In the the following post-copied from The Skeptical Review site-Bible skeptic Steven Carr claims that Christian apologist Robert Turkel/"J.P. Holding" misquoted him by altering and redirecting a link in his quote and that Turkel then lied about doing it. An examination of the issue indicates that Turkel did misquote him and did lie about it. "So what?" you may be asking. Is this really such a big deal? If you interact with Turkel or consider him some sort of apologist hero, it is a big deal. It is important to recognize that he is willing to resort to dishonesty on the most petty of issues. If Turkel is willing to lie about something so frivolous and so easy to investigate, what would prevent him from lying about those issues that are not as open to examination?
Here is Steven Carr's post:
There are two conflicting claims here. Carr claims that Turkel altered a link in his quote to direct it to the tektonics.org site, and Turkel claims that a perfectly innocent mistake only made the link "disappear," nothing more. Who should be believed? Unfortunately Turkel's orginal article is not available for examination, and Carr's specific description of the editing of his quote is not available either. However, Turkel is well known for misquoting Bible skeptics, for not providing links to skeptics' responses and for playing games with links. For example, Turkel does not make Carr's link a hot link when he finally does replace it. Turkel is well known for misrepresenting those he debates with and for altering his own responses in Internet debates after the other person has already responded. In short, Turkel has a history of dishonest behavior. Carr does not. It is difficult to believe Carr would make such a charge without good reason. And instead of responding to Carr's specific charge that he changed the link to direct people to an article on the tektonics.org site, Turkel only says that the link disappeared. He does not mention Carr's specific charge that he redirected the link to his site-apparently he does not want to draw attention to it. Why not? If Turkel knew it wasn't true, why didn't he describe it in detail to his fans and then ask Steve to demonstrate his false charge? This would be a golden opportunity to expose Steve as a devious, fabricating Bible skeptic and as such it would be far too tempting for Turkel to pass up. Turkel's soft pedal of Steve's specific charge is a strong indication that it is true.
Is Turkel's assertion that the link only disappeared believable? Here is what Turkel claims:
"Note to Skeptic X fans: Lately Stevie accuses me of editing out the link above. No, I didn't -- I copied and pasted directly from what Stevie wrote, and the brackets around it made it 'disappear' from the browser text; it was still in the HTML. Same with the note on tillstill7-5 just above. I have now removed the brackets around both. Nice try at an accusation, Stevie, but it won't wash. "http://www.tektonics.com.org/brooksbonked.html
"As a side note, Brooks recently added a link to a message by little Stevie Carr claiming I 'lied' about brackets erasing a URL from the browser. Think so? Does anyone see the URL after this sentence? No? Hit 'View' on your browser, then 'Source'. Get the code on your word processor and then do a word search for this sentence. I copied the URLs right from the TSR website, which have pointed brackets around them just like those. And these guys do HTML editing on their own?"
As an aside, do you notice how Turkel turns around what would be an example of his own incompetence and uses it to insult others? This is a classic "J.P. Holding" apologetic strategem. What also seems to be in play here is a calculated display of false bravado, something that is described in a tektonics.org essay:
"If you play the nice guy, you're likely to get swarmed, not by any irrefutable arguments, but rather, by a veritable skyscraper of excess and inflammatory verbiage. And unfortunately, there are those, on both sides of the argument, who are persuaded by such things. We are humans, not computers, and a show of confidence or arrogance does, to some, seem to equate with being the victor."
In any case, here is Carr's original quote as it is copied from the original post:
http://exposed.faithweb.com/blunder.html is a most interesting article showing that , although Turkel considers himself a greater scholar in Greek than the people who translated the NIV, he actually cannot even count how many times a Greek word appears in a sentence.
There are no brackets around the quote on the actual web page. Turkel is apparently trying to claim that he copied from the source code rather than directly from the page. It is not clear why he would copy the source code but for the sake of argument let's say that he did. Here is the original source code for the original quote, taken from the original post:
As can be seen, there are two separate but identical URLs and there are brackets around one instance of the URL. The other URL is NOT enclosed in brackets. This is a standard Internet hotlink. The URL within the brackets directs web page visitors to the visible, highlighted link, which is, of course, http://exposed.faithweb.com/blunder.html. The highlighted address below-the URL that is NOT in brackets-is what would show up in a browser as a hotlink if this entire code was cut and pasted into a web page.
What is the upshot all this this? It is that Turkel is a liar. He did not copy directly from Carr's Internet post nor did he cut and paste the underlying code into his page because if he did, the Internet link would not "disappear" as he claims (it is not believable that linkmaster extrordinaire Turkel went to the source code and copied just the bracketed address, missed the highlighted address, and then continued on and copied the rest of Steve's comments). But in any case, Carr's charge is not that the link disappeared, but that Turkel changed the link to direct people to an article on his site. The evidence indicates that Turkel did change the link and that he lied to try and paper this over. Apparently the "brackets" lie was the best lie he could come up with in the heat of the moment.
It would seem that Turkel has been caught in three or four related acts of dishonesty here: When he initially made up an explanation for a "repeated" word in the Bible, he was being dishonest because he presented his answer as if there was some genuine justification for it when-as is clear now-there was not. When he altered Steve's link to direct people to his site rather than to the article Steve cited, he was being dishonest and deceitful. When he subsequently claimed that he did not redirect Steve's link but only made an innocent mistake, he was lying outright. When he charged Steve Carr with dishonesty, he was lying outright and being hypocritical as well.
As can be seen here, this type of duplicitous behavior by Turkel is well known. It is certainly strange that someone who claims to be fighting to spread God's truth has to use so much dishonesty to do so.
Or maybe it isn't.
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