August 30, 2008

Yeagley Abysmal Ignorance of Reason

from the Bad Eagle blog

We recently came across this little nugget of pseudo-reasoning by David Yeagley, that we thought should be unpacked for our devout readers. It once again demonstrates the apparent lack of thoughtful commentary by the piano doctor. Instead of following from evidence in support of an idea, Yeagley seems to be skipping the evidence and running straight to a predetermined conclusion. Not very scientific I must say. Also, not very reasoned. First, here is the entire gist of Yeagley’s argument condensed into its major components:

YEAGLEY — “Liberalism is a social form of sublimated male homosexuality... The birth process is a terrifying separation from unity. Remaining psychological life is a prolonged attempt to recover that lost, original unity... Obviously, liberalism is always about destroying one’s society, one’s country, even one’s race. This is all Freudian.. it is clearly homosexual in nature... Religion, politics, sociology, these are the realms of today’s giant, popular affectations of male homosexuality... Liberalism cannot escape its place in the history of behavioral science. It is sublimated male homosexuality” (August 2008).
So let’s look at these bit by bit, and consider each in turn. First:
YEAGLEY — “Liberalism is a social form of sublimated male homosexuality.”
Homosexuality is a product not of social learning but of genetics, and of natural selection. Many creatures living today are self-replicating without male-female interaction, and some contain both male and female components necessary to replicate. So first off, homosexuality is not a social form at all, it is a genetic factor at the level of a loosely defined group of individuals (not at the species nor race level).

So the question becomes, is this group predisposed by homosexuality in some way toward liberalism? Clearly, the answer must be no. Why? Without even considering the rather slippery definition of what exactly “liberalism” may or may not mean (and what Yeagley himself thinks it is), it is entirely possible to disprove Yeagley’s mistaken assumption without any definition at all.

One has only to look at folks who consider themselves to be non-liberals and look for homosexual evidence. If we see homosexual evidence in radical neocons — such as Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, Dennis Hastert, or Bob Allen for example — there must be a negative correlation with homosexuality as an exclusive factor for liberalism.

And if liberalism is perhaps but “one” (among several) outcomes of homosexuality, where potentially, non-liberalism or even conservatism might be yet another outcome of it, one would need to further prove how homosexuality and liberalism actually connect (which Yeagley can’t). Simply ‘declaring it so’ in a blog, is not proof of anything. There is no proof; homosexuality is a product of natural selection. So Yeagley is simply wrong on this point.

In the comments (below), Rob provides another obvious insight as to why Yeagley's speculation is completely bonkers:
ROB — "If 'Liberalism is a social form of sublimated male homosexuality,' how does Yeagley explain all the liberal females? You know, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Kathleen Sebelius, Janet Napolitano, Gloria Steinem, Geraldine Ferraro, Patricia Schroeder, Ann Richards, Bella Abzug, Shirley Chisholm, Betty Friedan, and on and on."
Yes, Yeagley obviously cannot, has not and will not address these issues. He has first off already decided his agenda, and is thereafter looking for whatever ways he can intellectually muster to support his narrow assumptions. This is not scientific reasoning, it is cherry-picking for propaganda purposes only.
YEAGLEY — “The birth process is a terrifying separation from unity. Remaining psychological life is a prolonged attempt to recover that lost, original unity.”
For this little gem, we see faulty causal significance at work in Yeagley’s pseudo-reasoning. “Faulty causal significance” is a mistake (or a purposeful literary trick in the case of propaganda) of an assumed factor which has been falsely reduced into a singular and particular cause of something observed. In truth, Yeagley has championed a particular cause for his declared result, but there may be many other, and potentially greater, causes not properly studied and rather omitted from Yeagley’s consideration.

From Yeagley’s above assertion, we might assume that everyone goes through their entire life suffering from separation anxiety directly from losing their mothers in what might otherwise be considered as human ‘maturation.’ People mature in different ways and at different rates. We need not be scientists to see the truth of this fact. Why pin all of human suffering on the birth process, when there is so much other evidence for suffering and loss everywhere in abundance?

No, Yeagley has missed many other events in human maturation that inform our growth. Just to name a few, how about losing our “baby teeth” and what that entails. What about learning to “share” for the first time for those born as an only child? What about learning that flames can hurt you? What about learning that electric wall outlets are no place in which to insert a table knife? What about learning about the permanency of death when a pet or a relative dies? If one is looking for evidence of loss and suffering, there is a ready abundance that has precious little to do with Oedipus complexes, for sure.

No, Yeagley’s assertion has made a proverbial mountain out of a molehill, and failed to account for all the other ways in which loss might inform growth. Further, Yeagley again fails to delineate any link at all between loss and homosexuality, nor between loss and liberalism. He has provided no support at all for his main thesis above, and scientifically it is much easier to see that he is, in fact, mistaken in what he IS asserting.
YEAGLEY — “Obviously, liberalism is always about destroying one’s society, one’s country, even one’s race. This is all Freudian.. it is clearly homosexual in nature.”
The very definition of a liberal or liberalism does not support Yeagley's claims above. Here is just a snippet from the community-defined Wikipedia description on Liberalism:
“Liberalism is a broad array of related ideas and theories of government that consider individual liberty to be the most important political goal.[1] Modern liberalism has its roots in the Age of Enlightenment... Liberalism rejected many foundational assumptions that dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the Divine Right of Kings, hereditary status, and established religion. Social progressivism, the belief that traditions do not carry any inherent value and social practices ought to be continuously adjusted for the greater benefit of humanity, is a common component of liberal ideology. Liberalism is also strongly associated with the belief that human society should be organized in accordance with certain unchangeable and inviolable rights. Different schools of liberalism are based on different conceptions of human rights, but there are some rights that all liberals support to some extent, including rights to life, liberty, and property” (Wikipedia 2008).
Do you see anything about Freud, Oedipus, homosexuality, or race, in the above description? No, neither do we. If the factors Yeagley claims are fundamental to Liberalism, or so ‘very’ important to people claiming to be liberals, why don’t these concerns get mentioned first and foremost in this short description? Obviously, liberalism does not harbor any of the ranted assertions of David Yeagley.

And, once again, Yeagley has failed to connect the dots whatsoever: no scientific connection outlined between sexual orientation, liberalism, and race. Yeagley may venture a blog opinion on a causal connection, but of course there isn’t one. Yeagley’s appears (to those not paying attention) that he’s aiming at a scientific target in his ranting, but his sights are faulty. He’s not really looking at science at all, just aspiring to commence a spectacle without any supportive evidence. Not only is Yeagley’s approach lazy, it is not well reasoned.
YEAGLEY — “Religion, politics, sociology, these are the realms of today’s giant, popular affectations of male homosexuality... Liberalism cannot escape its place in the history of behavioral science. It is sublimated male homosexuality.”
From the above declaration, Yeagley concludes that liberalism is historically seen as resulting from a Freudian condition of loss and separation. However, once again, Yeagley has not put forth even the smallest evidence in support of his assumption. Even more, nowhere is there any convincing evidence of historians that share his view, nor are scientists ready to declare the process of natural selection is the result of homosexuality.

And lastly, do practitioners of religion reduce their activities to a central philosophy of homosexuality? I have serious doubts about that claim, I must say. The “Holy Trinity,” maybe. “Jesus H,” perhaps. The big “Dog” himself, more probably yes. But worshiping and praying to homosexuality? I have my doubts. No, it appears that Yeagley’s rants are abysmally devoid of thoughtful reasoning just as much as scientific understanding.

Again, it is painfully clear, that Yeagley’s made-up persona, the icon “Bad Eagle” who never actually existed as Yeagley claims he did, does not makeup for the conspicuous lack of science and reason in his blog rants. The influence of his so-called “Bad Eagle” icon suggests nothing to our eyes but continued embarrassment and foolishness. If I had been Bad Eagle, I’d be rolling in my grave at this point over Yeagley’s wild and unsupported pontifications. But not to worry, “Bad Eagle” is also unsupported by the historical evidence, so no real harm done. If Yeagley wants to keep his imaginary friend, c'est la vie.