Pharyngula

The cunning Egnor evasion

Hmmm…it seems Dr Egnor, shill for the DI, has been criticizing me in some podcasts. I don’t listen to the DI’s podcasts and I’m not planning to start, but fortunately, Orac caught a few of his remarks. It’s all very peculiar: in a previous post, I showed him that it is easy to find lots of information in the published literature that rebuts his claim, I explained how the mechanism works, and I plucked out a single example and described it. What does Egnor call the scientific literature?

…I call it citation chaff. You know, chaff was stuff that pilots would throw into the air during World War II to confuse radar so that the enemy couldn’t see what was going on. And what Darwinists do is cite all kinds of papers, none of which actually address the question being asked and they assume that the person will be so overwhelmed in trying to answer these irrelevant papers that they’ll go away.

Well, his “question” was unanswerable by design: he asked for measurements of increases in information, but also excluded the use of any quantifiable metrics, like Shannon entropy. I gave him a qualitative description of mechanisms and I gave him examples, many examples, but now his fallback is to claim that the very existence of numerous scientific papers on the subject is simply “chaff”.

He should learn from Behe’s example. This strategy of denying the existence of volumes of information on a subject tends to backfire on them—all it accomplishes is to make them look willfully ignorant. That may work with their willfully ignorant followers who think that’s a virtue, but it tends to turn off people who are honestly interested in pursuing the evidence.

Comments

  1. #1 David Marjanovi?
    March 29, 2007

    Flak is the stuff that gunners on the ground would shoot into the air in WWII in order to knock planes out of the sky.

    No, it’s the cannon itself. Flak = Flugabwehrkanone = flight-defense cannon.