Excilience and Contextomy

consilience. : the linking together of principles from different disciplines especially when forming a comprehensive theory.

contextomy. : an informal fallacy and a type of false attribution in which a passage is removed from its surrounding matter in such a way as to distort its intended meaning. Quote mining.

excilience. : the linking together of Contextomies from different disciplines especially when forming a comprehensive theory. Thought mining.

The Quote Mine Project provides excellent examples of contextomy. Uncommondescent provides excellent examples of excilience.

The practices lend themselves to all kinds of humorous incongruities. Among them are:

1. free will vs predestination
2. deism vs interventionism (Michael Denton vs Michael Behe)
3. front loading vs twiddling (Mike Gene vs gpuccio, etc.)
4. ascentism vs degenerationism (Chardin vs Sanford)
5. old earth vs young earth
6. realism vs last thursdayism
7. biblical literalism vs inspirationism

There are probably a lot more, but these come up frequently. The humor comes from observing that the armies of ID clash by night, without ever mentioning or discussing their differences and their contradictory assumptions and conclusions.

Food for discussion.

361 Replies to “Excilience and Contextomy”

  1. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    William J. Murray,

    I laughed when I saw the latest part of their argument, that evolutionist never use quotes from people they disagree with.

  2. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo

    I laughed when I saw the latest part of their argument, that evolutionist never use quotes from people they disagree with.

    Phoodoo doesn’t understand what quote mining is either.

  3. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    Adapa,

    Phoodoo doesn’t understand what quote mining is either.

    phoodoo can’t even seem to appreciate the difference between ‘hardly ever’ and ‘never’, so I don’t hold out much hope for grasping the rest of the not-particularly-hard-to-follow case.

  4. Reciprocating Bill Reciprocating Bill
    Ignored
    says:

    William J. Murray: I don’t see where Petrushka has admitted that he was wrong.

    He did so, quite forthrightly, here:

    Let me give my understanding of the error.

    I have said (since qualified) that quoting a scientist out of context to support creationism will be quote mining. I think this is almost always true, but there can be exceptions.

    He then provided an example of a creationist quoting Dawkins in a way that he would NOT regard as a quotemine.

    So we have Glen’s statement, my own, RTH’s agreement with my statement, Allan’s statement, and petrushka’s own description of his error.

    You should update your UD post.

  5. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    I said this

    But no-one on the ‘materialist’ side uses a Creationist quote to bolster the ‘materialist’ narrative. Unless you know different.

    Just to be clear, I don’t consider directly refuting something a Creationist says as ‘bolstering the materialist narrative’. YMMV, but the ‘materialist narrative’ is bolstered by its own findings, not the failings of Creationism. Of course people quote others when refuting them. Duh. That both you and Murray think I am unaware of that fact, or hoped you might not notice, shows a certain haste to denigrate rather than comprehend.

    Perhaps you could address the ‘know different’ part of my statement, and provide an example of a ‘materialist’ quoting a Creationist in an equivalent manner to – for example – Creationist usage of Darwin’s famed ‘eye’ quote. Creationists are NOT using that quote to refute it. They are agreeing with it – using it in an attempt to show that ‘even Darwin’ thought evolution was bollocks.

    So, an equivalent quote from a ‘materialist’ would NOT be simply someone saying where Douglas Axe went wrong, with quotes.

  6. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller: Perhaps you could address the ‘know different’ part of my statement, and provide an example of a ‘materialist’ quoting a Creationist in an equivalent manner to – for example – Creationist usage of Darwin’s famed ‘eye’ quote.

    It is fairly common to quote bible verses that are no longer popular or operative.

    The big difference, as I see it, is the bible is suppose to be authoritive and the inspired word of god.

    Statements made by scientists are either their personal opinion, or perhaps the consensus view of their time.

    The authority in science is always what works and what best comports with evidence. This changes over time.

  7. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    petrushka: The big difference, as I see it, is the bible is suppose to be authoritive and the inspired word of god.

    Atheists, otoh, are to be admired because they just do whatever they want regardless of whether or not it is rational.

  8. Flint
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Atheists, otoh, are to be admired because they just do whatever they want regardless of whether or not it is rational.

    My experience is that this does not happen among atheists anymore than among the population as a whole. If anything, atheists, lacking a rulebook from which they can cherry-pick ratifications for arbitrary behavior, are obliged to fall back on the tedious process of thinking.

    For all I know, this might be somehow related to the fact that atheists are WAY under-represented in prisons.

  9. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Flint: If anything, atheists, lacking a rulebook from which they can cherry-pick ratifications for arbitrary behavior, are obliged to fall back on the tedious process of thinking.

    Atheists think. The rest of us do not think. Given the minority position of atheism, I think the opposite must be the case. Atheists lack any rulebook, they don’t require justification for arbitrary behavior.

  10. Reciprocating Bill Reciprocating Bill
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung:

    Atheists, otoh, are to be admired because they just do whatever they want regardless of whether or not it is rational.

    Is your check engine light on?

  11. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Reciprocating Bill: Is your check engine light on?

    I did not check the check engine light. I stand refuted.

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