How is it dishonest? Well, it seem that Evans has a very difficult time quoting accurately. In fact, his quoting habits seem to regularly transmute the claims being made into their exact opposite. This is demonstrated in detail in an anonymous comment on Evans' blog (here). I quote in full:
It's very peculiar this war of quotations, as if science worked by quotes. But be that as it may, your quotes are not real.
I commend you for giving page numbers, but have noticed that the quote that you introduce with "Chomsky then says" has a page number earlier than the quote that precedes it? This is a frankenquote that you concocted to suit your polemical purpose. And if you actually go back and read what Chomsky wrote, once again, as in the famous Facebook thread, it turns out he said the exact opposite of what you attribute to him. This is clear, for example, by simply reading the sentences that precede your second quote "For example, evidence from Japanese can be used (and commonly is used) for the study of English; quite rationally, on the well-supported empirical assumption that the languages are modifications of the same initial state":
Does this sound like a claim "that Universal Grammar can be investigated, in principle, by study of just a single language" (your words)? I don't think so, and I don't think anyone who bothers to read the text could think so. It is in fact part of an argument against the philosopher Quine, and an argument specifically in favor of using all sorts of evidence from multiple sources.
The quote that you place first comes from a totally different chapter on a different topic. You included the little bit that reads "a plausible assumption is that the principles of language are fixed and innate", as supposed support for your claim that Chomsky thinks we can study just one language. But let's look at the actual context, which is all about the lessons we could only have learned by studying multiple languages in detail. Yes, he begins with your snippet "a plausible assumption is that the principles of language are fixed and innate", but here's the rest of the same sentenceand the rest of the paragraph:
In other words, what Chomsky is actually saying is that the program of figuring out what if anything is the content of UG could not even get off the ground if we had not studied a variety of languages in detail, which created the "tension that "the major research effort" initiated by Chomsky's work has been guided by! Once again, the exact opposite of the sentiment that you claim he is expressing in this passage.
Now lets turn to supposed Chomsky quote 2 -- the one in which he supposedly disavows "innateness". Brilliant work! You cut his last sentence off in the middle, to make him yet again sound like he's saying the opposite from what you claim. You quote Chomsky as follows:
Except there's no period at the end of this in the original. Instead, the sentence (the very same sentence!) continues as follows:
"because there is no such general hypothesis; rather, only specific hypotheses about the innate resources of the mind, in particular, its language faculty. General arguments against some unformulated “innateness hypothesis” have no bearing on actual hypotheses about innateness, in the case of growth of language and conceptual systems or other forms of physical growth."
What Chomsky actually wrote thus makes your snide continuation ("This revelation might, in fact, come as a shock to many of Chomsky’s adherents, who may have been forgiven for thinking that Universal Grammar was, indeed, about innateness") utterly wrong and irrelevant. What Chomsky was actually writing is exactly what Adger tried to explain to you in comments on your previous post.
Finally for amusement, it's also interesting to check up on your supposed quote from Boeckx about Chomsky's "Galilean style":
At this point it will come as no surprise that Boeckx didn't write this colourful phrase. He is actually quoting two well-known anti-Chomskyans, Jackendoff and Culicover, waxing sarcastic. They are the ones who coined and used this phrase, which therefore appears in quotation marks in Boeckx's text.
Maybe one such snipped and mangled quote could be put down to human error. But so many? Again and again and again?
Fortunately the Sophie's Choice I noted at the outset that one is often required to make need not be exclusive. Evans' work can be both misinformed and dishonest and it is quite evident now that it has successfully ticked off both boxes.
Two more things: I have gone after Evans' work repeatedly in FOL, The scandal of his published work goes beyond the work itself. The bigger scandal is that Cambridge University Press (Yes, CUP, the CUP!!) published this junk. How did this get through? I thought that CUP was a quality press and that it vetted and reviewed its projects. That's certainly what we tell our APT committees during promotion and tenure. But the Evans case suggests that what may once have been true is no longer true. It appears that "review" now means "would it make money?" rather than "can the contents pass the smell test?"CUP has embarrassed itself with this book and it owes Generative Grammar an apology. I would recommend one of the Japanese kind where the head of the linguistics section asks for our forgiveness and also immediately disowns the work. But don't hold your breath. There is money in this sort of junk, (there is always sales in debunking Chomskyan linguistics) and don't expect a university press, even a "venerable" one, to throw away a money making opportunity just because it's doing so via junk. As Upton Sinclair once (apparently) said: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." Ditto for University Presses and Sales. Sad.
Last, I want to end with a BIG thank you to Anonymous. Whoever you are, you did important work. Cleaning out the Augean Stables is never anyone's idea of fun. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting so that the rest of us don't have to.