Comments on Gaugers Response to Hunt on RTE

In the name of good science AND good manners, would the participants please refrain from imputing dishonest motives to each other? It’s one thing to misinterpret evidence, another to misinterpret rationales, and yet another to misinterpret motives. In the free for all environment on how much lab environments can tend to predispose results, both perspectives have their darkhorse candidates. I applaud this thread to the degree that it tries to reach for a mutual understanding, in the face of disagreement. That is the attempt to do good science. Cheers!


I think we are refraining now. @Agauger apologized, and we should leave it at this. No one, as far as I can tell, has called her dishonest.

That may be so, but the more serious problem is that she has committed exactly the sin of which she accuses Art Hunt: She misrepresents the paper. I am not implying that she has done so dishonestly or intentionally. But she needs to be aware of the fact that few of the readers of ID websites and literature have much scientific background, and rely on her and the few other ID proponents with scientific training to explain the science for them. That is a serious responsibility, and Ann needs to be more careful when summarizing the scientific literature to avoid misleading her readers.


“This is an example of Poisoning the Well executed by @Agauger” comes awfully close. Perhaps a bit of walking back is in order?
@Agauger has set a great example by apologizing, herself. It does no disservice to anyone to pay attention to peaceful interpersonal dynamics. Just sayin’!

As I understand it, she did attempt to poison the well by accusing @art of intentional deceit. @art, to his credit, over looked the ad hominem, but I drew attention to it. Ann, to her credit, apologized. I acknowledged her apology, and now we are moving on. I’m not sure what more there is to discuss this.

I did not accuse her of deceit. I explained what I saw happening, and that remains my assessment of what happened. I’m glad that Ann walked back those accusations. I am caught up in acknowledging she is no longer accusing him of deceit. The best and most gracious thing to do for everyone (include @Agauger) is to move on.

I’m going, and I’m moving this to the comments thread for that reason.

Understood. Hope it’s seen that way by all parties. Cheers!

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Please follow your own advice, and refrain from impugning the motives of others.

@cdods started a great thread on this very topic. The article he linked to had these suggestions:

  1. Don’t misrepresent what others are saying
  2. Ask questions
  3. Seek clarification
  4. Listen
  5. Respond kindly
  6. Assume good intentions
  7. Repeat as necessary
  8. Repeat as necessary

(couldn’t help adding #8)

Read more here:


I honestly don’t understand why you think this comment impugns anyone’s motives. I didn’t accuse anyone of anything wrong, other than maybe being inclined to be blind to the effects of their own inclinations. That’s always a professional hazard in science, and in any other field of study, for me and every other human being!

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That would be something wrong, and you accused all scientists of doing this. Since one of the core principles of science in avoiding bias, it’s a rather serious accusation.

@Faizal_Ali, just let it go.

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I also “accused” myself and every human being of the same. It’s a simple part of human nature, Dr. Spock included! Doing good science involves, as you are apparently acutely aware, trying to be aware and on guard for the possibilty of such within ourselves. Peace, brother!

Great to see @Agauger posting here again.

I have a question regarding this …

Is the hisO1242 mutation the kind of mutation that could occur naturally?

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Yes, it would just be a sufficient deletion. It’s even possible a substitution could prevent hairpin formation.

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It would be a rare mutation, but certainly possible. As we saw in Lenski’s long term evolution experiment, it is also possible for a gene to get a new promoter that changes its expression.

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That was a fun detective mission - the names I came across tracking that down! Roth. Fink. Ames. FerroLuzzi-Ames. I am a scientific grand-child of Bruce Ames, and my graduate work was somewhat in competition with FerroLuzzi-Ames, so this was pretty neat.

To answer the question, according to Roth, Anton and Hartman (Table 1 in J. Mol. Biol. 22, 305-323, 1966), hisO1242 was a spontaneous mutant. So it most definitely could occur naturally.


Yeah was about to write the same thing, I read reference 28 (can be accseed here) the mutant actually occurs naturally and it is through it’s initial discovery that it was known to cause transcriptional derepression.

No. Only something divine or at least a partial Halting Oracle could result in something so precise and improbable.

Actually: The hisO1242 mutation was originally isolated around …
OOPS! MY BAD! It was isolated previously as Art mentioned…

It’s just a deletion of about 35 bases. John Roth’s group sequenced the mutation in 1980 and determined why it likely worked. A number of deletion mutations through that region would probably work as well.


I tried briefly to track down Stocker’s description of the strain - SL751 - but so far to no avail.

Wasn’t the reference “Personal communication”?