Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

For Record: Petrushka’s irresponsible deceit at TSZ in regards to an alleged “threat” of banning made by me

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The TSZ logo for “Petrushka,” who has made himself a poster child for irresponsible and deceitful misrepresen-tation of design theory on the Internet


Occasionally, there is a need to make a note for record, and to document what we have to deal with here at UD.

I do so now, as I have just learned how I have been slandered at The Skeptical Zone by Petrushka, as one who would censor for mere disagreement. (Joe, thanks for watching my 6.)

This is the key part of the comment at TSZ from last evening, that I must correct for record:

As I predicted, mphillips has disappeared. I have no idea why, but it happened right after KF threatened bannation. How do you respond when the moderator accuses you of immorality for disagreeing?

Petrushka may not acknowledge it but s/he has a duty of care to be accurate, truthful and fair in public discussion.

Such is a premise of a civil society, one characterised by liberty not license. The abuse of liberty that demands to do as it pleases in disregard of the rights of others, is the surest means to destroy liberty that I know of, by creating anarchy that leads to a breakdown that then opens up the way for those who seize power on the promise of restoring order.

History is littered with cases in point, and our whole civilisation seems to be going down that sad road.

The only reasonable preventative, is to police the civil order, in defense of civility.

As I have publicly noted this more than once, Petrushka et al know or should know that I do not hold moderation power at UD (and have at times disagreed with the moderation policy  or actions over the years, as will be normal).

And it should be quite plain that so far as I can see, especially in regards to what I have said, there has been no threat of banning of MP — much less for mere disagreement; only of publicly correcting repeated strawman caricatures loaded with ad hominems; which would be painful. It is better to yield to the invitation to self correction, having been cautioned on what one’s errors are, than to have to be publicly corrected for willful error.

I will publicly note that banning for good cause, related to disruptive or deceitful trollish behaviour, is a reasonable act in defense of civility.  Similarly, as of the time of this posting, I have no knowledge of MP being banned by UD, but doubt that such has happened. A far more likely explanation is a sick sock puppet slander game, as will be explained below.

{U/D at 8:07 am, the blog owner confirmed that MP has NOT been banned.}

(Of course, if UD’s moderators, unbeknownst to me have banned MP, I would like to hear from them. I do know that for cause of disruptive behaviour, MP was quite openly and with an explanation, put on moderation, where comments had to be manually approved. On returning to reasonable behaviour after several attempts to ignore the correction, this was lifted.  MP knows that and Petrushka knows or should know that.)

On the information in hand, what seems to have happened is that the persona MP was a disposable sock-puppet, from the first.

The sock puppet persona was used to make a series of strawman claims at UD, and when correction and responsible behaviour were called for, it was apparently abandoned.

Only, to see Petrushka, the partner in crime, popping up elsewhere with the sort of propagandistic, irresponsible and deceitful assertions we see above.

All along, it seems the hidden agenda was to set up the sort of false accusation I have clipped above, and to pretend that the strawman caricatures complained of by several commenters at UD, were unanswerable.

That snide suggestion is false.

What is more, it is quite plain that the underlying challenge is that a strawman caricature of design theory has been set up that misleads many who do not know better. And, it is plain that the objectors — for all their boasts — have a serious problem with understanding and consistently accepting key methods of science.

In this case, it is worth the while to be a bit more specific.

In recent days at UD, a certain MP turned up as an objecting commenter, working in obvious partnership with a certain former commenter here, Petrushka [who IIRC, was banned for cause].

Over the course of an exchange in several threads, it became quite evident that MP was resorting to the now notorious trollish trifecta pattern of red herrings led out to strawman caricatures and poisonous ad hominems ignited through incendiary rhetorical sparks, used to polarise the atmosphere and frustrate serious discussion.

This thread — from here on (the SECOND comment) — lays out the pattern quite clearly.

In the end, after repeatedly pointing out strawman caricatures of design arguments to no avail, I appealed to MP to rethink and correct, holding back on going to a full bore expose and probable sharp exchange on points of correction.

Here is how I spoke in warning in the thread, at 47:

Are you even aware of how insistently you are caricaturing my views and those of others, or of how irritating that becomes, when such is laced with implicit personal attacks?

Are you so willful in ignorance that you cannot yield to repeated correction?

Or, are you willfully and knowingly — as a propaganda act — distorting the views and smearing the character of those you disagree with, for purposes that obviously are otherwise indefensible?

Let’s ask one basic question: do you understand what inference to best, empirically grounded explanation in light of tested reliable signs is about?

If you don’t know what it is, and do not care enough for fairness to those with whom you differ, to get such things straight, that is bad enough. (I invite you to again look here, taking particular note of the deer track photo, and taking time to think about what you see there.)

I need not elaborate on what you would be doing if you know better but insist on distorting those who hold views you object to.

Until that is resolved, it is pointless trying to discus merits.

But, you need to know that you are setting yourself up to be a poster child of how some objectors to design theory caricature what they object to.

I ask you to correct yourself, before I have to take stronger measures in correction.

Notice, in correction, not banning.

Notice also, that we now seem to see the other shoe dropping over at TSZ, in what walks like, quacks like and smells like a propaganda play.

The warning in 47 was ignored, and from 57 on I proceeded to take what would have been the first stages of a corrective exercise.

Notice, that to date MP has yet to show that s/he understands the scientific method of explaining the unobserved on best explanation in light of observed dynamics and effects/traces in the present that are paralleled by signs evident from the otherwise unobservable.

As was pointed out in a recent ID foundations post, this is a pivotal principle of design theory.

It also happens to be pivotal to astro-physics and the attempted reconstruction of the origin of life, body plans, and our solar system as well as the wider cosmos.

Wherein lieth the rub.

For, if one objects to the use of this method in design theory, one is then facing the objection that one has undercut his own claims and is in disagreement with the whole way that origins sciences are supposed to work.

Which does not exactly comport well with the commonly seen talking point that design theory is a matter of ignoramuses and worse trying to discredit the real professionals in their consensus on origins, developed to the point of practically being undeniable fact.

