Off the Grid: Discover Mag has Special Evolution Issue this Summer

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discover_evol.jpg

I noticed this while picking up a few items at the local market. It retails at $7.99, and has no commercials, other than a couple of pleas to subscribe to Discover Magazine.

There is no mention of this issue on the web. None.*

It’s a special summer 2011 issue of Discover, titled “Evolution: Rethinking the Story of Life.”

The introduction states

Even the fearsome T. Rex, like the one on the cover of this month’s issue, is fascinating largely because you know you’ll never see one in the flesh. The implication of these stuffed critters and mounted bones seems to be that evolution itself is dead too. It seems like a tale of the distant past… Story over. The reality is that evolution is very much a work in progress - and its awesome power is still changing how we understand the living world. Cancer turns out to be an evolutionary disease, for example. … The vital force of evolution is also evident in the growing problem of antibiotic resistance (page 80). … Our ideas about evolution are evolving too, shaped by new research. Scientists have only begun to wrap their heads around epigenetics, the way DNA can be chemically modified in response to diet, stress, or other environmental factors in ways that permanently change how genes are activated. … Evolution is very much alive and so is the science of evolution. Read on: A whole new look at the history (and future) of life awaits. - Kat McGowan, editor.

Creationism is not the focus of the issue, and creationists are mentioned only a few times in passing. One of these appears in an article on why Ernst Haeckel has been relegated to footnotes, while Charles Darwin is still in headlines:

Haeckel embellished some of his illustrations to emphasize similarities between the embryos of unrelated creatures. In doing so, he sowed enduring confusion: Creationists today still point to these drawings as evidence that evolution is a fraud.

(Haeckel’s numerous gorgeous illustrations are also discussed.)

Another rare mention: Bruno Maddox describes one of Darwin’s early blunders, involving not recognizing glaciation’s role in the formation of Glen Roy in the Scottish highlands. While not flattering to the young Darwin (“Not just a little bit wrong. A lot wrong. … And he could, additionally, be a real pain in the you-know-what about it.”), Maddox tosses this out about hiking to Glen Roy:

Certainly if you’re coming from the States - from Petersburg, Kentucky, say, or Dayton, Tennessee, or any other of the thousand places where you would be safer lighting a Marlboro off a burning American flag than being caught with a copy of On the Origin of Species - you’re going to find it quite a hike.

Asides from those brief mentions, the issue is Intelligent-Design and Discovery-Institute free, is refreshingly un-apologetic, and spends its pages packing in a lot of neat science. Included in the issue are articles on Stanley Miller’s new experiments, viruses and their role in the startup of Life, living fossils, marsupials, dinosaur digs, decoding your megafaunal genome, why we are human, how cattle affected human genetics, hot spots for evolutionary observations, superbugs, and control of evolution itself.

It’s on sale till September 20th, 2011. It’s well worth the 8 clams!

* Until now, of course!

61 Comments

I was looking at it just yesterday. I agree with Dave; it’s good issue.

Speaking as a contributing editor to Discover, let me just say that the magazine publishes a few “newsstand only” special editions each year, often bringing together articles on a particular theme from regular issues. So this isn’t some odd new thing the magazine is keeping off the web.

cwzimmer said:

Speaking as a contributing editor to Discover, let me just say that the magazine publishes a few “newsstand only” special editions each year, often bringing together articles on a particular theme from regular issues. So this isn’t some odd new thing the magazine is keeping off the web.

I was just going to say that it looks great and I will keep an eye out for it.

Now you made me worry ;). Even though that was, ironically, the opposite of your intent.

What you’re saying is that Discover does not feel any pressure to avoid offending creationists, and that the “newsstand only” status of this issue was not related to a perception that it will outrage creationists, who might react to an online presentation in annoying ways, is that about right?

Thanks for all the great work.

That is one scary cover though. If the T. Rex doesn’t get you there are still the giant hairy viruses and the mutants… I’ll be hiding behind the sofa if Discover Magazine ever bring out a movie. ;o)

Roger said: I’ll be hiding behind the sofa if Discover Magazine ever bring out a movie. ;o)

“I was here first! Go hide under the bed!”

Roger said:

That is one scary cover though. If the T. Rex doesn’t get you there are still the giant hairy viruses and the mutants… I’ll be hiding behind the sofa if Discover Magazine ever bring out a movie. ;o)

This one still freaks me out:

http://files.truedinos.webnode.com/[…]nosaurus.jpg

cwzimmer said:

Speaking as a contributing editor to Discover, let me just say that the magazine publishes a few “newsstand only” special editions each year, often bringing together articles on a particular theme from regular issues. So this isn’t some odd new thing the magazine is keeping off the web.

Thanks Carl. This is unlike Scientific American, which has commissioned new articles for its own special issues (Those that have articles pertaining to the same or similar theme(s).).

harold said:

What you’re saying is that Discover does not feel any pressure to avoid offending creationists, and that the “newsstand only” status of this issue was not related to a perception that it will outrage creationists, who might react to an online presentation in annoying ways, is that about right?

Thanks for all the great work.

I have generally had similar impressions of Discover; some very interesting articles, yet too often frustratingly shallow. Then there is that occasional titillation with a little pseudo-science rather than an outright debunking of it.

I think I understand some of the difficulties of writing for lay audiences while also trying to stay in business. Having attempted at one time to write for lay audiences, I discovered just how difficult it is. Carl writes like I wish I could.

I would like to see a magazine that had a format that was two-tiered in its presentations. It would have a level that outlined the essence of a scientific topic aimed at those who want to know but don’t have the time or sufficient background to dig into a more challenging presentation. But it would also present the same article – or at least supplement it – with material that pulled people along in their development.

“This one still freaks me out:”

“You’re going to need a bigger boat…”

Mike Elzinga said:

I would like to see a magazine that had a format that was two-tiered in its presentations.

If it is an on-line magazine, chances are it is already three-tirered.

(ok, nerd humor…)

Mike Elzinga said: I have generally had similar impressions of Discover; some very interesting articles, yet too often frustratingly shallow. Then there is that occasional titillation with a little pseudo-science rather than an outright debunking of it.

My impression is that after Disney took it over (with a promise of no change in content), there was a switch in emphasis from reporting on things that had been (newly) discovered or revealed, to a lot more speculative articles on hypotheses or works in progress that might pan out, or might turn out to be completely ridiculous. It seems like they’re going overboard in search of “zing”.

Mike Elzinga said:

harold said:

What you’re saying is that Discover does not feel any pressure to avoid offending creationists, and that the “newsstand only” status of this issue was not related to a perception that it will outrage creationists, who might react to an online presentation in annoying ways, is that about right?

Thanks for all the great work.

I have generally had similar impressions of Discover; some very interesting articles, yet too often frustratingly shallow. Then there is that occasional titillation with a little pseudo-science rather than an outright debunking of it.

I think I understand some of the difficulties of writing for lay audiences while also trying to stay in business. Having attempted at one time to write for lay audiences, I discovered just how difficult it is. Carl writes like I wish I could.

I would like to see a magazine that had a format that was two-tiered in its presentations. It would have a level that outlined the essence of a scientific topic aimed at those who want to know but don’t have the time or sufficient background to dig into a more challenging presentation. But it would also present the same article – or at least supplement it – with material that pulled people along in their development.

My sentiments exactly. Though I should add that I find some of those titles on the cover (e.g. “from ooze to us”) obnoxious, and likely to feed, rather than correct, common misconceptions.

I will probably buy the issue, though.

Frank J. -

What’s so obnoxious about “from ooze to us”?

It’s a humorous way of expressing the idea the life shares common descent, and that earliest life was unicellular and probably “simple”, in the limited sense that individual multicellular organisms are large clones of highly differentiated cell types, rather than populations of highly similar individual cells. (With the caveat that unicellular organisms are plenty complicated, from a human perspective.)

As we both know, the earth is not 6000 years old and the theory of evolution is the best scientific explanation for the diversity and relatedness of life on earth.

I’m personally in favor of being nice to people unless otherwise indicated, and I personally have no negative emotional reaction to “religion” per se.

Those are a subjective ethical preference and subjective emotional reaction of mine, respectively.

But I really don’t believe in the “our side should walk on eggshells” model of science communication.

There are two reasons why it won’t work -

1) You can never convince everyone to walk on eggshells.

The earth still revolves around the sun and life still evolves, even if someone who accepts reality is “rude”.

A fair number of “internet atheists” were raised by upper class atheist parents, and perceive religion as a trait of lower income or less educated people.

Another, probably larger number, were mistreated in a harsh religious environment, often for years, and are understandably embittered.

There’s just never going to be a world in which someone can declare arbitrary beliefs, and then be fully protected from having those beliefs challenged, or even insulted.

