Intelligent Design

John Davison challenges PZ Myers to a debate

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This is something I’d pay to see. John Davison received his PhD in biology before Myers was born. Ironically he received it from the same university Myers teaches at today. Unless one counts the decades more experience Davison has as a professor of biology (University of Vermont) then they appear to be evenly matched. We’ll understand if Myers is intimidated by Davison’s greater experience and chickens out. Davison makes the challenge here at the bottom of the page.

I would love to confront him anywhere, with or without his equally deranged cronies – Dawkins and Hitchens. It would be a rout! I can’t even goad them into recognizing my existence. Myers is a cowardly victim, a “prescribed” vendor of hate, the epitome of cultural, moral and ethical evil. There is nothing that can be done for him or for his colleagues and followers. They are “born that way” losers in the lottery of life. Until they are gone they will remain a menace to Western Civilization. Hopefully that won’t take too much longer.

79 Replies to “John Davison challenges PZ Myers to a debate

  1. 1
    GilDodgen says:

    But how does Davison really feel about Myers?

  2. 2
    bFast says:

    Oh my.

    Davison has been kicked off of every forum he has ever been on, and for good reason. He’s been kicked off of this forum a couple of times. You, Dave, have mocked his hysterics on a number of occasions. Davison’s PEH is an interesting theory, but as a dialoger, as a debater this guy is rediculous. Please don’t encourage him.

  3. 3
    DaveScot says:

    bFast

    I’ve mocked Myers’ hysterics too. It’s a match made in heaven – two flaming, militant doctors of biology in basic disagreement with each other over the mechanism behind organic evolution. I doubt Myers will have the stones for it. Myers will of course say that Emeritus Professor of Biology John Davison is a crank and therefore beneath Myers’ dignity. We all know the real story. Myers has no dignity and he considers every ID believer, including Geoff Simmons, to be a crank. So he’ll lie about why he won’t debate Davison. Lying for Darwin is easy for Myers. While I have called Davison many unflattering things I’ve never questioned his expertise in biology. The man was a bench scientist for decades studying comparative anatomy and one of the first scientists to be “Expelled” for questioning the Darwinian dogma. I learned a lot from him and still consider his views on organic evolution to be the best I’ve encountered.

  4. 4
    larrynormanfan says:

    DaveScot,

    Myers will of course say that Emeritus Professor of Biology John Davison is a crank and therefore beneath Myers’ dignity.

    Maybe. But the fact remains that Davison is, indeed, a crank. What does ID have to gain by encouraging someone as marginal as him to play a public role?

  5. 5
    DaveScot says:

    larrynormanfan

    Davison is no crank in his area of expertise. Not even close.

  6. 6
    bFast says:

    It’s a match made in heaven – two flaming, militant doctors of biology in basic disagreement with each other over the mechanism behind organic evolution.

    If you like cage-fighting, or cock fighting, great. If you expect the cause of intelligent design to be furthered, well, not so great.

    I would much rather see two level-headed debaters, than two hysterical ranters. BTW, has the ambulance service been notified of this debate?

  7. 7
    larrynormanfan says:

    I’m with you, bFast.

  8. 8
    gore says:

    Considering how cocky PZ was after his “victory” with Simmons, I would be surprised he would turn this down! BTW, does anyone have a link so I can listen to that previous debate?

  9. 9
    FtK says:

    “BTW, has the ambulance service been notified of this debate?”

    ROTFL…

    Dave, they’re right…it would be a three ring circus with the ebola boys peddling popcorn and beer.

    That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a good circus act now and then…heck, I’d probably be right next to the center ring flirtin’ with RTH at intermission.

    But, I’m really not sure a Davison/Myers debate would be of benefit to either side, though it *would certainly* get a lot of attention…

    And, yes, medics and the police department would have to be notified far in advance.

  10. 10
    DaveScot says:

    Don’t confuse Davison’s personality with his science. Many years ago I had a manager in a video electronics shop whose knowledge of electronics was superb but who was a gun carrying biker whose off work activities included trying to get mugged in dark alleys so he could draw a .357 magnum revolver on a knife weilding mugger. He said he loved watching them flee in terror when he put a round through a garbage can in the alley. Curious about the dichotomy I asked “How can someone as intelligent as you be so crazy?” He answered “You don’t have to be stupid to be crazy, but it helps.” Never confuse stupid with crazy. Myers and Davison are equally crazed and equally well educated in biology. It’s a perfect match that I think will be both entertaining and informative.

    Before questioning Davison’s credentials to debate Myers I suggest taking a look at Davison’s CV and noting the peer reviewed publication record before he became an anti-Darwinian circa 1984.

    http://www.uvm.edu/~jdavison/jad-cv.html

  11. 11
    Semprini says:

    John Davison says, at the post Dave Scot linked to:

    Besides, Myers is an intellectual coward and won’t “debate” anyone of substance.

