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  Topic: Discussing "Explore Evolution", Have at it.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Steviepinhead



Posts: 532
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 23 2007,17:34   

Mr. Nelson first suggest that he is traveling deep into the (parts of the) Third World (that have been endowed with the least infrastructure):
Quote
I'll have only infrequent net access for the next two weeks.

Then he tells us he'll be checking in from *gasp* Rome.

Um...

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4470
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 23 2007,17:48   

Paul didn't say that other people around him weren't going to have net access...

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
JAM



Posts: 503
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 23 2007,18:05   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 23 2007,17:21)
Quote

You should update your description of the turtle quotations from page 24, because it doesn't include the second paper that they quote-mined


I didn't include that reference because they didn't actually offer anything that was supposed to be a quote from it. At least, I didn't see anything quoted as if representing that paper.

Sorry for not being more clear. The asterisks in EE indicate which paper is being quote-mined. The second and third quotations are from the second paper cited.

You should edit the page you wrote--if you'd like, I'll do it.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4470
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 23 2007,18:13   

Ah, I see now. OK, the asterisk convention confused me. I will get on updating the quotations page.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Steviepinhead



Posts: 532
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 23 2007,18:30   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 23 2007,15:48)
Paul didn't say that other people around him weren't going to have net access...

Well, I think you're either being sardonic or charitable.

I smell yet another dodge.

  
afarensis



Posts: 1003
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 23 2007,19:43   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 23 2007,14:47)
"Afarensis" again comes through with an examination of an EE quotation.

I have also tracked down the quote by Foote, which I will be posting when time permits. In the meantime, I would like to throw this one out there:

Quote
For this reason, Darwin himself said that the pattern of abrupt appearance (his own term), "may be truly urged as a valid argument" against his theory of Common Descent.12


This is supposed to come from page 308 of the first edition of On the Origin of Species

On page 307-308 we find:

 
Quote
But the difficulty of understanding the absence of vast piles of fossiliferous strata, which on my theory no doubt were somewhere accumulated before the Silurian epoch, is very great. If these most ancient beds had been wholly worn away by denudation, or obliterated by metamorphic action, we ought to find only small remnants of the formations next succeeding them in age, and these ought to be very generally in a metamorphosed condition. But the descriptions which we now possess of the Silurian deposits over immense territories in Russia and in North America, do not support the view, that the older a formation is, the more it has suffered the extremity of denudation and metamorphism.

The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.


Based on context it sounds like Darwin was referring to the geological discussion immediately preceding. You make the call.

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Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4361
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 23 2007,21:31   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 23 2007,15:48)
Quote

And why should we do their work for them again?

I say let them lie and dig another grave for themselves and their half-baked crazy ID views.


They've already printed the thing; they'd have to make another edition to fix it, or publish a book-length errata. They cannot actually fix most of what has been pointed out so far, or what is coming. You can already see that in the case of the quotes that have been looked at, where if they accurately represented the quoted people they'd sink their own arguments.

Now is the time to show everyone just how dreadful the content is, before fall and the expected rollout in various classrooms. If we have the information available, presented in a coherent manner, the odds that all the students in those classes will fail to locate it during the course will be much smaller. If we say we're going to wait for a lawsuit to point out the problems, then you've essentially tossed those students to the sharks. Besides which, you've also made it less likely that the people contesting EE will have all the ammunition they should have when going to court.

This thread is for free-wheeling discussion of EE, and the EE Companion is where the coherent presentation part comes in. But the effectiveness of the Companion depends crucially on how much of the content of EE is critically analyzed within it.

Ah Ha!  Lightbulb goes off...

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4470
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 23 2007,22:13   

Re: Darwin "abrupt appearance" and "valid argument" quotes

I spent a chunk of time entering quoted text from the sixth edition and commentary. Then, on trying to save, I discovered that my session had expired, and my edit was lost. I've just put in the quote context at the moment, but, yeah, that was no more honest than the various other quotes that have been examined.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
afarensis



Posts: 1003
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 23 2007,23:17   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 23 2007,22:13)
Re: Darwin "abrupt appearance" and "valid argument" quotes

I spent a chunk of time entering quoted text from the sixth edition and commentary. Then, on trying to save, I discovered that my session had expired, and my edit was lost. I've just put in the quote context at the moment, but, yeah, that was no more honest than the various other quotes that have been examined.

On an intellectual level, I was well aware of the way ID advocates, and other creationists, abused the scientific literature, but you don't realize just how intellectually dishonest they are until you get involved in a project like the "Explore Evolution" Companion and find this kind of poor scholarship on quote after quote. Yet, the quotes are a mere drop in the bucket compared to the way they portray evolutionary theory. Makes me wonder how they can face themselves in a mirror...

