Sunday, November 23, 2008

Arrogance and ignorance, a hefty brew

Ilíon said...

I am taking time today to respond to a post by Ilion, a commenter on a few blogs I visit from time to time. Comment #11 on this post had so much stupidity that I felt a response in the thread would be unfair to the host, Dr. Reppert of the blog “dangerous idea”.

To be honest, I am not completely sure Ilion is genuine. The difficulty is distinguishing between parody and reality in creationist circles is well-known. However, for today, his operating style has been consistent for long enough that he has forfeited the benefit of the doubt, so I will treat him as if he were not a parody.

Ilion's remarks will be in italics.

Amusingly Misnamed Person:

Ilion is responding to Doctor Logic, who happens to be an atheist. It is very typical that he will not even be so polite as to use a chosen handle. Ilion has generally made it clear that atheists are not worthy of polite replies.

The comments of Doctor Logic,to which Ilion was responding, will be bolded.

"Right-wing Christians love to whine about potsmodernism, but their tactics are no better. You think 1+1=2? TEACH THE CONTROVERSY! Maybe it equals 5. Now, students... debate!"

I think examples based on science here, such as intelligent falling , rather than an example from a formal system like mathematics, would be a better choice.

Oddly enough, one never sees physicists, for example, claim that *any* theory of physics is as firmly established as 'modern evolutionary theory' ...

No, physicists have their own well-established, non-controversial theories that they use to compare other theories to. Why should they go outside their specialty? Biologists don't seem to be this lucky, pretty much every theory they have gets attacked by some sort of fruitcake or quack, so they need to go outside their specialty.

...(which, by the way, is neither modern, ...

Apparently a theory that has produced hundreds of new research papers this year alone is not modern enough for Ilion, as opposed to his 1600-year-old-book.

...nor evolutionary, ...

Ilion seems to ignorant of the history of evolutionary theory, as well.

... nor an actual theory, ...

I'm not sure if Ilion is ignorant of what a scientific theory is, or just the science thathas been done and continues to be done based on evolutionary theory. I would not be surprised if it were both.

... and thus I always put the phrase, which I seem to have invented, ...

Ilion does not allow his ignorance to diminish his ego.

... not that there was any great mental difficulty involved in the invention, in mocking quote marks).

It almost goes without saying that if Ilion accomplished it, it required no great mental difficulty.

In arithmetic, which the Amusingly Misnamed Person, following general "Darwinist" practice, imagines he can co-opt in support of 'modern evolutionary theory,' that '1+1=2' is a necessary truth, it is *true* and it cannot be otherwise in any possible world.

Ilion is also ignorant of mathematics, by the way. In a world with a single, indivisible object, it makes much more sense to use 1 + 1 = 0, since there is no “2”.

This truth is logical and is supported by rigorous logic (unlike "Darwinism"). And, in fact, as '2' is merely the name for '1+1' (i.e. counting once more past one), to say '1+1=2' is exactly to say '1+1=1+1.'

Ilion, who seems to think mathematical constructs have some sort of internal reality, confuses the construction of “2” with the supporting of “1 + 1 = 2”.

Moreover, with arithmetic, we do not teach our that '1+1=2' by trying to outlaw all denials of that truth -- imagine arithmetic in the hands of "Darwinists!" Rather, we teach the children that '1+1=2' by *demonstrating* that it is true (something "Darwinists" will never even attempt with their pretend theory).

Of course, “Darwinists” are, to my knowledge, non-existent, so they don't do much. People don't worship Darwin the way that Ilion venerates his magic sky pixie. On the other hand, biologists have demonstrated evolutionary theory in numerous ways.

What's even more amusing about Amusingly Misnamed Person's ploy here is that science isn't even about truth, in the first place -- at any rate, for the past two centuries or so, since the "free thinkers" managed to redefine it, it hasn't been about actual truth.

Ilion is always upset at the notion that what we believe to be correct today may be proven wrong tomorrow. In his limited mental capacity, this is the same thing as lying, as far asI can tell.

So, on the one hand, 'modern evolutionary theory' not only isn't actually true (for it is illogical, and illogical things are necessarily false) ...

Ilion's not very knowledgeable about the limitations of logic, either.

... but it also isn't actually scientific, and on the other hand, even if 'modern evolutionary theory' were actually scientific, it could still never rise to the level of the truth that '1+1=2,' for mere science cannot do that.

Yes, he really is saying that Mt. Rushmore could never achieve the perfection of a the original artist's drawing of Mt. Rushmore, and that this makes the drawing superior.

ALSO, if Gentle Reader is *really* paying attention, he will notice that the Amusingly Misnamed Person does not himself really have a problem with post-modernism ... rather, he whinges because "Right-wing Christians" condemn post-modernism,

More correctly, because right-wing Christians use post-modern argumentation while decrying post-modernism itself.

even as he employes post-modernist "argumentation" to lie about "Right-wing Christians."

Ilion presents no lies from Doctor Logic.

Amusingly Misnamed Person: "For your information, Ilion, evolution predicts several basic things that have been verified. Common descent (all species related), common architecture and common composition (no titanium, nuclear-powered mice) and a fossil record in which animals and plants appear in a developmental series (no Cambrian rabbits)."

What an illogical (and irrational) fool this Amusingly Misnamed Person is.

"Evolution" does not "predict" these things. And they have not been "verified."

Ilion is only three-fourths wrong here (which may be a personal best for him in the area of biology). Evolution does not predict common descent, and its implicaitons in a common architecture and a common composition. Evolution could operate equally well with independent descent. Of course, Ilion is wrong in that evolution does imply a developmental series, and wrong in that all of the above has been verified.

Amusingly Misnamed Person's examples are, rather, merely an example of the illogic and circularity of "Darwinist" "thought:" posit 'X,' ignore any evident against 'X,' claim 'X' is "verified."

Ilion assumes that his own method of thought regarding Scripture is followed by everyone.

Gentle Reader, if he is observant and thoughtful, will recognize that my response to the Anonymouse exactly (and devastatingly, once the truth of the claim is grasped) answered his not-seriously-asked question "So, what's the weakness?" but pointing out that 'modern evolutionary theory' is inherently illogical and that the "logic" of it entails the denial that we can reason, that we can know truth, that our minds (which is to say, ourselves) actually exist.

Readers will find my direct response to that post on the page itself. I am unaware that any biologist thinks evolutionary theory entails the denial of the human ability to reason, Ilion apparently pulls this conclusion from his rectum.

So, 'modern evolutionary theory' is both irredeemably illogical and utterly anti-rational -- what further weakness does a *rational* person demand to have explicated?

The terms “irredeemably illogical and utterly anti-rational” apparently are synonymous to “I don't agree” when Ilion writes.

Common descent: "Evolution" neither "predicts" nor "verifies" the doctrine of common descent.

As noted above, Evolution does not predict common descent. It does verify common descent.

And it cannot, even in principle, be verified,

The principle for verification is quite simple, though seemingly beyond Ilion. You make hypotheses about observations that would follow from common descent, then you investigate to see whether these observations hold. You can also make observations that would be possible should common descent not be true, and investigate to see if those observations hold. So far, common descent has passed all tests.

much less proven

Proof is for alcohol and formal systems (like logic or mathematics).

-- for any evidence adduced to support the doctrine can *also* support other beliefs, including the belief of "special creation."

Actually, no evidence can in principle support special creation, because no evidence can dispute special creation.

But then, "Darwinists" do detest proof and logic, do they not?

I don't see the point in speculating on the likes and dislikes of near-mythical concoctions.

Rather, the doctrine of common descent is an fundamental assumption of "evolution" -- and which assumption, by the way, they themselves are quietly abandoning these days.

Should new forms of life be discovered, with which we do not share a common ancestry, then naturally common descent will be limited only to the life forms to which it does apply.