    I heard Myers debated a Fellow of the Discovery Institute on radio the other day. I think there was a posting about it here on UD, but it’s not here now. Davison seems to be implying that the Discovery Institute gives Fellowships to people who lack substance.

    Dave Scot said:

    Myers will of course say that Emeritus Professor of Biology John Davison is a crank and therefore beneath Myers’ dignity

    To judge by the comment threads at Davison’s abandonded blogs, Dave Scot also reckons John Davison is a crank. Now that’s a miracle: Myers and Scot agreeing on something

  12. 12
    DaveScot says:

    ftk

    I suggest you carefully read Davison’s Evolutionary Manifesto before doubting his scientific acumen. He’s certainly a “colorful” character but his take on organic evolution is extraordinary and without the color we’ve come to expect from his internet persona. He basically believes the best explanation for organic evolution is front-loading, perhaps thousands of times in separate acts of creation based upon non-homlogous development pathways in organisms reputed to have comparatively recent common ancestors, and the mechanism behind descent with modification is chromosomal reorganizations that result in the saltation of new species. Furthermore he states that this is a testable hypothesis as in principle the chromsomal reorganizations can be reversed so that the course of evolution can be run backward in a lab.

    http://www.uvm.edu/~jdavison/d.....festo.html

    How I happened across it is an interesting story. After a couple of years of digging into the facts and myths surrounding organic evolution I came to believe the best explanation was front loading – an intelligent agency preprogrammed the course of phylogeny into one or more basic forms. I then thought to myself that I couldn’t be the first person to arrive at this conclusion so I went googling for scientists who’d written a similar account. In that pursuit I found Davison’s Evolutionary Manifesto. To date I consider it the best hypothesis I’ve seen and it deserves being tested by someone still in a position to do so.

  13. 13
    bFast says:

    DaveScot, “Don’t confuse Davison’s personality with his science.”

    I agree with you that Davison has made a significant scientific contribution to ID. I respect his science.

    That said, his personality, well… Good science or not, this hystrionic shouting match is not worth promoting.

  14. 14
    DaveScot says:

    bFast

    I’m not at all sure it will be a histrionic shouting match but if it is I bet it’s Myers who fires the first broadside when Davison starts asking scientific questions Myers can’t answer. If it can stay focused on objective science Davison will win. If it becomes a pissing contest it’ll be a tie. Either way it’ll be worth the cost of the ticket.

  15. 15
    Mapou says:

    I personally love Davison’s style. He’s a gutsy, no-nosense fighter who has absolutely no fear of the enemy. He does not look for their approval nor their acceptance. He kicks them in the gonads every chance he gets. In my opinion, that’s what the ID movement needs, people like Davison who are ready to kick ass and take names.

    It’s about time that ID advocates stop kowtowing to a secular and morally bankrupt academia and go it alone. We know what we’ve got and we should act with confidence. Let them seek our approval and let them fear our disapproval, not the other way around.

  16. 16
    bFast says:

    DaveScot, “I bet it’s Myers who fires the first broadside when Davison starts asking scientific questions”

    Judging by the Simmons Meyers debate, Myers will fire the first broadside in his opening remarks.

  17. 17
    FtK says:

    I’ll read it, Dave.

    Don’t get me wrong…I’d kill to see them debate. I’m just not sure it would stay civil…although, PZ is much more sedate when he’s not pounding away at his keyboard.

    Heck, I’d be more than glad to hand PZ the challenge personally, but the Big A banned me from his den.

  18. 18
    larrynormanfan says:

    From Davison’s CV, I’d wager that Myers understands current biology better than Davison. It’s not a criticism: it’s just what happens when you decide to tilt at windmills for twenty years. (His manifesto doesn’t cite any recent biology). He “became an anti-Darwinian around 1984,” which seems to be about the time he stopped keeping up with the science too. PZM, whatever his faults, knows the current literature very well.

  19. 19
    DaveScot says:

    ftk

    I’m banned by Myers too. Interesting story. I was commenting at Panda’s Thumb on something and Myers thought to condescendingly tell me that the environment contributes information in ontogenesis. I replied that if he was talking about epigenetic factors (outside the DNA) then I knew all about that but if he was talking about information coming from the outside environment he was all wet. I condescendingly described how all the information required to make a chicken is inside the shell of the egg and the environment need provide nothing but warmth as any child who’s hatched a chicken egg under a light bulb knows quite well. There are a few exceptions such as the gender of alligators being determined by the incubation temperature of the egg but as a general rule no information is provided by the environment outside the egg. He went apoplectic and started disemvoweling my comments from that point on. Myers can dish it out but he can’t take it.

  20. 20
    Borne says:

    “I would much rather see two level-headed debaters, than two hysterical ranters.”

    I understand but no, a good clash between them would be a good lesson to Darwinists who mistakenly believe they still have the upper hand and can act like the proverbial back yard, gutless wonder, bully with impunity.

