Down in the Quote Mines: One from “IDEA”

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From the Antievolution.org Quotes and Misquotes Database home page:

Antievolutionists have a fondness for quoting authorities. Almost as strong as this fondness is their fondness for misquoting authorities.

The antievolution fascination with quotations seems to stem from the anti-science mindset of “revelation”: testimonial evidence reigns supreme in theology, thus many antievolutionists may mistake that condition as being the same in science. However, science has pretty much eschewed assigning any intrinsic worth to testimonial evidence. Quotations from some source are taken as being an indication that some condition as stated holds according to the reliability of the speaker, as seen by reviewing the evidence. Antievolutionists “get” the first part, but have real difficulty coming to terms with the second part. If some Expert A says X, then the antievolutionist expects that no lesser known mortal will dare gainsay Expert A’s opinion on X. However, such a situation is routine in science. Anyone presenting Evidence Q that is inconsistent with X then has shown Expert A to be incorrect on X. If the person holding forth shows repeatedly that they can’t be trusted to tell us correct information on, say, trilobites, then that just means that we likely don’t hold any further talk on trilobites from that source in high regard.

Misquotation comes in many forms (see the t.o. Jargon File for the list). This page is meant to display some of the most egregious misquotations engaged in by antievolutionists that have been floated in online discussions, and also the quotes that an antievolutionist is likely to inject into an argument (even if the quote has no bearing).

In one of the threads here, I commented on the poor showing an IDEA Club article made on describing aspects of punctuated equilibria. As I was reviewing the IDEA Club article on the fossil record, I noted the use of a “quote” from Steven Stanley. Stanley’s “The New Evolutionary Timetable” has proved a treasure trove for antievolutionist quote-miners. I tend to become a bit nervous when an antievolutionist uses ellipses. It makes me wonder what inconvenient text has been dropped. Well, in this particular “quote” we find four sets of ellipses. That prompted me to pull out my copy of the source book and update my quotes database. The entry for the IDEA Club quote can be seen here.

Here is what the IDEA Club thinks of as a “quote” from Stanley:

Casey Luskin Wrote:

Essentially, there has been a recognition that speciation, which purports to explain the rapid and large morphological jumps in the fossil record, may require too much biological change in too little time. Stanley recognizes this problem with punctuated equilibrium:

“Given a simple little rodent like animal as our starting point, what does it mean to form a bat in less than ten million years, or a whale in little more time … If an average chronospecies lasts nearly a million years … then we have only ten or fifteen chronospecies to align, end -to-end, to form a continuous lineage connecting our primitive little mammal with a bat or a whale. This is clearly preposterous … A chain of ten or fifteen of these might move us from one small rodent like form to a slightly different one … but not to a bat or a whale!”

And here is the passage from Stanley’s book (parts quoted by IDEA marked in bold):

Steven M. Stanley Wrote:

When the mammals inherited the Earth, the result was spectacular. Their great adaptive radiation was recent enough that the fossil evidence for it is impressive. Within perhaps twelve million years, most of the living orders of mammals were in existence, all having descended from simple, diminutive animals that might be thought of as resembling small rodents, though not all possessed front teeth specialized for gnawing. Among the nearly twenty new orders were the one that contains large carnivorous animals, including modern lions, wolves, and bears; the one that comprises horses and rhinos; and the one that includes deer, pigs, antelopes, and sheep. Most of the orders evolved in even less than twelve million years. Perhaps the most spectacular origins were of the bats, which took to the air, and the whales, which invaded the sea.

Darwin was spared a confrontation with the extraordinarily rapid origins of modern groups of mammals. He knew that the history of mammals extended back to the early part of the Mesozoic, but the record was not well enough studied in his day for him to recognize that the adaptive radiation of modern mammals did not commence until the start of the Cenozoic. Today, our more detailed knowledge of fossil mammals lays another knotty problem at the feet of gradualism. Given a simple little rodentlike animal as a starting point, what does it mean to form a bat in less than ten million years, or a whale in little more time? We can approach this question by measuring how long species of mammals have persisted in geological time. The results are striking; we can now show that fossil mammal populations assigned to a particular Cenozoic lineage typically span the better part of a million years without displaying sufficient net change to be recognized as a new species.

The preceding observations permit us to engage in another thought experiment. Let us suppose that we wish, hypothetically, to form a bat or a whale without invoking change by rapid branching. In other words, we want to see what happens when we restrict evolution to the process of gradual transformation of established species. If an average chronospecies lasts nearly a million years, or even longer, and we have at our disposal only ten million years, then we have only ten or fifteen chronospecies to align, end-to-end, to form a continuous lineage connecting our primitive little mammal with a bat or a whale. This is clearly preposterous. Chronospecies, by definition, grade into each other, and each one encompasses very little change. A chain of ten or fifteen of these might move us from one small rodentlike form to a slightly different one, perhaps representing a new genus, but not to a bat or a whale!

What the gradualist must then postulate is an extraordinary acceleration of evolution within established species. In other words, he must claim that, in the lineage leading to the first bat or whale, chronospecies were actually of very short duration. This situation brings us to the essence of the gradualistic dilemma – a dilemma that holds for the adaptive radiations of Cambrian marine life and Cretaceous flowering plants as well. The first problem is that we have absolutely no fossil evidence for rapid transformation of chronospecies. On the contrary, early Cenozoic species of mammals appear to have had long durations, resembling those of younger species. The second problem relates not to fossil evidence, but to causal explanation. Why should well-established species suddenly undergo very rapid transformation? We know that after the demise of the dinosaurs the world was available for occupancy by mammals. Nonetheless, why should mere ecological opportunity cause any well-established species to abandon its way of life for an entirely new one? We might expect a broadening of the original way of life – of the niche, in the parlance of ecology–but not a desertion of what worked well before. Expanded ecological opportunity would be expected to permit great diversification, but no single species ever becomes very highly diversified. Rather, diversification proceeds by the sprouting off of new species from already established species – by adaptive radiation – and this, of course, brings us to the punctuational scheme of evolution.

The hacked-up text from Stanley also appears on the IDEA site in a collection of “quotes”. Stanley’s complaint is about the inadequacy of phyletic gradualism to account for the known facts of paleontology and the superiority of punctuated equilibria as an explanation for those facts. The misquote here concerns the omission of relevant context - the removal of any sense that what is being critiqued is a specific hypothesis of evolutionary change rather than whether evolutionary change happens. This comes through clearly when one examines the complete context of this quote.

But here there is the additional prefaced remark to consider, which makes the misquotation all the worse. The assertion that Stanley “recognizes this” as a problem for punctuated equilibria is completely ass-backwards; the passage is about problems with phyletic gradualism, the alternative to punctuated equilibria that was defined by Eldredge and Gould in their 1972 essay.

And here it is again, this time in Casey Luskin’s “Pseudogenes or Pseudoscience?” article:

On the second evening, Ryan Huxley was asked during the panel discussion why punctuated equilibrium (PE) was not offered as a viable revision to the traditional gradualism of evolutionary theory. Ryan noted that while PE is consistent with the fossil record (i.e. it acknowledges gaps), the rapid rate of change required seems inconsistent with population genetics. Evolutionist paleontologist Steven M. Stanley recognizes this regarding whale evolution:

Given a simple little rodent like animal as our starting point, what does it mean to form a bat in less than ten million years, or a whale in little more time … If an average chronospecies lasts nearly a million years … then we have only ten or fifteen chronospecies to align, end-to-end, to form a continuous lineage connecting our primitive little mammal with a bat or a whale. This is clearly preposterous … A chain of ten or fifteen of these might move us from one small rodent like form to a slightly different one … but not to a bat or a whale!

This sort of error, with which the IDEA FAQs and articles are replete, puts the IDEA authors on the horns of a dilemma: they may continue to insist that they have adequate knowledge of evolutionary biology and force us to draw the conclusion that they are deliberately lying to us about matters of content, or they may plead that they are mistaken in this and numerous other points and force us to conclude that they are deliberately lying to us about their degree of familiarity with evolutionary biology. I think the latter is the more charitable of the two, but Casey Luskin appears to be arguing for the former.

This new article on PE was offered by Casey Luskin in replacement of the older article I criticized:

Casey Luskin Wrote:

The mistaken section has been replaced with a link to an extensive article I wrote which I think at least demonstrates that I am somewhat familiar with the literature surrounding punctuated equilibrium and have made a cogent assessment of it.

I provided two examples of errors within the original:

For example, let’s take the IDEA FAQ on the fossil record, for instance, and its treatment of ‘punctuated equilibria’. This “FAQ” attributes Eldredge and Gould’s approach as looking at the fossil record and dodging a lack of transitional fossils. Eldredge and Gould tell us, though, that they worked from studies of living populations and derived what the implications of observed speciational change implied for the fossil record. The FAQ claims that PE predicts that no data will be found to support it, yet Eldredge and Gould presented two transitional sequences supporting transitions via PE in their original essay, and cited further examples in their 1977 paper.

The new article does (grudgingly) admit that Eldredge and Gould got their theoretical basis from studies of modern populations. But the second mistake I identified as an example has been lovingly preserved in the newer article:

Casey Luskin Wrote:

But what hard evidence does punctuated equilibrium predict? Macroevolution by punctuated equilibrium predicts that transitional forms will not be found. With respect to finding fossil evidence of the stages of evolutionary change, punctuated equilibrium predicts that evidence of these changes will not be found.

No mention is made of the positive evidence, those transitional sequences that have been found, that show transitions in the mode of punctuated equilibria. These have been present in the PE literature right from the very first article introducing the concept. PE doesn’t say transitions will not be found; it predicts that they will be less common than would be predicted via phyletic gradualism. These aren’t hiding; presentation of two such sequences in the original PE paper covered eleven pages! How could any fair-minded reader not only overlook this, but claim that the antithesis holds true? I believe the answer is that a fair-minded reader could not do so; it takes someone with an ideological precommitment to do so. This is not just about the number of mistakes that are made or how long they are retained after having been shown to be false. This is also about the severity of the mistake and how completely it ignores not only evidence but even just the plain message of the authors it purports to characterize for the reader.

One may think that I am being hard on Casey Luskin. Let’s consider, though, that Casey is not only a fan, but a defender of John C. “Jonathan” Wells. Wells is noted for his zero-tolerance approach to evaluating textbooks: make a “mistake” (that is, say something Wells doesn’t like), and the whole textbook gets an “F” grade from Wells. Let’s assume that Casey thinks that how Wells critiques things is the appropriate standard for judging Luskin’s work as well. Casey, you may have read a bunch of stuff, but it doesn’t appear that you understood it. You get an “F”, too. If you want tolerance, don’t promote intolerance. If you want to have your biological acumen recognized, fix all the errors in your texts. Starting with the ones that have been pointed out to you specifically would be a small step in the right direction.

If Casey was interested in informing rather than misinforming readers of the IDEA Club about punctuated equilibria, he could link to some real resources about it, such as Douglas Theobald’s “All you need to know about Punctuated Equilibrium (almost)” article, or my FAQ on PE. My FAQ is referenced in course syllabi and other educational site documents (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6). I’ll give Casey permission to mirror an unmodified copy on the IDEA sites if he would like.

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Oh What Tangled Webs They Weave... from Dispatches from the Culture Wars on June 11, 2004 10:12 AM

There are few things quite as amusing as watching ID advocates pretend that ID is not about promoting a particular religious view. It's just fun to see them wiggle and dance when they get caught up in this web of pretend objectivity. A perfect example ... Read More

46 Comments

I am intrigued by this new Intelligent Design Science. You see, I’ll do protein studies next week. In the meantime, I have to get some DNA out of the fridge and transform some e. coli cells. then I have to grow and plate the cells. Then I do a big culture. Then I extract that DNA and put it in some expressor cells. Get the expression going, then purify the protein. Then make sure it’s there by running an SDS gel. then do some complicated microscopy stuff, and then, only then, after a week of labwork, can I even start to look at the protein with microscopy. So I’m watching these ID guys to learn their secret for doing science without any theories or experiments at all. That would really save me lots of time and hassle. It is a pain in the ass to have to do all that e. coli mess. e. coli is stinky! Some of the chemicals are carcinogenic!

