Dating quotes quotations


Some of my colleagues and myself have been amused and amazed to read ourselves quoted in a way showing that we are really antievolutionists under the skin." ne of the favorite tactics of evolution deniers and other pseudoscientists is to use numerous quotations to make their case.For many people the use of quote after quote makes a very persuasive argument.After all, biologic research shows no sign of approaching completion; quite the opposite is true.Disagreements and clashes of opinion are rife among biologists, as they should be in a living and growing science.However, the antievolutionist use of quotes is invalid and does not in any way provide evidence for creationism or against evolution.The reasons for this fall into several major categories: the use of quotations often is a fallacy of "argument from authority," selective quotation may be occurring, the quotations are often out-of-date, the quoted authorities are often not appropriate authorities, evolution deniers are sometimes not honest in representing who the people they quote are, and many of the quotations are misquotations.Antievolutionists mistake, or pretend to mistake, these disagreements as indications of dubiousness of the entire doctrine of evolution.Their favorite sport is stringing together quotations, carefully and sometimes expertly taken out of context, to show that nothing is really established or agreed upon among evolutionists.


A scientific argument is not like an elementary school book that says "authoritatively" that Albany is the capital of New York, nor is it a high school or college textbook that functions to summarize current theory and practice of a field.

The works of antievolutionists are not merely trying to summarize existing mainstream scientific knowledge, but are rather trying to argue that large parts of it are completely wrong.


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