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Thread: Conservapedia vs. Prof. Richard Lenski's E. Coli experiment

  1. #1
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    Conservapedia vs. Prof. Richard Lenski's E. Coli experiment

    I thought some people here would find this amusing; some of the fine folks at 'conservapedia', an insane version of Wikipedia whose general outlook on life should be evident from it's name, demands that Lenski proves his evolution experiment with E. Coli is not a fraud. Luckily, the prof. was right on top of it with a smack-down of a reply.

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Conserv...:Lenski_dialog


    For anyone not fimiliar with the experiment in question, it's quite fascinating. I believe the BA mentioned it in his blog recently:

    http://scienceblogs.com/loom/2008/06..._evolution.php

    One of the most important experiments in evolution is going on right now in a laboratory in Michigan State University. A dozen flasks full of E. coli are sloshing around on a gently rocking table. The bacteria in those flasks has been evolving since 1988--for over 44,000 generations. And because they've been so carefully observed all that time, they've revealed some important lessons about how evolution works.

  2. #2
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    Wow Kebsis.

    I read the whole article. Why do I think of Brother Cadfael's "antagonistic" superior at work here?

  3. #3
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    I'm sure that exchange is fascinating, and I'd love to know what the Prof's reply was, but I refuse to visit Conservapedia, on principle. Just looking at it makes me feel dirty, and raises my blood-pressure to dangerous levels. (And that's from a base of low blood-pressure!)

    However, I'm now off to Pharyngula (shhh! Don't tell Phil!) where there's a good chance that PZ has a partial transcript up.

  4. #4
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    I dunno. I'm not fimiliar with that character.

    Edit: That's in reply to BigDon...you must have clicked submit a second before me Stuart.

  5. #5
    Foreadr those who do not want to go conservapedia to read Lenskis letter here it is at pz myers website, the responses can be a litlle colourful.
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2..._a_le.php#more
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.

  6. #6
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    He owned the Conservapedia douche.

    It's worth noting, however, that the main article on evolution on their xenopedia does not mention Lenski anywhere. Furthermore, it exclaims in no uncertain terms in the first entry:

    The theory of evolution posits a process of self-transformation from simple life forms to more complex life forms, which has never been observed or duplicated in a laboratory.[4][5]
    The two references cited are www.creationweb.com and The Discovery Institute. They might as well have linked to the Disney website.

  7. #7
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    The theory of evolution posits a process of self-transformation from simple life forms to more complex life forms, which has never been observed or duplicated in a laboratory.[4][5]
    My bold.

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I guess I'll laugh.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kebsis View Post
    I thought some people here would find this amusing; some of the fine folks at 'conservapedia', an insane version of Wikipedia whose general outlook on life should be evident from it's name, demands that Lenski proves his evolution experiment with E. Coli is not a fraud. Luckily, the prof. was right on top of it with a smack-down of a reply.

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Conserv...:Lenski_dialog


    For anyone not fimiliar with the experiment in question, it's quite fascinating. I believe the BA mentioned it in his blog recently:

    http://scienceblogs.com/loom/2008/06..._evolution.php
    Just to make things clear, being a conservative does not mean you believe in the stuff in these links.

    Its nice to know woo woos are the same no matter what their beliefs are.

  9. #9
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    He handled himself well. I'm going to start using the word acolyte now.

    My favorite part is where he quotes Dr. Paley. Paley suggests that maybe the cit+ mutation didn't actually evolve, maybe God put it in E. Coli at the time of creation and it has been waiting, dormant, for Lenski to come along and switch it on. Paley says that the only way to be sure is to compare the genome of a regular E. Coli to the genome of one with the cit+ mutation. Paley expects to find the mutation in the regular E. Coli.

    It's amazing to me how similar this thought process is to what we see in Apollo hoax believers. It's so similar, that I can even predict what would happen if we gave Paley a petri dish of cit+ and one of regular E.Coli, and he was unable to find the mutation - he will say that in fact, the "regular" E. Coli are the ones that have undergone mutation. See, God made E. Coli with the cit+ gene, but some of them lost it - just like it's possible to breed flies without wings, it's possible to make E. Coli without cit+. In his lab, Lenski just happened to find some of the pristine E. Coli (maybe he got them from a tomato in the garden of eden).

  10. #10
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    Paley's inability to find anything in a petry dish he may be given, would most likely be a result of him being a bad scientist.

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