Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A fun game

We did this once before, but Billy Dembski got snookered, so we'll try it again.

Secret skullDuck-Skull

One of these is a bird, the other is one of the following:
  • a bird
  • a mammal
  • a "bird-like mammal"
A patented TfK/TEP pat on the back to anyone who correctly identifies which picture shows a bird and correctly categorizes the other picture. No pats on the back for identifying the second image to genus name.

If it's any consolation, a number of people in a class I took a while back got fooled by a similar question on the practical part of the final. I won't tell you what class, because that might give away the answer.

I suspect that the "senior biologist colleague" Dembski quotes is Phil Skell. The Discovery Institute has already transformed him from a chemist to a biochemist, so why not a biologist? If a chemist wrote:
The scientific case against Darwinism is largely won. Evolutionary theory is constrained to a small part of biology. It is irrelevant to most of the life sciences.
I guess that wouldn't be too impressive. But it would explain how someone could make a statement so utterly contrary to the facts on the ground.

But for Dembski to propogate lies like "They [life science researchers] don’t use concepts in evolutionary biology in their research except in unusual cases" is really unfortunate. It's one thing to be an intellectually dishonest hack, but it's another to repeat obvious lies.

Stranger Fruit gets it right, except that it's worth noting that modern monotremes are highly specialized forms. Fossils suggest that most monotremes were not so bizarre, and were more like mammals than the modern species.

Highlight the text to get the big hint.