Three Million and Counting

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A little while ago Sitemeter recorded PT’s three millionth visit. We are seeing a bit of a fall-off in traffic since the Kitzmiller v. DASD case time, as are many sites that deal with the creation/evolution issue. KvD was an extraordinary spur to interest, which makes it all the more important to raise awareness afterward.

Following the Scopes trial in 1925, popular belief held that the antievolutionists had suffered a defeat and were in retrenchment. This was not so. In the next few years, over twenty other states passedproposed legislation similar to Tennessee’s Butler Act, with the effectintent of banning the teaching of evolutionary biology in public schools in those states.(*) Two states, Mississippi and Arkansas, actually passed the antievolution measures, making the intent take the force of law.

We need to keep in mind that the anti-science threat has not been rendered impotent by the outcome of the KvD trial. The contributors to PT will continue to keep you informed of developments as we see the new strategies for opposing effective instruction in evolutionary biology emerge.

(*)Thanks to Nick Matzke for pointing out my error of recall concerning proposed and passed.

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Panda’s Thumb is heading downhill since Kitzmiller v. DASD but we aren’t. In May we acheived a new record number of visits at 146,084 to bring our total number of visits to over 1.25 million in the last 12 months. Thanks to everyone for h... Read More

46 Comments

More power to ya!

simple as that.

I tip a virtual beer in your direction.

You know, the Kitzmiller trial was what got me here. Now I hardly ever post here anymore.

It’s a great site but it’s like I cared a lot for a little bit. I was injured so I made an attempt at a funny blog poking at creos in my oodles of spare time and spent time poking around here to see what people were saying.

Creos have lost every non-military fight they’ve ever gotten into so I wasn’t too worried about them before and actually, I think PT gave them more of a voice than they’ve had since before John Locke. Every now and then someone pops out of a church and turns up in some public office or public place and starts blabbing “God this and God that and pass the plate” and the community has to get off of our slothfull lustful covetous asses and go whack another mole. Then go back to whichever commandment we were breaking.

The science is fun and relevant to students and researchers but honestly, 20 years out of grad school and science news keeps me pretty well covered. I deal with a lot of science but it’s really damn practical. Not exciting at all. We end up with statistics that fit pre-designed data sets and ho hum about our days waiting for the environment to become inhospitable to life. That’s another reason I don’t feel bad about most misbehavior- only got so long to do it, right? Wait, what was I talking about? Um. Oh well.

I think you would discover user arcs if you tracked usage. They would settle on a number of visits per month/year whatever but the initial visits would be higher for a period. If you were selling advertising, you could use this metric to determine the optimal number of new visitors to maintain a certain traffic level… Ooooh. The bourbon’s getting to me. Nighty night.

Never think the war was won in Dover. For them, the war isn’t about science, or education, or the law. The war is about God and the kind of society He wants His chosen people to live in. They lost the battle in Dover but they darn sure believe they’ll win the war. I’m not sure they’re wrong.

I noted this international effort that released a statement from 67 national science academies. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/[…]/5098608.stm

Congrats to Panda’s Posters and a hearty “Thank You!” for all Posters and contributors. It’s been a long time since my undergrad Anthro days, but this site keeps me in touch on important issues. I may not be able to do science anymore, but darn it, at least I can still learn about it!

Hey, Wes, I thought ID was collapsing in the wake of KvD. What’s the need to further consciousness raising?

Bill, it’s good to see that you still read PT. Please feel free to respond to the many issues that are brought up here. Unlike UD, we welcome rebuttals.

Posted by Bill Dembski on June 22, 2006 10:24 AM (e)

Hey, Wes, I thought ID was collapsing in the wake of KvD. What’s the need to further consciousness raising?

Well, it did. Already. It’s just a little hard to call off the dogs now that they are out prowling. Let’s see, JAD, well, let’s just say he’s out, Behe admitted under oath that ID was both religious and similar to astrology, you, well, you’ve been reduced to not much but a pile if jiggling jello over at the place where you post your ideas, all of your work has been thoroughly discredited, phillip johnson never had any credibility and Dr. Dino, well, let’s say that he hasn’t risen in stature yet.

