Alliance for Science Essay Contest Winners

| 40 Comments

Every year the folks at the Alliance for Science have themselves an essay contest. The topic is evolution-themed, and since 2009 is so relevant to Charles Darwin– being his 200th birthday and 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species– we asked students to identify a modern scientist that exemplifies the characteristics which led Darwin to make his monumental discoveries.

This year we had a very tight race… a 3 way tie for 3rd place. Do check out the winning essays, they are worth a read!

40 Comments

WoW! Just WoW! I cannot believe that those essays were written by HS students!

Absolutely fantastic.

Here is another contest that needs some attention … http://www.flascience.org/ssrules.html

You have until May 31st to draw a stick figure science cartoon and enter.

Celebrity judges Genie Scott, Phil Plait, Carl Zimmer, and Kate Miller among others! :-)

Stacy said:

WoW! Just WoW! I cannot believe that those essays were written by HS students!

Absolutely fantastic.

Here is another contest that needs some attention … http://www.flascience.org/ssrules.html

You have until May 31st to draw a stick figure science cartoon and enter.

Celebrity judges Genie Scott, Phil Plait, Carl Zimmer, and Kate Miller among others! :-)

I’ll emphasize this about the stick figure contest:

The entry must deal with science education. This contest is not about philosophy or religion. Furthermore, this contest is not about making fun of creationists. We want you to help us correct misconceptions and false arguments used against science in a way that will educate, not ridicule. Need some ideas?

Thanks. :-)

This is off topic, but for those of you in the New York City area, you can register online for the Brown University Club in New York’s annual “Meeting of Minds” lecture, whose speaker this year is none other than Ken Miller. Admission is $35 per person:

You can do so by following the appropriate link here:

http://www.brownnyc.org

Stacy said:

WoW! Just WoW!

Why is the second “w” also capitalized? That wouldn’t be a holdover from playing too much World of Warcraft, would it? ;)

H.H. said:

Stacy said:

WoW! Just WoW!

Why is the second “w” also capitalized? That wouldn’t be a holdover from playing too much World of Warcraft, would it? ;)

Nah … just habit I guess.

It was said above: The entry must deal with science education. This contest is not about philosophy or religion. Furthermore, this contest is not about making fun of creationists. We want you to help us correct misconceptions and false arguments used against science in a way that will educate, not ridicule. Need some ideas?

What would be the sociological cause of people making fun of Creationist? Answer that and with science (as opposed to with a knee jerk reaction) and you would be well on your way to promoting science education.

The greatest misinformation in biology is the elevation of Darwin’s theory and neo-Darwin synthesis as though it has scientific validity. We know it has caused a great deal of harm to the advancement of science as many examples show. We know that Darwin’s theory is not supported by the fossil record, which is a record of Stasis, not gradual transitional forms. We know that selective breading leads to boundary’s which selection can not get beyond, an observation in total contradiction to the Darwinst claims of natural selection leading to speciation. We know from the advanced biology that neo-Darwinsm is dead - that is, nature does not work the way they claim. We know that statistics presents huge problems for the pushers of mutation. Yet we can also demonstrate that elementary biology text books are filled with the notion that Darwin’s theory is basically correct.

You want to correct misconceptions that are being promoted in science text books as though science supports them - look directly at Darwin and the religion of the atheist (I believe there is no God) and their efforts to make people think science promotes their belief. It is a fact of science that science can not give any credit to the belief system “there is no God”. It’s past time to clean it out of biology by exposing it before any more scientific works are subjected to their witch hunt.

Troy, if Atheism, the lack of a belief in God due to a lack of evidence, is a “belief system,” then, by your same logic, “off” is a TV channel, “bald” is a hair color, and “I don’t have a car” is a brand of car.

That, and not only are your rantings scripted concerns noted, but Creationists deserve to be mocked and ridiculed, given as how they demand that everyone bow to them because they reject reality on account of how reality conflicts with their faith.

Hey Troy -

Perhaps you have heard of this now famous quote from eminent evolutionary geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky:

“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”.

There’s nothing in your rambling screed of breathtaking inanity that demonstrates that your intellectually-challenged mind is capable of understanding Dobzhansky’s terse, profound, and quite accurate, statement:

Troy said:

It was said above: The entry must deal with science education. This contest is not about philosophy or religion. Furthermore, this contest is not about making fun of creationists. We want you to help us correct misconceptions and false arguments used against science in a way that will educate, not ridicule. Need some ideas?