    Davison isn’t a hysterical ranter, a ranter yes, and one who plays fast a mean with words – I believe “Darweenies” was his term. But, he has an excellent mind and far superior reasoning abilities than Myers could ever hope to gain (especially since neo-Darwinian thought renders one somewhat mentally ill).

    Davison would absolutely beat the intellectual, Darwinian fundamentalist, crap of out a rampallian scomm like PZ.

    I can imagine PZ wetting his frock just thinking about facing Davison.

  21. 21
    Borne says:

    IDists tend to be far too nice and even groveling before Darwinian fundamentalist louts.

    We sometimes act such because of the commands of Christ to love your enemies, turn the other cheek etc. But we forget that Christ made a whip, kicked over tables and always spoke to the Pharisees with the most scathing rebukes possible.

    Someone needs to teach Dawinists like PZ a good lesson they won’t forget. Someone who used to be in their own ranks and carries an equally inflamed tongue is a good choice.

  22. 22
    jerry says:

    Dave,

    I never read Davidson’s materials. There seems to be two parts to his thesis, first an analysis of gradualism and a dismissal of it and second his personal ideas about front loading.

    Are most of his writings about the latter? Is there much about his analysis of gradualism in what he he has written or does he just dismiss it out of hand?

  23. 23
    FtK says:

    Interesting, Dave. He’s disemvoweled a couple of my posts in the past as well.

    I made the mistake of linking to his daughter’s blog…sheesh…World War III entailed.

    I kept to the facts, and didn’t lower myself to name calling or anything.

    You would NOT believe the names I was called. I actually keep a running total of the name calling because it was just off the charts crazy ranting on their part. Wanna see the list?

    WARNING!!!! HORRIFICALLY HIDEOUS LANGUAGE FOUND IN THE FOLLOWING LINK. DO NOT PEEK UNLESS YOU CAN STOMACH IT.

    Oh, the horror!

    Now, I’m not perfect and I’ve been known to let a few naughty words hurl from my lips, but the stuff in that link is off the charts nasty.

  24. 24
    bFast says:

    I don’t know what you wrote, but it must have been good!

    FtK, I will continue to read your posts carefully. I believe you are a shining star. Being equated with Sal is an honor.

  25. 25
    FtK says:

    Well, thank you bFast.

  26. 26
    van says:

    post #15 is spot on. Davison is a colorful guy but he kicks neo-darwinism right in the nuts, which I respect and appreciate. The ID movement needs to stop playing Mr. Niceguy to these non-scientific turkeys.

  27. 27
    larrynormanfan says:

    Borne,

    We sometimes act such because of the commands of Christ to love your enemies, turn the other cheek etc. But we forget that Christ made a whip, kicked over tables and always spoke to the Pharisees with the most scathing rebukes possible.

    But when Jesus overturned the tables in the temple, he was exposing the hypocrisy of his co-religionists. Whatever PZ is, a Pharisee he ain’t. When Jesus gets really angry in the Bible, it’s always with his fellows — not with secular authorities.

  28. 28
    Mapou says:

    Now, I’m not perfect and I’ve been known to let a few naughty words hurl from my lips, but the stuff in that link is off the charts nasty.

    LOL. It’s kinda funny how all those nice curse words are accompanied with a picture of young children on the side using the title “For the Kids”.

  29. 29
    AussieID says:

    Wow, FtK, from what you have listed that PeeZed has called you, the only thing certain I can ascertain is … he LIKES you!

    I’m sure there are some romantics out there that haven’t had so much written by their true love about them as PeeZed has about you.

    Read deeper and, I think, if you look at every, say, sixth letter it says “PZ loves FtK”.

    Or it mightn’t …

    If a debate were to occur between these sparring opponents, then my interest would in not the ‘match’ itself but what can be drawn from it. What is PeeZed’s debating content rather than the usual vitriol? Has Davison got stuff that can’t/won’t be answered that brings a new string to the ID bow?

    All debates serve the greater good, but like bFast expresses, too much support for the person instead of the ultimate argument is where it often falls. A win in a debate is admirable, but does that mean the argument is correct? Personality and prose sometimes are stronger than the actual, well, meat in the sandwich!

  30. 30
    Mapou says:

    FtK, I just realized that what I wrote above about the link you provided might be misconstrued as being derogatory. It isn’t. I actually love your blog and I will visit it often.

    Besides, as a Christian, I know that even the Bible is not immune to cursing. I am thinking of the passage in 2 Kings 18:27 about eating your own dung and drinking your own urine. I’m told by a friend with knowledge of Hebrew that the words translated dung and urine should be more like the English “sh!t” and “p!ss”. 😀

  31. 31
    guppy says:

    DaveScot:

    I’m banned by Myers too. Interesting story. I was commenting at Panda’s Thumb on something and Myers thought to condescendingly tell me that the environment contributes information in ontogenesis…

    Do you have a link to the thread? I’d really appreciate it since almost no one gets banned pandasthumb. So I’m curious to know what went down.

