Joined: May 2006
There's a highly dishonest (perhaps too prejudiced and stupid to know what honesty is, but whatever) piece of slime on the Biologos forum who goes by the name of Rich, whose passive-aggressive nastiness is apparently allowed, while calling him on his constant dishonesty about others is not approved. If he's allowed to prevent honest discussion too greatly, and for much longer, well, I'll be among those opposed to Biologos.
Like all such "polite" bullies, he ignores any evidence for evolution that isn't approved by the IDiots, that is, every genetic step of the evolution of a complex organ (or some such thing) has to be given, at least for a hypothetical evolutionary scenario. As a worshipper of Denton (we have to read him, he won't read anything at Pharyngula, Panda's Thumb, or Talkorigins--just to show how dishonest he is), he made me curious, so I checked out Denton's "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," although his disciple Behe certainly gave me no reason to think Denton had anything intelligent to say.
I didn't find anything very intelligent in the bits I have thus far scanned.
But I was surprised to quickly find the inversion of truth in a Denton analogy that seems to be behind ID, Rich, and the whole DI's (hence the thread I chose--Denton having once been a fellow of the DI, and certainly influential on most still there) moronic insistence that we have to provide all of the steps in evolution if we're to at all adequately demonstrate that it occurred -- without teh miracle. I don't suppose this is unknown, but I'd never heard of it, and I'm sure that many haven't.
So here's a somewhat modified excerpt of something I wrote in another context (and yes, it involved Rich and his nastiness/stupidity/dishonesty):
|Rich is enamored with Denton, and Denton included in "Evolution: a theory in crisis" a very misleading, although not obviously deliberately dishonest, analogy with the evolution of languages, one that is actually completely opposite from the truth of the importance and necessity of understanding that evolution occurred prior to understanding all of the steps involved (which may never happen with much life, for the obvious reasons involving lost information). Anyhow, here is the telling paragraph:|
|All the major Germanic languages of Europe, for example, including English, Dutch, German, and Icelandic, were already well differentiated and distinct and unlinked by transitional dialects when they first appeared in written form. Yet, despite the absence of intermediates, no linguist today doubts that all the Germanic languages descended gradually over a period of three thousand years from an ancestral proto-Germanic tongue. This is because they have been able to work out in very exact detail all the semantic, syntactic and phonetic changes which occurred along all the hypothetical pathways through which the languages evolved. The reconstruction has been taken to such an extent that the entire lexicon, grammar, and even the sound of these extinct and long dead languages can be specified at every point along all the various lineages leading back in time to the proto-Germanic source.|
Michael Denton Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. p. 199.
One can quibble in various ways about that paragraph, as he's almost certainly exaggerating how much we know about every single aspect of extinct Germanic languages, and most definitely is wrong that we know the "sound" of the extinct languages (we no doubt know something about the sounds, but to baldly state "and even the sound of these extinct and long dead languages can be specified at every point along all the various lineages leading back in time to the proto-Germanic source," can hardly be true).
And Germanic languages are hardly the only ones we know evolved from a common source, and certainly less is known about the original Indo-European language (many roots are fairly certain, it is believed), so clearly Denton cherry-picked his "example."
But those errors pale against the fact that virtually all linguists were -- and had to be in order to work out the specifics -- certain that the Germanic languages, and indeed all of the Indo-European languages, were related well before the specifics were worked out. They weren't convinced that the languages had evolved from common ancestors because all of the details were known, the details were able to be worked out because linguists were certain that the languages had evolved, and they operated very successfully within that framework to ferret out the details.
OK, I don't know if this is really the source of this major inability of IDiots to understand science, but it has to be a good candidate for it. The ignorant and the stupid, like Rich (and Behe, or is he less naive and also less dumbly honest?), believe that language evolution is known only because all of the steps of such transitions are known (according to Denton's hyperbole), and so clearly biological evolution needs to have the same (fictional) details behind it if anyone is to believe it.
How anybody can be dull enough to think that every last bit of language evolution was known before linguists generally believed in language evolution is not easy to explain. Yet it seems to be dumb enough for the IDCreationists to believe (or at least cling to in order to avoid learning what they don't want to know), since they are amazingly impervious to the sorts of knowledge that really did convince linguists that linguistic evolutionary theory was correct, so that further information could and would be discovered about that evolution.
I cringe to think of how much damage such a colossally stupid (although prejudice was probably the main source of the stupid) inversion has, likely, been able to cause.
Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy