Pharyngula

PZ Myers is such a LIAR!

In my review of the embryology of Jonathan Wells in PIGDID, I made a specific example of the abuse of a quote from Bill Ballard; I pointed out that he selectively edited the quote to completely distort Ballard’s point in the cited paper, and used that to show how dishonest all of Wells’ work was.

Now Tim McGrew of Kalamazoo wants to accuse me of intentionally distorting Wells’ words. I didn’t just selectively edit, he thinks I actively changed Wells’ words to make my point.

Let me rephrase that: Myers has changed Wells’s wording and then has the temerity to accuse Wells of misleading the reader at the very point where Myers himself has made the change in Wells’s words.

Let me put that more bluntly: Myers is lying through his teeth. Literally. He is actually that dishonest. And not a single commentator on Panda’s Thumb for the past two months could be bothered to check Myers’s quotation against Wells’s actual words to see whether Myers was telling the truth.

Sal Cordova, sycophant of the ID movement, has of course leapt upon this claim at Uncommon Descent as well. Let’s see how accurate McGrew and Cordova are.

Here’s the piece I quoted from Wells’ book:

It is “only by semantic tricks and subjective selection of evidence,” by “bending the facts of nature,” that one can argue that the early embryo stages of vertebrates” are more alike than their adults.”

McGrew claims this is not in the book, and that he cross-checked it. He even notes that I’d specifically said this was on page 35.

The least interesting of the discrepancies is that Myers has apparently slipped in the page references to Wells: the quotation he finds objectionable appears on pp. 30-31, not on “pp. 35.”

Hmmm. Not on page 35? Let’s look. Everyone, open your copy of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design to page 35…oh, you don’t have one? I don’t blame you. It sucks. Here’s a scan of the page for you.

i-13940e13cd39aefdf72ee16ba996c8a3-pigdig35.gif

Oh, wait. Maybe you’re a creationist. Maybe your initials are S.A.L. C.O.R.D.O.V.A., and you’ve got the perspicacity of a twig. Here, the red arrows will help you find what I’m talking about.

i-46a083aa59a51c9b5044697ebed30256-pigdig35_for_creos.gif

Better?

My critics apparently looked at that page and didn’t notice the big gray box dominating the lower right quadrant of the page—you know, the one with the great big font headline, the ugly graphic (of a lectern, I think), and the bold attribution of the quote to William Ballard. The publishers seem to have done everything they could to make that text pop out to the reader, and in the case of Tim McGrew and Sal Cordova, they failed. I saw it, no problem, and even thought this must be a particularly important point Wells was making. I don’t know what the difference between us could be. Maybe it’s that I’m not blind.

Let me help you out even more. Let’s zoom in on that box.

i-50b4946d977245929716d7cfe61cdbee-pigdig_box.jpg

Here’s how I quoted those words:

It is “only by semantic tricks and subjective selection of evidence,” by “bending the facts of nature,” that one can argue that the early embryo stages of vertebrates “are more alike than their adults.”

Uh, maybe I am blind, because I’m looking at those two paragraphs, and I can’t see a speck of difference in their content. Is there a typo somewhere?

I’m afraid my quote was accurate. Wells did distort the quote to suit his ends. He quotes Ballard elsewhere in the article, too, but it’s more of the same: he’s trying to twist Ballard’s words into some kind of refutation of the facts, to lie about what a distinguished dead (and therefore unable to rebut him) biologist had to say about the similarities of embryos. The point of Ballard’s paper was to argue for the diversity of gastrulation mechanisms, but right there in the paper, in the paragraph above the one Wells’ selectively quoted, he affirms that “the pharyngula stage…is remarkably uniform throughout the subphylum.”

So who is the liar?


Let’s watch Uncommon Descent to see how low they can sink. Someone posted a comment there pointing out that I’d rebutted their claim—they deleted it! People noticed the deletion, and here’s a comment that came after that:

i-2dbb6b04de69d0388ad10c54deaa001d-deletion.jpg

How long will that comment survive, I wonder?


Now I’m being accused by the loons at Uncommon Descent of “cherry-picking” the quotes. I mean, seriously, look at the scanned page: the quote I used is given enormous space. It’s just bizarre to be told that I was supposed to ignore that and use something else in the text.

I’ve addressed this in the comments, but yes, there is another use of the quotation from Ballard on pages 30-31, and also from Elinson and Sedgwick. I could have used that one, too, as an example of a slippery elision by Wells.

The previous paragraph quotes Sedgwick (1894) saying that “…a species is distinct and distinguishable from its allies from the very earliest stages all through the development.” Then Wells says, “Modern embryologists confirm this,” and uses the Bill Ballard quote. Bill Ballard did not confirm that at all. Ballard coined the term “pharyngula”, and in that paper he specifically affirms his acceptance of the idea of great similarity at the pharyngula stage, as I quoted above.

I could have written the same castigation of Wells twice, I suppose, using both of Wells’ different manglings of Ballard’s words, but it didn’t seem economical, so I went with the version that was most prominently highlighted in the chapter.

I suspect that if I’d used his misrepresentation of Ballard from pages 30-31, I’d now be hearing that I misquoted Wells maliciously, and they’d be pointing out the big bold box on page 35 and telling me I lied, and that I was blind as a bat, too, and gee, don’t you think pulling it out for special attention meant I should have used that one?

All of this is a distraction. Wells misrepresents biology and reports on the scientific research inaccurately throughout PIGDIG. Now his pals are just trying to throw that same accusation at his critics, and doing so as incompetently and falsely as Wells does science.


OK, I see some people are still in doubt, and are demanding that I post pages 30-31. Here they are.

i-35f52bd24b64f4d16d9c48395783e6aa-pigdid30.jpg
i-57fff68d0b36a21f60b653485c6f969b-pigdid31.jpg

Satisfied yet? I’m beginning to feel a bit like Hartigan at the end of Sin City, hammering that yellow bastard into a slimy pulp.

Comments

  1. #1 Bronze Dog
    November 3, 2006

    I’m not much into the big MMO gamer segment, but I believe this qualifies as “pwnz0rd!”

    Congrats on making the stupidity of your opponents ever more apparent, PZ. πŸ™‚

    Too bad most won’t notice.

  2. #2 Vasha
    November 3, 2006

    PZ, I hope you will comment on Xenoturbella soon.

  3. #3 jimmiraybob
    November 3, 2006

    Ahah! Different font! You used a different font! Neener neener. Now, Mr. smarty Dr., defend that!

  4. #4 T_U_T
    November 3, 2006

    &lt parody&gt It is only your materialist-atheist prejudice that makes you completely blind, and uncapable to recognize that the two texts are completely different. O.K. You say, that the pictures are identical down to a single pixel ? But that does only show how oblivious are you to your reductionist presuppositions that cause you interpret identical pixels as identical text. &lt/parody&gt

  5. #5 PZ Myers
    November 3, 2006

    Uh-oh. Now PowerLine is going to come along and “prove” that I didn’t type that with an IBM Selectric, and my entire case will fail.

  6. #6 Rich
    November 3, 2006

    Tune in next week:

    Sal tries to ‘detect’ his ass with both hands.

  7. #7 Silmarillion
    November 3, 2006

    Tim said:

    Before I go on, I want to say that I have page captures of the PT review page in question, and I encourage readers of this blog to go over there now, today, before the material I’m about to quote is removed, and make your own page captures so that the evidence is widely available.

    He makes it sound so devilishly adventurous!

  8. #8 Fox1
    November 3, 2006

    I almost posted something on UD, but
    A) I’m sure you could point it out to them directly without my help, if you wanted to/are allowed to/could without having to dunk your computer in disinfectant.
    and
    B) they require registration, and that’s way more effort than it’s worth.

    Oh, and Bronze Dog, the most correct (per most google hits) spelling is really “pwnz0rd.” C’mon, man, the other kids will make fun of you πŸ™‚

  9. #9 calladus
    November 3, 2006

    Wow. Dr. McGrew’s accusations are incorrect.

    I’d be expecting a humble apology from him at any moment now, and a retraction on all the ID blogs, because that would be the ethical thing to do.

  10. #10 Glen Davidson
    November 3, 2006

    Uh, what? I can’t see it there on p. 35.

    And even if it is there now, how do I know it was there when Myers said it was? Huh? Darwinist will go to any length to make IDists look stupid, or at least some sort of people do that (X, they sure look stupid).

    I’m looking forward to McGrew’s next set of revelations, like maybe that Darwin didn’t claim that natural selection drives evolution. Thank God Sal will be there when it happens, as he appears to be the best publicist for ID failures around.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

  11. #11 fox1
    November 3, 2006

    Hey, what the heck kind of filter do you have running here? It turned the zero in my snarky correction into a lowercase ‘o’, just like in the referenced comment! Let me test here: pwnzor, pwnz0r.
    If those look the same, then there’s a leet-speak filter on, and, while I can’t say that that’s a bad thing to have in place, it kind of makes me look like (more) of a jackass, here.
    If they look different, then…. uh, well, then I guess no one’s making me look stupid but myself.

  12. #12 fox1
    November 3, 2006

    Whoa, hey, someone else did post a link to your response on UD, and it was deleted within minutes without comment.
    Interesting, but I didn’t take a screenshot.

  13. #13 Steve LaBonne
    November 3, 2006

    Wow, who’d-a thunk “dumber than a box of rocks” could ever be an insult to… rocks. Of course, that IS the level of mental debility required to be a creationist.

  14. #14 Glen Davidson
    November 3, 2006

    Is someone saving that thread at UD? I have the feeling that it might disappear as quickly as the truth does at the CSC.

    And I know that it’s just one bit of a vast culture of stupidity associated with ID, but really, it’s one of the best, particularly the posts complaining about the lack of checking and lack of intellectual honesty, all the while they are serving this special piece of tardity.

    So try to save it if it is allowed, PZ. I’d hate for it to disappear without the possibility for recovery.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

  15. #15 llewelly
    November 3, 2006

    hahaha!

    I haven’t looked at PIGDID lately (I don’t own it, so I can’t check right now), but I suspect Wells said nearly the same thing twice – the Tim McGrew quote on pp 30-31, and your quote on pp 35.
    I suspect the bit on pp 35 differs only from that on pp 30-31, by replacing ‘cleavage and gastrulation’ with ‘early embryo’ . But then I’ve always thought it was common for shaded boxes to nearly quote other parts of the book, but in slightly shortened form, usually for no good reason.
    This notion would explain why Tim McGrew is so sure of himself; he would see the pp 30-31 bit first, and because he was hoping to find some evidence of PZ’s dishonesty, he immediately seized on the difference. He failed to see the box on pp 35 because he didn’t look at pp 35 – why look at pp 35 when he’d already found the ‘right quote’ on pp 30-31. Besides, he knew he had to write a post describing PZ’s malfeasance as fast as possible – at any moment, the Evil Darwinists might fly their Black Helicopters over to PT and change the text there, sending truth down the memory hole …

    Yeah – I don’t think the obviousness of the box matters, because Tim McGrew never looked at pp 35. But it would be awfully nice if someone would look at pp 30-31 for me and discover whether my notion is sense or nonsense.

  16. #16 Arden Chatfield
    November 3, 2006

    I’ve got it. The excerpt in the book uses smart quotes. PZ’s quote from it does not. That must be it.

    Sal made a nice, oily post here a couple days ago, think he’s got the guts to respond to this now? Doubt it.

  17. #17 Stanton
    November 3, 2006

    Wait, I’m confused here…
    It maybe me still suffering from that Dayquil + sinus medication bender, but, so they’re quote mining someone who quote mined you, and they’re lying about it?

  18. #18 Jim Wynne
    November 3, 2006

    Is someone saving that thread at UD? I have the feeling that it might disappear as quickly as the truth does at the CSC.

    I have a copy. The UD Ministry of Truth has already swung into action; someone posted a link to this thread and it was deleted in no time. Now three more posts have appeared advising Sal to come clean, including one from Allen McNeill.

  19. #19 arensb
    November 3, 2006

    Bronze Dog wrote:

    I believe this qualifies as “pwnz0rd!”

    In this particular case, I believe it should be capitalized a bit differently: “PwnZ0rd”.

  20. #20 Allen MacNeill
    November 3, 2006

    Yep, I did, but I don’t expect it (or the thread) to last long.

  21. #21 B. Dewhirst
    November 3, 2006

    So much for moral prescriptivism.

    I could have sworn it said something about not lying in that funny book of theirs. Maybe the Magic Pimp in the Sky spoke with him directly and told him it was okay just this once.

  22. #22 PZ Myers
    November 3, 2006

    There is another use of the quotation from Ballard on pages 30-31, and also from Elinson and Sedgwick. I could have used that one, too, as an example of a slippery elision by Wells.

    The previous paragraph quotes Sedgwick (1894) saying that “…a species is distinct and distinguishable from its allies from the very earliest stages all through the development.” Then Wells says, “Modern embryologists confirm this,” and uses the Bill Ballard quote. Bill Ballard did not confirm that at all. Ballard coined the term “pharyngula”, and in that paper he specifically affirms his acceptance of the idea of great similarity at the pharyngula stage.

    I could have written the same thing twice, I suppose, using both of Wells’ different manglings of Ballard’s words, but it didn’t seem economical, so I went with the version that was most prominently highlighted in the chapter.

  23. #23 Steve_C
    November 3, 2006

    PZ pointed out the quote mining of Ballard by Wells.

    Then they claim that PZ had the quote mining wrong, not even the right page.

    Here he’s showing the quote mine and a scan of the page…

    Taa daahhh!

    Thus showing what complete dishonest morons they are.

  24. #24 Adam
    November 3, 2006

    I’ve caught PZ in yet another of his damn lies–it’s a podium, not a lectern.

  25. #25 rrt
    November 3, 2006

    Sal’s justification:

    “I posted it for discussion, I wan the readers to decide and argue amonst themselves and provide data and links or whatever.

    What is at issue is not what Ballard said, but Myers quotaion of Wells.

    Sal”

  26. #26 Bruce Baugh
    November 3, 2006

    PZ, it’s Leninist morality again. Your use of the words is objectively pro-Satan and therefore innately false. See, it’s easy.

    (Seriously, though, one does get a feeling of deja vu reading Lenin or Trotsky on debating methods and then looking at creationists.)

  27. #27 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Given the text McGraw quoted from pp30-31, is Myers, rather than lying, is just guilty of miscontextualizing the standout graphic?

    If the quote box from pp.35 is meant to highlight what was already presented on pp.30-31, then Myers is wrong that Wells lied and McGraw is wrong that Myers lied. He simply missed that the quote was reviewing material covered a few pages earlier.

  28. #28 Mena
    November 3, 2006

    The problem, you see, is that they didn’t want the quote box on page 35 to exist so they didn’t see it. It’s like all the evidence for evolution and an old Earth. You can show it to them over and over but they will still say that you aren’t giving them examples. A certain flamer who tends to get disemvoweled is a particularly good example of that but they all do it. I’d be willing to bet that they haven’t seen the link at either blog.

  29. #29 PZ Myers
    November 3, 2006

    Nope. A podium is the raised dais that the speaker stands on. The lectern is the pillar and stand before him.

    Using “podium” when you mean “lectern” is a common enough error that it has been accepted by the dictionaries.

    podium |ˈpōdΔ“Ι™m| noun ( pl. -diums or -dia |-dΔ“Ι™|) a small platform on which a person may stand to be seen by an audience, as when making a speech or conducting an orchestra. β€’ a lectern. β€’ a continuous projecting base or pedestal under a building. β€’ a raised platform surrounding the arena in an ancient amphitheater.

    lectern |ˈlektΙ™rn| noun a tall stand with a sloping top to hold a book or notes, and from which someone, typically a preacher or lecturer, can read while standing up.

  30. #30 Lya Kahlo
    November 3, 2006

    Excellent pwnage, PZ! Even more excellent because they are far too cowardly to face having their dishonest asses handed to them.

  31. #31 MartinM
    November 3, 2006

    If the quote box from pp.35 is meant to highlight what was already presented on pp.30-31, then Myers is wrong that Wells lied and McGraw is wrong that Myers lied. He simply missed that the quote was reviewing material covered a few pages earlier

    But PZ’s last comment provided some of the context surrounding the quote on pp.30-31 which looks pretty damning. One can’t reasonably argue that Wells was honestly applying Ballard’s quote if he’s using it in support of the notion that “a species is distinct and distinguishable from its allies from the very earliest stages all through the development.” Ballard was saying no such thing.

    Of course, I doubt creationists will accept PZ’s summary. Any chance someone could provide scans of the relevant pages?

  32. #32 Steve_C
    November 3, 2006

    It doesn’t matter how it’s presented earlier in the book.

    It’s pulled out on page 35 to present it how the wanted it to be read.

  33. #33 John
    November 3, 2006

    Todd, desperately spinning, wrote:
    “He simply missed that the quote was reviewing material covered a few pages earlier.”

    Wells’s quoting of Ballard wasn’t accurate, Todd. He provided two different ones, so both can’t possibly be right.

    Now, we have your buddies falsely accusing PZ of misrepresenting it literally and lying, so your backpedaling to the lame “misconceptualization” only makes you look dishonest, too.

    Are your buddies Tim and Bradford going to apologize to PZ in every forum in which their false accusation has been discussed?

    I doubt it.

  34. #34 rrt
    November 3, 2006

    Todd:

    Replacing “‘gastrulas’ of shark, salmon, frog, and bird” with “the early embryo stages of vertebrates” isn’t a lie? Isn’t meant to imply all early embryo stages, rather than the distinction Ballard makes between gastrula and pharyngula? In the quote that’s the far more prominently displayed of the two in question? When the quote your camp seems to favor is itself misleading, used, as PZ says, to support the claim that species are distinct throughout development, when the paper it’s from argues for similarity at the pharyngula stage?

  35. #35 Pierce R. Butler
    November 3, 2006

    … the embryology of Jonathan Wells in PIGDIG…

    Hah! That’s “PIGDID” (the last word is “Design”, after all): irrefutable proof that PZ Myers did – and does – distort the words, even the very letters, of poor innocent Jonathan Wells.

    No wonder he doesn’t dare to show us the overwhelming truth (no doubt) to be found on the mysterious yet mighty pp 30-31!

    …I’m looking at those two paragraphs, and I can’t see a speck of difference in their content.

    The scanned excerpt uses curly quotes, the text version below it uses straight quotes: counting on a pixel level, that’s no less than 12 specks of difference.

    Therefore, the liar Myers is utterly disproven, McGrew & Wells are vindicated, and the awesome edifice of cdesign proponentsism triumphs above the shattered tower of cards of Babel of Darwinism forever!

    Now, about those gays sabotaging our inevitable victory in Iraq…

  36. #36 Arden Chatfield
    November 3, 2006

    Hey, c’mon Sal! We now know you’ve read this thread! Why don’t you post here, come clean, admit your screwup, and share some of that Christian morality that makes you such a better person than all us ‘secularists’?

  37. #37 MartinM
    November 3, 2006

    It doesn’t matter how it’s presented earlier in the book.

    It’s pulled out on page 35 to present it how the wanted it to be read.

    Indeed. Vaguely reminds me of one of my old lecturers, who once told us “In time, you’ll probably only remember one thing about this lecture, so let it be this:”

    Unfortunately, it was that instead.

    Still, the earlier passage is a nice hook on which to hang obfuscation, as Wells and his supporters are so fond of doing.

  38. #38 llewelly
    November 3, 2006

    re Fox1:

    Hey, what the heck kind of filter do you have running here? It turned the zero in my snarky correction into a lowercase ‘o’, just like in the referenced comment!

    Check your font. I see ‘pwnz0rd’ with numeral zero in Bronze Dog’s post, ‘pwnz0rd’ with numeral zero in your reply, and ‘pwnzor, pwnz0r’ – one with lowercase o and one with numeral zero – in you next post.

  39. #39 MartinM
    November 3, 2006

    Now, we have your buddies falsely accusing PZ of misrepresenting it literally and lying

    To be precise, “Myers is lying through his teeth. Literally.”

    Which is awkward enough at the best of times, but an impressive achievement in writing.

  40. #40 Bartholomew
    November 3, 2006

    Edward Gibbon had the same problem with Henry Edwards Davis, an incompetent ecclesiastic critic whom he completely shafted in 1779:

    …Mr. Davis had been directed by my references to several passages of Optatus Milevitanus, and of the Bibliotheque Ecclesiastique of M. Dupin. He eagerly consults those places, is unsuccessful, and is happy. Sometimes the place which I have quoted does not offer any of the circumstances which I had alleged, sometimes only a few; and sometimes the same passages exhibit a sense totally adverse and repugnant to mine. These shameful misrepresentations incline Mr. Davis to suspect that I have never consulted the original (not even of a common French book!), and he asserts his right to censure my presumption…

    The success of Mr. Davis would indeed have been somewhat extraordinary, unless he had consulted the same editions, as well as the same places. I shall content myself with mentioning the editions which I have used, and with assuring him, that if he renews his search, he will not, or rather that he will, be disappointed.

    Ballard doesn’t even have that feeble excuse.

  41. #41 Graham Douglas
    November 3, 2006

    I’ve caught PZ in yet another of his damn lies–it’s a podium, not a lectern.

    I thought it was an apple core when I first saw it.

  42. #42 Arden Chatfield
    November 3, 2006

    “Myers is lying through his teeth. Literally.”

    ‘Literally’? Does Tim somehow know how PZ was holding his jaw when he wrote the passage that offended him so?

    Do any of these doofuses know what ‘literally’ actually means?

    I suppose it’s a miracle they aren’t spelling it ‘Meyers’.

  43. #43 Hrafn
    November 3, 2006

    Todd:

    The “standout graphic” is the piece that will “stand out” in people’s memories and be picked up upon by those thumbing through it for important points/quotes/etc. It is therefore important that this piece accurately reflects Ballard’s views.It is really no justification when you lie in large letters to point out that what you say in small print is less dishonest.

  44. #44 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    How about just post a scan of pp.30-31? I see standout boxes with abbreviated quotes in many textbooks, magazines, etc. If the material in the box is an abbreviation of a fuller context quote within the actual text, I hardly see how it is a lie or misrepresentation to anyone but those who only read what is written in the standouts.

    Is it so hard to just admit such a simple error?

  45. #45 Doc Bill
    November 3, 2006

    Sal has pulled the old “I only posted it to generate discussion” scam on many, many occasions.

    It’s an act of drive-by intellectual vandalism.

    “Sorry, Mr. Myers, I was trying to throw the egg OVER your house, not AT your house.”

    Uh, right, Sal.

  46. #46 rrt
    November 3, 2006

    Okay, Todd, I ask again:

    How is replacing “‘gastrulas’ of shark, salmon, frog, and bird” with “the early embryo stages of vertebrates” not a lie or misrepresentation, even if accidental? How is using the Ballard quote (still misquoted) on P.31 not also misleading when it is used to support a claim the paper specifically undermines?

    Looking at UD, the discussion seems to be degrading into debates over the definition of “early embryos” and claims of simple editing errors.

  47. #47 Aaron KinneyAaron Kinney
    November 3, 2006

    Absolutely unbelievable. I cant believe that they didnt see that big grey box on P 35.

    Is it a sign that creationists cant see the “facts” right under their noses? Hmmmmmmm…

    Well done PZ, well done! Your integrity, intellectual prowess, and reading comprehension skills serve to make the ID/creationist community a total laughing stock. I think this little fiasco needs to be spread around the net by everyone as much as possible. This post should be linked multiple times in the comments sections of every blog post at every creationist website for the next 6 months!

  48. #48 Steve LaBonne
    November 3, 2006

    Looking at UD, the discussion seems to be degrading into debates over the definition of “early embryos” and claims of simple editing errors.

    It all depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is. πŸ˜‰

  49. #49 John
    November 3, 2006

    Todd, desperate as ever, wrote:
    “How about just post a scan of pp.30-31?”

    Why? PZ didn’t cite anything from those pages.

    “I see standout boxes with abbreviated quotes in many textbooks, magazines, etc. If the material in the box is an abbreviation of a fuller context quote within the actual text,…”

    It is dishonest to put such an abbreviation within quotation marks.

    “I hardly see how it is a lie or misrepresentation to anyone but those who only read what is written in the standouts.”

    We’re asking how Tim determined that PZ’s accurate quotation of this was “lying through his teeth,” remember?

    “Is it so hard to just admit such a simple error?”

    PZ didn’t make an error, Todd. Your friends, however, either made a grave error that needs to be corrected by prominent apologies, or they were lying. Their behavior in the next few hours will tell us which hypothesis is correct.

    What’s your guess?

  50. #50 Stephen Erickson
    November 3, 2006

    Sal Cordova = pwn3d.

  51. #51 Kristine
    November 3, 2006

    To be precise, “Myers is lying through his teeth. Literally.”

    To be perfectly honest, when I read that, my eyeballs popped out. Literally! πŸ˜‰

    Frankly, I credit Dembski with some brains and I cannot imagine how much longer he is going to swing that little yo-yo, Sal.

    And then the comments! This says a lot of Wells’ book where the opposition has to make stuff up in order to attack his book. Yeah, it says a lot about the opposition that PZ has to post the same page of a book three different times! Uugghhh.

    UD is my only soap opera, but now it has become as boring as The Real World when it ran out of amusing spats. At least the producers of the The Real World had the brainstorm to get everybody into the hot tub when the show’s ratings slumped like Ted Haggard’s masterpiece after his “Art”-istic endeavors. UD has become another lemonaid-and-pretzles “Solomon said” party. No fun anymore to crash.

  52. #52 Hrafn
    November 3, 2006

    Todd:

    “If the material in the box is an abbreviation of a fuller context quote within the actual text, I hardly see how it is a lie or misrepresentation to anyone but those who only read what is written in the standouts.”

    The problem is that this quote is a complete Frankensteinisation of what Ballard said. 40% (14 words out of 34) weren’t even said by Ballard at all. The remaining 60% (24 word) was patched together from three different fragments (the longest of which was 9 words long). This sort of thing is prima facie dishonest, as it has no possible purpose other than to twist the quoted writer’s words.

  53. #53 Andrew Brown
    November 3, 2006

    That is very funny indeed.

  54. #54 rrt
    November 3, 2006

    No, John, see, UD and Sal didn’t make an error. They just threw up Tim’s item for comment. Clearly, they knew it was wrong and were just looking to test the skills of their commenters in deducing such, and hoped to start a discussion about the definitions of embryo stages for educational purposes. πŸ˜‰

  55. #55 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Well, missing the big gray box should certainly embarrass McGraw, but then Myers is quoted saying Wells was deliberately hiding the distinction between pharngula and gastrula, when in the context of the pp.31 quote, he was not. Are sharks, birds and fish vertebrates? Is Wells’ book meant for popular consumption or for those who know the particulars? I don’t see how substituting ‘vertebrates’ for ‘shark, salmon, frog, and bird’, is so misleading.

  56. #56 quork
    November 3, 2006

    Do any of these doofuses know what ‘literally’ actually means?

    Literally, no.

  57. #57 MartinM
    November 3, 2006

    Oh, Kristine, how can you possibly be bored of DaveScot’s antics? He’s currently trying to argue that because cleavage and gastrulation are early embryo stages, it’s acceptable to replace references to those stages with references to all early embryo stages.

  58. #58 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    John said “It is dishonest to put such an abbreviation within quotation marks.“.

    But that isn’t what happened. The actual quotes were interspersed with more succinct unquote words, which seem to accurately, though more generally represent what was actually written.

  59. #59 Stephen Erickson
    November 3, 2006

    Over at the uncommonlydense comment-fest, Dave_Scot is calling PZ’s reprinting of the contents of that quote-box “cherrypicking”.

    “Myers evidently cherry picked this box quote and ignored the text on pp. 30-31 where Wells included the gastrula stage clarification that Myers objects to as being left out.”

    Just *try* unpeeling all of the layers of irony.

  60. #60 Pharma Bawd
    November 3, 2006

    PZ,

    In fairness to Wells, his publisher was Regnery.

    This box was probably written and added to the book by them. Regnery has a history, according to its authors, of adding things to books that the author’s don’t endorse. Bethell made the same claim about things written on the cover of his book when he debated Chris Mooney on the radio. Ramesh Ponnuru also said that they added copy to the cover of his book with which he did not agree… There are probably others.

    That doesn’t excuse these guys of course, their names are on the books. But accusing Regnery publishing and its employees like Ben Domenech of dishonesty, well…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regnery_Publishing
    that’s kind of old news at this point.

  61. #61 rrt
    November 3, 2006

    Todd:

    Now you’re just playing dumb. You know as well as I that my comment had nothing to do with “vertebrates vss sharks/fish/birds,” but with “gastrulas vs. the early embryo stages.”

    You’re also declining to notice the more fundamental problem of Wells using a quote that he had to know, in that quote’s original form and context, clearly undermined the point he was trying to make. If Wells was being honest (but within his claims), he would have said something like: “Species are distinct through their embryonic development to adulthood. Ballard partially agrees [Ballard quote here] but disagrees in that he claims pharyngula stages are remarkably similar.”

    Not saying that, and omitting the entire context of that quote, while further using it to support the “distinct embryos” claim, isn’t deliberately hiding Ballard’s distinction? This would be like a person claiming the sky is nearly always orange quoting an essay on how best to paint blue skies in support of his claims, by pulling out a remark about how it’s best to use orange and red pigments when painting the occasional sunrise or sunset.

