Liveblogging the interminable Meyer

Leo: I know you won't defend your Cambridge PhD. Asks about Cambrian. Also, is Disco. creationist? Now she's getting pissy, and blithering about lots of topics.

Meyer: "Do you know what an argument from authority is?" Will you offer one now? Accuses experts of appealing to authority, rather than appeal to expertise which they actually used.

Whines about other people's testimony, ignoring Leo's many confused and blithering questions. Then accuses Hillis of presenting half-baked ideas. He then says the Cambrian explosion lasted less than 5 million years. He is literally filled with crap. There is apparently only room within him for hot air. Oh, now we're blowing smoke.

Reliving old fights. "We have people at Disco. who do what we regard as scientific research." Nice qualification there. We haven't advocated teaching ID in classes since 2002.

Hardy: Age of earth? 4.6 billion years.

Knight: Is there any science to back up accusation of "half-baked ideas" against other presenters? Also, why wasn't he called on decorum violation? Appeals to (his own) authority? Can't allow one side to decide what's credible. Serious challengers with serious credentials. Dude, what did you just say about appeals to authority?

Knight: You didn't answer me.

Meyer works "Sternberg" and "junk" into the same sentence, but the connecting words are all wrong.

Whines about Kitzmiller. Whines about circularity in phylogenetic analysis.

McLeroy: Information question. Meyer: Big problem in biology. Won't define biology.

McLeroy: What about teeth? McLeroy refers to "the latest article on the topic, 'Tooth Evolution Theory Lacks Bite.'" You mean this article from Creation Safaris? C'mon, at least make us work at this, Don.

More in a moment.

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So is McLeroy really so stupid to think that scientists won't fill in the gaps on tooth evolution? (Pun intended.) What a maroon. :P

Seriously, how can creationists be so stupid in not suspecting the fallacy behind this "god of the gaps" crap. Surely they must at least have some small suspicion that something is amiss there somewhere.

P.S. Thanks for the liveblogging of this. Good stuff.

Thanks, Josh, for your efforts to keep the rest of us informed.

Did you notice how Meyer made a strawman out of Dr. Hillis's suggestion that an increase on atmospheric oxygen was a possible contributing factor to the "Cambrian explosion?"

In the context of his remarks, Hillis was clearly offering this as an example of a possible environmental factor that could lead to differential survival and reproduction among existing forms:

"It happened when it did because there were rapid increases in oxygen from the evolution of photosynthetic organisms that greatly favored the evolution of multicellular organisms. Before there was that level of oxygen in the atmosphere, you simply couldn't support multicellular life.

However, Meyer later tried to pretend that Hillis was offering this as an explanation for the origin of genetic information:

"Please explain to me how a little more atmospheric oxygen is gonna sequence nucleotide bases and produce all the specific sequences that are necessary to build new animal forms."

How do I know that Hillis was not actually making the argument ascribed to him by Meyer? Because immediately after Hillis said the part I quoted above, he offered an actual genetic explanation:

"It was greatly facilitated by the evolution of Hox genes in association with multicellularity. Now, these are toolbox genes that produce major developmental changes with small genetic changes in expression."

Ironically, in his earlier testimony, Meyer argued that his qualifications as a philosopher of science give him expertise in analyzing the logical basis of scientific arguments.

Ironically, in his earlier testimony, Meyer argued that his qualifications as a philosopher of science give him expertise in analyzing the logical basis of scientific arguments.

Ironic yes, but it does help explain why he is an ID proponent. Either he's a kook or he's scamming people. (And a very annoying person too, apparently.)