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Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4503
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2011,10:32   

The Discovery Institute's "Evolution News and Views" blog is taking a step into uncharted territory. They are permitting comments. Moderated, of course.

Quote

In order to maintain a higher level of discourse, we will
not publish comments that use foul language, ad hominem attacks, threats, or are otherwise uncivil.


This thread should be used to cache copies of comments left at EN&V, so that we can calibrate just how much dissent the DI is willing to publish.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
olegt



Posts: 1387
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2011,10:38   

Quote
Of course, you might want to discuss it with the scientists and scholars themselves. To that end, comments will be allowed on selected articles. All comments are held for moderation. The debate over evolution and intelligent design attracts all kinds, including those who detract from the conversation by their obnoxious behavior. In order to maintain a higher level of discourse, we will not publish comments that use foul language, ad hominem attacks, threats, or are otherwise uncivil.


Emphasis in the original.

Having looked through the top 5 articles, I have not found one with comments allowed. We shall see.

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If you are not:
Galapagos Finch
please Logout

  
MadPanda, FCD



Posts: 267
Joined: Nov. 2010

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2011,10:45   

(reads)

(breaks out into sarcastic sniggering)

If I had an irony meter, it might have hit elevenses on that one.  Can these yoiks possibly manage to avoid an own-goal with this stuff?  Or are the deafened by the sound of so many points whizzing over their heads?


The MadPanda, FCD

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"No matter how ridiculous the internet tough guy, a thorough mocking is more effective than a swift kick to the gentleman vegetables with a hobnailed boot" --Louis

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3314
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2011,10:49   

uncivil = questions

ad hominim = asking for evidence of assertions

foul language = saying something is illogical or a strawman

threats = posting as anything but a crebot

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Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2011,09:44   

The simple fact of Kris being here attacking AtBC about its horrible moderation policy and not being moderated for doing so is ample evidence that his arguments are flawed.

And he's been offered a thread of his own, where he could go and discuss in a civilized way.

1 post from him there so far...

Kris; as long as you don't actually spam (look at Mabuse for a "how not to do it" chart), you won't be moderated. Restricted to the BW for a while if you start being really insulting, at worst.

But no one will ever silence you here for your opinions. Hell, I've had a few harsh disagreements with some folks here, and was never, ever silenced.

or Expelled©...

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4503
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2011,09:47   

I've split out the concern trolling to its own thread. Please try to keep this topical to the DI EN&V comment experiment.

The "split" function apparently doesn't actually move comments, it copies them. So I'll be deleting from here till the move operation is finished.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Alan Fox



Posts: 1365
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2011,09:49   

Moved to appropriate thread

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2011,09:51   

Quote
Unless the question is one of identifying European wildlife


Are you referring to swallows, here?

:)

And Wes: yes, good idea, thanks.

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
olegt



Posts: 1387
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2011,09:55   

[Squashing the pagination bug.]

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If you are not:
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Alan Fox



Posts: 1365
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2011,10:01   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Jan. 21 2011,04:51)
Quote
Unless the question is one of identifying European wildlife


Are you referring to swallows, here?

:)

And Wes: yes, good idea, thanks.


No, missed that one. It was Lampyris noctiluca!

ETA Oops Sorry Wesley. Feel free to move to correct thread.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4503
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2011,00:50   

Casey Luskin doesn't like it that the Elsberry and Shallit 2003 essay got edited and published in Synthese. Casey says it is "extremely out-of-date". Casey has evidence! Follow his link to a list of "peer-reviewed papers [published] in recent years", Casey says!

I'd like to leave a comment for Casey. But EN&V hasn't seen fit to open comments on Casey's rant.

Here's an interesting fact: every single one of the papers at the link Casey gave was published after we submitted our essay to Synthese. Ooops. Will Casey admit error in claiming that we were "out-of-date"?

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
blipey



Posts: 2061
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2011,00:54   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 26 2011,00:50)
Casey Luskin doesn't like it that the Elsberry and Shallit 2003 essay got edited and published in Synthese. Casey says it is "extremely out-of-date". Casey has evidence! Follow his link to a list of "peer-reviewed papers [published] in recent years", Casey says!

I'd like to leave a comment for Casey. But EN&V hasn't seen fit to open comments on Casey's rant.

Here's an interesting fact: every single one of the papers at the link Casey gave was published after we submitted our essay to Synthese. Ooops. Will Casey admit error in claiming that we were "out-of-date"?

No?  Or is this a trick question?

