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Sunday, September 02, 2012

How to Get Banned on Sandwalk

I try really hard not to ban anyone from commenting on Sandwalk but there are some things I will not tolerate.

Someone named David Roemer recently tested the limits of my patience, and failed. He is now banned.

Here's what happened. I received an email message from David Roemer about a comment of his that did not appear on Sandwalk. I don't know why it didn't appear. I don't remember seeing it.

Shortly after receiving the email message I received a copy of a message David Roemer sent to the chair of my department. Here's the beginning ...
Dear Dr. XXX,

Prof. Moran, I believe, didn't approve of the following comment I made on his Sandwalk blog. He has every right to do so, but he has a moral duty not to coverup the misinformation contained in the AJP article I mention in my censored comment:

Natural selection only explains the adaptation of species to the environment. Not enough is known about the innovations natural selection acts upon to understand how mammals evolved from bacteria in only 3.5 billion years (common descent). The only theory that attempts to explain common descent is ID, but there is no evidence for ID.

IDiots try to make their theory look better by comparing it with natural selection. Atheists go along with this scam because they don’t want to admit that ID is a better theory than natural selection in some sense.

A corollary of the limitations of natural selection is that the second law of thermodynamics doesn’t apply to evolution, just as it doesn’t apply to the evolution of stars. Nevertheless, there is scientific literature about whether evolution violates the second law. Authors on the “does not” side argue that heat energy from the sun accounts for the increase in order (decrease in entropy). Heat, of course, tends to increase disorder.

This nonsense reached an extreme level in an article published by the American Journal of Physics (Entropy and evolution, Nov. 2008). This article actually calculates the entropy of the biosphere using the Boltzmann constant and an estimate of the thermodynamic probability of life. I’m trying to get the AJP to retract this absurd article.

I'm copying David Novak because he is on the Institute Board of First Things, which is refusing to publish my attached essay explaining why the AJP article is absurd. Both Novak and Moran are helping the AJP lie about evolution and thermodynamics.
My chair will be amused by this sort of thing. There's nothing he could do about it even if he wanted to.

This is one of the criteria for banning. Anyone who tries to get someone fired or reprimanded by going over their head to their employer will be banned. Anyone who harasses the family and friends of someone they disagree with will be banned. There are no exceptions.

I've also banned John Kwok for doing the same thing in an attempt to silence Jim Shapiro.


  1. "I’m trying to get the AJP to retract this absurd article."

    Hahaha! Good luck on that, mate!

  2. Many people have their comments fail to appear on blogger. They typically accuse the blog owner of deleting their post or refusing to publish it.

    In most cases it is because the person has disabled third-party cookies in their browser. There are other causes too, but that's one of the main ones.

  3. I've had posts disappear down the Internet black hole like everyone else, although usually it's just when I'm getting to the end of a long, care-fully thought gem of reasoning and the web-page disappears or the browser crashes. That's when there's a strong temptation to do serious damage to the screen.

    Now, I compose my deathless prose in Notepad and copy-and-paste it to the Comment box so it's not lost. That'll teach the gremlins!

  4. David Roemer was a problem on a Freethinkers group I'm in on LinkedIn. He's a nut who is unwilling to discuss anything he proposes, we engaged him way too long. I don't recall if he was banned or removed himself from the group. Once, I sent him to WEIT for more information and he showed up there and started the same thing there. He never intelligently responded to anything anyone said. I don't recall if Jerry banned him, but David accused him of that, and accused commenters there of being close-minded and such (he posted this on LinkedIn). I think the topic at the time was free-will.

    I wonder how he got here. I don't think I linked to Sandwalk at that time so maybe it wasn't my fault :-).

    And yeah, Blogger is a pain in the neck. I forgot to copy this post before publishing and it seems to have disappeared. Larry, why don't you try WordPress? Please...

    1. I don't have time to switch hosts. Besides, there seem to be problems with WordPress as well judging from what I see in the blogosphere.

      Jerry Coyne uses WordPress and my comments disappear from there all the time.

      You need to understand that some comments get identified as spam and it might take half a day for me to empty out the spam box. Be patient.

      Any comments on a post that's more than two weeks old will be held for moderation.

  5. This is one of the criteria for banning. Anyone who tries to get someone fired or reprimanded by going over their head to their employer will be banned. Anyone who harasses the family and friends of someone they disagree with will be banned. There are no exceptions.

    A correct and admirable policy that one should not even have to announce.

    I don't suppose he's the David Roemer who takes sexy photographs of beautiful people ...?

    Naw, it's this nut and he appears to make a habit of such idiocy.

    He graduated from Fordham College. I'm sure the Jesuits are proud.

  6. The guy showed up at Talking Philosophy as well, doing his entropy shtick.

  7. Re John Kwok

    Mr. Kwok has managed to get the heave ho from several blogs for unsatisfactory behavior. In the past, I have lobbied the folks at Panda's Thumb not to do the same over there, despite there being considerable support for such action from other commentors. However, I was not aware of his efforts stifle Prof. Shapiro. Thus, I am seriously reconsidering my position on the matter.

  8. So many errors, so little time... Sticking to entropy 1) AFAIK, Gish is the only one dumb enough to claim that interstellar gas clouds can't collapse into stars. Gas clouds export energy and entropy to the exterior, so neither the 1st or 2nd laws of thermo are violated. As for the claim that the sun's energy would increase the earth's entropy, entropy is (roughly speaking) heat divided by temperature. The sun is about 20 times hotter than the earth so the energy the earth absorbs has 20 times less entropy than the energy the earth radiates into space. More explicitly, since the earth is 20 times cooler, the far infrared photons it radiates have 20 times less energy per photon. Since the incoming and outgoing energy flows are the same, the earth radiates 20 times more photons than it receives.

    Any entropy reductions due to evolution are enormously outweighed by the entropy production from turning visible light into infrared.

    The AJP paper shows that the amount of entropy exported by the earth in 100 days, even under very conservative assumptions, is enough to allow the evolution from individual atoms, of every living thing, not just the first bacterium. Comparing 100 days to the age of the earth shows that the creationists are wrong by at least a billion, which is even worse than their claims about the age of the earth.