Sunday, December 23, 2007

John Kwok vs William Dembski

With the release of Dembski and Wells' latest foray into pseudoscience, "The Design of Life" came the inevitable battle of the Amazon reviews, with the champions of each side of the debate lending their opinions to the efforts. An early entry was a scathing review by John Kwok, which detailed Judge Jones' ruling on ID, exposing the scam. Shortly after that, the review disappeared, leaving only the 5-star reviews of Dembski and Wells' sycophants. This caught the attention of the crew at Panda's thumb, and the poor ratings on the book followed by the truckload. Kwok's review also reappeared, and buried in the comments of that review, on page 11, we get a hint as to why:


Dear Bill:

You have until NOON EST tomorrow to have reinstate my review of the 'The Design of Life'. If you do not, then I will write to Dr. Robert Zimmer (Stuyvesant HS '64), formerly Provost, Brown University, and currently, President, University of Chicago, to insist that he initiate a course of action that will result in having you stripped of your 1988 Ph. D. degree in Mathematics for an ongoing series of actions - of which this is but the latest - which demonstrate that you lack the moral turpitude to retain possession of this degree.

You should also be aware that I have bcc'd copies of this e-mail to two reporters from prominent USA newspapers : The New York Times and The Washington Post. I have also bcc'd a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and a fourth journalist as well.

Respectfully yours,

John Kwok"

Draw your own conclusions, but I for one am overjoyed at seeing someone finally play hardball with the DI propaganda machine. They have gotten away with making asinine false statements for far too long without repercussion, other than further reduction of what little respect they still have in academia. Let's hope we see more of the victims of the DI respond in kind.


Harriet said...

No offense, but I smell a rat. Here is why:

"you lack the moral turpitude to retain possession of this degree."

Uh, LACKING moral turpitude is a good thing! :-)

I wonder if this letter is a plant by the IDiots to make it appear as if they are persecuted.

Unknown said...

So writing blackmail letters in support of what the writer believes is a morally superior agenda is an admiriable thing, is it? If you don't like what someone does, you should accuse them of wrongdoing and copy all the newspapers? Please. You do your cause no favor.

ScienceAvenger said...

Writing letters threatening to hold intellectually dishonest people responsible for their public transgressions is a good thing, yes. Misrepresenting that as merely "not liking what someone does" borders on the same level of dishonesty, and is not much tolerated here. Be substantive or be gone.

ChemDad said...

Please, please go ahead and try to get Bill Dembski's Ph.D. revoked. I'm sure we'll hear the laughter from Chicago all the way here in Indiana. Your notion that you can throw a tantrum over an unpopular idea, then have anyone's Ph.D. revoked is downright hilarious. A recurring quality among ID critics is their rank immaturity.

Anonymous said...

John Kwok is an ID mole. He's been causing a big stink over at PZ Myer's Pharyngula blog. His name was placed on a relatively short list of undesirable characters, from whom the visitors to the Pharyngula blog could vote to have removed/banned from the blog. He's an attention-seeking, name-dropping child who has delusions of grandeur but no power other than an especially over developed sense of yak.

He has made a number of threats against PZ Myers, and just today he told PZ to go f*ck himself in a comment he left on PZ's facebook status.

The man is a child, a stooge, and an ID plant, and he is to be ignored.

Anonymous said...

... or perhaps someone over at ID is posing as John Kwok without the real John Kwok's knowledge and intentionally trying to defame the man with these childish acts, which is not beyond the dirty, underhanded tactics that God-believers tend to practice. We may never know the full truth here.

ScienceAvenger said...

Yes, I've learned much about Mr. Kwok since I made this post, which was my first time reading him. For a time I was the only person on Panda's Thumb criticial of his incessant namedropping, although obviously the hilarity of PZ's Survivor competition has increased that number. It just goes to show the IDers don't have a monopoly on unusual views of the world.

cate said...

I left a snarky comment on PZ Myer's facebook site after Kwok graced him with an appearance and caused a bit of a hullabaloo. My snarky comment ran along the lines of "I miss Kwok already" referring, with irony, to how un-missed he was. It was one comment among MANY - well over 100. By far it was the kindest comment on the topic.

Since then, he has taken to emailing me personally, called me delusional, saying that it's irresponsible for me to 'egg on PZ" and telling me that I am not to post anything like this again. He;s currently filling up my inbox.

Kwok is crazy.

ScienceAvenger said...

He certainly lives in his own little world. I've known some people like that. They'd take credit for influencing any outcome they had even the slightest input into, thus inflating their sense of power. O'Reilly is the master, although Pat Robertson isn't far off.