When he said, "Professor Moran’s view: 22.4 million neutral mutations were what made us human," I concluded that this was so ridiculous that it had to be a deliberate misrepresentation, i.e. a lie.
Later on in the post I admitted that there was another possibility, he may just be stupid and not a liar.
He has now posted an "update" on his original post: Can the neutral theory of evolution explain what makes us human?. Here's what he says ....
UPDATE:Apparently, his misrepresentation of my views was "unintentional" and therefore not a deliberate lie. That means that the second possibility that I raised must be the correct one.
In a recent post dated April 2, 2014, Professor Larry Moran clarifies his position:
At no time have I ever denied that natural selection plays a role in the evolution of humans. It would be ridiculous to do that.As I do not wish to be accused of intentionally misrepresenting Professor Moran’s views, I invite readers to peruse his latest post and judge its merits for themselves. I would also like to apologize for unintentionally misinterpreting his views on human evolution.
The differences in the complexities of chimp and human brains are almost certainly due, in part, to adaptation and fixation of beneficial alleles by natural selection.
I would also remind Professor Moran that when two people whose views on a subject are poles apart try to enter into dialogue, mutual misunderstandings are bound to occur. Accusations of lying are therefore unhelpful.
When Vincent Torley learned about all this new stuff (Neutral Theory and random genetic drift) he apparently convinced himself that modern evolutionary biologists have abandoned natural selection. That's why he made the assumption that I was ignoring adaptation as a explanation for what makes us human.
I'm reminded of a famous quote by Peter Medawar in his review of The Phenomenon of Man by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin,
[He] can be excused of dishonesty only on the grounds that before deceiving others he has taken great pains to deceive himself.That's the sense in which Vincent Torley can be excused of lying.
Torley continues his update ....
I should add that since Professor Moran’s Sandwalk blog is just the click of a mouse button away, it would be senseless for me to try to intentionally misrepresent his views.I agree that it made no sense to misrepresent my views when my blog was just a click away. That was powerful evidence of lying. But apparently I was wrong and "senseless" is the correct explanation after all.
Finally, for the record, I do not regard evolutionary biologists as stupid, as Professor Moran seems to think. I’m quite sure that many of them are a lot more intelligent than I. What I do think is that they, like most human beings, are prone to ideological bias against viewpoints which they find profoundly uncongenial, and that in attempting to discredit these viewpoints, they are liable to be swayed by emotion rather than reason. Intelligent Design is a theory which tends to make hackles rise in scientific circles.Vincent, when you say, "I do not regard evolutionary biologists as stupid," you are coming very close to telling a lie. I simply don't believe you. You wrote a post where you deliberately accused me of ignoring evidence for adaptation in human evolution. You and Sal Cordova has posted several articles where you accuse evolutionary biologists of getting their facts wrong and misunderstanding evolution. It's hard for me to imagine that you think evolutionary biologists are smart when you believe that amateurs like you and Sal can see major flaws in their life's work.
As for "ideological bias," that's also a load of crap. In this latest discussion, I've attempted to teach you and your creationist friends about modern evolutionary theory and how it explains the differences in the genome sequences of chimpanzees and humans. Only a damn fool would see this as an example of "ideological bias." The only reason it came up was because creationists were claiming that these differences could not be explained by evolution.
I'm not denying that scientists can get emotional. I, for one, tend to get very emotional when IDiots keep attacking evolution year after year without ever making any attempt to understand it.
Vincent, let's test your honesty. Considering the two sides of this debate, do you honestly think that evolutionary biologists are more likely—or at least as likely—to be swayed by ideological bias and emotion as the creationists who argue against evolution?