Tracing the Corner quote in Pandas (1989)

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zosdad

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Dec 1, 2004, 7:21:15 PM12/1/04
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I was re-reading "Of Pandas and People", and came across this quote,
from mid-century botanist E.J.H. Corner. As quoted in Pandas, 1989,
p. 107:

"Much evidence can be adduced in favour of the theory of evolution -
from biology, biogeography and paleontology, but I still think that,
to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of
special creation. Can you imagine how an orchid, a duckweed, and a
palm [all angiosperms] have come from the same ancestry? The
evolutionist must be prepared with an answer, but I think that most
would break down before an inquisition."

(the plants section is cut from the second edition of Pandas, 1993)

Searching the handy-dandy TalkOrigins Quote Mine Project, I find what
is presumably the original quote, and a nice explanation by Gary Hurd:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part1-4.html#quote60

===============
The theory of evolution is not merely the theory of the origin of
species, but the only explanation of the fact that organisms can be
classified into this hierarchy of natural affinity. Much evidence can
be adduced in favour of the theory of evolution - from biology,
bio-geography and palaeontology, but I still think that, to the
unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of special
creation. If, however, another explanation could be found for this
hierarchy of classification, it would be the knell of the theory of
evolution. Can you imagine how an orchid, a duckweed, and a palm have
come from the same ancestry, and have we any evidence for this
assumption? The evolutionist must be prepared with an answer, but I
think that most would break down before an inquisition.

Textbooks hoodwink. A series of more and more complicated plants is
introduced - the alga, the fungus, the bryophyte, and so on, and
examples are added eclectically in support of one or another theory -
and that is held to be a presentation of evolution. If the world of
plants consisted only of these few textbook types of standard botany,
the idea of evolution might never have dawned, and the backgrounds of
these textbooks are the temperate countries which, at best, are poor
places to study world vegetation. The point, of course, is that there
are thousands and thousands of living plants, predominantly tropical,
which have never entered general botany, yet they are the bricks with
which the taxonomist has built his temple of evolution, and where else
have we to worship?"

Prof. E. J. H. Corner (Professor of Tropical Botany, Cambridge
University, UK), 'Evolution' in Contemporary Botanical Thought", Anna
M. Macleod and L. S. Cobley (editors), Oliver and Boyd, for the
Botanical Society of Edinburgh, 1961, p. 97.
===============

What Corner meant is fairly clear if you read Hurd's summary. My
interest in this, however, is (if possible) tracing the exact origin
of the modified Pandas quote. The Pandas quote has the following
modifications:

* "paleontology" instead of "palaeontology"
* "biogeography" instead of "bio-geography"
* Unellipsed cut: "If, however, another explanation could be found for
this hierarchy of classification, it would be the knell of the theory
of evolution."
* Unellipsed cut: ", and have we any evidence for this assumption?"
* The odd mixture of British (favour) and American (paleontology)
spellings

It therefore seems highly likely that Pandas got this from a secondary
source. I've looked at the quote in the following sources, none seems
an exact match although some may be closer than others:

1. Gish (1985, 1992 printing), "Evolution: The challenge of the fossil
record", p. 232

"Much evidence can be adduced in favor of the theory of evolution -
from biology, biogeography and paleontology, but I still think that to
the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favor of special
creation."

(note "favor" instead of "favour", missing comma)

2. Bird, W.R. (1987, 1991 printing), "The Origin of Species
Revisited", p. 234. (The talkorigins FAQ has "Bird, I", p. 234, BTW)

Much evidence can be adduced in favour of the theory of evolution -
from biology, bio-geography and palaeontology, but I still think that,
to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of
special creation. If, however, another explanation could be found for
this hierarchy of classification, it would be the knell of the theory
of evolution. Can you imagine how an orchid, a duckweed, and a palm
have come from the same ancestry, and have we any evidence for this
assumption? The evolutionist must be prepared with an answer, but I
think that most would break down before an inquisition.

(apparently entirely accurate, although missing the context of
surrounding passages. Bird also italicizes various parts of the
quote)


3. Gish (1979, 3rd edition), "Evolution: The Fossils Say No!", p. 167

"Much evidence can be adduced in favor of the theory of evolution -
from biology, biogeography and paleontology, but I still think that to
the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favor of special
creation."