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But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG

And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4503
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2011,23:29   

At this point, just finding a thread at EN&V with open comments will have to count for something. It looks like nobody wants to go first.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
sparc



Posts: 1708
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2011,00:32   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 28 2011,23:29)
At this point, just finding a thread at EN&V with open comments will have to count for something. It looks like nobody wants to go first.

You can comment on the the post on Flannery's book on Wallace (currently 16 comments, two by Luskin, another two by O'Leary). Comments are moderated. Other threads including the one on Synthese still don't allow comments.

ETA ENV's comment policy:
Quote
Comment Policy

All comments are held for moderation. The debate over evolution and intelligent design attracts all kinds, including those who detract from the conversation by their obnoxious behavior. In order to maintain a higher level of discourse, we will not publish comments that use foul language, ad hominem attacks, threats, or are otherwise uncivil.


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"[...] the type of information we find in living systems is beyond the creative means of purely material processes [...] Who or what is such an ultimate source of information? [...] from a theistic perspective, such an information source would presumably have to be God."

- William Dembski -

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2011,04:29   

Quote (sparc @ Jan. 29 2011,01:32)
You can comment on the the post on Flannery's book on Wallace (currently 16 comments, two by Luskin, another two by O'Leary). Comments are moderated. Other threads including the one on Synthese still don't allow comments.

ETA ENV's comment policy:  
Quote
Comment Policy

All comments are held for moderation. The debate over evolution and intelligent design attracts all kinds, including those who detract from the conversation by their obnoxious behavior. In order to maintain a higher level of discourse, we will not publish comments that use foul language, ad hominem attacks, threats, or are otherwise uncivil.

I have posted the following. Let's see if it appears:
 
Quote
"It all sounds impressive until Pinker tries to actually make a case for any of this. The narrative quickly degenerates into a trivial recounting of what humans currently do and then into a collection of speculative scenarios about how certain primordial hominids "might have" done this or "perhaps" did that."

Wallace's claim too may be characterized as a recounting of what humans currently do coupled with the assertion that these capabilities cannot have arisen by gradations. The argument for this assertion inheres in characterizations of these activities, e.g. their level of abstraction, and the follow-on claim that lesser forms of such capabilities cannot have been useful to our hominid ancestors, and therefore cannot have arisen step-wise. This is a conceptual argument, not an empirical one - which is why it is characterized as a "paradox."

When a conceptual claim is made, a conceptual response may be sufficient to dispute that claim. Wallace - and now ID proponents - argue not that these things did not happen (broadly an empirical claim), but that they cannot have happened - that to assert otherwise is to invoke a paradox (a conceptual claim). To refute an argument of this kind all one need only show that such events can have happened - that the claim is not in fact paradoxical. That is the level of Pinker's argument (as you summarize it here). Qualifiers such as "may have been," "may serve as," "perhaps," "may connect" are appropriate when mounting a conceptual response to a conceptual claim.

That response alone does not amount to science (nor is Wallace's claim science), nor does it follow from the argument that events can have happened that they did indeed happen. The science lies in the very hard work of formulating hypotheses regarding human cognitive evolution that are testable - a difficult proposition given that the hypothesized cognitive attainments occurred tens of thousands to millions of years in the past, and by their very nature can have left no physical traces other than cultural artifacts. The most interesting work in this field, which is far from new, draws not just upon characterizations of the skills in question but also upon predictions arising from a "triangulation" between findings in cognitive science, primatology, and human developmental psychology (ie. the unfolding of cognitive abilities in individual children). Perhaps we can never attain a high level of confidence regarding particular hypotheses. But a conceptual response alone can refute the bare conceptual claim that such hypotheses cannot be correct.


--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4364
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2011,08:13   

RB: My Spidey Sense says your comment will not see the light of day at EN & V:

Quote
we will not publish comments that use foul language, ad hominem attacks, threats, or are otherwise uncivil.


Your comment is intelligent, to the point, makes sense, and therefore is a threat to ID...

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2011,16:35   

My comment has appeared. I'm not sure when, as I was looking for it at the end of the comment list until I noticed that the most recent comments appear just under the OP.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2011,16:53   

Bwahaha!!!

Egnor chimes in:

Quote
By the way, this comment section is great! I'm sure that it's labor intensive to filter out the inevitable Darwinist venom, but for people interested in civil discussion it's wonderful.


I didn't take the worst of his comment, don't want to break the internet...

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
sledgehammer



Posts: 531
Joined: Sep. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2011,18:13   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Jan. 29 2011,14:53)
Bwahaha!!!

Egnor chimes in:

 
Quote
By the way, this comment section is great! I'm sure that it's labor intensive to filter out the inevitable Darwinist venom, but for people interested in civil discussion it's wonderful.


I didn't take the worst of his comment, don't want to break the internet...

Of course this comment by Egnor follows his venom-laced rant on how the pejorative use of "Darwinist" is justified because it pisses off the atheistic biologists.
I don't suppose "IDiot" would be likewise justified?

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The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The terror of their tyranny is alleviated by their lack of consistency. -A. Einstein (H/T, JAD)
If evolution is true, you could not know that it's true because your brain is nothing but chemicals. ?Think about that. -K. Hovind

  
Sol3a1



Posts: 110
Joined: July 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2011,07:29   

Why is it the more I read of the tactics and personal of the DI the more I want to punch something?

Oh yes, really, really hard.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2011,09:08   

Quote (sledgehammer @ Jan. 29 2011,18:13)
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Jan. 29 2011,14:53)
Bwahaha!!!

Egnor chimes in:

Quote
By the way, this comment section is great! I'm sure that it's labor intensive to filter out the inevitable Darwinist venom, but for people interested in civil discussion it's wonderful.


I didn't take the worst of his comment, don't want to break the internet...

Of course this comment by Egnor follows his venom-laced rant on how the pejorative use of "Darwinist" is justified because it pisses off the atheistic biologists.
I don't suppose "IDiot" would be likewise justified?

From their comment policy
Quote

In order to maintain a higher level of discourse, we will
not publish comments that use foul language, ad hominem attacks, threats, or are otherwise uncivil.


I guess the egnoramus comments are considered civil, and not ad hominem. But I imagine that if someone opined that ID proponentsist comments contained "venom", such a comment would never be allowed.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
- Pattiann Rogers

   
Doc Bill



Posts: 1005
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2011,10:46   

Egnor was the guy that said the brain was like a cell phone and God was ATT, or something along those lines.

He flounced away screaming like a little girl about "ad hominem, uncivil, viewpoint discrimination" when it was pointed out that his analogy was STUPID.

I mean, not even fucking STUPID, just regular STUPID.  What a Nancy.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4078
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2011,16:48   

Quote
But I imagine that if someone opined that ID proponentsist comments contained "venom", such a comment would never be allowed.

What if the venom is merely evolved saliva?

Henry

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2011,17:56   

The time has come to examine EN&V's initial foray into the wilds of open comments.

Following a flurry of pro-ID regulars discussing a point irrelevant to the OP, I posted a comment. Flannery responded by counting the ways in which my argument miscarried (4). I responded...

And that's it. Flannery didn't seem to have much stomach for defending his thesis once challenged, never responded further, and now the thread is closed.

And regretted, one expects, as I don't see any other threads in which comments are open.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2011,18:57   

Second comment, cached:
Quote
Reciprocating Bill | January 30, 2011 7:11 PM
Flannery -

Thank you for your response. I'll address your points in turn.

"Pinker is invoking the cognitive niche as an explanatory mechanism for the human mind, and as such it is surely reasonable to expect some empirical evidence on its behalf"

I agree. As I stated below, "That response alone does not amount to science (nor is Wallace's claim science), nor does it follow from the argument that events can have happened that they did indeed happen. The science lies in the very hard work of formulating hypotheses regarding human cognitive evolution that are testable."

As I also stated below, some extremely interesting work is being done on these very difficult questions, for example at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and by researchers such as Tomasello, Call, Povinelli, Hare, and many others. Hard won specific, testable hypotheses regarding the nature and evolution of primate theory of mind (a pillar in the foundation of human cognition) are being addressed through thoroughly experimental means (see Brian Hare's elegant work on the distribution among primates of an understanding that one's conspecifics 'see' and act upon what they have seen). The results have unmistakeable importance for the evolution of social-cognitive intelligence and the foundations of many of the human capabilities we both admire. Further, the cross-fertilized work in developmental psychology stimulated by this perspective has yielded significant, unexpected discoveries regarding the unfolding of human cognition in infants, empirical findings that have unmistakable relevance to our understanding of human cognitive evolution. Whether or not you find that work "convincing," a large community of primatologists, developmental psychologists and cognitive scientists find it a fertile, productive and progressive area of empirical research, a framework that guides research in a way that has yielded important discoveries and posed additional researchable questions. I find it wholly inaccurate to characterize this work as "hand waving and hedges."
Any reader who wishes may begin to judge for themselves by visiting

http://www.eva.mpg.de/english/index.htm

"Wallace never argued that humans couldnt acquire higher mental attributes by means of natural selection, he simply said that such an argument lacked evidence"

At the outset you quote, approvingly I gather, Wallace as characterizing the distance between human beings and other species as "unbridgeable," and that "nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man" (my emphasis). That statement precisely is a claim that human beings can't have acquired higher mental attributes by means of evolutionary mechanisms, and not an assertion regarding the evidence.

