Censorship at PT? I Don’t Think So.

Over on Bill Dembski’s weblog, a couple of people banned for bad behavior from the Panda’s Thumb weblog were claiming that they were censored at PT, therefore Dr. Dembski could do anything that he wanted to with comments on his blog. Other than utilizing moral relativism, the two were wrong at another level, as I documented in a comment made to that thread.

Panda’s Thumb Comment Integrity Policy:

“6. Posting under multiple identities or falsely posting as someone else may lead to removal of affected comments and blocking of the IP address from which those comments were posted, at the discretion of the management.

Simply put, don’t make a jerk out of yourself.”

“Evolving Apeman” writes:

“My comments and IP address were censored at Panda’s Thumb without good reason (and without explanation). If the “premier” pro-neo-Darwinism site is unwilling to allow dissenting viewpoints, why should this site either?”

This is incorrect. There are two comments that explain why “Evolving Apeman” was banned. In between posting as “Andrew Rule, MD” and “Evolving Apeman”, “Evolving Apeman” had a go at posting as “Great White Wonder”, which is an alias used by another PT commenter. I can’t speak to the prevalence of deletions of comments, since each contributor at PT manages their own threads, but I can say that “Evolving Apeman” was quite prolific for someone who claims to have been censored, and quite a lot of his material remains online there.

“DaveScot” wrote:

“Trying to escape that treatment I resorted to using randomly selected names. I was then banned for using multiple names.”

This is incorrect. “DaveScot” was not banned for simply using multiple names; he was banned for making threats against PT and also posting under another person’s name. “Scott Page” is not a pseudonym, but rather an actual person who posts at PT from time to time. Was “Scott Page” “randomly selected” as a posting alias? Apply your EF/DI, Bill, and use a local probability bound. Here’s the data showing that “DaveScot” was well aware of the use of the name “Scott Page”: 1, 2, 3, and 4. The “DaveScot” corpus of material posted at PT is available for review.

PT doesn’t ask much of commenters, not even that they agree with us, given some (very) small modicum of decorum. But there are some behaviors that shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere, and both “Evolving Apeman” and “DaveScot” violated a clearly stated rule at PT.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

17 thoughts on “Censorship at PT? I Don’t Think So.

  • 2005/05/05 at 7:06 am

    My response is at Dembski’s site.

    I hope you didn’t ban Evolving Apeman for posting under Great White Wonder. That was me, you incompetent boob. Can’t you at least match up IP addesses without getting confused? God knows you can’t get that multiple-posting bug fixed at Panda’s Thumb and I told you how – get over your juvenile resentment of Microsoft and switch to IIS. I suppose it’s too much to ask that you grow up, huh?

  • 2005/05/05 at 7:23 am

    I also noticed, Elsberry, that you avoided addressing my point about what you Darwinian narrative apologists did to Professor John A. Davison at Panda’s Thumb.

    JAD is a biologist that was publishing while you were still crapping Gerber baby food and because he doesn’t toe the mutation/selection groupthink you (the generic “you” at Panda’s Thumb) arbitrarily disemvoweled and deleted his comments. Imagine that. A biologist with almost 50 years experience practicing his profession, one that’s STILL publishing even after retirment, and you censor him, ridicule him, and basically treat him like a drooling idiot. The fact of the matter is that Davison has more knowledge of biology than you’ll ever have, has more wits about him than you’ll ever have, and you can’t stand criticism.

    Perfect. Just perfect.

    Now do you duty and delete this too. It doesn’t matter. There’s a million of these forums and you, you goofy little control freak, don’t control but a couple of them.


  • 2005/05/05 at 7:28 am

    One last point. Didn’t you already ban me here?

    I’m quite sure you did. My IP address must’ve changed. Quick, write it down so you can make sure I don’t sneak back into Panda’s Thumb for another few weeks. Which, by the way, was my only “threat” about that website. IP bans don’t last long. As a security method for keeping out unwanted guests it pretty much sucks.

    But hey, look on the bright side. I didn’t deem your precious little Panda’s Thumb worth the trouble of blowing the dust off my analog modem and using that to thwart your IP ban. Count your blessings.

  • 2005/05/05 at 10:53 am

    This kind of whiny bluster is exactly why DaveScot and Davison are not welcome on Panda’s Thumb.

    We treat drooling idiots like drooling idiots. Seems appropriate to me.

