Home » Media, News, Science » A note on Popular Science’s editorial tantrum = new “no comments” policy, …

A note on Popular Science’s editorial tantrum = new “no comments” policy, …

… as noted here by Nullasalus:

A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to “debate” on television. And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.

One way of understanding this editorial tantrum is to relate it to the transition from old to new media.

Note that the publication is not called Academic Science, it is called Popular Science. That, presumably, means dealing with the public (republic?) of regular readers with an interest in science. There will be challenges one might not have expected from within an established old boys’/girls’ club.

It used to be that commenting on stories could only be done privately. That was old media. Today, a popular medium can gain a large population of new readers with new voices, with the only cost being the staff time expense created by the need to boot trolls.

As we know, science is not in the business of “scientific certainty,” but of replicable evidence. The reader input the editors are complaining of would not be happening if the subject areas were not in a state of contention and flux, commonly called “news.”

Incidentally, speaking of states of flux, Earth’s climate usually is in just such a state, which is why dogmatism on the subject is so easy to challenge, if not ridicule. Evolution is always hostage to the next fossil dug up or the latest counter-theory genomic finding.

People who really need certainty should investigate a line of work other than science media. But maybe that decision will be made for them by the course of events.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

74 Responses to A note on Popular Science’s editorial tantrum = new “no comments” policy, …

  1. PopSci’s behavior is just a normal reaction from another arrogant and smarter-than-thou elitist group who suddenly realize that their carefully orchestrated plan to brainwash the people is not working.

    The writing is on the wall and fear is in the air. Soon, the hammer will come down hard and no amount of crisis management is going to save that sorry bunch from utter disgrace.

  2. I have said this before, and I will repeat myself. Science does not work that way! Consensus is meaningless. Science and theories live or die based on the empirical evidence. Without that, you have nothing.

    Yes, I’m sure they get a lot of trolls in the comments section. So do many other websites. It’s called the free exchange of ideas. It’s what drives knowledge. People can debate the scientific certainty of anything, but without the data to back up one’s argument, one has nothing.

    I wonder whether or not they would have censored comments from, say, Copernicus or Galileo, whose ideas went against the scientific consensus of their times.

  3. Barb, how do you feel about the Discovery Institutes policy of no comments?

    Consensus does matter as it arises from the ability of others to obtain analogous and repeatable results from others work. Folks don’t just get together and say that “Hey, Joe Schmo scientist has a good idea let’s make it the consensus”. It just doesn’t work that way at all.

  4. Folks don’t just get together and say that “Hey, Joe Schmo scientist has a good idea let’s make it the consensus”. It just doesn’t work that way at all.

    No, but as with the soviets, they do get together and say ‘Hey, this idea is important to us politically, philosophically, or religiously. This is now the cherished view.’

  5. nullasalus: No, but as with the soviets, they do get together and say ‘Hey, this idea is important to us politically, philosophically, or religiously. This is now the cherished view.’

    Well, no, that isn’t what happens. I take it you have never attended a science conference in your life, have you?

  6. franklin @ 3:

    Barb, how do you feel about the Discovery Institutes policy of no comments?

    Can’t say, really; I don’t visit their site as much as I visit here. If their reasoning is similar to that of PopSci’s, does that make it okay? Not really, at least not in my book. Then again, they probably would have to deal with many more trolls.

    Consensus does matter as it arises from the ability of others to obtain analogous and repeatable results from others work. Folks don’t just get together and say that “Hey, Joe Schmo scientist has a good idea let’s make it the consensus”. It just doesn’t work that way at all.

    Consensus only works if the scientists are willing to test out new theories. These scientists obviously don’t want to hear anything contrary to what they believe. That’s when you have a problem, because now what was a scientific theory has now become dogma.

  7. Well, no, that isn’t what happens.

    Because scientists are actually automatons, powered by the raw force of the Scientific Method, never given to personal or organizational biases, personal agendas, sociopolitical influences or otherwise, right?

    I take it you have never attended a science conference in your life, have you?

    Silly me, all this time I’ve been reading scientists’ own words, reading NCSE commentary and releases, reading up on the history of Lysenkoism, watching mainstream science conferences and presentations on youtube, and more. Alas, it was all for naught, because I didn’t actually show up at one of the conferences.

    Rather like how scientists never intentionally manipulate data. They’re scientists, man. Rather beyond reproach.

  8. nullasalus: Rather like how scientists never intentionally manipulate data. They’re scientists, man. Rather beyond reproach.

    Individuals certainly may be prone to fraud and deceit. However, trying to blur the lines between the individual and the body of scientists is nothing more than wrong. That is why once it is discovered (more often by other scientists) the fraud is exposed and whatever correctives are possible are pursued, retraction of papers, ect.

    nullasalus: Silly me, all this time I’ve been reading scientists’ own words, reading NCSE commentary and releases, reading up on the history of Lysenkoism, watching mainstream science conferences and presentations on youtube, and more. Alas, it was all for naught, because I didn’t actually show up at one of the conferences.

    reading words by individuals, NCES commentary, learning history are all fine but it certainly doesn’t grant a person the depth that is possible from discussions of data, interpretations of said data, anomalies and potential sources, ect are only possible with personal interaction. That is lacking from the youtube experience.

    nullasalus: Because scientists are actually automatons, powered by the raw force of the Scientific Method, never given to personal or organizational biases, personal agendas, sociopolitical influences or otherwise, right?</blockquote.

    again you want to conflate the individuals potential propensities to everyone in any science field. That dog don't hunt as some say. Consensus represents the ground floor of science data collection where results have been reliably replicated to sufficient degree, like boiling water, that the only rational conclusion is that, yes, given thee conditions this will happen (predictive model which ID lacks). From these empirical results other lines of research are built upon and expanded.

  9. Barb:Consensus only works if the scientists are willing to test out new theories. These scientists obviously don’t want to hear anything contrary to what they believe. That’s when you have a problem, because now what was a scientific theory has now become dogma.</blockquote.

    But that is how it works. In my experience working in labs and collaborating across several disciplines with many scientists collection of the highest quality data is paramount. Not to mention it makes interpretation a bit easier that data generated from a poorly thought out experiment or haphazard sampling methodologies. New ideas are always looked at seriously since they may represent a potential 'scoop' where for the competitive side of science a new finding, that is well supported and explained, represents a means to career advancement.

  10. mumbling about edit button……

    Barb:Consensus only works if the scientists are willing to test out new theories. These scientists obviously don’t want to hear anything contrary to what they believe. That’s when you have a problem, because now what was a scientific theory has now become dogma.

