The Luskin Follies, Part MCMLVIII

| 30 Comments

Last month PvM posted on Casey Luskin’s misconceptions based on some remarks reportedly made by Catherine Boisvert in a news story on the resolution of the distal radials of Tiktaalik.

However, as PvM pointed out, Boisvert’s research using MicroCT scans, discussed in that news article, actually resolved those elements of a Tiktaalik:

The disposition of distal radials in Panderichthys are much more tetrapod-like than in Tiktaalik,” Boisvert wrote. “Combined with fossil evidence from Tiktaalik and genetic evidence from sharks, paddlefish and the Australian lungfish, it is now completely proven that fingers have evolved from distal radials already present in fish that gave rise to the tetrapod.

Now Chris of A Free Man, a geneticist in Australia, has interviewed Boisvert about Luskin’s misuse of her remarks and her work with the specimens. The money quote:

As you know, the “Discovery” Institute tactic is not to go to the primary literature in order to understand it but rather to use quotations from secondary, even tertiary sources, reorganise or use them out of context opportunistically to their own convenience. In this case, they used an article where the journalists unfortunately misunderstood me. Tiktaalik’s material is in fact exquisite, it is very well preserved, basically uncrushed and can be prepared out to be examined in three dimensions. I never said the quality was poor. I have simply explained that the morphology of the fin of Panderichthys is more tetrapod-like than that of Tiktaalik, which has nothing to do with the quality of the material.

That pretty much settles it, I’d say.

30 Comments

Catherine Boisvert said: As you know, the “Discovery” Institute tactic is not to go to the primary literature in order to understand it but rather to use quotations from secondary, even tertiary sources, reorganise or use them out of context opportunistically to their own convenience.

No Panda’s Thumb regular could have said it better. She’s definitely one of us. Welcome aboard, Catherine.

Richard, thanks for promoting Chris’ post so quickly.

And what do the Roman numerals have to so with this?

If I’m not mistaken, “MCMLVIII” is 1958 in the numerals we normally use. Why that number?

Dale Husband said:

And what do the Roman numerals have to so with this?

If I’m not mistaken, “MCMLVIII” is 1958 in the numerals we normally use. Why that number?

I think that it is supposed to represent the number of corrections that have been made to Luskin’s squeaks. However, I believe that it must be much much more than this.

Michael

As the kids say, “Pwned!”

1958 is 50 years ago, and was the year I was loosed on the world, graduating from high school just after Sputnik went up in 1957 and every red-blooded American boy with an IQ greater than his waist size was going off to college to become an engineer and whup the Commies. I learned a valuable lesson that year: Physics majors should not room with drama majors. 8:00 am calculus class comes waaaaay too early! As it turned out, I did end up spending 10 years in aerospace and defense (20 Polaris launches and work on command module reaction jet engine controllers in the Apollo program), but it was no thanks to my roomie.

Thanks for the link. I was trying to give Catherine an opportunity to go off on the DI, but she took the high road. Must be that Canadian politeness. Still, she nailed it.

Isn’t the goal of the Discovery about ‘accuracy in the media’? Will we see them write an update to either explain themselves or retract their statements?

Has hell frozen over yet?

Hell will freeze over, thaw, freeze over again, then thaw into an underworld timeshare before the Discovery Institute retracts any of their lies.

Luskin is probably looking for something else he and Ms Leary can quotemine.

PvM said:

Isn’t the goal of the Discovery about ‘accuracy in the media’? Will we see them write an update to either explain themselves or retract their statements?

Has hell frozen over yet?

Stanton said: Luskin is probably looking for something else he and Ms Leary can quotemine.

Hmmm…that’s one option from the standard DI playbook. There’s two other pretty typical ones they might try: 1 - ignore it altogether and ban any UD posters who bring it up. 2 - claim that Ms. Boisvert’s correction is a sign that she is part of the darwinist camp’s attempt to stifle all dissent - i.e. perform an ad hominem attack while dodging the substance of her words.

