Re: Stereotypes and reputations

From: Tim <>
Date: Sat Aug 06 2005 - 09:34:46 EDT

Nuts. Draw into one more exchange...
Cornelius wrote:

Starting with an extract from my comments:
>> They'll always add something else and the worst case, in
>>my opinion, is invoking the G-bomb: An agent that has no
>>definable or classifiable characteristics. You'll never
>>alter the views of someone who invokes a mechanism with no
>>boundary conditions. Personally, I'm not interested in
>>discussions with or about such potentially irrational
>>ideologues. It becomes a stereotypical caricature. But for
>>most others, at some point the modifications get to be too
>>much (but YMMV). For you, Cornelius, it appears that there
>>can be 'too much'. That demonstrates that rejection is
>>possible and serves as a reminder that thresholds clearly
>>vary between people.
>That's funny, I thought I was the one pointing out scientific
>problems. There are massive scientific problems with evolution,
>but you dismiss them because the "G-bomb" is unacceptable to you.
>Then you cast me as being credulous.

That's not what I meant or even what I wrote. I was responding to your
original comments that people would invoke a multitude of possible
auxiliary explanations to 'correct' or 'save' evolution. I noted that
was possible but that at some point the ad hoc nature of the additions
gets to be too much for most and at that point only ideologues and
'true-believers' would hold out with such explanations; The lack of
boundary conditions becomes a problem (and forms the idea behind Ted
Davis' recent post). I cited the "G-bomb" as the ultimate example of
this. A case in point: There are people who dismiss the data that points
to an ancient Earth by suggesting that God created that world with an
appearance of age (There are examples among evolutionary biologists;
Feduccia comes to mind*). There is nothing one can argue against such
claims, and I have no personal interest in spending my time in such

I did not say that you (Cornelius) are immune to data or overly
credulous. As a counter-example that the addition of auxiliary
hypotheses can be employed to rescue the core idea of evolution forever,
I mentioned *you*. That demonstrates that people will reject core ideas
like common descent with modification if the data and/or the rescuing
additional assumptions seem stretched too thin. I don't agree with your
overall assessment about the likelihood of evolution but that is opinion.

Tim I

*See comments by Richard Prum here:
Received on Sat Aug 6 09:36:17 2005

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