Thursday, December 5, 2013

You thought descent from apes was bad















Now a mainstream University of Georgia geneticist and evolutionary biologist-- Dr. Eugene McCarthy, Director of Macroevolution.net--  claims that humans are likely descended from mating of an ape and a pig.

A male pig and a female chimpanzee, to be specific. (The feminists would have gone nuts if it was the other way around.)

Historians will tout this scientific breakthrough-- dubbed the "MFAP (monkey f***ed a pig) hypothesis"--  as further evidence of the prescience of Islamic science.

                                                                   ***

Evolutionary biology is a carnival, and human evolutionary biology is the freak show. And we're the sucker carnival patrons who, through taxpayer funding of this shit, keep it in business.

Note that teaching schoolchildren the MFAP hypothesis is completely legal. Teaching schoolchildren that we are created by God will get you a federal court injunction with fines and jail time if you don't shut up.

Atheism: first time as tragedy (1789-1991), second time as farce. 

81 comments:

  1. Eugene McCarthy isn't mainstream. He's just gone ga-ga in his old age. He has as little evidence for his hypothesis as Egnor has for teleological evolution.

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    1. He's gone ga-ga in his old age.

      That implies to me that he used to have the community seal of approval. What happened?

      I suspect you're dissembling. You wreak like intellectual dishonesty right now.

      Ben

      Delete
    2. Ben,

      Well, he's got a PhD, so he must have done acceptable work sometime. Occasionally people do develop hypotheses that can only be descibed as crazy. this is one of the cases.

      In answer to your question in your other comment, it would be extremely unlikely (read impossible) for a cross between a chimpanzee and a pig to have viable, let alone fertile offspring. Chimpanzees have 48 chromosomes. Pigs have far fewer chromosomes (I think 38).

      It's not impossible for hybrids to occur between species - for example between Australian black swans and European swans. But between pigs and apes is just too large a gap.

      Delete
  2. Is it even possible for an ape and a pig to produce offspring?

    Interspecies sex is tricky. When a horse mates with a donkey it produces a mule, which is sterile. But as far as I know, most other species can't produce any offspring.

    Are you sure that you get fines and jail time for teaching that God created us?

    Ben

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    1. Ben,

      'Are you sure that you get fines and jail time for teaching that God created us?'

      It's just Egnorian hyperbole. If you attempted to teach divine creation in a science course in a public school you'd be reprimanded, similar to the reprimand you'd get if you attempted to teach that humans are chimp-pig hybrids. Because neither are science.

      Delete
    2. Ben:

      "Are you sure that you get fines and jail time for teaching that God created us?"

      If a federal judge issues an injunction to stop, and you don't stop, the punishment isn't no ice cream for a week.

      Disregarding a federal court order and contempt of federal court are federal crimes. Felonies, actually.

      Delete
    3. Michael,

      Breaking the law persistently tends to get punished.

      Delete
    4. "Breaking the law persistently tends to get punished."

      True. So Bachfiend's assertion was correct. Teaching that God created us will get you thrown in jail or fined. That logically follows.

      In your first sentence response you called it "Egnorian hyperbole" and in your second you confirmed that it's true. Let me untangle this for you: as a rabid supporter of one side of this debate, you believe that those who oppose you really ought to be fined and/or thrown in jail. It just sounds bad when you say it that way. If you were honest with yourself you would say that those who teach that God created us should be fined and jailed AND RIGHTFULLY SO.

      TRISH

      Delete
    5. Trish,

      Actually, a science teacher in an American public school who flaunts the law by teaching special creation in a science class wouldn't be thrown into jail. He (or she) would be transferred by the school administration to teach other parts of the science course. Or would be fired with continuing defiance.

      As happened with John Freshwater.

      Delete
  3. If I've learned anything from "liberals" it's that expert opinion trumps all. McCarthy is a geneticist and evolutionary biologist. He's an expert. You're not.

    If I've learned anything else from "liberals" it's that anyone who still holds reservations after being issued the correct opinion by experts necessarily hates science.

    McCarthy is an expert. Bachfiend is a science-hater.

    Do you see how absurd this now?

    TRISH

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  4. By "you're not" I mean Bachfiend.

    TRISH

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    1. Trish,

      You haven't learned anything from liberals then. It's not the opinion of one 'expert' that counts. It's the consensus of many experts that counts, because they've done most of the work in assessing whether a novel hypothesis is plausible or not.

      And McCarthy's hypothesis isn't plausible, it's been dismissed as such already by many scientists. Not that that should be definitive; McClintock's work on 'jumping genes' (transposons) was initially ignored (she later was awarded a Nobel Prize for it). The Garcia effect (in which rats refuse to eat foods that cause nausea after several hours following just one experience) was initially rejected because it appeared inconsistent with standard conditioning).

      But McCarthy's hypothesis isn't even remotely plausible, for many reasons.

      And anyway. I do have some knowledge of human genetics. I trained as a pathologist after all, which deals peripherally with genetics. And to me, it's still highly implausible (read impossible).

      Delete
    2. It sounds quite impossible. You're right. That's why I don't believe it either.

      But that's my uncredentialed opinion. You and I share that uncredentialed opinion. Welcome to the science hater club!

      It's true that McCarthy is out of the mainstream on this one. As far as I know, he's the only one who advocates this view. He wrote the paper, after all. But many scientists who challenged what the scientific academy used to believe were also out of the mainsteam. You just named a few who bucked consensus. There are more and there will be more again.

      I guess liberals do put a lot of stock in consensus, which is really too bad because the larger group doesn't always have the right answer. In order to get the right answer, the facts are the only relevant judge. Consensus has nothing to do with it.

      TRISH

      Delete
    3. Trish,

      I'm a little less not credentialed than you to judge.

      Anyway. Consensus is the best method we have of judging whether something is plausible or not. Occasionally, someone bucks the consensus, and is later proven right. More often, a person bucking consensus is later proven to be absolutely wrong.

      Often correct hypotheses are just ignored and are realised to be significant much later. And often the reverse also happens too, with incorrect hypotheses being accepted (and even awarded Nobel Prizes).

      Einstein's theories of Relativity are as true as anything we know. They were considered so controversial when published that Einstein was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922 for his 1905 paper on the photovoltaic effect. Ignoring Special Relativity of 1905 and General Relativity of 1915.

      Delete
  5. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 5, 2013 at 6:59 AM

    Oh, I don't know. Bonking between pigs and monkeys (is that the etymological origin of the term "punk"?) is no more far-fetched than migrating mandibles and middle ears. You can read all about that hear. Oops, I meant here. The evolutionary process technically known as the "Bone Boogie".

    Here's PZ Meyers waxing lyrical: "This animal [Yanoconodon] is from that time just before the hearing apparatus has let loose of its last bony mooring and said bon voyage to the jaw. It’s a significant moment in history, I think." In other words, it's boogie time!

    And yes, boys and girls, that is how The Great Molecule gave you that exquisite little acoustic matching transformer that allows you to apprehend both the Bone Boogie bullshit and Bach.

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    1. Grandpa,

      Do you mean to say you don't understand PZ Myer's description of the evolution of the middle ear from reptiles?

      I'm certain if you look, you'll be able to find a YouTube video discussing it, using moving pictures that you might be able to understand. Or perhaps not.

      You could always refer to the chapter in Robert Asher's 'Evolution and Belief. Confessions of a Religious Paleontologist' which discusses the same topic in more basic detail. Which also illustrates that evolution (Asher uses the term 'Darwinism') isn't intrinsically atheist.

      Asher argues that God is the agency, evolution is the mechanism used.

      Anyway, PZ Myers had a long thread in the pig-chimp hypothesis on his blog on July 2, 2013. He wrote all that needs to be said about this batshit crazy hypothesis - and unusually had only 19 comments, because no one could think of anything to disagree with.

      Delete
    2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 5, 2013 at 7:27 AM

      barkmad: "blah, blah, blah Which also illustrates that evolution (Asher uses the term 'Darwinism') isn't intrinsically atheist."

      As it happens, I didn't say it was.

      Nice straw man, though.

      As it happens, it's not evolution I have a problem with. It's "just-so" stories in drag that I find amusing.

      As usual, you're making the evo-tool argument that one must accept all the just-so stories of the anointed darwinian bishops in the true apostolic succession as scientific fact. In fact, Trish pointed out the same thing above.

      Call me a heretic.

      Delete
    3. Grandpa,

      Karl Reichert had worked out the development of the mammalian middle ear in 1837 over 20 years before 'On the Origin of Species' based on the comparative embryology of amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

      He wasn't a 'Darwinian bishop'.

      You have a problem with science full-stop.

      I didn't state that you'd written that evolution is atheistic. I just noted that evolution isn't intrinsically atheistic.

      And Trish didn't point out the same thing you're claiming she did. All she claimed (wrongly) is that liberals accept whatever a single 'expert' states as being true.