But, if one can slip and slide off on a red herring distractor from such inconvenient truth, and then go off to a handy strawman caricature soaked in ad hominems, that can be set alight to cloud, confuse, polarise and poison the atmosphere. Especially, for those those who are running on rage over in the Internet’s all too numerous Darwinist fever swamps, not reason.

In correction, let me clip a case in point on the sort of strawman tactics I am speaking about, from 65 in the thread:

While we await MP’s answer to the root challenge, the following exchange with Joe as clipped at 43 above, will show some of the strawman tactics and demand for Darwin by default that are going on:

[Joe:] Living organisms exist.
Necessity and/ or chance cannot account for the origins of living organisms.
Living organisms fit the criteria for designed objects.
Living organisms were designed.

[MP:] How have you determined that Necessity and/ or chance cannot account for the origins of living organisms when you don’t know how living organisms originated? On what are you basing this claim?

Sure, we know intelligent beings like us can (potentially) create life. That does not mean that that’s how it happened and to do that you’d have to do as I suggest, rule out any alternatives. And to do that you’d have a complete knowledge of physics and knowledge of the trajectory of every particle in the universe.

A few notes:

1 –> The background is of course that per a massive body of experience, we observe causal patterns in our world that trace to mechanical necessity (law), to randomness leading to stochastic distributions (chance) and to intentional intelligently directed configuration (design).

2 –> In fact, in say physics, we have large bodies of theory that address the first two and the related studies in engineering and computer science and information theory are riddled through and through with the third.

3 –> Next, we can observe and study the processes in action and see the pattern of traces they leave, noting — as could be explored here on in context [also cf. here and here on] as MP was invited to read but has plainly ignored — the differences between, say:

i: heavy, unsupported objects near earth’s surface tend to fall at 9.8 N/kg

ii: if such an object is a fair die, it can be dropped and will tumble to read values from 1 to 6 more or less per a flat distribution, or we could generate text at random using various mechanisms

iii: such a die may also be loaded, which could bias outcomes, or it could be manually set to a value, or of course text can be intelligently generated as is this post

4 –> Now it turns out that these processes often have characteristic consequences, most notably degree of contingency and how the space of possibilities is sampled.

5 –> Necessity leads to natural regularities, of low contingency. That is how we establish laws like the law of falling objects.

6 –> From large experience, high contingency traces to chance and/or choice. For instance, consider a black box that emits successive bits on an output line:

|| BLACK BOX ||–—> o/p bit train . . .

7 –> We may not examine the box but we may infer on its innards and mechanisms from its output. (Way back, I recall a class exercise in IPS on such a BB, duly painted black.)

8 –> Similarly in a lot of science, there are many things we cannot directly observe, but must infer on from observable traces. Star physics is a classic, since Newton and before.

9 –> Now, BB is monitored, and across time seems to give bits that are 1/0 in no particular order, and in a long fast train. Along the way we hit on the bright idea of hooking it up to adevice that searches for ASCII text patterns. Lo and behold, some short word matches occur, and after a time, “2,737,850 million billion billion billion monkey-years” [per Wiki], we find 24 matching characters:

RUMOUR. Open your ears; 9r”5j5&?OWTY Z0d…

10 –> BB has emitted a fairly long text string, evidently by chance! But, such a string is well within the FSCI threshold of 500 bits or about 72 ASCII characters of 7 bits each. The explanatory filter expects this.

11 –> Now, lo and behold, one morning we find that BB has emitted the ASCII text string for this comment.

12 –> Should we assign that to chance also, or rule out an intelligent source, save only if:

you’d have to do as I suggest, rule out any alternatives. And to do that you’d have a complete knowledge of physics and knowledge of the trajectory of every particle in the universe.

13 –> Well, maybe I am a random BB, but the same obviously extends to the posts by MP.

14 –> That is, we can see the self-referential absurdity, in a world where MINDS — as opposed to brains — are inherently not observed. (We infer mind from the behaviour of certain bodies, as say the Glasgow Coma Scale discussed here highlights.)

15 –> We thus see the selectively hyperskeptical demand for an evolutionary materialist Darwin default, and how it leads to self-referential incoherence. (Cf here at IOSE.)

16 –> A more reasonable approach would ask, how can we tell the difference, reliably. The simple answer is to impose a joint criterion of functional specificity AND complexity. That puts us in a domain where we have a sufficiently large space of possibilities that islands of function will be deeply isolated making it maximally unlikely that chance based random walks will hit on shores of such islands, per the well known pattern exhibited by chance samples of populations.

17 –> The reality of such islands of function is commonly challenged, but it should be fairly clear to the unprejudiced and reasonable inquirer, that where we have multiple parts that in effect form a pattern of nodes and arcs that must be well matched, properly places and integrated to function, only very limited ranges of arrangements will work.

18 –> WLOG, and courtesy AutoCad etc, that can be reduced to arrangements of string structures: . . . -*-*-*- . . .

19 –> That means the random text test has astonishingly broad relevance.

20 –> As a useful rule of thumb, our solar system of 10^57 or so atoms is our practical universe, and for fast chemical reaction rates as step-size, a space for 500 bits will be sufficiently large that by estimate the sample size will be comparable to one straw to a cubical haystack 1,000 LY on the side. If such a stack were superposed on our galaxy ( comparably thick) centred on Earth, and such a sample were made, with all but certainty the reliably predictable outcome — at a level of assurance comparable to the 2nd law of thermodynamics, statistical grounding — would be: straw, not anything else.

21 –> So, MP’s demand is in effect that we swallow a statistical miracle — actually, an astonishingly long train of such — in preference to inferring design when we see the actual relevant BB’s output: the digitally coded information system in the heart of cell based life, which starts at about 100,000 bits and goes on to billions.

22 –> The reason for that is obvious: a priori materialism, or being a fellow traveller to that.

