Intelligent Design

On Holding Utterly Contradictory Ideas in Your Head

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Preliminary note. This post focuses on william spearshake again, and readers could be excused for wondering whether I am singling him out. Fair question. The fact is that william is a veritable fount of materialist shibboleths, which he spews with apparently gleeful abandon. In short, he has provided me with a rich vein of materialist error to mine, for which I thank him.

In a prior post two materialists had this exchange:

AVS

If I may be so bold as to speak for WS, maybe he thinks that ID relies on the assumption that there is a designer (a god in just about all cases), which by default makes it a religious doctrine.

william spearshake:

AVS, exactly. Until they can propose the nature of a designer who isn’t a god, what else can I think?

I find this exchange fascinating, because it illustrates with such clarity a violation of the principle of charity (which I was discussing in the very post where this exchange occurred) and the ability of materialists to hold simultaneously utterly contradictory ideas. I will elucidate.

Idea 1:

By definition materialists do not believe in miracles or the supernatural. Certainly they don’t believe any supernatural act was necessary for life to arise and evolve to its present state. Indeed, they don’t believe that intelligence or any guiding principle (by which I mean an agent or force that works to achieve a distant goal) was necessary for life to begin and evolve.

What do they believe? Materialists are supremely confident that blind unguided natural forces are fully sufficient to account for the beginning of life and its evolution from that time to the present. In short, it is all just chemistry and physics, super-sophisticated chemistry and physics which we only partially understand, to be sure, but at bottom its nothing but chemistry and physics.

Idea 2:

This idea is demonstrated by the exchange between AVS and william I quoted above. ID is a religious doctrine because, “until they can propose the nature of a designer who isn’t a god, what else can I think?” The obvious assumption underlying this statement is that william believes any currently plausible candidate for the designer must be a supernatural being.

The Contradiction:

Wait a minute here. Isn’t it you reductionist materialists who insist that life is nothing but chemistry and physics. It follows from that premise that you believe that in principle no miracle is necessary for life to begin and then to evolve. So tell me, if a designer with access to super-sophisticated technology did design life, what principle of chemistry and/or physics did he violate when he did so? And if he didn’t violate any law of chemistry or physics, why is it necessary for him to be a supernatural being?

If blind unguided natural forces could do it without a miracle, why couldn’t someone with access to super-sophisticated biological technology do it without a miracle? Indeed, while the technology to create synthetic life from scratch is probably decades away, we have people like Craig Venter who are already working on the problem.

Are you going to call Venter up and say “Give it up Craig; while blind natural forces can create life without a miracle, if a designer like you tries to do it he has to have supernatural powers. Sorry.” Of course you aren’t.

In summary, materialists like william hold two contradictory beliefs:

1. Blind unguided natural forces are completely sufficient to account for life.
2. Any designer who tried to create life must be supernatural.

Collisions between matter and antimatter lead to the annihilation of both. Up until now I suspect william did not know he was holding simultaneously two irreconcilable ideas. When he reads this post and those two ideas touch I hope his head does not explode. If it does would I be guilty of manslaughter? A question for another post.

65 Replies to “On Holding Utterly Contradictory Ideas in Your Head

  1. 1
    Vishnu says:

    Hehe. Good post.

    Now, what is the motive behind poor William’s muddle-headedness?

    We have our suspicions.

  2. 2
    Axel says:

    Barry, that has to be the definitive rebuttal of their nonsense in that regard, and it was under everyone’s eyes all the time.

    I’d been thinking how scientifically accurate, in the light of quantum mechanics, was David Ben-Gurion’s insight that: ‘Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist.’

  3. 3
    RexTugwell says:

    Why is it that if the designer purposely arranges nucleotides along the DNA backbone, it’s a miracle but if someone in a white lab coat does it, it’s merely science?

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    V and A. Thank you.

    Rex. That is the question isn’t it.

  5. 5
    Axel says:

    ‘Now, what is the motive behind poor William’s muddle-headedness?’

    Can’t even get the syllables of his name in the right order, Vishnu.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related interest:

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

  7. 7
    CalvinsBulldog says:

    I admit to being dismayed that a poster has been singled out in this fashion when the same point could have been made equally as well in general terms. While I fundamentally disagree with Spearshake on many things, I cannot help feel a large degree of sympathy for him after he has had a week of relentless criticism. I know such treatment has been justified on the basis of the defense of abstruse principles, but it violates my sense of justice all the same.

    As a Young Earth Creationist I approve of ID insofar as it highlights the weaknesses of evolution and often also exposes the absurdities of the wilder flights of fancy in cosmology. But when it comes to the issue of the designer, there we must part company. While ID tries to be comfortably agnostic about the designer, orthodox Christians know that the designer is none other than God. For those of us who place theology ahead of science and philosophy in our understanding of the world, any other conclusion is absurd.

    I believe Spearshake is quite right to point out this weakness of ID. For while ID-advocates propose a designer, they philosophically shy away from revealing anything about it, or indeed, even speculating too much about the designer. This is quite puzzling. To claim on the one hand that life is the product of an intelligent designer, but on the other hand to be purposefully resolute that we need not bother too much in nailing down the nature of the designer, seems to me to be the curtain separating the Wizard from Dorothy.

    So I am afraid I do not see where Spearshake’s logic breaks down. He is being perfectly consistent with his own position, and also is being logical with his conclusions. He rightly identifies that the only rational candidate for designer even with an Intelligent Design framework is God.

    So tell me, if a designer with access to super-sophisticated technology did design life, what principle of chemistry and/or physics did he violate when he did so? And if he didn’t violate any law of chemistry or physics, why is it necessary for him to be a supernatural being?

    The problem here should be quite obvious: this is a recipe for an infinite regress. If the ID-advocate is proposing that the an intelligent designer of life is to be found within the material universe (i.e. aliens, a distant supercomputer, fairies, Martians, etc), then the old atheist chestnut finally becomes relevant: “Who designed the designer?” For he, she or it must have come from someplace since the universe itself had a beginning. And once that question is answered, it only opens up another one: “Who designed the designer of the designer?” And so forth, everlastingly.

    The only way to resolve this is to posit an intelligent designer that exists outsider of nature – that is, by definition, a supernatural being.

  8. 8
    ppolish says:

    Eventually we will see the arguement “Ok, Ok, there is Intelligent Design in Nature. Purposeful and guided. But it is Natural”

    Natural Teleology versus Supernatural Theology. Debates will be deeper. More fruitful. Debating the “appearance of design” “Jesus is myth” crowd? Not too enlightening.

  9. 9
    Box says:

    It was Dawkins who said that an alien designed start of life is an “intriguing possibility” …

  10. 10
    Heartlander says:

    …Suppose I were a super-genius molecular biologist, and I invented some hitherto unknown molecular machine, far more complicated and marvelous than the bacterial flagellum. Suppose further I inserted this machine into a bacterium, set this genetically modified organism free, allowed it to reproduce in the wild, and destroyed all evidence of my having created the molecular machine. Suppose, for instance, the machine is a stinger that injects other bacteria and explodes them by rapidly pumping them up with some gas (I’m not familiar with any such molecular machine in the wild), thereby allowing the bacteria endowed with my invention to consume their unfortunate prey.

    Now let’s ask the question, If a Darwinist came upon this bacterium with the novel molecular machine in the wild, would that machine be attributed to design or to natural selection? When I presented this example to David Sloan Wilson at a conference at MIT two years ago, he shrugged it off and remarked that natural selection created us and so by extension also created my novel molecular machine. But of course this argument won’t wash since the issue is whether natural selection could indeed create us. What’s more, if Darwinists came upon my invention of a novel molecular machine inserted into a bacterium that allows it to feed on other bacteria, they wouldn’t look to design but would reflexively turn to natural selection. But, if we go with the story, I designed the bacterial stinger and natural selection had nothing to do with it. Moreover, intelligent design would confirm the stinger’s design whereas Darwinism never could. It follows that a design-theoretic framework could account for biological facts that would forever remain invisible within a Darwinian framework. It seems to me that this possibility constitutes a joint test of Darwinism and intelligent design that strongly supports intelligent design — if not as the truth then certainly as a live possible theoretical option that must not be precluded for a priori philosophical reasons like naturalism.
    – Dembski, Is Intelligent Design Testable?

  11. 11
    william spearshake says:

    Barry, two OPs about me in two days. I should be flattered.

    If ID was proposing the designer to be a physical being with high technology (not a god), as you propose in your OP, then that would be a step forward. We could look for evidence, test it, make predictions, etc. Although I find this scenario to be highly unlikely, it is totally consistent with a materialist “philosophy”.

    But ID proponents keep telling me that the nature of the designer is beyond our understanding. And, as far as I am aware, the only being of which we are repeatedly told is beyond our understanding is god. So, all of these ID proponents have presumably decided that god is the designer.

    Finally, let’s take a look at your lame (inane?) attempt to define my contradictory beliefs.

    In summary, materialists like william hold two contradictory beliefs:
    1. Blind unguided natural forces are completely sufficient to account for life.
    2. Any designer who tried to create life must be supernatural.”

    Once again you are ASSuming that you know what my views are. The first one is essentially correct. I think that natural forces are sufficient to explain the diversity of life on earth after life first arose. A small distinction, but a critical one. With regard to the origin of life, I have no idea. I suspect that it arose naturally on earth, but this is just speculation.

    Your second point is hardly worth discussing because it is false. I have never said that only a supernatural being could create life. I have only said that I have never heard an ID proponent propose any means that did not involve the supernatural. But thank you for providing your belief that the designer is a physical being of high technology. I wrongly assumed that you believed that the designer is the Judeo-Christian god. And I do apologize for jumping to that conclusion. I also look forward to your future OPs presenting how you perceive the physical nature of the designer. They will certainly be worth reading.

    To summarize, Barry claims that there is a contradiction between two materialist beliefs, beliefs that he detailed above. However, since the second belief provided by Barry does not even remotely represent the view of a materialist, the logic of his argument crashes and burns. And no antimatter was needed.

  12. 12
    william spearshake says:

    CalvinsBulldog, thank you for your support. You are correct in that you and I probably would not agree on much, but those are discussions for another day. But, as a YEC you are being completely honest about what you believe the nature of the designer to be. And because of that, your theory can be fairly and honestly discussed.

    But for a significant portion of the ID crowd, discussing the nature of the designer is a forbidden topic. I would suggest why I think this is the case but I am sure that I would be accused of being uncharitable. So, rather than be uncharitable, I invite Barry or any others explain to me why the nature of the designer is a forbidden topic.

  13. 13
    Mark Frank says:

    There is no contradiction. As a materialist I believe life began without supernatural intervention. That doesn’t mean it could be designed without supernatural intervention. In fact that is one of the reasons I don’t believe it was designed. I imagine WS has similar thouhts.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    CB: I suggest that the issue here is inferring design in THIS case before us on the relevant empirical evidence before us. That the PC I am using shows FSCO/ and is recognisable as designed does not commit me to an infinite regress of causes. Nor does the inference on sign demand any more than that a designer is possible. KF

  15. 15
    Joe says:

    Mark Frank:

    As a materialist I believe life began without supernatural intervention.

    ID doesn’t require the supernatural.

  16. 16
    Joe says:

    william spearshake- The nature of the designer or designers is a separate question. We do NOT have to know the nature of the designer before we can determine design and then study it.

    The designer is NOT forbidden. ID is not about the designer

  17. 17
    Eric Anderson says:

    Barry, good job highlighting the disconnect between the assertion that plain ol’ natural processes can do it, but intelligent beings can only do it if they are supernatural. Excellent point.

  18. 18
    Joe says:

    Who designed the designer?:

    Critics of intelligent design theory often throw this question out thinking to highlight a weakness in ID. Richards shows that the theory’s inability to identify the designer is not a weakness, but a strength. ID does not identify the designer is because ID limits its claims to those which can be established by empirical evidence. As CSC Senior Fellow Dr. Michael Behe puts it: ” [A] scientific argument for design in biology does not reach that far. Thus while I argue for design, the question of the identity of the designer is left open.”

    (only that which had a beginning requires a cause)

  19. 19
    Eric Anderson says:

    Mark Frank @13:

    Can designers not rely partly on natural processes? Of course they do — all the time. Indeed, they rely on natural processes doing what they do when they make their designs. Chemistry and physics hard at work through and through.

    What you are saying is that:

    (i) capability X can perform the task;

    (ii) capability X + capability Y cannot perform the task.

    It doesn’t follow and it doesn’t make any sense.

    Or perhaps you are asserting that designers do not make use of natural processes? That design occurs in a vacuum outside of chemistry and physics? Or perhaps you are asserting that — contrary to all evidence — natural processes are more capable of producing things like code, semiotic systems, complex functional machines, etc.?

    There seems to be some serious cognitive dissonance going on.

  20. 20
    Eric Anderson says:

    Joe @18:

    Absolutely it is a strength of the theory. Or perhaps better said, the careful adherence to what ID can say — without going beyond what it can say — is a strength when debating or explaining the theory.

    ID opponents have a serious mental block on this issue. They are adamant that ID proponents identify the designer. They insist that ID must be a theory of everything, even though we keep telling them that ID addresses a very focused and limited question and has never claimed to be a theory of everything.

    ID opponents insist that ID must be a theory of everything in order to compete with their theory of everything. Materialists have a very definite theory of everything: particles bumping into each other. That’s it; that’s their ultimate explanation for everything. No matter the lack of evidence, they have a theory that explains it all. So they insist that anyone who challenges that simplistic theory must also have a theory that explains everything.

    Furthermore, they have been brainwashed for years by folks like the NCSE that all critics of materialistic evolution are undercover creationists who are hiding their religious motives. So ID opponents are sure, just sure, that they will uncover those hidden motives if they keep digging long enough. The unfortunate side effect of this deep brainwashing is that even if you give them a straight answer and let them know what ID says, what it doesn’t say, and why the identity of the designer is not part of ID proper, rather than taking your answer in good faith, they just see it as another confirmation of their conspiracy complex: “See how sneaky those creationists are to hide their motives — just like the NCSE has been telling me!”

  21. 21
    ppolish says:

    Life designed & created by Man is now on The Tree of Life.
    http://synthetickingdom.wordpr.....e-of-life/

    Isn’t this an example of ID? Isn’t this proof of
    ID? Yes & Yes. After all, Man is Natural.

    Darwin mistakenly intuited Natural Selection when he observed Artificial Selection. He should have intuited Natural Design,

    Woulda/Coulda/Shoulda. Oh well, Science is self correcting.

  22. 22
    Sebestyen says:

    If one would find an old temple in some remote areas of the south american djungle, there wouldn’t be a shadow of a doubt it was designed and built by intelligent beings, regardless if it could ever be determined who or what they were.

    It would of course be interesting to know to achieve a deeper understanding but it would be completely meaningless to the question if the temple was built or came into existence by natural causes (should anyone dare to come up with such a ludicrous idea).

    Same applies to the origin of life debate. The nature of the designer is completely irrelevant to the question if life was designed/created or came into existence by chemical/physical processes, but knowing this would certainly lead to a deeper understanding.
    But why should ID bring the discussion about the designer to the table when its very basic ideas are under dispute. It would be like building a house and starting from the roof.

    Sebestyen

  23. 23
    william spearshake says:

    But why should ID bring the discussion about the designer to the table when its very basic ideas are under dispute. It would be like building a house and starting from the roof.”

    No, it would be like building a house and starting from the foundation. Aren’t metaphors wonderful when you know how to use them?

  24. 24
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WS

    I think that natural forces are sufficient to explain the diversity of life on earth after life first arose. A small distinction, but a critical one. With regard to the origin of life, I have no idea. I suspect that it arose naturally on earth, but this is just speculation.

    I hope you’re open to the possibility that the first life on earth was intelligently designed.

    Biologists are free to talk about evolution and avoid the problem of origin of life. Is that dishonest?

    Whether ID proponents believe that God is the designer or some other intelligent agent, this has nothing to do with the proposal that there is evidence of intelligent design in nature.

    Even if ID organizations were dishonest or covertly filled with creationists or had a political agenda – none of this has anything to do with ID’s scientific proposal.

  25. 25
    Sebestyen says:

    Well, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion but you should bring a little more to the table if you want to be taken seriously.
    Why don’t you explain why you think the nature of a designer is of any relevance to the question if something is designed/built or not?

