Pharyngula

Two more meaty reviews of his li’l book of racism: One by Agustin Fuentes, an anthropologist who debated Wade, and the other by Jennifer Raff, yet another anthropologist with expertise in genetics.

I’ve focused a lot of this review on numerous technical details because I think that it’s very important that non-geneticists understand the degree to which Wade is distorting the results of recent research on genome-wide human variation. I won’t speculate whether this distortion is deliberate or a result of simple ignorance about genetics, but it is serious. There is a great deal more in this book that also needs to be critiqued, such as Wade’s assertion that the genetic differences between human groups determine behavioral differences, resurrecting the specter of “national character” and “racial temperaments”. But as I’ve shown here, Wade’s book is all pseudoscientific rubbish because he can’t justify his first and primary point: his claim that the human racial groups we recognize today culturally are scientifically meaningful, discrete biological divisions of humans. This claim provides a direct basis for the whole second half of the book where he makes those “speculative” arguments about national character. In other words, the entire book is a house of cards.

Although the scientists are all laughing at him, at least he’ll have the praise of David Duke and John Derbyshire as consolation.

Comments

  1. #2 Benjamin Winegard
    United States
    May 23, 2014

    I don’t think that all the scientists are laughing at him at all. Two scientists disagree with him for taking on the most controversial issue in social science. That’s hardly surprising. Last I checked, E.O. Wilson was a real scientist, and he wrote a laudatory blurb for the book. I’ll take Wilson’s praise over Fuentes’ hostility any day.

    At the end of the day, this debate will come down to what is actually true.

  2. #3 Nick K
    May 23, 2014

    Fuentes is an anthropologist. Does that even qualify as scientist?

  3. #4 David Marjanović
    Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
    May 23, 2014

    Blackbirds cannot create an Eagle’s nest, nor can Negroids create an Asian or Caucasian civilization.

    Also, colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

    Fuentes is an anthropologist. Does that even qualify as scientist?

    Anthropology uses the scientific method, so it’s science. :-| It is about the biology, especially ethology, of humans.

  4. #5 G
    May 23, 2014

    Genetic phrenology.

    Takes pseudoscience to a whole ‘nother level.

    As for Ken @ 1: Dumb-dumbs (that’s a technical term) cannot create a coherent arguement.

    Humans share 99% of our genome with chimps and bonobos, yet here are these racists wrangling over whose genes are “better.” As President Reagan once said, if hostile ETs attacked us, we’d get over our differences instantly. Genetic competition among humans, on a tiny planet in a vast universe, is the height of stupidity.

    There is but one race: Earthers.

  5. #6 Leigh Williams
    United States
    May 24, 2014

    There’s a whole cohort of scientific racists over there, and unlike this stupid troll Ken, they’re smart and well-educated. They’re throwing out big clouds of sciency-sounding multisyllabic words and (for the most part) sounding high-minded. Oh, they’re slipping up some: we’ve had the white Protestant work ethic and fixing the colored folk via genetic engineering so they’ll be smart and a few other rifts in the lute, but generally at first glance they aren’t raving bigots.

    It’s only after the second or third iteration of

    Race is real and biological!
    Okay, how do we define and measure it?
    (furious tap dancing and sidestepping)
    It’s real but you won’t admit it cause you’re a liberal!
    (lather, rinse, repeat)
    !
    that their true colors become entirely apparent.

    They’re just like Ken, but packaged as pseudo-intellectuals.

  6. #7 Nick K
    May 24, 2014

    #5: Do you really consider the work of Claude Levi-Strauss or Michel Foucault to be scientific? I don’t.

  7. #8 Josh
    May 24, 2014

    “Race is real and biological!
    Okay, how do we define and measure it?”

    For god’s sake, you act as if you have not been told.

    Start by reading Steve Hsu, Vice-president for research at Michigan state and prof. of physics at Michigan state. Like you said, HBDers are smart.

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com.au/2007/01/metric-on-space-of-genomes-and.html

    Tell me what you make of that definition.

    Also note that sub-structure is possible, so the argument that the number of races is arbitrary is meaningless.

  8. #9 Erik Weissengruber
    Toronto
    May 25, 2014

    I don’t think we even need scientists to look at Wade’s methods of persuasion. Just Edward Tuffte. He has great analyses of how PowerPoint presentations are conducive to the destruction of meaningful thought. Wade played around with some statistical aggregation software, set the parameters to create a result that he considered “practical” (for what practices I wonder) and pressed print. He set up a Venn diagram that represents the overlap and difference between “races” based upon samples taken one very specific place in Africa. This, without establishing how Nigeria is supposed to be representative of all of Africa. This is a slight of hand us in the humanities call a synecdoche, an logically illicit (but often persuasive) presentation of a part that is supposed to represent a whole. The divergence of his “African” synecdoche from that of his “Asian” one would have been the same if he had plucked genetic data from the Kalahari or downtown Johannesburg. But seeing those three circles with a little overlap is supposed to be an emblem of 3 races that have only slight overlap. That the divergences are orders of magnitude smaller than the convergences between the groups is completely masked by his diagram and his rhetoric. Basic science literacy and careful reading (plus an active bullshit detector) should be enough for people assign Wade to the recycle bin. And group selection for cultural traits — like the kind he talks about in his book on faith. Gimme a break. Hasn’t Dawkins done enough to tear apart theories of group selection?

  9. #10 Erik Weissengruber
    May 25, 2014

    Sorry, meant to write “the divergence of his “African” synecdoche from that of his “Asian” one would have been REPRODUCED if he had plucked genetic data from the Kalahari or downtown Johannesburg.” Diamond IIRC stated that you could find as much aggregate variation between groups of !Kung-San as you could between a sample taken in Europe and one in Japan. Not that playing with aggregations of data is the same finding causal explanations.

  10. #11 Leigh Williams
    United States
    May 25, 2014

    What do I think of Hsu? I think it’s crap. Did you even notice that his Hypothesis 1 was an extremely stupid straw man? Evidently not. Did you notice that he was quick to point out that the data he references don’t make it possible to prefer either of the hypotheses?

    Furthermore, I would be quite astonished if there *werent* some geographical clustering, given what we know about the effects of selection pressure and isolation on the genome. Nor would I argue that we won’t see some practical effects from that, especially in disease resistance.

    But it’s a long, long leap from the data at hand to an argument about about cognitive abilities and character predicated on genetic difference.

    The only people who are making that leap are those who *like* the idea of race. And they like it because they’re racists.

    I grew up in East Texas, and I can (through long practice) spot a racist at twenty paces. Don’t bother throwing your bogus conclusions derived from vapor at me. I despise you.

  11. #12 David Marjanović
    Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
    May 25, 2014

    Do you really consider the work of Claude Levi-Strauss or Michel Foucault to be scientific?

    Huh. I thought they were philosophers? Have they done anthropology, too?

    Philosophy, of course, isn’t science – science is the application of science theory, which is one branch of philosophy.

  12. #13 Nick K
    May 26, 2014

    #14: Levi-Strauss not an anthropologist? That will come as a surprise to Anthropology departments the world over.

    Try reading Tristes Tropiques or The Raw and the Cooked (I have) and report back. Your belief that Anthropology is a science will crumble.

  13. #14 Josh
    May 26, 2014

    @Leigh Williams

    Wait a minute. I was not arguing about cognitive differences or whatnot in my comment. I was simply establishing the reality of race, which you said was undefined and therefore non-existent.

    So after reading Hsu, do you admit that race is real?

    “And they like it because they’re racists.”

    OK, and Lewontin was an avowed Marxist, so what’s your point?

  14. #15 bobh
    May 27, 2014

    #16 After reading Hsu I am not convinced that race is real. I am convinced that isolated populations have different allele frequencies. But so what? I certainly didn’t need to look at a 3-d slice of a much higher dimensional space to believe that. As the populations mix in the modern world (become less isolated) those frequencies will gradually diminish. If you believe that race is a valid biological concept will you keep track of who is 1/2 European and who is 1/4 and …

  15. #16 Josh
    May 28, 2014

    ” I am convinced that isolated populations have different allele frequencies.”

    Well ain’t that just fine…

    Call these “isolated groups” what ever you choose too. All i care about is that different groups have different allele frequencies, which means that pheonotyes can vary (and yes, intelligence is one of these phenotypes).

  16. #17 Josh
    May 28, 2014

    ” I am convinced that isolated populations have different allele frequencies.”

    Good, then different groups could have different average intelligence, among other things.

    Anthropologist/ physicist (yep, another one) explains:

    http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/unknown-phenotypes/

  17. #18 David Marjanović
    Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
    May 28, 2014

    Your belief that Anthropology is a science will crumble.

