Dispatches from the Creation Wars

That Compelling UD Logic

Dembski has a post up at Uncommon Descent about the series of critiques at PT of Wells’ new book. He quotes an email from one of his anonymous colleagues:

Like fresh meat tossed into a pit of jackels, Jonathan Wells’ newest book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design has sent the Panda’s Thumb crowd into a feeding frenzy. Right now there are at least 4 opening posts devoted to taking the book, apparently, chapter by chapter, and “demolishing” (or is it “destroying” or perhaps “eviscerating”) nearly every sentence Jonathan wrote (or so it seems). I find it very telling that they attribute so much power and influence to Jonathan that nearly every sentence in his book simply must be shown to be wrong.

The amusing thing is that neither in Dembski’s post, in the email he quoted, or in any of the comments after the post is there a single word about the substance of those critiques. I think this demonstrates the utter vacuousness of their position – it simply doesn’t matter to them whether the critiques are accurate or not, or whether the claims in Wells’ book are true. All that matters is that they are being paid attention to. Their position is essentially, “The fact that you list 20 reasons why I’m wrong proves that I’m right.” I’ll take ridiculously illogical thinking for $1000, Alex.

Comments

  1. #1 Dan
    August 28, 2006

    Speaking of utter vacuousness, did anyone else catch West and Luskin early this morning on C-SPAN Booknotes? Unless you suffer from terminal insomnia, probably not. They were pimping their book Traipsing Into Evolution. I’ve not read the book, but it it purports to be a critique of Judge Jones’ Dover opinion. If the C-SPAN gig is at all representative, the book must be a real tour de force of absurdity.

    On the bright side, it did cure my insomnia.

  2. #2 somnilista, FCD
    August 28, 2006

    He quotes an email from one of his anonymous colleagues:

    I find it very telling that ID supporters have so many anonymous sources, perhaps the best-known being the anonymous Chinese paleontologist who questions the bird-dinosaur link. No one is willing to admit to being a colleague of Dembski, Behe, Wells, et al.

  3. #3 Herb
    August 28, 2006

    This reminds me of the fights I used to have with an ex-girlfriend. She would accuse me of something, I would respond, and then she’d get mad and say, “Well, you just have an answer for everything, don’t you?” What do you say to that? “Touche?”

  4. #4 Kate
    August 28, 2006

    I find it very telling that they attribute so much power and influence to Jonathan that nearly every sentence in his book simply must be shown to be wrong.

    I think that they mis-typed that. Because I find it very telling that nearly every sentence in his book *can* be shown to be wrong. I mean aren’t there any non sequiters in there? Something that while it may not be right can at least pass without being actually wrong??

  5. #5 Henry Neufeld
    August 28, 2006

    The need to spin every single piece of publicity into demonstration of the truth of one’s posistion is one of the signs that ID is actually a political strategy rather than a scientific movement.

    ID looks more like theology than science, but it resembles political strategy most of all.

  6. #6 matthew
    August 28, 2006

    science is as science does

  7. #7 RC23
    August 28, 2006

    It is a perfect case of Elephant and Pug. They are perceived to be strong because of their barking, though they have no bite (scientifically).

  8. #8 FishyFred
    August 28, 2006

    Speaking of Traipsing…, has anyone taken a look at the reviews of the book on Amazon? Link here. I set the link to display the highest reviews first. You’ll notice that most of them are written by familiar names and DI fellows. Huge surprise there.

  9. #9 Chris
    August 28, 2006

    I like this one

    “Bingo. And on that note, who’s for a game of Count The Strawmen? I’m sure there will be plenty of watered down and incorrect versions of Wells’s arguments presented at PT and then conveniently “demolished”. ”

    Doesn’t Wells develop a strawman in the very first chapter of his new book? Its not even 5 pages into it before he accepts evolution but denies darwinism, sets up his interpretation of darwinism and goes from there to tear it down. I haven’t read the book, I did however read the first couple of pages just to see what was going on in it.

  10. #10 luna_the_cat
    August 28, 2006

    But, you know, this tactic works for them. If scientists ignore them, or don’t respond in-depth, they can claim that “they posed challenges that science didn’t/couldn’t answer” and scientists “must be keeping their mouths shut because they know that [the creationist sh**] is right.” But if scientists tear it apart in-depth, it is because “they are acared and defensive.”

    Either way, it isn’t about the data. It was never about the data. It’s not about the logic and was never about the logic. You KNOW that, right? It’s about how you can characterise people who don’t think like you. It’s about emotional reaction.

  11. #11 dogscratcher
    August 28, 2006

    luna_the_cat:

    “If scientists ignore them, or don’t respond in-depth, they can claim that “they posed challenges that science didn’t/couldn’t answer” and scientists “must be keeping their mouths shut because they know that [the creationist] is right.” But if scientists tear it apart in-depth, it is because “they are acared and defensive.””

    Well said. Except for the typo. No doubt to be quote-mined to show how illiterate you are.

  12. #12 Steve Reuland
    August 28, 2006

    Dembski’s response is soooo predictable. I could have written it myself.

  13. #13 DragonScholar
    August 28, 2006

    Its like kids who crave attention no matter what kind, isn’t it?

    I’d turn this around then – the obsessive fascination with Evolution shown by UD clearly shows that us pro-science types are winning.

  14. #14 luna_the_cat
    August 29, 2006

    Um, I type too fast sometimes. Whoops.

  15. #15 c.tower
    August 29, 2006

    Someone named Dogscratcher just corrected someone named Luna the Cat.When Dogs and Cats are working on the same side, the cause MUST be just.(I’m pretty sure that’s in the Bible, or at least an old Tom + Jerry cartoon…)

  16. #16 Pattanowski
    August 29, 2006

    Hey! I recorded that Luskin/West BookTV event and watched it last night. I do recommend it, (for the masochistic) though it’s really nice to have a fast-forward option available.

    The level of distortion applied to their revision of the whole Dover trial and the motives of the D.I. is quite shocking. No mention of how any structures are actually irreducibly complex. No mention of how at one time they had several fellows prepared to testify on behalf of the school board. There was much talk about motives; how Eugenie Scot is a humanist..etc….with nothing said as to the “wedge document” or the renaming of their own “Center for the RENEWAL of Science and Culture” or anything else.

    Their were lots of funny people asking questions. Folks from such scientific organizations as Family Research Council, American Family Association, asking about things that Hugh Ross and Reasons to Believe have said..etc..

    Anyway, crazy stuff…I did not know that Discovery was franchising in the D.C area, though I might have figured.

  17. #17 luna_the_cat
    August 29, 2006

    c.tower: Hey, you don’t know that Dogscratcher *is* a dog. I mean, lots of things/people/cats scratch dogs….. ;)

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