UNM Awards Genie Scott with Honorary Doctorate of Science

| 147 Comments

John Geissman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico (UNM) issued this Press Release formally this week:

On Friday, 15 February, 2008, the University of New Mexico Board of Regents voted unanimously to approve the recommendation forwarded by the UNM Honorary Degree Committee and the Faculty Senate Graduate Committee that Dr. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from UNM. The nomination, spearheaded by Professor John Geissman, now Chair of Earth and Planetary Sciences, was enthusiastically endorsed by the faculty from Earth and Planetary Sciences, Biology, and Anthropology.

The nomination letter stated,

She works tirelessly and travels endlessly, to eloquently and patiently inform the citizens of the United States about issues centering on how science should be taught in the classroom and how science, which tells us how the natural world works, can be distinguished from other ways of knowing.

Dr. Scott, who holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, was on the Faculty of the University of Colorado before becoming the Executive Director of the NCSE in 1987. Professor Geissman, who attended the Regents meeting on 15 February, remarked to the Regents,

I and my many colleagues and many, many citizens of New Mexico thank you for standing up for science. This is a celebration of what we have learned about the natural world around us, and what we have yet to learn!

She will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science on Saturday, 17 May, 2008, in the University of New Mexico Arena.

John W. Geissman Professor and Chair Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences University of New Mexico

147 Comments

Well deserved

Congratulations, Dr. Scott!

Congratulations - it’s lovely to see this recognition

Awesome!! :-)

A great day for science and an honour richly deserved. Eugenie Scott’s long unbeaten innings, batting for science, has reduced the gaggle of quacks representing NeoCreo into mere stock bowlers, who are getting hit all over the park. Barely 6 years ago BillyD was making all sorts of threatening noises and could manage to debate real scientists. Today he is a mere footnote, and his threats to drive “Darwinism” into the stone age sound phoney. Reminds me of that priceless line from “Shark” about how Elvis reacted to The Beatles, supposedly telling Lennon that if should hurt a King kill him. The next thing we knew Elvis was reduced to wearing sequined suits and performing in Vegas!

How about a consolation prize for the neoCreos?

ABC/Larry,

Intelligent people who contribute positively and broadly are given honorary degrees. This is a well deserved honor for Eugene Scott.

Watching the trolls of Panda’s thumb demonstrate there is no rational other side.

Perhaps you should read Thank God for Evolution to help you with your struggles.

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Pardon my previous french.

“IMO it is a bad idea to give honorary degrees to controversial people. Judge Jones is another example. Or at least such an honorary degree should be balanced by an honorary degree to the other side. How about an honorary degree for an ID’er?”

Controversial? Who is she controversial with, other than those creationist quacks who seek to destroy science?

So let me get this straight: An institution that is sworn to the advancement of science should refuse to honor one of its most stalwart defenders because those who oppose their mission the most might be displeased?

As a display of logical argument, that was a singularly incompetent effort.

“Are you comparing BillyD to Elvis? That is quite a compliment.

The Beatles didn’t overshadow Elvis. One of Elvis’s problems was that he was old-hat when the Beatles came along. Elvis is still very popular – for example, we have lots of Elvis impersonators today. I have never seen Beatles impersonators.”

It only requires a single individual of low to moderate talent to be an Elvis impersonator. It requires four individuals interacting precisely to impersonate the Beatles. The difficulty is orders of magnitude greater. Nevertheless, a quick Google search reveals dozens of Beatles tribute bands.

So far you’re 0 for 2.

Re ABC/Larry,

…an honorary degree should be balanced by an honorary degree to the other side.

I couldn’t disagree more. Shouldn’t the UNM Faculty have the academic freedom to decide whose accomplishments are worthy of being honored? Why should they be forced to acknowledge “both sides” of a “controversy” manufactured and propagated by one side?

Forcing UNM to also grant on honorary degree to an ID advocate makes as much sense as it would be to force CUNY to award a degree to David Irving to “balance” the degree awarded to Deborah Lipstadt.

Or to compel Duke University to “balance” the honorary degree awarded to Nobel laureate Steven Chu with another degree to “Free Electricity” huckster Dennis Lee.

Remember, ABC/Larry, ID is not about a scientific controversy, it is about a political and religious controversy whipped up by people who believe in creationism, but don’t want to admit that in public.

How about an honorary degree for an ID’er?

What piddling contribution to science has any Intelligent Design proponent ever done that was worth giving an honorary degree in the last 2 decades?

I don’t even know of any accomplishment by any Intelligent Design proponent in the last 20 years that even warranted giving a gold star sticker.

I have never seen Beatles impersonators.

The fact that Larry has never seen Beatlemania or a tribute band must mean that they don’t exist.

ABC/Larry Wrote:

Or at least such an honorary degree should be balanced by an honorary degree to the other side.

How about the Ig Nobel Prize?

ABC/Larry Wrote:

What did Judge Jones do to earn his honorary degrees?.

Among other things he and his family endured death threats from some of your buddies.

one of Eugenie Scott’s crimes is using religion to promote Darwinism in the public schools.

*sigh*

why the hell do you put up with this nutter?

when has he EVER done anything but spew idiocy in order to derail what otherwise would have been good threads?

It’s become beyond tiresome.

ABC/Larry wrote:

Michael Behe is a household name

. OJ Simpson is also a household name, as were Al Capone, Dahmer, Son of Sam, etc.

Behe’s own department chose to distance itself from Behe, deservedly. Perhaps Biola university may grant a honorary degree to Behe, but who will care besides the likes of ABC/Larry?

Congrats to Eugenie Scott, well deserved after so much work.

How about the Ig Nobel Prize?

How about tar and feather? Isn’t that the honored US tradition for running scammers out of town?

– one of Eugenie Scott’s crimes is using religion to promote Darwinism in the public schools.

I thought she was promoting the benefits of good science in the public schools by keeping the elements of religion where they belong - out of the science curriculum.

Also, Intelligent Design proponent Michael Behe is a household name whereas relatively few people have heard of Eugenie Scott.

True, but when you abandon your scientific training to promote religion it’s bound to get you noticed. As Behe conceded, if ID is science, then so is astrology.

What did Judge Jones do to earn his honorary degrees?

He may have been one of your ‘good ol’ boys’ but, once he saw what your side were up to, he had the intelligence and strength of character to do something about it.

I have sent a protest email to the Board of Regents and the President of UNM.

Good for you. I guess that’s about the only pro-active stance an ID supporter can take. After all, there isn’t much any ID science to promote.

Dave Thomas Wrote:

Remember, ABC/Larry, ID is not about a scientific controversy, it is about a political and religious controversy whipped up by people who believe in creationism, but don’t want to admit that in public.

I’m not sure what you mean by “believe in creationism,” but most of the ones who favor the “don’t ask, don’t tell what the designer did, when or how” approach either admit outright that the “6-day, ~6000 year ago independent origin of ‘kinds’” model is nonsense, or seem to know it. If anything, it looks like the chief ID peddlers don’t want to admit that the evidence does favor evolution (macro and all). Just not their “Darwinism” caricature.

I’m not saying that they don’t honestly believe that the designer intervenes, but they never fully deny that species changes occur “in vivo.” Behe even admits it outright, and no other chief IDer has challenged him directly.

Mike Elzinga:

ABC/Larry Wrote:

Or at least such an honorary degree should be balanced by an honorary degree to the other side.

How about the Ig Nobel Prize?

I don’t think that they’d even qualify for the Ig Nobels. They’re not doing anything innovatively bad; they’re just churning out yet more of the same old run-of-the-mill bad.

Presumably, if Dr Dr Dembski needs to acquire another doctorate to keep one ahead of Dr Dr Scott, he just needs to buy one from one of those degree mills that keep spamming the Internet.

Congratulations Dr. Scott.

I trust you will appreciate that it is just my warped sense of humor that forces me to say that, honorary or not, you’re still not a real doctor, like Michael Egnor. ;-)

ABC/Larry:

IMO it is a bad idea to give honorary degrees to controversial people.

Well, tough.

IMO, Dr. Scott is not a controversial figure - rather, she opposes those who wish to generate controversy over science education to serve their own agendas.

… Or at least such an honorary degree should be balanced by an honorary degree to the other side. How about an honorary degree for an ID’er?

Well, when an IDCproponentsist makes a significant positive contribution to either science or science education, maybe they will get an honorary degree from a real university (y’know, one that actually does science).

But, you know what? I shan’t hold my breath. None of the IDists has yet to show even an inclination to make a positive contribution. Everything they do is negative. For instance, Behe and Gonzales both ceased to publish a significant amount of real science since becoming involved with ID.

rimpal: Reminds me of that priceless line from “Shark” about how Elvis reacted to The Beatles, supposedly telling Lennon that if should hurt a King kill him. The next thing we knew Elvis was reduced to wearing sequined suits and performing in Vegas!

Are you comparing BillyD to Elvis? That is quite a compliment.

Of course, rational people will notice that the analogy is limited.

The Beatles didn’t overshadow Elvis. One of Elvis’s problems was that he was old-hat when the Beatles came along.

Erm … oxymoron alert.

Elvis is still very popular – for example, we have lots of Elvis impersonators today.

Or maybe it is simply that his status was sufficiently iconic that even a poor impersonation is instantly recognised. Or it could be that Elvis’s accent is easier to mimic than that of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

I have never seen Beatles impersonators.

Google “the Bootleg Beatles”.

Coming back to the OP, I want to note that the nomination for this degree, conferred by UNM as a whole, was,

“spearheaded by Professor John Geissman, now Chair of Earth and Planetary Sciences, was enthusiastically endorsed by the faculty from Earth and Planetary Sciences, Biology, and Anthropology.”

This shows how important evolution (and associated topics such as age of the earth, and, well, good science) is, not only to biology but to other fields as well.

It is heartening to see honest science, and an understanding of what it is, through the work of Dr. Scott, supported and honored by UNM. Perhaps those PT readers who are faculty members of universities around the country could make similar nominations, as a way of beginning a “support good science” movement.

Congratulations to Dr. Scott and congratulations to the University of New Mexico. You have shown intellectual integrity and moral courage. Thank you.

“I have sent a protest email to the Board of Regents and the President of UNM.”

I’m not acquainted with the members of the University of New Mexico Board of Regents, so I’m not sure how they’ll view your protest, but the new President of UNM, Dr. Dave Schmidly, is a well respected biologist who has spent his career working on evolutionary issues. I suspect he’ll get a laugh out of your protest.

ABC/Larry:

Dave Thomas: Remember, ABC/Larry, ID is not about a scientific controversy, it is about a political and religious controversy whipped up by people who believe in creationism, but don’t want to admit that in public.

That is a hypocritical statement –

Liar. It is a true statement. I.e. one that reports verifiable facts.

one of Eugenie Scott’s crimes is using religion to promote Darwinism in the public schools.

Repeating the same lie over and over does not make it true, dimwit.

You have never provided any evidence to support your assertion about “Darwinism” being a religion, yet you make it frequently. You have never responded to the frequent substantive criticisms of this statement. You have never even responded to requests to explain exactly how MET (modern evolutionary theory) has the appearance of a religion, except in the most trivial fashion.

Again, your use of the term “Darwinism” is a rhetorical tactic intended to mislead. Calling MET “Darwinism” is analogous to calling quantum electrodynamics “Maxwellism”, i.e. nonsensical. MET is so far removed from Darwin’s original theory that, while it contains components of Darwin’s original ideas, there is so much more to it that Darwin would not recognise it (although, given the opportunity to understand it, I am sure he would be delighted with the quality of the evidence that now supports his core theses).

The UNM’s Board of Regents should not presume to speak for the entire university community in regard to the controversy over evolution.

Erm … yes, I think they can speak for the entire university. Of course, members of faculty are free to speak out against the decision. Have they?

Once again, you are using rhetoric to mislead. There is no controversy over the science of evolution. The only controversy that exists is that whipped up by dishonest creationists (such as the DI fellows) over what should be taught in schools.

Also, Intelligent Design proponent Michael Behe is a household name whereas relatively few people have heard of Eugenie Scott.

Er, no. Michael Behe is a laughing stock in science. His own colleagues at Lehigh have disavowed any professional association with him. I suspect that, outside of the bruit over the teaching of good science (i.e. MET), very few US citizens have heard of him.

What did Judge Jones do to earn his honorary degrees?

Erm … maintain his integrity despite pressure from the lunatic creo fundies?

Copy from an ACLU brief and change a few words here and there?

Ooh, there’s that libel coming out again.

If you think that Judge Jones behaved improperly, I suggest you take that to court. You could probably sell ringside seats. Some people would pay to watch you getting your derriere handed to you in court.

…I have sent a protest email to the Board of Regents and the President of UNM.

Unless you are a member of UNM faculty, what business is it of yours to whom they confer degrees?

Are you a member of UNM faculty?

Also, Beatle John Lennon said that he was inspired by Elvis. The Elvis v. Beatles analogy is stupid.

No. Not stupid. Not as long as its limitations are recognised. What would be stupid is failing to recognise its limitations and attempting to apply it beyond its use to illustrate a point.

Oh, well.

ABC / Larry, since you seem to consider Michael Behe a key figure in the fight against the teaching of evolution, perhaps you could tell us a few things about what you think about him…

(1) Do you agree with Behe that the Earth is over 4 billion years old?

(2) Do you agree with Behe that the evidence for universal common descent is overwhelming?

(3) Do you agree with Behe that most biological change is caused by mechanisms described in MET (he claims only that some biological change cannot be)?

(4) Additionally, given that the teaching of any form of creationism is clearly unconstitutional, and that the so-called “weaknesses” of MET are based on misrepresentations of the theory, what would you have taught instead of MET?

How is it that an anthropologist carries the water for biologists when your standard argument against any opponent of evolution is always, “the’re not a biologist”? Well it’s one way to get some sort of recognizable credential.

I see she left CU to assume her post as your arms bearer, why didn’t she bring Ward Churchill along, he’s an equally proficient intellect.

Being recommended by David Schmidly tells me a lot. A two time loser from Texas Tech and an Aggie Land OSU in Stillwater. Yeh! And New Mexico State a real Harvard on the Desert. Wonder how many schools they had to try before they found one with a big enough squid population to give a degree to high priestess of atheism.

Congratulations to E. Scott. Her book E vs C is one of my favorites.

Keith Eaton: Wonder how many schools they had to try before they found one with a big enough squid population to give a degree to high priestess of atheism.

Looks like Christianity has not civilized you Keith. It is the boorish behavior of people like you that drives many people to atheism/agnostism and other tolerant religions like Buddhism.

With friends like you Keith, Christianity does not need any enemies.

Go make a video or something like Dembski.

The creationist coward hiding behind the username ABC/Larry joked: “…Intelligent Design proponent Michael Behe is a household name whereas relatively few people have heard of Eugenie Scott.”

The ex-scientist Behe is a “household name” primarily because he is widely known as the buffoon who helped the intelligent design creationists lose the Dover trial by (among many other gaffes) admitting that astrology should be a “science” under the creationists’ definition of science.

