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Help! Let the creationist fisking begin!

I’m not sure why a magazine dedicated to business would delve into the evolution issue. Nor how exactly this writer was taken in by the frauds at the Discovery Institute. But it reads like a press release straight off of Stephen Meyer’s private printing press, let the fisking begin:

“Genetics: Random mutations cause harm to organisms and do not build complexity.” (Easily disproven in theory and practice with a back mutation)

“Biochemistry: Random and undirected processes do not seem capable of producing cellular complexity.” (Wow, there’s a solid, testable, scientific proposition, eh?)

“Paleontology: The fossil record shows abrupt appearance and generally lacks intermediate fossils.” (Really, I mean … fucking really?)

“Taxonomy: Despite DNA discoveries, biologists are failing to reconstruct Darwin’s ‘tree of life’.” (I’ve been dealing with this shit for 20 years and I’m not even sure what this is supposed to mean. Darwin’s “tree of life”? Hello, 21st century, this is the Victorian age calling ….)

“Chemistry: The chemical origin of life remains an unsolved mystery. (An actual quasi-truthful statement. Not sure what it has to do with evolution, but apparently the clowns who keep making it do)

“Icons of Evolution: Textbooks often overstate or misstate key lines of evidence for modern evolutionary theory.” (On a related note, any textbook from centuries ago will prove Newton utterly missed relativity, thus invalidating all of the physics and calculus constantly pushed by gravitationists)

Two decades of work by what could have been productive scientists with degrees in the real stuff, and who knows how many millions of dollars conned out of that poor disabled fundie bastard Howard Ahmanson, and this is the best these jokers have come up with to date.

Now, Gentle Reader, you noticed I’ve left quite a bit of room for better refutations and links in my  fisks (Fiskii?). That’s where you come in! If you have some ideas or links to put these lying sacks of shit in their place, let her rip!

Comments

  1. michaelfisher says

    Dina Spector writes this in her article at Business insider:-

    “…Obviously there’s loads of scientific evidence that supports evolution. But we wanted to understand the main contentions. [...] We’ll follow up with refutations of these “scientific” claims”

    I don’t see how this equates with your line that “[Dina] was taken in by the frauds at the Discovery Institute”

  2. rork says

    OK, I’ll try stupid #1. “Genetics: Random mutations cause harm to organisms and do not build complexity.”
    Search pubmed with terms like yeast mutations glucose, and you’ll see there are lots of experiments where you grow yeast in certain special environments (like what kind of sugar you give them) over time and track what mutations they are getting. What you get are mutations that increase the fitness of the yeast for that environment. Not just one mutation, but one, then another, and another, each time increasing fitness. It happens every time. Try this one for example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19079573.
    As for not building complexity, I’d need a formal definition (which ID will never supply), but getting a new allele for a gene increases the genetic variation in the population. They must mean something else, eh? Check out OMIM and study how many versions of beta hemoglobin there are in humans. It’s hundreds. Some confer increased fitness in areas with malaria. Looks like complexity to me.

  3. rcss says

    Business Insider isn’t a business magazine. It’s a “business insider” gossip website. Apparently, this writer, Dana Spector, has free rein and no accountability to journalism, science, and only a loose relationship with factual reporting.

    She last came into view when she reported on the hybrid sharks near Australia and did not bother misquoting the researcher, but rather just made up her own story. The article was subsequently changed online without noting a correction.

    In her other article on friendship this week, she quotes Psychology Today’s Satoshi Kanazawa as her source. Hasn’t he been shown to slice and dice his data to fit his racist inclinations?

    From what I can see, Spector thinks press releases are scientific journal articles. She has a whole page of subjects that could be interesting, but I wouldn’t rely on what she’s written. Actually, it’s rather difficult to distinguish any original reporting from passed along press releases.

    It’s like she went to a science journalism seminar to learn all the possible ways to communicate science badly.

    In other words, I wouldn’t bother with a section by section fisking; I rather doubt she even cares.

  4. Rando says

    Okay, tell them to start here: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

    Then when they’re done with that one go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils

    If they try to respond I would recommend that they watch these videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL126AFB53A6F002CC&feature=plcp

    And if they refuse to listen to reason they may end up in one of these videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAC3481305829426D&feature=plcp

    Is that enough?

  5. says

    Thanks folks! There’s also some hope here for a better piece: the columnist responded with interest when I contacted her and a good blogging buddy form the NCSE has now been put in touch with her. I’m willing to hold off on criticism until we see what comes of that. Those clowns can be REAL convincing to a non evo writer.

  6. Rando says

    Another really good video about creationism being dishonest can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpeHrkbx9LU&list=UUAJfDidJyukTekgSRZrjadw&index=105&feature=plpp_video

    AronRa takes the Dishonesty Institute to task for their dishonesty. The big bonus here is AronRa is also on Freethought Blog so it would be VERY easy for you to get his sources. I especially love how he mentioned Behe openly testified that there was no research about the blood clotting cascade, then when faced with literally a foot of proof otherwise, he dismissed without even looking at it, arguing that it wasn’t “good enough.” We have proof of the Dishonesty Institute’s dishonesty on record, and they still use these pathetic arguments. These guys at Business Insider need to really examine the claims made by the Dishonesty Institute before they get into bed with them.

  7. M, Supreme Anarch of the Queer Illuminati says

    I’m not sure why a magazine dedicated to business would delve into the evolution issue.

    At the risk of answering a rhetorical question:

    Because, in contemporary Anglophone discourse, “business” as an affiliation means “hardcore capitalist plutocracy” as an ideology, where any externalities which might imply a negative impact of HCP (say, limits on extractable resources or biosphere carrying capacity, as implied by evidence-based understandings of both Earth and the biosphere) are not only wrong by definition but damnable heresy.

  8. Francisco Bacopa says

    Because, in contemporary Anglophone discourse, “business” as an affiliation means “hardcore capitalist plutocracy”

    If you ever read Business Insider much you’d know they are not like that. A couple of progressive sites I read link to it pretty frequently.

    But all that makes this article more of a mystery.

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