Monday, March 14, 2011

Professor Campbell responds to a request from a Christian Blogger and ID Proponent called 'Wintery Knight'

A Christian Blogger who goes by the pseudonym Wintery Knight had a few things to say about my favorite NZ Professor. I really don't recommend it, but here is a link to the comment "Should ID researchers be “marked down” for defending intelligent design?" if you must.

His approach was to ask her . . . well here, she tells it much better than I on her BioBlog. "creationist 'report' writing: marked down again". He asked her for copies of her work:

"I am thinking about writing a blog post comparing you to Michael Behe, and I want to be as fair as possible when I compare your research publications on experimental biology in peer-reviewed journals."
So, a couple of questions occurred to me. For example just who is Wintery Knight and what qualifications does he/she have to perform such a comparison. A second question that came to mind was just what has Michael Behe peer-reviewed published that would warrant such a comparison? What it suggested to me was Conservapedia Andy Schlafly's request from Richard Lenski (Lenski Affair documented nicely on Rational Wiki). Apparently it reminded her of the same thing.

To be honest -- I have heard of WK's blog before. I tried to post a couple of comments a while back and when they didn't appear after a couple of weeks, I dismissed it. In fact most Creationist/Christian Blogs are very careful what comments they allow through. I assumed this was just another one of those. I've commented on it before, only using a different site than WK's blog. Anyway, I decided to try again and posted this:

Did you even read her post? Where did she call you a creationist? Why bring the Big Bang into the conversation at this point.

You questioned her training, she addressed it. You asked for links to her writings in order to perform a specific analysis and she pointed out where you failed to perform this analysis, even though you said you had enough from her University site. So you were asking for information under false purposes. One lie.

She also pointed out that many of your own supposed scientific papers supporting ID not only failed to mention the subject, but were not about biology at all, but cosmology.

You failed to address ANYTHING she commented on. Then you wrap up your post with another an out-and-out lie. Her site requires the same three pieces of information to post on your site. Her site also holds comments for moderation, just like yours. Don’t try and claim that the syndicated site has a different policy than her University blog, because YOU posted the link to her own blog, not the syndication site. So don’t bother trying that lie. See, I just saved you from having to make another lie.

So you not only do not read for comprehension — which she also accurately identified — but after being criticized you make up stuff. I thought lying was against the rules? So you’re an interesting sort of Christian, aren’t you?

To my surprise, it did make it and WK did post my comment. However, for some strange reason I received this comment by email before the comment appeared on his site:
"Why should I approve your comment and try to engage you?"
So I get this one-line email and then at some subsequent time later he changes his mind and posts my comment. Not sure why, other than I think I irritated him by calling him a liar. Well for whatever reason, he then responded to my comment -- which is why I think I might have annoyed him a touch. Here it is, so you don't have to go through his site and wade through all the comments -- although a few are terrific.
You write:
Did you even read her post? Where did she call you a creationist?”

Can you tell me what the title is?

1. I asked her for better papers to make her look better. I explained exactly what I was going to do, it wasn’t false pretenses. I e-mailed her for better science papers to make her look better. Then when she refused to produce any scientific papers, I used what was on her page, quoted in full with a link back for context.

2. Why bring the Big Bang into it? Because it falsifies materialism, which is the worldview that animates the Darwinians. Don’t you see that everything you believe is at odds with good science? You have a 19th century view of science. You haven’t updated it with the latest evidence and discoveries. You really need to work on your science. Stop with all of this religious stuff. Stick with the hard science, and you will be fine.

3. Cosmology is not part of intelligent design? Arguments about habitability and fine-tuning are EVERYWHERE in intelligent design literature – and any ONE of them refutes the assumption of naturalism which is the life blood of macro-evolutionary speculating.

4. She didn’t comment on any SCIENCE. I only want to discuss the science. In her article, she doesn’t define ID by referencing ID scholars themselves, nor does she explain ID arguments by citing the ID proponents in their published academic/research work. If she wanted to refute ID, she needs to actually READ ID SOURCES. Nowhere in the article does she interact with ID. She calls them creationists! As if non-theists ID-supporters like Steve Fuller, Bradley Monton, David Berlinski, etc. are young-earth creationists.

5. Stop calling me a liar. I haven’t lied about a single thing. Not one. The problem here is that you have a religion (materialism) and it’s at odds with science. You are not capable of discussing scientific evidence objectively, but only attack people. But I want to discuss the science.

Please don’t comment any more until you show me that you actually know what ID is, and what are the arguments for it. If you comments get rejected, that will be the reason why – because you refuse to engage with what ID theorists actually argue, and what they measure in the lab.

