If they both begin with “P” and end with “genetics,” they must be the same thing, right?

| 26 Comments

Phylogenetics and population genetics, that is. Larry Moran calls attention to the confusion of Ann Gauger, ID-pushing BioLogic Institute “researcher.” My favorite comment in the thread is from (PT crew member) Joe Felsenstein:

I must be totally confused. I wrote a book on reconstructing evolutionary trees – and it’s the standard textbook in that area. But it does not mention many basic population genetics concepts. I have another book (a free downloadable e-book) that is a textbook of theoretical population genetics. And it does not mention homoplasy at all.

So I must misunderstand what “population genetics” is. And here I’ve been giving courses on it for the last 44 years. At the university where Ann Gauger got her Ph.D. degree, for that matter.

Silly me.

My second favorite is from Piotr Gasiorowski:

Cargo cult science

Precisely. The cult members gather in mock laboratories full of imitation equipment, where they mimic the way scientists speak and behave.

26 Comments

Well that was three minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. This women is so ignorant that it literally hurts to listen to her. Just one example, she somehow seems to think that homoplsy is a deep dark secret of population genetics! Really! Just where does she think the term came from? And where exactly is she sitting while she blows out all of this incoherent drivel? It sure looks like a lab. Now I wonder why she has never published any data from this “lab”. People who are this ignorant should keep their mouth shut so that their ignorance doesn’t leak out for all to see.

And what does any of this nonsense have to do with human origins? there are six independent data sets that all confirm that modern humans migrated out of Africa in waves starting over 100,000 years ago. Just what is she blubbering on about? And Why does she have a map of Africa with a big question mark on it?

It’s called thinking outside of the box. Also, outside of any sort of reasonableness, but you know, you can’t have everything.

Glen Davidson

DS said:

…

Just one example, she somehow seems to think that homoplsy is a deep dark secret of population genetics! Really! Just where does she think the term came from?

…

Actually the term homoplasy comes from systematics, and it is not much used in population genetics. In work on phylogenies it is such a “deep dark secret” that people compute indices of it and worry about it a lot. A Google search for the term yields 188,000 hits. Web of Science finds 407 papers with (versions of) the word “homoplasy” in their title, and 3,024 papers that have it as part of their “topic”. Some secret.

But the way the shell game works is that the marks (lay creationists) haven’t heard the term, so it can be played as a “deep dark secret,” and it sounds all sciency and stuff. Whom do you think her audience is, after all?

Joe Felsenstein said:

DS said:

…

Just one example, she somehow seems to think that homoplsy is a deep dark secret of population genetics! Really! Just where does she think the term came from?

…

Actually the term homoplasy comes from systematics, and it is not much used in population genetics. In work on phylogenies it is such a “deep dark secret” that people compute indices of it and worry about it a lot. A Google search for the term yields 188,000 hits. Web of Science finds 407 papers with (versions of) the word “homoplasy” in their title, and 3,024 papers that have it as part of their “topic”. Some secret.

Thanks Joe, that’s what I was getting at. It’s not a deep dark secret and it’s not a concept in population genetics. It’s a well know issue in phylogenetics. It does NOT mean that similarity i does not indicate relatedness. It does NOT mean that phylogenetic relationships cannot be reconstructed. Anyone who claims anything like that is completely ignorant. It’s like some one who claims that RNA is a deep dark secret in physiology. It’s also very telling that she never bothered to define the term, of course we know why that is.

Ahhhh. The stupid, the stupid… it burns, it burns. Make it stop, I’ll tell you everything.

Do you think the laboratory background is green-screened in? I’m not an expert in such things…

Well, call me naïve, but she is at The Biologic Institute which reports doing some experiments, funded in part by the DI. I’d assume that that is their lab.

Well there is a really old computer in the background. Probably about twenty or thirty years old. Doesn’t look like it has ever been used either. There are a number of other pieces of equipment visible, but I can’t tell what any of them are. At least they have a fume hood. Thank goodness for that. WIth all the deadly chemicals they must be using to study all the stuff they say they are studying, they must really need it.

Yep, that lab behind her is a stock photo from shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-862[…]t-night.html

From the YouTube comments: If you go to Google Images and enter “Crime Lab Equipment - Forensics Source” - you get the bogus lab background “Doctor” Gauger is talking in front of.

The amateurishness of these clowns is almost laughable.

nickmatzke.ncse said:

Do you think the laboratory background is green-screened in? I’m not an expert in such things…

It definitively is green screened. You will find the picture “lab at night” at shutterstock.

Please be aware that you will have to pay for any use of it.

Jeremy said:

Yep, that lab behind her is a stock photo from shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-862[…]t-night.html

Brilliant searching. I was naïve!

Paul Burnett said:

… you get the bogus lab background “Doctor” Gauger is talking in front of.

…

I believe Ann Gauger does have a Ph.D. degree.

Ann (no “e”) Gauger does indeed hold a PhD in zoology from the University of Washington, and a BS from MIT, no less, and did post-doc work at Harvard, for Pete’s sake.

She is one of a very rare species, the creationist biologist. It would seem that even the very improbable can still exist, and she is definitive proof of it.

