Should Scientists Dialogue With ID, YEC, and OEC?

@T.j_Runyon expresses my concern. People like Ken Ham misrepresent science (and the Bible, for that matter) and that encourages science ignorance among the general public—and that helps produce a misinformed electorate which supports politicians who harm science education. And how many young people are discouraged from careers in “dangerous” fields of science where they are told there’s a conflict with the Bible?

I don’t expect all working scientists to expend their energies on the Ken Hams of the world. Most of them will probably be ignored by the people who most need to hear them. On the other hand, when Bible-affirming, Christ-following scientists with appropriate fundamentalist and evangelical pedigrees tactfully explain their disagreements with YECism (for example), I’ve seen it make a very real difference. This is especially true for those scientists and other scholars who grew up within YEC fundamentalist churches. I appreciate their efforts.

I believe much of today’s millennial generation (including many of those from fundamentalist backgrounds) will gradually overcome the negative influences of the Ken Ham-types. And AIG will have a tough time maintaining its momentum once its leader retires. I don’t see someone like Nathan Jeanson gaining much of a following among millenials. Of course, I could be wrong. I’m no longer as engaged in such communities. Nevertheless, I’ve observed a lot of millennials (and those of the generation following the millennials) who are unwilling to just go along with what they were told growing up. I think many of those family trips and church youth group trips to the Ark Encounter will eventually prove to be the beginning of many young peoples’ paths out of science denialism.

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That’s not what makes an argument an ad hominem.

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Above would be, though, right?

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No, the ad hominem argument was that we should ignore Art’s point because he “doesn’t understand anything about bacterial genetics”. It was right in front of your eye, Mung.

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Was the Science review of Darwin Devolves ad hominem? How about all the comments that have been made here about Mike Behe or about the DI or about Ann?

Or the constant statements here that are made about other members.

It’s simply an observation about Art. Whether it not it is true is irrelevant to whether or not it is an ad hominem and whether it was “completely out of the realm of reasonable discourse” is likewise irrelevant.

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Yes. Ann posted quite a bit about why Art was wrong that went far beyond merely accusing him of ignorance and leaving it at that. So your claim that it was ad hominem is missing a rather important element.

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I was asking a serious question, not making a point. Here’s the definition:

(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

Are they ad hominem? Call them out. I don’t believe the definition should change based upon the identity of the offender or the target, do you?

Why are you so desperate? Yes, she did add material in the post, but it was an obvious, textbook example of an ad hominem. To suggest otherwise indicates an unwillingness to objectively analyze arguments.

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I have. And the responses I get are ludicrous. By way of example, unless Ann actually stated that “therefore Art Hunt’s argument should be ignored” she cannot possibly have engaged in ad hominem. Yes, people have actually argued that the “therefore” clause has to explicitly be there or it’s not ad hominem. So now that they have made their bed …

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Ooh. Ad hominem! I never saw that one coming. :smiley:

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You appear to believe that saying something “bad” about the other person is the only element needed for an ad hominem logical fallacy. Is that what you believe? Because if it is, these pages here are chock full of it and you’re highly selective about when you decide to make a case about it.

Are they ad hominem? :slight_smile:

Actually no. :slight_smile:

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Let me ask you a question. Let’s say you and are are having a discussion and I fire off at you that “you are not a scientist.” Do you think that is ad hominem?

How about this rather famous one, “you are anonymous.” Is that ad hominem?

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You can read about the ad hominem fallacy here. Here is a verbatim description:

Attacking the person making the argument, rather than the argument itself, when the attack on the person is completely irrelevant to the argument the person is making.

When Ann argued that Art “doesn’t understand anything about bacterial genetics”, implying that his comments were suspect because of this oddly-conceived hyperbole on her part, she gave a fantastic example of the ad hominem fallacy. I’m done with this odd side-conversation now, feel free to continue without me.

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You know it is dangerous to ask me a question. I’m like the “man on the street” interview where the reporter jams a microphone into the face of some dude filling his tank at the Chevron, and he just, nervously, blurts out the first thing that comes to his mind. Then he regrets saying anything for the rest of his life. :slight_smile:

Seriously, I think that, as to your earlier point, it is not just name calling that makes something ad hominem, but it is a deflection from the real issue toward the personal that is so.

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That’s my conclusion as well. The Ken Ham type of creationism requires a massive wall between the followers and the information that is all around us. With the advent of the internet it is all but impossible to keep that information out. Millenials are quite adept at finding things on the internet. There will always be a YEC community, just as there will always be a Flat Earth society, anti-vaxxers, moon landing conspiracists, and the like. Apparently, there is a certain percentage of the population that is drawn to contrarian positions and conspiracy theories. However, those communities will continue to shrink and lose relevance. YEC is going the way of Geocentrism.

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I view it more as a challenge to demonstrate your expertise. Afterall, if you get medical advice from the homeless guy on the corner and from a medical doctor with 40 years of experience, which advice holds the most weight? Is it possible that the homeless guy is right and the doctor is wrong? Absolutely. However, there is nothing wrong with giving more weight to experts unless there is evidence that swings it the other way.

I think that is a fairly weak example of ad hominem. Technically it is because it attacks @Art and not the argument.

I agree with this but I feel the reasons for the theatrical outbursts are not that hard to understand: see the thread ID at War for the Soul of Western Civilization?.

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Sure.

To me:

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