… if anyone familiar with the problems of cladistics evaluates Matzke’s upcoming dissertation
Had Stephen Meyer better appreciated the tools of modern cladistics, Nick Matzke believes, he would not have drawn the conclusions that he did in his book Darwin’s Doubt, or argued as he had. Meyer is in this regard hardly alone. It would seem that Stephen Jay Gould was just slightly too thick to have appreciated, and the eminent paleontologist James Valentine just slightly too old to have acquired, the methods that Matzke, writing at Panda’s Thumb, is disposed to champion. Should Valentine be appointed to Matzke’s dissertation committee at UC Berkeley, we at Discovery Institute will be pleased to offer uninterrupted prayers on his behalf. We can offer no assurance of success, of course, but then again, when it comes to cladistic methods, neither can Matzke.
Why, Matzke wonders, did Stephen Meyer not include within his book cladograms such as those he himself displays in his critique, one due to Brysse, the other to Legg? He is in asking this question in full Matzke mode: Sleek with satisfaction. Meyer may well have refrained from including these cladograms because they are topologically in conflict, and display virtually no agreement with one another. Matzke’s inability to discern what is directly beneath his nose is hardly evidence of his own competence in cladistic analysis.
No, Dr. Berlinski, but graduate student Matzke belongs to the very latest generation of Darwinists who are competent, and right in all they say, simply in virtue of their being Darwinists.
They are right in the way that, in some cultures, a man—in conflict with a woman—is right simply in virtue of his being a man. His testimony is worth more than hers in principle. In other words, “right” means “a correct relationship to the overarching system”; it does not mean having good evidence or a correct interpretation thereof. Never has and never will.
The legions of Darwin profs and trolls are—as Berlinski shows—happy to believe in ghosts (ghost lineages). If they believe in that stuff, it must, by definition, be science.
Hat tip: Philip Cunningham in The Battlefield