      Delete
    4. The “just so” stories of evolution are the best explanations we have for historical facts. Every historical narrative is a “just so” story. There are no doubt facets of history we will never know, but if a historical event is well documented, like the video of Jack Ruby shooting Oswald, or the fossil record of mammalian ear development, you can rest assured it happened no matter how improbable it seems to you.

      -KW

      Delete
    5. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 5, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      There is no "fossil record of ear development".

      Delete
    6. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 5, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      And yes, the just-so stories are the best explanations you have. My point exactly.

      Delete
    7. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 5, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      barkmad: "You have a problem with science full-stop."

      I do? What is the problem?

      Delete
    8. Grandpa,

      The problem you have with science is that you refuse to consider the consilience of evidence that indicates that evolution is true. The comparative anatomy and embryology of the middle ear in amphibians, reptiles and mammals supports the fossil evidence.

      Karl Reichert did his work on the middle year 20 years before 'On the Origin of Species'. His work fits in nicely with the fossil record.

      He was no Darwinian.

      Delete
    9. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 5, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      Evolution is a theory. It is the best theory we have. I'm no opponent of evolution, barkmad.

      I have a problem with scientism.

      I have a problem with naturalism.

      I have a problem with atheism.

      And I have a problem with dressing up verbal narrative as science.

      Delete
    10. Grandpa,

      Then what's your definition of evolution you don't have a problem with?

      Delete
    11. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 5, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      barkmad...

      I do not have a "definition of evolution" different from the currently given definition of the process.

      However, I do not believe that gazing at bones and speculating about what might or might not have happened 500 million years ago is worthy of the same intellectual respect as our empirical and theoretical understanding of, say, wave propagation.

      That's not to say it's not worth doing - assuming the money to support the work isn't simply being borrowed on our children's credit card or seized under duress from middle-class families by a government. It's interesting enough.

      I'm just not convinced the current explanations are sufficient.

      What's your problem with skepticism?

      Delete
    12. Grandpa,

      So what is your concept of the definition of evolution?

      Anyway. Skepticism is an inherent part of science. Whenever a paleontologist studies a new fossil, and it's not a matter of a matter of gazing at it -the study often takes years from the time the fossil has been discovered, his or her interpretation when published immediately becomes open to criticism. Which often happens.

      You keep on ignoring the consilience of evidence. Fossils are important, but they're not the only evidence.

      Delete
  6. I suspect that the point of this article is not if she is right or wrong but if she could teach this in a university course...

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  7. The MFAP "hypothesis" makes no sense from the standpoint of evolutionary biology. PZ Myers explains:

    [N]o one reasonably expects pigs and chimps to be interfertile. The primate and artiodactyl lineages have diverged for roughly 80 million years — just the gradual accumulation of molecular differences in sperm and egg recognition proteins would mean that pig sperm wouldn’t recognize a chimpanzee egg as a reasonable target for fusion. Heck, even two humans will have these sorts of mating incompatibilities. Two species that haven’t had any intermingling populations since the Cretaceous? No way.

    This guy McCarthy is not an evolutionary biologist, by the way. He rejects evolutionary biology. In his own words,

    During my years at the genetics department, I became increasingly dissatisfied with the standard explanation of evolution. The more I read about fossils, the more convinced I became that Darwin's account of the evolutionary process was fundamentally flawed. Moreover, in my study of hybrids I became aware that an alternative way of thinking about evolution, what I now call "stabilization theory," could do a better job of explaining the available data.

    Over the years, in addition to the dry papers I published on such topics as new genetics software I had written, or surveys of the mouse and rice genomes, I wrote successive versions of a paper explaining the problems I saw with standard evolutionary theory and presented my alternative explanation. These manuscripts, once submitted, would promptly arrive in the hands of anonymous reviewers who would recommend rejection, because, they said, my claims contradicted accepted tenets of standard theory. Well, yes, of course they did — because I was trying to present an alternative evolutionary theory that, if correct, would imply that Darwinian theory is mistaken at an axiomatic level.


    He is not at the University of Georgia, either. He had a falling out with the department and they parted way a while ago.

    So here we are. Egnor finds a crackpot who is clearly not a mainstream evolutionary biologist and pretends that the guy represents today's science.

    You're a dishonest hack, Michael Egnor. An intellectually lazy, dishonest hack.

    Hoo

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    1. Egnor is a 'dishonest hack... an intellectually lazy, dishonest hack' who uses the Mail On-line as a science reference.

      The worst newspaper in the world with an even worse online presence.

      Delete
    2. bach:

      "Egnor is a 'dishonest hack... an intellectually lazy, dishonest hack' "

      What a piggish, monkey-like thing to say.

      Delete
    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 5, 2013 at 7:29 AM

      Punks. :-)

      Delete
    4. Michael,

      Pigs and monkeys don't tell the truth. You are an intellectually dishonest hack.

      Delete
    5. Bach,

      "Pigs and monkeys don't tell the truth. "
      What a strange thing to say....
      Do you chat with them frequently and find them lying consistently? Do you feel that certain breeds of animals are genetically dishonest?
      How do you communicate with them? Perhaps telepathically? What do they tell you?

      Delete
    6. "The worst newspaper in the world with an even worse online presence."

      It's a tabloid, Bach. There are hundreds like it. Many with much lower standards again.
      But, at least they cover things like this. Good amusement value.

      Delete
  8. It’s not McCarthy who supports the fundamentalist Muslim view of evolution, it’s Egnor.

    -KW

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  9. I invite everyone to assess the accuracy of Egnor's characterization of Eugene McCarthy as "a mainstream University of Georgia geneticist and evolutionary biologist."

    My assessment: four Pinocchios.

    Hoo

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    1. The Pinocchio scale, in case you haven't a clue.

      Hoo

      Delete
    2. Looks like no one wants to defend Egnor's lies.

      Hoo

      Delete
    3. No takers?

      Hoo

      Delete
  10. Well, to disavow this hypothesis is one thing. I can see why the evolutionary biology community would do that. It is not going to be a popular idea, and seems to me quite unrealistic. But, to attempt to a PhD this person is/was not part of the research community is just lame. They have authored books, papers, etc etc.
    As absurd as this theory sounds, it is just another attempt to explain away the disconnect between humans and other simian type creatures. Similar (less outrageous and insulting) mythologies are created all the time to explain bone (and now DNA) extracted from early human and human-like populations and their dispersement. Vast, rich, mythologies about migrations based on a single ancient hip bone or femur.
    So pigs and chimps? Just more of the same.
    Funny, really.

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    1. crus, the guy himself says that he disavows evolutionary biology. Presenting him as a mainstream scientist, as Egnor does, is a lie.

      Hoo

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    2. Not only does he reject evolutionary biology, evolutionary biologists reject him. He couldn't publish his pig-headed "theory" with any mainstream publisher. The reviews were all negative.

      Hoo

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    3. "He couldn't publish his pig-headed "theory" with any mainstream publisher."
      Good!

      Delete
    4. @Hoo:

      McCarthy doesn't "disavow evolutionary biology". He is an evolutionary biologist, with full and impressive academic credentials, who has an unorthodox view of evolutionary biology-- he believes that hybridization played a greater role than is commonly acknowledged.

      He's obviously a Darwinist to the core, doing what Darwinists do-- making up crazy just-so-stories.

      Delete
    5. You are lying, Egnor.

      McCarthy isn't a mainstream evolutionary biologist. He has no "impressive academic credentials". The guy is pretty much unemployed. He isn't affiliated with the University of Georgia. He can't publish his bullshit anywhere.

      Liar, liar, pants on fire!

      Hoo

      Delete
    6. Web of Science returns a total of 6 publications for McCarthy. My grad students have more.

      Hoo

      Delete
    7. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 5, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Your grad students probably have their own journals there at the University of Trollistan.

      Delete
    8. Grandpa,

      With a publication record like yours, one shouldn't even enter this conversation.

      Hoo

      Delete
    9. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 5, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      Hoots, unlike anybody you know there at Trollistan U, I got paid for my work.

      Delete
    10. Crusader Rex,

      The reason why there's a disconnect between humans and the other great apes is because all the other species of Homo have gone extinct. No more Homo neanderthalensis, Homo floresiensis or Homo denisova.

      Not to mention Austropithecus afarensis and other homo ancestors.

      We possibly caused our cousins to go extinct. And perhaps also hybridised with them - the only form of hybridisation that's possible, within a genus.

      Delete
    11. Grandpa, you were paid to sweep the floors in the department.

