If you close your eyes real tight, you’ll be INVISIBLE!

How odd. That little crank site that Bill Dembski runs has intentionally removed itself from the Google indexes: no search is going to turn up a link to Uncommon Descent. Elsberry speculates that it’s to remove the possibility of their penchant for revisionism being discovered.

I applaud this move. I suggest that the next step is to voluntarily remove their url and ip address from the DNS registry. We shall all be simultaneously dazzled by their technical prowess and absolutely confounded by our inability to point to the stupidity of the Dembskiites. That’ll teach us.


  1. Christian says

    This will cause much amusement over at ATBC. Lot’s of interesting gaffes have been caught by the folks over at PT.

    By the way, it looks like you have picked up fresh trolls for disemvowelling. Are these truly new, or is Jason getting desperate and trying the sock puppet strategy?

  2. says

    No, they aren’t new and it isn’t Jason. It’s the same kook or kooks who have been banned from KCFS. They’re persistent but very, very dumb.

  3. George Cauldron says

    By the way, it looks like you have picked up fresh trolls for disemvowelling. Are these truly new, or is Jason getting desperate and trying the sock puppet strategy?

    I think almost all of them are sockpuppets for one ‘Emanuel Goldstein’, no?

  4. J-Dog says

    I hate to rain on onyone’s parade… but unfortunately, I can still reach Uncommonly Dense through Internet Explorer search…

  5. plunge says

    This is a little less on the topic of ID specifically, but what is the legality of spidering a public site anyway? I know that google respects requests not to spider, but do they legally have to? Couldn’y anyone who wanted to spider the site pretty easily, or would that be illegal? I mean, browser caches all pretty much do it automatically, just not systematically.

  6. Stephen Erickson says

    How incredibly stupid; instead of getting a link to uncommonlydense.com, you get links to blog posts linking to the site.

    Meanwhile, “uncommon descent” doesn’t have enough search volume to show up on google trends:

    While “pharyngula” yields a respectable result:

    And “intelligent design” continues it’s post-Dover freefall:

  7. Stephen Erickson says

    In response to plunge, perhaps I am misunderstanding, but if you publish something on the internet, it is there for the world. If links are done maliciously (for example, to “traffic bomb” a site), I could imagine why one could complain, but otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

  8. jpf says

    UD still shows up on MSN and Yahoo searches, both of which have caches. Those sites don’t appear to be listed in UD’s robots.txt, unless they go by some cryptic name.

    Here’s something strange, a Google search for “site:uncommondescent.com” brings up a bunch of random, non-english sites. Normally it would bring up only pages on the URL or a “did not match any documents” message if it’s a nonexistant URL.

  9. Mark C. Chu-Carroll says

    I grabbed UD’s robots.txt file, which is what controls indexing and cacheing. There’s lot of stuff in there that they exclude, but the googlebot and the yahoo search bots are not excluded. I think someone made a mistake.

  10. says

    Yeah, there are a lot of user agents disallowed in UD’s robots.txt, but this the only one that seems Google-specific:

    User-agent: Googlebot-Image
    Disallow: /

    All that does is stop the spidering and caching of images, not the HTML. Am I misunderstanding something?

  11. plunge says

    Stephen, the legality question is the storing of full cached pages of the website, like google does. That’s different than having quotes or links: you’re actually taking and, in a sense, republishing their content. Now, that may all still be kosher: certainly that’s how the internet has traditionally worked. But that openness has long been closing, and I was just wondering if anyone knew the specifics as far as someone spidering UD to make sure they can still get caught in hanky-panky without the mainstream archive sites.

  12. says

    Reportedly, they never did archive blogs and comments anyway. Which suggests that they valued their “output” about as much as we did, as dispensible propaganda whose only goal was to create a “controversy”.

    Elsberry is probably too specific in his speculations. Yes, many times revisions have been made at UD, usually with no indication that revisions have been made. But how many people would learn of this from Google caches, instead of from the many blogs which have documented their absurd and pointless attempts to rewrite the histories of their many errors?

    I’m not saying that Elsberry is wrong, certainly, since UD tries to cover its tracks for any number of reasons. However there is precious little on UD that isn’t embarrassing in some manner or other, at least to anyone with some knowledge. Hence, they may simply be trying to make everything less accessible to its critics. The believers have little capacity for critical analysis in any event, and likely have little appetite for slogging through idiotic blogs and comments–after all, simple affirmation is what they’re after.

    Just about anything when DaveScot was moderating would be best forgotten by UD, I’ll wager. And Dembski has hardly shone brilliantly, even in the blogs that he didn’t modify or delete. Nearly all of the archives are of value only to our own criticisms of ID, not to the IDiots themselves, who only know how to embarrass themselves.

    Heddle, who has argued badly enough on PT, and at least sometimes at Pharyngula, has come to recognize just how pathetic the ID movement is:


    I copied the address from a comment from Nick Matzke on PT.

    I have been surprised at how critical Heddle’s recent remarks at UD have been, especially considering how weaselly his defenses often were at PT.

    I think that this blog from Heddle argues for hitting IDists hard, whenever they show up on these forums anyway. He’s come to recognize how pathetic the ID leaders’ arguments have been, probably considerably through our ridicule of bad arguments on these forums. And now he becomes part of the decline of the ID “movement”, criticizing it more or less internally as it becomes indefensible even in the eyes of the apologists. Cordova appears dismayed at the charges Heddle levels against his little idols, as well he should be.

    ID is increasingly embarrassing, with the word spreading even into the region of a sickening sense of complete failure that the more intelligent IDists have no doubt experienced for months. Our ridicule, where legitimate (not against honest seekers after the truth–but these have been especially rare on the forums in at least the past two or three years), has been more effective than the polite rhetoric demanded by PvM, and perhaps also MacNeill.

    UD is defending itself from the well-deserved criticism and contempt that it has aroused, as well as from its own absurd claims. They’re moving into the bunkers, trying to escape the flames consuming their little straw house. They will not die there, however they will continue to sophicate in the poison fumes of their noxious rhetoric.

    Glen D

  13. Watchman says

    Bad mis-spelling of “suffocate”

    Nom Glen – INTERESTING mis-spelling. “Sophicate” neatly suggests sophistry. Call it bad typing, or brilliant coinage. It’s your call. ;-)

  14. George Cauldron says

    DaveScot is now claiming UD was hacked, presumably by some wicked liberal:

    re Google
    Thanks for the head’s up. It looks like someone on the inside at Google hacked google’s database so it never returns anything from uncommondescent.com. I notified google security.
    Comment by DaveScot — September 20, 2006 @ 12:07 am

  15. says

    Now they claim Wesley’s buud is responsible

    Now they claim Wesley’s buud’s password protection is responsible.

    I guess they’re just going to have to call Homeland Security again, eh?


  16. Michael Hopkins says

    Given that mirroring is very common practice on the web, I have a very hard time believing that it would result Google delisting it.

    I notice that their robots.txt is now empty. Given that others have noted that it once had content, it appears that they themselves suspect that it is a possible problem.

    Looking at their homepage’s source I don’t see anything that I would think would make Google think that UD was trying to use trickery to improve their page rank.