How to Invite ID Into Conversation


(Ann Gauger) #1

Merde. Sheiss. Invite into dialog is a particularly smarmy self-promoting bit of linguistic abuse. Cut it out. . I am taking a picture of this post in case it disappears. You want to make Doug publicly retract his work or admit it is deficient. It’s not just to correct the record. Otherwise you would not be targeting his friends and colleagues. And you would not in good conscience presume to a) question his integrity and b) claim to be some sort of high forum to pass judgment.

You do this to Mike Behe too.

If you argue such nonsense with how will it be with Doug.?

@Mercer as I have said before, feel free to do the experiments.

Antibody Enzymes and Sequence Space
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #2

Axe’s work has already had judgement passed on it by the scientific community. You know this. I’m not the one passing judgement. That has already been done. I’m just trying to give him a second shot, and make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Don’t be silly. I can’t recall a single time I have “disappeared” your posts.

I’m sorry that inviting you guys to the table is so difficult. Exclude you, and you are persecuted. Include you, and you are persecuted. Not sure how to help you deal with this. I’m just left to do what I think is right. I’m going to keep inviting you all to communicate. Come when you are ready!

(Ann Gauger) #3

@swamidass I have told you this before and I will tell you it again now. Your use of language is alienating for those you address. Smarmy is a pretty good description. It comes across as patronizing and insincere. I don’t know anyone who uses phrases like I invite you into dialogue in ordinary conversation . ‘Let’s talk about it’ might be more reasonable. ‘Explain it to me’ might be more reasonable and less offensive. ‘I don’t understand, can you please tell me why’ sounds more human.
You have other Pat phrases that equally set our teeth on edge. They sound very pious and generous and forgiving and insincere. If you want I can point out several. But I think this one is a good place to start.


@Agauger Stop harshing @swamidass Your DI bullying tactics are easily deflected. Josh is a very good Christian MD and scientist. His language is just fine. I know him well and he treats all with respect.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #5

Sure. Let’s talk about. Explain it to me.

Your use of language is fairly alienating @agauger. I look past it quite a bit, but along as we are talking about word choice, DI has a lot of work to do with its use of language. You are no exception in this post.

I know it’s hard to deal with critics. I usually look past your language. I’d expect you to do the same.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #6

I split this thread off to keep the science thread clean.

@Agauger, it cuts both ways in language. It is strange to have an aversion to the word “dialogue.” Certainly calling it a “debate” is worse. Clearly, I mean that I want to talk about it, and it need not be on this forum. If they would like to talk in another way, I am up for it.

If you are going to make this this details of word choice, perhaps we should talk about what is coming out of DI right now. I don’t have to repeat it here, but I could if it would be helpful. Or we could talk about Doug Axe’s use of language, or Michale Behe’s use of language. We could do this, It would be clear that nothing I’ve said about ID is remotely comparable to what we see coming out of ID.

I’m not sure this sort of tone policing is helpful, so I avoid it. If DI want’s to complain about my tone, well that is comically absurd. Perhaps they should deal with the plank before the speck. I’m overlooking their actions every day. Let them overlook the speck of here. I know you guys are not a Christian group, but many of you are Christian. Please show some grace. Act ethically.

(T J Runyon) #7

@Agauger I have so much respect for you. But you are being pretty silly here. You’re upset that @swamidass isn’t talking to you the way he would talk to his boys over a beer?

(Ann Gauger) #8

More of the same. We are persecuted even when you “include us”.I and I am pretty sure it is a universal “we” don’t want your help. Especially when it is “help” of the kind we have been receiving. We have been communicating. But it seems you are not listening.

Let me say this Josh. If you want to truly help us you need to stop patronizing and undermining, and start supporting what you see as good, and leave us to deal with anything that needs correction. But this come dialog with us, invite you in stuff won’t work. Not genuine when that means plunging into a tank with four scientists hungry and sensing red meat.

(Ann Gauger) #9

@Patrick, That’s rich. After what I have gone through here? That was my attempt to give my "honest and objective " opinion. Which it was. And which also demonstrated that the use of that phrase does not excuse all behavior, @Swamidass.

(Herculean Skeptic) #10

Just an observation… but it is universal. The degree of vitriol and harshness are directly proportionate to the degree of disagreement. The more entrenched one is, the more frustration is experienced. A precious few are able to temper their attitudes and craft their words to be as soft-handed as possible. They exist in all camps, but are few and far between.

If we all put more effort into speaking as kindly as possible, AND stop looking to be offended by others’ words, we’ll have more productive conversations. I admit that I fall into the majority here, too. There are some, like @AllenWitmerMiller, @dga471, and @T_aquaticus (and many others, too) who are intentional in their pursuit of proper dialog. There are none of us who shouldn’t observe and learn from them.

