Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

“Censorship” at Uncommon Descent

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As someone who actually has been censored and had his academic freedom violated (go here), I find it more than a little ironic that the evolution diehards at talk.origins and the Panda’s Thumb continually moan about my “censoring” them at this blog. When I was hired at Baylor University, that academic appointment came with certain privileges and rights which, in my case, were indeed violated. When it comes to this blog, on the other hand, I pay the bills and have no obligation to anyone. The issue is not “censorship” but “freedom of association.” The Internet is a big place and you are free to whine on it, only not here.

I find the vast majority of Darwinists incapable of giving ID the time of day necessary to adequately or objectively respond to it. This failure on their part contributes to perpetuating the ID controversy in that most humans intuitively distrust the "reasonings" of someone that is so clearly driven by emotion. I appreciate the fact that this blog does not cater to caterwaulings - whether favorable towards ID or critical of it. I believe that the Darwinists are going to continue to respond emotionally to ID -- right up until the point that neo-Darwinianism is supplanted by a theory that rightly allows for design when reliably inferred. mtreat
"For those who are interested, take a look at the so-called “Velikovsky Affair”." For an account see: (Challenging the Myths of the Scientific Establishment By Richard Milton, Chapter Ten) Velikovsky supported some of his claims with ancient texts, which seems to send some minds all insane in the membrane. Interesting to note that according to Milton all of Velikovsky's empirical predictions were validated by observations made within a decade of publishing. (pg. 140) A lot of drivel is rightly censored, but the best knowledge often is too. mynym
"On posts where one remains civil, but where you give their great lights a run for their money, posts have been known to simply “disappear”." It seems a trend among bloggers toward censorship. Don't believe you are reading the most uncommon dissent on blogs. They're typically the viewpoints of the author. Writers on PTs do the same thing on their own blogs, so it's not apparent what they're sniveling about. They're the people who work towards a closer alliance with the State, public funding and control of the Establishment so they have more of a responsibility towards freedom of speech than a right to freedom of association. mynym
"I do not view your intelligent selection of what is allowed on your weblog as censorship..." It's best to leave some things to natural selections, naturally enough. Given censorship in the name of civility the first to be censored will be the knowledgeable curmudgeons and the vitriolic satirists, not the average uncivil person. Although, "Satires which the censors understand are rightly prohibited." (a href="http://mynym.blogspot.com/2005/01/half-truths-and-one-and-half-truths.html">Karl Kraus, Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half-Truths :104) This reminded me of Dembski: "I am already so popular that one who vilifies me becomes more popular than I am." (Ib. :38) The mind of a materialist may be folded in on itself to be just more matter in more motion. If so, then such a mind is rather like a piece of excrement ontologically. Yet given censorship such poo won't meet the water in the loo because no one will be allowed to say that it stinks. Sans censorship Darwinism will meet its Waterloo naturally enough, perhaps if given enough unnatural selection. Or perhaps it will evolve by natural selections a few more times in the brain events of Darwinists. The mind of materalists is all in their imagination, so Darwinism itself seems to be all in flux even as it seeks to describe flux. It is like the poo in the loo developing quite a mutable theory about it all. Fortunately, one day such excrement will meet its Waterloo. mynym
Bill, I consider it a privilege (not a right) to post here on your weblog. I do not view your intelligent selection of what is allowed on your weblog as censorship, but rather I see you affirming which posts are worthy of editorial publication on your weblog and which posts are not. I appreciate your interest in holding the content of your weblog to high standards, and I would hope you continue doing so. I would like to thank you for allowing me (and indirectly IDEA) the chance to participate here and voice our views from the trenches of secular universities. We are grateful for the moral support you have given to the troops in the trenches. Thank you! Salvador scordova
I just want to 'second' some of the comments that Dave Scott made about PT. I've posted there as well. On posts where one remains civil, but where you give their great lights a run for their money, posts have been known to simply "disappear". And, of course, if someone were to view the posts later on, he or she would get a skewed view of the discussion that actually took place there. It reminds one of 1984, and Big Brother's "revision of history." (For those who are interested, take a look at the so-called "Velikovsky Affair". This isn't the first time that science has come unhinged. The "affair" took place in the early 50's, and was an attack against religion.) PaV
A couple points: 1. On most blogs, if you refrain from being rude or mean or calling someone an idiot, you're usually ok. Being nice and sticking to the point (instead of personal attacks) is the only way to elevate discourse or persuade people. 2. For better or worse, these sites are being hit by many people who (like me) are novices in this field but are interested in learning more. An FAQ of the main tenets of ID might help in cases where someone without much knowledge who asks a dumb or annoying question could be directed to the FAQ instead of being banned. kuz
