Wesley R. Elsberry posted Entry 937 on April 5, 2005 03:30 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/935

I wrote a letter to the editor of “The Daily Californian” concerning David Berlinski’s op-ed piece that ran there on April 1. I reproduce it here as an open letter.

Re: David Berlinski’s little white lies

David Berlinski claims to be looking for what is true. It is odd, then, that he spreads easily-discovered falsehoods in his April 1st essay.

Is it really considered “clever beyond measure” for biologists at the Panda’s Thumb or TalkReason websites to misspell William Dembski’s surname as “Dumbski”? Google has made it easy to check, and Google doesn’t find even one such instance at the TalkReason web site. Google does find three pre-Berlinski instances of use of the “Dumbski” misspelling on the Panda’s Thumb, but all of those are in the sections of public comment and have not issued from that weblog’s contributing biologists.  There no indication that anyone congratulated those making the comments for their wit.

Besides inventing infractions by critics, Berlinski’s approach to etiquette is one-sided. Berlinski notes Dembski’s extensive academic training, but overlooks Dembski’s documented penchant for invidious comparisons. In 1998, Dembski compared biologists to the old Soviet regime, a charge he repeated in 1999 and 2003. He referred to biologists opposed to him at Baylor University as practicing “intellectual McCarthyism” in 2001. In 2002, Dembski analogized ID to be like Socrates and the scientific community to be like the Athenian court that ordered his death. Nor does maturity seem to be coming to Dembski, as in 2004 he compared evolutionary biologists to the Taliban. (The website http://tinyurl.com/58kwe… documents several further instances of invidious comparisons by Dembski’s fellow ID advocates.)

Berlinski’s thesis that criticism of Dembski’s arguments has nowhere risen above the level of misspelling Dembski’s surname is absurd. I have a published a critical book review of the Cambridge University Press volume that Berlinski cites. John Wilkins and I wrote a peer reviewed paper published in “Biology and Philosophy” that notes serious problems in Dembski’s “explanatory filter”. I extensively criticized other arguments of Dembski’s in online essays, and I spelled Dembski’s name correctly throughout. I’m not alone. For a book that takes ID claims seriously and shows why they are wrong or unconvincing, I recommend “Why Intelligent Design Fails” from another academic publisher, Rutgers University Press. I contributed to a chapter therein that critiques Dembski’s arguments.

Berlinski’s falsehoods and mischaracterizations are not clever.

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Comment #23342

Posted by Chip Hogg on April 5, 2005 7:21 AM (e)

Problem: Berlinski can point to the April 1 publishing date and accuse the opposition of not having a sense of humour. I suppose in response one might accuse him of not being funny. :)

Comment #23343

Posted by TonyB on April 5, 2005 7:26 AM (e)

Berlinski prefers superciliousness to humor, so it would be quite a new approach if he were suddenly trying to be funny (instead of doing it inadvertently).

Comment #23346

Posted by a Creationist Troll, apparently on April 5, 2005 7:49 AM (e)

From WordNet:
invidious – containing or implying a slight or showing prejudice

Are Dembski’s (quoted above) analogies invidious? I don’t think they are intended to contain or imply a slight, so much as to reflect on Dembski’s experience - as to whether they show prejudice, that depends upon whether the reason he used the analogy was true or not. They certainly aren’t as abusive as the language generally used of anybody opposed to evolution on Panda’s Thumb. Methinks you protest too much.

Comment #23352

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on April 5, 2005 10:21 AM (e)

Let’s see… misspelling a name is a breach of etiquette worthy of being the basis of an op-ed article, but noting that the person whose name was misspelled has compared his critics to the Soviets, Sen. McCarthy, and the Taliban is too trivial to rate a mention. Ok, I think I’ve got where aCTa is coming from. I think “invidious” is a demure understatement of the reality. Mark Perakh and I covered this territory in detail last year.

aCTa also overlooks the specificity of Berlinski’s claim, that the biologists on Panda’s Thumb were the parties responsible for misspelling Dembski’s name and laughing it up. Berlinski’s claim wasn’t about the “language generally used” here. As one of the those very specifically accused by Berlinski, am I wrong to protest an out-and-out falsehood printed in the media? I don’t think so.

Comment #23353

Posted by Colin on April 5, 2005 10:25 AM (e)

That’s an odd definition of ‘invidious.’ I think it is more generally read to mean ‘antagonistic,’ or ‘hostile,’ with a connotation of arbitrariness. In any event, under either your definition or mine, yes, Dembski’s rash comparisons of honest scientists to mass murderers and perpetrators of atrocities is invidious.

Comment #23356

Posted by Russell on April 5, 2005 10:38 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'b'

Comment #23359

Posted by Roger Appell (rappell) on April 5, 2005 11:02 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #23360

Posted by Glen Davidson on April 5, 2005 11:11 AM (e)

Let’s just cut to the chase: otoh, anti-evolutionists are often good misguided folk, and occasionally frankly and honestly religious who don’t care a fig about science and say so. On the other hand, a considerable number of those who “lead the charge” and especially those who continue to do battle no matter how often they’ve been shown to be ignorant in the areas of biology and evolution, are very often arrogantly ignorant of biology and of the philosophy of science, so that once they’re out of their small stock of criticisms they begin to resort to distortions, lies, and attacks on the actual experts in the science they’re criticizing.

What’s Berlinski supposed to be doing at this point, telling us relevant facts? Does he have any? He remains decidedly opposed to a science that he doesn’t understand, but he has nothing credible to say, and so he says nothing other than to make false charges, bring up irrelevant stories, and to hold biologists up to ridicule.

I’m apprehensive like others here that all criticisms of his latest screed will be answered with, “where’s your sense of humor?”, and, “didn’t you notice the date?” But it can’t be helped, since Berlinski has run out of “bright ideas” and will opt to go for the dim ones.

But I promise not to call Dimski by the name “Dumbski”, or Berdimski by the name “Berdumbski”. Of course the foregoing sentence is unclever and meaningless to any honest discussion, but I’m willing to operate on Berlinski’s level as long as he can only flail.

Comment #23361

Posted by Bill on April 5, 2005 11:13 AM (e)

OK, I confess, I confess that a weekend of watching Adam Sandler movies led me to intentionally misspell the D-meister’s name as D*mbski, which I can’t do now, since I vowed to cease and desist.

However, I am outraged that I, a chemist, have been swept up with biologists, of all ilk, who were out in the forest partying while I was slaving away in a laboratory doing serious work. As for Berlinski failing to cite me specifically for my Sandleresque attempt at humor, I guess the planets weren’t lined up in my favor. He should know.

Comment #23380

Posted by Roger Appell (rappell) on April 5, 2005 1:21 PM (e)

A malicious man disguises himself with his lips,
but in his heart he harbors deceit.
Though his speech is charming, do not believe him,
for seven abominations fill his heart.
His malice may be concealed by deception,
but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

(Proverbs 26:24-26)

And let us not forget the exposure of William Dembski’s dishonest subterfuges at amazon.com. Certainly this duplicitous behavior is invidious.

Is there a web page “clearing house” somewhere that gives a quick but thoroughly documented summary of the unprofessional conduct of creationists like Dembski who are employed in the academy?

Comment #23404

Posted by Engineer-Poet on April 5, 2005 3:44 PM (e)

Berlinski’s condemnations certainly are lame.  Which leads to a rather obvious creative misspelling of his name…

Comment #23480

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on April 5, 2005 9:52 PM (e)

I’ve tightened things up by a judicious cast of messages to the Bathroom Wall.

Comment #23498

Posted by sir_toejam on April 6, 2005 3:23 AM (e)

“The Daily Californian”

that’s the UC Berkely campus paper, isn’t it? It was over a decade ago since i was a grad student there, but it seems familiar.

cheers

Comment #23499

Posted by sir_toejam on April 6, 2005 3:32 AM (e)

http://www.dailycal.org/article.php?id=18178

oh god. the humanity! I just confirmed it for myself. To see my alumn, the school that when i was there, contributed as much to evolutionary theory as any school in CA, if not the country, publish such drivel. Now i can understand free speech and all, but really! At least publish a rebuttal opinion alongside, or clarify the paper’s use of Berlinski’s ramblings as purely for some April Fools fun.

*sigh*

Comment #23501

Posted by sir_toejam on April 6, 2005 3:35 AM (e)

well, at least the article is appropriately titled:

“Academic Extinction”

indeed.

Comment #23708

Posted by slpage on April 7, 2005 7:32 AM (e)

R. Appell - You are not the first to be banned for pointing out the ‘secret’ radicalism of the ID movement. I was banned there several years ago for posting an article documenting Johnson’s ties to Ahmanson. The twisted pseudologic of the ARNite was that it was an ‘ad hominem’ attack.

The truth, it seems, is often offensive to the IDC movement.

The ARN board is a seething pit of anti-intellectualism, populated by arrogant, overconfident anti-science nitwits like Salvador and Warren Bergerson and Bertvan.

Comment #23844

Posted by David Berlinski on April 8, 2005 4:41 AM (e)

I did not affirm in my editorial that at both The Panda’s Thumb and Talk Reason William Dembski was described as dumb: I observed merely that at both sites such objurgations were considered “clever beyond measure.” This is the perfect truth, as a scan of posted comments might reveal. The fact that these comments were posted on a site self-described as appropriate to a urinal hardly persuades me that my observations were mistaken. May I observe, in addition, that whether William Dembski may have responded to gross intellectual vulgarity by intemperate remarks of his own is hardly relevant to the point at issue. A chaque jour suffit sa peine. I have, in addition, never claimed that criticisms of Dembski’s work inevitably fail to rise beyond the level of the causal insult. I have, after all, published my own critique of his work in Commentary. If contributors to The Panda’s Thumb or Talk Reason do not wish to be treated as fools, they should take more care not to write like one.

Comment #23875

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on April 8, 2005 10:42 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #23876

Posted by steve on April 8, 2005 11:10 AM (e)

David Berlinski wrote:

I did not affirm in my editorial that at both The Panda’s Thumb and Talk Reason William Dembski was described as dumb: I observed merely that at both sites such objurgations were considered “clever beyond measure.”

You’d have to be some kind of dimbulb to believe that. He’s lying. Or a dimbulb.

If contributors to The Panda’s Thumb or Talk Reason do not wish to be treated as fools, they should take more care not to write like one.

Haven’t seen any articles against Relativity over here, Berdumbski.

Comment #23878

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on April 8, 2005 11:15 AM (e)

Just for the record, Steve: “Berdumbski” is not clever beyond measure.

Comment #23879

Posted by Jim Wynne on April 8, 2005 11:28 AM (e)

I just posted a review of Berlinski’s mega-specious Wichita Eagle piece from last month here for anyone interested.

Comment #23881

Posted by Aureola Nominee on April 8, 2005 11:28 AM (e)

Wesley:

neither is Berlinski.

Comment #23883

Posted by Glen Davidson on April 8, 2005 11:31 AM (e)

I observed merely that at both sites such objurgations were considered “clever beyond measure.” This is the perfect truth, as a scan of posted comments might reveal.

Do you have any evidence for this at all? Has anyone ever written anything to indicate that they think “Dumbski” is clever beyond all measure, or is it simply something you say?

The fact that these comments were posted on a site self-described as appropriate to a urinal hardly persuades me that my observations were mistaken.

So do you supposes that “the bathroom wall” is filled with cleverness beyond measure? Would “cleverness beyond measure” be consigned to the “bathroom wall”?

May I observe, in addition, that whether William Dembski may have responded to gross intellectual vulgarity by intemperate remarks of his own is hardly relevant to the point at issue.

If you believe that, show some evidence for your claims. And of course it does matter that Dembski has often been intemperate, since one has considerably less obligation to be respectful toward those who have treated biologistis intemperately.

I have, in addition, never claimed that criticisms of Dembski’s work inevitably fail to rise beyond the level of the causal insult. I have, after all, published my own critique of his work in Commentary.

Was that supposed to be “casual insult”? To be sure, he does produce “causal insults” when he claims a “cause” whose effective actions remain beyond our ken.

Why his poor tactics are defended by yourself after you have noted some of Dembski’s errors remains a mystery. The very rare use of the word “Dumbski” on this forum may be considered cheap, throwaway insult, hurled in haste because dumb arguments are dumb no matter if one has two doctorates or is in fact intelligent. And Dembski has yet to bring up an actual causal model, instead supposing that ascription of responsibility to a “designer” can be done via mathematical calculations.

