The Dembski Alert

| 61 Comments

Once again, this is a guest appearance of Jim Downard, and, once again, I have not contributed to it but only post it here as a courtesy to Jim.

While William Dembski has proudly proclaimed his role as a contributor to the evolution chapters of Ann Coulter’s new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, when push comes to shove it turns out he is singularly unwilling to take responsibility for any of the many mistakes she has made. Follow James Downard as he ventures into the curious world of Dembski/Coulter “scholarship” and learn just how much “descent” one encounters at Dembski’s website “Uncommon Descent.”

Continue reading The Dembski Alert on Talk Reason

61 Comments

James Downard Wrote:

Indeed, followers of Dembski’s antics may try holding his feet to the fire here. Remember he can’t crawl very far away, having obligingly and willingly shackled that quite heavy Coulterian anchor to his own ankle.

I think this point, humorously made, is very important. Dembski made certain statements, provided certain information, and made certain claims. Let’s hold him to it as best we can.

In addition, I think his enthusiasm for Coulter could actually be harmful to his misguided crusade. If he’s willing to ally himself with her, why not ask if he supports her other statements. Are the Jersey Girls, that group of 9/11 widows, ‘witches’ to him as well? Is he, like Ann, all for invading Muslim countries and engaging in forceable religious conversion? How much of a Coulterite is he?

He made his bed, and he’s sharing it with Ann Coulter.

Is Jim insinuating that Mr. Dembski could, nay, DID IN FACT engage in a dishonest irresponsibility and silence when confronted with scientific inaccuracies presented in print for which he took such credit earlier, in fact engaging in nothing more than puerile character attacks, violation of privacy, and outright lies regarding the nature of the criticisms? I am shocked, SHOCKED, that such charges could be levelled at our most trustworthy and reliable mathematician. What is the world coming to when a simple huckstervaluable contributor to the genuine scientific controversy of Darwinism can be targetted by such mean and entirely unwarranted attacks? Truly, this is the fruit that IDDarwinism bears, by which we shall know them! Uncommon Descent

William Dembski Wrote:

If Ann’s chapters on evolution are so riven with difficulties, let him elaborate them, point out the errors, and then hold me up to ridicule for the errors for which I take responsibility.

He already has, he’s already told you where to find them, and furthemore it’s not his aim to simply hold you up for ridicule but to have you actually respond to them in some fashion. Posting private correspondences of his complaints regarding a lack of response is not a response to the criticisms levelled.

I’m a big fan of people involved in published works taking into account the sort of social responsibilities that should ideally go with putting a work out for mass consumption, especially if they claim a degree of responsibility for the quality of information presented. Just as journalists should have an obligation to present facts which are checked rigorously, so too should any person claiming facts regarding politics, science, and history. Since Dembski has said publically, in writing, that he takes responsibility for all the sciency evolutiony stuff in Coulter’s book, there really is no excuse for dismissing valid criticisms of substantiative factual claims and putting the critic up for cheap ridicule instead.

In the future it might be worth it to include either the url of the specific articles where Jim’s criticisms appear, or repost the content in the e-mail so that Dembski can’t pretend he hasn’t been given any criticisms. Well, okay, so it will be HARDER to pretend he hasn’t been given any.

DragonScholar: Dembski only claimed accuracy on all of Coulter’s material regarding Evolution, so why should we burden him with all the other lies in the book? He has his work cut out for him as it is.

It really is fascinating how much of the response to Downard’s emails to Dembski seem to revolve around people actually taking offense at the presence of scientific terminology in an e-mail about science. Apparently if you can’t discuss something over a beer, it isn’t true. Why do these Bourgeoisie scientists persist in their elitism? They think that just because they know what “homeobox genes” and “endosymbiosis” are, they know more about biology than we do!

Anyway, this said, Uncommon Descent has updated, and apparently Dembski really does take responsibility for all of the errors in the scientific portions of Godless, and your offer to not hold him responsible for discussion of those subjects he did not specifically discuss with Coulter has been spurned. Mr. Downard, it would appear you are now free to blame Dembski entirely for the errors in “Godless”. All of them.

He also seems rather upset that you did not immediately understand that this was what he was trying to communicate by refusing to reply to your questions and instead posting your e-mails on his blog.

I look forward with great interest to part 3 of your series, Mr. Downard :)

Funny, this whole thing about sincerity and scientists quoted by D O’Leary from E Sisson in Uncommon Dissent.

But in science the rule is different. Scientists are supposed to be actually sincere. They are supposed to develop genuine, individual opinions about the data and then express those opinions.

—snip… now from W Dembski on UD…

In April I announced on this blog Ann Coulter’s then forthcoming book GODLESS (go here). There I remarked, “I’m happy to report that I was in constant correspondence with Ann regarding her chapters on Darwinism — indeed, I take all responsibility for any errors in those chapters.” Jim Downard, rather than simply taking me at my word, instead wants me to elaborate on my correspondence with Ann (go here); and for my refusal to elaborate, charges me with not really taking responsibility for errors in the chapters in question. But such elaboration is not my responsibility.