  32. 32
    FtK says:

    AussieID, just to be clear, it wasn’t just PZ who used all those words. His loving choir boys chimed in with most of them.

    And, Mapou, I hope you’re right about cursing…lol. I try like the devil to hold my tongue, but it never fails that something obscene pops out every so often.

    I’ve been hanging out with the wrong on-line crowds for toooo long. They’re rubbing off on me!

  33. 33
    bFast says:

    AussieID, thanks for reminding me that I am a Canadian. Having lived in the states for about 10 years, I sometimes loose track of proper pronounciation. It is clearly PeeZed.

  34. 34
    AussieID says:

    Ahhh, FtK, now you’re just skiting and bragging! A legion of fans, says she!

    I’ve never thought of PeeZed’s minions dressed ala choir boys, because if they were the spittin’, swearin’, smokin’ variety down behind the chapel, then you would have to be using a lot of soap to clean their potty mouths.

    It was interesting to read, though, that the running commentary you’ve recorded lacks any substance. Is this a Pharyngulan theme???

  35. 35
    Clarence says:

    DaveScot (12):

    “In that pursuit I found Davison’s Evolutionary Manifesto. To date I consider it the best hypothesis I’ve seen and it deserves being tested by someone still in a position to do so.”

    Sounds like something that should be put to the Discovery Institute – get the Biologic Institute working on it.

  36. 36
    David Evans says:

    I’ve been reading Uncommon Descent for more than a year now and, while I am not entirely convinced by Intelligent Design, I do feel that there are many holes in Darwinian theory and that the theory itself is entirely nihilistic.
    This is the first time I have posted to this site and it is due to the comment by DaveScot that “Myers can dish it out but he can’t take it.” I would like to ask DaveScot how many people he himself has banned from this website. Obviously some have been abusive but the sole crime of others appears to have been to ask too many (awkward?) questions. Such hypocrisy does not reflect well on the ID movement so please, lets have some real debate.

  37. 37
    Larry Fafarman says:

    I have the dubious honor of being at the top of Sleazy PZ’s enemies list:

    Miscreant: Larry Fafarman AKA Larry Farma, many others

    Crime: Stupidity, Morphing

    Sentence: Automatically Junked

    Comments: This fellow is probably mentally ill, but he’s able to maintain a blog that is a bottomless pit of stupidity. Also banned at the Panda’s Thumb.

    DaveScot said (Comment #12) —

    After a couple of years of digging into the facts and myths surrounding organic evolution I came to believe the best explanation was front loading — an intelligent agency preprogrammed the course of phylogeny into one or more basic forms.

    I see mutually beneficial co-evolution — i.e., evolution resulting in the co-dependence of two different kinds of organisms such as bees and flowering plants — as being a problem for front-loaded evolution (“prescribed evolution” to John A. Davison) as well as Darwinian evolution. In co-evolution, unlike in evolutionary adaptation to widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, and air, there may be nothing to adapt to because the corresponding co-dependent trait(s) in the other organism may be initially absent locally. Also, a mutation producing a potential co-dependent trait may be fatal or harmful when the corresponding trait in the other organism is locally absent. John A. Davison said in a comment on my blog,

    There is no evidence that any form of mutualism ever came about through the agency of natural selection. The involved organisms were both reading a common prescribed blueprint and the interdependencies were probably produced instantaneously. Show me otherwise. You can’t because that sort of evolution isn’t even occurring any more and probably never will again. It is all over folks. Get used to it. All we see now is rampant extinction without a single documented replacement.

    — from
    http://im-from-missouri.blogsp.....0879516952

    But what caused the mutations in both organisms to be simultaneous? Maybe some “triggers” in the environment (a “virus” has been suggested)? Any ideas?

  38. 38
    kairos says:

    #34

    Miscreant: Larry Fafarman AKA Larry Farma, many others

    Crime: Stupidity, Morphing …

    I read the whole page. Surely it greatly depict what’s the actual reasoning and ethical level of the guy. And surely from a strategic point of view his activity for the NDE side is all gold for ID.

    BUT I have a doubt and would be grateful for a good answer about.

    I read that Mr PZM: “is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris.”

    How it’s possible that his institution does accept that such a man actually act in that way? Only curious

  39. 39
    FtK says:

    “How it’s possible that his institution does accept that such a man actually act in that way? Only curious.”

    I’ve always wondered the same. Some of the things PZ and other science bloggers say is just off the charts nasty, demeaning, and the profanity is unbelievable. They post under their own names, and list their professional affiliations. It’s just so weird that their employers don’t tell them to watch their mouths as it reflects on their universities or organizations.