23 –> That is why there is a repeated strawmannish projection of question-begging conclusion jumping [in the teeth of repeated correction as can be seen in this and other recent UD threads], and it is the reason for demanding what MP knows no empirically based investigation can deliver: an absolute proof by elimination of all alternative possibilities.

24 –> It is also the evident reason why MP has studiously avoided discussing the logic of warranting knowledge claims by provisional inference to best, empirically grounded explanation leading to inferring credible cause on empirically reliable signs.

25 –> But the problem for MP here is that this is the key scientific method for studying origins and many other cases where we cannot make a direct observation. And, it is quite clear from MP’s general level of discussion that s/he knows this or should know this. (Hence the MORAL challenge MP faces, of willful neglect of duties of care to truth and fairness. And this problem reminds us of the issue that evolutionary materialist ideology, since the days of Plato in The Laws, Bk X, has been notorious for opening the door to ruthless nihilistic factions and their cynical notion that might and manipulation make ‘right.’)

Okay, something to chew on while we wait for MP to actually seriously address the merits.

Of course, MP never turned up to reply, once s/he had a need to address the use of inference to best explanation on empirically reliable sign on the table and some clear cases of strawman caricature.

Since another caricature was spread about in several threads and probably elsewhere, let me also clip how I addressed it from 66 in the thread:

In addressing UB by presenting an alleged summary of UB and the design view, MP gives another illustration of the problems, at 149in the Craig crushes Ayala thread (it is also reproduced elsewhere):

X1. All irreducibly complex systems are designed. [–> Misrepresentation, cf Behe, who talks of the challenge to Darwinian mechanisms]
X2. All semiotic systems are irreducibly complex.
X3. Therefore, all semiotic systems are designed.
[–> Misrepresents the actual case: it is sufficiently complex complex organisation and information that function linguistically, algorithmically or cybernetically that are in actual view]

Y1. A system involving representation(s) and protocol(s) is a semiotic system. [–> Distorts by failing to give context: symbols imply a system of representation and a protocol for communication, codes implies language and language is universally observed — where we can see the source — to come from mind. Similarly, algorithms are purposive and linguistic, involving in our experience mind, so there is a reason for an inductive inference that is not hasty.]
Y2. Protein synthesis involves a representation and a protocol. [–> in fact we have digital data storage in DNA, the algorithmic transcription process involving several C-chemistry cellular nanomachines, the gated transfer of these to the ribosome, the similarly algorithmic code based step by step assembly of protein chains, the chaperoned folding and the Golgi apparatus etc for routing and more. This is a case of ducking the key details by making a simplistic summary. What do we know about automated, control tape driven assembly plants?]
Y3. Therefore, protein synthesis is a semiotic system. [–> of a very high degree of complex, specific functionality]

Z1. All [–> functionally specific, complex] semiotic systems are designed (by X3). [strawman alert]
Z2. Protein synthesis is a [–> FSCI-based] semiotic system (by Y3).
Z3. Therefore, the protein synthesis system is designed [–> per inference to best, empirically warranted explanation].

This makes the matter look like an a priori assumption is being used to ground the claim that semiotic — effectively, meaningful coded symbol using — systems are designed. It does so by misrepresenting the conditions under which design thinkers argue for the routinely and only observed source of such semiotic systems as we see being made.

In addition, it misrepresents what design thinkers form Behe on have argued concerning irreducibly complex systems. let me cite Behe from Darwin’s Black Box, to first and foremost clear the air:

What type of biological system could not be formed by “numerous successive, slight modifications?” Well, for starters, a system that is irreducibly complex. By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the [core] parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. [DBB, p. 39]

Angus Mengue gives one pivotal reason for that, namely the need for such all-or-none functional systems to meet the following five criteria, explained with reference to the flagellum but of much wider applicability:

For a working [bacterial] flagellum to be built by exaptation, the five following conditions would all have to be met:

C1: Availability. Among the parts available for recruitment to form the flagellum, there would need to be ones capable of performing the highly specialized tasks of paddle, rotor, and motor, even though all of these items serve some other function or no function.

C2: Synchronization. The availability of these parts would have to be synchronized so that at some point, either individually or in combination, they are all available at the same time.

C3: Localization. The selected parts must all be made available at the same ‘construction site,’ perhaps not simultaneously but certainly at the time they are needed.

C4: Coordination. The parts must be coordinated in just the right way: even if all of the parts of a flagellum are available at the right time, it is clear that the majority of ways of assembling them will be non-functional or irrelevant.

C5: Interface compatibility. The parts must be mutually compatible, that is, ‘well-matched’ and capable of properly ‘interacting’: even if a paddle, rotor, and motor are put together in the right order, they also need to interface correctly.

( Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science, pgs. 104-105 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004). HT: ENV.)

In short the challenge to suggested exaptation or co-option by chance to fit together and work, points to the issue that IC systems exhibit significant functionally specific complexity. A simple analysis of getting alternative possible configs by chance, or simple familiarity with the tight specificity of replacement car parts, will show the basic problem: we are looking at specified complexity barriers.

In addition, MP et al routinely ignore the issue that we have vast experience of IC systems, and how they are caused. Consistently, by design.

That is, we have good reason — taking in the previous remarks just above — to see that both IC and FSCO/I are empirically reliable signs of design as best causal explanation. To overturn that, as Newton pointed out, all that is required is to provide sound empirically observed counter-examples.

Needless to say,the sort of verbal gymnastics we keep on seeing from objectors to design theory inadvertently testifies to the basic problem: such counterexamples are strangely unforthcoming.

So, once we see that we are dealing with FSCO/I and IC in that context, we see why there is an inference to best explanation — and notice how consistently an abductive argument along the same lines that broader scientific investigations of a great many things we do not directly observe routinely proceeds is being willfully misrepresented as a question-begging deductive one in the teeth of repeated correction — namely, we have good reason to infer from sign to the signified cause.

Just as we routinely infer from deer tracks to deer as the responsible best explanation, never mind the abstract possibility that some unknown animal somehow could have the same tracks, or someone somehow could be faking etc.

