No Sock-Puppets, Creationist or Otherwise

By Carl Zimmer | August 4, 2008 12:39 am

I’ve got a pretty lax attitude towards comments. Creationists are free to add theirs. But there are limits.

In response to a post on evolution Friday, the first comment I got a very long announcement about “A PARAGON OF SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENT!” [sic]–a book that proved evolution was wrong. It came from someone named C. David Parsons.

Others responded.

Jeered might be the right word.

One commenter, named Paul Burnett, called Parsons sad.

And then someone named Steve Larimore attacked Burnett. “I’ll bet he’s never read the book. If he had, he would crawl back into the hole from whence he wonders out at night to do his evil deeds.”

A quick check of IP addresses revealed Larimore and Burnett Parsons share the same computer. Probably the same brain, I’d wager. In any case, that’s a bannable offense around here.

[Update–Sorry, Paul, for the typo]


Comments (8)

  1. Tucker

    What an interesting development. I can’t imagine how the guy responded to his proof readers.

  2. We have a similar problem with people in Linux; it’s common enough that there’s a pair of guys going around talking about “poisonous people”.

    In a sense, Open Source is applying academic principles to software development, so it stands to reason that some findings also apply to science.

  3. Brian Schmitt

    Apparently this Parsons fellow has a legion of followers…in his own head.

  4. stu

    seems to be a verycommon thing , creationists using sock puppets to prop themselves up.

    What about this for a simple idea….

    The last three digits of the commentors IP address shows next to their name..

    for xample mine would show “stu.133″, then , EVEN the public will be able to see at a glance , the likely sockpuppets….

    if you see creationistguy1.235 ” say some thing , and then “random guy.235” back himup , itsgoing to be fairly obvious…

  5. Hence why I am VERY OPEN about my comments. Heck, you can go to my web page and find out more than some would probably be comfortable sharing. 😉

    That said… these creationists ARE a sad lot. To sit around and see all this evidence and try to refute it with your little delusions…

  6. Don Snow

    I’m not a Creationist, but I am a Christian. Imho, evolution is not all wrong. It does have some provable activities: for example, natural selection at a local site.
    I’ll probably never take a college evolution course. When I go back to college, it’ll be one class a semester. First, I want to take vocal music. I don’t care if I get credits, or not. I’m going to improve my voice, not for a major.

  7. Given the similar bombastic stylings of the two comments, I’d have been more surprised if the IP addresses hadn’t been the same.

  8. Hi – this is the real Paul Burnett – not a sockpuppet for Clarence David Parsons.

    Yeah, “Steve Larimore” sounds like Clarence. I even once got a nastygram from someone purporting to be Clarence’s wife…and it may have been, but who knows?

    I’m actually not following Clarence around, as “Steve” suspects. I’m following intelligent design creationists (or “cdesign proponentsists” as they are coming to be called more and more – Google the term if you’re not familiar with it) around, and Clarence shows up at the same watering holes, flogging his pseudoscience.

    Here’s why I think Clarence is sad: Here’s part of his publisher’s website ( ): “Have you written a book? Are you looking for a publisher? Have you searched out and submitted your manuscript to dozens of publishing companies only to be turned away, time and time again? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, Tate Publishing could be your answer.”

    I think Clarence, a successful businessman with more money than good sense, has been taken in by a vanity publisher. I can’t prove it, but check out Tate and see what you think.

    Tucker: I bet Clarence knows more about his subject than Tate’s proof readers…but not much. (chortle)


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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