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The most dishonest creationist "research papers"?

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The most dishonest creationist "research papers"?
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InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post The most dishonest creationist "research papers"?

I sometimes feel the urge to look up what the enemy is doing, so I went by the Discovery Institute a few days ago and found nothing worthwhile. I then looked at AiG, found nothing, and then proceeded to their "research journal". There, I struck gold.

Some of you might already be familiar with this article (I won't call it a paper, that would be disrespectful to scientists), in which the author determines 137 different "kinds" in Mammals alone. There are a few things worth noting:
1) There is absolutely no research methodology presented. The author merely lists a bunch of families/genara/species/orders/etc. in a random mix and calls them "baramins", or created kinds.
2) Nowhere is the term "baramin" defined, indeed there seems to be a squabble (in creationist ranks, I might add) over if a baramin even exists. (Hint: The answer is no.)
3) This article was noted a few times because they used the photo of a plush animal in lieu of a real animal in their article, a mistake that shouldn't occur if they were real academics.

I'll jump straight to the conclusions part of the article (there's nothing of interest in the other 45!!! pages). After I'm done with the conclusion, I'll head over to this article, which apparently forms the basis to the previous one. To avoid confusion and/or complaints that I'm quote-mining, I'll quote the whole paragraph. I'll also leave the original formatting, so as to allow for easier use of the search function.

There were a number of times where the level of
the kind did seem to naturally fall at the family level
based on the cognitum and hybrid data. However, in
a number of cases the kind appeared to be above this
level. It seems to me a better rule of thumb is that
the level of the kind is anywhere from the level of the
family to the level of the order. In some cases, such as
for some marsupials, it appears that it could even be
above this level. This is because marsupials are no
longer considered a single order.


This is an interesting paragraph, because it basically confirms that all animals, even according to the strictest creationist defenitions, are kinds only in a family, so theoretically humans should be grouped with the great apes. Apparently, the human "kind" is the only ever kind that does not adhere to this rule.
Even if the previous paragraph is considered, in which they class some as low as "subfamily", humans would still be grouped with Gorillas, Chimpanzees and Bonobos. Apparently, the human "kind" is special.

Where considerable controversy exists over
placement of a taxon, it has often been regarded as
potentially informative. If it is at a higher taxonomic
level and there is not a strong cognitum between the
groups, it has been taken as support that the groups
are unlikely to be related. This is particularly the
case when the identity of those within the taxon is
relatively non-controversial. When there is a strong
cognitum and/or the controversy is below the level of
the family, it has been suggested that the creatures
are related, but within kind diversification doesn't
fit the neat "tree of life" pattern often proposed by
evolutionists. While this may in fact be the case,
it is quite subjective and further confirmation is
desirable.


This paragraph reeks of intellectual dishonesty.
A cognitum is "defined" basically as anything that looks similar. This one sentence (from the second article) should make that clear: "A cognitum is a group of organisms that are naturally grouped together through human cognitive senses."
In other words, a cognitum is the same as what Carl Linné did nearly 250 years ago: Look at two animals and say "this looks like it's related and this is not". (By the way, baraminology is merely a refinement of that, with no objective methods at all.)

Basically what they're saying is this: If there's controversy above the taxon (in this case "family") and there's no cognitum, so if humans don't consider them related, then they're probably not.
What sort of an idiot would call this research?

If there is controversy below the family taxon and there is cognitum, then they're considered a kind.

There's also the question of how exactly anything doesn't fit the tree of life. The author is quite vague and this sentence can be understood in a number of different ways. "Within kind diversification" probably means "many species inside a kind". I'm not sure how that wouldn't fit the tree of life, because that's exactly what we'd suggest. The other ways make even fewer sense. The only way this can be understood is that the author is confused about what taxonomy, the tree of life and evolution is.

At least the last sentence is true: This [whole] thing is purely subjective.

In biology it is relatively easy to observe, measure,
and identify similarities and differences. It is often
much less straightforward to interpret the similarities
and differences. Evolutionists often end up explaining
similarities as convergence as they attempt to
account for traits in their paradigm of universal
common descent. While creationists recognize that
similarities can be the result of a Creator reusing
design elements, and thus there is less need to invoke
convergence or common descent as an explanation
for similarities, this does not appear to eliminate the
other two options completely. Since creationists have
three possible explanations for similarity (common
ancestry, common design feature, and convergence),
we need to be all the more careful to investigate
carefully before attributing similarities to one of the
three causes.


This is a very interesting paragraph, but for only one reason. Creationists (or at least one Creationist) freely admit that there is no way to rule out the two other possibilities, those being convergence and common ancestry. As shown above, the whole "method" is subjective, so I wonder how creationists intend to prove that their hypothesis is correct.
This is especially difficult in light of the recent paper Isoletus posted. In the paper, the relationship within Laurasiatheria is confirmed by comparing genetic information.

There's also no "attempting to account for traits in [the] paradigm of universal common descent", this is simply the best fit. I often ask creationists how they account for genetic similarity or indeed identity and the most common reply is "common DNA, common designer". But there are also pseudogenes and non-coding DNA that is the same across species/genara/kingdoms, so how do they account for that? They normally don't, opting to leave that out.

In this serious attempt to quantify the kinds
represented on the Ark, the numbers which resulted
are lower than many had anticipated. Previous work
had estimated the genus as the level of the kind,
knowing this would significantly overestimate the
number, in order to emphasize that the Ark had
sufficient room for its intended purpose (Woodmorappe
1996). In discussing the results of this study with
other creationists, many are surprised at how
incredibly spacious the accommodations on the Ark
would have been. In any case, this work is a reminder
we have a Creator who cares for His creation and,
even in judgment, He provides a way of salvation to
those who will trust in Him.


I'm still laughing at the "serious attempt", (no research methodology?!?) but the last sentence really annoys me. Even if I grant that everything in the article was absolutely true, how on earth does the rest follow?

Now I'll switch to the second article. The first page and a half is basically a long list of biblical references, pointing out where "kind" is mentioned, how they got onto the ark and so on. What this has to do in a "paper" is baffling, which is the reason I don't deign it worthy of that term.
The first interesting heading is "Methods for Ascertaining Baramins (Created Kinds) - Hybridization".

Based on the concept that living things reproduce
according to their kinds, hybrids between different
species of animals has long been considered conclusive
evidence that both species belong to the same created
kind (baramin). For example, crosses between dogs
and wolves, wolves and coyotes, and coyotes and
jackals are interpreted to mean that all these species
of animals belong to a single baramin.


Later on, he says:
So how much development is necessary for
hybridization to be considered successful? Is
fertilization enough? The answer to the latter question
is clearly no, as human sperm can fertilize hamster
eggs in the laboratory.3 Even the first few divisions
are under maternal control. For this reason Scherer
(1993) stated that embryogenesis must continue until
there is coordinated expression of both maternal
and paternal morphogenetic genes. Lightner (2007)
suggested that the advanced blastocyst stage may
be sufficient. This was partially based on a study
by Patil and Totey (2003) which showed failure of
embryos around the 8 cell stage was associated with a
lack of mRNA transcripts. Thus it seemed significant
coordinated expression was necessary to advance
past this stage, through the morula stage, to a late
blastocyst.


Now as far as I can see, this is an "after the fact" moving of goalposts. If I had asked a creationist "is fertilization enough" fifty years ago, he'd have laughed in my face and said "yeah". It's the same thing that happened with natural selection and adaptations.

The second "tool" proposed is the "cognitum". I've already explained that term above, so I needn't repeat it here. It's basically "guesswork". Note that this is the second most useful tool creationists seem to have as a resource, at least according to this article. The next is "statistical baraminology", which is basically sophisticated "cognitum". Pick a few traits, (chosen how?) and compare them. Tada!

One reason the cognitum is the preferred method
after hybridization is that Adam would have
recognized created kinds by sight. Presumably the
same would have been true in Noah's time. Humans
are designed to be able to visually detect patterns
and have a natural tendency to group according to
those patterns. Therefore, when the cognitum is used,
emphasis will be placed on traits that affect the overall
appearance of the animal over those that represent
more obscure anatomical or physiological details.


This here is a really weird paragraph if you think about it. Adam supposedly named the animals, so he should have some way of distinguishing among them. With no tools available to him, sight would have been the only tool available. However, that's clearly not the case now, because we sometimes have more diversity within a species than between species. We also have great similarities between other, more distantly related species, for example the Wolf and Thylacine. So IF creationists were to suggest this "method", they'd have to have the "kind" not as low as the family level, but perhaps as high as the class or phylum.

The article then goes on to suggest that "hard data" is less reliable than their guess-work and it ends on these two extremely weird paragraphs:
Just as building the Ark was a monumental task,
so our task to determine the Ark kinds is monumental
as well. We clearly recognize that in many ways
God has prepared us for this task. Yet we are also
keenly aware that to do this task well we need power,
strength, wisdom, insight and perseverance that only
our awesome, sovereign God can give us. For this,
your prayers would be much appreciated.

When we are done, we will not have all the answers
regarding created kinds, but we hope to have made
a substantial contribution to creation research that
can serve as a strong resource for future research
on created kinds. Beyond this we pray that this
information will be used to help people understand
that God's Word is trustworthy. May it be used to play
a role in many coming to know Christ and living fully
for His honor and glory.


Now I'm curious: Is that common practice? I'm sure it is in sermons, but in research? That's why I have to assume that few creationists have actually read the articles in these magazines, or at least they've not read a serious article yet. If they would, they would have to see creationism for what it really is: Special pleading and made-up nonsense.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:45 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3347Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: The most dishonest creationist "research papers"?

Inferno wrote:The article then goes on to suggest that "hard data" is less reliable than their guess-work and it ends on these two extremely weird paragraphs:
Just as building the Ark was a monumental task,
so our task to determine the Ark kinds is monumental
as well. We clearly recognize that in many ways
God has prepared us for this task. Yet we are also
keenly aware that to do this task well we need power,
strength, wisdom, insight and perseverance that only
our awesome, sovereign God can give us. For this,
your prayers would be much appreciated.

When we are done, we will not have all the answers
regarding created kinds, but we hope to have made
a substantial contribution to creation research that
can serve as a strong resource for future research
on created kinds. Beyond this we pray that this
information will be used to help people understand
that God's Word is trustworthy. May it be used to play
a role in many coming to know Christ and living fully
for His honor and glory.


Now I'm curious: Is that common practice? I'm sure it is in sermons, but in research? That's why I have to assume that few creationists have actually read the articles in these magazines, or at least they've not read a serious article yet. If they would, they would have to see creationism for what it really is: Special pleading and made-up nonsense.


:shock: Wow!

This is what passes as research worthy of being published in a creation science journal? Inferno, you hit the nail on the head by pointing out that this is nothing more than special pleading and made-up nonsense.

This is also probably the same reason why creationists do not publish in real journals and have to create fake science journals in order to publish. Imagine if this was submitted to peer-review, the comments that would have come back would have been hilarious.
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
(_'--------------------'_)
(_.--------------------._)
Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:29 pm
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WarKChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1186Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: The most dishonest creationist "research papers"?

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
This is also probably the same reason why creationists do not publish in real journals and have to create fake science journals in order to publish. Imagine if this was submitted to peer-review, the comments that would have come back would have been hilarious.


I guess it could look a bit like this :D
Did you see that ludicrous display last night?
Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:35 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: The most dishonest creationist "research papers"?

he_who_is_nobody wrote:This is also probably the same reason why creationists do not publish in real journals and have to create fake science journals in order to publish. Imagine if this was submitted to peer-review, the comments that would have come back would have been hilarious.


Speaking of which, I'm going to take a close look at the papers on the Discovery Intitute's list. That should be a laugh. :D
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:48 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3347Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: The most dishonest creationist "research papers"?

WarK wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:
This is also probably the same reason why creationists do not publish in real journals and have to create fake science journals in order to publish. Imagine if this was submitted to peer-review, the comments that would have come back would have been hilarious.


I guess it could look a bit like this :D


:lol: Quite right.
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
(_'--------------------'_)
(_.--------------------._)
Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:21 pm
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nemesissUser avatarPosts: 1259Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Post Re: The most dishonest creationist "research papers"?

does ayoutube channel also count...?
http://www.youtube.com/user/DiscoveryIn ... eos?view=0

creationist using a not so intelligent designed green screen effect.

Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:19 pm
RedYellowUser avatarPosts: 190Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:22 am Gender: Male

Post Re: The most dishonest creationist "research papers"?

When we are done, we will not have all the answers
regarding created kinds, but we hope to have made
a substantial contribution to creation research that
can serve as a strong resource for future research
on created kinds. Beyond this we pray that this
information will be used to help people understand
that God's Word is trustworthy. May it be used to play
a role in many coming to know Christ and living fully
for His honor and glory.


It's just so funny to me how they never see the obvious- the fact that they have to systematically make a case for creation, coupled with their belief that God wants people to know evolution isn't true but leaves it up to people who have no respect in science.

I think I've found the only relevant line of inquiry to shut down a creationist: A. Does God want people to know creation is true, and evolution is false? B. Has he done everything in his power to make it apparent? If so, from whence does the case for evolution come, and why so easily accepted? All God needed to do to crush evolution is to create animals which evolution unambiguously cannot.
Someone who is absolutely convinced they are right, is as good as someone who doesn't know they are dead wrong.
Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:49 pm
malicious_blokeUser avatarPosts: 305Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:12 pmLocation: Proper Westcountry Gender: Male

Post Re: The most dishonest creationist "research papers"?

RedYellow wrote:
When we are done, we will not have all the answers
regarding created kinds, but we hope to have made
a substantial contribution to creation research that
can serve as a strong resource for future research
on created kinds. Beyond this we pray that this
information will be used to help people understand
that God's Word is trustworthy. May it be used to play
a role in many coming to know Christ and living fully
for His honor and glory.


It's just so funny to me how they never see the obvious- the fact that they have to systematically make a case for creation, coupled with their belief that God wants people to know evolution isn't true but leaves it up to people who have no respect in science.

I think I've found the only relevant line of inquiry to shut down a creationist: A. Does God want people to know creation is true, and evolution is false? B. Has he done everything in his power to make it apparent? If so, from whence does the case for evolution come, and why so easily accepted? All God needed to do to crush evolution is to create animals which evolution unambiguously cannot.


This is where misrepresentation comes in. Misrepresentation is a key driver of creationism. To rehash a mush-hashed hypothetical, do you not think that if scientists were to discover a 'crocoduck', creationists wouldn't INSTANTLY descend on the news as total disproof of evolution?

Would they also not then respond to "you previously stated that if evolution was true we SHOULD expect to find crocoducks?" with the usual slew of denials, banhammers, DMCAs and all the other Archetypal Creationist Dishonesties?

You have to understand that creationism has not even the slightest passing relationship with truth, integrity or science. This is why it's so well suited to the political arena: fire up your ignorant base, spout a few choice lies then sit back in the happy knowledge that grownups who know better will never have any impact on your ovine followers.
[sarcasm ][/sarcasm ]

The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it
Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:37 am
herebedragonsUser avatarPosts: 31Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:16 am

Post Re: The most dishonest creationist "research papers"?

Inferno wrote:Some of you might already be familiar with this article (I won't call it a paper, that would be disrespectful to scientists), in which the author determines 137 different "kinds" in Mammals alone.

I personally would applaud them for attempting to define the original created kinds. How many times have you heard "just change within a kind" or "one kind changing into another kind?" Then try to nail them down to as to what "kind" means you get nothing but waffling. Here they clearly state what they believe to be an original kind (I don't think they are suggesting created kind, but a riding on the ark kind). So now there is a defined target. It should be fairly straight forward to present the evidence of one kind changing into another now that there is a clear "kind."

Another point would be is to challenge how rapidly the ark kinds would need to evolve (or uhmm, I mean adapt) in order to have the diversity that we have today. I proposed a simple thought experiment on EFF along these lines but no real response. The evolution that needs to occur to make their model work goes far beyond what evolutionary theory requires. I see that as completely inconsistent.

There is absolutely no research methodology presented.

I don't think that is completely accurate. They referenced the other article "Determining the Ark Kinds" as their methodology, which I would view as an acceptable practice. However, the referenced article presents no methodology, so your point is still valid. I did read somewhere about some work some creationists were doing regarding baraminology (Woods, I think). Their work was much more systematic, but these authors seem to dismiss statistical baraminology because it is too subjective. Also at at times their "conclusions are at odds with how other creationists feel creatures naturally group."

The issue I have with this particular article is they present little data and no real justification for their claims. As you pointed out, the discussion related to each kind is merely a description of the group. There is little to no reasoning why they consider this to be a baramin - no data, just the conclusion. They do provide a list of known hybrids at the end of the article, but it is not clear to me how they actually used that data. For example the family Canidae listed in Appendix 8. They provide four hybrid cases and then conclude the whole family is a single kind. I really don't make the connection. In the end, this seems to be little more than the good old adage "flies becoming flies."

One of my main issues with the YEC position is the incredible inconsistencies that they maintain. They say "You can't look at a pile of fossils and determine if they are related." but then out of the other side of their mouth they say "You can look at pictures of animals on the web and determine if they are of the same kind." Which is it? Is cognitive recognition sufficient or not?

This here is a really weird paragraph if you think about it. Adam supposedly named the animals, so he should have some way of distinguishing among them. With no tools available to him, sight would have been the only tool available.

Supposedly, there would have been only one of each kind that were brought to Adam, so he wouldn't need to distinguish between them, he would just name them. It doesn't really make sense that there would be multiple species within the same kind, does it? My question regarding that paragraph was about their comment "Therefore, when the cognitum is used, emphasis will be placed on traits that affect the overall appearance of the animal over those that represent more obscure anatomical or physiological details." If the emphasis is on overall appearance rather than obscure anatomical or physiological details, how were they able to distinguish between marsupials and placental mammals?

Another quote that made me laugh was this one: "Since cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) and sirenians (dugong and manatees) spend their entire lives in the water, these two orders of mammals are not considered." Presumably these kinds did not need to be on the ark because they live in water and would have survived the deluge. I received a similar comment from a creationist where we were discussing the Order Diptera (true flies) and I was ridiculed for thinking that flies needed to be on the ark since they could ... well, fly. As Cetacea didn't need to be on the ark because they could ... well, swim. How contradictory. These animals could survive a flood that covered the entire earth in just 40 days and stirred up enough sediment to form practically the entire geological column.

So in short, I commend them for attempting to define the ark kinds, but until they eliminate contradictions and properly define their methods ... this will only make sense to other creationists, who will certainly consider this to be "real" science.

HBD
Ignorance is a most formidable opponent rivaled only by arrogance; but when the two join forces, one is all but invincible.

Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe. - Petrarca
Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:43 pm
herebedragonsUser avatarPosts: 31Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:16 am

Post Re: The most dishonest creationist "research papers"?

nemesiss wrote:does ayoutube channel also count...?
http://www.youtube.com/user/DiscoveryIn ... eos?view=0

creationist using a not so intelligent designed green screen effect.



Here is the stock photo ... er, I mean Discovery Institute lab photo.

HBD

(I didn't find this, someone on another forum pointed it out)
Ignorance is a most formidable opponent rivaled only by arrogance; but when the two join forces, one is all but invincible.

Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe. - Petrarca
Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:26 pm
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