2) More importantly, most of the people who tell you they are “offended” or whine about “ad hominems” are insincere anyway. They will always claim to be offended by any “rival” to their authoritarian belief system.

Someone who says “I was going to accept scientific reality, but my feelings were hurt by someone or something somehow related to science, so now I’m going to be a creationist” isn’t just sincere.

What those people are doing is signalling to you that they, personally, are fully dug in and can never be convinced, while trying to pretend to have an “open mind”. I’m not sure why they do this; to fool third party observers I guess.

I’ve been ridiculed, rejected, insulted, threatened, etc, in my life, and I don’t mean just being called a “creotard” or “fundy” on the internet. It never occurred to me to think that reality changed because of this. A sincere person wouldn’t suggest that.

Scientific reality can never bolster their frail egos or justify their most hateful biases perfectly. There will always be a con man to sell things that promise to do that.

I do agree that there is a vast number of adult Americans who are out of touch with basic reality on a variety of levels (not only creationists or right wing extremists by any means, although numerically those groups dwarf other equally deluded groups).

That can’t go on forever. Either they change their minds, or younger people adopt a more reality-based lifestyle (*and I’m optimistic because older generations I knew, although not as formally educated and traditionally religious, were much more reality-based than, say, a typical member of the current US Congress), or this society is not going to last.

However, although I am strongly in favor or being nice to people, I will continue to note that walking on eggshells and trying not to “offend” those who are already brainwashed to the point that abandoning their biases would produce severe psychological disruption is hopeless.

Clarification to anyone who is not familiar with my comments -

I said “I don’t mean just being called a “creotard” or “fundy” on the internet.”

I should have said, “I don’t mean just the equivalent of trivial stuff like being called mild names on the internet”.

Since I am not a fundamentalist or creationist, of course, I have never been called those specific names.

harold said:

However, although I am strongly in favor or being nice to people, I will continue to note that walking on eggshells and trying not to “offend” those who are already brainwashed to the point that abandoning their biases would produce severe psychological disruption is hopeless.

Creationists, for at least the 40+ years I have been watching them, want to tie the hands and feet of anyone who has the expertise to totally demolish creationist pretensions.

Terms like science nerds, or geeks, or whatever epithets society wants to demean disciplined learning with, have been around for a long time; and they are unfair.

Discipline and precision in sports or in the playing of a musical instrument, or in a Navy SEAL team operation are all admired and lauded.

But there is as much discipline and precision required in the learning and execution of scientific concepts as there is in any other activity that requires years of training and correction of tiny details of practice.

You seldom hear mocking of people practicing a musical instrument for hours a day, year after year. There are hundreds of fine details of execution required to bring out the tone and meaning in a piece of music without making it muddy and sloppy. It simply takes discipline and years of practice. The same can be said of all sports, or of any skill that people can and do master.

Yet in our society, the same dedication, discipline, and attention to detail in science is frequently derided and viewed with antipathy. Creationist sectarians spend a great deal of their waking hours seething and stewing over how to mock and demean those who have dedicated their lives to science. If they tried to pull this crap on a professional soccer or hockey player, they would be pounded into a bloody pulp.

So any intellectual pounding creationists get from someone in science is well-deserved. Creationist bullies keep asking for it, and eventually someone is going to give it to them.

I agree with Frank J, you fundy creotard! ;-)

(I just thought that you ought to be able to claim that you had been called that, at least once.)

But more to the point, the “ooze to us” is reminiscent of a despicable creationist screed by one Harold Hill: From Goo to You by Way of the Zoo. (Wasn’t Professor Harold Hill the con man who brought the Boys’ Band to River City?) When I saw the “Ooze to Us” title, I thought “Errgh–couldn’t they have come up with something that doesn’t seem to be borrowing a meme from the fundy creotards?”

No biggie, it just struck me the wrong way, as I guess it did Frank J.

Mike Elzinga said: So any intellectual pounding creationists get from someone in science is well-deserved. Creationist bullies keep asking for it, and eventually someone is going to give it to them.

If you’re making an argument to persuade the undecided, you have to keep the high road. It’s not a question of politeness; it’s just that a sensible reader will think: “This person is trying to impress me by bad-mouthing the other guys … because he can’t offer a cogent argument.”

Besides, listening to people venting is tiresome. It doesn’t sound clever, it just sounds inarticulate and self-indulgent. If you want to rally the faithful, then invective works – but I ask anyone here if I could convince them of anything in a difference of opinion by simply acting hot under the collar. If anyone said YES, I would ask: WHY?

Attack their ideas, yes, show they are misinformation, show they are preposterous, show they have ulterior motives. But if you do that, calling names is just belaboring the reader; if you don’t do that, calling names is just shooting yourself in the foot.

Just Bob said:

I agree with Frank J, you fundy creotard! ;-)

(I just thought that you ought to be able to claim that you had been called that, at least once.)

But more to the point, the “ooze to us” is reminiscent of a despicable creationist screed by one Harold Hill: From Goo to You by Way of the Zoo. (Wasn’t Professor Harold Hill the con man who brought the Boys’ Band to River City?) When I saw the “Ooze to Us” title, I thought “Errgh–couldn’t they have come up with something that doesn’t seem to be borrowing a meme from the fundy creotards?”

No biggie, it just struck me the wrong way, as I guess it did Frank J.

I actually think that the phrase “From Goo to You by Way of the Zoo” was one of the only good things a creationist has ever come up with ;).

I confirmed that you are correct about the fictional character Harold Hill. It is most ironic that there is or was an actual creationist with that name (for full disclosure, Harold is my real first name but my last name isn’t “Hill”). He seems to have been one of those “engineer” creationists.

The reviews look a little one-sided http://www.amazon.com/Goo-You-Way-Z[…]p/0800751744

Mike Elzinga -

It’s interesting to note the multiple strategies which happen at once.

The “creation science” generation, which I am familiar with only from the historical record but whom others here actually dealt with, tried to take the tack that they were the “real scientists” and that the entire field of biology was somehow isolated and trivially wrong. That approach still persists to a limited degree on the “traditional” sites, there’s that “PhD astrophysicist” at one of the sites.

Then there was the switch to trying to get a few actual biologists (Behe, Wells), and to the emphasis on “information” and “probability”. Possibly just a reflection of trends - physics and engineering were the “in” sciences during the space age, and now computer science and molecular biology/genetics are more “in”.

But at the same time, I notice an increasing use of the outright denial and scorning of science and empirical reality altogether. That’s always been part of the picture, but I guess that it fits especially well with the post-modern, “we make our own reality” era.

mrg said:

Mike Elzinga said: So any intellectual pounding creationists get from someone in science is well-deserved. Creationist bullies keep asking for it, and eventually someone is going to give it to them.

If you’re making an argument to persuade the undecided, you have to keep the high road. It’s not a question of politeness; it’s just that a sensible reader will think: “This person is trying to impress me by bad-mouthing the other guys … because he can’t offer a cogent argument.”

Besides, listening to people venting is tiresome. It doesn’t sound clever, it just sounds inarticulate and self-indulgent. If you want to rally the faithful, then invective works – but I ask anyone here if I could convince them of anything in a difference of opinion by simply acting hot under the collar. If anyone said YES, I would ask: WHY?

Attack their ideas, yes, show they are misinformation, show they are preposterous, show they have ulterior motives. But if you do that, calling names is just belaboring the reader; if you don’t do that, calling names is just shooting yourself in the foot.

What I mean by an intellectual pounding is not verbal or physical abuse. But, metaphorically, it should leave no doubt about what science really says and what scientific concepts really mean. It should leave no doubt about who is playing games.

But, from my experiences with the audiences I have had in the past, the effect is just as devastating. I always made sure my talks included not only the real science, but I also included the misconceptions, misrepresentations, and tactics the creationists were using over and over despite repeated corrections by other scientists who were aware of what they were doing.

Contrasting the science with the pseudo-science is one thing; and audience members would often raise the possibility that creationists were sincere but misguided (I once thought that myself). But when I included a list of creationist tactics in my talks, audiences were more likely to understand the political game creationists were playing, and then they were far less sympathetic.

I was fortunate enough to not get trapped into a public debate with a creationist. I might have done it early on, when I thought they were just naive or misinformed; but it didn’t take me too long after seeing a debate to figure out the tactics they were using. A few crosschecks and a little reading of their writings pretty quickly cured me of any temptation to give them any leverage or slack; or free ride.

I was probably the only physicist who was addressing these issues locally during the 1970s and early 1980s. Back then, it was pretty much a local phenomenon as far as the science community understood; they had not become aware of the national scope of the attack. And, even then, most of my colleagues thought it was the biologist’s war; and they generally had an aloof distain about how biologists were handling the physics attacks.

I thought it was unfair for the biologists to have to take on physics questions for which they were unprepared; and Morris, Gish, Walter T. Brown, etc. knew when to intimidate biologists and biology teachers with physics.

As to the snarky trolls that show up here on PT, I’m willing to consider what they have to say; but when it becomes obvious that they are just playing games, then they can be treated like the childish trolls they are.

harold said:

Mike Elzinga -

It’s interesting to note the multiple strategies which happen at once.

The “creation science” generation, which I am familiar with only from the historical record but whom others here actually dealt with, tried to take the tack that they were the “real scientists” and that the entire field of biology was somehow isolated and trivially wrong. That approach still persists to a limited degree on the “traditional” sites, there’s that “PhD astrophysicist” at one of the sites.

Then there was the switch to trying to get a few actual biologists (Behe, Wells), and to the emphasis on “information” and “probability”. Possibly just a reflection of trends - physics and engineering were the “in” sciences during the space age, and now computer science and molecular biology/genetics are more “in”.

But at the same time, I notice an increasing use of the outright denial and scorning of science and empirical reality altogether. That’s always been part of the picture, but I guess that it fits especially well with the post-modern, “we make our own reality” era.

Duane Gish was one of the early creationists who started causing mischief in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In the 1960s – before he joined Henry Morris to form the Creation “Research” Institute – Gish worked at what was then the Upjohn Company, which was headquartered in, and had its major production and research facilities in, Kalamazoo and Portage. As I recall, he did some research on the tobacco mosaic virus; but I may not be remembering that correctly.

Gish has a PhD in biochemistry from UC Berkeley. And I do recall that he used his “credentials” to terrorize biology teachers in the local schools. He was a real bastard. A good friend of mine was one of his targets.

That was pretty early on, before anybody knew the nature of what was just getting started. Morris and Gish turned out to be far more scientifically stupid yet far more politically crafty than many would have guessed back then.

@ harold:

To clarify (as I always have to do with everyone), I do not advocate “walking on eggshells.” I do not object to using words like “ooze,” but I object to it being used at nearly every opportunity. I realize they have to sell magazines to nonscientists and need something catchy, but I’d really appreciate something original. Actually, if you change “ooze” to “dust” it becomes a typical creationist headline, as ~4 billion years of ancestors are omitted, and most people interpret “us” as “H. sapiens” and not “any living thing.”

BTW, my entry in NCSE’s bumper sticker contest focused on the 4 billion years of life (not Earth), and didn’t mention “evolution.” Not because of “walking on eggshells,” but because that word is already everywhere. Given that people read bumper stickers for ~1 second, I’m hoping for an occasional “is that how old it is?” instead of the usual “evolution, whatever” reaction from the great majority.

Mike Elzinga Wrote:

Gish has a PhD in biochemistry from UC Berkeley. And I do recall that he used his “credentials” to terrorize biology teachers in the local schools. He was a real bastard. A good friend of mine was one of his targets.

As you probably know, Gish (YEC) and Hugh Ross (OEC) had at least one famous debate. Not sure if the incidents you mention were before or after that, but if after, the obvious response is “Come back when you and Ross can agree on what the evidence supports in terms of when the Earth and all its ‘kinds’ originated.” Granted, it would not work if only a few lone teachers did it. But it’s interesting that the “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when, just promote unreasonable doubt of evolution” strategy just happened to come along before a critical mass of teachers realized how hopelessly deadlocked in disagreement these radical activists were. Not to mention how easily falsified their mutually contradictory alternate “theories” were.

Frank J said:

As you probably know, Gish (YEC) and Hugh Ross (OEC) had at least one famous debate. Not sure if the incidents you mention were before or after that, but if after, the obvious response is “Come back when you and Ross can agree on what the evidence supports in terms of when the Earth and all its ‘kinds’ originated.” Granted, it would not work if only a few lone teachers did it. But it’s interesting that the “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when, just promote unreasonable doubt of evolution” strategy just happened to come along before a critical mass of teachers realized how hopelessly deadlocked in disagreement these radical activists were. Not to mention how easily falsified their mutually contradictory alternate “theories” were.

From what I could learn from Gish’s website, that debate took place August 12, 1992.

Back in the 1960s, I am fairly sure I had no awareness of there being a national level creationist attack on science; what I knew at that time would have suggested to me that this was taking place in the South in a few places.

I didn’t find out about Gish’s harassment from my friend until she told me about it much later.

