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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » P.Z. Myers on OSC and ID (Page 2)

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Author Topic: P.Z. Myers on OSC and ID
Oobie Binoobie
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quote:
Originally posted by Francis D:
Do you really want me to show the rebuttals for the five points I let lie? I said "sometimes" because they are the sort of issue where he has a point, but he appears to think that he has an entire sword.

The same rebuttals appear on the forums elsewhere.
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Oobie Binoobie
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These forums have a life of their own, and rules of their own, some OSC has set, and some set by the community.

One of the rules the *community* sets and enforces is civility *here*, and especially toward the hosts of this place, no matter what anyone infers from his Rhino polemics.

So, yeah. Robert's Rules might be a great starting point for anyone new, who can then relax after the community gets to know them a bit better. Especially if he can't bite his tongue.

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Francis D
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quote:
I pointed out the inaccuracy. You have attempted to explain why it's not actually an inaccuracy.
No. I have pointed out that it is not an inaccuracy. Possibly slightly imprecise but accurate unless you decide to drop words from my statements and thereby create a strawman which you could call inaccurate.

quote:
Perhaps you should look up ad-hominem and reconsider this, because saying your statement is inaccurate is not an ad-hominem attack.
My apologies. It is simply an unsubstantiated attack. (And you have, at last, found a single inaccuracy).

Spang: when did I accuse anyone other than the ID of having ulterior motives or speak for their motives? And there is ample doccumentation for the motives of the ID lobby. (Start with the wedge strategy). I simply commented on his actions. Sweeping generalisations that others are liars (see his point 1 in the original essay) are personal attacks on everyone within the category assaulted, as are attacks on motives.

Oobie, I know the rebuttals have appeared elsewhere on the site - which is why I found running through them here redundant and focussed on Card's latest comments. Dagonee seems to find them relevant, however - hence my offer.

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Dagonee
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quote:
quote:
No. I have pointed out that it is not an inaccuracy.
Your pointing out something does not make what I say untrue. You have attempted to explain it away. In my opinion you have failed.

quote:
Possibly slightly imprecise but accurate unless you decide to drop words from my statements and thereby create a strawman which you could call inaccurate.

I didn't drop words from your statement. I copied and pasted it exactly.

The inaccuracies are piling up now, aren't they?

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Francis D
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quote:
I didn't drop words from your statement. I copied and pasted it exactly.
quote:
quote:
I was acknowledging where he was (sometimes) right
.

So he made 7 criticisms, and 5 of them are accurate,

Yes, you copied and pasted exactly. Then, in your summary you dropped the word sometimes and the entire meaning of that word.

In short, despite having copied and pasted you dropped the word, thereby making a strawman.

The inaccuracies really are piling up.

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Dagonee
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Please quote the post to which you are referring.
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Francis D
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I did, above. Here it is again, this time in full.

quote:
quote:
I was acknowledging where he was (sometimes) right.
So he made 7 criticisms, and 5 of them are accurate, and for this you will treat him as a child?

Yeah, right on point there. [Roll Eyes]

Now, were you not to have dropped the word "sometimes" from your summary, the relevant paragraph would have read:
quote:
So he made 7 criticisms, and 5 of them are sometimes accurate, and for this you will treat him as a child?

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Dagonee
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Ah, I see - you forgot that I had already stated, on that same page, that OSC did not claim they were universal.

You know, the original point I made.

Since OSC did not claim they were universal, then "they are accurate" and "they are sometimes accurate" are the same thing.

Since they are the same thing, I'll stop quibbling about it and restate my incredulity in manner you've already declared to be accurate:

So he made 7 criticisms, none of which he claimed were universal, and 5 of them are sometimes accurate, and for this you will treat him as a child?

