Sunday, August 05, 2012

Casey Luskin Wants Us to Categorize Evolution Critics

Casey Luskin has posted an email message that he recently sent to someone who inquired about Intelligent Design Creationism. It describes his view of the debate between Intelligent Design Creationists and scientists [Personal Attacks Against ID Proponents Say More About the Attackers than the Abused].
With that, please let me give you a little introduction to how this debate works. Evolutionists regularly accuse their critics of being "dishonest" and "deceiving." It's a primary tactic they use to respond to criticism and intimidate critics into silence. You're not allowed to dissent from their view and be (a) informed, and (b) honest. Many of them can't fathom the possibility that a person on the other side of the debate could be both.

Here's a fact you might ponder: Virtually every single major person who has criticized the Darwinian viewpoint has faced personal attacks on his or her character. It happens to everyone, myself included. So one of two things are true: Either (1) virtually every single critic of Darwinism (of which there are many) is "dishonest" and "deceiving," or (2) evolutionists habitually respond to scientific challenges with personal attacks.
There's more than two choices here. Let's list the possibilities. Most creationist critics of evolution are ....
  1. Uninformed and honest
  2. Uniformed and dishonest
  3. Informed and honest
  4. Informed and dishonest
There are creationist critics of evolution who fit into all categories but category #3 is the least populated. I think Michael Denton and Michael Behe qualify. They seem to have a pretty good knowledge of evolutionary biology and they seem to be sincere in their criticism

Category #4 is tricky. There are some creationist critics of evolution who should be informed but they still say some very silly things. This leads me to suspect that they are being dishonest. Jonathan Wells is a good example.

Categories #1 and #2 contain the vast majority of creationist critics of evolution. They really don't know what they're talking about but it doesn't prevent them from talking. I think most of them are honest IDiots—Casey Luskin is an example and so is Phillip Johnson. Some of them are uniformed and dishonest, that's where I would place Bill Dembski and David Berlinski.

Casey Luskin is wrong when he claims that we accuse all creationist critics of evolution of being dishonest and deceitful. Mostly we just accuse them of being uninformed but acting as if they were.1 That's probably due to stupidity and not malevolence.

I've left out a huge number of creationists, including the theistic evolutionists who fall mostly into category #3: informed, honest, but wrong.

Where do the rest of them fit in?


1. Being uninformed is perfectly okay. Most of us are uniformed about a lot of things. You aren't stupid or an idiot just because you don't know something. You become an IDiot when you don't recognize how little you know about a subject but still feel qualified to tell the experts that they are wrong.

46 comments :

  1. You've got 'uniformed' rather than 'uninformed' four times in there, fyi...

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    1. No, Larry's 2nd category is only for people who wear uniforms - being uniformed is ok, since most of us "are uniformed about a lot of things" (a strange turn of phrase, but he must be referring to sports events and the like). This is clearly the intended meaning, because finding creationists who fit into "uninformed and dishonest" would just be too easy - like shooting fish in a barrel.

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  2. I think that Luskin is definitely a Class 4 IDiot. His job at the Disco Tute is to write and promote propaganda. Luskin's deft use of quote mining is a deliberate attempt to distort, confuse and mislead readers in to thinking the opposite of that the original quote intended. Of course, those of us who know about Luskin always track back to the original source where time and time again deception is uncovered.

    Luskin's recent dust-ups with Carl Zimmer, Paul McBride and Troy Britain are excellent examples of Luskin's evasions when his prevarications are put to light.

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    1. This would make Luskin class 2. He has no significant knowledge base relevant to the study of evolution.

      -Anaxyrus

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  3. You think Michael Denton is informed? I am not a biologist, but it seems to me that in the past he displayed some really basic misunderstandings about evolution.

    I think the vast majority of creationists are dishonest -- in the same way that most Holocaust deniers and 9/11 truthers are dishonest -- but their dishonesty takes many forms. For many, it's an unwillingness to actually learn some biology and what the theory of evolution says, and an unwillingess to challenge their own religious dogma. People like this are extreme examples of "attitude polarization"; they " interpret evidence selectively, to reinforce their current beliefs or attitudes".

    Far worse is the kind of dishonesty displayed by people like Duane Gish and the folks at the Discovery Institute, where evidence is consistently misrepresented or twisted deliberately, in order to mislead others.

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    1. I am a biologist and I think Michael Denton's understanding of evolution is superior to that of most biologists and certainly of most non-biologists: Michael Denton and Molecular Clocks.

      Most of the criticism leveled against him is unfounded, especially if you consider his current position as explained in Nature's Destiny.

      As for dishonesty, I agree with Peter Medawar when he says, "... its author can be excused of dishonesty only on the grounds that before deceiving others he has taken great pains to deceive himself." That's why I excuse many creationists.

      They're still IDiots but they're basically honest IDiots.

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    2. especially if you consider his current position as explained in Nature's Destiny.


      His current position is not really relevant at all to the criticism of his claims in Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, although I suppose it does show he can learn from criticism.

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    3. Jeffrey Shallit says: I am not a biologist

      That is perhaps the most honest thing you have ever said and it explains what your problem is. For example, you have this really stupid understanding of biological "information", spuriously regarding it in exactly the same way you regard information as the term is used in computer science. You don't even make an effort towards learning why biologists refer to nucleotide sequences as conveying "information". This makes most of your "criticisms" largely irrelevant and, frankly, imbecilic. It really is time you either did BIOLOGY 101, and improved your mind, or just refrained from making such asinine comments.

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    4. Atheistoclast,

      You have no right to criticizes anybody here. You have shown such proclivity to making dishonest and asinine comments, and then proclaim to know better than anybody else here only to back away when asked to support your claims. You are the one who has no idea about information, you did not even know that it is quantified in the very same way in any discipline, and your desire to disengage biology form the rest of the sciences is a mere attempt at making you look knowledgeable while most of us, biologists or not, notice your plain stupidity quite clearly.

      So next time you feel tempted to disregard anybody because they are not biologists, look at the mirror. Remember that you are nothing. Nether biologist, nor information scientist, nothing. You are just a plain ass-hole as you have demonstrated in your comments time and again.

      Now go fuck yourself.

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    5. @Atheistoclast-

      Jeff Shallit knows real information theory, unlike the pack of incoherent lies that creationists and ID proponents pass of as information theory.

      ID proponents and creationists are guilty of the rape of information theory. Ever since 1970 and A. E. Wilder-Smith's "Creation of Life: A Cybernetic Approach to Evolution", Intelligent Design has been about raping information theory, borrowing its jargon while ignoring its mathematical content.

      Atheistoclast, who treats lying creationists like Jonathan Wells and Casey Luskin as his trusted authorities, has no standing to criticize mathematicians who understand real information theory.

      Shallit did an excellent job of exposing how Debmski and Stephen Meyer raped information theory, how Dembski's "proofs" are bullshit, and how Meyer's statements about creationist "information" describe an imaginary quantity which does not have the properties of any possible, real mathematical property.

      He knows real math, Atheistoclast knows myths and fairy tales.

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  4. Looking at the local trolls/IDiots/creotards I'd rate Denny as #2 (Uniformed and dishonest) and Atheoclast/Joe Bozorgmehr as #4 (Informed and dishonest).

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  5. I think we need a separate category for such as Booby Byers, who is just stupid.

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  6. For a great example of what Luskin is talking about, go to the thread on this site from a few days ago under the article 'On the Evolution of New Enzymes'. The Whole Truth excoriates Atheistoclast, calling him dishonest and sneaky in paragraph after redundant paragraph. He accuses him of furtively hiding religious beliefs (with no real evidence), and finishes by, wish I were making this up, charging that he wants to 'destroy science and control the world'. Oh my!

    Atheistoclast shows great restraint by not responding in kind. So as much as you may chortle and delight in putting up things from ID sites in order to ridicule them, you are actually providing a great service for folks like me who are interested in the personalities involved beyond the science. You no doubt have some very brainy, well educated people here, but that doesn't stop some of them from being excessively immature and bullying.

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    1. Point noted, but for balance, a couple of people made genuine attempts to address 'clast's points with substantive responses.

      The world of net-personalities is a whole different ball-game - and I'm sure one could run up a doctoral thesis on the covariance of opinion on evolution and twattishness/politeness of net behaviour. Examples for and against could be trotted out - including evidence in both directions from the same individuals. If you want to see some ID-friendly 'whole truths', I'm sure I could provide some links.

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    2. Allan, I am sure you could. In fact I have no doubt of it. And I also noted that other posters were able to carry on a civil discussion in the midst of whole truth's rant. I found that encouraging, but would have even more so if someone had spoken up and said, "excuse us, but we are attempting to have an ADULT argument here."

      I think that too much tolerance for bad behavior is little different from tacit approval for it.

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    3. I found that encouraging, but would have even more so if someone had spoken up and said, "excuse us, but we are attempting to have an ADULT argument here

      I'm not sure it's really incumbent on anyone to pursue what amounts to a 'tone-derail'. It's hard enough to keep people focussed on one particular issue!

      Substantial aggression can be noted on Uncommon Descent, Hunter's blog, the Skeptical Zone ... this passes without a murmur from those sharing the basic perspective of the perpetrator. Which is neither right nor wrong. Their reasons may be similar to mine - I read the byline and move on to something more interesting.

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    4. ... and after posting that, I note that paragon-of-restraint Atheistoclast felt the need to have an unprovoked pop at Jeffrey Shallit. Comedy gold. It's a bugger trying to locate the high ground in this most rugged of fitness landscapes ...

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    5. Allan, certainly I wouldn't expect or insist upon someone getting out of their own zone to denounce another poster's obnoxiousness. I understand that it's sufficient protocol on chat forums to simply remain focused on one's own communication thread. But it DOES happen. Huffington Post is a good example of a site where at times people (not the ubiquitous and of-dubious-merit moderators) step up and scold, discourage rudeness for its own sake, etc. I guess the difference there is just the sheer number of posters. The more traffic, the more variety of posters, styles, etc.

      I've also seen people here write, 'go fuck yourself'. A poster who used that phrase, in another post, wrote something about his 'undergraduates'. Am I the only one who finds it odd that (presumably) university professors feel free to come on here and tell people to go fuck themselves?

      People just need to do a better job of defining themselves, I feel. You can always use the excuse that the other side does the same thing, but in the end that's pretty pointless. So what?

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    6. andyboerger, are you saying that I'm wrong about the ID agenda?

      Are you saying that atheistoclast isn't a creationist IDiot?

      The bottom line is that where debating IDiot creationists is concerned NONE of the points about science related topics matter one iota. They are deaf in advance. They DO want to destroy science and control the world with their insane religious agenda. Surely someone as "interested in the personalities involved beyond the science" as you claim to be has read the wedge document? And I'm sure (not) that you have the read all the rambling, sanctimonious, LYING insanity that gordon e mullings (the most vocal IDiot on UD) has spewed on UD, his sites, and other sites on the internet. And you have undoubtedly read (not) all the pompous, dishonest, sneaky, distorted, hypocritical, demonizing, falsely accusatory swill that has been puked up by all the other IDiots? When you have, let me know.

      And here's just a small taste of what IDiot creationist gordon e mullings (kairosfocus) says:

      "As has become clear, our mandate is far broader than just the making of converts; instead, we are expected to disciple the nations, filling every aspect of life in the world with the glory of Christ under his Lordship."

      "We must therefore have a clear and powerful strategy for the evangelisation of college and university students"

      (Regarding college students): "As the most highly educated Christians in the community, they must be able to lead the church as it struggles against the forces which seek to secularise and/or paganise our culture and isolate the Church to a narrow religious ghetto. In particular, they must deal with issues in the media, professional ethics, law, education, the arts, government and politics. Finally, they must view themselves as bound to obey the mandate to disciple the nations and fill the world with the fulness of Christ under his Lordship."

