Saturday, February 09, 2013

IDiot Quote of the Day

This is for all of you who really miss Saturday morning cartoons. It's from a post by David Klinghoffer who is upset about the way some people are treating Thomas Nagel [New York Times on Thomas Nagel's "Dangerous Sympathy for Intelligent Design"].
One of the take-aways here is not only the progress ID is making in scientific and general culture, but specifically among liberal thinkers. That makes it a lot harder to pigeonhole us in time-honored Darwinian fashion as right-wing Christian fundamentalists, creationists and the like. This may be the chief source of outrage from the Darwin community. Deprived of that old crutch, these guys will be forced to argue with us and explain in detail why ID, not creationism yet again, is wrong. Of course that's something that most have stubbornly, and tellingly, refused to do.
I have been arguing with these IDiots for over twenty years. They stubbornly, and tellingly, refuse to listen. Isn't that strange?


  1. And when you do respond, you get accused of "stalking" or being a "parasite" or worse. You can't win. These guys are fundamentally dishonest at the most basic level.

    1. Really? Just because you really want to believe in something they are exposing as being a myth? Well, that is one good argument... Bring on some more!!!

  2. You really take delight in calling people names, don't you? Especially those who don't agree with you, or make you look like a DEvoLUSIONIST??? ;)

    1. Well it wouldn't make much sense to call people names with whom you happen to agree.


      You need something snappier, a bit easier to type.


      You're right, bonehead.

  3. Progress ID is making?? Last time I checked, there were zero publications supporting ID, which probably has something to do with the fact that they have proposed zero testable hypotheses.

    Explain why ID is wrong?? When will they ever give us a reason (evidence, that is) to think that it is right?

    1. Matt G Wrote "Progress ID is making?? Last time I checked, there were zero publications supporting ID, which probably has something to do with the fact that they have proposed zero testable hypotheses"

      They must have learned this from DEvoLUSIONISTS, who neither provided them with testable theories or ideas for the biochemical evolution, nor for macro-evolution. As Craig Venter says: " ...The theory behind theory is that you come up with truly testable ideas. Otherwise it's no different than faith. It might as well be a religion if there's no evidence for it." So...What makes you better than the supporters of ID?

    2. Read "A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry". Douglas L. Theobald Nature, 465, 219–222 (13 May 2010)


      Universal common ancestry (UCA) is a central pillar of modern evolutionary theory1. As first suggested by Darwin2, the theory of UCA posits that all extant terrestrial organisms share a common genetic heritage, each being the genealogical descendant of a single species from the distant past3, 4, 5, 6. The classic evidence for UCA, although massive, is largely restricted to ‘local’ common ancestry—for example, of specific phyla rather than the entirety of life—and has yet to fully integrate the recent advances from modern phylogenetics and probability theory. Although UCA is widely assumed, it has rarely been subjected to formal quantitative testing7, 8, 9, 10, and this has led to critical commentary emphasizing the intrinsic technical difficulties in empirically evaluating a theory of such broad scope1, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Furthermore, several researchers have proposed that early life was characterized by rampant horizontal gene transfer, leading some to question the monophyly of life11, 14, 15. Here I provide the first, to my knowledge, formal, fundamental test of UCA, without assuming that sequence similarity implies genetic kinship. I test UCA by applying model selection theory5, 16, 17 to molecular phylogenies, focusing on a set of ubiquitously conserved proteins that are proposed to be orthologous. Among a wide range of biological models involving the independent ancestry of major taxonomic groups, the model selection tests are found to overwhelmingly support UCA irrespective of the presence of horizontal gene transfer and symbiotic fusion events. These results provide powerful statistical evidence corroborating the monophyly of all known life.

    3. "Biology and Philosophy
      July 1999, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 331-348
      The Concept of Monophyly: A Speculative Essay
      Malcolm S. Gordon
      Look Inside Get Access
      The concept of monophyly is central to much of modern biology. Despite many efforts over many years, important questions remain unanswered that relate both to the concept itself and to its various applications. This essay focuses primarily on four of these: i) Is it possible to define monophyly operationally, specifically with respect to both the structures of genomes and at the levels of the highest phylogenetic categories (kingdoms, phyla, classes)? ii) May the mosaic and chimeric structures of genomes be sufficiently important factors in phylogeny that situations exist in which the concept may not be applicable? iii) In the history of life on earth were there important groups of organisms that probably had polyphyletic, rather than monophyletic, origins? iv) Does the near universal search for monophyletic origins of clades lead, on occasion, to both undesirable narrowing of acceptable options for development of evolutionary scenarios and sometimes actual omission from consideration of less conventional types of both data and modes of thought, possibly at the expense of biological understanding? Three sections in the essay consider possible answers to these questions: i) A reassessment is made of major features of both the concept and some of its applications. Recent research results make it seem improbable that there could have been single basal forms for many of the highest categories of evolutionary differentiation (kingdoms, phyla, classes). The universal tree of life probably had many roots. Facts contributing to this perception include the phylogenetically widespread occurrences of: horizontal transfers of plasmids, viral genomes, and transposons; multiple genomic duplications; the existence and properties of large numbers of gene families and protein families; multiple symbioses; broad-scale hybridizations; and multiple homoplasys. Next, justifications are reassessed for the application of monophyletic frameworks to two major evolutionary developments usually interpreted as having been monophyletic: ii) the origins of life; and iii) the origins of the vertebrate tetrapods. For both cases polyphyletic hypotheses are suggested as more probable than monophyletic hypotheses. Major conclusions are, as answers to the four questions posed above: probably not, yes, yes, and yes."

      From ID's to DEvoLUTIONISTS with love...

    4. Craig Venter denies common descent, says the tree of life is a joke, and makes a fool out of R. Dawkins who does not know that genetic code is not identical in all living organisms...I wonder who writes his books...?

      I'm sure that many of the DEvoLUSIONISTS on this blog can, have better credentials and means to deny CV... Just prove him wrong...:) Maybe he will go after you...? He's got 100 millions a year to burn... ;)

    5. So you have no reply to analysis that shows best hypothesis to explain extant genetic diversity, even give HGT*, is common descent. Remember, it was you who made the claim that we just assume common descent. I showed you the paper where it is formally tested.

      Instead you are resorting to a Gish-Gallop of misquoting other people's work, misrepresenting them to suit you religious bent. Typical. If you want to have a real conversation, read the paper and get back to me.

      *All that the Venter / Dawkins things was about is whether a "tree" is the best metaphor, versus a "net". This topic has been discussed on this blog (ex. The study above deals with this, but you never read it, did you.

    6. Witton, you're a liar or an idiot.

      Craig Venter denies common descent, says the tree of life is a joke...

      That video does not say what you say it says, so you're lying or an idiot. Venter doesn't deny common descent, so the title of this video is another creationist lie. Shocking... I'm shocked.

      Everybody knows there's a lot of HGT among bacteria, not among animals and plants. Animals and plants, eukaryotes still form a tree of life and Venter knows it. He even described the bacteria he found as "deeply branching". "Branching" means Venter knows there's a tree.

      Witton, are you a regular at Uncommon Descent?

    7. Of course Dawkins knows that the genetic code is not *the same* in every lineage. But how 'different' is it? There are about 9 variant codons out of the 64 possible ones, which means 50-odd out of 64 are invariant. There are 17+ different codes, but the differences cluster on different permutations of those 9. Those that vary almost all act, in at least one lineage, as a STOP codon. Which suggests a mechanistic connection between code lability and STOP codons.

      If a set of pieces of text were 55/64ths 'similar' to one another, I'd be saying, as Dawkins does, unanswered by Venter : "That means they are (probably) related .... doesn't it?"

    8. He's got 100 millions a year to burn.

      And that is all there really is to your position.

      Extortion messages delivered via fairy tales.

      With sociopathic smiley faces. How sweet.

