Breaking News: Ontogenetic Depth 2.0!

| 27 Comments

After recognizing the onset of Paul Nelson Day (link via John Lynch), Nelson has announced that he is going to … wait for it … invent Ontogenetic Depth 2.0!

Of the first version Nelson says

Ontogenetic Depth (OD) 1.0 was – well, it would be beyond charitable to say utterly inadequate.

Yes, we knew that six years ago, Paul.

Now, however, after never telling us just what version 1.0 actually was, Nelson is developing version 2.0. First, though, we have to suffer through a prequel and then (not yet posted) an answer to PZ’s criticism of OD 1.0 way back in 2004. We don’t yet know how much more vamping Nelson will do: My bet is that the fan dance will go on for days. So when version 2.0 will be unveiled is hard to say.

27 Comments

Mr. Hoppe,

Glad to see you are right on top of the Paul Nelson Ontogenetic Depth 2.0 story.

News of Mr. Nelson’s ideas are just er, a Hoppe, skip and a jump away.

Keep us posted!

Glad to see he’s going “in depth” on this. Okay next!

So when version 2.0 will be unveiled is hard to say.

Maybe a thousand years is but a day with Nelson.

I think we can set some broad limits on what it will be. All pseudo-scientists – and that certainly includes the DI crowd – have to invent pseudo-science concepts to bamboozle their followers.

Nelson’s pseudo-concept will have to imply – without saying it overtly, because he will be laughed at – that something has to “overcome” the second law of thermodynamics. It will have something to do with “information.”

Then there will be the implicit invocation of entropy increasing at each step from a single molecule to whole assemblies of molecules so that the greater the “distance” from single molecule to a complex assembly (i.e., the greater the “depth”) the greater the entropy increase and the greater the need for “information.”

At some point, this idea will get attributed to the way nature behaves. Then it will be attributed to science. Then it will be obvious to the rubes that scientists can’t see the obvious “barrier” that prevents evolution.

Basically the whole approach will be another way of denying what the real science community has discovered about condensing matter and organic chemistry. It will be another one of those concepts like Abel’s “spontaneous molecular chaos” which has absolutely no correlate in nature, but which simply asserts in a way that sounds scientific that nature doesn’t do what it does.

In the IT industry this is what is known as “vaporware”. Or, perhaps Mr. Nelson aspires to be the Bill Gates of ID/creationism. Is there anybody who used or even heard about Microsoft Windows prior to version 3.1? Of course, MS Windows is up to version 7 and is only now (arguably) starting to get it right.

‘Ontogenetic Depth II: Return of the Killer Ontogenesis(is).’ See our unbelievably impervious heroes defend their bizarre creation; marvel at the twisted machinations of Nelson,Dembski, and the ‘Discovery Kids’, as they try their level best to: Indoctrinate the already indoctrinated, confuse the already moronic, and generally insult 150 years of hard scientific graft with monumental stupidity.

‘Ontogenetic Depth III:Ontogenesis(is) Harder’, is now in post production, and will be released, as and when necessary.

It just goes to confirm there are no limits to the Ontogenetic Depths the Discovery Institute will sink to.

You “Darwinists” need to give the DI a break. They banned Ray Martinez from “Uncommon Descent” and have regretted it ever since. As anyone following the “debate” ought to know, Ray has crucial evidence that could vindicate Nelson and OD. Nelson would have no problem admitting that he had been mistaken about the age of the earth if he could demonstrate what Ray already knows - that there’s an alternative to “macroevolution” and “microevolution.” But Ray is determined to develop his idea without the DI’s “help.” And the way things are going, I think that we (or our great grandchildren) will see Ray’s paper before Paul’s. ;-)

Mike Elzinga Wrote:

It will be another one of those concepts like Abel’s “spontaneous molecular chaos” which has absolutely no correlate in nature, but which simply asserts in a way that sounds scientific that nature doesn’t do what it does.

I don’t think that he will dare take it that far. That would make his target audience start wondering whether it means that the molecular assembly occurs in-vivo (pre-existing cells) or in-vitro. And the DI can’t commit to either because they need those who accept as well as deny common descent under the big tent. It would also suggest testable hypotheses that he has no desire to test.

So I think he will keep it strictly in terms of what “RM + NS” can’t do, and let the audience infer whatever alternative “explanation” they’re comfortable with, be it young earth, old-earth-young-life or even “virtual evolution” (like Behe).

You should cut Nelson some slack. He was the first ID perp to admit that they had been lying about having any intelligent design science right after Meyer ran the bait and switch scam on the Ohio rubes. Of course Nelson was likely already working on the switch scam for the ID “movement,” and became one of the primary authors for the switch scam “Explore Evolution” book, but no one is perfect.

Ron Okimoto said:

You should cut Nelson some slack. He was the first ID perp to admit that they had been lying about having any intelligent design science right after Meyer ran the bait and switch scam on the Ohio rubes.

I would not cut him slack. Forget “Explore Evolution.” Nelson’s primary claim to fame - Ontogenetic Depth - looks like a scam. Here’s Nelson, secondary-source quoted from the 2004 PT article:

“The ontogenetic depth of a handful of extant animals (from the model systems of developmental biology) is known with precision”.

If he wasn’t lying, he should publish v1.0. Show us the calculation he claims to have already done. It doesn’t even matter if v1.0 was flawed - many scientists make errors and revise their models. Publishing even a flawed 1.0 would demonstrate that he wasn’t lying about having already calculated the Ontogenetic depth of a few species. But as of now, he looks a lot like Behe and Dembski, claiming to have actually calculated some numerical value for some actual system years ago, yet refusing to publish either the value or the calculation.

The Journal of Irreproducible Results is intended to be humorous, but that’s the best ID can claim: their body of work lies somewhere between fraud (on the unkindest interpretation) and irreproducible results (at the very kindest).

Ack! Forgot to complete my thought.

…So, for these reasons, PT and PZ should keep the clock running on v1.0. Don’t let Nelson get away with a ‘reset’ merely because he (claims to be) working on a new version. Even if he is, we’ve every right to demand he publish 1.0.

Here’s a thought Nelson - if you publish your flawed procedure, maybe your peers can help you out in revising it. That is, after all, one of the things that separates science from pseudoscience, chemists from alchemists. Real scientists open their work to criticism, and welcome peer comments which may help reveal flaws and improve the author’s ideas.

Well this new version better contain some experimental results. This new version better contain some equations and calculations. This new version better contain some real conclusions that can be torn apart by real evidence. Otherwise, real scientists might conclude that it is all an elaborate scam, religiously motivated and without any scientific merit. You know, kind of like version 1.0 was.

Now why on earth would anyone want to trust some one who has obviously been lying for the last six years? Why would anyone trust someone who has had six years to publish in the scientific literature and has failed to do so? Why would anyone even pay any attention to someone like that?

Oh and this new version is also going to have to account for all of the new information about the molecular mechanisms of development that have been discovered in the last six years. This guy just keeps getting in deeper and deeper. You would think that he would be in a little more of a hurry, you know, before real science leaves him too far behind.

Frank J said: Nelson would have no problem admitting that he had been mistaken about the age of the earth if he could demonstrate what Ray already knows - that there’s an alternative to “macroevolution” and “microevolution.”

Of course there is. There are thousands of alternatives, once you introduce magic. “Last Thursday-ism” is an alternative. So is “the Flying Spaghetti Monster created everything with His Noodly Appendage”. Here are a few dozen more for the collection. Why waste time inventing elaborate ad hoc hypotheses to explain magic?

My approach to ID, or to any pseudoscience for that matter, is to take note of whatever ground its proponents concede to science, then see what they do when – it’s never “if” - they backpedal. If it’s because they find that the evidence converges on a better explanation, then it would only help them to describe and support that explanation instead of recycling long-refuted arguments of incredulity. But that’s never the case, at least in anti-evolution pseudoscience. So one can reasonably suspect that the only reason they backpedal is the realization that those concessions will not sit well with their target audience.

So really ID’s “clock” started ticking no later than 1996 when Behe wrote for all to see that ID accommodates ~4 billion years of common descent. And that he personally concludes that and not independent origins of multiple lineages, either over ~4 billion years or all at once 6-10,000 years ago (note that ID accommodates all that plus a flat earth, Last Thursdayism, and as Dembski admitted in 2001, all the “results” of “Darwinism”). Although Behe again clearly stated his acceptance of common descent in 2007’s “Edge of Evolution” he did backpedal once before that by stating that some IDers who deny common descent were “more familiar with the relevant science.” Curiously, he didn’t name any of those IDers. Maybe someone could ask him if he had Nelson in mind, and maybe Nelson can show us how Behe misunderstands the relevant science. Yeah, that’ll happen.

Sorry - link screw-up - “here” is http://www.magictails.com/creationlinks.html

robert van bakel said:

‘Ontogenetic Depth II: Return of the Killer Ontogenesis(is).’ See our unbelievably impervious heroes defend their bizarre creation; marvel at the twisted machinations of Nelson,Dembski, and the ‘Discovery Kids’, as they try their level best to: Indoctrinate the already indoctrinated, confuse the already moronic, and generally insult 150 years of hard scientific graft with monumental stupidity.

‘Ontogenetic Depth III:Ontogenesis(is) Harder’, is now in post production, and will be released, as and when necessary.

Or maybe ‘Ontogenetic Depth 3D: Now with geometric logic’.

Agreed:

eric said:

Ack! Forgot to complete my thought.

…So, for these reasons, PT and PZ should keep the clock running on v1.0. Don’t let Nelson get away with a ‘reset’ merely because he (claims to be) working on a new version. Even if he is, we’ve every right to demand he publish 1.0.

Here’s a thought Nelson - if you publish your flawed procedure, maybe your peers can help you out in revising it. That is, after all, one of the things that separates science from pseudoscience, chemists from alchemists. Real scientists open their work to criticism, and welcome peer comments which may help reveal flaws and improve the author’s ideas.

Given Nelson’s track record, we can all wait until the Day of Rapture for 2.0 to come out… if it ever does.

So is this an Ontogenetic Depth Charge?

This is a sign of crackpot pseudoscience. What does ontogenetic depth mean and why is it important?

Creationists do this a lot. Make up words and concepts that are just bafflegab. We already have genetic entropy which has the problem of being comprehensible enough to be proven wrong. And specified complexity which is meaningless.

Could this be the new ontogenetic depth?

Ontogenetic depth partitioning by juvenile freshwater sawfish (Pristis microdon: Pristidae) in a riverine environment

Author(s): Whitty JM (Whitty, Jeff M.)1, Morgan DL (Morgan, David L.)1, Peverell SC (Peverell, Stirling C.)2, Thorburn DC (Thorburn, Dean C.)1, Beatty SJ (Beatty, Stephen J.)1

MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH Volume: 60 Issue: 4 Pages: 306-316 Published: 2009

Abstract: The freshwater sawfish (Pristis microdon) is a critically endangered elasmobranch. Ontogenetic changes in the habitat use of juvenile P. microdon were studied using acoustic tracking in the Fitzroy River, Western Australia. Habitat partitioning was significant between 0+ (2007 year class) and larger 1+ (2006 year class) P. microdon. Smaller 0+ fish generally occupied shallower water (0.6 m) compared with 1+ individuals, which mainly occurred in depths ;0.6 m. Significant differences in hourly depth use were also revealed. The depth that 1+ P. microdon occupied was significantly influenced by lunar phase with these animals utilising a shallower and narrower depth range during the full moon compared with the new moon. This was not observed in 0+ individuals. Habitat partitioning was likely to be related to predator avoidance, foraging behaviours, and temperature and/or light regimes. The occurrence of 1+ P. microdon in deeper water may also result from a need for greater depths in which to manoeuvre. The present study demonstrates the utility of acoustic telemetry in monitoring P. microdon in a riverine environment. These results demonstrate the need to consider the habitat requirements of different P. microdon cohorts in the strategic planning of natural resources and will aid in the development of management strategies for this species.

Shoot! When I saw “ontogenetic depth” and “freshwater” in the same sentence, I hoped maybe we were about to kill two long-awaited birds with one stone!

Ontogenetic depth partitioning by juvenile freshwater sawfish (Pristis microdon: Pristidae) in a riverine environment

“Ontogenetic depth” and “freshwater” in the same sentence. Wonder if that means the DI will finally break its silence on the Freshwater case.

John_S said:

Shoot! When I saw “ontogenetic depth” and “freshwater” in the same sentence, I hoped maybe we were about to kill two long-awaited birds with one stone!

Note again to Frank. Read the replies first.

And the way things are going, I think that we (or our great grandchildren) will see Ray’s paper before Paul’s. ;-)

Taking intelligent entropy into account it looks like a safe bet none of them ever will see the light of day.

Les Lane said:

Could this be the new ontogenetic depth?

Ontogenetic depth partitioning by juvenile freshwater sawfish (Pristis microdon: Pristidae) in a riverine environment

Author(s): Whitty JM (Whitty, Jeff M.)1, Morgan DL (Morgan, David L.)1, Peverell SC (Peverell, Stirling C.)2, Thorburn DC (Thorburn, Dean C.)1, Beatty SJ (Beatty, Stephen J.)1

MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH Volume: 60 Issue: 4 Pages: 306-316 Published: 2009

Abstract: The freshwater sawfish (Pristis microdon) is a critically endangered elasmobranch. [snip]

In other words, “Ontogenic Depth” is a peer reviewed concept. Hah! Paul Nelson: 1, Evolution: 0.

Piled higher and ontogenetically deeper?

April 26 – still waiting. No answer to criticism. No explanation of what 2.0 will bring us. No 2.0 in sight.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on April 8, 2010 12:20 AM.

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