Darwinism

Sal, no, we cannot all just get along

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Sal Cordova wonders why we can’t all just get along, after a senior JPL computer system administrator was demoted for loaning co-workers DVDs supporting intelligent design.

Well, Sal, here is why we can’t: Darwinists, like Islamists, have the Final Revelation, after which there is no other revelation. No-God will punish all infidels.

Of course, in practice, with Darwinists as with Islamists, that means that the fanatic must punish the infidel himself.

That makes sense. Both God and No-God can be mighty slow in these matters, and the best way to keep up a fanatical faith is quick vengeance now against any and all dissenters.

I wrote to a friend recently on this very topic:

Harvard’s Steve Pinker reminds us that “our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth.” Darwin thought such things, too, and the thought terrified him in a way that it doesn’t terrify Pinker or the average pop science writer – which shows us how much Darwinism is now part of academic and popular ethos.

The obvious response I hear all the time is, well then, Pinker’s argument is no truer than anyone else’s – indeed, many have made that precise point any number of times.

But that quite reasonable response completely misses the point! To the extent that The Prophet Darwin is the Final Revelation, after this, there is no other revelation. Darwin cannot be confuted. The Final Revelation obviates argument. So argument ends.

Truth, falsehood, and evidence are irrelevant. Demonstrations of contradiction and nonsense are not actually a means of confuting Darwinism. Just listen to the nonsense Darwinists talk, and compare it to the probability statistics for what they claim and the paltry evidence they actually present.

If my interpretation is sound, it would explain the need to put everything, including nonsense like “evolutionary psychology” or “evolutionary medicine” under Darwin’s umbrella.

Why? Because anything that falls inside the Final Revelation of Darwinism falls beyond the reach of truth, falsehood, evidence, or – in the case of evolutionary psychology – the judgement that it is patent nonsense. And, in the case of eugenics, consider the obvious contradiction between “survival of the fittest” and the eugenicists’ apparent inability to just mind their own business about who has children.

Why JPL’s execs should think it any of their business if that guy was loaning non-porn/non-crime DVDs to his co-workers is beyond me – but I am a free speech journalist, and not a Darwinist.

The typical Darwinist has little use for intellectual freedom, because he has the Final Revelation.

36 Replies to “Sal, no, we cannot all just get along

  1. 1
    GilDodgen says:

    Denyse,

    It is interesting to note that Darwinists are the only ones who have attempted to impose, and have to some degree successfully imposed, their religious beliefs through state sponsorship.

    Let us not be confused: Secular humanism/materialism and its science-defying Darwinian creation myth have become a de facto state religion. Heresy (asking legitimate scientific questions) is not tolerated.

    This is all upside down and backwards. People of traditional Judeo-Christian faith have no desire to coerce others into believing, or claiming to believe, as they do. This is antithetical to basic doctrine, because belief not freely chosen and a heart not freely given makes one an illegitimate pretender and no true Christian at all.

    There can be no compromise, because this is battle between liberty and tyranny. Christians are on the side freedom of thought and belief, while Darwinists are on the side of coercion.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    It is interesting to note that Darwinists are the only ones who have attempted to impose, and have to some degree successfully imposed, their religious beliefs through state sponsorship.

    Since when, Gil?

  3. 3
    VMartin says:

    “Harvard’s Steve Pinker reminds us that “our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth.”

    This Pinker is a curious figure. He wrote a book about regular and irregular English verbs. He concluded that the past time of regular words are processes by adding “-ed” suffix and irregulars must be held separatedly in memory! From these bizarre reflexions he makes far reaching conclusions – like that he solved the old problems of which one is correct – Empiricism or Rationalism?

    He also made some “cute” observations about human processing of German nouns.

    For those who are little acquainted with scholars like Brentano or Husserl these Pinker’s thought must seem like children babble.

    It is also a clear evidence that liguistics can suffer under Darwinian dominion and its level or niveau can even decrease.

    The scholar-linguists of the past were versed in Greek and Latin and knew Sanskrit. American relativists like Whorf knew Indian languages.

    How Pinker can make his conclusions purely from English (and little German) is beyond me. The complicated declination of nouns in Latin or Slavonic languages (both are synthetic languages where word orders play almost no role) and almost no declination in English (except adding ‘s in Genitiv and -s in plural) makes Pinker’s reflections ridiculous.

    Maybe in English one can process plurals only by adding “s” and held separatedly exceptions – like those of goose-geese, mouse-mice etc… But it is almost impossible in Slavonic languages or Latin – you have several declinations patterns.

