Censorship and ideological conformity

(Theman8469) #1

My posts are being hidden with

“Your post was flagged as spam : the community feels it is an advertisement, something that is overly promotional in nature instead of being useful or relevant to the topic as expected.”

This has happened three times in under an hour (all I have written in that time)and clearly by the same actors. One post is a semi-detailed reply to Dr. Swamidass that he probably has not even read yet… It seems calling ID and its advocates garbage is OK. But linking to a debate and responding to straw men attacks on ID, Biola and the DI is not. Ah don’t worry I am sure I will be banned any moment. Censorship and ideological conformity at its best (worst). I expected more from Peaceful Science oh well.

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(T J Runyon) #2

Dude, you came in hostile from the get-go. What’d you expect? Nothing worse than a person acting inappropriately and when they are disciplined they cry censorship or persecution. If you want to continue participating here your behavior needs to change. In a hurry

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #3

Who called ID advocates garbage? Did you flag it? Where?

Your posts were flagged, it seems, for being insulting. Are you trying to get banned?

(Theman8469) #4

Dude. My ‘get go’ aggression was to point out the dishonesty of Falk, Verma(sp) and Alaya over their interactions over SiTC and ID when someone mentioned Biologos. I posted links to what they said and my points were quickly backed up by Jon Garvey - Ayala and Verma were critiquing an imaginary book that Meyer did not write, Falk refused to print Meyer’s response to Ayala because it was not respectful enough to ‘a Senior scientist’ (I guess that is not censorship either). That is clarifying the historical record with hard facts - not aggression. If I was dishonest or made a mistake I would very much like to be called out on it. I called out Patrick for claiming that William Lane Craig does not understand science/physics/astrophysics . Of course he could not say what science that Craig actually got wrong so I explained the basics of modern cosmology; I pointed out that Krauss made blindingly bad scientific mistakes and even went on to edit an e-mail he received from Vilenkin to discredit Craig. With Carroll I pointed out that Craig’s criticism of Carroll’s and other models were right. Craig was spot on at the time and even Carroll has abandoned Carroll-Chen. Again where was the aggression? Truth that is all that matters not self reinforcing platitudes.

“cry censorship or persecution” Please read me other reply to Swamidass about this. My annoyance was that my reply to Swamidass was also hidden before Swamidass even read it. My posts are getting flagged by the same person(s) and not a community issue. Before I joined this site I read

" There is value in free exchange of ideas , so that legitimate questions can be addressed, and real concerns uncovered. For this reason, there will not be restrictions against posting heterodox ideas on this forum, even if they are strongly disputed and disagreed with by the host. This means there will be arguments against mainstream science on this forum, even if the host disagrees with them."

If this is no longer the case than I do not wish to participate. We both know that my thought- crime was to link to a debate between Hunt and Meyer and (oh the horror) allow a member of the ID community speak for himself rather than through the distortions and straw-men of his distractors. Sorry if I triggered anyone.

Perhaps I should tone it done a bit if I am upsetting anyone. But I do not respond to threats “If you want to continue participating here your behavior needs to change. In a hurry” Do what you want, it reflects on your character not mine.

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(Theman8469) #5

“Did you flag it?” why would I flag it? Nobody was threatened. I do not need a safe space, censor or tell teacher when someone says something unpleasant. I am an adult.

My post to you that resulted in this thread completely unedited.

wamidass get you facts right. This site is being to resemble the scientist worshipping, vacuous idiocy of Biologos. Hunt and Matheson were blogging about SiTC on their blogs. Matheson had the same approach that Darrel Falk Denis Vemerla(sp) and Alaya arguing about propositions that Meyer never made. I will not go into the Biologos folk’s sickening behaviour here, as it has been covered well by Jon Garvey and myself in another post. Hunt was at least engaging with the book.
Hunt and Matheson were invited to critique SiTC and to ask any question they wanted. Meyer had no idea in advance what the questions would be. I do not see how that puts Meyer at an advantage. Matheson made a fool of himself. Hunt did better; but SiTC, although slightly battered, remained unbowed.

You Swamidass have accused Meyer/Biola of designing the whole thing so that "the questioners (were) at a disadvantage’, making it very clear that you are suggesting that Meyer/Biola were unfair. Well Swamidas I will be in the States in 2019’ how about setting up a similar style event with me (and possibly a good friend of mine) against, say, Dr. Andy Walsh and his “The Axiom of Belief”? This format is, as you say, ‘designed to put me/us at a disadvantage’ so I assume Walsh would win. He won’t - the book is crap.

As for more traditional debates with Meyer how about Meyer/Sternberg against Shermer/Don Prothero? What about Meyer/Giberson? By far the best is Mayer/Marshall; Charles Marshall wrote a garbage review "When Prior Belief Trumps Scholarship,” Science 341:1344. The article questioned Meyer’s honesty and his qualifications but very little about the book’s contents. Marshall at least at the balls to dialogue with Meyer over the book. Meyer creamed him.

