Who’s that trotting over my bridge?

Feb 26 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Alas, my time here at Scientopia is running out and the time for a new guest blogger draws nigh. I've written far less than I had hoped, but hopefully you have enjoyed at least some of what I have written. Part of the reason for the paucity of posts was that I became somewhat side-tracked by moderating and responding to comments from proponents of a version of Intelligent Design, who had picked up on the mention of Darwin in my first post and started trolling.

Don't feed the troll

Many other science bloggers have been bothered by the now infamous John A. Davison (and his trusty sidekick VMartin) and John usually ends up being banned. He thinks it's because his dazzling insights are too much for entrenched 'Darwinians', but I think it has more to do with his modus operandiPZ Myers has provided his reasons for banning John here.

Fortunately I am not in the same position as PZ Myers when it comes to visitor figures, so I don't need to worry so much about huge volumes of nonsense being posted in my comments sections. It means I can afford to be a bit more tolerant of cranks and kooks that inhabit the internet. My grounds for banning relate to behaviour towards other commentators - I am a supporter of free speech, so I didn't want to ban John on the grounds of his content, but I did come close to barring him for his lack of respect for the privacy of others.

Unfortunately, due to my time limitations I never really got to address John and VMartin's points in any detail, which is something that I find a little irksome, since their points are very clearly spurious. I know that I won't change their minds, but I hate to give the impression that I am unable to see the flaws in what they say. But of course, that's how trolls work, they make inflammatory statements that take time to refute (often such statements are copy-pasted to save their own time - for example, compare John's comments from 2011 with his comments from 2007), they then ignore or fail to engage with the response. The best bet is to simply not bother trying - don't feed the troll.

When I first started blogging one of my earliest posts was about Creationist trolls and their comments and from the inevitable response to that I wrote myself a list to remind myself of the rules of engagement adopted by Creationists. Good old Johnny-boy doesn't fall into the Biblical Literalism camp, but many of the rules still apply to him and his buddy VMartin. The differences (where they occur) tend to relate to interpretations of evidence, so the rules of engagement that John uses includes use of logically fallacious arguments, cherry-picking and misrepresentation of results. As one of my very good friends texted to me:

"While eloquence and clarity of expression are not the same as absolute coherence, and an ubercrank does not represent a whole community, it's notable that your ID posters adopt the same, shall we say, idiosyncratic rhetorical style as the pro-homeo crew"

Which I consider to be an astute observation. Homeopathy and Davison's Evolutionary Manifesto both rely heavily on references that are old and have been written without an insight into new methodological or conceptual developments in the fields that they oppose (for homeopaths there's Hahnemann, for Davison there's Leo S. Berg and Robert Broom). They rely on unsupported assumptions (homeopaths rely on the action of a 'vital force' - whereas Davison relies on theistic input). They rely on critique of other theories, rather than finding robust support for their own - and that critique is often based on logical fallacy. Their own research is also usually of low standard and is published in a low impact journal (CAM studies with positive outcomes are more likely to be published in low or no impact journals and Davison only seems to publish in Rivista di Biologica).

One of the most frustrating aspects of Davison and VMartin's comments is that they repeatedly assert in pejorative terms that there is no evidence for Natural Selection and there is no active research being conducted in the field of evolutionary biology, which is grossly misleading - some great examples of good studies (in a very good journal) can be found here (as a pdf).

I realise that this post is likely to be seen as an ad hominem attack by John A. Davison and VMartin and I'm sure that they will duly comment that I haven't addressed any of their questions. However, this post is not a response to their comments, it is an observation on the activities of trolls. After all, they came to my blog and started making off-topic comments. I think it is pointless to address the 'Gish Gallop' that John employs, since I am certain the outcome would be rather like the parody 'John A. Davison orders a pizza' from 2005. I find myself in total agreement with a post on The Bad Idea Blog, back in 2007:

"I’m generally not one for poisoning the well. I could try to go into some of Davison’s actual arguments against evolution (though that would be hampered by the fact that his writing style and lack of coherent organization is very very hard to make sense of what he’s even claiming). Normally I would. But if you spend any time reading through his “posts” (i.e. the comments), or catching sightings of his rambling comments at the Expelled! blog and elsewhere, I think you’ll come to the conclusion that going with the  “crackpot” label and leaving it at that is perfectly forgivable"

This sums up why I'm not going to get involved - it's a waste of time that could be spent with my wife and friends, or maybe writing something that will actually be appreciated. On that note, I hope you have enjoyed some of my ramblings here and I also hope you might visit Zygoma in the future. Thanks for having me!

132 responses so far

  • VMartin says:

    This post is nothing else as ad hominem attacks and I would not be surpirised if John Davison took some legal steps. As for me I am surprised that Scientopia tolerates unsubstantial posts with such a poor philosophical insights and logic.

    The only things I can therefore comment on is the previous post witten by Paolo where he and his darwinian supporter Ian presented at least some ad res arguments, hovewer inconsistent they have turned out to be.

    The first Paolo post is here:

    http://scientopia.org/blogs/guestblog/2011/02/19/evolving-ideas-and-intelligent-design/

    1. Paolo presented a picture of burning heretics from Middle ages suggesting the background why natural selection - the key concept of neodarwinian teaching - had to wait until 1859 when Darwin took "courage" and published his opus "On the origin of species". It needs no comment.

    2. Paolo presented a picture of Ensatina salamander "ring species" . It would be fine if darwinists themselves agreed in the case.

    However, when these and other potential 'ring species' like the Ensatina salamanders of western North America were studied in detail (Wake, 1997; Kvist et al, 2003; Liebers et al, 2004), the allopatric divergence model seemed to explain the genetic data better than the ring species model did.

    http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v95/n2/full/6800679a.html

    But it doesn't matter, because Paolo's "salamanders ring species" hybridise.

    3. Paolo wrote about another ring species of greenish warble:

    "The Greenish Warbler shows a distinct pattern of hybridising subspecies across their vast range, until they form reproductively isolated species at the extreme ends of their range, where they happen to overlap yet not hybridise (a classic ring species [pdf of Greenish Warbler paper])."

    So far no one has proved they cannot produce viable offsprigs. They just probably do not mate. Sometimes - however scarcerly it occurs - the north "isolated species" react on singing of each other as the picture and words in this paper testify - notice also , that the author is more prudent as Paolo is :

    The songs of the putatively reproductively isolated forms (viridanus in the west and plumbeitarsus in the east) differ discontinuously in central
    Siberia.

    http://www.zoology.ubc.ca/~irwin/PDFs/IrwinBensch%26Price2001.pdf

    One should try to mate viridanus and plumbeitarsus and not self-confidently claim that they are "reproductively isolated". If they do not mate today , they maybe will mate tomorrow. From my part of Europe (where greenish warbles are also known btw.) for instance hybridise avian species Corvus cornix and Corvus corone

    4. Ian, Paolo's supporter, introduced ( as I assume "peer-reviewed") paper on poisonous frogs an their putative apposematism:

    http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/5/1/51.full

    In the paper numbers don't agree: 60 + 30 + 29 = 119 and not 139.

    The "aposematic" frog is dorsaly yellow, but the experiment was performed with greenish clay models instead resting on leaf litter (and so they must have be cryptic).

    ----

    The only curious thing is, that it is me and John who is accused by Paolo of "logical fallacy".

    • paolo says:

      Actually VMartin, my first post - the one that you initially started trolling - was here: http://paolov.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/greetings-scientopians-and-happy-birthday-charles-darwin/

      If you read it you will notice that it says nothing about the topic you raised, it is three sentences long and the only content that can have triggered the interest of yourself and John is the bit that says 'My first post is just a brief introduction and a belated ‘Happy two hundred and second Birthday’ to Charles Darwin for yesterday...'

      The barrage of activity that followed was entirely stimulated by extraneous (and frankly silly) comments from yourself and John. What you did was to troll.

      As to the content of your subsequent comments, I think it is fair for me to say that yours are of a far higher quality than John's. If you can avoid barraging me with additional comments I will do you the courtesy of researching and responding to those comments that are reasonable. But as I am sure you will appreciate, I am a busy person with other obligations that come before responding to unsolicited comments on my blog.

      John on the other hand has not been making high quality comments and I cannot be bothered engaging with him, because I genuinely believe that it is a waste of time. He has been saying the same things for years ad nauseum and I simply don't see the point of arguing with him.

      The basic fact that I was trying to get across here is that trolling is not an acceptable way of engaging people in discussion. If I was interested in arguing with yourself and John I would go to your respective blogs and address the issues that you raise there, but it is bad form to invade other people's space and start demanding attention.

      • VMartin says:

        Again your evergreen about "invading" your darwinian niche? It sounds so dramatically. Like D Day.

        • paolo says:

          I have no problem with your challenge to 'Darwinism' as you insist on pejoratively referring to current evolutionary theory - it's good to test theories. If you can demonstrate that a different theory is more robust then I would be happy to acknowledge it - but the comments section of someone else's blog is not the place to do it. If the evidence is there, why is it not being published in Nature or Science?

          What I have a problem with is the fact that you view comments sections as an appropriate arena for your personal agenda (as demonstrated by John's comments below). If the evidence is there to back up John's hypothesis he should be publishing it in journals rather than pasting chunks of text on blogs.

          I don't know of any scientists in any field who have behaved in a similar way in order to get their work taken seriously. If Einstein had gone door-to-door with pamphlets about Special Relativity I rather doubt he would have been taken seriously. John is doing the electronic equivalent of just that (although he's more like a Born Again Christian turning up with a Bible).

          I hope you realise by now that what your doing is called 'trolling' and it is frowned upon as being bad netiquette (I've said it often enough and so have many others). It immediately puts people in a position where they will be less inclined to engage with you and it furthers your agenda not one jot - unless your real interest lies in wasting people's time and making them irritable.

  • VMartin says:

    P.S.

    It would be correct, if Scientopia gave the same opportunity on the Guest blog to John Davison (or me) to defend against Paolo's slanders.

  • Thank you Martin.

    Trash like pseudonymous, lower case paolo always end up exposing themselves with their own words and deeds just like Bob O'Hara, Mark Chu-Carroll, Paul Zachary Myers, Wesley Royce Elsberry, Clinton Richard Dawkins and many others have already done long before paolo and for the same reasons - FEAR of the Truth which is that their cherished beliefs are pure fantasy.

