William Dembski: all class and perspicacity

Richard Dawkins has a huge list of well-wishers, but William Dembski is unhappy — he sent a birthday greeting, and rushed to complain on Uncommon Descent that it wasn’t posted. Alas, it was, and we can all see what an insincere and sarcastic and snide comment he sent. Richard Hughes gets a gold star for his comment:

If you can’t find your name in an alphabetical list, you might want to stop looking for evidence for god in bacterial flagellum.


  1. Robert says

    Wow, what an utter ass. What happened to “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all.” I would amend that to “if you don’t have anything intelligent to say, say nothing at all” but then what would we be left with? Just sweet silence in place of a whirling cacaphony of ignorant assertations and arrogant proclaimations.

  2. notthedroids says

    uncommondescent.com has become uncommonly unhinged as of late.

    It’s changed from something unintentionally funny to something unintentionally sad, for me at least. I just can’t enjoy it any more.

  3. Rich says


    *High Fives everyone at AtBC*

    PS – Kristine is still a combustible witch.

  4. Steve_C says

    I bet he’s bent out of shape he’s not on the front page with you and Sam Harris.

    Or that birthday greeting in the list isn’t from him and he is pissed that someone posted under his name.

  5. tacitus says

    Dissing a dead guy? Well, at least he knows he won’t have to worry about him fighting back, the coward.

    Dembski seems to believe that his attacks on Darwin’s character and legacy are in some way hurtful to evolutionists. He seems to believe that we worship Darwin in the same way he worships Jesus. (Of course, if we attacked Jesus in the same manner he would be the first to feign outrage at our bigoted behavior.)

    It must be galling to him that all he’s getting back (other than being show how off the mark he is with his attacks) are a few disinterested shrugs.

    Really, Darwin was so two centuries ago. We respect and honor the man for what he achieved in his lifetime, and that’s about it.

  6. says

    Behaving like children.

    I am more mature. When my submission to the “Home Schooling” web carnival was refused two weeks ago, I did not throw a fit.

    I will, of course, get even with them…. No birthday cards for them!

  7. Steve_C says

    Wow. I went to UD. He’s such an ass. They did post his “birthday wishes” and he was too dense to find it.

    Of course he’ll never acknowledge it there. They don’t admit mistakes.

  8. says

    Plus, his birthday comment just plagiarizes Daniel Dennett. The line beginning “In a single stroke..” is lifted verbatim from Darwin’s Dangerous Idea.

    Of course one can grasp his dim intent to write this greeting as a form of sarcasm. I think the strain is really showing.

  9. Tryptamine says


    Wow, that sort of sarcasm makes Dembski come off as a reall arse. You really know someone’s lost an argument when they resort to repeating your arguments in a funny voice…

    Also, I may be wrong on this but isn’t the bacterial flagellum meant to be helical? Otherwise how is the thing propelled upon rotation? The one on Dembski’s page doesn’t *look* very intelligently designed from that perspective…

  10. Steve_C says

    That’s ok. Then it’s not like they can pretend it never happened.

    Witness the buffonery!

  11. Nance Confer says

    So they really don’t like each other. . . hmmm. . . it’s not just the science, it’s personal.

    And Glen, if you have something to publish about hsing, something new or interesting, go ahead and put it on your blog. A lot of hsers have found you now. :)


  12. ifriit says

    I’m hoping that quote comes back to haunt Mr. Dembski; I’m sure quote miners could have a field day with the fact that he posted such a thing.

  13. Steve_C says

    Dembski embraces Darwin and Dawkins-to resign from the Discovery Institute shortly!

  14. Ric says

    Damn, Dembski is a CLOWN. This fact becomes increasingly more difficult for him to hide with each of his poorly thought out posts.

  15. says

    Poor Dembski. Nobody appreciates him. Maybe he’s a tad bit peeved because he’s being forced for the first time in ages to work for his money – teaching a class – and he’s taking it out on Mr. Dawkins?

