Darwinian Debating Devices

Darwinian Debating Device #20: The “Whataboutism” Tactic

Whataboutism (also known as whataboutery) is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent’s position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument.  How did CR employ it here?  Let’s examine it step-by-step. For example, the vignette Becky’s Lesson is set in an alternate history […]

Darwinian Debating Devices Darwinism Darwinist rhetorical tactics Evolution

Darwinian Debating Device #19: How to Trick Yourself: The Darwinian Thought Process

One of the primary things keeping traditional evolutionary theory afloat is not the mountain of evidence supposedly existing in its favor, but the way in which the evidence is interpreted in the context of the pre-existing Darwinian paradigm. The key is the way evolutionary theorists tend to proceed from an observation to a series of […]

Darwinian Debating Devices

Darwinian Debating Device #18: The “You’re Too Stupid to Understand Why I’m Smarter than You” Dismissal

DDD # 18 is a particularly contemptible form of ad hominem, which Mark Frank and Elizabeth Liddle do us the service of demonstrating in the combox to this post. In the post Dr. Torley refers to Darwin’s Doubt by Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, which explains many of the shortcomings of various Darwinian narratives. Frank and […]

Darwinian Debating Devices

Darwinian Debating Device #17: “The Black Knight Taunt”

The essence of the “Black Knight Taunt” is to pretend overwhelming victory after suffering a crushing defeat. Here we have a classic example from a commenter named “keiths.” In my No Bomb After 10 Years post I noted that after 10 years of debating origins I had never encountered a “science bomb” that would disabuse […]

Atheism Cell biology Darwinian Debating Devices Darwinist rhetorical tactics Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization ID Foundations

Darwinian Debating Device #16: De Nile is a river in Egypt . . .

. . . and blatant denial is not an appropriate response to the reality of and/or easily known facts concerning functionally specific complex organisation and /or associated information, FSCO/I: Facts are stubborn things, but people can be more stubborn than that. (That is, there are two types of ignorance, I: simple ignorance because one does […]

Artificial Intelligence Atheism Darwinian Debating Devices Darwinist rhetorical tactics Design inference Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization ID Foundations Science, worldview issues/foundations and society

Darwinian Debating Device #15: Willfully distorting the ID position

One of the saddest aspects of the debates over the design inference on empirically reliable signs such as FSCO/I, is the way evolutionary materialist objectors and fellow travellers routinely insist on distorting the ID view, even after many corrections. (Kindly, note the weak argument correctives, accessible under the UD Resources Tab, which address many of […]

Darwinian Debating Devices

Darwinian Debating Device #14: “Chasing Irrelevant Tangents or ‘Threadjacking’”

The word “tangent” when used in a non-mathematical context means: “diverging from an original purpose or course.” Darwinians love to try to derail debates by latching onto irrelevancies in order to push the discussion away from the issue under review. This is especially true when they are unable to counter a proposition. Rather than admit […]

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Darwinian Debating Device #13: Distorting or dismissing self-evident truths

In the Denying the truth is not the same as not knowing it thread, we see the Darwinist tendency to distort or dismiss self-evident truth (and, behind this, to deny first principles of right reason) in action. Another noteworthy DDD, no 14 by count so far. This starts in the very first comment: TT, 1: […]

Atheism Darwinian Debating Devices Darwinist rhetorical tactics Logic and First Principles of right reason Science, worldview issues/foundations and society

Darwinian Debating Device # 12: Selective Hyperskepticism, closed-mindedness (and “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”)

Perhaps the most deep-rooted Darwinist debate tactic is hyperskepticism. While I have done a briefing note on this, I like HeKS’ nice summary raised a little while back, in an Oct 9th 2014  remark that deserves to be headlined: Normal skepticism is generally equitable and a good thing. It applies a reasonably consistent demand for […]

Darwinian Debating Devices

Darwinian Debating Device #11: “The Straw Man”

The Straw Man tactic is especially reprehensible, because it is fundamentally dishonest. Wikipedia describes the tactic as follows A straw man is a common type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on the misrepresentation of an opponent’s argument. To be successful, a straw man argument requires that the audience be ignorant or uninformed […]

Atheism Darwinian Debating Devices Darwinist rhetorical tactics Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization ID Foundations

Darwinian Debating Device # 8: refusing to acknowledge the reality of FSCO/I and its reliably known, characteristic cause

Let us follow an example being discussed in UD comment threads in recent days, of comparing two piles of “dirt”. (U/D, I add — on advice, a sample from ES, as a PS.) CASE A: The volcanic dome of Montserrat’s Soufriere Hills Volcano, a few miles south of where I am composing this post . […]

Darwinian Debating Devices

Darwinian Debating Device # 7: “Definition Deficit Disorder”

Thank you to all who contributed to my recent request for comments. There were many excellent comments, and I have attempted to synthesize them into a WAC. (BTW, I like WJM’s name for the syndrome better than my own and have switched to it). Here is the WAC: Definition Deficit Disorder Definition Deficit Disorder (“DDD”), […]

Darwinian Debating Devices

Darwinist Debating Device #6: “The Literature Bluff”

In this post Dr. Hunter shows us professor of English Terry Scambray completely destroying three Ph.D Darwinists on basic logic and reasoning.    Jeffrey Shallit takes to his website to rebut Professor Scambray’s arguments and falls flat on his face.  First Shallit takes Scambray to task for asserting that  “Animals and plants appear in the fossil […]