You can’t meet Barry Arrington’s challenge, because he won’t let you

Barry Arrington posed a challenge to critics of intelligent design:

So, here is my challenge to our opponents: Do you understand ID well enough to pass the Ideological Turing Test? If you think you do, prove it by giving a one paragraph summary of ID in the comments below.

The “Ideological Turing Test” to which he refers is attributed to Bryan Caplan:

The Ideological Turing Test is a concept invented by Bryan Caplan to test whether a political or ideological partisan correctly understands the arguments of his or her intellectual adversaries. The partisan is invited to answer questions or write an essay posing as his opposite number; if neutral judges cannot tell the difference between the partisan’s answers and the answers of the opposite number, the candidate is judged to correctly understand the opposing side. [link in the original]

As I’ve mentioned before, I try to present my opponents’ arguments honestly, so I felt pretty up to the challenge:


Screenshot from at 1:04 pm EST.

Either Arrington doesn’t want his narrative spoiled, or he doesn’t want to be reminded of what he’s said in the past, because he deleted my comment:


Screenshot from at 3:18 pm EST.

Of course, it’s his right to do so. I have no inalienable right to comment on Uncommon Descent; they have every right to delete any or all of my comments, or to ban me outright (I haven’t yet checked if that’s the case). It does seem a bit dishonest, though, to issue a challenge and then delete comments that meet the challenge. My comment was topical, respectful (though critical), and, as far as I can tell, violates none of Uncommon Descent‘s comment policies (here and here). I wonder if mine is the only comment he has deleted. I’m sure he’d prefer to have a gross mischaracterization to flog, supporting his assertion that critics of intelligent design don’t understand it.

Or maybe he deleted my post because he’s embarrassed that he called me a ‘fascist apologist’. I would be. Here’s the comment that inspired that characterization:

Screenshot 2016-07-01 16.17.57

So let’s review: back in July, I accused Barry Arrington of misrepresenting a proposal advanced by the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee. In response he misrepresented my position by calling me a ‘fascist apologist’. Now he accuses intelligent design critics of misrepresenting his position:

…I have never seen a fair summary of ID theory come from one of our opponents.

And he maintains this fiction by deleting a comment that meets his challenge.

Maybe it’s true (or was, until this afternoon) that he’s never seen a fair summary of intelligent design from its critics. If not, he hasn’t been looking very hard.


  1. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    IIRC, it has been rightly said that everyone in the intelligent design community is either a follower who has been lied to, or a leader who is a liar. Practically speaking, there is no third option.* One cannot be an honest and informed creationist. I think you’re being way too generous here with your “opponent”.

    * A rare and obvious exception is Kurt Wise.

  2. cubist says

    sez enlightenmentliberal: “IIRC, it has been rightly said that everyone in the intelligent design community is either a follower who has been lied to, or a leader who is a liar. … A rare and obvious exception is Kurt Wise.”
    Todd Wood is another exception to the general rule; he, like Kurt Wise, is a Creationist who freely acknowledges that evolution is scientifically valid, but rejects it anyway on account of it contradicts his religious faith. From Wood’s blog:

    Evolution is not a theory in crisis. It is not teetering on the verge of collapse. It has not failed as a scientific explanation. There is evidence for evolution, gobs and gobs of it. It is not just speculation or a faith choice or an assumption or a religion. It is a productive framework for lots of biological research, and it has amazing explanatory power. There is no conspiracy to hide the truth about the failure of evolution. There has really been no failure of evolution as a scientific theory. It works, and it works well.

    I don’t know of any Creationists other than Wise and Wood who are honest about the whole Creationism deal…

  3. Holms says

    One strategy in dealing with post deletion is to post your comment, and then immediately have the live page archived at e.g. They’ll still lie and delete at will, but preemptively archiving in case of deletion is easier preemptively screenshotting, at least in my experience. Plus, there’s a reputable internet resource on your side, rather than a screenshot which which you might lose.

    • Matthew Herron says

      Good tip, Holms. I didn’t know that existed. Of course, I won’t be leaving any more comments at Uncommon Descent, since I’m banned (I know I could just make a new account, but I’ll respect his right to ban me).

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