Darwinist rhetorical tactics Design inference Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization ID Foundations Science, worldview issues/foundations and society Selective Hyperskepticism

Let’s discuss: >> Elizabeth Liddle: I do not think the ID case holds up. I think it is undermined by [want of . . . ???] any evidence for the putative designer . . . >>

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In a current UD thread, Mung clips and comments:

>> OT: Over at TSZ, fossils of reason occasionally appear, quite by accident.

Elizabeth Liddle: I do not think the ID case holds up. I think it is undermined by any evidence for the putative designer – no hypothesis about what the designer was trying to do, how she was doing it, what her capacities were, etc.

Mung: The ID case does not hold up because it is undermined by any evidence for the designer. Classic.>>

I added:

>> identification of an empirically detectable, reliable sign of intelligently directed configuration — thus of a design process — is a strong sign of a designer back of that process. Further, designs typically indicate much regarding the knowledge and skill of the contriver; hence why we talk of crude vs sophisticated designs. But then, what is at work is, plainly, no design and no designer can be accepted so let’s find a plausible rhetorical peg to hang our before the fact ideologically predetermined conclusions on.  >>

Let us discuss this.

As a sparker for thought, let me clip Paley’s classic discussion in Nat Theol, on finding a watch in a field:

A Watch Movement c. 1880
A Watch Movement c. 1880

IN crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for any thing I knew to the contrary, it had lain there for ever: nor would it perhaps be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place; I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given, that, for any thing I knew, the watch might have always been there. Yet why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for the stone? why is it not as admissible in the second case, as in the first? For this reason, and for no other, viz. that, when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive (what we could not discover in the stone) that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose, e. g. that they are so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day; that, if the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, of a different size from what they are, or placed after any other manner, or in any other order, than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have been carried on in the machine, or none which would have answered the use that is now served by it. To reckon up a few of the plainest of these parts, and of their offices, all tending to one result:– We see a cylindrical box containing a coiled elastic spring, which, by its endeavour to relax itself, turns round the box. We next observe a flexible chain (artificially wrought for the sake of flexure), communicating the action of the spring from the box to the fusee. We then find a series of wheels, the teeth of which catch in, and apply to, each other, conducting the motion from the fusee to the balance, and from the balance to the pointer; and at the same time, by the size and shape of those wheels, so regulating that motion, as to terminate in causing an index, by an equable and measured progression, to pass over a given space in a given time. We take notice that the wheels are made of brass in order to keep them from rust; the springs of steel, no other metal being so elastic; that over the face of the watch there is placed a glass, a material employed in no other part of the work, but in the room of which, if there had been any other than a transparent substance, the hour could not be seen without opening the case. This mechanism being observed (it requires indeed an examination of the instrument, and perhaps some previous knowledge of the subject, to perceive and understand it; but being once, as we have said, observed and understood), the inference, we think, is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker: that there must have existed, at some time, and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended its construction, and designed its use.

I. Nor would it, I apprehend, weaken the conclusion, that we had never seen a watch made; that we had never known an artist capable of making one; that we were altogether incapable of executing such a piece of workmanship ourselves, or of understanding in what manner it was performed; all this being no more than what is true of some exquisite remains of ancient art, of some lost arts, and, to the generality of mankind, of the more curious productions of modern manufacture. Does one man in a million know how oval frames are turned? . . .

. . . then (as a thought exercise)  finding the additional property of self-replication in said watch, per ch 2:

 jvn_self_replicator>>SUPPOSE, in the next place, that the person who found the watch, should, after some time, discover that, in addition to all the properties which he had hitherto observed in it, it possessed the unexpected property of producing, in the course of its movement, another watch like itself (the thing is conceivable); that it contained within it a mechanism, a system of parts, a mould for instance, or a complex adjustment of lathes, files, and other tools, evidently and separately calculated for this purpose; let us inquire, what effect ought such a discovery to have upon his former conclusion.

I. The first effect would be to increase his admiration of the contrivance, and his conviction of the consummate skill of the contriver. Whether he regarded the object of the contrivance, the distinct apparatus, the intricate, yet in many parts intelligible mechanism, by which it was carried on, he would perceive, in this new observation, nothing but an additional reason for doing what he had already done,–for referring the construction of the watch to design, and to supreme art. If that construction without this property, or which is the same thing, before this property had been noticed, proved intention and art to have been employed about it; still more strong would the proof appear, when he came to the knowledge of this further property, the crown and perfection of all the rest.