      "Thus, secularist, materialistic philosophies, science and technology — both Marxist and Capitalist — have proved themselves to be spiritually barren, and too often environmentally devastating, economically impotent, corrupt, unjust and morally bankrupt. Further, as the current fears over environmental degradation, global warming and genetically modified foods and organisms show, science and technology have now lost their heroic stature in the popular mind."

      "In short, materialist theories typically present “objective” and “rational” arguments that undermine (or even deny) even their own objectivity and rationality. Such thinking saws off the branch on which it sits[10]. Thus, it defeats itself, and is a dead end."

      "Instead, let us return to our true roots: in God. For, there is a mountain of solid evidence — let us just open our eyes and look around us at the wonders of Creation — that the Living God is our Creator; that he has given us our intelligence and planted a conscience in our hearts; and that he loves us enough that Jesus came, brought healing and deliverance, died for our sins and rose from the dead as victorious Lord, with over five hundred eyewitnesses! [John 1:1 - 18, 3:12 - 21; Rom. 1:18 - 32; 1 Cor. 15:1 - 8; Eph. 4:9 - 24.]"

      See part two.

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    7. Part two.


      More from mullings:

      "Let us thank God, then, that the global wave of unsatisfied spiritual hunger has unlocked the door of opportunity for true, Christ-centred renewal, revival and reformation across the Caribbean, and beyond. That is, our time of crises presents us with a major strategic opportunity for global evangelization."

      "We must seize the initiative in the battle of ideas. In spiritual warfare we "demolish [deceptive] arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." [2 Cor. 10: 5.] Let us take the Christian case to the campus, the school, the media, the Internet, business, institutions, the man in the street and people in their homes."

      There's LOTS more but you can look for it yourself.

      Oh, and let's see if you can find an IDiot who disagrees with and challenges mullings and his desire for global religious conquest. Go ahead, show me all the IDiots who have said that they don't want to be associated with mullings and his dominionist agenda. Hop on over to UD (where he spends most of his miserable life) and see for yourself whether any of the other IDiots even question him, let alone challenge him. They're all birds of a feather.

      Now go fuck yourself.

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    8. the whole truth, you are aptly named because you obviously think that that's what you possess. Show me that atheistoclast is a Dominionist. PROVE IT. Isn't that what you guys always love to say? PROVE that atheistoclast is a Dominionist with an agenda. Then I will still think of you as a boor and an obnoxious bully (you ARE, after all), but will nevertheless owe you an apology.

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    9. In fact, twt, let's try something. Let's do something that you, astonishingly, seem not to have considered. Let's ASK atheistoclast, instead of deciding FOR him who he is and what he represents. Always better, at least at first, to get a statement from the person involved rather than running around spouting about like a conspiracy theorist, eh? At least I think so.

      Atheistoclast, are you a Dominionist? If not, are you willing to state that clearly? Do you agree with my new friend twt and me that the Dominionist agenda is scary and dangerous?

      How's that? Simple and to the point. No need for the histrionics that you seem to thrive upon.

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    10. Andy,

      I do not seek global domination. I do not seek a monopoly on the truth. I instead seek pluralism and the freedom of inquiry, debate and discussion. I think it makes science far more fun and interesting when we challenge existing assumptions, tenets and dogmas.

      I have also said, repeatedly, on this site and other forums that I am a neo-vitalist and not a young earth creationist. I am *sympathetic* to Paleyism and ID, but that is as far as it goes.

      As for Shallit, I am exasperated with him. Unlike many of my detractors who do have considerable knowledge of biology, Shallit has virtually none. Yet he continues to denounce biologists like Michael Denton, and any critic of Darwinism, as plain ignorant. That is just out of order!

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    11. Atheistoclast, thank you and I accept your answer. It doesn't seem to me that you are pushing a Dominionist agenda on anyone here, or presumably anywhere else. Twt has made a knee-jerk accusation based on sweeping generalizations and without a shred of evidence, as far as I can see. He is no arbiter. I wonder if he will accept your word on this and apologize, but I won't hold my breath.

