Monday, May 14, 2007

Luskin Revs Up the Spin Machine

In my post on Gonzalez being denied tenure FTK pointed out that the Discovery Institute has taken exception to my post. They claimed that I automatically assume that ID proponents are dishonest (thereby making them undeserving of tenure) because I have been led astray by KU professors such as Dr. Mirecki who "model knee-jerk prejudice".

Interestingly enough, here, it is Luskin making the knee-jerk accusations and trying to discredit my comments by (loose) assosciation instead of addressing what I said. Rather than modeling my views off Dr. Mirecki in late 2005, my interest in standing against pseudo-science began in high school, long before I'd heard of Mirecki, and certainly before I was in attendence at KU.

More specifically, my interest disdain for Creationism and specifically the ID version came nearly 4 years ago while I was still in attendence at Missouri State University.

So Luskin's claim that I've been corrupted by the views of Dr. Mirecki are far from credulous.

Additionally, Luskin shows that he only briefly skimmed my post. He claims I'm
trying to imply Dr. Gonzalez doesn't have a prestigious publication record.
Yet my post clearly states:
published over 60 papers in reputable journals “including Astronomy and Astrophysics, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Astrophysical Journal and Solar Physics.” The NASA Astrophysical Database System when searched, confirms that he has a good deal of contributions up to present day.
I went out of my way to confirm that Gonzalez has been published and even make a special point that he continues to do so unlike nearly every other ID proponent out there who have all seemingly dropped even the pretense of the practice in favour of watered down garbage. Good for him!

One of the points that I was making is that I expected the DI to be trumpeting Gonzalez's publications. Yet they don't. From his main page on their website, they hide his scholarly publications. Searching their site for "Gonzalez publications" also turns up nothing. I suspected that this is because much of Gonzalez's work flies in the face of people like FtK who try to deny stellar evolution. This isn't good for the Discovery Intistute's "big tent" policy which wants to rope in the young earthers.

The final point was that publication isn't the only requirement for tenure. Honesty is. The Discovery Institute and its affiliates (including Gonzalez) all dishonestly pretend that ID is a legitimate theory. It's not.

Not that this is the only reason that Gonzalez doesn't really meet the qualifications for tenure. PZ has more, and Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars puts it in more perspective, noting that, no matter how much the DI spins, well published people are routinely denied tenure. In fact, I've had a number of people warn me away from the field of astronomy because it's so difficult to get tenure.

But don't let any of that factor in Casey. Instead, just keep making stuff up about how I'm Mirecki's protege. You keep lying. I'll keep laughing.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The Discovery Institute and its affiliates (including Gonzalez) all dishonestly pretend that ID is a legitimate theory. It's not."

This is piss poor reasoning that begs the question against ID being a scientific theory. Assume that they are lying, and then, of course, you will find them dishonest. It's called CIRCULAR reasoning.

Wanderin' Weeta said...

Protege, not prodigy. Look it up.

Forthekids said...

Jon,

I have a hard time believing that the SOMA (Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics) club you're involved in at KU, which Mirecki supervises, doesn't have any influence on you whatsoever.

Sorry...not buying it.

Jon Voisey said...

This is piss poor reasoning that begs the question against ID being a scientific theory. Assume that they are lying, and then, of course, you will find them dishonest. It's called CIRCULAR reasoning.

Not at all. I make no assumptions that they are lying. I stay up to date with the ID movement and have been waiting for them to present that little thing called evidence. I don't assume they haven't. I know damn well they haven't presented anything that holds up to even reasonable scrutiny.

Jon Voisey said...

I have a hard time believing that the SOMA (Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics) club you're involved in at KU, which Mirecki supervises, doesn't have any influence on you whatsoever.

I've never claimed it doesn't have an influence. But to say that it was what formed my opinions about ID is utterly idiotic and shows just how uninformed you and Luskin are.

SOMA rarely addresses the Creationist issue. Feel free to look through the meeting minutes. I've only met Mirecki a few times in person and at most have exchanged a handful of sentences with him in person.

