Thursday, November 29, 2007

Turn off your Irony Meters before reading this post.

Dont say I didnt warn you.


Irony meters off? Okay!

So like, you know how Dembski took Harvard/XVIVOs animation, screwed around with the narration, and is now pretending he didnt do anything wrong (but hes going to stop)? Lets get into the Tardis and travel back in time to the year 2001-- the before times, when ERV didnt even know what a Creationist was. Robert Pennock published a book called "Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics." Included in this book was an article called "Who's Got the Magic?", by a William A. Dembski. Pennock got permission to use this essay from the journal title that carried Dembskis article, Metanexus. Pennock followed Metanexuss rules. Because rules for us commoners are not good enough for Creationists, William Dembski threw a tantrum. *surprise*

"I had never signed over the copyright for "Who's Got the Magic?" to Pennock or anyone else for that matter. Was it therefore our entire exchange that he was planning to add, with copyright permissions requests (that never came) still down the road ? Or was it just his portion of the exchange and a summary of mine that he was planning to add to "the ms"? Was his mention of adding it to "the ms" a reference to the MIT anthology or to some other work? Finally, the one other ID proponent whom I knew to be a contributor to Pennock's anthology ( i.e., Paul Nelson) had been explicitly contacted about being a contributor. I hadn't."

"... I would like to have seen a public apology by Pennock and some notice by MIT Press indicating that my essays appeared without my knowledge."

Yes, in 2002, William Dembski was bitching about Pennock going through the appropriate channels to add Dembskis essay to his anthology legally. He is demanding an apology by Pennock and MIT Press.

For doing what they were supposed to.


I told you to turn off your irony meters.

Lets jump back to today. November 29, 2007. From William Dembskis webpage:
"All material on this website is copyright and may be reproduced only for personal use."

"Who's Got the Magic? A response to Robert Pennock's false dichotomy that ID forces one to choose between mechanism and magic. This article first appeared on Metanexus ( It was reprinted without permission in Robert Pennock's Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics."

"William Dembski's press releases in response to the publication of this book. Integrity is hard won and easily lost. For publishing William Dembski's work without his knowledge or permission, Robert Pennock and MIT Press compromised their integrity."
But Pennock did nothing wrong. And Dembski admitted that in 2002-- "Pennock and MIT Press are legally in the clear". But hes still got that stuff on his page in 2007. The same year he purposefully stole a $$$$ animation from Harvard, smeared poop all over it, and denounced 'Darwinists' for bringing it to the attention of Harvard (more on 'Darwinists' tomorrow, evidently John West was feeling left out).

What the hell?


What is this, example #2985298571983 of Special Rights for Creationists? Poor babies just cant play by the same rules as everyone else on the planet.

(hat tip to Wes! And Mark Perakh!!)


Physicalist said...

No big surprise, really. Creationists (by their very nature apparently) have no respect for the basic norms of scholarship:

a) Presenting your work to the critiques of knowledgeable experts -- seeking, not avoiding, real challenges.

b) Being willing to revise your position in light of telling criticisms.

c) Respecting the work of others by accurately representing their arguments and evidence.


Dembski's latest is just more of the same dishonesty and hypocrisy.

monado said...

Is there any channel on the Discovery Institute (Dembski's employers or partners in crime), say, their media complaints division, which seems to be outgoinig only, or on Dumbski's own site where one could ask why he wants kid glove handling for himself while he rips off other people's intellectual property?

alloy said...

I'm sorry, even off my irony meter overloaded. You owe me a new one.

This is somewhat like Spielberg complaining about DVD piracy and going home to what a pirate Star Wars copy.

(only of course those gentlemen have integrity so that wouldn't happen)

Fred Ross said...

A lot of journals demand the copyright from the author. Metanexus may be among them. The usual justification is so they can give reprint permissions (there are ways to handle this which don't require copyright transfer, but commercial journals tend not to like them).

So there's a good chance that Dembski's article really isn't copyrighted to him anymore, in which case MIT Press and Metanexus are completely justified in ignoring him until he takes them to court, at which point he will be charged court costs and the judge will make it very clear that legal contracts are binding agreements.

I luckily read this when I just woke up, and my irony meter hadn't connected itself yet. I'm expecting it to come online in a few minutes, by which time I'll be safely clear.

Wesley R. Elsberry said...

Stuff going out on the MetaNexus lists at that time carried this notice:

Copyright 1999, 2000 by William Grassie. Copies of this internet posting may be made and distributed in whole without further permission. Credit: "This information was circulated on the Meta Lists on Science and Religion <>.

JonF said...

Indeed, Metanexus does own the copyright to that work, and Pennock has all the paperwork to prove he folowed proper and legal procedure. See (alas, the Metanexus exoneration appears to be off-line). And Pennock contacted Dembski, but Dembski misunderstood:

Andrew said...

Whether Dembski "purposely" did this or carelessly did it, I don't care.

He has long ago last a chance to be a real academic, which he narrowly had.

However, I hope you all cross the line over into actual LIBEL .

For lessons in how to do this, go over to Kansas Citizens for Science, where from time to time some of the posters throw frothing fits over religion...all the while pretending to be promoting "SCIENCE EDUCATION".

Jake said...

I'm really getting to the point of irony-fatigue here, you know? It's like the family values crowd's sex scandals, the first 10 were funny, but now it's not even news. Oh look, religious assholes are hypocrites. Also, the sky is blue.

ERV said...

Dare I feed the troll... Andrew, actually I think Dembski might be the one itching for libel, as 5 years after he admitted Pennock didnt do anything wrong, he still has information on his webpage proclaiming Pennock didnt. And then theres everything that was posted about *me* on Uncommon Descent.

Luckily for Dembski, his opinion is worth less than dirt (even Oklahoma clay dirt, which isnt good for anything), thus he can probably say whatever he wants, and wed all just laugh at him.

From our side, I think your irony meter must be broken. I did give you fair warning. But the fact is, we dont have to do anything to make Dembski and other Creationists 'look bad'. We dont have to 'make up', 'libel', or 'slander' anything. When left to their own devices for >5 minutes, Creationists will make asses of themselves.

Thanks for the info, Wes and Jon!

Monado-- hehe you know that doesnt exist LOL! Maybe if you catch him at a Q&A... ;)

Blake Stacey said...

So saith Fred Ross:

So there's a good chance that Dembski's article really isn't copyrighted to him anymore, in which case MIT Press and Metanexus are completely justified in ignoring him until he takes them to court, at which point he will be charged court costs and the judge will make it very clear that legal contracts are binding agreements.

I can't express to you how happy I would be to see a cdesign proponentsist roasted on the legal spit by Harvard and MIT Press, simultaneously.

Sili said...

But it makes perfect sense!

You see, if Pennock had just "purposefully stole[n it and] smeared poop all over it" everything would be just honky-dory.

But since he didn't just pilfer and defile Dumbski's 'work' (pity, really - it's not like the poor article is gonna get much action otherwise) like any normal human being would do (for appropriate values of 'normal', 'human' and 'being'), of course, dr. Drski is upset.

See you just have to use earth logic (and by 'earth' I mean 'whackjob').

J Myers said...

ERV, I can't tell if Andrew is a troll or not; the few posts of his I've seen are so incoherent as to make identification of his position impossible (eg, his first two paragraphs below are critical of Dembski, but then his last two are are used to wish ill upon evolutionists... perhaps he just hates everyone).

Slightly OT, but I just have to ask: what do you have against apostrophes? For a moment, I thought you were saying that Dembski is a polygamist :)

J Myers said...

Ooo... that should have been "...first two paragraphs above..."

Doppelganger said...

Check Andrew's website and you'll get the answer...

J Myers said...

Doppelganger, thanks--that's some great stuff over there. I had clicked on his name before to look for clues in his profile, but what little info appears there is just as incoherent: "If most scientists are atheists, as Richard Dawkins claims, why have they filled the world with nuclear weapons?" Although a non sequitur, a casual interpretation would suggest that Andrew is critical of religious scientists (if scientists were really atheists, they'd be too rational to allow the proliferation of such terrible weaponry, but they are actually all fundy death cultists anxious for End times, so of course they do what they can to help bring them about).

Hadn't noticed the "my web page" link from there, but now that I've checked it out, I can see that Andrew seems to have a cheese grater fetish; guess there's really no limit to creo deviancy....

Art said...

Thanks, Abbie, for revealing (after researching or being given) that rather vivid example of how prissy and snarky Doctor Doctor Dembski Dembski got when his own work was reprinted with full permissions. And how he to this day keeps the lie that it was used without permission on his Web site.

And compare this to Dembski's panicked denials and excuses when he steals and corrupts a million-dollar computer animation with no legal permission at all. He misused that stolen animation to promote Creationist dissimulation and confusion about science, the opposite of the educational purpose for which it was laboriously created.

Dembski's hypocrisy is palpable.

But how can we really blame these poor people? With Nature herself burying them under deeper and deeper strata of evidence every day, and with no possibility of doing science themselves, they have little they can do but use lies of scientific fact, howl every time someone throws their deceit back in their faces, and conjure up a Big Lie picture of a world-wide materialist, scientific conspiracy against God and themselves.

Comparisons to Hitler and Goebbels have often been overdone, but there are parallels. The Big Lie of a persecuted community of faith being abused daily by evil atheist science may be objectively transparent, but if repeated constantly, it sticks in enough uneducated minds to have a political force of its own.

We should never be distracted from basic facts: Billionaire Howard Ahmanson, Jr. is the primary financier of the Discovery Institute. Ahmanson finances the most right-wing, homophobic elements in the American Episcopal church. He is a Dominionist, whose goal is the replacement of secular democracy by the rule of clergy -- in effect creating a Christian Taliban America. Added elements in DI are the Moonies, ultra-conservative Catholics, and the huge and radical Southern Baptist Convention.

Guys like these wouldn't play fair if it were easy. Being they are pretending to be scientists while not having even the beginnings of a scientific hypothesis to test, there's just no way for them to do anything but spew propaganda and hatred.

The Discovery Institute has had three very bad things happen to it in recent times: Its debacle in Dover, the exposure of Behe's "errors" about HIV evolution, and being caught red-handed using stolen educational material to de-educate people.

You, Abbie, are responsible for their humiliation in two of three areas. You've stomped on an ant's nest. Now the piss-ant buggers are running around, trying to find someone to sting. (Take all legal precautions, please.)

I say this without an ounce of irony or exaggeration: You are a hero of science, Abbie. I am utterly floored by the support you are receiving from scientists and even simple science-loving laymen like myself. You are doing an immense service to science at a crucial juncture in history.

-- HalfMooner

Gary said...

Abbie - Thanks again- And your hits just keep on coming!


Art said...

After looking over his "BRITES" site, it is clear that "Andrew" here fancies himself as a parodist, working for the Creationist cause.

He's rather ham-handed at it. That site has plenty of signs, in my opinion, of insanity. The site subtly creeps me out, and I write parody myself. There's simply something that seems dangerous about someone who would write that stuff. "Darwin Camp" with its Hitler Youth theme, the repeated use of giant, menacing cheese graters, etc.

Andrew's not just a troll, but in my layman's opinion, likely a deeply delusional and hate-filled nutcase.

-- HalfMooner

ERV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.