Yep, sincerity is WD’s strong point. Just like ID isn’t about religion.

Dumbski

In April I announced on this blog Ann Coulter’s then forthcoming book GODLESS (go here). There I remarked, “I’m happy to report that I was in constant correspondence with Ann regarding her chapters on Darwinism — indeed, I take all responsibility for any errors in those chapters.” Jim Downard, rather than simply taking me at my word, instead wants me to elaborate on my correspondence with Ann (go here); and for my refusal to elaborate, charges me with not really taking responsibility for errors in the chapters in question. But such elaboration is not my responsibility.

It’s those “pathetic details” again. Why do we bother the man?

In fact, no ID promoters will elaborate when it comes to actually showing how Dembski’s baloney can actually be applied to a real protein.

See Cornell’s reprehensible Evolution & Design blog here for a fresh, steaming example of creationist idiocy and laziness:

http://evolutionanddesign.blogsome.[…]-complexity/

I think it is also telling that Dembski’s new sidekick on UD is not a bona-fide scientist but some obscure religious journalist. Although she does seem a little more amenable to allowing dissenting comments, after trying a dozen times I stil have not been able to get a comment posted on UD. Stil at least hopefully she can get Dembski to grow up a little and dispense with the juvenile ‘humorous’ posts.

Why do we bother the man?

Same reason you poke a monkey at the zoo with a stick? to provoke amusing responses.

And the UD comment section says:

I agree. Which errors?

…apparently entirely unaware of the parts one and two of Jim Downard’s ongoing critique of Godless, which already point out quite a number of errors. (This of course, isn’t very surprising; Mr. jacktone just probably honestly doesn’t realize the other talk.reason articles are there. It’s a little puzzling on the other hand that Dembski seems oblivious to those same articles, since he clearly reads Panda’s Thumb and one would expect they had heard of them there.)

Perhaps someone who has already registered for an Uncommon Descent account could post a comment there providing links to the existing “Godless” critiques? If only to sate Mr. jacktone’s burning intellectual curiousity. I wonder if such a comment would make it through UD’s new, more-lenient comment filtration system…

Also, Mark Perakh: do you think you could consider adding to each of the three “Godless” articles on talk.reason (parts one and two of Downard’s critique plus this “Dembski alert” thing) navigational links to the next and previous articles in the series? At the moment were someone to simply find a link to this “Dembski Alert” article, it would not be immediately obvious that two articles in the series have already been published.

Comment #114506

Posted by timco on July 24, 2006 07:11 PM (e) | kill

I think it is also telling that Dembski’s new sidekick on UD is not a bona-fide scientist but some obscure religious journalist.

It’s not like they have much of a choice.

Although she does seem a little more amenable to allowing dissenting comments, after trying a dozen times I stil have not been able to get a comment posted on UD.

There is, and has only ever been, one rule at Uncommonly Dense. If you point out their obvious errors, they ban you. It can only be thus. Magicians doing cheap parlor tricks can’t allow skeptics on stage with spotlights and videocameras.

Dr. Dembski’s name is spelled as “Demsbki” in the article title.

Maybe he can invite Ms. Coulter to respond instead. I’m sure she’d be happy to, given that she has probably made a fortune with his assistance. Hey, she owes him that much.

some obscure religious journalist

There’s a difference between a religious commentator and a journalist. Is there anything showing actual journalism training and experience for this person?

July 24, 2006 What is a “pseudo-journalist”?

Wesley Elsberry, in blogging about Denyse O’Leary’s recent coming on board here at UD, refers to her as a “pseudo-journalist” (go here)? What a curious designation. Does Wesley’s use of the prefix “pseudo” simply indicate his disapproval of O’Leary and, in particular, her failure to accept his brand of evolution? Or does the prefix indicate something substantive (Denyse, did you come on board here under false pretenses? Are you really a journalist at all? What exactly have you published in recognized media outlets?)

If Denyse is in fact a real journalist, does that make Elsberry a “pseudo-blogger”? Filed under: Intelligent Design, Just For Fun — William Dembski @ 10:47 pm Comments (0)

Hard to know where Dembski found the time to blog this. He’s usually in the lab, performing ID experiments.…

here’s a link to a previous post on Denyse O’Leary. Should provide some clarificatiom. http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives[…]leary_o.html

DOL has published various pieces in popular media. So has Dembski. Dembski may even have a more extensive list of such publications than DOL. But Dembski hasn’t tried to lay claim to “journalist” as a title. There’s more to being a journalist than getting stuff published in daily, weekly, or monthly media.

Dumbski has been pwned.