Aw, he doesn't want me to comment until I do my homework. Well it would be nice if ID 'Theorists' were actually arguing and measuring in a lab. But since they are not I decided to reply again since he raised a bar that no one in the ID proponent camp seems interested in trying to reach. Now I really doubt this one will make it on his site, so I figure posting it here is the nearest it might see the light of day. As of this evening this is 'awaiting moderation'.

1. Yes, in my opinion you displayed false pretenses. You claimed one thing and did another and at the end you questioned her competence in her own field of expertise. So you not only falsely represented yourself, you were insulting — without cause. And you claim to be a Christian? Can’t tell by your posts.

So she didn’t share her work with you, just who are you anyway? You hide behind a pseudonym, have no identified expertise to evaluate her work and you wanted to compare her work to a pseudo-scientific idea postulated by Michael Behe. Not a good start to someone claiming to be truthful, or particularly Christian.

2. Why bring the Big Bang into it? Because, WK, you were talking to a Biologist and asking for her BIOLOGY papers to compare them to a Biochemist’s non-scientific philosophy. Have you forgotten the part of the Dover trial when Michael Behe said that he hadn’t done the experimental work to support his own ideas? Did you also miss the part where he said he wasn’t aware of ANYONE doing the work? So just what are you trying to compare her work to? The stuff he hasn’t done? Oh, so I guess he’s done a great deal of work on the Big Bang? In other words you were just padding your list of supposed science in order to make it sound good. I’m glad she didn’t offer you any more grist for your less-than-truthful mill of Christian propaganda.

3. So just what part of Intelligent Design of the Universe is an accepted part of Cosmology? Can we just say it’s just as much accepted science in Cosmology as it is accepted in Biology. That the polite way of stating ‘Nothing’. Guillermo Gonzalez, the guy who lost his position at ISU because he failed to do the job he was hired to do, is your main source for this? Pretty poor showing. Neither you, not anyone else, has made the case for your blatant lie that the Big Bang falsifying materialism. You make that statement as if it is factual — yet it is, at best, another unsupported philosophical statement.

4. She doesn’t need to refute ID, it’s already been refuted. You just didn’t bother to read her words, you already had your responses lined up as soon as you saw the title of her post. ID has been found to be Creationist at it’s core. Read the Dover decision, look at the actions of the Discovery Institute. Look at their own strategy document. Intelligent Design is not science. Even Judge Jones gave it a possible out at some time in the future, but right now today it’s not science. I agree wholeheartedly with her that if a student answered a question about science with ID, they should be marked down. Of course you still haven’t addressed that she said it might be OK for a discussion on the nature and philosophy of science, but you don’t want to acknowledge that ID is a philosophy. That would be an honest statement.

5. As for telling the truth, you mentioned three more ID proponents: Steve Fuller, Bradley Monton, David Berlinski. Steve Fuller: philosopher-sociologist; Bradely Monton: philosophy professor; and David Berlinski: Mathematician and philosopher and also a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute. What, don’t you have biologists to discuss biology with a biology professor? Apparently not! Yet you don’t like admitting ID is only a philosophy with no empirical science behind it — yet you trot out Philosophers to do battle. For shame WK, you are tarnishing the color White.

I believe you are a liar and one who continually misrepresents the truth. I don’t know if a court would agree with my opinion, but I really don’t care. You are doing nothing but playing word games — all because she wouldn’t hand over her own research and references to you to misquote, and also because she wouldn’t engage in a debate over non-science. If you wish me not to identify you as such, then stop doing it. It’s that simple.

Oh, and as for her calling you a Creationist, other than using the word in the title of her post, she never said you were one. She did say that she thought you might be an ” apologist for the Discovery Institute”, which you apparently think means the same thin as being a Creationist. Interesting that even in your own words, under the ill-fitting lab coat of ID there beats the heart of a Creationist. Thanks WK for clearing that up.

Color me less than impressed. Wintery Knight might have a reason to hide behind a pseudonym, even Andrew Schlafley (founder of Conservapedia) doesn't do that -- which, in my opinion, is one of the few positive things Andy has done. But WK seems to think that a note out of the blue from a self-avowed Christian Blogger who displays no scientific education or background is supposed to require a professor to fall all over herself and pass on her research to him. I disagree and think the Professor played it smart of didn't give him anything to feed his rumor mill. Good for you, Prof Campbell!

1 comment:

  1. As expected, my follow-up comment was never posted. What a surprise.