Home » Intelligent Design » Ya Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Ya Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

In response to my last post DrREC wrote:  “what is Barry Arrington’s exposure to the practice of science that trumps that of a scientist who has “been around the scientific block” as he put it?”

This is unintentionally hilarious.  In the post I criticized scientists who appeal to authority instead of evidence and logic.  DrREC, a scientist, responds by . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . an appeal to authority!  Beautiful.  Thank you REC.

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205 Responses to Ya Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

  1. Sorry, it is the height of arrogance for a lawyer to comment on scientific convention.

    It isn’t an appeal to authority.

    It is asking “what the hell do you know you arrogant prick?”

    There is a distinction you should think on there.

    UD Editors: Dr. Robert Collins of Yale, who goes by DrREC on this site, will no longer be commenting here. Dr. Collins, is that how they taught you to do it at Yale?

  2. I find it very interesting that the person who is considered the ‘father’ of the ID movement itself, Phillip Johnson, was a lawyer. It was precisely because of his expertise in examining evidence from multiple diverse fields (as is exactly the case in examining the evidence for and against Darwinism), and analyzing that diverse evidence, and the logic behind the arguments made to defend and dismiss that diverse evidence, that he was able to see thru the arguments and bring to light the sheer poverty of evidence that Darwinism has going for it.

    You may see him give a lecture on his method here:

    Darwinism On Trial (Phillip E. Johnson) – lecture video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwj9h9Zx6Mw

  3. It is asking “what the hell do you know you arrogant prick?”

    A prick is a penis in popular parlance. How could a penis be arrogant? I suggest, DrRec, that you get immediate anger-management counseling. These services should be available from evolutionary psychologists in your area.

    Interestingly, it was brilliant attorney Phil Johnson’s book, Darwin on Trial, that was in some ways instrumental in my realization that Darwinism is unsubstantiated materialistic philosophy passed off as “science.”

    Phil points out the rhetorical tactics used by Darwinists to obfuscate and redirect legitimate challenges into areas that are completely irrelevant concerning scientific evidence and logical analysis.

    The elephant in the room is design, and no amount of penis argumentation will make it go away.

  4. This guy actually got a Ph.D. at Yale? That’s not just bizarre; it’s downright scary.

    This poor soul must be mentally ill, or perhaps a drug addict.

  5. For those interested…

    Jane Coffin Childs Fund Fellows 2010-2013

    FELLOW: Robert E. Collins

    Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry Yale University / New Haven, CT

    My research involves the engineering of protein binding modules from Tetratricopeptide repeats using both selection from randomized libraries and rational design. Our goal is to design low cost medical diagnostics, for example, a CD4 test practical for the management of HIV+ patients in the developing world.

    Early in my freshman year of college, I began my career in science working in laboratories, taking on projects ranging from the enzymatic bleaching of paper to the studies of pathogenic nematodes and complex carbohydrates. In graduate school at Emory University, mentored by Xiaodong Cheng, I focused on the structural biology of the “histone code.” At Yale, in the lab of Lynne Regan, I have turned to an engineering approach, using rational structure-based design and library selection to develop new, inexpensive diagnostics, and also to investigate fundamental questions of protein-ligand interaction. Long-term goals involve development of model systems to probe the molecular/structural evolution of novel interactions and their enhanced affinity and selectivity in directed evolution experiments.

    Fascinating.

  6. Jammer, now THAT was a very interesting!!!

    Who would a thunk? :) Perhaps placing ‘rational’ before design he, in his own mind, self-deceived himself into thinking that what he is doing, intelligently trying to design proteins to meet a specific goal he has in mind, is NOT REALLY intelligent design! LOL, This is just so, so, ironic that this would even be on his very own description. LOL,, Too funny,,, It could almost be persuasively argued that this whole episode was ‘intelligently designed’ from above! :)

  7. Well done Mr Arrington! ;-)

  8. WOW! He is an ID scientist and doesnt even know it! :-)

  9. Yes, Mr. Arrington, you have deftly demonstrated the point of Dr REC’s comment. Well done indeed.

  10. Jammer,

    Be careful, KF will be here any second now to reprimand you regarding your invasive bully-boy tactics in 3..2..1…

  11. cmon Barry you egged the guy on a little.

  12. As I said in my previous thread, scientists are human and like everyone else will make appeals to authority in informal conversation such as this. I imagine there is a slightly deeper point here. Science when conducted well does not use appeals to authority as evidence. It is also not part of the formal scientific culture. For example, a philosophy or sociology paper will often go to considerable lengths to establish what other important thinkers have said about a subject and this is part of the case to be made. Theology will frequently use quotes from a religous text as evidence. A scientist may want to put their work in the context of other work in the field but that is not part of their case. A physicist does not need to even know what Newton or Eistein said on their subject. All he/she needs to know is what is currently known. It is better to work from a current text than Principia Mathematica.

  13. BA77 – lawyers are good at presenting evidence they do not have such a good track record in analysing it correctly or indeed following logic. They have a particularly poor reputation in understanding arguments about probability. Consider the many examples of the prosecutor’s fallacy.

  14. Barry:

    it is a pity really, that Dr REC went out on a note like that.

    That said, lawyers with the right background are well trained in the difference between warrant and persuasion, and do have something fairly serious to say on the way science is being argued in general and presented to the student and the general public in particular. And, the picture we are seeing is not particularly pretty.

    May I draw our attention, collectively, to what I have increasingly found to be sound though humbling counsel from Simon Greenleaf of Harvard, founding father of the theory of evidence, in his treatise on same, preliminary remarks, Ch 1 vol 1:

    The word Evidence, in legal acceptation, includes all the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved . . . None but mathematical truth is susceptible of that high’ degree of evidence, called demonstration, which excludes all possibility of error [ --> he was 100 years too early to know about Godel], and which, therefore, may reasonably be required in support of every mathematical deduction. Matters of fact are proved by moral evidence alone ; by which is meant, not only that kind of evidence which is employed on subjects connected with moral conduct, but all the evidence which is not obtained either from intuition [--> direct knowledge], or from demonstration. In the ordinary affairs of life, we do not require demonstrative evidence, because it is not consistent with the nature of the subject, and to insist upon it would be unreasonable and absurd. The most that can be affirmed of such things, is, that there is no reasonable doubt concerning them. The true question, therefore, in trials of fact, is not whether it is possible that the testimony may be false, but, whether there is sufficient probability of its truth; that is, whether the facts are shown by competent and satisfactory evidence. Things established by competent and satisfactory evidence are said to he proved.

    In short, evidence about our external world does not amount to demonstration, and we must be cautious in evaluation of empirical evidence, to come to responsible conclusions, but not selectively hyperskeptical where we are disinclined 6to believe where the preponderance of the evidence points, if we do not like where that is.

    And again, he speaks of mathematics:

    Even of mathematical truths, [Gambler] justly remarks, that, though capable of demonstration, they are admitted by most men solely on the moral evidence of general notoriety. For most men are neither able themselves to understand mathematical demonstrations, nor have they, ordinarily, for their truth, the testimony of those who do understand them; but finding them generally believed in the world, they also believe them. Their belief is afterwards confirmed by experience; for whenever there is occasion to apply them, they are found to lead to just conclusions.”)

    In short, the right lawyer can and does have something to tell us that we should listen to.

    So also, our ability to warrant truth claims is rather limited, and we are often led to trust authorities and their generally reported findings. But that does not elevate such to the status of unquestionable writ, once The new Magisterium of the Holy Lab Coat has spoken.

    (That is why I find appeals to scientific consensus on topics that are obviously controversial and open to serious question on how much we do and can know, so tellingly revealing about the underlying mindset. Lewontin’s materialist a priorism is a classic example.)

    Science is not a new magisterium to be kowtowed to, but it should instead be an ever provisional and progressive, open minded pursuit of understanding the truth about our world and how it works in light of empirical evidence and reasonable analysis on inference to best explanation.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: P, knock it off, you are simply showing yourself to be silly.

  15. Onlookers: This is the inverse of the improper appeal to authority, a blanket dismissal of a class or thinkers on tendentious grounds. If Mr Johnson’s arguments cannot stand scrutiny, assess them on fact, assumptions and reasoning, do not simply tag him as a lawyer then dismiss what he has to say. KF

  16. This isn’t directed at DrREC for obvious reasons, but I fail to see why it’s “the height of arrogance” for a lawyer – or anyone, really – to comment on scientific conventions.

    I’d say it seems more arrogant to think scientific conventions should only be commented on by scientists. But then someone will say that sounds arrogant, and we’ll be here all day being arrogant.

  17. Onlookers:

    MF probably does not know about the classic CRC “Rubber Bible.”

    This is commonly used as an authoritative reference on physical values, based on compiled research. Now at 92nd Edn and counting.

    That should tell us something.

    It is used much like a dictionary or encyclopedia would be.

    What is the refractive index of napthalene? It’s dielectric constant? Density at a given temp, etc?

    Pull Rubber Bible, latest edn for preference.

    In fact, 99+% of practical arguments, in science and out of it, routinely rely on authrities. the issue is to autheticate and to use credible ones for the particular references.

    On non-controversial matters, that is usually no problem.

    When we deal with diverse schools of thought or controversies, we cannot take the same relaxed attitude. We then need to examine the different views and the factual basis, drawing our own conclusions on strengths and weaknesses.

    Which is of course precisely the problem when some schools have been lodged as the politically correct yardsticks.

    GEM of TKI

  18. F/N: Looks like it has gone online, folks: Rubber Bible online, here.

  19. Someone who calls someone an “arrogant prick” must be “mentally ill, or perhaps a drug addict”?

    No, Gil.

    And it’s “downright scary” that someone who uses a rude word in an internet discussion should have a PhD?

    You get a PhD by doing some decent original work and defending it in an extended dissertation. There is absolutely no requirement that you also demonstrate that you never use an uncivil word in anger. Why should there be?

    And if that kind of incivility (not even used directly, in this case) is grounds for banning, then what about Joe?

    You guys seem to be gradually banning all the articulate anti-ID posters on this site (DrBot, DrREC, and Champignon, apparently) on what look like spurious “civility” grounds – spurious because comparable incivility coming from pro-ID posters scarcely seem to rate a comment.

    And by incivility, I don’t just mean “prick” and “wanker”. I mean the repeated slurs on the motivation, moral and intellectual integrity of people who disagree with them, including the repeated claim that those of us who are atheists have no right to make ethical judgements about anything because our worldview is amoral, nihilistic, and poses a grave threat to society. Frankly, I’d rather be called “an arrogant prick”.

    Well, it’s your site, you do what you want. But if you actually want to engage in serious scientific debate with people who find ID less than persuasive (and you should, whether you are right or wrong – if ID is right, then rigorous flaw-checking can only make the case stronger, and if ID is wrong, then presumably you’d rather know), then you need to make your civility rules clear and enforce them even-handedly.

    And for what it’s worth, DrBot was absolutely right on substance.

    He did not “appeal to authority”. He appealed to experience.

    There is a difference.

  20. Well, it’s a little arrogant to insist that a lawyer is right and a scientist (me) wrong about what the incentives are in science.

    Not because I carry any authority, but because I actually work in the field and try to get grants and publish papers, and I have direct experience of what succeeds and what fails.

    And “pushing the envelope” with novel proposals, hypotheses and findings tends to succeed, while replications, confirmations and “incremental” proposals are harder to fund and publish.

    So at the very least, Barry should regard me as a datapoint, rather than simply telling me my statement is “false”.

    It isn’t false. It’s the experience of one scientist, not unique (I have colleagues). Unless he thinks I am either lying or mentally retarded, as uncivilly alleged by William J Murray.

    And that would be truly “scary”, if true, as,like DrREC, I do, in fact, hold a PhD.

  21. What?

  22. So banning someone is justifies breaking their anonymity?

    Are you serious?

    On what possibly ethical grounds?

  23. He certainly did.

    sheesh.

  24. Well, it’s a little arrogant to insist that a lawyer is right and a scientist (me) wrong about what the incentives are in science.

    Not because I carry any authority, but because I actually work in the field and try to get grants and publish papers, and I have direct experience of what succeeds and what fails.

    You work in the field? That’s nice. Who cares?

    The extent of your input here has been to paint a picture of scientists which is frankly absurdly idyllic, and to do so in the form lecturing. I’m sure William J Murray’s gruffly dismissing your depiction of scientists gets your guff, but honestly, you bring it upon yourself.

    It’s right up there with “politicians want to represent their constituents as best as possible, and never make personal advancement or agendas their priority! I should know – I’m an elected official and I’m friends with several!”

    Anyone who said that, or numerous variants on such, would not only be told off. They’d deserve to be so.

    And that would be truly “scary”, if true, as,like DrREC, I do, in fact, hold a PhD.

    Again, that’s nice. Who cares? Your PhD means squat in this conversation, aside from being able to offer up some personal experience tinged by your track record here. Most of us, even those of us who aren’t scientists (why, we don’t even have PhDs!) have our own experience with scientists. Personally, or through reading their research articles, or generally watching how they conduct themselves.

    However, to be fair, you do serve as a datapoint. Sadly, the data you provide isn’t what you think it is.

  25. You work in the field? That’s nice. Who cares?

    Nobody need care at all, but if you are interested in a scientist’s experience of the incentives in science, then I am a datapoint.

    The extent of your input here has been to paint a picture of scientists which is frankly absurdly idyllic, and to do so in the form lecturing. I’m sure William J Murray’s gruffly dismissing your depiction of scientists gets your guff, but honestly, you bring it upon yourself.

    It doesn’t get my guff, especially. I obviously have a thicker skin than Barry. And I do not, and have not painted an “idyllic” picture of science. Indeed, I have pointed out the problems of the incentive structure – it’s just that the problems are the exact reverse, AFAICT, of the ones Barry sees. Too much incentive for novelty, not enough for solid replicative work, no incentive for publishing null findings.

    It’s right up there with “politicians want to represent their constituents as best as possible, and never make personal advancement or agendas their priority! I should know – I’m an elected official and I’m friends with several!”

    No, it isn’t anything like that. I entirely agree that scientists are as ruthless as anyone else when it comes to advancement. It’s just that what leads to advancement isn’t supporting the status quo, it’s the opposite.

    And that would be truly “scary”, if true, as,like DrREC, I do, in fact, hold a PhD.

    Again, that’s nice. Who cares?

    Nobody need care a fig. But Gil apparently cared that DrREC had a PhD and also used the words “arrogant prick”.

    Your PhD means squat in this conversation, aside from being able to offer up some personal experience

    And that is the entire reason I offered it.

    Most of us, even those of us who aren’t scientists (why, we don’t even have PhDs!) have our own experience with scientists. Personally, or through reading their research articles, or generally watching how they conduct themselves.

    Fine.

    However, to be fair, you do serve as a datapoint. Sadly, the data you provide isn’t what you think it is.

    How do you know?

  26. G____n E. M______s,

    I dont find hypocrisy to be silly. I find it very irritating, as you so far have demonstrated.

  27. What? Champignon was banned?
    And we were having such a nice conversation too back at the WLC thread. :-(

  28. And I do not, and have not painted an “idyllic” picture of science.

    Scientists, not science. Not the same thing – though some scientists often forget this.

    And yes, you have. It was pretty absurd on your part, but hey, keep telling yourself otherwise.

    It’s just that what leads to advancement isn’t supporting the status quo, it’s the opposite.

    Not at all. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Just like in politics, really. The context, clearly, is important.

    How do you know?

    Observation from repeated incidents. I guess I’m doing some science. ;)

  29. And yes, you have. It was pretty absurd on your part, but hey, keep telling yourself otherwise.

    Where did I paint an idyllic picture of scientists?

    Link please.

    Not at all. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Just like in politics, really. The context, clearly, is important

    And the context, in scientific publishing and funding, is that success goes to those with novel ideas. There is, of course, the important constraint that those ideas are well-supported by data and sound argument.

    Observation from repeated incidents. I guess I’m doing some science.

    Not without presenting your data you aren’t.

  30. Seriously, kf, if you have editing privileges, you should redact the personal identifiers from this thread.

    And if not, it should be made clear somewhere on the site that if a person is banned, their identifying information may be published.

  31. Where did I paint an idyllic picture of scientists?

    Link please.

    Are you kidding? I already said it was the link where Murray commented. Don’t ask me to go point by point in an argument with you, because as I’ve made entirely clear in the past, I don’t like wasting my time. I’m not too keen on spending over a week with someone who wildly equivocates and freaking camps on this site on a daily basis. You jumped in with a reply when I wasn’t addressing you, I’ll state what I see and leave it at that.

    And the context, in scientific publishing and funding, is that success goes to those with novel ideas.

    As long as those ‘novel ideas’ fit within the proper paradigm, or (if they don’t) are backed up with so much data that it’s impossible to ignore or explain away – a rarity. And even then, it can take generations to overturn the consensus. Not because “that’s just how thorough scientists are!” but often because, as Planck said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

    And this before getting to the actually politicized subjects.

    Not without presenting your data you aren’t.

    Uh, no, I’m “doing science” regardless. If I form a hypothesis, engage in repeated observation and research, but I don’t bother telling Lizzie, whatever science I engaged in doesn’t become “not science”. As nice as peer review is. ;)

  32. Science is not a new magisterium to be kowtowed to, but it should instead be an ever provisional and progressive, open minded pursuit of understanding the truth about our world and how it works in light of empirical evidence and reasonable analysis

    Of course it should.

    on inference to best explanation.

    That’s only one inferential method, and if using it, it is important to bear in mind Peirce’s own maxim: “Facts cannot be explained by a hypothesis more extraordinary than these facts themselves; and of various hypotheses the least extraordinary must be adopted”.

  33. cmon Barry you egged the guy on a little.

    Only through DrREC’s own actions / words.
    Barry made a valid point, and DrREC then proceeded to insert his foot a substantial way into his mouth.

    Perhaps DrREC can be allowed to return if he apologises to Barry?
    To be fair to him he has generally been a levelheaded contributor here on UD — pretty well lost his head on this one though LOL

  34. Gil: Pardon, but I think that “drug” reference was a clear step too far. KF

  35. Your double standards are showing UD.

    Why is it that Joe can say such things as these and get away with it?

    And context is important and obvioulsy you are too stupid to understand the context of what I posted even though I was responding to you.

    . And I answered you stupid questions- what part of my answer didn’t you undersatnd? Heck I have been asking questions of evos for decades and you chumps still can’t answer them. that is false. you are clueless and dishonest.

    Chas spaz, wanker tanker. Nice strawman.

    IOW you lied.

    As for lying, well it is a lie to say the theory of evolution produces testable hypotheses and you say that all the time.

    You are truly demented and a liar to boot.

    Again your ignorance is amusing.

    BTW I never said mutations are all there is YOU are a LIAR and a coward.

    Only an ignorant liar would say such a thing. Again, your ignorance is meaningless here.

    As for cloud cover- again you have to be a moron not to understand how that works.

    Yes it appears that “scientific academia” is just too stupid to realize that their pet project was stillborn 150+ years ago.

    Weirdly I explained why Tiktaalik isn’t a prediction and obvioulsy you have some mental issues and cannot grasp reality.

    Strange taht you choose to whine as opposed to actually putting up… Sounds like a personal problem to me.

    So perhaps you need to figure out your problem.

    Why are you even here seeing that you don’t have a bleeping clue as to what is being debated even though it has been spelled out many times over many years?

    Wait, what are you smoking, Nick?

    There is plenty more like that, and if you want even harder stuff just go to his blog which is linked to on every post.
    There you can find gems like:

    I guess it makes it easier for him to lick his prostrate so that he can blow his load without stroking- saves on the ole wear-n-tear.

    When you lick your boyfriend’s anus are you giving him a rimmer or a … I know it isn’t funny that you like licking around your boyfriend’s anus.

    Lick my asshole while I shit, OM. Do that for me and I will do as you ask

    http://tinyurl.com/8435sm6

    I’d say something about a mote and a beam but I doubt you’d get it.

    Will you now be banning Joe and telling us all his true identity, as far as you have worked it out?

  36. Careful paragwinn, there was a certain aunt jemima around these parts who was banned for doing precisely what you seem to be close to doing.

  37. Are you kidding? I already said it was the link where Murray commented.

    But that wasn’t an “idyllic picture”. I just said that scientists didn’t have a vested interest in the status quo. I didn’t say they didn’t have vested interests. They do. It’s just not in the status quo.

    Don’t ask me to go point by point in an argument with you, because as I’ve made entirely clear in the past, I don’t like wasting my time.

    Hit and run, then?

    I’m not too keen on spending over a week with someone who wildly equivocates and freaking camps on this site on a daily basis. You jumped in with a reply when I wasn’t addressing you, I’ll state what I see and leave it at that.

    And I leave you with my rebuttal.

    And the context, in scientific publishing and funding, is that success goes to those with novel ideas.

    As long as those ‘novel ideas’ fit within the proper paradigm, or (if they don’t) are backed up with so much data that it’s impossible to ignore or explain away – a rarity.

    Not the “proper” paradigm. But sure, if the novel ideas conflict with the current consensus paradigm, they need to be backed up with good data. Obviously. You can’t just say, hey I found a faster-than-light neutrino, take that Relativity.

    And even then, it can take generations to overturn the consensus.

    Can you give an example? One within the last fifty years?

    Not because “that’s just how thorough scientists are!” but often because, as Planck said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

    Well, that may have been truer once than it is now. Science is extremely competitive, and if one group produces the goods, another group isn’t going to stop it because it upsets their paradigm.

    And, interestingly, most journals now actually ask you not only to suggest referees for your paper, but to nominate any that you think the paper should NOT be sent to. Obviously editors are not bound by this, and may even do so deliberately, but will take known hostility by reviewers into account.

    As I hope I have made clear, science is no idyll, and scientists are as prone to lust for success as anyone else. And it is true that some ideas can be blocked for a bit if the leaders in a field are vehemently opposed to it. But with the number of journals now, and the number of scientists in each field, I’d say. But it’s possible to publish anything things somewhere if your argument and evidence are up to scratch (and even if they aren’t, actually) – the bar to getting papers in journals with high impact factors isn’t some Old Guard, but the perception that you aren’t offering something novel. That’s why the classic line in the covering letter begins “For the first time, we show that….”

    And this before getting to the actually politicized subjects.

    That’s certainly another dimension. But what’s political about biology? Or cosmology?

    Not without presenting your data you aren’t.

    Uh, no, I’m “doing science” regardless. If I form a hypothesis, engage in repeated observation and research, but I don’t bother telling Lizzie, whatever science I engaged in doesn’t become “not science”. As nice as peer review is.

    True enough. But obviously if you don’t tell me, I can’t evaluate it.

  38. And I leave you with my rebuttal.

    “rebuttal”, anyway. ;)

    Can you give an example? One within the last fifty years?

    Why the time limit? What’s changed since Planck’s day? Since then, we’ve had everything from Lysenkoism to Einstein’s (and others’) reactions to quantum physics to philosophically driven Big Bang fights to more recent issues involving multiverse speculation, string theory and otherwise. Sometimes it’s an issue of dealing with a dominant theory. Other times it’s an issue of staying within a broader philosophical or political paradigm.

    What’s more, “the goods” are not necessarily “good, solid science!” but “useful science”. Sometimes the use is practical – better technology. Other times – often, in fact – the use is ideaological. Lysenko’s boys delivered “the goods”. They weren’t the stuff of good science or reasoning. They didn’t have to be, at the time.

    That’s certainly another dimension. But what’s political about biology? Or cosmology?

    The fact that you suggest that neither biology nor cosmology are policitized speaks volumes about you, and not very well. I’m sure this will come down to some narrow and idiosyncratic definition of ‘politicization’ from you, and apathy from me.

    True enough. But obviously if you don’t tell me, I can’t evaluate it.

    It’s almost as if I don’t really put much stock in any evaluation by you!

    Anyway, I’m sure you’ll have a reply to this within two minutes, since – as usual – you’re camping here and frantically reloading the screen looking for replies for hours on end. Do have fun, now. ;)

  39. Barry’s point was not valid.

    DrREC was not appealing to authority. He was merely pointing out that Barry’s assumption that his experience as a lawyer trumps mine as a scientist is when it comes to the practice of science, is well, arrogant.

    Barry wrote:

    In a comment to a recent post Dr. Liddle wrote: “Scientists do not appeal to authority; they appeal to evidence and argument, and all their conclusions are provisional, not absolute.”

    I will grant that Dr. Liddle’s statement summarizes fairly what scientists should do, but I am astonished that anyone – much less someone who has been around the scientific block a few times as Dr. Liddle obviously has – would believe that is what scientists actually do.

    In other words, Barry grants my direct experience as a scientist, yet assumes that he, a lawyer, knows better.

    He may be right, of course. But DrREC’s question: “what is Barry Arrington’s exposure to the practice of science that trumps that of a scientist who has “been around the scientific block, as he put it?” is not an “appeal to authority” as Barry claims, but exactly what it says: he is querying what experience Barry has that gives him the grounds on which to say the conclusions I base on mine are “astonish[ing]“?

    Nowhere does DrREC appeal to my authority. He merely asks why the experience of a scientist should “astonish” that of a non-scientist when it comes to an evaluation of what scientists actually do.

    And my experience is that “scientists do not appeal to authority; they appeal to evidence and argument, and all their conclusions are provisional, not absolute”, as I said.

    They are of course also competitive, sometimes jealous, sometimes prejudiced, sometimes too enamoured of their own hypotheses to give a fair hearing to evidence that seems to conflict with them, but out of this soup of co-evaluation, the winners are the exciting novel ideas that are well-supported by evidence and argument, and if that upsets the status quo, well, long live the new status quo.

  40. This poor soul must be mentally ill, or perhaps a drug addict.

    Well I have felt tempted to say the same about some ID supporters on this site – but uncivil language like that would get me banned.

    get your double standards here folks!

  41. KF, your failure to condemn this poisonous outing behaviour is clearly evidence that you support such acts.

    ;)

  42. In other words, Barry grants my direct experience as a scientist, yet assumes that he, a lawyer, knows better.

    Actually, I’m tempted to agree with Barry. Like you I’m a scientist, not a lawyer, so I guess that means that when it comes to law – we both know better than Barry ;)

  43. What has changed since Planck’s day (and I’m not convinced Planck was right, even in his day, about this) is the ferocious rate of scientific research and publication. The number of journals is many orders of magnitude greater than it was, and the transmission of new findings also orders of magnitude faster.

    I can, using the university electronic journal subscriptions, access research papers that sometimes haven’t even been finally proofed, and I know of their publication, because journals can spam my inbox with the press releases.

    And those journals know that what will induce me to click on the link is a novel finding, not an “as you were, guys, same-old, same-old”.

    And the competition between teams is just as great as it ever was (check out The Double Helix for a historical account), but the number of teams is now huge, and the incentive for journals to publish the most exciting findings still huger.

    Even in my short scientific lifetime, the number of submissions to the big journals has increased by an order of magnitude or two, and they select what sells the journal, and that isn’t boring consensus-propping stuff. Nature makes its living from what gets reported in the science blogs and pop science mags, and science bloggers don’t report “Natural selection shown to work in another batch of fruitflies”.

    They report: “New Theory Of Everything” – even if it turns otu to be junk. Which is why even the big journals look askance at junk, however new it is.

    What’s more, “the goods” are not necessarily “good, solid science!” but “useful science”. Sometimes the use is practical – better technology.

    Yes. And my point is that if anything, the prejudice is against good solid workaday replications that allow us to make practical improvements to people’s life based on reliable evidence. Or, still more important, against good solid workaday studies with the statistical power to say: there is no good evidence that this drug is useful, or that that procedure is harmful”.

    The fact that you suggest that neither biology nor cosmology are policitized speaks volumes about you, and not very well. I’m sure this will come down to some narrow and idiosyncratic definition of ‘politicization’ from you, and apathy from me.

    Well, I agree that all research with commercial and policy implications is politicized in an important sense, and that certainly includes biology, so I retract that claim. But I’d still like to know what you actually mean. Certainly grant-giving bodies, in the UK anyway, prioritise “translational” research – research likely to result in practical benefit for people, so if that’s what you meant, I agree.

    But that seems to me to be how it should be. So can you explain what you mean by “politicised”?

    Or don’t, if you don’t want to. There is no obligation on you to respond to my posts, after all.

  44. Well Peter if people would just take a look at what I am responding to they may be a little more enlightened.

    But thanks for proving what i already knew about you…

  45. HMM, as to the supposed ‘neutrality’ of Darwinism, Here is Phillip Johnson commenting on a review of his book ‘Darwin On Trial’;

    David Hull, reviewing Darwin on Trial for Nature, was equally severe with me for refusing to concede that Darwinism has finished off theistic religion for good. Hull emphatically proclaimed a Darwinist doctrine of God:

    ‘What kind of God can one infer from the sort of phenomena epitomized by the species on Darwin’s Galapagos Islands? The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain and horror…. The God of the Galapagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray.’

    So much for Darwinism’s religious neutrality.

    http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9203/watchmkr.html

    But the ‘Bad Design’ argument is a theological argument that quickly leaves the field of empirical science and enters squarely into the field of Philosophical, and even Theological, debate.

    Refuting The Myth Of ‘Bad Design’ vs. Intelligent Design – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIzdieauxZg

    In fact, it has been pointed out, by many people besides Dr. Craig, that the whole neo-Darwinian argument is, at its core beneath all the rhetoric, a theological argument:

    Here are peer-reviewed papers which point out the fact that many arguments for Darwinian evolution turn out to be, at the end of the day, primarily theological arguments at their core that have nothing to do with the scientific evidence:

    The role of theology in current evolutionary reasoning
    http://www.springerlink.com/co.....037038134/

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    Evolution and the Problem of Evil – Jay Richards – video
    http://www.idthefuture.com/201....._of_e.html

    From Philosopher to Science Writer: The Dissemination of Evolutionary Thought – May 2011
    Excerpt: The powerful theory of evolution hangs on this framework of thought that mandates naturalism. The science is weak but the metaphysics are strong. This is the key to understanding evolutionary thought. The weak arguments are scientific and the strong arguments, though filled with empirical observation and scientific jargon, are metaphysical. The stronger the argument, the more theological or philosophical.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....riter.html

    Peacefulness, in a Grown Man, That is Not a Good Sign – Cornelius Hunter – August 2011
    Excerpt: Evolution cannot even explain how a single protein first evolved, let alone the massive biological world that ensued. From biosonar to redwood trees, evolution is left with only just-so stories motivated by the dogma that evolution must be true. That dogma comes from metaphysics,
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....s-not.html

    Here, at about the 55:00 minute mark in the following video, Phillip Johnson sums up his ‘excellent’ lecture by noting that the refutation of his book, ‘Darwin On Trial’, in the Journal Nature, the most prestigious science journal in the world, was a theological argument about what God would and would not do and therefore Darwinism must be true, and the critique was not a refutation based on any substantiating scientific evidence for Darwinism that one would be expected to be brought forth in such a prestigious venue to support a supposedly well supported scientific theory:

    Darwinism On Trial (Phillip E. Johnson) – lecture video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwj9h9Zx6Mw

    And the theological ‘bad design’ argument, which Darwinists unwittingly continually use to try to make their case, is actually its own independent discipline of study within Theology itself called Theodicy:

    Is Your Bod Flawed by God? – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: Theodicy (the discipline in Theism of reconciling natural evil with a good God) might be a problem for 19th-century deism and simplistic natural theology, but not for Biblical theology. It was not a problem for Jesus Christ, who was certainly not oblivious to the blind, the deaf, the lepers and the lame around him. It was not a problem for Paul, who spoke of the whole creation groaning and travailing in pain till the coming redemption of all things (Romans 8).

  46. 46

    Unless he thinks I am either lying or mentally retarded, as uncivilly alleged by William J Murray.

    Which demonstrates your difficulty with basic logic. Because you are not 10 years old or younger, and because I assume you have an IQ over 80, and because I’ve excluded “naivety” from the explanation, you think I’ve indicated you must be a liar.

    I have indicated no such thing. Other commodities (besides deliberate deception) that causes many honest and otherwise intelligent people to make profoundly implausible, self-serving, logically baffling statements is ideological blindness, a deep a priori bias that contorts one’s perspective and interpretive capacity, or a simple lack of understanding about basic logic and philosophy.

    For example, your statement:

    And scientists do not have a vested interest in the status quo. They – we – have a huge vested interest in overturning the status quo.

    … reveals ideological blindness about science and scientists and the institution of how science actually works in a practical manner. You’re willing to throw out a statement that might be preferable ideally, but which is patently and obviously untrue in the real world.

    Or, maybe we actually live in that ideal world?

    Yes, it’s in the interests of the average scientist to be a maverick – to attack and attempt to bring down those theories that others have established long, fruitful careers and reputations upon. There’s nothing that specific scientific communities embrace like those who reveal most of their work as flawed or entirely erroneous. Academics in particular are fond of students that attempt to prove their professors in error, or that their whole way of thinking about a scientific issue is flawed.

    Also, corporations love to employ those scientists that won’t bend the truth and fudge the facts in pursuit of the financial goals of the company. Governments love those that won’t sign off on, and publicly dispute, research used to validate billions in policy subsidy (and those scientists down the money-chain are especially fond of those who gum up the works).

    Pharmaceutical companies are particular fond of such researchers. So are tobacco companies. In fact, they prefer scientists that will out their faulty research to the public despite contractual non-disclosure agreements.

    This is because scientists (and those who employ and fund scientific research) aren’t regular people with a priori, ideological biases and careers entirely built on serving corporate production targets or governmental baseline budget increases. There’s nothing research and development likes more than sending a scientist or two up to the board that say that the entire project funded for years is based upon a flawed scientific premise.

    Peer-review editors absolutely LOVE it when some young buck sends a manuscript down the pike that renders most of their personal publications obsolete and demonstrates their long-held views invalid. It’s not like they care about their position in the pecking order; it’s all about the truth. This is why there is such a long history of the institutional status quo warmly embracing new scientific ideas; it’s not like scientific mavericks have a long history of being ridiculed and attacked by the status quo.

    Dr. Liddle, IMO your penchant for making the most patently absurd and flawed statements has nothing to do with your being retarded or a liar; it has to do (IMO) with something else beyond your recognition or control.

    These debates aren’t scientific per se – we’re not challenging physical facts, nor even generally data collected via research. What is being challenged is the epistemological and ontological basis for interpreting those facts as the status quo insists on interpreting them, and the logical chain of inference that arrives at particular conclusions.

    Referring as you (and others) often do to the conclusions and opinions of researchers as if their conclusions and opinions have merit in a debate about how they are coming to such conclusions and opinions is not a logically sound argument. The physical facts do not tell a scientist how to interpret them or what to conclude about their behavior. Epistemological and ontological axioms provide such heuristics, which is why one must be particularly careful about what axioms they are beginning with – which is why kairosfocus and others keep referring you to that which fatally undermines your arguments and interpretations, and to the philosophically flawed edict of Lewontin.

    Because a scientist is a scientist doesn’t make a case about how, what and why (philosophy, logic) they are assuming, categorizing, pursuing, interpreting and concluding; that is a logical and philosophical debate. What many scientists don’t understand, apparently, is that they are simply assuming their philosophy (epistemology and ontology) is true (even if they are unaware of it) because they erroneously believe they are not involved in philosophy and their research doesn’t employ philosophy.

    But it does, which is why reference to conclusion and opinion of researchers about what their research “means” is an appeal to authority – the authority of their particular philosophical perspective on what to assume, how to categorize and interpret, and how inferences should be made. While they may be sound authorities when it comes to employing the scientific method and how to employ their assumed ideology in that investigation, they are not authorities outside of that box when it comes to examining the structure of that box.

    Your opinion and conclusions as a scientist carry no weight in an argument about the validity of the heuristic structure you employ because your opinion and conclusions as a scientist are generated by that structure. Since you (and others) appear to be immune to noticing (let alone correcting) the fatal cracks in the foundation of your arguments, the rest of us are doomed to reading the same bad logic and absurd statements in every. single. debate.

    But, that doesn’t make you a bad person, a liar, retarded, or even outside of the norm. Most people (IMO) are completely unconcerned with making sure their fundamental premises serve as sufficient warrant for their beliefs, or even that their beliefs are reconcilable with each other. Most people don’t realize that they are saying absurd things in defense of their beliefs, even when it is pointed out, and even when they say such patently absurd things like:

    And scientists do not have a vested interest in the status quo.

  47. Which demonstrates your difficulty with basic logic. Because you are not 10 years old or younger, and because I assume you have an IQ over 80, and because I’ve excluded “naivety” from the explanation, you think I’ve indicated you must be a liar.

    I have indicated no such thing. Other commodities (besides deliberate deception) that causes many honest and otherwise intelligent people to make profoundly implausible, self-serving, logically baffling statements is ideological blindness, a deep a priori bias that contorts one’s perspective and interpretive capacity, or a simple lack of understanding about basic logic and philosophy.

    I accept that alternative characterisations of me implied by your post are: “ideological blindness, a deep a priori bias that contorts one’s perspective and interpretive capacity, or a simple lack of understanding about basic logic and philosophy.”

    Thanks for the clarification. Not.

    Yes, it’s in the interests of the average scientist to be a maverick – to attack and attempt to bring down those theories that others have established long, fruitful careers and reputations upon. There’s nothing that specific scientific communities embrace like those who reveal most of their work as flawed or entirely erroneous. Academics in particular are fond of students that attempt to prove their professors in error, or that their whole way of thinking about a scientific issue is flawed.

    Yes, this is true, in my experience.

    Peer-review editors absolutely LOVE it when some young buck sends a manuscript down the pike that renders most of their personal publications obsolete and demonstrates their long-held views invalid. It’s not like they care about their position in the pecking order; it’s all about the truth. This is why there is such a long history of the institutional status quo warmly embracing new scientific ideas; it’s not like scientific mavericks have a long history of being ridiculed and attacked by the status quo.

    Well, you probably wouldn’t send a manuscript that disparaged a particular scientist’s pet theory to a journal edited by that particular scientist, sure. But the peer-reviewers include, of course, those “young bucks” themselves, and, as I said, most journals invite you (some require it) that you nominate reviewers you think are suitable. And yes, it’s all about the truth. I can think of one specific example where a paper was criticised (in some ways fairly) by a reviewer, who, unusually, was not anonymous, and the findings of that paper were later confirmed by that very reviewer. The original paper was published in another journal, after some revision, which improved it.

    And I’m not just talking about my own experience. I lived for nearly forty years with a scientist who has hundreds of scientific publications. The peer-review system is not flawless, and sometimes good work gets more hassle than it should, while, oddly, less good work sometimes gets straight in. And it is certainly true that findings which, if valid, would make a great impact, tend to receive more rigorous scrutiny than findings that just support the consensus, but that is as it should be. The pay-off is that it’s likely to be accepted in a much fancier journal.

    This is why scientists do not have a vested interest in the status quo. The big rewards are in upsetting it, not supporting it.

    These debates aren’t scientific per se – we’re not challenging physical facts, nor even generally data collected via research. What is being challenged is the epistemological and ontological basis for interpreting those facts as the status quo insists on interpreting them, and the logical chain of inference that arrives at particular conclusions.

    I agree that they are often not scientific. I understand that you are challenging the “epistemological and ontological basis for interpreting those facts”. I think your challenge rests on a fundamental misunderstanding of scientific epistemology.

    So we will have to agree to differ.

  48. It is interesting to point out, in getting beyond all the rhetoric, posturing, ones-up-man-ship, and name calling, in this post, and many other posts on UD, what the ‘science’, which everyone seems to be paying lip service to as the ultimate authority with final word, but not ever really directly addressing, actually has to say about this matter. The burning question of science, which neo-Darwinists never directly address, but implicitly always assume is true, is this. ‘Is the atheistic/materialistic molecular reductionism model for the foundation of reality, upon which neo-Darwinism built, true, or is the Theistic Logos-information theoretic foundation for all of reality true? It turns out when this most important question of science is asked, that the answer completely undermines what is implicitly assumed by all Darwinists in their arguments. i.e. it undercuts the assumption that reductive materialism-molecular reductionism is true!

    Here are a few notes to that effect:

    God is the ultimate existence which grounds all of reality
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yHEwK2ZOlyiobVOJ9i-_FiFz37pVj0sQ-viPZu9V_dA/edit

    Quantum Evidence for a Theistic Universe
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agaJIWjPWHs5vtMx5SkpaMPbantoP471k0lNBUXg0Xo/edit

    Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p8AQgqFqiRQwyaF8t1_CKTPQ9duN8FHU9-pV4oBDOVs/edit?hl=en_US

    Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/29895068

    Moreover, in Irony of Ironies, is the fact that ‘science’, as much as neo-Darwinists trumpet their ‘expertise’ in the area of science over the rest of us mere mortals, cannot even be grounded in the materialistic framework in the first place,,,, whether reductive or non reductive materialism!:

    The End Of Materialism? – Dr. Bruce Gordon
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as a explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.

    This ‘lack of a guarantee’, for trusting our perceptions and reasoning in science to be trustworthy in the first place, even extends into evolutionary naturalism (reductive materialism itself;

    Should You Trust the Monkey Mind? – Joe Carter
    Excerpt: Evolutionary naturalism assumes that our noetic equipment developed as it did because it had some survival value or reproductive advantage. Unguided evolution does not select for belief except insofar as the belief improves the chances of survival. The truth of a belief is irrelevant, as long as it produces an evolutionary advantage. This equipment could have developed at least four different kinds of belief that are compatible with evolutionary naturalism, none of which necessarily produce true and trustworthy cognitive faculties.
    http://www.firstthings.com/ont.....onkey-mind

    Thus as far as the science goes, which neo-Darwinists seem to take such pride in being such experts in, the fact is that ‘science’ refutes materialism as the true foundation of reality, moreover, it is shown that even if materialism were true, as they falsely presuppose it to be, then science would not even be possible in the first place:

    Further notes to that effect:

    Why should the human mind be able to comprehend reality so deeply? – referenced article
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qGvbg_212biTtvMschSGZ_9kYSqhooRN4OUW_Pw-w0E/edit

  49. Dr Liddle:

    Pardon me, I was not thinking of this as an “outing.”

    If it was.

    That is indeed a step beyond what should be done, if it was that. (Remember in my case my handle is not for concealment of identity, indeed the TKI part is my work personality.)

    I do not of course have editing power on this thread — as the colour of the comments will hint.

    Perhaps, Mr Arrington will explain himself?

    KF

    PS: P, as you know, my use of a handle mainly has to do with spamming and the like web plagues; we all know how serious that is getting; it’s not just those funny banker widows from Nigeria anymore. However, your attempt to retaliate against an uninvolved third party says something about you, and it is not good.

  50. GCU: Really! Please see above.

  51. Dr Liddle: Abduction seems the pivotal explanatory move in science, and eval of best current explanation takes in a pretty wide swath. I would be cautious on playing the extraordinary explanations card too: designers are not exactly exceptional, and that they leave characteristic signs is not either. What would be, is to win an unwinnable lottery! KF

  52. the rest of us are doomed to reading the same bad logic and absurd statements in every. single. debate.

    Phew. Motes and beams once more. I can hardly claim to be a detached observer (is there such a beast?) but would you not agree that a great deal of absurdity and bad logic is peddled here in defence of a Personal-Creator view of origins? I’m not sure how you manage to rise above the intellectual shackles that grip us lesser mortals, and generate meta-rationalisations that appear to perceive ‘Natural’ Science as deeply flawed (because it is a human endeavour, marred by ideology and tenure-jockeying) yet your own ‘Personal-Creator’ science is an honest, unprejudiced curiosity to simply “follow the data where it leads”.

    To me, one fundamental distinction is the ‘text’. You are given a manual that last changed so long ago it is as if set in stone. Making the world fit that text, as best you can, involves numerous contortions depending upon the degree to which you are prepared to allow metaphor – ie, the text is static, interpretation more flexible. But you have a compelling reason to make that effort: salvation.

    The ‘text’ of science may be hard to shift sometimes, but shift it will, if data or better interpretation forces it. But the consensus is a consensus for a reason, and ideology is far from compelling as a basis for that reason.

    There is a curious implication in your post that scientists are not to be trusted with their own data. They formulated the hypothesis, carried out the experiment to test it, and presented it to their peers at conference or for publication … but it needs dispassionate examination by … ooh, let’s say a lawyer or a mathematician, unfamiliar with the field – before we can really interpret it correctly!

  53. Joe: Pardon, but if you have been speaking in that way [and it looks like the clips are accurate, from your responses . . . ], I suggest you will find it best to dial back your tone a few notches. We in the main need to focus on issues not personalities. Controversial matters are best addressed in that way, otherwise the sidetracks will tend to derail serious discussion. KF

  54. 54

    If it was.

    What else is it? Publishing someone’s real identity without their permission is outing. I appreciate you are extending the benefit of the doubt; however, it is misplaced and far more than you have extended to others here who have used your real name.

    If you are waiting for Arrington to publish an email from DrREC saying “please out me when you eventually ban me”, you will be waiting a long time.

  55. 55

    I don’t see condemnation above. Only lukewarm, provisional tutting.

  56. WJ: Pardon, but if you can show that someone has said what they know or should know is false, hoping to gain from its being thought true, then we should correct the act. I am not at all sure that it is fair to characterise a person with a stigmatising brand by what may be an uncharacteristic slip-up. Save, where that person is so persistent that he needs to be marked as of no credibility, i.e has shown a habitual and defiant problem. Notice, how I and others have spoken of Wikipedia in such terms, only after many corrections have failed, indeed have been resisted. KF

  57. 57

    Glad to. If someone comes onto my site and calls me that name, they can expect to be identified so that the whole world can know who’s dispicable behavior is on view and then banned.

  58. WJ: Pardon me, I think I spoke just a tad too fast there, on that first bit of response. KF

  59. 59

    This scientist will have to be content without being a maverick and repeating some of the same things Elizabeth has already said.

    Academics in particular are fond of students that attempt to prove their professors in error, or that their whole way of thinking about a scientific issue is flawed.

    Why yes they are, in my experience. All but the really bad lecturers at any rate. When students question and try to find mistakes in things, that means they’re thinking. That’s what academia is all about. Oh, and some challenging discussion in the lecture theatre helps liven things up and makes the class more interesting for the prof.

    Your other comments (e.g. “pecking order”) really show little understanding of how scientists work and see themselves. You seem to see a scientific field as a rigid monolithic hierarchy with clear winners and losers. Scientists are widely dispersed as small teams and individuals throughout the world. Oftentimes in a university, a professor will be the only one present in his specialty, plus his team of postdocs and research students, and his collaborators and competitors will be away in the next similar university. Except for those employed by companies, today’s competitor for funding and making that next breakthrough will be tomorrow’s collaborator.

    Your opinion and conclusions as a scientist carry no weight in an argument about the validity of the heuristic structure you employ because your opinion and conclusions as a scientist are generated by that structure.

    So you as a non-scientist have all the understanding required to make well-informed criticisms as to how science is conducted, but us scientists have to stay in the box? Strangely enough, I would agree with the second part of that, but not the first. However, I suggest you do not really understand the structure of the box or how scientists understand and operate within it as scientists.

  60. “And it’s “downright scary” that someone who uses a rude word in an internet discussion should have a PhD?”

    Well, it’s surprising. That much education and all he can come up with is a junior high school level insult?

    It’s not so much scary as it is sad and pathetic.

  61. 61

    So, Barry, will you please update the moderation policy to the effect that those who call you names are subject to outing? That would at least be honest if not respectable or ethical.

    You might also clean up all the funny typos there while you’re at it.

  62. 62

    And can we expect this new moderation policy to be applied to all who call others names, or is this privilege only to be extended to moderators, or just you personally?

  63. WJ: Now that I had a pause that allows me to see from outside of the frame of trying to douse the first embers of a flame war, I find your post as a very sound and sobering addition that should be taken very seriously indeed, by all of us. From all of our diverse points of view. KF

  64. 64

    I agree with KF Joe. You are warned.

  65. 65

    The scientists are unanimous. Scientists are wonderful. Thanks.

  66. 66

    Exactly Barb. And it is also sad and pathetic that another PhD cannot see the obvious point you made.

  67. Chomsky described infants deducing the grammar of language from the imperfect spoken samples all around them.

    Likewise, I’m struggling to deduce the administrative position on civility here. “Arrogant prick” doesn’t fly, I get that. But “mentally ill, or perhaps a drug addict,” doesn’t draw a comment from the administration, and “sad and pathetic” comes from the administration itself. These are all personal characterizations.

    So, what’s the deep structure vis civility at UD? Empirically, it appears to be “We require civility, modulo who your position on ID, and who you are addressing.”

  68. Mr Arrington:

    This scientist disagrees with the overly rosy picture that is being painted.

    The characterisation that Dr REC used above was an insult beyond the pale that invited the equivalent of a punch in the nose,* but in fact arrogance is one of the major occupational hazards of the bright and highly educated, including in my direct experience, any number of scientists and members of related disciplines. As well as members of many learned professions. Something we all need to be on guard about.

    Let me give two cases in point from the dean of the New Atheist School, Dawkins: those who differ with him and adhere to the Bible are regarded by him as ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked (never mind the weasel words he used). The God of the OT is a moral monster, with direct implications that those who believe in God are beyond the pale. His treatment of Dr Craig fits in with both these attitudes.

    Would you think it appropriate to look someone in the eye and say, in effect regardless of your qualifications, if you disagree with me you are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked?

    Doesn’t something jar here?

    As to profs gently nurturing students who break with the pack, it depends a whole lot on many factors.

    There are indeed profs who will back an upcoming star, but when especially wider worldview issues at one extreme or at the narrow end, if you pick the wrong prof to cut across, trouble can easily follow.

    What I would say is if your antennae warn you that this is a PC-ish environment or a bit of a hedgehog personality, keep heretical ideas to yourself, jump through the hoops, get the pieces of paper squared away, get tenure or security elsewhere, and then speak what you have on your mind.

    Look, Einstein famously ended up cadging a job as a patents clerk, and then ended up struggling for the better part of a decade in the academy. AFTER he published his Nobel Prize winning papers in Annalen der Physik.

    Human nature has not changed noticeably in the past century.

    KF

    * F/N: I think we need to suggest the punch in the nose rule on web speech: if you are about to say something online that would invite a punch in the nose or the polite equivalent offline, if the person was in reach, back off. That is a minimal rule of civility, I think.

  69. BW: Kindly note the following post above, from 1 hr, five minutes before the time stamp on your own:

    6.1.1.1 Barry ArringtonFebruary 10, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I agree with KF Joe. You are warned.

    KF

  70. I see.

    Well, no I don’t see. While there are instances of Joe being chastised now and then, “mentally ill, perhaps a drug addict” and “sad and pathetic” appear to pass muster.

    So, what’s the principle?

  71. “Sad and pathetic” came from me, and I’m not part of the administration on this site.

    Also, sad and pathetic referred to his comments, not to the person making them.

    Try to refrain from baseless and outright invalid assumptions, which result when you don’t have all the facts.

  72. Hello Barb –

    I was responding to Mr. Arrington’s statement, “it is also sad and pathetic that another PhD cannot see the obvious point you made.”

    He is here characterizing Dr. Liddle (one assumes). Only persons can or cannot see obvious points, and therefore in failing to do so can be “sad and pathetic.” And certainly Gil was offering a personal characterization when he characterized DrRec as “mentally ill, or perhaps a drug addict.”

    Those comments, juxtaposed with DrRec’s banning, are the basis for my question, “What’s the principle?”

  73. BW, if you don’t see the significance of a warning from the blog owner, then either you are being incredibly unaware, or you are pushing a talking point game. G’day. KF

  74. No, kf, the fallacy here is a straw man from your part. markf didn’t dismiss any argument from Johnson in his post, he contradicted ba77′s claim about lawyers being idoneous for analysing evidence and following the logic of scientific arguments.

  75. Trust Mr. Arrington. As a lawyer, he has expertise in such things.

  76. The scientists are unanimous. Scientists are wonderful. Thanks.

    So … we should take our rebukes lying down, then? Of course they aren’t wonderful, any more than all lawyers … but nor are they all incapable of the same approach to objective, rational thought that is the subjective experience of the ID-proponent. Do ID-ers have a stranglehold on objective, non-agenda-led evaluation? Hardly. But dismissing the thinking of an entire class due to some misperception of their motivation is intellectually lazy.

    People drift by here to argue out of interest and subject enthusiasm. I actually enjoy having my viewpoint challenged – but preferably on some rational grounds, not just because I’m one of ‘them’ and so fit into THIS box here. ID wishes to operate within the realm of ‘science’ – and then complains, bitterly, because there are all these darned scientists cluttering the place up with their non-ID-friendly methodology and their standards and their many-years-studying-the-subject. You don’t wish your science to be held up to the standards of science. It could just be about the arguments, but if you present an argument on – say – genetics before a geneticist, a bus driver and a mathematician, who would be best placed to evaluate it? Do you never call on expert witness?

  77. 77

    Bullwinkle says he is hopelessly befuddled as to the difference between the obscenity directed at me and the phrase “sad and pathetic.” In light of that I decided he would be happier not commenting on this site. Anyone else want to push me today?

  78. Elizabeth you are a dyed-in-the wool, incorrigible ‘company man’ (generically-speaking) for whom the establishment can never be at fault. You get away with so much casuistry, because you sprinkle your posts with minor demurrals and quasi-concessions. I regret that it sounds so disparaging, but the term that springs to mind is, ‘effortlessly slippery’.

    There was another Elizabeth, an Edinburgh woman, soi-disant, highly-accredited, you remind me of a lot. She argued on Democratic Underground that the exit polls of the US presidential election in 2000 could not be relied on. I warned her that the truth about it would come out and she and her side-kick, OTOH, would be utterly humiliated. It transpires that many millions were disenfranchised by the machines – quite apart from the suppression of minority voters and students. I put my re establishment authority in the second of these posts on DU – #73 and’#77 here:

    http://www.democraticundergrou....._id=433219

    She sometimes conceded that the perpetration of fraud by the Republicans was a distinct possibility, yet seemingly was enormously exercised by something which, even had she been correct, was a distracting taradiddle

    For your information, a good lawyer would understand the corrupting influence of power, its corridors, its motivations, its goals, etc, far better than any scientist, at least, below the greatest innovators.

    It’s the lawyers’ speciality, and is why they, in contrast to scientists, preponderate among politicians. Your speciality is pedantry in relation to the study of the measurable, i.e the basest of all the dimensions of human existence. You would do well to leave such matters to others.

  79. Casey Luskin has posted a must-read article regarding peer-review, specially the dogmatic nature of it.

    Intelligent Design Is Peer-Reviewed, but Is Peer-Review a Requirement of Good Science?

    A sampling:

    “Another example is Günter Blobel, who in a news conference given just after he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, said that the main problem one encounters in one’s research is ‘when your grants and papers are rejected because some stupid reviewer rejected them for dogmatic adherence to old ideas.’ According to the New York Times, these comments ‘drew thunderous applause from the hundreds of sympathetic colleagues and younger scientists in the auditorium.’”

  80. “one assumes”.

    You know what happens when you assume? You make an ASS out of U and ME! (my boss loves this phrase).

  81. These matters have enormous implications for society and the whole globe – they are ultimately matters of life and death.

    Perhaps I am mistaken but the impression I have is that the loss of atheist input here would not be missed. It is a place for encouragement of the scientists and others who are not on friendly terms with the corporate scientific establishment. Dr REC might well be employed by a department built and funded by a large US corporation. Maybe not.

    But that should give us an idea of the depth to which academia has sunk: Oxbridge and the Ivy League firmament.

    You need to consider the possiblity, queasy though it makes you, that there are scientists – off the top of my head, e.g. Dr Mengele – who are not beacons of integrity. It happens, and physicians who work for national, black-ops torturers.

    If people get the inmpression that you are somewhat lacking in intellectual integrity, are they to remain silent about it, and allow your arguments and what they perceive as their implicit motivation, to go unchallenged? We may try to make it a vicars’ tea-party, but surely only gutter expletives (to which, alas, I am prone in my private life) and invective, should be proscribed. I don’t believe that impugning a person’s integrity for its own sake, and not extrapolated from what they say, is indulged in here at all.

    When people say, “You don’t know me. You don’t know anything about me” I think of the Freeway Blogger’s response to hate-radio jock, Michael Savage:

    http://www.freewayblogger.com/.....l%20Savage

  82. Well Doveton I sincerely doubt that the internet will run out of ‘new atheists’ any time soon. Though the thought does have a wishful appeal to it! :)

  83. Don’t fret, Doveton. They’ll all be back under new accounts soon enough. We should take bets on what closeted I.D. researcher Robert E. Collins new username will be.

  84. Elizabeth has been banned? Why?

    Anybody willing to give a reason?

    http://tinyurl.com/7hb67za

  85. Oh I have no doubts that you are correct on that point, BA77. I’m just wondering what folks are going to chat about here if there is no one to offer a counter POV?

    UD: Doveton’s out. Anyone else?

  86. You may be right Jammer, but then again given the number of folks who have been…ahem…uninvited today, what are the odds that there is now some new, more strict policy in place? I mean it’s one thing for the moderator(s) to take offense at a given post, point it out, and yell, “you’re outta here!” It’s another to just silently remove so many folk without (at least as far as I can tell) any overt reason.

    I’ll be blunt, Jammer…what do you think of the odds of Dr. Liddle coming back are? I don’t think she uses socks or pseudonyms. I don’t think anyone’s been as gracious and humble on this site, and yet even she’s been asked to leave today. If nothing else, you have to admit that the discussions with her were for the most part enjoyable to read, but it seems even she managed to cross some line today. I think she spurred some liveliness that others enjoyed and without her and a few others, I bet that a few of those folks won’t be so eager to create more socks. Maybe I’m wrong, but…

    I don’t know Jammmer…I suspect we might find things a little less lively here for a bit. I’m just waiting to discover I can’t log on anymore.

  87. From Peter Griffin’s link:
    “And me – GCUGreyArea – again! (p.s. I was also DrBot) :p”

    Thanks for outing that sockpuppet account.

  88. Has Elizabeth been banned? That would be extraordinary but I can’t see where it happened.

  89. If you’d like things to be lively, I suggest you have a look at the antievolution.org forum. Particularly the thread relating to UD.

    Then do this: compared the behavior on that thread to the behavior here, by admins and posters alike. Also, notice if Liddle is outraged – outraged! – at what’s going on in that thread. Or if she behaves like a good little girl who keeps her mouth shut and tolerates, or even encourages, what goes on there.

  90. markf, I gather a number of people have been banned, some “silently”. That is to say, they have not been told direct of their excommunication, but have simply found themselves unable to log on.
    As far as I know this is a habit unique to UD; and it is conspicuously used on posters making arguments that ID proponents find difficult to answer. It is most certainly NOT simply a question of civil conduct, since there are pro-ID posters at UD who are routinely uncivil, but unrebuked.

    Just why the UD managers think that ID is vulnerable to these posters is not clear. ID claims to have strong arguments in its favour, but has to ban those that argue most cogently against it? Illogical.

  91. As far as I know this is a habit unique to UD;

    Never been to Jerry Coyne’s or… well, a tremendous number of blogs out there, have you?

    and it is conspicuously used on posters making arguments that ID proponents find difficult to answer.

    Do you realize, over the course of being here, just one of the apparently banned posters commented over 1000 times? And the rest have been around for weeks or even months?

    Apparently, it takes tremendous effort for critics to find any questions ID proponents have difficulty answering.

    I noted a site and forum where some of these banned posters are posting at and colluding on. Go judge their civility, as well as their sincerity.

  92. You’re lucky. The letters columns of the UK right-wing dailies don’t even let me start to comment!

  93. Barry:

    I have great respect for your thoughtful views and appreciate the many hours you spend raising issues and working here at UD.

