Darwinbots and the Smithsonian ‘controversy’

| 21 Comments

Denyse O’Leary reports on the Smithsonian statement

O'Leary on ASA Wrote:

O’Leary assails Darwinbots.

Read more at O’Leary’s Web log.

The irony of Denyse’s comments has not escaped the ASA participants

Michael Roberts observes

Congratulations to Denyse for scoring an own goal. If she had not hyped up the whole story these so-called Darwinbots never would have known.

I responded as follows (slightly edited, the original can be found here):

This may seem somewhat ironic as it was Denyse’s blog which suggested that the SI was ‘warming up’ to ID based upon incomplete research as to the nature of the showing of Privileged Planet.

Her posting raised the stakes, so to speak and the DI had to distantiate itself from suggesting that the SI’s sponsorship of the showing implied support for ID. Predictably, Denyse considers DarwinBots to be responsible for SI’s ‘change of heart’.

In her blog Denyse still suggests that there is a genuine scientific controversy over evolution

Denyse Wrote:

“falsely insisting there’s a genuine scientific controversy over evolution?” There is indeed a genuine scientific controversy over evolution and,

Denyse may be unfamiliar with Richard Colling

Prof. Richard Colling Wrote:

In his new book, “Random Designer,” he writes: “It pains me to suggest that my religious brothers are telling falsehoods” when they say evolutionary theory is “in crisis” and claim that there is widespread skepticism about it among scientists. “Such statements are blatantly untrue,” he argues; “evolution has stood the test of time and considerable scrutiny. [1]”

(Sharon Begley in Tough Assignment: Teaching Evolution To Fundamentalists, Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2004; Page A15 )

One may wonder who is the real ‘bot’ ? There are some controversies within evolutionary theory as to the details, as with any good science. That the ID movement is abusing these controversies to create gaps for their God to hide in, is further evidence that it is not only scientifically vacuous but theologically risky. ID’s mantra has become “teach the controversy”. But it seems the controversy in evolution, like the controversy with the Smithsonian, might be one of their own creation.

My thanks to Denyse for creating this controversy and giving the Smithsonian Institute time to adequately respond before the showing.

Denyse may hold ‘darwinbots’ responsible but ironically it may have been her own blog postings which triggered this ‘controversy’. Denyse’s own comments suggested that the SI was ‘warming up to ID’.

When concerned scientists and reporters contacted the Smithsonian for clarifications, the rest of the story was quickly revealed. Now somehow, Darwinbots are responsible for creating a controversy and ‘assailing’ the Smithsonian?…

Really Denyse…

21 Comments

I think Denyse’s comments on May 28 best sum it up.

Not bad for a beginner.

Summary in 4 lines:

  • Trust me. I’m a journalist.
  • Mainstream scientists don’t ask important questions.
  • There really, really, really is a scientific controversy.
  • Buy my book.

Yeh, she did get just a little obvious.

kdn

At least she has enough integrity to allow comments onto her blog by non-yes men or at all, unlike many other ID proponents. So you have to at least give her some props for that.

Nothing else though :p

Denyse O’Leary Professional credentials: Occupation: writer Astrological Sign: Aries Zodiac Year: Tiger This says it all

Her generous peppering of the derogatory term “‘bot” in her articles hardly qualifies her as a level-headed spokesperson for ID (if there is such a thing). I find “reactionary” to be a far better suiting moniker.

Here is Denyse on the subject on the uncensored ASAsite

“As far as I am concerned, American Darwinists are as dumb as a bag of hammers. Or, as we say here in Toronto, Canada, “smart like streetcars.” By assailing the Smithsonian in droves over the showing of an inspiring film, which the vast majority of them have NEVER SEEN, which suggests that there is meaning and purpose in the universe (well, hello!), they have managed to create a situation where the Smithsonian must now screen the film for free. “ - Denyse O’Leary, Toronto

[…] which the vast majority of them have NEVER SEEN […]

Interestingly, ID advocates daily go about ignoring scientific research or claiming that it doesn’t exist, the vast majority of which they also “have NEVER SEEN”.

