I don't know, I don't think that guy from devshed defended his case well. In some cases he completely misses what the fractal article was trying to say. He says that the settings in php.ini that the fractal design article mentions are not problematic. He even says that the intransitive == operator is merely a result of loose typing and there is no legitimate issue there.
The == operator is listed as "flaky." The == operator is the core of loosely typed languages, and is immensely powerful. He thinks it's flaky because he can't wrap his brain around loose comparisons
And it gets worse:
array_search, strpos, and similar functions return 0 if they find the needle at position zero, but false if they don’t find it at all. In C, functions like strpos return -1 if the item isn’t found. If you don’t check for that case and try to use that as an index, you’ll hit junk memory and your program will blow up. [...] In, say, Python, the equivalent
So basically, if you don't include the right boilerplate around other languages, they fatally crash and destroy their state, potentially also destroying neighboring programs in memory. However, if you do the same erroneous code in PHP, it continues to work with slightly unexpected results. Tell me again why "keeps working" is a problem? Plus, for what might be the 10th time, he just plain doesn't understand loosely typed languages. Yes, false == zero. That's actually an incredibly powerful feature of the language. The boilerplate he's comparing about isn't exactly onerous either. Look, here it is: "!== false". Oh man, look out. That nearly broke my fingers I typed for so long.
Silently failing is bad. Failing catastrophically is preferable to random program behavior. That's the assumption behind what the original quote is saying (which may be explicitly stated in other parts of that article).
So yeah, I think the main purpose of the "hardly" rebuttal is to reinforce why the fractal of bad design article is correct.