Have a nice day!

Hey, Wes, I thought ID was collapsing in the wake of KvD. What’s the need to further consciousness raising?

Hi Bill, how’s ID doing in Denmark?

Hey, Wes, I thought ID was collapsing in the wake of KvD. What’s the need to further consciousness raising?

Did I say that ID would rise again?

We need to keep in mind that the anti-science threat has not been rendered impotent by the outcome of the KvD trial.

Hmm. It doesn’t look like I did.

ID is something that the DI is prepared to discard as a label.

It seems that I have made that comment before… [rummage] Ah, yes…

William Dembski is in a bad position. “Intelligent design” was never anything more than a label for a subset of the argumentation that had been called “creation science” just previously. Dembski’s chosen role was to gild the label, which he did with gusto, layering it with filigrees of propositional logic and finials of pseudomathematics.

But labels are evanescent. The Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture was already signalling the end-of-life for the “intelligent design” branding by 2002 in Ohio, where they offered a “compromise” of calling the arguments “critical analysis” instead. Throughout the following history of conflict in Ohio, the one constant was that the antievolution advocates continually claimed that there was no “intelligent design” in the standards or the “critical analysis” lesson plan, essentially ceding “intelligent design” as something to be regarded as beyond the pale of consideration for K-12 instruction.

Dembski’s career, though, is not based on anything broader than “intelligent design”. Dembski does not have a clear path to do anything else in the DI CSC’s current program. If all that is being contemplated is the subset of arguments that are purely about the capacity of evolutionary biology to result in life’s history and diversity, Dembski has no expertise in the relevant biology, a fact that has not escaped previous attention, emphasized by the previously web-published chapters of a forthcoming textbook.

Dembski, like certain character actors, finds himself tied to his former popular role. “Intelligent design” has been all but discarded by his erstwhile colleagues at the DI, and certainly is not the label of choice for the antievolution efforts in the wake of the Kitzmiller decision. Dembski has to continue to advocate for the legitmacy of “intelligent design” even though the leadership of the antievolution movement has clearly signalled their intent to de-emphasize or abandon “intelligent design” as a sort of strategic sacrifice. We can expect that Dembski will long be ringed by a cadre of followers who didn’t get the memo, though.

(Source)

Bill Dembski Wrote:

Hey, Wes, I thought ID was collapsing in the wake of KvD. What’s the need to further consciousness raising?

ID is just the latest incarnation of only one small aspect of the underlying issue, which is the effort by fundamentalist religion to enslave the world. The war on terror is another aspect of the same struggle. That enemy uses a different book, but the same twisting of moral teachings. It may end when human society grows out of its adolescence, but I’m not holding my breath.

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

Dembski:

Hey, Wes, I thought ID was collapsing in the wake of KvD.

It’s good to see Dembski so demoralized that he thinks ID is collapsing, but I haven’t seen anyone on this side of the aisle express similar optimism. I’m not aware of Elsberry in particular making such a declaration. His warning above suggests the opposite and explains why continued effort is needed:

Following the Scopes trial in 1925, popular belief held that the antievolutionists had suffered a defeat and were in retrenchment. This was not so. … We need to keep in mind that the anti-science threat has not been rendered impotent by the outcome of the KvD trial.

Congratulations PT. Does the 3 millionth hitter get a prize? Say free science education for life? Oh.…wait.… I like this site because the debate here is relatively civilised, unlike, unfortunately, talk origins which is full of pointless vitriol and rather scary to post on. The problem we have, of course, is that these religious/political extremists are utterly immune to free thought and any kind of experience-based knowledge. We cannot hope to defeat them, but only, perhaps, to wait until what passes as their ideas becomes again out of date and once more confined to a cultural and social backwater. Keep up the good work!

Wesley Wrote:

William Dembski is in a bad position. “Intelligent design” was never anything more than a label for a subset of the argumentation that had been called “creation science” just previously. Dembski’s chosen role was to gild the label, which he did with gusto, layering it with filigrees of propositional logic and finials of pseudomathematics.

