Commentary on the so-called Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate and Right-Wing nuttery in general - and please ignore the typos (I make lots!)

Friday, February 02, 2007

The "logic" of the creationist computer technician

I came across this little exchange that I had written about a year or two ago and done nothing with.

It chronicles/summarizes the discussion between a poster at the ARN discussion board, "Nobody" (who also happens to be Moderator 6 on that board - known for his heavy-handed anti-evolutionist censorship - and who may actually be one Bruce Fast.

It is a very revealing exchange for a couple of reasons. One, it shows the extreme inflexibility and dogmatism of the creationist, and two, it demonstrates the shallowness with which non-scientist creationists think.

Cut and pasted from my original write up (NOTE* most of the links no longer work as ARN tends to re-tool its software every year or two and they change all their URLs, in my cynical view, in order to prevent people form searching/linking to the ridiculous claims made there by anti-evolutionists):

*****

Here, following exchange took place:

Nobody, quoting Albert Einstein:
But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration towards truth and understanding.

‘Pixie’ responds:
Very true


Nobody replies:
Does this mean you now see design in life?




A little background:
‘Nobody’, who is also ‘Moderator 6’ at that site, is a computer programmer of some sort whose claims to fame are as follows:

1. Apparently doing keyword searches in Science news outlets for terms like ‘unexpected’, 'surprised’, ‘machine’, ‘amazing’, etc., posting snippets from the articles he gets, bolding the terms, and rarely, if ever, providing any sort of commentary (a few examples). Apparently, Nobody thinks that if a science-related press release has the words ‘unexpected’, etc. in it, it is bad news for evolution. Entertainingly, the articles often explain just the opposite – but he is no biologist, and cannot understand that, and when this uncomfortable fact is explained to him, he ignores it and repeats slogans.

2. Insisting that DNA is just like computer code, and via absurd extrapolation, that DNA therefore is designed [by God]. He is utterly unyielding on this child-like belief, and even employs it ass a mantra/slogan (for which he was once chastised for using by a fellow creationist, see last post).

Anyway, it went on:

Pixie:
No. It means aspire towards truth and understanding.

Nobody:
Ah. That's what I thought. So, to make sure I understand your position, you aspire towards truth and understanding while simultaneously denying the design of life. Right?

Now, it starts to get revealing:

Pixie:
I suspect your position is based on the dogmatic assumption that life is designed, and therefore anyone aspiring to truth and understanding must necessarily also believe life is designed. I guess that because this is an article of faith you do not entertain the possibility that life was not designed. You are perhaps thinking that I am equally dogmatic in my insistence that there is no design. I think not (but feel free to look for posts that suggest otherwise). It always makes he laugh when I read IDists trumpeting about how they are being open-minded. See for example, Teleologcal Blog, with the byline "Detecting Design and Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds". As your post shows, open minds are antithetical to the ID position.

A few of Nobody’s pals then tried to help him out. But Nobody came back to the fray:

Nobody:
Even some evolutionists have admitted there is design. I was just wondering, after your extended stay here, if you had finally reached that first step. I see you still haven't.

Humble, these folks are not…

Pixie is then accused of being “dogmatic.” Nobody’s defender is shot down:

Myrmecos:
The short exchange between Pixie and Nobody in the first three posts on this thread indicate that Pixie's interpretation is correct, and yours is not. Nobody's quip "this means you now see the design in life?", offered as if it were the necessary conclusion of truth and understanding, indicates that nobody is unwilling to see any non-design position as valid. Hence, his is the more dogmatic position.

After a few more exchanges, Myrmecos writes:

1. I'd be much more open to the designist position if they'd actually make a positive argument,
2. So, why isn't anyone doing it?

To which our hero Nobody replies:

1. Advanced programming only comes from an advanced programmer. Is that positive enough?
2. It's being done every day. The HGP spent billions of dollars trying to understand the programming of life. What they found out is the we have only scratched the surface.

Poor fellow. He tries so hard – and if you read the things he writes, he really really thinks he is right!

But Myrmecos has to spoil the party:
No, it's circular. You assume your conclusion ("life has a programmer") in your premise ("life shows programming").

Do you think Nobody will get it?

Nahhhhhh……..

4 comments:

biomimetic said...

I suppose the jujitsu way to debate a person like this is to say, "Yes, I do see the design in life. Isn't it amazing that so much design is a product of natural selection?"

Then the comeback can't be so much 'my dogma beats your dogma.'

At that point, each side MUST begin to present evidence for how this "design" came about.

Doppelganger said...

Good strategy, but in my experience, once you reach that point, the IDcreationist suddenly doesn't want to talk to you anymore, or gets too busy to discuss it, etc...

johndarius said...

Scott wrote:

It is a very revealing exchange for a couple of reasons. One, it shows the extreme inflexibility and dogmatism of the creationist, and two, it demonstrates the shallowness with which non-scientist creationists think.

My reply:

Scott, try to be objective here, that is if you want anyone to listen to you other than a captive audience, - like those at the academy. YOU come off as very dogmatic. Have you showed that you are flexible? Reasonable?? Statements such as "the shallowness with which non-scientist creationists think" cause people to turn a deaf ear to anything you have to say, - with the exception of those who like ridicule.

Just some friendly advice

Doppelganger said...

Hi John,

Scott wrote:

It is a very revealing exchange for a couple of reasons. One, it shows the extreme inflexibility and dogmatism of the creationist, and two, it demonstrates the shallowness with which non-scientist creationists think.

My reply:

Scott, try to be objective here,



I am being pretty objective. You should read the things those people write.


that is if you want anyone to listen to you other than a captive audience, - like those at the academy.


Oh, right... I guess I should have been less biased - given a 'fair and balanced' view ala Fox News. I should have wrote about how 'Nobody' the computer technician creationist might really be onto something, even though others opointed out the circularity and shallowness of his claims...

Nah - I call 'em like I see 'em...

Nice dig re: 'the Academy', though...



YOU come off as very dogmatic. Have you showed that you are flexible? Reasonable?? Statements such as "the shallowness with which non-scientist creationists think" cause people to turn a deaf ear to anything you have to say, - with the exception of those who like ridicule.


I should think that rational people would have taken that statement above in the context of what I was writing about and the general subject matter of this blog and understood what I was getting at. How is it dogmatic to state my opinions/conclusions?

Non-scientist creationists - especially those that one encounters on the Internet, especially those with engineering backgrounds, ARE shallow thinkers when it coems to evolution. It is not MY dogmatism that forces these folks to declare that because humans make complex things, and living things are complex, therefore, living things had a Designed.

Those folks DESERVE ridicule.


Just some friendly advice

Have you given similar advice to the multitide fo0 creationist bloggers out there, John? Those FAR more 'dogmatic' than me?