Three years and counting


I was just reminded that last year at this time I announced an anniversary. In March of 2004, I critiqued this mysterious abstraction called "ontogenetic depth" that Paul Nelson, the ID creationist, proposed as a measure of developmental and evolutionary complexity, and that he was using as a pseudoscientific rationale against evolution. Unfortunately, he never explained how "ontogenetic depth" was calculated or how it was measured (perhaps he was inspired by Dembski's "specified complexity", another magic number that can be farted out by creationists but cannot be calculated). Nelson responded to my criticisms with a promise.

On 29 March 2004, he promised to post an explanation "tomorrow".

On 7 April 2004, he told us "tomorrow".

On 26 April 2004, he told us he was too busy.

On 13 January 2005, he told us to read a paper by R Azevedo instead. I rather doubt that Ricardo supports Intelligent Design creationism, or thinks his work contributes to it.

Ever since, silence.

One day has stretched into three years. I would fear that Paul Nelson has fallen into a chronosynclastic infundibulum and come unstuck in time, except that he still pops up saying the same stuff at creationist conferences. Maybe he just forgot, and this thread will remind him so that he'll show up and post that promised explanation in a comment.



Ray Martinez might be the one to blame. He has been promising us a paper for months (years?) which is rumored to be far better than Nelson’s. Unlike IDers, including pseudo-YEC Nelson, Martinez is an all-out classic creationist. Not YEC or OEC, but AIUI a “middle age Earth” type. He seems to want to have it both ways with the big tent, both taking potshots at IDers and raving about them when convenient. I guess like AIG he likes their false dichotomy but not the “don’t ask, don’t tell” regarding what the designer did and when. The IDers, who really know that YEC and OEC-without-common-descent are nonsense, are probably waiting for Ray’s paper before coming forward with anything other than the same old bait-and-switch. No matter how pathetic Ray’s paper might be, it will likely have more real science (testable, if falsified hypotheses) that ID ever hoped for.

A chronosynclastic infundibulum, from memory, is where everything that could be true, is true simultaneously.

I think ID and creationism would still not meet that criteria.

Maybe he’d just come back from watching “Annie” and learned that tomorrow is always a day away.

Maybe he is just working out some details and waiting to publish his ideas. Perhaps he shouldn’t have promised you a posting tommorrow three years ago. That is very human of him. Are we not all guilty of this? Anyways, it is hardly something worth getting too pissy about. I look forward to the long awaited publication of Nelson’s ideas.

If only we could find his Alfred Russell Wallace. Perhaps he would rush to publication.


Pat, it seems less like Annie, and more like Alice in Wonderland. “The rule is jam tomorrow and jam yesterday but never jam to-day.”

Nelson’s argument on Ontogenetic Depth must be quite persuasive and damaging to the Darwinist faith, for you godless atheomaterialutionists to think you need to spend so much time attacking the fact that he hasn’t made the argument yet.

You have to give Nelson some credit. He was the first of the IDiot scam artists to admit that ID wasn’t up to snuff right after Meyer played the bait and switch scam on the Ohio State board. The Ohio board wanted to teach the science of ID, but Meyer gave them a replacement scam that didn’t even mention that ID had ever existed. Just think if Dembski, Meyer, Johnson, etc. had come out with their admissions after Ohio instead of after Dover. Just because that didn’t stop Nelson from running the ID scam doesn’t mean that he didn’t admit that there was no scientific theory of ID. Johnson didn’t make that admission until just last year, and Meyer is now admitting that teaching ID is “premature.” So compared to other ID scam artists Nelson was ahead of the curve.

I guess we don’t owe much to Nelson, but we do owe a lot to the utter dishonesty rampant at the Discovery Institute. If those guys had come clean back in 1999 (when they started mouthing about the replacement scam) when they realized that ID was cooked and they didn’t have jack, Dover wouldn’t have happened and they would likely be running a much more efficient replacement scam. Now they are known as the dishonest perps that ran the ID scam. Who is supporting these guys today? They are still running the ID scam because if they don’t there is no controversy to scam the rubes into thinking that they can teach, but they can’t mention ID as part of the controversy because they know that it isn’t part of any scientific controversy. So now they are stuck lying out of both sides of their faces and everyone knows that they got caught lying about ID.