  40. 40
    DaveScot says:

    Clarence

    The Discovery Institute doesn’t have a biology lab. They don’t have enough funding to even begin assembling one.

  41. 41
    DaveScot says:

    David Evans

    There are a number of ID critics here who pass two criteria – thoughtful, informed criticism and civility. It’s not my fault that the chance worshippers have so few among their number who can pass both tests.

  42. 42
    Clarence says:

    DaveScot (41) wrote:

    “The Discovery Institute doesn’t have a biology lab. They don’t have enough funding to even begin assembling one.”

    The Wikipedia entry for the Biologic Institute states:

    “The Biologic Institute is a tax-exempt organization with offices in Redmond, Washington and laboratories in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. It is funded by the Discovery Institute with the stated purpose of doing biological research. The main goal of the Biologic Institute is to produce experimental evidence of intelligent design.”

    Either the Wiki entry is wrong or the Biologic Institute needs to come up with some evidence for ID. If, as you mentioned, Davison’s work needs to be tested then they sound like the ones who ought to do it. As for funding: there are plenty of wealthy ID supporters, like Howard Ahmanson amongst many others, who maintain that ID is proper science. I think they ought to back up their views with hard cash for hard science.

  43. 43
    mike1962 says:

    larrynormanfan: “But when Jesus overturned the tables in the temple, he was exposing the hypocrisy of his co-religionists.”

    He called those hypocritical pharisees “sons of the devil.” Somehow “co-religionists” seems a bit off the mark here. They were only *pretending* to be co-religionists. They were far, far away from religion of Jesus.

    At any rate, he called Herod a “fox”, which was not a term of beauty in those days. Herod was hardly a “co-religionist.”

    PeeZee is a staunch promoter of darwinian propaganda to the injury of society at large. He deserves whatever is dished out to him. Read the book of Isaiah (which Jesus quoted several times) and you’ll see many imperatives to fight against those who would pervert society.

  44. 44
    Mapou says:

    DaveScot: The Discovery Institute doesn’t have a biology lab. They don’t have enough funding to even begin assembling one.

    This sums up the biggest problem of the ID movement: NO MONEY.

    ID needs neither approval nor acceptance nor recognition from the secular scientific community. ID needs money to independently conduct unrestrained research and develop an educational infrastructure in direct competition with the current system. And the research must encompass several fields of study, not just biology.

    The money is not going to come from either the government or the private sector. Sure, a few kind souls will donate funds to various groups but that’s not nearly enough. ID needs not just millions or even billions, but tens of billions of dollars. ID must either think big or resign itself to be a mere sideshow.

    Where is that kind of money going to come from? I have excellent reasons to believe that the money can come from multicore CPUs. Now that the computer industry is taking its first painful steps away from sequential processing toward massive parallelism, there is an unprecedented opportunity to take this bull by the horn and make a killing. The current multicore architectures provided by the likes of AMD and Intel leave a lot to be desired. The big CPU vendors and Microsoft know that whoever cracks the parallel programming nut will dominate computing in this century. They have spent untold billions over the last decade in a failed attempt to create tools that will hide the complexity of parallel programming from the application developer. They have failed. It’s a major problem. Some think it’s a crisis.

    The reason for their failure, in my opinion, it that they are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Threads are not the answer. There is a better way to do it. See Parallel Programming, Math and the Curse of the Algorithm for more.

    I think we can create a better multicore processor, one that will solve, not only the parallel programming problem but also the reliability problem. I think it can be done with less than 5 million dollars. And I think that whoever does it first will be sitting on a pile of cash.

  45. 45
    larrynormanfan says:

    mike1962, he didn’t lash out at Herod, and he repaired the ear Peter cut off. He spent a lot of time castigating the Pharisees, who indeed were his “co-religionists.” Sorry about the awkward phrasing: Christianity wasn’t a separate religion at the time. What I mean is that Jesus got angry at his fellow Jews, not particularly at the secular authorities. I don’t think Borne’s comment above — “Someone needs to teach Dawinists like PZ a good lesson they won’t forget” — shows a Christlike attitude, and enlisting Jesus’s anger toward the Pharisees to justify it is really problematic. Sorry, that’s just the way I see it.

  46. 46
    larrynormanfan says:

    DaveScot,

    “The Discovery Institute doesn’t have a biology lab. They don’t have enough funding to even begin assembling one.”

    Two thoughts:

    1. Maybe they just need to prioritize. Don’t they have a budget of $1M a year or something? How many programs could be cut to fund scientific work?

    2. I thought the Disc.Institute helped fund the Biologic Institute, Douglas Axe’s ID-friendly lab.

  47. 47
    kairos says:

    #39

    Some of the things PZ and other science bloggers say is just off the charts …. It’s just so weird that their employers don’t tell them to watch their mouths as it reflects on their universities or organizations.

    A question. Does pzm hold tenure?

