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Date: 2006/06/18 21:01:06, Link
Author: Mark Frank
I agree that the complex phrase mutator is not a good analogy for evolution. But it did make me think that there is probably an optimum rate for mutation. Too low and you don't get enough variation. Too high and every advantageous mutation is swamped by deletorious mutations in the same individual. Is that true? Has anyone worked on it?

Date: 2006/06/30 00:31:25, Link
Author: Mark Frank
I think the link between IT and ID goes quite deep. The ID set seem obsessed with the digital world as a model for life and indeed the universe. The vast majority of Dembski's examples are digital: bit strings, coin tosses, hands of playing cards. Then it is typically followed by a fuzzy bit that amounts to: "and real life is the same but on a larger scale". It even extends to digitising reality when calculating the Universal Probability Bound.

Also there is a recurrent theme on UD and elsewhere on the lines of "we have discovered that biology is information, so biologists don't understand it and will have to give way to software engineers and mathematicians (who, of course, will see that the biologists have all been wrong about evolution)". The analogy between a DNA sequence and a programme is stretched to breaking point and beyond.

Date: 2006/07/06 01:58:58, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Louis

I think your comments about education are very astute - but I am not so sure about the link to creationism.

First on education

I have two sons going through the UK education system  and I am doing an OU degree myself (I can't speak for the US). Everything you say about essays is true and I find it frustrating - but you have to compare it to the alternative. I believe that on balance UK secondary school education has improved over the last 20 years and higher education has improved out of recognition over the last 30 years (at least in the humanities - science, maths and technology may have been OK). My OU course has its limitations, but it is far, far better than the "education" that I got from Cambridge in 1969-72 which comprised a weekly meeting with a series of postgrads who would clearly prefer to be somewhere else and some optional lectures from academics with no training or interest in education e.g. Roger Scruton who wasn't even audible. It was strictly a DIY job and much of your time was spent trying (unsuccessfully) to determine what the curriculum was. (You can see this is a sore subject of mine  :( )

The link to creationism

I believe creationism has been strong in the US for over 100 years during which time the education system has presumably changed a good deal and surely there have always been academics on the fringe of science with bizarre beliefs? What has changed is that creationism/ID has gone international, and become more politicised and organised. I would put this down to a general resurgence of religion and the extraordinary growth in communications.

A interesting post - I look forward to seeing other comments .

Date: 2006/08/20 02:17:13, Link
Author: Mark Frank
I had a look at the "shrill screed" on Science Direct that Denyse is on about. I am a bit surprised that the editors approved such an overtly political paper in a science journal -  but it also has some excellent technical meat (at least it seems that way to an amateur like me). I recommend it if you have access.

I did add a post on UD asking for her comments on the science  ;) . I find about 50% of posts get through at the moment with no particular logic as to why or when.

Date: 2006/08/21 01:32:39, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Can anyone work out the current censorship policy at UD? When Dave retired it seemed like things got a lot more rational, so I started making the odd comment. I really like to discuss things where there is a large community who disagree. But most of my recent comments for Denyse have  failed to make the grade.

What is the experience of others? Anyone found any rules for getting published? How does Sophophile get away with it?

Date: 2006/08/27 07:49:56, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Actually I would vote for (b). Note that "teaching X" in a philosophy class is quite different from "teaching X" in a science class. All sorts of views are covered in a philosophy class, some of which are much nuttier than ID (solipism for instance) and ID raises all sorts of quite deep issues about probability, scientific explanation, and the relationship between religion and science. After all the argument from design has been covered in philosophy classes for centuries.

Date: 2006/08/27 19:52:00, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote
ID proponents claim that ID is science. If that were so, why would you teach it in philosophy class? Does anyone teach evolution in philosophy class? I doubt it.

OTOH, if ID is really philosophy pretending to be science, why teach it that way in philosophy class? If you consider it equivalent to a legitimate philosophical argument from design, just teach that argument directly. Teaching it under the pseudoscientific guise of ID makes no sense.


I would not teach evolution in a philosophy class because it is straightforward science. However, it is important to understand why ID is not science. This is a philosophical matter and isn't straightforward. It builds on the standard argument from design but goes beyond it introducing quite subtle fallacies.

It may also be politics - but the motives of the perpetrators do not change the arguments.

