Schlafly goes down in flames. Major pwnage alert

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Llanzlan Klazmon

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Jun 25, 2008, 10:10:11 AM6/25/08
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Anyone been following the spat between Conservpedia'a Andy Schlafly
and Richard Lenski.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/hubris_gall_arroganceinanity.php

Lenski's: Awesome second reply - reproducing here as I might be proven
wrong but doubt Conservapedia have the guts to keep it on their site.

Richard Lenski wrote:
"Dear Mr. Schlafly:

I tried to be polite, civil and respectful in my reply to your first
email, despite its rude tone and uninformed content. Given the
continued rudeness of your second email, and the willfully ignorant
and slanderous content on your website, my second response will be
less polite. I expect you to post my response in its entirety; if not,
I will make sure that is made publicly available through other
channels.

I offer this lengthy reply because I am an educator as well as a
scientist. It is my sincere hope that some readers might learn
something from this exchange, even if you do not.

First, it seems that reading might not be your strongest suit given
your initial letter, which showed that you had not read our paper, and
given subsequent conversations with your followers, in which you wrote
that you still had not bothered to read our paper. You wrote: “I did
skim Lenski’s paper …” If you have not even read the original paper,
how do you have any basis of understanding from which to question,
much less criticize, the data that are presented therein?

Second, your capacity to misinterpret and/or misrepresent facts is
plain in the third request in your first letter, where you said: “In
addition, there is skepticism that 3 new and useful proteins appeared
in the colony around generation 20,000.” That statement was followed
by a link to a news article from New Scientist that briefly reported
on our work. I assumed you had simply misunderstood that article,
because there is not even a mention of proteins anywhere in the news
article. As I replied, “We make no such claim anywhere in our paper,
nor do I think it is correct. Proteins do not ‘appear out of the
blue’, in any case.” So where did your confused assertion come from?
It appears to have come from one of your earlier discussions, in which
an acoltye (Able806, who to his credit at least seems to have
attempted to read our paper) wrote:

' I think it might be best to clarify some of Richard's work. He
started his E. coli project in 1988 and has been running the project
for 20 years now; his protocols are available to the general public.
The New Scientist article is not very technical but the paper at PNAS
is. The change was based on one of his colonies developing the ability
to absorb citrate, something not found in wild E. coli. This occurred
around 31,500 generations and is based on the development of 3
proteins in the E. coli genome. What his future work will be is to
look at what caused the development of these 3 proteins around
generation 20,000 of that particular colony. ...'

As further evidence of your inability to keep even a few simple facts
straight, you later wrote the following: “It [my reply] did clarify
that his claims are not as strong as some evolutionists have
insisted.” But no competent biologist would, after reading our paper
with any care, insist (or even suggest) that “3 new and useful
proteins appeared in the colony around generation 20,000” or any
similar nonsense. It is only in your letter, and in your acolyte’s
confused interpretation of our paper, that I have ever seen such a
claim. Am I or the reporter for New Scientist somehow responsible for
the confusion that reflects your own laziness and apparent inability
to distinguish between a scientific paper, a news article, and a
confused summary posted by an acolyte on your own website?

Third, it is apparent to me, and many others who have followed this
exchange and your on-line discussions of how to proceed, that you are
not acting in good faith in requests for data. From the posted
discussion on your web site, it is obvious that you lack any expertise
in the relevant fields. Several of your acolytes have pointed this out
to you, and that your motives are unclear or questionable at best, but
you and your cronies dismissed their concerns as rants and even
expelled some of them from posting on your website. [Ed.: citation
omitted due to spam filter] Several also pointed out that I had very
quickly and straightforwardly responded that the methods and data
supporting the evolution of the citrate-utilization capacity are
already provided in our paper. One poster in your discussions, Aaronp,
wrote:

' I read Lenski's paper, and as a trained microbiologist, I thought
that it was both thorough and well done. His claims are backed by good
data, namely that which was presented in the figures. I went through
each of the figures after Aschlafly said that they were uninformative.
Actually, they are basic figures that show the population explosion of
the bacterial cultures after the Cit+ mutation occurred. These figures
show that the cultures increased in size and mass at a given
timepoint, being able to do so because they had evolved a mechanism to
utilize a new nutrient, without the assistance of helper plasmids. ...
Lenksi’s paper, while not the most definite I’ve seen, is still a very
well-researched paper that supports its claims nicely.'

(As far as I saw, Aaronp is the only poster who asserted any expertise
in microbiology.) As further evidence of the absence of good-faith
discussion about our research, in the discussion thread that began
even before you sent your first email to me, I counted the words
“fraud” or “fraudulent” being used more than 10 times, including one
acolyte, TonyT, who says bluntly that I am “clearly a fraudulent
hack.” In the discussion thread that also includes comments after my
first reply, the number of times those same words are used has
increased to 20, with the word “hoax” also now entering the
discussion. A few posters wisely counseled against such slander but
that did not deter you. I must say, it is surprising that someone with
a law degree would make, and allow on his website, so many nasty
comments that implicitly and even explicitly impugn my integrity, and
by extension that of my collaborators, without any grounds whatsoever
and reflecting only your dogmatic adherence to certain beliefs.

Finally, let me now turn to our data. As I said before, the relevant
methods and data about the evolution of the citrate-using bacteria are
in our paper. In three places in our paper, we did say “data not
shown”, which is common in scientific papers owing to limitations in
page length, especially for secondary or minor points. None of the
places where we made such references concern the existence of the
citrate-using bacteria; they concern only certain secondary properties
of those bacteria. We will gladly post those additional data on my
website.

It is my impression that you seem to think we have only paper and
electronic records of having seen some unusual E .coli. If we made
serious errors or misrepresentations, you would surely like to find
them in those records. If we did not, then – as some of your acolytes
have suggested – you might assert that our records are themselves
untrustworthy because, well, because you said so, I guess. But perhaps
because you did not bother even to read our paper, or perhaps because
you aren’t very bright, you seem not to understand that we have the
actual, living bacteria that exhibit the properties reported in our
paper, including both the ancestral strain used to start this long-
term experiment and its evolved citrate-using descendants. In other
words, it’s not that we claim to have glimpsed “a unicorn in the
garden” – we have a whole population of them living in my lab! [http://
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unicorn_in_the_Garden] And lest you accuse
me further of fraud, I do not literally mean that we have unicorns in
the lab. Rather, I am making a literary allusion. [http://
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allusion]

One of your acolytes, Dr. Richard Paley, actually grasped this point.
He does not appear to understand the practice and limitations of
science, but at least he realizes that we have the bacteria, and that
they provide “the real data that we [that’s you and your gang] need”.
Here’s what this Dr. Paley had to say:

I think there’s a great deal of misunderstanding here from the
critics of Mr. Schlafly and obfuscation on the part of Prof. Lenski
and his supporters. The real data that we need are not in the paper.
Rather they are in the bacteria used in the experiments themselves.
Prof. Lenski claims that these bacteria ‘evolved’ novel traits and
that these were preceded by the evolution of ‘potentiated genotypes’,
from which the traits could be ‘reevolved’ using preserved colonies
from those generations. But how are we to know if these traits weren’t
‘potentiated’ by the Creator when He designed the bacteria thousands
of years ago, such that they would eventually reveal themselves when
the time was right? The only way this can be settled is if we have
access to the genetic sequences of the bacteria colonies so that we
can apply CSI techniques and determine if these ‘potentiated
genotypes’ originated through blind chance or intelligence. But with
the physical specimens in the hands of Darwinists, who claim they will
get around to the sequencing at some unspecifed future time, how can
we trust that this data will be forthcoming and forthright? Thus,
Prof. Lenski et al. should supply Conservapedia, as stewards, with
samples of the preserved E. coli colonies so that the data can be
accessible to unbiased researchers outside of the hegemony of the
Darwinian academia, even if it won’t be put to immediate examination
by Mr. Schlafly. This is simply about keeping tax-payer-funded
scientists honest.

So, will we share the bacteria? Of course we will, with competent
scientists. Now, if I was really mean, I might only share the
ancestral strain, and let the scientists undertake the 20 years of our
experiment. Or if I was only a little bit mean, maybe I’d also send
the potentiated bacteria, and let the recipients then repeat the
several years of incredibly pain-staking work that my superb doctoral
student, Zachary Blount, performed to test some 40 trillion
(40,000,000,000,000) cells, which generated 19 additional citrate-
using mutants. But I’m a nice guy, at least when treated with some
common courtesy, so if a competent scientist asks for them, I would
even send a sample of the evolved E. coli that now grows vigorously on
citrate. A competent microbiologist, perhaps requiring the assistance
of a competent molecular geneticist, would readily confirm the
following properties reported in our paper: (i) The ancestral strain
does not grow in DM0 (zero glucose, but containing citrate), the
recipe for which can be found on my web site, except leaving the
glucose out of the standard recipe as stated in our paper. (ii) The
evolved citrate-using strain, by contrast, grows well in that exact
same medium. (iii) To confirm that the evolved strain is not some
contaminating species but is, in fact, derived from the ancestral
strain in our study, one could check a number of traits and genes that
identify the ancestor as E. coli, and the evolved strains as a
descendant thereof, as reported in our paper. (iv) One could also
sequence the pykF and nadR genes in the ancestor and evolved citrate-
using strains. One would find that the evolved bacteria have mutations
in each of these genes. These mutations precisely match those that we
reported in our previous work, and they identify the evolved citrate-
using mutants as having evolved in the population designated Ara-3 of
the long-term evolution experiment, as opposed to any of the other 11
populations in that experiment. And one could go on and on from there
to confirm the findings in our paper, and perhaps obtain additional
data of the sort that we are currently pursuing.

Before I could send anyone any bacterial strains, in order to comply
with good scientific practices I would require evidence of the
requesting scientist’s credentials including: (i) affiliation with an
appropriate unit in some university or research center with
appropriate facilities for storing (-80ºC freezer), handling
(incubators, etc.), and disposing of bacteria (autoclave); and (ii)
some evidence, such as peer-reviewed publications, that indicate that
the receiving scientist knows how to work with bacteria, so that I and
my university can be sure we are sending biological materials to
someone that knows how to handle them. By the way, our strains are not
derived from one of the pathogenic varieties of E. coli that are a
frequent cause of food-borne illnesses. However, even non-pathogenic
strains may cause problems for those who are immune-compromised or
otherwise more vulnerable to infection. Also, my university requires
that a Material Transfer Agreement be executed before we can ship any
strains. That agreement would not constrain a receiving scientist from
publishing his or her results. However, if an incompetent or
fraudulent hack (note that I make no reference to any person, as this
is strictly a hypothetical scenario, one that I doubt would occur)
were to make false or misleading claims about our strains, then I’m
confident that some highly qualified scientists would join the fray,
examine the strains, and sort out who was right and who was wrong.
That’s the way science works.

I would also generally ask what the requesting scientist intends to do
with our strains. Why? It helps me to gauge the requester’s expertise.
I might be able to point out useful references, for example. Moreover,
as I’ve said, we are continuing our work with these strains, on
multiple fronts, as explained in considerable detail in the Discussion
section of our paper. I would not be happy to see our work “scooped”
by another team – especially for the sake of the outstanding students
and postdocs in my group who are hard at work on these fronts.
However, that request to allow us to proceed, without risk of being
scooped on work in which we have made a substantial investment of time
and effort, would be just that: a request. In other words, we would
respect PNAS policy to share those strains with any competent
scientist who complied with my university’s requirements for the MTA
and any other relevant legal restrictions. If any such request
requires substantial time or resources (we have thousands of samples
from this and many other experiments), then of course I would expect
the recipient to bear those costs.

So there you have it. I know that I’ve been a bit less polite in this
response than in my previous one, but I’m still behaving far more
politely than you deserve given your rude, willfully ignorant, and
slanderous behavior. And I’ve spent far more time responding than you
deserve. However, as I said at the outset, I take education seriously,
and I know some of your acolytes still have the ability and desire to
think, as do many others who will read this exchange.

Sincerely,
Richard Lenski

P.S. Did you know that your own bowels harbor something like a billion
(1,000,000,000) E. coli at this very moment? So remember to wash your
hands after going to the toilet, as I hope your mother taught you.
Simple calculations imply that there are something like 1020 =
100,000,000,000,000,000,000 E. coli alive on our planet at any moment.
Even if they divide just once per day, and given a typical mutation
rate of 10-9 or 10-10 per base-pair per generation, then pretty much
every possible double mutation would occur every day or so. That’s a
lot of opportunity for evolution.

P.P.S. I hope that some readers might get a chuckle out of this story.
The same Sunday (15 June 2008) that you and some of your acolytes were
posting and promoting scurrilous attacks on me and our research
(wasn’t that a bit disrespectful of the Sabbath?), I was in a church
attending a wedding. And do you know what Old Testament lesson was
read? It was Genesis 1:27-28, in which God created Man and Woman. It’s
a very simple and lovely story, and I did not ask any questions, storm
out, or demand the evidence that it happened as written at a time when
science did not yet exist. I was there in the realm of spirituality
and mutual respect, not confusing a house of religion for a science
class or laboratory. And it was a beautiful wedding, too.

P.P.P.S. You may be unable to understand, or unwilling to accept, that
evolution occurs. And yet, life evolves! [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
E_pur_si_muove] From the content on your website, it is clear that
you, like many others, view God as the Creator of the Universe. I
respect that view. I find it baffling, however, that someone can
worship God as the all-mighty Creator while, at the same time, denying
even the possibility (not to mention the overwhelming evidence) that
God’s Creation involved evolution. It is as though a person thinks
that God must have the same limitations when it comes to creation as a
person who is unable to understand, or even attempt to understand, the
world in which we live. Isn’t that view insulting to God?

P.P.P.P.S. I noticed that you say that one of your favorite articles
on your website is the one on “Deceit.” That article begins as
follows: “Deceit is the deliberate distortion or denial of the truth
with an intent to trick or fool another. Christianity and Judaism
teach that deceit is wrong. For example, the Old Testament says, ‘Thou
shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.’” You really should
think more carefully about what that commandment means before you go
around bearing false witness against others."

Robert Carnegie

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Jun 25, 2008, 11:21:52 AM6/25/08
to
My favourite detail is a link to Wikipedia's article on "allusion".
But no doubt A. Schiafly has one of his own, written by a homeschooled
child.

Steven J.

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Jun 25, 2008, 12:14:44 PM6/25/08
to
On Jun 25, 9:10 am, Llanzlan Klazmon <bill.m.tho...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Anyone been following the spat between Conservpedia'a Andy Schlafly
> and Richard Lenski.
>
> http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/hubris_gall_arroganceinani...

>
> Lenski's: Awesome second reply - reproducing here as I might be proven
> wrong but doubt Conservapedia have the guts to keep it on their site.
>
-- [snip]
>
I can't access Conservapedia right now, but last night they had a
mention of, and link to, Lenksi's answer on their home page, as an
example of the arrogant attitude that your tax dollars are buying. As
P.Z. Myers pointed out, Schafly doesn't really understand anything
about this except that he's not getting what he demands, so he doesn't
react to the letter the way you'd assume a reasonable person would.

-- Steven J.

AC

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Jun 25, 2008, 12:43:27 PM6/25/08
to

Would it be totally wrong to nominate this as a PotM. I know he's not a
poster here, but this is an incredibly powerful critique of Schlafly's
methods, ignorance and dishonesty, and I think Lenski certainly deserves the
nod.

--
Aaron Clausen mightym...@gmail.com

Message has been deleted

Ernest Major

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Jun 25, 2008, 12:58:18 PM6/25/08
to
In message <slrng64tdd....@rotten.egg.sandwich>, AC
<moj...@telus.net> writes
My opinion is that it would be polite to ask his permission first.
--
alias Ernest Major

Inez

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Jun 25, 2008, 1:28:15 PM6/25/08
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"The islands next to Alaska."

AC

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Jun 25, 2008, 3:26:31 PM6/25/08
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Good point.

--
Aaron Clausen mightym...@gmail.com

Llanzlan Klazmon

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Jun 25, 2008, 7:23:30 PM6/25/08
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Llanzlan Klazmon

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Jun 25, 2008, 7:33:37 PM6/25/08
to

Desertphile

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Jun 25, 2008, 8:10:54 PM6/25/08
to
On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 07:10:11 -0700 (PDT), Llanzlan Klazmon
<bill.m...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Anyone been following the spat between Conservpedia'a Andy Schlafly
> and Richard Lenski.
>
> http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/hubris_gall_arroganceinanity.php

Summary: Andy Schlafly castigated Richard Lenski for false claims
that Richard Lenski did not make, but were, rather, made by a
supporter of Andy Schlafly. And Andy Schlafly is still demanding
that Richard Lenski produce evidence in support of the false
claims the supporter of Andy Schlafly made.

Conclusion:religion makes people nuts.


--
http://desertphile.org
Desertphile's Desert Soliloquy. WARNING: view with plenty of water
"Why aren't resurrections from the dead noteworthy?" -- Jim Rutz

Paul J Gans

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Jun 25, 2008, 8:29:21 PM6/25/08
to

I do believe that one of the Schlafly brothers was, in
fact, a poster here about 10 years ago.

--
--- Paul J. Gans

Vernon Balbert

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Jun 25, 2008, 9:01:28 PM6/25/08
to
On 6/25/2008 4:23 PM, Llanzlan Klazmon went clickity clack on the
keyboard and produced this interesting bit of text:

I love how they're adamant about not telling what the link is and yet
claim to be against censorship. However, I'm not sure what the RW site
they talk about is.

--
Upon hearing that he was played by Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Bauer killed
Sutherland. Jack Bauer gets played by no man.

Ernest Major

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Jun 25, 2008, 8:49:28 PM6/25/08
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In message <g3unt1$pra$1...@reader2.panix.com>, Paul J Gans
<ga...@panix.com> writes
IIRC, two of them participated.
--
alias Ernest Major

Caranx latus

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Jun 25, 2008, 9:27:03 PM6/25/08
to

I can't tell whether your last statement is sarcastic or not, but the RW
site is RationalWiki.

Stuart

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Jun 25, 2008, 9:36:24 PM6/25/08
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On Jun 25, 2:29 pm, Paul J Gans <g...@panix.com> wrote:

Actually Both.. and there was a strange conversation regarding Devil's
Tower.

Stuart

Vernon Balbert

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Jun 25, 2008, 9:48:33 PM6/25/08
to
On 6/25/2008 6:27 PM, Caranx latus went clickity clack on the keyboard

Nope, not sarcastic. I now see I was a bit confused. It seems I
thought I was reading comments on Conservapedia when in fact I wasn't.
In any case, I still think that Conservapedia's comments were ridiculous.

--
Very funny, Scotty. Now beam up my clothes.

raven1

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Jun 25, 2008, 10:03:55 PM6/25/08
to
On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 18:10:54 -0600, Desertphile
<deser...@invalid-address.net> wrote:

>On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 07:10:11 -0700 (PDT), Llanzlan Klazmon
><bill.m...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Anyone been following the spat between Conservpedia'a Andy Schlafly
>> and Richard Lenski.
>>
>> http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/hubris_gall_arroganceinanity.php
>
>Summary: Andy Schlafly castigated Richard Lenski for false claims
>that Richard Lenski did not make, but were, rather, made by a
>supporter of Andy Schlafly. And Andy Schlafly is still demanding
>that Richard Lenski produce evidence in support of the false
>claims the supporter of Andy Schlafly made.
>
>Conclusion:religion makes people nuts.

Alternate conclusion: Andy Schlafly is as dumb as wheat.

Caranx latus

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Jun 25, 2008, 10:13:56 PM6/25/08
to

It's worse than ridiculous. They're engaging in word magic. They're
trying to reduce the power of RationalWiki by refusing to utter its name
which, in reality, simply makes them look weak and silly.

Baron Bodissey

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Jun 25, 2008, 10:46:25 PM6/25/08
to
On Jun 25, 10:03 pm, raven1 <quoththera...@nevermore.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 18:10:54 -0600, Desertphile
>
>
>
> <desertph...@invalid-address.net> wrote:
> >On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 07:10:11 -0700 (PDT), Llanzlan Klazmon
> ><bill.m.tho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >> Anyone been following the spat between Conservpedia'a Andy Schlafly
> >> and Richard Lenski.
>
> >>http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/hubris_gall_arroganceinani...

>
> >Summary: Andy Schlafly castigated Richard Lenski for false claims
> >that Richard Lenski did not make, but were, rather, made by a
> >supporter of Andy Schlafly. And Andy Schlafly is still demanding
> >that Richard Lenski produce evidence in support of the false
> >claims the supporter of Andy Schlafly made.
>
> >Conclusion:religion makes people nuts.
>
> Alternate conclusion: Andy Schlafly is as dumb as wheat.

Nah, hell no. That's an insult to wheat, which is useful in making
bread and stuff. Schlafly is dumb AND useless.

Baron Bodissey
We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the
culture.
– Rev. Ray Mummert, Dover, PA

J.J. O'Shea

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Jun 25, 2008, 10:56:48 PM6/25/08
to
On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 22:03:55 -0400, raven1 wrote
(in article <c6u5649f4vn5k2h0u...@4ax.com>):

If we fed him to a tribble, would he poison it?

--
email to oshea dot j dot j at gmail dot com.

Vernon Balbert

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Jun 25, 2008, 11:28:24 PM6/25/08
to
On 6/25/2008 7:03 PM, raven1 went clickity clack on the keyboard and
produced this interesting bit of text:

Wheat is very good at what it does and doesn't try to do more than what
it's capable of doing. Schlafly, on the other hand...

--
All right everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height. -
Casey Stengel

Vernon Balbert

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Jun 25, 2008, 11:27:22 PM6/25/08
to
On 6/25/2008 7:13 PM, Caranx latus went clickity clack on the keyboard

I hadn't thought of it that way, but damn if you aren't right! RW, get
thee behind me! LOL

--
The reason that the universe is expanding is because it is running away
from Chuck Norris.

johnetho...@yahoo.com

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Jun 25, 2008, 11:43:37 PM6/25/08
to
On Jun 25, 7:03 pm, raven1 <quoththera...@nevermore.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 18:10:54 -0600, Desertphile
>
>
>
> <desertph...@invalid-address.net> wrote:
> >On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 07:10:11 -0700 (PDT), Llanzlan Klazmon
> ><bill.m.tho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >> Anyone been following the spat between Conservpedia'a Andy Schlafly
> >> and Richard Lenski.
>
> >>http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/hubris_gall_arroganceinani...

>
> >Summary: Andy Schlafly castigated Richard Lenski for false claims
> >that Richard Lenski did not make, but were, rather, made by a
> >supporter of Andy Schlafly. And Andy Schlafly is still demanding
> >that Richard Lenski produce evidence in support of the false
> >claims the supporter of Andy Schlafly made.
>
> >Conclusion:religion makes people nuts.
>
> Alternate conclusion: Andy Schlafly is as dumb as wheat.

I think you're being a little hard on wheat here.

My favorite piece of idiocy from Conservapedia was the original
article on the moon, which stated that there was no physical
explanation for the moon's always having the same side towards the
earth, thus proving the existence of God. Someone mentioned that this
had been explained for more that a century by tidal locking. The
article was then changed to say that tidal locking had been proposed
as an explanation but had recently been disproven. This was followed
by a link to an astronomy site which explained how tidal locking
works. What kind of an idiot cites a reference that says he's wrong?

hersheyh

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Jun 25, 2008, 11:54:00 PM6/25/08
to
On Jun 25, 10:03 pm, raven1 <quoththera...@nevermore.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 18:10:54 -0600, Desertphile
>
>
>
> <desertph...@invalid-address.net> wrote:
> >On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 07:10:11 -0700 (PDT), Llanzlan Klazmon
> ><bill.m.tho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >> Anyone been following the spat between Conservpedia'a Andy Schlafly
> >> and Richard Lenski.
>
> >>http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/hubris_gall_arroganceinani...

>
> >Summary: Andy Schlafly castigated Richard Lenski for false claims
> >that Richard Lenski did not make, but were, rather, made by a
> >supporter of Andy Schlafly. And Andy Schlafly is still demanding
> >that Richard Lenski produce evidence in support of the false
> >claims the supporter of Andy Schlafly made.
>
> >Conclusion:religion makes people nuts.
>
> Alternate conclusion: Andy Schlafly is as dumb as wheat.

Stop insulting wheat!

Shane

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Jun 26, 2008, 12:49:10 AM6/26/08
to

Not only that, but the CP sysops, who censor the RW
mentions, nearly all read RW--at least the What Is Going On
At CP page--as many things at CP are changed after the
particular brand of foolishness is hi-lited on RW. A few of
the CP sysops are also openly RW contributors and some,
apparently, not so openly. CP is nothing if not a bunch of
people in serious, serious denial.

Vernon Balbert

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 1:56:32 AM6/26/08
to
On 6/25/2008 9:49 PM, Shane went clickity clack on the keyboard and

You know, I can see how people can be fooled by creationism and ID and
the like. There's an emotional attachment to it (especially
creationism) where they feel a connection to their god and evolution
seems to take that away from them. But this sort of lying is something
I just don't understand. I guess I've always tried to achieve some
level of self-honesty (hey, everybody fools him/herself sometimes) but
this goes way beyond that. I can't feel sorry for them, only pity.

--
"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
"Oh, I think so, Brain! But doing a clog dance in actual clogs will give
me awful blisters."

Mark VandeWettering

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 2:37:44 AM6/26/08
to

Wheat at least provides some nutrition. Schlafly is more like pork
rinds. But not as tasty.

Mark

Mark VandeWettering

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 2:42:16 AM6/26/08
to

In fact, two of them were, both Roger and Andy. Roger was unreasonable, but
probably could pass for sane. Andy was stone cold nuts, and an idiot to boot.

Devils Tower created by the Great Flood. That's a level of stupid I can't
even reach by trying.

Mark

Robert Carnegie

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 5:53:05 AM6/26/08
to

Hey, you go to Iowa, or any state that grows creationists, what do you
see? Some wheat. And a whole lot of corn.

Ron O

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 7:09:45 AM6/26/08
to
> Stuart-

It was probably a glimpse at what the Discovery Institute or ICR is
like. Rarely will any creationists try to defend the stupidity of
another. They usually have to worry about the shortcomings of their
own arguments. The Schlafly brothers would try to defend each other
and the outcome of the synergy was pretty pathetic. You can just
imagine what a bunch of like minded dishonest and ignorant political
activists can come up with when they get together.

You end up with junk like the bait and switch scam that the Discovery
Institute is running or the oath that the ICR members had to take
where they pledged not to do science, but to only support their narrow
view of the Bible.