II. He would reflect, that though the watch before him were, in some sense, the maker of the watch, which was fabricated in the course of its movements, yet it was in a very different sense from that, in which a carpenter, for instance, is the maker of a chair; the author of its contrivance, the cause of the relation of its parts to their use. With respect to these, the first watch was no cause at all to the second: in no such sense as this was it the author of the constitution and order, either of the parts which the new watch contained, or of the parts by the aid and instrumentality of which it was produced. We might possibly say, but with great latitude of expression, that a stream of water ground corn: but no latitude of expression would allow us to say, no stretch of conjecture could lead us to think, that the stream of water built the mill, though it were too ancient for us to know who the builder was. What the stream of water does in the affair, is neither more nor less than this; by the application of an unintelligent impulse to a mechanism previously arranged, arranged independently of it, and arranged by intelligence, an effect is produced, viz. the corn is ground. But the effect results from the arrangement. The force of the stream cannot be said to be the cause or author of the effect, still less of the arrangement. Understanding and plan in the formation of the mill were not the less necessary, for any share which the water has in grinding the corn: yet is this share the same, as that which the watch would have contributed to the production of the new watch, upon the supposition assumed in the last section. Therefore,

III. Though it be now no longer probable, that the individual watch, which our observer had found, was made immediately by the hand  of an artificer, yet doth not this alteration in anywise affect the inference, that an artificer had been originally employed and concerned in the production. The argument from design remains as it was. Marks of design and contrivance are no more accounted for now, than they were before . . . >>

 Paley goes on:

>>Nor is any thing gained by running the difficulty farther back, i. e. by supposing the watch before us to have been produced from another watch, that from a former, and so on indefinitely. Our going back ever so far, brings us no nearer to the least degree of satisfaction upon the subject. Contrivance is still unaccounted for. We still want a contriver. A designing mind is neither supplied by this supposition, nor dispensed with. If the difficulty were diminished the further we went back, by going back indefinitely we might exhaust it. And this is the only case to which this sort of reasoning applies. Where there is a tendency, or, as we increase the number of terms, a continual approach towards a limit, there, by supposing the number of terms to be what is called infinite, we may conceive the limit to be attained: but where there is no such tendency, or approach, nothing is effected by lengthening the series. There is no difference as to the point in question (whatever there may be as to many points), between one series and another; between a series which is finite, and a series which is infinite. A chain, composed of an infinite number of links, can no more support itself, than a chain composed of a finite number of links . . . The machine which we are inspecting, demonstrates, by its construction, contrivance and design. Contrivance must have had a contriver; design, a designer; whether the machine immediately proceeded from another machine or not. That circumstance alters not the case. That other machine may, in like manner, have proceeded from a former machine: nor does that alter the case; contrivance must have had a contriver . . . >>

 Paley is direct: “[c]ontrivance must have had a contriver; design, a designer . . .”

That is, we may extend the per aspect causal explanatory framework:

explan_filter. . . to include the further argument that

P1: design processes call out for explanation, and

P2: the only reasonable explanation of such is that the functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information [FSCO/I] we see point to intelligently directed configuration as proximate, actuating cause and onwards to the intelligence and purpose of a contriver as the first, root cause. So,


C: such calls for the explanation: “[c]ontrivance must have had a contriver; design, a designer . . .”

Thence, we go back to Plato in The Laws, Bk X:

>>Ath. . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second.

[[ . . . .]

Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?

Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?

Ath. I do.

Cle. Certainly we should.
Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?[[ . . . . ]Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul?

Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?

Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.

Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer?  

Cle. Exactly.  

Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler?

[[ . . . . ]

Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [[Plato here explicitly sets up an inference to design (by a good soul) from the intelligible order of the cosmos.]>>

So, who is right, Paley and Plato,  or Liddle, why? END

32 Replies to “Let’s discuss: >> Elizabeth Liddle: I do not think the ID case holds up. I think it is undermined by [want of . . . ???] any evidence for the putative designer . . . >>

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Who is right, Paley & Plato or EL et al? Why?

  2. 2
    phoodoo says:

    To put it more simply, if we find an ancient statue in Europe somewhere, but we know nothing about the artist, does that make us more hesitant to call it a statue?

