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



Posts: 9027
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,13:19   

Paul, is Exploring Evolution going to contain a single new argument we haven't seen in previous creationist 'textbooks'?

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4522
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,13:26   

Another quotation examined:


In EE, p.7, cited as from California Science Framework, 1990:14 & 17:
 
Quote

"The process of teaching science requires a precise, unambiguous use of language ... [and] ...Scientists, teachers, and students must communicate the definitions of scientific terms and use them with consistency."4


The quotation appears to be taken from a secondary source: Wiester, John L., "Teaching Evolution as Non-Science: Examples From California's 1990 Science Framework," Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 43 (September 1991): 190-193.

 
Quote

The process of teaching science requires a precise, unambiguous use of language .... (p. 14). Educators must be precise in the use of scientific language because that language is crucial to its teaching (p. 17). For clear communication scientists, teachers, and students must communicate the definitions of scientific terms and use them with consistency (p. 17).


Notice the identical placement of the first ellipsis. Note also the unmarked change in case of "Scientists", which means either Wiester misquoted the Framework, EE misquoted Wiester, or both. There is a long history of antievolution advocates playing "telephone" with quotes and arguments.

The quotation appears not to be the only thing borrowed from Wiester; the following conceptual summation appears to be the thrust of EE as well:

 
Quote

While the California Framework contains some excellent statements of what science is and how it should be taught, it treats evolution as exempt from the very principles of science it so vigorously espouses. This paper presents three examples of the Framework departing from its stated rules of science to treat evolution in a non-scientific manner. The examples chosen are: 1. Lack of definition and consistency in use of terms; 2. Failure to discuss both similarities and differences when comparing evolution to other branches of science; and 3. Failure to present evolutionary science as open to challenge and free of dogmatism.


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

    
stevestory



Posts: 9027
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,13:30   

I'll wager a bottle of scotch that in the end, we'll trace over 100 items from Explore (Some Lies About) Evolution back to earlier creationist junk.

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4522
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,13:32   

Given that two of the three quotations examined so far contribute to that tally, who do you expect to take that bet?

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

    
Paul Nelson



Posts: 43
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,16:21   

Steve & Wes,

If you can spell out the terms of the bet, I'll take it.

Any brand of single malt, under $100 (a bottle).   :)

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4522
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,17:05   

Dang.

Wiester:

Quote

In biology, the word "evolution" has at least three separate meanings. These are 1. change over time, a statement about pattern; 2. Organisms are related by descent through common ancestry, a statement about process; and 3. A particular explanatory mechanism (Darwinism) for the pattern and process described in the first and second meanings.2


Three headings from EE's introduction:

Quote

Evolution #1: "Change over time."

Evolution #2: "Universal Common Descent."

Evolution #3: "The Creative Power of Natural Selection."


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

    
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,17:07   

Quote (Paul Nelson @ July 15 2007,11:06)
Hi all,

Thanks for setting up this area, Wes.  I'll be in Seattle this week, and hope to set up an open forum to discussion Explore Evolution (EE) at the EE webpage.  In the interim, I'll begin consolidating criticisms of EE, so that the other authors and I can draft omnibus replies.

Looking forward to a vigorous discussion,

Paul

Hi Paul.

I have a few questions that I asked you months ago, that you ran off without answering.  If you like, I'd be happy to set up another thread, just for the two of us, so you can run away again without answering any of them.

OK?


BTW, Paul, has creation, uh, "science", come up with any new arguments in the past 40 years?  Any at all?

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

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,17:09   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 15 2007,11:44)
WHY? Why don't you just debate it HERE?

I don't understand why you feel you need a seperate forum for this when there's one here which is perfectly fine and has very little moderation

I think you've just answered your own question.

Young-earth creationists NEVER EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES "debate" anyone in any forum that they can't control.

(shrug)

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

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,17:11   

Quote (Paul Nelson @ July 15 2007,16:21)
Steve & Wes,

If you can spell out the terms of the bet, I'll take it.

Any brand of single malt, under $100 (a bottle).   :)

Paul, since creationism is already illegal to teach in public schools, what utility do you see for your, uh, "science textbook" . . . ?

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

  
stevestory



Posts: 9027
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,17:48   

Paul, is Exploring Evolution going to contain a single new argument we haven't seen in previous creationist 'textbooks'?

   
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,17:57   

Quote (stevestory @ July 15 2007,17:48)
Paul, is Exploring Evolution going to contain a single... argument...?

You pretty much could have used this.

--------------
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.

   
stevestory



Posts: 9027
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,18:03   

Hmm...100 was a hasty number-- from the table of contents, http://exploreevolution.com/table_of_contents.php , the book only has about 143 pages of text. Expecting to find 100 creationist retreads in 143 pages might be a bit much. I do expect to find at least one every three or four pages, though, so I bet we'll find at least 40.

   
stevestory



Posts: 9027
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,18:56   

Quote
As we said before, Darwin’s theory is made up of several ideas, each with supporting arguments. For each argument in Darwin’s case, we will begin by explaining the argument, and examining the evidence in support of it. (We call this the Case For.) Then, we will spend some time examining the claims and evidence that lead some scientists to question the argument. (We call this the Reply.) We then look at the current state of the discussion in a section called “Further Debate.”

Throughout the book, you may notice that the Reply section is often longer than the Case For section. There is an important reason for this.


Yeah, the reason for this is, they don't give a shit about teaching evolution. They just want to cast doubt on it.

Every piece of this book I read is thick with dishonesty, and it's making me revise my opinion about the honesty of some people.

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,22:11   

Quote (stevestory @ July 15 2007,19:56)
Yeah, the reason for this is, they don't give a shit about teaching evolution. They just want to cast doubt on it.

Every piece of this book I read is thick with dishonesty, and it's making me revise my opinion about the honesty of some people.



--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4522
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2007,23:56   

Henry M. Morris, 1977, The Scientific Case for Creation, Creation-Life Publishers.

Quote

The scientific model of origins that best fits all the available scientific data is that of a recent, supernatural creation of the universe and all its basic components by a transcendent Creator. The writer hopes this brief study will prove challenging to the reader and will encourage him or her to further consideration of this vital issue and all its implications.


EE presents no alternative, but does have this:

Quote

One final word. We don't want you to simply accept this book as the last word on this subject any more than we'd want you to uncritically accept the word of other textbooks that present only the case for Darwinian evolution. That's the beauty of open inquiry—and of science, itself. That's also an example of the kind of critical thinking that we hope this book will encourage. Look at the evidence, listen to the arguments, and think for yourself.


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

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4522
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,00:20   

EE in preface:

Quote

Throughout the book, you may notice that the Reply section is often longer than the Case For section. There is an important reason for this. The Case For is the version taught in most school textbooks, and you should, therefore, already be familiar with it to some extent. The Reply section has not yet been presented in most school textbooks. The Reply is sometimes longer simply because it often takes more time to explain an unfamiliar concept or idea.


EE one page further down in preface:

Quote

Finally, you should know something about us, the authors. Two of us are biology professors doing research on evolution-related topics. Two of us are philosophers of science who have specialized in studying the logic of evolutionary arguments. One of us is a science curriculum writer. All of us happen to have reservations about various aspects of contemporary evolutionary theory, but we all think that students should learn more—not less—about this theory than they presently do. So, while we present criticisms of the theory that many biology books don't present, we also explain and develop the arguments for contemporary Darwinian theory in more detail than other standard textbooks.


Concerning the background of one of the authors, Scott Minnich, who is one of the two researchers referred to in the second sentence above, we have this self-testimony in the KvD trial:

Quote

[495]Q. Please tell us your experience with regard to that quote that nothing makes sense in biology in light of evolution.

[496]A. In my entire academic training as an undergraduate or graduate student or as a post-doc at Purdue and Princeton University, I never once took a formal course in evolution. In fact, when I requested it as a graduate student, you know, to include it on my graduate student study plan, it was refused by my committee with a, you know, you don't have time to do it, it's not necessary.

So that has been my experience as a biologist and a practicing, you know, experimental biologist, I've never been required to take a single course in evolution. My exposure formally was in my undergraduate 100 and 200 level introductory biology classes were we got basic evolution, you know, Haeckel's embryos, peppered moths, founder effect. So the basis tenets were there, but in terms of really looking at this in detail, I haven't.


I guess for Scott Minnich, other people should learn more, not less, concerning evolution. Of course, that rather destroys the notion that Minnich is well-qualified to present
evolution "in more detail" than the various textbooks that he never bothered to take an accompanying course in.

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

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4522
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,00:47   

Ralph Seelke, Paul Nelson's co-author on EE, giving testimony on the age of the earth:

Quote

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: Mr. Irigonegaray, 15 minutes.

THE WITNESS: Yes, I do believe 4.5 billion years.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: I'm glad to hear that. We have no questions for you.


The fossil record section at least discusses all ages in standard geological timeframes. I have not seen anywhere that an age of the earth is mentioned so far.

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

    
BWE



Posts: 1896
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,00:54   

Quote (Paul Nelson @ July 15 2007,16:21)
Steve & Wes,

If you can spell out the terms of the bet, I'll take it.

Any brand of single malt, under $100 (a bottle).   :)

Paul,

I've been trying to get these guys to stick their facts down ever since Dover. I think you should engage them here. You have the power of conviction and eloquence on our side.

This Lenny guy simply won't shut up. And Steve and Wes, well, it goes without saying.

Thanks for your consideration,

BWE

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4522
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,00:58   

EE:

Quote

One of us is a science curriculum writer.


Intervarsity Press:

Quote

Moneymaker is a cartoonist and illustrator. He and his wife, Janet, operate Readable, Ink, a writing services company in Seattle, Washington. He is also a fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture.


Let's ask the Wikipedia question: is Moneymaker's status as an author of science curricula verifiable? Intervarsity Press doesn't seem to have taken note of that, and one would think that they would be inclined to do so.

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

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4522
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,01:33   

EE, p.44:

Quote

In another surprising twist, biologists have also discovered many cases in which the same genes help to produce different adult structures.' Consider, for instance, the eyes of the squid, the fruit fly, and mouse. (ee Figure 2:2) The fruit fly has a compound eye, with dozens of separate lenses. The squid and mouse both have single-lens camera eyes, but they develop along very different pathways, and are wired differently from each other. Yet the same gene is involved in the development of all three of these eyes.


What, was it too hard to add a sentence to note that the downstream activation triggered by hox gene expression is different among all of those species? Or, at least that Pax6 is just one gene among many needed for camera eye formation?

Georg Halder discussed the compound eye of Drosophila in this way:

Quote

The potential of eyeless to act as a developmental switch was tested by targeted expression of eyeless in tissues that do not normally express it (6). To do so, a transposon carrying the eyeless gene under the control of a transcriptional enhancer that stimulates expression in wing, leg, and antennal primordia was introduced into the fly genome. As a consequence, extra eyes developed on wings, legs, and antennae! These eyes consist of the full complement of different cell types normally found in a compound eye, including photoreceptors, pigment cells, cone cells, and bristles. In addition, the arrangement of the different cell types is the same as in a normal eye and the photoreceptors depolarize upon illumination. Evidently, eyeless can switch on the eye developmental program in which several thousand genes may act, thereby directing the formation of an organ with all its complexity.


Several thousand genes... several thousand more than are brought to the attention of readers of EE.

If this isn't mendacious on its face, then it bespeaks a deep incompetence in handling the data. It certainly isn't an example of teaching students more about evolution than they would learn from standard textbooks.

Let me put up Halder's conclusion, a statement that, unlike the quote from EE, is actually informative:

Quote

What do these findings tell us about the evolution of eyes? The parallels in the eye developmental programs lead us to favor the idea that the common ancestor of all higher animals, including vertebrates and insects, already had a primitive eye and that the development of this ancestral eye was regulated by Pax-6 (16). This eye may have been a simple eyespot consisting of a cluster of photo-sensitive cells with no ability to form an image, a type of organ found in many animal phyla. Once a functional light sensing organ had evolved, nature apparently improved on its optical performance in many different ways, leading to the incredible variety of eyes seen today. During this process, Pax-6/eyeless continued to be used to control the development of the evolving eyes.


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

    
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,07:09   

Judging from Wes' discussion so far, it appears that many of the problems with this book, as was the case for Pandas, are omissions. Not exactly lies, but certainly not the whole truth as we know it today. That is a serious problem for any textbook, but it is unforgivable in a textbook that claims to explain things "in more detail" than a regular intro textbook.

And it also makes it harder for students and teachers to discover the problems. Nice work, Mr. Nelson.

--------------
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

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,07:15   

Quote (BWE @ July 16 2007,00:54)
This Lenny guy simply won't shut up.

A reminder for you, Paul:

http://www.geocities.com/lflank/nelson.html

Any time you're ready . . . . . .

(sound of crickets chirping)

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

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,09:26   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 16 2007,07:15)
 
Quote (BWE @ July 16 2007,00:54)
This Lenny guy simply won't shut up.

A reminder for you, Paul:

http://www.geocities.com/lflank/nelson.html

Any time you're ready . . . . . .

(sound of crickets chirping)

Lenny

While you're awaiting a response, take a peek here for some additional help with this problem.

--------------
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

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4522
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,10:37   

Quote

Judging from Wes' discussion so far, it appears that many of the problems with this book, as was the case for Pandas, are omissions. Not exactly lies, but certainly not the whole truth as we know it today.


As it is known to researchers and those interested in the research, anyway.

They are likely going to have to defend this incredible dog in court at some point, and it looks like instead of one moment of stacking references in a witness's lap, there are going to be tens, if not hundreds of such opportunities for courtroom drama, multiplied by as many authors as happen to be called. They'd have been in much better position if they had actually presented "the case for", as they claimed to be doing. As it is, it can be demonstrated that they have short-changed "the case for", and in the instance of the "different eyes resulting from the same gene" gambit, to have manufactured a "case against" out of pure ignorance.

I've said before that it is relatively simple to prove that someone is lying in these discussions, when you have the conditions in place of someone (1) claiming to be an expert in the topic and (2) spouting nonsense on the topic. It may be a bit fuzzy about whether they are lying about (1) or about (2), but it is certain that there is a lie about one of those. Certainly the brag from the preface about the EE authors' credentials qualifies to establish (1). I think that we will have plenty of instances of (2) by the time the examination is done.

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

    
BWE



Posts: 1896
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,12:26   

Wes,

Don't you know  that a case against Darwinian materialism is a case for a return to good old religious values?

Hmmm.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4522
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,14:10   

Well, yeah, that's the whole "dual model" or "contrived dualism" thing, inherent in antievolution argumentation for at least several decades. The whole, "There are only two alternatives, evolution or creation, so if evolution is disproved, you must accept creationism!" schtick. IMO, EE is presented as a way to get at least the "not evolution!" part in front of public school students, and rely upon the general ubiquity of our social knowledge of creationism to fill in the rest.

It did not work in McLean v. Arkansas. It did not work in Edwards v. Aguillard. And it didn't work in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. I doubt it will work in whatever the next one is called, either.

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

    
BWE



Posts: 1896
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,14:53   

Curses, foiled again.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
ck1



Posts: 65
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,15:22   

On the EE website, one of the sample pages discusses something called the "artifact hypothesis".  Is this a term used by actual evolutionary biologists?  Most of the Google hits for this term seem to be to creationist websites.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

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

Here's an interesting one. In the same pages that discuss the "artifact hypothesis", we find this statement    
Quote
This point has been further emphasized by a recent Precambrian fossil find near Chengjiang, China. Scientists there recently discovered incredibly preserved microscopic fossils of sponge
embryos. (Sponges are obviously soft-bodied. Their embryos are small and soft-bodied, too—other than their tiny spicules.) Paul Chien, a marine paleobiologist at the University of San Francisco argues that this discovery poses a grave difficulty for the artifact hypothesis.

So I look up Paul Chien. The USF webpage lists his research interests thusly  
Quote
Prof. Chien is interested in the physiology and ecology of inter-tidal organisms. His research has involved the transport of amino acids and metal ions across cell membranes and the detoxification mechanisms of metal ions.

He is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, which blurbs him  
Quote
Paul Chien is a Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of San Francisco and he was elected Chairman of his department twice. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California at Irvine's Department of Developmental & Cell Biology. He has held such positions as Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Environmental Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (CIT); Instructor of Biology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong; and a consultant to both the Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory of the CIT, and the Scanning Electron Microscopy & Micro X-ray Analyst in the Biology Department of Santa Clara University, California. Dr. Chien's work has been published in over fifty technical journals and he has spoken internationally, and on numerous occasions, from Brazil to mainland China-where he has also been involved in cooperative research programs. Dr. Chien edited and translated Phillip Johnson's book Darwin on Trial into Chinese as well as Jonathan Wells' Icons of Evolution.

A search of Web of Science revealed that he is the author of 15 peer-reviewed articles, but none in the area of "marine paleobiology". The most recent one is dated 1998, and is not biology at all; the title is "Relocation of civilization centers in ancient China: Environmental factors". The most recent biology-related article is from 1995; all of the articles seem to be focused on heavy metal toxicity and antidotes in marine critters, particularly worms (e.g.  UPTAKE, BINDING AND CLEARANCE OF DIVALENT CADMIUM IN GLYCERA-DIBRANCHIATA (ANNELIDA-POLYCHAETA);
Author(s): RICE MA, CHIEN PK; Source: MARINE BIOLOGY 53 (1): 33-39 1979)

So I guess my question to Paul Nelson would be "By what criteria is Paul K. Chien listed as a marine paleobiologist?" He looks like a run-of-the-mill toxicologist to me, and not a very productive one at that. Those articles in "over fifty technical journals" somehow never made it into the Web of Science...

--------------
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

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2007,17:04   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 16 2007,09:26)
Lenny

While you're awaiting a response, take a peek here for some additional help with this problem.

Aha.  So apparently it *IS* easier to nail Jello to a wall than it is to get a creationist to answer direct questions.

;)

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

  
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