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    12. I agree that TWT's focuse on Atheistoclast's allegedly religious motivations is irrelevant and a distraction from the issue: Atheistoclast's proven dishonesty and ignorance, which is on display in every thread.

      It doesn't matter to me WHY Atheistoclast is dishonest and ignorant. I don't care what his motivation is.

      What I care about is that when you ask him a direct question, a simple question, relevant to the topics that he raises, he weasels out.

      As for Atheistoclast's ignorance, here it is:

      Atheistoclast writes: As for Shallit, I am exasperated with him. Unlike many of my detractors who do have considerable knowledge of biology, Shallit has virtually none.

      This is false-- Shallit knows more biology than most, if not all, ID proponents. But if Atheistoclast thinks it's true, then let's ask him for evidence in which Shallit says something inaccurate about biology.

      Every day I point out inaccurate things that Atheistoclast says about biology. So, let's demand that Atheistoclast back up his accusation of Shallit's ignorance with some evidence.

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    13. Diogenes said:

      "It doesn't matter to me WHY Atheistoclast is dishonest and ignorant. I don't care what his motivation is.

      What I care about is that when you ask him a direct question, a simple question, relevant to the topics that he raises, he weasels out."

      It's obviously atheistoclasts' religious beliefs and agenda that ARE his motivation. He weasels out because he's fundamentally dishonest (like the other IDiots) and won't directly admit what his goal is.

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    14. andyboerger said:

      "Atheistoclast, thank you and I accept your answer."

      So you accept the answer of a proven liar. Hmm, that says a lot about you.

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    15. atheistoclast said:

      "I do not seek global domination. I do not seek a monopoly on the truth. I instead seek pluralism and the freedom of inquiry, debate and discussion. I think it makes science far more fun and interesting when we challenge existing assumptions, tenets and dogmas.

      I have also said, repeatedly, on this site and other forums that I am a neo-vitalist and not a young earth creationist. I am *sympathetic* to Paleyism and ID, but that is as far as it goes."

      Liar.

      And I never said that you're a "young earth creationist". I said that you're a creationist, and you obviously are.

      And since andyboerger likes 'proof', maybe you'd be willing to start to 'prove' that you're not a dominionist and don't support dominionists by showing where you have strongly and publicly denounced the wedge document, and the "Discovery Institute", and all the people who are associated with it and/or support it, and maybe you'd be willing to strongly publicly denounce all the IDiots at UD who never say anything against gordon e mullings (kairosfocus) or phil cunningham (ba77) or cornelius hunter or dense o'leary or anyone else there (or anywhere) who wants to replace science with their religious, creationist, dominionist agenda (that would include all the IDiots), and maybe you'd be willing to strongly publicly denounce anyone who thinks or promotes that ID or any other religious agenda should be taught in schools or injected into any public policy, and maybe you'd be willing to strongly publicly denounce anyone who lies and tries to cover up their dishonest religious agenda (that would include you and all other IDiots), and maybe you'd be willing to strongly publicly denounce anyone who insults, quote mines, denigrates, and lies about scientists just because scientists don't add "God-did-it" to all of their inferences/hypotheses/theories/papers/books/websites and TV shows, and maybe you'd be willing to strongly publicly denounce anyone who tries to pretend that "neo-vitalist" isn't just another name for 'supernatural god believing IDiot creationist', and maybe you'd be willing to strongly publicly denounce anyone who mangles biology/evolution/science as badly as you and the other IDiots do while claiming and/or acting as though you're eminently knowledgeable about biology/evolution/science, and maybe you'd be willing to strongly publicly denounce anyone who thinks and promotes that religious/mythical/mystical/transcendental/spiritual beliefs should have anything to do with conducting science, and maybe you'd be willing to strongly publicly denounce all the IDiots who stifle freedom of inquiry and open, honest discussion on ID websites and other religious websites, and maybe you'd be willing to strongly publicly denounce religious authoritarians who ignore or do not seek the truth and who seek a monopoly on what people are permitted to study, learn, and share, not just in schools but everywhere, and maybe you'd be willing to strongly publicly denounce IDiots like yourself who do not challenge and do not want others to challenge your existing assumptions, tenets, and dogmas, and maybe you'd be willing to strongly publicly denounce IDiots who don't know a thing about biological evolution and just plain ignorantly bash Darwin and just plain ignorantly spew the term "Darwinism"?

      See part two.

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    16. Part two.

      And before you try to claim that neo-vitalism isn't just another name for creationism, remember that you accused Larry of being pedantic. In other words, any minute details and formalisms between the labels "neo-vitalist" and "creationist" that you're likely thinking of bring up doesn't change the fact that you're a dishonest, ID pushing, science denying creationist.

      You said that you seek pluralism. Is it okay with you then if I seriously argue in favor of including the 'Fifi the pink unicorn as the designer/creator inference' in all discussions and teachings everywhere that pertain to origins, biology, and evolution? And is it okay if I use all the lies, attacks, tricks, games, distortions, quote mines, false accusations, political pressure, phony 'scientific' organizations, threats, and court room maneuvers that IDiots use, to try to force the 'Fifi the pink unicorn as the designer/creator inference' into science and everyone's life?

      I know, and you know (but won't admit), that this all boils down to religious people (like you) not wanting to accept that evolution is not designed, directed, or tinkered with by their chosen sky daddy, and that they aren't specially created and exceptional to all the rest of nature, and that they 'ain't no filthy ape'!

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  7. It might be useful to distinguish between internal and external critics of evolutionary science. There is a lot to criticize in any field. You can be a critic of the present state of evolutionary science or some aspects of it and fully accept that evolution is a fact and that questions of intention and teleology can't be handled by science.

    I'd put many ardent fans of Darwin into the uninformed and dishonest category. Including many who have never, once, cracked the spine of one of his books. It is that kind of fan who is probably the biggest problem among the internal non-critics of evolutionary science. That kind of thing can tend to stifle progress, as well.

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    1. "and that questions of intention and teleology can't be handled by science."

      Love how you HAD to throw that part in there.

      "Including many who have never, once, cracked the spine of one of his books."

      What, you mean the average layperson who's entire knowledge of biology comes merely from their HS classes, who accept evolution just because it's a scientifically established fact? Well, what do you expect? However, their "dishonesty" probably never travels farther than their sphere of friends who they chat with.

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    2. Love how you HAD to throw that part in there.

      Well, dear, the topic is raised by a well known ID industry insider. That makes the point rather apropos, as you should know.

      What, you mean the average layperson who's entire knowledge of biology comes merely from their HS classes,...

      No, I'm talking about those whose knowledge of evolution is pretty much limited to adoration of Charles Darwin as a team mascot. Their knowledge is more likely to reach its peak or erudition from some of the lesser BBC-PBS costume dramas as science and the Discovery Channel. And blog blather. Lots of it is based on nothing more than blog blather. They often believe that "Inherit the Wind" accurately represents history as well. For a lot of them the movie of that is as good as it gets. I had a rather vicious argument with a physics teacher and an actual geneticist on that point in June. So, it's not only those who paid attention in 10th grade.

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    3. They often believe that "Inherit the Wind" accurately represents history as well.

      No "Inherit the Wind" did not accurately represent history-- it made creationists look too reasonable. As a real history book, like "Summer of the Gods" will show you, creationists were much more ignorant and fanatical than shown in that movie.

      Better still, just read their books, like T. T. Martin's "Hell and the High Schools" from 1923. Read it yourself online.

      Here's an example of creationist scientific authority, circa 1923:

      During twenty-two years as an Evangelist throughout the country, I have met with many cases, young men and women having been taught Evolution in the schools, now having only contempt and scorn for the Bible and for Jesus the Christ as Saviour and Redeemer; broken-hearted fathers and mothers weeping over the wrecked faith of their children. What care the Evolutionists for all this? They laugh and jeer, as the rapist laughs and jeers at the bitter tears of the crushed father and mother over the blighted life of their child. But the rapist laughs and jeers over the wrecked, blighted human body; the Evolutionist professors laugh and jeer over a doomed, damned human soul; and they hide behind their smoke-screen that their Evolution teaches that there is no hell. Their "culture," you know—they are the "intellectuals," you know,— teaches them that there is no hell. They'll find out— when too late.

      …Yet, fathers and mothers pay the taxes that pay the salaries of these professors to doom and damn eternally their own children, when everyone of these professors can be driven from every tax-supported school, from primary to University, if the fathers and mothers will only arouse themselves and do their duty.


      ...What can be done? Where is our hope? The pussy­footing apologies for the Evolutionists will say "Don't do anything drastic. Educate the people, and the thing will right itself." Educate the people? How can we, when Evolutionists have us by the throat?

      ...And the strength of God who "created man in his own image" will come into us, and we will slay these Philistines, the greatest curse that has come upon man since God created him in His own image. What is a war, what is an epidemic that sweeps people away by the hundred thousand, compared to this scourge that under the guise of "science," when it is not science, at all, is sweeping our sons and daughters away from God, away from God's word...


      Much more like this. The creationists of the 1920's were ignorant, violent, racist extremists.

      And in the 1930's the creationists behind the Scopes trial became supporters of Hitler and Nazism, because they agreed with Hitler's treatment of the Jews, and they cited him as their authority on the Jews.

      In "Inherit the Wind" they left out the anti-Semitism and support for Hitler which happened about 8 years later.

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  8. Luskin wrote:

    "Evolutionists regularly accuse their critics of being 'dishonest' and 'deceiving.' It's a primary tactic they use to respond to criticism and intimidate critics into silence."

    It's also possible that the reason for such regular accusations is that critics of evolution so frequently appear to be using dishonest or deceitful tactics (e.g. Quote Mine Project). Frustratingly, Luskin never seems to acknowledge this possibility.

    The problem here is that it is very nearly impossible to determine whether the appearance of dishonesty is the result of ignorance or malevolence. Evolution critics like Luskin are living, breathing reminders of Hanlon's Razor.

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  9. I am YEC and crossed paths with hundreds of informed evolutionists.
    It always seems its the top ones who reach large audiences or very well degree -ed ones who comment that creationists of all species agree accuse character and motive of us before getting to the merits.

    Creationists feel they must deal with important accusations against their motives and character before anything. Its a very common impression and then suggests motives and character of opponents are trult suspect.
    I find this everywhere however in human contentions.

    I do think the side under siege is more stressed or afraid because they have already failed to stop important criticism from growing and so more senstive and then react.

    Evolutionists I find truly believe creationists are being dumb saying God/Genesis is true.
    Then well degree -ed creationists get the dumb accusation more intently as it looks like they are not dub.
    Evolution does maintain itself on authority to a great extent. The aythority of professionals. Trust us public they say. Why shouldn't we know better!?

    It is silly to accuse creationists of malice or dishonesty when they present themselves to the world.
    I find ID creationists want to get Nobel prizes and think they might.
    They see themselves in a important and exciting revolution in origin subjects.
    Yec want to reach lots of people and stabilize Christian people in their confidence in scripture and win others. Don't expect awards!

    Accusations of dishonesty are just accusations. Before insisting on this judgement there must be a trial.
    Evolutionists need just present their top three important dishonest public statements by creationists.
    Everyone should watch accusationism.

    Somebody is right and somebody is wrong in these subjects.
    on the merits will the victory go as long as freedom to speck is here in the nations.

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    1. Somebody is right and somebody is wrong in these subjects.

      Which subjects? The age of the Earth? Quite a bit is known about that, you'd have to come up with an alternative for huge areas of physics, geology and other science to overturn the present understanding of that in order to make a reasonable case. It won't be done.

      Evolution and common descent? There are other, enormous, areas of science, which has become ever more powerful in its persuasive power to get over to make a case that evolution didn't happen.

      The origin of life? Well, no one knows anything about that so about that no one can be known to be right, though some proposed ideas seem to be quite a bit more implausible than others. I doubt that the evidence of that will ever be available.

      About the possibility of a design behind what science can reveal about those things, about intentional outcomes in the continuing act of the Creator? Those are questions that science can't process, addressing them as if they were part of science is inherently dishonest when it isn't an expression of ignorance. Both sides do that.

      I'm impressed at how little of the Bible that creationists care about. I'm impressed how many of those who profess a belief in Jesus are rapacious capitalists, despite his closest followers holding all in common and repeatedly expressing the need of support for the poor. I'm impressed how readily they not only resort to violence but advocate its use in what are actually the theft of property, the enslavement of the relatively meek, and other political objectives. As followers of Jesus, they're even more of a failure than they are as scientists. There, I said it.

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    2. Oh, yes, the meek inheriting the Earth. I've seen mighty little meekness among the creationists and their political allies. They don't seem to believe that quite unambiguous statement of a man many of them claim to believe is God incarnate.

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    3. Dear Robert,

      "...who comment that creationists of all species agree accuse character and motive of us before getting to the merits."

      Your character is not the problem. Your grammar, on the other hand...

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    4. @Byers:

      Evolutionists need just present their top three important dishonest public statements by creationists.

      You can read Larry's recent post on Junk DNA and how creationist try to walk back their lies about what scientists said.

      In the comments I present evidence, including Jonathan Wells on video, of creationists lying about what scientists said about junk DNA.

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  10. Being uniformed is perfectly okay

    Quite an amusing statement: I would like some proposals for uniforms for creationists etc.

    Sorry about the nit picking.

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  11. You can always use the excuse that the other side does the same thing, but in the end that's pretty pointless. So what?

    I don't point these things out to excuse inaction - I have already said why I tend not to respond - it barely registers on my radar. Do you expect better from the 'science side'? Better than silence or active mud-slinging, that is? I think there's something interesting in scientists dropping the cool language of formal communications, and displaying a little ... 'passion'. Such as Mancunian Brian Cox saying "anyone who thinks the LHC will cause the end of the earth is a twat". There is a more considered argument, but it's still funny.

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  12. Thought criminal
    Well the thing is that creationism does take on conclusions in origin subjects and that includes demonstrating their isn't much evidence or case for their conclusions.
    We are quite successful at this with audiences.
    Be definition origin subjects are about things where only after the fact is their data to work with.
    Nothing to observe right now and measure.
    Its not like real scientific subjects which are repeatable or open to prediction in order to sure up confidence in hypothesis.

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    1. their isn't much evidence or case for their conclusions.

      That the Earth is several billions of years old and that evolution is a fact are about as well established as anything in science. Evolution is the most documented fact in science.

      We are quite successful at this with audiences.

      I'd say it's at least as much that science has been bad at presenting the evidence as that you've made a valid case against those two facts. In other cases, such as about the origin of life, teleology and intention, those either don't have any physical evidence so science is irrelevant or they are questions that science can't deal with. On those you can either be as baseless as scientific speculations in the absence of evidence or you can be free to speculate on what the evidence shows, though you can't have your own evidence.

      You ought to do a bit more study of what science is and what science isn't. Which is also a problem with the general audience, and not only the ones you convince.

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  13. Quote-mining is a dead giveaway of dishonesty, and there are scarce few creationists that don't engage in that.

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  14. "We are quite successful at this with audiences."

    yes, because , to paraphrase Twain, whether from ignorance or malice, a lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. When it comes to pass that scientific theories are decided by lay people voting on them, your side's debating skills might be of value. 'Til then, I'll stick to the more accepted scientific method, you know, the one that actually works. As I, for one, am still waiting for IDiots to present a falsifiable hypothesis, however rudimentary.

    John Phillips, FCD

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