Deconstructing the Deconstruction of Dawkins

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deconstructionBelow you’ll find my critique of the arguments contained in an article written by Logan Paul Gage purporting to uncover the illogical arguments set out by Richard Dawkins, albeit indirectly through a book written by Alister McGrath. I will not address Dawkin’s arguments, nor will I comment on anything other than Alister’s own logic or lack thereof.

Exercise for IDers

LightsExercise: Identifying improper argumentation common to UFO theorists and Intelligent Design proponents.

Hardcore UFO theorists have co-opted and distorted science and reason to bolster their own position and agenda in the following ways.


1. The term UFO itself no longer generically means unidentified flying object, but rather has taken on the connotation of extraterrestrial beings who have stopped by for a visit. This allows mere mysterious “sightings” to be categorized through equivocation as positive evidence for extraterrestrial activity. They suggest that, anyone using the term UFO admits to “Unsolicited beings from another star with big eyes and brains who have come in plate-shaped spacecrafts to conduct biological research on humans.”

Logical Form {The term “x” means “X”.}


2. Presumably, there exist real physical evidence of a mysterious aircraft tucked away in some government warehouse in Roswell. To the hypothetical unveiling of this aircraft, UFO theorist are prepared to uncritically attach their comprehensive plug-and-play matrix of facts and explanations of extraterrestrial existence conjured up from raw imagination. Though there are contradictory explanatory theories within the set of all UFO theorists, all seek just that one piece of physical evidence that scientists cannot explain as a complete validation of their own theories. Were that piece to be revealed and to remain unexplained, they would assume that the entire construct of their respective predicated theories could then simply be snapped contingently onto that piece.

Logical Form {If “P” is exists, then “P” is “X”, and “Y” through “Z” are also true.}


3. Any humble admission by any scientist in any field that extraterrestrial beings could exist is heralded as a concession, and inappropriately taken from logical possibility to probability or at least to equal status with extraterrestrial non-existence.

Logical Form {“X” has been shown to be possible, so “X” is close to probable.}

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