Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Karma's a Bitch

One of my earliest posts in this blog, was a commentary on one of the fundamental points most of us learned in elementary school: If you want respect, earn it. The gist of that blog was that if you repeatedly reject the option to earn some respect and instead act like a fool, then you deserve to be ridiculed.

Unfortunately, this lesson is one that Behe, like so many other creationists, seems to have never learned. Instead, they continue to make a mockery of the very foundation of science, making grand claims that go unsupported, offering up untestable hypothesies, fallacies of bifurcation, maintaining willful ignorance and downright lying. Of course, Behe keeps up this fine tradition.

So when ERV decided to take on his nonsense and give Behe the well earned ribbing he's earned. But maybe Behe's finally learned the lesson that is even obvious to most children. So he posts an announcement saying he's going to rebut the letters directed towards him. It's a grand flourish and I was sincerely hoping that Behe was setting up for something big and would actually, I don't know, address the arguments?

So what's the first thing he says?

"Whhhhhhaaaaaaah. I'm being made fun of."

That's right. Behe plays the victim card and claims that he's the victim of an ad hominem attack. But he wasn't. For a real ad hominem, it requires that the offender substitute an argument with a mocking. This is not the case. Rather, the argument was supplemented with a mocking that matched the mockery Behe and his fellows make of science.

But after that, is Behe finally ready to grow up? I'm not going to pretend I understand the technical exchange any more than Behe would be able to follow articles in the Astrophysical Journal (although Behe's buddy Dembski apparently knows everything about everything), but there's a few keys phrases that are amazingly typical of creationists trying to worm their way out of being confronted with evidence.

#1) "It is not clear to me why you call that Smith’s "core argument."" - Translation: I don't get it because I'm too busy repeating my claims ad nauseum to actually read anything. Careful Behe. You let that pesky reality pile up on you too long and it will bite you in the ass like it did on the stand at Dover.

#2) " her own citations show" - Translation: her own citations show if you ignore everything except that introductory sentence used as a literary device, disregard all the evidence that supports her and buy into my quote mining bullshit. FTK might consider out of context quotes as indicative of "an open issue", but those of us that keep reading to discover the issue is well on the way towards a resolution don't buy into such sleazy tricks.

#3) "I think this is a trivial biochemical change..." - Call it trivial and ignore it. Or if "trivial" isn't your cup of tea, you can always call it pathetic.

I'll wait for a layman's version of the technical bits, but right now, it's looking pretty clear that Behe is just up to the same old nonsense: Flaunt, cry, obfuscate. Someone let me know when the reruns are over and something new is on.

Meanwhile, Behe has the audacity to say, "One of the very basic prerequisites for education is to be able to engage in civil discourse...".

Guess what Behe, so is actually backing up your arguments without lying.


Adam Pacio said...

Don't let them get to you.

Science is strong because when proven wrong, the method allows for the reformulation of new thoughts and arguments which now take the current evidence into account. It evolves as needed to keep up with the advance of knowledge and the method is separate from the results produced.

Faith is not a method, it's a given on which the rest of the argument stands or falls. Destroying the individual arguments of faith-produced theories calls into question the vehicle that produced the arguments in the first place. Once you can show that the given is in doubt, the whole argument crumbles away.

The real error is just that you're attempting to engage them in a debate for which they are uneducated and ill prepared to take part. Before attempting to engage the spiritually pure, first attempt to ensure that both sides can establish some sort of ground rules for the argument.

Without that concession, all you're doing is feeding the trolls and making them stronger.

Still, keep up the good work. The internet allows access to certain knowledge that there are other ways, other voices, and other people in the big wide world. So long as the net allows reasonable access to knowledge, you are succeeding in turning the tide of ignorance simply by maintaining a presence here. Behe's kids, if any, have a chance to escape the rigid dogmatism found in faith-based households. Not a certainty, but at least a chance.

And you cannot force someone to think, no matter how hard you try.

But you do get points for trying.

ERV said...

Ian is slaughtering Behe now.

I feel like a baby lion learning how to take down a zebra. Sure I made the first bite, but Ian-lion is putting the poor thing out of its misery and teaching me how to do it right the next time.

Thats what a mentor does, Behe. No sexism.


bookgoddesslibris said...

Behe is such a joke, if I have one more kid on a forum tell me to read Behe I swear I will vomit (XoX)

bookgoddesslibris said...

Behe is such a joke, if I have one more kid on a forum tell me to read Behe I swear I will vomit (XoX)