WJM throws ID under the bus

I’m really not a fan of doing what I’m about to do.

But anyways, this is WJM @ UD

To be fair, when the proponent of a theory who claims that theory to be scientific fact provides little or nothing in the way of falsifiable predictions and offers largely only sweeping narratives and historical inferences based on ideological assumptions and/or an imagined infinite pool of unqualified possibility, it’s impossible for the opposition to offer specified rebuttals.

Until proponents offer specified, falsifiable predictions, the proper response to such a theory is to “lump everything into a single bucket and dismiss the entire topic.”

67 thoughts on “WJM throws ID under the bus

  1. haha. I see what you did there.

    But you better be careful, Patrick is out to ban quote-miners and Alan is out to ban people who post content-free OPs.

  2. In the OP:

    Where evolutionary theory claims relevance is in trying to provide a historical explanation for how biological systems came about and, occasionally, attempting to propose a particular prediction.

    Perhaps ID could demonstrate how it meets that criteria better then ‘evolutionary theory’ does. As I’m yet to encounter either an explanation or a prediction worthy of those labels.

  3. Mung,

    But you better be careful, Patrick is out to ban quote-miners and Alan is out to ban people who post content-free OPs.

    Ah, but it wasn’t a quote mine. It was his entire statement, complete with link to context.

    I’ll plead diminished responsibility to the ‘content’ charge, Your Honor. Too funny to pass up, on this occasion, even though normally I deprecate this kind of thing.

    “It’s funny when I do it”, is a family catch phrase.

  4. He has a point, you know.

    Actually, when I first read it at UD I did wonder briefly if he wasn’t one of the rare IDists who faults ID “thought leaders” for not developing it as a science (as if anyone could). Not a long-lasting fantasy, however.

    Glen Davidson

  5. Doesn’t ID make predictions about the probability of unguided processes giving rise to cellular life-forms, on the primordial Earth? If the probability were high, or even low but not astronomically low, then the scientific case for design would be weak. Ditto for complex animals.

  6. Whether or not the entire quote was used is not the defining characteristic of a quote mine; it’s if the quote is used out of context in order to make it appear the author is saying something they are not saying. Obviously, it was evolutionary “theory” I was talking about, not ID, so to characterize my quote as “throwing ID under the bus” is in fact blatant quote-mining and, quite frankly, a deliberate attempt to mislead.

  7. vjtorley:
    Doesn’t ID make predictions about the probability of unguided processes giving rise to cellular life-forms, on the primordial Earth?

    Well, no. How could it? What does design have to do with the probability of unguided processes?

    Yes, they drone endlessly about probabilities, but that’s nothing like what honest ID science would be if it could be science.

    If the probability were high, or even low but not astronomically low, then the scientific case for design would be weak.

    The scientific case for design is basically non-existent, because there’s no meaningful evidence for design. Why is it so hard to get through to IDists that they need evidence for design? Why can’t they get into their heads the realization that the false dilemma “no evolution means design” is in fact a fallacy?

    Ditto for complex animals.

    Just make a case for the design of complex animals for once. Not the whine that evolution can’t do it and your fallacious assumption that design is thereby warranted, in despite of the fact that many aspects of life actually contradict honest ID expectations (using analogy with human design, the only design of which we have evidence (unless some animal productions are considered “design”)). Show evidence for design. Then you’ll have something, rather than the nothing you have now.

    Glen Davidson

  8. William J. Murray:
    Whether or not the entire quote was used is not the defining characteristic of a quote mine; it’s if the quote is used out of context in order to make it appear the author is saying something they are not saying. Obviously, it was evolutionary “theory” I was talking about, not ID, so to characterize my quote as “throwing ID under the bus” is in fact blatant quote-mining and, quite frankly, lying.

    You can only say that by ignoring the context, the caveats, etc.

    Typical.

    Glen Davidson

  9. vjtorley,

    Doesn’t ID make predictions about the probability of unguided processes giving rise to cellular life-forms, on the primordial Earth?

    Other than saying ‘it is low’, not that I’m aware. Is that prediction falsifiable, per WJM’s criteria?

    If the probability were high, or even low but not astronomically low, then the scientific case for design would be weak.

    It is anyway at the moment. In particular, as you’ve expressed it, it rests upon something which many ID proponents claim is unfalsifiable: to whit: evolution/abiogenesis itself. If ID depends on ruling out something that is not falsifiable, then ID is not falsifiable.

    You can have your cake and eat it, of course; it’s a free internet.

  10. William J. Murray:
    Whether or not the entire quote was used is not the defining characteristic of a quote mine; it’s if the quote is used out of context in order to make it appear the author is saying something they are not saying. Obviously, it was evolutionary “theory” I was talking about, not ID, so to characterize my quote as “throwing ID under the bus” is in fact blatant quote-mining and, quite frankly, a deliberate attempt to mislead.

    No, it was a joke… obviously. No one here believes you were trying to “throw ID under the bus”. Although all irony meters exploded with your pathetic exercise of projection

  11. William J. Murray,

    Whether or not the entire quote was used is not the defining characteristic of a quote mine; it’s if the quote is used out of context in order to make it appear the author is saying something they are not saying. Obviously, it was evolutionary “theory” I was talking about, not ID, so to characterize my quote as “throwing ID under the bus” is in fact blatant quote-mining and, quite frankly, a deliberate attempt to mislead.

    I attempted to mislead no-one. I was not suggesting that your quote was intended to chuck ID under the bus. But your very words do precisely that, because in applying WJM’s Razor, I don’t see how you can make special exeption for ID, simply because ‘that was not what you were talking about’.

  12. vjtorley:

    Doesn’t ID make predictions about the probability of unguided processes giving rise to cellular life-forms, on the primordial Earth?

    As an ID proponent I’d say “no.” One does not need the premise of ID to make those predictions, one just needs basic probability and chemistry.

    These considerations make ID believable, but to say ID predicts these things implies ID is a necessary premise. It is not.

    Some ID inferences can however be falsified if the premises that underlie the probability and chemistry are later shown false. But imho, I’d say ID doesn’t make predictions, it’s TRANS-scientific, it is not scientific or unscientific.

    As much as I defend ID as the correct conclusion about life, I don’t defend or promote it as science — ID is transcendent of science.

  13. Allan Miller:
    William J. Murray,

    I attempted to mislead no-one. I was not suggesting that your quote was intended to chuck ID under the bus. But your very words do precisely that, because in applying WJM’s Razor, I don’t see how you can make special exeption for ID, simply because ‘that was not what you were talking about’.

    Yes, you did. You said I threw ID under the bus. I did no such thing. While Allan Miller may be using my words to attack ID, or Allan Miller may be insinuating or claiming that my words may be equally interpreted to count against ID, neither situation is a case of WJM throwing ID under the bus. So yes, you are misleading people and you know you are.

    Perhaps you should change your headline to “WJM unintentionally throws ID under the bus” and then explain why you think my words can be applied to ID as well as current evolutionary “theory”.

    Otherwise, it’s a clear case of quote-mining to mislead.

  14. Allan Miller:
    William J. Murray,

    I attempted to mislead no-one. I was not suggesting that your quote was intended to chuck ID under the bus. But your very words do precisely that, because in applying WJM’s Razor, I don’t see how you can make special exeption for ID, simply because ‘that was not what you were talking about’.

    Yes, you did. You said I threw ID under the bus. I did no such thing. While Allan Miller may be using my words to attack ID, or Allan Miller may be insinuating or claiming that my words may be equally interpreted to count against ID, neither situation is a case of WJM throwing ID under the bus. So yes, you are misleading people and you know you are.

    GlenDavidson: You can only say that by ignoring the context, the caveats, etc.

    Typical.

    Glen Davidson

    Allan Miller claims I’m throwing ID under the bus. I did no such thing and he knows it. So, he’s lying. Pretty simple stuff.

  15. William J. Murray,

    Allan Miller claims I’m throwing ID under the bus. I did no such thing and he knows it. So, he’s lying. Pretty simple stuff.

    Yes, I DO know that you did no such thing, and I have not said otherwise. I used irony in my headline. The ‘unintentionally’ was – at least as I thought – implied.

    Unless you have access to my mental state at the time of posting … oh, hang on, of course you do.

  16. William J. Murray,

    explain why you think my words can be applied to ID as well as current evolutionary “theory”.

    Perhaps you could explain how such a general statement about a scientific theory and its proponents could NOT be applied to ID?

