Monday, May 15, 2006

Dembski at it again

Well it seems Wild Bill has been at it again. Last week, on his blog Uncommon Descent (or should we call it Uncommon Dissent, given the rarity of opposing opinions?) former midweek cuckoo William Dembski accused NCSE President Kevin Padian of being a racist. According to Dembski:

In two recent “defend science” talks, one at Cal Berkeley and the other at Kansas University, Padian singled out an Asian-American church that supports ID. In March, Berkeley’s IDEA Club sponsored two talks that I gave to packed houses on the Berkeley campus (go here). Some of the key members in that IDEA Club are also members of this church. Padian now explicitly names this church (Berkland Baptist Church) in his public talks and describes the members of the church that attended my lectures as “young,” “Asian,” and “fundamentalist,” and that this is “what we are up against today.”
I would link to the post, but it has been removed, for reasons to be explained shortly. Panda's Thumb reacted very quickly, pointing out that Padian had not been at the talk (or even in the state) at which Dembski claimed this racial slur occured. Dembski parried with a lame excuse that his anonymous informants had been incorrect about the person involved in the talk, and his puppet DaveScot appeared on Panda's Thumb under a pseudonym (Ombudsman) defending Dembski's conclusion. Later, it seems that Pandian wrote to Dembski pointing out he had crossed the slander line, and had better apologise and remove the offending post. Dembski complied, and gave a very lame apology, of the "I'm sorry but it wasn't my fault and I'm still right anyway" variety.

We shouldn't really expect anything more of Bill, given his history. We're talking about a man who reported an innocent person to the Feds as planning to commit genocide, also based on second- or third-hand information and Bill's habit of taking quotes wildly out of context. But he has really outdone himself this time. By putting quotes around each individual word, Bill stretches the very limit of honest quoting. There is no indication that the words were consecutive, in that order, or even in the same sentences. And who cares if Padian did describe a particular church's congregation as young asian fundamentalists if it is true? Is it now racist to call an asian an asian?

It is blatantly obvious that Bill was quote mining in the extreme here, but he tries to defend even this. In his 'apology' he states:

Padian in his letter above does not dispute that he singled out "young" "asian" "fundamentalists" as supporters of ID
He doesn't have to dispute the contents of a talk he didn't give, and not disputing something explicitly is not the same as saying you were right! Moron!

I swear, when i finally get the power to explode heads from a distance, Bill is on my Top 10.


Blogger totalwaste said...

hang on - you mean you've got some of the power already??!! i want it too!!!! pleeeeease!!! i NEEEEEEED it!!

May 15, 2006 9:10 PM  
Blogger moonflake said...

huh? i said "when i finally get the power"... i don't have it yet.

What i have now is the power to strap explosives to the heads of people i have access to, but that's not really the same.

May 16, 2006 2:04 PM  
Blogger Mr Angry said...

Explode his head from close range when you get the power moonflake, it will be more satisfying.

May 17, 2006 1:49 PM  
Blogger moonflake said...

i'm concerned by the possibility of splatter...

May 17, 2006 2:12 PM  

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