Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Surprise, Surprise!

Due to some recent health problems, including a couple of days in the hospital when I was gravely (pun intended) informed by doctors that I could have died, I have not been following the blogosphere as closely as I should ... if I was as obsessed as the once and (maybe) future Catshark should be.

Thus, I missed Neil Rickert's highly amusing discussion of a post over at Uncommon Descent, by "johnnyb" (who I understand is Jonathan Bartlett, a computer scientist), entitled "Do Darwinists Think that Women are Closer to Chimps than Men?"

It is Ray Comfort-like in that it all but commits the fallacy that human males and females have to evolve separately. Johnnyb even mentions bananas.

Go read Neil's post to fully appreciate the silliness.

What interested me was the comments over at Uncommon Descent. A good third of them explained why johnnyb was wrong. But his strongest supporter among the commenters, was "Silver Asiatic," who said:
Evolutionary ideas leave us with these kinds of conclusions. Distinctions which should be obvious to anyone are blurred. In classical Western philosophy, for example, humans are a radically different kind of being than apes. The gap between the two is virtually infinite.

When viewed by evolutionary-science alone, however, humans are a few mutations away from non-human ape ancestors.

In my view, reductionism of this sort leads to absurd conclusions like this. Humans are not apes and should not be redefined as such.
But ID is science, right? Except when science comes up with a result that "classical Western philosophy" (read as Christian philosophy, since there are plenty of different philosophies) doesn't like ... until it can no longer deny reality.

It was, of course, "obvious" to "classical Western philosophy" that the Earth was the center of the universe, that everything else revolved around it and, therefore, was the "bottom" of the universe where all the bad things "fell down" from the perfect "heavenly spheres." Damn Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton for their "reductionism."

The pretense of the IDers is that "design" is a scientific, empiric result but even their own adherents know that isn't true.

"Animals of the MONKEY class are furnished with hands instead of paws; their ears, eyes, eye-lids, lips, and breasts, are like those of mankind; their internal conformation also bears some distant likeness; and the 
whole offers a picture that may mortify the pride of such as make their persons the principal objects of their admiration."
John Wesley
A Survey of the Wisdom of God in the Creation; Or A Compendium of Natural Philosophy New York: Bangs and T. Mason, 1823, Part the Second, Chapter I, volume 1, pages 147-148.

As true a description of IDers as I've seen!
Glad you are alive and well!
Let's come right out and say it:

"Maybe 'classical Western philosophy' is wrong."

or, perhaps:

"Maybe you don't understand classical Western philosophy as well as you think you do."
Thanks, James.

It was a very weird experience. One Sunday, I was home, had finished the Times crossword and was watching the movie Lincoln, and I suddenly started to violently vomit very dark stuff. The night before I had been at a party at a local marina and some of the food was a bit "dicey," so I thought at first I might have had a touch of food poisoning.

When I got up to vomit somewhere else than on my lap, I was very weak and dizzy but when I laid down, I felt okay. I had two more turns in the bathroom when my hip started to hurt (you should pardon the expression) like hell. (I broke my heel 4 years ago, have been using a cane ever since, and, in the last couple of years have been experiencing hip pain when I walk too far.) It was so excruciating, that I finally called for an ambulance. When I got to the hospital and they finally gave me some pain killers, the hip stopped being a problem and hasn't been since.

Then they told me I had been vomiting blood, that my blood pressure was 100/55 and, if I hadn't gotten to the hospital because of my hip pain, I might have died. Worse, despite doing an endoscope, they couldn't find any source of the blood I was vomiting.

Since then, I have been up and down, sometimes feeling okay and sometimes being unsteady on my feet (that led to a faceplant during a late night bathroom visit that resulted in a split lip).

Mysterious events with unknown causes that saved my life ... I can only assume it is a miracle or a sign of the Apocalypse!

(Sorry, I'm sure that was more than you or any other rational wanted to know.)

Never forget the possibility of "both"!
Wow, I do hope you're all right. Take care
Wow! Just glad you are OK - I'm not into trying to interpret events, just into being thankful when things work out OK!
Sorry - I know I said goodbye
But I hope you will be fine
Where's the damn tricorder when you need one? I am very relieved and pleased to hear the Catshark lives to bite another day.
Deepak: Thanks.

Ian, Bones had it last.

Thanks to all for the well wishes.
I'm glad you're okay! Hopefully the vomiting blood issue doesn't return (or the painful hip).

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