  48. 48
    jerry says:

    David Evans,

    I have been posting for a couple years now and have yet to see anyone banned because they asked an “awkward question.” You can prove me wrong by listing some awkward questions that do not get answered. I am not aware of any.

    The most common reasons one gets banned are ad hominem attacks and constant irrelevant criticisms or maybe just plain thickness in their arguments.

    Why don’t you assemble some of the awkward questions and we can discuss whether they are valid or not.

  49. 49
    Joseph says:

    From Davison’s CV, I’d wager that Myers understands current biology better than Davison.–larrynormanfan

    Are you talking about the current biology that gives us one new protein-to-protein binding site (in a virus, not in a cellular organism), has a good understanding of how things break and no understanding on how things arise in the first place?

    Or could it be the current biology in which people have to keep chanting, I mean reminding themselves that what they are observing is not designed, rather it evolved (via magical mystery mutations)?

    Or is it the current biology that tends to look at things so closely* that the big picture gets overlooked?

    (* a good analogy would be like trying to read a computer program by looking at the 1s and 0s on the various busses.)

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  50. 50
    larrynormanfan says:

    Joseph,

    Three things off the top of my head that have arisen since Davison stopped reading the literature: evo-devo, genomics, proteomics. All of which have contributed to our understanding of evolution.

    LNF

  51. 51
    StephenB says:

    —–larrynormanfan “I don’t think Borne’s comment above — “Someone needs to teach Dawinists like PZ a good lesson they won’t forget” — shows a Christlike attitude, and enlisting Jesus’s anger toward the Pharisees to justify it is really problematic. Sorry, that’s just the way I see it.”

    A really good debater must do more than refute arguments and defend the truth. When the situation calls for it, he must be able to fight fire with fire without losing dignity. He need not resort to barbarianism, but he had better have the heart a warrior or he will be devoured.

    The exhortation to “turn the other cheek” is not a call for pacifism, it is a call for not hating and for controlling one’s pugnacious nature. Part of contolling one’s pugnacious nature is being wise enough to know when to fight and how hard to fight.

  52. 52
    StephenB says:

    —–Jerry: “The most common reasons one gets banned are ad hominem attacks and constant irrelevant criticisms.”

    My experience has been the same as yours. On another blog, in the middle of an online debate with an anti-ID zealot, my opponent informed me that he was once banned from uncommon descent because, in his words, “Dembski doesn’t like having his bluffs challenged.” I asked for details and links and never heard from him again.

  53. 53
    Jack Krebs says:

    In #48, Jerry writes,

    Why don’t you assemble some of the awkward questions and we can discuss whether they are valid or not.

    The problem I see is that because so many comments are deleted there is no record of what awkward questions may have been asked, or what the actual consequences of asking them has been.

  54. 54
    Robbie says:

    Hey DaveScot,

    FYI, thought I’d point out that Prof Davison is also calling you out re: Anthropogenic Global Warming over at his blog –

    http://john.a.davison.free.fr/?p=11

    Surely this will evoke a response from DaveScot/David Springer, the most vocal denier of anthropogenic global warming and the biggest bully in all of cyberdumb. Let us hear from Dave, the world’s expert on just about everything. Speak or hold your piece! To use your favorite expression –
    “Got that? Write that down.”
    Says JAD.

    Looks like he’s a callin’ you yeller.

    *poke*

  55. 55
    Daniel King says:

    David Evans #36:

    I’ve been reading Uncommon Descent for more than a year now and, while I am not entirely convinced by Intelligent Design, I do feel that there are many holes in Darwinian theory and that the theory itself is entirely nihilistic.

    Nihilistic.

    Is that a bad thing?

    Reminds me of Tolstoy in Anna Karenina.

  56. 56
    Daniel King says:

    David Evans #36:

    I’ve been reading Uncommon Descent for more than a year now and, while I am not entirely convinced by Intelligent Design, I do feel that there are many holes in Darwinian theory and that the theory itself is entirely nihilistic.

    Nihilistic.

    Is that a bad thing?

    Reminds me of Tolstogy in Anna Karenina.

  57. 57
    Daniel King says:

    Sorry, that’s Tolstoy, as in Leo T.

  58. 58
    Daniel King says:

    Tolstoy, Tolstogy, what’s the difference?

  59. 59
    jerry says:

    Jack Krebs,

    you said

    “The problem I see is that because so many comments are deleted there is no record of what awkward questions may have been asked, or what the actual consequences of asking them has been.”

    That is nonsense and you know it. If anyone avoids awkward questions you are a master. Why don’t you assemble a list of the questions ID does not answer and we can deal with it.

    The one time I have seen a person’s comments deleted was because they were offensive. There may be others but I have never seen anyone’s comments deleted because they were embarrassing for ID. So that is why I suggest you produce some examples.

  60. 60
    bFast says:

    Jerry, I have not often seen comments get deleted except when they are offensive, but I hear reports on Telic Thoughts of numerous smart, well-spoken people being banned from this site.

    Recently we have been getting some very intelligent input from hrun0815. His most recent post presented a strong case for the gradual evolution of metomorphosis. He clearly has much more knowledge of biology than I do, but he clearly comes from an evolutionary perspective. His tone has been most cordial. His comments have stopped abruptly. I fear that he has been banned from this site.

    It is my opinion that UD is too quick to ban ID discenters. That said, ARN’s forum has been totally taken over by ID dissenters. ISCID’s brainstorms has become stupid, and stalled, because yapalots like Davison have been unchecked. I think that catching the right balance on a forum of this nature is rather difficult.

  61. 61
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry, I disagree. There have been instances where entire threads have been deleted. In other instances, the banning of a commenter has been followed by the removal of that commenter’s entire history of comments. I take Jack Krebs’s point to be that this distorts the history. Consider DavidBrennan, where DaveScot wrote:

    DavidBrennan is no longer with us. His comments and responses to his comments were disappeared along with him.

    How can anybody know whether they were offensive? Apparently others took them seriously enough to respond.

    The person who wants to study UD in twenty years — in two weeks, even — is going to witness a Swiss cheese effect.

  62. 62
    bFast says:

    I remember watching DavidBrennen. He was a good kill.

  63. 63
    bFast says:

    I remember debating with DaveScot about whether or not information could be destroyed. He convinced me that in theory it cannot.

    ‘Turns out, this is most true on the internet. Consider the archives at http://www.archive.org. They likely contain DavidBrennen’s pre-deleted posts along with any other unsavory deletions.

    That said, its not the deleted history that bothers me the most, it is the dispermitted voices. I would like to see a few knowledgable scientists allowed to post on this site. I would love to see some discussions like I have seen on brainstorms where Ph.Ds from both sides of the debate are going at it full guns. That’s fun.

  64. 64
    larrynormanfan says:

    “I would like to see a few knowledgable scientists allowed to post on this site.”

    You said it, bFast.

  65. 65
    jerry says:

    larrynormanfan,

    I certainly do not read every thread and cannot comment on the deletion of comments. Thank you for bringing up David Brennan because I was not aware of him. But I do not know why he was banned and how much of his comments were deleted.

    The one recently I am aware of was Carl Sachs. I never saw the offensive remarks he supposedly made but only the comment that he was banned along with his comments. Perhaps others could comment on those who were banned and why. But to challenge Jack Krebs I asked him about embarrassing questions and he is welcome to provide examples. Let’s wait and see what Jack does. I am totally unaware of any embarrassing questions that got someone banned. I tend to throw out what I think are embarrassing questions for many on this site and I hope they ask tough questions in return.

    I generally think the banning is too frequent but there has been very few if any banned who I thought were constructive. Most of them were presenting inane arguments or seemed to be trying to throw obstacles into the debate as opposed to moving it along.

  66. 66
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry, I don’t question the banning: any blog can set its moderation policies. I just don’t understand the retroactive deletion of comments that have already appeared and, in some cases, prompted discussion.

  67. 67
    jerry says:

    “I would like to see a few knowledgable scientists allowed to post on this site.”

    The word “allowed” is completely out of place. I doubt that any knowledgeable scientist is unwelcome here unless like PZ Myers they come with a track record of flame throwing. What I doubt is that many would be willing to come here and debate. We had Darrel Falk here over a year ago and he added very little. He is a biologists, a theistic evolutionist and believes in gradualism but he did little to defend it. Allen MacNeill shows up now and then and then leaves after a few comments.

    There is no policy here that would not allow Richard Dawkins himself to comment as long as he behaved himself. The best Darwinist who regularly came here was great_ape but he hasn’t been around for several months. One of the last times he was here he was being attacked by some of the religious oriented people who comment here. So maybe that is why he hasn’t been back.

  68. 68
    jerry says:

    larrynormanfan,

    I agree that the comments should have been kept if not just to show what gets one banned. Unless the comment was personally abusive to some individual.

  69. 69
    Jack Krebs says:

    Jerry writes,

    Jack Krebs I asked him about embarrassing questions and he is welcome to provide examples. Let’s wait and see what Jack does. I am totally unaware of any embarrassing questions that got someone banned.

    Actually the word used was “awkward,” not embarrassing.

    But Jerry’s “challenge” to me misses the point. The point is that there is no way to go back and look at threads which have led to banning because many comments (and even whole threads) are deleted. I agree with larrynormanfan’s distinction that the bannings themselves and the deletion of the history leafing up to the bannings are two different issues – neither of which has anything to do with Jerry challenging me to offer any questions, embarrassing, awkward, or otherwise.

  70. 70
    jerry says:

    Jack,

    How many threads have been deleted and for what reasons. Let’s get some specifics. If you do not know of any then you should not be commenting on it.