    Also I do not see the problem of thinking solved. Do we think in given laguage (like Humboldt thought) or there exists some “mental language” of which real languages are only expressions?

    So or so comparing our processing of words by computer metaphore like Pinker would like us to believe is just misleading.

    My advice: do not waste your time reading these neodarwinian nonsense and read some scholar of the past.

    The same for darwinism itself.

    http://cadra.wordpress.com/

  4. 4
    O'Leary says:

    In fairness to Pinker, he is also a free speech advocate, and I have praised him for it.

    That is no mean feat, in a society increasingly unable to distinguish between giving offense and doing harm – with subsequent loss of civil liberties for most and political advantage for some (= the perpetually and very conveniently “outraged”).

    About goose/geese, mouse/mice, sing/sang/sung, etc., the language from which English emerged – in part – as a hybrid (= Anglo-Saxon) often used the middles of words to signify changes in meaning.

    Words derived from many centuries ago often retain this practice because the cognitive cost of changing over is not worth the bother, at least not for native speakers.

    Thus, we have goose/geese but not moose/meese. Normally, we just leave “moose” in place, as in “a huge herd of moose”, similarly, “a huge herd of caribou”.

    However, we DO say “a nest of baby racoons” or “a pair of skunks”.

    In a hybrid language like English, which simply adds words indiscriminately, pluralization is a tricky business, and often boils down to euphony. = Does it sound good? Are people really going to use this form?

    Sometimes, it becomes amusing. I remember asking a more senior editor, “Excuse me, sir, but I simply do not know the answer to this question: Is the plural of ‘computer mouse’, ‘computer mice’?”

    He said no, it was “mouses”.

    Thoughts re “mouses”?

  5. 5
    Heinrich says:

    To the extent that The Prophet Darwin is the Final Revelation, after this, there is no other revelation. Darwin cannot be confuted. The Final Revelation obviates argument. So argument ends.

    So where does that leave the prophetic triumverate of Fisher, Wright, and Haldane? Or the Lord Nei, or the One True Prophet Maynard-Smith?

    Toning down the sarcasm, if the argument ended with Darwin, what have scientists been doing since then? Why have we bothered to produce models and data, when we could just go back to The Good Book, and merely argue about which edition is canonical, or about scriptural interpretation?

  6. 6
    VMartin says:

    The problem might be more complicated as it seems. It is also philosophical one. Swiss philosopher Anton Marty (1908) for instance relativised quite persuasevely – at least in my opinion – what is “root” and “suffix” of a word using German Ablaut. Mouse and mice might serve as an example es well.

    What makes a “common meaning” in these cases? Obviously defining the common root of the word mice/mouse is nowadays impossible – omitting the history you’ve mentioned above, or “genetical” approach. In this sense mouse and mice are two different words.

    On the other hand those plural “suffixes” are in Slavonic languges in a greater variety than in English or even German. Plural in English are all the same. Let me notice some examples from Slovakian language (considered by many as “central Slavonic language”):

    Engine : Engine-s
    Stroj : Stroj-e
    .
    .
    Girl : Girl-s
    Dievca : Dievca-ta
    .
    .
    Boy : Boy-s
    Chlapec : Chlap-ci
    .
    .
    Oak : Oak-s
    Dub : Dub-y
    .
    .
    etc etc etc…

    Then there are seven declinations like in Latin. English has:
    I hit a man.
    I gave it to the man.
    I came with a man.
    .
    .
    Udrel som muz-a.
    Dal som to muz-ovi.
    Prisiel som s muz-om.
    .
    .

    etc.

    I am wondering how Pinker can make any conlusions about “How our minds work” using only English.

    And then there is is this wonderfull darwinian mapping of language to brain regions – destroy this or that part of the brain and you lose the capacity of understading nouns!

    Mybe destroying some region can deprive us of our capacity creating correct grammatical Dativ!

    This is where I disagree with Pinker’s speculations – using the most simple Grammar categories as presented in contemporary English.

    On the other hand the most beautiful part of English – at least in my opinion – idioms, phrases, its conciseness and exactness etc… escaped his attention. Also the exactness of the words themselves where one is not distracted in his thinking – all that should be worked more on.

    But what we could expect from darwinists who consider thinking as pure brain’s epiphenomenon?

