Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Okay, okay, I admit that it’s not sound sport to agitate such an obviously challenged cretin, but Dembski’s experiment with DaveScot as his “blog czar” – he’s actually signing his email that way, folks – just gets funnier and funnier. Yesterday he apparently lost his mind and put up a post declaring that he would henceforth be banning anyone who doubted common descent because only religious people doubt common descent and ID must adhere strictly to the scientific line to gain acceptance. The post was entitled “Framing the ID Debate Around Science” and said:

I will remind everyone again – please frame your arguments around science. If the ID movement doesn’t get the issue framed around science it’s going down and I do not like losing. The plain conclusion of scientific evidence supports descent with modification from a common ancestor. You are certainly welcome to have other opinions based on faith in something other than science but I’d ask that you go to a religious website with them if you must talk about it.

You certainly don’t have to agree here with descent with modification from a common ancestor but I’m going to start clamping down on anyone positively arguing against it. It’s simply counter-productive to our goals and reinforces the idea that ID is religion because nothing but religion argues against descent with modification from a common ancestor. What we are fighting is the idea that the modification was unguided. ID can fight that without ever leaving the battleground of plain scientific conclusions. If we try to argue against anything else we’re are (sic) going to lose. Plain and simple. No buts about it. There’s only one gaping vulnerability in the commonly accepted evolutionary narrative we can exploit successfully and that’s the bit about it being unplanned.


Needless to say, this prompted a flurry of responses from Dembski’s creationist fans, many of whom pointed out that this policy might well ban Dembski himself (he’s been quite non-committal about the subject of common descent), some of his other Junior Deputy Blog Czars like Bombadill, and certainly bans many of his fellow prominent ID advocates. Paul Nelson and Nancy Pearsey, both young earthers, would both be banned under this policy. Stephen Meyer most likely as well (his claims about the Cambrian explosion, if they aren’t aimed at the idea of common descent, are rendered fairly meaningless). it probably bans the DI’s boy wonder, Casey Luskin, as well.

The creationist blog Creation Bits quickly said that DaveScot is “destroying Dembski’s blog”. Josh Bozeman, aka jboze, a Dembski sycophant, put up a post at his blog saying that DaveScot had “actually lost his mind.” After less than 24 hours of the commenters venting their spleens at the Blog Czar, he did what what any good little Orwellian would do – he deleted the post. Gone, disappeared into thin air as though it never existed. Bozeman’s blog post disappeared too. Thankfully, Jack Krebs had saved the whole thread and you can see it here.

I’m guessing Papa Dembski had a few stern words for the Czar and pulled in the reins a bit. But for crying out loud, how long can he allow this to go on? This guy is absolutely embarrassing him. It’s become so ridiculous that you just can’t not watch. To use Bill Hicks’ analogy, it’s like a loose tooth, you can’t not touch it.

Oh, and Josh Rosenau has already posted about this and compared this demand to the list of pro-ID witnesses, which included most of the prominent ID advocates including Thaxton, Meyer, Wells and Behe, at the Kansas board of education hearings, nearly all of whom denied common descent.

Comments

  1. #1 Jason Spaceman
    February 1, 2006

    Does Behe deny common descent? I was always under the impression that he accepted it. Or has he changed his mind?

  2. #2 skipevans
    February 1, 2006

    And these are the people who are going to lead a revolution in science?

    A few years back someone told me that ID would go the same path as Creation Science, but now I don’t believe that to be the case.

    Creation Science, on its way to fringes, did not stop off in the Catskills for a season of Vaudeville.

    Hilarious!

  3. #3 Ginger Yellow
    February 1, 2006

    “It’s simply counter-productive to our goals and reinforces the idea that ID is religion because nothing but religion argues against descent with modification from a common ancestor. What we are fighting is the idea that the modification was unguided. ”

    Christ DaveScot is stupid. There needn’t be any religious implications to rejecting descent with modification. But you can only argue that guided modification isn’t religious if you posit an entirely new materialistic mechanism to create the designer/guider (evolution, perhaps?).

    “ID can fight that without ever leaving the battleground of plain scientific conclusions.”

    Nice slip there, Dave. We know that the IDists proceed from their conclusions, but you’re not supposed to admit it.

  4. #4 Ginger Yellow
    February 1, 2006

    From DaveScot’s comments in the saved thread:[quote]Evolution happened. Science will never admit anything different. Just ask Davison. Or just listen, you donít have to ask. Heís been a biology professor for 50 years. Heíll tell you evolution happened and that it was planned by an intelligence to happen the way it did. I couldnít agree more.[/quote]
    I guess they’ve kissed and made up after their little fight on Davison’s comedy blog.

  5. #5 Ed Darrell
    February 1, 2006

    The alternative, weekly newspaper in Seattle has an interesting article on Disco and ID today: http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/0605/discovery-darwin.php

  6. #6 microman
    February 1, 2006

    It is interesting that DaveScot got cranky when I suggested that Dembski’s comment that the Pegasus “missing link” could be found in the Monotremes (since they lay eggs, have a cloaca, and poison glands in a leg spur) was not valid since these features came from a reptilian common ancestor. So much for common descent.

  7. #7 Dave S.
    February 1, 2006

    Does Behe deny common descent? I was always under the impression that he accepted it. Or has he changed his mind?

    I think he’s a bit wishy-washy on it. He accepts it for more recent organisms (like human-ape) but is more doubtful the process is at work all the way back to the universal common ancestor (or pool of ancestors). IOW, he agress with a limited form of common descent, just not universal common descent. As I understand it. Check out Josh Rosenau’s site that Ed links to.

    Generally quesions like this and the age of the Earth are left as vague as possible to encourage everyone to stay under the one Big Top.

    This stuff is fabulous, absolute gold. If this DaveScot character didn’t exist we’d have to invent him. My theory (and I use that word in the common sence): He trying some kind of one man putsch to take over ID.

  8. #8 sdanielmorgan
    February 1, 2006

    This is hilarious. Especially in light of Meyers’ op-ed in the Dallas paper where he admitted ID [cannot and] does not challenge common descent. I had hoped this was just the evolution of creationism, but they may be trying to backpedal after seeing the response from their fundamentalist base.

  9. #9 Ocellated
    February 1, 2006

    I love it! Uncommon Descent has become on of my favorite blogs. Like When Animals Attack, I just can’t seem to look away.

    I’ve gotten into the habitat of saving pages when I’ve left comments or seen something juicy. You never know what’ll be there, one moment to the next.

    Here’s a DaveScot quote from UD that I predict might well disappear soon… (Save your copies now, while you still can.)

    Islam is a cancer growing on the planet. It needs to be killed not accomodated. Itís an ugly, dysfunctional belief system even in milder forms, that subjugates the female half of the population. However, since we canít just kill them all (we can kill the worst offenders though) we have to put a more attractive alternative in place. The more attractive alternative is democracy. Islam canít survive in democracies for long. It wonít go down without a fight so there must be some bloodshed before itís a closed chapter in history.

    (Red State Rabble pointed to this the other day…)

  10. #10 Leni
    February 1, 2006

    It’s too bad his little experiment didn’t work out.

    I suspect the outcome would have been 2 or 3 remaining posters and an an ID blog amusingly alienated from it’s nutjob base. That would have been fun to watch.

    We could have even placed a few bets about who got the Great Orwellian Axe. Oh well.

  11. #11 Dave S.
    February 1, 2006

    I would have liked to been a fly on the wall and seen the e-mail exchanges which surely occurred between Mssrs. Dembski and DaveScot.

    I’m sure there’s a few ‘true believers’ out there wondering that if ID is completely consistent with common descent (hey, we thought it was an alternative to Darwinism!), then what exactly is it good for anyway?

    Absolutely nuthin’.

  12. #12 cate
    February 1, 2006

    Let’s take the embattled Mr. Scot seriously for a sec. If he doesn’t want his reading audience to see the religious man behind the curtain, then Dembski’s uninterested in “preaching to the choir.”

    Given this worry, what is the best way for the anti-ID movement to capitalize on their Jesus-squemishness?

    As a suggestion, maybe we should get off the defensive and start swinging back by focusing on who the designer is.

    Or does this ignite more of a culture war, doing Karl Rove a favor?

    What do you think?

  13. #13 beervolcano
    February 5, 2006

    HAHAHA The name of the blog is UNCOMMONdescent!

    Oh the absurdity of it all.
    Way better than Monty Python!