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

Friday, August 31, 2007

HILARIOUS creationist projection

Over at ARN, I read with curiosity a thread started by Albert deRoos. The thread title - so typical of the hyperbolic nonsense that one finds in creationist/IDist rantings sets the tone and gives those of us who have followed the IDcreationism public relations scam for any length of time a preview of the tone one can expect upon reading it:

The endosymbiotic origin for mitochondria a hoax?

A hoax. A hoax is an attempt to trick an audience into believing that something false is real. A hoax? It is certaily possible that the endosymbiotic hypothesis is wrong, but a hoax? This is the usual creationist/IDist loaded word usage that they are so fond of employing. I will not recount all of deRoos silly line of argumentation here, but to sum up, it goes like this:

-mitochondria don't look exactly like bacteria (and he provides some pictures to prove it!)
- using some types of visualization techniques, mitochondria look like they are part of the reticular system of cells
- therefore, he thinks they ARE just specializations of the reticular system, and that they are not endosymbionts, and those promoting ther notion they are are perpetrating, well, a hoax

To bolster his claim, he links to some typical graphical representations of mitochondria in textbooks and the like (that is, drawings) , then links to some electron micrographs and immunofluorescent photos and such and essentially says'Gee - the real pictures don't look like the drawings, and neither really looks like present day bacteria, so they must have derived in another way.'

It is pointed out by some commenters there that his 'theory' does not explain the presence of bacteria-like DNA in mitochondria, does not address the fact that mitochondria can divide and make their own ribosomes and proteins, etc. It is also pointed out that some of the photographs he links to are computer graphics images*, that some appear to be immunofluorescence pictures which targeted protein fibers and such, etc.

And de Roos response to these and other criticisms?

...The proponents of the endosymbiotic theory have not even started to make mechanistic scenarios because every high school student understands that it will take 100s of mutations in complex systems before that will happen. Natural selection of those intermediate forms will be difficult because tinkering with them generally decreases fitness. Failure to address these things before declaring the theory to be true means bad science. I would be happy if consensus would be 'we can't rule out other scenario's and we don't have much evidence, we still believe that mitochondria were endosymbionts but we're open to alternatives.

Now, they don;t have a coherent theory, but are not open to
alternatives. Bad, bad science.

Note what I bolded... Recall, he labelled endosymbiotic theory 'a hoax'...
The hubris and arrogance these people exude is beyond reason.

*If such things are not explicitly pointed out in the threrad, they are alluded to, and they are certainly very good points that de Roos ignores

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