PvM posted Entry 2775 on December 17, 2006 06:28 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2765

On UncommonDescent, Dembski ‘explains’ his motivation behind the Judge Jones School of law:

Dembksi wrote:

Just to be clear, my aim in this flash animation was not to shake up the convictions of convinced Darwinists. Rather, my aim was to render Judge Jones and his decision ridiculous in the eyes of many young people, who from here on will never take Darwinian evolution or him seriously. If the cost of accomplishing this is yet another lowering of my estimation in the eyes of PT or Richard Dawkins, that’s a price I’m only too glad to pay — heck, I regard that as a benefit of the deal.

David Opderdeck correctly observes that

The problem here is three-fold, IMHO: (1) it inculcates a disrespect for the legal system; (2) it rests on a false premise of “plagiarism”; and (3) it discredits your substantive work, particularly among those of us who really know how the legal process works.

Davescot tried to object and David responded

I said: 1) it inculcates a disrespect for the legal system;

DaveScot said: When the shoe fits…

My problem with this is that, as a Christian, I’m bound by Romans 13, which says: Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. … Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

There’s simply no way I can reconcile this with false allegations and farting noises. (Civil disobedience is a different matter; even when appropriate, it must be done respectfully. Compare Rosa Parks’ dignified place on the segregated bus, or MLK Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, with farting noises).

That’s a matter of opinion. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s probably a duck.

That horse is dead. It neither walks or quacks like a duck. It’s a different animal altogether because of the context.

Dembski reveals his true motivation

Dembski wrote:

Let me suggest you all read your Old Testament — Elijah taunting the prophets of Baal (and then, oh my, killling them); Micaiah the prophet telling Ahab the king to look forward to his coming death; and Jehu’s respectful treatment of Queen Jezebel (throwing her out a window and letting the dogs lap up her blood). And then in the New Testament we find Paul wishing that certain Judaizers didn’t just circumcise themselves but would go the whole way and castrate themselves. I see the JJSchLaw as an instrument of grace to bring Dawkins and others to their senses (if such a thing were possible). What have you done lately, dopderbeck, to jar Dawkins out of his dogmatic rampage?

Dembski’s no prophet… Certainly Dembski is no Paul…

But it is nice to see that all this denigrating of Judge Jones serves a religious purpose. ID’s true colors have once again be revealed. Judge Jones stands strong in his observations. For that I thank Dembski.

Not surprisingly, David was put on moderation…

Soon thereafter Dembski announced that he had removed the flatulence

The Rembrandt of flash animation and I are working to enhance “The Judge Jones School of Law.” As a first step we have made the animation less offensive to more refined sensibilities. All the overt flatulence has therefore been removed.

When I posted some comments on the “overwhelming” website my user name was quickly blocked and my contributions deleted. Seems that ID is not ready to teach the controversy to its audience.

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Comment #150801

Posted by PvM on December 17, 2006 11:20 PM (e)

David Opderdeck continues to educate Dembski. Given that UcD quickly removes dissenting messages, I have copied his response verbatim

David Opderdeck and I have disagreed in the past on Judge Jones’s ruling but we seem to see eye to eye when it comes to this issue and I respect his opinion.

Bill Dembski asked: What have you done lately, dopderbeck, to jar Dawkins out of his dogmatic rampage?

I’m not sure I understand what Richard Dawkins has to do with showing respect to judges as required by Romans 13. In any event, search my blog, Through a Glass Darkly and you will see that I’ve written many times in criticism of Dawkins and his brand of materialism. You can also find similar writing from me in the ASA email list archives and in other places. I don’t claim to be any great voice in this regard, but I’ve unashamedly and publicly explained my Christian faith many times.

Your references to OT prophets are misplaced because they specifically were appointed by God as prophets within the context of the theocratic state of Israel and its role among surrounding nations. For us in the Church today, Romans 13 is normative, as I’m sure you’ll agree.

The reference to Paul and the Judaizers is even further misplaced, as Paul was speaking there as an Apostle in the context of snuffing out a heresy within the Church. Again, Paul’s instruction to us with respect to secular governmental authorities is clear in Romans 13.

I’m a bit disheartened that you think this video could serve as a “means of grace” to Richard Dawkins. Do you really believe that? Is this really “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15)? Does it satisfy the standards of Col. 4:6: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone”? How about Romans 12:14: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Or the entire teaching of Matthew 5?

I hope you take this rebuke in the spirit in which it’s offered, and not as a personal attack. Heaven knows, I have often failed to live up to the standards of Romans 12 and 13, Ephesians 4, Colossians 4, etc. As a brother in Christ, and a fellow academic who takes seriously the cultural mandate, I beseech you to think again about this method of discourse, and about the strategy of making personal attacks on a judge who wrote an opinion contrary to your views. I think you will agree with me that there is much, much more at stake here than one judge’s opinion in one case concerning one version of how to integrate science and faith.

Take the long view, the Kingdom perspective; play the part God gave you with humility and grace and let Him handle the ultimate results, for He secured the victory long ago on the cross. I can say at least that this is the ideal towards which I strive, though I often fail. But imagine what could happen if all us Christians who are concered about the culture humbled ourselves and began to pray for and love our enemies, to tell the truth truly in love, to live the Sermon on the Mount ethic taught by Jesus in Matthew 5 and echoed throughout the New Testament. Imagine if all the anger and ink and pixels we spill in culture “wars” were instead spent in sacrificial love and in patient, humble, careful and thorough explanation of the truth. Imagine if the Church were to be truly the Church. That’s the passionate cry of my heart.

Comment #150802

Posted by Jedidiah Palosaari on December 17, 2006 11:53 PM (e)

Good thing ID divorced themselves from anything religious. This way they don’t have to follow any of the ethics of Jesus.

Am I wrong, or did Dembski by the above logic of having Elijah with Baal be his empirical example, actually advocate killing a sitting United States judge?

Comment #150803

Posted by JohnS on December 17, 2006 11:59 PM (e)

It’s a pity they couldn’t just do what is right, instead of searching through a book that is full of contradictions and then debating which parts don’t apply in certain cases.

Of course there isn’t much hope of moral behaviour from those who Lie for Jesus.

Comment #150805

Posted by BC on December 18, 2006 12:21 AM (e)

What’s the point of removing the fart noises? Dembski has already demonstrated that he’s acting like a child. I think that’s the real point here. He doesn’t like Judge Jones’ ruling, so he’s out to denigrate the man in every low-brow way possible. Is this any way for “the Isaac Newton of information theory” to act? It doesn’t matter whether the fart noises are there *now*. It’s the fact that he thought it was a good idea to do it in the first place that makes him look like an idiot. And his appeals to Old Testament killings only makes him look mean-spirited and validates the fact (along with his low-brow humor) that he’s not even going to fight a good fight. No, he’s going to scratch, pull hair, and punch below the belt “for the glory of God”. The fact that he created this OE site in the first place and admits to using low-brow methods to convert the kids just shows how much he’s given up on even fighting a scientific fight - he’s out to convince the world of the superiority of ID through farting noises.

Oddly enough, I predicted that ID advocates would do exactly this - try to convince people before they are capable of thinking through the facts, and in the long run, he hopes that lawyers, judges, and school board members will fill the ranks of society and support ID/creationism not on the basis of facts, not by refering to the most recent evidence, but because they’ve grown up believing in ID and creationism, learned when they were children (using fart noises and low-brow “humor” as their “evidence”).

Comment #150807

Posted by MisterDNA on December 18, 2006 12:42 AM (e)

BC wrote:

Is this any way for “the Isaac Newton of information theory” to act?

Dembski is now the Le Petomane of Information Theory.

Comment #150808

Posted by tomh on December 18, 2006 12:49 AM (e)

BC wrote:

I predicted that ID advocates would do exactly this - try to convince people before they are capable of thinking through the facts,

Just what religion has done for centuries. Indoctrinate the children.

Comment #150811

Posted by Martin Wagner on December 18, 2006 2:40 AM (e)

It just seems like, more and more, Dembski insists on acting like a childish asshole. It’s as if, not being able to refute evolution with actual science, his approach is reduced to playground taunts to get attention. And he wonders why the scientific community doesn’t take him seriously. I mean, is the guy just mentally imbalanced or what?

Comment #150813

Posted by Andrew on December 18, 2006 3:51 AM (e)

William Dembski wrote:

..Rather, my aim was to render Judge Jones and his decision ridiculous in the eyes of many young people, who from here on will never take Darwinian evolution or him seriously. If the cost of accomplishing this is yet another lowering of my estimation in the eyes of PT or Richard Dawkins, that’s a price I’m only too glad to pay — heck, I regard that as a benefit of the deal.

This is child-abuse just as disturbing as that seen in “Jesus Camp”. Plain and simple. I would say so there if I thought there was the slightest chance of the comment making it through their oh-so-convenient spam filter…

Also notice the little appeal to martyrdom at the end of the above quote….

Comment #150814

Posted by Shalini, BBWAD on December 18, 2006 4:56 AM (e)

I got blocked too.

(yawn)

Comment #150815

Posted by Sir_Toejam on December 18, 2006 4:58 AM (e)

Good thing ID divorced themselves from anything religious.

divorced from sanity, more like.

Comment #150820

Posted by Christophe Thill on December 18, 2006 5:24 AM (e)

“it inculcates a disrespect for the legal system”

I don’t know about US law. Does it simply allow this kind of attack against a judge? Here in Europe (France, more specifically, but other countries are not different) you cannot claim in the media that a judge’s decision is politically motivated, or stupid, or plagiarized. Respect of the judiciary is a lgeal obligation.

By the way, did Dembski make the fart noises himself? And why did he remove them? They’re far more intelligent than anything he can say.

Comment #150822

Posted by Ian Wood on December 18, 2006 6:30 AM (e)

Dembski’s foray into the world of (puppet) string theory may be the start of his downfall. Prior to this, his petty stupidity was only visible to scientists and those who took the time and had the tools to understand evolution and its opponents. His descent into the common has exposed his vacuity, ignorance, and cowardice to a much wider audience. I think it’s time to start taking a collection for a medical trust for him. If he’s this bad now, his condition in old age hardly bears contemplation.

IW

Comment #150823

Posted by marie on December 18, 2006 6:31 AM (e)

Its a humiliation tactic. This Dembski guy suffered the same humiliation from his care takers when he was young.

Comment #150824

Posted by k.e. on December 18, 2006 7:35 AM (e)

I think Marie is onto something:

Its a humiliation tactic. This Dembski guy suffered the same humiliation from his care takers when he was young.

Maybe this cartoon jingle is still ringing in his ears.
Altogether now. (Roger Ramjet tune)

WILLIAM DEMBSKI
WILLIAM DEMBSKI
HE’S OUR MAN
HERO OF I.D. NATION
THE ONLY THING
THAT’S WRONG WITH HIM
IS MENTAL RETARDATION

…..help it’s catching.

Comment #150828

Posted by wad of id on December 18, 2006 7:56 AM (e)

So Dembski is supposedly a Professor of Theology and Science at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Is this conduct becoming of a professor there? Does he teach his students to fart at respected scientists in the name of God?

I think we should contact SBTS and ask them for their stance on this behavior of one of their supposed luminaries. WWJD?

Comment #150832

Posted by Ed Darrell on December 18, 2006 9:20 AM (e)

WWJD? Jefferson would let it ride. Dembski’s animation piece is a bit of res ipsa loquitur, it condemns itself.

Piling on is unbecoming.

