Nature: Biologists snub ‘kangaroo court’ for Darwin

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Tomorrow’s issue of Nature carries a story entitled “Biologists snub ‘kangaroo court’ for Darwin.” Apparently, the [url=]Intelligent Design Network[/url] and their friends running the Kansas State Board of Education have had absolutely no luck recruiting real scientists to participate in the Antievolution show-trial they have planned for May. Major kudos to Kansas Citizens for Science, their efforts are now getting noticed internationally as well as nationally.

I have written a more thorough summary of recent events in this NCSE update. You can freely subscribe (with bloglines or something similar) to a news feed for NCSE updates; a weekly email update is also available.

The blogs Thoughts from Kansas and Red State Rabble, Les Lane’s website, and the Kansas Citizens for Science website and discussion forums are the places to go to get the latest on Kansas.

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Send in the clowns from The Panda's Thumb on April 5, 2005 10:46 PM

In the I am not making this stuff up category, the ID crowd is planning on sending a battalion of pseudoscientists to Kansas this May for the upcoming ID Kangaroo Court.  On the front page of the Intelligent Design Network’s... Read More

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Actually, Nature is wrong. One pro-evolution scientist has agreed to participate: Prof. Steve Steve. He will be on hand, to answer any questions that the kangaroos have. But don’t make him angry; you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

I don’t know why the KBE doesn’t go ahead with the hearings. Functionally it would mimic the open dialogues Dubya is having with the electorate about Social Security to which dissenters are not invited (and in somes cases ejected). The KBE has achieved the same end by establishing ground rules to which no informed person could agree. These people, from Dubya on down, seem to be modeling their practices on those of the local soviets in the old USSR.

Functionally it would mimic the open dialogues Dubya is having with the electorate about Social Security to which dissenters are not invited (and in somes cases ejected).

Be sure to leave your “Darwin fish” bumper stickers at home!

The article in Nature is very disappointing. It’s about as enlightening as something written in the WSJ or USA Today. Why waste precious space in Nature on such warmed over tabloid journalism? Nature is slowly turning itself into a popular science journal - consider its n-part fictional series on quantum crime and it’s increasingly “unbiased” news reporting in which all sides of any argument are given equal weight. One would have thought that a journal started by Darwin’s bulldog would not have referred to intelligent design as a theory - certainly not without quotes - nor should it have given any space for quotes from creationists without some vitriolic editorial response.

The article says nothing no scientist doesn’t know or couldn’t get elsewhere and does nothing to promote science over superstition. Depressing.

One thing to keep in mind is that, unless I’m seriously mistaken about Nature’s readership, most of the readers of the article are already aware that ID is not science and that creationist’s statements are not to be trusted. Editorial response is not as necessary as it would be for an article in WSJ or USA Today where the readership does not generally know these things.

I’d put this on the Wall under normal circumstances, but CNN just reported on an interesting fossil find:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/scienc[…]t/index.html

But the fossil animal, named Fruitafossor windscheffelia, is not related to anything alive today and shows that anteaters, armadillos and other creatures that dig up insects evolved their specialized abilities several times during the history of the world.

There it is again! That strange statement: “the animal is not related to anything alive today”.

If my children die, does that mean I no longer have any living relatives? Why is the mainstream media so lazy?

Just as dinosaurs started getting really big 150 million years ago, a little rat-sized mammal scurried around eating termites, U.S. scientists reported on Thursday.

They found the fossil of a completely new type of animal in Colorado…

Hello? Was it a mammal, as stated, or was it a completely new type of animal, as stated?

Just FYI for anyone tracking the Kansas debate in the press–since I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere on these pages. Today’s Seattle Times has an article by a staff writer, Linda Shaw, titled ‘Does Seattle group “teach controversy” or contribute to it?’ (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ht[…]sign31m.html). The article unfortunately goes far too easy on Stephen Meyer, and fails to delve into the history of the Kansas Board of Education’s review process. But it does mention the 500 (Steve|Stephanie)s. On the whole, I think the headline writer may have done a better job in capturing the essence of the issue than the author.

