Andrew, and Onlookers:
First, I notice indeed a surge in spam. While I cannot prove a link to his behaviour, I further observe that Hrafn shows not the slightest compunction about exposing me to potential damage on the Internet. He should be banned as he has nothing positive to contribute, and has now shown a plain track record of slander and worse.
More broadly, ID in the UK is intended to be a forum for engaging issues in a positive way linked to a rising but controversial paradigm in science. However, as too often occurs with such blogs, it has attracted a circle of ruthless, evolutionary materialism [and associated] agenda propagandists and enthusiasts. As I have taken time to show -- observe the silence on the thermodynamics/ information production from noise or natural regularities issues of the alleged chance + necessity-driven origins of life -- once someone seriously addressed it, and the similar silence now on the substantial issues in this thread-- many of these are simply spouting the mantras from the notorious sources of Darwinist propaganda, often in a slanderous, vicious fashion.
So, you have a choice: either let everything you have to say soon become just an occasion for extending the propaganda and agenda of the most ruthless evolutionary materialists and their fellow travellers, or exert serious discipline over commentary, once a commenter shows himself to be irresponsible.
Now, I will address a few points of substance, each as briefly as I reasonably and responsibly can [note: brief remarks are brushed aside, adduced facts are ignored, and responsible comments are derided as long etc -- what does that tell us, other than -- if you are of religious bent -- that the sort of attitudes of reprobate minds described in say Rom 1 - 3 are very much at work?]
1] Mr Sternberg's "Crime":
I will cite the basic point affirmed by relevant authorities in the Journal, which will show that the targetting of Mr Sternberg was agenda-driven, not at all any proper disciplinary action; for here we may see that the paper indeed -- despite many false accusations to the contrary --was properly peer reviewed. From p. 24 of the just linked:
>>In numerous emails reviewed by the Subcommittee, NMNH staff and others in the scientific community, such as the NCSE’s Dr. Scott, alleged that Dr. Sternberg must not have had the article peerreviewed, and, if he did, the reviewers must have been either incompetent or a supporter of intelligent design.65 All of these allegations were very damaging to Dr. Sternberg’s reputation within the scientific community as it is considered the ultimate demonstration of scientific irresponsibility to publish an article without proper peer review.Of course, the key Smithsonian and Journal officials did NOTHING to correct these vicious rumours, even knowing that they were damaging and ill-founded. The agenda of censorship, slander and harassment simply continued.
As the controversy heated up in the ensuing months and the allegations about Dr. Sternberg’s mishandling of the Meyer article remained unresolved, the BSW never issued a definitive statement about whether or not the peer-review allegations were true. Only in late January 2005, when Dr. Sues asked Dr. McDiarmid via email about whether the BSW was “satisfied that a proper review by specialists was undertaken,”66 was there any recognition that the article was properly peer-reviewed. Dr. McDiarmid replied to Dr. Sues: “I have seen the review file and comments from 3 reviewers on the Meyer paper. All three with some differences among the comments recommended or suggested publication. I was surprised but concluded that there was not inappropriate behavior vs a vis [sic] the review process.”67
65 Eugenie Scott, “Re: Meyer Article,” August 26, 2004, 1:51 PM, email to Hans Sues; Frank Ferrari, “Re: Reply ,” September 9, 2004, 10:12 AM, email to Hans Sues.
66 Hans Sues, “Re: Request for information,” January 28, 2005, 1:40 PM, email to Roy McDiarmid.
67 Roy McDiarmid, “Re: Request for information,” January 28, 2005, 2:25 PM, email to Hans Sues.>>
That should sound very familiar . . .
2] H: You claimed that Richard Sternberg is "non-ID" when he has presented at RAPID, an ID-Creationist-only conference.
Observe, onlookers: nothing on the substantial issues, Second, note that I have already pointed out by citing and emphasising relevant remarks, Dr Sternberg's own statement above, that he dialogues with people of many persuasions on matters of origins without necessarily agreeing with them, indeed, he holds a specific, declared position. What is the response -- no responsible acknowledgment, just the insistent repetition of vicious slander.
I will excerpt the leading cite from the Keynote address by Mr Dembski at the relevant conference:
>>Recently I asked a well-known ID sympathizer what shape he thought the ID movement was in. I raised the question because, after some initial enthusiasm on his part three years ago, his interest seemed to have flagged. Here is what he wrote:In short, here is perhaps the leading Design theorist, taking a hard, critical look in the mirror, and inviting the movement to do the same in light of key issues and prospects. If Mr Sternberg was invited to present under such a rubric it is plainly NOT an indicator that he is to be tarred as a liar in saying of himself what was already excerpted and highlighted. [For an eyewitness testimony on what the conference was like, cf here. The remarks also address many of the misrepresentations of ID commonly met with, and give links to key papers and reviews.An enormous amount of energy has been expended on "proving" that ID is bogus, "stealth creationism," "not science," and so on. Much of this, ironically, violates the spirit of science. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. But on the other side, too much stuff from the ID camp is repetitive, imprecise and immodest in its claims, and otherwise very unsatisfactory. The "debate" is mostly going around in circles. The real work needs to go forward. There is a tremendous ferment right now in the "evo/devo" field, for instance. Some bright postdocs sympathetic to ID (and yes, I know how hard a time they would have institutionally at many places) should plunge right into the thick of that. Maybe they are at this very moment: I hope so!Every now and again we need to take a good, hard look in the mirror. The aim of this talk is to help us do just that . . . >>
But notice how this is spun: Sternberg presents at a conference of ID supporters, so he is therefore tarred with the "contagion." So, let us slander and shun him. Classic thought-police tactics. Sick.
