Freshwater: Appeal Denied (UPDATED)

| 108 Comments

Today Judge Otho Eyster of the Knox County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas denied John Freshwater’s appeal of his termination as a middle school science teacher by the Mt. Vernon City Schools. In his ruling (Page 1 and Page 2, both PDFs at the Mount Vernon News site), Judge Eyster wrote that “Based on the number of witnesses and exhibits presented at the Referee’s hearing held over a period of twenty-one (21) months, the Court finds Freshwater’s request that the Court conduct additional hearings is not well taken.” Further, the Judge wrote, “…there is clear and convincing evidence to support the Board of Education’s termination of Freshwater’s contract(s) for good and just cause,…”.

In the decision Freshwater was ordered to pay the costs of the proceeding.

As I understand it, Freshwater still has the option to pursue an appeal of Judge Eyster’s ruling up the ladder of the state courts. As far as I know he still has the support of the Rutherford Institute. No public comments by Freshwater and/or that Institute concerning the Court’s ruling have as yet been made.

UPDATE As foreshadowed just above, The Rutherford Institute today (Oct 6) issued a press release saying it will appeal Judge Eyster’s decision to the Ohio 5th District Court of Appeals. (Hat tip to Accountability in the Media, a site operated by Freshwater supporters.)

108 Comments

It’s time to face facts, Freshwater: The courts don’t find you appealing.

Just go off and play up the martyr game. If you do it right, it can pay well.

Glen Davidson

Here here.

“Based on the number of witnesses and exhibits presented at the Referee’s hearing held over a period of twenty-one (21) months, the Court finds Freshwater’s request that the Court conduct additional hearings is not well taken.”

Absolutely right. This case has already taken 20 months too long.

I am pleased by the judge’s ruling but I am perplexed by Freshwater’s reticence to begin the martyr process. Might he feel that these appeals must play out first? His job as a teacher cannot pay as well as the speaking circuit of fundie events. Seems odd.

We shall see, but there may not be much of a market for Freshwater on the fundie circuit.

Take a look at the trolls here. They constantly make absurd claims of persecution.

But not because they admire people who are persecuted for what they believe in.

It is universally true of every fundie creationist troll that I have ever seen posts by, that they crave bullying authoritarian dominance so much that they perceive other people defending themselves from their bullying as them being “persecuted”.

Freshwater went to court and lost.

Are any of the clowns who lost in Dover on the speaking circuit?

These aren’t people who admire standing up for principle. These are domineering, bullying authoritarians, frequently with a sadistic flavor, who have cobbled together an ad hoc religion to “justify” their behavior.

They liked the Freshwater who made kids with the wrong religion feel unwanted and uncomfortable in public school. The one who lost to the “liberals” in court? They may not have much use for him. He failed in his efforts to dominate.

Some news coverage:


Mount Vernon News
Columbus Dispatch (Notes that Freshwater has 30 days in which to file an appeal.)

harold said:

We shall see, but there may not be much of a market for Freshwater on the fundie circuit.

Take a look at the trolls here. They constantly make absurd claims of persecution.

But not because they admire people who are persecuted for what they believe in.

It is universally true of every fundie creationist troll that I have ever seen posts by, that they crave bullying authoritarian dominance so much that they perceive other people defending themselves from their bullying as them being “persecuted”.

Freshwater went to court and lost.

Are any of the clowns who lost in Dover on the speaking circuit?

These aren’t people who admire standing up for principle. These are domineering, bullying authoritarians, frequently with a sadistic flavor, who have cobbled together an ad hoc religion to “justify” their behavior.

They liked the Freshwater who made kids with the wrong religion feel unwanted and uncomfortable in public school. The one who lost to the “liberals” in court? They may not have much use for him. He failed in his efforts to dominate.

Crocker’s done awfully playing martyr.

To be sure, one might need a doctorate of some kind (relevance to biology isn’t important) to get the big bucks from the dominionists.

Glen Davidson

One also needs to be reasonably articulate. Freshwater isn’t.

Crocker’s done awfully playing martyr.

was supposed to be

Crocker’s done awfully well playing martyr.

Obviously, but sometimes it just seems better to correct it anyhow.

Oh, and if Freshwater’s not articulate that would indeed explain why he’s not tried the old martyr market with greater vigor.

Glen Davidson

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Crocker’s done awfully playing martyr.

was supposed to be

Crocker’s done awfully well playing martyr.

