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Author Topic:   Transitional fossils and quote mining
Otto Tellick
Member (Idle past 959 days)
Posts: 288
From: PA, USA
Joined: 02-17-2008

Message 202 of 210 (532730)
10-26-2009 2:57 AM
Reply to: Message 197 by Arphy
10-25-2009 11:20 PM

How Arphy Stays On Topic: Yet another example of quote mining
Arphy, you really are embarrassing yourself here. The main topic of thread is "Transitional fossils and quote mining", and it starts with an example of quote mining attributed to you.

And now, here you are giving another example, using just the very opening sentence from the abstract of an article in a fairly blatant attempt to overstate the "uncertainty" regarding a particular point in the geological and evolutionary literature. In that same abstract, from "Timing of the Jiufotang Formation (Jehol Group) in Liaoning, northeastern China, and its implications" by H.Y. He et al., you will find this other sentence:

40Ar/39Ar step heating analyses of K-feldspar and the SHRIMP U-Pb zircon data indicate that tuffs at the Shangheshou section erupted at 120.3 ± 0.7 million years ago.

And right after that, we see these two additional sentences (the end of the abstract):

This result confirms an Aptian age for the Jiufotang Formation that was mainly based on biostratigraphic evidence. It also places stringent controls on the age of the fossils from the formation, providing a minimum age (120 Ma) for the four-winged dinosaur, Microraptor, and the seed-eating bird, Jeholornis.

In other words, your original quotation ("The timing ... remains speculative despite recent progress..."), as presented by you, completely misrepresents the content of the article. When understood in context, that use of "speculative" actually means "not sufficiently nailed down in terms of how many millions of years ago those particular geological strata were laid down." The point of the article is to narrow down the amount of uncertainty -- in this case, to within a margin of plus-or-minus 700,000 years around the central estimate of 120 million years ago -- i.e. reducing the "speculation" to within a margin of error less than 1%.

(I didn't pay the $9 to get the whole article, so I don't know how much of a reduction this represents relative to the earlier uncertainty. Presumably, the previous "speculation" would have been on the order of 10% around a similar central estimate. Not the kind of uncertainty that could lend credence to any sort of YEC conception.)

Then in a subsequent reply, you reiterate the absurd creationist opinion that "naturalism is a religion" -- which indicates that you are refusing to understand anything at all in that single sentence you used when you quote-mined the paper by He et al., let alone even trying to understand the rest of the abstract or the body of the paper itself.

Can you identify any religion where the people practice their faith by describing existing religious texts as "speculative", gathering additional physical evidence about the issues that are not resolved, using peer-reviewed and objective methods to answer specific questions on those issues, and presenting their findings to revise the statements in the existing texts? How often do creationists apply these methods to the Bible? Do you really refuse to comprehend the difference between empiricism and religious faith?

And then you suggest that the Bible has "the right answer", and that there is somehow "supporting evidence" for this. Now, are you going to reconcile your interpretation of biblical text with the established physical evidence about specific fossils that have been shown to be 120 million years old? (As Dr. A, indicates, this will have to be done in a different thread.)

Or are you going to admit that, in order to sustain the assertions entailed by your inflexible interpretation of scripture, you can only make groundless denials of existing evidence, and cannot provide any real supporting evidence?

Hey, if all you want to do is deny evidence, that's the whole point of freedom of speech, and who's going to stop you? But at least be honest: admit that you are abandoning objectivity, and don't push the canard that the people who accept objectivity are just doing faith-based stuff the same way you are -- people aren't stupid enough to believe that, especially the ones who accept objectivity.

autotelic adj. (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 197 by Arphy, posted 10-25-2009 11:20 PM Arphy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 203 by Arphy, posted 10-26-2009 4:38 AM Otto Tellick has acknowledged this reply

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