Intelligent Design

Darwinian Debating Devices: Call for Comments

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Dear Readers,

In recent days we have been working on our “Darwinian Debating Devices” series.  Links to each entry in the series are set forth below.

CALL FOR COMMENTS:  UD is opening up the series to comments from our readers.  When you see a Darwinist using faulty reasoning, logical fallacies or otherwise unfair argument, please bring it to our attention, and we will consider it for addition to the series.  Is predict we will have a fairly lengthy list before we’re done.  Here’s a challenge to start:  Does anyone have an example of a Darwinist using the following fallacy: “No True Scotsman.”

REQUEST FOR CATEGORIZATION:  When debating Darwinists it is often helpful to call them out on the exact type of logical fallacy/faulty reasoning they are using.  Therefore, if you see a Darwinist using one of the devices we’ve discussed in the series, by all means link to that article in your response.

BTW, if you ever want to see the latest list of Darwinian Debating Devices, go to “Categories” on the right side of our home page.  Click on “Select Category” and then scroll down and click on “Darwinian Debating Devices.”

A FINAL NOTE:  Has anyone else stopped to wonder (as I often have) why a theory that is “as well supported as the theory of gravity” requires its defenders to engage in such faulty argumentation in its defense?

Darwinian Debating Devices #1: Jeffrey Shallit Style Ad Hominem

Darwinian Debating Devices #2: The “Turnabout” Tactic

Darwinian Debating Devices #3: Moving Goalposts

Darwinian Debating Devices #4: “Desperate Distractions”

Darwinian Debating Devices #5: The False Quote Mining Charge

Darwinist Debating Devices #6: “The Literature Bluff”

Darwinian Debating Devices # 7: “Definition Deficit Disorder”

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

Darwinian Debating Devices #9: “The Humpty Dumpty Gambit”

Darwinian Debating Devices #10: “The Double Standard”

Darwinian Debating Devices #11: “The Straw Man”

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

Darwinian Debating Devices #13: “Equivocation”

 

 

52 Replies to “Darwinian Debating Devices: Call for Comments

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    Barry,

    Thank you for this summary list!

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    Barry,

    Is there an easy way to exchange emails with another commenter without having to post the email address?
    Aren’t our email addresses stored in the site and available to the site administrator?
    Can the site provide an easy exchanging mechanism, where a commenter could request that his email address be emailed to another commenter?
    Let’s say that I request that my email address is forwarded to humbled or to KF for example (not a real request).
    Then that second commenter, after receiving the email address, could opt to write to the first commenter .
    Another way could be to have a secure message exchange mechanism controlled by the site, where we can exchange messages that are not posted, but without exchanging emails

  3. 3
    Barry Arrington says:

    Sorry Dionisio, we do not currently have sufficient resources at UD to implement your request.

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    Barry,

    I understand.
    Thank you.

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    Dionisio,

    iirc, there are services that offer a temporary email address. Perhaps that could be a way to establish initial contact.

  6. 6
    Mark Frank says:

    Are we allowed to add comments when we find an ID supporter using any of these tactics?

  7. 7
    JGuy says:

    Off topic, I thought this was worth sharing. I didn’t see any better post to post this off topic. The design word pops up often in this TED talk, when talking about the brain & sleep:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_.....eek_button

  8. 8
    Dionisio says:

    JGuy

    Interesting link. Thanks.

    BTW, was the ‘n-D e’ censorship police sleeping when that TED presentation was going on? 🙂

  9. 9
    Dionisio says:

    Mung,

    Thanks for the tip. Will look into it.

  10. 10
    DavidD says:

    Mark Frank

    “Are we allowed to add comments when we find an ID supporter using any of these tactics?”

    This is an odd uncharacteristic comment from you. You generally post as you please. Unless of course this was a purposed Grand Standing to deflect from the OP

  11. 11
    Dionisio says:

    Mung,

    I noticed the acronym you used to start your comment, looked for ‘iirc’ and found this:

    If I Read Correctly

    If I Recall/Remember Correctly

    If I Really Cared

    If I Recollect Correctly

    If It Really Counts

    In Internet Relay Chat

    Isn’t It Really Cool

    🙂

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm looks a lot like a DDD # 2 there a bit up:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ut-tactic/

    I’d say it is hard to think consistently correctly, just ask programmers about bugs. Math helps a lot, so does appropriate visualisation. Third comes a lot of eyeballs, on the principle that bugs get shallow under a lot of eyes.

    But we are not going to get the problem of error fixed quickly and easily.

    That said, it seems to me that there is a deep rooted problem with origins sciences in general and with origin and diversification of life in particular, one multiplied by too much of ideologisation and thought control tactics in science education.

    We need a fresh start.

    KF

  13. 13
    Mark Frank says:

    DavidD

    This is an odd uncharacteristic comment from you. You generally post as you please. Unless of course this was a purposed Grand Standing to deflect from the OP

    The writer of the OP does not usually specify what kind of comments are expected.

  14. 14
    Querius says:

    Barry wrote,

    When debating Darwinists it is often helpful to call them out on the exact type of logical fallacy/faulty reasoning they are using. Therefore, if you see a Darwinist using one of the devices we’ve discussed in the series, by all means link to that article in your response.

    What a great idea! Thank you!

    -Q

  15. 15
    Barry Arrington says:

    MF: If you see an ID proponent using a DDD by all means call him out.

  16. 16
    Mung says:

    Mark Frank:

    Are we allowed to add comments when we find an ID supporter using any of these tactics?

    That would depend on whether you can establish some meaningful ground as to why they ought not do so.

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mung, not sure what you mean. Employing a DDD is never appropriate no matter which side you are on.

  18. 18
    Querius says:

    Here’s possibly another one. I don’t know what the debating tactic is called, but “feigning confusion” might come close.

    Here’s what Wikipedia calls it:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.....nipulation

    Feigning confusion: Manipulator tries to play dumb by pretending he or she does not know what the victim is talking about or is confused about an important issue brought to his or her attention.

    There were five of such Darwinistic dodges in this topic:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....goalposts/

    1. What? I really no idea what you are on about. I have described what the actual concept of fitness about is above, if you have a problem with that I guess let me know.

    2. That definition is very nearly the same as the one give above. The rest is, again, completely opaque. If you want to address my comment 54, please have a go.

    3. It’s not clear to me that you are saying anything at all, or that any of your sentences connect to each other.

    4. What are you on about? Are you objecting to “expected” meaning the long-run average? If so you are objecting to the standard statistical definition

    5. . . . you appear to have completely lost the plot. If you find a way to back, please try and address the things I have actually said.

    -Q

  19. 19
    wd400 says:

    To add to Mark’s comment, how about mistakes that are unique to (or at least common) among ID-ist?

    Starting with continual accusations of bad-faith on the behalf of the few evolutionary biologists who bother to engage with these topics. (See, for example, the existence of this series, the comment above).

    Then there’s mistakes like the 747 error (ignoring natural selection), ultra-specfication of ‘targets’ (e.g. calculating the probability of a protein sequence as 1/20 to the power of the protein length), and your classic physicist/programmer/engineer chavaunism (misplaced confidence that expertise in one field allows you to make cogent criticisms of another).

    I can’t even imagine what you could reap from the “News” account here…

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    Barry:

    Mung, not sure what you mean. Employing a DDD is never appropriate no matter which side you are on.

    There’s some objective moral basis for that view?

    I’m not sure those on the other side would agree.

    In fact, this whole series of yours points out how “the other side” seem to find themselves under no obligation to “follow the rules.”

    But that doesn’t stop them complaining about us if we don’t “follow the rules.”

    That’s all I mean.

    Arcatia_bogart redux.

  21. 21
    wd400 says:

    Oh, I also forgot the “materialism side show”, whereby supporters of evolutionary biology are presumed to be “materialists” who use evolutionary biology to defend a religious positions

    Some of nuttier commentators here extend this one to cast down on the possibility of a materialist being able to know what truth is or behaving morally (metaphysical well-poisoning!)

  22. 22
    Daniel King says:

    Some of nuttier commentators here extend this one to cast down on the possibility of a materialist being able to know what truth is or behaving morally (metaphysical well-poisoning!)

    It’s all they have. Be charitable.

  23. 23
    Barry Arrington says:

    wd400 and Daniel King, the point of this exercise seems to have flown right over your head.

    Consider, for example WD’s allusion to the “747 error.” Now, the analogy to random forces creating a 747 may be a good analogy or it may be a poor analogy. Both sides can argue the merits of the analogy in good faith.

    Now contrast that with the Darwinian Debating Devices listed above. Turnabout; goal post moving (at which WD excels), false quote mining charges, etc. are never licit. See the difference?

    BTW, can you answer the question in the OP? Why does a theory that is “as well supported as the theory of gravity” require its defenders routinely to engage in such faulty argumentation in its defense?

