Flannery defends Dembski against the ignorant meanie Lynch

This is cute. ID proponent and librarian, Michael Flannery has devoted over 2,600 words to refuting a 765 word comment I made on Dembski’s preface to his reissue of Wallace’s World of Life (freely available here). Apparent Dembski is unable to defend himself yet gets praised by Flannery for his “deeper historical knowledge [than I] of the men themselves.” Indeed, Flannery spends a great deal of time insinuating that I know little about the history of Victorian science compared to the polymath Dembski. I’ll let my fellow historians of science and my publications defend my knowledge of that sphere.

Needless to say, Flannery ignores my conclusion:

Secondly, and in many ways more importantly, who cares? Of what possible relevance to modern ID is it if Wallace held some teleological views regarding the human mind. It’s about as relevant as Darwin’s theory of gemmules to modern genetics.

It’s running up to the start of the semester here so I have better things to do in life with my free-time (I’m in my office on a Saturday for jeez sake!) than respond to Flannery. That doesn’t mean I wont, just that it may be a long time coming.

Anyway, gentle reader, wander over and have a read. Knowing UD, you’ll not be able to leave any correcting comments, but feel free to make some here if you wish.


3 thoughts on “Flannery defends Dembski against the ignorant meanie Lynch

  1. Damn. There’s so much to object to in there, I hardly know where to begin… I’ll just do the first paragraph, then someone else can maybe pick it up at the second.

    Over a month ago John M. Lynch posted (on his aptly titled blog “a simple prop”–need I say more)

    Wink-wink, nudge-nudge!

    a rant against my book,

    Do these people not know what the word “rant” means?

    Alfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Intelligent Evolution, making a number of charges that warrant reply. Since his promised part 2 has never materialized, I’ll remain silent no longer lest he delude himself into thinking that no answer implies anything close to a concession.

    Why is everything a contest for these dingleberries? How can he not feel embarrassingly silly writing bravado in such stilted prose in response to a blog post?

    Therefore, I begin with what I have–his ramblings part 1.

    Again, do these people know what “rambling” means?

  2. Wow. 1237 words on your objection to Dembski’s “putter with barnacles” comment. From which I gather IDists don’t care for them much. Flannery also conflates Darwin’s interest in barnacles in 1858 (the “puttering” phase according to WmAD) with his interest before 1854.

    Flannery writes:

    Apparently Lynch objects to the word puttering because it “resulted in four volumes that are still useful to modern systematists and taxonomists.”

    But the comment was about Darwin’s activities in 1858, after the 4 volumes were published.

    Overall, it looks like Flannery is so keen on ranting he hasn’t bothered to check that he’s arguing against John’s points of criticism. His final argument is with this comment:

    “Dembski makes much of the contrast between Wallace’s selectionism (which was even more wide-ranging than Darwin’s) and what he terms ‘Darwin’s inflated view’ omitting to mention that the difference was largely to do with Wallace–for spiritualist reasons–not believing that the human mind could be a product of natural selection.”

    where he complains that ‘inflated view’ is reasonable, but ignores the point that WmAD “omit[ed] to mention”. Way to miss the point!

  3. Wow. that thing of Flannery’s is what the military call a target rich environment. Leaving out the pile of Ad hominem — F seems to say that Historical accuracy is being misapplied ? It’s as if he’s saying that being historically accurate does not matter ?

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