To be honest for a while I was taken by ID’s attemtps to make its claims ‘scientific’ but the recent responses by Bill seem to suggest that indeed, much of the attempts by ID to become scientifically relevant have been abandoned and Bill has returned to his true love: apologetics. In that role he can lament how evolutionary theory undermines our society. In fact he seems to have joined the long line of predictions of evolutionary theory’s (read Darwinism) demise. Not surprisingly various of Bill’s predictions as to the successes of ID have fared similarly poorly and for all practical purposes one would consider them to be falsified by reality.

But labels are evanescent. The Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture was already signalling the end-of-life for the “intelligent design” branding by 2002 in Ohio, where they offered a “compromise” of calling the arguments “critical analysis” instead. Throughout the following history of conflict in Ohio, the one constant was that the antievolution advocates continually claimed that there was no “intelligent design” in the standards or the “critical analysis” lesson plan, essentially ceding “intelligent design” as something to be regarded as beyond the pale of consideration for K-12 instruction.

Intelligent design has become a liability and is being abandoned for a watered down “teach the controversy” and “critical analysis” despite the full understanding that ID cannot withstand much of any critical analysis (as I am showing in my multipart analysis of why ID is scientifically vacuous).

Dembski’s career, though, is not based on anything broader than “intelligent design”. Dembski does not have a clear path to do anything else in the DI CSC’s current program. If all that is being contemplated is the subset of arguments that are purely about the capacity of evolutionary biology to result in life’s history and diversity, Dembski has no expertise in the relevant biology, a fact that has not escaped previous attention, emphasized by the previously web-published chapters of a forthcoming textbook.

Dembski, like certain character actors, finds himself tied to his former popular role. “Intelligent design” has been all but discarded by his erstwhile colleagues at the DI, and certainly is not the label of choice for the antievolution efforts in the wake of the Kitzmiller decision. Dembski has to continue to advocate for the legitmacy of “intelligent design” even though the leadership of the antievolution movement has clearly signalled their intent to de-emphasize or abandon “intelligent design” as a sort of strategic sacrifice. We can expect that Dembski will long be ringed by a cadre of followers who didn’t get the memo, though.

Being surrounded by doting and like-minded fans must be quite an experience. But really, does Dembski want to be remembered for his support of Coulter or Davescot?

Nick Matzke pointed out to me that the number of states adopting laws like the Butler Act may be less than I stated. I was going on memory of Larson’s “Trial and Error” as a source, and the number I recalled may be that for those states whose legislatures proposed such legislation. Once I get “Trial and Error” in hand, I will let you know which way it goes.

I also agree with the point that ID itself may be severely undermined by Kitzmiller, but that is no reason to think the next incarnation of scientific creationism won’t require a substantial fight.

Personally I’ve learned a lot from rightwing tactics. They practice a strategy I call “sore-winnerism”: no matter how successful you are, never, ever let yourself imagine that the bloody pulp you just pummelled has truly been defeated. There is always some new menace that can arise from it. Keep pummelling.

I don’t think this attitude is good for one’s mental health, but it avoids the worst mistakes made by foolishly optimistic liberals.

Posted by Bill Dembski on June 22, 2006 10:24 AM (e) | kill

Hey, Wes, I thought ID was collapsing in the wake of KvD. What’s the need to further consciousness raising?

Consciousness raising? You’re outta here, hippy. -dt

Looks like Nick already beat me to it, but I don’t want to be considered a welcher. Larry Fafarman pointed out that according to the Epperson decision, around twenty states had introduced anti-evolution bills, but that most were never passed. Wikipedia also supports this, citing 41 bills introduced, often multiple bills in a single state.

My personal take when I read this yesterday was that it seemed a rather high number. Proposed legislation is much more in line with my “feel” for the history than passed legislation. But that was not based on any sources. I’d like to see what the book “Trial and Error” has to say.

Wesley, if “Trial and Error” enumerates which states passed/proposed anti-evolution bills, could you pass on that info as well? Thanks.

Hey, Wes, I thought ID was collapsing in the wake of KvD. What’s the need to further consciousness raising?

