I thought it was simple plagiarism, but it turned out to be so much worse. Commenter A. Noyd discovered that anti-creationist arguments posted here were being regularly parroted elsewhere, on a site called debate.org, without attribution. Jon Milne was in a debate with a creationist named Iredia, and he was getting handy rebuttals straight from me and various other regular commenters here, including Nerd of Redhead, Amphiox, a_ray_in_dilbert_space, and David Marjanović, which he’d simply copy and paste straight from here into comments there, under his name.
That’s disgraceful. I was shocked to hear of it: we often accuse creationists of this game, of simply pasting together quotes without understanding them, and here was someone acting as a debater for evolution doing the same thing. It was patent plagiarism, and ethically wrong.
But then it turned into something else altogether, something even more contemptible. From his confession, it turns out that he’d been doing something truly dishonest. He had a second account here. When a creationist gave him an argument on another site, he would copy it, word for word, come over to Pharyngula, pose as a creationist (“biasevolution”), and paste it into a comment, to trigger a response from us.
He was plagiarizing creationists.
He then used a sockpuppet account to parrot their words.
He would then plagiarize us in his replies on this other site.
He was simply shuttling arguments from one site to another, providing no creative input of his own other than to carefully remove any evidence of the origin of arguments. Why? I don’t know. Maybe he wanted to look really clever. But all I know is that his every argument on debate.org is now tainted, and he’s managed to discredit a lot of people with seriously damaging behavior that reflects poorly on the science side of these arguments.
He has been banned, along with his “biasevolution” creationist sockpuppet. And I’m really pissed off.
Aaargh. Stephanie tells me he’s been doing this for a good long while.
He’s been plagiarizing for a couple of years, too. His email address brings up a short-lived LJ account where he bragged about bringing the “epic smackdown” on a creationist.
His material? Lifted from Rational Wiki.
And the Iron Chariots Wiki.
And Rational Wiki again.
Yeah? This is my angry Viking face.