So these ID guys say they have science and as far as I can tell it doesn’t involve any hard work at all. Without making any sense at all they get to compare themselves to Isaac Newton, I’ve seen! That’s fantastic! I’ve been going about this science stuff the wrong way. but I don’t understand exactly how they do it. It looks like a key method is to come up with a capitalized term, say it’s scientific, say it destroys the other guy’s ideas, and never bother to define it in a testable way. I think I’ll call mine Incoherently Concluded. That’s it. Whoever my opponents are, their ideas are Incoherently Concluded. The result of their last experiment was Incoherently Concluded. Now I’m a superstar without a single paper on “IC” in the scientific literature. Dembski’s taken the title of the new Newton, so I want to be…uh…hm…the new Galileo!

Damn you evolutionists for conspiring to keep Incoherent Conclusion out of your precious journals. I’d like to talk more, but I have a symposium to give at a church about my glorious christian biology, and how you’re all atheist jerks.

Wesley,

When Stanley says, “Within perhaps twelve million years, most of the living orders of mammals were in existence, all having descended from simple, diminutive animals that might be thought of as resembling small rodents, though not all possessed front teeth specialized for gnawing. Among the nearly twenty new orders were the one that contains large carnivorous animals, including modern lions, wolves, and bears; the one that comprises horses and rhinos; and the one that includes deer, pigs, antelopes, and sheep. Most of the orders evolved in even less than twelve million years. Perhaps the most spectacular origins were of the bats, which took to the air, and the whales, which invaded the sea,” and “Given a simple little rodentlike animal as a starting point, what does it mean to form a bat in less than ten million years, or a whale in little more time?” is he saying simply that the various orders were in existence by then, and the earliest identified ancestors of bats, whales, rhinos, etc? Or is he talking about 100 foot Blue whales cruising the sea at that point? It is the former isn’t it? My dumb question for the month?

Wes, I think you’ve demonstrated that Casey Luskin simply has no credibility whatsoever. The “quote” from Stanley is about as bad a misquote as I’ve seen from creationists. It either means that Luskin is utterly clueless about the debate over phyletic gradualism - at the very least completely unaware of the difference between sympatric and allopatric speciation - or he’s deliberately cutting out the context to make it appear that Stanley is saying the opposite of what he actually said. Since Luskin insists that he really does understand the biology, the only rational conclusion is that he is being deliberately dishonest. And by the way, this behavior is identical to the kind of dishonest quote mining we’ve long seen from the old-fashioned creationists. The more the IDers claim not to be creationists, the more they act like them.

Wesley,

What really irks me about Mr. Luskin and his ilk is the bad name that religion gets in the process. As a member of the religious community in Texas, and a practicing Nichiren Buddhist for close to 30 years, I never cease to be mortified by the incredible antics of the ID movement.

It’s embarassing!

I don’t need empirical proof to believe in my Ultimate Reality. For me it’s a matter of faith. What’s their problem? Don’t they have any faith?

Regards, Eddie

Wes,

If someone misqoutes somebody else, purposefully or accidentally, due to ignorance or willful deception, is that persons conclusions concerning design in biology wrong due to their making a mistake?

I ask because over the last couple of weeks I have been visiting PandasThumb and it appears to me that the anti-ID people here are mostly concerned with pointing out little nit picky errors like misquotes (which, we must admit, can be pointed out to occur in the evolutionist camp as well) rather than adressing some of the general arguments that IDers make. If you check out ISCID.org the antiID people over there at least occasionally debate real arguments. I think that PandasThumb is certainly a fine site and serves its purpose well, but I would like to see less of this pointing out little mistakes, the religious motivation behind ID etc, and more actual arguments against ID’s scientific claims.

Now I know that the immediate thought which occured to many readers after that last sentence was, “What scientific claims.” Well, regardless of whether the claims are scientific or philsosophical, good or bad, or whatever, ‘they’ are what needs to be combatted. For instance ID theorists (or just anti-evolutionists in general) claim that the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium does at least highlight a fact which for a long time evoltionary biologists or paleontologists held from public scrutiny. Which was that stasis, was the trade secret of paleontology. The anti-evolutionists usually bring this up in the midst of an argument concerning how poor the fossil record is when it comes to ‘proving’ the fact of evolution. This seems to me to be a small (mainly rhetorical) part of an argument against the claim that the fossil record overwhelmingly supports the evolution of all flora and fauna from a common ancestor; A claim perhaps too compulsively made. Personally, i’m really not so sure whether the fossil record overwhelmingly supports any one theory.

Basically my point here is this. It appears that Casey made a misquote. Personally, I doubt that it was intentional and I also doubt whether misquoting someone means that you are totally ignorant of whatever it was you were writing about. It doesn’t seem to me to be anywhere near a forceful argument against Casey or the IDEA center.

Thanks,

T. Russell Hunter

T. Russ Wrote:

For instance ID theorists (or just anti-evolutionists in general) claim that the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium does at least highlight a fact which for a long time evoltionary biologists or paleontologists held from public scrutiny. Which was that stasis, was the trade secret of paleontology.

You are reading too much into it. Gould’s and Eldridge’s point was not that paleontologists were hiding data; it was that they didn’t realize its existence. They were too concerned with finding fossils and filling in the missing bits of the fossil record that they didn’t step back and look at the bigger picture. Another criticism was that the paleontologists and the neontologists didn’t exchange ideas, leading to outdated understanding of each other’s specializations.

T. Russell wrote

For instance ID theorists (or just anti-evolutionists in general) claim that the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium does at least highlight a fact which for a long time evoltionary biologists or paleontologists held from public scrutiny. Which was that stasis, was the trade secret of paleontology.

The “held from public scrutiny” and “trade secret” phrases are doozies. First, they carry the connotation of some sort of conscious conspiracy among paleontologists to hide inconvenient ‘facts’, which is a notion that some ID Creationists, especially Wells, assiduously push. I know some paleontologists, and the idea that one could enlist them into a conspiracy to hide data is ludicrous. One can’t even get them to agree on a damned undergraduate curriculum!

Second, it’s factually false. There was no ‘holding from public scrutiny,’ at least not from the scrutiny of those who read the appropriate scientific literature. Hell, Darwin wrote about a pattern of stasis and rapid change! As Wesley pointed out, there were perspective and cross-communication issues that inhibited directly addressing the pattern as a pattern, but there was surely no hiding it from scrutiny. Eldredge and Gould did not reveal hidden data concealed for decades in the dank catacombs beneath Darwin Hall at the University of Ediacara (those catacombs conceal other things, like the true identity of Captain Marvel); E&D used published data but interpreted it in a (mildly) novel way.

RBH

I ask because over the last couple of weeks I have been visiting PandasThumb and it appears to me that the anti-ID people here are mostly concerned with pointing out little nit picky errors like misquotes (which, we must admit, can be pointed out to occur in the evolutionist camp as well) rather than adressing some of the general arguments that IDers make.

Another bogus statement to throw on the woodpile. The “general arguments” that IDers make are addressed over and over and over and over again every day on this blog. It’s not the fault of scientists that ID conspirators need to play fast and loose with citations. It’s the core of the ID game to pull at the same allegedly loose threads until their sticky hands get slapped.

T Russ Wrote:

I think that PandasThumb is certainly a fine site and serves its purpose well, but I would like to see less of this pointing out little mistakes, the religious motivation behind ID etc, and more actual arguments against ID’s scientific claims.

Perhaps you could give us some examples of ID’s scientific claims that you would like to see addressed. In all likelihood, most of these claims have already been addressed. We could probably provide you with a link to whatever claim you had in mind. If those links are not easily-digestable, that’s something pandasthumb might be able to remedy.

For instance ID theorists (or just anti-evolutionists in general) claim that the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium does at least highlight a fact which for a long time evoltionary biologists or paleontologists held from public scrutiny. Which was that stasis, was the trade secret of paleontology. The anti-evolutionists usually bring this up in the midst of an argument concerning how poor the fossil record is when it comes to ‘proving’ the fact of evolution. This seems to me to be a small (mainly rhetorical) part of an argument against the claim that the fossil record overwhelmingly supports the evolution of all flora and fauna from a common ancestor; A claim perhaps too compulsively made. Personally, i’m really not so sure whether the fossil record overwhelmingly supports any one theory.

Certainly you are entitled to your opinion - of course, those who actually know the fossil record firsthand think otherwise, and I can assure you, as a group they are not the kind to make claims “compulsively”. As for the phrase “trade secret of paleontology” it is very a propos in this thread, because that’s from one of the most common misquotations of Gould found in Creationist literature. I don’t know how much reading you have being doing on the fossil record, and where, but I can guarantee you that you will not find honest information on Creationist sites. Start with textbooks.

Basically my point here is this. It appears that Casey made a misquote. Personally, I doubt that it was intentional and I also doubt whether misquoting someone means that you are totally ignorant of whatever it was you were writing about. It doesn’t seem to me to be anywhere near a forceful argument against Casey or the IDEA center.

Of course one misquotation can be an error. But how about two, or three? When do misquotations cease to be innocent errors, and become a pattern, showing ignorance or purposeful attempts to mislead? If I showed, say, four or five misquotations from the same person on the same general subject, would you become suspicious?

T. Russ Wrote:

I think that PandasThumb is certainly a fine site and serves its purpose well, but I would like to see less of this pointing out little mistakes, the religious motivation behind ID etc, and more actual arguments against ID’s scientific claims.

Just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Take a look at the articles on TalkDesign for starters. In July, look for “Why Intelligent Design Fails” from Rutgers University Press. Been there, done that.

T. Russ Wrote:

Basically my point here is this. It appears that Casey made a misquote. Personally, I doubt that it was intentional and I also doubt whether misquoting someone means that you are totally ignorant of whatever it was you were writing about. It doesn’t seem to me to be anywhere near a forceful argument against Casey or the IDEA center.

Mistaking someone talking about phyletic gradualism for them discussing punctuated equilibria is about as close to total ignorance as one is likely to get in deployment of a single quotation. Or deliberate deception. Claiming that PE predicts no evidence will be found when PE actually predicts that evidence will be found is also indicative of near-total ignorance. Or deliberate deception. It’s your pick, I guess.

So, in at least two instances in one article, Casey Luskin has held forth that some statement was true when, in fact, the exact opposite was true. These weren’t small points, either. This doesn’t bother you, I guess. We will have to agree to disagree on what constitutes a good argument. What it means to me is that Casey Luskin is an unreliable source of information on the topic of punctuated equilibria. Surely his deployment of misquotation (the same one in three separate files!) and getting basic concepts completely backwards doesn’t make him a more reliable source in your opinion, does it?

There’s a whole other thread on more problems within the same text. It’s not like this is “nit-picking”. It’s more like pointing out a few interesting lumps from a thoroughly metastasized cancer.

Reed Cartwright wrote:

Gould’s and Eldridge’s point was not that paleontologists were hiding data; it was that they didn’t realize its existence. They were too concerned with finding fossils and filling in the missing bits of the fossil record that they didn’t step back and look at the bigger picture.

That was exactly their point. In fact, in the Panda’s Thumb (pg181), Gould refers to the absence of transitional forms as “the trade secret of paleontology”. The gaps were not artifacts, as evolutionists had claimed, but were real phenomena of nature. The fossil record did not provide evidence of gradual evolution, in fact it raised awareness among biologists of what paleontologists had always known. The theory was developed to account for the absence of transitional forms but instead had the opposite effect: it drew unwanted attention to them. The issue was reported in British newspapers and raised a furor when Eldredge stated “no one has yet found any evidence of such transitional creatures…” (The Guardian Weekly, Nov 26, 1978, vol 119, no.22, pg. 1) I’m not going to argue about whether or not transitional fossils exist, but if you try to re-write history, I will call you on it.

T. Russ:

If someone misquotes somebody else, purposefully or accidentally, due to ignorance or willful deception, is that persons conclusions concerning design in biology wrong due to their making a mistake?

Or is it the other way around? The plot thickens.

Russ, you ask for addressing the arguments that ID advocates make, rather than bringing up an endless series of ID mistakes. Here’s the thing: pro ID arguments consist of an endless series of mistakes. ID is in fact scientifically empty. It is a propaganda movement by people who simply don’t like some things that science has discovered.

If you have any specific questions please ask.

charlie wagner wrote

[T]heir point [was] … the … absence of … gaps were not artifacts … but were real phenomena of nature. The fossil record did … provide evidence of gradual evolution … The theory was developed to account for … transitional forms. … The issue was reported in British newspapers and raised a furor when Eldredge stated “… one has … found … evidence of such transitional creatures…” (The Guardian Weekly, Nov 26, 1978, vol 119, no.22, pg. 1) I’m not going to argue about whether or not transitional fossils exist, but if you try to re-write history, I will .…

RBH

Haha! That’s classic RBH. :))

TR Hunter, “For instance ID theorists (or just anti-evolutionists in general) claim that the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium does at least highlight a fact which for a long time evoltionary biologists or paleontologists held from public scrutiny. Which was that stasis, was the trade secret of paleontology. The anti-evolutionists usually bring this up in the midst of an argument concerning how poor the fossil record is when it comes to ‘proving’ the fact of evolution.

I think that you have been fooled about this “trade secret” sillyness. Take a look at my latest addition to this site.

By the way, nits are the eggs of human lice, and are very very small black spheres. Misquotes and out-right distortions typical of creationists are hardly small, and if done by real academicians would mean the end of one’s career.

Charlie Wrote:

That was exactly their point. In fact, in the Panda’s Thumb (pg181), Gould refers to the absence of transitional forms as “the trade secret of paleontology”.

False. Gould refered to the absence of species-to-species transitional forms. He has made it clear often that there are many transitional forms of higher-order transitions, like between reptiles and mammals, dinosaurs and birds, etc. However, there are fossil sequences from very special situations that are able to show species-to-species transitions. Can you guess what they are?

Gould refered to the absence of species-to-species transitional forms.

In fact it was “extreme rarety”, not “absence”.

Reed Cartwright wrote:

False. Gould refered to the absence of species-to-species transitional forms. He has made it clear often that there are many transitional forms of higher-order transitions, like between reptiles and mammals, dinosaurs and birds, etc. However, there are fossil sequences from very special situations that are able to show species-to-species transitions. Can you guess what they are?

You have been badly misinformed. It was known by most leading paleontologists in the last century that the gaps between higher taxa are real and quite large. G.G. Simpson remarked: “the appearance of a new genus in the (fossil) record is usually more abrupt than the appearance of a new species; the gaps involved are generally larger, that is, when a new genus appears in the record it is usually well separated morphologically from most nearly similar other known genera. This phenomenon becomes more universal and more intense as the hierarchy of catagories is ascended. Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes and phyla are systematic and almost always large.” (Simpson G.G. 1960, “The History of Life” in “The Evolution of Life”, University of Chicago Press pg 135)

P.E. is a plausible explanation of the gaps between species but it was never able to explain the larger gaps between classes and phyla. After all, the species-species gaps are trivial compared to the gaps that occur between major phyla. There’s no way, unless you believe in miracles, that these kinds of transitions could have occurred in short periods of time, using only a few transitional forms in a restricted geological area. It would be necessary to have long lineages, thousands of transitional species all of which have never been discovered. The notion that they are there, but remain undiscovered or that they were all unsuccessful species occupying isolated areas and having very small population numbers is ludicrous.

This quotation thing is a riot. Charlie, quick: what is the first sentence on page 136 of GG Simpson’s article?

It can’t really be that you just uncritically lifted the quote from some of the many creationist sources which carry it, uh? You must have read the whole article, to understand what Simpson really meant, and the major relevant literature, to make sure that a quote from 1960(!), even if accurate, still has relevance, right?

Do you feel comfortable enough on the subject to have a little test on the fossil record of some major transitions?

Charlie,

As great as G.G. Simpson was, allow me to suggest that you expand your reading past a 1960 essay by him. Surprisingly, paleontology did not come to a standstill after Simpson, and some paleontologists have actually been doing field work and research(!) in the intervening 44 years. They’ve even found quite a few transitional sequences (!!).

Really, Charlie, if you’re going to quote-mine, at least do so from a source which is representative of the current state of the science. You might want to read the transitional fossils FAQ on talkorigins, and when you’re done, please note the number of references which date from after 1960.

Charlie,

I addressed phylum-level transitional sequences in a TalkOrigins Feedback item.

Charlie Wagner Wrote:

P.E. is a plausible explanation of the gaps between species but it was never able to explain the larger gaps between classes and phyla.

This sort of comment about PE is covered in section 6, “Common errors in discussion of PE” of the PE FAQ:

PE is essentially and exclusively directed to questions at the level of speciation and processes affecting species. The basis of PE is the neontological theory of peripatric speciation. The criteria by which “punctuations” are recognized by Gould and Eldredge involve temporal issues and geographic issues. PE is not expected to be as useful at lower or higher levels of change.

Andrea Bottaro wrote:

This quotation thing is a riot. Charlie, quick: what is the first sentence on page 136 of GG Simpson’s article?

You picked the wrong guy to try and intimidate with bogus charges of “quote-mining”. I’m immune to that kind of baloney. I provided the quote AND the full citation. If you want to know about what else Simpson said, feel free to look it up yourself.

Do you feel comfortable enough on the subject to have a little test on the fossil record of some major transitions?

Of course. But don’t try to point me to someone else’s FAQ. I want to hear what you have to say on the matter. (BTW, I’m leaving tomorrow morning for Christmas Island. I’ll be there until Friday, so I may not be able to reply right away. My wife told me that if she finds my laptop, she’s going to throw it in the ocean. I’ve been with her long enough to be a believer.)

Andrea Bottaro wrote:

This quotation thing is a riot. Charlie, quick: what is the first sentence on page 136 of GG Simpson’s article?

You picked the wrong guy to try and intimidate with bogus charges of “quote-mining”. I’m immune to that kind of baloney. I provided the quote AND the full citation. If you want to know about what else Simpson said, feel free to look it up yourself.

Do you feel comfortable enough on the subject to have a little test on the fossil record of some major transitions?

Of course. I’m not a paleontologist, but I’m reasonably well informed. But don’t try to point me to someone else’s FAQ. I want to hear what you have to say on the matter. (BTW, I’m leaving tomorrow morning for Christmas Island. I’ll be there until Friday, so I may not be able to reply right away. My wife told me that if she finds my laptop, she’s going to throw it in the ocean. I’ve been with her long enough to be a believer.

Andrea Bottaro wrote:

what is the first sentence on page 136 of GG Simpson’s article?

Just for your amusement, the sentence reads:

“They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptibly changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution. A great many sequences of two or a few temporally intergrading species are known, but even at this level, most species appear without known immediate ancestors, and really long, perfectly complete sequences of numerous species are exceedingly rare.”

All,

Returning to my original comment concerning whether or not Casey Luskin from the IDEA Center is allowed to make an occasional misquote, and what that means concerning the overall respectability of the IDEA Center…

First off, it should be noticed that in the midst of all this badgering, most of you have failed to recognize that Casey Luskin, when approached with a mistake or misquote, admits to the problem and proceeds to correct his mistakes.

Regarding the IDEA Center’s Punc Eq FAQ? It appears that he has made a number of corrections to it. I have also been informed that he is currently updating his FAQ on Gene Duplication. Casey thus seems to be someone who is willing and ready to admit academic errors.

Thus, I still do not believe that the exagerated claims made against Casey Luskin posted here on the PandasThumb are in any way correct. The assessment, and subsequent judgment, that Casey is someone willingly interested in the propogation of lies, is wholly unfounded. The humble acknowledgment of ones errors, and openness to correction which Casey has shown in these instances is an intellectual virtue which should be admired among even the staunchest of opponents.

As for my original plea that the PandasThumb should spend more time dealing with the actual scientific and philosophical arguments made by ID proponents (rather than “nit-picking”) i’ll go now to check out the sites archives and see if my admonishment was in fact reasonable.

Thanks,

T. Russell Hunter

T. Russell Hunter,

Your comment has to be among the saddest I have seen posted. It indicates the moral decay that continued exposure to antievolutionists exerts.

Is a willingness to correct error a virtue? No, it is simply a minimum standard for participation in argumentation. Implying that we should be impressed that someone corrects errors that others have pointed out is like saying that a child caught with hand in cookie jar should be rewarded for the simple act of removing his hand when caught. It is only by comparison to the astoundingly bad record of antievolutionists in general in correcting their misinformation that Casey Luskin could appear virtuous in this regard.

I’ll point out again for Hunter’s edification that I’m not “picking nits”. The mistakes I’ve noted are absolutely basic in discussion of PE. Making those kinds of mistakes is not a sign of competent knowledge of the topic.

And also for Hunter’s edification, he might have a look at the URLs I provided before, and these that I am providing now:

http://www.antievolution.org/people[…]sdembski.pdf

http://www.talkdesign.org/faqs/thef[…]vertoil.html

http://www.antievolution.org/people[…]wre_ctns.ppt

These address some of the philosophical claims of ID. Hunter’s “admonishment” indicates a startling amount of ignorance on his part concerning my participation in criticism of ID.

As far as I can tell, there are no scientific arguments making a positive case for ID. Anybody who asserts otherwise should provide a reference so I can check it out.

Wesley R. Elsberry wrote:

As far as I can tell, there are no scientific arguments making a positive case for ID. Anybody who asserts otherwise should provide a reference so I can check it out.

Have you read nothing that I’ve written in the past few weeks? Have you read nothing that I’ve written in the past 5 years on talk.origins? I guess just ignoring these kinds of ideas is far better than trying to refute them. Just pretend they were never spoken, continue to claim as you have above and go merrily on your way. Why I continue with this fool’s errand sometimes amazes even me.

Why I continue with this fool’s errand sometimes amazes even me.

Well, comment on that, but you are an underachiever, after all. This guy manages to argue your antievolution, but then he does you one better. http://www.fixedearth.com/

Well, no comment on that, I meant.

Relative virtue: What a difference it would make if the top dogs at DI would correct their errors. There’d be no ID!

Charles Wagner Wrote:

The issue was reported in British newspapers and raised a furor when Eldredge stated “no one has yet found any evidence of such transitional creatures … “ (The Guardian Weekly, Nov 26, 1978, vol 119, no.22, pg. 1) I’m not going to argue about whether or not transitional fossils exist, but if you try to re-write history, I will call you on it.

And I’m not going to sit here and watch you tell the same lies I caught you telling seven years ago (on the CompuServe Science forum) without calling you on it. The “quote” you’ve given here is not a direct quote of Eldredge but merely a reporter’s interpretation of Eldredge’s views. A reporter’s interpretation which, by the way, you copied out of Michael Denton’s book Evolution A Theory in Crisis.

For those interested in this see the following link for the forum thread in question:

http://home.att.net/~troybritain/ar[…]er_lying.htm

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 10, column 173, byte 699 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

Charlie,

You are correct that I haven’t sought out every piece of stuff you’ve posted. Did you post something that wasn’t a negative argument against evolutionary biology? If you did, I missed it. Post the reference and I will have a look.

Charlie said:

Andrea Bottaro wrote: “This quotation thing is a riot. Charlie, quick: what is the first sentence on page 136 of GG Simpson’s article?”

You picked the wrong guy to try and intimidate with bogus charges of “quote-mining”. I’m immune to that kind of baloney. I provided the quote AND the full citation. If you want to know about what else Simpson said, feel free to look it up yourself.

and later:

Just for your amusement, the sentence reads:

“They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptibly changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution. A great many sequences of two or a few temporally intergrading species are known, but even at this level, most species appear without known immediate ancestors, and really long, perfectly complete sequences of numerous species are exceedingly rare.”

I am not trying to intimidate you, Charlie, I am just trying to understand where your “quote AND full citation” comes from. See, the first sentence you quote is not on page 135 (that’s why I asked the question about the first sentence on the next page). And the second sentence you quote in your reply is not the first sentence on page 136 either. In fact, it’s an earlier sentence on the same page as the first, and is also quoted by Creationists.

One reason that it takes so long to hunt down creationist quote-mine nuggets is that they rarely bother to provide proper citations. Not only do they distort the author’s meaning, but they lie about where they got their ‘information.’

How can they argue for their ‘literal’ reading of anything is beyond me, as they are such failures at simple quotation.

Incidentally, just to dispel the impression that mine was just a nitpick about page numbers, the original reason why I challenged Charlie is the sentence he wrote just after quoting Simpson:

Charlie: P.E. is a plausible explanation of the gaps between species but it was never able to explain the larger gaps between classes and phyla. After all, the species-species gaps are trivial compared to the gaps that occur between major phyla. There’s no way, unless you believe in miracles, that these kinds of transitions could have occurred in short periods of time, using only a few transitional forms in a restricted geological area. It would be necessary to have long lineages, thousands of transitional species all of which have never been discovered. The notion that they are there, but remain undiscovered or that they were all unsuccessful species occupying isolated areas and having very small population numbers is ludicrous.