  7. 7
    Nakashima says:

    Mr Dodgen,

    People of traditional Judeo-Christian faith have no desire to coerce others into believing, or claiming to believe, as they do.

    So the Crusades and the Thirty Years War happened for purely political and economic reasons?

  8. 8
    O'Leary says:

    Thanks for illumination. I only really know English, as a language, in the sense that I would try to write anything in it.

    What some people who know other languages say they like about English is one’s relative freedom to coin or import words.

    There is no “English Academy”, equivalent to the “French Academy.”

    Either your term catches on or it doesn’t. I think we already have 600 000 words or some such number, so getting mouth time with a lot of people is not easy anyway.

    But I do remember, for example, Rathergate, when Dan Rather, the TV news host, got snookered in 2004 by someone offering a made-up story about George W. Bush, claiming that Bush’s CO had said he wasn’t a good pilot.

    (Unlikely to be true; say what you want about Bush, he is exactly the sort of guy who WOULD have been a good pilot. So I was suspicious of the story from the start.)

    Anyway, “Rathergate” – which cost a number of people their jobs – was coined from “Watergate”, the earlier scandal that forced Richard Nixon’s resignation as US president.

    What happened was that a bunch of bloggers pointed out that the faxed memos that Rather’s team fell for could be constructed from MS-Word typefaces.

    Oops, Rather!

    One of Rather’s colleagues fought back, accusing the bloggers of being the sort of people who type on laptops in their pajamas.

    The bloggers immediately christened themselves the “Pajamaheddin” (after mujaheddin) and went after Rather all the more, finally forcing his retirement.

    Also, because English makes little use of word endings – and most such grammatical features are actually legacy features – words can just be picked up from other languages and parked somewhere in the correct word order. Otherwise, one can do pretty much what one wants – consistent with styles of writing, of course.

    Many languages may be like this, but apparently not all are.

    As for the brain, I am suspicious of claims that treat the brain as a computer when it is really more like an ocean. Some features are fixed, like the undersea mountains and trenches, but elsewhere, fish just swim here and there within a region. Neurons wire and rewire in the same way. We made this point in The Spiritual Brain.

  9. 9
    Nakashima says:

    Mr VMartin,

    This Pinker is a curious figure. He wrote a book about regular and irregular English verbs. He concluded that the past time of regular words are processes by adding “-ed” suffix and irregulars must be held separatedly in memory! From these bizarre reflexions he makes far reaching conclusions – like that he solved the old problems of which one is correct – Empiricism or Rationalism?

    Dr Pinker’s conclusions on how English verbs are processed and stored by native speakers are supported by research. If there is any irregularity in the Slovak language, it would be an interesting test to reproduce these results with Slovak speakers. After all, the point is not about specific issues of verb endings, it is about how regularity and irregularities are stored and processed.

  10. 10
    scordova says:

    Sal, no, we cannot all just get along

    What! You mean the reason the Darwinsits spend so much time hanging out with us ID proponents at UD isn’t because the love us?

  11. 11
    GilDodgen says:

    Since when, Gil?

    In the U.S. in recent times.

  12. 12

    Sal in comment #7:

    No, we love a good fight, especially when it is fought following the generally accepted rules of academic debate…which this post completely ignores, BTW.

  13. 13

    And yes, we can all “get along” when we do follow the rules, especially the rule about attacking arguments (using evidence and logic), rather than persons. Sal and I have gotten along, and I have had numerous respectful debates with ID supporters at Cornell, and have also invited ID supporters to make presentations in my classes (and, in one relatively notorious case, to be co-presenters in one of my classes).

    So, is this post founded upon the principle of attacking arguments (using evidence and logic), or is most of it devoted to attacking persons? Just curious…

  14. 14

    For example, has Gil provided any specific citations, quotes, references, etc. supporting his assertion that

    “…Darwinists are the only ones who have attempted to impose, and have to some degree successfully imposed, their religious beliefs through state sponsorship”?

    And if not, what does that say about Gil’s commitment to the generally accepted rules of intellectual debate?

  15. 15

    And now, it’s almost noon on Saturday, and so my daughter and I are bound for fencing class, for more “debate” following a set of classical rules:

    In Ferro Veritas

    Dedicated to preserving and promoting in classical fencing and historical swordplay, the true art, science and spirit of the sword.

    Our name is taken from our motto “In Ferro Veritas,” which means “In the Sword is Truth.”

    Our Goals:

    • To make classical fencing available to all interested persons regardless of age, sex, race, religion, or socio-economic status

    • To develop a corps of knowledgeable and skillful professional teachers of classical fencing who will preserve and promote the true art, science and spirit of the sword

    • To improve our society by promoting the “All for one and one for all” spirit of classical fencing that emphasizes respect, cooperation, honesty, fairness and personal responsibility.
    http://www.classicalfencing.com/

    en guarde!

  16. 16
    VMartin says:

    Anyway, “Rathergate” – which cost a number of people their jobs – was coined from “Watergate”, the earlier scandal that forced Richard Nixon’s resignation as US president.

    In this case the meaning of words in our brains is obviously extracted from “background” – you have to know what Watergate means. (If I hadn’t seen a film about it I wouldn’t. You probably do not know what scandals we have had in our country).

    Phenomenologists like Husserl use instead of “background” the word introduced by Brentano “Horizont”. Things or words become apparent only against the “horizont” which serves as a background against which they can only get their meaning.

    From this point of view can describe the deep idea that words or concepts means what they mean also from what they actually do not mean. It is so to say only our “Horizont” which gives them their meaning.

    This “Horizont” might be quite personal. By the words “I loved it” no one can get the same meaning as it means for me. That is why words like “Love” our so fuzzy.

    Btw. Slavonic languages are so “erotic” that you cannot translate the previous sentence unless you know who said it – woman or man. Women and men use different grammar – man and woman say respectively:

    Miloval som to.
    Miloval-a som to.

    I’ve never heard about a brain damage which caused that man in Russia or Slovakia switched to talk like woman and vice versa.

    http://cadra.wordpress.com/

  17. 17
    Seversky says:

    Harvard’s Steve Pinker reminds us that “our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth.” Darwin thought such things, too, and the thought terrified him in a way that it doesn’t terrify Pinker or the average pop science writer – which shows us how much Darwinism is now part of academic and popular ethos.

    The obvious response I hear all the time is, well then, Pinker’s argument is no truer than anyone else’s – indeed, many have made that precise point any number of times.

    There are two problems with that argument.

    The first is the claim that a brain that is optimized for fitness or survival must, therefore, be unreliable as a means of discerning truth. If truth is defined as the extent to which our observations and theories correspond to what is actually out there, then there is a tremendous survival advantage in their being accurate. As this quote from the philosopher W V O Quine, found on John Wilkins’s website, points out:

    Creatures inveterately wrong in their inductions have a pathetic, but praiseworthy, tendency to die before reproducing their kind. [W. V. O. Quine, Ontological Relativity and Other Essays 1969: 70]

    The second problem is this postmodernist or relativist argument that there is no way to privilege one narrative over others, that all accounts are equally unreliable. On the assumption that there is an objective reality out there, this makes no sense. If we have a number of competing explanations then it is probable that one or more will be closer to the truth than the others. Finding out which is what science does.

    But that quite reasonable response completely misses the point! To the extent that The Prophet Darwin is the Final Revelation, after this, there is no other revelation. Darwin cannot be confuted. The Final Revelation obviates argument. So argument ends.

    This is a fine rhetorical flourish, worthy of William Jennings Bryan himself. Unfortunately, it is as much a myth as UN armies being trained on secret bases in the US to take over the country and then the world.

    On The Origin Of Species has never been presented as a holy text embodying some Eternal Truth revealed to the Prophet Charles by…well, by who, actually? If there is no God there can be no divine revelation.

    The text is neither inerrant nor immutable. The theory of evolution has been developed, extended and expanded dramatically in the 150 years since it was first published. Much of what it incorporates now was completely unknown to Darwin at the time of writing. Like any other theory in science, it is subject to challenge, criticism, amendment and, ultimately, to being discarded if a better account becomes available. In this sense it is the antithesis of Scripture.

    Why JPL’s execs should think it any of their business if that guy was loaning non-porn/non-crime DVDs to his co-workers is beyond me – but I am a free speech journalist, and not a Darwinist.

    All we have so far is David Coppedge’s account of what happened as set out in the formal complaint. Anyone who believes in justice, whether free-speech journalist or Darwinist, should be withholding judgement until the other side has had a chance to present their case.

  18. 18
    VMartin says:

    Seversky wrote:


    The text is neither inerrant nor immutable. The theory of evolution has been developed, extended and expanded dramatically in the 150 years since it was first published.

