person versus issues

Joel Cannon (
Fri, 21 Mar 1997 12:31:26 -0600 (CST)

> Pattle Pun wrote:
> Please do not discount him as being a LAWYER
> and does not know science. Can we discuss the issue instead of the person
> who raises the issue.

Would you agree that disussing the person is not necessarily the same
as using an ad hominem argument?

Were Phillip Johnson representing a client in, say a cardiology or
HIV-related case, he would legitimately challenge any witness's
credentials who had no training in those fields. The basis for this
challenge would be that the witness lacked the credentials that would
qualify him to discuss the technical issues at hand.

Similarly here, it is legitimate to discuss Johnson's credentials AND
to discuss the issues. However, in evaluating Johnson's technical
claims I tend to rely on people I know who have knowledge of the
subjects he talks about, and their evaluation is not positive.

I am out of town of a week so this is the last you will here of me for
a while. I will catch your response when I return.


Joel W. Cannon
Dept. of Physics
Centenary College of Louisiana
P. O. Box 41188
Shreveport, LA 71134-1188

(318)869-5026 FAX