Assorted Snippets From Dembski and Pals

So I was poking around at
Chez Dembski,
mainly to see whether he had anything to say about
a recent BC strip, and found a few amusing and/or stupid items:

First, in a passage reminiscent of the
Darwin recanted on his deathbed
story, he
tells us
a story of how Leo Tolstoy’s last letter, to his son and daughter, warned them that “Darwinism […] won’t explain to you the meaning of your life and won’t give you guidance in your actions”.

Well, duh.

For that matter, neither do atomic theory, relativity, or any theories of economics. But apparently Dembski is so bereft of real arguments that this sort of petty sniping at straw men is all he’s left with.

Then there’s the threat of Absolutism.

Summary: Ian Spedding

The real threat is absolutism – the
unshakeable conviction that one is in possession of an Absolute Truth,
be it religious faith or political ideology, which justifies any act,
no matter how vile, in its furtherance.


Is “the real threat of absolutism” itself absolute? If not, why consider absolutism a threat at all? Can you say “fallacy of self-referential incoherence”?

In the comments, Valerie

This objection is itself incoherent. Spedding’s belief that the threat of absolutism is not an absolute truth doesn’t oblige him to regard absolutism as innocuous.

Okay, I thought that was simple, direct, and a clear demolition of what Dembski wrote. If he had any brains, he probably would’ve deleted the entire article and tried to forget that it ever happened.

But no. He just doesn’t know when to quit, which is why he gave us this bit of tap-dancing idiocy:

The objection is eminently coherent. If the threat of absolutism is not absolute, then there are forms of absolutism that are okay. Spedding gives no indication that any form of asolutism is okay. If some forms are okay, then how does one distinguish between those that are and those that are not? Would such a criterion for distinguishing forms of absolutism be itself absolute? There is an absolutist regress here.

Let’s all applaud what might be described as an impressively large unfossilized equine coprolite. Truly, here is a master at work. Either that, or someone who lost a fight to the brain eater.

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