Darwinist Debating Device #6: “The Literature Bluff”
|October 16, 2014||Posted by Barry Arrington under Darwinian Debating Devices|
Update: I am republishing this to add it to the “Darwinian Debating Devices” category.
In this post Dr. Hunter shows us professor of English Terry Scambray completely destroying three Ph.D Darwinists on basic logic and reasoning.
Jeffrey Shallit takes to his website to rebut Professor Scambray’s arguments and falls flat on his face.
First Shallit takes Scambray to task for asserting that “Animals and plants appear in the fossil record fully formed and remain unchanged through millions of years.” Shallit dismisses the claim as “pure creationist babble.”
Eminent Darwinist Stephen Jay Gould wrote the following:
The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism:
(1) Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless.
(2) Sudden appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed.’
Apparently the most famous Darwinist of the late 20th century was going around spouting “pure creationist babble.” Who knew?
Next, Shallit makes a classic literature bluff.
Scambray claims, “Over millions of generations of laboratory testing, fruit flies, as one example, when subjected to genetic changes have not changed into anything but mutated, crippled fruit flies.” Really? At my university, we have access to articles that say something different. Maybe at Bizarro College, they don’t.
Notice that Shallit does not actually say what the “something different” is that refutes Scambray’s assertion. Why not? Because Scambray’s assertion is correct. Every attempt to demonstrate evolution through irradiating fruit flies has been an abject failure. What is the “something different” to which Shallit alludes? We may never know, but we do know that he is bluffing.
Note carefully the common Darwinist tactic here:
Literature bluff: There are thousands of books and articles demonstrating Darwinist proposition X.
Calling the bluff: OK, show me exactly where in just one of those books or articles this proposition is established.
Inevitable Darwinist response: [crickets]
Next, Shallit goes after Scambray over those famous Galapagos finches.
So also much the same thing happened with the famous “Galapagos finches” whose average beak size became bigger when the conditions there made it harder to find food due to bad weather. Then when food became more plentiful, the beak size of those finches that survived returned to normal. Thus the finches changed a little, adapted, while remaining fundamentally unchanged.
Mr. Scambray, if he has ever visited the Galapagos, must have visited a parallel Galapagos, because he claims, “Thus the [Galapagos] finches changed a little, adapted, while remaining fundamentally unchanged.” He doesn’t seem to understand that there are 15 different species of finches, all descended from a common ancestor that colonized the Galapagos millions of years ago. Things must be different in Bizarro World.
First, Shallit does not actually respond to the argument that Scambray made. Scambray points to evidence that is undisputed by all researchers, whether they toe the Darwinist line or not: With respect to a particular species of finch, environmental pressures caused a change in beak size and when those pressures eased the beak sizes reverted to normal.
Shallit completely ignores this evidence and responds to an assertion that Scambray did not even make. Shallit pretends that Scambray asserted that there are never any changes within a type [this is called “erecting a strawman”] and then demolishes the argument that Scambray did not make by noting there are 15 different types of finches on the Galapagos [This is called “knocking down a strawman”].
No, Mr. Shallit. Scambray never asserted that there are never any changes within a type. He asserted that the “finch beak evidence” that Darwinists commonly assert is knock down show stopping evidence for marcroevolution is in fact no such thing. It is unsurprising that your response is to try to change the subject and demolish an argument that Scambray never made.
I HAVE SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST.
Shallit implies that the fact that there are 15 different finch species that all descended from a common ancestor over millions of years is a clincher for Darwinist macroevolution.
Now let me get this straight. Millions of years ago there was a finch. Now there are 15 kinds of finches, but they are all basically the same kind of thing. (That’s why we call all of them “finches.”)
Shallit takes evidence of minor changes within a kind that even the most fervent young earth creationist would admit and claims those minor changes are indisputable evidence for how finches came to be in the first place. Astounding.
If I didn’t have the actual citation and link to Shallit’s post I would not blame you for accusing me of making it up. But you can see for yourself that I did not make it up. This is exactly what he wrote. And this leads me to the following conclusion: The best evidence against Darwinism is often what the Darwinists themselves write.
I will concede that Shallit knows Darwinism inside out. And if anyone would know of valid Darwinist arguments to rebut Scrambray, it would be him. Yet, Shallit’s facile and childish “rebuttal” does not stand up to the slightest scrutiny.