      Hoo

      Delete
    12. Bach,

      I am aware of these ideas. The concept of hybridization and/or extinction is not what I take central issue with. It is the incredible amount of fantastic reconstructions surrounding a tiny, paltry amount of very hard won evidence.
      A hip bone is found, and an entire mythos is rewritten. How about NOT writing the book, until there are enough facts to form a sentence? Or, alternately, if the book must be written to 'sell' the next expedition and keep the public interest up, sell the book as the speculative fiction it is and use the funds from the book to pay for the next jaunt.
      Instead what we see are these ideas being sold as facts.
      They are 'best guesses', often grossly limited by a restrictive (almost autistic) world view.
      When I read this fluffy stuff about the sex life of dinosaurs and the kitchen habits of Neanderthals, I feel like I went into the library looking for Chaucer or Marlowe and was handed a copy of 'Twilight'.

      Delete
  11. Mike,
    "Note that teaching schoolchildren the MFAP hypothesis is completely legal. Teaching schoolchildren that we are created by God will get you a federal court injunction with fines and jail time if you don't shut up."
    If that is indeed the case, it is truly a sad state of affairs.
    In our (local) biology courses for high school kids (my son's and nephew's) taught about evolution in one unit, and much of it is was truly fantastical stuff. A lot of it read like classical Roman mythology. It was full, as it is often, of magic and leaps between organisms etc.
    The teachers, however, were required to note that this stuff was only 'theory' and that the origins of life were still mysterious, and may forever be.
    My son also did a fascinating unit on the 'mysteries of the mind' which was all about consciousness and basically trashed materialistic theories as inadequate. I found that unit to be a major improvement on what I had experienced at the same age.
    This was the public system, incidentally.

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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 5, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      C-Rex, here's what I find interesting. A discussion of the events during the ministry of Jesus, personally witnessed by many individuals and recorded by four (five, if you count the references by Josephus), will drive some people into a spittle-flecked frenzy and many others into an eye-rolling "What a gullible moron" mode.

      Those same people will take as gospel the speculations of some guy with a PhD describing events that took place in the Mesozoic, 250 to 65 million years ago, all based on a few bones. If they called it what it is, ossomancy, most folks would give it the credit it deserves.

      And don't think this to mean that I object to folks making up stories about bones. I don't. But I think people should be at least as skeptical of those stories as they are of the recorded experiences of living witnesses.

      Delete
    2. crus:

      You son's experience with the "mysteries of the mind" is fascinating, and a good thing. I've noticed that there are aspects of the Canadian public school system that are much less biased against non-materialist/non-atheist views than the American system is.

      Delete
    3. Adm,

      "Those same people will take as gospel the speculations of some guy with a PhD describing events that took place in the Mesozoic, 250 to 65 million years ago, all based on a few bones."
      I know exactly what you mean. The rich mythologies that are built up (then later torn down and replaced with more) are told/sold as truths. It is reminiscent of the Greek or Roman myths. More accurately Sumerian myths, which were constantly revised - temple to temple.
      We can obviously glean some facts from bones, but the incredible tales of myriad ecosystems and the interplay, destruction, and extinction (?!) of them - along with the 'moral' tales implicit in them - are just too much.
      I have to admit, though, I am immensely amused with the revisions and divisions this stuff causes. Angels and pinheads galore!

      Delete
    4. Mike,
      "I've noticed that there are aspects of the Canadian public school system that are much less biased against non-materialist/non-atheist views than the American system is."

      I think that is true, to some extent. It really depends on the location of the school. In other words, I don't think our system is as much less subject to federal and even provincial levels of control. The boards tend to be more independent in some respects.
      A recent event with the Gideon Bible society illustrates this.
      In my area the Bible society had arranged to hand out to children who requested one (by list, totally voluntary and anonymous) during classes at then end of the day.
      Somebody in the big smoke who vacations up this way found out about that and was incensed by the fact a government institution would allow such a transgression of their secular (un)values. So they began a campaign, and in it described how they had stopped this practice in Toronto.
      To make a long story short, the local board originally capitulated, but after a public, staff, and legal outrage and response, back-tracked and allowed the Bibles to be handed out AFTER classes in the cafeteria. So, the Bibles still got out. In fact, our county was used as an example (precedent) to get the Gideons back in to many of the schools in Toronto, as well.
      This year, I understand, they are back being handed out during the final class.
      The big difference is our laws are geared toward tolerating all religions, not silencing them. Children are allowed to pray in school (Christian, Jew, Muslim etc etc).
      Children sing a national anthem with the word 'God' in it every day. In our alternate (publicly funded, you just alter your tax forms) educational systems such as the Catholic, private, military, and 'Christian' (Anglican) schools there is a daily prayer said after the anthem. Muslim and Jewish schools (in the big cities) also allow for prayer times.
      Our National charters mention not only God, but Christ in their preambles. The head of state is a Christian monarch, etc etc.
      So, we are more geared toward being tolerant of regional and religious differences in one respect, and more decentralized in other ways. They/we are far from perfect, don't get me wrong. But materialism and secularism are not the gods (lower case) of the educational system here.
      At least not everywhere.
      What gets me is that I went to HS in the states for two years, as my mother was living there in those days. This was the 80's. In those days there was literally no difference in that aspect of our educational systems. The Lord's Prayer was said every morning, with an opt out for those who did not wish to. Evolution was a theory, not a law. Religion (my school was quite diverse) was openly tolerated, even celebrated etc etc.
      These changes are all quite recent, and slow moving.

