Re: re-whales from rodents
Sun, 22 Aug 1999 19:41:46 +0000

At 09:44 AM 08/21/1999 -0700, Arthur V. Chadwick wrote:
>Johnson says "Nobody is proposing that an ancestral rodent (or whatever)
>became a whale or a bat in a single episode of speciation...." Please.
>Johnson is a lawyer! Does he know the difference between a whale and a
>rodent? Do you really expect him to? I think the emphasis ought (and quite
>properly so) to be on the point he is attempting to make, and not on the
>specific details of the paleontology. Lets argue about the point he is
>making, and not about whether he did or did not grab the correct ancestor.
>That borders on ad hominem argumentation. Now if he were a vertebrate
>paleontologist, then we could (if we had the facts straight ourselves),
>take him to task if he had made a mistake.

Hi Art,

After a day and a half of my internet company being down, I am finally able
to respond. Johnson's argument does go to the level of his credibility. But
this is not an ad hominem. An ad hominem is "Don't believe johnson because
he is a lawyer and lawyers don't know anything."

THis situation is similar to some engineer coming to you saying, I read in
such and such a geology book that nowhere on earth does the entire geologic
column exist therefore geology is wrong when it teaches that the earth is
old. Or some Medical doctor coming and saying, because the strength of
rock is too small to form an overthrust, I know that overthrusts don't
exist anywhere. I know your beliefs probably better than most on this list.
I feel fairly certain that you would try to correct them and tell them
that the earth is old and that overthrusts exist. But lets assume that this
engineer and Dr. collaborate on a best selling book. And now you find that
what they say makes it hard for you to share the gospel with the atheists
in the geological profession. You correct them privately, then publically
and then someone says, Tsk, Tsk Art, that is an ad hominem. What is a
person to do when a Christian apologists gets his details so screwed up
that he destroys his own credibility with everyone except those that don't
know the science in the first place?


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