Fun on Facebook

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The BioLogic Institute, the purported research arm of the Disco ‘Tute, now has a Facebook page where they post miscellaneous anti-evolution notes, many from the recent book by Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe, and Casey Luskin titled “Science and Human Origins”. One recent note was headed

From the scientific evidence, it is stubbornly uncertain how the first humans arose, whether from a lineage including ape-like creatures and far humbler ancestors or not.

Nick Matzke did a lovely job of rebutting that claim in the comment thread on the post. In the end, ‘BioLogic Institute’ abandoned the field, saying

I am closing this discussion because we are talking past each other. Our responses will be posted separately at www.biologicinstitute.org.

Where, as Jeff Shallit noted, comments are not allowed. As is their habit, when challenged the brave scientists of the Disco ‘Tute retreat to their insulated world, safe from those pesky critics’ comments.

137 Comments

Unlike! Unlike! Unlike!

At least it hasn’t gone down the memory hole … yet.

For us unfacebooked barbarians, can someone repost the takedown?

I was posting over at ENV, pounding on Casey’s “dinofuzz” nonsense with detailed information on feathered dinosaurs [http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/0[…]f061991.html]. Here is the fantastically arrogant and hypocritical response from John G. West.

It’s unfortunate, but alas instructive, that certain Darwinists find it difficult to defend their position without resorting to ad hominem or otherwise personal attacks. …we ARE serious about enforcing the rules of civility. Vigorous presentation of scientific evidence and arguments are welcome. Snarky comments about people’s motives (or false claims about ENV’s moderation policies) are not appropriate. I’ve allowed some of your recent posts because they do make some substantive arguments, which are welcome here. But they also contain comments that are basically false personal attacks. …if you continue to include the uncivil material, future comments will NOT be posted.

Let’s review what I did that was so bad, so morally inferior to the upright citizens at ENV.

…certain Darwinists find it difficult to defend their position without resorting to ad hominem or otherwise personal attacks. …Snarky comments about people’s motives…false personal attacks… uncivil material, future comments will NOT be posted.

Now this is from ENV, a blog where David “Darwinists are Nazis” Klinghoffer recently wrote:

So it goes with the community of Darwin boosters. Their ranks are heavy with bullies and their leaders are almost all cowards, who flee from a fair fight on the merit of the ideas that are up for debate. [David Klinghoffer, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/0[…]a061271.html]

And another recent post by David “Darwinists are Nazis” Klinghoffer is subtly titled “Darwin’s Cowards”, illustrated with a photo of a mouse hiding in a log. Attacking Coyne and Garwood:

There is something deeply dishonest about this. Can their [Coyne and Garwood’s] readers and their students really be so foolish as to fail to understand that they are being hoodwinked?

…Stop trawling the Internet for silly stuff from Pakistan or Turkey, when you’ve got a very different and serious intellectual and scientific challenge waiting outside your front door.

We’ve talked about academic bullies…the David Coppedge affair… the other face of bullying for Darwin: the refusal to pick on someone your own size even as you go around beating up on “creationists”… [Klinghoffer, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/0[…]1059851.html]

So far as I know, comments have never been enabled for any post by David “Darwinists are Nazis” Klinghoffer. What courage! What manliness! What honesty!

They hide behind “No Comment” walls, then claim we’re cowardly when we don’t challenge their ideas… because they censor and suppress any challenge.

Sociopaths on Facebook (a social media platform)?

Oh, wait, they ran away. Never mind, all is well in Mudville.

It’s messy but here’s a capture of the text, before they take it down in embarassment:

Biologic Institute - 143 like this July 6 at 4:38pm -

From the scientific evidence, it is stubbornly uncertain how the first humans arose, whether from a lineage including ape-like creatures and far humbler ancestors or not. A Veil Is Drawn Over Our Origin as Human Beings www.evolutionnews.org Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution. Like - - Share 2 people like this.

Nicholas J. Matzke It’s only “stubbornly uncertain” if you ignore most of the fossil evidence. Here’s some of the evidence. http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]omini-1.html Follow the evidence wherever it leads, guys. Fun with Hominin Cranial Capacity Datasets (and Excel), Part 2 - The Panda’s Thumb pandasthumb.org Due to popular demand I have made some more charts that are slightly more complex than the hominin cranial capacity chart from yesterday’s post. Yesterday at 7:35am - Like - 3 - Biologic Institute Welcome, Nick. Your link deals only with cranial capacity, and seems mainly to be concerned about showing a progression in brain size across the hominins. It doesn’t address any of the the other arguments about a sudden change in morphology between australopithecines and Homo. Yesterday at 11:15am - Like

Nicholas J. Matzke Considering that there are a number of cases where the exact same specimen/species has been put in both Australopithecus and Homo, depending on the researcher, I think the gap you wish was there doesn’t actually exist. 22 hours ago - Like

Biologic Institute Homo erectus or Homo habilis or ? 22 hours ago - Like

Richard B. Hoppe Be nice to see a list of the characters that show “a sudden change in morphology between australopithecines and Homo,” with appropriate references/citations. 20 hours ago - Like - 1

Nicholas J. Matzke Typically they go by Homo habilis, “early Homo”, or habilines, but some paleoanthropologists argue they should be in Australopithecus. Also some Australopithecines, e.g. some argue that A. sediba should be H. sediba. For evolutionary biolo…See More 19 hours ago - Like

Nicholas J. Matzke Or listen to Kurt Wise, one of the few creationists with actual paleontology training: 19 hours ago - Edited - Like

Nicholas J. Matzke It is a Very Good Evolutionary Argument Of Darwinism’s four stratomorphic intermediate expectations, that of the commonness of inter-specific stratomorphic intermediates has been the most disappointing for classical Darwinists. The current lack of any certain inter-specific stratomorphic intermediates has, of course, led to the development and increased acceptance of punctuated equilibrium theory. Evidences for Darwin’s second expectation - of stratomorphic intermediate species - include such species as Baragwanathia27 (between rhyniophytes and lycopods), Pikaia28 (between echinoderms and chordates), Purgatorius29 (between the tree shrews and the primates), and Proconsul30 (between the non-hominoid primates and the hominoids). Darwin’s third expectation - of higher-taxon stratomorphic intermediates - has been confirmed by such examples as the mammal-like reptile groups31 between the reptiles and the mammals, and the phenacdontids32 between the horses and their presumed ancestors. Darwin’s fourth expectation - of stratomorphic series - has been confirmed by such examples as the early bird series,33 the tetrapod series,34,35 the whale series,36 the various mammal series of the Cenozoic37 (for example, the horse series, the camel series, the elephant series, the pig series, the titanothere series, etc.), the Cantius and [p. 219] Plesiadapus primate series,38 and the hominid series.39 Evidence for not just one but for all three of the species level and above types of stratomorphic intermediates expected by macroevolutionary theory is surely strong evidence for macroevolutionary theory. Creationists therefore need to accept this fact. It certainly CANNOT said that traditional creation theory expected (predicted) any of these fossil finds.

19 hours ago - Like - 1

Nicholas J. Matzke http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]reation.html Honest creationist Kurt Wise on transitional fossils - The Panda’s Thumb pandasthumb.org I rediscovered a 1995 article by creationist paleontologist Kurt Wise in respons…See More 19 hours ago - Like -

Richard B. Hoppe I’m glad you archived the Wise material on the Thumb; the paper itself seems to have disappeared. 18 hours ago - Like

Biologic Institute The citations about sudden change are in the book “Science and Human Origins,” Chapter 1. 18 hours ago - Like

Nicholas J. Matzke Data trumps quote-mining, I’m afraid, and the habilines are in-between the Australopithecines and Homo erectus/Homo sapiens almost any way you slice it. The quotes in “Science and Human Origins” are mostly from an old-fashioned debate about the definition of the genus “Homo”, whereas the actual modern field of evolutionary biology is basically ditching Linnean taxonomic ranks like “genus” precisely because they lead to silly debates about forcing gradually-changing specimens into rigid categories. 18 hours ago - Like

Biologic Institute Not the citation I am thinking of. They list 15 traits that first appear in the Homo lineage (H habilis to H erectus) that are important for running. Dennis M. Bramble and Daniel E. Lieberman, “Endurance running and the evolution of Homo,” Nature 432 (2004): 345-352. 15 hours ago - Like

Nicholas J. Matzke Looking at their table now, “Table 1. Derived features of the human skeleton with cursorial functions.” Well, sure, 15 traits appear in Homo erectus, but 6 appear in H. habilis, 4 appear in “Homo?”, and of the 15 H. erectus traits, 4 are “H. erectus?” So I don’t see any kind of argument for all-at-once origin of “humans” with H. erectus there. H. habilis has some but not all of the traits, which is what I said before. Plus, the traits are mostly matters of degree rather than kind, e.g. “long legs”. And the article mentions that a variety of features key to human running – namely bipedalism and walking – predate the whole genus Homo. Also, H. erectus includes a lot of individuals spread over a million years or more, and the ones at the beginning of the species aren’t the same as the ones at the end. So just saying a trait appears first somewhere during Homo erectus isn’t an argument for sudden change and gaps. And as if all this weren’t enough, there are a variety of fossils that are sometimes put in H. erectus and sometimes not, because they’re on the edge, so what are we supposed to do with those? This comes up again and again and again with creationists, you can’t just naively assume that because someone came and stuck a label on some fossil that it is safe to essentialize that name and assume all the features appeared at once all of the sudden wherever that name appears. The names just refer to rough collections of roughly similar things and are somewhat subjectively applied because we need some kind of name to talk about them at all. 14 hours ago - Like

Nicholas J. Matzke And, there is no claim about “sudden” or “abrupt” in the article anyway. 14 hours ago - Like

Biologic Institute From the paleoanthropologist John Hawks: “In sum, the earliest H. sapiens remains differ significantly from australopithecines in both size and anatomical details. Insofar as we can tell, the changes were sudden and not gradual.” Hawks et a…See More 13 hours ago - Like - 1

Biologic Institute The whole thesis of the article by Bramble and Lieberman was that a constellation of traits adaptive for long-distance running appear only in Homo, and that they constitute a significant change from australopithecines. The figure illustrati…See More 13 hours ago - Like - 1

Nicholas J. Matzke So Hawks “says that H. habilis was for the most part too recent to serve as a transitional species” – but “for the most part” = “some of the habilis are earlier than erectus”. Evolution is a branching process, you don’t get to rule out early members of a taxon just because later members are too late. 6 hours ago - Like - 1

Nicholas J. Matzke The other Hawks quote is about that silly Linnean issue which was going on back then. Here’s Hawks now: ‘I don’t see any difficulty deriving Homo from Australopithecus, especially given the likely effects of body size evolution on the locomotor pattern. And at least one or two early Homo femoral specimens, like KNM-ER 1481, share most of the Australopithecus-like pattern of proximal femur anatomy.’ http://johnhawks.net/weblog/fossils[…]bilis?page=1

Homo habilis | john hawks weblog johnhawks.net The Orrorin identity Fri, 2008-03-21 09:55 – John Hawks There’s noth…See More 6 hours ago - Like -