    I guess very different things are lumped under “anthropology” by different people. The anthropology department at my alma mater was actually called “human biology” for some time.

  18. #19 bobh
    May 28, 2014

    @ #19 (From Wikipedia)
    genotype (G) + environment (E) + genotype & environment interactions (GE) → phenotype (P)

    I was talking about genotype, when you brought up intelligence you brought up phenotype

  19. #20 Josh
    May 28, 2014

    @ Bobh,

    Twin studies and adoption studies suggest that (G) is not zero.

  20. #21 Nick K
    May 29, 2014

    #23: Like most creationists, you seem very confused about Thermodynamics. If you had bothered to consult any Chemistry textbook you would know that the entropy of a closed system can perfectly easily decrease spontaneously as long as there is a corresponding increase in the entropy of the rest of the Universe.

  21. #22 Nick K
    May 30, 2014

    #25: Ever seen water freezing? But thanks anyway for demonstrating your ignorance!

  22. #23 Nick K
    May 30, 2014

    I seem to have touched a nerve. Thermodynamics is obviously NOT being violated when water freezes. Ice is more ordered (has a lower entropy) than liquid water.

    Standard entropy of ice: 41 J / (mol.K).

    Standard entropy of liquid water: 69.95 J / (mol.K)

    The entropy (measure of disorder) of ice is less than that of liquid water, yet the process takes place spontaneously as long as the heat of fusion can be dissipated in the surroundings. As I said before, you really have no idea what you are talking about, but you give those who do enormous amusement..

  23. #24 David Marjanović
    Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
    May 30, 2014

    Vince Goodrum, be ashamed. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy cannot decrease in an isolated system, an isolated system being a system where neither matter nor any other form of energy can enter or leave.

    The Earth is not an isolated system. First, the sun shines; second, if entropy couldn’t decrease anywhere on Earth, growth would be impossible – you are proof that your confused claim is wrong.

    Why do you talk about things you have not the foggiest idea of!?!

    Atheists even have to [1] deny the laws of science in order to propagate their [2] creation story [3] of animals evolving into [4] higher forms [5] to become human.

    1) Not true, see below.
    2) Nice own goal calling the theory of evolution by mutation, selection & drift a “creation story”. *slow clap*
    3) Why single out animals? Everything that reproduces imperfectly cannot help evolving, because evolution is descent with heritable modification. Languages evolve, and so do certain computer simulations.
    4) There is no “higher”. There is no way to define “higher” so it becomes a coherent concept.
    5) There is no goal. Evolution just happens; it goes wherever mutation (which is random), selection (which is determined by the environment) and drift (which is random) toss it.

    Here is the short list of the laws they deny to justify their foolish heathen beliefs.

    1. Laws of Genetics (Denial of the limits imposed by the “Law of the Reversion to the Average?”)

    There is indeed no such law. If you believe otherwise, show me some evidence!

    2. The 1st Law of Thermodynamics. (Law of the Conservation of Matter)

    lolwut?
    BTW, it’s not the conservation of matter; it’s the conservation of energy, of which matter is only one form. Matter can be converted into other forms of energy, and vice versa; this is why radioactive decay is possible, for example, and why the sun shines. You keep advertising that you have no idea what you’re talking about!

    3.The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. (Law of Increased Entropy)

    See above.

    4. Law of Continuums
    5. Law of Probability
    6. Law of Cause and Effect

    Details, please.

    7. Denial of the Law of Biogenesis

    This bogus “law” was made up by a few creationists very recently. If you believe it’s real, show me some evidence.

    THEY ALSO DENY
    1. Design of any kind.

    LOL. The computer I’m writing this on has quite obviously been designed.

    There are four ways anything can come into being:
    – chance;
    – necessity (meaning the laws of physics leave no other choice);
    – design;
    – evolution (a complex interplay of chance and necessity).

    To settle on one of these as the explanation for why some particular thing exists, you have to rule out the other three. Somehow, creationists never try to rule out evolution – even for things like computers, which clearly can’t evolve, because they don’t reproduce and therefore don’t inherit!

    2. Common sense (they claim common sense says the Earth is flat so it’s of no use)

    Well, yeah. All of physics of the last 110 years has been nothing but a continuous demonstration that common sense is thoroughly unreliable outside the narrow conditions it evolved to deal with.