      Delete
    5. Crusader Rex,

      So what sort of school does your son attend?

      Evolution is a theory, not a law. In science, a theory isn't a guess, as it is in everyday life, it's a hypothesis explaining observations of reality that is so well supported by the evidence that it becomes a theory, which is about as certain as anything can be in science.

      There's an enormous consilience of evidence indicating that evolution is true, which would be impossible to adequately cover in one unit in high school. Including comparative anatomy, embryology, genetics, palaeontology, the geographic distribution of species, etc.

      I wonder why your son's school has a unit on the mysteries of the mind? Does it deal with psychology, neurophysiology and neuroanatomy (including microscopic anatomy), which are all complicated subjects on their own?

      Delete
    6. Grandpa,

      The problems we have with the Gospels is that we don't know who wrote them (I have a very religious brother who insisted one time that the Gospels were written by disciples - eyewitnesses - of Jesus, whereas Mark traditionally was the secretary of Peter and Luke the traveling companion of Paul). None of the Gospels have an identified as having an author, save the oblique reference in Acts and Luke.

      Also the Gospels contradict each other in the details at various points. And we don't have original copies - the earliest copies, often incomplete, come from centuries after the purported events.

      There are no contemporary records about Jesus outside of the Bible. Josephus wrote decades later, and the reference to Jesus is an obvious later interposition inserted by later Christian scribes as they were copying it.

      Delete
    7. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      backfield, whatever the academic disagreements about the Gospels (and your comments are a biased sample of the current state of affairs in Biblical scholarship) in my view they are a far more reliable source than speculations about what might or might not have happened 500 million years ago.

      Delete
    8. Grandpa,

      In your view... Sheesh.

      Delete
    9. Bach,
      "So what sort of school does your son attend?"
      Currently he in university part time and working.
      He did attend a high school before that, and that is what I am referencing in the above comment.

      "Evolution is a theory, not a law. In science, a theory isn't a guess, as it is in everyday life, it's a hypothesis explaining observations of reality that is so well supported by the evidence that it becomes a theory, which is about as certain as anything can be in science."
      Sure. Theories are open to interpretation and are often improved upon or replaced with better theories.

      "There's an enormous consilience of evidence indicating that evolution is true, which would be impossible to adequately cover in one unit in high school. Including comparative anatomy, embryology, genetics, palaeontology, the geographic distribution of species, etc."
      Three years of advanced level biology is enough to hit on most of these topics, at least superficially. If a student is still very interested, they can pursue these sciences at the post secondary level. High school is meant to introduce these concepts to those who want to further their education along those lines. Not to indoctrinate them into one specific interpretation of a single or family of theory.

      "I wonder why your son's school has a unit on the mysteries of the mind? Does it deal with psychology, neurophysiology and neuroanatomy (including microscopic anatomy), which are all complicated subjects on their own?"
      The course which my son took this unit in was a university preparatory course on biology in medicine. At the time he had wanted to study along those lines and the course gave him an opportunity to enter that stream. Psychology and neuroscience were touched upon, obviously.
      I do not recall all the rather dry specifics, but I do recall that unit (as it also interested me) and the all consuming nature of the homework involved. Especially the dreaded 'independent study unit' that counted for a large portion of his grades. It was a tough course, but he did quite well in it.
      He has since abandoned that track entirely and is moving along other lines. He seems much happier for it, too.

      Delete
    10. Adm.

      '[...]they [the gospels] are a far more reliable source than speculations about what might or might not have happened 500 million years ago.'
      I could not agree more.
      I was listening to lecture the other day in which a fellow was talking about ESP and the like. He made an excellent point that is somewhat similar. He stated that he found it remarkable that his studies (as strange as they are) are based on experimentation and data, but are scoffed at and ridiculed by legions of professional sceptics. But, that the astronomer Royal in the UK is an open adherent of some form of Multiverse theory and rants on about it all the time, with no one even challenging the fact that his ideas have not a single shred of evidence to back them up. He went on to make some very interesting points about the 'necessity' of dark matter and the measured (and averaged) inconsistency of some of the universal constants.
      Anyway, he pointed out that the imbalance was always in favour of a materialist paradigm.
      I am not so sure I buy his theories on telepathy, but I think that his general observation of an imbalance in the way science is judged is quite true. It is quite obvious that is the case when we look at these wild stories about the extremely ancient world all invented to support that paradigm.

      Delete
    11. Crusader Rex,

      Care to give further details about the ESP research? Generally, when there's a positive (statistically significant) result in ESP research it's very small, easily explained by flaws in the study protocol.

      At least one of the Multiverse theories is correct, by definition. The Visible Universe is at least 1/1000 the size of the actual Universe resulting from the Big Bang, and the Universe may actually be spatially infinite. There's no reason to assume that physical laws and constants are the same throughout the Universe.

      We don't have stories about ancient worlds. We have evidence, including fossils. Whenever a new piece of evidence, including a new fossil, the current theories are tested, and could be disproved.

      Dark matter exists. We just don't know what is. It's necessary to explain such things as galaxies rotating faster than predicted according to the amount of observed ordinary matter.

      Not knowing everything is a feature of science. Science is pursued in order to find answers (and also questions we weren't aware of).

      New evidence can always be found in science. Unlike religion, in which there are no new 'facts', just new interpretations.

      I still doubt your capacity to judge science. Your son might have studied science, but you haven't, not in depth.

      Delete
    12. Bach,

      Re the ESP research: The lecture was something available publicly. I suspect it may be on youtube or vimeo.
      It was a lecture given by a certain Dr Sheldrake in California and had to do with a series of tests and correlative data he has been collecting. In it he touches on a broader theory of his about mind. I don't really know what to think about all that. It's interesting, but I would need to actually read up on it; and I currently don't have the free time to do so.
      Apparently he has written some fairly popular books.
      Anyway.... My reasons for watching this fellow's lecture were professional. So I am not really at liberty to discuss WHY I was watching it, or why the people I work with and for find the data included in this fellows research interesting. You can draw your own inferences.

      Re dark matter and the universal constants: I am not convinced either way. But, I would say this fellow has made some very pointed observations about the 'need' for dark matter and it's rather convenient placement.
      But, as I note: There is not enough hours in the day. Maybe if my superiors want to follow that line, I would have an excuse to read up on his theories and examine them properly. Maybe I would bounce them off the interested parties?
      As it stands, I am currently reading a book on Napoleonic conflicts for my own enjoyment. That and the Word, of course.

      " ...I still doubt your capacity to judge science. Your son might have studied science, but you haven't, not in depth."
      You're quite correct. I am an outside party. My own academic studies are of a different path entirely. I am interested in the sciences, surely. But, the study of any specific field of science does not drive my being.
      They are not my passion or purpose.
      Rather, I am an impartial party, when it comes to science. It is a tool. Sometimes a weapon. I use science when it works to use science. I come to understand it as required, or as it suites me.
      In other words, I often assist others in making sure it is used correctly for the purposes required in my current capacity.
      It is a far cry from how I started down this path, but that is the nature of my eclectic and often chaotic 'business'.
      It is real, living breathing scientists (and engineers) I have made a fairly decent study of.
      Again, I have to be irritatingly vague. But, let's put it this way: We have objectives, and we require certain types of minds to reach those objectives. There is a filter and protect process involved, and I am part of that. So, I have an opinion on these things that is more or less external, and driven by motives from without.
      Does that make me a fit judge? I am not so sure it does.
      More like a juror or even a guard, perhaps.
      I am not so sure anyone can judge the basic method, without apply some sort of objective external standard.
      As for my son, his ideas are his own. We share basic values, core beliefs, a culture, and many interests. That leads to some fascinating conversations. My deepest desire is foe him to find happiness.
      I dare say, I learn things from him all the time.
      I hope he still learns from me.

      Delete
    13. PS
      Please forgive the typos. I must try to get some sleep. I have been at it ALL the live long day.

      Delete
    14. Crusader Rex,

      Rupert Sheldrake? In comparison, he makes Eugene McCarthy seem almost sane. You've wasted your time.

      Delete
    15. Bach,

      Not my time to waste.
      Anyway, the guy's relative sanity has little or nothing to do with it. If sanity was the index, most of the human race would be disqualified.

      Delete
  12. Don't you know? The pig-chimp hybrid which gave rise to humans was called a 'pimp'

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  13. To recap, the opening post is a complete a deliberate misrepresentation:

    Now a mainstream University of Georgia geneticist and evolutionary biologist-- Dr. Eugene McCarthy, Director of Macroevolution.net-- claims that humans are likely descended from mating of an ape and a pig.

    McCarthy is not associated with the University of Georgia.

    He is not a "mainstream evolutionary biologist." He is a crackpot who disavows mainstream evolutionary theory.

    Mainstream evolutionary biologists have rejected McCarthy's "hypothesis." He couldn't publish his bullshit with any respectable publisher.

    No taxpayer funds have gone to pay for McCarthy's silliness.

    Egnor should have figured all this out before writing a post. It's mind boggling that he would rely on a British tabloid and not check the facts. He should have retracted this silliness as soon as he learned about it. He hasn't because this is the only way he can criticize mainstream evolutionary theory: by fighting straw men.

    Egnor is a dishonest hack.

    Hoo

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    Replies
    1. Even the title of the thread is dishonest; 'You thought descent from apes is bad'.

      Humans are apes. Humans didn't descend from apes. There's only a gap between humans and all the other great apes because humans have conquered the entire world and either replaced, wiped out or hybridised with all our close relatives.

      Delete
  14. "I was listening to lecture the other day in which a fellow was talking about ESP and the like. He made an excellent point that is somewhat similar. He stated that he found it remarkable that his studies (as strange as they are) are based on experimentation and data, but are scoffed at and ridiculed by legions of professional sceptics. But, that the astronomer Royal in the UK is an open adherent of some form of Multiverse theory and rants on about it all the time, with no one even challenging the fact that his ideas have not a single shred of evidence to back them up."

    And -- definitionally -- there never will be any evidence of, nor observations of, "other universes" nor of a "multiverse". For, by definition, any observations claimed to be of "other universes" are really just observations of previously unknown parts of *this* universe, in the same way that the so-called New World was really just a previously unknown part of the known Old World.

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  15. I insist that Gene McCathy is a mainstream University of Georgia geneticist and evolutionary biologist.

    Michael Egnor, dishonest hack

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    Replies
    1. @Anon:

      [I insist that Gene McCathy is a mainstream University of Georgia geneticist and evolutionary biologist. Michael Egnor, dishonest hack]

      The belief that man is wholly the product of copulation by animals is consensus mainstream evolutionary biology.

      This is just a quibble about species.

      Delete
    2. Is Gene McCarthy affiliated with the University of Georgia? No.

      Is he a mainstream evolutionary biologist? No.

      Michael Egnor, shameless liar

      Delete
    3. No mainstream biologist in his sound mind thinks it is possible to have a viable hybrid between a monkey and a pig. It's insane. It's against genetics.

      Delete
  16. Gene McCarthy: "During my years at the genetics department, I became increasingly dissatisfied with the standard explanation of evolution. The more I read about fossils, the more convinced I became that Darwin's account of the evolutionary process was fundamentally flawed."

    A mainstream biologist? I think not.

    Michael Egnor's consciousness

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    Replies
    1. I was trying to present an alternative evolutionary theory that, if correct, would imply that Darwinian theory is mistaken at an axiomatic level.

      On the other hand, there were reviews that raised objections, all of the same ilk — that my claims were inconsistent with one tenet or another of accepted theory... Obviously, a new theory that contradicts an existing theory will be inconsistent with the tenets of that theory!

      Gene McCarthy

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  17. Google finds 7 hits for McCarthy at the site of UGA's Department of Genetics. None of them indicates McCarthy's presence in the department.

    This page shows that McCarthy got his Ph.D. in 2003. It lists his current affiliation as "Independent Scientist, Athens, GA."

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  18. Dr. McCarthy's ideas ARE radical, but everything you guys all call 'mainstream science' these days was once 'RADICAL' !!! What you are demonstrating is just more of the same - how do you think it feels to have come up with a radical new way to see human origins and find compelling evidence that the idea COULD be true, and just be treated as an outcast because your ideas did not fit in - hey my ideas don't always fit in either and I don't care - I am ME and the rest of you can behave like a bunch of ignorant 'followers' afraid of your own shadows if you want to -
    big ideas ALWAYS start the same way - the 'experts' always react the same way - you are upsetting their applecart and must be SQUASHED !!!

    ReplyDelete