(Ann Gauger) #11

No. I am usually among the more irenic of the ID types. It has not made much difference with regard to how ID as a whole is treated. I have become the token ID scientist. It’s too bad. I have enjoyed good relations with some of you, respect and friendship with some of you, and disdain and hostility from some of you. I have been Josh’s trophy. And he has used me against DI, even when asked not to. He has been generous with me, but the pressure remains to separate myself from DI. He tries to divide anyone from DI who ventures here. He will probably deny this, may not even recognize it, but it is true. I can cite example after example.
So my choice is to remain here, or break my connection. It saddens me because of the genuine connections I have made. The blast of bad language was for Josh specifically. Because of things done I cannot specify, we do not trust him, so his language is not sincere in our ears. It would go a long way toward improving relations if he would just cut it out.
I know some of DI’s language has been egregious. I have protested vigorously. I don’t like to see us shooting holes in our own boat. If I could change them I would. But it is a measure of how bad things are between DI and Josh. We do not talk about the things Josh has done, but reconciliation is impossible until he stops with the “I forgive you. I like Behe” crap after trashing him because he was obligated to give his “honest and objective” opinion.
There is “honest and objective” that is accurate, truthful and respectful, and then there is “honest and objective” that is not. Josh, stop playing to some audience. Ironically, I am trying to help you. I am telling you the honest and objective accurate truth, though not respectfully, because respect is a big issue.

So I am sorry, but I am signing off.

(Curtis Henderson) #12

Ann, what do you think this post was about?

Josh wrote that after multiple articles at ENV went past response to the actual review to the point of personal attacks.

Sometimes, I am convinced that a teenage child has strolled up to your computer while you were away and started writing posts. If @patrick started writing posts with the language you used, you would be the first to demand that something be done about it, quite possibly in all caps and with multiple exclamation points. And all of this over the semantics of “invite you into dialogue” instead of “let’s talk about it”. Your indignation does not make any sense.

(Herculean Skeptic) #13

Well, yes. It is true. This is an example. Kudos for your pursuit of a peaceful conversation. I’ve pointed out that there are exceptions to the rule, but the rule exists. Does ID get treated well here? No. They do not. There is a deep seated disdain for ID from the mainstream scientific community. Are you not aware? Of course you are.

That said, you, too, are guilty of looking for the worst in people. I’ve seen it many times in your posts where someone will say something that could have more than one meaning and you will choose the less charitable route, because that is human nature.

So, if you wish to take your ball and go home, go ahead. It is only what half the people here expect from you. You’ll hear a big cheer from them, and even some "I told you so’s… " But, if you want to stay, talk, and join in the conversation, hoping that things get better over time, you are welcome here. I, for one, enjoy you being here and participating. In fact, it is one of the main reasons why I came here in the first place… DI is an echo chamber with no conversation at all. So while you criticize PS, remember, there is no discussion taking place at your home site.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #16

At no point did I trash Behe. I have an honest assessment of his work. It is unfortunate that this is unacceptable to DI, but this is what I am obligated to do: give mt honest and objective opinion. I understand you don’t want me to discuss where I agree with and appreciate Behe. I’m not sure why. I’m a person who agrees with and disagrees with Behe. I want to be upfront about this, and it isn’t duplicitous. It is just a fact.

If that makes reconciliation with you impossible, I’m not sure what your end game could be. It seems like you want me to misrepresent myself to people. Why?

That is not really fair. I’ve been nothing but sincere to you, and there is objective evidence to back it up. I could just as easily say: What would go along way to improving relations would be for DI to alter their language with respect to me.

In fact it is not even comparable Ann. If you are going to start tone policing it cuts both ways. I’m willing to improve how I talk to you, but drop the indignation. There is plenty of blame to go around, and I’m sure I’m doing better than most in your camp.

Ann I’m sorry you feel this way.

You aren’t my trophy. You are my friend.

We disagree with alot and if you need space from PS I understand. I hope that DI goes your direction in the future, so of course I don’t want you to leave. I’m honestly more concerned they are going to kick you out because of your association to us. That would be sad. I want your incluence to grow at DI, so they might do better. and I’m certainly not hopful you’d leave.


Ummm… Well. As much as I appreciate Josh’s efforts in this area and the work he’d like to accomplish, it is also true that he can come off as a bit of a d^ck sometimes. For example, he could be more descriptive when he shuts /shoots down a line of argument. Some things need more than a sentence to explain without misinterpretation. There are other sorts of responses that could work against him. @swamidass, take this as non-confrontational, ‘constructive feedback’ (as we currently phrase in corporate-speak).

(T J Runyon) #18

Agreed. But we can all be sometimes. I’m just not seeing that here

(Ann Gauger) #19

Once again it is because you are seeing only the surface. For example, I have asked Josh not to use our relationship against Discovery only to find that he has used info gained from me to score points against DI. He always has an innocent answer but… I could go on. But I don’t want to do what he does. My current ire is the debate.

(Ann Gauger) #20

Why is this thread a scholars thread?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #21

Look @Agauger, it is not my intention to “use you” in any way, against the DI. I have relationships with many people there, and you are certainly not the only person. For the places we have had misses, they were not intentional. I’d hope you can accept my apologies and move on. As it is, there is a common pattern of interpreting me in the least friendly way possible. That isn’t going to help us forward. I’m not much like what I’m painted as.

I’m sure, also that much of this is just theatre.

Sure. Always happy to do better. Next time, let me know. Doing the best I can.

Of course, please help out next time you see this too. I could use the help!


Certainly! As a former grad student and post-doc, I’m always thankful for opportunities to bash professors with impunity. :yum: