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View Full Version : Will John McWorther ever appear on Bloggingheads again?


nikkibong
09-06-2009, 10:05 PM
. . . will he be too embarassed? Cowering in shame? P O'ed at Bob and the rest of the bloggingheads crew? Too busy disproving the theory of evolution?

Ocean
09-06-2009, 10:15 PM
. . . will he be too embarassed? Cowering in shame? P O'ed at Bob and the rest of the bloggingheads crew? Too busy disproving the theory of evolution?

He'll be back. Embarrassment is meaningless. We all make mistakes. Accept it. Admit it. Apologize. Explain. Move on.

Unless he is a true believer, and then, well, I have no clue what he would do.

claymisher
09-07-2009, 04:01 AM
This is nothing for a guy like John. He's been called a lot worse than a closet creationist.

graz
09-07-2009, 04:12 AM
Dear John,

I have not found another.
Come home soon.

Lyle
09-07-2009, 04:10 PM
Hopefully he'll be back. He's got nothing to be embarrassed about... although I think he probably needs to explain why he asked bh.tv to take the diavlog down.

McWhorter is one of the stronger public intellectuals that come here, bh.tv would be less for it if he weren't to return and return frequently.

Whatfur
09-07-2009, 04:37 PM
I sure hope so.

Personally have always felt the IDers have bitten off more than they can chew while strict Darwinists always seem to be chewing on something that does not taste quite right.

kidneystones
09-07-2009, 10:09 PM
With a straight-up mea culpa. He'll be pilloried by the folks who pillory folks for pleasure. Then, they'll move on to pillory, puff, and posture over some other supposed crime.

John, I'm sure, knows all about that.

Give him some space and he'll find his way here.

rcocean
09-08-2009, 12:44 AM
I hope so. He not only shouldn't be embarrassed, he should get an apology from Bob Wright for the way he's been treated.

Further, he should do a diavlog with a critic of Behe's and continue the conversation he started.

AemJeff
09-08-2009, 12:58 AM
I hope so. He not only shouldn't be embarrassed, he should get an apology from Bob Wright for the way he's been treated.

Further, he should do a diavlog with a critic of Behe's and continue the conversation he started.

You're right about a debate with a critic. How exactly has McWhorter been mistreated? He gave an embarrassingly bad interview for which he was unprepared, and then tried to expunge the record when it became clear how bad. He's been called out for that, and he should have been. Even Behe ought to be upset with him.

kidneystones
09-08-2009, 01:18 AM
One.

And then he panicked and made a second mistake when people vented their frustration about Bob's book, the Templeton support, Creationism in general, and Behe in specific, and laid all at John's door.

Then, factor in all the attendant grief John's getting directly from Myers et al. Add to that the knowledge that his own error(s) compel Bob to run over to Myers blog and grovel.

John likely understands that much of this is all part of the game. But the piling on, the shotguns and the torches left little doubt that folks were registering something considerably stronger than disapproval.

McWhorter deserves a thimbleful of the grief he's received here. And considering his otherwise sterling track-record and many contributions here, yeah, I agree, rcocean is right. The behavior of folks on this board was a disgrace.

We owe John an apology, a strong expression of thanks and support, and a promise to treat him with dignity and respect from here on.

Wonderment
09-08-2009, 01:26 AM
How exactly has McWhorter been mistreated? He gave an embarrassingly bad interview for which he was unprepared, and then tried to expunge the record when it became clear how bad. He's been called out for that, and he should have been. Even Behe ought to be upset with him.

One way of looking at it. He might view it, however, as being publicly humiliated by Bob (thrown under the bus, so to speak).

I say this as someone who has never watched the Behe/McWhorter conversation. But I don't think the content is really the point. McWhorter told BH, "Hey, I screwed up. Let's not publish that."

If BH had said at THAT point, "Sorry, John, but our policy is to never take down a video once it's been posted," I would expect John to understand.

But accepting the take it down/put it back up fiasco is asking a lot of someone, especially when John has been subjected to Internet ridicule that may tarnish his reputation permanently.

If I had to bet, I'd say he won't come back to BHTV.

AemJeff
09-08-2009, 01:53 AM
One way of looking at it. He might view it, however, as being publicly humiliated by Bob (thrown under the bus, so to speak).

I say this as someone who has never watched the Behe/McWhorter conversation. But I don't think the content is really the point. McWhorter told BH, "Hey, I screwed up. Let's not publish that."

If BH had said at THAT point, "Sorry, John, but our policy is to never take down a video once it's been posted," I would expect John to understand.

But accepting the take it down/put it back up fiasco is asking a lot of someone, especially when John has been subjected to Internet ridicule that may tarnish his reputation permanently.

If I had to bet, I'd say he won't come back to BHTV.

That is a way to look at it, but as Bob has made perfectly clear, the decision to take it down is not one he would likely have made, had he been available. Everybody seems to have made good faith decisions, but I fault whomever decided to accede to McWhorter's request to pull the video in the first place. As I said, even Behe is right to be upset at that. But the foul was in doing what McWhorter had asked. That can hardly be seen as treating him badly.

As far as the backlash is concerned, McWhorter is a public intellectual. He made a pair of mistakes, one compounding the other. If you can't stand the heat...

uncle ebeneezer
09-08-2009, 02:08 AM
I hope John will come back, but if he does I think he should explain his thinking/actions on this. And it would also be helpful to have somebody spell out the argument for why "debating" ID/creationists is not always a good idea in the eyes of many who care about the integrity of science (as well he should hear the detailed refutations of the ID claims about "irreducible complexity" from a biological perspective, and why it is considered woo by most of the scientific consensus. McWhorter has never seemed afraid to admit his faults or to take a stance that might be mocked. This is something that I like about him. Hopefully at some point he will get a chance to make his case. Sadly, his willingness to buy into Behe's claims despite the mountains of contradictory evidence, exemplifies the biggest problem: even great intellectuals like JM can be duped into misunderstanding Evolution, due to the ID/creationist dishonesty, scientific ignorance, or that desire that so many humans have to want to believe that there is "something else." I don't know which were the reasons for JM, but if he can be hoodwinked by the ID crowd, then it's not surprising that so much of the public is as well. This is the problem that real scientists are faced with.

bjkeefe
09-08-2009, 03:38 AM
One.

And then he panicked and made a second mistake when people vented their frustration about Bob's book, the Templeton support, Creationism in general, and Behe in specific, and laid all at John's door.

Then, factor in all the attendant grief John's getting directly from Myers et al. Add to that the knowledge that his own error(s) compel Bob to run over to Myers blog and grovel.

John likely understands that much of this is all part of the game. But the piling on, the shotguns and the torches left little doubt that folks were registering something considerably stronger than disapproval.

I highly doubt John McWhorter has anywhere remotely near the same paranoid outlook on life as you do.

McWhorter deserves a thimbleful of the grief he's received here. And considering his otherwise sterling track-record and many contributions here, yeah, I agree, rcocean is right. The behavior of folks on this board was a disgrace.

What behavior are you talking about? What was there to see besides criticism for his disturbingly naive stance toward Behe? He's a public intellectual who put his critical faculties in neutral, and he got called on it. Then he got called out for pulling an Internet no-no: trying to expunge from the record a moment where he had looked bad.

Oh, wait.

Now I get where you're coming from.

We owe John an apology, a strong expression of thanks and support, and a promise to treat him with dignity and respect from here on.

John owes Bh.tv and the reality-based community at large an explanation, if not an apology. He has already gotten numerous statements of thanks and support for his past appearances on Bh.tv, as well as his accomplishments elsewhere. The criticisms of him have been merited, particularly given the high standard he had already established for himself. One or two graphic descriptions of the interview he conducted aside, that will only offend bluenoses such as yourself, he has gotten nothing but respectful criticism and a pronounced attitude of "let's wait and see what he has to say for himself."

As usual, you're being hysterical about one or two isolated things that bothered you, and you're imagining these are reflective of some giant conspiracy, and you're ignoring the piles of evidence that flat-out contradict what you claim.

JonIrenicus
09-08-2009, 03:53 AM
You're right about a debate with a critic. How exactly has McWhorter been mistreated? He gave an embarrassingly bad interview for which he was unprepared, and then tried to expunge the record when it became clear how bad. He's been called out for that, and he should have been. Even Behe ought to be upset with him.

Even if all of that were true, this is like spotting a guy with a knife stuck in his side and twisting it to highlight how bad the wound is.


However the knife got there, let's let the wound heal before we start with the knife twisting analysis.


I have a feeling he will be back in time, or I hope so at least.


Remember this John, even for those who thought that interview was a total disaster (was not that bad to me, no one started speaking in tongues), no one worth their salt would look upon you harshly as a whole even if there was a bad performance.


If all we were judged upon was our worst moments in life, we'd all be considered wretches and worthless. Like I said, no one worth their salt thinks that way. But I guess that is just my style, always preferred the series model to determine goodness as opposed to the superbowl model.

Tim_G
09-08-2009, 03:57 AM
He's a public intellectual who put his critical faculties in neutral, and he got called on it. Then he got called out for pulling an Internet no-no: trying to expunge from the record a moment where he had looked bad.


I hate to pile on, but this perspective is the same as mine. I don't often comment here lately because these days I listen to BHtv as a podcast during my commutes, but I was really appalled by the McWhorter-Behe diavlog. I'm sorry to have lost Carl Zimmer and Sean Carroll as a result. Although I think maybe they are being too rigid in their stance. And if we lose Glen Loury, or he makes fewer appearances, that's another minus, IMO.

So basically, nothing good has come of this. I hope everyone can eventually agree to put this behind them, learn from it and go back to how things were.

rcocean
09-08-2009, 01:51 PM
What behavior are you talking about? What was there to see besides criticism for his disturbingly naive stance toward Behe? He's a public intellectual who put his critical faculties in neutral, and he got called on it. Then he got called out for pulling an Internet no-no: trying to expunge from the record a moment where he had looked bad.

John owes Bh.tv and the reality-based community at large an explanation, if not an apology.

First, while I'm sure John DID "ask" to pull the Diavlog, he probably did so at the behest of BHTV. Given Bob's explanation and subsequent behavior this makes the most sense. Secondly, John made it clear he was a layman and simply asked Behe to explain his positions. There was no obligation on his part to debate Behe or to conduct a confrontational interview.

Further, he might have thought -mistakenly - that the Behe critics on this board would provide balance by pointing out Behe's errors in an objective scientific manner - instead of attacking him as a "heretic". Or he might have thought Wright would have another diavlog explaining any of Behe's errors. John doesn't deserve any criticism, except for underestimating the hysteria and close-minded nature of the Darwinists and Bob's willingness to pander to them.

He didn't deserve to thrown under the bus to placate a bunch of Diva's who pose as scientific experts in evolution.

AemJeff
09-08-2009, 02:12 PM
First, while I'm sure John DID "ask" to pull the Diavlog, he probably did so at the behest of BHTV. Given Bob's explanation and subsequent behavior this makes the most sense. Secondly, John made it clear he was a layman and simply asked Behe to explain his positions. There was no obligation on his part to debate Behe or to conduct a confrontational interview.

Further, he might have thought -mistakenly - that the Behe critics on this board would provide balance by pointing out Behe's errors in an objective scientific manner - instead of attacking him as a "heretic". Or he might have thought Wright would have another diavlog explaining any of Behe's errors. John doesn't deserve any criticism, except for underestimating the hysteria and close-minded nature of the Darwinists and Bob's willingness to pander to them.

He didn't deserve to thrown under the bus to placate a bunch of Diva's who pose as scientific experts in evolution.

There's not a lot of honesty in this post, rc. Your initial assumption directly contradicts what every principal has said, namely that it was McWhorter who asked BhTV to pull the diavlog, not the reverse. McWhorter's reasons for doing so have not been made crystal clear, but the assertion that it was in response to a request from Bloggingheads.tv has no basis whatsoever.

I'd like to see a link to the posts calling Behe a "heretic." I was there, posting away - Brendan, even more so - with links to papers, court documents, blog items, all sorts of material, some of it from primary sources, giving detailed arguments against Behe's positions, and in some cases documenting elementary mistakes underlying some of his more important assertions.

I'm not sure why you would characterize these things, readily available on the record on this very site, in such obviously false terms. I can only assume that you've chosen sides in the debate in such a way that facts are not your primary concern.

rcocean
09-08-2009, 03:09 PM
There's not a lot of honesty in this post, rc. Your initial assumption directly contradicts what every principal has said, namely that it was McWhorter who asked BhTV to pull the diavlog, not the reverse. McWhorter's reasons for doing so have not been made crystal clear, but the assertion that it was in response to a request from Bloggingheads.tv has no basis whatsoever.

I'd like to see a link to the posts calling Behe a "heretic." I was there, posting away - Brendan, even more so - with links to papers, court documents, blog items, all sorts of material, some of it from primary sources, giving detailed arguments against Behe's positions, and in some cases documenting elementary mistakes underlying some of his more important assertions.

I'm not sure why you would characterize these things, readily available on the record on this very site, in such obviously false terms. I can only assume that you've chosen sides in the debate in such a way that facts are not your primary concern.

Jeff,

I'm beginning to question YOUR honesty. Read my post again. I state I BELIEVE John "asked" to have the Diavlog withdrawn AT THE BEHEST OF BHTV. This would have been done to provide cover for BHTV until Wright came back to approve or disapprove the Diavlog. I doubt John - being highly intelligent - did the Diavlog and then minutes after it was posted thought "Wow, this is awful" and on his own, called up BHTV and demanded it be pulled. This makes no sense. Either BHTV pulled it on their own - and then made up the "John wanted it pulled" story or they asked John to 'Request' it be pulled.

In any case, I've read through the comments and most of them seem to be attacks on John or Behe, I didn't find a lot of objective analysis - which is what I was looking for.

AemJeff
09-08-2009, 03:27 PM
Jeff,

I'm beginning to question YOUR honesty. Read my post again. I state I BELIEVE John "asked" to have the Diavlog withdrawn AT THE BEHEST OF BHTV. This would have been done to provide cover for BHTV until Wright came back to approve or disapprove the Diavlog. I doubt John - being highly intelligent - did the Diavlog and then minutes after it was posted thought "Wow, this is awful" and on his own, called up BHTV and demanded it be pulled. This makes no sense. Either BHTV pulled it on their own - and then made up the "John wanted it pulled" story or they asked John to 'Request' it be pulled.

In any case, I've read through the comments and most of them seem to be attacks on John or Behe, I didn't find a lot of objective analysis - which is what I was looking for.

You're making way too many assumptions about facts that just aren't in the record, rc. McWhorter asked for the diavlog to be taken down. That much is pretty certain. His reasons for doing so remain opaque. The accounts by BhTV staff contradict your story. Either you assume that everybody at BhTV are liars, or what you're asserting can't be true.

If you can't find objective analysis in that thread, really dude, you're not looking very hard. Read through the links we posted. Read the Kitzmiller v Dover transcript. Look for the falsifications of proposed instances of "irreducible complexity." Read the reviews of Behe's books. There's quite a lot there.

bjkeefe
09-08-2009, 05:33 PM
First, while I'm sure John DID "ask" to pull the Diavlog, he probably did so at the behest of BHTV.

Jeff,

I'm beginning to question YOUR honesty. Read my post again. I state I BELIEVE John "asked" to have the Diavlog withdrawn AT THE BEHEST OF BHTV.

Jeff's already given you two good responses, but just to emphasize: there is no evidence whatsoever to support a belief that John "asked" to have the diavlog pulled "at the behest of TV."

There is good evidence to believe something simpler -- that John asked and whoever was running the ship in Bob's absence complied. The evidence is a statement made by a site which has a long history of being trustworthy, no dispute of the site's claim by McWhorter on his blog, even though he's posted other writing since, and most tellingly, that the diavlog was reposted after Bob got wind of what had happened.

Seems to me the simpler explanation that ties the observed events together is that John either saw the early response on this site, or was contacted by colleagues who heard about the diavlog, or both, and realizing what he had done or how it had come across, asked to have it pulled. Then Bob came back online and reminded the rest of the Bh.tv of the "no-pull" policy.