And Behe’s own employer is so embarrassed by him that they have issued a disclaimer: “The (Department of Biological Sciences) faculty, then, are unequivocal in their support of evolutionary theory, which has its roots in the seminal work of Charles Darwin and has been supported by findings accumulated over 140 years. The sole dissenter from this position, Prof. Michael Behe, is a well-known proponent of “intelligent design.” - http://www.lehigh.edu/bio/news/evolution.htm

People like that don’t get honorary degrees from actual colleges and universities. Perhaps you could arrange for an honorary degree for Behe from Bob Jones University or Biola?

Dave,

Thanks Dave. This is the best fun we have had in a long time since ID-Creo imploded at Dover. With Keith Eaton and FL/LF/ABC/XYZ/Larry providing the fun, our cup of joy runneth over.

Keith,

“ID intellects” That’s an oxymoron.

All that jibberish and not a syllable of response to the challenge to your now assumed to be falsified theory.

One would think that a person you decry in every post would never be able to propose a challenge to the combined intellects that inhabit these environs and yet in summary the response to the challenge to your most critical and cherished presumptive proposition is a flood of meaningless diatribes and petty insults.

In one of my management positions I recall JAD as an accelerated design methodology, Joint Application Design where, in the process of developing a software system, all stakeholding disciplines were represented in the process to affirm the approach, etc.

What I note is the ever shrinking circle of disciplines that support evolution writ large…there’s biology, followed by biologists, ..then of course the ever resplendent biology.

I suppose that’s why the extraordinary intellects in the ID camp from math, physics, medical science, chemistry, engineering and well yes, biology are so distained by the shrinking population of true believers.

Oh, I forgot the H.S. graduate Leakeys and fellow bone polishers.

The sound of circling wagons is rather loud.

The sound of circling wagons is rather loud.

I think you are mistaking that for the screaming sound of projection.

Congrats to Dr. Scott! She has my deep appreciation both as a biologist and as a Christian.

Keith is the funniest of the bunch. Here’s laughing at you Keith.

Congratulations Dr. Dr. Scott.

Keith Eaton:

All that jibberish and not a syllable of response to the challenge to your now assumed to be falsified theory.

Not “a” syllable? What about several dozen syllables?

Dave Thomas: In particular, please stop feeding the troll calling himself or herself “Keith Eaton.” This person has no clue where the degree even came from (New Mexico State? NMU?), thinks that personal insults are like “evidence,” and insists that evolution (e.g. “descent with modification,” which certainly DOES explain how a marvelous variety of life-forms can descend from creatures as simple as single-celled bacteria) is somehow falsified because science is still learning about the “first replicator.”

Keith Eaton: One would think that a person you decry in every post would never be able to propose a challenge to the combined intellects that inhabit these environs and yet in summary the response to the challenge to your most critical and cherished presumptive proposition is a flood of meaningless diatribes and petty insults.

Speaking of “petty insults,” guess who has mentioned the following on this post?

Keith Eaton: This is how stupid you and your peers are. …

You ignorant moron…

You dumbos …

I do recall a few rude evo types, the ones that stink, unshaven, tatooed, and generally ignorant. …

I nominate “Keith Eaton” as a canonical example of “hypocrite”…

In one of my management positions I recall JAD as an accelerated design methodology, Joint Application Design where, in the process of developing a software system, all stakeholding disciplines were represented in the process to affirm the approach, etc.

FYI, JAD = John A. Davison, the “I love it so” wank who doesn’t even know the difference between a blog post and a blog…

What I note is the ever shrinking circle of disciplines that support evolution writ large…there’s biology, followed by biologists, ..then of course the ever resplendent biology.

This is clearly contradicted by the opening post, in which it was explained that Scott’s awarding of a UNM doctorate was

spearheaded by Professor John Geissman, now Chair of Earth and Planetary Sciences, [and] was enthusiastically endorsed by the faculty from Earth and Planetary Sciences, Biology, and Anthropology.

Keith Eaton: I suppose that’s why the extraordinary intellects in the ID camp from math, physics, medical science, chemistry, engineering and well yes, biology are so distained by the shrinking population of true believers.

Oh, I forgot the H.S. graduate Leakeys and fellow bone polishers.

“Extraordinary intellects” do not misspell “disdained” as “distained.”

Like I said, “a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing…

Dave

Congratulations to Genie Scott!

Isn’t an honorary degree a lot like a degree from a diploma mill, except free? Well, in that case, congratulations Dr. Scott, you earned it.

Wouldn’t it be more impressive to just award her the Humanist Medal of Honor

Kieth Eaton, please do continue to pop in here and shine the light of logic on the PT-mafia. I’d love to see somebody like you toast these guys in a debate (if they did not avoid, the bright light of debating intellectual giants).

Keith Eaton wrote:

What I note is the ever shrinking circle of disciplines that support evolution writ large…there’s biology, followed by biologists, ..then of course the ever resplendent biology.

I suppose that’s why the extraordinary intellects in the ID camp from math, physics, medical science, chemistry, engineering and well yes, biology are so disdained by the shrinking population of true believers.

The engineers, physicists, and mathematicians responsible for the hardware and software that enabled the internet and most things useful to mankind are owed a deep debt of gratitude by the lesser lights, biologists, who apart from such private channels would have to make do with those countertop brownbag lunch arguments among yourselves over say Lucy’s aboreal characteristics.

Brilliant observations.

Jianyi Zhang:

She travels lots to promote the Darwin’s theory of evolution. Sad thing is that the theory is a pseudoscience. Why? see link below:

http://jianyi.zhang66.googlepages.c[…]seudoscience

Jianyi Zhang

Jianyi Zhang, nice article. But evolutionists have taken a vow to discount Karl Popper’s falsifiability criteria that distinguishes science from non-science. It’s part of the initiation ceremony.

Isn’t an honorary degree a lot like a degree from a diploma mill, except free?

Only to those who for the life of them cannot differentiate between an honor and a scam. I guess such people actually exist.

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But evolutionists have taken a vow to discount Karl Popper’s falsifiability criteria that distinguishes science from non-science. It’s part of the initiation ceremony.

More ignorance I notice. And yet, did we not discuss this on your blog?

Okay William, since you believe that we refrain from discussing evolutionary theory with those elusive “intellectual giants”, are you willing to discuss in further detail Zhang’s article?

Or are you still doing research on global warming and the Sternberg episode? Let me know when you are available.

“But evolutionists have taken a vow to discount Karl Popper’s falsifiability criteria that distinguishes science from non-science.” .

Thanks, Wallace.

Every debate starts with a certain assumptions. In this debate, my assumption is that Popper’s criterion of pseudoscience correct. From that, my conclusion is that Neo-Darwinism a pseudoscience. IF others ACCEPT the assumption, they have to agree with me for the conclusion, or give me reason why it is not.

If they like to discredit the Popper’s criterion, they have to give reasons why the criterion wrong and I will see if them makes sense. I debated with somebody for the issue; their points are very weak, most of them from ignorance.

Jianyi Zhang

Um, Wallace, Zhang, may I interrupt your mutual admiration fest long enough to point out that Karl Popper changed his mind about his earlier statements once he learned more about evolution:

Nevertheless, I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation. My recantation may, I hope, contribute a little to the understanding of the status of natural selection.

Dialectica, vol. 32, no. 3-4, 1978, pp. 339-355

Boys, you may be popping that champagne cork a bit prematurely.

Dave

Dave, William is aware of Popper’s conversion but somehow believes that Popper’s original argument still should count against natural selection. After all, even Ann Coulter knows that natural selection is a tautology…

Um, Wallace, Zhang, may I interrupt your mutual admiration fest long enough to point out that Karl Popper changed his mind about his earlier statements once he learned more about evolution:

Dave:

1. Galileo might recant, but the earth still moves around the sun.

2. You seem agreeable with me, even very unhappily, IF the Popper’s criterion of pseudoscience is correct and used in the case, the Neo-Darwinism is a pseudoscience.

Jianyi Zhang

jim Wrote:

Good grief. Mike said you people are well-versed in design theory, in which case I’ll leave it to Mike to provide you with the correct definition of specified complexity.

Definition: Specified complexity

Duh; looks complicated to me. Musta been designed. Here; I’ll make up some probability numbers, take the negative logarithm to base 2, and if it is a big enough number, it was intelligently designed by a sectarian god of some sort which we won’t discuss in order to make it look respectable enough to get around Edwards vs. Aguillard.

Jianyi Zhang:

Um, Wallace, Zhang, may I interrupt your mutual admiration fest long enough to point out that Karl Popper changed his mind about his earlier statements once he learned more about evolution:

Dave:

1. Galileo might recant, but the earth still moves around the sun.

As EVM would say, “Egg sack lee”.

Oops! Wrong thread.

Wow Dave, 5 creotards on one thread. That’s impressive.

Congratulations to Dr. Scott on the well deserved accolade and please keep up the good work.

The old Popper lie. A lie repeated over and over is still a lie.

Popper changed his mind about evolution upon further thought and evidence. He wasn’t a biologist, he was a philosopher.

Great scientists do this a lot. Einstein did it a lot, so did Richard Feynman. Their idea is to get at the truth not win points in debates or impress their dog.

Evolution has been attacked unmercifully for 150 years. By other scientists, religious fanatics, morons, schizophrenics, assorted crackpots and so on. Evolutionary biologists were killed by Stalin under the Lysenkoist pseudoscience regime and today they occasionally get beat up, fired, or threatened with death in the USA. The last time the latter occurred was yesterday when M. Korn showed up on PZs thread again.

The result after 150 years of criticism, persecution, lies, and occasional violence, is that 99% of the world’s scientists in relevant fields accept evolution the fact and the modern synthesis the theory. The few who don’t freely admit they don’t for religious reasons, fundie Xians and fundie Moslems.

It isn’t just because it is the truth. Much of modern medical and agricultural research depends heavily on evolutionary thought. For people who want to live long and eat, it is important.

talkorigins the world resource on creo lies:

According to philosopher of science Sir Karl Popper, a theory must be falsifiable to qualify as scientific. Popper (1976, 151) said, “Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research programme.” Source: Kranz, Russell. n.d. Karl Popper’s challenge. http://www.creationism.org/csshs/v02n4p20.htm Response: Popper’s statement of nonfalsifiability was pretty mild, not as extensive as it is often taken. He applied it only to natural selection, not evolution as a whole, and he allowed that some testing of natural selection was possible, just not a significant amount.

Moreover, he said that natural selection is a useful theory. A “metaphysical research programme” was to him not a bad thing; it is an essential part of science, as it guides productive research by suggesting predictions. He said of Darwinism, And yet, the theory is invaluable. I do not see how, without it, our knowledge could have grown as it has done since Darwin. In trying to explain experiments with bacteria which become adapted to, say, penicillin, it is quite clear that we are greatly helped by the theory of natural selection. Although it is metaphysical, it sheds much light upon very concrete and very practical researches. It allows us to study adaptation to a new environment (such as a penicillin-infested environment) in a rational way: it suggests the existence of a mechanism of adaptation, and it allows us even to study in detail the mechanism at work. And it is the only theory so far which does all that. (Popper 1976, 171-172) Finally, Popper notes that theism as an explanation of adaptation “was worse than an open admission of failure, for it created the impression that an ultimate explanation had been reached” (Popper 1976, 172).

Popper later changed his mind and recognized that natural selection is testable. Here is an excerpt from a later writing on “Natural Selection and Its Scientific Status” (Miller 1985, 241-243; see also Popper 1978): When speaking here of Darwinism, I shall speak always of today’s theory - that is Darwin’s own theory of natural selection supported by the Mendelian theory of heredity, by the theory of the mutation and recombination of genes in a gene pool, and by the decoded genetic code. This is an immensely impressive and powerful theory. The claim that it completely explains evolution is of course a bold claim, and very far from being established. All scientific theories are conjectures, even those that have successfully passed many severe and varied tests. The Mendelian underpinning of modern Darwinism has been well tested, and so has the theory of evolution which says that all terrestrial life has evolved from a few primitive unicellular organisms, possibly even from one single organism.

However, Darwin’s own most important contribution to the theory of evolution, his theory of natural selection, is difficult to test. There are some tests, even some experimental tests; and in some cases, such as the famous phenomenon known as ‘industrial melanism’, we can observe natural selection happening under our very eyes, as it were. Nevertheless, really severe tests of the theory of natural selection are hard to come by, much more so than tests of otherwise comparable theories in physics or chemistry.

The fact that the theory of natural selection is difficult to test has led some people, anti-Darwinists and even some great Darwinists, to claim that it is a tautology [see CA500]. A tautology like ‘All tables are tables’ is not, of course, testable; nor has it any explanatory power. It is therefore most surprising to hear that some of the greatest contemporary Darwinists themselves formulate the theory in such a way that it amounts to the tautology that those organisms that leave most offspring leave most offspring. C. H. Waddington says somewhere (and he defends this view in other places) that ‘Natural selection … turns out … to be a tautology’ ..4 However, he attributes at the same place to the theory an ‘enormous power. … of explanation’. Since the explanatory power of a tautology is obviously zero, something must be wrong here.

Yet similar passages can be found in the works of such great Darwinists as Ronald Fisher, J. B. S. Haldane, and George Gaylord Simpson; and others.

I mention this problem because I too belong among the culprits. Influenced by what these authorities say, I have in the past described the theory as ‘almost tautological’, and I have tried to explain how the theory of natural selection could be untestable (as is a tautology) and yet of great scientific interest. My solution was that the doctrine of natural selection is a most successful metaphysical research programme. It raises detailed problems in many fields, and it tells us what we would expect of an acceptable solution of these problems.

I still believe that natural selection works in this way as a research programme. Nevertheless, I have changed my mind about the testability and the logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation. My recantation may, I hope, contribute a little to the understanding of the status of natural selection.

So teh sole reply is “something as SIMPLE as a bacteris” gave birth to all biological diversty extinct and extant.

Shapiro will be so surprised to find the hyper-complex bacteria he has been studing and elucidating for decades was actually created somehow de neuvo, to be the firstr replicator.

Let’s submit this proposal to detailed analysis..unless there is more a specific alternative to be advanced.

Perhaps we can even test the coping skills of the dogmatists.

So teh sole reply is “something as SIMPLE as a bacteris” gave birth to all biological diversty extinct and extant.

Probably much simpler and if Woese is right the granddaddy of all life was a colony of critters happily sharing and exchanging genetic material. Sort of like an orgy really. It’s hard to argue with the evidence of common descent really. So what parts were likely present in the genome of this ‘common ancestor’? Science is unraveling some of this by looking at the age of some of the components such as hox genes which likely were present early on, even though they did expand under gene duplication. Of course, in the end we will likely go back further in time to simpler and simpler reproducing ‘cells’.

But likely it was a better speller :-)

PvM:

Isn’t an honorary degree a lot like a degree from a diploma mill, except free? Well, in that case, congratulations Dr. Scott, you earned it.

Wouldn’t it be more impressive to just award her the Humanist Medal of Honor™

Honors include the Bruce Alberts Award of the American Society for Cell Biology, the Isaac Asimov Science Award from the American Humanist Association, the First Amendment Award from the Playboy Foundation, the James Randi Award from the Skeptic Society, and the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Missouri College of Arts and Sciences.

Kieth Eaton, please do continue to pop in here and shine the light of logic on the PT-mafia. I’d love to see somebody like you toast these guys in a debate (if they did not avoid, the bright light of debating intellectual giants).

Sad to see how William is joining Keith in making Christianity look foolish. William is still confused about science and doing proper research and seems to hold Ann Coulter as a shining light in evolutionary theory…

William Wallace Wrote:

The survival of the fittest is a tautology. As Ann Coulter points out: “Who are the ‘fittest’? The ones who survive! Why look—it happens every time.”

Intellectual giants indeed :-)

Keith quoted an interesting Biblical statement.

“But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Causing others to sin, especially if the others include God’s children is not something He takes gladly. Now assume that evolutionary theory is correct, and that creationists are wrong in rejecting God’s chosen method, or worse deny science when it shows that the earth is not 6000-10,000 years old? What effect would such have on God’s children? St Augustine already pointed how Christians who sound foolish about issues of science, run the risk of making Christianity look foolish. Worse, it may cause Christians to turn their backs on religious faith. The cost of ignorance, from a Christian perspective, can be quite costly.

So why do some Christians continue to deny science?

Zhang Wrote:

IF the Popper’s criterion of pseudoscience is correct and used in the case, the Neo-Darwinism is a pseudoscience.

All major ‘ifs’ especially since Popper admitted that he had been wrong about natural selection and Darwinian theory.

Popper changed his mind about evolution upon further thought and evidence. He wasn’t a biologist, he was a philosopher.

You are right, but fails to realize it the reason for him recant.

Evolution has been attacked unmercifully for 150 years. By other scientists, religious fanatics, morons, schizophrenics, assorted crackpots and so on. Evolutionary biologists were killed by Stalin under the Lysenkoist pseudoscience regime and today they occasionally get beat up, fired, or threatened with death in the USA.

The same thing happens to Marxists. Marxism has been attacked unmercifully for 150 years. By other scientists, religious fanatics, morons, schizophrenics, assorted crackpots and so on. Mary Marxists were killed by Stalin and Mao under various reasons and today they occasionally get beat up, fired, or threatened with death in the many parts of the world. In your logic, Marxism must also be a truth.

The result after 150 years of criticism, persecution, lies, and occasional violence, is that 99% of the world’s scientists in relevant fields accept evolution the fact and the modern synthesis the theory. The few who don’t freely admit they don’t for religious reasons, fundie Xians and fundie Moslems.

1. As almost 100% the world’s scientists has brain-washed by their textbooks written by Darwinian biologists, few has opportunity to learn and understand what controversies are. If they were taught that earth is flat, and the majority would grow up to believe it true.

2. How do you get the number 99%? What is the sample size? How was the survey conducted? What are the selection criteria? What is the mean and standard deviation? We are talking of science, not fabricating of data.

Much of modern medical and agricultural research depends heavily on evolutionary thought.

What kind of evolutionary thoughts do you refer to? We are debating if the Darwin’s theory (RMNS) leads to speciation of majority species, or any species ever, not NS occurs itself. How is that related with medicine or agriculture? Are antibiotics-resistant bacteria a new species? Even the answer is yes, why can it not arise by an instantaneous process? Antibiotics-resistant bacteria could be generated by random mutation thousand years before any antibiotics are available. Bacteria do not know penicillin or streptomycin available in the world, and do not wait to mutate.

A “metaphysical research programme” was to him not a bad thing; it is an essential part of science, as it guides productive research by suggesting predictions. He said of Darwinism, And yet, the theory is invaluable. I do not see how, without it, our knowledge could have grown as it has done since Darwin.

Research may be initiated by wrong theories; the results prove the theory wrong, such as pangenesis, morphological definition of species. That is very productive, but not save the theory from obsolete.

Popper later changed his mind and recognized that natural selection is testable.

However, Darwin’s own most important contribution to the theory of evolution, his theory of natural selection, is difficult to test.

I mention this problem because I too belong among the culprits. Influenced by what these authorities say, I have in the past described the theory as ‘almost tautological’, and I have tried to explain how the theory of natural selection could be untestable (as is a tautology) and yet of great scientific interest. My solution was that the doctrine of natural selection is a most successful metaphysical research programme. It raises detailed problems in many fields, and it tells us what we would expect of an acceptable solution of these problems.

The author of this article only shows his confusion here. The criterion of pseudoscience depends on falsifiability, not testability. I did not see Popper provided any case for it. At age 20, I said the White House in D.C., and when I become 80, I say it in California. The White House may be in California by your reasoning as I recant.

Jianyi Zhang

The ex-scientist Behe is a “household name” primarily because he is widely known as the buffoon who helped the intelligent design creationists lose the Dover trial by (among many other gaffes) admitting that astrology should be a “science” under the creationists’ definition of science.

I just found out that Behe is that rare bird, a transitional form between theological evolution creationists and design creationists:

Whitney Grey and Michael Behe Wrote:

[WG] Would it be correct to say that you feel we share a common ancestor, and through guided mutations and natural selections, humans arose? [MB] Yes, that’s right.

So the difference is a smooth transition and seem to consist in that Behe claims that guided mutations is necessary, while a theological evolutionist would claim that guided mutations can’t be excluded, say by global hidden variables behind quantum indeterminacy.

my assumption is that Popper’s criterion of pseudoscience correct. From that, my conclusion is that Neo-Darwinism a pseudoscience

I’m not sure Popper’s falsifiability defines either science or pseudoscience, and it’s naive form (testing isolated hypotheses) is incorrect for theories. But testability is certainly a natural requirement of a theory, and MET has been tested massively and passed. This is why there is no controversy among scientists about its validity. Your claim was easily falsified. :-P

As a layman one can understand simple falsification criteria such if the early biologists wouldn’t have found clear phylogenetic trees, or if todays biologists would find a precambrian rabbit species. For a lot of more specific simple predictions that could have failed, see these videos how transitional forms leads to detailed predictions.

As almost 100% the world’s scientists has brain-washed by their textbooks written by Darwinian biologists,

Disregarding that Darwinian biologists are no longer around, biology is the relevant field here. You don’t engage the argument.

How do you get the number 99%? What is the sample size? How was the survey conducted? What are the selection criteria? What is the mean and standard deviation? We are talking of science, not fabricating of data.

Most estimates I have seen have IIRC been based on the infamous list that the Discovery Institute has helpfully provided. If you claim that it is a fabrication of data, I tend to agree. However, it lists a few relevant scientists.

And you are confused, we aren’t talking science, we are talking social statistics. The science is in the theory and its facts, and there is no uncertainty there that rises to reasonable doubt.

Are antibiotics-resistant bacteria a new species?

Resistance is an example of evolution. So is speciation as evidenced in the fossil record.

Even the answer is yes, why can it not arise by an instantaneous process? Antibiotics-resistant bacteria could be generated by random mutation thousand years before any antibiotics are available. Bacteria do not know penicillin or streptomycin available in the world, and do not wait to mutate.

If there is any coherent thought here, it is carefully concealed.

Fixation of traits or its concomitant but contingent speciation can’t be instantaneous, as we are looking on a population.

Sure, mutations that aren’t selected for can be introduced, IANAB but I believe that is behind (near) neutral drift.

Penicillin is a natural antibiotic, so bacteria certainly get to “know” it, and with the amount of antibiotics leaking into waste the exposure is increase. But in the historical absence of medical antibiotics for human diseases there was no selection pressure to fixate such a trait, and the chance that it would be fixated by drift was negligible even assuming any (near) neutral resistance mechanism.

So you see, medical and agricultural research depends heavily on evolution and its characteristics.

Again, why not an honorary medal instead of a degree?

Jianyi Zhang,

Good points yet again.

你 这 是 要 舌 辩 群 魔。 那 真 是 枉 费 时 间 。 还 是 来 巧 合 理 论 达 康 写 帖 子 吧 。

熊 猫 姆 指 的 作 风 可 以 用 下 面 的 寓 言 来 描 述 :

从 前 , 有 一 位 妇 人 去 拾 材 禾 。 她 看 到 雪 地 上 有 一 条 冻 僵 了 的 毒 蛇 。 於 是 , 她 把 毒 蛇 带 回 家 去 治 疗 。 有 一 天 , 这 条 蛇 在 她 的 脸 上 咬 了 一 口 。 妇 人 临 死 前 问 毒 蛇 : “你 怎 么 能 咬 我 呢 ? ”毒 蛇 回 答 说 : “婊 子 , 你 该 知 道 我 是 条 蛇 嘛 。 ”

TROLL FEST 2008 IS OVER

Don Smith :

Wow Dave, 5 creotards on one thread. That’s impressive.

Congratulations to Dr. Scott on the well deserved accolade and please keep up the good work.

Yes, it’s been quite the Fest.

And yet, I haven’t seen even one good argument emerging from the whole lot.

Eaton never responded to the point I made, and seems to accept “goo-to-zoo” evolution, provided the goo is a complex bacterium. Seems he would accept that a complex bacterium could eventually evolve into a fish, or an elephant, or a human. This is hardly a stirring defense of Intelligent design creationism.

Zhang is obsessed with the ghost of Popper Past.

Fafarman never objected to universities giving doctorates for holocaust revision or other forms pseudoscience, at least before his posing was exposed.

And Jorge Fernandez clearly doesn’t understand the huge difference between methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism.

Finally, re Wallace, and courtesy of the Babel Fish, here’s the translation of his cryptic Chinese comment:

You want the tongue to debate the group evil spirit. That really is in vain time-consuming. Or comes the coincidence theory to reach Kang to write the card. The panda thumb attitude may describe with the under fable:

Formerly, some woman ascended the material standing grain. She saw in the snowy area had a frozen stiff poisonous snake. Thereupon, she goes home the poisonous snake belt treats. One day, this snake has nipped on hers face. The woman front asks the poisonous snake at the point of death: “How can you nip me? “The poisonous snake replied: “The whore, you should know I am the strip snake. “

Oh, yeah, that makes me want to abandon modern science for ID, which is careful not to name the Designer, much less say anything of substance about the how, when, where and what of this “designer’s” actions.

CONGRATS, GENIE SCOTT!

While Genie, and UNM faculty, have gotten a kick out of the proceedings, all things must come to an end.

TROLL FEST 2008 IS OVER

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dave Thomas published on March 13, 2008 4:58 PM.

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