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People apologised when the speaker for design was shouted down, but …

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At Evolution News & Views today, our JonathanM describes (June 16, 2011) an encounter with a true blue dyed-in-the-wool slam dunk total believing Darwinist (the Aristotle of Morris, Minnesota, US):

Colliding With The Pharyngula: My Encounter With PZ MyersMyers did mention the questions at the beginning of his lecture (describing yours truly as a “flaming moron”). He did not, however, despite promising to do so, provide satisfactory rebuttals to the questions at all during the course of his presentation (though he did attempt a response to one of the ten questions).

During the course of the Q&A, I raised a question concerning the lack of congruence between homology and developmental pathways, citing several papers to substantiate my claims (which I gave to PZ following the talk). What ensued was an eruption of jeering and mocking from the floor. It became so loud at one point that it was difficult to audibly articulate the point. A few people apologised afterwards.

But apology means never having to say you’re quarry. More.

What JonathanM wanted to raise for discussion in the Glasgow pub is that the history of life does not support Darwinist claims.

32 Replies to “People apologised when the speaker for design was shouted down, but …

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Those pesky embryos. Can’t we just ignore the ones that don’t support our desired picture of evolution?

  2. 2
    Barb says:

    Freedom of speech is fine except when it contradicts Darwin. Excuse me while I roll my eyes.

  3. 3
    DrREC says:

    Wow is this post inflated!

    From my viewing of the event, JonathanM is given over five minutes with a MICROPHONE at to ask PZ questions. There is a tad bit of jeering, but for 99% of the time, I can hear the glasses in the kitchen clinking. At the height of the noise, PZ calls for silence to let him finish. And he gets it.

    JonathanM’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t ask a single question-he goes on a bit of an incoherent rant, asking PZ to refute his interpretation of some (of the millions published) scientific literature, on the spot.

    Don’t believe me-watch 3:46 to 9:03 of this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    I think he was allowed his fair time to ask questions at a private event. A news article about censorship and shouting down is so much more interesting than the truth though, isn’t it???

  4. 4
    DrREC says:

    By the way, the paper PZ is questioning JonathanM’s citing of-by Sir Gavin Rylands de Beer FRS, recipient of the Darwins Medal of the Royal Society–couldn’t be newer than 1960, when de Beer retired.

    JonathanM is countering PZ’s citation of modern molecular data with misinterpretations of 1950’s morphology. This would draw some chuckles from me…..

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    So DrREC, do you favor the fake embryo drawings being used in school, or do you favor actual photographs???

    notes:

    One of the most blatant examples of a known falsehood being taught as proof of evolution is Haeckel’s Embryo drawings. Though the drawings have been known to be fraudulent for over 100 years;

    Haeckel’s Bogus Embryo Drawings – The faked drawings compared to actual pictures
    http://www.newworldencyclopedi.....ogeny2.jpg

    Actual Embryo photos;
    http://www.intelldesign.com/wp.....15;385.jpg

    There is no highly conserved embryonic stage in the vertebrates: – Richardson MK – 1997
    Excerpt: Contrary to recent claims that all vertebrate embryos pass through a stage when they are the same size, we find a greater than 10-fold variation in greatest length at the tailbud stage. Our survey seriously undermines the credibility of Haeckel’s drawings,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9278154

    Current Textbooks Misuse Embryology to Argue for Evolution – June 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....35751.html

    Icons of Evolution 10th Anniversary: Haeckel’s Embryos – January 2011 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0kHPw3LaG8

    moreover:

    The mouse is not enough – February 2011
    Excerpt: Richard Behringer, who studies mammalian embryogenesis at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas said, “There is no ‘correct’ system. Each species is unique and uses its own tailored mechanisms to achieve development. By only studying one species (eg, the mouse), naive scientists believe that it represents all mammals.”
    http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/57986/

    Modern Synthesis of Neo-Darwinism Is Dead – Paul Nelson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5548184/

  6. 6
    DrREC says:

    bornagain77-

    Forever changing the subject, but I have never been provided with any solid evidence “Haeckel’s embryos” are being used in textbooks. Every time this comes up, I ask for the evidence, and it seems lacking.

    I will gladly write a letter to the editor of any textbook defending the biogenetic law. That is false, and not at all in keeping with evolutionary biology. It incorporates Larmarck, and would present a significant issue to evolutionary development if it were true.

    There are legitimate pedagogical reasons (well backed by data) to say development is similar, and to show photos of embryos.

    Conflating these with Haeckel’s folly is a nice game, but an unconvincing one.

