Re: [asa] The "new" Uncommon Descent

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Thu Dec 04 2008 - 04:09:51 EST

Whenever I look at Uncommon descent I come away in blank amazement, whether the comments or the attitudes.I have just looked at it and find it equally bad. It seems that any poster who dares to say anything intelligent is "vaporized" as happened to David. This means that Timaeus (why doesn't he have the guts to say who he is?) is wishing for the impossible for cross-fertilisation of TE and ID.

Perhaps the only sensible thing to do is to withdraw and plug away elsewhere.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Stephen Matheson
  To: ASA List
  Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 10:10 PM
  Subject: [asa] The "new" Uncommon Descent

  In his last missive, Timaeus had this to say about Uncommon Descent:

  "There have been changes at Uncommon Descent. Recently, ownership of the site, including the right of final decision about moderation, has been transferred to Barry Arrington, who is, I believe, a devout Christian, and one interested in genuine discussion. Barry is explicitly trying to open up the site to those critics of ID who can be civilized in tone and are willing to stay on topic, i.e., who will refrain from harping about things like the Wedge Document and alleged plots to force creationism into the schools, and will stick to scientific matters (though not to the exclusion of such aspects of theology which naturally touch on scientific matters). There are indications that expulsions and suspensions are going to be rarer, and are going to be tied to genuinely offensive personal behaviour, or lengthy posts which are filibusters rather than educated arguments. Already some people who have been out of line have been put on moderation rather than suspended or expelled. I think this is a change for the better. I think that Barry would welcome contributions from a number of people here, especially if they are written with the same courteous tone and level of clarity and intelligence that I have witnessed as a guest here. The cross-fertilization would be good for ID and TE alike."

  For a taste of just how Mr. Arrington carries himself as the new "owner" of the culture-war orgy of UD, read the attack piece on natural selection in peppered moths, and then look at his responses to the wholly appropriate and completely respectful criticisms of Croizat and Bueller_007. They were apparently banned. And don't miss Arrington's response to MaxEntropy. No amplification should be necessary.

  I can't imagine why anyone would consider that forum to be a place for healthy discussion of anything with anyone. If there is going to be dialogue among people who hold various views on design and evolution, it can't be in a place that lacks every basic value of intellectual discourse. Folks, let's discuss the ways that we can facilitate the interaction that so many of us seem to think is needed. The cross-fertilization that Timaeus refers to would indeed be profitable. But it should be obvious that UD is no place for useful discussion. To move forward, we shouldn't wander back into the cesspool. We should be heading in the opposite direction, and now is a good time to think about how we can negate the toxic influence of UD, by building a forum that at least attempts to achieve what we claim to value.

  Steve Matheson

  Link to Arrington's post:

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Received on Thu Dec 4 04:10:31 2008

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