A few weeks ago, Canadian journalist Denyse O’Leary joined the team over at William Dembski’s blog Uncommon Descent. This presented her with a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, she is surely aware that she knows nothing at all about science. But here she was expected to write regularly on the subject. How would she handle that state of affairs?
Well, she has now posted enough to give us a partial answer: By relying on childish, above-it-all arguments that will allow her to sound savvy and street-wise to UD’s sycophantic admirers, without actually having to engage any science.
For example, Michael Shermer recently published an interesting little book called Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design. Responding to Shermer’s arguments would have required both reading and thinking, which are not things that come naturally to Ms. O’Leary. So she opted instead for this non-reply:
First, I find the title of Shermer’s book interesting. If Darwin really mattered, Shermer wouldn’t be writing a book insisting that he does.
I mean, who writes a book called “why better gas mileage matters” or “why preventing cancer matters”? Evident benefits prompt no defence.
Gosh. To be that clever! Why have I been wasting so much time actually reading and contemplating ID arguments when I could reply like that. I mean, it’s obvious that ID can’t really be a revolution, for then William Dembski would not have written a book called The Design Revolution. And it’s obvious that ID folks aren’t really oppressed by dogmatic evolutionists, for if they were they wouldn’t need to assert that fact so frantically.
What fun this is! It’s like rhetorical judo. The more passionately you make your argument, the more devastating my reply. “I don’t need to consider your argument, you imbecile. I can tell from your passion alone that it has no merit!”
O’Leary is so fond of this technique, she used it twice on the same day. Here she is replying to a preprint of an anti-ID essay by biologist Emile Zuckerkandl. Apparently Zuckerkandl made the mistake of criticzing ID rather strongly, thereby leaving himself vulnerable to a big dose of O’Leary-Fu:
It goes on. And on. And on, actually.
Well, if this is Gene‘s idea of science, Darwinism is clearly in a steep decline. If I did not know that already, I sure would now.
Essentially, they don’t have much evidence that Darwinism is true. So they must denounce anyone who doubts it.
Zing! Leave it to O’leary to cut through all the nonsense. I’m so dumb, I probably would have felt the need to read Zuckerkandl’s essay and then reply point by point. Thank God I have O’Leary to show me how it’s done.
Of course, this is Dembski’s blog we’re talking about. That means that even O’Leary must occasionally bow to the master. What coud be dumber than O’Leary’s brand of non-response? Dembski shows the way in this post about the Zuckerkandl essay. HIs title:
Schlemiel Zuckerkandl in HIs Dotage.
Making fun of a guy’s name. Now that’s just cold.