Sunday, October 07, 2007

For me, this counts as social interaction.

If you read the comment thread here, you'll see a kind of lengthy exchange between another commenter and myself.

It boils down to this.

He claims (vehemently) that Dennett is wrong in Darwin's Dangerous Idea. The word "crap" is used.

I ask him to support his statement.(please notice that I don't defend Dennett. I just want some backup to this claim)

He points me to a book called Lifelines by Stephen Rose.

I've never heard of it, but a book that effectively refutes Dennett must have some reviews online. I find (just) one. It's pretty grim. (Still, if the Green River Library has it, I'll read it when I have time)

He makes the claim of following Dennett's arguments, "If A then B, if B then C, if C then D, etc." and suddenly finding the book in "la-la land." He says he went back and found the fallacious argument, "if H then G," says that, what with Dennett's smooth writing and all, a layperson probably would not see it.

I ask him to point this argument out to me, since I am a layperson.

He says that it's been a long time since he read the book, he isn't going to go back and read it again, and anyway, a blog comment is not enough space for a detailed analysis.

He then poo-poos the review and the journal it was written in. Strangely, he had previously pointed me to this journal (very vaguely, as he "couldn't remember" which journal it was)

He also provides a list of further reading. Again, if the library has them and as time allows.

Later commenters also seem to feel that he is being more than disingenuous.

Was I wrong to ask why he felt Dennett was crap?
Was I wrong to want actual evidence for this?
Am I wrong to think that all I got was BS and evasion? (pending perusal of the books he mentioned)


2 people have spouted off:

Qalmlea said...

Given the vehemence of his opinion, I would expect something to back it up. Even one specific statement, instead of all the vague "these guys know" "read this" etc. He comes across as cluelessly arrogant.

You, on the other hand, come across as quite stubborn. ^/^ As someone else who can be quite stubborn, I can relate.

John said...
I almost called it "elitist whinging" in one of my comments, but I was able to restrain myself.

As for me, the phrase "pig-headed" seems to come up a lot
10/7/07, 4:21 PM