Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Response to Saccharomyces, Take 2

You gotta love this. dlamming has a new follow-up post wherein he makes this highly amusing statement:

I called this position the absolute worst form of elitism. Now, Ed Brayton has a new post up, in which he admits he might be elitist, but he thinks that’s ok.

Actually, I didn’t say anything about whether I might be elitist in that post. What I did say was that the idea that what I said was the “absolute worst form of elitism” is idiotic rhetoric. And indeed it is, but apparently not enough so that dlamming won’t repeat it here as though it hadn’t been quite reasonably shown to be so already. As for whether or not I am an elitist, the answer is yes, I am an elitist. Everyone is an elitist, including those who claim not to be.

No one in their right mind believes that all people are equally smart, equally talented, equally motivated, equally knowledgable or equally anything else. And no one in their right mind really believes that professional training and expertise do not make a person more qualified to practice in a field, or comment on it, than a person without such training. If dlamming thinks that this obviously true position amounts to “elitism”, then I would simply invite him to use some other criteria for determining such expertise in his life.

Next time he needs surgery, rather than engaging in the “elitist” notion that someone with a medical degree and training in a surgical residency program might be more qualified than someone who lacks that experience, let him instead entrust his internal organs to a dentist, or better yet, an auto mechanic. For that matter, next time he needs his car fixed, let him take it not to someone who has had years of training and is certified in that discipline but instead take it to a landscaper or a fast food manager instead. The fact that he won’t do so is more than enough to prove that dlamming, despite his silly protests to the contrary, is an “elitist” in precisely the same sense that I am, his insistence on arguing against a straw man version of my position notwithstanding.

The simple fact is that someone who has training and experience in a given area really is more qualified than to comment on that field than someone who isn’t. Now, that alone does not tell us what the truth is, of course, because among qualified experts in a field there will always be some disagreements. Even Nobel Prize winners still have to lay out the evidence and the arguments for their claims and those claims are treated no differently than any other. But only a fool or a fraud would argue that it is some unjustified form of “elitism” to believe that those with more training and knowledge in a field are, on the whole, more qualified than those who without it. Lastly he says:

No matter how much Ed Brayton wishes it wasn’t true, the DI list demonstrates there are a number of people within the scientific community who doubt the theory of evolution.

If you can find me saying anything at all that denies that there are “a number of people within the scientific community who doubt the theory of evolution”, then by all means post it. The fact that you can’t quote me saying anything like that is proof that you are engaging in the beating up of a straw man. You’re arguing against the position you wish I had taken rather than the position I’ve actually taken. It’s quite a dishonest little game you’re playing here, dlamming, and it’s making you look quite foolish.

Comments

  1. #1 dlamming
    February 27, 2006

    I freely admit that when I need surgery, I go to a surgeon. That, of course, is for doing surgery. Can I talk about surgery, without doing it? Of course I can. I can tell people what the basic procedure I’m undergoing in a few days is, what the complications are, and even go into some detail. I don’t have to be capable of doing the surgery to have a good idea what’s going on.

    You apparently don’t believe that educated people generally have a good idea of what evolution is about, even in fields such as medicine and chemistry. I think you’re wrong. Just because a chemist and a doctor can’t do PCR or excavate a fossil, doesn’t mean that they don’t understand evolution.

    If we want to focus on dishonesty (a strong word), we can discuss your dismissing the 128 biologists (25% of the list) as “a few”, and focusing on the equivalent number of chemists and engineers.

  2. #2 Roger Tang
    February 27, 2006

    You apparently don’t believe that educated people generally have a good idea of what evolution is about, even in fields such as medicine and chemistry. I think you’re wrong. Just because a chemist and a doctor can’t do PCR or excavate a fossil, doesn’t mean that they don’t understand evolution.

    It’s apparent that you have no idea on what scientists do. ANd it’s less than clear that you yourself have any idea of what evolution is about, which puts your entire rhetorical castle on shaky grounds.

  3. #3 Scott Simmons
    February 27, 2006

    Of course many educated people have a good grasp of the basics of evolution. Also, many don’t. When one doesn’t exhaustively study and regularly do work in a given field, one is more susceptible to misconceptions that would rapidly succumb to facts under the alternative circumstances … If virtually every practicing auto mechanic tells me that automatic transmission fluid and brake fluid are not interchangeable, but 50% of educated non-mechanics disagree — well, I personally am going to keep the brake fluid out of my automatic transmission fluid receptacle. That’s not being elitist, that’s just deferring to experience & expertise.

  4. #4 coturnix
    February 27, 2006

    You average Joe understands evolution just like the folks at “Darwin Is Dead” carnival that Orac and PZ linked to.

  5. #5 JY
    February 27, 2006

    dlamming, a list of ‘scientists who question evolution’, (intended to be interpreted as ‘authorities who question evolution’ to have any rhetorical value whatsoever) should at least be composed of actual authorities on the subject: people with deep knowledge of biology. To suggest that a list of authorities that has at most 25% authorities, and at least 75% non-authorities contains only a “few” is not dishonest. It’s certainly a subjective call when to call the number “few”, but to accuse someone of being dishonest over the issue is just silly.

    However, to claim that someone ‘wishes [that the DI list didn't show that actual scientists question evolution] weren’t true’ is, in fact, dishonest: you are misrepresenting his position. Well, perhaps you are just misreading his position, although it doesn’t seem like such a subtle position: the fact that a few scientists question evolution is not particularly relevant, the fact that the DI puts so much stock in a list that’s mostly non-experts is ridiculous.

  6. #6 Ed Brayton
    February 27, 2006

    dlamming wrote:

    I freely admit that when I need surgery, I go to a surgeon. That, of course, is for doing surgery. Can I talk about surgery, without doing it? Of course I can. I can tell people what the basic procedure I’m undergoing in a few days is, what the complications are, and even go into some detail. I don’t have to be capable of doing the surgery to have a good idea what’s going on.

    I don’t know whether you’re just being incredibly dense, or whether this is purely a tactical move on your part because you know you’re looking foolish and don’t want to admit it…but you keep pretending that I’ve made some statement about who can and can’t talk about evolution. I’ve said no such thing. Having told you that now about 3 times, I can only assume that you’re being intentionally obtuse. Of course it is true that people without credentials can talk about anything they want to talk about, and of course it’s true that they may even have an educated opinion about a subject without such credentials. What they cannot honestly do is pretend to have any more authority than anyone else not trained in the field, nor can anyone else legitimately claim that they have such authority. That is the only thing I have ever objected to in this discussion. I’ve spelled that out for you about 5 different ways, in very standard English. If you don’t get that by now, I would suggest that your reading comprehension skills need some work.

    You apparently don’t believe that educated people generally have a good idea of what evolution is about, even in fields such as medicine and chemistry. I think you’re wrong. Just because a chemist and a doctor can’t do PCR or excavate a fossil, doesn’t mean that they don’t understand evolution.

    No, I don’t believe that educated people in general have a good idea what evolution is about. In the case of these educated people who signed on to the DI’s red herring statement, the very fact that they apparently believe that the statement is an accurate description of evolutionary theory is evidence that they don’t have a good idea at all in this regard.

  7. #7 mark
    February 27, 2006

    Educated people, in general, could have a good idea of what evolution is about–but they don’t. The reason is, I think, they don’t read enough suitable material and don’t get involved in the meetings, presentations, and arguments of the field. Some of their notions may be based on ideas long dropped by the mainstream workers (but often cited by Creationists as if they were current). Incredibly, we also see instances of professional scientists, even Nobel-Prize winners, losing touch with scientific rigor when they get out of their field. This is not invariably the case, but is often enough for us to be leery of lists like the one discussed in this post.

  8. #8 dlamming
    February 27, 2006

    Ed, I think your problem is that you truly believe evolution is hard. It’s not. Just like other great conceptual ideas, it can be simplified and presented in outline form to virtually anyone.

    Details are harder. Explaining DNA, mutation, gene duplication, homologous genes in various organisms, mitochondrial clocks as a way of determining when species split off from other species… these are harder. Even so, they’re not truly hard. In my opnion, anyone who’s ever studied chemistry, biology, or medicine knows at least something about most of these details. Do they know the nitty gritty of how to set up a sequencing reaction, and the math to figure out evolutionary distances? Probably not, but they don’t have to. Do you disagree? Fine, go do an experiment. Go interview some doctors and chemists, and see what they can tell you about evolution.

    You say that those outside the field “shouldn’t pretend to have any more authority than anyone else.” Well, I believe that a basic knowledge of evolution is widespread among scientists (and lay people) of many fields, and certainly those of biology, chemistry, and medicine. And, as I did in my first post, I hold your unwillingness to believe this as evidence that you and others believe that “only experts should talk about scientific issues.”