    But that is how it works. In my experience working in labs and collaborating across several disciplines with many scientists collection of the highest quality data is paramount. Not to mention it makes interpretation a bit easier that data generated from a poorly thought out experiment or haphazard sampling methodologies. New ideas are always looked at seriously since they may represent a potential ‘scoop’ where for the competitive side of science a new finding, that is well supported and explained, represents a means to career advancement.

  11. Individuals certainly may be prone to fraud and deceit.

    But groups certainly aren’t, right? An individual politician may be dishonest, but political parties – those you can trust?

    However, trying to blur the lines between the individual and the body of scientists is nothing more than wrong. That is why once it is discovered (more often by other scientists) the fraud is exposed and whatever correctives are possible are pursued, retraction of papers, ect.

    Sometimes. Just like how, when a scandal is exposed, politicians tend to demand punishment for those involved. But they aren’t always so keen on the ‘exposing’ part. Or other times they minimize what was done, with dishonesty turning into ‘mistakes’ and ‘mistakes’ turning into ‘misunderstandings’.

    reading words by individuals, NCES commentary, learning history are all fine but it certainly doesn’t grant a person the depth that is possible from discussions of data, interpretations of said data, anomalies and potential sources, ect are only possible with personal interaction.

    Actually, Franklin: attending formal, public conferences doesn’t at all give you the complete picture of the process. Once again, to compare with politicians: there’s a difference between ‘the public political party convention’ and ‘how politicians actually act behind closed doors’.

    What exactly should I expect to find at a science convention? Them twirling their moustaches and cackling about how much they lie? I said they’re humans, not comic book villains.

    again you want to conflate the individuals potential propensities to everyone in any science field.

    Where did I do this? I said that scientists are human. They are given to personal failings, and sometimes these failings apply to a group. It’s bizarre to suggest that human individuals are prone to corruption, but oh, get them in a group and the problems all go away.

    And I didn’t mention ID once here. My statements stand even if ID is (name your preferred failing.)

  12. nullasalus:But groups certainly aren’t, right? An individual politician may be dishonest, but political parties – those you can trust?

    I thought we were talking about scientists. Why the need for the tortured politics metaphor?

    Sometimes. Just like how, when a scandal is exposed, politicians tend to demand punishment for those involved. But they aren’t always so keen on the ‘exposing’ part. Or other times they minimize what was done, with dishonesty turning into ‘mistakes’ and ‘mistakes’ turning into ‘misunderstandings’.

    Again with tge politics. give me an example from science.

    <blockquote.Actually, Franklin: attending formal, public conferences doesn’t at all give you the complete picture of the process. Once again, to compare with politicians: there’s a difference between ‘the public political party convention’ and ‘how politicians actually act behind closed doors’.

    Of course if all you are going to do is sit in a chair listen then, yes, you are correct that you won’t get as much as is possible out of a conference. What actually happens, perhaps over a beer, lunch, or small gathering is a rich exchange of ideas and problem solving. for the most part the general public doesn’t see any of this for a variety of reasons.

  13. I thought we were talking about scientists. Why the need for the tortured politics metaphor?

    Because it’s not exactly tortured, Franklin. Please, tell me that scientists are disinterested in politics, and that they never think about the political ramifications of their pronouncements or research. Let’s make this conversation a bit more bizarre.

    Again with tge politics. give me an example from science.

    Let me get this straight. Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, Victor Stenger. It’s just all about the science for these three, right? (Admittedly, Richard’s an ex-scientist, but he loves to pretend he’s still one in front of the cameras.) It’s never that they give a social or political spin to their science?

    ‘The politics’ is mingled with ‘the science’ many times. Take a good look at the NCSE. Americans are ignorant about a wide variety of scientific topics, from basic chemistry to fundamental physics to more. Yet they’re concerned purely with the two political hot-button topics, one of which is a social pet project, the other of which has a huge laundry list of political policies associated with it.

    But gosh, they only care about science, not politics. Right?

    What actually happens, perhaps over a beer, lunch, or small gathering is a rich exchange of ideas and problem solving. for the most part the general public doesn’t see any of this for a variety of reasons.

    If the great benefit of a science convention is ‘talking to scientists personally one on one’, then sure, I’ve done that. I’ve been on private science mailing lists speaking frankly about scientific topics. I’ve had exchanges with physicists, evolutionary biologists and more. It didn’t exactly change my views about these things. In some cases, it reinforced them.

    Really, Franklin – you’re telling me that I really can’t perceive valid problems with academia unless I watch Jerry Coyne do shots and talk about the most interesting fruit fly mating he ever witnessed? Likewise, I can’t estimate any problems with politicians because hey, I never went to a political convention?

    Your line of argument is not working.

  14. When you censor the populous your claims to being their friend come up short.
    Their nanning is just what a dying establishment must do.
    They can’t make a case and its pregnant to their readership.
    They are not intelligent enough to defend or select comments to defend their cherished beliefs.
    I bet they could defend other beliefs that actually are based on scientific evidence.
    Perhaps this will in a future book be said to be a sign of the times.
    Creationism will destroy evolutionism in our time and global warming will be case in point of worthless researchers in those subjects.

  15. franklin:

    But that is how it works.

    If the results do not accurately reflect the data gathered, or if there is a problem with the methodology used to collect the data, then it really doesn’t “work” at all. It’s meaningless because it doesn’t lead to increased knowledge or practical application.

    In my experience working in labs and collaborating across several disciplines with many scientists collection of the highest quality data is paramount. Not to mention it makes interpretation a bit easier that data generated from a poorly thought out experiment or haphazard sampling methodologies. New ideas are always looked at seriously since they may represent a potential ‘scoop’ where for the competitive side of science a new finding, that is well supported and explained, represents a means to career advancement.

    New ideas should be looked at seriously, but often they aren’t. Part of the problem is highlighted in your final sentence: career advancement. Scientists can (and do) manipulate data in order to achieve the results they want, whether it’s publication, tenure, or what have you. Scientific fraud isn’t new. Look at the recent case where vaccines were supposedly connected to children developing autism; the researcher falsified nearly all his data.

  16. Pardon

    Let’s all take a pause to rethink.

    First, let us never forget the potentially destructive power of the tongue and why freedom of expression meets with issues of defamation, Multiply by a major country — the USA — where libel law has become grossly defective over the past generation.

    Mix in an Internet that is largely based in that jurisdiction.

    Observe the pattern of trollish misconduct that taints sites like Youtube.

    Note also, that we are in an age where effectively anyone can set up a blog and talk like s/he is on a soap box in Hyde Park. Though of course, few may bother to take notice.