What would be the sociological cause of people making fun of Creationist? Answer that and with science (as opposed to with a knee jerk reaction) and you would be well on your way to promoting science education.

The greatest misinformation in biology is the elevation of Darwin’s theory and neo-Darwin synthesis as though it has scientific validity. We know it has caused a great deal of harm to the advancement of science as many examples show. We know that Darwin’s theory is not supported by the fossil record, which is a record of Stasis, not gradual transitional forms. We know that selective breading leads to boundary’s which selection can not get beyond, an observation in total contradiction to the Darwinst claims of natural selection leading to speciation. We know from the advanced biology that neo-Darwinsm is dead - that is, nature does not work the way they claim. We know that statistics presents huge problems for the pushers of mutation. Yet we can also demonstrate that elementary biology text books are filled with the notion that Darwin’s theory is basically correct.

You want to correct misconceptions that are being promoted in science text books as though science supports them - look directly at Darwin and the religion of the atheist (I believe there is no God) and their efforts to make people think science promotes their belief. It is a fact of science that science can not give any credit to the belief system “there is no God”. It’s past time to clean it out of biology by exposing it before any more scientific works are subjected to their witch hunt.

You may pretend that atheism is not a belief system all you want – the science of religion completely disagrees. I’ll stand by the science. I can certainly understand that atheist don’t want to admit to having an actual “belief” free of any scientific demonstration – after all they would then be standing up on their podium correctly seen as just another preacher in the economy of belief system – and worst yet, would be subject to having their creed being lashed upon via the First Amendment. But all that understanding does not make it any less of a belief system, which is exactly what it is – Darwin was wrong! Sorry, but your hammer has no more weight than that of a creationist.

If you feel justified in beating creationist over the head, so be it – your ethics are yours to have. My point is not that which seeks some sort of justification for such actions, but instead looks at its sociological source – specifically, what is that set of beliefs that people hold up, in our present age, which in turn go hand and hand with promoting intolerance of religiously held views? The answer is not hard to find when one turns to the scientific results which study such things. Not surprisingly, the correlation is between a belief in atheism and religious intolerance. Perhaps more important – it is the only statistically significant source of religious intolerance the United States today.

For the record – due to other perfectly a**hole comments – I have no problem at all with the conception that mechanical systems lead to changes in biological forms, speciation, or the diversity of life on earth. The thinking that I must be against such a notion as though it goes against my Bible, simply does not work in my case – for its completely ill founded. Quite frankly it shows up here as nothing more than a manifestation of knee jerk Darwinsm, which always seeks to equate any opposition to it with creationism and low inferior aspects of every imaginable kind – which, btw, is a measurable aspect of the movement. You can pretend I am a creationist all you want – but I will bash you on the head with it as being nothing more than a petty fanatic with a worthless crystal who is making statement of which he knows nothing whatsoever about.

I have nothing at all against such matters, or biology seeking greater understanding of them. My problem rest with the greatest suppressors to the advancement of biological science – the promoters of a very particular belief system which has left a trail of sh*t all over the otherwise respectable field of biology.

Troy said: I’ll stand by the science.

Good, good! Let us know when you start!

Troy said:

What would be the sociological cause of people making fun of Creationist?

Perhaps because they drop plurals?

The science I stand by is the sociological work of Rodney Stark. You can read some of what he states via his work as a sociologist, about Darwin and evolution here: http://www.google.com/gwt/n?u=http%[…]0darwin.html

By all means let me know what you find to be the monumental errors of that distinguished scholars work.

Troy said:

By all means let me know what you find to be the monumental errors of that distinguished scholars work.

So if neither you, nor Dr Stark are not active proponents of Creationism, then what do you want taught in biology classrooms you’re demanding that we abandon Modern Evolutionary Biology “The Atheistic Cult of Darwinism” (sic)?

That, and how is pointing out that and explaining Creationism is a pernicious pseudoscience is tantamount to forced indoctrination of atheism? How do you expect anyone to learn anything if all the textbooks go “God is great, glory hallelujah!!!” every other sentence?

Troy sez…

The science I stand by is the sociological work of Rodney Stark.…

Gee Troy, you’ll spend a lot of time going off on a tangent, doing research, finding links, etc.

You have, confidently ignored the core question.