    Since you feel the need to question my reading skills, I’m going to question yours – did you even read the NY Times article, or did you just glance at the headline and conclude that the DI list only contained “a few” biologists? Otherwise, I’m forced to conclude you read the entire article and then decided to post that there were “lots” of engineers and “very few” biologists (despite the presence of 128 biologists and only 75 engineers) for “tactical” reasons of your own.

  9. #9 Elf M. Sternberg
    February 27, 2006

    I don’t understand what’s wrong with “Elitism.” My dictionary defines “elite” as “selected as the best.” Isn’t that what we went to college for? Isn’t that part and parcel of a professional life? To be ranked from best in the business to unemployed in Greenland? I’m all for elitism, for a sense of both accountability and professionalism, and all that it implies. I want my leaders to be meritocratic and elite.

  10. #10 dlamming
    February 28, 2006

    Hmm, I wonder what happened to the reply I posted last night? Anyway, it went something like this:

    Ed, the problem is, you think evolution is hard. It’s not. The basic concepts can be explained to virtually anyone. While the molecular details may be slightly more complex (mutation of DNA, gene duplication allows for new functionality to emerge, homolgous genes in different species show they are related, etc), I believe anyone who’s a biologist, doctor or a chemist has a pretty reasonable grip on the concept of evolution. You don’t agree with me, because you think evolution is so extremely hard.

    My original post was about elitism: specifically, the idea that only experts in a field should talk about a subject. You’ve just stated that “I don’t believe that educated people in general have a good idea what evolution is about.” You sir, have proved my point about elitism.

    And if you’re going to criticize my reading comprehsension, lets ask about yours: did you read the NY Times article before your first post, or did you just skim the headline and assume that there were “very few” biologists on the DI list? Otherwise, I don’t see how you could call 128 “very few”, but say there were “Lots of engineers”, when there were only 75.

  11. #11 JY
    February 28, 2006

    the problem is, you think evolution is hard. It’s not. The basic concepts can be explained to virtually anyone.

    Then you must agree that the DI list is silly and irrelevant. It doesn’t matter at all that the signatories are scientists, anyone can hold themselves up as an authority on evolution. It should just be a list of “people who question evolution”.

    (By the way, the fact that the basic concepts can be explained to virtually anyone says nothing. If the basic concepts could be understood by virtually anyone, well, that would mean something. But its irrelevant: just because people can understand something doesn’t mean they do.)

    Who (besides you) has ever said that only experts in a field should talk about a subject? Why do you keep knocking the stuffing out of this stupid straw man? And the statement “I don’t believe educated people in general have a good idea what evolution is about” is not only not elitist, it’s true. The statement “Only people with these specific credentials are capable of understanding what evolution is about” would be (unjustifiably) elitist, but that is in no way equivalent. I think criticism of your reading comprehension is quite warranted, since you are repeatedly ignoring the difference between having an opinion on a subject and presenting yourself as an authority on a subject.

  12. #12 Gretchen
    February 28, 2006

    My original post was about elitism: specifically, the idea that only experts in a field should talk about a subject. You’ve just stated that “I don’t believe that educated people in general have a good idea what evolution is about.” You sir, have proved my point about elitism.

    How, exactly, does “I don’t believe that educated people in general have a good idea what evolution is about” equate to “Only experts in a field should talk about a subject”?

    They’re two entirely different sentiments. Ed has said repeatedly that he has made no judgments about who should talk about a subject. So for goodness sakes, stop repeating that strawman. Talking is an even playing field. Anybody can talk about anything. So “talking” is not the issue here.

    And I suspect that most likely, you and Ed have different ideas about “what evolution is about.” You probably think it means something much more basic than Ed does, which would mean that you’d disagree on whether educated people generally know it. Either that, or you have different ideas about what it means to be educated.

  13. #13 slpage
    February 28, 2006

    dlamming writes:

    “Can I talk about surgery, without doing it? Of course I can”

    Yet in his response to Ed, he wrote:

    “No matter how much Ed Brayton wishes it wasn’t true, the DI list demonstrates there are a number of people within the scientific community who doubt the theory of evolution.”

    The two are hardly analogous – aples and oranges. You can talk about your surgery all you want – however, that is not what the DI list is designed to do, to simply ‘talk about’ evolution. It indicates that its signatories have taken a position on evolution. It would be like you, instead of merely talking about your surgery, declaring that the surgery itself is unwarranted, that those advocating surgery in the circumstances are deluded or are merely advocating surgery due to their prior committments, that the surgeon is incompetent, etc.

    The DI list demonstrates that there are religio-politically motivated miscreants that have no problem exploiting vague statements for their cause. I am unsure why this is so difficult for dlamming to handle.

  14. #14 Dave S.
    February 28, 2006

    dlamming writes:

    Hmm, I wonder what happened to the reply I posted last night?

    Sounds a touch sinister.

    Probably a technical problem with posting. Sometimes happens to me too. Still working out the bugs in this new site.

    Ed, the problem is, you think evolution is hard. It’s not.

    It is hard. Like any complex field of knowledge, to truely understand it requires a great deal of study. I cannot say with any confidence that I truely understand it yet, even though I’ve been studying the issue (as an amateur with a background in chemistry) for many years.

    Unfortunately, to missunderstand it, to get an oversimplified characature of what evolution is in your head, is very very simple indeed. I find once that happens, the characature takes over completely and the person ‘afflicted’ generally (although not always) becomes immune to all logic and evidence. I’m speaking in generalities here.

    I believe anyone who’s a biologist, doctor or a chemist has a pretty reasonable grip on the concept of evolution.

    This is simply not true. Such people certainly may have a reasonable grip on it, but many do not.

    You don’t agree with me, because you think evolution is so extremely hard.

    No, it’s because those people say things about evolution which are demonstrably false or they attach significance to lists with a vacuous statement like the one in discussion, which have no merit other than as PR.

    My original post was about elitism: specifically, the idea that only experts in a field should talk about a subject. You’ve just stated that “I don’t believe that educated people in general have a good idea what evolution is about.” You sir, have proved my point about elitism.

    This argument is a non sequitur. It is true that even the educated population in general do not have a good idea what evolution is all about, other than the vaguest of notions. What has this to do with the idea that only experts should talk about a given subject? Is it elitest to suggest that their views should not automatically be accorded the same weight as the views of relevant experts in the field?

    No-one gets a free pass … but if Gary Kasparov suggests a chess move and Patzer Pete another, then I’m more likely consider Gary’s move as the best candidate. This does not mean that Gary must be right and Pete must be wrong, but as we say in the gambling game, that’s the way to bet.

    And if you’re going to criticize my reading comprehsension, lets ask about yours: did you read the NY Times article before your first post, or did you just skim the headline and assume that there were “very few” biologists on the DI list? Otherwise, I don’t see how you could call 128 “very few”, but say there were “Lots of engineers”, when there were only 75.

    Given that we are discussing a biological theory here, I think that (assuming your numbers are correct, which depends on how broadly one defines ‘biologist’) the fact that by your own admission only a quarter of the signatories are actually biologists and more than half that number are engineers with no background in biology whatsoever is significant.

    But, maybe that’s just being elitist.

  15. #15 slpage
    February 28, 2006

    As an addendum, I frankly consider it ‘elitist’ to declare that merely because one is a chemist or a doctor or an engineer that one has some sort of de facto, implicit ‘expertise’ in evolution. As a biologist that actually does reseach in evolution (or did, anyway), I would never consider my opinion on even some other aspect of biology to automatically have relevance. I suppose it could be that we biologists are just a bit humbler than the average Darwin Doubter…

  16. #16 dlamming
    February 28, 2006

    Well, Dave, seeing as how the entire point of my post was that people are elitist…

    anyway, you and Ed both treat the idea that people, even educated people with PhD’s, don’t understand evolution as axiomatic. where’s your evidence? (and don’t say the DI list – that’s circular) any surveys where people of various levels of education were asked to define and explain evolution?

    anyway, i’ve summed up my arguments here.

  17. #17 Raging Bee
    February 28, 2006

    dlamming’s rehash of an old — and already debunked — IDist talking-point is degenerating into a mishmash of straight lines for a slapstick comedian…

    …the problem is, you think evolution is hard. It’s not.

    Actually, it is: it often takes laborious explanations of rigorous observations of very complicated life-processes by experienced scientists (“irreducibly complex,” remember?) to refute the nice-sounding, but untimately vacuous, statements of the IDists. That is, in fact, what the ID faction counts on: that people will believe the lies because the truth is too complicated to explain to the non-science-educated majority.

