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Evolution News & Views wants Richard Dawkins to quit telling whoppers …


… about genetics, here, in honour of Darwin Day.

Meet A False Fact: What Would Darwin Do (WWDD)?Now, in the spirit of challenging false facts and views, as Darwin encourages us to do, we have a particular “false fact” in mind, used to support a false view. Both are widely promoted by Richard Dawkins, who should know better. (More about that, below.) We’ll call this false fact Dawkins’ Whopper.

You can listen to the Whopper here, as Dawkins answers this question:

Out of all the evidence used to support the theory of evolution, what would you say is the stongest [sic], most irrefutable single piece of evidence in support of the theory?

Or you can read a transcript of what Dawkins says in the video:

“There’s an enormous amount of evidence, from all sorts of places, and it’s hard to pick one strand which is more important than any other. There’s fossils, there’s the evidence from geographical distribution, there’s the evidence from vestigial organs. I think to me perhaps the most compelling evidence is comparative evidence, from modern animals — particularly biochemical comparative evidence, genetic, molecular evidence.”

Mmmm. We then learn,

Churakov and colleagues found that five genes supported the first pattern, where human and armadillo are most closely related; nine genes supported a contradictory history, where human and elephant are most closely related; whereas eight genes supported a third, mutually contradictory history, where elephant and armadillo were closest relatives.If you want to explore this further, here are four papers dealing with various aspects of the problem, although we could cite hundreds of others:

Oh, you know what? Because Uncommon Descent is not to be outdone in sheer ambition, O’Leary has decided on a moral reform project as well: She will ask “Wuthering Heights”, the Bronte township dump bear, to adopt cleanliness and tidiness as key goals. She expects more success than any of her rivals in quixotic projects.

Pretty much all of science is unreliable to a certain degree, but it has more to do with the people than the numbers. Data can be interpreted in completely different ways depending on how it is presented and who is viewing it. Bad scientists are the source of bad science. There are some people who get an idea in their head and then completely block out anything other than confirmations to their ideas. Barb
No, I haven't seen that one. I'll watch it ... but, honestly, I have a very difficult time listening to Dawkins. I don't particularly care for looking at him, but that voice and that smarmy way he generally uses it just pukes me. I am *not* one of those Americans who swoons over a British accent. Ilion
llion, if you haven't seen this video yet, you will enjoy it, Dawkins gets busted big time for 'telling a whopper'; Richard Dawkins Lies About William Lane Craig AND Logic! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1cfqV2tuOI bornagain77
... further, he's engaging in an argument-from-ignorance, and (notice the irony) asserting an argument of personal incredulity. Ilion
There is not only the very widely-known "whopper," there is also the shoddy reasoning on public display: "So, you can take any pair of animals you like -- kangaroo and lion, horse and cat, human and rat -- any pair of animals you like, and count the number of differences in the letters of a particular gene, and you plot it out, and you find that it forms a perfect branching hierarchy. . It's a tree, and what else could that tree be, but a family tree." Even were Dawkins not intentionally spreading a "whopper" -- even wer his false "fact" an actual fact -- he's engaging in question-begging (and special pleading); he's asserting that the alleged hierarchy which allegedly consistently falls out from comparisons of sets of genes of specific species can only represent a "family tree," and can onlybe evidence of Darwinism and its metaphysical claims. Ilion

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