* (n) [FAQ] 1. The development of life from non-living systems via natural mechanisms. [den., science] cf. creation. 2. The early part of evolution(3) that the Second Law of Thermodynamics(2) shows is impossible. [conn., SciCre] 3. Spontaneous generation, which Louis Pasteur showed to be impossible. [conn., TAE]
(n) 1. Appellative of Augusta, Countess of Lovelace, the prototypical programmer. 2. Appellative of horribly kludged, defined by committee, systems programming language that threatens to be as popular and widely used as COBOL, mainly due to the US armed forces mandating it for military systems. Also the object of Ted Holden's ire when he is not bashing EMTs. The Lady Augusta would be doubly chagrined.
Ad hominem argument
(np) [FAQ] 1. An argument which relies upon denigrating the opponent and then asserting or implying that such an unworthy arguer could not have a valid argument. "Gould is a Marxist, and thus we can ignore punctuated equilibria," would be an example of an ad hominem argument. Of course, Gould's personal politics have nothing at all to do with the validity of his arguments concerning punctuated equilibria. See fallacy.
(n) 1. Someone who defers belief or non-belief in a god until the evidence is in. Usually accompanied by the assertion that the evidence is not in.
(n) 1. One of two or more forms [of a gene] that can exist at a single locus. [den., from Suzuki et al. 1989] "If one of your parents has blue eyes and yours are brown, then you have two different alleles of the eye color gene -- one for blue and one for brown."
(np) 1. Continental land area about the South Pole that is completely glaciated. [den., science] 2. A boring place where nobody interesting ever lived. [conn., Ted Holden] This is a rare instance where Ted Holden forwards an opinion which Velikovsky didn't.
Argument from Authority
(np) 1. An argument of the form "the proposition X must be true because Y, a recognized authority, says it is true," as a substitute for actual evaluation of X. In conjunction with other evidence, the argument can help support a conclusion by demonstrating that others have come to the same result. Often involves quoting the "authority" in a field outside of their actual field of expertise. (d) The authority actually is speaking on a topic well outside his field of expertise. Example: "William Shockley said, Nature has color-coded groups of individuals so that statistically reliable predictions of their adaptability to intellectually rewarding and effective lives can easily be made and profitably be used by the pragmatic man in the street." While Shockley worked wonders in semiconductor technology, his acumen in sociology was not high. See fallacy. 2. Absolute, incontrovertible evidence for the truth of X, provided Y is God or the Bible. [conn., SciCre, TAE] 3. Absolute, incontrovertible evidence for the truth of X, provided Y is Krishna or the Rig-Vedas. [conn., Kalki] 4. Absolute, incontrovertible evidence for the truth of X, provided Y is Velikovsky or _Aeon_ magazine. [conn., Ted Holden]
Argument from Design
(np) [FAQ] 1. An argument most notably forwarded by the Reverend Paley which brought us the "watchmaker" analogy. At basis, this argues that the complexity and good design seen in natural systems could only be attributed to a superlative designer. Centuries ago, David Hume argued that one can only separate designed from non-designed entities via experiential comparison and contrast. Hence, since we only have one universe, we have no point of reference to argue that the universe is designed (or not designed). More recently, Richard Dawkins has written an excellent summary of at least one way in which good design does not imply the existence and action of a designer. See fallacy. 2. A self-evidently true proposition which evolutionists(2) seem unable to comprehend. [conn., TAE]
Argument from Ignorance
(np) [FAQ] 1. An argument which arrogates omniscience to the arguer, who claims that because he or she cannot postulate a mechanism for a phenomenon that no such mechanism can exist. Omniscience is not an attribute of any current or past participants on talk.origins or the Evolution Echo, so those employing the AfI are usually met with much skepticism or flames. See fallacy.
Argument from Infinite Digression
(np) 1. Style of argumentation which relies upon endlessly claiming faults on the part of one's correspondent on irrelevant or non sequitur points, and consistently refusing to support any claims made. Calls to support a previously made point make for new points of digressive departure, especially via claiming that the correspondent made his statement due to improper assumptions. One noted user of this technique was Darius Lecointe, whose bizarrely styled digressions gave rise to a quantitative measure, the milliDarian, which would describe the Dariosity of a post. The milliDarian scale is sometimes seen applied in responses to newbie SciCre or TAE posters. 1000 milliDarians is the standard Dariosity of the "typical" Darius Lecointe post.
Argumentum ad Assertion Allopecia
(np) 1. The argument that what one says is self-evidently, irrefutably true, and therefore one need provide no supporting evidence. Often combined with Argumentum ad CAPSLOCK, and/or as the opening shot in a round of A rgumentum ad Assertion Repetitio ad Nauseam.
Argumentum ad Assertion Repetitio ad Nauseam
(np) 1. Argument premised on the basis that any assertion repeated often enough is, perforce, true. This rhetorical mode is a frequent companion of Argumentum ad CAPSLOCK, or denigrations of correspondents. There exists great variability in the frequency and timing of the repetitions.
Argumentum ad CAPSLOCK
(np) 1. The LACING of prose text with capitalization used as a HIGHLIGHTING method to demonstrate the INNATE SUPERIORITY of one's own logic over those whose TOUCH-TYPING abilities are WEAKER. Also known as "McElwaine-ization" or erroneously as "Larsonization", after an early post by McElwaine the subject of which was a physicist named Larson. See fallacy.
(n) 1. Someone who is happy to get the order of magnitude correct in the exponent. 2. Someone who often has a pain in the neck while practicing to become one. [conn.]
(n) 1. One who has no belief in a god. 2. One who believes that there is no god. 3. An evilutionist. [conn., TAE] 4. A keyword which indicates that something is being inappropriately cross-posted to or from one of the religion groups.
(n) 1. One who couldn't care less whether there is a god or not.
Asexual reproduction
(n) 1. A method of reproduction in which the genetic material of the new organism(s) is obtained from that of a single existing organism. See sexual reproduction.