Andrea Bottaro posted Entry 3300 on September 2, 2007 12:23 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/3286

Last night, a strange post appeared at Uncommon Descent, under the byline “Botnik”, claiming to report on a letter by Baylor University President John Lilley about the University’s disavowal of the Orwellianly named “Evolutionary Informatics Laboratory” that had been created a few months ago by engineering professor Robert Marks in collaboration with Dembski. The alleged letter had a decidely non-“presidential” tone, and caused many UD commenters to immediately attack Lilley as a puppet of the ACLU, a member of the vast NCSE-led atheist conspiracy, etc. As tempers flared, the letter was identified as a “P-A-R-O-D-Y” a few hours after the original posting.

What the intended goal of the “parody” was, other than to risk getting the Baylor Administration more upset about ID-related shenanigans, is unclear. Wes discusses the matter further at The Austringer.

SEE UPDATE BELOW FOLD

UPDATE 9:30 pm, 09/02/07

It looks like it didn’t take long for the entire UD thread to disappear. With characteristic arrogance, Dembski has issued a non-apologetic apology, presenting the removal of the forgery as a “gesture of good-will”, as opposed to a sensible act of decency.

Ironically, Dembski says he believed that few would be taken by the letter because it was “so over-the-top”. In fact, the arguments in the letter were mostly rather sensible, if debatable. What made the letter unbelievable, apart from the occasionally clumsy language, was that no sane University President would answer some nobody’s e-mail with such blunt frankness and directness, and greatly embarrass one of his faculty members in the process. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if, privately, a University President like Lilley harbored the same feelings as those expressed in the fake letter about the back-door shenanigans that have twice now brought Dembski to inappropriately claim Baylor’s institutional imprimatur for ID “research”.

For the record, a compound capture of the original UD post and several of the following comments is reproduced below.

Botnik%20whole%202.jpg

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Comment #203036

Posted by PvM on September 2, 2007 12:34 PM (e)

Interesting, this so called email ‘parody’ may be as successful as Dembski’s ‘Waterloo’ email.

Most of us still remember how Dembski snatched victory from his own hands when he, after Baylor had given him his ID center, crowed victory and was quickly stripped of his new appointment. The rest is history, and we all know how history tends to repeat itself to those who have not learned from it.

What amazes me is that the posting may very well have been an attempt to ‘fool’ those Darwin-bots when in fact, it was the ID crowd that showed its true colors once again.
The comment thread shows how vacuous ID really has become.

Comment #203037

Posted by Shalini on September 2, 2007 12:42 PM (e)

This is what happens when those IDiotic buffoons refuse to come to terms with the fact that ID is dead.

Comment #203040

Posted by PvM on September 2, 2007 1:00 PM (e)

What truly impresses me is that some, unaware of scientific progress, actually claim that Darwinism has been shown to be mathematically unfeasible, and refer to some unnamed ‘calculations’ as well as the recent work by Behe. And yet, neither examples really do what is claimed they do.

This my friends is the real cost of the vacuous concept of ID, leading astray people into a false belief. What cost will this have eventually to the faith of thousands who have taken ID seriously. What cost will it have to science and science education, if ID proponents get their wishes?

In an attempt at parody, UcD has exposed an immense level of vacuity amongst its own readers and followers, and they have managed to document the theologically dangerous positions of ID.

Not a bad job for a parody :-)

Comment #203102

Posted by Coin on September 2, 2007 4:51 PM (e)

This is pretty bizarre.

The interesting thing, as far as I’m concerned, is that the “PARODY” email is actually extremely reasonable and well-argued. I’m not sure it really sounds like something a university president would have written– for one thing, it contains comma errors– but if it had been, I would have been honestly a little bit impressed.

Botnik seems to be missing the point of what “parody” is– in contexts like this “parody” usually means “arguing your opponent’s side for them, only in a clearly absurd or faulty manner”, not “arguing your opponent’s side for them convincingly”.

Or is it possible maybe that when an ID advocate tries to think of the most absurd and faulty thing they can think of, the first thing that comes to mind is rational thought?

Comment #203107

Posted by Timcol on September 2, 2007 5:09 PM (e)

There’s a rather nice irony here. The IDers all like to go on about how obvious design is in nature. They talk of design filters and specified complexity and such like. Yet, they can’t even recognize a parody when they see it, and from one of their own at that…

Comment #203113

Posted by Oleg Tchernyshyov on September 2, 2007 5:29 PM (e)

The arrival of the nonexistent “lab” was announced with great fanfare: Dembski addresses forthcoming Intelligent Design research that advances ID and answers critics. Expect a proper burial ceremony.

Comment #203129

Posted by peter irons on September 2, 2007 6:08 PM (e)

Has anyone else noticed that all comments on Dembski’s bogus “Botnik” post have been removed from the UD site? Too embarrassing? Or is it just my computer?

Comment #203131

Posted by PvM on September 2, 2007 6:11 PM (e)

Dembski wrote:

When Botnik approached me about whether it would be all right to post his parody of what President John Lilley of Baylor might be thinking in trying to justify his expulsion of Prof. Robert Marks’s Evolutionary Informatics Lab from Baylor, I thought it mirrored what motivates many academics in wanting to stamp out ID. Besides, it seemed to me so over-the-top that I didn’t think the parody would be lost on anyone. And UD has had its humorous side (witness Galapagos Finch).

Clearly, readers of UD fell for it, but so did many people on the other side, judging by all the many emails they sent President Lilley to confirm whether Botnik’s parody actually represented Lilley’s words. In retrospect, it’s clear that this piece of tomfoolery went too far. I’m therefore removing the thread. I hope Baylor and President Lilley take its removal as a gesture of goodwill on the part of UD as they reconsider what to do about Robert Marks and his Evolutionary Informatics Lab.

Luckily many have archived the pages. No worries…

Comment #203132

Posted by Coin on September 2, 2007 6:12 PM (e)

peter irons wrote:

Has anyone else noticed that all comments on Dembski’s bogus “Botnik” post have been removed from the UD site? Too embarrassing? Or is it just my computer?

You appear to be right. That was quick. Up now at UD in the Botnik post’s place:

Parody at UD
William Dembski

When Botnik approached me about whether it would be all right to post his parody of what President John Lilley of Baylor might be thinking in trying to justify his expulsion of Prof. Robert Marks’s Evolutionary Informatics Lab from Baylor, I thought it mirrored what motivates many academics in wanting to stamp out ID. Besides, it seemed to me so over-the-top that I didn’t think the parody would be lost on anyone. And UD has had its humorous side (witness Galapagos Finch).

Clearly, readers of UD fell for it, but so did many people on the other side, judging by all the many emails they sent President Lilley to confirm whether Botnik’s parody actually represented Lilley’s words. In retrospect, it’s clear that this piece of tomfoolery went too far. I’m therefore removing the thread. I hope Baylor and President Lilley take its removal as a gesture of goodwill on the part of UD as they reconsider what to do about Robert Marks and his Evolutionary Informatics Lab.

Just out of curiosity, did anyone make a mirror of the original thread?

Comment #203138

Posted by Doc Bill on September 2, 2007 6:48 PM (e)

Yet another example of Dembski’s “street theater.”

Amusing to no one, apparently, except himself.

Nobody with half a brain was taken in by that childish “email” from the president of a university. Please! “Willy-Nilly?” That might sum up the total of WaD’s research.

Of course, all the creationists were taken in for the obvious reason.

On UD, Dembski’s groupie, O’Leary, gushes that way back when the ID lab was “suppressed” by Baylor when the real reason that Dembski got dumped, which is documened all over the web, was because of his un-colleagic email; the infamous Waterloo Email.

Why Dembski persists with Baylor could be the subject of a sociological, or pathosociological, thesis, but it remains that this is clearly Strike Two for Dr. Dr. and I guess we’ll have to wait for the next pitch.

Comment #203141

Posted by ag on September 2, 2007 7:11 PM (e)

The level of infantile stupidity and the lack of the sense of genuine humor displayed both by posting Botnik’s so called parody and by the comment announcing its removal is stunning even for UD’s boss whose previous great performances included imitating the sounds of flatulence all over the web, and endless pronouncements of the imaginary victories of ID. Perhaps the seminaries that offered a heaven to Dembski after Baylor realized his actual worth, may now have a second thought.

