Meanwhile, trait no. 31
(which had to make it onto the list if he was to keep his total of 53 reversing
ones) had five missing slots (actually seven, if you tossed in those due to the
and the Kuehneotheriidae).
Exactly as in the first
chart, there seemed no consistency to how he had arrived at the 28
"progressive" items (which you may note he misprinted as "53 of 81 of 82" in
the heading of his own chart).
Now while he clearly had
"normalized" the Mammalness column (the numbers there were mainly within a
point or so either way from the spreadsheet figures) it turns out he had also
done that to the "progressive" column, exactly as he said he hadn't. And there were some numerical oddities even
then (off by as much as a dozen points, as in the case of
Sinoconodon). Of course, had he not pulled this fast
one, the totals for the "progressive" list and also the full unfiltered 82
would have looked significantly less chasm-like to suit his apologetic
The 28 Progressive Characters
Mammalness Index Progressive
(53 of 81 of 82)
Sum of the 28 Progressive
Sum of the Full 82 Character
Thus the "great gulf" of
progressive characters between items 17-19 and 20-21 is not between 7 and 34
& 54, but between 2 and 8 & 15.
And if you look at the full set of data, the numbers shift from 14-28 to
45 & 61. Likewise the change
to the earliest mammals isn't a jump to 104-131, but to 24-36 for the
progressive features, and 75 to 107 for the full 82.
But as we saw with the
earlier charts, such number play is meaningless because it is sidestepping the
details of what is changing, and over what considerable time frame all this is
That Woodmorappe was
getting wound a bit too tight here is made plain by what he penned a couple of
paragraphs farther on in his piece. I reprint it exactly as written (his emphases, ellipses and inclusions),
including the superscripts for his notes 34 & 35 (the content of which are
given below) and the one time he correctly spelled Tritheledontidae:
And, ironic to the
fallacious argument about mammalian traits appearing in correct "stratomorphic"
sequence,34 we have a situation where one of the presumed sister
groups (Tritylodontidae) is actually more mammalian than the first recognized
mammals! Consider the following
unenviable dilemma faced by evolutionists:
"The main difficulty with
the tritylodontid-mammal hypothesis is that too many apopmorphic features of
tritylodontids are more derived than the corresponding
features in primitive mammals such as Sinoconodon and Adelobasileus... . By contrast, the main weakness of the trithelodontid-mammal hypothesis is that far too many trithelodontid
characters are primitive ... [emphasis added]."35
"derived", of course, are in comparison with the presumed earliest mammals,
though neither the trithelodonts nor the tritylodonts are capable of being
connected to the inferred earliest mammals in an ancestor-descendent
lineage. Table 3 shows that a near
doubling of characters (in fact, tripling if Tritheledontidae is chosen as
the sister-group) is necessary to bridge the chasm between the sister-group
cynodonts and the inferred primitive mammals. For evolutionists who portray the sister-group cynodonts as
"almost mammals", this is a sobering result.
Woodmorappe's first note
was not a reference, but merely a redundant premonition of the rest of his own
34. As noted earlier, the numerous
reversing characters that are prominent throughout the chain of mammal-like
reptiles soundly refute the claim that mammalian traits appear in a
straightforward stratomorphic sense. The fact that the ancestor Tritylodontids are more mammalian than their
presumed early-mammalian successors only drives the final nail into the coffin.
Having repeated this
however, the "bottom falls out" when we wonder how the Tritylodontidae's 78
points (or 34, if we take the progressive value) could be construed as "more
mammalian" than 100 or 104 (the lowest corresponding mammal values, that of Sinoconodon). One simple possibility presents itself:
that Woodmorappe's vision glazed over yet again and he jumped a few rows to
confuse "the ancestor Tritylodontids" with item 24, the mammal Triconodontidae
(whose Woodmorappe-calculated values were indeed higher than their fellows).
evident numerical and analytical eccentricities looms a more general scholarly
defect pertaining to his note 35, which actually was a reference, to Luo (1994,
111). As one might have suspected
given the long tradition of selective creationist apologetics, Woodmorappe was
being mighty careful about what he quoted. Here is the full passage, with Woodmorappe's extractions
highlighted in bold:
Both hypotheses of
mammalian relationships are supported by a number of apomorphies, but neither
hypothesis is without problems. The main
difficulty with the tritylodontid-mammal hypothesis is that too many apomorphic
features of tritylodontids are more derived that the corresponding features in
primitive mammals such as Sinoconodon and Adelobasileus
(e.g., greatly reduced rate of tooth replacement and the hypertrophied
paroccipital process). By contrast,
the main weakness of the tritheledontid-mammal hypothesis is that too many
tritheledontid characters are primitive (e.g., the orbit and
braincase). For a solution to this
sister-taxon controversy, we shall have to obtain more evidence on the critical
taxa, such as Sinoconodon, Adelobasileus, and Haldanodon, and more anatomical information through more detailed studies, such as serial
sectioning, on the existing taxa.
Although Woodmorappe had
explained in his note 8 that "An apomorphy is a trait that appears for the
first time at a given position in the cladogram," he surgically removed any
reference to what Luo had been talking about in this specific instance. This returns us to the cladogram issue
noted above. If you looked at the
specimens involved it would take quite an expert to tell them apart ... the
"primitive" and "derived" traits did not represent any vast "gulf" between them
and the mammals. Only the most
miniscule diagnostic features were distinguishing them, as Luo quite plainly
stated on the same page as the paragraph Woodmorappe had vacuumed.
It's worth quoting this
part in full too, as it illustrates how cladistic analysis weighs competing
models, and how this was not even slightly what Woodmorappe was doing in his
Based on the character
matrix (Table 6.1. Appendix 6.1), the tritheledontid-mammal hypothesis has
consistently fewer transformational steps than the tritylodontid-mammal
hypothesis, regardless of different permutations in the arrangement of the
out-groups. Nevertheless, the
difference between the two hypotheses is quite small. Given the same out-group arrangement proposed by Rowe
(1988), there are only six more steps required for the cladogram in Figure 6.8A
(tritylodontid-mammal hypothesis) than for the cladogram in Figure 6.8B
(tritheledontid-mammal hypothesis). Given the out-group arrangement proposed by Kemp (1983), the former
hypothesis (Figure 6.8C) involves only two steps more than the latter
hypothesis (Figure 6.8D). Given
the out-group arrangement proposed by Wible (1991) (Figure 6.8E,F), the
tritheledontid-mammal hypothesis is also favored by only two steps less.
Luo went on to do
precisely what Woodmorappe ... and Johnson ... and Berlinski (and all the rest of
the antievolutionary set) have not. He related the anatomical data to the full animal, and its attendant
lifestyle. After all, even
cynodonts had to eat.
Because important changes
in feeding mechanisms are reflected by the temporomandibular joint and lower
jaw at the transition to mammals, clear-cut differences in the apomorphies in
these critical areas between the two competing hypotheses would lead to
different understandings of the evolution of the masticatory apparatus. The tritheledontid-mammal hypothesis
differs significantly in a posteriori predictions regarding the functional
evolution of the mammalian feeding mechanism.
Here is where the utility
of parsimony analysis comes into its own, as Luo described the different implications
of the competing relationships. The tritheledontid path (which Luo favors) focuses attention on the
distinctive mammalian jaw: "an increasingly stronger temporomandibular
articulation, a more flexible symphysis (which permitted fine control of the
mandibular movement), and increasingly precise matching of the opposing
post-canines leading to the differentiation of wear facets for shearing. All these occurred without any major
disruption of the basic adaptation to carnivory and/or insectivory."
By contrast, in "the
framework of the tritylodontid-mammal hypothesis, interpretation of the
evolution of feeding function is enormously complicated."This is because the
carnivorous/insectivorous adaptation and herbivory would had to have arisen
repeatedly "among major clades," a scenario less consistent with how animal
anatomy and behavior function in the real world.
What uncertainty there
may be to mammal origins in this specialized instance turns on the fine detail
of which adaptations were driving the overall process, not that the anatomical
data were so diverse that evolutionists were plucking relationships out of a
So, where does all this
Given that (1)
Woodmorappe's "cladistic analysis" wasn't a cladistic analysis.
And that (2) all three of
his pivotal supporting tables contained readily detectable mathematical and
And that (3) his
underlying creationist approach to the forensic data and their relation to
biological reality was simply to ignore them.
We may legitimately
return to the core question that mathematician Berlinski thought to evade in
his March 2003 caveat about not prejudicing an article by its source. How could anybody in their right mind
rely on the apologetic arguments of anyone who thinks the world is only a few thousand years
old? Or think at least that you
could take isolated bits of their output seriously, far beyond any jurisdiction
of their expertise, if only you didn't bother with checking out their general
This is a scholarly
issue, plain and simple.
Woodmorappe's position on the epistemological landscape been a daunting task,
fair to shrivel the brain stem of all but the most stout of heart, one might
have forgiven Johnson or Berlinski this lapse on account of excessive timidity or
a short attention span. But the
fact is that documenting Woodmorappe's special skills in information management
required no more than a quick scan of the internet for some of his published oeuvre,
and a willingness to take the plunge and look up some of his sources.
The first thing you might
learn is that "John Woodmorappe" is actually the nom de guerre of a certain
Jan Peczkis. Woodmorappe/Peczkis
operates with feet in both the creationist and evolutionist camps, but because
he writes under different names in each, he has been able to indulge in one of
the stranger Jekyll & Hyde episodes in the long tradition of distorted
creationist scholarship. Wearing a
feigned evolutionist hat, Peczkis has suggested in The Science Teacher (1993)
how adaptive change could be illustrated to students by classroom exercises and
disported in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (1994) on dinosaur body
mass. Benign enough, it would seem
... until you checked out one of his online papers (at the YEC "Revolution
Against Evolution" site) in which "Woodmorappe" brazenly held up his own 1993
Peczkis piece as an example of "A Hands-on Science Activity that Demonstrates
the Atheism and Nihilism of Evolution."
It would be as if one
were to discover that Richard Dawkins were really Phillip Johnson in disguise.
But even muffling all
these unsettling tactical alarm bells going off around Woodmorappe, there would
still remain the fact that Woodmorappe has no reputation for sound technical
scholarship to tarnish.
A particularly useful
example of this that I uncovered independently concerns how random mutations in
the mitochondrial fuel stations in our cells tick away like clocks to measure
at least roughly how many millions of years separate the common ancestry of the
living forms that possess those specific mtDNA configurations. But as Woodmorappe's worldview cannot
accept all those millions of years, the mitochondrial evidence has to be
brought "in line with the biblical time frame" of only a few thousand
years. As part of this effort,
Contrary to conventional
evolutionary wisdom, some earlier evidence indicated that mtDNA is not subject
only to neutral mutations (Fos et. al. 1990, MacRae and Anderson 19880. However, much of this evidence was
ignored because it did not fit the reigning evolutionary belief in the primacy
of neutral mutations (Malhotra and Thorpe 1994, p. 37).
The new field evidence
indicates, however, that mtDNA is subject to natural selection. Malhotra and Thorpe (1994) studied the
sequence of mtDNA among certain lizards in islands of the Caribbean Sea. They found morphological (i.e.
anatomical) variation in these lizards. following moisture gradients on the
islands: the animals' coloration, number of scales, and body proportions varied
with local ecological conditions.
All this sounds well
mannered, doesn't it? Direct
assertions are accompanied by specific citations from perfectly legitimate
journals. And if one were reading
such a statement in Science or Nature you could be
reasonably confident that there would indeed be some correspondence between the
But that's not the venue,
is it? We're reading the arguments
of someone prone to arrange the data set to arrive at a theologically necessary
conclusion. Under that impetus,
scratch the surface and we discover Woodmorappe's documentation isn't at all
that he's making it out to be.
Like Phillip Johnson's
parsing of his own source material on the mammals in Darwin on Trial, Woodmorappe
had to overlook the part of MacRae & Anderson where they had explicitly
cautioned against the very conclusion to which he was so anxious to jump:
Uneven evolutionary rates
among mtDNAs or even within an mtDNA molecule, although important to document,
will not invalidate use of the clock. The mtDNA clock would still be valid under many circumstances, because
its rate is an average taken over time, much as it is for molecular clocks
associated with nuclear genes.
Just as he had with Luo et al.
on mammal paleontology, Woodmorappe also failed to report what it was that
MacRae & Anderson had actually found out. This was not a case of mutational differences between the
mtDNA originating because of natural selection (as he tactically implied), but
rather the distribution
of specific variant mitochondria ("haplotypes") within the hybrid zone of a
population. Thus selection could
nudge an "AAB" distribution into an "ABB" one ... more Bs, not changes in either
A or B (which is what would have affected the neutral ticking of the
mitochondrial clock in the way Woodmorappe wanted his readers to think).
Apart from intimating
that Malhotra & Thorpe were claiming "much of this evidence was ignored
because it did not fit the reigning evolutionary belief in the primacy of
neutral mutations," Woodmorappe didn't go into details about which evolutionary
scientists were supposedly doing this ignoring. It certainly couldn't have been the many authors who have
cited the MacRae and Fos papers over the years -- or the other researchers who
have contributed parallel findings without suffering any evident neglect.
But it turns out Malhotra
& Thorpe hadn't even made the claim Woodmorappe attributed to them.
Far from asserting that
the work of MacRae and Fos had been "ignored" by any evolutionists, Malhotra
& Thorpe started off by documenting the contrary: several groups of
researchers had been actively trying to test the early artificial selection
findings of MacRae, Fos and others, but without success. The point of Malhotra & Thorpe's
new paper was to contribute a useful field example that might help resolve the
continuing dispute over whether natural selection could affect mitochondrial
haplotype frequencies -- and if so, under what circumstances.
The wonderful irony of the Malhotra episode concerns what Johnson or Berlinski might have stumbled upon had they descended from lofty Olympus to take a peek at the undercarriage of this Woodmorappe vehicle. In that unlikely event, they could have slid straight into a whole pile of science that has definitely been "ignored." But not by evolutionists ... it is creationists who have been
ignoring this research.
Perhaps the most obvious
area is the question of why there are mitochondria in our cells for Woodmorappe
to refer to in the first place.
It is well recognized
today that biologist Lynn Margulis (once married to archetypal skeptic Carl
Sagan, by the way) was correct when she popularized earlier theories that
cellular organelles like mitochondria and chloroplasts are the remnants of
formerly free-living organisms that were joined in an "endosymbiotic"
relationship with nucleated cells. Following these episodes of bacterial indigestion some billion-odd years
ago, a few of these ancient endosymbionts eventually evolved into higher
metazoans ... among them Woodmorappe, Johnson and Berlinski.
Thus to even bring up the
subject of mtDNA is either to reject the solid body of observation on which
their endosymbiotic origin is based ... or implicitly accept the common descent
of all organisms possessing them. Trying to invoke mtDNA without tackling the accepted evidence for
endosymbiosis is yet another example of creationist reluctance to grapple with
data that buffets their rigid worldview. Examples again span the antievolutionary gamut: from overt creationists
like the ICR's legal consultant Wendell Bird twenty years ago, through to the
Intelligent Design cadre at the Discovery Institute busily sandbagging the
Wedge trenches today.
Still another area of
antievolutionary data avoidance that Malhotra & Thorpe's work impacts is
the voluminous literature of "biogeography" which concerns the distribution of
life, living and fossil.
From the start,
biogeography has provided a powerful link in the chain of evolutionary
evidence, and for good reason. It
is no coincidence that both Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace came
independently to their view of speciation by natural selection after
encountering firsthand what things were alive (and not) around the world,
especially on isolated islands. There is a distinct pattern to the distribution of life (no big
vertebrates on sizable real estate like Hawaii, for instance, even though the
place is capacious enough to sustain them ecologically).
One possibility is that
the Intelligent Designer capriciously avoided plopping down new "types" in any
of these instances, perhaps in order to placate evolutionists. But the simpler alternative is that the
absence of such "Darwin-busting" examples is due to everything coming to be
where and what it is solely by the natural process of descent with modification
that evolutionists have so carefully documented over the last hundred-odd
That evolutionary theory
alone has been able to account for this circumstance is further supported by
the abject silence of creationists on it. It is a bald fact of documentary scholarship that biogeography is one of
the great verboten subjects of antievolutionism, ignored with monotonous
regularity though the whole body of anti-Darwinian literature (including once
again, Phillip Johnson).
And we're still not yet
done tracing the dire evolutionary connections embedded in Malhotra &
Thorpe's work. Consider this
recent comment by Ogden & Thorpe: "Rapid morphological differentiation and
adaptation to local environments is a well-documented phenomenon that has been
previously demonstrated in a number of Anolis lizards."
This represents one end
of the microevolutionary process that eventually cascades into how species
differentiation can be driven by ecological factors, an area further overlooked
again by (you guessed it) Phillip Johnson.
The trail here is
especially revealing, as it offers further clues about how Johnson approaches
information he dislikes as opposed to the congenial sort proffered by chaps
Niles Eldredge as an authority to dismiss (of all things) the fossil evidence
for macroevolution in Eldredge's own field of specialty, Johnson confidently
claimed: "The non-occurence [sic] of Darwinian change is particularly
evident where fossils are most plentiful -- in marine invertebrates, for
example. There it's all variation
within the type, with no substantial evolution. Thus Eldredge, a trilobite specialist, tells stories about
hominids when he wants to lecture about evolution."
Which was about as true
as Woodmorappe's tight filtration of mitochondrial haplotypes.
First we may note that
Johnson's idea that Eldredge fell back on "hominid stories" instead of
trilobites appears to have turned on the one time Eldredge debated with
Johnson. Because of the venue (a
Christian college where that particular issue was of more than passing concern
to the audience), Eldredge opted to use human evolution as his prime example.
Like Berlinski with
Nilsson & Pelger's Figure 3, though, Johnson then jumped to the conclusion
that Eldredge had been using hominids as a general rule. But the fact was, as one might have
expected, invertebrate trilobites supplied the centerpiece of Eldredge's many
books and articles on evolution. Had Johnson not been showing the same sort of attentiveness to distracting
detail as he did with Woodmorappe, he might even have caught this
1981 Eldredge statement "From my own work I can cite the trilobite genera (from
the Lower Devonian of Bolivia): Kozlowskiaspis -- Metacryphaeus -- Malvinella -- Vogesina,
which are connected by a compelling array of intermediates."
When he repeated his
claims about static invertebrates in his 1997 book, Defeating Darwinism, Johnson
referenced Eldredge's own 1995 entry, Reinventing Darwin. Since that book was not trying to beat
dead horses, Eldredge hadn't explicitly discussed the transitional trilobite
evidence he'd mentioned elsewhere. Which reminds us of the general
scholarly principle that when trying to draw conclusions on matters of
substance, it is often prudent to be familiar with more than just a single
has consistently failed that test.
But again like
Woodmorappe with Malhotra & Thorpe, Johnson compounded his own difficulty
by failing to appreciate that in this 1995 book Eldredge had moved on to
Indeed, as I discovered
when comparing a wheel-spinning e-mail exchange I had with Johnson in 1997 with
the contents of Reinventing Darwin, Johnson was getting the point of it backwards. Like a seemingly innocuous equation
that spawns a host of momentous conclusions once it is applied to specific
instances, it was Eldredge's contention that uniting Darwin's concept of
natural selection with modern population genetics squares with the pattern of
speciation bursts amid stasis found so routinely in the fossil record. So Johnson was trying to invoke
Eldredge's idea of fossil stasis to refute the Darwinian mechanism, when it
was the whole point of Reinventing Darwin that the Darwinian
mechanism inevitably and neatly explained that fossil stasis!
One of the main themes of
Darwin was that a species is more than a homogenous block of
individuals -- it also represents a competing mixture of breeding populations
("demes") and ecological groupings ("avatars") that can affect how natural
selection and speciation play out in particular cases. And as it turns out, the lizard
research of Malhotra, Thorpe and their colleagues bears directly on that
Quite a body of
connecting links in the evolutionary chain to step over, isn't it? But then, maneuvering around evidence
has been the standard procedure among antievolutionists, which is why they have
yet to legitimately earn the right to take a place at the High Table of serious
debate. And why my reading
Berlinski (shunted by "the indefatigable" Johnson) trying to invoke Woodmorappe
on a topic about which neither has even the slightest proficiency struck me as
so characteristically funny.
Berlinski is the
equivalent of the unskilled hunter, taking random potshots at the neighbor's
cow instead of the elk that was his putative target. But Johnson has feigned far greater familiarity with the
issues, having devoted whole books to the controversy: Darwin on Trial, Reason in
the Balance, Defeating Darwinism, and The Wedge of
Truth. Yet apart from
one sloppy treatment of a science citation in Darwin on Trial (intimating
that paleontologist Philip Gingerich didn't know his business when he detected
the vestigial legs on some early whale fossils) Johnson has not shown any urge
to familiarize himself with the body of available scientific literature.
But we do know he does
pay attention to the output of Answers in Genesis, don't we?
Just how long (or
assiduously) he has been doing this is unclear, but in The Wedge of Truth he
explicitly cited the "Australian creationist organization" for several
apologetic bits. He commented on a
1997 AiG video interview with the bête noire Richard Dawkins, in which the
British evolutionist was nonplussed at being challenged to provide evidence of
natural selection creating new genetic information.
Johnson also alluded to a
1990 quote book by Young Earth creationist geologist Andrew Snelling supporting
the propriety of the antievolutionary cottage industry of tactical authority
quoting. Though not quite so
surreal as Woodmorappe/Peczkis, non-creationist geologist Alex Ritchie has
noted a similarly compartmentalized double scholarly life for Snelling. While one Janus face publishes
uncontroversial papers in his discipline that accept the conventional dating
framework, Snelling's AiG religious persona absolutely rejects that chronology
in favor of unadulterated Flood geology.
Which brings us full
circle, for Snelling and Woodmorappe/Peczkis are ironically appropriate
resources for Phillip Johnson, who has similarly cordoned off his more public Wedge apologetics from his own Sunday preaching and hobnobbing with Young Earth
Johnson is of course in
good apologetic company when it comes to drawing on Answers in Genesis, since
these days they supply a lot of the ammunition used by contemporary
creationists. A case in point
would be the discussion chatter at AOL concerning an informal June 2003 poll of
their membership on "Do you believe humans evolved from apes?" Half of the hundred thousand
respondents answered, "No, God created humans separately from animals." But when it came to marshalling what
the "scientific evidence" for this position was, several posters readily
recommended readers consult the AiG (and even Kent Hovind's "Dr. Dino" website)
to learn about the incendiary facts that evolutionists are supposedly afraid to
let anyone hear.
Thus Johnson's parlay of
Woodmorappe falls squarely into a larger cultural context in which a sizable
number of Americans are sufficiently scientifically illiterate to actually
believe that organizations like Answers in Genesis purveys information
reliably. Or at least are singularly
unwilling to look close enough to detect the frequency of when they're not.
In turn, Berlinski's
huffing that Darwinists shouldn't be looking "to the fossil record with perfect
equanimity" because of anything Woodmorappe had written represents the purest
of scholarly farce. It reminds me
of how creationist Clifford Wilson approached the nasty "E" word some years
ago. Early in the 1960s Max Flindt
authored a pamphlet, "On Tiptoe Beyond Darwin," which argued spacemen had
engineered Hybrid Man (us) for their earth colony (apparently as rather
absentee landlords, judging from the infrequency of their calling), and fellow
UFO buff Otto Binder popularized it. When it came to their version of antievolutionism, Wilson blithely
followed Flindt and Binder right off the cliff:
Until writings such as these began to be prominent in
recent times, most of the forthright opposition to the Darwin-based theory of
evolution came from Christians who saw it as opposing the Bible. Now many ufologists reject Darwin on
biological and other grounds. Many
of their arguments were valid, but to insist that man has therefore resulted
from a space-earth sexual union is conjectural. There is still no better explanation than that of Divine
Well, now that UFO believers
(or Answers in Genesis) have written off Darwin, no need to bother consulting
scientists who might actually have some expertise in the area. In Wilson's world at least, Flindt and
Binder were just as adequately "prominent" for him as Woodmorappe evidently is
for the paleontologically challenged Fellows at the Discovery Institute.
If we're looking for a
methodological moral to this extraordinary "Tale of Two Citations" one may
paraphrase a venerable saying ... by their sources shall ye know them.
 Luo (1994, 101) tabulated a
dozen apomorphies shared by mammals and tritheledontids, and a complementary
set of ten for the tritylodontids. The paroccipital process relates to how great an extension there was to
a small segment of the quadrate bone, Luo (1994, 105), while Luo (1994,
115-117) examined the implications of the tooth replacement mode in Sinoconodon.
 Luo (1994, 111). Figure 6.8 on the following page
illustrated the six cladograms (with the Treelength values for the permutations
ranging from 183-188 for the Tritheledontidae model, and 185-194 for the Tritylodontidae
model). Luo (1994, 112)
summarized: "a tritheledontid-mammal group is consistently favored over the
tritylodontid-mammal group by a small difference, regardless of various
permutations in the arrangement of more distantly related cynodonts."
 Luo (1994, 113).
 Peczkis (1993; 1994), with the
online paper New Educational Activities for Home Schooling Science:
A Hands-on Science Activity that Demonstrates the Atheism and Nihilism of Evolution. Recall also Woodmorappe's fiery response to Glenn Morton (note  above).
 Woodmorappe has been criticized
mostly on the turf of radiometric dating (which Flood believers have to dispose
of in order to salvage their compressed Genesis geochronology). Woodmorappe's Byzantine use of the
literature has been noted by many of his critics. There's Glenn Morton's take with reply by Woodmorappe. There's Kevin Henke's piece,
Schimmrich has links to
Woodmorappe's rejoinder and Schimmrich's further commentary.
