Conservapedia talk:Lenski dialog

From Conservapedia
This is an old revision of this page, as edited by Aziraphale (Talk | contribs) at 01:23, June 16, 2008. It may differ significantly from current revision.

Jump to: navigation, search


Carafe, TomMoore, DinsdaleP and SMaines all defend the withholding from public scrutiny of data underlying a scientific claim. Moreover, note how insulting some of them have become in response below to a request for public scrutiny of the data. No more insults will be allowed here, and their talk pollution may be removed.

Public scrutiny has obvious benefits, and none of them have given any reason for denying that scrutiny. Journals and even government policy encourage or require it. Ah, but evolutionists feel they can play by their own rules, and make public claims without making the data public. Rest assured that no one here is fooled by this "make the claim but hide the data from the public" approach.--Aschlafly 11:23, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

Just for the record, the above as it refers to my own statements is untrue. I think public scrutiny is excellent. I believe, in fact, that given that Lenski so promptly answered your questions, he would probably comply with any specific requests you might make. It does not seem reasonable to demand he send you what must be gigabytes of data off the cuff. If you were a professional in a field even tangentially related, I imagine he might be happy to do so immediately, but as it is, I suspect you are not at the top of the list for someone as busy as he undoubtedly must be.
Perhaps if you sent him an email asking him a specific question: ("I wonder if you would send me the relevant records from the time at which you believe the bacteria became Cit+" might be one, but I am not a biologist) he would answer it with the records or say why he wouldn't. Or if you wait, they might have time to organize the data into a coherent manner for presentation and make it available on the internet or by request. Cordiality is key, we agree on that much.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 15:05, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
If you supported public scrutiny of the data, then you would send Lenski an email requesting it. That you have not, and will not, speaks volumes about your view.--Aschlafly 16:40, 15 June 2008 (EDT) me, it says that I'm not a biologist, and doubt I could fairly evaluate it if I received it. I know the degree of training it has required for me to achieve my present position, and I lack the hubris to think I could exercise equivalent powers of discrimination in a field so unrelated to my own. I'm not faulting you - maybe you have a degree in biochemistry, for all I know! But I know that I am not capable of fairly evaluating in context the raw data of biological experiments. My view is not a multi-book set: there's only one volume to it, and it's humility and appreciation of the credentials of the qualified.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 17:19, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
As I said, TomMoore, you apparently don't support "public scrutiny" of the data. Your own expertise is obviously irrelevant.--Aschlafly 19:17, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Schlafly Scrutiny, n.. The demand to release all relevant and irrelevant data pertaining, or not pertaining to, a particular scientific study, to be analyzed by no one in particular. Schlafly Scrutiny is dissimilar to scientific scrutiny and public scrutiny in that it requires no field knowledge, no verification objectives, no scientific effort, and is unlike any scientific verification process to have ever existed in history. Schlafly Scrutiny usually hampers research and waste tax dollars in making a tremendous amount of irrelevant information available.
Andy, I will not join in your support in the wasting of the tax dollars of mine and others to provide irrelevant information which you will then proceed to not use. I do not at all support Schlafly Scrutiny, which is easily identified by any three-year-old to differ from public scrutiny or scientific scrutiny.
You can either participate with other scientists in public scrutiny by identifying rational weaknesses in Lenski's work and doing verification experiments, or you can continue to ignore public scrutiny and demand that Schlafly Scrutiny be done. What will it be?
-- Carafe 20:09, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

Request of Examination of raw data is reasonable given the history of evolutionist fraud

I do think a request of examination of the alleged raw data is reasonable given the history of evolutionists fraud. In addition, we know know that Charles Darwin was deceitful regarding his public pronouncements regarding his worldview and he was actually an atheist. So given the history of deceit in connection with the evolutionary position and its promotion, I do think Andy is quite justified in requesting to see the raw data of Lenski's alleged work. Conservative 00:14, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

As I wrote above, I'm pretty sure the relevant data would be happily provided as soon as a request a bit more specific than "give me all the data" is given. Some particular weakness that Andy identified in Lenski's reasoning, perhaps? Or some experimental procedure that you deemed especially prone to mistake, or even forgery? What is this "skepticism" that has been "expressed" based on? Or is it some sort of... dogmatic skepticism?
-- Carafe 00:44, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
I had asked a question above that was never answered, so I'll repeat it here: Who does Conservapedia plan on retaining to review the data from on scientific basis? It would be a lot more professional to select a qualified scientist or panel of scientists to do the job, and let them have a professional dialog with Prof. Lenski to review the raw data and conclusions. This is just grandstanding - "You haven't delivered gigs and gigs of raw data as requested, so you're withholding data". What it comes down to is that the CP leadership wants anything BUT a professional, qualified review of professor Lenski's work, because the outcome of that is not likely to be what they want. This reminds me of Kent Hovind's "Evolution Challenge" - set up ridiculous demands, and then claim victory because reasonable people don't meet them. --DinsdaleP 11:07, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Public scrutiny has obvious benefits. See "recap" above.--Aschlafly 11:31, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
I'll repeat my specific point. There's nothing improper about requesting that Professor Lenski share his raw data, but it's disrespectful of his time if there's no intention of using that data purposefully. I had asked what the plan was for having the data reviewed once it's received. Are there any qualified professionals lined up to review it and respond? He showed courtesy and professionalism in responding intra-day to the original request, so it's disrespectful to accuse him of withholding information after a single exchange of emails. --DinsdaleP 14:44, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
It's also disrespectful to claim that Carafe, TomMoore, SMaines and I are all defending "the withholding from public scrutiny of data underlying a scientific claim." None of us have made that statement, so please remove it since it's untrue. --DinsdaleP 14:46, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
DinsdaleP, clearly state that you support the public release of the data, and retract any comments to the contrary, and I'll remove your name.
Your comment above suggests that you only support requests for data that have a proper purpose (whatever that is), a proper plan for review (whatever that is), and "qualified professionals lined up to review it." If you cling to that very limited approach, then you do oppose "public scrutiny" of data underlying a scientific claim.--Aschlafly 16:38, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
I thought my comments were self-explanatory, but I'll try to simplify it. Yes, I support the public release of the data, and never claimed otherwise. I hope that's clear enough. The point we disagree on is that after a single exchange of emails, it's wrong to accuse Prof. Lenski of withholding data when he made a reasonable attempt to answer your questions and point you to the supporting data in his papers. If you ask him in a courteous manner how the underlying raw data can be made available, I'm sure you'll get a prompt and professional reply. So go ahead, make the request, and get the data. Frankly, I don't care what you do with it, but at least it will stop the insulting accusations of data being withheld. --DinsdaleP 18:03, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
A last clarification - my point about having a "proper purpose" in requesting the data simply meant that if you were asking Prof. Lenski to take the time and effort to collect the raw data and send it to you, I'd hope the effort wasn't going to be a waste of time because it never got into the hands of people qualified to evaluate it properly. Time will tell. --DinsdaleP 18:07, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Perhaps you're saying you don't oppose public release of the data. You haven't demonstrated you would "support" it, as in joining an email requesting it. Or would you?--Aschlafly 19:19, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
I'm sure all of us here will gladly join in an email requesting public release of the data in a scientific scrutiny process. None of us here will join in Schlafly Scrutiny, as we do not want our tax dollars wasted on irrelevant information. -- Carafe 20:11, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

responses of creation scientists to Lenski matter

Here are the responses of creation scientists to the Lenski matter:

Conservative 23:48, 14 June 2008 (EDT)

Another email?

Is there going to be one? It's entirely possible that, having received a request from a lawyer for data, a scientist might very well think that the data provided in the report would be sufficient. Before deciding that he's hiding something, why not give him enough rope to conclusively hang himself?

"Dear Dr. Lenski,

I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear enough in the first place. We were hoping to see the entirety of the raw data in order to assess it ourselves."

Or some such.

Aziraphale 12:26, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

If you are running a study on the genetics of a rapidly multiplying bacterial species over many years, the data accumulated will run into many many gigabytes. I don't believe it is practical to hand it out to any Tom, Dick and Harry requesting it. If there are concerns about any particular area of the study which raised suspicion of fraud or misinterpretation of data, then Mr. Schlafly should be asking the raw data pertaining to that particular area.

I have published in many medical journals and actively peer review for 2 of them. This is how it works in the field of science. Being a lawyer, Mr. Schlafly may not be familiar with the practice. So I do not think the email Aziraphale prepared is appropriate. This is my opinion and most of the users seem to agree with this as well. --SMaines 13:35, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

In response to Aziraphale, my email was clear and there is no reason for me to say the same thing again. You're welcome to make your request of Lenski if you really don't think he understood my email.