Doesn’t seem to give them the least pause, does it?

posted by Thrifty:

Denyse O’Leary

Professional credentials: Occupation: writer Astrological Sign: Aries Zodiac Year: Tiger

This says it all.

I’m afraid it does. Good help is hard to find, especially for DI.

Have they ever disavowed a fellow-traveller?

kdn

I happen to like better what was reported in WaPo this morning over the trial balloon floated yesterday. By allowing the movie to be shown for free, DI can’t claim martyrdom nor the warming of the Smithsonian. They just get a free party for the IDbots. The Amazing Randi is probably still upset but it appeals to moderates like myself.

A sad note to other Christians: If evolutionists are only a bunch of atheists, how come they showed up our integrity? Hmm?

Wesley R. Elsberry Wrote:

Interestingly, ID advocates daily go about ignoring scientific research or claiming that it doesn’t exist, the vast majority of which they also “have NEVER SEEN”.

Interesting you should claim that. It wasn’t IDer’s who got so upset about seeing an article by Steve Meyer in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washingtonand a peer reviewed one at that. You keep intolerance alive!

BTW, it’s interesting how people as “enlightened” as yourselves can’t bother to get your opponent’s position right: as she’s written repeatedly on her blog, Denyse isn’t a proponent of ID. One can see problems in Darwinism without promoting ID, but merely being sympathetic to its censorship by “open-minded” people like yourselves.

MJ

It wasn’t IDer’s who got so upset about seeing an article by Steve Meyer in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington—and a peer reviewed one at that.

Shepherded through by the house ID-sympathizer. And yes, ID(C)ers weren’t upset by a rehash of creationist claptrap appearing in a purportedly scientific journal, it was scientists and all those who prefer science to a doltish existence.

BTW, it’s interesting how people as “enlightened” as yourselves can’t bother to get your opponent’s position right: as she’s written repeatedly on her blog, Denyse isn’t a proponent of ID.

Judging by the Amazon reviews, your statement is about as honest as I’ve found ID(C)er statements generally to be. No, I’m not going to buy her book, and have to hope that the reviewers get it right. Here’s what was said on Amazon:

In all of these questions O’Leary shows that an honest investigation of the facts proves Intelligent Design is a more reasonable conclusion than evolution. She explains how Intelligent Design ‘out-evidences’ other ideas on the origin of the universe.

She may not be honest on her blog, for all I know, and might claim that she was simply forced into the conclusion in her book, but if the reviewer on Amazon got it right she is indeed an ID proponent in the usual sense of the word. Since the egregious Johnson and Wells both praise her book as even-handed the evidence would be that the reviewer I quoted got it right (aside from “honest investigation”).

One can see problems in Darwinism without promoting ID, but merely being sympathetic to its censorship by “open-minded” people like yourselves.

Ooh, good sentence. I see that you write about as well as you discuss science.

It wasn’t IDer’s who got so upset about seeing an article by Steve Meyer in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington—and a peer reviewed one at that.

Shepherded through by the house ID-sympathizer. And yes, ID(C)ers weren’t upset by a rehash of creationist claptrap appearing in a purportedly scientific journal, it was scientists and all those who prefer science to a doltish existence.

BTW, it’s interesting how people as “enlightened” as yourselves can’t bother to get your opponent’s position right: as she’s written repeatedly on her blog, Denyse isn’t a proponent of ID.

Judging by the Amazon reviews, your statement is about as honest as I’ve found ID(C)er statements generally to be. No, I’m not going to buy her book, and have to hope that the reviewers got it right. Here’s what was said on Amazon:

In all of these questions O’Leary shows that an honest investigation of the facts proves Intelligent Design is a more reasonable conclusion than evolution. She explains how Intelligent Design ‘out-evidences’ other ideas on the origin of the universe.

She may not be honest on her blog, for all I know, so might claim that she was simply forced into the conclusion in her book. But if the reviewer on Amazon got it right she is indeed an ID proponent in the usual sense of the word. Since the egregious Johnson and Wells both praise her book as even-handed, the evidence would be that the reviewer I quoted got it right (aside from “honest investigation”).

One can see problems in Darwinism without promoting ID, but merely being sympathetic to its censorship by “open-minded” people like yourselves.

Ooh, good sentence. I see that you write about as well as you discuss science.

That would be the paper published in the journal that never publishes papers of that nature that happened to be published when a certain someone was editor? That paper?

Meta-Jester Wrote:

Interesting you should claim that. It wasn’t IDer’s who got so upset about seeing an article by Steve Meyer in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington—and a peer reviewed one at that. You keep intolerance alive!

Oh, yes, Meyer’s Hopeless Monster, as we call it around here. The paper that did itself deny the existence of whole fields of scientific research, much of which I am sure Meyer “has NEVER SEEN”. The alternative, that Meyer did see that literature, would necessitate that he lied about it in the paper. The paper that was in substantial part cribbed from earlier versions of the essay. A shining moment for ID “scholarship”, I’m sure.

It’s amazing how loose some people’s standards are when considering ID argumentation and how quick those same people can be to yell “Fraud!” concerning scientific research. It’s a curious form of “tolerance” that gets promoted.

Meta-Jester Wrote:

BTW, it’s interesting how people as “enlightened” as yourselves can’t bother to get your opponent’s position right: as she’s written repeatedly on her blog, Denyse isn’t a proponent of ID.

Golly, what irony. I didn’t say that Denyse was an ID advocate, did I? Who is it that can’t be bothered to get the opponent’s position right here?

And yet by Michael Behe’s “duck” argument, it looks like someone (Davidson, above) can put together a pretty compelling argument along those lines.

We are supposed to distinguish between YEC and biological and cosmological ID and post-Darwinism. Denyse’s own position makes even less than normal. She isn’t sure that Behe’s right but she is pretty sure that Darwin’s wrong. On what basis she is sure that Darwin is wrong I don’t know. On the other hand, the range of opinion within Darwinism from Dawkins to Gould to (Keith or Kevin) Miller is all conflated together.

There are two alliances. What is the constitution of said alliances. There is a sub-group that will help us out. This group is the people who are Christians, believe in design, and believe in Darwinism. Time for a multi-variable analysis to see how the alliances are truly arranged.

1. Christian vs. non-Christian or theist vs. atheist. Christians and theists belong to both groups. Bzzt.

2. Pro-design vs. anti-design. Some design advocates are Darwinists. Bzzt.

3. Pro-Darwinist vs. Anti-Darwinist. Ding ding ding. We have a winner. Sorry Denyse what binds your alliance together is not Christianity, not design, but opposition to Darwinism. It doesn’t matter that a particular argument may not be anti-Darwinist, their political alliances betray them.

My analysis above explains why the ASA was “left behind”. Being Christian and pro-design wasn’t good enough. It had to be anti-Darwinist.

“It’s a curious form of “tolerance” that gets promoted.”

curious? more like repellant.

It wasn’t IDer’s who got so upset about seeing an article by Steve Meyer in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington—and a peer reviewed one at that.

That would be the one that was a re-write of twenty-year-old ICR arguments about the “Cambrian explosion”, and was later withdrawn because it was bullshit.

Right?

It wasn’t IDer’s who got so upset about seeing an article by Steve Meyer in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington—and a peer reviewed one at that.

Was that the paper that was published without an abstract? Was that the paper that circumvented the standard review process at the Proceedings such that none of the board members were aware of it until it had gone to print? Was that the paper that has no documentation on its peer review? Was that the paper about which the editor was also on the editorial board of a creationist study group?

That paper? The one retracted by the Proceedings in which it was printed?

That paper? The one that the former-editor of the Proceedings sneaked into publication?

That paper? The one describing NO original research (well, of course not, it’s about “intelligent design” creationism!).

Oh, yeah, THAT paper.

Never heard of it.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on June 1, 2005 8:38 PM.

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