“i.e. perform an ad hominem attack while dodging the substance of her words.”

In the DI’s case, isn’t it more of an ad hominempty?!

RBH Wrote:

1958 is 50 years ago, and was the year I was loosed on the world, graduating from high school just after Sputnik went up in 1957 and every red-blooded American boy with an IQ greater than his waist size was going off to college to become an engineer and whup the Commies.

Another sad reminder that I was born 10 years too late. Sputnik was the first current event that I remember, a week before my 3rd birthday. And that chemistry set that the older boy across the street got for Christmas 1958 sparked my interest in chemistry. I was at least fortunate to have 3 of my own chemistry sets in the ‘60s before they became politically correct (never mind that mom has NaOCl and NH4OH under the kitchen sink, chemistry sets must be as “safe” as possible). It could be worse, in Luskin’s fantasy world there would be no chemistry sets - or research labs.

You have got to work really hard to be so wrong every time you open your mouth. Hopefully people will realize that these aren’t just honest mistakes or real scientific disagreements. This guy works as hard as he can to deliberately misrepresent science and absolutely refuses to admit his transgressions.

Just imagine the mind set it must take to believe in the teachings of the Bible and behave like this, not only occasionally but as a career. You’d think that the guy would realize by now that every lie will be revealed. Oh well, such is the fate of those preaching to the choir.

You have got to work really hard to be so wrong every time you open your mouth.

Actually, no you don’t. All you need is a totally incorrect, non-negotiable model of how you wish things were. Given that, it’s pretty easy to filter out what doesn’t fit, and not all that challenging to make things fit that can’t. It’s especially helpful when (a) your entire target audience uses the same model, and (b) they have money they give you for ratifying their fantasies.

Anyway, stick with a wrong model, and being wrong comes automatically. Stick with a VERY wrong model, and you can’t help being even wronger.

Flint said:

Anyway, stick with a wrong model, and being wrong comes automatically. Stick with a VERY wrong model, and you can’t help being even wronger.

Both factually and grammatically.

As Abe Lincoln said of John Brown, “He’s the wrongest right man I ever knew.”

Flint said:

You have got to work really hard to be so wrong every time you open your mouth.

Actually, no you don’t. All you need is a totally incorrect, non-negotiable model of how you wish things were. Given that, it’s pretty easy to filter out what doesn’t fit, and not all that challenging to make things fit that can’t. It’s especially helpful when (a) your entire target audience uses the same model, and (b) they have money they give you for ratifying their fantasies.

Anyway, stick with a wrong model, and being wrong comes automatically. Stick with a VERY wrong model, and you can’t help being even wronger.

Fractal wrongness I belive its called

That would be wrong at any scale. ;)

WTF? Forrest Mims honored by Discover Magazine? http://www.wikio.com/news/Forrest+Mims

Hi again,

If I can pipe up on a marginally related topic, Mendel’s Garden, the genetics blog carnival, is seeking the best genetics posts in the blogosphere. I’m hostin the December edition and am looking for submissions. If you’d be interested in having a post featured, please e-mail me your latest, greatest to chris (at) afreeman (dot) org.

Chris

Leave it to the Panda’s Thumb to post snarky comments about Casey Luskin, Renaissance Man.

Casey Luskin runs the Discovery Institute virtually single handedly. Why, just look at Casey’s vast array of job titles:

Casey Luskin, attorney for the DI.

Casey Luskin, staff scientist, earth scientist, science advisor.

Casey Luskin, spokesman.

Casey Luskin, public relations officer.

And, most recently, Casey Luskin, education policy analyst.

I mean, for most of us mere mortals, having a single job title would constitute a career. But not for the intrepid and multi-talented Luskin.

Seriously, Luskin knows more than all you Panda’s Thumb bums put together. And don’t take my word for it. Just ask Casey.

Doc Bill said:

Leave it to the Panda’s Thumb to post snarky comments about Casey Luskin, Renaissance Man.