3] I call ID "ID Creationism" perfectly correctly. ID is Creationism.
I have already pointed out that Design thought specifically differs from biblical Creationism and have given the reasons and roots. Are these addressed?
No, just yet another series of slanders and insistent ill-founded assertions surfaces.
Note, that Dr Kenyon was a distinguished OOL researcher, a co-author of the key 1969 work, Biochemical Predestination - which argued an evolutionary materialist thesis, that chemical affinities across amino acids were responsible for the origin of the information in life systems. Bradley et al in TMLO and in a later peer-reviewed paper, showed why that failed, as hte patterns of dipeptide bonding were close to what a classic random distribution would predict. He had the grace to write the foreword to TMLO and publicly recant his former thesis. Subsequently, he was censored for presenting the matrix of possible views and issues on OOL -- his specialty! -- in a foundation Biology course in his university. The Darwinist tactics were all too reminiscent of those in the case of Mr Sternberg, save that because of Mr Kenyon's stature, they had to back off at least partially.
4] I have yet to see an 'ID' argument that: 1) is not an argument against evolution, rather than for anything else; or 2) isn't a variation of pre-ID Creationist anti-evolutionary arguments . . . [and on to Judge Jones]
Of course, first, H is by his own admission on being pressed to address the issues that he so confidently pronounced on, technically incompetent to asses the credibility or otherwise of e.g. Thermodynamics and information theory arguments. I note too that I have heard and seen the above claim in almost those same words in other places before. In short, H is simply repeating someone's spin that he is in no proper position to assess on the merits.
Judge Jones, as is documented here and detailed here, slavishly aped and reproduced the ACLU post-trial submission, blatant factual errors and misrepresentations and all as his ruling on the wider issue of “is ID science” -- a ruling which has been seriously and justly criticised as unnecessary to the matter at stake in the trial in the main, and as ill-founded.
Second, here comes that old mantra about ID is creationism again. The basic trick in it is that we see a calculated conflation of three things: Biblical Creationism, Design thought and critique of Darwinism, then the choice of a label that is calculated to stir emotions and blind many to what is really going on. Spin, not substance. (Cf my framework for grading the media on a straight or spin scale, here.)
In fact, and as in part already pointed out, the three are quite independent in principle, and significantly often in fact:
a] Biblical Creationism is essentially a movement that makes the specific claim that ancient records in the Bible as they understand it, a materially accurate representation of the earth's true past -- especially on the part of the so-called Young Earth Creationists. [There are also Old Earth Creationists, whose views on the credibility of the scientific reconstructions of the past are much higher, and they interpret the Bible differently, e.g Mr Hugh Ross and many others. A great many serious Christians who address science and faith issues are in fact of such schools of thought; often they are termed “theistic evolutionists.” This is not the place for debates over Bible interpretation, so I simply note in passing that there is an intra-Christian debate here, with serious people on both sides. Similar discussions seem to be happening in Islamic circles, near as I can gather. Judaism, the third monotheistic religion, I do not know of a debate in.]So, when we see that the thermodynamics and information theory issues being raised are in fact new to science, and are based on well-known principles of science that are routinely used in other contexts, we see the truth: institutionally powerful atheists and their fellow travellers are using every remaining weapon to stave off defeat as long as possible.
b] Design thought -- ever since the likes of Plato, Socrates and Cicero [ a plain hint that this is far broader than any Bible-based or theism-oriented worldview linked tradition!] -- infers that the obvious evidence of apparent design in the cosmos and in life is real. This is a long-standing debate in philosophy, which of course overlaps both science and theology, as well as a-theology.
c] What marks the re-emergence of Design as a Scientific movement in our time, is that there is a pattern of empirically anchored inference to best explanation that provides quantitative and qualitative filters for distinguishing real and apparent design, based on what is the credible probabilistic resource available for chance and necessity. Following Fisher, if something is far enough out int he skirts,t he null hypothesis that chance and necessity are the source, are rejected. [Observe,this is never properly addressed, just dismissed. Note the inconsistency involved in inferring routinely to design not lucky noise in viewing apparent messages over the Internet, then refusing to see that a similar probabilistic filter holds in cases of say the finetuned nanotechnology of life and the finetuning of the cosmos to support life. A similar want of probabilistic resources fatally undermined Darwinism in the large -- the claim that macro-level biodiversity is largely the result of chance mutations and natural selection. All of this has been commented on above. My discussion in the main is as linked in my sign-off, and here is the page, from the top.]
d] There is a longstanding and well-informed scientific tradition that critiques the claims of the original and neo forms of Darwinism. For, these theories have a track record of being seriously problematic,as has been noted in outline and linked already.
5] Sternberg claims:
H simply repeats his mantra of attacks to the man instead of engaging the substance. I will simply note and link, highlighting that the issue of jurisdiction was not cut and dry and was in fact in the end determined by a then current court decision. As Mr Witt notes in the linked:
>>the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) investigation cannot be dismissed so lightly (i.e., Republican ties=wrong). The investigation was well documented, with many of the conclusions based on e-mails from Smithsonian staff. Also, Morgan writes it off as an obvious publicity ploy since, supposedly, it was obvious from the start that the OSC had no jurisdiction. However, if you study Sternberg's site, you'll find that the issue of jurisdiction was a complicated one, and the OSC investigator noted that only a recent court ruling that related to the situation clarified that the OSC apparently had no jurisdiction to continue the case. That the OSC was able to investigate as much as they did was, nevertheless, invaluable, for the facts they turned up show quite clearly how some Darwinists treat scientific dissenters when they believe no one is watching.>>Note that the Congressional Committee report points out that her is evidence of a far wider pattern of darwinist discrimination and harassment than the headlined case shows.
Onlookers: are these the sort of people we should be trusting with power?
6] Dembski and Behe etc:
First, once we are addressing the pre-biological world, we are not addressing biology proper. Physics, chemistry and other physical and mathematical sciences relevant to the thermodynamics and the generation of information become highly relevant. H's continued attempt to attack the man show themselves up for what they are, regurgitated, second-hand ill-founded slanders designed to distract attention from the merits of the case.
Observe, for instance: at first Mr Dembski was dismissed as a theologian. Then, when it turned out that theology is his lowest level of qualifications [and he studied in a notoriously non-fundy school!] the specific lyrics on the slanderous song shifted on to the next verse.
Similarly, Mr Behe's PhD was of course in BIOCHEMISTY and he seems to be currently a professor in BIOCHEMISTRY in his Dept at LeHigh.(Look him up online!)
I think it is plain that H uses terms like "lie" and lying" and "liar" etc. whenever it suits him. This is simply part of why he should be banned as an abusive commenter.
7] Insistence on exposing me to Internet hazards
Notice the resort to profanity and insistence on doing what he knows is potentially seriously harmful. As he should know, once a name is produced, it is not so hard to get emails and other details. So his behaviour is intentionally damaging and destructive.
Andrew, H should be banned. Period.
8] A: the ancient idea of the design inference is actually a shiny modern up to date "scientific" " theory"...!!
Already addressed on the merits, above and previously. Nothing new here – same old same old complaints and misrepresentations. ADDRESS THE ISSUE ON THE MERITS, please.
9] Correct would be nice, but if you can't manage correct, concise would help. Life is short (in short) too short to read the emanations of someone's digestive tract.
Observe, A's ever so insistent repetitions above on the claim that Andrew was dodging his six questions above. Well, they have been addressed in summary form.
What do we see? A resort to nasty rhetoric, and refusal to face the issues raised in the responses. So, the questions were never seriously asked – they were only there for rhetorical effect. Address the science as science and the philosophy as phil, and what do we see – the complaint that this is the same old issues. Well if you know that these are in part longstanding wordlview issues, why did you not address them in that light long since, on a comparative difficulties basis? And, on the issues of where something new is on the table in recent years, that too is addressed: thermodynamics, information theory, empirical data on cosmology, empirical data on DNA's information-rich, complex, functional structure, based on one or more codes, information on the increments in DNA information required to code the Cambrian life revolution, and more. Any response on the merits? No – that was never the real issue. [And, I bet Andrew is in large part ignoring repetitions of already addressed rhetoric.]
That – sadly -- tells us all we need to know about the mentality and agenda of A and those of like ilk. This is not a case for banning, but it is plain that A has been exposed as bluster not substance: "all froth, no mauby" as the Eastern Caribbean saying goes.
OVERALL CONCLUSION: Sufficient has been shown to see that there is good reason to accept that the NDT and the wider evolutionary materialist paradigm are in unacknowledged crisis, and that the evo mat advocates at various levels are resorting to ruthless tactics to cling to power and domination in the teeth of mounting anomalies and a rising credible challenger. The resort to personal attacks and to persecutions and inquisitions is diagnostic of a thought-police mentality, and are reflective of -- in too many cases -- the underlying point: evolutionary materialism underwrites a lifestyle of amorality in which might makes right so I do whatever I think I can get away with and show myself utterly;y disrespectful to the rights of others, their reputation and persons, as well as old fashioned truth and logic. (So much for that mythical species,the wonderful, highly principled atheist -- now on the deeply endangered list as the waning influence of Judaeo-Christian morality lets loose the forces of amorality.)
Andrew, as the owner of this blog, should take strong disciplinary action if he is to preserve the purpose of his blog.
It is sad to see the underlying attitudes and spiritual dynamics at work. As we seek to carry froward the reformation of our region, we must be prepared to deal wiht such attitudes and animating spirits. END