New hunting grounds for anti-creationists

| 30 Comments

Talk.origins' resident curmudgeon and contributor of a number of FAQs in the archives, Larry Moran, has a new blog, the Sandwalk. Interestingly, it seems to have been discovered first by Billy Dembski and Denyse O'Leary, who made a sneering post on it at Uncommon Descent…which means that the comments are filled with the fulminations of the usual creationist suspects. Think about that; they've crept out of the shelter of their heavily censored sanctuary and are out in force at a blog that won't edit and delete and modify your comments. If you want to engage Intelligent Design creationists directly, it's a happy hunting ground!

Oh, yeah…and Moran himself has also put up quite a collection of articles, all in his inimitably opinionated style, so I'm sure the raconteurs of the Panda's Thumb will find much to argue about over there.

30 Comments

On a similar note, Lenny Flank’s ‘Debunking Creation “Science”’ mailing list and website has been spun off into a blog format also – debunkcreation.wordpress.com. And we promise not to do any moderating either, just science and nothing but science.

Well, if anyone is interested in yet another hunting ground, the DebunkCreation email list (the largest evolution/creation list at Yahoogroups) just joined the 21st Century and switched over to a blog format last week. The Debunking Creation “Science” blog is at:

http://debunkcreation.wordpress.com/

Creationists of all stripes are entirely welcome to come on in and have all their “scientific arguments” shredded to bits, one at a time, in as much detail as they can stand. For free.

:)

Oh, and since the Debunking Creation “Science” blog is **science only**, leave your Bible at home.

Thanks for the obnoxious snideness…I know to ignore that site now, too.

Eh?

You know, Lenny has a website where he’ll pride himself on not talking about certain things. <yawn> <shrug>

Now, now. We are all on the same side (more or less)…

Well, I won’t play the concern troll for too long.

Bu-u-ut.

It’s well-known and, to a degree understandable, that Lenny and others tire of what Lenny calls the “religious wars” that tend to brew up here, at Pharyngula, and at similar places, whenever there are no “true” Creationist trolls to hand for our naturally-feisty commentators to whomp and stomp upon.

Perhaps that has, in turn, led Lenny to simply misread or misunderstood PZ’s positions on a number of things on those numerous occasions when Lenny maunders on about PZ’s asserted “evangelistic atheism,” which Lenny is fond of claiming is the mirror-image equivalent of fundamentalist religious fanatacism. Lenny, for reasons that remain obscure to me, apparently feels free to ignore PZ’s often-repeated actual words in deference to his (Lenny’s) “conviction” that PZ is a “militant” atheist.

This is certainly an exceptionally evidence-free stance for the otherwise droll and pizza-loving Lenny to take, but what the hell…apparently Lenny feels entitled to read “between the lines” of anything PZ actually says in order to drill down to what he (Lenny) is convinced is the “real” PZ.

I appreciate that Lenny takes pride in having honed a highly-accurate BS-detector after many worthy years in the anti-Creationist trenches, but it’s evident to more-dispassionate observers that his detector has simply failed him here.

Or perhaps Lenny has chosen to get PZ wrong, with the idea that he can send what he regards as some larger, more important message on the back of this particular misconstruction. Needless to say, this would be unfortunate, for any number of reasons–truth does not ride comfortably on the backs of lies, as one would hope any veteran anti-Creationist would know.

PZ has obviously gotten just as tired of this misperception, mischaracterization, or (perhaps PZ now feels justified in viewing it as a) deliberate misrepresentation of PZ’s actual positions, as Lenny claims to be fatigues with the “religious wars.”

All of which may explain, but perhaps may not excuse, a retaliatory and overbroad mischaracterization of some of Lenny’s attitudes and positions by PZ.

Well, you guys don’t like each other any more. We got that part figured out. And neither of you is the type we would expect to pull any punches in expressing how you feel. We got that too.

But, for what little it’s likely to be worth, I continue to value you both as ardent–and often humorous, passionate, and articulate–advocates of (science’s provisional) truth, justice, and the American way. Despite your distinctive styles, you both breathe a current of fresh air into an often stale debate.

It’s too bad you can’t sit down together over a couple of rounds of Liberal Drinks, or Viking Piss, or whatever, and work all this out.

In the meantime, though, gentlemen, since I’m unlikely to talk you out of such dug-in–if perhaps originally unnecessary–antipathies, have at it.

On any reasonable excuse, which I’m not convinced the above really was…

(/ concern troll imitation)

Yeah, yeah. Lenny’s unprompted whine just reminds me why I’m not going to bother with his site. That’s all. What do you expect?

Yeah, yeah. Lenny’s unprompted whine just reminds me why I’m not going to bother with his site. That’s all. What do you expect?

PZ, seriously, stop. You’re being an asshole.

I’m interested in and curious about Larry Moran’s blog, I’m interested in and curious about Lenny’s blog, I’d be interested in commentary on both of these relevant subjects, and I’m sad that you’re choosing to derail this discussion into some irrelivant personal vendetta. I don’t know what you’re talking about with “unprompted whines”, since unless there are comments deleted in this thread or something, Lenny is only politely commenting on his blog after someone else mentioned it; you, however, are behaving rather childishly in your response and nothing seems to have prompted your behavior.

Politely?

No, sorry, he wasn’t polite. He was, as he puts it, “waving his dick.” (A phrase he used again in a deleted comment on this thread.) If you want to see his site, if you want to see Moran’s, I’m not going to suggest that you don’t, and I’m not removing the plugs for his site, which I thought were entirely appropriate.

But you should also understand that I am personally not at all interested in his noise.

Didn’t realize I’d missed a comment.

Carry on.

I would have thrown it to the bathroom wall, but that functionality doesn’t seem to be present here anymore…

PZ and Lenny,

With all due respect, would you mind sparing us the drama? We know you don’t get along. Do you have to keep reminding us? I know I’m in a bitchy mood, and that’s probably why I’m even bringing it up, but I’m going to be honest–watching you two interact is like watching an old couple who have been married for 60 years, and hated the latest 40. It’s not pretty, and it’s embarrassing. Seriously, I think you both should just a make a point to completely ignore each other. All the time. How ‘bout it?

I’ll get off my foul mood-induced high horse now. Thanks for listening.

(A phrase he used again in a deleted comment on this thread.)

I see now, that explains a lot. But may I recommend in future that if you are going to be moderating and posting in the same thread, you try to ensure that when deleting posts on a particular topic, you try to avoid continuing on said topic after the deletion? It’s not really that big a deal, but leaving half a conversational tangent visible does tend to wind up causing confusion.

But you should also understand that I am personally not at all interested in his noise.

Well, so then Lenny’s not interested in your noise about religion, and you’re not interested in Lenny’s noise about how he’s not interested in your noise about religion, and I’m not interested in your noise about how you’re not interested in Lenny’s noise about he’s not interested in your noise about religion, and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrg

PZ has no tolerance for TE, whereas Lenny, although he doesn’t agree with it, at least tolerates books and comments from people who take that view, since they are also willing to fight creationism. I am just one of the people for whom TE was a necessary intermediate step to get to where I am now, as I suspect it must be for many religious people. I was ready to fight creationism at that point in my journey, and I still am after it sunk in that TE is untenable. PZ has been honest, and Lenny has been tolerant, and pragmatic. If it wasn’t for PZ and those who agreed with him, I wouldn’t have abandoned the cumbersome TE. If it wasn’t for Lenny, I may have stopped reading PT long ago.

Yes, please put me down for liking both. Thank you.

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 1, column 62, byte 62 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

It’s not a matter of “like” or “dislike.” Lenny and PZ represent, for me at least, two camps of evolution defenders with similar agendas but different angles. The creation wars are in essence about public perception. If only raw science was needed to fight creationism, we would have no need to fight it in the first place. Boiling down the sciece for laypeople is important, but what good is the science if people feel too excluded to pay attention to it, esp. religious people.

What Katarina said. Heterogeneity of approach for a heterogeneous problem. Let’s leave the who’s-the-better-atheist debate for when we are no longer the minority position. There are too many easier and tastier fish to fry.

Boiling down the sciece for laypeople is important, but what good is the science if people feel too excluded to pay attention to it, esp. religious people.

Problem is, quite a few creationists will claim to be very interested in science. Of course, by ‘science’, they mean anything that doesn’t too directly imply an old universe that contradicts the Bible. While perhaps a War on All Religion is overreaching, religious claims of supernatural phenomena that contradict scientific fact are inevitably excluded. That happens to rule out a lot of religion, not just Young Earth Creationism.

religious claims of supernatural phenomena that contradict scientific fact are inevitably excluded.

Of course science excludes supernatural claims, by definition. I’m talking about the people who make the claims, not the claims themselves.

Of course science excludes supernatural claims, by definition. I’m talking about the people who make the claims, not the claims themselves.

Well, we should certainly criticize ideas, and not their proponents. In my experience, though, religious believers invariably interpret criticism of religious ideas as personal attacks.

religious claims of supernatural phenomena that contradict scientific fact are inevitably excluded.

Again, it bears repeating that science has nothing against the supernatural, per se.

In fact, most of the scientifically minded people I know would love to find something new and mysterious to play with.

All it asks is that those claiming the supernatural demonstrate the phenomenon.

Science is perfectly happy with the idea that you can bend spoons with your mind. It has trouble with the idea that you can only bend spoons with your mind when you’re all alone.

“Show me” is not an unreasonable demand.

In my experience, though, religious believers invariably interpret criticism of religious ideas as personal attacks.

Well, yeah. If they believe what they are feeling is caused by something real, that it demands fear and reverence, that it has unquestionable authority, as they have been told, of course questions from irreverent challengers will seem like attacks. Does their imagination-imposed fear mean we should abandon them as lost causes?

If not, then we should maybe consider avoiding the head-on collisions that turn them away from the first steps to the road to reality. To be more specific, we should refrain from name-calling and condenscending remarks. My children are very far from my level of understanding, but instead of ridiculing them, I help them take baby steps.

Katarina — That appears to be ordinary good sense. There are some, however, that seem to be unapproachable by any means…

Can’t reach everyone… but you can leave the door open.

Can’t reach everyone… but you can leave the door open.

The problem occurs when those who insist that our side of the door is “sin” keep on trying to slam it shut and lock it.

I haven’t been up to anything these days. So it goes. I can’t be bothered with anything these days.

I can’t be bothered with anything these days, but such is life. I don’t care. So it goes. More or less nothing seems worth thinking about. I’ve just been hanging out waiting for something to happen, but that’s how it is.

Poor little Sten.

It does sound like you’ve fallen into a bit of a rut.

But, hey, look on the bright side. At least you’re not an obsequious little sycophant like S__ “Wormtongue” C______!

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on November 20, 2006 8:24 AM.

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