Friday, January 26, 2007

An Actual Attempt to Suggest that Wolves are the Same as Tasmanian Wolves

A few days ago I wrote a response to a post on Shelley the Republican that claimed the thylacine (Tasmanian wolf) was no different than an actual wolf despite the significant reproductive differences, amongst other things (you can see my post here). As it turns out, Shelley the Republican is probably a satire, and I wrote off the whole comparison as an effectively absurd joke.

However, an actual ID "scientist" has been trying to do the same thing for real. The forum had this statement from the comments of Uncommon Descent where Wesley R. Elsberry said:

Then there was the ID conference in San Francisco where Dr. Cornelius G. Hunter, the "expert" involved in the antievolution shenanigans in Roseville, CA, presented the wolf and thylacine as identical twins separated at birth argument. His visual aid, handily printed in the proceedings, consisted of two images side-by-side. On one side, you had the usual painting of two thylacines in color. On the other, you had the same painting, mirrored horizontally, and desaturated. Yep, you just could not tell the difference between the wolves on one side and the thylacines on the other. Uncanny, even.

At least, none of the ID attendees cottoned on. It wasn't until I pointed out the problem to Paul Nelson that the ID community had notice of it.

Later, Cornelius Hunter posted his response:

It is strange that evolutionists never get around to addressing the scientific issue. Wesley Elsberry appears to be denying convergence, but that can't be true. If he has an explanation for convergence then let's hear it. If not, then admit it. Here is the question for evolutionists: How is it that similarities such as the pentadactyl pattern are such powerful evidence for evolution, in light of equala and greater levels of similarity in distant species, such as dsplayed in the marsupial and placental mouse?

Despite the fact that a distant common ancestor can explain the later convergence since they probably started with the same or a similar form and evolved to adapt to the same problem, the part that really angers me is how Cornelius Hunter tired to deceive the audience by altering pictures of the thylacines. This complete lack of intellectual honesty is why I can never take ID advocates seriously (besides the fact that ID doesn't follow the conventions of science).

Check out PZ Myers' thoughts on the matter at Pharyngula.


Randi Mooney said...

The article on Shelley The Republican mentions the book "Of Pandas and People" an ID/Creationism promoting school-book which promotes this wolf confusion.

Interestingly the exact same article appeared on the genuine creationist blog "Overwhelming Evidence" about 2 weeks ago. Shelley The Republican claims to be republishing the articles with permission.

Go figure... there is clearly more here than meets the eye.

Lord J-Bar said...

Really? I was unaware of this. TIme for some investigation...