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Author Topic:   Meyer's Hopeless Monster
Nic Tamzek
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 207 (136876)
08-25-2004 9:56 PM


You guys might appreciate:

Meyer's Hopeless Monster
http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/000430.html

Review of Meyer, Stephen C. 2004. The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 117(2):213-239.

by Alan Gishlick, Nick Matzke, and Wesley R. Elsberry

quote:

[The views and statements expressed here are our own and not necessarily those of NCSE or its supporters.]

“Intelligent design” (ID) advocate Stephen C. Meyer has produced a “review article” that folds the various lines of “intelligent design” antievolutionary argumentation into one lump. The article is published in the journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. We congratulate ID on finally getting an article in a peer-reviewed biology journal, a mere fifteen years after the publication of the 1989 ID textbook Of Pandas and People, a textbook aimed at inserting ID into public schools. It is gratifying to see the ID movement finally attempt to make their case to the only scientifically relevant group, professional biologists. This is therefore the beginning (not the end) of the review process for ID. Perhaps one day the scientific community will be convinced that ID is worthwhile. Only through this route — convincing the scientific community, a route already taken by plate tectonics, endosymbiosis, and other revolutionary scientific ideas — can ID earn a legitimate place in textbooks.

Unfortunately, the ID movement will likely ignore the above considerations about how scientific review actually works, and instead trumpet the paper from coast to coast as proving the scientific legitimacy of ID. Therefore, we would like to do our part in the review process by providing a preliminary evaluation of the claims made in Meyer’s paper. Given the scientific stakes, we may assume that Meyer, Program Director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, the major organization promoting ID, has put forward the best case that ID has to offer. Discouragingly, it appears that ID’s best case is not very good. We cannot review every problem with Meyer’s article in this initial post, but we would like to highlight some of the most serious mistakes. These include errors in facts and reasoning. Even more seriously, Meyer’s paper omits discussion or even citation of vast amounts of directly relevant work available in the scientific literature.

[...]


Online discussions:

IDist Stephen Meyer in peer-reviewed journal

A Lovely Dissection

ID paper in peer-reviewed journal! Film at 11!


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by RAZD, posted 08-26-2004 12:18 AM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded
 Message 8 by Brad McFall, posted 09-02-2004 12:56 PM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded
 Message 11 by Ooook!, posted 09-03-2004 11:10 AM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded
 Message 35 by ID man, posted 09-11-2004 10:48 AM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded
 Message 84 by ID man, posted 09-16-2004 11:07 AM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded
 Message 166 by ID man, posted 09-30-2004 7:52 PM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded
 Message 203 by trisha, posted 09-01-2011 6:49 AM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded

  
AdminNosy
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Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 207 (136891)
08-25-2004 11:08 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
RAZD
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Posts: 15748
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 3 of 207 (136918)
08-26-2004 12:18 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Nic Tamzek
08-25-2004 9:56 PM


thanks for the links. the article appears to have been pulled and there is no abstract ... may have to go to the ID sites to see it (hopefully unchanged).

This is also relevant:

A Long Walk Off a Short Peer Review

The Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington (PBSW) is a respected, if somewhat obscure, biological journal specializing in papers of a systematic and taxonomic nature, such as the description of new species. A review of issues in evolutionary theory is decidedly not its typical fare, even disregarding the creationist nature of Meyer’s paper. The fact that the paper is both out of the journal’s typical sphere of publication, as well as dismal scientifically, raises the question of how it made it past peer review. The answer probably lies in the editor, Richard von Sternberg. Sternberg happens to be a creationist and ID fellow traveler who is on the editorial board of the Baraminology Study Group at Bryan College in Tennessee. (The BSG is a research group devoted to the determination of the created kinds of Genesis.)


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Nic Tamzek, posted 08-25-2004 9:56 PM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by Brad McFall, posted 09-18-2004 3:45 PM RAZD has not yet responded

  
Nic Tamzek
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 207 (137085)
08-26-2004 2:22 PM


Article up at the DI
About 24 hours after the critique came out the DI posted a scan of Meyer's article on their website:

The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories
By: Stephen C. Meyer
Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington
August 25, 2004
http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=2174&program=CSC


Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by RAZD, posted 08-26-2004 2:28 PM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded
 Message 6 by Silent H, posted 08-29-2004 5:35 PM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded
 Message 7 by RAZD, posted 09-01-2004 12:11 PM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 15748
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 5 of 207 (137086)
08-26-2004 2:28 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Nic Tamzek
08-26-2004 2:22 PM


Re: Article up at the DI
Thanks - bookmarked for later reading (I usually need to take some 'thinking breaks' when going over these kind of things ... heh)


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Nic Tamzek, posted 08-26-2004 2:22 PM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 2200 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 6 of 207 (137906)
08-29-2004 5:35 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Nic Tamzek
08-26-2004 2:22 PM


Thanks for all the links, this is one of the major topics I like to stay up to date on.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Nic Tamzek, posted 08-26-2004 2:22 PM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 15748
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 7 of 207 (138793)
09-01-2004 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Nic Tamzek
08-26-2004 2:22 PM


Re: Article up at the DI
Nick

article appears to have moved:

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=2177


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Nic Tamzek, posted 08-26-2004 2:22 PM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 1413 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 8 of 207 (139165)
09-02-2004 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Nic Tamzek
08-25-2004 9:56 PM


From the first link,
quote:
Meyer’s paper predictably follows the same pattern that has characterized “intelligent design” since its inception: deny the sufficiency of evolutionary processes to account for life’s history and diversity, then assert that an “intelligent designer” provides a better explanation.

if true and holds, then it, will, fit nicely in my up and coming FULL discussion of Shepard (of) "Natural Selection and Heredity" where I will between Meiosis and Metabolism DENY his probablisitc synthesis of Darwin's juxtaposition of sexual and natural selection IN THE SAME CONTINUM, which, likewise MUST biologically BE THE ONE AND ONLY any ID could product.

This time, unlike when Shepard wrote, IT WILL MATTER, not necessarily if THE BIRD fell on bedrock or softmoss but the cell that hit the ground in the population that clines such, and (in)this matter I will TRY (if I succeed) to unfold spontenously by metabolic energy what meiotically (not Shepard's natrual vs sexual selection via sterility dillusions etc and denial of Wright's notion of "enzyme")is statistically folded not by acceptance of a given mutation rate (Wright called for 10minus5(to the), but for frequencies that vary not with molecular clock suffiencency of quantum mechanics but with a loop of supramolecular strength no matter which bond was first mutated).
From Percy's link

quote:

To distinguish the latter case (phylogeny) from the former (ontogeny), Muller and Newman use the term “origination” to designate the causal processes by which biological form first arose during the evolution of life. They insist that “the molecular mechanisms that bring about biological form in modern day embryos should not be confused” with the causes responsible
&
quote:
Yet Muller and Newman insist that population genetics, and thus evolutionary biology, has not identified a specifically causal explanation for the origin of true morphological novelty during the history of life. Central to their concern is what they see as the inadequacy of the variation of genetic traits as a source of new form and structure.

While in the latter it is TRUE that in my op there is NO such identification and I feel ONE has been presented if not demonstrated here on EVC, I dont suspect the former division (of ontogeny and phylogeny) will avail if the goal was to label the variational sources that Meyer would need to discretely if not by attribution contribute. I will have to see if
as arising from constraints that limit the possible arrangements of matter. Specifically, organismal form arises (both in phylogeny and ontogeny) as possible arrangements of material parts are constrained to establish a specific or particular arrangement with an identifiable three dimensional topography
from
http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=2177
can BE USED to put back Dakwins notion e/cwise AGAINST Gould's notion of mass extintion physicalities...

Wow, now there is more to write than I have read- what a change!

This message has been edited by Brad McFall, 09-02-2004 12:17 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Nic Tamzek, posted 08-25-2004 9:56 PM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Loudmouth, posted 09-02-2004 4:13 PM Brad McFall has responded

    
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 207 (139246)
09-02-2004 4:13 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Brad McFall
09-02-2004 12:56 PM


as arising from constraints that limit the possible arrangements of matter. Specifically, organismal form arises (both in phylogeny and ontogeny) as possible arrangements of material parts are constrained to establish a specific or particular arrangement with an identifiable three dimensional topography

The problem with the above statement is that the constraints are only evident in Meyer's essay. No such constraints are seen in nature. In the rebuttal posted above (through the IIDB debate site) it states that protein SEQUENCES can differ by 80% while still holding the same conformational shape and the same enzymatic properties. This is in stark contrast to Meyer's analogy of written language as an equivalent complex specified construct. If you take any english sentence and change 80% of the letters and spacing you lose all meaning. This is not so with proteins. Meyer's falls into the pit of supporting his ideas with analogies instead of illustrating his points with them.

Also, Meyer depends heavily on Dembski's CSI (complex spec. info.). However, each construct to which this filter is applied also has to be tested for construction through natural means. Meyer skips this point, as does Dembski in his wild jump from CSI to Design. CSI has never been applied to a biological system, even though that is the reason Dembski invented CSI to begin with. It is very dishonest for Meyer to simple assume the application without considering the implications of ignoring the obvious.

As the refutation also states, Meyer's argument is not supported by positive evidence, only a lack of evidence into which he dishonestly fits his own prejudices into. Instead of talking about how to detect design or test for design he assumes it due to a lack of knowledge. Stealing from the refutation, ID is still a theory about what something did at sometime in the past in a way that no one knows. It would seem that ID proponents try to keep their theories as nebulous as possible to keep from being pinned down by actual research. It is my opinion that bringing their ideas to biologists is a great first step, but they will soon find out that they are stepping into a chasm that they will not be able to climb out of.

This message has been edited by Loudmouth, 09-02-2004 03:16 PM


This message is a reply to:
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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 1413 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 10 of 207 (139523)
09-03-2004 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Loudmouth
09-02-2004 4:13 PM


Yes, they are "only" in the essay as I noted by the choice of portions I quoated but by seeing the "words" used I am able to reason if not know (that will depend on what I subsequently post) that the "arrangement" being invariant under ANY SUCH constraint could be used to turn an e/c bias of Gould against his CONCEPTS in c/e by bloging out Dawkin's account e/c wise by the nonadaptive nature of Gouold's historical notion of developemental constraint ancestral area by territory.

I have not read further than I quoted so I ASSUME that these "ontogenic" constraints ARE ONLY IN NAME but since the article WAS PEERREVIEWED PUBLISHED my guess is that any cladistic relevance is likely substantial as well beyond simply naming some interval the arrangements might span. As you did not respond to my twice attempts (outside the baraminology thread which is probably where we will need (you and I then to take it up, continue...))to situate your notion of "distance" I can not be sure without futher reading the Meyer work if you simply notice the discretnees or my own attribution in somewhat agreement with this initial stance between you and me etc.

Your synthesis on language vs genetic sequences is interesting nonethemore and I will comment on it next. It may not be necessary to contrast as you did if something not linear binds the smaller approximation to the 20% etc. I will edit this info in later. It depends not on a straight line as has been prior distributed by best thinking biologists. This is from assuming Lewotin IS THE smartest biologist Gould knew however, so I will say exactly what I meant later. I dont know who is.

The issue for me came down to Campbell's following that I DO NOT take as insoluble,"Indeed I think that general considerations will suggest that the problem is insoluble. For let us return to the idea of a distorted series determined by a curve. Whatever form of balance we employ the general shape of the curve which represents the distorted series is fixed when wwe have made the members of the series represented by integral numbers. Now the members represented by q/p are those which would have been integral values if we had not taken 1/p as the unit. It seems impossible to devise any balance which will not give the same general form of distortion curve whatever unit is adopted. Accordingly the distortion curve on which the members q/p lie will be the same general form as that of the curve on which the integral memebrs lie; it will be merely drawn on a smaller scale. But the conditions that the q/p memebers must be consistent with the integral members is roughly equivalent to the condition that the q/p curve must fit the earlier part of the integral curve. But the only form of curve which is such that, if it is drawn on a reduced scale, it will fit the earlier part of the large-scale curve is the straight line. It is only if the distortion curve is a straight line and therefore represents only a change of unit that the q/p members will be consistent with the integral members"(Campbell p 326"Foundations of Science"Dover 1957). Instead I think that Dakwins' work can find this "unit" but IN Gould's conceptual terrain but this will only be finally inverted in any constraint Gould would want to call his own from this e/c thought to one c/e WHEN the straigt line is re-interpreted UNDER Gladsyhev's LAW through some linearity (not necessarily Pythagorian straight but Archimedian seqmentalable) which Croizat's method, I BSM, think, can even provide some non-perpendicularity to. If so- it will not be NECESSARY to rely on comparison's to Human Language but only to Natural Theology. Now IF ONLY Georgi's work relates in the assymetrical transitive relation the members still might be arranged under Meyer's naming sufficIently. I just dont know that Kripke wise as of yet. It was NOT MY fault that psychiatritis and society only saw this flexibility as one attributable monopolarily at worst and bipolarlly only extended. Life is actually too diverse for the non-physical to be the only chain of cause and effect here.

This message has been edited by Brad McFall, 09-03-2004 10:05 AM


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Ooook!
Member (Idle past 2196 days)
Posts: 340
From: London, UK
Joined: 09-29-2003


Message 11 of 207 (139540)
09-03-2004 11:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Nic Tamzek
08-25-2004 9:56 PM


Thanks for bringing attention to this travesty!

Aside from the appalling science and the almost unreadable scientific writing style, this represents a cynical attempt by ID to get scientific recognition. Contrary to what some (might) think this kind of action is to be strongly discouraged.

Don't get me wrong, if ID wants to be taken seriously as a science it should try and submit papers to journals to get properly peer reviewed - but this is not what happened here. As already has been pointed out on other sites discussing it, this is a unreviewed 'review' article put into a legitimate journal as a favour by a creationist editor. It has nothing to do with the advancement of understanding, and everything to do with being able to say: "look, ID is a science, we've published in a peer-reviewed journal"

Sorry for that everybody, it probably didn't contribute much to the discussion but I had to get that off my chest! This has got me slightly peeved!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Nic Tamzek, posted 08-25-2004 9:56 PM Nic Tamzek has not yet responded

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Percy
Member
Posts: 13050
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 12 of 207 (140684)
09-07-2004 2:00 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Ooook!
09-03-2004 11:10 AM


BSOW Distances Itself from Article
I just received this email from Roy McDiarmid, president of the Biological Society of Washington:

Attached is a prepared statement that will appear in the next proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. If you need more information let me know.

Sincerely
Roy McDiarmid, President
Biological Society of Washington

Here is the statement:

STATEMENT FROM THE COUNCIL OF THE BIOLOGICAL
SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON

The paper by Stephen C. Meyer in the Proceedings (“The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories,” vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 213-239) represents a significant departure from the nearly purely taxonomic content for which this journal has been known throughout its 124-year history. It was published without the prior knowledge of the Council, which includes officers, elected councilors, and past presidents, or the associate editors. We have met and determined that all of us would have deemed this paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings.

We endorse the spirit of a resolution on Intelligent Design set forth by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (www.aaas.org/news/releases/2002/1106id2.shtml), and that topic will not be addressed in future issues of the Proceedings. We are reviewing editorial policies to ensure that the goals of the Society, as reflected in its journal, are clearly understood by all. Through a web presence (www.biolsocwash.org) and contemplated improvements in the journal, the Society hopes not only to continue but to increase its service to the world community of taxonomic biologists.

The Council of the Biological Society of Washington
7 September 2004

--Percy


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Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 15748
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 13 of 207 (140710)
09-07-2004 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Percy
09-07-2004 2:00 PM


Re: BSOW Distances Itself from Article
are they getting a new editor?

and too bad Ohio didn't have that AAAS resolution.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Percy, posted 09-07-2004 2:00 PM Percy has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 2200 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 14 of 207 (140921)
09-08-2004 10:23 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Percy
09-07-2004 2:00 PM


Re: BSOW Distances Itself from Article
Heheheh... I share RAZD's curiosity regarding the fate of the editor.

I am also interested in why you were sent an email on this from the BSOW? Did you write them about this issue? And if so, was it your actions that brought it to their attention?

In any case, that made my day.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 10722
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 15 of 207 (140926)
09-08-2004 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Silent H
09-08-2004 10:23 AM


Re: BSOW Distances Itself from Article
My understanding is that the responsible (or irresponsible) editor, Richard von Sternberg, had already resigned. Before all the fuss over Meyer's paper.
This message is a reply to:
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