Sunday, December 24, 2006

My first (and last?) contribution to EvoWiki's quote mine project!

Yesterday I was Googling and I came across this EvoWiki page which appears to be part of its Quote Mining project.

[Graphic): "Quote Mining,"Nielsen BuzzMetrics. Note that here "quote mining" is simply "analyzing vast amounts of ... media in order to find the `gold' in specific topics, issues, trends, opinions and sentiment ..." In the context of evolution it is simply extracting from the vast evolutionary literature those `nuggets of gold' where evolutionists admit problems of their theory.]

It has a quote by Pierre Lecomte du Noüy, who Wikipedia elsewhere inadequately describes as "a French philosopher" when in fact du Noüy was "an internationally known French scientist" (in what would today be called biophysics) and who later wrote on the "philosophy of science":

"Dr. Lecomte du Nouy is an internationally known French scientist. He was born in Paris in 1883, was educated at the Sorbonne and the faculty of Law. He now holds the degrees of LL.B., Ph.B., Sc.B., Ph.D., and Sc.D. In 1915, Dr. du Nouy, then an officer in the French Army, met Dr. Alexis Carrel, and through him became interested in certain problems that appeared to have no solution. His work in developing a mathematical expression of the process of healing of wounds brought him to the attention of the Rockefeller Institute. From 1920 to 1927, as an associate member of that Institute, Dr. du Nouy carried on his research into the properties of the blood. An instrument that he invented brought him an award from the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia. In 1927 he returned to Paris. Until 1937 he acted as head of the important Bio-Physics division of the Pasteur Institute. In that year he was named a director of the `Ecole de Hautes Etudes' at the Sorbonne. He and his American wife, the former Mary Bishop Harriman, lived in Paris under Nazi domination in the early days of the war, but escaped to the United States in August, 1942, to carry on his work. In the course of his full life, Dr. du Nouy has studied with Sir William Ramsay, and with Pierre and Mme. Curie. He has published some two hundred papers, mostly technical, and seven books on his researches and his philosophy of science. One of these, L'Avenir de L'Esprit, ran to twenty-two editions in France in 1942 and was awarded a prize by the French Academy. Today Dr. du Nouy is known and respected by scientists of every land. In 1944 this respect was signalized by the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, when he was awarded the Arnold Reymond Prize, for his three books Le Temps et la Vie, L'Homme devant la Science, and L'Avenir de L'Esprit, as the most important contribution to scientific philosophy in the past ten years." (Lecomte du Noüy, P., "Human Destiny," Longmans, Green & Co: New York NY, 1947, Seventeenth Printing, rear inside cover)

Below is an excerpt from a particular EvoWiki alleged "quote mine" page which just assumed that the words under "Quote", beginning with "Lecomte Du Nouy, an evolutionist ..." were by a "Misquoted Person", i.e. they were a misquote of what du Noüy wrote. But under "Original Quote" was an empty square bracket (or it may have had the words "original quote" - I cannot now remember) which indicates that the anonymous author of this misquote page did not know that the quote was a misquote. In which case he would be guilty of misquote-mining! Or would that be misquote-fishing?

I did not know if I could do it, but I just clicked on the edit link and posted the quote under "Original Quote" from my quotes database based on the original source which I own:


Nouy on Archaeopteryx being no true link [...]

Misquoted Person
Lecomte Du Nouy [...]

Quote
Lecomte Du Nouy, an evolutionist, has said, "in spite of the fact that it is undeniably related to the two classes of reptiles and birds (a relation which the anatomy and physiology of actually living specimens demonstrates), we are not even authorized to consider the exceptional case of the Archaeopteryx as a true link. By link, we mean a necessary stage of transition between classes such as reptiles and birds, or between smaller groups. An animal displaying characters belonging to two different groups cannot be treated as a true link as long as the intermediary stages have not been found, and as long as the mechanisms of transition remain "unknown."

Source
Anon, 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here?, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., p. 75.1.
Gish, Duane, 1973. Vital Articles on Science/Creation [1] [...]

Original Quote [added by me]
"Unfortunately, the greater part of the fundamental types in the animal realm are disconnected from a paleontological point of view. In spite of the fact that it is undeniably related to the two classes of reptiles and birds (a relation which the anatomy and physiology of actually living specimens demonstrates), we are not even authorized to consider the exceptional case of the Archaeopteryx as a true link. By link, we mean a necessary stage of transition between classes such as reptiles and birds, or between smaller groups. An animal displaying characters belonging to two different groups cannot be treated as a true link as long as the intermediary stages have not been found, and as long as the mechanisms of transition remain unknown." (Lecomte du Noüy, P., "Human Destiny," Longmans, Green & Co: New York NY, Seventeenth Printing, 1947, pp.71-72)

[...]

This page was last modified 13:15, 23 December 2006. [...]


As can be seen, it was not a misquote at all, there being only minor differences between the Quote and the Original Quote, i.e. the "in spite" should be "In spite" and the ending "unknown" does not have quotes around it in the original. I am not defending those minor differences: it is sloppy scholarship to make and perpetuate such minor errors by quoting from secondary sources without checking back to the original, but it is hardly a "misquote."

Indeed, having personally checked hundreds of creationist (mostly YEC) quotes of evolutionists against their original source, I have found the overwhelming majority to be accurate, and of the minority which are inaccurate, most of those are minor errors like the above, which don't affect the main point.

But being unable to answer the substance of the quotes on their merits, evolutionists try the next best thing (from their perspective) to `shoot the messenger' by casting doubt on the quotes outward form (not its inner content) and/or the quoter. That is, evolutionists work on the syllogism: 1) there can be no real problem with evolution; 2) here is a quoted problem; 3) therefore the problem must be with the quote ("quote-mined", "out-of-context," etc), or the quoter ("ignorant, stupid or insane ... or wicked" - Dawkins, 1989), or both!

Anyway, it is going to be interesting to see what the evolutionist owners of EvoWiki are going to do with this page which demonstrates that the alleged creationist misquote was substantially accurate. I expect it will quietly disappear!

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).


Genesis 31:3-16. 3Then the LORD said to Jacob, "Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you." 4So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. 5He said to them, "I see that your father's attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. 6You know that I've worked for your father with all my strength, 7yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. 8If he said, 'The speckled ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, 'The streaked ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks bore streaked young. 9So God has taken away your father's livestock and has given them to me. 10"In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. 11The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob.' I answered, 'Here I am.' 12And he said, 'Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.' " 14Then Rachel and Leah replied, "Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father's estate? 15Does he not regard us as foreigners? Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us. 16Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you."

2 comments:

idnet said...

Stephen, thanks for the last three posts. There are a lot of people who listen to what you say. Keep talking.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Mark

>Stephen, thanks for the last three posts. There are a lot of people who listen to what you say.

Thanks again.

>Keep talking.

I intend to! Hit the race of life's (Acts 20:24; 1 Cor 9:24,26; Gal 2:2; 5:7; Php 2:16; 3:12; 2 Tim 4:7; Heb 12:1) final tape still running, by His grace, is my goal.

A blessed Christmas to you and Judy.

Stephen E. Jones