Monday, January 15, 2007

DaveScot really is as foolish and dishonest as people say he is!

I've noticed Bill Dembski's sycophant-in-chief DaveScot has dropped by the AE blog to troll in our comments, as he has done in several others run by pro-evolution scientists. He has a reputation for wild distortions and pure risibility in his arguments (Ed Brayton's Dispatches from the Culture Wars is a fine compendium of DaveScottish follies, for those of you who can't bear to subject yourself to Uncommon Descent; just search for this name there and see what comes up), and I see he's fully on form here.

An example of how DaveScot behaves/argues: On Larry Moran's Sandwalk a few days ago, a commenter named Shalini opined that the new banner at Uncommon Descent was "ugly." DaveScot retorted with this charming remark:

What kind of name is Shalini? I keep looking for a red dot on your forehead.

That's a pretty clear bit of racist nastiness, if you ask me, and I called him on it. So how does DaveScot react to that? As follows:

A little checking up on Martin found him in my hometown and then the picture of the cable TV crew with all white people in it made his comment seem a tad hypocritical. I couldn't resist making the dig.

Making a public fool of himself is indeed something DaveScot rarely resists. Really, it takes a specially cultivated kind of stupid to think this way! I begin to understand just why Dave is so widely and enthusiastically ridiculed by everyone who isn't a pro-Dembski Uncommon Descent regular. Remember, people, if you're white, and you are not in the company of at least one racial minority at all times and in all circumstances, you are just as racist as someone who openly mocks the appearance of a non-white person.

DaveScot's further comments are a fusillade of disingenuousness and outright dishonesty. He claims to be agnostic, but then how to explain this post in which he exhorts his readers to pray for the people partaking in the Blasphemy Challenge, who are "giving up their immortal souls on a dare... I’m not rationally convinced we have immortal souls to give up but certainly the possibility exists... Please join me in a simple prayer for the young victims of this stunt."

Um, pray to whom about what, exactly, Dave, if you're an agnostic who isn't "rationally" convinced there are even such things as souls? Either you think these people are placing themselves at risk of divine wrath or you don't. As your post indicates you do, then your claims of nonbelief are as truth-challenged as most everything else you've said.

Dave then makes the usual persecution claims about ID.

If ID wasn't made into a strawman by anti-religionists more people might realize it fits fine with an atheist view like mine and even yours... Acknowledging the possibility that life and the universe doesn't just have the appearance of design but is actually designed is not anti-atheist.

The whine that ID is constantly misrepresented by the Evil Atheist Conspiracy has been dead and buried for so long it's nearly a fossil itself. Exactly how is ID made a strawman? As DaveScot goes on to say, ID has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, nosiree bob, no way, not at all. This is all just lies, lies, lies. ID doesn't specify a creator, you see. It merely points out that the universe and life on earth appear to be designed, and leaves the question of who/what the designing agent is open.

Never mind, of course, the very words of DaveScot's good friend Dembski himself (via Wikiquote):

"If we take seriously the word-flesh Christology of Chalcedon (i.e. the doctrine that Christ is fully human and fully divine) and view Christ as the telos toward which God is drawing the whole of creation, then any view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient."

"Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory, even if its practitioners do not have a clue about him." —both taken from Dembski's 1999 book Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology

Oh yes, let's also overlook the fact that the Kitzmiller trial demonstrated conclusively that ID is nothing more than warmed-over traditional Christian creationism, by contrasting earlier editions of the creationist "textbook" Of Pandas and People with later editions, and showing that the word "creationism" and its variants had simply been replaced with "intelligent design". (From The Panda's Thumb)

Creation means that various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent Creator with their distinctive features already intact–fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc. (Pandas 1987, creationist version, FTE 4996-4997, pp. 2-14, 2-15)

Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact – fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc. (Pandas 1993, 2nd edition, published, pp. 99-100)

Finally, let's get back to that old fave rave, The Wedge Strategy, a document whose authenticity the Discovery Institute has fully fessed up to, and which lays the religious agenda of the intelligent design movement as bare as Jenna Jameson's ass.

But still you have guys like DaveScot, out trying to sell the idea that ID has no relationship to religion at all, either unaware or indifferent to the fact that the jig has long been up, and no one's buying what he's selling. So we're meant to swallow the idea that the intelligent designer of the universe isn't really God, just — to paraphrase the hilarious snark from Jon Stewart — some being with the skillset to design and create a universe. And anyone who says different is just an anti-religionist making up strawmen. Got it.

But you might want to fill Bill in before he writes another book. Talk it over with him next time you get together at his Nebraska beach house.


  1. Only goatse has more infamy than DaveScot. Although I must admit that I'd much rather gaze upon the orifice of an aging goatse than the ramblings of DaveScot.

  2. I'm going to have to agree with Saint_Gasoline, here.

  3. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    I guess I won't be getting any invitations to join your little atheist club then. It's just as well as I don't get along with skinheads.

  4. Tard Alert! To see DaveScott and his blog-butt-buddy Dembski burned on a regular and funny basis, please visit The Official Uncommonly Dense Blog, devoted to all the totally stupid ramblings of a DaveScott, - Worth the look!;act=ST;f=14;t=1274;st=10560

  5. See what I mean, folks? Kind of pitiful, really.

  6. Being webwide famous for being an idiot and an asshole. Now that's an interesting goal in life.

  7. Hats off, Martin. You certainly seem to be successfully attracting the fringe fundie (uh, I mean "agnostic") crowd to the blog--so you must be getting the word out pretty effectively.

    Recently Matt made a statement on-air to the effect that he's never seen an apologist who didn't rely on some form of fallacy to make his point/s. In this case, red herrings and ad hominem.

    What I find funny and sad is that the ad hominem attack illustrates two things, clearly, about the attacker:

    1. They obviously don't feel they can win an argument on a level playing field of logic versus logic. Which means that they recognize their arguments are logically weak.

    2. They expect the ad hominem attack to toss their opponent off track/off guard and derail the discussion (throwing their opponent into a defense of his/her character and off the actual point). It's an obvious attempt at diversion--but what's sad about it, to me, is that they wouldn't use it if it didn't have a history of working for them. This illustrates that they tend to argue with people who aren't familiar with logical argumentation and logical fallacies; basically, they take on emotional people who are easily derailed.

    I noticed that DS supplied a lengthy reply to my post in the last blog entry--none of which remotely addressed my criticism of his logic.

    "Agnostic" though his claim may be--he certainly argues like a theist.

  8. "They obviously don't feel they can win an argument on a level playing field of logic versus logic."

    Tracie honey you make the mistake I want to win. I couldn't care less if you believe the way I do or not. It's YOU that has this need to win something. Personally I think militant atheists and theists alike are whistling in the dark. They're insecure and need to convince others to lower their own level of insecurity.

    Is it ad hominem if it's true? In my mind the glaring lack of color around here is simply an observation and please note I made it only in reaction to delicate little Chucky Wagner making a racist aspersion at me. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Write that down.

  9. Opps - make that delicate little Marty Wagner.

  10. I think it's hilarious that DaveScot's insults are on the same caliber as some of the crank callers who occasionally call our show, pretend to have a topic, and then try to make a joke before hanging up. "Ha ha, you're BALD!" they say, gleefully basking in the warm triumph of having slipped this piercing insight past our call screeners.

    I guess it's lucky for me that DaveScot called me a skinhead, otherwise I might not have noticed... HEY WAIT A MINUTE, WHERE DID ALL MY HAIR GO?!? What the hell?

    Tracie's right though... just as being parodied by Weird Al proves that a musical artist has "made it", receiving a visit from DaveScot indicates that our blog is quickly rising to the level of popularity enjoyed by Pharyngula and Panda's Thumb. Go, us!

  11. Quote: "Is it ad hominem if it's true?"

    Yes, if it's a diversionary tactic to sidestep supporting an argument. I have never heard anyone claim that an ad hominem has to be a false accusation.

    Quote: "In my mind the glaring lack of color around here is simply an observation..."