Rather, my views on ID have come from reading various blogs, such as your own, UD, etc.... as well as attending lectures by Dembski and Behe.

SOMA and Mirecki have had little impact on my views on ID. Rather, the repeated failing of ID itself bears the blame.

Forthekids said...

Well, here is a suggestion for you Jon. You obviously consider that those who do not agree with you are horrific liars or horribly dishonest people.

You use the word "liar" and "dishonest" continuously in your posts to describe those who support ID. But, I'd guess that 99.9% of those individuals truly believe what they relay to the public. I know I do. You might want to try on occassion to give people the benefit of the doubt rather than immediately accusing them of being "liars".

Jon Voisey said...

You use the word "liar" and "dishonest" continuously in your posts to describe those who support ID. But, I'd guess that 99.9% of those individuals truly believe what they relay to the public. I know I do.

You're right, after a fasion. Lying typically implies that there is an intent driving it. For the most part, I would say that you, Behe, Gonzalez, and others typically have no intention of passing along falsehoods.

Instead, what's done is precisely what Luskin does in his post: He makes claims with no standards of evidence. Then you uncritically accept them.

I've already pointed out just how little effect Mirecki and SOMA have had on my opinions. But instead of Luskin looking into how much contact Mirecki has with SOMA, or going through meeting minutes to see how active SOMA really is with the creationist movement, he jumps to the conclusion that Mirecki is the single reason that I'm opposed to ID.

If you're pretending to do science, and have such lax standards (which we also just saw over at UD with Dembski claiming Dawkins only had 3 published articles), then I see only one of two options: You're either lying about what you're doing or you're simply an idiot.

I'd say I am giving you the benefit of the doubt by not thinking the latter.

Forthekids said...

I could be wrong, but I doubt that Casey was refering to Mirecki being entirely responsible for your indoctrination.

You've certainly taken the materialistic version of origins hook, line and sinker. As this is the only version of origins we are offered in the public schools, I'd say you're merely a product of the educational system.

For all the complaining atheists do about the church indoctrinating our children into “false beliefs“, I believe "indoctrination" can certainly occur in the public school science & "religion" classes as well.

As far as Dembski is concerned, I assume then that only evolutionists are allowed to make errors? He blew it due to relaying info. before thoroughly checking it out. Yeah, he screwed up.

I suppose you've never made an error?

Forthekids said...

"SOMA rarely addresses the Creationist issue."

Hmmm...okay. Regardless, I've seen SOMA members at various lectures on ID or evolution. I think the subject is a pretty big deal for them.

Hard to imagine this topic "rarely" comes up among SOMA members.

Jon Voisey said...

I could be wrong, but I doubt that Casey was refering to Mirecki being entirely responsible for your indoctrination.

Given how marginal of an influence Mirecki has been, it's pointless of Luskin to even mention it. All it shows is that he doesn't have anything better to do than try to slander me by assosciation. Funny how often creationists use that tactic...

You've certainly taken the materialistic version of origins hook, line and sinker.

I claim that there is no supernatural origin. True. But this is merely my personal viewpoint. You keep conflating this with my scientific one.

As this is the only version of origins we are offered in the public schools, I'd say you're merely a product of the educational system.

Given I was raised theistic, you'd expect that would have had some influence. Guess you're ignoring that as well.

I assume then that only evolutionists are allowed to make errors? He blew it due to relaying info. before thoroughly checking it out. Yeah, he screwed up.

I suppose you've never made an error?


You missed the point of my bringing that up: It's not that those who support evolution don't make mistakes. Hell, look at the Nebraska Man. The point I was making, is that there's a difference between the standards those that do good science have, and those of Dembski et al. As Luskin showed in his attack on me, he has no standards. Dembski, by failing to perform even a basic search, shows that his are rather lax as well. Meanwhile, when commenting on Gonzalez, I did bother to do the searching. See the difference here?

I've seen SOMA members at various lectures on ID or evolution. I think the subject is a pretty big deal for them.

Hard to imagine this topic "rarely" comes up among SOMA members.


Individually, it's important to most of us, but as a group function, it rarely comes up. When in attendance at these events, we tend to sit together as friends. Not as group members. SOMA leaves the debunking of pseudo-science to KUSFS.

