Barrett Brown whacks Dembski on HuffPo

| 35 Comments

While the Huffington Post has some execrably bad aspects (its embrace of woo in health, for example), it does have the occasional gem. For example, this takedown of Bill Dembski is outstanding. Read and enjoy!

I have to say, though, that some of the comments are remarkably dumb. Second law of thermodynamics? Gads. And ‘That’s not evolution, it’s just adaptation.’ (Though they get a little lighter late in the thread – is there golfing in heaven?)

Via John Pieret (who else? I’m not proud). But every time I throw him a trackback I get an error. Hm.

35 Comments

Dembski’s making himself easier and easier to whack. His latest book, “The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World” (unlike his books pushing intelligent design creationism), makes no pretensions of being about science - it’s a book about religion, aimed at his usual base of gullible scientific illiterates. It makes one wonder why (since Dembski is one of the more visible cdesign proponentsists) his handlers would allow him to become more visible as a religious apologist instead of the oh-so-serious “scientist” he used to be purported to be. “The End of Christianity” is just one more nail in the coffin of intelligent design creationism, proving once again it’s all about religion, and never was about science.

While I agree with the content of the article, a new takedown of Dembski is beating a dead horse.

Even with his new apologetic publication, he’s still nowhere as visible as he once was.

And ‘That’s not evolution, it’s just adaptation.

This is the latest meme going around the moronosphere.

Evolution produces adaptations at the genetic level. So they are more or less equivalent. Saying something adapted is saying something evolved.

This is because evolution is undeniable to anyone with a functioning brain. They think if they call it by another name, it didn’t happen.

To cite just the most recent case. We are about to get hit by a newly evolved and rapidly evolving disease, swine flu. It already hit the southern hemisphere hard. This will scare a lot of creationists (and everyone else), make some sick, and kill a few. But it didn’t evolve, it adapted. By evolving.

It doesn’t make sense but what else is new?

I’ve never seen anything to indicate that Dembski is anything but a routine, garden variety kook. And a somewhat malevolent one at that, like when he turned in Eric Pianka to Homeland Security. Or got kicked out of Baylor twice.

… every time I throw him a trackback I get an error

As I understand it Blogger doesn’t support trackbacks and everytime I try to install a widget (whatever the heck they are), I wind up crashing the place so I have foresworn the attempt. Thanks for the hat tip anyway.

John Pieret said:

… every time I throw him a trackback I get an error

As I understand it Blogger doesn’t support trackbacks and everytime I try to install a widget (whatever the heck they are), I wind up crashing the place so I have foresworn the attempt. Thanks for the hat tip anyway.

Given all the stuff I steal from you, it’s the least I can do. :)

raven,

The Huffington Post article missed a couple of Dembski’s other exploits, of which is definitely quite notorious. In the fall of 2007, during his talks, he was showing a cell animation video, until one Abbie Smith realized that it was stolen from Harvard University, and brought it to the attention of the video’s producer, XVIVO. It seems credible that he did show this video to the producers of “Expelled”, and a crude version of it was included initially in a version of the film a few months prior to its official release.

In December 2007 he opted to use censorship against me at Amazon.com, requesting that Amazon pull my one star review of his and Jonathan Wells’s “The Design of Life” (contrary to comments made then and afterwards, I did get my hands on part of the book’s manuscript prior to reviewing the book), which was the only review then not written by one of his friends and acolytes. I sent him an e-mail ultimatum to have the review restored or else by NOON the following day, which it was.

As for DaveScot Springer, the new “lords” of Uncommon Dissent eventually grew tired of his antics, and, I believe, he was banished by them sometime last year.

That article was a thing of beauty.

William Dembski:

The implications of intelligent design are radical in the true sense of this much overused word. The question posed by intelligent design is not how we should do science and theology in light of the triumph of Enlightenment rationalism and scientific naturalism. The question is rather how we should do science and theology in light of the impending collapse of Enlightenment rationalism and scientific naturalism. These ideologies are on the way out…because they are bankrupt.

Dembski’s goal was to destroy Western civilization. The Enlightenment and science are the basis of the 21st century West, including the leader, the USA. To set up another unworkable hell on earth theocracy.

Which is silly, it (science) worked well enough that rather than living in caves and fighting lions for a carcass, we have huge telescopes in space and just saw a planet a 1000 light years away.

And he didn’t even come close. Just some spray paint graffiti on the pillars of civilization. Might explain why he is a bitter, aging kook spiralling towards irrelevancy.

raven said:

[William Dembski] is a bitter, aging kook spiralling towards irrelevancy.

I think your verb tense is wrong. Dembski spiraled into irrelevancy long ago.

This is a shame, as he’s bright enough to be a productive working mathematician. It seems that he’d rather play silly word games than uncover new mathematics.

His attack on the Enlightenment is particularly stunning. In the pre-Enlightenment world, slavery was accepted as a moral good. I would not want to live in such a debased society, either as a slave or as a slave-owner. Dembski apparently would.

Dan,

Thanks for your reminder, which I was well aware of, though there may be some here at PT who aren’t. Dembski was one of the leading “prophets” of Intelligent Design by the time Philip Johnson organized his “big tent” ID conference in CA (I believe it was back in 1994.) which led directly to the creation of the Dishonesty Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture (now referred to as, of course, the Center for Science and Culture).

Dembski is merely one of several promising mathematicians and scientists (another is Kurt Wise of course) who opted to “prostitute” themselves on behalf of their Xian GOD. In Dembski’s case, however, his all too frequent acts against critics seem far more representative of someone who is willing servant of Lucifer’s not of Christ’s.

We know the truth in our hearts, maybe we don’t use “words” like “professors” would “like” us to. We meant the third law of secondynamics. Simple typo.

Have you seen William A. Dembski’s courses in this academic year? He is teaching undergraduate students about ID, and pro-ID entries written by students in “hostile” websites count in the grade.

“This is the undegrad course. You have three things to do: (1) take the final exam (worth 40% of your grade); (2) write a 3,000-word essay on the theological significance of intelligent design (worth 40% of your grade); (3) provide at least 10 posts defending ID that you’ve made on “hostile” websites, the posts totalling 2,000 words, along with the URLs (i.e., web links) to each post (worth 20% of your grade).”

http://www.designinference.com/teac[…]teaching.htm

SexComb wrote:

“…provide at least 10 posts defending ID that you’ve made on “hostile” websites, the posts totalling 2,000 words, along with the URLs (i.e., web links) to each post…”

Do you have to include the rebuttals you get from the informed people who respond to you? Are your responses to criticism part of your grade? Seems like Dembski is planning an attack on PT and getting others to do his dirty work for him. That is of course assuming the accuracy of your report.

I wonder what grade you would get for posting fart videos? Will the final exam include calculations of CSI? Yea, this guy is a real serious scientist all right. Well at least he got one thing right, it does indeed seem to be an “undegrad” course.

SexComb said:

Have you seen William A. Dembski’s courses in this academic year? He is teaching undergraduate students about ID, and pro-ID entries written by students in “hostile” websites count in the grade.

“This is the undegrad course. You have three things to do: (1) take the final exam (worth 40% of your grade); (2) write a 3,000-word essay on the theological significance of intelligent design (worth 40% of your grade); (3) provide at least 10 posts defending ID that you’ve made on “hostile” websites, the posts totalling 2,000 words, along with the URLs (i.e., web links) to each post (worth 20% of your grade).”

http://www.designinference.com/teac[…]teaching.htm

What incredible nonsense this man espouses. It’s a pretty good indication of the ultra-low caliber education that anyone attending this baptist seminary will receive. Then again, this could be very resourceful for Dembski for his students might come up with things he couldn’t originate himself, that way he can steal their thoughts and use them as his own, or even quote mine them for another of his sad books and take credit for the ideas!

This is a bit off topic, but Ben Stein has complained lately about being “persecuted” by Atheists and “Neo - Darwinists”:

http://spectator.org/archives/2009/[…]new-york-tim

As an add-on, it’s ironic to see this no-no statement in Dembski’s seminary class summaries:

“ACADEMIC INTEGRITY Plagiarism is the misrepresentation of another’s work as one’s own. When the professor concludes that a student has plagiarized an assignment, the student will receive the grade of zero for the assignment, and the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs will be notified about the incident. The same actions apply to other acts of academic dishonesty such as cheating on examinations (see Ethical Conduct section in SWBTS catalog).”

Does Dembski himself adhere to such standards? Need we ask?

John Kwok said:

This is a bit off topic, but Ben Stein has complained lately about being “persecuted” by Atheists and “Neo - Darwinists”:

http://spectator.org/archives/2009/[…]new-york-tim

Link didn’t work. Go to www.spectator.org & search for ben stein. Obviously the man has zero integrity - he’s looking for a scapegoat for his failures, obviously the dastardly “darwinists” are behind his failings. And they still refer to him as an “economist.”

Kwok, please don’t spam multiple threads with the same off-topic post.

DavidK,

Here’s the correct link:

http://spectator.org/archives/2009/[…]new-york-tim

A few of his supporters are lashing out at PZ Myers for having sent his minions to the Spectator’s site.

RBH,

Thought it was appropriate for both threads. My apologies.

SexComb said:

Have you seen William A. Dembski’s courses in this academic year? He is teaching undergraduate students about ID, and pro-ID entries written by students in “hostile” websites count in the grade.

“This is the undegrad course. You have three things to do: (1) take the final exam (worth 40% of your grade); (2) write a 3,000-word essay on the theological significance of intelligent design (worth 40% of your grade); (3) provide at least 10 posts defending ID that you’ve made on “hostile” websites, the posts totalling 2,000 words, along with the URLs (i.e., web links) to each post (worth 20% of your grade).”

http://www.designinference.com/teac[…]teaching.htm

I wonder if this has been pointed out to his superiors, and his ISP. Institutionally-sanctioned trolling and spam?

Hmm… I wonder if henry is enrolled in this course. That would explain a lot, wouldn’t it.

Wait, what? The theological significance of ID? I thought ID wasn’t religious. It’s all science, isn’t it? I’m shocked. Shocked, I say!

I also read the final “take home exam”. The phrases “mind-wanking” and “disappearing up your own arse” spring to mind.

fnxtr said:

Wait, what? The theological significance of ID? I thought ID wasn’t religious. It’s all science, isn’t it? I’m shocked. Shocked, I say!

And yet, there’s no mention of the theological significance of evolution (i.e. what the implications are for interpreting Genesis and salvation). You’d think that would be at least as important, since ID is supposed to be a response to it.

Dembski’s teaching a course now that requires students (20% of their grade) to write 10 posts defending ID on “hostile” sites – so watch for some of those posts here! See http://curricublog.wordpress.com/20[…]-for-grades/

A bit behind the times there Tony, but thanks anyway.

What I want to know is how we deal with these folks taxonomically. We’ve got trolls. We’ve got concern trolls. We’ve got Poes (not technically trolls but content is much the same). Now we’ve got these course credit trolls. But that’s a lousy name, so what else can we call them?

Do the PTers out there have any suggestions? I’ll start the ball rolling with cstudentists (in honor of cdesign proponentists). A bit unprononceable, but IMO what it lacks in intonation it makes up for with accuracy.

Good evening and welcome to another exciting installment of Trolling For Grades. Tonight’s contestant, please welcome… henry!

I just thought I’d put that there so we can cut and paste it when it’s needed.

Like a bridge over troll-id waters…

This is almost too funny for words.

But it continues in the fine tradition of the “quad preachers” waltzing into the lion’s den to wield the sword and shield of God and do battle with the “evil ones” thereby winning points toward having an adoring flock of rubes of your own.

Mike,

Yeah, I was laughing too:

Mike Elzinga said:

This is almost too funny for words.

But it continues in the fine tradition of the “quad preachers” waltzing into the lion’s den to wield the sword and shield of God and do battle with the “evil ones” thereby winning points toward having an adoring flock of rubes of your own.

But then I realized that this is an instance of Bill Dembski trying to do “Intelligent Design: The Next Generation”, with him as ID’s equivalent to the Commander-in-Chief, Starfleet.

Too bad neither Springer nor Mims are available to help him as “TAs” in this course.

John Kwok said:

But then I realized that this is an instance of Bill Dembski trying to do “Intelligent Design: The Next Generation”, with him as ID’s equivalent to the Commander-in-Chief, Starfleet.

Too bad neither Springer nor Mims are available to help him as “TAs” in this course.

It certainly appears that 2nd Lt Dembski (he could never acquire a higher rank) is letting his rubes take point position in his march against science.

He ran from Dover, and the DI has always put its rubes out there in “harm’s way” when it comes to implementing the tactics and strategies of ID.

“Fearless Dembski” is being true to his cowardly ways.

I think “Number Two” would be a good name for him, if I may wax scatological.

But then I realized that this is an instance of Bill Dembski trying to do “Intelligent Design: The Next Generation”, with him as ID’s equivalent to the Commander-in-Chief, Starfleet.

Wouldn’t work; he doesn’t have the Data.

But he does have his loyal acolytes who are steadfast members of the Dishonesty Institute IDiot Borg Collective, so why does he need Data to refute his increasingly bizarre Xian religious “pronouncements”:

Henry J said:

But then I realized that this is an instance of Bill Dembski trying to do “Intelligent Design: The Next Generation”, with him as ID’s equivalent to the Commander-in-Chief, Starfleet.

Wouldn’t work; he doesn’t have the Data.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on August 7, 2009 2:34 PM.

(UPDATED) Freshwater Mandamus request filed was the previous entry in this blog.

Three Amigos or Three Stooges? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.361

Site Meter