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



Posts: 1755
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 05 2008,08:10   

This may me off topic and eligible for the BW, but with respect to Paul and Kurt Wise:

It is real, real sad - if Kurt Wise, and many with him had not been led astray by fundamentalism, they would have realized that true religion is not incompatible with science. These quotes from St. Augustine are well known but may deserve repetition:      
Quote
Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]
   
Quote

The thing itself that is now called the Christian religion was with the ancients, and it was with the human race from the beginning to the time when Christ appeared in the flesh: from then on the true religion that already existed began to be called Christian.


To make a long history short: God the creator of the universe is a myth. God is spirit - in our soul. Jesus, the dying-and-resurrection godman is a myth. And a powerful symbol - for a force in our soul, for spiritual rebirth. That is what death and resurrection is about, not the nonsense of the Gospels.

St. Paul knew, but his knowledge has been corrupted by skilfull editing.

--------------
YEC creationists denigrate science without an inkling of what their lives would be without it. YEC creationism is an enrageous, abominable insult to the the human intellect.
                                                         Me.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 07 2008,08:07   

Monday morning ritual  
Quote
Paul Nelson   Viewing a topic in: After the Bar Closes...   July 07 2008,07:56

But you can see why Paul didn't dawdle here; he was being chased by temptation!  
Quote
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--------------
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: 8896
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 08 2008,01:55   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 07 2008,09:07)
Monday morning ritual  
Quote
Paul Nelson   Viewing a topic in: After the Bar Closes...   July 07 2008,07:56

But you can see why Paul didn't dawdle here; he was being chased by temptation!  
Quote
75 guests, 12 Public Members and 1 Anonymous Members   [ View Complete List ]
>Albatrossity2 >chaibiaacrogs >ppb >JonF >Assassinator >olegt >sex-porn-lesbian >Paul Nelson >Zachriel >drew91 >Jake >J-Dog

I sympathize with Paul. Lesbians are hot.

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10116
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 08 2008,14:10   

Quote
>Richardthughes >midwifetoad >Assassinator >slpage >Gunthernacus >dnmlthr >SpeedDemon >lcd >Paul Nelson >American Saddlebred >argystokes >JAM >celdd >dheddle >Venus Mousetrap >Arden Chatfield >alsymnan >Leftfield


He's on your website, not answering your criticisms...

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 08 2008,14:23   

Quote (Richardthughes @ July 08 2008,14:10)
Quote
>Richardthughes >midwifetoad >Assassinator >slpage >Gunthernacus >dnmlthr >SpeedDemon >lcd >Paul Nelson >American Saddlebred >argystokes >JAM >celdd >dheddle >Venus Mousetrap >Arden Chatfield >alsymnan >Leftfield


He's on your website, not answering your criticisms...



--------------
It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Venus Mousetrap



Posts: 201
Joined: Aug. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 08 2008,15:11   

Quote (Richardthughes @ July 08 2008,14:10)
Quote
>Richardthughes >midwifetoad >Assassinator >slpage >Gunthernacus >dnmlthr >SpeedDemon >lcd >Paul Nelson >American Saddlebred >argystokes >JAM >celdd >dheddle >Venus Mousetrap >Arden Chatfield >alsymnan >Leftfield


He's on your website, not answering your criticisms...

hey I'm on that list. do I get points for that?

I'm pondering buying a few of the wacky ID and creationism books from Amazon (some have gone really cheap and if I get enough I get free delivery). Then no one can say I haven't read Dumbski's books. :p

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10116
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 08 2008,15:37   

Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ July 08 2008,15:11)
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 08 2008,14:10)
Quote
>Richardthughes >midwifetoad >Assassinator >slpage >Gunthernacus >dnmlthr >SpeedDemon >lcd >Paul Nelson >American Saddlebred >argystokes >JAM >celdd >dheddle >Venus Mousetrap >Arden Chatfield >alsymnan >Leftfield


He's on your website, not answering your criticisms...

hey I'm on that list. do I get points for that?

I'm pondering buying a few of the wacky ID and creationism books from Amazon (some have gone really cheap and if I get enough I get free delivery). Then no one can say I haven't read Dumbski's books. :p

Funding the fundies just validates there business model. Tacit complicity. Get one second hand, if you must. Don't feed the flames.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 08 2008,16:05   

I buy all my fundy books used or remaindered.

I have stalled out reading Explor Evolution. I am on page 22.  I have underlined errors on every page of text starting at the preface.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Doc Bill



Posts: 1005
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 08 2008,17:19   

Without Paul to kick around this thread is very boring!

Dr GH, give us an error to kick around.  How about a nice, juicy misquote?

  
godsilove



Posts: 36
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: July 08 2008,18:12   

If for argument's sake, the entire universe is created by MagicMan, how does Paul Nelson propose to identify design when everything is "designed"?

   
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 08 2008,18:21   

Quote (Doc Bill @ July 08 2008,15:19)
Without Paul to kick around this thread is very boring!

Dr GH, give us an error to kick around.  How about a nice, juicy misquote?

Well, toward the end of the preface, they wrote, "Whenever there is disagreement over a particular point, we have tried to give arguments from the "best" people we could find on both sides of the question, rounding up the most qualified proponents and critics that we could."

Oh yeah.  I believe that.

Quotes?  Page six has a footnote #3.  In that footnote (actually most substantive notes are collected at the end of the chapter) in very small print we may read, "In a famous passage from the end of the Origin, Darwin argued that, 'all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form.' This is called Universal Common Descent becasue it claims that every organism on Earth is connected to the same tree of life, rooted in the same common ancestor." They reference the First edition of The Origin.

Here is the quoted portion of the sentence presented in bold from the original first edition text:  
Quote
"I believe that animals have descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lesser number.

Analogy would lead me one step further, namely, to the belief that all animals and plants have descended from some one prototype. But analogy may be a deceitful guide. Nevertheless all living things have much in common, in their chemical composition, their germinal vesicles, their cellular structure, and their laws of growth and reproduction. We see this even in so trifling a circumstance as that the same poison often similarly affects plants and animals; or that the poison secreted by the gall-fly produces monstrous growths on the wild rose or oak-tree. Therefore I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed.


So of course the creationists have lied. They changed the sentence punctuation to hide that they had redacted the sentence. It is interesting they have cut Darwin's reference to a Creator.

Nor have they presented Darwin's actual views. In the 6th edition he rephrased the same section to read,  
Quote
"I believe that animals are descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lesser number.

Analogy would lead me one step further, namely, to the belief that all animals and plants are descended from some one prototype. But analogy may be a deceitful guide. Nevertheless all living things have much in common, in their chemical composition, their cellular structure, their laws of growth, and their liability to injurious influences."

And he added, "No doubt it is possible, as Mr. G.H. Lewes has urged, that at the first commencement of life many different forms were evolved; but if so, we may conclude that only a very few have left modified descendants."


Edited by Dr.GH on July 09 2008,20:22

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 09 2008,10:52   

Did we miss Paul this AM?

Quote
64 guests, 24 Public Members and 2 Anonymous Members   [ View Complete List ]
>Dr.GH >lcd >J-Dog >Sol3a1 >dnmlthr >Paul Nelson >Nerull >midwifetoad >SpeedDemon >Ftk >Jim_Wynne >ERV >Freelurker >ppb >Ra-Úl >simmi >Arden Chatfield >JohnW >dheddle >jeannot >Assassinator >Zachriel >creeky belly >olegt


Edited by Dr.GH on July 09 2008,10:21

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 09 2008,12:52   

Quote (Dr.GH @ July 09 2008,10:52)
Did we miss Paul this AM?

 
Quote
64 guests, 24 Public Members and 2 Anonymous Members   [ View Complete List ]
>Dr.GH >lcd >J-Dog >Sol3a1 >dnmlthr >Paul Nelson >Nerull >midwifetoad >SpeedDemon >Ftk >Jim_Wynne >ERV >Freelurker >ppb >Ra-Úl >simmi >Arden Chatfield >JohnW >dheddle >jeannot >Assassinator >Zachriel >creeky belly >olegt

I've noticed that sex-porn-lesbian has been logging in around 8 AM CDT in the morning. I would imagine Paul has changed his drive-by time in order to not be led into temptation.

--------------
It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 09 2008,13:23   

I wanted to see Nelson bite the hook and complain that EE was misrepresented because I left out that they eventually mention the rest of Darwin’s thought. In fact, EE mentions this in a manner to further obscure Darwin’s meaning.

At the end of the footnote following a discussion of the meaning of “universe,” and the bibliographic data for the edition and reprint version of The Origin they had misquoted, EE adds, “Elsewhere in the Origin, Darwin allowed for the possibility that life might have arisen from one or a few original life forms."

As we can see above, this notion of decent from “a few” forms is important to understanding Darwin’s thinking regarding a universal common ancestor, and how Darwin limits evolutionary theory to life, and not the origin of life. In fact, Darwin bracketed his cautious observation of a possible LCA with the notion of multiple original life forms. The final sentence in the first edition, "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." was slightly modified in the Sixth edition to clearly indicate that the "Creator" was responsible for the origin of life. Some scholarly studies claim that Darwin regretted making this concession to his publishers.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Paul Nelson



Posts: 43
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 10 2008,00:39   

Hi Gary,

Morse Peckham's variorum edition of the Origin shows "by the Creator" added by Darwin in two places (both in reference to the origin of life, after the verb "breathed").  This addition occurs, if I recall correctly -- don't have the book with me at the moment (I'm in Oxford at a conference) -- in the second, not the sixth, edition, and is retained by Darwin from the second ed. forward.  (He did grumble in private correspondence about making the addition, but never took it out.)

Alb, my copy of The Tragic Sense of Life arrived.  We'll be citing it in the new edition of Explore Evolution.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 10 2008,00:46   

Quote (Paul Nelson @ July 09 2008,22:39)
Hi Gary,

Morse Peckham's variorum edition of the Origin shows "by the Creator" added by Darwin in two places (both in reference to the origin of life, after the verb "breathed").  This addition occurs, if I recall correctly -- don't have the book with me at the moment (I'm in Oxford at a conference) -- in the second, not the sixth, edition, and is retained by Darwin from the second ed. forward.  (He did grumble in private correspondence about making the addition, but never took it out.)

Then I expect that you will correct the gross violation of Darwin's meaning even though it will deprive you of some slight rhetorical advantage.

No?

Edited by Dr.GH on July 09 2008,22:47

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 10 2008,14:50   

Quote (Paul Nelson @ July 10 2008,00:39)
Alb, my copy of The Tragic Sense of Life arrived.  We'll be citing it in the new edition of Explore Evolution.

Paul,

I can't wait to see the quote-mines you will do with that book.

I found it amusing to discover that many of your standard creationist arguments were leveled at Haeckel over 130 years ago (p. 323). Almost all of those are repeated in EE. You guys need to get some new material.  Maybe you can try doing some experiments, rather than going to conferences or quote-mining books dealing with 19th-century 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

   
raguel



Posts: 107
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: July 10 2008,21:51   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 10 2008,14:50)
Quote (Paul Nelson @ July 10 2008,00:39)
Alb, my copy of The Tragic Sense of Life arrived.  We'll be citing it in the new edition of Explore Evolution.

Paul,

I can't wait to see the quote-mines you will do with that book.

I found it amusing to discover that many of your standard creationist arguments were leveled at Haeckel over 130 years ago (p. 323). Almost all of those are repeated in EE. You guys need to get some new material.  Maybe you can try doing some experiments, rather than going to conferences or quote-mining books dealing with 19th-century science?

hah i was going to mention this the other day. In between visits from Paul, I caught a few minutes of a program on the Science channel, titled "Dinosaurs: Return to Life:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/science....en.html


Quote
Hans Larsson, a palaeontologist at McGill University in Canada, conducted an experiment in November 2007 into the evolution from dinosaurs’ long tails into birds’ short tails more than 150 million years ago.

Looking at a two-day-old chicken embryo, he made an unexpected discovery.

Expecting to see between four and eight vertebrae present in the developing spine, his microscope instead picked out 16 vertebrae — effectively a reptilian tail.

As the embryo developed, the ‘tail’ became shorter and shorter, until the young bird hatched with only five vertebrae.

Larsson says of the significance of the find: ‘For about 150 million years, this kind of a tail has never existed in birds.

'But they have always carried it deep inside their embryology.’

So, the blueprint for a dinosaur remained locked inside the modern-day bird.

Larsson decided to move from theory to reality.

He wanted to see if he could make a chicken grow a dinosaur’s tail, turning the clock back millions of years.

Manipulating the genetic make-up, he was able to extend the tail by a further three vertebrae.

Larsson had pinpointed a method for turning on dormant dinosaur genes.


So on one side, I see a few scientists talking about their research/experiments and how it confirms ToE, and on the other side I get yet another discussion about some 19th century wood carvings. This is what the kids today refer to as "EPIC FAIL".

  
Quack



Posts: 1755
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 11 2008,03:35   

Another example is mentioned in “The First Chimpanzee” (John Gribbin and Jeremy Cherfas, 2001):
Quote
One of the regulators that is known, or rather inferred, controls the development of the bones in a chicken's leg. The limbs of all vertebrates with a more recent evolutionary origin than the fishes are built on the same sort of plan, the pentadactyl limb, but with modifications. Horses, for example, have only one, enormously elongated, toe, instead of the usual five. And chickens, like other birds, have a very reduced fibula, the smaller bone alongside the shin bone, as you will know if you have ever paid attention to eating a drumstick. Along with the reduced fibula the chicken also has many of its ankle bones missing, though this wouldn't be so obvious to the casual chicken-leg eater. It turns out that, by a variety of surgical manipulations on the chicken foetus in the egg, one can persuade a developing chick to grow a much sturdier fibula and also develop some of the normally missing ankle bones. Chicken DNA contains the information to build the 'normal' limb; so why doesn't it? Probably as a result of a very slight change in a regulator gene. The mutants never grow an ankle without a fibula, but once the fibula contacts the ankle region the bones there develop. The interpretation of this is that the presence of the fibula somehow induces the ankle bones to form, and that at some stage in its past the structural genes for the chicken's leg came under the influence of a new regulator that controlled them in a different way. The effect was to reduce the growth of the fibula, which in turn modified the ankle. The structural genes themselves are still there, as the experimental birds show, and what happened in evolution was that they got switched off.


It is referenced as “Cited by Pere Alberch, S.J. Gould, G. F. Oster and David B. Wake, ‘Size and shape in ontogeny and phylogeny’, Palaebiology, 5: 296-317, 1979”

The text continues:
Quote
Chromosomal mutations, then, can have a powerful effect, and what is more they crop up in the space of one generation. The major problem that they pose for the animal carrying them is that it will surely have a very hard time finding a mate.


That was 30 years ago!

--------------
YEC creationists denigrate science without an inkling of what their lives would be without it. YEC creationism is an enrageous, abominable insult to the the human intellect.
                                                         Me.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 13 2008,11:10   

Paul, et al.

My review of Robert J. Richards' A Tragic Sense of Life, a biography (and more) of Ernst Haeckel, is up at Amazon.com.

Creationists and other deniers of reality will not like this book, but to does offer plenty of opportunities for creative quote-mining. I have corresponded with Professor Richards, so he has been alerted to this inevitability.

However, you might want to pass along this quote to your fellow reality-denier, Richard Weikart. It's not a quote-mine; it sums up the book fairly well. From the very last page (my emphasis).
 
Quote
"It can only be a tendentious and dogmatically driven assessment that would condemn Darwin for the crimes of the Nazis. And while some of Haeckel's conceptions were recruited by a few Nazi biologists, he hardly differed in that respect from Christian writers, whose disdain for Jews gave considerably more support to those dark forces. One might thus recognize in Haeckel a causal source for a few lines deployed by National Socialists, but hardly any moral connection exists by which to indict him."


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

   
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 13 2008,14:06   

Good review. I have posted a few on Amazon as well.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
stevestory



Posts: 8896
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 13 2008,18:33   

With the passage of the Louisiana Creationism Science Education Act, and the publication of Explore Creationism Intelligent Design Evolution (yeah...that's the ticket), it is only a matter of time before Paul and the gang work to get EE introduced into classrooms somewhere in Louisiana.

So how's that going, Paul? You guys been working the phones? Found anyone yet?

   
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2008,12:01   

I've updated my survey of biology textbooks wherein I document the appearance (or not) of the infamous Haeckel's embryos woodcut. The current list (available as an Excel file) covers 40 textbooks, dating from 1980 to the present day. These include 5 advanced college textbooks, 28 college-level intro books, 2 developmental biology books, 4 high-school or high school supplements, and 1 targeted at high school or college intro classes. There are 4 creationist books (Pandas, Explore Evolution, The Design of Life, and the Bob Jones U "Biology for Christian Schools" books), and 36 mainstream books.

Haeckel's original figure (woodcut of various vertebrate embryos) appears in exactly three of these 40 books. Most interestingly, all three are creationist texts; it does not appear in Pandas. It does not appear in any of the 36 mainstream biology textbooks in my possession.

It would appear that Well's assertion in Icons of Evolution that this figure still persists in many modern textbooks, as well as the re-assertion of this statement in Explore Evolution, as well as the re-assertion in The Design of Life, is false. The offending figure only appears as a strawman in creationist tracts (EE and TDoL and the BJU textbooks).

I'll keep updating this spreadsheet as I encounter new books; right now I'm trying to read Dembski and Wells and avoid marking up every other sentence with a red pencil...

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

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4362
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2008,12:58   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 15 2008,12:01)
I'll keep updating this spreadsheet as I encounter new books; right now I'm trying to read Dembski and Wells and avoid marking up every other sentence with a red pencil...

Red Pencil?  Your reading IDC Bible Tracts  "textbooks" and you're worried about the red pencil?

Shouldn't you be more concerned that your Full HazMat Suit has tight seals, so that none of the TerrificallyToxicTard™ doesn't leak?



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

  
JohnW



Posts: 2234
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2008,17:14   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 15 2008,10:01)
I'll keep updating this spreadsheet as I encounter new books; right now I'm trying to read Dembski and Wells and avoid marking up every other sentence with a red pencil...

Note to self: buy stock in Acme Red Pencil Company.

--------------
Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it.
- Robert Byers

  
stevestory



Posts: 8896
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2008,20:20   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 15 2008,13:01)
I've updated my survey of biology textbooks wherein I document the appearance (or not) of the infamous Haeckel's embryos woodcut. The current list (available as an Excel file) covers 40 textbooks, dating from 1980 to the present day. These include 5 advanced college textbooks, 28 college-level intro books, 2 developmental biology books, 4 high-school or high school supplements, and 1 targeted at high school or college intro classes. There are 4 creationist books (Pandas, Explore Evolution, The Design of Life, and the Bob Jones U "Biology for Christian Schools" books), and 36 mainstream books.

Haeckel's original figure (woodcut of various vertebrate embryos) appears in exactly three of these 40 books. Most interestingly, all three are creationist texts; it does not appear in Pandas. It does not appear in any of the 36 mainstream biology textbooks in my possession.

It would appear that Well's assertion in Icons of Evolution that this figure still persists in many modern textbooks, as well as the re-assertion of this statement in Explore Evolution, as well as the re-assertion in The Design of Life, is false. The offending figure only appears as a strawman in creationist tracts (EE and TDoL and the BJU textbooks).

I'll keep updating this spreadsheet as I encounter new books; right now I'm trying to read Dembski and Wells and avoid marking up every other sentence with a red pencil...

This is really the best of AtBC. Anybody can point and say "Har har you dumb tard" (I do it all the time) but when something inspires us to actually do some research and produce an analysis, that's when we're contributing the most. Kudos, alba.

   
stevestory



Posts: 8896
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2008,20:27   

Quote (raguel @ July 10 2008,22:51)
So on one side, I see a few scientists talking about their research/experiments and how it confirms ToE, and on the other side I get yet another discussion about some 19th century wood carvings. This is what the kids today refer to as "EPIC FAIL".

We need to preserve comments like these in special archives, so that in 30 years, when elderly Paul looks back an asks, "Dur...why was I a complete failure?" He can maybe reread some of this and have, way too late, a little insight.

   
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2008,21:14   

Quote (stevestory @ July 16 2008,20:20)
This is really the best of AtBC. Anybody can point and say "Har har you dumb tard" (I do it all the time) but when something inspires us to actually do some research and produce an analysis, that's when we're contributing the most. Kudos, alba.

Thanks, Steve.

But it always makes me wonder why Wells and Nelson and all those folks who put this in books (rather than on blogs or message boards) don't bother to do the research themselves.

This is pretty simple stuff, a couple of hours of looking through books in an office, and they can't be bothered to do the work. No wonder they never even attempt to do lab work or field work and write it up for publication; that actually does take some time and effort!

