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Aug 27 2013

Don’t be that guy

There are really bad, dogmatic ways to defend evolution, and every once in a while I run into them. And because I’m a wicked jerk, I criticize the people who do that, even when they announce that they are atheists. So this morning I ran into this nonsense on Twitter:

@DrewJPS ‘Evolved from mokeys’ is theist bollocks. As is ‘Macro/micro evo’. Never been uttered in by scientists. Ever. Ignore.

And with that, mine eyes looked up, and beheld Steven Stanley’s Macroevolution: Pattern and Process on my bookshelf before me, and I did query @DrewJPS.

Damn. So all my books about macro/micro don’t exist?

And I listed a few well known authors who have written books on this topic. Not creationists, but respected scientists and science journalists. And @DrewJPS doubted me.

@DrewJPS .@pzmyers So you’re willing to defend macro/micro evo’? Show me peer-reviewed papers. Not yours.

And therefore did I drop the PubMed bomb upon him. And I waited, expecting retraction and apology, and new learning to dawn in the brain of @DrewJPS. Instead, I got an abrupt change of subject.

@DrewJPS @pzmyers Ok, read it. How, as a a free-thinker, did you get rapped up in this ‘RadFem’ bullshit? Atheismplus is bullshit.

I think I can regard his authoritative contempt for feminism with the same low esteem I hold his opinion on evolution. Bye. Blocked.

Fellow atheists, don’t be that guy. Please. It’s embarrassing.


It just gets funnier. Now his friends are joining in the act.

@Brazen_Thinks
@DrewJPS clearly he’s a creation scientist. No main stream scientist recognises that term. Francis Collins is a theist and rejects that term

@DrewJPS
@Brazen_Thinks Also a witch-hunting twat that will send you to prison with no evidence #AtheismPlus

@DrewJPS
@DFCW It’s an group of ‘RadFem’ that call themselves Altheists. Mental. Not in my name http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Atheism_Plus …

@DFCW
@DrewJPS militant feminists are really annoying.

Clearly, the only possible reason that I would point out their ignorance of a body of thought about evolution is that I’m an annoying militant feminist.

96 comments

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  1. 1
    Brett McCoy

    Bait ‘n switch.

  2. 2
    Randomfactor

    In this case, more like ‘bate and switch.

  3. 3
    intergalacticmedium

    Huh I was always under the misapprehension that micro/macro evolution split was a bullshiting attempt by the creationists but I have a pretty minimal formal biology education in my defense.

  4. 4
    dorfl

    I admit I’d also believed that the distinction between micro- and macroevolution was just something creationists had made up until I read ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.

  5. 5
    Anthony K

    Wait, let me guess: he’s a staunch defender of microfeminism, but macrofeminism goes way too far.

  6. 6
    Inaji

    @DrewJPS @pzmyers Ok, read it. How, as a a free-thinker, did you get rapped up in this ‘RadFem’ bullshit? Atheismplus is bullshit.

    Oh, this has become too common. Hyperskeptical genius is show to be wrong. Rather than address or admit being wrong, they scream “oooh, icky mangina feminazi!!1!” or the like. Yikes.

  7. 7
    ashleybell

    What #3 said. Wow, what a surprise. So the creationists are simply misrepresenting an actual thing… Just curious, what’s the distinction between micro and macro? Where is the ‘line’ drawn as ’twere, or are the terms used as distinctions in evo-time terms…

  8. 8
    Inaji

    Anthony K:

    Wait, let me guess: he’s a staunch defender of microfeminism, but macrofeminism goes way too far.

    :dissolves into laughter: +8

  9. 9
    Marc

    Watched the exchange on Twitter and blocked the guy myself 5 seconds after that last tweet. Nothing shows what a disingenuous dudebro this guy is then this sudden flash of misogyny .

  10. 10
    sethmassine

    I was having such a nice day…then this. Why can’t creationists just look in the mirror? The evidence for evolution is so staggering that to deny it….just….I don’t– (head explodes)

  11. 11
    Inaji

    ashleybell @ 7, as Dorfl noted, Dawkins explains all that very nicely in The Greatest Show on Earth.

  12. 12
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    In deed. Anthony K for the fucking win!

  13. 13
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Wait a second Caine, I thought as card carrying members of FtB, we were not allowed to say any good thing about Dawkins.

    #snark

  14. 14
    sethmassine

    Wait….wait….wait….that guys isn’t a creationist. Awe, man. My head exploded for no reason.

  15. 15
    Inaji

    Janine:

    Wait a second Caine, I thought as card carrying members of FtB, we were not allowed to say any good thing about Dawkins.

    I know, I know. I am a terrible #FTB Bully. *sigh* Okay, what’s my punishment?

  16. 16
    David Marjanović

    The creationists didn’t make up the distinction… but it’s largely been abandoned, because it has increasingly turned out there really isn’t anything special about the “species” “level”.

  17. 17
    johnharshman

    I see both of those claims (“we didn’t evolve from monkeys” and “the micro/macro distinction is a creationist invention”) a lot. Maybe we need a page like AiG’s arguments that creationists shouldn’t use.

    #7: The distinction is complicated by the fact that different authors mean different things by “macroevolution”. But most commonly, macroevolution refers to evolution above the species level, or more vaguely, large-scale or long-term evolution. Or, if you like, microevolution is change in allele frequencies within populations, and macroevolution is anything else. There is some contention about whether there are any real macroevolutionary processes that can’t be reduced to summed microevolution. Species selection, if there is such a thing, would be an example. Stanley’s book Macroevolution (the one P.Z. refers to above) is all about that.

  18. 18
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Caine, you have to start a twitter account and get into a discussion with gundar and Richard Samuelson.

    #EvilGrin

  19. 19
    Inaji

    Janine:

    Caine, you have to start a twitter account and get into a discussion with gundar and Richard Samuelson.

    Auuuuggggh, no no no no no!

    :Flees through the corridors of the Internetz, away from #EvilGrin:

  20. 20
    Thomas Holtz

    Randomfactor: yes, indeed…

    PZ: Yeesh, yes this is a problem in the atheist community. Stanley was my undergrad advisor, and I had most of my paleo undergrad and grad education in the context of the big macroevolutionary debates of the 1980s and early 1990s (such as punctuated equilibrium). So it really pisses me off when people state “macro/micro was made up by creotards”.

    There was, and remains, a serious debate as to whether macroevolutionary phenomena (phenomena above the species) are simply expressions of summed microevolutionary processes or if instead there is some sort of different effects which occur when you move from scale to scale. It is a real issue in Science.

    But it is like micro- vs macroeconomics. Both are expressions of a larger phenomenon, but dealing with different nuances and issues.

    (And by comparison, rejection macroevolution while accepting micro is like saying “I believe in microeconomics but not macroeconomics.”)

  21. 21
    Kevin

    The distinction between micro- and macro- is pretty simple.

    Micro is that which does not result in a new species. Macro is that what does result in a new species.

    Dog breeds are micro-evolution (since that purebred poodle can screw the neighbor’s purebred bulldog and out will come perfectly healthy poo-dogs).

    In humans, the ability to digest lactose past infancy is also an example of micro-evolution. Some populations do not have that ability (ie, are lactose intolerant). But the two types can successfully and safely interbreed.

    The distinction is quite useful when discussing things in a general sense. But in truth most of what biologists study is micro-evolution. I think the fruit fly scientists have been able to demonstrate macro-evolution. And, of course, botanists.

    Because speciation events are pretty darn rare.

  22. 22
    oolon

    And adding him to a shared blocklist is clearly fascist feminazis freezing his peach as he has lots of interesting arguments to deploy, it was just performance anxiety when confronted by a celebrity … 1… 2 … 3

  23. 23
    Randomfactor

    (since that purebred poodle can screw the neighbor’s purebred bulldog and out will come perfectly healthy poo-dogs).

    I hate to ask what happens when the momma’s a Bulldog and the father’s a Shitzu…

  24. 24
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Anthony K:

    You may already have won one (1) sniny gnu internet!

  25. 25
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @randomfactor:

    It’d be a Shi-dog. (A Bulltzu is a Bulldog father and Shitzu mother)

  26. 26
    vexorian

    Dawkins is great when he talks about biology and evolution. Wish he’d stick to those topics. And if he really has to talk about other things, he should really stay off twitter.

  27. 27
    Rey Fox

    Gotta love the sudden topic switch. Almost* as if he wasn’t interested in learning at all, but pseudo-intellectual penis-jousting.

    * Allllllmost

  28. 28
    leftwingfox

    Enjoy some Bull-Shitz:

  29. 29
    ChasCPeterson

    Or, if you like, microevolution is change in allele frequencies within populations, and macroevolution is anything else. There is some contention about whether there are any real macroevolutionary processes that can’t be reduced to summed microevolution.

    This is an accurate summary.
    in part, I think, the distinction arises from the organization of college courses in evolutionary biology. There’s all of the population-genetics modelling stuff (mathematized micro- mechanisms), but then the switch to speciation and larger-scaled paterns usually involves a noticable gear-change in tone and conceptual emphasis (and, in many cases, professors). (And this typical course structure reflects semi-independent historical strands of scholarship.)

  30. 30
    ChasCPeterson

    Oh yeah, and we did too evolve from monkeys.

  31. 31
    Inaji

    Rey Fox:

    pseudo-intellectual penis-jousting.

    Excellent. Just excellent.

  32. 32
    leftwingfox

    Oh yeah, and we did too evolve from monkeys.

    I have to admit, this one drives me nuts because the answer keeps changing depending on how people feel like classifying the common ancestor and the point where they define the split.

  33. 33
    carlie

    I count in the group that would like the terms “microevolution” and “macroevolution” to go away to an isolated island and never be heard from again.

    One is small-scale, one is larger-scale trends. Nobody can draw the line between the two because it’s all a continuum. All those terms do is confuse people.

  34. 34
    Al Dente

    Define monkey.

  35. 35
    twas brillig (stevem)

    re

    Oh yeah, and we did too evolve from monkeys.

    ding! wrong answer! AFAIK, we have a common ancestor species, but was “it” a monkey (under current definition)?
    [eftwingfox#31 & Al Dente#33 beat me tuit, drats!]

  36. 36
    sqlrob

    Dog breeds are micro-evolution (since that purebred poodle can screw the neighbor’s purebred bulldog and out will come perfectly healthy poo-dogs).

    What about Great Dane father and Chihuahua mother?

  37. 37
    franko

    Reading these comments I’m reminded how small things dig pits into which the creotards leap with ignorance and glee. You can’t use a term like “speciation event” and be surprised if someone uneducated in biology interprets that as meaning that one day a pig gives birth to a chicken, or something similar.

    I’ve commented before (and will doubtless do so again) that to a microbiologist the zoological species concept is a non-starter. Which is a reminder that the hallowed word “species” is a purely man-made concept, and that no species definition is perfect (ring species exemplify instances where the zoological one fails even with vertebrates; and ask yourselves how you can have taxonomic “lumpers” and “splitters” if a species is such an unassailable entity). The various ranks of taxonomic classifications (and their spin-offs into terms such as macro- and micro-evolution) work just fine when everyone knows what they’re talking about, but they easily sew confusion for the layman (and worse, the idiotgod-botherer) struggling to understand.

  38. 38
    johnharshman

    ChasC: Oh yeah, and we did too evolve from monkeys.

    Leftwingfox: I have to admit, this one drives me nuts because the answer keeps changing depending on how people feel like classifying the common ancestor and the point where they define the split.

    Stevem: ding! wrong answer! AFAIK, we have a common ancestor species, but was “it” a monkey (under current definition)?

    No, Chas is right, under any reasonable definition of “monkey”. I get tired of having to explain this, but here we go again. There are two groups of extant monkeys, New World and Old World. Old World monkeys are more closely related to humans (and other apes) than New World monkeys. The clear inference is that the common ancestor of all monkeys both looked like a monkey and was also an ancestor or humans (and other apes). If “monkey” is to be considered a monophyletic group, then we are not only descended from monkeys, we are monkeys. If instead it’s to be considered a paraphyletic group from which we are excluded, we’re still descended from monkeys. Only if it’s considered polyphyletic, i.e. consisting of just OW and NW monkeys but not their common ancestor can we be considered not descended from monkeys. And I don’t know of anyone who would make such a claim. You find the trope all over, including from famous biologists like Francisco Ayala, but it’s a result of just not thinking things through, i.e. not even having a definition of “monkey” other than a list of the extant species.

  39. 39
    Inaji

    Gee, it’s just great that a bunch of men have decided having a stupid argument over ‘monkey’ is the most important thing ever. Well, I guess the slide into misogyny in the OP doesn’t matter much.

  40. 40
    sharkjack

    Damn you Johnharshman for saying what I was about to say and saying it better. *waves fist angrily*
    I’ll keep my explanation anyway because it’s shorter and uses less terminology.

    If we see monkey as the larger group that contains apes, then yes, the last common ancestor between humans (all apes really) and non-ape monkeys was a monkey and not an ape (we humans are of the Primate order after all). However the term monkey tends to be used as synonymous with ‘non-ape monkey’. While this is the common usage definition, in terms of evolutionary groupings it is flawed because it excludes species that are relatively close together while including those that are much farther apart.

    Micro- and macroevolution are different ways to look at the effects of a phenomena. Terms like the ‘last common ancestor’ lose their meaning on the micro evolution level because there is no single animal that is the last common ancestor. Speciation is a gradual, messy process that can even stabilise somewhere along the way, leaving us with stable hybrid zones or series of subspecies where each subspecies can mate with the next but the first and final ones can no longer interbreed.

    Saying macroevolution is just microevolution is as factually true as saying biology is just chemistry.
    Sure, everything that happens in biological systems happens via chemical reactions. But that doesn’t mean looking at the processes with the tools skills and frame of reference of a chemist is the only or best way to describe biological systems. The same applies to the difference between micro- and macroevolution.

  41. 41
    Nightjar

    I was reading the OP and thinking “ok, so PZ went for the micro/macroevolution bit, but now with so many comments already surely someone has tackled the monkeys bit, right?” Well, not before Chas arrived, I see, but my prediction was still right and now I have nothing else to add to this thread (that was already won by the fifth comment, anyway).

    You find the trope all over, including from famous biologists like Francisco Ayala, but it’s a result of just not thinking things through, i.e. not even having a definition of “monkey” other than a list of the extant species.

    Yeah, this. Just because we didn’t come from modern monkeys (obviously) it doesn’t mean we didn’t come from something that if still alive today would in all likelihood be called and classified as a monkey.

    ***

    Caine,

    Gee, it’s just great that a bunch of men have decided having a stupid argument over ‘monkey’ is the most important thing ever. Well, I guess the slide into misogyny in the OP doesn’t matter much.

    You know, if I had not refreshed the thread before posting this comment I would be contributing to that too, because I have this tendency to go all “well, others have condemned this very condemnable thing already and I don’t have anything clever to say so… OH LOOK A PET PEEVE! *forgets everything, comments*

    So thanks for reminding me that I shouldn’t do this, not without adding my voice to those calling out this slide into misogyny from a stupid doucheweasel first. I know this is something I do a lot, but I really need to try to be more aware of it. Again, thank you. I will post this anyway as it is for the sake of acknowledging what I was about to do, but I’ll be more careful next time.

  42. 42
    sharkjack

    Nightjar:

    You know, if I had not refreshed the thread before posting this comment I would be contributing to that too, because I have this tendency to go all “well, others have condemned this very condemnable thing already and I don’t have anything clever to say so… OH LOOK A PET PEEVE! *forgets everything, comments*

    Pretty accurately sums me up too. It’s so obvious to me now too. Thanks Caine for helping me tear down my privilege blinders.

  43. 43
    doubtthat

    @21 Kevin

    I was under the impression that “macro-evolution” is just a lot of micro-evolutions over an insanely long period of time. The distinction is useful descriptively and in conversation, but ultimately they’re the same thing.

    In other words, there’s no single change, no single mutation that causes one species to become another. If we could line up every organism that ever existed, there would arbitrary points you could isolate and define as “species,” just like you can look at a color spectrum and call one “red” and one “orange,” but it’s impossible or meaningless to define the exact moment at which one species becomes another or red becomes orange.

    Is that correct

  44. 44
    leftwingfox

    …yeah. Sorry.

    Didn’t mean to give the misogynistic twit cover that way.

  45. 45
    Nightjar

    sharkjack, I can’t even attribute it to “privilege blinders” in this case. I’m a woman. But… *mumbles something about monkeys and common ancestors*

  46. 46
    johnharshman

    Look, the OP said three stupid things. There’s no need to cover all three in the same post. Excuse me for not commenting on every occurrence of misogyny I see. You have your obsessions, and I have mine. And here comes one of them:

    doubtthat: I was under the impression that “macro-evolution” is just a lot of micro-evolutions over an insanely long period of time. The distinction is useful descriptively and in conversation, but ultimately they’re the same thing.

    Well, maybe. It all depends on whether there really are any macroevolutionary processes that can’t be reduced to “change in allele frequency within populations”. Note that macromutations can be so reduced and are just microevolution. Note that one-step speciation by macromutation would be microevolution (if it were a coherent claim at all). Speciation is, approximately, microevolution, as it relies on allele frequency change in populations, though we might quibble and point out that two population are involved, not just one. Macroevolutionary processes must be something other than this. Species selection, in which species differentially become extinct or radiate because of characteristics that don’t vary within the species themselves, is just such a macroevolutionary process. The only question is whether it has any importance in the history of life. (I think it does, though probably much less than does ordinary natural selection within populations.)

    Oh, and misogyny is bad.

  47. 47
    cityzenjane

    “The distinction is quite useful when discussing things in a general sense. But in truth most of what biologists study is micro-evolution. I think the fruit fly scientists have been able to demonstrate macro-evolution. And, of course, botanists.

    Because speciation events are pretty darn rare.”

    Non-scientist here….question? So with species with a shorter life-cycle and flexible window of habitat range…would speciation happen more often? Or maybe less because they already have wide tolerance/range…

    Sorry for the science… we can get back to the douchnozzels in a minute… ;D

  48. 48
    ChasCPeterson

    Gee, it’s just great that a bunch of men have decided having a stupid argument over ‘monkey’ is the most important thing ever.

    Fuck you Caine. You can police the comments on your own fucking blog.

    I guess the slide into misogyny in the OP doesn’t matter much.

    If it matters to you, then talk about it instead of castigating others for talking about something you deem inappropriate (despite the fact that it concerns a quote from the OP and is about biology, kind of one of the things on this blog and also the topic of the first 2/3 of the OP).

    Want to know the truth? The alleged misogyny in the OP in fact doesn’t matter much; it’s just one more dipshit on the internet, somebody I never knew and never will. It’s simple to find far more objectional shit if you think only the most objectionable shit deserves comment. (Dear Muslima…)

    So thanks for reminding me that I shouldn’t do this

    you should do whatever you want. No need to be cowed around here by Caine, PZ, or anybody else.

    man this place is cheesing me off. Time for a break.

  49. 49
    cityzenjane

    …by sorter life cycle I am thinking of things that produce a lot of offspring rapidly in short cycles… not things that simply die faster…

  50. 50
    Nightjar

    Chas, I’m not being cowed. Skipping over something hurtful, doesn’t matter how minor it is, can very well make the people who are hurt by it feel like their problems are being dismissed, like everyone is just going “oh, well, who cares” about something that affects them so deeply. It can be upsetting. It’s pretty easy for me to empathise with this, so that’s why I’m making a point of not doing it to others myself. I am doing whatever I want.

    man this place is cheesing me off. Time for a break.

    Okay, whatever. I don’t want you gone, FWIW (not much, I realize).

  51. 51
    Thomas Holtz

    Cityzenjane: yes, pretty much right on the head!!

    Also, there is nothing about “macroevolution” that necessitates macromutations. It is simply a name for the set of phenomena (such as adaptive radiations, correlated progression, etc.) that are the changes observed at the larger scales of the history of life. It is not at all resolved whether said changes really do represent some other type of selection, or simply the summed effect of microevents. (Or even it is is just a matter of perspective as to what units of selection are being examined).

    Regardless of the causes, there exist a set of observed patterns that are described by large scale transformations in the history of life. These are what are meant by “macroevolution”.

  52. 52
    Thomas Holtz

    Also, we are most certainly descended from “monkeys” if by “monkey” you mean “tailed anthropoid which walked on top of branches”. The common ancestor of the hominoids (apes, including humans) and Old World monkeys would be a “monkey” in this context, as would the common ancestor of that ancestor and the New World monkeys. If these ancestors were still around, we’d unquestionably call them “monkeys”. But they are not around, and no human, chimp, or other hominoid is the descendant of any LIVING species of monkey.

    Similarly, we are descendants of “apes”: the common ancestor of humans and chimps would be an ape if it were still alive; the ancestor of that ancestor and gorillas would be an ape; the ancestor of that ancestor and ourangutans would be an ape; and the ancestor of that ancestor and gibbons would be yet another ape. But humans are not the descendants of any living species of ape. And furthermore the term “ape” is simply a grade of organization if you exclude humans: there is no single part of the tree of life that includes all living apes but not humans.

  53. 53
    Thomas Holtz

    Note that in the early 20th century many evolutionary biologists actually did think that the great apes (chimps, gorillas, orangutans) were more closely related to each other than to either humans or gibbons, and that the common ancestor of all three branches lived far back in the mid-Cenozoic. Hence the meme “we are not descended from apes; we just come a common ancestor with them” was a legitimate statement by the standards of the time.

    However, it is NOT so now, and it is not helpful for well-intentioned anti-creotards to keep on repeating it. You definitely should say “We are not descendants of any living species of ape”, because that is true.

  54. 54
    sharkjack

    @johnharshman

    Look, the OP said three stupid things.

    Nope. The first tweet was incorrect and slightly ignorant. The second tweet was hyperskeptical and dismissive and stupid because it was adressed to someone with far more knowledge on evolution and the science around it. The third tweet was a flounce that sought to hurt PZ by ‘smearing’ him with the ‘obvious evils’ of radical feminism and atheism+. That isn’t just stupid, it is malecious and it propagates the idea that it’s bad to be a feminist and to be radical about it. That is one a whole other level than the previous two tweets.

    There’s no need to cover all three in the same post.

    This was never about a single post, it was about the direction the thread as a whole was going in and how the discussion on monkeys and evolution was completely overshadowing the fact that the third tweet was pretty damn misogynist.

    Excuse me for not commenting on every occurrence of misogyny I see. You have your obsessions, and I have mine.

    Equating commenting on misogyny to an obsession or a petpeeve is to seriously undermine the value of calling out misogyny when it happens. That’s not cool.

    Oh, and misogyny is bad.

    way to sound insincere and trivialise misogyny some more by mentioning it like an afterthought after posting a superfluous paragraph on your own ‘obsession’.

    Also
    @Chad:
    Caine sure was policing the comments, telling us all about the trend of our discussion and what it wasn’t covering… oh wait no that’s not policing, that’s expressing discontent.
    Also since she didn’t say anything remotely like:

    only the most objectionable shit deserves comment. (Dear Muslima…)

    This isn’t about commenting one one thing in favour of another, it’s about completely overshadowing something non-trivial by discussing something trivial at length.

  55. 55
    cityzenjane

    (Pretty pleased with myself being an art school dropout/eventual English major!)

    …who wanted to be an oceanographer like Jacques Cousteau around age 8 but didn’t see any girls on the boat….

  56. 56
    sharkjack

    oh I just noticed, in my 53 where I say @Chad that’s supposed to be @Chas(CPeterson). Sorry for the misspelling your name Chas.

  57. 57
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    “A little learning is a dangerous thing!” He’s right down there with people who solemnly tell you that it’s wrong to split an infinitive because their Grade Five teacher said so.

    Carl Zimmer, a wonderful science writer, explains (a) how tetrapods emerged from the water and (b) how whales went back to the sea in At the Water’s Edge : Macroevolution and the Transformation of Life. It’s an excellent book and I highly recommend it. Zimmer explains that major transformations of body systems can be placed in the category of macroevolution.

  58. 58
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    He’d better give those motorized goalpoasts a rest or their engines will burn out.

  59. 59
    Marcus Ranum

    What about Great Dane father and Chihuahua mother?

    It works but it’s a horrible idea that can kill the mother. I.e.: you get a viable fetus that may be too large for the mother to birth. I’m sure you thought of that before you asked; it’s a cruel question.

  60. 60
    screechymonkey

    Wow, PZ has the power to send people to prison? I’m going to have to start being nicer to him.

  61. 61
    sharkjack

    Yeah, I think they take the dungeon a little too seriously. Either that or PZ’s banhammer has gotten a serious upgrade.

    I’m still baffled by this creationist = feminist thing. The only way I can see it making sense in their heads is with a heavy dose of othering. People who are disagree with me believe in creationism and people who disagree with me (speaking from their perspective, not mine) are supporters of feminism. Even though christian creationism is explicitly anti women making it pretty clearly opposed to feminism.

    It’s so sad that even on topics where they want to be on the side of science, they stick to youtube discussion level understandings of the terms instead of actually looking at the evidence presented to them on a silver platter. They’re wrong and clearly so, yet instead of acknowledging this they call PZ a creationist, feminist witch-hunter. Who was creating the DEEP RIFTS again?

  62. 62
    Nightjar

    Yeah, I think they take the dungeon a little too seriously. Either that or PZ’s banhammer has gotten a serious upgrade.

    No, you don’t understand. It’s Shermer. PZ convicted Shermer and sent him to prison, didn’t you know?

    And now he’s telling people they’re wrong on the internet and linking them to PubMed! Pure evil. All because feminism and stuff.

  63. 63
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I can’t understand how the tweeter gets “PZ said I was wrong; therefore, he’s an evil feminist and unfair to menz!” instead of “PZ showed I am wrong; I’d better learn more before spouting off again.” Perhaps that’s male logic? /grin

  64. 64
    tsig

    Look let me make this clear, my ancestors may have been monkeys but they were no common.

    :) :[] :{} :()

  65. 65
    tsig

    no=not:(

  66. 66
    johnharshman

    sharkjack,

    You are highly skilled at taking offense. I choose not to play. But as PZ says, “same low esteem”. The monkeys and micro/macro things are not sidetracks from the main subject. They’re part of the main subject, which is three tweets that show (perhaps with increasing certainty, I’ll give you that) that the tweeter is a twit.

  67. 67
    tsig

    I can’t understand how the tweeter gets “PZ said I was wrong; therefore, he’s an evil feminist and unfair to menz!” instead of “PZ showed I am wrong; I’d better learn more before spouting off again.” Perhaps that’s male logic? /grin

    Since most men think with their little heads instead of admitting they’re wrong they feel their fee-fees are threatened and respond with the rudest insults they know.

  68. 68
    tsig

    HTML failure.

  69. 69
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    man this place is cheesing me off. Time for a break.

    Promise?

  70. 70
    Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness

    Going for the entire bingo card here:

    Come on! Don’t any of you get it? I read some of the OP and a comment and in this echo chamber there are all kinds of chicks just ready to dump on a guy like DrewJPS who is only speaking the truth and isn’t one of those snobby liberals at some university and with degrees and stuff.
    It is beyond doubt that anyone who believes in the religion of macro/micro evo is a man-hating militant like Rebecca Watson or one of them who just totally buys this Athiest+ stuff!
    Goes double for the guys! Where are your balls, bros?
    Oh, or they are a creationist. OR SOMETHING ELSE BAD!

    /bittersarcasm

  71. 71
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    HTML failure.

    Among others.

  72. 72
    Jacob Schmidt

    Funnily enough, that guy ignored all the pubmed stuff on evolution but took some other guy’s word for it.

    Evidence cited by someone with girly feminist cooties? Unreliable.

    The word of his friend? Totes reliable.

  73. 73
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Chas:
    Calling out misogyny is not an obsession you knucklehead.
    Also, there is a world of difference between correcting a pet peeve and condemning misogyny. You know, the latter contributes to the systemic oppression of women. The former-the discussion (only) of monkeys does not.
    Also, you have commented before that you are here out of habit. If you do not like the way Pharyngula has changed—why do you stay?
    ****

    franko @36:
    ‘Creotard’ is far too close to ‘retard’ as an insult. Given how much of a slur it is, any chance you could avoid adding the “-tard’ suffix to any insult in the future?
    ****

    johnharshman:
    I get that this is an annoyance to you, but on balance, which more negatively contributes to a culture of oppression? People fling sexist slurs all the time and too often the people around them stay silent. We need more and more people to call these people out. This may seem minor to you, but women have to live with this shit every day.

    Btw, your closing comment calling out the misogyny is such an afterthought it is supremely insincere.

  74. 74
    johnharshman

    Btw, your closing comment calling out the misogyny is such an afterthought it is supremely insincere.

    Well of course it was. It was intended as a comment on the idea that a comment on misogyny (perhaps, in fact, a sole focus on misogyny) should be mandatory. PZ had already pointed out the misogyny, and it was hardly something that needed to be pointed out in order to be noticed. Why should that be the only thing we pay attention to?

  75. 75
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Johnharshman:
    Seriously?
    You do not understand why it is important to call out misogyny when we can? I am not saying everyone at all times will be able to do so (circumstances dictate responses many times, but in this case it would be very easy to condemn the comment), but to handwave the problem bc PZ addressed it minimizes the extent to which misogyny affects women (and men). That you chose to focus on other aspects of the tweets is fine. That you did not seriously criticize the misogynist one is not cool. Silence does nothing to battle sexism.

    Also, I never said that it was the only thing to pay attention to.
    But it sure is nice at the end of the day to turn off the computer and not wirry about sexism anymore, huh? Ah, privilege.
    /snark

  76. 76
    Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority)

    I think we can all see what has happened here. Someone has surreptitiously used the RadFem cabal to put out a bunch of creationist supporting micro/macro evolution garbage into the academic literature. It doesn’t take a genius to see who’s at fault – Rebecca Watson!

  77. 77
    Alex the Pretty Good

    *Double facepalm* @ the misogynistic a-holes’ tweets. Dunning-Kruger in action?
    Still … a classroom example of the ad-hominem fallacy: unable to counter your opponent’s points? Accuse them of some bad characteristic that is completely unrelated to the issue at hand and act as if that invalidates your opponent’s original arguments.

    Or more precisely, accuse them of something you consider to be bad. After all, a misogynist’s “bad” is my good.

    @ sqlrob, 35

    What about Great Dane father and Chihuahua mother?

    Well, that’s where we come in the gray area. When you look at the gradual change (eg. Great Dane -> Malinois -> Labrador -> Bulldog -> Dachshund -> Shitzu -> Chihuahua) it’s clear that they are all the same species due to the possibility of continuous interbreeding.

    However, when you look at the extremes, they’re almost like ring species. I guess that some dog-breeds are only one isolation event away from becoming distinct species.

    The above suggested example (Great dane father / Chihuahua mother) would only be possible through artificial insimination because the sheer size-difference would make copulation impossible. And I’m afraid that after insimination is successful, the resulting fetus would grow too big for the mother for her to be able to have a healthy delivery.

    When I was a child, we had a Dachshund who became pregnant with the pups of a decent-sized Labrador (how he managed that, we still don’t know). Only two pups survived up to the pregnancy and of those two, one died within an hour after birth. The mother was unable to deliver (fortunately, she was at the vet when she gave birth) and the vet had to perform a caesarean to deliver the pups. Funnily enough, when the resulting pup reached adulthood, he wasn’t that much bigger than the average dachshund.
    If that’s the result of a small-sized dog being pregnant with a mid-sized dog, the animal-lover in me doesn’t even want to consider the result of a mini-sized dog being impregnated by a double-plus-sized dog.

    The other way around? Well … we also had a Great Dane and one day, when she was in heat, the labra-hund mentioned above managed to get into her enclosure and tried … really, really tried to make an interesting new mix. He had climbed on a pile of firewood that was nearly a meter high … she was squatting as much as she could … and still he couldn’t reach. I don’t know what was funnier … that sight or his frustrated yapping.

    Ahum .. sorry for this trip down memory-lane. Bottom-line. Dogs are still one and the same species, true. But other than humans where each and every individual is physically and genetically able to interbreed with any other individual, in dogs we already see unsurmountable physical differences between the “edges”, which just like geographical isolation will in our not too far future probably result in unsurmountable gentic differences as well.

    “But they’re still dogs” [/creationut]

  78. 78
    Pteryxx

    What about Great Dane father and Chihuahua mother?

    As long as we’re calling out misogyny, not only is this question banal and cruel, it’s likely intended as sexual harassment. Some of the meanest boys at my fundie school would harass the girls by asking similar ‘hypothetical’ questions, then gleefully describing the pregnant dogs’ suffering and finishing with “And that’s going to happen to YOU!”

  79. 79
    Alex the Pretty Good

    Following pteryx’ post …

    When I mentioned the “grey area” in my previous post about a hypothetical dane/chihuahua mix, I referred to the genetics of that idea. Ethically, such a mix would fall squarely in the black area.

    I was lucky to never witness the kind of harrassing pteryx described (though I should have realised some a-holes will stoop to such lows), so I didn’t even consider that this was a possibility.

    My apologies for any negative associations that have been raised by my reply to that question.

  80. 80
    dalbryn

    Why is it so hard to say, “Haha my bad should have looked that up creationist misuse those terms.”?

  81. 81
    David Marjanović

    I’ve commented before (and will doubtless do so again) that to a microbiologist the zoological species concept is a non-starter.

    LOL, did you really believe there’s a single zoological species concept? :-D There has never been! Depending on the species concept, there are from 101 to 249 endemic bird species in Mexico, and that’s species concepts that have actually been used by zoologists, not proposed as a theoretical exercise or something.

    No, Chas is right, under any reasonable definition of “monkey”. I get tired of having to explain this, but here we go again.

    You have no idea how happy I am that you got to this before I did. :-)

    Gee, it’s just great that a bunch of men have decided having a stupid argument over ‘monkey’ is the most important thing ever. Well, I guess the slide into misogyny in the OP doesn’t matter much.

    Uh, what is there to be said about it that present company doesn’t already know? It’s not like we could top comment 5!

    What makes you think that’s a statement about importance?

    On the species and monkey stuff, a discussion started in this thread by comment 7, so we had something to reply to. Once a misogynist comment appears here, we’ll reply to it.

    …I’m gonna call Chas a drama llama though. Announcing he’s gonna take a break from the whole blog because of what 3 or 4 people said? Laughable. Thinking that “you think only the most objectionable shit deserves comment”? Superficial reading and thinking. And John Harshman’s implications about “obsessions” aren’t a good idea either.

    I’m still baffled by this creationist = feminist thing. The only way I can see it making sense in their heads is with a heavy dose of othering. People who are disagree with me believe in creationism and people who disagree with me (speaking from their perspective, not mine) are supporters of feminism. Even though christian creationism is explicitly anti women making it pretty clearly opposed to feminism.

    Maybe it’s a case of “they’re the extremists of the other side, we’re the golden mean” – the one from the fallacy.

    It’s so sad that even on topics where they want to be on the side of science, they stick to youtube discussion level understandings of the terms instead of actually looking at the evidence presented to them on a silver platter. They’re wrong and clearly so, yet instead of acknowledging this they call PZ a creationist, feminist witch-hunter. Who was creating the DEEP RIFTS again?

    Bingo.

    Funnily enough, that guy ignored all the pubmed stuff on evolution but took some other guy’s word for it.

    He took it? Where?

    Chas:
    Calling out misogyny is not an obsession[,] you knucklehead.

    That wasn’t Chas, that was John Harshman.

    Seriously?
    You do not understand why it is important to call out misogyny when we can?

    It’s already been done – I, for one, don’t like to parrot what’s already been said, especially when nobody in the thread has yet disagreed with it.

    As long as we’re calling out misogyny, not only is this question banal and cruel, it’s likely intended as sexual harassment. Some of the meanest boys at my fundie school would harass the girls by asking similar ‘hypothetical’ questions, then gleefully describing the pregnant dogs’ suffering and finishing with “And that’s going to happen to YOU!”

    …Wow. :-O

    Why is it so hard to say, “Haha my bad should have looked that up creationist misuse those terms.”?

    Some people believe it’s a huge deal to be wrong. *shrug*

  82. 82
    David Marjanović

    Superficial reading and thinking

    …plus jumping to the least charitable assumption for no parsimonious reason.

  83. 83
    Nightjar

    I stand by what I said last night, that I can easily empathise with people getting upset because everyone else appears to be treating something that affects them directly and deeply as a non-issue, and that I would like to be more aware of when I may unintentionally contribute to it than I currently am. I can empathise with Caine, especially taking into account how draining the last weeks have been for her. But, uh. Tony, I really think you’re overdoing it now. A few posts about monkeys and a few posts about macro/microevolution that didn’t touch on feminism, on this particular post, is hardly a big deal.

    …I’m gonna call Chas a drama llama though. Announcing he’s gonna take a break from the whole blog because of what 3 or 4 people said? Laughable.

    No, I really doubt it was because of this thread. He may have announced it here, but I suspect the thread immediately after this one played a bigger role in his decision to take a break. He was on a short fuse already.

  84. 84
    Pierce R. Butler

    … I’m an annoying militant feminist.

    Yet in 82 comments nobody has used the words “shrill” or “strident”.

    Wassamatta wid kids these days?

  85. 85
    Jacob Schmidt

    David

    This exchange happened, if you go look.

    Drew
    So I have a scientist trying to tell me micro/macro evo are legal scientific terms. He probably thinks I’m Theist because I questioned it.

    God free World
    ‘Legal’? They are legitimate terms that are used in the scientific literature and misused in the creationist literature

    Drew
    I’m probably wrong, you’d know better than me. But I’m fairly sure micro/macro are the same thing? It’s Myers. He annoys me.

    Friends? Realiable. Evil girly feminist evidence? Unreliable.

    I’m gonna call Chas a drama llama though.

    Ahaha, lovely. I’m gonna have to steal that phrase.

  86. 86
    David Marjanović

    This exchange happened, if you go look.

    Thanks. Textbook example of unscientific mindset.

    I’m gonna have to steal that phrase.

    Not from me, though – I forgot who came up with it: Caine perhaps?

  87. 87
    David Marjanović

    I suspect the thread immediately after this one played a bigger role in his decision to take a break

    Ah. I had stayed out of that one (growing too fast to catch up), but I just went Ctrl+F through it, and agree that that’s likely.

  88. 88
    maxdevlin

    “Clearly, the only possible reason that I would point out their ignorance of a body of thought about evolution is that I’m an annoying militant feminist.”

    Is it really just an ironic coincidence that you are in fact an annoying militant feminist?

  89. 89
    franko

    @:Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop!
    “‘Creotard’ is far too close to ‘retard’ as an insult…. ” Point well taken.
    LOL, did you really believe there’s a single zoological species concept?
    No, but I fell into the trap that this thread might have some vaguely serious point, and you’re just adding more complication (on the assumption that some readers of a thread like this might just be trying to learn something). Mea culpa. I was wrong. Not the first time.

  90. 90
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    One must admit that the distinction between micro/macroevolution is much more important to the creationism than it is to evolutionary biology.

  91. 91
    David Marjanović

    Is it really just an ironic coincidence that you are in fact an annoying militant feminist?

    Define “militant”, preferably in a way that isn’t ridiculous.

  92. 92
    johnharshman

    David M: The first rule of Pharyngula Club is not to step on other posters’ punchlines.

  93. 93
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Nightjar:
    I disagree, but will not pursue it further with johnharshman.

  94. 94
    Algernon

    I’m so confused. I’m an evil feminist. I know very little about biology, though I try to pay attention because I like learning things, but beyond that I don’t really have dog in the “is there any real distinction between micro/macro evolution” fight. Not even a even a poo-cock.

    Should I be joining my local feminist right-think militia here? Am I missing something? Or do the nuances between an actual professional distinction between micro and macro evolution and the sort of half-digested ravings of creationists have FUCK ALL to do with feminism?

  95. 95
    johnharshman

    Algemon:

    You are correct. The only connection between feminism and macroevolution is in the mind of the twit whose tweets were the subject of this thread, and it would be icky to examine that mind too closely. But feminists, most especially the evil ones, should certainly be encouraged to learn more evolutionary biology, if only because it’s way cool. Nobody here but us monkeys.

  96. 96
    Rutee Katreya

    Is it really just an ironic coincidence that you are in fact an annoying militant feminist?

    Wait, when did The Sisterhood deign to give a MAN command of troops?

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