A short consideration of the practices and impact of professional liars.
To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. – Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, 1st Ed., p. 186.
There you have it. Conclusive proof that not even Charles Darwin though biological evolution was a plausible theory.
Here is that same quotation, this time with the rest of the paragraph it formed a part of, which can be found on page 186 of Origin of Species.
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“To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated; but I may remark that several facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound.”
“…then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real.”
Oh, so it appears that Mr Darwin was confident of his own conclusions, and that whatever we may decide 150 years after publication of his Origin of species, He did not regard the theory of evolution as “ absurd in the highest possible degree”.
So why do so many public critics of the modern scientific theory of evolution continue to cite an excerpt from Darwin’s book to claim he doubted his own theory? That’s simple. It is because they are liars.
They are not ignorant, they are not confused, they are not ill-prepared or mistaking the meaning of Darwin’s words. Individuals citing the words “absurd in the highest possible degree” as evidence that Darwin discredited his own theory are taking a statement out of it’s original context, stripping it of its original, and clearly intended meaning, and purposefully mis-representing a new and false meaning.
There is no excuse for this, because the original context remains, forever refuting the deliberate distortions of Darwin’s intended and clearly expressed meaning.
Of course, anybody who wants to is entirely welcome to regard the biological theory of evolution as valid or invalid. My own opinion on that theory may also be inferred – along with the caveat that my own education in the science of biology goes no farther than what was taught in Canada at college level in the 1990s. And I have forgotten most of it. Biology, or indeed, evolutionary theory is not really the topic of this discussion, rather it is provided here as example of a rhetorical practice increasingly common among opponents of a small but growing human rights movement.♠
This is the practice of quote-mining. The lifting of a statement from it’s source, stripping it of context, and re-attributing to it a new meaning – usually of sinister quality. Some opponents of human rights are so adept at this that along with a degree of snark, so heavy handed it borders on self-parody, the quote-mine supported ad-hominem has become a signature move.
However, recognition of skill should not be mistaken for respect, because for any rhetorician to rely on a developed virtuosity in lying indicts not only themselves, but anyone who relies on such individuals for a source of opinion. The developing practice in opposition to human rights, of quote-mining goes beyond pathetic, into the realm of craven, futile depravity.
I admit to a dislike of women and the violent ideology of feminism being endlessly portrayed as synonyms for each other.♠♠ However, it seems that no matter how many times it is explained that a thing formed from (bad) ideas – an ideology, and a group of people, identifiable by sex, are two distinct things, gender ideologues continue to conflate them.
A year ago, I wrote an article focusing on the necessary public repudiation of violence, and the responsibility of open opposition to those who advocated or promoted a climate of acceptable violence, including those who openly advocate murder, such as a group of swedish feminists, and eugenics advocates on the squalid radical-hub. Statements from my original piece were quoted by at least one amoral zombie, and reframed to present my view as one which called for violence.
Of course, the author of those yellow pixels might not have realized that the original article, along with it’s unambiguous opposition to violence was posted on a site with substantially higher traffic than his own. The craven and stupid dishonesty of the quote-miner was apparent to all but a few, blinded by their own ideological goggles.
More recently, I had the dubious pleasure of arguing online with somebody so detached from an ethical compass that they tried to convince me, in the person of my online handle that an article written by me in opposition to anti-gay bigotry and racism actually advocated racism and anti-gay bigotry. The mind boggles.
The statement used to “prove” this point was:
“When men are not expected to die without complaint any time higher gas prices make it inconvenient for soccer moms to drive from their gated community to the local grass pitch, or any other time men’s utility trumps their humanity, well then maybe I’ll entertain the usefulness of keeping the gays or the darkies out of the club house. …“
Well, there you have it, incontestable proof of racism and homophobia. But wait! What’s this? The next words in the paragraph from which this quotation was exhumed were as follows:
“…On the other hand, maybe I’ll still think it’s a stupid argument. But I do know that for a so called men’s rights movement to marginalize men based on who they want in their bed – well, it’s beneath us.”
That clarifying statement wasn’t in a new paragraph, it wasn’t even on a new line. It’s omission in an attempt to establish evidence of some kind of bigotry was purposeful. It was simply a lie, used to cultivate the perception of hatred.
This tactic of ham-fisted deception is becoming increasingly common in the oppositional writing of those who oppose the human rights of men and boys. This may indicate a creeping awareness of the diminishing effect of shaming language on men who define themselves as humans. Unfurtunately, rather than attempting to field substantive arguments, in desperation, the trend appears to be double-down on stupid, and use quotes of of context to justify the claims “ you see? You see? They really do hate women”.
However, absent of any substantive argument, opponents of human rights desperate for purchase in a rapidly shifting landscape turn to inept attempts at slander.
Disinterest in the opinion of yellow journalism is transmuted to hatred for the demographic of the authors. An analysis of a standard visual trope used in porn is transmuted to obsession with porn and an automatic assumed hatred of women. These pathetic attempts at caricature of evil are is so sadly predictable that I regularly add visual prompts to my own writing to make it easier for liars to re-characterize statements shaved of their original context and re-painted in colours of hate.
Unfortunately, for them, dialling up use of circumstantial ad hominem arguments might have worked when the issue of male human rights was a single-sided monologue from the camp of gender ideologues. However, while mainstream publications do not yet feature MRM writers, a substantial borrowing of opinion and rhetoric from the mens movement is continuously evident.
The practice of quote-mining, and dishonest attribution of malice to re-contextualized fragments of writing is increasingly a practice of obvious self-indictment by bad actors. For those whose toolkit contains little besides snark and misrepresentation, the self-immolation of credibility becomes a slow motion public spectacle. For some, life’s purpose may be to serve as a warning to others, just as a visible shipwreck marks hazards for other vessels to avoid. However, as inadvertently noble as such purpose may be, my contempt for deliberate and habitual liars is boundless.
Individuals who distinguish themselves by repeated and blatant commission of the specialized lie of quote mining will be remembered as public examples on the wrong side of what is a human rights movement.
Even without conscientious intention by the proponents of human rights, some deceitful and corrupt individuals naturally spawn a renown for themselves which will outlast them. Bottom feeding quote miners indulging in snarky feats of futrelian deceit likely do win rhetorical brownie points, at least when seen through their own ideological goggles. But they are cementing their own a public persona which will wear about as comfortably as klan robes do at a NAACP meeting. The altered landscape this movement is building is not someday, it is now, and it is coming faster all the time.
For individuals in opposition to human rights of men and boys now, whether through lying, repetition of old, false dogmas, or the craven tactic of mis-represented and mis-attributed meaning, the comfort of a formerly one-sided monologue is over. The public squirming we see in attempts to render MRA voices silent or apologetic will escalate before it abates. But that’s okay.
Individuals accustomed to sole control of the dialogue may be unable to conceive of men as anything besides violent, oppressive subhumans. And, starting from that position, men are to be kept in check through ongoing disenfranchisement. So, lying is just another tool in that “noble” goal. However, the terrain is changing to a world which sees the old opponents of men’s human rights as monsters. But I’m sure that somebody, somewhere felt badly for the nazis once too.
♠ Critics may be tempted to the claim that a comparison is made between the MRM, or any author within it to Charles Darwin. Go on, try to sell that idea.
♠♠ Oh look! he said “I admit to a dislike of women..” tee he he, let’s paint that up in the colours of a sexist hate monger!! woo!