Luskin Gets Something Right

In a long and tedious response to my article pointing out that Casey Luskin had experience in “flying under the radar” himself, Casey got one point right. It’s a heading that he used:

“There Is No Comparison Between My Situation and Celeste Biever’s Deception”

That’s correct, I did not compare Luskin and Biever to try to figure out whether one was more “wrong” than the other. I’ll leave that sort of casuistry to the pros at the IDEA Center and Discovery Institute.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

12 thoughts on “Luskin Gets Something Right

  • 2006/10/16 at 3:19 pm

    Professor Elsberry,

    I did not think the article was long or tedious. In fact, I believe it follows a common talk-point strategy: Tell your audience what you are going to say, say it, and tell them what you have said. It helped me follow Luskin’s response well.

    I learned it in a Communications class here at the University of Central Florida, where I am a student in Philosophy.

    I also learned from one of my philosophy professors that entailment of comparing two things does not have to be made explicit to be obvious. If you did not compare the two to make a comparative judgement on one or the other, there seems to be no reason why you would compare them at all.

    You quote his title: ““There Is No Comparison Between My Situation and Celeste Biever’s Deception” and say “That’s correct, I did not compare Luskin and Biever to try to figure out whether one was more “wrong” than the other.”

    But wait, he said there can be no comparison at all. And here you admit to a comparison. Thus, your remark that “That’s correct” is not addressing his point and also seems to be incorrect.

  • 2006/10/16 at 6:30 pm

    You should apply for a refund. There was no comparison on my part, neither implied nor explicit. I was specifically careful about that point, since something I abhor in ID apologetics is the distressing tendency to engage in tu quoque.

  • 2006/10/16 at 6:51 pm

    Luskin’s approach is more like this:

    1. Tell them that Darwinist’s are liars.

    2. Lie to them.

    3. Tell them you didn’t lie.

  • 2006/10/16 at 8:55 pm

    What celeste did was no different than Mike Wallace sending little old ladies to the mechanic with a low tire, and getting sold a transmission, except that this time, the mechanic got wise.

  • 2006/10/16 at 8:57 pm

    As long as I live, I will never forget the tone Casey had when he asked me why on earth I thought the IDEA club had anything to do with religion, shudder to think, meanwhile in order to be an IDEA officer, you were required to be a christian.

    The brain#$&@ part of it all is, I’m actually not sure he saw the problem.

    Yeah I know, doesn’t seem possible, but…

  • 2006/10/17 at 2:35 pm

    “There was no comparison on my part, neither implied nor explicit.”


    “That’s correct, I did not compare Luskin and Biever to try to figure out whether one was more “wrong” than the other.”

    The point is you compared them at all. You even admit to it in the second statement.

  • 2006/10/17 at 5:48 pm


    No, I do not “admit” to making a comparison in the second statement. I’m trying to classify the logical error you are making. I’m leaning toward “Denying the Antecedent“. I may not have the classification exactly right, but of the fact that you are not making a logical argument I am positive.

    It’s like Paul Nelson’s presentation in 2002 at the 4th World Skeptics Conference. He challenged Ken Miller and I to point out any error in a proposition and the negation of it that he provided. I knew that there was a problem, but I was blocking on why. After the presentation, an audience member pointed out that Nelson had failed to apply DeMorgan’s law in his negation of the first proposition.

  • 2006/10/18 at 2:46 pm

    You list both events in the same post, find something similiar in them both, say there’s something different about them.

    It’s simply disenginous to claim you are not comparing the two events.

  • 2006/10/18 at 2:49 pm


    It’d be as if William Dembski talked about his affair at Baylor, mentions the Witch Hunts, lists how they were like his affair and unlike his affair, and then mantains afterwards that he did not compare the two.

  • 2006/10/18 at 8:02 pm


    Still can’t figure out where there’s a comparison, huh? But I simply *must* have made one, is that the deal? Sorry, reality says no. Like I said, I really dislike the tu quoque fallacy that is a common component of ID argumentation, and I don’t like being a hypocrite. There was no comparison. Deal with it.

  • 2009/06/07 at 1:45 am

    It is now more than two years later, and I am ending up my philosophy degree. Still have no idea what you could possibly mean when you say listing two events side by side is not some sort of value judgement. It is amoral then? So what then? Why make the post?

  • 2009/06/07 at 3:44 am

    I’m unconvinced of the quality of a philosophy education that does not bother with distinguishing moral relativism and absolutism.

    Update: I’m sensitive to the need to job-hunt for the newly graduated. I’ll note that the remarks about education are there to point out that my correspondent’s argument cannot be aided by irrelevancies and fallacies, such as the argument from authority. I’m used to the context of impeaching witnesses, where when someone offers an irrelevant incentive to accept an argument, it becomes fair game. This is apparently a bit of a surprise for my correspondent.

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