of course atheists who advocate evoltuionary marteirlaism and seek to redefine science as applied materialism, are doing so because they are "real scientists" -- the hint on he "No true Scotsman" fallacy is intentional . . . ]; and the ad hominem tu quoque, which objects to an argument by characterizing the arguer as acting or arguing in accordance with the view that he is arguing against. [Thus, too, the frequent use of turnabout false accusations that project unto us the rhetorical pattern that is being discussed, instead of facing the fact that it is design thinkers who are here consistently trying to argue on the merits not personalities (including the most obscene insults and vulgarities) and other distractions . . . and BTW, once the evolutionary materialism advocates have been exposed as routinely using such destructive and unjust rhetorical tactics, it does go to the want of substance of their case, and raises serious questions on their character -- thus, the attempt at trying to drag us down into immoral equivalence.]

    Ad hominem arguments are always invalid in syllogistic logic, since the truth value of premises is taken as given, and the validity of a logical inference is independent of the source making the inference. However, ad hominem arguments are rarely presented as formal syllogisms, and their assessment lies in the domain of informal logic and the theory of evidence.[1] The theory of evidence depends to a large degree on assessments of the credibility of witnesses, including eyewitness evidence and expert witness evidence. Evidence that a purported eyewitness is unreliable, or has a motive for lying, or that a purported expert witness lacks the claimed expertise can play a major role in making judgements from evidence. [All of which should sound VERY familiar from the recent months on this blog, when we see the patterns of argument consistently used by Darwinist advocates. And, BTW, that is why I have ensured that EVERY post I have ever made at UD links to a step by step discussion on the merits, starting from the relevant context of basic information theory and stepping through the OOL case [the Darwinian tree of life has no credible tap root . . . ], body plan level macroevolution [there is no credible account for the 10's - 100's of mega bits of bio-information to account for novel body plans], cosmic finetuning [which seems to be a particular case of irreducible complexity, whereby unless a significant number of key physical parameters hold to a particular cluster of values, our observed universe would be radically unfriendly to life as we experience it], and going on to the attempt to redefine science materialistically and the issues tied to that, then adding a clutch of technical appendices, starting with the thermodynamics and associated information theory. Similarly, it is why three of the pro-ID commenters here took several weeks of effort to update the weak argument correctives and glossary of key ID-related terms that are accessible from every page at UD. Observe how EL’s dismissal argument at 65 above failst o come to grips with what is said in those relevant on the merits presentations, and instead directly implies that I am a liar etc etc. Similarly, others have tried to argue that the undersigned, a humble applied physicist who has thereby had to study and work with the thermodynamics and information theory, is not “qualified” to comment as I have done. I would think that my former students and employers and current clients would beg to differ. For shame!]

    Argumentum ad hominem is the inverse of argumentum ad verecundiam, in which the arguer bases the truth value of an assertion on the authority of the source asserting it. [Judge Jones (etc) said it and that's good enough for me . . . ] Hence, while an ad hominem argument may make an assertion less compelling, by showing that the source making the assertion does not have the authority it claims, or has made mistaken assertions on similar topics in the past, it cannot provide an infallible counterargument. [Tha tis when an ad hominem is remotely relevant: on matters of expertise, it is reasonable to challenge the qualifications. But, I am not posing on expertise but have instead made my case, point by point, on the merits; linking it in every post I have ever made here at uD. Thus, I invite examination on the merits. At the first, this was usually passed over in a rhetorically strategic silence [apart from attempts to dismiss on length or style -- but responsible arguments on technical matters will be long and technical, and notes make no pretense at being literary . . . ], but now that I and others have taken up the cluster of commonly held weak arguments, there has been a concerted effort by Anti Evo and its habituees to try to “out” and discredit me, including misrepresenting what I have said on one particular issue: Weasel 1986.]

    An ad hominem fallacy is a genetic fallacy and red herring, and is most often (but not always) an appeal to emotion. >> [Emphases, link and remarks in square brackets added]
    ________________

    Thus, we see laid out what seems to be the “standard” Darwinist rhetorical playbook (as was used by EL as I showed above yesterday):

    1] Distract: red herrings, led out to strawmen, pulling attention away from the issues on the merits along the track of truth (that old, straight and narrow way . . . ).

    2] Distort: Set up a convenient misrepresentation of the actual case being made on the merits. (Here, cf. how often what ID is and how its reasoning works are consistently distorted to make it out to be an improper injection of “religion” into the domain of “science”; cf. the weak argument correctives above.)

    3] Demonise: Soak the strawman arguments in attacks to the man, e.g already there is the implication of subversion of science, and of deception in the implication or insinuation of smuggling into the halls of science what does not belong there, with the long one-sided litany of real and imagined sins of Christendom hovering in the background to make it out that these “religious fanatics” are a threat to liberty. [BTW, this is also why there is such a strong resistance to documenting from Mr Lewontin and the US national Academy of Sciences actions in recent years that the actual smuggling in that has been done in the institutions of science: materialism. indeed, science -- in defiance of its actual history and the balance of the relevant philosophical issues on the merits, is being redefined as in effect applied materialism.) At this point, a rhetorical torch has been set to the ad hominem soaked strawman, so that it may burst into oily flame, clouding, confusing, choking and polarising the atmosphere, poisoning the context of civility that is a practical condition of actually deliberating a matter successfully.

    4] Dismiss: Having driven a wedge across the culture, and having polarised and alienated, one can then act as if the real issue on the merits has been adequately answered and simply dismiss — and freely insult — the “discredited” challengers to the evolutionary materialist agenda.

    In short, it should be clear that my usage of the term “ad hominem” is appropriate and unfortunately all too relevant.

    Indeed, behind its use lurks the Dawkinsian assertion and attitude that hose who object tot he evolutionary materialist view are one or more of: “ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.”

    I contend, witht he ghost of Socrates moaning out his agreement, that such tactics are utterly destructive to justice, to the ability to hear and respond appropriately to important truth [which in a Plato's Cave situation may well be spoken by unpopular spokesmen: those who refuse to tickle itching ears with what they want to hear and believe, but insist on "saying of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not . . . "],

    GEM of TKI

  132. PS: In case someone wants to take me up on the one-sidedness issue, I invite such a one to first examine here and here. Any culturally significant movement of any significant duration will have its fair share of sins, but a consistent one-sided litany against Christendom (while refusing to acknowledge for instance fairly easily substantiated contributions to the rise of modern science and modern liberty) is a case of ad hominem writ large; or, if you wish, “poisoning the well.” (Which is how ad hominem abusive works: making one disinclined to drink from that well for fear that it is poisoned — and if intense enough, such a mind-poisoned person will be unwilling to be corrected almost regardless of contrary evidence.)

  133. Mr KF,
    You forgot to quote Lewontin.

  134. 135

    Sparc:
    Tell you what buddy, Just go in your lab and produce a laminin, or any other “random protein molecule” for that matter, from scratch, and thus conclusively prove that an ID inference of any sort is indeed a “strawman”.

    the limit to man’s ability to form a single synthetic amino acid chain (a protein), using all his intelligence and lab equipment, is currently severely constrained to about 70-100 amino acids:

    Peptide synthesis
    “typically peptides and proteins in the range of 70~100 amino acids are pushing the limits of synthetic accessibility. Synthetic difficulty also is sequence dependent; typically amyloid peptides and proteins are difficult to make.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peptide_synthesis

    And even if you could string amino acids at random, your chance of actually finding a functional protein domain is essentially nil.