So what do their “honest” support base think that they are currently doing? They are running a new scam that doesn’t even mention that ID ever existed, but to run the scam and fool enough rubes they have to keep perpetrating the failed ID scam. Really, how can you push teaching a controversy, by pretending that ID/creationism is part of the controversy, when people can read the Ohio model lesson plan and find out that the new scam doesn’t even mention ID or creationism. Why even keep the ID scam going when you have had to admit in public that you have been lying about the ID scam for years and all the years that you claimed to have something to teach was just bogus propaganda? Why is teaching ID premature today, but not back in 1995 when the scam outfit was founded?

It isn’t like their supporters can claim that they didn’t advocate teaching intelligent design. No one worth mentioning could make that claim without being called a liar or just stupid. Who got everyone to think that there was anything worth teaching about intelligent design? Who wrote the Wedge document? Who admitted in the Wedge document that they were targeting school boards and legislators to push teaching ID? Who were the guys that claimed that ID was their business before Ohio?

There are some ID supporters that post to this forum so I’d like to see an explanation of the current situation and why you still support the dishonest ID scam artists. How do you justify the historical events? It isn’t like these things didn’t happen or the Wedgies didn’t do the dishonest things that they did, and aren’t making the admissions that they are making. Heck these guys are even pointing the finger at each other. Philip Johnson didn’t admit to fraud in starting the ID scam, he only claimed that the “science” side of the scam (he called it a “movement” and not a scam) never got their act together to produce anything worth talking about. The ID scam was obviously working, the only problem was that there was no science to back it up.

Why hide your heads in the sand. Write out your excuse for what became of ID. You don’t even have to post it, just write it down and see how you are lying to yourself about these issues. If after writing it down, you don’t think that you are lying to yourself, post it.

What happened to the science of ID?

Why is teaching ID “premature” today, but not a decade ago?

What happened in Ohio? What happened after Ohio? Why did Dover have to happen?

If guys like Johnson, Meyer and Nelson knew that the science wasn’t up to snuff, what were they talking about all these years?

Why do you support the new scam when you have known since 2002 that the new scam (critical analysis/teach the controversy) doesn’t even mention that ID ever existed and that it is being perpetrated by the same guys that lied and continue to lie to you about the science of ID?

Really, if ID is worth jack, why doesn’t the current creationist replacement scam mention that ID ever existed, and why is teaching ID “premature?”

(With apologies to the Who)

Meet the new scam, same as the old scam

What’s the difference between Paul Nelson, and Microsoft?

In the end, Microsoft gives you something useful.

Three years. I’m guessing PZ likes to hold grudges a wee while.

It’s a “grudge” to call out an opponent for being 3 years late in doing something they arrogantly claimed they would do in one day? Typical concern trolling, contributing nothing to the discussion while pretending to be concerned that etiquette is the main issue at hand.

I guess all those pro ID supporters wrote down their answers to my questions, and figured that they weren’t worth posting.;-)

I really would like to see a pro ID explanation of the last decade of the ID scam. Anyone out there that doesn’t admit that it was a creationist scam? How do you explain the bait and switch that was run in Ohio in 2002? Why wasn’t teaching ID “premature” back in 1995 when the Discovery Institute’s ID scam outfit was founded? What were they doing when they targeted school boards and legislators if they knew that ID didn’t make the grade? Why did they set up ISCID and ARN only after they decided to go with a replacment scam that didn’t even mention that ID had ever existed?

Sure you can claim that everyone associated with the Discovery Institute wasn’t in on the scam, but can you say that about Meyer, West or Chapman? Do you really believe that Chapman or the director and associate director of their “science” division didn’t know about the Wedge document, or didn’t know what they were doing when guys like Meyer started going on about the “teach the controversy” ID replacment scam back in 1999, or when they had to run the bait and switch scam on the Ohio rubes?

What is a pro ID view of this sordid history?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on April 7, 2007 12:25 PM.

Wells on Hox structure: making the same mistakes over and over again was the previous entry in this blog.

Primordial Soup’s On: Scientists Repeat Evolution’s Most Famous Experiment is the next entry in this blog.

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