Comment #203148

Posted by PvM on September 2, 2007 7:35 PM (e)

What is fascinating how Dembski’s ‘jokes’ tend to backfire time after time. Waterloo, Judge Jones and Farts, Lilley.

I believe that until further notice, it is best to assume that anything published by ID should be treated as parody, until indicated otherwise.
After all, that would explain most of ID’s behaviors best. Call it a ‘design inference’ if you may.

Comment #203152

Posted by steve s on September 2, 2007 7:42 PM (e)

anybody wants the saved thread, email me. SteveStory at gmail dot com.

Comment #203155

Posted by Oleg Tchernyshyov on September 2, 2007 7:47 PM (e)

The letter is available on Austringer.

Comment #203161

Posted by Paul Burnett on September 2, 2007 7:53 PM (e)

Oleg Tchernyshyov posted “The arrival of the nonexistent “lab” was announced with great fanfare…”

Not only is the bogus “lab” nonexistent, but the purported lab’s purported website, mentioned in Dembski’s interview at http://www.evolutionnews.org/2007/07/william_dem… is also nonexistent. http://www.evolutionaryinformatics.org is a “parked” web page with no content - like the rest of intelligent design creationism. What a surprise.

Comment #203162

Posted by PvM on September 2, 2007 8:03 PM (e)

Just out of curiosity, did anyone make a mirror of the original thread?

Ofcourse, with ID’s tendency to censor most anything that exposes their vacuity and ignorance, the first thing the “Darwinian Cabal” is doing is to archive ID’s follies.
If you know the secret handshake we can share the data with you.

Comment #203163

Posted by PvM on September 2, 2007 8:06 PM (e)

It’s a beautiful sight so see, once again, Dembski trying to explain away the obvious. What is even more hilarious is Dembski’s groveling to Lilley, hoping that this time his poorly chosen words will not lead to yet another demise of an intelligent design ‘lab’.
‘Foot in mouth’ Dembski and his valiant sidekick Sal, can always be counted on to make a fool of themselves and Intelligent Design.

What a crock

Comment #203183

Posted by steve s on September 2, 2007 9:23 PM (e)

Your capture goes up to comment 26. Here are the last 3.

27

StephenB

09/02/2007

9:33 am

Tard Alert!

I must admit I was a little irked at first. Not that I got taken, but because it seemed to trivialize and neutralize some of the serious arguments against Baylor made on O’Leary’s post. One thing is sure, though. Lilley’s words may have been fabricated, but his actions certainly were not.

Besides, when Darwinists fool people with a hoax, they don’t wait for the laughter to subside (or as in Botnik’s case, wait for it to bomb) and then confess it as a parody. On the contrary, they collaborate to keep the lie alive until it becomes institutionalzed and then close ranks around it.

28

tribune7

09/02/2007

12:09 pm

Tard Alert!

John Lilley deserves a PUBLIC APOLOGY for this little stunt.

Actually, Lilley should send Bortnik a note of thanks for the implicit constructive criticism.

29

DLH

09/02/2007

2:28 pm

Tard Alert!

Botnick
In “Captains Courageous” the Portugese suggested Harvey spit first before throwing the garbage upwind.

What wisdom is there in angering those who need persuading, by putting words unspoken into their mouths?

Now how can this be redressed?

Comment #203185

Posted by steve s on September 2, 2007 9:40 PM (e)

Comment #203163

Posted by PvM on September 2, 2007 8:06 PM (e) | kill

It’s a beautiful sight so see, once again, Dembski trying to explain away the obvious. What is even more hilarious is Dembski’s groveling to Lilley, hoping that this time his poorly chosen words will not lead to yet another demise of an intelligent design ‘lab’.

Number of ID labs jeopardized by William Dembski’s juvenile antics: 2
Number of ID labs jeopardized by Steve Story’s juvenile antics: 0

Hey Discovery Institute…you’re paying the wrong guy…I know those $60,000 fellowships are usually for “support of significant and original research in the natural sciences, the history and philosophy of science, cognitive science and related fields”, but how about one for “not boning us by acting like a 13 year old”

Comment #203190

Posted by k.e. on September 2, 2007 10:01 PM (e)

Posted by Coin on September 2, 2007 4:51 PM (e)

This is pretty bizarre.

The interesting thing, as far as I’m concerned, is that the “PARODY” email is actually extremely reasonable and well-argued. I’m not sure it really sounds like something a university president would have written– for one thing, it contains comma errors– but if it had been, I would have been honestly a little bit impressed.

Botnik seems to be missing the point of what “parody” is– in contexts like this “parody” usually means “arguing your opponent’s side for them, only in a clearly absurd or faulty manner”, not “arguing your opponent’s side for them convincingly”.


Or is it possible maybe that when an ID advocate tries to think of the most absurd and faulty thing they can think of, the first thing that comes to mind is rational thought?

I noticed that to. They really do live in a parallel universe ‘Bizzaro world’ where everything is ass about. So much so, the disconnect with reality is verging on insanity.

I think the bible says something about, that along the lines of…

‘Before God destroys you he first drives you insane’

Comment #203198

Posted by Mousie Cat on September 2, 2007 10:26 PM (e)

Once more, Dembski proves that creationists, of whatever stripe, have no concept of satire, irony, or even more fundamentally, humor. If you have to explain a joke to people, it ain’t funny. I recommend Billy get back to fart noises. However, seriously, I imagine Dembski has a self-destructive urge. Otherwise, why risk insulting a higher-up with an idiotic post like this?

What’s the next step down from where he is now? Biola?

Comment #203200

Posted by Mousie Cat on September 2, 2007 10:32 PM (e)

Oops. Didn’t notice the “parody” was of the President of Baylor, from which Dembski was exiled long ago. BD’s downward academic trajectory was a result of his own arrogance. It’s pretty hard to get fired when the administration brought you in and established a whole new department for you (the Polyani Center). But by golly, Dembski rose to the challenge! His abrupt departure from Baylor was a result of his arrogance. He has nothing to blame Dr. Lilley about.

Comment #203201

Posted by sparc on September 2, 2007 10:49 PM (e)

After realizing that only mediocre ID-creationist appear in it Dembki may have been pissed off that it’s not him staring EXPELLED and this was a helpless attempt to creep into the movie.

Comment #203202

Posted by sparc on September 2, 2007 10:51 PM (e)

The situation at UD must be rather desperate because normally they don’t post on sundays

Comment #203206

Posted by noncarborundum on September 2, 2007 11:06 PM (e)

… the “PARODY” email is actually extremely reasonable and well-argued.

I don’t agree. It gets a bunch of points off for

Judge John E. Jones III ruled decisively in Kitzmiller v. Dover that intelligent design is religion, and that’s good enough for me.

Pure argument from authority. This by itself was enough to convince me the letter wasn’t genuine (or perhaps that the writer was as much of a fool as the UD commenters thought he was, but one hesitates to think that of a college president).

Plus there’s this:

Academic freedom comes to an end where reason and common sense give way to ignorance and nonsense.

Aside from the problem of college administrators deciding what’s reasonable and commonsensical in areas outside their expertise, if any (quantum physics may be many things, but commonsensical?), it’s simply not true. There’s plenty of ignorance and nonsense in academia. In fact, academic freedom seems to protect certain types of nonsense that flourish almost nowhere else: witness the postmodernist critique of science, not to mention this poor schnook.

Comment #203225

Posted by sparc on September 3, 2007 12:29 AM (e)

Wasn’t there something like

“Thou shalt not bear false witness”

OK, WMAD is only a theologian so he could not have known that.

Comment #203233

Posted by k.e. on September 3, 2007 1:29 AM (e)

Posted by sparc on September 2, 2007 10:51 PM (e)

The situation at UD must be rather desperate because normally they don’t post on sundays

That’s good isn’t it? Keeps ‘em off the streets.