  24. 24
    wd400 says:

    Barry,

    (a) the names are specific examples of general mistakes, I guess the 747 one is “strawman”, but that generally assumes bad faith, were as I presume to think most folks are just uniformed.

    (b) The few of these that I’ve read are not open-and-shut cases of deceptive tactics. Often, in fact, I think the ID side of those threads comes of decidedly second best. There probably are cases of supporters of evolution dissembling. Acceptence of evolution has a really strange position in US culture, and most people who support or oppose evolution do so for cultural, rather than evidence-based, reasons. That goes for both sides, and means many “debates” about are seldom very well informed.

  25. 25
    Barry Arrington says:

    “I guess the 747 one is “strawman”

    Bad guess.

    “The few of these that I’ve read are not open-and-shut cases of deceptive tactics.”

    I’m going to right another one called “Circle the Wagons.” Maybe I’ll use that sentence as an example. Thanks.

  26. 26
    Mung says:

    Circle the Wagons!

    I like it!

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    WD400:

    I comment:

    >> the 747 error (ignoring natural selection),>>

    Kindly show a case in point where chance variations and natural selection have been observed to create a novel significant body plan or aspect thereof. The plain answer, there are none, and the pop genetics of establishing incremental features in pops easily runs out of time and population. Not to mention, the problem of claiming exaptations to assemble, organise and couple multiple, well matched features to make irreducibly complex entities.

    But, that is already granting a strawman caricature.

    The main target of claimed fallacies of 747s being assembled by tornadoes in junkyards is Nobel equivalent prize holding astrophysicist, sir Fred Hoyle. Who used the comparative as a rhetorical flourish to address OOL, with particular reference to the hundreds of enzymes needed for cellular function. Which, inter alia includes the cluster involved in protein assembly especially those that correctly load tRNAs with AAs . . . no properly functioning ribosomes, no protein factories and no functional cells. A chicken-egg challenge right at the foundation.

    Likewise, natural selection so called, depends on existing reproductive life forms. Which in practical, observed effect means in the first instance, encapsulated, smart gated, metabolic automata using code-based algorithmic procedures and with the additional feature of a von Neumann self replicating facility.

    A huge chicken-egg problem, which renders the “simple” living cell far more complex than a 747. No NS unless self-replication, but only chance variation and differential reproductive sucess leading to descent with incremental modification is on the table as anything near actually observed.

    Hypothetical autocatalytic reaction sets, self replicating molecules and the like do not begin to answer the problem.

    Goal-posts moved, strawmen set up and knocked over, trophy self-awarded.

    >>ultra-specfication of ‘targets’ (e.g. calculating the probability of a protein sequence as 1/20 to the power of the protein length),>>

    Rubbish.

    GP speaks of ultrafamilies deeply isolated in AA space, leading to islands of function. Thousands of them. Durston et al explore clusters of similar proteins, moving from null to ground to functional states using the actual observed variants on proteins as in effect a record of a real-life monte carlo sim run. Which will explore the features of a probability space, at least those dominant enough to be observable.

    I have actually constructed info graphics illustrating islands of function in large config spaces, which implies many individual points and clusters within the islands, not singleton points.

    I have shown that with config spaces specified by 500 – 1,000+ Y/N chained Q’s, or bits of info carrying capacity [implying 3.27 * 10^150 – 1.07*10^301 possibilities], the 10^57 atoms of our solar system at the low end and the 10^80 of the observed cosmos at the high one, with 10^14 potential observations EACH per second, the sample size to space size is hopeless per needle in haystack search. That is, on the low end we look at picking blindly the equiv of one straw from a cubical haystack 1,000 LY across. I have repeatedly, for three years, spoken to putting such a stack in superposition on our galactic neighbourhood — implying thousands of star systems metaphorically embedded — and then pointed out that sampling theory directly tells us the overwhelming expectation is straw and nothing else.

    Dembski, I can show, has been thinking along similar lines.

    So, again, we see a strawman caricature and refusal to take seriously points being made by people with relevant expertise and knowledge.

    >>and your classic physicist/programmer/engineer chavaunism (misplaced confidence that expertise in one field allows you to make cogent criticisms of another) >>

    I could easily say in retort, Physics envy.

    I won’t, save to point out that having followed red herrings led away to strawmen, these are now soaked in ad hominems and set alight to cloud, confuse, polarise and poison the atmosphere.

