Still more fun: Douglas Axe’s Crocoduck

| 120 Comments

In addition to being the bananaman, Ray Comfort is the co-popularizer of the crocoduck. Comfort believes that because modern biology shows that birds are descended from theropod ancestors, there must be a transitional form between extant birds and extant reptiles; hence a half-crocodile, half-duck. Here’s the video in which Comfort’s ex-child actor sidekick Kirk Cameron made that claim.

That general false claim–the claim that evolution predicts that there must be an evolutionary pathway directly linking two extant organisms or extant biological structures–is not unique to creationist loons, though. Doug Axe has posted a response to Paul McBride’s review of “Science and Human Origins” on ENV, and has disabled comments on his post. I won’t elaborate, but will note that an amusing part of Axe’s response is this:

Ann [Gauger] and I conducted experiments to find out how many changes would have to occur in a particular enzyme X in order for it to begin performing the function of another enzyme, Y. We found that they are too numerous for unguided evolution to have accomplished this transformation, even with the benefits of a massive bacterial population and billions of years. Having carefully made the case that our chosen X and Y are appropriate for the aims of our study, we think this result has catastrophic implications for Darwinism.

As has been shown, though, the research that Axe cites, The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzymes Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway, does not test an evolutionary hypothesis. By studying whether one extant enzyme in a family of enzymes could have evolved from another extant enzyme in the same family, when the evolutionary account is actually that both evolved from a common ancestor, Gauger and Axe are making precisely the same error that Comfort and Cameron made: the notion that “common descent” means that related extant populations evolved from each other, rather than from a common ancestral population. That about equivalent to claiming that common descent means that I am descended from my cousin Keith.

Even young-earth creationist biochemist Todd Wood rebutted that particular claim more than a year ago. Wood wrote

Instead of ancestral reconstruction, Gauger and Axe focused directly on converting an existing enzyme into another existing enzyme. That left me scratching my head, since no evolutionary biologist would propose that an extant enzyme evolved directly into another extant enzyme. So they’re testing a model that no one would take seriously? Hmmm…

Axe and Gauger quite simply didn’t test an evolutionary hypothesis in the paper Axe cited, but Axe continues to claim that it says something about the limits of evolution. But when even an honest young-earth creationist sees the error, persisting in it is no more than perverse. Axe is doing the equivalent of waving Ray Comfort’s crocoduck over his head, hollering “Evolution couldn’t do it!” Maybe Ray will have an opening in his ministry for Axe when the BioLogic Institute sinks beneath the waves.

120 Comments

And, by the way, there’s a good model for how to do research on protein evolution. See here for a review and here for an example.

Thanks for the references Richard.

The creationists have a choice, they can persist in their mischaracterizations and lose all credibility, or they can admit that modern evolutionary biology is a productive field with the real experts making advancements every day while they wallow in ignorance.

Perhaps Ray would like to address the actual science, not his mischaracterizations. Perhaps not. Perhaps Ann would like to explain the methods she used in her “experiments” to reconstruct ancestral character states. Perhaps not.

DS said:

Thanks for the references Richard.

The creationists have a choice, they can persist in their mischaracterizations and lose all credibility…

When, during the last 100 years, did creationist have any credibility to begin with?

Here’s your answer Mr. Hoppe. Get your medicare card out.…reality chomps on Hoppe’s ass.

Ann Gauger: “The reason for our choice was not ignorance. We knew that the enzymes we tested were modern, and that one was not the ancestor of the other. (They are, however, among the most structurally similar members of their family, and share many aspects of their reaction mechanism, but their chemistry itself is different.) We also knew that in order for a Darwinian process to generate the mechanistically and chemically diverse families of enzymes that are present in modern organisms, something like the functional conversion of one of these enzyme to the other must be possible. We reasoned that if these two enzymes could not be reconfigured through a gradual process of mutation and selection, then the Darwinian explanation of gene duplication and gradual divergence to new functions was called into question.

Our results indicated that a minimum of seven mutations would be required to convert or reconfigure one enzyme toward the other’s function. No one disputes that part of our research. What Paul McBride and others claim is that because we didn’t start from an “ancestral” enzyme, our results mean nothing. They say something like, “Of course transitions to new chemistries between modern enzymes are difficult. What you should have done is to reconstruct the ancestral form and use it as a starting point.”

Have you noticed the assumption underlying this critique? The assumption is that genuine conversions can be achieved only if you start from just the right ancestral protein. Why is that? Because conversions are hard.

McBride said as much in his post, tacitly acknowledging the legitimacy of our results, in the following quote:

Mcbride: “Any biologist or biochemist could imagine useful new molecules in a given species that would aid their survival. Little imagination is needed, as many examples are found in other species. A simple example: an enzyme that breaks down cellulose into simple sugars would be immensely beneficial for virtually any heterotroph, yet such cellulases are only found in a handful of organisms, restricted to certain clades. Evolution is not a process that is capable of producing anything and everything, at all times in all species. It is, conversely, a greatly constrained process. A developmental biologist such as PZ Myers knows the minutiae of this constraint in particular models. Much of the process of evolution is guided by purifying selection - pruning those mutants that are at relative disadvantages to the general population - and most of the genomic change that does spread through populations is neutral and escapes selection altogether. Yes, transitioning between different enzyme functions is hard, but this is evidenced by it being relatively uncommon. In a broader sense, and to reiterate, many of the possible variations on life that we could imagine to exist do not exist.”

The problem then becomes, where did the diverse families of enzymes come from, if transitions are so hard, evolution is so constrained, and selection is so weak? Were the ur-proteins from which present families sprang so different from modern ones, so elastic that they could be easily molded to perform multiple functions? If so, how did they accomplish the specific necessary tasks for metabolism, transcription, and replication? More than that, how did the proteins necessary for replication, transcription, translation, and metabolism arrive at all, if evolution is so constrained? Those processes are much more complicated that a cellulase enzyme. We have ribosomes, spliceosomes, photosynthesis, and respiration. We have hummingbirds and carnivorous plants and even cows who make use of cellulose-degrading symbionts. The things that have not arrived or arrived very rarely, like cellulases, seem trivial by comparison to the things we see around us.

Our results argue that only guided evolution, or intelligent design, can produce genuine innovations from a starting point of zero target activity. But McBride argues that we are the product of happenstance.

