Thursday, November 21, 2013

What Could Possibly Be Wrong with Putting a Cute Dog on the Cover of Science?

Nothing could be wrong until you realize that Science writer editor Elizabeth ("Liz") Pennisi is behind it. That changes things entirely.

To find out why you have to read Dan Graur's latest at: A Dog on the Cover of @ScienceMagazine: Sins of Omissions.

At some point, the big bosses at Science magazine are going to have to wake up to the fact that they're publishing a lot of bad papers and commentaries. Something is seriously wrong.

David Klinhoffer likes Elizabeth Pennisi: Shooting the Messenger: Elizabeth Pennisi. He says ...
As we frequently hasten to emphasize about daring writers and researchers in science, I have no reason to think Pennisi is a Darwin skeptic much less a proponent of ID. Still, she's a reporter who is open to promoting "evolution heresy." She's unafraid to challenge the old guard. More than once she has stuck her finger in the eye of ancient régime. Now you know why she ticks off guys like Graur and Moran.
Yep. He got that right. Graur and I are definitely part of the old regime and we don't like people who promote evolution heresy ... or their sycophants.


  1. But he cut the quote off early it, for the next sentence reads: "In fact, no ancient dog remains older than ~13,000 years are known from these regions."

    And it's not like they failed to include relevant outgroups.

    "These mtDNA assemblies from ancient canids were compared with complete mitochondrial genome sequences from 49 wolves, 77 dogs, including divergent dog breeds such as Basenji [which I believe is the dog on the cover], and Dingo; three recently published Chinese indigenous dogs; and four coyotes totaling 148 mitochondrial genomes."

    "Critically, none of the modern wolf sequences from other putative centers of origins such as the Middle East or East Asia show close affinity with modern dog clades.

    And of course tree in figure 1 uses sequence from China and Saudi Arabia origins.

    It would be helpful if either you or Dan could go into more depth as to what makes this a shit paper.

  2. I know that Pennisi is not the editor-in-chief and that she is not technically an "editor" at all. This was distracting from the point so I changed it. I'm pretty sure that she chooses which papers to highlight and hype. I'm pretty sure that she has a major say in whether her articles on dark matter and the failures of "Darwinism" get published.

  3. Ignoring Pennisi but getting back to the actual science, what is actually wrong with the paper? There was no omission of data to force their conclusion as insinuated by Graur.

    Also calling yourself "part of the old regime" against "evolution heresy" is a bit rich with your attacks on the Modern Synthesis, no? To someone like Coyne you'd be one of the heretics.


    1. Also calling yourself "part of the old regime" against "evolution heresy" is a bit rich with your attacks on the Modern Synthesis, no? To someone like Coyne you'd be one of the heretics.

      My apologies. I didn't realize that you were irony deficient.

  4. In reality its just a grand presumption that DNA accurately extrapolates back to past lineage origins/separations. If there was other mechanisms for genetic change reflecting biological change then also the DNA would be messed up.
    I see no reason for many breeds of dogs not coming from separate wolf stocks domesticated by different people groups and then DNA change occuring under like mechanical operation. Just like with people.
    Even if DNA was a backwards trail it couldn't be demonstrated except without presumptions of simple DNA changing ideas. Its all speculative.