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Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4470
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 24 2007,12:20   

I've reorganized the quotations pages. Now there are subpages for sections of Explore Evolution. I've also expanded the introductory text for the quotations section:

Quote

This is intended to eventually hold a complete list of quotations used in Explore Evolution. As time goes by, people can contribute full quotations in context to be shown side-by-side with what appears in the book.

Quotations are a staple of antievolutionary argumentation. The fondness that antievolution advocates have for quoting sources apparently stems from the idea of proof-texts in religious apologetics. Within that endeavor, a brief quotation from an authoritative source is taken to be dispositive concerning a point of argument. Science, though, operates differently from apologetics, a fact that seems to continually elude and perplex antievolution advocates. In science, evidence trumps authority. In fact, authority in science is correlated strongly with ability to reliably deploy evidence in argument. Since authority is secondary to scientific argument, how sources are handled varies from what is seen in religious apologetics. While concepts and evidence are usefully cited from prior work, one will find that quotation of prior work is rare in the primary scientific literature and in scientific textbooks, and relatively uncommon even within popular treatments of science written by scientists.

Quotation in antievolutionary argument, though, is relatively abundant. Further, there is abundant misquotation within antievolutionary argument. Misquotation comes in a number of different forms:

* Misquotation by fabrication : (np) 1. A "quotation" which has no original.

* Misquotation by omission : (np) 1. Leaving out text from a {quotation}, thereby altering its meaning.

* Misquotation by omission of context : (np) 1. Omitting the {context} of a {quotation}, thereby altering its meaning.

* Misquotation by patchwork : (np) 1. A particularly outrageous form of {misquotation by omission}, in which widely separated phrases or sentences are patched together.

* Misquotation by selection of strawmen : (np) 1. Quoting a hypothetical or rhetorical position presented by an author during exposition as if it was the actual position of the author; a form of {misquotation by omission of context}.

Because of the long antievolutionary history of misquoting sources, paying special attention to how quoted sources are treated in Explore Evolution is a worthwhile endeavor. Another point concerning the quotation of sources is that when misquotation occurs, it is often both exceedingly obvious when the misquote is compared with the original, and difficult to argue away the fault. The phrase, "He said, she said," has entered our cultural currency as the canonical argumentative morass, a place where everything is simply opinion and there is no firm place to ground a decision on who is wrong and who is right. But a misquotation actually has a firm resolution: if "He said she said *this*", but the original shows that, "She *actually* said *that*", then one can clearly see that the "He" in this case has mistreated his source. What remains after that determination is figuring out why he might have mistreated the source. Was it because he did not understand the material? One can look at the original to see whether it was more than usually confusing. Also, in a book like Explore Evolution that is the work of a group of people, the odds that all of them will be confused in just the same fashion by a source drop rapidly. Another consideration would be whether misquotations establish a pattern of bias: when sources are misquoted, are they only sometimes misquoted in favor of the authors' position, or are they consistently misquoted in such a way that the authors' position is given a false appearance of support?

Pay attention to the source, for as in the case of the second quotation, you can identify the use of misquotation by patchwork or portmanteaus composed of text taken from separated pages of a source.


--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
JAM



Posts: 503
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 24 2007,13:14   

Wesley,

I think that it would be more clear if each item in your list started with:

*Misrepresentation by...

instead of "misquotation."

  
ck1



Posts: 65
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 24 2007,13:59   

How many of the EE misquotes have been used previously by creationists, and how many have been publicly corrected in places such as the Quote Mine Project?

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4470
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 24 2007,14:24   

Those would be good things to track. I think two so far also have been in the TOA QMP.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
JAM



Posts: 503
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 24 2007,14:47   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 24 2007,14:24)
Those would be good things to track. I think two so far also have been in the TOA QMP.

Lenny,

Who's your favorite yacht dealer?

  
ck1



Posts: 65
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 24 2007,16:46   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 24 2007,14:24)
Those would be good things to track. I think two so far also have been in the TOA QMP.

This seems important to me.  If specific quotemines have been documented in the past, how can Nelson justify using them again in a textbook, which should have accuracy as its major goal?

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 24 2007,17:27   

Quote (JAM @ July 24 2007,14:47)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 24 2007,14:24)
Those would be good things to track. I think two so far also have been in the TOA QMP.

Lenny,

Who's your favorite yacht dealer?

Heck, I prefer to build my own boats (I hand-make my own kayaks).

But if it's gonna be on Paul's dime, I'm sure I can find something in the 40-50 foot range.   ;)

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 24 2007,17:31   

Quote (ck1 @ July 24 2007,16:46)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 24 2007,14:24)
Those would be good things to track. I think two so far also have been in the TOA QMP.

This seems important to me. †If specific quotemines have been documented in the past, how can Nelson justify using them again in a textbook, which should have accuracy as its major goal?