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King of Men
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I do think that when X is true perhaps as often as one time in a hundred, and someone says "X is true", it is entirely reasonable to say "No, you are wrong, X is not true". The latter is a simplification, but it is certainly much more accurate than the former. Therefore, when OSC says "Darwinists say X, Y, and Z", and 'Darwinists' (I assume this means 'scientists', since he has certainly given no alternative definition) do this at most once in a hundred debates, then even saying 'Yes, sometimes, but they are only human' is bending over backwards to be accomodating. It would be much more accurate to say, as I did, "No, that is not true, and please stop saying so."

Dag, are you certain you believe that OSC did not claim universality? 'The Darwinist response' certainly looks pretty universal to me. Is it possible that you are responding more to the rudeness of comrade Francis's post than its actual content? Because, you know, tone aside, it's pretty accurate.

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Francis D
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quote:
You know, the original point I made.

Since OSC did not claim they were universal, then "they are accurate" and "they are sometimes accurate" are the same thing.

And he never stated that they were not universal either. He never states that there were any responses that weren't "Darwinist". Therefore either interpretation is equally valid based on the pshat.

Although I accept the point that the out of context quote is not a fair and accurate representation of your stated views.

quote:
So he made 7 criticisms, none of which he claimed were universal, and 5 of them are sometimes accurate, and for this you will treat him as a child?
That's 2.5/6 (with the 7th not being applicable). And I'm being generous there - the one that is completely wrong was, by far, the most important. Complete with falling hook, line, and sinker for Behe when a quick google provides plenty of rebuttals.

Tie 2.5/6 (when those 2.5 points fit both sides in almost all debates, and fit the IDers far more closely than those debunking them) in with a rhino-polemic and demonstrably trivial background research and I do indeed treat him as a child unless he demonstrates otherwise.

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Dagonee
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I assume that one of the many partisans here would have pointed out where OSC claimed universality had he done so.

By no rational method of intepretation does "Darwinists say X, Y, and Z" mean "Darwinists say X, Y, and Z all the time."

"Republicans say additional gun control measures are not needed" does not mean all Republicans say this, nor do most people saying so need it to be true to make the point.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'm being uncivil when confronted by an entire pile of badly researched tripe
Francis, again, please explain why badly-researched tripe forces you to be uncivil? I'm not sure I got that one.
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Francis D
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quote:
By no rational method of intepretation does "Darwinists say X, Y, and Z" mean "Darwinists say X, Y, and Z all the time."
Is irrelevant.

What he was talking about was "The Darwinist Answer"

quote:
The Darwinist answer was immediate. Unfortunately, it was also illogical, personal, and unscientific.
"The Republican answer is that additional gun control measures are not needed" does mean that all (except maverick) Republicans say this (or rather it means that that is the party line, although there may be rebellions).
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A Rat Named Dog
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quote:
Complete with falling hook, line, and sinker for Behe when a quick google provides plenty of rebuttals.
One note (ignoring the obnoxious tone of this comment):

Card read Behe's book around 1997. Were you doing Google searches in 1997?

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Francis D
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quote:
Originally posted by A Rat Named Dog:
quote:
Complete with falling hook, line, and sinker for Behe when a quick google provides plenty of rebuttals.
One note (ignoring the obnoxious tone of this comment):

Card read Behe's book around 1997. Were you doing Google searches in 1997?

Card was writing this year. If he didn't bother to research his views before writing the column, then that is his problem.

(And I was certainly googling this year).

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Dagonee
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quote:
Originally posted by Francis D:
quote:
By no rational method of intepretation does "Darwinists say X, Y, and Z" mean "Darwinists say X, Y, and Z all the time."
Is irrelevant.

What he was talking about was "The Darwinist Answer"

quote:
The Darwinist answer was immediate. Unfortunately, it was also illogical, personal, and unscientific.
"The Republican answer is that additional gun control measures are not needed" does mean that all (except maverick) Republicans say this (or rather it means that that is the party line, although there may be rebellions).

Wrong. It means that someone who can be called a Darwinist put that forth as an answer.