    Dave gave his reasons for deleting the thread then gave a link to it in google. I am aware of a thread or two that Dembski deleted because after consideration he thought it was in bad taste or too precipitous on his part. Maybe there are others so list them. Maybe others can help you.

    Again, Jack, you do what you do best and that is punt. Instead of backing up your claim you chastise me for substituting “embarrassing” for “awkward.” Provide some examples of banning or deletions based on “awkward” questions. You never answer any questions on Darwinian evolution so I don’t expect you to step up here either. But surprise us.

  71. 71
    DaveScot says:

    bFast

    It’s not a question of being allowed. It’s a question of them wanting to. I suspect productive scientists generally have better things to do.

    Not only is hrun0815 still with us, I removed him from the moderation list last week so he doesn’t have to wait for his comments to be approved. He’s made at least a dozen comments in the last few days.

  72. 72
    Jack Krebs says:

    How many threads have been deleted and for what reasons. Let’s get some specifics. If you do not know of any then you should not be commenting on it.

    First, it’s more common for comments to be deleted than for whole threads to be deleted.

    Second, how can one be specific when the evidence for the specifics is gone? That is the point: if the material hadn’t been deleted, then one could go back and discuss specifics, but if the material is gone, one can’t be specific – all that is left is vague impressions that can’t be supported by evidence.

    Also, I didn’t chastise you about anything. I merely wrote, “Actually the word used was “awkward,” not embarrassing.” I don’t see how you see that sentence as chastising.

  73. 73
    DaveScot says:

    Let’s get this thread back on topic lest I demonstrate some more commentary being deleted.

  74. 74
    jerry says:

    Jack Krebs,

    “Also, I didn’t chastise you about anything. I merely wrote, “Actually the word used was “awkward,” not embarrassing.” I don’t see how you see that sentence as chastising.”

    Then why bring it up at all. You made a point of the substitution so a normal person would think that I somehow made a mistake of substance when I used “embarrassing” instead of “awkward.” In a previous comment I just used the word “awkward.”

    If you do not have any information on deleted comments then ask those who are here or on other blogs and maybe we can develop a list of them to the best of our recollection and see if anything meaningful was deleted. Otherwise, it is an accusatory comment without empirical support and should be kept to your self. Sort of like a theory of evolution I know about for which you also did not provide any empirical evidence when asked but only hear say that others say there is overwhelming evidence.

  75. 75
    jerry says:

    Dave,

    The idea of banning was broached in reference to PZ Myers and John Davidson so it became a natural topic when it was turned onto UD itself. So while it is not relevant to a debate between Davidson and Myers, it is relevant to the behavior of both and how UD may be similar or different from what happens with both of them.

  76. 76
    StephenB says:

    In the spirit of redirecting the focus back to the subject of the debate I offer the following interpretation of events:

    ——larrynorman asks how David Brennan’s comments led to his being banned: How can anybody know whether they were offensive? Apparently others took them seriously enough to respond.

    As one who happened to be around at the time, I can tell you exactly what happened to David Brennan. He made an incredibly bigoted statement that was obviously calculated to embarrass the administrators at UD

    —-bfast: “It is my opinion that ID is too fast to ban dissenters.

    I remember several recent dissenters that were banned for incessantly raising phony objections. Almost always, the theme was this: ID is nothing more than religious or philosophical presupposition masquerading as a design inference. I submit that when one person raises that issue, say, twenty five times a week, they need to find other outlets for their mischief.

  77. 77
    Joseph says:

    Three things off the top of my head that have arisen since Davison stopped reading the literature: evo-devo, genomics, proteomics. All of which have contributed to our understanding of evolution.–larrynormanfan

    None of which supports non-telic evolution nor universal common descent.

  78. 78
    mike1962 says:

    larrynormanfan: “Sorry about the awkward phrasing: Christianity wasn’t a separate religion at the time.”

    Given that Jesus was proclaiming himself as the annointed king (messiah) of Israel, and special son of God, I think it would be fair to say that at that point the “religion” had forked.

    Anyway, I think calling someone a “son of the devil” at that time was about as harsh as you could get. A hypocrite is a pretender. Jesus didn’t consider them “co-religionists” in any meaningful sense other than that they were pretenders.

    “What I mean is that Jesus got angry at his fellow Jews, not particularly at the secular authorities.”

    The secular authorities weren’t acting particularly hypocritical. Apparently spiritual hypocracy was very offensive to him.

  79. 79
    mike1962 says:

    larrynormanfan, I said the preceding to say this: darwinist materialists often act hypocritically when they seek to maintain a reputation of loving truth where ever the facts lead, when, in fact, they often engage in lies, deceit, half-truth, character assassination, political maniputation, etc., for their own ends. Some of us think they should be taken to task for it. It’s time to make a cord of whips.

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