Where is the evidence that ID actually exists?

What, facts, specifically would you have us teach instead of evolution in those “Darwinist Textbooks”, which you refuse to cite.

It’s a simple question, Troy, and now that we’ve established that you can use a search engine, it should be trivial for you to supply an answer.

The evidence for the alternative you want to teach, s’il vous plait.

(Now that’s polite enough, right? He’s going to ignore the question, but at least he can’t rant about how I ask it)

stevaroni said:

Troy sez…

The science I stand by is the sociological work of Rodney Stark.…

Gee Troy, you’ll spend a lot of time going off on a tangent, doing research, finding links, etc.

You have, confidently ignored the core question.

Where is the evidence that ID actually exists?

Because Darwinists are big, evil meanies who hate God.

What, facts, specifically would you have us teach instead of evolution in those “Darwinist Textbooks”, which you refuse to cite.

That Darwin was wrong because his evil followers want to replace Jesus and God with him, and that Darwinists are big, evil meanies because they say that Creationists are big dummies.

It’s a simple question, Troy, and now that we’ve established that you can use a search engine, it should be trivial for you to supply an answer.

The evidence for the alternative you want to teach, s’il vous plait.

(Now that’s polite enough, right? He’s going to ignore the question, but at least he can’t rant about how I ask it)

He’s still going to rant about how you’re an evil Darwinist, as that’s what his script demands.

—- So if neither you, nor Dr Stark are not active proponents of Creationism, then what do you want taught in biology classrooms —-

The truth of the matter. I understand perfectly well that for years biologist have disliked unfounded creationist attacks. I can also see, as can you, that Darwin, and neo-Darwinsm has been a very big drum of the atheist. You have a golden opportunity to keep faiths out of science precisely by pointing out how bad science has been effected by the drum of the atheistic Darwinist.

I walked into the library at the University of Montana looking for some stuff on strat and I find this book by a man who claimed that think layers of strat can be deposited relatively fast. He used as an example the deposits at the head of a delta. What is odd is that his idea was put forward in the 1960’s and the reaction was instant spitting on him for everyone knew that things happen slow, Darwin said so. I know this because the start of his book is all about how he is not a fundmentalist and is not anti-communist because he made observations no fitting in with the higher ups of Darwinistic geology.

In the same time frame I studied strat near Missoula Mt. And in doing so studied the great flood of ancient glacial lake Missoula. Again I learn that the man doing the leg work, who complied the science, only did so to be attacked by Darwinst. Why? Because any Darwinst worth his salt knew perfectly well that science had demonstrated, beyond any question, that catastrophies don’t happen.? No – because their blind commitment to a fundamentally flawed theory!

Yet again I go down to read on the findings about the Yucatan impact (the USGS had a very good coverage of all the recognized studies at the time). After reading it I dove into looking into Alverez only to find the same thing all over again – only this time the Darwinst got kicked in the balls so hard that now their theory is in no way against catastrophe (never mind it was the halmark of their hate for near 100 year!).

If you are into science, there is no god damn way you went without noticing exactly what I am talking about. This is not minor little issues going against the norm, but instead is a very detectable sociological phenomena which worked to suppress the advancement of science. Honest dictates it be exposed and an end put to it. If the atheist lose a pet in pretending science promotes their beliefs, so f*cking what – who really gives a crap about their petty beliefs anyway? Either way, they sure as hell don’t belong in science!

Troy, my imaginary friend and I have a bet going. I say your rantings indicate you are incapable of answering a straight question with a straight answer.

Here’s the question, again:

What – specifically, now – should be taught in biology classes to explain the diversity of organisms, and their relationships to each other, in place of evolution, or “Darwinism”?

I see lots of generalized ranting about dogma, but no clear answer to the question.

Come on, I’ve got an imaginary piggy-back ride on this.

Strata can be deposited very quickly, or very slowly, so what?

If you think that “Darwinism” is against catastrophes, well, your education is extremely poor, if not suspect.