…and a not-too-bad article in the Dallas Morning News today, referencing the NSTA convention, and addressing many popular aspects of the issues.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcon[…]n.11b7a.html

I nominate Professor John Davison. He’s a scientist, a biologist with 50 years experience no less, and I’m sure he’d be willing to talk about Darwinian evolution with the Kansas board of education.

The ant eater phenotype did not evolve independently and gradually several times at all. It was there all along and was simply independently derepressed on more than one occasion just as were the saber-toothed cat phenotypes derepressed and thereby expressed independently in both marsupial and placental mammals. Many other examples exist of what has been erroneously described as “convergent evolution,” just one more aspect of the Darwinian fairy tale.

John A. Davison

It’s anteaters all the way down.

Dr. Davison,

What other animals have the repressed anteater genes in them? What prevents them from being “derepressed?”

Do such genes exist in humans? If so, should we not expect, from time to time, that a human might give birth to an anteater, or a raccoon, or a bear, or a dolphin?

With six billion tries in the past 50 years, has any of thost derepressions been reliably reported? How many tries does it take?

I nominate Professor John Davison.

I enthusiastically second the nomination!

John Davidson, I loved you on That’s Incredible, but your Ignored Evolutionary Hypothesis is not Sound Science.

I would enjoy it if instead of sending scientists, the NCSE or someone sent, to represent the evolutionist side, a dozen or so textbooks on Genetics, molecular biology, etc. If the ‘court’ really wants to see the evidence for evolution, that’s a vastly more accurate representation than a couple of argumentative biologists.

steve Wrote:

I would enjoy it if instead of sending scientists, the NCSE or someone sent, to represent the evolutionist side, a dozen or so textbooks on Genetics, molecular biology, etc. If the ‘court’ really wants to see the evidence for evolution, that’s a vastly more accurate representation than a couple of argumentative biologists.

They should send an updated version of this survey by Gilchrist, together with some level-headed experts to help the KBoE understand its significance.

(Oh, and the NCSE should offer to pay Dr. Davison‘s airfare and per diem to explain the other side. If his science doesn’t quite do the trick, surely his charm offensive will save the day.)

I would love to debate both the Fundies and the IDists simultaneously because there really is nothing to debate which would be the substance of my contribution, a conclusion which has been made unavoidable by everything we know for certain from taxonomy, paleontology, Mendelian genetics, molecular biology, hundreds of years of plant and animal husbandry and the visible structure of the chromosomes. There has never been an exogenous cause for evolution, a process now terminated And unlikely to restart. To pretend this evidence does not exist is inexcusable.

John A. Davison

“There has never been an exogenous cause for evolution, a process now terminated And unlikely to restart. To pretend this evidence does not exist is inexcusable.”

Simply saying there is evidence for your conjecture doesn’t make the conjecture any less strange. And yes, I’ve read your PEH.

GT(N)T

I realize my statement may seem strange but, since both Lamarckism and Darwinism have been thouroughly discredited, there is nothing strange in postulating the only conceivable alternative explanation for the great mystery of evolution. That is just common sense.

I did not say there was evidence for the PEH. Quite the contrary, if you have read the manuscript you must realize that I PRESENTED both indirect and direct evidence for it by referencing the works of others and and their conclusions expressed in their own words. That evidence included the conclusions by Broom, Huxley and Grasse that evolution is indeed no longer in operation as well as Schindewolf’s opinion that the environment was not involved. I have been profoundly influenced by these skeptics of the Darwinian model and have done little more than to extend their judgements to what seem to me to be the only reasonable conclusion.

I do not regards the PEH as mere conjecture. I regard it as a new way of looking at the the two greatest mysteries of the biological world, ontogeny and phylogeny. I now am of the strong opinion that, like ontogeny, phylogeny too has resulted from the expression of contained original information which, like ontogeny, has been expressed by progressive internally regulated derepression terminating in cessation. Just as differentaition ceases with the attainment of adulthood, so did evolution terminate with the production of its final product Homo sapiens. Ontogeny presents a wonderful model for phylogeny at least for me if not for others.

John A. Davison

fess up, stalking horse.

Not a chance toeJam. What you see is what you get.

John A. Davison

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on March 30, 2005 10:34 PM.

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