Comment #203234

Posted by Timcol on September 3, 2007 1:31 AM (e)

Dembski is such a fascinating character. On the one hand he must have a certain measure of intelligence - he has after two doctorates and a masters in theology. He must at least be book smart. Yet, when it comes to social interaction and understanding the ‘theory of mind’ he just seems totally inept. This latest episode and his recent forays into ‘humor’ indicate that he has little idea how his efforts will be perceived. The sophistication of his humor is about the level of a sniggering, back-of-the-classroom 13-year old - it may seem hilarious to his fellow 13-year olds, but to adults it comes across as child-like and immature. The negative response must cause major cognitive dissonance for him - and obviously, rather than face the fact that he is at fault and that his actions are highly inappropriate, he demonizes his enemies.

Comment #203237

Posted by sparc on September 3, 2007 1:36 AM (e)

Just out of curiosity, did anyone make a mirror of the original thread?

The original post without the “parody” line is still in the Google cache. I’ve saved a hard copy here

Comment #203262

Posted by zagloba on September 3, 2007 3:31 AM (e)

k.e. wrote:

I think the bible says something about, that along the lines of…

‘Before God destroys you he first drives you insane’

“Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

This isn’t from the Bible. The discussion on wikiquote indicates that it’s an ancient Greek proverb, possibly penned by Euripides.

Comment #203266

Posted by sparc on September 3, 2007 3:55 AM (e)

Comment #203237

Just out of curiosity, did anyone make a mirror of the original thread?

The original post without the “parody” line is still in the Google cache. I’ve saved a hard copy here

Sorry, I’ve linked to the weong post. You will find the hard coppy of Botnik’s original post here.

Comment #203283

Posted by hoary puccoon on September 3, 2007 5:46 AM (e)

Timcol,
How can you possibly think Dr. Demski is behaving like a junior high school student? His stuff has ‘fifth-grader’ written all over it.

Comment #203300

Posted by caligula on September 3, 2007 6:46 AM (e)

PvM wrote:

What is fascinating how Dembski’s ‘jokes’ tend to backfire time after time. Waterloo, Judge Jones and Farts, Lilley.

And how well jokes on Dembski succeed beyond imagination. I never liked the ICON-RIDS prank in itself, because fooling someone by forging your intentions seems unethical to me. What I did find hilarious was Dembski’s reaction to the web page of “secular ID proponents”. Remember what he said? Pretty much sums it up for “growing numbers”.

Comment #203326

Posted by Alan Bird on September 3, 2007 7:56 AM (e)

Why are people on both sides of the fence uncomfortable with the phrase ‘willy-nilly’? If it was good enough for Shakespeare it should be good enough for the rest of us. (IIRC it’s a shortening of the middle English ‘will he or nill he’ - ie it will happen to him whether he wills it ot not.)

Comment #203369

Posted by Karen on September 3, 2007 10:22 AM (e)

Do the ID folks every explain exactly what “research” they are planning to do (or were planning to do before some mean old Darwinist closed down their labs)?

Also, I’d be interested in the entire process that the mainstream scientists go through to get funding, conduct research, etc.

Comment #203383

Posted by Tim Murphy on September 3, 2007 11:36 AM (e)

Dembski impersonating someone in order to misrepresent their ideas? Big surprise there…
Yeah, I know it was supposed to be a joke.

Comment #203403

Posted by Arden Chatfield on September 3, 2007 12:30 PM (e)

Let’s not forget the following Dembski Botnik quote, which has also since been sent down the UD memory hole:

Fork - I’ve been given administrator privileges, so I could remove your post, but my motto is ‘once on the web, always on the web.’ I’m happy to apologize to Lilley once he apologizes to Marks and puts back his website on the Baylor server. By the way, to which tune do you sing ‘Baylor ueber alles’?

Calling your former bosses Nazis. Way to make friends, Bill Botnik.

‘Once on the web, always on the web’ indeed.

Comment #203409

Posted by Gary Hurd on September 3, 2007 12:40 PM (e)

I recall a few years ago Reed(?) posted a spoof item than many of us missed. The message (if any) is that both sides view the other as such dolts that caricature is nearly impossible.

Comment #203427

Posted by PvM on September 3, 2007 1:51 PM (e)

Some cynics may wonder if UcD is not run by some clever atheists. What does the Design Filter tell us?

Comment #203439

Posted by Frank J on September 3, 2007 2:26 PM (e)

I recall a few years ago Reed(?) posted a spoof item than many of us missed.

How about this year’s April Fool’s joke. Yeah, I fell for it. I’d have been embarrassed, but it is Egnor they were talking about.

Comment #203475

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on September 3, 2007 4:11 PM (e)

Don’t forget that Marks is free “to express support for” religion (UD comment #2) at Baylor - he has a whole side labeled “apologetics” on his site.

That said, I think Dembski as usual botches any attempts of “apology” with his customary arrogance. (Implied by O’Leary’s post by describing the more antagonistic events during his spat with Baylor.)

He should have left the inexcusable “parody” post uncensored, and personally apologized to Lilley instead. It looks that “respect” is something you demand in Demsbki’s world, not something you give. Which of course makes his morals to be of the same fiber as the nearest street thug.

StevenB wrote:

Besides, when Darwinists fool people with a hoax, they don’t wait for the laughter to subside (or as in Botnik’s case, wait for it to bomb) and then confess it as a parody. On the contrary, they collaborate to keep the lie alive until it becomes institutionalzed and then close ranks around it.

This seems to be a new tendency among creationists, to mirror the arguments they meet as “sound bites” out of context. Like quote mining but more advanced.

I don’t think they actually learn while stuck in denial. But perhaps this variation of collective behavior, if fixed, will be yet another attack on their cognitive dissonance. If they stop to listen to themselves, they may realize the gap between their sound bites and the reality which they mirror.

PvM wrote:

Dembski snatched victory from his own hands

PvM, I’m (obviously) no study of english, but I think you botched this one three ways from Sunday. (Etymologically, logically and humoristically, to be precise.)

Didn’t you mean “Dembski snatched defeat from the arms of victory”? :-P

Comment #203482

Posted by wad of id on September 3, 2007 4:26 PM (e)

WAD is a narcissist. He is his own undoing.

Comment #203513

Posted by PvM on September 3, 2007 6:19 PM (e)

PvM, I’m (obviously) no study of english, but I think you botched this one three ways from Sunday. (Etymologically, logically and humoristically, to be precise.)

Being a non native English speaker I can only concur with your assessment.

Comment #203573

Posted by Neal on September 3, 2007 10:06 PM (e)

Huh? what the hell is being asserted here?

Comment #203583

Posted by William Brookfield on September 3, 2007 10:33 PM (e)

Caligula said,

I never liked the ICON-RIDS prank in itself, because fooling someone by forging your intentions seems unethical to me. What I did find hilarious was Dembski’s reaction to the web page of “secular ID proponents”. Remember what he said? Pretty much sums it up for “growing numbers”.”

Hi Caligula,

ICON-RIDS is not a prank. When I joined ISCID I was anti-religious. I have since worked on my level of tolerance and I am now merely non-religious. While there may not be many non-religious ID’ers, they do exist… or at least I do exist and I am not joking. Personally, I couldn’t care less what Jesus, Moses and the boys may or may not have done have done thousands of years ago.

Comment #203639

Posted by sparc on September 4, 2007 1:48 AM (e)

Since I don’t understand Dembski’s humor, could somebody provide a Firefox add-on that automatically displays

{For heaven’s sake people, THIS IS A P-A-R-O-D-Y!!}

whenever I open an UD page?

Comment #203668

Posted by Coin on September 4, 2007 3:23 AM (e)

Sparc, that would actually be pretty trivial, the plugin would basically only need to consist of one javascript overlay containing something like

function onudload(event) { if (0 <= window.location.href.IndexOf(“uncommondescent.com”)) { var d = node.getElementsByTagName(‘div’); for (var c = 0; c < d.length; c++) { if (d.className == “body”) { var b = document.createElement(‘p’); b.innerHTML = “<b>{For heaven’s sake people, THIS IS A P-A-R-O-D-Y!!}</b>”; if (d[c].firstChild) d[c].insertBefore(b, d[c].firstChild); } } } } window.addEventListener(‘load’, onudload, true);

…uh, how serious were you about this?

Comment #203686

Posted by caligula on September 4, 2007 4:03 AM (e)

“ICON-RIDS is not a prank. When I joined ISCID I was anti-religious. I have since worked on my level of tolerance and I am now merely non-religious. While there may not be many non-religious ID’ers, they do exist… or at least I do exist and I am not joking. Personally, I couldn’t care less what Jesus, Moses and the boys may or may not have done have done thousands of years ago.”

Hi William,

Thanks for the response. Could you clarify this: what on Earth does Hefnerian playboy philosophy have to do with origins, and exactly how does it integrate into the ID theory? I bet that all parties in the origins debate are dying to learn this.

I can’t tell whether you’re sincere, or whether you’ve decided to “play the role” as long as it amuses you. In any case, I still think that Dembski’s “growing number of non-religious ID proponents” is not backed up well by a single person (EJ is a Klone of you, right?) who does his best to embarrass Dembski. And if you are a prank, in spite of your protests, I have to say that I do find some of your stuff hilarious, even if I don’t agree with your general method of embarrassing ID. Some special cases of investigative journalism can justify this kind of “infiltration”, but in general it is wrong to fake your real intention.

Comment #203714

Posted by sparc on September 4, 2007 6:07 AM (e)

…uh, how serious were you about this?

Thanks for this advanced solution. My under-evolved but intelligently designed add-on consists of a stripe of transparent scotch tape that I’ve labelled with Dembksi’s statement “{For heaven’s sake people, THIS IS A P-A-R-O-D-Y!!}”. Unfortunately, it can not be reloaded as often as one has to look at UD to see how fast bullshit proliferates. Thus, I have to prepare ID-creationism Parody label 2.0 soon.

Comment #203807

Posted by Gerard Harbison on September 4, 2007 12:21 PM (e)

Chronicle of Higher Education today claims that the web page for Marks’ “Evolutionary Informatics lab” has been removed from the Baylor site.

I’m very, very confused.

Comment #203808

Posted by David Stanton on September 4, 2007 12:21 PM (e)

Oh no, I missmelled misspelled. This could go on all day.

Comment #203815

Posted by secondclass on September 4, 2007 1:03 PM (e)

Dembski rants here:

Dembski wrote:

This is a big story, perhaps the biggest story yet of academic suppression relating to ID. Robert Marks is a world-class expert in the field of evolutionary computing, and yet the Baylor administration, without any consideration of the actual content of Marks’s work at the Evolutionary Informatics Lab, decided to shut it down simply because there were anonymous complaints linking the lab to intelligent design.

If Baylor is guilty of the biggest academic ID suppression yet by merely disassociating itself from Marks’ project, then Expelled must be a real snoozer.

And Dembski doesn’t seem too concerned that the gushing compliments he’s receiving from his sycophants are all “without any consideration of the actual content of Marks’s work at the Evolutionary Informatics Lab.”

Comment #203840

Posted by William Brookfield - ICON-RIDS on September 4, 2007 2:34 PM (e)

Hi Caligula,

Thank you for your comments. No “EJ Klone” is definitely not me. I am thinking that maybe the “Klone” part refers to EJ being a Raelian (they’re into that cloning stuff) and they are atheistic.

What on Earth does Hefnerian playboy philosophy have to do with origins?

Nothing that I can think of. I call myself an “ID Pleasurian” – a non-nihilistic Playboy-type philosopher who thinks the universe was intelligently designed. I am a “Pleasurian” just as Behe is a “Catholic” and Dembski is an “Evangelical.” The difference is that Pleasurian-ism is not a religion, it is just a philosophy.

“I have to say that I do find some of your stuff hilarious.”

That is good. Yes it was me who “accidentally” linked to the WEDGE (the sex cushion) instead of the WEDGE the DI document. What can I say.. I’m a rascal.

Comment #203841

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on September 4, 2007 2:48 PM (e)

secondclass:
Dembski rants here:

Dembski wrote:

This is a big story, perhaps the biggest story yet of academic suppression relating to ID. Robert Marks is a world-class expert in the field of evolutionary computing, and yet the Baylor administration, without any consideration of the actual content of Marks’s work at the Evolutionary Informatics Lab, decided to shut it down simply because there were anonymous complaints linking the lab to intelligent design.

If Baylor is guilty of the biggest academic ID suppression yet by merely disassociating itself from Marks’ project, then Expelled must be a real snoozer.

I think there are two distinct issues to consider. The first is, of course, that Baylor can distance itself from the work of any of its faculty members. It can prohibit them from using the University name for such work, demand reasonable disclaimers on web sites kept on University servers, and in at least some circumstances (though this would need to be carefully justified) it can forbid faculty from using University-supported resources for purposes that are not University-supported.

On the other hand, if on his/her own time and through external grants a faculty member wishes to pursue any topic, from ID to unicorn ethology, it’s entirely his/her prerogative to do so. Baylor cannot and should not try to stop Marks from pursuing his ID pipedreams, although it has the right to make sure people understand that those are his dreams, and not the university’s. Any attempt to the contrary would indeed be a serious violation of academic freedom.

To my understanding, nothing Baylor has done so far seems to qualify as such an attempt, but we cannot just assume that that is the case simply because Dembski and other ID advocates are on the other side. Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be after you.

Comment #203851

Posted by Andrew on September 4, 2007 3:21 PM (e)

I find this whole situation funny. Not just the reactions from the ID group but the reactions from this one as well. Just take out the topic from both groups and you get basically the same results from both sides. ID says evolution is wrong in a matter of fact aggressive way and evolutionists fire back in kind. While I agree with the later I just think this is pretty humorous when you stand back and look at it all.
What I would find even better though would be if the posts on the ID page were actually part of the parody. That has to be it, because I do have a hard time believing they just ignored the parody warning. I first thought that had to be aided after the fact.

Comment #203868

Posted by noncarborundum on September 4, 2007 3:42 PM (e)

Andrew @203851:

… I do have a hard time believing they just ignored the parody warning. I first thought that had to be aided after the fact.

As I understand the sequence of events, it was added after the fact. Presumably at about the time of comment #16 (O’Leary).

Comment #203869

Posted by Andrew on September 4, 2007 3:51 PM (e)

Thanks for pointed that out… the egg is certainly on my face. Hopefully you are right and it happend after comment 16. Or someone could have been a jackass like myself and not have read the entire posting like I just did.

Comment #203871

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on September 4, 2007 4:06 PM (e)

Andrea Bottaro wrote:

On the other hand, if on his/her own time and through external grants a faculty member wishes to pursue any topic, from ID to unicorn ethology, it’s entirely his/her prerogative to do so.

As I noted above we have all indications that Baylor grant Marks a lot of leeway here. (And specifically on religious matters.)

The difference is that he clearly marks (sic!) that material as non-academic.

David Stanton wrote:

Oh no, I missmelled misspelled. This could go on all day.

But ass schlong as it doesn’t happen to become profannyty you wouldn’t come close to Neal, would you?

[I note with some hilarity that my US web dictionary redirects “schlong” to penis, but otherwise refuse to describe its spelling or meaning. Only in US…]

Andrew:

Andrew wrote:

ID says evolution is wrong in a matter of fact aggressive way and evolutionists fire back in kind.

I think you do a whole lot of equivocation and conflation here.

First, this thread isn’t arguing the science but the treatment of scientists.

Second, “evolutionists” is a misnomer for a diverse group of biologists and intellectuals, with a lot of different interests behind discussing science and education.

You could say that the group of biologists specialized in evolutionary biology are “evolutionists”, but then you would also have to recognize that the least of what they do is arguing with creationists. The sheer amount of papers on evolution shows this.

That specialists are outraged by anti-scientists distorting their results and thwarting their efforts of education is understandable. That other scientists wants to help is also understandable, especially since creationists target every science in sight even if biology is their chosen whip dog.

Comment #203909

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 4, 2007 7:03 PM (e)

the egg is certainly on my face.

yup, sure is andrew, and not just with that detail.

