or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Like Christmas, some things come around on a regular basis; maybe not so regular that you could set your watches or your calendars by them, but dependably repetitive nonetheless.

Here's a sentence from a blog written by creationist chucklehead Ray Comfort* as quoted in The Friendly Atheist:

It’s as solid as a rock (solider, if there’s such a word).

Yes, there's such a word. Twelve seconds with a browser will tell you that there's such a word.

I've said before that this is called aporia, which is a figure of speech in which one expresses doubt about that which someone knows, could know, or should know. (You can see many more figures of speech on this fantastic page.) But now I have my own doubts. Aporia, or any other figuring of speech, has to be, or ought to be, deliberate, and this sort of thing is not really a figure of speech but mere sloth--the artifact of someone who was so busy making a point that he couldn't be bothered to look something up, and so resorted to a cheap, shoddy rhetorical tactic to cover his indolence. I was briefly tempted to call it "dim-witted", but I suppose we ought to be generous and never attribute to stupidity what is equally well explained by laziness.

* He made a video with Kirk Cameron in which he proved the existence of his god by explaining that only an intelligent designer could have produced a piece of food which was clearly meant for human consumption: individually wrapped for your hygienic protection, shaped to fit the mouth, ridged in a way that seems to mimic the human grip, and so forth. A couple of problems with that. First, the banana in the wild looks nothing at all like the modern yellow banana, which is the product of quite a bit of human engineering, crafted by generations of growers and botanists to be visually and gustatorily appealing. (Most wild bananas are small and dark, and rather than being soft and pulpy and delicious under the skin, they're filled with inedible seed pods.) And second, does he really, truly want to be arguing that something longer than it is wide and perfectly sized for grasping by the human hand was supernaturally designed to be inserted into the human mouth?


Post a Comment

<< Home