Censorship victims, take solace. Even I've had a post blocked here, and I'm obviously pro-ID. Of course, if Bill doesn't want a comment to appear on his blog, he can block or remove it; that's the upside of having one's own blog. I don't really blame him for that - the amount of abuse he's taken over the years justifies his impatience - and so I don't ask him for his reasons. On the other hand, if and when I set up my own blog, he can expect an identical policy should he ever choose to post there. There's a symmetry to it. Despite getting the upper hand at the Panda's Thumb on several occasions, I haven't been censored there. However, since PT has no symmetrically enforced rules of civility, and because any ID proponent or non-critic who goes there can expect to be insulted up, down, and sideways by any ID critic with a brimming spleen, PT has no right of censorship. Under those (hostile) conditions, contributors must be allowed to defend themselves. neurode
To each his own I guess, but I don't really come here for entertainment. And frankly, I don't find your average PT devotee to be very mature. They have too much contempt for people who don't believe what they do, and it shows in their comments. They can't resist bringing what should be an intellegent debate into a cesspool of name calling. If a reasoned discussion is what we're after, doesn't anyone really think letting the imates run the asylum will be profitable to the debate? I've never been impressed with most of the discussions that take place on internet forums over issues like evo/ID--too much emotion. This would be the same, just in a more constrained format. That's been my experience. If people can't control themselves then I think they forfit the right to have their opinion heard. Conspirator
Since none of us besides Bill (can I call you Bill?) know the nature of what is being removed, this is hard to respond to. Clearly there is a difference between thoughtful, informed disagreement on the one hand, and vitriol on the other. I have no qualm with the removal of the latter, regardless of the perspective of the person spewing the venom. However, sometimes the comments on this blog--as much as I like it--can be a little on the unilateral, "yeah, what he said..." side of things, which can make for dull reading. Allowing dissent--whether uncommon or not--could only be good IMHO. SteveB
I have to agree. There's plenty of forums to discuss this stuff anyway! My 'virginal' experience with posting on PT ended with me being 'slyly' accused of being a 'silly religious head' in need of an education. I was pleasently suprised by how harsh the responses were. Of coruse I reacted defensively leaving little room for a nice give and take conversation. I can only assume it's because they're on permenant guard down there being under constant attack from the YEC Massive! Plump-DJ
I personally would think that it would be better without censorship. It gives your arguments a little more credibility if you let people respond. However, you do pay the bills and you get to decide how you wish to do things on your website. Not that you needed my permission to do what you wanted in the first place... Just my 2 cents. bolinstephen
I'm glad that I don't have to read already answered questions about ID every day here. If someone has a criticism on here, at least I know it will be new if it's allowed to stay. Ben Z
If the conduct at PT and TO is any gauge, a laissez-faire policy would find Uncommon Descent quickly overrun with trolls. For the present, I don't see that Dr. Dembski has any choice but to keep a lockdown on things. dave
I'll stick with my enjoyment of the sometimes absurd whinning on Panda's Thumb. There are a few pearls in the muck and the cost of scanning through it is not like selling all that I have to acquire it. Linquistic loutishness is easily and quickly skipped and the vulgarities are silly. I don't read all the posts at PT, nor all the comments, but when someone like Mark Perakh has a post I read with interest. Dr. Dembski can run his blog as he pleases. This home on the range stuff where never is heard a discouraging word is boring and sophomoric. But I will continue to read Uncommon Descent. Every so often there is a pearl. hlwarren
It's the "pearl in the manure fallacy." The assumption of the verbosity absolutists is that we have to not only tolerate tons and tons of linguistic loutishness, but actually publish it ourselves, on the outside chance that a wise word may arise from their uncouth cacophony. I am willing to take the risk of not acquiring a pearl in order to avoid swimming in their sophomoric sewer. fbeckwith
Panda's Thumb is no bastion of free speech. Quite a few people are banned there including myself and University of Vermont Professor Emeritus of Biology John Davison. Before they outright banned John and I they were arbitrarily erasing and/or disemvoweling our comments without warning, rhyme, or reason. At least Dembski will tell you why you're banned and won't childishly mangle your comments into gibberish by removing all the vowels. [The way WordPress works, I personally have to sign off on the first post someone makes. If I find that first post unhelpful, I will delete the post. If I find the person who makes such an unhelpful post also annoying, I'll remove him/her from the user list. If someone has made it past this first line of defense and then starts posting things that I find unhelpful, I'll usually ban this person. If the post has already appeared, I'll ban the person publicly. If not (sometimes WordPress asks me to approve posts by people who in the past have already been approved), then I'll often ban the person, and notification of the ban won't be made public. I appreciate your sentiments DaveScot, and in a world with more time I would be more gentle and courteous in banning people.] DaveScot
Dr. Dembski, you are most certainly welcome to remove anything you like from your blog. Paying the bills does give you that right. However, it does make for a rather boring blog. I am personally inclined toward intelligent design, but Pandas Thumb is alot more fun to read. [Boredom is in the eyes of the beholder. I find the comments at the Panda's Thumb predictable and boring. But, hey, the Internet is a free market, so go where you have the most fun. --WmAD] hlwarren

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