So, we correct the same errors yet again.

Now see if there is any reasonable responsiveness to the correction.

That will tell us a lot about what we are dealing with.

Now, given how evolutionary materialism advocates often compare the “factual” status of their favourite theory to the orbiting of planets around the sun, etc, you would expect that MP would be eager to return to bat these points away for six across the boundary into the car park.

You would be wrong.

Chirp, chirp, chirp at UD, and the sort of irresponsible and deceitful comment by Petrushka elsewhere is what we have actually seen.

That speaks volumes, and what it tells us is that too often, we are dealing with agit-prop not honest and serious civil discourse. The kind of ruthless amoral “might and manipulation make ‘right’ . . . ” nihilism that Plato warned against 2350 years ago, and which is the reason behind the sort of fever swamp behaviour that creates hate sites that target UD’s contributors.

That speaks volumes, and none of it good.

Dr Liddle, as owner of TSZ, I call on you to clean up what is going on there; enabling of nihilism and associated ruthless faction tactics. END

I am only a sometime lurker at Elizabeth Liddle’s blog. If you have links to any posts or comments there that would lead to it being characterized as a “hate site”, I would be very interested in seeing them.
They hate the truth. It's self-evident. Mung
O/L i have responded here. I hope we can at last have the real discussion on the merits that we have long sought at UD. KF kairosfocus
I have described the behaviour of folks who are running outright hate sites and/or are participating in such.
As I noted above, I am only a sometime lurker at Elizabeth Liddle's blog. If you have links to any posts or comments there that would lead to it being characterized as a "hate site", I would be very interested in seeing them. From what I've read, most participants there do not view ID favorably, but they support their position with rational argument rather than anything that could be characterized as hate speech.
If someone wishes to discuss design theory on the merits, without abusive behaviour, UD is more than adequate.
This is clearly not the case. As with The Skeptical Zone, I am only an occasional lurker here, as my personal schedule permits. Nonetheless, I have frequently seen participants banned for nothing more than arguing against ID in a very civil fashion. Elizabeth Liddle is a perfect example -- she politely but firmly defended her views for months, but is no longer allowed to comment here. If someone that polite cannot be tolerated by the administration here, this is not a good forum for open and honest discussion.
So, I will speak for record, for genuine discussion is not possible when one has to be dealing with feeding frenzies of willfully disruptive, deceitful, disrespectful, just plain rude and even threatening behaviour. There are consequences to incivility, and to harbouring the uncivil.
Are there? I would link to the personal blog of an ID proponent who is happily harbored here at UD. I would further reference the record of some of his participation at Elizabeth Liddle's blog. Do you want to make the case that this person demonstrates civility? Or do your consequences of incivility apply only to those with whom you disagree? onlooker
PS: FYI, in my youth I had to deal with Marxist radicals. I do have genuine experience based knowledge on what radical, nihilist agit prop looks like, how operatives behave, and how it affects people especially when their emotions have been warped. What Plato warned against 2350 years ago -- which you too have been unable to address on merits -- and what we have seen any number of times over the past 200 years and again from the evolutionary materialist radicals and their fellow travellers as we speak is straight down that line. That is what I have warned against, warned against because I know the impacts that too often flow from such. (Cf here a critical review of a modern agit-prop 'classic' that warns us of just how gullible we are and how easily we can be taken in by that which tickles our itching ears with what we want to hear, then compare it with the snide insinuation in the remark that I have objected to. Here is my straight vs spin grid for de-spinning news and views, and here is one of my actual interventions against porn in my personal blog -- the very post that attracted the ire of hate site operatives.) And last but not least, one of the favourite tactics against anyone who exposes what is going on, is the turnabout immoral equivalency, he hit back first accusation or insinuation which confuses naive onlookers and distracts from what is going on by shooting at the messenger. KF kairosfocus
VS: Just stop. You can read English just as well as I can, and the remarks in question were directed to me. Remarks of the ilk of have you stopped beating your wife yet. Your behaviour betrays a want of basic civility. So, kindly just stop. KF kairosfocus
KF, And, it was specifically addressed to me. I therefore take you to be playing at more of the dirty agitprop tactics at this point, in a not so subtle form of mockery. Stop it. Sorry,not to plow the row again,but I disagree with your interpretation. I am not saying that P might not demean your character, but I think the most reasonable reading ,in the context of the post is " KF,if you are interested in a two sided conversation,post at SZ ,where the only example of anyone being banned is for unrepentantly posting porn( Joe)." I just think it is important to be accurate. What is plain here is that we are seeing the exact sort of opening the door for nihilism and ruthless factions that evolutionary materialists are always so eager to tell us how dare you point to this as a problem for evolutionary materialism I bow to your expertise on agitprop, no mockery intended. Thanks for the conversation velikovskys
Joe: I have described the behaviour of folks who are running outright hate sites and/or are participating in such. This includes things down to threatening my family. Predators are rare even in swamps, but they are real. I am saying that I will not go into places that harbour the sort of behaviour I have had to speak to over the past year and half or so. If someone wishes to discuss design theory on the merits, without abusive behaviour, UD is more than adequate. I recall here incidents at CH's blog in recent months as well as a good index of the likely patterns. So, I will speak for record, for genuine discussion is not possible when one has to be dealing with feeding frenzies of willfully disruptive, deceitful, disrespectful, just plain rude and even threatening behaviour. There are consequences to incivility, and to harbouring the uncivil. KF kairosfocus
PS: Joe, please — on broken windows theory — tone is slipping.
OK "hate mongoring, cross-dressing linked, swamp mud wrestling swamp predators" Can I use that? ;) Joe
Sal, That they are helping you is good, for you. However one gets the sense that they view their help as some sort of support for the claims of their position. "Oh look we are correcting Sal therefore ID is false and materialism rules!" Joe
