ID at War for the Soul of Western Civilization?

“Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages.”
— Samuel Johnson, The Idler, 1758

@Agauger’s impending departure from PS saddens me as threads she participated in have always been fascinating reading.

I wonder if engaging in dialogue at PS is regarded by some of her colleagues as ‘fraternizing with the enemy’? I am reminded of an incident where creationist Sal Cordova was banned from the Uncommon Descent blog by its owner, Barry Arrington, for reasons he gave in an email:

Barry Arrington
To: stcordova

I owe you an explanation for why you have been banned at UD.

We are in a war. That is not a metaphor. We are fighting a war for the soul of Western Civilization, and we are losing, badly. In the summer of 2015 we find ourselves in a positon very similar to Great Britain’s position 75 years ago in the summer of 1940 – alone, demoralized, and besieged on all sides by a great darkness that constitutes an existential threat to freedom, justice and even rationality itself.

There is another parallel to World War II. We have quislings among us. A quisling is a person who collaborates with an enemy occupying force. The word originates from the Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling, who headed a domestic Nazi collaborationist regime.

Sal, I accuse you of being a quisling every time you go over to The Skeptical Zone and give aid and comfort to the enemies of truth. Will you cease or will you continue to collaborate?

Barry K. Arrington


Great post @cdods, which hits it on the head.

I’m sure that is the case. ID and the DI like sharp divisions, with friends and enemies. They are uncomfortable with the appeal of PS among their base, especially because I committed the unforgivable sin of being honest about my assessment of Behe. That is not allowed, as we’ve seen explains to us over the last few days. Criticizing Behe is treachery in the ID war So we are seeing the wedge. I can’t say for sure, but it seems that @agauger is under immense pressure to disassociate from us.

The thing is, we are the only group aligned with mainstream science that is hearing out ID proponents. No one else is listening. It is very likely, for this reason, that they will be back at the table in time. They don’t have any other options. Whether they like it or not, we are all they’ve got.

I note also that ID advocates have quit PS many times, only to return at a later date. @agauger is at the end of the road for now, but I doubt this is the last time we will see her. Even if she doesn’t participate in the forum, we have less visible ways for her to participate, and I’m sure she will avail herself. Like I said, as troubled as DI is with PS right now, we are all they got right now. No one else is listening.

So @cdods let’s send off @agauger with our best wishes, knowing we will be seeing her again soon. PS is growing. If we keep growing, It will be harder and harder for DI to ignore or discredit us. They will be back. If not, we will probably be reviewing the next book they publish, while continuing to appeal to their base.

After all, I also affirm intelligent design, I’m just not sure why anyone would find value in a losing ID argument.


Geez. Barry. Dramatic much?


In all seriousness, I’m sure they think I’m a traitor too.

Interesting. I had not seen that email before, though I suppose it is probably on the Internet somewhere.

I’m one of the participants at The Skeptical Zone. And the idea that Sal Cordova was a quisling, a collaborator – it makes no sense to me. Sal has always been pushing YEC and ID ideas.

If there’s a war, it is a strange war. For sure, there is disagreement. But it does not look like war from where I sit.

After reading that email, I’ll have to acknowledge that many of the ID folk may indeed see us as the enemy.


@TedDavis what do you make of this. Does DI really work by us-them loyalty tests like this?

A. Barry is not DI. That email is not us.
B. Stone walls good neighbors make. Maybe that should include radio silence.
You are over here stirring the pot, stirring the pot, stirring the pot. Let’s see what else we can stir up.
C. Loyalty tests and subversion. Shall I go there?
No, not for now. People we are friends with who aren’t “DI” include Walter Bradley and Jim Tour. There are lots of others but I don’t want to get them in trouble. We have worked with people who aren’t ID or DI, like Mike Denton. We have had friendly relations with Scott Turner. No loyalty oaths. David Berlinski is his own person. Nobody tells him what to do.
So enough with the sly questions Josh. If you want peace STOP THROWING STONES. And if you want peace with me same deal applies.


Its not the soul of Western civilization. WC is just a curve on evangelical protestantisms influence on a Roman catholic civilization. Leading to moral and intellectual curves and then jump the Ocean and is now in many non european nations.
There is a war against Christ and love. There is a struggle against the historic Protestant Christian conclusions in the Anglo-American civilization. this includes the influence of a creator.
There is a general war against all Christendom and ant strong moral foundational religiuons like Judaism and Islam etc.
Some of the bad guys embrace God denying science and evolutionism but only some.
origin matters , whoever prevails, will not influence other conclusions in civilization.
Evangelical Christians and YEC must say this because we will never crack 20% of the population and linger between 5-10%. All the others are already pretty ghetto to us. yet civilization survives.