Ron Okimoto

Louann Miller

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 9:52:42 AM6/26/08
to
johnetho...@yahoo.com wrote in news:b5440335-6253-4743-855d-
b9fb9d...@u6g2000prc.googlegroups.com:

(re conservapedia and why the moon only shows us one side)

> The
> article was then changed to say that tidal locking had been proposed
> as an explanation but had recently been disproven. This was followed
> by a link to an astronomy site which explained how tidal locking
> works. What kind of an idiot cites a reference that says he's wrong?

An idiot who doesn't read the reference, or at least doesn't understand it.

J.J. O'Shea

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 10:52:57 AM6/26/08
to
On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 23:43:37 -0400, johnetho...@yahoo.com wrote
(in article
<b5440335-6253-4743...@u6g2000prc.googlegroups.com>):

What kind of idiot cites a reference that says he's wrong? Why, a creationist
cretin.

Timberwoof

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 11:48:45 AM6/26/08
to
In article <OMadnRI54Y23Av7V...@giganews.com>,
Louann Miller <loua...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Either that or a dishonest smart person who hopes no one will follow the
reference.

--
Timberwoof <me at timberwoof dot com> http://www.timberwoof.com
"When you post sewage, don't blame others for
emptying chamber pots in your direction." 気hris L.

Stuart

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 11:52:55 AM6/26/08
to

Indeed. Its called the "Bush Administration"

Stuart

richardal...@googlemail.com

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 12:09:54 PM6/26/08
to
On Jun 26, 4:48 pm, Timberwoof <timberwoof.s...@inferNOnoSPAMsoft.com>
wrote:
> In article <OMadnRI54Y23Av7VnZ2dnUVZ_q7in...@giganews.com>,
> Louann Miller <louan...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > johnethompson2...@yahoo.com wrote in news:b5440335-6253-4743-855d-
> > b9fb9d08a...@u6g2000prc.googlegroups.com:

>
> > (re conservapedia and why the moon only shows us one side)
>
> > > The
> > > article was then changed to say that tidal locking had been proposed
> > > as an explanation but had recently been disproven. This was followed
> > > by a link to an astronomy site which explained how tidal locking
> > > works. What kind of an idiot cites a reference that says he's wrong?
>
> > An idiot who doesn't read the reference, or at least doesn't understand it.
>
> Either that or a dishonest smart person who hopes no one will follow the
> reference.

Such a person doesn't need to rely much on hope. Creationists can be
counted on not to follow such links, and even if they do that they
will dogmatically refuse to understand it.

RF

>
> --
> Timberwoof <me at timberwoof dot com>http://www.timberwoof.com
> "When you post sewage, don't blame others for

> emptying chamber pots in your direction." ‹Chris L.


Paul J Gans

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 12:55:16 PM6/26/08
to

Now that you mention that I recall that as well. One came to
the rescue of the other when he was getting beaten up pretty
well around here -- mostly for the same reasons he's still
getting beaten up.

Desertphile

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 1:02:16 PM6/26/08
to

No doubt Lunar recession was also mentioned since that's another
Creationist pet they love to stroke.



> What kind of an idiot cites a reference that says he's wrong?

Creationists do it all the time. A clown in YouTube whom I call "A
Zero" cited a science journal as evidence against a human-chimp
clade even though the paper in question supported and defended a
human-chimp clade--- A Zero later admitted he "just read the
summary" of the article.

--
http://desertphile.org
Desertphile's Desert Soliloquy. WARNING: view with plenty of water
"Why aren't resurrections from the dead noteworthy?" -- Jim Rutz

Matt

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 1:02:15 PM6/26/08
to
On Jun 25, 12:28 pm, Inez <savagemouse...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> On Jun 25, 8:21 am, Robert Carnegie <rja.carne...@excite.com> wrote:
>
> > My favourite detail is a link to Wikipedia's article on "allusion".
> > But no doubt A. Schiafly has one of his own, written by a homeschooled
> > child.
>
> "The islands next to Alaska."

Paul J Gans

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 1:15:06 PM6/26/08
to

If you know you are right, nothing can prove you wrong.

The reference was there probably to give the details of the silly
stupid theory the astronomers were using.

Paul J Gans

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 1:28:17 PM6/26/08
to

It is a curious mindset. I recall that during the heyday of
the Conspiracy Theories of Who Killed JFK, there must have been
hundreds of them, all different.

Not one of their proponents understood that of the 300 or so
theories, all but one *had* to be wrong. They never attacked
each other. All they did was attack the Warren Report.

Same with competing creationist theories. Old earth, new earth,
singular creation, continuous creation, guided design, etc., etc.
There must be a dozen major varients. All but one *must* be wrong.
And that's not proof for the one, either.

Creationists don't seem capable of recognizing this.

Walter Bushell

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 6:40:05 PM6/26/08
to
In article <OMadnRI54Y23Av7V...@giganews.com>,
Louann Miller <loua...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Or doesn't care, thinking the majority, or his people at least won't
check the reference.

--
What is done in the heat of battle is (normatively) judged
by different standards than what is leisurely planned in
comfortable conference rooms.

Walter Bushell

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 6:53:54 PM6/26/08
to
In article
<timberwoof.spam-60...@nnrp-virt.nntp.sonic.net>,
Timberwoof <timberw...@inferNOnoSPAMsoft.com> wrote:

> In article <OMadnRI54Y23Av7V...@giganews.com>,
> Louann Miller <loua...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > johnetho...@yahoo.com wrote in news:b5440335-6253-4743-855d-
> > b9fb9d...@u6g2000prc.googlegroups.com:
> >
> > (re conservapedia and why the moon only shows us one side)
> >
> > > The
> > > article was then changed to say that tidal locking had been proposed
> > > as an explanation but had recently been disproven. This was followed
> > > by a link to an astronomy site which explained how tidal locking
> > > works. What kind of an idiot cites a reference that says he's wrong?
> >
> > An idiot who doesn't read the reference, or at least doesn't understand it.
>
> Either that or a dishonest smart person who hopes no one will follow the
> reference.

