Mr. Powell Gets It Wrong Again

Mr. Powell Gets It Wrong Again August 5, 2004

In the comments in response to a post on New Covenant about whether scientists can objectively analyze creationist/ID positions , Matt Powell writes the following, in obvious reference to me and our recent discussion:

In some of the recent discussions on morality, religion and Biblical philosophy, the same crew was just as quick to mock, deride and question my education and knowledge, despite the fact that I am trained in those areas. That makes me instantly suspect similar statements they make regarding the expertise of people like Johnson, Behe and Ross.

For the record, Matt, at no time in our discussion did I ever “mock, deride and question” your “education and knowledge”. I challenged your arguments, which were, as I said, silly, contrary to good sense, and even stupid. I explained the many reasons why that was the case. There is a difference between saying an argument is stupid and saying the person making it is stupid, and that is still a different issue than mocking someone’s education or knowledge. I’m sure you’re quite well educated and knowledgable on the subjects we were discussing, at least on one side of the question (I suspect that you know next to nothing about non-Christian ethical systems, but that was only tangential to the conversation). I’m sure you’ve read all of the relevant biblical texts and the major theologians and their interpretations of those texts. That gives you knowledge and education in that limited context, but your arguments were still irrational and badly reasoned. In fact, the only one to do what you are accusing me of doing was you, when you pretended that I must not be aware of “this strain of Christian philosophy” merely because I rejected what it said.

I did question your reading comprehension skills, for precisely the reason that I’m pointing out here – time and time again during our exchange, you attacked a straw man of my position rather than my actual position. Indeed, the only reason I responded to you in the first place was because on your own blog, you portrayed my position inaccurately when discussing your exchange with DarkSyde, and that was something that continued to happen several times during our exchange. I was actually being rather generous, I thought. I could have blamed it on dishonesty, but chose instead to blame it on a lack of careful reading. At any rate, I wrote this to correct yet another instance where you are portraying my statements as something different than they actually were. I don’t doubt that you have knowledge and education on the subject of the biblical texts we discussed and the various theological interpretations concerning them; I just don’t think that knowledge or education prevented you from making illogical and fanciful rationalizations in defense of the literal truth of those texts.

As far as Behe, Johnson and Ross are concerned, I will gladly debate their views in the same way and focusing on the same thing – are their positions true? Do they make a logical case that fits the evidence? Of the three, I regard Phil Johnson as an outright charlatan and I’d be more than happy to provide a great deal of evidence for that conclusion. Behe’s work is interesting, but has been pretty conclusively disproven by his fellow biochemists. Ross does excellent work in his own field, but when he ventures into biology, anthropology and other fields, the results range from bad to worse. And again, I am entirely capable of supporting those conclusions with many examples.

"Especially in the murdering of those they dislike and find inconvenient I bet."

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