  62. #62 John
    November 3, 2006

    John said “It is dishonest to put such an abbreviation within quotation marks.”.

    Todd: “But that isn’t what happened.”

    Todd, you’re completely full of shit. The words WITHIN QUOTATION MARKS were different.

    Have you considered reading before arguing? This speaks volumes about the intellectual integrity and ability to evaluate evidence of people like you.

    “The actual quotes were interspersed with more succinct unquote words, which seem to accurately, though more generally represent what was actually written.”

    What? “Seem to accurately…”? Todd, have you read the paper by Ballard, or are you being completely dishonest here?

  63. #63 quork
    November 3, 2006

    This is all just a big misunderstanding! It’s like the Catholic insitence that transubstantiation, where the wine and bread become the blood and body of Christ, is literally true. They will acknowledge that it is not true materially, but is true “in essence.” So it is with PZ’s quote of Wells: it is the same letters, in the same order, but he missed the “essence” of the original.

    Boy, lying is harder than I thought. I think I’ll stop now.

  64. #64 PZ Myers
    November 3, 2006

    In case you missed it when jumping to the latest comment, I’ve added scans of pages 30-31 to the article now.

    That really should about cover it. That is, until someone decides that the fact that Wells accurately cited the title of Ballard’s paper in the notes excuses him for any and all misinterpretations of its contents. I expect that any minute now.

  65. #65 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    Todd,

    You still don’t get it. There is no error here.

    From the beginning, PZ explained that, by deliberately distorting Ballard’s words, Wells is trying to make it look like he is supporting HIS view, that is, that species are distinguishable from the very earliest stages, and all through the development. Ballard says no such thing. He specifically refers to the gastrula stage, and points out the amazing similarity of the pharyngula stage later on. PZ explains all that in his article.
    If it was just an omission for simplicity (assuming even that is acceptable), then, to maintain the meaning of Ballard’s words, the quote should read “SOME OF the early stages of vertebrae developement”, not “THE stages”. Wells deliberately obscures and generalizes in the standout graphic, to make the quote serve his purpose.
    There is where the dishonesty lies.
    Can you understand this simple fact?

  66. #66 pough
    November 3, 2006

    PZ likes lying so much that sometimes he has to tell the truth in a way that seems like it’s a lie (to idiots) just to be able to at least sort of lie as many times as he desires. Is that about right? Somebody hook me up with the shit they’re smoking. It’s good shit.

  67. #67 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    I wonder if Sal Cordova is slapped across the lips hard enough, will his lower lip will split open and bleed a little bit? Then he will look really silly when the tears start rolling down his sick lying face.

    I just can’t wait until the day it happens. I hope somebody has a camera.

  68. #68 jimmiraybob
    November 3, 2006

    Mr. smarty Dr., you may have “explained” your interpretation of “reality” by using a lot of clever sciencey stuff and facty stuff and you may have cleverly slipped by the lecturn/podium/apple debacle and controversy (for now) but you still evade accounting for the “accidental” font disparity. And this:

    The scanned excerpt uses curly quotes, the text version below it uses straight quotes: counting on a pixel level, that’s no less than 12 specks of difference.

    12 specks of difference!!

    It is this kind of blatant blatantness that you literally just can’t run or figureatively hide from – especially on the intertubes of truth! Sir, will you now return to…what was that other interblog place, Unfettered Dimwittery?, to post the appropriate apology? Or, will you just once and for all admit here and now that all of your science learnings id the phoeey? Or, will you just keep on ignoring your critics?

    (pssssst D. Scott, call me, we can team)

  69. #69 J-Dog
    November 3, 2006

    I like the fact that even UD’s new, bestest friend Allen MacNeil has called out Sal and UD on this.

    Kristine – Don’t be depressed! This is the new, Reality Soap, Daze of ID Lies. …and starring Buffalo Bill Dembski as the Beaver.

  70. #70 G. Shelley
    November 3, 2006

    I assumed it was weighing scales – looks like that to me and fits with the “weigh the evidence” thing

  71. #71 AJ Milne
    November 3, 2006

    Wells’ lawyer makes his case:

    ‘We object, your honour. On the grounds that my client would vastly prefer to be tried for a slightly different crime, committed a day or two earlier…’

    ‘Sure! Sure it’s different. See, on the previous occasion, we can show my client lied in a slightly different way! These proceedings are a sham, your honour! We move to dismiss.’

  72. #72 Steve_C
    November 3, 2006

    The UD trolls have come a calling.

  73. #73 Steve LaBonne
    November 3, 2006

    Or a’crawlin’, as the case may be.

  74. #74 llewelly
    November 3, 2006

    re Todd:

    Given the text McGraw quoted from pp30-31, is Myers, rather than lying, is just guilty of miscontextualizing the standout graphic?

    No. ‘early embryo’ is appears to be a simplification of ‘cleavage and gastrulation’. But it is an incorrect simplification – the phrase ‘early embryo’ often includes other stages in addition to ‘cleavage and gastrulation’, up to the pharyngula stage and sometimes beyond, especially in longer gestation vertabrates. As PZ’s review points out, the remainder of the chapter conflates ‘early embryo’ with pharyngula – it takes advantage of the vagueness of the phrase ‘early embryo’ and the variations in its use. PZ interpreted the quote in the same context Wells presented it in. That the pp30-31 quote uses ‘cleavage and gastrulation’ rather than ‘early embryo’ does not change the deceit in the pp35 quote.

    Wells seemingly misquoted himself to make it appear that Evo Devo was based on ‘semantic tricks and subjective selection of evidence’ and ‘bending the facts of nature’. That the deceit in the pp30-31 quote differs in character does not make Wells misquote of himself any less false.

    More importantly, both quotes deliberately emphasize the phrases ‘semantic tricks and subjective selection of evidence’ and ‘bending the facts of nature’ to make it appear that they describe how the entire field of evolutionary science is constructed, rather than describing certain overzealous presentations of recapitulation, which have since fallen by the wayside, and are no longer part of mainstream biology.

    PZ’s review shows that Wells misrepresented Ballard’s valid criticism of a subsection of evo devo as being a revelation that the entire field was dishonest. Both the pp30-31 and pp35 quotes attempt to do this. Both use re-arrangement of Ballard’s phrases as the primary strategy. The pp35 quote also uses a direct falsehood as a secondary strategy.

    If the quote box from pp.35 is meant to highlight what was already presented on pp.30-31, then Myers is wrong that Wells lied [snip]

    No – Both quotes are misleading, but one includes a direct lie as well. Myers is not wrong – he is incomplete, in that he confined his review to the most egregious offenses rather than cover every nit-picking sentence.

    [snip] and McGraw is wrong that Myers lied. He simply missed that the quote was reviewing material covered a few pages earlier.

    More or less. I don’t think McGrew read the second (pp35) quote before commenting. He leapt to a conclusion, wrote his comment, and found he’d landed on an alligator. All because he was so eager to find dishonesty in his opponents that he couldn’t read 5 more pages.

  75. #75 Adam
    November 3, 2006

    If I got that lectern/podium thing wrong (I haven’t looked it up, but if PZ says I did I’m betting I did), I am dutifully literally chagrinned. (No one cares, but I gotta post this if I want to say anything more, which I do.)

    PZ, they’ve given you your opening on UD. They’re waiting for you to explain your point and, I presume, paying attention. I encourage you to reply. Be polite!

    (Damned biology professors. But what can you do, right?)

  76. #76 Steve LaBonne
    November 3, 2006

    Ooh, the trolls have delusions of grandeur too. Naturally anybody who has had enough fun hanging around one of their intellectual cesspits and goes back to more interesting things must be “slinking”. Whereas, of course, trolling under a name that sounds as though it were made up by a 3-year-old” is not “slinking”. Nossir.

    By the way, moron, my name is Steve. I comment under my real name, wherever I comment.

    Hilarious.

  77. #77 Arden Chatfield
    November 3, 2006

    That reminds me, Gil, of how you slinked away from Heddle’s blog because you were not surrounded by like-minded rabble there (as you are here).
    R.O.

    By the way, have you read what Heddle thinks of Dembski and Sal recently? I assume you agree with him?

  78. #78 Steve LaBonne
    November 3, 2006

    And I affectionately refer to you as “moron”. Oops, no I’m not being affectionate. Oh well.

  79. #79 Salvador T. Cordova
    November 3, 2006

    At issue is what you apparently said, PZ:

    It’s easy to make it sound like scientists are willfully lying about the state of our knowledge when you can pluck out a statement about the diversity at the gastrula stage, omit the word “gastrula”, and pretend it applies to the pharyngula stage.

    I hardly think Wells saying the word “gastrulation” 3 times on pages 30-31 consitutes an omission of the word “gastrula”. Tehcnically they’re aren’t exactly the same words.

    An for the record, I never accuse people publicly of lying, not even you. πŸ™‚

    I don’t see how Wells is pretending it’s the pharyngula stage when he actually refers to gastrulation. Did I miss Wells using the word Pharyngula?

    Let me say to the readers here at Pharyngula “PZ is an insigutful guy”. I even said so recently at Pharygula and agreed with you, PZ, in your assessment of Pat Hayes.

    So I expect you havea good reason for accusing Wells of of omitting the word “gastrula” when Wells used the word “gastrulation” 3 times.

  80. #80 Ric
    November 3, 2006

    Yeah, PZ, you have further shown how the UD people are liars. It seems to get easier every day. What cracks me up is how again Davescot comes off looking like an idiot in this whole mess: he copped up to deleting links to this response, and he tries to claim he’s just “being fair.”

    When I think Davescot can’t sink lower or make less sense, he does just that.

  81. #81 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    GWW:

    Get an f’ing life. Your obsession with Cordova is creepy.

    LOL! I’m so “obsessed” with Sal that I spend, gosh, five minutes a month pecking out messages to the effect that society would be better off if a truck drove over that lying child abuser’s head.

    You want creepy? Sal is creepy.

    Me, I’m just a sarcastic motherfucker who, for reasons I am happy to share with anyone, despises creationism peddlers and anti-science hacks.

  82. #82 Brock Tice
    November 3, 2006

    Clearly you have photoshopped that picture. Of course, I’m not going to go check for myself, because I don’t need evidence.

    < /sarcasm >

  83. #83 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    Sal, since you suddenly claim to have some ground to stand on when it comes to accusing people of deception, perhaps you can explain why you never apologized for your blatant self-serving lie on Panda’s Thumb? Remember, Sal? Remember when you pretended that you didn’t know the difference between “singular” and “plural”? And then you ran away without apologizing for your lie?

    You want me to post the link for everyone, Sal?

    Let me know, you sleazy little fuck.

  84. #84 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    Get laid. Soon.

    Oh, please stop projecting, Luskin.

  85. #85 Aaron KinneyAaron Kinney
    November 3, 2006

    Oglum,

    The Francis and spamming things you cite do not compare in any way to McGrew’s gaff.

    And I have yet to see McGrew “retract” anything, unlike PZ who is honest enough to man-up.

  86. #86 Glen Davidson
    November 3, 2006

    PZ’s link to his review seems not to work, but as I recall PZ never supposed or suggested that Wells didn’t discuss gastrulation and the hourglass, which in a way is the fallback position on UD now. What he mentioned was the dishonesty of the quote on p. 35 in particular, and perhaps the somewhat (though not greatly) misleading comments prefacing Wells’s discussion of the hourglass.

    I can understand Pharma Baud’s point. Regnery may have put the quote in on p. 35. Regardless, it is certainly a misleading misquote to emphasize in the way that they did, and McGrew’s inability to see it on the page is comical, made the more poignant by his accusations that PTers didn’t check out the quote (why would we? Is PZ as prone to mistakes as McGrew and the majority of IDists? And, do we buy Wells’s books?).

    Whoever put in the misquote appears to have done it to “encapsulate” Wells’s point, for those who either didn’t read the text, or who didn’t understand it, though possibly even to distort the memory of what they read and partly understood. That Wells did discuss those matters more properly should also be discussed, and my recollection is that PZ did discuss them. The gross distortion of Ballard’s words is certainly something that PZ ought to bring up in his review, as he did.

    The only possible mistake on PZ’s part that I know about at the present is that it may be that Wells did not put the misquote on p. 35 in. That would be an inadvertent mistake, I presume, as PZ likely is not familiar with Regnery’s practices.

    McGrew appears to be highly incompetent to comment on these matters, and Sal and the UDers are only too happy to love and believe an untruth produced by the incompetence of their ally. All of the present backpedaling is done without context (since most, if not all, of us can’t even read the original piece, which I say from my experience of trying) and without paying attention to the fact that the main point of McGrew and Sal was that PZ lied in that part of his review.

    And that, like the misquote on p. 35, is totally false.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

  87. #87 Glen Davidson
    November 3, 2006

    PZ’s link to his review seems not to work, but as I recall PZ never supposed or suggested that Wells didn’t discuss gastrulation and the hourglass, which in a way is the fallback position on UD now. What he mentioned was the dishonesty of the quote on p. 35 in particular, and perhaps the somewhat (though not greatly) misleading comments prefacing Wells’s discussion of the hourglass.

    I can understand Pharma Baud’s point. Regnery may have put the quote in on p. 35. Regardless, it is certainly a misleading misquote to emphasize in the way that they did, and McGrew’s inability to see it on the page is comical, made the more poignant by his accusations that PTers didn’t check out the quote (why would we? Is PZ as prone to mistakes as McGrew and the majority of IDists? And, do we buy Wells’s books?).

    Whoever put in the misquote appears to have done it to “encapsulate” Wells’s point, for those who either didn’t read the text, or who didn’t understand it, though possibly even to distort the memory of what they read and partly understood. That Wells did discuss those matters more properly should also be discussed, and my recollection is that PZ did discuss them. The gross distortion of Ballard’s words is certainly something that PZ ought to bring up in his review, as he did.

    The only possible mistake on PZ’s part that I know about at the present is that it may be that Wells did not put the misquote on p. 35 in. That would be an inadvertent mistake, I presume, as PZ likely is not familiar with Regnery’s practices.

    McGrew appears to be highly incompetent to comment on these matters, and Sal and the UDers are only too happy to love and believe an untruth produced by the incompetence of their ally. All of the present backpedaling is done without context (since most, if not all, of us can’t even read the original piece, which I say from my experience of trying) and without paying attention to the fact that the main point of McGrew and Sal was that PZ lied in that part of his review.

    And that, like the misquote on p. 35, is totally false.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

  88. #88 GH
    November 3, 2006

    how you slinked away from Heddle’s blog because

    People slink away from heddles blog because it is vapid nonsense more often than not and attracts varying degrees of nutters.

    His stance on Dembski recently gives him more points in my view though but his blog is religious mumbo-jumbo.

  89. #89 rrt
    November 3, 2006

    Sal:

    You know PZ was referring to the p.35 quote, but pretend not to.