    FYI, first, many people in that cluster are expert on configuration or phase or state spaces and the implications of dominant clusters, per statistical thermodynamics foundations. The attempted dismissal above is actually therefore inverted . . . biologists and the like come to a fundamentally thermodynamic situation, the pond or the comet or the gas giant moon etc, and in such a pre life situation postulate what they are familiar with getting away with: the magic of natural selection.

    The problem, first, is to get to replication, based on observations, not speculations.

    Second, many in that cluster are familiar with codes, algorithms expressed in codes, linked information theory, communication system architecture, control system architecture, robotics assembly work cells and the like.

    We have good reason to look at what is being discovered concerning the living cell, and see the relevance of that background. The verdict, especially at OOL, is that the notions tossed around by those promoting evolutionary materialist schemes are hopelessly naive, simplistic and in some cases sophomorically over-confident.

    Are you biologists experts on creating code systems, algorithms, exec8uting machines, robot assemblers and the like?

    Some perhaps, but on the whole, not.

    What has happened is that schemes and theories devised in the first instance long before the molecular nanotech was elucidated have dominated the field and have been allowed to inject a priori evolutionary materialist rules that lock out consideration of the only factors actually seen to have created such FSCO/I rich systems, design.

    So, this is not only strawmannish but a turnabout.

    It is time for fresh thinking.

    KF

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: In short, DDD # 8, as expected.

  29. 29
    wd400 says:

    Wagons. Circled.

    Perfect illustration of uniquely “Darwinian” these supposed tactics are, thanks KF.

  30. 30
    wd400 says:

    Barry,

    You are the “President” around here, and you can do what you want. But I really think this series makes you look bad. Both through assuming bad faith on the behalf of people that disagree with ID, thereby making any dicsussion a waste of time. And because those linked threads that I’ve read aren’t exactly great moments for the authors, who seem more keen on trying to score debating points than engage with substantive points.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    WD, all you have done is to try a turnabout. There are some substantial matters on the table in outline, with an onward link to a first level discussion on the credible source of the pivotal observed phenomenon, functionally specific complex organisation and associated information beyond 500 – 1,000 bits. If you have a substantial empirical observation grounded answer, especially in the OOL context, kindly give it or outline it and link onwards. (And, resemblance to the still unmet challenge to empirically ground the evolutionary materialist and/or fellow traveller driven claims on OOL and origin of body plans adequate to account for the tree of life or the like, is not coincidental.) KF

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    A FYI, for onlookers: The problem of the cluster of observed, listed fallacies as above is not a matter of mere assumptions, but of years-length observed cases in point multiplied by stubborn resistance to correction that puts willfulness on the table. Indeed, in each above case, cases in point are cited. The UD weak argument correctives stand in testimony to that. And, the clock ticks on, sadly, on response to correctives to further cases in point from WD a little above in this thread. KF

  33. 33
    Mung says:

    Bad faith? What’s faith got to do with it?

  34. 34
    Dionisio says:

    Guys,

    I’ve noticed a few references to the old ‘747 tornado junkyard analogy.
    Isn’t that example very outdated and inaccurate?
    Instead of a 747, shouldn’t the tornado produce a ball than can gradually build itself into a 747 that can then regenerate its parts when damaged and can reproduce itself to other 747s?
    IOW, the tornado shouldn’t produce a 747, but the mechanisms to produce, maintain and reproduce a 747.
    That would still be an oversimplification of the real thing, but at least a little closer to what it should represent. Does this make sense?

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    D, yes, we need to produce a &47 and the self assembly factory for same. Or, going back to Paley in Ch 2 of his nat theol, a watch that in the course of its movements fashions another like itself. And you no writa de Ingles right, will not do as a response. KF

  36. 36
    Querius says:

    Great observations and nicely described, KF. In recognizing various artifices, we don’t have to waste time or energy dealing with them rather than on substantive issues.

    Dionisio, the self-assembly design and repair capabilities you’re alluding to probably increases the complexity of the result by a factor of 100 or 1000.

    Another conversational abuse to consider is “browbeating,” the suppression of a dissenting view by intimidation, especially using non-substantive arguments.

    -Q

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Our sun, a typical middling-size star, is 860,000+ mi across, and stars in our galactic neighbourhood are typically several light years apart. Hence the needle in haystack problem. KF

  38. 38
    Joe says:

    wd400:

    Then there’s mistakes like the 747 error (ignoring natural selection)

    Natural selection doesn’t help= it doesn’t do anything beyond changing allele frequency and drift does that.

  39. 39
    Barry Arrington says:

    WD @ 30:

    I really think this series makes you look bad.

    I agree that people are being made to look bad alright, the folks engaged in turnabout tactics, goalpost moving, false quote mining charges, etc. I understand if your are getting a little warm under the collar as these hit close to where you live.

    Both through assuming bad faith on the behalf of people that disagree with ID, thereby making any dicsussion a waste of time.

    On the contrary, this series does not assume bad faith on the part of the culprits it has exposed. It demonstrates it.

    I should not be surprised by your comment though. In my experience Darwinists often have a problem understanding the difference between an assumption and a demonstration.

    And because those linked threads that I’ve read aren’t exactly great moments for the authors, who seem more keen on trying to score debating points than engage with substantive points.

    No, the authors of those links are exposing perfidy, which is almost always a public service.

    BTW here’s the third time I’ve asked you this question: Why does a theory that is “as well supported as the theory of gravity” require its defenders routinely to engage in such faulty argumentation in its defense?

    I will leave you with C.S. Lewis to ponder

    What inclines me now to think that you may be right in regarding [evolution] as the central and radical lie in the whole web of falsehood that now governs our lives is not so much your arguments against it as the fanatical and twisted attitudes of its defenders.

  40. 40
    Barry Arrington says:

    WD @ 30

    KF is amusingly correct @ 31. Irony alert, WD uses a turnabout tactic to attack a series that exposes turnabout tactics. See DDD#2

  41. 41
    Dr JDD says:

    I have another debating mechanism to add to the mix:

    “The half-truth deception of omission”

    I cannot find the exact example, however this has been used several times in arguments i have had with naturalists. One went like this regarding common descent:

    “We see tail formation in embryos then retraction during development, and when we look at the genes what do we find? The genes present for tail formation in our ‘ancestors’ are still present in our genome!”

    Half-truth #1: Tail development in human embryos. This is an assumption based on what something “looks like” down a microscope. An extension of the spinal cord area and retraction may serve a useful purpose in development. But it fits the common ancestor story to say it “looks” like a tail.

    Half-truth #2: The genes for tail development are found in humans that lack tails. This is the pinnacle of my point. Yes, there is some truth in this statement so it is technically not false. However it omits certain truths and facts that are vital to understanding the function of these genes. That being, that these genes have multiple vital functions in other aspects of development and general cellular processes and are not ONLY involved in tail development.

    This argument also ‘hopes’ that the other party has a level of ignorance which is a low tactic but is exactly what we expect from such a deceptive approach.

  42. 42
    Barry Arrington says:

    Dr JDD,

    Your 41 is very common, but I do not think it fits in the series and here’s why. The particular argument in your example is a bad argument, but at least its an argument, and both sides can sit down and discuss its merits (or lack thereof) in good faith. The tactics I want to outline in this series don’t even amount to bad arguments. Your comment again reminds me of the question I pose in the OP. Here’s another way of putting it. In order to make ID just go away, all you have to do is drop a science bomb on us, and yet here you are, and instead of evidence and logic you give us turnabout, equivocation, etc. Why does the “best idea ever” (as someone, Dennett I believe, once called Darwinism) have to be defended using these tactics. You were never catch a physicist defending gravity using these tactics.

  43. 43
    tintinnid says:

    ID Debating Device #1: Generalization

    “I should not be surprised by your comment though. In my experience Darwinists often have a problem understanding the difference between an assumption and a demonstration.”

    But I guess that we are all guilty if this. After all, it has been my experience that IDists would prefer to identify every little flaw in logic, behaviour, grammar, inconsistency, rather that seriously discuss the issues. But I am sure that this comment violates one of your Darwinian Debating Devices so you can justify not responding to it.

  44. 44
    Joe says:

    tintinid- Nice projection as it has always been our opponents who would prefer to identify every little flaw in logic, behaviour, grammar, inconsistency, rather that seriously discuss the issues.

  45. 45
    Daniel King says:

    BTW, can you answer the question in the OP? Why does a theory that is “as well supported as the theory of gravity” require its defenders routinely to engage in such faulty argumentation in its defense?

    It doesn’t. If they do, it’s because they’re flawed human beings.

    This is a blog, not a graduate school seminar.

  46. 46
    Daniel King says:

    And we haven’t stopped beating our wives, Counselor Arrington.

  47. 47
    wd400 says:

    Like I say Barry, you can do want you want.

