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Language is Not Infinitely Malleable

In this post I predicted that history will not be kind to people like Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins who insist that the fundamental questions in biology have been settled and all that is left is to fill in the holes. A commenter going by “thaumaturge” demurred, insisting that Coyne and Dawkins have never said this. The other commenters started posting direct quotes demonstrating that Coyne and Dawkins believe that evolution is a “fact” as well proven as the fact that the earth goes around the sun. Not good enough, thaumaturge insisted. More quotes showing the same thing were posted. Still not good enough according to thaumaturge.

I am seeing this tactic more and more in our debates with the materialists. They deny a proposition and when confronted with incontrovertible proof they continue to deny it and refuse to concede they were wrong. I suppose that if one believes we live in a universe in which– in Dawkin’s famous words – there is no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference, the words that we jumped up monkeys use really do have no inherent meaning, and there is no downside to denying the obvious. But we don’t live in a universe like that. I suspect that if someone took a bat and on a whim swung it with all their might and broke thaumaturge’s arm he would say, among other things, that was “wrong,” and when he used the word “wrong” he would have a specific moral truth in mind. And he would be right. No one – especially the materialists themselves – believes the drivel they spew out about there being no such thing as objective morality. No one – including the materialists – believes words can mean any old thing we want them to.

Nevertheless, the violence to language done by materialists and their fellow travelers is infectious, and the infection has spread to all areas of our culture, including law, education, philosophy, even religion. Some time ago I was talking to a man who said that he was no longer going to give to his church. I asked why, and he told me he had just read a book in which the author explained that the “real” intent of the Bible verses telling us to give was to support “ministry,” and what greater “ministry” does a man have than to his own family? Therefore, he explained, it was better for him to spend his money ministering to his family by taking them to Disney World (his example) than to give it to the church.

All those verses enjoining us to give sacrificially really mean we should keep the money and spend it on ourselves. Who knew?

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7 Responses to Language is Not Infinitely Malleable

  1. All the more laughable in that, granted the natural virtue of caring for one’s family, Corban notwithstanding, Christ’s central precept is surely that the whole world has become our family:

    46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

    48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Christ is the light who enlightens every man who comes into the world, and his intention is that we should all be other Christs, each a first-born son of the Father in Christ’s Mystical Body, the True Vine, by adoption, and preferably via our own baptism.

    I don’t mean to preach to the choir.

  2. Darwin’s diabolical delusions – Ellis Washington – September 2011
    Excerpt: Tragically, for over 150 years since the publication of Darwin’s diabolical, anti-scientific book, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,” nonpartisan science, truth, logic and deductive reasoning have been ruthlessly suppressed and replaced with state-funded Darwinist propaganda, groupthink, education atheism, liberal fascism and Machiavellian tactics as demonstrated in the Sewell case representing the ongoing battles between the Darwin Gestapo and Intelligent Design scientists.
    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?f.....eId=343445

    Or to put it more nicely:

    C.S. Lewis: creationist and anti-evolutionist
    Excerpt: “In 1951 C S Lewis wrote that evolution was “the central and radical lie in the whole web of falsehood that now governs our lives” and modern civilization. Evolution, Lewis explained, is a picture of reality that has resulted from imagination and is “not the logical result of what is vaguely called ‘modern science’.”
    http://creation.com/c-s-lewis

  3. 3
    sagebrush gardener

    At one time I was involved in a “ministry” that strongly encouraged me to give a tenth of my income to the church as well as providing for some poor families on our church bus route. At the time I was a young married student with a small child. I was employed only part-time at a minimum-wage job and was actually poorer than the people I was supposed to be helping.

    1 Timothy 5:8 says “if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

    The basic principle is sound. But I agree that the person you were speaking with was not applying it correctly. If someone has the discretionary funds to take his family to Disney World it seems that helping others less fortunate should also be in his priorities.

  4. Ernst Mayr once said (of the details) “We can be comforted by the fact that evolution has occurred.” He was talking about some calculations that came out of Wistar ’67 pertaining to the improbility of the eye evolving in small steps.

    IOW to Mayr the fundamental questions have been answered and only the details were left to sort out. No doubt Coyne, Dawkins and all the others hold the same opinion.

  5. If people are persuaded that evolution is true then demonstrate why its so persuasive.
    Put your money where your mouth is.
    This is about science isn’t it!?

    is there scientific biological evidence to justify the THEORY of evolution?
    YEC and ID attack the bad guys on the evidence but not on their methodology!
    yet science is all about methodology.
    Science is about a better methodology then regular methodology, which is pretty good,before conclusions are drawn.

    If evolution is wrong it couldn’t possibly have employed the scientific method!

    Either evolution is not a scientific theory or its critics are not failing to understand it is on excellent evidence justifying a scientific theory.

  6. The psychological state of a dishonest mind deviates toward irrationality when forced to grapple with inconvenient truth. A talented hardcore deviant will attempt to divert the crushing blow of truth by deploying weapons of mass confusion (WMC’s) upon his foes. Through the art and disguise of “Slyence” (lol), the talented hardcore deviant resorts to the technique of deceptively converting his foes whereby subverting them in the process. Therefore, as part of the “Slyentific Process”, language must become infintely malleable. – JWK :)

  7. Re your #4, Joe, I think I prefer Sam Goldwyn’s ‘bon mots’, Joe.

    Well, his saying below, seems extraordinarily applicable to Darwinian evolution, mutatis mutandis:

    “I’ve gone where the hand of man has never set foot.”

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