It's only his sheep who don't need to check the reference; surely he has
enough influence to keep his flock from believing the opposition.

Bob Casanova

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 7:20:41 PM6/26/08
to
On Thu, 26 Jun 2008 10:02:15 -0700 (PDT), the following
appeared in talk.origins, posted by Matt
<matthew.j...@gmail.com>:

>> > My favourite detail is a link to Wikipedia's article on "allusion".
>> > But no doubt A. Schiafly has one of his own, written by a homeschooled
>> > child.

>> "The islands next to Alaska."

Thanks; I almost nominated this myself, and probably should
have. But Chez Watts are supposed to have the "participants"
anonymized, so I've done that. Also, I'd like to suggest the
category "Literary Geography 101"
--

Bob C.

"Evidence confirming an observation is
evidence that the observation is wrong."
- McNameless

Robert Carnegie

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 8:10:43 PM6/26/08
to

Walter Bushell wrote:
> In article <OMadnRI54Y23Av7V...@giganews.com>,
> Louann Miller <loua...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > johnetho...@yahoo.com wrote in news:b5440335-6253-4743-855d-
> > b9fb9d...@u6g2000prc.googlegroups.com:
> >
> > (re conservapedia and why the moon only shows us one side)
> >
> > > The
> > > article was then changed to say that tidal locking had been proposed
> > > as an explanation but had recently been disproven. This was followed
> > > by a link to an astronomy site which explained how tidal locking
> > > works. What kind of an idiot cites a reference that says he's wrong?
> >
> > An idiot who doesn't read the reference, or at least doesn't understand it.
>
> Or doesn't care, thinking the majority, or his people at least won't
> check the reference.

Or that /they/ won't understand it, merely accepting that it looks
sciencey so it must be right, evenethough it appears to say the
opposite of t!what they were told to believe.

Remember that it's principally Andy Schiafly and a bunch of kids who
don't go to school writing this thing.

Rupert Morrish

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 8:22:11 PM6/26/08
to
Steven J. wrote:

> On Jun 25, 9:10 am, Llanzlan Klazmon <bill.m.tho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Anyone been following the spat between Conservpedia'a Andy Schlafly
>> and Richard Lenski.
>>
>> http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/hubris_gall_arroganceinani...
>>
>> Lenski's: Awesome second reply - reproducing here as I might be proven
>> wrong but doubt Conservapedia have the guts to keep it on their site.
>>
> -- [snip]
> I can't access Conservapedia right now, but last night they had a
> mention of, and link to, Lenksi's answer on their home page, as an
> example of the arrogant attitude that your tax dollars are buying. As
> P.Z. Myers pointed out, Schafly doesn't really understand anything
> about this except that he's not getting what he demands, so he doesn't
> react to the letter the way you'd assume a reasonable person would.

I went to Conservapedia. There doesn't appear to be a response to
Lenski's second reply.

I also checked their stats page. Apparently atheism is now almost as
interesting as homosexuality*. I wonder if it's for the same reason?

http://www.conservapedia.com/Special:Statistics

Most viewed pages

* Atheism (3,859,648)
* Homosexuality (3,129,623)
* Main Page (3,002,472)
* Wikipedia (472,349)
* Homosexual Agenda (336,388)
* Arguments Against Homosexuality (334,303)
* Ex-homosexuals (319,636)
* Examples of Bias in Wikipedia (313,188)
* Theory of evolution (311,399)
* Hillary Rodham Clinton (265,983)


>
> -- Steven J.
>

Ferrous Patella

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 10:06:29 PM6/26/08
to
Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote in
news:8s8864pabr0reetui...@4ax.com:

> Chez Watts are supposed to

Ha Ha!

DuhIdiot

unread,
Jun 26, 2008, 11:03:37 PM6/26/08
to
Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off>, on 26 Jun 2008, in talk.origins, in message
news:8s8864pabr0reetui...@4ax.com decided this was a worthy use
of a keyboard:

> Also, I'd like to suggest the
> category "Literary Geography 101"

Or "Just getting my Berings"?

--
ВВВВВВВВВВВВВВВВВВВВВВВ

No S-P-A-M in my email.
.

Robert Carnegie

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 4:43:22 AM6/27/08
to

Some good jokes* about atheists on that page, maybe. I was gonna say
"But that has atheists coming top" then I noticed they have three or
four homosexuality pages, if you count "Ex-homosexuals". Maybe that
is why they have the multiple pages. We also could suppose that pages
like "Arguments Against Homosexuality" (what, they don't believe it
happens?) were created to avoid the embarrassment to CP of
"Homosexuality" being #1 page. And you get curious about what they
say about Senator Clinton, and Senator Obama. But I don't want to
see. I think frankly it's perverted to be obsessed with that pathetic
group of mutual mythologisers at CP, just as it would be with the
Mickey Mouse Club, for adults. If RationalWiki is more than a once-a-
month thing then /they/ so need to get a life.

*Found at http://www.angelfire.com/ky/nogod/joke.html

Poor little Herbie. Since his birth, poor blind Herbie had never seen
the light of day. One day at bedtime, his mother told him that the
next day would be a very special one. If he prayed extra hard to
Jesus, he'd be able to see when he woke up the next morning.

