Intelligent Design the Future

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Not satisfied with having just the Media Complaints Division, the Discovery Institute has created a new blog, humbly entitled Intelligent Design the Future. Contributors to the blog include C(R)SC fellows like Dembski, Wells, and Behe. The purpose of the blog is to explore “issues central to the case for intelligent design, from the Big Bang to the bacterial flagellum and beyond.” I guess we’re supposed to get some insight into the “evidence” for intelligent design from this new blog. Not surprisingly, they don’t allow comments.

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Design Notions from Bearcastle Blog on April 1, 2005 1:05 PM

Two pieces from The Panda's Thumb converge on a single issue for me when it comes to "intelligent [so-called] design": In a posting on the Center (for the Renewal of) Science and Culture Media Complaints Division PR man Rob Crowther whines that a r... Read More

53 Comments

The website is beautifully -um- designed. Dembski’s article is sure to shake the methodological materialist foundation of science. Just how exactly he wants to do science instead, is not clear.

It is not a problem that the site does not allow for comments, the arguments are so silly, they speak against themselves.

People who want to comment can link to IDtheFuture threads (i.e., set up discussions at ARN, ISCID, here, or at their own blogs). When our blog was being set up, we looked at the rather messy and content-light comments sections of various blogs, and realized that no IDthefuture contributor was going to volunteer for the unspeakably dull task of babysitting – excuse me, “moderating” – the comments.

Paul, how can you claim that it would be too difficult to do if you have never tried it?

Given the “open discussion” rhetoric that often comes from the C(R)SC, I figure that y’all would be willing to put in the effort to allow readers to comment.

I tried it, as one of the original moderators of the ARN discussion board. I had to set aside 90 minutes or more daily to read threads and respond to complaints, pleas to be have posting privileges restored, you name it. Tee-dee-ous. Anyone who has ever worked as a moderator knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Look, we debated the issue of comments or no-comments extensively, knowing that a no-comments policy would draw instant criticism, as it has. ;-) But given the choice of no blog versus a blog with no comments, we opted for the latter, hoping that the quality of the posts would draw readers anyway. I’ve got posts in draft form about Sahotra Sarkar’s recent lectures on ID at the University of Chicago, irreducible complexity in the literature 10 years before Darwin’s Black Box, Simon Conway Morris’s recent thinking on ID, and so on. Good stuff. The community of people who care about ID, pro and con, is small enough that we all know where to go to have a chin-wag, if that’s what we crave. Like here, for instance.

But you can be sure I’m glad I don’t have to read all the comments here to look for craziness and offensive material.

Nelson Wrote:

I tried it, as one of the original moderators of the ARN discussion board. I had to set aside 90 minutes or more daily to read threads and respond to complaints, pleas to be have posting privileges restored, you name it. Tee-dee-ous. Anyone who has ever worked as a moderator knows exactly what I’m talking about.

I have moderated on IIDB for several years. My experience with comments on weblogs has been entirely different than my experience with threads on webboards.

Now – here’s an inadvertant example of what I’m saying. I just double-posted accidentally and need to plead with someone to delete the first of the posts (I took the opportunity to correct a typo and add an emphasis). Sorry!

And I’m ignoring your plea. See how not hard that was.

God forbid that Paul Nelson has yet more distractions, like moderating and contributing to a blog, that would delay publication of his masterpiece, On Common Descent. How’s that coming, Paul? Or perhaps we should ask the ID theorists who are citing it?

God forbid that Paul Nelson has yet more distractions, like moderating and contributing to a blog, that would delay publication of his masterpiece, On Common Descent. How’s that coming, Paul? Or perhaps we should ask the ID theorists who are citing it?

Friends such as Bill Dembski cited an early draft of On Common Descent, which I also sent to the NY Times science writer Jim Glanz. I withdrew that MS as incorrect. I’ve asked those who’ve read it not to cite it further until the monograph is actually published.

I have to satisfy myself, before anyone else, such as my editor Leigh Van Valen, that I’ve done the best job I can with understanding the theory – universal common descent – more deeply embedded than any other in the thinking of evolutionary biologists. I have one chance to get this right. Once I’m satisfied, I’ll submit the MS to Van Valen. Hell can freeze over until then for all I care.

I’ve never met Paul Nelson but heard that he is a nice guy. Perhaps he is and I have no problem admitting it if he is. However, his assertion that their new blog contains good stuff makes one pause. This new blog with its so “modest” title opens with a post from Dembski wherein the Isaac Newton of information theory maintains that opponents of ID do not address the essence of ID advocates arguments but only discuss its meeting the definition of science. Really? Does Dembski count on the abject ignorance of his readers, pretending that there is no such books, as, for example Why Intelligent Design Fails where 13 practicing scientists analyze in minute detail the arguments of ID advocates (including Dembski) from the standpoints of their respective expertise? To my knowledge, Dembski is well aware of that anthology, but has never addressed any of the arguments suggested there. Likewise, he never responded to the detailed critique of his “ideas” suggested in many other publications, such as books by Niall Shanks, by myself, papers by Elsberry & Shallit, and multiple posts on TalkDesign, TalkReason, etc, etc, etc…

Of course, anybody familiar with Dembski’s habits is hardly surprised by his post with its ridiculous assertions about the lack of substantial critique of ID, as it is just a mild case compared with many other tricks employed by this great mathematician-philosopher-theologian etc, etc, etc (just recall his post to Amazon wherein he anonymously praised his own book as allegedly an unbiased reviewer). In view of that, Nelson’s statement about “good stuff” on their new blog sounds rather amusing. Perhaps he is a nice guy to join in a beer, but hardly a very reliable source of substantial information.

I deleted your duplicated comment for you Paul.

PS: Comments are tough. We’ve more or less gone with minimal moderation here at PT – sometimes comments are well-reasoned and insightful, sometimes not. Having a login and a spam filter might fit the bill for you guys to minimize the trolling.

Paul, no doubt Dembski was merely jumping the gun when he “challenged” critics to read your manuscript. I am sorry to hear that you have not since overcome your own standards with regards to understanding common descent. Perhaps you have tried discussing your conceptual difficulties with evolutionary biologists? Oh, perhaps even on a blog?

Posts about cosmology/probability move to the bathroom wall.

Reed,

Sorry, I didn’t see your request until after I posted. I’ll cease and desist, so the discussion about why blogs should have comments can continue.

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Would someone please explain to me what happened to Prof. Davison’s post about Leo Berg?

If this “editing” was done by one of the board administrators, I find it utterly inexplicable.

Paul Nelson

Thank you. I spent a lot of time preparing that post.

John A. davison

Paul, The post on Berg was “disenvoweled” as they say. John Davidson always posts about his “interesting” alternative to evolution no matter what the topic, which is irksome to some. Personally, I find these quite amusing. Since he always says the same thing, if I don’t feel like being amused, I’ll just skip it. I think this choice is better left to the readers.

If this “editing” was done by one of the board administrators, I find it utterly inexplicable.

Not half as inexplicable as Davison’s continued and tiresome assertions. Please invite him over to ISCID, a far more appropriate website for a person of Davison’s intellect, I would say.

The post on Berg was “disenvoweled” as they say.

Yes, that’s obvious.

And this action was justified how, exactly?

May I expect my posts here to receive similar treatment if or when the board administrators have grown tired of me?

Since he always says the same thing, if I don’t feel like being amused, I’ll just skip it. I think this choice is better left to the readers.

I like the idea of a little button next to a person’s name, which when activated, would put the person on an individual’s blacklist, so that person’s posts didn’t display anymore on the individual’s machine. PT administrators would be relieved of the burden of moderating, and each reader could have the site automoderated to his wishes, in a sense. Such software might not exist, though. And I suspect that some PTers believe the entire purpose of the blog is to try to talk sense into trolls, so it might not be implemented if it did exist.

Actually, if anyone had been following Panda’s blog, he’d know where to find any uncensored duplicates of Davison’s mindless spam – on the bathroom wall:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archi[…]/000902.html

From the PT “Comments Integrity” page:

As far as possible, the integrity of comments will be respected […]

Nothing in Prof. Davison’s post about Leo Berg was offensive in the least. The “editing” of his post represents contemptible intellectual vandalism.