  7. 7
    markf says:

    #3 Dr Rec

    I agree that Jonathan M.’s description of events is wildly exaggerated. But, having looked at the video, I think PZ abused his power as the guy up front with the microphone. Jonathan M. appears to be a vulnerable young man who finds it difficult to express himself in a hostile public environment. It would have been far more interesting and effective to treat him politely and try to find out what he was trying to say. As it is, PZ comes across as a bully not interested in debating the issues. Given his lead I thought the audience were remarkably restrained.

  8. 8
    Jonathan M says:

    markf –

    I don’t think what I wrote is exaggerated at all. You can’t hear the background in the video footage. But speak to someone who was there.

    J

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    DrREC, you state:

    ‘I have never been provided with any solid evidence “Haeckel’s embryos” are being used in textbooks. I will gladly write a letter to the editor of any textbook defending the biogenetic law.’

    OKie Dokie:

    Glaring Bloopers Found in Proposed Texas Science Curricular Materials – June 2011
    Excerpt: “They’re back!! Haeckel’s bogus drawings were previously removed by the Texas State Board of Education during the 2003 biology textbook adoption process,” said Dr. John West, a Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute. “But like creatures in a zombie film, they keep returning.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47201.html

    Glad to hear you are against this DRREC, are you going to write the Texas State Board Of Education with your concern that these fakes be kept out??? Here are past abuses;

    What do Modern Textbooks Really Say about Haeckel’s Embryos? – 2007
    Some Darwinists continue to deny that there has been any misuse of Haeckel in recent times. If that is the case, why did Stephen Jay Gould attack how textbooks use Haeckel in 2000? Gould wrote: “We should… not be surprised that Haeckel’s drawings entered nineteenth-century textbooks. But we do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks!” (emphasis added) Similarly, in 1997, the leading embryologist Michael K. Richardson lamented in the journal Anatomy and Embyology that “Another point to emerge from this study is the considerable inaccuracy of Haeckel’s famous figures. These drawings are still widely reproduced in textbooks and review articles, and continue to exert a significant influence on the development of ideas in this field.” (emphases added)

    Below are listed a number of such modern textbooks which have used Haeckel’s embryo drawings in the fashion stated above. The list includes an analysis of each textbook, with documenting graphics:

    I. Peter H Raven & George B Johnson, Biology (5th ed, McGraw Hill, 1999)*

    II. Peter H Raven & George B Johnson, Biology (6th ed, McGraw Hill, 2002)*

    III. Textbook III. Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology (3rd ed, Sinauer, 1998)

    IV. Cecie Starr and Ralph Taggart, Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life (8th ed, Wadsworth, 1998)

    V. Joseph Raver, Biology: Patterns and Processes of Life (J.M.Lebel, 2004, draft version presented to the Texas State Board of Education for approval in 2003)

    VI. Cecie Starr and Ralph Taggart, Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life (Wadsworth, 2004, draft version presented to the Texas State Board of Education in 2003)

    VII. William D. Schraer and Herbert J. Stoltze, Biology: The Study of Life (7th ed, Prentice Hall, 1999)

    VIII. Michael Padilla et al., Focus on Life Science: California Edition (Prentice Hall, 2001)

    IX. Kenneth R Miller & Joseph Levine, Biology: The Living Science (Prentice Hall, 1998)

    X. Kenneth R Miller & Joseph Levine, Biology (4th ed., Prentice Hall, 1998)

    http://www.discovery.org/a/3935

    DrREC, It should make you happy to know that, due in large measure to Jonathan Wells ICONS of Evolution, the fake drawings are no longer as pervasive as they once were in textbooks. Are you going to write a letter to Jonathan thanking him for making you happy???

    DrREC, you also state:

    ‘There are legitimate pedagogical reasons (well backed by data) to say development is similar, and to show photos of embryos.’

    This expert didn’t get the memo:

    The mouse is not enough – February 2011
    Excerpt: Richard Behringer, who studies mammalian embryogenesis at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas said, “There is no ‘correct’ system. Each species is unique and uses its own tailored mechanisms to achieve development. By only studying one species (eg, the mouse), naive scientists believe that it represents all mammals.”
    http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/57986/

    As for photos, I got just the one for them to use:

    Actual Photos
    http://www.intelldesign.com/wp.....15;385.jpg

    DrREC, do you think they ought to use this quote before or after the pictures:

    ‘Richard Behringer, who studies mammalian embryogenesis at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas said, “There is no ‘correct’ system. Each species is unique and uses its own tailored mechanisms to achieve development. By only studying one species (eg, the mouse), naive scientists believe that it represents all mammals.”’

    As Well DrREC as long as we are correcting textbooks, where, exactly, do you think we should squeeze this little tidbit in, in the textbooks???

    Modern Synthesis of Neo-Darwinism Is Dead – Paul Nelson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5548184/

    It seems it should go very near the actual pictures (with relevant history of fake drawings) and the quote by Richard Behringer. Don’t you agree???,,, DrREC, It brightens up my day so much to learn that you are taking a stand for truthfulness in textbooks!

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    DrREC, to return the favor, I hope this song brightens up your day:

    Steven Curtis Chapman – The Great Adventure
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVFPjIp6nkk

  11. 11
    NZer says:

    I have now watched the entire video.

    I think Jonathan was in the lions den so to speak, but should have presented his questions in a much clearer way. Personally I could not follow the questions although I could follow most of the other questions. In these situations you need to have a clear simple concise question that both PZ and the audience can follow.

    PZ was civil for most of the Q&A, the whisky or whatever had plainly gone to his head by the end, but during Jonathan’s questions he was really quite abusive. This did little to move me in his direction.

    Btw, it strikes me as a little funny how PZ wants comparative religion, but refuses to entertain comparative biology.

  12. 12
    Joseph says:

    DrREC,

    There isn’t any modern molecular data that demonstrates that genetic accidents can accumulate in such a way as to construct new, useful and functional multi-part systems. And seeing that living organisms are full of them that should be a big problem for the theory of eolution.

  13. 13
    Jonathan M says:

    I just spoke with one of the people who helped with the organisation / administration of the event. He said,

    “You were using a one-person mic, deliberately designed not to pick up surrounding noise. So that’s what fed into the recording.”

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    NZ:

    I think we should factor in the disruptive effect of trying to make your point in the face of a baying crowd.

    G

  15. 15
    lpadron says:

    #7 markf

    I disagree. While Jonathan is very obviously nervous and having a difficult time asking his question he does not appear vulnerable.
    Though I’m quite sure he didn’t intend it, Jonathan comes across as trying to get PZ in a “gotcha” moment in front of his own crowd.
    And though Myers could have been more gracious I thought he wasn’t entirely ungracious either.
    Does he talk some smack? Yeah. That’s his M.O. and this Q & A is being held in a pub of all places. A little leeway for both Jonathan AND PZ is in order, I think.

  16. 16
    markf says:

    #15 lpadron

    Well of course this is all highly subjective. In my opinion to start a response to a question by telling the questioner they ought to be ashamed of themselves for asking the question is pretty bad – whatever the question or the motives behind it. But maybe that is because I have spent so much of my life teaching (adults).

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    DrREC, ‘serendipitously’ (man I love that word) Casey Luskin just posted this:

    Haeckel’s Embryo Drawings Make Cameos in Proposed Texas Instructional Materials
    Excerpt: As elaborated in our report, some publishers (e.g. Adaptive Curriculum and Rice University) have submitted teaching materials for use in Texas that include Haeckel’s inaccurate embryo drawings. Indeed, even many publishers that didn’t use Haeckel’s drawings still overstate the degree of similarity between vertebrate embryos, and ignore the differences.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47321.html

  18. 18
    Brent says:

    markf and Jonathan M,

    I agree with your first post for the most part, markf. PZ was brilliant tactically in putting JM on his heels right off the bat, but it was certainly uncalled for and not proper. It did achieve exactly what PZ wanted, though.

    And yes, it was clearly a mic “problem” in not picking up the heckling. When JM was still holding the mic, but not right in front of his mouth, there was a severe drop in volume to the point of hardly knowing what JM was saying. Clearly, then, the heckling was much, much worse than the audio recording makes noticeable. It was uni-directional mic, which makes sense in that setting.

  19. 19
    Mung says:

    It incorporates Larmarck, and would present a significant issue to evolutionary development if it were true.

    Actually, Lamarckian inheritance would be a great thing for evolution to have in its toolkit, but it apparently does not. Strange that.

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    I just love how this has become a debate about the event and not about the science.

  21. 21
    markf says:

    #18 Brent

    it was clearly a mic “problem” in not picking up the heckling. When JM was still holding the mic, but not right in front of his mouth, there was a severe drop in volume to the point of hardly knowing what JM was saying. Clearly, then, the heckling was much, much worse than the audio recording makes noticeable. It was uni-directional mic, which makes sense in that setting.

    Study the short video sequence again. Only twice during JM’s speeches is there any crowd noise at all – but the clink of glasses is clearly heard. PZ has what appears to be an identical mic held rather closer to his mouth and crowd noise is heard clearly while he is speaking.

    #20 Mung

    I just love how this has become a debate about the event and not about the science.

    JM’s original article and the OP were both about the event not the science. Blame the authors if you don’t like it.

