Rosenhouse Responds to a Critic

“Gall,” “tortured reasoning,” “gross theological ignorance,” and “demented” “troll[s].”  Discussions about creationism and evolution have it all!

A few days back, we posted a review of Jason Rosenhouse’s Among the Creationists.  As usual, any mention of this subject generated some heated comments.

This morning, Professor Rosenhouse offered a rebuttal of some of the critical comments.  He responded to the charges that he had misrepresented creationist claims, among others.

Everyone interested in the creation/evolution debate should check out his reply.

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5 Comments

  1. 1. Dr. Rosenhouse does not SEEM to understand what the word “seems” mean.

    2. A neutral mutation is only neutral because it does not negatively affect the organism. That is not to say that an accumulation of neutral mutations may not be deleterious. Given that the neutral mutation comes from duplication, a loss occurs as the original function cannot be attained through the neutral mutation i.e. an efficiency and (point) functionality loss.

    3.

    They are generally neutral, meaning they have no discernible effect on the organism’s fitness.

    Discernable does not necessarily equate with neutral.

    4. As for mutations from A to B and a reversal, Rosenhouse is using a statistical view of information whereas the organism would operate on this mutation from a functional view.

    5.

    creationist troll … showed up to spew some venom in my general direction

    and

    He’s plainly just an idiot trolling for attention.

    Now where have I stated anything off topic to Dr. Laat’s post? If I were a troll, would I not have a history of doing so on a blog where Dr. Rosenhouse posts, like scienceblogs.com? Note to self: learn to troll better.

    Reply
  2. 6.

    But ChazIng is especially incensed by my lack of respect for Werner Gitt …

    That’s incorrect, I am saying that Gitt would not have stated what Rosenhouse claimed he did, given that Gitt published a contradictory statement 5 years previously.

    7.

    His incomprehensible discussion of my simple point about mutations reversing themselves, that if the mutation from A to B represents a loss of information then the mutation from B back to A would have to represent a gain, had nothing to do with macroevolution. The point was that as a matter of logic it is impossible for all mutations to degrade information.

    Apparently when I said:

    His argument that if A mutates to B and then mutates back to A “must represent a gain of information” is a macro-evolutionary non-sequitur as A was originally coded and there is no new functionality despite informational ‘increase.’

    he magically erased the last three words.

    8.

    Finally, ChazIng is right that I didn’t provide any examples of mutations accumulating to provide novel functionalities. That is because such examples would have been entirely irrelevant to the subject of that chapter, which had to do with information growth. But if you would care to have a look at Chapter 21, I think you will find that I provide scholarly references to several such examples.

    Can someone kindly provide some of these “several examples” he “scholarly references”?

    9. So thank you Dr. Rosenhouse, for taking time for the “amusingly demented.” I am honoured. Given that your book is routinely praised (I could not find an overall negative review, even on amazon.com!), I imagine that you don’t take criticism well given that you felt the need to reply to the lone negative review of your book in the comments section of a blog.

    Reply
  3. Dr. Laats, minor quibble, he takes on his critic (singular). And what are your thoughts on his ‘rebuttal’?

    Reply
    • @ChazIng, regarding the singularity of the “critic,” fair enough. I’ll change that title.
      For the trickier question about my thoughts on Dr. Rosenhouse’s rebuttal, I find his objections sensible, even if his tone seems harsher than it needs to be. As I mentioned earlier, I have also been struck by the apparent overreach of some creationists’ claims about their scientific discoveries. As does Dr. Rosenhouse and some other commenters, I find it hard to believe that the mainstream scientific community could really be so bedazzled by their paradigmatic blinders that they fail to see enormous scientific problems with their own work.
      I am far more sympathetic to the claim of Dr. Kurt Wise, who famously said something like, “Even if it were proven to me that evolution were true, I would still disbelieve.” That makes sense to me. I can understand how someone would choose not to believe in the scientific claims of evolution. That is a very different beast than claiming to have discovered a gaping hole in the work of all mainstream scientists. Claiming that mainstream scientists have utterly failed by their own rules seems like an extravagant claim, one easily deflated by anyone educated in the mainstream scientific tradition.

      Reply
    • I am not too sure why both you and Rosenhouse seem to be fascinated(?) by Gitt’s claims. Even if Gitt believes he has found something that no one else has, this to me is irrelevant to the topic which is the entirety of Rosenhouse’s book and the claims therein. So what if Gitt and creationists are self-deluded? How does that offer a positive case for macro-evolution? And why would an evolutionist “educated in the mainstream scientific tradition” think that statistical information is relevant to the functionality of DNA? I don’t believe that creationists are claiming that “mainstream scientists have utterly failed by their own rules” but that they are conveniently creating their own rules to support their beliefs.

      Tell me if I am wrong but didn’t a large number of scientists support Hitler, slavery, imperialism, colonialism and European superiority? Didn’t western medicine use the term ‘mongolism’ for many years believing Asiatic eye traits to be an evolutionary throwback? Do they still not use unscientific terms such as ‘Caucasian’ and ‘white’ even today? Don’t race realist psychologists get published in peer-reviewed journals even to today? And when MLK marched in 1963, where exactly were the masses of those “educated in the mainstream scientific tradition”?

      Reply

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