My gradual awareness of local creationist activities was beginning in about the mid 1970s; and even then, it didn’t register as anything significant until viewed in hindsight. But well before McLean v. Arkansas in 1982, I was fully aware because Science was carrying regular articles about it, and I was beginning to make connections to local phenomena and questions I was getting from students and colleagues.

My talks to lay audiences began in the early to mid 1980s in Rochester, New York. At that time there was little coordination among scientists nationally (I think NCSE was started in 1981, but I didn’t know about it then); and we didn’t know that local “scientific” creationist events and pressure were a well-coordinated national phenomenon until local news papers were giving creationists full-page spreads about creation “science.”

I am fully in agreement with your advice to make sure that YEC and OEC inconsistencies are spotlighted. Back when I was doing my talks, that issue didn’t come up. People had asked me about the science, and it took me a few tries and some good advice from others to learn how to present the material properly.

We were pretty seriously outgunned by creationists and didn’t know it back then. I think we are far better off now because they now have a mountain of crap they have to answer for and can’t take back.

Though I should add that I find some of those titles on the cover (e.g. “from ooze to us”) obnoxious, and likely to feed, rather than correct, common misconceptions.

“From ooze to us” reminds me of the creationist book called “From Goo to You by way of the Zoo” by Harold Hill. Anyone else every heard of it? Creos love these catchy little phrases. You know, like “molecules to man.”

Just started watching, for the umpteenth time Jakob Bronowski’s 1973 ‘The Ascent of Man’. It’s like going into a clean alpine environment after a quick trip to the sewer at UD. I didn’t realise before, but large sections of his narration are completely unscripted ‘off the cuff’ monologues.

robert van bakel said:

Just started watching, for the umpteenth time Jakob Bronowski’s 1973 ‘The Ascent of Man’. It’s like going into a clean alpine environment after a quick trip to the sewer at UD. I didn’t realise before, but large sections of his narration are completely unscripted ‘off the cuff’ monologues.

BTW: Accent of Man is available from Netflix now. Closest thing to free beer a science lover will ever get.

Mike Elzinga said:

Duane Gish was one of the early creationists who started causing mischief in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In the 1960s – before he joined Henry Morris to form the Creation “Research” Institute – Gish worked at what was then the Upjohn Company, which was headquartered in, and had its major production and research facilities in, Kalamazoo and Portage. As I recall, he did some research on the tobacco mosaic virus; but I may not be remembering that correctly.

Gish has a PhD in biochemistry from UC Berkeley. And I do recall that he used his “credentials” to terrorize biology teachers in the local schools. He was a real bastard. A good friend of mine was one of his targets.

Exactly what Darwinists do: use their “credentials” to terrorize anyone who disagrees with them. Are you saying they learned the tactic from Gish?

Ray Martinez said:

Exactly what Darwinists do: use their “credentials” to terrorize anyone who disagrees with them. Are you saying they learned the tactic from Gish?

One of the prime characteristics of you ID/creationists is your habit of projecting. And projecting is always accompanied by your whining persecution complex when you are called out on your bullshit.

Many of Morris’s and Gish’s favorite piles, and piles, and piles of pure bullshit are still being used today even as they were used back then.

Keeping bullshit out of the classroom is a professional responsibility of any good instructor. If that terrorizes you, then it is a victory for justice.

Ray Martinez the devious mendacious intellectual pornographer barked: Exactly what Darwinists do: use their “credentials” to terrorize anyone who disagrees with them. Are you saying they learned the tactic from Gish?

Au contraire, Ray baby. Stop by any creo-infested website, like, for example, my “buddy” Bill Dembski’s creation, Uncommon Dissent, and the posters there are praising the academic credentials of their “prophets” whether it is the ever larcenous Bill Dembski or Mikey “Don’t know what science is (Ask Eric Rothschild)” Behe.

Real scientists, like vertebrate paleobiologist Don Prothero, don’t announce their credentials as though they are shingles to their offices, as doctors and dentists might. In fact, I have heard Don say that he wishes to be known as Don Prothero in private life; only when he is working as a scientist should be addressed as “Dr. Prothero”.

Not only Duane Gish, but even Henry Morris loved to show off his credentials for anyone who is interested. Ditto too for the larcenous Bill Dembski.

Mike Elzinga is absolutely right, my pathetic decomposed arse licker (Decomposed in the sense that you still lick Morris’s arse.). Stop projecting and stop being mendacious.

I’ll pull the plug, then, by popular demand. Seems like the Discover special issue discussion ran adrift, anyway. Ciao, Dave

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