PvM posted Entry 2059 on February 24, 2006 12:59 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2054

Many scientific organizations have spoken out strongly in favor of evolutionary theory and often also against the scientifically vacuous concept of Intelligent Design. The latest in the ever growing list are the entomologists.

, no meaningful or significant controversy exists within the biological sciences—entomology included—about the centrality and legitimacy of evolutionary theory

Showing that scientists believe that ‘teaching the controversy’ is nothing but a sham.

and

in contrast, intelligent design—with its central tenet of irreducible complexity (i.e., aspects of living systems are too complex to ascribe to biological processes and therefore must have been designed by some intelligent force)—is neither predictive nor falsifiable and therefore does not meet the standards of science. Accordingly, intelligent design has no utility in entomology and – for the same reason – has no legitimate place in science classrooms at any level of instruction.

showing that scientists consider Intelligent Design to be scientifically vacuous

Read on for the full resolution text

Hat tip NCSE

(First passed by the Council of Entomology Department Administrators
on December 14, 2005)

WHEREAS, entomology, the scientific study of insects and their relatives, aims to increase knowledge of the biology of this largest group of animals on Earth and apply that knowledge toward improving human health and well-being. Advances in entomology depend upon rigorous and widely accepted scientific methods that include
the development of hypotheses based on observations that are tested and either falsified or incorporated into the body of knowledge that constitutes the discipline. Any hypothesis that cannot be rejected based on evidence is inherently unscientific.
AND WHEREAS, in all other sciences, the knowledge that accumulates from the testing of various hypotheses can lead to the development of scientific theories, which offer the most comprehensive explanations of natural phenomena and predict the characteristics of as yet unobserved phenomena. Evolution is one of the most robust theories in the biological sciences and has been integral to the conduct of entomological science since it was first articulated some 150 years ago. Indeed, entomologists were among the first North American scientists to incorporate evolutionary theory into their work and have successfully used its explanatory and predictive power to elucidate aspects of the systematics, ecology, physiology, and genetics of insects and their relatives.
AND WHEREAS, no meaningful or significant controversy exists within the biological sciences—entomology included—about the centrality and legitimacy of evolutionary theory. Ongoing study and refinement of evolutionary theory are reflections of the manner in which all areas of science advance.
AND WHEREAS, in contrast, intelligent design—with its central tenet of irreducible complexity (i.e., aspects of living systems are too complex to ascribe to biological processes and therefore must have been designed by some intelligent force)—is neither predictive nor falsifiable and therefore does not meet the standards of science. Accordingly, intelligent design has no utility in entomology and – for the same reason – has no legitimate place in science classrooms at any level of instruction.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that for the United States to remain intellectually and economically competitive in the 21st century, its science must be conducted according to time-tested and globally acceptable standards. Evolutionary theory meets those standards and provides the foundation on which the biological sciences can most productively continue to advance. We should expect no less in the quality of science education in this country.

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Comment #81941

Posted by djlactin on February 24, 2006 5:19 AM (e)

“My heart soars like an eagle” (Chief Dan George)

I am an entomologist. (Ph.D. from a reputable institution.)

Entomology without evolution is just stamp-collecting! (The same can be said about all biological sciences.)

Now let’s hear from the Mammalogists, Herpetologists, Ichthyologists, Parasitologists, Ecologists, Agronomists, Physiologists, Anthropologists, Phytologists, Mycologists, Botanists, Algologists, Bacteriologists… And the bird guys.
(Spelukers optional.) And the Engineers can go to Heol.

Unfortunately, such statements of solidarity will have NO EFFECT on the ID camp. I can hear them now: “Oh, so STRIDENT! They must be feeling threatened! What are they afraid of?”

Comment #81946

Posted by Tice with a J on February 24, 2006 5:49 AM (e)

djlactin wrote:

Now let’s hear from the Mammalogists, Herpetologists, Ichthyologists, Parasitologists, Ecologists, Agronomists, Physiologists, Anthropologists, Phytologists, Mycologists, Botanists, Algologists, Bacteriologists… And the bird guys.
(Spelukers optional.) And the Engineers can go to Heol.

The word you are looking for is Ornithologists. Or birders, if you meant the amateurs. Also, learn to speol spell. The spelunkers will thank you.

Comment #81958

Posted by djlactin on February 24, 2006 6:51 AM (e)

tijs: re: Heol: read the “Dune” prequels… (I believe Heol is the Muslim equivalent). (and “Bird guys” = joke)
(but the Speluker thng was truly my errot;)

Comment #81966

Posted by Julie Stahlhut on February 24, 2006 7:40 AM (e)

Nice to meet you, djlactin! I’m a postdoc in a lab specializing in insect behavioral and evolutionary ecology. When I saw this thread, the first thing I thought was, “Hurray for our side!”

Strident? Why not? Some things are just worth stridulating about. :-)

Comment #81975

Posted by Andy H. on February 24, 2006 8:16 AM (e)

It is ironical that entomologists would pass such a strong resolution supporting evolution theory, considering that the mutualism (co-dependence) of insect pollination of plants presents one of the strongest cases against evolution theory. Co-evolution of a pair of corresponding features in two co-dependent organisms is virtually impossible where the mutations required in both organisms would be detrimental when the corresponding feature in the other organism is absent. Even when a required mutation is not detrimental when the corresponding feature is absent, this mutation would offer no immediate evolutionary advantage unless the corresponding feature in the other organism is pre-existent. This situation contrasts with adaptation to the fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, air, and climate, which are always there to offer an immediate advantage to organisms that adapt to them. Also, unlike the case with irreducible complexity, the arguments against co-evolution cannot be explained away by “exaptation,” the idea that the parts of an irreducible system existed before the system was created and had different functions than they have in the system.

The following articles show extreme examples of mutual specialization in the insect pollination of plants (thanks, PvM – you provided the first two of these articles) –

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio303/coevolution.htm , a general article about insect pollination, says – “The reward offered is not always food. There is a tropical orchid with flowers that look and smell like females of a certain species of wasp. Males of this species emerge a week before the females. A male who smells a flower of this orchid, think it’s a female wasp, gets closer and the flower looks like a female, lands on it and it feels like a female, tries to copulate, gives up in frustration, and goes on to the next thing that smells like a female, and ends up transferring pollen.”

Here is an article about long-nosed insects and deep flowers –
http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/0305/0305_feature.html

A particularly interesting form of pollination is called “buzz pollination,” which is used by about 8 percent of the world’s species of flowering plants –
http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/ic/buzzpol/buzzpol.html

The entomologists’ usual doomsday predictions that teaching criticism of evolution theory would destroy biology and the USA’s technological competitiveness are unfounded. Biologists can use evolution theory even while believing that all or part of it is untrue.

Comment #81981

Posted by PvM on February 24, 2006 8:56 AM (e)

Ah, our friend Andy H has returned with his ‘arguments’

It is ironical that entomologists would pass such a strong resolution supporting evolution theory, considering that the mutualism (co-dependence) of insect pollination of plants presents one of the strongest cases against evolution theory. Co-evolution of a pair of corresponding features in two co-dependent organisms is virtually impossible where the mutations required in both organisms would be detrimental when the corresponding feature in the other organism is absent.

In other words, imagine a strawman scenario and voila evolution is impossible.

Even when a required mutation is not detrimental when the corresponding feature is absent, this mutation would offer no immediate evolutionary advantage unless the corresponding feature in the other organism is pre-existent. This situation contrasts with adaptation to the fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, air, and climate, which are always there to offer an immediate advantage to organisms that adapt to them. Also, unlike the case with irreducible complexity, the arguments against co-evolution cannot be explained away by “exaptation,” the idea that the parts of an irreducible system existed before the system was created and had different functions than they have in the system.

And that’s where Andy is wrong. Why does Andy not familiarize himself with the extensive literature on co-evolution?

Heck. Darwin even predicted the existence of a particular moth based on the existence of a particular flower. What has Intelligent Design ‘predicted’ lately? Ever?

Look Andy, your comments about co-evolution are as unfounded as your comments were about evolution of sex. Remember that you considered the latter one to be a good example against evolution? A quick survey of recent scientific articles and voila, another argument was dropped.

Biologists can use evolution theory even while believing that all or part of it is untrue.

ROTFL

Comment #81983

Posted by Caledonian on February 24, 2006 8:59 AM (e)

It is ironical that entomologists would pass such a strong resolution supporting evolution theory, considering that the mutualism (co-dependence) of insect pollination of plants presents one of the strongest cases against evolution theory.

It is alanic that you’d misuse the word ‘ironic’ in a statement which is as completely wrong as it is possible to be.

Evolutionary change can easily lead to such mutual dependence, although it is profoundly unlikely to ever lead out of it. Plants produce pollen. Insects first act as parasites, consuming the pollen, then symbiotes, helping to spread pollen from one plant to another. Plants alter their reproductive organs in order to best attract and support the insects, then produce nectar. The more plants utilize this strategy, and the more insects act to pollinate such plants, the easier it is for other plants insects to form similar relationships. Eventually it’s easy for some plants and some insect species to form odd, parasitic relationships again.

Comment #81985

Posted by Jim Wynne on February 24, 2006 9:08 AM (e)

I strongly encourage everyone here to just ignore Larry/Andy H.’s comment. It’s transparently stupid and not worthy of response. The fact that Larry keeps repeating the same errors and misconceptions even after having been corrected innumerable times indicates that he’s not interested in learning anything. Don’t participate in his thread-killing fantasies.

Comment #81994

Posted by Miguelito on February 24, 2006 10:51 AM (e)

I am glad to see that those who study ents are finally taking a stand against magic and pseudoscience.

Comment #81995

Posted by Karen on February 24, 2006 11:01 AM (e)

Strident? Why not? Some things are just worth stridulating about.

Screech the Controversy!

Comment #82007

Posted by BWE on February 24, 2006 11:36 AM (e)

Andy, normally I don’t address you at all but this time you did it. I will have to flog myself later.

Are you telling entimologists facts about entimology? Can you tell me why the heck Sebastes pinniger lives as long as it does? Can you tell me what the hell it is?
Sheesh.

Your education ministry would look like Mao’s “Cultural Revolution.”

Comment #82008

Posted by BWE on February 24, 2006 11:38 AM (e)

God I spelt Entomology wrong. My Mom would spank me.

Comment #82034

Posted by CJ O'Brien on February 24, 2006 1:12 PM (e)

I strongly encourage everyone here to just ignore Larry/Andy H.’s comment.

I couldn’t even read past the first sentence.
More broadly, however, I would like to go further, and strongly encourage everyone here to just ignore ALL of Farfromsane’s drivel here.

I mean, he can’t even troll. It’s embarrassing. Beneath us, even.

Comment #82035

Posted by David Heddle on February 24, 2006 1:12 PM (e)

You quoted the entomologists:

in contrast, intelligent design—with its central tenet of irreducible complexity (i.e., aspects of living systems are too complex to ascribe to biological processes and therefore must have been designed by some intelligent force)—is neither predictive nor falsifiable and therefore does not meet the standards of science. Accordingly, intelligent design has no utility in entomology and – for the same reason – has no legitimate place in science classrooms at any level of instruction.

Do you think they would also endorse:

in contrast, the String Theory Landscape—with its central tenet of a multiverse (i.e., that our universe only appears fine-tuned only because it is one of 10^500 possible universes) is neither predictive nor falsifiable and therefore does not meet the standards of science. Accordingly, the String Theory Landscape has no legitimate place in science classrooms at any level of instruction.

Comment #82037

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 24, 2006 1:24 PM (e)

Mr. Heddle, I doubt they would agree with that last statement about string theory - mostly because it’s not true.

Various flavors of string theory are, at least in ‘theory’ testable. They require energy levels greater than any current accelerator, but there are aspects which can be considered.

And nobody is teaching ‘string theory’ to high school students in lieu of an alterative, tested, provable theory.

Really, if you’re going to create strawmen, create good ones.

Comment #82039

Posted by David Heddle on February 24, 2006 1:38 PM (e)

Rilke’s Granddaughter ,

You’ll note carefully that I said “String Theory Landscape” not generic String Theory–and it’s chief proponent (Susskind) admits it does not conform to what we normally call science–and has suggested that just because it isn’t falsifiable doesn’t mean it isn’t right. This is no straw man, but a major controversy in the High Energy Physics world.

And also, you will please note, the entomologists did not say “high school”, but at any level of instruction.

Straw man? Pot-kettle-black.

Comment #82054

Posted by Faidon on February 24, 2006 2:57 PM (e)

Will you guys ever quit messing with String theory? Those who have thought of and endorse it have tried to construct the very thing IDiots hate the very mention of: A mechanism, consistent in paper and potentially observable, with which one can be led to a Unified Field Theory, an actual controversy in Physics, not made-up mumbo jumbo disputes.
Even so, to be accepted as a debatable alternative (even as an outsider), they had to give battles in the scientific arena and devise experiments that might provide some data that would support their theory. They did not try to force their way into high schools like the petty ID cowards. That’s why, however unconventional in their theories, they’re still scientists and not quacks.
The ID equivalent would be “ooh ooh I know, you can’t unite electromagnetism and gravity because they’re Irreducibly Separate; you see, some extra-universal Designer made the universe in a test tube, and added two indredients in the mix… and the children have a right to know”!

(Oh great, now I’m giving them ideas.)

Comment #82056

Posted by William E Emba on February 24, 2006 3:09 PM (e)

David Heddle wrote:

You’ll note carefully that I said “String Theory Landscape” not generic String Theory—and it’s chief proponent (Susskind) admits it does not conform to what we normally call science—and has suggested that just because it isn’t falsifiable doesn’t mean it isn’t right.

More precisely, the String Theory Landscape is research in progress. Not one proponent proposes it in any other way, and as such, you will not find one proponent advocating it being taught at any level other than research seminars. The same could be said of various theories of slipping on ice.

This is no straw man, but a major controversy in the High Energy Physics world.

Actually, it’s a very minor controversy, but it only attracts attention because of the anthropomorphic principle. First, string theory has to be solved. Then, presumably, the status of the landscape will be obvious. What’s seen today are conjectures about what an eventual solution to string theory will leave us with.

Twenty years ago, people were dismissing inflationary cosmology as nothing better than metaphysical speculation, impossible even in principle to test and verify, but the intervening years have revealed this negative judgment was premature: actual tests and verifications have been made.

Unlike ID in any of its forms, both inflation and the landscape have involved serious research done by real scientists aiming for ultimate experimental vindication.

Comment #82060

Posted by Andy H. on February 24, 2006 3:19 PM (e)

Comment #81983
Posted by Caledonian on February 24, 2006 08:59 AM

It is alanic that you’d misuse the word ‘ironic’ in a statement which is as completely wrong as it is possible to be.

My printed Webster’s New World Dictionary says that the spelling “ironical” is acceptable, though “ironic” is preferred. The online Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary does not recognize the spelling “ironical,” though many other online references do. Anyway, thanks for pointing this out – in the future I will use the preferred spelling so that people won’t “bug” me about this.

Plants produce pollen. Insects first act as parasites, consuming the pollen, then symbiotes, helping to spread pollen from one plant to another. Plants alter their reproductive organs in order to best attract and support the insects, then produce nectar. The more plants utilize this strategy, and the more insects act to pollinate such plants, the easier it is for other plants insects to form similar relationships.

When evolution is described in broad, general, vague terms, it sounds plausible. However, when you get into the nitty-gritty details, when you try to visualize evolution actually taking place, that is when big problems arise.

Comment #81981
Posted by PvM on February 24, 2006 08:56 AM

Heck. Darwin even predicted the existence of a particular moth based on the existence of a particular flower. What has Intelligent Design ‘predicted’ lately? Ever?

So what is the big deal ? Darwin figured that unless the plant was self-pollinated, which is rare, it had to be pollinated either by the wind or by an animal. Since the pollen must have looked like it was carried by animals, he figured that there must be some kind of animal that was physically suited to pollinating that flower. So what was the big prediction ? Also, Darwinism was not even necessary for making that prediction. In fact, those articles I presented did not even have to describe insect pollination in terms of co-evolution – they could have simply described the pollination strictly in terms of mutualism (co-dependence). As for what intelligent design and other criticisms of evolution theory are good for, the debate over these criticisms has improved our understanding of biology.

BTW, according to the article on long-nosed insects, it looks like Darwin’s prediction was wrong. The article said,
“Critical to Darwin’s prediction was his suspicion that pollination could take place only if the depth of a plant’s flowers matched or exceeded the length of a pollinator’s tongue. Only then would the body of the pollinator be pressed firmly enough against the reproductive parts of the flower to transfer pollen effectively as the pollinator fed.”

However, in all the illustrations in the article, the depth of the flower is less than the length of the pollinator’s tongue (proboscis), contrary to Darwin’s prediction. The illustrations show the pollen attached to the proboscis – not the body – of the insect.

Comment #82061

Posted by Marine Geologist on February 24, 2006 3:29 PM (e)

Heddle #82060

“However, when you get into the nitty-gritty details, when you try to visualize evolution actually taking place, that is when big problems arise.”

Only for small minds with limited imaginations.

Comment #82064

Posted by Faidon on February 24, 2006 3:37 PM (e)

Well, Andy H, I have to admit that Darwin’s prediction was indeed so vague and lacking in details, that it pales compared to some of ID’s predictions- like for instace the one DaveScott gave: The revolutionary prediction that “You can cultivate bacteria forever in the laboratory and never get a nucleus”.

MUAHAHAHAHAHA

Comment #82066

Posted by Marine Geologist on February 24, 2006 3:52 PM (e)

OOPS, sorry Heddle, that was Andy H/Felafalman with the limited imagination.

Comment #82067

Posted by David Heddle on February 24, 2006 3:58 PM (e)

Faidon,

Even so, to be accepted as a debatable alternative (even as an outsider), they had to give battles in the scientific arena and devise experiments that might provide some data that would support their theory.

And what are these Landscape experiments? Please let me know—or at least let Susskind know. And Columbia prof (and non IDer) Peter Woit who dubs String Theory “Not Even Wrong” because it is unfalsifiable.

Do you understand the magnitude of the Landscape concept? It means there is no fundamental theory, because the constants are essentially a random draw. The glorious search for an explanation of the physical constants is a fool’s errand; physics is not ultimately beautiful but rather hideous.

Landscape theory is not science in exactly the same way that ID is not science. But, PT hypocrites deem it an “acceptable” form of non science, probably because it has no (obvious) religious overtones. Or because it is touted by “acceptable” academics so it is given, for the most part, a free pass.

Don’t worry about giving them ideas—there’s not a germ of one in your post.

Emba,

How do you know nobody teaches the Landscape in a grad course? Are you sure?

