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Texas school board hearings: Startling gains in the hard science of citation bluffing are now widely noted

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Like any member of the tenured entitlement class, University of Texas microbiologist Andy Ellington, is entitled to facts that support his beliefs.

Providing such facts is easier than in the past, thanks to the great gains made by the science of citation bluffing. In “Andy Ellington’s Citation Bluffs and the Scientific Debate Over the Miller-Urey Experiment,” (Evolution News & Views, July 21, 2011), Casey Luskin offers illustrations from his online testimony:

Ellington’s testimony cites a 2008 paper, “A Reassessment of Prebiotic Organic Synthesis in Neutral Planetary Atmospheres,” co-authored by Jeffrey Bada, one of my own professors at UCSD. He claims this paper (herein referred to as Cleaves et al. (2008)) shows “significant amounts of amino acids are produced from neutral gas mixtures.” However, Cleaves et al. (2008) does not show what Ellington claims it does:

(1) First, the paper contradicts pro-evolution curricula which Ellington is defending by observing that the early earth probably did not have a reducing atmosphere of methane and ammonia.

(2) Second, a close analysis shows the paper doesn’t actually show that amino acids can be produced under actual natural conditions on the early earth.

Regarding Point 1, Cleaves et al. (2008) notes:

bl1Instead, evidence strongly suggested that neutral gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor–not methane, ammonia, and hydrogen–predominated in the early atmosphere.
(H. James Cleaves, John H. Chalmers. Antonio Lazcano, Stanley L. Miller, & Jeffrey L. Bada, “A Reassessment of Prebiotic Organic Synthesis in Neutral Planetary Atmospheres,” Origin of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, Vol. 38:105-115 (2008).)

The paper further states that “it is now generally held that the early Earth’s atmosphere was likely not reducing, but was dominated by N2 and CO2.”

This directly contradicts a number of curricula up for adoption in Texas, such as …

Sources argue, however, that the tenured entitlement class’s FactsTM, presented to students, are above the rules governing mere plebeian facts in everyday life.

For one thing,  FactsTM are subject only to the Central Dogma, “There is no contradiction in Darwin,” which means that any fact can be dealt with in any way that a tenured Darwinist wishes.

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Citation bluffing is an extremely pervasive tactic, particularly by those who have a PubMed account -- just put in a few keywords and throw out the citation. Often it doesn't matter whether the paper actually supports the position in question, or whether the paper's position is sound. By the time the victim of the bluff does all the homework to figure out it is a bluff the victim is exhausted, the thread has moved on, the hearing is closed, etc. This is very similar to the litigation tactic of swamping the other side with loads of irrelevant materials in discovery. Eric Anderson
Crevo asks: Will intelligent design ever get a fair hearing in the mainstream media? http://crev.info/content/110722-texas_press_perpetuates_id_myths bornagain77
Kelly Allen, a Presbyterian minister and evolution supporter, also spoke at the hearing. She introduced the 99% myth as fact: "Science is the skeletal remains of Australopithecus and the 99% shared DNA between chimps and humans." Allen has posted her comments on her blog in a post titled "Thank God for Evolution". source: http://kellysallen.blogspot.com/ barrybowen
Citation bluffing is a myth! See Hollered, Kirsten; Abunga, Cal. "The Bluff of Citation Bluffing," J. Irrepr. Res., vol 30, #2, 2009, pp.34-39. Miss Inga Tooth
Science is supposed to be an applied art - one of skepticism. It would be interesting to know (by survey?) how many come to their views on Darwin by actual enquiry. I don't recall ever being asked to challenge, to be the slightest bit skeptical about Darwinian ideas in school, and rarely, if ever, have I come across an active Darwinist, who was able to effectively critique, rather than try to prove the theory or its system of assumptions. Being post Darwinist myself (it's much easier to be a Darwinist, by the way - they always pat your head when you nod on cue -especially if you're little...) I cannot remember reaching my conclusion concerning the "truth" of Darwinian evolution on investigational grounds, rather, I simply believed what I was told that "science has shown or now knows." This is, I'm betting, is the standard case, one of a default position, one that isn't reflected upon, even among the highly educated. Darwin first, evidence applied to those ends after. Would that be germain to the hearings. How to investigate? arkady967

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