Friday, February 01, 2008

Ben Stein: Civil Rights Activist

This from an interview with Ben Stein:
We want more freedom. I just spoke to some young people in Orlando. And I said, this, to us - at least to me . . . is a bit like the Civil Rights movement. You want to have freedom, . . . our goal is freedom. We want freedom. We want all our rights, not some of them, all our rights to free speech. We want them here in America, and we want them now. That’s what we want; we’re not going to get it. But we hope to open the door wider to some serious debate on these issues.

By the way, I saw my father march with Ben Stein.

And have a nice weekend.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Delightfully Ironic Bad Logic

I get lots of comments on this blog that demonstrate bad or really weak logic. I usually just ignore them. This comment to this post is a gem, because the writer makes a false accusation of a false dichotomy, and then follows that up immediately with a false dichotomy of his or her own:

"but because he does not accept that evolution alone can explain life on earth."

But this is the number one tactic of the "creationist front". Under a false dichotomy, if evolution is not 100% true, then creationism might be true.

So, the movie is very biased against evolution and towards creationism and that certainly qualifies as being a "creationist front".

The statement "if evolution is not 100% true, then creationism might be true," is not a false dichotomy because it does not exclude other alternatives. Creationism might be true, but a third or forth alternative might also be true.

In the final sentence the writer seems to suggest that if you question the explanatory power of macroevolutionary theory, you must be part of a "creationist front." This is a false dichotomy, because you can question aspects of evolutionary theory and not be a creationist or a "creationist front," whatever that is.

If you are going to claim a false dichotomy, you have to define your terms carefully, which this commenter fails to do. This makes him/her a bad philosopher, just like Barbara Forrest.