McBride: ” Evolution is a process without teleology and long-term targets or goals. Natural selection can provide relatively short-term direction along ‘local’ fitness gradients, which may be helpful or unhelpful; escapes from selection are also predicted to be important in many evolutionary paths. This could be a problem to neofunctionalisation where teleology is invoked, except that no particular enzymes were ever mandated to evolve. Life would have been different if particular enzymes that do exist had not arisen, but some other suite of enzymes would undoubtedly exist instead had the dice been rolled differently. Life would very much go on. It is a fairly safe conjecture that only a small number out of all the possible enzymes exist, and many of these exist only in small clades in the tree of life. “

McBride argues against teleology and opts for chance. He is more sanguine than I about a new “suite of enzymes” evolving, given the apparent difficulty with which they evolve. Life is inherently teleological, and the needs of an organism cannot be met by whatever happens to show up. I would say, rather, that his faith in the unending creativity of evolution, in spite of the limitations of natural selection, the rarity of paths, and the functional needs of organisms, is itself a form of religion. This is an interesting turn in evolutionary thinking. People have been saying for years, “Of course evolution isn’t random, it’s directed by natural selection. It’s not chance, it’s chance and necessity.” But in recent years the rhetoric has changed. Now evolution is constrained. Not all options are open, and natural selection is not the major player, it’s the happenstance of genetic drift that drives change. But somehow it all happens anyway, and evolution gets the credit.

All around us we see marvelous examples of successful, even optimal design. If evolution is constrained to just a few paths, and you have to start with the right ancestral form to get anywhere, and fixation of useful new traits happens by accident, how did anything ever happen at all? Were the paths of adaptation “preordained”? Paul’s choice of words, not mine. If there are only a few ways to solve any problem set by the needs of the organism because transitions are hard, then either the deck was stacked in our favor, or the process was guided, or we are incredibly lucky. That might be called preordained, I suppose.

FYI, I added the bold, which was Gauger’s emphasis, not McBride’s. The original McBride quote was in blockquotes and Gauger’s emphasis added was in italics.

That’s your moment of ZEN, folks.

Steve P. -

1) Could any evidence convince you of the theory of evolution, and if so, what type of evidence is now lacking, that would convince you if present?

2) The Supreme Court ruled against the direct teaching of Biblical Young Earth Creationism as science in public schools; however, if that ruling were overturned, which would you support more, teaching of ID, or direct teaching of Bible-based YEC?

3) Do you think it is important for opponents of the theory of evolution to fully understand the theory of evolution? If so, can you explain it, and if not, can you explain why not?

4) Who is the designer? How can we test your answer?

5) What did that designer do? How can we test your answer?

6) How did the designer do it? How can we test your answer?

7) When did the designer do it? How can we test your answer?

8) What is an example of something that was not designed by the designer?

9) Some parts of the Bible suggest that pi equals exactly three, and that the earth is flat and has four corners. Do you accept these as facts of physical reality, and if not, why do you deny the theory of evolution on the grounds of Biblical literacy, if it can be symbolic about other scientific issues?

10) Can you please summarize what Axe and Gauger have done in your own words, and explain, in your own words, without cutting and pasting, what it has to do with the theory of evolution?

Get ready, chirping crickets and lonesome howling coyotes, because you’re going to be the only ones answering these questions.

Gauger: “All around us we see marvelous examples of successful, even optimal design.”

Well, at least Gauger does not rely on question begging or anything.

Help me out here, folks. I’m not a biologist, so bear with me. Does Gauger contend that her results refute some hypothesis of the theory of evolution? In particular, does she contend that a difficulty in changing one enzyme into another refutes such a hypothesis? It looks to me like she does not, because she says

We knew that [both] the enzymes we tested were modern, and that one was not the ancestor of the other.

You real evolutionists, is the following claim correct?

We also knew that in order for a Darwinian process to generate the mechanistically and chemically diverse families of enzymes that are present in modern organisms, something like the functional conversion of one of these enzyme to the other must be possible.

Is “the Darwinian explanation of gene duplication and gradual divergence to new functions” somehow called into question by her results? If so, how?

Gauger says

What Paul McBride and others claim is that because we didn’t start from an “ancestral” enzyme, our results mean nothing.

I understand the critiques to say not that her results mean “nothing,” but that they do not mean what she claims they do, since they do not refute a Darwinian hypothesis. Is that correct?

Gauger says

The problem then becomes, where did the diverse families of enzymes come from…? Those processes are much more complicated that a cellulase enzyme. We have ribosomes, spliceosomes, photosynthesis, and respiration. We have hummingbirds and carnivorous plants and even cows who make use of cellulose-degrading symbionts. The things that have not arrived or arrived very rarely, like cellulases, seem trivial by comparison to the things we see around us.

This looks to me like god-of-the-gaps and incredulity, the standard plastic water pistols from the armamentarium of ID proponents. Have I missed something substantial?

So many simple questions have been put to you repeatedly, SteveP. Why don’t you ever attempt to answer even ONE of them?

(Actually, they’re not that many, considering that you’re advocating the complete overthrow of most modern life science and the main principles therein.)

Ann Gauger is said to have written:

We knew that the enzymes we tested were modern, and that one was not the ancestor of the other… We also knew that in order for a Darwinian process to generate the mechanistically and chemically diverse families of enzymes that are present in modern organisms, something like the functional conversion of one of these enzyme to the other must be possible.

And there is is. In order to produce chemical diversity of enzymes, Darwinian process must be able to convert one into another. In order to have both crocs and ducks, it must be possible to evolve one into the other. We show this is impossible; evolution is wrong!

Now, why must this be possible? Why must something nobody claims can happen, be demonstrated to be very difficlult? Gauger just cannot imagine how these different enzymes can to be, if they’re not conversions from one to another?

The problem then becomes, where did the diverse families of enzymes come from, if transitions are so hard, evolution is so constrained, and selection is so weak?

Uh, they came from common ancestors. And why does Gauger reject common ancestry as the evolutionary pathway? Well, apparently because the enzymes that have evolved from common ancestors work so well, function so appropriately, that they MUST have come from other enzymes that work so well.

You have to wonder…

This looks to me like god-of-the-gaps and incredulity, the standard plastic water pistols from the armamentarium of ID proponents. Have I missed something substantial?

Maybe. To me, this looks like a very carefully calculated effort to construct what they hope is as plausible a straw man as needed to fool the layman, used misdirection and doublespeak to bafflegab away the actual theory, and go on to demonstrate that what does not happen is unlikely to happen.

Kind of like telling children that Newton claimed we could fly to the moon by flapping our arms. Our experiments have demonstrated that this cannot be done, calling the theory of gravity into serious question!

In other words, Gauger and Axe know very well the scam they’re pulling.

SteveP, is that crickets I hear?

Chirp, chirp, chirp.

No answers from you, huh SteveP?

TIme once again for the bathroom wall. Oh well, at least he quoted someone else mangling the science.

Flint said:

This looks to me like god-of-the-gaps and incredulity, the standard plastic water pistols from the armamentarium of ID proponents. Have I missed something substantial?

Maybe. To me, this looks like a very carefully calculated effort to construct what they hope is as plausible a straw man as needed to fool the layman, used misdirection and doublespeak to bafflegab away the actual theory, and go on to demonstrate that what does not happen is unlikely to happen.

Kind of like telling children that Newton claimed we could fly to the moon by flapping our arms. Our experiments have demonstrated that this cannot be done, calling the theory of gravity into serious question!

In other words, Gauger and Axe know very well the scam they’re pulling.

