Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Association Fallacy Is One of Atheists Favorites - Hate Mail

I have had an atheist of the materialist scientistic sort claim that some of the arguments " denying evolution" are taken from "YECs", which stands for the kind of people who deny evolution and believe the earth is a few thousand instead of billions of years old.  Which only goes to show something I've pointed out a number of times, atheists don't read and they don't have any problem lying about what they haven't read, even those who have read it.

- I have never made an argument against the reality of evolution in my life. 

- I have never not held that the Earth is somewhere between four and three billion years old and the universe, as I recall, is about 13 billion years old, give or take a few billion.  

- And until there is some good, scientific reason to believe otherwise, I won't change my beliefs on those things. 

So, having provided those corrections which will be ignored by such scientistic atheist materialists* because they don't read and have such a notable propensity to lie, especially when they've got nuttin', so pretty much always, I will go on. 

That some people who do "intelligent design" for a living know some of the criticisms of Darwinism and things like the pseudo-science of abiogenesis and many of the many claims made about them doesn't refute those criticisms.  In fact, on the few occasions I've listened to people like Stephen Meyer or read what they wrote, they often back up what they say by citing Darwinists, evolutionists or others who work in conventional science and the philosophy of science who would certainly not like Meyer or the Discovery Institute or creationism of any kind.  Quite often it is such people who have bothered to read the literature which is ignored by atheists who figure they just know what they want to believe is true. 

But just because you think someone has cooties doesn't mean that they don't get to cite a scientific or logical argument.   Just like they can cite the literary and historical record, as long as they do so honestly.  THAT, BY THE WAY, DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU HAVE TO BUY THEIR CONCLUSION WHOLE HOG, SOMETHING WHICH SEEMS TO COME AS A SOCKING SURPRISE TO PEOPLE WHO CONDUCT A LIFE OF THE MIND ON THE BASIS OF FASHION OR SPORTS FANDOM. 

Anyone who finds or comes up with a good criticism of an idea has come up with a good criticism and the only ways to refute it are a. to forthrightly refute their arguments with better arguments and better evidence or, b. in the somewhat slipperier attempt to invalidate their original argument.  I say that second one is slipperier because it is often harder or impossible and because claiming to have done that when they have not is one of the favorite dodges used by materialists and atheists often claiming to do so out of some pseudo-scientific practice that only impresses people unable to follow the argument.   The logical positivists loved to pull that one which impressed many an ignorant undergrad and even many with PhDs.  

The attempt to discredit what someone said because someone else has said it is a form of the association fallacy in its most vulgar and dishonest ad hominem form.  It is a sort of double logical fallacy.   For all of their habit of claiming the violation of logical fallacy,   the adherents of popular atheism (including many eminent scientists and other scholars, nowadays) commit them by the truck load.   

Specifically,  in the case that brought on this, my criticism of the ridiculous "RNA world" scheme has been most rigorously criticized by conventional scientists who point out that the random chance feature of the claims, that RNA that was able to replicate itself (of necessity a very complex molecule doing what it is currently not able to do under their scenario) just happened to assemble without biological processes, before biology began on Earth, are absurd.  The probabilities involved are staggeringly high AGAINST the possibility that I wouldn't have any problem calling a belief in it rankest superstition.  One of a number which ideological materialist scientists have inserted directly into science.  That is something that has been pointed out by scientists and other critics without any desire to address whether or not intelligent design is involved in the origin of life and the evolution of life producing biological diversity.  

The problems of thinking up and theorizing any plausible scenario for the original organism which was able to reproduce on the basis of random chance is based in a belief that given enough time any probability can gain plausibility.  But that doesn't take into account that there are also competing possible scenarios that would, then, also gain in plausibility of being the eventual outcome.  In this case, made ideologically by an atheist, it run straight into one of their old arguments about the supposed rarity of life in the universe.  As my dear old Latin teacher tried it on me, asking why there was this huge lifeless universe out there if there was a God**.   Of course, always seeking to have it both ways, on other occasions ( I believe it was after watching the Carl Sagan act on TV) he argued that if there were extraterrestrial life that would also prove that there was no God.  

The favorite form of argument that such atheists use is always the "heads I win, tails you lose" one. It's a rare popular atheist celebrity who hasn't pulled that one, one way or another.