Try googling “extinction events paleontology”

Or, better still, google “Cambrian Ordovician Silurian Frasnian Fammian Permian Triassic Extinction Event”

And as for the KT Catastrophe, I don’t see how finding evidence that there was a gigantic meteor crater from 65 million years ago constitutes “kicking the Darwinsts (sic) in the balls so hard.” Luis Alvarez did research, and he presented evidence he found to support his hypothesis. Of course, you then failed to mention that a) scientists accept Alvarez’s contributions, b) other scientists have since found evidence that the Chicxulub Meteor was not the only cause of the Cretaceous/Tertiary Extinction Event, b) other people tried to imitate Alvarez by postulating that almost all, if not all major extinction events were caused by meteor impacts, but failed to produce convincing evidence, and c) new evidence suggests that some dinosaurs survived the Chicxulub Meteor for about 500,000 years.

And if you actually have studied paleontology, then you would know that the KT Extinction Event pales in comparison with the Permian-Triassic Extinction Event.

Ok, so Troy thinks that the earth is actually very young and the appearance of the earth is due to catastrophies, which apparently he thinks that Darwin hated for some reason. But he doesn’t want to be called a creationist and he doesn’t want “Darwinism” to be taught in public schools because it could lead to dancing, er I mean atheism. Right, got it.

Perhaps Troy can think of some reason why the consensus view of science should not be taught in public school science classes. Perhaps not. Perhaps he could give an example of something that he thinks is not religiously motivated that he thinks should be taught. Perphaps not. Perhaps he should read some actual biology before criticizing it. Perhaps not.

Oh hell, I’ve got some time to blow…

The truth of the matter. I understand perfectly well that for years biologist have disliked unfounded creationist attacks.

You understand? You mean, evidence means something to you? Let’s see…

I can also see, as can you, that Darwin, and neo-Darwinsm has been a very big drum of the atheist.

You are projecting religion where it does not exist. What is being taught is how the combination of mutation plus selection leads organisms to track their changing environment. No religion anywhere around…

You have a golden opportunity to keep faiths out of science precisely by pointing out how bad science has been effected by the drum of the atheistic Darwinist.

Don’t understand what this means. Science is only concerned with the observable universe. No religions are involved in any way. People of all faiths can notice that if you hold up a brick and let it go, it falls. People of all faiths can understand why this happens. Their faith does not influence nor explain why the brick falls.

I walked into the library at the University of Montana looking for some stuff on strat and I find this book by a man who claimed that think layers of strat can be deposited relatively fast. He used as an example the deposits at the head of a delta. What is odd is that his idea was put forward in the 1960’s and the reaction was instant spitting on him for everyone knew that things happen slow, Darwin said so.

Where did this come from? To the best of my knowledge, Darwin said no such thing. Do you have any sources for this claim or are you just making it up?

Some strata CAN be deposited relatively fast, and were. Other strata were deposited very slowly. It’s not that difficult to date them. So WHO was the author who said deltas lay down strata quickly, and WHO started spitting on him. Any references?

I know this because the start of his book is all about how he is not a fundmentalist and is not anti-communist because he made observations no fitting in with the higher ups of Darwinistic geology.

Great. So which book was this?

In the same time frame I studied strat near Missoula Mt. And in doing so studied the great flood of ancient glacial lake Missoula. Again I learn that the man doing the leg work, who complied the science, only did so to be attacked by Darwinst.

And who was this man? Any references? Who attacked him? Any references?

Why? Because any Darwinst worth his salt knew perfectly well that science had demonstrated, beyond any question, that catastrophies don’t happen.? No – because their blind commitment to a fundamentally flawed theory!

Any references? My understanding is, geology is fairly sophisticated. Some things happen slowly, and some don’t. There ARE floods, volcanism, even meteor strikes. These things are not denied. So WHO is denying them? Any references?

Yet again I go down to read on the findings about the Yucatan impact (the USGS had a very good coverage of all the recognized studies at the time). After reading it I dove into looking into Alverez only to find the same thing all over again – only this time the Darwinst got kicked in the balls so hard that now their theory is in no way against catastrophe (never mind it was the halmark of their hate for near 100 year!).

Huh? Not understood. The speculation that a bolide impact killed off much of the existing biosphere at the time has some support, but is currently also being questioned because of conflicting data. Events 65 million years ago are hard to reconstruct.

I’m coming to the conclusion that your understanding of evolutionary theory was informed SOLELY by creationist materials, and these were (as always) profoundly uninformed or misinformed. Evolution does not deny rapid geological events, it accepts them (and indeed, often requires them).

If you are into science, there is no god damn way you went without noticing exactly what I am talking about. This is not minor little issues going against the norm, but instead is a very detectable sociological phenomena which worked to suppress the advancement of science. Honest dictates it be exposed and an end put to it. If the atheist lose a pet in pretending science promotes their beliefs, so f*cking what – who really gives a crap about their petty beliefs anyway? Either way, they sure as hell don’t belong in science!

Someone here seems very unhappy (but equally inarticulate) about something. There seems to be a serious language barrier.

But still, what comes through is that “atheism” isn’t being regarded as the philosophical belief that there are no gods, but rather the failure to REQUIRE someone’s specific gods to explain what no gods are need to explain, and the failure to invoke those specific gods while proposing explanations best supported by evidence - evidence that does not involve the gods creationists demand be involved.

Atheist math: 2+2=4.

Creationist math: 2+2=WHATEVER GOD WILLS!

I see you just can’t get beyond name calling and cut downs and general emotional stupidity - but do perfectly fine in ignoring facts. I am told - “you cite no sources” - and then when I do, you disqualify them as though we are justified in tossing out science because it does not fit with your bigoted folklore. of course you again will want an example and again I will point to the biologist with a first name Lynn - her contributions are quite a bit more important than yours aren’t they?

I point to glacial lake Missoula - but you can’t seem to manage to conduct a basic web search to see who uncovered the matter and go read a book about him - but trashy lines of cut downs, those flow freely from your vastly superior mind don’t they. And if you do do the work that any sharp fifth grader could follow, and actually find out the way the man was treated, it will then be what - a biased sample from your fantasy creationist enemy - and thus, will not count. Just like Darwin - anything against the theory is to be disqualified and tossed out!

Yet again its nothing but bad mouthing with respect to the Yucatan impact - there is just no way I could possible get it from any source other than as creationist page - and we know that because we have your word on it - gee, ain’t that swell - your so lofty!

But do you mention, “yes, it is true that palaeontologist had their date on their prize fossil trashed via the studies of the meteor impact” - oh no, no mention of that - but you’ll be fast to say “sources” and then disqualify them. You can’t even bring yourself to acknowledge the fact that Darwinism work big time against any mention for catastrophe for years - and then changed course in the 1980’s in the face of the work by Alveraz. How predictable! of course evolution is in perfect in line with catastrophe now, they had no leg to stand on after Alverez - so now they pretend that it never was against catastrophe and to claim otherwise is nothing but hype from their pet creationist and the only thing you need to do to believe it is toss away history - or call it biased - or call it creationist - or in general follow the Darwin rule: if it don’t fit the claim, toss it out and reject it as worthless.

You can go on like that forever and all you do is put the nails in your own coffin. Your not thinking and working for clarity via honesty an unbiased treatment of the facts - your spinning about in a world that intellectuals abandoned 100 years ago - an old outdated relic hiding in a thin coat that hardly even looks like science any more.

So what do you make of Dawkins claim that people don’t think about God - a claim that ignores thousands of years of very clear and deep focus upon God contain in written record of books? Do you piss on him for being an ignorant bastard for tossing away so many facts? Do you piss on Darwin for his claims that we must toss out any and all data the goes against his theory? if so - where are your pointed attacks on these people?

Why should we take you seriously when you can’t be bothered to spell Luis Alvarez’s name correctly, let alone be notified that Luis Alvarez’s KT Meteor Impact stuff was accepted by “Darwinsts” (sic) over 20 years ago?

A new fact appears, is debated, substantiated and tested, and a question - specifically, what exactly happened at the K-T boundary, and what specifically was the outcome? - is opened, and answers to it sought. They are sought by testing hypotheses against the evidence. While this is happening, laboratory and field observations provide strong evidence that the processes of evolution can operate faster than was earlier thought, when a population is put under environmental stress.

These two lines of evidence are combined, to the effect that it seems that indeed a catastrophic event took place at the K-T boundary, and probably similar events, not so well attested by evidence, but likely, occurred earlier. These events produced major extinctions, but some life survived, and then (on a geological time scale) diversified rapidly to refill the niches available, through the process of evolution by natural selection. Argument continues over the details. Argument will always continue over the details. Nothing is complete. Nothing is final. There will always be more to know.

But there is nothing there to upset the Theory of Evolution. It only strengthens it. The evidence of diversification is impossible to ignore, unless one is, like Troy, deaf and blind to it. The sequence only demonstrates the strength of the theory - and indeed, science itself.

Troy said

We know that selective breading [sic] leads to boundary’s [sic] which selection can not get beyond,

I have taken several courses in plant breeding, but cannot recall hearing about any of these boundaries. Could you give me a couple of examples?

Do you piss on Darwin for his claims that we must toss out any and all data the goes against his theory?

I think him making any such claims is a figment of your imagination. Can you give us an extended quote or a link to where he actually wrote this?

BTW making a plural by using ‘s is a flag that someone is poorly educated. You need to be more careful what you type if you want to impress with your erudition.

Also, to continue to damn “Darwinsts” (sic) for rejecting J. Harlen Bretz’s hypothesis about the Ice Age Lake Missoula, even though he was vindicated through more supporting evidence found 40 years later, and the existence of Lake Missoula is no longer disputed, well, doesn’t that make you appear rather childish?

If you’re inconsolably upset over the slow speed of Bretz’s vindication, there’s very little to be done about it, short of inventing a time machine to give him information sooner instead of later.

People put forth wacky and exciting ideas in science all the time, and the wackiest and most exciting ideas are the most visible targets of criticism: it’s a sad fact of life, so get over yourself about it. If these people did their homework, and provide evidence, they are vindicated, if not, tough luck, they or their cohorts can always try again later. Sometimes vindication is instantaneous, sometimes it takes decades. Again, tough luck.

Excellent point, Stanton. BTW, it took approximately 50 years for Alfred Wegener’s continental drift hypothesis to be accepted as a core principle of Plate Tectonics. And while Wegener’s key insight of continental drift was correct, his proposed mechanism for it wasn’t borne out by subsequent - and substantial - geophysical research, especially from the late 1940s to early 1960s:

Stanton said:

Also, to continue to damn “Darwinsts” (sic) for rejecting J. Harlen Bretz’s hypothesis about the Ice Age Lake Missoula, even though he was vindicated through more supporting evidence found 40 years later, and the existence of Lake Missoula is no longer disputed, well, doesn’t that make you appear rather childish?

If you’re inconsolably upset over the slow speed of Bretz’s vindication, there’s very little to be done about it, short of inventing a time machine to give him information sooner instead of later.

People put forth wacky and exciting ideas in science all the time, and the wackiest and most exciting ideas are the most visible targets of criticism: it’s a sad fact of life, so get over yourself about it. If these people did their homework, and provide evidence, they are vindicated, if not, tough luck, they or their cohorts can always try again later. Sometimes vindication is instantaneous, sometimes it takes decades. Again, tough luck.

You would hardly know from this flame war comment thread that the original post was about a non-profit group rewarding students for writing excellent science essays. I take comfort in the fact that the students who participated in this essay contest will likely have learned a few things about real science and how it is done, and perhaps be better prepared for the creationist rants they will no doubt be exposed to living in the U.S.

Dick Lessard Essay Contest Director The Alliance for Science

“Why should we take you seriously when you can’t be bothered to spell Luis Alvarez’s name correctly .….…”

You don’t, nor do I expect you too. I don’t do this for Darwinst – never have.

I like the post by Dave Luckett until he goes into his hate bullsh*t at the end: “A new fact appears, is debated, substantiated and tested, and a question - specifically, what exactly happened at the K-T boundary .….…..Nothing is complete. Nothing is final. There will always be more to know.”

That post clearly suggest a fact of science – all theory is subject to change. However, there is one little problem I do have with it and that is this statement: “these events produced major extinctions, but some life survived, and then diversified .… through the process of evolution by natural selection”. Really! You are aware that scientist in the field do disagree with that right? For example, some might like to include non-Darwinam stuff like gene drift – others may like to include non-Darwinian things like the polyploidial processes and its cousin processes – others would like to include the role of symbiotic processes in the role of causation - still other claim the very idea that natural selection on its own plays no such causal role at all! How possibly, knowing full well of the array of non-Darwinian causation of change, claim that it diversified by natural selection? Better yet, and far more important – WHY do you make that claim???????? Furthermore, have you ever noted the relationship between those who calim that it all happened via evolution by natural selection, and those who push hate upon anyone who questions the validity of such an unfounded assertions (of which you serve as an example)? Better yet, and far more important – why is there such an obvious correlation between those two things to start with??????????????????

“I have taken several courses in plant breeding, but cannot recall hearing about any of these boundaries. Could you give me a couple of examples?”

Sure – making dogs larger, making angel fish blacker.

I said: “Do you piss on Darwin for his claims that we must toss out any and all data the goes against his theory?” - a reply was “I think him making any such claims is a figment of your imagination. Can you give us an extended quote or a link to where he actually wrote this?”

Yes – read Darwin’s famous book on the preservation of favored races – it is in it. Whats wrong, did your elementary biology text books forget to point out that glaring shortcoming of this lofty scientist? Prior to giving you the exact quote I think I’ll allow the Darwinist to either pile up more abuse calling me a liar and so forth, and or give them a chance to post the quote themselves and agree that in fact I know what I am talking about here. (of course the educated Darwinist knows I am correct so they may just forget about this little matter).

“Also, to continue to damn “Darwinsts” (sic) for rejecting J. Harlen Bretz’s hypothesis about the Ice Age Lake Missoula .….….”

The point is not that he is vindicated – it is that the Darwinst actively worked to suppressed the advancement of science. Some reasonable theory’s are looked down upon, incorrectly, it is true. However, unlike within many other scientific fields, the Darwinst have left a particularly large amount of concerted suppression efforts. Many such examples can be given which show an elevated taste for this directly from the Darwinst – it raises the question as to why the Darwinst are so colored?

But Dick, bashing delusional creationist wingnuts like Troy is hard work - and, at times, quite a source of amusement. On a more serious note, however, I haven’t forgotten and am delighted that you are doing this, especially at a time when there are fewer and fewer students interested in pursuing careers in science:

Dick Lessard said:

You would hardly know from this flame war comment thread that the original post was about a non-profit group rewarding students for writing excellent science essays. I take comfort in the fact that the students who participated in this essay contest will likely have learned a few things about real science and how it is done, and perhaps be better prepared for the creationist rants they will no doubt be exposed to living in the U.S.

Dick Lessard Essay Contest Director The Alliance for Science

Sure – making dogs larger, making angel fish blacker.

Of course there are biomechanical and physiological limitations on how far selection can be pushed. I thought you were talking about, say, someone trying to make a breed of dog less dog-like and finding they could make no further progress.

I said: “Do you piss on Darwin for his claims that we must toss out any and all data the goes against his theory?” - a reply was “I think him making any such claims is a figment of your imagination. Can you give us an extended quote or a link to where he actually wrote this?”

Yes – read Darwin’s famous book on the preservation of favored races – it is in it.

I’ve read it. Your ‘quote’ seems to be so far out of character from all of Darwin’s work that I’ve read, and people who criticise the theory of evolution are so notorious for lying and misprepresentation that, unless you can be more specific, I have absolutely no inclination to re-read the book just to confirm for myself that the quote does not exist or is being taken wildly out of context.

So…

It would seem that what Troy is arguing against is unvarying gradualism, with its concommitant idea that there were no large-scale extinction events. This argument is quite respectable, in fact, and was developed within paleontology more than two generations ago. Troy seems, however, to think that an attack on unvarying gradualism constitutes an attack on what he calls “Darwinism” (when he bothers to spell it correctly) because Darwin was a gradualist. This is nonsense, and assumes that knowledge of the Earth’s history has not advanced since Darwin’s day.

Darwin rejected periodic catastrophes for two reasons. One, because he knew he had a theory that did not require them, and he was using Occam’s Razor; two, the time frame Darwin was working in was at best a hundred million years, and he was seriously worried that there wasn’t enough time. Catastrophes would have been serious setbacks. The physics of his day could not account for the sun shining for more than a few tens of millions of years, or less. He didn’t know that his time frame was out by more than an order of magnitude.

But the fact of major extinctions at various times in the past is no problem for the Theory of Evolution itself, and the time available is now known to be more than sufficient to accommodate the extinctions and the processes of evolution, both. In fact there’s every reason to think that the extinctions accelerated evolution. They certainly allowed the reoccupation of vacated niches by new life forms, after time.

So as an attack on the Theory, the defeat of unvarying gradualism is useless. Troy is arguing against a long-demolished and incidental idea, and illegitimately extending the attack as if it were on the Theory of Evolution itself. This is idle.

“Your ‘quote’ (which claimed Darwin suggest we keep that in favor of the theory and reject everything else as worthless – Troy) seems to be so far out of character from all of Darwin’s work that I’ve read, and people who criticise the theory of evolution are so notorious for lying and misprepresentation that, unless you can be more specific, I have absolutely no inclination to re-read the book just to confirm for myself that the quote does not exist or is being taken wildly out of context.”