If contributors to The Panda’s Thumb or Talk Reason do not wish to be treated as fools, they should take more care not to write like one.

You could write using number consistently if you want to appear less foolish than the “fools” on Panda’s Thumb. I make mistakes as well, but for one who comes in evincing great superiority as you did, I’d think you’d make less mistakes in reiterating the same unevidenced charges in such a short post.

Anyway, you can’t treat us like fools. You can only try. That you get so very much wrong in the attempt leaves the issue open to attacks on the other side.

And I’m going to mention once again the fact that I was arguing for physics (thermodynamics in the brain) in my Commentary letter (Feb., 2005), and you mostly brushed such concerns aside. Then in the Wichita paper you faulted evolution for not conforming to highly precise physics (which is true of much “real world” physics).

The question is, do you really care about physics in scientific matters, or is it simply a cudgel to use against a theory you appear to oppose even without much in the way of meaningful argumentation? Are percentages in weather prediction, and faulty forecasts, an argument against meteorology, or is it to be agreed that chaotic effects in many systems preclude exact prediction in a number of cases?

Comment #23885

Posted by PvM on April 8, 2005 11:33 AM (e)

Berlinski seems to still be somewhat upset by collection of essays and letters at Talkreason disseminating his comments in Commentary.

Berlinski’s anti-scientific scandal

Has Darwin met his match in Berlinski?

Accusing scientific response to ID to be largely rethorical, he hides ID proponents’ inabilities to present any relevant scientific theory of ID. In fact, ID proponents are routinely ignoring scientific criticisms of their work in favor of rethoric, wedging their way into school curricula.

Berlinski’s dislike of sites which expose the vacuity of intelligent design, as well as his own comments seems to have led him to drop any efforts to verify his claims. Luckily we have such eminences as Welsey Elsberry, to help set the record straight… Once again…

Comment #23886

Posted by Glen Davidson on April 8, 2005 11:37 AM (e)

Just for the record, Steve: “Berdumbski” is not clever beyond measure.

That’s the spirit, keep us on our toes. If we’re not reminded that “Dumbski” and “Berdumbski” are not clever, pretty soon we’ll be thinking that “Wearing pink tasseled slippers and conical hats covered in polka dots, Darwinian biologists are persuaded that a plot is afoot to make them look silly,” is clever.

Comment #23888

Posted by frank schmidt on April 8, 2005 11:40 AM (e)

Berlinski’s bio describes him as follows:

Berlinski (Ph.D. in mathematics, Princeton University) is a lecturer and essayist… a longtime friend of the late Marcel Schützenberger, with whom he collaborated on the mathematical critique of Darwinism. Berlinski is a fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture.

Apparently he has not been well-trained in logic or rhetoric, since his essay and response are an excellent case study for identifying logical fallacies. I counted a bunch:

3 fallacies of distraction:

Appeal to Pity: the reader is persuaded to agree by sympathy

False Dilemma: two choices are given when in fact there are three options

From Ignorance: because something is not known to be true, it is assumed to be false

2 fallacies of Motive:

Prejudicial Language: value or moral goodness is attached to believing the author (the part about conical hats is particularly egregious)

Popularity: a proposition is argued to be true because it is widely held to be true

4 Fallacies of Changing the Subject:

Attacking the Person:(1) the person’s character is attacked (2) the person’s circumstances are noted

Appeal to Authority where the authority is not an expert in the field

Anonymous Authority where the authority in question is not named

Style Over Substance where the manner in which an argument (or arguer) is presented is felt to affect the truth of the conclusion (i.e., D*mbski)

2 of Missing the Point

Begging the Question: the truth of the conclusion is assumed by the premises

Straw Man: the author attacks an argument different from (and weaker than) the opposition’s best argument

Then I got tired. But I did learn a new word

objurgations

from the verb, meaning

to denounce harshly:CASTIGATE
–(Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary)

Thanks, David. Now all I have to do is use it in a sentence.

Comment #23895

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on April 8, 2005 12:10 PM (e)

Frank wrote:

Apparently he has not been well-trained in logic or rhetoric, since his essay and response are an excellent case study for identifying logical fallacies.

I’m not sure that your conclusion follows, Frank. What are the odds that one person could pack so many logical fallacies into such a short space without having some background in the subject? It is said that James Joyce had a list of words which he intended to use within “Ulysses” and crossed them off as he had occasion to use them. Perhaps the hypothesis of a list of fallacies to be deployed has greater explanatory power than the chance hypothesis that someone simply stumbles across all of those techniques.

Comment #23899

Posted by David Berlinski on April 8, 2005 12:31 PM (e)

But of course I read the Panda’s Thumb, the more so when so many vexed contributors are taking me to task. Where else could a man of my tastes find so much by way of misspelled indignation on a rainy afternoon in Paris? Having so solemnly insisted that they are as pure as the driven snow – maybe purer – the contributors that I have now read confirm the thesis that I have already made. PvM appears to believe that I am upset by the fact that Talk Reason disseminated my Commentary essays on their site. If only they had. It might have improved opinion there remarkably. What Talk Reason did do was, in fact, allow me to answer a number of criticisms. Appropriate? Yes, of course. Meritorious? Hardly. Glenn Davison appear put out that I did not properly answer his letter in Commentary. I’m sorry for it. If he will make his case again, privately if he wishes, I will try to do better. And for the record – and for all my fans out there – I do not find it my responsibility to defend ID, or anything else, for that matter, since I do not support ID, or anything else, for that matter.

Comment #23902

Posted by Glen Davidson on April 8, 2005 12:35 PM (e)

Water under the bridge to me. Perhaps I’ll take up your offer.

Comment #23905

Posted by Russell on April 8, 2005 12:42 PM (e)

Berlinski:

Where else could a man of my tastes find so much by way of misspelled indignation on a rainy afternoon in Paris?

If you’re going to be superciliously pedantic, you might do well to spell-check and grammar-check your own comments.

Glenn Davison appear put out that I did not properly answer his letter in Commentary

Of course, I’m just being pedantic here.

More substantially, that you can claim not to be an ID supporter, yet associate yourself with the Discovery Institute (and, I presume, accept their money?) causes me to think you a hypocrite of the highest order.

Comment #23909

Posted by Bob King on April 8, 2005 1:05 PM (e)

Dr Berlinski,

It is interesting to quote from a review at Amazon.com in regard to your book “The secrets of the vaulted sky.” I haven’t read this book, but the comments certainly apply rather well both to your OpEd piece in the Daily Californian and to your posts here so far;

Berlinski’s ruminative but shallow history seeks to rescue it from what he sees as the misconceived derision of modern science. The author of A Tour of the Calculus remains coyly agnostic about astrology’s validity…..

Readers looking for real intellectual meat behind the author’s ostentatious erudition and metaphysical pseudo-profundities will go hungry.

The Daily Californian today publishes a response from a graduate student who hopes that your piece was an April Fool’s DAy joke. Given the OpEd piece’s total lack of “intellectual meat” I am not surprised. Coy agnosticism is hardly an honest or useful literary style.

Comment #23911

Posted by Alan Gourant on April 8, 2005 1:12 PM (e)

Last year Berlinski posted 14 letters on Talk Reason where he debated Jim Downard. In one of those letters, at the very beginning of the debate, he promised to avoid remarks of personal character and ad hominems, and he kept his word. All those letters can still be seen on Talk Reason. I wonder what could cause Berlinski to suddenly resort to slandering Talk Reason in such a blatant way by falsely accusing that site of using Dembski’s name misspelled as Dumbski (which in fact has never happened there). Having been caught in this falsehood, Berlinksi, instead of apologizing, has the gall to insist that he’s said the truth. He knows that TR will not take him to a court for calumny, so apparently he feels safe in spitting at the site which politely provided a forum for him in his debate with Downard. Now we hear that contributors to TR are fools, while Berlinski is apparentlly much superior intellectually compared to the authors of TR articles and letters. Elsberry and others on this blog have spent a lot of time and effort to rebut the shameful escapades of Berlinski and each such rebuttal only leads to another insolent invective from that minor writer of insignificant books who for unfathomable reasons is presented as a scientist despite the absence of any evidence that he has ever conducted any scientific work. Dr. Berlinski, don’t you have any sense of shame? Throwing mud on those who disagree with you hardly makes you convincing.

Comment #23912

Posted by David Berlinski on April 8, 2005 1:19 PM (e)

I am associated with the DI JUST BECAUSE they tolerate me when no one else will, striking evidence, I should think, that the DI has a more catholic reach than one would imagine. Like any other writer, I receive bad reviews – some of them with merit. Of what conceivable relevance, I might ask, is this? A final remark. It goes without saying, I hope, that my op-ed piece was without “intellectual meat.” An op-ed piece is not an essay. It is a polemical form. The Dean’s essay to which I was responding was also entirely devoid of such meat. Have any of you read it? No, I thought not. If anyone has a criticism of substance to make, I would be happy to respond off-line.

Comment #23914

Posted by Russell on April 8, 2005 1:36 PM (e)

…the DI has a more catholic reach than one would imagine.

I doubt it. I imagine the DI is happy to support anyone of any persuasion who will lend a veneer of respectability to doubts about evolution. The fact that Berlinski has no qualms about associating himself with an organization so intimately associated with the Christian reconstructionist movement speaks volumes. Must be nice to watch the erosion of the secular foundation of the US from the comfort of his rainy Paris afternoon, knowing that he’s contributing to it with his little essays that so flagrantly ignore facts, logic, and the critics that point these failings out to him.

Comment #23918

Posted by Bob King on April 8, 2005 1:42 PM (e)

Dr Berlinski,

The relevance of the review was that it fitted your Op-Ed piece quite well and, therfore, suggests a pattern - one might say a design - to your polemics. I have to admit that I hadn’t realized that the point of Op-Ed pieces was to present polemical arguments as devoid of substance as possible rather than to present an opinion with at least some basis in fact.

By misrepresenting the actual situation as to the non existent abuse of Dumbski’s name by the principals, both at PT and Talk Orgins, you undermine both your argument and any reputation as an honest advocate which you might have possessed.

You were handed a valuable platform from which to address faculty and students at Berkeley from which to present your point of view. In my opinion you wasted that opportunity.

Elsberry has made criticisms of substance which you have failed to address. And as for the Dean - if his remarks justified a response at all then surely they justified a reasoned and honest one as opposed to a piece littered with straw men, red herrings, ad hominems and the rest. I am sure that your audience at Berkeley wasted no time reading your piece.

Comment #23919

Posted by Evolving Apeman on April 8, 2005 1:43 PM (e)

Gee whiz, A real published critic of evolution! You guys are so giddy with joy I’m sure most of you have peed your pants. Russell couldn’t even wait to show him how clever he was in pointing out the spelling and grammer errors of critics. Must be a real treat for you guys over the “usual trolls” such as myself.

Comment #23920

Posted by Bob King on April 8, 2005 1:46 PM (e)

and, embarrasingly, my mispelling of Dembski’s name was a genuine slip for which I apologize. I had intended to say “Dembski’s name as Dumbski.” Then decided not to use “Dumbski” at all but, unfortunately, deleted the wrong version.

Comment #23921

Posted by Russell on April 8, 2005 1:49 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'b'

Comment #23923

Posted by Bob King on April 8, 2005 1:52 PM (e)

Apeman,

Not at all. You should read Mark Perakh’s excellent book to see the manifold flaws in ID and so called “scholarly” expositions by “real published critics.” The drawback to publication is that once one has published something flawed it is almost impossible to restore one’s reputation. As for Dr Berlinski, well, he knows very well what he’s doing. So it’s hardly surprising that people such as yourself should be so easily misled by those with PhDs and, in some cases, multiple PhD’s, who delight in deception.

Comment #23925

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on April 8, 2005 1:54 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'URL'

Comment #23926

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on April 8, 2005 1:57 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #23928

Posted by Evolving Apeman on April 8, 2005 2:07 PM (e)

Bob,

How do you know that 1) I’m not a published critic, 2) I don’t have a PhD or PhDs. Most of us biologists don’t have the guts to come out of the “closet”. But we can admire the martyrs that do. We’re to busy publishing and writing grants for real science. We recognize our professional reputation could be ruined, not by the content of what we publish, but for daring to cross the high priesthood of Darwinian Fundamentalists. Anyone’s research and statements can be shredded to bits by a critical observer. I have yet to read a perfectly reported publication from a perfectly designed study. Of course you all know this, but your ideology is threatened and so fairness gets thrown out the window.

Comment #23931

Posted by Bob King on April 8, 2005 2:25 PM (e)

Apeman,

I was only going off what you said. Apologies if I misunderstood. But, here’s what you said:

A real published critic of evolution! …. Must be a real treat for you guys over the “usual trolls” such as myself.

By contrasting yourself with “published critics” I assumed that you were not a published critic. Now you say;

Most of us biologists don’t have the guts to come out of the “closet”. But we can admire the martyrs that do. We’re to busy publishing and writing grants for real science.

Is ID not “real science” ??????

Be that as it may, these statements certainly imply strongly that you aren’t a published critic of evolution. Are you? By the way, why are they martyrs? The implication that they have sacrificed glittering academic careers to pursue ID simply doesn’t hold water - e.g., Behe has a professorship. Further, science is a free market and free market forces operate to sort the wheat from the chaff. Again, I refer you to Perakh’s book for comment on the abilities of the various ID protagonists.

I don’t know if you have a PhD or not - I was basing my judgment on your own words.

Comment #23934

Posted by David Berlinski on April 8, 2005 2:47 PM (e)

A few last remarks before I go. 1) The DI is a think tank, one dealing with a very wide range of issues (regional transportation, and the like). 2) Insofar as I am associated with the DI it is because I support both their desire to give Darwinian theories a kick in the pants AND their general unhappiness with the current climate of scientific opinion. I have been doing that since 1973, long before the DI was founded. 3) Some members of the DI are interested in Christian reconstructionism, others not. I am an obvious example. But do see the list of fellows for other examples. 3) My criticisms of ID are on-line at the DI website. Friends and colleagues there do not agree with what I have said, but they regard it as very wise. 4) An op-ed piece is designed to stake out a position in rhetorically accessible form. It is not designed to provide a complete argument. I have done that in my published essays. I believe that everyone on this list understands this: And if not, they should.

I don’t mind at all if anyone draws conclusions from my book, The Secrets of the Vaulted Sky, provided, however, that they first read it. A review is, after all, not quite the same thing as the book itself. This is, again, something that I believe everyone on this list understands: And if not, they should.

Comment #23935

Posted by Evolving Apeman on April 8, 2005 2:48 PM (e)

Apology accepted Bob.

I publish in other areas of science. I consider macroevolution/abiogenesis and ID to be both more philosphical than science pursuits. But if were going to teach one as “science” in the classroom we should teach the other. Its “Fair and Balanced” you know.

Now I owe an apology to Wesley. It will refrain from incontinence cliches. I’m sure you have suffered and for that you have my sympathy. I hope your pouchitis flares are at a minimum.

Comment #23940

Posted by Jim Wynne on April 8, 2005 3:04 PM (e)

Evolving Apeman wrote:

You guys are so giddy with joy I’m sure most of you have peed your pants.

I’m not sure that the first part of this sentence is related to the second with regard to the causal factors.

Wesley R. Elsberry wrote:

I have to say that digs based on incontinence are not “clever beyond measure”, either.

“Beyond measure” is a relative concept, of course, and when it comes to EA, it seems that anysign of cleverness may eclipse the state of the art with regard to measurement sensitivity. He’s probably incapable of making the needle move, in other words.

Comment #23943

Posted by Russell on April 8, 2005 3:24 PM (e)

We recognize our professional reputation could be ruined, not by the content of what we publish, but for daring to cross the high priesthood of Darwinian Fundamentalists.

What utter tripe. Is it sheer effrontery, immunity to irony, or just plain inanity that allows you to pop up in a thread all about sloppy intellectual integrity and avoiding direct questions?

What about it Apeman. You wrote:

I don’t believe science is ever a way to disprove the existence of God. But Darwinian Fundamentalists sure do.

To which I responded:

Please cite an example of this. First, of course, you’re going to have to identify some Darwinian Fundamentalists. In the course of doing that, I guess you’re going to have to define “Darwinian Fundamentalist”. Should be interesting.

Comment #23945

Posted by Evolving Apeman on April 8, 2005 3:48 PM (e)

Read “Darwin on Trial” if you would like a definition of Darwinian Fundamentalism.

Someone asked why I post on this site?

I’m just an evolving Apeman who driven by genetic mutations (“god” gene perhaps) hopes to increase the long-term propogation of his DNA or that of his close relatives (with similar DNA). I’m not sure how posting on this site does this, but I don’t need to either its just amoral evolution at work. I’m not sure on what basis Russel can insult my integrity, he simply has different DNA sequencies than myself. As far as environment goes, it was ultimately the DNA sequencies of my ancestors and other chance factors that largely chose my environment.

Now let this lowely genetically inferior but still hoping to evolve Apeman step aside so you can dialogue with his hero Berlinski.

Comment #23949

Posted by Russell on April 8, 2005 4:28 PM (e)

Berlinski:

1) The DI is a think tank, one dealing with a very wide range of issues (regional transportation, and the like).

Right. Let’s be more specific. Berlinski is a “fellow” ($?) of the infamous CRSC subsidiary of the Discovery Institute. The CRSC is pretty well focused on trying to discredit “Darwinism”, and otherwise implementing the Wedge strategy by trying to remake science in a form more acceptable to the religious right.

2) Insofar as I am associated with the DI it is because I support both their desire to give Darwinian theories a kick in the pants AND their general unhappiness with the current climate of scientific opinion.

Maybe. But since Berlinski’s critiques of “Darwinian theories” are shallow, dishonest, and don’t withstand logical scrutiny, that pants-kicking desire seems to be rooted in something other than intellectual disagreement. Presumably the climate of scientific opinion envisioned in the Wedge Document is more to his liking.

3) Some members of the DI are interested in Christian reconstructionism, others not. I am an obvious example. But do see the list of fellows for other examples.

I can’t tell from looking at the list what level of interest any of them, including Berlinski, has in christian reconstructionism. I believe there is some wisdom in the Watergate era advice: “follow the money”. In this case that leads to Howard and Roberta Ahmanson.

3)[sic] My criticisms of ID are on-line at the DI website. Friends and colleagues there do not agree with what I have said, but they regard it as very wise.

I can’t find them. However “wise” they find them, Berlinski’s friends don’t seem to be willing to advertise his criticisms very prominently.

4) An op-ed piece is designed to stake out a position in rhetorically accessible form. It is not designed to provide a complete argument.

It would be nice, however, if it avoided outright falsehoods.

Comment #23956

Posted by Bob King on April 8, 2005 5:06 PM (e)

Dr Berlinski,

4) An op-ed piece is designed to stake out a position in rhetorically accessible form.

Of course an Op-Ed piece should stake out a position. Not only am I not sure what the position you were trying to stake out actually is, I’m also not sure what “rhetorically accessible” means. In this case your rhetoric only served to make your point inaccessible.

For example, “Darwinian biologists” implies that there are also numerous examples of non-Darwinian biologists. This is confusing at best.

Which “eminences” repair to Panda’s thumb? I don’t see any evidence whatsoever that prominent practicing evolutionionary biologists post at PT. This is in no way to downplay the excellence of most of the posts which are made - but it isn’t like PT is the playground of the evolutionary biology community.

The “Dumbski” thing is essentially a straw man. It may be a rhetorical device but since the charge itself is false it does nothing to make your point accessible.

The reason I posted the review from Amazon was not to comment on your book but to note that that review - whatever its validity in the context of your book - applies rather well to you Op-Ed piece. As I said this suggests a pattern - the terms “ostentatious erudition” and “metaphysical pseudo-profundities” in particular are quite accurate.

The Emperor truly has no clothes.

Comment #23957

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on April 8, 2005 5:08 PM (e)

Dr. Berlinski:
I still don’t understand why you let prominent ID advocates, with whom you could get in touch in a heartbeat by e-mail or phone, get away with repeatedly and publicly claiming that you are a supporter of ID, when you say in no uncertain terms you are not, and in fact are a critic of. It would seem they either regard your criticisms of ID as “soft”, or irrelevant, or they are purposefully ignoring them to exploit your name and agnostic/Jewish status for their own P.R. goals. Of course, willfully misrepresenting a colleague’s views to one’s benefit is as serious a breach as misrepresenting the evidence. You clearly do not hold punches to publicly attack purported misrepresentations by “darwinists”, why are you so shy with DI fellows?

Comment #23960

Posted by Jim Wynne on April 8, 2005 5:42 PM (e)

David Berlinski wrote:

An op-ed piece is designed to stake out a position in rhetorically accessible form. It is not designed to provide a complete argument. I have done that in my published essays. I believe that everyone on this list understands this: And if not, they should.

I don’t understand it. The challenge of writing an op-ed piece is, in fact, to provide a complete argument, but in only 800 words or so. I’ve written dozens myself, so I speak from experience (samples on request). Op-ed ain’t easy if it’s to be done well, precisely because it hard to frame a convincing argument in a small amount of space. It can’t be done if, as Berlinski does, one tries to make a point by use of multiple rapid-fire unsupported assertions and then say, “Oh, I’ve gone into detail elsewhere” without providing references.

The clear purpose of Berlinski’s op-ed writing is to pander to the ignorant masses.

Comment #23983

Posted by Talk Reason editor on April 8, 2005 7:06 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'i'

Comment #23992

Posted by Russell on April 8, 2005 7:26 PM (e)

In an apparent attempt to justify his association with the Discovery Institute, and to claim that he is not an ID supporter, Berlinski wrote:

My criticisms of ID are on-line at the DI website

I assumed at first that they were just difficult to find, as I quit looking after just a few minutes. But now, having spent many more minutes, I’ve formed the tentative opinion that this is yet another Berlinski falsehood.

Comment #23998

Posted by sir_toejam on April 8, 2005 8:11 PM (e)

ya know i don’t often see his name mentioned, but even back when i was an undergrad at UCSB (20 years back), John Endler had done great studies experimentally demonstrating selction in the field.

I recently ran across a pbs online “game” made for students based on his early work.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/sex/guppy/low_bandwidth.html

this is just an fyi, as i all too often see the “selction takes thousands of years” argument, which it doesn’t. it entirely depends on the degree of mutation, the relative selective pressures, and the generation times involved.

cheers

Comment #24000

Posted by sir_toejam on April 8, 2005 8:22 PM (e)

btw, it looks like Endler moved to James Cook University. sad to see him leave UCSB. I personally thought the man to be a genius, and that’s no attempt at flattery.

here is a list of his publications, which i think any here would find to be excellent pieces of work:

http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/tbiol/zoology/staff/endler.htm

cheers

Comment #24006

Posted by Flint on April 8, 2005 8:46 PM (e)

Maybe Berlinski will be kind enough to provide a link, or otherwise guide your search for corroboration of his claims. He seems very accommodating, wouldn’t you say?

Comment #24009

Posted by RBH on April 8, 2005 8:56 PM (e)

Search on “Berlinski” on the DI Search page. There are lots there.

RBH

Comment #24026

Posted by Evolving Apeman on April 8, 2005 10:01 PM (e)

Well, I guess you guys showed Berlinski. Why don’t we just replaced the definition in the dictionary for dishonesty with “anti-evolution” and be done with it?

Whether Dembski was called Dumbski in particular is irrelevent. The “modus operandus” of critics of ID has been to discredit their academic credentials and claim they are “dumb”. I understood his point, but we maybe only we “dumb” folk can understand each other.

Comment #24027

Posted by RBH on April 8, 2005 10:10 PM (e)

EA wrote

Whether Dembski was called Dumbski in particular is irrelevent.

Not when it is a specific accusation by a guy who takes money from the DI to trash evolutionary theory. It is indicative of the care with which Berlinski does his ‘research’ in aid of his prostitution of his degree.

RBH

Comment #24043

Posted by Russell on April 9, 2005 12:06 AM (e)

Search on “Berlinski” on the DI Search page. There are lots there.

Yup. There are. Which one is critical of “intelligent design theory”?

Comment #24085

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on April 9, 2005 10:04 AM (e)

EA:
The “modus operandus” of critics of ID has been to discredit their academic credentials and claim they are “dumb”. I understood his point, but we maybe only we “dumb” folk can understand each other.

