[Vision2020] re: (no subject)

Joe Campbell joekc at adelphia.net
Sat Dec 22 22:56:57 PST 2007

This will be my last response to you, Jeff. Apparently you’ve read the Gary Crabtree 
manual on how to make friends and influence people and I don’t have much time or use 
for insult laden rants this holiday season.

First, the suggestions that I committed a “breach of academic ethics” in my comments on 
Crabtree’s post and “academic dishonesty” in my report of your views about logic and
philosophy are over the top and just plain irresponsible on your part. If I thought that 
anyone of significance took the time to read your posts, I’d demand an apology.
This isn’t the academy; it is a public forum. Also, you’re wrong on a number of points.

You admit that Crabtree’s statements (one of which turns out not to be his statement) are 
“Pure sarcasm.” In sarcasm one means the opposite of what one says. If I were to say:

(3) AS IF economists had no sense of humor

you would be entitled to think that I intended to convey that economists had no sense of 
humor. If I were to say, sarcastically:

(4) Why the very notion that Harkins would tell a lie is preposterous

you would be right to feel offended. 

By uttering (4) I wouldn’t have said that you were a liar – but I would have implied it. 
Or are you willing to allow me the privilege of making claims like (4) and calling it a 
“breach of academic ethics” should you accuse me of insulting you? 

The only other things I said were that (1) and (2) were ambiguous as to whether 
Crabtree meant to make a claim about ALL scientists – which is absurd – or SOME – 
which is trivially true and not worth mentioning. If you look at the posts other than mine, 
you’ll see that the conclusion that I arrived at is a reasonable one.

Second, you are right. You did not SAY that logic was not a science. Nor did you SAY 
that economics was more of a science than logic. You merely IMPLIED both. Let me 
quote what you wrote (Sat Oct 27 17:00:55 PDT 2007) and we’ll let the readers decide:

I think the economists at the University of 
Washington (my alma mater) would have a good 
chuckle over your statement that "...Economics is 
not a SCIENCE like lgic oand (sp) math and 
physics are sciences.  Yes, they would say - you 
are right - it is much more difficult!  The 
science of choice is much more rigorous.

I am curious though - were you inferring that 
"logic" is a science like math and physics. Is 
there a branch of logic that goes beyond the 
study of correct reasoning, valid induction and 
deduction?  Is there more to the discipline than 
describing relationships among propositions in 
terms of implication, contradiction, contrariety and conversion?

In a later post (Sun Oct 28 19:36:55 PDT 2007), you first quoted my response to the 
above and then followed it with some other comments.

>Third, logic is the mother of all sciences. It 
>is not an empirical science -- but
>neither is math! Logic, like math, is a formal 
>science upon which all empirical sciences,
>like economics, are dependent. Logic is the 
>science of correct reasoning and without
>correct reasoning all sciences are reduced to 
>collections of data; they have no theoretical
>or predictive or explanatory significance.

You may face a validation problem with your 
declarations about logic and science. This issue 
is not worth pursuing in a general public forum - 
an angels on heads of pins debate that is best 
reflected in some academic journal.  If it makes 
you happy, I will concede that logic is a formal 
science.  Ratiocination has intrigued me over the years.

Of course, the “angels on heads of pins” comment is in reference to an old, common 
criticism of philosophy – one that you repeat at the end of your last post.

Again, people can think what they want but besides you and Crabtree, it is doubtful that 
anyone would find it unreasonable for me to assume that (a) you don’t think that logic is 
a science and (b) even if you did concede that it was, you think that economics is more rigorous and thus more of a science than logic. I’d be surprised if, after reading the 
above, one went away with the idea that you thought that philosophy was a science on 
par with economics. (Personally, I don’t think that philosophy is a science but that is 
another issue.) Though I’m not particularly interested in your Wilson-like rhetorical 
maneuvers, if you want to set the record straight, tell me what you think about logic and 
philosophy and then explain how one should be able to get to that idea from the words 
given above. That would be fun to watch!

Lastly, I have a few comments about the evolution/creation debate. To begin, I find it 
interesting that in a recent post you lectured people on the importance of reputable, peer-
reviewed journals and in your last post you provide a link to Science Daily.

Also, the challenge was not to find a biologist who BELIEVED in creationism, as Prof. 
Minnich does, but to find one who has PUBLISHED an article in support of creationism 
in a reputable, peer-reviewed journal. With that in mind, the following is interesting:

In 2004 Minnich and Stephen C. Meyer presented a paper to an engineering conference, 
the Second International Conference on Design & Nature, entitled "Genetic Analysis of 
Coordinate Flagellar and Type III Regulatory Circuits". The Discovery Institute lists this 
as one of its "Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the 
Theory of Intelligent Design". However, in his testimony for Kitzmiller v. Dover, 
Minnich admitted that the paper was minimally peer reviewed:
Q: And the paper that you published was only minimally peer reviewed, isn't that true?

A. For any conference proceeding, yeah. You don't go through the same rigor. I 
mentioned that yesterday. But it was reviewed by people in the Wessex Institute, and I 
don't know who they were.

Thus, as Nick has already pointed out, there is no evidence that Minnich has published an 
article in support of creationism in a reputable, peer-reviewed journal. You know and I 
know that the standards for conference proceedings and reputable, peer-reviewed journals 
are quite different. So far you don’t even have one example. You note that you don’t have 
the time to continue looking but how is this anything more than an admission that finding 
5 instances of scientific support for creationism in reputable, peer-reviewed journals is 
difficult if not impossible to do?

Happy Holidays to you, too! I don’t want you to think that I despise you because I don’t. 
In spite of it all I like you. The only person I truly hate is Crabtree. What I despise is your
adoption of the Wilson/Crabtree method of discourse. I note that you continue to refer to 
me as “Mr.” yet you don’t even have the convenience of Crabtree’s way out since you 
used the label “Prof.” for Minnich. Calling someone by a name that he dislikes is cheap 
and I’m sure you’ll feel a slight jolt at the awareness of just how low your rhetoric has 
gotten once you read this. I hope that, during this Christmas season, you’ll find the way 
of love and get away from the religion and politics of hate that Wilson and Crabtree 
represent. That is my Christmas wish for you!

Best, Joe

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