More Evidence of Darwinian Short-Term Memory Loss - Evolution News & Views

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More Evidence of Darwinian Short-Term Memory Loss

Last week Donald McLauglin noted a post at Panda's Thumb by Richard B. Hoppe triumphantly rounding up hostile sources of commentary on Stephen Meyer's book Darwin's Doubt ("Slaying Meyer's Hopeless Monster"). "The limbs keep being lopped off," Hoppe declared, while directing readers to another "list of critical reviews" compiled by John Pieret.

The champions cited by the two Darwin defenders include Matzke, Prothero, Cook, and Farrell. Pieret himself cheers,

The Discovery Institute crowd have complained that reviewers aren't seriously engaging with the arguments in Stephen Meyer's Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design.

Be careful what you wish for.

What Hoppe and Pieret don't tell their readers is that we have exhaustively debunked the critiques offered by the same Matzke, Prothero, Cook, and Farrell. Here is Casey Luskin on Farrell and Casey on Prothero. Here is David Berlinsk on Matzke, here, here and here. Oh, and here is Casey on Matzke. Casey answers Cook there as well, and I had something to say about him too, here.

These guys are all big talk. They want to give the impression that their pals have decisively confuted Stephen Meyer, but when you show them they're wrong, they can't process the information, or maybe they process it and then immediately forget they've done so. They do not so much as admit that a reply has been offered. This is their idea of debate.

It's like what I said last month about how Darwin defenders seem to suffer from a kind of short-term memory loss:

Well suited to the defense of an antique of 19th-century materialism, there's a certain Darwinian dementia that keeps our interlocutors from assimilating evidence and arguments that go against their views. Some of the responses to Stephen Meyer's new book, Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, will illustrate.

It goes like this: They make a claim and you answer them. But shortly after, they are coming at you again with the identical claim, more belligerently than before, as if you'd said nothing at all. Either there's been a genuine memory dump, or they never really heard you, or they did hear and retained what you said, but choose now to act as if they didn't.

As far as I'm aware, no reviewer has yet genuinely laid a hand on Darwin's Doubt, not for lack of trying. Well, there's always tomorrow.