I suspect if it were possible to calculate the probability of any of the proposed, often violently competing scenarios dreamt up by abiogenesists, and the amount of time it would take to work through even half of the possible combinations before the probability of their favored result happening, you would run out of seconds in the life of the universe to get there.  Even using the popular claim that there are jillions of life possible worlds out there, by the rules of probability, most of those would have to remain lifeless unless you figure that there is something in the universe that favors the rise of life.  In which case that makes it a better argument that that something is designed into the universe than the one that atheists constructed their probability god out of.  

*  I wouldn't call them SAMs because it sounds too friendly, though they do have a propensity to go off with both guns blazing on the least provocation without knowing what they're shooting at, like Yosemite Sam.  

** Of course the answer to that is that God might have other reasons for doing it that way that don't involve something we know about.   Atheists don't seem to like the possibility that they haven't gotten that kind of thing all figured out to start with.  A probability which seems very probable and which covers us all.

Hate Update:   You might want to look at this article by a supporter of "RNA World" conjecture in which some of the serious, I would say fatal, problems with the theory are discussed.  As the title indicates, the argument seems to be based on what are alleged to be the even worse competing scenarios.  This kind of stuff is hardly a secret except to those who make everything a secret through their determined, self-chosen ignorance. 

The inadequacy of other, competing ideas doesn't do the first thing to make the idea you favor any better than it is.  Considering the possibility that there could be thousands, maybe millions of such speculations there isn't any possible means of knowing where in the scale of improbability the theory you like sits.   I will point out that intelligent design is as capable of inventing multiple scenarios that are able to include all evidence science can come up with, not least of all because anything science comes up with would depend on intelligently designed experiments and arguments to support it.  

I think origin of life stuff is unknowable and, therefore, any claims made about how it happened are not really science, not so long as it's a claim about what actually happened, 3 billion + years ago in the lost past.  Even an experiment that "created" "life" wouldn't get the atheist where they want to.  


  1. It's the zero sum thinking I find remarkable: one idea cannot co-exist with any other, because it requires reconsideration of the other. I can reject certain ideas as false, either based on their construction (logical structures like syllogisms help, here) or based on their premises (the earth is not 3000 years old), but the latter are based more on evaluation of other ideas than simply refusing to countenance an Idea I don't like.

    The world of ideas is not simply binary, with right ideas and wrong ideas. But that's what's most threatening: the complexity of thought, or indeed of any subject. Knowledge in one is hardly knowledge in another: consider the Google software engineer who probably was a whiz at writing code, but really shouldn't have written a memo about the differences he thinks exists between men and women, differences biological and immutable.

    Or the mathematician who responded to the controversy on Twitter, and got the entire concept of it wrong. I'm sure his math is excellent, but outside that, he's a bit of an idiot. Still, both men are convinced of their wisdom and perspicacity, and quite convinced only one set of ideas can be right. I suppose that kind of thinking works in math and engineering; but reality is neither solely math nor completely engineered.

    1. When Andrew Weil came up with his proof of Fermat's last theorem and it was all over the news and chatter I asked a friend of mine who is a professor of pure mathematics what she thought of it, she said she probably knew about as much about it as anyone who didn't know because she never worked in that area of math.

      I followed the war between Jerry Coyne sort of one-handedly conducted against James Shapiro over some issues in evolutionary genetics and was interested in how many people who took sides knew as little if not less about what they were talking about than I did. Those things get complicated really fast so if there isn't a basic logical flaw in one side it's impossible for a non-specialist to even follow what they're saying. My basic argument against abiogenesis is that they do not and certainly will never have the original life form to study so they can't know how life arose on Earth. Even the stuff that Shapiro, Margulis and Coyne go on about happened hundreds of millions of years after the origin would almost certainly have had to have happened so it is remote from the problem of origins. Though I think it has extremely important things to say about things like the presence of consciousness, even choice and the role of that in the early evolution of life, cells and multi-cellular organisms.

      The terminology of all of this is so muddled, there are lots of IDers, even some of the major figures in it who clearly believe in evolution and reject "young Earth" dogma. The dimwit who made the accusation to me is someone who should know better but who is so dishonest that even if she did it wouldn't keep her from lying about it.

      In the age of Trumpery I'm beginning to think that the simple choice to not lie is the most fundamental of all social virtues that leads to democracy and a decent life and atheism rejects the absolute value of the one over the other. I think that accounts for the popularity of dictatorial systems among atheists, both of the alleged left and the right.