    I think most people can see the failure of DrREC’s and Elizabeth’s attempts to whitewash the regular and repeated tactics employed by some in the scientific community and turn them into something more benign than the naked appeal to authority that they are.

    Further, I think most people realize that the world has a long history of outsiders (philosophers, lawyers, analysts, commentators, journalists, etc.) pointing out serious problems in certain fields/industries/occupations. Therefore, the idea that a non-scientist is not qualified to opine on how science operates is just absurd (and is itself perhaps a sub-category of the appeal to authority fallacy). As a result, DrREC’s recent statements seem to be not only naive, but completely against the spirit of truth seeking, whether in the scientific arena or any other.

    I think most readers realize that DrREC and Elizabeth are either ignoring or sweeping under the rug the appeal to authority issues you appropriately raised.

    However, I would certainly hope that DrREC or Elizabeth or anyone else who shares similar views would not be banned. Despite what we might see as absurd arguments, silly side roads or blatant failure to consider the evidence — and the resulting frustrations — I think DrREC and Elizabeth have contributed significantly to the discussions and have caused all of us to be on our toes and raise our debating ability.

    Just a humble appeal on my part to not let a temporary frustration (or even a temporary site policy violation, if that is what is perceived) be the basis for a ban.

  94. Eric,

    As I said elsewhere in this thread – have a look at the forums at antievolution.org. Go there and lurk, anyone can see the UD thread there.

    Decide for yourself whether you’re seeing people who are interested in rational, civil debate, much less respectful dialogue. Or if, in the end, it’s all one big culture war or even personal vendetta for quite a lot of them – complete with the ‘civil’ people largely being civil because they know they can count on their friends to be anything but.

  95. I am of course aware that a blog owner must be prepared ruthlessly to ban the “trolls”, the crackpots, and and the obscene, without warning or notice. I don’t think those recently banned here are in those categories.
    And yes, it sometimes takes a lot of back and forth before one side realises ther argument is being lost.

    And why is an individual’s behaviour at another venue relevant? “When in Rome” and all that – it’s not so unusual to fit one’s deportment to the local environment. If it were some kind of rule, then there is at least one poster at UD that should have been banned outright a long time ago!

    And, of course, if UD were not so handy with the axe on dissenters, posters would not need to adopt sockpuppet identities. It’s a natural reaction to try and get around arbitrary censorship.

  96. I am of course aware that a blog owner must be prepared ruthlessly to ban the “trolls”, the crackpots, and and the obscene, without warning or notice.

    I said nothing about “trolls”, crackpots, etc. Coyne – and frankly, most other blog owners – take an axe to pretty much anyone they dislike. I’ll note again that one of the posters apparently axed had over 1000 comments here over months – that’s some supreme tolerance by that standard.

    And yes, it sometimes takes a lot of back and forth before one side realises ther argument is being lost.

    Pity it didn’t happen in this case, then. Just like, when the Timecube guy finally gets booted off somewhere, it says less about the strength of his argument and more about the guy himself.

    I’ll note again: 1000+ comments. That’s pretty substantial. In fact, in terms of allowing critics to speak, it’s extremely tolerant.

    And why is an individual’s behaviour at another venue relevant? “When in Rome” and all that

    I don’t think you understand what that phrase means. Talking up the importance of civility and tolerance in conversation in one place, and then tolerating or encouraging photoshop mockery and vile, personal insults in another place (public even), is entirely relevant. It illustrates that there’s hypocrisy in play, a lack of mutual respect, and frankly it reflects poorly on someone’s character.

    It’s not like I’m citing someone’s trash-talk in a game of Team Fortress 2. If I’m nice to your face, but behind your back I laugh when people make some pretty nasty jokes about you, or even make those jokes myself, should I really be surprised when you decide to kick me out of your house?

    And, of course, if UD were not so handy with the axe on dissenters, posters would not need to adopt sockpuppet identities. It’s a natural reaction to try and get around arbitrary censorship.

    No, it’s actually not. It’s something you’re apparently used to seeing, it’s something you tolerate – hell, for all I know, something you even engage in. But it’s not natural. It’s extremely childish, and a prime sign of a troll, a person with a vendetta, or someone with emotional problems.

    I’ve been banned from sites before (shocking I know, I’m such a nice and pleasant guy). You know what my response has been in each and every one? I left and I didn’t look back. If you kick me out of your house, even if I think it’s unfair, it’s not a “natural reaction” to try and break or sneak back in. Maybe once it can be written off as making a reasonable mistake and letting anger get the better of a person. After that, it’s a sign of emotional problems.

  97. I want to stress something here.

    This isn’t a case of all critics being lumped into this category. We’re talking about a group of people who all know each other and collude, and really, that thread speaks for itself. Go test the sincerity of people’s complaints about behavior or moderation on UD, compared with what goes on at that site.

  98. Nullasalus, could you provide a link to the UD thread at antievolution.org
    I could not find it

  99. http://tinyurl.com/83js6hr

    Be warned, it’s a pretty foul thread. I mean we’re not talking something like “(X) is a jerk!” and that’s it. Except some NSFW images too.

    Really, it’s kind of a famous place as far as ID critics go. Just take one look at it, compare it to anything you’ve ever seen on UD, and decide which has the more reasonable, less crazy population, for all its faults.

  100. The drug is Darwinist dogma. It shuts down one’s reasoning faculties.

  101. 101

    I’m not sure how you manage to rise above the intellectual shackles that grip us lesser mortals,

    Beginning with fundamental premises that are necessary to such “rising above” would be a good start, such as the premise of libertarian free will and the capacity to successfully employ it. Otherwise, we’re just dogs barking at each other in a pool of materialist equivocation.

    To me, one fundamental distinction is the ‘text’. You are given a manual that last changed so long ago it is as if set in stone.

    You have made an incorrect assumption. I have no such text. This is why assumptions and premises are so important; when they are incorrect, they habitually lead to the same erroneous conclusions.

    But you have a compelling reason to make that effort: salvation.

    Yet another erroneous assumption.

    The ‘text’ of science may be hard to shift sometimes, but shift it will, if data or better interpretation forces it. But the consensus is a consensus for a reason, and ideology is far from compelling as a basis for that reason.

    Ideology is the basis for every interpretation.

    There is a curious implication in your post that scientists are not to be trusted with their own data. They formulated the hypothesis, carried out the experiment to test it, and presented it to their peers at conference or for publication … but it needs dispassionate examination by … ooh, let’s say a lawyer or a mathematician, unfamiliar with the field – before we can really interpret it correctly!

    It’s not a matter of trust. It’s a matter of recognizing glaring logical flaws the argument of scientists that stem from fundamentally erroneous assumptions. It doesn’t require a Ph.D. to recognize bad logic and erroneous assumptions.

  102. 102

    Those comments, juxtaposed with DrRec’s banning, are the basis for my question, “What’s the principle?”

    Why would you expect that such events should be governed by any principle?

  103. @nullasalus,

    It’s like a moment from an Orwell novel to understand that you think posters like champignon and Elizabeth Liddle (and Diffaxial, Rob, Seversky, Nakashima and many others before them, and I’m sure many after) are not interested in rational, civil debate when both of them have just been banned.

    Anyone who’s read Lizzie at all can see the black-is-white bombast in claiming that SHE wasn’t interested in rational discussion, and that Arrington, or whoever banned her WAS interested.

    It sure is a frustrating experience to get banned, as you apparently know, but Arrington’s got a karma problem. He can wield the ban hammer as he likes, but in doing so like this, he has outed himself, and his blog as the verifiable “first punch thrown”, the party that began acting in bad faith. That’s really fine with me, I’m getting mileage out of this with several friends and family who are Christians and pro-ID, and who suppose I should come here and engage, and maybe be persuaded toward a more positive view of ID.

    I like what they see. At times, I have seriously wondered if some of the managers of this blog are part of a super-fiendish “black flag” operation perpetrated by cunning evolutionists; Arrington pretty much embodies the worst and most cutting narratives ID critics have to offer (speaking of which, by the way, is Clive Hayden still in management for this blog?).

    No, I don’t think so, but when the science crowd has Arrington, Dodgen, KairosFocus and O’Leary as the vanguard on the other side, well, things are going to be childish in terms of the bickering and the mod/banning policies, but the broader message is pretty devastating to ID: ID is vacuous, a culture war cult that cynically uses “sciencey” prose and buzzwords to avoid the stigma that has now firmly been attached to more traditional forms of creationism.

    The harsh reality from all that is that at the end of the day, people of deeply antagonistic views, but good will, and a commitment to a “fair fight” can “get along” for the good of everybody. It’s interesting, contoversial, educational. But at some point, it becomes clear that bad faith is what’s driving the interaction. There comes a point where all there is to do is mock. Even that takes the other party more seriously than they take themselves.

    We have people here correcting critics on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, insisting that biolology and/or evolution is a violation of 2LoT. Multiple clear and patient efforts were launched to correct the nonsense. Instead, the nonsense gets doubled down. And doubled down again. What’s more, none of the IDers who know better can be bothered to stick up for some sanity on this.

    There’s really nothing more you can do with that kind of proud ignorance and incorrigibility than to mock it. Mocking it isn’t even half as hostile as the prideful ignorance. It’s a lost cause as a matter of knowledge and science, either way.

    Why keep posting, then? Well, the incorrigible aren’t the target. It’s good just to put good clear scientific thinking on the record. It shames by example, without shaming, as Elizabeth has done with devastating grace and patience, here.

    If Arrington is not aware, though, it is childish outbursts and self-indulgences like this latest display that not only engender the mocking — the hopeless understanding that Arrington is beyond the pale — it necessitates it. Arrington laments the incivility, and then puts on a spectacular display demonstrating why mocking and harshly uncivil taunts and denunciations are too good for him, and to a sobering extent, this blog.

  104. Well, I’ve never been over there before now, but may check it out. I don’t dispute that there are other forums lacking in rational, civil debate and respectful dialogue. However, pointing to such forums and noting their banal tenor, perhaps rightly so, nevertheless doesn’t seem to address the question of whether someone should be banned on this forum.

    I’m suggesting that banning DrREC for his comment at the beginning of this thread seems heavy handed. I haven’t been around much lately and certainly may have missed something, so if DrREC has engaged in other activities clearly in contravention of UD site policy, then I withdraw my comment. Otherwise, I’d hope that the moderators would welcome him to continue engaging here.

  105. eigenstate,

    It’s like a moment from an Orwell novel

    There’s this pattern I’ve noticed, where people who invoke Orwell against others are usually the ones best exemplifying the very things they’re accusing people of. I’m sure if an updated version of 1984 is released, there will be parts where some guy fully and obviously aligned with Big Brother runs around accusing everyone of being Orwellian.

    The problem here, eigen, is that I’ve provided a link right to AtBC. Anyone can go see what goes on there. Anyone can see almost all of the people in question (including the ones you insist are very civil and reasonable) cheerfully ignoring, encouraging or engaging in mockery of people they disagree with here, ranging from fisting jokes to gay jokes (so very enlightened) to worse. They can see the very people who scream about unjust treatment engaging in behavior that – I stand by this, and frankly man, you know it’s true – makes anything that has gone on on UD, ever, pale in comparison.

    You say you’re ‘getting mileage’ here by complaining about what you think is an unfair admin policy. Wonderful – I’m getting mileage here by pointing out just who the critics are, how they behave, and how the supposedly “rational, civil” critics tolerate and encourage the behavior. How extremely personal they make it all. Doubly so, since various things that used to be harshly complained about – goodness, DaveScot called someone a name! and Dembski photoshopped a silly picture of Dawkins! – go on there. I’ve got you beaten on distance by far.

    I mean, really, when you say stuff like this…

    Arrington laments the incivility, and then puts on a spectacular display demonstrating why mocking and harshly uncivil taunts and denunciations are too good for him, and to a sobering extent, this blog.

    …You’re coming off as a pretty bad BSer. Especially since it’s not like what goes on in your cesspool of choice is limited only to the grand and terrifying Barry Arrington and his horrendous act of banning people. Showing up here and saying what amounts to, “Well, you see, we thought the arguments provided were poor, and that’s why intellectually we feel justified – nay, obligated – to make fisting jokes about people associated with the Discovery Institute.” is inane. Yes, yes, I know, you’re stating it in a very calm manner, you’re struggling to communicate pristine composure. But sorry, the end result is still inanity, and it’s not worth taking seriously. Just because someone talks calmly, even cheerfully, doesn’t mean they’re really worth engaging.

    Let me cap this off with the following: I’m a TE myself. I find various ‘popular’ critiques of evolution silly at a glance, at least given my limited knowledge. The SLOT argument just seems wrongheaded, for example. And I’ve gotten into arguments on this very site, with admins, on various topics – my not thinking ID qualifies as science (given certain caveats), what I think has been unfair depictions of TEs, misunderstandings of various arguments and positions, etc. Hell, I’ve even gotten some ID proponents pretty ticked at me. But somehow it never occurred to me that I had some intellectual obligation to act like your peers over at AtBC. Even with Liddle, who I have a very low opinion of, I left things at telling her flatly that I thought she was intellectually dishonest, and leaving her to her own devices.

    Apparently, I wasn’t meeting my intellectual obligations. According to you, if I truly thought her intellectual honesty left something to be desired, I should have skulked around for some pics of her or even her family and photoshopped in some crude sexual antics of them to post on a public forum. Or perhaps that would be too good for her, right? At the very least you would have said such a response was justifiable, even if you disagreed, yes?

    Here’s the short version: AtBC is a cesspool. Again, any lack of civility or fairness you can accuse UD of fostering, AtBC outdoes in spades – and has for years. All I need to do is link to that forum to make that point, and when your best defense is ‘Yes, well, we feel intellectually obligated to act that way and tolerate it’, you’re not worth taking seriously. You’re just, transparently, trying to be the good, thoughtful-sounding cop to the bad cops. I have no idea what triggered these bannings, nor did I have any input in it. But I think when critics engage in that level of putrid behavior, or openly tolerate it, there’s no more conversation to be had with them.

    And finally, whoever’s doing the photoshopping over there really needs a few classes. It’s not even very good.

  106. 106

    It sure is a frustrating experience to get banned, as you apparently know, but Arrington’s got a karma problem. He can wield the ban hammer as he likes, but in doing so like this, he has outed himself, and his blog as the verifiable “first punch thrown”, the party that began acting in bad faith. That’s really fine with me, I’m getting mileage out of this with several friends and family who are Christians and pro-ID, and who suppose I should come here and engage, and maybe be persuaded toward a more positive view of ID.

    Because that’s really how someone should present an argument about ID to friends and family – getting mileage out of emotional, manipulative rhetoric.

  107. Eric,

    Here’s the problem: I think that, yes, it does address the question of whether someone should be banned on this forum.

    I’m not sitting here arguing ‘Oh look, those guys on a completely different forum that has nothing to do with this site and this topic behave horribly, let’s hold that against them.’ I think someone could make an argument along those lines – to use a very extreme example, if I knew someone frequented a child porn site, I’d want their asses gone and shunned even if the site were legal in their country – but that’s not the argument, much less the comparison, I’m making here.

    Instead I’m pointing out that the critics have something in common. All of them are members of a very small, public forum whose members hold personal animosity towards most, maybe all, of the people they discuss with here. Again – go have a look at the thread I pointed at. Browse through it. We’re talking decade-old grudges, people ranting and raving and insulting others, photoshopping pics, personal threats, the works. Not just disagreement, but hatred. And it’s all tolerated, engaged in, and/or encouraged.

    No, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect people to turn a blind eye to that kind of behavior and pretend everything is okay and try to have a civil conversation until someone snaps. I think it’s entirely reasonable to say “You know what? I don’t need to give the time of day, much less a platform, to a person who goes at me quite like this. Get lost.” And I think the same goes for people who tolerate and encourage that kind of behavior. This isn’t mere disagreement. This is stuff made personal, and frankly, there’s some pretty irrational stuff over there.

    That’s the short of it: mutual respect. If that’s not there – if there’s a complete and utter lack of respect on one end, even if it’s shown only on another public site – then to hell with it. There’s no shortage of people willing to argue about just about anything on the internet, so if debate is important, you may as well hold out for someone who doesn’t collapse into a ranting fit of expletives, mockery and insults when your name comes up elsewhere.

    And by the way, that’s a two-way street. The problem is, it’s a pretty one-sided affair at this point. Again I say, check out the thread, note the behavior, note the utter lack of anyone criticizing it – and note that this was taking place long, long before any bans came into play.

  108. “And finally, whoever’s doing the photoshopping over there really needs a few classes. It’s not even very good.”

    It’s that TWT guy. If you think AtBC is vile, you should see TWT’s blog. Not just one thread, but his whole blog is dedicated to UD, and he apparently posts at AtBC as well. He pretty much stalks the internet seeking as much personal info on UD folks as he can find, and spends (apparently) his entire day maintaining his blog; for which, after a whole year has only succeeded in gaining a total of 3 members, and most threads have no comments. You talk about obsession? Oh you didn’t?

  109. @nullasalus,

    There’s this pattern I’ve noticed, where people who invoke Orwell against others are usually the ones best exemplifying the very things they’re accusing people of. I’m sure if an updated version of 1984 is released, there will be parts where some guy fully and obviously aligned with Big Brother runs around accusing everyone of being Orwellian.

    That’s the thing, it’s just a surreal conversation. You think, it appears, that science is “Big Brother”. For all that science might have to worry about or apologize for, it’s not being Big Brother. There is no Pope, no tyrant jealous God, no military standing ready, no security infrastructure. None of that can work for science, even if they wanted. The epistemology doesn’t support it. The models either work, or they don’t. The predictions either pan out, or they don’t.

    This is the kind of conspiracy theorist mindset that drags a potentially serious discussion toward silly.

    If you think it’s controlling, per chance, over at AtBC, go sign up and see if you get censored or banned. For whatever faults you want to assign, they will let you speak, and have enough respect for the process to let you have your say. And it’s not altruistic, much of that. Letting you go on, or whoever, just becomes more evidence in support of the critics thesis.

    The kind of tactics embraced here are only effective with different goals — to prop up, artificially protect, and use “state powers” — analogous, the administrative controls here, to enforce censorship, and silence critics. Again, reading you in context, worried about a chaotic, somewhat anarchic “cesspool” and then worrying about “Big Brother”, in THIS thread. I don’t think you’re seeing the big picture here.

    The problem here, eigen, is that I’ve provided a link right to AtBC. Anyone can go see what goes on there. Anyone can see almost all of the people in question (including the ones you insist are very civil and reasonable) cheerfully ignoring, encouraging or engaging in mockery of people they disagree with here, ranging from fisting jokes to gay jokes (so very enlightened) to worse. They can see the very people who scream about unjust treatment engaging in behavior that – I stand by this, and frankly man, you know it’s true – makes anything that has gone on on UD, ever, pale in comparison.

    I do know it’s true. My eyes are open. My point is for all the sober reckoning we might do about that, it’s really a trifle compared to the kind of nasty that gets bred here. Deeper, much more obnoxious and FU than any of that. But its for a righteous cause, you’re doing the Lord’s work after all. It’s like your slaughtering the Midianites, after all. It’s just sort making the world suck in a way that fisting jokes never could, for anyone who can beyond a Church Lady kind of prudishness.

    I have a homosexual son, so I don’t take homosexual jokes lightly. But for all the absence of gay jokes here, After the Bar Closes is a place my college age son would be welcomed, treated well, and supported like a human being. This place is the cesspool for people who are homosexuals, and if you’d like, I could get him to post here to confirm. Worshipping the God you worship is a much deeper and profound offense, a kind of wickedness no “HOMO” jokes can touch. So, if you want to talk about decency toward homosexuals, you are in the gutter hanging with the culture you do, right here.

    You say you’re ‘getting mileage’ here by complaining about what you think is an unfair admin policy. Wonderful – I’m getting mileage here by pointing out just who the critics are, how they behave, and how the supposedly “rational, civil” critics tolerate and encourage the behavior. How extremely personal they make it all. Doubly so, since various things that used to be harshly complained about – goodness, DaveScot called someone a name! and Dembski photoshopped a silly picture of Dawkins! – go on there. I’ve got you beaten on distance by far.

    OK, well everybody’s happy, then, I guess. But you’ve not really grasped the charge I’m making, if you think it has anything to do with DaveScot burning someone or Dembski’s fart jokes.

    Arrington’s publishing of DrREC’s personal info was execrable, but even so, it doesn’t really go to the real problem here. That’s just pettiness, indulging in viciousness. The real problem here has is much broader than that. Arrington should apologize, but even if so, that’s really not the problem Arrington brings to the table, here.

    If you’re pointing at that, you’re getting mileage out of ennui. There’s a great object listen here regarding how people fool themselves, try to fool others, and will do anything to keep the “co-fooled” fooled along with them. Dissonance loves company, and all that. Yeah, I know, Darwinism is going to come crashing down any month now…

    …You’re coming off as a pretty bad BSer. Especially since it’s not like what goes on in your cesspool of choice is limited only to the grand and terrifying Barry Arrington and his horrendous act of banning people. Showing up here and saying what amounts to, “Well, you see, we thought the arguments provided were poor, and that’s why intellectually we feel justified – nay, obligated – to make fisting jokes about people associated with the Discovery Institute.” is inane. Yes, yes, I know, you’re stating it in a very calm manner, you’re struggling to communicate pristine composure. But sorry, the end result is still inanity, and it’s not worth taking seriously. Just because someone talks calmly, even cheerfully, doesn’t mean they’re really worth engaging.

    You’re either engaging in a Church Lady reflex here, or you are simply being shallow in looking at the dialectic here. There is a serious effort, spread all over your blog, to engage and discredit ID ON THE MERITS. There is not a corresponding response, on the whole, with a few notable and laudable exceptions that unfortunately do nothing more than prove the rule.

    No one feels obligated to mock. It’s just all that’s left. That’s all there is left, in many cases. Over and over, this blog clowns the subject of ID. One one level, it’s pragmatically satisfying — people see what’s happening. But it’s debasing as a spectacle.

    …You’re coming off as a pretty bad BSer. Especially since it’s not like what goes on in your cesspool of choice is limited only to the grand and terrifying Barry Arrington and his horrendous act of banning people. Showing up here and saying what amounts to, “Well, you see, we thought the arguments provided were poor, and that’s why intellectually we feel justified – nay, obligated – to make fisting jokes about people associated with the Discovery Institute.” is inane. Yes, yes, I know, you’re stating it in a very calm manner, you’re struggling to communicate pristine composure. But sorry, the end result is still inanity, and it’s not worth taking seriously. Just because someone talks calmly, even cheerfully, doesn’t mean they’re really worth engaging.

    Well, suit yourself. But people aren’t stupid, over there or here. I know the ‘OMG look at the fisting jokes’ appeal is going to work on some demagogic level, but it doesn’t fool people who are really following along. It’s just another cop out, another lazy, and frankly cowardly way to avoid the real areas of conflict.

    Let me cap this off with the following: I’m a TE myself. I find various ‘popular’ critiques of evolution silly at a glance, at least given my limited knowledge. The SLOT argument just seems wrongheaded, for example.

    Wrongheaded? Are you kidding me??? That’s exactly what I’m trying to point to. That’s a clown’s answer. If you don’t know full well how ignorant that argument is, demonstrably, objectively, then you should be bothering to engage all the topics you engage on. And if you do get it, then, well, this is you saying FU to all the people who know you know better, and who know you know WE know better.

    And I’ve gotten into arguments on this very site, with admins, on various topics – my not thinking ID qualifies as science (given certain caveats), what I think has been unfair depictions of TEs, misunderstandings of various arguments and positions, etc. Hell, I’ve even gotten some ID proponents pretty ticked at me. But somehow it never occurred to me that I had some intellectual obligation to act like your peers over at AtBC. Even with Liddle, who I have a very low opinion of, I left things at telling her flatly that I thought she was intellectually dishonest, and leaving her to her own devices.
    Well, again, suit yourself. That’s fine. But at least you can “leave her to own devices” and say your piece or whatever and leave it as something like a grown up might say well enough to. But if so, you’re still hobnobbing around with petulant, spoiled children — hostile and childish in a way that makes the worst you could link to at AtBC look trivial by comparison. It’s bad enough to do that, but then to pretend that’s not what’s happening, people realize what they are dealing with, eventually.

    Apparently, I wasn’t meeting my intellectual obligations. According to you, if I truly thought her intellectual honesty left something to be desired, I should have skulked around for some pics of her or even her family and photoshopped in some crude sexual antics of them to post on a public forum. Or perhaps that would be too good for her, right? At the very least you would have said such a response was justifiable, even if you disagreed, yes?

    No, I just think you are being petty and prudish as a way to avoid the real FUs that emanate from this blog. It’s handwaving and crocodile tears, I think. I’m not for going all Dembski (or insert whoever you think is the evil photoshopper at AtBC here), I’m for someone on the pro-ID side having the guts to act like a grown up and take a risk (and it is a risk) on a serious conversation between educated adults. And if the conversation goes to “intellectual honesty”, that’s a good indicator that you (or I) are going off track. That’s line of pursuit, when you are trying to talk about a substantial topic is poisoning the well. Witness KairosFocus’ obsession with trying to correct the worldviews of his guests. It’s just noise, and toxic noise, all that. A fog a critic has to be very determined and patient to get through.

    Here’s the thing — pick your three most obnoxious (in your view) posters at AtBC, and put them up agains the most clean languaged managers of this blog you want, or add yourself, and the “cesspool” trio will absolutely wax whoever you pick here, because the management and “heavies” here just don’t know what they are talking about. They can’t compete. That means something to me, and it should mean something to you. It would not be a fair fight, and everybody knows it — especially the blog owners.

    Do you think Arrington could keep up, even a little bit with Liddle? Or, who — I’ll have to go look at these pictures? Erasmus? I don’t know him, but no doubt in my mind, if both had to engage in a fair fight of ideas on the facts, evidence, worldviews, whatever you want regarding substance, it’s not even competitive. Even Dembski himself has shown he only fights from playing fields he controls, and even then can’t be bothered to play some nominal defense like any good sport would.

    Look, if you can bring the serious thought, and really engage on the issues, I don’t give a rip about the mocking or satire, or any of that. I’d prefer to get beyond it, but it’s not a big deal, if you’ve got some chops. You’ve earned it, in a way. But if you are KairosFocus, or Joe, or Gil, all hat, and no cattle, so to speak, the mockery is different. If that’s all you’ve got to contribute, and can’t won’t engage, that’s WAY more damning than indulging yourself as sport (even if it’s vicious and petty), but sport on the side, when you can really bring it in a serious way if you are asked to.

    It’s the hubris of the mocking lightweight vs. the mocking of the one who has got a serious game. I won’t say no mocking isn’t the best option, but the first two are not equals.

    Here’s the short version: AtBC is a cesspool. Again, any lack of civility or fairness you can accuse UD of fostering, AtBC outdoes in spades – and has for years. All I need to do is link to that forum to make that point, and when your best defense is ‘Yes, well, we feel intellectually obligated to act that way and tolerate it’, you’re not worth taking seriously. You’re just, transparently, trying to be the good, thoughtful-sounding cop to the bad cops. I have no idea what triggered these bannings, nor did I have any input in it. But I think when critics engage in that level of putrid behavior, or openly tolerate it, there’s no more conversation to be had with them.

    That’s the easy way out, the Church Lady response. Do you suppose any one of the mockers wouldn’t put down all the mocking for a chance for a totally serious knock-down on the merits? They would relish it. It just won’t happen, because both sides know what would happen. If you go over there and sign up, I’m sure you’d immediately get a thread just for your complaints/issues, and it would be excruciatingly civil just to deny you lazy cop-out escapes. Doesn’t that make sense?

    That’s available right now, but I’m not holding my breath, because the cesspool complaint is a ruse, another way to keep any kind of real back and forth, where both sides have to support and defend, from taking place.

  110. Nullasus

    This isn’t a case of all critics being lumped into this category. We’re talking about a group of people who all know each other and collude, and really, that thread speaks for itself.

    Is this meant to include Lizzie? As far as I know she has never contributed to the debate at antievolution.org. She is certainly not a regular. She has been extraordinarily polite and diligent – the only regulars to match her in politeness are vj and gpuccio.

  111. The UD blog does not exist so that anti-ID partisans can push their personal agendas. To be sure, visitors are welcome to comment, rattle our cages, or even bore us, but they are not welcome to make demonstrably false statements or indulge in reckless character assassinations just for the hell of it. At the very least, they should prepare themselves for dialogue by learning something about the subject matter before they start posting.
    Too often, our adversaries not only fail to familiarize themselves with the FAQ questions, they refuse to study them even after being called out for their preparatory deficiencies. As such, they never acquire the minimum amount of information needed for a meaningful and rational discussion. I know this is true because of the texture and quality of some of the comments we have to entertain. If all those who were recently banned had prepared themselves in this modest way, I suspect that some of them would have been too valuable to be sent packing. On the contrary, they spent most of their time, obfuscating, evading the main issue, and setting strawmen on fire. This gets old.

    To me, the most uncivil thing one person can do is to waste another person’s time. For the most part, our critics do not understand the ID paradigm they presume to critique and, worse, they are not even interested in learning about it. How often must we explain that ID science does not depend on religion? How many times should we have to point out that ID does not affirm or deny evolution?” How often must we differentiate between the ID “movement,” which is a cultural phenomenon, and ID science, which is a methodology for observing data and drawing inferences? All this information is readily available. People who keep conflating these issues, either out of willful ignorance or malice, are uncivil because they are stealing our time and cheating us out of the opportunity to fine tune our knowledge through meaningful dialogue.

  112. @WIlliam J Murray,

    Because that’s really how someone should present an argument about ID to friends and family – getting mileage out of emotional, manipulative rhetoric.

    I spent a good amount of time as a Christian trying to “learn” ID. As a TE, some science, I thought that would plug the vacuum left when the trainwreck that is creationism was discovered. But I couldn’t find anything to learn. The more technical and scientific it got in terms of presentation, the more vacuous ID was. The real pull, the real substance I was able to garner from ID was its culture war polemics and apologetics machinery.

