New Category for "Design Disputes"?

I think it would be very helpful if we could make it more obvious where “Disputing Design” discussions could or should be located.

I have no particular preference for where such discussions should be confined… except for the important idea that they should be confined!

Perfectly fine discussions are still being diverted and hi-jacked by those who want to argue about design… either pro or con. This has materially deflected discussions away from those touching on @swamidass’s development of his “Genealogical Adam” scenarios.

What are moderator thoughts on putting “All Discussions Disputing Design” as a 4th sub-category within CONVERSATION?


There’s “Front Porch” and there’s “Back Porch”.

How about “Scorched Earch”? It doesn’t quite rhyme, but it does describe what happens to those discussions.

(Okay, not a moderator so those are not “moderator thoughts”.


Shucks, @nwrickert, you are practically as good as a moderator!


Better even…


We already have a Design tag for those discussions, how would this be different?

Discussions that wander too far off-topic may be moved to the Front Porch. Discussions that go pear-shaped get kicked to the BP.


Aren’t tags merely a way to help search for topics? If someone has just started a thread, and someone hijacks it to start discussing Design, aren’t tags descriptors, rather than limiters?

I am looking for something just a little more intrusive: if someone starts into Design issues (pro or con), the thread gets moved to the sub-category (wherever it best belongs) on Design Disputes.

I’m sure Joshua will consider it, but I think the answer is “no”. If we have a category limited to Design then why not a category limited to Theology, or limited to Science. For better or worse (and hopefully better) we are trying to bring people togethers, not split them up into factions.

We already have these discussion with the Office Hours topics that are limited to those knowledgeable and relevant comments. We could do we more of that sort of limited discussion, I think, but until the Trust Level restrictions are switched on that means it needs moderators to enforce the rules.


You know, that kind of analysis perplexes me.

You don’t find folks spending too much time disputing something that shouldn’t be in dispute? It’s like it is the worst possible combination of everything we do here… science AND theology.

Christians shouldn’t be trying to persuade Christians that God is random.

And scientists shouldn’t be trying to persuade Christians that God is random.

And lastly, Creationists shouldn’t be trying to persuade Christians who support Evolution that their belief means God works randomly.

And yet you think that this TRIFECTA of time-wasting should go on un-impeded?

I have no illusions this situation can be changed by decree.

BUT if I did, I would start by pigeonholing anyone who blatantly misrepresents the meaning of “randomness”. :wink:

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Don’t you hate it when people do that ?!?!?!?

I think this whole thread shows how everyone’s “underpants” are showing.
Where has @swamidass said he considers all “design discussions” a distraction from his overall purpose?
Notice his conspicuous absence in this thread so far?
Isn’t the forums’ goal to have as fruitful discussions as possible between the diverse faith and science communities? How do you do that by marginalizing any particular one of them?
No one forces you to read everything here, and if you think it’s a waste of time, then simply give up the illusion of somehow controlling or policing the content. It will HAVE TO be a group effort to uphold our best ideals.


Well, actually, he has agreed with some of what I wrote in an earlier thread. It was a discussion about how some Creationists “harden” their position after a few rounds of arguing over “evolution-as-stochastic-patterns” … rather than “opening up” to Evolution as something that a non-stochastic God would happily use!

Because of how generally pleased I am that the full apparatus of the Discourse System has been engaged (and that we are reaping the benefits that I have promised would come to us), I have spent less time trying to cajole @swamidass about many of the smaller issues, and have reduced my use of his profile link accordingly.

Certainly Joshua finds more value to having Atheist Scientists on the list than I would ever willingly submit to. But who am I to get in the way of making a Science Club out PeacefulScience.Org.

But this constant humm… sometimes rattle … and every once in a while an ear piercing shreik about random Evolution (by pro-Evolution Agnostics and Atheists) is not something that helps us “market” trust to Evolution-skeptical Creationists.

You still have creationists, right here in our midst, that INSIST that there is nothing to gain from Evolutionary principles, that it is a slap in the face of God, and that to even discuss Evolution as a method of Creation well within God’s capacity and Will to use is something akin to a psychiatric breakdown.

