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awhite



Posts: 8
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,11:59   

Hello all --

I've been lurking on this board for a few weeks now.  During that short time, I've witnessed the arrivals of Skeptic and Randy, as well as the degeneration of AFDave into complete lunacy.

While it has now become clear that AFDave was always a hopeless case, I think there might have initially been some hope for Skeptic and Randy (Randy in particular... we'll see if he returns).  They both came in blustering about evolutionary orthodoxy, completely unaware of how ignorant they actually were.  And unfortunately, an insulting entrance tends to elicit and insulting response on this board.

I certainly don't blame the regulars here.  It's hard to hold back when someone who has no idea what he's talking about tries to tell you that your passion (or in some cases, life's work!) is bunk.  But given the wealth of expertise on this board, I can't help but feel that with gentler and more focused handling, you might be able to educate a few of these ignorant internet wanderers.

If you feel that's a worthwhile goal, then I have a suggestion: coordinate your responses to brand new posters.  Whether that means letting the first regular responder be the "point man" and following his lead, or using a meta-discussion to formulate responses, or creating a schedule for who should respond to new arrivals, or something else entirely, I don't know.  But I believe that if a new poster were presented with a single, rational, patient response rather than a barrage of mockery (deserved or not), you might be able to reach some of these people.  Respond as you would to a child: be calm, stress the basics, cover a single point at a time, expect ignorance, and ignore immature taunts.  Once a poster has revealed himself to be either open to learning or a complete quack, this careful handling shouldn't be needed any longer, and the rest of the board can jump in.

I realize this suggestion is completely contrary to what a public discussion board is about.  And it might be wishful thinking on my part to believe it would make any difference.  Personally, though, I think it's worth a shot.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,12:46   

I wouldnt say its completely contrary to what a public discussion board is about.  Your idea is just about what I usually try and do myself- mask my batteries until the enemy is at point blank range.  That way I can also tell if they are genuinely interested or misinformed, or are raving lunatics.  Although, I admit that when it comes to evolutionary biology I am no 24 pounder.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4932
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,17:15   

History repeats itself... browse the talk.origins newsgroup for "designated hitter" sometime.

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

    
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,18:00   

A noble suggestion, but as stated before, it is definately not what this board is about.  The reason for that is not the public message board culture it's the subject matter.  If you browse other boards you'll see that many are dominated by adolescent teens on power trips.  Here that is not the case as the education of many of the posters is readily evident.

The problem is there can be no dissent concerning evolution.  It is a political, nearly religious, conviction that allows no alternative.  You said it yourself:

Quote
It's hard to hold back when someone who has no idea what he's talking about tries to tell you that your passion (or in some cases, life's work!;) is bunk.


This is what I find most fascinating and frustrating at the same time.

  
awhite



Posts: 8
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,18:33   

Skeptic wrote:
Quote
The problem is there can be no dissent concerning evolution.  It is a political,nearly religious, conviction that allows no alternative.


Skeptic, are you aware of an alternative explanation that does a better job of accounting for all the evidence?  Because I've read your "Reinventing Evolutionary Theory" thread, and you certainly haven't presented one there.  If you are aware of such an alternative, please explain it in that thread, so that we can keep this one on topic.  Until a better alternative is offered, and until this board irrationally rejects it, you have no basis for the above statement.  In fact, while new ideas might take time to become accepted, the beauty of science is that in the end, the evidence prevails.

Back to the topic at hand.

Wesley wrote:
Quote
History repeats itself... browse the talk.origins newsgroup for "designated hitter" sometime.


Wesley, I was able to find some very old posts, but they weren't enough to tell me whether the system actually worked.  Additionally, I don't know if that board had a tight group of very regular posters like this one does.  Did it work at all?  Do you think that experience would carry over to this board?

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4932
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,18:57   

It worked to a moderate extent, but required some coordination. As coordination slipped, the system failed to function.

So, yes, the same sort of thing could be attempted here, but I wouldn't be expecting either complete effectiveness or that it necessarily would hold up over the long term.

One of the problems with the DH concept is that it essentially requires commenters outside the "in" group to withhold commentary. I see this as a problem, in that people learn by doing, and commenting is what this board is for.

