Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Simple Plus Stupid Divided by the Bible Equals Bob Dutko!

For all of Bob's bluster, there are some things Bob just can't do.  He won't challenge a theoretical physicist on how the laws of thermodynamics work.  He won't challenge a epidemiologist on the efficacy of vaccines.  He won't challenge a practicing evolutionary biologist on how epigenetics influences natural selection.

Bob won't do these things because he can't.  For all of his bluster, Bob is an amateurish, simplistic man whose lack of formal training prevents him from dealing with complex issues.  For example, this is Bob explaining why, for him, "life" begins at conception:


So Bob has two reasons that a fertilized egg is "alive" at conception:  First, it has  complete, unique genetic information, distinguishing it from all other fertilized eggs.  Secondly, Bob has the Bible.  Specifically, Isaiah 46:3.

Examining Bob's first argument we can see the claim is straightforward:  Because the genetic sequence is complete and unique, all it needs to do is develop to be a complete human.  The lack of arms and legs and blood and heart doesn't detract from the fact that it is "alive," and because it's alive, it is a person.  Therefore abortion should be outlawed.

Now, personally, I don't know of anyone who claims that a fertilized egg isn't "alive," so Bob is starting with a straw man.  Nevertheless, and more importantly, note that Bob's claim is inherently reductionistic:  To be a person, all you must possess is unique DNA.  It's not DNA plus anything else, it's simply unique DNA.

Following Bob's logic, abortion should be permitted in pregnancies involving identical twins. Remember, identical twins occur when a fertilized egg splits into two separate embryos with each embryo possessing identical DNA.  Thus, aborting one of the embryos is completely permissible because it would cause no loss of unique genetic information.  Thus, using Bob's own argument, we have found an instance in which Bob must agree that abortion is completely acceptable.

Another massive flaw in Bob's reasoning are instances of embryos with damaged genetic information.  Down syndrome is congenital disorder caused by having an extra 21st chromosome.  In other words, an embryo with Downs syndrome has extra, albeit unique, DNA.  Using Bob's argument, does having more DNA make a person more "alive?"  What, exactly, is the relationship between DNA and being "alive?"  Now much damage to the DNA can occur before the fertilized egg isn't "alive?"

(Yes, I'll grant that my Down syndrome example is absurd.  But all I'm doing is testing Bob's claim.  These conclusions are the consequences of Bob's argument, which is not only absurd, it's simplistic and stupid.  Bob can't see the problems inherent in his claims because he denies the true complexity of the issues he babbles about.)

As for his second claim, that Isaiah 46:3 somehow proves that God instills person-hood upon conception, Bob is clearly distorting the text!  Isaiah 46 is God's statement to the Israelites in which He claims to have protected and cared for them since their infancyThe word "conceive" doesn't appear in a proper translation of the text!

Not only is Bob's argument completely ridiculous, he has to distort the Bible to achieve his goals!

Doesn't it make you wonder what kind of company Crawford Broadcasting is when they employ such a shyster?


Matt said...

Do you know the date of this recording? I think I may call Bob on Friday and challenge him on this! There are few things that anger and irritate me more than someone misquoting the Bible to make a point (even if it's a point I agree with).

Matt said...

Actually, I just found the text. The NIV uses the word "conceived."


Irl Hudnutt said...


And you make my point for me. I used two different version of the Bible in my post, the first being the Catholic version and the second being the Jewish version which includes commentary by Rashi.

How can Bob claim Isaiah supports his claim when I can easily find versions in which the word "conceived" isn't in every version of the text?

Plus, even if the word is in the NIV, why does the conceive equate to "the moment a sperm hits an egg?"

Another definition for "conceive" is "to have the idea for." Thus, In Isaiah, God could be saying "I bore the burden of you from the moment I even thought of creating you!" Nothing about that passage allows a person to claim that God is conferring personhood upon a fertilized egg.

One thing is clear: Bob is distorting the passage in Isaiah to suit his purposes.

And to answer your question, Bob made his "argument" on August 20th.

Joe said...

I have personal experience with Bob Dutco and his "logic" as I've called into his show several times as Joe from Lake Orion and have even made "The Best of Bob Dutco".

In an agrument about the separation of church and state, Bob asked me if I (and the ACLU of which I'm a member) knew more about the Constitution than the founding fathers. In technical logical terms, this is a fallacy of presumption, particularly known as Complex Question. It's like asking "Have you stopped beating your wife?" It is a loaded question and any way you answer you lose. Unfortunately, I hadn't taken my Logic class at Oakland Community College (I got a "B") before calling in. I dare him to ask me now.

That's Dutco "logic".

Joseph Corlett