  17. No, Allan, I do not have access to your mental state, so unless you write “unintentionally” in your characterization, how am I supposed to know that is what you mean? I only know what you actually wrote – “WJM throws ID under the bus”. If that is not what you mean, then change it to what you mean and offer an explanation. Otherwise, it’s a lie.

  18. Allan Miller:
    William J. Murray,

    Perhaps you could explain how such a general statement about a scientific theory and its proponents could NOT be applied to ID?

    ROFL!! If you think it can be appled to ID as well, that is your explanation to tender, Allan, especially when you make an entire thread about it.

  19. William J. Murray,

    No, Allan, I do not have access to your mental state, Allan, so unless you write “unintentionally” in your characterization, how am I supposed to know that is what you mean? I only know what you actually wrote – “WJM throws ID under the bus”. If that is not what you mean, then change it to what you mean and offer an explanation. Otherwise, it’s a lie.

    I have already given my explanation. It was a piece of irony, intended for fans of that esoteric genre. The whole point of irony is that one does not spell out precisely what one means.

    But here’s the thing, irony fans – you did not spell out precisely that your words were meant only to apply to evolutionary theory/climate change. Which is ironic, given your present complaint to me. We are supposed to read the missing words. And of course, we did. I know, and gave everyone reading my brief piece credit for the intelligence to know, that you did not mean ID. I provided context, albeit not explicitly, via the link.

    Hands up who was misled?

  20. William J. Murray: Yes, you did. You said I threw ID under the bus.

    Do you understand principles and how they work?

    Yes, we know that you’re not interested in how stupid, political, and incompetent ID is, but like to project your ignorance of evolution onto others, hence you make a point “on principle” that you mindlessly assume applies to evolution when it applies “on principle” only to ID (in the fallaciously assumed binary evolution/ID, that is).

    We know you don’t get it, but the principle you used to cast aspersions at evolutionary theory and climate models indicating AGW happens to only apply to ID and other intellectual shams.

    It’s not that hard for people who think. No one here was even slightly convinced that you meant to strike at ID, only that it was all that you hit “in principle.”

    Glen Davidson

  21. William J. Murray,

    ROFL!! If you think it can be appled to ID as well, that is your explanation to tender, Allan,

    I don’t see how a general statement about scientific theories and their proponents cannot be applied to certain scientific theories, but hey, you think that an unreasonable interpretation of your words, I will leave it to the Court Of Onlookers to decide where they sit on the matter.

    especially when you make an entire thread about it.

    It wasn’t a thread when I started it …

  22. WJM from UD: “To be fair, when the proponent of a theory who claims that theory to be scientific fact provides little or nothing in the way of falsifiable predictions and offers largely only sweeping narratives and historical inferences based on ideological assumptions and/or an imagined infinite pool of unqualified possibility, it’s impossible for the opposition to offer specified rebuttals.

    Until proponents offer specified, falsifiable predictions, the proper response to such a theory is to “lump everything into a single bucket and dismiss the entire topic.””

    WJM in response here: “Obviously, it was evolutionary “theory” I was talking about, not ID, so to characterize my quote as “throwing ID under the bus” is in fact blatant quote-mining and, quite frankly, a deliberate attempt to mislead.”

    No, you were talking about a theory. Any theory. Please let me know what in your original quote does not apply to ID? This should be interesting. Give me a couple minutes to get popcorn and a drink.

  23. Allan Miller: I don’t see how a general statement about scientific theories and their proponents cannot be applied to certain scientific theories, but hey, you think that an unreasonable interpretation of your words, I will leave it to the Court Of Onlookers to decide where they sit on the matter.

    You’ve already admitted you knew exactly what I meant and exactly what I was talking about, so there’s nothing here for anyone to decide. You lied, you misrepresented my position, and now you’re attempting to talk your way out of it instead of simply changing your post title and adding an explanation.

  24. Neil Rickert: Almost everyone saw it as irony, not as a claim.

    Or an ironic claim.

    One of the more frustrating aspects of the whole ID/evolution debate is the constant game of burden tennis: each side thinks that the other side has nothing to show for itself.

    For my part, I did think it was ironic that the very terms that WJM used to describe evolutionary theory (and anthropogenic climate change) are precisely how I see design theory.

