First, Larry said:

…the right people hate Idiots…Wells makes a virtue out of lying for Jesus…He should be an embarrassment to the intelligent design creationist cult except that the members of that cult are all incapable of separating fact from fiction when it comes to science…When I first saw the Wells article I seriously wondered whether Jonathan Wells was mentally stable…


Then, Michael Egnor said:

Dr. Moran has a low view of people who question his evolutionary views from the perspective of design.

Larry had previously said:

Flunk the IDiots…40% of the freshman class [at UCSD] reject Darwinism… the university has become alarmed at the stupidity of its freshman class and has offered remedial instruction for those who believe in Intelligent Design Creationism…UCSD should not have required their uneducated students to attend remedial classes. Instead, they should never have admitted them in the first place…[T]he University should just flunk the lot of them and make room for smart students who have a chance of benefiting from a high quality education.

And so on and so forth.

There is a developing tradition of evolutionary biologists not linking to the Discovery Institute site (for ethical reasons) and I’m going along with that, so you’ll have to find the link to the DI site on your own. I suggest looking up “Michael Egnor” on Google.

In fact, I’ll save you the trouble. Here’s a Google Search for “Michael Engore.”

Here’s a link to Larry’s site, Sandwalk.

Comments

  1. #1 Scott Belyea
    March 17, 2008

    There is a developing tradition of evolutionary biologists not linking to the Discovery Institute site (for ethical reasons)

    Petty. The only result is to cause readers more work to follow up on things. Bleat ethics all you want, it’s simply petty. A standard disclaimer about the DI would accomplish more and not inconvenience readers.

    “No, you can’t take the shortcut through my yard … you’ll have to go back out to the street and around the block.”

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    March 17, 2008

    Scott: Hearing the word “bleat” from you makes me laugh!

  3. #3 oldcola
    March 17, 2008

    Well, an alternative to the ‘missing links’ is to use the rel=”nofollow” microformat tag.

    Direct link for your readers, no consideration for the linked page by search engines.

    Am I talking to the right geek to see the word spread all over scienceblogs? And the world? Or the universe?

  4. #4 Orac
    March 17, 2008

    Petty. The only result is to cause readers more work to follow up on things. Bleat ethics all you want, it’s simply petty. A standard disclaimer about the DI would accomplish more and not inconvenience readers.

    I tend to agree. I link to the site when necessary, but usually either through TinyURL, which prevents Google and Technorati from seeing the link and using it to increase the site’s ranking, or using the rel=”nofollow” in the link. As for any traffic that I send their way, I consider it increasing their expenses by chewing up their bandwith with traffic mostly from people more inclined to mock them than be positively influenced by them.

  5. #5 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 17, 2008

    I’m growing deeply concerned about this refusal to link. Generally, this is a sign of people being on the wrong side of things. For example, many young earth creationists bash TOA and don’t link to it. In contrast TOA does link to them. Similarly with scientology, the anti-scientologists seem to be generally more willing to link.

    I understand the concerns about google ranking and the concern that the DI and UD will modify or remove pages. The solution to this is to a) always download a copy of the page if you are going to reference it and b) as Orac said use a tinyurl or a nofollow tag if you don’t like the google bounce. What is worse if the DI takes something down, people who are googling for it and can’t find it won’t realize necessarily that it got taken down, while a direct that no longer works more likely alert them to what happened.

    At minimum, if you are going to do this you should attach a longer explanation about their history of modifying statements and throwing things into the memory hole, with links to some of the more blatant examples. But overall, it makes much more sense to just take the highground and link.

  6. #6 Dan
    March 17, 2008

    At minimum, if you are going to do this you should attach a longer explanation about their history of modifying statements and throwing things into the memory hole, with links to some of the more blatant examples.

    Ahem – helloo? Greg already did this.

    Whether it’s petty or not, I tend to discount the arguments of anyone citing the Discovery Institute (or ARN, AiG, etc.) as being functionally illiterate when it comes to science, and I tell them so. That’s not petty – it’s just honest.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    March 17, 2008

    Tiny URL is a good idea, worth considering, but my main concern is not the value of the link to the site, but rather, the little piece of my own integrity that goes away when I point someone towards a site like this.

    I am not hiding from you what you need to know. If I write a paper and refer to a paper therein, am I then expected to wait around for you to request the paper and then go to the library and get it for you? Don’t hold your breath!

    I understand that the internet is different, but in this case, let’s just say that I have indicated where this blog post is (the DI web site) and who wrote it (M. Egnore). That’s all you get.

    I don’t like not linking, and I agree with the sentiment many of you are expressing. I have chosen to feel less smarmy by not linking to them. The DI is a fake evolution site. I have a real problem linking to a fake evolution site. That might be petty, but actually doing, linking to them, is worse.

  8. #8 RBH
    March 17, 2008

    The Discovery Institute is Beating Up Larry Moran

    might better be phrased as “Disco Dancers nip at Larry Moran’s ankles.”

  9. #9 Hank
    March 17, 2008

    Linking the DI website is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    March 17, 2008

    I know it is wrong to not link. But think of it as a form of civil disobedience. Or perhaps Blogal Disobedience.

  11. #11 Elf Eye
    March 17, 2008

    In my course on research methods, when my students evaluate a website, one of the things they look for is whether or not the site offers links to relevant sites even when those sites do not support the position of the originating site. In a discussion of the behavior of the Discovery Institute, it would seem that the Discovery Institute itself is a relevant site. So I would agree with those who suggest linking.

  12. #12 Dan
    March 17, 2008

    I know it is wrong to not link. But think of it as a form of civil disobedience.

    No! Greg – don’t take back your earlier comment, it was so spot-on. You said:

    I am not hiding from you what you need to know… let’s just say that I have indicated where this blog post is (the DI web site) and who wrote it (M. Egnore). That’s all you get.

    Indeed, you weren’t hiding anything, and you aren’t obligated to do Egnor or the DI the courtesy of linking to them. Anyone with half a brain can fine the article that you’re referring to without the use of a hyperlink.

  13. #13 Elizabeth
    March 17, 2008

    Right on, Dan!

  14. #14 B8ovin
    March 17, 2008

    Really? That many comments about linking? And it’s not really about linking or not linking it’s about stating you’re linking or not. If you just don’t link there is no true moral statement. So the arguments are based on saying you’re NOT linking. And what does it really matter? If you can do the work on your own in a moment’s time why should you care? On the other hand, there is a certain amount of intellectual credibility in linking to sites with different (if not completely intellectual bankrupt) views.

    And now, dammit, I’ve hypocritically added to the number of linking-related comments I condemn. My feeling is this is Greg’s blog and he can do whatever the hell he feels like doing, and this is not an issue that requires a great deal of hand-wringing.

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