Bill Dembski: ChunkDZ’s gift of profane abuses

| 155 Comments

In a hilarious posting, William Dembski presents most likely an email from a colleague who argues that

I encourage you to take a look at the Panda’s Thumb and follow the entire thread devoted to the optimality of the genetic code. It is simply priceless. Someone styling himself Chunkdz dominates the discussion and by virtue of a very considerable gift for profane abuse, succeeds in doing what I never thought possible, and that is reducing the entire PT crowd to sputtering, dim-witted incoherence. You must link to it.

here is the link

Let’s link to this as well as to the response by us dim-wits.

PS: I wonder if Bill even bothered to look at the threads in question. Yes, they are full of profane abuses while ignoring the science involved. What is even more fascinating is how Bill points to a thread in which ChunkDZ’s profanity has been minimized in order to focus on his ‘arguments’ to show how they lack support and a thread in which ChunkDZ has not participated. Given Bill’s somewhat juvenile pleasures in making a judge pass gas, I am wondering in what other unexplored pleasures he indulges. Funny how so few ID proponents are willing nay able to defend ChunkDZ, other than marvel at his gift of profanity. Needless to say, ID may be scientifically vacuous but it does attracts people with remarkable gifts. Well, at least it’s more entertaining that Denyse O’Leary’s continued whining and DaveScot’s denial of the fact of global warming and the large human component of global warming. Ignorance does love company.

155 Comments

William Dembski must not be terribly bright to mistake “getting bored/frustrated with a person with poor social and reading comprehension skills who uses profanity and invectives as substitutes for punctuation” with “sputtering silence.”

Then again, Mr Dembski is a man who applies his motto of “it’s not my task to match your pathetic level of detail” to all aspects of his life, it seems.

“gift for profane abuse” .…..

I have read about the holy spirit giving the gift of prophesy and healing to the faithful, but “profane abuse”?

I will look at Gordan Ramsey in whole different light, he has been truly blessed.

”…Chunkdz dominates the discussion and by virtue of a very considerable gift for profane abuse, succeeds in doing what I never thought possible, and that is reducing the entire PT crowd to sputtering, dim-witted incoherence. You must link to it.”
First of all that’s Chunkdz’s version, even at that it was what psychologists call projection.
Secondly, my impression was that chunkdz, in the vivid words of Hunter Thompson, got stomped like a nark at a biker rally.

Who says that reality matters to ID proponents, it’s all about apologetics anyway. :-)

so, ID has finally settled upon the measure of intellectual victory that creationists like Hovind discovered decades ago … saying stuff so blitheringly stupid that opponents silently wonder how to even parse it into some sort of grammatical structure, then chortling at how all these fancy types with their book learning were unable to respond

Well, Dr. Dembski should know something about “sputtering, dim-witted incoherence.” He’s done plenty of it himself. To see for yourself, let’s go back to April 2002, to that temple of evolution, the American Museum of Natural History. There, at the ID Forum, several of the top ID advocates were given a chance to explain their glorious theory of ID. (And you thought they were always silenced!) See especially this section where Dr. Robert Pennock questions Dr. Dembski. Who’s sputtering?

I am getting reluctant to post but … Dembski of course has tuned out the fact that anyone who behaved like that posting to UNCOMMON DESCENT would have been banned after a few entries, while our visitor is tolerated and engaged (if, to no surprise, with little good humor) on PT.

I am not surprised that Dembski would endorse a thrower of foul-mouthed tantrums, it’s what I would expect of him, or maybe less. Indeed … how do we know that our guest isn’t a sock puppet for Dembski himself?

I must admit that this new “segregation” approach is very satisfactory. For whatever reasons, there are those here who like to fight with malicious visitors – who knows, maybe they just like to fight? But they can corner the visitor in the store-room and fight away as long as they please, no problem. The real beauty is that the visitors are no longer disrupting the operation of the site, just sitting there being a convenient punching bag. It must take a lot of the fun out of it. And they can’t cry “censorship” any more.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

Always a crowd pleaser. It underlines however how vague and ill defined the concepts of ID really are and how it is easy to switch between definitions without the reader or listener realizing this. It’s this bait and switch which causes so much confusion. And once again Dembski shows that ID explains nothing but at best can attempt to place boundaries around science, even though said boundaries seldomly seem to be as solid as once hoped. The bacterial flagellum comes to mind, whose status as an Icon of ID has been demolished by the hard work of scientists.