Forthekids said...

“All it shows is that he doesn't have anything better to do than try to slander me by assosciation[sic]. Funny how often creationists use that tactic...”

LOL...and of course evolutionists never accuse those who support ID of be religious fundy fanatics. Come on, we’re in the same boat and you know it.

IMO, “evolution” and “ID” fall in the middle with fanatics at the far ends of the spectrum. That’s why I think people are barking up the wrong tree by persecuting ID supporters.

Most of us fall somewhere in the middle and only want what we feel is best for our students.

“The point I was making, is that there's a difference between the standards those that do good science have, and those of Dembski et al. As Luskin showed in his attack on me, he has no standards. Dembski, by failing to perform even a basic search, shows that his are rather lax as well. Meanwhile, when commenting on Gonzalez, I did bother to do the searching. See the difference here?”

Come on, Jon. I’ve seen science bloggers pull all kinds of stunts in regard to spinning and twisting the words of ID supporters. And, you’re not always terribly accurate in your research either.

I think the dialogue we shared regarding stellar evolution points to a few times when you stated things that were incorrect. You never did follow all the pertinent links, and you relayed to your readers that Brown quoted outdated articles until I pointed out that you were wrong and even made you change a few of your numbers in that regard.

You also didn’t know what Ibid. stood for and immediately blamed Brown of not including the author of the paper he sited.

Sometimes when we are considering the work of the opposition, we jump quicker than we should. When I read your article the first time, I read it like Casey did. But, when I went back and read it again, I thought perhaps I didn’t understanding you correctly.

I’m not sure that was completely a reading comprehension problem. I think it was written a bit poorly as well. But, then I could be wrong.

At least I can admit errors...

Jon Voisey said...

I think the dialogue we shared regarding stellar evolution points to a few times when you stated things that were incorrect. You never did follow all the pertinent links, and you relayed to your readers that Brown quoted outdated articles until I pointed out that you were wrong and even made you change a few of your numbers in that regard.

I just reread your entire response and didn't find anything that of mine that you found as incorrect. Everything you nitpicked and claimed was due to you lacking the background to understand the connections I was drawing. Perhaps you should pick up an intro course.

As far as miscounting the number of recent sources, I recall only being off by a few, but not in any such manner as to negate the points that I was making: The recently cited articles were taken out of context and quote mined (but you stated you don't have a problem with that), and the old ones were used to aid in the presenting of a strawman.

You also didn’t know what Ibid. stood for and immediately blamed Brown of not including the author of the paper he sited.

It seems your memory isn't that good. I didn't ever claim he didn't include the author. Rather, I thought Ibid was a name and since I couldn't find "Ibid" being referenced anywhere, I dismissed those sources (hence the reason for the counting discrepancy) and fixed the error when another reader pointed out what it meant. Ibid is not a term that's used in astronomical publications.

When I read your article the first time, I read it like Casey did. But, when I went back and read it again, I thought perhaps I didn’t understanding you correctly.

I fail to see how it could have been worded any clearer.

I’m not sure that was completely a reading comprehension problem.

I suspect it had something to do with you projecting what you expected into the writing. You expect me and other science bloggers to do nothing but attack ID proponents, so it just couldn't work in your mind, or Casey's, that I actually verified that Gonzalez did have numerous publications.

This is a common problem. I've made the same mistake myself. Recall when I thought Dembski was discussing Darwin's "Defication"? And I'm sure my dyslexia doesn't help...

At least I can admit errors...

So can I. And I have on numerous occasions when I've been wrong. Care to take bets on how long it's going to take Casey to correct his? Do you really expect him to take back the pathetic attempt at slandering me via Mirecki given how little assosciation I really have with him?

Somehow I doubt it. Especially given that they've been working to edit out of context quotes from Mirecki into their post to undermine me via the weak association.

I don't expect much from the Discovery Institute in terms of intellectual integrity, but this is far beyond even their level. Pathetic doesn't even begin to describe it.

mollishka said...

~amused~

Bill said...