    If we want to focus on dishonesty (a strong word), we can discuss your dismissing the 128 biologists (25% of the list) as “a few”, and focusing on the equivalent number of chemists and engineers.

    128 biologists who “doubt” evolution in some unspecified way are indeed “a few” compared to the thousands of biologists who regularly make use of the theory of evolution in the course of their daily work, and get beneficial results from it. What results have those 128 biologists got for their doubts, other than putting their names onto a vaguely-worded statement?

    I don’t have to be capable of doing the surgery to have a good idea what’s going on.

    If you haven’t had sufficient education or experience in surgery, then how can you be sure you really have “a good idea what’s going on?” Also, you need more than “a good idea what’s going on” if you want to prove the surgeon wrong about something in the field of surgery.

    My original post was about elitism: specifically, the idea that only experts in a field should talk about a subject. You’ve just stated that “I don’t believe that educated people in general have a good idea what evolution is about.” You sir, have proved my point about elitism.

    Actually, dlamming is right on this point. He is using the word “elitist” as an epithet to shout down people more knowledgable than himself, and prevent them from debunking the IDist con-game. And Ed has indeed proven this.

    dlamming’s — and the DI’s — reliance on a statement signed by hundreds of doubters to “prove” the validity if ID, only underscores the lack of actual scientific work to establish the credibility of ID as anything other than a religious doctrine. The famous list is merely a diversion, and dlamming’s finger-wagging about “elitism” is a diversion from the diversion.

  18. #18 Raging Bee
    February 28, 2006

    Ed: I notice dlamming’s getting bitch-slapped on his own blog, as well as here. (Okay, full disclosure: one of the replies to his latest post was mine.) I love the smell of toast in the morning…

  19. #19 Dave S.
    February 28, 2006

    dlamming writes:

    [a]nyway, you and Ed both treat the idea that people, even educated people with PhD’s, don’t understand evolution as axiomatic.

    *sigh*

    Did you even bother to read what I wrote? I did not take it as an axiom that educated people do not understand evolution.

    I could repeat what I actually wrote, but why bother?

    And it’s not at all circular to reference the dissenters list. Anyone who thinks that statement accurately depicts the mainstream theory of evolution is simply uninformed. I know of no evolution researcher who claims that random mutation and natural selection alone accounts for the complexity of life.

    I could also sign such a vapid statement. Does that mean I must then agree with Dr. Berlinski that “It [evolution] is large, almost completely useless, and the object of superstitious awe.”? Of course it doesn’t.

  20. #20 ZacharySmith
    February 28, 2006

    dlamming –

    You are truly clueless in regards to the evolution (non)controversy.

    Evolutionary theory is scrutinized and put to the test every day – every time a new fossil is unearthed, every time a biochemical reaction pathway is determined, every time organisms are observed in the field or the lab.

    What has the Discovery Institute done besides trumpet their ridiculous “dissent from Darwin” list (signed mostly by non-experts and ignoramuses) and cajole ignorant, local school boards into pushing ID in science class? Where is the research producing the data that cannot be accomodated by evolutionary theory? Why does the DI engage in plenty of PR and politics, but no research?

    As has been pointed out by others, anyone is free to talk about anything they wish. But when it comes to setting educational standards and government policies, it should be the experts who determine it. Is that too elitist for you? Perhaps you’d prefer to have your state’s doctors licensed by a board of electricians, or your local plumber certified by a board of people recruited from Joe’s Bar & Grill on a Friday night.

    A person can be educated, even brilliant, inside their field of specialty, but a complete nincompoop outside. It’s called “compartmentalization”, which happens to everyone because no one can expert in everything. Consider Linus Pauling – brilliant chemist and advocate of Vitamin C as a cold remedy. (Don’t know if that story is true, but it illustrates compartmentalization nicely). Or Duane Gish, PhD biochemist and father of modern Creationism.

    So just because there are impressive sounding credentials on the DI list does not mean that those opinions are worth a damn. Even among professionals in a given field, there are those who are on the fringe. There are probably a few cosmologists who dismiss the Big Bang – the real question is, what have they contributed to the advancement of the field? Are they actively engaged in fruitful research, or did they sit around and bitch about “unfairness” and “censhorship” after they got their degrees?

    If that’s “elitist”, then I am guilty. And so are you – unless you’d like to take you car to the local produce market for repair.

