Home » Evolution, Science » Retracting a 52-year old scientific paper — Scientists getting into the business of historical revisionism

Retracting a 52-year old scientific paper — Scientists getting into the business of historical revisionism

Below is a fascinating report in the NYTimes about a long-retired professor who found that his work was being cited by “creationists” and THEREFORE decided to retract it. But, as an attorney friend points out, the very concept of “retraction” is inapplicable here. A retraction is something the original author is entitled to do ONLY IF he has discovered, by re-examining his original data or reasoning or mathematics, that it was flawed.

That’s not what happened here. Instead, we have a situation in which — if we take the scientist (Homer Jacobson) at face value — later work by other people implies that the earlier work was wrong for some other reason. The proper action in such a case is not to “retract” a paper — which is an effort to erase it from the record — but to acknowledge it to have been in error, as revealed by later work. Such an acknowledgement is not a power unique to the author — anyone can declare an older theory superseded by a later one.

For example, (and I’m continue to crib from my attorney friend) take Darwin’s theory of how genetic information is passed on: not via DNA, of which he knew nothing, but by little items he called “gemmules” generated by each organ, and sent to the genitals to be combined in some way. He theorized that as the environment caused changes in the organs of a creature, the gemmules generated by that organ would reflect the changes, and that is how new body forms would show up in the offspring. Of course, the theory has been rejected, but still it is praised as good scientific theorizing — which it was. But so too is the work in this scientist’s 1955 paper. Even if it is wrong, it ought to remain on the public record. But by having its author not merely dsavow its superseded conclusions, but formally “retract” the paper, the effect is to wipe it out of history.

Welcome to the world of scientific revisionism.

’55 ‘Origin of Life’ Paper Is Retracted
By CORNELIA DEAN | NYTimes | October 25, 2007

In January 1955, Homer Jacobson, a chemistry professor at Brooklyn College, published a paper called “Information, Reproduction and the Origin of Life” in American Scientist, the journal of Sigma Xi, the scientific honor society.

In it, Dr. Jacobson speculated on the chemical qualities of earth in Hadean time, billions of years ago when the planet was beginning to cool down to the point where, as Dr. Jacobson put it, “one could imagine a few hardy compounds could survive.”

Nobody paid much attention to the paper at the time, he said in a telephone interview from his home in Tarrytown, N.Y. But today it is winning Dr. Jacobson acclaim that he does not want — from creationists who cite it as proof that life could not have emerged on earth without divine intervention.

So after 52 years, he has retracted it.

MORE

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

38 Responses to Retracting a 52-year old scientific paper — Scientists getting into the business of historical revisionism

  1. I’m not a scientist, but the NYT article says,

    It is not unusual for scientists to publish papers and, if they discover evidence that challenges them, to announce they were wrong.

    Is this statement wrong? Just asking.

  2. Perhaps the fact that young-earth creationists regularly cite long-invalidated scientific results and papers that led to this unusual, but nonetheless understandable, action. If creationists of this sort had any interest in the actual science, and could be expected to check their facts and relevant subsequent work on the topic, then such retractions would not be necessary. But of course, that consistently doesn’t happen.

  3. This article of William Dembski is from now on public record. So, nothing retracted is “wiped out from history”.

  4. This is the bit I’m confused about:

    Even if it is wrong, it ought to remain on the public record. But by having its author not merely dsavow its superseded conclusions, but formally “retract” the paper, the effect is to wipe it out of history.

    Again, I’m ignorant of the procedures involved here, but does “retraction” mean that the original paper no longer exists in its original form?

  5. From the article:
    Things grew worse when he reread his paper, he said, because he discovered errors. One related to what he called a “conjecture” about whether amino acids, the basic building blocks of protein and a crucial component of living things, could form naturally.
    And then a few paragraphs later:
    Another assertion in the paper, about what would have had to occur simultaneously for living matter to arise, is just plain wrong, he said, adding, “It was a dumb mistake, but nobody ever caught me on it.”

    So perhaps he did have valid grounds on which to retract his paper.

  6. Tidbit On the Origin of Life:
    The oldest sedimentary rocks on earth, known to science, originated underwater (and thus in relatively cool environs) 3.86 billion years ago. Those sediments, which are exposed at Isua in southwestern Greenland, also contain the earliest chemical evidence (fingerprint) of “photosynthetic” life [Nov. 7, 1996, Nature]. This evidence has been fought by naturalists, since it is totally contrary to their evolutionary theory. Yet, Danish scientists were able to bring forth another line of geological evidence to substantiate the primary line of geological evidence for photo-synthetic life in the earth’s earliest known sedimentary rocks (Indications of Oxygenic Photosynthesis,” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 6907 (2003). Thus we have two lines of hard conclusive evidence for photo-synthetic life in the oldest known sedimentary rocks ever found by scientists on earth!

    As well, Evolutionists have tried to skirt this crushing fact by referring to life at hydrothermal vents…Yet much to their disappointment,,,Life at hydrothermal vents is proven to need oxygen in order to live…Guess where free oxygen on earth comes from? You got it, oxygen comes from photosynthetic life.
    Thus, since it is proven that life at hydrothermal vents cannot metabolize energy without oxygen, it upholds the fact that life originated at the earliest possible time on earth, when sedimentary rocks were first being laid down by our “cool” oceans!

  7. Mickey, it’s true that it’s not unusual for a scientist to admit that some published statements were wrong; but the NYT article doesn’t distinguish between correcting errors and retracting a whole paper.

    Does “retraction” mean that the original paper no longer exists in its original form?

    No, but it means that American Scientist might (no longer?) make it easily available. And more importantly, it means that anyone who cites the paper has to either stop doing so (as evolution-facts.org will, according to the article), or argue that the paper was valid despite the author’s retraction (which is extra work).

    Note the ironic final paragraphs of the NYT article:

    It is not unusual for scientists to publish papers and, if they discover evidence that challenges them, to announce they were wrong. The idea that all scientific knowledge is provisional, able to be challenged and overturned, is one thing that separates matters of science from matters of faith….His letter shows, Ms. Reid wrote, “the distinction between a scientist who cannot let error stand, no matter the embarrassment of public correction,” and people who “cling to dogma.”

    Lovely spin. Yet as Dembski pointed out, Jacobson retracted his paper not primarily because of error, nor because of evidence against his speculations, but because being cited by creationists “was hideous.”
    To paraphrase Reid, Jacobson’s action shows the distinction between a scientist who cannot stand the embarrassment of being useful to challengers of his beloved dogma, no matter the embarrassment of public correction; and people who are willing to let the evidence lead wherever it may.
    Scientists claim that “scientific knowledge is provisional, able to be challenged and overturned,” but that is precisely the way that Darwinism is not being handled scientifically. And Jacobson is colluding in the obstruction.

  8. He can retract all he wants. Anyone can. However, the record will be added that the record was changed (and from what), and the record will indicate that it took 52 years… and the reason why it was retracted is documented.

    You can run, but you can’t always hide.

  9. I did a little Googling and found that Jacobson, in his retraction letter, asks not for retraction of the entire article, but rather that two sentences (from a paper of over 100 pages) be retracted. He also says,

    I am deeply embarrassed to have been the originator of such misstatements, allowing bad science to have come into the purview of those who use it for anti-science ends.

    While it might be useful to note that the retraction came as a result of Jacobson’s being irked at being cited by creationists, it does not appear that the paper has been flushed down the Memory Hole in the Darwinist Ministry of Truth as Dr. Dembski seems to be contending.

  10. http://www.americanscientist.o.....7j1zW7KfWl

    Retraction Letter:

    To the Editors:

    In January 1955, American Scientist published my article, “Information, Reproduction and the Origin of Life” (Vol. 43, No. 1). I ask you to honor my request to retract two brief passages, as follows:

    On page 121: “Directions for the reproduction of plans, for energy and the extraction of parts from the current environment, for the growth sequence, and for the effector mechanisms translating instructions into growth—all had to be simultaneously present at that moment [of life's birth].”

    On page 125: “From the probability standpoint, the ordering of the present environment into a single amino acid molecule would be utterly improbable in all the time and space available for the origin of terrestrial life.”

    I have several reasons for retracting the statements. For the first passage, use of the requirement of simultaneity was a conjecture, unsupported by any proof. Separate developments of partial structures might well have occurred in an environment of randomly reacting molecules, eventually to join into one or more self-reproducing structures.

    The second passage refers only to an attempt to calculate the probability that a single molecule of a particular amino acid could spontaneously form from its components. The calculation was irrelevant, as it was based on an endothermic change during an imaginary spontaneous conversion of a mixture of component atoms and molecules into glycine under adiabatic and standard conditions, with no external source of energy. Such changes cannot spontaneously take place. Molecules of increased complexity have been found, however, when necessary components are available, with the aid of ambient energy from natural or experimental systems, e.g. electrical discharges, substantial temperature gradients or contiguous compounds or elements whose chemical reactions produce free energy. All of these could have existed under early Earth conditions, and thus this passage is completely inapplicable.

    Retraction this untimely is not normally undertaken, but in this case I request it because of continued irresponsible contemporary use by creationists who have quoted my not merely out-of-context, but incorrect, statements, to support their dubious viewpoint. I am deeply embarrassed to have been the originator of such misstatements, allowing bad science to have come into the purview of those who use it for anti-science ends.

    Homer Jacobson
    Brooklyn College
    The City University of New York

  11. This is my favorite bit:

    “I have several reasons for retracting the statements. For the first passage, use of the requirement of simultaneity was a conjecture, unsupported by any proof. Separate developments of partial structures might well have occurred in an environment of randomly reacting molecules, eventually to join into one or more self-reproducing structures.”

    Darwin of the Gaps!!!

    The burden on proof isn’t on step-by-step evolutionary processes which produce systems that work together in a coordinated fashion. No. The burden of proof is to show that a universal negative exists rather than to show that one step-by-step process exists.

    Lovely.

    If that’s the reason for the retraction, I’ll keep quoting Dr. Jacobson.

  12. “Separate developments of partial structures might well have occurred in an environment of randomly reacting molecules, eventually to join into one or more self-reproducing structures.”

    If Dr. Jacobson had any shame, he’d retract that statement!

  13. I can see it now- everyone who utilizes this paper will now have to put up with “It doesn’t matter, it has been detracted” defense.

    He should amend his work with data- eg another publication- not simple say it doesn’t count.

    Even if he is wrong, science is about correcting errors- not ignoring them.

  14. 14

    Bork,

    The paper has not been “detracted.” The author asked for *two sentences* to be retracted, because the information therein was in error.

    The way I see it, you can question Jacobson’s motives for the retraction and have a valid complaint, but expecting an 80-something-year-old retired guy to go back and do more research for a paper written published 52 years ago is a bit much. And how is it that by acknowledging his errors, Jacobson is “ignoring them”?

  15. Mickey,

    Jacobson’s “errors” are one of expunging heresy. In 1955, he failed to give enough credit to what evolutionary mechanisms can do. He didn’t have enough faith in all-powerful Darwinism. That’s what he is retracting. He now has a greater faith commitment.

  16. “The author asked for *two sentences* to be retracted, because the information therein was in error.”

    Mickey, just what was in error in the first sentence?

  17. This is interesting:
    “From the probability standpoint, the ordering of the present environment into a single amino acid molecule would be utterly improbable in all the time and space available for the origin of terrestrial life.”

    So I take it that evolutionists even have insurmountable problems getting some of the amino acids they need to make a protein!

    That is very lovely,,,the complexity required for them to overcome is much deeper than I had realized….

    I knew they had severe problems getting from amino acids to proteins. The story just got a lot juicier!!!!

    If anybody has the math, I would love to see some hard math on the probability of all of the 20 L-amino acids forming spontaneously,,,even under most favorable conditions for evolutionists…

    For anyone who is interested the following is the probability of a specific 100 amino acid protein forming.

    It is easily demonstrated mathematically that the entire universe does not even begin to come close to being old enough, nor large enough, to ally generate just one small but precisely sequenced 100 amino acid protein (out of the over one million interdependent protein molecules of longer sequences that would be required to match the sequences of their particular protein types) in that very first living bacteria. If any combinations of the 20 L-amino acids that are used in constructing proteins are equally possible, then there are (20^100) =1.3 x 10^130 possible amino acid sequences in proteins being composed of 100 amino acids. This impossibility, of finding even one “required” specifically sequenced protein, would still be true even if amino acids had a tendency to chemically bond with each other, which they don’t despite over fifty years of experimentation trying to get amino acids to bond naturally (The odds of a single 100 amino acid protein overcoming the impossibilities of chemical bonding and forming spontaneously have been calculated at less than 1 in 10^125 (Meyer, Evidence for Design, pg. 75)). The staggering impossibility found for the universe ever generating a “required” specifically sequenced 100 amino acid protein by would still be true even if we allowed that the entire universe, all 10^80 sub-atomic particles of it, were nothing but groups of 100 freely bonding amino acids, and we then tried a trillion unique combinations per second for all those 100 amino acid groups for 100 billion years! Even after 100 billion years of trying a trillion unique combinations per second, we still would have made only one billion, trillionth of the entire total combinations possible for a 100 amino acid protein during that 100 billion years of trying! Even a child knows you cannot put any piece of a puzzle anywhere in a puzzle. You must have the required piece in the required place! The simplest forms of life ever found on earth are exceedingly far more complicated jigsaw puzzles than any of the puzzles man has ever made. Yet to believe a naturalistic theory we would have to believe that this tremendously complex puzzle of millions of precisely shaped, and placed, protein molecules “just happened” to overcome the impossible hurdles of chemical bonding and probability and put itself together into the sheer wonder of immense complexity that we find in the cell.