Comment #150835

Posted by wamba on December 18, 2006 9:40 AM (e)

My problem with this is that, as a Christian, I’m bound by Romans 13, which says:…

That’s fine for David Opderdeck, but do I recall correctly that DaveScot pretends to be an agnostic?

Comment #150836

Posted by Rupert on December 18, 2006 9:53 AM (e)

I think it is perfectly in order for Dembski to use flatulence in his argument. That’s the great beauty of freedom of speech - there’s always enough rope.

R

Comment #150837

Posted by Raging Bee on December 18, 2006 9:54 AM (e)

Ed Brayton has just put up a blog post describing an incident of REAL plagirism by someone on the DI side. Summary paragraph here:

Professor Irons concluded his study with these comments: “It seems to me the height of hypocrisy for the Discovery Institute to accuse Judge Jones of copying 90 percent of one section of his opinion (just 16 percent of its total length) from the proposed findings of fact by the plaintiff’s lawyers, when the DI itself tried to palm off as ‘original’ work a law review article that was copied 95 percent from the authors’ own book. Concealing this fact from the law review editors, until I discovered and documented this effort, seriously undercuts the credibility of the DI on this or any other issue.” (Emphasis mine.)

I wonder what the IDiots are saying about this. We should all go and ask them…

Comment #150838

Posted by PJenkins on December 18, 2006 9:59 AM (e)

I know that the ID movement acts childish all the time, but since nothing else seems to work I say we fight fire with fire. I have quite a bit of experience in Flash, Java, and several other web based technologies. What I don’t have is artistic talent. If somebody here could make some caricatures of Dembski, and point me in the direction of some audio of him speaking I could have all sorts of fun. Toss out any ideas you’d like, and I bet I could incorporate them. Post here if your interested, or e-mail me at pjenkins2006@@yahoo.com. It’s one @, I just do that so I don’t get spammed.

Comment #150840

Posted by Mustafa Mond, FCD on December 18, 2006 10:56 AM (e)

Ed Brayton has just put up a blog post describing an incident of REAL plagirism by someone on the DI side.

Ed has used the wrong word. That activity is double publication, not plagiarism.

Comment #150841

Posted by wamba on December 18, 2006 10:59 AM (e)

Dembski is employed as a research professor. Does he have tenure? I wonder whether his employers believe his actions are bringing credit to their institution.

Comment #150842

Posted by Alexey Merz on December 18, 2006 11:11 AM (e)

Dembski wrote:

All the overt flatulence has therefore been removed.

Well, thank goodness for that.

Comment #150846

Posted by AR on December 18, 2006 11:30 AM (e)

Hey, ladies and gentlemen: Why won’t you acknoweledge that Dembski’s latest appearance as a sound for Judge Jones’s animated cartoon has demonstrated that he has at least one real skill - that of a farting artist, which is a new high for him compared with his pseudo-mathematical exercises.

Comment #150847

Posted by MP on December 18, 2006 11:33 AM (e)

That activity is double publication, not plagiarism

I would call it “self-plagiarism.”

Comment #150851

Posted by RBH on December 18, 2006 11:54 AM (e)

Mustafa Mond, FCD wrote

Ed has used the wrong word. That activity is double publication, not plagiarism.

Auto-plagiarism?

RBH

Comment #150852

Posted by Glen Davidson on December 18, 2006 11:58 AM (e)

If Dembski was persona non grata in the courts before, imagine him trying to insert himself into any ID case now. Not that he doesn’t know this, but the way his seething hatreds and resentments are displayed is not only harmful to himself, they’re bound to make ID at large nothing more than a poorly-done Beavis and Butthead episode, in the eyes of the courts. This “David” apparently sees what any sane being would.

Nice to see Dembski dredging out the dungeons of OT violence and cruelty to justify his puerile antics. But did he forget the bears mauling 40 odd children who were chanting “Go up thou baldhead” at Elisha? I wonder what farting noises would have done, killed off an entire Israelite tribe? Oh yeah, disrespect for authority is usually looked at very dimly in the Bible, with substantial penalties for the childish morons who mock where they owe respect (read Paul, you dimwit “scholar” Dembski).

He may even lose out in the fundie arena due to this outburst. It’s hard to claim persecution from the courts when your head IDiot is farting at the judges by proxy. Those Xians who really were persecuted, but kept their dignity, were great witnesses to their God. Dembski isn’t persecuted, beyond generally well-earned contempt for his manners, intellectual output, and inability to respond adequately to his critics, and yet he loses all dignity where it matters the most, with respect to the courts which decide ID claims (since they lack any sound arguments for the science community).

This whole episode shows that Dembski knows on some level that ID and especially he himself have really lost big-time (not that creationism itself is going away, and probably not even ID won’t altogether), and he feels as if he may as well vent his pent-up anger and hatred against those he feels abused by.

The fact that he lacks all deftness in his attempts at humor destroys even that effect, other than in the most extremely repressed ID followers. He may wish to poison the well against evolution (all he really knew even to attempt to do, ever), but it is rather more likely that he poisoned the ID well.

Sometimes I think they ought to have some mental health checks for their leading ID voices, but somehow I doubt they’d find many ID proponents among really mentally well academics. You’d think maybe they’d be able to weed out someone like Dembski, though?

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #150853

Posted by Kristine on December 18, 2006 12:07 PM (e)

I like lowbrow humor as much as anybody. The thing is, it needs to be funny.

With or without *farts* the animation is disturbing to me for its obvious ineffectual spite. What’s the future of ID? Apparently more re-hashing of the past and the gnashing of teeth. I don’t care except that this whipping up of rage in people who are beginning to resemble other zealots I’ve had to deal with, and this makes me nervous.

Dembski’s “answer to Job” reply to dopderbeck chilled me to the marrow and it took me back to the first time I read the Book Job. I hate the story of Job, I loathe the OT, and I agree with Dawkins’ assessment of its deity as capricious and cruel. The apparent ingratitude of Dembski and of his admirers toward those who, atheists or not, wish to utilize science for the improvement of human life is astrounding to me. What is Dembski angry about? Who are these “enemies” that beset him? Why does he invoke the passages about violence to unbelievers when these are hardly quoted in any church anymore? (Most believers skip over these to read the nice stuff.)

Why would anybody rebel against educated parents to cling to this crap, when others (like me) had to forge our way out of the quickmire of working-class superstition all alone?

The animation is sick. Not because it farted, but because of the anger that lurks behind the whole enterprise. Right now it’s directed at Judge Jones but pretty soon they’re going to tire of that victim, and they’re going to tire of flash animations, and they’re still going to be angry.

I think Dembski’s trying to one-up the restless YEC mob that he thought he could control. Sometimes I feared for him for associating with them (because they’re absolutely nuts) but now I’m just plain alarmed at the whole Old Testy-ment route he’s taking. ID may be dead, but something else seems to be beginning.

Comment #150854

Posted by Katarina on December 18, 2006 12:12 PM (e)

Pjenkins wrote:

If somebody here could make some caricatures of Dembski

I drew a rough sketch. I’m not a pro, but check your e-mail and let me know if this is the style you’re after, then I can tinker with it some more and pretty it up. Dumbski is funny looking, it’s fun drawing him.

Comment #150855

Posted by chaos_engineer on December 18, 2006 12:22 PM (e)

I don’t know about US law. Does it simply allow this kind of attack against a judge? Here in Europe (France, more specifically, but other countries are not different) you cannot claim in the media that a judge’s decision is politically motivated, or stupid, or plagiarized.

This sort of attack is pretty common. If a case has anything to do with politics, then somebody’s going to say that the decision was “a purely political verdict from an [activist|reactionary] judge who is legislating from the bench.”

The idea that a verdict is “politically motivated” or “stupid” is inherently subjective, so it’s protected under the right of free speech. Saying that it’s “plagiarized” is a grey area…you could potentially get sued for libel, but it’s such a silly claim that most judges would just ignore it. Saying that the judge had been bribed could get you into trouble.

Because these claims are so common, they don’t have a lot of effect. They’re a good way to inflame your supporters, but they’re not going to win over the undecideds.

Comment #150858

Posted by PJenkins on December 18, 2006 12:44 PM (e)

The Dembski picture is great, now I just need to splice in some audio of him. Anybody know where I could either find some good funny quotes, or maybe splice some audio together, to form a funny comment?

Comment #150859

Posted by Andrew McClure on December 18, 2006 12:49 PM (e)

Dembski wrote:

Rather, my aim was to render Judge Jones and his decision ridiculous in the eyes of many young people, who from here on will never take Darwinian evolution or him seriously.

It would probably be redundant, wouldn’t it, to observe here that it was probably not Judge Jones whom was made to look ridiculous by the posting of this animation?

Incidentally, it occurs to me that though Dembski has removed the farting noises from the animation on his site, if anyone wants to experience the full force of Dembski’s original comedic vision, the mirror posted on Richard Dawkins’ website should still reflect the original.

The Dembski picture is great, now I just need to splice in some audio of him. Anybody know where I could either find some good funny quotes, or maybe splice some audio together, to form a funny comment?

Hm. While you are of course free to do as you wish, I do hope that whatever it is you’re doing will at least manage a higher level of maturity than Dembski could.

Comment #150860

Posted by GuyeFaux on December 18, 2006 12:53 PM (e)

Anybody know where I could either find some good funny quotes, or maybe splice some audio together, to form a funny comment?

You could use his Judge Jones impression from his “satire”.

Comment #150863

Posted by Desertphile on December 18, 2006 1:27 PM (e)

It seems like Mr. Dembski is getting more…. well, “nuts” is the word…. in the past six or seven weeks. He used to be able to shrug off the facts and ignore criticism, yet now he responds with anger, abuse, and threats of death against his nay-sayers (as in the URL you provided). He apparently sees himself as a prophet of the Christian gods, and sees his distractors as agents of evil—- a very unhealthy belief. I fear for his mental health.

Comment #150866

Posted by Mike on December 18, 2006 1:37 PM (e)

“Concealing this fact from the law review editors, until I discovered and documented this effort, seriously undercuts the credibility of the DI on this or any other issue.”

The DI had credibility to be undercut? Who knew. Cdesign proponentists are nothing but a bunch of Mustela falsidica.

Comment #150867

Posted by Flint on December 18, 2006 1:37 PM (e)

Maybe Dembski is losing it, or maybe Dembski understands the core nature of his target audience a lot better than we do, and is using the sort of rhetorical technique that True Faith is ultimately based on.

Comment #150868

Posted by Mike on December 18, 2006 1:39 PM (e)

“If somebody here could make some caricatures of Dembski”

No need. Dembski auto-caricatures.

Comment #150869

Posted by DragonScholar on December 18, 2006 1:43 PM (e)

So Dembski’s response involves … various people killing each other and some guy wishing people would castrate themselves. And these are examples that are supposed to validate his descent into sore-loserdom bad parody?

I don’t know what Dembski was trying to say in his references, but it sounds to me like he can’t exactly tell when mockery ends and murder begins, and he’s comparing himself to being a kind of anointed prophet. This doesn’t bode well as far as I’m concerned for his future actions.

Comment #150872

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on December 18, 2006 2:01 PM (e)

BTW, the “Roger Ramjet tune” is perhaps better known as “Yankee Doodle.”

Comment #150880

Posted by Pjenkins on December 18, 2006 2:48 PM (e)

Andrew McClure wrote:

Hm. While you are of course free to do as you wish, I do hope that whatever it is you’re doing will at least manage a higher level of maturity than Dembski could.

I haven’t actually come up with something to do, I just wanted some media I could use. I am open to any and all idea’s. Maybe you could post a mature response to the Judge Jones animation?

Comment #150903

Posted by Kristine on December 18, 2006 5:08 PM (e)

He apparently sees himself as a prophet of the Christian gods, and sees his distractors as agents of evil—- a very unhealthy belief.

Exactly. I don’t think he’s just playing to the crowd anymore. He’s started to believe in his own snake oil.

Perhaps there is value in debating these guys–not for what is said in these debates, but in forcing these people to at least minimally associate with scientists, and to keep their rhetorical wits sharp. Bill the Baptist has withdrawn into the wilderness with that long commute from Waco, TX to the dreary Bible college he teaches at.

Comment #150919

Posted by Popper's ghost on December 18, 2006 8:28 PM (e)

my aim was to render Judge Jones and his decision ridiculous in the eyes of many young people, who from here on will never take Darwinian evolution or him seriously

It’s nice to see that Bill has such a high regard for the principles of honest intellectual inquiry and the marketplace of ideas.

Comment #150921

Posted by Popper's ghost on December 18, 2006 8:39 PM (e)

Ed has used the wrong word. That activity is double publication, not plagiarism.

No, Raging Bee used the wrong word (and misspelled it). Ed used the right word: hypocrisy.

Comment #150922

Posted by Popper's ghost on December 18, 2006 8:43 PM (e)

David Opderdeck and I have disagreed in the past on Judge Jones’s ruling but we seem to see eye to eye when it comes to this issue and I respect his opinion.

You see eye to eye with using Christian dogma as the basis for proper behavior? It’s swell that, unlike Dembski, Opderdeck acts like a decent human being, wherever he draws that from, but let’s not pretend that, just because of that, his arguments are intellectually respectable.

Comment #150923

Posted by Popper's ghost on December 18, 2006 8:46 PM (e)

I don’t think he’s just playing to the crowd anymore. He’s started to believe in his own snake oil.

These aren’t mutually exclusive. Dembski has always been a true believer, and part of his belief system has always been “by whatever means necessary”.

Comment #150925

Posted by Popper's ghost on December 18, 2006 8:49 PM (e)

I am open to any and all idea’s.

Why do you put an apostrophe there? I hope that, before you publish anything, you have it carefully proofread.

Comment #150926

Posted by Popper's ghost on December 18, 2006 8:51 PM (e)

Maybe Dembski is losing it, or maybe Dembski understands the core nature of his target audience a lot better than we do, and is using the sort of rhetorical technique that True Faith is ultimately based on.

Ah, so you really do understand it well. :-)

Comment #150928

Posted by Popper's ghost on December 18, 2006 8:59 PM (e)

Oops, Ed Brayton did write “plagiarism” here … but not in his original article on his own blog. From the discussion there, though, “self-plagiarism” is apparently an accepted term.

Comment #150935

Posted by PvM on December 18, 2006 10:33 PM (e)

It’s swell that, unlike Dembski, Opderdeck acts like a decent human being, wherever he draws that from, but let’s not pretend that, just because of that, his arguments are intellectually respectable.

Whether or not you consider his arguments to be intellectually respectable depends on your position on the Bible. What Opderdeck is arguing is that Dembski’s behavior is at odds with biblical teachings, and certainly the spirit of Christianity.

So there is no need to ‘pretend’ that they are intellectually respectable, they are logically respectable based on the premise of the Bible.

PG wrote:

It’s nice to see that Bill has such a high regard for the principles of honest intellectual inquiry and the marketplace of ideas.

Let’s just hope that all of us can show a high regard for these principles.

Comment #150951

Posted by tomh on December 19, 2006 2:20 AM (e)

PvM wrote:

What Opderdeck is arguing is that Dembski’s behavior is at odds with biblical teachings, and certainly the spirit of Christianity.

Dembski’s behavior is at odds with some biblical teachings and in accord with some others. It may not agree with the spirit of Christianity as you see it but it certainly agrees with the spirit of Christianity as many others see it. After all, Dembski doesn’t misquote the Bible.

So there is no need to ‘pretend’ that they are intellectually respectable, they are logically respectable based on the premise of the Bible.

Again, they are logically respectable based on Opderdeck’s premise of the Bible, just as Dembski’s are logically respectable based on his premise of the Bible. From the point of view of the Bible, neither is more justified than the other.

Comment #150961

Posted by ben on December 19, 2006 6:01 AM (e)

Just to be clear, my aim in this flash animation was not to shake up the convictions of convinced Darwinists.

Obviously, since you haven’t made any legitimate progress (or even attempted to) in convincing scientists using science, it’s unlikely that you would convince them using a flatulent flash animation.

Rather, my aim was to render Judge Jones and his decision ridiculous in the eyes of many young people, who from here on will never take Darwinian evolution or him seriously.

Two points: 1) Why would you expect this flash animation to cause young people, or anyone else, to find Jones and his decision ridiculous? Since the only editorial component was flatulence, I would think you would be equally successful (or not) in portraying any person or idea as ridiculous using this technique. For instance, if I were to create a flash animation where you cited passages from the bible while fart sounds played in the background, wouldn’t this be exactly as (un)likely to cause people to think you and your book were ridiculous? Wouldn’t it be more likely to make people think I was ridiculous? 2) What’s this about ‘many young people’? From the information available on the front page of the site where this was posted, this animation will be viewed by a very small number of people (judging this from the number of comments per day, usually 2-3 at best sitewide), few of whom will be ‘young’ (judging from the fact that the top 5 users of the site average about 40 years old and none is less than probably 20).

If the cost of accomplishing this is yet another lowering of my estimation in the eyes of PT or Richard Dawkins, that’s a price I’m only too glad to pay — heck, I regard that as a benefit of the deal.

To the extent that Richard Dawkins thinks about Dr. Dr. Dembski, he likely already places a very low estimate on your character. Even if a further reduction were possible, how does that benefit you or your bogus movement? Why not just mail him an autographed turd (and no, I don’t mean a signed copy of NFL). You wouldn’t have to waste so many words explaining yourself then. You also wouldn’t have to go through the laborious process of throttling the flatulence component up and down as you’re now doing, apparently trying to find just the right amount of farting to get your “point” across.

Comment #151097

Posted by David B. Benson on December 19, 2006 5:50 PM (e)

Wow. A whole bunch of stinky threads occasioned by the Devine Wind…

Comment #151161

Posted by Julie Stahlhut on December 20, 2006 11:37 AM (e)

Dembski’s motive is the same as it always was:

“Dembski’s glory is getting robbed.”

Comment #151329

Posted by PvM on December 21, 2006 11:34 AM (e)

Julie wrote:

Dembski’s motive is the same as it always was:

“Dembski’s glory is getting robbed.”

Indeed, notice how Dembski is now publishing emails from Dawkins
because Dawkins published an uninvited email from Dembski announcing
his flash animation, causing Dawkins to respond”

Anybody who resorts to tactics of desperation like this has to be a
real loser. Dembski is a loser, and it now looks as though he KNOWS
it. My guess is that he will try to take it down when he realizes how
foolish it makes him look. Josh, can we can keep a copy, after he
tries to remove it from his own website?

Of course Dembski was not amused…
Dembski has a history of looking foolish after making outlandish
remarks. Remember how he lost his position at Baylor?
I personally see this as the formative moment in Dembski’s life and
career. So close to victory and then robbed by his own comments.

That must hurt

Comment #151598

Posted by secondclass on December 23, 2006 8:59 AM (e)

Remember how he lost his position at Baylor?
I personally see this as the formative moment in Dembski’s life and
career. So close to victory and then robbed by his own comments.

I think we need to consider the possibility that Dembski’s self-sabotage is, on some level, intentional. Much better to be demoted than to be the director of a doomed program. And much better to be criticized for juvenile antics than to be constantly reminded that one’s life work has been a dismal failure.