Fake Argument Flowchart, and R.Morris's Failures

After getting into so many debates with creationists, I've noticed some patterns to some of their debating "techniques". The flowchart you see above is my summary of one of these recurring themes. Conspiracy theorists often do the same sort of thing.

Does this mean that we should just ignore people like this all together, and never respond? Never indulge these loonies in debate, ever? Well, not necessarily. Even if you'll never be able to educate the one particular idiot who's engaging you in debate, there may still be on-lookers who sincerely don't know much about the subject and want to learn. They should realize why the opposite side is wrong, and why critical thinking is important. Never mind the fact that being able to stand your ground and defend your position is, I believe, an important communication skill to have.

The nice thing about message boards is that it's generally easy to go look up things that other participants have posted. It's much more difficult to do this in verbal debates or chat rooms. When you can post links or similar references to older posts, you can spare having to repeat yourself, but just pointing to a link and saying, "Here's a different thread where somebody already answered that question", or "No, what you just said actually contradicts what you said in this earlier post."

Another great thing this allows you to do is keep track of your opponent's misses. As shown in the flowchart, the opponent can often get this delusion that he's winning a debate, so long as he gets the last word in. This is because he forgets and/or ignores his losses along the way. When you can gather a list of questions and other points that your opponent has been unable to answer, it shows everybody just how much of a dishonest twit he is, especially if he keeps demanding that you answer more of his questions. It also shows that he's clearly not winning the debate at hand. Here's an example of that:

A Partial List of Bookhitter's (formerly known as R.Morris before Jan 2014) Failed Arguments and Unsupported Claims

From the Amazon.com "Evolution" discussion forum. Last updated May 9, 2015. This list in its entirety used to be posted now and then on the Amazon.com "Evolution" forum, but that was when it was still reasonably short. I stopped posting the whole list once its size began to exceed the maximum number of characters you can have in a single post.

  1. Claims humans were genetically engineered 200,000 years ago to be slaves (though no details of the mechanics):

  2. In the same post he claims that "There was a huge gap of ideology between the creators and one gave to humans what was not originally meant to be given to us, knowledge." But again, not much detail about what "ideology" this is, what "knowledge" we were given, and how exactly he knows this. He does however believe that the claims of alien encounters from UFO believers today is enough to prove that aliens made humans 200,000 years ago:

  3. Still tosses around the word "materialist" around to describe anybody who isn't a creationist. Similarly claims that these people claim that nothing exists except for matter (even though you don't need to be a creationist to see the scientific evidence of things that aren't made of atoms). He calls this "that 1950s materialistic ideology".

  4. Doesn't understand the meanings of the terms "theory" and "law" as they're used in science, even after he had it explained to him several times. He was even given a link to a middle school science site that explains the difference.

  5. Keeps trying to post a "deer ungulate to whale morphological evolution" argument, even after it has been pointed out to him several times over the course of 3 months that it's a bogus straw-man argument, and why:

  6. Kept posting "asknature.org", and also posted several YouTube clips, claiming that all of these had evidence for intelligent design. They didn't. Asknature.org is a website about manufacturing engineering which uses the term "intelligent design" to mean something completely different (namely smart engineering solutions by human engineers). One clip was from the creationist thinktank, the Discovery Institute, and didn't have any argument beyond "this looks really complicated". None of the other clips (including a 1941 science education reel about the human eye, and a pseudo-science documentary about psychic power) seem to mention ID/creationism at all.

  7. Keeps dismissing evidence of common ancestry between kinds A and B as "Yeah, but they're both just [some superset that contains both]", but "doesn't know" and "doesn't care" to say whether certain species are two different kinds or part of the same kind:

  8. Keeps claiming that there's no evidence for "macro" evolution, when this has been explained to him:

  9. Has shown time and time again that he can't grasp the concept of metaphors or analogies. This includes analogies with music, spoken languages, coin flips as a probability model, computer CPUs, metaphorical words like "purpose", "design", "recipe", etc. (see the link below for a post which contains post links to each of these examples).

