Re: CSA review

David Bowman (
Mon, 09 Nov 1998 15:58:34 EST


David Bergman's response declining participation in the ASA and EVOLUTION
lists does *not*, I believe, accurately characterize the exchanges that
took place on the SCICHR list from 17-APR-96 to almost mid MAY-96 on the
thread whose initial subject title was "Consistent approach to life". As
one of the principals in that discussion, I fully agree with the
summarizing comments made so far by Allen Harvey and Steve Schimmrich about
this episode. I am amazed that Mr. Bergman could write what he did about
that thread. In fact, if it wasn't for him explicitly identifying the
forum's name I would not have even recognized his description as of the
same exchange in which we (i.e. David Bergman, Earl Wajenberg, Allen Harvey,
and myself), participated.

>Also in the 90s, I joined an internet forum called "Science and
>Christianity." This group became incensed with my postings when they had
>no adequate responses, and I became the subject of scorn and was soon told
>my postings were "inappropriate."

I don't recall anyone's posts even hinting that they were "incensed". Far
from there not being any "adequate responses", each canned screed by Mr.
Bergman was met with 3 such responses (one each from Earl, Allen, & me).
It is likely that every single controversial (to put it charitably)
statement made by Mr. Bergman was not addressed in detail. This does not
mean our responses were less than 'adequate'. Rather, it is an indication
that Mr. Bergman's canned posts were already so long (over 6k, over 11k,
and over 15k respectively) that we tended to only hit the 'highlights' or
main points in our comments. It was Mr. Bergman who did not respond
('adequately' or otherwise) to or engage our comments at all. Rather, he
just posted another canned screed.

> I left the forum with two convictions:
>(1) I could articulate an adequate defense of the new CSS models and
>positions in physics,

This is amazing. He made no defense for his position at all. He never
engaged our discussion. He just served up multiple kilobytes of, IMO,
nonsense. The only defense present at all was, I suppose, in the quoted
testimonials for "Common Sense Science" from Mr. Bergman's collaborators
and acquaintances as well as in the out-of-context quotes and/or extracts
from obsolete mainstream sources with which he had previously sprinkled
throughout his canned posts.

> and (2) I had more important things to do than serve
>as a whipping boy for the willfully ignorant.

We were not "willfully ignorant". Rather, Mr. Bergman would not explain
himself when asked to do so. Earl, Allen, and I all have graduate degrees
in physics. It did not appear that Mr. Bergman had much advanced training
in physics of any kind.

David Bowman