Joined: Oct. 2006
OK. I've started the Dawkins chapter, and Day isn't off to a good start. His opening statements are ad hominem, pure and simple:
|So, at sixty-six, three decades after publishing the controversial bestseller The Selfish Gene, it’s clear that Richard Dawkins is well past his scientific expiry, and his latest book, The God Delusion, offers copious evidence that Dawkins has become as careless as he is crotchety in his old age. |
His writing style remains as approachable as ever, but what he no longer possesses is a firm grasp of the very Reason of which he believes himself a champion.
…The world’s foremost spokesman for secular science, that method of advancing human knowledge based upon the primacy of empirical evidence, increasingly shows a tendency to ignore mountains of conclusive evidence in favor of mystical pronouncements about ontological possibilities. Whether this drift into what could reasonably be described as metascience is a function of Dawkins’s boredom with science proper or merely an age-related disinclination for doing the required intellectual heavy-lifting is impossible to say, but it is readily apparent to anyone who has read a substantial portion of his published ouvré. (pages 135-136)
Here Vox Day attacks Dawkins vis his credentials to write The God Delusion:
|Whereas he describes himself as a “passionate Darwinian” as an academic scientist, he calls himself “a passionate anti-Darwinian” with regards to the proper conduct of human affairs. This naturally puts Dawkins in an untenable position, as he not only lacks both education and professional experience in the academic fields that relate to human conduct, such as history, philosophy, political science, literature, psychology, and theology, it also renders his book somewhat of a fraudulent bait-and-switch. (page 136)|
But here is Vox Day on his OWN qualifications to write The Irrational Atheist:
|At first glance, it may seem crazy that a computer game designer, one whose only significant intellectual accomplishment of note is to have once convinced Michelle Malkin to skip an opportunity to promote herself, should dare to dispute an Oxford don, a respected university professor, a famous French philosopher, a highly regarded journalist, and an ecstasy-using dropout who is still working toward a graduate degree at forty . . . okay, perhaps that last one makes sense. As Gag Halfrunt is reliably reported to have said of the immortal Za- phod Beeblebrox, I’m just zis guy, ya know? |
But don’t be tempted by the logical fallacy of the Appeal To Authority; after all, in this age of academic specialization, an evolutionary biologist is less likely to be an expert on the historical causes of war and religious conflict than the average twelve-year-old wargamer, and even a professor in the field of cognitive studies may not have spent as much time contemplating the deeper mysteries of intelli- gence as a game designer who has seen many a sunrise while experimenting with the best way to make the monsters smarter. (page 3)
If you didn't laugh at that, there is something wrong with you. Ftk, this is hypocritical, very damning, and disinclines me to read much further. Day has a glib and facile writing style, but passages like these cast serious doubt upon the integrity of his argument as a whole.
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.
"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace