Silverswords Fail the Species Pair Challenge

@art and @Joe_Felsenstein, seems that Gunter Bechly has responded to you in depth.

As an editorial aside from me, he is pointed in his criticism of the PS forum. I agree with him that the forum has not been a welcoming place for ID proponents. That’s unfortunate, but also true.

[MOD ADD: Original discussions referenced by Bechly can be found here.]

1 Like

Where is the part where he responded to me.? I see where he complains about Panda’s Thumb, nonspecifically. And I think all I contributed to the species-pair discussion was asking, some time ago, whether he was going to suggest a way to pick a neutral panel to rule on whether a proposed case involved different body plans. To which he has not responded. (OK, there was a little snark there in my disingenuous expression of surprise that he hadn’t done this). But apparently I am “dominating” this discussion.


Gotta love that ID model of engagement. First refuse any form of open discourse, then complain when others openly discuss ID claims. I offered to set up some sort of “visiting scholar” discussion, but he didn’t mention that.

Well then who he is willing to talk to, if not the people most knowledgeable about ID? Maybe he should go to UD where anyone doubting ID gets banned, and he can bask in the glowing appreciation of no criticism at all.

Also, it looks to me that he still didn’t define any terms which would allow his challenge to be met, as predicted by @structureoftruth:


It is indeed unfortunate that you agree with him.

Reality has an anti-ID bias. ID proponents will always find that free and open discussion of their claims by well-informed people will be harsh. And they want people to think that this has something to do with the unpleasantness of other people, rather than having something to do with the merits of their claims.

What can one do? When one has a crazy uncle who thinks he’s Napoleon, one option always is to humor him, and to criticize anyone who dares to insist that uncle Frank isn’t Napoleon. But the reason this is a reasonable option is that mere kindness for its own sake to one’s delusional uncle is itself a thing to be valued. When the delusional uncle starts organizing troops and terrorizing the neighborhood, this kindness for its own sake ceases to be a relevant consideration.

If one allows bullies like the DI to dictate what is and isn’t considered polite discourse, one will indeed generate a “welcoming place for ID proponents.” But it will be worthless. If the discussion is well-informed and substantive, it will disfavor ID. There’s no getting around that.


We have substantive discussion. In this case, that’s largely whats happening. That’s not the only thing that happens here, as I am sure you know :slight_smile: .

1 Like

Josh, I think this place is very welcoming for ID proponents, as well as creationists of other flavours.

It’s less welcoming for pseudoscientific frauds, evaders, charlatans and deceivers. Perhaps that’s the problem, not ID advocacy.


I think “unfortunate” is not the right word. From its inception, ID as a movement has mostly avoided mainstream scientific journals and published in books, posted in blogs, and sent speakers on the church circuit. When criticized they cry foul about how badly they have been treated no matter how legitimate the criticism. AND there has been some very legitimate criticism never acknowledged as valid, no retraction of errors, no apology for mistakes. They have learned from the YEC ministries that any controversy draws attention, and make use of this every opportunity they get. I think this is deliberate, not unfortunate. Their strategy depends on it, and they like it this way.

I agree the situation overall is unfortunate. We should be able to have an open discussion about beliefs. I am somewhat reluctant to pin this behavior on Bechly himself though. I suspect he is being used, edited, and re-written. This response has the signature style of Klinghoffer.


They avoid mainstream journals while complaining mainstream scientists don’t respond to their arguments. Then they also avoid forums populated by mainstream scientists, because they’re not ‘welcoming’ enough. Almost like they actually don’t want to deal with actual scientists actually responding to them. Almost… But it can’t be that, right?


Well that is a good point…


I have no idea how to go about confirming this. If it’s true - and it may be because Gunter Bechly isn’t a native English writer - then the misrepresentations may not be Bechly’s either.

If it is true, how would Bechly feel about the barbs being attributed to him? I’d be irate.

1 Like

People cutting ID creationists slack and giving them the benefit of the doubt. As if the last 20 years of the ID movement just didn’t happen. SMH.


It is really something, isn’t it? After decades, we still have not a single shred of positive evidence for anything in IDC, and yet when the IDCers complain that people aren’t very receptive to their strange and absurd views, we debate whether to cater to the tone-trolls rather than simply reiterating the demand: “show us a reason why your views should be taken seriously by educated people.” This level of deference is never accorded to the advocates of any other branch of malignant pseudoscience. Why should it be so?

1 Like

I’m sorry, but having never encountered a German academic who lacked an extremely high competency in written English, that is not a plausible hypothesis.


The popularity of a belief plays a large role. If a large percentage of people within society share a belief then I think it is worthwhile to show some amount of deference. Bad ideas should always be open to criticism, but a little bit of empathy will go a long way.

We should also keep in mind that many people accept IDC because of its theological and political merit, not its scientific merit. IDC exists in the zeitgeist of persecution myths, invented threats from evil government agencies, and various other hills from the culture wars that people feel the need to plant their flag on and defend themselves from invented enemies. One only needs to read the Wedge Document in order to understand that IDC is much more of a cultural and political movement than it is a scientific one.

[note: I am speaking of some Christians, not all Christians. And yes, there are other groups who behave in a similar fashion.]


Yes, indeed. And if they’d admit it, it’d be a different matter. All of us have weird hobbies, right? I cannot imagine enjoying the hobby of “believing things for the shoddiest of reasons,” but hey, different strokes. I make blue cheese at home, and that’s not everyone’s thing, either. It’s just when the pursuers of that hobby demand that the rest of us pretend that what they’re doing is science that it starts to be irksome, and worse.

I think the reason it cannot be admitted is also shown by that Wedge Strategy document. The culture war isn’t being fought for purely symbolic reasons. These people have the sense that they once dominated the culture and that they have lost that privileged place. They despise a world that treats infidels like humans, and they would like to restore the world to its earlier, witch-burning, form in which they feel they will again rule the roost. But this will not be assented to by a lot of people if stated explicitly; they need, as Barbara Forrest characterized it, a Trojan Horse.


This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.