  22. 22
    Upright BiPed says:

    JM, are these not the same questions of evidence that Denton covered in his book Evolution: A Therory in Crisis?

    And what year was that book published?

  23. 23
    Jonathan M says:

    @ Upright BiPed,

    Ashamed to say, I’ve not actually read Denton’s book.

    J

  24. 24
    Barb says:

    DrREC: “Wow is this post inflated!
    From my viewing of the event, JonathanM is given over five minutes with a MICROPHONE at to ask PZ questions. There is a tad bit of jeering, but for 99% of the time, I can hear the glasses in the kitchen clinking. At the height of the noise, PZ calls for silence to let him finish. And he gets it.”

    The problem is not that the post is inflated; the problem is that a person was jeered by supposedly tolerant, open-minded, rational individuals during a Q&A session. Reacting to a different opinion with jeering is childish.

  25. 25
    Mung says:

    markf:

    JM’s original article and the OP were both about the event not the science.

    Hopefully the following three examples will suffice to demonstrate to any reasonable observer that your assertion is false.

    The point which I had raised in the Q&A concerned the fact that there exists widespread variation in embryological processes and genetic mechanisms giving rise to apparently homologous organs, and there is also the related problem of homologous structures arising from different embryological sources. I provided several examples of this which have been documented in the literature. Remarkably, Myers seemed to contest my claim that this was actually the case, and I delivered a few papers to him afterwards in support of this contention, and I would also direct my readers to these papers to verify that my claim is both true and very well documented (e.g. Alberch 1985; Scholtz 2005).

    Indeed, in 1997, Michael Richardson and his colleagues published a very famous paper in the Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, which bore the title, “There is no highly conserved embryonic stage in the vertebrates: implications for current theories of evolution and development.” The paper reported…

    In a more recent (2003) paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, titled “Inverting the hourglass: quantitative evidence against the phylotypic stage in vertebrate development,” Richardson and his colleagues report…

    Let me know if you want more.

  26. 26
    DrREC says:

    One note-the ID/creationist take on the comparative embryology in textbooks is deeply misleading. They conflate “Haeckel’s Embryos” and his notions with ANY use of ANY embryos, including proper ones.

    Of textbooks I’ve looked at, Haeckel is usually mentioned only in the context of being wrong.

    Indeed, many textbooks cite the Richardson 1997 paper (much beloved by y’all and cited above) as their source of figures!

    Like this textbook:
    http://i479.photobucket.com/al.....153748.jpg

    All comparative embryology isn’t Haeckel!

  27. 27
    DrREC says:

    By the way, you should read the conclusions of those papers. Richardson’s 1997 paper finds that even without a strictly conserved stage that comparative embryology is useful and evolutionary relationships could be discerned.

    “….phylogenetic relations among these clades are indicated in Fig. 9. Vertebrates show many common features at this stage. These include the presence of somites, neural tube, optic anlagen, notochord and pharyngeal pouches. However, these and other prominent features of the vertebrate body plan show considerable evidence of evolutionary modification when the embryos of different species are compared.”

  28. 28
    markf says:

    #25 Mung

    OK. JM’s article was about both the event and science – but it lead with the event. The OP, which we are commenting on, concentrated on the event (look at the title).

  29. 29
    Mung says:

    markf:

    OK. JM’s article was about both the event and science – but it lead with the event. The OP, which we are commenting on, concentrated on the event (look at the title).</

    Sorry markf, but I'm still not buying it.

    The OP quotes the same text from JM's article that I did:

    During the course of the Q&A, I raised a question concerning the lack of congruence between homology and developmental pathways, citing several papers to substantiate my claims (which I gave to PZ following the talk).

    And closes with:

    What JonathanM wanted to raise for discussion in the Glasgow pub is that the history of life does not support Darwinist claims.

    So yes, while the OP was about how he was treated, it’s not that to the exclusion of the other.

    The science has clearly been put on the table for discussion as well.

  30. 30
    markf says:

    #29 Mung

    The science has clearly been put on the table for discussion as well.

    Seems pretty marginal to me … but we are grown ups so let’s not bicker about it. The point is that the OP clearly lead with and invited discussion about the event. So if you think it is somehow wrong (see #20)to discuss the event and not the science blame the author.

  31. 31
    Mung says:

    Well, I was trying not to blame anyone. I was just trying to make what I thought was a valid observation.

    Perhaps stimulate some discussion about the validity of the evidence and the reasons people wouldn’t want to hear it.

    But instead we’re talking about the sort of mic that was used, lol.

  32. 32
    steve_h says:

    Herr Meyer’s has issued a so called “response” to JonathonM’s version of events here . Needless to say, its far from convincing.

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