Sep 192005

Professor James Trefil of George Mason University will team up with Eugenie Scott to debate William Dembski and Edward Sisson.

It turns out Sisson was GMU professor Caroline Crocker’s attorney! I do not believe Trefil was involved in the Caroline Crocker debacle. At least I hope not.

Trefil did have these words to say about one of the most notorious IDists at his school:

“To Salvador Cordova: It’s been great having you in class.”

— James Trefil (so read the autograph to me of one of his books).

That was of course before all the mischief our club was making in the news:
Nature, April 28, 2005 Cover Story

Ok, we all know about the battle between Rick Sternberg and the NCSE. Rick Sternberg’s associate at the Baraminology conference was Gordon Wilson. Wilson was GMU PhD in environmental science who later taught in Moscow Idaho. The current president of IDEA GMU (after I stepped down) is Christine C. She left GMU for 1 year and studied biology under Wilson in Idaho.

The Baramilogy study group (of which Wilson and Sternberg took part) was founded by Kurt Wise who was Stephen Gould’s student. Wise Teaches at Bryan College which was founded by the attorney, Bryan who was part of the Scopes Monkey trial.

So there are all the connections.


  12 Responses to “Just When I Though It Couldn’t Get Any Stranger”

  1. Yeah, we know all about the Sternberg incident. Sternberg hollered foul to the wrong, though sympathetic, authorities, claiming that he was being persecuted against. The sympathetic authorities (Office of Special Counsel or OSC)found that Sternberg had lost no privilege, had not been threatened in his job, had suffered no loss of academic reputation, accused the NCSE of being the culprits in Sternberg’s non-persecution, allowed as how OSC lacks any jurisdiction, and hurled invective at the Smithsonian. Sad, sad affair.

    I don’t want to blow all your odd conspiracy hypotheses out of the water, but William Jennings Bryan didn’t found Bryan College. He was dead by that time.

    Your other “connections” are probably equally valid.

    How are you coming on your developing a hypothesis for intelligent design? It’s been, what — about a year? Do you think anyone in ID will ever find a testable question, or is ID completely sterile as a research path? If it’s not completely sterile, why has it produced not a single research question in the 16 years since it was renamed from “creationism?”

  2. ” Five years after his death, in response to the Great Commoner’s wish that a Christian college be established in the Tennessee hill country, Bryan College opened its doors on a scenic Dayton overlook. ”

    Bryan was the Great Commoner

    He “founded the college” in the sense that he was the inspiration for it’s existence.

  3. I noted that William Jennings Bryan could not have founded the college named after him, since he was dead five years before the college was founded.

    Like Dave Barry, one cannot make stuff like this up: Sal responded: He “founded the college” in the sense that he was the inspiration for it’s existence.

    Sorta like ID has a theory in the sense that you really wish it did.

    If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Why couldn’t you just gracefully say, “Ooops!”?

  4. edarrell, I am frankly getting tired of your mindless attack on ID. If you don’t want to get dumped from this blog you should at least give some semblance of intelligent criticism of ID. There is a lot of ID work out there. If you want to attack ID at least make specific criticisms of why ID is not a theory. Why are the writings of Behe (irreducible complexity), Dembski (specified complexity), Wells (Icons), Meyer (Cambrian Explosion) and many others not a theory compared to the fairy tale of Darwinian evolution? This is my soapbox not yours. Unless you can make intelligent criticisms, you are gone. You’ve been warned again.

  5. Hi Teleologist!

    We don’t have to ban him. đŸ™‚ Rather we will encourage Ed to aspire to have his posts be granted the privilege of continuing to be displayed on the premier spaces of our fine weblog. For the sake of the readers, we try to maintain the entertainment and technical quality of our weblog to high standards, and that means we must frequently exercise our discretion as to what will appear on threads versus the memory hole of cyberspace.

    We would like to thank Ed for his willingness to contribute, and not to get discouraged if we only accept 1 out of 10, or 1 out 100 of his contributions. That of course may mean he spends a lot more time per word that’s published here. That means of course he may find himself typing a post only to discover it doesn’t appear. Same goes for any other Darwinists posting here in our thoroughy unbiased weblog.

    No, we don’t have to ban Ed, we’ll just encourage Ed to work harder, maybe much much harder to meet the new standards we’ve set for our fine weblog.

    In any case, his above post did point out that my use of the word “founded” could be misconstrued. I thank Ed for helping me clarify my point so I won’t open myself up in the future to being criticized for such a minor triviality. Hey, the critics are useful for something.


