The Seguin Gazette-Enterprise, My Foot, and My Mouth

| 65 Comments

Here’s the latest update in the continuing saga of UT Professor Eric Pianka, and the articles from the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise.

I got up early this morning, and made several phone calls to try and get to the bottom of why all mention of Pianka had been expunged from the paper. Bottom line: big misunderstanding, and the articles are now back online. It had absolutely nothing to do with the paper trying to dodge responsibility for its actions, or the paper not standing behind the articles, or any of the other possibilities that I had thought were likely. It appears that I didn’t have the full story, and jumped to some conclusions in the earlier articles that were not entirely justified.

Read More (at The Questionable Authority):

65 Comments

So, Mike, when does your other post disappear? :)

Wow. It’s still kind of strange though. So, are they going to print retractions? Endorsements? Prove their story? Give more info? It seems that they have earned a small level of noteriety over this. How are they planning on exploiting it?

DaveScot is wrong again:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/inde[…]rchives/1020

Everyone was wondering why the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise pulled all the Pianka stories.

Well, none of us guessed and in hindsight it was rather obvious. At least it should have been obvious for me. The traffic generated by the stories was overwhelming the Gazette’s server. As of this minute two followup Pianka stories that weren’t linked by Drudge et al are back online. Forrest Mims explains it here.

Well, that makes more sense than what I thought they had done. I thought they updated the articles but they are just the same as the ones before. The april 2nd article is still missing in action however.

The latest article from the The Seguin Gazette-Enterprise now includes a charge from Pianka claiming “The man is rabid,” Pianka said, describing Mims — the man he calls an avowed enemy. “He has a warped world view.” Additionally, Mims latest comments do not include his original charges.

Something still smells and it’s not rotting fish.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Apparently, the company had directed that the transcript and the audio recording from the speech be removed because both were at least partially incomplete. That was apparently misunderstood, with the result being that all of the materials were removed.

hmm, are you sure you’re not still getting a polite run-around there, Mike?

I’m sorry, but that’s about the lamest excuse from an editing department I’ve ever heard.

Moreover, it doesn’t explain why ALL references to Mims, Pianka, and even the likely response letters in the opnion section were removed so completely.

simply clerical error?

I remain dubious.

I like your public stance tho. Serves as a model for decency that one could only hope Mims himself would learn from.

It appears that I didn’t have the full story, and jumped to some conclusions in the earlier articles that were not entirely justified.

These, by the way, are words that I’ve never ever heard an ID/creationist manage to choke past their lips.

Sort of like “My religious opinions aren’t any more authoritative than anyone else’s”.

I’m not sure if that wasn’t there before. I had thought they edited it at first but that turned out to be mistaken when I looked for the google cache. Mind I didn’t do a very comprehensive analysis just enough to realise they hadn’t been extensively updated as I first thought.

Instead, the article discussed in the post on QA is now pretty much just gone. They haven’t replaced it yet, although that could just be an oversight given the new story.

Moreover, it doesn’t explain why ALL references to Mims, Pianka, and even the likely response letters in the opnion section were removed so completely.

I think it’s fair enough actually. Given the hugely antagonistic nature of the story and the resulting viscious firestorm, it would be easy to misinterpret a command to take down the incomplete transcript articles as ‘remove everything’. It doesn’t explain why the April 2nd article, that contained the allegations from Mims is gone but the other two are still there.

This whole incident started with a ‘misunderstanding’ that went too far…

ha ha Evolution is proven by your un-necessary rambling. A panda’s thumb has nothing to do with your religion called evolution. It can’t be called science because you haven’t proven it yet. Come on I’m a 13 year old kid and I’m smart enough to know that.

Come on I’m a 13 year old kid and I’m smart enough to know that.

look out! it’s a 13 year old einsteinian streaker!

Curious, the last name of the reporter has also changed. Maybe she got married in the meanwhile. ;-)

D:

I didn’t spot that. It could be possible, I’ve often thought that reporting on genocide and other ideas is the best time for a wedding.

I didn’t spot that. It could be possible, I’ve often thought that reporting on genocide and other ideas is the best time for a wedding

of course! If you’re afraid some mad scientist is in the process of promoting the imminent release of a strain of virus that will wipe out 90% of humanity, better to get married NOW than later, eh?

Comment #95931

Posted by Tim on April 10, 2006 05:56 PM (e)

ha ha Evolution is proven by your un-necessary rambling. A panda’s thumb has nothing to do with your religion called evolution. It can’t be called science because you haven’t proven it yet. Come on I’m a 13 year old kid and I’m smart enough to know that.

The jig is up! Thirteen year-old Tim’s found us out after 140 years of lies! Run for the hills boys! Run for the hills!

I got up early this morning, and made several phone calls to try and get to the bottom of why all mention of Pianka had been expunged from the paper. Bottom line: big misunderstanding, and the articles are now back online. It had absolutely nothing to do with the paper trying to dodge responsibility for its actions, or the paper not standing behind the articles, or any of the other possibilities that I had thought were likely. It appears that I didn’t have the full story, and jumped to some conclusions in the earlier articles that were not entirely justified.

You weren’t the only one making errors:

#7

So why has the Seguin Gazette Enterprise pulled the entire story, including the Pianka transcript, from their website?

