Creation Scientists [sic] Answer Their Critics My copies of Duane Gish's Creation Scientis

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Creation Scientists [sic] Answer Their Critics Organization: University of Arizona From: (James J. Lippard) Message-ID: <> Newsgroups: My copies of Duane Gish's _Creation Scientists [sic] Answer Their Critics_ and Marvin Lubenow's _Bones of Contention_ have arrived! (And significantly faster than the yet-to-arrive academic press books I ordered much earlier, I might add.) I haven't had a chance to read them yet, but here are chapter headings and some information gleaned from skimming: Duane T. Gish, Ph.D., _Creation Scientists [sic] Answer Their Critics_, 1993, Institute for Creation Research [sic], ISBN 0-932766-28-5. Foreword by Henry Morris "Thus to Gould, man is an accident, and to Asimov, God is a joke! (One cannot avoid wondering if Asimov is still laughing.)" Dedication To his wife, of course. Introduction A one-page description of the good guys of the CRS, BSA, and ICR fighting "a rising tide of evolutionism [sic]." 1 Creation Scientists Challenge the Dogma of Evolution A ten-page history of creationism, _The Genesis Flood_ to present. 2 Evolutionists [sic] Mount a Counterattack A short history of responses to creationism--the American Humanist Association, _The American Biology Teacher_, People for the American Way, and _Creation/Evolution_. (The first mistake jumped out at me: Gish writes on p. 23 that "The journal, _Creation/Evolution_, was founded by and is still edited by Fred Edwords, a philosopher who was then president of the San Diego Humanist Society and is now an Administrator of the American Humanist Association." _Creation/Evolution_ has been owned by the National Center for Science Education and edited by John Cole since the end of 1991. On p. 25, Gish kindly gives _C/E_'s address--but it's the old Amherst, NY address and not the new Berkeley, CA address.) 3 Creation, Evolution, Science, and Religion Addresses the questions of whether creation and/or evolution are scientific. Gish still thinks that natural selection is tautological and that Popper thinks that Darwinian evolution is nonfalsifiable. He doesn't cite the _Creation/Evolution_ article which refutes the latter claim. 4 Scientific Integrity "The attacks by evolutionists [sic] against creation science [sic] and creation scientists [sic], however, have been especially vicious and slanderous. Creation scientists [sic] have been accused of distorting science, quoting out of context, misquoting, and outright lying. These vicious, ad hominem attacks on creation scientists [sic] are actually counterproductive. Many whom they seek to convince by such attacks sense that these tactics reveal the fact the evolutionists [sic], in doing so, are acknowledging that their scientific case is weak and that their attacks on the personal integrity of the creation scientists [sic] constitute a smoke screen behind which they seek to conceal the fallacies and weaknesses in evolution theory." Gish does appear to document some unwarranted charges made against creationists in this chapter. Gish replies to the "bullfrog proteins" criticism in this chapter. (Robert Schadewald wrote a _Creation/Evolution_ article about this issue around 1985, and Philip Kitcher used it in his 1985 Univ. of Minnesota debate with Gish. Many people, including creationists associated with Students for Origins Research (now the Access Research Network) tried unsuccessfully to get Gish to respond to the charges.) Gish does not cite Schadewald's article, but does refer to him (as "a virulent anti-creationist," which I do not believe is an apt description for someone on friendly terms with many creationists). Regarding the bombardier beetle, Gish cites Weber's initial _C/E_ critique and creationist Robert Kofahl's response to Weber, but fails to make any mention of Weber's reply to Kofahl (which appeared in the same issue as Kofahl's article). 5 Attack and Counterattack: The Fossil Record A lot of emphasis on the Cambrian explosion. Attacks the horse series. Endorses Protoavis as a bird. Ends with comments on a dispute between Gould and E.O. Wilson centering around Gould's Marxism. 6 Attack and Counterattack: The Science of Thermodynamics Discusses John W. Patterson's criticisms and Ilya Prigogine. Has a lot of coverage of Patterson's criticisms of Robert Boylan, his own dean at Iowa State, for his creationism and 2nd law arguments. No mention of Edward Max's 2nd law challenge to Gish, which Gish accepted in 1989 but hasn't come through on. (Unless he does in this chapter--I haven't read it closely enough to tell.) 7 Kitcher Abuses Science A reply to parts of Kitcher's book. 8 Eldredge and His Monkey Business A reply to parts of Eldredge's book. 9 Science Confronts Evolutionists [sic] A reply to parts of Laurie Godfrey's anthology. 10 Out of Their Own Mouths A bunch of quotes from evolutionary scientists. Appendix I A pair of _Impact_ articles on thermodynamics reprinted (one by Henry Morris, one by Gish). Appendix II Correspondence involving Patterson's criticisms of Boylan, and Boylan's _Creation Research Society Quarterly_ article on thermodynamics. I'll leave the summary of the Lubenow book to another time. ====================================================================== From: James J. Lippard To: All Msg #121, Jun-15-93 10:16AM Subject: Gish and polar bear adaptations Organization: University of Arizona From: (James J. Lippard) Message-ID: <> Newsgroups: I've begun reading Gish's _Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics_, and I recommend it for some of its critiques of anti-creationist arguments and debate presentations. It looks like Gish has genuinely found some cases of misquotation and misrepresentation by opponents of creationism. But this could have been a much, much better book if Gish had done a few things differently. First, he should have carefully gone through every issue of _Creation/Evolution_ and taken into consideration the arguments in that journal with respect to the topics he addresses in his book. In at least one case (the bombardier beetle), his failure to cite Weber's reply to Kofahl even though he cites Kofahl looks like a sin of omission. Second, he should have made sure his information was up-to-date. Apparently he was circulating drafts of chapters back in 1989, but he never bothered to update them with more recent information, such as the change of address, ownership, and editorship of _Creation/Evolution_. (He also, as a result, mistakenly says that John Cole is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of North Iowa, a position Cole hasn't held for nearly a decade. (He left that position to be the executive director of CSICOP, then to work for the AHA, and then to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he is now.) Third, Gish completely ignores the most exhaustive critique of creationism, Arthur N. Strahler's _Science and Earth History_ (1987, Prometheus Books). He should have addressed it. Fourth, he should have refrained from ad hominem, especially since he rails against its use by opponents of creationism. I've barely begun reading the book and I've already lost count of the number of "virulent anti-creationists" and "bitter opponents of creationism" he's labeled. Finally, Gish periodically makes some of the same old, terrible arguments that he is so well-known for. Here is an example, from pp. 54-55: The white coat color of the polar bear cannot be adaptive, however, since he has no predator. The white coat color thus cannot provide him any selective value, since failure to detect him against the snowy terrain cannot protect him against a non-existent predator. I suspect a third-grader could spot the error in this reasoning. Jim Lippard Lippard@CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU Dept. of Philosophy Lippard@ARIZVMS.BITNET University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721 =================================================================== Dan Ford, who can read but can't post to, sent me this, which he has given me permission to post: Date: 16 Jun 1993 09:38:10 -0400 (EDT) From: Dan Ford Subject: Polar bears and 3rd graders To: lippard@CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU Cc: Message-id: <> X-Envelope-to: lippard Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT Mailer: Elm [revision: 64.9] [...] I went home last night and asked my 7 year old son, Daniel, who is in the 1st grade, the following question (no coaching, just out of the blue): Me: Why do Polar bears have white coats? Daniel: So they can hide in the snow Me: Why do they need to hide? They don't have any enemies. Daniel: So they can sneak up on their prey. Don't be silly daddy, ask me a harder question. (he loves to be asked questions he knows the answers to). Now I tend to be your average biased parent who thinks his child is particularly intellectually gifted. But I suspect he's got a ways to go before any universities will be confering him Ph.D.'s in biochemistry (which I believe is the degree held by Duane Gish). I find it difficult to come up with charitable explanations as to how Gish justifies the inclusion of such an argument in his book. As you stated, your average third-grader will spot the error in his reasoning right away, and most first graders will too. BTW, I can read, but I cannot post to it. If you wish to use this anecdote in any of your posts, you have my permission to do so. Cheers, Dan Jim Lippard Lippard@CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU Dept. of Philosophy Lippard@ARIZVMS.BITNET University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721 ======================================================================== From: Tim Ikeda To: All Msg #219, Jun-16-93 10:27AM Subject: Lysozyme/lactalbumin evol. - refs/abstracts (LONG) Organization: /etc/organization From: ( Tim Ikeda) Message-ID: <1vnomi$> Newsgroups: Here are some references that might be pertinent to the topic of Gish's misrepresentation of the lysozyme evolutionary tree. I yanked these abstracts out of MEDLINE (post-1985) but I don't have the time to find the journal articles. Nitta K; Sugai S. The evolution of lysozyme and alpha-lactalbumin. European Journal of Biochemistry, 1989 Jun 1, 182(1):111-8. (UI: 89276372) Abstract: From the analysis of phylogenetic trees constructed from the amino acid sequences and metal-binding properties of various lysozymes c and alpha-lactalbumins, it was found that before the divergence of the lineages of birds and mammals, calcium-binding lysozyme diverged from non-calcium-binding lysozyme. alpha-Lactalbumin evolved from the calcium-binding lysozyme along the mammalian lineage after the divergence of birds and mammals. Rapid evolution took place, not in the process of acquisition of the activity of alpha-lactalbumin, but after the loss of lysozyme activity, due to the change in the distribution of selective pressure on each amino acid site. A general process for the change in function of a protein during evolution is suggested to be as follows: after duplication of the gene, one of their protein products acquires a new function, besides that already present; the old function is eventually lost. Prager EM; Wilson AC. Ancient origin of lactalbumin from lysozyme: analysis of DNA and amino acid sequences. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 1988, 27(4):326-35. (UI: 89125642) Abstract: Parsimony trees relating DNA sequences coding for lysozymes c and alpha-lactalbumins suggest that the gene duplication that allowed lactalbumin to evolve from lysozyme preceded the divergence of mammals and birds. Comparisons of the amino acid sequences of additional lysozymes and lactalbumins are consistent with this view. When all base positions are considered, the probability that the duplication leading to the lactalbumin gene occurred after the start of mammalian evolution is estimated to be 0.05-0.10. Elimination of the phylogenetic noise generated by fast evolution and compositional bias at third positions of codons reduced this probability to 0.002-0.03. Thus the gene duplication may have long preceded the acquisition of lactalbumin function. Dautigny A; Prager EM; Pham-Dinh D; Jolles J; Pakdel F; Grinde B; Jolles P. cDNA and amino acid sequences of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) lysozymes and their implications for the evolution of lysozyme and lactalbumin. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 1991 Feb, 32(2):187-98. (UI: 91178823) Abstract: The complete 129-amino-acid sequences of two rainbow trout lysozymes (I and II) isolated from kidney were established using protein chemistry microtechniques. [...] Evolutionary trees relating DNA sequences coding for lysozymes c and alpha-lactalbumins provide evidence that the gene duplication giving rise to conventional vertebrate lysozymes c and to lactalbumin preceded the divergence of fishes and tetrapods about 400 Myr ago. Evolutionary analysis also suggests that amino acid replacements may accumulated more slowly on the lineage leading to fish lysozyme than on those leading to mammal and bird lysozymes. FWIW Regards, Tim Ikeda ===================================================================== From: James Davis Nicoll To: All Msg #225, Jun-16-93 11:03AM Subject: Re: Gish and polar bear adaptations Organization: University of Western Ontario, London From: (James Davis Nicoll) Message-ID: <> Newsgroups: The really neat thing about polar bear colouration is that the black nose is useful: to seals, it looks like a seal-sized object far away, rather than a polar-bear-nose sized object a few meters away. I think Lopez mentions this in 'Arctic Dreams'. James Nicoll ================================================================== Two data points: Trevyn, age 8, grade 3, was able to tell me that the polar bear needs to be white to hide from seals. Nicky, age 6, grade 1, thought the white was for camouflage "from his enemies". (He thought that whales ate polar bears). Ergo, Gish's maximum mental age is between 6 and 8. QED. ;-) -- Steve Watson a.k.a. === Carleton University, Ontario =============================================================== From: Daniel A Ashlock To: All Msg #136, Jun-22-93 06:48AM Subject: Re: Gish and the bullfrog Organization: Iowa State University From: danwell@IASTATE.EDU (Daniel A Ashlock) Message-ID: <> Reply-To: Newsgroups: [SWF: posted for me by Dan]. In article <1vlor5$>, (Loren I. Petrich) writes: |> |> About the lysozyme (an enzyme for attacking bacteria) and the |> lactalbumin (a milk protein) proteins: |> |> What Gish had difficulty with was this family tree: |> |> /----------Human lactalbumin |> / |> + |> \ /------Human lysozyme |> \--+ |> \------Chicken lysozyme |> |> which would seem to conflict with a simple family-tree model. |> BUT, lactalbumin and lysozyme do _not_ have the same function, and |> the two proteins may have become separate as a result of a gene |> duplication. From this family tree, it would seem that this gene |> duplication happened before the human-chicken divergence. More |> precisely, this divergence was that between the mammal-like reptiles |> and the other reptiles (>birds). Naturally. When I read that "Dr." Gish has said that my jaw almost dropped off. This sort of thing is so common place it is hard to comprehend how anyone could emit that sort of gibberish in the first place. In fact, if birds had lactalbumin (which I suppose is unlikely, since they do not produce milk) I would expect the following tree: /------Human lactalbumin /--+ / \------Chicken lactalbumin + \ /------Human lysozyme \--+ \------Chicken lysozyme Such trees *have* been found for other gene duplications [Check out some of the hemoglobin sequences, for instance]. Really, this sort of thing proves that Gish is either abysmally ignorant, or a deliberate liar. I suppose out of Christian charity I should assume the former. (formerly tdatirv!sarima) or The peace of God be with you.


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