Well, I think the most important thing is to tie everything in the book directly to previous creationist and/or ID propaganda pieces.  After all, the ONLY way this book can survive in court is if the authors (half of whom are, uh, from the Discovery Institute, and at least one of which is a young-earth creationist - snicker, giggle) can demonstrate that the book has nothing at all whatsoever to do with either ID or creation 'science', no sirree Bob.

It's an argument they simply cannot win.


Legally, it's not against the law to publish inaccurate science "textbooks".

It IS, however, against the law to publish creationist religious objections to evolution, and pretend they are "science".

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Steviepinhead



Posts: 532
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 24 2007,17:39   

Maybe Paul would get back to us on all these points quicker if we posted up addresses for Internet cafes in Roma, Italia.

Poor guy.  Stuck out there in the sticks with "limited" access.

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 24 2007,18:37   

Quote (Steviepinhead @ July 24 2007,17:39)
Maybe Paul would get back to us on all these points quicker if we posted up addresses for Internet cafes in Roma, Italia.

Poor guy.  Stuck out there in the sticks with "limited" access.

Damn Italy's third world status!

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
ck1



Posts: 65
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 24 2007,19:01   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 24 2007,17:31)
†Well, I think the most important thing is to tie everything in the book directly to previous creationist and/or ID propaganda pieces. †

Legally, it's not against the law to publish inaccurate science "textbooks".

It IS, however, against the law to publish creationist religious objections to evolution, and pretend they are "science".

Absolutely. To tie quotemines in the book to previously debunked quotemines by creationists should document:

- their dishonesty - using known lies (not a good thing when insisting you have the moral high ground.)

- the connection between EE and creationism (not a good thing if you have to go to court).

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4470
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 25 2007,21:41   

Contributing examples would be a fine thing.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
ck1



Posts: 65
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 26 2007,19:23   

So until Paul Nelson re-surfaces, or EE becomes available, this thread is dead?

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 26 2007,19:28   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 25 2007,21:41)
Contributing examples would be a fine thing.

Well, at current, that would require buying the book, no?

I'd rather wait till I can steal it somewhere for free.

But at THAT point, I'd be more than happy to go through it line by line, as best I can.   :)

Creationists haven't come up with anything new in thirty years, so there's no doubt in my mind that every single argument made in EE is a direct descendent of some previous creationist crapola.

Including the authors.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2777
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 30 2007,20:03   

Well, my examination copy of EE arrived today. If I get some time in the next few days, I'll peruse it and see what pops up.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
† † † † † † † † † † † † - Pattiann Rogers

   
stevestory



Posts: 8865
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 30 2007,20:39   

Sweet!

Several of us are waiting to get our copies.

I'm most interested in getting a review copy into Lenny's hands. Though I have lots of disagreements with him, Lenny has got the fire in the belly. I believe him when he says he will go over this thing line by line, documenting it's creationist breeding.

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 30 2007,21:19   

Quote (stevestory @ July 30 2007,20:39)
Sweet!

Several of us are waiting to get our copies.

I'm most interested in getting a review copy into Lenny's hands. Though I have lots of disagreements with him, Lenny has got the fire in the belly. I believe him when he says he will go over this thing line by line, documenting it's creationist breeding.

Anyone who likes can send a review copy to me at:

Lenny Flank
c/o Red and Black Publishers
PO Box 7542
St Petersburg FL  33734


I'm quite sure there's nothing in it that hasn't been said by creationists decades ago.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Steviepinhead



Posts: 532
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 31 2007,15:02   

And, my attempted funnies about Rome and internet access aside, I have received several emails from a professor friend who happens to be conferencing in Rome this past couple of weeks (emails re planning for an upcoming backpack in the Three Sisters Wilderness).

There's really no practical reason whatsoever that an "academic" like PN, traveling to Rome for whatever reason, couldn't find the means to continue our discussion here.  Particularly as it involves criticism of his most recent publication, square in the middle of his life's work (as opposed to something relatively peripheral, like my friend's backpacking emails).

Of course, communicating does take some minimal effort.  And motivation.

Both of which Nelson clearly lacks, despite his efforts to pretend to the contrary.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2777
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 31 2007,15:05   

Well, my first impression after reading a couple of chapters in EE and browsing through the rest is that this, like most ID efforts, is full of omissions. Those are harder to pin down than outright falsehoods, but intellectually dishonest nonetheless.

My second impression is that, as an active practitioner of inquiry-based education in introductory biology, it seriously offends me to read the preface, where the authors pretend that this book is inquiry-based in that sense. Certainly they ask lots of questions, but these are mostly the standard arguments from ignorance. To imply that this book would teach anyone how to generate knowledge by asking questions and seeking answers is disingenuous in the extreme, particularly when one realizes that a large part of the arguments in support of evolutionary theory are mysteriously omitted from this book (see paragraph above). In order to ask useful questions, it really helps to have all the background information.

