The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

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The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#1  Postby Shrunk » Aug 27, 2013 3:01 pm

Admit he is wrong, that is.

Jonathan Mclatchie is a member of the Discovery Institute who recently posted an article on their "Evolution News and Views" website on the human GULOP pseuodgene. This is a segment of DNA that, in its ancestral form in other species, is responsible for the synthesis of Vitamin C, but which in humans has been deactivated thru mutations, and is therefore an example of "Junk DNA." Mclatchie's article, however, denies that it is junk and instead claims that in the fetus it is transcribed and, thru RNA editing, transformed into an active form in utero. After birth, it is again deactivated.

Larry Moran and PZ Myers, among others, have explained why this claim is ridiculously preposterous, and Mclatchie has now admitted on Moran's blog that his claim was based on his own lack of understanding of the topic and promised to print a retraction:

Jonathan Mclatchie wrote:For the record, I always respond to criticisms of my work (as anyone who follows my writing should know). If I have made a mistake (as is the case here), I am happy to concede the correction. I read all critiques of my work that come to my attention. I am more interested in getting at the truth than I am in winning an argument. It's certainly not a habitual practice on my end to make mistakes like this... I'm usually more thorough


Laurence A. Moran wrote:So, what's your current position on whether the human GULOP pseudogene could produce a functional enzyme during early development? Do you agree that it's impossible?


Jonathan Mclatchie wrote:Larry,

Yes, I think it is extremely unlikely.

And yes, I will be posting something to that effect.

Jonathan


Jonathan Mclatchie wrote:I find it rather interesting, incidentally, that PZ Myers ignores what I write 99% of the time and virtually the only time he decides to engage with something I wrote is when I actually made a legitimate mistake.

I had done extensive reading on RNA editing (which I still think could have important significance regarding unitary pseudogenes -- to be covered in a forthcoming article) but I hadn't been thorough enough with my reading regarding GULO. In any case, I am glad for the opportunity to be able to learn from this mistake...


Well, OK, he can't avoid a bit of butthurt at the end over how real scientists tend to ignore his work, but still give him credit for admitting when he is wrong.

Now, let's see what this retraction looks like....
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#2  Postby Oeditor » Aug 27, 2013 3:11 pm

Godness, Jonathan Mclatchie and Hamza Tzortzis climbing down in one week? What is the world coming to? The Rapture must be nearly upon us!
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#3  Postby Varangian » Aug 27, 2013 4:09 pm

Oeditor wrote:Godness, Jonathan Mclatchie and Hamza Tzortzis climbing down in one week? What is the world coming to? The Rapture must be nearly upon us!


Naah, it's just the 21st century cathing up with them.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#4  Postby acTofDog » Aug 27, 2013 4:46 pm

Oeditor wrote:
Godness, Jonathan Mclatchie and Hamza Tzortzis climbing down in one week? What is the world coming to? The Rapture must be nearly upon us!


What about Hamza Tzortzis? I am really interested to know what's new with this guy.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#5  Postby Rumraket » Aug 27, 2013 8:13 pm

Interesting. The question now is, will he come out and accept that GULOP is, in fact, junk - or will he simply accept that he made a mistake with his hypothesis, concede that it has been falsified, but that there's just another non-junk explanation for GULOP he hasn't thought about yet?

I'm going to predict that he doesn't admit it's junk, just that his personal hypothesis is falsified. He will still reject junk for religious regions.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#6  Postby Bribase » Aug 27, 2013 10:00 pm

acTofDog wrote:
Oeditor wrote:
Godness, Jonathan Mclatchie and Hamza Tzortzis climbing down in one week? What is the world coming to? The Rapture must be nearly upon us!


What about Hamza Tzortzis? I am really interested to know what's new with this guy.


This AcTofDog.

Welcome to the forum :cheers:
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#7  Postby acTofDog » Aug 28, 2013 5:46 am

Thank you very much Bribase. I am happy to be a part of this forum. :)
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#8  Postby Shrunk » Aug 28, 2013 2:43 pm

Rumraket wrote:Interesting. The question now is, will he come out and accept that GULOP is, in fact, junk - or will he simply accept that he made a mistake with his hypothesis, concede that it has been falsified, but that there's just another non-junk explanation for GULOP he hasn't thought about yet?

I'm going to predict that he doesn't admit it's junk, just that his personal hypothesis is falsified. He will still reject junk for religious regions.


He's being a bit cagey about that on Larry's blog, still saying he has more evidence for functional pseudogenes coming up in a "forthcoming article" (Be still, my heart!). And it should be noted that the original article still remains up, with no mention of any corrections or a retraction.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#9  Postby Rumraket » Aug 28, 2013 3:15 pm

Heh, what's the harm in admitting you're wrong on Larry Moran's blog if almost no creationist ever reads it? :lol:
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#10  Postby Shrunk » Aug 29, 2013 1:24 pm

His so-called "retraction" is finally up. You be the judge as to whether he has actually learned anything from the feedback and criticism he has received. (Spoiler alert: He hasn't.)

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/08/un ... 75831.html

The original article also remains up, the only revision being a link to the second article. I can guarantee that no creationist reading those two articles would come away understanding that the mechanism he is claiming is, for all practical purposes, impossible. And that's no accident. Oh, and no comments allowed, either.

So, at the end of the day, his behaviour is not so shocking after all. Just standard creationist bullshit.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#11  Postby Jonathan McLatchie » Sep 15, 2013 10:30 pm

I just wanted to set a couple of things straight in this thread.

"...Mclatchie has now admitted on Moran's blog that his claim was based on his own lack of understanding of the topic."

There is no lack of understanding on my part of the topic of RNA editing. I am very familiar with the field. A simple oversight on my part is not equivalent to a lack of understanding of the biology.

Second, I am not a creationist and do not wish to be portrayed as such. I think the earth is 4.6 billion years old and the Universe 13.7 billion years old. I also presently think that the balance of evidence supports the proposition of common ancestry.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#12  Postby Rumraket » Sep 15, 2013 11:17 pm

Sooo, McLatchie... is GULOP junk?
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#13  Postby Jonathan McLatchie » Sep 15, 2013 11:23 pm

@Rumraket: I don't know. It presently has no known function. But it is hard to rule out the possibility of it being found to have function in the future. I'm sure that many pseudogenes are indeed "broken" relics (and I don't think this is at all inconsistent with ID). But many pseudogenes are also functional.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#14  Postby Jonathan McLatchie » Sep 15, 2013 11:27 pm

In any case, why is this supposedly "the most shocking thing a creationist has ever done"?
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#15  Postby Steve » Sep 15, 2013 11:38 pm

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:In any case, why is this supposedly "the most shocking thing a creationist has ever done"?


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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#16  Postby SafeAsMilk » Sep 15, 2013 11:41 pm

Hello Jonathan :cheers: What's the difference between ID and creationism? As far as I could tell from the Dover trial, they're the same thing. I haven't seen anyone say you are a young Earth creationist, so your protest above about being referred to as a creationist doesn't seem to make much sense.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#17  Postby Rumraket » Sep 15, 2013 11:41 pm

Welcome to the forum by the way. It's not often we get visitors from the "higher ups" in the ID community around here. Sincere kudos offered for being one of the few who actually bother to make falsifiable predictions.
Jonathan McLatchie wrote:@Rumraket: I don't know. It presently has no known function. But it is hard to rule out the possibility of it being found to have function in the future.

I agree, but it certainly seems unlikely at this point. Of course in science, there are no absolute certainties.

Jonathan McLatchie wrote: I'm sure that many pseudogenes are indeed "broken" relics (and I don't think this is at all inconsistent with ID).

Again, I actually agree with you. Though, I think many of your "followers" on UD and elsewhere don't particularly agree with this, if they are even aware that you think this.

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:But many pseudogenes are also functional.

Right, something like 12 out of close to 12.000 pseudogenes(estimated by the ENCODE project)?
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#18  Postby Rumraket » Sep 15, 2013 11:43 pm

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:In any case, why is this supposedly "the most shocking thing a creationist has ever done"?

I have genuinely NEVER seen it happen before.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#19  Postby Jonathan McLatchie » Sep 15, 2013 11:49 pm

@Rumraket,

There are way more than twelve functional human pseudogenes. I have a whole database of research and review literature on this topic.

What haven't you seen happen before?
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#20  Postby Rumraket » Sep 15, 2013 11:51 pm

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:@Rumraket,

There are way more than twelve functional human pseudogenes. I have a whole database of research and review literature on this topic.

What haven't you seen happen before?

An ID proponent admit to having his hypothesis falsified.
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