Karen S. said:

Well, Dr. Dembski should know something about “sputtering, dim-witted incoherence.” He’s done plenty of it himself. To see for yourself, let’s go back to April 2002, to that temple of evolution, the American Museum of Natural History. There, at the ID Forum, several of the top ID advocates were given a chance to explain their glorious theory of ID. (And you thought they were always silenced!) See especially this section where Dr. Robert Pennock questions Dr. Dembski. Who’s sputtering?

It is indeed funny how there can be such a level of contradiction to the extent that others but the person directly affected can clearly observe the problems. Sure, Dembski’s blog is infamous for blocking and banning dissent, especially when it is well supported. Other detractors are quickly removed, but not at PT where we show compassion and patience, basic Christian features btw, to deal with those who come to the site with insults.

In the end it perhaps all comes down to a simple question WWJD. Funny how well intentional Christians can apparently disagree to quite an extent as to how to implement the teachings.

iml8 said:

I am getting reluctant to post but … Dembski of course has tuned out the fact that anyone who behaved like that posting to UNCOMMON DESCENT would have been banned after a few entries, while our visitor is tolerated and engaged (if, to no surprise, with little good humor) on PT.

I am not surprised that Dembski would endorse a thrower of foul-mouthed tantrums, it’s what I would expect of him, or maybe less. Indeed … how do we know that our guest isn’t a sock puppet for Dembski himself?

I must admit that this new “segregation” approach is very satisfactory. For whatever reasons, there are those here who like to fight with malicious visitors – who knows, maybe they just like to fight? But they can corner the visitor in the store-room and fight away as long as they please, no problem. The real beauty is that the visitors are no longer disrupting the operation of the site, just sitting there being a convenient punching bag. It must take a lot of the fun out of it. And they can’t cry “censorship” any more.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

snaxalotl said:

so, ID has finally settled upon the measure of intellectual victory that creationists like Hovind discovered decades ago … saying stuff so blitheringly stupid that opponents silently wonder how to even parse it into some sort of grammatical structure, then chortling at how all these fancy types with their book learning were unable to respond

It’s exactly as I once observed; Intelligent Design proponents never had any interest in actual debate, unless by “actual debate,” one refers to malicious misinformation, lying, quotemining, or underhanded political manipulation.

They are also attacking PvM’s moderation style directly as well:

3

DaveScot

10/06/2008

6:09 pm

What’s that cryptic comment by PT author PvM

“clean up cycle finished”

supposed to mean?

4

PaulBurnett

10/06/2008

7:52 pm Pim sometimes flushes trolls’ comments if they’re too off-topic or egregiously offensive. So what you see today may not fully show the moment-to-moment rough-and-tumble as the plot thickened - it’s been somewhat edited (i.e., “cleaned up”) and Pim is noting that his housekeeping cycle is completed.

Beware, PvM! Next they will start bashing for for censorship!

Dale Husband said:

Beware, PvM! Next they will start bashing for for censorship!

Uncommon Descent engaging in gross hypocrisy? Who would have ever thought they would stoop so low? [/sarcasm]

Dale Husband said:

They are also attacking PvM’s moderation style directly as well:

Beware, PvM! Next they will start bashing for for censorship!

How funny, from our let’s deny global warming friend.. And yet these comments are never removed just moved.

But I doubt that such complex concepts can be fully understood at the bastion of scientific vacuity called UcD.

DaveScot made an absolute fool of himself here:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/inte[…]nce-because/

Can you beleive that?! If I had been Dembski, I would have said to DaveScot: “You idiot! You just blew away our whole legal and scientific case! YOU’RE FIRED!!!”

