A Conversation for Discrepancies in the Theory of Evolution - Part I

Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

Post 1

PaulElliott

How on Earth did this get through peer review? It's riddled with factual errors and written with gross ignorance of the science involved...

for example, take tha statement concerning amino acids. The author is correct in that life uses only one enantiomer of amnio acid, however, the author is grossly mistaken to suggest that there is no known emans by which life could have come to use only left handed amino acids. For starters, many carbonaceous meteorites are known to have a significant content of organic compounds including amino acids, further, analysis has shown that in these meteorites, there is a slight excess in left handed amino acids over right handed ie in favour of the isomers life uses. From this fact that the author has conveniently ignored, I would suggest they do some research on autocatalytic reactions, reactions where products can help catalyse their own formation. It is known that extremely small enatiomeric excess in such reactions can lead to massive amplification of the very slightly dominant isomer. Hence there is a cvery well known mechanism for the chiral resolution of amnio acids. I suggest a re-write...

As for "it all starts with DNA..."... geez, who on Earth reviewed this crap?


Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

Post 2

Ste

Well here's the thing: It didn't go through PR.

It was a part of a University Project and so side-stepped the usual review process. It's an awful entry, you're right. Shame.

The author disappeared a long time ago.

Stesmiley - mod


Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

Post 3

Hoovooloo


Here's the other thing - Peer Review was being systematically bothered by the author of this entry. He refused to simply f**k off and stop peddling his meaningless crap, and seemed unwilling or unable to understand *why* it was crap.

I hit upon the idea of
(a) getting him to stop wasting Peer Review time
(b) heading off any future similar idiots
(c) getting his nonsense into the guide BUT having it forced to include links to the entries describing how things *really* are (see the bottom of the entry) and finally and most importantly
(d) getting a nice shiny badge for my personal space smiley - winkeye

Hence this went in as part of a set of linked entries. It's not intended to be read in isolation, hence the links to the rebuttals at the end.

If anything, it's intended as a warning - there really are people who really do believe this sh*te.

Do read the other entries, I promise they make more sense.

SoRB


Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

Post 4

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

"How on Earth did this get through peer review? It's riddled with factual errors and written with gross ignorance of the science involved."

It got through because the editorial board wouldn't recognise a scientific argument if it hit them smack in the gob. That's why.


Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

Post 5

Danny B

Hi FM smiley - smiley

I'm not entirely sure to whom your 'editorial board' comments are addressed, but as I'm the named subeditor on the Entry, they could certainly be construed as applying to me... As a PhD molecular biologist and professional science writer, I very much hope that I could recognise a scientific argument if it did considerably less than 'smack me in the gob'. The Entry was 'permitted' into the EG for the reasons that Ste and SORB have both described, at a time when the site was erupting in a number of flame wars that have now (thankfully) subsided.

I know it's nonsense; you all know it's nonsense - that's why it has the links to SORBs excellent deconstruction and Ste's detailed look at evolution.

smiley - ok


Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

Post 6

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

It was addressed to higher powers.


Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

Post 7

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

PS: the problem I point out is the reason why entries in crystal therapy and spellcasting, riddled with ludicrous claims and factual erros, now get into the EG. Nobody higher has the balls to say that they're wrong, even though they suspect them to be so, because they can't marshal the counterarguments properly. Instead, we have appeals to the idea of 'balance'.


Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

Post 8

Danny B

I agree with you up to a point, although I find the 'magic' Entries less offensive, as they're generally presented as "here's what pagans/wiccans/whatever" believe, rather than this, which claims to be a 'scientific' debunking of evolution smiley - rolleyes


Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

Post 9

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

I find them offensive in a different sort of way, as they excuse ludicrous falsehoods as the products of personal belief, and in doing so give them equal status as well-researched, considered factual entries. It seems that anybody can get away with writing any old crap providing it uses the right grammar. It devalues all the work that has gone into other entries in the past to make sure that they *are* substantiated. And it smacks of double standards.


Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

Post 10

Danny B

Right...

This Entry (and the couple of Entries directly related to it) now carry a disclaimer that it is part of a series and is not intended to be read in isolation. This isn't a perfect solution, but I think (hope) it's better than nothing...

smiley - ok


Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

Post 11

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

BTW, as a PhD chemist but not a science-writer, I'd be intrigued to know how you became one. I think I'd be pretty good at it.


Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

Post 12

Danny B

I took the easy route - I joined a 'medical education' agency straight out of my PhD, working on pharmaceutical industry papers, rep training books/CDs, newsletters, etc. After 5 years of agency work I was ready to go freelance: still doing the same sort of thing, but as my own boss. Most of the people in my line of work have biology or biochemistry backgrounds, but my boss was an ex-organic chemist (that is, he used to be an organic chemist, not that he used to be organic...)

Getting involved in more general science writing (New Scientist or the newspapers) probably involves the difficult route of sending countless proposals, articles, ideas and so forth to likely publications and hoping that someone eventually commissions you to write something. I'd love to get into that type of journalistic science, but I'm too busy earning a living the other way!


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Whoh!!! How manay factual errors????

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