Rudeness from the "DI crew"?

Can you provide examples of “rude” and “dismissive” speaking or writing by “the DI crew” (which is rather broad, and doesn’t tell me who is in mind), specifically toward “students” and “trainees”?

When I think of “rude” and “dismissive” I’m far more likely to immediately recall remarks of P. Z. Myers, Richard Dawkins, Larry Moran, and not a few posters here, than I am of, say, Mike Behe, Michael Denton, or Steve Meyer, themselves frequently on the receiving end of “rude” or “dismissive” remarks.


Try here.


Behe’s rudeness to virologist Abbie Smith comes to mind, when she pointed out his objectively false claim about HIV, a subject in which he has zero expertise.

Has that falsehood been corrected yet, Eddie? It was a major part of his cherry-picking argument against evolution.


Here’s the first example that came to my mind. We have to rely on secondary sources, however, because Behe has removed the offending article from the internet.


I was able to find where the original article can now be located:

For anyone interested in the scientific reasons that Behe’s reponse fails (as Behe eventually admitted himself):


One example here. Discussed on PS.


Dembski’s video of Judge Jones, complete with fart noises, comes to mind. It was the best and most scholarly critique of the Kitzmiller decision ever to come from a DI fellow.


The PT page is very good, because it documents Behe’s contempt for the academic abilities of his audience (that would be you, @Eddie) in the form of citing papers that don’t say what Behe claims they say at all. Behe knows his admirers won’t bother to check.


I don’t think that is what @Eddie is concerned about. I believe he is most worried that someone might be unjustly accusing the DI of using the wrong tone when they respond to their critics. “Edde” made clear long ago that he has no interest in the scientific evidence that pertains to this debate.

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Agreed. But it is an extreme form of rudeness aimed at the marks.

I wonder: If you insult someone and they take it as a complement (e.g. because it supports their belief that they know so much more than those silly atheist scientists) is that rudeness?

Please specify which phrases you think are “rude,” and which “dismissive.”

Irrelevant, since we are discussing the claim that ID proponents are rude *to students and trainees", not judges.

You’ve conveniently left out Abbie Smith’s much greater rudeness to Behe, which precipitated his reply. (And in fact, Behe’s reply wasn’t “rude” at all, but a proper corrective to a cocky, insolent youngster who had not yet learned professional decorum in scientific discussion.)

And she wasn’t yet a “virologist” at the time; she was either still an undergrad, or working on her Master’s. She was a virologist-in-training. Get your facts straight.

So you admit Behe was rude, just not as rude in your (unassailably objective, right) opinion.

A student, in other words. So we have a clearly documented case of Behe being rude to a student.

You have overlooked the part, however, where he was also dismissive, which is the other criteria we are here using. This is evident in his referring to her, not by any academic or professional appelation, but as a “woman.” See how often he refers to his male critics solely as “a man.” You might find that interesting.

And he was also dismissive of the obvious facts that she presented proving Behe wrong. Facts which pertained to her area of expertise, and not to Behe’s. Behe only bedgrudingingly admitted this when it was pointed out again by a male scientist. Again, interesting.

Anyway, your demand has been met. No doubt you will graciously and humbly admit this.


My wording left itself open to that impression, so let me clarify. If we say, for the sake of argument, Behe was a little bit rude, it’s important to point out that her rudeness was a quantum leap greater, and that her rudeness came first, whereas his was only responsive. However, I do not agree that Behe was rude at all. He did say that someone who talks in the insulting manner that she employed (and it was very insulting, I would say on the adolescent level of social discourse) should go and “soak her head.” I don’t consider that rude. Nor was his comparison with the pop culture figure of “Mean Girls” rude. I would consider it rude if he told her to eff off. In fact, I was told once on this site to eff off, and nobody here complained about the rudeness. Again, the double standard here is obvious, and everybody reading this site knows it, except apparently the people employing the double standard.

Considering the topic of this thread that response is pretty ironic. I thought about digging up one of your similar remarks directed at me (or how you react when people respond to your climate change assertions) and my qualifications when I saw this thread, but now I don’t even have to.


I made two different points in your quotation, so I’m not sure which of them you think is “ironic”.

All I meant by my second comment is that we don’t call a student still in medical school a “doctor”, so why would we call a student training to be a virologist a virologist? Yet Mercer called Abbie Smith a “virologist.” I was making a minor correction, a side-point.

Is my remark ironic because she was a student, and we were talking about students? Well, yes, she was. I wasn’t denying that Behe was speaking to a student. I was denying that he was rude to that particular student. In fact, she was rude to him. And if her original remarks were shown to anyone on the planet beyond the group of inveterate ID-haters, it would be agreed that her opening remarks to Behe were (a) insulting and (b) intended as such. Such a way of addressing another person would not be tolerated in business, in any workplace, in normal social intercourse, etc. It would be deemed offensive.

Note that Abbie Smith is Mercer’s example, whereas my question was directed to Art. The only example Art has given was not Abbie Smith – and his example doesn’t contain any obvious “rudeness.”

Actually, I’ve made very few assertions about climate change itself; almost all my assertions have been about what certain people have said about climate change. Neither I nor any person posting on this site is competent enough in the math/physics specifically relevant to climate change to do a detailed assessment of the models and the data, so it would be unwise for any of us to comment directly on the science. So I prudently stay out of it. I content myself with pointing out falsehoods circulating about the “consensus” (e.g., the 97% number is bogus, as I amply demonstrated with reference to the original report from which the 97% number was derived) and with pointing out that there are climate scientists whose knowledge of the field dwarfs that of any of the climate science dilettantes here and who disagree with aspects of the alleged “consensus”. I can safely make comments on that level without myself being an expert in climate science. But if the biologists, psychiatrists, etc. here want to continue to entertain their delusion that they have enough competence in climate science to settle debates among specialists, they are free to do so. Fantasy is everyone’s right. (For the time being, until the omnipotent State claims the right to regulate that, too, along with “misinformed” opinion, the internet, talk radio, people’s personal health choices, etc.)

So have you, even though Abbie’s original essay is freely available.

Perhaps you could highlight the comments Behe made that are worse than “Although she calls herself a “pre-grad student,” the tone of the post is decidedly junior high, the tone of someone who is trying hard to compete with all the other Mean Girls on that unpleasant website.”.

I can’t find any sexist remarks in Abbie’s post. Maybe you can.

Meanwhile, you asked for ‘examples of “rude” and “dismissive” speaking or writing by “the DI crew” (which is rather broad, and doesn’t tell me who is in mind), specifically toward “students” and “trainees”’.

Here’s one:


These opening remarks?

I’m ERV. This is my dog, Arnold Schwarzenegger. And this is my friend, Vpu. I presume you and Vpu haven’t met, as you recently repeated in an interview with World magazine the same sentiment you gurgled ad nauseam in ‘Edge of Evolution’

That’s twice you could have quoted them to hammer home your point, but didn’t. Perhaps because Abbie’s remarks concerned Behe’s work, whereas Behe’s remarks concerned Abbie’s person.

P.S. Exposing Behe’s errors is not “scientific discussion”.


I rest my case your honor.

Please support this allegation with specific references to her article. Exactly what do you find inordinately “rude” about it? For that matter, I don’t actually see a single statement that could be construed as a personal insult against Behe. All I see are well-substantiated criticisms of the content of what Behe wrote in his book, albeit presented in an informal and irreverent writing style.

But if you disagree, please feel free to quote what in your opinion is the single most egregious personal insult Smith makes in her article:

IOW “She started it”? I would expect a response slightly above the level found on a kindergarten schoolyard from someone of your self-professed academic credentials. Again, I am disappointed.

And nothing about his referring to her as a “woman” rather than as a student of virology or some other such non-condescending term? And, sure, I know you’ll probably respond with something like “Well, she is an adult female member of the species Homo sapiens, right? So what’s wrong with calling her a woman?” But you wouldn’t be fooling anyone. Someone as well-schooled in the humanities as you claim yourself to be would be well-attuned to the subtleties of language use and how much can be implied and suggested without it being explicitly stated. Behe as much as said “That’s very nice, sweetheart. Now, get to the kitchen and make me a sandwich.”

In any event, what I find most striking about your response is how it exactly mirrors what we have witnessed in Bechly’s and Behe’s responses when the challenges they issued have been met. Rather than a humble and respectful acknowledgment. we just get goal-post shifting and other such tactics to try avoid admitting the obvious. You’ve at least learned something from the ID Creationists.