    9. And I see that I have misinterpreted your statement, my apologies.

    10. @Diogenes, Allan Miller, TheOtherJim, Steve Oberski:

      I was going to play you for few more days, especially Mr.. bigmouth creepy attitude Diogenes, and then let you have it until you bleed to death...However, professor Moran has done it for me...Too bad he jumped the gun with his new blog... :(

      I was going to have a lot of fun... I still had, but not as much as I was intending to... Well, all you can do now is try to prove professor Moran wrong, who stated: "Everything that Venter says (in the video) is correct."

      So...the logical concussion must be, either professor Moran is a creationist.... Or you don't know the basis of biology??? Take you pick..

      Have a DEvoLUSIONAL day:)

      Love, IDs

    11. @John Witton: You don't get it, do you? "The tree of life" is just an idealised model whose adequacy depends on to what extent inheritance is strictly vertical (from one generation to the next). It works very well for eukaryotes, but if there's a lot of HGT, the structure of relationships between organisms becomes web-like rather than tree-like (and the history of individual genes is not the same as the history of their carriers). It's no problem for universal common descent.

      But then, I know you aren't interested in understanding any of it.

    12. Well, I just know I'm being trolled, but ... did you actually understand my point about the different codes, and the far greater amount of commonality than difference, and the implication of that for Common Descent? I really don't think you did. No-one is obliged to take anything Venter, or Prof Moran, or Dawkins says, or your bizzarely distorted version thereof. There is real scientific data on this, not a guess, and it points clearly to universal common descent. Anyone who thinks otherwise, or thinks someone else thinks otherwise, needs to confront that data, not pick sentences off the interweb.

    13. @Piotr Gasiorowski

      What do you know? You're an English teacher...Have you ever been in a lab? If yes, show me your data from the experiment that proves endosymbiosis of prokaryotic cells to eukaryotic...
      Then will talk... If not, continue in your DEovLUSION ;)

    14. Judging from your lunatic blabbering, it's been a long time since you were anywhere near a classroom where biology was taught, let alone inside a lab. Are you perchance another magic shroom junkie trying to instruct the world how science should be practiced?

      FYI, I'm not an English teacher but a linguist. My particular area of interest is language variation and change. You know, the stuff they call evolution.

    15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    16. @John Witton

      I'm still waiting for you to address my actual point. Even with a "web of life" or a "net of life" (AKA Horizontal Genet Transfer (HGT)), common descent is the best explanation. Please explain your point.

    17. @Piotr
      I knew you have never been to a lab and since linguistics do not require one, all you have is nothing to present...
      BTW: Linguistics means many languages...In how many languages can you explain your blind faith? I'm just curios...

    18. @Piotr
      "FYI, I'm not an English teacher but a linguist. My particular area of interest is language variation and change. You know, the stuff they call evolution."

      In what category of experts on the theme does that put you??? Neither? You might try to test language variations in a test tube and see where it takes you... ;) what a oxymoron or osiol ;)

  4. In their paper Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant three atheistic astrophysicists (Dyson, Kleban, Susskind) found that the odds of the cosmological constant existing the way that science now understands it would have required breaking odds so extreme that it would be considered miraculous. In their words:

    "...arranging the universe as we think it is arranged would have required a miracle..."

    They went on to say that this would mean that "an External AGENT intervened in cosmic history of reasons of its own..."

    Miracles??? Reasons of its own??? Sounds like unguided luck to me... or...?

    I'm sure that one of DEvoLUTIONISTS knows some basic physics and will be able to decode whether the scientists were wrong or the External Agent was... Either way, it will be entertaining...

  5. I'm sure that one of DEvoLUTIONISTS knows some basic physics and will be able to decode whether the scientists were wrong or the External Agent was...

    Well, you pasted little snippets of quotes and you're a creationist, so you probably didn't read it and if you did it, a creationist has the reading comprehension of a limpet.

    So I can't trust the quotes, they might be taken out of context to change their meaning.

    But, you want us to decode whether the scientists were wrong. How many times do I have to say this.

    First of all, if you don't have a grand unified theory, you CANNOT compute the probability of physical constants having a different value. What's the probability of Planck's constant being 10 percent higher? No one knows.

    Secondly, this bullprob calculations multiply together probabilities, which assumes the probabilities are independent. If you DID have a grand unified theory, the probabilities would NOT be independent, they'd be coupled (that's why we call it "unified") so multiplying probabilities is fallacious.

    Thirdly, they make the mud puddle fallacy. They switch the 'adapter' and the 'adaptee', which always gives you astronomically incorrect probabilities. A mud puddle is the 'adapter' that adapts to the ditch it's in, the ditch is the 'adaptee'.

    But if you stupidly assume the ditch's match to the shape of the mud in it is due to a random rearrangement of the Earth, you get an astronomically incorrect probability. If you were smart and assumed the mud puddle's match to the shape of the ditch is due to minimum free energy, you get the right probability.

    Life adapted itself to the physical constants. If you stupidly compute the probability that the physical constants adapted themselves to life, you get an astronomically wrong probability.

    Fourth, God of the Gaps!! What makes you think that an astronomically small probability (which was computed astronomically incorrectly) proves that "a spook did it" is the default hypothesis?

    Who decided that "a spook did it" is the default hypothesis that "wins" every time you trick an uneducated audience into thinking there's no natural explanation, which you got by computing astronomically incorrect probabilities?

    The Cotton Mather logic here.

    1. If there's no natural explanation for a phenomena, default hypothesis is that a spook did it.
    2. My cow died.
    3. I don't know any natural cause for that.
    4. A spook did it.

    You think your error might be in step (1)?

  6. @TheOtherJim
    Go back to the basics and do some reaidind...I'm not going to do any explaining on an idea that is dead. Yeah... you choose to believe in it but that is not my problem...Science has moved on...Even Larry swallowed it and moved on...So why can't you?

    1. I will go slow. Try to focus.

      You said, "They must have learned this from DEvoLUSIONISTS, who neither provided them with testable theories or ideas for the biochemical evolution, nor for macro-evolution."

      I point out that Universal Common Ancestry (a cornerstone of evolutionary theory) is testable, and that someone has tested it, and link to the Theobald paper. In my second comment, I even reminded you of the topic at hand, by saying "Remember, it was you who made the claim that we just assume common descent. I showed you the paper where it is formally tested."

      You then switch topics which metaphor best describes this process. This is a clear abandonment of the topic we were actually discussing. Though it is a fun topic of legitimate debate, it is completely off topic to our discussion.

      Will you retract your "no testable hypothesis" statement?

  7. @Allan Miller

    Didn't mean to be disrespectful but some DEvoLUTIONISTS have distracted me... The problem with the genetic code is that even if it has evolved (like that can be explained by evolutionary terms or laws) it (evolution) in itself does not make any sense ...I'm not in a mood to explain this as very few would get it; or accept it. Look in the literature and I will try to find something that proves my point. Few years ago we did a study on that and we could make any sense of it in an evolutionary sense, so you know what happened?

    This article is no too bad though it does not cover all the problems with the code evolution if that is really possible. If someone claims it is, it's not a Darwinian evolution or any logical process... Well, you be the judge...

  8. Dangerous is a dangerous use of words in targeting people and ideas.
    Its saying its received wisdom of a society that these dangerous ideas are wrong and bad.
    This not from society but from someone imagining their position gives them a boss status.
    I mean the newspapers here quoted.

    Mr Klinghoffer is Jewish and , I think, defending a fellow Jew.
    He isn't a YEC creationist.
    He often stresses this in his writings.
    He simply wants a God with fingerprints on nature as a excellent option or conclusion based on natures evidence.
    He's wrong to run from the creationist tent.
    He gets attention because he touches on peoples ideas of God, maybe Genesis, being revealed or acceptable by natures evidence.
    ID people are believers in God or Christ.
    Evolutionists got a good point about if it looks like a duck.

    The moral and intellectual leadership of creationism and all oppositions to evolution etc etc should be YEC.
    Today its ID that has created the modern revolution that has shook the thinking world.
    The future however must be better managed.
    America was a Yankee Puritan creation despite a Southern angligan upper class intellectual leadership.
    Same thing now.