  6. Teleologist,

    We don’t need to ban, we could send the contributors back to re-write their posts, with helpful editorial suggestions.

    “Say Ed, you need to be a little positive with your wording. How about you rephrase what you wrote by saying,

    Salvador, a minor point, but Bryan college was named after Bryan who planted the idea to have such a college. There definitely was a connection between Bryan college and William Jennings Bryan, but using the phraseology “founded” is a gross mis-spelling of the phrase “inspired the founding”

    You see, such a suggestion is helpful to Ed and us. We are teaching him good communication skills and wit. We are helping to brighten his wit not dim it.


  7. There are those who love error and cling to it, and there are those who love the truth in all its guises. I regret you take such umbrage at my attempt to get the facts right on this blog — but then, that appears to some of us to be the only reason for the existence of this blog, to take umbrage at attempts to get the facts right.

    Tell you what: If you post something other than a mindless attack on evolution or a mindless and theoryless claim in favor of ID, I’ll step up the science on my part.

    You could, for example, explain how ID theory clings on in the face of new research showing, again, that eye evolution is likely. See snippets of the story here, for example:

    Is there any light from ID on this topic?

  8. Ed,

    I appreciate you effort in your last post, however, the entertainment quality of your post was not quite there. A little levity and respect for the fact you are our guests would help. I’ll let it go this time.

    That link you provided was to a paper claiming some real discovery, when in fact it’s circularly reasoned speculation being passed off as fact. I’ve seen enough to know it’s going to be more of the same old speculations being passed off as fact, so I don’t even waste time reading these papers anymore.

    Not every post you submit will be accepted for display. If you value what you write, please keep a copy. The way you’ll know that we’ve accepted your post is that it remains for display. If you see it missing, from here on out, you’ll know that we simply thought it’s inclusion was not helpful for promoting the discussion at this weblog.

    If we have time, we might try to give you pointers on how to increase your chances of having your post be accepted for admission to our thourougly unbiased (cough) weblog. Our apologies in advance if we you don’t find your post displayed, and no explanation given. It may be simply that we were short of time. Thank you for your participation however.


  9. You are a wise egg Sal đŸ™‚ Eddie does demonstrate to the reader the irrationality of Darwinism.

    Eddie, which part of this blog and specifically regarding my link to the non-theory of evolution did you find mindless? Unlike your non-specific and mindless attack on ID, I’ve been very specific with my criticism of Darwinism. Are you capable of responding in kind with specificity?

  10. So, this is a sort of scientific blog, but not really. More like “peer review,” but with no peers. You could just leave off the “r.”

  11. Some parts of this blog are scientific, most of it is for amusement. If you look at the homepage of it said this weblog was for the musing of the host (teleologist). Fdocc and I have been invited as contributors. The spirit of this log is so teleologist and like minded individuals have an outlet for things we refrain from talking about on other weblogs or discussion boards like ARN.

    As a general rule, try to contribute to the general spirit of what we laid out in the opening post. If you disagree on a specific factual point, address it politely.

    For example, if I misquote some one (I have often mis-typed) and you take my typo as occasion to go on a tirade of IDist dishonesty, I might just fix the typo and not accept your post for display. You won’t even be given credit for your helpful editorial remark. However, if you point out errors politely, you will be publicly acknowledged for your corrections. Fair enough?

    The point of this thread was just my amusement at the various connections of the people involved at my school. There is an idea that every person in the US can be, through five individuals, be connected to every other person in the US. The above is an example of that idea.

    You chose to take the discussion down a path that was not within the spirit of the thread. The only substantive complaint you offered was about William Jennings Bryan. I pointed out the appropriate way to offer such objections here at teleological.

    Dissenting objections if substantive are welcomed here, but if they are deemed in correct or off topic, or rude, such objections may be precluded.

    What is an example of a substantive objection I would welcome. Look at Ken Miller’s objections to ID regarding nyloase. That is a substantive objection, and one worth the time of IDists to discuss. I credit William Dembski with his response. I’m reluctant to give a link as it will generate a pingback, but you can find by going to Dembski’s website.

    I expect this weblog will grow in readership over time, especially as it will track the news on university campuses regarding ID. For example, eminent Origin of Life Researcher, Robert Hazen attended out IDEA meeting while Jonathan Wells was speaking. Reporters were present, and I have a clip of their exchange. ID’s best against anti-ID’s best. I’ll share the clip hopefully soon. This weblog will be the only place to get such news.

    If there is a specific factual error it is invited here. If the error requires a long discussion, links are encouraged.

    Salvador Cordova

  12. Good heavens. That’s no math theorem, Mr. Cordova.

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