In response to SMaines, I'll add your name to the list above of people who oppose the public release of data underlying public claims about the data. (The amount of the data is no obstacle to its release.) SMaines' approach prevents mistakes and fraud from being identified by independent public review. Apparently SMaines does not even request availability of the data when he does peer review. Perhaps he could tell us which journals he does peer review for so that others can have a healthy skepticism about claims made in them. Of course, SMaines is unlikely to disclose the names of those journals.--Aschlafly 14:21, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

It is true that I do not ask for raw data from all the authors that I have peer reviewed articles for. You do not seem to understand how the peer review process works. The role of the peer reviewer is not to repeat all the work the authors have already done.

First I check whether the authors are asking a relevant question regarding the hypothesis, whether the hypotheses are falsifiable, whether the methodology is sound without any obvious flaws, were the data collected ethically and whether they obtain informed consent of all involved. I also aim to determine the experiments performed adhering to protocol and statistical methods used were sound. Then I determine whether their results actually conclude what they have listed as their conclusions. I check whether the bibliography is complete and up-to-date. Finally I recommend to the editor whether the paper is significant and relevant to the journal. I may have omitted a few steps, but that is in nutshell how a peer review process works.

I have worked in academic circles for years and I am yet to come across any referee who will ask for the whole set of raw data for all the papers reviewed. Raw data is only asked for if we have any concerns regarding the validity of methodology or conclusions. I have in the past asked for set of raw data to run some specific calculations myself. I have never known any one who will ring an author and ask to send the whole set of data covering years of data collection.

It works like Carafe described “A, I tried duplicating your experiment, but parameters x, y, and z that I need were not in your article. I need you to disclose to me x, y, and z that you used at the time. What are they?”

Also, have you come across the different peer review tools? Please familiarize yourself with the process before

For record, I am not against public scrutiny at all, but you have not even pointed out what your concerns or skepticisms are. What you have effectively said is you paper does not fit my belief patterns, so I do not believe you. Hand over all the raw data. This is childish and silly. --SMaines 15:06, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

Dear Aschlafly,
You've mistaken me for someone who thinks he could diagnose Lenski's work in a meaningful way. You are one who can do so, so I was offering advice. It was free, and worth every penny. Aziraphale 16:16, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Aziraphale, you still don't get it. I support the public release of the data, so that the public can analyze it. Got it now?--Aschlafly 16:33, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
One of us is certainly not getting something - my suggestion was meant to encourage the release of the data, rather than allowing the conversation to die with a possibility existing that there was a miscommunication rather than a denial of the request. What's more important here: that a political point is scored, or that the data be released? You are 100% mistaken if you think I'm opposed to the release of the data. Aziraphale 17:50, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Would you join an email requesting public release of the data?--Aschlafly 19:20, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Absolutely, but I won't divulge my identity to you. If using a pseudonym is alright with you I'll gladly attach my support. That said, you and I have different ideas of what language is appropriate, so I'd expect to see the exact text in advance. For example, until proven a liar or charlatan he deserves not to be accused of anything. Rather, just as when a motion for discovery is not compeletely fulfilled to your satisfaction, a firm but courteous clarification of your expectations would be appropriate.
Would you care for me to draft something instead, and you can sign off, or not, as you see fit? Aziraphale 21:23, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
If my particular handle is too silly, I could be appended as a John Doe instead.

Rants Against Public Release of Data

While you're at it, you might do well to explain to Lenski what exactly a "Conservapedia" is. Unless he really likes Lewis Black's "The conservatives think that YOU, THE PUBLIC, HAVE A LIBERAL BIAS." quote, he's unlikely to know. After all, this site gets most of its views from a small group of devout sysops and the snarkers over at RW. Godspeed. DannyRedful 13:49, 13 June 2008 (EDT)

Paper 180. All kinds of data. If you want, I can also link to the protocols and such. Prof. Lenski is way more obliging than we would have any right to expect... I sent him a letter of congratulations, and he even took the time to reply thanking me!--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 15:27, 13 June 2008 (EDT)

So, Andy, when can we expect your in-depth analysis of paper #180? -Drek
With a professional and comprehensive reply having been sent promptly by Professor Lenski, what would be the intended follow-up from Conservapedia? It seems like he answered the letter's first two questions and pointed out that the third was based on a misunderstanding of his paper. Since his study's data and methodology are freely available for review, I'm wondering who CP is looking to engage to independently review and assess his work, which has already passed peer review in order to be published. --DinsdaleP 16:03, 13 June 2008 (EDT)
He answered, everybody scramble! I need that Lack of Evidence in the air NOW! You call artillery and tell them to deploy the Inconclusive Data immediately! Move, move, move! We've got a battle against science to fight, people!--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 17:29, 13 June 2008 (EDT)

Lenski's reply did not provide the data as requested. It did clarify that his claims are not as strong as some evolutionists have insisted.--Aschlafly 09:07, 14 June 2008 (EDT)

"You will find all the relevant methods and data supporting this claim in our paper." If this statement is true then I hardly think he's going to go to the trouble of sending us all his data when it is readily available. StatsMsn 09:29, 14 June 2008 (EDT)
StatsMsn, have you ever read a scientific paper? Papers don't set forth the data themselves. At most, they set forth summaries of data, which can be flawed or self-serving.--Aschlafly 09:31, 14 June 2008 (EDT)
Supposing he gave you access to the gigs of raw data, would you:
  1. Be able to understand any of it?
  2. Be prepared to accept that the data accurately reflects the physical facts of the matter in the lab, were you to find it consistent with his conclusions?
Given your educational background, I have serious doubts about 1), and given your behaviour on this site, I find myself incapable of believing 2). Please feel free to offer me some reassurance. --Leda 10:26, 14 June 2008 (EDT)
I find this ironic that you suddenly want data to support someone else's claim, given your "Mystery: Young hollywood stars and breast cancer" ballpark figure. The paper provides more than ballpark figures you have previously used to support your hypothses in the past. DanielB 19:28, 14 June 2008 (EDT)
In response to Leda, if for some unexplained reason I can't understand the data, then I'll find someone who can. I don't know how to fly an airplane but obviously that does not stop me from traveling by air. I am not reassured by the withholding of data.
In response to DanielB, I presented my data and described it as a mystery. What we have here is the unacceptable opposite: a scientific claim without production of the data.--Aschlafly 21:12, 14 June 2008 (EDT)
"I don't know how to fly an airplane but obviously that does not stop me from traveling by air." Oh, nobody's objecting to you flying when clueless. But a modicum of flight knowledge might expected of you if you, say, suddenly rush into the cockpit and demand that the pilot repeat to you every single flight procedure done for the last 12 hours, lest you declare him fraudulent and/or incompetent. I mean, isn't that what you're implying?
I mean, what are you expecting when you demand "data" of the Cit+ mutation occurance other than a log entry of "Jan 24th, 2008, 2:03pm. Generation 2026 confirmed to express Cit+ mutation"? Then what you do oh-so-politely request? That all of his collaborator's minds be read so you can make sure there is no mistakes?
-- Carafe 23:08, 14 June 2008 (EDT)
Your attempt to defend the withholding of data underlying a scientific claim is amusing. While you're at it, perhaps you should also protest the Submission guidelines for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science: "(viii) Materials and Data Availability. To allow others to replicate and build on work published in PNAS, authors must make materials, data, and associated protocols available to readers. Authors must disclose upon submission of the manuscript any restrictions on the availability of materials or information." You might also protest policies that recommend or require taxpayer-funded data to be made available.--Aschlafly 23:21, 14 June 2008 (EDT)
You thought my poking fun at your inability to form a coherent analogy was supposed to be a defense? The amusement is all on this side of the table, trust me. You see, there is no defending going on here, because there is no withholding going on here.
"(viii) Materials and Data Availability..." Yes, you can stop repeating yourself now. This was in your letter, which I did in fact read (something that might not be said of you and the myriad articles Richard provided). I did wonder why that was in your letter. I mean, did you think that normal scientific discourse doesn't occur unless by your legal coercion? I'm pretty sure if you had, say, a request just a tad more specific than "give me all your data", Richard would have been more than happy to reply. "Give me all your data" is as an absurd of a data request as demanding that Richard must "right now tell me all you know about E. coli", which, come to think about it, would be pretty much the same thing.
"To allow others to replicate and build on work published in PNAS, authors must..." Out of curiosity, which part of his experiment are you trying to replicate that need additional information not available in the paper? Maybe you should tell him, he could easily help you with that. If you are not replicating the experiment, then did you have a real question or concern, or a weakness that you identified, like "I had a concern about this-and-that procedure of the strain selection, it seems particularly vulnerable to contamination" he would be quite happy to help you too. But hey, that requires that you have a clue about the subject matter.
-- Carafe 00:32, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

You really go out of your way to defend a guy who's clearly a fraudulent hack. Even if he released his so called "raw data" it would just be a huge load of numbers no one is going to take the time to analyze. If it took him years and years to do this experiment he can be pretty sure no one is going to waste that much time trying to replicate it, so everyone can assume he's right and the atheist Darwinists can pretend they've proved evolution, even when we know it's impossible. Do you believe everything you read? If someone claimed they had a mountain of evidence that Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster had a baby, I suppose you'd believe that too if it were published somewhere? TonyT 14:36, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

So let me see if I understand you correctly, Tony. If Lenski doesn't release all of the raw data accumulated over twenty years as Mr. Schlafly requests, it's proof that he's a fraud. If Lenski releases all of the raw data accumulated over twenty years as Mr. Schlafly requests, the sheer volume is proof that he's trying to pull a fast one, and he's a fraud.
Is that correct?
Given this and other comments you have made, I suspect that you're a satirist attempting to make conservatives look unreasonable. If so, please stop. --Benp 17:06, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Where did the 20 years come from? Lenski was asked for the data supporting his claim. He has produced some information on a website, but not that data. Yes, making a claim while withholding the data, even after a request, can reasonably lead one to doubt the claim. Wouldn't you agree with that?--Aschlafly 19:23, 15 June 2008 (EDT)


Certainly, Mr. Schlafly. What I'm taking issue with is Tony's claim that even if Lenski releases his data, it's not worth taking the time to analyze or "waste the time" trying to replicate. It seems very much to me as if he's trying to portray conservatives as closed-minded and unwilling to look at the evidence. Perhaps I'm mistaken on that point, but I certainly think you'd agree that such individuals have turned up here before, wouldn't you?

With respect to the 'twenty years' portion: I was under the impression that you wanted the full and complete data to be made available. Given that the experiment took twenty years, I assumed that you would want the full twenty years of data included for evaluation. I apologize if I was mistaken.--Benp 19:28, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

I was wondering how anyone possibly could conclude from this exchange that Lenski was hiding something. I came to the conclusion that some people must not understand how scientific scrutiny works. I wrote a guide.

Scientific scrutiny works like this:

Scientist A publishes results.

Scientist B: A, I tried duplicating your experiment, but parameters x, y, and z that I need were not in your article. I need you to disclose to me x, y, and z that you used at the time. What are they?
A: x, y, and z are such and such.
B: Using x, y, and z, my result doesn't agree with yours at all. Are you sure you did the procedures that you claimed?
A: ...
B: You fraud!

Scientific scrutiny does not work like this:
A publishes results.
B: I have Generic Skepticism toward your article. Under code viii of the Publication Criteria, I demand that you give me all of your data!
A: ... ok...? It seems that everything you would need is already in the article. Did you have something specific in mind?
B: A has refused to attach all data he has ever used for the experiment. He is withholding information and thus hiding something.

-- Carafe 01:42, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

This is it. This one is my favorite post. Carafe has won Conservapedia, roll the credits.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 01:49, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Beautiful! What else can I say?--SMaines 13:37, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Not much, apparently. I think you've exhausted your meaningful comments.--Aschlafly 14:24, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

Aschlafly, have you read the paper?

I have. It pretty fairly lays out all the important data. Unless you want to run the experiments yourself - which I don't know if you could do, given the equipment he used - I think it's probably the best you'll ever get. I think a fair reply to Lenski would be point out elements of his analysis that you don't like, and put that in a reply e-mail. Otherwise, your lack of reply makes it look like you've given up, and your defensive parries here ("he didn't give all his data!") look like a losing rearguard action.-AShephard 17:10, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

Would you join an email requesting public release of the data, or not?--Aschlafly 19:24, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

Something to note

From the AiG article:

"AiG’s Dr. Georgia Purdom is studying the research for an upcoming semi-technical article in the journal Answers In Depth."

Apparently, Lenski has released his data to Purdom. Presumably, Dr. Purdom wouldn't settle for fragmentary data that wouldn't allow her to fully evaluate the claims. Had Lenski refused to disclose, it seems certain that AiG would have made note of it.


Let's say that a second email is enough for Lenski to release his data. What are you going to do with it all? Previous discussions show you don't what you are doing with small, simple to analyse data sets. You would need a degree in biochemistry and biostats to even begin to know what you are going to do with it. The people who have peer reviewed the paper a by far better qualified and if they had concerns they would have asked specifically for what they wanted without sounding like .... Well I want say what you sound like writting emails singed with a law degree demanding data. DanielB 19:16, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

Would you join an email requesting public release of the data, or not?--Aschlafly 19:25, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Sure, but like the human genome it will probably be released in time anyway in a way that is useful. You standing there making demands, signing letters JD, makes you look like some lawyer with an axe to grind rather than someone interested in research. DanielB 20:33, 15 June 2008 (EDT)