Thursday, April 03, 2014

Vincent Torley apologizes and claims that he is not a liar

I was very upset when Vincent Torley suggested that I attributed all of the evolution of chimpanzees and humans to the fixation of nearly neutral alleles by random genetic drift. He tried to convince his audience that I was rejecting natural selection as a component of that evolution. I corrected him at: Breaking news: Creationist Vincent Torley lies and moves goalposts.

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:
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.

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.
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.

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.
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.

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?


20 comments :

  1. ... you and your creationist fiends...

    If this is unintentional, this is a lovely typo.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think that ". . . 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?" is a test of Torley's judgement, not his honesty. He probably does believe the Intelligent Design creationists are less biased.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Epic.

    You will be shocked to learn that Sneery O'Leary at UD has not tweeted about this exchange with Sal and Torley, in which all UDites have been thoroughly smacked down. O'Leary tweets about everything else-- why not this?

    ReplyDelete
  4. For a creationist fiend Torley seems a little touchy. Perhaps he just molted; a soft-shelled creationist.

    Typical to the species, Torley goes out of his way to disclaim any knowledge about biology and then launches into a detailed exposition chock-full of deliberate misrepresentations.

    Recall that the definition of ID, such as it is, reads "ID holds that some features of biology and the universe are best explained by an intelligent cause, rather than the result of random mutation and natural selection."

    The first part is real fuzzy because it's just totally made up, but the last part, the negative argument against evolution is very precise and that's where most of the IDiots dwell.

    They can't discuss ID because there's nothing to discuss; it's all fiction. But they can try to create fear, uncertainty and doubt about evolution. That's Torley's world.

    So, yeah, Torley's a liar pure and simple. I don't see why he's got his knickers in a twist about it. Perhaps he should buy some big girl panties and embrace his inner creationist. After all, he fraternizes with champions of prevarication. Torley can't have it both ways.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Recall that the definition of ID, such as it is, reads "ID holds that some features of biology and the universe are best explained by an intelligent cause, rather than the result of random mutation and natural selection."

    They often tend to read this in two separate pieces, because the second part ("rather than the result of random mutation and natural selection") leads them to repeatedly pick on every paper written in the spirit of Michael Lynch's work or even by the man himself as if it is rejecting evolution and supporting ID. When in fact panadaptationosm is significantly closer to ID, but they are so unable to develop even a rudimentary understanding of evolution that they just can't grasp that.

    ReplyDelete
  6. So Torley has given up on arguing from evidence, and is instead now resorted to accusing Larry of being a big meany.

    Is this how people are being taught to argue in philosophy school these days?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, when ID creationists are caught lying, by us quoting their actual words, they accuse us of what they call the "principle of malicious reading." "Malicious reading" means that we are so vicious and cruel that we actually read what they write, and quote it accurately, thereby making them look dumb and dishonest.

      Michael Behe, he of "Darwin's Black Box" coined the term "principle of malicious reading" as an accusation when Ken Miller caught Behe lying and perjuring himself on the witness stand at Dover 2005. In "Darwin's Black Box" Behe clearly identified every part of the blood clotting cascade (which is fork-shaped) as being irreducibly complex-- the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways below the "fork" and the pathway beyond the fork. But at Dover 2005, on the witness stand he committed perjury and said that in his book he only said the pathway beyond the fork was irreducibly complex. Ken Miller called him out by quoting his own 1996 book against him, showing that Behe lied under oath. Behe responded by pathetically bleating that Miller had read him uncharitably, that is, Miller had accurately understood and quoted what Behe had actually written. How dare he!

      I used to do this to many UDites like Joe G over at UD, quoting them to show they were contradicting themselves, until they banned me.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, um, no. I surveyed all of Behe's statements about blood-clotting, the overwhelming support Miller's interpretation, not Behe's reduce-the-system-when-playing-defense interpretation: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2009/01/god-of-the-gapsin-your-own-knowledge-luskin-behe-blood-clotting.html

      Delete
  7. Larry, I'm sure you're busy but I hope you find time to post on this particularly moronic blog post by Sneery O'Leary over at UD. She is posting a lot these days in increasingly idiotic attempts to overthrow genetics. I don't mean she's trying to overthrow evolutionary theory, or even population genetics-- she thinks she's disproven just plain, vanilla genetics, on the grounds that since genetics shows human DNA is 98.7% identical to chimps', that proves genetics itself is a delusion and fantasy. Or as IDiots would say, the information that determines anatomy, biology etc. is not contained in genes or chromosomes or DNA but in "something else"-- something epigenetic, ooga booga and unfalsifiable.

    O'Leary's previous best argument to disprove genetics was this: even though chimp DNA is 98.7% identical to humans', women weren't sexually attracted chimps, so that proves geneticists are just bullshitting about DNA being an important molecule. She didn't want to marry no monkey, therefore DNA can't do shit.

    O'Leary, 2010: "Why bother fighting the huge Darwinist tax burden. Of course, Darwinism is false, but so? People’s careers are wrecked if they oppose it.

    Among other things, [a friend's] editor had demanded that I account for the fact that humans share 98% of our DNA with chimps.

    …If both [man and chimp] are more than 30 years old, and are normal specimens, how many people will believe that they are 98% identical?

    What woman, otherwise consigned to being a spinster, would marry the chimp if she didn’t get the man? After all, the chimp is supposedly 98% of a man.
    Actually, the chimp isn’t a man at all. He belongs in the wilds, or a preserve, or a zoo somewhere. Whatever works. Every woman in the world knows this.
    None are the least bit interested in the chimp
    ... So, my question is, what is this 98% similarity thing based on, other than to discredit genetics?
    ["Just a hack writer, but … question." By Denyse O'Leary. 31 March 2010.]

    Yes, all of genetics (not just evolution) is disproven by the fact that she don't want to marry no monkey. That was 2010.

    O'Leary has since continued ID's war to discredit genetics as a science. Recently she has posted on several research articles on cell-cell signalling. You know, a bit of tissue is transplanted from one embryo into another, or into a different place on the same embryo, and it grows into a different form. This mechanism of cell-cell signalling and its central importance has been known since the 1960's, arguably much earlier; I believe the early 20th century research focused on how some parts of the embryo were "organizers" of other bits around it. O'Leary thinks concepts understood for than 50+ years are cuttin' edge science that will disprove genetics and therefore, "Darwinism" with it.

    Her latest post is called "DNA doesn’t even tell teeth what they should look like" which is even stupider than it sounds.

    Another recent attempt of hers to demolish DNA and genetics is called "If DNA really rules, why did THIS happen?" It's again based on her inability to understand cell-cell signalling and its role in embryology, understood for 50+ years.

    Larry, you should be afraid-- very afraid. Your entire field, genetics, will be "discredited" and overthrown by a Canadian journalist who is the new Mendel-- excuse me-- the new Galileo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You never know about this human/chimp thing.

      I mean, I recall that Taylor was attracted to Dr. Zira. Kissed her, even.

      Delete
    2. Diogenes quotes Denyse O'Leary: What woman, otherwise consigned to being a spinster, would marry the chimp if she didn’t get the man? After all, the chimp is supposedly 98% of a man.
      Actually, the chimp isn’t a man at all. He belongs in the wilds, or a preserve, or a zoo somewhere. Whatever works. Every woman in the world knows this.


      The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

      Delete
    3. Piotr: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

      Right. Like me for example, I would never have kissed Dr. Zira. Because I didn't find her adorable at all... with her lovely chimp lips and her shiny black hair and mischievous eyes... hideous. Nope, I was not attracted. At all... Fap fap fap fap.

      Delete
    4. Don't worry. Larry's safe until Denyse starts going after biochemistry. Organic molecules? Feh. Were they grown without chemical fertilizers?

      Delete
    5. Holy fucking horseshit, O'Leary is dumber than I ever imagined possible. The false equivocation between the percentage similarity of DNA, to straight up superficial similarity, is so mindnumbingly ignorant and stupid.

      Why do they allow her to post there? Why doesn't someone with at least half a fucking brain and just a highschool level insight in genetics bother to correct her and tell her that you can't just straight up equivocate between DNA similarity and superficial morphological similarity in percentages?

      They fucking REVEL in ignorance in the ID community. I've never seen anything like this. Straight up Ken "I won't ever change my mind because there's a book"-level ignorance.

      Delete
    6. Rumraket says: "Holy &%$ing horseshit, O'Leary is dumber than I ever imagined possible." It is impossible to anticipate the stupidity of Denyse O'Leary. No matter how low your expectations are, she will always amaze.

      Delete
  8. Shades of Jonathan MCLatchie "retracting" his claims about the GULOP pseudogene whilst simultaneously banning critics and excising their comments from his web site.

    http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/2013/08/what-happens-when-creationist-argument.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. Torley:

    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.

    Yes, because we all know how vigilant the average IDiot reader of Uncommon Descent is to correct any misrepresentations of the views of evolutionists.

    I'm curious: How many of those readers actually did click their mouse and then return to inform Torley of his error?

    ReplyDelete
  10. http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/if-dna-really-rules-why-did-this-happen/
    has as date: 1 April 2014

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Gerdien, I saw the date was April Fools' Day. But when Denyse O'Leary is attempting to joke, her writing is much less funny.

      Delete