Roger Ebert, Defender of Evolution

Roger Ebert, Defender of Evolution

There are 479 comments on the The Panda's Thumb story from Apr 4, 2013, titled Roger Ebert, Defender of Evolution. In it, The Panda's Thumb reports that:

As we reflect upon the amazing body of work left behind by this giant of the movie scene, readers of the Thumb should know that Roger Ebert was a passionate defender of science, and of evolution in particular.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Panda's Thumb.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#364 May 7, 2013
Kong linked one article that debunks Sanford here is another:

http://newtonsbinomium.blogspot.com/2006/10/r...

At the heart of his article were claims that were already busted. Why do you think that he tried to cheat when it comes to peer review?
Level 6

Since: Nov 08

Location hidden

#365 May 7, 2013
Dogen wrote:
So ID is out of the question.
Correct. ID isn't science.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#366 May 7, 2013
Shubee wrote:
<quoted text>Correct. ID isn't science.
Wasn't Sanford an IDiot?

At any rate you did get one thing right. ID isn't science. Nor is creationism. The only science that I know of is evolutionary biology when it comes to origins of species. Perhaps you have something else?

“Nihil curo de ista tua stulta ”

Since: May 08

Orlando

#367 May 7, 2013
Shubee wrote:
<quoted text> I only count five essential axioms in Sanford's book. And I don't even believe that you can name them, much less talk about them intelligently.
<<Shrug>>

You're probably right.

I dont believe I even heard of John Sanford, or his Genetic Entropy argument prior to coming to Topix.

Two points:

(1) "Professor of Moral Philosophy, J.A. Smith, had opened a lecture course in 1914:'Nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you in after life - save only this - if you work hard and diligently you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view, is the main, if not the sole, purpose of education'".

(2) I again paraphrase your own post: "Who is more authoritative and more credible among the majority of the world's greatest scholars AS IT PERTAINS TO BIOLOGY?

99.9% of all scientific professionals in relevant fields?

Or yourself?

Sanford WAS refuted. Soundly. That you're making reference to Sanford in your continued Don Quixote quest is not my concern.
The casual reader here can judge for themselves who is the more rational of us on these threads, and who is 'talking rot'.

I am NOT a genetic scientist. Nor are you. Your assertion that "Mathematicians outrank biologists when it comes to understanding Sanford's genomic degeneration theorem, which says a lot about biology" **IS** pure rot, to put it gently.

If there was any wind in the sails for Genomic degradation, the vast majority of the worlds greatest scholars in both mathematics AND biology would be taking Sanford more seriously.

But alas....it is 'rot'.

“May you be at peace.”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#368 May 7, 2013
Shubee wrote:
<quoted text> This is the first time that I have ever requested a refutation of Sanford's axioms. I don't even believe that you know what Sanford's axioms are. It's true however that you have spent a lot of time chasing your own tail.

Since an axiomatic statement is obviously true, and since Sanfords Axioms have been proven false, they can not really be considered to be "axioms" can they.

For example Axiom #1 is false because the genome has been proven to NOT deteriorate irrevocably.

And really the rest fails for the same reason. Axiom #1 had to hold to keep the whole house of cards from falling down. Failing that you have are left with a game of 52 pick-up.

“May you be at peace.”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#369 May 7, 2013
Shubee wrote:
<quoted text> I only count five essential axioms in Sanford's book. And I don't even believe that you can name them, much less talk about them intelligently.

I count zero viable axioms and one big failure.

Is it necessary to know what doesn't exist to discuss it intelligently?

“May you be at peace.”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#370 May 7, 2013
Shubee wrote:
<quoted text>You shouldn't talk before even listening to what the dissident scientists are saying about the HIV/AIDS hypothesis. Their expert claims are all nicely assembled here: everythingimportant.org/AZT/

Since when are journalists and religious hacks counted as scientists.

Celia Farber (Journalist) has back away from her earlier HIV/AIDs denialism.

David Rasnick admits that he is not an AIDs researcher and has done no work with AIDs/HIV. He is known as a murderer in South Africa where he is culpable in at least 5 known deaths.

Peter Duesberg is a mass murder and is responsible for tens of THOUSANDS of needless deaths in South Africa.

You have a list of journalists and murders.


“May you be at peace.”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#371 May 7, 2013
Shubee wrote:
<quoted text>Correct. ID isn't science.

You are such a compulsive liar that I am not sure what to make of this.

Can we agree that the synonym of ID "Creationism", likewise is not science?

“Do not bend, fold, staple or”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

mutilate. Point down range.

#372 May 7, 2013
Shubee wrote:
<quoted text> No, I support accomplished scientists that are independent. There is no question that I reject all scientists that receive money in exchange for their kowtowing to religious images.
You are starting to blather incoherently again. All I got from your post was a Big Lie followed by nonsense.

I don't have a moron to English dictionary to help translate you.

“Do not bend, fold, staple or”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

mutilate. Point down range.

#373 May 7, 2013
Shubee wrote:
<quoted text> This is the first time that I have ever requested a refutation of Sanford's axioms. I don't even believe that you know what Sanford's axioms are. It's true however that you have spent a lot of time chasing your own tail.
You are one dedicated liar. I will give you that. I have posted on threads where Chimney has provided the information to you. It may be the first time you requested it, but it is not the first time you have gotten it.

I would say it is you that are chasing your tail, but by now you must surely have bitten it off.
Level 6

Since: Nov 08

Location hidden

#374 May 7, 2013
DanFromSmithville wrote:
All I got from your post was a Big Lie followed by nonsense.
That's because you refuse to listen to the expert testimony of dissident scientists, medical practitioners, researchers and courageous political activists.

“Do not bend, fold, staple or”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

mutilate. Point down range.

#375 May 7, 2013
Shubee wrote:
<quoted text>That's because you refuse to listen to the expert testimony of dissident scientists, medical practitioners, researchers and courageous political activists.
In other words, I don't listen to the nuts you listen too. I am thankful for that.

You forgot to include yourself in that list. I didn't see do nothing wannabes on there.
Level 6

Since: Nov 08

Location hidden

#376 May 7, 2013
Kong_ wrote:
"Who is more authoritative and more credible among the majority of the world's greatest scholars AS IT PERTAINS TO BIOLOGY?
99.9% of all scientific professionals in relevant fields?
Or yourself?
Sanford WAS refuted. Soundly.
Consider all the expert opinions that claim that cannabis has no medical benefits and that it is rightly classified as a Schedule 1 illegal substance. So please explain the positive admissions by the National Cancer Institute, the favorable experimental tests and the United States Patent # 6,630,507:
everythingimportant.org/cancer

“May you be at peace.”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#377 May 7, 2013
Shubee wrote:
<quoted text>That's because you refuse to listen to the expert testimony of dissident scientists, medical practitioners, researchers and courageous political activists.

You mean listen to journalists (some of whom have since recanted), scientists from OTHER fields and cranks. There will always be crazy people who say crazy things in spite of the facts.

I would be embarrassed to put up a list of references like that.

But I see you have no shame. I guess you need a brain to feel shame.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#378 May 8, 2013
Shubee wrote:
<quoted text>You shouldn't talk before even listening to what the dissident scientists are saying about the HIV/AIDS hypothesis. Their expert claims are all nicely assembled here: everythingimportant.org/AZT/
I take the point that scientists can jump to conclusions, that the orthodox can prevail over dissenting opinions for a period of time, and that authority can prevail over evidence...for a time.

I also take the view that the process of empirical data collection, which continues to accumulate new information year after year, cures the body of science of these ailments in the long run. I have no idea whether the suite of evidence that AIDS is caused by HIV is conclusive, as its not my area of particular interest. Its a hypothesis that has not been falsified in about 30 years with intense international scientific interest applied. I watched selections of your assembled videos. Some raised interesting points, others were clearly grasping at straws. I am sure it will be settled in the end.

Evolution is another matter entirely. For evolution we have not 30 but 150 years of data collection, 150 years of opportunities to falsify the hypothesis and concerted attacks by vested interest groups such as religion believing that their future depends on falsification of evolution, and they are not short of funds either....yet the mass of incoming data just continues to support the original concept with minor modifications. Its a stupendous tribute to the eminent genius and vision of the great Darwin.

And of course, you know I said that last bit just to rile you up.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#379 May 8, 2013
Shubee wrote:
<quoted text> I only count five essential axioms in Sanford's book. And I don't even believe that you can name them, much less talk about them intelligently.
Philosophically, the only axioms in science are that there is something out there consistently corresponding to the sensory inputs we receive, and that we can model reasonable approximations of what is really going on.

After that, your talk of "axioms", a concept borrowed from pure mathematics, gets tiresome. Scientists speak of assumptions - starting points that experience or prior science have made plausible.

Sanford has made some real clanger assumptions. For example, assuming that there ever was or needed to be a perfect genome. He assumes it as soon as he assumes any departure from the existing genome is deleterious or neutral at best, a theme recurring in his book. As for his silly re-imposition of a tiny triangle of "beneficial mutations" that does not make it into the selection zone, well right there we have a self serving and unjustified assumption. In fact, in KIMURA's original work, he left out beneficial mutations because they were driving evolution too FAST, and he was trying to make a point about DRIFT. But you would have to actually delve into some of the original research to understand that...

Which brings me to Sanford's non-scientific brand of assumptions:

1. His audience will accept his thesis uncritically because they WANT it to be true.

2. His audience will not check critically on his sources.

3. Political success is more important than scientific integrity.

We can go one further, as his manifesto is naked in the preface:

Scientific truth should take a back seat to societal harmony, hope and a sense of purpose. People cannot handle the truth. They NEED to believe. So Sanford no longer saw his job as that of a scientist, but as a guardian of all that is good...and his background as a scientist as invaluable in being able to concoct a story good enough to persuade the layman. That's all.

As soon as a real biologist looks at this book, the errors leap from the page. But who cares? So long a Fanny McPhee on the local school board is convinced, Sanford has helped save the nation from meaningless, hopeless, nihilistic atheism, right?

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#380 May 8, 2013
Dogen wrote:
<quoted text>
Since an axiomatic statement is obviously true, and since Sanfords Axioms have been proven false, they can not really be considered to be "axioms" can they.
For example Axiom #1 is false because the genome has been proven to NOT deteriorate irrevocably.
And really the rest fails for the same reason. Axiom #1 had to hold to keep the whole house of cards from falling down. Failing that you have are left with a game of 52 pick-up.
Unfortunately SHUBEE has things a little upside down when it comes to science. He thinks, assuming the persona of a mathematician, that reality has to conform to axioms, not that "axioms" (really premises or assumptions)have to conform to reality.

So if you make up a really convincing axiom, such as your #1 above, then it must be true no matter how much empirical reality faults it.

Call it: wishful thinking with intellectual pretensions!

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#381 May 8, 2013
Dogen wrote:
Peter Duesberg is a mass murder and is responsible for tens of THOUSANDS of needless deaths in South Africa.
I think its hyperbolic to call a dissenter with the mainstream a mass murderer. You have to separate the theorising from the potential consequences of error, or nobody will be able to think straight. Who could if the consequences of error would be the label "mass murderer"??? Its not a constructive label.

By which I mean - assume that Duesberg is NOT a "mass murderer" and if its an area of interest, examine why he thinks what he does and whether he has a valid case. What if he was even half right and a complementary cause of AIDS (a co-factor to HIV), was found, for example?

Otherwise, what you are claiming is that he really hoped to mislead others so as to maximise the death toll from AIDS. Do you really think that? We need our dissenters, science cannot work with conformity based on fear.
Skeptic

Mckinney, TX

#382 May 8, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
assume that Duesberg is NOT a "mass murderer" and if its an area of interest, examine why he thinks what he does and whether he has a valid case.
I don't believe that the critics of Dr. Duesberg are capable of doing that.
Skeptic

Mckinney, TX

#383 May 8, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
what you are claiming is that he really hoped to mislead others so as to maximise the death toll from AIDS. Do you really think that? We need our dissenters, science cannot work with conformity based on fear.
He is trying with all his might to believe the lie.

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