I guess that I would prefer that people commenting here took up a set of community values that would, essentially, reward people whose comments turn out to be what one would have wanted from a "designated hitter" and discourage comments of the sort that turn conversations bitter. I think that is a better long-term approach to this. It just requires that people occasionally take notice of comments that are better and make a point of saying that it was a good comment. That would confirm people in going that direction.

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

    
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,18:58   

Quote
are you aware of an alternative explanation that does a better job of accounting for all the evidence?


The current theory of evolution is not actually one theory but a combination of many ideas that seem to fit together.  Furthermore, to assume that they are correct because we can think of nothing better right now is lazy.  Innovation in science is driven by ideas followed by research but the current environment does not allow progress in this area.  How can any scientist with any ambition or thoughts of professional success stray beyond the dogma.  You've read my thread so you should have noticed that most of what I've said is not very original.  You can read alot of it in the work of scientists over the last twenty years.  In fact, not much of it is even that outrageous.  Now go back and read the responses and the tone of the posters.  From the name calling to the absurd assumptions, I'm attacked not for what I've said just for the fact that I've said it.

Now I know you'll all disagree and swear that you're responding to substance but that's a lie and you know it.  The level of hatred in this "holy war" is amazing and everyone should really sit back and take a breath.  A perfect example is the labeling of Dave as a child molester, what a stupid analogy.  But this is where the debate has led us and it is so unneccessary.  Anyway, don't take my word for it.  We'll let the evidence speak for itself.  Play close attention to the reception the next new poster gets...we'll see.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4932
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,19:01   

Quote

Innovation in science is driven by ideas followed by research but the current environment does not allow progress in this area.  How can any scientist with any ambition or thoughts of professional success stray beyond the dogma.


Transposons.
Neutral theory.
Endosymbiosis.
Punctuated equilibria.
Evo-devo.

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

    
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,19:04   

Quote
Transposons.
Neutral theory.
Endosymbiosis.
Punctuated equilibria.
Evo-devo.


Not a real stretch.  Even PE has been subsumed and minimized in it importance where there could be contradiction.

  
awhite



Posts: 8
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,19:46   

[quote=Wesley R. Elsberry,June 16 2006,23:57][/quote]
Wesley:

Quote
One of the problems with the DH concept is that it essentially requires commenters outside the "in" group to withhold commentary. I see this as a problem, in that people learn by doing, and commenting is what this board is for.


Yes, that's what I meant when I said the idea violates the spirit of a public discussion board.

Quote
I guess that I would prefer that people commenting here took up a set of community values that would, essentially, reward people whose comments turn out to be what one would have wanted from a "designated hitter" and discourage comments of the sort that turn conversations bitter. I think that is a better long-term approach to this. It just requires that people occasionally take notice of comments that are better and make a point of saying that it was a good comment. That would confirm people in going that direction.


I agree that this would be a much better solution.  Do you have any suggestions on how to get buy-in from the "regulars" here?

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,20:07   

Quote
One of the problems with the DH concept is that it essentially requires commenters outside the "in" group to withhold commentary. I see this as a problem, in that people learn by doing, and commenting is what this board is for.


there's enough regulars here that anybody could organize using the PM system.

several of us have used this to organize responses on various threads before.

It's just that the effort required needs to have an obvious payoff.

Skeptrypin':

Quote
Not a real stretch


LOL.  spoken like somebody who hasn't the slightest clue what's behind the "simple" fields of endeavor Wes listed.

Just like anybody else, you get spanked when it's obvious your pontificating without knowledge.

don't want to get spanked?  do what we suggested on the very first couple of pages of your thread.

go learn something about the very endeavors Wes posted, for example.

Or heck, why not read even a basic evolution text like Futuyma?

otherwise, you deserve all the derision sent your way, regardless of how much you want to whine and play the victim.

go back to your cave, skeptrypin.

...and lay off the pyschedelics, duuuude.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
awhite



Posts: 8
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,20:09   

Skeptic:

Quote
Innovation in science is driven by ideas followed by research but the current environment does not allow progress in this area.