In order for a second icicle to form on an eaves trough, one has to grow directly from the other. Everybody knows that.

Notice how all the branches on a tree grow successively off the branch before.

Everybody knows that “kinds” don’t change into other “kinds.”

So our experimental results have to show that one enzyme doesn’t grow into another.

Foolish evilutionists!

(/snark)

Mike, I think you’re on the right track there. There is always an underlying inability to grasp the notion of evolutionary change. It nearly always gets depicted as some CURRENT organism “evolving” into some other CURRENT organism. God created all the organisms there were and always will be, so what else could evolution BE? So they seem convinced that ONE of these enzymes must be the “common ancestor”, could be any of them, so just pick one.

Maybe if you pinned these folks into a corner, they might conceded that, well, yeah, there probably WAS a common ancestor – but it would have to be “almost just like” all the rest of the family. Nothing new is ever created; the Designer isn’t in that business anymore. Since they are doing all this science to demonstrate the necessity of the “theory of poof”, a genuine evolutionary hypothesis simply does not fit the model.

Flint, that’s exactly what Byers was trying to argue recently with his “a T. rex is no more related to a triceratops than a banana” comment.

Chris Lawson said:

Flint, that’s exactly what Byers was trying to argue recently with his “a T. rex is no more related to a triceratops than a banana” comment.

Creationists routinely make bone-breakingly stupid statements like Idiot Byers’, yet, they always want people to defer to them on matters of science with the utmost respect.

I don’t know what makes my head hurt worse, Creationists’ stupid statements, or the fact that they delude themselves into assuming they know more than scientists about science.

Well, Byers is brain dead, but Douglas Axe is not - he’s actually a pretty competent technician, and it’s a shame that he seems to have chosen a career of proving that things nobody every claimed happen, are unlikely to have happened. It seems self-evident to me that the reason he keeps doing this even when so many people make clear that testing a theory involves testing what the theory SAYS, is because if he tests what the theory says, he will paint himself into a corner. He knows this. So we get thigh-slappers like this:

Have you noticed the assumption underlying this critique? The assumption is that genuine conversions can be achieved only if you start from just the right ancestral protein. Why is that? Because conversions are hard.

No, the assumption is that these enzymes had a common ancestor. The assumption is that “conversions” do not take place, do not need to take place, and have no reason to take place. Not because they are “hard”, but because that’s not what the evidence says happens. The assumption is that the theory best fits the evidence because the theory is based on the evidence. Common ancestry does not involve “genuine conversions” from one current enzyme to another. But they just can’t let go of their conviction that evolution means “conversion” from one current form to another current form. Even when they are TOLD to start with a common ancestor, they see “assumptions of conversion” in this request. It HAS to be there, otherwise evolution happens!

But these people, smart and trained as they are, either will not or can not grasp the theory even when it is explained to them in detail. Instead, they guess why someone might suggest they test the actual theory, and guess WILDLY wrong. And so they spend whole careers demonstrating the impossibility of the nonexistent, and contribute exactly nothing to human knowledge.

We all know creationists are putting on a show for those who don’t know anything about science, detest science, and/or are so religious they’ll believe anything fed to them that to them sounds reasonable as long as it doesn’t contradict their religious beliefs. And we know they’re full of crap, whereas true scientists/investigators can produce tons of evidence and experimental results, but creationists are only after the PR battle, not facts, and people shun reality, it threatens their psychological well being and their dream world. Thus creationists know they have to constantly preach to the choir and make their pseudo-science efforts look like science, that’s all.

Everybody knows that “kinds” don’t change into other “kinds.”

What if “kind” actually means “clade”? ;)

Henry J said:

Everybody knows that “kinds” don’t change into other “kinds.”

What if “kind” actually means “clade”? ;)

We all know “Kind” is one of their favorite “chameleon words.” If they ever seem to define “kind” they will turn around and change the meaning to get out of admitting the possibility of being wrong. They usually change it to mean whatever is currently convenient at the time. I’ve even seen one creationist define “kind” to mean species then later in the debate “kind” meant order. That’s why I want a definition that is clear, at least one they will settle on. I’m tired of debating creationists on “kinds” of animals, and as soon as I’ve pinned them down on a point they change the definition of “kind” and sleaze their way out of the argument. “Information” is another one of their chameleon words. Dembski is especially guilty of abusing this chameleon word.

Flint said:

Well, Byers is brain dead, but Douglas Axe is not - he’s actually a pretty competent technician, and it’s a shame that he seems to have chosen a career of proving that things nobody every claimed happen, are unlikely to have happened. It seems self-evident to me that the reason he keeps doing this even when so many people make clear that testing a theory involves testing what the theory SAYS, is because if he tests what the theory says, he will paint himself into a corner. He knows this. So we get thigh-slappers like this:

Have you noticed the assumption underlying this critique? The assumption is that genuine conversions can be achieved only if you start from just the right ancestral protein. Why is that? Because conversions are hard.

No, the assumption is that these enzymes had a common ancestor. The assumption is that “conversions” do not take place, do not need to take place, and have no reason to take place. Not because they are “hard”, but because that’s not what the evidence says happens. The assumption is that the theory best fits the evidence because the theory is based on the evidence. Common ancestry does not involve “genuine conversions” from one current enzyme to another. But they just can’t let go of their conviction that evolution means “conversion” from one current form to another current form. Even when they are TOLD to start with a common ancestor, they see “assumptions of conversion” in this request. It HAS to be there, otherwise evolution happens!

But these people, smart and trained as they are, either will not or can not grasp the theory even when it is explained to them in detail. Instead, they guess why someone might suggest they test the actual theory, and guess WILDLY wrong. And so they spend whole careers demonstrating the impossibility of the nonexistent, and contribute exactly nothing to human knowledge.

Well said Flint. This is the one overarching and recurrent problem with IDcreationism. They have to avoid dealing with the ACTUAL theory of evolution because doing so would have them collide with data that force them to alter their conclusions.

Flint said:

Mike, I think you’re on the right track there. There is always an underlying inability to grasp the notion of evolutionary change. It nearly always gets depicted as some CURRENT organism “evolving” into some other CURRENT organism. God created all the organisms there were and always will be, so what else could evolution BE? So they seem convinced that ONE of these enzymes must be the “common ancestor”, could be any of them, so just pick one.

It actually involves ignoring the dimension of the past, and we can see this kind of “thinking” in areas other than creationism. Some ideologies depend on it entirely. It would be off-topic and perhaps divisive to suggest examples.

Maybe we can make it easy for them. Can you turn a chimp into a human? No, there are too many changes that need to occur. But, starting with a common ancestor, you can get divergence of two reproductively isolated lineages and presto, chimps and humans. The evidence that this in fact did occur is overwhelming, to deny it is to deny reality.

Now maybe Mr. crocoduck would like to tell us how his “model” represents common descent. Maybe Mr. “can’t turn one protein into another” would like to tell us how his model represents an evolutionary hypothesis. Maybe these guys would like to explain why the papers using reconstruction of ancestral character states are published in real journals and their made-up nonsense is not. Maybe they would like to explain exactly who it is they think they are fooling and why they are trying to fool anyone. If they realize that their misrepresentations and distortions are dishonest, shame on them. If they don’t realize this, more shame.

Ann Gauger: “The reason for our choice was not ignorance.

Correct, it was to misuse knowledge in an effort to construct a straw man scenario and then attack it.

We knew that the enzymes we tested were modern, and that one was not the ancestor of the other.

Right off the bat, this makes any research on “how one could evolve into the other” at best useless. What is possible for evolution is contingent on evolutionary history. This basic logical issue is hardly unique to biology. Innumerable instances, in other sciences, math, formal logic, etc, can be found or constructed, in which A can give rise to both B or C, B and C don’t give rise to each other. To argue that because B and C don’t give rise to each other, A didn’t give rise to either, is dishonest.

(That isn’t all that’s wrong with the research, either. It also implicitly assumes, as far as I can tell, that the biosphere consists of one cell. It’s conclusion is that some series of mutations is improbable as a sequence of individual mutations. The logic is much as if I argued that some individual sequence of ten playing cards is highly unlikely within a given period of time, if I were to draw one card at a time for ten trials, with replacement (for example, literally drawing the ace of spades ten times in a row by pure random chance, which is exactly as unlikely as any other given sequence). But what if, in any given time period, trillions of people were doing the same thing? How likely is it then that some specific sequence would come up per unit of time. The expected value of the number of instances of such a sequence per unit of time is p*n, where p is the probability that one trial will produce such a result, but n in the number of trials per the relevant unit of time? As far as I can tell, Axe and Gauger set up a straw man to begin with, and then use the fallacy of ignoring the incredible number of germ cell divisions per second in the biosphere to make their already impossible straw man even more impossible.)

The main flaw of the research is its dishonesty, of course. Before beginning the experiment, did a hypothetically possible outcome exist, which would have made Axe and Gauger argue in favor of biological evolution? Of course not. So why bother with experiments at all? In my subjective opinion, merely to put on a dishonest show, and collect a generous salary, for doing very little, from a right wing science denial think tank funded by a malevolent and foolish multi-millionaire.

(They are, however, among the most structurally similar members of their family, and share many aspects of their reaction mechanism, but their chemistry itself is different.)

It’s easy to see why this is evidence for common descent. What is the design explanation? What, where, when, did the designer do, and how? Why did the designer do it in a way that looks like evolution from common descent, constrained by evolutionary history?

We also knew that in order for a Darwinian process to generate the mechanistically and chemically diverse families of enzymes that are present in modern organisms, something like the functional conversion of one of these enzyme to the other must be possible.

The main weasel words here are “something like”. The other severe weasel words are the undefined term “functional conversion” and “Darwinian process”. The statement is meaningless. This is an anti-scientific statement, deliberately constructed to be vague and deceptive.

We reasoned that if these two enzymes could not be reconfigured through a gradual process of mutation and selection, then the Darwinian explanation of gene duplication and gradual divergence to new functions was called into question.

Translation - we set up a total straw man, and claim that disproving it contradicts the theory of evolution. Our conclusions were foregone long before we started the experiment, and there is no possible result that we could have obtained that would have led us to state any other conclusion.

Our results indicated that a minimum of seven mutations would be required to convert or reconfigure one enzyme toward the other’s function. No one disputes that part of our research.

If true this is meaningless, but I’m highly dubious of this.

What Paul McBride and others claim is that because we didn’t start from an “ancestral” enzyme, our results mean nothing. They say something like, “Of course transitions to new chemistries between modern enzymes are difficult. What you should have done is to reconstruct the ancestral form and use it as a starting point.”

One thing I subjectively conclude about the person being quoted here - this person is a skilled, practiced, and subtle generator of deceptive text.

I almost gave credit for accuracy here, but then I noticed this sentence, falsely put into the mouths of critics - “Of course transitions to new chemistries between modern enzymes are difficult”. Did someone say that? Did someone imply that modern enzyme genes are massively unlikely to be ancestral to future enzyme genes for enzymes with somewhat different functions or kinetics? I don’t think so. Define “transition”. Quantify “difficult”.

Now, remove that part, and the statement is accurate.

This is very skillful manipulation. The false attribution is cleverly sandwiched between two reasonable constructions, but if the statement as a whole is accepted, that false attribution completely undermines the true statements of critics.

In my subjective opinion, this is a person who applies some considerable intelligence, and I must suspect, experience, to the business of constructing falsehoods and deceptively ambivalent statements, and has a high paying, easy job as a result of those abilities.

Of course, we can’t ever know where conscious deception begins. The whole process could be unconscious. Or it could be conscious, and this person could be giggling with delight at their deceptive word games. Or something in between. But that’s equally true for many other people who produce false or misleading statements. Medical quacks, politicians, even some convicted con men - it’s impossible to tell whether or not, or to what degree, they “believe themselves”. It is very valuable to note the skilled ability to construct deceptive wording, though. It tells us that we must be very careful when evaluating the output of this individual. Consciously or unconsciously, this individual knows how to, and is motivated to, deceive.

Have you noticed the assumption underlying this critique? The assumption is that genuine conversions can be achieved only if you start from just the right ancestral protein.

Dishonesty again. As with all creationists, it’s impossible to figure out where the brainwash ends and the intentional dishonesty begins.

The assumption behind the critique is that if no-one says that A and B evolved from each other, trying to show that they “couldn’t have” evolved from each other is meaningless. The implied assumption behind this is that evolution is constrained.

However, no-one is saying that A or B can’t be ancestral to future proteins. In fact they can. There innumerable mechanisms by which they can; I’ll mention gene duplication because it is so stupidly, obviously possible.

Why is that? Because conversions are hard.

Define “conversion” and define “hard”.

SensuousCurmudgeon said:

Flint said:

Mike, I think you’re on the right track there. There is always an underlying inability to grasp the notion of evolutionary change. It nearly always gets depicted as some CURRENT organism “evolving” into some other CURRENT organism. God created all the organisms there were and always will be, so what else could evolution BE? So they seem convinced that ONE of these enzymes must be the “common ancestor”, could be any of them, so just pick one.

It actually involves ignoring the dimension of the past, and we can see this kind of “thinking” in areas other than creationism. Some ideologies depend on it entirely. It would be off-topic and perhaps divisive to suggest examples.

Off the bat, you also have the Global Warming Denialists. Because those who would profit the most from global warming denial and from creationism taught in place of science in schools are major contributors of the Republican Party, you often see American Creationists also being Global Warming Denialists.

phhht said:

Help me out here, folks. I’m not a biologist, so bear with me.

You real evolutionists, is the following claim correct?

