Pharyngula

New Scientist says Darwin was wrong

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Pity Roger Highfield, editor of New Scientist, which published an issue in which the cover was the large, bold declaration that “DARWIN WAS WRONG“. He has been target by a number of big name scientists who have been hammering him in a small typhoon of outraged private correspondence (I’ve been part of it) that his cover was a misdirected and entirely inappropriate piece of sensationalism. We’re already seeing that cover abused by creationists who see it as a tool — a reputable popular science journal has declared Darwin to be wrong, therefore, once again, science must be in retreat! — and I expect we’re going to have to face the headache of many school board meetings where that cover is flaunted as evidence that students ought to be taught about how weak Darwinism is.

I think it was a mistake on New Scientist‘s part. They could have published a cover that announced “DARWIN IS DEAD!”, which would be just as true and just as misleading, and would also bring nothing but joy to the ignorant. I don’t think it would really help sell magazines, even; I suspect that most creationists are going to only use that cover to flog their cause, and never read any deeper than the widely available cover image.

And you should read the inside. It sends a different message. Roger Highfield encouraged me to distribute the editorial that accompanied the article.

“THERE is nothing new to be discovered in physics.” So said Lord Kelvin in 1900, shortly before the intellectual firestorm ignited by relativity and quantum mechanics proved him comprehensively wrong.

If anyone now thinks that biology is sorted, they are going to be proved wrong too. The more that genomics, bioinformatics and many other newer disciplines reveal about life, the more obvious it becomes that our present understanding is not up to the job. We now gaze on a biological world of mind-boggling complexity that exposes the shortcomings of familiar, tidy concepts such as species, gene and organism.

A particularly pertinent example is provided in this week’s cover story – the uprooting of the tree of life which Darwin used as an organising principle and which has been a central tenet of biology ever since (see “Axing Darwin’s tree”). Most biologists now accept that the tree is not a fact of nature – it is something we impose on nature in an attempt to make the task of understanding it more tractable. Other important bits of biology – notably development, ageing and sex – are similarly turning out to be much more involved than we ever imagined. As evolutionary biologist Michael Rose at the University of California, Irvine, told us: “The complexity of biology is comparable to quantum mechanics.”

Biology has been here before. Although Darwin himself, with the help of Alfred Russel Wallace, triggered a revolution in the mid-1800s, there was a second revolution in the 1930s and 1940s when Ronald Fisher, J. B. S. Haldane, Sewall Wright and others incorporated Mendelian genetics and placed evolution on a firm mathematical foundation.

As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, we await a third revolution that will see biology changed and strengthened. None of this should give succour to creationists, whose blinkered universe is doubtless already buzzing with the news that “New Scientist has announced Darwin was wrong”. Expect to find excerpts ripped out of context and presented as evidence that biologists are deserting the theory of evolution en masse. They are not.

Nor will the new work do anything to diminish the standing of Darwin himself. When it came to gravitation and the laws of motion, Isaac Newton didn’t see the whole picture either, but he remains one of science’s giants. In the same way, Darwin’s ideas will prove influential for decades to come.

So here’s to the impending revolution in biology. Come Darwin’s 300th anniversary there will be even more to celebrate.

The cover is going to cause us some headaches, but just be prepared with that bit of text — I think even just the paragraph I’ve highlighted will be sufficient — and when a creationists sticks those 3 words in your face, just ask them to stretch their reading abilities a little bit further and read those 72 words.

It’s going to be hard, though. Most creationists can’t read that many big words strung together all at once without twisting them, either.

Comments

  1. #1 Brownian
    January 28, 2009

    One day, when we’re past all this bullshit, we’ll all stand together united as humans and give the sad, pathetic hangers-on of creationism a collective kick in the ass for forcing us to live in a world in which language cannot be used in any sort of fun or creative way for fear that the semi-literate fools will misinterpret it to support their hate-mongering.

    Creationists: you fucking suck, you drab, deceitful drones.

  2. #2 Richard Harris
    January 28, 2009

    It’s gonna be the mother lode for quote-mining Cretinists.

  3. #3 Glen Davidson
    January 28, 2009

    Reportedly, it’s already been used in the Texas hearings (pandasthumb.org/archives/2009/01/new-scientist-i-1.html). Apparently NS failed to bring that up in reporting on the Texas battle.

    Sure, NS told the correct story, even predicting the dishonest misuse of their headline. But it’s old news, stuff they’ve reported on many times, hardly meriting the sensationalistic title they gave it even apart from the cretin/IDiot issue.

    Of course it’s just a cheap gimmick, nothing to get too worked up about. They could try not to give fuel to the dishonest morons, though. It might make the scientists they interview more forthcoming.

    Are they really so uncaring about how science fares in the US?

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  4. #4 Hairhead
    January 28, 2009

    WHY OH WHY ARE SCIENTISTS, OTHERWISE INTELLIGENT, SO BRAIN-DEAD WHEN IT COMES TO BASIC PUBLIC ARGUMENTATION?

    First rule of any public debate, don’t say to your opponent, “Yes, your statement is absolutely correct: abortion is murder/blacks are dumber than whites/liberals are pedophiles/science and religion are exactly the same/black is white/up is down/ and you’re NOT a lying, duplicitious, sex-neurotic, backstabbing godbot.

    Please? Please!

  5. #5 Nerd of Redhead
    January 28, 2009

    The editors should have known better, but all print media is suffering in the internet age. They haven’t done anybody any favors, and they need to acknowledge that they oversold the hype other than halfway down a page. Sigh.

  6. #6 Johnny Vector
    January 28, 2009

    Oh but the cover doesn’t mention religion, so it’s a good job of framing!

  7. #7 Alex
    January 28, 2009

    I don’t idolize Darwin, so I don’t see it as sensationalist to say he was wrong. Creationists would be correct in asserting Darwin was wrong. They’d also be correct in asserting Newton was wrong. So what if they have another incredibly weak argument (Creationist: “Look at this magazine cover! It says Darwin was wrong, therefore ID should be taught in science class!”)? If they actually use it, it just gives people another very easy opportunity to make them look like the fools they are.

  8. #8 RM
    January 28, 2009

    Pathetic gimmick to sell magazines when the editor admittedly knew it wood cause harm, yet he speaks down to creationists. They seem to be in about the same ark as far as I can see.

  9. #9 E.V.
    January 28, 2009

    Our first twit of the day contest:

    Looks like we have a winner! Darwimpcritic!
    You’ll be receiving your new tinfoil hat replacement in the mail. Just keep waiting under that rock of yours.

  10. #10 Pablo
    January 28, 2009

    It’s one thing to inadvertantly make statements that creationists can twist and contort and take out of context. Given their acrobatics, it’s almost impossible to avoid such situations. But jeez, given that you know they do it, how irresponsible is it for a fairly authoritative source to simply hand it out, admitting full well that are going to use it out of context?

  11. #11 Tom Foss
    January 28, 2009

    More gimmicky, and more correct, was the National Geographic from a few years ago, which asked on the cover “Was Darwin wrong?” The first page of the article: a huge “NO.”

  12. #12 Norman Doering
    January 28, 2009

    The cover of my newest National Geographic is sprawled with the title: “What Darwin Didn’t Know.” Of course, the articles are very pro-Darwin.

  13. #13 Dr. J
    January 28, 2009

    If they actually use it, it just gives people another very easy opportunity to make them look like the fools they are.

    The problem is they don’t care…they are NEVER wrong. It must be grand to never have to think about whether or not you are correct – difficult to do for those of us that understand science.

    Why on Earth would they stop now? Does anyone think they will ever see themselves as fools?

  14. #14 wombat
    January 28, 2009

    Obviously, the headline is overly simplistic in the way that a good number of headlines are. The editorial is a very good answer to it but who will read it? Those of us who are centered around a scientific mindset will understand that “Darwin was wrong” really means “Darwin didn’t exactly get the processes by which simply life traded genetic information”. The Creationists aren’t really the problem with the cover. They would discount the article either way. It’s the non-science fence sitters that will be the problem. While I appreciate the editorial that was attached, I still object to it. It was unnecessary to the story and will cause unneeded confusion to the lay person who will have it thrown in their face by the Christian fascists.

  15. #15 Pyrrhonic
    January 28, 2009

    It’s an easy enough mistake to make, but the creationists have taken non-propositional language (it’s satirical) for propositional. One of the things that has always amazed me about these types is their inability to understand literary language. Conservatives et al., seem simply unable to detect irony, understand metaphor, or to piece through other more difficult linguistic problems. So sad, too, because, if you skip the more monotonous books of laws, the Bible is full of good literary material.

    How do we develop the kinds of critical reading practices that will help us to avoid these problems?

  16. #16 Josh
    January 28, 2009

    Anybody have any idea in what way the Tree of Life is not a fact of nature? Are they saying the theory of common descent is wrong? Because that’s what I think of when I think of the Tree of Life.

  17. #17 JD
    January 28, 2009

    Great, more facile sensationalism for the tard brigade.

  18. #18 J-Dog
    January 28, 2009

    Put me down also for some of that “I don’t care what the fine print says either” – what a stupid-assed stupid cover!

    The “creator”, I mean “designer” of the cover was probably wearing a “kick-me” sign taped to their back through-out high school, and I would like to help them re-live those vital years.

  19. #19 Norman Doering
    January 28, 2009

    Dr. J asked:

    Does anyone think they will ever see themselves as fools?

    I’m pretty sure that Ray Comfort never will.

  20. #20 Qwerty
    January 28, 2009

    As a non-scientist, this headline is indeed misleading when reading the editorial that accompanied the article, but I guess “Darwin’s ‘Tree of Life’ Maybe an Inaccurate Representation of Evolution and Is Probably Outdated, but His Basic Discoveries Still Remain the Foundation of Evolutionary Thinking” might be a more accurate representation of what they are trying to say but they couldn’t get it all on the cover.

    Yea, I can see why PZ and other scientists are pissed. It’s hard enough to get the average non-scientist to ignore creationist crap when stuff like this emanates from a periodical that calls itself NEWSCIENTIST.

  21. #21 AJ Milne
    January 28, 2009

    Anybody have any idea in what way the Tree of Life is not a fact of nature?

    I’d expect from that sort of phrasing they’re probably referring to the rather more ‘incestuously self-grafting bush’ view of some early ancestry. As in prior to and outside modern eukaryotes and their relatively simple chains of branching descendance, there was probably rather more of a gene-swapping free-for going on–so you can’t really draw it just as a simply branching tree–more one in which shoots from some branches collide and graft with others…

    (That said, no, I haven’t read it. But that is something of an issue with respect to that particular metaphor, anyway.)

  22. #22 WizardJim
    January 28, 2009

    You know, one day I hope to see a world where any science publication can put whatever they damn well like on their cover without risk of misrepresentation by idiotic science-deniers. Sadly this is not yet that world, and New Scientist should damn well know better.

  23. #23 AJ Milne
    January 28, 2009

    More on this: Dr. Moran had a series on this a while ago–see The Web of Life and related, if you’re interested.

  24. #24 Julie Stahlhut
    January 28, 2009

    I absolutely detest this kind of crap, and consider it journalistic malpractice. I still remember the headlines going around on the web a few years back, not long after medical researchers discovered the role of a carbohydrate molecule — a normal component of cells — in the inflammation pathway characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis. At least one newspaper ran the story under the headline “CAN CARBS CAUSE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS?”

    The New Scientist cover is mind-bogglingly stupid, unprofessional, and an insult to the intelligence of the publication’s readers.

  25. #25 Aaron
    January 28, 2009

    Pyrrhonic @16 : “How do we develop the kinds of critical reading practices that will help us to avoid these problems?”

    I’ve recently been advocating the necessity of critical reading, logic, and statistics as the necessary tools to fight ignorance, but most of society seems indifferent.

    Perhaps, with a slight evolutionary nod, we should add to the adaptive pressure by modifying society so these tools are necessary in day to day life.

    1. Crossing the street at a stop light would require you to solve a puzzle before knowing if it was walk / don’t walk.
    2. Rid ourselves of most consumer protection laws. Leave it up to the individuals to read the fine print and do the calculations and experiments to determine if a product is harmful.
    3. Bribe publishers to start adding random variation into religious texts. At first it might be simple, such as occasionally changing Eve’s name to Steve, but we could work our way up to promoting courthouse monuments espousing the 17 commandments.

  26. #26 William Gulvin
    January 28, 2009

    ¡Ay, caramba!

    There are a whole lot of fools out there that figure if they’ve read the title they’ve read the book. Not good.

    Look, everyone is “wrong” in some respect, but that doesn’t debase those points where they are right, sometimes, as is the case with Darwin, spectacularly so.

  27. #27 Tabby Lavalamp
    January 28, 2009

    And I thought the Ms. cover trying to paint Obama as a feminist was bad…

  28. #28 Pete UK
    January 28, 2009

    Perhaps it’s time to move on from Darwin. Yes, there was much he didn’t know and things he got wrong. The edifice we should be admiring and explaining is the one we have now, replete with the insights of Fisher, Hamilton and co and the foundations of modern genetics, molecular biology, evo-devo etc.

    Headlines such as “Darwin was wrong” only serve to imply that it is important that he was right. It isn’t. His huge contribution started us all in the right directlon, but we don’r want to give the impression we’re propping up an idea that hasn’t moved forward for 150 years.

    You might as well say that the Greeks were wrong – it isn’t earth, air, fire and water after all. It’s trivial compared to modern chemistry, which is vastly different, rests on far more data and is, frankly, unassailable in its power to interpret and predict.

    THe upside of the anniversary of the publication of “The Origin” is that it’s an opportunity to take Evolution to the masses. The downside is it focuses attention inevitably on the 150 year old version and the blanks on the map that have actually been filled since. Better to my mind to present the full canvas rather than the (wonderful) studio daubs of the original artist.

  29. #29 Jadehawk
    January 28, 2009

    epic fail

    first the “God Particle”, now this. why do some scientists/publishers try so hard to make it more difficult for the rest of us to fight the plague of creationism?!

    and I can’t even write this up as an accidentally bad phrasing. it was willfully negligent, as the editorial proves.

  30. #30 I am so wise
    January 28, 2009

    Given the flak given to creationists by some here and elsewhere for calling the modern evolutionary synthesis “Darwinianism” or “neo-Darwinianism,” this magazine cover should be welcomed. After all, declaring Darwin “dead” and showing how far science has advanced in his absence is a good way to do it because it deflates Darwin as a target, complaints about creationists? misuse of the cover aside.

    Also, kudos to New Scientist for not dumbing down a provocative presentation of advances in science and Darwinian history for free of idiots miss using it. It is high time the forces of common sense, basic intelligence, and rationalism stop pandering to rank idiocy, the dumb-dumbs, and the lowest common denominator.

  31. #31 Patricia, OM
    January 28, 2009

    We’ll never hear the end of this. What a damn fool stunt.

  32. #32 Jadehawk
    January 28, 2009

    also, I suspect this cover will haunt us for decades, just like that sensationalist piece of shit Newsweek headline from 1975: “The cooling world”

  33. #33 Sceptical Chymist
    January 28, 2009

    I had a subscription to the “New Scientist” several years ago but did not renew it after concluding that many of the articles claimed novelty for old and well established scientific facts, while others were merely trivial or downright incorrect.

  34. #34 Jim Thomerson
    January 28, 2009

    Why was this thought timely? I have known about horizontal evolution for many years, and have lectured about it in the context of antibiotics in livestock feed to my ‘biology for music majors’ classes. It’s nothing new, and has been discussed in articles in Systematic Biology, for example.

  35. #35 Sigmund
    January 28, 2009

    Come on, New Scientist are a UK based publication, standing up for UK science and what better way to do that then by helping bugger up the competitors science education system!
    On a more serious note there is some current irony in that Darwins biggest mistake was missing genetics in favor of a blending theory of inheritance – whereas the fatal flaw of the bifurcating tree of life is that it misses out the fact that a certain degree of ‘blending’ – in the form of horizontal gene transfer – was clearly important in the history of life on earth.

  36. #36 Spyderkl
    January 28, 2009

    But see, that would also require a creationist to be able to open the magazine to get to the editorial page.

    Sorry, IMO New Scientist knew exactly what they were doing when they published the issue with that cover/title. It’s a big part of why I’d sooner slog through my sister’s copy of C&E News before I’d pick up New Scientist. I’d be reading about, well, science at least.

  37. #37 LisaJ
    January 28, 2009

    Honestly, what the hell were they thinking?? If ever you want to purposefully bait creationists and IDiots to make our plight of enhancing public rationality more difficult, well, this is the way to do it. Well done, I guess.

  38. #38 Sastra
    January 28, 2009

    If the political controversy wasn’t so dangerous right now, there’d be nothing wrong with the title. But it is, so there is. Couldn’t they have at least made the title “DARWIN WAS (partly) WRONG?”

    You don’t see the religious doing this. They don’t put “KEN HAM IS GAY” on the cover of their magazines — and then you open it up and find out that they really mean he’s happy about something or other (ooh gotcha, huh?). No, they know a lot of people only look at covers, and they’re not going to play into the fantasies of those who don’t like their views and put themselves into a position where they have to keep explaining lest an urban legend get started.

  39. #39 Stephanurus
    January 28, 2009

    “If anyone now thinks that biology is sorted,”'”

    That phrase is in the 2nd paragraph. What does “sorted” mean in this context? Is it a typo?

    stephanurus

  40. #40 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 28, 2009

    WAIT A MINUTE?!?!?!?!

    Ken Ham is gay?

    Does Ted Haggard know?

  41. #41 Matt Heath
    January 28, 2009

    NS is often very readable and informative, but it does suffer from sensationalist desire to proclaim revolutions every 6 minutes. Taking the normal progression of understanding and rewriting it as “Scientists are shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, by finding out that they didn’t quite have things right before” is just what they do.

    It’s kind of like the NME constantly turning random collections of bands into the New Big Movement that will Change Rock N Roll Forever!!1

  42. #42 cactusren
    January 28, 2009

    “biologists are deserting the theory of evolution en masse.” Yeah, thanks, New Scientist, for simultaneously admitting that creationists will quote-mine, while not being careful at all in what you say.

    @Jim Thomerson–The bicentennial of Darwin’s birth is coming up on Feb. 12, so the timing of this article likely has much more to do with that than with any new discoveries in the area of horizontal gene transfer.

  43. #43 Jason
    January 28, 2009

    I just received my issue of National Geographic and the cover says “What Darwin didn’t know”

    So maybe there was pressure from marketing to have the same cover.

  44. #44 themann1086
    January 28, 2009

    New Scientist is a barely-influential journal that only gets cited by other scientists ripping into it for giving credence to psuedoscience (aren’t they the ones that published that “Free Energy!!!1!” article a couple years ago?). Now they’ve found a new way to get attention.

  45. #45 E.V.
    January 28, 2009

    I’m sure I’ve said this before, I love you Sastra.

  46. #46 Treenewt
    January 28, 2009

    Time to cancel subscriptions en masse. Log in here and cancel it:https://www.qssweb.co.uk/nssubs/Account/Login.aspx?type=S

  47. #47 Matt Heath
    January 28, 2009

    Sigmund@36: You know the UK has it’s own Creationists, right?

    Stafanurus@40: “Sorted” in informal British English is roughly “All in order” (or “currently in possession of all the speed and ecstasy one requires”, but I doubt he meant that)

  48. #48 peon
    January 28, 2009

    Crazy deluded scientific minded people:
    Evolutionists flock to Darwin-shaped wall stain:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/evolutionists_flock_to_darwin

  49. #49 Tony Popple
    January 28, 2009

    Just the humble opinion of a amateur….

    I think we will need to remind creationist of the Correspondence Principle. (I seem to remember Gould applying the principle to biology in one of his books.)

    The discovery of Relativity in physics showed Newton?s laws to be incomplete, but this doesn?t mean that Newton was wrong. Newton?s laws are still valid under the conditions we encounter in our everyday lives, and they are used by thousands of scientists and engineers everyday. The important point is that the knowledge we acquired through Newton?s laws was not discarded; it was put into a larger framework.

    The same is true of evolution. The observations we collected over the years are still valid and must be accounted for. The same princples are there; they have simply been put into a framework that reflects a larger picture.

  50. #50 Blake Stacey
    January 28, 2009

    “THERE is nothing new to be discovered in physics.” So said Lord Kelvin in 1900, shortly before the intellectual firestorm ignited by relativity and quantum mechanics proved him comprehensively wrong.

    Argh. No. Just don’t go there.

  51. #51 bobxxxx
    January 28, 2009

    On the internet the National Geographic article includes a video: What Darwin Didn’t Know

  52. #52 Sastra
    January 28, 2009

    E.V.:

    *kissies* ;)

  53. #53 Quiet_Desperation
    January 28, 2009

    Ultimate controversial title:

    “DARWIN IS IN HEAVEN WITH 72 VIRGINS”

    Or is it 74? I lose track of those fine philosophical details as I age.

  54. #54 Quiet_Desperation
    January 28, 2009

    There are a whole lot of fools out there that figure if they’ve read the title they’ve read the book. Not good.

    With the notable exceptions of “See Spot Run”, “If I Did It” and anything with “Ann Coulter” under the title.

  55. #55 Austin
    January 28, 2009

    Not surprised in the least. I actually expected the inside to match the cover, with interviews of “revolutionary, maverick scientists pushing the boundaries of what we think we know”. New Scientist suckered me once when they reported on the factual basis of the “memory of water”. Never again

  56. #56 J.D.
    January 28, 2009

    Darwin was wrong much like Newton was wrong. True only in the strictest sense. Their genius is the synthesis of observations into a coherent framework (i.e. theory) that represented true breakthroughs in human understanding. Frameworks that made testable predictions that were verified over decades due to how good those first approximation frameworks were.

    The general public and creos in particular just can’t get over the idea of absolute certainty which science never has. All we can do is prove things wrong and we celebrate when such leads to new and improved insights and when theories stand up to the relentless assault on their veracity by scientists over time. All completely foreign concepts to IDiots. We can never be absolutely sure, only asymptotically closer to how the universe actually behaves. Creos like their knowledge to be absolute cocksure ignorance.

  57. #57 Sam C
    January 28, 2009

    Not all the world is America. In Britain, where New Scientist is written and published, there is no huge baying crowd of frothy-mouthed creationists. We have a few, but creationism has no influence. Religion in faith schools, yes, but that’s a separate issue.

    The creationist movement is your problem with your loonies, you sort it. Should British magazines pander to America’s failings just because you understand our language?

    Yes, it was a sensationalist cover. No, it was not a problem in Britain, where it can be recognised as an attention-grabber. Remember, our culture is different – how many of you realise that? The same words do not always carry the same significance.

    And it’s so irrelevant: too few commenters seem to appreciate that creationism is not a scientific issue, it’s a political one. The scientific argument is an irrelevant distraction, the creationists aren’t interested except for its trouble-making potential, it’s power and influence they want.

    Good luck with your struggle, but this blogomobolynching thing is very distasteful.

  58. #58 Tulse
    January 28, 2009

    This is not the first time that New Scientist has gone for sensationalism over science — their 2006 article on the “reactionless” Em Drive caused a huge outcry in the physics community, as the drive violates the law of conservation of momentum. The magazine published a notpology a few weeks later, with such choice phrases as

    We should have made more explicit where it apparently contravenes the laws of nature and reported that several physicists declined to comment on the device because they thought it too contentious.

    Ya think? But their excuse?

    But should New Scientist should have covered this story at all? The answer is a resounding yes: it is, after all, an ideas magazine. That means writing about hypotheses as well as theories.

    I presume they’ll be covering the hypotheses of homeopathy and feng shui next…

  59. #59 eddie
    January 28, 2009

    On the subject of horisontal (brit spelling ;¬) evolution and gene transfer; it helps to see the early development of single celled organizms (US spelling ;¬) evolving together and only later, with multicellularity and differentiation do we see splitting of gene lines. Kinda like a tree, with a trunk at the base and later branching out. So tell me again how darwin was wrong.

    Also, NS magazine must be in some deep doodoo. I stopped reading it after one too many templetons. I remember that their advertising was of 2 types; job adverts directed at students looking for a career, and ads for flash cars, directed at research directors, etc. I lot of these readerships have moved online and don’t need to pay the cover price NS needs to ask to stay afloat.

  60. #60 Jadehawk
    January 28, 2009

    Sam C @57

    Not all the world is America. In Britain, where New Scientist is written and published, there is no huge baying crowd of frothy-mouthed creationists. We have a few, but creationism has no influence. Religion in faith schools, yes, but that’s a separate issue.
    The creationist movement is your problem with your loonies, you sort it. Should British magazines pander to America’s failings just because you understand our language?
    […]

    First they came for America….

    1)You have creationists, too. and you REALLY shouldn’t encourage them
    2)The rest of Europe has a growing number of creobots, too
    3)Whether we like it or not, everybody should care about what happens to the U.S.A. It’s the most weaponized country in the world, and no sane person would want creobots to get powerful enough to use those toys.

  61. #61 Brownian
    January 28, 2009

    WAIT A MINUTE?!?!?!?!

    Ken Ham is gay?

    Does Ted Haggard know?

    Do you mean ‘know’ in the Biblical sense?

  62. #62 Blake Stacey
    January 28, 2009

    Not all the world is America. In Britain, where New Scientist is written and published, there is no huge baying crowd of frothy-mouthed creationists. We have a few, but creationism has no influence. Religion in faith schools, yes, but that’s a separate issue.

    Get them to stop selling their magazine in this country, and you might have a point.

  63. #63 davem
    January 28, 2009

    Eddit: “On the subject of horisontal (brit spelling ;¬) evolution and gene transfer; it helps to see the early development of single celled organizms (US spelling ;¬) e”

    Er, that’ll be ‘horizontal’ in real English, thank you. (and ‘organisms’ too). Damned yankees and their corruption of our fine mother tongue :0)

  64. #64 kev_s
    January 28, 2009

    New Scientist is used as a source by other journalists too lazy to research science stories for themselves. Stories in NS appear in other UK papers a day or two later. I believe NS has a substantial non-UK readership so perhaps non-UK newspapers ‘lift’ items from it too. Therefore although professional scientists might not pay NS much attention, its influence on the general public’s perception of these issues is probably greater than you might think.
    This was an irresponsible head-line which might do much damage.

  65. #65 Maus
    January 28, 2009

    “when a creationists sticks those 3 words in your face, just ask them to stretch their reading abilities a little bit further and read those 72 words.”

    Nigh impossible. Though everyone who has the capacity to research and think critically knows that the insides will say something different, this sort of attention-whoring damages science at large in the public eye.

  66. #66 E.V.
    January 28, 2009

    Easy to fix. Cancel your subscriptions to NS.

    What do you mean you don’t read it? -somebody has to!
    Oh, the marginally scientific crowd who used to read Omni….

  67. #67 KenG
    January 28, 2009

    Ooi, it took until #59 to get to the crux of the article- the linear progress with bifurcations that we see in the branches of the tree of life gets really messy down in the microbial (and lower eukaryotic) world where horizontal gene transfer is certainly functioning to give a sort of “reticulated” structure. Now, of course Darwin wasn’t and couldn’t be aware of this with the technology available in his time which just goes to emphasise the sensationalist nature of the NS cover. I have 2 thoughts:
    1) roots often anasmotose (sic) to give a form of reticulation so the microbial world can be seen as the “roots of the tree of life”
    2) if creationists rush out and actually buy the magazine then hopefully someone in their family will get to read the whole thing and may be captured by the excitement of science.

  68. #68 Crystal D.
    January 28, 2009

    There was a National Geographic issue a few years ago with the headline “Was Darwin Wrong?”. When you flipped to the article, it started with “NO.” in a giant font. Very funny.

  69. #69 'Tis Himself
    January 28, 2009

    The creationist movement is your problem with your loonies, you sort it. Should British magazines pander to America’s failings just because you understand our language?

    Britain has its own set of loonies. Prince Chuck supports homeopathy. His dad has a few controversial interests also.

  70. #70 maxamillion
    January 28, 2009

    I canceled my subscription

  71. #71 Silver Fox
    January 28, 2009

    My-O-My, but I do believe, Beauregard, that this fellow Darwin’s approval rating in lower than Our Ex-President’s.

    Well, Olivia, that’s what he gets for trying to make monkeys of us and I say he is well deserving of a good thrashing.

    And, Beauregard, didn’t he say something about mutations?

    Well now, Olivia, you know that when I see Prescott’s boy, the one who lives up the road, I think that crazy Darwin fellow might actually have been on to something.

    Now, Beauregard, our neighbors would not take kindly to that; the boy is maybe a little morphologically deprived but there is no need for you to be running him back up the tree of life.

    Watch your driving of this here carriage, Beauregard, you just hit that possum. And just think in a few years that possum would’ve been a full grown man.

  72. #72 Aaron
    January 28, 2009

    One question for all those who have canceled their subscription or are planning to do so:

    Have you first written a letter to complain, or are you at least planning on subscribing to another science magazine?

    If not, then all your efforts will accomplish is to add to the continuing drop in the magazine and newspaper subscription rates around the country. The publishers will not know why, and will have no recourse to correct that behavior. If you enjoy good science journalism, then you should encourage it with your dollars.

  73. #73 Neil B ?
    January 28, 2009

    I thought it was all straight for years, that of course Darwin was wrong because he didn’t understand mutation and modern selection. BTW the issue really isn’t whether a particular theory of how evolution works is true, but the continuity of life in the context of long-term change. If critters begat other critters, then there had to be evolution if life was different in the Cambrian etc. than it is now.

  74. #74 Prometheus
    January 28, 2009

    I don’t see anything about New Scientist using a puerile ridiculous headline to sell a magazine that conflicts with fine British journalistic traditions. Perhaps the next headline can announce a cash prize for the first mathematician to develop a formula to “Find Maddy” or the mechanical physics of a conspiracy to murder “The People’s Princess”.

  75. #75 Patricia, OM
    January 28, 2009

    Speaking of Ted Haggard… he’s going to be on Oprah today. I’ve got my barf bucket ready, this should be quite a show.

  76. #76 Prometheus
    January 28, 2009

    I too am rather nauseous at the thought of Haggard but let’s you and I make a pact to refrain, for the sake of decorum, from mentioning the gag reflex when he is a topic.

  77. #77 CJO
    January 28, 2009

    And just think in a few years right now that possum would’ve been a full grown man is smarter than a creationist.

    Fixed that for you, Max.

  78. #78 Prometheus
    January 28, 2009

    I too am rather nauseous at the thought of Haggard but let’s you and I make a pact to refrain, for the sake of decorum, from mentioning the gag reflex when he is a topic.

  79. #79 Hambydammit
    January 28, 2009

    This reminds me of the snit between Gould apologists and Darwin apologists regarding punctuated equilibrium versus gradualism. It seems that scientists face a kind of catch-22. On one hand, they can write headlines which are dry, meticulously factual, and virtually impervious to quote mining. If they do this, only scientists will read the magazines, and the public’s demand for sensationalism will be met by Christians and Pop Stars. On the other hand, scientists can try to “sex up” their headlines, but if they do that, they get quote mined by the Creationists, and we have to go through another round of explaining the basics of the scientific method.

    It’s enough to make me want to cry.

  80. #80 Peter Ashby
    January 28, 2009

    Having read the article in question (I have a subscription to NS) it makes the point that the vast majority of life is prokaryotic, most of the rest is single celled eukaryotic and us multicellular lifeforms are just a little bump on top. Down amongst the protists having whole sections of your genome from different relatives is simply de rigeur dahling. Even the idea that the multicellular bit might be a tree is creaking. Remember the tunicates (sea squirts) the only animals who can make cellulose because they have the entire synthesis pathway from an algae? Draw a narrow colour coded line denoting the proportion over to the plants from the chordates.

    I have reported here before recently about the gene I cloned from a chicken that hit only humans and mosquitos on the database. That discovery was an accident but chalk up a line linking Homo sapiens, a dinosaurian and an insect. Still think that tree analogy is right with a webwork lacing and looping amongst the branches?

    Oh and before I forget, there is increasing evidence that us placental mammals owe it all to some viruses for the placenta. But then at base the eukaryote cell is a syncitium of different bacteria so at base multicellular life just smears into that indivisible soup of the mass of life.

  81. #81 helvetica
    January 28, 2009

    I think #71 is overcompensating just a weeeee bit to #15’s criticisms.

  82. #82 mothra
    January 28, 2009

    Thanks ‘New Scientist’ for that new doorstop at the entrance to the Dark Ages! JD #56 beat me to the perspectives of ‘wrongness’ comment. I can only add, had the cover put a number of scientists (even leading with Darwin), i.e. Darwin was wrong, Newton, Bohr, Pauling, etc. and used this as a springboard to discuss the progress of science since TOoS it could have been a good retrospective issue. As is, The editor should be docked a month’s pay (each February) for his remaining tenure as editor.

    @Sam C. #57. 1) I am rather sure that there are more American than British subscriptions to New Scientist, probably by a factor greater than 20 to one. 2) It is NOT solely a political issue- research dollars at state and even regional levels could and may be negatively affected by such tripe. You sound like a ‘cultural misanthrope.’ 3) Dispelling ignorance in the world and, about the scientific world we live in, is to varying degrees the responsibility of everyone in the scientific community. This editor has abrogated his editorship and abdicated his responsibility.

  83. #83 Pareidolius
    January 28, 2009

    #57
    Distasteful? RahTHER! Purveyors of advertising (oh, sorry, adVERtisments) here on this side of the pond have an old saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. Of course, this is nonsense. There is such a thing as bad publicity and it’s usually the result of creative hubris run amok. I can’t tell you how many meetings I’ve sat through where the creatives have presented what they thought was just the greatest thing in the world, only to be greeted by stony silence and glares from the account executives and clients. Sometimes it’s the caffeine. Sometimes it’s lack of direction. Sometimes it’s lack of sleep. But if the hubris-laden creative makes it past the client and AEs, it’s usually a decision based on desperation to sell something. These are desperate times. Expect more hyperbole in the year to come from all publications as they scramble for readers to pick them up. Natural. Selection.

  84. #84 mothra
    January 28, 2009

    @ 80
    “I have reported here before recently about the gene I cloned from a chicken that hit only humans and mosquitos on the database. That discovery was an accident but chalk up a line linking Homo sapiens, a dinosaurian and an insect. Still think that tree analogy is right with a webwork lacing and looping amongst the branches?”

    You may be next in line for editorship at New Scientist. The paragraph quoted above conveys the idea that you would draw relatedness between taxa other than the currently understood phylogeny (based upon many genes, morphological and fossil evidence). Your limited evidence only suggests that: the gene you found originated far further back in time, or, horizontal transfer (with a helper virus and a bacillus for example). It does NOT indicate any relatedness between the disparate taxa you listed beyond that already known. Or to state it concisely: a dendrogram showing the relatedness among organisms does not mirror a dendrogram for an individual gene- but you should know this.

    On the positive side, your discovery is very exciting and maybe you have the first piece of a puzzle leading to discovery of new mechanisms/symbionts in gene transfer. Or, your gene may be part of a family of genes that might reveal some ‘deep ancestry’ roots or a deep time horizontal transfer.

  85. #85 Longtime Lurker
    January 28, 2009

    Should British magazines pander to America’s failings just because you understand our language?

    Should British scientists suffer when research in the U.S. is hampered by fundagelical loons with altogether too much political power?

    We’re in the same boat.

    YOU FAIL IT!

  86. #86 Arne
    January 28, 2009

    Let’s tell the editors of New Scientist they should have DARWIN WAS RIGHT on their next cover.

    His being right is of more importance than his being “wrong”.

  87. #87 Pierce R. Butler
    January 28, 2009

    Even if claims of major lateral genetic transfers among multicellular organisms are confirmed in abundance, the tree metaphor still works.

    I have seen long-abandoned crepe myrtles whose forked branches grew together without assistance, and deliberate re-joining of live branches, aka pleaching, is a well-developed art.

  88. #88 Egaeus
    January 28, 2009

    Since when are New Scientist headlines not inappropriate and sensationalist.

  89. #89 Frank Anderson
    January 28, 2009

    Ooi, it took until #59 to get to the crux of the article- the linear progress with bifurcations that we see in the branches of the tree of life gets really messy down in the microbial (and lower eukaryotic) world where horizontal gene transfer is certainly functioning to give a sort of “reticulated” structure.

    I keep complaining about this article, despite having only read a blurb about the article on The Guardian‘s website…

    Anyway, yes — horizontal gene transfer (HGT) definitely happens. Even with microbes, though, it doesn’t completely splinter relationships among lineages. HGT happens, but we recognize it as such because in the major lineages, the tree of life remains the best explanation for the genetic and morphological patterns we see. HGT, hybridization, incomplete lineage sorting, etc. have all been known about for a long time, and they are recognized as such in the context of a phylogeny (i.e., an tree depicting evolutionary relationships among lineages of organisms).

    But whatever. If Darwin was wrong and the Tree of Life is just an outdated metaphor that should be abandoned, someone had better call NSF. They’re running the “Assembling the Tree of Life” program again this year. And have them cancel the Systematic Biology cluster while they’re at it!

    Just kidding. Please don’t do that.

  90. #90 Brain Hertz
    January 28, 2009

    By the way, Jeffrey Dach has two blog posts up already including the cover as his illustration:

    http://open.salon.com/user_blog.php?uid=5400

    Oh, and I sent an email to the Salon editors complaining about his bullshit in the earlier post (I didn’t use words like “bullshit”, though… I was much more polite).

  91. #91 Kel
    January 28, 2009

    This is going to take a lot of explaining, I’m betting creationists will use this as an argument against evolution without even bothering to read what was inside. *sigh* it’s going to be a long year.

  92. #92 Nerd of Redhead
    January 28, 2009

    Kel, creobots reading beyond the title? That would actually require them to open a book or magazine. I just don’t see that happening. A well read crebot. What an oxymoron.

  93. #93 Leigh Williams
    January 28, 2009

    As many of you know, we are fighting the science standards battle right now in Texas.

    Dealing with the creationists on our state board of education is like playing whack-a-mole with evil robot moles. No sooner did we get rid of the “strengths and weaknesses” language, than they popped back up with amendments to

    1) cast doubt on common ancestry
    2) substitute ?analyze and evaluate? in place of other verbs, such as ?recognize? or ?describe?
    3) require that ?differing theories? about ?the structure, scale, composition, origin and history of the universe?

    Creationists just relentlessly hammered with amendment after amendment clearly crafted to open the door to ID while casting doubt on science. These are just the ones that passed. It’s pretty clear that this flurry of punches confused some of the pro-science board members; they blocked most of the blows, but a few connected . . . and they were very damaging. I believe that these new standards, if adopted as they are currently worded, have the potential to provide MUCH more cover for creationist teachers and local school boards than the original “strengths and weaknesses” language ever did.

    The very LAST thing we needed at this juncture was a sensationalist pop-science take on Darwin, all ripe to get quote-mined and to influence public opinion. Shame on you, New Scientist!

  94. #94 Kel
    January 28, 2009

    Kel, creobots reading beyond the title? That would actually require them to open a book or magazine. I just don’t see that happening. A well read crebot. What an oxymoron.

    Yeah, I don’t see it happening either. Better make sure to get the magazine so I can have a reference for myself if any creationist wants to bring it up.

  95. #95 Brain Hertz
    January 28, 2009

    Oh, and I sent an email to the Salon editors complaining about his bullshit in the earlier post (I didn’t use words like “bullshit”, though… I was much more polite).

    Never mind – apparently Salon blogs are not editorially controlled in any way by Salon.

    Seems to be a bit of a mistake to associate the brand with any nutter who wants to create a blog, but then it isn’t my brand. The editors were good enough to send me a reply in any case…

  96. #96 Doesnt Matter
    January 28, 2009

    I can’t see the reason for the uproar.

    The battle for rationality hardly seems like one that can ever be won on the basis of having all scientists and science publications spinning every idea in hopes that creationists do not twist their words or quote-mine. Surely everyone who is switched on can plainly see from copious evidence that such an effort is utter folly. Need one be reminded that the cretins take the debates at evolution conferences to mean the theory evolution is wrong?

    Going further, it can be argued that the New Scientist cover is actually a trap. You believe the cover of New Scientist? Good, so you should also agree with the editorial, which shows, let’s see, aha! you’ve clearly been mislead by people who want to blind you from the truth by quote mining. This trap won’t ensnare many people, but those it cannot sway have little hope regardless, I’m afraid, and a different New Scientist could hardly have made a difference.

  97. #97 Mobius
    January 29, 2009

    I am not a biologist, so my opinion on the subject should be taken with a grain of salt. However, it strikes me that Darwin’s Tree of Life is not dead, but rather grown a bit fuzzy, particularly around the branching points.

    The more we learn about biology, the more we understand that the concept of species is not solid, but a bit hazy. Closely related species can and do occasionally cross breed. This appears to have happened for some time between the “human” and “chimp” lineages after they had moved to different environment. Personally, I do not find this surprising.

    Then we have ring species, which in many ways defy the old rigid concept of species.

    This is something creationists will likely never grasp. In their world, things are absolute. The modern, hazy, concept of species does not fit in their world.

  98. #98 Silver Fox
    January 29, 2009

    “to get quote-mined and to influence public opinion. Shame on you, New Scientist!”

    That’s all the creationists needed – a cover on a two-bit magazine. Hummmm, do I smell Ockham’s Razor here.

  99. #99 Brian's A Wild Downer
    January 29, 2009

    Yeah, I don’t see the problem. I’m planning on putting out a sign on Darwin Day that says Darwin Was Wrong and then handing out pamphlets that list the things that he actually was wrong about but that strengthen the theory of evolution.

  100. #100 Jadehawk
    January 29, 2009

    Silver Fox, don’t use phrases you don’t understand.

  101. #101 woodstein312
    January 29, 2009

    I’m going to agree with Sam C. on this one.
    The editors were under no obligation to account for how some fringe group of American religious nuts might misconstrue the intent behind their headline.
    It is unfortunate that the headline has been/or might be used by the creotards for their nefarious purposes, but to get all bent out of shape over one story in one magazine is simply unnecessary and, frankly, alarmist. One magazine does not have the power to undo all of the scientific progress behind evolution.
    Speaking as a journalist, I actually would applaud the editors in a way for their independence. I’m not sure if I would have written the same headline, but I also think they had enough ground to write it themselves. Folks in the scientific community might not like the article but the editors certainly aren’t bound by what they may or may not approve of when writing. Having a free press means one must often tolerate press one dislikes. This should comes as no surprise to anyone.

  102. #102 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 29, 2009

    Posted by: Jadehawk | January 29, 2009

    Silver Fox, don’t use phrases you don’t understand.

    If he were to do that, he would have nothing left to say.

  103. #103 Jadehawk
    January 29, 2009

    Posted by: Janine, Leftist Bozo | January 29, 2009 2:09 AM

    Posted by: Jadehawk | January 29, 2009

    Silver Fox, don’t use phrases you don’t understand.

    If he were to do that, he would have nothing left to say.

    not exactly an undesirable result

  104. #104 FishNChimps
    January 29, 2009

    The solution’s obvious. Persuade NewScientist to publish a countering front page. Oh, something like GOD DOES NOT EXIST, perhaps.
    And then, when the creationists wave the DARWIN WAS WRONG cover at rationalists, we can whip out the newer edition with a flourish and a loud “AHA – GOTCHA!”

  105. #105 Peter Ashby
    January 29, 2009

    @Mothra

    Your limited evidence only suggests that: the gene you found originated far further back in time, or, horizontal transfer (with a helper virus and a bacillus for example)

    If memory serves it was a protease, so most probably viral in origin. It was obviously a case of lateral transfer. But the article makes the point that when you use genes to track relatedness which genes you use can give you very different answers. The line my trivial example would draw would be minor indeed but there was a continuum of bodies in which that gene was copied meaning relatedness in that gene. Better relatedness than weird creatures like platypuses or narwhals faced those relying on physical characters.

    In essence Dawkins was right in the Selfish Gene, the gene centred view is the one that allows you to understand stuff like this. Bodies are vehicles in which alliances of genes travel through time. Sometimes other genes come in for a ride while others leave for other bodies. But at base you do not transmit anything other than genes (and some methyl groups) to your offspring. My spectacular and noble family nose did not get expressed in the eldest despite a very strong resemblance in other respects. Neither of them got their mother’s red hair, but the gene is there, it must be.

  106. #106 Daniel C
    January 29, 2009

    its all good, its how science should work. when stuff are proved wrong they should be discarded to make place to new theories, we all knew that we cannot depict the evolution of life on earth with the tree of life, as it doesn’t carter for cross breeding, but we continued to use it hindering our scientific research.
    Now just imagine what if creationist pointed out to HDT first instead of we addmited it was wrong. Id be ashamed of my self and go hiding somewhere.

    My suggestion is to buy this issue and read the article, so that you can explain to creationist exactly what it means

  107. #107 Daniel M
    January 29, 2009

    I think the old adage “give them enough rope to hang themselves…” comes to mind here.

    I think setting up little stumbling blocks just like this could prove useful to the cause, since creationists have proven themselves time and time again ignorant of the actual content of scientific articles. Imagine their faces in some high-profile setting when they trot out their big reveal…and we trounce it and show them up as the fools they are.

  108. #108 Heraclides
    January 29, 2009

    woodstein312,

    Good editors have a good handle on how their publication is perceived by its readership and what they expect of it. Readers of science magazines–and that’s not just scientists–expect a level of accuracy beyond that of a “pure” entertainment magazine. Humour or clever titles, etc., are fine, but headers that are inaccurate or strain credibility are likely to make readers grumpy. Likewise, if an article doesn’t put its issue at hand in a balanced context, it probably won’t be taken very well. Personally, I think that the editors have, hopefully temporarily, overlooked what readers expect of them. My take on it is that they played a “hype” game that didn’t suit the kind of publication they are, that ran counter to the expectations of their readership.

    The “brave free press line” would make sense in, say, international or political reporting, but it’s misplaced in this context. It’s not hard at all to present most controversial subjects in science magazines, but how you present it matters to the readership.

    I think that science magazines lose their grip if they let journalism rule over the science: journalism and writing strategies, etc., should add to and aid the presentation of the science, not replace the science or contradict it.

    My recollection of reading of the article is that it could be a lot better, but to be fair, that’s true of almost anything in retrospect. (And journalists do have limited time to work on a piece.) That said, two things in particular bothered me: it pushed one “theme” without much of the context that would have balanced it, and it presented the issue as a “conflict” or “battle” that doesn’t really exist. Most of the individual points, in and of themselves, are fine, but their context and presentation could be better in my opinion.

    Before you object that I’m standing up “only” for scientists, I happen to have spend a fair amount of time researching doing science writing. I’m familiar with the main issues and the “usual” lines of argument. While I have sympathies with some of the problems science journalism faces, I also think that it overdoes the “defending itself” bit.

    PS: I’ve seen mainstream publications take the lead from the NS cover.

  109. #109 Celtic Warrior
    January 29, 2009

    Everyone is going on about how NS has supposedly handed the creationists a load of ammo with this headline.

    I wonder if the science blogosphere’s furious reaction mightn’t have done more damage?

    One of the standard creationist tropes (cf Expelled) is that evolutionary biologists are dogmatic and don’t allow discussion or conflicting evidence. NS published a headline that is factually correct, but which everyone seems to feel is sensationalist or misleading – the result of which was that a bunch of scientific bloggers have created a massive hoo-ha.

    Those twats at the Discovery Institute must be laughing their asses off right now. “Behold the foolish Darwinists proving our point! If you point out where Darwin [completely inadvertently, obviously] got something wrong, you get ripped on. How scared must the Darwinists be that their edifice will crumble beneath the mighty onslaught of our raising the same old stupid questions time and again, that they feel the need to slam people for this…”

  110. #110 Ray Ladbury
    January 29, 2009

    OK, first off, the perceptions of creationists, IDiots and other anti-science types should not be a concern. ID/creationism can never be scientific. It will never make any testable predictions. That can be rigorously–even mathematically–demonstrated.
    The problem I have with the headline is that it is a purely sensational–and meaningless–attempt to sell magazines. Of course Darwin was wrong about some things. He lived circa 1850, ferchrissake! What is astounding to me is how right he was about so many things. His musings on social insects adumbrate the future work made quantitative by Hamilton et al. And he managed to reconstruct accurately relations between species with no concept of the mechanism of genetic information. That’s an astounding accomplishment. Yeah, maybe Darwin was wrong, but the editors of New Scientist are assholes!

  111. #111 hen
    January 29, 2009

    I thought the article was really interesting. Screw people that are incapable of looking beyond the front cover. People that infer things from headlines are morons and should be told as much. It was a crap headline, but was basically correct.

    More fundamentally, New Scientist offers an easy to read weekly digest of current research in areas well beyond what I would normally acquire through my own research. Sometimes its a bit sensationalist, but its generally pretty reliable in my experience.

  112. #112 TetrahedralPete
    January 29, 2009

    New Scientist was wrong! That evolutionary tree will just be replaced by another. Don’t conflate Darwinism with evolution – or Newtonianism with physics…

  113. #113 eddie
    January 29, 2009

    First this NS mess-up and now the latest Material World on radio4 is trying to ressurect Morphic Fields!

    Is no-one safe?

  114. #114 eddie
    January 29, 2009

    First this NS mess-up and now the latest Material World on radio4 is trying to ressurect Morphic Fields!

    Is no-one safe?

    Double post? Moi?

  115. #115 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 29, 2009

    When you get that submission error. DO NOT REPOST.

    just hit the back arrow and reload the page.

  116. #116 Dolly Sheriff
    January 29, 2009

    You can start worrying when you see a cover that announces:
    “Darwin was right! – natural selection does explain some of the story.”

    http://darwinstories.blogspot.com

  117. #117 eddie
    January 29, 2009

    Thanks Rev, but it’s sometimes more fun to edit the post and resubmit.

  118. #118 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 29, 2009

    If you edit it it shows up twice… but I guess you realize that.

  119. #119 Leigh Williams
    January 29, 2009

    hen: “Screw people that are incapable of looking beyond the front cover. People that infer things from headlines are morons and should be told as much.”

    Alas, here in Texas we can’t afford such an attitude. The morons are running major institutions of state government; they MUST be engaged.

  120. #120 Markos
    January 29, 2009

    Holy Mother of Jesus, New Scientist says that “DARWIN WAS WRONG” and “biologists are deserting the theory of evolution en masse”!!!1!ONE!

    [/sarcasm]

  121. #121 drtomaso
    January 30, 2009

    The quote mine will be like this:

    As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, we await a … revolution that will see biology changed and strengthened. This should give succour to creationists, whose … universe is doubtless already buzzing with the news that Darwin was wrong. Expect to find … evidence that biologists are deserting the theory of evolution en masse. They are …

  122. #122 Ancient Brit
    January 30, 2009

    As a long time subscriber to NS my heart sank when I saw the cover of that issue.

    It’s not that long since the magazine published an opinion piece in which the emphasis was placed on NOT doing precisely what NS just did, because it provides easy ammunition to creationists and their ilk, who view such covers as executive summaries of the contents.

    The editors at NS could not have failed to know this, so the only sensible conclusion to be drawn is that they deliberately chose to use that cover, figuring that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

    For marketing types, that’s true. In terms of the increasingly complex battle being waged against science and science education by anti-evolution factions, it’s anything but.

    Shame on you, NS – you just added another piece of “evidence” that will be touted by creationists and others as proof positive that there is a controversy to be taught in the classroom, and they’ll use that in their presentations to boards of education across the US.

    (I’m not sure why some folks here think that NS is a purely UK-published magazine; it’s also published in the US – I get my copy every Friday in Los Angeles in the mail, and it isn’t sent airmail from the UK).

    Then groups in the UK will point to actions taken by the US boards as strong evidence that the education system in the UK should likewise teach the controversy, and the frenzy will continue.

  123. #123 mark
    January 30, 2009

    can’t wait for the Creationist creative quoting:

    …..we await a third revolution that will see biology changed….. “New Scientist has announced Darwin was wrong”. ……biologists are deserting the theory of evolution en masse. …..

  124. #124 poke
    January 30, 2009

    I don’t think they were trying to be anymore sensationalistic than they usually are. I think they have a standard template made up for “____ WAS WRONG!” covers and just fill in the blank with “EINSTEIN” or “NEWTON” or, in this case, “DARWIN.” If there were no Creationists I’m fairly certain New Scientist would still have gone with this cover; I don’t think they were trying to stir up controversy in that sense (too much). At least this article isn’t based on obscure non-peer-reviewed preprints like most of their articles on the death of this or that theory in physics and cosmology.

  125. #125 Luke
    January 30, 2009

    Bloody New Scientist bugs me a lot these days.

    First the “EmDrive”, now this.

  126. #126 milding amused
    January 30, 2009

    Creationists like to cut and paste in an attempt to overwhelm the rest of us poor sods with their apparent biological knowledge.

    Apparently the core 31 genes referred to in the article consititute Front-loading or pre-adaptations (0%) of human genome, the effects of Random Mutation are of course minute (1% percent to be generous), and HGT accounts for 40-50% of the human genome.

    The rest of the human genome was no doubt puffed into existance 6000 years ago.

  127. #127 zombie_bot
    January 30, 2009

    it’s newscientist, only idiots read newscientist.

  128. #128 Rob
    January 30, 2009

    I have to say that although they may not have anything in the way of facts on their side, the marketing machines of the creationism/ID movement are brilliant by comparison to a lot of science output, such as this, which is real ‘AK47 blasted at your own foot’ level publishing.

    As one of the commentators above pointed out, they know exactly what to do and what to avoid when it comes to getting people onside with their views – they would never have done the creationist equivalent of this in my opinion.

  129. #129 Rob
    January 30, 2009

    I have to say that although they may not have anything in the way of facts on their side, the marketing machines of the creationism/ID movement are brilliant by comparison to a lot of science output, such as this, which is real ‘AK47 blasted at your own foot’ level publishing.

    As one of the commentators above pointed out, they know exactly what to do and what to avoid when it comes to getting people onside with their views – they would never have done the creationist equivalent of this in my opinion.

  130. #130 rob
    January 30, 2009

    I think there is a very positive side to this. Those who quote mine it will so quickly be presented with the quote from inside that directly refutes it, that it will hurt their cause a lot more than it will help. It will simply highlight the lack of depth of their argument and how quick they are to pick up on anything that they think will help their cause, without researching it a bit. At least that is the impression that will be given to many of the lurkers and fence straddlers (which there are more of than you may think).

  131. #131 Anne
    January 30, 2009

    Hi Pharyngula – BBC is coming out with a special on Sunday related to this issue. It’s bound to be just as controversial, I think: host David Attenburough calls the effects of Genesis “devastating” for the natural world. I have referenced this post of yours in a new post about it on my own (new) blog, “100 Days of Science.” I’d be honored if you’d check it out: http://anneminard.com/2009/01/30/day-7b-genesis-has-produced-devastation/

  132. #132 Anne
    January 30, 2009

    Hi Pharyngula – BBC is coming out with a special on Sunday related to this issue. It’s bound to be just as controversial, I think: host David Attenburough calls the effects of Genesis “devastating” for the natural world. I have referenced this post of yours in a new post about it on my own (new) blog, “100 Days of Science.” I’d be honored if you’d check it out: http://anneminard.com/2009/01/30/day-7b-genesis-has-produced-devastation/

  133. #133 Leigh Williams
    January 30, 2009

    Rob: “I think there is a very positive side to this. Those who quote mine it will so quickly be presented with the quote from inside that directly refutes it, that it will hurt their cause a lot more than it will help.”

    If only that were so. But that’s now how it works. The quotation stands on its own, is read and transmitted over and over again by creationists, and the refutation gets left in the dust. Twain said it best: “A lie goes around the world in the time it takes the truth to put on its boots”.

    Consider this: if creationists were capable of finding and evaluating evidence objectively, they wouldn’t BE creationists, now would they?

    Add in the fact that they’re authoritarion personalities. They believe anything they hear from a trusted source. In fact, as far as I can tell they believe damn near everything that comes their way via email. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve told my clients about Snopes, yet all those bogus emails keep clogging up our mail servers.

    It’s not so bad when it’s scaremongering about product contamination, but I got really pissed at the number of “Obama is a Muslim” trashmails.

  134. #134 Bryan
    January 30, 2009

    Ok I’ll start:

    “New Scientist has announced Darwin was wrong . . . biologists are deserting the theory of evolution en masse.”

    New Scientist, 2,2008.

    (Tongue firmly in cheek)

  135. #135 george.w
    January 31, 2009

    The cover was a big mistake. I have been a long-time subscriber to NS because it is so entertaining, and I’m pretty good separating the wheat from the chaff. But stunts like this are irritating, and they do it all the time. Science Daily does it too.

    It’s been a few years since I let me Science News subscription lapse – they were getting sensationalistic and I didn’t need two nearly identical magazines.

    Anyone know of a respectable, affordable, and not dry-as-sawdust science weekly?

  136. #136 Gerard
    January 31, 2009

    …yeah uh I guess it doesn’t matter if your a scientist, creationist, typist, hate is as strong as ever love the comments, gotta love the comments….it’s a balance thing!

  137. #137 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 31, 2009

    ..yeah uh I guess it doesn’t matter if your a scientist, creationist, typist, hate is as strong as ever love the comments, gotta love the comments….it’s a balance thing!

    Hate? Where?

  138. #138 Wowbagger, Grumpy Minimalist
    February 1, 2009

    Rev BDC wrote:

    Hate? Where?

    Rev, you mean you don’t know that, by refusing to accept that Christians are correct, and better than everyone else and should be allowed to whatever they want, whenever they want, atheists (and other non-Christians) are being hateful?

    Suggesting they aren’t telling the truth? Hate. Not letting them force atheists and non-Christians to pray to the Christian god in schools? Hate. Secularism of any kind? Hate. First amendment? Hate. Respecting what Darwin did for science? Hate. Pointing out hypocrisy? Hate. Correctly identifying their actions as hate? Oh, you better believe that’s hate.

    I’d go as far as saying that anything short of complete supplication and forelock-tugging obsequiousness is perceived by the persecution-obsessed Christians as ‘hate’.

  139. #139 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 1, 2009

    Oh geez. My bad.

  140. #140 Wowbagger, Grumpy Minimalist
    February 1, 2009

    Rev, you forgot to apologise to the nice Christians. How hateful of you…

  141. #141 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 1, 2009

    nice Christians?

  142. #142 Stanton
    February 1, 2009

    nice Christians?

    Yes, do remember that not all Christians take being saved by Jesus Christ as a license to act like malicious morons 24/7.

  143. #143 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 1, 2009

    Oh of course, I was referring to the ones making a stink here.

    My In laws are very nice Christians.

  144. #144 Wowbagger, Grumpy Minimalist
    February 1, 2009

    Stanton, that was my bad, not the Rev’s. He was just referring to my comment #140, not casting aspersions on Christians in general.

  145. #145 John Morales
    February 1, 2009

    Rev BDC,

    My In laws are very nice Christians.

    Why, some of my best friends are Christians!

    Really.

  146. #146 Onotheo
    February 4, 2009

    I’m actually in favor of this magazine’s cover page, (no not in favor of creationism or ID if that’s what you think).

    Ways of communicating have different styles, sometimes it seems sensational to most. It certainly is if your easily bothered. Youtube freethinkers have very varying styles and I found a lot of them to be interesting. It’s not like they use this sensationalistic style all the time. Sometimes it’s favorable – the more people notice, the more information is circulated, the more education.

    It’s not like this kind of sensationalism would actually dent the solid Theory of Evolution, if anything it would led the curious or even creationists to read a pro evolution magazine.

  147. #147 Dave J L
    February 17, 2009

    Another example of the cover being misused by morons (about 3/4 of the way down, if you can read that far without punching the screen with rage):

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/feb/17/evolution-versus-creationism-science

  148. #148 gypsytag
    February 20, 2009

    #145
    As an atheist i too have christian friends that annoyingly pray for me. One time I asked my “best” friend how much fun they’re going to have in heaven while I was being tortured in hell.
    I ask them how they lived with themselves accepting this fact of their religion.
    I asked them why they wouldn’t stand up to such blatant sickness, hypocracy and vileness.

    Yeah I tried that once, and i no longer have that “best” friend.

    You see that kind of shit always gets in the way of friendship. Its best not to discuss “how” much your friend cares for you.

  149. #149 Russ Finley
    March 22, 2009

    Those are the exact same words my daughter’s biology teacher used at the school open house a few years ago. I asked him what he meant by that, assuming he was kidding. Turns out he is a “Convinced Christian” and thinks God is guiding evolution. This is a private school and after a few meetings with the dean I gave up because I realized they were too stupid to comprehend anything I said and I was about to ruin my daughter’s perfect grade point average (she graduated with a perfect average).. Now my second daughter is in high school and will soon have this same teacher. If he gives her anything less than an A I will be coming down on him like a ton of bricks. She also has a perfect average and makes her big sister look slow. If you can’t brag in your kids what the hell good are they?

    http://www.biodiversivist.com

  150. #150 ginapraisesgod
    December 15, 2009

    Many of us intelligent design believers do not consider ourselves creationists because of the link to those who believe in a young earth.

    Here are some links to the scientific papers you asked for. I imagine they are more credible than many of the scientific papers published by in scientific journals regarding climate warming and greenhouse effects.
    Meyer, S. C. DNA and the origin of life: Information, specification and explanation, in Darwinism, Design, & Public Education (Michigan State University Press, 2003), Pp. 223-285. (PDF, 1.13MB)
    Meyer contends that intelligent design provides a better explanation than competing chemical evolutionary models for the origin of the information present in large bio-macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. Meyer shows that the term information as applied to DNA connotes not only improbability or complexity but also specificity of function. He then argues that neither chance nor necessity, nor the combination of the two, can explain the origin of information starting from purely physical-chemical antecedents. Instead, he argues that our knowledge of the causal powers of both natural entities and intelligent agency suggests intelligent design as the best explanation for the origin of the information necessary to build a cell in the first place.
    William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success,” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics A, Systems & Humans, Vol. 39 (5):1051-1061 (September, 2009). (PDF, 359KB)
    Darwinian evolution is, at its heart, a search algorithm that uses a trial and error process of random mutation and unguided natural selection to find genotypes (i.e. DNA sequences) that lead to phenotypes (i.e. biomolecules and body plans) that have high fitness (i.e. foster survival and reproduction). This peer-reviewed scientific article in the journal IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics A, Systems & Humans by William Dembski and Robert Marks explains that unless a search starts off with some information about where peaks in a fitness landscape may lie, any search — including Darwinian search algorithms– are on average no better than a random search. After assessing various examples of evolutionary searches, Dembski and Marks show that attempts to model Darwinian evolution via computer simulations, such Richard Dawkins famous “METHINKSITISLIKEAWEASEL” example, start off with, as Dembski and Marks put it, “problem-specific information about the search target or the search-space structure.” According to the paper, such simulations only reach their evolutionary targets because there is pre-specified “accurate information to guide them,” or what they call “active information.” The implication, of course, is that some intelligent programmer is required to front-load a search with active information if the search is to successfully find rare functional genetic sequences. They conclude that “Active information is clearly required in even modestly sized searches.”
    Stephen Meyer, “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 117 (2004): 213-239.
    Meyer argues that competing materialistic models (Neo-Darwinism, Self Organization Models, Punctuated Equilibrium and Structuralism) are not sufficient to account for origin of the information necessary to build novel animal forms present in the Cambrian Explosion. He proposes intelligent design as an alternative explanation for the origin of biological information and the higher taxa.
    Lönnig, W.-E. Dynamic genomes, morphological stasis and the origin of irreducible complexity, Dynamical Genetics, Pp. 101-119. (PDF, 2.95MB; HTML)
    Biology exhibits numerous invariants — aspects of the biological world that do not change over time. These include basic genetic processes that have persisted unchanged for more than three-and-a-half billion years and molecular mechanisms of animal ontogenesis that have been constant for more than one billion years. Such invariants, however, are difficult to square with dynamic genomes in light of conventional evolutionary theory. Indeed, Ernst Mayr regarded this as one of the great unsolved problems of biology. In this paper Dr.Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, Senior Scientist in the Department of Molecular Plant Genetics at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research, employs the design-theoretic concepts of irreducible complexity (as developed by Michael Behe) and specified complexity (as developed by William Dembski) to elucidate these invariants, accounting for them in terms of an intelligent design (ID) hypothesis. Lönnig also describes a series of scientific questions that the theory of intelligent design could help elucidate, thus showing the fruitfulness of intelligent design as a guide to further scientific research.
    Jonathan Wells, “Do Centrioles Generate a Polar Ejection Force?,” Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum 98 (2005): 37-62.
    Most animal cells contain a pair of centrioles, tiny turbine-like organelles oriented at right angles to each other that replicate at every cell division. Yet the function and behavior of centrioles remain mysterious. Since all centrioles appear to be equally complex, there are no plausible evolutionary intermediates with which to construct phylogenies; and since centrioles contain no DNA, they have attracted relatively little attention from neo Darwinian biologists who think that DNA is the secret of life. From an intelligent design (ID) perspective, centrioles may have no evolutionary intermediates because they are irreducibly complex. And they may need no DNA because they carry another form of biological information that is independent of the genetic mutations relied upon by neo-Darwinists. In this paper, Wells assumes that centrioles are designed to function as the tiny turbines they appear to be, rather than being accidental by-products of Darwinian evolution. He then formulates a testable hypothesis about centriole function and behavior that, if corroborated by experiment, could have important implications for our understanding of cell division and cancer. Wells thus makes a case for ID by showing its strong heuristic value in biology. That is, he uses the theory of intelligent design to make new discoveries in biology.
    Scott Minnich and Stephen C. Meyer, “Genetic Analysis of Coordinate Flagellar and Type III Regulatory Circuits,” Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Design & Nature, Rhodes Greece, edited by M.W. Collins and C.A. Brebbia (WIT Press, 2004). (PDF, 620KB)
    This article underwent conference peer review in order to be included in this peer-edited proceedings. Minnich and Meyer do three important things in this paper. First, they refute a popular objection to Michael Behe’s argument for the irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum. Second, they suggest that the Type III Secretory System present in some bacteria, rather than being an evolutionary intermediate to the bacterial flagellum, is probably represents a degenerate form of the bacterial flagellum. Finally, they argue explicitly that intelligent design is a better than the Neo-Darwinian mechanism for explaining the origin of the bacterial flagellum.
    COMPLETE LIST:

    Peer-Reviewed Scientific Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Trade Presses or University Presses

    W.A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).
    This book was published by Cambridge University Press and peer-reviewed as part of a distinguished monograph series, Cambridge Studies in Probability, Induction, and Decision Theory. The editorial board of that series includes members of the National Academy of Sciences as well as one Nobel laureate, John Harsanyi, who shared the prize in 1994 with John Nash, the protagonist in the film A Beautiful Mind. Commenting on the ideas in The Design Inference, well-known physicist and science writer Paul Davies remarks: “Dembski’s attempt to quantify design, or provide mathematical criteria for design, is extremely useful. I’m concerned that the suspicion of a hidden agenda is going to prevent that sort of work from receiving the recognition it deserves.” Quoted in L. Witham, By Design (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2003), p. 149.
    Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (The Free Press, 1996).
    In this book Behe develops a critique of the mechanism of natural selection and a positive case for the theory of intelligent design based upon the presence of “irreducibly complex molecular machines” and circuits inside cells. Though this book was published by The Free Press, a trade press, the publisher subjected the book to standard scientific peer-review by several prominent biochemists and biological scientists.
    Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley, Roger L. Olsen, The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories (Philosophical Library, 1984, Lewis & Stanley, 4th ed., 1992).
    In this book Thaxton, Bradley and Olsen develop a seminal critique of origin of life studies and develop a case for the theory of intelligent design based upon the information content and “low-configurational entropy” of living systems.
    John Angus Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer, Darwinism, Design, & Public Education (Michigan State University Press, 2003)
    This is a collection of interdisciplinary essays that addresses the scientific and educational controversy concerning the theory of intelligent design. Accordingly, it was peer-reviewed by a philosopher of science, a rhetorician of science, and a professor in the biological sciences from an Ivy League university. The book contains five scientific articles advancing the case for the theory of intelligent design, the contents of which are summarized below.
    Scientific Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Prominent Trade Presses

    Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards, The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery (Regnery Publishing, 2004).
    Gonzalez and Richards develop a novel case for the theory of intelligent design based on developments in astronomy and planetary science. They show that the conditions necessary to produce a habitable planet are extremely rare and improbable. In addition, they show that the one planet we are aware of that possesses these characteristics is also a planet that has characteristics uniquely adapted to scientific exploration, thus suggesting not simply that the earth is the recipient of the fortunate conditions necessary for life, but that it appears to be uniquely designed for scientific discovery.
    William Dembski, No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot be Purchased without Intelligence (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002).
    Dembski refines his scientific method of design detection, responds to critics of his previous book (The Design Inference) and shows how his method of design detection applies to the kind of molecular machines analyzed by Michael Behe in Darwin’s Black Box.
    Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Adler & Adler, 1985).
    Denton, an Australian molecular biologist, provides a comprehensive critique of neo- Darwinian evolutionary theory. In a penultimate chapter, entitled “The Molecular Labyrinth,” he also develops a strong positive case for the design hypothesis based on the integrated complexity of molecular biological systems. As a religiously agnostic scientist, Denton emphasizes that this case for design is based upon scientific evidence and the application of standard forms of scientific reasoning. As Denton explains, while the case for design may have religious implications, “it does not depend upon religious premises.”
    Peer-Reviewed Philosophical Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Academic University Presses

    Del Ratzsch, Nature, Design, and Science: The Status of Design in Natural Science (State University of New York Press, 2001).

    Michael C. Rea, World without Design : The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism (Oxford University Press, 2004).

    Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals
    William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success,” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics A, Systems & Humans, Vol. 39 (5):1051-1061 (September, 2009). (PDF, 359KB)
    Darwinian evolution is, at its heart, a search algorithm that uses a trial and error process of random mutation and unguided natural selection to find genotypes (i.e. DNA sequences) that lead to phenotypes (i.e. biomolecules and body plans) that have high fitness (i.e. foster survival and reproduction). This peer-reviewed scientific article in the journal IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics A, Systems & Humans by William Dembski and Robert Marks explains that unless a search starts off with some information about where peaks in a fitness landscape may lie, any search — including Darwinian search algorithms– are on average no better than a random search. After assessing various examples of evolutionary searches, Dembski and Marks show that attempts to model Darwinian evolution via computer simulations, such Richard Dawkins famous “METHINKSITISLIKEAWEASEL” example, start off with, as Dembski and Marks put it, “problem-specific information about the search target or the search-space structure.” According to the paper, such simulations only reach their evolutionary targets because there is pre-specified “accurate information to guide them,” or what they call “active information.” The implication, of course, is that some intelligent programmer is required to front-load a search with active information if the search is to successfully find rare functional genetic sequences. They conclude that “Active information is clearly required in even modestly sized searches.”
    Ø. A. Voie, “Biological function and the genetic code are interdependent,” Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, Vol 28(4) (2006): 1000-1004.
    In this article, Norwegian scientist Øyvind Albert Voie examines an implication of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem for theories about the origin of life. Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem states that certain true statements within a formal system are unprovable from the axioms of the formal system. Voie then argues that the information processing system in the cell constitutes a kind of formal system because it “expresses both function and sign systems.” As such, by Gödel’s theorem it possesses many properties that are not deducible from the axioms which underlie the formal system, in this case, the laws of nature. He cites Michael Polanyi’s seminal essay, Life’s Irreducible Structure, in support of this claim. As Polanyi put it, “the structure of life is a set of boundary conditions that harness the laws of physics and chemistry their (the boundary condition’s) structure cannot be defined in terms of the laws that they harness.” As he further explained, “As the arrangement of a printed page is extraneous to the chemistry of the printed page, so is the base sequence in a DNA molecule extraneous to the chemical forces at work in the DNA molecule.” Like Polanyi, Voie argues that the information and function of DNA and the cellular replication machinery must originate from a source that transcends physics and chemistry. In particular, since as Voie argues, “chance and necessity cannot explain sign systems, meaning, purpose, and goals,” and since “mind possesses other properties that do not have these limitations,” it is “therefore very natural that many scientists believe that life is rather a subsystem of some Mind greater than humans.”
    David L. Abel & Jack T. Trevors, ?Self-organization vs. self-ordering events in life-origin models,” Physics of Life Reviews, Vol. 3:211?228 (2006).
    This article, co-authored by a theoretical biologist and an environmental biologist, explicitly challenges the ability of Darwinian mechanisms or self-organizational models to account for the origin of the language-based chemical code underlying life. They explain that “evolutionary algorithms, neural nets, and cellular automata have not been shown to self-organize spontaneously into nontrivial functions.” However, the organization found that life, “typically contains large quantities of prescriptive information.” According to the authors, “[p]rescription requires choice contingency rather than chance contingency or necessity,” entailing an appeal to an intelligent cause. Throughout the paper, the articles use positive arguments explaining the creative power of “agents” as they cite to the work of Discovery Institute fellows and ID-theorists William Dembski, Charles Thaxton, and Walter Bradley. Critiquing models of self-organization, they conclude that “[t]he only self that can organize its own activities is a living cognitive agent.”
    John A. Davison, “A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis,” Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum 98 (2005): 155-166.
    Otto Schindewolf once wrote that evolution postulates “a unique, historical course of events that took place in the past, is not repeatable experimentally and cannot be investigated in that way.” In this peer-reviewed article from a prestigious Italian biology journal, John A. Davison agrees with Schindewolf. Since “[o]ne can hardly expect to demonstrate a mechanism that simply does not and did not exist,” Davison attempts to find new explanations for the origin of convergence among biological forms. Davison contends that “[t]he so-called phenomenon of convergent evolution may not be that at all, but simply the expression of the same preformed ‘blueprints’ by unrelated organisms.” While discussing many remarkable examples of “convergent evolution,” particularly the marsupial and placental saber-toothed cats, Davison’s meaning is unmistakable: This evidence “bears, not only on the questions raised here, but also, on the whole issue of Intelligent Design.” Davison clearly implies that this evidence is expected under an intelligent design model, but not under a Neo-Darwinian one.
    S.C. Meyer, “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 117(2) (2004): 213-239.
    This article argues for intelligent design as an explanation for the origin of the Cambrian fauna. Not surprisingly, it created an international firestorm within the scientific community when it was published. (See Klinghoffer, The Branding of a Heretic, WALL STREET JOURNAL, Jan. 28, 2005, as well as the following website by the editor who oversaw the article’s peer-review process: http://www.rsternberg.net.) The treatment of the editor who sent Meyer’s article out for peer-review is a striking illustration of the sociological obstacles that proponents of intelligent design encounter in publishing articles that explicitly defend the theory of intelligent design.
    M.J. Behe and D.W. Snoke, “Simulating Evolution by Gene Duplication of Protein Features That Require Multiple Amino Acid Residues,” Protein Science, 13 (2004): 2651-2664.
    In this article, Behe and Snoke show how difficult it is for unguided evolutionary processes to take existing protein structures and add novel proteins whose interface compatibility is such that they could combine functionally with the original proteins. By demonstrating inherent limitations to unguided evolutionary processes, this work gives indirect scientific support to intelligent design and bolsters Behe’s case for intelligent design in answer to some of his critics.

    (According to the biased left-wing blog known as Wikipedia, none of these documents exist.)

  151. #151 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 15, 2009

    Ginapraisesgod, you need to do MUCH better than to copy and paste from The Discovery Institute. Also, next time, you foolish little person, give credit from which you are stealing.

  152. #152 Owlmirror
    December 15, 2009

    Many of us intelligent design believers do not consider ourselves creationists because of the link to those who believe in a young earth.

    Would a skunk by any other name not raise a stench when flattened by a truck?

    You claim that “God is the maker of the physical laws that everything else must abide by. That is the only answer.”

    More to the point, you deny the scientific method when it comes to biology and evolution.

    Therefore, you are a Creationist.

    Just out of curiosity, when you praise god, do you also praise god for salmonella and measles and malaria and streptococcus and staphylococcus and every other microorganism and parasite that kills men, women, children, and tiny little babies?

    Here are some links to the scientific papers you asked for.

    They are not the papers that I asked for, inasmuch as they provide no substantive theory, no evidence, and are all painfully fallacious.

    Nor are they links. If you had simply linked to the material that you plagiarised, it would have made for a much shorter comment. Really, what compelled you to steal without even giving a hint that the material posted was not actually yours? Did the Devil make you do it?

    I imagine they are more credible than many of the scientific papers published by in scientific journals regarding climate warming and greenhouse effects.

    I see that you compound your plagiarism and fallacious arguments with a non-sequitur, and a blatant falsehood. Tch.

    The “ID” papers are not credible because they provide no substantive theory, no evidence, and are all painfully fallacious.

    They have been refuted by actual experts in the fields they claim to be written about.

    Amusingly enough, in some cases, the experts are devout Christians. For example, here’s a review of Stephan Meyer’s latest book by a Christian biochemist:

    http://arrowthroughthesun.blogspot.com/2009/11/book-review-signature-in-cell.html

    The papers published on global climate change and the greenhouse effect, on the other hand, are indeed based on the evidence of climate research and the evidence of the interaction of various gasses with light energy. They have not been refuted; they have merely been denied.

    (According to the biased left-wing blog known as Wikipedia, none of these documents exist.)

    What a fascinatingly fractally wrong sentence. Can you really not even get basic technical terminology right? Evidently not.

    I infer that you approve of Conservapædia and their efforts to edit the Bible so as to remove its liberal bias.

  153. #153 ginapraisesgod
    December 15, 2009

    Many of you are correct in that I should have cited my source. Please excuse me. Here goes: http://www.discovery.org/a/2640
    Also, I have been asked if I praised God for things in the world that kill children. I noticed that abortionists were not listed as one of the child-killers but I will answer the question for the ones you listed.
    I do praise God for His creation. If you must infer that God is not worth praising because horrible things happen to people and yes, even to little children, then the God you think about and the God I praise are two different gods. The God that I praise is a just God who I trust to answer the hard questions. He knows why a child died in a world filled with abuse and hunger. He knows how much of the problem is our own fault for not reaching out and obeying Him. And He is a just God who will take that child into His arms and give them comfort for eternity. The Bible says that we won’t remember much of the pain of this world for the joy that is in our hearts then.
    I know. I know. You all are laughing and just foaming at the mouth to come back to me with all your intelligent witticisms that prove my stupidity and your superiority.
    Okay, that’s fine. I was treated like that by my college professors too.
    And you’re right, there haven’t been a lot of scientific papers published about Intelligent Design. Someone also pointed out an error in my writing too.
    So, I guess that proves you all are right and not biased because you certainly wouldn’t come at someone as unintelligent and beneath you as I obviously am without having a real good reason to do so. The arrogance I think I read into your posts has nothing to do with scientific papers not being allowed to be published because people like you are biased against anyone who doesn’t agree with them. The cheap shots you take everytime I state a view on here, have nothing to do with the fact that I am responded to in a condescending manner by people who are arrogant, and vain because Christianity irritates their godless souls. Yes, I know you must be right because people like you wouldn’t stoop to such pettiness. People like you are above foaming at the mouth in anticipation of lording your cliquish beliefs over someone who wants to learn without bias.
    Obviously, there is no point in me ever coming on here again because you have all the facts and your personalities are so developed, there is nothing you could ever learn from anyone else about spiritual emptiness influencing scientific bias.

  154. #154 John Morales
    December 15, 2009

    gpg:

    I know. I know. You all are laughing and just foaming at the mouth to come back to me with all your intelligent witticisms that prove my stupidity and your superiority.

    Laughing, yeah; foaming, not so much.
    But it’s your own comments that prove your stupidity. :)

    Obviously, there is no point in me ever coming on here again […]

    No, but I doubt that will stop you.
    You’re not called godbots for nothing.

  155. #155 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 15, 2009

    And you’re right, there haven’t been a lot of scientific papers published about Intelligent Design.

    That’s right, ID is a religious idea, not a scientific idea. And linking the DI means you are a totally delusional fool. The amount of real science found at the DI could only fill a nanoliter syringe.

    The God that I praise is a just God who I trust to answer the hard questions.

    Since that god doesn’t exist, except between your delusional ears, you have nothing valid or logical to say on the subject.

    there is nothing you could ever learn from anyone else about spiritual emptiness

    Total blather. Used by only those without any regard for reality. Mental masturbation.

  156. #156 Kel, OM
    December 15, 2009

    This natural selection you purport lacks foresight. The computer programs Dawkins worked with had foresight. You leave the job of generating new functional genes to random mutations.

    Such programs are merely analogies. It’s showing the power of selection.

    Do you think it an accident that the tiny part of the spectrum that we see just happens to correspond with the peak output of black body radiation from the sun as seen through our atmosphere? Why should we have such a complex structure with no foresight? Maybe because there are “goals” in the environment, structures that give advantage and those are the ones that get passed down through the generations.

    Take the shape of dolphins. Now we don’t need to start with such streamlined creatures, but there’s no surprise that dolphins like their reptillian counterparts ichthyosaurs have such a shape. Certain shapes are more advantageous than others, so in effect you get goal searching.

    The problem from our vantage point is that we see the end products and talk about the extraordinary improbability of getting there, where really the process goes forward and what happens to work survives. It’s really not hard to see that the process of selection can and indeed does work, the hard part is looking past our evolved sense that posits agency begetting structure where really we should see that in the natural world such a hypothesis is both unnecessary and goes against the observation that if you want to get a poodle you get two poodles to have sex. Indeed, positing a designer goes against what we know about life!

  157. #157 John Morales
    December 15, 2009

    Kel,

    The problem from our vantage point is that we see the end products and talk about the extraordinary improbability of getting there, where really the process goes forward and what happens to work survives.

    I think a major problem with the (honest) ID/Creationsist mob is that they genuinely don’t grasp the concept of deep time.

  158. #158 Kel, OM
    December 15, 2009

    I assert that many on here are not truly searching for the scientific truth but for the truth that enables them to deny the existence of God. You are the ones with the agenda.

    Interesting, though I suppose I have a question for you.

    I do praise God for His creation.

    I’m curious, what would it take for you to stop believing in God? Personally I could think of many things that would lead me to a belief in God, that I would be glad to admit I’m wrong on this.

    It seems the catch cry of the fundamentalist to label a sceptic as close minded or trying to deny a reality, when really all they are doing is applying the same scepticism they do to every other area of life. After it’s not what you believe, but for what reasons you do. Maybe you’re not doing that, but I’d be interested in seeing what it would take for you to reconsider your position.

  159. #159 WowbaggerOM
    December 15, 2009

    Obviously, there is no point in me ever coming on here again

    It depends on your perspective. For you there is no point because you’ve demonstrated that you’re willfully intellectually dishonest and incapable of learning; for us, however, there’s point: we find mocking people like you to be entertaining.

    Then, of course, there’s the fence-sitting Christians who’ll see your dishonesty and your inability to show a rational basis for your beliefs; they will begin to question their own beliefs with the benefit of a more critical eye -and, as a result, almost certainly become atheists.

    Your ‘arguments’ (and I use the term loosely) do a whole lot more to deconvert Christians than anything atheists post.

  160. #160 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 15, 2009

    I do praise God for His creation.

    So you praise God for every disease that has plague the world. Surely, if he designed life, he design though too. Good job God did on the human pelvis when he designed us btw. It’s almost like he wants us to suffer. Also why “His” why not hers? And why God, and not gods/goddesses?

    You are the ones with the agenda.

    Pfft. We really don’t need evolution to prove your God doesn?t exist, other fields of knowledge have already done that. Our only agenda is to understand how life came to be without relying on presuppositions like yours.

  161. #161 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 15, 2009

    Obviously, there is no point in me ever coming on here again because you have all the facts and your personalities are so developed, there is nothing you could ever learn from anyone else about spiritual emptiness influencing scientific bias.

    If you think that people using the scientific method are claiming that they have all the answers, you have no idea what the scientific method is and have no idea what you are arguing about.

    But your last post was amusing in that you acted like a sniveling worm and an arrogant ass at the same time.

    Also, there was no need for you to link to the site, I did that already. But it says alot about your character that you admit this after you are caught.

    Only an idiot of a god will be pleased by your foolishness. Normal people are just put off by it.

  162. #162 WowbaggerOM
    December 15, 2009

    But your last post was amusing in that you acted like a sniveling worm and an arrogant ass at the same time.

    So, an arrogant, sniveling ass-worm? Sounds apt.

  163. #163 Kel, OM
    December 15, 2009

    I think a major problem with the (honest) ID/Creationsist mob is that they genuinely don’t grasp the concept of deep time.

    Agreed, well that and that we are natural born teleologists. We are wired detect agency. I really liked Dan Dennett’s recent take on this.

  164. #164 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    December 15, 2009

    Dear Sister ginapraisesgod,

    I am sorry I have not been here to support you in your struggle against the vicious atheists. I greatly admire the way you speak from the bottom of your heart.

    Your Christian brother
    Smoggy

    PS Do you come from Virgina?

    If you do you could call yourself VAginapraisesgod.

    That would be way cool and you’d have a lot more friends!

  165. #165 Owlmirror
    December 15, 2009

    Many of you are correct in that I should have cited my source. Please excuse me.

    Sure — if accept the refutations of your source.

    http://thequestionableauthority.blogspot.com/2005/12/discovery-institute-and-publications.html

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/12/the-discovery-i-1.html

    There are more that go into greater detail, of course.

    I do praise God for His creation. If you must infer that God is not worth praising because horrible things happen to people and yes, even to little children, then the God you think about and the God I praise are two different gods.

    Because you think that a God who causes horrible things to little children is worth praising?

    The God that I praise is a just God who I trust to answer the hard questions.

    Then why are you answering for God? Are you claiming to be able read God’s mind?

    He knows why a child died in a world filled with abuse and hunger.

    And also filled with deadly microbes that kill painfully that humans would not have created, could not have created, and did not create.

    They didn’t just come out of nowhere by your theology, so God is the only answer.

    He knows how much of the problem is our own fault for not reaching out and obeying Him.

    Please tell us what commandment from God would make being bitten while sleeping by a mosquito carrying the malaria parasite “our own fault”.

    And He is a just God who will take that child into His arms and give them comfort for eternity.

    Fascinating. You are claiming to be able read God’s mind.

    So, just to make sure that I understand, you’re claiming that God creates children, creates terrible diseases to kill those children in agony, and then comforts them forever?

    Can you explain why God doesn’t skip the step of killing the children in agony?

    And how exactly is that step “just”?

    The Bible says that we won’t remember much of the pain of this world for the joy that is in our hearts then.

    Then abortion is the greatest thing that anyone can do for a child; indeed, murder is the greatest gift anyone can give to anyone else, and suicide is the only sane and correct response to life in this world, even a life of great happiness — if your above statements are correct.

    You might want to reconsider that there’s something deeply wrong with your entire theology, though.

    Can you explain why God doesn’t skip the step of life completely if the afterlife is so infinitely hunky-dory?

    You all are laughing and just foaming at the mouth to come back to me with all your intelligent witticisms that prove my stupidity and your superiority.

    Hey, you’re the one claiming to be able to read God’s mind. I’m just trying to follow along, here.

    The cheap shots you take everytime I state a view on here,

    Hypocrite.

    have nothing to do with the fact that I am responded to in a condescending manner by people who are arrogant

    One more time: You’re the one claiming to be able to read God’s mind…. and somehow that makes us arrogant?

    and vain because Christianity irritates their godless souls.

    Christianity like yours irritates me because Christians like you are deeply and viciously arrogant, vain and hypocritical. Everything you claim about us is nothing more than a reflection of your own flaws.

    There are plenty of Christians that I can get along with, but you yourself are everything that you claim to despise.

    Obviously, there is no point in me ever coming on here again because you have all the facts and your personalities are so developed, there is nothing you could ever learn from anyone else about spiritual emptiness influencing scientific bias.

    So far you, at least, have offered nothing but logical vacuities and deep arrogance, so I’m pretty sure that you have nothing at all to teach.

    But I’d be fascinated to see what responses you might possibly have, especially given that there are religious evolutionary biologists and biochemists who utterly reject ID. What’s your “reasoning” about them?

  166. #166 aratina cage
    December 15, 2009

    Regina is in da house! But I don’t think ginapraisesdog explained things well enough in #192. Allow me to elaborate in ginapraisesdog’s own voice:

    The God that I praise is a just God who I trust to answer the hard questions.

    And that’s all! Harumph! He isn’t omnipotent or omniscient or omnipresent or omnibenevolent or omni-anything. Just a simple little deity (as deities go). And one I trust. He’s helping me right now with your hardball questions, speaking into my left ear. Teehee! That tickles, God!

    He knows why a child died in a world filled with abuse and hunger.

    And He won’t lift a finger to do anything about it. It pains Him to know of all the suffering and not be able to help the children. What’s that, God? Oh. Ermmmm… *shrugs*

    He knows how much of the problem is our own fault for not reaching out and obeying Him.

    If you people would only stop questioning His motives. If only the little starving children who can only babble could just crack open the KJV Bible and read the damn thing!! If only people who are hurting, living in misery and squalor, would reach out to Him, He would then know that they know that He knows that they know that the suffering is their own fault and He is helpless to do anything about it since it isn’t His problem!!!

    And He is a just God who will take that child into His arms and give them comfort for eternity.

    …after they have lived a painful life and died a brutal death from disease, starvation, abuse—you name it. Then will He comfort them for eternity, one child at a time, please. He only has one arm (don’t ask what happened to the other one).

    The Bible says that we won’t remember much of the pain of this world for the joy that is in our hearts then.

    It’s in the Bible so it must be true. People, have you never been cuddled after an agonizing death? Sheesh! Cuddling with Him makes up for whatever pain you would have felt. God has a rapacious tickle that will jiggle free your “bad memory” neurons and make it all better. *toothy grin*

    I know. I know. You all are laughing and just foaming at the mouth to come back to me with all your intelligent witticisms that prove my stupidity and your superiority.

    Here is the rifle. *hands over the rifle* Here is the scope. *hands over the scope* Here is the ammo. *hands over some rubber bullets* *hangs up sign reading “Duck Season Open”* I’m a duck! Quack quack quack! *flaps arms about and runs around erratically in front of you*

    Okay, that’s fine. I was treated like that by my college professors too.

    I didn’t even have to wear a squeaky nose to put the whole class into a fit of laughter every time I raised my hand. God’s love does that to people.

  167. #167 'Tis Himself, OM
    December 15, 2009

    Okay, that’s fine. I was treated like that by my college professors too.

    So your professors weren’t impressed by your vacuous bullshit either. I doubt any of us are surprised.

  168. #168 WowbaggerOM
    December 15, 2009

    Okay, that’s fine. I was treated like that by my college professors too.

    And yet at no point did you stop and think to yourself, ‘hey, maybe they are right and I am wrong; perhaps I should look at the evidence and think critically rather than continue cling to my beliefs which I hold more for emotional and cultural reasons than due to them bearing up under scrutiny’?

  169. #169 Kel, OM
    December 15, 2009

    He knows how much of the problem is our own fault for not reaching out and obeying Him.

    When it comes to questions of morality, religion at times is indistinguishable from Stockholm Syndrome.

  170. #170 hery
    January 25, 2010

    I have seen long-abandoned crepe myrtles whose forked branches grew together without assistance

  171. #171 texshelters.com
    May 3, 2010

    The editor of New Scientific should be fired for that title.

    It could have read “Revisiting Darwin” or something less misleading and it would be used as fodder for the ignorant to attack science.

    Journalism should top sales. I hope the subscribers of the magazine drop it.

    Peace,
    Tex Shelters

  172. #172 k liebens
    May 13, 2010

    Wow. An entire cohort of fringe-level armchair scientists spouting enough rage and vitriol to embarass the most fanatic of religious zealots.

    This is clearly not the behaviour of people secure in their knowledge of evolutionary theory who are dismissive of trite pseudoscientific claims. Look at the attitudinal/behavioural characteristics of the responses here: People immediately attribute any criticism of Darwinian models of evolution to creationist assertion. They demonstrate patterns of coping behaviour at the extreme end of the spectrum of reason: denial, anger (often in the form of selective perception) and disbelief.

    The sad truth of the matter is, there was never much robust evidence for a theory of universal common descent, as claimed by Darwin. Mechanisms of genetic adaptation and change over time is scientifically demonstrable, yes, but not at odds with creationist ideology and precept.

    The two pillars in support of a theory of universal common descent: the phylogenetic tree or “tree of life”, and the fossil record, are both beset by considerable problems, if one is to be honest about the data at a primary study level. The Cambrian explosion remains a paradox and an almost insurmountable problem in explaining in terms of current evolutionary models. Furthermore, now that we are some way through accruing genomic sequencing data, it is clear that we are having to adopt various sophistic/adaptive measures (“horizontal gene transfer”, for one) to congruitise our findings.

    The problems don’t end there. There is much much more that remains unresolved, incongruous, inconsistent, or contradictory with Darwinian evolution, from the level of genetic molecular biology to broader physiologic understanding.

    A point of note is that I would never express these very valid concerns on a professional basis for various reasons (loss of funding, and ridicule from fringe-level “scientists” such as demonstrated here). I also know that there is an increasing cohort of very reputable and leading researchers, who have published in top-tier journals, who have expressed similar concerns, but will likewise not publish them. Having sat at, and occasionally chaired, a number of agenda and goal-setting meetings at a number of research institutions in the UK, I have been directly witness to discrete political interference in the inordinate promotion of evolutionary theory, *even when it contradicts our most up-to-date findings*.

    Darwinian evolution is evidently a theory in crisis (or even more crisis than it was before), and the pattern of coping-pattern responses here reflect that clearly.

  173. #173 John Morales
    May 13, 2010

    k liebens:

    Darwinian evolution is evidently a theory in crisis (or even more crisis than it was before), and the pattern of coping-pattern responses here reflect that clearly.

    Ah yes, The Imminent Demise of Evolution strikes again… ;)

  174. #174 Owlmirror
    May 13, 2010

    An entire cohort of fringe-level armchair scientists spouting enough rage and vitriol to embarass the most fanatic of religious zealots.

    Creationists spout off rage and vitriol?
    Creationists are capable of embarrassment?

    What exactly are you trying to say, here?

    Besides erroneously writing that “embarrass” only has one “r”, that is.

    Look at the attitudinal/behavioural characteristics of the responses here:

    Your ad hominem arguments are noted.

    The two pillars in support of a theory of universal common descent: the phylogenetic tree or “tree of life”, and the fossil record, are both beset by considerable problems, if one is to be dishonest about the data at a primary study level.

    Fixed.

    The Cambrian explosion remains a paradox

    The Cambrian “explosion”, something that took tens of millions of years, and was preceded by Precambrian life, is not a “paradox”.

    Furthermore, now that we are some way through accruing genomic sequencing data, it is clear that we are having to adopt various sophistic/adaptive measures (“horizontal gene transfer”, for one) to congruitise our findings.

    Horizontal gene transfer is demonstrable by empirical evidence, and it is sophistic to claim otherwise.

    Also: congruitise ?

    The problems don’t end there.

    The problems don’t exist there.

    There is much much more that remains unresolved, incongruous, inconsistent, or contradictory with Darwinian evolution, from the level of genetic molecular biology to broader physiologic understanding.

    And we should believe you on this, random Internet person, because you make fallacious and sophistic arguments?

    A point of note is that I would never express these very valid concerns on a professional basis for various reasons

    Not the least of which being that these “concerns” are not valid.

    (loss of funding,

    Why should money be given to liars?

    and ridicule from fringe-level “scientists” such as demonstrated here)

    Wow, ridicule is such a horrible, horrible thing to undergo — so horrible that you yourself do it freely and continuously, being a typical hypocrite. It’s so devastating that you can’t even summon the wherewithal to condescendingly lie some more about a topic about which you are obviously more ignorant than many here.

    I also know that there is an increasing cohort of very reputable and leading researchers, who have published in top-tier journals, who have expressed similar concerns, but will likewise not publish them.

    The lurkers support me in academia !!!

    Having sat at, and occasionally chaired, a number of agenda and goal-setting meetings at a number of research institutions in the UK, I have been directly witness to discrete political interference in the inordinate promotion of evolutionary theory,

    “discrete” political interference ? Really, conspiracy-mongers who can’t spell pretty much set themselves up for ridicule.

    *even when it contradicts our most up-to-date findings*.

    The most up-to-date findings that everyone is too scared to publish, because people might make fun of them !!

    Darwinian evolution is evidently a theory in crisis (or even more crisis than it was before)

    Yes, of course, because you, random Internets person and sophist, say so.

    and the pattern of coping-pattern responses here reflect that clearly.

    Tch. Still with the silly and pathetic ad hominem.

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