If you want to point out such a position is a minority position, do so. I've done much the same on behalf of Christians, Republicans, lawyers, and government contractors.

If you want to disagree and say no one who does that is really a Darwinist, make that case.

But don't accuse him of saying something he didn't say.

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A Rat Named Dog
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quote:
Card was writing this year. If he didn't bother to research his views before writing the column, then that is his problem.

So, basically, you want Card to Google every single thing he references in his columns to make sure they haven't changed since last he studied them, out of paranoia that he might say something that already has a rebuttal out there one that he may or may not agree with, anyway?

How about he just speaks his mind, it doesn't hurt you at all, and if you think he's wrong or misled or missed something, you start up a respectful discussion of it? I don't see why that is so hard for you.

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Francis D
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quote:
Wrong. It means that someone who can be called a Darwinist put that forth as an answer.
Wrong. That would be "A Darwinist response" rather than "The Darwinist answer". (What he meant was very probably "A common Darwinist response" - but that is not what he wrote).

quote:
So, basically, you want Card to Google every single thing he references in his columns to make sure they haven't changed since last he studied them, out of paranoia that he might say something that already has a rebuttal out there one that he may or may not agree with, anyway?
If the entire column is undermined by trivially available facts (such as a recent court judgement), and is about a highly contentious issue then why not? He will only make himself look like a fool and a dupe otherwise.

quote:
How about he just speaks his mind, it doesn't hurt you at all, and if you think he's wrong or misled or missed something, you start up a respectful discussion of it? I don't see why that is so hard for you.
How about he just speaks his mind, and manages to provide yet more propoganda for creationists, and when I see he's wrong, I speak my mind in a somewhat less offensive manner than he used.
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A Rat Named Dog
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quote:
I speak my mind in a somewhat less offensive manner than he used.
Does making this claim make you a "Tool" or a "Useful Idiot"? [Smile]
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Dagonee
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quote:
How about he just speaks his mind, and manages to provide yet more propoganda for creationists, and when I see he's wrong, I speak my mind in a somewhat less offensive manner than he used.
That would be great. Let us know when you intend to start, especially with that "somewhat less offensive manner" thing.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by A Rat Named Dog:
quote:
Card was writing this year. If he didn't bother to research his views before writing the column, then that is his problem.

So, basically, you want Card to Google every single thing he references in his columns to make sure they haven't changed since last he studied them, out of paranoia that he might say something that already has a rebuttal out there one that he may or may not agree with, anyway?
Well, yes, actually. That would be good. Surely it's not unreasonable to expect a columnist to write based on up-to-date information? We are certainly quick to jump all over people here on the boards, if they something where the science has changed since they last read up on it. Are you seriously suggesting that a column published on paper should be held to a lesser standard?
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Kagehi
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
quote:
Oh, an amazing rebuttal there Spang...
I guess that's one way to start off life at new forum -- criticizing someone you know nothing about for a statement not directed at you. That's to be expected, though, from someone who suggests Microsoft could improve the way our DNA is coded.
Its called a joke Spang. The point being that you can't argue for design when the thing you are looking at barely works right. You want a good example, 2% of twin births result in successful twins, the other 98% one twin dies. But, its estimated, based on silly stuff like actually looking for unborn fetuses and verifying that they where genetically identical to the living child, that 8 out of every 9 pregnancies start out as twins. And then of course there is the also verified fact that only roughly 25% of pregnancies produce living children. Just that in itself means that *only* 14% or roughly 14 out of every 100 "possible" children are ever born. Worse, recent research indicates that women's bodies, when under stress, produce a high amount of a chemical that actually causes damage to male fetuses, resulting in most of them dying, so in a high stress environment, that 14% might drop to 7%. And yes, this is ***human*** births I am talking about. How the hell is that good design?

