Commentary on the so-called Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate and Right-Wing nuttery in general - and please ignore the typos (I make lots!)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Walter ReMine - egomaniac

Walter ReMine, creationist electrical engineer author of "The Biotic Message", a pathetic attempt to make creationism seem scientific by engaging in "science by quote," has made much of his take on population geneticist JBS Haldane's model for the substitution of beneficial mutants in a population (for a good review of ReMine's book by an actual geneticist, see Gert Korthof's).

ReMine claims that 'Haldane's Dilemma', as his model was inaptly named, when applied to human evolution shows that such evolution is impossible. ReMine never actually gives any good reason, he just plays fast and loose with the facts and engages in unnecessarily verbose rhetoric to con those that understand less than he does.

He has made something of a cottage industry for himself, playing the martyr and victim of the oppressive anti-creation cabal of academia by first trying to publish an amateurish paper on the subject in a legitimate scientific journal (which was rejected for its unoriginality and its non-academic style - oppression I tells ya!) , declaring that apparently only he - the great Walter ReMine, understands Haldane's dilemma, and now by claiming that evolutionists are "suppressing" information on the subject.

ReMine writes:

For many years I have publicly claimed Haldane's Dilemma is a major unsolved problem for evolution. A problem so severe it threatens macroevolution as a "fact" and evolutionary genetics as an empirical science. Toward a solution, evolutionary geneticist, Leonard Nunney, published a paper reporting his computer simulations. He claimed his computer simulations show rates of beneficial evolution much faster than the Haldane limit. While evolutionists (including Nunney) have never discussed my work in ink, their Internet activists now cite Nunney's computer simulation as a definitive refutation of my position.

There is a good reason actual scientists have not discussed ReMine's "work" in ink - it was never puiblished 'in ink' (it was self-published as a non-reviewed book).

ReMine refuses to acknowledge this simple fact. Also, ReMine, as anyone that has read his book or encountered him on the Internet or seen him speak will know, is much better at self-promotion than he is as scientific research. He has actually claimed that 'some of the best science' is done by quoting people! THAT is 'research' in the world of the creationist.

ReMine's central thesis regarding Haldane's dilemma is that, if Haldane's model is directly applied to human evolution (there are several good reasons why it should not be, but ReMine refuses to acknowledge this), there has not been enough time to explain human evolution from an apelike ancestor because Haldane's model only 'allows' for 1,667 beneficial mutations to become fixed in a population in the given timeframe (Haldane's model does not deal with non-beneficial mutations).


1. ReMine never provides any actual evidence that even if this number has merit, that it cannot account fo rhuman evolution from an apelike ancestor -which he cannot identify, which brings up:

2. Without knowing exactly what the human-ape ancestor was, one cannot possibly know which human traits have to be explained by beneficial mutations

3. ReMine never provides any documentation or even any rationale for how many beneficial mutations are required to produce any particular trait - or even if any particular trait has to be accounted for solely by beneficial mutations

Briefly, ReMine's application of Haldane's model is not any sort of 'disproof' or even a problem for human evolution or anything else. It is typical hubris from an arrogant, Dunning-Kruger data-point creationist.

As an aside, it is interesting to note that he, like nearly all 'professional' creationists, experienced a religious conversion prior to engaging in his anti-evolution activism, as he described it in an interview he did via the ARN website. Funny how one has to be a creationist in the first place in order to 'see' that evolution is wrong...


Dave Wisker said...

Now he is whining that Leonard Nunney, who published a recent paper on the subject, won't send him his program code. Apparently, Nunney told him he only will share his code with those who publish in peer-reviewed journals. Of course, since ReMine will not edit his manuscripts to meet at least the minimum requiremengts for format (not to mention civility), he can't get his stuff published. Frankly, I don't see how he couldn't get his manuscript published in some journal (not the prestigious ones he submitted to first, like The Journal of Theoretical Biology or Heredity because he does provide a clean way of calculating cost as reproductive excess. The problem is, his ego won't let him admit that the idea of cost as reproductive excess just isn't his: James Crow and Warren Ewens tried to tell him that (and quite rightly so). So he now will spend years complaining about being suppressed, when in reality he just can't get published in the big league journals where his ego demands that his work must be placed.

Doppelganger said...


I guess it is easier in the world of the creatinist "scientist" egomaniac to make oneself a martyr than it is to do some legitimate work.

Farkas said...

Is it possible for an evolutionist to avoid using ad hominem attacks against people who don't share their faith?

It's makes evolutionists look like they're not too sure of themselves.