(This originally appeared on Sirius Knott’s blog, and is his reply to this post of mine. He had put it somewhere where few were likely to see it, and has generously agreed to let me repost it here, in its unedited entirety. Enjoy! I’ll most likely put my own reply in the comment section.
Copyright, etc. for this belongs to Sirius Knott, obviously.)
Forknowledge has responded to this post in his usual half-cocked way. A good portion of the reply seems to consist of large chunks of quotes from me. These quoted portions account for the entirety of the intelligence in his article!
In his reply, he notes that I charged him with a form of argumentum ad antiquitum when he argued that uniformitarianism pre-dates Darwin’s theory and therefore modern geology cannot be based on evolutionary presuppositions. This was a careless dodge. Darwin incorporated Lyellian uniformitarianism into his theory [he stole pretty much all of the ideas in Origins]. Modern geology has not bothered to refute Darwin as his theory [which incorporated uniformitarianism] explained how [without being too specific as to the mechanism] the fossil record and stratum could be accounted for by modren processes. Modern geology is based not simply on uniformitarianism BUT ALSO evolutionary assumptions. Again, since the former has been incorporated into the latter, it is completely accurate to say that modern geology is NOW based on evolutionary presuppositions, even though geology prior to Darwin may have [and this doubted since evolution is an idea that was around since the Greeks, though not in its Darwinian form obviously] only accepted uniformitarianism and not evolutionism. In fact, I believe I can re-phrase my objection to state that modern geology is NOW based on neo-Darwinian presuppositions, though geology prior to Darwin were based only upon uniformitarianism and some proto-Darwinian evolutionary presuppositions. To bawlderize forknowledge, early geology may have influenced evolutionary theory and not the other way round, in today’s world it is evolutionary theory that influenced modern geology and not the other way round! Ah, sweet accuracy.
I’ll not comment much on his response to my clarification of neo-Catastrophism, except to say that I had forgotten that there is a group of Noachim Catastrophists who now try to identify themselves as neo-catastrophists in much the way modern darwinists insist that they are neo-Darwinists. Both theories are much more sophisticated than their predecessors, especially since we all have to account for a growing body of data. I’ve cautioned Noachim catatrophists against using the neo prefix since it’s already in use by secular catastrophists and might cause confusion, which it apparently has.
I’ve already commented on forknowledge’s demonstrable ignorance on Flood Geology and Creationism in general. It seems one so opposed to a theory ought to at least know what it is he disagrees with! I suggested in the above response that he read a book he unaccountably referenced, The Genesis Flood. He responded, “I’m told to read The Genesis Flood, which I don’t intend on doing.” For someone who’s supposed to be “for knowledge,” he seems stubbornly and willfully ignorant of his oppositions actual claims! One can only presume that rather than attacking real Creationism and Catastrophism that he is defending Darwin against the onslaught of an awful straw man Creationism/Catastrophism composited from baseless caricatures on antiCreationist sites! Dare we take this simpleton seriously?
Next, he shrugs at my warning that a majority of scientists can be wrong and then goes on to critique my comments concerning the fossil record. This is only appropriate as he was originally responding to Darwin’s Dyke: What the Fossil Record Actually Shows.
His major objection concerns fossil sorting. He believes what they’ve told him to believe, that the strata represent geological ages, like a good little Darbot. He objects to one of the creationist theories I’ve read regarding how this might occur, a part of which involves tidal waves. In all honesty, I was sloppy and presented an incomplete picture of the processes involved, so creationally-illiterate fo’nawlij cannot be blamed that he didn’t pick up on that. I intend to relate the processes involved in laying down the fossil stratum in a future post, but perhaps the following will alleviate his concerns that I’m just tilting at windmills:
In an article entitled The Fossil Record: Becoming More Random All the Time, John Woodmorappe comments:
“Creationists, including myself, have provided a variety of alternative explanations for fossil succession. These include such mechanisms as the sorting of organisms during the Flood, differential escape of organisms during the same, ecological zonation of life-forms in the antediluvian world (such that different life-forms in different strata reflect the serial burial of ecological life-zones during the Flood), and TABs (Tectonically-Associated Biological Provinces—wherein different life forms occur in successive horizons of rock as a reflection of successive crustal downwarp of different life-bearing biogeographic communities).
All of these mechanisms do away with the notion that horizons of fossils demand successive passages of time during which the organisms lived. In other words, they allow for there to have been only one set of mutually-contemporaneous living things on a young earth, instead of a repetitive replacement of living things over vast periods of time. Most of the earth’s sedimentary record is viewed as being deposited by the Noachian Deluge, and not over successive depositional events in analogues of modern sedimentary environments on an evolving earth.”
In other words, there are possible answers and creation scientists and flood geologists are hard at work testing their hypotheses.
His next objection is simply darling. He invokes parsimony to explain to me why we shouldn’t use one big event to explain a phenomenon instead of myriad smaller events. He really needs to look up the meaning of that word, for parsimony doesn’t not merely indicate that science should choose whichever explanation which will least support the Creationist position. Noachim Flood is only unnecesary as an explanation if it did not occur. Unfortunately for fo’nawlij there is a good deal of independent evidence for a global flood in the form of flood legends which are prevalent word-wide. I bring up flood legends because he mentions them later in his response. Of course, he displays his trademark amazing LACK of the slightest grasp of Creationism when he objects [and I am NOT making this up! He actually printed it on his own site! Ha!]:
“Knott mentions flood legends briefly, in reply to which I’d like to ask him how cultures that were supposedly wiped out by the flood managed to make stories about it afterwards.”
Ha! We don’t posit that drowned cultures wrote down flood legends post-mortem. How could Creationism have survived this long if we ever claimed something so obviously contradictory? No, we claim that all the world was destroyed by a global flood, save Noah and his family. Afterwards, humanity thrived again but remained localized for the largest part, though God had commanded them to disperse. At Babel, God divided mankind into different languages and dispersed them. Each of these people groups came to form the historical cultures. Some of these cultures forgot God. Others remembered the Flood, though the story had become distorted over time. Incidentally, there are also legends worldwide that speak of man having once spoke one language. Some even mention that God or a god divided the languages. Darwinism accounts for neither trend of universal legends.
Predictably, after his invocation of parsimony, he seques into a diatribe about how a belief in God destroys science, nevermind that the majority of science’s founders were deists and theists who believed God had created the world and had given them reason in order for them to discover how the world worked and thereby learn more about the power and nature of God. Here is another fellow that simply paints the stained-glass window black and then rails that it lets in no hue or light. To illustrate his point that saying “Goddidit” destroys scientific inquiry, he gives three example questions that might, with the flip of a coin, be answered with “darwindidit” or “chancedidit.” [Here, it seems, he has learned nothing from Eric Kemp’s excellent essay The Basic Fine-Tuning Argument for God’s Existence.]
He presumes upon reason when he states that “there is no way to test the God hypothesis,” forgetting conveiniently that things we cannot observe or prove directly, like quantum particles, may be infered from the data. I DEFY this worm to read my essay There Is No Science But Naturalism and Darwin is it’s Prophet! and refute my statements regarding science if in fact God does exist. Then again, he’d probably do just as poor a job of comprehending and responding to that as he has here. Ah well. The assumption of naturalism is inherently flawed.
His arguments for excluding God from consideration also invoke the unbelievably lame “But which god is it?” canard. Just because he has never seriously considered the question of which God is most credible does not mean that there is not a means to make this distinction. How many times must we hear that there are so many gods, so they must all be fake dodge. The existence of multiple possibilities does not invalidate any of them from being potentially true, else the entire scientific enterprise may as well be given up. We CAN narrow down the search if we are but willing to apply ourselves to the problem.
He then pretends as if he has come to his conclusions by reason, which he has yet to evidence the slightest grasp of, instead of admitting that he simply swallowed the Just-So Story of Darwinism hook, line and sinker and is now chained to his mythology and is stupid enough to believe that it really happened because he’s faithful enough not to dig too deep or honestly and truly examine the alternatives and just trust Good King Darwin at his word. [Sound familiar, fo’nawlij?] This suckling Darbot cannot accuse me in kind because I once rejected Creationism for Darwinism, but returned to Creationism a decade later after I re-examined both metaphysical theories!
I bring this up because he tries to dodge my comments about the presumptions behind radiometric dating by saying that I’m cheating, that I’m adding a “Goddidit” fudge factor. Note how he attempts to move the goalpost; rather than addressing the evidence I’ve presented, he accuses me of religious fervor.
At this point he ends his farce of an argument, his unimaginatively named reply to a reply, by trying to retreat behind radiometric dating, presuming that his “God versus science” canard has refuted my arguments. I’ve already dealt with the science versus faith dodge in The Faith of Richard Dawkins. He also tries to more fully engage the faith versus reason/science straw man by noting my “religious preoccupation.” Note that I admit my presuppositional biases, while he tries to pretend as if he hasn’t any! I could easily argue that he has never strayed from the myth of Darwin!
I find his lack of research and inability to grasp the art of argument amusing, but I do hope that this is a new trend amongst Darwin’s defenders!!