    (Though, too, I have had to note the long tail effect of many people, each reaching a few, and how influence spreads, as well as the fact that a Sunday School teacher who regularly teaches 20 is doing a lot, and a parson who speaks to altogether 300 people across a month is having significant impact also, so one should take heart even if one is not reaching the millions. Don’t forget the power of doubling: in 10 cycles taking 6 months each, that is a million reached in five years, providing there is a steady spreading.)

    In this light, if Pop Sci had said it has a troll problem and it is not cost effective to go beyond the traditional letters to the editor, that would be one thing.

    However, what we are dealing with here is something else.

    The assumption that the orthodoxy of the duly anointed and prestigious is not to be questioned, and that heretics are to be marginalised, branded with a scarlet H and scapegoated, is seriously problematic. We are not God, and scientific knowledge in particular is subject to revision in light of new evidence and reasoning, in a further context that computer simulations, reconstructions and projections are not equal to real world observations.

    The rise and spread of self-refuting scientism — the notion that science and its methods delimit credible knowledge — is another worrying trend.

    Time for a major rethink.

    KF

  17. Barb:

    I have said this before, and I will repeat myself. Science does not work that way! Consensus is meaningless.

    Well, no, it isn’t. Consensus is reached by repeated replication of results. You are right that empirical results are what matters, but one empirical result is not in itself convincing. Replication is what matters, and that is what determines the consensus. It is why meta-analyses are so important.

  18. The problem, KF, is that by shutting down views you don’t like you give a carte-blanche to those who would shut down your own.

    This is why freedom of speech is so important. You might not like what you hear as a result, but that is surely much less of an evil than being prevented from being heard.

    No?

    I suspect you think that falsehoods should be suppressed and only the truth allowed. The trouble is that views as to what is the truth vary, and always will. No-one has a monopoly on truth and bias is impossible to avoid.

    That is why freedom of speech is so important to truth – it means that lies can be heard, but it also means that lies can be countered. Without that freedom, there is no way to correct a lie.

  19. EL kindly do not push words in my mouth that do not belong there. I have nowhere advocated shutting down views, which is a blatant symonym for censorship. But, that censorship is to be avoided is no excuse for the sort of defamation and hate speech I have spotlighted here just now. I HAVE said that there is a traditional format of letters to the editor, and that I can understand PS if it had instead said that it was not going to host trollish conduct like at Youtube etc and was not going to spend good money on moderation. There is a world of alternative places to comment and publicise views today. In case you have forgotten, responsibility for defamation proverbially extends from the printer and publisher to the boys selling a paper on the street side. And if defaming millions of people as enemies of humanity, primary or secondary as ringleaders and dupes without good warrant, as well as accusing an entire school of thought of science as being fraud without good reason are not defamation, nothing is. Your lack of compunction is revealing, as is your easy overnight equating of principled objection to questionable behaviour and associated ideology to racism. [I have annotated and given references in response, FYI.] KF

  20. EL, mere lies — and you have not even shown errors much less willful deception — are not defamation. KF

  21. Kairosfocus: are you, or are you not, asking me to delete material from my website?

    If yes, then why is that not censorship?
    Of no, what is it that you are asking me to do?

  22. EL, I am asking you to be responsible in regards to defamatory, slanderous, falsely accusatory materials and incitement to hate and thus violence. Suppose I were to abuse UD to accuse you of say prostitution or adultery and being a madam for such, or the like. Would you consider this free expression and having a right to be here at UD? Calling people enemies of humanity, frauds and in effect nazis is much worse, and without merit. It is defamatory and incitation. Shame on you for refusing to be responsible. KF

  23. So you are asking me to censor material on my site.

    Well, I will not censor material on my site. I strongly believe that people have a right to say what they think, whether they are mistaken or not.

    I agree with you that there are legal limits and I take care that those legal limits are not crossed, but in my view nothing on my site crosses those legal limits.

    And, in my view, nothing that you object to on my site does not have its exact counterpart, in spades, in your posts, here.

    As for “enemies of humanity” – who wrote these words, KF?

    evo mat thought police censors and career killers…

    Evo Mat characteristically ends in radical relativisation of reason, knowledge and morals, opening the door to ruthless factions…

    evo mat becomes the avant garde in a community it opens the door to radical, abusive nihilist …

    And of course, not here but at the DI:

    This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and art

    The cultural consequences of this triumph of materialism were devastating. Materialists denied the existence of objective moral standards, claiming that environment dictates our behavior and beliefs. Such moral relativism was uncritically adopted by much of the social sciences, and it still undergirds much of modern economics, political science, psychology and sociology.

    Materialists also undermined personal responsibility by asserting that human thoughts and behaviors are dictated by our biology and environment. The results can be seen in modern approaches to criminal justice, product liability, and welfare. In the materialist scheme of things, everyone is a victim and no one can be held accountable for his or her actions.

    Finally, materialism spawned a virulent strain of utopianism. Thinking they could engineer the perfect society through the application of scientific knowledge, materialist reformers advocated coercive government programs that falsely promised to create heaven on earth.

    I have simply lost count of the number of times “Darwinists” have been accused of fraud here at UD, and as for Nazis – well you brought them up, KF, when you compared Alan Fox to a Nazi enabler, and only this week you compared me to Goebbels.

    But the way to rebut such ideas is not by suppressing them, in my view, but by holding them to the light.

  24. Heh:

    Those who poison the well we may all eventually have to drink from thereby reveal themselves to be enemies of humanity.
    kairosfocus, April 20, 2013

  25. 25

    Oh, c’mon, Lizzie — KF isn’t asking to “censor” anything or anyone, just “be responsible” — that’s all! It’s nice and vague enough that he can always accuse you of not “being responsible”. That’s how the game works — the goal-posts can be moved at any time. Hurray!

    Oh, and notice that KF has pre-empted the rhetoric on “the turnabout accusation”. No dice on that one, I’m afraid.

  26. I agree, KN. KF is just asking for a “little responsibility”, like perhaps mentioning to others that they shouldn’t purposely try to derail people from having a serious discussion by posting the most obviously false information in an attempt to throw a can of gasoline and cigarette on the whole scene that isn’t looking good for the TSZ people. And presumably he also means that not only should EL “not sit by”, but not “take part in parroting” the obviously and embarrassingly false information, like that the Bible commands rape. What the hell is KF thinking?

  27. 27

    If folks about TSZ want to have a discussion about the relation between the Discovery Institute and the Christian Right, that’s their business. Likewise, if they want to claim that the Christian Right is an enemy of humanity, that’s their business, too. I don’t see how either amounts to slander or libel.

    The first claim is a combination of fact (namely, the financial support that the Discovery Institute from Howard Abrahmson) and opinion; the second claim is opinion. KF seems to think that Lizzie has a moral obligation to criticize the expression of opinions on her blog with which he disagrees. This makes no sense to me at all.

    Obviously KF think that those opinions are false, but his thinking so doesn’t make them so. An opinion with which you disagree isn’t slander just by virtue of your disagreement. And KF’s thinking that these opinions are not only false, but obviously false, depends on certain assumptions that to him are perfectly obvious and innocuous, but which aren’t so to the folks over at TSZ. So all that is included in what’s under contention.

  28. KN: You know or should know the difference between fair comment and defamation or incitement. What I have headlined is both. Next ont eh subject of accusaitons of fraud, ther eis a difference between a specific case of academic dishonesty and saying blanket that somehting that is based on inductive scientific principles is a fraud in a context where this is throwing gasoline on a series of accusations that are based in a grotesque incitatory and slanderous conspiracy story. I openly and freely hold on warrnt that evolutionary materialism is self refuting and amoral, I have shown it so. I do not by so doing imply t6haty those who hold to it are doing so en bloc as accessorie3s to fraud and conspiracy to commit treason and impose a tyranny. I do warn that widespread acceptance of an amoral worldview is playing with fire, in a world where there are such things as conscienceless nihilists who may be enabled thereby. And up to within the past 24 hours I rebukes Niw for going too far and using the term hoax. EL is pretending that slander, hate speech and incitation are normal free and fair expression. Your behaviour on this is enabling. You know and can do a lot better than this. EL has completely lost any respect I once had for her, her behaviour is beyond the pale of civility, as a good cop enabler and host of the bad cops. KF

  29. It seems that some do not understand that when you accuse people of fraud, totalitarian conspiracy, inherent inescapable irrationality leading to heir being ENEMIES OF HUMANITY, thatr carries an enormous burden of proof. I contend that what is pro-offered as “proof” by those pushing these irresponsible narratives is at best confirmation bias, or much more likely a propagandiatic hysteria stirred up by those with malice aforethought. You will see that I have in fact responded at least in outline to the main accusations, with onward links. There is no substance to the accusations [including the underlying one that there are no empirically tested reliable signs of design in the natural world], but the accusations are out of all proportion and are calculated to lead to hate and rage, which are notoriously blinding emotions. There is so much history on where that leads, at minimum to Kulturkampf, that no responsible person should but be concerned. KF

  30. Brent:

    I agree, KN. KF is just asking for a “little responsibility”, like perhaps mentioning to others that they shouldn’t purposely try to derail people from having a serious discussion by posting the most obviously false information in an attempt to throw a can of gasoline and cigarette on the whole scene that isn’t looking good for the TSZ people.

    What?

    And presumably he also means that not only should EL “not sit by”, but not “take part in parroting” the obviously and embarrassingly false information, like that the Bible commands rape. What the hell is KF thinking?

    Numbers 31:

    Slaughter of all but the virgins, and sexual slavery for those.

  31. 31

    Point of fact: in that passage, Moses is permitting the Israelite warriors to rape the Midianite women. That’s different from saying that either that Moses or the Lord commands it.

  32. KN: You know or should know the difference between fair comment and defamation or incitement.

    Except that you, KF, seem to think you are the ultimate arbiter of the difference.

    That’s the problem. You’ve set yourself up as the decider of the difference.

    I don’t see any difference at all between your quite extraordinarily offensive claims about “evo-mat” followers, and all they threaten, using the very words, in one instance “enemies of the people”.

    Presumably because you regard your own words as “fair comment”. But read those same words in someone else’s post, directed approximately in your direction and suddenly it is “defamation and incitement”.

    That is sheer hypocrisy.

    What I have headlined is both. Next ont eh subject of accusaitons of fraud, ther eis a difference between a specific case of academic dishonesty and saying blanket that somehting that is based on inductive scientific principles is a fraud in a context where this is throwing gasoline on a series of accusations that are based in a grotesque incitatory and slanderous conspiracy story.

    I have read far more than specific cases of academic dishonesty here. There are many posts regularly accuse “Darwinist” scientists of things that, if true, would lose them their jobs. Cherry-picking data, making the data fit the theory. Here‘s one of BA77′s:

    Let’s not forget another time honored tradition for Darwinists in which to protect neo-Darwinism from falsificatio; the fraudulent practice of literature bluffing

    I openly and freely hold on warrnt that evolutionary materialism is self refuting and amoral, I have shown it so. I do not by so doing imply t6haty those who hold to it are doing so en bloc as accessorie3s to fraud and conspiracy to commit treason and impose a tyranny.

    Well, it sure seems like implying it to me. Does it occur to you that similarly apparently inflammatory statements from others may not be quite what they seem to you?

    I do warn that widespread acceptance of an amoral worldview is playing with fire, in a world where there are such things as conscienceless nihilists who may be enabled thereby. And up to within the past 24 hours I rebukes Niw for going too far and using the term hoax. EL is pretending that slander, hate speech and incitation are normal free and fair expression.

    No. I am saying (not “pretending”) that what you seem to think are slander, hate speech and incitation are not.

    Your behaviour on this is enabling.

    Of course it’s enabling. I host a blog to enable people to discuss things, just as Barry does here. And just as people get fairly virulent about things here (you, regularly, for instance) so do people at TSZ from time to time.

    That’s what discussion sometimes involves. I wish it didn’t. I really wish I didn’t have to scroll past yards of diatribe about Alinksy and Lewontin to get to the next interesting post. But I can put up with it, because I uphold your right to express views that I think are both offensive and wrong.

    You know and can do a lot better than this. EL has completely lost any respect I once had for her, her behaviour is beyond the pale of civility, as a good cop enabler and host of the bad cops. KF

    I am not going to do “better” KF, because in my view, to do what you call “better” would be to do a great deal worse.

    I will not censor views on my blog because you don’t like them, any more than I will ask Barry to censor your views at UD because I don’t like them.

    And if you can’t see that posting vast inflammatory diatribes about the threat to civilisation post by amoral evo-mat values, warning me and people like Alan of being like the Germans who had to be “marched round the camps” to see what they hand enabled, and comparing my posts to Goebbels is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENT, to a TSZ poster posting a rant about the dangers of the Wedge document (which, ironically, is full of claims about the devastating damage done by “scientific materialism” to society), to claiming that an “honest creationist” is enabling “enemies of society” (precisely your words), and pointing out that your views on homosexuality might require you to be “marched round the camps” next time to see what you had enabled, then I say:

    Look. In. The. Mirror.

  33. You forgot the quote marks, EL.

  34. Point of fact: in that passage, Moses is permitting the Israelite warriors to rape the Midianite women. That’s different from saying that either that Moses or the Lord commands it.

    Well, you have a point.

    It’s a shame that so many Christians don’t take that view. William Lane Craig for instance claims the Israelite soldiers acts were “morally obligatory” because they had been commanded by God:

    Rather, since our moral duties are determined by God’s commands, it is commanding someone to do something which, in the absence of a divine command, would have been murder. The act was morally obligatory for the Israeli soldiers in virtue of God’s command, even though, had they undertaken it on their on initiative, it would have been wrong.

    On divine command theory, then, God has the right to command an act, which, in the absence of a divine command, would have been sin, but which is now morally obligatory in virtue of that command.

    I have to say, that passage by WLC is one of the most amoral things I have ever read.

    Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....z2g75p4biA

  35. Well, I’ll charitably take that as a step, KN, but you’ve also forgotten the quote marks. One wonders why YOU need to point out it was rape if it is simply a point of fact. Hmmm?

  36. EL, perhaps your head needs more hitting. How is it that you’ve missed the obvious from the text(s) that have been quoted recently on your own blog, which you’ve parroted, and now your own offering which KN has had to point out to you (although not entirely without his own sickening eisegesis)? Perhaps you aren’t nearly as objective and reasonable and rational as you like to think yourself? Just . . . maybe???

  37. But I should add, EL, nice attempt @34 to change the subject quickly.

  38. Well, you have a point.

    No! He doesn’t. He has only a slightly smaller whopper than you.

  39. I honestly don’t know what you are talking about, Brent.

    You don’t agree with William Lane Craig that God commanded the Israelites to slaughter the Midianites, mothers, men and children, and leave only the virgin women? And to take them “for themselves”?

    I mean, I would agree with you, and I’d be delighted if you didn’t share WLC’s view.

    But it’s not a “whopper” – it’s an interpretation that at least one eminent Christian takes dead seriously.

  40. 40

    Well, I’ll charitably take that as a step, KN, but you’ve also forgotten the quote marks. One wonders why YOU need to point out it was rape if it is simply a point of fact. Hmmm?

    I don’t understand why you’re suggesting or implying here.

    If it’s, “why didn’t you correct the person on TSZ who made this claim?”, it’s because talking about what the Bible does or doesn’t say is of little interest to me, compared to all the things that do interest me. I just took the time to look up the passage Lizzie cited, that’s all.

    As for Kairosfocus’ claims

    Next ont eh subject of accusaitons of fraud, ther eis a difference between a specific case of academic dishonesty and saying blanket that somehting that is based on inductive scientific principles is a fraud in a context where this is throwing gasoline on a series of accusations that are based in a grotesque incitatory and slanderous conspiracy story.

    Whereas I’ve made it perfectly clear that I regard design theory as an intellectual fraud because it treats a speculative hypothesis — “perhaps intelligent design is responsible for specified complex information in living things” — as if it were empirically confirmed. It conflates the abductive stage of inquiry — the framing of a hypothesis — with the inductive stage of inquiry — where we look for empirical confirmation of the hypothesis. The fact that there’s empirical confirmation for the design inference in some domains (e.g. forensics, archeology) tell us nothing about whether it is empirically confirmed in some other domain (e.g. biology).

    I openly and freely hold on warrnt that evolutionary materialism is self refuting and amoral, I have shown it so.

    And I have argued that this is not so, because a naturalist can happily treat moral oughts as metalinguistic devices for discursively representing patterns of norm-governed relations in large-brained social animals.

    Hume is right only in that there is no way of logically deducing ought-claims from is-claims; that does not bar the naturalist from offering a causal explanation of how it came to be the case that there are animals that are governed by norms and which are able to discursively represent (thereby assess and evaluate) those norms in language.

    So it goes on — you make your claims, I make mine, on and on and on. The fact that you’ve offered your rebuttals of my views, and I’ve offered my rebuttals to your rebuttals, and you to mine and I to yours over and again, does not mean that you have not been refuted, still less does it mean that you have “shown” anything to be the case.

  41. EL @39. Good work. Surely no one will notice.

  42. I’m lost, Brent. I honestly don’t know what you are talking about.

    But I think I’m done arguing with KF over free-speech vs defamation. I’ve made my position clear, and as far as I am concerned, that’s the end of it.

    Need a gin and tonic.

  43. I just can’t believe you don’t understand, KN. I really mean it. There’s just no excuse for not seeing what I’m getting at. In the off chance that you are on heavy cold medication or something however, the point is that YOU had to supply the rape charge above, while the text, which you said you just read, doesn’t say anything about rape, or sexual slavery. Did the flying spaghetti monster tell you it was rape? Did you read the RDT Bible?

  44. Of course you don’t know, EL. You’ve changed the subject, never to go back to what you so embarrassingly did. You provided a Bible passage which was supposed to vindicate your stance that the Bible commands rape, but which passage says not a single word about rape. KN points out that, even if it did, it wasn’t God that commanded it. But of course, it doesn’t say anything about rape in any case.

    Your response??? “So . . . let’s talk about WLC’s amoral divine command theory”, which has nothing to do with rape. Hopefully people won’t notice and we can drag the rubes off on another rabbit trail of insinuation and outright lies.

  45. 45

    I just can’t believe you don’t understand, KN. I really mean it. There’s just no excuse for not seeing what I’m getting at. In the off chance that you are on heavy cold medication or something however, the point is that YOU had to supply the rape charge above, while the text, which you said you just read, doesn’t say anything about rape, or sexual slavery.

    Then you must have a very narrow understanding of “say”. In the verse in question (“But all the young girls who have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves”, Numbers 31:18), the phrase, “keep alive for yourselves” has the pragmatic implicature of sexual slavery. But presumably that is precisely what you wish to deny. Or perhaps you wish to deny that the ancient Israelites shared the ancient (and, indeed, modern and contemporary) practice of rape of enemy women (and men) as one of the spoils of war.

    I don’t see how it deniable, but OK, whatever you want. It’s no sweat off my back either way.

  46. EL, at this point you have made it quite plain that you are a willing enabler of slander, hate speech, conspiracy theories and kulturkampf, at your blog and elsewhere. You then tried a bit of turnabout accusation and Village atheist eisegesis to poison the atmosphere. All of this after it took a full year of prodding to get a half hearted response on a challenge to actually warrant your case. Game over. KF

  47. PS: And all of this is built on an attempt to twist my pointing the alternative of PS reverting to the old fashioned letters to the editor into a pretence that I advocate censorship, as though that is the only alternative to enabling the gross slander, hate speech and branding millions as ENEMIES OF HUMANITY.

