PvM posted Entry 1999 on February 10, 2006 10:32 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1994

On Evolutionnews.org Casey Luskin can be observed making the following comments about a statement made by Ken Miller in a November 19, 2004 NPR program “Talk of the Nation”

Casey Luskin wrote:

Will this role model inspire student interest in science?:

Ken Miller wrote:

“I think the most destructive part of the disclaimer that’s on the textbooks in Georgia, is the last sentence. And it says something to the effect that students are urged to study this material carefully, critically examine it and consider it with an open mind.”

Biologist Dr. Kenneth Miller, star Darwinist expert biology witness in the Dover and Cobb County trials, on NPR, November 19, 2004

MIller’s statements and similar Darwinist policies lead to dogmatism in evolution education. This will not inspire enthusiasm for science in students. But teaching students about views which both support, and question, evolution, and then allowing them to evaluate and investigate this issue for themselves, will increase their interest in science!

Let me add some context that was omitted by Luskin to the claim by Miller.

Around 26:00 we hear Miller making the following statement:

And finally the destructive part of the disclaimer that is on the text books in Georgia is the last sentence and it says something to the effect of that students are urged to study this material carefully, critically examine it and consider it with an open mind. Now think about what this means to a student. It means to a student that you’re supposed to do this to evolution but that every other topic in that book need not be critically considered or examined with an open mind. We are telling that we are certain of everything within science except for evolution and I can’t think of a worse policy in terms of scientific education and unfortunately that is what the Intelligent Design Movement has led to. A lot of bad teaching a lot of bad ideas about science.

Commenters are responsible for the content of comments. The opinions expressed in articles, linked materials, and comments are not necessarily those of PandasThumb.org. See our full disclaimer.

Comment #78852

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on February 10, 2006 10:45 PM (e)

Coming next from the cooks at the discovery institute: Quote mine surprise!

Comment #78856

Posted by PvM on February 10, 2006 11:02 PM (e)

In all fairness, if Luskin had quoted the full Miller quote, the DI’s actions would have looked a bit silly namely to limit critical thinking to evolution only

Discovery Institute believes that a curriculum that aims to provide students with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of neo-Darwinian and chemical evolutionary theories (rather than teaching an alternative theory, such as intelligent design) represents a common ground approach that all reasonable citizens can agree on.

Five states (Ohio, New Mexico, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Kansas) have already adopted science standards that require learning about some of the scientific controversies relating to evolution. Further, Ohio adopted a model curriculum that includes a lesson plan on the “Critical Analysis of Evolution.”

Evolution evolution evolution…. Nothing about science…

Comment #78858

Posted by Martin Wagner on February 10, 2006 11:07 PM (e)

You have to wonder if the IDers are capable about saying anything on any subject that doesn’t include a self-serving lie or distortion.

Comment #78864

Posted by PvM on February 10, 2006 11:37 PM (e)

Will teach the controversy do better?

Judge Jones wrote:

Accepting for the sake of argument its proponents’, as well as Defendants’ argument that to introduce ID to students will encourage critical thinking, it still has utterly no place in a science curriculum.
Moreover, ID’s backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID.

Judge Jones… Love the man…

Comment #78883

Posted by Andy H. on February 11, 2006 3:27 AM (e)

At the Dover trial, Kenneth Miller said the following about the Cobb County textbook stickers –
“Now think about what this means to a student. It means to a student that you’re supposed to do this to evolution but that every other topic in that book need not be critically considered or examined with an open mind.”

It is just a biology textbook. Are there any other theories in the book besides evolution ? Probably all the other topics in the book are facts, so evolution was not being singled out for criticism among theories.

Just about the only theories that most secondary school students are ever taught in science classes are evolution theory and atomic theory. Most of the scientific principles that these students are taught are laws rather than theories. So maybe to be completely fair, physics and chemistry textbooks should have stickers with similar disclaimers about atomic theory. However, atomic theory makes more sense than evolution theory and also is not contrary to some people’s religious beliefs, so there is no big movement to put atomic theory disclaimer stickers in textbooks.

Maybe the following should be added to the evolution disclaimer stickers –
“Even if you wholly or partly reject evolution theory, it is still important for you to be familiar with it because a lot of science is based on it. A scientist can use evolution theory while believing that all of it or part of it is untrue.”

Also, one of the apparent differences between Luskin and Miller is that Luskin is claiming that teaching the controversy would increase student interest in science while Miller seems to claim that it would reduce student interest in science by reducing student confidence in science. I think that Luskin has the better point because the students are likely to learn about the controversy outside of science classes and would want their science classes to be candid about the controversy.

Comment #78884

Posted by Bennythejet on February 11, 2006 5:06 AM (e)

Long time lurker, First time poster.

Firstly, I encourage all people to NOT respond to Andy H AKA Larry the sad, lonely, ex-engineer, crackpot. It truly hurts to see a piece of cr*p human being given the sort of attention it does not deserve.

Secondly, I know people will still respond to the inane ramblings of waste-of-space lifeforms like Larry who hide behind fake user names as a 4-yrs old child. Think again. The “man” exists for this attention.

Should you ever meet “Larry” in person, bow before the sheer crapulance that the human race can produce. Then get on with living and thinking. I am sick and tired of people responding to a pile of sh*te.

C’mon guys, I know there are heaps of intelligent people here, ignore this twat for your own sake.

Comment #78886

Posted by Andy H. on February 11, 2006 5:43 AM (e)

Comment #78864
Posted by PvM on February 10, 2006 11:37 PM

Judge Jones wrote:

ID’s backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID.

As usual, Judge Jones is talking through his hat. To “foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID,” the IDM would have to persuade the scientific community at large that ID is valid, but how could the IDM do that if ID cannot – as Jones claims – withstand scientific scrutiny ?

Judge Jones… Love the man…

I would not say that I hate him, but I definitely do not like him.

Comment #78887

Posted by MaxOblivion on February 11, 2006 5:44 AM (e)

Whilst I agree Andy H. aka Larry is nothing more than a willfully-ignorant troll, he is at least posting on topic this time. So while he does post on topic, ill respond.

1)

It is just a biology textbook. Are there any other theories in the book besides evolution ? Probably all the other topics in the book are facts, so evolution was not being singled out for criticism among theories.

So why not put the sticker on every textbook in the library?

so evolution was not being singled out for criticism among theories

First you say evolution was the only theory in the text book then you say evolution wasnt being singled out. Do you have to really try to be this stupid.

2)

“Even if you wholly or partly reject evolution theory, it is still important for you to be familiar with it because a lot of science is based on it. A scientist can use evolution theory while believing that all of it or part of it is untrue.”

There is no belief in evolution, beleif is faith based on the absense of evidence. There is no absense of evidence of evolution.

3) There is no controversy over evolution none at all. The only controversy is wether IDCreationism should be taught. The scientific case for evolution is decided and therefore there is no controversy. The PR/political case for teaching ID is still being waged and can correctly be called a controversy. The Disinformation Institute tries to conflate a the two when obviously they are entirely different things. Their philosophy is throw enough mud and some will stick to evolution.

However you know all this, I know you know this. But thats not why I respond, its sometimes useful to have a stealth creationist on board just to illuminate the casual browsers what a deceitful and intellectually bankrupt lot you are.

Comment #78889

Posted by Daniel Morgan on February 11, 2006 6:02 AM (e)

Do you think that Andy really believes that:

Andy wrote:

Just about the only theories that most secondary school students are ever taught in science classes are evolution theory and atomic theory.

?
Ever hear of plate tectonics, Andy? The Germ Theory of Disease? Relativity? The Standard Model of Cosmology (aka Big Bang)? Convection? Subatomic particles? Superconductivity? Prions?

I would love to hear you make “facts” out of these, rather than explanatory frameworks of observations/facts. I would also love to hear your scientific alternative to evolution. After all, why censor the only explanation(s) we have that make sense of all the facts? Censor it just in case it’s not complete? Don’t want kids learning things that may be modified or improved? Are you afraid it will damage their fragile minds…or worldviews?

Naw. Not so much. I think you’re afraid it may damage your own.

Comment #78897

Posted by Corkscrew on February 11, 2006 7:59 AM (e)

I realise I’m feeding the troll but let’s face the fact that Larry makes a superb foil.

However, atomic theory makes more sense than evolution theory and also is not contrary to some people’s religious beliefs, so there is no big movement to put atomic theory disclaimer stickers in textbooks.

Actually, if you speak to an evolutionary biologist, they’ll probably have no idea how the heck an electron can “fuzz out” across an atom. They will, however, find evolutionary theory to mostly be extremely bloody obvious. I’d tend to back them up on that - as far as I’m concerned, evolutionary biology is a heck of a lot more straightforward than a lot of atomic theory.

Saying that atomic theory “makes more sense” than evolutionary theory is an entirely subjective opinion and merely indicates that (surprise surprise) your education in evolutionary biology was not that good.

Regards the “contrariness” to religious beliefs - if you think that’s a good reason for sliming a perfectly good theory, then I can only assume you want geography textbooks to have stickers saying “Warning: the idea that the earth is spherical is only a theory and may be revised as facts come in. Students are encouraged to study all sides of the controversy, and we suggest you look at the Flat Earth textbooks in the library”.

Because there are people who reject the round earth theory for religious reasons. Trying to cater to their opinions, and to everyone else’s, gets absurd. Are we going to cater to Vedic creationists too, with their belief that the world is trillions of years old? Are we going to cater to people who think that fossils are the work of satan? Are we going to cater to neoNazis claiming the holocaust never happened? Are we going to cater to those who believe that His Noodly Appendage is indirectly responsible for global warming?

This is quite despite the implications for separation of church and state - doesn’t sliming a theory in the name of religion breach that?

Comment #78907

Posted by MaxOblivion on February 11, 2006 9:02 AM (e)

Are we going to cater to neoNazis claiming the holocaust never happened?

I wouldnt bother bringing that one up, Larry is also a holocaust denier.

Comment #78912

Posted by Moses on February 11, 2006 9:40 AM (e)

Comment #78887

Posted by MaxOblivion on February 11, 2006 05:44 AM (e)

Whilst I agree Andy H. aka Larry is nothing more than a willfully-ignorant troll, he is at least posting on topic this time. So while he does post on topic, ill respond.

That’s a good way to handle the situation. When my children (were much younger I should clarify) responded appropriately to an argument or statement, I found some way to “reward” them for their appropriately directed response, even if the response itself was technically flawed. Now that they’re all older, they are expected to respond appropriately to the subject and are only “rewarded” for logical and/or technically correct positions. When they get older still, the “and/or” will change to just “and.”

Conversely, if they continued to behave perversely or merely contrarian, they were censured. Usually be being excluded from the rest of the conversation or having the conversation end with an admonition.

Comment #78913

Posted by Andy H. on February 11, 2006 9:40 AM (e)

Ever hear of plate tectonics, Andy? The Germ Theory of Disease? Relativity? The Standard Model of Cosmology (aka Big Bang)? Convection? Subatomic particles? Superconductivity? Prions?

Plate tectonics is a subject of geology and most secondary school students do not take geology, though plate tectonics might be taught in a general science course.

The Germ Theory of Disease is no longer just a theory – specific germs that cause diseases have been identified.

Relativity might be taught in secondary school physics courses – I don’t know. I did not take physics in high school. I just took first-year physics in college, and relativity was not covered. That was back in the 1960’s.

Big bang theory – I never had that in school, and it was a well-known theory back then, but since then there has been more evidence gathered for it. So maybe it is taught in public schools now.

Convection – this is just a mode of heat transfer – the others are conduction and radiation. No theory there.

Superconductivity – this is not just a theory – it has actually been observed in a laboratory. There are theories as to what causes it, though, but these theories are probably beyond the scope of beginning science courses.

Subatomic particles – we know that they exist – they have been observed.

Prions – a theory, but probably not a major subject in beginning biology courses.

======================================

I did not say that evolution theory and atomic theory are the only scientific theories taught in secondary schools – I said that they were “just about” the only such theories. I think that they are the main ones. I should have included some other possibilities – relativity, the big bang, and plate tectonics (I did include these in another post).

Anyway, I stand by what I said – most of the scientific principles that are taught in beginning science courses are laws rather than theories. And I showed a long list of laws – in the Wikipedia online encyclopedia – that are taught in beginning science courses. Anyway, I am just challenging this idea that it is somehow unfair to “single out” evolution theory for criticism. And no matter how many scientific theories are out there, there is no reason why a scientific theory should not be criticized just because one or more other scientific theories are not criticized at the same time.

I would also love to hear your scientific alternative to evolution.

I have no scientific alternative – but that does not mean that I should not criticize evolution theory.

After all, why censor the only explanation(s) we have that make sense of all the facts? Censor it just in case it’s not complete? Don’t want kids learning things that may be modified or improved? Are you afraid it will damage their fragile minds…or worldviews?

Who is censoring what? Evolution theory is not being censored — it is the criticism of evolution theory that is being censored.

Comment #78920

Posted by Engineer-Poet, FCD, ΔΠΓ on February 11, 2006 10:40 AM (e)

Landarry H. FarFarFromSane wrote:

The Germ Theory of Disease is no longer just a theory — specific germs that cause diseases have been identified.

Specific phenomena which cause evolution have been identified.

Superconductivity — this is not just a theory — it has actually been observed in a laboratory.

Evolution has also been observed in the laboratory.

Given that you are approximately retirement age, perhaps we should attribute your ignorance of these matters (despite the ample evidence presented to you on this site alone) to the onset of senility.  Have yourself checked for Waldheimer’s disease.

Comment #78921

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 10:42 AM (e)

I have no scientific alternative — but that does not mean that I should not criticize evolution theory.

Please offer five criticisms of evolution theory that are not just rehashed ICR boilerplate from forty years ago that has already been ruled illegal to teach by the courts.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Comment #78922

Posted by MaxOblivion on February 11, 2006 10:44 AM (e)

Dear Larry,

Thank you very much for once again illustrating your willful-ignorance. We all know you understand the difference between the scientific meaning of “Theory” and the common useage of that term. The fact that you know this and still post the drivel above demonstrates your ugly attempts to mislead the casual reader.

Thanks again for being so obvious.

Yours appreciatingly,

A fan

Comment #78926

Posted by Andy H. on February 11, 2006 10:55 AM (e)

Comment #78887
Posted by MaxOblivion on February 11, 2006 05:44 AM

“It is just a biology textbook. Are there any other theories in the book besides evolution ? Probably all the other topics in the book are facts, so evolution was not being singled out for criticism among theories.”

So why not put the sticker on every textbook in the library?

Because the only library books that are under the control of school boards are books in school libraries.

“so evolution was not being singled out for criticism among theories”

First you say evolution was the only theory in the text book then you say evolution wasnt being singled out. Do you have to really try to be this stupid.

My point was that this textbook probably has no other theories to criticize, so evolution theory was probably not being singled out so far as this book is concerned. I did add, though, that to be completely fair, other theories in other science textbooks should also have disclaimer stickers — I used atomic theory as an example.

“Even if you wholly or partly reject evolution theory, it is still important for you to be familiar with it because a lot of science is based on it. A scientist can use evolution theory while believing that all of it or part of it is untrue.”

There is no belief in evolution, beleif is faith based on the absense of evidence. There is no absense of evidence of evolution.

There is a lot of evidence of past “changes through time,” though this evidence is all circumstantial. However, there is little or no evidence of “Darwinism,” the idea that macroevolution was driven solely by random mutations and natural selection.

There is no controversy over evolution none at all. The only controversy is wether IDCreationism should be taught. The scientific case for evolution is decided and therefore there is no controversy.

There is a huge controversy. Many people – including some scientists – reject Darwinism and some also reject the idea of changes through time.

Comment #78935

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 12:21 PM (e)

Hey Larry/Andy/whoiever you are this week:

It looks like people are finally beginning to respond seriously to you.

That must warm the cockles of any crank’s heart, huh.

Comment #78936

Posted by Andy H. on February 11, 2006 12:24 PM (e)

Comment #78920
Posted by Engineer-Poet, FCD, ΔΠΓ on February 11, 2006 10:40 AM

“The Germ Theory of Disease is no longer just a theory — specific germs that cause diseases have been identified.”

Specific phenomena which cause evolution have been identified.

Mutations and natural selection have been observed, but the observed frequency, magnitudes, and favorableness of mutations have not been nearly great enough to account for macroevolution. Also, favorable mutations and natural selection are not enough – there are also the problems of (1) the propagation of favorable mutations in organisms that reproduce sexually and (2) the co-evolution of co-dependent organisms.

“Superconductivity — this is not just a theory — it has actually been observed in a laboratory.”

Evolution has also been observed in the laboratory.

Most of the evolution that has been observed has been microevolution, whereas I am talking about macroevolution. The only example of observed macroevolution that I have heard of is the doubling of chromosomes in plants, and this does not begin to account for all of macroevolution.

Comment #78955

Posted by Henry J on February 11, 2006 1:39 PM (e)

Re “they’ll probably have no idea how the heck an electron can “fuzz out” across an atom.”
I wonder if physicists know [i]how[/i] it can do that, either. :)

Re “Saying that atomic theory “makes more sense” than evolutionary theory is an entirely subjective opinion”
Yeah, they’re both just extensions of common sense.

Henry

Comment #78959

Posted by Laser on February 11, 2006 1:48 PM (e)

Larry, masquerading as Andy, fooling nobody wrote:

My point was that this textbook probably has no other theories to criticize, so evolution theory was probably not being singled out so far as this book is concerned.

And there you have it: “probably has no other theories to criticize”. You don’t even know what’s in a high school biology textbook. You don’t know what other theories might be in there, do you? You didn’t even bother to pick one up and look in it before spouting your uninformed opinion, did you? Why bother to check the facts, especially if they contradict your worldview?

Comment #78960

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 1:50 PM (e)

Most of the evolution that has been observed has been microevolution, whereas I am talking about macroevolution. The only example of observed macroevolution that I have heard of is the doubling of chromosomes in plants, and this does not begin to account for all of macroevolution.

Andy’s limited familiarity with the relevant literature can not be seen as evidence for or against macroevolution.

Most of the evolution that has been directly observed has been microevolution. Much of the indirect observations show a coherent picture supportive of evolutionary theory.

Not bad for a theory eh?

Comment #78961

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 1:53 PM (e)

Either way, Miller’s claim seem to be different from what the limited quote suggested…

Comment #78969

Posted by Engineer-Poet, FCD, ΔΠΓ on February 11, 2006 2:38 PM (e)

Landarry H. Farfarfromsane wrote:

observed frequency, magnitudes, and favorableness of mutations have not been nearly great enough to account for macroevolution.

If that was true, it would be earth-shaking and get wide coverage among scientists; it would be a very hot area of research.  I’d like some cites in peer-reviewed publications to support that assertion.  Something like Nature or Science, and no baraminologists on the board.

Also, favorable mutations and natural selection are not enough — there are also the problems of (1) the propagation of favorable mutations in organisms that reproduce sexually and (2) the co-evolution of co-dependent organisms.

As long as I’m asking for the evidence which supports claims, you can

  1. Show that those are the only available mechanisms (good luck!),
  2. Name the problem with organisms which reproduce sexually (the exchange of plasmids is known to drive very fast evolution in bacteria, and recombination does things in diploid organisms), and
  3. State exactly what the problem is with co-evolution of organisms (again, with cites).

Not that I expect you to.  In the mean time, I’m going to set up a wind turbine to capitalize on the breeze from all your hand-waving.

Comment #78973

Posted by Registered User on February 11, 2006 2:45 PM (e)

I formally invite Casey Luskin to debate me on the legitimacy of the Discovery Institute as a pro-science enterprise, as opposed to a religion-promoting organization of lying charlatans.

The plane ticket and dinner will be paid for by me.

C’mon Casey. Think you’re up to it? Are you afraid that you’ll come out on the, uh, bottom?

Comment #78979

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 3:13 PM (e)

Hey Larry/Andy/whoever you are this week:

I’m still waiting to hear five “scientific arguments against evolution” that aren’t just recycled ID/creationist crap.

What seems to be the problem?

Comment #79013

Posted by egbooth on February 11, 2006 4:40 PM (e)

Per my e-mail request to Casey, he has now changed the quote on the Evolution News & Views website. The full quote from Ken Miller is there now.

I’m actually quite surprised that he responded so quickly to me.

That doesn’t make the article all that much better but at least he fixed the quote.

Comment #79014

Posted by David B. Benson on February 11, 2006 4:40 PM (e)

Re: “Belief is faith based …”

A probabilist, or Bayesian if you prefer, will be most unhappy with this misuse of the word “belief”. First of all, we have phrases such as “Take it on faith that …”. A probabilist translates this as “With high probability, despite the lack of evidence, …”.

A thorough-going probabilist is the most skeptical of all men, exceeding even David Hume. So everything, for such, is a belief held to a certain probability.

For example, looking out the window, I see the sun is shining. The thorough-going probabilist will translate this into “With probability almost, but not quite one: the sun is shining.”

Similarly with the theory of evolution:
With probability almost, but not quite one, neo-Darwin evolutionary theory is explainatory.

However, sometimes one must act based on little or no relevant evidence. The probabilist recommends used Bayesian techniques to the extent possible to sort out the probable consequences of various actions. The “leap of faith” is then to act.

Fortunately scientists can simply continue to study and produce more, relevant evidence. It is policy and rule makers who perforce have to make a “leap of faith”. We all wish this was done with a better understanding of the available evidence than we seem to have seen so far in the 21st century.

To summary, everybody has beliefs. Some are considered so certain that it is easier to simply say these are true. Examples: The sun is shining. Neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory is explainatory.

Finally, everyone has to have enough faith to act, irrespective of the quantity and quality of the evidence, theories, and computational resource (brain power) available to relate the evidence to outcomes. For more, read your favorite existentialist philosopher.

Comment #79022

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 5:10 PM (e)

Casey could at least give credit where credit is due… And perhaps explain his previous usage of Miller’s quote?

Comment #79023

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 5:17 PM (e)

So now Casey’s argument becomes even more strained

Luskin wrote:

This is a perplexing statement from Dr. Miller: he seems to say that if we permit students to question evolution, then they’ll question everything. But then he is afraid that somehow this policy would lead students to believe that we are “certain” about everything in science (which of course, all would agree is not true). Yet in reality, the critical analysis policy in Cobb County would really to lead to the view that students and scientists SHOULD ask hard questions. Now Miller is a widely reputed textbook author and I’m sure that he wants his students to ask hard questions, but when leading biologists oppose critical analsyis policies for such bizarre reasons, this surely will not inspire enthusiasm for science in students.

No he is saying that by restricting critical analysis to evolution only, it sends a message that may decrease the students’ critical thinking. Asking hard questions is good, pretending that hard questions only have a place in evolutionary science makes for poor policy.

Nice strawman Mr Luskin

Comment #79049

Posted by Andy H. on February 11, 2006 6:11 PM (e)

Comment #78979
Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 03:13 PM

I’m still waiting to hear five “scientific arguments against evolution” that aren’t just recycled ID/creationist crap.

I am very new to this – so I don’t know what is recycled and what is not. And the recycled stuff may be just oldies but goodies. And some old stuff may have been improved with new evidence and/or new arguments. Anyway, I have come up with criticisms of evolution theory that I have never seen anywhere. These criticisms concern (1) the propagation of favorable mutations in organisms that use sexual reproduction and (2) the co-evolution of two co-dependent species. And why are five arguments necessary, anyway ? Just one good argument is enough.

Comment #79052

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 6:25 PM (e)

Andy H wrote:

I am very new to this — so I don’t know what is recycled and what is not. And the recycled stuff may be just oldies but goodies. And some old stuff may have been improved with new evidence and/or new arguments. Anyway, I have come up with criticisms of evolution theory that I have never seen anywhere. These criticisms concern (1) the propagation of favorable mutations in organisms that use sexual reproduction and (2) the co-evolution of two co-dependent species. And why are five arguments necessary, anyway ? Just one good argument is enough.

What specifically are your criticisms? Perhaps the readers of PT can help you resolving these issues?

As to 2) evolution of co-dependence, I can easily envision a scenario of loose coupling followed by an ever increasing dependence. Sort of like an irreducibly complex scenario :-)

Some helpful links

Sp. A   Sp. B      SYMBIONT TYPE 

 +        -     PARASITISM/ PREDATION
 +        +           MUTUALISM
 +        0          COMMENSALISM 
 -        -          COMPETITION
 -        0          AMMENSALISM

Link

Comment #79053

Posted by Andy H. on February 11, 2006 6:25 PM (e)

Comment #78959
Posted by Laser on February 11, 2006 01:48 PM

“My point was that this textbook probably has no other theories to criticize, so evolution theory was probably not being singled out so far as this book is concerned.”

And there you have it: “probably has no other theories to criticize”. You don’t even know what’s in a high school biology textbook. You don’t know what other theories might be in there, do you? You didn’t even bother to pick one up and look in it before spouting your uninformed opinion, did you?

Hey, Mr. Know-it-all, instead of just criticizing, why don’t you name some other theories that might be in the book ? Or are you just a bag of hot air ?

Comment #79054

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 6:34 PM (e)

Andy H wrote:

However, atomic theory makes more sense than evolution theory and also is not contrary to some people’s religious beliefs, so there is no big movement to put atomic theory disclaimer stickers in textbooks.

You hit the nail right on the head. Evolutionary Science is contrary to some people’s religious beliefs

Now whether or not atomic theory makes more sense than evolution seems a bit subjective and may depend in large on the familiarity of said person to either theories. And are you sure that atomic theory would not go against the religious beliefs of some people?

Terry Gray observes

Evolutionary biology is not the only science that uses its conclusions to support a naturalistic worldview. The motions of the planets and other objects are well explained by Newton’s laws. The behavior of matter is understood in terms of atomic and mo lecular theories. Models in molecular biology and biochemistry are very successful in accounting for inheritance, disease, much physiology, and other biological phenomenon. To the unbelieving scientist, having a scientific explanation of some natural phenomenon is tantamount to saying that God is no longer needed as part of our explanation of the phenomenon. Even the weather, once thought by all to be in the domain of God’s providence, is now being modeled with sophisticated computers with some degree of success. Why don’t we get uneasy when chemists say that perfume diffusing from an open bottle to all parts of the room does so as a result of random, mechanical collisions between perfume and air molecules? (Interestingly, the 17th century theologians rejected the atomic theory on the basis that atomic explanations of matter were mechanistic and left no room for God.)

Link

Comment #79055

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 6:44 PM (e)

I am very new to this — so I don’t know what is recycled and what is not.

Which, naturally, doesn’t prevent you from running off at the mouth about it anyway.

And the recycled stuff may be just oldies but goodies.

How the hell would you know.

And some old stuff may have been improved with new evidence and/or new arguments.

How the hell would you know.

Anyway, I have come up with criticisms of evolution theory that I have never seen anywhere. These criticisms concern (1) the propagation of favorable mutations in organisms that use sexual reproduction

An ICR favorite.

and (2) the co-evolution of two co-dependent species.

Another ICR favorite.

And why are five arguments necessary, anyway? Just one good argument is enough.

Let us know when you have one.

But, since you’re too stupid to even recall what this discussion was about, I asked you to name five scientific arguments against evolution that weren’t already ruled illegal by courts as part of creationism or ID.

I’m still waiting.

BTW, Larry/Andy/whoever the hell you are now, if you don’t know anything about a topic, it’s generally a good idea to shut up about it. Far better to be quiet and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it.

But snce you don’t know diddley-doo about the topic, I see no point in discussing it further with you, now that the lurkers all see for themselves that you’re just a pig-ignorant loudmouthed crank.

Comment #79057

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 6:45 PM (e)

why don’t you name some other theories that might be in the book ? Or are you just a bag of hot air ?

Coming from the King of all Cranks, that is pretty damn funny.

Comment #79065

Posted by David B. Benson on February 11, 2006 7:17 PM (e)

Perhaps an analogy helps. The Simple Genetic Algorithm is a computer program based on the easiest parts of sexual inheritance plus a little random mutation. While based on genetics, everybody should understand that this computer program is an oversimplification of biology.

However, such programs do evolve innovations, even patentable ones. The cases I know about involve electronic circuits and also associated antennas (not to be confused with natural antennas).

NASA uses such a computer program to design electronics for the robotic missions to Mars, etc.

The resulting evolved circuits work well and give the appearance of intelligent design by an engineer. But there is no designer, only simple evolution.

Comment #79067

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 7:32 PM (e)

Hi Larry

Link

Scroll down to LarryFarma

To some people, ID is partly religious. To others, it is strictly science (or pseudoscience). Generally, it is the ID-bashers who insist on defining ID as being at least partly religious because then they can try to use the constitutional principle of church-state separation to attack it. Merely describing ID as pseudoscientific is not enough for the ID-bashers, because there is no constitutional separation of pseudoscience and state.

Though ID has been getting all the hoopla, there are other scientific (or pseudoscientific, if you prefer) criticisms of evolution theory that have little or nothing to do with “design,” intelligent or otherwise. Some of these other criticisms of evolution theory concern (1) the propagation of favorable mutations, (2) the mathematical probability of evolution, and (3) co-evolution of two co-dependent organisms, e.g., bees and flowering plants (though this co-dependence – called “mutualism” – could be a sort of irreducible complexity involving two organisms).

Comment #79071

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 7:46 PM (e)

Wow, when I mentioned IC when discussing co-evolution, it was much tongue in cheek. Seems that Andy H aka LarryFarma may hold a differing opinion

*****I don’t understand what you mean by “favorable mutations”.*****

Favorable (or beneficial) mutations are supposed to be the driving force behind evolution. Favorable mutations produce changes in an organism that are favored by natural selection. Most mutations that have been observed are unfavorable. In organisms that use sexual reproduction, the mechanisms of the propagation of favorable mutations though many generations need to be studied.

See for the creationist origins of this argument

An interesting study of sexual versus asexual reproduction was shown in snails under the stress of parasites. These Snails could reproduce sexually and asexually, the latter one requiring less energy. When faced with parasites, more snails would resort to sexual reproduction, allowing them to out-evolve the parasites.

See ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS AND THE MAINTENANCE OF SEX IN A FRESHWATER SNAIL

Also known as the Red Queen hypothesis

See also SEX AND RECOMBINATION

****I don’t understand co-evolution.****

Welcome to the club — I think that scientists do not understand it either, or at least it seems that they cannot adequately explain it.

Has Andy/Larry even tried to see how scientists explain co-evolution?

Co-evolution (sometimes spelled “coevolution”) is defined as the mutual evolutionary influence between two kinds of organisms which become totally dependent on each other for survival. The Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia’s article about co-evolution goes so far as to say, “few perfectly isolated examples of evolution can be identified — essentially all evolution is co-evolution.” A good example of co-dependence is the pollination of flowers by insects and birds. Sometimes a co-dependent organism has several features that are each closely coordinated with features of the other organism. Co-evolution is often much more of a problem than the kind of evolution which is mere adaptation to the fixed physical features of the environment (e.g., water, land, air, and climate), because sometimes neither of the two co-dependent organisms would initially possess the feature that the other organism must adapt to. A mutation that produces a co-dependent feature in one of the two organisms would provide no evolutionary advantage – and may even be detrimental to the organism – when the corresponding feature in the other organism is absent. Thus, co-dependent features could sometimes be considered to be a kind of “irreducible complexity” involving two organisms, i.e., sometimes two corresponding features must be present in both organisms to be functional, and sometimes it is necessary for two or more pairs of corresponding features to be present in both organisms.

Check out Schneider’s work on the co-evolution of binding sites for instance. It’s actually not that hard to understand how co-evolution may evolve.

Comment #79074

Posted by Ed Darrell on February 11, 2006 7:55 PM (e)

Hmmm. In keeping with the idea that bad ideas should be challenged …:

Do you think that Andy really believes that:

Andy wrote:

Just about the only theories that most secondary school students are ever taught in science classes are evolution theory and atomic theory.

Repeated surveys show that a minority of biology teachers in high school teach evolution. There is no way to stretch that sad fact to make a case that “moste secondary students” are ever taught evolution theory.

That’s why there are so many wacky creationists/IDists – they never learned evolution in the first place, and when the prevaricators (like Ken Ham) crank up their megaphones, most people don’t know he’s prevaricating from his first sentence.

Teach the facts. Teach evolution theory. THEN, if there is any controversy, consider it. But, TEACH THE FACTS FIRST.

Comment #79075

Posted by Ed Darrell on February 11, 2006 8:00 PM (e)

Pim,

That’s “Talk of the Nation” on NPR.

Thanks for pointing out the DI/Luskin error.

Comment #79076

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 8:06 PM (e)

More about the sexual versus asexual “puzzle” at Mark Ridley’s website

Comment #79077

Posted by Andy H. on February 11, 2006 8:14 PM (e)

Comment #79052
Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 06:25 PM

“These criticisms concern (1) the propagation of favorable mutations in organisms that use sexual reproduction and (2) the co-evolution of two co-dependent species.”

What specifically are your criticisms? As to 2) evolution of co-dependence, I can easily envision a scenario of loose coupling followed by an ever increasing dependence. Sort of like an irreducibly complex scenario

This is off-topic, and you get mad at people for going off-topic even when they are just responding to your questions. And I would not have even gotten started on this subject if Lenny Flank had not kept demanding an answer to his question, a question which I answered before. However, I will briefly answer your question.

As for the propagation of favorable mutations in organisms that use sexual reproduction, traits tend to disappear or diminish in succeeding generations unless the trait is dominant. Also, the propagation of favorable mutations would be very slow in organisms with slow rates of reproduction.

As for the co-evolution of two co-dependent organisms (by co-dependence I mean mutualism), this is not as simple as the kind of evolution which is adaptation to the fixed physical features of the environment (e.g., water, land, air, and climate ), because in co-evolution it would often happen that neither of the two co-dependent organisms would initially possess the feature that the other organism must adapt to. The features are often specifically adapted to the other organism, and oftentimes neither of the two kinds of organisms could survive unless large numbers of both kinds of organisms simultaneously appear out of nowhere possessing the corresponding features ! Thus, co-evolution can present even more of a problem than the irreducible complexity of a system in a single organism. Bees and flowering plants are one of the best known examples of co-dependence. The Wikipedia online encyclopedia’s article on co-evolution says, “few perfectly isolated examples of evolution can be identified: essentially all evolution is co-evolution.”

Comment #79081

Posted by MaxOblivion on February 11, 2006 8:39 PM (e)

Yes but what good is half an eye!

Comment #79082

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 8:40 PM (e)

Andy H wrote:

This is off-topic, and you get mad at people for going off-topic even when they are just responding to your questions. And I would not have even gotten started on this subject if Lenny Flank had not kept demanding an answer to his question, a question which I answered before. However, I will briefly answer your question.

If I were to get made for going off topic, would I have asked you for details. Typically I discourage getting off topic since it interferes with the original thread but your comments raised my interest. I found your answers discussed elsewhere and I hope that some of my responses are helpful in guiding you as to how evolutionary scientists explain these issue.

Co-evolution is only a problem when looking at the end result. However it is not that hard to imagine how strongly tied co-evolutionary scenarios can arise is a stepwise fashion from an initial loose connection to an increasingly tied connection.

Comment #79083

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 8:43 PM (e)

Ed Darrell wrote:

Pim,

That’s “Talk of the Nation” on NPR.

Thanks for pointing out the DI/Luskin error.

Geez what was I thinking

Comment #79096

Posted by Laser on February 11, 2006 9:32 PM (e)

Larry, masquerading as Andy, tried to change the subject and didn't answer my questions, wrote:

Hey, Mr. Know-it-all, instead of just criticizing, why don’t you name some other theories that might be in the book ? Or are you just a bag of hot air ?

The textbook the school district I live in uses Ken Miller’s fine textbook. It presents the following theories (this list is not complete, it just shows that there is more than one theory presented in the book):

The Atomic Theory of Matter
Pauling’s Theory of Chemical Bonding
Theory of Intermolecular Forces
Cell Theory
Diffusion Theory
Mendel’s Theory of Heredity
Evolution
and many more… (All of which I might add have substantial experimental evidence to support the theories.)

Other people pointed most of these out, but apparently you weren’t paying attention.

It is supremely ludicrous for you to accuse anyone on this board of “just criticizing” and not giving examples. That is all that intelligent design does.

Comment #79125

Posted by Chiefley on February 12, 2006 12:03 AM (e)

Oblivion asked…
“Yes but what good is half an eye!”

Answer: A photosensitive patch of skin has a lot of value.

Next question.

Comment #79151

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 2:23 AM (e)

Thanks Laser for educating us. I wonder what Larry/Andy has to say for himself? Perhaps, and hopefully, he is reading up on evolutionary science.

Comment #79152

Posted by Andy H. on February 12, 2006 2:43 AM (e)

Posted by Laser on February 11, 2006 09:32 PM

The textbook the school district I live in uses Ken Miller’s fine textbook.

Egads, you’re right – Miller is a co-author of the Cobb County textbook that got the stickers, and he testified at both the Cobb County and Dover trials !! Small world, isn’t it ?

Despite Miller’s above criticism of the stickers, Judge Ed Carnes, one of the three appeals court judges reviewing the Selman v. Cobb County decision, told a plaintiffs’ attorney, “I don’t think y’all can contest any of the sentences. It’s a theory, not a fact – the book supports that.” Very interesting.

It presents the following theories (this list is not complete, it just shows that there is more than one theory presented in the book):

The Atomic Theory of Matter, Pauling’s Theory of Chemical Bonding, Theory of Intermolecular Forces — these are most appropriate for chemistry and/or physics textbooks – I would not expect to see them in a biology textbook

Cell Theory – a rather trivial theory saying that living things are composed of cells – viruses are sort of an exception because they are different from cells in several ways – viruses are sort of on the borderline between living and non-living matter.

Diffusion Theory – I could not find a theory of diffusion – I could find only laws of diffusion, e.g., Fick’s Law

Mendel’s Theory of Heredity – Generally called Mendel’s Laws

Evolution — Yes

and many more… (All of which I might add have substantial experimental evidence to support the theories.)

Based on what you have presented here, my guess that evolution was the only theory in the book was not unreasonable.

Other people pointed most of these out, but apparently you weren’t paying attention.

Where ? I did not see any other lists of the book’s theories.

It is supremely ludicrous for you to accuse anyone on this board of “just criticizing” and not giving examples. That is all that intelligent design does.

So that is the best excuse you can give for not giving examples the first time ? Sheeeesh

Comment #79154

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 2:49 AM (e)

Stop embarassing yourself Andy. People have done you a favor by providing the relevant data.

Comment #79156

Posted by Marek 14 on February 12, 2006 3:04 AM (e)

I always understood that in organisms that reproduce sexually, new mutations (whether harmful, neutral, or beneficial), are frequently masked by dominant alleles, and so almost any mutation will spread better in sexual population than in asexual one.

Comment #79162

Posted by Andy H. on February 12, 2006 5:45 AM (e)

Comment #79071
Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 07:46 PM

“In organisms that use sexual reproduction, the mechanisms of the propagation of favorable mutations though many generations need to be studied.”

See for the creationist origins of this argument

Thanks for the info. It is becoming increasingly apparent that a lot of these so-called “creationist-inspired” and “ID-inspired” arguments are actually based on mainstream scientific literature.

It appears that sexual reproduction offers both advantages and disadvantages in the evolutionary process. For example, the preceding reference says, “evolutionists have traditionally explained the existence of sexual reproduction as a means to promote genetic variability and, therefore, increase the rate of evolution,” but says that on the other hand, “recombination breaks up favorable sets of genes that have accumulated through selection.” And as I said, there is the additional problem that propagation of favorable mutations in organisms with very low rates of reproduction would be very slow.

Check out Schneider’s work on the co-evolution of binding sites for instance. It’s actually not that hard to understand how co-evolution may evolve.

You gave no reference for this work. As for supposedly being “not that hard to understand,” evolutionists have a tendency to grossly oversimplify extremely complex issues.

Comment #79082 posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 08:40 PM

Co-evolution is only a problem when looking at the end result. However it is not that hard to imagine how strongly tied co-evolutionary scenarios can arise is a stepwise fashion from an initial loose connection to an increasingly tied connection.

As you quoted, “a mutation that produces a co-dependent feature in one of the two organisms would provide no evolutionary advantage — and may even be detrimental to the organism — when the corresponding feature in the other organism is absent.” For example, some kinds of pollen are especially suited to be spread by the wind and other kinds of pollen are especially suited to stick to the bodies of insects. A mutation producing the latter kinds of pollen would be useless unless there were already large numbers of bees or other pollinating insects in the environment. Fixed physical features of the environment like water, land, air, and climate are always widespread throughout the environment and hence are always available for organisms to adapt to, but a co-dependent feature of an organism is not widespread in the environment until that feature has propagated through the environment, and such propagation often cannot occur unless the corresponding feature of the other organism is already widespread in the environment. The only answer is that large numbers of both co-dependent organisms possessing the corresponding features would suddenly have to appear out of nowhere.

Actually, I greatly prefer discussions of the political, legal, social, and practical issues over discussions of the scientific, religious, and philosophical issues. Discussions of the latter kinds of issues can drag on forever and would still get nowhere in resolving what I see as the basic issue, the censorship of criticisms of evolution theory in the public schools. I prefer simple ideas that can be neatly summarized in simple statements like “there is no constitutional separation of bogus science and state” and “scientists can use evolution theory without believing that it is true.”

Comment #79164

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 12, 2006 5:52 AM (e)

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 02:49 AM (e)

Stop embarassing yourself Andy. People have done you a favor by providing the relevant data.

He isn’t embarrassing himself. Larry/Andy/Jon.B makes himself look ridiculous, but he sure isn’t embarrassed about it.

Take this thread. Ken Miller is quoted in a way that totally miss-represents his statement. Yet Larry (with aliases) is quite happy to defend that.

Comment #78883
Posted by Andy H. on February 11, 2006 03:27 AM (e)

At the Dover trial, Kenneth Miller said the following about the Cobb County textbook stickers —
“Now think about what this means to a student. It means to a student that you’re supposed to do this to evolution but that every other topic in that book need not be critically considered or examined with an open mind.”

It is just a biology textbook. Are there any other theories in the book besides evolution ? Probably all the other topics in the book are facts, so evolution was not being singled out for criticism among theories…

Larry/Andy H./Jon B. in my opinion is a guy with a lot of time on his hands. Rather than do something useful with that opportunity, he is just jerking people around, honing his debating skills by defending lost causes against some very smart people.

He should be embarrassed, I doubt that he is.

Comment #79168

Posted by Gav on February 12, 2006 8:09 AM (e)

“A photosensitive patch of skin has a lot of value”

Ah, but:

(i) what’s the use of half a photosensitive patch of skin?

(ii) if eyes evolved from ppos, why are there still ppos?

[Apologies]

Comment #79171

Posted by Jon Fleming on February 12, 2006 8:18 AM (e)

AndyH/LaLaLarry wrote:

The Atomic Theory of Matter, Pauling’s Theory of Chemical Bonding, Theory of Intermolecular Forces —- these are most appropriate for chemistry and/or physics textbooks — I would not expect to see them in a biology textbook,

Nobody cares what you expect. The fact is that those are in a biology textbook and therefore your claim about what theories are taught is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Comment #79176

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 12, 2006 9:16 AM (e)

Larry/Andy H./Jon B. in my opinion is a guy with a lot of time on his hands. Rather than do something useful with that opportunity, he is just jerking people around, honing his debating skills by defending lost causes against some very smart people.

I.e., he is a crank.

Comment #79184

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on February 12, 2006 10:34 AM (e)

Bennythejet (Comment #78884) was right.

If you feed a troll, that troll will eat the entire thread.

Comment #79187

Posted by MaxOblivion on February 12, 2006 11:04 AM (e)

Oblivion asked…
“Yes but what good is half an eye!”

Answer: A photosensitive patch of skin has a lot of value.

Next question.

Maybe you dont see my regular postings, but the reply you quoted was obviously a joke parodying Larrys argument. For thats all he can do re-hash arguments on creationist websites.

Comment #79189

Posted by Laser on February 12, 2006 11:38 AM (e)

Pierce Butler and Bennythejet,

You are correct. It’s not about the troll, though. He thinks it’s all about him, but it isn’t. It’s about providing facts, logic and reason so all the lurkers can see which side uses them and which side doesn’t.

Comment #79192

Posted by k.e. on February 12, 2006 12:09 PM (e)

Previously

Larry/Andy H./Jon B. in my opinion is a guy with a lot of time on his hands. Rather than do something useful with that opportunity, he is just jerking people around, honing his debating skills by defending lost causes against some very smart people.

I.e., he is a crank.

…er….m*sdebating skills might be more accurate.

Well…. a very common garden variety typical representative of Genus:
Creationist Intelligent Design crank who is TOTALLY and WILLFULLY IGNORANT of any science let alone biology.

Hey Larry tell us all about Meteors and Imaginary numbers, you know the ones the fairies use.
Larry is so confident of his supreme knowledge in this area that without reading ALL of the evidence against Creationist Intelligent Design at Dover he can STILL SAY the Judge got it wrong. Oh now I remember, he’s a right wingnut with some very reactionary identity politics issues.

And PvM I don’t know if you noticed that the diligence you have shown to try and HELP Larry is completely and immediately DELIBERATELY IGNORED. He has absolutely no interest in the facts. I know that you are doing a service for others who have a genuine desire to learn and for that reason Larry continues to be one the best advertisements for Creationist Intelligent Design.

Just watch he will post some garbage to try and distract everyone from his sad, sad ignorance.

So Larry Creationist Intelligent Design F.
tell us all about the problems you had with your parents, we’ve got ’til eternity.

Comment #79194

Posted by Andy H. on February 12, 2006 12:18 PM (e)

Comment #79171
Posted by Jon Fleming on February 12, 2006 08:18 AM

The Atomic Theory of Matter, Pauling’s Theory of Chemical Bonding, Theory of Intermolecular Forces —- these are most appropriate for chemistry and/or physics textbooks — I would not expect to see them in a biology textbook,

Nobody cares what you expect. The fact is that those are in a biology textbook and therefore your claim about what theories are taught is wrong, wrong, wrong.

The issue here is not whether I was right or wrong, but whether I was unreasonable in my assumption that evolution theory was the only theory in the textbook. I was not aware that this biology textbook includes an introduction to chemistry. I think that this whole issue has been blown out of proportion. People who are unable to counter me on the big issues nit-pick me on the little ones.

As for Kenneth Miller, I would not use any of his textbooks. The guy is a nutcase who stereotypes ID proponents as being religiously motivated.

Comment #79199

Posted by k.e. on February 12, 2006 12:35 PM (e)

Viola Larry….er you do play don’t you?

As predicted change the subject and try something else.

As for Kenneth Miller, I would not use any of his textbooks

That’s great so now you are going to shut up about teaching biology AND religion in high school science classes since you can’t and won’t even learn grade 9 biology, after your complete failure on every other argument what is that not a surprise?

Classic Larry.

The guy is a nutcase who stereotypes ID proponents as being religiously motivated.

hahahahahahaha

you meant to say Larry you old Creationist Intelligent Design proponent

Dr Miller stereotypes Creationist Intelligent Design propagandists being religiously motivated.

Funny how the Judge in Dover agreed with him.

Comment #79200

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 12, 2006 12:40 PM (e)

Posted by Andy H. on February 12, 2006 12:18 PM (e)

Comment #79171
Posted by Jon Fleming on February 12, 2006 08:18 AM

The Atomic Theory of Matter, Pauling’s Theory of Chemical Bonding, Theory of Intermolecular Forces —- these are most appropriate for chemistry and/or physics textbooks — I would not expect to see them in a biology textbook,

Nobody cares what you expect. The fact is that those are in a biology textbook and therefore your claim about what theories are taught is wrong, wrong, wrong.

The issue here is not whether I was right or wrong, but whether I was unreasonable in my assumption that evolution theory was the only theory in the textbook. I was not aware that this biology textbook includes an introduction to chemistry. I think that this whole issue has been blown out of proportion. People who are unable to counter me on the big issues nit-pick me on the little ones.

As for Kenneth Miller, I would not use any of his textbooks. The guy is a nutcase who stereotypes ID proponents as being religiously motivated.

Good grief.

a. Luskin quotes Ken Miller out of context.
b. You defend it saying “evolution was not singled out as it was the only theory in the book”.
c. You are pointed out to be in error.
d. You then claim that people are just nit-picking.

Comment #79310

Posted by Chiefley on February 13, 2006 1:36 AM (e)

RE: Comment #79187

MaxOblivion, you are right. I didnt realize you were being sarcastic. I am new around these parts. I withdraw my answer because it compromises your very funny posting.

Ok, but now is Gav (#79168) serious or is he sustaining the parody?

Comment #79313

Posted by Andy H. on February 13, 2006 2:05 AM (e)

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 12, 2006 12:40 PM

Good grief.

I agree.

a. Luskin quotes Ken Miller out of context.

(1) I don’t agree that Luskin quoted Miller out of context; (2) even if Miller was quoted out of context, I am not responsible ; and (3) I correctly interpreted Miller’s full statement.

b. You defend it saying “evolution was not singled out as it was the only theory in the book”.

I only said that evolution was “probably” the only theory in the book, because the book was a biology text. I even added that maybe other theories in other textbooks should have disclaimer stickers as well.

c. You are pointed out to be in error.

OK, so I made a little mistake, and I was corrected – but not politely. I wonder why so many commenters on this website cannot correct others without calling them stupid, ignorant, lazy, etc.. In fact, Laser was familiar with the textbook, but instead of correcting me in his first post on the subject, he just flamed me. Think of all the space and time that are wasted here by responses like that.

d. You then claim that people are just nit-picking.

They are. Give me a break – please.

Comment #79317

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 13, 2006 2:28 AM (e)

wonder why so many commenters on this website cannot correct others without calling them stupid, ignorant, lazy, etc..

Naw, it’s just you, larry. all of these terms simply define the behavior YOU have exhibited:

stupidity
ignorance
laziness
etc.

One does begin to wonder just how dense you are that you can’t take the hint and bug out.

oh, and why are you posting under the name Andy H. now? I still can’t figure that one out….on second thought, i really could care less. Just go,and stop making such a fool of yourself; it’s hard to watch.

Comment #79376

Posted by Laser on February 13, 2006 8:42 AM (e)

Larry, masquerading as Andy, wrote:

OK, so I made a little mistake, and I was corrected — but not politely. I wonder why so many commenters on this website cannot correct others without calling them stupid, ignorant, lazy, etc.. In fact, Laser was familiar with the textbook, but instead of correcting me in his first post on the subject, he just flamed me. Think of all the space and time that are wasted here by responses like that.

I was not polite because you have not shown yourself to be worthy of politeness. However, if you look at my posts, you will see that I never called you any names.

OK, so I made a little mistake

A little mistake? Not knowing what is in a high school biology textbook, if you are going to discuss it, is a HUGE mistake!

In fact, Laser was familiar with the textbook, but instead of correcting me in his first post on the subject, he just flamed me. Think of all the space and time that are wasted here by responses like that.

Classic Larry! Posts that point out your mistakes are a waste of space and time!

I was indeed familiar with the biology textbook, but it’s not incumbent upon me to give examples of other theories. It was clear from your first post that you don’t know the first thing about what is in a high school biology textbook, but that didn’t hinder you at all from voicing your uninformed opinion. I just pointed that fact out for all to see. Then, when presented with the examples of other theories, you respond with a Wikipedia-level summary of each of them. Regradless of All I’m asking is what everyone else on this board is asking: that you actually know something about the topics on which you speak. (Anyone remember imaginary numbers?)

Please spare us the lecture on politeness. I was blunt but civil in my posts.

Comment #79444

Posted by Andy H. on February 13, 2006 1:09 PM (e)

Posted by Laser on February 13, 2006 08:42 AM
I was not polite because you have not shown yourself to be worthy of politeness.

How have I not shown myself to be worthy of politeness? Please be specific.

However, if you look at my posts, you will see that I never called you any names.

One can be impolite without calling names. You don’t have to call someone ignorant – you can just say that you don’t know this or that which you are supposed to know. You don’t have to call someone lazy – you can just say that you didn’t do this or that which you were supposed to do.

A little mistake? Not knowing what is in a high school biology textbook, if you are going to discuss it, is a HUGE mistake!

I did not know what was in THIS particular biology textbook. I did not even know who wrote it. I just made a reasonable guess that it did not have an introduction to chemistry, because that is a separate high school subject.

Posts that point out your mistakes are a waste of space and time!

Yes, they are a waste of space and time if they do not provide the correct information !

I was indeed familiar with the biology textbook, but it’s not incumbent upon me to give examples of other theories.

It was incumbent upon you, because you were the one who raised the objection to my statement.

It was clear from your first post that you don’t know the first thing about what is in a high school biology textbook

As I said, I did not know what was in THIS particular biology textbook.

Then, when presented with the examples of other theories, you respond with a Wikipedia-level summary of each of them.

“Wikipedia-level summary” – LOL. A brief summary was all that was required ! And BTW, I have found Wikipedia to be an excellent reference – the articles are generally comprehensive, up-to-date, unbiased, and usually accurate. I often go to Wikipedia first for an introduction to a topic.

Regradless of All I’m asking is what everyone else on this board is asking: that you actually know something about the topics on which you speak. (Anyone remember imaginary numbers?)

Yes, I remember imaginary numbers, and the fact that I was the only one who understood their application to AC circuit analysis. Since then I have switched to “phasors,” which are vectors that rotate around the origin in the complex plane, because their lack of a direct physical relationship to AC circuits is much more obvious than that of imaginary numbers.

Please spare us the lecture on politeness. I was blunt but civil in my posts.

In your first statement, you admitted that you were not polite, but now you say that you were “civil.” Which is it ?

My biggest problem was not with your bluntness, but with your initial failure to provide a list of some of the theories that I omitted. Your first post on this subject was in violation of Rules 1 and 4 of the Panda’s Thumb Comment Integrity Policy. Rule 1 prohibits “spam” among other things, and Rule 4 prohibits posts that are “inappropriate to the topic of the entry post, excessively inflammatory, or otherwise disruptive of substantive commentary.”

If you want to do something constructive, why don’t you rebut my comments about co-evolution and the propagation of favorable mutations in sexual reproduction (Comment #79162 ) – if you can.

Comment #79447

Posted by k.e. on February 13, 2006 1:16 PM (e)

Bwhahhahahhahahhah
Larry you take the cake !!!
Funniest thing I’ve seen for a month.
Breath taking inanity.

Run along now, your village called, they want their idiot back.

Comment #79453

Posted by Laser on February 13, 2006 1:39 PM (e)

Hahahahahahahahahaha!

Stop it Larry, my sides hurt from laughing so much!

Classic Larry!

Comment #79475

Posted by Engineer-Poet, FCD, ΔΠΓ on February 13, 2006 3:13 PM (e)

Landarry H. Farfarfromsane is still sticking to the “no physical significance of imaginary numbers/phasors” nonsense!  He just cannot admit error.  Simply amazing.

Where have I seen denial like that before besides creatonuts?  Oh yeah, here.

Comment #79494

Posted by AC on February 13, 2006 4:13 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Yes, I remember imaginary numbers, and the fact that I was the only one who understood their application to AC circuit analysis.

Suuuure you were.

Your revisionist approach to history is not surprising.

Comment #79528

Posted by Gav on February 13, 2006 6:22 PM (e)

Chiefley asked:

“is Gav (#79168) serious or is he sustaining the parody?”

A recurrent theme on this site is how hard it can be to distinguish parody from some of the arguments used by real creationists.

The interesting thing here though is that while a creationist may ask questions like “what use is half an eye?” without (as was remarked about jesting Pilate) staying for the answer, they may actually be quite reasonable questions in themselves. One might, I suppose, learn a fair bit of biology by studying around them.

Comment #79577

Posted by Ocellated on February 13, 2006 8:54 PM (e)

Nobody quote mines like the Discovery Institute. They have it down to an artform actually. Take the words someone said, and reverse the meaning completely.

Comment #80020

Posted by Henry J on February 15, 2006 12:00 AM (e)

Re “One might, I suppose, learn a fair bit of biology by studying around them.”

Or the attention they bring to the subject might cause some people to read stuff about the subject, who would otherwise have likely never paid it much (if any) attention.

Henry

Comment #80030

Posted by Anton Mates on February 15, 2006 1:09 AM (e)

Larry Fafarman wrote:

Yes, I remember imaginary numbers, and the fact that I was the only one who understood their application to AC circuit analysis. Since then I have switched to “phasors,” which are vectors that rotate around the origin in the complex plane, because their lack of a direct physical relationship to AC circuits is much more obvious than that of imaginary numbers.

For anyone who has’t worked with complex numbers yet: A phasor, as Larry uses the term, is a complex number. A complex number is simply a sum of a real and an imaginary number. So when Larry says that “phasors” are somehow more removed (or more obviously removed or whatever) from the physical world than imaginary numbers, he’s talking crazy again.

Not that you couldn’t have guessed that simply on statistical grounds at this point.

Comment #80585

Posted by Lynn on February 17, 2006 2:40 PM (e)

Andy/Larry/whoever says… “The issue here is not whether I was right or wrong, but whether I was unreasonable in my assumption that evolution theory was the only theory in the textbook. I was not aware that this biology textbook includes an introduction to chemistry.”

*All* biology textbooks include discussion of atomic theory, plate tectonics theory, etc. *All* of them. Because, you see, biology isn’t some isolated activity. There isn’t really a “biology” science, and a “chemistry” science, and a “physics” science–there’s just “science”–our pursuit of understanding of our universe. And all these disciplines are intricately intertwined with each other. Particularly in our modern world, our understanding of biology is tightly interwoven with chemistry, physics and geology. You can’t adequately come to understand biology unless you first understand a bit of physics and a lot of chemistry.

So the only reason that you would be surprised about finding that biology textbooks contain, besides the apparently “pure biology” theories like evolutionary theory, cell theory, and the germ theory of disease, also contain atomic theory, plate tectonics theory, etc., is that you are simply ignorant about the realities of biology and the broader understanding of science.