    Estimating the prevalence of protein sequences adopting functional enzyme folds: Doug Axe:
    excerpt of abstract: Starting with a weakly functional sequence carrying this signature, clusters of ten side-chains within the fold are replaced randomly, within the boundaries of the signature, and tested for function. The prevalence of low-level function in four such experiments indicates that roughly one in 10^64 signature-consistent sequences forms a working domain. Combined with the estimated prevalence of plausible hydropathic patterns (for any fold) and of relevant folds for particular functions, this implies the overall prevalence of sequences performing a specific function by any domain-sized fold may be as low as 1 in 10^77, adding to the body of evidence that functional folds require highly extraordinary sequences. (of note: the universe only has 10^80 sub-atomic particles)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15321723

    Axe Diagram for finding a functional protein domain out of all sequence space:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/axediagram.jpg

    Thus once again pleading incredulity of design on your part is no substitute for actual evidence!

  135. “You forgot to quote Lewontin.”

    So by using an ad hominem you are essentially agreeing with kairosfocus that essentially all the anti ID people really have are ad hominem arguments.

    To make everyone feel more comfortable, I will quote Lewontin’s “divine foot in the door” which is one essence of the debates that people have here. Link here

    http://www.drjbloom.com/Public.....Review.htm

    But you failed to read kairosfocus and to see that he did quote Lewontin. And I will continute to sprinkle this link in various posts in the future to remind everyone just what the debate is all about using the words of a big time anti ID advocate.

    Also to use and ad hominem against an argument about the use of ad hominems, is a new twist. Is it the ad hominem squared fallacy?

  136. Mr Jerry,

    I apologize. I was not attacking GEM of TKI, or his ideas, only poking gentle fun at his style of obsessively posting and reposting the same material. For someone with an ‘always linked’, it is quite odd to copy so much content instead of linking to it. Indeed, you linkrd to it rather than copying it!

  137. Jerry:

    A shortie.

    Actually, Lewontin documents the big enchilada: Institutionalised worldview level question-begging and resulting materialism-driven censorship of science, (in a context that brims over with ad hominem laced dismissal of those irrational believers in “demons”).

    All of which I discussed here, as is linked in every post I make.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Nakashima-San, you need to examine the just linked, and let us know why my remarks — which include showing how the US NAS and NSTA used the same reasoning in Kansas in what looks like a very intimidatory fashion — fail to make their point, or you are indulging in a mere dismissal.

    PPS: New World Encyclopedia has some sobering words on propaganda and associated agitprop techniques here.

  138. Mr Jerry,

    PS – you are right, of course, that did not read GEM of TKI’s posts very closely. That is exactly the problem. He could cured cancer somewhere along there, and I would have missed it, lost amongst the oil of smoked strawman.

    As someone who appreciates haiku I agree with the sentiment “let your words be few” and “only tell me what I don’t already know”.

  139. Nakashima-San:

    The point is that this, from the review of Sagan’s last book, in NYRB, January 1997, is the smoking gun (especially when it is tied to what the US NAS and NSTA et al did in Kansas,and Judge Jones did in Dover that same fateful year of 2005):

    __________________

    >>. . . 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 . . . . Sagan’s argument is straightforward. We exist as material beings in a material world, all of whose phenomena are the consequences of physical relations among material entities. The vast majority of us do not have control of the intellectual apparatus needed to explain manifest reality in material terms, so in place of scientific (i.e., correct material) explanations, we substitute demons . . . . Most of the chapters of The Demon-Haunted World are taken up with exhortations to the reader to cease whoring after false gods and to accept the scientific method as the unique pathway to a correct understanding of the natural world. To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test . . . .

    Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. 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 . . . >>
    _____________________

    It is not “obsessive” to repeatedly force attention to a credibly decisive point, one that all too many are fain to forget, distract attention from or ignore.

    The above, coupled to the trend of events since 1997, is a highly material admission against interest by a prominent member of the US NAS, which is reflected in the policy of said NAS and other key institutions.

    We the people have a right to demand accountability over such an outrage.

    GEM of TKI

  140. PS: Nakashima-San: you turnabout assertions are unworthy of your best standard. And, I have found that unless the facts and logic are laid out step by step — and links are routinely ignored — objections will be made by Darwinists to lack of warrant (cf. how my merely linking on Weasel is being treated currently). If they are laid out, objections are made to length or style. “Heads I win, tails you lose” is an obvious fallacy.

  141. kairosfocus,

    I agree with Nakashima that your posts are often too long to be effective. Notice how he got in another ad hominem by saying

    “I would have missed it, lost amongst the oil of smoked strawman.”

    When I first got into business, a friend who had worked with Proctor and Gamble told me about their writing style. All recommendations must be written in one page. One could have backup but the managers only wanted to see one page.

    My wife, who is a good writer, said her best writing instructor used the following technique. Write an essay on a topic. Cut it in half. Then write it again in only one page. She said it was the betting writing instruction technique she ever had.

    When I used to teach in college, I would refer to the student’s strategy of using a mind dump to answer a question. One student wrote nearly a whole blue book on a question that could be answered in one paragraph. After my first year I gave a page limit in the blue book for each question. Boy, did that save time.

    Your posts are content full but may lose their force by covering too many topics and using too many arguments for a single topic. We are all guilty of long posts but it may be good discipline for you to limit your words to what you think is most essential.

  142. DaveM,

    AtBC stands for “Another tired baby crying” and if you go the that forum you will see exactly what I am talking about.

    It resembles a maternity ward…

  143. kairosfocus,

    I will try to read your site on

    “On Information, Design, Science, Creation & Evolutionary Materialism”

    to see what I can learn and maybe to suggest using it instead of writing the long posts. For example, I just looked quickly at your site. So the next time someone asks about information in a genome. Just say this

    From my site on ID

    http://www.angelfire.com/pro/k.....tm#orgel73

    “We may therefore contrast three sets of letters that show the distinction among three classes of linearly ordered digital sequences, by way of illustrative example (one paralleled by Peterson as cited above):

    1. [Class 1:] An ordered (periodic) and therefore specified arrangement:
    THE END THE END THE END THE END

    Example: Nylon, or a crystal . . . .

    2. [Class 2:] A complex (aperiodic) unspecified arrangement:
    AGDCBFE GBCAFED ACEDFBG

    Example: Random polymers polypeptides).

    3. [Class 3:] A complex (aperiodic) specified arrangement:
    THIS SEQUENCE OF LETTERS CONTAINS A MESSAGE!

    Example: DNA, protein.”

  144. 145

    “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” — Mark Twain

  145. 146

    Sorry: that quote [145] was in support of jerry’s gentle advice.

  146. Clive: “Take a look at AtBC and I think you’ll have your answer. When there’s no oversight, civil discourse will be gone from Darwinists, at least, from those folks, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.”

    Talking of civility certain members of UD have in recent times compared Jerry Coyne to one of the Munsters and also sponsored the making of a Flash video.

    But I agree AtBC can be over the top. But again, does this represent “most Darwinists” – or is it a bunch of lay onlookers? Where’s the evidence that the majority of professional biologists are engaging in this kind of thing? Or are they too busy doing science? Any actual scientists out there care to comment as to whether this is common behavior in professional circles? Or should I just accept Ms O’Leary’s take on this as she seems to know more about this than the rest of us?

    Again, who are “The Darwinists”? (I don’t call myself one).

    Clive: “We discuss ideas and science here, they discuss us there.”

    When was the last time any experimental lab-based ID science was presented here?

  147. GEM-san,

    My larger point was that your style is overwhelming your substance. This has been said several times by several participants. None of us wishes you ill.

    in re Lewontin, he and Gould are as tiresome in their use of the bully pulpit as Lewis and Chesterton in theirs. None of them was Pope, pace to any Catholics reading this. I think the recent statistics circulated here on UD about the religious stance of NAS members quite undercuts your position that Lewontin was speaking for anyone but himself, no matter how he wanted to project. Therefore, my opinion of your ‘remarks’ is “Bravo, Don Quixote! You have bested the windmill named Lewontin.”

  148. Clive: “We discuss ideas and science here, they discuss us there.”

    AtBC also hosts threads on Science, Evolutionary Computation, and Food. They are quite interesting. The UD thead is just one of several, including a few dedicated to specific ID personalities for their opinions to be aired freely. And vigorously debated freely, of course!

  149. Jerry: “When I first got into business, a friend who had worked with Proctor and Gamble told me about their writing style. All recommendations must be written in one page. One could have backup but the managers only wanted to see one page.”

    Good advice. I also work for a well-known American corporation. We also work on the principle that “less is more”. We frequently have to deliver executive summaries in one page or maybe 4-5 PowerPoint slides. These constraints really help you to hone the message.

    I do find KF’s post’s interesting and thought-provoking but unfortunately there isn’t enough time in the day to read them all! (I also find the unconventional formatting rather off-putting, but that may just be me).

  150. 151

    JTaylor,

    Notice I said “When there’s no oversight, civil discourse will be gone from Darwinists, at least, from those folks, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.”

    But you’re right, AtBC is a bunch of lay onlookers, and doesn’t represent science in general or Darwinists in particular. Their only common thread is absurdity.

  151. Thanks Clive.
    Name calling cheapens debates.

  152. Jerry (And JT and Nakshima-San):

    Pardon a few follow-up points.

    I appreciate the well-meant advice on in effect arguing based on synopses and executive summaries. I do note that the executives who ask for such generally have trusted admin assistants who are tasked to look into details and render a verdict. IN THE END, NO-ONE TRUSTS SYNOPSES, A FEW POWERPOINT SLIDES OR TWO-MINUTE EXECUTIVE SUMMARIES TO PRESENT AN ADEQUATE VIEW OF A SERIOUS MATTER, though such may give at least a vague idea of what is going on.

    At least, if they are wise.

    (And, in their correct situations, I can and do produce such for documents that need them. However, I find that we now live in an age of sound-bites that despises substantial exposition and warranting of the objective truth on serious matters. But, from my youth in Jamaica where our nation tried to live on a diet of political slogans, I long ago learned that it is substance, not style that counts in the end. So, to the merits, to the merits, to the merits we must go . . . or we will end up doing the equivalent of wondering why water refuses to flow uphill as we desire or even expect.)

    I have, unfortunately, found out from long experience that one faces a “heads I win, tails you lose” fallacy on this when dealing with those who insist on the pattern of argument by distraction, distortion, demonisation and dismissal that I have addressed above:

    1 –> If a remark is short or simply points to a link, it will be dismissed or ignored a la Wilson’s cynical recommendation in The Arte of Rhetorique. (ESPECIALLY if the substance in the link is substantial and decisive; e.g. cf my remarks and citations on Weasel circa 1986. And, SB’s fate on using summaries.)

    2 –> If one instead brings up a fair but fairly brief degree of details, one faces argument by tangential distractions and distortions, requiring exact statements and detailed point by point responses (or anticipations); i.e. more details, but in a context that will often suggest that you did not really understand or think through what you had to say at he first. [Indeed, observe onlookers, how this exchange is on a tangent to the issue at stake, and how I am trying to pull it back into focus.]

    3 –> In neither case (on long experience, ~ 4 years on ID topics for me) will one see on the part of Darwinian advocates a serious engagement on substantial facts and issues.

    4 –> Indeed, the weak argument correctives and ID glossary above are for several months now, standing testimony to the need for a fairly substantial response: in EVERY case where a FAQ was put up for discussion, the issue came down to “needing” more — not less — details. (In the back-story discussions, a strong restraint on the length of the responses was that they should not be overly long, not overly numerous. The harshest critiques have come up on matters that were deliberately compressed for brevity.)

    5 –> So, it is rather like the story of the man, the boy and the donkey: whatever you do, someone will find fault with it. (And, far too often, not on substance but on style or distortions and distractions, frequently laced with ad hominems. [I trust BTW, that the above of earlier today will suffice to show that contrary to the one-sentence assertion cited above, I do know what an ad hominem is, and have used the term in ways that are fundamentally correct.])

    6 –> So, I have concluded that it makes sense to simply bear with the sniping [which far too often becomes nastily personal, up to and including the sorts of vulgarities Mrs O'Leary has been subjected to], and present enough substance on select points that across time and topics, serious onlookers will be able to find out for themselves where the real balance on the merits is.

    7 –> the alternative being to allow a determined agenda of distraction, distortion, demonisation ands dismissal to win by default, I have chosen to take time to provide a fair degree of substance on select threads, as I judge required, and to provide a more substantial presentation accessible by all. 9One hopes that at length, someone will actually follow up on the Weasel appendix to my always linked and let us know why I am confident that it is targetted search that cannot reflect cumulative selection by incremental improvement in function . . . instead of the cycle of studious ignoring of a linked discussion with evidence, and presentation of a caricature complete with the insinuation that I am afraid of the truth. [Those who actually know me will readily tell you that I have put my life -- not just my career -- on the line on matters of the momentous truth; so the grotesque insult that is implicit in above ill-informed, thoughtless and disrespectful remarks should be plain.])

    _____________

    I trust that gives a little of why I am coming from where I am coming from.

    GEM of TKI

  153. GEM-san,

    “A few follow-up points”? You wrote 7 numbered paragraphs, plus introduction, plus 11 parenthetical remarks, twice doubly parenthetical. Your first three numbered paragraphs could be reduced to the following.

    If a remark is short it will be dismissed. If one instead bring up details, the answer is by tangents. In neither case will one see serious engagement.

    Which essentially repeats your valiantly short postscript in message 141.

    I trust that gives a little of why I am coming from where I am coming from.

    Perhaps ‘a little’ in comparison to what you are capable of, but still too much. May I suggest less Arte of Rhetorique, and more Strunk and White?

  154. Lots of us probably could use some editorial help with our posts. Why is KF being singled out? I find his posts a welcome break from the sound-bites and one-liners we often see from the Darwinists on this site.

    herb

    (proud member of the Clapham Bus Stop Club)

  155. KF @ 153

    It’s a shame you weren’t born in 18th century England. You would have been right at home.

    Your writing style is more suited to dusty journals than the fast-paced nature of the Web. You need to learn to adapt your style to the medium. That way you’ll engage more readers.

    (I’m guessing that you don’t Tweet??)

  156. Hey,

    Did you notice how Nakashima tried to throw Lewontin and Gould under the bus? Clever move on Nakashima’s part since Gould is already dead and cannot fight back and the signal that they can be compared to Chesterton and Lewis two hated theists. When something gets embarrassing, push it in a closet and make believe it doesn’t exist. And didn’t Gould say that neo Darwinism was dead. This follows David Kellogg’s attempt to say that Lewontin is just using a little sarcasm and we are not subtle enough to pick it up. Do we see here the beginning of a a re-education program for the proletariat.

    Does sounds a little like Lenin and Stalin getting rid of any dissenters who might prove awkward. No Trotskys allowed here. Can’t stand a little truth shining forth. Let’s tow the party line and make sure we all know what is politically correct for the faithful as David Kellogg and now Nakashima try to take down a giant or two in the naturalistic field. I believe there were some other comments in past threads about Gould being out of touch or something similar. Only in the ground 7 years and his sainthood is in tatters.

    With nearly all of Darwin’s ideas either dead or essentially weakened…gradualism, natural selection, Malthusian competition… is there anything left of the man that we must not let slip away. One more thing and they will have to take him out of Westminster Abbey.

  157. My cunning plan is already in tatters!

  158. Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?

    There is no single answer. Different people have different reasons.

    Some hate religion and therefore take out that hatred on anything which gives succor to the enemy, e.g. ID

    Some want attention and seek to be seen as witty among their fellow haters.

    P.S.

    I just wanted to share a blog I made a few years back about Michael Jackson:

    http://michaeljacksongod.blogspot.com/

  159. So Jackson was into Krishna, not Kabbalah? Doesn’t seem to have helped in the end. A sad life.

  160. In support of Clive Hayden in 151, a quote from an evolutionist in Pharyngula it think, from memory:

    “William Dembski is an idiot. What was his argument?”

    I had refered to No Free Lunch and Dembski’s discussion of Axe’s research.

  161. Second your sentiments Herb,

    “AtBCists” don’t seem to like KF’s post very much. Probably because he won’t let them get away with anything. All their responses are met head on, dissected and refuted piece by piece; you know, in that quintessentially scientific way.

    Curious thing though, that these supposedly scientifically minded folks would be against it. They should welcome the challenge and hit back in like style; point by point refutations.

    Or maybe they have already mastered the art of one-hand clapping.

    Lots of us probably could use some editorial help with our posts. Why is KF being singled out? I find his posts a welcome break from the sound-bites and one-liners we often see from the Darwinists on this site.

  162. 163
    CannuckianYankee

    Question: “Why do so many of Darwinists spout so much filth, hostility, and aimless detraction?”

    Simple: Many Darwinists believe that morality is defined by the culture. Yet the culture does not appeal to any authority above the common dictates of the culture. What seems to happen in cultures that do not appeal to any higher authority is that no-body questions the lowest common denominator of decency. When all speech is then allowed, since the freedom to express is held above the taking offense of one individual, there’s a slippery slope into that lowest common denominator – such that what may have been appalling at one time, is actually relished now by a majority. If one seeks an example of this, go to the Darwinist blogs.

    There appears then to be this undefined contest to see who can out-do the other with indecency, and such defiance of “the common good” is then applauded. Think of how what is permitted today will be mild in comparison with what will be permitted in the future – it’s an expected evolution.

    I think calling someone a “c**t” now will be common practice among a majority in the future, just as using the “f” word today is common usage, when only 20 years ago it was reserved for the most daringly perverse among us.

    We shouldn’t be surprised by this phenomenon. It’s simply an unguided process of the evolution of speech, right? Well, not exactly, clear decisions are made in reaching the current cultural limits of acceptable speech. Those decisions are based on testing the limits, and then waiting to see if the benefits outweigh the consequences, rather than upholding the limits as a desireable and agreed upon rule of law for everyone. You see, the Darwinian morality scheme doesn’t really work, and these results only prove that too well.

  163. Folks:

    I thought it would be wise to take a follow-up look here.

    (And in the 30 year letter thread, where I made a test case on a brief comment, at 101. (Cf as well DATCG at 106, and BA 77′s remarks esp the Stephen Wiltshire case.) Predictably, the corrective on “emergence” on temperature, with links, was ignored and a turnabout accusation was made at 117, to try to claim that key ID-related concepts were in effect, “just as vague as” the materialist poofery in how “emergence” is used to brush aside the hard problem of conscious, reasoning, morally bound mind. I briefly responded at 125, drawing attention to the fact of a glossary and step by step corrective to the usual weak objections. [FYI, also, there is an IS-OUGHT gap, where by unless "ought" is embedded in the grounding reality of the cosmos, ought cannot be drawn out of what is, sot hat for instance materialism is inherently amoral, which enables immorality. In my always linked, I describe the materialist conundrum on mind, in App 8.]]

    This should suffice to further underscore the force of my basic point, now that the off-topic tangent du jour is to critique the approach to comments I have often made here at UD. On a few points:

    1 –> Of course my remarks are often like the substantiating material — often behind a now US$ 30 paywall — that somehow gets attached to those nice little abstracts and keyword lists that are freebies for Journals.

    2 –> To those who think a few abstracting remarks and/or PPT slides are enough, why is it that those paywalls exist? [Surely it is enough to have just the abstracts . . . ?]

    3 –> For that matter, why is it that textbooks or professional reference works beyond the level of a Cliff’s Notes summary or a “For Dummies” intro exist? [And, they have their place: indeed there are a few Schaums series books in my technical library -- including BOTH discrete math and statistics! there are also a few For Dummies books, too.]

    4 –> It should also be evident that there is no one effective or helpful Internet style. Different presentations and approaches do different jobs, in the face of different communication challenges.

    5 –> And, I must repeat: executive summaries and PPT slide summaries are not enough to guide serious decision making. That’s why behind an exec summ there is a position paper or proposal, often with technical appendices.

    6 –> I add, that there is often a little power game at work in the “give me a summary” game: (i) unless you win my attention in one minute I dismiss you, and — in too many cases — I want you up on stage in short form where my pre-briefed idea hit men can snipe at you on my talking points. (Or even worse, can go behind your back to those you have no access to and play the distract, distort, demonise, dismiss game). {Hint: guess why your US politics has reached the level it now is at, by comparison with what is in the set of newspaper articles now known as the Federalist Papers . . . after 150+ years of ever more progressive and expensive public education.}

    7 –> Ever wondered why venture capitalists, for years, used to haunt watering holes in Silicon Valley and were thus able to consistently make 35% average ROI on rejected ideas and idea champions from established firms? [Starting with Fairchild . . . ]

    8 –> So, do bear with me when I find that it is sometimes necessary to be a little more substantial than a breif remark or to simply make a link.

    ___________

    Onlookers, observe how as a rule, when the point in a substantial remark is sufficiently solid, there is a studious silence and/or a resort to an onward tangent, or in some cases a reworded recycling of the already answered objection or an earlier one, without serious reckoning with the substantial point. [Cf what happened with the Weasel issue, and for that matter the challenge that I don't know what an ad hominem is. And, see if DK can find it in himself to acknowledge that I do know the difference between an emergence that is warranted and one that is poofery.]

    GEM of TKI

    PS: I favour enumerated points as they give a handy reference, and show progression of an argument step by step.

  164. 165

    Oramus,

    ——”Or maybe they have already mastered the art of one-hand clapping.”

    They’ve definitely mastered the art of giving each other big bro-dude high fives at AtBC.

  165. 166

    Nakashima,

    Why do you go by the name Morpheus too?

  166. PPS: CY, you have my vote on contest winner. You are right about what happens when radical relativism compounded by disrespect enabled by a dominant worldview that discounts the “ought” prevails in a culture. Right now, your culture is looking like the USSR circa 1980, with 1989 – 1991 ahead. And I do not say that lightly or with relish.

  167. 168
    CannuckianYankee

    Herb,

    “I suppose anonymity had something to do with the vile tone of his blog, in view of the fact that he’s toned things down a bit.”

    Now that I’ve given Denyse my essay, allow me to join the discussion.