    "Birds of a feather flock together."
    Cervantes

    We aren't trotting over paolo's bridge. We are wading through paolo's cesspool and the stench is overpowering.

    "Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social envionment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions."
    Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, page 28

    P.S. There is no place for logic in science and never has been.

    "An hypothesis does not cease to be an hypothesis when a lot of people believe it."
    Boris Ephrussi

    "Hypotheses have to be reasonable, facts don't."
    anonymous

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • KateKatV says:

      This is funny. You say you are wading through a cesspool but nobody is making you. If you don't like the smell you can simply remove yourself from the source.

  • paola

    There is plenty of evidence for natural selection. It PREVENTS evolution exactly as Leo Berg and others before and after him claimed long ago. Darwinians, like yourself, continue to do what Darwinians have always done. You pretend that you have already found the mechanism for organic evolution. You have done no such thing.

    The persistence of the Darwinian hoax is the biggest scandal in the history of experimental and descriptive science.

    "Science commits suicide when she adopts a creed,"
    Thomas Henry Huxley

    Slow perhaps but as certain as night follows day!

    jadavison.wordpress.com

  • Excuse me. That should be paolo.

  • VMartin says:

    I am also wondering why darwinists do not perform simple test of "reproductive isolation" - artificial insemination. It would be utmost intersting to know whether those ring salamanders or warbles are really "reproductive isolated" or can produce viable offsprings. I am afraid that the concept of "reproductive isolation" must be taken with great precaution, unless such experiments are performed.

    Such questions are probably very unplesant for supporters of "ring species" hypothesis.

    John Davison repeatedly claimed, that Darwinists are afraid of testing their hypothesis. This one seems to be such case.

    And why Darwinists in peer reviewed journals use instead yellow aposematics some greenish models is beyond any comprehension imho. Maybe Paolo's supporter Ian, who introduced the research, could answer, but he probably has flown the coop as well.

  • Darwinians are terrified of doing an experiment. The most prominent Darwinians still extant, Myers, Dawkins, Ayala, Provine, Elsberry, Hitchens and all the extinct ones , Mayr, Gould, etc.etc, were all cut from the same cloth. Not one of them ever did a single experiment designed to test their precious natural selection. Their science, if you can call it that, began and ended with a dogma which was misunderstood from the onset. If they had experimented, they would have failed because evolution is not now and never was an experimental science. One exception, Theodosius Dobzhansky, the only Darwinian that actually tested selection (with Drosophila), failed, admitted he failed, but remained a Darwinian neverthless, one of the great mysteries of biological science.

    Otto Schindewolf stated the facts -

    "Many recent authors have spoken of EXPERIMENTAL EVOLUTION; there is NO SUCH THING. Evolution, a unique, historical course of events that took place in the past, is not repeatable experimentally and cannot be investigated in that way."
    Basic Questions in Paleontology, page 311, words in caps originally in italics.

    You may now resume insulting Martin and myself and don't forget to insult Otto Schindewolf as well, the greatest paleontologist of the twentieth century.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      John, I have not been trying to insult you, I have merely been critical of your claims and your antagonistic attitude. Holding a contradictory opinion and offering an argument for why I think your opinion and method of argument is flawed isn't the same thing as being insulting.

      As to Otto Schindewolf, the statement he makes is only true inasmuch as the evolutionary history of a given form is not experimentally testable, since the process isn't repeatable - although it can be observed by looking at fossils from well represented sequences - like the Ocean Drilling Program Site 926 on the Ceara Rise. However, evolution can be experimentally tested with long term studies on test populations - it just takes time.

  • Well Martin, it looks like paolo, whoever that is, has retired from the contest so I see no reason why I should continue here. Let me know where you might be commenting elsewhere so we can join forces once again by exposing the most enduring hoax in the history of human communication.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

  • Let this thread prove beyond all doubt that Scientopia is no better than Pharyngula, Panda's Thumb, After The Bar Closes, EvC, richarddawkins.net and every other so-called forum dedicated to the preservation of Charles Robert Darwin's childish fantasy. They have all placed ideology before science in a desperate but fatal attempt to preserve the most failed notion in the history of human communication. Darwinism has already joined the Phlogiston of Chemistry as having no explanatory merit whatsoever.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      I saw this and thought of you.

      • VMartin says:

        And now realise that "open-minded man Blake Richman" would read your blog Zygoma.

        • paolo says:

          Perhaps he would and perhaps he wouldn't bother reading it a second time - that would be his choice. If however he had a blog of his own, he would have to deal with trolls every time they reared their ugly heads. The only option would be to ban them or wait until they got bored and went away. Trying to engage with them means they keep coming back over and over again, wasting more time with their bull, as John has kindly demonstrated.

    • paolo says:

      Hi Nancy,

      sorry I found your comment in the 'spam' folder - I have no idea why...

      Here's what Charles Darwin had to say about homeopathy (letter to Fox, 4th Sept 1850):

      "You speak about Homœopathy; which is a subject which makes me more wrath, even than does Clair-voyance: clairvoyance so transcends belief, that one’s ordinary faculties are put out of question, but in Homœopathy common sense & common observation come into play, & both these must go to the Dogs, if the infinetesimal doses have any effect whatever. How true is a remark I saw the other day by Quetelet, in respect to evidence of curative processes, viz that no one knows in disease what is the simple result of nothing being done, as a standard with which to compare Homœopathy & all other such things."

      He thought it was nonsense.

      It's great to have you here Nancy - if I can just get David Mabus here we will have a legendary troll party going on!

  • I have my own blog and I welcome others to trash me on my turf, The only ones who have were pseudonymous "Woot" and "PZPolice" and their garbage remains for all to enjoy. Lower case pseudonymous poalo is also welcome to do the same. I am betting he won't for the same reason that the Myers/Dawkins/Elsberry "Axis of Evil" won't. They know that if they do, they will be committing intellectual suicide. That is why they send their servants to represent their pathetic doctrine, the most ridiculous proposition ever to find the printed page. If poalo really believed what he has to say about us here, he would be delighted to spread his message everywhere else to include my blog. Why hasn't he? I will tell you why. Because he has hunkered down here at Scientopia, one of the last surviving remnants of the Darwinian hoax, to rely on the strength of numbers to survive. The more unified the Darwinians become, the more their numbers increase (and they do), the more glorious will be our celebration of their mass suicide which is a certainty and could occur at any moment now.

    "Science commits suicide when she adopts a creed."
    Thomas Henry Huxley

    It doesn't get any better than this. It can't!

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      Yes that's right, I've 'hunkered down here at Scientopia' - for two whole weeks, as a guest!

      Learn to fact check John.

      By the way, you've really managed to hone the skill of making manic declarations - the 'celebration of their mass suicide' bit is perhaps a little rabid, but it reaches a quite breathtaking crescendo - I'm very impressed!

      It doesn’t get any better than this. It can’t!

      I love it so!

      &tc...

  • Why doesn't poalo go over to Pharyngula or Panda's Thumb to trash Martin and myself? I will tell you why. Because Paul Zachary Myers and Wesley Royce Elsberry won't let our names be mentioned there any more. They are both scared fecesless of our message. So is Clinton Richard Dawkins. All you Darwinians are the same. Rather than abandon your mindless philosophy, you band together in the mistaken notion that huge numbers will protect you from yourselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is your solidarity that is your death warrant. It always was. Your stays of execution have finally been exhausted. It is time for "old sparky" to put you out of your masochistic misery.

    Snap, crackle, pop, as the stench of burning atheist flesh permeates the atmosphere of evolutionary science finally to extinguish the most persistent, the most infantile, the most perfectly failed proposition ever to pollute the clear air of honest human communication.

    It doesn't get any better than this. I keep saying it can't, but it does, it does!

    It is hard to believe isn't it? Not at all. It is now a matter of record, preserved for posterity here at Scientopia, just one more Alamo of Darwinian mysticism.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    "A doctrine which is unable to maintain itself in clear light, but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind with uncalculable harm to human progress."
    Albert Einstein

    • paolo says:

      "Snap, crackle, pop, as the stench of burning atheist flesh permeates the atmosphere of evolutionary science finally to extinguish the most persistent, the most infantile, the most perfectly failed proposition ever to pollute the clear air of honest human communication."

      And to think that VMartin was suggesting that my use of an illustration of heretics being burned was inappropriate. It appears that he doesn't know quite what's on your mind...

      Thanks for confirming what I had suspected about your agenda John - glad to see you're a troll for God.

      I love it so!

    • Dalius Balciunas says:

      John,

      I would like to ask you just one question. Do you consider the possibility that The Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis may be "the most persistent, the most infantile, the most perfectly failed proposition ever to pollute the clear air of honest human communication"?

  • Jim Thomerson says:

    The important question about reproductive isolation is, "What happens when the two populations occur together in nature?" They may have strong premating isolation mechanisms. If so, there is no selection for postmating isolating mechanisms, and they may be there or not. The late Clark Hubbs did a number of hybridization experiments by stripping eggs and sperm from various fish species. I think he was trying to use degree of success as a measure of relatedness. His method measured only postmating isolation.

    My first hybridization experiments involved two sister fish species. In the aquarium, a mixed species pair would lay fertilized eggs which would grow up to fertile individuals. I did F2's and backcrosses as well. My goal was to have comparative material to allow me to identify hybrids in nature. People studying these two species are now using comparative DNA studies to identify individuals.

    My second hybidization experiments were involved in figuring out if I was seeing two ecophenotypes of a single species, or did I have a new species to describe. Both species would breed like gangbusters in my aquariums, but pairs of the two different species simply ignored each other. We later found their breeding behavior in nature to be quite different.

    There are populations of a robust Rivulus species along the Caribbean coast of Venezuela, Isla Margarita, and Trinidad Tobago. Is it one species or two or more?

    I set up aquariums with pairs of Rivulus, using individuals from both ends of its coastal range in Venezuela, fish from Isla Margarita, and Trinidad. There were some color pattern differences which made me wonder if I had at least two species. I did all combinations of pairs from different localities and control pairs from the same locality. I found consistently more eggs and more viable fry from mixed locality pairs than from the control pairs. I concluded that it was a single species and went on to work on something else.

    • VMartin says:

      This is exactly the experiments I've missed by "ring species". There are also field observations when once "reproductively isolated species" collapses or merges.

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2005.02794.x/full

      • paolo says:

        But did you actually get the point that Jim so cogently communicated?

        Reproductive isolation can be caused by pre and/or post mating mechanisms. Hybridization experiments may reflect that post mating mechanisms do not result in reproductive isolation, but they miss the issue of pre mating isolation mechanisms. If pre mating isolation occurs, what opportunity is there for reproduction even if post mating mechanisms are not (yet) in place?

        It's rather akin to your argument that 'stressed caged birds' don't give an accurate representation of what actually occurs in nature. If species don't interbreed because they have behavioural isolation mechanisms, surely that means that they are reproductively isolated? Yes, I appreciate that this may be a reversible condition, but even post reproductive isolation mechanisms occasionally break down and allow production of fertile offspring - this is well recognised in mules.

  • Dalius Balcinus, a pseudonym I presume.

    Ordinarily I do not respond to those who must hide their identity, but since you asked me a question for a change instead of insulting me, I will answer your question.

    Yes, I consider that our hypothesis might prove to be wrong and have said so. Where can I find a Darwinian who will say that Darwinism has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with either speciation or any other aspect of phylogenesis? That is our position and will remain so no matter whether the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis survives or not.

    As you know, we claim that neither speciation nor any other aspect of organic evolution is any longer in progress. So I now challenge you, or any other person participating here, to name a single higher species that can be proven to have arisen from a known ancestral species in historical times. That proof must include the mechanism by which such an event took place. And please don't waste your time trying to convince this investigator that evolution was ever gradual because that has never been true. Gradualism is just one more myth, like natural selection, both fatal to the Darwinian model.

    Furthermore, in my opinion, while adaptations can be reversible, I see no evidence that any evolutionary advance has ever been reversed. No mammal ever gave rise to a reptile, no reptile to an amphibian and no amphibian to a fish, etc, etc. Accordingly, I have drawn the only conclusion that can possibly be drawn - evolution WAS planned from beginning to end and the end WAS some time ago. There was never a role for chance in either ontogeny or phylogeny.

    In short -

    "A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable."
    John A. Davison

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • Dalius Balciunas says:

      Thanks again, John. I think I understand your position. However, your phrase "There was never a role for chance" sounds a bit confusing to me. I suggest you should talk with physicists about random phenomena.

      Good luck!

  • paolo says:

    "So I now challenge you, or any other person participating here, to name a single higher species that can be proven to have arisen from a known ancestral species in historical times. That proof must include the mechanism by which such an event took place. And please don’t waste your time trying to convince this investigator that evolution was ever gradual because that has never been true."

    Hilarious! Let me just check on your conditions here:

    1. it has to be a 'higher species' - is that because they have long generation times and a good ability to disperse and therefore are less prone to reproductive isolation? What's wrong with using Fruitflies or Mosquitos? Oh yes, I see what's wrong with them - they provide evidence against your position.

    2. not only do you want an example, but you want proof of the mechanism? That's a lot of proof to be demanding, particularly when biological systems are so complex. Why do I feel that this requirement has moving goalposts associated with it? I imagine responses like "Yes the Drosophila became reproductively isolated after separation and generations of being fed on different substrates, but that doesn't show how reproductive isolation occurred, so I will dismiss your evidence".

    3. your statement of certainty about gradual evolution is right about one thing - it would be a waste of time trying to convince you that it occurs. However, you don't have any evidence that evolution cannot take place gradually (notice my phrasing - I am not suggesting that it always takes place gradually, so evidence that suggests evolution follows a punctuated model isn't evidence against the gradualistic model in different settings, given that evolutionary rate and pattern will be context dependent). You can make a priori declarations of disbelief as much as you like, you can also set unreasonable conditions, but the simple fact is that you are the one who needs to be providing good evidence for your hypothesis - even if modern evolutionary theory is wrong (and it certainly will be in parts, as all theories tend to be) that error is on no way support for your proposed alternative.

  • paolo says:

    Here's a challenge for you John, prove this statement: "neither speciation nor any other aspect of organic evolution is any longer in progress"

    By 'prove' I don't mean disagree with, I don't mean rant and rave about 'Darwinians' and their failings, I don't mean use logical fallacies to support your opinion. I mean prove with properly conducted experiments, published in peer review journals - Nature or Science would be appropriate given the magnitude of the paradigm shift your proof will lead to. In other words John, I want you to use science to support your proposition. You expect it from others, so why should you be allowed to get away without using it?

    • VMartin says:

      There is boolean logic and paolodarwinian logic (or paolodarwinian paradigm shift). The paolodarwinian logic is binary and quite simple - "natural selection" is TRUE, it's negation is FALSE .

      • paolo says:

        VMArtin - are you trying to suggest that I am relying on the logical fallacy of a false dichotomy?

        I make no claim that modern evolutionary theory (or 'Darwinism' as you would have it) would be in any way supported by John's inability to provide evidence for his claims - clearly it would not, since other possible hypotheses could be invoked.

        Of course, the converse is also true - even if no evidence existed in support of modern evolutionary theory (which is entirely hypothetical, since such evidence does exist), John's hypothesis would not be supported.

        Evidence is a two-edged sword - if John keeps asking for it (with all his provisos and escape clauses to wriggle away from any evidence that he doesn't like), then he should also be willing to provide it in support of his position, otherwise he is nothing less than a hypocrite.

  • Alan Fox says:

    ...otherwise he is nothing less than a hypocrite.

    Unfortunately, Professor Davison demonstrates time and again that he is nothing more than a hypocrite. Mind you he is 82, you know!

  • KateKatV says:

    There really is no point in trying to engage with them, paolo. Take a deep breath and repeat the old "Confuscious says":
    He who knows not and knows he knows not is ignorant: teach him
    He who knows and knows not he knows is asleep: wake him
    He who knows and knows he knows is wise: follow him
    But he who knows not and knows not he knows not is a fool: shun him

    Now if you want to sue me for slander VMartin, then remember you have to decide which of those categories applies to you. But I don't think you are wise, by the way.

    Meanwhile, this should set the 28-toed cat among the coal-black pigeons: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12535647
    Are humans still evolving by Darwin's natural selection?
    Horizon - in about half an hour

  • DavidC says:

    Has anybody else noticed that John Davison doesn't know what "pseudonym" and "pseudonymous" mean?

    • paolo says:

      Yes, but since he can't even find his own comments or spell a five-letter name correctly I can't be bothered to pick him up on it...

  • You pseudonymous, illiterate schmucks have pretty much done yourselves in with your cowardly, mindless drivel. I'll leave my friend Martin to deal with you while I go looking for another Darwinian ghetto to expose for all to see and admire. You pathetic phonies are lucky that no one will ever get to appreciate what trash you all really are.

    Enjoy yourselves until you stain yourselves if you get my drift. It's later than you think.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      Oh John, don't leave - we'll miss your insights. No need to be embarrassed about your little mishap, we're all forgiving types here.

    • DavidC says:

      John, you could just have said "Yes David, I apologise, it turns out I don't know what 'pseudonymous' means". That would have been fine. You didn't have to go prove it all over again. But thanks anyway, very generous.

  • KateKatV says:

    When I am old and retired and have nothing better to do I might start trolling the trolls and copying and pasting my arguments that have nothing to do with the original post beyond some trigger word, then cherry-picking a phrase from the response as an excuse for pasting another rant ...

  • paolo,

    Your monumental illiteracy is only exceeded by your unquenchable masochism. Of course I rant and I rave like the lunatic you imagine me to be. I wouldn't dream of disappointing you. You were stupid enough to allow me into this pathetic hole in cyberspace so you can reap the crop that you have sowed. Your heroes - Myers, Dawkins and Elsberry wouldn't dare allow me to hold forth on their shabby little one holers. They know better. You don't. You better never let me know who you really are because I will make that day the most unhappy one in your entire wasted existence. Trust me, or better yet, don't!

    Set 'em up in the other alley pinboy. I'm bowling a perfect game.

    It doesn't get any better than this.

    jadaavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      Yes John, my illiteracy is well known, although I can at least spell my own name correctly, which is more than you managed in that last URL for your site. Would you like me to delete that extra 'a' for you?

      I certainly don't imagine you to be a lunatic, for all your rants and raves, I just think you're just a bit misguided and probably lonely. I actually feel quite sorry for you.

    • KateKatV says:

      This is so unbelievably, totally funny. Having spent hours accusing Paolo of deleting your comments - which turned out to be on another blog - you now decide that you despise him because he hasn't banned you.

  • You better feel sorry for yourself Paolo because you are a " prescribed," born to lose loser. And so is pseudonymous KateKatV, just another loser like yourself. I'm not in the least bit angry. I am doing what I do best, goading subnormal cowardly adversaries into displaying themselves in all their naked bigotry for all to admire. Neither one of you two clowns even have a name. You don't dare reveal yourselves because then you would be responsible for your boorish, uncivilized behavior. I don't think paolo wants to banish me. He's having to much fun making an ass of himself. Internet pissholes like this one are my bread and butter. I find them, invade them, expose them and then move on to find some more. Cyberdumb is teeming with garbage compacting machines like this one.

    Who is next?

    • paolo says:

      Not sure how I'm the loser here John. You've essentially done the equivalent of parading around this post banging a drum and shouting 'I'm a troll and I have nothing of substance to say'. You win at trolling I suppose, but as a result you lose at everything else, since you show yourself to be of no substance.

      I'm not here to win anything. I don't watch TV, so I get my entertainment elsewhere, so far I have taken great delight from your capering and posturing - it's like having my own personal jester - or clown, to use your own term. I really appreciate your efforts.

      I also find it hard to consider myself a loser when I look at my life, I love my job, I have great friends and I have the most incredible woman as my wife. Somehow I just can't generate the self pity needed to be a loser.

  • If it weren't for Martin and myself, Scientopia wouldn't even exist, Most of the blogs here have virtually no activity anyway. You creeps ought to be grateful to us for keeping this disaster from extinction. I'll bet that the blogs featuring Martin and myself are responsible for 90% of the 'hits" for all the blogs in Scientopia combined during the periods we are active here. Hell's bells, I am delighted to bring all the attention I can to this pathetic "Scientopia," nothing but one more Pharyngula, After the Bar CLoses, richarddawkins.net or Panda's Thumb, intellectual blind alleys all. At least they have real people leading them even though most of the clientele are cowardly blowhards like those that get their therapy here. The internet never has been anything more than a device for "mightabeen" sociopaths to vent their frustrations on.

    You may quote me.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

  • VMartin says:

    You are right John.

    Darwin coined "natural selection" which should be the key to the secret of evolution.

    You -as one of Uni scholars - have challenged this notion and the response has immediately followed - furore and fits of uncontrolled rage from selectionists. Obviously "natural selection" is for them more than a concept they could quietly discuss.

    • paolo says:

      I don't think John is the only one to challenge Natural Selection - there have been plenty of people raising issues with Darwin's original theory. That's why evolutionary theory has developed over time. In particular, the New Evolutionary Synthesis of the late 1930's and early 1940's took a long, hard look at the evidence from disparate fields of study in order to reconcile the most salient features arising. Selection was one of those features that found good support.

      Anyway, what is your problem with Natural Selection? It has been shown to occur in in lizards under controlled but naturalistic conditions (will provide link to paper when I have access to a computer, rather than just a phone). It happens. It's observable. Perhaps the problem is less with the theory itself and more with the fact that it removes the need for a god? That certainly seems to be John's main concern (hence the regular denouncement of atheists in his rants). That's not evidence against a theory, it's just plain delusion.

  • poalo

    http://jadavison.wordpress.com/2007/12/16/th-prescribed-evolutionary-hypothesis/comment-page-13/#comment-3297

    Be sure to visit the above thread were you will find much of what transpires here recorded for future generations.

    Martin

    You are correct.

    He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak."
    Montaigne

    • paolo says:

      Thanks John, I hope you didn't cherry-pick your comments for your list in the same way that you cherry-pick studies. But frankly, I don't think it really matters, you are the only person who'll bother reading them (apart from VMartin perhaps).

      I'm glad that you have come out and honestly stated that you are nothing more than a troll - it confirms the working hypothesis of this post with unarguable certainty.

      I find that last quote you used highly appropriate, given that noise and command are the only tools you seem to have brought to this forum.

      You know what they say "He who quotes great men, without understanding the meaning of their words, demonstrates nothing more than his own lack of greatness".

  • VMartin says:

    Paolo, firsty you should apologise to John Davison. Secondly ask Scientopia to publish John's response to your meaningless slanders in your post.

    Only then the discussion can begin.

    • paolo says:

      Apologise to John? For what? I have not said anything about John that he hasn't demonstrated in his behaviour? John is the one who should be apologising for his false accusations about me deleting posts, but I don't expect he will and I really don't mind. I have no idea why you continue to support John, you are so much more sensible in other respects.

  • Martin

    There can be no discussion about the mechanism of evolution with those who already know what it is. Darwinian mysticism reigns supreme as it has for a century and a half. It has all the validity of the Phlogiston of Chemistry and the Ether of Physics both of which were myths before Darwin's Origin even appeared.

    I don't recall a Darwinian ever apologizing for anything. Can you imagine Paul Zachary Myers or Clinton Richard Dawkins apologizing for their attacks against the Christian Church? Furthermore, what would an apology mean coming from a person like paolo? Absolutely nothing because paolo doesn't exist. Neither do 95% of the users of this pathetic excuse for a forum. Scientopia has all the features of Pharyngula, richarddawkins.net, After the Bar Closes, EvC, Uncommon Descent, Panda's Thumb, Sandwalk, you name them, they are all the same. They are nothing but therapy for couldabeen, mightabeen losers who couldn't succeed in the real world and whose only joy is in denigrating named adversaries like Martin Cadra and John A. Davison.

    I suggest we leave this dog and pony show to paolo and his cronies confident that, with our help, they have thoroughly exposed themselves to be intellectual trash not fit for our further attention.

    We came, we saw and we conquered. Now let's find another Darwinian ghetto stupid enough to allow us in.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

  • VMartin says:

    Paolo, I don't know who you are and what is your name. I have never read anything written by you regarding the secret of evolution. That's why you should be more humble dealing with professor Davison.

    John doesn't just criticise darwinism, he proposed also SMH, a mechanism for discrete evolutionary steps.

    His work is very inspiring.

    Sometimes his name is mentioned by authors who write textbooks of "Evolutionary biology".

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2823622/

    -----------------

    And John is right. It has no meaning to discuss anything here.

    • paolo says:

      Are you really trying to use the fallacy of Argument From Authority? Regarding John? He had tenure in an obscure College where he became an embarassment to them. Some authority. I've read John's SMH and I started reviewing it. So far it has proved distinctly unimpressive. The logical fallacies underlying his hypothesis are numerous and his interpretation of evidence is strongly biased and uncritical, with a tendency toward confirmation bias.

      If a student handed this in as a piece of student coursework I would mark it very low - not because of the conclusions drawn, but because of the number of untested and unacknowledged assumptions, poor interpretation of results and lack of adequate understanding of the existing literature.

  • KateKatV says:

    OK. Firstly, apologies for delay. Professional and personal life take priority for me, and while Paolo might argue that trying to show up your arguments for what they are could be part of his (unpaid) responsibility towards his profession he is at a conference and his profession is not mine. I am interested in evolution and even more interested in fighting the dark forces of unreason whereever they occur but you are not a priority John.

    Now, as to writing under a shortened form of our own names - which is what we do - well, with a name like John Davison, even if you seek to personalise by inserting an A. in the middle, you can have no comprehension of what it is like to have a name like Viscardi, which isn't THAT common even in Italy. I am happy to be identifiable but I would prefer people to judge my arguments on their merits, not because of my name. If I wanted anonymity I would use my maiden name. Your right-hand person, VMartin, of course has such a carefully constructed nom-de-plume one cannot even be sure of gender.

    I have now reached the terminus ...to be continued!

  • KateKatV

    The simple truth is that you are not identifiable any more that paolo is. Actually, there are very few Darwinians willing to disclose their identity and for a very good reason. Except for a very few with IQs in the room temperature range, most enlightened scientists realize what a total disaster Darwin's pipe dream has always been. What was missing for a very long time was an alternative which I was able to provide first in 1984 with the "Semi-Meiotic Hypothesis" (SMH) and more recently I synthesized the science of several scientists into the general "Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis" (PEH) which proposes that the entire evolutionary sequence was planned from beginning to end. I have since proposed that creative evolution is no longer in operation. Not a single feature of these two intimately related hypotheses is in conflict with the evidence revealed by the fossil record and the experimental laboratory. By way of contrast there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in the neoDarwinian version that can ever be reconciled with that evidence, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

    Darwinism has survived for one reason only and that reason has nothing to do with biological science. It survives because it is an atheist inspired position and we now know that there is a congenital predisposition toward atheism just as there is toward theism, politics, brands of tooth paste, beer, jewelry, wives, pets, etc, etc. As far as we know there is not a single aspect of the human psyche that is free of a congenital predisposition as William Wright's book "Born That Way" has made very plain to any objective reader.

    There are even examples of people anxious to claim that there is no God and never was one. That has to be congenital because there is no conceivable way that one can reach that position through reason alone. Clinton Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Paul Zachary Myers are the perfect examples of those congenital predispositions. They are tragic figures in the search for the Truth, destined to be mere embarrassing footnotes in the very near future.

    There is no reason to assume a single God and certainly not a personal one, but to deny a past existence of one or more such "entities," reveals a mentality which has no place in science. Indeed, such personalities are the enemy of science and accordingly are not scientists themselves. I have said so before and do so now again.

    Since Darwinians are literally congenital atheists, they are forced to assume that it is intrinsic in the nature of non-living mattter to self-assemble into living, evolving organisms at least once. Such an assumption may have seemed reasonable in Darwin's day but now it is patently absurd to any investigator aware of the current state of molecular biology.

    I also am aware that I am wasting my time here. I do it on the outside chance that someone not already impaired either congenitally or through his post partum experience might be persuaded to our position.

    I hope this makes our thesis, while obviously not acceptable, at least understandable.

    VMartin is not my only supporter by any means, nor am I only his. There are many of us who realize what a total disaster the Darwinian hypothesis has always been. Here is another supporter not afraid to use his real name.

    "Davison is the Darwinian's worst nightmare."
    Terry Trainor

    jadavison.wordpress.com

  • By the way, in case anyone cares, lower case paolo is apparently Paolo Viscardi, associated with the Horniman Museum where I assume he must be one of the exhibits, a real live professed Darwinian mystic. They are getting rarer with each passsing day. Congratulations paolo for hanging in there until the last Darwinian dog is hung. I'll miss you when your history which could be any day now.

    It doesn't get any better than this.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      Yes, for anyone that cares my name is Paolo Viscardi - which was the first thing I wrote when I started my stint on the Guest Blogge: http://scientopia.org/blogs/guestblog/2011/02/13/greetings-scientopians-and-happy-birthday-charles-darwin/

      That's how anonymous I am.

      John, you are hilarious - I have never encountered anyone as willing to accept lack of evidence as evidence of lack so willingly as you and that flaw is compounded by your inability to use even the most basic approaches to look for the evidence that you are unable to find.

      You accuse me of using a pseudonym and being anonymous, yet I provide full details of who I am and where I work. You accuse me of deleting your posts, when you have got confused about where you posted them. Best of all you claimed to have 'proof' that I deleted the posts that you had posted elsewhere, when in fact you had no proof of any kind, because it never happened.

      I don't trust your concept of proof and I don't trust your ability to address evidence.

  • Furthermore, KateKatV and paolo seem to be one and the same. Isn't that revealing.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      Yes, it reveals that you regularly jump to totally inaccurate conclusions, because you don't bother properly checking the evidence available. This is something that has been noted several times now John and it crops up in your hypothesis a lot. Hardly good science John.

  • KateKatV says:

    Well, John, you know there is this amazing tool you can use to find out pretty much anything that's been said online by or about anyone, and indeed sometimes off-line. It is so useful and so pervasive it's name has actually become a verb. In short, I googled you - just as you could have me or Paolo. Though it shouldn't have been hard to find out who he is, since he introduced himself at the very start of his guest blogging for Scientopia.

    I suspect you are not a Canadian cricketer; a plastic surgeon from Bristol; a former Olympic shooter; or a Conservative MP - ah, no, sorry, he's dead anyway. You are probably the John A. Davison who is an Associate Professor, a term which we do not use in the UK. As I understand it a full professor in America is simply someone who has tenure. Oh, that's like me, but I'm just a humble lecturer. My colleagues and I have speculated that we could continue to use the title Professor since we have held that title when on visiting programmes in the U.S. or, in my case, Australia. However we suspect that would seriously piss off our colleagues who have worked incredibly hard to achieve their professorships: pulling in millions of pounds in sponsorship; publishing hundreds of papers and supervising tens of PhD students. And no, I am not exaggerating.

    I am quite embarrassed by the ancient trivia I found when I googled myself - not a wise thing to do at all. But had you done so you might have noticed, alongside the information that I am a Senior Admissions Tutor at London South Bank University; that I used to work at the Engineering Industry Training Board, before that at the then Smith Kline and French; and that I gave the opening address to the Canadian Conference on Women in Engineering in 1991: this snippet: "... 28 Jun 2007 Kate Viscardi wrote: Yes, this is Paolo's mother, but I'm not a biologist. ..."

    However, you obviously did know that and are simply being disingenious when you say I am not identifiable. The evidence for this is you suddenly started going on about us being: "literally congenital atheists". Oh dear. You are an academic biologist and yet you think ideas are transmitted by genes? I have lunch most days with my friends in Applied Science, I shall certainly run that one past them tomorrow. Let's see if a botanist/ecologist, microbiologist, biochemist, pharmacologist and physicist can work out the mechanism for that. We might even ask the Forensic Scientists very nicely if we can borrow the DNA machine and test Paolo's and my DNA to see if we can find the gene for athesism.

    Sorry, I have rebuked my son for teasing you so I should not do so myself. However, the question of transmission of memes is interesting, in that I was utterly determined my child should make up his own mind about his beliefs and carefully sought not to influence him. I even sent him to a Catholic primary school for a few years so he actually got more information about religion than he did about humanism. In fact, I was embarrassed to read a post by him where he talked about the realisation that his beliefs could best be described as humanist, when I could have told him that years before. However as they were reached independently there are some marked differences between my and Paolo's views, which can lead to some spirited discussions when we see each other. I brought my child up to think for himself and I think if there is one thing I have succeeded at it is that.

    When I see the amount of trivia that comes back on a Google search it does make me realise why people use noms-de-plume. I have a responsible job that is centred on engineering, not biology, and I would prefer my students to find information that is relevant to my professional activities without too much dilution, although the discussions about Dublin's Ghost Bus are usually a lot of fun.

    I told you some of the reasons why I use a nom-de-plume in my post of 09.27, but you have completely ignored that and instead imputed to me another, spurious, motivation. As well as the reasons I gave earlier and above, here is something else which I think any reasonable person would accept as a motivation for someone not wanting to put their head above the parapet metaphorically: they might literally lose it. When I was Head of the UK Women in Engineering Centre I received the occasional death threat. I expect you are about to pour scorn, but this was at the time of the massacre in Montreal and the threat that was pushed under the door was taken quite seriously by large men in well-cut suits.

    An unusual name can make one more vulnerable, so please bear that in mind before you get sarky with people about the names they use, in future. Meanwhile it would be interesting if VMartin were to climb out of his/her shell and open him/herself to scrutiny.

  • VMartin says:

    My post have been intercepted. So again without link.

    Just click on the name of the commenter if it is blue . You will be redirected to his blog, where you can find more.

    • KateKatV says:

      We are waiting for you to reveal yourself VMartin, hiding beyond your ubiquitous name. I have the very best of reasons for not making it easy to find me, yet I do. So who are you?

  • VMartin says:

    And btw. the whole blog seems to be an oxymoron. Don't feed the troll is it name. And there is a caricature of somebody looking like Paolo. Incidentally Paolo seems to be the main contributor of off-topic comments to his own post.

    And what's more - even Paolo's mother has turned up to discuss eternal problems
    (what is inhereted and what is taught?).

    • KateKatV says:

      How do you know what Paolo looks like VMartin, to know that the caricature looks like him? Are you stalking him for real? That is seriously creepy.

      • paolo says:

        To be fair, my photo is in a different post here, so VMartin doesn't need to stalk me. That said, you would think he'd notice that I don't wear glasses, so it's not a very good likeness of me - it's just how I envisage a generic troll.

  • KateKatV

    A nom de plume is hardly the same as a phonie alias like KateKatV or just plain paolo. I note that your name is not in blue either so no one except you has the vaguest idea who you are and you aren't anxious to let anyone else in on your pathetic little secret.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • KateKatV says:

      D'oh. The claims one makes about oneself are not evidence of who one is John. Confidence tricksters have relied on that throughout the ages ... I regard the ability to use Google to find information, assess the validity of sources and follow up reliable ones as a basic skill. Indeed, I have been helping my first year undergraduates develop those very skills this afternoon, though on rather more substantial sources. However they pay a lot of money to do our courses and I am disinclined to provide help for free to Associate Professors who should already have those skills.

  • Come to think of it, why isn't paolo's name in blue too? Is he also ashamed to let others know what he does for a living? I still think paolo and KateKatV are one and the same and there is not a scintilla of evidence to prove that is not the case.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      John, my name is not in blue because this is a guest blog, as it says in the first sentence of this very blog.

    • KateKatV says:

      My name isn't in blue because I don't blog very often, when I do it has nothing to do with biology and I don't have time to deal with trolls there. Also I differ slightly from Paolo in approaches to people who turn up on other people's blogs and try to take them over. He calls it free speech and tries to engage rationally. My tolerance level has dropped with age and experience. I call it stalking and block unilaterally.

  • Lou FCD says:

    lol, I see VMartin's accent has disappeared entirely these days. Gone are the days of the faux Eastern-European broken English, I guess.

    Good times at AtBC and UDreamofJanie, eh boys?

    Funny stuff.

    http://udoj.blogspot.com/2006/08/exploring-legality-of-dajs-request.html

  • VMartin says:

    After Alan Fox also LouFCD has turned up. Now in the mask of a jovial uncle.

    Actually LouFCD's is "moderator" on darwinian 'Pandas Thumb' forum. "Moderator" means in LouFCD understanding: he denigrates opponents of natural selection with other darwinists side by side. Their unrestrained denigrations are aimed at you, your family and your nation. Allowing all possible or even impossible slanders against you - that is the real work of jovial LouFCD.

    I don't know about "good times" jovial LouFCD is talking about now. I just remember that my family and my nation were denigrated there.

    Don't expect any on-topic comments from Alan or Lou. They won't discuss any problem - they will just ridicule and denigrate me or John. Their joviality is only a mask - they are not between their darwinian drunkards on AtBC forum so they are preliminary only little shy.

    LouCFD could also tell us what other languges except English can he read or even -write.

  • LouFCD

    It is fitting that the trash from After The Bar Closes should join with the trash here at Scientopia. Scientopia needs all the help it can muster.

    Birds of a feather flock together.
    Cervantes

    That link you provide places you as right in there with Mark Chu-Carroll another potty mouthed degenerate of the ilk one finds at Pharyngula, After The Bar Closes and Panda's Thumb. Thanks for exposing yourelf.

    Who is the next pseudonymous coward to pile on here? Come on, the more the merrier. Whatever you do, don't use your real name. You wouldn't dare!

    It doesn't get any better than this.

    I love it so!

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      John, your continual misuse of 'pseudonymous' as a pejorative term is hilarious. I think I may start a sweepstake on how many times you'll use it. You do know that it doesn't mean what you seem to think it means, don't you? Who knows, if you keep repeating the dictionary to change the definition to suit your meaning. That seems to be the approach you're taking to your hypothesis - repeat it enough and it must be true...

      Is that how science works?

  • Paolo Viscardi

    What do you know of how science works? What have you ever published concerning the central question of evolution - the means by which it took place? I can answer with perfect confidence - NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Neither have Paul Zachary Myers, Clinton Richard Dawkins, Ernst Mayr, Stephen Jay Gould, Wesley Royce Elsberry or any other person who supports natural selection as a creative process. Natural selection ensured (past tense), with very few exceptions, ultimate extinction, an extinction without which evolution could never have taken place. That is all that natural selection ever did and all that it is doing now. Furthermore, all available evidence pleads that the present biota is the last ever to appear and, like all previous, will also become extinct. Not a very pleasant prospect but in perfect accord with the testimony of the fossil record, the undeniable record of life on this planet. There is no question in this investigator's mind that the entire history of life was planned, a view I share with Robert Broom and Otto Schindewolf and implied in the works of Pierre Grasse, Leo Berg, Reginald C. Punnett and William Bateson. I will stack my sources up against all the Darwinian mystics that ever lived.

    P.S. I regard pseudonymous (false name) as synonymous with anonymous (no name). Now just what are you going to do about it?

    You may now return to making a fool of yourself and of Scientopia in the process..

    If you have any sense you will shut up and not make it necessary for me to respond to your mindless drivel. Do what you have to do, what you were "prescribed" to do, probably millions of years ago.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      Actually, I publish on scientific methods, which directly relate to how science works. I'm aware that science is a process that requires internal testing, to avoid the introduction of bias.

      Your idea of science seems to be based on your personal beliefs supported by invective. I don't take you seriously John, because you take yourself far too seriously, without any obvious reason for doing so.

      "P.S. I regard pseudonymous (false name) as synonymous with anonymous (no name). Now just what are you going to do about it?"
      My real name is Paolo - it's what I am called. If you think that by using my first name I am using a pseudonym, you are wrong. As to what am I going to do about it - I shall laugh at the funny man who doesn't know what pseudonym means, but keeps insisting on using the term!

      I love it so!

    • paolo says:

      "If you have any sense you will shut up and not make it necessary for me to respond to your mindless drivel. Do what you have to do, what you were “prescribed” to do, probably millions of years ago."

      If you made any sense I might shut up, but so far you have said nothing of value.

      Out of interest, who did the 'prescribing'? Was it the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Invisible Pink Unicorn? Or are you not privy to that information?

    • KateKatV says:

      Now what are we going to do about what? Sorry, but I don't know anyone who works for the Oxford University Press - oh, actually yes I do, but no, I am not going to ask them to change the definitions of words to what you think they mean. When a definition gives several meanings that means the word could be used to mean any one of them, not all of them at once. A pseudonym is not necessarily a false name: it can be a pen name. And anonymous does not necessarily mean no name: it can mean nondescript, the writer is unknown or unidentifiable. Which is what you and VMartin are. Searches for your names finds very little mentions of you outside your trolling, so I am wondering whether it is not you who are the figments of someone's imagination.

      Come out, come out, whoever you are. I think the pair of you are the work of some mischief-makers who enjoy winding up their friends. Others have pointed out the marked similarities between many of your posts. I wonder whether you are copy-and-pasting or whether you have a random argument generator. Feed in a few words at one end, add stock phrases from memory, mix for 10 minutes, churn out an argument.

      • VMartin says:

        This is an argument! If you can't google someone then he doesn't exist!
        Obviously in your understanding it is google that give people their existence and names their meaning.

        No wonder. Another fleckless "logician" here Paolo thinks that it is 'natural selection' , quantum de se est, that has given existence and variety to living world.

        • KateKatV says:

          Since the only online evidence of your existence is that which you have created yourself I have concluded you are a very clever construct of someone's imagination, VMartin. Come out come out whoever you are ....

          • VMartin says:

            You must a Kantist, which is quite unusual for an Englishman. Do you mean that those not listed by phenomenon Google are all in themeselves noumena that escape your intellectum and therefore you can't know if they are ens per se ?

            You seem to be such a profound spirit - how it came about that you are - a Darwinist?

          • KateKatV says:

            I don't follow any philosopher, VMartin, they all get the logic tangled up in the language Logically, anyone who holds a professional position is likely to find themselves mentioned on Google by someone else. Your mentions are either self-generated or are references to comments you have made: I cannot see anything that is independently sourced. Therefore I have concluded that your persona is an artificial construct and while I commend your creator's persistence the joke is wearing thin. Loving your random words generator by the way.

  • Alan Fox says:

    Out of interest, who did the ‘prescribing’?

    John has previously responded to this along the lines of "One or more gods, now dead." I gained the impression it had to be two or more as one god would not create both good and evil. John, (correct me if I mis-speak, John) however, has lately converted to Catholicism so I guess we are back to the one true God, now.

    • VMartin says:

      And what about natural selection Alan? Is there one 'natural selection' or many 'natural selections'?

      • paolo says:

        Thanks Alan,

        that's useful when assessing likely sources of bias.

        VMartin - I thought that you would be aware that Natural Selection is the name given to a process that functions at a variety of levels with a variety of possible mechanisms involved. There are many contributors to Natural Selection, but Natural Selection itself is just one overarching concept that describes the process by which heritable traits that don't impair reproduction are passed to subsequent generations.

        • VMartin says:

          So do you believe in "group selection" as well?

          • paolo says:

            I don't 'believe' in any theory per se - I'm simply willing to accept that a robust theory can provide an effective tool for understanding, and the most robust theory I have encountered for understanding the diversity of life is evolution, driven by Natural Selection.

            Group selection has less support than some alternative hypotheses, so I would hesitate to apply it as readily as I might an alternative hypothesis. However, I see no particular reason why group selection wouldn't be possible - it would depend on the particular environment and selective pressures in action.

            The fact is that I would be perfectly happy to adopt an alternative hypothesis to evolution driven by Natural Selection, as long as it had superior explanatory power, without superfluous assumptions and with good logical structure. So far I have not encountered such an alternative hypothesis.

  • Alan Fox is nothing but a predatory, mindless one man goon squad for Wesley Royce Elsberry. Fox follows me around from blog to blog, his only purpose in life the denigration of John A. Davison at every opportunity. Like every other Darwinian I have ever encountered, he too has never published a word clarifying the g reat mystery of organic evolution. There is not an evolutionary scientist participating at Scientopia, Pharyngula, After The Bar Closes, Panda's Thumb, richarddawkins.net or any other weblog that claims to be a forum for the discussion of organic evolution. No wonder these phony "groupthinks" have never contributed a scintilla to our understanding of the twin mysteries of ontogeny and phylogeny. They all agree with each other that the mechanism by which these intimately related phenomena originated is already known. It is of course NATURAL SELECTION, that giant panacea that explains everything . There are no questions remaining to be answered because everything is already known.

    I want to know of a single significant new idea that ever originated in the annals of the so-called "forums" I listed above. The users of those intellectual cesspools are not scientists by any stretch of the imagination. No real scientist would even dream of an undesigned universe, let alone participate in a discussion which demands such a premise.

    The miracle is why Martin and I have not been banished as the pariahs we both are to the ruling establishment which atheist Darwinism still represents here at Scientopia. This pathetic little disaster is just the most recent of a long line of similar frantic attempts to perpetuate the biggest hoax in the history of biological science. The only conclusion I can draw is that Scientopia is managed by homozygous masochists who enjoy seing their most treasured convictions trashed by Martin Cadra and John A. Davison. No other explanation can possibly evenbe imagined.

    One thing is certain. As long as Scientopia allows me to opine, I will do everything in my power to expose it as no better than all the "forums" from which I was banished long ago.

    Come on you cowardly blowhards. Vent your hideous spleens on a real scientist who sheds your mindless drivel like a duck sheds water. Surely you can do better than Alan Fox and LouFCD. Bring on the A team, Elsberry, Dawkins and Myers. Fat chance! Those frantic little worms won't budge from their fragile little intellectual Alamos, terrified to confront a real scientist because they know they will lose. I say, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin -

    "Let them all hang together so they all can hang together."

    If Scientopia thinks it can win this battle by letting Martin and I continue here, I salute Scientopia as it puts it a cut above the others who could only deal with us by summary banishment. You might be better advised to banish us as all the others did long ago. But if you insist on continuing this dog and pony show, go for it. Nothing would please me more!

    "I'm an old campaigner and I love a good fight."
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      John,

      Your Faith is strong, but your arguments are weak.

      Resorting to inflammatory language just makes you look petulant. Your challenges are all guff if all you continue to offer is spite and vitriol. So far you sound less like a scientist and more like a bitter old man with a grudge.

      • VMartin says:

        And who is "scientist" in your view? Someone who defends "On the Origin of Man from an Ancient Fish by Means of Natural Selection?"
        Yeah, mother Natural Selection - science par excellnce.

        • paolo says:

          A scientist is someone who uses the scientific method (i.e. controlled observations) to test clearly defined hypotheses that should have predictive power.

          In my view being a scientist is not about defending hypotheses, but challenging them. Evolution through Natural Selection has been shown to have predictive power - from the prediction that the mechanism of inheritance would necessarily be mutable, to the prediction of Eusocial behaviour in mammals.

          Invective is not an appropriate tool in science, being more commonly applied in areas of Faith.

  • Dead wrong again Paolo Viscardi.

    I am having the time of my life exposing Paolo Viscardi as one more adversary willing to let his real name be known. You have joined a rather select group which includes in afddition to the "Three Stooges" of evolutionary science, Myers, Elsberry and Dawkins, Mark "filthy mouth" Chu-Carroll, Bob O'Hara and his bride, grrlscientist, whose name I will not divulge here because I know you will have a hissy fit if Ido. Suffice it to say that I know who all of you are which means that you won't ever be able to escape your certain fate to be a hideous embarrassment in the history of evolutionary science. You seven have all made my enemies list and I am right here making it very clear that you will all be remembered as the mortal enemies of Truth and Knowledge because you've made that transparent with your own words and actions. I will see to it. Who else is willing to present his real name and treat Martin and I with the contempt that is so evident from the mouth of Paolo Viscardi and his shabby cronies here at Scientopia? Surely there must be others but are they stupid enough to let us know who they really are? I doubt it.

    Speak up now or hold your piece and that is not a misprint.

    It doesn't get any better than this.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      My goodness, you really are full of it John - I'm concerned about your delusions of importance - if you really believe what you say, you should be seeking help.

    • KateKatV says:

      And what is your real name, John A. Davison? Who is behind this persona? I've worked out how it's possible to produce so much text that makes so little sense, by the way. It's a good joke, but you can come out now and laugh at us for taking you so seriously for so long, especially the people who tried to be kind to you. Come out, come out, whoever you are.

  • Well come on you cowardly worms. You can do better than that. Let's hear from Mark Chu-Carroll who loves to use foul language. I'm surprised he hasn't shut us down or isn't he running Scientopia any more? I sure didn't last long on his personal blog - GoodMath/BadMath.

    Here is an idea. Send out a call to After The Bar Closes for reinforcements. You clowns need all the help you can muster. So far you haven't put a dent in our science. You probably haven't even read any of it. If you really want to become famous get Paul Zachary ''godless liberal, biological ejaculator" Myers to participate here. Better yet, alert Clinton Richard "blind mountaineering watchmaker" Dawkins that John A. Davison is claiming that Dawkins is a disgrace to British science and should be institutionalized as a danger to subsequent generations of British scientists. Dawkins, Elsberry, Myers are all the same, pathetic demonstrations of how ideology can trump science for over a century and a half. All three attract the dregs of society to their pathetic "inner sanctums" where they do nothing but lash out at real and imagined adversaries in a frantic attempt to preserve the Darwinian hoax. Furthermore, they are all three spineless cowards refusing to recognize any departure from their mindless doctrine that the living world was an accident. Scientopia is just more of the same, attracting the same old clientele with the same old time worn arguments, "prescribed" losers all and not a real scientist in the lot.

    It is hard to believe isn't it?

    Not at all. It is a matter of record, a record lasting for 152 years.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

  • VMartin says:

    Paolo wrote:

    However, I see no particular reason why group selection wouldn’t be possible – it would depend on the particular environment and selective pressures in action.

    Now this is what Richard Dawkins has to say about it in his 'Selfish gene':


    "This is the theory of ‘group selection’, long assumed to be true by biologists not familiar with the details of evolutionary theory..."

    "The group is too wishy-washy an entity."

    So it is not only me who doesn't understand details of "evolutionary theory" I seem to be on the same boat with prominent selectionists Konrad Lorenz and Darwinian blogger Paolo Viscardi.

    Or better - almost every school of "evolutionary biologists" has their own notion and concept of "natural selection" and how it works. Those who not join, do not understand "evolution".

    It is consequently not only me and John that we had been repeatedly accused of not undersanding evolution. I remember a post on Sandwalk by Larry Moran where doctor PZMyers himself joined. Professor Moran accused an author of a peer-reviewed article dealing on the number of genes that he doesn't understand 'evolutionary theory' as well!

    The question is - who really understands "the theory of evolution"?

    • paolo says:

      Ah John,

      quoting out of context to create a straw man argument - what a classic! For anyone reading this out of context see here.

      The fact is that theories must be challenged in order to improve and provide a more robust theory. Evolution works at so many levels and in so many varied environments that one would expect a significant degree of variation in the dominant processes in a given system. This is why I am wary of overly polarised hypotheses - it's not necessarily a case of one-or-other. Look at gradualism vs. punctuated equilibrium - they are either ends of a spectrum, which can both apply under different conditions.

      The fact that I maintain an open mind about theories, willing to adopt those that have greatest power, should be something you commend rather than denigrate John, since if you provided me with good cause to accept your hypothesis, I would. But so far all I have read of your hypothesis has been unconvincing and your support of it is rather more like a football supporter defending the inadequacies of their team than a scientist defending their hypothesis.

      • KateKatV says:

        "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" John Maynard Keynes.

      • VMartin says:

        Paolo, I am not John.

        You wrote exactly what I quoted. I am not "quoting out of context", if you think otherwise in next sentence as you write in previous one it is your own problem (but no wonder, darwinian thinking is very dialectical).

        Richard Dawkins contradicts your "many levels" concept. Does not Dawkins understand evolution and fighting a "straw man"?

        Wesley Royce Elsberry wrote on his venue "Panda's thumb" that he personally told to Jay Gould regarding the punctuated equilibrium: "And what your petty theory ?"
        Does not Wesley Royce Elsberry understand evolution? Or he does he see only one "end of a spectrum" using your words? Is it so difficult to see another "end of spectrum" for a practicising "evolutionary biologist"? Because obviously you can see those "ends of spectrum" more clearly than Dawkins, Gould and Elsberry together.

        • paolo says:

          Sorry VMartin,

          I saw John's URL immediately above your post and mistook the author - I'm happy to admit to that mistake.

          I know that I wrote what you quoted, but the meaning was set in a wider context that you chose to exclude. It wouldn't be a problem if your selective quoting wasn't being used to construct a straw man, but it was. You seem to be arguing that a theory has to be in some way complete - that the fine details of application must be entirely agreed. That's a nonsense - the wider concept of evolution through Natural Selection is well accepted, it is the fine detail that is still being revealed.

          Richard Dawkins may contradict a 'many levels' concept, but it depends on what you mean by many levels. I consider selection to function at the level of the gene, but the mechanism by which selection acts will be at a variety of levels influenced by a variety of factors - which is what I mean by many levels. If Richard Dawkins disagrees then I'm happy to listen to his rationale and I'll make up my own mind based on how convincing that rationale is.

          If John bothered to actually talk about his hypothesis with respect to supporting evidence rather than relying on insults and arguments from authority, he might be more persuasive. As it is, he just sounds like a kook.

  • Martin

    As yet there is still no evolutionary "theory." There are a couple of miserably failed hypotheses, Lamarckism and Darwinism and a couple of very reasonable and closely related hypotheses, my Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis (PEH) and the Universal Genome Hypothesis (UGH). There is no place for Darwinism any more. It has no credibility whatsoever and never did have. Its co-founder, Alfred Russel Wallace, gradually and then finally completely abandoned it as the complete title of his last book makes very evident -

    "THE WORLD OF LIFE: A MANIFESTATION OF CREATIVE POWER, DIRECTIVE MIND AND ULTIMATE PURPOSE." (1911).

    You won't find the Darwinians reminding us of Wallace's conclusion or of Theodosius Dobzhansky who proved experimentally that the most intense artificial selection cannot transform Drosophila melanogaster into a new species, or of Julian Huxley, the originator of the term "The Modern Synthesis," who concluded in his book, "Evolution: The Modern Synthesis," that evolution was finished. Instead, as Darwinians have always done, they go right on believing in what has become unbelievable, that organic evolution is continuing unabated today without a goal, without a purpose, unplanned and controlled only by a changing environment which will always direct its future. The simple truth is that the environment never had anything to do with organic evolution beyond providing the necessary milieu in which a planned evolution could take place. I am convinced that what we see around us now is the climax of that plan and that evolution is indeed finished just as Julian Huxley and also Pierre Grasse had independently concluded.

    The perfect model for phylogeny (evolution) is ontogeny (the development of the individual from the egg). Both have proceeded directed entirely by information already present in the beginning or beginnings with no role for chance in those transformations exactly as Leo Berg stated in 1922 -

    "Neither in the one nor in the other is there room for chance."
    Nomogenesis, page 134

    That is our thesis and it is for our critics to prove it is without merit. That they have not even started to do because they are terrified that everything they hold dear may prove to be without any credibility whatsoever. Be refusing to recognize their adversaries, or denigrating them as they do here at Scientipia, they are only delaying the inevitable. The history of science has made it very clear that failed hypotheses cannot be patched up but must be instantly abandoned the very first time they fail. The longer they persist in supporting the Darwinian hoax the worse they will appear when Darwinism joins the Phlogiston of Chemistry in the ash heap of failed hypotheses that never achieved the status of theory.

    "The one thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history."
    anonymous

    "Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority."
    Thomas Henry Huxley

    P.S. I am currently writing an essay with the title -

    "Darwinism and Phlogiston Compared."

    When finished it will add it to others under the "new essays" button at the top of my introductory page.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

  • I have been for quite some time copying my messages delivered here on my webpage as well as emailing them to the "Triumvirate of Darwinian Mysticism," Paul Zachary Myers, Wesley Royce Elsberry and Clinton Richard Dawkins with copies to others interested in organic evolution. That is just to ensure that what goes on here at Scientopia will not go unnoticed by future students of the great mystery of organic evolution.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

  • By the way, I neglected earlier to include Robert Broom who was the first to claim that evolution was planned and had this to say -

    "Those who consider that all the strange course of evolution is the result of an accident or a series of accidents, are quite at liberty to think so. I believe there is a Plan, and though in the slow course of evolution there have been ups and downs and what look like mistakes, the plan has gone on; and we may feel sure that it cannot fail to reach its goal."
    Robert Broom, Finding the Missing Link, page 101.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

  • PaoloViscardi

    I have reread the matter with which you introduced this thread and I deeply resent the suggestion you made that I do not believe in evolution, that I am some sort of fundsmentalist Creationist. That is unacceptable and constitutes scandalous behavior on your part. I am a convinced evolutionist as were every one of my sources. There has only been one fundamental differences between us and you Darwinians. That is the mechanism by which evolution took (past tense) place. I believe you owe me a public apology for misrepresenting not only my science but that of every one of the sources on which mine firmly rests. I also think it was pretty shabby of you to link to those old references in which I was treated with naked contempt.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      John, you clearly didn't re-read the post very well, since I explicitly state:
      "Good old Johnny-boy doesn’t fall into the Biblical Literalism camp..." (emphasis added for clarification) so I'm not sure why you think I'm accusing you of being a Creationist.

      The post is about trolls in general and it uses 'trolls I have known' as illustrations. The fact that your style of trolling is similar to the style of trolling employed by Creationists is a reflection of trolling, rather than the particular beliefs. Your trolling style is also compared to that of homeopaths, yet you don't seem to feel like you're being accused of being a homeopath.

      For this reason, I don't feel that a public apology is necessary, although I am willing to publicly acknowledge that you are neither a fundamentalist Creationist nor a homeopath.

  • Paolo Viscardi

    And you have not allowed me to continue here. My last message never appeared. I knew you would not apologize for anything any more than Dawkins or Myers would. Darwinians like yourself are incapable of apology because you don't believe in anything. That is why liberals are also known as relativists. I presume this message will not appear either but if it does, I want to hear you claim that you did not block the earlier one. That would define you as a liar.

    • paolo says:

      Are you sure you didn't lose your comment on a different post for the third time John? I certainly haven't deleted it. I will check the spam filter though.

      You have call me a liar before and each time it has actually been an error on your part. Perhaps you should be more cautious about jumping to conclusions about the same thing yet again.

      I don't like being accused of being a liar, when I have actually treated your contemptuous comments with honesty and a great deal of tolerance. You have no rights here - you are allowed to stay entirely on my whim. You seem to be doing your best to get yourself banned, presumably because you don't have anything of value to say and you realise that you're just making yourself look like a crank and by being banned you can claim some kind of perverse victory.

      If you have anything of genuine value to add here please add it - but if you intend to continue in the same manner as you have to date I might finally get bored enough to ban you - if you view that as a victory then so be it, but let it be noted that you are being given every opportunity to provide some kind of valid argument for your hypothesis and you are throwing it away in favour of being an obnoxious crank.

  • "Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest."
    Benjamin Franklin

  • Paolo Viscardi

    I do not troll and never have. I seek and when possible invade Darwinian bastions of bigotry to expose them. I invaded Scientopia to successfully reveal Mark Chu-Carroll as a foul mouthed tyrant, Bob O'Hara as an intolerant illiterate and now Paolo Viscardi as more of the same. I will continue to expose Darwinism as the explanatory disaster it has always been, not even an hypothesis, nothing but a notion without a shred of of experimental or observable credibility.

    You Darwinians have always misunderstood your precious Natural Selection. It was never creative. Quite the contrary it has always been anti-evolutionary, resisting change for as long as possible, a strategy which, with very few exceptions, has always ended in extinction. It is not only a vacuum that Nature abhors. She abhors any kind of change and always has. That is why evolution took many millions of years to finally reach its climax with the present biota. Natural Selection played no other role in creative evolution and still doesn't. It ensures ultimate extinction without which an ascending evolution could never have taken place. That is all that it ever did and that is all that it does today now that creative evolution is no longer in progress .

    That is our thesis and we stand by it until it is proven to be wrong.

    We have offered an alternative to Darwinism as a sequence which we feel could never have occurred without a Plan and one or more Planners. It is obvious that such an alternative is anathema to the congenital atheist mentality which lies at the heart of the Darwinian model. Darwinians are impotent as scientists because they assume that the mechanism of evolution is already settled science, a presumption which can never be reconciled with the fossil record, the experimental laboratory or any other aspect of the living world.

    You Darwnians have already destroyed your "notions" by refusing to acknowledge the results and conclusions made by some of your own, notably Theodosius Dobzhansky and Julian Huxley, both of whom disgraced themselves by refusing to recognize and come to grips with their own stated conclusions.

    The whole 152 year history of Darwinism is a nightmare of denial and mass hysteria.

    I am delighted to fulfill my destiny as we all do. I am inclined to agree with a friend and long time ally -

    'Davison is the Darwinian's worst nightmare."
    Terry Trainor

    Sweet dreams Darwinians wherever you are and whoever you may be.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      "I do not troll and never have"

      John, your own descriptions of your actions are entirely consistent with trolling. If one writes blog posts one is a blogger, if one invades the comments section of someone elses' blog one is a troll. The term is not meant as an insult, but as a description.

      As to the insults you insist on spewing forth in every comment you make, I'm bored of them. They are repetitive and unimaginative. You seem to find it impossible to remain civil, which suggests that you are a fundamentally uncivilised individual.

      You can stand by your thesis, as is your right - but unless you offer persuasive arguments I can't see many people adopting it. Denouncing alternative hypotheses is not constructive - it offers no support for your own thesis and given the quality of your denouncements (which seem to be entirely based on your personal abhorrence of atheism and your conviction that there is a Plan) it's not as though you have provided anything of substance to stimulate an intelligent discussion.

      As to your melodramatic claims about being "the Darwinian’s worst nightmare" I fear you may be deluding yourself somewhat. You may be a bit of a pain in the arse for the bloggers of the world because of your trolling ways, but in terms of substance you are rather lacking. You put me in mind of the Wizard of Oz - trying to maintain (or in your case acquire) authority with cheap tricks and distractions.

      You've had your chance to say something of worth - you could have explained in clear terms what your alternative hypothesis actually entails, but you didn't. You could have taken some of the well known studies that present evidence for Natural Selection (for example Decaestecker, et al., 2007; Losos, et al., 2004; McKinnon, et al., 2004; ) and presented your reasons for rejecting the conclusions drawn from the evidence acquired, but you didn't. You could have identified the assumptions inherent in Natural Selection and offered arguments for why such assumptions may be questionable, but you didn't. You could have presented evidence for why you consider your hypothesis to have superior predictive power, but you didn't.

      You have had ample opportunity to make a good case and you have frittered it away on making a lot of meaningless noise that has taken valuable time to respond to. From now on I am moderating all comments here (so don't think I'm picking on just you John) - I will allow any comment through as long as it isn't a tedious repetition of what has been said before. Those posts that you make that contain the nugget of an interesting idea or a good solid challenge will be approved (although possibly edited to remove any of the unnecessary unpleasantness that normally accompanies your rants). I hate to curtail freedom of speech, but I see no other way of conforming to the basic standards of communication that most people take for granted.

  • Paolo Viscardi

    In other words one's blog is for his own use only? That is what you are saying. You allowed me to hold forth here. I did not rant. I presented our convictions. You found them unacceptable so you call them ranting.
    ...
    If Martin and I stop commenting here, this thread will come to a screeching halt, just as did every other thread here at Scientopia do the same.

    You did not offer a single rational counter to any of our assertions because you can't. Neither can any other Darwinian zealot. That is the take home lesson to be learned by those who have observed how Scientopia responds to criticism of the most absurd proposition ever to find the printed page.
    ...

    • paolo says:

      John, one's blog is for the use intended by the person who runs it. I value comments, but I didn't intend for this post to be a place where you hold forth. You have your own blog for that.

      As to rational counters to your assertions, you never made any rational assertions and I have largely not had the time to respond to VMartin's more rational comments because I have been too busy dealing with your constant stream of nonsense.

      "I did not rant."

      Sorry John, but that is all you have done.

      Here's a definition of rant:
      A rant is a speech or text that does not present a calm argument; rather, it is typically an enthusiastic speech or talk or lecture on an idea, a person or an institution.

      Everything you have written has been a rant and I'm bored of it. I am glad you keep a copy of all your posts here, because it will allow others to see what I have edited out of your comments. If you make a valid point I will let it through, as I have done here, but the bile will be removed. You will thank me in the end, since it will make you come across as being far more reasonable than you have so far demonstrated.

      If you are a good boy and learn to play nicely with others I will stop moderation and allow your unedited comments to be posted.

  • VMartin says:

    Paolo

    You could have taken some of the well known studies that present evidence for Natural Selection (for example Decaestecker, et al., 2007; Losos, et al., 2004; McKinnon, et al., 2004; ) and...

    Paolo, isn't it you who "shifts the goals", using Darwinian terminology? You didn't discuss any of the paper which were presented to discussion here either by you or by others. Instead you send another and another links with different topics as if save the concept of natural selection in your own eyes. Sorry, but it seems to me you want persuade more yourself of its validity seeking some another and another brand "new evidence".

    You actually didn't discuss paper on aposematism of frogs, the link of "ring species",
    the link of eusociality, but send another names in previous post?

    Did you know that the key to tghe eusociality of insects is haplo-diploidy where workers according Hamilton/Dawkins "selfish gene" should be more related to each others than to their offsprings? Yet it is often the opposite case which IS OBSERVED IN NATURE and not in the darwinian speculative minds. The queen mates sometimes more than 9 times and so the relatedness of workers could be near to 25%, so the whole Dawkins concept is in many cases pure speculation that makes no sense.

    Ant btw. if evolution proceeds via gradual steps or by some saltus, or whether natural selection operates on individuals or groups, is no way "details" you would like us to believe. It reveals the profound inconsistency of the whole teaching, on the basic concepts their proponents cannot find agreement .

    • paolo says:

      Hardly shifting the goals VMartin, since all of these studies are included in the pdf I link to in the main article above. So it isn't a different set of links - you just didn't bother looking at what I had already provided.

      As to the haplodiploidy situation, I agree that there is probably more going on that identified by Hamilton, but that isn't a reason to ditch the whole of Natural Selection as the theory by which to address the question. Other factors that contribute to the system also need to be considered, but need not be incompatible with Hamilton's theory - take Morpurgo & Babudri (2005) as one example.

      That said, although some hive mates will only be 25% related, there will still be a very large number (if not proportion) of individuals who will be 75% related, and moreover the haploid drones will be 50% related - the same as offspring, and they will be reproductively active - so the concept holds.

      As to evolution proceeding by steps of saltation, there is no reason why it couldn't be both, depending on the system. In stable environments one would expect gradualism, in environments where change occurs one would expect saltation. It's context dependent.

  • Paolo Viscardi

    Here for your indigestion is what Robert Broom, one of the most remarkable human beings who ever lived, had to say concerning the Darwinian thesis to which you so mindlessly adhere.

    "Those who consider that all the strange course of evolution is the result of an accident or a series of accidents, are quite at liberty to think so. I believe there is a Plan, and though in the slow course of evolution there have been ups and downs, and what look like mistakes, the plan has gone on; and we may feel sure that it cannot fail to reach its goal."
    Finding The Missing Link, page 101

    My "high crime and misdemeanor" was to suggest that the Plan has already terminated with the present biota and that creative evolution is no longer in progress and extremely unlikely ever to resume.

    Thank you for allowing me to present my heresy in the best place possible, in the camp of the enemy.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      The key word in Broom's quote is 'believe'. A belief needs no evidence, it requires no logical support. Broom's 'belief' is an irrelevance to me, although I agree with his libertarian attitude to what others believe.

      You can believe what you like John, I don't mind. What I object to is having your belief splashed about in an aggressive manner - as you have done several times in these comments.

      However, I must say that this last post has been of far higher quality than the previous ones, thank you for moderating your tone somewhat - it is appreciated.

  • Logic has no place in science. It is the enemy of science.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      I think we differ on that John - I consider received wisdom and strongly held beliefs to be the enemy of science and I see logic as a useful tool in science.

    • Dalius Balciunas says:

      Wow! I have heard that science cannot explain the world. I have been told that "true truth" can be acquired only by "spiritual means". But I have never read that science is not based on logic. You definitely have run off the rails, John. Are you alright?

  • Paolo Viscardi

    What you think matters nothing any more because you have refused to present my earlier lengthy comment. Worse, you now choose to cherry pick my messages in such a way as to favor your own fixed Darwinian biases. I repeat my position that logic has no place in science. Darwinism is logical, So was the Ether of Physics and the Phlogiston of Chemistry. Darwinism dwarfs those last two rendering it far and away the most persistent myth in the history of science. You are a loser PaoloViscadi. So are Paul Zachary Myers, Clinton Richard Dawkins, Ernst Mayr, Stephen Jay Gould, William Provine and every other of the six generations of Darwinian zealots that have delayed evolutionary science for the last century and a half. You are losers all because you have placed ideology before science in a desperate, futile attempt to sustain your congenital atheism. Nothing you can possibly say now will save you from disgrace and humiliation. Your cherished beliefs are for nothing because they ARE logical.

    ...blah, blah...[repetitive rant removed]

    If you present this, I will do everything in my power to forget that I was ever stupid enough to imagine that I could in any way influence monolithic Darwinism and I will never darken your doorway again. If I forget, you may delete me with my blessing. I am confident that Darwinism will die from within just as has always been the way when institutions are ruled by tyrants. The revolution is already underway.

    The ball is now in the court of Paolo Viscardi.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    • paolo says:

      John, as I said before, I am bored of your rants ('lengthy comment'). They contribute nothing and they make the thread tiresome to navigate. I am perfectly happy to entertain alternative perspectives and hypotheses, but I really can't see the value in wasting time dealing with the repetitive anti-Darwinian diatribes you insist on posting. If anyone wants to see what you said they can read it on your site, but frankly it contributed nothing to this discussion.

      I also want to make it clear to you that I will moderate comments at my own pace - I have a busy day-job and a full home-life with other priorities - arguing with you is not on my priority list. What that means is that your comments will be moderated when I have an opportunity and not before. I will also delete anything that contributes nothing to the discussion - safe in the knowledge that interested parties can see your comments on your own site should they wish.

      If you have any genuine insights I will be happy to let them through and I will happily engage with them, but I won't allow your waffling melodramatic diatribes, since they add nothing new to the discussion. If you have a problem with that, then don't bother posting.

  • No further comment.

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