Ah, FtK! Jon posted how Casey Luskin twisted his words and your first comment is about atheists.

Don't look now, FtK, but there's an atheist in your garden digging up your radishes! That's what they do, you know, dig up your radishes when you're not looking.

Forthekids said...

Personally, I think Mirecki did tremendous damage to the SOMA Club at KU.

I know there are people who show intense disrespect for both theists and atheists, but a college professor should strive for a more professional demeanor in regard to the courses he is planning to teach.

It doesn’t matter what he believes or writes about as an individual, but when our students are involved, he should be a bit more cautious so that it doesn't appear as if he has his own personal agenda.

It also helps if people who disagree about these issues try to get to know one another a bit on a personal level. Sometimes, we learn that those we are leery of are not as “dishonest” as we might have first believed.

Perhaps you should contact Casey about his post? Couldn’t hurt...I don’t think he’s the monster you make him out to be.

silkworm said...

Fantastic blog. It looks a bit hotter up north than it is down here. I saw your link in my comments so I checked it out. Keep it up.

Bill said...

Yes, FtK, Casey Luskin is a monster. Sort of like a giant slug, a creep.

Thanks for posting more of your ignorant comments.

You are the poster child for good science education. Sorry we couldn't save you.

silkworm said...

Fantastic blog. It looks a bit hotter up north than it is down here. I saw your link in my comments so I checked it out. Keep it up.

mollishka said...

~amused~

Forthekids said...

“All it shows is that he doesn't have anything better to do than try to slander me by assosciation[sic]. Funny how often creationists use that tactic...”

LOL...and of course evolutionists never accuse those who support ID of be religious fundy fanatics. Come on, we’re in the same boat and you know it.

IMO, “evolution” and “ID” fall in the middle with fanatics at the far ends of the spectrum. That’s why I think people are barking up the wrong tree by persecuting ID supporters.

Most of us fall somewhere in the middle and only want what we feel is best for our students.

“The point I was making, is that there's a difference between the standards those that do good science have, and those of Dembski et al. As Luskin showed in his attack on me, he has no standards. Dembski, by failing to perform even a basic search, shows that his are rather lax as well. Meanwhile, when commenting on Gonzalez, I did bother to do the searching. See the difference here?”

Come on, Jon. I’ve seen science bloggers pull all kinds of stunts in regard to spinning and twisting the words of ID supporters. And, you’re not always terribly accurate in your research either.

I think the dialogue we shared regarding stellar evolution points to a few times when you stated things that were incorrect. You never did follow all the pertinent links, and you relayed to your readers that Brown quoted outdated articles until I pointed out that you were wrong and even made you change a few of your numbers in that regard.

You also didn’t know what Ibid. stood for and immediately blamed Brown of not including the author of the paper he sited.

Sometimes when we are considering the work of the opposition, we jump quicker than we should. When I read your article the first time, I read it like Casey did. But, when I went back and read it again, I thought perhaps I didn’t understanding you correctly.

I’m not sure that was completely a reading comprehension problem. I think it was written a bit poorly as well. But, then I could be wrong.

At least I can admit errors...

Forthekids said...

"SOMA rarely addresses the Creationist issue."

Hmmm...okay. Regardless, I've seen SOMA members at various lectures on ID or evolution. I think the subject is a pretty big deal for them.

Hard to imagine this topic "rarely" comes up among SOMA members.

Jon Voisey said...

I have a hard time believing that the SOMA (Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics) club you're involved in at KU, which Mirecki supervises, doesn't have any influence on you whatsoever.

I've never claimed it doesn't have an influence. But to say that it was what formed my opinions about ID is utterly idiotic and shows just how uninformed you and Luskin are.

SOMA rarely addresses the Creationist issue. Feel free to look through the meeting minutes. I've only met Mirecki a few times in person and at most have exchanged a handful of sentences with him in person.

Rather, my views on ID have come from reading various blogs, such as your own, UD, etc.... as well as attending lectures by Dembski and Behe.

SOMA and Mirecki have had little impact on my views on ID. Rather, the repeated failing of ID itself bears the blame.