In the past, I’ve posted comments on William Dembski’s pro-Intelligent Design site: UncommonDescent. Part of the reason I started visiting the site is to correct misunderstandings about evolution, and also because I wanted to see what kind of information IDists were presenting in their own words. There were a lot of times the blog would leave me rolling my eyes and shaking my head at their misunderstandings or misinformation. The blog (which has multiple contributors) is largely composed of complaints about nasty evolutionists suppressing ID-advocates, posts quoting evolutionists where they use the word “design” or “device” to describe some biological feature and then pretending they won some sort of argument – as in ‘design requires a designer’, some posts where they take some biological feature and say, ‘see, it’s too complex *not* to be designed by an intelligent being’ (sometimes, you have to squint and look sideways at your screen to even figure out why they think ID is the only possible explanation).
Oh, and all the comments are moderated – they don’t show up until a moderator approves them (if you’re really pro-ID, they’ll put you on the pre-approved list so your comments appear instantly). When I would post comments, about 80% of them showed up. And, even when they do show up, they usually take a day or two to appear – which means they tend not to be seen by the person you’re arguing against since they appear in the middle of the old comments (how frustrating). I learned that disagreeing with the contributor tended to result in your comment never showing up, but disagreeing with other commenters tended to be okay. And, if you ever get frustrated with their article or comments, and show any kind of frustration with their ignorance, your comments tended not to be approved. (Of course, if you want to hurl insults at evolutionists, that’s okay.) I found the whole thing rather frustrating – waiting a day or two to see if your comment shows up or not, and if it doesn’t show up after a day or two, you just guess that it was not approved. And if you ask why it wasn’t approved, they get angry (seriously, they explicitly tell you not to ask them why your comment was not approved or they’ll just get irritated with you). You really feel subservient posting on that site – “please, sir, approve my comment; I promise not to say anything the least bit insulting about ID”. I found it highly irritating to write a long comment where I tried to explain some complicated feature of evolution and have it never appear at all.
There’s a certain level of immaturity on the site. For example, they can’t stop from hurling insults at Judge Jones because he gave an unfavorable ruling to Intelligent Design (essentially calling it religion dressed up as science). Which resulted UncommonDescent producing articles like: Judge Jones: Towering Intellectual or Narcissistic Putz? (Like I said earlier, they’ll stop you from saying anything insulting about Intelligent Design – because they want to “keep things civil”, but calling Judge Jones a “Narcissistic Putz” is perfectly fine in their book.)
It’s kind of ironic that the Intelligent Design crowd complains about how their ID theory is “suppressed” by evolutionists, but then carefully filtering-out any comments that are too pro-evolution or anti-ID. If Intelligent Design ever became the dominant theory (and scientists don’t look very favorably on ID, so that’s unlikely), but if it did become the dominant theory, we can look forward to all kinds of suppression of any non-theistic explanation. It would be as ugly as Lysenkoism was in the USSR. Heck, Dembski has stated that he’d rip biology departments apart if he were put in charge (read: he’s a mathematician/philosopher/theologian with no training in biology, and so he practices academic snobbery against biology + he hates the fact that evolution explains life without reference to God). His quote:
If I ever became the president of a university (per impossibile), I would dissolve the biology department and divide the faculty with tenure that I couldn’t get rid of into two new departments: those who know engineering and how it applies to biological systems would be assigned to the new “Department of Biological Engineering”; the rest, and that includes the evolutionists, would be consigned to the new “Department of Nature Appreciation” (didn’t Darwin think of himself as a naturalist?).
Anyway, I happened to visit UncommonDescent today, and I saw this article: Introducing “Sewell’s Law” written by “Granville Sewell”. I couldn’t help but laugh that he was making up a “law” and naming it after himself to disprove evolution. My immediate thought was “Isn’t making up a law named after yourself to win an argument on the ‘Crackpot Index’?” Ah, yes, there it is: “20 points for naming something after yourself. (E.g., talking about the “The Evans Field Equation” when your name happens to be Evans.)”
I swear, sometimes these Intelligent Design guys (leaders in the movement, no less) come off like keystone cops.