We also knew that in order for a Darwinian process to generate the mechanistically and chemically diverse families of enzymes that are present in modern organisms, something like the functional conversion of one of these enzyme to the other must be possible.

Is “the Darwinian explanation of gene duplication and gradual divergence to new functions” somehow called into question by her results? If so, how?

I also am not a biologist, or even a “scientist” by trade. But, I think I can respond.

I think Mike’s example of a branching tree is apt, here, and that one can carry the analogy quite a ways. Start with the tips of two branches, as the two extant molecules. Clearly, “common descent” says that there must be some path that connects these two branch tips. Just look at the tree, and it’s obvious that every part of the tree is connected to every other part. I know nothing of the actual biology or chemistry involved. But let’s assume that the two molecules differ from each other by 7 base pairs; that our two branch tips are separated by 7 inches. It may not be the case that the number of changes required to get from one to the other is “7”. Look at the two branch tips. Can the 7 inch gap be bridged by 7 successive 1-inch growth spurts? Even though the tips are physically close today, if you trace back the “branches” you may find that they were actually more distant in the past. Thus, the number of changes to get from one to the other might be much more than “7”.

Does that make the problem even harder than stated? It depends. It might be the case that there is no way to directly “bridge” the gap between the two branches. In the analogy, maybe the two branch tips are just 7 inches apart. But there is a brick wall between them!! Can you get from one to the other through the brick wall? Of course not. Therefore, Jesus. But “common descent” doesn’t say that you can get straight from one to the other through the brick wall. What it means is that the two branches started out at a point somewhere closer to the trunk where there was no brick wall. As the branches separated, they grew to either side of the brick wall. The problem is that, today, you can’t see the branches themselves, you can’t see the whole tree, only the branch tips. And you can’t see that the brick wall ends just a foot or so away; that is, just a few thousand years in the past. (It’s hard to describe in words, but the visual images are pretty compelling.)

By the analogy, the “brick wall” might represent some physical or chemical impossibility. If you tried to make the chemical change from “G” to “F”, for example, maybe the resulting molecular bonds are just too weak, and the molecule falls apart, or just isn’t stable in that configuration. You could try all the possible 7! (7 factorial) path ways, and prove that there is no viable or even possible sequence of 7 successive changes that can get you from one branch tip to another. You’ve hit a brick wall. Therefore, Jesus. I have no idea if that is what was claimed or even achieved in the paper. But even if the claim was true and proven, it is irrelevant to the question of whether the two branch tips were connected closer to the trunk, that is further back in time.

At a macro scale, the “brick wall” might represent some real physical barrier, either anatomic or geographic. The two species could not possibly be connected, because they live on the opposite sides of an ocean — today. Weeeell, we know now that X-million years ago, that ocean didn’t exist. There was no “brick wall” at that time. So, the claim is irrelevant.

I really like the analogy of the tree and branch tips. (There are other points that could be made with the analogy, but I think this one is sufficient to the task, and will leave it at that.)

“Our results indicated that a minimum of seven mutations would be required to convert or reconfigure one enzyme toward the other’s function. No one disputes that part of our research.”

So, if you started from the ancestral sequence, probably only three or four changes would be required in each lineage. No one disputes that part either. So why didn’t you mention that? And why leave out the part about changes in duplicate gene copies of the ancestral sequence and lack of functional constraint in intermediates?

Scott F said:

I really like the analogy of the tree and branch tips. (There are other points that could be made with the analogy, but I think this one is sufficient to the task, and will leave it at that.)

You fleshed it out very nicely. :-)

SteveP writes:

So.… evolutionary claims are so hard to understand that only evolutionists understand them.

SteveP,

can you understand the difference between the following two claims?

1. Humans and lobsters once shared a common ancestor. 2. A lobsters turned into a human by blind chance.

I will simplify it some more. Can you understand the difference between the following two claims?

1. My cousin Lisa and I shared a common ancestor. 2. My cousin Lisa turned into me by blind chance.

Do you think the test for 2 is the same as the test for 1?

SteveP. said:

And the most common response ID gets from evolutionists when the latter are presented with lab work which potentially falsifies their claims is ‘ah, they don’t understand evolutionary claims’ or more nefariously ‘they are misrepresenting our claims’.

How does showing that one current version of an enzyme would be unlikely to mutate into another current version of that enzyme “potentially falsify” evolution?

Answer: it doesn’t.

So.… evolutionary claims are so hard to understand that only evolutionists understand them.

Nope. Gauger and McBride said they understood the flaw in their reasoning - you even quoted that part of what they said back to us! Remember? “We knew that the enzymes we tested were modern, and that one was not the ancestor of the other.”

So they understood just fine that the conversion they modeled was not an evolutionary pathway taken by any organism. They just didn’t care.

Nope. Gauger and McBride said they understood the flaw in their reasoning

AXE!

–Paul McBride

Rolf said:

As a card carrying creationist loon I would still say fossils are not part of biological investigation for relationships, if any, between biological items. Case in point are these conclusions about connecting birds and dinos because of some like details in some fossilized creatures under the terms of birds and dinos.

What you are saying is equivalent to saying that it is impossible to draw any conclusions about relationship between makes of cars by studying wrecked cars in a junkyard.

Are you capable of understanding the analogy and what it means? That there most likely are distinct, identifiable features linking different makes/models together? Like my old 2000 Audi A3 to my newer 2007 A3?

Case in point are these conclusions about connecting birds and dinos because of some like details

Right, therefore we can’t connect you with your parents because of some dubious not even visible details. Right?

Makes of cars or biology relationships are neither the results of biological investigation if the fossils are the claim for evidence. They are just snapshots of a biological item/data point at a moment in time. Ond can make conclusions upon this data but don’t say its biological evidence. Evolutionists say and think it is. A logical error. One can’t study biology looking at rocks. Its something different.

FIngerprints ain’t alive. You cant use em to study anything aliving. Its something different. just a case of wrong suppositions. They are just snapshots of someone who was once putting their fingers there at a moment in time and now is not.

Same thing with DNA fingerprints they ain’t alive either so they are just wrong claims as evidences. cant draw conclusions on relationships from DNA its all false assumptions and not biological evidence. its atomic and unproven just like fossils is just rocks

Robert Byers, please tell us why we have to assume that you are an authority of science who can determine what is and is not science, even though you speak such blatantly stupid lies over and over again?

A logical error. One can’t study biology looking at rocks. Its something different.

Your logic is exceptional! I can’t draw inferences about what dropping you from a skyscraper will do to you by dropping a rock first to learn what happens. Maybe you would disappear into heaven like Jesus?

Retirements’s getting to you Elzinga. I never took the test. THAT obviously pissed YOU off to no end. You keep reminding me of it every chance you get.

Do you honestly believe bringing up the subject over and over is going to compel me to collapse into a heap of shame? How does that saying go ‘doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result is a sure sign of insanity’.

But if your retirement plan is to invest a lot of time and effort in trying to snag a gotcha moment.…..