    As an atheist, years later, my conviction is what it was then. ID is vacuous. It’s a fail in terms of scientific substance.”Not even wrong” kind of fail. ID, properly understood — if you were going to engage in serious analysis of ID as a movement — is an activist movement militating against atheism/materials first and foremost, and against evolution as the scientific “accomplice” to the crime. ID is not really “for” anything, and certainly not anything scientific. It’s against what it sees as the onslaught of science, and the materialist that is not entailed by it, but that just seems to “come along” with it.

    That’s not a manipulative ploy, that’s a serious, working hypothesis that explains to a good extent, the dynamics of this blog. So when my Christian friends tune in, to see me get embarrassed by the ID experts here, they don’t see anything much at all of substance around science, information, biology, etc. Exceptions exist — I can tip my hat to Genomicus, who I disagree with but understand to be quite serious about forging some kind of beachhead scientifically for parts of the ID argument. But again, the exception that proves the rule.

    So the charge is an earnest, straightforward one, ID as vacuous, scientifically. If that’s right, then the “onlookers” should see a lot of handwaving, evasion, emotional and manipulative rhetoric steering the topic AWAY FROM SCIENCE. Lots of appeals to “true science” being about the “search for truth”, and the like. And of course, heavy-handed and hypocritical censoring and banning.

    These are the signals of ID as a activist movement against materialism first and evolution second (it’s useful occasional to be able to say, when pressed “ID isn’t really against common descent”, etc.). But the tenor and the content speak for themselves.

    It would be GREAT if the ID movement took itself seriously. It’s weird that ID’s critics give ID a lot more credit than it’s purveyors do. They don’t undertand so well, like Mr. Arrington does, that this is a righteous crusade against godless materialism, and sciencey talk is bits of chaff jettisoned when convenient to draw away incoming missiles.

    If UD did take ID seriously as science, if Genomicus wasn’t conspicuously alone, a kind of haplessly earnest guy who’s not in on the secret in ID circles, there would be a wealth of interesting and educational debate. ID COULD push science, even as just a complainer, a naysayer, in positive directions. But it’s work, and science is hard, painstaking, careful business. Instead, UD makes do with FSCI/O, and concentrates on faux-martyrdom and “gosh I just decided one day my hardcore atheism wasn’t working for me, and looking around, God as creator just made sense”.

    I don’t need to manipulate that kind of stance toward the world, at all. It does all the damage it does to itself, by itself.

  113. @StephenB,

    To me, the most uncivil thing one person can do is to waste another person’s time.

    I agree this. This is also the basis for the “meta-criticism” of UD, the incivility that makes locker-room haranguing a minor faux pas by comparison. UD is expert at wasting critics time. Ask any of the critics, they will tell you that it is an impossible task to get UDers to sustain a serious, substantial exchange over the “methodology of ID” as science. Your posts are a very good example, predictably poisoning that well with “worldview” style critiques, and all the cultural phenomenon stuff you say you want to keep separate. If I’m wrong, maybe you can link me to your last substantial exchange with a critic on this methodology. I think I can link you to a LOT of the “cultural phenomenon” you put out.

    None of which I begrudge, if only ID would come clean about what they are trading on and advancing. It’s just a waste of time to try and engage IDers here on “methodology”. My taunt is “let’s do the math”, and it works, it just results in “cultural phenomenon” or crickets. I’m interested to apply the concepts, to deploy operational definitions, and really put IDs to an objective test. Many other critics are much more patient and articulate on this than I. And all are stymied, over and over and over. So much time wasted, so much disingenuous dialectic.

    KF will by by momentarily to work on my ‘worldview correction’, scratching the itch for that that he regular has, but proving my point.

    For the most part, our critics do not understand the ID paradigm they presume to critique and, worse, they are not even interested in learning about it. How often must we explain that ID science does not depend on religion? How many times should we have to point out that ID does not affirm or deny evolution?” How often must we differentiate between the ID “movement,” which is a cultural phenomenon, and ID science, which is a methodology for observing data and drawing inferences? All this information is readily available. People who keep conflating these issues, either out of willful ignorance or malice, are uncivil because they are stealing our time and cheating us out of the opportunity to fine tune our knowledge through meaningful dialogue.

    Well, I can challenge you day in and day out to actually put something out there that is substantial on this “methodology” that you talk about it, and defend it, and define real tests for possible falsification and validation. And I’d be gratified to see that. But from you in particular, and UD generally, it’s just talk. No one has the courage, or preparation or insight to ACTUALLY DO THAT and face cogent ciriticsm on it. All we get is evasion, pedantics, equivocation, or crickets.

  114. Eigenstate,

    That’s the thing, it’s just a surreal conversation. You think, it appears, that science is “Big Brother”.

    How? Where? I’ve made two pretty tame points.

    First, science != scientists.

    Second, scientists are human. They are not animated entirely by purely scientific concerns. They have metaphysical points of view they protect, political views they privilege, personal goals, etc. Some times, even many times, they can put these aside. Other times, it doesn’t matter if they do or don’t. Still other time sthey can honest mistakes. And at even other times, they can BS, individually or as a group.

    That’s my view, and it’s in accord with everything I’ve said on this topic. So when you say…

    This is the kind of conspiracy theorist mindset that drags a potentially serious discussion toward silly.

    …You’re just blowing smoke. You’re painting a picture of what you want to think of me as saying, what you hope others will think I’m saying, and what you damn well need me to say to feel better. You’ll search in vain in these threads to find me alleging ‘grand conspiracy’ of any kind. The strongest words I had came in the form of a Max Planck quote.

    So, swing and a miss. I’d say nice try, but c’mon. It wasn’t.

    Again, reading you in context, worried about a chaotic, somewhat anarchic “cesspool” and then worrying about “Big Brother”, in THIS thread.

    Heh. I didn’t “worry about Big Brother”. You’re the one who alluded to “Orwellian” language coming from myself. I replied that it seemed like you were the one engaging in deceptive reasoning. That was it. And really, we’re seeing it here right now: somehow you translated that into ‘ohhhh Nullasalus thinks there’s a biiiiiig scaaaary science Pope’.

    Nah. I never said anything that could even be reasonably interpreted in that way. I said – shock of shocks – that scientists are human. In a previous conversation in this thread, I compared idealizing scientists to idealizing politicians.

    But its for a righteous cause, you’re doing the Lord’s work after all. It’s like your slaughtering the Midianites, after all. It’s just sort making the world suck in a way that fisting jokes never could, for anyone who can beyond a Church Lady kind of prudishness.

    Swing and a miss again. Have you even read the sort of things I’ve written on ID?

    A refresher course.

    * I don’t think ID is science, though this is qualified by my saying I don’t think no-ID is science either. Identifications of design, positive of negative, are outside the realm of science together – or they’re inside together. This catches me hell from all sides.

    * What ID posts I’ve given on here have largely involved A) defending theistic evolutionists and defending Thomists in *rejecting* intelligent design while trying to find a middle ground, and B) trying to promote discussion of atheistic versions of small-d intelligent design: Bostrom simulation theory as one example, John Gribbin’s speculation on universe designers in a multiverse setting as another example, etc. I intend to write up a post soon on Brian Greene’s discussion of universe simulations in his latest multiverse book. I also think that atheistic versions of ID are going to be the Next Big Thing on the topic. (Well, ‘atheistic’. Status of deities in a simulation is a topic unto itself.)

    So, third time, swing and a miss, back to the dugout. I’m Catholic, but my interest in ID is precisely due to it being religiously neutral. Yes, I’m quite aware some people use ID as an apologetics tool. And plenty of atheists (see your cesspool) use evolution as an apologetics tool. Ho hum.

    So, if you want to talk about decency toward homosexuals, you are in the gutter hanging with the culture you do, right here.

    You have no idea what my views on homosexual behavior are, and frankly, your clumsy attempt to paint me with the brush you’re using not only fails – it establishes you as quite a punk and a hypocrite besides. Go tolerate the “queer” jokes at your cesspool and write it all off as “well I bet they vote the right way, and that makes it okay”, but don’t try to project your guilty conscience onto me. As for this site, if there’s been some major dustup about homosexuality on here, I haven’t seen it – always possible, I suppose. More likely, though, you’re just swinging at phantoms: ‘some people are ID sympathetic, therefore they must all be creationists, and also must hate people with same-sex attraction, because that’s the crazy stereotype I roll with’. Roll with it, keep being wrong. Ain’t my concern.

    By the way – prude? No, eigen, not at all. It’s about civility, respect and maturity, since what we’re talking about is discussion and debate. I know, shocking idea to you, this thought that perhaps you should have some standards when it comes to how you talk about or treat other people. If I want gay jokes, mockery and disgust, I’ll grab a Garth Ennis comic. When you want it, apparently you’ll just head to AtBC. Can’t blame you, though the actual quality is pretty low.

    Arrington’s publishing of DrREC’s personal info was execrable, but even so, it doesn’t really go to the real problem here.

    Because I won’t find personal info published at AtBC? There’s not people there who openly talk about digging up personal info on people, putting up their pictures and everything?

    Like I said, I’ve got you beat at your own game. Anyone who hits the antievolution forum is going to see rotten behavior that makes UD, at its legendary worst, look like an online Mister Rogers fanclub. Your big defense is to suggest that if I were to sign up, I won’t be banned. Sure, you guys just shout everyone down, mock them, scream, yell, and collude. It’s a rotten, sad place, and there’s nothing of intellectual value there. Yes, I know, you all have quite a high opinion of yourselves – so does every internet pissant.

    There is a serious effort, spread all over your blog, to engage and discredit ID ON THE MERITS. There is not a corresponding response, on the whole, with a few notable and laudable exceptions that unfortunately do nothing more than prove the rule.

    Not really. Oh, there are some good arguments here and there, but also some great counter-arguments and replies – don’t get me wrong, this place does host some good discussions now and then. As to your estimation of the responses, sorry – I’m a TE, and I disagree. Yes, I know, your gaggle of moonbats over at AtBC think otherwise, but sadly, their views don’t have much merit. Nor are their contributions of much value.

    Try to understand, eigen: you guys have shown yourselves as not being worth the time of day, much less respect, by your actions at that craphole. And we’re talking years and years of actions there. It’s easy to find criticisms of ID, so it’s not like you guys are some particularly valuable commodity. You’re just like everyone else – a bunch of people on the internet. But look how you all behave. I keep saying it: to go to your site, and read through your thread, is to bolster my point.

    But congratulations: you managed, as apparently self-appointed cesspool spokesman, make yourselves look even more pathetic. You admit that AtBC is pretty much a non-stop angsting, hateful, making-it-personal forum. It’s been going on for years. Think about it, eigen: years and years of just babbling and hating people and bitching about being banned (what, half a decade ago in some cases?) and… etc. You not only condone the behavior, but you cop to it and apparently think it’s great.

    And they say theists have delusions.

    Wrongheaded? Are you kidding me??? That’s exactly what I’m trying to point to. That’s a clown’s answer.

    No, it’s actually a reasonable person’s answer. See, not everyone needs to flip out like they’re having a seizure just because someone says something they consider to be scientifically wrong, even dead wrong. Screaming and ranting and raving is – wait for it – not necessary. Even counterproductive, especially if your goal is to explain why they’re wrong.

    But what can I say. You have, apparently for years, just been outraged that some people on the internet are incorrect about something. You think it’s normal and reasonable to spend years angrily mocking them, making gay jokes about them, photoshopping their pics, digging up info on them, etc, in response. Me? I shrug and say, “Well, as near as I can tell, they’re wrong.” If I’ve got time and interest, I explain why.

    You should try my method. It’s more, uh. Sane.

    They can’t compete. That means something to me, and it should mean something to you. It would not be a fair fight, and everybody knows it — especially the blog owners.

    On the core justifiability of an ID inferences? Not at all. On various particular claims? Again, no. You seem to mistake the ability to argue for an eternity and camp at the computer for weeks on end to be ‘waxing someone in a debate’, or worse than that, ‘being certain that you’re right’. Look at you in this very response: you went at me with a whole lot of assumptions that just fell entirely flat. You’re clueless, but that doesn’t keep you from ranting.

    But there’s one thing you all collectively have going for you: the ability to obsess, clearly evidenced by just how long you guys have managed to keep a long, drawn out, angry hatefest going in a forum thread. Even if you get nailed in a discussion, you subscribe to the age-old internet method: just keep arguing and yelling and equivocating for however long is necessary, until everyone is tired and moves on.

    But hey, if it means that much to you, keep on telling yourself that. Whatever you have to do to get you through the night.

    Do you suppose any one of the mockers wouldn’t put down all the mocking for a chance for a totally serious knock-down on the merits?

    Not really. You said it yourself – for you and your group, all that really matters is the anger at this point. What’s more, you’re running with the laughable assumption that you’d get a ‘serious knock-down’ with… uh, some pseudonym-using guy on the internet. You know, reaching for the stars and all. But, in the likely event that you couldn’t pull off a that serious knockdown? If you lost or, hell, just pulled even? Then all hell would break loose. Can’t be allowed to happen, after all – look how emotionally invested you all are. The whole thing would get scuttled, just as it gets scuttled on just about any petty craphole of a blog.

    But it hardly matters, because it’s not as if I have some personal animus against any of you. I think your forum is pathetic, but really, there’s no shortage of such places online. At most, it’s sad. But there’s also no shortage of critics – some of them even respectful and considerate – online. Like I said with Eric, that’s what it comes down to – I don’t waste my time with people I don’t respect, and I think others should follow the same method. I don’t bother arguing with them, and I don’t bother mocking them – certainly not for freaking years, and so personally. I just move on.

    By the way, eigen – could you ever move on? Or do you see yourself, in ten years, still doing this exact same thing? Still logging into your craphole to yell about how much you hate such and such ID person, or watch your friends scream about how such and such is probably gay, etc?

    I mean, perhaps we can use some science here. Let’s see how long you’ve been doing exactly that, how many times a week, and then project whether the trend will continue. Do you think you’ll like what the result of that study would be?

  115. markf,

    As far as I know she has never contributed to the debate at antievolution.org.

    She’s there, mark. And she happily tolerates it all without a word, just as I said. Just as she tolerated it at Myers’ venue, just as she tolerates it whenever it comes up.

    I don’t have much respect for someone who acts superficially nice, but who turns a blind eye to that sort of obsessive abuse. The day an admin at UD starts doling out that kind of crap is the day I object, if I see it, and if this place every became halfway what AtBC is, I’ll just walk. I doubt it will happen.

    There’s a name for a person who is giggly and nice when they discuss things with people, but who stands by and lets nasty crap be said against the same people without a word. The name isn’t “nice”. It’s “two-faced”.

  116. Nullasus

    So you think that people should be banned not for what they write on this forum, nor for what they write on other forums, but for failing to admonish people on other forums?

    This is indeed a very strict policy. I don’t notice you admonishing UD supporters such as Joe who accuse people of being “mentally ill, perhaps a drug addict”.

  117. So you think that people should be banned not for what they write on this forum, nor for what they write on other forums, but for failing to admonish people on other forums?

    “Should be”? I don’t set policy here, and I didn’t engage in any bans here. I’m entirely comfortable with, say… Jerry Coyne’s “silently and quickly snuff anyone he dislikes” policy. His blog, his rules, run it how he wants. But yes, I don’t even have an ethical problem with someone who decides such a person, and such a group, are not worth talking to.

    Further, that wasn’t Joe – it was Gil. And sure: as kf said, I think that went too far and he should walk it back. Now, go compare it to what happens at the cesspool. Where do you stand on the fisting comment, Mark, or the rest?

  118. I don’t want to be unduly harsh here, but I don’t take you seriously any more, especially after having discovered that you reject the law of non-contradiction.

  119. Sorry what fisting comment? I don’t understand.

  120. Then you, apparently, don’t hang out at AtBC.

    Good on you.

  121. I’ll note again: 1000+ comments. That’s pretty substantial. In fact, in terms of allowing critics to speak, it’s extremely tolerant.

    Up till now, I have been quite impressed with UD’s tolerance of criticism. After all, having scientific theories batted around critically is the thing that strengthens them in scientific circles.

    But you seem to be saying that Liz exceeded some quota. I’m sure that’s not what happened – I think there has simply been a change in approach, which may have been in the wind for a while, or triggered directly by the DrREC Affair.

    As regards behaviour in ‘the other place’, taking an ID at a forum does not mean that you thereby endorse the sentiments and behaviour of every poster there. Nor are you under any obligation to get the house in order. I note that there is never a word raised here against Joe, for example, by the pro-ID side. Nor when K/F suggests that he may physically chastise a lady with “Mr. Leathers”. That appears to have changed, Joe has been warned and I welcome that. But I don’t tar anyone here with the behaviour of anyone else – guilt by association.

  122. But you seem to be saying that Liz exceeded some quota. I’m sure that’s not what happened – I think there has simply been a change in approach, which may have been in the wind for a while, or triggered directly by the DrREC Affair

    No, I’m replying to the absurd claim that UD snuffs out dissenters for dissenting. I think 1000+ posts by one poster alone, not to mention months of presence by active (and in some case, pretty low-quality and snarky) critics, dashes that on the spot.

    ‘Aside from allowing those hundreds of posts from ID critics over the months, UD snuffs out all dissent!’ I suppose will be the new line.

    As regards behaviour in ‘the other place’, taking an ID at a forum does not mean that you thereby endorse the sentiments and behaviour of every poster there. Nor are you under any obligation to get the house in order.

    What kind? Legal? Ethical? No, I think when you sit by and shut up while the crap that happens at AtBC (‘the other place?’ antievolution.org – what’s wrong with mentioning it?) goes on, there’s a problem. Especially when we’re talking about people who were squealing about unfair treatment.

    That’s my own standard – I don’t set the rules here. And if I saw happening here what happens at AtBC, I’d complain, and if it persisted, I’d walk. Again, this isn’t trash-talk on TF2. This is about people targeting, screaming about, and mocking the very people being discussed with, in pretty nasty terms.

    So, forcing someone to get a house in order isn’t possible. But ‘what you associate yourself with and tolerate speaks ill of you, sapping me of any respect I have for you – and I need respect to regard someone as worth my time’ is a reasonable rule. Call it ‘electing to get one’s house in order’.

  123. I have occasionally commented – but I don’t follow it closely. I prefer to debate with people who have different opinions from mine.

    What ID does Liz use when participating at AtBC? I can’t see any evidence that she follows it any more than I do.

  124. I don’t think it’s on the up and up for me to reveal that, but really, it’s damn obvious. Go look.

    It’s not like UD either. All the crap in question is comprised to a single thread, not multiple posts that are scrolling off the main page on any given day. So ‘well maybe she just never saw this stuff’ won’t be flying.

  125. Onlookers:

    Re ES, just above:

    Ask any of the critics, they will tell you that it is an impossible task to get UDers to sustain a serious, substantial exchange over the “methodology of ID” as science. Your [SB's] posts are a very good example, predictably poisoning that well with “worldview” style critiques, and all the cultural phenomenon stuff you say you want to keep separate . . . . KF will by by momentarily to work on my ‘worldview correction’, scratching the itch for that that he regular has, but proving my point . . .

    I cite this as a capital example of how ever so many of the UD critics routinely and with a straight face make false and/or highly misleading assertions, which they know or should know are false, and hope to profit by creating the perception that these willful falsehoods are true. And yes, that is directly related to a key short word, and what is beginning to look like a habitual pattern of irresponsibility, willful blindness to truth and contempt of the other (perceived as ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked) that creates a self-reinforcing, and in-group enabled barrier against what would otherwise be rather obvious truth.

    Let me note in steps, in response:

    1 –> To establish falsehood, simply cf the post series UD foundations, as well as the onward linked. This (which happens to be the major cluster of contributions I have made at UD over the past year) is not to be seen or dismissed as a unique exception, this is typical of a major focus of design thinkers.

    2 –> The just above linked should substantiate that design thinkers, in general, and here at UD in particular, do spend considerable time on matters of methods, analysis, facts, observations and the like. So, to sustain the sort of talking point we see above in the teeth of easily accessible facts like that, is to be willfully deceptive by refusal to carry out duties of care to truth and fairness.

    3 –> Just as a concrete example, reflect on how, in response to the assertion that the CSI concept was meaningless [through an invited opposition post], a considerable discussion over the course of months happened from last march on, and ended in serious analysis of the defects of genetic algorithms and a derivation of the summary expression of a log reduced form of Dembski’s Chi metric applied to the case of functionally specific organisation and information:

    Chi_500 = Ip*S – 500, bits beyond the solar system threshold.

    4 –> When objectors got around to trying to discredit this, they first tried to object to a threshold metric but ran into the problem that Einstein’s Nobel Prize was won on such. there was a challenge to the definition and measure of information, which has been addressed on properly understanding the Shannon type metric. Since then, there has been an attempt to deride the notion of a dummy variable assigned a value on judgement of specificity, addressed through the issue of objectivity and the creation of a pool of paradigm cases accessible to critical review, noting that the default is that S = 0, i.e. things are explicable on chance and necessity. The latest seems to be an objection to the specificity, which has been addressed by noting the requisites of multipart complex functional organisation, on abundant exemplars that start with text or code strings, which of course are just what we see in DNA.

    5 –> I have just summarised a YEAR of methodologically focussed discussion, which has formed a major focus of UD in that period. And since we have anti UD sites that monitor the process, as well as categories here, it should have been fairly easy to establish the untruthfulness of the above assertion, and a responsible person would have checked before making a false and potentially damaging assertion.

    6 –> But there is not just willful and direct falsity here, there is misdirection and there is misleading of the naive. For, scientific methodology is NOT a scientific issue, but a philosophical one, in epistemology, with underlying metaphysical issues — metaphysics is first philosophy, i.e. its hard core — lurking. thus, so soon as one is discussing scientific methods, there is a context of philosophical issues and worldview questions that cannot reasonably be avoided.

    7 –> But, since a major part of what is going on, is that we are addressing the improper and question-begging, analysis-distorting injection of a priori evolutionary materialism into the very definition of science, as can be seen from what the US NAS, NSTA and many others have done and said, a major part of the rhetorical effort directed against UD and contributors, is meant to distract attention from that philosophical sleight of hand.

    8 –> As the Appendix on methods in the linked educational site will show [and that has been two clicks away all along over these months and has been cited many a time], the problem is that unless science is about seeking the truth through empirically anchored investigation, it becomes little more than applied atheism. So, the following, historically and epistemologically better supported description of science as it should be, has been offered:

    science, at its best, is the unfettered — but ethically and intellectually responsible — progressive, observational evidence-led pursuit of the truth about our world (i.e. an accurate and reliable description and explanation of it), based on:

    a: collecting, recording, indexing, collating and reporting accurate, reliable (and where feasible, repeatable) empirical — real-world, on the ground — observations and measurements,

    b: inference to best current — thus, always provisional — abductive explanation of the observed facts,

    c: thus producing hypotheses, laws, theories and models, using logical-mathematical analysis, intuition and creative, rational imagination [[including Einstein's favourite gedankenexperiment, i.e thought experiments],

    d: continual empirical testing through further experiments, observations and measurement; and,

    e: uncensored but mutually respectful discussion on the merits of fact, alternative assumptions and logic among the informed. (And, especially in wide-ranging areas that cut across traditional dividing lines between fields of study, or on controversial subjects, “the informed” is not to be confused with the eminent members of the guild of scholars and their publicists or popularisers who dominate a particular field at any given time.)

    As a result, science enables us to ever more effectively (albeit provisionally) describe, explain, understand, predict and influence or control objects, phenomena and processes in our world.

    9 –> that is in paragraph 2 of the just linked, led up to by: “So, let us give a working definition of science as it should be (recognising that we will often fall short).” Here is paragraph 1:

    Part of the reason for the complexity of Origins Science studies lies in how it sits at the intersection of several distinct disciplines: science, forensics, historiography, education, philosophy, theology, and maybe more. That means that if one carries out a research or field investigation project, particular attention needs to be paid to methodology and related grounding/ warranting of knowledge [[epistemology] issues.

    10 –> In short, if the objectors do not know why epistemological and related phil issues are inextricable from discussions of grounding scientific methods, it is not for want of opportunity to learn why.

    11 –> So, we can see that the direct assertion is willfully false and misleading, and is made in the teeth of abundant facts and opportunities to correct before making false and unfair assertions. And yet, routinely, we see this, typically backed up by a mocking and contemptuous subtext here at UD, and raw, blatant hostility and rage driven smears and mockery elsewhere. We have to ask, why is that, and why is it that smears are persisted in, month after month, year after year, in the teeth of well warranted correction?

    12 –> The answer is not pretty. We are dealing with hostile closed-mindedness driven by manipulative indoctrination centred on the so-called New Atheist movement led by Dawkins and ilk, but also backed up by a “kinder gentler face” (e.g. the NCSE et al and fellow travellers) that reflects a massive socio-cultural agenda or radical secularisation on what are seen as the indisputable, established- beyond- reasonable- doubt, findings of science. And of course, if you disagree, regardless of reasons and evidence, you “must” be irrational, by way of being ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.” Hence the bigotry that we so often face.

    13 –> In short, we are dealing with massive ideological polarisation and a culture struggle, where the design inference and the evidence that warrants it has become a flashpoint for ruthless trench warfare, usually — but not always — initiated from the materialist side. The very meaning of what science is about and how it works is at stake, and we are dealing with those who in too many cases operate by Saul Alinsky’s rules for radicals. For instance, from the book of that name:

    5. “Ridicule [that is, cruel mockery -- just look at Anti Evo's UD pasge and the like] is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.” . . . .

    13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. [NB: Notice the evil counsel to find a way to attack the man, not the issue. The easiest way to do that, is to use the trifecta stratagem: distract, distort, demonise.] In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’….

    “One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” [that is, demonisation]

    14 –> So, we again need to listen carefully to Philip Johnson’s correction [--> and notice, the attempt to turn "correction" into a target for mocking dismissal, a thought termination tactic] to this, in his response to Lewontin:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    15 –> Why am I confident in this analysis? Simple, this is the fourth time in my lifetime that I have seen this sort of thing in action, and how it works: political messianism politics in my youth in my native land, Marxism in my early campus days, a certain fast spreading destructive religious group that targetted campuses in my later college years, and now the ideologisation of science as applied materialism. Ironically, a good reading of Proverbs 1 – 10 or so, would save us all a great deal of grief, this sort of stuff has been around since like, forever. I am utterly unsurprised to see Plato having to deal with it in The Laws Bk X.

    16 –> I know, I know, I am indicted of making long point by point rebuttals, etc etc. But, one of the things I realised over time is that there is a multi-tiered ideological programming and no one-shot magic bullet exists. There is need for detailed, comprehensive eradication of fallacies involved, just as you need to take the full course of antibiotics to get rid of all the bugs, or else the most resistant strains will come back and cause a relapse.

    17 –> Yes, for those not truly hard hit, a Pareto principle 20-80 regimen may work. Y’know, the 20 percent of effort or points that has 80 percent impact. But when that last 20% is going to resurge and recolonise making the last state worse than the first as there is now a resistant strain at work, you have to go for the full treatment. If you want the 20% go here for an overview. For more, follow up on the rest of the pages there. And there is far more across the web. My own initial notes linked through my handle, will give more.

    18 –> And, please be patient, one cannot hit ALL the talking points in one paragraph or section — I have seen at least one dismissal that tried the trick of saying well science has been about explaining by natural causes for centuries [Judge Jones' blunders taken wholesale from NCSE and ACLU lurk just beneath the surface] so we need not read further. I even saw one dismissal that because the UD FAQ used the less acceptable term Forward not Foreword — since changed in response — we need not go further.

    19 –> That’s thought stopping, a cultic technique to cut off doubts and dismiss those who challenge the system.

    20 –> And that signals where I have now come out, on the interactions over the past week or so. I now think New Atheism is a pseudo-intellectual cult, a quasi [anti-]religion that recruits the vulnerable and locks them into a system of manipulative persuasion and ideological control.

    21 –> This, in reinforcement of personal and sociocultural agendas, presented under the mystical label science. Once that tag is attached by the cultic leaders, critical self reflection ceases, and indoctrination begins, with strong doses of polarisation to isolate from the out-group. In this case, the rage, party-line talking point and slander tactics are highly diagnostic.

    (I use indoctrination in specific distinction to thought reform under closed group, highly structured and manipulative environments, the sort of thing that goes to the next level, out and out brainwashing — and BTW, gun to the head, sleep deprivation and torture techniques are actually the less effective forms, useful only in circumstances where intimidation and control for prolonged periods is needed and you want a nicely intimidated force of hopeless captives. the sort of in-group join the elite techniques used to make cannon fodder for terrorist movements etc, is far more effective, as there is no overt coercion. Even flirty fishing works better than gun to the head intimidation, though the Stockholm syndrome can have astonishing effects, like with Patty Hearst.)

    22 –> But of course we can predict the rebuttal: see you deviated, you are not staying on our designated sidetrack for you in this context, responding to methodological issues, while we proceed with atmosphere poisoning by polarisation, of course. And the second trick is like unto the first, YOU are the one doing what you describe, i.e the turnabout false accusation.

    23 –> to the first, my response is, we have to clean out the whole infection, not just part of it. If the phil roots are not exposed, the distortion of sci problems will simply spring right back up.

    24 –> To the second, I simply retort: nope, I am EXPOSING the problem and the easiest thought stopper trick for that is to shoot at the messenger. “He hit back first” sounds silly, until we realise how often we are taken in by it.

    25 –> What about the issues on IS-OUGHT gaps, religion, Bible, Christianity and the like, even the questions on Homosexuality and whether you are just spouting disguised Bible talking points, revealing your own indoctrination?

    a: We are dealing with a worldview issue, and questions of morality and the grounding of morality are significant, so it is important for us to realise that if your worldview does not have a foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, forever after, ought is a matter of an ungrounded injection, subject to manipulation and intimidation.

    b: religion, the Bible and Christianity more often come up because of the objector talking point that design thought is creationism in a cheap tuxedo, and if we correct it, the very fact that we address the matter is taken as “proof.” the proper answer is that design theory is an empirical investigation of whether there are reliable signs that point from observation to design as cause. If objectors would stick to that, we could to, but they don’t, so their other talking points need to be addressed.

    c: Similarly, new Atheist objectors spend an inordinate amount of time trying to trash the Christian faith. They should not be allowed a free pass to do so, simply because they can trot out talking points to try to smear their opponents as religiously motivated and so suspect. new Atheists, of course, are often motivated by irrelegion, or even patent antichristian bigotry, so “sauce for the goose . . . ”

    d: the faith = 9/11 smear is a virulent, slanderous and uncivil form of this. Such objectors need to understand the structure of warrant in argument and the issue of first plausibles, the presuppositions we all have at the root of our worldviews.

    e: The real issue is to have a reasonable faith, not whether one can live and think without faith. Turtles all the way down or turtles in a circle cannot work, so we have to have a final turtle, sitting on a ground of first principles and plausible facts that we accept without further proof.

    f: So the proper pursuit is to assess alternatives on comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power. And that is not original with me nor is it a dubious talking point spread like a virus to those I have influenced; this summary or its near synonyms is a commonplace of those who have reflected seriously on what it is to have a worldview and to have a reasonable framework to have that one in a world where many such views exist or are possible.

    g: Hint: start from first principles of right reason, such as the implications of the Royce/Trueblood point: Error exists. It will then help to think about the reason behind principles such as: a thing cannot both be and not be in the same sense at the same time, or that which begins to exist is contingent and has a cause.

    h: In response tot he injection of a hot button issue distractor on homosexuality, I referred the challenger to the principle that a man’s saliah is as the man, pointed to the Is 5:20 principle of facing down a willfully inverted view of objective reality and morality, and called attention to a specific reference on the empirical evidence, My genes Made Me do it. this was to break the programming by talking points that wanted to assign genetic responsibility for moral choice, and to highlight that the scheme of trying to drive wedges between Jesus (who taught within the Jewish consensus on the moral order of creation and family life, e.g. in Mt 19 as also referenced) and his authenticated apostles, is wrong headed. This is not just spouting memorised Bible verses used as indoctrination, especially in the context of the pivotal authentication of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and the transformation of life for millions by encounter with the risen Christ; including BTW, many trapped in same sex habituation and attraction, among many other challenges. (Remember my recent remarks on the transformed murderers I know and have known.)

    i: I chose to respond in these terms, to underscore that what is going on here is appeal to prejudice and willful atmosphere poisoning by use of hot button issues and loaded strawman talking points.

    26 –> I trust these in-brief rebuttals will suffice to show that the matter is not at all as the talking-point streams would suggest.

    27 –> Returning to the overt, designated “you must only speak to this point” cited above, I will say in closing that one is never wise to let an opponent set the terms of a discussion in ways that lock out addressing material issues that would correct key errors.

    _______________

    I trust the above will suffice to show why.

    G’day

    GEM of TKI

  126. F/N: My worldview grounding primer is here on in context. I know, I know, short book length. Ever done a serious course and looked at the length of a typical textbook chapter? KF

  127. @StephenB,

    I don’t want to be unduly harsh here, but I don’t take you seriously any more, especially after having discovered that you reject the law of non-contradiction.

    Here, just in your first response to my comment on time wasting, you’re showing the problem st work. As you read from me before, I don’t reject LNC, and couldn’t make the points I’ve made without it. I just don’t have a magical belief in its powers. You’ve had this put to you, and yet, you bring this. It’s facile, it just a cheap way to waste my time. It’s not cognizant of what I’ve said, and now I’ve got to distract myself and this point in the conversation to go put this ridiculous strawman to rest. Maybe I have to go quote what I’ve said, repeatedly, that shows your response here to be a time waster?

    You are embodying the very problem you decry. One of the mockers at AtBC may use rough language and rude images, but he/she would have more respect than you have for my time in dealing with the substance of the conversation. It’s a much more rude way to proceed than any of that. I get it, I hear your message — FU, eigenstate, you aren’t even going to get the use of your time to be addressed on what you said, as you said. Here’s a not-even-pathetic strawman I’ll put in the path of anywhere this might have been going to “keep you busy” so I can further just avoid, eigenstate.

    I get it. I don’t understand why you think no one else can see you doing precisely what you just announced as the “most uncivil thing”.

    I could count up the number of times the LNC is implicitly being invoked here in this post of mine, and neessarily relied upon for what I have said. But it’s no different than what I’ve already said. Now it’s just a matter of how much time of mine you will waste, how much waving of your middle finger at me and this conversation you will indulge before you deign to look at the substance, if you are going to do so at all.

  128. @eigenstate,

    “I just dont have a magical belief in its powers”

    What?
    What does that even mean?

  129. @kuartus,

    If you read back over the exchange StephenB and I had over quantum physics and superposition, StephenB’s position is that, as he puts it, our minds must “correspond to reality”, meaning that there is some transcendental reason (and this is God having created the universe, and our minds just so, in order to match it) why Nature must be exhaustively intelligible, why it all must fit into an {a|~a} set of semantics, else… or else, well, it just simply must be, for him.

    If reality, via our observations, and experiences, is problematic in that area, well reality is simply wrong. The now-banned champignon points out that superposition doesn’t require denying the LNC per se, but difficulties like the reality of our experience with quantum mechanics introduce a refined understanding which invokes the Law of the Excluded Middle (LEM), which is problematic along similar lines as problems with the LNC. I can see champignon’s point, but in any case, understanding QM’s basic dynamics requires means of understanding that the kind of brittle and simplistic view of LNC as something cosmically imperative or reality defining just can’t handle.

    So, StephenB supposes that problematic areas like this require either a deferral,again to this magical view of the LNC, literally something created of God, a part of God’s design for our rationality, invincible against all phenomena if we are just willing to have faith in it (and thus this supernatural God), rather than a reasoning tool, the LNC as a form of intelligibility, which is exactly as useful as our effective use of it, no more and no less (and that’s a lot, because it’s impossible to speak and communicate propositionally without relyiing on the LNC.

    That’s the difference I’m getting at by “magically” — that the LNC is not just a ubiquitous tool for reasoning, a transcendental for propositional statements and discourse, but something magic, having a supernatural, transcendent (vs transcendental) ontic status that harmonizes the minds of men and Nature all around us per the Divine Design of God.

  130. Well she just posted so that made it easy. It also made it easy to review all her posts on Atbc. There are very few (25 since 2007)- many of these in the last few days discussing her ban. None of them appear to be offensive and some of them are her defending her policy of being polite.

    Anyway I look forward to you picking up on any insulting behaviour by any party on UD.

  131. Strange that all these non-ID friendly can’t just ante-up and refute ID te proper way- by actually presenting evidence that blind and undirected processes can account for what we observe.

    Heck as Elizabeth has proven those scientists cannot even produce a testable hypothesis pertaining to blind and undirected processes.

    IOW it is obvious your position does not operate within the realm of science.

    And THAT is what bothers IDists- and we cannot call on any expert witnesses as your position doesn’t have any.

  132. The way to criticize ID is to show how the alternative scenarios do it- that is how the theory of evolution goes about presenting A) testable hypotheses and B) supporting evidence for those.

    So the anti-ID people who complain about my behaviour need to take a good, long look in the mirror.

  133. A fair proportion of my contributions are politely ignored!

  134. 134

    IMO:

    Those that come here and, even in good faith and with civil tongue, reiterate misrepresentations of ID corrected in the FAQ, or rhetorical characterizations of ID and anti-ID argument/positions, or offer only patently absurd, uninformed and unexamined materialist, atheist, or moral relativist commentary & propaganda as if it were reasoned argument, should be quickly shown the door.

    A reasonable, ethical host is not obligated to suffer the rhetorical, blathering nonsense of materialists, atheists, determinists and moral relativists in his own home ad infinitum just because his guests are polite and believe they are being honest and well-meaning.

  135. @William J Murray,

    Those that come here and, even in good faith and with civil tongue, reiterate misrepresentations of ID corrected in the FAQ, or rhetorical characterizations of ID and anti-ID argument/positions, or offer only patently absurd, uninformed and unexamined materialist, atheist, or moral relativist commentary & propaganda as if it were reasoned argument, should be quickly shown the door.

    I don’t have a problem with this as a policy. UD just hang a sign on the door that critics aren’t welcome and that’s that. I run into that policy regularly, but the owners have the guts to be upfront about it. It’s totally UD’s prerogative to make something like this the policy, and pretend that they are open to criticism, fostering interesting discussion of ID concepts, only to ban them whenever the fancy strikes.

    Both of those are options. But being upfront about the policy just avoids a lot of wasted time and making hypocrisy a hallmark of the blog’s charter.

    I was recently told elsewhere that non-Christian commenters were not welcome in that area. The forum FAQ says all are welcome, but I’d just missed a “fine print” exception to one sub-area of that forum saying non-Christians are not permitted. It’s not a problem a all.

    Everybody gets the “owner sets the rules”. It’s the rank hypocrisy that creates a stench.

  136. The way to criticize ID is to show how the alternative scenarios do it- that is how the theory of evolution goes about presenting A) testable hypotheses and B) supporting evidence for those.

    So the anti-ID people who complain about my behaviour need to take a good, long look in the mirror.

    That is the very definition of a non-sequitur, Joe.

    Evolutionary theory is built upon testable hypotheses, and a vast array of supporting evidence has been accumulated. You simply refuse point-blank to appreciate it, or make any effort to understand the science. Yet ID is not anti-evolution – ’tis you who utters this mantra a dozen times a day, after all. What evolutionary theory seems to lack in your distorted vision is a testable hypothesis to explain every last detail of history – a testable hypothesis regarding the precise sequence of genetic changes from land-based artiodactyl to whale, or bats from non-flying rodents, or anything else on which the fossil record and comparative genetics and morphology are silent. Historic record is continually erased, and history cannot be repeated for experimental investigation.

    You regard that – issues arising from absence of specific genetic historic records, which ironically plagues “your side”‘s efforts to demonstrate interference by a Designer – as a justification for your oafish approach, and your complete refusal to learn anything?

  137. Critics are welcome here.

    What isn’t welcome are blatant misrepresentations of ID and nonsensical evo propaganda.

  138. No, I think when you sit by and shut up while the crap that happens at AtBC (‘the other place?’ antievolution.org – what’s wrong with mentioning it?) goes on, there’s a problem. Especially when we’re talking about people who were squealing about unfair treatment.

    Liz hasn’t squealed about unfair treatment. She has simply shrugged, announced her website and departed with her usual grace. 26 posts at AtBC since 2007 – including those indicating her removal, and some, ironically, defending herself against criticism because she didn’t do X, Y or Z here! She was not exactly a regular.

    Yes, there is loutishness and nastiness at AtBC. It isn’t supposed to be the acme of scientific and philosophical precision, and civil discourse. And people are two-faced. Are you without sin in this department, before you cast that stone?

    ‘what you associate yourself with and tolerate speaks ill of you, sapping me of any respect I have for you – and I need respect to regard someone as worth my time’

    As to earning your respect? Well, why should anyone care to? Who are you anyway, Mr “Outside the Christian church there is no salvation”? If someone is not worth your time, you ignore them. I ignore plenty of people here, and there are others that I probably ought to but don’t.

    Chas out.

  139. Evolutionary theory is built upon testable hypotheses,

    That’s what you say yet you cannot demonstrate such a thing.

    and a vast array of supporting evidence has been accumulated.

    That’s what you say yet you cannot demonstrate such a thing.

    You simply refuse point-blank to appreciate it, or make any effort to understand the science.

    That is false.

    Yet ID is not anti-evolution –

    It isn’t. Taht you can’t even grasp that fact exposes your agenda.

    What evolutionary theory seems to lack in your distorted vision is a testable hypothesis to explain every last detail of history

    Now you are just spewing nonsense so you can avoid presenting a testable hypothesis based on blind and undirected processes.

    And what is there to learn? You don’t have anything…

  140. @Joe,

    What isn’t welcome are blatant misrepresentations of ID and nonsensical evo propaganda.

    And that’s a good example of the path William J Murray advocates. You have shown, without a doubt, that there is no reasonable measure for “misrepresentations of ID”. By “Joe’s standards” there are no standards, “evo propaganda” is whatever triggers your oppositional defiance reflex.

    Murray’s in the same boat, both philosophically and practically. Does he suppose that “patently absurd, uninformed and unexamined” — his criteria for comments and their owners to be shown the door — is workable at all in practice? Especially on such a highly charged, bitterly disputed set of topics.

    Not a chance. It’s either pure, näive folly on your part and his, or it’s just being profoundly disingenuous. Look how many times KairosFocus has assaulted differing opinions as purposely misleading, etc. I read the comments he is responding to and am impressed with how sane, informed and well tested they are.

    This is a fundamentalist problem. And I understand William J Murray is not a Christian, or is some kind of crypto-theist, and that you are not a Christian (although you talk like one), but fundamentalism is not a Christian distinctive. It’s a mindset. And it’s an “ad hominem” mindset that sees interactions and conflicts in primarily tribal terms — the forces of Light vs. the forces of Darkness and all that. That makes a rule like “patently absurd, uninformed and unexamined” here at UD a non-starter.

    If I ran an atheist blog, and wished to ban “patently absurd, uninformed and unexamined” views, it’s all too easy for me, or people on “my side” of the debate to use that to judge Christians and the Christian worldview as disqualified by that, up front. It’s a cowardly rule for me to impose, were I to consider and impose that. And that’s what happens here — how can an atheist even weigh in on this question, atheists can’t even ground their morality! How absurd is it to hear an atheist say, “that’s wrong”? It doesn’t even make sense for an atheist, that guy is just babbling absurdities.

    That groove gets a lot of play, here. It’s a cowardly stance. I agree with Murray that it’s the blog owner’s right, but it can’t be offered as “reasonable” policy with a straight face. It’s just a guarantee for the kind of hypocrisy and abuse that goes on here all the time.

  141. The way to criticize ID is to show how the alternative scenarios do it- that is how the theory of evolution goes about presenting A) testable hypotheses and B) supporting evidence for those.

    In a sense you are right. There is no other way to criticise ID except by establishing alternative hypotheses.

  142. @eigenstate

    And that’s a good example of the path William J Murray advocates. You have shown, without a doubt, that there is no reasonable measure for “misrepresentations of ID”. By “Joe’s standards” there are no standards, “evo propaganda” is whatever triggers your oppositional defiance reflex.

    eigenstate, you appear to good at discussing science. You should stick to that.

    A misrepresentation is a misrepresentation and propaganda is propaganda-> it is what it is.

    The words are defined. And when the actions fit the words I use them.

    But you would prefer to shoot the messenger- much easier over the internet and much easier than actually trying to rebut the claim.

    That said- I talk like a christian? In what way?

    Do I quote the Bible? Do I quote the New Testament?

    You are obvioulsy angry and that anger has caused some, hopefully, temporary confusion. Please don’t do it again.

    But anyway- evidence and science- if you want to criticize ID show us how the “mainstream” does it.

    Ya see the way to the design inference is through the current mainstream paradigm. That means if that position just did it right we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    So enlighten us THAT way.

    Give us those long sought for testable hypotheses for matter, energy, necessity and chance being all that is required to account for what we observe.

    People say ID isn’t science and the “mainstream is. I am looking for a way to compare the two.

    If not it would be best if you just don’t respond to me because I don’t want our personal differences to take away from your contributions nor be a distraction towards any future contributions.

  143. ES;

    Re:

    We have people here correcting critics on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, insisting that biolology and/or evolution is a violation of 2LoT. Multiple clear and patient efforts were launched to correct the nonsense. Instead, the nonsense gets doubled down. And doubled down again. What’s more, none of the IDers who know better can be bothered to stick up for some sanity on this.

    Pardon me, but have you actually read what has been seriously argued re the 2nd law, in terms of its statistical underpinnings, as opposed to what you may be able to dredge up from whoever, wherever?

    I do not have the time to take you up on all sorts of points, some of which have been more than adequately answered elsewhere, but let me focus on this point, as it is so revealing of what is really going on at UD and elsewhere, despite your protests otherwise.

    One slice of the cake has in it all the ingredients.

    Let’s go:

    1: No, it is not seriously argued by ID proponents that what actually happened with biology that we did not actually observe violated the law, but that

    2: the proposed evolutionary materialist mechanisms — and in particular, the chem evo mechanisms — imply the origin of beyond astronomically isolated complex organised states and structures on chance plus necessity, when

    3: the evidence of the equivalent to a still warm pond or the like and related analyses would be that, by overwhelming implausibility, we would get nowhere near such organisation on the gamut of the observed cosmos.

    4: Look, it is overwhelmingly improbable that by forces at work the O2 in the room you are sitting in would unmix itself and go into a corner, leaving you choking. (And this is mere order, not organisation.)

    5:There is nothing physically forbidding it by force, but the number of states consistent with available energy in which the molecules are mixed so overwhelms the number of isolated ones that the chance of that happening by chance and necessity without intelligent intervention is essentially zero, on the gamut of our observed universe.

    6: That is the context in which the sort of comparison to monkeys at keyboards typing at random producing Shakespeare by chance was developed, for example.

    Look, as I have cited already on 2LOT in recent days, from my online note — and you know or should know that every post I have ever made at UD is linked to that note through my handle — where it clips TBO from 1984 in the founding ID technical work.

    Let’s hear them from Ch 7 TMLO, as they remark on the relevance of 2LOT:

    While the maintenance of living systems is easily rationalized in terms of thermodynamics, the origin of such living systems is quite another matter. Though the earth is open to energy flow from the sun, the means of converting this energy into the necessary work to build up living systems from simple precursors remains at present unspecified (see equation 7-17). The “evolution” from biomonomers of to fully functioning cells is the issue. Can one make the incredible jump in energy and organization from raw material and raw energy, apart from some means of directing the energy flow through the system? In Chapters 8 and 9 we will consider this question, limiting our discussion to two small but crucial steps in the proposed evolutionary scheme namely, the formation of protein and DNA from their precursors.

    It is widely agreed that both protein and DNA are essential for living systems and indispensable components of every living cell today.11 Yet they are only produced by living cells. Both types of molecules are much more energy and information rich than the biomonomers from which they form. Can one reasonably predict their occurrence given the necessary biomonomers and an energy source? Has this been verified experimentally? These questions will be considered . . . [Bold emphasis added. Cf summary in the peer-reviewed journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, "Thermodynamics and the Origin of Life," in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 40 (June 1988): 72-83, pardon the poor quality of the scan. NB:as the journal's online issues will show, this is not necessarily a "friendly audience."]

    The answers from 1984 are obvious, and that still remains the case, or there would be no ID movement.

    And so, when we see the sort of strawman case that you and ilk repeatedly set up in the teeth of correction or remonstrance, the better to dismiss, and as I cited from you just above, we find reason to be troubled.

    What I have pointed out on Clausius’ key second law example, is that simple importation of energy is overwhelmingly likely to ADD disorder, by various ways and means. That is obvious from App 1 my always linked, indeed it is key to how we get to the rule that in an isolated system that has components passing and receiving d’q of heat, the rise in entropy of the receiver at a lower temp so overwhelms the reduction in the emitter at a higher temp, that overall entropy increment ds will be positive. let me clip again, just for clarity:

    Isol System:

    | | (A, at Thot) –> d’Q, heat –> (B, at T cold) | |

    b] Now, we introduce entropy change dS >/= d’Q/T . . . “Eqn” A.1

    c] So, dSa >/= -d’Q/Th, and dSb >/= +d’Q/Tc, where Th > Tc

    d] That is, for system, dStot >/= dSa + dSb >/= 0, as Th > Tc . . . “Eqn” A.2

    e] But, observe: the subsystems A and B are open to energy inflows and outflows, and the entropy of B RISES DUE TO THE IMPORTATION OF RAW ENERGY.

    f] The key point is that when raw energy enters a body, it tends to make its entropy rise . . . [the box of marbles example follows to help the reader intuitively understand what is going on]

    The statistical explanation in terms of accessible distributions of mass and energy at micro level backs this up.

    Energy conversion mechanisms, by contrast, couple energy based on structures and boundary conditions etc, and thus are able to convert energy from one type to another. That is for instance how a heat engine works.

    Such are often accessible to natural systems and can form spontaneously, e.g. a hurricane, but also there are many cases relevant to living systems that are well beyond 500 – 1,000 bits worth of functionally specific complex organisation and implied information.

    The sum total of OBSERVATIONAL evidence and proper analysis that such could credibly be expected to or actually did spontaneously arise on the gamut of our observed cosmos from reasonable pre-life clusters of matter and sources of energy in reasonable environments is ZERO.

    That is why OOL is a conundrum for evolutionary materialists. Remember, we have to account for a metabolic automaton joined to a von Neumann self replicator that uses stored information to direct self replication using machines that take in energy and materials to carry out the instructions. If you want to propose some other first life, show us an observed case and its spontaneous origin in a lab or in the field, then show us how such can then change into something like the sort of living cells that dominate our observed world of life.

    By direct contrast, we do have abundant empirical evidence on the known causal source of cases of the underlying FSCO/I.

    Intelligence, every time.

    Thus, we have excellent empirical reason to infer that the FSCO/I is an emppirically reliable sign of cause by such intelligence, starting with posts in this thread.

    Nor is this news, we have said this over and over and over, week after week, month after month, year after year.

    the challenge to provide a credible counter example stands unmet, for 25 years and counting now.

    Going beyond OOL, it is known that cell based life forms use explicit coded information, and a reasonable estimate for the first one would be 100 – 1,000 k bits, and for complex multicellular body plans 10 – 100 mn bits. There is nothing that physically blocks the spontaneous emergence of this by blind chance and mechanical necessity, but the chance of getting to such a configuration by any observed non-intelligent mechanism, are not essentially different from zero, given the overwhelming number of possibilities and the tightness of a coded functional requirement.

    So, the notion that body plan level evolution can occur by blind chance and mechanical necessity, however mediated in light of known forces and factors, to generate protein codes, regulatory codes etc etc, is an appeal to materialist miracle. And the reason for that conclusion is that the self same statistical principles that ground the 2nd law are at work. I have given the thought exercise of assembling a micro jet in a vat by chance or by programing, to show the point, in the same App 1.

    Q: Can you provide a naturally occurring mechanism that on the gamut of our solar system would per our observation and in accord with the statistical underpinnings of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, credibly account for origin of life and body plans?

    A: I put it to you, sir, that you cannot, or this fact would have been trumpeted all over the Internet and major news, with award of a Nobel Prize.

    In short, you are bluffing, and to back the bluff you have set up and knocked over a strawman that you knew or should have known was a serious and even deceptive misrepresentation.

    So, sorry — you are acting like the Wikipedians and you have no credibility at this point, if you cannot even produce an accurate and fair summary of what is in front of you.

    Do you want me to spell it out?

    I will: you and ilk are habitually, insistently saying what you know or should know is false, in the intent that such willful falsehood is seen as the truth, to the detriment of others.

    That is demonstrated fact, easily accessible, and indeed you just provided yet another example. I happened to be scrolling down when I saw it.

    There is a short little word to describe what you have done, and it is not a pretty word.

    I hope you are thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

    For, that would be a good sign, that there is hope.

    Good day, sir.

    GEM of TKI

  144. Null, I fully agree with you here. Barry obviously went livid with what must have been the last straw when Dr REC dropped an obscenity, but what is going on elsewhere behind that sort of contempt to your HOST in a context where you are a GUEST is atrocious and inexcusable. And, it is directly connected, almost in real time, to what is happening here. Look, I saw people nastily speculating on whether Zoe [who is most definitely not me] is me, basically live; and in a context where it is obvious that these have been obsessively running all over the net to see what dirt they could try to find, or what they could twist to caricature and demonise. Look, my expose of web porn — it is apparently so bad that a good fraction of net traffic in recent years was this stuff, and porn is implicated in something like half of US divorces from the divorce lawyers (don’t tell me it is harmless fun) was twisted into gleeful nonsense that tried to make me out to be a pornographer or whatever you call one of those — I guess they did not realise I asked the FBI unit to look into the case I checked out, in hopes that a skunk’s hide could be nailed up to the wall. I hope they get him and I hope he rots in gaol for what he is doing, my gorge rises just to remember that this sort of exploitation is going on. I saw the man who runs a hate site that targets members of the UD community and which has threatened members of my family, operating as one of the circle in evidently good standing. I have seen far more than I want to speak of here, and none of it good. Barry is the host, and I think he was entirely within his rights to say, enough is enough on this case. And no, I see no need to wallow in filth and abuse from those who show every sign that they are sick, rage-sick, just to discuss a scientific issue. Their behaviour has forfeited any and all rights to civil discussion. Right now, what is troubling me is I am seeing abusive patterns I remember all too well from my days when I had to expose and correct destructive, manipulative groups. KF

  145. ES: Twice today, I have had to correct misrepresentations by you in details, that you know or should have known were false, misleading and potentially damaging while serving your apparent agenda. I think you owe us all some fairly serious explanations, especially of what has to be taken at this stage as repeated personal attacks, for in both cases, indeed, all three it was your use of my handle that drew my attention as I happened to be scrolling down this thread. It seems to me you are dealing in some pretty indefensible mud slinging in hopes some will stick. That’s not cricket. KF

  146. CD: That’s a gratuitous personal attack, walk it back. I have suggested that a misbehaved child under my parenthood would receive a spanking for the sort of misbehaviour I have seen at and around UD, I have nowhere indicated any intention to threaten or attack a woman. In short I am pointing out that some of what is going on here is childish misbehaviour and rudeness beyond the pale of adult conduct. That this would be pounced on and twisted into the insinuation that I am going around threatening physical violence to women, is outrageous, and a sure sign of the sort of problem Barry has had to prune back. KF

  147. You missed the mark, mark.

  148. @Joe,

    Ya see the way to the design inference is through the current mainstream paradigm. That means if that position just did it right we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    No, the design inference from ID doesn’t employ the mainstream paradigm. Think of how many times you’ve heard appeals here to design conclusions as the “inference to best explanation”. That’s some disingenuous wordsmithing there, all hinging on “best”. The best explantions in science are well defined — build a model, show it can be falsified, deduce entailed predictions, and then see how the model performs by empirical testing and validation.

    I’ve been using Einstein’s GR which entailed predictions about the precession of Mercury’s perihelion. There is a non-controversial framework for what is the “best” explanation: if Einstein’s predictions is borne out in our observations, where other competing models made no such predictions, and made other predictions that failed, GR is the best on that question.

    ID can’t brook that paradigm. It equivocates on “best”, and “best” in the hand of the ID leaders becomes “my intuition”, or “God as a default”, or just “design as a default” — the designer-of-the-gaps problem. If we don’t have a detailed step by step chemical pathway for abiogenesis, not just a plausible pathway, but the actual, historic, historically detailed pathway, then God is the best explanation.

    I can’t say enough disparaging things about that stance as intellectually impoverished, but that is not the point of my raising it. Rather, it’s just that ID uses “best explanation” to totally upend and invalidate the mainstream semantics of the word in science. That should not be surprising to anyone, given the ID movement’s (as opposed to whatever we might identify as the “ID science”) animus toward science as the (suspected) breeding ground of godless materialism.

    ID as science is a “put the system on trial” legal strategy. That’s ID’s prerogative, but it does not, and cannot operate with the mainstream paradigm. It is committed to overthrowing the mainstream paradigm. Mainstream science has good social equity, though, due to the stupendous successes it has produced in commerce, medicine, technology, agriculture, and just about every other area of human endeavor you could name.

  149. @eingenstate:

    No, the design inference from ID doesn’t employ the mainstream paradigm.

    That doesn’t have anything to do with what I said.

    I said the way to the design inference is through the current mainstream paradigm- Newton’s First rule mandates that. The explanatory filter mandates that.

    ID is the best explanation because others have been considered and didn’t measure up.

    But anyway apparently you are still angry and that has caused some confusion on your part.

    perhaps you would like to try-again…

  150. @Chas D:

    ID wishes to operate within the realm of ‘science’ – and then complains, bitterly, because there are all these darned scientists cluttering the place up with their non-ID-friendly methodology and their standards and their many-years-studying-the-subject. You don’t wish your science to be held up to the standards of science. It could just be about the arguments, but if you present an argument on – say – genetics before a geneticist, a bus driver and a mathematician, who would be best placed to evaluate it? Do you never call on expert witness?

    ‘scuse me but I work towards a PhD in electrical engineering, and earned an M.S. in the field. I look at the evidence and I am very pro-ID as a result. The vast majority of the world’s population looks around and are amazed on a daily basis at the order, harmony and yes, design, so apparent in all existence (excluding human affairs), and don’t need to be constantly corrected by a bunch of self-important professionals, Dawkins included: hilarious. And you know what? I don’t see too much bitter complaining from my side of this argument. And to tell you the truth, I’m having a ball exercising my rhetorical impulse here, “bitterly” hardly fits.

    So far as “darned scientists cluttering the place up with their non-ID-friendly methodology” : So an atheist naturalist in the 19th century comes along and invents something called Darwinism, for the role of handmaiden to scientific materialism. And this philosophical stance of course is your “methodology”. And my training is not up to taking on the “naturalist” Darwin? Or one’s everyday experiences in living are truly no basis for the average person to EVEN CONTEMPLATE teleological matters, and worse get called “ignorant” for doing so? Gimme a break. Its as if the only persons in your mind qualified to take on a bogus science have to have been trained in the bogus science. And you guys wonder why some scientists are getting a hugh black eye from this debate. And thus everyone else has to wonder no more why the disgustingly vile vituperation comes from mainly one side, almost exclusively. And from “professionals” no less. I actually read this morning one of the contributors to antievolution.org fantasizing about one of the UD personnel fist-f__ing a donkey. Science at its worst, coming from your side of the debate. I’m actually thankful it is in full view, especially to the young folks watching all of this. Very entertaining, I’m having a good time at it.

  151. Hi Joe.

    I’m asking this in all seriousness. That list above – evolution has no testable hypotheses, no evidence accumulated, &c.- is that a fair statement of the position of ID? – or is it your own personal take?

  152. There aren’t any testable hypotheses wrt to blind and undirected processes producing a living organism from non-living matter nor constructing new, useful multi-protein configurations.

    I would say that is a fair statement wrt ID.

  153. @KF,

    Pardon me, but have you actually read what has been seriously argued re the 2nd law, in terms of its statistical underpinnings, as opposed to what you may be able to dredge up from whoever, wherever?
    Yeah, this is an area I have a lot of experience in. As I keep saying, if some is willing to do the math and apply the concepts, the folly of these arguments — and I’ve made the SLoT objection from creationists an area of interest for many years now, just because of a long running interest and applications (via info theory computing stuff I’ve worked on as well as computing resources for physicists back in my younger days) — is a matter of examination, not rhetoric.

    2: the proposed evolutionary materialist mechanisms — and in particular, the chem evo mechanisms — imply the origin of beyond astronomically isolated complex organised states and structures on chance plus necessity, when

    First, you’re confused on “organized”, as Bruce David was. “Order” and “organized” are only meaningful to SLoT as thermodynamics — that’s the “T” in SLoT. As a college student I got off on the wrong track in physics when the TA took the liberty to explain “order” with the analogy of a recently cleaned and straightened up (everything in its place) kid’s bedroom and a messy, cluttered, can’t-see-the-floor kid’s bedroom. “Order” vs. “Disorder” this was meant to teach.

    As a bit of opening pedagogy, I can see that as an example one might choose, but it took several weeks into class to get that misconception worked out. My class mates and I ended up talking to a PhD student who straightened us out, mocking the “messy room” analogy for order as counterproductive.

    Q: Which bedroom has more “order” per the SLoT: a) the neat, recently thoroughly cleaned room, or b) the room that has all the contents of the closets thrown on the floor, drawers empty, sheets all messed up, and garbage strewn all about?

    A: Burn both bedrooms down, thoroughly, and measure the heat energy generated by the fire for each. THAT is your thermodynamic answer. In practice, there isn’t an appreciable difference in terms of thermodynamic entropy, and it has NOTHING to do with whether the room is “neat”, or cleaned in such a way to make things appear what the mom of the house would call “orderly”.

    “Organised states and structures” then are not measures of entropy as such. All that matters is the energy available to do work in that system.

    Second, “chance plus necessity” encapsulates the whole of physics. Without physical principles hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms are astronomically unlikely to combine as water. But with the necessity of physical principles — hydrogen’s tendency to pair up so two electrons can orbit two nuclei, for example — water formation does NOT exhaust the probabilistic resources of the universe. It’s downright inevitable under conducive conditions.

    Biology is a whole lot more complex than that, but it’s matter of scale and degree. Physical principles drive host of interactions and combinations, demonstrably, that your probability calculations don’t even ACKNOWLEDGE, let alone integrate into your calculations.

    3: the evidence of the equivalent to a still warm pond or the like and related analyses would be that, by overwhelming implausibility, we would get nowhere near such organisation on the gamut of the observed cosmos.

    No, you’ve got perfectly NO model for any kind of calculation like that. All I have to do is say “show your math” and the con is exposed. You’ve not got even a START on what the formative resources and interactions were. The best knowledge out there is exceedingly sketchy and volative as conjectures put forward by the people who are expert on these questions. It’s an exceedingly important question from a human political standpoint, but it’s a matter of exceedingly esoterics and likely intractable forensics as a matter of science. It’s not a phenomenon we are equipped to reverse engineer, given the past time and the non-fossilization of the targets of our investigation.

    Any implausibility you want to assign — and your whole objection hangs on this point — is NOT grounded on any knowledge of the context or actual pathway taken toward the first (or any) biological life forms and structures. This is easily to discredit from me if you are not just blowing smoke — show your math. But you wont’ because you can’t, and you know it, and I know it, and you know I know it. And yet, you persist, disingenuously, in making these assertions, over and over, regardless.

    4: Look, it is overwhelmingly improbable that by forces at work the O2 in the room you are sitting in would unmix itself and go into a corner, leaving you choking. (And this is mere order, not organisation.)

    So, let’s test your connections here, then. What would the THERMODYNAMIC entropy of room A with diffuse, highly probable microstrates for the 02 molecules, and what would the THERMODYNAMIC entropy be of room B, the same room as A, but with all the 02 molecules clustered together in some fantastically improbable configurarion where all the O2 is in a small 10cm corner of that room?

    Your answer will tell me/us a lot about your understanding of thermodynamic entropy. I’ll hold on the problems of viewing the configurations of ideal gases as your model for biology/OOL until later. When a leaf converts sunlight into glucose — stored, available energy — it’s not a statistical accident that plant happened upon.

    5:There is nothing physically forbidding it by force, but the number of states consistent with available energy in which the molecules are mixed so overwhelms the number of isolated ones that the chance of that happening by chance and necessity without intelligent intervention is essentially zero, on the gamut of our observed universe.

    It’s not a matter of available energy. Again, this shows you are confused about what thermodymamic entropy measures, and how it is derived. Statistically unlikely microstates are unlikely because of the statistical summing of the stochastic movments of each molecule. It’s no more energy based than the observation that “7″ is statistically going to be the most common roll of two fair dice over large numbers of rolls.

    What do you suppose the internal energy of Room A vs. Room B is, in the example above? Do you think that “all the 02 over in this little corner of the room” has some different internal energy value for that room (room B) than room A? If so, why?

    Nothing in biology or evolution depends on such microstates or configurations in a phase space, which is why this kind of answer just makes people who understand this stuff scratch their heads.

    6: That is the context in which the sort of comparison to monkeys at keyboards typing at random producing Shakespeare by chance was developed, for example.

    Yes, and that’s the core mistake, the signal that you’re not talking about, or even familiar with biology as a physical process, as a function of physics. No one but the creationists imagine that biology or negative entropy is a “tornado-in-a-junkyard” process. It’s not even close enought to earn the label “strawman” what you are offering. By the approach you are advocating, we should be amazed and astonished in the ability to water to form, given the astronomically small odds of H atoms form H2 molecules and then adding oxygen to form H20. That’s an absurd and ridiculous process to believe could ever happen in you monkeys-typing-Shakespeare model, this “just so story” of how water forms.

  154. Questions to the admins:

    1. Why, when I posted above (#21) today, did my post go not to the bottom but up above some posts from yesterday, so that someone looking for the most recent, would miss mine? Can you guys fix the chronology?

    2. Why are posts both enumerated and not?

    3. Why, if one clicks on the “Post comment” button before answering the verification question, does the page disappear along with the contributor’s typed input, and another page is presented? Would it not be better to conserve the work and let the contributer try again without having wasted the input?

  155. ES:

    ID can’t brook that paradigm. It equivocates on “best”, and “best” in the hand of the ID leaders becomes “my intuition”, or “God as a default, or just “design as a default” — the designer-of-the-gaps problem. If we don’t have a detailed step by step chemical pathway for abiogenesis, not just a plausible pathway, but the actual, historic, historically detailed pathway, then God is the best explanation.

    This is yet another willfully false statement in the teeth of the truth you know, or could easily know. It is at minimum, culpably negligent.

    Let’s take the per aspect explanatory filter, as is discussed here in the first of the ID foundation series posts, with a flowchart for handy reference; and which has appeared at UD over and over again. It also features in the FAQ, which you seem to have failed to read seriously before commenting adversely and even personally. It also featured in corrections directed to Dr Liddle, on exactly this matter.

    In steps:

    a: We examine an object or phenomenon, and pick a first aspect of interest, to examine across causal factors, necessity, chance and agency (in the wider context that that which has a beginning has a cause).

    b: The first question is on hi/lo contingency of outcomes, i.e. more like a dropped object falling at 9.8 N/kg or more like a die tumbling to read a value. If low, then the default conclusion is law of mechanical necessity.

    c: If so, the law is to be identified, tested and if confirmed integrated into theories or models. This is straightforward scientific method for cases similar to Galileo’s exploration of a swinging pendulum.

    d: but what if under sufficiently similar initial conditions, we see quire diverse possible outcomes,i.e. high contingency?

    e: It is known that chance and intelligence can be responsible for such.

    f: So, which is the second default? CHANCE

    g: That is, unless there is a degree of complexity and specificity involved that puts us in a too narrow, separately describable zone T in a field of possible outcomes W, the inference is that chance is best explanation.

    h: there is actually a reasonable controversy on this, as say 100 years ago many would argue that chance is not a real factor, e.g. it could be argued that if we could sufficiently specify the initial conditions, we could predict the outcome of a tossed die. But since then quantum theory with its genuine randomness and chaos theory with sensitive dependence on initial conditions, has brought chance into lay as a genuine causal factor worthy of discussion. As the marbles in boxes discussion, App 1 my always linked though my handle shows intuitively, Laplace’s demon is out of a job. (And BTW, within the past year there was a sharp discussion here at UD on exactly this point.)

    i: So, we have in hand two successive defaults: necessity and chance.

    j: it is only under fairly strict conditions that we end up in the third inferred explanation, cheerfully accepting that intelligence could in principle mimic either necessity or chance, in order to be practically sure that we only infer intelligence when it is seriously implausible for necessity or chance to be viable explanations for the aspect under investigation.

    k: of course we go on to investigate other aspects and synthesise an overall causal picture or model that can be empirically tested.

    So, plainly ES, you have not done due care or diligence before making adverse comments, and this is the THIRD time today I have had to draw you up on this.

    Neither God nor design serve as a default explanation. Just the opposite, necessity and chance do.

    What is really at work then is evidently that you object to cases where on tested reliable sign, design is a warranted inference, but this inference cuts across what he dominant, evolutionary materialist school of thought wishes to insist on. For concrete instance, the coded digital information that is at the heart of cell based life and of new body plans. 100 – 1,000 k bits of for the first, 10 – 100 mns apiece for the second, where just 1,000 bits of info specify 1.07 * 10^301 possibilities, so many that the whole observed universe, across its lifespan, could not sample 1 in 10^150 of possibilities.

    On basic sampling theory, let’s use the needle in the haystack picture, and just 500 bits for that, the size of sample in that case would be comparable to a one straw sized sample to a hay stack that is light days across. Such a sample, by maximum likelihood, would pick straw, even if a solar system were lurking in it. This is of course very close to the reasoning behind why the 2nd law of thermodynamics works, in light of statistics of microstates of systems.

    Coded complex functional information is highly specific and is not going to be typical of the field of possible states or configurations. So, it is maximally implausible that such would arise by blind chance and necessity on the gamut of the observed cosmos. And the latest assertion, that somehow there is a continent of function that can be traversed by incremental changes yielding say the tree of life, is so strained as to be revelatory of desperation.

    There is but one empirically warranted source of dFSCI, design. Let’s focus on this relevant case as it can be easily tested by random text generation experiments. So far we are up to picking from 10^50 possibilities, but nowhere near 10^150 possibilities, 10^100 times that. And to my certain knowledge this test case has been put forth any number of times at UD over the years.

    If you wish to provide another causal explanation than design, kindly provide an observed case in point.

    And even your suggestion that the empirical tests we specify are counsels of perfection, that too is a material distortion and misrepresentation.

    Your dismissive, distorting words above simply underscore that you have no empirically warranted alternative to design, but are reasoning in a frame of anything but design.

    Good day

    GEM of TKI

  156. DrREC, I know you’re reading this. You should be ashamed, using a semi-bad work like p—k. If you can’t argue nicely, you shouldn’t argue at all. If you don’t know how to argue politely, the UD way, take a tip from Rabbi Moshe Averick’s “Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist” which has been featured prominently on this blog:

    “True devotees of naturalism

    Talmudic sources describe the practices of an ancient pagan cult called Ba’al Pe’or. The adherents of this sect showed their devotion to their god by first defecating in front of his statue and then proceeding to engage in some of the more standard types of debauchery. Defecation as a form of worship might seem odd to us in the 21st century, but the obvious meaning behind this act was to proclaim the glorification of, and an exclusive devotion to the physical and material aspects of existence. If it were suggested that the above described scatology would be an appropriate expression of their own absolute commitment to naturalism and materialism, I imagine the reactions of Lewontin, Hitchens, Dawkins, Ruse, Dennet, Pinker, et al., would be comically squeamish (althought I don’t rule out the possibility that they could surprise me). Despite that, my guess is they would still feel right at home in a post-worship philosophical discussion with the naturalist/materialist “theologians” of the Ba’al Pe’or seminary.”

    “Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist” by Rabbi Moshe Averick
    Page 225 Kindle Location 3824

    Take that and change “Lewontin”, “Hitchens”, “Dawkins” etc to “Arrington”, “O’Leary”, “Kairosfocus” etc and see how nice and polite argument can be when you restrain yourself to the type of arguments ID people use.

  157. So an atheist naturalist in the 19th century comes along and invents something called Darwinism, for the role of handmaiden to scientific materialism. And this philosophical stance of course is your “methodology”. And my training is not up to taking on the “naturalist” Darwin?

    If you perceive biology, including evolutionary biology, as containing nothing more than a methodology defined by Darwin, then what can I really tell you? You’re a million miles out, but do you really care? You’re an electrical engineer, and you know how designs work, and you are convinced that biological entities are designs in EXACTLY the same sense. Well, bully for you. You are entitled to pursue that viewpoint to the extremes of your rhetorical impulse. But organisms aren’t machines. They just aren’t. My assertion vs yours. But there is more to it. Understanding the manner in which organisms work, and the way evolutionary processes operate upon them, is vital to understanding biology and evolution. If you don’t want to understand biology and evolution, then fair enough – but don’t keep whining at the people who do, simply for not seeing the resemblance that you do, or not making the connection to immortality or societal consequence that many here do.

    ID purports to be a legitimate science, suitable even in its current state to be taught in class as part of biology lessons. But many of the people who are pushing that viewpoint know little biology. You don’t think that’s an issue? Ultimately, if pursued in the way it is here, ID will sink into mere Creationsim – the thing it is at great pains to distance itself from. Creative attempts to undermine the peer-review process, or to demonise scientists for arrogance or other human failings – well, it might work, as an alternative tack to actually doing some science. Worth a try, anyway. But that’s politics, not science.

    Let’s get one thing straight, though – your comments are directed at me, convenient whipping-boy for a viewpoint that you clearly despise. But I have never called anyone ignorant, or an IDiot, or anything else (I confess to exasperation). I HAVE constantly urged people to try and better understand the subject they wish to criticise, and have taken a deal of trouble attempting to discuss the topics I can discuss, from a scientific pov. No-one has shown any real interest in this. At least Joe attempts to take the science on, even though he seems to have a deep-seated need to misrepresent and misunderstand it. I was probably naive in thinking that a scientific position might welcome scientific discussion. Still, I’m interested in all kinds of worldview, not just my own, so if that comes up I’ll discuss it too. And it has been very telling, to see how the group of people here, that aspires to a higher moral standard, views a group of people whose subject (for reasons that are not entirely clear to me) threatens that standard or even (in some cases) their aspirations to immortality. I’m sure you couldn’t give a damn, but I do not regard my moral standards as in any way inferior to yours, just because I study and accept evolution. I really can’t perceive any legitimacy to the claim of the moral high ground advanced by the “saved”, certainly not on the evidence here.

    The bottom line is that, for a myriad of reasons I could rationalise to hell and back, you do not WANT the materialist position to be true. Why in hell should you invest any time in understanding it? It’s easy to just “do a Luskin”, filtering and spinning the work of scientists in a way that has scientists apoplectic not because of the worldview-challenge, but simply because it’s bad science.

    So …

    I actually read this morning one of the contributors to antievolution.org fantasizing about one of the UD personnel fist-f__ing a donkey. Science at its worst, coming from your side of the debate. I’m actually thankful it is in full view, especially to the young folks watching all of this. Very entertaining, I’m having a good time at it.

    Yes, nice piece of rhetoric. Someone who holds the same position as me on something (and maybe only that thing) said “fist-f—” on the internet in relation to someone who holds the same position as you on something. Let’s show all the young folks what irredeemable reprobates scientists (rather, their internet supporters) are.

  158. –eigenstate: “I don’t reject LNC (Law of non-contradiction), and couldn’t make the points I’ve made without it. I just don’t have a magical belief in its powers.”

    Magical powers? By that, of course, you mean that you don’t think it can be consistently applied to the real world, which is, of course, to deny it.

    Again, from experience, I have found that you will go to any length to avoid the task of advancing and responding to rational arguments. On a recent thread, for example, when I explained that a physical law is what it is and cannot also NOT be a physical law, you disputed this unassailable point in order to evade the implications of the argument, namely the existence of a “first cause.”

    On being reminded of the law of non-contradiction, you promptly, and without a qualm, denied it in order to maintain your contradictory position. In this case, you needed a physical law to be what it is and also to be something else, so, shazaam!!!–you declared it to be so. For you, the law of non-contradiction is a “useful tool” except on those occasions when it reveals the poverty of your non-arguments, at which time, it can be safely discounted. That position alone renders you unfit for rational dialogue.

  159. 159
    material.infantacy

    While I’m not an admin:

    RE: #1, threaded comments are sorted first by the related thread. Newer comments will appear above older ones if they are replies to a specific comment in the hierarchy. This is not without its faults. Specifically, it can make following a thread difficult (and frustrating) from a timestamp POV.

    RE: #2, comments will appear in timestamp sort order after being sorted by the thread to which they replied. If an older comment receives a reply, that reply will be grouped with the original comment, then sorted by timestamp. This produces a nested effect, which can make following the entire thread impractical.

    RE: #3, when that happens, click the back button and scroll all the way to the bottom of the newly loaded page. Your comment will appear contained in the bottom-most comment box. It loses its place in the comment hierarchy, but the content remains intact.

    However long comments are best authored in a text editor of some sort, and copied into comment boxes when completed. This is the lowest risk option, and is bound to produce less frustration with lost content.

    Alternately, as a rule of thumb, copy the contents of the comment box to the clipboard prior to posting with the “Post Comment” button. That way, if there is an error with the submission, the comment can immediately be “pasted” into a new comment box.

    Best,
    m.i.

  160. @KF,

    None of this is new or challenging, you aren’t listening to the objection. It doesn’t help to say things like this:

    If low, then the default conclusion is law of mechanical necessity

    And:

    f: So, which is the second default? CHANCE

    The default, per science, is ignorance, or agnosticism. That’s how the epistemology works. It doesn’t make your case better to say “mechanical is the first default”. It makes the problem worse. That’s not a knowledge building, and I don’t have to say anything more than “false positives” to point out the poverty of this heuristic. It’s an extended exercise in question begging, as here:

    g: That is, unless there is a degree of complexity and specificity involved that puts us in a too narrow, separately describable zone T in a field of possible outcomes W, the inference is that chance is best explanation.

    That’s precisely the question at hand — you don’t know, and cannot estimate what is “too narrow”. That’s what the entire controversy turns on.

    j: it is only under fairly strict conditions that we end up in the third inferred explanation, cheerfully accepting that intelligence could in principle mimic either necessity or chance, in order to be practically sure that we only infer intelligence when it is seriously implausible for necessity or chance to be viable explanations for the aspect under investigation.

    And more question begging. If you have warrant to make this inference, you don’t need the explanatory filter. The EF adds no probative value. Conversely, if you don’t already have warrant for the inference — matching up available agents and their capabilies with putative designs or effect phenomena — the explanatory filter can’t help you.

    It’s wholly underspecificied.

    And to keep on the main point I have here, it’s arguing by defaults, where intuitive solutions win as conclusions not on their positive case merits, but on the perceived limits or problems with other avenues of explanation. That’s radically subversive of scientific epistemology. It removes a key, anchoring concept that underwrites scientific epistemology — the null hypothesis as a positive, testable model. ID, per the explanatory filter, is missing the enabling anchor this epistemology.

    That’s ID’s prerogative. ID could just overtly declare it’s an exercise in theology, or social activism. It can define itself as it likes. But the claims of being scientific are at best equivocal, abandoning the essential core of scientific epistemology in favor of a casual, fuzzy, we’ll-just-assume-this-because-those-other-ideas-seem-problematic approach to knowledge.

    I suggest this response nicely confirms my point about the epistemic problem of ‘design-by-default’. “mechanism-by-default’ is NO better. What you’ve not understood is that “default” is the major fail point in “design-by-default”, not “design”.

  161. 161
    material.infantacy

    OK I think I see what you’re talking about RE: #2. Some of these comments are unenumerated on this thread.

    It’s either a bug, or the result of the parent comments being deleted. I’m guessing that when a parent comment is deleted, its replies are orphaned, hence no proper enumeration.

  162. Liz hasn’t squealed about unfair treatment.

    How could she? She was banned, it seems. Others, however, were – please take a look at who I was responding to in some cases when I brought up that ’1000+ comments’ point.

    Regarding ’26 posts at AtBC since 2007!’ – take a look at when some of those posts were, and what was in the thread. Nasty, vile stuff. And there was not a peep from her, much less anyone else. The ‘loutishness and nastiness’ is tolerated and encouraged.

    Yes, there is loutishness and nastiness at AtBC. It isn’t supposed to be the acme of scientific and philosophical precision, and civil discourse. And people are two-faced. Are you without sin in this department, before you cast that stone?

    Gosh, really? You mean AtBC isn’t meant to be anything more than a petty, very personal, collective hatefest? Well hell, you caught me offguard!

    Wait, wait. No, it didn’t. It was kind of my point.

    As for your claim – uh, actually in this department, yeah. I’ve got plenty of sins, but no, hitting a public forum with some group of maladjusted people, ranting with hatred on the order of years about strangers I’ve argued on the internet with, finding pics of them to alter, muttering about how they’re probably all gay and.. etc, etc? I admit, I’ve not been engaged in this. Dare I say, most people haven’t, critics or otherwise.

    Do you really think the point of that passage is ‘Everyone sins, so never point it out when anyone does anything you dislike, and certainly never hold it against someone’? If so, you’re deluded. Go to AtBC and quote them the end of that exchange: “Go and sin no more.” Let me know how that goes over.

    As to earning your respect? Well, why should anyone care to?

    Who said they should care to? By all means, don’t. I’m just some anonymous guy on the internet. But if someone wants my time and attention, that’s mine to give – and that means meeting my standards. And if someone else has that standard, I won’t be criticizing it. Some people refuse to argue with people who use pseudonyms – I don’t complain. I walk.

    But when the AtBC people start screaming, yet again, about their being banned here, it’s worth noting just who we’re talking about. It’s like someone covered head to toe in feces complaining about being ejected from some creationism debate in the course of their screaming loudly about the truth of evolution. “See? See? They don’t want to talk to me because they’re afraid of the TRUTH!” they’ll cry. Someone should really point out, “You think the crap may have anything to do with it?”

  163. Magical powers? So you think that consistently applying the law of non-contradiction to the real world is to confer upon it “magical powers.” LOL This is a good example of why I no longer take you seriously.

    I have found that you will go to any length to avoid the task of advancing and responding to rational arguments. On a recent thread, when I explained that a physical law is what it is and cannot also NOT be a physical law, you disputed this unassailable point in order to evade the implications of the argument, namely the existence of a “first cause.” On being reminded of the law of non-contradiction, you promptly, and without a qualm, denied it in order to maintain your contradictory position. For you, the law of non-contradiction is a “useful tool” except on those occasions when it reveals the poverty of your non-arguments, at which time, it can be safely discounted. That position alone renders you unfit for rational dialogue.

    It is a bit of an oddity, though, that you assault the reputations and reasoned arguments of prominent ID proponents with the same undisciplined passion that you assault reason itself. Going on and on about their alleged deficiencies, you conveniently fail to elaborate the reasons for their failings, except to repeat the same uninformed anti-ID talking points that anyone could find at Wikipedia or any anti-ID website. I find no evidence that you have done the requisite reading. Indeed, based on the texture and quality of your comments, I suspect that have you never even read the FAQ at this site. How can you hope to engage in rational dialogue without doing the requisite (and readily available) homework, a task that could be accomplished in a very short time.

    But that is not all. Claiming to have studied and abandoned ID science, traditional Christian Theology, and Theistic Evolution, and finding all of them intellectually vacuous, you dare not specify which arguments you found wanting and why. How timidly convenient that is. Even so, you do not scruple at the prospect of writing 1000+ word posts complaining about arguments that you don’t even bother to summarize–alluding to everything by name and elaborating on nothing in detail.

  164. thanks, I usually copy to clipboard before posting but the down side of “usually” has gotten me frustrated occasionally.

  165. @StephenB,

    Again, from experience, I have found that you will go to any length to avoid the task of advancing and responding to rational arguments. On a recent thread, for example, when I explained that a physical law is what it is and cannot also NOT be a physical law, you disputed this unassailable point in order to evade the implications of the argument, namely the existence of a “first cause.”

    I’ve tried, repeatedly, to get you to disambiguate on “physical law”. I’ve offered the term “models” (referring to human-devised rules and frameworks that attempt to describe, explain and predict the dynamics we observe in nature), and “nature”, as the physical environment itself, operating however it does.

    That’s sufficient to get some clarity on distinguishing between model-of-nature and nature, map and territory. Even so, you refuse to clarify or even pose your question in non-equivocal terms. I can repeat the summary of my earlier at-length explanation: models can and do change all the time, and are constantly being revised; nature is what it is.

    On being reminded of the law of non-contradiction, you promptly, and without a qualm, denied it in order to maintain your contradictory position. In this case, you needed a physical law to be what it is and also to be something else, so, shazaam!!!–you declared it to be so. For you, the law of non-contradiction is a “useful tool” except on those occasions when it reveals the poverty of your non-arguments, at which time, it can be safely discounted. That position alone renders you unfit for rational dialogue.

    See, here is why your confusion over “law” as a term mangles the conversation. I’m not “reminded of the law of non-contradiction” as a PRESCRIPTIVE LAW. The LNC is a tool, a mechanism for reasoning. It doesn’t dictate to reality how reality is or must behave. It is a means we use to render reality intelligible. Descriptive, and practice rather than metaphysically imperative, incumbent on nature.

    So, nature doesn’t give a rip about the LNC. We humans reverse-engineering how reality works use the LNC as a tool.

    Superposition, as I’ve said, is problematic for our conventions of LNC-based semantics. That’s not due to something I contrived, that’s how our tests and experiences and models that work reveal nature to behave at the quantum level. Putting your fingers in your ears and calling upon the LNC-as-magic as a superstition doesn’t make the cognitive problem go away. Nature is NOT like your example of the 5’9″ person being “potentially” 6’4″ at some later point. That example indicates ignorance of the phenomenon. You have to tell me that the person, we are going to use YOUR example, was both 5’9″ and 6’4″ AT THE SAME TIME, and while BEING THE SAME PERSON.

    If you don’t think that’s problematic, bringing your example more in line with the observations of QM, then you still have not grasped the empirical witness we have now firmly established, over and over. Telling me “it can’t be” won’t curry favor with reality. It is what it is.

    That doesn’t mean the LNC is tossed out. Not hardly. It does mean however that the semantics we are accustomed to applying, and forms of negation and identity we typically invoke, are problematic. Nature at Planck scales isn’t like nature at the scale of you holding your red ball, or looking through a telescope at Jupiter.

    You can simply pull the “unfit” ripcord, but it doesn’t make the problem go away. Your magical view of the LNC, and causality as well, get dashed on the rocks by the experience of science. That doesn’t mean that any of those problems are insuperable, or that revised epistemologies and semantics can’t be constructed that are coherent, rigorous AND performative, but your superstitious axioms won’t get you there. You’ll have to get beyond them if you are going to learn and understand the things you are currently avoiding.

  166. My post #21 was a reply to someone, but without the use of the reply button. I figure that there are advantages to doing this, where everyone looking for a recent post can find it. The advantage to using the reply button is that the contributor to whom you reply can look quickly to see the responses to their posts. The way it turned out in post #21 is I got neither of these advantages.

  167. @nullasalus

    But when the AtBC people start screaming, yet again, about their being banned here, it’s worth noting just who we’re talking about. It’s like someone covered head to toe in feces complaining about being ejected from some creationism debate in the course of their screaming loudly about the truth of evolution. “See? See? They don’t want to talk to me because they’re afraid of the TRUTH!” they’ll cry. Someone should really point out, “You think the crap may have anything to do with it?”

    This is just an apology for ad hominem attacks. If someone from AtBC is the “most loutish” and they post a cogent, civil post, or series of posts, here, those posts stand or fall on their own merits. What is said here on UD is not contingent on comments made at AtBC, or worse, to use the unfortunate language you used — “who they are”. To say it’s “worth noting” is to say we should accept an ad hominem argument, that what is said here does not stand or all on its own merits, but is a function of “who we’re talking about”.

    That’s a criterion I’m quite sure you would not appreciate being used on you as a Catholic — dismissing what you say because you are covered in the stink of Catholic doctrine. It would be fallacious and unprincipled to say you should be discounted based on “who we’re talking about”, and by your Golden Rule, you’d not appreciate being on the business end of the argument you are advancing, here.

  168. This is just an apology for ad hominem attacks.

    Buddy, there’s only one of us here who’s defending ad hominem attacks, and that’s you. You tried to wordsmith your way into establishing that sitting around for years, digging up RL pictures of your opponents to post, mock, deface, screaming about how you think they’re all gay, etc, is… you know, some kind of intellectual, reasonable activity.

    Yes, I know. You’ll say sure, you defended the behavior, but the arguments fall on their merits. That still has you defending, even encouraging, that vile crap. Me? Not at all.

    To say it’s “worth noting” is to say we should accept an ad hominem argument,

    No, eigen. At no point did I say that “the people at AtBC are what they are, so their arguments are all invalid”. You keep swinging at phantoms, which is fine, because I love pointing it out.

    I said that mutual respect is a standard for discussion – one I hold to, and one I think others should hold to. If people act like they do at AtBC – something you’ve defended, even praised – then no. They, personally, are not worth discussing anything with. Show me where I said ‘therefore their arguments are all wrong’.