The rest of what you go on to say, asserting that there was no "objective analysis" posted in that comments thread, is simply ridiculous. The only way that could be true is if you're one of those people who believes nothing can truly be objective. If so, so be it -- you're entitled to your definition. But there is plenty of rigorous, rational criticism of Behe available through numerous links posted in that thread.

What you "BELIEVE" seems more faith-based than anything else; i.e., that you believe without evidence that there is/was some sort of conspiracy afoot.

Wonderment
09-08-2009, 09:01 PM
Then Bob came back online and reminded the rest of the Bh.tv of the "no-pull" policy.

What no-pull policy? I thought Bob made up the no-pull policy ex post facto. Perhaps I missed something.

Starwatcher162536
09-08-2009, 09:02 PM
If McWorther leaves because of this incident, then the guy has remarkably thin skin.

Either way, no biggie. I will miss Zimmer and that Cosmologist guy 10x more.

rcocean
09-08-2009, 09:14 PM
If you wish to be literal-minded, go ahead. Its certainly in character.

"What. no can show me God on Video tape? He can't exist then - he's just a phantom of millions of peoples imaginations. Those fools."

bjkeefe
09-08-2009, 09:15 PM
What no-pull policy? I thought Bob made up the no-pull policy ex post facto. Perhaps I missed something.

I wouldn't swear to it, but it was my impression that this has been something Bob has always believed, for the reason that he gave in the diavlog, that it would be unfair to someone who won a debate to have his or her time, effort, and preparation go for naught simply because the other person felt he or she looked bad. I think what he said is he realized he wasn't clear enough in communicating that policy to the rest of the staff.

Maybe it was the case that he just assumed everyone understood, and never considered that he'd have to make it explicit, and so that's why you have the "ex facto" impression?

bjkeefe
09-08-2009, 09:18 PM
If you wish to be literal-minded, go ahead. Its certainly in character.

Don't know what you mean by that. If you mean evidence-driven, then yes, I do want to be that way.

"What. no can show me God on Video tape? He can't exist then - he's just a phantom of millions of peoples imaginations. Those fools."

Remember that millions of people used to believe that volcanoes were caused by the gods getting angry, and that the way to keep them calm was via human sacrifice. Remember that millions of people used to believe the world was flat, that the Earth was at the center of the universe, that you could determine personality aspects by skull shape, that the way to cure illnesses was by blood-letting, that slavery was perfectly fine, ... you get the point.

So, yeah. If you want me to believe in something, show me some evidence.

Whatfur
09-08-2009, 09:49 PM
If McWorther leaves because of this incident, then the guy has remarkably thin skin.

Either way, no biggie. I will miss Zimmer and that Cosmologist guy 10x more.

Zimmer writes better than he vlogs. Can't say more without breaking rules. The John and Glen vlogs are pretty much the best regular duo going.

kidneystones
09-08-2009, 09:53 PM
rc writes...[...]

First, I respect the fact you fight your corner. Your post helped me sharpen my thinking about the temper of the attacks on Bob, Behe and John. Thank you.

That said, I strongly disagree with your conjecture that bhtv asked John to pull the clip. I do think bhtv panicked by agreeing. And I do think that all the pitchforks and shotguns played a part in bhtv's initial decision to agree.

The conspiracy theories of bhtv atheists about a deist revolution taking over bhtv are simply wrong. John may well have called to apologize for causing all the trouble. My guess is that he wanted that video down for several reasons: among them, shame. He was absolutely dreadful; and likely only saw just how bad he was when he watched the clip.

rcocean
09-08-2009, 11:24 PM
rc writes...[...]

First, I respect the fact you fight your corner. Your post helped me sharpen my thinking about the temper of the attacks on Bob, Behe and John. Thank you.

That said, I strongly disagree with your conjecture that bhtv asked John to pull the clip. I do think bhtv panicked by agreeing. And I do think that all the pitchforks and shotguns played a part in bhtv's initial decision to agree.

The conspiracy theories of bhtv atheists about a deist revolution taking over bhtv are simply wrong. John may well have called to apologize for causing all the trouble. My guess is that he wanted that video down for several reasons: among them, shame. He was absolutely dreadful; and likely only saw just how bad he was when he watched the clip.


Thanks K.S. - honest men can differ.

Regarding John's demand the video be pulled - I think you need to read between the lines & look at motivations. Regarding the actual Diavlog, I think John did a good job - and had a civil, informative conversation. Not a "Crossfire" and not the last word on this subject - just the first in a series.

But maybe you're right and I'm wrong. I offer nothing more than my opinion.

themightypuck
09-09-2009, 01:46 AM
hi5

kidneystones
09-09-2009, 11:41 AM
...I've listened to a few seconds of this diavlog, enough to hear John McWhorter call Behe's nonsense "a very important book." I can't remember the last time I lost so much respect for someone so quickly

A valued bhtv guest discovers his true worth at the three second mark. Maybe there just wasn't that much real respect to lose. Talk about finding out who your real friends are fast.


"...Out of outrage" pretty well sums up my feeling that Behe has been given a platform by Bh.tv...

How 'bout that Bob? This is his media juggernaut? WTF?

McWhorter had 55 minutes or more to conduct a proper interview with Behe; and should have begun that critique with as much praise as possible, especially if he planned to critique it severely. (See John Horgan's discussion of Bob Wright's book.)

The poster here never gave John or bhtv that chance. John was judged and hung-out (cast-out?) at the three second mark and bhtv defamed for allowing a 'certain kind' of guest on. Simple as that. Lovely people.

AemJeff
09-09-2009, 11:58 AM
Even if all of that were true, this is like spotting a guy with a knife stuck in his side and twisting it to highlight how bad the wound is.


However the knife got there, let's let the wound heal before we start with the knife twisting analysis.


I have a feeling he will be back in time, or I hope so at least.


Remember this John, even for those who thought that interview was a total disaster (was not that bad to me, no one started speaking in tongues), no one worth their salt would look upon you harshly as a whole even if there was a bad performance.


If all we were judged upon was our worst moments in life, we'd all be considered wretches and worthless. Like I said, no one worth their salt thinks that way. But I guess that is just my style, always preferred the series model to determine goodness as opposed to the superbowl model.

What does any of that have to do with my assertion? McWhorter's reputation rises and falls on more than just this one incident. I certainly have said nothing about McWhorter or his reputation that isn't directly related to this one, specific diavlog. Any reading broader than that is on you, not me.

bjkeefe
09-09-2009, 11:59 AM
Hi, Gutless! Still afraid to refer to me by name, huh? Or to give a link (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=126768#post126768) to the post you're quote-mining? Such admirable honesty!

McWhorter had 55 minutes or more to conduct a proper interview with Behe; and should have begun that critique with as much praise as possible, especially if he planned to critique it severely.

Which, as it turns out, he didn't, did he?

But keep on ranting about imaginary outrages! It's what you do best!

popcorn_karate
09-09-2009, 03:00 PM
did you watch the mcwhorter/behe dv?

bjkeefe
09-09-2009, 03:05 PM
did you watch the mcwhorter/behe dv?

Listened to about five or so minutes of the beginning, while I was gathering up the first round of links pointing to Behe critiques. I couldn't take it any longer than that. Then, when I saw what others were saying about it, I had no interest in making another attempt to sit through any more, even after I had recovered from my initial shock.

claymisher
09-09-2009, 07:45 PM
Listened to about five or so minutes of the beginning, while I was gathering up the first round of links pointing to Behe critiques. I couldn't take it any longer than that. Then, when I saw what others were saying about it, I had no interest in making another attempt to sit through any more, even after I had recovered from my initial shock.

It wasn't all bad. I think John may have been deploying a little socratic irony.

kidneystones
09-10-2009, 01:40 AM
pk writes...

My respect for you just jumped about a zillion points.

'I never watched the Behe-McWhorter dv.' Dare I say it? Yes, I do: Holy Fuck!!

And bj's posted hundreds of times on multiple websites on the Behe dv; and on the larger question of what the dv means to bhtv. The champion of informed debate never watched the dv.

Pop!

AemJeff
09-10-2009, 01:59 AM
pk writes...

My respect for you just jumped about a zillion points.

'I never watched the Behe-McWhorter dv.' Dare I say it? Yes, I do: Holy Fuck!!

And bj's posted hundreds of times on multiple websites on the Behe dv; and on the larger question of what the dv means to bhtv. The champion of informed debate never watched the dv.

Pop!

kidney, you're an asshole. You're disingenuous, you deliberately sow discord, you leave an ugly trail wherever you go. You have obvious personality problems. You have a real hard-on for Brendan, for reasons only you, your mother, and Freud could possibly understand.

I watched the Behe diavlog. I posted it on my blog when BhTV pulled it. I watched it again. Behe said not one thing he hasn't said before. McWhorter asked very few pertinent questions and received no satisfactory answers. The content was described many times, by many people, from all sides of the debate. There's nothing in that interview that somebody, particularly Brendan, could possibly have needed to directly witness. The only point to your nasty little post here is to continue to try to piss people off for the fun of that.

Fuck off.

AemJeff
09-10-2009, 02:09 AM
kidney, you're an asshole. You're disingenuous, you deliberately sow discord, you leave an ugly trail wherever you go. You have obvious personality problems. You have a real hard-on for Brendan, for reasons only you, your mother, and Freud could possibly understand.

I watched the Behe diavlog. I posted it on my blog when BhTV pulled it. I watched it again. Behe said not one thing he hasn't said before. McWhorter asked very few pertinent questions and received no satisfactory answers. The content was described many times, by many people, from all sides of the debate. There's nothing in that interview that somebody, particularly Brendan, could possibly have needed to directly witness. The only point to your nasty little post here is to continue to try to piss people off for the fun of that.

Fuck off.

And I see that you're replying again. Don't bother.

kidneystones
09-10-2009, 02:16 AM
Jeff writes..

In the alternate universe you inhabit it's me who follows Brendan across the threads adding comments to everything he posts. That's the problem, Jeff. I just stressed that I don't have any particular problem with you on another thread. I've tried to deal civilly with the bizarre fixation a handful of the most voluble have with me and very rarely respond in kind.

I'm not going to tell you or anyone else here to 'fuck-off', because Jeff, I don't need to. I will recommend to Brenda or anyone else interested in improving the quality of diavlog comments that bhtv may want to insist that folks commenting on the diavlogs and their content actually watch the diavlogs.

kidneystones
09-10-2009, 02:30 AM
Jeff writes....

Facts getting to you, Mr. Moderator?

Troubled to learn that while you were piling the wood around McWhorter's ankles, the leader of the lynch-mob had already stuffed wax in his ears. (Does he ever take it out?) Go back and check the time stamps of the BEHE diavlog for the first ten minutes and tell me what you see. Howls of the ignorant.

Brendan then spends the next several days explaining the significance of a diavlog he's never even watched to all and sundry, not just here, but elsewhere.

You're defending the practice of an ignorant, self-appointed scourge, What was the dfh's used to say? Wow, just, wow!

Love the way, btw, you ran to Brendan's defense. If only McWhorter had you for a friend. John actually read Behe's book. But no, you were too busy tying John to the pyre.

Sinking in, Jeff? Mirror-time.

kidneystones
09-10-2009, 02:34 AM
mvantony writes...[...]

Agreed. The problem with the diavlog, IMHO, was that neither understood Darwin. I'll watch for your posts; but I'm out the door momentarily.

Cheers.

AemJeff
09-10-2009, 02:49 AM
Let's be clear about "facts." Brendan has posted thousands of words on the substance of that debate. It's pretty clear he understands the underlying arguments. All you've posted on is on atmospherics, the "optics,' to use a term you seem to like. So without having demonstrated the slightest understanding of the underlying debate, you've chosen to belittle the understanding of one of the few people here who've demonstrated that the do, in fact, have a substantive grasp of the issues involved? Is that your stance?

AemJeff
09-10-2009, 03:39 AM
Jeff writes..

In the alternate universe you inhabit it's me who follows Brendan across the threads adding comments to everything he posts. That's the problem, Jeff. I just stressed that I don't have any particular problem with you on another thread. I've tried to deal civilly with the bizarre fixation a handful of the most voluble have with me and very rarely respond in kind.

I'm not going to tell you or anyone else here to 'fuck-off', because Jeff, I don't need to. I will recommend to Brenda or anyone else interested in improving the quality of diavlog comments that bhtv may want to insist that folks commenting on the diavlogs and their content actually watch the diavlogs.

Nobody needs to "follow" anybody here. Press a button and every thread with an unread post is listed. Voilą! So we all get to respond to everything we like and everything we don't. More people seem to react poorly to your posts than most. There may be a reason for that.

As recall you didn't so much "stressed that [you] don't have any particular problem with [me]" as you seemed to try use my openness about being a diabetic and a heart patient as the basis for an unsavory observation:

As for your personal hostility towards me, I can't say it's mutual. I see you as a muddle-headed, older, unhealthy person who spends too much time at the computer. I just came back from a swim and a long walk by the river. You ought to get out more.

I guess you felt justified, since I'd recently implied mental illness on your part. C'est la vie. But don't be disingenuous, it doesn't suit the conversation.

uncle ebeneezer
09-10-2009, 03:59 AM
I would add that the larger debate has been about issues like: should a creationist be invited onto bhTv? does it lessen the sites credibility? were Carl/Sean justified in their stance? should bhTv have had a better (more clear) policy? was it right for McWhorter (or anyone else) to request that a recorded diavlog be expunged? etc., etc. There has been very little to no debate over the content of the diavlog, because as George Johnson among others has pointed out, the diavlog was useless. All the aforementioned issues can be debated independently of the actual content of the diavlog. After hearing several people whose opinions I respect greatly say that the diavlog was a complete waste of time, I decided to pass after the first 5 minutes or so. Plus, a part of me that really likes JM didn't want to see him fawn over Behe as had been documented by nearly everyone who watched it. However, I don't think this in any way disqualifies me or anyone else from debating the issues of having creationists on the site etc. It only hinders our ability to address the content of the diavlog, which very few people seem to be interested in doing anyways.

kidneystones
09-10-2009, 11:38 AM
Jeff writes [...]

I've outlined my stance: You're a grumpy, unhealthy lawyer petitioning to hold on to his Moderator title at bhtv. You participated in the lynching of one of bhtv's most prominent and valued African-American guests. You're now attempting to reconfigure this disgrace into a stand on intellectual principle. Good luck!

The ironies just keep piling-up. Your ludicrous suggestion that Brendan didn't actually need to watch the dv is the equivalent of a prosecutor going before a judge and declaring that reading the relevant law is immaterial because 'everyone knows' the accused is an asshole. You'd be thrown out of court and likely disbarred.

It's clear Brendan hasn't read Behe, hasn't read Darwin, hasn't read Malthus, Wallace or Paley and knows just about as much about evolution and the teaching of natural selection in the US and Britain as he does about the missing fifty-five minutes of the Behe-McWhorter dv.

That makes him an intellectual giant in your view. The best part is that many of Darwin's most strident critics make precisely the argument you do: one doesn't need to read Darwin in order to pass judgment on his ideas.

Enjoy the flash-light tag.

kidneystones
09-10-2009, 11:49 AM
Eb offers the best defense, yet. I helped lynch John because I felt sorry for him. Like Brendan, I'm gifted with second-sight. I intuitively knew what was about to follow so I helped trash my hero. Perfect.

And I'll just bet you've read all the relevant material on Dover etc because you're committed to the facts.

Here's my question: have you bothered to actually watch the dv yet? Or do you simply care too much for John to do that?

AemJeff
09-10-2009, 11:50 AM
Jeff writes [...]

I've outlined my stance: You're a grumpy, unhealthy lawyer petitioning to hold on to his Moderator title at bhtv. You participated in the lynching of one of bhtv's most prominent and valued African-American guests. You're now reconfigure to this disgrace into a stand on intellectual principle. Good luck!

The ironies just keep piling-up. Your ludicrous suggestion that Brendan didn't actually need to watch the dv is the equivalent of a prosecutor going before a judge and declaring that reading the relevant law is immaterial because 'everyone knows' the accused is an asshole. You'd be thrown out of court and likely debarred.

It's clear Brendan hasn't read Behe, hasn't read Darwin, hasn't read Malthus, Wallace or Paley and knows just about as much about evolution and the teaching of natural selection in the US and Britain as he does about the missing fifty-five minutes of the Behe-McWhorter dv.

That makes him an intellectual giant in your view. The best part is that many of Darwin's most strident critics make precisely the argument you do: one doesn't need to read Darwin in order to pass judgment on his ideas.

Enjoy the flash-light tag.

From the "If I can assert it, it must be true" chapter in the textbook on intellectual dishonesty. You don't know what others have read, despite your claims of mind-reading. You never engage at the detail level. Instead, you namedrop and feign haughty disinterest. There's no evidence at all that you have anything to offer at all beyond pretense and pontification.

nikkibong
09-10-2009, 11:54 AM
From the "If I can assert it, it must be be true" chapter in the textbook on intellectual dishonesty. You don't know what others have read, despite your claims of mind-reading. You never engage at the detail level. Instead, you namedrop and feign haughty disinterest. There's no evidence at all that you have anything to offer at all beyond pretense and pontification.

Jeff, glad to see your woefully unhealthy self iived to see another day.

In the meantime, this is utterly hilarious. (Especially love KS' repeated claims of "lynching.")

Please keep it up.

kidneystones
09-10-2009, 11:58 AM
Jeff writes,

Actually, you told me to fuck-off after I wished you well. I loved it. You don't much like being on the receiving end of personal critiques, do you? Doesn't surprise me. You ask me to be more gentle and I will.

You're not learning anything, IMHO, from posting on this board. You support ignorance, defend personal attacks on fellow-board members and guests and can't seem to cope with the stress of civil debate.

I absolutely do wish you the best of health; and I sincerely hope you'll spend less time in front of the computer screen and get out more. You see sound, sensible advice as an attack. The diabetes probably explains, in part, your bad temper.

Posting really may be detrimental to your health. Really. Try prayer.

AemJeff
09-10-2009, 12:01 PM
Jeff, glad to see your woefully unhealthy self iived to see another day.

In the meantime, this is utterly hilarious. (Especially love KS' repeated claims of "lynching.")

Please keep it up.

Thanks nikkibong. The only thing keeping me alive at this point is the knowledge that kidney won't let me down. There's bound to be more, it's bound to be full of ludicrously misinformed assertions about whatever it is that he thinks will help him score points, interwoven with some oily personal observations.

Thank you kidney! I want to LIVE!

AemJeff
09-10-2009, 12:03 PM
Jeff writes,

Actually, you told me to fuck-off after I wished you well. I loved it. You don't much like being on the receiving end of personal critiques, do you? Doesn't surprise me. You ask me to be more gentle and I will.

You're not learning anything, IMHO, from posting on this board. You support ignorance, defend personal attacks on fellow-board members and guests and can't seem to cope with the stress of civil debate.

I absolutely do wish you the best of health; and I sincerely hope you'll spend less time in front of the computer screen and get out more. You see sound, sensible advice as an attack. The diabetes probably explains, in part, your bad temper.

Posting really may be detrimental to your health. Really. Try prayer.

I knew (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=129582#poststop) you wouldn't let me down! Thank you kidney!

kidneystones
09-10-2009, 12:10 PM
Jeff...[...]

and I've read Malthus, Paley, Wallace, Darwin, and parts of Lyell. I fucking know you can't say the same. Nor can the rest of the lynch mob of know-nothings who strung John up. Uncle Eb just confessed he couldn't be bothered watching the Behe dv. He makes his ignorance a virtue, too.

Nice to see nikkibong's here to hold your hand, old boy. What's that say about his confidence in your ability to fight your own battles?

AemJeff
09-10-2009, 12:18 PM
Jeff...[...]

and I've read Malthus, Paley, Wallace, Darwin, and parts of Lyell. I fucking know you can't say the same. Nor can the rest of the lynch mob of know-nothings who strung John up. Uncle Eb just confessed he couldn't be bothered watching the Behe dv. He makes his ignorance a virtue, too.

Nice to see nikkibong's here to hold your hand, old boy. What's that say about his confidence in your ability to fight your own battles?

Name dropping? Check. Lack of any details showing even elementary grasp of topics of implied expertise? Check. Nasty insinuations regarding other posters? Check.

A Platonic example of a kidneystones post.

uncle ebeneezer
09-10-2009, 01:30 PM
I've read Zimmer, Shubin, Darwin, Gould, Wright, Pinker, Monkey Girl (a detailed account of the Dover trial) and any number of scientific blogs about evolution and the differences between science and woo. I feel pretty confident engaging on this subject matter regardless of a 35 minute Michael Behe infomercial. I never claimed that I watched the entire diavlog and never addressed any specific points that Behe made in it so I'm not sure what your point is. I frequently only watch portions of a diavlog (or none of it) based on the reviews of other commentors. I've seen Michael Behe before and heard his arguments, and he has no interest to me, for all the numerous reasons laid out before. I don't think he ever should have been invited onto bhTv, and when he was, I chose not to watch him (beyond a minute or two of curiosity). I also wouldn't watch Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin if they ever come on bhTv, but I would comment on it.

Me&theboys
09-10-2009, 04:02 PM
.....John asked Behe a number of at least somewhat challenging questions (if memory serves me well). Odd that so many critics haven't bothered even finding out what they are before trashing John. (Not that John's blameless, but a fair critique ought to take into account the positive features of John's input too.) If I had more time I'd go through the whole diavlog again and list John's good questions with dingalinks, but I don't right now. Maybe later.