Mike Elzinga said:

SteveP. said:

So.… evolutionary claims are so hard to understand that only evolutionists understand them.

That fact is glaringly obvious when all an ID/creationist (e.g., you) can do is throw feces. You couldn’t even understand, let alone pass, a simple concept test about entropy. You would like to forget that, but we haven’t. Really pissed you off, it did. That’s why you keep coming back to throw more feces.

Now get lost.

Steve P. -

When you don’t even answer a question on a test, you still get a grade - zero.

Here are some more questions you can’t seem to answer.

Part A

1) Since you’re so in love with Axe and Gauger’s research, demonstrate that you have a clue what they did by describing their experiment and conclusions in detail. No need to criticize. Just explain what they actually did. Use any source material you need.

Part B

1) Could any evidence convince you of the theory of evolution, and if so, what type of evidence is now lacking, that would convince you if present?

2) The Supreme Court ruled against the direct teaching of Biblical Young Earth Creationism as science in public schools; however, if that ruling were overturned, which would you support more, teaching of ID, or direct teaching of Bible-based YEC?

3) Do you think it is important for opponents of the theory of evolution to fully understand the theory of evolution? If so, can you explain it, and if not, can you explain why not?

4) Who is the designer? How can we test your answer?

5) What did that designer do? How can we test your answer?

6) How did the designer do it? How can we test your answer?

7) When did the designer do it? How can we test your answer?

8) What is an example of something that was not designed by the designer?

9) Some parts of the Bible suggest that pi equals exactly three, and that the earth is flat and has four corners. Do you accept these as facts of physical reality, and if not, why do you deny the theory of evolution on the grounds of Biblical literacy, if it can be symbolic about other scientific issues?

paumcb12 said:

Nope. Gauger and McBride said they understood the flaw in their reasoning

AXE!

–Paul McBride

D’oh! Sorry, yes, that should read ‘Gauger and Axe…’

Here are some more questions for Steve P. (even if he doesn’t have the guts or brains to answer):

1) WHat would one expect to see if two chromosomes fused? What telomeric sequences would be expected? What centromeric sequences would be expected?

2) What do we observe in human chromosome two? Is it what one would expect to see if two chromosomes fused since humans and chimps last shared a common ancestor?

3) Why is the telomere in the center of human chromosome two degenerate? Is this expected if it is the result of a chromosomal fusion?

4) Why do humans and chimps have exactly the same genes in exactly the same positions on all of the chromosomes (i.e. synteny)?

5) Why are humans and chimps the most closely related species genetically for both mitochondrial and nuclear genes?

6) Why do humans and chimps share many unique SINE insertions?

7) Why is there a nested hierarchy of genetic similarity in primates that is the same for chromosomes, mitochondrial genes, nuclear genes and SINE insertions?

8) Why do you think that the claim that modern chimps cannot turn into modern humans is a real scientific hypothesis?

I predict that Steve will not answer any of these questions. I predict that he will do nothing but throw out meaningless personal insults and completely avoid all of the real scientific issues. In other words, he will engage in exactly the same dishonest tactics as those he seeks to defend.

What I’d like to hear about is, if the great similarity between humans and chimps is due to “intelligent design” … Does that mean that there is a common purpose behind the design of humans and chimps?

I know that if the similarity is due to common descent, or any other purposeless natural regularities, or even if it is due to random chance, that means nothing at all. But if it was purposefully done, well doesn’t that mean that we should tell our kids that they were purposefully designed to be like chimps?

SteveP. said:

‘doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result is a sure sign of insanity’.

That describes your behavior exactly; constantly taunting people and throwing feces while avoiding learning any science whatsoever. Like the other trolls who show up here, you have a huge backlog of questions you have avoided. You apparently think we don’t notice, even though you are repeatedly reminded.

Why don’t you answer harold’s and DS’s questions? Answer: Because you can’t. All you know how to do is taunt and throw feces. It’s the essence of what you are, but you don’t get it.

DS said:

FIngerprints ain’t alive. You cant use em to study anything aliving. Its something different. just a case of wrong suppositions. They are just snapshots of someone who was once putting their fingers there at a moment in time and now is not.

Same thing with DNA fingerprints they ain’t alive either so they are just wrong claims as evidences. cant draw conclusions on relationships from DNA its all false assumptions and not biological evidence. its atomic and unproven just like fossils is just rocks

MCOMN (Milk came out my nose)

Robert Byers said: Makes of cars or biology relationships are neither the results of biological investigation if the fossils are the claim for evidence. They are just snapshots of a biological item/data point at a moment in time. Ond can make conclusions upon this data but don’t say its biological evidence. Evolutionists say and think it is. A logical error. One can’t study biology looking at rocks. Its something different.

SteveP. said:

Retirements’s getting to you Elzinga. I never took the test. THAT obviously pissed YOU off to no end. You keep reminding me of it every chance you get.

Do you honestly believe bringing up the subject over and over is going to compel me to collapse into a heap of shame? How does that saying go ‘doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result is a sure sign of insanity’.

But if your retirement plan is to invest a lot of time and effort in trying to snag a gotcha moment.…..

Look, we know already that you two are worthless idiots. You don’t need to keep confirming that over and over and over again with every ridiculous comment you make here.

DS said:

WHy don’t they just read the papers Richard cited above, admit their error and apologize? This is even more stupid then the crocoduck crap.

That is like asking why a whore doesn’t admit that her johns are repulsive and she doesn’t want to have sex with them. They don’t admit error because then the paychecks stop, and they might have to get real jobs.

Robert Byers said:

Makes of cars or biology relationships are neither the results of biological investigation if the fossils are the claim for evidence. They are just snapshots of a biological item/data point at a moment in time. Ond can make conclusions upon this data but don’t say its biological evidence. Evolutionists say and think it is. A logical error. One can’t study biology looking at rocks. Its something different.

Just to point out for lurkers what is well known by most posters here, but fossils are not the only evidence of evolution, since there are multiple independent lines of evidence, such as dna and morphology, which independently converge on common descent as the best explanation for the diversity of life. I believe Darwin relied primarily on evidence such as geological distribution of species and domestic breeding rather than fossil evidence to develop his theory. Having said that, the trolls post here because they get a rise out of the community; personally I think the trolls’ posts should be mostly ignored and removed to the Bathroom Wall.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/hVRHCnZug_xl[…]GXHwN4#7215b said:

Robert Byers said:

Makes of cars or biology relationships are neither the results of biological investigation if the fossils are the claim for evidence. They are just snapshots of a biological item/data point at a moment in time. Ond can make conclusions upon this data but don’t say its biological evidence. Evolutionists say and think it is. A logical error. One can’t study biology looking at rocks. Its something different.

Just to point out for lurkers what is well known by most posters here, but fossils are not the only evidence of evolution, since there are multiple independent lines of evidence, such as dna and morphology, which independently converge on common descent as the best explanation for the diversity of life. I believe Darwin relied primarily on evidence such as geological distribution of species and domestic breeding rather than fossil evidence to develop his theory. Having said that, the trolls post here because they get a rise out of the community; personally I think the trolls’ posts should be mostly ignored and removed to the Bathroom Wall.

I should’ve said geographical rather than geological.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/hVRHCnZug_xl[…]GXHwN4#7215b said:

https://me.yahoo.com/a/hVRHCnZug_xl[…]GXHwN4#7215b said: I believe Darwin relied primarily on evidence such as geological distribution of species…

I should’ve said geographical rather than geological.

True, but “geological” would also actually work - the fossils do not lie (except to Byers).

SteveP. said:

Retirements’s getting to you Elzinga. I never took the test. THAT obviously pissed YOU off to no end. You keep reminding me of it every chance you get.

Do you honestly believe bringing up the subject over and over is going to compel me to collapse into a heap of shame? How does that saying go ‘doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result is a sure sign of insanity’.

But if your retirement plan is to invest a lot of time and effort in trying to snag a gotcha moment.…..

Mike Elzinga said:

SteveP. said:

So.… evolutionary claims are so hard to understand that only evolutionists understand them.

That fact is glaringly obvious when all an ID/creationist (e.g., you) can do is throw feces. You couldn’t even understand, let alone pass, a simple concept test about entropy. You would like to forget that, but we haven’t. Really pissed you off, it did. That’s why you keep coming back to throw more feces.

Now get lost.

Say Stevie Pee, it wouldn’t just happen to be you, Steve Proulx, infesting Carl Zimmer’s latest blog over at The Loom now, would it? You seem to delight in taunting Mike, me, and whomever else suits your fancy. Right? What’s the matter? Textile business in Taiwan is so good that you have time to stop by HuffPo and now, The Loom, too?

John said:

Say Stevie Pee, it wouldn’t just happen to be you, Steve Proulx, infesting Carl Zimmer’s latest blog over at The Loom now, would it? You seem to delight in taunting Mike, me, and whomever else suits your fancy. Right? What’s the matter? Textile business in Taiwan is so good that you have time to stop by HuffPo and now, The Loom, too?

You could at least provide a link to that blog for us to see, John.

John said:

SteveP. said:

Retirements’s getting to you Elzinga. I never took the test. THAT obviously pissed YOU off to no end. You keep reminding me of it every chance you get.

Do you honestly believe bringing up the subject over and over is going to compel me to collapse into a heap of shame? How does that saying go ‘doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result is a sure sign of insanity’.

But if your retirement plan is to invest a lot of time and effort in trying to snag a gotcha moment.…..

Mike Elzinga said:

SteveP. said:

So.… evolutionary claims are so hard to understand that only evolutionists understand them.

That fact is glaringly obvious when all an ID/creationist (e.g., you) can do is throw feces. You couldn’t even understand, let alone pass, a simple concept test about entropy. You would like to forget that, but we haven’t. Really pissed you off, it did. That’s why you keep coming back to throw more feces.

Now get lost.

Say Stevie Pee, it wouldn’t just happen to be you, Steve Proulx, infesting Carl Zimmer’s latest blog over at The Loom now, would it? You seem to delight in taunting Mike, me, and whomever else suits your fancy. Right? What’s the matter? Textile business in Taiwan is so good that you have time to stop by HuffPo and now, The Loom, too?

Is he actually trying to discuss science there, or is he just doing his chimp imitation, throwing feces and calling everyone a poo poo head? I don’t think that Carl is going to be as tolerant of his shenanigans as they are here. I guess, when you don’t understand science, won’t learn any science and can’t discuss any science, the only thing you have left is to be an obnoxious ass and try to defend other lying charlatans who don’t understand science any better than you do. Oh, and then call everybody a meanie for pointing out that you haven’t got a clue.

Of course Stevie Pee Pee could just answer the questions. Even simple yes/no answers would do. But then I guess everyone would see that he knows nothing. Why these guys think that ignorance is a convincing argument I’ll never know.

dalehusband said:

John said:

Say Stevie Pee, it wouldn’t just happen to be you, Steve Proulx, infesting Carl Zimmer’s latest blog over at The Loom now, would it? You seem to delight in taunting Mike, me, and whomever else suits your fancy. Right? What’s the matter? Textile business in Taiwan is so good that you have time to stop by HuffPo and now, The Loom, too?

You could at least provide a link to that blog for us to see, John.

Right, Dale, here it is:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/l[…]uck-can-rest

Here’s Mike Elzinga commenting on breahtaking inanity from “bz” who has been infesting Carl’s blog as of late, claiming how “uneducated” Carl is in biology with respect to Ann Gauger and Richard Sternberg. (The next comment (83) is from a “Steve Proulx” who sounds suspiciously like Steve P.):

82. Mike Elzinga Says: July 24th, 2012 at 10:41 pm

bz taunts:

I will ask her if everyone agrees to be silent and just let CZ and Ann engage the issue. you all can coach CZ over on Pandas Thumb.

Are you nuts? Do you understand what you are doing? Do you think you smell blood in the water? Do you really think Carl is a rube without access to expertise? Do you really think no one here knows the game you are trying to set up? Henry Morris and Duane Gish started this tactic of taunting people into debates in order to get free publicity and free rides on the backs of legitimate scientists back in the 1970s. That tactic is central to ID/creationists attempting to gain illegitimate leverage for nothing. Carl has already said that the DI people can come over here at any time they wish. They can submit their “research” to peer reviewed journals if they like. But they will not escape having to deal directly with expertise. ID/creationists are notorious for wanting to tie the hands of their opponents in debates while they themselves are free to distort anything and everything. How naive are you anyway? Have you ever heard of the tactic called the “Gish Gallop?” What makes you think Carl is stupid enough to allow it here?

83. steve proulx Says: July 25th, 2012 at 1:22 am

there goes Elzinga whining again. looks like his gish galloping gall stones are acting up again. OK, here’s a better deal. Forget Luskin and Zimmer since they are not scientists. Gauger and Axe take on McBride and Britain head on. All cards on the table. I know they won’t accept for the simple reason that for every point M and B make, G and A can effectively counter. It will at worst be a stalemate, at best G and A take the honors. Bad odds for M and B. I wouldn’t accept either. buts who knows. the tempation to show up teleologically inclined scientists is just so hard to resist. It might just happen. But lets all dissuade Elzinga from attending. don’t want his galloping gall stones to start sprinting home.

HERE’S MIKE’S SUPERB TAKEDOWN OF STEVE PROULX:

85. Mike Elzinga Says: July 25th, 2012 at 2:26 am

Steve Proulx taunts: OK, here’s a better deal.