  • 2005/05/05 at 11:25 am

    Wesley, the above posts by Dave Scott who habitually spits out bile while his posts lack any substance show quite clearly that banning him from any site is fully justified by his behavior. Creos may refer to his being “cencored” at PT until the end of the world, their dishonesty has anyway been documented well enough to deprive their whining of any meaning. Dave Scott and John Davison is a pair of arrogant self-aggrandizing blokes whose rants should be banned on sight whenever they raise their voices.

  • 2005/05/05 at 11:27 am

    Seems that DaveScot has still not outgrown his juvenile period. DaveScot’s comments about JAD and suggestions that Wesley cannot stand criticism show that DaveSctot has abandoned reality.
    GOod to see the real DaveScot. Plz do not delete these postings Wesley, they will serve as a nice introduction at other websites.

  • 2005/05/05 at 11:45 am

    Point 1: Yes, I can match up IP addresses. The IP addresses matched for “Andrew Rule, MD”, “Evolving Apeman”, and three posts falsely attributed to “Great White Wonder”. The two primary IP addresses used by “DaveScot” have no overlap with those IP addresses, and unless “DaveScot” cracks into the Mayo Foundation, aren’t likely to in the future. Further, no messages attributed to “Great White Wonder” have had “DaveScot”‘s primary IP addresses attached.

    Point 2: Davison’s inability to consistently post on topic resulted in his being restricted to the off-topic forum at PT. Maybe Davison could contribute substantively to a discussion, but his posting behavior did not lead us to believe that he would do so with any regularity.

    Point 3: No, I had not previously banned “DaveScot”‘s IP addresses here. Now that he reminds me, though, that does seem to be an excellent idea. I hope “DaveScot” continues to demonstrate that his penchant for vitriol wasn’t limited to his appearances here or at PT. IP bans are not permanent, for sure, but that’s why PT has a rule like rule 6, to tell people that using other people’s names will not be tolerated.

  • 2005/05/06 at 7:55 am

    I think the above comments by DS demonstrate rather well the personality cult that seems to infest ID. If it isn’t Salvador taking grenades for Dembski, its DS brown-nosing JAD. The fact that he sounds like a spoilt, spiteful little child is also rather amusing.

  • 2005/05/06 at 9:05 am

    Wesley, what happemned to my last post? Am I banned here? Isn’t confinement to the latrreen sufficient for you?

  • 2005/05/07 at 4:21 am

    I have always consistently posted on topic. The topic on whch I have been entirely consistent is that there is absolutely nothing in the Darwinian paradigm that ever had anything to do with organic evolution. When the forum title, Panda’s Thumb, honors a book by one of the primary spokespersons for the Darwinian myth, no one should be surprised that my evolutionary views might be considered anathema to such an audience. My reception at Panda’s Thumb has been very similar to that at EvC. At EvC I was confined to “Boot Camp,” the equivelent to “The Bathroom Wall” at PT. Both institutions have adopted similar strategies for dealing with dissenters. They include isolation, organized groupthink denigration and ridicule, disemvowelization (that is a PT special technique), summary deletion and, as a last resort of course, lifetime banishment, the ultimate expression of intolerance to ideas not in conformity with the “standard,” as if there ever was one. The simple truth is that evolution remains a gigantic mystery for which there is as yet no adequate explanation. To proceed, as Panda’s Thumb so obviously has, supporting the Darwwinian model with what Pierre Grasse described as “Olympian assurance” is no longer acceptable in light of the findings of modern molecular biology. Of course it never was but it is becoming more and more evident that Darwinism in all its trappings was a fatal error in the search for the truth. At its inception it was nothing but the simultaneous vision of a couple of Victorian naturalists who happened to have shared the same reading experience with the works of Thomas Malthus and Charles Lyell. It was the logical perspective of what has been called the “Age of Enlightenment,” a new view of the world which denied a God of any sort, past or present, a view which assumed that the material world was separate from a created world and no longer required a Creator in any form. Nothing could be further from reality. Everything we are now learning pleads in favor of a highly predetermined universe, planned, front loaded and now largely if not completely executed. While there is admittedly no evidence for a Creator at present, one must have been involved in determining every subsequent event in the beginning. Of that I remain certain. That conviction would seem to be an unpardonable sin at Panda’s Thumb as it was at EvC and “brainstorms” the forum of ISCID.

    “Everything is determined…by forces over which we have no control.”
    Albert Einstein

  • 2005/05/07 at 9:08 pm

    Comments here do not get posted immediately. The number of “spam” comments that get entered, sometimes over 100 per day, precludes immediate unmoderated comment entry.

