Denyse O’Leary, official co-blogger at Dembski’s “Uncommon Descent”, seems to have had a posting hiatus. Her last post on UD is dated the 20th of August. This is prompting comment that perhaps Denyse, religious commentator, will be officially parting ways with UD shortly. Maybe so, maybe not; certainly a week’s posting break would be consistent with Denyse taking a vacation. But where’s the fun in that? Of the other possibilities, there are two main ideas for why Denyse might be breaking away from UD.
First, there is the idea that Denyse is not enjoying her tenure at UD. And the main cause for friction would be former UD “blog czar” and Howard Stern-alike-wannabe David “DaveScot” Springer. Springer is… well, it is difficult to say what Springer is. Springer seems to like to describe himself in terms of what he has been. He used to work for Dell Computers, and made a packet when Dell went from a little computer company to a humongous computer company. What he does now seems to be spouting insults in various online fora, which appears to be more of a Don Rickles channeling than a Howard Stern impersonation. Apparently Springer had not gotten the memo that DOL would be coming on board UD officially, and treated her to his usual spew of invective as a bolded addition to a comment that she left at UD. Between that and another comment Springer made about his penchant for adulterous impregnation, suddenly his ability to make gratuitous additions to other people’s comments was rescinded. Springer then handed in his “blog czar” propeller beanie and decamped to the UDOJ (“U Dream of Janie”) blog, there continuing intermittent castigation of DOL as a “morphodyke” and various other terms of endearment. While Springer was gone, DOL posted away at UD. But as of the 21st of August, Springer was back at UD, officially welcomed to return by William Dembski, and handed author privileges there. One suspects that Denyse wasn’t consulted about this move.
Second, there is the notion that Denyse has found even the limited scope for dissent at UD to be hotter than she wants to handle. On the 19th, she wrote a post there explaining,
First, I find the title of Shermer’s book interesting. If Darwin really mattered, Shermer wouldn’t be writing a book insisting that he does.
I mean, who writes a book called “why better gas mileage matters” or “why preventing cancer matters”? Evident benefits prompt no defence.
UD commenters, culled to be sycophantic to a fault, still couldn’t quite swallow this whole. Denyse wrote two more posts trying to shout out those who took issue with her howler. Her latest post was made the next day. Since then, nothing.
I’m thinking that the vacation hypothesis still has a lot going for it. Antievolutionists are usually quite forgiving of each other, the better to band together against the evil Darwinists, reducing the likelihood that the “huffy Denyse” hypothesis will work. And being an antievolutionist means being ironclad against embarrassment over being wrong, so it hardly makes the “chagrined Denyse” hypothesis a winner. But time will tell, I guess.
Update: Over at After the Bar Closes, commenters note that Denyse has been posting to other blogs, which discomfits the vacation hypothesis. However, she apparently did say that she would be posting less frequently while she is engaged in copy-editing a book. So the “too busy” hypothesis appears and has some confirming evidence.
Update: DOL is back on UD, breaking her hiatus with some stern admonishments for now-retired Vatican astronomer George Coyne. Stuff about keeping his private theology to himself, and not letting himself be treated as an authority on scientific issues that have nothing to do with his field of study. DOL evidently is as irony-deficient as many other antievolutionists.