Tara Smith posted Entry 1612 on October 27, 2005 08:57 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1607

(And not in a supportive way). PZ and Orac discussed a recent New England Journal of Medicine editorial critical of intelligent design. Though the article had several shortcomings, it’s always a bonus to see other scientists treating ID as a valid threat (not in the scientific sphere, of course, but in the “hearts and minds” of the populace). Now the Journal of Clinical Investigation, another fairly heavy-hitter as far as medical journals go, recommends to its readers, Don’t be stupid about intelligent design. Kudos to them…now come the nitpicks. :)

(Continue reading at Aetiology)

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Comment #54041

Posted by Arden Chatfield on October 27, 2005 10:53 AM (e)

I predict that the ID folks will quote-mine these articles and claim them as examples of favorable mentions of ID in ‘peer-reviewed journals’.

Comment #54044

Posted by Garry on October 27, 2005 11:07 AM (e)

I just read about this paper (Howard, J. Chem. Educ. 2005, 82, 1094) in the latest issue of the Chemical and Engineering News. Apparently a University of Alaska YEC chemistry professor managed to slip a paper into the Journal of Chemical Education that apparently portrays potassium/argon dating as innacurate, in the guise of a critical thinking exercise for undergraduates. This isn’t even IDC but pure YEC.

Comment #54045

Posted by Flint on October 27, 2005 11:10 AM (e)

Here is a creationist response to the NEJM article…

Comment #54046

Posted by Arden Chatfield on October 27, 2005 11:34 AM (e)

Here is a creationist response to the NEJM article…

Cute, I see it works in the traditional equation of evolutionists with Communists and Nazis…

Comment #54047

Posted by Melanie Reap on October 27, 2005 11:39 AM (e)

OK, one more time and repeat after me … The MN Academic Standards in Science do not promote or allow the teaching of non-scientific theories in science class.

Otherwise, Ushma Neill’s article was pretty good. I sent a response to the Journal of Clinical Investigation and directed their readers to the earier link posted here (Brief History of MN Science Stds).

Comment #54048

Posted by JS on October 27, 2005 11:46 AM (e)

Good to see that non-biologists are bothering to enter the fray in defence of science.

“If we don’t hang together we’ll hang seperately.”

- JS

Comment #54053

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on October 27, 2005 12:35 PM (e)

Here is a creationist response to the NEJM article…

Highly recommended for those in need of giggles ‘n’ guffaws. Out of innumerable highlights, my favorite was the repeated (4 times) description of evolutionary theory as “goo-to-you”. Apparently Dr. Sarfati has never observed semen…

Comment #54061

Posted by Registered User on October 27, 2005 1:39 PM (e)

Tara, one of your nitpicks was a statement that “not all flagella are complicated.” And you said that you would argue the opposite.

But it’s a silly argument. “Complicated” is not a meaningful descriptor in the context of the extraordinary claims of the ID peddlers. You might as well argue whether flagella are “cute” or “scary.”

One question of fact: does every known bacterial flagella consist of the identical number of protein subunits and/or amino acids? Do some flagella contain less subunits and/or amino acids? If so, the those flagella might reasonably be argued to be less complicated under commonly accepted definitions of the term “complicated.”

All of this, of course, is just further evidence that Michael Behe is an idiot and a professional obfuscator who happily lies and contradicts himself whenver he is asked to explain in precise terms what the hell he is talking about.

Comment #54062

Posted by rdog29 on October 27, 2005 1:39 PM (e)

Wow! The AiG article is so full of bullshit, it was painful to sit through.

I’m sure this is old news to the PT veterans out there, but amongst all the crap being tossed about,3 things struck me as particularly irritating.

1. The implication that since many practicing biologists are not explicitly involved with evolutionary mechanisms on a daily basis, this somehow renders evolutionary theory “irrelevent.” So I guess, since I’m not determining wave functions or calculating ground state energies on a daily basis during my duties as an industrial chemist, that this renders Quantum Mechanics irrelevent. Damn! All that tuition wasted!

Which reminds me….the AiG guys might want to take a closer look at this Quantum Mechanics stuff. As I recall, the Schrodinger Equation doesn’t mention God. I think I’ve uncovered another Atheist conspiracy to keep God out the science classroom!

2. The personal beliefs of people like Pasteur and Lister are irrelevent. I don’t know offhand what Pasteur or Lister believed, but their work, not their beliefs, was scrutinized and reproduced by others and thus came to be accepted as scientific knowledge. Who the hell cares what their personal beliefs were?

Maybe the author of this article would also like to include Galileo and Archimedes in his list of Guys Who (Supposedly) Wouldn’t Have Agreed with Darwin.

3. The really irritating claim that Evolution = Atheism = Nazism = Communism. Apparently AiG’s knowledge of history is as bad as their knowledge of science. But then again, why let pesky things like facts, whether they’re scientific or historical, get in the way of your dogma?

Comment #54080

Posted by Tara on October 27, 2005 2:19 PM (e)

Registered User wrote:

Tara, one of your nitpicks was a statement that “not all flagella are complicated.” And you said that you would argue the opposite.

But it’s a silly argument. “Complicated” is not a meaningful descriptor in the context of the extraordinary claims of the ID peddlers. You might as well argue whether flagella are “cute” or “scary.”

One question of fact: does every known bacterial flagella consist of the identical number of protein subunits and/or amino acids? Do some flagella contain less subunits and/or amino acids? If so, the those flagella might reasonably be argued to be less complicated under commonly accepted definitions of the term “complicated.”

Oh, I absolutely agree, and that’s really what I was getting at when I mentioned differences in the term “complicated.” What he means by it and what I mean by it can be polar opposites. He defines it supposedly in terms of his “irreducible complexity,” and to me it’s just “holy hell, look at all the crap this bacterium has to go through to make this thing.” It’s like saying “more evolved” and “less evolved,” or using other terms like that. People might understand what you mean in a colloquial sense, but when you try to quantitate it, one quickly sees how impossible that is.

Comment #54113

Posted by Dean Morrison on October 27, 2005 4:23 PM (e)

One question of fact: does every known bacterial flagella consist of the identical number of protein subunits and/or amino acids? Do some flagella contain less subunits and/or amino acids? If so, the those flagella might reasonably be argued to be less complicated under commonly accepted definitions of the term “complicated.”

I’ve sure I’ve seen a reference to the flagella of eel sperm, that seem to lack some parts and yet still work - perhaps in Miller’s stuff…?

Comment #54124

Posted by Dave Cerutti on October 27, 2005 5:08 PM (e)

Not germane to this post, but I wanted to confess a transgression:

I surreptitiously introduced my religious beliefs into a science classroom, of 300+ freshman chemistry students.

I drew a picture of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on the board, but renamed it “The Homework Monster (FEED ME!)” in an ill-considered bid to avoid charges academic misconduct. I may even have blasphemed–can other pastafarians tell me where in our sacred texts it discusses the worship of our deity under a different name? Oh, I’m afraid I’m going to boil in bolognese sauce AND lose my graduate position!

Comment #54131

Posted by CJ O'Brien on October 27, 2005 5:43 PM (e)

No problem: 20 Hail Marinaras and 10 Pasta Nosters ought to do it.

RAmen, brother. Go in peace.

Comment #54164

Posted by Steve S on October 27, 2005 10:16 PM (e)

3. The really irritating claim that Evolution = Atheism = Nazism = Communism. Apparently AiG’s knowledge of history is as bad as their knowledge of science.

My favorite is Kent Hovind, the Isaac Newton of Stupid, who says Evolution led to Shintoism.

Comment #54166

Posted by Steve S on October 27, 2005 10:42 PM (e)

Comment #54062

Posted by rdog29 on October 27, 2005 01:39 PM (e) (s)

Wow! The AiG article is so full of bullshit, it was painful to sit through.

Yeah, while I check PT every day, usually several times, i seldom read what the creationists actually say. I’ve heard it all before, it was stupid the first 6,000 times, don’t need to hear it again. The science bloggers do a good job excerpting the good bits, like Hovind’s Shintoism Sh-stuff.

I mean, is there anything you’ve heard from ID Creationists that isn’t covered by the several hundred listings here? http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

I can think of one thing. Heddle’s Sensitivity. And it’s not there because it’s never been officially defined, and insofar as it’s been suggested how to define it “percentage or fractional change (duh)” it’s incalculable several ways, and this incalculability has been called ‘irrelevant’ by its own author, and its author promptly dropped it and went back to saying 120 orders of magnitude! so it’s hardly worth including in the list. It’s more like a bubble of swamp gas which appeared, popped, and dispersed its stinky contents to the wind.

Comment #54225

Posted by David Heddle on October 28, 2005 12:05 PM (e)

Steve S,

I can think of one thing. Heddle’s Sensitivity…

Man, just lurking and minding my own business, and ba da bing.

I recant–you have rendered all my arguments null and void by your stunning observation that whether a physical constant is small or large depends on the units one employs. I can find no satisfactory rejoinder.

On the other hand, since you never, ever seem to grasp what is actually going on with the CC, I have tried bringing it down to your level. For your benefit, I have expressed everything in “Steves”.

Comment #54244

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 28, 2005 5:37 PM (e)

I recant—you have rendered all my arguments null and void by your stunning observation that whether a physical constant is small or large depends on the units one employs. I can find no satisfactory rejoinder.

We noticed.

Any chance of getting you to explain why anyone should pay any more attention to your religious opinions than they should to anyone else?