Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Top Ten Intelligent Design Creationist Stories

 
Denyse O'Leary is one of the best of an excellent group of science journalists.1 When she selects her top ten science stories of 2008 it's time to pay attention, especially since these are stories about Intelligent Design Creationism [The top ten Darwin and Design stories of the year.

Here's the list ...
The Altenberg 16
Atheists and Agnostics Defend ID
Expelled #1 Political Documentary of 2008
Louisiana Academic Freedom Act
Biologic Institute Releases Stylus: A System for Evolutionary Experimentation
A Molecular Clutch Discovered in the Flagella
Royal Society Expels Director of Education
Leading Biologists Marvel at the "Irreducible Complexity" of the Ribosome
Have Cosmologists Lost Their Brains?
Design-based Biomimetics Yields Tangible Results
What a sad list.


1. Not. I wonder what George Johnson thinks of science journalists like Denyse O'Leary?

17 comments :

  1. I'm pretty sure that George Johnson doesn't consider Denyse a "science journalist." Remember, he was dissing blogging scientists/PhD candidates.

    ReplyDelete
  2. She is really a sorry excuse for a journalist, let alone a science journalist. She really never has grasped the concept of presenting both sides in a balanced fair way. I'm most annoyed at her take on the Altenberg 16 - despite Massimo Pigliucci's long article in Skeptical Inquirer (and on his blog) that properly explains what this conference is about (and no, it is not the demise of evolution).

    Of course O'Leary ignores all of that because it doesn't fit in with her preconceived (religiously motivated) ideas. She is such a hack (and a lousy writer too - the majority of her articles have NO POINT and her snarky tone is most unprofessional for a journalist). If this is the best the ID can come up with for one of their prominent spokespersons they really are indeed in a sorry state.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "I wonder what George Johnson thinks of science journalists like Denyse O'Leary?"

    Proabably the same that you may think about your fellow biochemist Michael Behe.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes Ms. O is the Edward R. Murrow of creationist journalism..."I'm here on the roof top of a home in Dover...I can hear the repetitive thump-thump of anti-aircraft guns and shouts by enraged evolutionists echoing around me..." She is neither a journalist nor even a pundit...she's just a blatherer who thinks if you shout a lie long enough it will become the truth.

    Oh, and I've been to Darwin's house and the sand walk several times...I'm sure he is laughing heartily in his grave knowing this blog takes it's name from the place where he worked out the mechanics of evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Here's another couple of headlines for top creationists stories, "Creationists and Intelligent Design Proponents Still Befuddled by why Evolution Hasn't Disappered!" "Despite overwhelming Evidence to Support Evolution, Creationists Contionue to Think "There's Nothing To It!"

    ReplyDelete
  6. Leading Biologists Marvel at the "Irreducible Complexity" of the Ribosome

    Huh? I completely missed that huge story. Maybe it's because I don't get my science news from O'Leary's link farm or other ID outlets.

    Who are these "leading biologists"? What is so irreducibly complex about a ribozyme with four billion years of cruft built up on it?

    ReplyDelete
  7. your fellow biochemist Michael Behe

    LOL. "Behe" ... "biochemist"?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Everybody knows that Behe has made a scientific carreer in biochemistry, He's got a PhD and has published, in Nature, for instance. He now teaches biochemistry at Leigh University, where I guess he's got tenure (if not he would have been kicked out already)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Everybody knows that Behe has made a scientific carreer in biochemistry

    You miss the point. He is not a biochemist. He *was * a biochemist when in grad school and as a postdoc.

    But that was it. All on his own, his output in biochemistry accounted to little more than zilch. I don't know by what miracle he's managed to get a tenure but his pub/citation record is quite pathetic.

    I am guessing that he went "controversial" simply to get away from normal academic pressures afer realizing that he does not have what it take to succeed doing straight science.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Don't be a bad loser. Behe is a biochemist, whether you like it is another matter.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Don't be a bad loser.

    To be a bad loser, you have to be a loser.

    Everybody knows that Behe has made a scientific career in biochemistry, He's got a Ph.D. and has published, in Nature, for instance. He now teaches biochemistry at Leigh University, where I guess he's got tenure (if not he would have been kicked out already)

    Yes, he has a Ph.D. Yes, he has tenure. He has an official disclaimer on his web page at Lehigh stating that everyone else in his department thinks he's a poopy-head (I'm paraphrasing).

    Does he currently teach? Please provide evidence of that. Something like a list of courses taught in the last 5 years would be nice, along with mention of which courses were taught solo and which were shared efforts.

    Has he ever published in Nature? Please provide a full reference. I just checked the Nature archives, and the answer I get is no.

    Having seen Behe's publication record, I feel comfortable in referring to him as a "former scientist."

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Don't be a bad loser. Behe is a biochemist, whether you like it is another matter."

    And you are some sort of paleontologist. Who cares. Behe has demonstrated where his true allegiances lie.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Having seen Behe's publication record, I feel comfortable in referring to him as a "former scientist.""

    It is an interesting phenomenon. Look at the publication record of practially ANY 'professional' creationist/IDist. Upon becoming a creationist/IDist, their research output drops to near zero. Happened to Gonzalez. Happened to Kenyon. Happened to Wells (though his output as a grad student at Berkeley was pretty pathetic to begin with). Etc., etc. Their supposed 'mind-freeing' paradigm seems to stop them in their tracks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes, Behe had a paper in Nature: 293:233-235 (1981) during his postdoc time with Gary Felsenfeld at NIH. It was an incremental advance over their previous hugely influential paper in PNAS (841 citations to date) on B-Z DNA transition.

    But as an independent investigator, Behe failed to produce anything remotely interesting. His most cited paper is "An overabundance of long oligopurine tracts occurs in the genome of simple and complex eukaryotes" in NAR (1995) with 78 citations. It's not experimental, just a look at sequences. And WTF does he mean when he says oligopurine tracts? Where did long oligopyrimidine tracts go?

    Not surprisingly, his next observation (DNA Sequence, 8:375-383 (1998)) is entitled "Tracts of adenosine and cytidine residues in the genomes of prokaryotes and eukaryotes" (2 citations to date).

    What a joke! The record speaks for itself: Behe failed miserably as a biochemist.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Let's just say that the "profoundity" some "scientists by training" is not very impressive, either when they are supporting ID, or when they decide to blame science journalists only for ID.

    ReplyDelete
  16. There was a similar discussion (at Panda's Thumb, IIRC) about whether or not Behe is a "working biochemist." He's employed as tenured faculty at Lehigh, so I can't see how he can be denied that title. Now, is he an actively publishing biochemist? No, not for some time. I suspect that he has no students in his lab and that he teaches in lieu of doing research; even someone working alone at the bench in an academic setting should be able to produce some piece of research in a decade.

    By the by, as far as I can tell the only person in the ID crowd with an academic position who is currenlty publishing any research is Scott Minnich. Anyone know of anyone else?

    And WTF does he mean when he says oligopurine tracts? Where did long oligopyrimidine tracts go?

    They're the same thing, it's just a matter of which DNA strand you use as your point of reference.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes, Behe had a paper in Nature: 293:233-235 (1981) during his postdoc time with Gary Felsenfeld at NIH. It was an incremental advance over their previous hugely influential paper in PNAS (841 citations to date) on B-Z DNA transition.

    OK, I missed those. He was listed as "M. Behe," whereas for later publications he shows up as "M.J. Behe."

    ReplyDelete