Monday, December 11, 2006

Sorry For the Quietude

As you've probably gathered, I've been a little busy, so I'm not posting up to my usual standards. But, hopefully, that'll be changing. This weekend, I'll probably be free enough to start up a slew of Doggerel entries. Would like to get #50 submitted to the 50th Skeptics' Circle. I already know what I'm going to be doing for #50, but I need suggestions for #47, 48, and 49.

So, fire away.

28 comments:

Tom Foss said...

I'd like to see "ways of knowing" done. I'm doing a paper for a final, and one of the key quotations I'm eviscerating is this:
"When scientism reigns...scientific modes of knowing are deemed the only legitimate ways of knowing, to the exclusion of musical ways of knowing and poetic ways of knowing and mystical ways of knowing and prayerful ways of knowing. And scientific pictures of reality--be they mechanistic or post-mechanistic--are thought to 'tell the whole story.' This epistemological and metaphysical reductionism often results in an objectification of reality, including other living beings, into mere commodities for human management." (McDaniel, Jay. "Spirituality and Sustainability." Conservation Biology 16.6 (2002): 1461-4)

I count at least three strawmen there: scientism (which I'll agree is a problem, but not for the reasons McDaniel cites, nor his flawed definition), science (yeah, it sure tells the 'whole story,' that's why no one does research anymore), and reductionism (reductionism leads to objectification of nature and belief in human dominance? What does Genesis 1:28 lead to, then?). Not to mention a host of other flaws. And this "ways of knowing" canard keeps popping up in my reading; I'm pretty sure Chopra mentioned it once in his God Delusion delusions.

So, please, if you're searching for a phrase to demolish, I humbly submit that one.

Anonymous said...

I second the suggestion for "ways of knowing". I've run into that one several times in the last year.

I'd also like to suggest something along the lines of "I already answered that question elsewhere, go look at that, I won't bother replying directly here". Obviously, that's too long to be a Doggerel title, perhaps "I have answered you already".

Infophile said...

You still need to redo "Quantum," so I guess you could pull off making the new version as a new number. If you need me to, I could probably fill in and do it for ya. That should give you a bit more free time to work on other stuff.

Bronze Dog said...

Yeah, I was thinking of asking you to do that as 17.1, Info. Had a little concept planned out involving the various Star Trek ships enacting the double slit experiment, but it was a little too much work for my schedule at the time, so I kept putting it off.

Anonymous said...

How about "It's a miracle!" ? (Only applied to good things, of course.)

Infophile said...

Okay, well I'll get working on it, and e-mail it to ya when I'm done. You can number it as you wish.

Anonymous said...

I submit:

Evolution

austinatheist said...

What the hell does it mean to say that someone has been "drinking too much of their own kool-aid?" Weapon of Mass Retardation keeps saying that, and now I keep hearing it on the idiot box. Is that some kind of idiom that's being revived from the 80s or something? Whatever it means, I get the impression it's B.S.

austinatheist said...

Speak of the devil. He beat me to my post. What timing.

Nes said...

Maybe you've done this already, but how about tackling the appeal to consequences? (I hope that's the right name for it.) For example, "If you allow evolution to be taught in school, kids will all lead miserable lives!" Of course, even if that result were true, it wouldn't change whether evolution were true or not.

Bronze Dog said...

[Derail]

Maybe I should do what Weapon suggests: He just loves to redefine evolution from a strictly biological theory to defining it into anything that contradicts him. Thus, he's got the world's ultimate immunization from evidence. Meanwhile he's calling one deliberately unguarded portion of me "begging the question" as if that somehow makes a deliberate hole into an impenetrable wall. It's pretty much the opposite.

But we all know Weapon's world by now: Up is down. Black is white. Naturalism is sorcery. Weak points are strong. Labels are reality. Ignorance is strength.

"See the Focault's pendulum? That's begging the question because we all know that the observable movements are part of evolution being used to justify evolution. Therefore, the pendulum isn't moving the way it looks like it's moving."

[/Derail]

But enough of that. Maybe I should do something like "Scientism" for the general science straw man, as if working with the observable world is anything like the self-referential redefinition games Weapon enjoys so much.

Akusai said...

I'm not sure how well this would work, but perhaps you could do "It works if you believe it works." I hear that one all the time and I just want to scream "Placebo!" and hit them with sticks.

Infophile said...

The funny thing is, when I read Weapon's post, I didn't notice the name, so I started to think of how it could be done seriously. My mind naturally went to the strawman of evolution created by Cretinists. But then I figured that if you're doing that, "Darwinism" would be better.

Acute_Agnostia said...

I agree with Infophile on this one. Although, I think you could do an Evolution/Darwinism doggerel. Especially considering that the two seem to be interchangable with the ID/Creationist crowd. They don't understand either. So, they change both to fit whatever they think it means, and use the name that seems to be the most insulting.

Acute_Agnostia said...

Oh, and I have another, that I've actually seen used several times. "I do not think that word means what you think it means." (to take a line from one of my favorite movies of all time.) They will use a word, and then when you make a rebuttal, they change the definition, and say that you didn't address their argument. Even though everyone except them assumed they meant it in the same way you thought. And this can also tie in to Evolution/Darwinism. You can also suggest some websites, such as www.m-w.com.

bourgeois_rage said...

How about "Destroying families?"

Rockstar Ryan said...

I've been trying to find time to do a Guest Doggerel with the topic "10% of our brains".

I love the morons who bust that one out as proof their assinine assertions are true.

Tom Foss said...

Oh, dear lord, the 10 percent myth is part of why I've never really watched Heroes. That, and my lack of time. I said my piece about it a few months back, if you're looking to ideas.

So, I have to second that one, and I like "I do not think it means what you think it means;" I saw a bit of that while self-flagellating...er, looking through posts on WoMI's blog. "No, I want you to answer it in terms of what Darwin meant!"

Tom Foss said...

Sorry for the double-post; how about one on argumentum ad Websterum? It's the use of a specific dictionary definition of a term as though it a)refuted a different use of the same term, and b)has philosophical meaning. I got that a lot from one moron when I edited opinions for the college paper. He didn't seem to quite understand that dictionaries don't always list jargonistic uses of common words. Like "theory."

Bronze Dog said...

Quick note for AA: "Drinking the Kool-Aid" refers to a cult (I forget which) that committed a mass suicide via poisoned Kool-Aid. Never saw it used by woos before Weapon.

Of course, I fail to see how the thus-far-constant halflives of various radioisotopes is "my own": Last I checked, such things were public domain. Weapon's free to sign up for the Randi Challenge if he thinks he can change them. I can't and won't sue him for copyright violations.

---

Think I might lump all the straw man -isms into one big post for another big round number. So many versions I can think of.

Might do "Look it up in the dictionary!" for one. After all, we know that Noah Webster knows science terms better than the scientists who define them.

An Anonymous Coward said...

"Drinking the Kool-Aid" refers to a cult (I forget which) that committed a mass suicide via poisoned Kool-Aid.

That would be the Peoples Temple, and the "Jonestown Massacre"...although actually, according to the Wikipedia article they didn't use poisoned Kool-Aid, but poisoned Flavor-Aid. I guess it got changed to Kool-Aid in retellings because that's better known.

Nes said...

Regarding Kool-Aid, I can't say that I've seen woos use it either; in my experience, it has been used exclusively by those commenting on politics.

For example: "So-and-so has been drinking too much of the [insert their party here]'s Kool-Aid."

Anonymous said...

Oh I so second "destroying families".

It has so many (ab)uses, quite a lot of which are also non-woo, eg homophobia, racism etc.

Anonymous said...

Ha!

Tom Foss said...

Ha!

Weapon makes an excellent point. I can't believe I never thought of that before. Wow...I see it all so clearly now: evolution is false, Darwin was the Antichrist, homosexuals are doing the devil's work...wow, I'm going to throw out all my science books and devote my life to spreading the word of the true, wrathful God to all who will listen and most who won't! Thanks, Weapon, I never would have seen the light without you!

Akusai said...

I think WoMI destroys families.

Infophile said...

Ha!

Given that he's usually unnecessarily verbose and spreads his lack of points out across multiple posts, I'm suspecting that by taking his "suggestion" somewhat seriously, we might have actually gotten to him.

Akusai said...

Just thought of another Doggerel suggestion: the very widespread and incredibly annoying "But science gave us the atomic bomb!" and all iterations thereof.