Well, Davescot is not the smartest cookie around and his flawed logic can be easily exposed. Perhaps in a future posting, but I hate to spend too much time on people who are such scientific lightweights that they reject the facts of global warming and the well established human component. What else can I say but to congratulate Davescot on a ‘job well done’. As to Dembski, he must wonder how hard it is to soar like an eagle when surrounded by turkeys. On the other hand, in the land of the blind, one eye is king.

Dale Husband said:

DaveScot made an absolute fool of himself here:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/inte[…]nce-because/

Can you beleive that?! If I had been Dembski, I would have said to DaveScot: “You idiot! You just blew away our whole legal and scientific case! YOU’RE FIRED!!!”

Stanton said:

William Dembski must not be terribly bright…

Besides ID, he has supported The Bible Code and faith healing. You be the judge.

(At least he’s not as repellently homophobic as Salvador:

http://www.youngcosmos.com/blog/

)

PvM said:

Well, Davescot is not the smartest cookie around and his flawed logic can be easily exposed. Perhaps in a future posting, but I hate to spend too much time on people who are such scientific lightweights that they reject the facts of global warming and the well established human component. What else can I say but to congratulate Davescot on a ‘job well done’. As to Dembski, he must wonder how hard it is to soar like an eagle when surrounded by turkeys. On the other hand, in the land of the blind, one eye is king.

While I certainly see the connection between global warming denialism and evolution denialism, I was not aware that DaveScot was an advocate of the former.

DaveScot’s claim was already blown to bits here, actually: DaveScot Admits that ID = Creationism http://debunkingcreationism.blogspo[…]tionism.html

The science of biology operates under a general set of propositions, each of which is constantly tested and refined due to incoming data. The most important general proposition is that all organisms alive arose from a single population of organisms. Young Earth and Old Earth Creationists dispute common descent and argue for special creation by the deity. However, Intelligent Design advocates (at least Michael Behe and William Dembski) largely accept common descent. DaveScot over at Uncommmon Descent has a post up where he tries to make the case that Intelligent Design is actually falsifiable.

He starts out by repeating the argument that Judge Jones used in the Dover case, that ID is not science because it is not falsifiable.

In the next part of the post DaveScot quotes Mayr on Darwin’s original creationism and how his voyage on the Beagle continually challenged that belief because of data that did not fit with his creationist mindset. Then he does an interesting rhetorical turn:

Huh. It appears like Darwin was testing scientific creationism and found evidence contrary to it. So what is it. Is ID science or not science? It seems our opponents want to have their cake and eat it too by saying: “ID is not science because it cannot be falsified or verified. And by the way, ID has been repeatedly tested and shown to be false.”

Now I have to say I agree with the gist of the first part of DaveScot’s post. Unless DaveScot is willing to admit that creationism and ID are synonyms though, I don’t quite see how his second argument makes sense.

Let’s break it down. Creationism is the belief that all species arose by special creation from a deity. Some creationists believe each species was created individually, while some believe the process was only by kinds with subsequent dynamic evolution from the basic kinds. Yet creationism is most definitely testable and indeed has been tested and has been falsified.

I hope DaveScot can understand that.

However, if someone is like Behe, and accepts common descent, but just believes that somewhere in the mix God did some stuff to help things along now and then (helping make the eye, working on some blood clotting, tweaking the bacterial flagellum a bit), then that really isn’t testable. There’s no way to prove that organisms weren’t tweaked by God.

There are multiple ways to show beyond any reasonable doubt that organisms are commonly descended. So I wonder if DaveScot understands the irony of his blog’s title or not.

Now the odd thing there is what DaveScot doesn’t do. You’d think that if ID truly were testable, DaveScot would hang out the test that could be done to disprove it, or the findings that would invalidate it. Evolutionary biologists repeatedly have given examples of things that would invalidate the theory of evolution – rabbits in the Cambrian being the classic example.

So the argument is only rational if you admit that ID is creationism, something that the Discovery Institute spent many years trying to argue it wasn’t. Thanks for admitting something that all rational people knew all along, DaveScot. Yet even there, DaveScot can’t quite put his theory on the line by giving a simple proof of his point – what exactly is the test that could be done that would falsify ID?

this is what you get for “debating” morons like FL and ChunkyZ, Pim.

I guess you think it’s working for you?

I am having a blast.

Ichthyic said:

this is what you get for “debating” morons like FL and ChunkyZ, Pim.

I guess you think it’s working for you?

Wow, somehow I am not surprised. Pretty boy Sal… Oh the content of our closets.

steve s said:

Stanton said:

William Dembski must not be terribly bright…

Besides ID, he has supported The Bible Code and faith healing. You be the judge.

(At least he’s not as repellently homophobic as Salvador:

http://www.youngcosmos.com/blog/

)

For more insanity from Dembski’s blog, look here again: http://www.uncommondescent.com/inte[…]nce-because/

1

Avraham Barda

09/27/2008

3:14 pm

Greetings, new here.

In my humble opinion, your blurb, in stating that “Materialistic ideology has subverted the study of biological and cosmological origins so that the actual content of these sciences has become corrupted,” is in error. A pristine, uncorrupted, theism-friendly science as practiced by Galileo and Newton never existed. As someone knowledgeable in Greek philosophy and Hellenistic thought, I offer the thesis that science has always been subservient to a philosophy, one that has been inimical to Biblical creationism and intelligent design (in general, including Cicero’s version; I don’t conflate creationism and ID, there’s a lot of overlap but ID can be non-Biblical) from the very start.

The pagan Greek idea of the cosmos holds, that there is an order (”cosmos”) that arches over everything, and is a closed system with no rule-breaking input possible. Even the Greek gods are subject to the rules of the cosmic order. Insofar as the Greek philosophers believed in the miracles of Zeus and other stories like that, they considered them to be possible within the cosmic order; which also decreed that gods were immortal and humans mortal.

Proto-science developed in ancient Greece because the idea of the cosmos enabled it to develop. The mantle of science was reassumed in the Renaissance and reworked into what can be called a “restricted Hellenistic model”, where the cosmic order is as absolute as before, but is redefined to exclude the non-material. If there has been a change from Newton’s day to Darwin’s, it was only in the restriction of the definition of “cosmic order”; both Newton and Darwin believed in unbreakable cosmic regularity, even if the former allowed spiritual existence while the latter had no room for such.

Science is and has always been a servant of a philosophy that assumes there can be no outside input to break the overarching cosmic order. Newton had as much use for “God did it” as does any present-day scientist, which is to say, none at all. The modern aversion to intelligent design (or, as they call it, “poofing,” magic,” and other names of a derogatory nature) has ancient roots, roots going back to the pagan Greek originators of science. Those roots are both anti-Biblical and anti-ID to their core.

You can’t reform what has always been that which you call “corrupted”. ID can’t be conventional science; it can only be a new kind of science altogether. The basic rules must be changed.

My 2 cents’ worth. Avraham

7

BarryA

09/27/2008

4:20 pm

Avraham Barda, you are new here and so I won’t be too hard on you. I’ll just say this. Your comment demonstrates beyond the slightest doubt that you have not the slightest idea what ID’s thesis is. ID neither posits nor requires an act of God or an irregularity in the order of the universe. Go do your homework before you post again.

Gee, what a shameless liar that BarryA is!

Later, DaveScot chimes in with:

12

DaveScot

09/27/2008

4:55 pm AB

Let’s be grown-ups here. I don’t assume you’re a Raelian (believer in UFO designers).

I don’t “believe” in anything without evidence and I have yet to see any evidence showing that the design of life on the planet earth requires supernatural powers.

I challenge you to produce some evidence of life needing a designer with supernatual abilities.

An example of someone talking out of both sides of his mouth. ID is essentially a meaningless concept, if we allow its promoters to define it as they wish, rather than according to consistent definitions regardless of their audience.

Still later.…

27

DaveScot

09/27/2008

6:44 pm I think materialistic ideology itself has been corrupted. That corruption takes the form of axiomatically rejecting any possibility of intelligent agency superior to mankind having played any role whatsoever in the course of organic evolution.

MET is thus self-contradictory. We have intelligent agents right now (humans) altering the course of evolution through genetic manipulation. According to MET these agents arose via material processes. Obviously then, according to the theory, intelligent agency is a natural part of the material universe. So what prevents an earlier emergence of intelligent agency through natural means? Nothing is what.

Richard Dawkins is on the record agreeing that life on this planet could have been engineered by an outside agency (in the documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed). Does that make Richard Dawkins a Raelian? In a way, certainly. He was simply forced to acknowledge that it is physically possible. If any scientist rejects the possibility he’s either lying or sorely lacking in a solid grounding of basic science.

Of course that raises the perfectly valid question of who designed the designer. But if we presume that mind is an emergent property of matter (materialist presumption) we must at the same ask where the matter came from which enabled the emergence. Surely matter didn’t create itself. In such infinite regressions both mind and matter run into the same brick wall called “The Big Bang” wherein science tells us that all the matter & energy in the universe suddenly appeared everywhere at once. So does mind predate matter or vice versa? No material answer exists.

At which point I would ask, “If life on Earth was the product of non-supernatural agents, what is the evidence for it? If you say there is none, then why did you even bring it up? You cannot form a scientific hypothesis without physical evidence that the hypothesis can explain.”

Therefore, ID is a completely useless concept.

And yes, matter could have created itself, just as life creates itself constantly on this earth from preexisting life. Assuming otherwise is incredibly ignorant. The Big Bang could have resulted as a rebound from a previous Big Crunch. At present, of course, there is no way to know. No one should claim that this hypothesis is scientific until there is a way to test it. But it is a possibility, just as much as the existence of an Intelligent Designer.

The Big Bang could have resulted as a rebound from a previous Big Crunch. At present, of course, there is no way to know. No one should claim that this hypothesis is scientific until there is a way to test it. But it is a possibility, just as much as the existence of an Intelligent Designer.

I think this conclusion wonderfully demonstrates the difference in ethos between pseudo-science and science. A scientist is aware of her own ignorance, because she has a rigorous epistemology which makes it clear whether something is known. So we see an admission that several explanations are possible and then an emphasis that we don’t know which one is right.

Where as a pseudo-scientist would have concluded more like this: Based on the unarticulated, indescribable, and irrefutable implications of the “No Pie For Me” theory we can be quite certain that I’m right! (I suppose a good pseudo-scientist would dress that up with more verbage, but you get the point.)

I can easily see the appeal of Uncommon Descent. It’s like never leaving home so you can keep that feeling of being the smartest kid in town forever.

When your biggest yardstick for comparison is Dembski, you can spend most of your time feeling like an articulate genius.

Larry Boy said:

The Big Bang could have resulted as a rebound from a previous Big Crunch. At present, of course, there is no way to know. No one should claim that this hypothesis is scientific until there is a way to test it. But it is a possibility, just as much as the existence of an Intelligent Designer.

I think this conclusion wonderfully demonstrates the difference in ethos between pseudo-science and science. A scientist is aware of her own ignorance, because she has a rigorous epistemology which makes it clear whether something is known. So we see an admission that several explanations are possible and then an emphasis that we don’t know which one is right.

Where as a pseudo-scientist would have concluded more like this: Based on the unarticulated, indescribable, and irrefutable implications of the “No Pie For Me” theory we can be quite certain that I’m right! (I suppose a good pseudo-scientist would dress that up with more verbage, but you get the point.)

Of course, people who crave absolute answers will never be satisfied with that approach, which is why pseudo-science remains so popular. Especially the pseudo-sciences that happen to support or be derived from religious dogmas. The Big Crunch/Big Bang hypothesis is derived from Hindu cosmology, not anything remotely scientific. We can infer the Big Bang from the evidence, but not the Big Crunch that may have come before it.

There is no evidence that alien intelligences played a role on the origin of life on Earth. If they did, that would still leave the mystery of how those aliens arose. Such a concept is, as PvM would rightly say, scientifically vacous.

Just a hypothesis : could it be possible that “Chunkdz” was Mr Dembski himself?

Karen S. Wrote:

See especially this section where Dr. Robert Pennock questions Dr. Dembski. Who’s sputtering?

Wow! Even in print I can “see” Dembski falling apart and desperately trying to change the subject when Pennock mentioned common descent and the age of the earth.

Here are some gems from Dembski:

It seems that the evidence for common descent is actually pretty good.

(note: later he was more explicit in denying that humans and other apes evolved from common ancestors, but he has never denied the “biological continuity” that Behe concedes)

I, I take Genesis figuratively…

I think that, you know, as I’ve put it in my book, No Free Lunch, you want to be as conservative as possible in what you’re, what you’re teaching.

Conservative???? What can be more liberal than allowing the teaching of baseless and long-refuted rhetoric from armchair “theorists” who have never taken step one to actually earn the right to have their “theory” taught? What can be more liberal than allowing students to conclude that common descent may or may not be true, or that the earth (and life, and the universe) can be how ever old they want it to be??

It’s no coincidence that the DI’s most notable rube, former Senator Rick Santorum, whined about teaching “evolution only” in an editorial titled “Illiberal Education.”

We have threads for discussing UD on the PT forumses, but I’d like to reiterate iml8’s note about censorship at UD; for anyone who doesn’t believe it, just try joining in a discussion over there. I’m currently under moderation, and my last post a week ago was deleted because it criticised a comment by DaveScot, and after THAT Davescot quietly edited his offending comment anyway.

But hey, it’s all for Jes… I mean, er, the designer, isn’t it?

steve s said:

Besides ID, he has supported The Bible Code …

Bible Codes (& Shakespeare Codes) have a long and quirky history:

http://www.vectorsite.net/ttcode_13.html

It is possible to obtain pretty much the same sort of secret messages from any arbitrary book – porn if you’re into that.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

steve s said:

Stanton said:

William Dembski must not be terribly bright…

Besides ID, he has supported The Bible Code…

Using the techniques of the Bible Code, I have proven that intelligent design is bogus: http://www.paulburnett.com/idbogus.htm

snaxalotl said:

so, ID has finally settled upon the measure of intellectual victory that creationists like Hovind discovered decades ago … saying stuff so blitheringly stupid that opponents silently wonder how to even parse it into some sort of grammatical structure, then chortling at how all these fancy types with their book learning were unable to respond

I must disagree with you snax. They haven’t just finally settled - they’ve always measured success in terms of volume of public statements. ID never accepted mainstream scientific metrics, such as published peer reviewed papers, citations, patents, etc… Not for its entire two decade history.

Henry J Wrote:

Remarks like that could cause me to retell the one about the atom that lost an electron!

Are you sure the atom lost an electon? ;-)

Frank J said:

Adam Wrote:

I have asked questions related to this matter as far as I can at present. I need to read more materials on the topic, and hope to come to some solid conclusions in time.

Please do read more material. I recommend “Finding Darwin’s God” and “Only a Theory” by Kenneth Miller to start. For a more theological perspective there’s “The Language of God” by Francis Collins and “God After Darwin” by John Haught (I haven’t read Haught’s book yet, but I have read many articles by him, as well as his Dover testimony). These gentlemen are all Christians, as you may know.

Please also read “Why Intelligent Design Fails” by Matt Young and Taner Edis for a more in-depth look at how ID fails as science.

For interesting non-Darwinian perspectives that don’t resort to pseudoscience I recommend “The Origins of Order” by Stuart Kauffman and “Dear Mr. Darwin” by Gabriel Dover.

I’ve read the books by Miller, Collins, and Kaufmann – all good reads with clear expositions of the key technical points. It might be a little more humane to start with Kaufmann’s “At Home In The Universe.”

Are you sure the atom lost an electon? ;-)

Well, that would depend on how reliable the test method is, but it did test positive for the condition.

Henry

groan. Where are the rotten tomatoes when you need them? :)

I’m getting them. Or should I say - Ion it.

tresmal said:

groan. Where are the rotten tomatoes when you need them? :)

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on October 6, 2008 5:30 PM.

OpenLab 2008 and ScienceOnline 2009 was the previous entry in this blog.

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