Some of you may recall that almost five years ago, the Discovery Institute briefly allowed comments at their creationist blog — see Discovery Institute’s Blog Will Allow Comments. We said at the time:
Why did they change their policy? For all their endless propaganda about academic freedom and fairness and teaching “both sides,” they’ve never let the science side post at their site. The only thing we can figure out is that they’re hoping for comments that will fit their “Darwinist” stereotype — rude, profane, blasphemous, illogical, etc. Keep that in mind if you decide to play their game.
We don’t recall if they ever implemented the promised comments feature, but if they did it didn’t last long. You may also recall that Klinghoffer briefly maintained a blog called Kingdom of Priests where comments were allowed, but he gave it up.
Now the subject is being discussed again. This was recently posted at the Discoveroids’ blog: Why No Comments at Evolution News? It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. He says, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
A complaint we sometimes get at Evolution News & Views [their creationist blog] concerns why we do not provide a forum for comments after each post. Rather than reply to this question afresh each time it comes across my desk, I would like to state the reasons here so that, in the future, I can simply provide a link by way of an answer.
Okay, what are the reasons? Let’s read on:
Now and then the query is posed in a polite manner by a thoughtful correspondent. … More often, the question is accompanied by the abusive, insulting, not infrequently obscene language that’s typical of a certain online demographic. … Why not give critics a chance to put their beefs right under the articles they object to?
Well, why not? Klinghoffer continues:
[H]osting a free-for-all is impractical. Here are our options. We could allow anyone to post any comment they like to our site. We would then be inundated with abuse, obscenity — and lies.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, that’s the style of that “certain online demographic” the Discoveroids call “Darwinists.” Here’s more:
So what are we supposed to do when, under a free-for-all commenting policy, Darwinists like [biochemist Larry Moran at the University of Toronto] — who is far from scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as online evolutionists go — post abusive, defamatory, and false comments on our own news site? Should we delete their comments? Edit them? But then we would be accused of “censorship.”
Should we perhaps allow them to say whatever they like, fouling the carpet in our own living room? When they have every opportunity to write what they like where they like and receive an answer from us, if the challenge rises to the level of being worthy of a reply? Why in the world would we do that?
Besides, if the Discoveroids’ generous patrons, who probably read nothing online except the Discoveroids’ blog, ever saw comments from knowledgeable people, they might become curious as to whether they were supporting a rational movement. Anyway, this is Klinghoffer’s last paragraph:
We don’t have the resources to wade through the gallons of bilge that such a policy would invite. We currently provide an adequate forum to respond to intelligent challenges. We would be only too glad to provide more space for legitimate disputation about evolution, if substantive ID critics stepped up to join us in debate, rather than fleeing from it. Meanwhile, are we going to allow people of low caliber to decide how we spend our modest budget? Of course not.
But wait — there’s more! Today there’s a new post at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog: Comments by Darwinists: Another Perspective, by written by Michael Egnor — that’s his writeup at the Encyclopedia of American Loons. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis. He refers to Klinghoffer’s “superb post” on the comments issue, and says:
David provides a fine explanation for the decision not to allow comments.The point he makes is valid: Much of the output of the Darwinian blogosphere is venom unrepeatable in polite company. Indeed, some of our fine readers might be unable to access the Darwinists’ comments from work, due to obscenity filters. Moderating comments would be a Herculean task. Can you imagine a more unpleasant job than sifting through that?
Yet I would add that comments can be quite enlightening. A decade ago when I turned my attention to the evolution controversy, I noticed something that astonished me: the arguments by the intelligent design community were thoughtful, polite, and carefully reasoned. The arguments by the Darwinian community were crude, nasty, and illogical. Remarkably, some of the vilest arguments for the Darwinian perspective — full of crude fallacies and obscenities — were made by genuinely prominent scientists and evolutionary biologists.
You Darwinists are all so vile! Moving along:
My opportunity to read the candid comments of evolutionary biologists about the scientific questions raised by the evidence for design in nature taught me a great deal about the Darwinian perspective. The real scientists — the people asking the honest questions and following the evidence — were on the intelligent design side of the debate.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He concludes with this:
For my part, I say: Provide the Darwinists every opportunity to speak. One of the most devastating things intelligent design has done to Darwinism is to provoke Darwinists to try to explain themselves.
So there you are. What will the Discoveroids do? Egnor says that the filth spewed by the Darwinists will help to show that the Discoveroids are the good guys. Klinghoffer says that Darwinist comments would be too disgusting to allow. We think their reason for not allowing comments is very simple — they don’t want their generous patrons to see the other side of the controversy. It might be too enlightening.
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