FWIW, There are some valuable technical discussion with specialists in the field at TSZ who are helping vet the physics in my essays. Despite the hostility toward me there, I need their help, and the specialists in relevant fields have been generous with their assistance toward me. Mike Elzinga takes a lot of swipe against me and creationists. I bear with it, I need his expertise and that of others over there. To get a flavor of this start at this comment: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/?p=1049&cpage=2#comment-15115 Whatever our issues with specific posts, I hope to be on good terms with both UD and TSZ. And, I just realized I've been slack. I've thanked TSZ, but I'd like to thank UD management and Barry Arrington for hosting my threads at UD. Sal scordova
I am a sometime lurker on The Skeptical Zone. That blog has a well-enforced rules of civil discourse.
- - - - - - - - - July 20th, 2012:
In the previous thread, RB was forced to concede the underpinnings of both of his main arguments. RB and I reached that point without too much overt mud-slinging, at least not beyond what is generally seen in such exchanges. At (and around) the point of his concessions, the condescension and mockery from the gallery became a runaway train. Elizabeth then took action. In perfect form, she very graciously put the entire thrust of the issue squarely on my shoulders, naming no one else whatsoever, and envisioned an extended conversation where people could communicate without the hyperbole. She stated:
I think what I might do is to start a new thread, in which the rules of this site are more strictly enforced … Upright BiPed, please read the forum rules here. They are not onerous, and I have no wish to censor ideas. I do want to ensure that emotional baggage and assumptions about other posters’ motivations are rigorously excluded. Let’s conduct this in an academically rigorous way … Violating posts will be moved
Mike Elzinga’s contribution to the conversation prior to Elizabeth taking action:
“your effort seem like a naive and pretentious attempt to replace well-understood phenomena with something woo-woo … I find both UBP and WJM excruciatingly boring; and I suspect that the reason is that there is a remarkable similarity to other crackpots … one begins to wonder if there is any thought process there at all. I would suggest not … they hone their marketing shtick for their presentations to the gullible … There is another frequent correlation one sees among crackpotists; they often quote scripture from the Christian bible … has an instinctive hatred and distrust of science and any other perceived “competing authority” … don’t even appear to understand the question … a familiar characteristic of pseudo-science … you have no idea what you are talking about or what it is that you are attempting … Your obvious distain for age, experience, knowledge, and the female gender … YOU – I repeat – YOU were the one … you don’t have the slightest clue … You have no idea … you really have no clue … You have made no “material observations” … You have never taken a chemistry or physics class … comes from the socio/political culture of ID/creationism … The words don’t matter … bury his reification of ID/creationist misconceptions … an increasingly complex labyrinth of obfuscation and condescension … simply gussies it all up … an air-tight bundle of circular reasoning … Another would be ID “theorist” bites the dust … it too dissolves into nothingness … such lengthy, turgid prose … a quagmire of words … Crackpots never let go voluntarily; they will ride you to death”.
…and Elzinga’s contributions after Elizabeth’s action:
His language has another purpose, namely, to establish a sectarian version of the universe …this is what UB is trying to do … As is evident in all of UB’s communication, he has never freed himself from projection … his own inner demons onto others … The Semiotic Theory of Intelligent Scattering … It is curious that ID/creationists don’t jump on things … Making a caricature of science and then shooting it down with great fanfare has been the socio/political tactic of creationists … every ID/creationist does it, and their rube followers – such as UB here … Just make up stuff and simply assert that anyone who knows anything about science is stupid … the fundamentalists who are against everything secular and the educational dropouts who harbor intense hatreds for those who actually try to learn … his rants pretty much revealed that he is engaged in a game of revenge … impressions I sometimes get from UB’s turgid writing … UB doesn’t appear to have any sense of humor whatsoever …This isn’t an intellectual discussion for him … it’s a personal vendetta against all smart people.
And the enlightened contributions of others, like petrushka, pendant, flint, and others…
The argument from ignorance is no way to go through life … UPB, and most ID advocates have not studied the history of science, or have learned nothing from it …UPB is arguing that because the templating process involved in translation is so complicated, it isn’t templating … Creationists (a group which includes ID-pushers) explicitly reject … The magic threshold … Why, then, do Creationists think … I think it touches on their “designer” … UPB’s argument relies on the following premises: If you haven’t observed it, it doesn’t exist … Perhaps we should all adopt a worldview that doesn’t require this pathetic level of detail … Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New ‘Intelligent Falling’ Theory … The goal is NOT to understand how something came to be … FIRST, assume goddidit as the default … and POOF using our conclusions as our assumptions once again “proves” our conclusions … In all of these efforts, the creationists make abundant use of a simple tactic: They lie. They lie continually, they lie prodigiously, and they lie because they must … What do you do to support a lie? You lie!
So what is Elizabeth’s response to this “academically rigorous” critique which “ensures that emotional baggage and assumptions about other posters’ motivations are rigorously excluded?” Well, again in perfect form, she joins in and chats right along. That is all fine. No problem, it’s hardly important, and certainly nothing else was expected from her. I simply wanted to point out the hypocrisy.
Upright BiPed
O: Please read, very carefully, the post at the top of this thread, on what Petrushka did. You may trace as well further posts in the train of the thread. That is what is being tolerated harboured at TSZ. I assume you do not know of the hate sites and the cross-links between participants at TSZ and those sites. I do not speak of swamp mud wrestling matches with those with the manners and attitude of swamp predators lightly. KF PS: Joe, please -- on broken windows theory -- tone is slipping. It would be better to refer to TSZ, for example, and in general to avoid the sort of playground verbal twists that invite much worse from those who are just looking for an excuse to indulge themselves. You are a valuable and effective commenter here at UD [as you can see from the HT above], you don't need to slip into such to make your point. Certainly, not here. kairosfocus