  18. 18

    Eric asked,

    Mickey, just what was in error in the first sentence?

    Jacobson answered your question in his letter:

    I have several reasons for retracting the statements. For the first passage, use of the requirement of simultaneity was a conjecture, unsupported by any proof. Separate developments of partial structures might well have occurred in an environment of randomly reacting molecules, eventually to join into one or more self-reproducing structures.

    I don’t think it’s inaccurate to characterize conjecture which is not identified as such as an “error.”

  19. Wouldn’t it have been better if Dr. Jacobsen had simply asked American Scientist to publish a letter in which he rejects the “erroneous” passages in the paper?

  20. 20

    Russ,

    Did you read the letter? That’s exactly what he did. It’s Dr. Dembski, based on an inaccurate NYT article apparently, who’s claiming that Jacobson retracted the whole paper.

  21. Mickey:
    I apoligize, it is retract not detract- or as you even noted expunging 2 sentences.

    As for a publication- that is also a bit rach on my part- I mean a reason for detraction other than “I am wrong” statement- which you also give a reason.

    thanks.

  22. Firstly, ReligionProf takes YECs to task with the same sweeping gesture that IDers disdainfully dislike when Darwinbots choose to rubbish their views, but without posting hard evidence.

    ReligionProf states “the fact that young-earth creationists regularly cite long-invalidated scientific results and papers”, but this brush stroke is too big. Although papers by YECS have been utilised before with elements of ‘hope’ in the science rather than fully investigated science, this has dried up – in my opinion – as evidence (the same evidence available to all!) is used by the major YEC organisations to scientifically present their cases. Just like ID the YECs are utilising the same principals of scientific research to formulate hypotheses. Although wrapped in a dedicated Biblical cloak, they are using science to investigate origins and diversity just as IDers do. Origin accounts differ, but processes YECs believe generally concur with ID research. Don’t get caught up in bashing supporters who uphold the operational scientific account of how the diversity of life occurs.

    Secondly, a quick Google confirmed that evolution-facts.org has indeed amended its entry:
    http://evolution-facts.org/Evo.....E-H-8c.htm

    Compare the new version to the cached.

    Also, an entry at pathlights.com:

    http://www.pathlights.com/ce_e.....8dna04.htm

    has been seemingly altered to accommodate the latest evidence as well.

    It would be an amazing thing, indeed, if evolutionary websites would also begin amending the list of so-called ‘proofs’ that have been dismantled through the years (eg. Haeckel’s embryos) with such speed as these two sites have done.

    We could only wish …

  23. Did you read the letter? That’s exactly what he did. It’s Dr. Dembski, based on an inaccurate NYT article apparently, who’s claiming that Jacobson retracted the whole paper.

    Mickey, yes I read it. That’s why I used the word “reject” not “retract”, as in “I no longer believe what I once asserted” rather than “please redact my earlier statements”. Its my understanding that he’s changed his mind, not that he’s changed his paper.

  24. My post #22 is unclear. I was suggesting that he leave his original paper intact, and simply publish a statement that he no longer holds believes part of his paper due to scientific advances.

  25. 25

    Although he is only retracting two statements, he’s going way overboard. He should “retract” what he said if he has been proven wrong, and by that I mean that he should agree that he was wrong. He should not, however, seek to expunge his wrong words to the memory hole, which is what he is doing. If he feels that strongly, then he should have simply written a letter to state that he was wrong, end of story.

  26. 26

    Bork:

    Jacobson *did* give reasons, so I’m not sure what your objection is. If you’re troubled by his motives, I understand. As I said earlier, I’m not a scientist myself, but as I understand it, and as Dr. Dembski states in his post, there’s nothing particularly unusual for someone who’s contributed to the literature to later say, (in whole or in part) “I was wrong, never mind.” Whether or not there’s a followup with new data is, I suspect, a function of the author’s schedule and continuing interest in the subject at hand. In this case, more than 50 years have passed, and Jacobson is long retired, so it’s not surprising that he would not feel inclined to roll up his sleeves again at this point.

    Russ, @#23,

    Jacobson has asked for two sentences to be disregarded, and he gave his reasons for it. It’s my understanding that the paper will remain in its original form, but Jacobson is giving himself an “out” in the event that he feels that what he wrote is being misused. Again, whether or not one agrees with the strategy or the motives behind it is beside the point of whether or not the NYT article, and Dr. Dembski’s interpretation of it, is correct or not.

    As readers here have probably noticed, I’m new here, and am pleased to be able to join in the discussions. My views on this particular post shouldn’t be interpreted as being antagonistic towards this site, Dr. Dembski (whose work I feel is important) or any of the regulars here.

  27. 27

    professorsmith:

    Jacobson’s use of the verb “to retract” doesn’t mean that he believes that his paper will be altered; he’s done just what you’re suggesting that he should do, in fact. In the future, if he feels someone is misusing his paper, or taking quotes out of context, he’s allowed himself a bit of published clarification, nothing more than that. While it seems clear to me that Jacobson is weaseling at this point, it does appear that he used the proper modus in doing so.

  28. 28

    Mr, Bitsko

    I wish I could agree with you.

    If he only intends to retract those two passages in the sense of saying, “I don’t believe those are correct anymore,” then he has no need to ask American Scientist to take any action. So, why is he asking American Scientist to take any action on this issue?

  29. 29

    professorsmith:

    As I understand the situation, and I could be wrong, Jacobson is *not* asking American Scientist to take any action other than publishing his letter. The letter is his disclaimer of the two passages in question, and isn’t expected to result in anything happening to the paper itself.

  30. Off Topic: Amazing Street Art:

    http://video.google.com/videop.....;plindex=3

    Bad news Guys,,,,I’m pretty sure this guy is conclusive proof of evolution! Since his art is far beyond what mere humans can accomplish, I’m pretty sure he definitely must have some major genetic reshuffling in his genome that we can take a close look at and finally find that elusive conclusive proof for evolution that we’ve been looking for!!!

  31. 31

    Mr. Bitsko

    Here is what he says:

    I ask you to honor my request to retract two brief passages, as follows:

    He is asking them to retract his statements, not simply asking them to publish his letter or saying that he retracts those statements.

  32. Mickey:
    Let me clarify as my writing skills seem to be going down the tube.

    I agree with you. I wanted reasons, and I didn’t see that you had already found the reasons. This is good enough for me. This is what I was trying to say: “Asking for a publication is a bit rash on my part. All I want is a reason. You found and supplied his reason, thanks.”

    bornagain77:

    I think this is cooler :-P
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkgEUUYcQUM

  33. A few points are in order here.

    First, has there been any work in the past 50 years which can serve to refute the work of Jacobson’s 1955 paper? If so, then there is no need for a retraction.

    Second, does Jacobson have any quantitative evidence that shows that his previous work was in error.

    The normal scientific protocol would be to write a new paper, with new results showing that the previous work was in error. I don’t care if the guy is 80. He can hire a grad student to do all the work. If he doesn’t have new results then the old ones stand.

    third, he can’t erase the records. There are plenty of paper copies left if someone wants the originals.

  34. The real issue is that the so-called ‘creation scientists’ have been citing the paper but clearly never did any research on the subject themselves. Is there anything that could be clearer evidence that what they are doing isn’t science?

    http://exploringourmatrix.blog.....ience.html

  35. Seems to me that all the legalistic hair-splitting over corrections, redactions, and retractions misses the point. Just read the plain language. Dr Jacobson says:

    I have several reasons for retracting the statements. For the first passage, use of the requirement of simultaneity was a conjecture, unsupported by any proof. Separate developments of partial structures might well have occurred in an environment of randomly reacting molecules, eventually to join into one or more self-reproducing structures.

    Note what he does. In the very statement in which he repudiates conjecture, he says that the necessary developments “might well have occurred….” Hmmmm.

    I’m curious if Dr Jacobson’s defenders can explain why simply replacing with one conjecture with another is such laudable, high-minded science.

  36. ReligionProf, the ‘so-called’ness that you prescribe to the creationists, who use the title ‘scientist’, should be under question if they are not rightly degreed. But you have tried to dupe the reader into seeing that scientists, who do believe in a literal Biblical account, can be written off as ‘so-called’. That is ingenious, and obviously untrue, as a quick search of any of the organisations that promote YEC can testify to PhDers and working scientists.

    A major point that I draw from your thread is that where YECs have used this quote it has been as a point of assembling a critique of many pieces of divergent thinking that portray the confused state of evolutionary thinking. This, as you note, is “not science”, and the people who have put these together would probably agree with that too. It is, instead, collated on websites showing what evolutionists believe, have had published in journals, and in many cases have gone on to become part of the scientific mantra (as Jonathan Wells has adequately brought to the fore).

    If an Intelligent Design advocate makes up a webpage, puts forth a number of quotes from evolutionary sources, finds that something they quoted from is now deemed wrong, then your line, “Is there anything that could be clearer evidence that what they are doing isn’t science?” could be leveled squarely at the ID movement. So, since the web jockey didn’t do the science, but relied on the printed (albeit wrong) word of the evolutionist, all IDer’s would be similarly informed that they are not “doing … science?” Your blunderbuss approach to this issue is not accurate.

    The YEC websites that are sourced as being behind Homer Jacobson’s vanity name Googling aren’t YEC research bodies. As far as I can ascertain, the major ones haven’t used this quote. If I’m wrong, then they should write something to the degree that, “This is what was once printed in a respectable journal, was considered plausible by the evolutionary autocrats, was finally seen for its unmerited status, and has been debunked by its original author. We too shall no longer hold this up as what scientists believe, but what they used to believe!”

    Oh, to the attached link … what bollocks. To the last line, “Parents, please protect your children from this dangerous cult. A group that teaches its adherents to claim that they are right even when the evidence says they aren’t does serious harm to the psyche, to say nothing of the soul.” I remember a 60 Minutes interview nearly 20 years ago of a Geology Professor, who allowed his wife the last say on the issue of creationists. She said, through tears, something like, “ … please, don’t let your children listen to the creationists. The harm that will befall them is too great (sob, sob, sob).”

    Years go by, and the number of YEC’s blowing up buildings, undertaking kidnappings, being at the centre of white collar corruption, etc. just seems to be growing … Damn you, YEC’s! Both the McGrath blog and the wife’s reply show the emotion, but nothing of the reality or truth. They just keep stirring the same empty pot.

    How pathetic.

  37. Interesting. The Pharisees were not, to my knowledge, blowing up buildings or undertaking kidnappings. Jesus seemed to think they were deserving of criticism anyway.

    If you want to get your knowledge of biology from a hydraulics engineer, I have no objection. I prefer to listen to people with PhDs in relevant fields.

  38. ReligionProf,

    I choose the letter ‘S’:

    Dr Joachim Scheven, Palaeontologist
    Dr Young-Gi Shim, Chemistry
    Dr Mikhail Shulgin, Physics
    Dr Emil Silvestru, Geologist/karstologist
    Dr Harold Slusher, Geophysicist
    Dr E. Norbert Smith, Zoologist
    Dr Andrew Snelling, Geologist
    Prof. Man-Suk Song, Computer Science
    Dr Timothy G. Standish, Biology
    Prof. James Stark, Assistant Professor of Science Education
    Dr Esther Su, Biochemistry
    Dr Dennis Sullivan, Biology, surgery, chemistry, Professor of Biology

    I ensured I didn’t allow the engineers a guernsey.

    I hope you have no objection to my usage of facts rather than your weak argument as presented.

    You have a point though: Darwin studied medicine and theology in a university setting, and who listened to him? He didn’t have the ‘relevant fields’ to be listened to, did he?

    But they did.

    My knowledge of biological systems comes from strictly separating biology and systematics on the one hand, and evolutionary theory on the other: Operational V Origins science. Operational science, as I hope you would know, deals only with repeatable observable processes in the present. Origins science implores us to attempt reconstructing the past through ‘best guess’.

    That PhDers from distant scientific fields, and others from philosophy and law, have – under the banner of ID or creation – taken evolutionary biology to task and made significant inroads can not be understated. The PhDers with a biology degree are not infallible, and what is presented to the masses is not gospel. That you will only, as you state, ‘prefer to listen to’ what the disciples of Darwinian biology provide (because they have a PhD in EVOLUTIONARY biology)presents you as one unable to question their spin on the same facts that are available to everyone.

    Even an hydraulics engineer can see that through that one …

Leave a Reply