Taylor Portnoy Kessinger nick “ownage” matzke 6 hours ago - Like

Nicholas J. Matzke And (a) no one believes in a one-to-one correspondence between morphological traits and gene mutations, well except you guys. One mutation can change several or many traits. E.g. changes in body size will affect all kinds of things together, as Hawks notes. 6 hours ago - Like

Nicholas J. Matzke And (b) you’ve provided no evidence that all those changes had to go together, anyway, which is the bare minimum requirement for making your IC-like argument. You can’t just assume multiple simultaneous mutations would required for any random thing you like, yet this is done, completely without evidence, throughout your book. At least Behe made an argument that you really could not have a bacterial flagellum without having a certain list of basic parts. Do you really expect us to believe there is no in-between for states which are things like leg length? 6 hours ago - Edited - Like - 2

Biologic Institute The evidence and the arguments are there, Nick. You are misrepresenting the book. And where is your evidence for how many mutations are required to get functional change? You are conveniently ignoring Durrett and Schmidt. 4 hours ago - Like

Nicholas J. Matzke Oh, and (c) is: the whole model of the problem as “population starts with zero of the traits of interest, and has to evolve them completely from scratch starting with mutations with a frequency of 1/population size” is only the province of highly abstracted toy models used for research purposes on very specific situations, and creationists who brazenly throw the model at anything they like. In real life, all of these morphological traits likely show a range of continuous variation in both the ancestral and descendant populations, all of the traits are the result of a complex interaction of several to dozens of loci, and the phenotypes vary as the result of both environmental factors and a large amount of standing genetic variation in the population in these loci. When selection comes in, it acts on the standing variation mostly. New mutations might play a role but it is much less than you think. We are in the situation where quantitative genetics (shifts in the distributions of mean and variance of continuously-distributed traits) is the more appropriate tool. 3 hours ago - Like

Biologic Institute You are misrepresenting Durrett and Schmidt. And you haven’t given any evidence for your story either. “could well be due to” is not evidence. I am closing this discussion because we are talking past each other. Our responses will be posted separately at www.biologicinstitute.org. 3 hours ago - Like

Jeffrey Shallit You’re closing the discussion because you’re losing the argument badly, it seems to me. 2 hours ago - Like

Biologic Institute No, it’s because I have other work to do, and these comments will be addressed in the other forum. 2 hours ago - Like

Jeffrey Shallit …where comments are not allowed. 2 hours ago - Like

Biologic Institute You are free to write your own critique elsewhere. 2 hours ago - Like

Jeffrey Shallit We all admire your strong dedication to open discussion and criticism! about an hour ago - Like - 4

Nicholas J. Matzke Thanks for the discussion, although I think I’ve shown that Science and Human Origins has severe problems in every issue we’ve looked at so far, and thus will have absolutely no success convincing anyone who is aware of the relevant science.

One last issue, on the topic of misinterpreting Durrett and Schmidt. In Science and Human Origins, you write:

================= Is there enough time to get sixteen anatomical changes by a neo-Darwinian process? Each of these new features probably required multiple mutations. Getting a feature that requires six neutral mutations is the limit of what bacteria can produce. For primates (e.g., monkey, apes and humans) the limit is much more severe. Because of much smaller effective population sizes (an estimated ten thousand for humans instead of a billion for bacteria), it would take a *very* long time for even a *single* beneficial mutation to appear and become fixed in a human population.

You don’t have to take my word for it. In 2007, Durrett and Schmidt estimated in the journal Genetics that for a single mutation to occur in a nucleotide-binding site14 and be fixed in a primate lineage would require a waiting time of six million years.15 The same authors later estimated it would take 216 million years for the binding site to acquire *two* mutations, if the first mutation was neutral in its effect.16

[…]

14. A nucleotide-binding site is a piece of DNA eight nucleotides long. Durrett and Schmidt (see below) calculated how long it would take for a single mutation to generate a seven out of eight match for an eight nucleotide binding site (with six out of eight nucleotides already correct) in a stretch of DNA one thousand nucleotides long. Creation of such a binding site might affect the behavior of genes in the region, thus affecting the phenotype of the organism.

15. R. Durrett and D. Schmidt, “Waiting for regulatory sequences to appear,” Annals of Applied Probability 17 (2007): 1-32. The relevant information appears on p. 19, where the time to fixation is factored in.

16. R. Durrett and D. Schmidt, “Waiting for two mutations: With applications to regulatory sequence evolution and the limits of Darwinian evolution,” Genetics 180 (2008): 1501-1509. =================

(pp. 24-25 of Science & Human Origins)

But this leaves out all kinds of crucial details!

1. This assumes a selection coefficient of only 0.01, whereas we know of numerous cases where larger selective coefficients have been observed in nature.

2. This assumes that this one mutation (a) doesn’t exist in the standing variation anywhere in the population, and (b) that this one mutation is the only possible one that could ever have produced the observed change in phenotype, whereas we know (as Durrett and Schmidt note) that binding and binding sites are not all-or-nothing things, and that a great many different mutations can make a limb bone grow a little more or a little less.

3. Even if the problems with #1 and #2 didn’t apply, and thus selected fixation events are pretty unlikely, it is invalid to argue from “these are the observed changes” to “these exact changes had to occur”. Some changes will occur regardless, and if selection is operating, the changes that occur will be filtered through selection. Durrett & Schmidt write:

In reality the probability of fixation is approximately the selective advantage conferred by the mutation s and even for strongly beneficial mutations we have s < 0.01. This means that the mutation would need to arise more than 100 times in order to achieve fixation, which would increase the waiting time to 6 million years. In the other direction, our study has focused on changes in the regulation of one particular gene, but there are more than 20,000 genes in humans and chimpanzees, and changes in even 1% of these genes could be enough to explain the observed differences.

If it had been a different 1% that changed, then potentially creationists would be sitting around claiming that those changes were impossible, because they failed to realize that a large number of other unlikely changes could have happened instead. about an hour ago - Like

Nicholas J. Matzke I am signing off now as they plan to shut down the thread apparently about an hour ago - Like

Ben Bennett science cannot answer every single fine-grained question about X that a creationist can possibly think up, therefore jesus. that’s what it all boils down to, folks. about an hour ago - Like

Ben Bennett “they plan to shut down the thread” is pretty much the main rhetorical strategy of ID I’ve noticed about an hour ago - Like - 1

Biologic Institute Nick, this is not the place for a substantive discussion. But we are open to have the discussion in another arena. This forum is intended for quick sharing of information and things that might be of interest, not intense debates or hostile comments. In the meantime, many of your criticisms will be addressed in up-coming posts at Biologic’s website and Evolution News and Views. You will be invited to participate in an exchange there. about an hour ago - Like

Biologic Institute In the meantime, comments should be kept under 100 words. Comments over the limit and personal attacks will be deleted. Repeat violators will be banned. I will post this policy at the top of the page. 54 minutes ago - Like

Carl Zimmer Where is a place for substantive discussion? You presented a link above to a site that has no comment thread. The writer there makes all sorts of puzzling claims with no evidence. For example, he claims that DNA that is evidence for chromosome fusion “appears in a ‘degenerate,’ ‘highly diverged’ form that should not be the case if the joining happened in the recent past, circa 6 million years ago, as the Darwinian interpretation holds.” Where is the scientific evidence for this? Or is this merely the opinion of the author? If we can’t ask these questions at the site you linked to, then why can’t we find out here? 9 minutes ago - Like

Nick Matzke, our hero!

diogeneslamp0 said:

Nick Matzke, our hero!

Like!

Quite an amusing comment thread!

Nick, this is not the place for a substantive discussion.

Yeah, they made the mistake of allowing contrary evidence. The only way the DI can have a “substantive discussion” is with the ignorant.

Nick Matzke quoted: …this is not the place for a substantive discussion.

I say we present both sides of the controversy over whether their Facebook page is the appropriate place for a substantive discussion to public school students and let the children decide for themselves who is right!

Troy Britain said:

Nick Matzke quoted: …this is not the place for a substantive discussion.

I say we present both sides of the controversy over whether their Facebook page is the appropriate place for a substantive discussion to public school students and let the children decide for themselves who is right!

From Facebook: “Casey Luskin interviews Dr. Ann Gauger about her contributions to the new book “Science and Human Origins.”

A clear case of circular logic, one of the book’s “authors” interviews another “author” of the book. Clearly an unbiased approach. No outside comments, please.

John Pieret said:

Nick, this is not the place for a substantive discussion.

Yeah, they made the mistake of allowing contrary evidence. The only way the DI can have a “substantive discussion” is with the ignorant.

That, and the Discovery Institute’s definition of “substantive discussion” is “praise and obeisance from sycophants.”

Thanks Nick!

Biologic Institute No, it’s because I have other work to do, and these comments will be addressed in the other forum.

IOW: “Another time, Socrates; for I am in a hurry, and must go now.”

If they ever hope to actually become anything close to scientific they need to engage with experts in the fiel and take feedback seriously. Their refusal to do so is the epitome of anti science.

I’m having a bit of fun on a newer post.

Ann Gauger decided to present her material on “Human Origins and Population Genetics,” but not at a science conference, such as that held by the Paleoanthropology Society back in April 2012. Rather, she decided to present that material to the Westminster Theological Seminary in that month: http://www.discovery.org/scripts/vi[…]&id=8391

Starbuck said:

If they ever hope to actually become anything close to scientific they need to engage with experts in the fiel and take feedback seriously. Their refusal to do so is the epitome of anti science.

Why would they want to be scientific? Science is their enemy. What they realize (they’re not stupid) is that science has become so advanced and specialized that the ordinary layman might have general ideas, but he’s taking the details on faith. Science works, it must be good, whatever it is. So the creationists want to piggyback on the rather uninformed but substantial respect science has earned, and call themselves science. Their target audience knows science is a Good Thing and God is a Good Thing, and so this is a marriage made in ignorance heaven.

Flint said:

Starbuck said:

If they ever hope to actually become anything close to scientific they need to engage with experts in the fiel and take feedback seriously. Their refusal to do so is the epitome of anti science.

Why would they want to be scientific? Science is their enemy. What they realize (they’re not stupid) is that science has become so advanced and specialized that the ordinary layman might have general ideas, but he’s taking the details on faith. Science works, it must be good, whatever it is. So the creationists want to piggyback on the rather uninformed but substantial respect science has earned, and call themselves science. Their target audience knows science is a Good Thing and God is a Good Thing, and so this is a marriage made in ignorance heaven.

They don’t want to be scientific, they simply crave and envy the authority they perceive comes with science.

Carl Zimmer is having fun with the same BioLogic Facebook thread (he quotes enough for the FB haters to see the full glory).

I should add that Carl’s exchange went on beyond what Nick quoted above.

I’m pretty sure it was Luskin commenting on the Bio-Illogic Tute FB thread judging from the squeaky gerbil-esque outrage expressed.

However, it’s true. All Luskin does is play Reference Pong. Shades of FL! “My three citations beat your two citations!” Hey, you didn’t provide a citation for your unfounded assertion, Mr. So-called Scientist. Thirty-four citations later it’s ignore and flounce. (Hat Tip to diogenes)

They talk big about being uncivil because we call them sociopathic liars, gerbils and weasels (apologies to gerbs and stoats) but they are downright insulting with their childish “read my book, read his book” arguments and claims to have “already addressed your argument earlier” or to just ignore the subject at hand and move on to something irrelevant.

So, then, you’ve got these people who lack all kinds of social skills getting on social media. As they say, hilarity ensues. Seriously, all you can do with creationists is laugh at them.

Doc Bill said:

I’m pretty sure it was Luskin commenting on the Bio-Illogic Tute FB thread judging from the squeaky gerbil-esque outrage expressed.

However, it’s true. All Luskin does is play Reference Pong. Shades of FL! “My three citations beat your two citations!” Hey, you didn’t provide a citation for your unfounded assertion, Mr. So-called Scientist. Thirty-four citations later it’s ignore and flounce. (Hat Tip to diogenes)

They talk big about being uncivil because we call them sociopathic liars, gerbils and weasels (apologies to gerbs and stoats) but they are downright insulting with their childish “read my book, read his book” arguments and claims to have “already addressed your argument earlier” or to just ignore the subject at hand and move on to something irrelevant.

So, then, you’ve got these people who lack all kinds of social skills getting on social media. As they say, hilarity ensues. Seriously, all you can do with creationists is laugh at them.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Mild, humorous insulting language, as a response to valid frustration, is not uncivil.

Here are some things that are uncivil -

1) Misrepresenting critics’ position (AKA straw man creation).

2) Deliberately using quotes in a deceptive way, to misrepresent the opinions of others.

3) Evading direct, civil, obviously relevant questions.

4) Using excessively censoring moderation techniques to prevent expression critical feedback.

5) Arbitrarily deleting relevant civil comments that others took the time to generate out of interest in the topic.

6) Repeating arguments that have been conclusively shown to be false.

7) Using excessive verbosity or an excessive number of postings as a crude strategy to prevent others from being able to respond.

Here are some things that are really, really uncivil -

8) Threats

9) False accusations (including by insinuation).

10) Excessive use of insults and sneering language.

11) Unjustified expression of hatred and rage.

I leave it to the reader to determine, by their own standards, whether creationists are generally civil.

And of course I forgot -

12) Use of sock puppet accounts to falsely exaggerate number of independent commenters supporting a given position and

13) If legitimately banned from a forum for some of the above, efforts to return for more bad behavior using a new username.

Richard B. Hoppe said:

I should add that Carl’s exchange went on beyond what Nick quoted above.

Carl Zimmer and others are still posting as of Thursday evening, even if the other side seems to have gone into hiding.

I’m rather surprised the Facebook page is still up. Might be prudent to make and preserve updated copies of the page in case BioLogic pulls the plug.

Their use of citations is rather amusing. First, they site Wood and Collard’s paper to justify reassigning Homo habilis to the australopithecines, thus, they hope, creating a large space between the australopithecines and Homo. This reassignment only works if you accept Wood and Collard’s central premise that a genus must be composed of species that share a common ancestry and a common adaptive zone, otherwise there is no logical reason for the move. So does the biological institute share this view? To buttress this reassignment they quote Hawks et al to the effect that:

“In sum, the earliest H. sapiens remains differ significantly from australopithecines in both size and anatomical details. Insofar as we can tell, the changes were sudden and not gradual.”

which is certainly a debatable proposition. The amusing thing about this site, however, is that it comes from a paper examining Pleistocene population demography. A paper that totally undermines Gauger’s Adam and Eve argument. In essence the are robbing Adam to pay Noah. They also cite Leiberman et al’s paper to the effect that a number of traits suddenly appear in Homo, yet Leiberman et al includes H. habilis as among those species that have those traits, thus they put H. habilis right back in the transitional space they used Wood and COllard to remove it from. Internal consistency and logical argumentation are, apparently, not the Biological Institute’s strong points…

Well, harold, my old friend, you just described what all creationists do and we’ve seen it time and time again over the years.

In fact, I’ve been following this for about 40 years and it hasn’t changed. Yes, I’m older than dirt.

These dirtbags are after the kids which is why they focus on K-12. We’ve got to stop them and it’s tireless, unsatisfying work to ensure that they don’t distort science at an early age and turn our kids away from careers in science and engineering.

The creationists talk about “evilutionists” destroying America, but it’s the creationists themselves who are doing that in their fever to promote their ideology. I’m sure we’ll be fighting this battle 40 years from now but there might come a time where the argument is moot.

Let’s hope.

Don’t worry Doc Bill there will always be young folks like me who will gladly be there to take the reins long after you feel like the struggle is too much. We will be sure to stand up on the shoulders of giants and stare into that empty abyss know as creationism. We will not be stopped, we will not surrender, we will always fight on even when all hope is lost. Don’t lose hope, there will always be someone standing by your side, ready to keep the struggle alive.

Corney as hell, I know, but it’s true.

It seems the original FB article has, indeed, disappeared down the “dev/null” hole. I had no problem going to it yesterday, and I even captured the text as of 8 pm EST last night. Now? Nada. If you go to the overarching Biologic Institute FB page, you’ll see articles for today, and for several days going back to July 12th. Then they jump to June 25th. That original article, which is from July 6th, appears to have disappeared. I’m glad Nick captured all of the most important parts above. Now Zimmer is taking Klinghoffer and Luskin to task. I don’t think Klinghoffer realizes he brought a tunafish sandwich to a gunfight. Yet, Klinghoffer is declaring victory against Zimmer. As usual.

@Doc Bill: What Rando said. Only louder.

I thought I felt feet on my shoulders.

Well, the Disco Tute just made a tactical error, rare for them, by opening a page on FaceBook and they are getting slaughtered. Klinghoffer even made an appearance and got demolished. I think they’ve given up for the night but the community is still hammering them. I’d encourage a visit to Biologic Institute on FB and drop some snark bombs if nothing else. They certainly don’t deserve respect.

And, on the up side a group of us in Texas are actively supporting candidates for the State School Board and are putting our time and money into those campaigns, and in getting out the vote in November. It’s worth the time, expense and effort to do this as it will affect kids for years to come.

I stand corrected. So Stanton is an angry Darwinian evolution affirmer.

Actually, I am well liked in my industry, by my family and friends. You guys just simply have this knack for bringing the snark out of people.

but you know that. its your way of trying to run everybody outta town when the counter arguments hit too close to home. Snark starts it off then the charges of ignorance, misuse, misunderstanding, lying, etc. start kicking in.

That why I stick around. Profiling. Documenting. Analyzing. Truly an interesting cross-section of teleology denial.

Would be good to understand more what makes TDers tick.

Bullshit Bennett.

Man designs. He is embedded in nature. Nature designs. This has been confirmed by our observations of what is happening in the cell.

guys like you have to repeat the mantra ‘It not designed. Its just and illusion of design.” so you don’t have to consider the implications.

What the point in denying the obvious? Because you are sure there is a counter-intuitive solution there somewhere? Is that it?

bbennett1968 said:

tell me face to face why a non teleological approach to biology is more advantageous in doing research

Results to date from a “teleological approach” to science (whatever that means): Zero

Results to date from a normal, uh, “non-teleological” approaches to science: All of science. The computer you’re using, the plane you’re flying to NYC, the mere fact that you exist–thanks to modern medicine, hygiene, and agriculture; all discovered and developed using no Jesus whatsoever.

And you have the nerve to assert that anyone needs to justify why a “non-telological” approach is better. Pathetic idiot, you won’t even give the slightest hint of what a “teleological approach” even consists of, while strutting and preening like you’ve already won the match.

SteveP. said:

Bullshit Bennett.

Man designs. He is embedded in nature. Nature designs. This has been confirmed by our observations of what is happening in the cell.

guys like you have to repeat the mantra ‘It not designed. Its just and illusion of design.” so you don’t have to consider the implications.

What the point in denying the obvious? Because you are sure there is a counter-intuitive solution there somewhere? Is that it?

bbennett1968 said:

tell me face to face why a non teleological approach to biology is more advantageous in doing research

Results to date from a “teleological approach” to science (whatever that means): Zero

Results to date from a normal, uh, “non-teleological” approaches to science: All of science. The computer you’re using, the plane you’re flying to NYC, the mere fact that you exist–thanks to modern medicine, hygiene, and agriculture; all discovered and developed using no Jesus whatsoever.

And you have the nerve to assert that anyone needs to justify why a “non-telological” approach is better. Pathetic idiot, you won’t even give the slightest hint of what a “teleological approach” even consists of, while strutting and preening like you’ve already won the match.

Your inability/unwillingness to describe in practical terms how one might go about taking a “teleological approach” to biology is once again noted.

We all know the answer of course; peer into the microscope/telescope, shout “OMGZ! ITZ DEZINED!!! GODDIDIT!!!” and go home. Your lot have been doing it for thousands of years; give us one tiny example of a useful product of that approach.

SteveP. said:

What was that Stanton? I am proposing exactly what Britain and Mcbride seem reluctant to do; speak directly to their opponents, face to face if possible. True, ENV articles are often not open to comments but in this case they were but no one here took them up on it.

Their opponents refuse to let anyone speak to them directly, for fear of having their lies and fallacies directly challenged by people who actually know better.

But, you are too arrogant and too dense to realize this. You just want any excuse to insult people for not sharing your mindless hatred of science.

Regarding yr unchanging writing style, seems it is u who is flinging feces for maximum effect. U deserve all the snark that comes yr way. You are the perfect profile of the angry atheist hiding behind a scientific veneer.

For a profiler, you are very incompetent, and too prone to projection. I am not an atheist, and my “scientific veneer” is more than a veneer given the fact that I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, or can you tell me why my degree is invalid because you can type like an idiot on command?

SteveP. said:I stand corrected. So Stanton is an angry Darwinian evolution affirmer.

Anger and contempt are not synonymous emotions, SteveP. Not that you care, you just want to fling crap at me because I’m not your ass-kissing sycophant.

Actually, I am well liked in my industry, by my family and friends. You guys just simply have this knack for bringing the snark out of people.

Simply because we do not kiss your ass because you’re family does not change the fact that you are an annoying asshole, nor does it make it our fault that you treat us like crap for not sharing your mindless hatred of science for not being a feel-good philosophy.

In other words, do not blame us because you act like an asshole to us simply because we will not kiss your ass.

but you know that.

Do we?

its your way of trying to run everybody outta town when the counter arguments hit too close to home. Snark starts it off then the charges of ignorance, misuse, misunderstanding, lying, etc. start kicking in.

When evolution-deniers use lies to make up challenges to Evolutionary Biology, we point out the flaws in their challenges, as well as point out how they are not science. That we point out their malicious stupidity also happens.

You’ve repeatedly whined that challenging science-deniers’ challenges to science is unfair and mean, yet, you refuse to explain why. Why is it unfair for scientists to dismiss the lies of science-deniers? Should scientists, instead, bend over backwards and give their science-hating foes lollipops after kissing their asses?

That why I stick around. Profiling. Documenting. Analyzing. Truly an interesting cross-section of teleology denial.

You never fail to lie to cover your ass. You’re not here to profile or analyze: you’re just here to insult us and troll about how much you hate science for not stroking your bloated ego.

Would be good to understand more what makes TDers tick.

It would be good if you actually had the mindset and brainpower to understand anything.

But that would be tantamount to wishing for the moon.

Rather than continue insulting us for not being your sycophants, why don’t you go out and show us how Intelligent Design can do science better than actual science?

Or would you rather kill yourself than stop trolling here?

SteveP. said:

Bullshit Bennett.

Man designs. He is embedded in nature. Nature designs. This has been confirmed by our observations of what is happening in the cell.

guys like you have to repeat the mantra ‘It not designed. Its just and illusion of design.” so you don’t have to consider the implications.

What the point in denying the obvious? Because you are sure there is a counter-intuitive solution there somewhere? Is that it?

bbennett1968 said:

tell me face to face why a non teleological approach to biology is more advantageous in doing research

Results to date from a “teleological approach” to science (whatever that means): Zero

Results to date from a normal, uh, “non-teleological” approaches to science: All of science. The computer you’re using, the plane you’re flying to NYC, the mere fact that you exist–thanks to modern medicine, hygiene, and agriculture; all discovered and developed using no Jesus whatsoever.

And you have the nerve to assert that anyone needs to justify why a “non-telological” approach is better. Pathetic idiot, you won’t even give the slightest hint of what a “teleological approach” even consists of, while strutting and preening like you’ve already won the match.

SteveP. said:

Bullshit Bennett.

Man designs. He is embedded in nature. Nature designs. This has been confirmed by our observations of what is happening in the cell.

guys like you have to repeat the mantra ‘It not designed. Its just and illusion of design.” so you don’t have to consider the implications.

What the point in denying the obvious? Because you are sure there is a counter-intuitive solution there somewhere? Is that it?

bullshit guys like you have to repeat the mantra ‘It designed. Its not just the illusion of design.” so you don’t have to consider the implications.

What the point in denying the obvious? Because you are sure there is a magic solution out there somewhere? Is that it?

There is a natural explanation for the apparent design in nature, you are just too stubborn to accept it. Now Steve, there are over hundred questions waiting for you that you keep avoiding. Since you are unable or unwilling to answer them, everyone can see that you are just here to fling feces. You might be able to swallow your own crap, but nobody else is being fooled by your monkey imitation. Kindly piss off and stay pissed.

SteveP. said:

Since the other thread is closed I’d like to post this message here if I may.

Seems th kwokster is entering into serious personal territory. It’s ok though. He thinks he will rattle me by revealing my real name. Truth is I have already given my full name. But now that he knows where I work, i invite him to take a trip to Taiwan so I can give him a our of our office and factory and I can explain he textile biz in a nutshell.

Alternately, I will be in manhatten this Saturday nite and will stay at the Weston on 1st ave. let’s have a drink at h lobby bar or maybe a Sunday brunch. U can tell me face to face why a non teleological approach to biology is more advantageous in doing research. Then u get to call me your favorite pejorative extended name rigt to my face.

What a wonderful opportunity. What do u say Mr. Kwok? Are u game to man up to yr juvenile rhetoric?

You may find me at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival between 2 and 5 PM on Sunday. Two of the surviving brothers of my favorite high school teacher will be participating in a program on Irish and Irish-American culture. But that’s a 50/50 proposition. But if you and I are there, I hope one of them yells obscenities into your face. (Knowing the one I am thinking of, I am sure he will.)

Otherwise, do you honestly think I want to meet a moral degenerate like yourself, Steve Proulx? Someone who insists on disseminating mendacious propaganda and conducts himself here at PT like a petulant infant rolling around in feces.

Steve Proulx whined and moaned: Actually, I am well liked in my industry, by my family and friends. You guys just simply have this knack for bringing the snark out of people.

but you know that. its your way of trying to run everybody outta town when the counter arguments hit too close to home. Snark starts it off then the charges of ignorance, misuse, misunderstanding, lying, etc. start kicking in.

That why I stick around. Profiling. Documenting. Analyzing. Truly an interesting cross-section of teleology denial.

No, you stick around because you have some acute personality disorder, Steve Proulx; nothing more, nothing less.

Steve Proulx whined and moaned:

Bullshit Bennett.

Man designs. He is embedded in nature. Nature designs. This has been confirmed by our observations of what is happening in the cell.

guys like you have to repeat the mantra ‘It not designed. Its just and illusion of design.” so you don’t have to consider the implications.

What the point in denying the obvious? Because you are sure there is a counter-intuitive solution there somewhere? Is that it?

bbennett1968 said:

tell me face to face why a non teleological approach to biology is more advantageous in doing research

Results to date from a “teleological approach” to science (whatever that means): Zero

Results to date from a normal, uh, “non-teleological” approaches to science: All of science. The computer you’re using, the plane you’re flying to NYC, the mere fact that you exist–thanks to modern medicine, hygiene, and agriculture; all discovered and developed using no Jesus whatsoever.

And you have the nerve to assert that anyone needs to justify why a “non-telological” approach is better. Pathetic idiot, you won’t even give the slightest hint of what a “teleological approach” even consists of, while strutting and preening like you’ve already won the match.

Physicist Lawrence Krauss has written eloquently on the “illusion of Design” in Nature. I am sympathetic towards his position while also recognizing that Ken Miller has argued that Design does exist in Nature and we need to account for it as an argument to be taken from IDiots such as yourself.

As for Bennett, he’s absolutely right. You’re the one spouting BS, Steve Proulx.

SteveP. said: What was that Stanton? I am proposing exactly what Britain and Mcbride seem reluctant to do; speak directly to their opponents, face to face if possible. True, ENV articles are often not open to comments but in this case they were but no one here took them up on it.

That is a damn lie. Most of us have tried to speak directly to creationists, but they suppress all substantive criticisms which reveal their mendacity.

Contrary to Steve P’s mythology, in fact I have gone after Luskin personally, during brief periods when comments were permitted on a few threads at ENV. In each case I kicked his tail thoroughly.

But creationists can’t take fact-based criticism that exposes their lies and misrepresentations. So the ENV authors would finally get in the last word (ad hominems, directed at me) and then close all further comments. They know they can’t stand up to us.

This thread at ENV was taken apart by Troy Britain who showed Luskin was using dishonest quote mines and dropping out key phrases from his sources, replacing them with ellipses “…” or just periods at the ends of sentences. When comments were open I went right for Luskin.

See: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/0[…]f061991.html.

But they got in the last word (ad hominems) and closed comments.

At this thread I went after Luskin, exposing Jonathan Wells’ and Luskin’s outright lies on the topic of Junk DNA:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/0[…]1062011.html

The couldn’t handle it. They got in the last word (ad hominems) and closed comments.

Klinghoffer has never permitted comments on any of his posts, which consist of nothing but ad hominems.

ENV will not tolerate comments because they know we can expose them as liars who misrepresent the facts.

Biologic Institute banned at least 4 of us from their FaceBook page because we were using too many scientific facts that exposed their lying and dishonesty.

Creationists are a bunch of juvenile felines who run from a fair fight and systematically suppress all substantive criticism, because they know that if we could address them directly, we would expose them as outright liars. So they must suppress, suppress, and run away like juvenile felines.

SteveP. said: What was that Stanton? I am proposing exactly what Britain and Mcbride seem reluctant to do; speak directly to their opponents, face to face if possible. True, ENV articles are often not open to comments but in this case they were but no one here took them up on it.

Pretty rich coming from a guy who refuses to answer legitimate questions about topics he raises. So he is a coward and a hypocrite. Why am I not surprised?

John said:

SteveP. said:

Since the other thread is closed I’d like to post this message here if I may.

Seems th kwokster is entering into serious personal territory. It’s ok though. He thinks he will rattle me by revealing my real name. Truth is I have already given my full name. But now that he knows where I work, i invite him to take a trip to Taiwan so I can give him a our of our office and factory and I can explain he textile biz in a nutshell.

Alternately, I will be in manhatten this Saturday nite and will stay at the Weston on 1st ave. let’s have a drink at h lobby bar or maybe a Sunday brunch. U can tell me face to face why a non teleological approach to biology is more advantageous in doing research. Then u get to call me your favorite pejorative extended name rigt to my face.

What a wonderful opportunity. What do u say Mr. Kwok? Are u game to man up to yr juvenile rhetoric?

You may find me at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival between 2 and 5 PM on Sunday. Two of the surviving brothers of my favorite high school teacher will be participating in a program on Irish and Irish-American culture. But that’s a 50/50 proposition. But if you and I are there, I hope one of them yells obscenities into your face. (Knowing the one I am thinking of, I am sure he will.)

Otherwise, do you honestly think I want to meet a moral degenerate like yourself, Steve Proulx? Someone who insists on disseminating mendacious propaganda and conducts himself here at PT like a petulant infant rolling around in feces.

Steve, the only reason why I’m suggesting Lincoln Center is because it will be crawling with security. I’m almost tempted to share that link with the wife of one of those brothers, so they’re alerted to your possible attendance.

DS said:

SteveP. said: What was that Stanton? I am proposing exactly what Britain and Mcbride seem reluctant to do; speak directly to their opponents, face to face if possible. True, ENV articles are often not open to comments but in this case they were but no one here took them up on it.

Pretty rich coming from a guy who refuses to answer legitimate questions about topics he raises. So he is a coward and a hypocrite. Why am I not surprised?

And he’s interested in meeting me in person? I just suggested to Stanton that the only other place besides Lincoln Center where I’d consider meeting him would be tomorrow night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s cafetaria, since I have some friends who work as members of the museum’s security staff.

SteveP. said:

Man designs. He is embedded in nature. Nature designs. This has been confirmed by our observations of what is happening in the cell.

So God=nature? Are you a pantheist?

guys like you have to repeat the mantra ‘It not designed. Its just and illusion of design.” so you don’t have to consider the implications.

Some of the “designs” in nature are the sort of incompetent mess no human designer would dare to submit to a patent office. Evolution, contrary to popular assumption, does not work by survival of the fittest, but by the reproduction of the fit enough, which explains why we still have things like the appendix which is not only useless, but a potential source of danger.

What the point in denying the obvious? Because you are sure there is a counter-intuitive solution there somewhere? Is that it?

Obvious? Nothing is obvious unless and until it is empirically verified, which Intelligent Design has never been.

dalehusband said:

… we still have things like the appendix which is not only useless, but a potential source of danger.

And male nipples and associated breast tissue. Moments ago I heard a commercial for a testosterone supplement, warning that men with breast cancer should not use it. What kind of designer would “bless” men with useless breasts which, like the appendix, occasionally kill them?

Looks like this thread has deteriorated beyond repair, too. Thanks for playing, folks.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on July 18, 2012 12:17 PM.

Troy Britain smacks Casey Luskin was the previous entry in this blog.

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