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People’s Choice Awards: Our most read stories February 2013

Top three in January (here)

Runaway favourite: Vince Torley: A world-famous chemist tells the truth: there’s no scientist alive today who understands macroevolution:

Professor James M. Tour is one of the ten most cited chemists in the world. … On Professor Tour’s Website, there’s a very revealing article on evolution and creation, in which Tour bluntly states that he does not understand how macroevolution could have happened, from a chemical standpoint (all bold emphases below are mine – VJT) …

Unlike chromosome doubling, jumping genes, or horizontal gene transfer (for all of which we have evidence) Darwinian macroevolution is something we take on faith. Through the magic of survival of the fittest (natural selection), it turns cows into whales just like the fairy godmother does.

Vince Torley: Macroevolution, microevolution and chemistry: the devil is in the details:

I’d now like to address the central point of contention between Professor Tour and biologist Nick Matzke. Matzke recently contended that Professor James Tour was making a huge category mistake in his demand for a chemical explanation of how macroevolution works. Matzke argued that Tour was trying to explain evolution at the wrong level, and lambasted Tour for “the entire bizarre, naive, and confused idea that explaining macroevolution is a matter of ‘chemistry’, when it is much more closely connected to ecology, biogeography, environmental change, natural selection, etc.” and then added,

“Now, if what he meant wasn’t ‘macroevolution’, but specifically the evolution of developmental systems, i.e. evo-devo – which is what those articles are about – then the request for ‘chemical details’ would make a tiny bit more sense, but it’s still bizarre.”

Matzke concluded:

“What any serious student of the question would look at would be the homologies, genetics, mutations, selection pressures, and functional shifts involved in the origin of a particular structure. Pretending that it’s just ‘chemistry’ that is important, and chemistry only, is just weird. It’s some old-fashioned tidbit of reductionism adopted by someone who apparently can’t be bothered to learn the basics about a field before proclaiming it fallacious.”

Matzke is putting words into Professor Tour’s mouth here: nowhere does he claim that “it’s just ‘chemistry’ that is important, and chemistry only.” Nor has Tour ever espoused reductionism. Rather, what he insists is that macroevolutionary processes have to be describable at a chemical level. This certainly seems to be a reasonable request, and if Matzke thinks it isn’t, he should tell us why.

Why? Because Darwin. That’s why.

Vince Torley: Professor James Tour accepts Nick Matzke’s offer to explain macroevolution:

Professor Tour added that he would do his very best to listen attentively to Mr. Matzke’s description without interjecting, and that he would only question Mr. Matzke when he did not understand what he said. Professor Tour also expressed his deep appreciation to Mr. Matzke, saying that it was very kind of him to propose such an offer.

… on one condition!

There’s just one condition that Professor Tour attached to the meeting, however. In his email to me, he stated: “It shall not be recorded or extend beyond the three of us as this is not for show but for my edification.”

So February was dominated by a lunch. Did it ever happen? Can’t remember.

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One Response to People’s Choice Awards: Our most read stories February 2013

  1. The lunch, to the best of my knowledge, never happened. Matzke did mention that he was intending to send some literature to Dr. Tour. So I felt it would be prudent to advise Dr. Tour on Matzke’s fairly extensive history of rampant literature bluffing. Dr. Tour seemed taken aback that, number one, his personal correspondence with Matzke was being discussed on the internet, and number two, that Matzke would literature bluff.,,, Myself, I was somewhat taken aback that Dr. Tour, a nano-engineer/scientist par excellence, would never have run into the underhanded shenanigans of Darwinists before in his career as a scientist. Perhaps he was too busy trying to truly understand how molecular machines work to have time to listen to the just so stories of Darwinists! :)

    notes:

    “I build molecules for a living, I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that job is. I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.”
    James Tour – one of the leading nano-tech engineers in the world – Strobel, Lee (2000), The Case For Faith, p. 111

    Science & Faith — Dr. James Tour – video (At the two minute mark of the following video, you can see a nano-car that was built by Dr. James Tour’s team)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdU5ojTpyzg

    Top Ten Most Cited Chemist in the World Knows That Evolution Doesn’t Work – James Tour, Phd. – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR4QhNFTtyw

    More Irreducible Complexity Is Found in Flagellar Assembly – September 24, 2013
    Concluding Statement: Eleven years is a lot of time to refute the claims about flagellar assembly made in Unlocking the Mystery of Life, if they were vulnerable to falsification. Instead, higher resolution studies confirm them. Not only that, research into the precision assembly of flagella is provoking more investigation of the assembly of other molecular machines. It’s a measure of the robustness of a scientific theory when increasing data strengthen its tenets over time and motivate further research. Irreducible complexity lives! -
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....77051.html

    Calling Nick Matzke’s literature bluff on molecular machines – DonaldM UD blogger – April 2013
    Excerpt: So now, 10 years later in 2006 Matzke and Pallen come along with this review article. The interesting thing about this article is that, despite all the hand waving claims about all these dozens if not hundreds of peer reviewed research studies showing how evolution built a flagellum, Matzke and Pallen didn’t have a single such reference in their bibliography. Nor did they reference any such study in the article. Rather, the article went into great lengths to explain how a researcher might go about conducting a study to show how evolution could have produced the system. Well, if all those articles and studies were already there, why not just point them all out? In shorty, the entire article was a tacit admission that Behe had been right all along.
    Fast forward to now and Andre’s question directed to Matzke. We’re now some 17 years after Behe’s book came out where he made that famous claim. And, no surprise, there still is not a single peer reviewed research study that provides the Darwinian explanation for a bacterial flagellum (or any of the other irreducibly complex biological systems Behe mentioned in the book). We’re almost 7 years after the Matzke & Pallen article. So where are all these research studies? There’s been ample time for someone to do something in this regard.
    Matzke will not answer the question because there is no answer he can give…no peer reviewed research study he can reference, other than the usual literature bluffing he’s done in the past.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-453291

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