And what is your evidence for this?  Where is the research that is being rejected out of hand to preserve evolutionary orthodoxy?  It's easy to assert that there's some global conspiracy among scientists, but a claim that vast requires some serious evidence.

Quote
You've read my thread so you should have noticed that most of what I've said is not very original.


Unless I missed something imporant, you haven't really said much in your thread.  The closest thing to a concrete claim you've presented is some hand waiving about parallel evolution, for which you haven't presented any evidence.  And in fact, you've been given several responses as to why your parallel evolution does not fit the evidence nearly as well as the current theory, to which you haven't responded.  I think if you went back to that thread and posted a summary of what you believe you've demonstrated thus far, it would help us all understand your position tremendously.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4932
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,20:09   

Quote

Not a real stretch.  Even PE has been subsumed and minimized in it importance where there could be contradiction.


So no one can break out of "the dogma", and where it looks like that has happened, it's really just part of "the dogma".

Excuse me if I don't buy that for a moment.

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

    
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,20:32   

Maybe others here missed skeptrypin' detailing how he came to the conclusion that there was something "wrong" with the ToE:

   
Quote

What can I say I'm skeptical.  I was the guy who spent many a late night in college in a chemically-induced haze discussing the existence of existence.  



no, that's not skepticism, that's flashbacks.


bottom line on "helping the ignorant" though.

Every new person who has ever come to here or PT who actually ASKS for help in getting information they are lacking is politely and copiously referred to excellent resources.

I've never seen otherwise, that I can recall.

Randy, Skeptic, Dave, and most other trolls that come here don't ASK.  they TELL (preach) us what is "all wrong with the ToE".  They might get to actually asking questions later, but they kinda set the tone when they come in thinking they know all the answers because they read Coulter's drivel, or spent time parsing the idiocy at AIG or ICR (or took too much LSD in college).

I've argued with so many creobots over the years, that I've found you can quickly sniff out the folks who really aren't interested in alleviating their ignorance, usually from the wording and tone of their very first post.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Crabby Appleton



Posts: 250
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2006,21:02   

Quote (Ichthyic @ June 17 2006,01:32)
Every new person who has ever come to here or PT who actually ASKS for help in getting information they are lacking is politely and copiously referred to excellent resources.

I can attest to that. I was pointed to a bunch of good links just recently and my question probably wasn't well phrased. But several posts led to great info.

Thanks again.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,02:32   

This thread is an excellent case study so I'll give you an example.

Skeptic says:

The sky is blue!

Ok, now have at it.

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 2744
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,05:07   

Quote
This thread is an excellent case study so I'll give you an example.

Skeptic says:

The sky is blue!

Ok, now have at it.


No, here is a much more realistic example:

YECharlie says "Hi, I'm new here at ATBC and I just wanted to tell you that anyone who believes the sky is blue is a brainless sheep who has been led astray by those evil atheist scientists trying to keep God from his rightful place in the schools.  The sky is really paisley.  I know this because my Bible tells me so, and the Bible is the inerrant Word of the Lord!!  Sure I've seen your 'evidence' about light wavelengths and Rayleigh scattering, but those are only 'just so' stories to prop up your science religion.  Besides, we all have the same data, we just interpret if differently, and my interpretation is the only correct one.  Change your beliefs to match mine OR YOU WILL SURELY BURN IN HE11."

That's what we normally get around here.

--------------
"Science is what got us to the humble place we’re at, and what hard-won progress we might realize comes from science, with ID completely flaccid, religious apologetics bitching from the sidelines." - Eigenstate at UD

  
Ved



Posts: 398
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,05:11   

Quote
The level of hatred in this "holy war" is amazing and everyone should really sit back and take a breath.  A perfect example is the labeling of Dave as a child molester, what a stupid analogy.

See, I just knew that someone was going to read it that way.

No one said afdave was a child molester.

The term used was abuser. And, I, among other people, thought that that was taking it too far and we spoke up about it. Not that I didn't agree that afdave's brainwashing of children was abuse, but that it's not in the same league as kind of crimes associated with the use of the term "child abuser". Also, I would be reluctant to do anything about the abuse besides argue with Dave. It's sad to see, but it's his religion. He's doing it in his church.