  48. How about, ‘to marry’, or to keep as a ‘concubine’? It is an axiom of Christianity that we don’t just become virtuous by a simple choice to be so (least of all, in accordance with a code of morality of our own choosing).

    Consequently, concubinage – seemingly, a kind of permanent ‘droit de seigneur’, where royalty was concerned, was not considered to be slavery. Probably, privilege! I’m thinking of Esther.

    In fact, generally, slavery, itself, in biblical times was far less satanic than that imposed by European, putatively Christian countries and the Americas, 2000 years and more, later. However, it was not atheists, but Christians who put a stop to it.

    Instead, grace builds upon nature, by a slow process of repeated acts of the will, and this applies to cultures, as well as to individuals. It is a slow progression for both, although evidently for cultures, on a historical, much longer time-scale.

    As an example of this, it should be no matter for wonderment that, the Patriarch, Jacob, went with what he thought was a roadside prostitute,) but was actually, I believe, his grand-daughter, By his son, Judah).

    And so it goes; standards, formally at least improve over time. Today, with the rise of atheism in the West, there has been a recrudescence of slavery, most notably, sex-slavery. Indeed, more than at any time in history.

    But here, in the link, below, is the real story of how Christ raised the status of women in an unprecedented way, though we, his Christian followers have in some regards, tended to drag our feet. I’m thinking in particular that in the early fifties, I believe, women in the UK were still not permitted to have a cheque book! Ironical, when you consider they’ve probably budgeted for the family since the expulsion from Eden, and some male bank manages opined that they weren’t cut out to be bank managers!

    http://www.probe.org/site/c.fd....._Women.htm

  49. KF has closed down this thread:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-straight/

    And has added comments to some of my last posts there including this in comment 249:

    I have terminated this thread after dealing with a glitch, as a warning that we have here crossed a serious threshold and that rhetoric as usual and enabling as usual are not good enough.

    A warning. No mention of what glitch caused a problem.

    And this from KF’s added comment to my post 250:

    it seems you are choosing not to notice that we are now dealing with someone, EL, who is hosting a blog where — in an atmosphere of slanders and conspiracy stories taken as unquestionable fact — millions have been deemed “ENEMIES OF HUMANITY” without a peep of protest. And on being formally notified of same, we see a blithe business as usual, rhetorical attack as usual, enabling as usual mentality. This is not freedom of expression, it is enabling of slander and hate speech. Something YOU are secondarily enabling by trying to further spread a false accusation of censorship over difference of opinion. Hate speech and enabling thereof fall outside the pale of such freedom. You too need to take warning.

  50. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Well, I will not censor material on my site. I strongly believe that people have a right to say what they think, whether they are mistaken or not.

    To be fair, kf, you should inquire as to what Lizzie thinks “censorship” consists of.

    I agree with you that there are legal limits and I take care that those legal limits are not crossed, but in my view nothing on my site crosses those legal limits.

    See, she will censor if certain boundaries are crossed.

  51. Since it was brought up: “Numbers 31: Slaughter of all but the virgins, and sexual slavery for those.”

    The entire chapter deals with the Israelites waging war against the Midianites at God’s command. They were establishing themselves in the land promised to them.

    But I can’t find the quote EL uses. Verse 9 reads this way: “But the sons of Israel carried off the women of Mid?i·an and their little ones captive; and all their domestic animals and all their livestock and all their means of maintenance they plundered. ”

    Then, in later verses (16-19), it reads like this: “So Moses said to them: “Have YOU preserved alive every female? 16?Look! They are the ones who, by Ba?laam’s word, served to induce the sons of Israel to commit unfaithfulness toward Jehovah over the affair of Pe?or, so that the scourge came upon the assembly of Jehovah. 17?And now kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has had intercourse with man by lying with a male. 18?And preserve alive for yourselves all the little ones among the women who have not known the act of lying with a male.”

    Here is the context that was obviously omitted above. The nomadic Midianites were also worried, and so their older men (elders) consulted with the older men of the Moabites. The latter observed: “Now this congregation will lick up all our surroundings like the bull licking up the green growth of the field.” (Num. 22:4)

    Balak, the king of the Moabites, sought the help of Balaam, a man who lived in the distant town of Pethor, evidently in the upper Euphrates valley near Haran. Although not an Israelite, Balaam had some knowledge and recognition of Jehovah the true God. Balak and his Midianite allies sent a delegation to Balaam requesting him to come and curse the Israelites. They conveyed Balak’s plea: “Now do come, please; do curse this people for me, for they are mightier than I am. Perhaps I may be able to strike them and I may drive them out of the land; for I well know that the one whom you bless is a blessed one and the one whom you curse is cursed.” (Num. 22:6)

    After arriving in Moab, Balaam made three attempts to curse Israel, but each time Jehovah caused Balaam to pronounce a blessing. Understandably King Balak was furious. “It was to execrate my enemies that I called you, and, look! you have blessed them to the limit these three times.” (Num. 24:10) This further evidence of God’s displeasure over Balaam’s desire to curse Israel did not diminish Balaam’s greedy desire for the reward. He now reasoned with Balak and also with the Midianite rulers that if they could cause the Israelites to become disloyal to Jehovah, then Jehovah himself would curse them. Balaam suggested that they entice the Israelites into engaging in sex worship of Baal of Peor. (Num. 31:16) These people were pagan sex worshipers who engaged in licentious rites as part of their worship of Baal, including ceremonial prostitution.

    So Israel attached itself [or, Israel paired themselves off, AT; or, Israel yoked himself, RS] to the Baal of Peor; and the anger of Jehovah began to blaze against Israel. (Numbers 25:1-5) Those unfaithful Israelites had been dedicated to the only living and true God, but now they separated themselves from Him to devote or dedicate themselves to Baal. To bring out that disloyal act, the Jewish Publication Society Bible says: “They separated themselves unto the shameful thing.”

    God commanded the loyal Israelites to strike them down. “Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Let there be a harassing of the Midianites, and you men must strike them, because they are harassing you with their deeds of cunning that they committed against you cunningly in the affair of Peor and in the affair of Cozbi the daughter of a chieftain of Midian, their sister who was fatally struck in the day of the scourge over the affair of Peor.’” (Num. 25:16-18) The Midianite cities and walled camps in the area were consigned to the fire. Five kings of Midian, all the males, and every female who had had sexual intercourse, as well as Balaam, were put to death. (Num. 31:1-20)

  52. KN, I currently have a sexual slave of 18 years. She’s doing some laundry for the family right now. Shall I send pictures of the chains and shackles?

    If you can’t take a simple hint, how is it that anyone should take with a grain of salt what you say the Bible says. It’s pretty funny, really, because the Bible hasn’t much problem with mincing words.

