Sunday, August 29, 2004

Hunter in Wonderland, Prelude

It seems that Cornelius Hunter has read my recent eviscerations of his essay in William Dembski's anthology Uncommon Dissent. He was not amused. He has offered a reply here.

Over the next two weeks or so I will post a series of replies to Hunter's comments. As a warm-up, just let me say that as I was reading Hunter's essay I was reminded of a paragraph from Woody Allen's short story The Gossage-Vardebedian Papers, which is surely the finest story ever written on the subject of postal chess:

Received your latest letter today, and while it was just shy of coherence, I think I can see where your bewilderment lies. From your enclosed diagram, it has become apparent to me that for the past six weeks we have been playing two completely different chess games—myself according to our correspondence, you more in keeping with the world as you would have it, rather than with any rational system of order. The knight move which allegedly got lost in the mail would have been impossible on the twenty-second move, as the piece was then standing on the edge of the last file, and the move you describe would have brought it to rest on the coffee table, next to the board.