    And I was fully aware that the irony would be lost on WJM and the whole Uncommon Descent crowd. Whether that makes the whole thing even funnier or completely pathetic, I can’t decide.

  25. William J. Murray: No, I wasn’t.

    Then I would argue that you were being disingenuous in your original comment. You clearly worded your comment to infer that your conditions apply to all theories, not just evolution.

    But I notice that you are evading my question about how your words don’t apply to ID. Let me simplify it for you:

    To be fair, when the proponent of a theory who claims that theory to be scientific fact…”

    You are misrepresenting evolutionary theory with this statement. Nobody is suggesting that evolution as we currently understand it is fact. Our theory is composed of several mechanisms that are generally accepted as fact (e.g., random mutations, natural selection, drift, etc.) but how they all fit together, and relative importance of each, is still theory. What does ID offer along these lines other than “poof”?

    …provides little or nothing in the way of falsifiable predictions…”

    You must be deaf, dumb and blind to make such a claim with respect to evolution. The research journals are full of falsifiable predictions. ID, on the other hand, does not have any falsifiable predictions. And no testable predictions.

    …and offers largely only sweeping narratives…”

    Evolution offers very detailed mechanisms that have been tested. The only thing that would come close to sweeping narratives, would be at the very large scale. In this respect, it is no different that plate tectonics or cosmology. ID, on the other hand,… is that Buddy Holly’s band I hear playing?

    …and historical inferences based on ideological assumptions…”

    No, evolution deals with historical inferences based on hard evidence, testing and observations, calibrated across several disciplines such as geology, radio-chemistry and biology. ID? Now, there is an inference based on ideological assumptions. In fact, I would argue that they aren’t based on ideological assumptions, they are based on ideological dogma.

    …and/or an imagined infinite pool of unqualified possibility,…”

    Who has stated that there is an infinite pool of unqualified possibility? Certainly not evolutionary biologists. But ID, on the other hand, really is based on an imagined infinite pool of unqualified possibility. Unless, of course, you are willing to start addressing the questions about the nature of the designer and the mechanisms used by it that have been repeatedly ignored.

  26. Rich:

    I’m just here to beat puppies.

    And I’m just here to throw them under the bus. That’s not objectively immoral, is it?

  27. Acartia: Then I would argue that you were being disingenuous in your original comment. You clearly worded your comment to infer that your conditions apply to all theories, not just evolution.

    Allan already admitted that he knew exactly what I meant. Case closed.

  28. William,

    Allan already admitted that he knew exactly what I meant. Case closed.

    Maybe you should borrow vjtorley’s gavel picture.

  29. William J. Murray: Allan already admitted that he knew exactly what I meant. Case closed.

    So you meant only things you disagree with are subject to your criteria?

  30. Kantian Naturalist: And I was fully aware that the irony would be lost on WJM and the whole Uncommon Descent crowd. Whether that makes the whole thing even funnier or completely pathetic, I can’t decide.

    The “irony” of Allan’s post depends upon his deliberate misrepresentation of what I said. Whether or not everyone realized he was ironically misrepresenting my post doesn’t change the fact that he was knowingly misrepresenting my post.

    Lying to make an ironic joke is still lying.

  31. It’s no big deal, though. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a bunch of moral subjectivists.

  32. William J. Murray:
    It’s no big deal, though. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a bunch of moral subjectivists.

    Says the guy who chooses to believe whatever makes him feel better

  33. William J. Murray: Lying to make an ironic joke is still lying.

    Not when your post itself was a lie. Or are you suggesting that ID shouldn’t be held to the same standards as evolution? Because that is the only way that your original post isn’t a lie. Maybe you should get KF to defend you.

  34. dazz: Says the guy who chooses to believe whatever makes him feel better

    And chooses to believe that pizzagate isn’t a discredited conspiracy theory. Btw, how’s that Donald Trump thing working out for you?

  35. It seems I’ve triggered the moral subjectivists by pointing out that a lie in service to irony is still a lie.

  36. Allan Miller: I have already given my explanation. It was a piece of irony, intended for fans of that esoteric genre. The whole point of irony is that one does not spell out precisely what one means.

    🙂

    Hands up who was misled?

    Not I. (Lowers hand.)

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