onlooker- You are confused as the septic zone promotes bald assertions and demonstrates a total lack of posting in good faith. They couldn't support the claims of their position if their lives depended on it. But that doesn't stop them from baldly declaring that their position has all the evidence and can account for everything. I have called out Liz, many times, for her bald assertions and all she does is repeat them. And that is beyond pathetic. So perhaps when they lose their cowardice and actually start trying to support their position more IDists will start showing up over there. But I don't see that happening in my life time. Joe
Hi O; For the excellent reasons (1) that I know this blog is monitored by the denizens of TSZ, and (2) on more track record than I want to discuss, I have no intention to get into a swamp mud wrestling match there with those who behave as has been highlighted above. KF
I am a sometime lurker on The Skeptical Zone. That blog has a well-enforced rules of civil discourse. Violators are typically moved to the Guano forum where their posts are still viewable. I don't find your "swamp mud wrestling" comparison apt. I would encourage you to give Elizabeth Liddle an opportunity to answer you in a forum where she is allowed to post. At worst, someone there might politely challenge your position. It's just words on a screen -- what do you have to fear? onlooker
Mung: One, where it is credible that we are not playing around where crocodiles lurk and where the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low. In simpler terms, if objectors would simply be willing to address issues on the merits of fact and logic, with a modicum of common decency and broughtupcy, we could have a serious discussion. The comments boxes of UD are open for just that, but over time consistently we find abusive objectors, evasive/distractive objectors and enablers for abusive and evasive/distractive objectors. That is beginning to look to me very much like the warrant is not on the side of the objectors, and deep down they know it but are clinging to an ideological position for reasons that cannot be put up in polite and serious company. Which reminds me a lot of the Marxists I had to deal with at the turn of the 80's. Ten years to go, if the timelines are truly parallel (and providing someone shows up for a high-noon showdown and refuses to back off under intimidation and mud-slinging etc), then. That is part of why it is so important that here be places like UD etc where the issues can be dealt with on a level playing field basis, where those with the manners and attitudes of a swamp predator are not welcome. KF kairosfocus
I have no intention to get into a swamp mud wrestling match there with those who behave as has been highlighted above.
ok, so just what kind of mud wrestling match ARE you willing to get into? Mung
Hi O; For the excellent reasons (1) that I know this blog is monitored by the denizens of TSZ, and (2) on more track record than I want to discuss, I have no intention to get into a swamp mud wrestling match there with those who behave as has been highlighted above. KF kairosfocus
I must again ask Dr Liddle if that is what she wants as the tone of her blog.
If you want an answer, why don't you ask at her blog instead of here where she has been banned? onlooker
F/N 2: Just to note on a check-back. Petrushka and ilk are busy on talking points trying to duck and divert the longstanding -- 2350 years is surely long enough -- want of a worldview foundational IS for evo mat that can bear the weight of OUGHT, and its consistent opening the door to ruthless nihilist factionalism. Even, while there is a case on the table of irresponsible, disrespectful and willfully deceitful commentary from the very same Petrushka. You can't make this up. I must again ask Dr Liddle if that is what she wants as the tone of her blog. KF kairosfocus
Onlookers: Do, carefully observe how the substantial matters in the OP stand unaddressed -- carrying over from previous threads -- even as we see red herrings dragged off to ad hominem-laced strawmen and set alight to distract, confuse issues, and create a polarised, contentious atmosphere. That should tell us a lot on the real balance on the merits. KF kairosfocus
VS: You plainly are not reading English or reading in context, and are being distractive by trying to dance wrong but strong. You don't say to someone:
"Come on over, KF and, so long as you don’t link to porn . . . "
unless you mean to demean his character. That is of the ilk, you need to stop beating your wife before you can be a part of what we are doing. And, it was specifically addressed to me. I therefore take you to be playing at more of the dirty agitprop tactics at this point, in a not so subtle form of mockery. Stop it. KF kairosfocus
True enough ,KF, the porn remark was addressed to you. So are the rules of any site when you read them. The comment in my opinion was not aimed at insulting you personally.It had a different target, Joe and probably the moderation policy of UD. You may have other flaws,but your rectitude is beyond reproach. Joe, Nope, I did not post any porn. Obviously you have no clue as to what porn is. I bow to your expertise on the subject of porn,but it is easily proved. Just post the same link here that got you bounced from SZ, let KF judge. velikovskys
WJM: I hear you. I take a different view. If the train is heading for a bridge out, someone needs to warn. Not least so some can get off before it is too late. Failing that, I keep hearing the lesson of Ezekiel 3 and 33 in my head about the duty to warn. That is why I speak above for record. What is plain here is that we are seeing the exact sort of opening the door for nihilism and ruthless factions that evolutionary materialists are always so eager to tell us how dare you point to this as a problem for evolutionary materialism. Indeed, it seems they think we are stupid or worse than that, to point this out. But, the record, here with Petrushka as a poster child, is quite plain. All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to remain or fall silent. I will not be silent, and I will speak for record. KF PS: The astonishing thing is that, after it has been made quite plain by repeated cases how these folks habitually abuse people unwise enough to go to their hang-outs to try to discuss with them, they proceed to expect others to want to come there. Nope, I have no intention to wade into a swamp to get into a swamp mud wrestling match with those who -- on plain track record -- have the manners and attitude of a crocodile. PPS: I think some of us need to beware of getting caught up in the Stockholm syndrome and the good-cop bad-cop game, thus, seeking/hoping for approval of determined, ruthless and nihilistic enemies. What is really going on is the marketing of evil: desensitisation to evil -- now seen as "average" Internet behaviour, jamming out of objections and objectors through slander and strawman tactics, and conversion through manipulation. kairosfocus
Joe: Thanks for letting us hear your side in outline --as you can imagine, I could say nothing to the matter (other than that I should have noted that one does not make so strong a claim without justification, as a matter of fairness -- oops, sorry on that . . . slipped my head) do you want to give any details or links? KF kairosfocus
You are excitable ,KF, the porn allusion was aimed at Mayor( Joe) who managed to get himself banned for posting porn.