Unlike ID in any of its forms, both inflation and the landscape have involved serious research done by real scientists aiming for ultimate experimental vindication.

Nice red herring. Nobody is arguing whether serious research is being done, but if Landscape theory (not inflation) is science. Or is your new definition of science “that which people do serious research in?” It’s leading proponent admits it probably is not science by Popperian standards. What experimental verification? It’s only prediction is a nebulous “slight negative curvature” so it takes a 50/50 shot, given that we know the universe is nearly flat.
Just a reminder, here is what Susskind said:

There is a philosophical objection called Popperism that people raise against the landscape idea. Popperism [after the philosopher Karl Popper] is the assertion that a scientific hypothesis has to be falsifiable, otherwise it’s just metaphysics. Other worlds, alternative universes, things we can’t see because they are beyond horizons, are in principle unfalsifiable and therefore metaphysical - that’s the objection. But the belief that the universe beyond our causal horizon is homogeneous is just as speculative and just as susceptible to the Popperazzi.

If Behe said that about IRC, PT would roast him over the coals.

Actually, it’s a very minor controversy

I’ll side with Nobel Laurate David Gross, and world class scientists like George Ellis, who thinks it is a major controversy.

Comment #82068

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on February 24, 2006 4:01 PM (e)

Larry, your final paragraph is incorrect. I’m heading off to do some banking. You have a couple of hours to find and make the correction, otherwise I get to embarrass you yet again by pointing out your (lies/lack of scholarship).

Comment #82073

Posted by David Heddle on February 24, 2006 4:12 PM (e)

Actually, this is a better quote from Susskind, from Nature Jan. 4, 2006:

Susskind, too, finds it “deeply, deeply troubling” that there’s no way to test the principle. But he is not yet ready to rule it out completely. “It would be very foolish to throw away the right answer on the basis that it doesn’t conform to some criteria for what is or isn’t science,” he says.

That’s the one I intended when I wrote you would roast Behe if he said it.

Comment #82080

Posted by Faidon on February 24, 2006 5:01 PM (e)

David,
Way to completely ignore the point of my post- but that was expected I guess. Anyway, I’ll start form where you did.

I was of course refering to String Theory in general, and the tests designed to provide some comfirmation for it in the subatomic level. ST Landscape is not an autonomous theory, but a string theory prediction to explain the expansion of the universe the way it’s observed. To obtain any kind of evidence for that, you can’t simply conduct an experiment that will go “Ding! String Landscape”- and the same goes for the basic inflation model. All you can do is create consistent theoretical models that concede or derive from your theory, define any observable data those models may have when applied to the universe, and then look for matching observations.

And, guess what? That’s what they do. That brings us to the point of my previous post: String theorists try to provide paradigms and mechanisms of how their theory works and ways to verify it. They may fail eventually (I’m not as supportive of their theory as you might think), but the point is that they try..
And that’s what makes them scientists.

Unlike Behe, who in their place would say something like “The Cosmological Constant is the way it is because someone made it that way- come on, it’s obvious! No, I dunno who or how! Don’t judge me! Oh whatever, you’re obviously a hardcore atheist- lemme talk to your kids!”

Spot the difference?

Oh, and, not a germ of Idea? Thank gawd for that: I wouldn’t want to start a new ID trend. Although IDers have been known to produce “theories” and “arguments” out of virtually nothing- quantum fluctuations of the void in their mind, perhaps?

Comment #82084

Posted by Andy H. on February 24, 2006 5:14 PM (e)

Comment #82056
Posted by William E Emba on February 24, 2006 03:09 PM

Unlike ID in any of its forms, both inflation [inflationary cosmology] and the landscape [String Theory Landscape] have involved serious research done by real scientists aiming for ultimate experimental vindication.

OK, what actually observable experiments do you propose for testing such things as Darwinism ( the notion that evolution was driven solely by random mutations and natural selection), punctuated equilibrium, and exaptation, all of which are widely accepted in the scientific community ?

Comment #82061
Posted by Marine Geologist on February 24, 2006 03:29 PM

“However, when you get into the nitty-gritty details, when you try to visualize evolution actually taking place, that is when big problems arise.”

Only for small minds with limited imaginations.

I would rather have a limited imagination than a wild one.

Comment #82034
Posted by CJ O’Brien on February 24, 2006 01:12 PM

“I strongly encourage everyone here to just ignore Larry/Andy H.’s comment.”

I couldn’t even read past the first sentence.

Thanks, guys, for advertising my comments – I appreciate it. I think that some people now are going to read my comments just out of curiosity in order to decide for themselves whether what I said is so terrible.

Anyway, even people who don’t agree with my views about evolution might be interested in the cited articles about insect pollination.

Comment #82085

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 24, 2006 5:17 PM (e)

Hey larry!

what happened to the discussion we were having about the value of Wiki in your “investigations”?

You bailed out and missed the big, juicy morsel I left there for you.

oh, and why are you posting as Andy H.?

Comment #82089

Posted by shenda on February 24, 2006 6:14 PM (e)

BWE,

” Are you telling entimologists facts about entimology? Can you tell me why the heck Sebastes pinniger lives as long as it does?”

What the heck does Sebastes pinniger have to do with entomology?

Comment #82092

Posted by BWE on February 24, 2006 6:25 PM (e)

Nothing. I just want to know. So I thought I’d go to Andy who seems able to answer questions better than professionals. What’s the difference between entiomology and Icthyology? I figured if he could do it for one he must be able to do it for others. Rather than go to an expert, oh, never mind. Anyway I’ve been wondering.

Comment #82093

Posted by David Heddle on February 24, 2006 6:34 PM (e)

Faidon

To obtain any kind of evidence for that, you can’t simply conduct an experiment that will go “Ding! String Landscape”- and the same goes for the basic inflation model. All you can do is create consistent theoretical models that concede or derive from your theory, define any observable data those models may have when applied to the universe, and then look for matching observations.

And, guess what? That’s what they do.

Really, tell me what those observations (for the landscape) are? (I’m not disputing that the infaltionary models are science, only the string landscape.) And if String Theory Landscape operates like every other theory in physics, that is it makes unique predictions and tests (at least in principle) them against observations, why is Susskind defending it against its lack of Popperism? He would have to be nuts.

You keep saying that they try to verify it. But there is no way even in principle to do so–there is this nasty business of General Relativity and horizons that make the other minima inacessible. That is the whole point, it cannot be verified–and even Susskind admits it, and says that shouldn’t disqualify it, becuase it might be right! How is that any different from ID saying, just because it can’t be verified doesn’t mean it isn’t right?

I’ll tell you: it is no different.

Comment #82097

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 24, 2006 6:59 PM (e)

I’ll tell you: it is no different.

And we should care what you think because … ?

Speaking on behalf of God again, Davey? Do I have to remind you yet again that you’re just a man, and aren’t any more holy or divine than anyone else?

Comment #82098

Posted by CJ O'Brien on February 24, 2006 7:02 PM (e)

Heddle:

Susskind, too, finds it “deeply, deeply troubling” that there’s no way to test the principle. But he is not yet ready to rule it out completely. “It would be very foolish to throw away the right answer on the basis that it doesn’t conform to some criteria for what is or isn’t science,” he says.

That’s the one I intended when I wrote you would roast Behe if he said it.

How is that any different from ID saying, just because it can’t be verified doesn’t mean it isn’t right?

I’ll tell you: it is no different.

There seem to be a few subtleties here that, in your eagerness to score a ‘gotcha’ on your beloved foils here, you’re missing, or glossing over.
First, Susskind is forthcoming in that he is “deeply troubled” by the falsificationism criterion, in application to the landscape. Behe has trouble only with hand-waving-related repetitive stress injuries over the matter of ID and its own lack of falsifiability.

Second, there currently is no unified theory of physics, falsifiable or otherwise. It seems conceiveable that there never will be one. So the landscape, to this admittedly inexpert eye, appears to be going forward into a great unknown, quite ahead of experimental or observational consequences that, theorists hope, may be testable in principle, and therefore in practice for their future experimentalist colleagues. So, in this view, to “throw away,” in Susskind’s words, the “right answer,” would be a mistake for the reason that theories in physics are often ahead of experiments, but experimentalists, given more and more rigorous refinements of heretofore untestable ideas, have had a way in the past of surprising everyone with ingenious experiments.

Contrast this situation with ID vs. ToE. There is no theoretical vacuum. Quite the contrary. There is an elegant body of theory, with over a hundred years’ worth of refinement based on prediction and testing. One good reason for rejecting (biological) ID is that it is not falsifiable in principle. But there are many more and the most prominent is that we have a powerful theory and ID doesn’t add anything to it.

So, points for staying on message, but it’s the same old story from you, I’m afraid.

Comment #82114

Posted by Andy H. on February 24, 2006 9:47 PM (e)

Comment #81981
Posted by PvM on February 24, 2006 08:56 AM

Look Andy, your comments about co-evolution are as unfounded as your comments were about evolution of sex. Remember that you considered the latter one to be a good example against evolution? A quick survey of recent scientific articles and voila, another argument was dropped.

I never gave up on the idea that arguments against Darwinism (evolution driven solely by random mutations and natural selection) could be based on sexual reproduction. I was unpersuaded by the only website I have seen (one of the websites you gave me) that uses sexual reproduction to argue against Darwinism ( http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/reproduction.html ) because that website does not address the issue of dominant and recessive genes. Anyway, I think that a discussion of sexual reproduction is more appropriate for the “Sex pays off” thread, but I have no new thoughts on the subject.

Comment #82119

Posted by Kevin from nyc on February 24, 2006 10:06 PM (e)

fa fa fa fooie…..hey hey hey heddle…….I can imagine a frog that sings like a bird….and as I am saved I can hear the blessed tones….this is creation science / id in action….

let’s read an ancient text to understand dna and rocks…

Comment #82124

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 25, 2006 12:04 AM (e)

Larry says the ONLY thing that has even the slightest ring of fact to it in all the time he has spent on PT:

…but I have no new thoughts on the subject

Larry, you’ve NEVER had a new thought, on any subject, ever.

good luck with that pychosis of yours.

Comment #82125

Posted by Arden Chatfield on February 25, 2006 12:18 AM (e)

Larry babbled

Biologists can use evolution theory even while believing that all or part of it is untrue.

Splendid. Larry the holocaust denier has grandly given the scientific community permission for them to be as stupid and superstitious as he is. I’m sure they’re all relieved.

Okay, Larry: since the theory of evolution works so much better than anything else, WHY should they disbelieve all or part of it? To be a good Republican? Because that’s what Jesus wants? If it works, isn’t that a superb indication that it’s TRUE? Isn’t this the explanation of why the vast majority of biologists DO believe it?

Please pull your head out of your ass, quit pretending you know anything about science, and go the hell away.

Comment #82126

Posted by BWE on February 25, 2006 12:37 AM (e)

Actually, I like Larry’s posts. It is a perfect exposition of someone who did learn enough of the science lingo-jingo to argue his foregone conclusion. He’s better at it than I am and I went to school for 3 extra years and learned a bunch of this crap. Granted it’s been 20 years roughly but damn, he uses terminology I would have to look up. Also his point always has the same problem, there is no theory of ID. It is a pretty good example for people who just drive-by. So, if you are going to debate Larry, go ahead and consider it a teachable moment. Evolution doesn’t have to be right it just has to be accurate. Test test test. :) Anyway, who really gives a darn about evolution right ;~0 (is that a face of some kind?) Darn, can you tell I’ve been drinking?

50 points to whoever can guess what it is I’ve been drinking.

Hoo Ya!

Comment #82127

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 25, 2006 12:40 AM (e)

Darn, can you tell I’ve been drinking?

uh, yup. sure can.

around this time of night where I am (10:00 pm), I’d be downing gin and tonics right about now.

Comment #82128

Posted by BWE on February 25, 2006 12:45 AM (e)

I’ll give you a hint, It’s got the Letters W__D ___K_Y in the name. Ha ha. Shit.

Comment #82129

Posted by Arden Chatfield on February 25, 2006 12:59 AM (e)

Never spend time on the computer while drunk. Terrible things happen.

Be sure and write a few entries while hung over tomorrow. I’m curious to see how you evoke that particular state. Bet you’re not so fond of Larry then!!!!

Comment #82133

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 25, 2006 1:58 AM (e)

Pim:

can you get access to the full text of the article reported on here:

http://www.physorg.com/news11181.html

This is pretty interesting.

Comment #82136

Posted by Bruce Beckman on February 25, 2006 3:03 AM (e)

TJ, esq wrote:

Pim

can you get access to the full text of the article reported on here:

http://www.physorg.com/news11181.html

This is pretty interesting.

Abstract: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0508653103v1
Full Text: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/0508653103v1

Comment #82139

Posted by Alan Fox on February 25, 2006 7:06 AM (e)

Sir Toe_jam beat you to it, TJ,esq.

Comment #82140

Posted by Moses on February 25, 2006 7:21 AM (e)

Comment #82039

Posted by David Heddle on February 24, 2006 01:38 PM (e)

Rilke’s Granddaughter ,

You’ll note carefully that I said “String Theory Landscape” not generic String Theory—and it’s chief proponent (Susskind) admits it does not conform to what we normally call science—and has suggested that just because it isn’t falsifiable doesn’t mean it isn’t right. This is no straw man, but a major controversy in the High Energy Physics world.

And also, you will please note, the entomologists did not say “high school”, but at any level of instruction.

Straw man? Pot-kettle-black.

Jeez, you’re a piece of work. Making excessively narrow mis-interpretations of how you presented a particular scientific endevour doesn’t relieve your strawman.

You sound like the Bill Clinton jokes… “depends what you mean by ‘is’.”

Comment #82149

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 25, 2006 12:13 PM (e)

Actually, I like Larry’s posts.

So do I. They help prevent us from waging pointless holy war on each other.

Comment #82151

Posted by i like latin on February 25, 2006 12:46 PM (e)

Andy barfed:

BTW, according to the article on long-nosed insects, it looks like Darwin’s prediction was wrong. The article said, “Critical to Darwin’s prediction was his suspicion that pollination could take place only if the depth of a plant’s flowers matched or exceeded the length of a pollinator’s tongue. Only then would the body of the pollinator be pressed firmly enough against the reproductive parts of the flower to transfer pollen effectively as the pollinator fed.”

Oh I just love selective quotation..(does anyone find the lack or irony here surprising). How about another excerpts from the same article:

“Those studies and others suggest that what Darwin predicted of the Malagasy orchid is a rather general phenomenon: hawk moths and long-nosed flies coevolved with their plant partners. As floral tubes became longer, so did the pollinators’ proboscises, and those led, in turn, to even longer flowers. As the lengths of the flower tube and the insect proboscis converge, a remarkable degree of specialization develops. The plants come to rely for pollination on the few insect species that can reach their flowers’ nectar supplies.”

Read the whole article, Andy/Larry= Farfromhavingabrain

Comment #82154

Posted by Faidon on February 25, 2006 1:14 PM (e)

David: OK, let’s take this from the top.
Like I previously said, ST landscape is not an autonomous theory. It’s a cosmological model String Theory uses these days to explain the rate of expansion of the Universe. Now, like I said, there is no way to directly prove that with an experiment: After all, we are limited to the knowledge we can obtain from our universe. But it’s not the cosmological model string theory predicts that has to be falsifiable: actually that doesn’t even make sense. Such models must be theoretically sound, and be able to produce a theoretical universe that matches the qualities of our own in our observations and tests, without creating any paradox.
It’s String Theory itself that has to be falsifiable: And I see you agree that it can, in fact, be falsified (or verified) using scientific methods. Now, if it is proven (personally I have doubts about that, but that’s another story), then the theoretical model it predicts becomes the most probable option- unless, of course, another model is proposed that explains things better.
And that brings us to the point you keep avoiding: scientific methodology. String theory tries to produce models and mechanisms that actually explain the universe. ID produces NOTHING. It says NOTHING. String Theory supporters try to find ways to make predictions that can be verified and tests that can validate their theory- after all, isn’t that what the supporter of any THEORY would try to accomplish? Well, ID supporters try NOTHING. They get really irritated if one even suggests that they should try and make some speculations on the mechanisms of “design”, let alone try and do research to validate it once and for all (and lead to the greatest revolutionary breakthrough in Biology ever- duh). What is their ultimate scientific goal? to be taught in highschools.

Now, in all honesty: Who do you think is being consistent and sincere here?

Comment #82155

Posted by k.e. on February 25, 2006 1:14 PM (e)

Arden Chatfield
This needs to be said.
On your post on Lying Lawrence Fafarman the holocaust denier who seems to think that there is a difference between revisionism and denying …what?…. oh…. 2 or 3 million people.
Should we call that the Adolf Eichman defense or the Pol Pot defense?……. how about the Mohammad Atah or even the Oklahoma defense ?
.
,
.
I Stand And Salute You Sir !
Jesus I hate psychopaths!!!

Comment #82163

Posted by J. Biggs on February 25, 2006 1:52 PM (e)

Larry,

You have convinced me. I now see the error of my ways. I just couldn’t see before that coevolution, a powerful evidence for descent with modification, is actually evidence against descent with modification and blows the whole idea of evolution out of the water. It now makes sense to me that even though evolution is wrong that somehow scientists can use it to useful ends. I mean all kinds of theories that are wrong can still come up with predictive results and hold up to around 150 yrs of scientific scrutiny. I am relieved to know that I am an irreducibly complex biological system that was designed by a space alien from Neptar.

Comment #82169

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 25, 2006 2:51 PM (e)

Sir Toe_jam beat you to it, TJ,esq.

did he now?

lol.

Comment #82194

Posted by Andy H. on February 25, 2006 5:28 PM (e)

Comment #82151
Posted by i like latin on February 25, 2006 12:46 PM

BTW, according to the article on long-nosed insects, it looks like Darwin’s prediction was wrong. The article said, “Critical to Darwin’s prediction was his suspicion that pollination could take place only if the depth of a plant’s flowers matched or exceeded the length of a pollinator’s tongue. Only then would the body of the pollinator be pressed firmly enough against the reproductive parts of the flower to transfer pollen effectively as the pollinator fed.”

Oh I just love selective quotation..(does anyone find the lack or irony here surprising). How about another excerpts from the same article:

That was not a “selective quotation” ! Your additional excerpt from the article has no effect on the above excerpt, and the above excerpt is directly contradicted by the pictures in the article – see bottom of Comment #82060 .

Comment #82195

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 25, 2006 5:31 PM (e)

why are you posting as Andy H., Larry Fafarman?

Comment #82200

Posted by PvM on February 25, 2006 6:05 PM (e)

However, in all the illustrations in the article, the depth of the flower is less than the length of the pollinator’s tongue (proboscis), contrary to Darwin’s prediction. The illustrations show the pollen attached to the proboscis — not the body — of the insect.

Note that the prediction was for a particular flower

For example, Darwin noted, the flower spur of the Malagasy orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale) contains a pool of nectar that is almost a foot inside the opening of the flower. (A flower spur is a hollow, hornlike extension of a flower that holds nectar in its base.)

In the early twentieth century it seemed that Darwin’s prediction had been borne out. A giant hawk moth from Madagascar, Xanthopan morganii praedicta, was captured, with a proboscis that measured more than nine inches long. Although no one has actually seen the insect feeding on the flower, the discovery is still remarkable, and strongly suggestive of the coevolution of the orchid and moth.

And that’s the rest of the story

As for what intelligent design and other criticisms of evolution theory are good for, the debate over these criticisms has improved our understanding of biology.

and shown ID to be scientifically vacuous as well. Nice how ID activists seem to be backpedalling as to the scientific relevance of ID.

Comment #82201

Posted by J. Biggs on February 25, 2006 6:17 PM (e)

Larry Said,

That was not a “selective quotation” ! Your additional excerpt from the article has no effect on the above excerpt, and the above excerpt is directly contradicted by the pictures in the article — see bottom of Comment #82060 .

Can’t you fools see that the sagaciousness of Larry’s point. The length of the proboscis on the Hawk Moth contradicts Darwin’s prediction about the type of moth that would be able to cross-pollinate the Malagasy Orchid. This proves that Darwin was in fact wrong about evolution and natural selection. Everybody knows that if one assertion made by a scientist is even slightly incorrect, then everything they do is wrong and should be suspect. We must teach the controversy and expose the conspiracies of the scientific community to keep the truth of the intelligent space monkey designer out of our classrooms. After all it is better to know the answer to everything instead of limit ourselves to the novel but limited answers science provides. It had to be the intelligent designer that made the Hawk moth’s proboscis 9 inches instead of a foot, and that darn space monkey designed everything else too, it’s obvious. Hail Neptar.

Comment #82214

Posted by Andy H. on February 25, 2006 8:34 PM (e)

Comment #82200
Posted by PvM on February 25, 2006 06:05 PM

However, in all the illustrations in the article, the depth of the flower is less than the length of the pollinator’s tongue (proboscis), contrary to Darwin’s prediction. The illustrations show the pollen attached to the proboscis — not the body — of the insect.

Note that the prediction was for a particular flower

The article did not make that clear – it looked like a very general prediction. And the prediction certainly does not apply to the meganosed fly, which was the main featured insect of the article.

As for what intelligent design and other criticisms of evolution theory are good for, the debate over these criticisms has improved our understanding of biology.

and shown ID to be scientifically vacuous as well. Nice how ID activists seem to be backpedalling as to the scientific relevance of ID.

I can’t understand why Darwinist scientists are complaining about the criticism of Darwinism. Think of all the wonderful opportunities that this criticism creates for research on evolutionary mechanisms in irreducible complexity, co-evolution, sexual reproduction, etc.. Just think – without this criticism, our scientific-research policymakers just might decide that we already know all that we need to know about evolution and stop or greatly reduce the funding of research in the field.

Comment #82201
Posted by J. Biggs on February 25, 2006 06:17 PM

Can’t you fools see that the sagaciousness of Larry’s point. The length of the proboscis on the Hawk Moth contradicts Darwin’s prediction about the type of moth that would be able to cross-pollinate the Malagasy Orchid. This proves that Darwin was in fact wrong about evolution and natural selection.

By no means can such a conclusion be drawn from what I said. I was only pointing out that the statement that the depth of the flower must be equal to or greater than the proboscis length of the pollinator is wrong as a general statement, because the meganosed fly featured in the article is an obvious exception.

Comment #82216

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 25, 2006 8:48 PM (e)

The article did not make that clear — it looked like a very general prediction. And the prediction certainly does not apply to the meganosed fly, which was the main featured insect of the article.

as usual, Larry blames the rest of us for his limited reading comprehension.

why are you posting as Andy H. again, Larry?

Comment #82219

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 25, 2006 9:08 PM (e)

I can’t understand why Darwinist scientists are complaining about the criticism of Darwinism.

they aren’t. it’s that simple.

of far more puzzling nature is this question:

why doesn’t Larry Fafarman understand how ignorance does not a critcism make?

as a corrollary:

why does Larry Fafarman insist on posting as Andy H.?

Comment #82231

Posted by Engineer-Poet, FCD, ΔΠΓ on February 25, 2006 10:51 PM (e)

Landarry H. Farfarfromsane wrote:

Think of all the wonderful opportunities that this criticism creates for research on evolutionary mechanisms in irreducible complexity, co-evolution, sexual reproduction, etc..

Think of all the wasted effort in the here and now, because all of the refutations of IDiots’ “criticism” are implicit in scientific work done over the last century and a half and should not have to be repeated.  If they want attention, they should come up with some evidence (from nature!) that the previous work is invalid.

Of course, if you wish to make scientists repeatedly justify everything they’ve done since the mid-19th century instead of actually uncovering new information, that’s the way to do it.  But it’s rather hypocritical of you to claim to be promoting knowledge when your actions are aimed at preventing and denying it.

Comment #82238

Posted by Andy H. on February 26, 2006 1:40 AM (e)

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 25, 2006 09:08 PM

I can’t understand why Darwinist scientists are complaining about the criticism of Darwinism.

they aren’t. it’s that simple.

They aren’t ? Then why do we have so many scientists on Panda’s Thumb ? Why did 700 “Steves” sign the pro-Darwinism letter ? Why is this criticism such a big thing on the AAAS website ? Etc., etc..

That has got to be the dumbest statement I have ever heard. It’s that simple.

Posted by Engineer-Poet, FCD, ΔΠΓ on February 25, 2006 10:51 PM

Think of all the wonderful opportunities that this criticism creates for research on evolutionary mechanisms in irreducible complexity, co-evolution, sexual reproduction, etc..

Think of all the wasted effort in the here and now, because all of the refutations of IDiots’ “criticism” are implicit in scientific work done over the last century and a half and should not have to be repeated.

OK, so we already know everything that we need to know about the evolutionary mechanisms in irreducible complexity, co-evolution, sexual reproduction, etc., and have no need for new research in these areas.

Comment #82239

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 26, 2006 2:00 AM (e)

They aren’t ? Then why do we have so many scientists on Panda’s Thumb ? Why did 700 “Steves” sign the pro-Darwinism letter ? Why is this criticism such a big thing on the AAAS website ? Etc., etc..

god, you’re dumb.

I personally have never met a darwinist, nor have i ever seen a pro-darwinism letter.

That’s not what we are (I’m an evolutionary biologist), and that’s not what 700 steves found worthwhile to sign.

you set up a strawman, and i called you on it.

simple as that.

your breathtaking innanity continues to impress, super Larry!

still using wiki as your primary reference? or did i manage to teach you something about that?

why are you calling yourself Andy H. again?

wow, but you are a dense one.

it IS funny, in an extremely irritating sort of way.

Comment #82240

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 26, 2006 2:09 AM (e)

…now then, shall we explore your “darwinism” strawman further, super Larry? or would you prefer to let the matter drop…

‘cause if you were really talking about debate within the scientific community about evolutionary theory, that’s a whole different topic.

you’d actually have to exhibit some knowledge of the theory first, before you could possibly grasp what the current debates over mechanisms are.

or did you want to set up another strawman about how there exists “controversy” in the scientific community about the validity of the ToE itself?

will you ever get over yourself, there, super Larry?

Comment #82241

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 26, 2006 2:09 AM (e)

Posted by Andy H. on February 26, 2006 01:40 AM (e)

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 25, 2006 09:08 PM

I can’t understand why Darwinist scientists are complaining about the criticism of Darwinism.

they aren’t. it’s that simple.

They aren’t ? Then why do we have so many scientists on Panda’s Thumb ? Why did 700 “Steves” sign the pro-Darwinism letter ? Why is this criticism such a big thing on the AAAS website ? Etc., etc..

That has got to be the dumbest statement I have ever heard. It’s that simple.

Larry,

The reason people are arguing against ID being taught as science is because it aint science.

What scientific theory ever argued politically and religiously to be taught in High School, before getting established in the scientific community?

What scientific theory has ever used PR rather than gathering evidence and getting published in scientific journals?

Nobody would be complaining about scientific criticism of Darwinism/Evolution. You know, using evidence and peer-review.

Scientists (and their supporters) are complaining about religious/political criticism of science, with an obvious agenda.

But then again, you know all that Larry.

Comment #82242

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 26, 2006 2:18 AM (e)

But then again, you know all that Larry.

it’s not like we haven’t pointed this out to him..

over, and over, and over…

at this point, all there is left to do is keep poking at that cabbage he apparently uses as a head.

It’s amusing from time to time, but…

why oh why does he keep changing his name all the time???

Comment #82244

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 26, 2006 3:54 AM (e)

Posted by TJ, Esq. on February 26, 2006 02:18 AM (e)

why oh why does he keep changing his name all the time???

At a guess, he probably doesn’t want people to track his views on the holocaust (and other subjects).

Now, yourself sir?

Comment #82254

Posted by William E Emba on February 26, 2006 10:19 AM (e)

David Heddle wrote:

And what are these Landscape experiments? Please let me know—or at least let Susskind know. And Columbia prof (and non IDer) Peter Woit who dubs String Theory “Not Even Wrong” because it is unfalsifiable.

Woit is flat out incorrect. There are definite expectations regarding the discovery of supersymmetry, a fundamental prediction of string theory. For the past few years, a few experimental proposals regarding in-the-lab black holes and higher dimensions have been made, based on string theory.

Do you understand the magnitude of the Landscape concept? It means there is no fundamental theory, because the constants are essentially a random draw.

This is gibberish. There most certainly is a fundamental theory, but aspects of it are essentially a random draw. Quite different. You as might as well reject QM because aspects of it are random.

The glorious search for an explanation of the physical constants is a fool’s errand; physics is not ultimately beautiful but rather hideous.

Well, since you choose to be a fool, of course you come out with this bizarre misinterpretation.

Landscape theory is not science in exactly the same way that ID is not science.

This is a baldfaced lie. Landscape theory is, as I pointed out, research-in-progress. ID is simply religious apologetics, manufactured in order to dodge the First Amendment.

But, PT hypocrites deem it an “acceptable” form of non science, probably because it has no (obvious) religious overtones. Or because it is touted by “acceptable” academics so it is given, for the most part, a free pass.

More precisely, because it is research-in-progress. ID is not research-in-progress.

How do you know nobody teaches the Landscape in a grad course? Are you sure?

Huh? It is taught in the same manner as any research-in-progress is taught. At the whim of the researcher. What’s the big deal?

Unlike ID in any of its forms, both inflation and the landscape have involved serious research done by real scientists aiming for ultimate experimental vindication.

Nice red herring.

You are thick, aren’t you? My point is that landscape today is where inflation was twenty years ago. Not a very complicated comparison.

Nobody is arguing whether serious research is being done, but if Landscape theory (not inflation) is science. Or is your new definition of science “that which people do serious research in?”

As I said, and which you seem to be extraordinarily slow to grasp, is that landscape is research-in-progress. Nothing more, nothing less.

It’s leading proponent admits it probably is not science by Popperian standards.

I’m not a Popperian. I’m not a Kuhnian either. I probably lean closer to Lakatos, if anyone, but in general, I find philosophy of science interesting, not defining or controlling. It’s the job of philosophers of science to explain science, not the role of science to squeeze itself into philosophers’ attempts at explaining past scientific success.

What experimental verification? It’s only prediction is a nebulous “slight negative curvature” so it takes a 50/50 shot, given that we know the universe is nearly flat.

It’s only prediction so far, you mean.

'Lenny' Susskind wrote:

There is a philosophical objection called Popperism that people raise against the landscape idea. Popperism [after the philosopher Karl Popper] is the assertion that a scientific hypothesis has to be falsifiable, otherwise it’s just metaphysics. Other worlds, alternative universes, things we can’t see because they are beyond horizons, are in principle unfalsifiable and therefore metaphysical - that’s the objection. But the belief that the universe beyond our causal horizon is homogeneous is just as speculative and just as susceptible to the Popperazzi.

Yes, so? Like I said, the landscape is research-in-progress, and to boot, I’m not a Popperian.

If Behe said that about IRC, PT would roast him over the coals.

Quite deservedly. You see, the landscape is part and parcel of an overall larger research program, one that has great promise. At the moment, there are zero theories that account for both GR and QM. Having one that does both would be a tremendous scientific gain, even if nothing new were predicted. And any aspect of that gain would be of interest, if only for the sake of research into what new predictions are possible.

IRC and ID, in contrast, are banging head on against one of the best known and best verified theories in all of science, and as such, they have to offer a reason to be even considered in the running. Proselytizing school boards doesn’t count.

Actually, it’s a very minor controversy.

I’ll side with Nobel Laurate David Gross, and world class scientists like George Ellis, who thinks it is a major controversy.

I’ll side with the truth, which is that it’s a very minor controversy. The real controversy remains putting string theory on a secure mathematical basis first. Until then, anyone can say nearly anything, and they may even be right, and no one can tell. But with something solid to stand on, this and other controversies will almost certainly become trivial.

More accurately, you don’t actually “side” with Nobel Laureate David Gross. You cherry pick a line from him to your favor, and besmirch his genius along the way. As soon as any Nobel Laureate points out that ID is bunk, you whistle a different tune. Hypocrite.

Comment #82273

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on February 26, 2006 12:16 PM (e)

I am quoting several of Larry’s posts, dealing with insect pollination. I have made slight modifications, primarily to clearly indicate the original author of nested quotes (and in one case, to call out the full quote so people can follow the argument).

Larry, 82060 wrote:

So what is the big deal ? Darwin figured that unless the plant was self-pollinated, which is rare, it had to be pollinated either by the wind or by an animal. Since the pollen must have looked like it was carried by animals, he figured that there must be some kind of animal that was physically suited to pollinating that flower. So what was the big prediction ? Also, Darwinism was not even necessary for making that prediction. In fact, those articles I presented did not even have to describe insect pollination in terms of co-evolution — they could have simply described the pollination strictly in terms of mutualism (co-dependence)….

BTW, according to the article on long-nosed insects, it looks like Darwin’s prediction was wrong. The article said,
“Critical to Darwin’s prediction was his suspicion that pollination could take place only if the depth of a plant’s flowers matched or exceeded the length of a pollinator’s tongue. Only then would the body of the pollinator be pressed firmly enough against the reproductive parts of the flower to transfer pollen effectively as the pollinator fed.”

However, in all the illustrations in the article, the depth of the flower is less than the length of the pollinator’s tongue (proboscis), contrary to Darwin’s prediction. The illustrations show the pollen attached to the proboscis — not the body — of the insect.

Nice to see that you can appreciate what now appears to be obvious. Unfortunately, in Darwin’s time, his prediction was ridiculed by a lot of naturalists. So it was rather a big deal when a moth matching his specifications was discovered, and those predictions were based on his original theories. Also, the mechanisms behind the pollination of orchids were first elucidated by Darwin.

As far as the articles describing pollination in terms of co-evolution versus mutualism, that’s just inane. Mutualism is a description, co-evolution is an explanation. If we know the cause of a phenomenon, it is much more useful to us. Furthermore, the point of the articles were to explain just what co-evolution was, and how it explained the origins of mutualism. To leave out co-evolution would defeat the purpose of the articles. The medical analogy is symptoms and cause. While one could write an article on the symptoms of AIDS, for example, it is not terribly useful to leave out the cause of AIDS, HIV. Then again, Larry is probably an AIDS/HIV denier. Or would that be “revisionist”?

Upon examining all five illustrations, I don’t see how you could possibly arrive at any conclusion of the relative lengths of the proboscis and floral tube in any of them. At least part of the proboscis is in the flower for all illustrations, and there is nothing to indicate how deep the proboscis is penetrating (or how far it has withdrawn, for that matter). Figure 1 is a tangle-veined fly Prosoeca ganglbaueri feeding at a Zaluzianskya microsiphon, but there is no clear indication that the proboscis is longer than the floral tube. Figure 2 is a meganosed fly Moegistorhynchus longirostris at a Pelargonium suburbanum, a type of geranium, again, no clear indication of relative length. There are also pollinaria from an orchid dangling from the proboscis, but that is in fact irrelevant (I’ll explain why later). Figure 3 shows how pollen is distributed on the body of a meganosed fly after it visits three different flowers: the geranium from Figure 2 (on the sternum), an iris Lapeirousia anceps (the top of the head), and another iris Ixia paniculata (the face). From the drawings, it is apparent that the meganosed fly has to get up close and personal in order for the pollen to get distributed that way, especially for the poor fly that gets a faceful of I. paniculata pollen. A meganosed fly with a proboscis too long simply couldn’t get close enough to get pollen in those locations. The drawings don’t clearly show relative lengths, either – the detail of the base id included to show how deep the floral tube is, not how far the proboscis has penetrated. Figure 4 is our friend the meganosed fly paying a visit to an orchid Disa draconis with another payload of orchid pollinaria (in this case, from D. draconis) on its proboscis, but again, it is unclear as to the relative lengths. But the location of the pollinaria doesn’t even matter. Again, I will explain later. Figure 5 is a picture of the hawkmoth Agrius convolvuli making a housecall at a lily Crinum bulbispermum. Note that not only can we not tell the relative lengths, but the caption specifically mentions that the “lily is one of some twenty African plant species with floral tubes that match in length the four-inch proboscis of that hawk moth.” This figure shouldn’t even be an issue. Your claim for Figure 5 is REFUTED. There is no way that you could tell from any of the figures that the proboscis was longer than the floral tube of any of the flowers shown. And the article itself indicates the proboscis is, in fact equal to or shorter than the length of the floral tube.

Finally, it is clearly incorrect to claim that the figures do not show pollen on the body – all three subfigures in Figure 3 show pollen on various parts of the body. Not only can’t you read, you can’t even follow a diagram.

But let’s look deeper into your erroneous conclusion.

Larry, 82194 wrote:

i like latin wrote:

Larry wrote:

BTW, according to the article on long-nosed insects, it looks like Darwin’s prediction was wrong. The article said, “Critical to Darwin’s prediction was his suspicion that pollination could take place only if the depth of a plant’s flowers matched or exceeded the length of a pollinator’s tongue. Only then would the body of the pollinator be pressed firmly enough against the reproductive parts of the flower to transfer pollen effectively as the pollinator fed.”

Oh I just love selective quotation..(does anyone find the lack or irony here surprising). How about another excerpts from the same article:

“Those studies and others suggest that what Darwin predicted of the Malagasy orchid is a rather general phenomenon: hawk moths and long-nosed flies coevolved with their plant partners. As floral tubes became longer, so did the pollinators’ proboscises, and those led, in turn, to even longer flowers. As the lengths of the flower tube and the insect proboscis converge, a remarkable degree of specialization develops. The plants come to rely for pollination on the few insect species that can reach their flowers’ nectar supplies.”

That was not a “selective quotation” ! Your additional excerpt from the article has no effect on the above excerpt, and the above excerpt is directly contradicted by the pictures in the article — see bottom of Comment #82060 .

Oops, it seems someone is still hasn’t figured out how to read the English language. The studies mentioned did in fact conclude, based upon the measurements and experiments, that Darwin correctly predicted the relative length of proboscises based upon the principle of co-evolution. Let’s take a look at another excerpt from that article, the three preceding paragraphs.

The most important trait in the pollination syndrome of the long-nosed fly (and indeed, in all pollination syndromes of long-nosed insects) is a deep, tubular flower or floral spur. One of us (Johnson) and Kim E. Steiner of the Compton Herbarium in Claremont, South Africa, studied the orchid Disa draconis, a southern African plant with a deep, tubular floral spur. The two investigators artificially shortened the spurs of some orchids in a habitat where the only pollinators present were long-nosed flies. The plants whose spurs remained long got more pollen, and were more likely to produce fruits, than the ones whose spurs were shortened.

Yet short floral spurs are not necessarily a reproductive disadvantage. Shorter spurs would make it possible for a wider range of pollinators to access the nectar, if various potential pollinators are present. Instead, longer spurs only seem to be an advantage when long-tongued insects are the sole pollinators. Johnson and Steiner found that differences in spur length among populations cannot be blamed on differences in moisture or temperature, thus reinforcing their conclusion that spur length was an adaptation to the local distributions of long-tongued flies.

Not only does spur length correlate statistically with pollinator traits, but a direct causal connection can be demonstrated. Johnson and Ronny Alexandersson, a botanist at Uppsala University in Sweden, studied South African Gladiolus flowers pollinated by long-tongued hawk moths. When the hawk moth proboscises were long compared to the length of the flower tube, the hawk moths did not efficiently pick up pollen, and the flowers did not reproduce well. When the hawk moth proboscises were relatively short, pollen was more readily transferred, and the plants were more likely to be fertilized and bear fruit. Thus the length of the pollinator’s proboscis exerts a strong pressure on the reproductive success of the flowers.

Interestingly, the first study involves the same flower from Figure 4. And the conclusion is that too short a spur length (similar to a floral tube) does not reliably lead to pollination. Or, restated, too long a proboscis makes for an inefficient pollinator. And that does in fact make the excerpt from the article relevant to your quote. You are unable to establish what you claimed in 82060, which negates your argument, and this excerpt shows that you are in fact wrong about the length.

But interestingly enough, I managed to find the original paper from which Figure 1 was taken. According to the paper, the proboscis length of the tangle-veined fly for all sites was indeed shorter than the length of the floral tube (see excerpt below). In any case, the picture is from the study, so your claim for Figure 1 is hereby REFUTED. I also found another study that also demonstrated that the relative lengths are as expected for another fly, not mentioned in this article, for all flowers shown to be pollinated by it.

The proboscis lengths of flies varied significantly between sites (F = 44.59, P 0.00001; Fig. 9). The average functional proboscis lengths of the flies were similar to or slightly shorter than the corolla tube of Z. microsiphon at all of the five sites (Fig. 9). At one site (Bushmansnek), some individuals of P. ganglbaueri had much longer proboscides than the flower corolla lengths while others were closely matched, suggesting a bimodal distribution of proboscis lengths (both morphs were seen foraging on Z. microsiphon). The unidentified nemistrinid found pollinating Z. microsiphon at this site has a proboscis length closely matching that of the short-tongued P. ganglbaueri. Average flower depths of both plant species were significantly correlated with the average functional proboscis length of the flies captured at each site.

Larry, 82214 wrote:

PvM wrote:

Note that the prediction was for a particular flower

The article did not make that clear — it looked like a very general prediction. And the prediction certainly does not apply to the meganosed fly, which was the main featured insect of the article…. I was only pointing out that the statement that the depth of the flower must be equal to or greater than the proboscis length of the pollinator is wrong as a general statement, because the meganosed fly featured in the article is an obvious exception.

In fact, the meganosed fly featured in the article is not an exception. A study of the Lapeirousia genus of irises, including the one in Figure 3, found that, gee golly, every single pollinator’s proboscis was shorter than or matched the length of the floral tube for every flower and associated long-nosed fly pollinators studied. This included the flower and fly from Figure 3. The meganosed fly is also cited for another flower in the study, and again, say it with me, the length of the proboscis is shorter than the floral tube length. Between the other studies I cited (and many others I didn’t bother to cite), my close examination of the diagrams, and careful reading of the article, I feel fully justified in proclaiming your claim of Figure 3 REFUTED, and by extension, Figure 2 is REFUTED (aside from the mention of the pollinaria).

Figure 4 doesn’t even need to be refuted – it is not an example of co-evolution. The D. draconis orchid is merely an opportunist. It does not exhibit mutualism with the meganosed fly. Instead, it must mimic the salient features of flowers the fly has co-evolved with, as it offers no reward to the fly since it produces no nectar. So the morphology must remain similar to a flower that the meganosed fly does get a benefit from. This includes the depth of the flower. And, just like any flower, there are limitations as to how well a pollinator can pollinate. So not surprisingly, as the article stated, a D. draconis orchid that has to short a spur doesn’t get its pollen picked up or delivered efficiently. But it doesn’t have any effect on the length of the proboscis of the meganosed fly. But if you really want, I can declare it REFUTED just based on the article alone.

At this point, having refuted all of one level of arguments, if I took Larry’s lead I would stop here. But there’s more.

That said, what about the attachment of the pollinaria to the proboscis, as seen in Figures 2 and 4? Does that indicate that the proboscis is too long for the tube? Not necessarily. First, there is a figure in the study on the tangle-veined fly that I earlier mentioned. This figure clearly shows that the length of the proboscis matches the length of the Dris nivea spur. It also shows pollinaria suspended from the proboscis of the fly. This looks remarkably like a scaled down version of the meganosed fly and D. draconis orchid, and not surprisingly, both are free-loading by not producing nectar. The geometry of the flower attaches the pollen sac to the proboscis, rather than the body, but still follows the general relationship.

Second, although Darwin’s statement was specific to that particular orchid, it was also a general statement. It is in general correct, but occasional specific exceptions can arise, especially if it’s an additional mechanism. In the case of certain orchids, the position of the pollinaria are such that they attach to the proboscis as it is being withdrawn, and length is minimal. But many of these orchids are generalists, not specialists. An excerpt from a study:

when an insect probes the flowers searching for nectar, its proboscis is involved by the glove-like viscidium and the pollinarium is therefore removed. To fix the pollinarium, pressure has to be laterally exerted against the viscidium.

In other words, for an orchid with that arrangement, sideways pressure is all that is needed to attach. This could be caused by a bend in the floral tube, or it could be caused by forcing the head of the pollinator in a certain position. The first would indicate an orchid that preferred a minimum length proboscis, whereas the latter prefers a maximum length in the proboscis.

The following excerpt from a study between two species of very similar orchids shows the difference between minimum length and maximum length.

When a Sphinx moth visits a flower of P. leucophaea, it inserts its proboscis into the nectar spur through an entrance placed strategically between the two pollinaria and their sticky viscidia. The short distance between the viscidia insures that the moth will touch one of them with its proboscis. The pollinarium is pulled from the flower as the moth retracts its proboscis.

As the moth travels to the next flower, the caudicle or stalk on the pollinarium changes position by bending forward until the caudicle is almost parallel to the proboscis. In this position, the pollinarium will come in contact with the stigma of the next flower visited (Sheviak and Bowles 1986).

In a caged situation, one short-tongued moth came away from P. praeclara with a pollinariwn on its eye. To pollinate P. praeclara, a moth must have eyes placed at the precise distance on its head to come in contact with the wider spaced viscidia. The placement of the proboscis into the nectar spur would not result in contact with the widely spaced viscidia. The caudicle on P. praeclara rotates to the right or left, assuming a central position on the moth’s head.

The specialized placement of pollinaria on the moths provides a mechanical barrier to hybridization between the two species. The laterally placed pollinarium of P. praeclara won’t reach the recessed stigma of P. leucophaea and the forward pointing pollinarium of P. leucophaea will not contact the stigma of P. praeclara, positioned above the entrance to the nectar spur, which is where the moth will be thrusting it proboscis (Sheviak and Bowles 1986).

Long-tongued moths are nectar thieves on P. praeclara (Bowles pers. comm.). Their probosci never touch the widely spaced viscidia, but can still take nectar from the flowers. Moths with shorter tongues and wide-set eyes will effect pollination in P. praeclara (Sheviak and Bowles 1986).

Due to deposition of the pollinarium on the proboscis, P. leucophaea can adapt to a wider variety of pollinators than can P. praeclara. It may be that this adaptation enabled P. leucophaea to spread eastward, exploiting a diversity of moths in the various habitats encountered. P. praeclara may be restricted in the tallgrass region by its pollinator specificity (Sheviak and Bowles 1986).

The point of all this is that Darwin, amazingly enough, was correct enough that that paraphrase of his words is sufficient for a first level approximation, after which a number of details, such as geometry and presence of rewards, can determine whether a flower is part of a co-evoultionary set. Just remember, both the flower and the fly can cheat in this relationship.

Comment #82274

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on February 26, 2006 12:30 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'url'

Comment #82275

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on February 26, 2006 12:32 PM (e)

I tried to post this a few minutes ago, but the nannyware caught it (I’m presuming too many links, but the message is totally useless as a diagnostic) Since the last few times a post of mine got caught by the nannyware it never ended up getting posted, I’m removing all the links. I have the links still available if anyone wants to delve deeper into the background.

I am quoting several of Larry’s posts, dealing with insect pollination. I have made slight modifications, primarily to clearly indicate the original author of nested quotes (and in one case, to call out the full quote so people can follow the argument).

Larry, 82060 wrote:

So what is the big deal ? Darwin figured that unless the plant was self-pollinated, which is rare, it had to be pollinated either by the wind or by an animal. Since the pollen must have looked like it was carried by animals, he figured that there must be some kind of animal that was physically suited to pollinating that flower. So what was the big prediction ? Also, Darwinism was not even necessary for making that prediction. In fact, those articles I presented did not even have to describe insect pollination in terms of co-evolution — they could have simply described the pollination strictly in terms of mutualism (co-dependence)….

BTW, according to the article on long-nosed insects, it looks like Darwin’s prediction was wrong. The article said,
“Critical to Darwin’s prediction was his suspicion that pollination could take place only if the depth of a plant’s flowers matched or exceeded the length of a pollinator’s tongue. Only then would the body of the pollinator be pressed firmly enough against the reproductive parts of the flower to transfer pollen effectively as the pollinator fed.”

However, in all the illustrations in the article, the depth of the flower is less than the length of the pollinator’s tongue (proboscis), contrary to Darwin’s prediction. The illustrations show the pollen attached to the proboscis — not the body — of the insect.

Nice to see that you can appreciate what now appears to be obvious. Unfortunately, in Darwin’s time, his prediction was ridiculed by a lot of naturalists. So it was rather a big deal when a moth matching his specifications was discovered, and those predictions were based on his original theories. Also, the mechanisms behind the pollination of orchids were first elucidated by Darwin.

As far as the articles describing pollination in terms of co-evolution versus mutualism, that’s just inane. Mutualism is a description, co-evolution is an explanation. If we know the cause of a phenomenon, it is much more useful to us. Furthermore, the point of the articles were to explain just what co-evolution was, and how it explained the origins of mutualism. To leave out co-evolution would defeat the purpose of the articles. The medical analogy is symptoms and cause. While one could write an article on the symptoms of AIDS, for example, it is not terribly useful to leave out the cause of AIDS, HIV. Then again, Larry is probably an AIDS/HIV denier. Or would that be “revisionist”?

Upon examining all five illustrations, I don’t see how you could possibly arrive at any conclusion of the relative lengths of the proboscis and floral tube in any of them. At least part of the proboscis is in the flower for all illustrations, and there is nothing to indicate how deep the proboscis is penetrating (or how far it has withdrawn, for that matter). Figure 1 is a tangle-veined fly Prosoeca ganglbaueri feeding at a Zaluzianskya microsiphon, but there is no clear indication that the proboscis is longer than the floral tube. Figure 2 is a meganosed fly Moegistorhynchus longirostris at a Pelargonium suburbanum, a type of geranium, again, no clear indication of relative length. There are also pollinaria from an orchid dangling from the proboscis, but that is in fact irrelevant (I’ll explain why later). Figure 3 shows how pollen is distributed on the body of a meganosed fly after it visits three different flowers: the geranium from Figure 2 (on the sternum), an iris Lapeirousia anceps (the top of the head), and another iris Ixia paniculata (the face). From the drawings, it is apparent that the meganosed fly has to get up close and personal in order for the pollen to get distributed that way, especially for the poor fly that gets a faceful of I. paniculata pollen. A meganosed fly with a proboscis too long simply couldn’t get close enough to get pollen in those locations. The drawings don’t clearly show relative lengths, either – the detail of the base id included to show how deep the floral tube is, not how far the proboscis has penetrated. Figure 4 is our friend the meganosed fly paying a visit to an orchid Disa draconis with another payload of orchid pollinaria (in this case, from D. draconis) on its proboscis, but again, it is unclear as to the relative lengths. But the location of the pollinaria doesn’t even matter. Again, I will explain later. Figure 5 is a picture of the hawkmoth Agrius convolvuli making a housecall at a lily Crinum bulbispermum. Note that not only can we not tell the relative lengths, but the caption specifically mentions that the “lily is one of some twenty African plant species with floral tubes that match in length the four-inch proboscis of that hawk moth.” This figure shouldn’t even be an issue. Your claim for Figure 5 is REFUTED. There is no way that you could tell from any of the figures that the proboscis was longer than the floral tube of any of the flowers shown. And the article itself indicates the proboscis is, in fact equal to or shorter than the length of the floral tube.

Finally, it is clearly incorrect to claim that the figures do not show pollen on the body – all three subfigures in Figure 3 show pollen on various parts of the body. Not only can’t you read, you can’t even follow a diagram.

But let’s look deeper into your erroneous conclusion.

Larry, 82194 wrote:

i like latin wrote:

Larry wrote:

BTW, according to the article on long-nosed insects, it looks like Darwin’s prediction was wrong. The article said, “Critical to Darwin’s prediction was his suspicion that pollination could take place only if the depth of a plant’s flowers matched or exceeded the length of a pollinator’s tongue. Only then would the body of the pollinator be pressed firmly enough against the reproductive parts of the flower to transfer pollen effectively as the pollinator fed.”

Oh I just love selective quotation..(does anyone find the lack or irony here surprising). How about another excerpts from the same article:

“Those studies and others suggest that what Darwin predicted of the Malagasy orchid is a rather general phenomenon: hawk moths and long-nosed flies coevolved with their plant partners. As floral tubes became longer, so did the pollinators’ proboscises, and those led, in turn, to even longer flowers. As the lengths of the flower tube and the insect proboscis converge, a remarkable degree of specialization develops. The plants come to rely for pollination on the few insect species that can reach their flowers’ nectar supplies.”

That was not a “selective quotation” ! Your additional excerpt from the article has no effect on the above excerpt, and the above excerpt is directly contradicted by the pictures in the article — see bottom of Comment #82060 .

Oops, it seems someone is still hasn’t figured out how to read the English language. The studies mentioned did in fact conclude, based upon the measurements and experiments, that Darwin correctly predicted the relative length of proboscises based upon the principle of co-evolution. Let’s take a look at another excerpt from that article, the three preceding paragraphs.

The most important trait in the pollination syndrome of the long-nosed fly (and indeed, in all pollination syndromes of long-nosed insects) is a deep, tubular flower or floral spur. One of us (Johnson) and Kim E. Steiner of the Compton Herbarium in Claremont, South Africa, studied the orchid Disa draconis, a southern African plant with a deep, tubular floral spur. The two investigators artificially shortened the spurs of some orchids in a habitat where the only pollinators present were long-nosed flies. The plants whose spurs remained long got more pollen, and were more likely to produce fruits, than the ones whose spurs were shortened.

Yet short floral spurs are not necessarily a reproductive disadvantage. Shorter spurs would make it possible for a wider range of pollinators to access the nectar, if various potential pollinators are present. Instead, longer spurs only seem to be an advantage when long-tongued insects are the sole pollinators. Johnson and Steiner found that differences in spur length among populations cannot be blamed on differences in moisture or temperature, thus reinforcing their conclusion that spur length was an adaptation to the local distributions of long-tongued flies.

Not only does spur length correlate statistically with pollinator traits, but a direct causal connection can be demonstrated. Johnson and Ronny Alexandersson, a botanist at Uppsala University in Sweden, studied South African Gladiolus flowers pollinated by long-tongued hawk moths. When the hawk moth proboscises were long compared to the length of the flower tube, the hawk moths did not efficiently pick up pollen, and the flowers did not reproduce well. When the hawk moth proboscises were relatively short, pollen was more readily transferred, and the plants were more likely to be fertilized and bear fruit. Thus the length of the pollinator’s proboscis exerts a strong pressure on the reproductive success of the flowers.

Interestingly, the first study involves the same flower from Figure 4. And the conclusion is that too short a spur length (similar to a floral tube) does not reliably lead to pollination. Or, restated, too long a proboscis makes for an inefficient pollinator. And that does in fact make the excerpt from the article relevant to your quote. You are unable to establish what you claimed in 82060, which negates your argument, and this excerpt shows that you are in fact wrong about the length.

But interestingly enough, I managed to find the original paper from which Figure 1 was taken. According to the paper, the proboscis length of the tangle-veined fly for all sites was indeed shorter than the length of the floral tube (see excerpt below). In any case, the picture is from the study, so your claim for Figure 1 is hereby REFUTED. I also found another study that also demonstrated that the relative lengths are as expected for another fly, not mentioned in this article, for all flowers shown to be pollinated by it.

The proboscis lengths of flies varied significantly between sites (F = 44.59, P 0.00001; Fig. 9). The average functional proboscis lengths of the flies were similar to or slightly shorter than the corolla tube of Z. microsiphon at all of the five sites (Fig. 9). At one site (Bushmansnek), some individuals of P. ganglbaueri had much longer proboscides than the flower corolla lengths while others were closely matched, suggesting a bimodal distribution of proboscis lengths (both morphs were seen foraging on Z. microsiphon). The unidentified nemistrinid found pollinating Z. microsiphon at this site has a proboscis length closely matching that of the short-tongued P. ganglbaueri. Average flower depths of both plant species were significantly correlated with the average functional proboscis length of the flies captured at each site.

Larry, 82214 wrote:

PvM wrote:

Note that the prediction was for a particular flower

The article did not make that clear — it looked like a very general prediction. And the prediction certainly does not apply to the meganosed fly, which was the main featured insect of the article…. I was only pointing out that the statement that the depth of the flower must be equal to or greater than the proboscis length of the pollinator is wrong as a general statement, because the meganosed fly featured in the article is an obvious exception.

In fact, the meganosed fly featured in the article is not an exception. A study of the Lapeirousia genus of irises, including the one in Figure 3, found that, gee golly, every single pollinator’s proboscis was shorter than or matched the length of the floral tube for every flower and associated long-nosed fly pollinators studied. This included the flower and fly from Figure 3. The meganosed fly is also cited for another flower in the study, and again, say it with me, the length of the proboscis is shorter than the floral tube length. Between the other studies I cited (and many others I didn’t bother to cite), my close examination of the diagrams, and careful reading of the article, I feel fully justified in proclaiming your claim of Figure 3 REFUTED, and by extension, Figure 2 is REFUTED (aside from the mention of the pollinaria).

Figure 4 doesn’t even need to be refuted – it is not an example of co-evolution. The D. draconis orchid is merely an opportunist. It does not exhibit mutualism with the meganosed fly. Instead, it must mimic the salient features of flowers the fly has co-evolved with, as it offers no reward to the fly since it produces no nectar. So the morphology must remain similar to a flower that the meganosed fly does get a benefit from. This includes the depth of the flower. And, just like any flower, there are limitations as to how well a pollinator can pollinate. So not surprisingly, as the article stated, a D. draconis orchid that has to short a spur doesn’t get its pollen picked up or delivered efficiently. But it doesn’t have any effect on the length of the proboscis of the meganosed fly. But if you really want, I can declare it REFUTED just based on the article alone.

At this point, having refuted all of one level of arguments, if I took Larry’s lead I would stop here. But there’s more.

That said, what about the attachment of the pollinaria to the proboscis, as seen in Figures 2 and 4? Does that indicate that the proboscis is too long for the tube? Not necessarily. First, there is a figure in the study on the tangle-veined fly that I earlier mentioned. This figure clearly shows that the length of the proboscis matches the length of the Dris nivea spur. It also shows pollinaria suspended from the proboscis of the fly. This looks remarkably like a scaled down version of the meganosed fly and D. draconis orchid, and not surprisingly, both are free-loading by not producing nectar. The geometry of the flower attaches the pollen sac to the proboscis, rather than the body, but still follows the general relationship.

Second, although Darwin’s statement was specific to that particular orchid, it was also a general statement. It is in general correct, but occasional specific exceptions can arise, especially if it’s an additional mechanism. In the case of certain orchids, the position of the pollinaria are such that they attach to the proboscis as it is being withdrawn, and length is minimal. But many of these orchids are generalists, not specialists. An excerpt from a study:

when an insect probes the flowers searching for nectar, its proboscis is involved by the glove-like viscidium and the pollinarium is therefore removed. To fix the pollinarium, pressure has to be laterally exerted against the viscidium.

In other words, for an orchid with that arrangement, sideways pressure is all that is needed to attach. This could be caused by a bend in the floral tube, or it could be caused by forcing the head of the pollinator in a certain position. The first would indicate an orchid that preferred a minimum length proboscis, whereas the latter prefers a maximum length in the proboscis.

The following excerpt from a study between two species of very similar orchids shows the difference between minimum length and maximum length.

When a Sphinx moth visits a flower of P. leucophaea, it inserts its proboscis into the nectar spur through an entrance placed strategically between the two pollinaria and their sticky viscidia. The short distance between the viscidia insures that the moth will touch one of them with its proboscis. The pollinarium is pulled from the flower as the moth retracts its proboscis.

As the moth travels to the next flower, the caudicle or stalk on the pollinarium changes position by bending forward until the caudicle is almost parallel to the proboscis. In this position, the pollinarium will come in contact with the stigma of the next flower visited (Sheviak and Bowles 1986).

In a caged situation, one short-tongued moth came away from P. praeclara with a pollinariwn on its eye. To pollinate P. praeclara, a moth must have eyes placed at the precise distance on its head to come in contact with the wider spaced viscidia. The placement of the proboscis into the nectar spur would not result in contact with the widely spaced viscidia. The caudicle on P. praeclara rotates to the right or left, assuming a central position on the moth’s head.

The specialized placement of pollinaria on the moths provides a mechanical barrier to hybridization between the two species. The laterally placed pollinarium of P. praeclara won’t reach the recessed stigma of P. leucophaea and the forward pointing pollinarium of P. leucophaea will not contact the stigma of P. praeclara, positioned above the entrance to the nectar spur, which is where the moth will be thrusting it proboscis (Sheviak and Bowles 1986).

Long-tongued moths are nectar thieves on P. praeclara (Bowles pers. comm.). Their probosci never touch the widely spaced viscidia, but can still take nectar from the flowers. Moths with shorter tongues and wide-set eyes will effect pollination in P. praeclara (Sheviak and Bowles 1986).

Due to deposition of the pollinarium on the proboscis, P. leucophaea can adapt to a wider variety of pollinators than can P. praeclara. It may be that this adaptation enabled P. leucophaea to spread eastward, exploiting a diversity of moths in the various habitats encountered. P. praeclara may be restricted in the tallgrass region by its pollinator specificity (Sheviak and Bowles 1986).

The point of all this is that Darwin, amazingly enough, was correct enough that that paraphrase of his words is sufficient for a first level approximation, after which a number of details, such as geometry and presence of rewards, can determine whether a flower is part of a co-evoultionary set. Just remember, both the flower and the fly can cheat in this relationship.

Comment #82306

Posted by PvM on February 26, 2006 3:35 PM (e)

Andy H wrote:

OK, what actually observable experiments do you propose for testing such things as Darwinism ( the notion that evolution was driven solely by random mutations and natural selection), punctuated equilibrium, and exaptation, all of which are widely accepted in the scientific community ?

Your understanding of Darwinism seems to be at odds with what Darwin really said. In fact, the scientific community, including Darwin, would easily reject your strawman as overly narrow.

But individually, natural selection is well accepted (and tested in various cases: See Endler’s excellent work for instance). Punctuated equilibria is an explanation for the observed fossil record. Exaptation is again a commonly observed phenomenon (feathers come to mind as a commonly cited example: Prum). How do you test for a fact?

And remind us, how does one test ID again?…

Comment #82307

Posted by PvM on February 26, 2006 3:45 PM (e)

Andy wrote:

Andy H wrote:

I can’t understand why Darwinist scientists are complaining about the criticism of Darwinism.

they aren’t. it’s that simple.

They aren’t ? Then why do we have so many scientists on Panda’s Thumb ? Why did 700 “Steves” sign the pro-Darwinism letter ? Why is this criticism such a big thing on the AAAS website ? Etc., etc..

That has got to be the dumbest statement I have ever heard. It’s that simple.

More evidence that Andy does not read his own postings :-) Let’s look carefully at Andy’s claims. “Darwinist scientists”: few if any fit this description. Complaining? Few if any are complaining about critiques of Darwinian or evolutionary theory. What most people are complaining about is the ‘teach the controversy’ approach to sneak in the teaching of the scientifically vacuous concept of ID.
Project Steve: “Pro-Darwin”? Seems Andy may have a problem understanding evolutionary theory

Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to “intelligent design,” to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation’s public schools.

Let us know Andy.

Andy wrote:

OK, so we already know everything that we need to know about the evolutionary mechanisms in irreducible complexity, co-evolution, sexual reproduction, etc., and have no need for new research in these areas.

Are you now describing your state of mind here? Remember it was you who was arguing against evolutionary theory being ABLE to explain these instances.
Once this has been exposed as erroneous, the typical ‘move the goalpost’ response is: but show me the details…

Look Andy, science is slowly unraveling how evolution happened. ID is contributing nothing to our scientific knowledge. Simple as that.

Comment #82308

Posted by PvM on February 26, 2006 3:48 PM (e)

The article did not make that clear — it looked like a very general prediction. And the prediction certainly does not apply to the meganosed fly, which was the main featured insect of the article.

The article made it quite clear. But it does require actually reading it

By no means can such a conclusion be drawn from what I said. I was only pointing out that the statement that the depth of the flower must be equal to or greater than the proboscis length of the pollinator is wrong as a general statement, because the meganosed fly featured in the article is an obvious exception.

Hence a strawman…

Funny how Andy’s ‘objections’ to evolutionary theory seem to be almost consistently based on flawed reading or understanding of the concepts. Evolution of sex, co-evolution are just a few of the examples where Andy seems to hold a particular strawman understanding of evolutionary theory and then argues against it. Same applies to his conflation of Darwinism and evolutionary theory.

Comment #82311

Posted by PvM on February 26, 2006 3:52 PM (e)

Susskind, too, finds it “deeply, deeply troubling” that there’s no way to test the principle. But he is not yet ready to rule it out completely. “It would be very foolish to throw away the right answer on the basis that it doesn’t conform to some criteria for what is or isn’t science,” he says.

Heddle: That’s the one I intended when I wrote you would roast Behe if he said it.

Still conflating string theory which follows from mathematics and provides at least in principle an understanding of observable phenomena with Intelligent Design which is based on our ignorance to argue that thus there should be a higher entity called God.

Perhaps the demarcation between science and non-science is not always that exact but that does not mean that one cannot argue that lets say ID fails to be scientifically relevant. In other words, it may be hard to agree on what is science but not as hard to agree upon what is pseudo-science.

Comment #82313

Posted by PvM on February 26, 2006 4:00 PM (e)

David H wrote:

Landscape theory is not science in exactly the same way that ID is not science. But, PT hypocrites deem it an “acceptable” form of non science, probably because it has no (obvious) religious overtones. Or because it is touted by “acceptable” academics so it is given, for the most part, a free pass.

Nope, ID is far more non-science than landscape theory could ever be. David’s ‘argument’ is based on the flawed premise that falsifiability is the only relevant aspect to determine the relevance of a scientific theory.

ID is in principle unfalsifiable string theory and landscape theory is presently unfalsifiable.
ID is scientifically vacuous, string theory and landscape theory provide fruitful new concepts and ideas.
ID insists on being taught in high school curricula (disguised often as ‘teach the controversy’), string theory and landscape theory are being discussed at university level mostly.

The superficial similarities between ID and string theory thus quickly dissolve leaving little argument for Heddle’s claims.

Perhaps we can agree that ID is in principle scientifically vacuous? That would avoid the strawman of Heddle?

Comment #82346

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 26, 2006 6:39 PM (e)

Andy wrote

Why do you refer to “Larry” as “Andy”?

Why do you let “Larry” continue to post as “Andy”?

Comment #82352

Posted by Andy H. on February 26, 2006 7:19 PM (e)

Comment #82275
Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on February 26, 2006 12:32 PM

I tried to post this a few minutes ago, but the nannyware caught it (I’m presuming too many links, but the message is totally useless as a diagnostic)

I think that the limit is four URL links. One of my messages was blocked when it had five links but went through when it had four links. I don’t know why there is a limit on the number of links – I think maybe that PT is using standard software for blocking advertising spam, and a large number of links is supposed to create the suspicion that a message is advertising spam.

Upon examining all five illustrations, I don’t see how you could possibly arrive at any conclusion of the relative lengths of the proboscis and floral tube in any of them. At least part of the proboscis is in the flower for all illustrations, and there is nothing to indicate how deep the proboscis is penetrating (or how far it has withdrawn, for that matter).

What you say is true about the photos. However, the drawings show the probosces inserted practically to the bottoms of the flowers, with length to spare. Also, Darwin said that for efficient pollination the insect’s body must press against the flower and I did not see that in any of the illustrations. One of the photos showed huge gobs of pollen hanging from the insect’s proboscis rather than from the body. One of the drawings did show some pollen on the insect’s body, but that photo showed that the pollen could easily be carried by the proboscis.

Anyway, it was not my intention to make a big deal about this – it was not intended to be a criticism of Darwinism. Darwinists are unable to rebut my big arguments against Darwinism and therefore pound me into the ground on trivia.

This post by Kevin is another one of his long dissertations that could have been greatly shortened and still gotten his points across.

Comment #82359

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 26, 2006 8:07 PM (e)

Now, yourself sir?

hey, if larry can do it…

it’s all about the value of rules.

I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out, but your the first one to guess, apparently.

Comment #82360

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 26, 2006 8:13 PM (e)

This post by Kevin is another one of his long dissertations that could have been greatly shortened and still gotten his points across.

I think I’m gonna start calling Larry SAST.

(that’s short for “short attention span theater).

Hey SAST, was your reading comprehension always this bad, or did this happen after your retirement?

Comment #82362

Posted by PvM on February 26, 2006 8:27 PM (e)

I think that the limit is four URL links. One of my messages was blocked when it had five links but went through when it had four links. I don’t know why there is a limit on the number of links — I think maybe that PT is using standard software for blocking advertising spam, and a large number of links is supposed to create the suspicion that a message is advertising spam.

That is correct, excessive links are a signature of spam

Also, Darwin said that for efficient pollination the insect’s body must press against the flower and I did not see that in any of the illustrations.

For the particular flower in question… Context context context

Comment #82385

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on February 26, 2006 11:48 PM (e)

Now that was quite interesting. As I noted, the remarks attributed to Darwin regarding the orchid and moth co-evolution were paraphrases - someone’s description of what Darwin said. Since there was a certain amount of discussion over how general his description was supposed to be taken, I decided to look up what Darwin actually said. I got even more than I bargained for.

First off, it is quite clear that the prediction was intended to be specific to that flower. That does not prevent the concepts and methodologies from applying more generally, of course.

But what is really interesting is that Darwin, at least in the original paper, didn’t exactly say what the paraphrase said. In fact, he predicted not that the pollinaria would be deposited on the body, but that it would be deposited on the proboscis, a short distance from the base. In fact, the manner in which it deposited the pollinaria is similar to what I had postulated near the end of my previous post. Bonus!

The text of this essay can be found here. The part on the Malagasy orchid Angraecum sesquipedale and predicted moth begins in the middle of page 197 and continues for a number of pages (these are very short pages). It describes the experiments he performed to determine how and where the pollinaria would attach. Enjoy!

Comment #82440

Posted by William E Emba on February 27, 2006 8:51 AM (e)

PvM wrote:

Nope, ID is far more non-science than landscape theory could ever be. David’s ‘argument’ is based on the flawed premise that falsifiability is the only relevant aspect to determine the relevance of a scientific theory.

More ignorantly, Heddle is overlooking the simple fact that large swathes of most scientific theories are in fact experimentally inaccessible. The overriding success of the general theory imparts legitimacy to all its corners. Careers are made by finding ways to bring such far corners into the laboratory.

A classic example is Einstein’s old quantum theory prediction of stimulated emission, back in the days when people were groping almost blindly for what was going on. Old quantum theory died in 1925, and soon new calculations verified Einstein’s results, but it wasn’t until around 1960 that the mases and the laser were developed and provided experimental proof of the concept.

Another example is Einstein’s prediction of gravitational radiation. It wasn’t until around 1960 that there was even theoretical consensus that the phenomenon was real, and the only confirmed experimental verification so far is indirect, from studying the Hulse-Talyor binary pulsar. Major efforts are underway now to directly detect it.

An atomic Bose-Einstein condensate was a purely theoretical concept, until finally identified in the last ten years.

The only reason these experiments were done, of course, was because the theory had only said such-and-such must be true for decades. But in Heddle’s view, Einstein’s work was as bogus as ID, simply because he can cut-and-paste a few words of similarity.

Heddle, you’re just moronic.

Comment #82542

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 27, 2006 6:09 PM (e)

David Heddle,

I would not pay much attention to the comments and insults directed your way by that character William Emba. After all he is the same fellow who, on another thread, apoke derogatorally of woman and gentiles and will soon get around to claiming that you have “a goyesher kup” (a gentile brain). He is also the author of the brilliant claim that the literal meaning of “my office is in the west wing of the building” is that “my office is in the western bird appendage of the building”. By his lights it turns out that the great commentator Rashi in Hosea (6:2) “glosses” yohm there to mean “house”! What an ignoramas!

David, a poster on the “science needs God” thread named Jonboy has some questions that I thought you would be in a better position to respond to than myself. Perhaps you can look into it.

Comment #82544

Posted by Shirley Knott on February 27, 2006 6:15 PM (e)

Tsk, Carol, lying for Landa again?
You completely misrepresent Mr. Emba’s calm and rational responses to your ignorant rants.
Given that, why should we believe anything you say about Landa’s silly little “book”?

All are encouraged to dig into the relevant threads if you think that there’s even the tiniest shred of truth or accuracy to Carol’s ravings.

hugs,
Shirley Knott

Comment #82568

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 27, 2006 7:40 PM (e)

See Andy/Larry/FarFromSmart try to make a joke:

Anyway, thanks for pointing this out — in the future I will use the preferred spelling so that people won’t “bug” me about this.

Of course, as long as we’re tolkien about humor, Miguelito’s ent joke was certainly superior to Larry’s feeble effort:

I am glad to see that those who study ents are finally taking a stand against magic and pseudoscience.

But why fiddle around, grass-hoppah? Let’s jump directly to my personal favorite, this one of Julie Stahlhut’s:

Strident? Why not? Some things are just worth stridulating about.

I have to say that, however poorly Larry comes off in the comparative humor sweepstakes, it is somewhat encouraging just to see him make the effort. Humor requires some minimal ability to accurately assess the likely response of the audience, to get outside one’s own head and into the other’s.

This in turn suggests that Larry’s psychosis is not yet intractable. As tiresome as we find him, this in turn suggests that his internet interaction with us may be doing him some modicum of good–not on the scientific level, but on the psychosocial one.

But, please, Larry, do us all (but most of all, yourself!) a favor: don’t wait until it’s too late to seek out a professional with whom you may interact more directly.

Comment #82660

Posted by William E Emba on February 28, 2006 8:37 AM (e)

Carol Clouser, addressing David Heddle, wrote:

I would not pay much attention to the comments and insults directed your way by that character William Emba.

I notice that Heddle has not paid any attention. I suspect he is not as much as a total lying moron as you are, and has noticed that I do know what I am talking about, and have completely, totally exposed his moronitude. Perhaps you can step in, and point out how, yes, Einstein really was faking things in the three examples I mentioned?

After all he is the same fellow who, on another thread, apoke derogatorally of woman and gentiles and will soon get around to claiming that you have “a goyesher kup” (a gentile brain).

I did not speak derogatorially of women or gentiles. I spoke derogatorially of you. You are, after all, seriously stupid and incredibly dishonest.

He is also the author of the brilliant claim that the literal meaning of “my office is in the west wing of the building” is that “my office is in the western bird appendage of the building”.

Yes, that is the meaning of “literal”, as I and every other fluent English speaker here noticed. Why you wish every reader of PT to think you are a moron, and that Landa is doubtless one too, I do not know. It certainly doesn’t help sales or your salary if an author writes a whole book about “literal” meanings and has absolutely no clue as to what the word means!

By his lights it turns out that the great commentator Rashi in Hosea (6:2) “glosses” yohm there to mean “house”!

Quote me exactly: I merely mentioned that “yom” is indeed glossed “house”, a fact that you found terribly inconvenient. Such fact absolutely refuted your claim that of course Rashi actually understood Creation Week, with its frequent mention of days and evenings and mornings, as “literally” referring to eras. Sorry, moron, but you’re going to have to learn to live with your handicap some day.

What an ignoramas!

Ignoramas? There is no such word. You’d look less defective if you stopped trying so hard.

I mean, duh.

Comment #82708

Posted by wamba on February 28, 2006 12:15 PM (e)

Many scientific organizations have spoken out strongly in favor of evolutionary theory and often also against the scientifically vacuous concept of Intelligent Design.

Does someone have an up-to-date list of links for these statements, especially the ones that mention IDC? I took a quick glance around the NCSE site but didn’t find one.

Comment #83046

Posted by Paul Flocken on March 1, 2006 10:42 PM (e)

I’m a few days late, I’ve been away and am trying to catch up, and of course no one cares what I say, but what the hey.

Comment #81975 Posted by Andy H. on February 24, 2006 08:16 AM

It is ironical that entomologists would pass such a strong resolution supporting evolution theory, considering that the mutualism (co-dependence) of insect pollination of plants presents one of the strongest cases against evolution theory.

Co-evolution of a pair of corresponding features in two co-dependent organisms is virtually impossible where the mutations required in both organisms would be detrimental when the corresponding feature in the other organism is absent. Even when a required mutation is not detrimental when the corresponding feature is absent, this mutation would offer no immediate evolutionary advantage unless the corresponding feature in the other organism is pre-existent.

This situation contrasts with adaptation to the fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, air, and climate, which are always there to offer an immediate advantage to organisms that adapt to them. Also, unlike the case with irreducible complexity, the arguments against co-evolution cannot be explained away by “exaptation,” the idea that the parts of an irreducible system existed before the system was created and had different functions than they have in the system.

I really don’t know enough biology to be sure but isn’t this wrong because the process of evolution didn’t involve a single breeding pair of moths and a single breeding pair of orchids followed in the next generation by another single breeding pair of moths and single breeding pair of orchids, etc. Isn’t LaLaLarry implicitly (if not intentionally) setting up a strawman here. It involved a whole population of moths and orchids. Neither did it have to involve mutation. I am shorter than my father and my brother is taller than my father. That variation was not because of mutation. Variation is completely normal. The quantum of variation (for lack of a better word) doesn’t have to deviate so far from the average that it kills immediately. Selection then simply has to favor a particular direction in variation in a positive feedback loop. And once that self-reinforcement has begun it is very hard to back out of it. Do I have this correct?

Kevin Vicklund thanks for that last post. It was very instructive.

Sincerely,
Paul

Comment #83049

Posted by Paul Flocken on March 1, 2006 10:56 PM (e)

Comment #82352 Posted by Andy H. on February 26, 2006 07:19 PM

Anyway, it was not my intention to make a big deal about this — it was not intended to be a criticism of Darwinism. Darwinists are unable to rebut my big arguments against Darwinism and therefore pound me into the ground on trivia.

Well Larry, it looks like you were trying to make a big deal out of it. And as far as evolution is concerned it is the trivia and details that are important. They’re called data, and they are, root and branch, what make the theory. As is the case for any theory.

Sincerely,
Paul

PS
Larry I may have missed you doing so but you haven’t answered my request to define what the difference between macro- and micro-evolution is. I don’t want to read what Wikipedia thinks. I read that years ago. I want to know what you think. You do think, don’t you? You’re not actually one of the zombies they were talking about in another thread?

Comment #83051

Posted by Paul Flocken on March 1, 2006 11:04 PM (e)

Comment #82093 Posted by David Heddle on February 24, 2006 06:34 PM

How is that any different from ID saying, just because it can’t be verified doesn’t mean it isn’t right?

I’ll tell you: it is no different.

David Heddle,
How about ID isn’t right because, well, it’s wrong? Information can evolve into a genome. Irreducible complexity can evolve into a cell. These are the only two claims that ID makes that matter and they are wrong. What more do evolutionary biologist have to do?

Comment #83064

Posted by Paul Flocken on March 1, 2006 11:33 PM (e)

Comment #82660 Posted by William E Emba on February 28, 2006 08:37 AM

I did not speak derogatorily of women or gentiles. I spoke derogatorily of you. You are, after all, seriously stupid and incredibly dishonest.

Mr Emba,
I think your exact statement was:

And your drivel on Rashi has been a great demonstration of why women shouldn’t study Torah.

You didn’t specifically mention Carol. This was a general insult, to be mild, at all women. Maybe in a Hebrew context this is acceptable, but, as much as I detest Carol and appreciate all the posts you wrote explaining her subterfuge, in the context that I live in, it wasn’t acceptable. I will guess that in any one else’s context it wouldn’t be either. I noted it then and am slightly ashamed that I didn’t speak about it then and that neither did anyone else except Carol. Well, I’ll speak about it now. It wasn’t clever beyond measure.

I agree that she is incredibly dishonest, but her beliefs make her so; just see anything Flint has ever posted here to understand why. As for seriously stupid, she is a pedigreed PhD in physics. I respect this at least, especially as I was never able to finish college.

Carol, this post did not constitute an invitation to you to comment in turn. I really don’t care what you think.

Comment #83101

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on March 2, 2006 2:04 AM (e)

I really don’t know enough biology to be sure but isn’t this wrong because the process of evolution didn’t involve a single breeding pair of moths and a single breeding pair of orchids followed in the next generation by another single breeding pair of moths and single breeding pair of orchids, etc. Isn’t LaLaLarry implicitly (if not intentionally) setting up a strawman here. It involved a whole population of moths and orchids. Neither did it have to involve mutation. I am shorter than my father and my brother is taller than my father. That variation was not because of mutation. Variation is completely normal. The quantum of variation (for lack of a better word) doesn’t have to deviate so far from the average that it kills immediately. Selection then simply has to favor a particular direction in variation in a positive feedback loop. And once that self-reinforcement has begun it is very hard to back out of it. Do I have this correct?

Kevin Vicklund thanks for that last post. It was very instructive.

Sincerely,
Paul

Thank you, Paul. Did you read Darwin’s paper? I haven’t read all of it yet, but just the small amount I did read was more informing than all the websites I had visited when writing the earlier post. You are correct in how variation works in co-evolution - most traits are normally distributed (in the statistics sense of the phrase). This is, in part, because most traits are controlled by multiple genes. As long as the favored direction begins not too far from the mean, there will be enough members in the population equipped to start the process, which will continue until the advantages conveyed are outweighed by the disadvantages. To give it some numbers, say, if the trait is beneficial starting between .5 and 2 standard deviations, co-evolution can start. Once it hits the mean (0 standard deviations) for either species, it will stop. (Those numbers are speculative - actual experiments might elucidate the threshold values - but they serve to give an idea of what I’m driving at)

BTW, I have a special interest in this topic. My grandfather was a champion orchid breeder. He traveled to orchid conventions all over the world. And my wife’s grandmother always has several orchids around her house.

Comment #83140

Posted by Andy H. on March 2, 2006 6:37 AM (e)

Comment #83046 posted by Paul Flocken on March 1, 2006 10:42 PM

I really don’t know enough biology to be sure but isn’t this wrong because the process of evolution didn’t involve a single breeding pair of moths and a single breeding pair of orchids followed in the next generation by another single breeding pair of moths and single breeding pair of orchids, etc.

Regarding co-evolution –
A single mutation that creates a co-dependent feature can immediately produce thousands of individuals in organisms that reproduce in large numbers, but the mutation will still be relatively isolated in location and time. Unless the corresponding feature in the other organism is already locally common, this mutation would at best produce no evolutionary advantage in natural selection, and at worst could be deleterious. The corresponding feature could be produced by a mutation in the other organism, but this mutation is not likely to occur at the same place and time but is likely to occur far away in place and/or time, so again there would be no mutual benefit. Co-evolution is thus radically different from adaptation to the fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, air, and climate, which are always there to offer immediate advantages to organisms that adapt to them. Also, as I have pointed out, “exaptation” ( the idea that irreducible systems are formed from parts that previously had different functions outside the system), which is used to explain away irreducible complexity, cannot explain away the problems with co-evolution.

Isn’t LaLaLarry implicitly (if not intentionally) setting up a strawman here.

I never set up strawman arguments – why would I set myself up to be easily rebutted ?

Neither did it have to involve mutation. I am shorter than my father and my brother is taller than my father. That variation was not because of mutation.

I am not talking here about variations of an existing feature – I am talking about the creation of whole new features. The creation of whole new features by mutation would have to sometimes occur in co-evolution.

Comment #83049 posted by Paul Flocken on March 1, 2006 10:56 PM

Comment #82352 Posted by Andy H. on February 26, 2006 07:19 PM

Anyway, it was not my intention to make a big deal about this — it was not intended to be a criticism of Darwinism. Darwinists are unable to rebut my big arguments against Darwinism and therefore pound me into the ground on trivia.

Well Larry, it looks like you were trying to make a big deal out of it. And as far as evolution is concerned it is the trivia and details that are important. They’re called data, and they are, root and branch, what make the theory. As is the case for any theory.

I made a big deal out of it only in self-defense – because commenters here kept insisting that my obviously correct statement (noting the obvious fact that the illustrations in the article were not consistent with a paraphrase of one of Darwin’s statements) was wrong.

PS –

Larry I may have missed you doing so but you haven’t answered my request to define what the difference between macro- and micro-evolution is. I don’t want to read what Wikipedia thinks. I read that years ago. I want to know what you think.

I found Wikipedia’s explanation to be satisfactory. If you did not, the Wikipedia on macroevolution suggested some “external links” – written from both Darwinist and anti-Darwinist perspectives – for further reading.

Comment #83144

Posted by I like latin on March 2, 2006 7:16 AM (e)

Ok, who want’s to give Larry a lecture on quantitative genetics and genetic correlations.

This is getting really really old.

Comment #83162

Posted by William E Emba on March 2, 2006 8:40 AM (e)

Paul Flocken wrote:

William E Emba wrote:

And your drivel on Rashi has been a great demonstration of why women shouldn’t study Torah.

You didn’t specifically mention Carol.

I did specifically mention Carol. As in, “your drivel”. Sheesh.

This was a general insult, to be mild, at all women.

It was a specific insult, aimed at Carol. I said absolutely nothing about all women as such.

Maybe in a Hebrew context this is acceptable, but, as much as I detest Carol and appreciate all the posts you wrote explaining her subterfuge, in the context that I live in, it wasn’t acceptable. I will guess that in any one else’s context it wouldn’t be either.

I’m guessing you can’t read simple English. I’m also guessing you believe all history should be presented in a politically correct sanitized version, and anyone who dares to mention that maybe history wasn’t also so positive for women is “not acceptable”.

There’s an elementary difference between use and mention, and to confuse the two, while not as ridiculous as Carol or Larry in reasoning, is still pretty lame.

I agree that she is incredibly dishonest, but her beliefs make her so; just see anything Flint has ever posted here to understand why.

Her beliefs do not make her so. Her beliefs would not excuse her dishonesty even if they did. She chooses the moral gutter for her own reasons.

Flint and others can offer conjectures, nothing better. I, for one, have no interest in such speculation. In general, I find it in bad taste.

As for seriously stupid, she is a pedigreed PhD in physics.

Based on her posts in PT, she is seriously stupid. From her rank nonsense about “entropy of the universe” to her mendacious misreading of Rashi, I see nothing but brainless stupidity.

I respect this at least, especially as I was never able to finish college.

I have no respect for degrees. I respect intelligence, honesty, and other positive qualities.

Comment #83176

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on March 2, 2006 9:19 AM (e)

There are times when Larry’s incoherent dribble makes one wonder if perhaps simply reading it is enough to kill brain cells. Consider this latest blather:

egarding co-evolution —
A single mutation that creates a co-dependent feature can immediately produce thousands of individuals in organisms that reproduce in large numbers, but the mutation will still be relatively isolated in location and time.

An utterly incoherent statement, demonstrating once again that Larry is ignorant both of science and of logic. In what fashion can a single mutation create ‘thousands of individuals’? And how can we have thousands of individuals in organisms? And all single mutations are ‘isolated in location and time’.

Even a random text generator could come up with something more coherent.

Unless the corresponding feature in the other organism is already locally common, this mutation would at best produce no evolutionary advantage in natural selection, and at worst could be deleterious.

Again, nonsensical bafflegab. Of course most of the time a single mutation isn’t going to produce a co-evolution scenario.

The corresponding feature could be produced by a mutation in the other organism, but this mutation is not likely to occur at the same place and time but is likely to occur far away in place and/or time, so again there would be no mutual benefit. Co-evolution is thus radically different from adaptation to the fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, air, and climate, which are always there to offer immediate advantages to organisms that adapt to them.

Mind-boggling stupid. A given feature in a local population is part of the environment in which the success of failure or variation is determined.

A six-year old is smarter than this, I’m afraid. We also note that this ‘scenario’ by Larry is a strawman

Also, as I have pointed out, “exaptation” ( the idea that irreducible systems are formed from parts that previously had different functions outside the system), which is used to explain away irreducible complexity, cannot explain away the problems with co-evolution.

Nobody ever said it did. This is yet another strawman.

I never set up strawman arguments — why would I set myself up to be easily rebutted ?

Now, with all due respect to the original of this thread, I must be blunt: this statement of Larry’s is a lie. A simple, outright, obnoxious, lie. The very statement above the one he makes is a strawman. If Larry is so stupid that he doesn’t even recognize what a strawman is then he probably shouldn’t be allowed out of his house - he might kill himself by forgetting to breathe.

And the reason you set up strawmen Larry is that you’ll do anything, submit to any humiliation and ridicule in order to have someone respond to your dribble.

It must be sad to be that lonely and friendless.

I am not talking here about variations of an existing feature — I am talking about the creation of whole new features. The creation of whole new features by mutation would have to sometimes occur in co-evolution.

Strawman. Yet another from Larry.

it was not intended to be a criticism of Darwinism. Darwinists are unable to rebut my big arguments against Darwinism and therefore pound me into the ground on trivia.

Since you have presented no ‘big’ arguments against Darwinism, you are lying yet again.

I repeat my two questions:

1. Given that everyone knows that you’re posting under an alias in violation of forum rules, why do you continue to make yourself look like a fool by doing so?

2. Given that you have no credentials, experience, or understanding of any of the subjects you comment on - especially law - why should anyone pay attention to your opinions?

I am honestly curious about this peculiar behavior.

Comment #83199

Posted by ben on March 2, 2006 10:23 AM (e)

William E Emba wrote:

And your drivel on Rashi has been a great demonstration of why women shouldn’t study Torah

William E Emba also wrote:

It was a specific insult, aimed at Carol. I said absolutely nothing about all women as such

It’s hard to imagine a coherent parsing of that original statement which doesn’t strongly imply you hold the statement, “women shouldn’t study Torah” to be a truthful one which Carol has provided evidence for.

If it was a specific insult, aimed at Carol, you could have just said

your drivel on Rashi has been a great demonstration of why you shouldn’t study Torah

The claim that it was specific to Carol doesn’t make any more sense than saying this comment is aimed solely at Carol:

your drivel on Rashi has been a great demonstration of why people who live in New Jersey shouldn’t study Torah

What are we missing?

Comment #83207

Posted by William E Emba on March 2, 2006 10:44 AM (e)

ben wrote:

William E Emba wrote:

And your drivel on Rashi has been a great demonstration of why women shouldn’t study Torah.

It was a specific insult, aimed at Carol. I said absolutely nothing about all women as such.

It’s hard to imagine a coherent parsing of that original statement which doesn’t strongly imply you hold the statement, “women shouldn’t study Torah” to be a truthful one which Carol has provided evidence for.

Use versus mention. What I happen to believe is completely missing from my statement, beyond what I believe about Carol’s intelligence.

If it was a specific insult, aimed at Carol, you could have just said “your drivel on Rashi has been a great demonstration of why you shouldn’t study Torah”

There is a general ban, in traditional Judaism, of “women studying Torah”. Both Carol and I are aware of this ban, and that that was what I was referring to. It makes absolutely no sense to refer to a ban, in traditional Judaism, of “Carol studying Torah”, since there is no such ban, except to the extent that Carol instantiates womanhood.

The claim that it was specific to Carol doesn’t make any more sense than saying this comment is aimed solely at Carol: “your drivel on Rashi has been a great demonstration of why people who live in New Jersey shouldn’t study Torah.”

Again, such a statement makes absolutely no sense, since there is no ban on New Jerseyans studying Torah as such.

What are we missing?

Elementary logic.

Comment #83220

Posted by ben on March 2, 2006 11:37 AM (e)

So you don’t agree with a ban on women studying Torah?

Comment #83255

Posted by William E Emba on March 2, 2006 1:23 PM (e)

ben wrote:

So you don’t agree with a ban on women studying Torah?

Huh? What does my opinion matter?

Comment #83274

Posted by Andy H. on March 2, 2006 2:14 PM (e)

Comment #83176
Posted by Rilke’s Granddaughter on March 2, 2006 09:19 AM

An utterly incoherent statement, demonstrating once again that Larry is ignorant both of science and of logic. In what fashion can a single mutation create ‘thousands of individuals’? And how can we have thousands of individuals in organisms?

A queen bee, for example, lays thousands of eggs, so I presume that a mutation in a queen bee will affect thousands of offspring. Anyway, I was just stating that even when a single mutation can immediately appear in thousands of individuals, the mutation can still be relatively isolated in place and time, and hence the likelihood of a corresponding mutation occurring in a co-dependent organism at the same place and time is quite remote.

Unless the corresponding feature in the other organism is already locally common, this mutation would at best produce no evolutionary advantage in natural selection, and at worst could be deleterious.

Again, nonsensical bafflegab. Of course most of the time a single mutation isn’t going to produce a co-evolution scenario.

But of course co-evolution must be driven by single mutations – these mutations are, after all, random mutations.

The corresponding feature could be produced by a mutation in the other organism, but this mutation is not likely to occur at the same place and time but is likely to occur far away in place and/or time, so again there would be no mutual benefit. Co-evolution is thus radically different from adaptation to the fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, air, and climate, which are always there to offer immediate advantages to organisms that adapt to them.

Mind-boggling stupid. A given feature in a local population is part of the environment in which the success of failure or variation is determined.

All I said was that when a co-dependent feature is created by a mutation in one of the two co-dependent organisms, the likelihood of the corresponding mutation occurring in the other organism at the same place and time is extremely remote.

Also, as I have pointed out, “exaptation” ( the idea that irreducible systems are formed from parts that previously had different functions outside the system), which is used to explain away irreducible complexity, cannot explain away the problems with co-evolution.

Nobody ever said it did. This is yet another strawman.

I never said it did, either. I was just trying to say that the problems with co-evolution might not be as easy to explain away as irreducible complexity. I should have made that point clearer.

I am not talking here about variations of an existing feature — I am talking about the creation of whole new features. The creation of whole new features by mutation would have to sometimes occur in co-evolution.

Strawman. Yet another from Larry.

No, I was just responding to the obviously false claim that co-evolution just consisted of variations of existing features.

Comment #83287

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on March 2, 2006 2:39 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

A queen bee, for example, lays thousands of eggs, so I presume that a mutation in a queen bee will affect thousands of offspring.

In other words you made a stupid mistake with the English language, and your comment about a single mutation producing thousands of individuals meant nothing.

Lousy recovery Larry. Not only are you ignorant of biology and evolution, but you can’t even write a coherent sentence.

Anyway, I was just stating that even when a single mutation can immediately appear in thousands of individuals, the mutation can still be relatively isolated in place and time, and hence the likelihood of a corresponding mutation occurring in a co-dependent organism at the same place and time is quite remote.

Unsupported assertion. Tell me what the actual probabilities are? How do you know they are ‘quite remote’?

Hint: you can’t. You’re simply making this up. But of course, without knowing anything about biology or evolution, you are forced to make things up.

But of course co-evolution must be driven by single mutations — these mutations are, after all, random mutations.

Utterly false, of course. A mere strawman.

You really should try to learn something about evolution before you make these idiotic comments.

All I said was that when a co-dependent feature is created by a mutation in one of the two co-dependent organisms, the likelihood of the corresponding mutation occurring in the other organism at the same place and time is extremely remote.

Look, Larry, I realize you’re ignorant, but I’ll try this one time to actually educate you. There is no “corresponding mutation” that needs to be present. The existence and morphology of other species is simply a factor of the environment in which a mutation or set of mutations occurs. In that environment, a variation may be of reproductive benefit because of that morphology. If, at some future point, a variation occurs in one of the species making up that environment that includes the first species, then a chain of ‘mutual cooperation’ may start.

You’ve spent several posts now basically saying nothing more than, “I don’t understand this; therefore it can’t happen.”

Your ignorance and lack of imagination don’t constitute an argument.

Now this next section is classic:

Larry wrote:

Also, as I have pointed out, “exaptation” ( the idea that irreducible systems are formed from parts that previously had different functions outside the system), which is used to explain away irreducible complexity, cannot explain away the problems with co-evolution. (emphasis added)

RGD wrote:

Nobody ever said it did. This is yet another strawman.

Larry wrote:

I never said it did, either.

Then why did you say it? You created a strawman, and now you’re denying it.

It is difficult for me to believe you are incapable of making a coherent post, but it appears to be true. Not only have you created a strawman, but you follow that immediately by denying that you just said it.

Amazing. I am in awe of the sheer lunacy, incoherence, and mind-numbing illogic of your thinking process.

I was just trying to say that the problems with co-evolution might not be as easy to explain away as irreducible complexity. I should have made that point clearer.

Perhaps next time you should actually say what you mean, instead of totally contradicting yourself, then denying what you’ve said, then changing completely your story.

Do you actually enjoy getting all this abuse? Do you actually enjoy looking so completely idiotic? Do you even understand how dumb you look?

Larry wrote:

I am not talking here about variations of an existing feature — I am talking about the creation of whole new features. The creation of whole new features by mutation would have to sometimes occur in co-evolution.

RGD wrote:

Strawman. Yet another from Larry.

Larry wrote:

No, I was just responding to the obviously false claim that co-evolution just consisted of variations of existing features.

Utterly incorrect. You created a strawman, and now you’re uttering falsehoods about that. In black and white. In the very same post.

Larry, you didn’t answer my questions:

1. You are posting under multiple names in violation of Rule Six. Are you aware of how unethical and foolish this makes you look?

2. Given that (based simply on this post) you have no understanding of science, mathematics, or law - indeed of any of the topics on which you choose to comment - why should we accept anything you say?

Just answer the questions.

Comment #83293

Posted by Stephen Elliott on March 2, 2006 2:48 PM (e)

Posted by Andy H. on March 2, 2006 02:14 PM (e)

I was just trying to say that the problems with co-evolution might not be as easy to explain away as irreducible complexity. I should have made that point clearer…

Have you finally accepted that the IC challenge has been met?

WooHoo! There’s a first.

Comment #83306

Posted by CJ O'Brien on March 2, 2006 3:35 PM (e)

Could somebody just explain to Larry that, essentially, ALL evolution is co-evolution?

Remember, everybody: Arguing with an idiot is like wrestling a pig. You both get covered in dung, and the pig enjoys the activity.

Comment #83401

Posted by Andy H. on March 2, 2006 8:48 PM (e)

Posted by Stephen Elliott on March 2, 2006 02:48 PM

I was just trying to say that the problems with co-evolution might not be as easy to explain away as irreducible complexity. I should have made that point clearer…

Have you finally accepted that the IC challenge has been met?

No. The expression “explain away” usually implies a doubtful or questionable explanation.

Posted by CJ O’Brien on March 2, 2006 03:35 PM

Could somebody just explain to Larry that, essentially, ALL evolution is co-evolution?

So – when did I say or imply otherwise ?

Did you see that statement in Wikipedia ? That is where I saw it. There is a lot of truth in that statement – organisms interact with other organisms as well as with the physical environment. There are, of course, exceptions to the statement – for example, an organism that evolves to move from the sea to land could continue to interact with sea organisms and would not necessarily need other land organisms to interact with.

Posted by Rilke’s Granddaughter on March 2, 2006 02:39 PM

A queen bee, for example, lays thousands of eggs, so I presume that a mutation in a queen bee will affect thousands of offspring.

In other words you made a stupid mistake with the English language, and your comment about a single mutation producing thousands of individuals meant nothing.

What “stupid mistake with the English language” ? And I just gave an example of where a single mutation could produce thousands of offspring. Anyway, it was not an important part of the points I was trying to make about co-evolution.

Anyway, I was just stating that even when a single mutation can immediately appear in thousands of individuals, the mutation can still be relatively isolated in place and time, and hence the likelihood of a corresponding mutation occurring in a co-dependent organism at the same place and time is quite remote.

Unsupported assertion. Tell me what the actual probabilities are? How do you know they are ‘quite remote’?

You’re the expert here, so why don’t you tell me what the probabilities are ?

All we know is that the probability of a single beneficial mutation occurring is very small, so the probability of two complementary beneficial mutations occurring at the same time and the same place in two different kinds of organisms must be infinitesimal. And even if by some miracle the two mutations occurred in the same place at the same time, often not enough organisms of both types would be established to create a viable co-dependent relationship. For example, a single bee visits many flowers and a single flower is visited by many bees, and so often there would not be enough bees and/or flowers of the right type to establish a new relationship.

But of course co-evolution must be driven by single mutations — these mutations are, after all, random mutations.

Utterly false, of course. A mere strawman.

What other kinds of mutations are there ?

Look, Larry, I realize you’re ignorant, but I’ll try this one time to actually educate you. There is no “corresponding mutation” that needs to be present. The existence and morphology of other species is simply a factor of the environment in which a mutation or set of mutations occurs. In that environment, a variation may be of reproductive benefit because of that morphology. If, at some future point, a variation occurs in one of the species making up that environment that includes the first species, then a chain of ‘mutual cooperation’ may start.

Some co-evolution involves just changes in existing features – e.g., changes in the depths of flowers and the lengths of insect probosces. However, a lot of co-evolution would have to consist of new pairs of features created by major mutations in both kinds of organisms.

I never said it did, either.

Then why did you say it?

I didn’t say it – I never said that anyone tried to use “exaptation” to “explain away” the problems with co-evolution. I already explained why I used exaptation as an example – exaptation is an easy way of “explaining away” irreducible complexity.

Comment #83404

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 2, 2006 9:08 PM (e)

I’m so proud of myself for once again resisting the temptation to say:

“Shut up, Larry.”

Comment #83407

Posted by Henry J on March 2, 2006 9:11 PM (e)

Re “that, essentially, ALL evolution is co-evolution?”

All of it, rather than just a majority? Are there never cases of something adapting to an environmental condition?

Henry

Comment #83462

Posted by Carol Clouser on March 3, 2006 1:36 AM (e)

Ben,

Don’t allow Emba’s utter lack of integrity to bamboozle you into thinking that he is anything other than an unrepentant bigot. There is NO BAN and THERE NEVER WAS a ban in traditional Judaism against women studying Torah. That notion is to be found, however, in the minds of bigots in tiny pockets of the fanatical ultra-orthodox Jewish community, who fancy their own prejudices as constituting faith sanctioned official policy, and Emba shares that notion because he thinks like those members of that community.

His unacceptable attitude toward women is matched only by his demonstrated and openly asserted derogatory opinion of the intelligence of gentiles. This too is a notion to be found in the same ultra-orthodox community.

Comment #83485

Posted by Andy H. on March 3, 2006 6:51 AM (e)

Comment #83407
Posted by Henry J on March 2, 2006 09:11 PM

Re “that, essentially, ALL evolution is co-evolution?”

All of it, rather than just a majority? Are there never cases of something adapting to an environmental condition?

I saw the statement “essentially all evolution is co-evolution” in Wikipedia, which said –

“Few perfectly isolated examples of evolution can be identified: essentially all evolution is co-evolution.” – from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-evolution

However, someone else introduced the statement to this thread, and I don’t know where he saw the statement or if he made it up himself.

I now think that the statement is an exaggeration. Certainly, many organisms must adapt to their physical environments as well as to other organisms. However, I think that the great importance of co-evolution as a part of general evolution has generally not been recognized, and co-evolution has apparently not been a significant part of the controversy over evolution. As I have pointed out in this thread and elsewhere, co-evolution raises questions about evolution that are at least as serious as the questions raised by irreducible complexity.

Comment #83489

Posted by ben on March 3, 2006 7:06 AM (e)

Carol-

It did seem like Emba was trying to wriggle out of an apparently bigoted statement on formalistic grounds. Can you point to other examples of his “unrepentant bigotry?”

I think that the statement in question could be compared to me saying, while arguing with an Alan Keyes or Clarence Thomas on constitutional interpretations of civil rights laws and finding their wingnut viewpoints to be off-base and dishonest,

your drivel on civil rights has been a great demonstration of why black people shouldn’t be allowed to vote

…and then claiming that I was only referring to the previous “tradition” of african-american disenfranchisement, not saying that I agreed that it was acceptable, or that my statement was intended to insult all black people. Because “huh? What does my opinion matter? All I did was reveal myself to be a racist!”

Comment #83493

Posted by ben on March 3, 2006 7:33 AM (e)

I now think

Nobody cares what Landy Hafarman thinks.

I think

Thanks for your opinion, nobody asked.

As I have pointed out in this thread and elsewhere, co-evolution raises questions about evolution that are at least as serious as the questions raised by irreducible complexity

Maybe for you, but fortunately science works on theories and evidence, not the “questions” that come into Landy Hafarman’s mind at 3 o’clock in the morning. Let’s not pretend that a lonely confederate flag-waving retired engineer, holocaust revisionist, and devoted Wikipedia reader is identifying crucial flaws in TOE when what’s really happening is that someone in L.A. needs to get some sleep and find a hobby.

Comment #83495

Posted by William E Emba on March 3, 2006 8:10 AM (e)

Carol `What an ignoramas!' Clouser, addressing ben, wrote:

Don’t allow Emba’s utter lack of integrity

“lack of integrity” is something Carol is a self-made expert in.

to bamboozle you into thinking that he is anything other than an unrepentant bigot. There is NO BAN and THERE NEVER WAS a ban in traditional Judaism against women studying Torah.

Your statement is a lie. Pure and simple revisionist history.

That notion is to be found, however, in the minds of bigots in tiny pockets of the fanatical ultra-orthodox Jewish community, who fancy their own prejudices as constituting faith sanctioned official policy, and Emba shares that notion because he thinks like those members of that community.

I have not stated my opinion whatsoever. I am obviously not a member of any community that has trouble with evolution.

Comment #83496

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on March 3, 2006 8:10 AM (e)

As I have pointed out in this thread and elsewhere, co-evolution raises questions about evolution that are at least as serious as the questions raised by irreducible complexity.

In other words, extremely trivial - just a matter of tracking down the path evolution took. Your concept of co-evolution, indeed even basic evolution, is a strawman.

Your essential problem lies in the difference between law and theory. A law is the end product of a theory, only a part of the total theory; the conclusion or summary. As we have seen with you do with evolution, law, electrical engineering, and even ID and its component parts, you only look at the conclusion or summary without trying to understand how that was reached. That leaves you open to massively misinterpreting the conclusion or summary, which we keep catching you on.

Comment #83498

Posted by William E Emba on March 3, 2006 8:35 AM (e)

ben wrote:

It did seem like Emba was trying to wriggle out of an apparently bigoted statement on formalistic grounds.

I’m not trying to wriggle out of anything.

You, in contrast, are trying to wriggle something into my statement that isn’t there whatsoever. You proved this by coming up with a variant statement that I supposedly could have made and still convey the same put-down, and when I pointed out your variant was absolute nonsense, you did not admit your error. Instead, you simply went fishing, that act itself proof that my statement did not mean what you thought it did.

I think that the statement in question could be compared to me saying, while arguing with an Alan Keyes or Clarence Thomas on constitutional interpretations of civil rights laws and finding their wingnut viewpoints to be off-base and dishonest, “your drivel on civil rights has been a great demonstration of why black people shouldn’t be allowed to vote” …and then claiming that I was only referring to the previous “tradition” of african-american disenfranchisement,

And now we can quote you down the road as “racist”, right? By your own “wriggling”, use versus mention distinctions are not to be noticed.

And how is not like all the previous posters citing Biblical statements about killing non-virgins? Are they to be presumed supportive of killing non-virgins?

not saying that I agreed that it was acceptable, or that my statement was intended to insult all black people.

I guess you never talk to black people, do you, or have any black friends? I’ve often said similar statements in the context of roll-the-eyes stupidity of certain mouth-dropping antics of prominent blacks, and you know what, they weren’t the least bit offended. You know why? Because they knew exactly what I was saying, and weren’t trying to wriggle in offensive meanings to score on-line debate points.

Because “huh? What does my opinion matter? All I did was reveal myself to be a racist!”

Your last statement is a bald-faced lie, in effect. Seriously, what does my opinion matter? You didn’t answer. You made a provably erroneous claim that there was only one possible reading of my sentence, and decided to cut to the chase. At which point, you are obviously engaged in circular reasoning. I’m not answering, because I absolutely refuse to acknowledge your game.

Comment #83506

Posted by ben on March 3, 2006 10:07 AM (e)

you simply went fishing, that act itself proof that my statement did not mean what you thought it did

I cannot make a statement that directly proves what your statement meant. You could, but you seem disinclined to. Instead, you keep telling us it should be obvious that your statement pertained solely to Carol and that any other interpretation is ridiculous. My point is that your original statement is hard to read any other way, and that you continue to stand by it even though I think your argument that the interpretation of it is obvious is a strained one.

I don’t mean to argue that you’ve shown yourself to be a bigot, and I apologize if I’m approaching this in a way that makes it seem like I think that. I’m not attacking you, just your statement. I said “apparently bigoted,” by which I meant that I think the potential for misunderstanding is very high.

I guess you never talk to black people, do you, or have any black friends? I’ve often said similar statements in the context of roll-the-eyes stupidity of certain mouth-dropping antics of prominent blacks, and you know what, they weren’t the least bit offended

The differences here being that 1) Carol is not your friend; in this context you are harshly antagonistic toward one another and 2) You are not saying you made these statements to your black friends (yes, I believe you have black friends, how about not assuming I don’t) in a public forum where the comments are prone to being misunderstood by others–which is what seems to have happened here. Had you made the remarks you refer to in public and had they been overheard by black people who didn’t understand your angle, you likely wouldn’t be getting the opportunity to perform semantic maneuvers to explain what you really meant, you’d just be getting labeled a bigot.

Seriously, what does my opinion matter? You didn’t answer.

It matters one one hand because if I thought you were bigoted toward women I would have little interest in your opinions and on the other because if you were, I would think you would want to clarify what you meant by saying it instead of holding that it’s absurd to read it any other way.

I’m not answering, because I absolutely refuse to acknowledge your game.

But you just did!

Comment #83519

Posted by William E Emba on March 3, 2006 11:54 AM (e)

ben wrote:

you simply went fishing, that act itself proof that my statement did not mean what you thought it did

I cannot make a statement that directly proves what your statement meant. You could, but you seem disinclined to.

Both you and Paul came up with misreadings, and I showed point-blank why the misreadings were incorrect. What more do you want?

Like I said, it’s simple English. I referred directly to Carol, yet Paul claimed I did not. Paul has not acknowledged my correction.

You suggested that I instead should have referred to the traditional ban on “Carol learning Torah”, which I pointed out was absurd, since there is no such ban. You have not acknowledged my correction, and instead harbor delusions that I’m obligated to come up with a proof that somehow there must be somewhere a misreading of my sentence that isn’t bogus.

Instead, you keep telling us it should be obvious that your statement pertained solely to Carol and that any other interpretation is ridiculous. My point is that your original statement is hard to read any other way, and that you continue to stand by it even though I think your argument that the interpretation of it is obvious is a strained one.

The two proposed other ways, so far, have been shown to be inherently defective. You’re engaged in Larry logic now. You see buzzwords that set you off, and you just know what the punchline must be, and jump to it and call it logic.

More precisely, the “other” way you want to read my statement is a connotation that you wish to project into my statement. Given the right history, such a connotation is entirely valid. But no such history exists on my part, and it’s entirely your own fabrication. If the possibility of hostile connotations were all you wanted to point out, I’d have conceded as much from the beginning. But your claim has been rather different: there was essentially no other way to read my statement in the first place, and I’ve shown the arguments given for that to be nonsense.

I don’t mean to argue that you’ve shown yourself to be a bigot, and I apologize if I’m approaching this in a way that makes it seem like I think that. I’m not attacking you, just your statement. I said “apparently bigoted,” by which I meant that I think the potential for misunderstanding is very high.

The difference is rather slight. Since I am clearly holding by my statement, I’d say the difference is actually zero.

I guess you never talk to black people, do you, or have any black friends? I’ve often said similar statements in the context of roll-the-eyes stupidity of certain mouth-dropping antics of prominent blacks, and you know what, they weren’t the least bit offended

The differences here being that 1) Carol is not your friend; in this context you are harshly antagonistic toward one another

I am sure that whoever has been the targets of my cracks in the past that riffed off the tragedy of American black history would have been deeply offended, and no doubt called me racist and the like, yet my black friends found those cracks funny. Really, you just aren’t thinking. Carol’s offense is meaningless in this context. In contrast, two women posters said they took no offense.

and 2) You are not saying you made these statements to your black friends (yes, I believe you have black friends, how about not assuming I don’t) in a public forum where the comments are prone to being misunderstood by others—which is what seems to have happened here. Had you made the remarks you refer to in public and had they been overheard by black people who didn’t understand your angle, you likely wouldn’t be getting the opportunity to perform semantic maneuvers to explain what you really meant, you’d just be getting labeled a bigot.

And they’d be just as stupid as you and Paul have been now. So what? You are not some accidental bystander who happened to overhear a misinterpretable remark. You have access to the entire thread. You can do the responsible thing and see which context my comment falls in: a crack that somebody might think is funny at the time, or part of a larger campaign of intimidation and put down based on sex.

When you make a statement about how black people would react to a white person making a certain kind of crack regarding another black person that contradicted my own experiences in that situation, I conclude that you are rather inexperienced in the black person as friend department.

Seriously, what does my opinion matter? You didn’t answer.

It matters one one hand because if I thought you were bigoted toward women I would have little interest in your opinions and on the other because if you were [not], I would think you would want to clarify what you meant by saying it instead of holding that it’s absurd to read it any other way.

Well, it is absurd to read it any other way. If I had some history of bigotry towards women, or even if I had simply “refuted” Carol by posting “shame, shame, you’re not supposed to learn Torah”, I’d agree that referring to negatives takes on an automatic negative connotation. But there is no such history, so it requires deliberate unfriendly assumptions on your part to put it there.

I once heard the crack “Hitler missed one” in regards to a particularly annoying Jew, and at no point did I assume the speaker was a Nazi, an anti-Semite, or even a general purpose clod. I thought he meant the target of his crack was particularly annoying. Had he been wearing a swastika armband, I’d have probably suspected otherwise.

Meanwhile, try and figure out my opinions on this or any other issue by what I post, not what you read into my postings. So far as I can tell, you’re just delusional, imagining that I’m wearing some kind of armband that telegraphs my secret intentions, and that you are responding accordingly.

I’m not answering, because I absolutely refuse to acknowledge your game.

But you just did!

Whatever. Point for you. Give yourself a cookie. All that and a bag of chips.

Comment #83536

Posted by Andy H. on March 3, 2006 1:13 PM (e)

Comment #83493
Posted by ben on March 3, 2006 07:33 AM

“I now think” “I think”

Thanks for your opinion, nobody asked.

Someone did ask, you moron – someone asked an open question about co-evolution, and I was the only one who answered. And no one needs to wait to be asked here before posting a comment.

It was Lenny Flank who started all this “no one cares what you think” crap on PT, and now all the unevolved “monkey see, monkey do” types on PT are aping him.

And whereas I have been making just on-topic posts about co-evolution (co-evolution is a very important subject in entomology), you have been involved with Carol Clouser and William Emba in a long, grossly off-topic argument about Torah interpretation, sexism, racism, etc..

Comment #83537

Posted by ben on March 3, 2006 1:18 PM (e)

It was Lenny Flank who started all this “no one cares what you think” crap on PT, and now all the unevolved “monkey see, monkey do” types on PT are aping him.

Yeah, without Lenny it would never have occurred to anyone that your assertions are 100% uninformed mental masturbation that, IIRC, nobody at PT has ever agreed with or cared about.

Off-topic? PKB, homie.

And yes, I am unevolved. Individuals do not evolve, species do.

Comment #83538

Posted by Carol Clouser on March 3, 2006 1:24 PM (e)

Ben,

Emba conveniently ignores the fact that there does indeed exist a broader context to his derogatory remark against women. It is his derogatory remark against gentiles. He attacked me as having “a goyisher kop”, meaning “you have a gentile brain”. That was not meant as a compliment, I assure you. The fact that it was stated in Yiddish makes it sound even more sinister and onerous. And since this is yet another bit of bigotry Emba shares with some in the fanatical ultra-orthodox Jewish community, it makes the anti-women comment fit neatly into an emerging pattern.

Now, for the record, I could not care less what Emba thinks about me or about anything else. That he was totally wrong on the points we argued about is as sure as night follows day. But I will expose him for what he is. And I am quite chagrined that but for Paul and you, no one else seems to care.

Comment #83542

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on March 3, 2006 1:37 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Someone did ask, you moron — someone asked an open question about co-evolution, and I was the only one who answered. And no one needs to wait to be asked here before posting a comment.

It was Lenny Flank who started all this “no one cares what you think” crap on PT, and now all the unevolved “monkey see, monkey do” types on PT are aping him.

And whereas I have been making just on-topic posts about co-evolution (co-evolution is a very important subject in entomology), you have been involved with Carol Clouser and William Emba in a long, grossly off-topic argument about Torah interpretation, sexism, racism, etc..

But the point is that no one does care what you think. You’ve shown yourself ignorant of science; you’ve shown yourself to be ignorant of law; you’ve shown yourself to be incapable of logic; you’ve shown yourself to be reading-challenged; you’ve shown yourself to be unethical; you’ve shown yourself to be in almost pathological need of attention - probably because you can’t get a date.

The fact is that people do sometimes ask for opinions on these threads. But they’re not asking for yours. Given the above, why should they?

Seriously Larry - re-read your posts here on the Thumb. You cannot deny that you are being unethical; you cannot deny that you don’t understand the questions posed; you cannot deny that your opinions on law and science are mostly cribbed from Wikipedia (apparently without any comprehension).

When someone asks for an opinion on a topic, generally they’re looking for someone who can contribute some actual insight - someone who has studied the field, not such some regurgitation of a web-site. We can all get to web-sites. Most of us have access to real journals, in fact.

You’ve not studied these fields; you’ve not done research; you’ve not shown that you have any insights of interest.

I’ve spent almost a thousand hours this year alone doing lab-work and research. You’ve managed to exert yourself to the extent of logging onto a computer or taking a book off a shelf. Why should I give a damn what your opinion is, given that you’ve done nothing to make yours even slightly informed?

We realize you’re here strictly for the attention. We’ve seen your pathetic postings in AOL groups where you don’t care whether you’re reviled or praised. We know you’re here because you’re lonely and friendless.

But if you showed a single shred of integrity, if you showed a single hint that you might actually have thought about some of the stuff you mechanically transfer from other websites to here, somebody might actually engage you in a real conversation. With real topics. And with a complete lack of the disdain you currently engender.

Go for it Larry. Be a mensch. Or resign yourself to being a pissoir.

Comment #83543

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on March 3, 2006 1:46 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

Now, for the record, I could not care less what Emba thinks about me or about anything else. That he was totally wrong on the points we argued about is as sure as night follows day. But I will expose him for what he is. And I am quite chagrined that but for Paul and you, no one else seems to care.

What I enjoy most about fundies and trolls is their utter predictability. Consider Carol:

1. “Preach” Claim that science and the Bible are completely compatible.

2. “Market” Hawk Landa’s book. (Optional phase)

3. “Deny” Refuse to support her contentions.

4. “False witness” Refuse to admit that Landa is offering opinion, not fact.

5. “Hissy” Have a hissy when people don’t bow down to her.

6. “Huffy” Threaten to leave.

And all these are characterized by complete illogic. Consider: we are now in phase 5: the “Hissy”.

Carol claims that she’s not interested in what Emba thinks of her - yet she is chagrined that on one else is attacking him. She claims that she’s right, despite the fact that she has already admitted that she’s offering nothing more than opinions - opinions that go completely against the thousands of years of Rabbinical and scholarly understanding of the Bible.

Sometimes phase 5 goes on for several posts; sometimes it happens more quickly. Let’s watch this thread, shall we?

Comment #83545

Posted by k.e. on March 3, 2006 1:54 PM (e)

er….Rilke’s Granddaughter

Lawrence “I’m not a Holocaust denier just a Revisionist” Fafarman I predict will take your 100% correct statement about him as a compliment.

Comment #83547

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on March 3, 2006 2:02 PM (e)

k.e. wrote:

Lawrence “I’m not a Holocaust denier just a Revisionist” Fafarman I predict will take your 100% correct statement about him as a compliment.

Of course. It wasn’t done for the benefit of Larry - he’s shown that he doesn’t even bother to read the posts - it’s for the lurkers. I’m trying to show them that interesting, ethical behavior is rewarded on the Thumb by interesting responses.

Comment #83555

Posted by William E Emba on March 3, 2006 2:32 PM (e)

Carol "What an ignoramas!" Clouser, addressing Ben, wrote:

Emba conveniently ignores the fact that there does indeed exist a broader context to his derogatory remark against women. It is his derogatory remark against gentiles.

That wasn’t derogatory beyond you personally either. You can find a history only by inventing one. In other words, by lying.

Note that you have a well-established history of lying, by the way. In some sense, that is your assumed default mode.

He attacked me as having “a goyisher kop”, meaning “you have a gentile brain”. That was not meant as a compliment, I assure you.

Golly. And I told BWE he had a goyisher kop the other day, since it seemed 100% appropriate: he was inviting you into his confidence by saying cross his heart.

You are also totally silent that you called me “farmboy” by way of insult, before I insulted you. In Hebrew, to make it official.

The fact that it was stated in Yiddish makes it sound even more sinister and onerous.

You are now raving. Stark deluded raving. The choice of Yiddish makes it humorous and insignificant. Sheesh.

And the status of you calling me “farmboy” in Hebrew is …? Onionladyland is a very peculiar place, methinks.

And since this is yet another bit of bigotry Emba shares with some in the fanatical ultra-orthodox Jewish community, it makes the anti-women comment fit neatly into an emerging pattern.

When the facts aren’t there, you just lie, lie, lie. It’s your major talent. The “pattern” that you have found is simply “circular reasoning”. Something you learned from Landa, I assume.

If you showed even a grain of reasoning ability, you would have noticed that I very obviously do not fit in the “fanatical ultra-orthodox Jewish community”. For one thing, I read and post on the Internet. Even the middle-of-the-road right wing American Orthodox community considers the Internet treyf, and numerous rabbaim permit nothing more than work-related access. And second, the “fanatical ultra-orthodox Jewish community” has serious problems with evolution. So, QED, I am obviously not a member, but little things like facts and proof don’t matter to Carol “What an ignoramas!” Clouser.

Now, for the record, I could not care less what Emba thinks about me or about anything else. That he was totally wrong on the points we argued about is as sure as night follows day.

You are simply lying. As it is, being refuted, you simply ran to bizarre accusations, requiring just as incompetent reading of English as I demonstrated you have in Hebrew.

Regarding the most recent lies you have made, regarding women learning Torah being a modern day, ultra-orthodox invention, let me simply summarize: In the Mishnah (Sotah 20a, Kesuvim 62b), R. Eliezer says one who teaches his daughter Torah is like one who has taught her promiscuity. The Shulkhan Arukh (Yoreh De’ah 246:6) quotes this and says this is regarding the Oral Torah but one should not teach women Written Torah either. The Rema says women need to learn the basic laws that they must fulfill. The Taz says that women are also allowed to learn the simple meaning of the Written Torah.

The Mishnah is more or less the background of the Oral Torah, and this goes back about 2000 years. Promiscuity is considered the lowest of low in terms of womanly behavior, so it’s a very strong condemnation. The Shulkhan Arukh, from the 1500s, is the fundamental summary of Jewish law, and most of Orthodoxy claims to follow the Shulkhan Arukh, with the modern right-wing taking a more literalist approach. The Rema’s contemporary commentaries on the Shulkhan Arukh are, from the Ashkenazi point of view, an actual part of the Shulkhan Arukh. The Taz’s commentaries, from the next century, are highly regarded.

In other words, Carol, you are just lying. The restrictions on women regarding Torah are all from very authoritative sources.

But I will expose him for what he is.

No, you will just lie and defame, since your own arguments were shown to be utter trash by me. And you’re a soreheaded pinbrain loser over it.

And I am quite chagrined that but for Paul and you, no one else seems to care.

Paul based his assertion on the inaccurate assertion that I was not referring to you. Ben based his assertion on the inaccurate assertion that there was a traditional ban on “Carol learning Torah”. Neither have responded to my corrections, Paul with total silence, and Ben by jumping forward with “have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife” type leading questioning while pretending the correction of his error didn’t happen.

Meanwhile, people have noticed repeatedly that you simply make up your claims, lie left and right, and don’t actually respond to any substantive replies.

Comment #83559

Posted by William E Emba on March 3, 2006 2:58 PM (e)

Rilke's Granddaughter wrote:

Larry wrote:

And whereas I have been making just on-topic posts about co-evolution (co-evolution is a very important subject in entomology), you have been involved with Carol Clouser and William Emba in a long, grossly off-topic argument about Torah interpretation, sexism, racism, etc..

But the point is that no one does care what you think….

And from my point of view, I’ve been waiting for David Heddle to respond to my on-topic (well, at least scientific/philosophic) posting regarding the status of the string theory landscape. In particular, why he finds that is some “unscientific” leap into as of yet unimaginably untestable unknown, but I find it to fit in with Einstein’s leaps into the then unimaginably untestable unknowns of stimulated emission, Bose-Einstein condensations, and gravitational radiation. I should point out that eventually all of these have been confirmed, although the latter only indirectly, and that 8 Nobel prizes have been awarded for these confirmations, and that the Nobel prize winning work relied on at least 4 Nobel prize winning developments above and beyond quantum mechanics and the like.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Heddle is uncomfortable with people here he can’t bluff “string theory” at, and that at some level he is aware that sitting around and going “golly, I can’t explain XYZ” is not actually up to Einstein’s way of thinking, although it accurately describes his, Behe’s and Dembski’s.

Instead, Carol “What an ignoramas!” Clouser pipes in with her sore loser accusations and revisionist version of posting history, telling Heddle to avoid this discussion. I note that she too avoided the chance to contribute something of scientific value. I mean, somebody might learn something intelligent, right?

Comment #83571

Posted by Andy H. on March 3, 2006 6:01 PM (e)

Comment #83542
Posted by Rilke’s Granddaughter on March 3, 2006 01:37 PM

When someone asks for an opinion on a topic, generally they’re looking for someone who can contribute some actual insight - someone who has studied the field, not such some regurgitation of a web-site. We can all get to web-sites.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with citing a website when appropriate. I mentioned the website where I saw the statement that was in the question. And far from “regurgitating” what the website said, I actually contradicted the website’s statement.

I’ve spent almost a thousand hours this year alone doing lab-work and research.

Whoopee.

You’ve not studied these fields; you’ve not done research; you’ve not shown that you have any insights of interest.

You mostly do not address the issues but mostly just accuse me of ignorance or using “strawman” arguments. And I easily refuted your arguments in the few instances where you did address the issues.

Comment #83583

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 3, 2006 6:49 PM (e)

Larry: Shut up.

Carol: Thanks for (yet again) sharing your religious opinions with us. Why, again, should anyone give a flying fig about them?

Comment #83961

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on March 6, 2006 2:20 AM (e)

Alas! Larry has elected to remain a pissoir rather than actually acting like a man. A pity. Completely expected, of course, because Larry has demonstrated that he’s incapable of learning anything, but a pity. I’d rather have an intelligent person to debate with than an ignorant idiot. But we’ll take what we can get. By treating Larry as an intellectual punching bag, we can educate the lurkers.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with citing a website when appropriate. I mentioned the website where I saw the statement that was in the question. And far from “regurgitating” what the website said, I actually contradicted the website’s statement.

Here, lurkers, we see a classic case of misdirection and obfuscation. I pointed out that Larry makes no arguments, and merely does a cheap cut’n’paste job from public websites - something anyone can do and which contributes nothing to the debate. Larry can’t understand the lack of value in his contribution and so makes a pathetic attempt to justify it.

He then follows that up with pointing out (as if we needed it) that he didn’t understand the website anyway.

Way to go, Larry!

Now lurkers, let us move on to the next point:

RGD wrote:

I’ve spent almost a thousand hours this year alone doing lab-work and research.

Larry wrote:

Whoopee.

Note the standard Larry tactics of evasion coupled with his known reading comprehension problems.

First, he quote-mines my post. What I actually said was:

RGD wrote:

I’ve spent almost a thousand hours this year alone doing lab-work and research. You’ve managed to exert yourself to the extent of logging onto a computer or taking a book off a shelf. Why should I give a damn what your opinion is, given that you’ve done nothing to make yours even slightly informed?

Second, we note from this selective omission and his attempted derision that is refusing to engage the point: which is that he’s a lazy, ignorant crank who is embarrassed by his laziness and his ignorance, and rather than admit to them, he derides them.

This is confirmed by the fact that the various other points about his lack of honesty and his intellectual inadequacies are passed over in silence. Apparently accusations of laziness strike home.

Now we get to his most charming moments: complete denial.

RGD wrote:

You’ve not studied these fields; you’ve not done research; you’ve not shown that you have any insights of interest.

pissoir Larry wrote:

You mostly do not address the issues but mostly just accuse me of ignorance or using “strawman” arguments.

We note that I am specifically addressing Larry and his ignorance of law and science. What other arguments should I be talking about? When I am dealing in a substantive way with a post, I don’t mention Larry… because his contributions are valueless.

And I easily refuted your arguments in the few instances where you did address the issues.

And here we find Larry engaged in his most creative fantasies.

Larry, you have never refuted any point I have made about a post. You have never refuted a point that anyone else has made about a post. You appear to be incapable of refuting any point ever made.

My observations, dear lurkers, are confirmed:

Larry is ignorant of law, science, and debate.

Larry is unethical and dishonest.

Observe him closely: he is the kind of anti-scientist crank that is easiest to defeat.