Saturday, March 03, 2012

Discotute "Dissent From Darwin"

I had this in the "draft" file. I am still grinding on Joe the Surgeon, but I offer this as an alternate bit of creationist debunking.

I realized I was repeating myself again. The creationist was Joe Jensen posting to the evocreato discussion at "Bangert: The evolution of a misguided 'choice' The topic was the Discotute "Dissent From Darwin" bullshit. So, I thought that I should post the current version here to save time.

The Discotute "Dissent from Darwin" has far more "egghead PHDs" in totally unrelated fields, like history, or sociology, or philosophy, meteorology, or electrical engineering, than they have any professionals competent to judge the data supporting the theory of evolution. In reply to this nonsense, we began "Project Steve." The Project Steve statement unequivocally presents that Evolutionary Theory is the sole organizing principle for all of biological science. We limited the signatories to only people named Steve. (Or cognates, like Stephanie, or Estiban). To make it even harder, we limited signatories to real scientists in relevant areas as opposed to the "anything, or anybody" rules for the Discotutes. (We altered the rule when Nobel winner Stephen Hawkins wanted to join. The new rule allows any Nobel Prize winner named "Steve" to sign on. All eligible Nobelists have signed).

Just today, Steve #1186 is Dr. Stephanie Wissel. Interestingly, Project Steve member #1184 is Prof. Steve Murphree. What makes this interesting is that Dr. Murphee was earlier a signatory of the Discotute "Dissent" list, in his own words, "a choice that I now genuinely regret."

Regarding the weakass "Dissent From Darwin," Charles Darwin could have signed it himself. Read the so-called "dissent"

"We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."

Darwin actually had no idea how genetics actually worked, so objecting to "random mutation" would not have bothered him at all. Modern (competent) scientists know that mutations are restricted by the chemistry of nucleic acids, and the structural chemistry of proteins, this ultimately being the chemistry of amino acids. Even so, "random" mutations in the form of SNPs are nearly always silent. This forms the foundation for Kimura's neutral theory.

Darwin was well aware that "natural selection" was not the only force to "account for the complexity of life." In fact, he wrote four books detailing other factors. He wrote two on artificial selection, which is the basis of all agriculture and dates to the late Neolithic. He wrote one on orchids where he proposed the concepts (later confirmed) of co-evolution, and mutualism. And, in 1871 Darwin published a book on Human evolution which introduced the concept of sexual (today we say "behavioral") selection.

So, Darwin would have had no problems with "random mutation," and wrote 4 books about 3 kinds of evolutionary selection beyond "survival of the fittest." And, he was constantly an advocate of the notion that we should, "carefully examine the evidence." And So Am I. When we do carefully examine the evidence, ID creationism is bunk.


EastwoodDC said...

Greeting Gary - I followed you here from your comments on the recent Time article. I look forward to reading through your posts.

(wondering if this is a "Gary" I already know?)

Dan (aka Tomato Addict)

Gary S. Hurd said...

Howdy Dan. Welcome.

I looked at your bio, and I don't think we have met before, but share quite a number of interests.

EastwoodDC said...

The "other" Gary and I have been following the Coppedge story at
I suspect there are other Panda's Thumb and Talk Origins folk you may know there too.

Adding you to my blogroll. :-)