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Simon Conway Morris

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Second, and far more serious, are particular examples of a sophistry and sleight of hand in the misuse of metaphor, and more importantly a distortion of metaphysics in support of an evolutionary programme.
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p.314

 
Simon Conway Morris

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Wells's book rests entirely on a flawed syllogism: hence, textbooks illustrate evolution with examples; these examples are sometimes presented in incorrect or misleading ways; therefore evolution is a fiction. The second premise is not generally true, and even if it were, the conclusion would not follow. To compound the absurdity, Wells concludes that a cabal of evil scientists, "the Darwinian establishment", uses fraud and distortion to buttress the crumbling edifice of evolution. Wells' final chapter urges his readers to lobby the US government to eliminate research funding for evolutionary biology.

 
Jonathan Wells
 

When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: For it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.

 
David Hume
 

Philosophy: Why, you Precocious Pederast! You Palpable Pervert!
Sophistry: Pelt me with roses!
Philosophy: You Toadstool! O Cesspool!
Sophistry: Wreath my hairs with lilies!
Philosophy: Why, you Parricide!
Sophistry: Shower me with gold! Look, don't you see I welcome your abuse?
Philosophy: Welcome it, monster? In my day we would have cringed with shame.
Sophistry: Whereas now we're flattered. Times change. The vices of your age are stylish today.
(heavily rewritten and embellished tr. Arrowsmith 1962, p. 70)

 
Aristophanes
 

In Sartre's style of argument, German metaphysics met French sophistry in a kind of European Coal and Steel Community producing nothing but rhetorical gas.

 
Clive James
 

Women are like tricks by sleight of hand,
Which, to admire, we should not understand.

 
William Congreve
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