  10. R.Morris can't acknowledge the answer for crocodile evolution:

  11. R.Morris can't back up claims about Archeopteryx:

  12. R.Morris attempts and fails at the old creationist argument that human footprints were found in ancient rock:

  13. First he says that that science should "stick to what is observed. Stop creating hypothetical stories on what you think could have or may have happened about something no one has ever observed", but that "Our designers cannot be directly observed to know anything about them." Which means that his own alleged evidence of a designer (if he had any) should not be trusted.

  14. Likewise, he points out that abiogenesis had no eye witnesses, but then again, neither did his aliens-made-humans fantasy. He also doesn't realize that getting people to swear an oath to eye-witnessing isn't how the scientific method works:

  15. In general, R.Morris claims to be big on "observable evidence", but when it's actually shown to him, he either falls back on solipsism and pure speculations that have no support, or says to "consult philosophy and religion for that answer" because "Science is not a reliable source for the existence or who of our designer/s."

  16. R.Morris's only answer to some of these questions has been two words, "Your mother".

  17. At the same time, he constantly cries foul whenever insults are directed at him. Even though it has been explained to him numerous times that 1) the people insulting him are only throwing in the insults in ADDITION to the refutations of his claims, and 2) his behavior has earned these insults.

  18. Misused notions of "Reptilian Heart" and "Reptilian Brain" for trying to show creationism:

  19. Still can't explain why his "common design" argument fails with marine life, fails with convergent evolution, and fails in general:

  20. Tried to refute some of the above points, and failed:

  21. Claims that "natural selection doesn't do anything", and in fact "doesn't remove" anything due to it being "mindless and blind":

  22. Claims that Carl Zimmer, in his National Geographic article, said that birds evolved feathers because ancient lizard jumped out of trees and that caused their scales to fray.

  23. On one hand, R.Morris accuses biological evolution of being a "religious ideology" and dogmatic. But then whenever discoveries in evolution are worded in a non-assertive way, he accuses it as being too unsure and purely hypothetical.

  24. Still doesn't understand why alleged UFO sightings of today, even if we were to assume they were evidence of alien visitors, isn't evidence that there were aliens 200,000 years ago who genetically engineered humans. Never mind the fact that he doesn't understand that eye-witness testimony isn't how the scientific method works.

  25. Tries using mitochondrial Eve as an argument for the Sumerian creation myth, even though it doesn't match up with it (e.g. mtDNA Eve wasn't the "first" human). Never mind the fact that there's no reason to say it's the Sumerian myth in particular:

  26. Likewise, he believes that all creation stories are ultimately based on the Sumerian one, when in fact they aren't. When presented with 20 different creation stories from around the world, he couldn't show how they were derived from the Sumerian story.

  27. Doesn't understand the difference between a peer-reviewed science paper, and a book or website that explains science to the layman, or why we have both formats:

  28. Keeps trying to play the "I'm entitled to my own worldview/opinion" card, even after he's had it explained to him why it doesn't work in his case.

  29. Claims that no currently-living species have any genetic traits that were due to a genetic mutation, and claims that all of these traits were "pre-programmed". Refuses to answer the question "If we found evidence that an inherited trait (maybe even a widely-recognized trait in a particular species, not just some anomaly) traced back to a genetic mutation, would that disprove your claim here? If not, then how would you explain it?", even after he was asked several times.

  30. R.Morris kept implying that evolution means an organism of one species "morphs" into an organism of a different species, when it was explained to him several times that this is NOT how evolution actually works.

  31. R.Morris claims "FACT: Fish will only produce other fish, PERIOD!" But then when asked to define "fish", he couldn't give a working definition. Which meant he also couldn't answer (and kept avoiding) the question "If we can go further and further back and see examples that deviate more and more from the current fish we started with, until we arrive at something that no longer fits the definition of fish given ... then would you accept that as evidence that your claim is wrong?" Also still couldn't answer "if there's a limit to variation, then what exactly is it? Is there some sort of "glass wall" that limits the diversification? If so, what are the limits? How are the limits enforced? Could you give 3 examples?", after being asked several times.

  32. R.Morris claims that all "macroevolution" took place before the Cambrian, namely by saying "Kingdom down to Family was established before the Cambrian". But then when asked to present evidence of a pre-Cambrian existence of the class Aves, or the class Reptilia, or the order Testudines, or the family Hominidae, he couldn't do it. Instead, he said that these were only being categorized "according to the ideology" of evolution. He couldn't answer what categories, then, he really meant by "kingdom down to family".

  33. Caught quote-mining on more than one occasion:

  34. Keeps trying to use the apparent findings of the golden ratio in nature, as an argument for intelligent design, and fails:
  35. Keeps trying to refute the evidence of the chromosome fusion on human chromosome #2 (evidence of common ancestry between humans and other apes, which explains the difference in chromosomes) by saying that this particular fusion doesn't explain the differences seen between apes and humans. He still kept using this argument even after it was pointed out that it's an irrelevant non-sequitur. This was after he already failed with trying to explain it away as "common design" (which he's always failing on).
  36. Still doesn't understand probability, OR the difference between positive and negative numbers. ("I do believe the chance a fully functioning cell with intact DNA coming into existence spontaneously from a pile of chemicals is well below zero. In fact, it is so far below zero the human mind cannot fathom the number, like 10 with 8 million or so zeros after it.")

  37. Keeps insisting that there's a "Law of Biogenesis" in science and/or that spontaneous generation is the same thing as abiogenesis, even after the difference has been explained to him numerous times.

  38. Refuses to look at any counter-arguments or explanations on talkorgins.org, under the sweeping claim that it's a "religious" s or "materialist" site (he's called it both). Similarly refuses to look at any suggested pages on Wikipedia when he gets things factually incorrect, under the argument that anybody can edit Wikipedia. (Of course, he's told that he can just go to the bottom of a Wikipedia page and see the original sources for an article, but he keeps ignoring that point.)

  39. Claims that "consciousness exist [sic] above and outside the realm of life", but can't show an example of a consciousness that exists outside of the realm of an organism.

  40. Keeps claiming that human bones from 2.5 million years ago existed, but still can't back up that claim.

  41. Claims that "worms", "bacteria" and "plants and trees" were created for certain purposes. But the evidence of when they each came about doesn't match up with his claims.

  42. Thinks that "the polymerase question" is a big stumper and debunker for abiogenesis, even though it's already been addressed:

  43. Caught quote mining:

  44. Claims that God "did create the universe, Physics tells us that." But can't back up his claim.

  45. Continuously misunderstands Punctuated Equilibrium:

  46. Claims "never has it been demonstarted that heritable genetic information leads to a new type of organism", but was given examples.

  47. Still won't define what he means by a "kind" (even though he still demands evidence of evolution producing new "kinds", and ignores all of the examples he's given). He's used "kind" to refer to entire taxonomic families ("felines", "deer"), orders ("whales"), infraclasses ("marsupials"), classes ("birds"), phyla ("sponges"), and even domains ("bacteria").

  48. Claims to have given "examples of organisms that have been in existence as a species for millions to billions of years", but when asked for an example of an actual organism (specific genus and species) has been "unchanged" for "billions of years", he completely ignores the question. And he ignores it when he's asked again. And again. And again. And again...

  49. Insists that dogs (canines) and cats (felines) are two different specially-created "kinds", but has been shown the evidence on several occasions of common ancestry between the two of them. Whenever he's asked if evidence of a common ancestor would thus prove evolution to him, he never has an answer.

  50. Tried to equate spontaneous generation with abiogenesis, then later tried to claimed that he never made a mention of spontaneous generation. And of course, he didn't seem to have anything to say when this was pointed out to him:

  51. Dismisses paleontology as "guess work, fantastical stories abou events never witnessed", but has the nerve to directly accuse paleontologists of being biased because they won't take the word of people who are clueless about biology. Also seems to redefine "theist".

  52. Insists that "randomness" can't be mathematically studied, when in fact it's part of statistics:

  53. Insists that natural selection is fiction, and refuses to understand the relation between sickle cell and malaria survival:

  54. Keeps trying to use the "DNA implies a coder" argument, and keeps failing:

  55. Has accused readers of "denying the existence of genetic information" when they didn't, while denying having taken part of a discussion:

  56. Believes that snowflakes are designs that don't need a designer (even though his explanation of how they form is incorrect), but of course doesn't see how this is a problem for what he claims about ID:

  57. Believes that "Darwin left Origins [the Origin of Species] in his desk drawer for 20 years" and "had no intention of ever publishing that crock-of-crud", despite the evidence to the contrary. His "research" on this consists of the claims from one creationist author:

  58. At least admits to being crazy:

  59. Tried posting a photo of an alleged alien/human skull hybrid, when in fact it was just a carving sold as a novelty/art item (the URL even had "ProductImage" in the URL). Also posted a "starchild skull" photo, but ironically the photo was taken from a page DEBUNKING the alien DNA claim (http://arthropoda.southernfriedscience.com/?p=2435).

  60. Says that "If it is unknown, then it is unknowable":

  61. HERE ARE THE BEST ONES! In short, he believes that something only exists when he can convince himself of it, however easy or difficult he may make that out to be.

  62. He knows "for sure" that "man, through scientific research, creates horrible viruses and diseases today", but can't seem to give any examples.

  63. Considers the Miller-Urey experiment was a failure because it didn't produce actual organisms, even though it's been explained to him that this wasn't what the experiment was to show in the first place.

  64. Whines about people voting his posts with a preemptive "No", but he does the same to other people's posts, by his own admission:

  65. In fact, he still denies how the voting system works on the forums, even when experimental evidence is presented right on the very same thread:

  66. Believes Neanderthals were living with humans as late as 1930:

  67. Can't get his Age of Aquarius fluffy trivia correct:

  68. "But finding out HOW it was done is scientific, it's called reverse engineering." How would you reverse engineer a terrestrial animal from a whale?

  69. Claims a connection between Quantum Physics and consciousness, which of course he doesn't understand, and was corrected on by scientists:

  70. Believes that Darwin believed women could force which gender their babies become:

  71. Believes that the "repair mechanisms" to help prevent mutations (which they don't do completely, of course) is somehow proof of ID:

  72. Claimed without evidence at least 3 times that "There is an atheists dominated scientific research group [...] Biomimicry 3.8.":

  73. Believes in giant humans, even though the math doesn't add up. Believes the Smithsonian is hiding them in secret vaults!

  74. Posted a link from a SATIRE site to argue his side, without realizing it was satire. Still refused to believe it was satire, even when the page's own "about" section makes it clear that it is:

  75. Says origins don't matter (but somehow demands that we can't have evolution if we don't explain abiogenesis first):

  76. Similarly claims that there wasn't a natural origin of life because he's not getting an explanation for how. When the same question is asked of his belief, he literally said that he can't explain how it was done but still believes it.

  77. Claims that since the Earth has a vibration, and that a vibrating cup of sand and rocks will end up with the big rocks on top, that this explains why fossils of bigger animals are on top. Of course, he wasn't able to explain why we find fossils of some smaller animals in higher strata then some bigger animals.

  78. Believes that science is always either "right" or "wrong", so that when new evidence comes in which causes science to refine/improve a position, that it was therefore flat out "wrong" to begin with. He still insists on this, no matter how many times it was explained to him in this thread: