Joined: Jan. 2007
Who really cites papers that don't agree with their points?
Recently the IDers over at UD have taken to accusing others (re: scientists) of citing sources that do not support their point. They refer to the perceived practice of citing several papers that do not make the point the author intends "literature bluffing", in reference to the "bluff" that one might not bother to read the papers cited.
But who really attempts to cite papers that disagree with their theories as if the papers said something they did not? Back in February, before my password to UD changed mysteriously, I was involved in a discussion with Patrick and Joseph over at UD that began with a discussion of science and ended with Patrick citing two papers that he claimed proved detrimental to theory of common descent,
here and here.
So I, not being a biologist, sat down and examined the papers and was shocked, shocked to discover that the papers did not refute the tree of life, common ancestry, or any other evolutionary theories. One of the papers described the problems of HGT in prokaryotes and the issues this presents for software that is designed to find "trees" in prokaryotic lineages; the other described that branching in the tree of life may take place in "spurts" and this can complicate molecular dating, as well as fossilization evidence.
It's worth noting that both of those papers were at one time on the prominent side-bar of the UD banner. I presume they were placed their based solely on the titles of the papers and without regard to what the technical papers actually said. At this point I would ask: who is really performing literature bluffing?