Adminstrative Off Topic

(Off Topic) Reasonable Expectations

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I’m a bit aghast that some people here and elsewhere are offended that I will moderate commenters based on their behavior outside the Uncommon Descent blog.

To wit, a number of commenters that have appeared here recently, while behaving reasonably here, are elsewhere gratuitously bashing Uncommon Descent, its founder Professor Dembski, Intelligent Design, and other sundry aspersions cast our way. Then these ill mannered children whose parents obviously were negligent in instilling basic manners into them are offended when I discover their extra-curricular activities and invite them to leave Uncommon Descent.

In my opinion this is like someone in the real world that talks behind your back and then expects you to invite them into your home like cherished friends. I can’t imagine that upon being disinvited for this they would come to you and say “But I never said any bad things to your face! Why are you treating me this way?”

Goodness gracious. Do we really have to refer this to Miss Manners for a definitive judgement? I think not.

25 Replies to “(Off Topic) Reasonable Expectations

  1. 1
    woctor says:

    The last comment I posted (on a different thread) seems to have fallen victim to another “server glitch”, but I’ll try again anyway.

    DaveScot writes:
    “In my opinion this is like someone in the real world that talks behind your back and then expects you to invite them into your home like cherished friends. I can’t imagine that upon being disinvited for this they would come to you and say “But I never said any bad things to your face! Why are you treating me this way?””

    Dave’s comment is all the more amusing when you consider that he complains about not being allowed to comment at Panda’s Thumb, despite having threatened everyone there (comment disemvoweled by PT administrators):

    Date: 2005-04-02 21:30:20
    Author: DaveScot
    H fckng sshls. plgz t Dvsn NW bfr gt pssd ff nd strt fckng wth . dn’t wnt t mk m md. Trst m n ths. r scrt scks bg tm.

    Nice double standard, Dave.

  2. 2
    Thunar says:

    I don’t know Dave. From my point of view (not that it matters to you, I am sure) you have been fairly playing the tyrant here. Although, and I have not read all new threads, but it appears as if you are more descent the last few days. Running a blog like this is a big responsibility, towards those people that agree with your view and towards those people that disagree. This blog is open to critics, else it would be cult club?

    You once again get personal by comments like “Then these ill mannered children whose parents obviously were negligent in instilling basic manners into them”. Insulting peoples parents. It does not do any good and will not make people respond in a respectful manner on this blog. Why don’t you be the example, it is sort of, your responsibility. Maybe that’s why ID people and EVO people have been hostile towards you. If it was just the PT people, then you could have said they are biased, but… remember people differ, and we all have a right to our opinions. That’s what any conversation is about, and it makes life interesting.

    I am sure you will handle this whole thing in the most humane way, as is expected of you as the moderator of this blog.

  3. 3
    DaveScot says:


    No one has ever said this blog is open to all critics. Wherever did you get that idea? Dembski said at the beginning it was moderated and he’d allow thoughtful criticism that he hadn’t heard before. He said if he found you boring you’d get the axe and he was making up the rules as he went along. I believe I’m carrying on in the same moderation style as best I can but devoting more time to it than he had available. So instead of swinging the axe ruthlessly in order to save time and maintain order I’m doing more micromanagement in an effort to not cull those who might turn out to be constructive contributors if given more chance and direction. This is resulting in some taking advantage of it – several commenters have been invited to leave only to return using a different name knowing they’ll get another chance that way. It also results in a higher profile for the moderation. In the past you didn’t see how many times Dembski swung the axe because many never got their first comment past him. I tend to let the first comment from a new user pass through unless it’s a gratuitous flame and then if they continue to comment with a chip on their shoulder do something about it then.

    The bottom line is this is a moderated blog. If you can’t deal with that, don’t let the door hit you on the tail on your way out.

  4. 4
    DaveScot says:


    I gave a little more thought to this tyrant image. I suppose that’s a fair characterization but from my POV it’s military management style. I spent four formative years of my youth serving in the United States Marine Corps and rose to the rank of sergeant. I believe in a chain of command and unquestioning loyalty to it. One follows the orders of those higher in the chain and gives orders to those lower in it. Mission objectives are given, rules of engagement are defined, then mission leaders take the initiative to get the job done. Bill offered me the job of blog czar and I accepted. I then received my marching orders and got on with it. Czar is hardly suggestive of democracy or gentle persuasion. If he wanted a czar that’s what he got. If not then I’m the wrong person for this position.

  5. 5
    Stephen Elliott says:

    I spent 24 years in the British army. What you are saying works well in a military environment. However it is totally irelevant to a scientific discussion.

  6. 6
    Stephen Elliott says:

    Sorry, not irelevant but wrong. You cannot reasonably come to a scientific PoV by following orders. If that was the case we would still be teaching that heavier objects fall faster and that the Sun orbits the Earth.

  7. 7
    physicist says:

    hi davescot

    have i been booted?

  8. 8
    physicist says:

    I’m not sure if I can still post here—sorry if the discussion was unsuited or boring. Sorry also if these eventually appear many times as I’m not sure whether it’s my connection.

    I just wanted to extend the discussion with PaV about P(T) in dembski’s law.

  9. 9
    DaveScot says:

    Thanks for your opinion Stephen but I regret to inform you that science isn’t accomplished on blogs. I’m trying to maintain order and provide a relatively safe haven for ID proponents. Academy types that oppose ID, virulently in many cases, vastly outnumber ID proponents.

    I had an idea the other day. How about if I allow ID critics named Steve to comment here and everyone else automatically gets the boot. According to scientists this is how to even out the odds. Call it my own little “Project Steve”.

    Now Stephen, shove off from this thread and let others have their say. You’ve had yours.

  10. 10
    DaveScot says:


    No you haven’t been booted. Are you feeling guilty about something?

  11. 11
    physicist says:

    no, i’m just having real trouble posting anything on to the nanometry thread.

  12. 12
    physicist says:

    oddly, enough, I can post here but am unable to post the comment i’ve written to PaV! It might be that it thinks I’ve posted this comment already, even though it got eaten. is the system that clever?

  13. 13
    Patrick says:

    Sorry, physicist, you were discussing probability you used words like “casino” and “craps” in your comments and the filter caught them.

  14. 14
    DaveScot says:

    Good catch, Patrick. I had a problem last week getting a comment through. I was using the word “diet” in it which was blacklisted in the spam filter. I had to change it to “meal plan”. It’s frustrating when you don’t know the blacklisted words and we can’t publish the blacklisted words lest the spammers change their spam to “meal plan” too.

    Sorry about that, physicist.

  15. 15
    physicist says:

    ah, many thanks. I never thought about spam-filtering!

    PaV, hopefully the analogy I’m making in that thread is clear enough—I think there are two posts on there now saying similar things. I’d be interested to know if I am thinking about P(T|H) in the right way.

    Cheers guys

  16. 16

    “In my opinion this is like someone in the real world that talks behind your back and then expects you to invite them into your home like cherished friends.”DS

    Maybe one shouldn’t make four spelling mistakes in a flame over spelling one word wrong, and then email them calling them a dipshit, saying that they reek, and look up information about them, and then try to lecture them on basic manners.

    What gets me is why Bill Dembski chose DaveScot, of all people, to manage his blog. There are several reasonable people that I have seen come here regularly, who share his views, but none of them have had such a history:

    I think I’m going to take a haitus for a while. Thank you to those who answered my questions thoughtfully. And thanks for the emails, Dave.

  17. 17
    Red Reader says:


    Keep up the good work.

    The criteria ought to be

    I’ve never seen anyone get booted for objections.

    I’ve seen people post claiming “I just need a little help understanding this. Could someone please help me?”, then proceed to object to every reasonable explanation.

    Close mindedness
    keiths (may he rest in peace) and his reincarnation as woctor is the best example of close mindedness.
    NOT ONE ARGUMENT, BIT OF EVIDENCE, REASON, LOGIC, OBSERVATION or OPINION can be offered without keiths, I mean woctor, offering an immediate and small-minded reactionary objection. It gets old, it get tiring and it starts to smell like left-out baloney.

    Maybe honesty and open-mindedness are all that are needed. I’ve never seen anyone who was dishonest and close minded exhibit the least bit of willingness to consider that ID might be a good theory.

    To my knowledge, this is the ONLY blog where someone who is thinks ID is a reasonable theory may post questions and make observations without fear of attack. For people who only want to attack ID and ID advocates, there are loads of blogs: go and have a field day. I personally don’t care what the evolutionists are saying to themselves.

    I want to know what people who see merit in the ID theory think.

    I don’t want to have to page down through woctor’s relentless obfuscation or the gripes and complaints of those who don’t like ID to begin with.

    Dave, I hope your foot evolves into a size 30 monster that boots these emergent atomic properties back into the primordial soup.

  18. 18
    Red Reader says:

    Having said all that, to show how predictable keiths, I mean woctor is, I will proceed to say what he would have said if I had not beat him to it here.

    1) Red showing dishonesty and he will make a case for that, then
    2) Red is close minded and he will make a case for that, then
    3) Red is unwilling and he will make a case for that.

  19. 19
    Thunar says:

    Red Reader. You accused me of dishonesty (on another thread) when I requested help in locating a certain article. ChaosEngineer then provided me with a related article about prairie voles. It was related to the topic of adultery. Who is being dishonest here? I think you are, for accusing me.

  20. 20
    Red Reader says:

    You may be right Thunar.
    I’ve been short-tempered lately, less than tolerant.
    I’ll try to be more courteous.


  21. 21
    John Davison says:

    A past Intelligent Design is neither a theory nor an hypothesis. It is a mandatory reality without which nothing in either ontogeny or phylogeny will ever make sense. It should never have been presented for debate. We all know what happens when things are introduced for debate. Debate teams spring up all over the place and nothing is ever resolved. Since chance never had anything to do with evolution and since evolution is no longer even detectable, there remains only one conceivable explanation. With the indispensable help of some of the finest minds of two centuries I have offered it in the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis. Show me a single significant evolutionary event that it cannot accommodate and then show me one that can be explained by chance. take your time. You are going to need it.

  22. 22
    avocationist says:

    Dave Scot,

    Did you take the vowels out of my latest post? If so why? Did you not realize it was meant as humor? If not, why did that happen? I understand what it means when you tell someone off, but why make a post unreadable yet leave it in? Are you persecuting me and if so why? If you want me to leave, why not say so? I asked you politely before and you haven’t answered. Usually you make comments but my posts you just delete.

    Did you not realize taking the vowels out of your comment was meant as humor?

  23. 23
    avocationist says:

    It was very much tongue-in-cheek – perhaps it came out too dry. If you think people might take it seriously, better delete it.

    I believe I did delete it after about 15 minutes. -ds

  24. 24
    russ says:

    I’m trying to blockquote

    Let’s see if this works.

  25. 25
    russ says:

    quote here

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