Sunday, November 23, 2008

Uncommon Descent: Fascist Bastards

I was dropping by Uncommon Descent the other day, and left a comment on one of the posts:

Denyse O'Leary had written:
“From a philosophical perspective the possibility remains that a designer may have supplied an organism with more genetic information than may have been needed for life- what one may call an “all the options, all the bells and whistles” approach. Such a designer could have been interested in placing non-functional genes in the genome for a future role in his or her design. We all install software into our computers that may not be operational until some later date when we finally choose to use it.”

If you don't know, this idea of "front loading" is essentially like Michael Behe's suggestion that God created the first cell and loaded it with all the genes that every organism would ever use.

So I wrote:

This is not viable for two reasons:

1. If, for example, the genes for blood clotting were “installed” in some cell long ago before it had function, the genes would have mutated beyond repair by now.

2. We should expect to find genes that would never have had any use in a species past. For example, finding vestiges of blood clotting genes in plants.

So of course, since I presented a scientific test of ID 'theory' what do you think the Idists did? Distorted information and backed away. They know they won't ever discover something like blood clotting genes in plants. One of the posters on ID said that the Sea Urchin had been discovered with genes for eyes and the immune system. But as I pointed out, we have only discovered that the Urchin has genes "involved in" vision. Since we know that these genes had functions before they were involved in eyes, they have probably just evolved a new funtion in other animals (vision). So it turns out that this isn't evidence of Behe and Dembski's silly genetic fantasy. What happens to that comment? It gets deleted. No bad language. No rudeness. I just stated the facts. And I get deleted. That just tells me that these fascists can't handle the free debate they are so adamantly pushing.

Yesterday I also commented on another post. The post said:

"Behe, who happens to be a Catholic, is in no sense a philosopher; he is a biochemist, and the Darwin cult’s howls of outrage against Edge are the best evidence that he is on to something and that his work should be seriously considered at such a conference."

I responded: "Michael Behe is onto something? Oh please. Student Abby Smith called him on his bogus claim that 'nothing new' had evolved in HIV. (Note that Behe eventually admitted she was correct).

He argues that evolution is mostly destructive, but he never discusses compensatory mutations (mutations which recover old functions which are lost due to, for instance, the evolution of antibiotic resistance).

And Nick Matzke completely destroyed his thesis that two protein protein binding sites cannot evolve simultaneously."

And what did I get from that simple post? It was deleted. I guess we can now see how honest and willing to debate UD really is.

P.S. A commenter left me a link to an excellent blog post which shows just how absurd "frontloading" is, making the very same points that I do.


car54 said...

I guess that'll teach you to waste your time there!

What losers.

Sillysighbean said...

Thanks for posting, another piece of evidence for my hypothesis that the ID proponents are disingenuous.

Jafafa said...

Please, lets stop with the weasel words. They are not "disingenuous."

They are LIARS. They are dishonest, and if you, as I do, consider honest to be a moral issue, they are immoral.

They post an argument and see it discredited, and delete the correction. They repeat the discredited argument knowing it is discredited. They deliberately lie to their followers to deceive them.

They lie about their intentions, stating that they are not trying to inject religion into science when indeed they are.

These people are NOT misguided people spinning to assert their position.

They are immoral people doing what immoral people routinely do - using fraud and deceit to achieve their aims while rationalizing that their behavior is justified, that the ends justify the means.

ngong said...

You might enjoy the following: . A similar take on "frontloading".

Radioactive afikomen said...

I object to your use of the word "fascist". Clearly, what you mean is "totalitarian". By using "fascist" as a generic insult you grossly misrepresent what fascism really is.

In case you're not willing to read the entire (admittedly long) post I linked to: in a nutshell, fascism is a political philosophy which idolizes anti-intellectualism, jingoism, and violence.

Quietly censoring a comment hardly qualifies under this rubric.

By misrepresenting what fascism is, you further contribute to the watering down of the term and belittle the horror that is actual fascism.

AIGBusted said...

"fascism is a political philosophy which idolizes anti-intellectualism, jingoism, and violence."

Anti-intellectualism - You could not find a more fitting word for the ID crowd than this.

Jingoism - This is defined as extreme patriotism characterized by aggressive foreign policy. Since the vast majority of the IDers are very strongly right wing, this is a fairly accurate description.

Violence - I haven't known of any IDers to use violence. However, christianity rode to power on a river of blood, so I would say that this is one of the past attributes of the ideology that drives ID (ideology being top-down design, belief in a personal god, christianity).

On the other hand, I think I should be careful about characterizing the IDers the same way I would characterize mussolini. Let's call them hippocrites and leave it at that.

Radioactive afikomen said...

Thank you, AIGBusted.

Radioactive afikomen said...

That being said, I still have some quibbles with your last comment (I guess I'm feeling really quibblesome today).

The ID movement is pseudo-intellectual, not anti-intellectual. They want to be seen as upholders of science (even though they aren't). If they were anti-intellectual, they wouldn't bother maintaining a pseudo-scientific journal or website.

I apologize for my mistaken use of "jingoism". The word I was searching for was "tribalism". But to address your observations, jingoism/tribalism would only apply to the ID movement if it was an explicit part of their platform. It's not—their purpose is to install the teaching of creationism in public education.

With regards to violence, it has nothing to do with the ID movement. That many of them happen to be right-wing Christians is irrelevant. Not until the movement explicitly endorsed violence as a means to their goal could the movement be described as violent.

AIGBusted said...

You're quite right, RA. I was careful, however, in my comment to emphasize that IDers have never been known to engage in or encourage violence, nor is there any reason to think that they have been. They are peaceful, civilized people.

I guess I was just pointing out that Intelligent Design is a product of ideologies that certainly are fascist.

But nevermind. They are simply hippocrites and nothing more. They're definitely not violent at all, and they're definitely not extreme enough to qualify as fascist.

Radioactive afikomen said...

Thank you for understanding, AIGBusted. And I apologize if came off as too strong.

janothar said...

Peaceful sure, but I think you go too far with "civilized." Civilized people can handle criticism without stifling dissent. Totalitarianism is not civilized.

mr_subjunctive said...

So, not so much Uncommon Descent as uncommon dissent, then.

Aaron said...

Yay! You made pharyngula!

Mona Albano said...

Thanks! You save me the trouble of going over there and increasing their statistics.

John said...

If you include people like DaveScot and Sal Cordova, they often do have violent fantasies.

PTET said...

No wonder UD deleted your comment. You shredded them.

People are "skeptical" of evolution because they can't fit the *scale* of what's involved - in time, size magnitude, whatever - into their imaginations.

But all "intelligent design" has to offer in it's place is the several-orders-of-magnitude more complex idea of "front loading".

ID is like saying "the exact layout and ordering of all the grains of sand on a beach is so improbable that the most reasonable explanation is that each grain of sand was specifically placed where it was by an inknown agent".

It is that stupid.

And so, UD delete dissent...

normdoering said...

As Jafafa says, they are indeed Liars.