    What was that? I didn’t say that? Well then, we’ll just chalk your reply up to ‘yet more hopeless BSing’.

    That’s a criterion I’m quite sure you would not appreciate being used on you as a Catholic — dismissing what you say because you are covered in the stink of Catholic doctrine.

    Heh. That’s happened before, eigen. I’ve mostly received it from atheists, but I’ve also received it from a few Christians. And guess what I did when I received that?

    I stopped dealing with them – the conversation ended. I didn’t obsess over them for months or weeks, much less years. And I continued to engage the arguments, because – this will blow your freaking mind – I don’t need to tolerate dealing with a complete lack of respect to engage an argument, or even find criticism. I just wait for the critic I can respect (I know your being mired in AtBC’s antics may cloud your judgment here, but they do exist), or I engage the argument detached from the critic.

    Again, eigen – the guy who is covered with feces and screaming an argument doesn’t need to be allowed into the room. The fact that he’s *gasp* a critic (with arguments!) doesn’t mean his antics should be tolerated. He should be, and should expect to be, ostracized until he apologizes and cleans up.

    By the way, will you be apologizing and denouncing what goes on at AtBC? Digging up, posting, and defacing RL pictures of people? The insults? Or are you just going to let yourself stay covered in crap?

  169. There are very few (25 since 2007)- many of these in the last few days discussing her ban.

    Do let me know if she denounces the crap going on in that thread then. Or does she just turn a blind eye to all of it and tolerate it? Because the ‘right people’ are engaging in it?

    Anyway I look forward to you picking up on any insulting behaviour by any party on UD.

    Go for it. You see if I tolerate or allow myself to be associated with what goes on at AtBC. The only difference here is that UD has a constant influx of threads, and I don’t read them all. On AtBC? There’s just one thread in particular that’s relevant. It makes things hard to miss.

    By the way, it seems you’ve read those threads now. I take it you’ll be denouncing the behavior you’ve seen, yes?

  170. Anyone who puts their mind to anything can strive to persuade others on conclusions.
    Lawyers who put their minds to science can strive to engage in conclusions.
    not many do but many Lawyers do lots of unrelated things to law that demand intellectual attention.
    Lawyers are smart too.
    In fact they tend to care more about smart things.
    However anybody can compete with anybody despite what they did in their late teens and early twenties.!

    Its on the merits and no complaining .

  171. Hello again Bydand- the following is from “Signature in the Cell”:

    The theory [Intelligent Design] does not challenge the idea of evolution defined as change over time nor even common ancestry, but it does dispute the Darwinian idea that the cause of all biological change is wholly blind and undirected.- page 4

  172. “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” – M. Planck

    That is why UC posters are not greatly exercised by the departure of their atheist critics. You think we are fools, and we think you are; but, unlike you people, who seem to have an insatiable passion for arguing with theists on any and every forum, we know that arguing with you only makes two fools. That is not a wise-crack. It’s the truth. People don’t change their world-view because of an argument. We are comfortable in our faith/knowledge.

    But I think you people are fearful of a paradigm change, as Tolstoy pointed out:

    “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

  173. covered in the stink of Catholic doctrine

    Try oxy-clean-> maybe tomato juice first, then a deep cleanse in an oxy-clean hot bath.

    Just burn the clothes. It’s easier.

  174. The thing is that in an area that is so viscerally emotive for atheists, the people here really don’t believe that there is anything of worth that they can learn from you. And that feeling is only exacerbated, when you often come across as doppelgangers of Harry Enfield’s disaffected adolescent, Kevin.

    As for Elizabeth’s endless prevarication enlivening the debates, I’ll pass on that. We need that like a hole in the head.

    I used to post regularly to a liberal site in the US, called Democratic Underground, but finally had enough when posts of mine which included bona fide scientific articles were moved from the Science threads to Pseudo-science, etc.
    What’s more, atheists swarmed all over the Religion folder, with their customary puerile jibes. Basically, they seemed more far interested in promoting various(sic) sexual agendas than economic justice.

  175. Just a minor correction, Chas:

    “ID purports to be a legitimate science, suitable even in its current state to be taught in class as part of biology lessons.”

    No. ID purports to be THE legitimate science. And has an awful lot of empirical evidence to support it. You have yet to think up a word that means, ‘design’, but doesn’t. You want a term that doesn’t imply intelligence and purpose, but you can never find one, of course, because, in that regard, our language is built on the most widespread, empirical evidence of every race and nation on earth.

    Could you imagine a College of Art and Random Pattern-Making? Well, there are ‘artists’, I believe, who throw pots of paint at a canvas, but it’s not art as most people understand the word, is it? Do you think it has merit? Akin to Mother Random-Nature’s merit, maybe?

  176. “3. Why, if one clicks on the “Post comment” button before answering the verification question, does the page disappear along with the contributor’s typed input, and another page is presented? Would it not be better to conserve the work and let the contributer try again without having wasted the input?”

    I thought it was just me. Sometimes I got a prompt though.

  177. 177

    eigenstate complains bitterly on this site about being denied a fair opportunity to complain bitterly on this site and fails to see the irony of his project. It is useless to try to reason with such as he.

  178. As always, eigen, you miss the obvious point, which you seek to camouflage in a linguistic fog. Can Jupiter exist and not exist at the same time, or can it not? If not, why not?

    Let me give you a head start here by providing an answer from my favorite materialist, Diffaxial, of happy memory.

    His considered opinion was that we have no empirical evidence that it has ever happened, which was, of course, an evasion. To the question, “Can it happen?,” however, he remained silent and held to that silence. I have higher hopes for you. Can Jupiter exist and not exist at the same time? If not, why not? I will deal your misapprehensions about quantum mechanics at another time.

  179. @nullasalus,

    Buddy, there’s only one of us here who’s defending ad hominem attacks, and that’s you. You tried to wordsmith your way into establishing that sitting around for years, digging up RL pictures of your opponents to post, mock, deface, screaming about how you think they’re all gay, etc, is… you know, some kind of intellectual, reasonable activity.

    I’m under no illusion about the abusive nature of taunts and epithets at AtBC, or wherever they occur (it happens here — hi Joe and KF!). It was not and is not my claim that those are any kind of argument from the AtBC members. They are not, it’s just mockery, satire and namecalling.

    That’s different than your suggesting “it’s worth noting”, by way of assessing someone’s ARGUMENT, that so-and-so was engaging in some low-brow mockery and uncouth satire somewhere else. That is, I understand the distinction between argument and mockery/taunts. You appear to be connecting them and conflating them: hey, if you are reading the post of CriticX, it’s worth noting that over here they called so-and-so names…

    By contrast, I don’t see anything “worth noting” about Joe or KairosFocus patterns of ad homimen attacks and slander. I don’t like when that happens, but that in ITSELF is not a reason to discount the point either of them raise when they set that aside and make a serious point. It’s a cheap and lazy way to dismiss someone, this recipe you’re advocating. I think KF is quite clueless about information theory, scientific epistemology and evolutionary biology, but I don’t think that because of his predilections toward slandering atheists and those with different worldviews he supposes are hastening the Apocalypse.

    I think he’s wrong on the merits, and think it’s cowardly to say “it’s worth noting” when evaluating KF’s argument that he has a slander itch he just can’t help but scratch.

    Yes, I know. You’ll say sure, you defended the behavior, but the arguments fall on their merits. That still has you defending, even encouraging, that vile crap. Me? Not at all.

    Yeah, I’m fine with that, because it’s minutiae, pedantics as evasion on your part. This is what students of internet culture would identify as the “concern trolling” mindset. OMG, that’s so uncivil, GOODBYE! It’s a haughty, prideful reaction, concerned with petty, small issues at the expense of important, substantive ideas. That you want to obsess on that, and at this point it’s seems clearly to be something of an obsession you’re bringing forth here, tells me this is an evasion tactic.

    Look, I get called worse than anything I’ve seen at AtBC all the time, in the various places I venture to post. It’s just a test — can I let all that just roll off my back and focus on some discussion that has substance, or do I descend into the tarpit with all the personality stuff. It’s always a challenge to keep on point, but it’s not THAT hard. It just goes with being a grown-up with an Internet connection. Clearly, you have “higher standards” for what you will tolerate from others. You won’t deign to deal with people like that. That’s fine, that’s your choice. But it comes across a very convenient and self-serving pridefulness. When I DO react badly to that stuff, that’s what it is for me, anyway, a flash of my pride as a way to be “better than” all that.

    No, eigen. At no point did I say that “the people at AtBC are what they are, so their arguments are all invalid”. You keep swinging at phantoms, which is fine, because I love pointing it out.

    You’ve said something even worse — “the poeple at AtBC are what they are, so won’t even deign to converse with them.” Merely an ad-hom dismissal would be more magnanimous, more down to earth, more serious than the preening dismissal you’re advocating, here.

    I said that mutual respect is a standard for discussion – one I hold to, and one I think others should hold to. If people act like they do at AtBC – something you’ve defended, even praised – then no. They, personally, are not worth discussing anything with. Show me where I said ‘therefore their arguments are all wrong’.

    Yes, but you know as well as I know this is an easy cop-out lever to pull. It’s the coward’s way out. StephenB says I’m “unfit” for rational discussion because his magic axioms aren’t treated as such. KF simply can’t be bothered to defend what he says because we are “willfully” misrepresenting him, and that gives him a rip cord to pull to just not engage. You go all Church Lady on the stuff you read at AtBC, and it’s quite clear to see that for the (faux) prudish reaction it is. Adults conversing on the internet do not and should not have to let that noise get in the way of discussing important ideas. But here you are, obsessing on it. It looks like cheap, easy polemics.

    That’s where the “cesspool” at AtBC proves out this point. I’m still on the fence as to whether a new post there named “Dr. Jammer” is a real IDer, and the same person who posts her on UD as “Jammer”, or is a fairly well conceived prank someone at AtBC is pulling on AtBC, but either way, since the members there don’t really know, they give Dr. Jammer the benefit of the doubt, and they engage. They don’t ban. And if I recall, this person has already made some kind of AtBC->NAMBLA connection in one or more of his posts.

    That doesn’t get their righteous dander up, as it does yours. It causes grins, and good natured grins. It’s so over-the-top, that this may be one of the AtBC members pulling out leg (cf. Poe’s Principle, though, this is a hard problem).

    They aren’t threatened in the least. They aren’t so wound up about themselves that they get apoplectic at some nasty references or vicious talk. It happens.

    Dr. Liddle has already engaged in a friendly, subject-centric way, and has invited him to her blog to discuss, and even offered him a “guest post” to start things off, with desired. She’s a demon, that one!

    This is how people who have the courage of their convictions and a grown-up attitude. It is the wild, pseudonymous internet, and that’s how ideas get engaged.

    What was that? I didn’t say that? Well then, we’ll just chalk your reply up to ‘yet more hopeless BSing’.

    Simply walking away, as you put it, is just a more extreme form of ad hominem. You aren’t even worth talking to at all, never mind worrying about the merits of your arguments. That’s your choice, I know. But you’ve argued strongly for a much stronger version of what you deny right here.

    Heh. That’s happened before, eigen. I’ve mostly received it from atheists, but I’ve also received it from a few Christians. And guess what I did when I received that?

    I stopped dealing with them – the conversation ended. I didn’t obsess over them for months or weeks, much less years. And I continued to engage the arguments, because – this will blow your freaking mind – I don’t need to tolerate dealing with a complete lack of respect to engage an argument, or even find criticism. I just wait for the critic I can respect (I know your being mired in AtBC’s antics may cloud your judgment here, but they do exist), or I engage the argument detached from the critic.

    I hear that. You’ve learned to “shake the dust off your feet” as you leave, in Christianese, etc. Fine. But I’m surprised you’re holding this out as something more than an ad-hominem response. Sometimes, I agree, it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes it can’t be helped. But I don’t pretend it isn’t an outright dismissal of the person, which is the essence of ad hominem. I realize “you don’t need to tolerate”, etc. But that’s the problem. This is all about you, and the world living up to your “minimum pride conditions”. You must be appeased, or you will walk! That will show ‘em. I just think that fails to come off as the principled stand you hope it does, and it looks like hiding behind a Church Lady frown as a way to give yourself all the control you need to just pick and choose where you will put ideas at risk, and what you will answer to. It’s a way to rig the social etiquette in your favor.

    Again, eigen – the guy who is covered with feces and screaming an argument doesn’t need to be allowed into the room. The fact that he’s *gasp* a critic (with arguments!) doesn’t mean his antics should be tolerated. He should be, and should expect to be, ostracized until he apologizes and cleans up.

    Right, that PERSON can be and will be dismissed outright. His arguments need not be considered, he’s been dismissed as a person. I got it. This is the “concern troll” trope. It’s vengeful just as much or more as the “loutishness” you are reacting to.

    By the way, will you be apologizing and denouncing what goes on at AtBC? Digging up, posting, and defacing RL pictures of people? The insults? Or are you just going to let yourself stay covered in crap?

    I speak for myself. If you can’t read what I say, and judge it on the merits, nothing else will change that. For whatever concerns I may have on that, and maybe it’s “none”, you’re mistaken if you think that kind of transparently manipulative bait is gonna take with me. Have some guts, man, go over there and get your Church Lady on, and see how it goes. Don’t look to me or anyone else to placate the concerns you hide behing. That’s just exceedingly weak.

  180. Also, your protest that my application of the word “law” was ambiguous is not credible. I defined it with more than enough precision, and even if I hadn’t, everyone, especially ID’s critics, knows what “law” means in the context of any discussion on causation. Since you claim to have read Dembski et al, you should have no difficulty grasping its meaning. You are simply claiming ignorance in order to escape refutation. It’s one more example of your disqualification for rational discourse.

  181. It’s seems sad that he should have chosen to announce his PhD as part of his user name.

    Reminds me of a lad in the army whose wife said he’d asked her to sew his corporal’s chevrons on his pyjamas, so that he could wear them in bed; like my wife when she was a toddler and took her wee pram into bed with her.

    You’re only ever as good as your posts on Internet forums, so Big Al and Professor Magoo just won’t cut it.

  182. A great post, Mr Murray, if I may say so.

  183. Argue with a fool, KF and it makes two fools. You’re wasting your breath.

  184. “It’s not a matter of trust. It’s a matter of recognizing glaring logical flaws the argument of scientists that stem from fundamentally erroneous assumptions. It doesn’t require a Ph.D. to recognize bad logic and erroneous assumptions.”

    WJM, their unwillingness to base their arguments on sound assumptions reminds me of J M Keynes’ remark in a review of one of Hayek’s books:

    “The book, as it stands, seems to me to be one of the most frightful muddles I have ever read, with scarcely a sound proposition in it beginning with page 45 [Hayek provided historical background up to page 45; after that came his theoretical model], and yet it remains a book of some interest, which is likely to leave its mark on the mind of the reader. It is an extraordinary example of how, starting with a mistake, a remorseless logician can end up in bedlam.”

    I think, ‘bedlam’, perfectly describes the materialists’ cranky fantasies about evolution, a multiverse, etc.

    It seems J D Watson knew a thing or two about the limits of the capacities of many of his confreres, also:

    “One could not be a successful scientist without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid.”

    — J. D. Watson “The Double Helix”
    ‘Nuff said?

  185. I’m under no illusion about the abusive nature of taunts and epithets at AtBC, or wherever they occur (it happens here — hi Joe and KF!).

    Sure, eigen. Because the two are anything close to comparable, right? Because KF’s mainstay is talking about how the people he dislikes are all a bunch of dirty homosexuals, right? Even Joe, who really can and does cross the line – and when I’m in the conversation I’ll criticize that, assuming I freaking see it – doesn’t hold a candle to what goes on in your hatefest.

    Your defense is bull, and you know it. Hey, I have a great idea. If you want to recommend to your ‘Christian family and friends’ a great place to learn ID criticisms, how about you invite them to the thread and site you’re defending? I’m sure they’ll learn quite a lot.

    That’s different than your suggesting “it’s worth noting”, by way of assessing someone’s ARGUMENT, that so-and-so was engaging in some low-brow mockery and uncouth satire somewhere else.

    No, eigen – I never said that. That’s your wacky-ass pulled-out-of-the-air interpretation. Here’s the full quote: “But when the AtBC people start screaming, yet again, about their being banned here, it’s worth noting just who we’re talking about.” At no point – nowhere – did I say ‘because of who they are, their arguments have no merit’.

    You know it. And to say otherwise – to try and spin that into ‘nullasalus was pointing out their rotten behavior and saying that’s why their arguments are wrong!’ makes you out to be either a liar or just that ignorant. Maybe both.

    Take your pick. Or wait, don’t. Let everyone else reading this pick for you. (Hi there, friends and family of eigen. Be sure to check out the thread at antievolution!)

    It’s a cheap and lazy way to dismiss someone, this recipe you’re advocating.

    You’re pretty slow.

    What I’m advocating is dismissing the person, and retaining the argument. Just as science != scientists, criticisms != critics. I know this freaks you out, because God forbid standards of respect and courtesy were enforced – you’d end up having to behave. But alas, I think that’s a good standard.

    Be sure to tell anyone with same-sex attraction you know, if people start belittling them, to just shut up, man up, and deal with the arguments. They’ll appreciate being told that regarding insulting behavior as making a person beneath their notice is ‘Church lady behavior’.

    Look, I get called worse than anything I’ve seen at AtBC all the time, in the various places I venture to post. It’s just a test — can I let all that just roll off my back and focus on some discussion that has substance, or do I descend into the tarpit with all the personality stuff. It’s always a challenge to keep on point, but it’s not THAT hard. It just goes with being a grown-up with an Internet connection.

    Into the tarpit? Really? Funny – before you were talking about how that behavior was justified, nay, it was being too kind to the critics! Now it’s a tarpit. Good to see you coming around.

    Apparently your version of ‘being an adult’ is this: no matter how people behave, keep your mouth shut and don’t correct them. Certainly don’t dismiss them. And tell anyone who refuses to deal with that abuse, directed at either themselves or others, that they’re wrong. Absolutely don’t do it if they primarily attack people you discuss things with or criticize.

    Funny, your version of ‘being an adult’ seems an awful lot like being a petty, clannish coward. Come to think of it, many adults are pretty, clannish cowards. Must be the fruits of the Enlightenment.

    Either way, go ahead and keep on suggesting that I think arguments should be dismissed, depending on the behavior of their source. I’ve never said that in this thread, and I’ve denied it each time you’ve accused me of it. But clearly it’s a delusion you desperately need right now. Otherwise, wow, you’d have someone you dislike making a valid point. Scary!

    Yes, but you know as well as I know this is an easy cop-out lever to pull. It’s the coward’s way out. StephenB says I’m “unfit” for rational discussion because his magic axioms aren’t treated as such.

    Yeah, that suggestion that ‘the law of non-contradiction’ isn’t something you can dispense with is ‘magic’. Also magic: the law of identity. “A = A”, always and everywhere? What WILL those crazy philosophers come up with next?

    No, it’s not the coward’s way out. The coward’s way out is to, when people behave like complete shits – not merely letting a barb slip, but the sort of personal attacks, slander and worse that goes on in your favorite little craphole – to keep your mouth shut and try to ignore it, rather than criticizing it. You know it, I know it. You just hate having it brought up because you know I’m right, and that means you better desperately change the subject.

    They aren’t threatened in the least. They aren’t so wound up about themselves that they get apoplectic at some nasty references or vicious talk. It happens.

    Maybe you do deny the law of identity, since you’re basically saying “AtBC doesn’t act like AtBC”. Good on you, by the way, for admitting that sock-puppet behavior is pretty much what you can expect out of your group.

    Really though, I love the above. ‘Yes, when people at AtBC are upset, they merely grin and chuckle. “Such tomfoolery,” one may murmur to the other.’ They don’t, you know. Obsess. For years. Digging up pictures and personal info. Engage in vile slander. (Again, tell those with same-sex attraction that you know that if they get upset at people calling those they dislike a bunch of homosexuals that getting upset is ‘church lady’ stuff. They’ll appreciate it!)

    Dr. Liddle has already engaged in a friendly, subject-centric way, and has invited him to her blog to discuss, and even offered him a “guest post” to start things off, with desired. She’s a demon, that one!

    Holy cow, Liddle – who, up until her banning, basically lived on UD – is showing signs of wanting to talk to anyone, at length? I’m shocked! What a surprise!

    And wow, a *guest post* on her blog? Stunning! What exposure and generosity! Readership may reach into the tens!

    Of course, UD – if I recall right – gave a guest post to Sean Carroll. So I guess that’s a sign of how stellar things are here, eh? ;)

    Simply walking away, as you put it, is just a more extreme form of ad hominem. You aren’t even worth talking to at all, never mind worrying about the merits of your arguments.

    Wow, just look at the way that logic twists. So if a person walks away from a conversation with someone, it’s not merely an ad hominem, but – in and of itself – a *more extreme form* of it. So, Richard Dawkins was like… ad homimem master when he ditched William Lane Craig for a debate. And PZ Myers, with his stated refusal to debate creationists entirely anymore? Same deal.

    Also, just as scientists = science in your world, criticisms = critics. It’s utterly impossible for an argument to be addressed while the person making the argument is rebuffed. You just can’t figure out or put together how any criticisms can be made, much less answered, without dealing with a critic personally. So, say… answering criticisms given by Francis Crick or Hoyle are impossible. What with their being dead.

    Wait, wait, I can see what’s coming: to reply to intellectual criticisms lodged by people who are now deceased, or not present, is super ultra mega ad hominem!

    I hear that. You’ve learned to “shake the dust off your feet” as you leave, in Christianese, etc. Fine. But I’m surprised you’re holding this out as something more than an ad-hominem response. Sometimes, I agree, it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes it can’t be helped. But I don’t pretend it isn’t an outright dismissal of the person, which is the essence of ad hominem.

    Yeah, you uh… may want to look up what an ‘ad hominem’ is.

    “An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.[1] Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as a logical fallacy.”

    Nowhere – not at any point here – have I ‘attempted to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic of the person supporting it’. In fact, I’ve said that criticisms can and should still be answered – it’s the criticism that’s important, not the person making them.

    If Guy X comes up to me and gives me an argument, and I say “Yeah, Guy X is a complete twerp, I have no interest in spending my time with him.”, I haven’t said “Guy X is a complete twerp, ergo his argument is wrong”. I can go on to find the argument and respond to it without Guy X being there, if someone has written it down or I’ve otherwise picked it up.

    So maybe you’re surprised because you aren’t totally clear on what a freaking ad hom is. By the way, love the ‘in Christianese’ part. Because having standards is foreign to other religions, certainly atheists, right?

    Right, that PERSON can be and will be dismissed outright. His arguments need not be considered, he’s been dismissed as a person. I got it.

    One more time, because you don’t get it: critics != criticism. Nowhere have I said ‘there are no worthy arguments from the AtBC crew – just look how they behave’. That’s been – why mince words – either a lie or stupidity on your part. Something you keep projecting, something you keep insisting I must REALLY mean, despite my never having said it, denying it repeatedly, etc.

    Believe it not, eigen, not all critics act like you or your friends. Many are civil and respectful. They put you to shame. You just don’t want to grow up. And hey, I’m not making you grow up. Remain what you are – do it for ten more years of your life.

    I speak for myself. If you can’t read what I say, and judge it on the merits, nothing else will change that.

    In other words, no, you stand by their behavior. You keep your mouth shut when that crap goes on – or hell, you even take part in it – and will continue to do so. I believe some of your compatriots refer to allowing, encouraging and engaging in vile slander, personal attacks, mockery, etc as “reifying/deifying the good”. Such great standards you have!

    Good boy, eigen. You’re loyal to your tribe, no one can accuse you of otherwise. ;)

  186. “Those that come here and, even in good faith and with civil tongue, reiterate misrepresentations of ID corrected in the FAQ, or rhetorical characterizations of ID and anti-ID argument/positions, or offer only patently absurd, uninformed and unexamined materialist, atheist, or moral relativist commentary & propaganda as if it were reasoned argument, should be quickly shown the door.

    A reasonable, ethical host is not obligated to suffer the rhetorical, blathering nonsense of materialists, atheists, determinists and moral relativists in his own home ad infinitum just because his guests are polite and believe they are being honest and well-meaning.

    WJM, you address serious points with a wonderfully vicious wit; positively criminal in the degree that they are expressed in such an understated and measured way. If only we could all think and express ourselves in this way, this thread would have been redundant.

  187. Let’s show all the young folks what irredeemable reprobates scientists (rather, their internet supporters) are.

    Why would I do this? There are plenty of ID friendly PhD.’s posting here as well as hostile ones. You guys keep doing this over and over, as in “scientific doofuses, all of ‘em”

    You’re a million miles out, but do you really care? You’re an electrical engineer, and you know how designs work, and you are convinced that biological entities are designs in EXACTLY the same sense. Well, bully for you. You are entitled to pursue that viewpoint to the extremes of your rhetorical impulse.

    Methinks you assume way too much friend. My current thesis work may be entirely mathematical and on a non-biological problem in information theory, but my specialization for the M.S. was biomedical engineering, with graduate course study in physiology and other biological topics, e.g. cardiovascular dynamics. As an undergraduate I took 9 hours in psychology, 6 of those in physiological psychology. And yeah I think the human mind works just like a computer ha ha. Which is actually the metaphorical stance taken by many materialists, not me. Try again, have at it. BTW the main reason by far that I even bring up my academic background is as reponse the constant refrain that ID folks are scientific ignoramouses, kind of like what you did in your posts, referring to bus drivers, electrical engineers a million miles off, and such.

    You guys are constantly at it, trying to use arguments to “prove” we don’t have any authority at all to know enough, so we should just take it like good sports and admit that your authority is superior, the typical argument from authority. I give you this much: kudos for admitting to your exasperation about not convincing the majority of Americans of your authority over us ignoramouses. You could maybe get over it and just not read this site.

    And it has been very telling, to see how the group of people here, that aspires to a higher moral standard, views a group of people whose subject (for reasons that are not entirely clear to me) threatens that standard or even (in some cases) their aspirations to immortality. I’m sure you couldn’t give a damn, but I do not regard my moral standards as in any way inferior to yours, just because I study and accept evolution. I really can’t perceive any legitimacy to the claim of the moral high ground advanced by the “saved”, certainly not on the evidence here.

    For the record friend, I express no judgement regarding you and morality. However it does seem like some of the contributors representing “good science”, so-called, are on the verge of losing it, at least from reading them. May I ask a pointed question? Why does it seem to be so important and moral to you to convince everyone that with the unavoidable disintegration of your brain and other organs comes the total annihilation of your being? Is this to be a thought that one cradles in the crux of all good-feeling wonderfulness like maybe you experience? Hey a clue: The vast majority on this planet aren’t deathly afraid of personal annihilation, its only an IDEA held by a small minority that in the very core of their being the majority know is absurd. Throughout history in all cultures this has been the case, you will never change this reality and will be exasperated until you realize you can’t win by trying.

    The bottom line is that, for a myriad of reasons I could rationalise to hell and back, you do not WANT the materialist position to be true. Why in hell should you invest any time in understanding it? It’s easy to just “do a Luskin”, filtering and spinning the work of scientists in a way that has scientists apoplectic not because of the worldview-challenge, but simply because it’s bad science.

    Again you assume way too much. Twice in my life I subscribed to scientific materialism, it is just too sexy an option for most young students to pass up. Literally, as in those circles, they’re just so besotted by the easy sex. That was the first time, and when that backfired I backed out of it, only to be bamboozled a few years later in SoCal because it was just so easy to fall into again out there. But a few years of living in a “pointless” universe full of pointless sex ground down my being a little too much for comfort.

    And so again I’m going to ask: where do you get your moral imperative to convince the world of your philosophy of personal obliteration?

  188. ES:

    You persist in distortions. This is the FOURTH case on your part I am correcting for record today.

    I gave you time to move past stale talking points, but you evidently have become so stuck in dealing with strawman opponents that it is distorting your ability to deal with what is actually on the table before you, to a point of culpable negligence of duty of care to truth and fairness.

    First, I have not raised “Creationist” arguments about the 2nd Law. Nor, did Thaxton (a PhD Chemist), Bradley (A PhD Polymer Scientist) and Olsen (A PhD Geologist).

    What you had in front of you was first that silly Bible-thumping fundy redneck from Arkansas — NOT, Clausius’ classic derivation of the law (Which has multiple forms), with a focus on B in the heat exchange. Transfer of an increment of heat INCREASES entropy of B sufficiently to overcompensate for the reduction in A due to the emission of heat, and this is explained on increasing the degrees of freedom for micro-level distributions of mass and energy.

    That’s basic implications of the improper differential inequality (d’q standing in for the more correct crossed d); backed up by a glimpse at the underlying statistical view of the physics.

    The take-home lesson is something we need to recognise conceptually: addition of raw energy tends to increase molecular level disorder. So, the implications of entropy and its connexion to heat flows do relate to systems open to energy flows.

    Second, when we instead couple energy to a system in such a way that we get ordered forced motion, aka work [the accumulation of the dot product of incremental force and relevant displacement vectors], this is often based on natural structures such as hurricanes, but in many relevant cases is based on functionally specific complex organisation of parts, i.e for instance heat engines such as the steam engines that were the context in which the law was first developed.

    But if one claims that such FSCO/I spontaneously originated on chance plus necessity at molecular level, one is arguing for moving to highly specific zones in a configuration space of possible arrangements of parts. (I am here cutting down the phase space to leave off momentum considerations.)

    In Darwin’s warm pond or similar environment, only blind necessity and chance would be available, so the relevant thermodynamics rooted in statistics and circumstances apply. The case of the challenge to undo diffusion of O2 molecules and the implications of relative statistical weight of dispersed and clumped macrostates — they would be macro-distinguishable — is highly relevant, and is an expression of why the second law holds in our reliable observation.

    The only empirically warranted source for such FSCO/I as we see in many systems is design.