  21. #21 Ed Brayton
    February 28, 2006

    dlamming wrote:

    Hmm, I wonder what happened to the reply I posted last night?

    It got caught in the moderation queue because it had too many links in it. I didn’t know that until now. It has now been sent to the page.

    Ed, the problem is, you think evolution is hard. It’s not. The basic concepts can be explained to virtually anyone. While the molecular details may be slightly more complex (mutation of DNA, gene duplication allows for new functionality to emerge, homolgous genes in different species show they are related, etc), I believe anyone who’s a biologist, doctor or a chemist has a pretty reasonable grip on the concept of evolution. You don’t agree with me, because you think evolution is so extremely hard.

    Your belief is simply false and I know that it’s false because I have known many doctors, chemists and other educated people – people who are perfectly bright, obviously, and entirely capable of understanding evolution – who are completely ignorant on the subject. They all think they understand it, but a few minutes of conversation reveals that they don’t understand it at all. I’ve had many doctors and college professors, well educated and bright people, tell me in all seriousness that evolution means that “the universe created itself”. I’ve had engineers – and I mean many of them, not a few – tell me that there isn’t enough dust on the moon for evolution to be true. Being bright and educated means that they are capable of understanding evolution; it does not mean they understand it.

    Evolution is a difficult subject. Yes, you can state what evolution says in a very general way quite easily – it’s the idea that all modern life forms are derived from one or a few common ancestors via descent with modification – but that’s just a definition, not a statement of actual understanding. In order to have even an AP Biology-level understanding of evolution, one has to have a base of knowledge that includes the patterns found in the fossil record, an understanding of the basic taxonomical categories, an understanding of phylogenetic trees based upon both anatomical and molecular data, an understanding of how genes code for phenotypic traits, an understanding of the various mechanisms for variation within an individual and a population(point mutations, frame shift mutations, recombination, gene duplication, etc) and the various mechanisms for how such variations might get fixed in a population (natural selection, obviously, but also genetic drift, sexual selection, species selection and other concepts), an understanding of the different modes of speciation (allopatric, sympatric, etc), and much much more. Like most complex subjects, it’s easy to have a very shallow understanding of the subject and difficult to have a meaningful understanding of the subject. I’ve spent 20 years studying it seriously, though not formally, and I wouldn’t call myself an authority on the subject at gunpoint.

    My original post was about elitism: specifically, the idea that only experts in a field should talk about a subject. You’ve just stated that “I don’t believe that educated people in general have a good idea what evolution is about.” You sir, have proved my point about elitism.

    And for the 50th time, I never said anything at all about who can and can’t talk about a subject. Everyone is free to talk about a subject to their heart’s content. That doesn’t mean they can reasonably present themselves, or be presented by others, as an authority on the subject. And at this point, after telling you that multiple times and having you repeat this same idiotic caricature of what I said, a rational person can only conclude that you are a liar and a fraud. You can’t deal with the actual arguments I’ve made, so you insist on inventing your own. You’re arguing with the Ed-in-your-head rather than the real person. I’m sure that’s convenient for you, but frankly it’s making you look like a complete idiot. I suggest giving up.

    And what on earth is wrong with elitism? The very idea of education is inherently elitist – it’s based on the premise that it is better to be educated than uneducated, that it’s better to know more than to know less. That’s why we take the time to actually grade papers and test what students have learned, because we have the inherently elitist idea that it is better to excel at our studies than to be mediocre at them. The same thing is true in any job, for crying out loud, where we value the more productive over the less productive and the better employees over the worse employees. All of this is elitism; without it, it is unlikely that any society could survive for long. No one really disbelieves in elitism, including you. It’s just a meaningless buzzword you can throw at those you disagree with.

    And if you’re going to criticize my reading comprehsension, lets ask about yours: did you read the NY Times article before your first post, or did you just skim the headline and assume that there were “very few” biologists on the DI list? Otherwise, I don’t see how you could call 128 “very few”, but say there were “Lots of engineers”, when there were only 75.

    You can pretend not to understand what I meant all you want, but given your penchant for distorting my words and beating up straw men, I don’t think anyone is going to buy it. The number of people in relevant fields is few relative to the number of people in irrelevant fields. That is all I meant, and you no doubt know that but want to play pretend anyway.

  22. #22 Roger Tang
    February 28, 2006

    dlamming —

    If multiple people are telling you that you are distorting arguments and making up straw men….perhaps the problem is with YOUR arguments, not theirs….

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