Mike Dunford posted Entry 1566 on October 9, 2005 09:07 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1561

After spending most of the week stranded deep in the mire of proposal writing, I’ve rewarded myself with a day off. Actually, it’s not so much a matter of rewarding myself as it is a matter of attempting to resusitate the last remaining shreds of my sanity. So instead of continuing to pickle my brains in the volumnous literature surrounding the history of genetic divergence in various species of Drosophila, I decided to take some time to skim through a number of the news articles that the Dover trial has spawned in the last week. (Why I thought this would help maintain my sanity should serve to indicate just how brain-corroding the scientific proposal process actually is.)

Rather than taking as inclusive a look as I did last time, I think I’m mostly going to focus on the more annoying articles this time. It might just have been my mood this week, but it certainly felt like there was a heck of a lot more stupidity being aired this time.

Read More (At The Questionable Authority)

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Comment #51732

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 10, 2005 11:19 AM (e)

I tried accessing the YDR editorial linked in your article, Don’t settle for separate but equal by Dave Dentel, but came up dry. I tried finding it with Google and got the same message: “The requested URL /story/op-ed/88848/ can not be found.”

Comment #51734

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 10, 2005 11:28 AM (e)

From the Zimmerman OpEd:

Darwinism’s “holy grail” would be species-crossovers found in the fossil record to fill those pesky “gaps.” But the grail remains elusive. Occasionally a jawbone or tooth, etc., has been proclaimed as evidence of a long-sought “missing link.” These hopes have died when the artifact traced to one species or another, never to an intermediate.

Umm… wouldn’t any fossil found be assigned to a species? So by that token we will never find an individual fossil that is between species?

Comment #51750

Posted by lamuella on October 10, 2005 2:57 PM (e)

I’m reminded of Richard Dawkins’ analogy that you will never find an intermediate stage between being seventeen and being eighteen. You’re either one or the other.

Comment #51779

Posted by Norman Doering on October 10, 2005 5:35 PM (e)

lamuella wrote: “I’m reminded of Richard Dawkins’ analogy that you will never find an intermediate stage between being seventeen and being eighteen. You’re either one or the other.”

Well, sort of, there is that ambiguous moment just before your birthday when, like on New Years day, you’re 18 in New York but still 17 in Los Angeles.

And with sexual species, traditionally, a species was
defined as a mating group, (which means that as cross-species mating goes a lion and a tiger, for example is, in fact, possible… are they the same species?) so you do get in our living record the sexually disfunctional inbetweeners… the sexual transition in progress.

an example would be mules which are not a species, they are a hybrid between two other species - Equus assinus (the donkey) and Equus caballus (the horse).

If a species is usually defined as a group of animals that can reproduce like examples, and the mule cannot reproduce, then it’s in between and if we found a fossil like that it really would be a transitional form – problem is we couldn’t know how sexually functional it was…. unless maybe it’s in the DNA…?

Comment #52059

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 12, 2005 11:53 AM (e)

Here’s a mostly good piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Few scientists doubt evolution

The article reveals another DI petition signer who acknowledges the evidence for evolution:

Michael Atchison, a biochemist at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, acknowledges that there is lots of evidence for evolution. But he doesn’t want to close his mind to other possibilities.

He’s one of several dozen biologists who signed a Discovery Institute statement that does not mention intelligent design, but expresses skepticism about Darwinism.

“I’m willing to think outside the box,” Atchison said. “I don’t think the universe is just molecules bumping into each other.”

So he acknowledges the evidence for evolution, he just doesn’t want to believe it.

Comment #52061

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 12, 2005 12:18 PM (e)

Here’s another piece in hte Philadelphia Inquirer, specifically mentioning the wedge document:

Intelligent design’s big ambitions

Posted on Mon, Oct. 10, 2005
Advocates want much more than textbooks.
By Paul Nussbaum
Inquirer Staff Writer

The John Templeton Foundation, of West Conshohocken, spends millions each year to explore and encourage a link between science and religion. But, except for a contribution to fund a debate forum in 1999, the foundation has declined to give money to the Discovery Institute.

Charles Harper Jr., senior vice president of the Templeton Foundation, said Discovery’s involvement in “political issues” was troublesome.

“We want to advance real scientific research,” Harper said. “Discovery Institute has never done - has never moved forward - any scientific research. On these deep issues, they’ve done absolutely nothing.”

Dissed by their own. Hmmm, does the Templeton have a list of ‘real scientific research’ that thye have done?