Beneficial Mutations: a Reductio ad Absurdum

1) Premise: there are no beneficial mutations; all mutations lead to decay, disease, or death.

2) From (1), some mutations cause death.

3) Presumably, some mutations cause death at a very early age, or even in utero.

4) When young children die, they go directly to heaven.

5) Going to heaven is the best possible outcome.

6) Therefore, there are beneficial mutations. QED.

(Hat tip to the skunk-dicks at Irreligiosophy.)

Don’t Apologize for Disagreeing

Tonight, a few of us got together at an airport hotel bar to socialize, watch the debate, and have some beers. At some point we were joined by a business traveler, with whom we had a nice conversation slash bull session about a wide array of topics.

One thing that struck me was that every so often, he’d say something none of us agreed with, like “Wouldn’t it be better to just stop following the news for six months?

Wouldn’t you be much more relaxed?” We’d argue with that, and he’d put up his hands and say “Look, I’m just throwing it out there.” That struck me as odd, but I was too distracted at the time to offer a proper reply. What I should have told him was:

“Don’t apologize. What you’re doing is forcing me to examine my beliefs, and see whether they’re well supported. If there are sound reasons for believing what I do, I ought to be able to find them. And if you uncover a flaw in my reasoning, then you’re doing me a favor; I can stop believing something that isn’t true.” Continue reading “Don’t Apologize for Disagreeing”