98 thoughts on “Censor and debt collector Barry Arrington …

  1. What a pathetic coward. Banny Arrogant desperately needs to be King Turd in his own private little cesspool of UD and will sink to any depths to stay there.

  2. Adapa,

    Then how do you feel about Lizzie bailing at UD? She was allowed to post and make the arguments she wanted, and it only took about one day for her to decide she likes it better in the shelter of her little echo chamber here.

    It easy to make any assertion on a site where whatever you say no matter how poorly it is supported by facts, you can have everyone patting you on the back like you are Gandhi. But when she posts at UD, people call her on her dubious claims.

    She couldn’t take that for very long now could she?

    She seems to be a person who loves to dish out insults-but has very thin skin for getting them back.

  3. Would you invest in a bank that could take your money at any time, and has recently been caught doing this Phoodoo?

  4. phoodoo:
    Adapa,

    Then how do you feel about Lizzie bailing at UD?She was allowed to post and make the arguments she wanted, and it only took about one day for her to decide she likes it better in the shelter of her little echo chamber here.

    I don’t blame her at all for leaving after Barry acted like an ignorant churl. All he did was ignore the arguments she presented, falsely accuse her of ad hominim attacks and insult her. Arrington is both a bully and a coward.

    Speaking of the craven, you sure bailed quickly from Meyer’s defense when you were asked for the ID explanation of life for the 2+ billion years before the Cambrian. Looks like there is no ID explanation, just like there’s no ID explanation for anything else in the paleontological record.

  5. phoodoo:
    Adapa,

    It easy to make any assertion on a site where whatever you say no matter how poorly it is supported by facts, you can have everyone patting you on the back like you are Gandhi.

    That’s a perfect description of Bully Arrington and his clueless sycophants at UD.

  6. Joe Coder had a comment criticizing Banny’s post. Then it read, “Deleted by JoeCoder”. Now it is gone completely.

    Barry Arrington: “As a Christian, I answer to a higher power and have a much higher standard of integrity for which I strive.”

    Uh-huh. :p

  7. phoodoo:

    How do you guys here at TSZ put it…..Do you need a whinebulance??

    Still dodging the questions about ID’s explanation for the 2+ billion years of life before the Cambrian. What a surprise.

  8. For the record, I posted:

    Barry:

    I’m not even going to bother trying to explain to you why those two posts (which you don’t even have the courtesy to quote in full) are perfectly consistent. People can judge for themselves.

    But I am going to point out that to accuse me of “running away” to an “echo chamber”, coming from someone who regularly bans anyone whose views he dislikes, frequently without acknowledgment, and, in a recent case, in a manner that also deletes their entire posting history, is scarcely in a position to talk about “running away” and “echo chambers”.

    I see absolutely no point in spending time composing posts for this forum knowing that if you don’t like them you will simply delete my entire contribution from your database, and I don’t see why anyone else should either.

    In my case, on this occasion, you have chosen your alternative tactic: to malign me from your bully pulpit.

    So no, I won’t be posting at UD in the future. You can keep your echo chamber to yourself.

    If people want a conversation they can come to my place, where no-one’s posts are edited or deleted and no-one is banned, except in the case of spam, porn, malware or posting other people’s personal info.

    Indeed, you are very welcome yourself, Barry.

  9. Can I also remind everyone of the game rule here: assume the other poster is posting in good faith.

    I try to slide a razor between vehement criticism, even personal criticism, and the implication that the other person has some ulterior motivation, and I’ve moved one post to guano.

    As always, if your post is moved, it implies no moral judgement. That’s why I call it a “game rule” – nobody will be banned for not keeping it, it’s just that the post gets moved.

  10. In case it isn’t clear to readers here, my first post in full was:

    FWIW, I don’t think Stephen Meyer is stupid at all. I think he’s very smart.
    But he is no palaeontologist, and apparently doesn’t see that as a problem.
    It is though, because he gets the actual predictions wrong.

    And my second was:

    I am certainly not a palaeontologist. And nor is Meyer.

    I do not criticise Meyer because he is not a qualified palaeontologist. I don’t even criticise him because he, not being a qualified palaeontologist, writes a book on the palaeontology.

    I do criticise him for the errors in that book.

    If you think that Meyer is qualified to write the book, then I am just as qualified to point out the errors. In other words, qualifications are irrelevant. What matters is the content of the book.

    If anyone here disagrees with my critique of his book, then please defend Meyer against my critique.