Well hey, the evidence is that you didn’t learn any science from KvD. Why would the other apologists abandon “poof” for science?

No, like the poor, the ignorant we will have with us always.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

There are two instances noted on my page about Antievolution and the Law. If that’s all there were, then I was off by an order of magnitude. Sigh.

Re “We can expect that Dembski will long be ringed by a cadre of followers who didn’t get the memo, though.”

Well, can’t somebody get hold of a copy of that memo and forward it to those people? ;)

A little while ago Sitemeter recorded PT's three millionth visit. We are seeing a bit of a fall-off in traffic since the Kitzmiller v. DASD case time, as are many sites that deal with the creation/evolution issue. Wrote:

Since folks have been arguing back and forth over the significance of Google Trends, I thought I’d throw out this entirely unscientific and possibly unrepresentative bit of information.

Subscribers to Bloglines for the following blogs:

Panda’s Thumb - 322 Scienceblogs (combined feed) - 239 Dispatches from the Culture Wars - 124 Good Math, Bad Math - 72 Red State Rabble - 72 Pharyngula - 54 Uncommon Descent - 21

Presumably, the proportion of advocates:trolls is comparable from blog to blog.

Larson does not enumerate all the states that considered Butler Act-like legislation, but review of “Trial and Error” does show that the number I was recalling was the number of proposed bills in legislatures. The number of such bills passed was two.

I’ve modified the post with strikeouts to show where my error lay while fixing the statements for accuracy.

Don’t forget, Texas passed a resolution not to mention evolution.

Re “Don’t forget, Texas passed a resolution not to mention evolution.”

So can we mention descent with change, instead? ;)

Hey Bill, I thought ID was already rejected by IDers in favor of “teach the controversy about evolution”.

Or are those just one and the same thing? A trojan horse for the trojan horse?

Bill has returned to his true love: apologetics.

“Returned”? When did he ever do anything ELSE?

[“Returned”? When did he ever do anything ELSE?]

When he was, uh, ejaculating over the ‘rise of ID in Denmark’.

“The controversy”, if the YECs and IDers were honest, properly belongs in a philosophy class. Part of the problem lies in the fact that hardly any high schools offer such courses. Another problem lies with the confusion of “faith” and “fact” so that many people feel the need to “prove” their faith, as if it’s some kind of theorem. The trouble is, it’s called “faith” for a reason.

Larson does not enumerate all the states that considered Butler Act-like legislation, but review of “Trial and Error” does show that the number I was recalling was the number of proposed bills in legislatures. The number of such bills passed was two.

I’ve modified the post with strikeouts to show where my error lay while fixing the statements for accuracy.

Well, there were only two bills passed after the Scopes Trial, but there were bills passed in Oklahoma, Florida, and Tennessee before the Scopes trial, and then also statewide antievolution policies in California, Louisiana, and South Carolina I think. That plus local prohibitions in many places led to the complete deletion of evolution from the textbooks.

So I think your point about the Scopes trial aftermath remains valid…

(IIRC Larson reports that when an antievolution bill was proposed someplace like Maryland, it was referred to the Fish & Game Committee.)

I’m a long time lurker, both here and at Uncommon Descent. I discovered PT (and through PT, UD) during the Dover trial, read both daily during and in the aftermath of the decision. Since then, I’ve been only stopping by PT on a weekly basis, catching myself up on stuff I may have missed.

However UD I still visit daily, sometimes several times a day. Why? I think it’s hilarious. It’s like a favorite webcomic that’s only updated sporadically - you’re constantly looking for the next update. Not to mention, the comments are usually the best part, giving one more incentive to check back on the hilarity that usually ensues (although I have to say, it’s just not the same since JAD was booted).

So my question is: How much of UD readership is made of people like me - scientists that discovered the wonderful insanity of UD during Dover and haven’t been able to stay away?

Final aside: Anyone done a Google news search for Intelligent Design lately? Not only has there been no news the past 3-4 months, but most of the “articles” have been Discovery Institute press releases. Hilarious.