Nope, I did not post any porn. Obviously you have no clue as to what porn is. By vel's "logic" Lizzie Liddle posted porn on her own blog. Joe
BTW, I mean my time is better spent avoiding them and praying for them. We all have our own god-given nature and calling when it comes to such endeavors. William J Murray
The sad thing is that I've noticed the derangement present even in some people I otherwise love and respect. Argument, debate, logic, facts, calling them out on hateful attacks they would in not tolerate from anyone else on any other subject ... nothing seems to penetrate their certainty not only that they are right, but that "anything goes" is a proper mode of what is, in their mind, some kind of "defense by offense" against theism and religious views. I see it a lot in three areas - environmentalism, politics, and philosophy/religion. IMO, most discussion with such people truly is nothing more than a waste of time, time which would be better spent, IMO, simply avoiding them and praying for divine intervention on their behalf. William J Murray
F/N 2: Notice, BTW, how there has been silence on the specific matters on the merits I highlighted in the original post above, from objectors. That, too, is significant and goes tellingly to the balance of the case on the merits. KF kairosfocus
F/N: I just briefly checked. Petrushka continues the "banned for disagreeing" talking point, dismissing the current flurry of posts here on moral issues faced by evolutionary materialism as "stupid." This of course echoes the slander by Mr Dawkins some years ago on how those who dare disagree with his evolutionary materialism (especially "creationists," but one must recognise just how broadly that term is used by that ilk . . . ) are ignorant, stupid, insane and/or wicked. How ironic, then, is the fact that in that very same context, Petruska is substantiating -- through irresponsible comments including outright falsehoods, strawman caricatures, deceitful slanders and demeaning personal attacks rooted in longstanding false accusations and Internet bullying by denizens of atheistical hate sites -- just why the moral issues in question are ever so relevant to this debate over design theory and are not going to go away. KF kairosfocus
WJM: It looks like you have a point. Rage can be blinding and definitely warps judgement. In fact, pulling in Rom 1, maybe the root of all of this is rage at God extended to those who remind one of Him. However, there is and can be no excuse for deceit and slander. Indeed, all of this points straight to the problem of the way evolutionary materialism -- through the want of a worldview foundational IS that can bear the heavy weight of OUGHT -- undercuts support for moral principle, and so opens the door to the sort of nihilistic, ruthless factions that Plato warned against 2350 years ago. Today's heirs of Athens all across our civilisation therefore need to pay heed to the damage wreaked on that city state by Alcibiades and co. Mung: You may be right that TSZ will not be cleaned up, but that makes it doubly important to expose it as an enabler of deceit, slander, and objections to design theory based on strawman caricatures. As to the one banned, I do not know what you refer to. VS: Sorry, as I noted on your comment, the remarks were directed at me, in a train of points intended to mock and belittle. In the longer context (which you may not know of), they also build on one of the very first attacks from the nest of denizens at a cluster of hate sites, which picked an expose of porn statistics at my personal blog to make a focal point for attack against churches as houses of hate and to say that it would be better to spend Sundays watching porn than going to church and putting coins in their coffers. I subsequently learned that these unusual thoughts connected to the so-called atheist anthem by Aiden. An anthem of hateful mockery and slander. In addition, I have seen evidence that at some of these hate-driven sites, there has been a deliberate warping of my expose of the soul-destroying dangers of porn, the way it exploits its so called stars, and its culturally destructive impacts, into a slanderous personal attack. So, TSZ needs to look at what it has become, and it needs to deal with the problem of enabling falsehood, deceit and slander. KF PS: It looks like Isaac is deciding to give us only a side-swipe. kairosfocus
You are excitable ,KF, the porn allusion was aimed at Mayor( Joe) who managed to get himself banned for posting porn ________ Sorry, this one won't sell: it was plainly directed at me, as cited, in a post where I was being addressed by my handle. Notice, the next point in the train, on style. KF velikovskys
Since we're putting things "On The Record." Wasn't someone banned from UD for dissenting from the opinion that EL was reliable and trustworthy? Mung
I can't think of a more ironic name for a website hosted by Elizabeth Liddle than "The Skeptical Zone." Well, maybe: "No Liars Allowed" Mung
Dr Liddle, as owner of TSZ, I call on you to clean up what is going on there...
Dream on KF. Mung
I've come to realize that many people suffer from a kind of theism/religion derangement syndrome, much like Bush or Palin derangement syndrome, and are fundamentally incapable of reasonable conversation/debate when it comes to those subjects. For some, like Dr. Liddle at SZ, it appears only as a kind of short-circuited logic and a disruption in otherwise good reasoning skills; for most, though, the derangement goes further into a kind of hateful madness where any behavior against such beliefs is justified, no matter how uncivil or extreme. William J Murray
F/N: I decides to follow up, just in case. Even when caught red handed in deceit, publicly corrected and given authoritative statement that MP is not banned, Petrushka continues the willful deceit. Let me clip, as yet further record on why Petrushka has become poster child no 1 on what sort of behaviour we are dealing with:
I can’t tell for sure but is KF owning up to or denying banning mphillips? [--> A willfully false statement, as even the headline will show, Much less BA's direct declaration.] In case he finds time to read more… Come on over, KF and, so long as you don’t link to porn [--> A character-assassinating smear, in fact I am noted for OPPOSING porn; anyone so foolish as to imagine it is not destructive evil, please go to the Pink Cross Foundation. Of course, when the hate site initiative was set up, part of the problem the nest of extremist darwinists had was suspicious associations that tied in with porn, just as Rom 1 would warn] and can be succinct enough not to overload the software [--> A red herring distractor on alleged style rather than substance. Of course it takes far more effort to responsibly correct error than to spread it. (I suggest onlookers look here on for a survey on origins science and the design issue that MP would have done well to read before putting ignorance and strawmen on display.)].
I guess s/he counts on people failing to do due diligence. And, based on the behaviour that is being tolerated, I see no good reason to wade into the fever swamp. Enough is said for record. KF kairosfocus
Sal, Okay. I still do not know these characters, guess I will get around to Google. KF kairosfocus
KF, I was wondering off topic. Apologies. Sal scordova
