Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby SkepticalOne » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:11 pm

I haven't said they contain and creationist sentiments, nor have I accused you - so that should qualify as 'anyone'. I can understand where the confusion has arisen in that they sound like the sorts of arguments that weve heard very often before but that is not evidence of explicitly stated creationist sympathies so I haven't accused you. Neither has Ashley nor Christine accused you of anything, so that is a couple more 'anyones'.


As usual I appreciate the tone of your response, Cathy, but I did not challenge Roger (or someone) to simply not accuse me of something for which they have no evidence. The challenge was to quote the post that actually indicates creationist sympathies or admit that there is no such quote and that the suspicion with which Roger originally regarded me was not based on data. He made his assumption and has not let anything I have said change his mind. Remember, my opening sentence of this thread was the explicit statement that I was not attempting to argue a creationist interpretation. Roger responded to that by assuming I am a creationist:

I'd like, instead, for you to provide your creationist position.

And followed it up with:
Bullshit. You are.


Now review my posts before that. You will find that Roger based his assumption on the mere fact that I was asking questions about evolution. I understand that you respect him for the role he has played in promoting science education, but that attitude hardly seems appropriate for someone interested in fostering learning about evolution. I would say in fact that it is a good example of someone, as you say, allowing "egos and opinions to mess that up by either alienating their religous allies or their atheist ones" That is why I think it is important that Roger own up and admit that he is in this instance guilty of making a conclusion and maintaining an assertion that he has not even attempted to justify. So while I genuinely appreciate the fact that you and others have tried to responded to what I have said rather than to my alleged secret plans, what I am after is not simply to not be accused of something. I am after an admission that there is in fact no evidence for such accusations (or of course examples of such evidence).

I have previously stated that I am aware that many here are sensitive to anti-science views and I can appreciate that my questions may superficially resemble Marc's. But surely if I were laying a trap for Christine I would have sprung it by now.

It is also possible that SkepticalOne is an OECer. Don't know either way on that one.


You could find out, Roger. Just quote your support for your position or admit that there is none.
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:04 pm

SkepticalOne wrote:
I haven't said they contain and creationist sentiments, nor have I accused you - so that should qualify as 'anyone'. I can understand where the confusion has arisen in that they sound like the sorts of arguments that weve heard very often before but that is not evidence of explicitly stated creationist sympathies so I haven't accused you. Neither has Ashley nor Christine accused you of anything, so that is a couple more 'anyones'.


As usual I appreciate the tone of your response, Cathy, but I did not challenge Roger (or someone) to simply not accuse me of something for which they have no evidence. The challenge was to quote the post that actually indicates creationist sympathies or admit that there is no such quote and that the suspicion with which Roger originally regarded me was not based on data. He made his assumption and has not let anything I have said change his mind. Remember, my opening sentence of this thread was the explicit statement that I was not attempting to argue a creationist interpretation. Roger responded to that by assuming I am a creationist:

I'd like, instead, for you to provide your creationist position.

And followed it up with:
Bullshit. You are.


Now review my posts before that. You will find that Roger based his assumption on the mere fact that I was asking questions about evolution. I understand that you respect him for the role he has played in promoting science education, but that attitude hardly seems appropriate for someone interested in fostering learning about evolution. I would say in fact that it is a good example of someone, as you say, allowing "egos and opinions to mess that up by either alienating their religous allies or their atheist ones" That is why I think it is important that Roger own up and admit that he is in this instance guilty of making a conclusion and maintaining an assertion that he has not even attempted to justify. So while I genuinely appreciate the fact that you and others have tried to responded to what I have said rather than to my alleged secret plans, what I am after is not simply to not be accused of something. I am after an admission that there is in fact no evidence for such accusations (or of course examples of such evidence).

I have previously stated that I am aware that many here are sensitive to anti-science views and I can appreciate that my questions may superficially resemble Marc's. But surely if I were laying a trap for Christine I would have sprung it by now.

It is also possible that SkepticalOne is an OECer. Don't know either way on that one.


You could find out, Roger. Just quote your support for your position or admit that there is none.


Still won't clear up the mess you created, will you.
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby SkepticalOne » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:19 pm

Still won't clear up the mess you created, will you.


I would characterize it as the mess you have created, Roger. This assertion is supported by the quotes I have provided. I am merely asking you to do the same. Provide evidence for your position instead of perpetually evading my challenge to you. I have made it clear that I will reveal my position on the age of the earth and creationism as soon as you do so. Your refusal (read inability) to do so is what is slowing things down here.
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby Peter Henderson » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:59 pm

SkepticalOne wrote:
Still won't clear up the mess you created, will you.


I would characterize it as the mess you have created, Roger. This assertion is supported by the quotes I have provided. I am merely asking you to do the same. Provide evidence for your position instead of perpetually evading my challenge to you. I have made it clear that I will reveal my position on the age of the earth and creationism as soon as you do so. Your refusal (read inability) to do so is what is slowing things down here.


You've managed to spook Christine, which was very clever :D
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:14 pm

This is getting ridiculous. Of course you never said you were a creationist. What you did say, though, gave people reason to think you might be one and nothing you have said since has encouraged them to change their minds.
First, you come here out of the blue (using an IP address common to numerous spammers) and start a thread with an insulting title, And it is insulting, question mark or no.
Then you start out by saying that you are not trying to argue for a creationist interpretation of the data. Why would you say that? And why add “regardless of my beliefs”? That’s a clear invitation for people to conclude that you are a creationist, but a kind cuddly one who won’t preach.
Before the first page is out, Christine says of your protestation “I’m dubious about this disclaimer” but you do not elaborate despite Christine’s courteous and detailed reply to your question. Instead, you chide her for her doubts.
Still on the same page, Christine points to your use of “dirty secret” and continues to doubt you.

At the top of the second page you reply “I agree that "dirty secret" is provocative. It was meant to be; I hoped it would spur a rapid defense.”. Now why would someone merely interested in a small corner of evolutionary biology want to be provocative, to the extent of using such offensive terminology? And what would cause the rapid defense you sought, other than an attack? Phraseology apart, your questioning looks very much like a probing to find weaknesses in evolutionary theory.

After some argy-bargy, I ask you why, if your sole interest is in that area of paleontology, you came to this forum for an explanation rather than somewhere more focussed on that matter. No answer comes the reply and after that page the thread degenerates into a discussion of whether you are a creationist.

Well, I think the above shows that people – many of whom have seen similar before – have sufficient reason to think that you are a creationist, and call you on it. If it waddles like a crocoduck, croaks like a crocoduck and looks like a crocoduck. chances are it IS a crocoduck.

So, kindly reveal yourself, O master of suspense.
Thank you and goodnight.
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby SkepticalOne » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:05 am

Of course you never said you were a creationist


No indeed. But that is not my contention. Rather people have assumed I am arguing for a creationist perspective and/or waiting to spring some sort of trap. All this is based on suspicion rather than what I actually said. As I have shown, Roger in particular started by being certain I was operating from a creationist and has not wavered in that belief (but why should he, since even explicit protestations are not sufficient).

start a thread with an insulting title, And it is insulting, question mark or no.


Dubious, Brian. Haworthroberts' post title is basically the same format as mine and his title is not considered insulting. You make much of the words "dirty secret", but I suspect if my post had started with something like "Hey, listen to what this crazy creationist thinks about such and such", you would not have characterized the title as a rude one. Can you honestly say that you would have chastized me for a rude title if my post had been explicitly pro-evolution? Not that it was anti-evolution at any point, as you have kind of admitted.

Then you start out by saying that you are not trying to argue for a creationist interpretation of the data. Why would you say that?


Is it not obvious, particularly based on the reception I received? I suspected (correctly) that any question about evolution would be regarded with suspicion whether or not it actually questioned evolution itself. To be clear, I said I was not arguing for a creationist interpretation of the data because I wanted to make people aware that I was not arguing for a creationist interpretation of the data. Pretty sneaky. This feels like a witch trial. "Oh, says he is not a witch, does he? Why would he say that unless he is one?"

Still on the same page, Christine points to your use of “dirty secret” and continues to doubt you.


But Christine, until recently, shed her paranoia enough to give a real answer for which I expressed gratitude.

Now why would someone merely interested in a small corner of evolutionary biology want to be provocative, to the extent of using such offensive terminology? And what would cause the rapid defense you sought, other than an attack?


You just quoted the answer to this question. It was provocative to insight a rapid response. Rapidity being the motivation. So the title was intended to draw people in. I miscalculated in hoping that people would actually read my post before setting in stone their assessment of me.

No answer comes the reply and after that page the thread degenerates into a discussion of whether you are a creationist.


Incorrect, Brian:

I asked my questions here because I had been under the impression that the forum was very active and populated by knowledgeable people eager to deal with questions about evolutionary theory.


Well, I think the above shows that people – many of whom have seen similar before – have sufficient reason to think that you are a creationist, and call you on it


I disagree. The timing of Roger's comments clearly show that asking a question about evolution and denying a creationist angle were all that was necessary to convince him of his opinion. I agree that my persistent refusal to say one way or the other could be construed as suspicious, but I have clearly stated my reasons for being reticent. Basically all of your evidence amounts to "I don't trust him". Nothing I said actually indicated creationist leanings, you merely assumed that I had them.

and nothing you have said since has encouraged them to change their minds.


No indeed. As I have pointed out, not even an explicit denial of a creationist angle was sufficient to allay suspicion. According to you it is actually considered evidence against me. Having said that, I can see that your weak admission is likely the best I am going to get here. So here we go. I suspect you are going to feel a bit let down.

How old do I think the earth is? Around 4.6 billion, as far as we can tell. Am I a creationist? Goodness no. Evolutionary Theory is the only (scientific) theory that explains the data in a satisfactory and consistent manner. Now, based on my experience here I can almost guarantee that Roger is going to come call me a liar. I doubt explicitly stating I am not a creationist will be sufficient to convince him considering an explicit statement of non-creationist intent apparently served only to fuel his suspicions. As I have said a couple times now, Christine answered my question long ago. I have been sticking around to point out that many of you decided incorrectly that I was a creationist on the grounds that I asked a question about evolution that others here actually wanted an answer to as well. So perhaps you should take this experience as a warning not to let your preconceptions control you. Roger decided from my first post that I was a creationist.

Anyway, I appreciated Christine's answers. I apologize for not being more explicitly pro-evolution, but I wanted to see how people would react to a question about evolution. I see I did. It was disappointing.
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby Brian Jordan » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:28 am

Thanks for that. Perhaps there's still one lesson to learn: if you sound like a troll, argue like a troll and react like a troll, people can wrongly think of you as a troll. It's enough of a job dealing with real creationists without such a diversion.
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby Roger Stanyard » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:14 am

SkepticalOne wrote:No indeed. As I have pointed out, not even an explicit denial of a creationist angle was sufficient to allay suspicion. According to you it is actually considered evidence against me. Having said that, I can see that your weak admission is likely the best I am going to get here. So here we go. I suspect you are going to feel a bit let down.

How old do I think the earth is? Around 4.6 billion, as far as we can tell. Am I a creationist? Goodness no. Evolutionary Theory is the only (scientific) theory that explains the data in a satisfactory and consistent manner. Now, based on my experience here I can almost guarantee that Roger is going to come call me a liar. I doubt explicitly stating I am not a creationist will be sufficient to convince him considering an explicit statement of non-creationist intent apparently served only to fuel his suspicions. As I have said a couple times now, Christine answered my question long ago. I have been sticking around to point out that many of you decided incorrectly that I was a creationist on the grounds that I asked a question about evolution that others here actually wanted an answer to as well. So perhaps you should take this experience as a warning not to let your preconceptions control you. Roger decided from my first post that I was a creationist.

Anyway, I appreciated Christine's answers. I apologize for not being more explicitly pro-evolution, but I wanted to see how people would react to a question about evolution. I see I did. It was disappointing.


Well thanks for that. It's a rather long-winded way of establishing your credentials, I must add.
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby SkepticalOne » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:01 pm

Thanks for that. Perhaps there's still one lesson to learn: if you sound like a troll, argue like a troll and react like a troll, people can wrongly think of you as a troll. It's enough of a job dealing with real creationists without such a diversion.


That is my point though. Neither my first post nor indeed my subsequent questions are at all trollish. They were merely questions and you and others decided I was a creationist troll. Roger decided on the basis of me saying I was not attempting to argue for a creationist viewpoint. The point is that you only found my comments suspicious because you had already decided I had a creationist angle despite explicitly stating otherwise and giving no evidence of such an angle in my posts. Now that you know my position there is no motivation for you to try to quote any post that really gives any indication of a creationist bent, but I wish you would look at my first post and see that there was nothing there. It was all suspicion and prejudgement. Roger especially seemed to decide it was irredeemably suspicious to be asking questions about evolution. In any case, it was very bad form of Roger and others to decide I was creationist independently of, and in fact despite, anything I actually said. Perhaps next time wait until someone actually tries to promote creationist nonsense before deciding they are creationists and heaping abuse on them.
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby psiloiordinary » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:26 pm

Skeptical One.

