Pharyngula

I must have really stung those poor fellows at the Creation “Museum”. They’ve added a new article in the Jason Lisle ouevre which takes a few silly slaps at me, and also perpetuates the image of Lisle as the most boring pedant ever. As usual, his schtick is always the same: he accuses everyone else of committing horrible logical fallacies, therefore, God. This one made me laugh, though. The fallacy du jour is the question-begging epithet, in which someone uses leading or insulting language in addressing a claim to discredit it.

As an example, he uses a quote from me…and I freely admit to having a thoroughly dismissive attitude towards their awful little sideshow (there, again, is the epithet; I won’t shy away from it). Here’s the sentence Lisle uses.

“The Creation ‘Museum’ isn’t about science at all, but is entirely about a peculiar, quirky, very specific interpretation of the Bible.”

The author provided no support for this opinion; it is simply an emotional reaction. He also attempts to deride the Creation Museum by putting the word museum in quotes. His claim is nothing but a fallacious epithet. When people use sarcastic/sardonic statements in place of logic, they commit the fallacy of the question-begging epithet.

That’s not an emotional reaction! That’s a calm statement of fact, and Lisle could have disputed it, but he never will. He can’t. Instead, everything said about his belief system will be instantly slotted into one of his categories of fallacies, so he can ignore it — and ignoring it means he doesn’t have to defend anything by, for instance, saying anything about any credible science behind flood geology, or showing that the fundamentalist Christianity that Answers in Genesis promotes is mainstream, or is independent of a narrow interpretation of biblical literalism. What I wrote is actually entirely factual.

Another common trick of these con-men is to avoid letting anyone see anything in context. He quotes a sentence from me, but doesn’t link to the article. Why would he do that? Because that article quotes directly from the web and publications by Answers in Genesis that shows everything in their view is built around…interpretation of the bible! I even titled the article, Answers in Genesis is proudly Bible-based. Do they dispute that?

Of course they, and especially Jason Lisle, will not ever deal with the substance of an argument. They will instead whine that they’ve been called mean names and run away. That’s what they do.

OK, so far you’re saying this isn’t very funny. Lisle is a drab, boring writer with one rhetorical trick in his book that he plays over and over. Here’s the funny part, though.

They’re claiming that their critics are just noisy brutes who portray the noble creationists, servants of god, in rude and obnoxious terms. They, of course, are entirely above that. They would never, ever stoop to emotional, nasty comments about their opponents. Why, that would be a logical fallacy.

So they chose to illustrate their article with a cartoon. Of me, apparently.

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Hypocrisy is a bitch, isn’t it?

I am so stealing that cartoon, though.