I have a question about the search engine on the PS site. I’ll frame it with an example.
Tonight, I tried to find the discussion (which I looked at earlier today) in which Paul Nelson and others were discussing whether evolutionary thought was implicitly theological. But I could not remember what category and subcategory the discussion was in, and I could not remember the title.
I went to the little magnifying glass symbol and tried to start a search, but got nowhere. Paul A. Nelson, Paul Nelson, pnelson – all turned up “no results”. Obviously I was doing something wrong, since there are hundreds of posts by Paul on the site. I think I had selected some narrow category, because I couldn’t find a “Search All Text on This Site” option, and then Paul didn’t appear in any posts under whatever category I had selected. And the thought of having to go through every possible category (Conversation: Side Conversation; Conversation: Theology, and so on), one at a time, and then repeat the search for Nelson, was depressing.
Ideally, I’d like to be able to do what I can do on Google, search a text string (word, name, phrase, partial sentence, if necessary using quotation marks), but I want to be able to do it just for the PS site, and I’d like to have the search apply all across the site, to all categories and posts and comments. I would like to be able type in “pnelson”, for example, and get hits for every single time the text string “pnelson” appears anywhere on the site. Then I would like to be able to refine that with, say, “list from newest to oldest occurrence”, or “search 2021 only” or “search posts only” or “search comments only” or “search both posts and comments”. Had I been able to do that, I would have been able to find the exact column and posts I wanted in about 10 seconds.
As it worked out, after many fruitless tries, I ended up going to the History tab on my Google Chrome and scrolling down a couple of pages until I hit something from Peaceful Science that looked as if if might contain Paul’s remarks. That did the trick, but it’s a clumsy substitute.
I’m terrible at remembering titles of posts, and categories and subcategories of discussion where a post is found, but I’m good at remembering close to the exact words that were written. So I vastly prefer searching by text strings, e.g., “Genealogical Adam”, “guided evolution”, “biochemical predestination”, “P. Z. Myers”, “the lies of the Discovery Institute”, or whatever, on a sitewide basis, with the option of narrowing down the large number of hits by date, order of appearance, or other means.
So let’s say I wanted to find every page on this site where the word “teleology” appears, whether in the op eds or in the comments, and list them in order of most recent to oldest appearance. Is there a simple procedure that enables one to do this, without having to wade through a whole mess of options that aren’t relevant?
Sorry if I’m the only one who doesn’t know how to do this, but I hope some patient person will explain it to me. I’m fine at finding things on Google, but on sites like this, and Uncommon Dissent, etc., the sort of simple and efficient search procedures that work on Google don’t seem to work.