I also think that a rational discussion of ID is one of the best ways to combat the politics. Just look at the success of Alan McNeill's class at Cornell.

Date: 2006/08/28 06:43:16, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote
Just look at the success of Alan McNeill's class at Cornell.

Um, what success . . . ?


I don't think the blog added a great deal but I thought some of the papers produced at the end were excellent - although I admit the Broadhus paper was the only one I read completely. Did you not like it?

The real answer as to what you cover in a philosophy class depends on the students and the context. I am a European, so I can't really judge for the USA, but I suggest that to ignore something so controversial and with such a high profile is like ignoring drugs in a citizenship class - understand it and deal with it - don't ignore it.

Date: 2006/08/28 20:11:12, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote
If you have any evidence to the contrary, I highly suggest you provide some input in the thread we created on Allen's course in this very forum.


Sorry. I just got a good impression that's all. Clearly it is more controversial that I thought. I haven't time to catch up on that thread.

Date: 2006/08/29 05:16:27, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote
That paper, regardless of its quality, is straight evolutionary psychology; it has nothing to do with ID and did not benefit from the ID content of the seminar, other than that it was inspired by the notion of a "design inference".


On the contrary I think this paper is very relevant. A lot of the ID stuff appeals to an intuitive feeling that something must be designed. This paper explains why we cannot trust our intuitions.

Date: 2006/12/03 13:53:02, Link
Author: Mark Frank
I signed it - because pragmatically "Truth in Science" should be resisted - but the wording is not ideal. I have no objection to this material being used in philosophy classes or a number of others such as media studies. I only object to it being taught as science.

Date: 2007/02/18 04:57:09, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Ah well - I think I am back on the banned list. Maybe I pushed Dave a bit too far on global warming. Is there a special section for being banned for off-topic discussion?

Date: 2007/02/18 06:56:02, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Alan


Quote
Talking of banned commenters, is there anyone still able to post at Uncommon Descent (Chris or Bob, perhaps) who might post a link there to see if Dave is interested in genuinely discussing his views on climate change in an open forum.


I was on a roll, but got suppressed at the point Dave asked me for corroboration. I quite enjoyed it while it lasted.

Date: 2008/12/01 07:18:56, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote

Don’t they see the difference? They didn’t compare chance and cheating, they compared chance + non-random mechanism (called “playing poker”) and cheating.


I tried to point this out with a comment on UD (see below). Of course it is stuck in moderation. It will be interesting to see if it ever gets published.

Quote

Barry

I am surprised you offer this as an example of design.

1) The two alternatives are

The player tried as hard as possible to win but could not see the other players’ hands.

2)

The player tried as hard as possible to win but could see the other players’ hands.

Both of these involve a hefty dose of intelligence. The difference is just one of capabilities. It is comparable to two hypotheses about how God created the earth - one of which puts some constraints on his powers.

Also your description of the design inference process is strange. In step 2 you propose a design hypothesis including something about the motivation and capabilities of the designer. I thought this was exactly what ID avoided? Most ID opponents have no issue with exploring a design hypothesis where the motivation and capabilities of the designer are specified.

Despite what you say, in step 3 you don’t actually test this hypothesis. You test the hypothesis that the player was no more likely to win that an average (or possibly very good) player. This is very reasonably rejected.

Because you posited the cheating hypothesis first it is easy to the conclusion jump to “therefore he was cheating”. In fact it is reasonable given the circumstances but it was by no means proven by the statistics. It required the investigation as well. Perhaps he was just a freak with an extraordinary ability to read minds over the internet. Perhaps God was whispering advice in his ear.

Date: 2008/12/28 10:05:09, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote
But, Lou -- you've confused Robert Marks with Mark Frank!


I hope so. I have been called many things in my life, but tard!!

Date: 2009/02/25 14:29:06, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote
(Maya @ Feb. 24 2009,13:53)
Not all UD denizens share DaveScot's intellectual cowardice.  KairosFocus has promised to open up a discussion of DaveScot's censorship of R0b.

Credit where credit is due.

KairosFocus did raise the issue, albeit not in a particularly prominent manner.  I've asked him on his blog to open it up as a separate topic on UD.

In the meantime, could anyone who isn't banned at UD (Is there anyone here not banned at UD?) respond to KF's post to see if they'll actually discuss it?


I will - despite my reservations about reading KF's comments.

