Comments by Dr. Alan Packer, Senior Editor of Nature Genetics, about the Recent ‘Spit-Brain Research’ Post on Evolution News and Views

Dr. Alan Packer, Senior Editor of Nature Genetics, contacted me recently and asked to publicly comment on my recent post on Evolution News and Views entitled Spit-Brain Research. My post was critical of a press release about an article published in Nature Genetics . I am grateful for his observations. My reply follows in my next post. Michael Egnor has been kind enough to allow me to contribute a comment on his recent post ‘Spit-Brain Research’. The post discussed work by George Perry, Nathaniel Dominy and colleagues, published in a paper entitled “Diet and the evolution of human amylase gene copy number”. As one of the editors at Nature Genetics, where the paper was published, I was pleased to see Read More ›

Dr. Shallit Replies

Dr. Jeffrey Shallit has answered my question about the analogy between S.E.T.I. research and the inference to intelligent design in biology. His reply was thoughtful, made some good points, and was free of personal insults. My question was: “If the scientific discovery of a ‘blueprint’ would justify the design inference, then why is it unreasonable to infer that the genetic code was designed?” Starting off, Dr. Shallit demurs:

Spit-Brain Research

Evolutionary ‘theory’ is immune to satire. Satire depends on exaggeration, and evolutionary theory is such far-fetched science– substituting preposterous generalizations, non-sequiturs and jargon for meaningful scientific inference– that it can’t be satirized. It can only be described, which is funny enough. Much of recent evolutionary self-satire involves the origin of the human brain. How did an organ of such staggering complexity and biological novelty arise? For evolutionary biologists, no speculation (except design) is too outlandish. Evidence: a paper in Nature Genetics offers a new theory to account for the human brain: spit.

Dr. Shallit Takes the Fifth

On a very important question that goes to the heart of the debate about Darwinism and intelligent design, Dr. Jeffrey Shallit is exercising his right to remain silent. Dr. Shallit had recently used the example of S.E.T.I. research on a blog post in which he ridiculed author and editor Tom Bethell for defending intelligent design. Mr. Bethell pointed out that it’s perfectly appropriate for scientists use the inference to design under certain circumstances, and he believes that biology is one of them. Dr.Shallit ridiculed him, calling him a “blathering buffoon”, a ‘liar’, ‘gullible’, ‘dishonest’, and ”simply stupid’ and categorizing his views as “Idiocy”. I was taken back by Dr. Shallit’s incivility and lack of professionalism- he’s a professor responsible for Read More ›

About That Question, Dr. Shallit…

Darwinist Dr. Jeffery Shallit posted an odd response to my comments on his ridicule of Tom Bethell. Mr. Bethell had reiterated the differences between intelligent design and creationism, and he pointed out that the inference to design was valid for some kinds of scientific research. Dr. Shallit, in his post entitled