Paul Nelson, Evolution, or Design ?

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Paul Nelson, Evolution, or design ? I transcribed it for who is too lazy to see the video, but its worth to watch, a great speech:

Thanks to another reader, I have gotten a copy of McDonald’s actual paper. Reading it, I wonder how many of the Discovery Institute authors have actually read it. How many have just taken what one of their fellows said previously and done what most 10th grade students do for research papers (i.e. change a few words in an attempt to avoid plagiarism).

By adding their own interpretation of the prior authors work (using secondary sources instead of primary sources), quite a bit of error has crept in. I’m sure it’s just a bit of error, we all know that no creationist would say something that wasn’t true, especially if he is quoting an actual scientist’s paper.
No, I can’t do it, that level of sarcasm is too much for me. These people are liars. Either they are directly lying in order to make someone appear to say something that they actually didn’t or they are the worst researchers ever and shouldn’t be allowed to write non-fiction. Which is it creationists?

41 thoughts on “Paul Nelson, Evolution, or Design ?

  1. It’s likely enough to be poofs. You see differences between texts, or genomes, and you can’t make proper inferences as to their causes. It could be miracles, how would you know?

    No, if you can’t depend on physics to be the same for “microevolution” as for “macroevolution,” hence to provide similar evidences, you can hardly fault creationists for deliberately changing texts.

    See, denying the evidence works everywhere. For them, that is.

    Glen Davidson

  2. Well, here’s the interesting bit.

    99.9… percent of all living things do not have a body plan. They are just cells.

    Things that do have body plans, whether plants or animals, do so because they have regulatory networks, which cushion the effects of mutations. As McDonald says in 1974 (and which Wells and Meyer and Denton ignore) is that networks can contain lots of variants, some of which have negligible phenotypic effect, and some of which have major effects.

    Such variations are not variations in proteins (which may result in disease) but variations in such things as color or bone length.

  3. Mung:
    DBB

    Which is a nice example of a quote mine.

    Quote the part of another person’s essay that sets up a problem, then neglect to mention that the original author provides a solution.

  4. To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.

    Clearly the author of that snippet is admitting that the vertebrate eye could not have evolved. Right?

  5. John Harshman:
    To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.

    Clearly the author of that snippet is admitting that the vertebrate eye could not have evolved. Right?

    Sure, so long as you stop the quote right there. How many times have we seen this same quote stopped right there? Hundreds?

  6. That’s the epitome of the ID creationist dishonesty: quote-mining Darwin himself to attack “darwinism”… an all time classic. SMH

  7. Flint: Sure, so long as you stop the quote right there. How many times have we seen this same quote stopped right there? Hundreds?

    That was indeed my point. Too subtle?

  8. John Harshman: Clearly the author of that snippet is admitting that the vertebrate eye could not have evolved. Right?

    You mean you don’t buy that the cell itself is an eyeball?

  9. Mung:
    Is there an argument somewhere in the OP, or just that massive quote-mine?

    Curiously enough, I followed the link, which went to a pretty fascinating and quite detailed discussion of what McDonald actually wrote, and how bits of what he wrote were extracted to have him saying the exact opposite of what he actually said. McDonald presents what he calls the Darwinian paradox, and then he solves this paradox very satisfactorily.

    But somehow, for reasons I’m sure you understand better than I, Nelson and others elected not to mention either his solution, or even the fact that he solved the paradox.

    I don’t know why petrushka chose that particular passage out of this long discussion, but it does not misrepresent what is being said at all, and the link is right there for you to follow.

    And in case you happen to miss it, the point is that creationists lie. Their presentation of McDonald’s work is lies from start to finish. And again, I’m sure you understand better than I why this is so unvaryingly necessary.

  10. Don’t get me wrong. I do love a good quote-mine!

    …some of the major transitions in evolution remain to a large extent refractory to comparative-genomic evolutionary reconstruction because of the apparent abruptness of these transitions: In these cases, few or no clues as to the nature of the intermediate stages remain.

    It’s true.

  11. Mung:
    Is there an argument somewhere in the OP, or just that massive quote-mine?

    To be a quote mine it would have to misrepresent the intended meaning of the source.

  12. First, in case anyone feels inclined to think otherwise, Behe cited his source. It wasn’t some carefully guarded secret.

    McDonald, J.F. (1983) “The Molecular Basis of Adaptation” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 14, 93.

    Folks have had more than enough time to check the source material. Behe wrote DBB some twenty years ago. Did some long-time critic of Behe finally getting around to actually reading the book?

  13. Mung:
    Don’t get me wrong. I do love a good quote-mine!
    It’s true.

    What’s true? That you have quote mined Koonin and left out the later expressions of optimism?

  14. Mung:
    First, in case anyone feels inclined to think otherwise, Behe cited his source. It wasn’t some carefully guarded secret.
    McDonald, J.F. (1983) “The Molecular Basis of Adaptation” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 14, 93.
    Folks have had more than enough time to check the source material. Behe wrote DBB some twenty years ago. Did some long-time critic of Behe finally getting around to actually reading the book?

    No. It got well deserved bad reviews almost immediately.

  15. petrushka: That you have quote mined Koonin and left out the later expressions of optimism?

    Is this what you mean by optimism?

    Transitional forms have not (yet) been described in any bacterium or archaean or, perhaps even more interestingly, in any “primitive” eukaryotic lineage…

  16. Its up to the accuser to demonstrate the LIAR accusation.
    If the accuser thinks there are options then it undermines the accusation all the more.
    Why so afraid of Nelson??
    Yes he is a good speaker, sharp, and reaches audiences and famous in these subjects.
    Yet why are evos always on the defensive and not the offence?
    HMMMM.
    I think because the more there is public conversation the more unlikely to everyone does old man Darwin ideas seem.
    turning fish into hippos really was a obvious fable however much genetici alchemy one invokes.
    IT just seems silly eh!!
    They just don’t want God to exist and SOMETHING else must be doing the deed.

    Truly it should hurt creationists that evolutionists FEELINGS are going to be hurt in the next years as the curve of dissent increases on the graph of origin ideas.
    Its already gone too far for the curve of dissent to be reversed.
    Thats probability theory if you think about it.

  17. I’m confused. Isn’t that otangelo/grasso’s forum? Why is there a take down on Nelson’s crap? Is someone else posting there?

  18. Mung: petrushka: That you have quote mined Koonin and left out the later expressions of optimism?

    Is this what you mean by optimism?

    Transitional forms have not (yet) been described in any bacterium or archaean or, perhaps even more interestingly, in any “primitive” eukaryotic lineage…

    Would you expect a transition that happened >3 billion years ago to single-celled organisms to leave fossils? Would you expect you’d be able to tell the difference between an acheon, a bacterium and a transitional proto-eukaryote from a 3-billion year old 1-10 micron spherical nodule of kerogen?

    The transitions are known to have taken place from comparative biochemistry and phylogenetics, not from fossils. We’d all like to see an example of a transitional eukaryote, but we never will. We’d all also like to be able to travel back in time and see Jupiter coealesce out of the protoplanetary disc too, but we can’t do that either. Nervertheless we can know it happened without being there to see it ourselves, by testing predictions of models against observations in the here and now.

  19. dazz: I’m confused. Isn’t that otangelo/grasso’s forum? Why is there a take down on Nelson’s crap? Is someone else posting there?

    Otangelo is so blind in his faith I suspect he sometimes doesn’t even read the crap he copy-pastes, it merely has to originated on a website he trusts and he’ll stick it in his personal “library” of apologetics without giving it a second thought.

  20. Larry Moran linked to the transcript. The takedown was an unexpected bonus.

    I prefer transcripts to videos. They save time and can be discussed..

  21. John Harshman:
    To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.

    Clearly the author of that snippet is admitting that the vertebrate eye could not have evolved. Right?

    Clearly the author, nor anyone else, has no clue whether or not it could have evolved via natural selection, drift and neutral construction.

    No one knows how to test the claim that stochastic processes produced any vision system.

  22. Flint: Sure, so long as you stop the quote right there. How many times have we seen this same quote stopped right there? Hundreds?

    It isn’t a quote mine if the author only provides word salad as opposed to evidence to counter the claim. And all Darwin and others have provided is word salad. You don’t have any evidence that stochastic processes can produce a vision system. The concept is untestable.

    But I know that you won’t let that get in your way

  23. Rumraket: Would you expect a transition that happened >3 billion years ago to single-celled organisms to leave fossils?

    Maybe. But it’s hardly relevant, since he’s not talking about fossilized remains

    Would you expect you’d be able to tell the difference between an acheon, a bacterium and a transitional proto-eukaryote from a 3-billion year old 1-10 micron spherical nodule of kerogen?

    You mean as fossils?

  24. Rumraket: The transitions are known to have taken place from comparative biochemistry and phylogenetics…

    This is the exact opposite of what the author actually says. Please try to do better.

  25. Mung,

    This is the exact opposite of what the author actually says.

    Not on my reading. Depends, I guess, what you mean by ‘transition’. But he is talking specifically about the discontinuity between eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea. This is resolved by the fusion hypothesis. The fusion hypothesis is based on continuity between the gene families in the various groups. There is an apparent broad-scale discontinuity because the smaller-scale gene trees root differently. Koonin certainly isn’t saying that comparative biochemistry and phylogenetics have drawn a blank.

  26. Joe Felsenstein: So, apparently you don’t know what a “transtional form” is.

    A transitional form has to exist at a specific time, otherwise it is just a mosaic. So apparently you don’t know what a transitional form is.

  27. Mung,

    Not fossils.

    No, indeed, not fossils. Once again, I find myself groping for your point, despite your crystal clarity.

    Was the bolded part intended to be a link?

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