This is an anti-creationist web site.

Psi
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby a_haworthroberts » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:34 am

I'm still catching up with all this after a couple of days of absence. Have still only got as far as the early hours of Saturday. I have to say that SkepticalOne's secrecy about his, or conceivably though I doubt it her, 'position' on the age of the Earth appears to suggest that (s)he is not a supporter of the aims of the BCSE, even if not a closet young Earth creationist as some appear to have concluded rather readily. For whatever reason(s) he does not appear to have avoided all potential triggers for a public argument online (and this forum IS advertised as 'boisterous').

I should say that in saying that I initially was prepared to regard him as genuine and as not opposing evolutionary biology was not merely a tactic lest (if he is a YEC or similar) he would be unable to say truthfully in any other context that everybody at the BCSE community forum is 'suspicious of newcomers' or 'evasive' or 'unable/unwilling to answer questions about science' or 'paranoid'. Rather, I genuinely felt that he could be genuine and if so calling him a closet YEC or the like would lose a potential ally. As time goes on, I tend to be a little more sceptical, but my mind is still open either way.

My personal views by the way.
Last edited by a_haworthroberts on Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby a_haworthroberts » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:42 am

Brian Jordan wrote:
SkepticalOne wrote:You seem to be so sure that I am a creationist. Why can't you quote any evidence of this in my posts?
No, just that you are behaving like one. Why can't you quote any evidence that you are not? You haven't actually denied that you are a creationist. so you have three times still to go. How about it?


SkepicalOne started the thread with the following sentence:
"Let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to argue for a creationist interpretation of the data, regardless of my beliefs."

He clearly has 'beliefs' but - whatever they are - he appears very reluctant to disclose them (there might be an innocent reason).
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby a_haworthroberts » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:46 am

Roger Stanyard wrote:
SkepticalOne wrote:
You really are an obnoxious little shit.


In all fairness that is the attitude you displayed from the start, Roger. Just admit that you have based and maintained the belief that I am a creationist on no evidence other than your own presupposition. Or, as always, try to actually support your claim. Cathy seems to respect you, so I assume you are capable of more than blowing hot air. I am just asking you to provide your evidence for thinking me a creationist. You are so confident. It should be easy.


Nah. There isn't anyone in this group who believes a word you say. Everything you say is regarded as bullshit. By everyone here.



I'm afraid you don't speak for me here, Roger. He MAY be a closet YEC or closet OEC/ID proponent. Or he MAY not. I don't claim to know. And he IS being somewhat evasive about the 'beliefs' that he chose to mention in his very first sentence.

If he had used his real name, it might have been possible to google him (though he might be a 'nobody' as I am).
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby a_haworthroberts » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:52 am

SkepticalOne wrote:
Everything you say is regarded as bullshit


So it would seem. But you started doing that from the very first. I am just asking you to actually support your claim that I am a creationist with quoted posts or admit that there is no evidence. More specifically, I would ask that you quote the part of my posts that gave you reason to say "Bullshit, you are" in response to me explicitly stating I was not trying to promote a creationist view with my questions. I predict that you will be unable to do this.



Whether he is entirely genuine or a closet YEC/similar (particularly if it's the latter), SkepticalOne should note that when people who are openly opponents of YEC pseudo-science adopt strategies on YEC discussion fora that risk making YEC spokespeople and bloggers look a bit silly, they normally get banned. Whereas - if this is a reversal of that situation (and if SkepticalOne is playing a clever game rather than simply being a clumsy evolutionist) I predict that he will only get insulted (by some) but not banned.
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Re: Dirty secret of Evolutionary theory?

Postby a_haworthroberts » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:58 am

SkepticalOne wrote:
are you a young Earth creationist ?

Why can't you tell us how old you think the Earth is ?


I can tell you. I won't until you admit that the suspicion festering in Roger's heart from the beginning is not based on any evidence from my posts. I am telling you, Peter, I will answer your question just as soon as you answer mine. What post have I made that indicates I am a creationists or a young earther?


As far as I know Roger has been comparing you in his mind to some past visitors to this community forum. I cannot offer any further more specific info, though.
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