Violence on the increase Essay No. Human civilization has come a long way from the Stone Age. Yet man continues to be violent in his conduct. A man cannot walk on the street without looking over his shoulder because of fear of assault.
Contextomy[ edit ] Contextomy refers to the selective excerpting of words from their original linguistic context in a way that distorts the source's intended meaning, a practice commonly referred to as "quoting out of context".
The problem here is not the removal of a quote from its original context per se as all quotes arebut to the quoter's decision to exclude from the excerpt certain nearby phrases or sentences which become "context" by virtue of the exclusion that serve to clarify the intentions behind the selected words.
To arouse anti-semitic sentiments among the weekly's working class Christian readership, Streicher regularly published truncated quotations from Talmudic texts that, in their shortened form, appear to advocate greed, slavery, and ritualistic murder. The lure of media exposure associated with being "blurbed" by a major studio may encourage some critics to write positive reviews of mediocre movies.
However, even when a review is negative overall, studios have few reservations about excerpting it in a way that misrepresents the critic's opinion.
For example, the ad copy for New Line Cinema's thriller Se7en attributed to Owen Gleiberman, a critic for Entertainment Weeklyused the comment "a small masterpiece. Fishburne's 'Bumpy' is fierce, magnetic, irresistible even… But even this actor can only do so much.
The MPAA reviews advertisements for tone and content rather than the accuracy of their citations. Some studios seek approval from the original critic before running a condensed quotation. Complaints about the practice predate known use of the term: Their [Creationists'] favorite sport is stringing together quotations, carefully and sometimes expertly taken out of context, to show that nothing is really established or agreed upon among evolutionists.
Some of my colleagues and myself have been amused and amazed to read ourselves quoted in a way showing that we are really antievolutionists under the skin. This has been compared to the Christian theological method of prooftexting: Pseudoscientists often reveal themselves by their handling of the scientific literature.
Their idea of doing scientific research is simply to read scientific periodicals and monographs. They focus on words, not on the underlying facts and reasoning.
They take science to be all statements by scientists. Science degenerates into a secular substitute for sacred literature.
Any statement by any scientist can be cited against any other statement. Every statement counts and every statement is open to interpretation.
Morris founder of ICR have been accused of producing books of mined quotes. All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt. Gradualists usually extract themselves from this dilemma by invoking the extreme imperfection of the fossil record.
Although I reject this argument for reasons discussed in ["The Episodic Nature of Evolutionary Change"]let us grant the traditional escape and ask a different question. Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists—whether through design or stupidity, I do not know—as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms.
The punctuations occur at the level of species; directional trends on the staircase model are rife at the higher level of transitions within major groups.
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 degree.
This sentence, sometimes truncated to the phrase "absurd in the highest degree", is often presented as part of an assertion that Darwin himself believed that natural selection could not fully account for the complexity of life.
The quote in context is 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 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.
In some instances, commentators have used the term quote mining, comparing the practice of others with creationist quote mining.
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