Sal: Pardon my ignorance. Who are: "VenomFangX and Kent Hovind" and what relevance do they have to do with the focus of this thread? (They do not seem to be of any note that would have brought them to my attention, over the years. When I think Creationists, I think Morris, or Ham, or the folks at RTB for OEC.) What this thread is showing is the sort of tactics that are being used in the attempt to discredit design theory. That seems to go to desperation in the teeth of a serious case that evolutionary materialism is not an adequate explanation of the origins of cosmos, solar system, life and the body plan level diversity of life. In particular MP seems to show that we are dealing with people who do not understand the epistemic issues that face the very methods used by origins science practitioners when they attempt to reconstruct the prehistoric past. KF kairosfocus
Mr Arrington: Thanks for the authoritative statement:
mphillips has not been banned
So, we have every reason to now expect a retraction and an apology. I am not holding my breath, given track record. KF kairosfocus
Petrushka is pretty much free to criticize me at SZ.
It looks like I am not free to criticize you here. Oh well I was free to criticize you over on TSZ... ________ Per broken windows principles, within bounds of civility. KF Joe
And yes, I would be critical of creationists like VenomFangX and Kent Hovind like I’d be critical of creationists like Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker or Ted Haggard….
I just ignore them. And hopefully, as Brent pointed out, people have enough of a brain to actually look up what they say and see for themselves that they ain't on the up and up. As I said, Sal, those people are not on anyone's team but their own. They have their own agenda and most likely it involves making money, somehow. Joe
It is also strange that Sal sez, over there, that he wants to talk science yet over here posts a gossip column about two Creationists.
Yes, its true, I'm chummy with atheists. That is obvious. See the article on the JMU Freethinkers: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freeatvt-discussion/message/5176 And yes, I would be critical of creationists like VenomFangX and Kent Hovind like I'd be critical of creationists like Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker or Ted Haggard.... I'm grateful to Barry and Clive Hayden and the moderators for letting me publish at UD, but as you can see, I'm not exactly popular with all the brethren here. But that's ok, maybe you can consider me an occasional (but not perpetual) critic of ID and Creationism. But if you want me to talk more science here at UD, sure! My posting of Thunderf00t's work should have taught some people here some science (like basic kinetic energy). That was a wonderfully pedagogical video on how to properly use science to criticize creationist ideas. But my brethren here thought it to be in poor taste, whereas, I actually found it entertaining. To be fair, my brethren here are right. I tend to be snotty and I take too much pleasure in seeing stupid claims and stupid preachers (like Hovind and VenomFangX and Jim Bakker) publicly humiliated. I need to be more diplomatic, and I will work on that, and I extend my apologies to my brethren here at UD for offending them. As to me being at SZ, here's a sample of what I actually get to talk about at skeptical zone: http://creationevolutionuniversity.org/public_blogs/skepticalzone/2nd_law_sewell/basic_statistical_mechanics_v1_c.doc and http://creationevolutionuniversity.org/public_blogs/skepticalzone/2nd_law_sewell/purcell_and_pound_v1.doc If UD readers want this stuff, I'll give it to them. No problem. But it's easier to talk about science at Elizabeth's site because the threads don't vanish from the front page after only a few days like they do over here. Furthermore, there are specialists in relevant fields capable of correcting some of my math and physics over there, unless of course anyone here at UD will actually vet some of the draft documents I wrote that people at Elizabeth's site will. As far as Petrushka, my view is that I'm a guest here at UD, the hosts at UD decide who gets invited and disinvited. If those univited don't like being uninvited, they can go set up their own website and host their own parties. Petrushka is pretty much free to criticize me at SZ. scordova
mphillips has not been banned. Barry Arrington
F/N: Observe here, on the broken windows theory of policing. KF kairosfocus
Well petrushka insists "he" is not mphillips and if that is true then mphillips plagiarized petrushka's questions to upright biped and has the same affinity for equivocation. Also I am with Sal- I too am grateful for Elizabeth Liddle. People like her and all the evos are a sad example of how to lead by example. Notice how her blog doesn't contain any posts supporting evolutionism but does contain posts misrepresenting Intelligent Design and its concepts. It is also strange that Sal sez, over there, that he wants to talk science yet over here posts a gossip column about two Creationists. ______ Joe, please be careful on tone. KF Joe
Maus: The "average" Internet behaviour you speak of is destructive license, corrosive to the long term survival of civil society. In this case, as explained, it is also an example of irresponsible and willfully deceitful slander. Persisted in, in the teeth of correction and in a situation where onlookers need to know that this is the level of too much of what happens in discussions over design theory. In addition, this seems to be a new tactic, of the pretended banning by use of a sock puppet, thrown up into a slander. We need to be aware of the new tactic. KF PS: Sal, I appreciate your point, however I must note that the same Dr Liddle has been associated with enabling behaviour for some very vile hate sites that have indulged outing, target-painting, slander and a lot more; for years. I have called on her to clean up what is going on at her own site, where there is slander. (And FYI, in British law jurisdictions, responsibilities under tort are a lot stricter than in the US, where some appallingly bad court decisions have eaten the heart out of protection against defamation, hence much of that "average" behaviour on the Internet. If she does not clean up her act, she is inviting serious actions. That, FYI Dr Liddle et al, is a caution about a vulnerability you are cultivating, not a threat.) kairosfocus
I'm very grateful for Dr. Liddle, she has been gracious in granting UD authors authorship rights. The dialogue there has been very fruitful for me. Sal scordova
I get that you're a bit cheesed about the whole thing. But I'm completely lost as to why you think average internet behaviour warrants a full-throated post on the matter. Let alone any suspicions of cabal or sock-puppetry with regards to either mphillips or Petrushka. All of which is certainly none of Liddle's problem. If anyone over there mentions anything over here in passing, then so what? Here has been on a love fest mentioning Dawkins of late. And Dawkins has been on about how one flew into the Cuckoo's Nest. And I'm wondering where all the interesting bits on biology have gotten themselves off to. Maus

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