So when Jim Downard asks Dembski to comment on scientific concepts that IDists don’t understand, he is an elitist with all that hi-falutin scientific jargon. But when Dembski uses impenetrable mathematics out of context that IDists don’t understand, it is because he is a genius. Got it.

Why do we bother the man?

Yeah. Doesn’t he have, um, a vigorous ID research program? Surely he can’t waste time with a blog.

He appears to have enough time to ban TANSTAAFL for urging him to engage Downard directly:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/inde[…]351#comments

my stars what a fisking. if i was Wild Bill I wouldn’t respond either. it’s like being stuck between a steaming pile of scat and a cold pool of poop. which way do we go which way do we go george which way do we go

the presumption of integrity on behalf of the feeble opposition is perhaps an overestimation but hey that’s an old point. three cheers for Jim Downard! i laughed my hindquarters off.

i’ve about quit lurking over there at uncommon. it’s like going to see the circus three nights in a row, same ol show. it’s beyond me why people take these boot licking clowns seriously. what flavor of kool aid are they a drinkin on?

I have been a research Scientist for nearly 30 years. I believe that Intelligent Design as a whole has more to offer than any other theorum known to mankind. I have found throughout my studies, many anthropologists and the eye doctor community as a whole who disagree with the Evolutionary standpoint. I say this after first being an Evolutionist for the first 18 years of my career. I believe that the Intelligent Design theorum is one of the best laid out theorums known to mankind. The impact it is already having across the world is amazing, and not many Americans are open to this idea. It is primarily the Biologist community and not the Scientific community as a whole that disagree with irreducible complexity as a Science. The rapid growth of the ID move is certainly very realistic. As such, I believe it important for our people to realize that ID is and will be the Science that overtakes the Evolutionary viewpoint (and yes Glenn Morton is very and deadly wrong on this issue to I might add).

Dr. Bill Quincy Cellular Biologist, GSD

I have been a research Scientist for nearly 30 years.

No you weren’t.

Conversely, I used to be a fundamentalist Christian who believed in the literal Creation in Genesis until I actually read stuff on evolution.

I’m also quite happy to say that this is a LIE. I used to have a policy of not admitting to fundiness even in jest and now I am ashamed.

The rapid growth of the ID move is certainly very realistic.

I’d think “Steve” would have something to say about that.

You probably have some other Steve in mind, but I don’t have anything to say about that guy. It’s just babble.

Bill Quincy Wrote:

I have been a research Scientist for nearly 30 years. I believe that Intelligent Design as a whole has more to offer than any other theorum known to mankind.

I guess I’m slightly incredulous that in 30 years you haven’t learned the correct way to spell theorem, although the rest of your spelling seems fine. Besides, even being charitable, ID is no more than a hypothesis…

He appears to have enough time to ban TANSTAAFL for urging him to engage Downard directly

After seeing this I went back to re-read the UD comments by TANSTAAFL to see what the fuss was all about. As far as I could see, TANSTAAFL made no ad hominem remarks, his comments were well written and easy to understand. In fact I thought his (or her?) posts were dignified and provided a good balance to the discussion. Sure he makes some pointed remarks (he is talking about Coulter after all), but nothing that on a thousand other blogs would be just an everyday occurrence that would easily slide by.

Of course I’m pointing the obvious here, but it is apparent, once again, that Dembski does not want to encourage free-flowing and open discussion of ID, and freely and openly practices censorship to anybody who dares pull back the green curtain…one can only imagine want it must be like in one of Dembski’s classes if somebody tries to disagree with him…

Dr. Bill Quincy, writes like an eighth grader, so I have a few questions for the good “doctor”: What did you say your degree was in “Doctor”? What university issued it to you? When did you graduate? Where do you currently practice?

Anxiously awaiting your designed answer.

There is a post similar to that of Dr. Bill Quincy on Jason Rosenhouse’s blog. On Jason’s blog, it is written by a “Dr. Morgan Greenwood”. Interestingly, both posts misspell theorem the same way.

“Dr” Bill seems to have some strange similarities to “Dr” Morgan who posted at EvolutionBlog:

http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionbl[…]research.php

How bizarre – neither of them can spell theorem correctly!!

Even stranger – I googled “Dr” Bill and despite the fact that he has been a research scientists for 30 years, apparently he has left zero trace on the Internet.

You think this might be Larry again?

Scratch that; Larry was already posting on Jason’s blog. Can’t be him.

Crazy Luddite:

“The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, and are not the result of an undirected, chance-based process such as Darwinian evolution.” Again, no attempt is manifested to explain who or what the Intelligent Cause is.

Then what possible use can it be? You don’t really want answers, do you? You like keeping everything all mysterious and medieval. So sad for you.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mark Perakh published on July 24, 2006 4:19 PM.

The State of ID Research was the previous entry in this blog.

In which I quit my job and rally against the germ theory of disease is the next entry in this blog.

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