Comments on Devolves Back Cover


(Faizal Ali) #42

How do you know he’ll tell the truth? This is a man who continues to insist that his critics claimed chloroquine resistance required only one mutation. He is a proven liar.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #43

Eh. Never infer deceit where incompetence, delusion, confusion, or misunderstanding could explains this just as well. That is a wise rule of thumb.

Behe really seems to believe what he is selling. I suspect it is most likely the ideological blinders that ENV knows are so powerful.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #44

Thank you. I will send you several links in a moment, and include Nathan too.

(Timothy Horton) #45

Heh. In other equally shocking news: water is wet, sun rises in the east. :wink:

(S. Joshua Swamidass) split this topic #46

12 posts were split to a new topic: Off Topic Detour By Mung

(Faizal Ali) #48

Well, then, if he is that stupid, how will we know he even understands the question if he is asked about the blurbs?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #49

I dont think stupidity is the most likely answer either.

(Faizal Ali) #50

…or too incompetent, deluded or confused. Take your pick.

Either way, there is no reason to expect Behe’s response to settle the question of whether he is responsible for this misrepresentation if he denies it. If he admits to it, of course, then there is reason to believe he was. But I am not expecting that.

(John Harshman) #52

“The race is not always to the swift nor victory to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.”
—Damon Runyon.


I think the mostly likely answer is money. Let’s look at it. Here is a guy nearing retirement. He is thinking about his legacy. And here is DI, funded in the culture wars to keep ID alive. So what do they do? DI advances money to Behe to write another book. Behe writes it and DI promotes it. Doesn’t matter how it sells as both Behe and DI have already achieved their objectives.

(T J Runyon) #56

Yes, we are related

(Faizal Ali) #57

I am not doubting that. However, that does not rule out the possibility that he knows the arguments he is using are false, but uses them anyway because he thinks it is very important that people accept the things he feels he knows to be true.

(Mikkel R.) #58

OF COURSE it matters. It is highly misleading to coopt isolated statements of scientists who actually oppose Behe’s conclusions as if they constitute endorsements. It can easily have the effect of misleading people without the necessary qualifications to assess the arguments and evidence competently themselves, into believing that Behe’s book and conclusions has more scientific merit than it does because those quotes make it appear as if several accomplished scientists are endorsing his book, when in fact they don’t.

(John Harshman) #59

Shhh. He’s promised to leave.

(Faizal Ali) #60

Coyne is calling Behe out on what appears to be Behe’s unethical behaviour. I fail to see what ethical issues this raises re: Coyne. Could you explain?

(Timothy Horton) #61

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #62

As a has-been linguist, I can’t help but respond to what was probably a unintended typo and/or spelling-corrector glitch. An ad homonym would be the word “add”, because “ad” and “add” are sound alike words. That makes them homonyms.

Of course, I think @colewd actually meant to write the Latin words _ ad hominem_. As others have explained, pointing out a false statement and questioning the honesty of such is NOT an Ad Hominem Fallacy. Nobody that I’ve noticed is arguing that “Darwin Devolves must be rejected and/or disregarded solely because the blurb on the back cover is false and dishonest.” Indeed, the failed arguments of the book have been well described by reviewers and covered well on this forum. Instead, those who have noticed the falsehoods and misrepresentations on the back cover of the book are justified in discussing whether or not the back cover indicates intentional dishonesty by various parties—and wonder whether that might be part of a pattern of falsehoods and misrepresentations within the text of the book itself.

One can certainly hold a variety of positions on the veracity of the book’s claims. Yet, to claim that any conclusions people may reach and articulate about suspected patterns of dishonesty in the book and the back cover are ad hominems is a basic misunderstanding of first-year undergraduate logic. I have a lot of sympathy for those who misapply the term ad hominem because this error is so very common at websites like Evolution News & Views, ICR, and Answers in Genesis. (By the way, my stating that misuse of the ad hominem fallacy is common at the aforementioned websites is NOT in itself an example of an ad hominem fallacy. To be a valid example of that logic fallacy, I would need to write something like this: "I’ve noticed misuse of the term ad hominem fallacy at the ENV and AIG websites. Therefore, everything published by DI, ICR, and AIG staff and affiliates on those websites should be rejected as dishonest and invalid.)

(Bill Cole) #63

We could re word it to an ad hominem strategy which is used often in politics to discredit your opponent but all the same you are invoking:

ad hominem as a strategy to deflect from the substance of the argument. in a way that is directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

(Mikkel R.) #64

We could do all sorts of things, but we’d be wrong. There continues to be lots of scientific criticisms of Behe’s book, there’s no reason to let whoever misleadingly included those statements on the back of his book off the hook for doing so. You want to argue about the science, go to the many threads that exist here where that is already being done.

(Bill Cole) #65

Can you list the top 3 for me?