    No, it was not "just an observation." Please be honest and own your statements. You likened the group to the KKK. You didn't just "observe": "Hey, I notice there are no ethnic minorities on the cast--what is up with that?" You said it was because the cast was racist--by comparing them, straight up, to the KKK. So, please don't pretend it was "just an observation"--it was also _clearly_ a (unfair and illogical) judgment.

    Quote: "...and please note I made it only in reaction to delicate little Chucky Wagner making a racist aspersion at me."

    Yes, you were doing a childish "tit for tat." I think I did address this when I pointed out that I didn't at all see your reasoning for attacking several people you don't know, just because someone who is not among them pointed out you made a racist remark on another forum. How is it that the ACA cast/crew became racist, just because Martin called you on a racist comment?

    Quote: "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

    But Martin doesn't live in this house. He's NOT in the photo. Nor is he currently involved with the TV show that I am aware. You got bent because Martin pointed out your racist comment on another forum. Then you went and attacked the ACA cast and crew for racism--simply because no one you will accept as an ethnic minority has volunteered for the (very small cast/crew) of the show. How is that logical? [And I still don't know what test you're using for "ethnic minority"--by the way--not that it probably really matters.]

    You're all but admitting that your motivation is simply "Martin called my comment racist, and I want to get back--if not Martin, then any atheists will do. So, I'm going to call you all racists--using the only thing I can come up with: Since you're all Caucasian--you're just like the KKK!"

    It's irrational.

  12. To be fair, although Martin is not a current member of the show, he IS the originator and primary contributor to this blog.

    That aside, I saw Martin's comment and didn't see anything out of line about it. Furthermore, I don't see any compelling reason why you should spend your energy convincing the troll that making a genuinely racist comment is in a different category from simply being white. As a lifelong Jew, I'm somewhat underwhelmed by the insult of being called a skinhead.

  13. I don't think it's fair to quote Dembski contradicting DaveScot ("... any view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient."), and imply that this makes DaveScot a hypocrite.

    Don't get me wrong, Matt demonstrated that DaveScot is a hypocrite.

    But DaveScot's point -- that ID doesn't have anything to do with religion -- could be true from his view.

    On the most recent AE, Matt and Tracie explained a similar point for several minutes: that even if the universe were created, it wouldn't have to be a god that did it.

    I guess my point is, yes DaveScot is a hypocrite and a troll, but as a nitpicky fan of the show and its incessant honesty, I unfairly hold its representatives to very high standards.

    P.S.: I'm glad to hear Tracie back on the show. She's as researched as Matt and rigorous as Jeff, but with twice the patience and none of the anger. :)

  14. Hey Kazim!

    Maybe I should post this at the other entry, but I'm combining things...

    It's not that I don't recognize Martin's connection to the show--but I honestly believe DS is aiming his comments at the photograph of the cast on the blog front page (and maybe at the ACA homepage, if he's been there?)--and none of the people pictured have anything to do with his problem DS has with Martin, except that suddenly they're being accused by DS (out of the blue) of being racist with no more "evidence" against them than they're Caucasian and in a photo together.

    There's an old story about a man and a boy and their donkey carrying goods to market. Everyone they pass on the way shames them for carrying the load however they are carrying it: If the boy has it, then the father is mean for making his young son carry it. If the father carries it, then the son is awful for making his poor old father carry it. Or they are both stupid for not using the donkey. Or they are cruel to make the poor, dumb beast carry it all...etc. In the end, the point is that you can't please everyone, and that there will always be a person looking to criticize you no matter what you do. I find that story to accurately reflect reality. And I would add that it is the agenda of some people sometimes to criticize every option no matter what you do.

    I find it funny that among a group of just several people, there are representatives from the male, female, Jewish, and gay demographics--just off the top. But the group is being criticized for not having someone with darker skin. I wonder how many different demographics we'd have to support in this small group of 5 or 6 in order to not be labeled "anti" _something_ by DS? I'd say we already mix it up far more than any general population sample would.

    And yes, it is funny that you are being labeled a Jew Skinhead! ;-)


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