I don’t think anyone has called Berlinski “dumb”, and his academic credentials are not really a matter in the discussion. We have called him on his misrepresentations of easily verifiable facts, and his tolerance for other ID advocates’ misrepresentations. We shold add now your own misrepresentation of what the “modus operandi” of ID critics is, unless you can back it up somehow, which I doubt.

Comment #24093

Posted by steve on April 9, 2005 10:34 AM (e)

From a review of Why Intelligent Design Fails:

In Why Intelligent Design Fails, a team of scientists call on their expertise in physics, biology, computer science, and archaeology to examine intelligent design. They take design claims at face value, without attempting to rule out the hypothesis of a designed universe just because of its supernatural overtones. They consistently find grandiose claims with no scientific merit. The questions intelligent-design advocates raise have largely already been answered, or else mainstream scientists have been making excellent progress on them with a Darwinian, naturalistic approach.

After an overview of intelligent design and its intellectual context, Why Intelligent Design Fails moves on to biological claims concerning common descent, and the arguments of Michael Behe. Contributors show how the notion of “irreducible complexity” does not challenge Darwinian evolution, explaining how mainstream science comfortably accounts for examples of biochemistry, bacterial flagella, and bird wings.

From EA’s ramblings:
The “modus operandus” of critics of ID has been to discredit their academic credentials and claim they are “dumb”.

Comment #24094

Posted by steve on April 9, 2005 10:40 AM (e)

When ID advocates stop saying things like “The tree of life is upside down!” people like me will stop calling them dumb.

Comment #24099

Posted by steve on April 9, 2005 10:56 AM (e)

Which of course, several prominent IDers aren’t really dumb. They have just figured out how to part fools from their money.

Comment #24103

Posted by Evolving Apeman on April 9, 2005 12:14 PM (e)

steve,

Unless you are truly willing to put everything on the table including metaphysical assumptions, you will never understand why intelligent honest people support ID. You will either resort to calling them dumb despite their credentials or dishonest. People choose academics pursuits for the intellectual stimulation rather than money. I’m sure smart guys like Dembski could find less painful and easier ways to make money that don’t involve as much hostility and persecution.

Naturalism can explain anything except perhaps the origin of the universe. For example, we know have the postulated “god” gene to explain the opposition to evolution by honest, intelligent people. Altruism can easily be explained by evolutionary theory. So if you want to play that game, at least be an intellectually honest amoral nihilist with no basis for assigning moral terms such as honesty.

Or consider the possibility that assuming a naturalistic explaination for unobserved, unreproducible processes only reaffirmed your assumptions.

Comment #24109

Posted by Russell on April 9, 2005 3:13 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'b'

Comment #24120

Posted by sir_toejam on April 9, 2005 6:29 PM (e)

“unless you can back it up somehow, which I doubt”

have no doubt in your mind. it literally is impossible to have scientific evidence to support ID, by definition, it is untestable using the scientific method. How on earth could they back it up?

If god him/her self came down and said: I did this! It still would make evolutionary theory no less usefull, nor ID any more usefull as predictive theory.

Comment #24121

Posted by sir_toejam on April 9, 2005 6:33 PM (e)

“You will either resort to calling them dumb despite their credentials or dishonest”

we call them so simply because of the basic failure to recognize the difference between science and philosophy. at some point, you get weary of trying to teach such basic distinctions to folks that already should know better, like yourself.

Comment #24122

Posted by sir_toejam on April 9, 2005 6:37 PM (e)

“Altruism can easily be explained by evolutionary theory”

well, it wasn’t easy, that’s for sure, and it exists very rarely. In most cases, what appears to be ‘altruism’ is in fact, just kinship.

would you like references to read that will fill you in on the history of kin selection and the study of altruism?

Off the top of my head, i can only recall one demonstrable case of altruism; the sharing of blood by vampire bats. even that has some significant detractors.

Comment #24126

Posted by WhatUp on April 9, 2005 7:01 PM (e)

I’ve followed Berlinski’s comments with great interest. I’m surprised by the failure to acknowledge a simple and relatively minor gaffe. If you can’t even bring yourself to come clean with the little, piddling stuff…

Comment #24190

Posted by sir_toejam on April 10, 2005 2:23 PM (e)

Denial is not a river in Egypt.

Comment #24193

Posted by Russell on April 10, 2005 3:05 PM (e)

RE: comparisons, invidious and otherwise. This exchange is worthy of notice, I think, in the context both of invidious comparisons and of Berlinski’s unsavory friends at DI.

Kevin Padian and Alan Gishlick wrote a really great (IMHO) review of J. Wells’s “Icons of Evolution” in which the author’s casually abusive relationship with honesty and factuality is compared with that of the Matt Damon character in “The Talented Mr. Ripley”. Rather than responding to the substantive content of that review, Wells accuses his reviewers of implying he’s a sociopath and a murderer. This would be an excellent case study for one of those “can you spot 10 fallacies in this picture?” puzzles.

Read about it here.

Comment #24271

Posted by Russell on April 11, 2005 10:32 AM (e)

I don’t know if, between Jacques Brel records and sips of absinthe, David Berlinski has had a chance to check back in. But if he should, I’d like to invite him to consider using PT to broadcast his profundities. If I’m right, the Discovery Institute does not, in fact, advertise his criticisms of their pet project; perhaps they’re less ecumenical than he supposed. And, by his logic, here at PT we think “Darwimpian” is clever beyond measure. (We and, of course, TalkReason and anyone else he’d like to embrace with his casual libel). Just think how wowed we’ll be by his urbane bon mots! Of course, we can’t pay him, but it’s not about the money, is it?

Comment #24366

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on April 11, 2005 10:45 PM (e)

Russell,

David said “causal insult”, so surely it would be “causal libel” by parallel construction, right?

Comment #24385

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on April 12, 2005 7:09 AM (e)

A simple question for Mr Berlinski:

*ahem*

What is the scientific theory of intelligent design, and how do we test it using the scientific method.

Thanks.

Comment #24386

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on April 12, 2005 7:11 AM (e)

Another simple question for Mr Berlinski;

As an associate of the Discovery Institute’s Center for the (Renewal of) Science and Culture, do you repudiate the extremist Reconstructionist views of the Center’s primary funder, Howard Ahmanson?