Michael - I did watch the entire McWhorter-Behe diavlog. Twice. And I have to say that I found the overall impression left by McWhorter as one of a naive admnirer, not of a critical thinker. He did ask a few questions of the challenging sort, though fewer of them than of the sort designed to support Behe's claims. But the problem doesn't lie with his questions. The problem was McWhorter's inability or unwillingness to respond to Behe's answers in a way that indicated he had posed the challenges in good faith. It was as if someone had given McWhorter a list of "most common challlenges to Behe", and McWhorter dutifully asked them but had either no intention of or no ability to process and deal with the responses in the manner of someone who genuinely felt the challenges were legitimate. Assuming John gave this interview some advance thought, this effort to appear as a critical thinker about the issue was likely "by design". Turns out not to have been a very intelligent design, IMO. Actually being, rather that trying to appear as, a critical thinker would have been a better design.

Starwatcher162536
09-11-2009, 10:31 PM
Eh, I may be a little rough on McWhorter, as I usually find his bread and butter topics boring.

JonIrenicus
09-12-2009, 03:01 PM
Jeff writes [...]
....

It's clear Brendan hasn't read Behe, hasn't read Darwin, hasn't read Malthus, Wallace or Paley and knows just about as much about evolution and the teaching of natural selection in the US and Britain as he does about the missing fifty-five minutes of the Behe-McWhorter dv.

....

Welcome to 85+ % of all lay argumentation. The source material is either selective as all hell or absent completely. That is the perk of having people debating who have more than a casual acquaintance with the data (ideally).

AemJeff
09-12-2009, 03:12 PM
Welcome to 85+ % of all lay argumentation. The source material is either selective as all hell or absent completely. That is the perk of having people debating who have more than a casual acquaintance with the data (ideally).

You're going to have to clarify your point here, Jon.

uncle ebeneezer
09-12-2009, 03:14 PM
This is also the reality of the existence of a HUGE amount of material on any given subject. I would wager that me, Aemjeff, Me&TB, Brendan, you, etc., have read vastly different selections of books on any particular subject. But it's usually pretty easy to tell who understands the principles and theory behind evolution, and who doesn't. I haven't seen any indication that any of us are misrepresenting Behe's views or ID/creationism due to our not having read everything he has ever written. Just like I wouldn't claim that you don't understand natural selection because you haven't read everything Darwin ever wrote. It is quite easy to get a grasp of all the underlying points to a person's argument based on excerpts and blogs and reviews etc.

Me&theboys
09-12-2009, 03:46 PM
Welcome to 85+ % of all lay argumentation. The source material is either selective as all hell or absent completely. That is the perk of having people debating who have more than a casual acquaintance with the data (ideally).

Not sure I agree with your numbers there, but I can say that these uninformed lay arguers, however many of them there are, are easy to spot and deal with accordingly. They generally make ridiculous or questionable statements and, when challenged on them or asked to elaborate or explain some inconvenient fact that contradicts their statement, they usually respond in one of five ways:

1) they never reply
2) they go off on a rant that is entirely opinion and no fact
3) they resort to insult
4) they reply with a soundbite that is a non sequitur
5) they try to change the subject

People who know their stuff respond to genuine questions with genuine answers designed to enhance understanding. These people are easy to spot, and it's a mistake to assume they must listen to a particular diavlog or read a particular book to know what they are talking about. The rest frantically try to escape detection as people more enamored with their own opinion than with the facts of the matter. No amount of diavlog watching will help these people. They, too, are easy to spot.

thprop
11-08-2009, 10:35 PM
The question has been answered.

bjkeefe
11-08-2009, 10:47 PM
The question has been answered.

I am delighted to have been wrong in my prediction.

AemJeff
11-09-2009, 12:58 AM
I am delighted to have been wrong in my prediction.

I was wrong, too. I was not delighted by the first seven or so minutes of the diavlog today, which is all I've had a chance to watch so far.

bjkeefe
11-09-2009, 01:27 AM
I was wrong, too. I was not delighted by the first seven or so minutes of the diavlog today, which is all I've had a chance to watch so far.

Yeah, I wouldn't mind if John never discussed biology again, at least not until he's rid himself of the notion that being smart in other areas means he can rely on his gut to fully inform himself about science. But I really do like hearing what he has to say on areas where he knows something, and I'm pretty sure he could do that once a week for the rest of my life without running out of material.

The end part of today's diavlog, on his recent post about African-American Studies as a college major, is quite good.

AemJeff
11-09-2009, 09:26 AM
Yeah, I wouldn't mind if John never discussed biology again, at least not until he's rid himself of the notion that being smart in other areas means he can rely on his gut to fully inform himself about science. But I really do like hearing what he has to say on areas where he knows something, and I'm pretty sure he could do that once a week for the rest of my life without running out of material.

The end part of today's diavlog, on his recent post about African-American Studies as a college major, is quite good.

I'm glad to hear that. I'm planning to listen to the rest today.

Bobby G
11-09-2009, 12:03 PM
I'm still on the fence. I think this is a clone.

bjkeefe
11-09-2009, 02:47 PM
I'm still on the fence. I think this is a clone.

Ah, yes. How can we be sure this is the same John McWhorter? We don't know that! Science doesn't KNOW that! We should entertain views that presuppose it's not the same John McWhorter and have many discussions about that possibility! And anyone who says this is the same good ol' John McWhorter is being arrogant and must show more consideration for others!

;^)