Open Darwin’s book on the Presevation of Favored Races. Go to chapter 10. Flip through the subsections until you get to “on the sudden appearance of whole groups of allied species”. Read the first paragraph and pay attention when he claims

“In all cases positive paleontological evidence may be implicitly trusted; negative evidence is worthless, as experience has show often shown.” (emphasis my own).

(note: you can also go to the proper searchable online book, paste a bit of the above quote into the search engine, and demonstrate to yourself that it is there).

Naturally, as you might guess if you read the first paragraph, one of the quotes from Darwin that I like comes a few sentences earlier sentence where Darwin wrote :

“If numerous species, belonging to the same genera of families, have really started into life at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of evolution through natural selection”.

The reason I like it is because I like questions like this: why exactly does he say that?

Now given that in polyploidy one can in fact get a new species in the course of exactly one birth, it does sort of bring a question to mind: could it ever happen that two or more polypodial offspring of different types came from the same parent??

“It would seem that what Troy is arguing against is unvarying gradualism, with its concommitant idea that there were no large-scale extinction events. This argument is quite respectable, in fact, and was developed within paleontology more than two generations ago. Troy seems, however, to think that an attack on unvarying gradualism constitutes an attack on what he calls “Darwinism” (when he bothers to spell it correctly) because Darwin was a gradualist. This is nonsense, and assumes that knowledge of the Earth’s history has not advanced since Darwin’s day.”

You misunderstand me. I do not argue against gradualism as I find no need to, assuming as I do that even Darwinst, not to mention everyone else, accept that today.

I do not find the attack via science on gradualism to be an attack on Darwinsm or Darwin – all it is is a scientific explanation which fits the empirical evidence quite well. My focus is upon the Darwinst who attacked the science going against gradulism, which lasted pretty strong until the 1980’s when the jerks really had no leg left to stand on.

In short, you missed the points completely – or else acted like one of those nasty creationist of whom it is claimed distort everything. Anyway, whatever the case – hope that makes it clear to you.

Troy, read this carefully:

The reason we miss the points is that you never get to them.

If you want us to understand just what your beef is with modern evolutionary theory, you have to articulate it clearly and unambiguously.

So, for the fifth time, at least:

What specific part of modern evolutionary theory do you disagree with, why, and what is your alternative explanation?

…and again, “other stuff” is not an adequate answer.

My focus is upon the Darwinst who attacked the science going against gradulism, which lasted pretty strong until the 1980’s when the jerks really had no leg left to stand on.

I admit, it’s not clear to me whether Troy is complaining that scientists DO correct misunderstandings over time, or that they don’t correct them fast enough, or that they don’t always get it right the first time, or what.

fnxtr said:

So, for the fifth time, at least:

What specific part of modern evolutionary theory do you disagree with, why, and what is your alternative explanation?

…and again, “other stuff” is not an adequate answer.

Troy’s beef with Modern Evolutionary Theory is that “Darwinst” (sic) is trying to force him and his children to worship No God, and His prophet, Hitler, apparently. And then there’s the problem of how “Darwinst” (sic” is mean to creationists because creationists have been trying very hard to teach religion in place of science in science class, and that teaching science, and not religion in science class promotes religion, apparently.

Maybe it’s just as well that Troy can’t write well at all. Otherwise, he could become as eloquent a DI mendacious intellectual pornographer as David Klinghoffer, who, as we all know, strongly believes in the Darwin Equals Hitler hypothesis of breathtaking inanity:

Stanton said:

fnxtr said:

So, for the fifth time, at least:

What specific part of modern evolutionary theory do you disagree with, why, and what is your alternative explanation?

…and again, “other stuff” is not an adequate answer.

Troy’s beef with Modern Evolutionary Theory is that “Darwinst” (sic) is trying to force him and his children to worship No God, and His prophet, Hitler, apparently. And then there’s the problem of how “Darwinst” (sic” is mean to creationists because creationists have been trying very hard to teach religion in place of science in science class, and that teaching science, and not religion in science class promotes religion, apparently.

My guild and I been playing World of Warcraft since its release and have been playing ever since. It brings people raid together and the positive social atmosphere is what makes this so popular.

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This page contains a single entry by Ethan Rop published on May 4, 2009 12:13 PM.

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