The “interference” patterns of all this uncontrolled Atheism is obvious, Guy_Coe. And I would remind you that nobody is forcing you to read my lamentations over the inevitable distractions that these interferences cause.

That is right.

In settings, you can mute all topics under a tag. We can, in the future, put specific tags into the “muted” setting for new member (and old members).

In general, discussion about how to migrate as we grow is important. We are having conversations about this right now. Keep in mind that the forum is an opportunity and a risk for us. We are working through the right way to make use of it and what needs to be in place alongside it too.

Au contraire, @gbrooks9 --that PS is a multi-faceted, “aimed at reconciliation” community, is what draws out its distinctiveness and its inclusive ethos.

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I’m not sure I understand how the “muting” would work… Are you saying that if you put the word “Design” into a “mute box”, that any posting that includes the word “Design” can’t execute? Since that doesn’t sound right, I am assuming that you simply mean that anyone can “mute” a thread any time they would like.

This is not exactly what I am concerned about. I am concerned that if Design disputes can open up and appear in virtually any thread or any category … then there is no way to control, predict or avoid whether someone is going to encounter the enthusiasm of an agnostic/atheist on the topic.

This is not like Atheists and ID folks aren’t spoiling for a tangle at almost any time. I’m trying to imagine a way for members to do so by intentionally going into the Design Dispute category of threads.

This would be an intentional, free will decision. And that would be perfectly fine.

That it is disputed suggest that many people disagree with you on whether it should be in dispute.


OR… and I think this is pretty obvious to objective observors… it shows how toxic the topic of design can be … when even a Christian biologist finds himself objecting to the idea of God designing evolution … simply because a Creationist starts arguing that Evolution couldn’t have produced “this” or “that”.

The Creationist never bothers to think that God can make things with Evolution in just the same way that God can make a rain cloud with evaporation and condensation…

And the Christian biologist never stops and thinks why is he arguing that God had little to do with the creation of life forms on Earth?

This puzzles me.

No, what you wrote doesn’t puzzle. What you wrote about is what puzzles me.

As an agnostic, I have no commitment to whether there is a god. But I can’t avoid seeing that if there is a god, then designing the cosmos so that evolution could work was a brilliant move. But creationists don’t look at it that way. They seem to think that it is degrading to suppose that their god works through evolution.

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It’s all because some Evolutionist made the mistake of telling a Creationist that despite the fact there was general agreement that God somehow impregnated Mary, and Jesus somehow survived an execution - - there was no chance that God created 2 humans in a “puff” of red dust and a rib!

They’ve been waging the same fight ever since!



My apologies for taking so long to respond to this example (i.e., your example) of what I would call “disputing for the sake of disputing.”

When a traumatized victim is encouraged to resolve the trauma of the past, they are no longer encouraged to confront their victimizer. Why? Because it has a strong tendency to lead to re-traumatizing the victim – the exact opposite of the desired goal.

In the 80’s it was discovered that if you wanted to bridge differences between factions, you mixed the members of each faction together and divided the new blend of people into teams tasked with cooperating with team members who were formally known to the the opposition. It could be a football game; it could be a business project. It could be a board game. But if you just kept the the same opponents divided against each other, these tasks only accentuated the divisions between the two sides!!!

Now here we are, attempting to resolve the differences between Evolutionists and Creationists. @swamidass is pioneering some history making re-working of the dynamic between Evolutionists and Creationists by reducing the differences between them, without affecting the dynamics of sound Christian atonement theology, and without dumping valid evidence from the natural sciences.

What would be the one thing that would interfere in this process?

Encouraging ID supporters and ID opponents to continue to debate an un-resolvable issue!: whether Science can ever prove or demonstrate God’s influence on Evolution…

OR… Equally un-resolvable!:

… can unguided Evolution really produce all the life forms and features we see on Earth?

Both disputes are irrelevant to Christian supporters of Evolution because they don’t have support any form of natural wonder in the absence of God’s presence and blessing. But not only are these disputes not relevant, they actually make it harder to advance cooperation between the two sides.

It is frequently in the interests of zealots of each side to promote continued contention … because they oppose any kind of fraternizing between the two sides.

You are welcome, @Guy_Coe.

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