    Lizzie seems to be arguing that without knowledge of why someone would make the statue, or what they were thinking when they made it, and like how big was the artist, was he left handed or right handed, gay or straight, how long did it take them to make it, what were the tools…that these things are necessary to prove we are looking at a statue.

    Its a simplistically dumb argument. I can not meet the artist, so I can’t be sure what I am seeing. Why should anyone take this point seriously?

  3. 3

    If you want to discuss this, you are very welcome at TSZ. I am not going to discuss it here, where posters can be not only banned without warning or explanation, but their entire body of posts deleted.

    At TSZ, anyone can ask for OP posting permissions, and indeed, a great many recent OPs have been posted by ID proponents, including Mung, and I am very grateful to them for doing so. The only bannable offences are posting porn, malware or someone else’s personal info without their permission.

    So if you want my responses to the above, then read them at TSZ, where they are not at risk of being Disappeared without notice, and if you want to post your own rebuttals, those won’t be Disappeared either.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    EL, with all due respect you are diverting from a significant matter of substance to unjustified polarisation on implied accusation of baseless censorship. On the contrary, we both know that abusive trollish misconduct, cyberstalking and just plain ill-disciplined boorish misbehaviour up to and including gross insults and outright tort by slander are commonplace problems for too many objectors to design thought; common good sense alone will readily mark the line between reasonable discussion and hoggish disruptive behaviour or outright tort or worse driven by patent out of control rage, hostility, brattishness and just plain want of basic broughtupcy. We also know on abundant evidence that reasonable discussion has been entertained here at UD for many years. So, given what has gone on at a notorious circle of objector sites for years, sorry, I see no reason to abandon this thread of discussion for a circle of sites where outrageous misbehaviour has been tolerated or enabled for years. Now, unwarranted accusations or insinuations having been answered, let us return to substance. KF

    PS: If you and your circle try to impose tolerance for abuse, stalking and hoggishness as the price for attempted dialogue, you have simply declared that you have walked away from civil, reasonable discourse and want a no holds barred ideological fight.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    phoodoo, you are right, for a statue, a document, a machine, things involving complex integrated machinery. The objection is patently specious. KF

  6. 6

    …good sense alone will readily mark the line between reasonable discussion and hoggish disruptive behaviour or outright tort or worse driven by patent out of control rage, hostility, brattishness and just plain want of basic broughtupcy.

    So I was hoggish disruptive committed outright tort, exhibited out of control rage, hostility, brattishness and want of basic broughtupcy, was I, on the occasions on which I was banned?

    Banning apart, KF, simultaneously deleting ALL posts by the bannee makes it simply not worth spending effort posting here.

    As I said: if people want to post on a site that discusses ID without fear that their words will vanish, they are welcome to come to TSZ. You yourself have OP rights there.

    But I will not discuss the above, or any other topic, here, unless or until Barry assure posters that their body of posts will stand not be subject to complete deletion. Aurelio Smith was considered a worth enough contributor of content to have been invited to submit a guest OP. Yet every single one of his posts, regardless of content, was deleted when he was banned.

    So there is no incentive for anyone to spend time composing posts.

    It is also ludicrous to think that all bannees committed the list of offences, or any of them, that you suggest.

  7. 7
    Orloog says:


    Where is Aurelio Smith? Where is DiEb? Banned without any explanation – so you may make up your own justifications like

    “hoggish disruptive behaviour or outright tort or worse driven by patent out of control rage, hostility, brattishness and just plain want of basic broughtupcy”.

    Or as Joe phrased it

    “DiEB- ID critics like you and Aurelio are a disgrace. You are pimples on the arse of progress.”

    How dare you to pontificate about “civil, reasonable discourse”!

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    EL, with all due respect, you have now gone beyond reason and refuse to acknowledge a serious issue. You know full well what has been tolerated and enabled at aTBC, Anti-Evo, and worse sites [and what has now credibly come here on the ground targetting people who are several degrees of separation from me — i.e. stalking, with all that that potentially leads to . . . ], and which regularly bleeds over into TSZ; which frankly has too often served as a less obviously disreputable front for such fever swamp sites. And, it has not escaped me to observe that you are still playing the polarisation card without provocation, and have not cogently addressed the substantial matter on the table. KF

  9. 9
    Orloog says:

    So, EL is responsible for every other evolution-friendly site on the web, but you are not able to reign in Joe even on Uncommon Descent – while banning other editors all the time?

  10. 10

    KF: In the same post you accuse me, host of a site in which both ID proponents and ID critics are given equal opportunities to post OPs without fear of deletion or banning, of running a “disreputable front” for “fever swamp sites” and simultaneously of “playing the polarisation card”.

    I suggest you look in the mirror, kairosfocus.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Orloog, maybe it has not dawned on you that you are further hijacking a thread on a serious substantial matter, and are attacking a man who has for years been subjected to far worse than banning for cause or banning even if unjustified. Cyberstalking, slander, outing of uninvolved family and now credibly on the ground stalking are serious matters. That gives me a very different perspective on correction of disruptive online behaviour; where, if you genuinely wish to resolve cases of perceived unjustified banning, you would be better advised to engage the blog owner, I am merely a contributor who here responded to a significant issue by inviting reasonable discussion in a reasonable tone. I suggest, that instead of trying to pour gas on a fire, a focus on the substantial matter would be the best onward approach in this thread. KF

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    EL & Orloog, it seems you want to pick a fight rather than deal with the substantial matter, evidently not recognising how obviously unjustified your behaviour in this thread is — especially given the wider context of stalking behaviour and implicit threats to uninvolved family that I face. Orloog, I particularly note to you that the circle of sites I named are organically connected to TSZ in many ways. EL, you full well know the difference between hosting reasonable dialogue and enabling or associating oneself with abusive conduct. And again, I note the striking absence of reasonable engagement. I simply say that beyond this point I will have to draw appropriate conclusions. KF

  13. 13

    I don’t want to pick a fight KF. But something I posted (incidentally containing a typo) in a thread by Mung at TSZ was reposted here, by Mung, and is now the subject of an OP here, by you.

    I do not intend to discuss what I posted here, and my purpose in posting at all is to tell you why. In addition, of course, the subject is already the topic of two TSZ threads by Mung, and the context is to conversation in other TSZ threads (one, I think, by William).

    So TSZ is in any case the most appropriate forum for discussing the words I wrote.

    And until UD announces a change in its policy of deleting the entire body of posts of posters it bans, whether or not those posts contain material that the owner considers ban-worthy, it is simply not worth anyone wasting time posting posts that may disappear into the abyss. Better to post them at TSZ where you know they won’t.

    That is why a number of previous regular ID critics at UD have stopped posting here. Nobody wants to engage in discussion when there is a risk that their contributions will simply be removed, in total, without announcement, explanation, or even any visible record that they were ever made.

    Moderating posts, deleting objectionable posts and banning serial rule-breakers are all par for the internet discussion course. But deleting the entire body of posts by a user, including posts that clearly did not violate any rules, despite the fact that that poster was invited to contribute an OP, so was clearly considered by at least one UD author to be a contributor worth hearing from, is something quite different, and a powerful disincentive to any ID critic to spend time responding on this site.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The above brings to mind a remark by Plato in the same general context as is cited in the OP, on the roots of ruthless factions and the sort of things they are likely to get up to:

    Ath. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT.] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”)], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse], and not in legal subjection to them.

    That is 2350 years ago, we can hardly claim we were not warned in good time.

    And now, let us see if we can focus onward on the substantial matter on the table: Plato and Paley et al vs EL and co, who is right, why?


  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    EL, the cycle continues. I suggest to you that if you simply look at the headline, and my initial comment to Mung, you will see that the likelihood of a typo was recognised. The substantial matter was engaged and two pivotal classic sources have been brought to bear. Instead of substantial engagement, you went to loaded side issues that lack context and which are thrown in my face where I AM A VICTIM OF CYBER STALKING from the circles in question, and likely, on the ground stalking too. So, you seem to be imposing a deadlock. I repeat, the evidence, on years of exchanges, has been that reasonable discussion on different sides of issues has been and continues to be hosted at UD, so the characterisation — nay, scarlet brand — that you would impose is patently unjustified. I simply will not put up with abusive behaviour as a condition of discussion, and I have long since warned of the consequences of enabling behaviour. That said, I simply note the obvious conclusion on the merits: the diversions and polarising behaviour point to an utter lack of sound answer on the matter. If you or others dispute that, all that is needed is to present relevant facts and logic that provide warrant to the contrary. KF

  16. 16
    Box says:

    What to do when one has no arguments left whatsoever? Well, instead of conceding the argument, one can always revert to complaining about one’s fear of being censored.

    Here are Vincent Torley’s 10 arguments for the existence of the Designer:

    (1) The fine tuning of the universe.
    (2) The moral sense.
    (3) The fact that a natural universe cannot logically have a natural cause.
    (4) The fact that there is something instead of nothing.
    (5) The overwhelming odds against the Darwinian story being true (estimated at 10^-1018 by atheist Eugene Koonin).
    (6) The irreducible complexity of biological systems.
    (7) The vast amounts of complex computer-like code stored in DNA.
    (8) The miracles that have been reported throughout history.
    (9) My subjective self-awareness.
    (10)The fact that we do not even have plausible speculations to account for the origin of life.

  17. 17


    I suggest to you that if you simply look at the headline, and my initial comment to Mung, you will see that the likelihood of a typo was recognised.

    Yes, I appreciate that you understood that, and have reflected that in the headline.

    I will not, nonetheless, discuss it here.

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    EL, you are free to do so, and we are free to draw relevant conclusions from the consistent non-engagement of the substantial matter. KF

  19. 19
    Zachriel says:

    phoodoo: if we find an ancient statue in Europe somewhere, but we know nothing about the artist, does that make us more hesitant to call it a statue?

    We might suspect a peculiar species of ape known to inhabit the region. There is some evidence they have created statues in the past.

    Shhh. Let’s approach quietly. We might be able to observe them in their natural environment.

  20. 20


    EL, you are free to do so, and we are free to draw relevant conclusions from the consistent non-engagement of the substantial matter. KF

    And I’m sure people will, given my open invitation to discuss the matter at TSZ, including OP posting rights on request, to you included; my responses already given at TSZ, and continuing engagement on the topic with Mung and William at TSZ; and my clearly stated reasons for refusing to post them here until Barry can give assurances that contributors here do not risk having their entire body of contributions deleted without warning, explanation, or trace.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:


    evidence for God is indeed evidence of a designer, and I happen to believe that especially the joint ontological and moral cases taken together with the problem of mindedness as a condition for our being able to reason and know, multiplied by the fact of millions of people who have experienced life transforming encounters with God, are decisive.

    Those who would object should start with showing cause that a necessary being root of the cosmos is implausible, and that God is not a serious candidate necessary being, or that God as conceived by ethical theism is impossible as a square circle is impossible.

    Once there are grounds for viewing God as a serious candidate to be the necessary being at the root of reality, then those who object to God need to show cause that God as so conceived is impossible. For, a serious necessary being candidate will be either impossible or actual.

    Those who try to project the notion that believing in God is akin to believing in fairy tales, are not discussing at any serious level. (As the just linked demonstrates.)

    However, there is a separate evidential issue on design as process that leaves reliable, observable traces that point to design as cause.

    From design, we may very legitimately infer designer as adequate explanation of the design.

    EL et al are making the selectively hyperskeptical blunder of demanding direct evidence of designer, on cases where the causal process is known to be beyond our direct observation. Already a bad sign.

    Then, they seem to want to rhetorically restate such blatant hyperskepticism in a form that is loaded and can easily intimidate: there is no evidence, as a gambit.

    A more reasonable, straightforward way to speak would be, there is no evidence I am willing to accept.

    But then, the heart of the problem would at once be obvious and the confident “there is no evidence” assertions would instantly collapse.

    On specifics, I see that [t]here is considerable evidence of a fine tuned cosmos set up for C-chemistry, aqueous medium, cell based life.

    OOL and OO body plans, alike speak to deign of just such cell based life.

    Lastly, so do our mindedness and finding ourselves under moral government.

    It is time to refocus on actual substantial issues, laying the sort of rhetorical gambits we just saw to one side.


  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, whether carved by ape, neanderthal or beaver, a statue is a statue and its FSCO/I points decisively to instantly recognisable design. KF

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    EL, you long since know why under no foreseeable circumstances will you find me participating in the circle of sites already noted. For cause. Where, too, I am confident that where level two banning was applied at UD, it would be for serious cause comparable to why a gentleman would request that a guest immediately get up from the living room sofa, collect his belongings then exit the house and not return to the premises — so, it is instructive that, even after several times where I have had to point out such material context you seem unwilling to acknowledge the seriousness of the persistent problem of abuse and cyberstalking or worse; where you know or full well should know you are dealing with a target of that stalking. FYI, those are enabling behaviours. And, again, no substantial response. The appropriate conclusion, sadly, practically writes itself. KF

  24. 24
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: Z, whether carved by ape, neanderthal or beaver, a statue is a statue

    Sure. For instance, most everyone will recognize the famous monumental statue of Xotz of Xeon. The likeness is stunning.

    On the other hand, what is this strange creature?

  25. 25

    KF: Aurelio Smith has done no cyberstalking. He made no threats to anyone. His posts were not more “boorish” than many that appear here regularly (I’d argue considerably less so).

    And yet ALL were deleted.

    And, like it or not, UD is one of the “the circle of sites” that discuss evolution, UD and other matters, and many posters post on several. UD is no more responsible for the posts of regulars here when they post elsewhere, than TSZ is for the same. What I can do, and have done, is to ensure that no-one posts any material at TSZ that gives personal identifying info about anyone who is known to us, in this circle of sites, by an internet name. Any posts that do so will, and are, redacted, and anyone who repeats the offence is banned.

    Your accusations are baseless.

    If you want to know my response to the topic of your OP you can read it at TSZ.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    EL, it is clear that you have no intention to deal with the substantial matter, we draw due conclusions. KF

    PS. You seem insistent, so I will simply make a basic note. As for AS et al, I would suggest the obvious considerations that level 2 banning would only obtain on something serious, as BA is not utterly unreasonable and a simple level one banning would have sufficed unless there was serious cause — it being laughable to suggest that AS made a knock-down case against either design theory or theism that cannot be answered and BA banned rather than reply . . . if such a case were made it would have been trumpeted from the roof-tops regardless of a banning incident at UD. I say that, as someone who replied to some arguments by AS that were not impressive and which on fair comment, reflect a deep rooted and quite unwarranted contempt, e.g. here, as well as a long-term target for cyberstalking and other abuse coming from the same circle of sites that has already been mentioned. I was not around to know the precise circumstances, but a bit of common sense says something fairly serious happened. BA, if he wishes, can detail, but he may not wish to give further currency to defamation.

    PPS: FTR, you need to understand that if you and others of your circle choose to go insist on down this path of picking a polarising fight, instead of dealing with the issue, you are sending a message that were I you I would think twice about. Especially when the very fact of picking this thread means you are targetting a victim of cyberstalking and other abusive online behaviour emanating from the circle of sites already pointed out.

  27. 27

    I have every intention, KF, and I am already doing so at TSZ.

    But you are correct: I have no intention of doing so here.

    And the only person doing any polarising around here, KF, is you.

    As for “targetting this thread”: whose name (real name, I might point out) is headlined in your OP?

    If you don’t want me to explain in your threads why I will not respond to an OP at UD, then don’t post threads with my name and words in the title.

  28. 28


    Where, too, I am confident that where level two banning was applied at UD, it would be for serious cause… As for AS et al, I would suggest the obvious considerations that level 2 banning would only obtain on something serious,

    LOL! Now there are formal “Levels” of banning at UD.

    KF, how many?

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, you are playing at rhetorical games. The FSCO/I evident in the human form points to design, regardless of the fact that the mould — IIRC such positives are casts of the actual hollows left by decayed victims of the AD 79 eruption, and as such are artifacts — is a result of a natural process. Second, your other image is a photo — an artifact already, of Raphidonema (Calcisponge), a type of invertebrate fossil, Triassic-Cretaceous era, thus it is not a sculpture. The design inference explanatory filter is not a general decoding or puzzle-solving algorithm, as has been pointed out repeatedly in answer to similar gambits. KF

  30. 30
    daveS says:


    Especially when the very fact of picking this thread means you are targetting a victim of cyberstalking and other abusive online behaviour emanating from the circle of sites already pointed out.

    Yes, why on earth would she pick this thread to post in?!

    Oh …

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    RB, you know or should know, there are levels of banning with WP blogs. From what was described, AS would have been banned at the more stringent level, which then implies that something seriously provoking had to have happened. And, I notice that you, too are doing anything other than address the substantial matter on the table. This speaks volumes on the matter on the merits. KF

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    NOTICE: Okie, game over, I don’t have time for more of the tactics that are already quite evident. The circle of objectors above have made it clear they are only here to pick a fight over an unrelated matter, regardless of requests and cautions to the contrary, starting with the opening words of the title, “Let’s discuss . . . ” I will further respond to the substantial matter for record, in that light. KF

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