    From which it should be clear that I was not criticising Meyer for not being a palaeontologist, but for being unable apparently to see that that might be a problem – which it is, because it has led him to make mistakes.

    And it is for those mistakes that I am criticising him. Had he foreseen that not having training in palaeontology might be a problem, he might have taken more care. As it is, his mistakes demonstrated that he is “no palaeontologist”.

  11. Elizabeth,

    For whatever it’s worth, it’s clear to me that your two statements are consistent, which is what Arrington was keen to deny.

    Arrington’s way of “debating” consists of seizing upon the most uncharitable, least intelligent interpretation of what someone says, refusing to acknowledge the possibility of other interpretations, and then accusing the other person of some elementary logical error. It’s a hermeneutics for winning debates and court cases, not a hermeneutics for mutual understanding.

    I have seen little evidence that Arrington cares about developing mutual understanding between adherents of different positions; he seems, rather, mostly interested in winning. (I know he thinks he understands evolutionary theory, naturalism, and atheism, but I do not think that he does.)

    For a hermeneutics of mutual understanding, the moderation rules at TSZ are much better: assume the other person is arguing in good faith. Interestingly, we haven’t actually talked much about what that means– “arguing in good faith”.

    I take it means something like: assume that the other person is rational, and so wants to have consistent beliefs; assume that the other person cares about having true beliefs; assume that the other person is open to criticism and willing to revise his or her beliefs if they are shown to be false or inconsistent.

    And here something must be pointed out, as to how UD regulars construe the concept of “materialism”. They will often claim, using quotes from Darwin, C. S. Lewis, Haldane, and something Plantinga, that naturalism cannot account for our interest in truth or in rationality. (Of course I think that they are mistaken, but that’s a whole separate conversation.) The result at UD is that they see “materialists” as themselves unable to explain our own commitment to truth and to rationality. Indeed, I suspect that to some degree they see materialism as the opposite of both truth and rationality. (Which is not to deny that some atheists and skeptics adopt the same hostile attitude towards religious belief.)

    The upshot here is that the UD regulars construe “materialism” in such a way that it is almost impossible for them to acknowledge that we skeptics (or naturalists, or whatever we are) are arguing in good faith at all. After all, the implicit argument is, if we really cared about truth and rationality at all, then we wouldn’t be naturalists! Granted, there are skeptics who make the exact same mistake about theists, and that’s not right either.

    In any event, Elizabeth, I hope you’ll have somewhat less frustration and exasperation in your life now that you’ve resolved to stop commenting at UD. I know that’s been true for me.

  12. EL said:

    From which it should be clear that I was not criticising Meyer for not being a palaeontologist, but for being unable apparently to see that that might be a problem – which it is, because it has led him to make mistakes.

    If you’re not using the fact that he is not a paleontologist to support your criticism of his work, why bring it up at all?

  13. Kantian Naturalist:

    he seems, rather, mostly interested in winning.

    I am sure that is the key to Barry. He appears to be obsessed with scoring debating points and preferably humiliating his opposition. Possibly it relates to his legal career; although I know plenty of lawyers who are quite unlike him.

    Your recommendation to stay away from UD is good and having just commented there I shall now try to abstain.

  14. “If you’re not using the fact that he is not a paleontologist to support your criticism of his work, why bring it up at all?”

    I was wondering the same thing.

  15. bill:
    “If you’re not using the fact that he is not a paleontologist to support your criticism of his work, why bring it up at all?”

    I was wondering the same thing.

    OK, maybe Elizabeth mentioning that Meyer is not a palaeontologist was not all that relevant. But it wasn’t an ad hominem as Barry seems keen to claim. I find Barry to be blindingly hypocritical in this respect. He asserts that Elizabeth was making an ad hominem argument, which you would really have to stretch the definition of ad hominem to make this claim, yet he frequently calls people stupid, cowards, fools, idiots and pathetic and claims that these are not ad hominems,

  16. I don’t know why everyone gets so upset at Arrington. When I post at UD I get the usual nasty useless comments along with reasonable criticism. I engage the critics and completely ignore the nasty comments. Eventually they go away. If you ignore Arrington he’ll eventually get the message. I know you’re all capable of this: you completely ignore my posts here and I’m not even rude!

  17. The result at UD is that they see “materialists” as themselves unable to explain our own commitment to truth and to rationality. Indeed, I suspect that to some degree they see materialism as the opposite of both truth and rationality.

    Really, it starts a good deal earlier, because the assumption that the other side is merely corrupt, evil, and ultimately incoherent means that they don’t have to look into what they say. For most of them, they never have, they don’t, and they never will. We’re not talking of towering intellects at UD, after all. Many are interested in doing anything but thinking, let alone thinking about something they don’t like and don’t want to be right.

    C.S. Lewis, Plantinga, et al., come much later and merely “confirm” what they’ve always done, which is to ignore everything that the other side says, save to pick at anything and everything they think may possibly have some vulnerability. This is about the typical UDite and similar tribalists, I’d note, not all Xians, not all believers of any kind, who range from UDite “I won’t even go to TSZ because (great evil)” to relatively good spirits and at least a measure of open-mindedness.

    Glen Davidson

  18. I honestly did not think this was all that difficult.

    If I, as a person untrained in palaeontology, write a book about palaeontology, and it is a good book, that is fine.

    However, I should be aware that as I have no training in palaeontology, there considerable potential for making errors, and this is a problem I have to recognise and solve.

    And if I do make mistakes, I could be fairly described by my critics as “being no palaeontologist”, i.e. neither a trained one nor a self-taught one.

    However, my critics would not be criticising me for not being a qualified palaeontologist – people untrained in palaeontologist are perfectly capable of writing good books about palaeontology. Nor would they be criticising me for writing a book about palaeontology despite my lack of training in palaeontology. Again, people untrained in palaeontology can write good books about palaeontology.

    They would be criticising me for writing a book containing mistakes in palaeontology.

    Just as I criticised Meyer.

  19. RodW:
    I don’t know why everyone gets so upset at Arrington. When I post at UD I get the usual nasty useless comments along with reasonable criticism. I engage the critics and completely ignore the nasty comments. Eventually they go away. If you ignore Arrington he’ll eventually get the message. I know you’re all capable of this: you completely ignore my posts here and I’m not even rude!

    Awkward, though, when Arrington, the host, specifically addresses your posts, or calls you out to answer a question (which may be on a totally different topic – Barry is not averse to derailing a thread on one topic with a callout on another). Do you ignore your host if he yells a challenge at you? I suppose you could. It just seems a bit presumptive to me. I’m eating his bandwidth, after all.

  20. Acartia: OK, maybe Elizabeth mentioning that Meyer is not a palaeontologist was not all that relevant. But it wasn’t an ad hominem as Barry seems keen to claim. I find Barry to be blindingly hypocritical in this respect. He asserts that Elizabeth was making an ad hominem argument, which you would really have to stretch the definition of ad hominem to make this claim, yet he frequently calls people stupid, cowards, fools, idiots and pathetic and claims that these are not ad hominems,

    Oh come on, it’s quite relevant. A paleontologist could get things as wrong as Meyer did, and a non-paleontologist could get everything right–but what are the odds on both?

    Whether or not it’s a good argument at UD is another question, since one could always bring in Jonathan Wells if you’re bringing up credentials. Well, why not believe him? He’s got the education that would normally “count for something,” yet you say he gets it all wrong. Actually, the point is the latter, he gets it all wrong, too bad for his credentials.

    Another reason why it might not be a good argument is that he’s supposedly bringing up matters that paleontologists typically ignore or fob off with some inadequate claim. He’s supposed to be the kid noticing that the emperor has no clothes on. It doesn’t seem to work out that way, but it’s the presentation made.

    Plus, of course, UDites are all too happy to attack over “ad hominem arguments” rather than to deal with the facts.

    So in these discussions it’s probably best to stick with the most relevant issue, which is that Meyer is wrong, yet again.

    Glen Davidson

  21. RodW:
    I don’t know why everyone gets so upset at Arrington. When I post at UD I get the usual nasty useless comments along with reasonable criticism. I engage the critics and completely ignore the nasty comments. Eventually they go away. If you ignore Arrington he’ll eventually get the message. I know you’re all capable of this: you completely ignore my posts here and I’m not even rude!

    I tried doing this recently but when it is his site and he writes OPs about how stupid or dishonest you are by name (and the OP is itself full of errors) then it is very difficult not to respond. Suppose someone were to write an OP on TSZ with the title RodW is an Idiot and the OP was itself idiotic – would you be able to ignore it?

  22. EL:

    And if I do make mistakes, I could be fairly described by my critics as “being no palaeontologist”, i.e. neither a trained one nor a self-taught one.

    Depends on what you mean by “fairly”. You weren’t accused of being “unfair” at UD; you were accused of using ad hominem, and then of making contradictory statements. Ad hominem can be both a fair assessment of someone’s qualifications and true; what makes it ad hominem is that it is about the person, not the argument. It may be fair to say, and true, that Meyer is not a paleontologist; it may also be fair to say, and true, that he beats his wife or goes dumpster-diving at night. However, none of those things are relevant in rebutting on the merit of the argument.

    They would be criticising me for writing a book containing mistakes in palaeontology.

    And referring to the fact that you are not a paleontologist would be a case of ad hominem in any argument about supposed errors in the book. The only reason to add such a comment is to prejudice the reader against the author and increase the likelihood that the reader will give more credence to the “error” claim simply because the author wasn’t a paleontologist.

    There is simply no reason to bring that fact into a debate about whether or not the book contains errors unless it is to prejudice others in favor of your assertion/argument.

    Just as I criticised Meyer.

    Criticizing Meyer in an argument about whether or not Meyer’s arguments are valid is the textbook definition of ad hominem.

  23. William J. Murray: you were accused of using ad hominem, and then of making contradictory statements.

    Well, it most certainly was not an ad hominem. I made it very clear that I was not saying “Meyer must be wrong because he isn’t a palaentologist”. I was saying “Meyer is wrong, which makes him “no palaeontologist”.

    Compare

    William hasn’t read War and Peace, therefore he must be wrong about Free Will.

    with

    William is wrong about Free Will, probably because he hasn’t read War and Peace.

    The first commits the ad hominem fallacy. The second doesn’t. The second was what I did.

  24. Mark Frank: I tried doing this recently but when it is his site and he writes OPs about how stupid or dishonest you are by name (and the OP is itself full of errors) then it is very difficult not to respond.Suppose someone were to write an OP on TSZ with the title RodW is an Idiot and the OP was itself idiotic – would you be able to ignore it?

    I guess that’s the difference between someone with free will and someone that is incapable of any top-down overriding of physio-chemical impulses.

  25. William J. Murray: Criticizing Meyer in an argument about whether or not Meyer’s arguments are valid is the textbook definition of ad hominem.

    No, it isn’t. It’s the text book definition of criticising a person.

    If I say: William you are wrong, and you should know better that is not an ad hominem. It still wouldn’t be an ad hominem if I said William you are wrong, and you are a lying toad. It would be rude, and against the rules of this site, but it wouldn’t be an ad hominem.

    If I said: William is a lying toad, therefore he must be wrong, that would be an ad hominem.

  26. Well, it most certainly was not an ad hominem. I made it very clear that I was not saying “Meyer must be wrong because he isn’t a palaentologist”. I was saying “Meyer is wrong, which makes him “no palaeontologist”.

    It certainly was. There was no reason to the argument to bring that fact up.

    The first commits the ad hominem fallacy. The second doesn’t. The second was what I did.

    They are both clear-cut cases of ad hominem. Ad hominem is a comment about the person as if that comment makes a difference to the argument.

  27. No, it isn’t. It’s the text book definition of criticising a person.

    Criticizing a person as if it makes a difference in whether or not their argument is valid is ad hominem.

  28. William J. Murray:
    If you’re not using the fact that he is not a paleontologist to support your criticism of his work, why bring it up at all?

    Actually I didn’t. What I said was “he’s no palaeontologist” as one might say, even of a qualified person (Jonathan Wells for instance): “he’s no molecular biologist”, or of a dumb PhD student “she’s no scientist”. I was being rude. However, I was also making the point that being “no palaeontologist” (qualified or otherwise) he compounded his error by not seeing that as a problem. And therefore making mistakes that someone more aware of his lack of expertise would have checked.

    Again: I did not criticise him for his lack of training in palaeontology, nor did I argue that because he is not qualified, therefore he must be wrong.

    I argued that he is wrong, therefore he is “no palaeontologist”, moreover, as he should have been aware, and done due diligence.

  29. By the way, even ad hominem attacks aren’t really fallacies in a whole lot of cases either. Impeach a witness in court by showing that he’s been lying on the stand, and you’re not expected to believe him on much. Or, paraphrase of a Yiddish adage, the liar’s punishment is not to be believed when he’s telling the truth. Or what, you should believe a chronic liar?

    If someone tells me I have cancer, does it really matter if it’s a doctor or someone who read a book and thus feels quite knowledgeable? I think it does, even though the doctor might be wrong and the person who read the book might be right. I think, too, that few people actually claim that it is an ad hominem attack by saying that some ignorant person who read a book isn’t competent to diagnose cancer. It might be argued, but most people realize that a certain level of expertise really matters.

    Why have educated people be teachers? Is it ad hominem to say that an uneducated person probably should not be a teacher? Yet, using the broadest sense of ad hominem, it very well might be.

    I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that the ad hominem fallacy was meant to apply in more formal debates involving people who are trustworthy, or at least people who haven’t been shown to be untrustworthy. As in, you can’t just say, well, you’re a skeptic so you’re hardly a person to be believed. No, you have to show the skeptic to be wrong. Or the theist to be wrong, you can’t just say that people of faith believe rot, so why trust such idiots? Improper argumentation.

    But I still don’t put too much stock into most of what toddlers say.

    Glen Davidson

  30. Well, I plead guilty to having been rude about Meyer. Ironically, far from, as I seem to recall the OP suggested, regarding him as, it’s because he is clearly smart that he makes me cross.

    But my actual argument with him has nothing to do with his expertise per se, and I leave it to actual palaeontologists like Nick Matzke to critique his command of the actual facts. What I did was to critique his logic and his understanding of the theory of Common Descent – his basic grasp of the principle of phylogenetics.

    And far from “avoiding” doing so, I’d already done it months ago here, and I think there was even an OP about it at UD (can’t remember).

  31. RodW:
    I don’t know why everyone gets so upset at Arrington.

    I don’t think “getting upset” is what is happening and I personally don’t think “getting upset” matters. It’s merely an issue of basic integrity. Arrington has put himself beyond the pale of reasonable discussion. He can (well, many things are possible) acknowledge his errors and amend his behaviour and be allowed back into the circle of free exchange of ideas or he can remain an outcast. Tough choice and one, had I his cards to play, I don’t envy.

    When I post at UD I get the usual nasty useless comments along with reasonable criticism. I engage the critics and completely ignore the nasty comments. Eventually they go away. If you ignore Arrington he’ll eventually get the message.

    Exactly! Which is why I’m calling for a boycott. Boycott Barry until he mends his ways!

    I know you’re all capable of this: you completely ignore my posts here and I’m not even rude!

    No ignoring here. I’m noticing!

  32. As Arrington and presumably others at UD are aware, and as Elizabeth shows herself, the ad hominem fallacy occurs when a remark on someone’s character is presented as a reason for rejecting a claim. That’s quite different from taking someone’s character or background as a causal explanation for why someone makes a claim.

    (Compare: it is not ad hominem to point out that someone’s white privilege explains why they are unable to acknowledge systematic, institutionalized racism at work in a policy or set of policies. But it would be ad hominem to assert or imply that someone’s racial privilege or lack thereof is a reason for rejecting or accepting what they assert about racial issues.)

    Hence Elizabeth did not commit an ad hominem fallacy, because she pointed out that Meyer’s lack of training in paleontology explains why he made the mistake that he did. But that is separate from her argument as why Meyer’s clam is mistaken. That argument stands or falls on its own merits.

    I find it a bit ironic that the UD regulars, who so often hammer on the thought that naturalists cannot allow for the distinction between reasons and causes, failed to notice that they were conflating reasons and causes when they accused Elizabeth of making an ad hominem fallacy.

  33. William J. Murray: Criticizing a person as if it makes a difference in whether or not their argument is valid is ad hominem.

    Oh, the tortured prose. Spin away, William.

    Meyer was wrong about phyla.

  34. First, EL said this is what she did, and claimed it wasn’t ad hominem:

    William is wrong about Free Will, probably because he hasn’t read War and Peace.

    However, the above is clearly ad hominmen, because it takes a comment about the person (not having read war and peace) and says I am probably wrong about my argument because of the content of a comment about the person.

    Her second comment is entirely different:

    William you are wrong, and you are a lying toad.

    Here she makes two entirely different assertions, the second of which is not used to help make the case of the first. So, she’s right in this case, it’s not an example of ad hominem.

    EL then said:

    Actually I didn’t. What I said was “he’s no palaeontologist” as one might say, even of a qualified person (Jonathan Wells for instance): “he’s no molecular biologist”, or of a dumb PhD student “she’s no scientist”. I was being rude.

    But, that’s not all of what you said:

    But he is no palaeontologist, and apparently doesn’t see that as a problem. It is though, because he gets the actual predictions wrong.

    In the above, EL has explicitly classified the fact that Meyer is not a paleontologist as “a problem” for Meyer’s argument “because he gets the actual predictions wrong.”

    No, it would be the putative fact that he gets the predictions wrong that would be the problem for Meyer’s argument, not the fact that he is not a paleontologist. The fact that he is not a paleontologist is not a problem at all; a non-paleontologist (hyothetically, like Liddle, for example) could get the predictions right. Heck, even a paleontologist could get the predictions right or wrong.

    Clearly, the fact that Meyer is not a paleontologist is used to help make the case for Liddle’s rebuttal because she explicitly states that his not being a paleontologist is a problem for Meyer’s argument and has supposedly resulted or contributed in his being wrong.

    So yes, clearly, it’s a case of ad hominem, not just being “rude”.

  35. William, read KN’s post. He says it better than I did.

    Which he damn well should of course, being a qualified philosopher.

    (Was that an ad hominem…?)

  36. Elizabeth: Awkward, though, when Arrington, the host, specifically addresses your posts, or calls you out to answer a question (which may be on a totally different topic – Barry is not averse to derailing a thread on one topic with a callout on another). Do you ignore your host if he yells a challenge at you? I suppose you could. It just seems a bit presumptive to me. I’m eating his bandwidth, after all.

    I don’t think its presumptive at all to ignore him if he chooses to hurl insults at you because he disagrees with what you’re saying, still, I realize its easier said than done. I don’t mean to come across haughty here. I’m not exactly the model of composure. Its just that I’ve seen so many interesting topics degenerate into name calling I wonder why I bother..

  37. Alan Fox: Meyer was wrong about phyla.

    Yup. And Vincent trying to counter my critique of Meyer by making the argument Meyer should have made doesn’t make Meyer right.

    It doesn’t make Vincent right either, but at least he’s not making the same error.

  38. KN said:

    Hence Elizabeth did not commit an ad hominem fallacy, because she pointed out that Meyer’s lack of training in paleontology explains why he made the mistake that he did.

    She cannot “point out” any such thing because she doesn’t know why he made any supposed mistake – he could have suffered a brain aneurism or suffers from confirmation bias or it could be that he’s not mistaken, but rather EL is just misunderstanding him. All she can possibly be doing is using the fact that he’s not a paleontologist to prejudice the reader.

    She might believe that his mistake is due to his being a non-paleontologist, but bringing that fact into the debate adds absolutely nothing to the argument about the evidence and facts.

    I may believe the error in your argument is generated because you are a deranged and self-deceiving, and it may even be a fact, but it is still ad hominem to employ that fact or suposed “explanation” to support my argument.

    EL clearly uses a fact about Meyer to support her contention that Meyer’s argument is wrong. That is textbook ad hominem.

  39. Elizabeth: Yup.And Vincent trying to counter my critique of Meyer by making the argument Meyer should have made doesn’t make Meyer right.
    It doesn’t make Vincent right either, but at least he’s not making the same error.

    All new errors at UD. Usually because they simply misapprehend the old ones.

  40. EL clearly uses a fact about Meyer to support her contention that Meyer’s argument is wrong. That is textbook ad hominem.

    Is “expert testimony” in court the equivalent of an ad hominem attack, or at least a related fallacy?

    I do actually think that EL was using that fact at least to bolster her contention. I just don’t see that it’s irrelevant in the least.

    Glen Davidson

  41. William J. Murray: She cannot “point out” any such thing because she doesn’t know why he made any supposed mistake – he could have suffered a brain aneurism or suffers from confirmation bias or it could be that he’s not mistaken…

    Hang on, William. Meyer makes a basic and huge mistake about phyla. He’s wrong on phyla. Meyer gets phyla wrong.

    …but rather EL is just misunderstanding him.

    Bollocks. He’s wrong about phyla!!!

    All she can possibly be doing is using the fact that he’s not a paleontologist to prejudice the reader.

    She might believe that his mistake is due to his being a non-paleontologist, but bringing that fact into the debate adds absolutely nothing to the argument about the evidence and facts.

    I may believe the error in your argument is generated because you are a deranged and self-deceiving, and it may even be a fact, but it is still ad hominem to employ that fact or suposed “explanation” to support my argument.

    EL clearly uses a fact about Meyer to support her contention that Meyer’s argument is wrong. That is textbook ad hominem.

    This is textbook spin!

  42. Alan said:

    Hang on, William. Meyer makes a basic and huge mistake about phyla. He’s wrong on phyla. Meyer gets phyla wrong.

    Whether or not Meyer was wrong has no bearing on whether or not EL is guilty of ad hominem as described.

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