    You know that the usage p.31 quote misrepresents the context and intent of Ballard’s quote–specifically, that the quote is misused to support a claim Ballard’s paper refutes–yet you pretend not to.

    You know the issue is not whether Wells ever said “gastrula” or “pharyngula” in pages 30-35, but rather what false changes he may have used in quotations and whether he deliberately misused the quotes to support claims directly contrary to the quotes’ original intent and context, yet you pretend not to.

    You seem to be a nice, honest, upstanding man…yet you pretend not to be.

    I almost feel guilty at my disgust.

  90. #90 Stephen Erickson
    November 3, 2006

    “The most powerful lies are those made by true statements. In scriptures, satan often use this type of lying.”

    It’s been a long time since UD has been this entertaining. I had just about given up on it.

  91. #91 Aaron KinneyAaron Kinney
    November 3, 2006

    Oglum,

    The Francis and spamming things you cite do not compare in any way to McGrew’s gaff.

    And I have yet to see McGrew “retract” anything, unlike PZ who is honest enough to man-up.

  92. #92 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    I put on my hazmat suit and checked out the Uncommon Descent blog. Yuck.

    But how hilarious to see Allen “The Bitch Can’t Help It” McNeill striving to continue his “civilized” relationship with Sal Cordova!

    Nothing is hotter than some wet Sal-on-McNeill action! Like this:

    By the way, I am appreciative of your visits here. I welcome your criticisms of whatever I write.

    LOL!!!!!! Be careful Sal. You’ll make Pim jealous.

  93. #93 Sounder
    November 3, 2006

    Seeing creationists try to rationalize the mistakes of their fellows is a fascinating case study for a psychology student. It’s also amazing to watch from a debate standpoint, how brilliantly and subtly Mr. Cordova tries to redefine the issue away from the accusation of whether or not PZ lied or misrepresented the quote in question. Truly amazing.

  94. #94 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Okay. Help me out if I’ve got this wrong:

    Myers calls Wells dishonest because he twists Ballard’s words to support his larger point when they actually refute it, in full context.

    The full context is Wells treatment of Haeckel’s embryos. According to him, Darwin believed early embryos were similar, developing to widely dissimilar forms, providing strong evidence for common ancestry. Wells argues this isn’t so, that there is great divergence in the earliest stages and uses Ballard to support this claim. Myers notes it “is from a paper in which Ballard is advocating greater appreciation of the morphogenetic diversity of the gastrula stage that is, a very early event, one that is at the base of that hourglass, where developmental biologists have been saying for years that there is a great deal of phylogenetic diversity”, Wells’ book says “Dartmouth College biologist William Ballard wrote in 1976 that it is “only by semantic tricks and subjective selection of evidence,” by “bending the facts of nature,” that one can argue that the cleavage and gastrulation stages of vertebrates “are more alike than their adults.”

    So, Myers says Ballard says the forms are very different early on and so does Wells. They seem to agree, don’t they? I wonder my PZ didn’t aim his criticism at the blurring of Ballard’s quote regarding taxonomical divisions. That seems to me where Wells may be misusing Ballard.

  95. #95 Shiftlessbum
    November 3, 2006

    Todd

    Dr. Mayerz correctly points out the dishonesty in Wells’ approach. I understand from your perspective that this may be a subtle point here. But Wells first quotes Sedgewick;

    “…a species is distinct and distinguishable from its allies from the very earliest stages all through the development.”

    Then Wells says, “Modern embryologists confirm this,” and then uses the Bill Ballard quote. This despite the fact that in the very paper Wells uses to obtain that quote, Ballard directly contradicts this “confirmation”.

    That, Todd, is the textbook definition of dishonesty.

  96. #96 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    So, you are saying Ballard’s paper (Available Here, to those with subscriptions) directly contradicts the claim species are distinct from the earliest stages?

  97. #97 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    That IS the point, Todd. Everybody thinks the forms are very different early on. But that does not mean throughout the embryo’s developement, as Wells claims. Wells is fighting a strawman.
    And the deliberately vague standout quote (whether Wells was responsible for it or not) helps at that.
    It would help if you actually read PZ’s review, you know. Along with the one he posted years ago, when Wells was saying the same things more or less.
    Wells is using a quote form Ballard that says something every scientist admits (superficial differences in the earliest stages of embryo developement), to extrapolate it and make it look like it supports something it does not. THAT is dishonesty. The fact that he quotes the exact passage in one page and distorts it in another does NOT change that fact.
    And all that is, of course, besides the actual issue, which is that PZ was accused of DISTORTING Well’s words- which I’m sure you agree is false by now.
    Is it SO hard to understand, or have Sal’s cowardly accusations (from UD, where he’s in the clear) got to you?

  98. #98 PZ Myers
    November 3, 2006

    You aren’t paying attention. No one claims identity in stages before the phylotypic stage — and what Ballard was specifically discussing in that paper was the variety of processes used in gastrulation.

    You know that developmental hourglass illustrated on page 31? Wells did not invent that. That’s an idea that has been common currency in developmental biology for a few decades now. Scientists came up with that model, not creationists.

  99. #99 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Sotiris, I did read PZ’s review, that is why I’m asking the questions I’m asking.

    Professor Myers, I don’t think that hourglass was represented any other way. To quote Wells from your screen cap, bottom of pp.31: “Embryologists call this pattern the “developmental hourglass”. Embryologists are scientists?

  100. #100 Inoculated Mind
    November 3, 2006
    I’m sorry, PZ, but that’s not enough. You have only shown that your copy of the book contained the passage at the time you scanned it. You don’t know that every other book has the same thing printed, and you don’t have a step-by-step account of the typing of that passage from start to finish, including edits. Unless you can provide a detailed account of how it came to exist and in every copy of the book simultaneously, that is testable at key points, then we are justified in claiming that you are a liar. Sincerely, the ID movement.
  101. #101 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    Todd

    I don’t think that hourglass was represented any other way.

    Yo Todd, generally speaking, do you think that Jonathan Wells is a lying sack of shit?

    That will help us determine if we need to spend more than two additional seconds helping you with your “confusion.”

  102. #102 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    Well, since you read it, why are you still arguing? What do you think Wells is trying to refute?

  103. #103 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    don’t know that every other book has the same thing printed, and you don’t have a step-by-step account of the typing of that passage from start to finish, including edits.

    Brilliant.

    But you forgot Poland. πŸ˜‰

  104. #104 Kristine
    November 3, 2006

    Here’s the article and page. I read it on my lunch break, saw through the trick. Literally.

    Bill Dembski & Friends, just how gullible do you think people are? How can you point fingers and yell “atheist” after pulling a stunt like this? From what I’ve seen of your behavior, it’s you who don’t believe in anything. ID is nothing but a sham and you are nothing but a bunch of cynical, power-hungry, deceptive nihilists, and here’s the proof.

    What do you think I am, stupid?

  105. #105 Badger3k
    November 3, 2006

    I’d be a little hesitant to believe that the publisher put boxes or comments in any book without the authors consent. I know that publishers make changes, but given that the company is Regnery (haven for kooks), and the writers complaining are Bethell and D’Souza (neither of whom is known for much honesty)…well, it could be, but it does fit the general pattern of these people to say what they want, then claim that it wasn’t really their fault – they were misquoted, or someone else did it, or…. Possible, but I’m skeptical.

    I do like that quote about Satan using the truth. Is that a backhanded way of saying they know they are lying?

  106. #106 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    “I do like that quote about Satan using the truth. Is that a backhanded way of saying they know they are lying?”

    It is just an elaborate defense mechanism set up by their unconcious to prevent them from endangering their beliefs when exposed to objective facts.

    In short, yes.

  107. #107 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    Sooo… Sal bails out from here, and starts posting repeatedly from the safe haven of UD, claiming, more or less, that PZ IS a liar, because well, Wells did say “gastrulation” in the other page, even if the standout quote said no such thing.
    Now Sal, you know we can’t answer in UD, for obvious Dave-related reasons… But tell me:

    If I said something like “Scientists want you to believe the sky can be blue! Nothing could be further from the truth, as this prominent scientist tells us: *It’s a fact that the sky during sunset has tones of red*. See that? RED!”
    …And then I’d put a huge sign, in big glowing letters, saying “DID YOU KNOW: SCIENTISTS SAY THE SKY IS RED”,
    would it be safe to call anyone that accuses me of dishonesty a liar?

    Your thoughts, please.

  108. #108 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    I’ve now read Ballard’s paper in its entirety, his paper deals largely with how different stages of devolopment are labelled and the divergent views on what stage is what and why. The follow two paragraphs seems to confirm Wells’ point in his book (emphasis is mine):

    “Thus, the energy of investigators and particularly students is diverted into the essentially fruitless 19th century activity of bending the facts of nature to support second-rate generalities of no predictive value. Though enthusiasm for Haeckel’s (1900) recapitulation ‘law’ died out, unfortunately the popularity of Von Baer’s ‘laws’ of 1828 was renewed. In order to defend the latter’s descriptive statements that general characters appear before special characters as an egg develops and that the less general and finally the specific characters trail along later, we have to decide intuitively that certain characters are of ‘morphological significance’ and others are not. When referring to vertebrates, we have to use words like blastula and gastrula in such a way as to imply that things that are vastly different from each other are really very much the same.

    In fact, the most obvious structural characteristics of either the eggs or the cleavage stages of a shark, a salmon, a frog, a bird, or a mammal are unique each to its own class, not generally shared. We would not consider them very much alike unless we had been taught so at a very early age. Very few vertebrates pass through a stage which can strictly be called a blastula. The embryo in its period of most active morphogenetic movements is usually called a gastrula, but as all agree this word has no morphologic meaning anymore. Each class of vertebrates (in mammals we might almost say each particular order) develops and then loses its own set of temporary structures – like the parade ground ‘formations of maneuver’ – during this period. The plain fact is that evolutionary divergence has taken place at every stage in the life history, the earliest no less than the latest. To bolster the partial truths in Von Baer’s generalities by insisting that the eggs of vertebrates are more like one another than their ‘blastulas,’ the blastulas more like one another than their ‘gastrulas,’ and to homologize all theoretical ‘functional blastopores’ where ‘invagination’ is taking place would be running the risk of assuming what is not yet demonstrate – that the genetic physiologic, and cell-behavior processes going on are the same in time and nature.”

  109. #109 Glen Davidson
    November 3, 2006

    Sure Todd, take a piece not discussing the pharyngula stage as your “example”.

    Here is what PZ quotes from Ballard in the review that you claim to have read:

    All then arrive at the pharyngula stage, which is remarkably uniform throughout the subphylum, consisting of similar organ rudiments similarly arranged (though in some respects deformed in respect to habitat and food supply). After the standardized pharyngula stage, the maturing of the structures of organs and tissues takes place on diverging line, each line characteristic of the class and further diverging into lines characteristic of the orders, families, and so on.

    So, wrong again.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

  110. #110 Leon
    November 3, 2006

    Come on, we all know PZ is a liar. If you don’t believe this is possible, how else do you explain PYGMIES + DWARFS ??

  111. #111 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    Wells’ point in his book

    Did you know that Wells is a Moonie retard, Toddler? A Moonie retard who has devoted his life to creationism on behalf of his ultrabigoted ignorance-peddling leader?

    Do you think Moonie retards are honest people, Toddler?

    Seriously.

  112. #112 Boo
    November 3, 2006

    Todd- first rule when you fall into a hole: STOP DIGGING!

  113. #113 Ichthyic
    November 3, 2006

    bless his little heart, Todd is trying *so* hard to fit this all into his cramped little worldview.

  114. #114 Boo
    November 3, 2006

    Wells does seem to be at least beginning to acknowledge the similarities of the developmental hourglass towards the bottom of p 31, tho. Could you scan in p 32 to show the rest of what he says about it?

  115. #115 Mena
    November 3, 2006

    This is getting way out of control…
    I did go over to UD and it seems like the thing to do over there is to be contrary just for the sake of being anti whatever the topic is. Well, unless it’s the release of a new ID textbook. Global warming is of course a global scientific elitist plot to scare people into something. Whatever. Yawn. They too are good reasons to do the lifeguard thing, I don’t know who to attribute that to and don’t really have the time to look it up. There’s a lecture about neutrinos at Fermilab tonight!

  116. #116 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    Todd,

    Can you please explain to me Well’s point, and the way in which the emphasised parts of your quote confirm it?

    You DID read PZ’s review, right?

  117. #117 Ted Haggard
    November 3, 2006

    Sal Cordova is a true Christian.

  118. #118 Ichthyic
    November 3, 2006

    Sal Cordova is a true Christian.

    you forgot to put the ™ after that, Ted.

  119. #119 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    So, true christians hide in the safety of a heavily moderated blog, where all dissent is banned almost instantly and even a post providing a link to here is immediately deleted, and starts posting whiny posts one after the other, essentially saying “nyah nyah PZ lies nyah nyah”?

    You learn something new every day.
    It’s sad, though- to think these guys once had the guts to face lions, And now Sal is your typical sample… Sad.

  120. #120 j
    November 3, 2006

    Sotiris, did you miss the irony?

    I laughed all the way through this thread. Thank you to all the stupidity fighters.

  121. #121 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Storis, my comments are limited only to the controversy at hand, not the entire essay, which I’ve read entirely.

    I’m afraid I have to infer Wells’ point from other writings dealing with evo-devo and Ballard’s quote, which he’s used verbatim in other writings. His criticism aims at the claim embryonic similarity lends weight to common ancestry, pointing out that Haeckel’s fake drawings and similar reproductions have been used in recent evolutionary textbooks, despite long standing knowledge they aren’t similar and that, in fact, “evolutionary divergence has taken place at every stage in the life history” (Ballard, 1976).

    Disclaimer: I think Moonie religious claims are batty. However, I won’t discard my belief the ocean is wet because a Moonie also says so, lest I be guilty of genetic fallacy in my reasoning.

  122. #122 Ted Haggard
    November 3, 2006

    Sal provides an excellent service to the Christian community. As I told Mr. Jones, I have always fantasized about having an orgy with a bunch of 18-22 year old college guys. But the fantasy would be ruined if I found out that one of those guys was a Darwinist.

    It’s perks like these that make Sal an invaluable member of the Christian community.

  123. #123 Marella
    November 3, 2006

    Speaking of moon bats, it looks like the stalker blog isn’t accepting comments any longer. At least DaveScott didn’t totally wuss out.

  124. #124 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    I won’t discard my belief the ocean is wet because a Moonie also says so

    Gosh, Toddler, that’s so brave of you.

    Are you through polishing Wells’ knob? Bill Dembski is getting impatient.

  125. #125 Leon
    November 3, 2006

    Todd, try not to rise to some of the inflammatory responses you’ve received. You’re apparently right that Wells doesn’t claim to have invented the developmental hourglass, and some of us may be hitting you a little hard on some points you’ve raised.

    But I think the problem is you’re focusing more on the semantics and nitpicky things, and missing the real issue being discussed: that Wells seems to have deliberately misrepresented Ballard’s position in order to support his position, including quote-mining Ballard–and that the ID crowd accuses PZ of lying when he pointed that out. That’s the substance of the issue being discussed.

    Do you think that what Wells wrote was an accurate citation of Ballard, an accidental misquote, or a deliberate quote-mine?

  126. #126 Smidlee
    November 3, 2006

    So Myers pull his quote from Well’s book from a publishers “attention grabber” while trying to claim Well misquote the same quote. What irony. Notice the quote on page 35 has the title “When the evidence againest you, Find a Darwinist a lawyer.” Do you take this quote seriously? I surely hope not.

    Why dop you think a publisher waste paper to make this huge box with this saying. I can only think of one reason and that’s to get people attention to hopefully sell the book. When I go the book store I quickly scan though the pages and guess what stick out? Yeap, “attention grabbers”.

  127. #127 Kristine
    November 3, 2006

    It’s sad, though- to think these guys once had the guts to face lions, And now Sal is your typical sample… Sad.

    It is sad! Because they faced the lions for no good reason, now. They faced the lions for nothing. If modern-day Christians are willing to pull this kind of crap with Ballard’s article, and with PZ’s review, why not add a few Roman gods to your Hebrew one-and-only, there’s no big difference.

  128. #128 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    GWW: You are projecting. Good to see you addressing the content of my posts in such a well mannered and thoughtful way! Keep it up, what you are speaks much louder than what you say…

  129. #129 Smidlee
    November 3, 2006

    Sorry for my bad typing. In a rush

  130. #130 Steviepinhead
    November 3, 2006

    Tood, still (for reasons I’m finding hard to follow) defending Wells’s blatant quote-mining:

    Haeckel’s fake drawings and similar reproductions have been used in recent evolutionary textbooks

    Is there any actual evidence for this “claim,” in any event, presuming that “recent” means something closer to “editions of textbooks actually being published at the time we’re publishing our claim,” than it does to “circa 1950”?

  131. #131 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Leon, thank you for you considered remarks. GWW will be accusing you of knob gobbling any second now…

    But I have to ask you, what did Wells deliberately misrepresent? If we go by his actual words on pp.30, then it is clear he was not misrepresenting Ballard and when we go to Ballard’s paper, it is even more abundantly clear. I believe the context of this ‘quote mine’ is in discussing the still taught claim that early embryonic similarity is evidence of common ancestry, when it has been known for some time now the “plain fact is that evolutionary divergence has taken place at every stage in the life history, the earliest no less than the latest”

    Seriously, what am I missing here?

  132. #132 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    Keep it up, what you are speaks much louder than what you say…

    Thank you, twatboy. Are you finished now? Sal’s prostate needs milking and you know how ornery he gets when he has to beg Luskin for it.

  133. #133 Ichthyic
    November 3, 2006

    Disclaimer: I think Moonie religious claims are batty. However, I won’t discard my belief the ocean is wet because a Moonie also says so, lest I be guilty of genetic fallacy in my reasoning.

    …and so, by inference, you think PZ discarded Wells’ argument because he was a Mooney?

    where, in any of the rebuttals to Wells’ drivel, did you see an argument of rejection based on Mooneyism?

    bad Todd! bad!

    *slap*

    since you seem to like to post definitions of logical argument (genetic fallacy), can you tell us what logical fallacy you are using now?

  134. #134 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    GWW: Does your mama know you’re using her computer? Is your last name Hanky, mister?

  135. #135 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    Tood, still (for reasons I’m finding hard to follow) defending Wells’s blatant quote-mining

    Here’s one possible explanation: Todd is a self-righteous prick.

    There may be other theories but this one explains the data pretty well.

  136. #136 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Ichthyic, I was responding to the esteemed scholar Mr Hanky, er, GWW, not PZ Myers.

  137. #137 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    GWW, you’re projecting again.

  138. #138 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    GWW, you’re projecting again.

    I guess it’s too much to ask Toddler to stop fellating Wells AND avoid recycling my rejoinders in the same thread.

    Oh well. I tried.

  139. #139 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Steviepinhead,

    According to the NCSE, “faked” drawings “are not relied upon,” and “hardly any textbooks feature Haeckel’s drawings.” Yet two college textbooks, Starr and Taggart’s Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life (8th Edition, 1998) and Guttman’s Biology (1999) feature slightly redrawn versions of Haeckel’s faked originals. Three high-school textbooks, Biggs, Kapicka and Lundgren’s Biology: The Dynamics of Life (1998), Schraer and Stoltze’s Biology: The Study of Life (7th Edition, 1999), and Miller and Levine’s Biology (5th Edition, 2000), contain stylized drawings that improve only slightly on Haeckel, and perpetuate Haeckel’s misrepresentation of the midpoint of development as the first stage. Worse yet, two advanced textbooks for college biology majors feature Haeckel’s original drawings: Alberts, Bray, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Watson’s Molecular Biology of the Cell (3rd Edition, 1994), and Futuyma’s Evolutionary Biology (3rd Edition, 1998). It was textbooks like these that prompted Harvard evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould to write in 2000: “We do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks.” (10)

    (10) The relevant page numbers in the cited textbooks are: Starr and Taggart’s Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life (8th Edition, 1998), p. 317; Guttman’s Biology (1999), p. 718; Biggs, Kapicka and Lundgren’s Biology: The Dynamics of Life (1998), p. 433; Schraer and Stoltze’s Biology: The Study of Life (7th Edition, 1999), p. 583; Miller and Levine’s Biology (5th Edition, 2000), p. 283; Futuyma’s Evolutionary Biology (3rd Edition, 1998), p. 653; Alberts, Bray, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Watson’s Molecular Biology of the Cell (3rd Edition, 1994), pp. 32-33. The Gould quotation is from pp. 44-46 of his essay, “Abscheulich! Atrocious!” Natural History (March, 2000), pp. 42-49.
    Source

  140. #140 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    Given the text McGraw quoted from pp30-31, is Myers, rather than lying, is just guilty of miscontextualizing the standout graphic?

    Myers isn’t guilty of anything, you moron. Myers quoted Wells misquoting Ballard, and gave the reference: p 35. McGraw finds a different misquoting of Ballard on a different page, and then assumes/asserts that Myers was referring to that quote, but got the content and the page number wrong — even though the content and page number that Myers gave is obviously — even to the nearly blind — correct. Anyone who can’t grasp this rather simple matter — you, McGraw, Sal, whoever — is a blithering idiot.

  141. #141 Zeno
    November 3, 2006

    I noticed that PZ put those attention-getting arrows in red, demonstrating his callous insensitivity to red-green color-blind readers. Clearly that invalidates everything else he does.

    Gee! I think I could be an ID creationist, too. It’s so easy!

  142. #142 Glen Davidson
    November 3, 2006

    I got to wondering about what constitutes and “early embryo stages,” since that is the term used in the Ballard fragments on p. 35:

    It is “only by semantic tricks and subjective selection of evidence,” by “bending the facts of nature,” that one can argue that the early embryo stages of vertebrates” are more alike than their adults.”

    It seems to me that quote on p. 35 could be argued not to be technically wrong, though it is misleading. The question would be what counts as “early embryo”, and if one was thinking more restrictively the statement would not be so far off. The pharyngula stage of the zebrafish is evidently on the second day of the “embryo”, out of the three days that it is an embryo, which would cause one to wonder if it counts as early.

    But some do call the pharyngula stage “early” (but also intermediate), as here:

    It is at an intermediate period, early but not right at the beginning, that embryos are most alike” (Waddington, 1956, p. 9)

    http://www.mk-richardson.com/PDFs/Heterochrony%20and%20Phylotypic%20Period%20paper.pdf

    on page 417.

    By number, however, it seems as though the pharyngula stage is 5th out of the six stages, hence by that metric one might think of the pharyngula stage as “not early”.

    Of course as most of us would read the Ballard quotes, “early” and “embryo” would mean essentially the same thing, that is, we’d read both “early” and “embryo” as referring to the early stages of vertebrate development, rather than take “early” as modifying “embryo”. This is why it is so misleading, even if it might be technically correct under some definitions of “early embryo stages”. Furthermore, the wording would suggest that these “early embryo stages” (whatever they are) are the stages that have been claimed to be quite similar, so that if the pharyngula stage is not included in these “early stages”, it is still a deceptive statement.

    Even though I reaffirm that the p. 35 quote(s) was at best misleading, I don’t wish to detract from the principal fact that PZ was called a liar at UD and by McGrew for saying that Wells wrote what was attributed to him in his book. That is the real issue here, and the fact that the quote is misleading is only secondary to that.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

  143. #143 Leon
    November 3, 2006

    Knob gobbling? Awesome. Gotta remember that one.

    The thing is that Haeckle’s ideas aren’t currently accepted in biological science. They were debunked ages ago. As PZ has remarked, the drawings (and sometimes the ideas) do sometimes appear (inappropriately!) in biology textbooks, but they aren’t a part of modern biology.

  144. #144 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    The “standout graphic” is the piece that will “stand out” in people’s memories and be picked up upon by those thumbing through it for important points/quotes/etc.

    That’s true, but irrelevant. Myers referred to the material on page 35 and said so; McGrew claimed there is no such material on page 35, and that Myers misquoted material on page 30-31. McGrew is an idiot and/or liar, quite independent of the content of the material or its significance.

  145. #145 Kristine
    November 3, 2006

    Seriously, what am I missing here?

    You’re missing your answer to Leon’s question: “Do you think that what Wells wrote was an accurate citation of Ballard, an accidental misquote, or a deliberate quote-mine?” (One doesn’t always get a multiple-choice question in life.)

    You’re also missing the whole point of the “hourglass” which shows how the earlier stages of development (blastula, gastrula, neurula) converge on the pharyngula, or phylotypic stage.

    Also remember that “earlier” and “later” terms are used by different people for different phases of development and Wells exploits this.

  146. #146 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    How about just post a scan of pp.30-31?

    Because, fuckwad, Myers said the material he was referring to was on page 35, and it was. McGrew said it wasn’t on page 35 — he lied or is blind. That something else is on page 30-31 doesn’t change the fact that what Myers said is on page 35 is on page 35.

    Is it so hard to just admit such a simple error?

    Apparently so, for scum like you.

  147. #147 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Glen,

    Technically PZ was called a liar somewhere else and the claim was reprinted at UD. Some posters there called him a liar (I intimated I agreed) then stood rebuked after reading this post. After reading all parts, it is clear to me Myers was wrong to call Wells a liar based on the callout box on pp.35, since Wells was specific in the same quote on pp.30-31.

    Now, whether Wells was also wrong on the larger count is what is at issue. It would seem, based on the quote I provided from the paper, (images Here,Here,Here and Here) that Ballard essentially agrees with the thrust of Wells’ point regarding embryonic development saying the “plain fact is that evolutionary divergence has taken place at every stage in the life history, the earliest no less than the latest”.

  148. #148 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    So Todd, Are you saying that Wells’ point is essentially the same as Gould’s (or Ballard’s, or PZ’s) is? Is he saying that students should be taught the actual stages and ways that the vertebrate embryos are simillar, to become acquainted with the modern evo-devo theories?

    No, Todd. In case you missed it, Wells is arguing AGAINST the ToE.

    Now, can you tell me how Ballard’s paper actully helps him in that? Or is he, in fact, fighting a strawman, and wants to muddle the waters to stop his readers from seeing it?

    As for the textbooks, please read Mr. Myers old article -the link’s in the last one.
    Wells even thinks it’s unacceptable to compare simillar photos of embryos, for crying out loud.

  149. #149 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    truth machine, you are a world class assclown. Are you and GWW dorm mates or something?

  150. #150 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Sotiris,

    Wells’ claim was in the context of rebutting ‘evidence’ for common ancestry based upon early embryonic similarity, despite that their early dissimilarity has been widely known for decades, as Ballard notes in 1976. (see the portions I quoted earlier).

  151. #151 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    Hey Toddler, you little asswipe, how about telling us a little bit about the context in which Haeckel’s drawings appear in Futuyma’s textbook? You know, just so we’re clear about why Haeckel’s pictures are there.

    Also, can you tell us how many “evolutionary textbooks” have been published since 1994 and what percentage of those textbooks include Haeckel’s pictures and refer to the pictures as up-to-date “final word” scientifically accurate depictions of embryonic development?

    Thanks, man.

  152. #152 Steve_C
    November 3, 2006

    That you are purposefully being dense or just ignoring the obvious.

    No wonder people are calling you names.

    What the premise of the Wells book? What’s his point?

  153. #153 Boosterz
    November 3, 2006

    Even Sal had enough since to bail on his defense of Well’s nonsense(and that’s saying something since Sal is as dumb as an acorn). This Todd guy must ACTUALLY ride the short bus. When you start making Sal look smart by comparison, oh damn…

  154. #154 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    An for the record, I never accuse people publicly of lying, not even you. πŸ™‚

    Hey, Sal, you fucking asshole, McGrew said Myers lied through his teeth. Did he? Don’t lie, now.

  155. #155 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    Eventually Toddler’s “point” will become increasingly “pointier” until the tip is finer than frog’s hair.

    Todd says that “Moonie’s are sometimes honest.”

    I suppose he could be right. But who gives a shit?

  156. #156 Steve_C
    November 3, 2006

    Did you read this Todd?

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/08/the_politically_3.html

    Why are we even talking about this? PZ covered it there. It’s clear and thorough.

    PZ isn’t misunderstanding Wells. Get over it.

  157. #157 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    Are you and GWW dorm mates or something?

    Just two human beings on planet earth, Toddler. You should beam yourself down from the Moonie Spaceship more often.

  158. #158 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    Okay. Help me out if I’ve got this wrong:

    Yes, asshole, you’ve got it wrong, as you have completely omitted McGrew’s charge that Myers lied through his teeth, which is the subject at hand.

  159. #159 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    So you are saying that Wells is “rebutting” a century-old notion that already has no place in the actual theory of evolution, at least in the way it was presented then, and it has already been “rebutted” by the “evolutionists” themselves.

    And this provides proof for… what? That the modern ToE is wrong? How?

    Can you say “strawman”?

    And again, how does Ballard’s paper justify the assertion from the 1800’s that the embryos remain entirely different throughout their developement, as Wells says it does?

    Can you say “dishonest”?

  160. #160 Stephen Jay Gould
    November 3, 2006

    Jonathan Wells is a quote-mining asshole.

  161. #161 Kristine
    November 3, 2006

    Well, the question by the little woman gets ignored again. [twinkle!] Even when she’s repeating that of a guy’s.

