|Wesley R. Elsberry
Joined: May 2002
OK, let's take up that concern...
|Quote (Ignotus;66262621]Wesley @ |
More people on the opposing side of this little "debate" might take you seriously if you didn't constantly post in internet discussions like the following...
We seem to be getting away from the point I made to start with, which is that I have been addressing the content of IDC advocates' claims as well as how they conduct themselves. There is no complementarity here; you wish to discuss how I conduct myself without regard to the content of what I have said.
There's a few different ways to approach the "take you seriously" crack. First, it seems not to be true in person. Since early 1997, I've been on stage in debates and presentations with various IDC advocates, including Bill Dembski, Paul Nelson, William Lane Craig, and Ray Bohlin, and never had the impression that they weren't taking me very seriously indeed. Second, I have no need for validation from "people on the opposing side"; I am content to look back on my collaboration with folks like Stephen Harvey and Eric Rothschild of Pepper Hamilton LLP, who made good use of my advice and assistance during the 2004-2005 Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District case. The side I collaborated with won. (Interestingly, I had discussed such court cases in the abstract with Casey Luskin, who is now a spokesperson for the Discovery Institute, over lunch back in 2004 before the Dover case got going, and we parted with me projecting that ID would fail such a court challenge, and Casey projecting that it would pass through handily.) Please continue to think of me as non-serious; I appreciate underestimation from "people of the opposing side". Third, what hope do I as a relatively recently minted Ph.D. have of being taken seriously by "people of the opposing side" when I see time and again that those people fail to take seriously -- or outright disparage -- even eminent scientists with extensive publication records, at least in print if not in person?
Excellent. In case you haven't seen it, my dissertation is online: http://repositories.tdl.org/tdl/handle/1969.1/554?show=full . I think Texas A&M University stacks up well compared to various and sundry granting institutions seen (and especially the ones not seen) in the DI's "Dissent from Darwin" list that came into the discussion earlier.
From everything I have read on the internet (most of it outside of this forum), you seem like a legit scientist.
I don't believe that I've ever called anyone "tard", much less to have done so repeatedly. I'd be happy to retract any existing instance, but please excuse me if I fail to hold my breath waiting for documentation of any such. As for "petty insult", some people do seem to have thin skins; in the absence of particulars to ground the discussion, this is likely a difference in perception that we will have to agree to disagree upon.
However, posting in discussions that throw out petty insults and repeatedly call people "tard" isn't a good way to make yourself look unbiased and objective.
If the intent in the quote above was simply to note that I post alongside some rude people, I should note that even if I posted here exclusively, it wouldn't disassociate me from rudeness, viz the "athiests[sic] are retarded" comment upthread here, which even uses the same trope complained about in the other venue. Nor is my goal to "look unbiased and objective". I was last employed in journalism over 25 years ago. I think the common journalistic connotation of "objectivity" is a copout, an irresponsible refusal to reach a conclusion even when there is an overwhelming and obvious record of evidence on a topic. Evidence is a powerful source of bias in science; we tend to discard things that have been shown to be false rather than to perpetually pretend that any conjecture is just as good as any other. The post-modernist stance that any conjecture is eternally in the running as somebody somewhere's "truth", no matter what evidence might exist on the topic, is common in the modern anti-evolution movement.
I think it is not so much "resort to" as it is "participate in". IDC advocates and their cheerleaders are not always models of rhetorical decorum. (I think "rarely" comes closer to the mark.) Maybe those "vocal scientists" are a bit put out over having to perennially spend personal or professional time defending the teaching of science in the public schools. That would certainly be true for PZ Myers, who has been active in countering a number of flare-ups in Minnesota. Maybe they are somewhat miffed over being called something akin to Nazis, socialists, communists, fascists, or as minions of Satan. Maybe they take a bit of umbrage over implications that they are incompetent in their own fields, somehow overlooking things that are supposedly obvious to people without training or knowledge of that field. Maybe they are a bit irked over being called defenders of the status quo or conspirators to preserve ideas past their prime. Any and all of these should compete with the notion that they must just be bad people.
Why are there so many vocal scientists cough* PZ Meyers cough* that resort to this sort of petty internet mud slinging?
Anybody who gets to be good at something has something of an obsession. Unhealthy? I know just how pervasively and frequently religious anti-evolution attacks on science education occur. As Goldwater said, "Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." I don't think I'll take my cues on how much criticism I engage in from "people of the opposing side", and I wouldn't recommend anybody else do so, either.
At times it seems like many of the vocal ID critics have a sort of unhealthy obsession.
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker