Evolution Cage Match

This is closed circuit for my critics and the people who have enjoyed watching the slow motion train wreck for the last few days. This is the last evolution post for a few weeks, they wear me out.

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I finally figured out how to end this nonsense. And I have to give credit to ~DS~ in the comments for the inspiration. DS asked me:

“More importantly Paul, can you be wrong about evolution or abiogenesis, or are you acting as a theologian, and not a scientist?”

A fantastic question. Here’s why…

My problem with the “oozers” is that if someone challenges their orthodoxy, they stick their fingers in their ears and scream LA LA LA LA I AM SMARTER THAN YOU LA LA LA. and they refuse to even listen to the most basic of arguments. DS had no clue what I said about those things but he (she?) was SURE I just had to be wrong.

They don’t even read what I wrote but they disagree loudly.

So if you want to keep this up, you now play by a few rules. I’m closing every thread but this one. And this thread has a few basic rules. IF you want to tell me I’m wrong —fine– show me. If you want to disagree with something I’ve said you must follow 3 steps.

1) Quote and link original source.

2) PARAPHRASE MY POINT as accurately as possible

3) Refute it.

#2 is where all the fun comes in. You have to stop long enough to think about what I wrote and figure out what I am saying. But more importantly, rule #2 requires people to be intellectually honest. (well in my little theory at least) In theory, if people are forced to paraphrase, they can’t twist my words. (we’ll see how well that works 😉 BTW- I’ve written a bunch of words.. It is quite probable some of them are ambiguous. But if people give it there best shot, the larger arguments should provide context. And you are always allowed to ask for a clarification before you reply. (hint hint hint)

Now remember – By definition you can not prove an “opinion” to be incorrect. You are allowed however to respectfully disagree. (see also the “irrational rule”)

The Irrational Opinion Rule
As I said above, you can’t prove an opinion wrong but you can respectfully disagree. That is, of course, assuming the original opinion is rational. If I tell you that the Holocaust never happened or that Elvis is alive and working at a Dairy Queen, you can invoke the “irrational opinion rule.” The irrational rule can be called when one guy express an irrational opinion — but remember — If I say: “You can’t prove we came from ooze” and you call that irrational… you might just look like the irrational one. Andy that warning is for you.

I’m sorry but I have to limit my replies to the people I’ve already been debating. If you missed the floor show, you just have to read Wizbang more often.

Quantity of Replies
Here is the deal, we all have a time clock to live by.. On my holiday weekend, my time is even tighter. I’d ask that you limit yourself to one single well thought out reply, rather than a bunch of small ones. Gather your evidence that I’m an idiot and hit me with one case much like a lawyer would. Try to keep the debate mostly civil but more importantly, intelligent… This is a “spirit rule” and by that I mean you have to live up to the spirt of this rule. Look at the name “Evolution Cage Match” I want to keep all the arguments in one place and as neat as possible so we can wrap it up.

AND I might not reply until tonight, I’m busy. If you just HAVE to add another post OK OK, I’m a flexible guy, but try to adhere to the spirit of making this as clean as possible.

Cross talk
This is going to kind of suck because it goes against the spirit of the comments. Please no cross talk. There has been plenty of opportunity for that.

A lot of people misquoted me, so to save time I’m going to nuke everyones first argument here while I also make an example post.

OK Paul, I’ll take your challenge.

In your first post you said:
The nomenclature will always bite you. I don’t use “evolution” in the strict definition here, I mean evolution as in the theory that lighting stuck inorganic material and started life that a bazillion years later evolved into every life form on the planet. That version of “evolution” is seriously, seriously flawed…. And no amount of your typing in the comments section will make unflawed.

Paraphrase: (I’m not going to paraphrase myself, that’s silly, but pretend an oozer misquoted me)

Conclusion: That proves you don’t know the difference between evolution and abiogenesis. You are a fool.

and my sample answer:

It proves no such thing because you misunderstood (mischaracterized) what I wrote. You ignored that it was a footnote explaining that I was using the “street’ definition of evolution above and not the scientific definition. Rather than “prove I am not familiar with it”, it proves the exact opposite.

I was pointing out that I was well aware of the difference between the dictionary definition of “evolution” and the way it is commonly (mis)used. For the sake of this discussion I was using the “common definition.” BTW-In an effort to be more clear, I now call this the “ooze theory.”

To boil this down (too late) if you want to argue with me and tell me I’m an idiot, the least you can do is read me first. I want intelligent discussion, not “Paul is an idiot bible thumper” (especially when I specifically argued against creationism if they could read)

The Breaking the Rule Rule
This rule is funny. You can break all the above rules… And you might not get deleted. BUT I can tell you now, the paraphrase rule is basically a given. If you don’t quote me and paraphrase me you have a 1% change of your post being of high enough value to be kept. If you break 2 or 3 rules (ie ignore the rule) you get deleted.(aka We’re all grownups rule)

OK lots more typing then I expected when I started this post. Hopefully you get the spirt of this challenge.

* Quote it
* Paraphrase it
* Refute it
* Act like an adult.

Have fun.

(oh and asking for clarifications of something I wrote are free.)

This is What I'm Up Against II
Site Weirdness Update


  1. PZ Myers March 26, 2005
  2. Paul March 26, 2005
  3. ~DS~ March 26, 2005
  4. Paul March 26, 2005
  5. ~DS~ March 26, 2005
  6. John Robinson March 26, 2005
  7. ~DS~ March 26, 2005
  8. ~DS~ March 26, 2005
  9. s9 March 26, 2005
  10. s9 March 26, 2005
  11. s9 March 26, 2005
  12. s9 March 26, 2005
  13. s9 March 26, 2005
  14. andy March 26, 2005
  15. PZ Myers March 26, 2005
  16. Zachriel March 26, 2005
  17. s9 March 26, 2005
  18. ~DS~ March 26, 2005
  19. Paul March 26, 2005
  20. PZ Myers March 26, 2005
  21. Paul March 26, 2005
  22. Paul March 26, 2005
  23. Paul March 26, 2005
  24. ~DS~ March 26, 2005