Comments on Tour Apologizes to Sostack

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#1

That’s an admirable thing to make a public confession of error like that. God bless him!

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Tour Apologizes to Szostack
#2

Well, it just goes to show – if your are accused of “lying for Jesus”, you better make your apologies public.

Meanwhile, Origin of Life theorists like Szostak must surely know that the engineered “self replicator” (that is the very centerpiece of their models) is a purely dynamic system. They must also surely know that a self-replicating living cell is based on rate-independent control, that is, from a description encoded in memory and a set of organized constraints, just as it was predicted to be.

It’s interesting that they omit speaking about the physical requirements of that transition in their public statements.

(Blogging Graduate Student) #3

Perhaps he could try and get the DI to add this apology to the video’s page in some way.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #4

That is silly. We should expect the same from everyone. As is well known, we don’t usually get apologies from most people that really should make an apology.

Give credit where credit is due.

Tour made a mistake. He apologized. Time to move on.

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(Mikkel R.) #5

He apologized to Szostak for calling him a liar, but has he shown any signs of having acknowledged his mistakes concerning the RNA nucleotides, and the precursors of simple sugars?

#6

You seem confused by my comment. His apology is not in question.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #7

@Upright_BiPed sorry if I misread.

@Rumraket baby steps.

(Timothy Horton) #8

Of course the better thing is to just not lie for your religion in the first place. Now if we can only get the other major players from the DI to apologize and retract the stable of lies they’ve spread about science in general and evolutionary theory in particular.

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(Timothy Horton) #9

I note the video where Tour made his blunders is still up. Apparently Tour isn’t sorry enough to keep more people from viewing Tour attacking Szostak’s honesty and credibility.

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#10

It was recently pointed out on this forum that it is a core characteristic of the professional scientist to scrupulously attack their own theories in order to prove them wrong. This was portrayed not just as an ideal, but as the essential act that distinguished proper science from other forms of inquiry. Perhaps at some point in the future Szostak or others will provide an accounting of the physical and organizational requirements of the transition from dynamics to control - that which is required of their models. Doing so would surely illustrate this characteristic of proper science, and would in turn give them the opportunity to explain to the public how well their models address those requirements.

EDIT: I for one see little reason for hope in this, given that a prediction of those organizational requirements appeared in the literature over 70 years ago – a prediction that was experimentally confirmed – followed by careful physical descriptions appearing in the literature beginning almost 50 years ago. It would seem that if the researchers were prepared to publically address those requirements they would have acknowledged them in appropriate detail at some point in the intervening years…

(Timothy Horton) #11

Such attacks on the science are done in the professional peer-reviewed scientific literature. They aren’t done in popular press books or by posting YouTube propaganda videos screaming LIAR! as the DI provides as its only “science” efforts.

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#12

Sounds like an ad hominem attack to me. Might be better to address the actual claims. That would likely give a better impression, don’t you think?

(Timothy Horton) #13

Science doesn’t have to address empty claims presented in propaganda videos. Let Tour publish his evidence natural OOL is impossible in a professional scence journal then come get us.

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#14

As I see it, purely an ad hominem attack.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #15

There have been ad hominems flying around. How is this one of them? I don’t see it.

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(Curtis Henderson) #16

No Jim, it really isn’t. @Timothy_Horton gave an accurate description of how scientific criticism is, and is not, done. Nothing in that statement was an ad hominem attack.

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(T J Runyon) #17

Oh great. Another person who uses ad hom incorrectly

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#18

Oh, it seems obvious to me. But maybe I’m wrong.
Just so we’re on the same page this is how I understand ad hominem to be defined: in a way that is directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
Now I can understand that it’s not a direct negative characterization of the person. But I would say that “empty claims” and “propaganda videos” without being substantiated are both misrepresentations and pejorative terms. This I think implies a negative characterization of the individual making those “empty claims” and “propaganda videos.” That’s my reasoning anyhow.
So if you don’t mind, I’d be curious to know why in this case you don’t see it as ad hominem?

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#19

I’m not involved in the process of scientific criticism. However, what I’m questioning is the use of the terms “empty claims” and “propaganda videos” which were used without any substantiation. I would say that at least is a veiled ad hominem. How do you see it?

(Curtis Henderson) #20

I thought I was clear. That argument was not an ad hominem attack.

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