So my question is: How much of UD readership is made of people like me - scientists that discovered the wonderful insanity of UD during Dover and haven’t been able to stay away?

find the thread on UD over on ATBC, scroll back a few weeks to the discussion about referrals.

you’ll see a significant percentage of referral links to UD actually come from PT and antievolution.org (where ATBC is hosted).

from that I’d say a large percentage is a there for the comedic circus value.

whatever, traffic is traffic, and since Billy Dembski posts several ad spots on the blog, he still makes money off it.

If he really cared about content, he wouldn’t have given his blog over to Dave Scott Springerbot. In fact, based on most of the posts billy boy has made since the “changeover”, I’d say it was calculated to attract the very audience we are discussing here. Sadly, I don’t even think the Springerbot is consciously aware of Bill utilizing him as the village idiot.

now here’s and accurate comment “from that I’d say a large percentage is a there for the comedic circus value”

whenever I’m down and need a good laugh I pop on down to Bill’s site so I am one of the 1.2 million there, I am also one of the 3 million at PT.

find the thread on UD over on ATBC, scroll back a few weeks to the discussion about referrals.

you’ll see a significant percentage of referral links to UD actually come from PT and antievolution.org (where ATBC is hosted).

from that I’d say a large percentage is a there for the comedic circus value.

Oh, yeah, at AtBC’s UD thread we link to that place all day long. It’s hilarious. Sometimes they can’t even get through the title without being stupidly funny. Is Darwinism a naturalistic mystery religion masquerading as a scientific theory?

Output from Webalizer run on the PT logs for May:

Monthly Statistics for May 2006
Total Hits 	2732641
Total Files 	1841763
Total Pages 	889237
Total Visits 	382168
Total KBytes 	32293453

Webalizer appears to be the package that the UD guys used on their stats.

DaveScot was kind enough to publish some referral statistics when I asked for them in April. Congratulations to Uncommon Descent Bloggers!. Perhaps he will indulge me again with a daily listing for the month of May 2006. I predict a sudden increase on or around the 12th and/or the 16th. May 11th saw Dembski falsely accusing Kevin Padian of racism (posts removed), and the 15th saw a rather grudging retraction. He got a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons over those.

I’ve been playing around on alexa.com.

both sites use cookies, so alexa is able to track penetration, general stats, and long term behavior of both sites over time.

you can see some of the results here:

http://www.alexa.com/data/details/t[…]dasthumb.org

That’s pretty funny. What’s the big spike on the Panda’s Thumb graph at the beginning of April?

Consideration should be given that the majority of former contributers now have their own sites sponsored by seed magazine.

Their posts to PT are negligable teases for PT readers to go to their cash-in sites (hence “former contributers”).

Gary - aren’t you a former contributer?

not meant as a joke; didn’t you used to contribute to PT until the Mirecki incident?

That’s pretty funny. What’s the big spike on the Panda’s Thumb graph at the beginning of April?

the Pianka affair?

I see.

Gary - aren’t you a former contributer?

not meant as a joke; didn’t you used to contribute to PT until the Mirecki incident?

Yeah. We had a Yahoo group to discuss ID and work on the TalkDesign web site. It was a good group. For example that was where Project Steve was first begun. I suggested that if a blog could function as test bed for TalkDesign then we should start one. Wesley and Reed did the heavy lifting set PT up.

The point I was making above is that the teaser posts are naturally drawing readers away from PT, and by hosting comments only at their cash paying sites, they further draw readers away.

So, a valid comparison with UncommonDescent should include PT and the former contributer’s new sites, plus Wesley’s website as well.

So, a valid comparison with UncommonDescent should include PT and the former contributer’s new sites, plus Wesley’s website as well.

you do have a point there.

hmm, I think alexa allows for inclusions like that; I’ll have to check further and see.

The point I was making above is that the teaser posts are naturally drawing readers away from PT, and by hosting comments only at their cash paying sites, they further draw readers away.

I was wondering why so many contributors were asking everyone to post comments somewhere else – I kept asking myself “hey, what’s the problem with posting comments HERE, dammit”.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on June 21, 2006 6:00 PM.

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