Intelligent Design in Peer Reviewed Publications

Rejection of Intelligent Design by the scientific community — or should it be called professional disdain? — is a very sore point with the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).

They so desperately crave acceptance, or even occasional acknowledgment of their existence, that they’ve been engaging in all kinds of ploys. Almost a year ago, in Discovery Institute: Creationist “Peer-Review”, we discussed their strange effort in creating their own captive journal, staffed by their people, who would “peer review” their creationist tracts and publish them. That venerable journal is BIO-Complexity, which — no surprise — has made no impact on anyone.

It seems to have occurred to the Discoveroids that they need to somehow penetrate already-existing journals, but the most prestigious of those have rigorous standards, so the creationists have no chance with them. Everyone remembers the notorious peer review controversy involving Stephen Meyer, a Discoveroid vice president and senior fellow.

Lately they’ve been furiously working to get articles placed in lesser journals. We reported on some of that here: A Peer-Reviewed Creationist Paper?, and also here: Another Creationist Research Paper Published? Those appear to be mere survey articles which mention ID or some Discoveroid fellow-traveler, but report no actual ID research — because there isn’t any, certainly none that contradicts evolution.

The Discoveroids have posted additional blog articles recently, frantically touting a few other “accomplishments” of this nature. For example, see No Peer-Reviewed Support for ID? Darwinists Talk to the Hand by Klinghoffer. And today they’ve just posted this one, Scientific Paper Reviews Dembski and Behe’s Methods of Detecting Intelligent Design, written by Casey.

What does all this low-level activity signify? Not much. If genuine research produces evidence that challenges the theory of evolution, it will be major news that gets published in the most highly-regarded journals. Until then, getting insignificant survey articles published in journals that are the scientific equivalent of “Toilet Tissue Technology Today” doesn’t mean anything.

Undistinguished survey articles certainly won’t impress scientists, nor will they persuade the federal judiciary that the creationist “theory” of intelligent design has broken through into respectability and now belongs in public school science classes. If actual research should ever produce something of importance, it won’t require a court order for that information to appear in textbooks.

If you want to read about the Discoveroids’ publishing triumphs, go ahead. We’ve given you the links — it’s our survey of their survey articles. If you find anything worthy of notice, please let us know. We’ll keep an open mind.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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79 responses to “Intelligent Design in Peer Reviewed Publications

  1. They have a long way to go to match the number of papers in the literature supporting the static earth model. Of course that’s not an entirely fair comparison, since geologists who supported the static earth model actually had evidence that could be seen to support it, while ID has no corresponding evidence (aside from “it looks designed”), hence there was a genuine scientific controversy over the issue.

    By the way, there were at least several papers on Piltdown Man. That’s a better comparison with ID, since they’re both fraudulent, if not in the same manner.

    What is unfortunate is that so many on our side (no, not me, because I rather suspected that they’d manage to push papers into peer-reviewed journals) have pointed to the lack of ID nonsense in peer-reviewed journals, making the point that even that minimum standard had not been met. By over-emphasizing the point, they’ve made it sound as though meeting this bare minimum would be sufficient to make it science, when that’s not true by a long shot–Jan Schoen knows something about this.

    Still waiting for any evidence for the design of life, IDiots. Until you meet that bare epistemic minimum, we don’t even have anything to discuss. And if we had that, ID would still have a long way to go to become science.

  2. The problem lies in the need for creationism and evolutionism to be proven via scientific means, when neither are easily proven. If they were, we would have come to an inconclusive determination by now, such as our conclusion that the earth revolves around the sun and it is round. But no such proof exists for either side, and so the debate continues.

    If God could be proven, there would be no need for faith, which is the basis for the Christian model. And since creationism is largely rooted in the belief in God, there will never be enough evidence to convince evolutionists who insist on scientific evidence. Creationists see the same evidence as evolutionists, but all either side can offer up are ideas and theories, based on their starting point of reference.

    While I agree that publication in a peer reviewed journal does not automatically equate to the truth, it does at least establish the baseline of being at least credible among individuals and organizations within the community. On the same note, even peer reviewed articles and scientific studies “proving” evolution have been retracted and proven false.

  3. Holly Vandervort says:

    Creationists see the same evidence as evolutionists, but all either side can offer up are ideas and theories, based on their starting point of reference.

    Oh boy!

  4. The problem lies in the need for creationism and evolutionism to be proven via scientific means, when neither are easily proven.

    “Proof” not being the word used in science, in the something like the judicial sense of “proof” evolution is actually quite easy to “prove.” In fact, most creationists accept it on the basis of inherited similarities, then deny that the same kind of evidence “proves” anything about “macroevolution” (which in science is essentially speciation, and in creationism is whatever the creationist claims is impossible).

    All you have to do is to recognize the inheritance of traits and/or DNA evidence to recognize the abundance of compelling evidence for evolution.

    Creationists manage to deny what they don’t like, then they project their lack of any sort of evidence for “design” onto science. What we never get from them is a competent discussion of the evidence, merely self-serving platitudes.

  5. Creationists postulate an specific supernatural act of creation for which there is zero evidence. There is no trace of this event, or multiple such events, in the physical world.

    In contrast, the overall understanding that life evolved on this earth over a long period of time is proven “beyond a reasonable doubt” in the court parlance, based on overwhelming evidence from multiple fields of study including biology, genetics, paleontology, geology and physics. Obviously there continues to be a lot of interesting work to do to understand all of the mechanisms involved in the process of biological evolution and the specific history of particular life forms. However, to argue that evolution is a mere unproven theory, as creationists do, or that creationism is somehow equivalent as a science, is completely dishonest.

  6. Sorry about restating the obvious.

  7. Gabriel Hanna

    @Holly:

    Ever heard of nylon-eating bacteria? They evolved in the wild after the invention of nylon. This evolution was duplicated in the lab by giving bacteria that couldn’t eat nylon, nothing to eat but nylon.

    From the creationist perspective: why would God suddenly create bacteria that can eat nylon, and then why would he do it AGAIN in an evolutionist’s lab? Is he trying to make people believe in evolution?

  8. @ Gabriel Hanna: But it is still a bacteria, right? I’m not denying that genes mutate. We see micro evolution of species within a kind all the time. New dog breeds are created, species change to adapt to their environment, etc. This sort of micro evolution is testable and observable, whereas it is impossible to test and observe whether a lobe-finned fish actually mutated into an amphibian. Science can use its tools to develop hypotheses based on what is known or suspected at a given time, but as anyone familiar with the scientific method can tell you, it must be tested and observed before a conclusion can be made. But we have yet to see an example of genetic mutation that results in an increase in the information it contains. In fact, we see now that the further mutated the gene becomes, and the further it is removed from the original (such as the case with dog breeds), there is actually evidence of a decrease in the information in the genome.

    I realize I am discussing this amongst people who will never see my argument as valid simply because it involves God. My point was simply that the argument for creationism and the evidence presented should not be discounted simply because of the media by which it was published.

    Furthermore, science is not the only way to comfirm or deny something. And I agree that the existence of God can never be verified by scientific means because he is beyond the contraints of time, space and matter by which science is bound. There are things beyond what we can observe.

  9. Holly, it’s amusing to have you visit, and you’re very polite, but we really don’t debate with creationists here. If you want to participate in our discussions, that’s fine. If you have some specific questions — and not some ancient and absurd clunker like “Why are there still monkeys?” we’ll try to respond. But please don’t try to tell us about science. Okay?

  10. I realize I am discussing this amongst people who will never see my argument as valid simply because it involves God.

    You have no more evidence for that accusation as you have for creationism. You’re simply repeating the dishonest claims given to you by people who do not look at science with intellectual honesty.

    Why do you lack any sort of guilt over making accusations for which you have no evidence? I know that I would be appalled at myself if I did so.

  11. Anyone who wants to “challenge” “Darwinists” is cordially invited to Talk.Origins.

  12. Holly wrote:

    I realize I am discussing this amongst people who will never see my argument as valid simply because it involves God.

    No, Holly, you’re wrong.

    I do not see your argument because it is devoid of knowledge. Learn something then come back.

  13. Gabriel Hanna

    @Holly: Even creationists admit that 1 + 1 = 2. But how can you add one to itself 1o million times and get 10 million? That’s totally impossible and absurd. I refuse to believe it until I see someone add up 1 + 1 + 1… 10 million times.

    That’s exactly the argument you are making against so-called macroevolution, which is nothing more than the sum of bezillions of microevolutions.

    Have you really never heard the counterargument? Do you really think that “no one has ever seen macroevolution” is some kind of knock-down arguments that the scientists have no answer for? Why would you come here and make it when we’ve all heard it a million times?

    It tells us that you have never bothered to learn anything about evolution except from other creationists–who either lie about it or repeat lies they’ve heard. You’ve clearly never put any effort into learning the other side of the debate.

    TalkOrigins has an exhaustive index of creationist arguments with their debunkings. Some of these arguments are in their second century. Come back with one that’s not on the list.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

    Why you’ll be telling us about the Second Law of Thermodynamics next.

  14. @ Frank: I’ve been there. It actually reinforces my position on a lot of issues.

    @Doc Bill: Learn something? How about this: amino acids will not link together in nature to create proteins, which are the building blocks of DNA. Even when scientists give it the most ideal situation, it just won’t happen. The informational code found in DNA is too complex for the amino acids to just randomly assemble and they lack the ability to link spontaneously. Even to form a simple single celled organism. The only way that DNA can be reproduced is through living cells. Science has tested and observed this, so it is fact. Therefore, how could life start from nonliving matter? It makes absolutely no sense. And where are the examples of genetic mutations resulting in an increase in the information contained in the DNA? If evolution is still occurring, certainly there must be evidence of that somewhere? So where is it? The only “evidence” of evolution is an hypothesis based on conjecture.

  15. Is everybody getting tired of Holly? There’s no real entertainment value here, so how much longer should this continue?

  16. Gabriel Hanna

    @Holly: And where are the examples of genetic mutations resulting in an increase in the information contained in the DNA?

    I gave you one already, the nylon-eating bacteria, which you dismissed because they were still bacteria. The scientific literature is full of such instances of new information, and people like David Klinghoffer, who are paid creationists, said exactly what you did–“it’s still a fruit fly”.

  17. Gabriel Hanna

    @Holly: Here’s the link to the new information created in the genome and Klinghoffer’s dismissal of it. When you lose the argument, just move the goalposts…

    https://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/klinghoffer-but-theyre-still-fruit-flies/

  18. Great, Holly, you apparently don’t even know the difference between evolution and abiogenesis, nor anything except creationist distortions of both.

    There’s a whole web offering you learning, Talkorigins.org being one of the better ones. Go and learn something other than pathetic misrepresentations, and don’t try to lecture those who actually understand science. We’re not dumb enough to fall for uneducated nonsense.