    Next, you seem to be out of date and unfamiliar with the line of work from Szilard (and with G N Lewis putting in a sharp observation), to Brillouin to Jaynes and onwards to the rising acceptance of the sort of informational view of statistical thermodynamics that even Wikipedia is forced to acknowledge against interest.

    Let me clip here from Section A, my always linked:

    wiki: At an everyday practical level the links between information entropy and thermodynamic entropy are not close. Physicists and chemists are apt to be more interested in changes in entropy as a system spontaneously evolves away from its initial conditions, in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics, rather than an unchanging probability distribution. And, as the numerical smallness of Boltzmann’s constant kB indicates, the changes in S / kB for even minute amounts of substances in chemical and physical processes represent amounts of entropy which are so large as to be right off the scale compared to anything seen in data compression or signal processing.

    But, at a multidisciplinary level, connections can be made between thermodynamic and informational entropy, although it took many years in the development of the theories of statistical mechanics and information theory to make the relationship fully apparent. In fact, in the view of Jaynes (1957), thermodynamics should be seen as an application of Shannon’s information theory: the thermodynamic entropy is interpreted as being an estimate of the amount of further Shannon information needed to define the detailed microscopic state of the system, that remains uncommunicated by a description solely in terms of the macroscopic variables of classical thermodynamics. For example, adding heat to a system increases its thermodynamic entropy because it increases the number of possible microscopic states that it could be in, thus making any complete state description longer. [--> sounds familiar from the story of Clausius' B?] (See article: maximum entropy thermodynamics.[Also,another article remarks: >>in the words of G. N. Lewis writing about chemical entropy in 1930, "Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more" . . . in the discrete case using base two logarithms, the reduced Gibbs entropy is equal to the minimum number of yes/no questions that need to be answered in order to fully specify the microstate, given that we know the macrostate.>>]) Maxwell’s demon can (hypothetically) reduce the thermodynamic entropy of a system by using information about the states of individual molecules; but, as Landauer (from 1961) and co-workers have shown, to function the demon himself must increase thermodynamic entropy in the process, by at least the amount of Shannon information he proposes to first acquire and store; and so the total entropy does not decrease (which resolves the paradox).

    Now, I do you to wit that the prebiotic situation of a warm pond with a chemical soup, let’s be generous and say, it is on Titan or the like, to get Miller-Urey’s reducing and oxygen free environment, will not be under the control of biological but chemical and physical forces. And, until you have a credible, empirically warranted mechanism that delivers a metabolising automaton with an integral von Neumann self replicator, complete with codes, data structures, algorithms and organised implementing machines, you do not have a root for your Darwin-type tree of life.

    so, another little begged question or two.

    I think you will acknowledge that DNA is a string 4-state per position code storing medium, i.e. a data structure. And, the codes for proteins and enzymes especially are fairly complex and specific, as well as functional. That is all I need to show the relevance of random text generating exercises as easily accessible empirical tests of whether FSCI can crdibly originate by chance.

    Let us just say that a rebuttal based on tangential irrelevancies led out to strawmen and capped off with smearing by namecalling guilt by association with “creationists” is eloquent evidence that you have no sound answer on the actual merits.

    I also see that, hitherto, you have not found it in yourself to correct and retract previous misrepresentations.

    So, the sorry record you have made for yourself stands.

    Cho, man, do betta dan dat!

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Axel, sometimes it is necessary to correct for record, and to expose willful neglect of duties of care to truth and fairness leading to the sort of false assertions and misrepresentations I have had to correct for the FOURTH time today from this objector.

  189. To summarise a few potent comments from the recent past, NOT from creationists, but from men like Kenneth Hsu, who was moved to make the following observations in his article in the ‘Journal of sedimentary Petrology.’:

    “We all have heard of “The Origin of Species” although few of us have had the time to read it: I did not secure a copy until two years ago. A perusal of the classic made me understand the rage of Paul Feyerabend (1975). He considers science an IDEOLOGY. Feyerabend wrote, “all ideologists must be seen in perspective. One must read them like FAIRY TALES* which have a lot of interesting things to say, BUT which contains WICKED LIES,’…Nevertheless, I agree with him that Darwinism containes “WICKED LIES”; it is not “natural law” formulated on the basis of FACTUAL evidence, but a DOGMA, reflecting the dominating social PHILOSOPHY (Atheism) of the last century.”

    in ‘Science Contra Darwin” by Sharon Begley, which appeared in ‘Newweek’ she states:

    The great body of work derived from Charles Darwin’s revolutionary 1859 book, ‘On the Origin of Species’, is under increasing attack- and NOT just from creationists…So heated is the debate that one Darwinian says there are times when he thinks about going into a field with MORE intellectual HONESTy: the USED CAR BUSINESS” Emphasis added.

    “Michael Denton is neither a Christian nor a professing creationist. He holds and M.D, and a Ph.D, from British universities…He has published a devasting critique of modern evolutionary theory. On every count, according to Dr. Denton evolution STRIKES* out. His book is one of the most incisive, thoroughly documented, and comprehensive books that describes the VAST AMOUNT of scientific EVIDENCE that REFUTES evolutionary theory.” Emphasis added.

    “Seren Levtrup, a well known Swedish biologist, a COMMITTED evolutionist, but nevertheless reject the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution. In 1987 he published a book entitled ‘Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth.” Among his conclusions we find the following statements (p.422).

    ‘I suppose that nobody will deny that it a great misfortune if an entire branch of science becomes addicted to a FALSE THEORY. But this is what has happened in biology: for a long time now people discuss evolutionary problems in a peculiar ‘Darwinian’ vocabulary- ‘adaptation’, ‘selection pressure,’ ‘natural selection,’ etc…”

    Levtrup goes on to say:

    “I believe that one day the Darwinian MYTH will be ranked the greatest DECEIT* in the history of science” (pp.9-12, Emphasis added.

    This POINT cannot be stessed often enough, THAT Evolution theory, IS* first and foremost an IDEOLOGY* of a PHILOSOPHICAL agenda, NOT* true science, but, premised on, and ROOTED, IN* ATHEISM, then couched, veneered, and CONVOLUTED IN* a VAST MAZE of LIES, purporting to represent science, one of the most intellectually DISHONEST postures that has ever been presented by the so-called intelligentsia of the establishment of science in America and elsewhere!

    What an UTTER disgrace this is to true science methodology, and the great and respected founding ‘fathers’ of all science disciplines of yester-year, who would vomit over what these pseudo-scientist of the evolutionary theory have DONE in the name of science!

  190. ES:

    More misrepresentations.

    Perhaps it has not dawned on you that the concept of complex specified information and that of functionality as specific, or of organisation as having high information content are NOT design theorist originated concepts.

    Let me just draw your attention to the actual key sources:

    ORGEL, 1973: . . . In brief, living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures that are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; the mixtures of polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity. [[The Origins of Life (John Wiley, 1973), p. 189.]

    WICKEN, 1979: ‘Organized’ systems are to be carefully distinguished from ‘ordered’ systems. Neither kind of system is ‘random,’ but whereas ordered systems are generated according to simple algorithms [[i.e. “simple” force laws acting on objects starting from arbitrary and common- place initial conditions] and therefore lack complexity, organized systems must be assembled element by element according to an [[originally . . . ] external ‘wiring diagram’ with a high information content . . . Organization, then, is functional complexity and carries information. It is non-random by design or by selection, rather than by the a priori necessity of crystallographic ‘order.’ [[“The Generation of Complexity in Evolution: A Thermodynamic and Information-Theoretical Discussion,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 77 (April 1979): p. 353, of pp. 349-65. (Emphases and notes added. Nb: “originally” is added to highlight that for self-replicating systems, the blue print can be built-in.)]

    What Dembski did was to provide a context of quantification, and what Torley, Giem and I did was to reduce it to a useful heuristic.

    All of the sound and fury above reminds us of a very basic fact: FSCI is easily observable, is commonplace, starting with say posts in this thread, and is uniformly seen as the product of intelligence.

    The only reason why this is in the remotest degree contentious is the implications for the dominant evolutionary materialist school of thought in origins science.

    So, again, you evidence that blind chance and mechanical necessity can create such FSCI is? ______________

    So long as you cannot fill in that blank with empirically well warranted evidence, it is quite plain that the commonly observed source of such FSCI, intelligence is its best explanation.

    Indeed, it is a credible signature of such design.

    This is the FIFTH time you have had to be corrected in a material misrepresentation for the day.

    GEM of TKI

  191. ES; If you have done any significant experimental work, you will know that we routinely trichotomise observed effects, on investigator intervention, random scatter and laws of necessity, just for one instance. Your attempt to evade the known pattern that in scientific settings we routinely trace to chance, necessity and intelligent action, is utterly revealing. SIXTH misrepresentation for the day, and there would be many more if I went point by point through your work. KF

  192. 192

    Sound axioms? They don’t need no steenkin’ axioms. They have scientific knowledge about reality. And they can get it without any of that free will nonsense.

  193. Sure, eigen. Because the two are anything close to comparable, right? Because KF’s mainstay is talking about how the people he dislikes are all a bunch of dirty homosexuals, right? Even Joe, who really can and does cross the line – and when I’m in the conversation I’ll criticize that, assuming I freaking see it – doesn’t hold a candle to what goes on in your hatefest.

    Fine, but you’re losing either way, because you’re being pedantic. You’re bogged down in the ennui. I don’t think your standards for “hatefest” are even handed — they’re hypocritical — but it doesn’t matter, even if they are even-handed. You’re still straining at gnats with this whole obsession, and have lost focus on the substance of ID, TE, evolution, materialism, and all that. Reading you, all that theory, science, philosophy and evidence is the ennui, and settling scores that can’t be settled and don’t matter beyond the baseline noise level of teh interwebs is What Is Really, Really, Profoundly Important™.

    You’re as petty getting all over Joe here as you are agonizing over bad photoshop smears at AtBC. Consistency is good and well (if that’s what your providing), but it’s an exercise in way missing the important point.

    Your defense is bull, and you know it. Hey, I have a great idea. If you want to recommend to your ‘Christian family and friends’ a great place to learn ID criticisms, how about you invite them to the thread and site you’re defending? I’m sure they’ll learn quite a lot.

    I think it’s likely one of the better places one might go to get up to speed on ID criticisms. You just have to be able to get past the ennui and be able to take the subject up. There’s a lot horsepower there on the subject of ID criticism. Panda’s Thumb, TalkRational and a handful of other places may be worth putting on the list (and I wouldn’t be surprised to discover even better sites I’m simply not aware of), but if I had to point at the best examples of really taking ID apart as a matter of science and theory, most of the ones I would nominate would be UD threads where AtBC posters like Diffaxial, Nakashima and Seversky were allowed to post at length for a while before they were banned.

    Which is just to say that the most cogent and serious critiques I’ve read come from people who hang out at AtBC, and from people who mock the proud ignorance and intransigence they see at UD. For my friends reading, this ain’t beanbag (I think that’s the new saying), and if you’re gonna get Church Ladied on all that, then give up trying to make a serious inquiry on this topic right now.

    You know it. And to say otherwise – to try and spin that into ‘nullasalus was pointing out their rotten behavior and saying that’s why their arguments are wrong!’ makes you out to be either a liar or just that ignorant. Maybe both.

    I haven’t said that’s your reason why the arguments are wrong. I’m saying you won’t even make it far enough for the arguments to happen, to be made in the first place, such is your distaste for the person. That’s your prerogative, but it TRANSCENDS any criticism on the merits, it’s obviated by your righteous indignation and walking away in disgust.

    You’re pretty slow.

    What I’m advocating is dismissing the person, and retaining the argument. Just as science != scientists, criticisms != critics. I know this freaks you out, because God forbid standards of respect and courtesy were enforced – you’d end up having to behave. But alas, I think that’s a good standard.

    So… dismising the person, and retaining the argument. You’ve got to be joking. The person is the SOURCE of the argument. If the person is dismissed, the ARGUMENT is dismissed. You’ve got a self-refuting statement there, to open that paragraph.

    It’s not a matter of confusing “science” with “scientists”. You’re supposing you can “retain the science” while dismissing the scientists who do the science. It’s a transcendental fail. No scientists, no science to retain.

    I’m all for avoiding epithets and outing people’s personal information, and “loutishness” in general. If you go look at AtBC, for all my “clannishness” you suspect, I’m a new nobody. I’ve got less than 20 posts there, total, over three months. No epithets hurled. That’s my choice, and partly just because I run across pedants and concern troll polemics all the time like this, and so it’s just a temptation for people to get distracted. And it’s not a gratifying thing for me, particularly, anyway, so double whammy on just skipping that approach. It’s not often I get bogged down with just posting as I do here or there, as the basis of some guilt-by-association groove, though.

    Be sure to tell anyone with same-sex attraction you know, if people start belittling them, to just shut up, man up, and deal with the arguments. They’ll appreciate being told that regarding insulting behavior as making a person beneath their notice is ‘Church lady behavior’.

    Yeah, if my homosexual son had the kind of mega-chip you carry around on your shoulder, he’d never be out of the kind of righteous-indignation-at-the-expense-of-all-else pattern you’ve adopted here. It’s a luxury you can afford, that he can’t. I tell him to stand up to bullies, but think big, and avoid being petty. Much better to engage on big, substantive, important issues. The Church Lady schtick just gets old for everybody, and doesn’t help him any more than it’s helping you.

    Into the tarpit? Really? Funny – before you were talking about how that behavior was justified, nay, it was being too kind to the critics! Now it’s a tarpit. Good to see you coming around.

    I’m sorry that wasn’t more clear. By “tarpit” there, I was referring to conversations that took place at UD.

    Apparently your version of ‘being an adult’ is this: no matter how people behave, keep your mouth shut and don’t correct them.

    That’s certainly not my position. I’m disproving that with this post to you. I’m speaking up against bad behavior, to you, and with others at UD. I’m all for speaking up and speaking out, I’m just also interested in not falling for the concern troll bait. And where there is occasion to criticize, correct, upbraid, I don’t think of myself as simply too good for those that I dispute with, such that I must simply eschew them, or refuse to deal with them. “Walking away” is a deeper gesture of disrespect than flipping him the finger, and I don’t recommend giving people the finger.

    Certainly don’t dismiss them. And tell anyone who refuses to deal with that abuse, directed at either themselves or others, that they’re wrong. Absolutely don’t do it if they primarily attack people you discuss things with or criticize.

    Right. Be a grown up all ready. It will be OK, and grown ups can and do just let that stuff go without having go Church Lady. That DOESN’T mean keeping my mouth shut. But it does mean resisting the childish temptation to pick up my blocks and go play elsewhere because I’m too good to be treated that way, or even be around such filth — harrumph!

    Funny, your version of ‘being an adult’ seems an awful lot like being a petty, clannish coward. Come to think of it, many adults are pretty, clannish cowards. Must be the fruits of the Enlightenment.

    OK, now you’re just talking silly. I’m suggesting that being a grown up on the Internet entails having a really thick skin, a strong determination to focus on serious and substantive issues if one wants to deal with them at all, given the many obstacles to that, and putting a priority on modes of engagement that can be productive, dialectically — if we can identify points of disagreement that can be adjudicated objectively, by doing the math involved for real examples, or digging up real world experiments that are dispositive, or formulating novel, entailed predictions that proceed from either side and seeing which, if either side’s predictions obtain, then we can get beyond just gainsaying-by-pseudonym, and that’s a good thing.

    OK, enough for tonight.

  194. Nullasus

    By the way, it seems you’ve read those threads now. I take it you’ll be denouncing the behavior you’ve seen, yes?

    Of course not – there are thousands of comments on that thread. I used the search function to pick out all of her comments (there were gaps of literally years between her comments). But anyway I don’t accept the principle that we are obliged to make sanctimonious comments on the content of other blogs.

  195. Oh, and here’s as good a place to note as any: Barry, I’ve replied on the LNC thread, it’s on your moderation queue or whatever.

  196. Of course not – there are thousands of comments on that thread. I used the search function to pick out all of her comments (there were gaps of literally years between her comments).

    That’s very interesting. I mean, you didn’t even know what name she was using at first so you had to read the thread to find out. Now, you used the search function and apparently… didn’t read the thread.

    I mean, it’s not like what I’m talking about is a buried isolated incident. It’s the thread theme.

    But anyway I don’t accept the principle that we are obliged to make sanctimonious comments on the content of other blogs.

    Of course not, Mark. It’s not that you’ve got spine problems when it comes to pointing out poor behavior on the part of people who you think are on your side, or worse, actively tolerate such things. Also, telling people they’re wrong and going too far when they slander others, post their RL pics, do info digs on them, mock homosexuals and compare their targets to them… objecting to that is sanctimony.

    And, you just never read the thread except for the comments of the person whose name you didn’t know, and besides, who are you to question how people behave? You’d never criticize the behavior of anyone on UD. That would be sanctimony.

    Good boy, Mark. I’m sure your friends will compliment you for sticking up for the team, right or wrong. ;)

  197. Fine, but you’re losing either way, because you’re being pedantic.

    No, I’m taking some time to explain what standards are – apparently, they’re some mystical, fascinating thing to you – and why I hold to them, and why I think others should.

    Believe it or not, I can do this and continue to have discussions elsewhere. I’m just s’damn amazing, like that. More than that, I know better than to think these conversations – even when they are polite – are some manner of ‘major victory’. Let’s be frank: you’re looking like a rank punk on this topic, not to mention frazzled. But what does this gain me? Gosh, I’m winning a debate on the interwebs? Where’s my trophy? Where’s my parade?

    No wonder you justify the behavior. It’s just that important to you. You can see why people would be pushed to angry rants, info digging, etc for years on edge. This really is your life for the next ten years.

    Which is just to say that the most cogent and serious critiques I’ve read come from people who hang out at AtBC,

    Funny – slice through the forest of age-old, very personal hatreds and freakouts, and most of what I’ve seen there are strawmen, or taking on the weakest amateur YEC, rather than ID, arguments. But really, you’re not even capable of calling your pals out when they go over the line in a petty way. What are the odds you’d be able to cop to a strawman when you saw it?

    I’m saying you won’t even make it far enough for the arguments to happen, to be made in the first place, such is your distaste for the person.

    See, this is your problem: you think AtBC is the standard for how people act. It completely blows your mind that a person can be an ID critic without behaving that way. Hell, go to Biologos – somehow they manage to run pretty much weekly criticisms of ID, yet their administration doesn’t stoop to that kind of behavior. Wait, wait. That must be a ‘Christian thing’, right?

    No, eigen. If I decide hate-filled maniacs aren’t worth my time, I still have plenty of of critics left over to engage. And of course, I also have the criticisms detached from the critics.

    So… dismising the person, and retaining the argument. You’ve got to be joking. The person is the SOURCE of the argument. If the person is dismissed, the ARGUMENT is dismissed.

    Sure – because when Francis Crick died, so too did his knowledge and arguments, right? There’s no way to discuss Crick’s views, or Hoyle’s views, or Bertrand Russell’s views, without engaging with the men one on one. Right?

    Anyone can discuss an argument without having to invite the person into their home, or in this case giving them comment rights on their blog. That happens plenty here; criticisms are found and responded to. The critic doesn’t need to show up.

    But you? Apparently when you want to learn about DNA, it requires a trip to Crick’s graveyard and a ouija board.

    Yeah, if my homosexual son had the kind of mega-chip you carry around on your shoulder, he’d never be out of the kind of righteous-indignation-at-the-expense-of-all-else pattern you’ve adopted here. It’s a luxury you can afford, that he can’t. I tell him to stand up to bullies, but think big, and avoid being petty.

    “Think big”? Buddy, that’s just the thing – you ain’t big. Neither is AtBC. You’re a small group of exceptionally petty individuals with chips on your shoulders. I know you think of yourselves as Dawkins’ Own Righteous, out to save the interwebs. It’s cute. Like Rational Responders, really. But the fact is you could all disappear tomorrow, and ID would still have a ton of critics.

    How’s the song go? “Art and music will thrive without you. Somehow Keats will survive without you. And there still will be rain on that plain down in Spain, even that will remain without you. We can do without you.”

    I guess we just hit the heart of it all, eigen. You think that when you or your pals are ignored, that this is a Big Deal. How DARE anyone not pay attention to you all. Don’t they know how important you all are? How privileged anyone is to listen to the Warriors of the Internet?

    Reality, eigen. Check it out someday. I can’t promise you’ll like it.

    That’s certainly not my position. I’m disproving that with this post to you.

    Oooh, look at the big man who can stand up on the internet to people he dislikes and who already think little of him.

    All you’re proving is my point. You won’t condemn the behavior because you approve of it. More than that? You’re afraid to condemn it. You know you’re dealing with some short-tempered, petty individuals, but they’re on Your Team. And God, it sure would suck to have them turn on you the way they would if you actually held them to a standard like an adult.

    But that’s okay, eigen. I understand how it is for some people. Criticizing people on Your Side is tough, only certain people can do it. You know – adults.

    That DOESN’T mean keeping my mouth shut.

    Sure it does – that’s exactly what you do. Digging up info? Posting RL pics to deface? Screaming about how gay people are? Eigen sees it, and he shuts his mouth. To show everyone he’s a good boy, and that he’s on their side.

    After all, how people conduct themselves isn’t important. The super-duper, abso-freaking-lutely, most important thing in the world – the thing you dedicate so much of your life to, that you think is Truly Important… is arguing on the internet. God forbid you let any sort of standard get in the way of THAT.

    You know what’s really important.

    Speaking of shutting your mouth – wise move, keeping it shut in light of the ad hom talk. You may want to go through this thread and tally up how many times you’ve just completely freaking botched things, oh haggard internet warrior.

    “Walking away” is a deeper gesture of disrespect than flipping him the finger, and I don’t recommend giving people the finger.

    Oh really? Well then, what can I say but…

    You’re not worth my time, eigen. You clearly have some bizarre view of yourself as being Too Important To Ignore, along with your crazy-ass AtBC obsessives. You’re a coward who won’t criticize your Home Team, no matter what they do. And honest to God, you’re just not all that impressive in discussion, aside from having above average grammar – good job on that.

    So, I’ll be walking away now. I’d say you should look me up when you grow a pair and get a little sharper, but really, I’m at least cognizant of my minor place in these things – discussing things with me is not some holy privilege. And besides, what’re the odds you’ll ever man up? We’ll need a decimal point and a few zeroes in a row to state that. ;)

  198. That’s very interesting. I mean, you didn’t even know what name she was using at first so you had to read the thread to find out. Now, you used the search function and apparently… didn’t read the thread.

    When I looked at the thread she had just made a comment – not surprising as she had just been banned from here.  So it was easy to see what her ID was.

    I mean, it’s not like what I’m talking about is a buried isolated incident. It’s the thread theme.

    Of course not, Mark. It’s not that you’ve got spine problems when it comes to pointing out poor behavior on the part of people who you think are on your side, or worse, actively tolerate such things. Also, telling people they’re wrong and going too far when they slander others, post their RL pics, do info digs on them, mock homosexuals and compare their targets to them… objecting to that is sanctimony.

    And, you just never read the thread except for the comments of the person whose name you didn’t know, and besides, who are you to question how people behave? You’d never criticize the behavior of anyone on UD. That would be sanctimony.

    Good boy, Mark. I’m sure your friends will compliment you for sticking up for the team, right or wrong.

    Nullalus

    Don’t be ridiculous. No one  can respond to everything they find immoral on any blog.  In fact it would be a full time job responding to everything on UD. It would be like expecting you to call out bad behaviour on  Telic Thoughts and Joe’s blog and all the other pro-ID blogs.  We can’t all be moral supervisors for the whole of the internet!

    Now I am going to drop this silly discussion. You can have the last word.

  199. When I looked at the thread she had just made a comment – not surprising as she had just been banned from here. So it was easy to see what her ID was.

    Again, interesting. She was banned quite a bit before you asked me who she was, and the thread had continued after that point. So it’s not like you just skipped to the last post and hey, bingo, there’s the ban mention.

    ‘course, it’s not like I look over your shoulder and see what you saw. But I’ll say this: if you did see it, but you’re BSing now just to avoid commenting on it when you really did, it says a lot about you. But that’ll be a matter for yourself to think over.

    It would be like expecting you to call out bad behaviour on Telic Thoughts and Joe’s blog and all the other pro-ID blogs. We can’t all be moral supervisors for the whole of the internet!

    I did so on TT when I thought it crossed the line. I do so here, when I see it, and when it’s relevant. We can be reasonable and have standards for what corners of the net we occupy. I’m the last guy to be utterly tight-assed over this, but yeah, there’s a reasonable line and it’s crossed there repeatedly, and excessively. As anyone who’d look would know.

    But you’re afraid of commenting on it. So hey – don’t.

  200. Null: Did you notice that it is only after the objectors kept on dragging up a topic they hoped to use an Isa 5:20 moral inversion on to create polarisation that I responded in brief? Notice, that they are not exactly falling over themselves to address either the implications of “a man’s saliah is as the man,” or the rebuttal to the usual genetic determinism talking point that can be seen here on? [As in what are the Sambia again, and what is it that Plato's Republic is talking about when it discusses love?] As for my having responded to the web porn plague at my blog for dealing with a rising threat in the Caribbean, what I saw was hateful anti-Christian bigotry [churches are houses of hate and the like cavils] not sound and cogent responses. Somehow it escapes these folks that over the past year, my main effort at UD has been the ID foundations series, which is on the issue of the framework of ID, starting with the design inference and the thermodynamics context of counterflow, and with side points on say the significance of the metric Chi_500 = Ip*S – 500, etc. beaver dams are in there, and more. My conclusion is that these are simply setting up and knocking over ad hominem laced strawmen, with no regard to duties of care to truth and fairness, and show exactly the sort of amoral nihilism that they so hotly deny as a problem for their worldview and a significant slice of its adherents. KF

  201. eigen who?

    yawn

  202. @nullasalus

    “Walking away” is a deeper gesture of disrespect than flipping him the finger, and I don’t recommend giving people the finger.

    Oh really? Well then, what can I say but…

    You’re not worth my time, eigen.

    I understand what you are saying here, but can’t help but wonder if you do, in the context of this exchange. On the one hand, you are disgusted by the animus and incivility you decry at AtBC, and on the other hand from you to someone else “You’re not worth my time”.

    That’s the very animus and incivility you decry, flowing right from your keyboard. As I said, I don’t get honked off at that kind of stuff and hear this kind of response regularly, but the irony of you BEING what you are so disgusted by is worth taking in and appreciated. You’re blind to your animus and personal hostilities.

    it’s good to appreciate because the lesson is that hypocrisy like this is fairly pandemic, across ideologies and tribes, and, more importantly, it’s a quagmire. The priorities you pursue do not produce good fruit. It only caters to your pride, and the goal of tackling substantive issues in a serious way just always gets thwarted when the chip on your shoulder becomes paramount, and fatwas get issued so as to avenge your pride.

    Seriously, consider: you are in a much more “FU” mode than the guys who may actually use that phrase on you. And my proof of that would be that I, or, as I understand it (despite your misconceptions about my “clan membership”, I’m a newbie outsider over there), the folks over there would still say you are worth their time. They are not above speaking to you, in contrast to your position towards them — a much bigger middle finger you wag then even the real middle finger they might flash your way.

    Which again, is not to recommend flipping the bird, in any case. But please don’t think you’re on the short side of what they do. You’re going farther and deeper into the animus and incivility. That’ you’re prerogative, but let’s not pretend, OK?
    You clearly have some bizarre view of yourself as being Too Important To Ignore, along with your crazy-ass AtBC obsessives.
    I have no such views. No one owes me a reading or a response. People are free to read or not, and respond or not, as they will. I can’t control everyone else. Policiing my own area is my job. So I say what I think is worthwhile, and let everyone else do the same. I don’t mince words, and understand that to be considerate: say what you mean and mean what you say is a good rule of thumb for debating in good faith.

    I do control my “walking away”, and when I have the site administrator’s login, as I have elsewhere, I don’t suppose I’m something so special that I have to censor, ban, or just “walk away” as a big FU gesture to the people I’m debating.

    You’re a coward who won’t criticize your Home Team, no matter what they do. And honest to God, you’re just not all that impressive in discussion, aside from having above average grammar – good job on that.

    I would. It’s just not gonna happen as an effort to satisfy your obsession, here. If I have something to object to, it won’t be done in service to the huge chip you have on your shoulder. It would be done for reasons that originate with me.

    So, I’ll be walking away now. I’d say you should look me up when you grow a pair and get a little sharper, but really, I’m at least cognizant of my minor place in these things – discussing things with me is not some holy privilege. And besides, what’re the odds you’ll ever man up? We’ll need a decimal point and a few zeroes in a row to state that.

    But it IS a holy privilege, and you’ve made that spectacularly clear. Really, read just this paragraph of yours back to yourself. You’re walking away. I don’t have testicles, or am unmanly somehow. I’m not worth your time. You have standards! But yet you know your “minor place”.

    I couldn’t summarize my objections to your ideas and priorities here than the way you’ve left it. Far be it from me or your critics to violate your minor place in these things. Others just aren’t worthy of even the minor place you command in these things.

  203. “I said nothing about “trolls”, crackpots, etc. Coyne – and frankly, most other blog owners – take an axe to pretty much anyone they dislike.”

    I tried to post on Coyne’s blog a few times. Never got thru his censor. Ho hum. But thankfully, somehow my world did not fall apart. :D

  204. Eigenstate, you sound like a scorned lover. Put your big boy pants on, and move on.

  205. @mike1962,

    Eigenstate, you sound like a scorned lover. Put your big boy pants on, and move on.

    Not at all. It’s just another day on teh interwebs. It’s anything to get amped up about, which is my whole point — all this just distracts and talking about more substantive things.

    I just wanted to point out the animus and hostility in nullasalus’ post, not because it’s anything more than I encounter all the time in my various wanderings on the net, but because it shows that nullasalus is the very thing that he says disgusts him. I’m not the least bit interested in any kind of satisfaction or complaints about that stuff – he can say what he wants, and I’ll be just fine in any case.

    The things I point out are the evidence that backs up the thesis I’ve been working on nullasalus from the beginning.

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