Stranger Fruit

Casey Luskin is a WHAT?

The Koolade over at ARN is particularly strong today. Robert Deyes speaks of “biologist Casey Luskin”. Seriously. At best, Luskin was a geologist MS in earth sciences before becoming a lawyer. He has one (second-author) paper:

Lisa Tauxe, Casey Luskin, Peter Selkin, Phillip Gans, and Andy Calvert, ?Paleomagnetic results from the Snake River Plain: Contribution to the time-averaged field global database,? Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems (G3), 5(8) (August, 2004).

Creationist credentialing once again, I fear.

Equally as problematic is Deyes’ claim:

We learn many a lesson from Conan Doyle’s thriller perhaps the most important being the absolute need for strong evidence and empirical rigor in science.

Indeed. Pity Conan Doyle descended into spiritualism and a naive belief in fairies. What we can learn from his literary productions isn’t as much as Deyes wants.


  1. #1 Doc Bill
    March 9, 2009


    Luskin is most certainly NOT a geologist!

    Luskin studied “earth science” which is like 8th grade science for college students.

    I know geologists. Geologists are friends of mine. And Casey Luskin is no geologist. Rocks in one’s head does not count.

  2. #2 Wes
    March 9, 2009

    The Koolade over at ARN is particularly strong today. Robert Deyes speaks of “biologist Casey Luskin”.

    Looks like he’s already changed it…

    Recently lawyer and geologist Casey Luskin summed up two areas of Darwin’s thesis that remain hotly contended (Ref 6).

  3. #3 John Lynch
    March 9, 2009

    @ Bill

    Fixed it for you 🙂

    @ Wes

    No doubt he acknowledged me for pointing out his little error 🙂

  4. #4 Wes
    March 9, 2009

    God, I just went through and read some of Luskin’s quotes in that ARN article. There’s some thick, steaming bullshit in there:

    “”Despite increasing methodological sophistication, phylogenies derived from morphology and those inferred from molecules, are not always converging on a consensus”. As the consensus becomes harder and harder to reach, Darwinian systematists have tried to construct phylogenies in which data from many genes are averaged together to produce a single tree. In this approach evolutionists construct phylogenies only after assuming common descent. They do not follow correct scientific method in trying to falsify the hypothesis by determining if trees based upon separate characteristics match one another. If they were willing to test their hypothesis, their method would be very different. With the advent of the biotechnology revolution and DNA sequencing it is now clear that conflicts exist not only between morphology-based trees and gene-based trees, but also between different types of gene-based trees.” (Ref 6, p.92)

    Oh my God! Gene trees don’t always match! Well, that means we’ll just have to throw out this whole evolution thing and say that Jesus made animals so that Texans could have something to shoot at.

  5. #5 RBH
    March 9, 2009

    Luskin will never read it (well, at least if he does he won’t understand it), but Thomas Mailund has a well-illustrated explanation of gene trees and species trees.

  6. #6 Laurent
    March 12, 2009

    Hum, I have to disagree here with the point about being ‘second’ author on a paper meaning anything. Having only one may be the actual point, but being second cannot be used to imply anything. I have found myself between first and last author rank several times in my carrier and it doesn’t mean I hadn’t a real if not significant contribution to the studies nor that I can’t defend what these studies contributed to the corpus of science.

    To my prejudice, it happened that I did let authors take priority over myself to help boosting their carrier profile. I find deeply unfortunate that people would judge my contribution as detrimental to the published work when it’s not. I would really like other scientists to stop thinking too much about ranks in authorship…

  7. #7 John Lynch
    March 12, 2009

    @ Laurent

    I wasn’t making any commentary about the status of second authors in general. My point was simply about Deyes’ credentialling of Luskin as a scientist when he clearly has done more as a lawyer than he even achieved as a scientist. Having one’s name of a single paper does not make one a “scientist” in any meaningful sense of the word.

  8. #8 laurent
    March 16, 2009

    Having one’s name of a single paper does not make one a “scientist” in any meaningful sense of the word.

    Hum… Makes me think a lot. If you need a subject for a future blog post, I would certainly enjoy reading your take on such a complex issue… 🙂 Not that I would disagree, quite the contrary, but I don’t seem to get a simple answer about how to delineate a scientist from a non-scientist…

    (Of course Luskin isn’t, we are simply drifting away from the post’s subject here)

  9. #9 Konstantin
    April 11, 2009

    I wonder if ANY of you heard what a generic fallacy is.
    If you would, you would not make such fools of yourself.

  10. #10 jim
    May 11, 2009

    @ Konstantin
    do you mean “genetic” fallacy? i’m betting you did. either way, you clearly don’t understand how the fallacy works. the issue here isn’t that luskin is wrong because he isn’t a biologist. the issue is that he was given false credentials as a way of suggesting that he is an expert and, therefore, has an opinion that should be heeded on the subject.
    please understand the issue at hand before commenting.

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