Whoever butchered the post should restore the original version immediately, and apologize to Prof. Davison.

If PT administrators just made two permanent comment sections alongside the Bathroom, off-topic posts to other sections would be drastically reduced. Those two sections would be

1 John A Davidson’s Evolutionary Notions

2 Dave Heddle Stat Chat –“Just like regular statistics, but with no distributions”

Paul, how about you get the DI to enable comments on their blogs before you complain about how we manage comments here? Agreed?

Davison’s comment was disemvoweled because he was trolling.

Comment #23014

Posted by Paul A. Nelson on April 2, 2005 07:32 PM

Nothing in Prof. Davison’s post about Leo Berg was offensive in the least. The “editing” of his post represents contemptible intellectual vandalism.

Whoever butchered the post should restore the original version immediately, and apologize to Prof. Davison.

Fellow distinguished ID Theorist, we shouldn’t be surprised at this. Evilutionists are, we both know, not able to sustain their atheistic naturalism anymore without resorting to censorship and other despicable tactics.

Timmy “The Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar of Complexity Theory”

Davison’s comment was disemvoweled because he was trolling.

Defined how?

The topic of universal common descent came up earlier in this thread. Leo Berg, a distinguished Russian zoologist (mentor of Dobzhansky), rejected common descent in favor of polphyly. His book, Nomogenesis, is published by MIT, with an introduction by Dobzhansky.

Davison’s comments about Berg were apropos to the topic of common descent, already discussed by several contributors in this thread.

That’s not “trolling” even by the most liberal definition of the term.

You guys butchered Davison’s post because (1) you don’t like him, and (2) you had the power to do so.

Restore his post. And apologize.

Davison’s comment was disemvoweled because he was trolling.

Defined how?

The topic of universal common descent came up earlier in this thread. Leo Berg, a distinguished Russian zoologist (mentor of Dobzhansky), rejected common descent in favor of polphyly. His book, Nomogenesis, is published by MIT Press, with an introduction by Dobzhansky.

Davison’s comments about Berg were apropos to the topic of common descent, already discussed by several contributors in this thread.

That’s not “trolling” even by the most liberal definition of the term.

You guys butchered Davison’s post because (1) you don’t like him, and (2) you had the power to do so.

Restore his post. And apologize.

By the way Dr. Paul, I really look forward to your Ontogenetic Depth theory. Although CSI and IC have already destroyed Darwinism, I’m sure it will still be a valuable contrtibution.

Keep up the good work! Timmy

No, Davison’s post was butchered because (1) He hates us, and (2) he abused his power to spam. Davison should apologize to us.

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Paul A. Nelson Wrote:

You guys butchered Davison’s post because (1) you don’t like him, and (2) you had the power to do so.

Davison has admitted that his sole reason for participating here is to cause upset and irritation. Were it up to me, which to general rejoicing is not the case, his posts would not appear at all, in any form, from any origin, at any time.

No, I think the rest of the comment integrity page, which you conveniently cut off in your quote mine, explains the ground rules fairly well. Or put another way:

We reserve the right to vandalize the comments of people who show little respect for the board, its participants, and its rules.

Maybe Davison would feel more welcome continuing his discussion on Berg with you at ARN. Or, if you feel Davison has such an important contribution to Common Descent, you would allow him a chapter in your upcoming book. No? Then, I’ve got a great idea. Allow Davison to contribute to IDtheFuture. One look at our bathroom wall should give you incentive to the same caliber contributions he could make to your blog.

Nelson:

Restore his post. And apologize.

How the blog owners choose to deal with Davison is really up to them. I don’t know how much you follow this blog, but plenty of people “we” don’t like regularly post comments that are left intact. Davison is extremely repetitious, gratuitously insulting, has admitted - nay, boasted - that he’s here neither to learn nor to teach, but to annoy. Personally, I don’t care one way or the other; I generally just skip his comments. But what, pray tell, gives you the right to use the imperative mood here?

Nelson Wrote:

So add a line to your Comments Integrity page:

We reserve the right to vandalize the comments of people we don’t like.

