Joined: Jan. 2011
|Quote (Seversky @ Jan. 21 2011,15:58)|
|Quote (Kris @ Jan. 21 2011,04:04)|
|If I were commenting on the DI site I wouldn't say things like I do here. The reason being that they are much more likely to actually discuss something than to resort to name calling and other insults. On this site, Panda's Thumb, Pharyngula, and other religion bashing sites the vitriol is so out of control that the only way to get you guys to even pay attention is to be as blunt as possible.|
I agree with you about the lynch-mob mentality that can erupt in the Pharyngula comments (although it's far from being just there) but isn't that the price you pay for free speech? Free speech is not about just allowing what you personally find agreeable and inoffensive, it is in the quote (wrongly) attributed to Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
UD and DI are criticized because they are far less tolerant of dissent than PT.
|The DI site has likely received so many attacks, insults, and threats that they probably just figure it's best to not allow comments at all, and frankly, I don't blame them. |
Website administrators are fully entitled to impose whatever standards of moderation they choose and any visitors should expect to be held to them. But if they do subject comments to draconian restrictions they cannot at the same time present themselves as champions of free enquiry and speech, not without being called on it.
|I was banned from Panda's Thumb and the Bathroom Wall and Pharyngula. Some of my comments were either removed or never posted. |
I was called a "moral monster" by Bully Arrington and later banned from Uncommon Descent. Many years back I was also the victim of a pack attack on Pharyngula for arguing againt abortion. The difference was UD banned me, PZ didn't.
|The vast majority of the people who post on Panda's Thumb, the Bathroom Wall, Pharyngula, and other religion bashing sites aren't really standing up for science. They're just haters who need something to hate and bash, and if it weren't religion it would just be something else. |
I see them more as reactionary. The wildebeeste infidels or gnu atheists or whatever they call themselves are a reaction to the centuries of oppression of non-believers by the various religions. Even today there are many in this country that don't believe atheists should be citizens and that they rank below pedophiles in terms of respectability. As for the chances of a self-proclaimed atheist being elected to public office they are usually calculated at a p-value of snowball-in-hell. There is a Dark Side to religion that cannot be ignored.
|If the science is well done but is still provisional or incomplete, don't be afraid to admit it. Stop acting like you know it all or that science knows it all. Acting like that makes you look as pompous and delusional as the most flagrant religious wackos. |
Scientists are human just like everyone else so you will find examples who overstate their case for various reasons. Mostly, though, they are well aware of the limitations of their knowledge, more so than the critics who are usually responsible for setting up the strawman of the arrogant boffin.
Need I remind you that Newtonian mechanics were superseded by relativity theory, not as a result of lay critics pointing out holes that professional physicists were supposed to have missed, but because scientists understood in detail the problems with the old theory and therefore what its successor would need to do. A number of scientists were groping towards a solution, Einstein managed to get there first.
Well-established theories are not overturned easily and that's as it should be. If you have something that works reasonably well, you only give it up when someone offers something demonstrably better. Science isn't about defending some dogma - if that were the case biologists would still be defending the inerrancy of every last word of On the Origin of Species - it is about hanging on to something that works until something that works better comes along.
|You come across like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh. Constantly spewing hypocritical, partisan anger, hatred, insults, and ridicule ...|
I'm glad to see we have the same opinion of those three.
|Many of you regularly argue that ID and creationism and religion in general don't have a satisfactory 'replacement' for the theory of evolution or just about any other aspect of science. You expect them to have that satisfactory replacement before you will even consider any of their theories or beliefs (take your pick). Well, what does science have that will satisfactorily replace all religious beliefs? For instance, does science have anything that will provide people the comfort and feeling of security they get from their religious beliefs? How about the companionship? |
Science isn't trying to replace religion as the "opium of the people", it is just trying to understand and explain the way the natural world works. The problems arise when religions claim that their explanations of the world are better than those of science and that if science disagrees then science must be wrong. If proponents of ID want it to be taken seriously as science then they need to get out into the lab and the field and put together a working, testable theory. As for comfort and companionship, there is no reason why religion shouldn't keep on doing what it does best. I would help,though, if they dropped some of the less savory bits.
There's no such thing as free speech at Pharyngla, Panda's Thumb, or here.
UD and DI may be less tolerant, although I can't judge that without seeing every comment ever submitted to them, but it shouldn't be a matter of who's "less tolerant". Selective censoring and banning on any forum does not allow or promote free speech. Just because censoring and banning may be done less here or on Panda's Thumb or Pharyngula doesn't make it any more right.
You said, "Website administrators are fully entitled to impose whatever standards of moderation they choose and any visitors should expect to be held to them. But if they do subject comments to draconian restrictions they cannot at the same time present themselves as champions of free enquiry and speech, not without being called on it."
Yeah, and that applies to this site, Panda's Thumb, Pharyngula, and any other site.
You say you see the haters and bashers as "more reactionary". It's interesting that when I 'react' I'm accused of being all kinds of bad things. Apparently it just depends on who's being reactionary to what, or more accurately, whether someone is saying what others want to hear, or not, no matter who started it.
Being reactionary to what religion did in the past is like black people bitching about slavery. My ancestors were likely oppressed by religion and they may have been slaves too but I don't really care. They're all dead and that was a long time ago.
There's nothing wrong with being reactionary now about things that happen now, depending on what happens and the reaction of course. Some religious wackos should be reacted to and pressured to stop their holier than thou bullshit but that shouldn't be the job for science or scientists, and it doesn't make science look better if it's used simply as a weapon against religion. A lot of scientists spend a lot of time and effort trying to use science as that direct weapon and some do appear to be trying to replace religion with science as the opium of the people. Education about science and nature would probably be more effective, and especially with children.
I agree that religion, or at least some religions, get away with way too much, have unsavory bits, and are detrimental to society in some ways, but I'm not convinced that simply bitching about religion on a website is going to change anything for the better. There has to be a better way. Science and nature must be made interesting, accessible, understandable, and attractive to the masses, and especially to children.
Maybe it's time to 'outsmart' the religious zealots who want to cram religion into schools and every other aspect of life. There's a battle going on near where I live. Sea lions congregate below a dam and eat too many salmon, according to the 'authorities', even though humans have killed, polluted, and destroyed more salmon and their habitat than all the Sea Lions that ever lived could do in thousands of years. So, what's the remedy? Kill the Sea lions of course. Throw explosives into to the water too (which also kills salmon) and spend a fortune driving around in boats chasing the Sea lions away from the dam. Is that the best we humans can do? Can't we outsmart a Sea lion and come up with a better remedy? Can't science or scientists 'outsmart' the pushers of the unsavory bits and fairy tales in religion and find effective ways to get people interested in science and nature?
The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions. Plato