Pharyngula

Wack-a-mole opportunity in Madison

I know there are a lot of smart people at UW Madison who will be a bit dismayed to hear this: an IDEA chapter is forming in Madison. The IDEA clubs are the sad little organizations that the Intelligent Design wackaloons form on college campuses to spread their nonsense. They don’t seem very effective — they produce people like Casey Luskin and Sal Cordova, so one might argue that they actually help us by dumbing down the opposition — but they are kind of embarrassing to have around.

Anyway, this group is going to show some silly ID movies, “Where the evidence leads” (irreducible complexity proves evolution is wrong!) and “The Privileged Planet” (god is real because we don’t fall up!) on December 4, 10, 18 and in January at the Madison Public Library. They will have discussions afterwards in which they try to defend bogosity.

This could be great fun for the rational folk in Wisconsin. Get a group together, show up for the movie, and tear it down afterwards. Make ‘em struggle, then go out for a celebratory beer afterwards. Report back if you do it!


MAJOR CORRECTION: this isn’t in Madison, Wisconsin. It’s Madison, South Dakota. They are easily confused, one is to the west of me, the other to the east.

This Madison contains Dakota State University — I’m sure there are avid science students there ready to play wack-a-mole, too.

Comments

  1. #1 Nemo
    December 2, 2008

    And of course he (seems to be only one guy so far) plans to show Expelled later…

    How many ID films are there, anyway?

  2. #2 Katharine
    December 2, 2008

    Time to rally the troops.

  3. #3 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 2, 2008

    How many ID films are there, anyway?

    None. Only anti-evolution ones.

  4. #4 TomS
    December 2, 2008

    Is that Madison, Wisconsin? There are other Madisons in the USA.

  5. #5 Chris Davis
    December 2, 2008

    For one terrifying moment there, I thought you were talking about IKEA.

    Me blood fair ran cold, it did…

  6. #6 Geral
    December 2, 2008

    “At some point, he said, he hopes to set up a debate with a college professor.”

    Go PZ go!

  7. #7 Nyxator
    December 2, 2008

    @4

    Are there multiple UW Madisons out there?

  8. #8 Katharine
    December 2, 2008

    Indeedy, PZ is referring to Madison, Wisconsin.

    Do remember that we are the home of FFRF. We rational people of UW-Madison are well-equipped against these retards.

  9. #9 Glen Davidson
    December 2, 2008

    Science proving god.

    Uh, well, let’s make that propaganda films proving god. Just what UW needs.

    Still, it can’t hurt to have Luskinses and Cordovas around for the “committed materialists” (read, those who demand observable evidence) in a place where a sizable fraction of the population can and will tear their nonsense all apart while barely trying.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  10. #10 Patricia
    December 2, 2008

    Nothing would tickle me more than to find one of these groups starting up within 50 miles of my home town. All I can say is, gawd help them. *grin*

  11. #11 Techskeptic
    December 2, 2008

    PLAY BINGO!

  12. #12 mumfie
    December 2, 2008

    http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Darwins-day/

    “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to create a Bank Holiday on Charles Darwin’s Birthday (12th February). ”

    Please sign the UK only petition for a Darwin celebration!

  13. #13 Bill Anderson
    December 2, 2008

    I followed the link to the newspaper home page, and it is a Madison, South Dakota paper. So Madison, WI, you have still more time to prepare…

  14. #14 Katharine
    December 2, 2008

    Geral, we have someone almost as good: Sean B. Carroll, developmental biologist.

  15. #15 Evan
    December 2, 2008

    Well, folks from Madison, WI will have to drive a mighty long way to get to Madison, SD (population 6500) for the event.

  16. #16 KH
    December 2, 2008

    Regardless of which Madison it is, it’s still notable that the events are at a public library! You South Dakota rational people should insist to the library that they must also screen the PBS NOVA show on the Dover trial as well as science shows explaining evolution.

  17. #17 Chris P
    December 2, 2008

    Madison – SOUTH DAKOTA

    It’s in the wilderness.

    Chris P

  18. #18 Dirty Hairy
    December 2, 2008

    Dor sho gha! Maybe my cousin in Milwaukee will take me for my birthday!

  19. #19 Saddlebred
    December 2, 2008

    I was actually gonna go to them too…SD is a bit further from Milwaukee though.

    Starting an IDEA chapter in Madison, WI would quite possibly be the most masochistic thing any IDer could do.

  20. #20 KH
    December 2, 2008

    PZ, it’s less than 200 miles from Morris, Minnesota, to Madison, South Dakota!

  21. #21 IST
    December 2, 2008

    Reading the original article, the reporting is of more concern than the formation of the chapter; The article is written in such a way as to lend legitimacy to the idea in the first place.

  22. #22 Sven DIMilo
    December 2, 2008

    I’m willing to bet there’s no IKEA in Madison, SD, though.

  23. #23 NewEnglandBob
    December 2, 2008

    You can email that reporter’s newspaper to complain about her article at news@madisondailyleader.com

    It seems they do not have email addresses for their reporters.

  24. #24 Chard
    December 2, 2008

    Duly forwarded to my brother-in-law, who is both a faculty member at Dakota State and a former debater….

  25. #25 ScottKnick
    December 2, 2008

    I was astonished to read that any ID group would be stupid enough to try to stage a public appearance in Madison, WI, where great masses of the righteous would just love to descend on them. Now, it just might fly in South Dakota.

    ScottKnick
    Madison, WI

  26. #26 Inoculated Mind
    December 2, 2008

    DAMN! If only t’were Madison, WI, I could do some ‘field research.’

    Starting an IDEA chapter in Madison, WI would quite possibly be the most masochistic thing any IDer could do.

    Except wear that sweater.

  27. #27 JStein
    December 2, 2008

    I’m sure we have one on campus here at Fresno, and that depresses me.

  28. #28 Ken
    December 2, 2008

    As an escapee from South Dakota I am not surprised at having one of these groups surface there. I am a little surprised it took this long and that there aren’t more of these groups there.

    Someone should look at the other schools there and see if they aren’t infected too.

  29. #29 Al
    December 2, 2008

    I am going to have to make a note on my calendar to go and see this. This makes me more sad to be a resident of Madison, SD.

    To SVEN, no we do not have an IKEA or a Walmart or even Burger King.

  30. #30 BobC
    December 2, 2008

    I was astonished to read that any ID group would be stupid enough to try to stage a public appearance in Madison, WI, where great masses of the righteous would just love to descend on them. Now, it just might fly in South Dakota.

    Yes, for sure. I’ve been to South Dakota many times to visit my farmer relatives. I think the state has more cows than people. Everyone is a Christian, and I bet virtually everyone believes in magical creation.

    I just checked what grade the Fordham Institute gave South Dakota’s public school science standards. South Dakota’s grade was a D. They scored 1 point out of 3 possible points for evolution.

    The earth and space sciences get much better, and on some topics good, treatment. Reviewers complain, however, of repetition of the same content in grade after grade, with insufficient modification or enhancement. The same may be said of life science. There is, for example, an adequate but fragmented sequencing of content essential to evolutionary biology. This is done while use of the word itself, “evolution,” is absurdly sparing as though the writers hoped it wouldn’t be noticed. Other life science content is scanty. The prose is more careful than for physical science, but here too it is not easy to guess what will actually happen in class. Grade:”D.”

    South Dakota avoids using the word “evolution” in their public school science standards. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of their biology teachers never teach evolution.

  31. #31 Olorin
    December 2, 2008

    IDEA clubs “produce people like Casey Luskin and Sal Cordova…”

    Hey, Casey Luskin was a founder of the first IDEA club.

  32. #32 Ken
    December 2, 2008

    I grew up in SD in the 60′s and 70′s. We learned about evolution and science back then. A number of friends went on to become scientists in a wide variety of fields. But my nieces and nephew are growing up there now and I can’t see the difference between what they are learning and what a private christian school would teach.

  33. #33 Skyler
    December 2, 2008

    As the president of Dakota State University’s Secular Student Organization, I will definitely be at their presentations to help promote reason. Atheists are few and far between here, but we have two things the creationists don’t have: facts and reason.

  34. #34 SC
    December 2, 2008

    If only there were more IFIGUDFLI – Intelligent Falling Intersecting Gravity Under Deism For Lasting Improvement – groups.

  35. #35 Quiet_Desperation
    December 2, 2008

    I think they should be IDEAL

    Intelligent Design Evolution Awareness Losers

    South Dakota? People live there? I thought it was just pheasants and deactivated nuclear missile silos.

  36. #36 Jello
    December 2, 2008

    Remember taht old Jeff Foxworthy bit, “here’s your sign”. Turns out we don’t need to hand out signs now the morons are forming clubs.

  37. #37 Brownian, OM
    December 2, 2008

    Whoever is going to shred the IDEA people, go armed with some theology as well as science.

    Remember, the people IDers are trying to reach already hate scientists as a bunch of atheist eggheads who hate Christianity and common sense. All they hear when a biologist talks is the sound of dollars being spent on fruit flies in France.

    Instead, remind them that ID ‘proves’ Brahma just as much as it does Jehovah/Yahweh/Elohim.

    “That’s right folks, the lack of transitional fossils means the brown people were right all along. Line up to get your forehead Bindis right here!”

    That’ll send ‘em into the cool secular embrace of science faster than you can say “Happy Diwali!”

  38. #38 Patricia
    December 2, 2008

    Let em’ have it Skyler!

  39. #39 ez
    December 2, 2008

    Can someone get through to PZ? Ask him if he is man enough to debate a real creation scientist. Tell him not to be afraid of the bible even though it is sharper than an two edged sword.
    If he believes his own non evidential rhetoric let him stand up call ICR’s event dept and set up a debate.
    Dr. Gish is still around and would love to show the audience the LACK of evidence supporting the so called SMART religion of PZ Meyer.
    The “evidence” for evolution made PZ leave the God of the bible and gravitate to the god of humanism. The debate will not only show that particles to people can’t be true but that it has NEVER taken place.
    Lets see if PZ if man enough or evolved ape enough . . . .

  40. #40 HumanisticJones
    December 2, 2008

    I love the his attempt and fail at fear mongering.

    “I want to provide awareness,” Parker said when asked about his ultimate goal of this organization. “My primary concern is we’re losing our freedom to discuss it. Some states have passed laws against teaching intelligent design.”

    You aren’t loosing any freedom to discuss your unsubstantiated non-theory, you just can’t hijack valuable class time to peddle it. I also note that the article claims that Parker wrote seven books, but fails to cite where I can find any of them.

  41. #41 John Phillips, FCD
    December 2, 2008

    ez, good Poe. It was a Poe, wasn’t it? After all, it is so hard to say nowadays with all the seagulls we have visiting recently.

    Though if I waere you, next time, I would mess up the spelling a bit more as it was a bit too neat to be taken for real. And there definitely wasn’t enough capitals or exclamations. Though a good first attempt.

  42. #42 Nerd of Redhead
    December 2, 2008

    real creation scientist

    What an oxymoron. Creationism isn’t scientific. Never has been, never will be. There is no mention of creationism in the scientific literature, which is where science is found, so there can be no scientific discussion of the issue. What an idiot.
    The bible does not refute science. Only more science can refute science. That requires evidence and the publishing of the evidence in the scientific literature. The bible can refute another holy book, but gosh, science does not have a holy book. The knowledge of science is constantly changing as new facts are found. A debate should be amongst equals. Something with no evidence to back it up (creationism) versus the theory of evolution with millions of papers is not a match. There cannot be an even debate.

  43. #43 manigen
    December 2, 2008

    Off topic, but I figured everyone here would be interested in:
    http://www.spookysquid.com/notc/

  44. #44 gypsytag
    December 2, 2008

    I call POE on ez!!!!

  45. #45 bfish
    December 2, 2008

    These IDEA clubs can definitely peter out, so take heart Madisons, in whatever state you reside.

    They tried one at Berkeley three years ago. Back in those halcyon days of yore they even scored mention on Uncommon Descent out of nothing but the goodness of Bill Dembski’s heart – well, that and the fact that he was going to speak there.
    Here is the announcement on UD:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/education/idea-club-comes-to-uc-berkeley/
    I saw both his talks, but for some reason his ideas didn’t catch fire amongst the student population. The website has not been updated since about two weeks after he spoke.
    http://idea.berkeley.edu/

  46. #46 Chris P
    December 2, 2008

    Nobody else going to join his chapter and throw rocks?

    http://ideachaptermadisonsd.ning.com/

  47. #47 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 2, 2008

    Dr. Gish

    BBBBWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA
    HAHA
    AHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    No thanks. The Gish Gallop is nothing but an exercise in eating shit as fast as you can and trying to say it is Foie Gras.

    Hilarious.

  48. #48 raven
    December 2, 2008

    I know a few people from SD. They left because the town they lived in was becoming a ghost town, boarded up buildings and the average age of the people left was 60 or so.

    They didn’t dislike it but unless you are obsessed with corn, wheat, and shooting birds and quadrupeds it didn’t seem to have much else going on. The winters weren’t fun either.

    wikipedia:

    South Dakota, in common with five other Midwest states (Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Iowa), is experiencing a trend of falling populations in rural counties, despite an overall increase in population for all of these states except North Dakota. 89% of the total number of cities in these six states have fewer than 3,000 people; hundreds have fewer than 1000. Between 1996 and 2004, almost half a million people, nearly half with college degrees, left the six states. “Rural flight” as it is called has led to offers of free land and tax breaks as enticements to newcomers.

    The effect of rural flight has not been spread evenly through South Dakota, however. Although most rural counties and small towns have lost population, the Sioux Falls area and the Black Hills have gained population. In fact, Lincoln County, near Sioux Falls, is the ninth-fastest growing county (by percentage) in the United States.[56] The growth in these areas has compensated for losses in the rest of the state, and South Dakota’s total population continues to increase steadily, albeit at a slower rate than the national average.[52]

  49. #49 SASnSA
    December 2, 2008

    They act as if they don’t have the opportunity to brainwash their kids’ minds with this hogwash. What, every night at home and Sunday and Wednesday at church isn’t enough time to corrupt little minds? They need to have this shit taught like science in school too?

    If you want your kids to go to schools that “teach the controversy”, send them to private religious schools! Not everybody is foolish enough to believe that garbage, even among Christians! (believe it or not)

  50. #50 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 2, 2008

    Remember taht old Jeff Foxworthy bit, “here’s your sign”.

    That’s Bill Engvall’s schtick, I believe. Foxworthy’s is “you might be a redneck if…”.

  51. #51 Evan B
    December 2, 2008

    I recently escaped South Dakota to go to school in NYC, but I should be back to attend at least one of these events in January…

    I don’t know—considering what I know about the Madison area and SD in general, this doesn’t look good at all…I hope a few college professors (cough cough PZ cough) show up…

  52. #52 Brownian, OM
    December 2, 2008

    Can someone get through to PZ? Ask him if he is man enough to debate a real creation scientist. Tell him not to be afraid of the bible even though it is sharper than an two edged sword.
    If he believes his own non evidential rhetoric let him stand up call ICR’s event dept and set up a debate.
    Dr. Gish is still around and would love to show the audience the LACK of evidence supporting the so called SMART religion of PZ Meyer.
    The “evidence” for evolution made PZ leave the God of the bible and gravitate to the god of humanism. The debate will not only show that particles to people can’t be true but that it has NEVER taken place.
    Lets see if PZ if man enough or evolved ape enough . . . .

    Forget Dr. Gish and PZ. I’ll debate you right here and right now, dipshit.

    And BTW, Happy Diwali, Fuckface.

  53. #53 mothra
    December 2, 2008

    If ez is not a Poe, WHAT A MAROON! Don’t feed the Troll.

    I immigrated to that other Dakota (aka Baja Manitoba) two decades ago. I can faithfully report that there are enclaves of godless atheists in SD, at least in East River country. Madison? probably not.

    South Dakota is often the political target range for many nut groups and their ideas. Witness the recent no exceptions abortion law (failed), the politicization of state judges (failed), suing of Judges by convicts (failed). But some of these votes have been close and there are new and nuttier ballot measures all the time…

  54. #54 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 2, 2008

    unless you are obsessed with corn, wheat, and shooting birds and quadrupeds it didn’t seem to have much else going on.

    If you’re too damned lazy to read a book or pick up some sort of hobby, I suppose that might be true, outside the cities. Not everyone needs to be jammed into the middle of a crowd to find a little enjoyment in life, though. Some of us find the idea horrifying, in fact.

  55. #55 Mikko
    December 2, 2008

    play some bullshit bingo

  56. #56 NewEnglandBob
    December 2, 2008

    A terrific book:

    God: The Failed Hypothesis.
    How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist
    By Victor J. Stenger

    From Amazon:

    Physicist Victor J. Stenger contends that, if God exists, some evidence for this existence should be detectable by scientific means, especially considering the central role that God is alleged to play in the operation of the universe and the lives of humans. Treating the traditional God concept, as conventionally presented in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions, like any other scientific hypothesis, Stenger examines all of the claims made for God’s existence.

