Observations from my visit to Uncommon Descent

Executive Summary:

Barry Arrington doesn’t understand ID. KF talks about math and design detection but never does it. ID exists as an amorphous miasmic anti-evolutionary argument. It is the North Korea of the internet

Barry Arrington doesn’t understand ID.
in now epic thread Barry told us what would convince him ID was wrong:

The science bomb that will destroy my belief in ID: A single example of natural forces observed to have create Orgel’s CSI.

Now as IDists can’t actually measure CSI (they don’t appear to understand it at UD) this was troublesome, but a close examination of Dembski’s CSI contains the term P(T|H), which is described by him as

Moreover, H, here, is the relevant chance hypothesis that takes into account Darwinian and other material mechanisms.

So Barry wanted a demonstration of CSI being made by natural forces, whilst Dembski defines CSI as only to be ‘counted’ in the absence of them. Barry doesn’t understand CSI. I asked him if he thought that “CSI=FSC=FSCO/I”. He never responded.

KF talks about math and design detection but never does it

KF’s behavior is perhaps the most odious of the moderators there. Rather than have an actual discussion, he creates multiple one-off posts with closed comments, which means that associated critique is never attached to the post itself. This effectively allows him to perpetually reboot once destroyed arguments as if they are new and unassailable. This just shows us the strong connection between creationism and ID – creationists are still rolling out “2LoT” and “If we came from Monkeys” today.

All of KF’s posts are basically reformations of Hoyle’s tornado in a junkyard arguments: Complex things cannot spontaneously generate. Of course this has *nothing* to do with life and does not consider P(T|H). KF has yet to do any credible math pertaining to an evolutionary narrative. Sadly telling.

ID exists as an amorphous miasmic anti-evolutionary argument

The general trend at UD is for the IDists to tell us what they think evolution can’t do rather than what ID can do. It is gapism in its purest form. The target moves from PCD to abiogenesis to the first cell and they want a complete history of the evolution of life with pictures and an index of all the mutations as they happened. Given the ‘Jesus this’ and ‘God that’ that happens at UD, I wonder if they have the same high bar for other ‘historical’ events.

It is the North Korea of the internet

They silently ban, delete accounts, place in moderation, mark up others posts and post themselves with comments disabled. This degree of message control is a symptom of their arguments being completely noncompetitive when there is a free and fair exchange of ideas.

211 thoughts on “Observations from my visit to Uncommon Descent

  1. Richardthughes: Maybe. I miss her. Her intellectual curiosity over ID may also waned, she believes the movement to be (scientifically) dead: http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=14;t=7640;st=30#entry230019

    I’m in Canada. From here, ID always seemed more about US politics than science..

    Is it the case the the ID movement to set school curricula in the US has abated?

    On ID and science in general, I agree with an earlier post from KN. The important issues are ones being raised indirectly by Phoodoo. Why should people believe that science should have authority when we want the most reliable knowledge of the facts about the world? How should science and its findings fit into a democratic political process?

    I don’t think scientists have any special voice in saying what we _ought_ to do. (I mean “ought” in the sense of our values and priorities, not in the instrumental sense). But I do want the politicians we elect to make those choices to listen to scientists. That is definitely not the case in Canada.

  2. I think the United States has a somewhat larger proportion of Christian fundamentalists than most Eurocentric countries. That is in part a result of the way the country was settled — by disaffected English speaking Europeans.

    That and the way that rural areas were granted political representation by geography rather than by population.

    But the anti-science impulse lurks everywhere. The current poster child is Australia.

    I consider the anti-GMO movement to have more importance than th3e anti-evolution movement. The campaign against golden rice actually kills and blinds millions of children. Enlightenment is not an all or nothing thing. Educated people can be just as belligerently misinformed as snake handlers.

  3. phoodoo: Lizzie was never very good at arguing

    phoodoo, I take it that you think you ARE good at arguing. Obviously, nobody around these parts is likely to agree with you about that. (FWIW, You pretty much always come off badly in my own humble estimation–and I wrote a book on woo!) So, I think that what’s needed is a nice debate, adjudicated by one or more impartials who have been approved by both sides. You plus a hand-picked champion of yours versus…hell…you can even pick two foes of your liking from here (I’m not sure it would much matter, myself given the competition–but, to be fair, I’m NOT impartial.) Maybe you could find a retired judge or two with no interest in/ax to grind on these matters.

    Settling it that way would be much better than all this nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah stuff. “I’m better and my views are too!–No I AM–because you’re full of shit!” ETC., ETC., ETC.

  4. petrushka: That is in part a result of the way the country was settled — by disaffected English speaking Europeans.