    And yes, SC, she’s not even an interesting in her ignorance.

  19. Gabriel Hanna

    SC, it’s your banhammer, I don’t presume to tell you what to do with it. If Holly wants to try learn something I would let her, but she would prefer to tell us the same things her grandfather’s generation was telling us, which were wrong even then.

  20. Gabriel Hanna

    @Holly: New information in the fruit fly genome:

    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/new-genes-arise-quickly/

    What the authors did was compare whole-genome sequences between various species of Drosophila (there are now many of these) to see how often new genes appeared in one lineage: the lineage that diverged from the ancestors of D. willistoni to become D. melanogaster. The divergence between these two lineages is 35 million years, but by comparing the genomes of other species that branched off these two branches, they could estimate how often new genes arise over the entire period from 3 million to 35 million years ago.

    What do they mean by “new genes”? These are genes in D. melanogaster that aren’t found in D. willistoni, but have arisen since their divergence by several processes—most often the duplication of an ancestral gene or its RNA followed by extensive genetic divergence, so that the gene acquires a brand new function. (This process accounts for about 90% of the new genes. Some genes, however, are so different between the species that how they arose is a mystery.) These “new genes,” then, would qualify as what Behe calls “gain-of-FCT” adaptive mutations (“FCT” = functional coded element): the kind of mutations that Behe did not see arising in short-term lab experiments on bacteria and viruses.

    Chen et al. found that a surprisingly large number of genes had arisen in the D. melanogaster lineage over this 35-myr period.

  21. Ohhh, I missed some of the fun.
    I saw a new commenter and thought, nice SC’s getting more readers. Then I started to read. She was polite.

    But like Glen responded, you weren’t dismissing her for including god, but for excluding evidence.
    And she seemed so nice. Probably one of Behe’s students.

  22. Lynn Wilhelm says:

    And she seemed so nice. Probably one of Behe’s students.

    More likely one of Dembski’s. He gives class credit for creationist posts to science blogs.

  23. Making comments related to my education, intelligence, or lack thereof is not an effective way to win the argument. I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, I’m just pointing out that there is more to this story than we will every know and the hypothesis of evolution is not a sealed and shut case, and neither is creationism. Neither have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, and therefore the evidence still needs to be examined. But at least I’m not claiming that I know all the answers when I don’t. The original post is attempting to discredit scientific evidence for creationism based on the fact that the peer reviewed journals it was published in are subpar. My point is that the media publishing the evidence does not make it untrue, the evidence must be evaluated on its own merit. It seems to me like an attempt to squash any viewpoint or discovery that might put more holes in the theory of evolution. Lord knows there are already so many, so why not hurry up and fill the holes before they try to spread? Evolutionists demand evidence from creationists, but when it is presented they do what ever they can to either discount it or bury it.

    You all seem to be under the assumption that I have never studied the “facts” of evolution, and I have. Have you every really studied the ideas behind creationism? I used to be an evolutionist, by the way, but when I realized that the “evidence” asks more questions than it answered I changed my viewpoint.

    You think I’m a simple-minded uninformed and uneducated idiot. I would say the same of most of you for thinking that all there is to existence is what you can put under a microscope. But that’s the beauty of the free will that our Creator has given us: we are each entitled to our own thoughts opinions. So we’ll just leave it at that. But one more thing…if evolution explains our physical existence, where did our thoughts, free will and intelligence come from? Ok, so I’ll leave it that.

  24. I know it’s late but this is too rich!

    I was mean to Holly, my bad, by commenting in a non-accommodating way that her opinions were not facts, thus trumping the persecution card she tried to play.

    Then to prove my point, game, set and match, Holly wrote:

    @Doc Bill: Learn something? How about this: amino acids will not link together in nature to create proteins, which are the building blocks of DNA.

    “Proteins are the building blocks of DNA.”

    Where do you start with something like this? Fifth grade?

    But, you protest, poor Holly, what does it matter if she doesn’t know a nucleotide from a peptide? Where’s the harm?

    Sure, what’s the harm in not understanding why we vaccinate children. Sure, what’s the harm in continuing to believe a fraudulent study supporting a link between “chemicals” and autism. Sure, what’s the harm in believing demons cause disease. Sure, what’s the harm in raising a generation of dolts and morons as Holly’s ignorant cousins are trying to do here in Texas and elsewhere.

    The lesson of “Holly” is that she’s not just making a fool of herself on a comment thread, but she’s running boards of education, she’s in the legislature, she’s harassing teachers and she’s spreading misinformation (with friends like the hot genius Jenny McCarthy) that causes outbreaks of disease and death. Holly is Ignorance and she’s more dangerous than she seems.

  25. Holly: “@ Frank: I’ve been there. It actually reinforces my position on a lot of issues. ”

    Unless you used a different name or just lurked, I don’t recall you from my 10 years there. I am very interested in your position, and being a theist I will not critizize your belief in God. You can ignore those that do.

    Most anti-evolution sites (e.g. Uncommon Descent) do not allow criticism from the pro-science side, so the pro-science side deserves some too, and this is one. At TO you can challenge other “kinds” of evolution denier too if you so desire (alas, amost no evolution denier does).

  26. Work late just one time and see what happens? Late to the party again! I knew something was going on when I saw a large number of comments.
    SC, yes, this is your website, but how often are we going to get the opportunity to debate with a (possible? probable?) creationist who is as polite as she was? Personally, I was getting a lot out of the debate because, frankly, there’s something about reading her comments on micro / macro, “there’s evidence for both sides”, etc, that hearing it from someone such as her really drove home, how ingrained, how absolutely it seems to have become her reality. It told me in a way that just reading it on the DI or ICR or any of those other websites just doesn’t do.
    Or she just doesn’t like conflict and wants both sides to just “get along”.

  27. Holly certainly appears to be trolling for credit, using a predictable sequence of cookie-cutter arguments that have long been refuted. It was another “Holly” in the SciAm forums that first got me active in the controversy a few year ago. The outrageous falsehoods and deceitful arguments were just too much to ignore, so I jumped into the discussion. I wonder if someone will read these comments today and make a similar decision.

  28. Gary says:

    … how often are we going to get the opportunity to debate with a (possible? probable?) creationist who is as polite as she was?

    She started out polite, so I let her run for a while. But that’s always a mistake. They’re all the same, really.

  29. Gary: “Or she just doesn’t like conflict and wants both sides to just “get along”.”

    She writes well enough (checked with this tool), but her arguments are just those we have come to expect, and have long since refuted. It such a cookie-cutter approach I have to suspect she cribbed it from some AIG. ***yawn***

  30. Just a reminder that all the same arguments bashing evolution are still out there despite being debunked (by legit science) thousands of times. It’s that fingers in the ears -“lalalala I can’t hear you” thing.

    Greg Laden and Panda’s Thumb have posts about the 1981 Miller-Morris debate. The arguments on the creationist side haven’t changed much at all, but the evolution side has so much more ammunition debunking those old arguments. Check out PT here: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2011/01/the-1981-miller.html

    Holly, if you are still there, check it out, listen to the debate and see why your arguments aren’t highly regarded here. The same old arguments against evolution have been recycled over and over (for more than 30 years). There’s never any new evidence from creationists. You have been given a lot of sources here. I don’t know where you got your education as a “evolutionist”, but it was definitely lacking (or you didn’t pay attention).

    And, SC, confused Behe and Dumbski… don’t know how I did that.

  31. Lynn Wilhelm says:

    The same old arguments against evolution have been recycled over and over (for more than 30 years).

    Much longer than 30 years. This is from 1925: The Evolution of Man Scientifically Disproved.

  32. Benjamin Franklin

    Doc Bill said;

    I do not see your argument because it is devoid of knowledge. Learn something then come back.

    Why do ‘void’ and ‘devoid’ both mean the same thing?

    On another note, I took the time to read Holly’s blog, and I see the problem as most have surmised, that Holly apparently has not read much, if any, strong, factual, comprehensible material regarding science and the scientific method.

    She is a single mom with 2 daughters, studying to get her AA. Her recent divorce no doubt threw her into a heretofore unknown world of new responsibilities and new challenges, financially, socially, and sexually.

    Unable to cope, she seeks solace with her comforting pastor, who speaks to her of the wonders of irreducible complexity, Pascal’s Wager, and Logos.

    I am moved to take young Holly under my wing. I shall forthwith correspond to her via her blog, proffering gifts of “Finding Darwin’s God”, and slowly progressing to letting her check out my Inner Fish.

    I live to educate, and if at all possible, generate a hot new reality show.

  33. Ben said

    I live to educate, and if at all possible, generate a hot new reality show.

    Cad.

  34. Benjamin Franklin says:

    I am moved to take young Holly under my wing.

    A worthy project. You have my Curmudgeonly blessing.

  35. retiredsciguy

    I wrote this as a comment on the “Theocratic Terrorism in the Classroom” post of 4 Jan, but it would seem to apply well to Holly:
    “(T)here’s a lot of ignorance out there, and there are some folks who hold to their ignorance with a passion, and don’t take kindly to our well-meaning attempts to enlighten them. ”
    Now, Holly is certainly not unintelligent; she writes well. But she does seem to be ignorant of the methods of science and the workings of evolution, confusing the origin of life with the origins of new species. She seems to be especially ignorant of paleontology.
    Click on her avatar and we find that she describes herself as a Christian. She must think that this requires her to reject science. I don’t know if there is a scriptural basis for this notion, but it certainly appears to be widespread.

  36. I’m late to the party, but scanning the posts, good job all. Many very substantive replies, giving specific examples of processes Holly said can’t or don’t happen, and which she then ignored completely in favor of doing the concern troll dance.

    Although I’m surprised that in response to the “no new information produced” claim, no one mentioned gene duplication. Under every definition of information I know, XX contains more information than X. Biologically it certainly contains new information, as the number of repeats of a sequence typically control the amount of a protein produced. Replacing X with XX in the genome is like a cooking recipe that replaces “Add 1 cup, then…” with “Add 1 cup, then add 1 cup, then…”

  37. Benjamin Franklin: “I shall forthwith correspond to her via her blog, proffering gifts of ‘Finding Darwin’s God’, …”

    FDG is probably the best book to recommend to those who have (1) fallen for the long-refuted arguments against evolution, and (2) who demonstrate that their real objection to evolution is an insecure need to find God. If they read that book and still rave about pseudoscience peddlers like Behe and Dembski instead of Miller (a devout Christian who refuses to bear false witness), then they are either hopelessly compartmentalized or in on the scam.

  38. Gabriel Hanna

    @eric:Biologically it certainly contains new information, as the number of repeats of a sequence typically control the amount of a protein produced.

    This is where you can get confused between “information” in the technical sense and “information” in the colloquial sense and of course people like Dembski play fast and loose with it as it suits them. I think Holly was after “information” in the colloquial sense, and the fruit-flies and the nylon-eating bacteria have that. Two copies of a gene when there was only one isn’t so impressive as an adaptation that allows an organism to do something it couldn’t do before; in both cases of course there is more “information” in the technical sense.

  39. No amount of blog trolling will produce evidence in a peer-reviewed scientific research paper. How one “looks at the evidence” and decides to go with “poof” instead of the data is beyond me, since I’ve never been a religious fundamentalist.

    Back to their publications, though. Alas, I have not had time to look at the papers, but is it fair to say that these are review papers rather than research papers? If so, they fail right out of the gate, since no new evidence is presented in a review article – not putting down review articles, I’ve written a few, but it’s not what they’re made for.

    Scientific colleagues, I would love your thoughts on this.

  40. James F asks:

    … is it fair to say that these are review papers rather than research papers?

    That’s my impression, but it’s only from reading the breathless posts at the Discoveroid blog. “X got mentioned!” and “Y was cited!” and that kind of thing.

  41. Benjamin Franklin

    Alas, young Holly took down her post on evolution/creationism, for undisclosed reasons.

    She did inform me before erasing the post, however, that she is a Young Earth Creationist, who believes in a literal 6 day biblical creation. She suggested that I and others read about creation science at ICR’s website.

    The sad thing about this is that she is convinced that the evidence is stronger for creationism, and that the science and evidence showing evolution is flawed, and in error.

    All I can do is to let my mind conjure up an image of Kent Hovind on one side of a stage spewing his nonsense, and on the other side of the stage, ten thousand biologists, paleontologists, and similarly qualified scientists and researchers teaching, so as to more adequately represent the disparity between knowledge and bulls#1t.

    Adieu, ma petite Holly-jolly. Till you read a book!

  42. Yeah, I just went over there to see if she’d replied to me or Frank and I saw the post inexplicably gone. You think she’s rethinking her position?

    I even read one of her links–the funniest “False Claims Against Creationism”. I wanted to see if she was willing to discuss. I suppose not.

    It is so sad that she is so convinced by such non-arguments, the ones we hear all the time. Maybe she’ll learn.

  43. Review articles. Yes, we’ve all probably written or contributed to one or two. It’s a great way to get a new graduate student involved in a field of study, even if the review is presented internally.

    Meyer’s infamous Bio. Soc. of Washington paper was a review, actually rehashed stuff that he wrote about in 1998 or earlier. (Teh Cambrian exploded, PTL!)

    Dembski is riding Marks’ coattails getting pitiful, insignificant articles published in obscure engineering (tire repair and hair care) journals of which Marks is on the Editorial Board. The thesis of their recent paper was along the lines that it’s quicker to ask someone where the garlic powder is kept, than to wander around, randomly from room to room; blindfolded. Therefore, Darwin was wrong and evolution couldn’t possibly happen, although they don’t explicitly say that in the article, rather, it’s inferred by Junior Scientist and King of the Gerbils, Casey Luskin.

    I must say, it takes cajones of gerbilesque proportions to trumpet that creationists published a “peer-reviewed” article in a journal created by and edited by creationists as Luskin did today. Oh, wait, I forgot about Jason Lisle and AIG. My bad! Maybe that’s the new M.O.

    So, who are these guys trying to kid besides themselves?

  44. Gabriel Hanna

    @Ben Franklin:Adieu, ma petite Holly-jolly.

    http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Fat_Girl_Angle_Shot

    Probably not safe for work, but contains important information on the sorts of photos that are used for avatars.

  45. This is a great video of Richard Dawkins interviewing Wendy Wright. It’s 10 minutes long and you will be amazed at the restraint that Dawkins shows!

    Wendy calls him “closed minded” at the 2:50 mark.

    Science is a religion at 3:50.

    Dawkins hones in on a nerve, strikes it dead center and elicits a nervous, but dismissive laugh, from Wright at 5:50.

    Shortly after is my favorite part. Wright starts to bring up “problems in biology textbooks” and Dawkins cuts her off by saying “You’re going to bring up Haeckel’s drawings” and Wendy says, “No, no, not that” then proceeds to describe EXACTLY Haeckel’s drawings. She has no freaking clue what she’s talking about. None. Just a bunch of sound bites strung together: pig tooth, microevolution, ad hominin, show me the evidence – like a blonde Gish Gallop.

    Although this clip cuts off at 10 minutes, the rest of the interview is Dawkins offering to take Wendy to the museum and see the evidence she claims does not exist and she steadfastly refuses to go. She is not going to look at the evidence because she KNOWS it doesn’t exist. Sad little person she is.

    Enjoy!

  46. Benjamin Franklin: “Alas, young Holly took down her post on evolution/creationism, for undisclosed reasons.

    She did inform me before erasing the post, however, that she is a Young Earth Creationist, who believes in a literal 6 day biblical creation. She suggested that I and others read about creation science at ICR’s website.”

    I can’t help feeling partly responsible, and if I am I do not consider that a “victory.” I politely replied that most of us have read ICR’s material, along with that of all major anti-evolution groups – YECs, OECs, IDers, etc. I noted that science has bent over backwards giving these organizations opportunity to produce results, but they insist on “supporting” their mutually-contradictory “theories” on what they dislike about evolution, not on their own evidence, neither sought nor fabricated (yes, I cited Pope John Paul II) that converges on a coherent alternate explanation. Since she admitted that her objection was theological, not scientific, I also recommended “God After Darwin” by the Christian Theologian John Haught. I can only hope that she will do what she said she would, and read what we recommended instead of just gravitating toward what “feels good.”

