Re: re-whales from rodents
Tue, 10 Aug 1999 19:09:54 +0000

At 09:40 AM 08/10/1999 -0600, John W. Burgeson wrote:
>Glenn Glenn Glenn....
>You still don't get it.
>Your original claim was that "Johnson believes that whales came from
>You keep repeating that.
>What Johnson believes (or does not) is his business.
>What Johnson writes, however, is fair game.
>He has not written, anywhere, AFAIK, that he believes whales come from
>So to claim that he does, indeed, believe this, does not seem to be
>either a useful or a truthful claim.

Hi Burgy,

I am a really naive person. I even give people the benefit of the doubt.
I do not beleive that people, like Johnson, would write something that they
didn't beleive. That would be deceitful. To say that is to claim that I
can read Johnson's mind which I can't. So I take at face value that he is
a truthful writer and writes what he believes.

Now If you are saying that Johnson is a deceitful writer, I would be
disappointed in Johnson, (not you for saying this).

>As often happens, in your reply you open up other issues, tangential to
>the only one I raised.

Yes I do this because knowledge is a holistic thing. Each part of
knowledge affects every other part. To pretend that we can discuss one area
without looking at the implications it has for other areas of knowledge is
to put our heads in the sand.

>You wrote:
>However, here is what I found in my copy of Darwin on Trial:
>"By what Darwinian process did useful hind limbs wither away to vestigial
>proportions, and at what stage in the transformation from rodent to sea
>monster did this occur? Did rodent forelimbs transform themselves by
>gradual adaptive stages into whale flippers? We hear nothing of the
>difficulties because to Darwinists unsolvable problems are not
>~ Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial, 2nd ed. (Downer's Grove:
>Intervarsity Press, 1993), p. 87
>There is no way under God's blue skies that I can read into that piece
>(of somewhat lawyerly prose) that Johnson "believes whales came from

So you don't beleive that Johnson writes what he believes to be true? This
means that he writes what he knows to be false! Johnson is looking really

>Now maybe I, not being the literalist that you, and some others, are,
>can't see this being a logical (and intended) consequence of the writing.
>Obviously you, and I respect your scholarship, see such a claim as
>flowing logically from it. I just happen to think you are dead dead wrong
>in this instance.

So I guess you are saying that Johnson doesn't write what he believes.
Hmmm. That sounds like sophistry. Is that what you think Johnson is, a

>You continue:
>Burgy, point me to a statement where Johnson demonstrates that he knows
>mesonychids evolved into whales.
>I doubt that Johnson has any particular position on that particular
>claim, as
>I do not. It is only tangentially related to the issue I raised anyway.

Wait a minute. Here is a guy who is writing on the area of paleontology,
claiming that he knows more than the paleontologists and you are saying
that he doesn't have a position on that about which he writes? So are you
saying that Johnson is a mindless (or ignorant) blabbering mouthpiece who
has no positions on anything of substance?

OK, I will cut the sarcasm now that I have probably made you mad at me. I
know you really hate irony or sarcasm on the internet To defend Johnson in
the manner you are defending him seems to make Johnson look worse than he
actually does. I think he is ignorant of science and doesnt' care to
correct himself. Your defence of him makes him look like a sophist, a
deceitful individual or a mindless blabberer. That is truly a poor defence
of someone you like. Please never defend me in this way. :-)


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