    You should have stuck with the title “enabler” rather than “direct perpetrator”. But my suggestions to atheists are usually rejected on grounds of brain trauma being the likely result of asking them to think for a moment, and certain to result from asking them to be honest.

  53. Barb, I appreciate what you’ve taken the time to post, but I don’t recommend bothering. People have to want the truth before they are shown it. That’s why I just taunt; either they’ll shut up or be shamed to change.

  54. 54

    KN, I currently have a sexual slave of 18 years. She’s doing some laundry for the family right now. Shall I send pictures of the chains and shackles?

    No thanks, I can find my own pornography. But I’ll let you know if I need help.

    If you can’t take a simple hint, how is it that anyone should take with a grain of salt what you say the Bible says. It’s pretty funny, really, because the Bible hasn’t much problem with mincing words.

    At this point I worry that I’ve my thread as to what we’re talking about.

    You should have stuck with the title “enabler” rather than “direct perpetrator”. But my suggestions to atheists are usually rejected on grounds of brain trauma being the likely result of asking them to think for a moment, and certain to result from asking them to be honest.

    OK, now I’m certain that I’ve lost my thread as to what we’re talking about.

  55. Bible. Rape. Command. Ringing any bells yet?

  56. 56

    No, now I’m even more certain before that I’m lost. Is there a specific comment I’ve made that you’re objecting to? If so, which one? I’m not playing dumb — I really am dumb.

  57. Jerad: FYI, there was a technical glitch that was cleared up overnight, hence the delay between intent and action. WP can be a bear. And, I felt it necessary to make a clear statement that a threshold has been crossed. The attempt above to divert discussion to a village atheistical twisting of OT scriptures — apparently the objectors don’t seem to understand the antisemitic implications [and notice, Jews have not exactly been noted for "raping" captive females for a very long time] — instead of deal with the real issues on the table is truly revealing on motivation. Remember, the hook on which all of this has been hung is a point where I suggested that PS had an alternative of reverting to the old fashioned letters to the editor system, which was twisted into a false accusation of my advocating “censorship.” When was the last time you saw a newspaper that entertains letters to the editor but not free for all comments and trolling on its com boxes, attacked for “censorship”? And in the specific context of TSZ, the above attempt at a red herring led away to strawman caricatures soaked in ad hominems and set alight to cloud, confuse, distract, poison and polarise, tells me that there is indeed a willful refusal to listen to the point that the declarations that those you object to are enemies of humanity on grounds that pivot on grotesque conspiracy narratives and a silly notion that acknowledging that one’s worldview has a beginning point in first plausibles that are a faith point is an admission of irretrievable irrationality is a point where slander and defamation have entered. Slander and other forms of defamation and incitement to hate are not and have never been protected speech under freedom of expression. For good reason. KF

  58. PS: Moderated, edited letters to the editor are DIRECTLY comparable to a moderated comment system. Where, though this can be abused, neither would inherently be censorship, so the scarlet brand, C for censor, is revealed to be yet another case of well poisoning. And I am sure that no one is ignorant that not all letters submitted are published. Indeed, such letters are typically treated as in fact short articles, subject to editing for form and content. (I remember once being edited in Jamaica so that my actual term, “strawman” was replaced with “misrepresentation.” Close enough, I suppose, and less technical. And the letter I submitted on an updated view of von Mises’ thesis, tot he effect that economic systems were equivalent to computer processor architecture and that a system of distributed planing based on markets as communication networks was less likely to choke on info than a centralised one, while also being more robust against loss of function by processors, was never published to my knowledge. It of course proved to be a pretty good predictor of the breakup of marxism and its centrally planned economy theme in the early 1990′s. I think I went one step too far by using a technical analogy — especially distributed computer processing — to a newspaper that was going to be struggling with such. of course that was before the days of the widespread Internet.)

  59. If people don’t think that “keep alive for yourselves the virgins” doesn’t mean “keep alive for yourselves the virgins to have sex with”, fine.

    It seems to me the obvious reading.

    Alternatively if you think it does, and that Moses is not implied to be relaying God’s command in that passage, fine.

    However, at the very least, my reading seems to be a reasonable one, and William Lane Craig for one seems to agree that it is problematic.

    His solution to the problem, however, I find appalling.

    The much more obvious “solution” is that the passage is probably not an account of real events anyway, simply reflects actual practice, and was written, as most “histories” are by people who would like their version of events to be true and justified.

    But I would note, that quibbles about “for yourselves” aside, the passage is about genocide. Kill all the males and mothers, and introduce your own bloodline into the offspring of the remainder.

    And it appears to be mandated by the god that Christians are expected to worship.

  60. Axel:

    Instead, grace builds upon nature, by a slow process of repeated acts of the will, and this applies to cultures, as well as to individuals. It is a slow progression for both, although evidently for cultures, on a historical, much longer time-scale.

    I’m delighted to find myself for once in agreement with you.

    Nicely put.

  61. Thank you. Do you see the implications for your interpretation of rape in the context.

    I don’t know why KF is so annoyed by this ‘enemies of humanity’ thing. It is, or should be the exact mirror image of how we see you and your world-view. There is a spiritual war of a scarcely inconceivable scale, in which we are on opposite sides. To me, you are killers of mind and body, some of you, very urbane and charming, but all the more deadly for that.

    Either you are for Christ or against him. That commitment to him, may not be formal, but it must be actual; and atheists (as opposed to agnostics) are, by definition, not actually for Christ, as well as not formal followers of him, but against him and his people; atheist polemicists, all the more so.

  62. Jerad: FYI, there was a technical glitch that was cleared up overnight, hence the delay between intent and action. WP can be a bear.

    Ah, that clears up something I hadn’t quite understood.

    And, I felt it necessary to make a clear statement that a threshold has been crossed. The attempt above to divert discussion to a village atheistical twisting of OT scriptures

    And that clears up the reason for the closing of the thread. Since I’d been ignoring the scriptural discussion I was wondering, especially considering the comments you left in my posts.

    Remember, the hook on which all of this has been hung is a point where I suggested that PS had an alternative of reverting to the old fashioned letters to the editor system, which was twisted into a false accusation of my advocating “censorship.”

    I had also been generally staying out of that discussion topic.

    When was the last time you saw a newspaper that entertains letters to the editor but not free for all comments and trolling on its com boxes, attacked for “censorship”? And in the specific context of TSZ, the above attempt at a red herring led away to strawman caricatures soaked in ad hominems and set alight to cloud, confuse, distract, poison and polarise, tells me that there is indeed a willful refusal to listen to the point that the declarations that those you object to are enemies of humanity on grounds that pivot on grotesque conspiracy narratives and a silly notion that acknowledging that one’s worldview has a beginning point in first plausibles that are a faith point is an admission of irretrievable irrationality is a point where slander and defamation have entered.

    That second sentence is a real dosey. Meaning it’s long, not judging it’s content. It was your call and I’m glad you cleared up some of my mis-understandings.

  63. 63

    At risk of derailing a fascinating discussion about spiritual warfare, I found an interesting criticism of Popular Science‘s to close off its comments section: Are Internet Comments Really Bad for Science?

  64. I don’t know why KF is so annoyed by this ‘enemies of humanity’ thing. It is, or should be the exact mirror image of how we see you and your world-view. There is a spiritual war of a scarcely inconceivable scale, in which we are on opposite sides. To me, you are killers of mind and body, some of you, very urbane and charming, but all the more deadly for that.

    “[K]illers of mind and body.” What stops you from opening fire upon meetings of the American Atheists?

    Either you are for Christ or against him. That commitment to him, may not be formal, but it must be actual; and atheists (as opposed to agnostics) are, by definition, not actually for Christ, as well as not formal followers of him, but against him and his people; atheist polemicists, all the more so.

    I don’t understand why you think atheists are against “his people.”

  65. Ooops, mucked up the block quotes in 64 above. Again. The first paragraph is from Axel’s post number 61.

  66. EL,

    . . . and William Lane Craig for one seems to agree that it is problematic.

    WLC explained why it is not problematic. How could you have missed that? You were off by, oh, a mere 180 degrees.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH0c_rWkang

    And your previously linked:

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....z2g75p4biA

    Rape? Not mentioned once. It seems that is what you wanted to imply Dr. Craig was talking about, along with “genocide” (which you have kindly redefined along with rape so that you can bring the charges that you want. Sounds like something that was done to God’s Son, too).

    “What again could this astonishing thing be like which people were so anxious to contradict, that in doing so they did not mind contradicting themselves?”
    - G.K. Chesterton

    “They burned their own corn to set fire to the church; they smashed their own tools to smash it; any stick was good enough to beat it with, though it were the last stick of their own dismembered furniture.”
    - G.K. Chesterton

  67. Axel:

    Do you know the history of that accusation? Or the reality of the French Terror’s mad leadership?

    I would be very, very hesitant before calling anyone an enemy of mankind. That would require extraordinary evidence of the level of a mass murdering tyrant.

    And, I just simply will never accept that any large number of ordinary folks would be that. People are just not like that, not on any sustained basis in large numbers.

    A mad demonic coterie of terrorists and tyrants, yes. With serious proof of that enmity by willful, knowing mass murder. Nuremberg stuff. (Or Stalin, who got away without a trial here, but I am sure faces Higher Justice.)

    But, the FEAR of enmity of humanity targetting scapegoated groups has ever been the tool of the demonic propagandist and tyrant, who would stir a mass hysteria that so induces hate and blinding rage that we end up with kulturkampfs, pogroms, show trials, and worse. Of course, tenure committees can be a mild level form of this — especially with radicals baying for blood and uncorrected prejudices and slanders in play.

    In the case of Nero, the report was that he literally turned Christians into living torches in his garden parties; having slandered them as setting the fire of Rome of 64 AD. And, the net effect was to further sink him in the estimation of the people who had hitherto seen him as a bringer of prosperity.

    So, Axel, STOP.

    Think again.

    Yes, there are fever swamps out there, there is a movement that foolishly seeks to turn God into a figure of ridicule and loathing. There are nihilists who use the gateway provided by the amorality and radical relativism of evolutionary materialism to seize power that they wield unjustly and destructively.

    The ordinary man — and more particularly, his mother, wife, sister and daughter — just will not as a block go there.

    Though, the malicious and clever propagandist can induce persecution of a despised minority, even to death through triggering a hysteria. Also, a radical mob though a minority can intimidate especially a disarmed majority, and that goes in spades for secret police. And, once a prejudice is ingrained it can be hard to uproot. (Cf the overnight updates including the links to Yancey and Bergman on that. Some radical propagandists have some serious accounting to do.)

    Please think again and do better.

    KF

  68. Jerad @ 64:

    What stops you from opening fire upon meetings of the American Atheists?

    “Thou shalt not kill”, for one thing.

    And for another thing: Christ Jesus, while on earth, showed that his servants should not arm themselves for physical warfare, when saying to Peter: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Mt 26:52)

  69. Jerad, when you see the kind of hate speech and behaviour typified by what has been going on at and around TSZ (including above), the unjustified enmity and bigotry are plain. Wake up! KF

  70. Brent:

    Barb, I appreciate what you’ve taken the time to post, but I don’t recommend bothering. People have to want the truth before they are shown it. That’s why I just taunt; either they’ll shut up or be shamed to change.

    Yes, I know; “pearls before swine” and all that. However, I feel impelled to at least try to correct misconceptions when I see them online.

  71. EL:

    If people don’t think that “keep alive for yourselves the virgins” doesn’t mean “keep alive for yourselves the virgins to have sex with”, fine.

    It seems to me the obvious reading.

    Did you bother to read my post? You know, the one that explained your supposed biblical comment at #31 (or thereabouts)?

  72. Jerad, when you see the kind of hate speech and behaviour typified by what has been going on at and around TSZ (including above), the unjustified enmity and bigotry are plain. Wake up!

    I’m not very often that interested in what’s going on at TSZ. So I’ll decline your invitation to observe it. I’ve stopped reading your blog as well by the way. I also do not read PZ Meyers blog. I quite like Carl Zimmer. I do follow Evolution News and Views from The Discovery Institute and I’ve been listening to their podcast, ID The Future since 2008 or so. I do subscribe to The Panda’s Thumb, Why Evolution Is True (by Jerry Coyne and others) and . . . what’s it called . . . Larry Moran’s blog. But in those three cases I rarely read an entire blog post. I do check out (frequent contributor here) Joe’s blog, Intelligent Reasoning, but he seems to has disappeared over the last week or so. I sometimes read posts by Michael Egnor but not always.

    KF, you do realise that in my post 64 I didn’t get the blockquote right and the first paragraph is actually from a post by Axel? I think you do based on your comments to him but I just want to make sure that is clear.

  73. Well, it seems that BioLogos is now taking a leaf out of Pop. Science’s book – consciously. They cite that periodical as an influence on their own decision.

    As a regular contributor there, I can tell you conversations there are so mild they make this place look like Why Evolution is True. The real reason may be that hardly any of those who post, even supporters of theistic evolution, support BioLogos’ esoteric theology.

  74. BioLogos just sounds theological, doesn’t it?

    They should have named it Word of Life.

Leave a Reply