Obviously, but sometimes it just seems better to correct it anyhow.

Oh, and if Freshwater’s not articulate that would indeed explain why he’s not tried the old martyr market with greater vigor.

Glen Davidson

I could be wrong about Freshwater (although I suspect that I will be right - that he will receive few tender mercies from his fellow authoritarians).

Crocker is a bit different. First of all, although she wasn’t especially prestigious within her field, her credentials are at the doctoral level. She can be described with big words like “immunopharacologist”.

Second, and at least equally to the point, she didn’t create and lose a lawsuit.

Remember that the entire point of “creation science” and “ID”, at least since the 1960’s, has been to create the illusion that some way to teach sectarian dogma and deny evolution in public schools, without getting busted in court, has been invented.

People who actually follow through, end up in court, and lose are personna non grata in the movement. They have challenged the illusion. Even Behe and Dembski, who were associated with Dover - by far the biggest creationist names to be so at the time - have seen their prestige subsequently fall (yes, I realize Dembski either decided not to or was begged not to testify at the last minute). Behe is at Lehigh for life unless he is insane enough to quit or give them a reason to fire him, and Dembski can still generate an occasional book for bulk sales to right wing think tanks where no-one will actually read it. But even these powerful figures were tarnished by a loss. I can’t think of a single low level figure who has benefited in the movement from association with a court defeat.

It’s all about blustering, but evading any forum where you can be pinned down, especially court.

Yes, the martyr circuit will be tough for him. He should stick to the radio where people can’t see his wild eyes and flailing arms, they can only hear his rising voice. Things still aren’t over for another 30 days and I wouldn’t bet against him appealing it again. He seems just that crazy but I think he knows at a real court his shenanigans won’t be tolerated.

Some good news today.

Nice change.

Here here.

I understand about evolution and all that, but the correct locution is “Hear hear.” Too many damned homonyms.

Matt Young said:

Here here.

I understand about evolution and all that, but the correct locution is “Hear hear.” Too many damned homonyms.

I frequently make the same mistake. Sometimes it’s forgetfullness, sometimes it’s careless typing.

Hear, hear = Listen, listen. Pay attention to what he/she said; it’s important.

Here, here = Me too; I agree also. Look at me.; I’m as clever and wise as he/she is.

The first is more “gentlemanly” and respectful of the wisdom of others.

As I was thinking back over the history of the ID/creationist movement, I find I can’t remember any instance, other than this one, in which ID/creationists suffered financial consequences for their actions.

In every case I remember, it was the taxpayer who ultimately picked up the tab for the time-wasting meddling by ID/creationists.

Freshwater cost the Mt. Vernon City Schools a lot of money and time wasted on completely unnecessary shenanigans; but in this case, Freshwater wiped himself out.

If this is a first, perhaps it will send an unmistakable message to any other ID/creationist sectarians thinking they are going to bully secular institutions and strain school budgets with useless expenses.

And maybe it will also send a message to administrators to develop some backbone and knowledge of the law rather than constantly attempting to placate aggressive sectarianism.

Matt Young said:

Here here.

I understand about evolution and all that, but the correct locution is “Hear hear.” Too many damned homonyms.

Given the stories of Freshwater using “Here” as a codeword as part of his planting of doubt about those bits of science that give the lie to YEC, it might be that DS was indulging in some deliberate satire. On the other hand, I might just be making an invalid design inference.

Maybe an ad homonym argument.

I think he may get a little bit of play on the Christian Martyr circuit, but not in regard to the creationism angle. I think the myth that’s been most effectively spread is that he was fired simply for having a bible on his desk. That’s what the preachers and fundie radio hosts will play up.

Whether there’s any money in that, I don’t know.

Matt Young said:

Here here.

I understand about evolution and all that, but the correct locution is “Hear hear.” Too many damned homonyms.

Thanks Matt. Sorry, I guess I forgot how it was spelled in the transcripts. Then again, I guess that according to Mike the second meaning is actually closer to what I meant anyway.

Still, the point remains, this guy got exactly what he deserved. He can appeal all the way to the Supreme Court, just as long as he pays for it, or cons some gullible religious folks into paying for it. He had his day in court, he had almost a thousand days in court. Sour grapes make a really bad whine.

Has Hamilton, Freshwater’s (erstwhile?) attorney suffered from his failure in Freshwater’s defense? Karma would suggest public stocks for the man but that kind of justice seldom happens.

The only future I can see for Freshwater on the talk circuit is at occasional fundraisers for the benefit of his lawyers. They’ll introduce him, let him stand up, and maybe give him a few moments on stage so he can recite a script about their public interest legal activities. The money raised will benefit the lawyers, but they may pay Freshwater’s travel expenses and give him a few bucks. In other words, his principal function will be as a fundraising prop – for the benefit of others.

Maybe an ad homonym argument.

Splendid pun!

Tom said:

I think he may get a little bit of play on the Christian Martyr circuit, but not in regard to the creationism angle. I think the myth that’s been most effectively spread is that he was fired simply for having a bible on his desk. That’s what the preachers and fundie radio hosts will play up.

Whether there’s any money in that, I don’t know.

Selling points of the extremist far right, i.e., what could be more obvious than:

Evolution is evil.

Public schools are bad.

Public schools are anti-Christian.

Private/parochial school vouchers are one good remedy (Ohio Republicans is trying very hard to do this).

From RBH’s new update:

“The judge’s ruling is unfortunate because academic freedom is the bedrock of American education,” stated John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “What we need today are more teachers and school administrators who understand that young people don’t need to be indoctrinated. Rather, they need to be taught how to think for themselves.”

Irony, thy name is Rutherford Institute.

And the band played on (and on and on and …).

A little, off topic alert: (sorry)

Over at UD the editorials are simply livid that nobody in the ID community got a Nobel Prize. The sour grapes over the Nobel Prizes in chemistry and physics are really palpable.

And it appears that Joe Bozorgmehr has been banned over there.

eric said:

From RBH’s new update:

“The judge’s ruling is unfortunate because academic freedom is the bedrock of American education,” stated John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “What we need today are more teachers and school administrators who understand that young people don’t need to be indoctrinated. Rather, they need to be taught how to think for themselves.”

Irony, thy name is Rutherford Institute.

I guess branding crosses into their arms is one of those “think for yourself” aides.

We shall see, but there may not be much of a market for Freshwater on the fundie circuit.

You don’t understand fundie xians. They can just make something up. It isn’t like Freshwater and his supporters showed any great veracity during the hearings.

“On the night that Freshwater lost his hearing board proceedings, the moon rose, red as a poppy. Howls were heard as antlered beings that even the Druids feared roamed the earth. Things went down hill from there.

Packs of evolutionary biologists clutching Pippettmen surrounded his house, chanting their evil spell, “Random mutations and Natural Selection equal Evolution. The police were stopped by a barricade of liberal lawyers waving the US constitution around.

Then the gay, Moslem atheists circled the area in UFO’s, piloted by the Grey Space Reptiles. The next day all the Hex signs were found high in trees and the dog was dead in the driveway, completely drained of blood”

Need to work in satan, demons, and astronomers in there somewhere.

It is interesting and typical that the fundies didn’t bother to bail Freshwater out. IIRC, he ended up selling his residence.

They like martyrs but the best martyrs are someone else.

I’ve seen the same thing with the Forced Birther crowd. They want someone to assassinate MD’s but the best killers are somebody else. They don’t want to spend their life in prison, they want someone else to do the time.

Let’s remember that what seems like a suicidal strategy, Freshwater’s ill-advised insistence on martyrdom, might actually work in the long run. We can laugh about the defeat of the effort in Dover, Pennsylvania, and about Freshwater’s doomed crusade. But if cases like those got appealed up to a sufficiently right-wing Supreme Court, the result might be very different.

I suspect that getting the case to the Supreme Court was the implicit strategy in Dover. The defeat of the creationists on the school board thwarted that. It probably wouldn’t have worked with the current court, as bad as they are. But a right-wing president appointing a couple more Scalias and Thomases would be a whole different kettle of fish. We might find ID, or Teach The Controversy, or Teach Critical Thinking But Only About Evolution, shoved down our throats by that court. The results would be dire, both for science and for separation of church and state.

Joe Felsenstein said: But a right-wing president appointing a couple more Scalias and Thomases would be a whole different kettle of fish. We might find ID, or Teach The Controversy, or Teach Critical Thinking But Only About Evolution, shoved down our throats by that court.

Exactly right. People are way too complacent about what will happen when another evolution case gets to the Court. One comes up about every 20 years or so, so we’re about due. If McCain had been elected, for instance, the Court would look very different now. After all, in an interview on the campaign trail, when asked, “Are there any members of the current Supreme Court that you particularly admire or regard as a model?” he answered, “Eh of course, Antonin Scalia.” That would be the same Scalia who wrote the dissent in Edwards v. Aguillard. McCain also admired Roberts. A President Perry, for instance, would likely be on the same page.

Atheistoclast said:

I am not a biblical creationist. I am a New Age thinker and philosopher…as well as a iconoclastic and idiosyncratic scientist.

What you are is a delusional fraud, no matter what your religious label. You are incapable of using reason and attack those who do. You don’t have to be a Bible believer to be an idiot.

Actually, a professional dentist does need to understand some basic evolutionary theory because dentists prescribe antibiotics and therefore need to know about resistance patterns.

(Sorry if this is a duplicate, but the commenting system seems determined to trip me up.)

Atheistoclast said: I just checked the British Olympiad syllabus:

http://www.biology-olympiad.org.uk/[…]ad/syllabus/

It seems that only 5% of the exam is dedicated to Biosystematics (and even here, evolution is part of the picture). There is a section called “Genetics and Evolution” but it seems heavily weighted to the former (especially population genetics) and not the latter.

I have also just checked the British Biology Olympiad website, where its syllabus is available for public perusal. It is true that there is a section called 7. Biosystematics, which does indeed include a bit on “evolutionary and ecological relationships among typical organisms in major groups” and is worth only 5% of the total syllabus weight. However, there is another section, 5. Genetics and Evolution, which is worth 20% of the syllabus.

You didn’t mention this 20% loading. And you claimed that the section is weighted against evolution when the full list of topics is: variation: mutation and modification; Mendelian inheritance; multiple allelism, recombination, sex linkage; Hardy-Weinberg principle; mechanism of evolution. Of the five topics, three (mutation and modification, mechanism of evolution, and the Hardy-Weinberg principle) are centrally about evolution, and the other two are critical to understanding evolution.

You also fail to understand that population genetics is evolutionary theory. To quote the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: “Population genetics is intimately bound up with the study of evolution and natural selection, and is often regarded as the theoretical cornerstone of modern Darwinism.” To quote Wikipedia: “Population genetics is the study of allele frequency distribution and change under the influence of the four main evolutionary processes: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation and gene flow.” To quote A.N. Shukla’s textbook Population Genetics (2009), “Population genetics also includes the study of the various forces that result in evolutionary changes in species through time.” To quote Alan Robert Templeton’s Population Genetics and Microevolutionary Theory (2009), “Population genetics has always played a central role in evolutionary biology as it deals with the mechanisms by which evolution occurs within populations and species…” To quote Warren John Ewes in Mathematical Population Genetics (2004), population genetics “has for many years been crucial to an understanding of evolutionary processes…”

Please note that all of these quotations are easily found by searching Google or Google Books and do not, as your own references do, rely on your hugely implausible personal recollection of books that are not available for online verification.

Your combination of ignorance + righteous certainty makes you an irritating fool, but your misrepresentation of the Olympiad syllabus means that nothing you say can be trusted.

Chris Lawson said: However, there is another section, 5. Genetics and Evolution, which is worth 20% of the syllabus. You didn’t mention this 20% loading. And you claimed that the section is weighted against evolution when the full list of topics is: variation: mutation and modification; Mendelian inheritance; multiple allelism, recombination, sex linkage; Hardy-Weinberg principle; mechanism of evolution. Of the five topics, three (mutation and modification, mechanism of evolution, and the Hardy-Weinberg principle) are centrally about evolution, and the other two are critical to understanding evolution.

No. Mutations in genes does not refer to evolution per se. Evolution refers to the change in gene/allele frequencies due to random drift or natural/sexual selection. And for evolutionary theory to have any relevance at all, this means that some allelic frequencies have to increase to the point of fixation. I would argue that the sub-section “mechanism of evolution” is the the only thing related to evolutionary theory as such. Also, the Biosystematics section is itself not weighted entirely to common ancestry. It appear to be more about how to classify animals based on matters of structure and function like the fact that all mammals are grouped together because they all have mammary glands.

You also fail to understand that population genetics is evolutionary theory.

LOL. I have just had a paper accepted on population genetics.

Population genetics may include evolutionary mechanisms like positive Darwinian selection, but it equally includes things like size, inbreeding, dominance etc that are just about the dynamics of populations and heredity. Mendel’s laws of inheritance are just about biological processes involved in reproduction. Moreover, as selection is typically negative with respect to variation, no positive change often occurs. So, you can have selection, drift, recombination, mutation, migration and so forth but there may still be no evolution. The The Hardy–Weinberg principle (part of the syllabus) states that “allelic frequencies in a population remain constant— in equilibrium — from generation to generation unless specific disturbing influences are introduced.” Generally, gene variant frequencies do remain fairly constant. That is anti-evolution, not evolution.

If the syllabus wanted to focus on evolutionary theory it would have included the following:

1) Speciation. 2) Adaptation. 3) Phylogenetics. 4) Nested hierarchies. 5) Cladogenesis and punctuated equilibrium. 6) Fossils and paleontology. 7) Gene duplication. 8) Evo-devo. 9) Co-evolution. 10) Directed evolution.

The Hardy–Weinberg principle (part of the syllabus) states that “allelic frequencies in a population remain constant— in equilibrium — from generation to generation unless specific disturbing influences are introduced.”

Right.

Generally, gene variant frequencies do remain fairly constant.

Sometimes.

That is anti-evolution, not evolution.

Wrong.

Suppose I have a deep psychological need to claim that “Pi =3”, as stated in the Bible.

No-one listens.

So, I go get a PhD in math, behaving “as if” Pi = 3.14…, in order to get my degree.

Or I publish some minor math papers that don’t directly mention pi.

Or both.

Then I say, “I’m an expert mathematician, and I say that pi = 3, I claim that mathematical definitions of pi are not the ‘true’ definition”, whatever.

So what? I’m wasting my time. Pi doesn’t equal three.

Atheistoclast said: No. Mutations in genes does not refer to evolution per se. Evolution refers to the change in gene/allele frequencies due to random drift or natural/sexual selection. And for evolutionary theory to have any relevance at all, this means that some allelic frequencies have to increase to the point of fixation. I would argue that the sub-section “mechanism of evolution” is the the only thing related to evolutionary theory as such.

You are, I assume, not opposed to the 20% of the test that you claim is not evolutionary but we do?

I don’t see any real issue here. You are complaining about a label when you appear to have no issue with content.

You claim that the topic “mutation and modification” is not about evolution.

You claim that “The Hardy–Weinberg principle (part of the syllabus) states that ‘allelic frequencies in a population remain constant— in equilibrium — from generation to generation unless specific disturbing influences are introduced.’” Since I note that you are quoting here, let me continue the same quote. “Those disturbing influences include non-random mating, mutations, selection, limited population size, ‘overlapping generations’, random genetic drift, gene flow and meiotic drive. It is important to understand that outside the lab, one or more of these ‘disturbing influences’ are always in effect. That is, Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium is impossible in nature.” As a published author on the subject of population genetics, I can only assume that your decision to only quote the first part is a premeditated choice. Let me put this plainly: you read the definition of the HW equilibrium and you made up an untruth about it being “anti-evolution”.

Quite frankly, the Bathroom Wall is where you belong for each and every post you submit. Not because I disagree with your opinion, idiotic as it is, but because you make up bullshit at every opportunity for the sole purpose of derailing threads. As someone who is here to learn useful and interesting information, I am tired of your high-volume white-noise schtick fouling up near every damn thread.

harold said:

The Hardy–Weinberg principle (part of the syllabus) states that “allelic frequencies in a population remain constant— in equilibrium — from generation to generation unless specific disturbing influences are introduced.”

Right.

Generally, gene variant frequencies do remain fairly constant.

Sometimes.

That is anti-evolution, not evolution.

Wrong.

Sorry. But stasis is not evolution. If allelic frequencies are essentially stable, which they are in all species, then we can infer that there is a distinct lack of evolutionary change. Also, I should point out that purifying/negative selection is not an evolutionary mechanism in the sense that selection acts against variation. Adaptation works when selection promotes certain mutations in response to environmental pressures.

Chris Lawson said:

You claim that the topic “mutation and modification” is not about evolution.

Er…no. Mutation and variation are due to imperfections in the replication system - that a feature of DNA and genetics. Evolution may require mutations, but it is about the promotion of variations through their natural selection. This is why we see a sub-section called “mechanism of evolution” that presumably covers this.

You claim that “The Hardy–Weinberg principle (part of the syllabus) states that ‘allelic frequencies in a population remain constant— in equilibrium — from generation to generation unless specific disturbing influences are introduced.’” Since I note that you are quoting here, let me continue the same quote. “Those disturbing influences include non-random mating, mutations, selection, limited population size, ‘overlapping generations’, random genetic drift, gene flow and meiotic drive. It is important to understand that outside the lab, one or more of these ‘disturbing influences’ are always in effect. That is, Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium is impossible in nature.” As a published author on the subject of population genetics, I can only assume that your decision to only quote the first part is a premeditated choice. Let me put this plainly: you read the definition of the HW equilibrium and you made up an untruth about it being “anti-evolution”.

The HW equilibrium model assumes stability in allelic frequencies. It then allows for violations/disturbances due to migrations, gene conversion and so on. These are not evolutionary processes as such because they don’t necessarily represent adaptations that lead to fixation. It is just part of the ebb and flow of population dynamics.

Atheistoclast said:

Chris Lawson said:

You claim that the topic “mutation and modification” is not about evolution.

Er…no. Mutation and variation are due to imperfections in the replication system - that a feature of DNA and genetics. Evolution may require mutations, but it is about the promotion of variations through their natural selection. This is why we see a sub-section called “mechanism of evolution” that presumably covers this.

You claim that “The Hardy–Weinberg principle (part of the syllabus) states that ‘allelic frequencies in a population remain constant— in equilibrium — from generation to generation unless specific disturbing influences are introduced.’” Since I note that you are quoting here, let me continue the same quote. “Those disturbing influences include non-random mating, mutations, selection, limited population size, ‘overlapping generations’, random genetic drift, gene flow and meiotic drive. It is important to understand that outside the lab, one or more of these ‘disturbing influences’ are always in effect. That is, Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium is impossible in nature.” As a published author on the subject of population genetics, I can only assume that your decision to only quote the first part is a premeditated choice. Let me put this plainly: you read the definition of the HW equilibrium and you made up an untruth about it being “anti-evolution”.

The HW equilibrium model assumes stability in allelic frequencies. It then allows for violations/disturbances due to migrations, gene conversion and so on. These are not evolutionary processes as such because they don’t necessarily represent adaptations that lead to fixation. It is just part of the ebb and flow of population dynamics.

You can see my response to this crap on the bathroom wall. Needless to say, it is compete and utter horse pucky. Add population genetics to the list of things that Joe is completely ignorant of.

Richard,

None of the crap that Joe has posted is even remotely on topic for this thread. Please banish him to the bathroom wall once again.

One last comment, seeing as Joe has a homozygous inability to talk straight…

Atheistoclast said: If allelic frequencies are essentially stable, which they are in all species…

Zounds, this isn’t even remotely true. Check out the variations in allele frequency in ABO blood type in different ethnicities (see here). 100% of Bororo people have type O blood, while only 9% of Grand Andamanese are type O, to choose two extreme examples. All of this variation evolved (yes, evolved) since humans split from our common human gene pool in Africa 50-100,000 years ago.

Umm…apologies to any other Joes.

Atheistoclast said: I asked for articles on the evolution of teeth in dental journals,read by professional dentists, not ones about anatomy or evo-devo that are read by biologists and evolutionists.

Of course you did.

Like generations creationists before you, you are careful to always insert needless quantifiers so you can come back later and hyper parse perfectly useful answers.

Are you at all capable of understanding this distinction?

Sure I am. In fact, I expected you to whine about a distinction without a difference instead of addressing the actual underlying facts. I even added the line…

Now, I’m not saying that all these papers deal directly with subjects of day to day concern to dentists, but I would hazard that somewhere in that pile there’s a little nugget of explanation for Dentist Bob’s new Mercedes.

specifically because I knew you would concentrate on semantics and avoid any actual substance.

Sadly, you don’t even weasel well.

See: “Wisdom teeth: mankind’s future third vice-teeth?” in the January 2010 issue of Medical Hypothesis, a journal targeted squarely at clinicians.

The money quote

The third molar teeth (wisdom teeth) represent the last eruption of the teeth in the human dentition. Throughout evolution, the mandible has had a tendency to decrease in size; the third molar teeth are often impacted, resulting in incomplete tooth eruption that often causes clinical pericoronitis, dental caries, and pericemental abscess. Therefore, the wisdom teeth are often extracted. Moreover, wisdom teeth are often removed for clinical orthodontic treatment.