I understand this Sal dude gave his abilities to a blog/forum opposed to ID and especially UD. This because TSZ started from banned UD posters. so Sal was aiding and abetting personal opponents to UD and not just origin opponents.
However the problem started with UD banning people, with suggestions from other posters of whom, and this unjustified thing led to a spectrum of YPU CAN’T be THIER FRIEND if your OUR FRIEND stuff.
It started with the moral/legal breaking of freedom of speech concepts for Western Civilization.
it wasn’t malice being banned but conclusions, with a wee bit of usual jerkism, that started the problems.
UD has been censoring like any unfree society in human history. yes hurt dignity and and so on is always going on BUT origin matters is a contact sport. all important intellectual things are.
Be a MAN and not a modern “man”.
Freedom of speech helps the right/good guys. Not the othyers.
UD is on the right side. Please drop the censorship and giving ear to censorship patrons HOWEVER gloriously esteemed.
This YEC is always supportive of ID but sometimes it seems like we are the British and ID are the scattered Free French, Polish,Dutch, Swedes, Danes etc etc in occupied Europe. Well meaning but do better in organization.

Dr. Gauger is the DI the reason for your “forced” departure from PS? Did they threaten to cut off your salary if you associated with the “enemy” any more?



When will the video be available? Or has it already been released?

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Looks like you mistakenly credited me with what @CLAVDIVS wrote. It was a good post, but not mine. I think we both have essentially the same default “C” Avatar so I’m guessing that’s where the confusion came from. I guess I should load my ugly mug shot to prevent future confusion.


It is here:

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I extended a hand of friendship to you, Joshua.


Oh Neil. It was posted at TSZ, a site that you help moderate. A stink was raised there because Salvador posted a private email communication. Does that jog your memory?

Well, that does raise some ethical questions.

On Sal’s part that is.

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I don’t try to memorize every post at TSZ. The posting rate sometimes gets very high there.

But, yes, if it was posted there, then it was right to raise a stink about that.

People have been raising ethical questions about Sal for a long time – and a TSZ. That’s part of why I deny there was any collaboration or that Sal was a quisling.

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Barry Arrington certainly does. This is absolutely standard procedure for him. Unquestioning loyalty to his personal version of ID is crucial. He engages routinely in the politics of destruction, which works best when he slides glibly past crucial philosophical and theological subtleties (clearly expressed by various people he’s aiming it) in order to label his targets as either spineless, hopelessly confused (an ironic charge, since he’s often the one who’s actually confused), or just plain blind and stubborn.

Here’s another example: TEs Must Say the Explanation of an Illusion is Itself an Illusion as the Price of Admission to the “Cool Kids” Club | Uncommon Descent. That column was ultimately responding to this, from Catholic physicist Stephen Barr: Chance, by Design by Stephen M. Barr | Articles | First Things. After sailing blithely past Barr’s unashamed affirmations that God governs the universe, sometimes through contingent events that we label “random” because we mere mortals can’t predict their outcomes, Arrington has the audaciousness to say that Barr is really just too cowardly to say what he believes. Barr’s put in the “cool kid” trash can because (in Arrington’s confused mind) he doesn’t contest the scientific consensus on evolution.

Well, in fact, Barr is contesting the commonly received interpretation of evolution in terms of a “mindless” process that no intelligent creator would employ. I dare say that Barr, an expert on mathematical physics, has a much more sophisticated understanding of “random” processes than those biologists who (like Arrington) slide blithely past important subtleties and simply equate “random” with absence of purpose. Arrington is in way over his head, but since that possibility doesn’t occur to him, he simply accuses Barr of giving away the store in order not to make waves.

Notice that mine is the very first comment. (If you fail to find it, consider the possibility that Arrington simply deleted it. He does that more than you might realize.)


Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the earth.

As I often say, one of the first casualties in culture wars is the truth. We can do a lot better than that. The real question is, Do we want to?


I’m skeptical of anyone calling themselves “peacemakers”

You are correct about truth and alternative facts. You sound like Elijah Cummings “We are better than that”.