"Wallace pointed out that the uniquely human attributes of abstract reasoning, humor, mathematical ability, musical aptitude, artistic talent, etc. are inexplicable in terms of ordinary survival needs."

Of course, this again is a wholly conceptual claim, one that assumes it's conclusion. And, once again, it is a claim that "humans couldnt acquire higher mental attributes by means of natural selection," a argument you say Wallace never made.

Moreover, these abilities are at bottom elaborations of the powerful human capacity for representation, both as displayed by individuals and as deployed through the shared "distributed cognition" that characterizes our way of making a living. The capacious representational abilities that characterize human cognition have everything to do with the "survival needs" associated with the way human beings have made their living throughout their history. To say otherwise is tantamount to asserting that flight can't have evolved in birds because flight has nothing to do with basic survival needs.

That said, all of these skills have been hugely elaborated by means of cultural rather than biological evolution over the past several tens of thousands of years, and therefore do have many elaborate characteristics that are traceable to processes other than natural selection.

"The observational and experiential power of Wallaces position is underestimated."

Ultimately, again, the science lies in the very hard work of generating testable hypotheses concerning the origins of these abilities and devising empirical research (both experimental and field) capable of answering the questions posed. It is the experimental power of Wallace's ideas - or rather the lack of same - that should concern its advocates.


--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2011,20:25   

David Klinghoffer at EN&V sustains a higher level of discourse in a post on Richard Dawkins entitled, Richard Dawkins, Worthless Bully. Some excerpts:

"What's really contemptible about Dawkins's article"

"Nothing could be more shoddy and dishonest"

"Dawkins showed his own blind cowardice in his most recent book"

"The man is just a pathetic and worthless bully, nothing more."

Then we have the comment policy:
Quote
... In order to maintain a higher level of discourse, we will not publish comments that use foul language, ad hominem attacks, threats, or are otherwise uncivil.

My emphasis.

Doesn't apply to OPs, or to Klinghoffer, apparently.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Quack



Posts: 1768
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2011,16:18   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 02 2011,17:56)
The time has come to examine EN&V's initial foray into the wilds of open comments.

Following a flurry of pro-ID regulars discussing a point irrelevant to the OP, I posted a comment. Flannery responded by counting the ways in which my argument miscarried (4). I responded...

And that's it. Flannery didn't seem to have much stomach for defending his thesis once challenged, never responded further, and now the thread is closed.

And regretted, one expects, as I don't see any other threads in which comments are open.

Ah, the wonderful world of facts! Speaks louder than the most vociferous creationist.

--------------
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.
                                                                                               Richard Feynman

  
Ptaylor



Posts: 888
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 04 2011,18:07   

Hmm... Casey Luskin has put a new post up criticising the DI's latest favourite bogeyman, Stephen Hawking. (He complains about Hawking using fallacious logic - oh the ironing.) It ends with a question...
 
Quote
What else would you expect from the guy that said "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing"?

...but, oddly, Casey has not enabled comments to allow for any answers. Didn't he once say the no comments policy was not his idea? What to make of this?

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To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today. - Isaac Asimov

"Grow up, assface" - Joe G., grown up ID spokesperson, Sandwalk, April 2014

  
Henry J



Posts: 4078
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 04 2011,22:28   

Quote
...but, oddly, Casey has not enabled comments to allow for any answers. Didn't he once say the no comments policy was not his idea? What to make of this?

No comment!!111!!eleven!!

  
paragwinn



Posts: 399
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2011,08:51   

I forgot to crosspost a comment I submitted to Nelson's OD II post which has been in moderation going on 24 hours now. (I guess nobody scans submissions on the weekends). I asked why Nelson decided to use "natural selection" as shorthand for the theory of [neo-Darwinian] evolution. I pointed out that such use makes it difficult to determine whether each of his arguments is referring to the process of NS or to the theory of evolution as a whole. I asked for clarification. Maybe I should have added "please with sugar on top"

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All women build up a resistance [to male condescension]. Apparently, ID did not predict that. -Kristine 4-19-11
F/Ns to F/Ns to F/Ns etc. The whole thing is F/N ridiculous -Seversky on KF footnote fetish 8-20-11
Sigh. Really Bill? - Barry Arrington

  
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