This kind of stuck out because in the very same section of the article quoted by Charlie, Simpson goes on to explain why he would expect transitional forms between higher taxa to be less frequent in the fossil record than transitional forms within those taxa. Simpson cites mechanisms of speciation and morphological differentiation (indeed, explaining why P.E.-like rapid evolution would be expected for higher taxon formation), the temporal distribution of the major transitions at geological times in which fossil formation was less favored (that point kind of escapes me, frankly, is there a geologist in the house?), and statistical sampling bias, and references past work of his (“Major Features of Evolution”) in which more detail is provided. In other words, he offered precisely the empirical and theoretical explanations for the observed phenomena that Charlie claims cannot be reasonably explained. So, instead of describing Simpson’s explanations for the lack of transitional forms before higher taxa (at least in 1960), and countering them with his own arguments why those explanations are insufficient, Charlie apparently chose instead to quote a part of the article that supported his contention, and to ignore the actual explanations.

In summary: 1) the sentence quoted by Charlie is essentially an introduction, a “statement of the problem”, which is followed in the article by an actual, substantial discussion of the issue; 2) Charlie quoted the sentence and avoided mentioning the possible explanations supplied by Simpson; 3) Thus, either Charlie has not read the article (and thus he didn’t know the explanations were there) and simply lifted the quote from some Creationist source, or he purposefully selected from the article the sentence that supported his argument, and avoided the explanations that didn’t.

Either way, that looks like a “classic” misquotation to me.

The insteresting aspect of the current round of arguments (coming soon to a school district near you!) is the elaborate rhetorical scheme involved in the composition of the ID arguments. Never mind the lack of significant testing, never mind the lack of a comprehensive body of evidence; we’re living in the land of the 60-second sound bite and the media is the massage.

The inclusion of John Angus Campbell as one of the latest academics to join in the orgy of non-peer reviewed publishing promoting ID as a relevant topic for science education demonstrates that point. Campbell is specifically a rhetorician and his compositions and the works he edits contain messages designed persuade the non-critical reader that ID is a justifiable and appropriate topic for the science classroom. One of the things that we, as members of a scientific community might consider, is how to use the same weapons being wielded by the opposition.

Marty Erwin is on to something.

I’ve given some thought to the issue, particularly as we slogged it out against the DI folks here in Texas last year, and I have a couple of suggestions.

First, it must be made clear that Darwinian theory is counted as one of the great contributions of western civilization. If one takes the usual survey course of western civ in any liberal arts school or university, one will be tested on Darwin’s ideas and their impacts on culture. So, simply to qualify as “a well-educated person,” all kids should be familiar with Darwin’s theory, what it says, how it works, and its real impacts.

Fortunately, the Texas science standards require specifically that kids know evolution. That helped us a lot.

Because it is such an important idea, kids need to learn it – and it’s unfair to the kids to fail to teach them Darwinian theory so they understand it well; it’s unfair to the kids to tell them they may dismiss the ideas without having to grapple with them.

Second, it’s unfair to insist that the weaknesses of Darwinian theories be taught without teaching first the strengths of the theories. Teach the strengths of Darwin’s theories first. Scientists don’t use scientific methods because Congress requires them to do so, but because the methods lead to great breakthroughs in many fields. Kids need to learn, FIRST, that scientists use evolution theory, how it is used, why it is used, and how it helps scientists make breakthrough discoveries in medicine (such as treatments for AIDS and other viral diseases, such as public health measures against West Nile virus)– and the kids need to get those strengths BEFORE they learn the real weaknesses of the current theoretical constructs.

It’s not fair to teach the weaknesses without first having taught the strengths. We don’t teach kids the great values of communism before they learn of American freedom, in social studies; we shouldn’t reverse the procedure in science, either, on pedagogical grounds.

Finally, we should develop a shorthand list of genuine controversies around evolution that would aid in students’ understanding of the issues. Teaching the genuine controversies will chase out the false controversies (and highlight the impotence of creationism/intelligent design). I would suggest that someone develop lesson plans around the use of bacteria-killing household soaps, and what effects those might be expected to have on the development of bacteria, and on the prevention of diseases like the common cold (which is, of course, a viral disease, not bacterial). We could use some lesson plans on the controversy over genetically-modified foods –especially with emphasis on the differences between the genetic modifications achieved by Luther Burbank (say, with the Russett Burbank which McDonald’s sells so much of) versus the genetic modifications achieved by Monsanto. I think kids would find very interesting (and troubling) a unit on the search for the origin of human HIV, especially with the questions about species jumping thought to have occurred through the distribution of “bushmeat” from other primates, in Africa. That unit might well feature information on ebola and hemmorhagic fevers, real dangers our world faces that evolution offers hopes of overcoming. A unit on the CDC’s influenza vaccine work would be another good topic, showing how and why we track the evolution of viruses and why we need annual inoculations as opposed to once-a-lifetime treatments.

We should insist that kids be taught the best science FIRST, and well, before learning the weaknesses; we need to insist to school boards that kids be taught REAL weaknesses and controversies appropriate to topics. I think this would force the ID controversy into social studies, by the way – which could be good for social studies.

Ed Darrell wrote:

“Finally, we should develop a shorthand list of genuine controversies around evolution that would aid in students’ understanding of the issues. Teaching the genuine controversies will chase out the false controversies (and highlight the impotence of creationism/intelligent design).”

This is not unlike what I suggested recently on Talk Origins. I added that the false controversies – actually strategic misrepresentations – should be taught in a non-science class because students will get them from the media anyway. And even when the media is pro-science, their sensationalist sound bites mostly benefit pseudoscientific anti-evolutionists. However, in such a course, the position of science, i.e. the rebuttals to the misrepresentations, should be the last word, not the first.

At present, maybe half of adult Americans claim to accept evolution, and most of them really just have a caricature in mind, so they could be easily fall for all sorts of pseudoscientific alternative “theories” or at least “the jury is still out” nonsense. So any curriculum changes that increase instruction in evolution and keep the false controversies out of science class can only help.

Ed Darrell wrote

Finally, we should develop a shorthand list of genuine controversies around evolution that would aid in students’ understanding of the issues. Teaching the genuine controversies will chase out the false controversies (and highlight the impotence of creationism/intelligent design). I would suggest that someone develop lesson plans around the use of bacteria-killing household soaps, and what effects those might be expected to have on the development of bacteria, and on the prevention of diseases like the common cold (which is, of course, a viral disease, not bacterial).

That was done in Ohio when the State BOE was due to consider the execrable Wells-inspired model lesson plan drawn directly from Icons of Evolution. However, under the influence of the creationist Chairman of the Standards Committee, the Department of Education staff decided that the substitute, written by Steve Rissing who runs Ohio State’s intro bio program, would have to go through reviews and field testing and therefore couldn’t be substituted for the crappy one. Hence the crappy one was the only alternative left on the table.

Get it straight, folks. Whether good alternatives are available or not, this is not about science. It is about politics, culture wars, and ideology. One can holler “it ain’t fair to teach crap!” ’til the cows come home, but it won’t make any difference. The fight isn’t on those grounds.

RBH

I’m following up here on the posts by Marty, Frank, Ed, and RBH. All revolve around what I think is a common theme – namely, the rhetorical aspects of the evolution/ID issue. I agree with Ed that a coherent set of arguments is essential. Like RBH, I also see this battle being fought largely on the political front. I’m certainly not intending to downplay the role of scientific truth, because that’s what this is ultimately about. But in the venues where the crucial arguments are often made (e.g., school boards and the town square), scientific truth all too often takes a back seat to the rhetoric. Rhetoric is really all the ID/creationists have to rely on, and to this point it hasn’t gotten them very far, but that’s not to say it won’t. Evolution defeats ID/creationism on scientific terms, but there should also be a concerted effort to meet the ID/creationists on their own terms. Far too often, I see evolution proponents throw up their arms in frustration when they struggle to come to grips with ID/creationist rhetoric.

I suggest borrowing a page from semiotic theory. My own expertise lies in the area of legal semiotics, but the principles apply with equal force to any form of discourse, including, particularly, the kind of discourse going on here. Most arguments can be categorized into one or more of a handful of argument forms: rights, responsibility, equality, realizability, utility, precedent, and competence. The key, of course, is to spot your opponent’s argument form and to respond appropriately. It takes some practice, but it can be done.

For example, take Ed’s argument that its unfair to fail to teach kids Darwinism, and to teach them well. At the substantive level, this is a rights argument: our kids have the right to learn scientific truth. ID/creationists respond with a rights argument of their own: our kids have the right not to be exposed to secular humanism, and to be secure in their religious beliefs. The former argument is a right to freedom of action argument; the latter is a right to security argument. The two are sort of a standard pair.

Another common argument by ID/creationists is that they are discriminated against by school districts that teach only evolution. It’s a version of a responsibility argument. It should be met with a responsibility argument in rebuttal: if you want to teach your kids creationism, it’s your responsibility to do so at home or in your church. It isn’t our responsibility to fund your religious education with our tax dollars.

I’ve rambled on here quite a bit. But I’m wondering: has anyone made an effort to devise a sort of standard set of rhetorical arguments, based upon the standard argument forms, that can be used against ID/creationists? If anyone knows of such a project, I’d appreciate a heads up on it. I’d also like to see a discussion thread here on the Thumb on this issue, if any of our hosts would care to start one.

I’m not suggesting that this battle can be won by rhetoric alone. If (when?) the day comes that ID/creationism becomes an issue in our school district, I’ll need experts – people with scientific expertise – to argue the science. That’s clearly beyond my competence. What I am suggesting, though, is that non-experts – the people who sit on school boards, and the public generally, are often swayed by effective rhetoric. Unless we’re prepared to fight with that weapon, we’re at a big disadvantage.

Dan wrote

What I am suggesting, though, is that non-experts – the people who sit on school boards, and the public generally, are often swayed by effective rhetoric. Unless we’re prepared to fight with that weapon, we’re at a big disadvantage.

I think Dan is right. In my experience, scientists coming out of academia into the debate at, say, a local school board tend to use one mode of argumentation, scientific. They (we!) see it as a purely scientific question and so address it as though we were giving a colloquium at a university research center.

I know of no such set of ‘standard argument forms’ that are collated in one place, though there are bits and pieces scattered around here and there. Developing one would be a boon to mankind.

RBH

RBH said:

That was done in Ohio when the State BOE was due to consider the execrable Wells-inspired model lesson plan drawn directly from Icons of Evolution. However, under the influence of the creationist Chairman of the Standards Committee, the Department of Education staff decided that the substitute, written by Steve Rissing who runs Ohio State’s intro bio program, would have to go through reviews and field testing and therefore couldn’t be substituted for the crappy one. Hence the crappy one was the only alternative left on the table.

There are other venues. That lesson plan should be submitted to ERIC, or whatever the current equivalent is. Maybe NCSE could post it and make it available. Perhaps NAS could use it (if they don’t already have a teacher helps site).

Frankly, I’m disappointed that with the wealth of data available, the textbooks don’t really go into a lot of the most exciting things going on. There are various reasons for it, but since most good teachers are looking outside the texts anyway, let’s put the stuff where teachers can find it.

That’s one thing the creationists and ID folks do well. Discovery Institute gave a package of a couple of videos several books, and suggested lesson plans to each member of the Texas education board. There was nothing similar from science. If one does a simple search on Google for information on any evolution topic, it’s likely that 75 of the top 100 sites will be creationists claiming that part of evolution is hooey.

We gotta get the stuff and make it work.

As one example, I’m pretty into this stuff. But from the Ohio evolution advocates, I haven’t yet heard a few key things I am primed to listen to. I haven’t heard what the agricultural stake is for evolution in Ohio – here in Texas, grapefruit is a huge crop, a relatively new species with a sport mutation that makes it red. I haven’t heard the medical stakes in Ohio. Here in Texas we have five Nobel winners whose prize-winning research is based on evolution theory, and several research hospitals battling cancer and other diseases using evolution theory. Surely Ohio State has something similar, no?

People need to hear that, repeatedly. We don’t talk it up enough.

Science is powerful, but not a good horn self-tooter.

Ed,

We’ve made the alternative lesson plan available on the Ohio Citizens for Science site, which unfortunately is down at the moment – I think the redirect is screwed up. It did what you suggest – tied the question to Ohio’s agricultural concerns.

RBH

It seems that things have been pretty well covered here. Those interested in continuing a discussion are welcome to use the After the Bar Closes forum on the AE discussion board or the talk.origins newsgroup.

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This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on June 3, 2004 6:20 PM.

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