    Meanwhile, back at UDoodle, they’re reduced to posting the pages of Ballard’s article (yet again!) as separate gifs. Note that they’re not hotlinked (nothing “hot” over there anymore with Mrs. O’Leary and her truth lantern). Now watch somebody try to grab the text and whine.

    J-Dog, you brighten my day: I prefer your Talk Soup version.

    Kristine’s parting shot as she stomps out on UD: “Well, if you must know, Pharyngula makes me laugh.”

  162. #162 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    truth machine, you are a world class assclown. Are you and GWW dorm mates or something?

    Whatever I am, I’m not a stupid lying piece of shit like you are.

  163. #163 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    Wells’ claim was in the context of rebutting ‘evidence’ for common ancestry

    Do you think that common ancestry is false or has been rebutted, you stupid fucking lying twit?

  164. #164 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    And this provides proof for… what? That the modern ToE is wrong?

    Todd emphasizes this quote from Ballard:

    The plain fact is that evolutionary divergence has taken place at every stage in the life history, the earliest no less than the latest.

    But hey, Ballard refuted common ancestry.

    Todd thinks I’m a “assclown” because I display my contempt for him, but he deserves no better.

  165. #165 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    it is clear to me Myers was wrong to call Wells a liar

    He didn’t call Wells a liar, you lying asshole, he said that Wells selectively edited Ballard so as to distort his point, which is TRUE. So please fuck off and die.

  166. #166 Steviepinhead
    November 3, 2006

    In addition to the other points made above, I can’t agree that textbooks published in the ’90s remain relevant to Wells’s claims in his 2006 book.

    Science moves on and even school textbooks do too, eventually. The recycled claims of Creationists never seem to update, however.

  167. #167 Leon
    November 3, 2006

    Hey guys, can we go easy on the name-calling? It’s getting a little out of hand. I know Todd’s being stubborn, but it’s enough to attack the arguements without attacking the arguer.

  168. #168 PZ Myers
    November 3, 2006

    Well, this is certainly getting heated. Cool it down, or I’ll just have to shut off the comments to this article.

  169. #169 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    Why do people think that there’s some value in merely attacking a troll’s arguments when they have already been repeatedly refuted? The troll deserves nothing but contempt; nothing is served by being nice. Haven’t we learned that yet from the greater political context?

    If repeating that Todd is a lying fucking asshole gets this shut down, then I have provided a service.

  170. #170 PZ Myers
    November 3, 2006

    It might just get you shut down first. Lighten up.

  171. #171 Gary Hurd
    November 3, 2006

    Too lovely. I almost wish I had not gone fishing yesterday so that I could have watched this little drama unfold.

    The only stupidity of Timothy McGrew that has not been pounded on was his paranoid suggestions that his brave chort should archive the PT page;

    Before I go on, I want to say that I have page captures of the PT review page in question, and I encourage readers of this blog to go over there now, today, before the material I’m about to quote is removed, and make your own page captures so that the evidence is widely available. I particularly encourage John Stockwell to do this, in the name of intellectual honesty, notwithstanding John’s extensive and longstanding disagreement with proponents of ID.

    intellectual honesty
    Bwahahahhaa.

    Bravo to the creatinists!

  172. #172 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    You didn’t answer my questions. If you want to shut me down, go right ahead, but I don’t see what you’ll achieve by it.

  173. #173 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    Since there doesn’t seem to be much more to say that’s relevant to the thread — Myers said Wells (or Wells’ book) distorted Ballard, Myers was right; McGrew said Myers lied, McGrew was wrong — let me say that I really like this random quote that I see up above:

    To believe that consciousness can survive the wreck of the brain is like believing that 70 mph can survive the wreck of the car. — Frank Zindler

    A religious friend of mine once told me that I “surely know enough physics to know that your energy can’t be destroyed”. My response is to ask where the whirring of a fan goes when you unplug it (and throw it into the trash masher).

  174. #174 PiGuy
    November 3, 2006

    Dag. I actually had to pay attention at work today and would’ve missed it totally if not for reading about it at Kristine’s (Amused Muse) blog late in the day. And then it took an hour just to read all of the comments.

    The only thing that I could possibly add to this thread is that I haven’t had a comment published at UD in my last 20+ tries since this summer. Essentially, if you think that they’re intersted in a frank and open discussion, this whole controversy should show you why we (uh, the rational) are engaged in this battle in the first place because they suffer from “A Few Good Men” syndrome: they can’t handle the truth.

  175. #175 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    I see the howlers are out in force! How amusing, all for dumb old me! I’m honored!

  176. #176 Ichthyic
    November 3, 2006

    that’s right Todd!

    belt it out loud and proud:

    “IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”

    WOOT!

  177. #177 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    I see the howlers are out in force! How amusing, all for dumb old me! I’m honored!

    Todd is one proud troll. I rest my case, PZ.

  178. #178 Kristine
    November 3, 2006

    Well, I’m not a howler. I’m a giggler. Question’s on the table, Todd. I can be very nice.

  179. #179 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Well, tm, you towering beacon of comity and reason, you’ve nailed me! QED

  180. #180 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Thanks, Kristine, I’ll answer you shortly, I’ve got dinner on the stove for my 3 crumb crunchers. I wasn’t grouping you with Mr Hanky and Captain Assclown when referring to howlers, by the way.

  181. #181 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    I’m honored!

    … said Chuck Berry’s friend from the bathtub.

  182. #182 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    I’ve got dinner on the stove for my 3 crumb crunchers.

    Holy shit. It’s Ned Flanders.

  183. #183 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    Todd,

    Actually, you should be honored. You are posting in a blog where dissent can be presented and discussed, and also the blog’s owner himself comes to your defense when you are attacked personally and called names.
    Now, I wonder what would happen in a simillar case in that other blog you frequent; probably the name-calling and personal attacks would come from the blog’s hyper-genius moderator himself, just before he banned you for saying “but…”
    And you know it.

  184. #184 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Mr Hanky! Sing us a song, christmas poo!

  185. #185 John
    November 3, 2006

    Todd wrote:
    “Now, whether Wells was also wrong on the larger count is what is at issue.”

    It’s not an issue for anyone who looks at the evidence, which shows that despite huge differences in blastula and gastrula stages, very little difference is observed among pharyngulas.

    This supports common descent. Wells is being dishonest by omitting the part about the convergence at the pharyngula stage.

    “It would seem, based on the quote I provided from the paper,…”

    But you didn’t quote Ballard on pharyngulas. How come, Todd?

    “… that Ballard essentially agrees with the thrust of Wells’ point regarding embryonic development…”

    But both you and Wells omitted the important point regarding embryonic development. This is why quote mining is dishonest.

    Are you claiming that the pharyngula stage is not part of embryonic development now?

  186. #186 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Sotiris, I have made my objections known when I felt the banning was too high-handed, but if these two booger eaters’ comments are what passes for ‘debate’ around here, I can understand it a little better, especially in the context of participating in such exchanges in light of how short life is…

  187. #187 llewelly
    November 3, 2006

    I’ve got dinner on the stove for my 3 crumb crunchers.

    Holy shit. It’s Ned Flanders.

    Close. He’s Ned’s son, Todd Flanders

  188. #188 Ichthyic
    November 3, 2006

    that’s right, Todd, you of course will characterize the entire nature of all posters on pharyngula by those who blow raspberries at you.

    btw, that’s rather dishonest of you.

    pretty pathetic, too.

    why don’t you twist your panties a little tighter there?

  189. #189 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Ichthyic,

    I don’t believe I did, though I see how you could take it that way. Again, I don’t like the moderation policy at UD, but I can understand, considering the warm welcome I’ve received here, simply asking questions for clarification and trying to understand what all the fuss is about…

  190. #190 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    Todd is the youngest and most impressionable member of the happy Flanders flock. When exposed to profanity (for example, from over the fence as Homer Simpson curses his way through mowing the lawn), little Todd starts to curse a blue streak himself. Whether due to immaturity or relentless sheltering by his parents, whenever Todd comes into contact with anything outside of his family and their pious ways (like the time he was tricked into eating a Pixie Stick by Bart Simpson), he turns nasty.

    LOL! That’s our boy, alright.

  191. #191 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    considering the warm welcome I’ve received here

    98.6 degrees, to be exact. And salty.

  192. #192 Ichthyic
    November 3, 2006

    but if these two booger eaters’ comments are what passes for ‘debate’ around here,

    right, so you say this already knowing the answer was false, and deliberately try to beg the question?

    either way, it’s a clear attempt at trolling for a response from the general gallery.

    your attempts at playing “honest debater” are quite transparent.

    again, pathetic.

    your lack of points have been presented and repeatedly refuted.

    there is nothing left but tossing rotten eggs at you.

    as long as you continue to sit there in the dunking booth, why shouldn’t they?

  193. #193 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    Todd,
    If you really mean this, you are clearly out of touch with reality. Can you name one person at UD that was banned for anything else other than his views? How many can you remember that were banned for foul language? The blog’s ubermoderator has no trouble resorting to all kinds of personal insults himself, along with bullying and threats of physical violence that would put your average flamer to shame.
    And we are not talking about the attitude of one or two commenters here, but about the blog’s policy itself. When I was posting there, more than half my posts were deleted, I was banned without any reasonable excuse in the middle of a debate, and I never stopped being calm and polite once. And you KNOW I’m not the only one.
    So, stop trying to use an isolated attack against you (one that was disapproved by many here, including PZ) to claim some moral high ground- unless your standards vary immensely from one blog to the other.

  194. #194 Ned Flanders
    November 3, 2006

    Todd, did you call someone a booger eater? You know that Jesus doesn’t like that.

  195. #195 Steviepinhead
    November 3, 2006

    Here’s some pretty pictures that Todd maybe needs to think about:

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/11/haeckel_on_gast.html#new-comments.

  196. #196 Leon
    November 3, 2006

    Sotiris has a point, Todd. Admittedly, people here have jumped on you in the discussion. But no posts have been deleted and no one has been banned–in fact the only one who’s been threatened with a ban was someone attacking you. If you haven’t received the warmest of welcomes here, it’s not the structure and policy of the site that’s made you less than welcome, but the actions of individual members.

    That’s much different from what I gather goes on at UD and similar ID sites. The reaction you’ve gotten here is certainly no excuse for sites like UD to summarily ban users who post polite, reasoned “But what about…” comments.

  197. #197 Kristine
    November 3, 2006

    [Humming] Hmmm…hmmm…hmmm….

    [Checks clock. Dinner time.]

    He said he’d call me back…

    Some things never change!

  198. #198 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    I have mild Tourette’s, Todd. Please bear with me.

    Doo-doo.

  199. #199 June
    November 3, 2006

    “The most powerful lies are those made by true statements. In scriptures, satan often use this type of lying.”
    (from a comment at Uncommon Descent)

    Enough said! Logic on its uncommon descent into HELL.

  200. #200 Doc Bill
    November 3, 2006

    At least McGrew, before he changed the subject, admitted that he was wrong. Thus I award McGrew a Shred of Intellectual Honesty.

    Sal, Todd and others on the anoxic planet ID, however, continue to gasp at straws.

    The bottom line is this: PZ was correct as he usually is.

    McGrew admitted scholastic fault and won an award.

    Wells was wrong on all counts in his entire book; no surprise there.

    Sal painted himself into a corner as usual.

    And nobody got banned from the comment thread whether they were somewhat Anglo Saxon in their approach (GWW!) or boring (Todd). Both offenses would have been dealt with quickly by executioner DaveScot at UncommonlyDense, as we all know.

    So, move along, folks. Nothing more to see.

  201. #201 Todd
    November 3, 2006

    Leon, he absolutely has a point and I’m sorry for giving it short shrift, but I’ve got to finish dinner and watch last week’s episode of BSG before tonight’s airs, so my responses will have to wait until later. Kristin is on deck.

  202. #202 Ichthyic
    November 3, 2006

    Kristin is on deck.

    use the spitball, Todd!

    we want a pitcher, not a belly itcher.

    oh wait, you’re both.

  203. #203 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    Todd, when you get back, and since you’ve visited UD already, I’d also like to know what you think of Sal’s tactics -you know, posting from the security of dembski’s little playground, where noone can oppose him, the same exact gorram claims 5 consecutive times -to make it look like PZ is unable to answer to his devastading arguments (although they have already been beaten to a fine pink mist here)? Wouldn’t you say that is a bit, well, misleading, especially for those UD residents that cannot find a link here and see the facts?

  204. #204 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    Well, tm, you towering beacon of comity and reason

    Reason, yes. Comity I save for people acting in good faith, not for ethically challenged trolls like you.

    you’ve nailed me!

    Yes, I certainly have. This should be clear from how you are now suggesting that UD’s cowardly policies are somehow justified by the richly deserved contempt that I and others have shown you, and your transparently dishonest claim to be here just to see what the fuss is all about. Tim McGrew accused PZ Myers of lying through his teeth. Is that what you call “comity”? If you had a shred of integrity, your first post would have acknowledged the outrageousness of that charge, which PZ clearly refuted in black-and-white. Instead, you posted this blather: If the quote box from pp.35 is meant to highlight what was already presented on pp.30-31, then Myers is wrong that Wells lied and McGraw is wrong that Myers lied. But McGrew is wrong that Myers lied regardless of the intent of the box on p. 35 — which McGrew denied the existence of. And Myers didn’t say Wells lied, he said that he misrepresented Ballard. The box on p. 35 is a clear misrepresentation of Ballard, even if the text on p. 30-31, which includes the word “gastrulation”, isn’t. But the latter is as well, since Wells uses it to support a position that Ballard clearly doesn’t hold, as PZ explained at length in his original PT article. You wrote that my comments are limited only to the controversy at hand, not the entire essay, which I’ve read entirely, but that’s absurd when you go on to write I’m afraid I have to infer Wells’ point from other writings dealing with evo-devo and Ballard’s quote, which he’s used verbatim in other writings. His criticism aims at the claim embryonic similarity lends weight to common ancestry, as this is the very thing that PZ addressed in his “entire essay” (which referred to Sotiris’s “PZ’s review”). The “controversy at hand” is whether McGrew is right that PZ lied — he isn’t. Going beyond that is the question of whether PZ was correct that Wells misrepresented Ballard; he was. Narrowing the focus in such a way as to craft an argument that Wells properly used Ballard to refute Haeckel, or obsolete textbooks that still reflect Haeckel, when PZ already refuted that argument in his review, is quite dishonest and serves no purpose other than trollery, baiting people to waste their time deconstructing an argument that has already been deconstructed.

    Jackass.

  205. #206 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    Kristine can’t get any respect; not only isn’t her question answered, but her name is misspelled. Here’s the question again, first penned by Leon: “Do you think that what Wells wrote was an accurate citation of Ballard, an accidental misquote, or a deliberate quote-mine?”

    To help you along, Wells writes on pp. 30-31:

    Like Haeckel’s fakery, the dissimilarity of early vertebrate embryos was well known in the nineteenth century. Embryologist Adam Sedgwick pointed out in 1894 that the doctrine of early similarity and later difference is “not in accordance with the facts of development.” […] Modern biologists confirm this. Dartmouth College biologist William Ballard wrote in 1976 that it is “only by semantic tricks and subjective selection of evidence,” by “bending the facts of nature,” that one can argue that the cleavage and gastrulation stages of vertebrates “are more alike than their adults.”

    And here is what Ballard actually wrote, in context:


    All then arrive at the pharyngula stage, which is remarkably uniform throughout the subphylum, consisting of similar organ rudiments similarly arranged (though in some respects deformed in respect to habitat and food supply). After the standardized pharyngula stage, the maturing of the structures of organs and tissues takes place on diverging line, each line characteristic of the class and further diverging into lines characteristic of the orders, families, and so on.

    Before the pharyngula stage we can only say that the embryos of different species within a single taxonomic class are more alike than their parents. Only by semantic tricks and subjective selection of evidence can we claim that “gastrulas” of shark, salmon, frog, and bird are more alike than their adults.

  206. #207 truth machine
    November 3, 2006

    It is fun to google on the Wells misquote of Ballard in the PIGDID sidebar. It turns out that Wells has committed this *exact* abuse several times before:

    Which refutes the naive suggestion that Regnery changed Wells’s words without his knowledge. From http://www.trueorigin.org/unseatng.asp, which says “Taken from “Mere Creation” edited by William A. Dembski” (maybe Dembski twisted poor Wells’s words too?):

    Ballard concluded that it is “only by semantic tricks and subjective selection of evidence” that one can argue that the early stages of the various classes of vertebrates “are more alike than their adults.” (Ballard, 1976, p. 38)

  207. #208 Get Honest
    November 3, 2006

    Yes, and here is Wells in his Discovery Institute website”>American Spectator article from December 2000, “Survival of the Fakest” (online at the Discovery Institute website). I quote the full paragraph:

    The drawings are misleading in another way. Darwin based his inference of common ancestry on the belief that the earliest stages of embryo development are the most similar. Haeckel’s drawings, however, entirely omit the earliest stages, which are much different, and start at a more similar midway point. Embryologist William Ballard wrote in 1976 that it is “only by semantic tricks and subjective selection of evidence,” by “bending the facts of nature,” that one can argue that the early stages of vertebrates “are more alike than their adults.” Yet some version of Haeckels drawings can be found in most current biology textbooks. (bold added)

    Tim McGrew has even more apologizing to do, I’m afraid.

    McGrew also has to acknowledge that the central obfuscation throughout **everything Wells has written** on embryos is Wells’s obfuscation about who means what with the terms “early”, “earliest”, etc. In the 1800’s, the term “embryo” referred to when the developing creature started to look like an animal, so when Darwin or someone refers to “earliest embryo”, they are talking about the pharyngula stage, not gastrulation or the blastula. This usage, particularly where “early embryo” = “we’re talking about the pharyngula”, persists somewhat today. So Wells is simply lying when he says scientists are wrong about the similarity of early embryos, because they are clearly referring to the pharyngula stage.

    Wells tries to obfuscate this somewhat by pasting Haeckel’s recapitulation view onto Darwin and other evolutionists, but (a) recapitulation was always controversial, (b) Darwin himself clearly never accepted it — instead, Darwin argued based on von Baer’s generalizations about embryology, and (c) recapitulation has been widely agreed to be wrong amongst biologists throughout the 20th century.

    If McGrew wants to be treated as anything but an ignorant creationist hack by biologists he has to admit Wells’s various distortions of the truth.

  208. #209 Sotiris
    November 3, 2006

    Do you see now what Wells is doing, Todd? Even when NCSE says (emphasis mine):
    “Twentieth-century and current embryological research confirms that early stages (if not the earliest) of vertebrate embryos are more similar than later ones; the more recently species shared a common ancestor, the more similar their embryological development”
    Wells responds by saying:
    Contrary to the NCSE’s claim, the early stages of vertebrate embryos are generally NOT more similar than later ones”
    And goes on to describe the hourglass, as if it somehow refutes those “claims”- only he does not even refer to the pharyngula stage, he just says they “converge somewhat in appearance midway through development before diverging again”, trying to imply it’s some minor irrelevant feature. He quotes Ballard again, of course, and makes more fuss about “gastrulation”- but with absolutely no mention of when that stage ends, or what follows (even if Ballard is perfectly clear on that, as we saw).

    In short, Wells constructs a strawman (that ToE claims embryos should be identical in their very earliest stages of developement), breaks it down (by presenting well-accepted science as somehow disproving evolution), and at the same time hand-waves away the similarities in the pharyngula stage (which is where the actual indications for common descent lie), by not even naming it.
    And of course, to help in that, he quotemines poor Ballard, presenting his points about the gastrula and ommiting references to the pharyngula- making the whole ‘early’ and ‘earliest’ issue vague and messed-up enough in his writing, to try and claim that embryos are not simillar “throughout their developement”. And the poor readers buy it.
    And since, distorting Ballard’s words, by replacing “gastrula” with “early stages” in general, helps a lot in maintaining this confusion, Wells has no trouble doing it.
    If someone owes an apology, as Sal cowardly yaps from UD, that’s Wells himself, to all the people he tricked into bying his sophistry.

  209. #210 Great White Wonder
    November 3, 2006

    Kristine can’t get any respect; not only isn’t her question answered, but her name is misspelled.

    Kristine has my respect. I’d marry the woman in an instant if I wasn’t an asexual militant black lesbian.

  210. #211 Stephen Erickson
    November 3, 2006

    Creationists/IDers merely show how pathetic they are when they pursue the Haeckel route. To argue that embryology argues *against* common descent is pandering to the RSA.

  211. #212 Todd
    November 4, 2006

    I wrote, Seriously, what am I missing here?
    Kristine wrote: You’re missing your answer to Leon’s question: “Do you think that what Wells wrote was an accurate citation of Ballard, an accidental misquote, or a deliberate quote-mine?” (One doesn’t always get a multiple-choice question in life.)

    I do not think anyone here has adequately shown Wells quote to be inaccurate, so I choose a).

    Please allow me to recap the essentials:

    1. PZ sez JW is a liar: He points to the call out quote on pp.35 after writing Wells picks “comments by developmental biologists referring to different stages, which say very different things about the similarity of embryos, and conflate(s) them. It’s easy to make it sound like scientists are willfully lying about the state of our knowledge when you can pluck out a statement about the diversity at the gastrula stage, omit the word “gastrula”, and pretend it applies to the pharyngula stage. Literally. He is actually that dishonest.

    2. Tim McGrew then posts in the comments of some review of PIGDID that Myers not only misquoted Wells, “literally lying through his teeth”, but didn’t even get the pages right, quoting Myers on pp.30-31 where he does say ‘cleavage and gastrulation’.

    3. Myers begins this thread, eventually pointing to the call out box with big arrows surely meant to offend the color-blind theists, by crackey!

    4. I come along and join the choir at UD condemning PZ for such brazen Chutzpah, then stand rebuked and chagrined. I read McGrew’s post again and realized PZ had misunderstood Wells and Tim and misunderstood PZ, posting my speculation here, at UD and under McGrew’s original accusation.

    Now, it should be abundantly clear to anyone trying to objectively evaluate the back and forth that PZ was simply WRONG to say Wells was literally dishonest because he omitted “the word “gastrula”, and pretend(ed) it applie(d) to the pharyngula stage“, since Wells did not evade it and, based on the cap of 30-31 Myers posted in an update, he quite specifically used a form of “gastrula”. (3 times on that page, according to Salvador, A Terrible And Nasty man, loathed by ‘free-thinkers’ everywhere).

    Conclusion #A: This point in PZ’s review of PIGDID stands rebutted: Wells did not conflate the early embryonic stage gastrula with pharyngula, the call out box is likely a creation of editors at Regnery, apparently the Devil’s publishing house, for whatever reason (given the PI part of the title, I can only imagine) editors do those things. Wells is not ‘literally’ that dishonest – he is explicit in the book where it counts, which is in the main body of text, not the call outs, as anyone reading a popular magazine article can attest.

    Despite considerable shrieking and howling from TM, GWW and other feces hurling assclowns infecting these comments, I’ve seen no post cogently contradict what I’ve laid out above.

    However, I have seen posts which take a wholly different criticism from the one PZ posits in his PIGDID review at PT. I intend to address these later, but I’d like to parry on the points above to avoid getting swamped by a swarm which would inevitably happen if this doesn’t stay on point. I want to address the rest (I think I effectively have in prior posts) however, I’ve a busy life and do not wish to bite off more than I can chew (especially with GWW trying to hump me with his little pin prick!).

  212. #213 Doc Bill
    November 4, 2006

    Thus, Todd the busy creationist, runs away.

    Typical.

    I think that Jason Rosenhouse over at EvolutionBlog summed it up nicely and without any feces whatsoever.

    (Todd, don’t bother reading Jason’s post. You simply wouldn’t understand. Your time would be better spent praying for Ted and Kent.)

    http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2006/11/myers_1_cordovamcgrew_0.php#more

  213. #214 Todd
    November 4, 2006

    Why do you say I’ve ‘run away’? There is more to life than endless semantic debates with hostile athiests, however, I’m always searching for reasonable people who hold views contrary to my own. As JS Mill famously said “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

    Indeed, this is why I find the mod policy at UD somewhat distasteful.

  214. #215 Ichthyic
    November 4, 2006

    I do not think anyone here has adequately shown Wells quote to be inaccurate, so I choose a)

    Baaalll 2!

    I told you to try the spitball, not the same pitch you threw before.

    (maybe you should switch the the fastball, if you have one?)

    …and they say umpires are blind.

  215. #216 Ichthyic
    November 4, 2006

    Indeed, this is why I find the mod policy at UD somewhat distasteful.

    irrelevant to your misinterpretations HERE.

    baaaaallll 3!

    hmm, maybe a sinker?

  216. #217 Todd
    November 4, 2006

    So shall I then assume Ichtyic’s response is ‘typical’ evolutionist bilge which does not address the contents of my post?

    I think I shall.

  217. #218 Stephen Erickson
    November 4, 2006

    “McGrew makes an apology, but Myers has not”

    UncommonlyDense is veering towards Clintonian levels of equivocation.

  218. #219 Ichthyic
    November 4, 2006

    as i said, and many others already have as well, your contentions were dealt with early on. your own ridiculous inaninity apparently disallows you to see that you are simply, wrong. Hence, the baseball analogy works, as you already stuck out, and now you’re just pitching balls.

    everything since your initial contention that PZ was wrong has been you sitting in a dunking tank, waiting for the next person in line to dunk you.

    i know you can’t see how pathetic your arguments were, are how wrong you ended up being, or that you haven’t the slightest clue what you are talking about wrt developmental biology, but for us, it’s all good.

    just keep sitting in that tank, thinking you’re not waiting to get dunked again.

    funny as hell.

  219. #220 Doc Bill
    November 4, 2006

    Excuse me, Todd, but did you just call me a “hostile atheist?”

  220. #221 Stephen Erickson
    November 4, 2006

    Ichthyic has devolved to sound and fury, signifying nothing. I don’t even know what side he’s arguing.

  221. #222 Christian
    November 4, 2006

    Todd, Toddler, whatever your name might actually be,

    You have been completely ineffective in your arguments. Please, please, come up with something truly original and effective, or crawl back to UD.

    Thanks in advance,
    Christian

  222. #223 Todd
    November 4, 2006

    Ichthyic, I do believe you addressed not one thing I wrote. Congratulations, you are too clever by half!

    Doc Bill, I dunno, are you a hostile athiest? My answer to your question is identical to your answer to my question.

    Christian, am I to take you at your solemn word without any supporting argument? Are you like, all Zen and whatnot? Grasp the pebble, grasshopper.

  223. #224 argystokes
    November 4, 2006

    Todd,

    If Wells’s page 30 statement is meant to agree with Ballard (and Myers) that there is a convergence at the pharyngula stage of embryonic development, from which diversity increases between lineages, what is the point of chapter 3?

  224. #225 Kristine
    November 4, 2006

    Wha–?

    There is no way that Well’s rearrangement is an accurate encapsulation of Ballard’s argument! Oh, don’t get me started again.

    I wanted an answer, not a belly dancer!

    But whatever. At least I got some sugar, and from GWW, my gosh. (I’ve been getting marriage/going out mentions lately, what gives?) And truth to tell–though thank truth machine for the correction–my real name is Kristin (horrors!), I hate that name.

    But surely the dudes at UD already know that, being that they always recognize redesign.

  225. #226 Doc Bill
    November 4, 2006

    Ah, so, Toddhopper. I thought as much. I join my fellow primates in hurling feces in your direction. Enjoy your ID-iocy but, please, pay your taxes.

  226. #227 Ichthyic
    November 4, 2006

    gee todd, so when i say, your contentions regarding PZ and Wells have ALREADY been addressed, what part of that didn’t you grasp?

    it was addressed by sotiris, and several others.

    you refused to acknowledge you were wrong:

    I do not think anyone here has adequately shown Wells quote to be inaccurate, so I choose a).

    which of course is absolute denial on your part, because you were shown to be incorrect at least 3 times, if you simply go back through the thread.

    like i said, and i couldn’t give a shit what others think who don’t know anything about developmental biology, you’re simply sitting in a dunking tank, and refuse to admit it to yourself.

    it’s still funny, though, so please, continue.

  227. #228 Todd
    November 4, 2006

    argystokes, Wells’ acknowledged the hourglass was all I was getting at there (if I understand you correctly)

    Kristine, Sigh. I’m disappointed. To think I had such hopes for our future… πŸ™
    I want you to know that I really and truly want to move on to Ballard, but I just first want to discuss the original claim of dishonesty, which accused Wells of conflating gastrula and pharyngula, which he did not as pp.30-31 make clear. Whether he mistreated the point of Ballard’s paper is a seperate issue, wouldn’t you agree?

    Doc Bill, hurl away mowgli.

    Ichthyic, see my comments to Kristine above (but don’t get your hopes up, wink, wink, nudge, nudge) Please, for the love of all that is wholly…rational and scientific…don’t make me multi-task…with so many voices…keep it to the first point, then we can address the second. Why is it so difficult to address those points?

  228. #229 John
    November 4, 2006

    Todd wrote:
    “I just first want to discuss the original claim of dishonesty, which accused Wells of conflating gastrula and pharyngula, which he did not as pp.30-31 make clear.”

    The original claim of dishonesty is about Wells’s OMISSION of the fact that the similarity increases greatly at the pharyngula stage. Since you omitted Ballard’s statement of this in your defense of Wells, you are being dishonest too.

    “Whether he mistreated the point of Ballard’s paper is a seperate issue, wouldn’t you agree?”

    It’s the same issue. You guys are simply dishonest, which is not Christian in the least.

    Here’s what PZ actually wrote:
    “One might argue that maybe Ballard also thought these semantic tricks applied to the pharyngula stage, and so Wells was representing his general views accurately. Alas, this cannot be. The paragraph before his mangled quote says this, rather plainly:

    All then arrive at the pharyngula stage, which is remarkably uniform throughout the subphylum, consisting of similar organ rudiments similarly arranged (though in some respects deformed in respect to habitat and food supply). After the standardized pharyngula stage, the maturing of the structures of organs and tissues takes place on diverging line, each line characteristic of the class and further diverging into lines characteristic of the orders, families, and so on.

    “It’s a classic quote mine. Wells has edited the quote to suit his ends, and has also utterly ignored the sense of the paper, which directly contradicts his claims, to produce a grand lie and tie it to the reputation of a distinguished senior scientist.”

  229. #230 Tyler DiPietro
    November 4, 2006

    Whether he mistreated the point of Ballard’s paper is a seperate issue, wouldn’t you agree?

    Okay Todd, apparently you need to be brought back into reality from your world of vacuous nitpickery. Let’s review:

    1. ID is pseudo-scientific crap.
    2. Jonathon Wells is an intellectually dishonest sack of shit.

    You can read the reviews of Wells book on PT to find that out. You’re nitpicking a single point to no end while ignoring the fact that Wells’ anti-evolution tract is an attempt to mislead it’s audiences, and apparently ignoring the fact that the UD folks jumped all over PZ based on a bullshit complaint about his intellectual honesty. There is nothing to salvage here, fight another day (and lose).

    (P.S., comments like those made towards Kristine might count as intellectual harassment. I don’t know if there is any penalty for that here, but it does make you look like a moron).

  230. #231 Tyler DiPietro
    November 4, 2006

    Sorry, “internet sexual harassment” in the above post.

    Edit functions come in handy late at night.

  231. #232 truth machine
    November 4, 2006

    I do not think anyone here has adequately shown Wells quote to be inaccurate

    The usual troll creationist dodge: “No one has convinced me …”. That’s because you’re a bloody idiot and/or ideologue, and nothing could possibly convince you.

  232. #233 truth machine
    November 4, 2006

    Now, it should be abundantly clear to anyone trying to objectively evaluate the back and forth that PZ was simply WRONG to say Wells was literally dishonest

    It’s not enough to be trying to objectively evaluating, you have to be intelligent and informed, enough to understand the material and the arguments made. But it’s not that hard. Tthere’s an hourglass. If you start at the base, species converge, but if you start at the waist — the pharygula stage — they diverge. Ballard referred to both, but Wells quoted only his statement about the former, and offered it as evidence that Ballard agrees with Sedgwick that there is no divergence. That’s dishonest. And so are you.

  233. #234 truth machine
    November 4, 2006

    the call out box is likely a creation of editors at Regnery

    This falsehood was explicitly refuted above with material quoted from Wells’s other works, you lying git.

  234. #235 truth machine
    November 4, 2006

    However, I have seen posts which take a wholly different criticism from the one PZ posits in his PIGDID review at PT. I intend to address these later, but I’d like to parry on the points above to avoid getting swamped by a swarm which would inevitably happen if this doesn’t stay on point. I want to address the rest (I think I effectively have in prior posts) however, I’ve a busy life and do not wish to bite off more than I can chew (especially with GWW trying to hump me with his little pin prick!).

    What a pathetic arrogant ass. The great Todd has cleared up one matter of dispute and will go on to clear up others when he gets the time. All hail the great Todd.

  235. #236 truth machine
    November 4, 2006

    There is more to life than endless semantic debates with hostile athiests, however

    ID’s not about religion, heh heh.

  236. #237 truth machine
    November 4, 2006

    So shall I then assume Ichtyic’s response is ‘typical’ evolutionist bilge which does not address the contents of my post?

    “evolutionist bilge”, eh? It took awhile for you to announce yourself, but you guys always do eventually. As Richard Dawkins accurately noted, “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).” So which is it, Todd? There’s no use challenging Dawkins’s statement because, as he also accurately noted, “we are here talking about the fact of evolution itself, a fact that is proved utterly beyond reasonable doubt”, and there are many people here who can point you to volumes of evidence for that fact if you’re silly enough to doubt it.

  237. #238 truth machine
    November 4, 2006

    I just first want to discuss the original claim of dishonesty, which accused Wells of conflating gastrula and pharyngula

    Continually lying about this won’t make it true. What Myers wrote was This is the heart of Wells’s strategy: pick comments by developmental biologists referring to different stages, which say very different things about the similarity of embryos, and conflate them. It’s easy to make it sound like scientists are willfully lying about the state of our knowledge when you can pluck out a statement about the diversity at the gastrula stage, omit the word “gastrula”, and pretend it applies to the pharyngula stage.

    This is all true, except that Wells only omitted “gastrula” in the p. 35 version of the quote (which are his own words, not Regnery’s, as has been proven above), not in the pp. 30-31 version. But Wells did pretend that Ballard’s comments applied to the pharyngula stage, by omitting the part of Ballard’s statement that explicitly mentions that stage and that it is “remarkably uniform throughout the subphylum”, and claiming that Ballard agreed with the statement by 19th century Sedgwick that there was no uniformity at any stage. Wells acknowledges that “vertebrate embryos … become somewhat similar midway through development”, but by omitting Ballard’s strong “remarkably uniform” language and instead saying “though not as similar as Haeckel made them out to be” he deliberately misleads his readers as to Ballard’s position and the significance of the pharygular similarities, precisely because it undercuts his anti-evolutionary argument. That’s dishonest.

  238. #239 truth machine
    November 4, 2006

    Whether he mistreated the point of Ballard’s paper is a seperate issue, wouldn’t you agree?

    Why would any rational person agree to that, when that was Myers’s point, that you claim was wrong and that somehow Myers owes Wells an apology for? This is the heart of Wells’s strategy: pick comments by developmental biologists referring to different stages, which say very different things about the similarity of embryos, and conflate them. How can one judge that statement by Myers without examining whether Wells actually treated Ballard’s statement properly? Sheesh. But no, you want to take his subsequent statement in isolation: It’s easy to make it sound like scientists are willfully lying about the state of our knowledge when you can pluck out a statement about the diversity at the gastrula stage, omit the word “gastrula”, and pretend it applies to the pharyngula stage. Well, he did omit the word “gastrula” in the call-out, which are his own words (as proven by his use of them in other papers) in his own book, and he surely approved of them because he read the galleys who knows how many times; this BS about Regnery is pure fabrication. And he did pretend that Ballard’s statement applies to the pharyngula stage by omitting all Ballard’s talk (including “remarkable uniformity”) of the pharyngula stage and claiming that Ballard agreed with Sedgwick, who was talking about all stages — and that was the whole point of Wells’s statements and quotations — to deny embryological development from similarity to diversity: “The dissimilarity of early vertebrate embryos was well known in the nineteenth century”. But early vertebrate embryos — at the pharyngula stage — aren’t dissimilar. That fact that the earliest stages, pre-pharyngular, are more dissimilar, is a fact that Wells deliberately obfuscates by conflating (by saying they agree) different statements about different stages.

    Take that feces and roll around in it.

  239. #240 truth machine
    November 4, 2006

    I do not think anyone here has adequately shown Wells quote to be inaccurate, so I choose a)…Despite considerable shrieking and howling from TM, GWW and other feces hurling assclowns infecting these comments, I’ve seen no post cogently contradict what I’ve laid out above.

    What shrieking and howling was there in http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/11/pz_myers_is_such_a_liar.php#comment-255852, in which I simply contrasted Wells’s paraphrased quote of Ballard to what Ballard actually wrote? Surely the fact that I have called you out for what you are cannot invalidate my straightforward report of these fellows’ words — that would be an ad hominem fallacy of the highest order. And yet Wells plainly says that Ballard agrees that the doctrine of early similarity and later difference is “not in accordance with the facts of development”, when Ballard explicitly disagrees: After the standardized pharyngula stage, the maturing of the structures of organs and tissues takes place on diverging line. So much for accuracy; Wells equivocates over the word “early”, exactly as PZ, Kristine, and others have noted.

  240. #241 truth machine
    November 4, 2006

    P.S. It’s unlikely that Ballard actually wrote “takes place on diverging line”; I’m quoting from PZ’s article, and he probably mistranscribed from Ballard’s paper (Ballard WW (1976) Problems of gastrulation: real and verbal. Bioscience 26(1):36-39). Someone with access to a copy might want to check.

  241. #242 Ed Darrell
    November 4, 2006

    Sheesh! When I first read McGrew’s comments at the site he originally posted them, I missed entirely the significance of one more ill-informed poster making more unfounded accusations against science and scientists. I’d have e-mailed Dr. Myers immediately.

    But, that’s water under the bridge.

    This thing was started by a a post at Doug Groothuis’s blog, The Constructive Curmudgeon: http://theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/ . Dr. Groothuis is a professor of philosophy at a Denver seminary. Dr. Groothuis has often posted Wells’ work and praised it.

    Go see: Wells has provided a response over there: http://theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2006/11/dr-jonathan-wells-responds-to-critics.html

    I would ask, for the sake of Dr. Groothuis’ and his audience’s delicate sensibilities, that posters avoid profanity in responses.

    Dr. Myers’s response there in the previous post is a model of brevity and accuracy. I’d wager Joseph Pulitzer, were he alive, would be smiling. (Pulitzer said, in two famous quotes: “Accuracy! Accuracy! Accuracy!” and, “Brevity! Brevity! Brevity!”)

  242. #243 Todd
    November 4, 2006

    tm, you made it clear you’re a not to be taken seriously assmunch from the get-go, so I quit reading your posts some time ago. It is amusing to see post after lengthy OCD post, but beyond that, I’ve pegged you as a shallow boob, so move on! dot. org. Do kindly BITE ME as you go!

  243. #244 Todd
    November 4, 2006

    Tyler, sexual harrassment? You’ve got to be joking.

  244. #245 Tyler DiPietro
    November 4, 2006

    Tyler, sexual harrassment? You’ve got to be joking.

    Yeah, good job putz. I’m amazed by your ability to detect humor. Next thing you know you’ll be telling me you can zip-up your fly without getting your dick caught.

  245. #246 Sotiris
    November 4, 2006

    Well, well. Todd, since you seem to like Flame Warriors so much (as do I, heh), tell me: Who does this noble man at arms remind you?

    http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/artfuldodger.htm

    Sal is, of course, the first candidate; however, after seeing your “answer” to our questions, I think you yourself may have the potential for first runner-up.

    Anyway… Unless you think of me as one of the “feces-slingers” as well (or wish to portray me as one to explain your avoiding my points), I’d appreciate it if you tried to find the time from your busy scedule to actually, you know, ANSWER to my posts where I explain Wells’ tactics, instead of simply asserting that they are “unconvincing”.
    In the meantime, I’ll just assume you are unable to, much like your friend Sal, And prefer to do your handwaving from the safety of your Last Homely House at UD.

  246. #247 Todd
    November 4, 2006

    There, there Tyler, no need to get snippy – I was asking the question because I don’t know most of the personalities here, though I’ve identified some of the archtypes!

    Sotiris,

    It distresses me somewhat that you’d think I’m being evasive. Try to see it from my POV – I just want to address these claims orderly because I cannot parry with so many. Could I say you’re being evasive not addressing my specific points in my last substantial post on this matter?

    Myers accused Wells of dishonesty on a specific count – misleading people by conflating pharyngula with earlier stages, when it is clear the actual text did make that distinction, he was wrong – understandably so, because he didn’t realize the call out box was pulled from an earlier page.

    This is very simple, is the above true or false? I’m glad to get to the substance of Ballard as soon as we are straight on this point.

  247. #248 Boo
    November 4, 2006

    Myers accused Wells of dishonesty on a specific count – misleading people by conflating pharyngula with earlier stages, when it is clear the actual text did make that distinction, he was wrong – understandably so, because he didn’t realize the call out box was pulled from an earlier page.

    This is very simple, is the above true or false? I’m glad to get to the substance of Ballard as soon as we are straight on this point.

    Except Wells makes the same claim here:

    http://www.trueorigin.org/unseatng.asp

    Ballard concluded that it is “only by semantic tricks and subjective selection of evidence” that one can argue that the early stages of the various classes of vertebrates “are more alike than their adults.” (Ballard, 1976, p. 38)

    Sorry, no call out box that time.

    As for the true or false- the answer quite clearly is false. It’s right up there in the page capture from 30-31. Wells tried to claim Ballard agrees with Sedgwick that embryos differ throughout ALL stages of development. All includes the pharyngula. Sorry, it just does.

    If you must lie, try not to tell lies that can be disproven just by looking further up the page.

    On 35- Wells lied about Ballard and didn’t mention the gastrula. On pp 30-31, he mentioned the gastrula, but he still lied about Ballard. You’re trying to disprove a lie by citing another lie.

  248. #249 Sotiris
    November 5, 2006

    Todd,

    Your last substantial post has been answered already, by me and many others (including Boo right above).
    Wells does NOT, in fact, make a distinction between gastrula and pharyngula; he doesn’t even mention pharyngula.
    What he does is, argue that the dissimillarity in the gastrula stage between vertebrate embryos (which he later simply refers to as “early stages” to further confuse the issue), somehow proves that the embryos are not simillar “throughout their entire developement”.
    And he presents that as proof that “evolutionists” are wrong, all the time knowing that the indications for common descent appear at the pharyngula stage- a stage he doesn’t even dignify by naming it.
    He uses a fact about the GASTRULA stage to “rebutt” an argument that refers to the PHARYNGULA stage.
    SO yes, he deliberately obfuscates and confuses the issue by not making a distinction between the two stages. Myers is right, Wells is wrong.
    Is there a way we can make this any simpler for you? I think not. Either you get it or you don’t- And my opinion is that you do get it, otherwise you would HAVE to wonder, well, just what on earth Wells’ point is… Is he arguing against evolution, using ‘arguments’ that have no relevance with its theories?
    You just choose to pretend not to get it, and play with definitions and terms as well.
    Hence my ‘Artful Dodger’ remark.

  249. #250 Sotiris
    November 5, 2006

    Sorry ’bout the spelling, everyone. Still half-asleep.

  250. #251 Matt
    November 6, 2006

    RE: “pwnz0rd!” and “Oh, and Bronze Dog, the most correct (per most google hits) spelling is really “pwnz0rd.” C’mon, man, the other kids will make fun of you :)etc.”

    Come on people, don’t you all know about the principle of the lectio difficilior potior?!?!

    http://www.answers.com/topic/lectio-difficilior-potior

    πŸ˜‰

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