Date: 2009/10/25 10:45:32, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote
I wonder how many teeth Mark ground down to a nub trying so hard not to use phrases like "fucking nutjob". The effort must have been herculean.


It was indeed rather a toothless comment  :)

Date: 2009/11/02 11:59:04, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote
StephenB:


Quote
—-Seversky: [concerning atheists proclivity to abuse sexuality] “As for the rest, it’s none of your damn business.”
Yes it is. Many atheists are not content to simply pervert their own nature. They seek to remake the world in their own image and likeness. Sexual pervert and biologist Alfred Kinsey changed the entire moral landscape by visiting his own sexual dysfunction on the culture with his bogus science. Atheist anthropologist Margaret Mead, adulterer, cooked the books in cultural analysis to create the impression that adultery was far more widespread than it was. Currently, the homosexual lobby is doing exactly the same thing—imposing their morality on the marriage contract itself.



What a tortured soul.


I sometimes forget that these guys are nuts. But then StephenB makes it blindingly obvious.

Date: 2009/12/11 16:10:16, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote
Quote
Dembski is crowing about getting another article published.  Has the IEEE always had such low standards?


Dembski hates Avida. How long before this paper gets retracted?


Does anyone understand what is going on with all these IEEE papers? Are they peer reviewed?  

Date: 2009/12/31 05:45:21, Link
Author: Mark Frank
After years of a charmed life I finally got put into moderation. At the same time this comment:

Quote
Would you rather ride in a plane based on the faith of science or the faith of Christianity?


was removed. So presumably that was the reason.

What a relief. It is like being forced to give up smoking.

Date: 2010/01/06 06:33:03, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote
Barry Arrington really seems to want to prove that every dishonest lawyer joke you've ever heard is true.  In the Calling Dr. Mengele thread, he shows how his inherantly immoral mind and a little quote mining allows him to slander people whose morals are much better than his own:


Steve Fuller also seems to have difficulty reading what Cochrane actually wrote.  
Quote
In fact, the only defence of dignity that Cochrane finds philosophically coherent is the theological one that privileges humans above the rest of nature – but the cost of that position is belief in God, which is much too high for him.


What Cochrane writes:
 
Quote
It (the paper) acknowledges that coherent understandings of dignity can be found but argues that they are all flawed.

Later:
Of dignity as virtuous behaviour:
 
Quote
Clearly this interpretation of dignified behaviour is perfectly coherent.

Of dignity as inherent moral worth:
 
Quote
This conception of dignity as inherent moral worth certainly seems coherent enough as an idea.

Of Kantian dignity
 
Quote
Clearly then, Kantian dignity offers a coherent conception of the term and is potentially a very useful tool to help us address complex problems in bioethics.

Date: 2010/01/06 12:14:07, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Reg Posted on Jan. 06 2010,10:47  
Quote
Has anyone got access to the full Bioethics article which Arrington's decrying as proof of The Evil Materialist Agenda? Arrington's presenting the fragments he quotes as if the paper is arguing "Human dignity is bunk, so let's start cutting up live children for fun and profit", but they could equally be from a paper arguing "There are some ethical problems in which dignity is not a helpful concept, so we need new criteria to use in those situations so we can safeguard people's wellbeing". I suspect one of these is more likely than the other. Steve Fuller seems to have read the whole thing, but I wouldn't be the first to trust his interpretation of anything


Yes. I got access through my Open University library membership (although Ceiling Cat says that you don't a subscription anyway).   In any case you are spot on.  It is a paper about the different senses of the word "dignity" and how they don't help much in bioethics.   There is one paragraph about the difficulty of basing ethical judgements on a religious concept of dignity which is not shared by everyone. But this is a small part of the paper and he most certainly does not suggest that it is OK to experiment on people of any kind. He doesn't make any ethical judgements at all.The whole UD thread has gone galloping off on a wild tangent and I am pretty sure none of them , except possibly Barry and Steve, have read it.

Date: 2010/01/06 14:56:59, Link
Author: Mark Frank
I tried backing you up thus:

 
Quote

I have access to the paper and want to support Waterbear. Nowhere in the paper does Cochrane give his view of the rights and wrongs of anything. That’s not what the paper is about. It is about the practicalities of using the concept of dignity in bioethics. He looks at many senses of the word “dignity” and finds different problems in making use of them in bioethics. I guess the sense you are focussing on is “dignity as inherent moral worth”. He points out that this concept only makes sense in the Christian religious tradition. His reason for dismissing it for use in bioethics is:


But while this conception of dignity now makes sense, it only does so by being grounded in extremely controversial claims that not all individuals can reasonably be expected to accept. It is impossible to prove that human beings do stand in this special relationship with God; and it is also something that many people, due to different religious views or the absence of any religious view, reject out of hand. We would surely be wise to avoid using an understanding of dignity that rests on such controversial premises. And this is especially true when addressing the often complex and contested issues in bioethics.

In your quote you note that he says that some people use this concept of dignity to prevent actions that may do great harm to human beings such as medical experiments. But that does not mean that he supports such experiments or that this is the reason he objects to the using the concept of dignity in bioethics. It is simply explaining how this concept of dignity is used.


However, being in moderation the comment may not appear for a long time, if at all.

Date: 2010/01/07 01:22:42, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Hazel picks up on the rather large hole in Barry's logic.

I also wrote this - repeated here because I am not sure it will ever see the light of day:

 
Quote
#8 Barry

You say:

Cochrane clearly states that one of the effects of the dignity criterion is to prevent medical experimentation, and then he goes on to argue against that criterion.

Both of these are true (although they are minor points in the paper).  It does not follow from this that:

(a) Cochrane believes medical experiment is a good idea

(b) That is why he thinks the dignity criterion is wrong (he explicitly gives a different reason).

© Other criteria such as "moral status" and "autonomy" do not also prevent medical experiment.(Hazel's point in #9)

Believe me I am not being obtuse.  I have read the paper several times very closely and cannot find it in it the conclusions that you draw.

Date: 2010/02/18 13:20:46, Link
Author: Mark Frank
If you haven't done it already read Daniel Dennett on free will - particularly Freedom Evolves. He is a compatabilist and I think he is pretty much right.  We choose according to our desires which is quite compatible with our desires causing our choices.

Date: 2010/02/18 14:21:08, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Joy

Quote
I'll have to look up compatablism to get a feel for it. But I'm not the least bit convinced we choose according to our desires, since too many of us choose undesirable options in our lives.


Desires is too simple a word.  I was struggling to be brief.  Let us say we choose among the external options available to us based on our desires, needs and other motivations (e.g. parental instinct, sense of duty).  But all these things can be quite physical and be causes of our eventual choice as well as reasons for our choice.  They are just two ways of describing the same thing.

Suppose confronted with a choice (make it trivial - what to do for dinner) you spend a long time exercising your free will - debating options - determined that you will choose and not just be the plaything of the universe. Finally you choose. But suppose once you have made your choice a superpsychiatrist reveals that he predicted (based on his knowledge of your brain state) exactly that you would spend a long time debating options and then make that choice.  Does that mean your choice was not actually a free one? Why?  What was the missing element that prevented it being free?  We already can predict people's free choices with quite a lot of accuracy.

Date: 2010/05/21 03:05:14, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote
Looks like Cabal is about to follow thornton into the UD nether world


I made a comment on the same thread last night and woke up to find it had been removed and I can no longer comment.  Why is it that whenever I am banned/moderated there is never an explanation? It just happens. Maybe I got caught in the crossfire?

Date: 2010/05/27 03:42:44, Link
Author: Mark Frank
For some days now I have found that sometimes I can comment on UD - but mostly my comments just disappear into the ether (nothing about moderation).  Anyone have this problem or know what could be going on?

Date: 2010/09/19 04:28:13, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (socle @ Sep. 19 2010,01:24)
That's what I was thinking.  Now that he's mastered the law of accumulation (sic), there's no stopping him.  

I believe his "finite whole is greater than its parts" principle will still have trouble dealing with non-well-founded set theory, in which you can have sets which are elements of themselves.  For example, you can have a set 0* with the property 0* = {0, 0*}.  Presumably 0* is "greater than" its "part" 0* somehow?


Do you have a reference for this?  I guess I still have Stephenb's attention and would be interested to know what he makes of it?

Date: 2010/09/19 11:04:15, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Sep. 19 2010,07:23)
I'd press him* to explain what he meant in 315:
   
Quote
As it turns out, the terms, whole, part, and greater cannot be defined as elemts of a self evident truth.

He many times, ex-cathedra, included the part-whole relationship in his panoply of self-evident truths and rules of right reason. Now the above "turns out." Habemus papa?

*unless you don't want to enter a state of eternal bannination. If that's the case, forget it.

On second thoughts I haven't the stomach for another round on this subject. But thanks anyway.

Date: 2010/11/17 01:18:37, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (Zachriel @ Nov. 16 2010,18:07)
Hmm. Tried to post over at marktfrank's blog, but it never showed.

Sorry about that - for some reason Wordpress treated your comment as SPAM.  Should be OK now.

Mark

Date: 2010/12/12 11:10:17, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (Mindrover @ Dec. 12 2010,09:49)
More likely that a "one-liner" was evidence that KF's account was hacked.

Actually it just shows I don't understand how to configure Askimet.  There were three perfectly legitimate comments in spam.  The other two were from sane people written in plain English.

Date: 2011/01/27 07:31:51, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (Seversky @ Jan. 27 2011,07:12)
IIRC, I wrote at least one lengthy (for me) post at UD in which I quoted passages from Papal edicts which clearly permit slavery.  This is quite apart from Old Testament accounts of God and His Chosen People condoning and practicing it.

You don't by any chance have a link to that post or a copy of it.  It might save me some time if my little discussion with Stephenb goes on.

Thanks.

Date: 2011/01/28 01:20:14, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Seversky and Sol3a1

Thanks for your links on slavery and Christianity.  I am feeling a bit weak at the prospect of more debate with Stephenb and will leave it at the brief comment I made on UD.  I hope I didn't put you to too much unnecessary work

Date: 2011/01/28 04:26:05, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 28 2011,02:18)
My response to Stephen's complaint that "atheists don't have any basis for an objective moral code" is to repeat my belief that he doesn't either. He just thinks he does - then points to the wholly human contrivance that is the Catholic church (or where ever). That human contrivance includes the self-serving assertion that church teachings are characterized by objectives, absolutes and authority on these matters - a notion that is another human contrivance.

Like it or not, we're all in the same boat vis having to undertake our own moral reasoning; some of us, including Stephen, just don't know it.

I agree - but I have been down that road too many times with the likes of Stephenb to want to do it again.  With vj there is some hope of a new and interesting angle on things.

Date: 2011/02/05 14:14:32, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (Badger3k @ Feb. 05 2011,14:00)
Quote (socle @ Feb. 05 2011,13:15)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 05 2011,12:23)
StephenB:
       
Quote
If you are going to try to escape from all these materialistic implications by...saying that the mind and brain are, in effect, the SAME THING, then you need to explain how one can influence the other. How does the mind change the brain if it is the same thing as the brain?

Now there is an indication that Stephen just DOESN'T get it, if ever there was one.

Wow.  That's a classic.  

On the other hand, I'm sure he's totally ok with the idea of Jesus praying to God.

But, but, they are the same thing, sure, but they are completely separate as well - exactly the same, one god, but separate, but not, but....404 error

Actually, he would probably be ok with the comparison, since that bizarre concept fits with his mind/soul/body idea.

I just want to say how glad I am that you are appreciating StephenB's comments.

Date: 2011/03/02 11:13:45, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (midwifetoad @ Mar. 02 2011,09:32)
Just a casual observation, but O'Leary posts almost never get comments. Nor do articles dealing with technical issues.

The only things that stir them up are political and theological rants.

That is because there is nothing left to say about ID - the philosophical arguments for and against were thrashed out long ago - there is no research, no discoveries, not even new points of view.

So we are left with gossip, half-understand comments about some aspect of the real science, and theological/political rants.  The last are the only ones with any possibility of saying something new.

Date: 2011/04/03 15:45:48, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (lkeithlu @ April 03 2011,14:28)
Well, all comments posted since 8PM last night are in moderation, in spite of the fact that a new thread challenging me to answer two questions has been put up since then, so it makes no sense that the comments haven't cleared yet. Only I can see them.

I am not in moderation - I will point this out.

Date: 2012/02/15 09:18:49, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 15 2012,09:01)
Here's an updated list of the deceased. Did I miss anyone?

champignon
DrRec
CGUGreyArea
Liz Liddle
Bullwinkle
Peter Griffin
Geoxus
Eigenstate
Paraquin
OgreMk5
MaxEntropy
Petrushka
Rhampton7
Ben h.
Doveton
Chas D
Heinrich
Prof Fx Gumby

And the deadest doornail of all:

Uncommon Descent


I can no longer post.  So I guess I you can add me to the list.

Date: 2012/07/23 10:58:30, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (midwifetoad @ July 23 2012,09:37)
If I had to guess I would guess the percentage of murderers is lower among schziophrenics than in the general population.


It is higher among schizophrenics - but that is because a higher proportion of schizophrenics use drugs.  They are no more violent than other drug users.

Here is a recent metastudy

Date: 2012/10/23 13:44:55, Link
Author: Mark Frank
After God knows how many posts and hours one of the UD crowd finally gets the circularity point. To my utter amazement it is Joe.

Date: 2012/11/27 02:10:51, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (Ptaylor @ Nov. 26 2012,17:55)
What is it with some of these IDiots and their mind-numbingly long posts? VJ Torley has written yet another response to whomever Libby Anne is: Libby Anne (part 3): A reply to her article, “How I lost faith in the pro-life movement”. It is way TLDR; it took me several minutes just to scroll-wheel my way to the bottom, during which time I was able to gather that its theme is (anti) abortion.
You can follow this UD link if you want, but from what I could gather it is all summed up in this concluding summary:    
Quote

In this post, I have carefully examined the empirical arguments made by Libby Anne to buttress her pro-choice position, and I have found them wanting.

I think you could have saved everybody, including yourself, VJ, a lot of time by skipping straight to that.

22,000 words + pictures (54 pages of A4 if I had printed it) - and this is only one part in three.

According to Wikipedia The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America specifies word lengths for each category of its Nebula award categories.

Novel over 40,000 words
Novella 17,500 to 40,000 words
Novelette 7,500 to 17,500 words
Short story under 7,500 words

Maybe vj is planning to submit it as a fantasy novel.

Date: 2013/09/02 10:01:33, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (Driver @ Sep. 02 2013,06:09)
I don't know what it is that makes a few people feel they have to isolate VJ Torley as some exception at UD, more deserving of respect. There have been such comments here at AtBC too. Yet, his articles are unfocused, his loggorhea severe, his theology hilarious, his science as biased and as inaccurate as that of any creationist, his pomposity striking, and his fustiness tangible.

He is never rude. He (almost) always provides reasons for whatever case he is making. He is extremely well read and does his research. That puts him head and shoulders above anyone else I can think of on UD. The closest to him is Gpuccio but he is not as tolerant as Vincent.

Date: 2013/09/23 03:07:12, Link
Author: Mark Frank
[quote=Patrick,Sep. 22 2013,17:38]
Quote (Kantian Naturalist @ Sep. 22 2013,18:24)
Uncommon Descent

I am still, after all this time, utterly amazed (and a little bit impressed) there are people who try to carry on a discussion with Kairosfocus.

I gave up a long time ago. I also think it is bad for him to have his paranoia inflamed through debate, and frustrating though it is, the kindest thing is to ignore him (I sometimes wonder if he needs professional psychological help).

Date: 2013/10/03 01:14:23, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (Learned Hand @ Oct. 02 2013,21:02)
I'm curious what others think about this. (Among other reasons, I'm trying to write a book about how and why people across this particular divide communicate with one another.) Do you see a point in engaging with KF or those like him? Is it internal, in that it pleases you or helps you sharpen your own reasoning, or external, in that you think it has some effect on the other person or third parties?

I see no point in engaging with KF or BA77. As you say they are almost unintelligible (I feel so sorry for KF pupils) and border on being nuts.  I sometimes find myself responding because it is hard to resist pointing out an absurdity or responding to a false accusation but I always regret it.

Denyse is a bit different. Her posts are usually short and she rarely engages in a continuing debate so you don't get sucked into a waste of time. I think it is worth responding.

I am interested in your book. I have been doing a lot of reading on what makes for constructive debate on the internet - technical facilities, moderation, subject matter etc.

Date: 2013/11/07 05:54:07, Link
Author: Mark Frank
Quote (BillB @ Nov. 07 2013,03:52)
the Nazi's condemned Darwins works as deviant and listed them as books to be burnt.

I didn't realise that - I think I will add it to the UD thread.

On second thoughts - looking at the sheer quantity of incomprehensible verbiage on the thread I maybe won't bother.

 

 

 

=====