In the end, any argument you might make about design is based on ignorance of how DNA works and how actually ad-hoc, unstable and flawed it is. We are not talking about finding a watch on the beach, we are talking about finding a smooth rock inside another one, and some moron insisting that there is no way the small one got in there, unless it was carved. And argument from lack of imagination.

And to be clear, while everyone here seems to think "fool" is offensive, I intentionally avoided the extreme term used by Francis D. I don't blame Card for making a mistake, I do blame him for not bothering to get his facts straight in the first place. And I don't care what sort of awards people get, such as one person commented. Having one *does not* automatically make you an authority on every subject or recuse them of learning the facts about a subject *before* commenting on it. There are plenty of people who do great things in one field, then make complete asses out of themselves in something else, because they don't bother to learn anything about it beyond some best seller book or the latest crack pot that has sold X thousand copies of his crackpot theory. We all need to strive to do better than that, instead of giving into the modern trend of believing what ever some clown with a degree writes, just because a lot of clueless people find the ideas compelling and the author sold a lot of books.

I don't think Card is an idiot. I do think he is "still" given more credence to an idea that was buried years before Darwin ever even wrote a single sentence and it serves no one's best interests for someone as famous as him to remain so willfully ignorant about why the idea of design, vitalism and other ideas all failed.

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King of Men
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Oh dear, I find myself agreeing with Tom, here. Would you people please calm down a bit? We were having a somewhat constructive dialogue before you started ranting. Your tone is getting in the way of your actual arguments, which are excellent.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
And I don't care what sort of awards people get, such as one person commented.
Let me be clear: I mentioned awards only because Francis was, by his own admission, refusing to respect Card because he did not consider Card his "equal," and in fact not even a grown adult. While I don't think a few Hugos make anyone a biology expert, I think it's safe to say that they help make the argument that someone is at least deserving of respect from fellow humans.
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King of Men
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To be fair, though, respect is a line that travels two ways. OSC's polemics do not exactly give me the impression of a man who respects the intelligence of his readers. Especially when many of those readers are probably 'Darwinists' themselves. Accusing people of name-calling is not exactly the best way to earn their respect.
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estavares
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Hey Francis--there are far too many high-minded smarty-pants in the world who weave circular little arguments, personally insult others, get drunk on their own emotion, and act as badly as those they deride. For those of us interested in hearing all sides of such debates (including your own), please avoid becoming part of that particular clique.

Thanks for your help.

Now, a question for everyone. There's been a lot of talk on "Darwinists" but I'm interested in an exact definition. I've no opinion on this subject, so I'm curious why Card's use of the term is considered a broad (and insulting) generalization. What specific qualifier should he have said (or perhaps might he have meant)?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
There's been a lot of talk on "Darwinists" but I'm interested in an exact definition. I've no opinion on this subject, so I'm curious why Card's use of the term is considered a broad (and insulting) generalization.
It's actually used that way by the Creationist community, although Card might not have known that. More broadly, though, he doesn't make clear that his criticisms are only aimed at a narrow audience; the implication from his essay is that his "seven points" are failures of "Darwinism" -- whatever that is.
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Kagehi
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Look. I am sorry about any overt sense of annoyance that people figured out I have here. I didn't actually come from Brin's site. I got there from http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/ where I have spent over a year watching people who can't, won't or refuse to read *any* source material you point them to, repeat the same accusation about the imaginary vast Darwinist conspiracy. And 99% of them are tracible back to web pages that are run by religious groups promoting ID propoganda from the Discovery Institute and lying about everyone else. This promotes a serious decrease in ones sense of humor when people with real authority post the same arguments. Most people are fools. I am sure I am in some areas of my life too. The difference is if someone is willing to learn about the subject. Card makes a good start, but he still assumes some things, even in his retraction, that are at least questionable. In effect, his statement was, "I still don't know enough about the science to make accurate statements, but I did figure out that a lot of radicals are lying about it." Good start. But its like admitting airplanes really can fly, while still having no clue why they do. Imho, it no where near enough.
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estavares
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So are there scientists promoting the concept of ID without having any kind of hidden creationist agenda? I'm curious at to the scientific basis for that concept, if any.
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King of Men
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I do not know of any. But then I would say that, to be sure. Perhaps OSC knows of some?
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Oobie Binoobie
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Kagehi, if you heard some pilots arguing "Bernoulli vs. Newton", you would know that they are a class of people who admit that airplanes can fly, who fly them generally with great skill and safety, and still have no clue why they fly.

You also wrote, "The point being that you can't argue for design when the thing you are looking at barely works right," referring to a rising popular idea that human beings are designed badly.

Well, OK, you've a right to that opinion, but it seems like so much movie-critiquing to me; noone has shown another system of life, biological or otherwise, which is empirically better, even from the standpoints you cite.

And in any case, wouldn't a creationist simply rejoin with, "The fact that it works at all is the Godly miracle!"

Gets us noplace.

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Francis D
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quote:
Dagonee:
That would be great. Let us know when you intend to start, especially with that "somewhat less offensive manner" thing.

quote:
Card: (For reference)
Still ... when people get as angry as the Darwinists are, you know I have trodden on their sacred faith; and since they have long smugly believed, in the fashion of most religious fanatics, that their beliefs are TRUTH and all others should bow before them, any challenge is regarded as heresy which must be stamped out, with vigor.

I only termed Card a tool who realised something of this and still remained a useful idiot. I did not ever accuse him of regarding any challenge as heresy, or of believing that his beliefs are TRUTH. Ignorance is curable - and that is the only sin I actually accuse him of (although one that leads him to take actions that are extremely misguided). I also cast aspersions on his actions rather than his beliefs. I therefore was less offensive than Card (and that's without his choice of language about "Darwinists" - which is almost invariably used as a slur on opponents by creationists).

As King of Men says,
quote:
Accusing people of name-calling is not exactly the best way to earn their respect.
And Card does not only do this, he does this in a place where he is demonstrably wrong.

quote:
TomDavidson:
Francis, again, please explain why badly-researched tripe forces you to be uncivil? I'm not sure I got that one.

And Tom, there are three possibilities for Card. Either he likes the heat of strong rhetoric (he certainly used enough of it) - in which case he should enjoy my writing and it is a positive thing. Or he dishes it out and ignores it when it comes back - in which case it doesn't matter. Or he dishes it out and refuses to take it, in which case he is a bully. I give him the benefit of the doubt until he proves otherwise. Therefore I use strong rhetoric to match strong rhetoric.

Finally,
quote:
estavares:
So are there scientists promoting the concept of ID without having any kind of hidden creationist agenda? I'm curious at to the scientific basis for that concept, if any.

There may have been once - before the Creationists got in on the act. Unfortunately the creationist movement's hijacking of the term and completely dominating such discourse (and poisoning it with an entire pile of lies which need regular debunking because they keep getting used even after being shown to be lies) means that even in what is normally a highly controversial field, it is almost impossible to get a serious debate of these positions.

The fact that if the creator designed things directly (as opposed to simply shaped natural forces), he was an idiot (see the appendix, the eye (compared to the octopus) and the nerves in the neck of a giraffe for reasonable examples) is beside the point. As is the fact that the case for ID is ultimately an argument from incredulity that is only slightly more advanced than the 19th century attempted rebuttal of evolution that the eye was far too complex to have evolved.

Oh, and Kagehi gives a good analysis of why people get extremely annoyed by creationist and ID nonsense - some of which Card unwittingly reproduced.

And I fully agree with Kagehi that the partial retraction on this message board is not enough. Enough for me would be an overt retraction of at least the claim that IDers are not Creationists in the same places he made that claim - so it will be as easy to find and have as wide circulation. What I hope Card has the guts to do is publish a followup article on how he was fooled by the creationists.

