Social Exclusion? But We Dialogue With ID

A snippet:

" Dissenters from neo-Darwinian orthodoxy — such as many of the readers of Evolution News — often face the problem that their mainstream evolutionary interlocutors simply refuse to inter-locute: literally, to “speak with” them. Social exclusion via refusal to engage is probably the most powerful and effective means of controlling the debate about origins within science. If I never talk with you, I don’t have to think about the issues you raise. And if I don’t have to think about those issues, they might as well not exist."

@pnelson, surely you jest. I suspect that among the readers of EV are many “mainstream evolutionary interlocutors”, who also happen to be active PS participants. Heck, it is quite possible that the overwhelming majority of “mainstream evolutionary interlocutors” who read EN are also PS participants.

So, do the ID vanguard seek out interactions on PS with these supposedly-shy interlocuters? Just who is actually refusing to inter-locute? I would maintain that it is the pro-ID crew at the Discovery Institute who are refusing to engage. To insinuate that the scientific community doesn’t want to “speak with” them will strike PS participants as patently absurd. Heck, our wonderful host has taken it upon himself to build a forum and community that is excellently suited to “inter-locution”.

@pnelson, my response to your piece at EN - put your (collective) money where your mouth is. You’ve got a captive audience. Use it (us?). Gather your colleagues and join us on PS.


This is the same Evolution News that disallows comments. Who is refusing to inter-locute with whom?


Ann Gauger left from here and stopped posting of her own volition. So did Gpuccio. Nobody is preventing people like Bill Dembski, Michael Behe, or Douglas Axe from signing up here to argue their work and views.


Hi Art,

Long and complicated backstory to that ENV piece, which – due to its ongoing sensitivity – I can’t talk about right now. Maybe later this year.

You personally have always been a shining exception to the I-won’t-talk-with-ID-people-they’re-nasty practice. Every generalization has its counterexamples. :wink: I am honored to see you as a friend and advisor.

Back to lurking.


Paul, I genuinely appreciate your presence here and applaud the grace with which you handle some of us more “vocal” types.

Having said that, the article is really bad form. You write a terse piece that ignores all of the opportunities ID proponents DO have to talk science, and then claim that you can’t talk about it any further. That is wildly inconsistent.


Would you care to substantiate that generalized characterization of those in the scientific community who do not spend much of their time engaging with ID proponents? Are you quite sure the (admitted) rarity of such engagement is primarily because your colleagues are perceived as “nasty”? Or are there other possibilities worth considering?



I can only ask you to issue me an IOU (to be repaid later) about explaining a very difficult situation, which I cannot elaborate publicly.

I know the ENV piece looks wildly inconsistent. I truly regret that.

P.S. to Faizal: same regrets. I hope to be able to say more later.

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Then why publish it? It seems weird to publish something that you know seems inconsistent and you aren’t at liberty to discuss it.


Replying to myself with a correction:

Paul gives Curt and Faizal an IOU. They hold it until later.

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Because we are trying to catch the attention of some of the evolutionary biology readers of ENV, who admire John Maynard Smith but can’t stand to be in the same room as ID theorists.

@pnelson, my theory (almost certainly wrong, but I will state it anyway) is that you had a bad experience with reviewer #3.

Welcome to the club :roll_eyes:.


Why not get their attention by extolling Peaceful Science as a better approach, even though you’ve disagreed with us at times?

That would be honest, true, and would make your point more effectively.

It isn’t to late to write a brief follow up that identifies us as the exception to the rule.


And there goes a typical drive-by comment from Paul, who generally limits his interlocution here to just that. Strange.


He says he has his reasons, I think we have to take him at his word.

Damn, you have trouble with that guy too?!? :wink:

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But he always has his reasons. Eventually one grows suspicious.


ID has no theories. It doesn’t even have hypotheses. Moreover, your article misrepresents evolutionary theory, which is a bundle of real theories that have graduated from being hypotheses, as a mere analogy.


It seems to me like ID has theories and hypotheses, just not scientific theories or hypotheses.


My question only pertained to your comment here on PS, which I assume is not being policed by or otherwise subject to whatever circumstances are preventing you from elaborating on your ENV article. But I will just presume you have your reasons.

They do have scientific hypotheses too.


I have to ask, how large is the intersection between the following sets:

  1. Evolutionary biologists.

  2. Those who read ENV.

  3. Those who admire John Maynard Smith sufficiently that his views would alter their actions.

  4. Those who “can’t stand to be in the same room as ID theorists.”

(2) & (4) would appear to be particularly mutually-limiting, so I would expect the overall intersection to be quite small.

Addendum: whilst I’m sure that, if we looked hard enough, we could find a few evolutionary biologists who (i) read ENV, (ii) rage-blog about its contents afterwards, but (iii) refuse to have any other interaction with IDers, I cannot help but suspect that (i) the number would be vanishing small, and (ii) they probably wouldn’t be particularly pleasant or helpful people for IDers to converse with in any case. :thinking: