Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dembski has Glenn Beck Envy?

You'd think it was lame enough that the [snort] "Isaac Newton [snicker...heehee] of Information Theory [hhahahaHAHAHAHA...ahem]" is so bereft of actual material to teach his hapless students at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary that he bases a full 20% of their grade on how active they are in trolling the comments of science blogs ( here and scroll down to "Spring 2009...AP410"). Now, can it be that, inspired by conservative histrionics and tantrums at recent "town hall" meetings on health care reform, he now wants them to disrupt science lectures? Say it ain't so!

SMU is hosting several awesome events this weekend celebrating Darwin's 200th anniversary, and Dembski has told his students he wants them going.

I don't want you going there merely as spectators but will indicate in class how you might actively participate and engage the Darwin-lovers you'll find there.

"Darwin-lovers." Cute. Very, erm, scientific.

Now, Dembski doesn't exactly say "cause a disruption and shout people down." But, here's the thing. It's obvious, at this point, that poor old Dembski has basically given up. That bold and courageous five-year plan indicated in the Wedge Document to undermine "materialistic" science and replace it with New & Improved Jesus Science hasn't gone so well. Yes, we have millions of uneducated and undereducated dimwits in the general public who reject evolution, but what Dembski wanted was academic respectability, and that has eluded him. Because neither he nor anyone in the late and unlamented ID camp ever produced any research, any science, any peer reviewed papers showing that the evidence for ID was more reasonable to accept than that for evolution.

So now he's reduced to asking his students to do his work for him, by trolling blogs and "challenging Darwin-lovers" at seminars held by real universities. As this exercise will lead to very embarrassing encounters for these poor deluded kids when real experts and scientifically literate people school them hard, one could almost call it cruel. I can see some poor 20-year-old kid, deciding to "actively engage the Darwin-lovers," raising his hand during the Q&A, confidently spouting some ignorant ID canard, and being met with gales of laughter and some steely cold facts. It's almost unpleasant to contemplate, like visualizing a squirrel being squashed by a semi. (Okay, I lie. It's actually funny to contemplate and not nearly that bad. But I'm striving for "positive atheism" here. Work with me.)

It's over, Bill. Your grade: fail.


  1. Damn it Martin, I already have major patience issues with fundies and dumb whenever I see someone like Mr. Freefromthinking or highboy or the guy who PZ had to call the cops on, or the like I'm going to be tempted to ask if they're doing it for a class.

  2. I warn you: this is probably the meanest thing I've ever written about someone I don't know. The entire opinion is based on what I know of the subject's writing.

    Dembski is a boorish, stupid man, and will likely die a boorish, stupid man, some day in the distant future, having for his only accomplishment the catylization of others' education in science, that they may avoid his particular flavor of stupid.

  3. "Darwin-lovers"?

    I have a confession to make. I've never even read On the Origin of Species. It's the work of other scientists that convinces me.

  4. Ignoring for a minute that we're talking about the William Demski, the "defend your faith" requirement in apologetics courses is pretty common.

  5. The defend your faith thing as it's being used still seems annoying. It's telling people to go and start arguments with folks who wouldn't have bothered them or challenged their faith directly otherwise.

  6. Waaaaaayyyyy late....but I must register my astonishment...

    "Isaac Newton of Information Theory"? Is somebody farking kidding me?

    If I remember correctly, that title, if it is to be given to anyone, should be given to Claude Shannon.

    Shannon was a brilliant mathematician and computer theorist, who literally invented information theory. Before Shannon, computers could store and manipulate numbers, so math problems could be solved.
    After Shannon's Master's Thesis, (MASTER'S THESIS! He wasn't even a doctoral candidate at the time!) it was understood that anything could be represented, not only as a number, but as a binary number. Music, pictures, movies, galactic collisions, human emotions. You name it, it can be represented in a computer.
    Brilliant doesn't begin to describe the guy. He almost singlehandedly invented computer gaming, with the first practical chess playing program.

    Dembski isn't worthy to kiss Shannon's dead ass. And he tries to claim that he is somehow superior to Shannon?

    That is obscene.


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