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TomDavidson
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quote:

And I fully agree with Kagehi that the partial retraction on this message board is not enough.

Why not? What harm do you imagine he's done?

quote:
And Tom, there are three possibilities for Card. Either he likes the heat of strong rhetoric (he certainly used enough of it) - in which case he should enjoy my writing and it is a positive thing. Or he dishes it out and ignores it when it comes back - in which case it doesn't matter. Or he dishes it out and refuses to take it, in which case he is a bully.
I suspect the truth is more nuanced than that. Or do you also agree with C.S. Lewis' Triune theory, which essentially "proves" the validity of the Bible using similar logic?

Seriously, the man enjoys a good give and take, but he's also sensitive to personal criticism and especially sensitive to accusations that he hasn't thought things through -- although usually strongly worded accusations of that sort (which include yours) are considered by him to be so off-base that he just writes off the poster altogether and never bothers replying to them. It's a little from all three columns, then, and a little from a fourth you didn't even mention.

I'm not saying that involving Card in an honest dialogue about his rhetorical choices wouldn't be valuable; I'm saying that your methods are pretty much doomed to fail, and I'm speaking here from a certain amount of experience.

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Francis D
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quote:
Why not? What harm do you imagine he's done?
Provided free propoganda to liars who will use anything they can get their hands on (debunked or not - I speak from experience of dealing with them) and who wish to dismantle secular society.

How they will use it, I don't know.

quote:
Seriously, the man enjoys a good give and take, but he's also sensitive to personal criticism and especially sensitive to accusations that he hasn't thought things through
Interesting that he has no problem dishing out such accusations then. The entire article is an accusation of not having thought things through and one based on his own lack of knowledge of the situation.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Provided free propoganda to liars who will use anything they can get their hands on (debunked or not - I speak from experience of dealing with them) and who wish to dismantle secular society.
See, it's this kind of hyperbole that tires me out when HE does it, too. You DO realize, deep in your heart of hearts, that this is a tempest in a teapot -- right?
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Dagonee
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quote:
I only termed Card a tool who realised something of this and still remained a useful idiot.
You called him an idiot. That's rude. Do you honestly not know this?

quote:
I did not ever accuse him of regarding any challenge as heresy, or of believing that his beliefs are TRUTH. Ignorance is curable - and that is the only sin I actually accuse him of (although one that leads him to take actions that are extremely misguided). I also cast aspersions on his actions rather than his beliefs.
You could have been more rude? Yeah. I could be a lot ruder, too. So?

quote:
I therefore was less offensive than Card (and that's without his choice of language about "Darwinists" - which is almost invariably used as a slur on opponents by creationists).
And this is relevant how, exactly? You agreed to terms of service when you signed onto this site that specifically prohibit the name-calling you have engaged in.

At this point you are simply taking advantage of the fact that were the rules to be enforced against you, you could then cry all over the Internet about how you were censored by OSC. Either way, you are breaking your word and being rude.

quote:
And Tom, there are three possibilities for Card. Either he likes the heat of strong rhetoric (he certainly used enough of it) - in which case he should enjoy my writing and it is a positive thing. Or he dishes it out and ignores it when it comes back - in which case it doesn't matter. Or he dishes it out and refuses to take it, in which case he is a bully. I give him the benefit of the doubt until he proves otherwise. Therefore I use strong rhetoric to match strong rhetoric.
You use name-calling that you promised not to use to match strong rhetoric.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by Oobie Binoobie:
Well, OK, you've a right to that opinion, but it seems like so much movie-critiquing to me; noone has shown another system of life, biological or otherwise, which is empirically better, even from the standpoints you cite.

I must disagree. The octopus eye, for example, is not installed backwards : A simple modification that costs exactly nothing, but gives a much better efficiency. Gorillas and chimps do not get back aches, for the good and simple reason that they do not insist on a bipedal gait their spine is not 'designed' for. Any number of other species have a working gene for making vitamin C. (Incidentally, the vitamin C thing is a really excellent smoking gun for common descent of chimps and humans.) Chimps, again, cannot choke, because their air and food channels do not cross. In short, there are plenty of examples of working biological systems that are better than what humans have.
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Dagonee
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For your definition of "better."
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Provided free propoganda to liars who will use anything they can get their hands on (debunked or not - I speak from experience of dealing with them) and who wish to dismantle secular society.
See, it's this kind of hyperbole that tires me out when HE does it, too. You DO realize, deep in your heart of hearts, that this is a tempest in a teapot -- right?
Actually, Tom, I do not think 'wish to dismantle secular society' is hyperbole. If you read the Wedge Document, you will observe that this is precisely what the Design Institute is trying to do. And like it or not, OSC has indeed given them ammunition. "Look, a science fiction author agrees with us! How can you say it's not scientific now?"
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Francis D
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quote:
See, it's this kind of hyperbole that tires me out when HE does it, too. You DO realize, deep in your heart of hearts, that this is a tempest in a teapot -- right?
Tell that to the Dover school board. Also try reading their goals.

Their explicit goals are
  • To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
  • To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.

with a twenty year goal of
  • To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.

Sounds like dismantling of secular society to me. Therefore my statement of their goals is not hyperbole.

As for the statement about lies, the most notorious case of Creationists has a prominant one lying every 11 words. The ID lobby tends to be far more media-savvy and hence harder to catch in outright lies, although Behe (Card's source and one of the two leading ID "Scientists" (along with Dembski)) has been caught in court redefining the meaning of "Scientific Theory", the ID lobby has been caught re-using creationist texts (with a simple search and replace) and there are reams of ID arguments that have been debunked, most of which continue to be used.

They have already taken over the curriculum in at least one school, then been put on trial and dismantled in court, then derided by the judge (who was both conservative and religious, despite the spin of the discovery institute) for "breathtaking inanity".

It may be a tempest in a tea-pot, but it seemingly takes in relatively influential people like Card and also manages to wreck the science education in at least one school (although with luck the Dover PA trial pushed it back).

In short, they have a stated goal that involves dismantling secular society, a demonstrable track-record of lying, distorting, and grabbing any evidence that comes to hand, and demonstrable power (although hopefuly a bit less following the Dover court case) and the ability to take in people like Card.

All the above is heavily documented (I have only scratched the surface in my links). Where is the hyperbole?

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
For your definition of "better."

Well, let me be specific and take the example of the eye. The octopus eye receives more of the photons that hit its lens, because its receptor nerves are not installed behind the support system. In what possible definition is this not better? It is additional clarity of sight for no extra cost! I cannot fathom how you can manage to call this playing with words. The octopus eye does the same job, more accurately, for the same cost. If you are going to use words like 'design' at all, you cannot then proceed to make them meaningless by saying 'except where it works badly, for there must be a reason for that!' You then degenerate into the complete circularity of "It's good design because God did it, and I know God did it because it's good design."
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Dagonee
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Because, if we posit a designer, we also posit that he designed us to particular specifications.

"Design" doesn't posit "good design" by any particular engineering standard.

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King of Men
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Sorry Dag, but it does. Recall that this 'design' is being used as evidence for a designer. That requires that we be able to recognise design in the first place, right? I mean, if you can't tell the difference between 'something designed by an intelligent being' and 'something thrown together by mutations' then the whole of ID is moot in any case.

Now, if you believe in a designer for other reasons, as you do, then it may be reasonable to postulate design and see what you can infer about the designer. (Incidentally, what does the human spine tell you about your god?) But that's just not how this particular discussion has gone.