  47. Frank J says: “I can’t help feeling partly responsible …”

    It’s my fault. I should have banned her as soon as she showed up and deleted her comment. By letting her stay a while we gained nothing, and neither did she. One day, maybe I’ll learn not to bend the rules.

  48. Doc Bill: “Sad little person she is.”

    You owe me the last 10 minutes of my life. 😉

    My favorite part is where Dawkins predicts that she’ll trot out Haeckel’s embryos, she sais “no” then does just that! But Dawkins gets on my nerves too, by missing numerous opportunities to force her to elabotate on her “theory,” and heaven forbid, support it on something other than parroted sound bites against a caricature of evolution.

  49. Love that Wendy Wright (read: Wrong) video. Nice to see it again. Thanks Doc.

    Now Frank, I think it was me that scared her off. I posted that I looked at the 2nd link she put up and that it showed no evidence. This was after your posts. Mine posted too.

    You’d think she would just get rid of the comments if we scared her or pissed her off. That’s why I hope she’s rethinking her post entirely. On the other hand, maybe she’s just rewriting it.

  50. Frank, do agree that Dawkins went way too easy on her. And people call him shrill and strident.

  51. Frank J:

    Back to their publications, though. Alas, I have not had time to look at the papers, but is it fair to say that these are review papers rather than research papers? If so, they fail right out of the gate, since no new evidence is presented in a review article – not putting down review articles, I’ve written a few, but it’s not what they’re made for.

    So according to the Discoveroids, old papers recombining into review articles DO generate new information, but old genes recombining into new ones DON’T?

    I’m so confused . . .

  52. Cheryl,

    Bravo!

    Doc Bill,

    Thanks, I figured as much. Whenever I’m discussing the subject, I also like to point out that despite all the brouhaha, Stephen Meyer’s paper was a review article. Evidently the latest publication that DI is touting was published by a prolific internet troll. Hey, I give him credit for actually going through the proper channels.

  53. I see a new persecution card being crafted! The creationists will publish obscure articles in obscure journals, THEN when they hold up their pathetic list of pathetic articles in pathetic journals they’ll whine and cry that we’re being mean to them because their journals aren’t Good Enough!

    Oh, the humanity!

  54. Lynn Wilhelm: “That’s why I hope she’s rethinking her post entirely. On the other hand, maybe she’s just rewriting it.”

    Sadly, my experiance has been that, once someone takes the time to write an anti-evolution editorial, they are almost always eyond hope. Either irreversibly consumed by Morton’s Demon, or in on the scam (i.e., privately they know we’re right, but their prior commitment to ‘save the world’ prevents them from ever admitting it). In either case they probably know more than they let on. It’s hard to believe that in all the searching for their material that they haven’t come across Ken Miller’s work.

    Maybe because nowadays almost anyone can run a blog, I still have a tiny bit of hope that Holly is not past the point of no return. Though my money would be on her rewriting the post – with the comments conveniently deleted. Anyone else save copies of theirs?

  55. Doc Bill wrote:

    I see a new persecution card being crafted! The creationists will publish obscure articles in obscure journals, THEN when they hold up their pathetic list of pathetic articles in pathetic journals they’ll whine and cry that we’re being mean to them because their journals aren’t Good Enough!

    Oh, the humanity!

    Yeah, first they complain that there’s a conspiracy to prevent them from getting anything published, then once they squeeze out some minimum publishable unit in a minimum publishable journal, they crow about the vast body of intelligent design research. The problem is, their work hasn’t moved the field one little bit – I guess there’s a big conspiracy to ignore them?

  56. Frank J says:

    Though my money would be on her rewriting the post – with the comments conveniently deleted. Anyone else save copies of theirs?

    Why do you bother? You won’t change her mind, nor those of her fans — she probably has some. It’s probably just as annoying for her to get your comments as it is for us here to get creationist comments. I’d just leave her alone. She’s happy.

  57. D’oh! I missed the party. Bah!

    Probably for the best. That Holly quickly got on my nerves.

    BTW, her gravitar profile says she’s getting her BA in “Christian Studies” from some nowhere school I’ve never heard of that’s probably not even accredited.

    Also, it occurs to me that she states “I used to be an evolutionist” the way Christine O’Donnell states that she “used to be a witch”. Not very convincing.

    Creobots are so predictable.

  58. Curmudgeon: “Why do you bother? You won’t change her mind, nor those of her fans — she probably has some.”

    If I reach one fan it’s worth it. While nearly all peddlers of creationism/ID, including young amateurs like Holly, are beyond hope, most people who uncritically repeat misleading sound bites are not. Even if I just help “convert” one fan to some form of Omphalos (believing YEC or OEC but no longer misrepresenting the evidence), that too is worth the effort. I did that once (with some help from another “Darwinist”).

    My other goal is to get more “Darwinists” to ask more questions about the denier’s “theory” instead of keeping the “debate” always on the denier’s terms. Actually, every creationist PRATT (point refuted 1000 x) is answered here. A link, plus a few additional comments (we don’t want to appear lazy) is all that’s needed. Any more just gives them more stuff to misrepresent. But when we keep the focus on details of their theory, most of them run like hell.

    That said, I am not recommending that you make this a “debate” site. As I said several times, “creationists” have sites where disagreement is banned, so their critics are entitled to one too.