    He considers the latest Intelligent Design arguments as evidence of God’s influence in biology. He looks at human behavior for evidence of immaterial souls and the possible effects of prayer. He discusses the findings of physics and astronomy in weighing the suggestions that the universe is the work of a creator and that humans are God’s special creation.

    After evaluating all the scientific evidence, Stenger concludes that beyond a reasonable doubt the universe and life appear exactly as we might expect if there were no God.

  57. #57 John Pieret
    December 2, 2008

    Well, at least one person in that Madison is on the case:

    No, no, no–just as we strike a small victory for science and intellect by electing the smartest man on the ballot to the White House, self-published author (it’s like blogging, but with paper) Don Parker decides to give Madison a shove back toward the Dark Ages.

    http://www.keloland.com/custompages/kelolandblogs/madvilletimes/index.cfm?c=2502

  58. #58 Emmet Caulfield
    December 2, 2008

    Dr. Gish is still around…

    Gish, whose god is, of course, the God of the Gallops.

  59. #59 Derek
    December 2, 2008

    SSO is on the case. Though PZ could make a quick jaunt and help things out.

    So, they have a website:
    http://ideachaptermadisonsd.ning.com/

    However, Parker, the creator of the group, posted an Edward Current video:

    http://ideachaptermadisonsd.ning.com/video/video/show?id=2408246%3AVideo%3A182

    Reverse Poe?

  60. #60 mothra
    December 2, 2008

    Now, now Emmet (#158) we shouldn’t criticize the aging (Cadriff) giants in their field. Duane Gish and his ilk have made one solid contribution (albeit worthless) to the field of rhetoric.

  61. #61 mothra
    December 2, 2008

    Ooops! #58- unless you were planning to post again when this thread reaches # 157. ::)

  62. #62 Chris P
    December 2, 2008

    Expecting somebody from the university there to defend evolution might be expecting a bit much. They don’t go much beyond Biology 101. No genetics classes and no mention of evolution.

    I’m surprised that nobody much wants to pharyngulate the Parker website. You just sign on and start making comments and then he sends you a nastygram back. I was hoping it would be like the homeschooler site where she got fed up and shut down public access.

    Chris P

  63. #63 MaryK
    December 2, 2008

    They had one of those “body worlds” style exhibits there this summer, and I went to it (I was there for field work). Oh, dear, it was bad. The very first specimen had a tape recording going that tipped me off to how it was gonna go down: “Whether you believe in evolution or intelligent design, we can all agree that the body is a magnificent machine…”

  64. #64 John C. Randolph
    December 2, 2008

    In my social circles, “IDEA” stands for International Design Excellence Awards, and they’re given for outstanding examples of industrial design work.

    Someone should probably advise the committee that the IDiots are infringing on their trademark.

    -jcr

  65. #65 John C. Randolph
    December 2, 2008

    Grumble.. Link didn’t work:

    http://www.idsa.org/IDEA2009/index.html

    -jcr

  66. #66 Blind Squirrel FCD
    December 2, 2008

    Madison – SOUTH DAKOTA

    It’s in the wilderness

    It’s not even wilderness. Imagine wilderness with the trees, mountains, hills and water removed. Shortgrass prairie turned to row crops.

    Does make it easy to lay out the roads, though.

  67. #67 Donald James Parker
    December 2, 2008

    Gosh,
    Sure am glad I provided fodder for your entertainment today since you all city folks don’t have chicken to milk or hay to smoke. I have a little proposition for you. If you can show me where the scientific method has been deployed to prove Darwin’s theory, I’ll shut down my little dog and pony show and get a life. In which lab has life been created? In which lab has one species turned into a different one? Etc. etc. etc.
    Mr. Myers – the IDEA organization is just a minor irritation. You should try out my novel All the Voices of the Wind. You and Richard Dawkins get lots of air time.
    Donald James Parker
    Author of the Masterson Family Series exposing Darwin’s Folly via fiction.

  68. #68 Nerd of Redhead
    December 2, 2008

    DJP, Try over 100,000 scientific papers, probably over 1,000,000. Just pick up any copy of Nature or Science and you will probably find at least one. Now count the papers in the scientific literature backing creationism and ID. Very fews, if any. Now look for the publication of the seminal paper for either of those theories in the scientific literature. You won’t find them.

    Thats what separates science from religion.

  69. #69 Brim S McCarthy
    December 2, 2008

    Don,You crack me up. Way to go for opening the debate in your community. Thanks for the IDEA about setting up a club in Madison, WI. You may see one there soon…

  70. #70 John Morales
    December 2, 2008

    That should read: If you can show me where the scientific method has been deployed to improve Darwin’s theory.
    Answer is: modern biology.

  71. #71 natural cynic
    December 2, 2008

    Yikes! This brings back memories. I was a faculty member at Dakota State about 15 years ago and I can attest that “the controversy” was rumbling just under the surface at that time. There were at least three faculty members in Science & Math who were in the ID/creationist camp along with a prominent town optometrist. One of the faculty [Biology] was about to retire and he taught his courses with a more or less standard curriculum with some added remarks about his personal beliefs and another faculty [Chemistry] actually wanted to have a course on creationism. I got introduced to the subject through a few statements I made that could not be totally backed up. That got me interested in the debates on Usenet and in more independent study. I also got to then mark-up a copy of Darwin on Trial that one of them had [easy].

    If you check out the books by Donald James Parker, the instigator of the IDEA club, you might be amused, or appalled, or both. He has novelized “the controversy”, with his protaganist fighting the battle for ID. Reviewers mentioned that the author was really good at presenting both sides. Yeah, right.

  72. #72 Nerd of Redhead
    December 2, 2008

    DJP, big scientific theories, like General Relativity or Evolution (note, not “Dawinism”), are not proved by one experiment due to the large amount of data required. So little pieces are proved. When all the evidence and data agree with the theory, they are considered “proven”, as both these theories are. Science is still searching for evidence to disprove these theories, since a Nobel prize is waiting for the scientist who accomplishes that feat. For GR, that is over 100 years, and ToE it is almost 150 years.

  73. #73 Nerd of Redhead
    December 2, 2008

    The GR years should be over almost 100…..

  74. #74 Shaden Freud
    December 2, 2008

    #67

    Crocoduck! *drinks*

  75. #75 John Morales
    December 2, 2008

    Nerd, need I remind you ToE also stands for theory of everything.

  76. #76 Nerd of Redhead
    December 2, 2008

    Sorry John, you’re right, it can. From context it should mean Theory of Evolution, but I see where a casual reader could get confused even if I never mentioned string theory. It’s been a long day, and there are too many acronyms.

  77. #77 Kel
    December 2, 2008

    In which lab has one species turned into a different one?

    Remember that experiment where they took DNA from thylacine and were able to grow a gene? Awesome stuff.
    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/05/20/2249769.htm

    But here in planet reality, we have seen several speciation events. Once you have speciation you have two separate species, so yes we have seen animals turn into a “different” one.

  78. #78 Brownian, OM
    December 2, 2008

    In which lab has life been created? In which lab has one species turned into a different one? Etc. etc. etc.

    In the same lab in which mountains have been created and eroded, stars exploded and nebulae born, forests grown, and species extincted.

    Or do you only allow as science that which can be reproduced in an Erlenmeyer flask?

    At any rate, for a modern example of speciation, consider the London Underground Mosquito, a mosquito that is in the process of/has already become reproductively isolated from its parent population, the above-ground Culex pipiens. (Reproductive isolation can lead to speciation, since genes can no longer be exchanged between the parent and daughter populations). As it’s likely you won’t bother to look yourself, allow me to produce the abstract (the full paper can be found here):

    Genetic variation was quantified between surface-dwelling populations of Culex pipiens and the so-called molestus form found in the London Underground (the Underground) railway system. The molestus form is a commercially important biting nuisance and in the southern part of its range is also a disease vector. The surface and subterranean populations were genetically distinct, with no evidence of gene flow between closely adjacent populations of the different forms, whereas there was little differentiation between the different populations of each form. The substantially reduced heterozygosity in the Underground populations and the allelic composition suggest that colonization of the Underground has occurred once or very few times. Breeding experiments show compatibility between the Underground populations but not with those breeding above ground. There is evidence of greater gene flow and a mixing of molestus and pipiens traits in the south of the species range. This paper considers the processes that may allow establishment of reproductive isolation in the north of the species range but not in the south.

    Now, please spare us the objections that these are still mosquitos and not another ‘kind’, or that you expect some sort of transitional form to something else (mosquitoducks?) or other such nonsense. We’ve heard ‘em all before.

    The significance of this paper is that it is exactly what the theory of evolution predicts: populations that are genetically isolated from each other will, through the processes of genetic drift and natural selection, become further genetically, morphologically and behaviourally distinct from each other.

    If you’re still disappointed in the lack of mosquitoducks or whatever, the problem lies in your faulty understanding of the theory, not the theory itself. (Don’t feel too bad; lots of high school students similarly think calculus is stupid because they don’t understand it.)

    If you think this example (and the hundreds of thousands of corroborating data) is somehow insufficient support for the theory because no one’s yet produced a new multicellular species in the lab, consider that no such doubt exists for the growing of forests, yet a given size of forest no one’s done that in a lab either.

  79. #79 Wowbagger
    December 2, 2008

    Donald James Parker,

    Why do you stop at the ‘theory’ of evolution? Why aren’t you using your profound willful ignorance keen analysis to attempt to overthrow those other ‘theories’ like the theory of gravity or the theory of flight? Surely you should be giving equal time to proving intelligent falling (for the former) and intelligent levitation and movement (for the latter).

    And what about the germ theory of disease? Are you intending to release your ‘alternative’ to that anytime soon?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  80. #80 Emmet Caulfield
    December 2, 2008

    Don’t feel too bad; lots of high school students similarly think calculus is stupid because they don’t understand it.

    In a bizarre coincidence, I think creationists are stupid and I don’t understand them.

  81. #81 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 2, 2008

    In which lab has life been created? In which lab has one species turned into a different one? Etc. etc. etc.

    In which field are you planning on setting those strawmen a fire?

  82. #82 Carlie
    December 2, 2008

    In which lab has one species turned into a different one?

    Not that you’ll care, but Verne Grant’s. And that was in 1966, so you can’t plead that it’s too hard to keep up with recent literature. And if you want to cry that that one’s too old, try Lorne Riesberg not just creating a species, but creating one with specific characteristics as a test of a hybridization hypothesis. Stick those flowers in your pipe and smoke them.

  83. #83 Steve
    December 2, 2008

    Wow, any wackjob that can edit and do some cgi can have a movie about their fantasy creator. Do they not teach argument and logic at UW??? Post hoc ergo propter hoc, straw man, circular reasoning….?

  84. #84 Simon Scott
    December 2, 2008

    scientific method has been deployed to prove

    You know, that post starts with a fundamental error, then descends into nonsense.

  85. #85 Andy
    December 2, 2008

    unless you are obsessed with corn, wheat, and shooting birds and quadrupeds it didn’t seem to have much else going on.

    Hey, at least it keeps the hippies away! ;-)

    I grew up in SD, and it wasn’t half bad. . .small place, but what the hey. . .(I’m pretty sure that I know commenter Evan B, who graduated from high school with my little sister. Small world. . .) Of course, I also swore that I would never be a New Yorker or a Californian. . .and now I’ve been both (but thank goodness I escaped New York!!!!).

    At any rate, DSU isn’t exactly the academic acme of South Dakota. I’m not too worried.

  86. #86 Richard Simons
    December 2, 2008

    If you can show me where the scientific method has been deployed to prove Darwin’s theory, I’ll shut down my little dog and pony show and get a life.

    Can you name a single scientific theory that has been proven?

    In which lab has one species turned into a different one?

    How about Gey’s lab, the one that accidentally produced Helacyton gartleri?

    If you just want new species, don’t forget grapefruit, nectarine, Spartina townsendii, Fatshedera and various other plants.

  87. #87 Cowdragon
    December 2, 2008

    Madison, SD resident as well. I plan on going and ripping it up a bit. Gonna be a fun “debate”. it helps when you have facts on your side. What do they have? Lies and their mythology? BWAHAWHAWHAW!

  88. #88 raven
    December 2, 2008

    In which lab has life been created? In which lab has one species turned into a different one? Etc. etc. etc.

    For someone in an agricultural area, you sure haven’t been paying much attention. Supplementing the federal subsidies with a little hemp growing, are we? Testing the product from the local ethanol plant? All them thar 4 legged funny looking things, the 2 legged feathered funny looking things, and all that green stuff have been evolved from wild progenitors, within recent history. In many cases, the wild progenitors are still up and moving about.

    Wolves to dogs.
    Eurasian wild cats to kitty cats.
    Aurochs and other wild bovines to domestic cattle 2 species involved.
    jungle fowl to white leghorn chickens.
    teosinte to corn
    wheat rye hybrids to tricale
    the current wheat, rye, and barley grains don’t much resemble their ancestors either, some of which still exist.

    As to creating synthetic life, there are numerous projects on going as we speak. The artificial cell program is within a year or two of success. They have already synthesized a complete genome and cloned it in yeast. When they are successful it wouldn’t make any difference to you. Ignorant crackpots have minds set in concrete and even ANFO wouldn’t dislodge them.

    PS Many of us on this blog are from rural areas. Some of us live in rural areas. You don’t have to be stupid and ignorant just because the nearest subway is 500 miles away.

  89. #89 Ompompanoosuc
    December 3, 2008

    @#42 Nerd of Redhead
    The bible does not refute science. Only more science can refute science.

    I really like that. Can I use it?

    pompy

  90. #90 nobody special
    December 3, 2008

    Holy crap, there’s a plethora of towns named Madison. In fact, half of the states in the U.S.A. contain a “Madison.”

    Crazy.

  91. #91 Aquaria
    December 3, 2008

    I have almost succeeded in erasing every memory of living in SoDak from my memory banks

    My main memory of the place is wishing to leave it. It was worse than living in East Texas. At least there, I could get to Dallas in a reasonable amount of time, for decent shopping, if nothing else. Rapid City was hours away from even that. Denver wa

  92. #92 Aquaria
    December 3, 2008

    ARgh.

    I don’t know what happened there. Cold meds gone beserk, I guess.

  93. #93 Wyatt
    December 3, 2008

    I’m in Sioux Falls, I think I’ll make the drive for the event on the 4th. This should be fun!

  94. #94 marty
    December 4, 2008

    I’m going to try to make it from Sioux Falls for one of the later screenings, family work and weather permitting. It might be helpful if someone who can make today’s showing posts some comments about what Parker and company is saying there.

    BTW, I’m heartened to see some other SoDakers in these comments. I’ve felt a bit like a lone voice in the wilderness since I moved to SD.

  95. #95 caheidelberger
    December 4, 2008

    Thanks for posting my link, John (#57)! I enjoy the publicity… as does, it appears, Mr. Parker. His comment abouve (#67) suggests we might suspect there is some intelligent design in his efforts … to drum up publicity for his self-published novels.

    Oh well. I guess if even a few of you folks come visit, Madison SD will at least enjoy a slight uptick in sales tax revenue. Come on over! :-D

  96. #96 Nerd of Redhead
    December 4, 2008

    Ompompanoosuc, since I’m not Cuttlefish (who is?) trying to make a living with words, I consider what I say here to be in the public domain. You’re right, it does sound a bit pompy, but it is accurate. And usually leads to gaping jaws when they realize you aren’t taking their religion seriously.

  97. #97 Donald James Parker
    December 6, 2008

    What Parker said was that we would not be bringing up the topic of God or religion in our meetings. And it really wasn’t important what I said – what is important is what the evidence says – and that is that Darwin theory falls woefully short of explaining the mysteries of life – for example where all the information contained in the DNA came from (not to mention DNA itself). Talk about flat earthers. Until Darwinists realize that information is not either matter or energy but constitutes a third entity of existence, they’re the ones living in the dark ages yet professing (and smug to be so) to be wise.

  98. #98 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 6, 2008

    And it really wasn’t important what I said – what is important is what the evidence says – and that is that Darwin theory falls woefully short of explaining the mysteries of life

    Which evidence is that? Please point us to it.

  99. #99 Nerd of Redhead
    December 6, 2008

    DJP, just another Liar for JebusTM. If there is evidence against evolution, please cite the scientific literature to back up your inane statement. I won’t be holding my breath. Also, if there is another theory out there, please cite the scientific literature to show it. Keep in mind any journals run by creationists and ID groups are not scientific, they are religious pretending to be scientific, so they don’t count.

    My pompy state is required here: Science is only refuted by more science, never religion.

  100. #100 Emmet Caulfield
    December 6, 2008

    where all the information contained in the DNA came from

    I’m no biologist, but as far as I understand it, the information in the DNA of an organism comes from the DNA of its progenitor organism(s), plus or minus a small amount due to random mutation, plus some acquired by zero or more of a number of other mechanisms including horizontal gene transfer, integration of viral DNA, …

    (not to mention DNA itself)

    Again, a biologist may correct me, but my understanding is that the DNA itself, the actual molecules, are most often produced by replication during mitosis, less often by meiosis, less often again during fusion/fertilisation, and less often still by PCR machines. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_replication