TakeOnIt
Compare opinions of world leading experts and influencers.

The Incoherent Pitch

Pitch Type:  Analytical 

The Incoherent Pitch claims the opposing position is incoherent. While this pitch is often accompanied by other pitches that attack the people holding the position, this pitch attacks the position, rather than the people who hold it.

What's a Pitch?

A pitch is a label for a commonly used argument or persuasion strategy.

Blog Post on Pitches

Instances

Richard Dawkins    Evolutionary Biologist, Writer, Atheism Activist
...no serious theologian takes the Old Testament literally anymore... We choose the good verses in the Bible and we reject the bad. Whatever criterion we use to choose the good verses and throw out the bad, that criterion is available to us anyway whether we are religious or not. Why bother to pick verses? Why not just go straight for the morality?

Noam Chomsky    Linguistics & Philosophy Professor
The US administration would] have had to be quite mad to [orchestrate the 911 attacks]. It would have had to involve a large number of people, something would be very likely to leak, pretty quickly, they'd all be lined up before firing squads and the Republican Party would be dead forever. That would have happened whether the plan succeeded or not, and success was at best a long shot; it would have been extremely hard to predict what would happen.

Robert Todd Carroll    Philosophy Professor
The main reasons for believing in UFOs are the questionable interpretations of visual experiences, the testimony of many people, the inability to distinguish science fiction from science, the willingness to trust incompetent men telling fantastic stories, the ability to distrust all contrary sources as being part of an evil conspiracy to withhold the truth, and a desire for contact with the world above. Belief in aliens and UFOs is akin to belief in supernatural beings.

Frank Steiger    Engineer
The creationist position would necessarily discard the entire mathematical framework of thermodynamics and would provide no basis for the engineering design of turbines, refrigeration units, industrial pumps, etc. It would do away with the well-developed mathematical relationships of physical chemistry, including the effect of temperature and pressure on equilibrium constants and phase changes.

Steven Pinker    Psychology Professor
There is not the slightest reason to believe in a coming singularity. The fact that you can visualize a future in your imagination is not evidence that it is likely or even possible. Look at domed cities, jet-pack commuting, underwater cities, mile-high buildings, and nuclear-powered automobiles--all staples of futuristic fantasies when I was a child that have never arrived. Sheer processing power is not a pixie dust that magically solves all your problems.

Ralph Nader    Politician, Consumer Activist
...let's start with the technological insanity of the nuclear fuel cycle-from uranium mines and their deadly tailings, to the refining and fabrication into fuel rods, to the multi-shielded dome-like nuclear plant, to the necessity for perfect operation of the facility, to the still unresolved problems of the location and containment of hot radioactive wastes and contaminated material for the next 200,000 years!

Kenneth Miller    Biology Professor, Christian
Is there any possibility within the limits of science as we know it, that this earth is between 6000 and 10000 years old? The answer is no, not unless somebody has fooled with the laws of chemistry and physics. ... To accept that the geological evidence could tell us that the earth is as old as it is and yet that the Earth was actually created 6000 years ago requires that [the] creator [is] a charlatan, and I don't reject that on scientific grounds, I reject that on theological grounds.

Huber Warner    Biochemistry Professor
Each one of the specific proposals that comprise the SENS agenda is ... exceptionally optimistic. Therefore, by multiplying the probabilities of success, the claim that all of these proposals can be accomplished, although presented with confidence [by de Grey], seems nonsensical. Consequently, the idea [we] will not only retard ageing, but also reverse it ... and do so within our lifetime, is so far from plausible that it commands no respect at all within the informed scientific community.

Austin Cline    Philosopher
It's not that [theists are] lacking in labels and characteristics to attribute to their gods, it's just that so many of these characteristics contradict each other. To put it simply, not all of these characteristics can be true because one cancels out the other out or a combination of two (or more) leads to a logically impossible situation. When this happens, the definition is no longer coherent or understandable.
Context: Does God exist?

Richard Eskow    Writer, Executive Consultant
Most militant atheists don't even define what they mean by "religion." They use irrational and literalist beliefs - e.g. that "Jesus will return in 2007" - interchangeably with subtler forms of religious expression. They argue without proof that rational "religious moderates" are equally as destructive as fundamentalists, while making bold and undocumented statements like "religious faith perpetuates man's inhumanity to man."

Deepak Chopra    Inventor of Quantum Healing
How does nature take creative leaps? In the fossil record there are repeated gaps that no "missing link" can fill. The most glaring is the leap by which inorganic molecules turned into DNA. ... If mutations are random, why does the fossil record demonstrate so many positive mutations -- those that lead to new species -- and so few negative ones? ... How can whole systems appear all at once? The leap from reptile to bird is proven by the fossil record ... to our embarrassment....

Patrick Michaels    Climatology Professor
When Antarctica was cooling, some climate scientists said that was consistent with computer models for global warming. When a new study, such as Steig's, says it's warming, well that's just fine with the models, too. That's right: people glibly relate both warming and cooling of the frigid continent to human-induced climate change.

James M. Buchanan    Nobel Laureate in Economics
...no self-respecting economist would claim that increases in the minimum wage increase employment. Such a claim, if seriously advanced, becomes equivalent to a denial that there is even minimum scientific content in economics, and that, in consequence, economists can do nothing but write as advocates for ideological interests. Fortunately, only a handful of economists are willing to throw over the teaching of two centuries; we have not yet become a bevy of camp-following whores.