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Cornell ID Course Blog Open to Public

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The Cornell ID Course is open to any participants as long as they abide by the rules of engagement:

The following rules will be strictly enforced:

  1. Ad hominem attacks, blasphemy, profanity, rudeness, and vulgarity will not be tolerated (although heresy will always be encouraged). However, vigorous attacks against a member’s position are expected and those who cannot handle such should think twice before they post.
  2. Long-running debates that are of interest only to a small number of individuals should be taken elsewhere, preferably via private email (i.e. if the moderator gets tired of reading posts concerning the population density [N] of terpsichorean demigods inhabiting ferrous microalpine environments, the posters will be encouraged to “settle it outside”).
  3. Pseudonyms are permitted but real names are preferred. However, if the moderator suspects that someone is posting under multiple aliases or pretending to be someone else, they will be permanently banned from the blog.
  4. Mutual respect and sensitivity towards those with opposing views is essential. In particular, posts containing what the moderator feels is “creation-bashing” by evolutionists or “evolution-bashing” by creationists, will not be tolerated.


Salvador wrote: "...you might be seen by your comrades as another Michael Ruse." I would take this as a singular compliment, as I greatly admire Michael Ruse (and assign his books in all of my classes). And thank you, Sal; in a time when civility (dare one say "chivalry?") is sadly lacking, in academia as in society in general, you are a gentleman and a scholar. May we keep each other honest, eh? --Allen Allen_MacNeill
Allen, You have my fullest support in what you are doing, and I base that on the Hannah's edorsement of your conduct. I recognize we are all subject to human frailty and somethings get said in a moment of emotion. I sense however you are trying to set feelings aside and are trying to conduct the class with respect and civility. Though I'm aware of your position on the issues, your treatment of Hannah, Rabia, and the rest of the IDEA crew is commendable. Further, your class appears consistent with the wishes of Eugenie Scott, Bruce Alberts, Niall Shanks and others in having ID discussed in science classes. (My only concern is that by me publicly applauding you, you might be seen by your comrades as another Michael Ruse.) Thank you Allen for what you are doing. You may have very strong opinions about ID, but I think your attempts to set aside your feelings and give ID a hearing in your class is exemplary. Salvador scordova
P.S. The "moderator" is in fact two people: myself and Hannah Maxson, founder and president of the Cornell IDEA Club. We are in almost daily contact about the course website and the discussions happening therein, and will to the best of our ability, maintain the standards listed at the top of this post. Allen_MacNeill
Greetings: I am also very pleased with how our course on "Evolution and Design" has proceeded thusfar, and how most of the posters to the course weblog/website have conducted themselves. For my part, I have attempted to conduct myself by the rules listed above as much as possible. I am human, however, and as such am occasionally tempted to depart from logical arguments. When this happens I hope that both my opponents and supporters will point this out as quickly and completely as possible, so that I may apologize and mend my ways. This is how we treat each other as honest, dedicated, thoughtful people: not by calling each other names or using spurious logic (including arguments from authority or reputation), but by treating each other as adults and, if we find we hold opposing views, as members of the "loyal opposition." For we are all loyal to the ideals of the academy, are we not? --Allen MacNeill, professor Evolution & design: Is there purpose in nature? (BioEE 467/B&Soc 415/Hist 415/S&TS 415) at Cornell P.S. Allen_MacNeill
Thanks for pulling for me, bro. When the other side starts resorting to ad hominems, rather than engaging the arguments, it's a sign they know we're scoring points. I actually take this as a good sign! Regarding motivations and affilliations, a classic example of hypocrisy that has been suggested by some is the case of Barbara Forest (abbreviated BarFo). It has been related to me by a reliable source, when a reporter once asked of her about religious affiliations, she responded, "it's irrelevant to the issues." If the account is true, this shows utter hypocrisy! She wrote an entre book fabricating insinuations about people's motivations and affiliations as biasing their scientific inquiry, and then when questions of her own personal views arose, she says they are irrelevant. Sal scordova
Nick Matzke directed some ad hominem remarks your way, Sal. I left a comment quoting Matzke and asking the moderator to enforce the rules. I also chastised MacNeill for saying that ID theorists do nothing but egregiously parasitize the work of others instead of doing their own research. I pointed out that published data is not owned by any particular theory. Everyone can use it. That's why it is published. DaveScot
I expect it will continue. It is only a weblog afterall, and the students have their class discussion, homework, and books. I was charming to see Dawkins being trashed by students on both sides of the debate. Salvador scordova
I am not sure how long this will remain open to the public. It is starting to get out of hand with the moderator saying ID has no knowledge of Darwinism past what was originally put forth in 1859 and that is what ID attacks. jerry
Bill, I very much regret Allen MacNeill's comments about you personally, however, to his credit he is taking some flak from his side for doing this and for his respectful treatment of the IDEA club (IDEA members are after all, persona not grata according to Cornell's President). This is historic in that IDers need not feel isolated as they were 20 years ago if a class like this had come about. Resources and help are available to the students via the internet. The pro-ID side can be adequately supported. The usual mode of business will be thwarted because of the internet: The Myths of Darwinism. Sal scordova
Paintball is fine as long as the paint is watersoluble and biodegradable. William Dembski
While not specifically stated I'll presume even small caliber firearms, knives, sharp sticks, and stones are cause for banishment too. Can we use paintball guns? DaveScot

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