    I think the removal of his anonymity is just a temporary setback, because new parameters have been layed out. He’ll break through those parameters once he has support for his abuse among his group-think followers. It’s only a matter of time, once all of the congrats and “way-to-go, she deserved its” are fed into the sputum machine. It will not cease to produce by the evolution I mentioned in my last post. It will in-fact get worse, without limits set.

    I’m all for free speech as well, and I think censorship takes us into the fascist area of suppression of ideas.

    However, we as a collective culture have to begin to understand the difference between ideas and merd, and just as we have made the KKK into a fringe group without a real voice in the forum of agreeable ideas, this guy’s speech miust also render whatever ideas he has as on the fringe of a culturally acceptable vehicle. But I doubt if that will ultimately prove to be fruitful.

    Of course, he’s in Canada. I wonder if the hate tribunals are watching him. I doubt it, because it doesn’t seem to be the politically or culturally correct groups that are taking offense.

  168. Mr Hayden,

    I put up a comment as Morpheus to see how that part of the WordPress system worked. I was exploring what was under the “Site Admin” link yesterday.

    Related to that exploration, are Entries RSS and Comments RSS suppoesed to give different results? I was hoping the Comments RSS would give the entire set of comments, not just the OP.

  169. GEM-san,

    I thought your brief message @101 on the other thread was just right! I’m going to guess that it got more thoughtful readership than the same ideas would have had, had they been clothed in 5 numbered paragraphs. That was certainly the case with me.

  170. JTaylor:

    When was the last time any experimental lab-based ID science was presented here?

    So if Behe goes into a lab and designs a flagellum ID is “proven”?

    No.

    Does the theory of evolution have any lab-based non-telic science that supports the claims of itsd position?

    No.

    Did Watson and Crick perform lab-based experiments to deduce the double-helix?

    No.

  171. KF: “THE END, NO-ONE TRUSTS SYNOPSES, A FEW POWERPOINT SLIDES OR TWO-MINUTE EXECUTIVE SUMMARIES TO PRESENT AN ADEQUATE VIEW OF A SERIOUS MATTER, though such may give at least a vague idea of what is going on.”

    That’s not how it works in the corporate environment (not in mine at least). The issue has been that for a long time people used PPT slides as a crutch and simply “read the slides”. Now, many companies want the PPTs only as an aid to complement or facilitate in-depth discussion, with an extensive Q&A session. I even work with some executives who prefer no slides at all.

  172. Joseph: “Does the theory of evolution have any lab-based non-telic science that supports the claims of itsd position?”

    Just google “experimental evolution”

    Joseph: “Did Watson and Crick perform lab-based experiments to deduce the double-helix?”

    Their work was certainly based on the experiemental evidence of many others both contemporay and prior to their time (e.g., x-ray diffraction images by Rosalind Franklin and Raymond Gosling).

    And both Crick and Watson had been heavily involved in other experimental work prior to their DNA work (even though Crick was primarily a theorist).

    Crick also went on to do further experiemental DNA work with Brenner and others in the early 60s (Crick FH, Barnett L, Brenner S, Watts-Tobin RJ. General nature of the genetic code for proteins. Nature. 1961 Dec 30;192:1227-32. PubMed: Entrez Pubmed 13882203.)

  173. KF: “So, do bear with me when I find that it is sometimes necessary to be a little more substantial than a breif remark or to simply make a link.”

    Substantial does not always mean quantity. A well-crafted piece of 200 words can have more impact than a long-winded rambling piece of 800 words. And it doesn’t necessarily mean having to resort to sound-bites. (A good example of succinctly crafted writing are the Op-Ed pieces one might find in major newspapers).

    My issue KF is one of time. I only have a certain amount of time to commit to reading blogs. When I encounter your voluminous comments, my first thought is that I’ll come back and read it later. But I usually don’t because more pressing things grab my attention. (Again, when I do find the time to read you comments they can be thought-provoking; if you adopt a more compact and less verbose writing style, you’ll gain a wider readership).

    Like it or not the Internet is a market place of ideas, all competing for attention. I have no issue in reading long pieces. But I barely even know who you are, or what credentials you have (are you a lay person or some kind of professional scholar for example?). So that also influences whether I am going to commit time to reading your work.

  174. “Just google “experimental evolution””

    Why not present a few of your analysis of these google searches. Would such a thing work in your corporate environment? It would have gotten me fired to say I googled it and I found some stuff but did not know what it was (though this particular example is irrelevant since I left a corporate environment several years before google existed and worked in our own business since).

    Actually it would not have gotten me fired immediately but I would never be included in anything meaningful again and eventually I would be let go.

  175. I almost wrote an essay, then decided to heck with it because I run out of vocabulary too quickly.

    The “why are Darwinists so foul?” question implies causation, when it is simply correlation.

    Manners and civil discourse were part of an older society conditioned by a traditional Judeo-Christian worldview.

    This conditioning is seen as evil by certain anti-authoritarian factions in our society. These factions have been diligent in eroding this conditioning and have now gotten to the point where they can declare the conditioning “indoctrination” and convince parents to stop instilling the traditional worldview that had worked better for civil discourse than all previous worldviews.

    The reason I believe it is prevalent on Darwinist sites is because the members there are most likely second-generation anti-authoritarians, with no grounding in (usually even a revulsion for) the traditional Judeo-Christian worldview.

  176. Actually it would not have gotten me fired immediately but I would never be included in anything meaningful again and eventually I would be let go.

    Trust me, it can happen. You just have to remember, when one door closes, another door opens.

  177. 178
    CannuckianYankee

    KF,

    “You are right about what happens when radical relativism compounded by disrespect enabled by a dominant worldview that discounts the “ought” prevails in a culture. Right now, your culture is looking like the USSR circa 1980, with 1989 – 1991 ahead”

    Thanks. I prefer not to make predictions about what our culture is leading us into. My beliefs prevent me from doing so. The Bible is full of conditional prophecies: “If you do this, such will be the result.” Not everything is set in stone. We collectively got ourselves into this mess, we can collectively get ourselves out. If I were a Darwinist, I would of course believe otherwise. Inevitabilities seem to be directly connected to our choices regarding the “oughts.”

  178. Manners and civil discourse were part of an older society conditioned by a traditional Judeo-Christian worldview.

    Do you think that you won’t find Manners and civil discourse in non Judeo-Christioan countries?

  179. A few footnotes:

    First AOF has made some very apt remarks, valiantly trying to pull the discussion back on topic. (Onlookers, observe how much time has been devoted in recent days to discussions of style rather than substance, and who consistently initiate such.)

    I observe some remarks by JT above, and simply observe: (i) he has underscored my point that decision-makers do not trust summaries and summary presentations, (ii) the sorts of inquisitions he points to are tailor-made for idea hit man tactics as I also pointed out, (iii) at 300 words per minute, 800 words takes just over 2 minutes to read.

    So, the issue in the end is that JT et al find it distasteful to read what is not entertaining and does not agree with what they already think [along with the rest of us], and find all sorts of flaws in it, on style if not on substance.

    Unfortunately, instead of addressing substance on the merits, the Darwinist tendency is then to go into distractions, distortions, demonisation and dismissals. (And yes AOF, that tendency is at large in our culture but guess what ideas and movements have been associated with the radical secularisation and de-moralisation of our civilisation; especially given that since materialists acknowledge no realities beyond the physical and extensions thereof, their is-es cannot ground oughts.)

    And that brings us right back tot he issues Mrs O’leary put ont he table for this thread.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: JT, in organisation behaviour research, the criteria for consistently successful change initiatives are: idea originators and champions, sponsors at middle mangement levels, incubators {often called reservations] in which demonstrations can be done, and godfathers at top level to take on senior level politics. The usual counter tactic is the idea hitman. And, the success of the latter is such that for decades venture capitalists were making 35% ROI on rejected ideas and demoralised people crying into their beer in watering holes.

  180. Some further points:

    1 –> AOF, I make no claims to be a “prophet”; I am outlining a self-destructive trend, and am highlighting that we have very recent examples on how fast such can play out. (The Wiemar republic is another case in point, where its internal disintegration set up the circumstances for the horrors to follow.)

    2 –> It is now fashionable to dismiss slide show presentations. I comment, as one with a bit of chalk-dust still detectable in the veins, that a modern multimedia presentation package makes for a very useful educational digital chalkboard (including the extension to Kiosk style presentations).

    3 –> Which brings up that there are different styles for different purposes. Darwinists are usually interested in points-scoring debates and associated rhetorical [a red flag word . . . ] tactics and talking points; I and others are interested in education on the design theory issue, and in that context responding to misconceptions and distortions point by point serves a very important purpose.

    4 –> When it comes to full written presentations, let’s use my Info Design etc note as a sample. Pardon my going didactic:

    a –> It tells at the outset that it is a briefing note [so, non-literary but instead educational], and headlines its focus, giving the scope in the subhead

    b –> It takes as point of departure, a classical quote, which documents the roots of design thought in western civilisaion: Cicero, contrary to what some may think is not a redneck yahoo from the ozarks. (Nor is Plato . . . )

    c –> A synopsis of 331 words makes the messager in a paragraph [with links for details], 1 minute’s reading time worth.

    d –> An internally hotlinked table of contents and outline lays out the structure and substance of what is to follow.

    e –> the introduction elaborates on the context and sets up wha tis to follow, in 565 words, a 2 minute read.

    f –> A “nutshell” incorporated in that — and thanks SB — gives teh core issue in 176 words: imposition of evolutionary materialism as a constricting, censoring filter on scientific thought.

    g –> The first main section lays out the central points on information, including that the inference to signal in a world of noise already inextricably embeds a design inference in modern science. That is, the core ID thesis that design is a best explanation for certain empirical phenomena, on empirical evidence, is already a genrally accepted scientific one, so that he issue is really that evo mat is imposing selective hyperskepticism.

    h –> Next, the missing taproot of the darwinian tree of life is addressed in light of the functional, complex information origination challenge. This key case is the slice of the cake thathas in it all the ingrediaents, as the same issue holds for orign of body plan level biodiversity.

    i –> In the case of cosmological ID, the inference is on not only fine-tuning and isolation of functional target in a vast search space, but that we are dealing with a species of irreducible complexity: detune one or a few key parameters and the cosmos that would result would be radically unfriendly to intelligent life as we experience it.

    j –> Next, the context of imposition of radical evolutionary materialism is addressed, starting with the rhetorical taunt: God of the gaps. A conclusion is drawn.

    k –> Technical appendices follow: thermodynamics and info theory issues, the Dover case, the CSI concept and its roots, the causal factors issue and the accusation on inference to supernatural vs artificial, Newton’s general Scholium as an example of great scientists thinking God’s thoughts after him, the Caputo case that has so often been challenged and related issues on Bayes vs Fisher, Weasel and the problem of targetted proximity reward search, mind as an issue

    5 –> So, there is that which is short and sharp, and there is that which elaborates and gives exposition with links to where to go for more. Both have a legitimate role.

    6 –> It is to be noted as well, that it is ever so easy to make assertions and rest on the impact of who controls most mikes and institutions [even blaming the victim for persecution], but to respond cogently requires substantiating information; and that in a context of idea hitmen where all too commonly merely linking is not enough, nor merely summarising in a compressed remark.

    7 –> if you doubt me on this, observe just how often the substantial summaries in the weak argument correctives and glossary here at UD and the easily accessible ID FAQ’s out there are ignored by those spinning a strawman tale.

    8 –> And, notice how often the resulting talking points are echoed by those who come to UD, not realising that they are falling for strawman tactics.

    9 –> And yet, it should be plain that we have a duty of basic respect [so there is no excuse for the sort of foul mouthed fulminations that are the focus for this thread] and of fairness and truthfulness [so, strawman tactics and associated misrepresentations are inexcusable, even in a blog forum, much less a courtroom or university seminar room or policy chamber.]

    ____________

    We therefore need to ask where our civilisation is headed, why, and whether the inherent a-morlaity of the evolutionary materialist worldview [one cannot get an ought from an is unless the ought is embedded in the is; and BTW, the favoured Euthyphro "rebuttal" was rendered irrelevant to theistic views 1500 years ago, so it only becomes prevalent now because such responses have too often been censored out of relevant contexts . . . ] has something to do with that.

    GEM of TKI

  181. PS: Sparc, on noticing a talking point on being about to shut down:

    Has it occurred to you that CY is talking about OUR civilisation, and makes no inferences about others?

    In OUR history, the Juadaeo-Christian worldview did in fact ground civility thusly, citing here from Locke in Ch 2 of his 2nd essay on civil government, citing Anglican theologian Richard Hooker [and setting up what he meant by "natural law"]:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant. [From Ecclesiastical Polity, 1594+]

    Evolutionary materialism a la Lewontin et al, by sharpest contrast, posits a world based on an IS that can entail no OUGHTS. (And this is precisely the view that is now being imposed much as CY summarised.)

    Thus, morality becomes inherently relativistic. And, as I have argued elsewhere, that IS can also provide no grounds for the OUGHTS of logical — or, more broadly, reasoned — thought too.

    We need to think really hard about where we are headed as a civlisation.

    GEM of TKI

  182. KF: “So, the issue in the end is that JT et al find it distasteful to read what is not entertaining and does not agree with what they already think [along with the rest of us], and find all sorts of flaws in it, on style if not on substance.”

    It isn’t about entertainment. I regularly read technical journals and the journals, all of which are lengthy in nature. The issue for me is that your convuluted and archaic writing style clouds whatever message you may have. It’s hard work, and until I have some idea of your credentials and authority, I’m simply not going to commit the time. You seem to think we should immediately drop what we are doing and rush to the Internet to read your latest epistle. Case in point, I only just scanned your latest epistle…don’t have time to read it all. You are a very smart person, but unfortunately you have a lot to learn about effective communications.

  183. KF,

    4 –> When it comes to full written presentations, let’s use my Info Design etc note as a sample. Pardon my going didactic:

    a –> It tells at the outset that it is a briefing note [so, non-literary but instead educational], and headlines its focus, giving the scope in the subhead

    b –> It takes as point of departure, a classical quote, which documents the roots of design thought in western civilisaion: Cicero, contrary to what some may think is not a redneck yahoo from the ozarks. (Nor is Plato . . . )

    c –> A synopsis of 331 words makes the messager in a paragraph [with links for details], 1 minute’s reading time worth.

    d –> An internally hotlinked table of contents and outline lays out the structure and substance of what is to follow.

    e –> the introduction elaborates on the context and sets up wha tis to follow, in 565 words, a 2 minute read.

    f –> A “nutshell” incorporated in that — and thanks SB — gives teh core issue in 176 words: imposition of evolutionary materialism as a constricting, censoring filter on scientific thought.

    g –> The first main section lays out the central points on information, including that the inference to signal in a world of noise already inextricably embeds a design inference in modern science. That is, the core ID thesis that design is a best explanation for certain empirical phenomena, on empirical evidence, is already a genrally accepted scientific one, so that he issue is really that evo mat is imposing selective hyperskepticism.