It would be awesome if you could either provide evidence of  people here labeling afdave a child molester, or if not, you should retract your statement that we did such a thing.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,05:18   

Quote (Ved @ June 17 2006,10:11)
Quote
The level of hatred in this "holy war" is amazing and everyone should really sit back and take a breath.  A perfect example is the labeling of Dave as a child molester, what a stupid analogy.

See, I just knew that someone was going to read it that way.

Well TBH, that is the way I read it as well. The term "child abuser" is certain to get an emotional response.

On the other hand though, afdave has been a pest. He has basically lied since his 1st post. That never goes down well.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,05:54   

Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ June 17 2006,10:07)
   
Quote
This thread is an excellent case study so I'll give you an example.

Skeptic says:

The sky is blue!

Ok, now have at it.


No, here is a much more realistic example:

YECharlie says "Hi, I'm new here at ATBC and I just wanted to tell you that anyone who believes the sky is blue is a brainless sheep who has been led astray by those evil atheist scientists trying to keep God from his rightful place in the schools.  The sky is really paisley.  I know this because my Bible tells me so, and the Bible is the inerrant Word of the Lord!!  Sure I've seen your 'evidence' about light wavelengths and Rayleigh scattering, but those are only 'just so' stories to prop up your science religion.  Besides, we all have the same data, we just interpret if differently, and my interpretation is the only correct one.  Change your beliefs to match mine OR YOU WILL SURELY BURN IN HE11."

That's what we normally get around here.

Or there's this example:

   
Quote ( skeptic says in the opening post to Reinventing Evolutionary Theory @ May 23 2006,22:48)
Current evolutionary theory is fatally flawed because we lack the ability to perform experiments, collect data, and make predictions.

Can we develop an experiment that can be tested and repeated to reveal the mechanism driving evolution?

Random mutation is inadequate as a sole mechanism for diversity.

Organisms are much too responsive to the environment for diversity to be driven by random interactions.

The environment is much to dynamic to support the slow development required by random mutation.

Proteins must be self-organizing, but is this process molecularly driven or at the sub-atomic level?


Interestingly, skeptic was answered politely for several rounds, until it became clear that he would not engage in intelligent discussion.

  
Ved



Posts: 398
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,06:26   

Quote (me @ ,)
See, I just knew that someone was going to read it that way.

I see I could have phrased that better. It's obvious that people will read it that way. I'm not surprised that the term "abuser" is being repeated as "molester" in a whisper-down-the-lane kind of way.

  
awhite



Posts: 8
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,07:36   

Quote
Every new person who has ever come to here or PT who actually ASKS for help in getting information they are lacking is politely and copiously referred to excellent resources.

I've never seen otherwise, that I can recall.

Randy, Skeptic, Dave, and most other trolls that come here don't ASK.  they TELL (preach) us what is "all wrong with the ToE".  They might get to actually asking questions later, but they kinda set the tone when they come in thinking they know all the answers


I don't dispute this.  Still, I feel that not taking the bait until it becomes absolutely clear that there is no reaching someone might be constructive.  

Have you ever worked in a customer service position?  I have, and though I'm normally a very blunt person, I found that remaining calm and polite does wonders.  Even the most upset customers tend to calm down very quickly if you keep cool yourself.  And though you may continue to disagree, at least you wind up with more substance and less vitriol in your exchanges.

As I said in my opening post, however, I could be wrong about all of this.  You guys have much more experience with the Skeptics and Randy's of the world than I do.  If my proposal has been tried before and has been shown to be totally ineffective, then discard it.  But if it hasn't been tried, and if it might help educate just one more newcomer in ten, or at least improve the quality of the initial posts in a newcomer's thread, why not give it a shot?

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,08:39   

Quote (awhite @ June 17 2006,12:36)
Quote
Every new person who has ever come to here or PT who actually ASKS for help in getting information they are lacking is politely and copiously referred to excellent resources.

I've never seen otherwise, that I can recall.

Randy, Skeptic, Dave, and most other trolls that come here don't ASK.  they TELL (preach) us what is "all wrong with the ToE".  They might get to actually asking questions later, but they kinda set the tone when they come in thinking they know all the answers


I don't dispute this.  Still, I feel that not taking the bait until it becomes absolutely clear that there is no reaching someone might be constructive....  