    Even 110 years ago, it was well known that the speed of sound isn’t infinite as common sense would tell us…

    Nick K, old bounder, if as you averred Thermodynamics is not violated then that means I win seeing as the science of Thermodynamics puts you and your whole batch of bullshit beliefs to the sword.

    How stupid are you if you seriously believe tens of thousands of biologists haven’t noticed in 150 years what you just came up with?

    the almighty God who reigneth in the heavens is faithfully ordering all things

    Evidence?

  24. #25 Nick K
    May 31, 2014

    Vince, stick to writing for your muscle man magazines. Don’t for goodness sake try designing chemical plants, aircraft, bridges, buildings, or indeed anything in the physical world.

    Oh, and try crawling out from that rock you’re under in North Carolina. That big orange thing in the sky is the Sun, and that’s why life doesn’t violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

  25. #26 David Marjanović
    Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
    May 31, 2014

    “As various studies have reported, biologists are the least intelligent of the science majors. And as a perusal of any biology major’s curriculum will show, most of them are completely uneducated in history, in logic, and in philosophy. There isn’t even much use of the actual scientific method in their “science”; there is a reason that hard scientists have long denigrated them as “butterfly collectors.”

    Interesting that you present a quote but don’t even mention its source.

    Interesting that your source mentions the existence of “various studies” but completely fails to cite them.

    “Butterfly collectors”? I’ve heard the quip that all science is either physics or stamp collecting. But that hasn’t been true for a long time. Did you know that a whole branch of mathematics, multivariate statistics, was invented for evolutionary biology? Look it up!

    BUTTERFLY COLLECTORS!!! HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR

    This sounds like you’re terrified of something. You know, “whistling past the graveyard”.

    Didn’t 99.9% of them accept the Piltdown Man as the missing link between humans and apes for 40 years? HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR

    Well… no. For at least half of those 40 years, it was considered increasingly bizarre, because it didn’t fit the picture formed by the “other” fossils. I’ve seen phylogenetic trees from that time that show Piltdown Man at the end of a looooong branch that comes off the very base, far away from our own ancestry.

    BTW, 1953 was 61 years ago. But creationists always live in the past and fail to notice that science moves on.

    LET’S LIST THE CONTRIBUTION OF BIOLOGISTS–Haeckel’s embryos,

    He filled in a few gaps in the series he had. That was dishonest, he shouldn’t have done that.

    As it happens, though, his interpolations were pretty much correct. Open a modern embryology textbook and tell me what you see.

    failed germ and fly experiments,

    Such as?

    micro-speciation and calling it macro,

    Oh man, now you’re getting your own buzzwords wrong! The words you’re looking for are micro- and macroevolution, not -speciation.

    There’s no evidence that macroevolution is anything other than accumulated microevolution. A miracle would be required to prevent such accumulations from happening.

    Piltdown man,

    See above and below.

    Java man,

    Say what? Homo erectus is real.

    Nebraska man,

    A damaged peccary tooth mistaken for a damaged primate tooth for a few months. No wonder only creationists and those they shout at have ever heard of it. Also no wonder that the discoverer himself noticed his error.

    Pigs in the wide sense and primates have remarkably similar teeth. It’s easy to confuse them when they’re isolated, let alone damaged.

    Neanderthal man, Peking man,

    Please do explain what exactly you’re denying here.

    Archeopteryx, Archaeoraptor,

    Archaeoraptor“, which was never officially named, consisted of the front part of a skeleton of the toothed bird Yanornis and the hindquarters of a skeleton of the almost-bird Microraptor, put together by fossil dealers who (correctly) thought that a whole skeleton would fetch a higher price than two incomplete ones. The amateur paleontologist Stephen Czerkas got a hold of it, wrote a description and sent it to the scientific journal Nature – which rejected it. In the meantime, National Geographic published a photo of the specimen (along with the unofficial name). Even before people got to examine the specimen and determine that it was composite, the National Geographic article was immediately met with skepticism from paleontologists: nobody expected to find the forequarters of an almost modern bird in the same animal as the tail and the feet of a dromaeosaur. Well, the skeptics were right.

    In the 1980s, the astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle developed his very own theory of macroevolution. It claimed that “higher groups”, whatever that means, only come about by the invasion of extraterrestrial viruses (which nevertheless have the same genetic code as life on Earth…), cataclysmic events that also cause mass extinctions. This meant that there couldn’t have been any birds (or mammals for that matter) before the mass extinction at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary. Thus, Hoyle and a few coauthors claimed that the feathers on the London and the Berlin specimens of Archaeopteryx (note the spelling with ae) must have been forged. Read here what became of that claim. Wonder, also, why Hoyle & friends completely ignored the other four specimens that were known at the time, all of which also preserve natural casts of feathers (as do the six that have been discovered since – that’s right, there are now twelve specimens of Archaeopteryx, not counting the isolated feather that was found first). Wonder further why they don’t seem to have said anything about Ichthyornis, Hesperornis, Baptornis, Enaliornis or the isolated feather called Ilerdopteryx

    Lucy,

    :-) I can’t even imagine what your problem with Lucy is.

    failure to find transitionals,

    After you just listed a few? That’s just funny.

    circular logic and argument from ignorance of vestigial organs,

    Do explain.

    dinos turning into birds,

    Birds are dinosaurs just like how bats are mammals.

    wolf creatures into whales,

    The closest known relatives of the whales (including dolphins etc.) are the raoellids, by far the best-known of which is Indohyus – by no means a “wolf creature”.

    The closest living relatives of the whales are the hippos.

    failed Abiogenesis experiments,

    Actually, the experiment by Miller & Urey (1953) was a greater success than they themselves thought… but it’s outdated anyway, as is your whole knowledge of this subject. Start here.

    monkeys turning into men… So why pay any attention to them?

    What problem exactly do you have with being a monkey?

    Now be a man

    So you’re a misogynist, too. Crank magnetism.

    How does the sun as an energy source demerit the argument that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics?

    So you write for muscle-man magazines? Building muscle entails a local (!) decrease in entropy: you turn a solution of amino acids into an organized, complex solid. The universe as a whole is an isolated system, so entropy has to increase somewhere to compensate for this. It increases in digestion and in energy metabolism: digestion turns food (cold, complex, organized solids and liquids) into a solution of simple sugars, glycerin, fatty acids and amino acids (a warm, chaotic liquid), and cellular catabolism then turns this solution into air (an even warmer, even more chaotic gas) and piss (an even warmer, even more chaotic liquid).

    Where does the food come from? Ultimately, from plants that turn a watery solution and air into starch, fat and protein. That’s a massive decrease in entropy. Where’s the corresponding increase? In the sun that provides the energy for plant anabolism: it turns hydrogen into helium.

    The sun provides the entropy increase necessary for the entropy decrease that is the growth of any organism. In fact, its entropy increase is far higher than the entropy decrease in all life on Earth; you probably didn’t know this, but Entropy is a mathematical, quantitative measure that can be calculated.

    There’s way more than enough to compensate for the tiny net entropy decrease across generations that evolution sometimes results in. It’s simply not something to worry about. If you want to show otherwise, do the math first.

    Why is it that entropy continues to increase in closed and in open systems?

    Entropy does not always increase in open systems.

    Your room is an open system. Tidy it up, and you’ve decreased its entropy. The corresponding entropy increase that is necessary in the universe-scale order of things happens in another open system – in you: digestion and catabolism.

    Of course you’re utterly unable to respond to any of the above.

    If you already know what I’ll say, why do you talk to me? LOL!

    There is only ONE way anything can come into being and that is by design. [...] If there are Laws of Physics, then it stands to reason that there must be a Lawgiver as without an ID then there would be no physical laws. None of the laws governing your country

    Wow, that’s embarrassingly stupid. Does it hurt yet?

    “Law of physics” is a metaphor. The “laws” of physics are generalizations from observations of how things behave; they are descriptive, not prescriptive – they tell how things are, not how they somehow ought to be. That’s quite different from a law, don’t you think?

    You really should cut your losses and scamper away into the sunset while you still can. Tragically for you logic and reason are manifestly beyond the grasp of your puny intellect.

    The very puniness of your intellect is beyond the grasp of your puny intellect.

    You have no idea what you’re talking about – and you don’t even notice, even though it’s so blatantly obvious.

    (No wonder you haven’t figured out that the <blockquote> tag exists.)

    a·bi·o·gen·e·sis/ˌeɪbaɪoʊˈdʒɛnəsɪs, ˌæbioʊ-/ Show Spelled [ey-bahy-oh-jen-uh-sis, ab-ee-oh-]

    <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AbiogenesisAbiogenesis.

    FACT: OH NO they didn’t you lying pos. ONE scientist is credited with exposing the fraud. He had two buddies so that leaves the other 99.9% believing on Piltdown for 40 years.

    Tell me, what did the creationists do in the meantime?

    They didn’t notice that Piltdown Man was a fraud… they couldn’t decide whether it was “an ape” or “a man”, but they never found out it was a hoax.

    4. It’s influence is still being felt because it had the effect they wanted – FOR EVERYONE TO BELIEVE THAT MAN EVOLVED FROM A MONKEY.

    Don’t be silly. The effects Dawson wanted when he, most likely, faked the thing was 1) to become famous, 2) for England to have its very own apeman, so that British patriots could be proud to live in the Cradle of Mankind™. That we’re all monkeys had been the consensus of biologists for 40 to 50 years – that’s how long the last creationist biologists, Owen and Agassiz, had been dead. (BTW, you’d hardly recognize their creationism as such, but that’s another story.)

    FACT: FROM WIKI: In 1921, Henry Fairfield Osborn, President of the American Museum of Natural History, examined the Piltdown and Sheffield Park finds and declared that the jaw and skull belonged together “without question” and that the Sheffield Park fragments “were exactly those which we should have selected to confirm the comparison with the original type”. The Sheffield Park find established the authenticity of the discoveries.

    So what? Why would Osborn have been infallible?

    FACT: BUT the evotards claim no such coercion happens

    1) Happens, present tense, not ninety years ago.
    2) Even judging from your source, there wasn’t any coercion, just peer pressure from such people like Osborn, “the only man capable of strutting while sitting down” as he was called, in a time when unscientific behavior (like exaggerated respect for authority) was common among scientists. When Piltdown Man was discovered, it fit the current ideas about human evolution. Soon, “other” (genuine) fossils were discovered that formed a quite different picture, so people became more and more suspicious of it, and in the end it turned out Piltdown Man was a hoax.

  26. #27 David Marjanović
    Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
    May 31, 2014

    Evidently five links are too many. I’ll try again in three parts, and I apologize for the future duplication.

    Part 1 of 3:

    “As various studies have reported, biologists are the least intelligent of the science majors. And as a perusal of any biology major’s curriculum will show, most of them are completely uneducated in history, in logic, and in philosophy. There isn’t even much use of the actual scientific method in their “science”; there is a reason that hard scientists have long denigrated them as “butterfly collectors.”

    Interesting that you present a quote but don’t even mention its source.

    Interesting that your source mentions the existence of “various studies” but completely fails to cite them.

    “Butterfly collectors”? I’ve heard the quip that all science is either physics or stamp collecting. But that hasn’t been true for a long time. Did you know that a whole branch of mathematics, multivariate statistics, was invented for evolutionary biology? Look it up!

    BUTTERFLY COLLECTORS!!! HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR

    This sounds like you’re terrified of something. You know, “whistling past the graveyard”.

    Didn’t 99.9% of them accept the Piltdown Man as the missing link between humans and apes for 40 years? HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR

    Well… no. For at least half of those 40 years, it was considered increasingly bizarre, because it didn’t fit the picture formed by the “other” fossils. I’ve seen phylogenetic trees from that time that show Piltdown Man at the end of a looooong branch that comes off the very base, far away from our own ancestry.

    BTW, 1953 was 61 years ago. But creationists always live in the past and fail to notice that science moves on.

    LET’S LIST THE CONTRIBUTION OF BIOLOGISTS–Haeckel’s embryos,

    He filled in a few gaps in the series he had. That was dishonest, he shouldn’t have done that.

    As it happens, though, his interpolations were pretty much correct. Open a modern embryology textbook and tell me what you see.

    failed germ and fly experiments,

    Such as?

    micro-speciation and calling it macro,

    Oh man, now you’re getting your own buzzwords wrong! The words you’re looking for are micro- and macroevolution, not -speciation.

    There’s no evidence that macroevolution is anything other than accumulated microevolution. A miracle would be required to prevent such accumulations from happening.

    Piltdown man,

    See above and below.

    Java man,

    Say what? Homo erectus is real.

    Nebraska man,

    A damaged peccary tooth mistaken for a damaged primate tooth for a few months. No wonder only creationists and those they shout at have ever heard of it. Also no wonder that the discoverer himself noticed his error.

    Pigs in the wide sense and primates have remarkably similar teeth. It’s easy to confuse them when they’re isolated, let alone damaged.

    Neanderthal man, Peking man,

    Please do explain what exactly you’re denying here.

    Archeopteryx, Archaeoraptor,

    Archaeoraptor“, which was never officially named, consisted of the front part of a skeleton of the toothed bird Yanornis and the hindquarters of a skeleton of the almost-bird Microraptor, put together by fossil dealers who (correctly) thought that a whole skeleton would fetch a higher price than two incomplete ones. The amateur paleontologist Stephen Czerkas got a hold of it, wrote a description and sent it to the scientific journal Nature – which rejected it. In the meantime, National Geographic published a photo of the specimen (along with the unofficial name). Even before people got to examine the specimen and determine that it was composite, the National Geographic article was immediately met with skepticism from paleontologists: nobody expected to find the forequarters of an almost modern bird in the same animal as the tail and the feet of a dromaeosaur. Well, the skeptics were right.

    In the 1980s, the astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle developed his very own theory of macroevolution. It claimed that “higher groups”, whatever that means, only come about by the invasion of extraterrestrial viruses (which nevertheless have the same genetic code as life on Earth…), cataclysmic events that also cause mass extinctions. This meant that there couldn’t have been any birds (or mammals for that matter) before the mass extinction at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary. Thus, Hoyle and a few coauthors claimed that the feathers on the London and the Berlin specimens of Archaeopteryx (note the spelling with ae) must have been forged. Read here what became of that claim. Wonder, also, why Hoyle & friends completely ignored the other four specimens that were known at the time, all of which also preserve natural casts of feathers (as do the six that have been discovered since – that’s right, there are now twelve specimens of Archaeopteryx, not counting the isolated feather that was found first). Wonder further why they don’t seem to have said anything about Ichthyornis, Hesperornis, Baptornis, Enaliornis or the isolated feather called Ilerdopteryx

    Lucy,

    :-) I can’t even imagine what your problem with Lucy is.

    failure to find transitionals,

    After you just listed a few? That’s just funny.

    circular logic and argument from ignorance of vestigial organs,

    Do explain.

    dinos turning into birds,

    Birds are dinosaurs just like how bats are mammals.

    wolf creatures into whales,

    The closest known relatives of the whales (including dolphins etc.) are the raoellids, by far the best-known of which is Indohyus – by no means a “wolf creature”.

    The closest living relatives of the whales are the hippos.

    failed Abiogenesis experiments,

    Actually, the experiment by Miller & Urey (1953) was a greater success than they themselves thought… but it’s outdated anyway, as is your whole knowledge of this subject. Start here.

    monkeys turning into men… So why pay any attention to them?

    What problem exactly do you have with being a monkey?

  27. #28 David Marjanović
    Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
    May 31, 2014

    Part 2 of 3:

    Now be a man

    So you’re a misogynist, too. Crank magnetism.

    How does the sun as an energy source demerit the argument that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics?

    So you write for muscle-man magazines? Building muscle entails a local (!) decrease in entropy: you turn a solution of amino acids into an organized, complex solid. The universe as a whole is an isolated system, so entropy has to increase somewhere to compensate for this. It increases in digestion and in energy metabolism: digestion turns food (cold, complex, organized solids and liquids) into a solution of simple sugars, glycerin, fatty acids and amino acids (a warm, chaotic liquid), and cellular catabolism then turns this solution into air (an even warmer, even more chaotic gas) and piss (an even warmer, even more chaotic liquid).

    Where does the food come from? Ultimately, from plants that turn a watery solution and air into starch, fat and protein. That’s a massive decrease in entropy. Where’s the corresponding increase? In the sun that provides the energy for plant anabolism: it turns hydrogen into helium.

    The sun provides the entropy increase necessary for the entropy decrease that is the growth of any organism. In fact, its entropy increase is far higher than the entropy decrease in all life on Earth; you probably didn’t know this, but Entropy is a mathematical, quantitative measure that can be calculated.

    There’s way more than enough to compensate for the tiny net entropy decrease across generations that evolution sometimes results in. It’s simply not something to worry about. If you want to show otherwise, do the math first.

    Why is it that entropy continues to increase in closed and in open systems?

    Entropy does not always increase in open systems.