    But you should remember some people that read these threads don’t share you unshakable belief that you are right, and entire scientific field is made of of the clueless, deluded or outright liars. When those folks read threads like this they see you and KF defending a set of errors that creationists and IDers make in the abstract, as if ID folks were simply incapable of making these errors, or if they weren’t errors at all (and the peanut gallery cheering along).

    Simply pretending the people that disagree with you are liars is a great way to maintain the pathetic tribalism that that this “debate” is famous for, but means you are insulated from the real science of evolutionary biology and doomed for ever to wade in an intellectual backwater counting the days before the revolution comes and “Darwinism” is overthrown.

    As I say, I tried.

  48. 48
    Joe says:

    wd400- anyone who says that natural selection is a creative process is a liar. Anyone who says that universal common descent is a scientific fact is a liar.

  49. 49
    Querius says:

    Daniel King @ 45,

    You didn’t answer the question.

    I once read a book that claimed that there’s no such thing as force at a distance, that forces such as gravity are the result of particle interactions. The author tried to make his case, but didn’t use any of the artifices and vituperation that we often see here.

    Additionally, I also once read a very compelling argument for the clay/mineral crystal origin of life proposed by organic chemist Alexander Graham Cairns-Smith in the 1960s-80s, who also demolished Oparin’s warm pond hypothesis. I read that Cairns-Smith’s hypothesis was rejected our of hand by the Darwin community largely because of its resemblance to Genesis. I think that the negative reception revealed that there’s more than science at stake, which is a pity for science.

    As a Christian, I have no trouble philosophically accepting a Darwinistic explanation for evolving life on earth, and would do so were it not for the deeply flawed science and fact that the math doesn’t work out.

    -Q

  50. 50
    Barry Arrington says:

    Joe @ 48. I disagree. Some people genuinely believe that natural selection is a creative process. And when they say that natural selection is a creative process they are saying what they genuinely believe. They may be mistaken (indeed, I believe they are), but they are not liars.

  51. 51
    Turbokid says:

    Joe @ 48. This is a classic ID debating tactic; accusing those who disagree with you of lying (or the slightly more euphemistic charge of “intellectual dishonesty” that you see a lot around here). It’s very unattractive.

  52. 52
    Querius says:

    wd400,

    Let’s take a look at your post objectively. Others might do a better job identifying various debating techniques, artifices, and manipulations, but I’d like to give it a shot.

    Like I say Barry, you can do want you want.

    You’re not telling Barry anything that he doesn’t know, but it sounds like you’re pouting.

    But you should remember some people that read these threads don’t share you unshakable belief that you are right, and entire scientific field is made of of the clueless, deluded or outright liars.

    Strawman. We all think we’re right, yourself included. But the point here is the accusation that Barry’s beliefs are unshakable in the presence of conclusive evidence to the contrary. Funny, but it seems to me that the shoe fits on your foot just as well, perhaps even better. Your statement is a gross exaggeration. Because Barry doesn’t accept some or all aspects of Darwinism, you accuse him of rejecting everyone working in any scientific field.

    When those folks read threads like this they see you and KF defending a set of errors that creationists and IDers make in the abstract, as if ID folks were simply incapable of making these errors, or if they weren’t errors at all (and the peanut gallery cheering along).

    Your sentence is a little hard to unravel, but it seems that you’re trying to say that creationists and IDers are capable of making the same logical errors as Darwinists, and that Barry and kairosfocus are acting as if that’s not a possibility. You also deprecate the participants who agree with Barry and kairosfocus (such as I do) as the “peanut gallery.” I don’t think Barry and kairosfocus are laboring under any such illusion. The reason they’re collecting the list of logical fallacies has more to do with the proportion of abuses seen here primarily coming from Darwinists. Your next sentence is a good example.

    Simply pretending the people that disagree with you are liars is a great way to maintain the pathetic tribalism that that this “debate” is famous for, but means you are insulated from the real science of evolutionary biology and doomed for ever to wade in an intellectual backwater counting the days before the revolution comes and “Darwinism” is overthrown.

    Consider at the loaded words you’ve chosen: pretending, liars, pathetic, tribalism, insulated, real science, doomed, and backwater. Ask yourself whether you find these words in scientific papers. Let’s be objective. Wouldn’t it be accurate to say that your previous sentence is a vituperative emotional outburst devoid of any logical or scientific support?

    As I say, I tried.

    An appeal to sympathy. After the previous vituperation, I don’t think many people will think you’re the victim.

    -Q

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