    I am afraid such words are exaggerated. Darwinism (which usurped the name of TOE solely for itself dismissing other TOE like Orthogenesis, Nomognesis, PEH etc..etc..) stands and fails with the concept of “Natural selection” invented by Darwin – the man who is adored by selectionists like “genius” (in this sense Darwinists remind Marxists, who adored the same way Marx, Engels and Lenin. Being quite trained in Marxism during communism I analyzed this phenomenon on my blog “Marxistic critique of Darwinism”) . Oddly enough no one before Darwin saw this peculiar force in “action” in Nature. Darwin who had bred pigeons and had read Malthus applied Malthus on breeding and voila – the theory was here.

    Darwin and his followers put competitivness of early capitalism into Nature and see “selection” nowadays everywhere. If some birds species fly quickly over hundreds of kilometers it is due “selection”. If some other birds species can hardly takes off or do not fly at all – it is also due “selection”!

    The father of General systems theory von Bertalanffy called this approch “Tibetan prayer mills of selectionism”

    Thus darwinian “struggle for life” or “survival of the fittest” become the same mantras as marxistic “class struggle” or “historical necessity”.

    Both naturalistic views – Marxism and Darwinism share common another point – they both consider their reductionistic fancies for “real science”. Their obsessive incantation with the word “science” is significant.

    Marxists even introduced “Scientific atheism” – the subject taught once at Universities across East Europe. I am not sure if Darwinists wouldn’t be happy if they were also so succesfull…

  19. 19
    O'Leary says:

    VMartin at 13,

    Amazing – but I trust your word.

    In my own personal linguistic background, not only would there be no way of distinguishing such a difference, but – it gets worse – women regularly refer to themselves in the masculine gender – depending on the circumstances.

    For example, a woman might call herself “O’Leary”, citing her father’s name. In fact, she may be the only person entitled to call herself oleary@sympatico.ca

    taking her father’s name.

    But he is not on the Internet and – at his age – never likely to be.

    And I got there first!

    I have heard female relatives say “I am a businessman” or “She is a company man”.

    Ever since my daughter came back from engineering school with a box of stuff, saying, “Mom, you need to be on the Internet”, I myself have always been “oleary”.

    In my background, we have no order of precedence that privileges men over women.

    Once a sociologist from India did a study to try to figure out why we lived the way we did. I read his study about twenty years ago, while editing a book; he made some sense, though there were things he did not understand.

    Worse luck, I can’t really explain.

    How be this: If one doesn’t start with that assumption, one won’t end with it either.

  20. 20
    Merthin Builder says:

    Pinker on languages with complex morphology:

    The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages. The English noun comes in exactly two forms (duck and ducks), the verb in four (quack, quacks, quacked, quacking). In modern Italian and Spanish every verb has about fifty forms; in classical Greek, three hundred and fifty; in Turkish, two million! Many of the languages I have brought up, such as Eskimo, Apache, Hopi, Kivunjo, and American Sign Language, are known for this prodigious ability. How do they do it? Here is an example from Kivunjo, the Bantu language that was said to make English look like checkers compared to chess. The verb “Naikimlyiia,” meaning “He is eating it for her,” is composed of eight parts:

    * N-: A marker indicating that the word is the “focus” of that point in the conversation.
    * -a-: A subject agreement marker…
    *-y-: Present Tense. Other tenses in Bantu can refer to today, earlier today, yesterday, no earlier than yesterday, yesterday or earlier, in the remote past, habitually, ongoing, consecutively, hypothetically, in the future, at an indeterminate time, not yet, and sometimes.
    * -ki-: An object agreement marker, in this case indicating that the thing eaten falls into gender class 7.
    * -m-: A benefactive marker, indicating for whose benefit the action is taking place, in this case a member of gender class 1.
    * -lyi-: The verb, “to eat.”
    * -i-: An “applicative” marker, indicating that the verb’s cast of palyers has been augmented by one additional role, in this case the benefactive…
    * -a: A final vowel, which can indicate inidicative versus subjunctive mood.

    If you multiply out the number of possible combinations of the seven prefixes and suffixes, the product is about half a million, and that is the number of possible forms per verb in the language. In effect, Kivunjo and languages like it are building an entire sentence inside of a single complex word, the verb.

    He obviously understands that English does not exhaust the possibilities.

    From The Language Instinct, pages 120 and 121. Note the omitted umlaut diacritics.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    Sal asked: Can we all just get along?

    Sal, After seeing first hand the blatant deception poured into maintaining “evolution as science”, no matter what the evidence says, I would say most assuredly no we cannot just get along. Sal you’ve seen it yourself firsthand the no limits barred, shady, underhanded, bullying, smearing, etc.,,, tactics evolutionists use, You, more than most IDers, should readily identify with this following scripture,,

    2 Corinthians 6:15
    Can Christ agree with the devil? Can a believer share life with an unbeliever?

    of related interest:

    Darwin as Canary in a Coal Mine
    Excerpt: Sean Carroll told Science ,,,Well, we probably were brought together over the teaching of evolution. That was issue [number] one, … because biology without evolution is kind of like physics without gravity. It’s also sort of a canary in the coal mine for the state of science education. There’s so much propaganda against evolution, but you see the same sort of techniques being used against climate science or stem cells or whatever it might be.,,,,
    ,,,,
    This is stated in response to Carrol’s deception,,,
    Assertion: Evolution is a canary in the coal mine for the state of science education. Analysis: Analogy mixed with non-sequitur. Most of biology and medicine gets along fine without evolutionary storytelling tacked on. Biology was doing fine for centuries before Darwin created the Great Society for Storytellers and liberated biology from empiricism (12/22/2003 commentary). The research of Linnaeus, Jenner, Mendel, Pasteur, Lister, Carver, Watson and Crick and many other giants of biology and medicine owed nothing to Darwin. If anything, Darwinism represents dead weight – a useless requirement to fit uncooperative data into a predetermined outcome. It wasted effort on discarded ideas like vestigial organs and junk DNA. Nevertheless, Carroll’s badly-scrambled metaphor can be salvaged with a few alterations. The canary represents morality and a vibrant altruistic society (not evolution). The coal mine is the descent into secularism. Evolution is the poison gas belching upward from the depths. Now the analogy fits the state of our country’s decline perfectly.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100416a

  22. 22
    tribune7 says:

    If Darwinism was science there would be not problem getting along.

    But because its proponents infer theological conclusions from it, they get rather defensive when challenged.

  23. 23
    tribune7 says:

    And yes, we can all “get along” when we do follow the rules,

    Allen, is demoting someone for recommending a DVD following the rules?

    I’ll grant you we have heard only one side in the lawsuit but if the allegation is basically true, I hope you would agree that an injustice was done.

  24. 24
    GilDodgen says:

    Allen_MacNeill:

    For example, has Gil provided any specific citations, quotes, references, etc. supporting his assertion that “Darwinists are the only ones who have attempted to impose, and have to some degree successfully imposed, their religious beliefs through state sponsorship”? And if not, what does that say about Gil’s commitment to the generally accepted rules of intellectual debate?

    Allen, surely you jest. The publicly-funded academy is thoroughly infested with left-wing, secular, anti-traditional-Christian ideologues who denigrate conservative Christians not only with impunity but with encouragement, all in the name of diversity and tolerance. Denigrate any other group, religion, or philosophy, and you will immediately be charged with hate speech.

    The creation myth of materialistic religion is promoted in textbooks and classrooms with claims of absolute certainty that no design was involved, when it obviously was.

    How can this not be obvious?

  25. 25
    JeromeLam says:

    A short intro..I’m agnostic.I’m anti evolution as a science,minor details.I live in Singapore.

    As much I like reading UD articles.I like reading Leary’s insights.most of the are pretty interesting. But I find fault with she associating Darwinians here with Islamists..Why not talking about fundamentalist christians instead. I hope you see my point by now.This is a good write up except for the need to add in the Islamist part.That’s unneeded.

  26. 26
    JeromeLam says:

    Fundamentally I’m talking about respect for other religions. Hope you don’t take my point of view as a dig as you,it wasn’t intended to be as one 🙂

  27. 27
    PaulBurnett says:

    JeromeLam (#22) wrote: “Fundamentally I’m talking about respect for other religions.

    Good play on words: Fundamentalists will not (can not!) respect any religion other than their own (correct) religion – all other religions are wrong and therefore not worthy of any respect. Only liberal religionists can respect other religions – conservatives can’t.

    This is probably why fundamentalists who perceive science / biology / evolution as a competing religion (which they call “Darwinism”) are so fervently opposed to it.

  28. 28
    zephyr says:

    yes well put Denyse, we can’t all just get along for the reasons you state.

    The irony of this, the fundamentalism of Darwinism, perceived as the Great Truth by its faithful, is naturally lost on the Darwinian faithful. Its adherents respond just like religious fundamentalists when the Great Truth as they see it, is threatened.

    Any group in any controversial debate that needs to resort to bullying, intimidation, misrepresentation and censorship is obviously very insecure in their faith and the Darwinian faith in Darwinian macroevolution (built as it is on magical thinking they project onto ID) is very shaky indeed, otherwise they would not need to behave the way they do.

    And these are the same people who look down on us and are convinced they get irony.

  29. 29
    VMartin says:

    Merthin Builder on behalf of Pinker:

    Here is an example from Kivunjo, the Bantu language that was said to make English look like checkers compared to chess. The verb “Naikimlyiia,” meaning “He is eating it for her,” is composed of eight parts:

    Actually Steve Pinker should define first what does he mean under the term “Verb”. Using classical categories of Latin grammar applied to Bantu language can obviously lead to an absurd situation where the whole sentences are categorizied under Verbs.

    From the older scholars it was Anton Marty or Benjamin Whorf who warned against such approach – I mentioned that Marty even warned against the notion that there are roots of words and their suffixes, because of Ablaut in German words. It might be just convinient for the Grammar manuals.

    Let me explain it more using some Whorf’s ideas. In English – and Indoeuoropean languages generally there must be always a Subject in sentences. This leads sometimes to situation where the Subject doesn’t make sense – like in the sentence “It rains.” How “IT” can rain? In Slovak (Slavonic) language we just say “Prsi”. But neverthenless the Subject is supposed, such sentences are called in our Grammar “sentences with hidden Subject”.

    Now if I remember correctly Whorf analyzed the situation in some Indian language.They have also one word for “it rains” but without any Subject – even without hidden one. It just really means what it means the state without any “cause”, “originator”… which is obviously exorted by our Grammatical rules, not by reality of raining itself. I am wondering if such a simple word can be unequivocally categorized as “Verb”.

    One cannot simply extrapolate grammatical categories of English to other languages without previous deep linguistic and in this case also philosophical analysis.

    So Pinkers concluded:


    In effect, Kivunjo and languages like it are building an entire sentence inside of a single complex word, the verb.

    The scholars of the past used to analyse also methods by which they approach the subject of their research.

  30. 30
    VMartin says:

    O’Leary
    For example, a woman might call herself “O’Leary”, citing her father’s name.

    This is not common in our language.

    Take a name Pinker for instance. The name of his daughters or his woman will be here:
    Pinker-ova.

    Hearing a surname I always know if it is a woman or man. It’s beyond me to analyze what impact on thinking this stress of gender in grammatical structures might have.

    In English man and woman all the same:

    “I came home very tired”

    Slovakian man vs woman 3 differences:

    “Pris-iel som domov cel-y unaven-y”
    “Pris-la som domov cel-a unaven-a”.

  31. 31
    O'Leary says:

    Jerome Lam at 25, for what it may be worth, I did not use the term “fundamentalism”, and usually do not find it useful – apart from describing certain battles fought within Protestantism, chiefly in North America.

    The term I used was “Final Revelation”, which puts an end to discussion.

    That, in my view, clearly describes Darwinism today, as fronted in schools and museums, and on TV documentaries.

    It explains, for example, why the Darwinist is unconcerned that “our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth” would undermine his argument. He has no argument; he has the Final Revelation. And any nonsense fronted in its name may be grandfathered.

    By the way, did I mention Islam? If Darwinism reminds you of political extremists fronting Islam for their own purposes, you might want to consider why it reminds you of them.

    I set out years ago to try to understand why evolutionary biologists refused to denounce the nonsense and foolishness of “evolutionary psychology” that has grown up around their profession, then realized that any nonsense or foolishness can be grandfathered under a Final Revelation.

    By the way, as a Catholic Christian, I have great respect for other religions, and my Church does NOT teach that members of other religions are all going to hell in a handbasket.

    Of course, if a religion were to teach something perverted, like shrinking heads, the matter may need to be straightened out later.

  32. 32
    Merthin Builder says:

    Vmartin said:

    Actually Steve Pinker should define first what does he mean under the term “Verb”.

    Your complaint was that Pinker drew broad conclusions “purely from English (and a little German), and that his scholarship is lacking relative to authors you prefer.

    My quote above exemplifies his awareness of languages with much more complex morphologies than English.

    Further, in The Language Instinct Pinker also discusses Afrikans, American English, American and Nicaraguan Sign Language, Bantu, Hebrew, Hopi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Maori, and Yiddish, as well as language groups such as the Altaic, Caucasian, Indo-European, American Indian, and Khoisan groups. He also addresses phenomena such as pidgins and creole languages.