    I think it’s kind of fitting that one of the colonizers’ heroes, John Locke, who confidently opined that it was OK to take the land from the locals, since they hadn’t “mixed their labor with it” so they didn’t actually ‘own’ any of it, ended up also being a hero of the revolutionaries. Jefferson, et al. liked Locke’s remarks about the right of a people to rebel against a tyrannical ruler that, e.g., wasn’t allowing sufficient representation.

    What goeth around cometh around–even buffalo shit.

  5. walto, to Creodont2:

    ETA: To explain, I’ve had a half dozen really unpleasant run-ins with keiths having nothing whatever to do with evolution. I won’t characterize them, since I’m hardly impartial, but encourage you to rummage around here and find them. You might find out where my bile regarding keiths comes from.

    Walto is understandably reluctant to link to specific examples, but I’m not.

    Here is our latest “run-in”, in which I caught walto saying “Oops — I don’t know what happened to my previous comment” and then deleting it:

    Not only did you delete your comment, you actually posted the following comment — the one where you say “I don’t know what happened to my comment” — before you deleted the previous one. Oops.

    Here is the photographic evidence.

    I’m not sure you can sink any lower, walto, but I suspect you’ll give it your best shot.

    Walto would naturally prefer to keep his accusations vague rather than dealing with the unflattering evidence.

  6. walto: who confidently opined that it was OK to take the land from the locals

    Do you believe any modern group of humans live on land that was not taken from some previous group?

    Your line of argument suggests that like religion, ancientness produces respectability.

  7. But this opens up an interesting line of discussion. To the best of my knowledge, Florida is the only state that reached a financial settlement with its indigenous tribe. I’m not going to argue that it was fair, but was an interesting attempt at legal purchase.

  8. petrushka: Do you believe any modern group of humans live on land that was not taken from some previous group?

    Your line of argument suggests that like religion,ancientness produces respectability.

    Not really. I’m a Henry Georgist on this issue.

  9. keiths:
    walto, to Creodont2:

    Walto is understandably reluctant to link to specific examples, but I’m not.

    Here is our latest “run-in”, in which I caught walto saying “Oops — I don’t know what happened to my previous comment” and then deleting it:

    Walto would naturally prefer to keep his accusations vague rather than dealing with the unflattering evidence.

    Actually, I really want everybody to read that. It’s a perfect example of how nuts you are sometimes. But he really needs to read the whole thread, not just that particular example of your weirdness–though it IS pretty terrific.

  10. One can hope. But with the extremely fecund and controversial “Arnie” thesis still hanging fire, I fear that anything is possible. 🙁

  11. keiths:
    For lulz:

    I just caught Barry deleting an embarrassing thread at UD.

    PS Hi, walto!Does that remind you of anything?

    It reminds me of some of your tactics when you get to dissembling, but otherwise not much. To get at this particular instance of keithsian crazy, what you keep forgetting (or carefully omitting–you pick) is that I retyped almost exactly the same post after I ACCIDENTALLY lost it. Just added a few flourishes that I’d hoped to add to the earlier post. When you posted your photographed (!) facsimile, I thanked you IIRC. Why would I do that stuff again? Why would someone say they lost a post then post basically the same thing again if they didn’t have to? If I’d just wanted to change a few words–and there wasn’t any substantive change: I invite people to look for themselves about this–why wouldn’t I just edit? (especially given the fact that you hate it when people edit their posts, and I enjoy doing things that annoy you). In sum, why would any sane person either lie about this matter or accuse someone of engaging in it?

    In a word, what the hell are you on?

  12. walto,

    You said “Oops, I don’t know what happened to my previous post” before you “accidentally” deleted it. It’s right there in my photograph.

    Spin all you want. Perhaps Barry will do the same.

  13. BTW, as I mentioned to phoodoo in another thread, I think this “I’m right!” “NO, I AM” approach to these matters is both pointless and childish. I’ve already admitted that I’m hardly impartial when it comes to arguments I’ve had with you (to remind you, I think you’ve generally been full of shit). But I’m guessing you’d say the same about me. That’s why I suggested that disputes of this nature should be turned over to impartials. I’m delighted to have anybody (unrelated to you) read ANY of our disputes on this site and will happily submit to whatever determination such person or persons delivers. I admit that I get snarky, sarcastic, crabby etc. And I have (gleefully) insulted you on a number of occasions. But I have never dissembled, bullshat, weaseled, fabricated, etc. the way you often have.

    Anyhow, that’s obviously just me pleading my case again. I prefer to let it all speak for itself. You pick the arbitrators. You can use your buddy Richard or the guy who just joined who thought my comparison of you to UD’s Joe was one of the most ridiculous things he’d ever heard, or anybody else you’d prefer. If you tell me they have no ax to grind and are impartial as far as you know, I’ll believe you. But I hope you can understand that YOU telling me (or the world) that you’re right and I’m wrong, or linking or repeating things you’ve said before that I consider to be tripe (and have indicated why I thought so) is just a waste of everybody’s time, no?

    ETA: I said that I’d made my adjudication by impartials suggestion “in another thread”–but I now see that I actually did that here on this one. That’s just one more example of my trying to get away with some trick that you can add to the pile. (For those interested, keiths is the keeper of this pile [among others].) I could say that I was sorry for any confusion I’d caused, but….who’d believe me?

  14. keiths:
    walto,

    Yousaid “Oops, I don’t know what happened to my previous post” before you “accidentally” deleted it.It’s right there in my photograph.

    Spin all you want.Perhaps Barry will do the same.

    And what was my reason for this again? I agree with everything in that post, and had already retyped it and reposted.

  15. walto,

    And what was my reason for this again?

    Presumably because you thought you could get away with it. Luckily, I refreshed my browser window at the right time and caught you red-handed.

  16. I’m enjoying the comparison trope, but I still think you’re more like Joe and KF than I’m like Barry.

  17. keiths:
    walto,

    Presumably because you thought you could get away with it.Luckily, I refreshed my browser window at the right time and caught you red-handed.

    Get away with what? What was I trying to do by retyping and reposting something you subsequently claimed I’d purposely deleted? What was the big con I had going there that you were able to stop in its tracks?

  18. Anyhow, this is more of me v. you nyah nyah. Go pick your judges after phoodoo is done picking his. I happily submit to both groups.

    ETA: or don’t wait for phoodoo, since he obviously won’t ever do that. I’ve heard your (whack) case, rest mine and am anxious to have these matters adjudicated. After that your hand-picked judges can go on to your anti-semite claim and all the other nuts stuff you’ve posted.

  19. Heh. I’ve been silently banned again at UD.

    KF is probably behind it. He’s been taking quite a beating in recent days from Piotr, DNA_Jock, and me.

    He also issued this threat earlier today:

    Now, RW things press very hard, so later I will act on what I have been forced to conclude.

    Responding to ruthless faction tactics requires a different approach; as in the old days of dealing with committed and ruthless Marxist agitators.

    I wonder if Piotr and DNA_Jock got the axe ban hammer, too?

  20. As i said earlier Barry did not choose wisely in the first round of bannings. He banned me for emotional reasons. It has taken them a while to work up the courage to ban people simply because they were right.

  21. I like how they’re arguing “2LOT” by pointing out that houses don’t assemble themselves, tornados don’t make automobiles, etc.

    Yes, um, why do you suppose that the only complex functional entities that appear are exactly the sorts of things that design never produces and that have all of the hallmarks of unintelligent evolutionary processes operating? Why the hell don’t we have magic houses appearing beautifully situated next to lakes, or automobiles assembled by some caring God aliens (or that did appear in some holier past or some such thing)?

    Not that it has anything to do with 2LOT, but they are making the case for evolution in that designed objects simply have to be made by humans (aside from the odd bower, beaver dam, etc.), and all that we ever see of functional integrated complexity otherwise are the sorts of things that can evolve by reproducing.

    Almost as if, you know, life evolved sans poofery. A thought that they simply can’t abide.

    Glen Davidson

  22. YOU MATERIALISTS! YOU TAKE THE MAGIC OUT OF EVERYTHING.

    KF will now no about crow about how no one can rebut his fish-reel argument (again).

  23. keiths:
    Heh.I’ve been silently banned again at UD.

    KF is probably behind it.He’s been taking quite a beating in recent days from Piotr, DNA_Jock, and me.

    He also issued this threat earlier today:

    I wonder if Piotr and DNA_Jock got the axe ban hammer, too?

    I was enjoying it. Please, start an open thread on 2LoT!

  24. KF denies being the baninator:

    “103
    kairosfocusMarch 18, 2015 at 5:25 am
    TA, I don’t know what the case is with KS, or if it has anything to do with UD Management (there have been vanishings projected on UD leadership that were dirty tricks). I do know that there is a problem of trollish misconduct on the part of too many objectors, which is the direct context for my closing a discussion and for my shift tot he mode of dealing with an agenda based on an ill-founded ideology rather than hoping that I am dealing with genuine dialogue and mere disagreements. I had to deal with Marxists, and that is what it was like. Needless to say, it is not a category that gives any reasonable person any pleasure to have to address in the way that is necessary to maintain good order. KF”

  25. DNA_Jock comments:

    Asked about the fact that KS has been silently “disappeared”, kf replies @103

    I don’t know what the case is with KS, or if it has anything to do with UD Management (there have been vanishings projected on UD leadership that were dirty tricks).

