Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Hi, Ho ... Hi, Ho ...

About the quote mine of Stephen Jay Gould that Don McLeroy uses in his bafflegab piece in The Austin American-Statesman, Jeremy Mohn included it in his Collapse of a Texas Quote Mine. It is one of the quote mines McLeroy got from Genesis Park, which describes itself as presenting:

... in a graphical, easily accessible manner the evidence that dinosaurs and man were created together and have co-existed throughout history. ... Genesis Park questions the evolutionary illusions surrounding the dinosaurs and approaches the subject of origins with a literal adherence to the scriptures and an emphasis on creation demonstrating God's power.
Here, from the Quote Mine Project, is a bit more explanation of what Gould meant by "stasis is data," which was one of his favorite catchphrases:

[Niles] Eldredge and I proposed that stasis should be an expected and interesting norm (not an embarrassing failure to detect change), and that evolution should be concentrated in brief episodes of branching speciation.
In short, as is so often the case in quote mines of Gould, this is about Punctuated Equilibria. Those wanting to know more about Punctuated Equilibria can see Wes Elsberry's piece at the Talk Origins Archive. We know McLeroy won't bother since his objective is not to learn or promote education but to confuse and obfuscate.

But since McLeroy's campaign is, he keeps telling us, not about religion, what then is his "supernaturalist explanation" of stasis in the fossil record?


Update: Larry Moran has a nice explanation of Punctuated Equilibria as well.


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