I get email

Over in the comments, you may notice a response from a guy named John A. Davison. He commented here on a post about Skatje Myers’ post about how poorly argued Sam Harris’ book “The Moral Landscape” is.

His comment was:

John A. Davison says:

Slatje has even let a senile old fool like myself hold forth on her website. I say good for Skatje. She is sure a cut above her father!


I linked to his blog and checked it out.

Take a look.

John A. Davison has six posts, and almost every comment is from John A. Davison. None of the comments I read linked back to another blog, so I couldn’t verify that the person actually existed or not.

Little red flags shot up. 

“Maybe this John A Davison character is certifiably nuts,” I thought to myself.

This may not be a big deal to you, but there are 100s of comments on Davison’s blog. And Davison is practically the sole source of these comments.

Does that strike you as odd? 

Soon after his blog comment, I got an email from Davison that said:

Why don’t you tell your readers exactly who you are right up front?
I responded and I wrote:

I’ll bite, John.

Why don’t I?

All the while, I thought to myself, “John Davison contacted me via my blog that is called ‘Le Café Witteveen’. Witteveen is one of the rarest names in America. My photo is on the front page of my blog. John Davison called me by my first name. My last name is on the page and it’s in my masthead. What am I missing?”

He responded and said:

I think it is because you are insecure, the same reason that the vast majority of blog users hide their credentials and real identity. I don’t tolerate anonymity on my website and I don’t think anyone else should either. I’m in the minority of course but that does not mean my perspective is  without merit.

Just for fun, let’s put this conversation in bullet point form.

  • John A. Davison found my blog and commented on it.
  • John A. Davison found my email address in my “about le Café” link.
  • In the “about le Café” link, I write egregiously vague things like, I’m an “atheist” “photographer” living in “Chicago”. I’m not a “scientist” but have a love for “science.”
  • In my “about le Café” section, I write if you want to contact me … here is my PERSONAL email address.
  • In my “about le Café” section, I write my full name.
  • John A. Davison emailed me and told me I remain anonymous because I’m insecure, that I’m hiding my “credentials” just like the vast majority of “bloggers”.

Let’s assume that I’m the crazy one in this conversation. Maybe someone stole my identity and commented on his blog, and I’m flailing my arms about for nothing.

Regardless, he found me through my blog. That means that putting my name and who I am and what I represent on the front page of my blog is CRAZY. Writing my name and contact info on my blog in the “about” page makes me one of many insecure, anonymous bloggers on the Internet.

Do any of us have to consider the status of John A Davison’s mind any longer before we achieve the conceived notion that he might be the weirdest, most oblivious commenter on this blog that we’ve ever seen?

If obvious, direct access to Jeremy Witteveen is seen as an insecure anonymity, how can anyone take any observation or analysis of anything academic or otherwise … seriously?

And, boy, oh boy! John A Davison is angry that no one takes him seriously. He published something or another that evolution is bunk … and it says he published it ON HIS BLOG.


Let me read your published work, John. None of the links to recommended books on your stupid blog work. If you’ve been banished from a blog, it’s likely because you exhibited crazy behavior like telling a non-anonymous person they were an insecure anonymous blogger.

If you aren’t a Poe, you are the weirdest person to step into Le Café Witteveen. It’s difficult to take anyone seriously who from second one demonstrated nothing but oddity.

The other way we can look at this is, John A. Davison has been published on another blog … mine … so give him credit for something.


The saga continues below the fold. Per John’s request, I’m publishing our email correspondence.


Click to enlarge.


18 thoughts on “I get email

  1. I knew another blogger who endlessly commented on his own posts that were almost all entirely devoid of anyone else commenting. Very strange guy. He was all for anonymity though, but railed angrily that people could point out he registered his domain name under his full real name and home address.

    Now my views on internet anonymity are fairly obvious, or at least well known. Too many weirdos out there.