I notice that you claim that Meyer gets the science wrong and his qualifications. But say nothing about what he gets wrong. Patrick did the same thing about William Lane Craig - Craig does not understand the science and not qualified. I calmly explained what the science was and what Carroll and Krauss got wrong and why Craig was right. Why are you not doing the same? if Meyer is so wrong why not expose him like I did with Patrick, Carroll and Krauss? I know that blogs are not the best place to do this but I managed it.

By the way I see you are using terms like rhetoric and popularism, What next Trump, Russians, White Supremacy, Right-Wing conspiracies, theocracy. As I said I expected a more civil environment here and am disappointed. I will not criticize you personally as I have no idea what professional pressures you are under for running this site. The United States’ (as well as France’s) scientific/academic authorities are the most hostile to religion especially Christianity. I noticed that Patrick, indirectly threatened you that “Coyle, Dawkins and Letts” are watching this site and you should not engage with DI folks. The UK is not so bad, but is getting worse. I am not a political conservative but they are having even a harder time. Western academia is fast becoming a mono-mind in which the exchange and study of ideas is being replaced with political and world-view conformity.
So you are wrong but I qualify this with the possible pressures you are under.

(George) #6


I am not a moderator… but I would strongly urge you to take it down a notch.

Unlike BioLogos, @swamidass has no paid staff, no board of advisors. He enters into this arena purely base on his devotion… and not because it is the best fit for his inborn talents in medicine and research analysis.

When things start getting chaotic, I always recommend that he start throwing time-outs around … let’s not head down that road if we can avoid it.

Peace to You,

George B.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #7

I read it and would be happy to engage with substantive points and respectful questions. There were too many insults and attacks on character mixed in to recover it. Believe me I tried to talk myself into letting it stand.

Rewrite it with out the insults, perhaps focusing on a respectful question instead of an accusation and we might get somewhere.

You have a habit of insulting that I do not like. I will not even entertain from the accusations you throw around as if they are true.

Yes you are making mistakes. You are being called out on it. Stop insulting people. Stop accusing people of lying and having low IQ.

Notice that @jongarvey easily made several of your main points without any pushback. The two of us disagree regularly but no one has felt need to flag any of his posts. We disagree and agree respectfully.

(Guy Coe) #8

So, I’ll speak along with you here that many folks are far too dismissive of every ID argument simply because it comes formally from the DI, and that’s just wrong. There are ID people who carefully nuance their views scientifically --and there are also those who don’t, to be fair --and that’s much better than those who wish to turn the text into mistaken myths in the EC camp, for example.
If you’re careful to read through threads here, you’ll notice all kinds of nuance, as well of points of departure, with all the major theistic views. It’s when our characterizations are, or border on, the ad hominem, that folks get riled. Nobody here is simply parroting a playbook, and it’s simply divisive to so claim. So, let’s go back to a reasonable approach to the issues and questions at hand, and give each other a break from the warfare mentality. The Scriptures call for no less. Cheers!

(Theman8469) #9

Agree completely. No uses of rhetoric, populism, Biola/Meyer set up Matheson and Hunt. No X does not understand the science without, at least, an outline what he/she got wrong. It is a shame you are not aware of the other interactions between Meyer and his opponents. Meyer may be wrong but he is no fool and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of background science.
I would be interested on your opinion of Meyer/Marshall and the review of DD in Science. In my opinion the review failed to engage with the books content and only focused on Meyer’s, supposed motivations.

(George) #10

To whom is this addressed @Guy_Coe?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #11

Before we go further I want to know that you are going to treat me with basic respect, and refrain from insults and ad hominems.

(Guy Coe) #12

George, every comment I make is aimed at the whole forum, because I value dialogue above all else. Thanks for asking.

(Theman8469) #13

I have no idea on how to respond. Disagreeing with you is not a lack of respect. I am fully aware that you are an outed Christian in a secular and hostile environment and have to be careful. I love you as a Christian brother. I even excitedly mentioned to my wife (who is not a Christian) about this site and its aims at attempting good dialogue between different world-views. That is the only way you learn - not sitting in an echo chamber. I also told her that I would make a serious effort to meet you if you ever came to Oxford and perhaps treat to a meal. Stephen Meyer is also a Christian brother. He has consistently been vilified and personally attacked his ideas ridiculed without any attempt to understand them. Hunt posting on this forum was interesting but a strong undercurrent of uninformed anti-ID rhetoric was brewing. So, I posted a discussion between Hunt and Meyer, giving ID a voice and all Hell broke out.