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Francis D
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Dagonee, you might get further in understanding my comments if you look up "Useful Idiot". It is not name-calling (although it is a slight perjorative), it is a description of his actions - mistaken beliefs and misplaced benefit of the doubt, combined with speaking up without full knowledge of the facts leading to providing support for a dangerous and malicious organisation.

quote:
From Wikipedia:
In the contemporary United States, the term is used as a pejorative by political conservatives against political liberals. The tone of usage implies that the target of this sobriquet is ignorant of the facts to the extent that they end up unwittingly advancing an adverse cause that they might not otherwise support.

Once again, you drop a word of mine in order to attack a statement I didn't make.

And as for definitions of "better", how about "actually works without outside help" (vitamin C synthesis) or "provides better vision and is more reliable- without saddling the creature with a blind spot" (octopus eye) or "does not provide a both common and completely unnecessary means of accidental death, while providing no benefits" (wind pipe).

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Dagonee
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quote:
Dagonee, you might get further in understanding my comments if you look up "Useful Idiot". It is not name-calling (although it is a slight perjorative), it is a description of his actions - mistaken beliefs and misplaced benefit of the doubt, combined with speaking up without full knowledge of the facts leading to providing support for a dangerous and malicious organisation.
It's name-calling, and it's out of bounds here.

quote:
Sorry Dag, but it does. Recall that this 'design' is being used as evidence for a designer. That requires that we be able to recognise design in the first place, right? I mean, if you can't tell the difference between 'something designed by an intelligent being' and 'something thrown together by mutations' then the whole of ID is moot in any case.

Now, if you believe in a designer for other reasons, as you do, then it may be reasonable to postulate design and see what you can infer about the designer. (Incidentally, what does the human spine tell you about your god?) But that's just not how this particular discussion has gone.

No, it doesn't. The applicable thing being studied here is whether it could have arisen as the result of natural selection, or if intelligence was required to produce such complex structures. Intelligence being required does not mean the design had to be perfect according to any particular standard.

They say "it's too complex to arise by chance." Not "it's too perfect to arise by chance."

I happen to think this is one of the philosophical weaknesses with ID. But none of your examples are a response to the claim being made.

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King of Men
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Ah, ok - you are looking at the 'needs help' bit rahter than the 'looks good'. In that case, the counterargument is that there are perfectly good evolutionary pathways for everything the ID-ers have suggested, from the eye to blood clotting. Judge Jones mentioned some of them in the Dover judgement, which I linked to in that other thread. But in any case, I was actually arguing with Oobie, who seems to agree with me that there can be an objective better and that it is a useful standard, since he said

quote:
noone has shown another system of life, biological or otherwise, which is empirically better, even from the standpoints you cite.
I think you'll agree that this has been shown to be false, yes?
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Dagonee
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quote:
Ah, ok - you are looking at the 'needs help' bit rahter than the 'looks good'. In that case, the counterargument is that there are perfectly good evolutionary pathways for everything the ID-ers have suggested, from the eye to blood clotting.
Of course there is - I'm not an ID-er.

quote:
I think you'll agree that this has been shown to be false, yes?
I'm not as convinced as you that it's clear that none of these disadvantages have corresponding advantages that exist as a trade-off.

All in all, though, I don't think it's a productive line of analysis.

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King of Men
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I think it is definitely up to you to show that the ability to synthesise Vitamin C has drawbacks.
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Dagonee
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quote:
I think it is definitely up to you to show that the ability to synthesise Vitamin C has drawbacks.
It's not up to me to do anything, KoM. You haven't convinced me.
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King of Men
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I haven't convinced you that being able to synthesise Vitamin C has advantages? This is just so mind-blowingly obvious that I'm at a loss. What possible disadvantage is there?

I also don't understand why you say it's not up to you to do anything. Obviously you don't have to discuss the subject further if you don't care to. If you do, though, I really don't feel it is incumbent on me to try to prove a negative. If you want to say that there could possibly be tradeoffs in vitamin production, I really do think you should give some possible examples. I'll argue with you, but I won't supply both sides of the conversation.

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