I went to PT as an ID "believer". I had read a book The Case for a Creator and believed it.

I actually thought that biologists had it all wrong and where lying. About 50% of the replies to me where "anti and agressive" yet some ppl took time to explain things.

After following a few links and listening to politer responses, I realised it was the "ID" ppl that where shysters.

It is wrong to criticise folks who work in the evolutionary/biology field for being testy when they experience atacks on their honesty/profesionalism daily.

A calmer response might influence a small percentage of anti-evolution posters better. But look for yourself. How many are actually willing to listen?

  
TangoJuliett



Posts: 12
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,08:47   

Skeptic:
Quote
Innovation in science is driven by ideas followed by research but the current environment does not allow progress in this area.  How can any scientist with any ambition or thoughts of professional success stray beyond the dogma.

Here is a link to an article about a scientist who overturned the prevailing scientific 'dogma' in regards to neurogenesis.

http://tinyurl.com/zgvmt

Did she do it by whining and complaining on a public forum?  No.
Did she do it by advocating that the controversy be taught in public schools?  No.
It took about 10 years, but she did it through research and the development and publication of relevant objective evidence.

Go figure...

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,10:16   

Quote
No one said afdave was a child molester.


well, technically, someone did.  But they quickly retracted that and clarified what they meant, with evidence in support, no less.

It wasn't just a case of name calling.

Quote
 If my proposal has been tried before and has been shown to be totally ineffective, then discard it.


I've NEVER seen it work with someone who comes in guns blazing, fresh off reading a Coulter book or similar.

again, anybody who comes in with a reasonable approach is given the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.  Skeptic may deny this, but you can examine the thread yourself and see otherwise.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,11:19   

Quote (Ichthyic @ June 17 2006,15:16)
Quote
No one said afdave was a child molester.


well, technically, someone did.  But they quickly retracted that and clarified what they meant, with evidence in support, no less.

It wasn't just a case of name calling.

Quote
 If my proposal has been tried before and has been shown to be totally ineffective, then discard it.


I've NEVER seen it work with someone who comes in guns blazing, fresh off reading a Coulter book or similar.

again, anybody who comes in with a reasonable approach is given the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.  Skeptic may deny this, but you can examine the thread yourself and see otherwise.

I'm pretty sure Rilke has never retracted her child molester statement.

But besides that what is reasonable?  This is a site to debate evolution or antievolution as the case may be.  Should that be done or is there no debate?  Is reasonable we someone enters and says I'd like to believe in evolution but my school system hasn't allowed it, can you teach me?

Hmmm...

Or are we really here to amuse ourselves by bashing christians, jews, hindi, muslims, (insert religion here), republicans, conservatives, fundamentals, etc and so forth, while we feel superior because we're the only ones in possesion of the truth?

Yeah, that sounds about right!

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,11:26   

Quote
I'm pretty sure Rilke has never retracted her child molester statement.


with your reading comprehension skills, that doesn't surprise me.

look again.

the rest of your rant only supports exactly what I've been saying in this thread.

If you ever figure out what evidence and research mean, do try again.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,11:57   

So based upon this line of thinking, half the nation is a wash and deserved to be insulted and minimized regardless of what they say because of what they may believe.  They're just not worth the effort anymore.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,12:22   

Quote (skeptic @ June 17 2006,16:57)
So based upon this line of thinking, half the nation is a wash and deserved to be insulted and minimized regardless of what they say because of what they may believe.  They're just not worth the effort anymore.

In case anyone buys skeptic's baloney, go take a look at the thread he started, called "Reinventing Evolutionary Theory..." Notice that he came in with a bunch of ludicrously false statements. Yet he was not immediately insulted or minimized. He was told that his statements were false, and that it was clear that he didn't really understand evolutionary theory at all. The insults didn't start until long past the time that his trollishness became apparent.

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2006,12:37   

Quote
They're just not worth the effort anymore.


naw, just you.

and you say you're not playing the victim card?

oh yes, please do extrapolate the discussion of agumentation techniques for a little online forum onto an entire national platform.

yeah, that's realistic.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
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