Comment #24391

Posted by Russell on April 12, 2005 7:52 AM (e)

Rev:

What is the scientific theory of intelligent design, and how do we test it using the scientific method.

Didn’t you see where Berlinski disowns “intelligent design theory”:

I do not support ID, or anything else, for that matter

He’s the Cool Guy who thinks everyone else is boring and stupid. (Probably you remember the Cool Guy from high school). He just hangs out with the wing-nuts because they “tolerate” him. As in “we need to deflect attention from our christian fundamentalist funding and agenda… whom can we use?” And in return, they prominently display his criticisms of ID on their website - just go check! Oh, and there may be some kind of monetary arrangement.

But don’t be too hard on him. He’s a writer and thinker of deep thoughts. A member of a venerable profession. Perhaps the oldest in the world.

Comment #24492

Posted by 386sx on April 12, 2005 5:46 PM (e)

Glen Davidson wrote:

But I promise not to call Dimski by the name “Dumbski”, or Berdimski by the name “Berdumbski”.

Whatever you do, don’t call either one of them “ Dr. Babelmandebski.” That would be really really silly.

Comment #24494

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on April 12, 2005 5:53 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #24517

Posted by sir_toejam on April 12, 2005 7:47 PM (e)

“lethally allergic to answering direct questions”

snakes are immune to their own venom.

Comment #24543

Posted by Wayne Francis on April 12, 2005 10:23 PM (e)

Comment # 24391

Russell wrote:

Comment #24391
Posted by Russell on April 12, 2005 07:52 AM (e) (s)

A member of a venerable profession. Perhaps the oldest in the world.

He is a prostitute?

Comment #24545

Posted by sir_toejam on April 12, 2005 10:33 PM (e)

lol.

Comment #24605

Posted by Russell on April 13, 2005 10:23 AM (e)

Wayne Francis:

He is a prostitute?

Heavens! I would never suggest such a thing! I just pointed out that he seems to be letting the DI use him, perhaps for money, even though he protests that he does not love its “soul”: Intelligent Design as the Wedge of Christian Reconstructionism.

Comment #24754

Posted by sir_toejam on April 13, 2005 5:47 PM (e)

well, i guess you’re right, russel, it doesn’t fall under the “clever beyond measure category”. (just to be official about it)

:)

Comment #24789

Posted by Henry J on April 13, 2005 9:23 PM (e)

Re “snakes are immune to their own venom.”

Are they? It seems likely, but I wouldn’t assume it to be an absolute necessity.

Henry

Comment #24842

Posted by Marek14 on April 14, 2005 1:09 AM (e)

Aren’t lot of snake venoms only effective in bloodstream? When properly applied, they never enter the snake’s mouth. So while the immunity would be useful (for example in cases when the snake has bleeding wound in his mouth), I wouldn’t say it’s required.

Reminds me of an old joke. Two snakes are slithering through the grass and one asks: “Are we poisonous snakes?” The other replies: “Don’t know. Why you’re asking?” “I’ve bit my tongue.”

Comment #24928

Posted by sir_toejam on April 14, 2005 2:38 PM (e)

overanalytical bastards!

It’s just an expression, gees. need me to explain in it more analytical terms?

:)

p.s.

here:

http://www.smuggled.com/snaven2.htm

Comment #24951

Posted by Henry J on April 14, 2005 3:52 PM (e)

I resemble that remark!

Comment #25006

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on April 14, 2005 7:03 PM (e)

Aren’t lot of snake venoms only effective in bloodstream? When properly applied, they never enter the snake’s mouth. So while the immunity would be useful (for example in cases when the snake has bleeding wound in his mouth), I wouldn’t say it’s required.

Snakes are indeed immune to their own venom.

And ALL snake venoms are only effective if they enter the bloodstream. You can actually drink a glass full of cobra venom, and as long as you have no open wounds anywhere in your mouth or gastric tract, it won’t do a thing to you. (Spitting cobra venom, though, is effective if it contacts the membranes of the eyes – but it only effects the eyes in that case, and has no systemic effects.)

And yes, I happen to know a thing or two about venomous snakes:

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

Comment #25009

Posted by sir_toejam on April 14, 2005 7:16 PM (e)

Hey Lenny,

ever met Harry Greene in the MVZ over at Berkeley?

just thought with your interest in snakes and evolution, he would be a natural acquaintance.

cheers

Comment #25010

Posted by sir_toejam on April 14, 2005 7:18 PM (e)

ack! I guess i’m dating myself; he’s over at cornell now.

http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/greene/greene.html

Comment #25233

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on April 15, 2005 6:36 PM (e)

Hey Lenny,

ever met Harry Greene in the MVZ over at Berkeley?

just thought with your interest in snakes and evolution, he would be a natural acquaintance.

cheers

We’ve emailed a few times, but never met in the flesh.

Also emailed a few times with herpetologist Jake Socha about flying snakes — for a time, he and I were, as far as we could tell, the only ones in the US who were keeping them.

Comment #25246

Posted by sir_toejam on April 15, 2005 9:01 PM (e)

I can’t imagine a large trade in that species. where did you manage to find one?

any interesting behavioral notes? I’ve never even heard of one in captivitiy before.

Did you or Socha publish anything on the species?

cheers

Comment #25248

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on April 15, 2005 9:19 PM (e)

I can’t imagine a large trade in that species. where did you manage to find one?

any interesting behavioral notes? I’ve never even heard of one in captivitiy before.

Did you or Socha publish anything on the species?

Socha has published peer-reviewed stuff. Me, I just did a piece for one of the hobbyist magazines.

As for behavior, they’re very fast, very nervous, very apt to bite. Rear-fang venomous, but it’s REALLY hard for them to get a fang in ya — only managed to get me once. Made my thumb go numb, but no big deal.

Comment #25272

Posted by sir_toejam on April 15, 2005 11:56 PM (e)

“As for behavior, they’re very fast, very nervous, very apt to bite.”

hmm, kinda what I would have expected. gotta be fast and nervous to get the nerve to jump from tree to tree, I’d wager.

BTW, I finished the first draft of the ngo proposal. I posted it on the google group, and you should have recieved an email copy from there.

anxiously awaiting input.

cheers