Comment #203913

Posted by Mr. Language Person on September 4, 2007 7:17 PM (e)

If it was good enough for Shakespeare it should be good enough for the rest of us.

He also used “puke”. Let me know the next time you see that in an official communication from a university president.

Didn’t you mean “Dembski snatched defeat from the arms of victory”?

This is almost always “… snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.” (Google: “defeat from the arms of victory” 443, “defeat from the jaws of victory” 128,000.)

Comment #203947

Posted by Henry J on September 4, 2007 9:16 PM (e)

Whatever the traditional phrase, I think that “how Dembski snatched victory from his own hands when he,” makes the intended point quite well. :)

Henry

p.s. Has anybody else noticed the list of choices the spell checker gives for “Dembski”?

Comment #203977

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on September 4, 2007 11:50 PM (e)

LP, Henry J, PvM:

Thanks! I guess my googling the exact term went astray on my misremembering it - I tried to find a dictionary description but failed. (It isn’t necessary my fault, being a non-native speaker I tend to pick up what others have used twice or thrice.)

Hmm. “Jaws” will be easier to remember. (Suggests an image of dogs fighting over scraps.)

And if Henry thinks PvM’s phrase is humorous, I owe PvM an apology. [My bad, PvM!] The reversal was funnier to me, but humor is a personal taste.

Comment #204138

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on September 5, 2007 10:47 AM (e)

Neal’s last 2 comments were becoming too much of a distraction. They have been moved to the Bathroom Wall (where they rightly belong) together with the associated replies.

Neal, profanity-laced posts are not welcome, especially if they also fail to even attempt to make sensible points. Clean up your language or try to make sense, and possibly both, otherwise your next posts will be just deleted. Everyone else, please ignore trolls. Thanks.

Comment #204142

Posted by steve s on September 5, 2007 10:54 AM (e)

What I would find even better though would be if the posts on the ID page were actually part of the parody. That has to be it, because I do have a hard time believing they just ignored the parody warning. I first thought that had to be aided after the fact.

The article was put up with no parody warning around 6pm. By a little before 10 pm, only one UD commenter had expressed any suspicion, and about a dozen commenters took it at face value and started attacking Baylor’s president. Dembski became afraid he would doom yet another ID ‘lab’, and put up the warning, and later, removed the thread. (It is worth noting that of the 8 denizens discussing the matter at After the Bar Closes during that period, 5 speculated it might be a hoax. Seems one side is a little more credulous than the other. )

Comment #204165

Posted by tourettist on September 5, 2007 1:04 PM (e)

Wow, for a scientific theory, Intelligent Design sure brings out the ecclesiastical tribunal:

bornagain77: Is this guy really a Baptist?…

Dave Scot: Presumably Lilly is a Christian.

StephenB: I would not want to guess whether he is a real Christian or not.

Fully 20% of the posts prior to the unveiling of the hoax called Lilly’s beliefs into question. If you want to see the difference between religion and science in action, suppose for a moment the theory in question had been cold fusion. Nobody would have questioned hoax-Lilly’s religious beliefs then. But these ID-iots confirm over and over, it’s about Christian religion, especially when they’re at their most heated in denying it.

Comment #204166

Posted by Henry J on September 5, 2007 1:09 PM (e)

Not to mention that cold fusion would be a good thing if it could be made to work. (Though last I heard that seemed unlikely.)

Henry

Comment #204349

Posted by noncarborundum on September 5, 2007 11:41 PM (e)

By a little before 10 pm, only one UD commenter had expressed any suspicion …

And look closely: at 6:43pm he says “This must be a hoax” and “If this is real I am stunned”, and then a mere six minutes later he’s inveighing against Lilley as a “hard core Darwinist and sock puppet of the ACLU” as though he has absolutely no recollection of his previously expressed suspicions. It’s enough to make your head spin.

Comment #204351

Posted by Neal on September 5, 2007 11:50 PM (e)

“Neal’s last 2 comments were becoming too much of a distraction. They have been moved to the Bathroom Wall (where they rightly belong) together with the associated replies.

Neal, profanity-laced posts are not welcome, especially if they also fail to even attempt to make sensible points. Clean up your language or try to make sense, and possibly both, otherwise your next posts will be just deleted. Everyone else, please ignore trolls. Thanks.”

Neal’s responses are:

Seems to me, when I posted the first “frofanity-laced” comments, I saw a message that informed me that the “post” would be subject to some sort of scrutiny (filter) before being placed on the forum for observation by all that can view the contents. I was a little surprised to see that it actually made the content section available (apparently) to the masses that view this arena that caters to the philosophical bigotry of those that “worship” macro-evolutionary wishful thinking.

I can imagine that you eliminated all of the posts relating to mine because, essentially, the favored points of view in this venue was getting it’s proverbally butt kicked in a matter of a few paragraphs.

However, I (and I really mean this) have to commend the “gatekeepers” of this forum for letting my full expressions (regardless of socially acceptable conventions) be publicized here. It is really a “breath of fresh air” in the “scheme of things” regarding these particular discussions.

I know that someone involved in monitoring this forum has economic interests that somewhat encourage the expression of other points of view (in order to create entertaining controversy.) But to allow (aside from the alleged “profanity”) the undeniable facts to be expressed in such a realm of philosophical bigotry, is an astoundingly refreshing reversal of what many would consider the real spirit of this (“lets gather together and support each others failing philosophies so we can continue to get paid, feel good about our superiority over the stupid masses, reinforce our philosophical preferences, continue to impose our vastly unsubstantiated hype on the ignorant individuals that mindlessly continue to support our beloved publicly funded hobbies”) ridiculous gathering of fools.

Surprise me again, please, and allow this post to be presented!!! (Notice the lack of profanity, you ________) (You can imagine anything you want!!!!!

Love,
Neal

Comment #204356

Posted by steve s on September 6, 2007 12:19 AM (e)

Comment #204165

Posted by tourettist on September 5, 2007 1:04 PM (e) | kill

Wow, for a scientific theory, Intelligent Design sure brings out the ecclesiastical tribunal:

bornagain77: Is this guy really a Baptist?…

Dave Scot: Presumably Lilly is a Christian.

StephenB: I would not want to guess whether he is a real Christian or not.

My favorite was BornAgain77 calling Lilley “a unbelieving atheist”.

BornAgain77’s one of our favorites over at AtBC.

Comment #204357

Posted by Science Avenger on September 6, 2007 12:25 AM (e)

Neal, profanity-laced posts are not welcome, especially if they also fail to even attempt to make sensible points. Clean up your language or try to make sense, and possibly both, otherwise your next posts will be just deleted.

Well, at least he managed the cleaning up part. Sense would be far too much to expect from someone who thinks pointless profanities and baseless assertions amount to a butt kicking.

Comment #204359

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 6, 2007 12:26 AM (e)

economic interests

uh, see any commercial advertisements on this site, oh brainless one?

do note the .org extension.

not .com.

get it?

no, of course you don’t.

someone out there thinks the contributors are actually getting rich off of the ‘thumb!

BWAHAHAHAAHA!

what will these idiots come up with next.

Comment #204381

Posted by hoary puccoon on September 6, 2007 1:39 AM (e)

I’m getting paid? (Or, as Neal would say, “I’m getting “PAID”????!!!!??)
When did this happen? Note to Andea Bottaro: the checks are not coming through.

Comment #204411

Posted by ben on September 6, 2007 3:32 AM (e)

Neal, do you have an argument to make? So far all your blather has consisted of you saying what you think as if it is fact, without any attempt to provide evidence or argument of any kind. Why should anyone, regardless of their viewpoint, take you seriously if you aren’t going to actually try to demonstrate that your positions are justified? You claim

the favored points of view in this venue was getting it’s proverbally butt kicked in a matter of a few paragraphs

but you’re not “kicking butt,” you’re just making unsupported (and ungrammatical) assertions that convince no one. So far the strongest points you’ve made are that you’re angry, you can’t write very well, and you don’t know how to construct a proper argument. Do you have anything else? I think betting PTers would lay big money on “no.”

Comment #204417

Posted by ernestog on September 6, 2007 3:49 AM (e)

At first, I thought that the Baylor University authorities had been rather heavy-handed in dealing with Dr. Dembski. But then I thought: if all he needs is a windowless office, an internet connection and access to a library, why does he need to be at Baylor specifically. He can do his research anywhere. Perhaps its the famous cafeteria food…

Comment #204443

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on September 6, 2007 6:24 AM (e)

Neal,
for the record, your original posts and subsequent comments were not “eliminated”, they are at the Bathroom Wall, which is a quasi-free-for-all thread of PT comments at the AntiEvolution.org discussion board, associated with this blog. You are free to continue your “butt-kicking” there at any time (just make sure you follow the local board rules).

Comment #204490

Posted by steve s on September 6, 2007 8:36 AM (e)

Comment #204417

Posted by ernestog on September 6, 2007 3:49 AM (e) | kill

At first, I thought that the Baylor University authorities had been rather heavy-handed in dealing with Dr. Dembski. But then I thought: if all he needs is a windowless office, an internet connection and access to a library, why does he need to be at Baylor specifically.

Would you be surprised to discover it’s all about PR? Reciprocating Bill at AtBC sheds some light on the question with this quote from Jan 1, 2007:

2007 Buckle your safety belts!
William Dembski

Happy New Year to all UD regulars. I expect 2007 to be a bang-up year for ID. Here are three things in particular I’m looking forward to in the coming year:

1. A new ID friendly research center at a major university. (This is not merely an idle wish - stay tuned.)

To you it would have been a windowless room and a network connection. To the Intelligent Design PR machine it would have been an ID research center at a major university.

Comment #204763

Posted by ernestog on September 7, 2007 2:32 AM (e)

@Steve_s Comment #204490

Exactly. Its seems that all the teeth gnashing, hair pulling histrionics at UD is just a show. There is still absolutely nothing stopping them doing their um… ‘research’. Baylor doesn’t have anything that the ID crowd dont already have… expect perhaps their name. Like you said, Dembski and co. just want to crow about ID being based at a University. How much more fucking lame could they be. Being associated with a University won’t suddenly make ID research better or any less inane, jackasses!

And I don’t the blame Baylor for not wanting them there.

Comment #205220

Posted by Neal on September 8, 2007 1:28 PM (e)

“Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 8, 2007 1:12 AM (e)

GETTING RID OF THE MANY KILLING DISEASES AND AND OTHER LIFE THREATENING PHENOMENA SO PREVALENT IN THE WORLD NOW AND IN THE FUTURE.

should we tell him who was responsible for figuring out how disease resistances work, and why?

nawww.”

Neal’s response:

Can you spell “micro” vs. “macro” sir bonehead? Maybe someone needs to describe the differences to you. The extrapolations from the minuscule to support the vast assertions required to even begin to build any kind of credible case for macro-evolutionary conceptualizations rapidly turn the quest into la la dreamland jack and jill went up the hill fairy tale type speculations.

Drop the unnecessary “way the h__l over the top speculating” and focus on what we can know from observable experimentation. Which by the way you p_______d (I wonder how many hours you bastions of macro-evolutionary hood have to spend on figuring that one out instead of working some good science) the example you site above is an example of the describable, observable, measurable phenomena and conclusions derived therefrom. It has nothing to do with any kind of philosophies (including macro-evolution) that the person may otherwise subscribe to.

Comment #205222

Posted by Science Avenger on September 8, 2007 1:43 PM (e)

Neal said:

Can you spell “micro” vs. “macro” sir bonehead? Maybe someone needs to describe the differences to you.

By all means Neal, describe them for us, chemically, using objective terms with objective well-understood meanings. In other words, “complexity”, “kind”, “genetic entropy”, “genetic boundary”, or any of the other nonsense terms IDers like to toss about when they are pretending to think, don’t count.

We’re waiting…

Comment #205227

Posted by fnxtr on September 8, 2007 2:04 PM (e)

Hear, hear.

Put up or shut up, Neal.

What are the limitations of what you call microevolution, that make what you call macroevolution impossible?

What particular obstacle to gene duplication, frame shift, or point mutation – possibly of regulating sequences – makes the differentiation in, say, the jawbone/earbone development, or crustacean/insect abdomens, or fin/hand development, impossible?

The guys who actually do the work freely admit the picture is not yet complete, but it seems to be unfolding as suspected.

What surprises are they in for?

You seem to know they’re headed for a brick wall.

What is it?

Spell it out for us.

We’re all waiting.

(Like everything else this reminds me of a Monty Python skit. “Come on, Os, let’s have the wit, then.”)

Comment #205228

Posted by fnxtr on September 8, 2007 2:09 PM (e)

Sorry about the mixed metaphors.

As Gracie would say, Neal: you’ve buttered your bread, now lie in it.

Comment #205288

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on September 8, 2007 5:32 PM (e)

Neal:

Neal wrote:

“micro” vs. “macro”

IANAB, but AFAIK the whole distinction between micro- and macroevolution is made because biologists speculate that additional mechanisms that separate populations may appear in the later case.

But just as the borders (and so definitions) between species is fluid, so is the separation into microevolution (common descent) and macroevolution (speciation). In some speciation processes (ring species) the populations can’t be observed to speciate before you compare them at a mixing area.

AFAIK there is few if any of those hypothetical additional mechanisms proven to be exclusively “macro”. I believe punctuated equilibria may appear when populations pass bottlenecks, et cetera. (Of course, if you accept such anagenesis as speciation, you will claim that you observe a new species even if you can’t test the hypothesis for a “biological species” concept. But I believe that is a living discussion between population geneticists and paleontologists.)

So you are making unsupported claims, for example that micro- and macroevolution are separate processes. It isn’t even certain that they are qualitatively and quantitatively different and discernible.

So yes, refrain from “way the h__l over the top speculating” and focus on what we know from observable experimentation.

Comment #205318

Posted by Neal on September 8, 2007 7:48 PM (e)

“Posted by Science Avenger on September 8, 2007 1:43 PM (e)

Neal said:

Can you spell “micro” vs. “macro” sir bonehead? Maybe someone needs to describe the differences to you.

By all means Neal, describe them for us, chemically, using objective terms with objective well-understood meanings. In other words, “complexity”, “kind”, “genetic entropy”, “genetic boundary”, or any of the other nonsense terms IDers like to toss about when they are pretending to think, don’t count.

We’re waiting…”

Neal’s response:

Why should you look to me to explain anything son of bonehead? I take it you are part of the macro-evolutionary “scientific” (a f_____g self proclaimed descriptor), rather, philosophical “good-old-boys” club. (No women or fags allowed, rhetorically speaking.)
Evidently you feel you have sufficient evidence from scientific (I mean real scientific) experimentation and verifiable observation) that clearly leaves no kind of reasonable doubt regarding the molecules to living ecosystems hypothesis”””’ you self deluded jackass!!!! (is that a bad word mr. editor?)

I would like to see you “sell” your bankrupt ideas to real world investors based on your current “balance sheet” which would show severe negative equity. You and yours makes the Enron fiasco look like “real economic viability salvation” you p___k.

Comment #205320

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 8, 2007 7:54 PM (e)

The extrapolations from the minuscule to support the vast assertions required to even begin to build any kind of credible case for macro-evolutionary conceptualizations rapidly turn the quest into la la dreamland jack and jill went up the hill fairy tale type speculations.

but, gee, Neal, you asked all us evolutionary biologists to go out and solve the world’s disease problems, and all I’m saying is that it was through the study of evolutionary biology that we figured out how and why disease resistance works.

If you had your way, should we go back and erase history so that evolutionary biology had never happened, and all the advancements made in this field that have contributed to medical science, as well as many other fields, never happened either?

It’s like you somehow think that it’s all a bunch of stamp-collecting.

you don’t think that, do you?

had that aneurysm yet? Or do you feel like screaming further inanities at your computer screen?

Comment #205321

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 8, 2007 8:06 PM (e)

But just as the borders (and so definitions) between species is fluid, so is the separation into microevolution (common descent) and macroevolution (speciation). In some speciation processes (ring species) the populations can’t be observed to speciate before you compare them at a mixing area.

uh, that’s not correct.

the only distinct definitions between micro and macro evolution used within any scientific field of endeavor relate to evolution within populations, vs large scale effects on the course of evolution itself.

got nothing to do with speciation, and is commonly only used within the realm of paleontology.

example:

Punctuated Equilibrium is often thought of as a “macroevoltuionary” theory within paleo circles, since it deals with studying patterns of evolution within the geologic record, and what might have influenced those.

within my realm, the realm of field population biology and behavior, we don’t make a distinction between “micro” and “macro”.

there is just evolution.

one of these days, even wiki will get this right.

personally, over the years I’ve been convinced that there is some efficacy to separating the terms within the field of paleontology, and perhaps stretching as far as becoming somewhat useful nomenclature when considering theories of the level selection acts at within entire communities, but that’s as far as I would go with it.

this whole “micro/macro” thing within the realm of species/genera was never really considered useful, and is by and large only maintained and propagated within the creationist community in order to create a needlessly false dichotomy.

Comment #205326

Posted by Neal on September 8, 2007 8:25 PM (e)

“but, gee, Neal, you asked all us evolutionary biologists to go out and solve the world’s disease problems, and all I’m saying is that it was through the study of evolutionary biology that we figured out how and why disease resistance works.

If you had your way, should we go back and erase history so that evolutionary biology had never happened, and all the advancements made in this field that have contributed to medical science, as well as many other fields, never happened either?

It’s like you somehow think that it’s all a bunch of stamp-collecting.

you don’t think that, do you?

had that aneurysm yet? Or do you feel like screaming further inanities at your computer screen?”

Neal’s response:

As long as you continue to defend an outmoded philosophical position that continues to pull from the limited resources available to devote to real concerns facing humanity now, I guarantee you I will continue to “scream” at you b______s who want to continue to bolster your own favored ideological, philosophical banterings in the name of science at the expense of human suffering!!!!!!! (You pr__k__ad) (I am sure your desire to figure out the missing letters will be covered by you last “grant” to discover more macro-evolutionary s__t )

I really am sick of the ASSERTION that macro-evolutionary “studies” have contributed significantly to advances in science. I mean, a man with a broken leg who has a crutch may eventually get from point a to point b. But a man driving a well (and i know you a______s are going to hate this comment)”designed vehicle” is going to not only get from point a to point b much more rapidly, but also potentially, get to point “f_____g” Z by getting through all the various other points of reference much more efficiently and effectively!!!!!!! You stu__d s__ts)

Comment #205329

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 8, 2007 8:39 PM (e)

As long as you continue to defend an outmoded philosophical position

but, gee, Neal, if it was entirely philosophical, how could it have produced testable predictions, that were, in fact, tested, and the results of which published in thousands of journal articles that have then contributed to the very advancements I was mentioning?

funny, I don’t recall a recent philosopher that produced results used in the advancement of medicine.

do you?

It’s really not an assertion, Neal. you can certainly do a review of the history of modern medicine yourself to find out how much evolutionary biology has contributed to it, for just one example. I know you’ll just think all those thousands of published articles are just propaganda (as opposed to what you actually wouldn’t think is propaganda, I have no clue)

We can’t help that you’re lazy and ignorant. You don’t have to be, ya know. there are many libraries you can visit to find out for yourself.

I know you’ll think it’s poison to your feeble brain, but you might even try talkorigins.org to get a start on what the historical contributions of the field of evoltuionary biology have been, and links to actual references are provided, so even if you don’t believe what’s there, you could actually go and read for yourself.

so, which is it?

do you PREFER ignorance and conspiracy theories?

or do you want to know the reality?

do you prefer to think that there was a massive conspiracy and coverup and no actual moon landing? or do you prefer to know the reality?

up to you, but don’t think ignorance of the facts an excuse for promoting an irrational viewpoint, as you currently are doing.

Comment #205330

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 8, 2007 8:42 PM (e)

But a man driving a well (and i know you a______s are going to hate this comment)”designed vehicle” is going to not only get from point a to point b much more rapidly, but also potentially, get to point “f_____g” Z by getting through all the various other points of reference much more efficiently and effectively!!!!!!! You stu__d s__ts)

do you think routing your pleasure centers through the sewer lines an efficient design, there, Chuckles?

Comment #205334

Posted by David Stanton on September 8, 2007 9:20 PM (e)

Neal,

Why don’t you find some cures for some diseases yourself instead of yelling at those who have? You won’t even define your terms or explain what you mean by your accusations. Why should anyone take you seriously? So what if some people have a philosophy different from yours? How does that stop you from learning and practicing real science the way you think it should be done?

When you have some valid agruments, maybe someone will be willing to listen. When you have some evidence maybe some one will be convinced. Until then, crying that some people have different opinions than you is completely worthless.

Comment #205345

Posted by Eric Finn on September 8, 2007 10:27 PM (e)

Neal wrote:

As long as you continue to defend an outmoded philosophical position that continues to pull from the limited resources available to devote to real concerns facing humanity now, I guarantee you I will continue to “scream” at you b______s who want to continue to bolster your own favored ideological, philosophical banterings in the name of science at the expense of human suffering!!!!!!! (You pr__k__ad) (I am sure your desire to figure out the missing letters will be covered by you last “grant” to discover more macro-evolutionary s__t )

I really am sick of the ASSERTION that macro-evolutionary “studies” have contributed significantly to advances in science. I mean, a man with a broken leg who has a crutch may eventually get from point a to point b. But a man driving a well (and i know you a______s are going to hate this comment)”designed vehicle” is going to not only get from point a to point b much more rapidly, but also potentially, get to point “f_____g” Z by getting through all the various other points of reference much more efficiently and effectively!!!!!!! You stu__d s__ts)

It seems to me that you don’t appreciate the method used in science. Rather, it seems, you would like to compare philosophical positions and choose the one that you like most. Tangible evidence does not enter in this train of thoughts.

Sir_Toejam wrote:

but, gee, Neal, if it was entirely philosophical, how could it have produced testable predictions, that were, in fact, tested, and the results of which published in thousands of journal articles that have then contributed to the very advancements I was mentioning?

Exactly, science works by means of predictions and tests in order to find the most plausible explanations. This process does not always produce correct answers, but it is self-correcting. This process is used, because it has a good record in helping to understanding the phenomena in the nature.
I do not wish to undermine the importance of philosophical studies, since on occasions they may give valuable guidance.

Regards
Eric

Comment #205795

Posted by David Stanton on September 10, 2007 10:02 AM (e)

Torbjorn,

To me the large scale aspects of macroevolution are the most significant. It seems to me that specifying between population differneces is emphasizing only the lower end of the scale. It may be technically correct, but it doesn’t convey the divergence and diversity observed at the class and phylum level very well.

Of course, that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong. Some people draw the line at speciation. Some people draw the line even higher. To me, that just emphasizes the fact that there is no hard and fast demarcation from microevolution and that the processes responsible for lower lever divergence are undoubtedly also responsible for differences at higher levels. You just need to include some evo/devo and some more developmental and regulatory genetics at the higher levels, but it seems to be more of the same to me.

Of course our troll is not going to like this one bit. Do you think he will go away now?

Comment #205808

Posted by Henry J on September 10, 2007 10:46 AM (e)

I don’t think it’s a line between micro and macro, I think its a fuzzy overlap of two regions on a continuous scale.

Henry

Comment #205908

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 10, 2007 5:07 PM (e)

Um, so could we say within populations vs “within and between populations” instead of “large scale effects”? That would look appealingly more qualitative distinctive (ie against one dimension).