    Your room is an open system. Tidy it up, and you’ve decreased its entropy. The corresponding entropy increase that is necessary in the universe-scale order of things happens in another open system – in you: digestion and catabolism.

    Of course you’re utterly unable to respond to any of the above.

    If you already know what I’ll say, why do you talk to me? LOL!

    There is only ONE way anything can come into being and that is by design. [...] If there are Laws of Physics, then it stands to reason that there must be a Lawgiver as without an ID then there would be no physical laws. None of the laws governing your country

    Wow, that’s embarrassingly stupid. Does it hurt yet?

    “Law of physics” is a metaphor. The “laws” of physics are generalizations from observations of how things behave; they are descriptive, not prescriptive – they tell how things are, not how they somehow ought to be. That’s quite different from a law, don’t you think?

    You really should cut your losses and scamper away into the sunset while you still can. Tragically for you logic and reason are manifestly beyond the grasp of your puny intellect.

    The very puniness of your intellect is beyond the grasp of your puny intellect.

    You have no idea what you’re talking about – and you don’t even notice, even though it’s so blatantly obvious.

    (No wonder you haven’t figured out that the <blockquote> tag exists.)

  28. #29 David Marjanović
    Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
    May 31, 2014

    Part 3 of 3:

    a·bi·o·gen·e·sis/ˌeɪbaɪoʊˈdʒɛnəsɪs, ˌæbioʊ-/ Show Spelled [ey-bahy-oh-jen-uh-sis, ab-ee-oh-]

    Abiogenesis.

    FACT: OH NO they didn’t you lying pos. ONE scientist is credited with exposing the fraud. He had two buddies so that leaves the other 99.9% believing on Piltdown for 40 years.

    Tell me, what did the creationists do in the meantime?

    They didn’t notice that Piltdown Man was a fraud… they couldn’t decide whether it was “an ape” or “a man”, but they never found out it was a hoax.

    4. It’s influence is still being felt because it had the effect they wanted – FOR EVERYONE TO BELIEVE THAT MAN EVOLVED FROM A MONKEY.

    Don’t be silly. The effects Dawson wanted when he, most likely, faked the thing was 1) to become famous, 2) for England to have its very own apeman, so that British patriots could be proud to live in the Cradle of Mankind™. That we’re all monkeys had been the consensus of biologists for 40 to 50 years – that’s how long the last creationist biologists, Owen and Agassiz, had been dead. (BTW, you’d hardly recognize their creationism as such, but that’s another story.)

    FACT: FROM WIKI: In 1921, Henry Fairfield Osborn, President of the American Museum of Natural History, examined the Piltdown and Sheffield Park finds and declared that the jaw and skull belonged together “without question” and that the Sheffield Park fragments “were exactly those which we should have selected to confirm the comparison with the original type”. The Sheffield Park find established the authenticity of the discoveries.

    So what? Why would Osborn have been infallible?

    FACT: BUT the evotards claim no such coercion happens

    1) Happens, present tense, not ninety years ago.
    2) Even judging from your source, there wasn’t any coercion, just peer pressure from such people like Osborn, “the only man capable of strutting while sitting down” as he was called, in a time when unscientific behavior (like exaggerated respect for authority) was common among scientists. When Piltdown Man was discovered, it fit the current ideas about human evolution. Soon, “other” (genuine) fossils were discovered that formed a quite different picture, so people became more and more suspicious of it, and in the end it turned out Piltdown Man was a hoax.

  29. #30 Satan
    Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.
    June 1, 2014

    Heavenly Father, through the instruction of Your Word and the guidance of Your Spirit, help me to be different from those around me who think that the creation itself made them. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

    Help you to be different — you mean, they are polite and honest, so you want God to make you a rude liar?

    Do you really think that sucking up to God by acting like a shit-flinging monkey is supposed to impress Him?

  30. #31 God
    Here, there, everywhere
    June 1, 2014

    so you want God to make you a rude liar?

    Of course I want him to be a rude liar. Shit-flinging monkeys don’t impress me, but they do amuse me.

  31. #32 Nick K
    June 2, 2014

    Vince, you still haven’t explained how life violates the laws of Thermodynamics. David above has explained very clearly how the entopy of an open or closed (but NOT isolated) system can decrease spontaneously. Could you now give us your version of said laws? We all need a laugh.

    Oh, and by the way, why do whales have vestigial pelvic girdles and rear limbs?

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