You personally claimed that it was an “imbalanced exchange, Meyer got the better of @Art on rhetoric in a crowd already convinced of ID. The crowd had no ability or desire to follow his scientific point" insulting both the character and intellectual capacity of Meyer and the audience at Biola. Hunt implied the whole thing was really below him and Patrick chimed in that ID’ers were “ideologues”. These are also insulting but as they are directed at are ID’ers no one seemed to mind. My triple-digit IQ remark was a parody of a comment by Patrick in context to these insulting comments. I am not even an ID supporter, mostly because the (real?) anomalies they find are not fatal to the modern paradigm in evolutionary biology. In addition, the positive claims of ID are only individually necessary for ID and not jointly significant for the support of ID as an alternative to the standard model and methodology in in evolutionary biology.

If you think I don’t respect you, then fine. But you could not be more wrong. If you want to ban me or wish me to stop posting, then just ask. But as I said to T.j_Runyon I will not be threatened and certainly not cowed into safe compliant behaviour; terrified to support the ‘unworthy’.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #14

Okay @theman8469 let’s work this out. First of all, thank you for giving me insight into your thoughts. I appreciate it. I can see a bit more clearly what is going on.

Please do disagree with me. I’m fine with this. It was the insults and aggressiveness that pushed it over the edge.

I do not want to ban you. I want you to post. I just want you to communicate with respect and kindness, even with atheists, and especially with me. You when so far that even @Guy_Coe, and ID guy, was pushing back on you. Just be kind.

I had no part in that. I was working. I need to remind you…

All I know is that there was a long thread of people arguing in circles about who one a debate. I do not care, and a debate about a debate is meaningless.

I was not insulting Meyer or Biola. It is just a fact that the vast majority of undergraduates and public cannot follow the technical details. That is just a fact for any technical scientific debate, especially when conducted verbally.

You also misunderstand what I am getting at too with Meyer. I think ID is extremely effective with its rhetoric, even brilliant at times. Most scientific are genuinely bad at rhetoric. Meyers is great at his rhetoric too, as is Doug Axe, and also many of their big fish. It is a complement to them. This is one thing they do well.

I’m not insulting anyone’s intelligence. The problem is that science does not progress by winning public debates. So it just does not matter who won or not.

The crux of this, however, is here…

Meyer is a Christian and I have no animosity towards him. He is welcome here, and I would insist every one treat him with respect. @Art deserves that same respect too. I tolerate everyone in the conversation here. I am a Christian too, even though @art appears to be an atheist, and I insist he be treated with respect too. I know this is surprising, but do not interpret my kindness as endorsement. I will be kind to people who treat ID people poorly. I will be kind to people who treat scientists and atheists poorly. My kindness is not an endorsement of other’s behavior. It is just kindness.

Observing anti-ID rhetoric is not a valid reason to post a link claiming that another person lost a debate with Meyers. Who the heck cares? I certainly don’t. Most scientists lose arguments to ID, because ID has strong rhetoric. Moreover, there is both anti-ID and pro-ID rhetoric “brewing” here. Get used to it. Many of us are opposed to bad arguments, and find a lot of bad arguments in ID.

All the same, I still aim treat ID advocates with kindness here. If you think I’ve been unkind, help me understand what I missed. Often, I’ve edited posts, and even apologized. I aim to treat ID fairly. I’m sure I will make mistakes ,but I am also correctable.

Disagree all you want, but be kind. Do not waste our time with “who one a debate.” Instead, let’s get into substantive questions and issues.

I did not know that was parody. I do not even know the insulting comment Patrick made. You have to note parody as parody. No one can tell.

He is not threatening you. He is giving you fair warning. You were on your way to being temporarily suspended. We were asking you to pause, as you have done here.

Now finally, thanks for your comments here:

That is very kind of you. I hope I can take you up on that some time. I’d look forward to it.

@theman8469 you really are welcome here. You can disagree with me. No hard feelings from this. Let’s just find a better sort of interaction. The purpose of this site is not to debate. It is to understand and be understood. The next time things are being said that are difficult, ask questions to understand what is going on. Explain yourself so others can understand you. If anyone says something insulting, ask them to stop. If they continue, flag their posts. If I say something insulting, tell me and ask me to explain. I might even apologize and retract.

We are seeking peace here. I believe that we can find a different sort of community, that is not contingent on agreement. Don’t give up on us, and I will look forward to hearing from you soon.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #15

I know that Meyer was not always treated fairly.

He does, but unfortunately many of his arguments really do seem wrong to me. To be clear, I think it is entirely possible that abiogenesis is not possible without God’s intervention. The issue is that he relies on arguments from Dembski, Axe and Behe. It is a whole ecosystem of arguments, and ID has not been good about rejecting falsified arguments. I can explain the details if you want, but I just do not think he is write in his arguments, even if he is ultimately correct about abiogenesis.

I wouldn’t go so far as saying “sickening” but I largely agree with Jon Garvey on this one. I’ve said so in the past I am sure.

I’d also agree a great deal with @Guy_Coe

We are going to disagree on this and that, but I really think you add a lot @theman8469. Should be fun. Peace.

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