But "Ozziejoe," a new commenter as far as I can tell, took the exact wording of a criticism I had previously made of another blogger and turned it around on me:
To call those with whom you disagree "Peanut Gallery" and "intellectual equivalent of the (inbred) Hapsburgs" is a clear example of the ad hominem fallacy, which involves a personal attack on the person you disagree with. I don't think Martin means this in any hostile way (in fact, I think he is partly just poking fun), but it is still a logical mistake--and one that has little to do with the merit of whatever position someone holds.This was clever, I'll have to admit. My hat is off to him (her?).
But he should probably know that I do not use the term "Peanut Gallery" as a term of derision. In fact, I don't know that it was ever much used that way. The "Peanut Gallery" here is a group of hardy secularist souls who stop in almost daily so they can heckle, hoot, and catcall, and I give them pretty wide latitude to do so. I think it is essential to the roisterous ambiance here at Vital Remnants. I use it with a sense of affection.
I don't know what I'd do without them.
These are all people who, if they lived closer, I would be glad to invite over to smoke cigars and argue--something I would enjoy even more, I admit, if they were nonsmokers.
Also, the term has no logical role in my argument. I did not say that they were wrong because they were members of the Peanut Gallery. I merely used it to identify the group to which I was referring. So it could hardly be considered a logical fallacy.
I also said that I thought they suffered, like Darwinists in general, from the ill effects of "intellectual inbreeding," and compared them, metaphorically, to the Hapsburgs, the Austrian noble house that ruled until the mid-18th century who, because of marrying their cousins and other close relations, accumulated a number of interesting genetic defects, including hemophilia, sterility, and the "Hapsburg lip," a malady that prevented Charles II from chewing.
I don't have anything against the Hapsburgs. I'm sure they were very nice people. It's just that, when you bumped into them, they bled all over you.
I was not referring to any moral shortcomings on the part the part of the august members of the group of Regulars here, but merely to the intellectual habit Darwinists generally seem to possess whereby they dismiss the views of those who aren't intellectually close to them out of hand, and refuse to seriously consider the nonconsanguinous ideas of those outside their immediate intellectual relations. A habit that results in a strange kind of intellectual sterility. As far as I know, they are all still able to chew, in an intellectual sense, but their intellectual systems have a hard time dealing with unfamiliar ideas.
This was on evidence in the post I referred to when they refused (with the possible exception of Art, who stepped entirely out of his scientistic zone and gave me a syllogism which, however, led nowhere) to offer clear reasons why anyone who held to a creationist position could possibly be considered a critical thinker, other than that they thought creationists were mistaken in their positions.
Again, I was offering this as a metaphorical description of the situation; it was not part of the main argument of my post.