Denial of Evolution VII (2015)

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by davewhite04, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. leopold Valued Senior Member

    24 hours or 24 years.
    won't make any difference james.
    like i said, . . . nevermind.

    here's all you are getting from me concerning ayala:
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    You are not required to retract something that somebody else said. You are required to retract your own lie. I thought I was quite clear about this above, but I have opened a private conversation with you that will leave you in no doubt about what the issue is.

    Here are your options:
    EITHER you will post your agreement with the following statement:
    "Ayala gave a talk at the conference that accepted evolution. There is no quote from Ayala in Lewin's Science article, or anywhere else that I am aware of, saying that Ayala thinks that evolution by natural selection is false, or that he has Creationist views."

    Alternatively, it will also be acceptable if you can find any quote from a published source written by Ayala himself that states that Ayala thinks that evolution by natural selection is false.

    You will not be permitted to avoid this matter.

    You've been walked through this matter many times now. Specifically, see here:
    and the posts immediately before and after that one.

    Here, I explained the entire gist of the article to you. In the linked post, I specifically discussed the Ayala quote. I wrote:
    Continuing with your post:
    Lewin refers to "verbal jostling" in the article immediately prior to this quote. This suggests that Lewin wrote down what he thought he heard Ayala say. Being as generous as possible to Lewin, it is possible that Ayala actually did say that or something similar (most likely not quite what was quoted). However, Ayala was not denying evolution by making that statement. The statement was made in the context of a discussion explicitly about the fossil record. If Ayala said "changes do not accumulate", he meant they do not (often) accumulate in a series of clear transitional forms in the fossil record. That is not the same as saying that evolution doesn't involve small changes. It is also not the same as saying that there are no transitional fossils, or that the fossil record shows no evidence of changes accumulating over time.

    However, the other vital piece of evidence we have is from Ayala himself regarding this quote. Ayala himself says that he didn't say those words, and that he can't understand why Lewin would report him saying them. Also, Ayala explicitly states that he believes that small changes do accumulate, in the general context of evolution. It is also abundantly clear that Ayala supports the theory of evolution.

    I would like to see some honest comment from you on these matters.

    Read my previous posts. I don't see why I should keep repeating myself. Instead of ignoring what I write, try reading it.

    I am sick of your dishonesty and your avoidance. That's the reason.

    This discussion can continue with or without you. That's up to you.

    Our current ban system requires 60 points for a 3 day ban. Those points have now expired, following expiry of your ban.

    You're denying evolution. What's inaccurate about the thread title?

    I'm afraid that if we don't deal with you, you will continue with your dishonest tactics indefinitely, which wastes everybody's time. Moreover, it is annoying.

    You're very far from learning anything, as far as I can tell. You have to want to learn.

    I've taken a look at your newspaper clipping.

    It's interesting that it looks like you (or somebody) actually snipped it from the New York Times back in 1980, and kept it. I'd hate to think that you've had this article filed for 35 years and in all that time you've made no effort at all to learn anything about evolution, leopold. That would be a very sad state of affairs. I'd prefer to think that you got the clipping from one of your Creationist web sites.

    The article says, among other things:
    Eldredge doesn't say anything in the article that questions the fact of evolution.
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    It is not true that there are no transitional fossils. Didn't you read the New York Times article you posted? Or the original Science article you posted?

    Please don't add more lies to your sorry record.
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Probably not. We'll see.
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    No, what I am saying is what you call macroevolution is a lot of microevolution, just as macroerosion is a lot of microerosion.

    Well, mountains are also formed by uplift, so let's take a more accurate example:
    An example of micro-erosion would be my ever-sloping back yard, while an example of macro-erosion would be the Grand Canyon. Yes, true. Same basic processes.
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Are you asking what a transitional fossil is? It's the thing you have been claiming does not exist. I hope you know what it is!
  10. leopold Valued Senior Member

    what am i supposed to say james?
    the only term that comes to mind is CHARADE.
    this is BS of the highest order, and it stinketh badly.
    this is isn't so much about ayalas veiws as it is about his alleged retraction.
    i firmly believe he said what lewin printed.
    i DO NOT think ayala, or anyone else at the conference, was trying to destroy evolution.
    as a matter of fact, it's a safe bet that no creationists were there.
    i recently found the conference was by invite only.
    almost all of the leading scientists were there, ayala was there.

    i never said he was.
    denying gradualism IS NOT denying evolution.
    i've since uploaded a file which supports the science article and probably explains why ayala said what he said.
    the record doesn't support macroevolution due to small accumulating changes.
    the real question seems to be one of the mechanism for macroevolution.
    come on james, even gould used the phrase "woefully incomplete" in regards to the record.
    the uploaded file seems to concur.
    and the very next question is, why didn't he ask LEWIN about it instead of NAIG?
    so you are essentially calling lewin a liar
    i'm sure he does, just like everyone else that was there.
    this wasn't a conference about the truth of evolution, but about the mechanisms that drive it.
    you are getting them james.
    what am i avoiding now?
    the plague?
    i am?
    denying gradualism is not denying evolution james.
    this little charade that surrounds the ayala remark is not a denial of evolution but is essentially an inquiry into possible fraud.
    what dishonest tactics?
    this WORRYING someone james, quite possibly the authors of NAIG.
    actually it's from the houston chronicle.
    actually it came from one of your favorite atheist sites
  11. leopold Valued Senior Member

    you have been asked a question in the science forums bill.
    i hope you can answer it.
  12. leopold Valued Senior Member

    eldridge said it himself, "some would say none".
    none, as in zero.
    who are these non creationist paleontologists that say we don't have any transitional fossils?
    apparently eldridge knows them.

    to be fair, the science article doesn't go quite that far.
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    That is set out clearly above, and in the personal conversation message I sent to you.

    From what you have written, you should have no trouble agreeing with the following statement:
    "Ayala gave a talk at the conference that accepted evolution. There is no quote from Ayala in Lewin's Science article, or anywhere else that I am aware of, saying that Ayala thinks that evolution by natural selection is false, or that he has Creationist views."

    Please post your agreement with this if you agree. And if not, then you might like to try the second option above.

    The clock is still ticking, leopold. What you need to do has been clearly specified.

    I addressed this point in a previous post that you did not respond to. I have no intention of repeating myself on that point.

    Why? Ayala himself has denied it.

    Great! Good for you. Then you'll have no problem agreeing with the statement quoted above.


    Correct. So you'll have no problem agreeing with the statement quoted above.

    On a technical note, though, you have to be careful as to what exactly you mean by "gradualism". Are you referring specifically to the fossil record, or to the idea that small genetic changes accumulate? Because nobody at the conference denied the latter.

    Which file are you referring to? The article from the New York Times? Please quote the relevant parts that provide the explanation.

    That was the question at the conference, back in 1980, yes. That part of the discussion was about the fossil record.

    This was 35 years ago, remember. Things aren't nearly so bad now.

    But as many here have pointed out, even if there was no fossil record at all, the theory of evolution would still be the best explanation of the development of life on Earth. Earlier in the thread, I listed 7 or 8 different lines of evidence in support of evolution. The fossil record is just one of those. Evolution doesn't stand on the fossil record. It certainly could, in principle, fail if certain evidence appeared in the fossil record, but such evidence has never been found (e.g. fossilised rabbits in the Precambrian is a classical example of a falsifying piece of evidence, if it were to exist).

    [quite]and the very next question is, why didn't he ask LEWIN about it instead of NAIG?[/quote]
    Perhaps he did. Who knows? There's no record of that.

    The bottom line to all of this, though, is that it isn't important. It seems likely that Ayala's attention was only drawn to the error by NAIG.

    No. I say Lewin made a minor mistake. But it doesn't matter what I say. What is important is that Ayala says that Lewin got it wrong, and Ayala was the man who was quoted.

    Actually, the matter of who said what isn't even that important, if the issue is determining whether we ought to "believe in" evolution. The other evidence for evolution is overwhelming.

    We'll see in 24 hours.

    Who do you think was fraudulent?

    Which republished the original from the NYT.

    I don't really care where it came from. However, you're making an assumption that (a) I have favorite atheist sites and (b) you know what they are. So, just to clear this up, which site are you referring to?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Where did Eldredge say that? Please cite your source.

    I don't know? Who are they? Citations, please.

    I'm worried that you've just added another lie to this thread.

    I sure hope you can support your claims.

    Remember to respond to the 24 hour deadline first, though.
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    So you don't know what a transitional fossil is even though you have been using the term over a 700 post thread?

    If you admit you do not know what it is, I will be happy to explain it to you.
    If you do know what it is and are just pulling another one of your games, then I won't participate in your latest troll.
  16. leopold Valued Senior Member

    well see james, that's the problem.
    what he said in science seems to be doing exactly that, denying small accumulating changes.
    if this is "natural selection" then he was denying it.
    whether ayala has creationist views or not is irrelevant.
    he can kiss frogs all day long as far as i care.
    the above is the best i can do james.
    i am not going to profess what someone believes nor do i have the credentials to call science/lewin liars.
    you can believe that if you want to.
    put yourself in ayalas place james.
    now tell me, "i james r. WOULD NOT contact science about this matter."
    they were probable trying to figure out a way to tell the public all of this stuff without causing a 4 alarm meltdown.
    some were probably afraid the creationists would jump all over it and go stupid.
    i don't know, and i really don't care, but i DO know this "retraction" nonsense needs to stop.
    it WILL be fleshed out.
    after all, that's what "peer review" is all about.
    what eldridge said about the record.
    it sure seems to work for heredity.
    what if such a thing WAS found james?
    simple, we will say the earth was folded over to cause the displacement.
    no, there needs to be a clear cut experiment that can be proven false, that if true proves evolution.
    and there is none.
    there is no record alaya ever contacted the responsible party.
    there is no record of NAIG contacting science.
    i haven't seen anyone else except NAIG involved with this james.
    and science, a respected source, says ayala said what he did.
    it doesn't matter james, science never said they got it wrong.
    this leaves NAIG in a very uncomfortable position, doesn't it.
    i've already told you james, i won't respond to your threats of ban.
    you remove the ban threat and i will answer the post.
    until then, you can ram it.
    well, it seems NAIG has been posting an alleged retraction that never appears in science.
    all over the web, everywhere EXCEPT the horses mouth.
    i wouldn't know.
    the clipping itself says the houston chronicle.
    i've learned to protect my sources james.
    i have a bunch of creationist sites bookmarked.
    maybe i can click on each of them before i log in the next time.
  17. leopold Valued Senior Member

    well that's what i asked for, "what is a transitional fossil between groups".
  18. Bells Staff Member

    Your comments came across as being young Earth creationist and thus, denying evolution.

    Keep going.

    Language or the ability to speak and communicate did not start with "humans".
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Then I guess you'd better use the time to do some research so you can pick option 2:
    "Alternatively, it will also be acceptable if you can find any quote from a published source written by Ayala himself that states that Ayala thinks that evolution by natural selection is false."

    Good luck with that. You have a little less than 19 hours left.

    Then you won't mind agreeing with the statement that he does not, in fact, have creationist views. If that doesn't matter to you. One less thing for you to worry about over the next 19 hours.

    You have not been asked to profess what someone believes. You have been asked to agree to this:
    "Ayala gave a talk at the conference that accepted evolution. There is no quote from Ayala in Lewin's Science article, or anywhere else that I am aware of, saying that Ayala thinks that evolution by natural selection is false, or that he has Creationist views."

    In other words, you have been asked to make a statement about your knowledge, not Ayala's.

    You can avoid a ban only if you publically agree with the above statement, or else find a suitable quote from Ayala that supports your contentions (see above).

    The best you can do right now is insufficient. You'll have to try harder. Or you will be leaving us.

    You need to start being honest. You need to stop your games and your avoidance. Or you can just be banned again. Up to you.


    So I imagine I'm Ayala. I've published extensively about evolution. I've written books and peer-reviewed journal articles about it. I'm an evolutionary biologist (and a Christian, too, as it happens). I take part in a conference at which there are some interesting discussions about the precise mechanisms of evolution. I hear nothing more for a year. Then somebody from NAIG contacts me by email and tells me that Creationists are quoting an article by a guy called Lewin which arguably supports the idea that I said evolution doesn't happen. The NAIG asks for my response.

    What do I do, as Ayala?

    Answer: I shoot off an email reply to the NAIG guy, telling him that the whole idea that I would say that evolution doesn't happen and that "small changes don't accumulate" is silly, given everything in my background. Besides, how could small changes not accumulate?

    Looks like Lewin misquoted me. Oh well. These things happen from time to time. Clearly, the Creationists are really stretching things to claim that Lewin's article supports the idea that evolution doesn't occur. But I'm a scientist. I'm not worried about what Creationists think about a conference on evolutionary biology. I have better things to do with my time.

    Do I kick up a fuss and demand that Science correct the record? Nah! It's a minor error. These things happen. Besides, that NAIG guy has posted my rebuttal to the creationist claims on a public web page. I have real work to do. I consider this minor matter finished.

    You don't hold a conference by invitation only to make public announcements. The conference was a scientific meeting to discuss various ideas about evolution among professionals.

    What's the risk of a "meltdown" here? This conference wholeheartedly supported the fact of evolution. It was an evolutionary biology conference.

    I doubt they were even thinking about creationists. This was a scientific conference, not a conference on fundamentalist religion.

    You keep using the word "retraction". Nobody has retracted anything. Nor do they need to.

    What did he say? Quote and citation, please. Come on, leopold. Isn't it time you did some work?

    The thing you keep missing about science in general, and about evolution in particular, is that no scientific idea is ever "proved" and no scientific idea ever stands or falls on one piece of data. Scientific theories are tested in many different ways. The more tests they pass, the more confident we are that they are correct.

    Evolution is one of science's glowing success stories. It is a theory supported by oodles of evidence. It has passed every test that might falsify it. There's just no doubt that it occurs.

    It's clear to any idiot that Science (or, more accurately, Lewin) got this wrong. Ayala has said so.

    I have no idea why you imagine that NAIG would be uncomfortable. Or Science. Or Ayala. Or even Lewin.

    I will be ramming it in 19 hours if there is no sudden outbreak of honesty from you before then. Specifically, I will ram the "ban" button next to the name "leopold".

    You are not in any position to issue ultimatums here, leopold. "If you remove the ban threat, then I will answer." No. You've had literally years to answer questions put to you. You have avoided, repeated yourself, refused to read information given to you, and generally been bereft of intellectual integrity. For years.

    Now you have 19 hours left to change your ways. Or not.

    What "retraction"? There's that word again. Nobody retracted anything.

    Do you have any valid reason to doubt the veracity of Ayala's statement, as published by NAIG? If so, now is the time to post your evidence.

    Did you read the clipping? Look just below the title and author. What does it say?

    You want to protect what you say was my "favorite atheist website"? Well, that's very nice of you, leopold.

    Protect it from what, though?

    Are you afraid that the Great Evil Scientific Conspiracy will get to it and wipe out an article that supports the theory of evolution?

    You should delete them all and learn some science.

    But that would require some intellectual honesty from you, and a desire to learn. It's all a bit much to ask of you, isn't it?
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    On the matter of "retraction", let's be clear. I have already said this once, but leopold either didn't read it or didn't understand.

    1. leopold writes "Birds never fly." Later, leopold writes "I was wrong. Some birds do fly, sometimes, after all."
    Conclusion: leopold retracted his initial statement.

    2. I write "leopold says 'Birds never fly'.". Later, I write "I was wrong. leopold didn't say what I thought he said."
    Conclusion: I retracted my initial statement.

    3. I write "leopold says 'Birds never fly'." Later, leopold writes "James R reported my words correctly, but I have changed my mind. I now believe that birds do fly sometimes."
    Conclusion: James R retracted nothing. leopold admitted he made the statement as reported, but retracted it.

    4. I write "leopold says 'Birds never fly'." Later, leopold writes "James R is wrong. I didn't say that birds never fly. In fact, I believe that some birds do fly sometimes."
    Conclusion: James R retracted nothing. leopold never said what James R claimed he said, so leopold did not retract the statement 'Birds never fly'. He can't retract what he never said in the first place. What happened here was that leopold posted new information that disputed James R's statement about leopold's words.

    Obviously, example (4) is the one that mirrors our situation with the Lewin/Ayala Science article. Lewin retracted nothing. Ayala couldn't retract something he never said, so he retracted nothing. Ayala provided information that disputed Lewin's claim about Ayala's words, though.
  21. tali89 Registered Senior Member

    I wish I could ask leading questions, and then compel my opponent to respond by threatening them with censorship. That would make debates so much quicker and cleaner.

    Honestly James, this whole fiasco is ludicrous. Why don't you just ban leopold now? He's made it quite clear that he's not going to play ball, and you don't seem to have much to contribute apart from attitude and repeating 'tick tock'. If you're attempting to appear fair, you are failing miserably.
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Thankyou for joining in to support leopold. No doubt you're aware that this matter has been going on for 3 years now, with leopold characteristically avoiding all uncomfortable and inconvenient matters, blatantly ignoring all points raised against his position, and occasionally resorting to outright lies and unsupported claims.

    At what point, if any, do you think we should draw a line under such behaviour?

    Which questions of mine do you consider to be leading questions, tali89? Please give some examples.

    Here's a list of accumulated matters that leopold has avoided. These are either open questions to leopold, or else matters in which he needs to express a clear position (one of two options), providing appropriate evidence to support his views if he disagrees with the evidence already provided to him over years by myself and many others on sciforums.

    Perhaps you can help leopold to respond to some of these matters.

    Because then I might be accused of failing to give him a fair chance to respond to the matters in dispute, or of not allowing him enough time to marshall his arguments (although, he has had 3 years). Or I might be accused of censoring him. This way, he has 24 hours warning and is free to express his position however he wishes in the meantime.

    People are often unpredictable. Occasionally, they change their minds. Given a chance to cool their temper down, sometimes they come to their senses when they realise that they have been acting unreasonably. I like to give everybody a fair chance.

    It seems to me, tali89, that you haven't been reading my posts carefully. The "tick tock" posts have been a courtesy to leopold, since he has shown some doubt that I am serious about banning him again, and some signs that he thinks he can wriggle out of what I have asked of him through the same kinds of dishonest tactics he has used consistently for the past 3 years. I want to leave him in no doubt as to what will happen should he fail to respond.

    In addition to the "tick tock", I have also taken special care to respond point by point to matters of substance raised by leopold throughout this thread, including points that he has made since he returned from his recent ban. Where there has been doubt about his views, I have asked open questions that have provided him with an opportunity to clarify his position. I have also asked him repeatedly to support his claims with appropriate quotes, source links and the like. And, in case there is any doubt, I am always very willing to discuss the evidence for and against evolution with him on a more general level than the one that he is currently fixated on. The fact that he is not interested in such a discussion should tell you something, really.

    Thanks for you feedback, tali89. I'm sure that leopold appreciates having you on his side. I hope you can provide useful assistance to him. Perhaps you should contact him privately so you can compare notes.
  23. tali89 Registered Senior Member

    This isn't about sides, nor am I doing leopold a favour. Indeed, I responded to this thread as a favour to you. When a narcissist with a control complex is grandstanding, it is better to ground them in reality, rather than fuel their delusions. Granted, you're unlikely to change your behaviour overnight, but hey, people are unpredictable, and sometimes change their minds.
    Trooper likes this.

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