  59. Frank J says:

    I am not recommending that you make this a “debate” site.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to do so if there were anything to debate. You’ll note how we all had a good time with Jason’s instant starlight, because — to the surprise of many of us — there actually is something unresolved about the speed of light. But that’s not the case with creationism.

    Creationism is nothing but a widespread mental health problem (or psychological disorder, or something of that nature), and it’s not what I care to deal with — except at the political level.

  60. I am a fool. I don’t know who is still following this, but I checked Holly’s site today. She put her post back up (with our comments) and added a new one about the experience she had here. She does everything but call us poopyheads and dicks. http://writerinspire.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/the-foolish-and-the-wise/

    I read it and commented. I spent waaaay too much time formulating a response illustrating her misinformation about us and her comments. I used several quotes and even a link. Then hit “post”. Nothing showed up. Nada. Maybe it’s in moderation maybe she turned it on). Idiot me didn’t even copy my comment first. All that work!!

    I’m spending way too much time on this, it started so innocently.

  61. Lynn Wilhelm says:

    She does everything but call us poopyheads and dicks.

    No need. We can do that for ourselves. Hey, just let it go. It’s all my fault for letting her post here.

  62. Don’t blame yourself. I’m just such a sucker for an arugument.

  63. @Lynn: Nope. Just read her post myself. Your comment does not appear. Probably went into the Big Bit Bucket in the Sky. I have to say that’s hypocritical. While SC may have shut her out, he didn’t delete her comments once they were posted.
    @Holly: Yeah, I know you’re coming back here occasionally to see how we pompous, overly-educated (though I only have a bachelors degree, just like you) trolls are doing. We’re doing fine, thanks for asking. Now, go back to your blog and post Lynn’s comment, if you have the courage.

  64. I’ve pretty much left this stuff alone since the first day. But at this point it seems worthwhile to point out how predictably this all turned out, given Holly’s initial posts which were loaded with blame for the science side. Already by her second comment she’s calling us close-minded bigots who are simply opposed to God.

    People like that are not the slightest bit open to reasoned discussion. They don’t know us, yet they condemn us with familiar religious presuppositions–IOW, extreme prejudice. We’re wrong simply because we don’t accept her point of view, never mind that she can’t respond to our legitimate responses. Indeed, in her blogpost at her site she accuses us of not responding to her “points,” when we actually did, despite the fact that she didn’t have anything but old tripe.

    She seems to have no notion of what intellectual honesty even is. Her final post on this thread accuses us of questioning her intelligence, which I believe never happened at all (and if it did, it was the exception). Her near-total lack of knowledge of biology and evolution was pointed out, of course, and was completely legitimate.

    She’s run off proudly claiming to be a martyr–and failing to link to the evidence of her martyrdom. Even she seems to know on some level that she lost, rather than was ill-treated, as she claims. She censors, she blames, she accuses falsely–it’s all too much the expected response from creationists.

    She’s going to graduate with a BA in Christian Studies from a Bible college. She knows essentially no science, and smugly accuses those who do of not being unwilling to study creationism–and of the bias that she so richly examples. I most certainly have (one reason her ancient tripe is so galling–do they never learn more than the most useless lies?), as have many of the rest of us. But pseudoscience really has nothing except dishonesty regarding their opponents as weapons, so it is not the slightest bit surprising that she quickly moved from a feigned even-handedness to false accusations, and has stayed there ever since.

  65. Glen Davidson says:

    Already by her second comment she’s calling us close-minded bigots who are simply opposed to God.

    The irony is that this is one of the rare science blogs that doesn’t make a big deal about bashing religion or pushing atheism. I routinely have good words for denominations that accept science. But merely advocating science is satanic enough for the typical creationist. That’s one of many reasons why I should never let them run loose here.

  66. Gabriel Hanna

    I’m kind of surprised that she took so much umbrage at the Fat Girl Angle and didn’t say ANYTHING about Ben Franklin’s post.

    Let’s clear it up, I’m not insinuating that Holly is fat, just saying that since the development of the Fat Girl Angle it’s impossible to judge petiteness or the lack thereof from avatar photos. Almost all fat girls use the Fat Girl Angle, but plenty of non-fat girls do too.

  67. Gabriel Hanna

    Some of the discussion is still here:

    http://writerinspire.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/the-battle-of-myths-creation-vs-evolution/#comments

    Or is it a different one?

  68. Holly “Examining the data for a basis of validity is not the same as accepting the data on blind faith. This statement does not state, nor imply, that Christians are to refuse examination of claimed evidence. But once the evidence is found to be contradictory to the scriptural record it is invalid.”

    Seem you should give up, since the latest reply she has bluntly stated she will ignore any evidence that contradicts her view of the bible.

  69. I suppose I shouldn’t belabor this, as we know that Holly isn’t interesting in thinking things through–and there probably aren’t many creationist lurkers who are. But I went off and read McGrath’s speech to which Holly refers the reader as “further reading,” and found that McGrath isn’t in the slightest favoring her anti-intellectualism and dishonest accusations against honest science and scientists. Her delusional and false accusations, leading up to her recommendation to read McGrath:

    But the scientific community continues to attempt to cover their nakedness with the leaves of this tree, in spite of the fact that in all their desperation to hide God and to hide from Him, the accumulation of all their knowledge amounts to foolishness in light of the wisdom of Truth.

    For further reading: The God Delusion? The rationality of faith– presented by Professor Alister E. McGrath on November 12, 2009 at The Drawbridge Lecture of the Christian Evidence Society

    http://writerinspire.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/the-foolish-and-the-wise/#more-150

    But McGrath favorably discusses Darwin’s methods and results, then begins to make his case for God purportedly on grounds similar to Darwin’s successful methods, prefacing that argument with:

    Darwin’s scientific method helps us to identify the core criteria for the “rationality” of a scientific theory. We could summarize these in the form of two questions.

    1. What is the evidence for believing that this theory is true? In other words, what observations or considerations lead us to propose a specific theory in the first place?
    2. How good is the theory at accommodating what is actually observed in the world? How good is the “empirical fit” between theory and observation?

    http://www.christianevidencesociety.org.uk/UserFiles/File/ces_2009_drawbridge_lecture.pdf

    Now don’t get me wrong, I am not endorsing McGrath’s apologetic, nor his reliance upon C.S. Lewis (who also accepted evolution, btw) and the latter’s unexamined Platonic beliefs. However, I am not one who would claim that evolution is necessarily incompatible with Christianity (on what authority could one claim otherwise?), and at the very least I do not fault the attempt to believe in both, as McGrath evidently does.

    This misuse of a source is, of course, all-too familiar to us, and clearly belies Holly’s false accusations that people don’t accept her intellectually dishonest drivel simply because they’re atheists. McGrath endorses Darwin and his methods, all the while arguing against “New Atheists” such as Hitchens.

    It’s really quite appalling that she would suggest anything else, but one presumes that the best excuse that Holly has is that she is so thoroughly drenched in intellectual dishonesty that she couldn’t hope to understand our measured responses here, nor even McGrath when she nonetheless uses his approach (without any recognition of his acceptance of Darwin and his methods) and recommends him for “further reading.” Further reading of McGrath strips her mindless tripe even more bare than it already was.

  70. SC says: The irony is that this is one of the rare science blogs that doesn’t make a big deal about bashing religion or pushing atheism.

    And I thank you for that. There are other science blogs I’d like to read, but although I have thick skin and a firm faith, I’m just not interested in wading through faith bashing to get to the “meat,” especially when I’m reading to learn something. Here, IMO, is a safe place to read and learn. OK, so sometimes when you all are discussing Lisle’s Starlight, I only understand every 4th word, but it’s still fascinating. and when I do make a comment, nobody is rude to me. Holly might do well to broaden her horizons.

  71. Ellie says: “There are other science blogs I’d like to read, but …”

    Most of us have seen lots of blogs and forums, and far too many of them seem to tolerate just about anything. I guess it’s good for traffic. I don’t care. I don’t want this blog to be something I’d be embarrassed to admit is mine.

  72. When Holly has done the hard work of actually learning the science, then I might be willing to listen. Until then, I’ve not got the patience.

  73. For fun I left this comment, and it showed up immediately:

    Holly: “But once the evidence is found to be contradictory to the scriptural record it is invalid.”

    Anti-evolutionist Michael Behe (surely you know him from his “stellar” performance at Dover) disagrees. Take it up with him.

  74. Glen Davidson” Now don’t get me wrong, I am not endorsing McGrath’s apologetic, nor his reliance upon C.S. Lewis (who also accepted evolution, btw).”

    I have heard that before about Lewis, and checked for myself. From what I can tell, he would not be a fan of today’s creationism or ID. But you would never know that from creationists, who love to quote Lewis, and other theistic evolutionists who are either dead or not able to defend themselves (e.g. Popes) against misrepresentation. This is probably the sleasiest creationist tactic of all. I will give Holly the benefit of the doubt that she is still doing it “innocently,” i.e. just uncritically repeating what “feels good,” but sadly I think it won’t be long before she does it deliberately.

  75. Update: I just noticed that my comments on Holly’s site are awaiting moderation. I could not resist one more:

    Pope John Paul II may not have examined all the data himself, but he listened carefully to both scientists and creationists. I think he was smart enough to know when someone was trying to deceive him, even if for a noble cause, And it was not the scientists. The late Pope’s conclusion was that there was a “convergence, neither sought nor fabricated” of independently obtained results that support evolution (old life, common descent, etc.). The only way to “support” YEC is to play favorites with the evidence. And it’s not just “evolutionists,” but other “kinds” of creationist who admit that. And from your last comment, you apparently agree!

  76. Sorry Frank, I didn’t see your comment. But I did see this comment from Holly on the first post:

    NOTE: comments to this blog are now being moderated. I will not approve any comments that demand that I learn science, or insinuate that I am “misguided.” I have answered all questions in my original post and in the follow up comments.

    If you have something intelligent and worthwhile to add to the conversation, please do comment.

    I’m really done now. Off to better things.

  77. Yes Lynn, the overwhelming problem in her attacks on science, her near-total ignorance of it (note that one of her sources for “further reading” gives both sides–in an extremely biased manner, which probably tells you plenty about all of her “study of evolution”–likely used little other than pseudoscientific sources), is off the table for discussion. We either accept her defective claims, or we’re disallowed.

    She is a vocal creationist, with all of the ignorance and severe prejudice that entails (with only a very few exceptions).

  78. With her Jan 8 and Jan 9 comments she chased away any “fence-sitter” readers who might have found her initial anti-evolution sound bites persuasive. She is clearly targeting an audience that not only agrees with her particular interpretation of scripture – one of several mutually contradictory ones – but also firmly agrees that it’s OK to pick and choose evidence to support their pre-held conclusion. Even many committed evolution deniers disagree with her conclusions and/or approach, and thus will quietly lose interest.

    To keep readership up I predict that she will concentrate on topics other than evolution.