It’s more like looking at what influences large scale patterns in the direction of evolution, especially as evidenced over geologic time in the fossil record, and what might have influenced those, as opposed to how natural selection might operate as a specific mechanism within a given population. Hence, when we see apparently consistent patterns in the fossil record suggesting possible rapid advances after long periods of relative stasis, we get Gould proposing punc. eq. as opposed to phyletic gradualism.

not terribly useful when looking at the frequencies of genotypes one might expect to appear within a given population in the near future, but it appears useful if one is trying to analyze the larger patterns we see generally over long periods of time. It allows an individual to separate discussions of localized phenomena from large scale phenomena.

so “macroevolutionary” hypotheses are ones that attempt to explain some of the large scale patterns we find over geologic time scales, and include overarching analyses of the patterns of evolution in general. However, by and large, the distinction at this point appears mostly popularized within the paleontology community, and the convention seems to work quite well there (it makes sense to make the distinction).

I would note that most fields have similar distinctions between large spatio/temporal analyses vs. localized. The Big Bang, for example, while a theory of universal formation and a great explanation for the overarching patterns we see in movement of galaxies, etc., is not really a high enough resolution theory when examining localized star formation and behavior, for example, even though you can still see the connection with the larger scale theory, and aspects of the larger scale theory do give some ideas on what stars are likely to do in general.

looking at cosmic background radiation, as a specific point, was crucial in supporting the Big Bang theory. However, it is too large a scale to be of great import in theories of how our particular local star was formed and will function over time.

Hope that makes sense.

Not being a cosmologist myself, I don’t really know if there have been adopted any similar conventions of scale; maybe the Big Bang theory is considered a “macrocosmological” theory? or maybe it’s just simpler than that and the division between cosmology and astronomy suffices.

personally, I used to think the division between paleontology and evolutionary biology sufficient enough distinction (for about 20 years, truth be told), but the two overlap enough in interest to make the distinction of “macroevolutionary” useful to evolutionary biologists as well IMO. Heck, there were endless arguments over punc. eq. within the zoology graduate dept. at Berkeley when I was there, clearly demonstrating at least some merit in making the distinction outside the field of paleontology, though I didn’t ever look at it that way at the time.

I credit several paleontologists with convincing me of this after revisiting the issue over the last few years, in fact, along with a few heated debates over on Pharyngula. I still catch flak over it from some of the traditional zoologist friends I have, and still see a LOT of new postdocs in zoology who don’t understand the distinction and happily begin the arguments all over again.

Comment #206099

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on September 11, 2007 3:40 AM (e)

David Stanton:

David Stanton wrote:

To me the large scale aspects of macroevolution are the most significant. It seems to me that specifying between population differences is emphasizing only the lower end of the scale.

Thanks for the helpful answer! I can go with the most significant.

It makes the qualitative differences larger in emphasizing. And incidentally, I noticed after posting my earlier comment that insisting on the same scale for distinction would make it easier for me to revert to my old mistake.

David Stanton wrote:

Do you think he will go away now?

Sorry, no. A real troll is on a roll - say anything and it is encouragement, don’t say anything and it is encouragement. Besides, this individual gets unusually stimulated by people poking him on his language. Talk about blogasms.

Disemvoweling has had effects (on both troll and troll-meat) on other blogs. Maybe disemcursening will be useful here though.

Comment #206106

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on September 11, 2007 4:36 AM (e)

Sir_Toejam:

Sir_Toejam wrote:

It’s more like looking at what influences large scale patterns in the direction of evolution, especially as evidenced over geologic time in the fossil record, … the distinction at this point appears mostly popularized within the paleontology community, and the convention seems to work quite well there (it makes sense to make the distinction).

Thanks for the helpful answer! Ah yes, then there is the measurements and what observational area they naturally are made in.

Sir_Toejam wrote:

Not being a cosmologist myself, I don’t really know if there have been adopted any similar conventions of scale; maybe the Big Bang theory is considered a “macrocosmological” theory? or maybe it’s just simpler than that and the division between cosmology and astronomy suffices.

I think the later has been the practical outcome, but today the amount of observations on all scales and the interest from the high-energy physicists may have started a movement towards similar theory driven conventions. But that is beyond my ken.

Comparing progress over deep time scales we have to remember that people have been fairly certain about the age of Earth longer than the age of the Universe. (Repeatedly 10 % observational diff and consistent theories ~ 1960 vs ~ 2000.)

[Btw, in a small way your analogy breaks down a little. It is up front the case that the same mechanism (GR) gives both micro- and macro behavior on the empty spacetime metric itself. Locally flat but over large scale measurable redshift. Which picture should aggravate creationists.]

Comment #206226

Posted by Science Avenger on September 11, 2007 11:32 AM (e)

FWIW I think the joke has worn thin, and it is time Neal was banned until he learns to type sans caps, blanked out curses, and explanation points, and actually addresses the arguments, any arguments, put forth.

My $.02

Comment #206449

Posted by Neal on September 12, 2007 12:47 AM (e)

Mr. editor, are you “taking me out again?”
on what basis?

Comment #206867

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on September 13, 2007 6:45 AM (e)

Neal wrote:
Mr. editor, are you “taking me out again?”
on what basis?

On the basis that your posts have no content whatsoever other than profanities and a few repetitive, unsubstantiated assertions aimed at getting a raise out of other commenters on this board - that’s the definition of trolling. (And please don’t argue that calling someone a piece of s__t is not equivalent to calling him a piece of shit, we are not in elementary school.)

I wish other commenters could simply refrain from answering to you altogether, which I am quite sure would quickly lead you to spew your recently learned profanities somewhere else, but for some reason they can’t. As a result, I have to spend time cleaning the thread to send all this foolishness to the Bathroom Wall, which is not my idea of time well spent.

If you cannot engage in at least mildly productive discussion, we will have to ban you.

For everyone else: if you please just ignore Neal, you can really make my life easier, since I would only have to move his posts instead of sifting through all of your responses to see whether they have enough Neal-unrelated content to stay here. I will leave this thread open until the week-end to see if a reasonable discussion can again develop, otherwise I’ll just close comments. Thanks.

Comment #207174

Posted by fnxtr on September 13, 2007 11:21 PM (e)

Mea culpa. Roger wilco.

Comment #207193

Posted by Neal on September 14, 2007 12:41 AM (e)

“Posted by Andrea Bottaro on September 13, 2007 6:45 AM (e)

Neal wrote:
Mr. editor, are you “taking me out again?”
on what basis?

On the basis that your posts have no content whatsoever other than profanities and a few repetitive, unsubstantiated assertions aimed at getting a raise out of other commenters on this board - that’s the definition of trolling. (And please don’t argue that calling someone a piece of s__t is not equivalent to calling him a piece of shit, we are not in elementary school.)

I wish other commenters could simply refrain from answering to you altogether, which I am quite sure would quickly lead you to spew your recently learned profanities somewhere else, but for some reason they can’t. As a result, I have to spend time cleaning the thread to send all this foolishness to the Bathroom Wall, which is not my idea of time well spent.

If you cannot engage in at least mildly productive discussion, we will have to ban you.

For everyone else: if you please just ignore Neal, you can really make my life easier, since I would only have to move his posts instead of sifting through all of your responses to see whether they have enough Neal-unrelated content to stay here. I will leave this thread open until the week-end to see if a reasonable discussion can again develop, otherwise I’ll just close comments. Thanks.”

Neal’s response:

This response will probably be rejected from this forum like several others from me were, despite the lack of linguistic “profanity” (as irrelevant as it should be) and the rather advanced articulations of relevant concepts of highly significant importance to a REALISTIC scientific perspective of the REAL pertinent topics at hand. Perhaps I must, at this point, exclude significant disclosure of the appropriate concepts central to this discussion out of this arena. But I must say that I feel I must do so only to attempt to potentially entice the master editors of this forum to discontinue their prejudicial treatment of my contributions to this forum, and allow the actual freedom of speech that, supposedly, this nation has been founded upon, by allowing me to express, what soooo many people would agree, is the truth of these issues.

Andrea, my sweet child, you are blinded by generations of ignorance perpetuated by the greed and vastly unfounded philosophical preferences of those who have had the socio-political clout to position themselves as such. You are not guilt free. Your philosophical preferences helps to FEED THESE PEOPLE in their illegitimate perverse tax dollar funded activities in perpetuation of their philosophical preferences. Wake up, Please.

Comment #207197

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 14, 2007 12:57 AM (e)

by the way, any update on what’s happening with Marks, Andrea?