(same as #1 except that it is italicized from "but I still think")

4. The following don't seem to cite Corner:
Whitcomb & Morris "The Genesis Flood" (1961),
Morris (1997) "That Their Words may be used against Them", and
Batten (1990) "The Revised and Expanded Answers Book"
Denton (1986) "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis"

So, what is the source? It has to be before 1989, or conceivably
circulating as an unpublished manuscript before 1989. The closest
matches online appear to be:

(creationist quote database)
http://www.evolutionisdead.com/quotes.php?QID=148&cr=155

(old digital quotes collection, latest quotes from 1988)
http://web.archive.org/web/20041121215510/http://leon.brooks.fdns.net/old/smileys/source-code/vast-cosmos-quotes.txt

These quotes are a perfect match text wise, including the same odd mix
of British and American spellings, and so might have the same book
source as the Pandas book. The differences are:

* the bracketted phrase in the Pandas book
* missing break or ellipsis symbol in Pandas
* missing clause ", and have we any evidence for this assumption?" in
Pandas

One book I don't have access to, which someone might be able to check:

Quote Book (Or, "The Quote Book)
Creation Science Foundation of Brisbane, Australia
Compiled by John MacKay and co-workers (1984 I think)

Andrew Snelling (1990)
Quote Book
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0949906107/

a.k.a.:
SNELLING, Andrew, editor 1990
The Revised Quote Book
Sunnybank, Queensland, Australia: Creation Science Foundation

There may be other 1980's creationist works that have it also. We
might have to do a phylogeny to sort out the history of the copying of
this quote. Comments welcome...if we actually figure out the history
of this, I will be happy to help write it up for the Quote Mine
Project.

Nick

John Harshman

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Dec 1, 2004, 7:43:32 PM12/1/04
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zosdad wrote:

> I was re-reading "Of Pandas and People", and came across this quote,
> from mid-century botanist E.J.H. Corner. As quoted in Pandas, 1989,
> p. 107:
>
> "Much evidence can be adduced in favour of the theory of evolution -
> from biology, biogeography and paleontology, but I still think that,
> to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of
> special creation. Can you imagine how an orchid, a duckweed, and a
> palm [all angiosperms] have come from the same ancestry? The
> evolutionist must be prepared with an answer, but I think that most
> would break down before an inquisition."

[snip]

> There may be other 1980's creationist works that have it also. We
> might have to do a phylogeny to sort out the history of the copying of
> this quote. Comments welcome...if we actually figure out the history
> of this, I will be happy to help write it up for the Quote Mine
> Project.

I have no help for you except that I vaguely recall this quote being
discussed in an early issue of Creation/Evolution. Perhaps a search of
the NCSE web site would turn something up.

But the idea of a phylogeny intrigues me. It might be possible, but be
prepared for homoplasy. I imagine that changing British to American
spelling (especially of long words differing by deletion of a single
letter) must be very easy in the evolution of a quote. Deleted phrases
should be more highly weighted. At least we have the advantage, which
few organismal phylogenies can have, of knowing the common ancestor. Do
you have a hard copy of the original?

John Harshman

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Dec 1, 2004, 8:00:04 PM12/1/04
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zosdad wrote:

This is the reference I find at the NCSE site: Corner, E. J. 1961.
Evolution. In: MacLeod, A. M. and L. S. Cobley (Editors). Contemporary
Biological Thought. Chicago. Quadrangle Books. pp. 95-114, see p. 97.

Note that the book title is different and they give a different
publisher. Which is right?

catshark

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Dec 1, 2004, 11:12:26 PM12/1/04
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On Thu, 2 Dec 2004 00:21:15 +0000 (UTC), niiic...@yahoo.com (zosdad)
wrote:

[...]

>
>One book I don't have access to, which someone might be able to check:
>
>Quote Book (Or, "The Quote Book)
>Creation Science Foundation of Brisbane, Australia
>Compiled by John MacKay and co-workers (1984 I think)
>
>Andrew Snelling (1990)
>Quote Book
>http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0949906107/
>
>a.k.a.:
>SNELLING, Andrew, editor 1990
>The Revised Quote Book
>Sunnybank, Queensland, Australia: Creation Science Foundation
>
>There may be other 1980's creationist works that have it also. We
>might have to do a phylogeny to sort out the history of the copying of
>this quote. Comments welcome...if we actually figure out the history
>of this, I will be happy to help write it up for the Quote Mine
>Project.
>
>Nick

And we will be happy to have it, though it might fit better as a
FAQ/sidebar. Maybe with a title of "The Evolution of a Quote Mine"

The introduction did note:

Another aspect of this practice [quote mining] is that these
"quotes" are widely passed around and used repeatedly by
creationists, while neither bothering to check the original
source nor giving any indication that they are taken from
secondary sources. This is shown by the fact (as can be seen
in a number of these cases) that there are errors that can
and have crept into these quotes or their citations which are
then propagated by other creationists when they are copied
without attribution. (Ironically, this is the same type of
"copying error", i.e. mutation, that can be used to trace
phylogenetic histories of populations.)

--
---------------
J. Pieret
---------------

In the name of the bee
And of the butterfly
And of the breeze, amen

- Emily Dickinson -

Nick

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Dec 2, 2004, 2:59:32 AM12/2/04
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The Creation/Evolution journal mention is, IIRC, with reference to a
dispute between Kenneth Miller and Duane Gish over whether or not Gish
left words out of the Corner sentence he quoted. As it turns out,
Miller was wrong in part on this one and apologized in the pages of
Creation/Evolution. (In the larger sense, Gish was still misquoting
since the "special creation" sentence can only be read in the context
of the surrounding paragraphs). Miller's reply from 1982:

http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/9626_issue_09__volume_3_number_3__1_3_2003.asp

I think both Miller and Gish (and various later commentators on the
quote) missed the important point that Gary Hurd turned up, namely that
Corner was talking about the temperate zone plants and fossil record,
whereas his whole point was that you need to bring in the tropical
plants to find the missing connections. (I've not read the original
Corner article yet, so I will refrain from final judgement, but based
on the large excerpt I've read that seems to make the most sense).

I don't actually have the original hard copy of Corner yet, but I have
two secondary sources that quote the relevant page or two and they seem
to agree.

Regarding phylogenies, if one were to do it seriously it might be tough
since there are only about a half-dozen characters. I agree that
american/british spelling changes are more likely to be homoplasy than
deletions (or insertions), which would be much more rigorously
inherited (on the secondary-source-copying model, a deletion will never
be re-inserted). Based on google searching on variations on the quote,
I do think that the hundreds/thousands of iterations of the Corner
quote on the web could be grouped into just a few basic types. Since
we all know basic types don't evolve, I guess the creationists are off
the hook!

PS: Regarding The Quote Book (which is, I think, older than Snelling's
The Revised Quote Book), I did find on amazon.com a secondary quote of
Corner from p. 11 of The Quote Book:

Jobe Martin (1994, _The Evolution of a Creationist_) writes on p. 199:

==========
One of the world's leading experts on plant evolution and fossil
plants, Dr. E. J. H. Corner of Cambridge University dogmatically
states:

The theory of evolution is not merely the theory of the origin of
species, but the only explanation of the fact that organisms can be

classified into this hierarchy of natural affinity. Much evidence can


be adduced in favour of the theory of evolution - from biology,

bio-geography and paleontology, but I still think that, to the


unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of special

creation [Emphasis added]. 112

According to expert Corner, there is no evidence for the evolution of
plants. In fact, when plants are studied closely they appear to be a
special creation!

[last 11 words bolded in Martin 1994 -- nic]
==========

Footnote 112:
==========
112 E. J. H. Corner, 'Evolution' in Contemporary Botanical Thought,
eds. Anna M. Macleod and L. S. Cobley, Oliver and Boyd, for the
Botanical Society of Edinburg, 1961, p. 97. As quoted (partially) from
The Quote Book, p. 11.
==========

Sheesh, one could write a "Natural History of the Corner Quote" paper
on this topic.

In footnote 16 on page 54 of Martin (1994), I find the only reference
to The Quote Book in Martin 1994 that I could find in the Amazon search
(the book apparently doesn't have a Bibliography).

==========
16. [...snipping another ref...-nic] p. xi, as quoted in The Revised
Quote Book, ed. Andrew Snelling, Ph.D. (Institute for Creation
Research, P.O. Box 2667, El Cajon, Calif. 92021), p. 2. For many more
quotes that negate evolution from the literature of the evolutionary
scientists, purchase The Quote Book. The cost is around $4.00 and well
worth it.
==========

So, does anyone -- particularly Aussies (I believe that The Quote Book
and Revised Quote Book were early AiG/proto-AiG products, and Snelling
is Aussie) -- have access to The Quote Book or The Revised Quote Book?
Particularly the former since it came out before 1989.

Nic

Nick

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Dec 2, 2004, 3:00:09 AM12/2/04
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http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/9626_issue_09__volume_3_number_3__1_3_2003.asp

The theory of evolution is not merely the theory of the origin of


species, but the only explanation of the fact that organisms can be

classified into this hierarchy of natural affinity. Much evidence can


be adduced in favour of the theory of evolution - from biology,

bio-geography and paleontology, but I still think that, to the


unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of special

nic

Nick

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Dec 2, 2004, 3:19:57 AM12/2/04
to
Ah. According to this page, "The Quote Book" was a pull-out supplement
to issue 7(2) of Ex Nihilo, in 1984. No wonder it's not listed as a
book anyplace.

===============
http://www.iidb.org/vbb/archive/index.php/t-38248.html
[...other quote snipped...] but I did come up with the source for the
quote. It's from the original The Quote Book, ed. by Mackay, et al.,
published as a pull out supplement to Ex Nihlio, vol. 7 no. 2 (October
1984).
===============

AiG has the table of contents of the issue in question:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v7/i2/index.asp

So I may have access to it after all.

More history of The Quote Book:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/project.html
=========
[The FAQ quotes a creationist: ] Seven years later, in 1984, the
Creation Science Foundation of Australia published a thin, 8綞11-inch
booklet of 20 pages that bore the title, The Quote Book. Compiled by
John MacKay and co-workers, this volume provided over 100 quotations .
. .
=========

(The FAQ main text here should perhaps clarify that The Quote Book
originated as a supplement to a journal issue and so isn't really a
book you will find in libraries)

Nic


catshark

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Dec 2, 2004, 6:47:31 AM12/2/04
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On Thu, 2 Dec 2004 08:19:57 +0000 (UTC), "Nick" <niiic...@yahoo.com>
wrote:

The above does note it was just a 20 page booklet. I don't think I ever
knew it was a supplement to _Ex Nilhio_ (that'll teach me to rely on
creationist sources like _Reason & Revelation_ ;-) and the link to the
"Revised Quote Book" shows it is still only 28 pages. I do remember
thinking that AiG's tendency to exagerate is given full display in the fact
that they called it a "book" in the first place. But even moribund Equidae
deserve occasional respite.

John Harshman

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Dec 2, 2004, 11:01:51 AM12/2/04
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Nick wrote:

[snip]

> Regarding phylogenies, if one were to do it seriously it might be tough
> since there are only about a half-dozen characters.

There would be a lot of unresolved nodes, but that's to be expected.
There still might be enough resolution to mean something.

> I agree that
> american/british spelling changes are more likely to be homoplasy than
> deletions (or insertions), which would be much more rigorously
> inherited (on the secondary-source-copying model, a deletion will never
> be re-inserted).

Irreversible evolution would considerably aid efforts to resolve the
tree, as would any strong assumptions about the evolutionary process.

> Based on google searching on variations on the quote,
> I do think that the hundreds/thousands of iterations of the Corner
> quote on the web could be grouped into just a few basic types. Since
> we all know basic types don't evolve, I guess the creationists are off
> the hook!

Ah, but do the basic types form a nested hierarchy? That's what I want
to know.

[snip]

Harlequin

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Dec 2, 2004, 8:37:49 PM12/2/04
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niiic...@yahoo.com (zosdad) wrote in
news:74227462.04120...@posting.google.com:

> Has anyone ever seriously done a quote phylogeny? There's probably
> software somewhere. I know they've done such things e.g. with
> Medieval Bible manuscripts (which were copied by hand).

The Quote Mine Project mentions the word phylogeny in this
respect a few times, but has nothing that fits the full sense
of the word -- merely the suggestion that it could be done
and of course noting that what sites had x version of the
quote and what sites had y version of the quote.

Given how short the quotes are, I suspect that the software
for Medieval Bible manuscripts would probably have a hard
time for this purpose. Too many of the errors are might
appear more than once independently. _Scientific American_
did have an article on the phylogeny of a chain letter
using the same methods in evolutionary biology. Googling
finds that it is in the June 2003 issue. They want
eight bucks for a copy. One might as well visit
the library for that price.

--
Anti-spam: replace "usenet@sdc." with "harlequin2@"


zosdad

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Dec 2, 2004, 7:39:05 PM12/2/04
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"Nick" <niiic...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<1101976449.0...@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>...

> Ah. According to this page, "The Quote Book" was a pull-out supplement
> to issue 7(2) of Ex Nihilo, in 1984. No wonder it's not listed as a
> book anyplace.
>
> ===============
> http://www.iidb.org/vbb/archive/index.php/t-38248.html
> [...other quote snipped...] but I did come up with the source for the
> quote. It's from the original The Quote Book, ed. by Mackay, et al.,
> published as a pull out supplement to Ex Nihlio, vol. 7 no. 2 (October
> 1984).
> ===============
>
> AiG has the table of contents of the issue in question:
> http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v7/i2/index.asp
>
> So I may have access to it after all.

I've just found and copied the original The Quote Book (actually a
magazine insert). Not a match to the Pandas Corner quote, really.

On page 9 of The Quote Book:

================
46. 'Much evidence can be advanced in favour of the theory of
evolution -- from biology, biogeography and palaeontology, but I still


think that, to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in

favour of special creation.'

Prof E.J.H. Corner (Professor of Tropical Botany, Cambridge
University), in 'Contemporary Botanical Thought', Oliver and Boyd,
1971, p. 97; also found in 'Evolution in Contemporary Botanical
Thought', A.M. Macleod and L.S. Copely (editors), Quadrangal Books,
Chicago, 1961.
================

The modifications from the original here are:
adduced --> advanced
bio-geography --> biogeography
(also note the citation of the two locations of the Corner essay)

...and it lacks surrounding sentences provided in the Pandas Corner
quote, so The Quote Book isn't the source.

Has anyone ever seriously done a quote phylogeny? There's probably
software somewhere. I know they've done such things e.g. with
Medieval Bible manuscripts (which were copied by hand).

One might well be able to do a phylogeny of an entire quote
collection, and see how much "lateral transfer" has occurred between
collections.

zosdad

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Dec 3, 2004, 12:38:20 AM12/3/04
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I've just discovered that you can download the Revised Quote Book for
free here:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/TheWord/downloads/aig_resources.asp

...you have to download and install the (also free) Online Bible
software from that cite (see Download Instructions).

The Corner Quote in this Revised Quote Book appears to be fully
accurate and unellipsed, but with the juicy bits highlighted. Whether
the digital version is identical to the 1990 print version of The
Revised Quote book I have not determined (but editor Snelling says
that personally checked each quote).

Also, this talkorigins poster claims to have scanned and posted the
Revised Quote Book to t.o., but the Corner quote is not in it (while
it is in the above version), so I'm not sure if he's got the same
Revised Quote Book.

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=snelling+quote+book&hl=en&lr=&client=google&selm=70fedc0c.0403010949.562cab5d%40posting.google.com&rnum=2

John Wilkins

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Dec 2, 2004, 10:34:45 PM12/2/04
to
zosdad <niiic...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Has anyone ever seriously done a quote phylogeny? There's probably
> software somewhere. I know they've done such things e.g. with
> Medieval Bible manuscripts (which were copied by hand).

Yes, there was a paper in Cladistics sometime in the past five years on
a cladistic analysis of a manuscript. Cross-lineage borrowings and
convergence causes equivalent problems there, too...
--
John S. Wilkins jo...@wilkins.id.au
web: www.wilkins.id.au blog: evolvethought.blogspot.com

God cheats

John Harshman

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Dec 3, 2004, 9:27:25 AM12/3/04
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John Wilkins wrote:

> zosdad <niiic...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
>>Has anyone ever seriously done a quote phylogeny? There's probably
>>software somewhere. I know they've done such things e.g. with
>>Medieval Bible manuscripts (which were copied by hand).
>
>
> Yes, there was a paper in Cladistics sometime in the past five years on
> a cladistic analysis of a manuscript. Cross-lineage borrowings and
> convergence causes equivalent problems there, too...

There was another paper in Trends in Genetics back in 2001 on manuscript
phylogenies. Good introduction to the field.

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