    1. The power of the Internet and being anonymous — if you wanted — is part of the draw.

      But Davison is drives a walloping good case for wacko. If you read his response to my emails (updated from the original post), it shows how incoherent the man is. He is incapable of constructing a sentence or two based on the conversation at hand.

      I don’t censor anyone. I dumped one reader of this blog who made death threats. Apart from that, everyone is welcome to be as crazy as they want to be.

      1. Wow, he’s accusing you of being insecure? From his remarks above and below it sounds like he’d been traumatized by anonymous critics on the internet. Sounds like he’s developed some sort of anxiety and/or obsessive compulsion over it. Or maybe his mom violently abused him over the ‘don’t talk to strangers’ rule, even when it was other people talking to him.

  2. As near as I can ascertain, my blog is the ONLY one which FORBIDS commentary from unknown users. It is my position that any blog owner who permits anonymous comments is no better then the cowardly blowhards he invariably encourages by that practice. The content, significance and responsibility of what happens on a blog is the SOLE responsibility of the blog owner. That is my standard and those who refuse to adopt that standard are my adversaries. This blog is no better than Uncommon Descent, Pharyngula, richarddawkins.net, Panda’s Thumb, After the Bar Closes

    1. So not a big fan of the Silence Dogood letters that Benjamin Franklin wrote. Pseudonyms, especially for controversial subjects, allows the ideas to be considered without allowing the fallacy of ad hominem over personal details. Your rules absolutely forbidding anonymous users and even going so far as to demand they prove they bought your book are so outlandish as to put your own insecurity in the spotlight.

      It’s extremely ironic that you hysterically whine and moan about the horrors of having to interact with detractors, whose only sin seems to be they don’t want someone like you tracking them down in attempts to intimidate or otherwise harass them. Your accusations of cowardice, coming from someone behaving like on of the biggest babies on the internet, is patently absurd.

      In other words: you suck at the internet. All apologies if my pseudonym caused you to poop your adult diapers.

  3. I was unable to add etc, etc. You name them They are all the same. Currently I demand that before ANYONE can comment on my blog they MUST provide proof that they have purchased and read my book – Unpublished Evolution Papers of John A. Davison (Lulu Publishers). My blog remains what it has alway been, my legacy as a scientist and citizen. If you find that unsatisfactory, then try to do something about it.

    Thanks for allowing me to respond.

    1. Your “legacy as a scientist and citizen?” Even a cursory view reveals it to be overwhelmingly a three-plus year long diary of obsession over a handful of bloggers who shunned you for your behavior. It just goes on and on, over and over, endless diatribes from the earliest posts to today. It’s sad and pathetic. Worse, it’s laughable you still have yet to abandon the extremely bizarre use of your comments sections to post your blogs, your blogs as section headers, and your section headers for links to things other than blogs.

      If this is your legacy, the only scientific value will be for future anthropologists to see how the elderly could not cope emotionally or technically with the information age. If you weren’t so obtuse and belligerent about it, I might actually pity you. If.

  4. You are criticizing me for allowing anonymous commenting?

    You are practically the sole commenter at your blog.

    You contacted me and told me I should reveal my identity when it’s clearly revealed.

    What is your problem?

  5. Oh, and Glock21, this was brilliant:
    “If this is your legacy, the only scientific value will be for future anthropologists to see how the elderly could not cope emotionally or technically with the information age.”

  6. To your point, Taylor, I opened the can of worms and left it out on the table as a sort of invitation.

    I’m afraid Davison isn’t going to take the bait.

    And yes, that line from Glock is classic.

  7. Ah, John A. Davidson….
    This is not my first run in with this guy.
    What a fantastic idiot this guy is. He probably had a fit when they phased out operators when you make phone calls too.

    “How dare some anonymous switchboard operator complete my call?” he asks.
    Listen John….
    No one is going to financially support your insane ramblings just so they can talk to you on a blog you don’t even understand how to use. You’re not that interesting and you’re not that important.
    Get a life.

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