 Woodmorappe's "Upsetting Pet
Theories: Surprising New Evidence that Molecular Clocks Can Run Very Fast" was
obtained from the Young Earth creationist website "Revolution Against
Evolution". These pieces apparently originally appeared in the Bible-Science
Association's Creation Moments (evidently a radio broadcast, though none
of Woodmorappe's items appear to have been archived among the transcripts at Creation Moments). Note also
the geocentric connection of the BSA (per note  above).
 MacRae & Anderson (1988,
485). Apparently less aware of the
dire implications of their own work that Woodmorappe seems to think, Malhotra
& Thorpe have continued to apply the lessons of genetic clocks in
evaluating the evolutionary relationships of species, as indicated by their
part in Stenson et al. (2002).
 Haplotype shifts can be rapid
indeed, as Pergams et al. (2003) indicate with a study of the
mtDNA in mice museum specimens caught around Chicago since 1855. Since we have many mitochondria copies
in each of our cells, and thus whole populations within each organism, let
alone when compared to an entire population within a species, the maintenance
of variant mtDNA (heteroplasmy) understandably relates to a host of
factors. This runs from the
influence of the nuclear genome itself, Farge et al. (2002), to the effect
of the difference in recombination rates between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA,
Weinreich & Rand (2000). There's even the need to consider the tendency for cytosine to fall off
the DNA molecule, Chatterjee & Singh (2001). Ohta (2002) summarizes ongoing refinements to the "nearly
neutral theory" contending "that the interaction of drift and selection is
important and occurs at various levels, including synonymous and nonsynonymous
substitutions in protein coding regions and sequence turnover of regulatory
elements." See Birky (2001),
al. (2001), Rand (2001) and Allen (2003) for further reviews, and
Contamine & Picard (2000) for details on yeast (most studied in part due to
its technical accessibility). Moreover, although mtDNA is usually inherited maternally, occasionally
the paternal copies can barge in to shift the observed balance -- see Schwartz
& Vissing (2002) or Städler & Delph (2002) for recent
examples, and Bromham et al. (2003) for perspective.
 Recent citations of MacRae
& Anderson (1988) and Fos et al. (1990) would include
García-Martínez et al. (1998), Kann et al. (1998), Babcock & Asmussen
(1998), Nielsen & Weinreich (1999), Rand et al. (2001), Hattori et al.
(2002) and Orive & Barton (2002). See also the chain from Yoneda et al. (1992) and Dunbar et al. (1995) to Mambo et al. (2003) and Taylor et al. (2002) on shifts in mtDNA
proportions due to replicative advantage and selection.
 Among the contrary papers cited
by Malhotra & Thorpe (1994, 37) in their opening paragraph were Nigro &
Prout (1990) and Kambhampati et al. (1992). Malhotra & Thorpe (1994, 37) concluded this paragraph
with: "In general, the debate has been largely confined to theory and is seldom
explicitly tested against real data at the microevolutionary level." This "largely confined to theory"
summary is still a far cry from Woodmorappe's general accusation of
evolutionists ignoring the evidence on account of the "reigning
 A survey of the progress of the
biological acceptance of the endosymbiotic theory may contrast Gamlin &
Vines (1986, 156-158) with a listing of microbiology milestones in Tortora et al.
(1995, 9) honoring Margulis under the year 1981 apropos the endosymbiotic
"Origin of eucaryotic cells." See
also de Duve (1995, 162-166; 1996), Stansfield et al. (1996, 361-365),
Dawkins (1998, 225-231), Kurland & Andersson (2000), Mayr (2001, 45-48),
Zimmer (2001, 111-115), Ryan (2002), and Palenik (2002) re Martin et al.
(2002). Cyanobacteria appear also
to have lent plants cellulose synthase, Nobles et al. (2001), and Gupta
(1998), Martin & Müller (1998), Maynard Smith & Szathmáry (1999,
59-78), Margulis et al. (2000) and Hartman & Fedorov (2002) explore the
contenders for the endosymbiotic origin of eukaryotes.
 Behe (1996, 189) kept
endosymbiosis at arm's length with this brief comment: "Symbiosis theory may
have important points to make about the development of life on earth, but it
cannot explain the ultimate origin of complex systems." Both Behe (1996, 26, 278n) and Johnson
(1998, 101-107; 2000, 72) have preferred to selectively invoke Margulis as an
authority figure for her criticism of Dawkins-style Neo-Darwinism, drawing on
Mann (1991) and Brockman (1995). Fellow ID biologist Jonathan Wells (2000a) managed to miss the subject
altogether. Farther afield, while
Gordon Mills (1998) gymnastically mentioned mitochondria minus endosymbiosis,
mathematician Dembski (1999, 176; 2002, 319) continues to dub symbiosis
"speculative" without reference to any of its concrete examples, like
compartmentalized narrative in Bird (1989, Vol. 1, 100, 210) fielded both
evasions, including a critical authority quote by Philip Whitfield -- ironic given
his impending agreement with the theory, Whitfield (1993, 28-29).
