Re: [asa] Hadley files stolen and published on the internet...

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Tue Nov 24 2009 - 00:54:39 EST

Heya Murray,

I'm not the one who threw around words like "felon" and "thief" with regards
to the people reading and quoting these emails, you know. And before you
point it out - no, you did not either (and I did try to direct the comment
appropriately). But that description came up, and I'm just pointing out
where that sort of reasoning goes if we're going to apply it evenly. For the
record, I think the idea that "felon" and "thief" are appropriate words for
people who post and share either bits of information is silly. And not just
because of the particular issue at hand - it reminds me of the same sort of
tortured reasoning I see in copyright law arguments (which is a topic
otherwise divorced from this whole affair.) But if we're going with that
reasoning, then the Wedge Document exposes quite a lot of familiar
evolution-defending names and organizations as brigands, felons, and

As for how these documents will be dealt with, as I said, I suppose we'll
see. Right now some people seem to honestly think the topic will go away so
long as they demand no one talk about or forward the email contents on the
grounds that it's unethical to spread leaked information. That anyone can
literally be connected to and therefore aware of the internet while thinking
this will work floors me. It's like watching The Onion's T. Herman Zweibel
try to squelch a story. Personally, I suggest blockading the ports with
steam-engine boats so the periodicals don't make it down the river. Between
that and a few well-placed telegraphs, the world will be none the wiser.

On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 11:57 PM, Murray Hogg <>wrote:

> Schwarzwald,
> Seriously, mate, words fail me - I could understand your reply if I was (1)
> arguing the theft of the wedge document was justified; and (2) the CRU
> e-mails should be brushed under the carpet - but I was nowhere even close to
> doing either.
> A couple of specific remarks;
> 1) My comments about "clean hands" were in reference to my own actions -
> not to the actions of Rich, the NCSE, or anybody else. For my own part, I
> have never so much as read the wedge document, let alone cited it against
> the ID movement in general or Discovery Institute in particular. Whether
> Rich, the NCSE, or anybody else are "thieves and felons," or are acting in
> collusion with same, is not the sort of issue I care to discuss.
> 2) I acknowledged that the theft of the wedge document was immoral. I
> allowed that it may also have been illegal (but that's a purely legal
> question, and I'm not even remotely familiar with the laws which govern such
> an activity).
> 3) "Dealt with openly" was in reference to whether the CRU e-mails, having
> been made public by whatever means, should now be "swept under the carpet".
> I was making reference was whether a public debate should now occur - not
> the manner in which that debate might occur. "Openly" in other words, is
> here a synonym for "publicly" not a synonym for "honestly."
> Blessings,
> Murray
> Schwarzwald wrote:
>> Depends what you mean by "clean", Murray. Rich may be willing to admit
>> that there's a parity between these documents and the "Wedge", but then that
>> means the NCSE (among many others) is a pack of thieving felons. Case in
>> point: -- Is one's
>> hands clean if they collude with "thieves and felons"? Or does this mean
>> that being a thief and a felon isn't all that big a deal in the long run?
>> Amusing thoughts. Nevertheless...
>> I look forward to seeing when and how these emails are "dealt with
>> openly". Right now the preferred strategy for some seems to be to call
>> "foul" and, with hands on hips, sternly insist that these revelations be
>> immediately forgotten by the world as they are in violation of the rules.
>> That brand of craziness, along with the (faux, forced) sanctimony coming
>> with it is what's really putting a weird spin on this whole affair. And I
>> can't help but find myself wondering if the fallout will be that less
>> respect and trust is afforded to scientists and academics in general. And
>> if, perhaps, such a hit is not richly deserved.
>> On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 3:34 PM, Murray Hogg <<mailto:
>>>> wrote:
>> Hi Ted,
>> My answers to your questions interspersed...
>> Ted Davis wrote:
>> In light of the conversation about the Hadley files, I have a
>> few questions to ask. I assure everyone that they are open
>> questions, not leading questions. Here we go:
>> (1) Is this particular incident any different, in principle,
>> to having the "wedge" document from TDI made available
>> publicly, after it was hacked from the TDI web site?
>> No. That too was a morally questionable act and perhaps even an
>> illegal one? If the later, the perpetrator should be prosecuted to
>> the full extent of the law.
>> My hands, incidentally, are clean with respect to the "wedge"
>> document - so I am rather enjoying, at this moment, the pure,
>> unsullied air of the moral high ground. The interesting thing
>> about being up here is the way in which the clouds go sailing by -
>> it's an interesting combination: Absolute clarity of view one
>> moment and having ones head in the clouds the next...
>> I will say that I think the DI has not denied an agenda behind the
>> wedge document in the same way as scientists have denied an agenda
>> behind Global Warming theories? I also think that the wedge
>> document does not contain anything which remotely questions ID
>> itself - only lays out a social/political strategy which the DI
>> wanted to keep low-profile for strategic reasons?
>> Nothing questionable in the DI's behaviour here, as far as I can
>> tell - so chalk up another parallel between authors of the wedge
>> document and the authors of the CRU e-mail's. :)
>> (2) Is this particular incident any different, in principle,
>> to reporters calling up government officials/employees, and
>> getting them to admit (with promises of confidentiality) to
>> certain activities and/or conversations that would otherwise
>> not be known to the general public? In other words, can this
>> be seen as equivalent to investigative journalism?
>> It might. But even if it were directly identified, it still
>> doesn't help further the question as to whether the practice is
>> morally acceptable.
>> I can see a public policy component in this incident, and for
>> that reason I am not seeing any reasons to distinguish this
>> incident from the types mentioned above. Obviously I may be
>> missing something, or others may see it differently even if I
>> am not missing something.
>> I think my bottom line on this is reasonably pragmatic: the people
>> who stole the information in question should be prosecuted to the
>> full extent of the law (and note the different legal jurisdictions
>> - the CRU hack is not quite a "type 1 felony" but it may well be
>> the English equivalent) but now that the material is public it
>> would seem to be necessary to deal with it openly.
>> The only alternative seems to be to allow sensationalist
>> interpretations to run amok - and, yes, I do classify much of the
>> reaction to the wedge document as sensationalist as well.
>> Blessings,
>> Murray
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Received on Tue Nov 24 00:54:51 2009

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