My third impression is that there is a tremendous amount of selective quoting of scientific articles that is genuinely misleading. Context is always missing. Furthermore the authors rely quite a lot on speculative wording in many of those articles, again omitting the context in which that speculation is imbedded. Some of the articles are not in scientific journals devoted to data presentation and analysis, and are even labeled as speculation, e.g. Malcolm Gordon, 1999, Biology and Philosophy 14:331-48, "The Concept of Monophyly: A Speculative Essay". They make a lot of hay from that one, as you might imagine. Since its publication it has been cited a grand total of 5 times in any abstracted journal, only three times in a science journal, and two of those three were by Malcolm himself. Yet when you read EE, you'd think that this was a high-impact paper, they quote it so often.

Besides the hard work of finding the creationist common ancestors for this book, it also strikes me that it would be a good idea to contact all of the folks quoted in this book with a copy of the quote in its context and ask them if they agree with that characterization. Or ask them if they agree with a statement like that on the Project Steve site. We could call it Project Steamed, because that is how I suspect most of them would feel if they knew that their work was being used this way.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
† † † † † † † † † † † † - Pattiann Rogers

   
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2777
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 31 2007,16:13   

Here's a good one.

On p. 137 of EE, the authors argue that the radical transformation of the lung from reptilian to avian seems improbable. Part of the argument goes like this.      
Quote
Finally, what happens to the diaphragm? The reptiles thought to be the ancestors of birds almost certainly had a diaphragm breathing system (footnote 8). According to many evolutionary biologists, changing from a diaphragm lung system to a flow-through lung would require changing and increasing the musculature of the reptile's chest. At the same time, the diaphragm would need to gradually go away. This poses a fundamental problem. Evolutionary biologist John Ruben points out that the earliest stages of this transformation would have required a hole or hernia in the reptile's diaphragm. This would have immediately compromised the entire system and led to certain death for any animal unfortunate enough to possess this non-functioning intermediate structure.

Footnote eight refers to Ruben, et al. 1997, Science 278:1267-1269 (actually 1267-1270, at least in the reprint form that I have), and quotes from the article.      
Quote
"Therapod (sic) dinosaurs, like modern crocodiles, probably possessed a bellows-like septate lung, and that lung was probably ventilated...by a hepatic-piston diaphragm".

That tell-tale ellipsis. What was elided? From the original paper      
Quote
These observations, combined with the occurrence among theropods of a distinct, relatively vertical, crocodilelike, highly elongate pubis (Figs. 4 and 5), as well as well-developed gastralia, provide evidence that theropod dinosaurs, like modern crocodiles, probably possessed a bellows-like septate lung and that the lung was probably ventilated, at least in part, by a hepatic-piston diaphragm that was powered by diaphragmatic muscles that extended between the pubic bones and liver.

So the authors omitted something which might have led an inquiring student to conclude that perhaps something else was involved in breathing in the intermediate stages between the reptile lung and the bird lung. Inquiry-based? Not hardly.

But is that the whole story? No, their deception goes another level down. Ruben does not say anything about possible other mechanisms for bridging this anatomical/physiological gap, even though there might be some. Ruben is basically arguing in this paper that the theropod dinosaurs are not the earliest ancestors of birds, based on the problem with defining this intermediate.      
Quote
Recently, conventional wisdom has held that birds are direct descendants of theropod dinosaurs. However, the apparently steadfast maintenance of hepatic-piston diaphragmatic lung ventilation in theropods throughout the Mesozoic poses fundamental problems for such a relationship. The earliest stages in the derivation of the avian abdominal air sac system from a diaphragm-ventilating ancestor would have necessitated selection for a diaphragmatic hernia in taxa transitional between theropods and birds. Such a debilitating condition would have immediately compromised the entire pulmonary ventilatory apparatus and seems unlikely to have been of any selective advantage."

In other words, he is not saying that this poses an insurmountable obstacle for any theory that postulates evolution of the bird lung, he is saying that this argues against the theropod-bird ancestral connection. Birds (with their unique lungs) must, by his logic, be descended from other ancestors.

Whether one agrees with that logic or not, I suspect that Ruben would be steamed at this use of his Science publication...

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
† † † † † † † † † † † † - Pattiann Rogers

   
Bob O'H



Posts: 1964
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 01 2007,08:56   

Albatrossity2 - may I suggest a way of dealing with your frustration, and helping Lenny too.  You're going to become increasingly steamed up, so any time you feel like throwing it away, do so in the direction of Florida.  Then continue reading from where it lands.  Let's see if you finish the book or the delivery first.

Bob

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ID theorists donít postulate a designer for their arguments. - Crandaddy
There is no connection between a peppered moth, natural selection, and religion that I can see. - FtK

   
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