This is a continuation of Pandas takin’ a whuppin’ at Cornell
I appreciated Daron’s post #24 over in part 1. I ‘ll continue the rest of the thoughts in this post.
Thank you for the statistics. I and PvM are compulsive, and I have often seen him as my counter part on the net. Nick Matzke would be my other counter part, and I had to take both of them on.
One of the major problems confronting me was the fact the other side had little inhibition about introducing falsehoods and misrepresentations. The best example was PvM P(T|H) = 1. That went on for 50 verbose posts, and thankfully Hannah saw through it. Everyone else could easily fall for it because I was losing my cool and getting angry that PvM would actually resort to such an unwholesome tactics. I end up looking like a whiner instead. Think about it, PvM could cooley say 1+1 = 5 and then cite irrelevant peer-reviewed articles and then issue taunts like “Sal again fails to prove his point”.
Of course it didn’t help that I slipped up toward the end on Dembski’s new paper since I did not have time to really study it like the other topics. However the other side was slipping up as well. You may notice that Leonid after almost 200 post of going back and forth on Dembski’s formula as flawed finally concedes its consistency after I make a derivation (see comment 21 at Symbols of Specified Complexity. Even second class has a Eureka moment, “Sal I finally see your point”. But this happens after a week after all the damage of misrepresentation is done on the weblog. Still I’m glad they came around”.
I could say the same almost every open issue left on the weblogs. If I only had time, I could have tied up the lose ends. I did not have the time to go clean up the misrepresentations, and further, any attempt to do so would have been just thread jamming Chewbacca tactics.
PvM did not like the fact I didn’t take the Chewebacca bait, but ignored his posts and just said what I thought was important. It was, in effect, “Gish Gallop” (Sal)_ vs “Gish Gallop”(PvM).
But what’s infuriating is what may take me an hour of research to make sure what I’m posting is true, the other side can just spam with whatever suits them. I end up getting mad that they’ll willing make misrepresentations, and I end up looking like a whiner.
I was better about it this time than usual, and just went forth posting, ignoring whatever was said. It may have looked evasive to those in the middle, but it was important for me to sustain the guys on “my side”. I knew people like Hannah would see through the other side, and also would learn a lot from what I transmitted.
For example, I successfully taught Hannah about Matzke’s literature bluffing. Any one else who saw it will trust the other side less and less upon seeing such tactics. The problem is the other side is willing to invest a lot of time and effort constructing elaborate ruses. They appear sincere. After all, why waste all the time building strawmen?
I’m glad the conversation went on at the other website (Specified Complexity), as Hannah can now see Dembski’s math was vindicated. She is too valuable to the cause to lose, and the other side tried to take her out of the fight by introducing as much doubt in her mind as possible. If Dembski’s math could be shown flawed, then she might hesitate in future debates, even if she fundamentally feels ID is right. I thus had to make sure that I cleaned up my errors and broke through the stalemate on the math.
Those however, on the other side that want to believe I got whipped in debate have ample opportunity to do so. They hear Leonid saying, “you’re misunderstanding of population genetics is mind boggling”, and then he cites literature and textbooks. Even though the literature is wrong, and demonstratably so, how much energy can I invest in a debate to show 20 books and papers which he cites are wrong! I then end up looking like I evaded the question. In fact, I went on to pound the other side about Nachman’s paper at ARN recently over the very issue that Leonid said my misunderstanding was mind boggling. But that took two days to thrash out. In the meantime, little jabs like, “you’re misunderstanding is mind boggling” and backed up with textbook citations and literature bluffing look temporarily credible.
But what could be done practically? If I just quit, the other side would have won by default. Rather I chose to take some casualties and fight. They will be able to score points and injure my position, but not because truth was on their side.
Finally, the amount of sour grapes the other side is showing because they know their goal of utterly humiliating the ID side failed. Just the fact we survived the debate is threatening to them. In other words, they had to annihilate us, show that ID has no chance in the colleges. The IDers merely needed to survive, and that we did. And the worst thing that could happen is to see the students go unscathed having been exposed to it!