Yet, count on it: they will never say something so simple as "We were wrong about that."

An orthinologist says that there are no green recorded swans, and then two years later a green swan is discovered. Ilion demands a statement of error, even when no error is apparent.

And, when they've fully abandoned it, and the textbooks have been reprinted, they will try to claim that it is a "creationist lie" that they ever did claim that common descent is the truth.

Ilion has some concocted tale in mind, probably, but is likely ignorant of the reality.

Logically, one cannot "verify" what one has assumed and one certainly cannot *prove* what one has assumed -- at best, one can show that the evidence does not contradict the assumption. But that, of course, requires that one look at all relevant evidence, ...

Something biologists are only too happy to do.

...which is something "Darwinists" are ever loath to do.

Again, I see no point in speculating on mythical creatures.

Common architecture: Once again, this is not a "prediction" of "evolution." It is rather, a common observation. Moreover, as evidence for 'modern evolutionary theory,' it is quite underdetermined, which is to say, it can also be used as evidence for many other beliefs, including the belief of "special creation."

Common composition: Once again, this is not a "prediction" of "evolution." It is rather, a common observation. Moreover, as evidence for 'modern evolutionary theory,' it is quite underdetermined, which is to say, it can also be used as evidence for many other beliefs, including the belief of "special creation."

The inaccuracies noted above apply here.

Amusingly enough, there are some organisms which are a bit "uncommon" -- yet "Darwinism" claims to "explain" them also.

I see no point in speculating on the purported claims of mythical creatures.

For instance, it was long thought that there were only twenty amino acids in use in biology -- and this was touted as evidence for, or even "proof" of, "Darwinism." Yet, for the past several years it has been known that there are at least twenty-three amino acids in use in biology -- and the former claim that the "universal genetic code" (now called the "canonical genetic code") was evidence for, or even proof of, "Darwinism" has been quietly sidelined.

I see no point in speculating on the purported claims of mythical creatures.

However, in biology there has been no abandonment of common descent simply because a few bacteria, or there descendants such as mitochondria, use a slightly variant coding. In fact, the notion of variant coding was discussed even before the first such code was discovered.

Now, another amusement about these two "new" amino acids is that they are coded for by regular "old" codons which in most organisms code for the "standard" (or "canonical") amino acid. Which is to say, there is no *chemical* requirement that some particular combination of base-pairs codes for some particular amino acid.

Well, duh. This has been well-known for decades.

No Cambrian rabbits: All hail the Glorious Circle! Goodness, where would "Darwinists" be if they could not "argune" in circles!

They would still be mythical creatures.

Amusingly enough, the knowledgable "Darwinists" know -- and some will even admit it -- that the fossil record" cannot logically be used to support 'modern evolutionary theory.'

I see no point in speculating on the purported claims of mythical creatures. Biologists, especially those who study fossils, know that fossils do support evolutionary theory.

The *reason* there are no "Cambian rabbits" is because a rabbit fossil is -- by definition -- not Cambrian.

A fossil is defined by the age of the rock in which it appears. Should rabbit fossils appear in Cambrian rocks, they would be Cambrian rabbits.

Moreover, that "developmental series" the Amusingly Misnamed Person touts is a figment of the imagination -- it doesn't actually exist.

Except, it does. Ample examples are available all over the internet.

And, worse, there are many places in the world where hundreds of square miles of "older" fossils are *on top of* "newer" fossils.

Well, duh. The earth is geologically active, so sometimes large chunks of rock get moved, turned upside-down, etc. There are geological indicators for this, which do not depend on biology or fossils.

REMEMBER: a "mechanism" or "theory" which "explains" everything and its denial, and by the same means, explains nothing.

An excellent description of creationism.


Anonymous said...

You may derive vast amounts of amusement from his posts on the following website:

He's a "regular contributor".

One Brow said...

I've already seen all the Ilion I need to see. :)