Examples of the "ethics" of self-moderation featuring creationists Fred Williams and Walter ReMine:
An addendum to
"A Lesson in Creationist Ethics Featuring
Walter ReMine and Fred Williams" by Robert Rapier
Scott L. Page, PhD.
Demonstrative of the heavy-handed and supremely biased "moderation" engaged in by creationists Fred Williams and Walter ReMine in protection of their ideology as "moderators" (see A Lesson in Creationist Ethics Featuring Walter ReMine and Fred Williams) are the following posts made by me and what remained of them after "moderation". I have edited only typographical errors and some formatting for easier reading. ReMine's original posts are in regular text. My replies are in bold and blue text. Quotes from previous posts are in italics. Acts of the "moderators" are in bold and green.
On Jan.15, I made the following post:
Jan. 15 2002,01:21
It's not irrelevant. The evolutionary position espoused (effectively anonymously) under the pseudonyms "Robert" and "Huxter" does not remotely represent mainstream science. Their position is almost completely absent from the technical literature -- and totally absent from literature intended for the public.
Your bizarre obsession with 'anonymity' (in case you hadn't noticed, my name is available for all to see, so your claiming that I am anonymous is a misrepresentation) is duly noted.
I find it entertaining that you are trying to justify your apparent desire to keep your dreams alive by claiming that my views (and Robert's) do not represent 'mainstream science'.
You misrepresent me, and cast aspersions on my character.
I have presented documentation FROM the 'mainstream science' literature indicating that Haldane was in error and that therefore there never was any dilemma.
Since this literature that might espouse my 'fringe' views is clearly available to the public, where, pray tell, do you suggest that I got the citations that I have posted several times and that you have failed to comment on? And how is literature 'not intended for the public' to be described? Are there some underground journals that I should know about?
Are YOUR views 'mainstream science'? I dare say the obvious answer is no, especially in light of the fact that you seem to be ignoring evidence contrary to your 7+ year old thesis - evidence that I presented in my last post above.
Is it 'mainstream science' that declares more than 500,000 'changes' are required to get a 'sapien from a simian'?
THAT is fringe 'science' plain and clear, for you have been asked probably dozens of times to present some supporting documentation for this claim, I have yet to see you do so (and no, I will not read your book and no, I do not expect you to write your book on the internet)1.
This is a discussion board. If you have no intention of answering legitimate inquiries, or repeatedly deferring to your book, please just say so from the get-go so that nobody will waste their time trying to have a discussion.
Yet it would be so easy to communicate. Leading evolutionists would need publish in the lay pop-science magazines, "We believe the origin of all mankind's adaptations from around ten million years ago, can be adequately explained through the natural substitution of no more than 1667 beneficial nucleotides (plus some number of neutral mutations)." They have gotten nowhere near such a public position. At the very least, until they do, it's a problem. The disparity between Haldane's limitation and the evolutionists' public position is a problem.
Since 25- 30,000 beneficial mutations could have been fixed in the time period in question, according to new LABORATOY EXPERIMENTATION and GENETIC ANALYSIS, there is no need for anyone to write any such thing in any journal of any type.
Of course, perhaps it is because the evolutionists have the integrity to realize that we simply do not know how many mutations - beneficial or otherwise - it would have taken, and since we do not know what the ancestor was - what adaptations IT had - to make any claims regarding the number 'needed' to explain human evolution from an ape-like ancestor is simple sophism.
By the way - how many fixed beneficial mutations were required to provide humans with an appreciation for music? You seem to imply that you know.
The public can readily understand this problem, and we ought communicate it to them -- rather than brush it aside (as evolutionists "Robert" and "Huxter" attempt to do).
On the contrary, I doubt the public understands much of anything regarding this issue. If they are 'awed' by your numbers, it is most likely because they, like you, have a hard time accepting that humans are not all that different from the other apes, and so believe - without ANY evidence whatsoever - that some huge number of mutations were required. This information is not available in any mainstream science journal.
Therefore, to claim otherwise is merely an expression of fringe science.
And there is no need to use quotation marks around mine and Robert's names. We are not here to sell books or peddle ideologies. Anyone that matters knows who we are. There is a reason that many people like to retain a modicum of anonymity on the internet, especially in such a charged arena as this, as evidenced by a former OCW poster - John Paul - who, after finding out my name, posted my home address on the Baptist Board in a clear attempt at intimidation.
So you will forgive me, Walter, if I do not advertise my name left and right.
Later that day, the moderators had their way:
Posted: Jan. 15 2002,07:25
Since 25-30,000 beneficial mutations could have been fixed in the time period in question, according to new LABORATORY EXPERIMENTATION and GENETIC ANALYSIS, there is no need for anyone to write any such thing in any journal of any type.
(edited by both moderators)
That was all that remained.
The following post was made on Jan. 14 by me:
Scott L. Page (alias Huxter) writes:
According to Walter ReMine, the maximum number of fixed beneficial nucleotide substitutions that can accrue in 10 million years is 1667 in humans and presumably the other great apes, ...
That should not read "According to Walter ReMine ..." Rather, it should read, "According to the arguments of evolutionary geneticist, J.B.S. Haldane ..." The key result (1667 beneficial substitutions) arises from Haldane's work, in an exceedingly direct manner, involving a single step of multiplication. Haldane's published figure (one beneficial substitution per 300 generations), multiplied by 500,000 generations, equals 1667 beneficial substitutions. That credit belongs to Haldane, not me.
No, it should read exactly as I wrote it. Haldane did not ever make the claim regarding 1667 fixed beneficial mutations, that is entirely you (unless, of course, you can provide a citation?). To Haldanes credit, he realized that his work would by his own words probably need drastic revision. Recent evidence shows that he was correct.
My contribution was to revive this classic evolutionary problem, which had been confused, obscured, and prematurely cast aside in the early 1970s.
For this problem to have been confused, obscured, and prematurely cast aside clearly indicates a conspiracy. Your repeated claims that you are being misrepresented when this simple, direct implication is pointed out is absurd.
Furthermore, to claim that you made any contribution at all is simple hyperbole, for I can find nothing in the literature indicative that you did so.
I clarify the problem, de-bunk the various proposed solutions, and show it was never actually solved.
That you debunk various solutions is your opinion, and your opinion alone. Since it is now clear that Haldane was in error, and that therefore there never was any dilemma (Sir Fred Hoyle also declared Haldanes dilemma to be an illusion, a claim that you were unhappy with, despite heaping accolades on the rest of his last book [ref. Your amazon.com review]), your clarifications, etc. are moot.
Haldane's result -- a limit of 1667 beneficial substitutions -- serves to remind us that the problem is alive, and serious. If you were surprised by that figure (as virtually everyone is), then it documents another of my points: Evolutionists did not convey the problem to the public. That oversight is inexcusable, considering its obvious importance: By Haldane's reasoning, human evolution (from some presumed ape-chimp-like ancestor from ten million years ago) is limited nominally to 1667 beneficial nucleotide substitutions. (See my book for details.)
Again, it was not Haldanes result, it is your extrapolation of Haldanes 1957 papers tentative conclusion. I was not surprised by that number - that is a misrepresentation. I was surprised that someone could actually sell a book claiming that it is.
And I did not realize that this board is now going to be used as free advertising for your book.
Again, the problem is neither alive as such nor serious, as Haldanes original calculations were premised on unrealistic conditions, no actual genetic data, and, most importantly, are no longer an issue. You fail to see the difference between a population genetics problem (that is, a mathematical model issue), and a problem for evolution as such. Add to this the fact that the basis for your supposed problem as has been pointed out by others is essentially your personal disbelief, and your thesis is entirely worthless.
Yours is a positive claim 1667 fixed beneficial mutations is too few to account for human evolution from an ape-like ancestor. Having read many, many of your posts to various discussion groups, it is all too easy to see that you have ZERO supporting evidence for this claim. If you did, it should have been easy enough for you to silence the nay-sayers that have asked you dozens of times (including myself on several occasions, including in the email exchange between myself and Karen, who happens to use your email address and use verbatim quotes from you without attribution2) by simply providing a few citations from the literature.
Instead , you use your flowery prose about 500,000 changes being too few to make a sapien out of a simian.
Cute, but devoid of substance.
Repeated inquiries are met, if at all, with either accusations of posturing or thinly veiled advertisements for your book. Hardly the activity of someone that pretends to have made contributions to science.
In my effort to get evolutionists to take this problem seriously, I always cast it as above -- as the limited number of beneficial substitutions available for explaining the evolution of, say, humans, from their distant ancestor of ten million years ago. For various reasons, that puts the problem in its clearest and severest form. However, some internet evolutionists now attempt to minimize the problem by misrepresenting it as the raw genetic difference between modern lifeforms (such as between modern chimps and modern man). Scott L. Page does that by arguing that modern chimps and modern bonobos have too many genetic differences to be explained by the Haldane limit within a short timespan. He is mistaken.
You could much more easily have gotten scientists to take you seriously had you actually written up and presented a manuscript to an appropriate scientific journal, rather than self-publish a science by quote evolution-bashing tome.
You are clearly misrepresenting me, as I am not mistaken at all, and you ,too, have failed to understand why I made the post in the first place3. I produced a similar post on this forum some time ago, and I did so to point out the deceptive nature and erroneous claims of various internet creationists, such as Don Batten and Fred Williams, who, on their web sites/articles/internet posts on the topic, conflated all estimated nucleotide substitutions (on the order, at the time, of 120 million) and the fixed beneficial mutation maximum as presented by you.
For example, Williams writes:
Re: That Wasn't the Point
Saturday, 17-Feb-01 10:46:22
I did notice one error I made in a recent post I need to correct. I said .5% difference would be 60 mil, forgetting that the 120 mil was based on 3% and not 1% difference. It would be actually 20 million. I think you can see it doesnt mater that much, thats quite a bit more than 1667!
in this thread:
http://www.insidetheweb.com/message....2393175 (which is probably defunct)
And Batten, here:
says essentially the same thing, and even provides a reference to YOUR book.
It was entertaining to see the internet creationists attack my post while being wholly unable to see that I was simply using their own claims against them, that is, using the creationists OWN WORDS and carrying their claims to their logical [sic] conclusions! Isnt that something?
Now, I am curious, Mr.ReMine have you corrected Mr.Williams and Dr.Batten in their erroneous use of your claims?
And, for the umpteenth time, if you cannot describe the ancestor, nor produce documentation regarding how many adaptive mutations are required to cause certain traits, then you really have no argument serious or otherwise.
In addition, again, I am not mistaken in my use of modern chimps and modern bonobos to illustrate my point.
It is a simple matter of deducing the number of substitutions separating the two extant species in terms of the time since their estimated divergence. This gives us numbers to work with based on real data. It also gives a time frame. It also points out how the typical creationist erroneously presents molecular phylogenetics to suit their needs. Shall I need to expand on this, I can easily do so.
Let me again emphasize the key point. Haldane's Dilemma puts a limit on the rate of beneficial substitution. It places no limit whatever on the rate of non-beneficial substitution -- substitutions that are harmful, neutral, or inert (i.e. unexpressed). These changes are abundant in nature, and extremely rapid. For example, x-ray a population and watch the "genetic diversity" rapidly increase. In these ways, "genetic diversity" can arise extremely rapidly, and that does not lessen the problem of Haldane's Dilemma. They are largely separate issues.
Yes, they are. It is a shame that so many internet (and otherwise?) creationists so frequently conflate such disparate ideas for what I think is clear are obvious reasons - and are never corrected by their own.
Of course, how, EXACTLY, would one identify a beneficial substitution given only nucleotide sequence data, fixed or otherwise?
Since you are convinced that a maximum of 1667 could have been fixed in 10 million years, it stands to reason that you know of ways that these can be identified, for if there is no way to do so, there is no foundation for making any claims regarding numbers.
There is no problem explaining "rapid diversification", so long as it is non-beneficial in nature.
And you thus present yet another flaw in your thesis, for there is no reason to assume that ALL of the fixed substitutions that act to distinguish us (or any other extant species) from either extant relative species or our unidentified ancestor must be beneficial.
Perhaps then you can explain the rapid diversification inherent in the Flood model? (and please do not attempt to dodge the issue by claiming that you did not mention anything about the bible in your book this is a DISCUSSION board, not a lets only discuss things in Walters book board.)
This is a legitimate inquiry, and one that you have previously stated, in so many words, is no problem for creationist genetics. This is probably a topic for a new thread, and I will start one if necessary.
ATTENTION ANY AND ALL READERS:
Please note that replies, if any, that rest upon admonishing participants to read certain books are not replies at all. This is a DISCUSSION BOARD, not an advertisement board. If one comes here and decides to participate, then those people should be willing and prepared to discuss topics that THEY choose to respond to.
I submit that referring solely to various books is no reply at all, and indicative of an inability to provide a reasoned response.
I will be very busy over the next several days and may not be able to respond. Please do not interpret my absence incorrectly or misrepresent it.
Scott L. Page, PhD.
On Jan.16, Moderator 3 got a hold of it. Here is what remained:
Sir Fred Hoyle also declared Haldane's dilemma to be "an illusion"
Edited by Moderator 3 on Jan. 16 2002,02:12
Two multi-page posts reduced to one sentence each. Single sentences that were not, of course, responded to.
Now, what I had written was certainly none too charitable to ReMines position, but the posts do not contain ad hominem attacks, false claims, etc., nor were they redundant (one of the many criteria arbitrarily applied by the OCW moderators 3 and 4).
It is obvious that there was some personality protection going on, most likely being done by the personality himself (ReMine) or his intellectual sycophant (Williams).
In conclusion, it becomes more and more obvious that certain creationist personalities are more interested in personal aggrandizement, ideology protection, and the censoring of opposing (and damaging) viewpoints than in actually trying to explain or discuss anything, certainly in scientific terms. It is true that Internet Discussion Boards are not clearinghouses for cutting edge scientific discussions, however, if one is going to attempt to engage in such a discussion, as ReMine did, one should be prepared to address the issues one brings up or responds to. When one is then given the power of moderation in such a discussion, or ones intellectual sycophants have such power, what results is documented above.
1 I have since read his book in its entirety, and he does not, in fact, present one single piece of evidence that it would take more than 500,000 changes to make a sapien from a simian.
2 I plan to write up that interesting exchange at some point. I was explicitly not given permission to use Karens/ReMines emails in such a write up, so I will have to paraphrase them. They were unable to provide the requested evidence in that series of exchanges, either, and as is ReMines most cherished tactic, I was simply accused of misrepresenting him and posturing.
3 I had posted my application of Haldanes dilemma to the question of the relationship between common chimpanzees and bonobos and concluded that they could not be related via descent, according to the constraints imposed by ReMine and those that hawk his argument. That did not sit too well with the creationist crowd, as it would necessitate a much larger number of kinds on the ark, or, unprecedented mutation rates and post-flood hyperspeciation.