Hmmm… Dental caries, abscess, orthodontic treatment.… sounds like bread and butter dental issues in a clinical trade publication to me.

That took about 20 seconds to find on PubMed.

Also see:

“Genes affecting tooth morphogenesis” - Orthodontic Craniofacial Resources, Nov 2007

“Exclusion of coding region mutations in MSX1, PAX9 and AXIN2 in eight patients with severe oligodontia phenotype” - Orthodontic Craniofacial Resources, Aug 2006

“A novel nonsense mutation in PAX9 is associated with marked variability in number of missing teeth” - European journal of Oral sciences, Aug 2007

“Upper airway obstruction and craniofacial morphology”. Otolaryngol head neck surgery Jun 1991

Seriously, Dude. You don’t even weasel well.

If I can offer some suggestions, there are three things you should keep in mind

1) The Internet exists, Google exists. Fact checking is just a click away. If you’re going to make shit up at least make up shit that people can’t check with three mouse clicks.

2) Know your enemy. Check out PubMed. Even if actual fact is your sworn enemy, it’s a fascinating resource.

3) About that inability to weasel, I know this guy that can probably help you out with a genetic algorithm…

stevaroni said:

See: “Wisdom teeth: mankind’s future third vice-teeth?” in the January 2010 issue of Medical Hypothesis, a journal targeted squarely at clinicians.

Yes. I forgot about the evolutionist claim that wisdom teeth are vestigial. Seems this garbage has now permeated into the medical literature.

“Genes affecting tooth morphogenesis” - Orthodontic Craniofacial Resources, Nov 2007 “Exclusion of coding region mutations in MSX1, PAX9 and AXIN2 in eight patients with severe oligodontia phenotype” - Orthodontic Craniofacial Resources, Aug 2006

Nothing to do with either evolution or dentistry.

“A novel nonsense mutation in PAX9 is associated with marked variability in number of missing teeth” - European journal of Oral sciences, Aug 2007

Ditto.

“Upper airway obstruction and craniofacial morphology”. Otolaryngol head neck surgery Jun 1991

Ditto.

Seriously, Dude. You don’t even weasel well.

Understand the difference between evolution, morphogenesis and dentistry.

Ditto.

Ah, the old Behe Defense: “These zhournals of which you speek, not good enough.”

Atheistoclast said:

Chris Lawson said:

You claim that the topic “mutation and modification” is not about evolution.

Er…no. Mutation and variation are due to imperfections in the replication system - that a feature of DNA and genetics. Evolution may require mutations, but it is about the promotion of variations through their natural selection. This is why we see a sub-section called “mechanism of evolution” that presumably covers this.

You claim that “The Hardy–Weinberg principle (part of the syllabus) states that ‘allelic frequencies in a population remain constant— in equilibrium — from generation to generation unless specific disturbing influences are introduced.’” Since I note that you are quoting here, let me continue the same quote. “Those disturbing influences include non-random mating, mutations, selection, limited population size, ‘overlapping generations’, random genetic drift, gene flow and meiotic drive. It is important to understand that outside the lab, one or more of these ‘disturbing influences’ are always in effect. That is, Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium is impossible in nature.” As a published author on the subject of population genetics, I can only assume that your decision to only quote the first part is a premeditated choice. Let me put this plainly: you read the definition of the HW equilibrium and you made up an untruth about it being “anti-evolution”.

The HW equilibrium model assumes stability in allelic frequencies. It then allows for violations/disturbances due to migrations, gene conversion and so on. These are not evolutionary processes as such because they don’t necessarily represent adaptations that lead to fixation. It is just part of the ebb and flow of population dynamics.

You are truly pathological. Selection itself violates the conditions for the HW equilibrium to be reached. So does drift and both mechanisms can lead to fixation. The HW equation doesn’t *allow* squat. Its primary use is as a pedagogical tool.

Man, I can’t stay off the Web for one day without coming back to an Atheistoclast mess again. I’m not going to wade through all the comments to send stuff to the BW. While there are some real good comments rebutting Atheistoclast’s ignorance and dissembling, this thread has wandered far from the original topic and I’m closing it. Thanks for your participation, folks.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on October 5, 2011 12:00 PM.

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