 For example, Malhotra &
Thorpe's papers figure in R. P. Filson's "Island Biogeography and Evolution"
for students working out the
evolutionary relationships of the Canary Island Gallotia lizards. Cf. Malhotra & Thorpe (2000)
offering the pros and cons of local volcanic activity playing a role in the
divergence of Anole lizards in the Dominican islands over the last 30 thousand
years (time frames utterly meaningless in the context of Woodmorappe's YEC
 Cracraft (1983, 183-184),
Strahler (1987, 365-366) and Ecker (1990, 42-43) have noted the glaring absence
of biogeography on the Creation Science "things to think about" list -- and
Peterson (2002, 18) has spotted the same lacunae in the more recent Intelligent
Design mutation. Denton (1985,
33-34) skirted closest to the precipice in Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, which has
been highly influential in the ID movement (drawn on most notably by Phillip
Johnson and Michael Behe). Although acknowledging the import of the evidence in cases like the
Galápagos, Denton did not ponder just how much of the data set could be
accounted for by such means, or whether such patterns showed up just as
regularly in the fossil record. While
Johnson (1991, 151) relegated biogeography to a passing sentence, Morris &
Morris (1996, 237) played coy: "For some reason, the geographical distribution
of animals and plants is often cited (and has been, since before Darwin's time)
as an evidence of evolution."
 Ogden & Thorpe (2002,
13615), citing Malhotra & Thorpe (1991), Losos et al. (1997) and Thompson
 This passage concluded his
Letter 6 (December 6, 1996) in a PBS-sponsored exchange with Ken Miller
(with a plethora of links on the net, as at TalkOrigins). Each contributed a quartet of letters,
starting off with Miller on November 14, 1996, and ending with Johnson's
December 9, 1996 entry. The
characterization of the debate by Johnson (1997, 123-124) dated the exchange to
"early 1997" and dismissed Miller's substantive points as "stock arguments"
without actually discussing any of them.
 Eldredge (2000, 134, 191n)
recounted his side of the debate.
 Eldredge (1981, 19). See also Eldredge (1982, 118), reprised
in Eldredge (2000, 122) on why creationists are so off the mark on the matter
of trilobites as merely "variation within a kind."
 While Johnson (1997, 59-61)
drew on Eldredge (1995, 95) for a seemingly incriminating claim that evolution
"never seems to happen" in the fossil record (Eldredge was referring to the
comparative rarity of preserved intermediate examples at the species level), he
did not otherwise address any of Eldredge's main argument.
 See Thorpe & Richard (2001)
on the ecological association of ultraviolet markings, and Schluter (2001) for
a survey of comparable literature. Eldredge (1995, 174-197) and Gould (2002, 602-606, 644-652, 701-709,
881-885) discuss the evolutionary theorists and their conclusions relating to
the new terminology of demes and avatars, and Wakeley (2000)
illustrates a technical application.
 Gingerich et al. (1990), cited by
Johnson (1991, 178). Johnson's
Research Note citation mistakenly dated the Gingerich paper to "July 15." But that typo was less momentous than
Johnson (1991, 178-179) secondarily drawing a quote by quirky 1930s British
creationist Douglas Dewar via Denton (1985, 216-218) describing the absurdity
of whales evolving from a land form. In 1935 Dewar helped found the "Evolution Protest Movement" in Britain
with a group of like-minded British eccentrics to combat Darwinism's purported
goals of moral degradation (promoted by psychoanalysis), human extinction (via
birth control), and political revolution (through communism), Numbers (1992,
145-152). Not all that dissimilar
panic buttons from those being pressed by Phillip Johnson three score years
hence. But the irony is that by
the mid-1990s paleontologists were digging up the very intermediate "whales
with legs" that Dewar's critique had demanded (and which Denton and Johnson had
quoted). See Gould (1994),
Gingerich (1994) or Zimmer (1998) for surveys, and Thewissen & Hussain
(1993), Gingerich et al. (1994; 2001), Thewissen et al. (1994; 1996; 1998;
2001), Thewissen & Madar (1999), Luo (2000), Thewissen & Bajpal (2001)
and Spoor et
al.(2002) for relevant technical info. Incidentally, Don Batten's "A Whale of a Tale? (Ambulocetus)"
spun the Answers in Genesis view of
snippets of these data in much the same way Phillip Johnson had Gingerich's 1990
paper (impugning the technical expertise of the paleontologists). Although prompted by Ken Miller in his
PBS letter exchange with Johnson, and again at the 1997 Firing Line debate,
Johnson has assiduously avoided thinking about these new fossils. Out of sight, out of mind. Indeed, his sole comment on the new
whale fossils in Johnson (1997, 59-60) offers a laundry list of things he
doesn't investigate: "I've long been fascinated by the conflicting messages
Darwinists provide concerning the fossil evidence. On the one hand, they proudly point to a small number of
fossil finds that supposedly confirm the theory. These include the venerable bird/reptile Archaeopteryx,
the ‘whale with feet' called Ambulocetus, the therapsids that
supposedly link reptiles to mammals, and especially the hominids or ape-men,
like the famous Lucy. These
examples, all from vertebrate animals, are pressed very insistently on me in
debates as proof of the 'fact' of evolution and even of the Darwinian
mechanism." Johnson then went on
to field his Eldredge invertebrate argument recounted above.
 Johnson (2000, 39-40, 177n,
180n) directed the reader to the jabs pro and con at Answers in Genesis and
Australian skeptics' rival "No Answers in Genesis" website,
which included Dawkins' response. Dawkins suspected an ulterior creationist motive to the question because
of the odd way it was put. Natural
selection doesn't do (or need to do) any "creating" on its own, for new genetic
information comes about by the perfectly natural processes of variation during
genetic replication. Selection of
course would be perfectly capable of preserving the changes in the individual,
and potentially spreading them through a whole population.
 Alex Ritchie's critique at "No Answers in Genesis" sparked a rejoinder by
 None of Johnson's published
books or articles have alluded to his many interactions with the creationist
community. For example, he
addressed the 1999 installment of Rev. D. James Kennedy's "Reclaiming America
for Christ" conferences, where he mentioned his lay sermonizing. What Johnson has avoided at all
opportunities is any investigation of Kennedy's long-standing advocacy of
literal Flood Geology (as well as the preposterous belief that the
constellations of the Zodiac were placed in the heavens to illustrate Christian
doctrine). Johnson has also been a
congenial guest on Hank Hanegraaff's "Bible Answer Man" call-in show on
conservative Christian radio -- as has Bill Dembski (cf. note  above). Although the Bible Answer Man doesn't
go out of his way to call attention to his own Young Earth beliefs, either, he does
consider Johnson the premiere philosopher of the new creed. And Johnson's laudatory "Forward" to
Hanegraaff (1998, xi-xiv) repaid the compliment: "He exposes the specific wrong
answers and provides lots of references to other literature." As indeed he had, citing among other error-laden
YEC authorities, Morris & Parker (1987), Sunderland (1988) and Gish
(1995). Farther afield, Johnson
even supplied a cheery back cover recommendation for Hare Krishna creationists
Cremo & Thompson (1993), whose worldview slides off the cosmological map. Forbidden Archaeology was published by the Bhaktivedanta Institute, and dedicated to Hare Krishna’s founder, "His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupãda." The "Hare Krishna News Network" site dedicated to Prabhupãda's teachings includes the claim that NASA faked all the Apollo moon landings. Part of their argument rested on secular Apollo deniers-a crowd who got a publicity boost in February 2001 via a special on the Fox network (whose "documentary" telecasts have seldom been burdened by either editorial discretion or taste) … followed by a punch in the nose by Buzz Aldrin in 2002. See Plait (2002, 155-173) or the Fake Moon Landings website for field guides to this surreal area-cf. also the rationalist attitude of Smith (2000, 16) and warnings of Oberg (2003). Of relevance is how Prabhupãda's reasoning turned on scriptural authority, precisely like Henry Morris on the Genesis Flood. In "Man On the Moon-A Colossal Hoax that Cost Billions of Dollars," Prabhupãda (who died in 1977) declared that "The Vedic account of our planetary system is already researched, concluded, and perfect. The Vedas state that the moon is 800,000 miles farther from the earth than the sun. Therefore, even if we accept the modern calculation of 93 million miles as the distance from the earth to the sun, how could the 'astronauts' have traveled to the moon-a distance of almost 94 million miles-in only 91 hours (the alleged elapsed time of the Apollo moon trip)? This would require an average speed of more than one million miles per hour for the spacecraft, a patently impossible feat by even the space scientists' calculations." So much for those fuddy-duddy astronomers who reasoned centuries ago that the moon couldn't possibly be farther away than the sun and still cause solar eclipses. Judging by Rowley (1971, 117), Hare Krishna literature has considered space travel a waste of effort for some time, recommending instead that visitations to the planets be accomplished via Krishna Consciousness.
 A random but typical online
example of the sort of daisy chain apologetics that fuels contemporary
creationism would be Jason Gastrich's "Jesus Christ Saves Ministries." A section titled "Sound Teachers"
explained how he had "learned
awesome things from" a band of "godly people" that included ministers John
Ankerberg, Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham and David Jeremiah, but also apologists
like Dave Hunt, Tim LaHaye, Josh McDowell, Chuck Missler and John Weldon. As for antievolutionism, the deck was
stacked with Young Earth ideologues: Duane Gish, Ken Ham, Hank Hanegraaff, Kent
Hovind, Henry Morris, Jonathan Sarfati, and John Woodmorappe. And, oh yes, Phillip Johnson.
 Clifford Wilson (1974,
191). Just as Wilson was writing
his UFO book, Flindt & Binder (1974) collaborated on Mankind -- Child of the Stars,
whose screwball aspects are noted by Kossy (2001, 19-21). For some irony, Wilson (1972; 1976) had
been extremely critical of Erich von Däniken for his mangling of archaeology
(which Wilson relied on to prove the veracity of the Bible). So it was curious to read the former
hotel manager turned Ancient Astronaut sage penning a laudatory foreword to
Flindt & Binder (1974, 12) that concluded: "I know of no work since Darwin
that deserves as much attention with regard to the evolution of man."Given von Däniken's own scholarly
myopia, this was probably true. For a tidy refutation of the alien intervention theory, see J. Richard
Greenwell, "Tiptoeing Beyond Darwin: An Examination of Some Unconventional Theories
on the Origin of Man," in Story (1980, 153-166).
And just to complete a pithy chain of citation: in 1978
Wilson co-authored a book with Ankerberg's other half John Weldon (see note 
above) opining on demonic UFOs. And Wilson & Weldon (1978) ended up being the sole citation
representing creationist thoughts on probability assessments of the origin of
life in, of all places, Dembski (1998, 55-56, 59-60).
Small world, isn't it?
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