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Kas Thomas still hanging in at BigThink, despite Darwinists’ attacks

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Further to: Is microbiologist Kaz Thomas’s criticism of Darwinism “wrong or outdated”?, BA77 sensibly pointed out that Darwin’s trolls couldn’t easily get Kas Thomas fired from the software industry, where he now works.

He’s probably right. Anyway, they are now at 551 comments, and Thomas started to talk back at some point:

Andre, thank you for this comment. Indeed you are right: I am not a creationist, and yet now I know from first-hand experience what it feels like to be on the receiving end of scorn born of dogma — scientific dogma. I don’t know why it should surprise me to find there are bullies on all sides of this issue. Until now, I stupidly thought scientific minds were more tolerant and less bullying than religious thinkers. The comments here show the truth. There are closed-minded, intolerant bullies on both sides. “Bully” meaning someone who is not content to leave one well-reasoned comment, then move on; someone who has to keep leaving more and more comments, using the most vitriolic language, simply because they can’t get their way.

When I disagree with something I read online, I leave a single comment, then move on. Unfortunately, that’s not how bullies operate. A bully has to get the last word.

It’s pretty clear who the bullies are here. I must say I’m shocked at the degree of intolerance and disrespect shown in some of these comments by Darwinists, who in many cases (it turns out) are anything but open-minded, tolerant, or reasonable. The comments speak for themselves. As I say, it’s clear who the bullies are.

Dear Bullies: You’ve made your point. I hear you. We all hear you. Now please, move on.

Good in general, but that last bit is  mystifying. What does Thomas mean, move on? Where, exactly, is a Darwin troll to go? What’s he to do?

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12 Replies to “Kas Thomas still hanging in at BigThink, despite Darwinists’ attacks

  1. 1
    Mapou says:

    Jerry Coyne is a bully and a jackass? Say it isn’t so.

  2. 2

    Kas Thomas believes there is no visible evidence for one species evolving out of another? And that survival of the fittest is a tautology? Actually, there is plenty of evidence for speciation when species that live near one another across a desert or on opposite sides of a continent or across ravines, or on islands just off the mainland, are compared. And survival of the fittest is one of the most obvious things that population geneticists note, namely that reproduction occurs unevenly, with some having more offspring than others, while the rest either don’t produce as many offspring, or they die before leaving any offspring because they could not make it over the multitude of hurdles HURDLES that life/nature places in each organism’s way from conception until they reach the age at which they can reproduce.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    At least the mindless Darwin troll-bots don’t control the entire internet. Klinghoffer comments over on ENV:

    Congratulations to The American Spectator for having such sensible readers. Sometimes it’s gratifying to find that the people who should know better actually do.,,
    ,,,in the letters section of the March issue, readers pummel Mr. Derbyshire for failing to “address the scientific arguments for ID,” “completely fail[ing] to address any of the issues raised by Stephen C. Meyer,” offering only “ad hominem attacks on those scientists who are proponents of Intelligent Design as the ‘inference to the best explanation’ to describe the biodiversity of life on planet Earth,” and more.

    Writes Don Hibbard of Howell, MI:

    Mr. Derbyshire expends a great deal of ink attempting to discredit Intelligent Design (ID) by linking ID-ers to Occasionalism and other metaphysical straw men instead of dealing with the criticisms of evolutionary orthodoxy. If the genesis of matter and life forming due to a non-material agent is too metaphysical to allow scientific acceptance, perhaps Mr. Derbyshire can expound on how materialistic occasionalism (everything happens because time and chance make it happen) is more reasonable, despite the facts that the spontaneous generation of matter ex nihilo (big bang), generation of life from non-life, and subsequent living transitional life forms (molecules to man) have never been observed. I think it is legitimate to expect answers to these points supported with observational and repeatable examples devoid of hand-waving and “just so” storytelling. Or, an honest “we don’t yet know” will suffice.

  4. 4
    Box says:

    EdwardTBabinski #2: And that survival of the fittest is a tautology?

    Yes, “survival of the fittest” or “whatever survives survives” is a tautology.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    EdwardTBabinski, you claim,,,

    Actually, there is plenty of evidence for speciation when species that live near one another across a desert or on opposite sides of a continent or across ravines, or on islands just off the mainland, are compared.

    The evidence you speak of is nothing but trivial reproductive isolation. Moreover, The best known example is a fraud!

    Wired Science: One Long Bluff – Refuting a recent finch speciation claim – Jonathan Wells – Nov. 2009
    Excerpt: “Does the report in Wired Science mean that “biologists have witnessed that elusive moment when a single species (of Galapagos finch) splits in two?” Absolutely not.”

    The Grants (who studied Darwin’s finches) made a long presentation at Stanford in 2009 on their work. It is available for all to see on the internet. In it they give the game away. All the so called Darwin finches can inner breed. Doesn’t happen much but it does happen and they have viable offspring that reproduce. Here is the link:

    Darwin’s Legacy | Lecture 5 – video

    To save you some time. Start at about 109:00 and follow Rosemary for a few minutes till at least 112:00. Then go to 146:30 and listen to Peter. Before this is the inane prattle by two of Stanford’s finest who do not understand that the Grants are saying that the whole evolution thing is a crock.

    As well, there is this embarrassing little fact that just came out,

    Darwin ‘Wrong’: Species Living Together Does Not Encourage Evolution – December 20, 2013
    Excerpt: Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution set out in the Origin of Species has been proven wrong by scientists studying ovenbirds.
    Researchers at Oxford University found that species living together do not evolve differently to avoid competing with one another for food and habitats – a theory put forward by Darwin 150 years ago.
    The ovenbird is one of the most diverse bird families in the world and researchers were looking to establish the processes causing them to evolve.
    Published in Nature, the research compared the beaks, legs and songs of 90% of ovenbird species.
    Findings showed that while the birds living together were consistently more different than those living apart, this was the result of age differences. Once the variation of age was accounted for, birds that live together were more similar than those living separately – directly contradicting Darwin’s view.
    The species that lived together had beaks and legs no more different than those living apart,,,
    ,,,there is no shortage of evidence for competition driving divergent evolution in some very young lineages. But we found no evidence that this process explains differences across a much larger sample of species.,,,
    He said that the reasons why birds living together appear to evolve less are “difficult to explain”,,,

    Moreover, the true way (sub)speciation occurs is through loss, not gain, of genetic information:

    A. L. Hughes’s New Non-Darwinian Mechanism of Adaption Was Discovered and Published in Detail by an ID Geneticist 25 Years Ago – Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – December 2011
    Excerpt: The original species had a greater genetic potential to adapt to all possible environments. In the course of time this broad capacity for adaptation has been steadily reduced in the respective habitats by the accumulation of slightly deleterious alleles (as well as total losses of genetic functions redundant for a habitat), with the exception, of course, of that part which was necessary for coping with a species’ particular environment….By mutative reduction of the genetic potential, modifications became “heritable”. — As strange as it may at first sound, however, this has nothing to do with the inheritance of acquired characteristics. For the characteristics were not acquired evolutionarily, but existed from the very beginning due to the greater adaptability. In many species only the genetic functions necessary for coping with the corresponding environment have been preserved from this adaptability potential. The “remainder” has been lost by mutations (accumulation of slightly disadvantageous alleles) — in the formation of secondary species.

    “…but Natural Selection reduces genetic information and we know this from all the Genetic Population studies that we have…”
    Maciej Marian Giertych – Population Geneticist – member of the European Parliament – EXPELLED

    “We found an enormous amount of diversity within and between the African populations, and we found much less diversity in non-African populations,” Tishkoff told attendees today (Jan. 22) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Anaheim. “Only a small subset of the diversity in Africa is found in Europe and the Middle East, and an even narrower set is found in American Indians.” Tishkoff; Andrew Clark, Penn State; Kenneth Kidd, Yale University; Giovanni Destro-Bisol, University “La Sapienza,” Rome, and Himla Soodyall and Trefor Jenkins, WITS University, South Africa, looked at three locations on DNA samples from 13 to 18 populations in Africa and 30 to 45 populations in the remainder of the world.-

    Human Genetic Variation Recent, Varies Among Populations – (Nov. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: Nearly three-quarters of mutations in genes that code for proteins — the workhorses of the cell — occurred within the past 5,000 to 10,000 years,,,
    “One of the most interesting points is that Europeans have more new deleterious (potentially disease-causing) mutations than Africans,”,,,
    The researchers used established bioinformatics techniques to calculate the age of more than a million changes in single base pairs (the A-T, C-G of the genetic code) that are part of the exome or protein-coding portion of the genomes (human genetic blueprint) of 6,515 people of both European-American and African-American decent.,,,

    a few more notes:

    “The closest science has come to observing and recording actual speciation in animals is the work of Theodosius Dobzhansky in Drosophilia paulistorium fruit flies. But even here, only reproductive isolation, not a new species, appeared.”
    from page 32 “Acquiring Genomes” Lynn Margulis.

    Genetic Reproductive Barriers: Long-Held Assumption About Emergence of New Species Questioned – Sep. 2, 2013
    Excerpt: The rate at which genetic reproductive barriers arise does not predict the rate at which new species form in nature,” Rabosky said. “If these results are true more generally — which we would not yet claim but do suspect — it would imply that our understanding of species formation is extremely incomplete because we’ve spent so long studying the wrong things, due to this erroneous assumption that the main cause of species formation is the formation of barriers to reproduction.

    Here is a detailed refutation, by Casey Luskin, to TalkOrigins severely misleading site on the claimed evidence for observed macro-evolution (speciation);

    Specious Speciation: The Myth of Observed Large-Scale Evolutionary Change – Casey Luskin – January 2012 – article

    Here is part 2 of a podcast exposing the Talk Origin’s speciation FAQ as a ‘literature bluff’

    Talk Origins Speciation FAQ, pt. 2: Lack of Evidence for Big Claims – Casey Luskin – podcast

    Related note:

    A Critique of Douglas Theobald’s – “29 Evidences for Macroevolution” by Ashby Camp

  6. 6
    JoeCoder says:

    @Mr. Babinski

    When I read Kas’s article a couple days ago I took it that he wasn’t referring to allopatric or sympatric speciation but was talking about greater distances. These types of speciation are very common and I doubt he would question these. Even hypothetically there’s nothing difficult about populations separating and selection in their new environments eliminating alleles from a more diverse founding population, or drift removing the child populations ability to mate with one another.

    But this is not the process that leads to all the new gene/protein families with new function and little-to-no homology in anything else, that we find an abundance of in animal genomes. From a study on ants:

    Orphan genes are defined as genes that lack detectable similarity to genes in other species and therefore no clear signals of common descent (i.e., homology) can be inferred. … for a significant fraction of ant orphan genes (20.8%), which we classified as orphan genes with unexplained origin, the origin of their genetic material could not be determined using sequence similarity. The ‘unexplained’ category may include genes that are not necessarily new but rapidly evolving so that their sequence diverged beyond recognition.

    This is a very different process that allele filtering or loss of reproductive compatibility, and I’m fairly certain differences such as these are what Kas Thomas is referring to. Note that “species” is used for both definitions.

  7. 7
    Robert Byers says:

    This guy is still wrong. its more likely religious people are hardly bullying. Its the other side as far as it is.
    He complains about bullying and then accuses creationists etc.
    Reaped what he sows.
    Who needs ya!

  8. 8
    Andre says:

    The Darwinist responses are a hose….. Not one of them have actually addressed the issue other than calling him stupid, a creationist and a slew of abuse we have all become very familiar with…..

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:


    A useful update.

    One thing, I think there is a difference between speaking once for record in a hostile context where the loudest voices are not likely to respond reasonably and engaging in profitable dialogue.

    If what is going on is a focus on merits or there is some significant sign that onlookers want to find an outline and pointer to the other side of the story, there will be a place for some discussion. But if you would only feed the trolls, make a brief point for record, link where a fair-minded person can go for more and refuse to feed the trolls.

    I disagree with Mr Thomas: bullying is as bullying does.

    In this case, verbal, personal abuse and accusation joined to refusal to discuss reasonably on the merits. I have found that a particularly strong sign is the trifecta cluster of fallacies: red herring distractors, led away to strawman distortions soaked in ad hominems and set alight to cloud, confuse, distract, poison the atmosphere, polarise and generally induce a sub-rational frame of mind suitable for indoctrinating those vulnerable to partyline tactic games.

    I am also a lot less than convinced that there is the sort of “equal blame” that the sort of “even handed” remarks he made suggests.

    That sails uncomfortably close to blaming those who are most often the targets of strident secularist rhetoric . . . and, worse than mere rhetoric.

    Yes, you can find Creationists and design supporters who have become abusive. That, too, is unacceptable.

    But it is obvious that the overwhelming pattern of abusive behaviour is coming from secularist fever swamps and those whose zealotry is driven by such.

    So much is this a pattern, that if UD were to relax its fairly strict moderation, it would be swarmed down by trolls of the ilk of the one who recently tried to “out” and trumpet my residential address — an obvious and utterly thuggish threat against my uninvolved wife and children.

    That sort of ugliness needs to stop.


    And, those who tolerate or hang out where this goes on unchecked are enablers of such thuggishness.

    Which, given horrific history, is yet another huge red warning flag.


  10. 10
    Joe says:


    Kas Thomas believes there is no visible evidence for one species evolving out of another?

    I am pretty sure he wasn’t talking about the lame speciation of alleged reproducive isolation. Most likely he was talking about macroevolution with its new body plans requiring new baody parts.

  11. 11
    lifepsy says:

    “Speciation”, almost as ambiguous,equivocal, and useless a word as “Evolution”.

    Is there a pattern here? Do other theories have a tendency to base themselves on broken terminology?

  12. 12
    Andre says:

    looks like Kas deleted my comment and his reply seems the to me that The Darwinists can reach beyond those in the sciences….. so much for free speech….

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