    Of course, it could also be that since UD is the ultimate bannination site on the web, that he’s pre-emptively claiming to have been censored so all the IDiots can then point and wave and complain that nobody ELSE gets complaints when other sites delete THEIR posts! To paraphrase Stephen Colbert, boy, do they have egg on their faces!

  16. says

    Shouldn’t somebody tell Dembski that sokaling doesn’t really work against unmoderated fora?

    – JS

  17. says

    Hah! You people are all falling for Dembski’s diabolical plan to lull you into a false sense of security by making you think he is a moron! Or was it that he wants us to disable ourselves by smacking ourselves in the forehead in disbelief? I can’t stop laughing long enough to remember.

  18. Mike says

    Somehow is it satisfying to see Dembski show publicly what a very, very small man he is. I’d lay money that Dawkins’ reaction to it will be to laugh out loud. I know mine was.

  19. says

    Do they never tire of revealing how they can’t find the slightest designed thing?

    This reminds me of Dembski’s claim that they benefit when we think of them as morons:

    Believe it or not, it really helps that the other side thinks we’re such morons.


    See, it just looks like they can’t do anything, they’re really working through fantastic new science that we can’t begin to understand. You wanna buy my spiffy computerized divining rod that discovers oil, gold, and the design in bacterial genomes?

    Is there any fallacy, mistake, misjudgment, or erroneous identification, that these guys haven’t made? As such, Dembski must really be pleased out how deftly he fakes us out that they’re just morons.

    Glen D

  20. says

    It’s worth noting that his “birthday greeting” was just a bit of lame irony that he posted on his increasingly uninteresting blog:


    No particular reason why such tripe ought to be included (probably a big reason why he thought it wasn’t–btw, it is weird how the birthday wishes are alphabetically listed by first name on Dawkins site), but it was, apparently as a matter of routine.

    It seems that he thinks it’s clever writing, when unfortunately it really is pretty much just a knock-off of some overwrought rhetoric by some silly evolutionists. But of course one needn’t look at evolution as Dennett does, nor do most scientists.

    Glen D

  21. says

    Or was it that he wants us to disable ourselves by smacking ourselves in the forehead in disbelief?

    Well, credit where credit’s due: he’s finally found a strategy which actually plays to his strengths.

  22. windy says

    Remember Darwin and the Irish? Turnabout is fair play.

    Natural selection is the greatest, simplest, most elegant logical construct ever to dawn across our curiosity about the workings of natural life. It is inarguable, and it explains everything.
    -William A. Dembski

  23. Timcol says

    I followed the link above and went to the Richards Dawkins site, and it took me all of about 10 seconds to find Dembski’s name. Yes, the sorting order (first name followed by last name), threw me for a second or two. But there it is, entry number 3332.

    Wait a minute – did it say 3332? Hmmm….my CSI detector just twitched…I know, let me get out my Super-ID-Enhanced Industrial Strength Design Filter and see what I can find:

    3332 = 333 * 2 = 666!!!! I knew it…

  24. Keanus says

    the only word to describe Dembski is pathetic. He knows and we know he’s descending in a spiral of irrelevancy, from which, like a black hole, there is no escape. Truly pathetic.

  25. MpM says

    if you hit Control F on any web page, a search window pops up. You enter the character string, and you are at “Dembski” as fast as you can type Dembski.

    Of course, you have to be able to spell D-E-M-B-S-K-O… wait no…
    D-E-N-B-A… wait, start again… D-E-M-B….

  26. Torbjörn Larsson says

    Maybe he expected the preferred spelling, “Dumbski”.

    windy, we have also the more damning

    “the ID thing doesn’t work out”
    – William Dembski

  27. Torbjörn Larsson says

    Maybe he expected the preferred spelling, “Dumbski”.

    windy, we have also the more damning

    “the ID thing doesn’t work out”
    – William Dembski

  28. NC Paul says

    Better yet, Torbjorn:

    “…ID…doesn’t work…”

    The true art of the quote-miner is to never let what they actually said get in they way of what you wanted them to say. ;)

  29. says

    Amusing that several times more people wished Dawkins a Happy Birthday than signed the “Dissent from Darwinism” thingy… amused me, anyway.

  30. says

    First refuge of the intellectual bankrupt: ad hominem attacks. Has the saying ‘sarcasm is the lowest form of humour’ made it across the Atlantic yet?

  31. G. Shelley says

    If an alphabetical list had too much complex information in it for him, he could just have used the “find in page” function – searching for a specified target and all that.

  32. says

    Do what creationists and IDiots do. Use his sarcastic quote against him.

    Hello quote mine!

    “If an award were to be given for the single best idea anyone ever had, it would go to Darwin, ahead of everyone else.” WmAD

  33. Jon says

    Did anyone read Mr. Dembski’s birthday greeting?

    And did anyone else get the impression that it bears a slightly envious tone?

    “If an award were to be given for the single best idea anyone ever had, it would go to Darwin, ahead of everyone else.”

    Read: Oh I wish I had thought of that, instead of my intelligent design, specified stupidity nonsense.

  34. Steve_C says

    Patrick over at UD finally posted a link in the comments to Dembski’s greeting at RDF.

    Now they’ll probably laugh about it actually being posted and that all the darwinists think he’s serious.

  35. 386sx says

    Wow, no wonder he’s a religious apologist. I’m not saying one has to be silly to be a religious apologist, I’m just saying it helps.

    Look at it this way: Let’s say there is a person who is silly. Which is the more likely scenario:

    1) That person will be a religious apologist.


    2) That person will be an atheist.

    I’m just saying.

  36. says

    Gotta admit, that comment is pure gold! ;-)

    Yeah, but Kristine can shimmy her way out of trouble.

    I think Bill Dembski is the real contortionist here! He’s finally acknowledged the, er, mistake I believe, in his incomparably grousing manner. Jeepers, last year Dembski gave thanks to God for Dawkins on Dawkins’ birthday in his (Dembski’s) total warfare sarcastic manner. Lighten up a little, there, Bill.

    What did he expect, a fart animation in return? *Writes Dembski’s birthday down in calendar* No promises.

  37. says

    Funny that we’re talking about Dembski and quotes again; I came across a perfect one today in an article by Kristin Swanson[1], who models glioma growth and metastasis, among other clinical problems:

    The increasing use of mathematics in biology is inevitable as biology becomes more quantitative. The complexity of the biological sciences makes interdisciplinary involvement essential. For the biologist, mathematical modeling offers another research tool commensurate with a new powerful laboratory technique but only if used appropriately and with recognition of limitations. As has been said before[2], use of esoteric mathematics arrogantly applied to biological problems by mathematicians who know little about the real biology, together with unsubstantiated claims as to how important such theories are, not only does little to promote interdisciplinary involvement, which is so essential, it does measurable harm. The theoretical literature abounds with many such articles.

    [1] Swanson KR, True LD, Murray JD. On the use of quantitative modeling to help understand prostate-specific antigen dynamics and other medical problems. Am J Clin Pathol. 2003 Jan;119(1):14-7.

    [2] Murray JD. Mathematical Biology II. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag; 2002.

    Perfect for Dembski’s and Berlinski’s birthdays!

  38. James says

    Responding to 386sx, who wrote:

    “Let’s say there is a person who is silly. Which is the more likely scenario:

    1) That person will be a religious apologist.
    2) That person will be an atheist.”

    I’d say the odds are about even. While UD is uncommonly silly, there are probably about the same proportion of silly atheists as silly Christians–there’s just not much correlation, and your perception is misled by focusing on UD and ID.

    While being intelligent inclines a person to believe in natural selection, believing in natural selection doesn’t incline a person to be intelligent.

    (Of course that’s particularly ripe for quote-mining. So be it.)