Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Behe's rudeness

Behe's response to Musgrave's open letter (which is in itself a response to Behe's reaction to ERV's demolition of Behe's HIV arguments) is, as was his response to ERV, totally inadequate.

As always, Behe does not deal with the actual substance of the arguments he is presented with. I have seen only the following kinds of argument from him:
(i) unsubstantiated claims (see his books. Not promoting them here.)
(ii) arguments from authority
(iii) ad hominem attacks/ reference to peoples age, gender or qualifications
(iv) reference to the form rather than the substance of the arguments
(v) dismissing an argument as "weak" or "irrelevant" without dealing properly with its content
(vi) lies

Musgrave: "in science... we pay attention to the evidence and logic of an argument" Behe makes not a single reply about content, evidence or logic. He has the gall to lecture Musgrave on what's appropriate argument, yet fails to see that he only appears to use inappropriate arguments himself.

Most ludicrous of all is his reference to ERV's tone. If you read back through all of ERV's posts, her tone definitely gets stronger... for an obvious reason. Again, and again, ERV's opponents totally fail to deal with the substance of the arguments, and instead rely on references to ERV's age/gender/qualifications/tone or simply dismiss the arguments as weak or irrelevant.

He also won't allow comments on his blog, and wont comment on ERVs. Or on Panda's thumb, where Musgrave posts. That allows him to pick his ground, to shift his ground, and avoid addressing the actual substance of his opponents' argument.

Indeed, the disgusting tactics are common to all IDists - they're so unsure of their ground that they prevent real argument on their own forums, while their opponents allow for dissent and opposing views as part of the open debate. But the IDists refuse to engage them there either.

It's Behe and his cronies that are being rude by refusing to engage ERV. ERV's response is a reasonable reaction in the face of their awful behaviour. Claims of "polite tones" don't excuse them (I don't see them as polite, but it's perfectly possible to hide a disgusting argument behind a polite tone). They're appalling. Either deal with the actual science content or shut up.

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