Here is an even better idea. No free rides by unproven and grasping scientist wannabes on the lab coattails of real, reputable scientists. Instead, let Axe, et. al. do what all real scientists have to do, demonstrate their credibility by publishing their ID/creationist “research” in real, peer-reviewed, scientific journals so that other research groups are able to verify their findings and actually build on their work with productive research programs that extend their findings and make real progress. That means being able to articulate research proposals and strategies, win funding, and actually carry out research programs that can pass muster in the crucible of scientific peer review. Now that would be a first for ID/creationists. Get serious. This silly, childish attempt to get debates going has always been the shtick of the ID/creationist community ever since Morris and Gish. It’s the lazy pseudoscientist’s way of attempting to appear to be a scientist by hitching a ride on the back of a real scientist, and preferably one who has high visibility and celebrity. Being able to win a high school debating contest with your opponents’ hands tied behind their backs is not the same as being able articulate a research proposal and strategies and conduct a productive research program that actually attracts serious attention from the scientific community. Real science is far more sophisticated and difficult than the camp followers of the ID/creationist movement have been taught to believe by their leaders. These followers would much rather be entertained and comforted instead of being required to learn something difficult and real. You characters are pathetic; and now you are the laughing stock of the entire internet watching you kvetch and grasp for fame and not even recognizing the pickle you are in.

DS said: Is he actually trying to discuss science there, or is he just doing his chimp imitation, throwing feces and calling everyone a poo poo head? I don’t think that Carl is going to be as tolerant of his shenanigans as they are here. I guess, when you don’t understand science, won’t learn any science and can’t discuss any science, the only thing you have left is to be an obnoxious ass and try to defend other lying charlatans who don’t understand science any better than you do. Oh, and then call everybody a meanie for pointing out that you haven’t got a clue.

Of course Stevie Pee Pee could just answer the questions. Even simple yes/no answers would do. But then I guess everyone would see that he knows nothing. Why these guys think that ignorance is a convincing argument I’ll never know.

It’s actually his chimp imitation. Carl has been overly generous to bz and several others for posting what should be BW comments IMHO. (Carl has deleted a couple of mine when he thought I crossed over the line, and he refuses to allow me to use the term “mendacious intellectual pornographer” as an apt definition for exactly what Klinghoffer, Luskin, Sternberg and their fellow DI IDiots do for a living.) The only time Steve has acted with some restraint is over at HuffPo, merely as a “cricket” to warn James Shapiro that I’m realy BAAAAAD, but in a surprisingly polite way.

Carl threatened to ban me for saying “sick son of a bitch.”

diogeneslamp0 said:

Carl threatened to ban me for saying “sick son of a bitch.”

If that was in reference to David Klinghoffer, then I wish he had allowed you to use it. (Or did it refer to Joe G, bz, or others of their ilk lurking there?) I am surprised he’s allowing me to refer to Klinghoffer, Luskin, Sternberg and the rest of their pathetic Disco Tute ilk as working for the DI Ministry of Propaganda.

John said:

DS said: Is he actually trying to discuss science there, or is he just doing his chimp imitation, throwing feces and calling everyone a poo poo head? I don’t think that Carl is going to be as tolerant of his shenanigans as they are here. I guess, when you don’t understand science, won’t learn any science and can’t discuss any science, the only thing you have left is to be an obnoxious ass and try to defend other lying charlatans who don’t understand science any better than you do. Oh, and then call everybody a meanie for pointing out that you haven’t got a clue.

Of course Stevie Pee Pee could just answer the questions. Even simple yes/no answers would do. But then I guess everyone would see that he knows nothing. Why these guys think that ignorance is a convincing argument I’ll never know.

It’s actually his chimp imitation. Carl has been overly generous to bz and several others for posting what should be BW comments IMHO. (Carl has deleted a couple of mine when he thought I crossed over the line, and he refuses to allow me to use the term “mendacious intellectual pornographer” as an apt definition for exactly what Klinghoffer, Luskin, Sternberg and their fellow DI IDiots do for a living.) The only time Steve has acted with some restraint is over at HuffPo, merely as a “cricket” to warn James Shapiro that I’m realy BAAAAAD, but in a surprisingly polite way.

Speaking of Stevie Pee, where the heck is he? Stunned perhaps that I’ve exposed him as Steve Proulx?

John said:

John said:

DS said: Is he actually trying to discuss science there, or is he just doing his chimp imitation, throwing feces and calling everyone a poo poo head? I don’t think that Carl is going to be as tolerant of his shenanigans as they are here. I guess, when you don’t understand science, won’t learn any science and can’t discuss any science, the only thing you have left is to be an obnoxious ass and try to defend other lying charlatans who don’t understand science any better than you do. Oh, and then call everybody a meanie for pointing out that you haven’t got a clue.

Of course Stevie Pee Pee could just answer the questions. Even simple yes/no answers would do. But then I guess everyone would see that he knows nothing. Why these guys think that ignorance is a convincing argument I’ll never know.

It’s actually his chimp imitation. Carl has been overly generous to bz and several others for posting what should be BW comments IMHO. (Carl has deleted a couple of mine when he thought I crossed over the line, and he refuses to allow me to use the term “mendacious intellectual pornographer” as an apt definition for exactly what Klinghoffer, Luskin, Sternberg and their fellow DI IDiots do for a living.) The only time Steve has acted with some restraint is over at HuffPo, merely as a “cricket” to warn James Shapiro that I’m realy BAAAAAD, but in a surprisingly polite way.

Speaking of Stevie Pee, where the heck is he? Stunned perhaps that I’ve exposed him as Steve Proulx?

Bingo, there’s a Steve Proulx in Taiwan who is a marketing director for a textile firm:

http://tw.linkedin.com/pub/steve-pr[…]x/29/90a/879

I think it’s quite probable that Stevie Pee IS Steve Proulx.

John said:

Bingo, there’s a Steve Proulx in Taiwan who is a marketing director for a textile firm:

http://tw.linkedin.com/pub/steve-pr[…]x/29/90a/879

I think it’s quite probable that Stevie Pee IS Steve Proulx.

Good work, John (Kwok, I assume)!

I wonder if we should contact his employer and tell them what he does in his spare time? It would certainly be embarrassing for them to know it! I will not publish the specific information about the company here for fear of violating the rules of this forum, but I will make it available to others who ask, including you.

dalehusband said:

John said:

Bingo, there’s a Steve Proulx in Taiwan who is a marketing director for a textile firm:

http://tw.linkedin.com/pub/steve-pr[…]x/29/90a/879

I think it’s quite probable that Stevie Pee IS Steve Proulx.

Good work, John (Kwok, I assume)!

I wonder if we should contact his employer and tell them what he does in his spare time? It would certainly be embarrassing for them to know it! I will not publish the specific information about the company here for fear of violating the rules of this forum, but I will make it available to others who ask, including you.

No, I’m very sure you should not. What SteveP does in his spare time is his own business.

And this thread has clearly degenerated enough to close it. Thanks for playing, folks.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on July 20, 2012 2:30 PM.

Fun on Facebook was the previous entry in this blog.

Hyla chrysoscelis is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.38

Site Meter