Discussion of Big Science Today, by an Important Member of the National Association of Scholars

I did not hear this claim in the talk. Did I miss this or has he made it elsewhere?

The claim I heard was that water has exceptional qualities for sustaining life which I don’t think is very controversial.

Creationism: The belief that at least some aspects of living things cannot be accounted for by the unguided processes identified by current scientific theories, particularly the theory of evolution, and instead can only be accounted for by the intervention of a god.

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His book on water is 200 pages long. About 30 of those pages are detailed notes from other sources. Is it reasonable to think that in a popular video he would present a full and rigorous argument, as opposed to a few indications? Did anyone here complain when Neil Degrasse Tyson made TV episodes for popular audiences, and did not include full, rigorous scientific arguments for every statement he made? Once again, the double standard is obvious.

Anyhow, if someone wants to argue about Denton and Denton videos, they should be posting a new topic. Faizal was being counter-productive to add the video to this discussion, which is supposed to be about the funding arrangements for Big Science. But of course, on this site, anything negative about ID can be shoved in anywhere, whether it’s relevant or not, whether it deflects from the discussion or not. This site has become, like BioLogos before it, mainly a place where ID is bashed (and where the separate concept of creationism is bashed). There’s no conversational discipline enforced. I believe in freedom of speech, but it’s no encroachment on freedom of speech to insist that people post subjects in their proper places.


That is why we are all here either holding our sides and laughing our eyes out or sitting slack-jawed and dumbfounded after watching that video: Because Denton didn’t include full scholarly citations for the claims he made. That’s exactly it.

And tell us again about your amazing close reading skills.

So to be completely clear: You think that was a good video which provided, in a simple manner suitable for the interested and informed layperson, a rigorous and compelling argument for design in the universe. Correct?

Do you recall why I posted that video?

No, but as the core inference is basically insane, it’s likely that reading his full treatment of the subject would be like engaging in in-depth study of Time Cube.

I figure that honor goes to Behe, but, yeah, Denton is often spoken of as at least being a runner-up. This is supposed to be the worthwhile part? The pony we have all been digging for through all this s***? This video is astonishingly, mind-roastingly bad. Honestly, even after some previous exposure to Denton, I am personally shocked at how ghastly this is.

That’s a reasonable one. I tend to think that the best definition turns on the distinction between ghostly (“divine” is too constraining) magic actions which are a proximate cause of the features of the universe and/or of the existence and/or diversity of living things and ghostly magic actions which are only an ultimate cause of those things. Admittedly that does open a bit of a can of worms as to what’s proximate versus ultimate, but under that view of things Denton is certainly strongly hinting at being a creationist and not merely a loon-without-portfolio.

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So if I watched De Grasse Tyson’s popular presentations on TV, I would find “full scholarly citations” for every claim he makes? You’re ducking the point of my remark.

You posted it to start a quarrel about the merits of Denton, not to contribute to a discussion about science funding. Or, if you were picking up on some remarks of others here against Denton, they were starting a quarrel about Denton, and you were expanding on the quarrel. Either way, you were off-topic – as people here quite commonly are.

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Unlike the pedants here, I cut people some slack when they write abbreviated replies in casual conversation. Giltil’s words could be interpreted broadly or narrowly. I took him to be writing loosely, and saying that evolutionary theorists often invent narratives, too. Then I cited the words of Gould, who surely has read enough evolutionary theory to be credible when he confirms Giltil’s charge. I intended no more than this, whatever Giltil may have meant. The point to Art is that evolutionary theory has often made use of “plausible” narratives to explain the evolution of this or that feature. It’s not as if Denton is the only person who argues on the basis of plausibility. Bye.

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I can agree with the sentiment of how this thread has wandered. But I would note that you, @Eddie, begged off of further exploration of Turner’s ideas (when you remarked about how my comments drew upon other sources than the NR article). When you cite a reference and expect discussion to be limited to it (and not even to consider a longer article from which the original citation came), it’s not hard to see how the discussion can wander.


I sometimes am asked to help out with marketing products. While the DI hasn’t asked me, I think this might be a helpful revision of the standard cover.


Dustjacket comments:

“Dude! No WAY!” – Michael Behe, Head of We Don’t Know This Guy Department, Lehigh University

“Whoooooooaa! This is, like, what all those so-called ‘scientists’ ought to study, man!” – Stephen Meyer, Poster Child of the Unemployable People Who Somehow Have Jobs Society


No, you wouldn’t.

And, once again, “Eddie’s” astonishing close reading skills are on full display.

Nope. Try again. Maybe read the link I helpfully provided.

“Edward Robinson.” Close reader extraordinaire.

No answer to this?


Like saying a single origin of the vertebrates in the Howe diagram? Like claiming a nested pattern is conclusive evidence of common descent of vertebrates?

Where have all the ID and Creation scholars that used to post here gone?

Don’t sell yourself short, Bill. You’re more than up to the task of producing arguments at the level of Michael Denton.


Are his presentations gussied up as ersatz scholarly seminars?

Since Denton’s video is presented that way, it could at least include ersatz scholarly citations.


I’d at least appreciate a cite to his weed dealer. That must be some powerful stuff.

I think we must accept and appreciate that @Eddie honestly does not understand our response to that Denton lecture, and sincerely believes it was a good lecture that made some solid scholarly points. And we should assess all his other opinions on ID with that in mind.

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No, not at all like that. I presume that was a facetious insult. Correct?

The kinder assumption is that he’s been pranking us, since it’s now obvious that no adult with an education and a working set of neurons could possibly take Denton seriously. Is the kinder assumption accurate, though?

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Evidently not the Paul Nelson of Discovery Institute fame, who occasionally posts here.

Welcome to PS @Paul_Nelson1 :slight_smile:

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This is the most important message to you.

The general argument style here from the anti ID and creation groups is not being well received. I have seen better adherence to civil argument standards on political forums.

As is so often the case, I don’t know what you intended to convey there.

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