Davison has been warned more than once. Why not invite him over to ISCID if you believe his comments have any merrits. Davison is unwilling to present his arguments, spams with random quotes and references.

Of course ISCID’s comment and contribution policies as well as ARN’s tend to be quite restrictive, where dissenting opinions are at the mercy of the moderators and people are banned for trivial infractions. PT has an open comment policy, which most ID blogs seem to shy away from for obvious reasons, but occasionally this policy is abused and people are given warnings or are being banned. Davison’s consistent trolling on these boards becomes tiresome after a while.

You should read his comments and marvel at the depth of his arguments. darwimpians… hypocrites… well, you quickly understand the history of Nosivad, of which you may be likely unaware.

Ban Professor Davison if he violated the blog rules. That would be the proper course of action.

But “rules” of any sort are a transparent sham if the board administrators anonymously vandalize posts at their own whim. I note that “No, Paul” and “Where’s Berg?” shows the courage of every abject coward by continuing his anonymous justification for the actions taken here today.

I’ve been trying to reach Wesley Elsberry by telephone to see if he stands by what has been done in this thread. I know Wesley pretty well, and I think the answer will be No.

Like Weinreich posing as Julie Thomas and Mike Gene? That kind of cowardice, Paul? Or perhaps you posing as Principle of Least Action on ARN? Or Michael Behe posting as Irish? Or Philip Johnson posting as Arm at the site *you* moderate?

LOL, hypocrisy at its finest.

By the way I am not an administrator of this board. Rather than deflect the issue, why don’t you lead by example. Make Davison a regular contributor of IDtheFuture. Or does Davison shame your movement?

How dare you PT admins do that. At least J.A.D. was honest. It’s not like he praised his own book anonymously on Amazon, or something.

Whoever butchered the post should restore the original version immediately, and apologize to Prof. Davison.

Wha.…? Too funny.

Paul “Nice Guy” Nelson turns out to be Paul “Because I Say So” Nelson. What a surprise …

The real question is why is Paul Nelson is interested in defending a washed up “entertainer” who peaked on That’s Incredible and managed to make Hollywood Squares boring on his way down.

Maybe Nelson is interested in getting his paws on those Cathy Lee Crosby photos and figures he can cozy up to Davidson here on Panda’s Thumb. Who can tell?

Frankly, I think it’s great that Paul is on the record as demanding that “Doctor” Davison’s “views” be heard, because the doctor is one of the most extraordinarily mundane cranks that ever walked the planet.

Posting as myself, I join Paul Nelson in being appalled at the editing of posts. Especially when the victim of this editing has no ability to repair the damage. I have no problems at all with declaring certain people to be engaging in spamming, denial of service, or other pointless irritation and removing their eligibility to continue this behavior. But please, do not alter what someone is permitted to post. It’s far more chilling to honest participation to know someone might post idiocy under your name, than to know someone might rescind your posting privileges.

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What’s your problem? PT doesn’t permit dissent? They do so much more than your guys. PT links to DI critiques, you don’t link to PT critiques. Let’s talk about something substantive.

Why don’t you guys have a theory yet? It’s been over a decade. Does the DI maintain that ID is scientific? Are you doing experiments to verify predictions ID makes which evolution doesn’t? That would be necessary to have a real science. Is it true that Dembski said he’s become disenfranchised with the mathematical approach? Pray tell why? Will it concern you if the Wedge Document gets introduced in the Dover case? When ID is found to be creationism 2.0, and therefore unfit for science classes under the Establishment Clause, what will you guys change the name to this time? Do you have one picked out already, or will you all switch to advocating private/home schooling?

Why Timmy, odd of you to say those things. Did you forget to check your name or something?

Mr Scot, Hacking websites is a federal offence. Enjoy your stay in Leavenworth.

Joe, we can only hope Dave is as good at Computar Haxoring as he is at biology.

DaveScot,

You orbit Dr. Davison like a cold, lonely, little moon.

Though he won’t admit it here, I’m certain that part of him is actually embarrassed by your attention. Did you actually think that you would be doing Davison a favor by associating him with your dull, impotent rage?

DaveScot has been disemvoweled and banned for threatening to hack this site.

