As the Alabama sheriff said, “he was reaching for something….” I’m not quite sure what amuses me more, the idea that I am the slightest bit concerned about being fair, the idea that I have any concern whatsoever for what Ackroyd thinks, or that he appears to believe he can dig his way out of looking like an ignoramus with a double-digit IQ if he only tries a little harder.
On second thought, I do have a question. There are four “demotivational” posters featuring individual atheists. The Hitchens, Harris and Dawkins posters feature words none of them actually said. Given
that, was it fair of Vox to savage me as an “ignorant atheist” for not
realizing the Dennett poster features words he did say–paraphrased? I
Of course it was not only fair, but just, that I castigated poor little Ackroyd, accurately or not. In the immortal words of Obadiah Hakeswill, “says so in the Scriptures”. If you are going to come in here arrogantly asserting your opinion about the stupidity of this and the idiocy of that and generally acting like a big dog, don’t be surprised when you find yourself unexpectedly sad, wet, and stinking of urine. I am the bigger dog. I am an Award Winning Cruelty Artist. I will cut a bitch with a smile on my face. A minor character flaw, no doubt, but one concerning which everyone who comments here has been duly notified.
Furthermore, I was undeniably correct about the “ignorant” part. Ackroyd was, by his own admission, completely ignorant of Dennett’s writings. And now, thanks to his unwise attempt at ex post facto self-defense, we can safely conclude that he is stupid as well, because after drawing attention to the abject stupidity of the phrase on the poster, tried to defend Dennett’s incompetent argument advocating the intrinsic trustworthiness of science:
“In light of this, do the words on the poster convey Dennett’s point
accurately? Or would it be more fair to paraphrase him as saying
“Science can be trusted, because it yields amazingly accurate results”?
And isn’t this in fact true–as far as it goes?”
Yes, they most certainly do. No. And no, because it demonstrably isn’t true at all. It repeats the very mistake Dennett made, which is the very reason the Dennett demotivator is both accurate and amusing. Ackroyd still hasn’t understood that Dennett’s syllogism is faulty. Not all sciences are created equal. For example, physics yields amazingly accurate results. Evolutionary biology, on the other hand, unquestionably does not and evolutionary biologists don’t claim that it does. In his book, Dennett tries a classic New Atheist bait-and-switch, asserting that since both physics and not-physics are called science, if physics yields amazingly accurate results, then not-physics should be trusted… even though not-physics doesn’t produce any of the trust-inspiring results. I could argue, every bit as reasonably as Dennett, that because theology is a science, “the queen of the sciences”, in fact, it should also be trusted on the basis of the amazingly accurate results of physics.