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Red Herrings, Language, and Authoritative Thinking

Part two of the interview I did with Bob Enyart is now online. I want to discuss a few of the techniques that I noticed Bob used in this episode. You can listen to the hour plus interview at the end of this post. Note that Bob cut off the books I was recommending at the end.

I want to call out his use of language as a red herring as part of his authoritative thinking. When he talks about evolution (which I specifically told him I didn’t want to discuss but knew he would), he discusses it as “Darwinism.” In the first part of the interview I called him out on that and attempted to do so again here. This is a way to shift the authority from the scientific method to a single person, in this case Charles Darwin. Then he uses Darwin as the authority and attempts to undermine that authority as a way of undermining evolution. He links Darwin to “Social Darwinism” and he accuses Darwin of being a racist. In this way he links evolution to racism, eugenics, and Hitler.

But the fact is that Darwin isn’t the authority on evolution. The scientific method is the authority on evolution. That is the real difference between religion and science. The Gospel accounts are authoritative. If those who wrote it were not actually there (and we know they were not) or if their character was in disrepute, then the testimony would be invalid. The Origin of Species, while it was Darwin’s observations, is not authoritative. If Darwin didn’t observe what he claimed or lied about his observations, it makes no difference because science can and has made similar observations and then some. Evolution is not contingent on Darwin’s testimony.

Enyart’s continued use of the terms “Darwinism,” “Hitler,” “The Nazis,” and even “Socialism” is a red herring.


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