Commentary on the so-called Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate and Right-Wing nuttery in general - and please ignore the typos (I make lots!)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Walter ReMine - egomaniac

Walter ReMine, creationist electrical engineer author of "The Biotic Message", a pathetic attempt to make creationism seem scientific by engaging in "science by quote," has made much of his take on population geneticist JBS Haldane's model for the substitution of beneficial mutants in a population (for a good review of ReMine's book by an actual geneticist, see Gert Korthof's).

ReMine claims that 'Haldane's Dilemma', as his model was inaptly named, when applied to human evolution shows that such evolution is impossible. ReMine never actually gives any good reason, he just plays fast and loose with the facts and engages in unnecessarily verbose rhetoric to con those that understand less than he does.

He has made something of a cottage industry for himself, playing the martyr and victim of the oppressive anti-creation cabal of academia by first trying to publish an amateurish paper on the subject in a legitimate scientific journal (which was rejected for its unoriginality and its non-academic style - oppression I tells ya!) , declaring that apparently only he - the great Walter ReMine, understands Haldane's dilemma, and now by claiming that evolutionists are "suppressing" information on the subject.

ReMine writes:

For many years I have publicly claimed Haldane's Dilemma is a major unsolved problem for evolution. A problem so severe it threatens macroevolution as a "fact" and evolutionary genetics as an empirical science. Toward a solution, evolutionary geneticist, Leonard Nunney, published a paper reporting his computer simulations. He claimed his computer simulations show rates of beneficial evolution much faster than the Haldane limit. While evolutionists (including Nunney) have never discussed my work in ink, their Internet activists now cite Nunney's computer simulation as a definitive refutation of my position.

There is a good reason actual scientists have not discussed ReMine's "work" in ink - it was never puiblished 'in ink' (it was self-published as a non-reviewed book).

ReMine refuses to acknowledge this simple fact. Also, ReMine, as anyone that has read his book or encountered him on the Internet or seen him speak will know, is much better at self-promotion than he is as scientific research. He has actually claimed that 'some of the best science' is done by quoting people! THAT is 'research' in the world of the creationist.

ReMine's central thesis regarding Haldane's dilemma is that, if Haldane's model is directly applied to human evolution (there are several good reasons why it should not be, but ReMine refuses to acknowledge this), there has not been enough time to explain human evolution from an apelike ancestor because Haldane's model only 'allows' for 1,667 beneficial mutations to become fixed in a population in the given timeframe (Haldane's model does not deal with non-beneficial mutations).


1. ReMine never provides any actual evidence that even if this number has merit, that it cannot account fo rhuman evolution from an apelike ancestor -which he cannot identify, which brings up:

2. Without knowing exactly what the human-ape ancestor was, one cannot possibly know which human traits have to be explained by beneficial mutations

3. ReMine never provides any documentation or even any rationale for how many beneficial mutations are required to produce any particular trait - or even if any particular trait has to be accounted for solely by beneficial mutations

Briefly, ReMine's application of Haldane's model is not any sort of 'disproof' or even a problem for human evolution or anything else. It is typical hubris from an arrogant, Dunning-Kruger data-point creationist.

As an aside, it is interesting to note that he, like nearly all 'professional' creationists, experienced a religious conversion prior to engaging in his anti-evolution activism, as he described it in an interview he did via the ARN website. Funny how one has to be a creationist in the first place in order to 'see' that evolution is wrong...

Friday, April 06, 2007

Is Jonathan Wells lying, or....

... merely demonstrating his poor comprehension skills?

You see, a couple days ago, PZ Myers demolished one of Wells' recent rants regarding HOX genes and evo-devo.

Well, the public relations folk that made Swiftboating a verb have taught the Discovery Institute minions well - respond at all costs. And so Wells did.

And in his response, Wells does what he does - he lies. That or he shows how incompetent he is. Or a little of both. And in one glaring example, he shows that he has learned well at the feet of his creationist brethren the art of 'out of context quoting' .

PZ had written:

If you're familiar with Wells and with Deadwood, you know what I mean. You'll just have to imagine that I am Al Swearingen, the brutal bar-owner who uses obscenities as if they were lyric poetry, while Wells is E.B. Farnum, the unctuous rodent who earns the contempt of every man who meets him.

Wells quotes him in his response thusly:

In case you think this is just a dry scientific dispute, Myers also wrote: “Wells is… [an] unctuous rodent who earns the contempt of every man who meets him."


I don't know about you, but I think that little episode says much more about about Wells' integrity and intellectual honesty than it does about PZ's "tantrum.".

It should make one - even Wlls' fans -wonder how much else of Wells' writings can be attributed to out of context quotes, embellishments, fabrications, misrepresentations, etc...
But the IDcreationist masses do not dare question their heroes...

P.S. - PZ responds to Wells whine-fest...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Strange - he doesn't LOOK like the kind of guy....

... that would write about himself in the third person, heaping accolades upon himself to make it appear that his arguments were well thought out.. Nor does he 'look like' the kind of guy that would, I don't know, become a moderator at a discussion board and delete or gut the posts of people that don't agree with his claims when he posts as himself...

I mean, that is just plain schizoid crazy dishonest and sleazy...

But hey - he's a creationist (and an engineer!), and that is the sort of thing they do... That and he engages in 'science by quote' and accuses everyone that disagrees with his claims of 'posturing' and 'misrepresenting' him....

No, he does not 'look like' that kind of person...

But looks do not always tell the whole story...

Phew! Not ALL engineers are arrogant creationist gasbags

Not that I ever actually thought they were - but holy cow, there are a lot of engineers in the creationist camp (at least in a relative way). PZ Myers 'challenges' non-creationist engineers (and doctors) to show themselves - and lots of them do.

Now if only they could talk some sense into this guy. Or this one. Or this one.. Or this one...

'Dr.'Jonathan Wells is an incompetent fraud

That or he is monumntally dishonest. I can really see no other possible option (except, perhaps, a combination of the two).
Take your pick, Intelligent Design Creationists - is Wells a dimwit or a liar?

If he is incomptent, why on earth does the Discovery Institute continue their association with him and why is he one of the 'spokemen' for the ID movement?*

If he is dishonest, same question.*

*It could be - and this is just speculation, of course - that the folks at the Discovery Institute don't care one way or the other, as long as he is spewing goo supportive of their religio-political positions...

Monday, April 02, 2007


I mean, I thought these people never engaged in groupthink:

In a 5-4 decision, the court said the Clean Air Act gives the Environmental
Protection Agency the authority to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gases from cars.
The court's four conservative justices _ Chief Justice John Roberts and
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas _ dissented.

This horse died YEARS ago... but still...

... arrogant stupidity cannot be allowed to pass without comment.

Our old pal retired actuary and self-proclaimed expert on 'hard science predictive theories' Warren Bergerson is at it again at the ARN discussion forum.

This time, he is challenging the other posters at ARN to demonstrate their understanding of the data - that he declares to provide evidence that 'Darwinism' is false - in a paper that HE has not even read!