Eagerly, Herbie crouched down on his knees beside his bed and put his
hands together. For hours, he prayed and prayed to Jesus.

The next morning Herbie's mother came into his room and gently woke
him from his sleep.

"Well Herbie, open your eyes and you'll know that Jesus answered your
prayers."

Little Herbie slowly opened his eyes, only to cry out, "Mother!
Mother! I STILL CAN'T SEE!"

"I know, dear," said his mother. "APRIL FOOL!"

Louann Miller

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 9:49:15 AM6/27/08
to
Desertphile <deser...@invalid-address.net> wrote in
news:doi764tehmj1vv458...@4ax.com:

>> What kind of an idiot cites a reference that says he's wrong?
>
> Creationists do it all the time. A clown in YouTube whom I call "A
> Zero" cited a science journal as evidence against a human-chimp
> clade even though the paper in question supported and defended a
> human-chimp clade--- A Zero later admitted he "just read the
> summary" of the article.
>

Counterexample -- the creationist some months ago who came here saying
that Louis Leakey was one of the Piltdown conspirators. I say
counterexample because when we pointed out that Leakey was nine years old
at the time, which he could check, he DID check and made a frank and
honest apology when he saw he'd been wrong.

Actually, that may have been the last sane/reachable creationist to turn
up here. I can't think of any others since, anyway.

Woland

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 11:08:17 AM6/27/08
to

If I recall they were attacked by a clickbot.

Robert Carnegie

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 11:45:30 AM6/27/08
to

I can't make that out in
http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Conservapedia:Timeline
but maybe it was they who did it?

Woland

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 2:15:36 PM6/27/08
to
> I can't make that out inhttp://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Conservapedia:Timeline

> but maybe it was they who did it?

I think that that was the consensus but I don't remember where I read
it. It was probably somewhere on the interweb though, so it must be
true.

Robert Carnegie

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 6:20:51 PM6/27/08
to

Well, the colloquial Internet, and RationalWiki, seems to think that
CP and its audience just really are fascinated by homosexuality. (Do
they have a page on heterosexuality, or is it difficult to guess...)

Further reading on RW seems to indicate that CP's business plan is
running courses for homeschool students (evidently I am missing the
point of homeschooling here somewhere?) with the CP web site
supporting or hosting course materials?

Bob Casanova

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 6:46:56 PM6/27/08
to
On Fri, 27 Jun 2008 03:03:37 +0000, the following appeared
in talk.origins, posted by DuhIdiot
<jmSasP...@windstream.net>:

>Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off>, on 26 Jun 2008, in talk.origins, in message
>news:8s8864pabr0reetui...@4ax.com decided this was a worthy use
>of a keyboard:
>
>> Also, I'd like to suggest the
>> category "Literary Geography 101"
>
>Or "Just getting my Berings"?

Even better!

Bob Casanova

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 6:49:05 PM6/27/08
to
On Thu, 26 Jun 2008 21:06:29 -0500, the following appeared
in talk.origins, posted by Ferrous Patella
<Ferrous...@comcast.net>:

So Chez Watt nominations have no rules at all? Funny, that's
not how I read it. But you may be right, and next time I'll
add "Cheez Whiz:" in front of the subject...

Ferrous Patella

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 7:26:33 PM6/27/08
to
Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote in
news:rfra645drl75qn5vh...@4ax.com:

> On Thu, 26 Jun 2008 21:06:29 -0500, the following appeared
> in talk.origins, posted by Ferrous Patella
> <Ferrous...@comcast.net>:
>
>>Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote in
>>news:8s8864pabr0reetui...@4ax.com:
>>
>>> Chez Watts are supposed to
>>
>>Ha Ha!
>
> So Chez Watt nominations have no rules at all? Funny, that's
> not how I read it. But you may be right, and next time I'll
> add "Cheez Whiz:" in front of the subject...

"We like think of them not so much as rules but as guidelines."

Desertphile

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 7:33:25 PM6/27/08
to

Philip E. Johnson of "Darwin on Trail" infamy used to participate
in talk.origins also, long ago. He got his ass kicked for claiming
he was an atheist even after he was exposed as a Fundamentalist
Christian--- via quoting his own writings. When a dozen or more
people asked him to define what he meant by "Darwinism," he fled
the newsgroup.

Louann Miller

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 7:38:14 PM6/27/08
to
Desertphile <deser...@invalid-address.net> wrote in
news:qota64l8laj2ts3lm...@4ax.com:

In the "no roads on the Galapagos Islands" category.

Desertphile

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 7:38:54 PM6/27/08
to

ROARING WITH LAUGHTER! Gods. What the bloody hell *IS* it with
Fundamentalist Chrisyians and their passion for homosexuality?!
Surely Teg Haggard and Jim Bakker can't be the only ones viewing
those web pages.... And how does one argue against homosexuality?
That's like arguing against heterosexuality.

John Wilkins

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 7:39:11 PM6/27/08
to
Ferrous Patella <Ferrous...@comcast.net> wrote:

Par-lay?
--
John S. Wilkins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Philosophy
University of Queensland - Blog: scienceblogs.com/evolvingthoughts
"He used... sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor,
bathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. He was vicious."

John Wilkins

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 7:40:29 PM6/27/08
to
Louann Miller <loua...@yahoo.com> wrote:

How many roads must a lawyer walk down, before he can call evolution
false?

Ferrous Patella

unread,
Jun 27, 2008, 10:26:56 PM6/27/08