    Sebestyen

  26. 26
    william spearshake says:

    SA, I am open to the idea of design at all stages. But I haven’t seen any evidence of it. It would help greatly if ID would hypothesize the nature of the designer. But they won’t.

    ID, as it is currently being presented, is not about the identification of design. It is about the identification of perceived design. As such, it is a dead end. Little more than a religious claim. However, if you hypothesize a designer (supernatural, outside our dimension, a physical being, Santa, it doesn’t matter) you can proceed to test it appropriately. If the hypothesis does not match the evidence, you modify the evidence and repeat.

    Why is ID so paranoid about making that initial hypothesis?

  27. 27
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mark Frank @ 13:

    There is no contradiction. As a materialist I believe life began without supernatural intervention. That doesn’t mean it could be designed without supernatural intervention. In fact that is one of the reasons I don’t believe it was designed. I imagine WS has similar thoughts.

    Mark, what law of physics or chemistry do you believe a designer would need to break/suspend (i.e., what miracle is necessary) in order to create life?

  28. 28
    ppolish says:

    On Holding Utterly Contradictory Ideas in Your Head:

    1) Man is completely Natural.
    2) Her intelligent designs are Unnatural.

  29. 29
    william spearshake says:

    Barry: “Mark, what law of physics or chemistry do you believe a designer would need to break/suspend (i.e., what miracle is necessary) in order to create life?”

    I can’t speak for Mark, but if the designer is physical as well, none. Is that what you are proposing? If so, you have hypothesized the nature of the designer which means that the designer is not beyond our understanding.

    If you are suggesting that the designer is not physical, but still bound by physical laws (which I can’t perceive how) then it is still consistent with materialist philosophy. Which can also be the ID hypothesis if you would like.

    But if you are talking about a designer who is not bound by physical laws, then you are talking about supernatural (magic, if you will). In other words, religious dogma. But we have already been down this road.

  30. 30
    Mark Frank says:

    Eric A #19

    BA #27

    It is not a question of breaking laws of nature or the capabilities of a natural designer. It is a lack of evidence for any plausible natural designer during most of the time life on earth evolved.

    Or do you have some candidates?

  31. 31
    Barry Arrington says:

    WS @ 11: I assume you have read this post because you commented on it.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....yet-again/

    So you now know that most of what you say about my views in comment 11 are false.

    WS @ 12:

    I invite Barry or any others explain to me why the nature of the designer is a forbidden topic.

    In the post linked above I provide a detailed explanation of this topic.

  32. 32
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mark Frank @ 30. Your answer does not address, much less respond to, the question that I asked. Let’s go back. You said this:

    There is no contradiction. As a materialist I believe life began without supernatural intervention. That doesn’t mean it could be designed without supernatural intervention. In fact that is one of the reasons I don’t believe it was designed. I imagine WS has similar thoughts.

    I interpret your comment to mean that if life was designed, it could not possibly have been designed without supernatural intervention. It follows from that proposition that you believe that if life was designed, the designer would have had to supernaturally break/suspend some law of physics and/or chemistry in order to create life. So I asked this:

    Mark, what law of physics or chemistry do you believe a designer would need to break/suspend (i.e., what miracle is necessary) in order to create life?

    In comment 30 you said:

    It is not a question of breaking laws of nature or the capabilities of a natural designer. It is a lack of evidence for any plausible natural designer during most of the time life on earth evolved. Or do you have some candidates?

    Well, no, it is a matter of breaking the laws of nature. You are the one who implied that any designer would have to break a law of nature. And I was merely asking you which one. I hope you understand my question now.

    BTW, if the answer is “if life were designed the designer would not need to break any law of chemistry or physics,” that is a perfectly acceptable response. But then I would want to know how you could square that with your original comment.

  33. 33
    ppolish says:

    Mark, man is one example of a natural designer.

    A pond and a petri dish are equally natural are they not?

  34. 34
    Barry Arrington says:

    WS @ 29. You seem to be struggling with whether ID can be consistent with materialist philosophy. Actually, at the biological level it can, as I explained here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....al-causes/

  35. 35
    william spearshake says:

    Barry: “So you now know that most of what you say about my views in comment 11 are false.”

    I guess that sarcasm is lost on you. Yes, I know that the part of you believe in a physical designer was false. As was my apology for assuming that you believed that the designer is a god. Fortunately, nobody (other than maybe you) thought I was serious.

    But the part about you putting words in my mouth and making unsubstantiated claims about what I and other materialists believe in order for you to formulate an obviously false contradiction to demonstrate superiority; absolutely, obviously, objectively and verifiably true.

  36. 36
    william spearshake says:

    William Spearshake, AKA Acrtia_Bogart, is no longer with us,

    UD Editors: We did not write this; WS did. He was not banned. We assume that he could no longer deal with the dissonance of having to commit and then defend so much error in order to prop up his world view. We will miss him. As we said in one of our posts, he certainly provided us with a rich vein of materialist error to mine.

  37. 37
    Mark Frank says:

    BA I think this is a simple misunderstanding. I don’t think it is logically or metaphysically impossible for a natural designer to create life; but there are all sorts of problems with whether it is physically possible given what we know about the history of the earth and life. I think this may be what WS was getting at. In the absence of a plausible natural designer then you have to assume a supernatural designer.

  38. 38
    Barry Arrington says:

    Fair enough Mark. But I hope you will understand when an ID proponent metaphorically slaps his forehead when a materialist says “Not only is at all nothing but physics and chemistry, but also blind unguided natural forces that cannot plan or have a distant goal in mind can put it all together. But there are all sorts of problems with whether it is physically possible for even a highly advanced intelligent designer using super-sophisticated technology to do it given what we know about the history of the earth and life.” The two statements seem contradictory to me.

  39. 39
    StephenB says:

    William Spearshake:

    But for a significant portion of the ID crowd, discussing the nature of the designer is a forbidden topic. I would suggest why I think this is the case but I am sure that I would be accused of being uncharitable. So, rather than be uncharitable, I invite Barry or any others explain to me why the nature of the designer is a forbidden topic.

    The nature of the designer is not a forbidden topic. It is an irrelevant topic. Design detection technology is not equipped to answer that question. Will someone please tell me why materialists cannot grasp that point.

  40. 40
    Daniel King says:

    William Spearshake, AKA Acrtia_Bogart, is no longer with us,

    UD Editors: We did not write this; WS did. He was not banned. We assume that he could no longer deal with the dissonance of having to commit and then defend so much error in order to prop up his world view. We will miss him. As we said in one of our posts, he certainly provided us with a rich vein of materialist error to mine.

    This is bogus. WS would not have shouted like this.

    Is it unreasonable to ask for <b?EVIDENCE that William Spearshake actually posted this?

  41. 41
    ppolish says:

    Maybe Bogart the cat jumped up on the table and typed it randomly? Heck, it is only one sentence amongst the trillions of keystrokes today. It’s possible. Not impossible.

  42. 42
    Mung says:

    DK: “Is it unreasonable to ask for EVIDENCE that William Spearshake actually posted this?”

    YES. IT IS UNREASONABLE!

  43. 43
    Barry Arrington says:

    Wow Daniel. What evidence would satisfy you? Would you like for me to try to find out who WS really is, fly to his home, have him sign a notarized affidavit attesting to the authenticity of the first line of comment 36 and publish same in the local newspaper of record once a week for four consecutive weeks. Just say the word and I’ll jump right on that.

  44. 44
    Querius says:

    Heh. I bet when Acartia_bogart AKA William Spearshake gets bored, he’ll come back as someone else.

    a. He’ll be back as Darles Charwin.
    b. He’ll return as suireuQ or gnuB
    c. He’s already back as Daniel King. lol

    -Q

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    UD Editors: Thanks for the needed clarification, which gives telling context. KF

  46. 46
    Daniel King says:

    Wow Daniel. What evidence would satisfy you? Would you like for me to try to find out who WS really is, fly to his home, have him sign a notarized affidavit attesting to the authenticity of the first line of comment 36 and publish same in the local newspaper of record once a week for four consecutive weeks. Just say the word and I’ll jump right on that.

    Wow, Barry, there’s no need to go to such wild extremes (although I would be amused to see it).

    Correct me if I’m mistaken, but I believe you have email addresses of everyone who has a UD account. (You emailed me once thinking that I was someone else.)

    Just email Acartia_bogart/William Spearshake and ask him to confirm his decision to leave your premises in a farewell post.

    He was an excellent foil for you and vice versa. I think I am not the only one who will miss him.

  47. 47
    Joe says:

    Mark Frank:

    In the absence of a plausible natural designer then you have to assume a supernatural designer.

    Or a pre-natural designer. Or non-natural designer.

  48. 48
    Joe says:

    ws:

    ID, as it is currently being presented, is not about the identification of design.

    Yes, it is. That is if you actually read what IDists have written about it.

    And no, science does not require a hypothesis about the intelligent designer. We infer there was an intelligent designer by the sheer volume of traces of intelligent activity that was left behind.

  49. 49
    Silver Asiatic says:

    ID, as it is currently being presented, is not about the identification of design. It is about the identification of perceived design.

    Evolution is not about actual change of species from a common ancestor but about the identification of perceived change.

    We observe ‘perceived design’. We look for a cause. Two options: Chance/blind-mechanism or intelligent design.

    We know chance/mechanism cannot produce the perceived design.
    We know that intelligence can produce it.

    Intelligence is the most reasonable explanation.

    I guess that is impossible for some people to understand. ???

  50. 50
    Axel says:

    Am I the only one who sees this thread as a means of catharsis, where IDers, just for a brief hour of heavenly release, let it all hang out?!

    After all, the main contributor to satire is the subject of it, and if that subject manifests insanity for too long, the sane must vent their frustration in satirical humour or lose their own minds.

    My late, great brother served in the navy on submarines, and he said that after they had been at sea for more than certain time, everyone, including the officers, had to sing a song for the entertainment of the rest of the crew. Apparently, they call it, a Sods’ Opera! I suspect that’s what this has been (in a manner of speaking(!))

    And shortly, it will be back to the drawing-board with these leading lights reverting to the role of remedial teachers of mentally defective children, very patiently arguing against the endlessly incoherent prevarications of fatuously impervious minds. While the rest of us hunker down, sniggering at the sight of some great minds being jerked around again by a band of hapless numpties.

  51. 51
    Barry Arrington says:

    Daniel King @ 46.

    And how would an email to me satisfy you? If I posted it, would you not demand evidence that the email was really from WS? I could get another email attesting to that one, and then we would have a regress. It matters to me not one wit that you are incredulous about the provenance of WS’s farewell post. Ta

  52. 52
    Daniel King says:

    It matters to me not one wit that you are incredulous about the provenance of WS’s farewell post.

    That’s a relief. No need to get all hot and bothered about a simple request for some evidence, which I made because the manner in which the news came in comment 36 was unusual, don’t you agree?

    I’ll still miss him/her, though.

  53. 53
    Barry Arrington says:

    DK: “No need to get all hot and bothered about a simple request for some evidence . . .”

    Do you seriously not understand that implicit in your request was the suggestion that I was lying? OK. I will take your word for it.

  54. 54
    Daniel King says:

    Barry A:

    Do you seriously not understand that implicit in your request was the suggestion that I was lying?

    Indeed, I do understand that I questioned your veracity.
    People question other peoples’ veracity all the time, without the questioned person having a fit about it. Why are you so obsessed with establishing your honesty with disparagement of the questioner?

    Once again I say: Comment 36 is STRANGE, and calls for an explanation. Instead of gloating about Acartia_bogart/William Spearshake’s abdication, as if you’d won some kind of victory,

    We will miss him. As we said in one of our posts, he certainly provided us with a rich vein of materialist error to mine.

    you might have questioned his motives directly. You have his email address, but apparently insufficient curiosity to pursue the matter.

    Instead of encouraging challengers of ID to participate here in the interest of fruitful debate, in this instance you seemed relieved to have one of your recent perceptive critics out of your hair. Does UD welcome criticism and are its stalwarts prepared to defend its ideas? Or is it your ambition to run a self-contratulatory echo chamber ad infinitum?

  55. 55
    Barry Arrington says:

    DK @ 54:

    Or is it your ambition to run a self-contratulatory echo chamber ad infinitum?

    Said a voracious critic who posted his first comment nearly eight years ago on December 16, 2006 and has posted literally hundreds of comments hammering away at us without interruption since then.

    DK, when you have to make up lies to fit your paradigm, you really should consider abandoning your paradigm. Just saying.

  56. 56
    Joe says:

    Criticism is always welcome as long as it is informed. We are more than ready willing and able to support our ideas. And it is more than obvious that our “critics” are not able to support anything and can only flail away.

  57. 57
    Barry Arrington says:

    DK @ 54:

    People question other peoples’ veracity all the time, without the questioned person having a fit about it.

    You don’t really think that people don’t usually have an adverse reaction to being called a liar. Another lie in your comment 54 on top of the one I have already identified. Again, when you have to lie to prop up your side, you really ought to consider changing side.

  58. 58
    Barry Arrington says:

    BK @ 36:

    We will miss him. As we said in one of our posts, he certainly provided us with a rich vein of materialist error to mine.

    DK @ 54:

    in this instance you seemed relieved to have one of your recent perceptive critics out of your hair.

    Saying I will miss him makes it seem to you like I am glad he is gone? Lie # 3 in one comment. DK, you are on a roll.

  59. 59
    Daniel King says:

    Barry:

    Said a voracious critic who posted his first comment nearly eight years ago on December 16, 2006 and has been hammering away at us without interruption since then.

    You have a dossier on me! Thank you. That’s more than kind.

    And I’m “voracious.” I thought that my rare and sporadic objections to the silliness repeatedly on display here were beneath notice. But Barry has been surveilling my voraciousness since 2006!

    DK, when you have to make up lies to fit your paradigm, you really should consider abandoning your paradigm. Just saying.

    Folks, did you catch that not too subtle maneuver? Barry took extreme umbrage when I questioned his veracity on a specific point, so now he taunts me to over-react similarly to a vague accusation of lying. Bring on that list of my “lies.” Let’s see that dossier.

  60. 60
    Daniel King says:

    Saying I will miss him makes it seem to you like I am glad he is gone? Lie # 3 in one comment. DK, you are on a roll.

    I voiced an opinion based on what Barry wrote:

    We will miss him. As we said in one of our posts, he certainly provided us with a rich vein of materialist error to mine.

    and he calls that a “lie.” Barry, have you no decency?

  61. 61
    StephenB says:

    Daniel King

    Barry, have you no decency?

    Since DK keeps pushing it, it think we should revisit the events as they happened.

    BA says that he will miss William Spearshake and the opportunity to expose his errors.

    DK challenges Barry’s honesty and insinuates that he has other motives [*false charge #1]

    Barry takes umbrage

    DK shrugs it off by saying the people challenge other people’s honesty all the time.

    Barry points out that no one likes to be called a liar

    DK repeats the charge without a shred of evidence (It “seems” as if Barry was glad to “get WS out of his hair.”) [*False charge #2]

    DK implies that Barry want to preside over a self-congratulatory echo chamber. [*False charge #3]

    Barry issues a reminder that DK has been posting his objections here for nine years without interference.
    DK ignores the refutation and characterizes Barry’s allusion to the written record as an indicator that Barry has been “surveilling” his activities. [*False charge #4]

    Barry calls attention to DK’s false charges.

    DK takes umbrage, arguing that what he did was no different than what Barry did. [*false charge #5]

  62. 62
    RexTugwell says:

    BA states that WS was not banned but left on his own. So let’s hear from Mr. Spearshake. If he responds then BA didn’t lie. If all we hear are crickets, then WS has proven to us he dispatched himself.

  63. 63
    StephenB says:

    It is uncharitable to suggest that Barry may not be telling the truth, especially when there is no reason to believe it. To suggest that we should withhold judgment on the matter until an unfriendly adversary comes forward as a friendly witness is add outrage on top of outrage.

  64. 64
    RexTugwell says:

    @StephenB
    I’m not sure if you’re addressing me or not. I have belived Mr. Arrington all along. I was just pointing out William’s Catch 22 he put himself in. Cheers.

  65. 65
    StephenB says:

    Rex, thanks for the clarification. Clearly, I misunderstood. Sorry.

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