My bet is the left wing of the science establishment got all lawyered up and threatened to dover the tiny Seguin Gazette for a million bucks. That’s what biology is all about these days, don’t you know, suing instead of science. But hey, suing and science both start with an ‘s’ and have two syllables so it’s all good. -ds Comment by Gerard Harbison — April 7, 2006 @ 8:58 pm

from http://www.uncommondescent.com/inde[…]omment-30560

#8

Dave, I think it is more likely that the paper realized that they had reported on hearsay, their source lacked credibility and they are trying to backktrack. Had they in fact been threatened with legal action, they would have put that on the front page and rolled out their First Amendment defense. The transcript of the speech and the recorded question could not be hearsay so your hypothesis seems to have a fatal flaw as those disappeared too. I think more likely they didn’t have the legal right to publish the transcript and were coerced into pulling everything in order to avoid prosecution and stifle themselves about the deal. Another possibility is the Department of Homeland Security got involved and issued a national security gag order. In any case the silence is deafening. Something really smells rotten in the state of Denmark. -ds Comment by Dartos — April 8, 2006 @ 1:59 pm

http://www.uncommondescent.com/inde[…]omment-30610

You can make a mistake. Only Davetard can be counted on to take it to the next level.

OT:

hmm, seems the front page of PT just disappeared?

anybody else having this problem?

nevermind, it’s back for me now.

This is all an exercise in plausible deniability. They’re in damage-control mode. The backlash is enormous, and heads have already begun to roll. Circle the wagon train.

Not really. That Mims account has fallen over since more facts have emerged only requires one head to roll here.

That would be Mims. If no action is taken concerning his overdone hysteria then I would be very surprised. At the very least, he’ll have earnt the general dislike of those he works with. That’s never a lot of fun.

and what about the folks still promulgating his spew? like Denyse Leary?

what about Dembski calling the Gestapo?

all water under the bridge, i suppose.

oh, let’s not forget the death threats.

truth is, many heads should roll here, but Mims will likely be the scapegoat, since he started it.

It’s funny to see DaveScot try to defend opinion of the matter and arrogantly respond to Mike Dunford’s report.

Mike was informed by Southern Newspapers that the Pianka articles were removed because of a miscommunication between the corporate office and SGE. SNI only wanted the partial transcripts removed. (Given the response of the SGE to Mike, there may be some tension between the local office and corporate office.)

DaveScot, on the other hard, uses second-hand information to guess that an IT person removed the articles because of server load. (And I guess neglected to tell his bosses that their most popular article was gone.)

Which one has more support behind it?

The ID community sent their cavalry in the wrong direction. They should pray now that they don’t get Sioux’ed.

The stated mission of the ID camp is to find an intelligent designer. However, why do they insist on finding someone’s a** (namely Pianka’s) to kick instead?

I subscribe to the possibility of ID, but this offensive on Pianka was not an example of intelligent design. My fraternity claims to be in the right, but now they find themselves in the rut.

in the rut.

yup.

you still have a chance to get out.

will you take it?

I have learned that a Cornell University professor is going to teach a course that scrutinizes the Darwinist/ID debate. Your thoughts?

http://telicthoughts.com/?p=634

you’re a little late on the draw there; it’s already been brought up both on PT and ATBC.

However, so far in looking at the course syallabus and the recommended reading list (especially the optional one), it looks like the prof. is presenting the history of the formation of the ID concept from earlier creation”science”, and then deliberately challenging his students to do the research on each of the claims made.

the funny thing is, as a college course, this sounds like a fine idea.

ID only can exist as a concept in ignorance. As you yourself just showed us well in the other thread.

In fact, I’d recommend you take this course yourself.

You might actually be forced to recognize the flaws in logic and execution that run rampant in WD40’s ramblings, since you refuse to examine them here.

a bit much for a high school student tho.

Hey Apollo-

hmm, not that I’m the official anything here, but since we ditched our last big troll recently, would you care to apply for the position?

If you have followed PT at all in the last few months you may have noticed posts by one Larry Fafarman.

He got a wee too vindictive, tiresome, and broke the posting rules here to boot, so we had to dump him.

You seem far more reasonable and interesting than larry was.

care for the job?

it doesn’t pay anything, and you likely will be the subject of derision for much of the time, but you always have the opportunity to change our minds, provided you can provide evidence to do so.

ID advocates ought to read more of MacNeill’s posts on Evolution List before they get all excited about ID being taught. MacNeill seems to be a sharp guy. I do pity the people in the course, though, because Dembski’s The Design Inference is required reading, and it’s about the most painfully obfuscatory book one would want to try to read. I read it twice and it hurt both times.

RBH

He doesn’t like Dembski at all as well, which I found an interesting tidbit. He’s taken a bit of flack for his opinions on Dembski, which he has made rather clear, over at Telic Thoughts. Personally I happen to agree with him and I don’t think this course is going to be quite what the IDists expect. Take his questions he asked in the thread about this at TT. Without a detailed knowledge of ID rhetoric, answering them (or should I say, obsfuscating the point while pretending to answer them in an ID favourable manner) is not something that will be easy for someone unfamiliar with the debate.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what the reaction to the course will actually be.

I was actually inspired by that classic movie ‘Oliver Twist meets Animal House: the Smack Down’.

The speech that the Seguin Gazette supposedly posted is no longer there. Can QA call them again about that?

Of course it’s not there - that was the part that the corporate offices wanted taken down because it wasn’t complete, as Mike already reported.

I no longer even bother trying. The payoff simply isn’t worth the effort. And for every one who changes his mind, there are a gazillion more uneducated dolts willing to step into his place.

True. But you may diminish the ardor and energy some of them bring to the debate, simply by showing them that arguments refuting their “science” don’t follow the script their preachers give them. I suspect that once they learn the hard way that they can’t “win” the argument as easily as they’re led to believe, many of them will just keep their beliefs to themselves, and sit out the big shouting-matches.

Oh, I don’t at all mind pounding their dumbass arguments into talcum powder, right in front of everyone.

:)

I am simply under no illusion at all that any of it is remotely likely to change a fundies’ mind. That’s simply not my goal.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Dunford published on April 10, 2006 4:51 PM.

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