I’m not a scientist. But I’d like to suggest this point about “intelligent design” as being a reason for similarities. If the human body is similar to the bodies of other primates because we were intelligently designed that way, that suggests one of the following:

1. The intelligent designer(s) were constrained by the materials that they were working with and the laws of nature so that they couldn’t have done it any other way.

2. The intelligent designer(s) were not interested enough in the design of the human body to care to make humans much different. They could have made us different, but they didn’t think that it was worth their bother.

3. The intelligent designer(s) had similar goals in mind for all of us primates. So that means that we should be telling our kids that, if they want to follow the purposes of our designers, then the kids should behave like “monkeys”.

Of course, the advocates of ID could always say that the similarities were just a matter of chance coincidences. But that seems to undercut the “argument from design”. If it is so highly improbable that the human eye is not designed, it is even more improbable that both the human eye and the chimp eye are not designed to be similar.

Joe Felsenstein said: I believe Ann Gauger does have a Ph.D. degree.

Yes - so do Jon Wells, Mike Behe and Dr Dr Dembski. Too bad they don’t act like it.

Dave Luckett said:

Ann (no “e”) Gauger does indeed hold a PhD in zoology from the University of Washington, and a BS from MIT, no less, and did post-doc work at Harvard, for Pete’s sake.

She is one of a very rare species, the creationist biologist. It would seem that even the very improbable can still exist, and she is definitive proof of it.

Jonathon Wells is another rare example. Lisle or whatever his name is doesn’t do biology but is a YEC with a PhD in Astrophysics.

All were creationists before they began their graduate studies.

They apparently secretly seethed their way through a long education with the objective of “denouncing” the field the moment the final degree was awarded.

They got the degree so that they could use it as a prop while misrepresenting the entire field they supposedly studied.

An incredible capacity for duplicity and suppression of cognitive dissonance.

It’s extremely good evidence that hard core creationists* literally cannot be convinced of objective reality by reasoned arguments. You could hardly be more exposed to in depth reasoned arguments about biology than by doing an entire PhD.

*However, it is worth noting that, as someone pointed out here a while ago, not everyone who starts out at least passively as a creationist and gets a science education is a committed “double agent”, and giving up passively held creationist beliefs due to a science education - usually while still remaining religious - is fairly common. But the “I’m so brainwashed I’ll proudly waste a dozen years getting an intense education, just so I can prove that even that doesn’t convince me, and use the degree as a prop” type also exists.

Of course, one biasing factor is also that one always makes more money for less work at a right wing “think tank” than in mainstream academia or industry. The DI is no exception.

Ironically, there’s more science going on in the stock photo background than goes on in the Disco Tute’s “Biologic Institute” where Ann “works.”

If Gauger does indeed have a PhD in zoology, then she should know better than to say that the human eye and the cephalopod eye are so similar that they couldn’t have evolved independently. This is the kind of lying and duplicity that characterizes the pseudoscientific movement that she has chosen to associate with. EIther she really is this ignorant, despite all her book learnin, or she is just plain lying through her teeth to fleece the sheep. Seriously, she takes one of the best arguments against design and somehow manages to turn it into an argument against evolution! Sheer stupidity or sheer dishonesty? You choose.

Seriously, what kind of an idiot uses a technical term to describe a “deep dark secret”? DIdn’t she even put two minutes of thought into what she was saying? Are the people she is trying to fool really this stupid, or gullible, or both?

And of course, the fact that they needed to crop in the lab background, if anyone ever doubted it in the first place, is all the evidence you need to conclude that no real lab actually exists in the place where she works. Now why would a PhD even agree to work in such a place? What? Oh … never mind.

harold said:

Jonathon Wells is another rare example. Lisle or whatever his name is doesn’t do biology but is a YEC with a PhD in Astrophysics.

All were creationists before they began their graduate studies.

They apparently secretly seethed their way through a long education with the objective of “denouncing” the field the moment the final degree was awarded.

They got the degree so that they could use it as a prop while misrepresenting the entire field they supposedly studied.

…

She apparently studied cell adhesion molecules in Drosophila. I don’t know in whose lab but if it had been molecular evolution studies I would have heard of it as I pretty much heard of all molecular evolution work that would have gone on in Seattle a decade ago.

Her cell biology work does not sound like work done deliberately just to get credentials in evolutionary biology.

Dave Luckett said:

Ann (no “e”) Gauger does indeed hold a PhD in zoology from the University of Washington, and a BS from MIT, no less, and did post-doc work at Harvard, for Pete’s sake.

She even co-authored a paper published in Nature back in 1985. Nowadays she only contributes to the ID mock journal BIO-Diversity (as well as being a member of its editorial board). This is what happens to you whe you fall to the dark side of the Force.

Jeremy said:

Yep, that lab behind her is a stock photo from shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-862[…]t-night.html

You beat me to it. From Sandwalk we learn that Steven Meyer did the same but “in” the Cambridge library. He has witch craft.

Perhaps the Discovery Institute is finally making an impact on education? I am so using a comparison of a clip form the Gauger video and the stock photo in my Psychology of Science and Pseudoscience class next spring at NMT!! (I have a unit on Cargo Cults.)

NMT = New Mexico Tech = New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology ????

No they are not the SAME thing. Phylogeny is the study of evolutionary relationships between species or populations using morphology and molecular sequence. Population genetics is the stdy of allele frequecy distribution.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on December 17, 2012 1:29 PM.

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