    As to Davison’s behavior on PT, that is a matter of record.

  • 2005/05/08 at 3:49 am

    As for my behavior on PT, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Any forum that can tolerate the behavior of Scott L. Page and Pim van Meurs can certainly accept little old harmless, senile John A. Davison. I should be flattered that I get special treatment, such as having every post automatically transmitted to the latrine. I must be doing something right.

  • 2005/05/08 at 2:16 pm


    With respect to a “matter of record.”

    Thank you so much for reproducing, for a discriminating reader, some of my more penetrating observations on the Darwinian myth. Any publicity is good publicity don’t you know. Thanks again.

  • 2005/05/17 at 5:25 pm

    Oh the irony.

    Perhaps this is a reasonable place to express my disappointment over Nick Matske’s banning me from Panda’s Thumb earlier this week.

    Did you read my “obscene” comment that led to the ban, Wesley? Can you explain to me what was “obscene” about the comment? Can you explain to me how, as Ian Musgrave suggested, my comment — among all the other comments on the blog — would have caused Pandas Thumb to be marked prohibited by “Nanny” software at “hundreds” of “educational institutions”?

    I will inevitably confront Nick about his decision in person. I think it was an asinine indefensible and cowardly move. Habitual liars are allowed to comment on the blog indefinitely. They are allowed to spew their nonsense over and over and over again.

    But adopting a consistent and stridently negative tone towards them? And daring to suggest clearly and repeatedly that fundamentalism lies at the core of the Kansas nonsense? How dare you, says Nick Matzke on behalf of the mysterious PT crew which includes members who, on their own time, express their desire to see human beings buried alive (e.g., Ed Brayton).

    The most troubling aspect of the ban is simply that there was no justification for it. I had been warned. And I had heeded the warning. What the hell else am I supposed to do, Wesley?

  • 2005/05/18 at 7:15 am

    I’m afraid that I did not see the posting that led to GWW’s ban. I think that GWW does have a point about the futility of trying to avoid the “nanny” internet site blocking software, which often appears to block on political stance rather than simple obscenity keywords.

    I don’t think that suggesting “clearly and repeatedly that fundamentalism lies at the core of the Kansas nonsense” had anything to do with GWW’s banning, though. Nor would a consistently negative tone taken toward anti-science advocates. It’s that stridency thing, which all too easily can give offense. Personally, I hadn’t gotten to a point where I felt that GWW had crossed a threshold of offensiveness, but then I didn’t see that last comment, either. The description Nick gave was of a comment that posited Phillip Johnson in various sexual positions. If that was accurate, yes, I probably would have found that offensive beyond what I want to be delivered via one of my web sites.

    There’s nothing mysterious about the PT crew, though.

  • 2005/05/18 at 12:35 pm


    “Personally, I hadn’t gotten to a point where I felt that GWW had crossed a threshold of offensiveness”

    I was trying really really hard. ;)

    “The description Nick gave was of a comment that posited Phillip Johnson in various sexual positions.”

    Oh geez. Someone’s imagination has gotten the better of him.

    Or perhaps the titillating metaphor is dead. Is it no longer appropriate to write that two entities are “in bed with each other”? That a pandering article is akin to “pillow talk” between the article’s writer and the subject. What about being a “suck up”? Or a “bootlicker”? A “back massager”? Blowing sunshine up one’s arse?

    That’s the sort of “obscenity” we’re talking about here.

    I’d give me left, er, pinkie to have the post back because it was a superb effort on my part, if I do say so myself. :) I touched on some aspects of the article that were not explored in the now-derailed thread.


    As I alluded to above, I have occasion to mingle with Nick in other forums and I’ll plead my case to him in person.

  • 2005/05/27 at 7:55 am

    I must say that I find it a bit disturbing that Davison and David Springer are so obsessed with me and feel the need to drop my name so frequently. It is almost as if I am being stalked by these two unstable individuals. I did find it somewhat comical that they both believed that I was GWW for some time, and believed that referring to him with my name would somehow intimidate him/me (the “I know who you are” routine), when in fact at that time I had not posted at PT for months. Apparently, their perception of their own sleuthing abilities is as overblown as their confidence in their positions.
    But, I have had creationists obsessed with me before – one even took to posting my address in his posts and making thinly veiled threats such as ‘not everyone drives through [where I live] for the skiing’. Good Christian creationist, he was. Funny how upset some can become when their worldview is challenged.

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