Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Real Skepticism vs. Sham Skepticism


I appreciate emails like this by ID skeptics who are genuine in their skepticism and see through the sham skepticism of persons who may appropriately be described as secular fundamentalists:

Hi Dr. Dembski,

I emailed you a week or so ago re: Fisher and a possible orgin of alpha = .05.

I thought you might find this thread over at skepticforum.com funny.


I’m pretty skeptical of ID as a whole, but I enjoy discussions about such
things, and I tend to focus on the math involved as I’m not qualified to talk
about anything else (and even some of the math like measures etc. is well over
my head). Anyway, it seems everytime I try to start a civil post about the math
ideas contained in your papers or with ID in general, the personal insults
shortly follow and no discussion of the math follows. They simply refuse to
point to a specific line of math and discuss it rationally.

I was then basically accused of being a defender, a believer, a supporter,
engaging in wishful thinking, and a member of “xian circles”, whatever that
means. I’m not sure what an agnostic/deist/philosophical daoist would be doing
in a “xian circle” anyway, but those circles would probably be more welcoming
than the circle I started the thread in.

Recently I ‘bowed out’ of the discussion with

I’m not interested in emotional appeals and declarations that something is crap,
tripe, propaganda, etc.

I’m merely pointing out mathematical ideas contained in Dembski’s papers for
discussion, and I’m pretty confident that having a civil discussion about such
things contained in Dembski’s papers will not make life and society crumble.

Thought you might find the Internet drama amusing,


I am a skepticforum administrator. This seems a good opportunity to invite Dr. Dembski or any of the his blog readers to participate in a discussion at skepticforum. We can set up a moderated thread if needed, and make sure the discussion is both civil and illuminating. Anyone may register and www.skepticforum.com or e-mail me at skepticforum at gmail dot com with any questions. [I may have two or three hours I can devote next week. I'll let you know. --WmAD] Skepchick
Isn't this a little disingenuous? One should not color all skeptics with the same brush because one or two of posters on a message board choose to behave like children. [As I indicated, there are real skeptics and there are sham skeptics. I've dealt with lots of skeptics over the years -- some real, most sham. --WmAD] Pyrrho
True skepticism will eventually doubt its own conclusions. Qualiatative
Skeptism is great. The skeptism seems less genuine, however, when the people claiming to be intellectual, are so much more proficient with profanity than with truth. Charlie
From the link to the skeptic forum: Skeptic #1 (aka SkepticReport)
I'm much more interested in the consequences of the math being OK.
[Forget the presuppositions of materialism! All SkepticReport is concerned about is the implications if ID is actually correct.] Skeptic #2 (aka Graculus)
Well, the Designer must have been designed, too!
[Graculus needs to read Jay Richards post here.] Skeptic #3 (aka mikmik)
wouldn't even give this a second look, it is obviously designed to be obffuscatory and pedentic in nature.
[notice the spelling of obfuscatory and pedantic]
So I decided I better see who the hell Dembinski is.
[notice the spelling of Dembski :)] Qualiatative

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