    His interests are further articulated in several other books, approximately 75 scholarly articles, over 60 book chapters, and many, many other presentations, colloquia, reviews, and so on.

    I expect you will agree that Pinker’s entire output should be considered when critiquing the breadth of his scholarship.

    Those interested may find Pinker’s CV here:

    http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/.....ker_CV.htm

  33. 33
    VMartin says:

    Merthin Builder

    Look, English is my second language and I am not pretending I am a good student.

    But do you think I “process” English verbs the same way Pinker proposed in his book? I doubt. Many students I met in English courses
    often put indiscrimentaly or change Infinitive, Past Tense with Past Participle.(” He has swim/swam/spoke…” and alike are quite common). Using Infinitive instead of Past tense is quite offen as well.

    Now may I wrote a cute book on this mentioning that there are several other languages like Afrikans, American English, American and Nicaraguan Sign Language, Bantu, Hebrew, Hopi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Maori, and Yiddish, as well as language groups such as the Altaic, Caucasian, Indo-European, American Indian, and Khoisan groups ?

    Then I mention that there exists in German something like “predicative frame” where verbs are torn apart only to create such frames?

    Like “Inge ZIEHT das Theter dem Kino VOR?” You know VORZIEHEN is Verb.

    Actually I would be interested in how such complicated structures are created and understand. Making any sweeping conclusions from “processing” of English Verbs seems to me let say premature.

  34. 34
    scordova says:

    . Sal and I have gotten along, and I have had numerous respectful debates with ID supporters at Cornell, and have also invited ID supporters to make presentations in my classes (and, in one relatively notorious case, to be co-presenters in one of my classes).

    So, is this post founded upon the principle of attacking arguments (using evidence and logic), or is most of it devoted to attacking persons? Just curious…

    And much of the credit for why we get along, Allen, is you are a gentleman and scholar, far moreso than I. You’ve been an example that I’ve tried to follow, but have not always been successful.

    I think however, the fact is, there are people with axes to grind on both sides of the debate, and I’ve seen behavior which I consider less than ethical surrounding the issue.

    I’ve been ambivalent to the public school issue, and I’ve changed my position on the issue several times.

    The most serious issues is perhaps one not so much about legaility, but ethics. I find it troubling to hear my colleagues labeled as “anti-science”.

    Let’s grant even for the sake of argument, that ID is not science, that it is a religious idea.

    I would think it stil unfair to say someone like Michael Behe or Evolutionary biologist Rick Sternberg are anti-science. One can be mistaken about a scientific hypothesis, but it hardly justifies them being labeled enemies of science.

    If there are work place discrimination issues, that troubles me. That Sam Harris and Jerry Coyne called for the ouster of Francis Collins, I found deeply troubling. It really smelled more of prejudice than rooted in issue about Collins qualifications.

    I’ve decided however, not much will change by complaining. The best we can do is do science:

    1. observation
    2. hypothesis
    3. experimentation and testing

    The most important area of cooperation between Ebers adn IDers was exemplified by the relationship of James Shapiro and Richard Sternberg. Shapiro is as mainstream as it gets….

    One area of cooperation between creationists, IDers, and EBers is exploration into the issue of genomic deterioration in humans. Lynch’s recent paper into the issue is consistent with claims of John Sanford. Independent of the evolutionary debate, it is a serious issue for medical science.

    That’s at least a starting point for scientific cooperation between sides that have had problems getting along. The stakes are too high for anyone to not take the issue seriously.

    The cooperation between Shapiro and Sternberg could serve as a model for future collaborations.

    Sal

  35. 35
    Merthin Builder says:

    Vmartin:

    But do you think I “process” English verbs the same way Pinker proposed in his book? I doubt.

    Who knows? You haven’t cited a title.

    My guess is that you are referring to Words and Rules. I haven’t read it, so can’t fairly comment upon the argument presented therein.

    Have you?

    For those interested, the New York Review of Books hosted a review written by the philosopher John Searle, posted here (much of it is behind a paywall):

    http://www.nybooks.com/article.....-or-snuck/

    Pinker replied, and Searle replied to his reply:

    http://www.nybooks.com/article.....-exchange/

  36. 36

    BTW, I posted a positive review of James Shapiro’s work back at the very beginning of my blog (Feb 2006):

    http://evolutionlist.blogspot......d-way.html

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