    Uh-huh.

    But onlookers will understand that all these steps, though unpleasant, are “necessary to maintain good order”.

    Is it just me, or is it chilly in here?

  26. The funny thing is, everybody at UD denies any knowledge of what’s going on. Maybe it’s a glitch, maybe it’s a dirty atheistic trick, maybe Keith S left UD for reasons best known to him, maybe one of the admins had to “take necessary steps” (but nuh, nuh, it wasn’t me!). I’m pretty surprised they didn’t ban us all at once.

  27. And if an ID proponent were unjustly banned or censored here at TSZ, there would be immediate objections from the regulars.

    This isn’t speculation — it actually happened. Kantian Naturalist deleted a comment by Barry Arrington in a thread that KN had started. We all agreed that KN had violated the moderation policy and that Barry’s comment should be restored. It was, and Lizzie even granted full OP-posting privileges to Barry.

    Can you imagine that happening at UD? “We’re sorry, keiths. You shouldn’t have been banned. We’ve reinstated you and given you full OP-posting privileges.”

    The very thought is laughable. Open discussion is valued at TSZ, but not at UD.

  28. Eric Anderson can’t help scrawling over other peoples work either. Thank goodness these folks are real-life nobodies!

  29. She only pays for it all. We’ve done this before and the facts are the same.

    It’s very sad that you will keep repeating it. Is that a creationist thing? Sad.

    Now, would you mind answering my outstanding questions as you’re here?

    I think you’re scared to.

  30. phoodoo,

    You mentioned once that you are a professional athlete. What do you plan to do for a living once your athletic career has ended?

    Intellectual work would appear to be out of reach for you, but I hear that fast food employment is trending upward.

  31. Well, I (posting as ‘tabasco’) have been banned again, and unsurprisingly, KF appears to be behind it.

    tabasco:

    KF’s real reason for avoiding TSZ is obvious to everyone.

    Bydand!

    kairosfocus:

    Tabasco,

    I will be frank [as my lawyer advised me just yesterday], just once, and will ignore you afterwards: never get into a mud wrestling match with a pig — especially in a fever swamp; and try Matt 7:6 for the biblical version, from Serm Mt: “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”

    I am interested in real substance such as the ontological issues you are busily diverting attention from by trying the red-herring, strawman, ad hominem trick in hopes of pretending to martyrdom if your trollish conduct leads to loss of commenting privilige — and for cause it is a privilege conditioned on good conduct — at UD.

    Game over, I have a serious budget issue to deal with with a multidimensional strategic chess game tied to it RW, goodbye.

    What an insufferable gasbag.

  32. KF breaks into song (here, here, and here), and says this to excuse his cowardice:

    (And yes, it is right there in that highlighted line. Where rule 1 of standing is do not fight on ground of a ruthless enemy’s choosing.)

    Piotr spoils the concert:

    KF

    And so the whole purpose of this anthology of mystical and patriotic verse is to justify your rather unheroic refusal to accept a kind invitation to discuss things outside your cozy echo chamber?

    Clutch your pearls lest they be trampled by pigs.

    Another relevant ballad

  33. KF is a microcosm of ID. He wants to be taken seriously, but knows his ideas are ill-formed and can’t be cashed in empirically or scientifically. But he wants to be persecuted, to be the victim, desperately. Under Barry’s leadership UD becomes more a crank site every day. I’ll pop over there now to get my “news”… from 1962.

  34. Wow, have you seen this? Kairosfocus is outkairosfocussing himself (re: the origin of language):

    Piotr, nope, I am speaking of origin of digital (discrete state) computer code, here encoded in prong height using molecular nanotech in D/RNA strings; 4-state per digit is no different in principle from 2, 10 or 60. Which, has been headlined for decades. Code that is used in algorithms, with execution machinery — also, molecular nanotech. Codes, algorithms, and more. Where do/can such come from? Why is blind needle in haystack search even entertained? KF

    What sort of meltdown can produce this effect?

  35. Piotr Gasiorowski,

    That is your reasoned retort to his post? Do you mind if I borrow this ( I will give you credit).

    I can use this line every time someone posts something, and I have nothing to say, but I don’t like the implications.

    “What sort of meltdown did you have….”

    It saves so much time wasted being clever.

  36. Or is it even easier using the Keiths technique:

    “What an insufferable gasbag. ”

    Sweet, simple, meaningless. Perfect, just like Keiths.

  37. phoodoo: I can use this line every time someone posts something, and I have nothing to say, but I don’t like the implications.

    So, you’ll be using it all the time then?

  38. phoodoo: It saves so much time wasted being clever.

    I guess that’s why you’ve wasted *no* time doing that then.

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