Paul Nelson Wrote:

Ban Professor Davison if he violated the blog rules. That would be the proper course of action.

This has been proposed and may likely be the course of action. Of course, as Davison said, this ban will last until he gets an new IP address…

PN Wrote:

But “rules” of any sort are a transparent sham if the board administrators anonymously vandalize posts at their own whim. I note that “No, Paul” and “Where’s Berg?” shows the courage of every abject coward by continuing his anonymous justification for the actions taken here today.

I’ve been trying to reach Wesley Elsberry by telephone to see if he stands by what has been done in this thread. I know Wesley pretty well, and I think the answer will be No.

You may find out that you are wrong. Those who start a thread get to control who can contribute and who cannot. If, as in the case of Davison, he has shown a continued disruption of the threads, then disemvowelation or dumping to the bathroom thread are quite appropriate, and in some case it may even deserve deletion. JAD has been clear about his motives. Why not familiarize yourself with the facts before jumping to conclusions? You explain the delay of your publication due to the need to get things right, why not apply the same rules to your postings here? Or at least show some attempt to apply them. If you believe Davison has something to contribute then there are several pro-ID blogs where you could invite his contributions. Yet, so far most pro-ID blogs and websites have chosen to ignore him. At least scientific sites have given him more leeway than many of the pro-ID websites. Please adopt him, you could not do us and ID a better favor :-)

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Donald M

eing a participant on both ARN and ISCID, I find your accusation baseless and without merit. The moderators on both boards have always been fair, and very patient.

Fair and very patient, eh? Is ARN going to trademark that phrase?

The only point of moderating a creationist web site is to protect the liars from being taken to the woodshed for their lying bullcrap.

The point of moderating the Panda’s Thumb is to encourage habitually dissembling creationist apologists and cranks to save their garbage for websites like ARN and www.sasquatchboylove.com.

Oh, and you shouldn’t call people “media whores” or “morons” and rip new orifices for every deserving Discovery Institute charlatan, but you can suggest on a bi-weekly basis that trolls evacuate their bowels – using 4-letter words, – even as long as you are an ordained minister. But everyone knows that already. ;)

This thread has turned into a foodfight, I vote we close it. Paul, Davison was miles off-topic (the topic of the “thread” was the “Intelligent Design the Future” blog), in addition to being repetitive of a million other Davison screeds/spam on the PT blog. The man is like a broken record. Given that the full comment was dutifully cross-posted over on the ever-popular Bathroom Wall, and apparently warnings and disemvoweling have been going on for some time before this thread, the oh-so-horrible fate of disemvoweling Davison experienced in this thread was neither cruel nor unusual.

[PS: On the generic topic of ups and downs of comments on blogs: If it were up to me, if I had unlimited time, and if I had any idea how to program a blog, I would require a login for all commentators (this is why UBB discussions tend to work better than blogs), and ban anyone who was unable to be well-reasoned and insightful. I think logins are what makes UBBs better regulated – people have a “reputation” to keep rather than just continually changing names. As it is, I doubt PT could be easily re-engineered to have a login for comments. And obviously a lot of people like making comments on PT under the current system, even if we only have time to read a small fraction of them, let alone police them in anything other than a scattershot fashion.]

Donald M

eing a participant on both ARN and ISCID, I find your accusation baseless and without merit. The moderators on both boards have always been fair, and very patient.

Fair and very patient, eh? Is ARN going to trademark that phrase?

The only point of moderating a creationist web site is to protect the liars from being taken to the woodshed for their lying bullcrap.

The point of moderating the Panda’s Thumb is to encourage habitually dissembling creationist apologists and cranks to save their garbage for websites like ARN and www.sasquatchboylove.com.

Oh, and you shouldn’t call people “media whores” or “morons” and rip new orifices for every deserving Discovery Institute charlatan, but you can suggest on a bi-weekly basis that trolls evacuate their bowels – using 4-letter words, even – as long as you are an ordained minister. But everyone knows that already. ;)

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on April 1, 2005 6:29 AM.

I recant! ID works was the previous entry in this blog.

Yes, Neandertals played bagpipes with their noses is the next entry in this blog.

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