Casey Luskin runs the Discovery Institute virtually single handedly. Why, just look at Casey’s vast array of job titles:

Casey Luskin, attorney for the DI.

Casey Luskin, staff scientist, earth scientist, science advisor.

Casey Luskin, spokesman.

Casey Luskin, public relations officer.

And, most recently, Casey Luskin, education policy analyst.

I mean, for most of us mere mortals, having a single job title would constitute a career. But not for the intrepid and multi-talented Luskin.

Seriously, Luskin knows more than all you Panda’s Thumb bums put together. And don’t take my word for it. Just ask Casey.

You left “Liar for Jesus” off the list

Alun said:

Flint said:

You have got to work really hard to be so wrong every time you open your mouth.

Actually, no you don’t. All you need is a totally incorrect, non-negotiable model of how you wish things were. Given that, it’s pretty easy to filter out what doesn’t fit, and not all that challenging to make things fit that can’t. It’s especially helpful when (a) your entire target audience uses the same model, and (b) they have money they give you for ratifying their fantasies.

Anyway, stick with a wrong model, and being wrong comes automatically. Stick with a VERY wrong model, and you can’t help being even wronger.

Fractal wrongness I belive its called

Which means that he is not even one-dimensional. Pointless, perhaps?

Doc Bill said:

Leave it to the Panda’s Thumb to post snarky comments about Casey Luskin, Renaissance Man.

Casey Luskin runs the Discovery Institute virtually single handedly. Why, just look at Casey’s vast array of job titles:

Casey Luskin, attorney for the DI.

Casey Luskin, staff scientist, earth scientist, science advisor.

Casey Luskin, spokesman.

Casey Luskin, public relations officer.

And, most recently, Casey Luskin, education policy analyst.

I mean, for most of us mere mortals, having a single job title would constitute a career. But not for the intrepid and multi-talented Luskin.

Seriously, Luskin knows more than all you Panda’s Thumb bums put together. And don’t take my word for it. Just ask Casey.

Is this a yolk of a different colour ?

Mike, for all of Mims’ issues he’s actually a pretty productive scientist.

OT, but today’s Science has a report from the Vatican-sponsored evolution conference. The article describes the result as a mixed bag, but from the sound of it the church’s position has regressed. Or perhaps devolved:

Scientists who gathered at the Vatican last week for a closed-door conference* on evolutionary origins are giving the event mixed reviews. Those who hoped for a clear statement of support for evolution from the Catholic Church went home empty-handed. Others, expecting little, were happy with a détente between science and faith. But a few criticize what they heard from the Vatican’s controversial point man on evolution, Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. “He believes there are gaps in evolution and [that] God acts in those gaps,” says John Abelson, a molecular biologist at the University of California, Davis, who gave a talk at the meeting. This is a “nearly 19th century” view, Abelson says, amounting to support for the intelligent design movement. Pope Benedict XVI did not clarify his own ambiguous statements on evolution.

Full text is available here (subscription needed): http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conte[…]22/5904/1038

I’m certainly disappointed.

Ugh…Schönborn is openly endorsing “God of the gaps.”

Hopefully this conference will be an improvement:

http://www.evolution-rome2009.org/C[…]Program.html

Why should we really expect that the Catholic Church with its seriously reactionary leader should lead on science at all? Since Ratzinger took the helm, they have stepped away from JP II’s pronouncements and ever closer to an 18th and 19th century natural theology argument that is all the time seeming more and more consonant with ID as they both fight the consequences of the boogey man of “materialism.” Clowns.

Casey Luskin is a pathological liar who has never uttered more than 100 words about evolution or intelligent design without throwing in some easily debunked baloney. If ever an individual needed his face slapped repeatedly, it was Casey Luskin. Sadly, we will probably never know what drives him to misrepresent basic facts and continue his quest to delude clueless people everywhere. Most likely he is gay and is merely over-compensating for that horrific “sin”.

thank you very much admin

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on November 11, 2008 8:44 PM.

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