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

   
raguel



Posts: 107
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2008,21:20   

It took a few readings and about 2 months, but I think I figured out that Nature paper :)  (Apologies in advance for the long post)

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008....ro.html

Quote
More seriously, Timmer should know that a single symposium – even one as fascinating as the Rockefeller event – does not a science make. Consider the topic of anatomical homology, central to arguments about the common ancestry of the animals. Explore Evolution focuses on the revolution in evolutionary theory’s understanding of homology that has been brought about by discoveries in developmental biology and genetics within the past two decades. Many biologists unfamiliar with these findings still hold the standard textbook view that homologous anatomical structures are caused by homologous genes and developmental pathways.

But those textbooks need to be updated. As Günther Wagner (2007, 473) notes,

   Intuitively, one would expect that the historical continuity of morphological characters is underpinned by the continuity of the genes that govern the development of these characters. However, things are not that simple: one of the most important results of the past 15 years of molecular developmental genetics is the realization that homologous characters can have different genetic and developmental bases. This seems paradoxical, because the historical continuity of morphological characters implies continuity of the (genetic) information about the characters.

Are students likely to learn about these discoveries from their standard biology textbooks? No. Will they learn about them in Explore Evolution? Yes.


So will this be in EE then?

Quote
found in the fact that developmental
variation in homologous characters is not
randomly distributed, but affects some
aspects of development more than others.
For example, in D. melanogaster, segmentation
proceeds through three stages that are
controlled by particular genes: gap genes,
which determine larger body regions, the
pair-rule genes, which divide the embryo
into stripes of alternating half segments,
and the segment-polarity genes, which
activate the actual morphogenetic process of
segment formation. Surprisingly, the most
extensive interspecific variation has been
found in the higher levels of the segmentation
hierarchy, namely the gap genes and
the pair-rule genes. Examples are the
pair-rule genes ftz and eve, mentioned above,
and the gap gene bicoid (bcd), which exists
only in the higher Diptera, not even in the
dipteran mosquito Anopheles. By contrast,
the segment-polarity gene network, which
includes the interaction of engrailed (en)
and wingless (wg), seems to be invariant, at
least among insectsThis suggests that the
genetic regulatory network (GRN) that controls
the execution of the segment-specific
morphogenetic processes is less variable
than the upstream processes that activate it.

If the pattern that is suggested by the data
on insect segmentation can be generalized, it
seems that the most conservative parts
of the developmental process are the
GRNs that control the developmental
programme that specifies the identity of
the character; that is, the character identity
network (ChIN). For example, individual
cell types are determined by a characteristic
set of regulatory genes over vast evolutionary
distances. Another example is the genetic
network for the endomesoderm that starfish
and sea urchins share. By contrast, other
aspects of development, from early patterning
to the execution of the developmental
programme, are more variable.
Here I review evidence that shows
that these networks determine character
identity rather than character state, that
non-homologous morphological characters
are determined by non-homologous ChINs,
and that the genes participating in a ChIN
are co-adapted for their task; that is, they are
functionally non-equivalent to orthologues in
species that do not have the character, and
to paralogues that do not participate in the
development of that character.
The idea that the genes that control character
identity are distinct from the genes that
determine the special shape and state of
a character has been well documented in
the case of Ultrabithorax (Ubx) function
in insect wing development...


Quote
Future directions

Consistent with modern views of homology
character identity is not tied
to particular manifest features, like structure,
composition and shape.
Instead,
homologues have a single historical origin,
form a lineage of descent with modification,
and can go extinct. From a developmental
point of view, character identity and thus
homology requires the ability to express
an evolutionarily variable developmental
programme that is different from those
in other parts of the body.

  
raguel



Posts: 107
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: July 17 2008,14:07   

meh, I think I cut off a paragraph or two, and somehow threw off the formatting.

Anyway, EE is supposed to be for high school students right? Even with a PZ article to help me, I found pair-rule genes to be a...challenging topic. It may be my ego talking, but I don't see how one can reasonably expect any high school student to grasp all this. I suppose if the author is only concerned about quote mining to further his apologetics as opposed to actually teaching biology (so no need to learn about those pesky genes or what the words orthologue and paralogue mean), then it's ok.  :)

  
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