    h –> Next, the missing taproot of the darwinian tree of life is addressed in light of the functional, complex information origination challenge. This key case is the slice of the cake thathas in it all the ingrediaents, as the same issue holds for orign of body plan level biodiversity.

    i –> In the case of cosmological ID, the inference is on not only fine-tuning and isolation of functional target in a vast search space, but that we are dealing with a species of irreducible complexity: detune one or a few key parameters and the cosmos that would result would be radically unfriendly to intelligent life as we experience it.

    j –> Next, the context of imposition of radical evolutionary materialism is addressed, starting with the rhetorical taunt: God of the gaps. A conclusion is drawn.

    k –> Technical appendices follow: thermodynamics and info theory issues, the Dover case, the CSI concept and its roots, the causal factors issue and the accusation on inference to supernatural vs artificial, Newton’s general Scholium as an example of great scientists thinking God’s thoughts after him, the Caputo case that has so often been challenged and related issues on Bayes vs Fisher, Weasel and the problem of targetted proximity reward search, mind as an issue

    QFT—If only those on the Darwinist side would emulate your style, KF.

  184. 185
    CannuckianYankee

    JT,

    So when you read these technical epistles, do you get all warm and fuzzy? :)

  185. CY: “So when you read these technical epistles, do you get all warm and fuzzy?”

    You betcha I do! But even the technical journals I read are less dense, and verbose than anything from KF. Again, who is KF and why should I invest the time? Is he a renown scholar? A prophet of our time? Who exactly is he and why does he think we should be so accomodating because he won’t make the effort to communicate better?

    I guess the thing about KF is that several people (both sides) have politely tried to help him with his writing style (with the goal of making his message clearer and more accessible, as well as making this a more compelling place to visit). So far, he seems immune to any such advice. I think that tells me evertyhing I need to know and will take that into account in reading (or more likely not reading) his contributions in the future.

  186. 187
    CannuckianYankee

    JT,

    “But even the technical journals I read are less dense, and verbose than anything from KF. Again, who is KF and why should I invest the time? Is he a renown scholar?”

    I don’t know much about him. I know from reading his material that he lives in the Caribbean, and that he has concerns regarding the gospel and evangelism throughout the Caribbean, as well as concerns about ID. From his material he appears to be quite educated in these areas. But it appears also that for some reasons he prefers to remain anonymous.

    He talks alot about “kairo,” which appears to mean “renewal,” although I’m not certain in what language.

    I found by taking a glimpse into some of his literature, that he is anything but verbose. He’s a fairly clear and systematic thinker, and his writing required quite a bit of research – indicating some sort of advanced degree – it’s not just guess work.

    Now I probably have an advantage over you in that I haven’t found much with KF where I actually disagree. We’re both apparently Evangelicals. If I do happen to find something that I disagree with, I will of course let that be known, and try to discover why.

    I hope my post isn’t too dense and verbose for you. :)

  187. 188

    CY, kairos (not kairo) is a Greek word for time, but it’s different from chronos, from which we get chronology. A simple way of distinguishing the two is that chronos measures time by the clock (or the sundial) whereas kairos represents time in terms of opportunity: the moment of decision. The study of kairos begins in ancient rhetoric and continues in rhetorical theory to the present day; it is also employed in some areas of Christian theology. As kairosfocus tends to say disparaging things about rhetoric (my own scholarly field), I imagine he’s more interested in the theological uses of the term.

  188. 189
    CannuckianYankee

    DK,

    Yes I am familiar with Kairos – just didn’t associate it with “renewal,” but now that makes sense in reference to what you stated as a “moment of decision.” I can see how it can be a very persuasive term. So Gem’s ministry is focused on renewal (or should I say – the moment of decision, which leads to renewal). Makes sense. Thanks for the etymology.

    KF, maybe you could expand on this?

  189. CY (et al):

    Kairos, according to Wiki:

    Kairos (??????) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time in between, a moment of undetermined period of time in which something special happens. What the special something is depends on who is using the word. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative nature.

    There is a well-known hymn by Lowell (originally a protest against the US-Mexican war, also protested by Finney) — Once to every man and nation — that captures the essence of my focus on kairos:

    Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
    In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
    Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
    And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

    Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
    Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;
    Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,
    Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.

    By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
    Toiling up new Calv’ries ever with the cross that turns not back;
    New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
    They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

    Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
    Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
    Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
    Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

    And that should show why I take a very dim view of rhetoric indeed, insisting that its primary value as a field of study is essentially defensive. (I think that the focus on making the decision on important matters should be on dialectic, not rhetoric: using comparative difficulties across factual, logical and explanatory power issues; as I elaborate here in a lecture note.)

    As to why an emphasis on the design issue, I think this is at the crux of the existential kairos facing our science-dominated civilisation. Science is at kairos, and our civlisation is at kairos. (And, as you know, my feeling is that on current track, the USA as the leading country in the civlisation, is looking at trends that look frighteningly like those facing the USSR circa 1980. I am not optimistic, for your nation, and as a result, for our hemisphere and the wider world. But where duty calls, I must not be wanting there.)

    GEM of TKI

    PS: JT et al. While I appreciate concerns on clarity, I sometimes find that one highly relevant reason why some things seem to be utterly unclear is that there is a conceptual block driven by a worldviews clash. (Initially P seems reasonable, and P => Q, but prevailing commitment to F => NOT-Q. So, one then tends to see onward rejection of P, but often at the expense of logical incoherence and absurdity.) That is why a comparative difficulties approach as underlying cognitive strategy is so powerful: it does not require commitment to any one view to enable understanding, and by forcing consideration across the range of relevant views, it broadens and deepens understanding. And while I can be obscure at times, I suspect this cognitive dissonance is what is at work in much of the “difficulty” some find with what I have said, especially since many have been convinced of the accuracy of a hostile agenda driven strawmannish picture of the basic points of design theory. And . . .

    PPS: I have relevant pieces of paper, education, qualifications and experience to write with some knowledge on the information theory and thermodynamics based approach to the design issue I have raised, as should be immediately apparent from a look at the always linked — which BTW is not at all anything new. (That’s part of why I insist that we should not forget TMLO.) Just as I have some relevant qualifications and experience to remark on strategic change and related communications issues. (I also note that in the end, you have come to agree with me on my basic thrust on such: summaries are brief heads up primers at best; it is in the details and balance on the merits that the issue must be decided. This especially holds in a context of significant controversy in which education and correction of misinformation are relevant. But in the end, it is to the merits, to the merits, tot he merits that we must go.)

  190. PPPS: DK @ 188: rhetoric (my own scholarly field) . . . “

    A light bulb goes on . . . .

    (Now we know the why of a pattern of argument visible for months in this blog, and coming from DK as a representative of the Anti Evo agenda of talking points. I therefore simply make reference here, noting that while it tends to be de-emphasised in modern discussions, Plato clearly spoke to a situation where dominant community forces manipulate the intellectual environment to foster their power agendas. That is why the concept that truth is that which says of what is, that it is, and of what is not, that it is not, is so vital. And, it is why on the design controversy to the merits, to the merits, to the merits, we must go. Even if this requires significant effort on a fairly technical apparatus of facts and reasoning.)

    GEM of TKI

  191. 192
    CannuckianYankee

    KF,

    “I therefore simply make reference here, noting that while it tends to be de-emphasised in modern discussions, Plato clearly spoke to a situation where dominant community forces manipulate the intellectual environment to foster their power agendas.”

    I percieve though, how Plato’s Cave analogy could be misused, and perhaps has been misused. One could perceive themselves as having “seen the light” to the exclusivity of all others, or simply within the context of a small elite group – such as in the esoteric notions of the Gnostics – a light that can only be seen by the initiate, and through the practice of particular religious counterintuitive insight.

    And indeed, many religious cults do just that.

    How would you address this aspect – I know I’m getting way off topic here.

  192. Footnote:

    I did another test on “effective style of comment,” on the current ethics thread, at 111 and again this morning at 237, after the linked materials from key historical documents were ignored.

    This again shows how a link to unwelcome material facts is routinely studiously ignored by those with an axe to grind. (Notice, too the darwinist advocates’ attempt to deflect from the relevant history, to try to suggest that herr Schickelgruber was a creationist, to try to suggest that Christians etc are just as guilty, etc. In short, we see turnabout accusation and immoral equivalency rhetoric — classic features of the distract, distort, demonise, dismiss pattern of rhetoric. And that in the immediate context of dealing with a sadly notorious exemplar.)

    A more direct and sufficiently detailed corrective intervention is clearly required.

    Let us see what happens now that some suitably highlighted relevant documents are in play.

    Here is my prediction, drawing on a classical remark by a key C1 figure:

    John 3: 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

    In the end, the real issues are spiritual-moral, not stylistic or technical.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: JT, it should be fairly easy to cross check to see if my reasoning on basic thermodynamics and information issues is well founded; starting from the point that we recognise signal in the midst of the possibility and reality of noise, as a first step in information theory; thus the central role played by signal-noise ratio and noise figure and noise temperature, etc. If you cannot address these on the merits, then you are simply dependent on talking points supplied by others; and in light of the issues pointed out int he weak argument correctives, that is not wise on this matter.

  193. CY:

    You have raised a serious point, false enlightenment (and BTW, I have had to expose sectarian groups that were destructive, cf how I approached the challenge here).

    Jesus addressed the challenge of thinking oneself enlightened when one is only en-darkened, in Matt 6:

    22″The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

    In Jn 8, he amplifies the implications:

    43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say . . . 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! . . . If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

    In short, one can be blinded by commitment to an agenda and live in a cave of false light and manipulative stage shows.

    But, notice what happens to Socrates in that cave: his chains fall off, he rises,a nd sees the apparatus of manipulation, then is foerced to ascend tot he real world outside the cave of shadow shows. With much pain, he gradually is accustomed to the light of the truth and the good.

    Then, he takes pity on his fellows in bondage to lies and agendas and tries to help them. Only to be found stumbling as he tries to communicate and interact,a nd only to find himself the object of persecution. Notice how Plato subtly shifts instead of directly accusing the Athenians: such a one is in danger of his life.

    Now, in our own situation we can see some key factors:

    1 –> The likeliest and most dangerous manipulators are those who hold power and act ruthlessly in that cause.

    2 –> Manipulators seek to close minds and drive wedges of misunderstanding, hostility and mistrust between people, so that they can rule over a polarised community, marginalising the truth and the right.

    3 –> So, the weapons of truth and open-hearted mutually respectful discussion on comparative difficulties are the obvious counter to the strategy of divide, deceive and rule.

    4 –> Here, truth does not equal agenda: truth is that which says of what is, that it is, and of what is not, that it is not.

    5 –> And, truth no 1 for us finite, fallible and too often ill-willed is that error exists. it is undeniably and not just contingently true, with all that that implies.

    6 –> Further, exploring our world unfettered (but responsibly and mutually respectfully) is the safest way to detect error and move towards the truth.

    7 –> So, when we see a pattern of distraction, distortion, hostility scapegoating, demonisation and dismissal [as Mrs O'Leary has been highlighting], it is a strong warning sign.

    8 –> Also, since the turnabout accusation is a classic tactic of those who do that, one should insist that claims of such be warranted. Mrs O’Leary has done so.

    ____________

    GEM of TKI

  194. 195

    kairosfocus [191],

    PPPS: DK @ 188: “rhetoric (my own scholarly field) . . . “

    A light bulb goes on . . . .

    (Now we know the why of a pattern of argument visible for months in this blog, and coming from DK as a representative of the Anti Evo agenda of talking points.

    That’s beneath you.

  195. 196

    kairosfocus [193], I checked your comments 111 and 237 to which you alluded. 111 is a link, but the reason for providing is only vaguely alluded to after you provide. Your habits of exhausting your interlocutors may have (by now) diminished your ethos (yes, I use a rhetorical term). In 237, you provide a quote but only first by denigrating your opponents thus:

    The REAL problem my dear sirs, is that evolutionary materialism is not “just” a theory of allelle frequencies, it is a worldview core claim motivated on the claim tha ti t [sic] is practically certain “science,” a claim that de-moralises the world for those who adhere to it. And, amorality is ever an enabler of immorality.

    So, we need to learn some lessons from painful history.

    In that context, I observe that — quite predictably JT et al (I cross reference a parallel discussion, pardon . . . ) — a mere link to relevant facts (as I gave at 111 above) is not enough to get a focus on the merits of the issue.

    So, I must now take up the painful duty of actually citing just how herr Schicklegruber and his ghostwriters drew a significant part of their inspiration form the stream of Darwinism that dews upon Descent of Man and flowed through German culture.

    Aristotle noted that good ethos (or rhetorical character) includes three components: intelligence, virtue, and good will. Your intelligence is clear, your good will toward your opponents less so.

  196. DK:

    I note that at least we are somewhat on speaking terms again.

    (That is to the good – I trust you understand that last time around I spoke to tactics, and that anger on implications of a prevalent trend does not deflect that trend from its path.)

    I must suggest on your material point, that there is a reason for raising the question that evolutionary materialism as a theory that grounds reality in nothing but a physical IS, has a serious problem then trying to ground any OUGHT, i.e it is in the strict sense AMORAL.

    And evolutionary materialism is held to be not just a worldview but SCIENCE, indeed it is now being embedded in redefinitions thereof that have been proffered in recent years by, for example the US NAS.

    So, to point that out is not to denigrate but to point to a key point of incoherence in a now dominant worldview, one that needs urgent correction.

    On the point that you have declared yourself a rhetor [presumably in the postmodern mould], I have noted that this explains the pattern of your comments in recent months, a pattern that has been observed on by others.

    I will simply note in response that unless truth rises above competing narratives and rhetorical devices to that which says of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, discussion is fruitless. (Cf for instance how CY documents how for nearly a decade the “definition” of ID as presented by Wikipedia has evolved, but never towards the plain, easily accessible truth.)

    And, unless we move beyond rhetoric as power games for control of Plato’s Cave, we cannot make progress from en-darkenment of one species or another. (Also, the subtler point of Jesus’ story on two sawyers is that it is the junior who is down in the pit with dust pouring into his face. Unless the senior shows ability to respond to that fact, the dismissals of protests or concerns from down in the pit — however imperfectly made by a fallen individual — will ring hollow. In our day, it is plainly the evolutionary materialism dominated establishment that holds institutional power, so is prone to distorting and agenda serving totalising metanarratives.)

    These I have remarked on to CY earlier.

    GEM of TKI

  197. Well, I think it’s simple. When you can’t attack the facts as they are true, you attempt to take down the person delivering them, by any means necessary, which in this case, is with foul invective not normally used in polite society. Unfortunately I think the polite society is rapidly vanishing in favor of those whose mouth’s are filled with scatological references….

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