Anonymous asks me to justify the use of the word “prominent” in describing David Berlinski’s scholarship. The term “prominent” covers a wide range of meaning from “noticeable” and “widely known” (which Berlinski is by virtue of his writings) to someone who is “favorably known” within a particular discipline (which Berlinski is not by reason of his dissent from regnant Darwinian Orthodoxy). I provide a list of books written by Berlinski along with his educational and professional background as evidence that Berlinski is qualified to make observations worthy of consideration—which is the point of presenting his material on my blog.
Anonymous then says I am using an illegitimate appeal to “authority” by responding to Anonymous’ own objection about Berlinski’s qualifications to participate in this discussion.
Oddly, Anonymous fails to provide his/her list of qualifications that qualifies him/her to sort out who can participate in the discussion of evolutionary theory. Heck, Anonymous fails to provide a name. Nevertheless, Anonymous suggests that I am not on an intellectual level that would permit me to post Berlinski’s criticism of Darwinism. Well, at least I have some graduate school and post-graduate background in the topic (which Anonymous is somehow aware of but, unsurprisingly, discounts). What I wish to know are the credentials that qualify Anonymous to fill the august role of Pontificator of Legitimate Evolutionary Discourse.
The “argument from authority” is Anonymous’ fallacy, not mine. I never said Berlinski is right or wrong because of his educational background. I ask folks to listen to his well-articulated and succinct statement of basic arguments—which are not unique to Berlinski. They concern the patently dishonest “evolutionary tree”--which any honest participant in the discussion knows is a fabrication that doesn’t remotely reflect the actual fossil record. These arguments also concern the statistical improbability of emergent life and macro-evolutionary changes, given the fundamental Darwinian belief in the random alignment of protein-chains within DNA. Berlinski adds that computer programs based on algorithms honestly consistent with evolutionary presuppositions produce nothing but gibberish.
Anyone familiar with the historical debate about Darwinism knows the degree of deception and intimidation that is employed by Darwinist Orthodoxy to squelch debate. (Cf. the ontology / phylogny hoax of E. H. Haeckel that continues to be found in biology textbooks; the denial of tenure to anyone outside the Orthodox Darwinian establishment, e.g. Guillermo Gonzales; the after-the-fact pulling of articles from prominent science publications if they are critical of Darwinian orthodoxy.)
Given that record of intimidation and dishonesty (a tradition with which Anonymous seems quite comfortable) it is entirely appropriate to note the obvious connection between Darwinian thought (which was “prominent” in Germany prior to Hitler) and the Holocaust that directly affected Berlinski’s extended family—a “link” that may help explain his courage in speaking out in the face of "academic" intimidation.